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UPDATED WITH POLICE SKETCHES: ‘Brazen’ serial burglar evading capture

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

***Story updated at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday with sketches of burglar suspects.

Composite _1 A sketch drawing of the first suspect

Composite _2 A sketch drawing of the second suspect

 

Utilizing additional resources and officer overtime have yet to pay off as a serial burglar continues to evade apprehension, Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner said at a news conference held at the police department Wednesday.

“We are getting calls (from residents), but nothing has panned out yet,” Hamner said. “We are canvassing neighborhoods. … I definitely don’t like it and it frustrates me we haven’t caught him yet.”

Although Hamner said his department is looking for two male burglary suspects, he believed one suspect is responsible for the bulk of the approximately 25 burglaries that started in late February and have continued with another one on Tuesday.

The prime suspect is a dark complexion man that’s 30 to 40 years old with stubble on his face. He stands between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9, and weighs 140-180 pounds with a stocky build.

Police caught a big break when witnesses saw the suspect at about 11 a.m. April 16 leaving a residence following a burglary on the 500 block of Park Avenue in a teal green early 1990s Ford Explorer.

Hamner said residents have seen the suspect on at least two different occasions in connection to burglaries.

The other burglary suspect is a skinny white man in his 20s with long brown hair. He stand 6 feet tall and weighs 170 pounds. This burglar has only been connected with a Feb. 24 case. Hamner said he wanted to inform the public about the man after the burglar fought with a homeowner following a confrontation in the kitchen.

“We don’t know if anything is connected, but both are a danger to the public,” Hamner said.

The serial burglar frequently hits remote homes of people of all ages across the island during daylight hours on weekdays. He has struck once on a Saturday, but never on a Sunday. Hamner said the suspect has been known to strike homes when residents are away for as little as 45 minutes, giving Hamner the belief that the man was watching homes closely before burglarizing them.

The suspect has broken and smashed windows, but also has entered several homes that were left unlocked, Hamner said. The suspect often takes items that he can carry in one load, such as laptops, weapons, cash, jewelry, cellphones and miscellaneous items.

On April 1, the burglar struck three times, and on March 20 and April 7 he committed two burglaries apiece.

“He knows the island because he’s using paths and parks,” Hamner said. “This guy is brazen.”


Youth summits bridge gaps between generations

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Contributed photo / Grayson Wildsmith Peter Lindsey rebuilding the mailbox for the elderly couple.

Contributed photo / Grayson Wildsmith
Peter Lindsey rebuilds a mailbox for an elderly Bainbridge Island couple.

An elderly couple were in a bind and needed help immediately.

After discovering their mailbox had been smashed during a weekend prank, the couple called Bainbridge Youth Services seeking help because they couldn’t get their mail delivered to them and they were too feeble to fix the box themselves.

Bainbridge High juniors Peter Lindsey and Grayson Wildsmith were recruited by the agency to donate five hours on a Saturday to rebuild the mailbox.

“They had to mix the cement, place the new mailbox beam in the cement and then fasten the mailbox to the beam,” said Marina Cofer-Wildsmith, executive director of Bainbridge Youth Services, which is housed in the high school. “All this done without any spotlight on their work. No community service hours expected, no payment … they did it just because. The couple were so grateful.”

Cofer-Wildsmith shared the story of Lindsey and Wildsmith on the heels of the successful three session Healthy Youth Summit, which was sponsored by Bainbridge Youth Services, Raising Resilience, Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island and the Bainbridge Island School District.

After attracting more than 60 participants and community leaders for the first stakeholders meeting in September, the first summit in November garnered 171 participants. The next three-hour meeting in January had 168 participants and the third in March tallied 101 people. More than 50 youth participated in all three events, but approximately 200 youth voices helped shape the direction of the conversations as a result of youth surveys.

The meetings meant a great deal to Dave Cinamon, whose daughter attends Bainbridge High.

“I left each event with a feeling of relief, happiness and optimism, having learned more about this stage of my daughter’s life,” said Cinamon, an architect on the island. “I loved each event – being with other parents, and listening to great speakers and educators explain how a teenager’s brain is developing during these years.”

Bainbridge School District Superintendent Faith Chapel said she found the meetings “very effective.”

“Over the years, I’ve participated in many discussions about adolescents,” Chapel said. “Without a doubt, these were the most constructive and substantive sessions I’ve experienced. Each segment was unique in its format and content, and the speakers and facilitators were very effective.”

Cezanne Allen, board chair for Raising Resilience, and Cofer-Wildsmith said the motivation for the Healthy Youth Summit was simple: engaging both youth and adults. After starting with teens telling them through survey data that “we aren’t happy” and that adults “put too much pressure on us making a decision for the future,” the teens moved to “give us a voice” and “please redefine success – congratulate us for who we are, not what we do.”

“Our expectations for these summits were more than met, as we engaged all facets of our community and built momentum for ongoing conversation and action,” Allen said. “The dialogue between youth and adults in the room opened up rich understanding, trust and respect on both sides. Common community-driven values were articulated and 100 committed adults and youth worked together to design action steps to move our community from good to great.”

As a result of the summits, Cofer-Wildsmith said she hoped to implement methods to improve the way island adults “engage, empower and listen to our youth.”

“We are trying to establish a community movement where we look at how we behave and interact with our youth differently – supporting their strengths and less focusing on their deficits,” Cofer-Wildsmith said.

Allen said perceptions between Bainbridge adults and youth have changed following the meetings and that the conversation will continue.

“We are working to support the action groups that emerged and to empower and bring leaders from a wide variety of sectors together to create a common agenda for action to support healthy youth development,” Allen said. “We will plan a follow-up summit next year to consolidate our learnings and track our progress.”

SUMMIT RESULTS

Here’s some of the achievements that came as a result of the three community Healthy Youth Summits:

– Bainbridge Police Chief Matthew Hamner starting a Youth Advisory Committee.

– Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council are planning to add a youth board member.

– Senior Center discussion youth technology mentorship for seniors.

– Parent-driven youth mentor program established.

– Bainbridge Youth Services launching a paid summer internship program.

 

***Editor’s Note: This story was published in the April 11 Islander section, but since it wasn’t available online we are posting it to this blog as well.


‘Honor & Sacrifice’ wins American history documentary award

Friday, April 18th, 2014
Contributed file photo Don Sellers and Lucy Ostrander's "Honor & Sacrifice" won the Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians for outstanding programming in documentary film concerned with American history.

Contributed file photo
Don Sellers and Lucy Ostrander’s “Honor & Sacrifice” won the Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians for outstanding programming in documentary film concerned with American history.

Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers’ “Honor & Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story” continues to impress critics and audiences.

Last weekend, the documentary captured the prestigious Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians for outstanding programming in documentary film concerned with American history in Atlanta, Ga.

“Honor & Sacrifice” focuses on Roy Matsumoto and his Japanese immigrant family that endured tragedy and triumph during World War II. Matsumoto’s daughter, Karen, lives on Bainbridge Island and is the film’s associate producer.

“We’re particularly pleased because for the creators of historical documentaries, the Erik Barnouw Award represents one of the most important honors achievable,” said Ostrander, whose Stourwater Pictures is located on Bainbridge. “It not only speaks to the scholarly rigor of the work, but also to its historical importance.”

Ostrander said past winners of the award include Ken Burns and Henry Hampton, as well as revered films such as “The Most Dangerous Man in America” and “Death and the Civil War.”

“The Organization of American Historians is the major organization for historians who study and teach about the United States,” Ostrander said. “They annually present a small number of awards in recognition of scholarly and professional achievements in the field of American history. Only one is for a film, so the award is extremely competitive.”

If “Honor & Sacrifice” sounds familiar it should. It was shown at 15th annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival last November.

If you haven’t seen the stirring “Honor & Sacrifice” yet, you’re in luck. It will be broadcast on Seattle public television station KCTS at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 25.


UPDATED: Four Bainbridge schools earn Washington achievemen​t award

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

***Story updated to include quotes from Wilkes and Blakely elementary schools, 2 p.m. April 17.

Make it five straight years — that’s how many times Bainbridge High School has earned a Washington Achievement Award for Overall Excellence.

In addition to overall excellence, BHS also was noted for its reading growth.

“This is a team effort,” Bainbridge High Principal Jake Haley wrote in an email sent out on the district’s email Listserv account. “I’d like to recognize first and foremost our amazing students, the amazing staff at BHS, equally dedicated district staff, who provide the infrastructure that allows us to do our work in the buildings, and many, many supportive and involved parents and family/community members! It truly takes everyone!”

BHS wasn’t the only Bainbridge Island school recognized for the state honor.

Blakely and Wilkes elementary schools also received “Overall Excellence” awards. In addition, Blakely receive praise for its high progress, reading growth and math growth.

“Staff, students and parents all deserve recognition as we celebrate this achievement for the second consecutive year,” Blakely Principal Reese Ande wrote in a Listserv email. “The passion, dedication and desire to always be improving is a cornerstone of our community.”

Also through Listserv, Wilkes Principal Sheryl Belt added: “We had earned this award twice in recent years for high literacy achievement, so we’re really excited to be recognized for math achievement as well with this award.”

Eagle Harbor High also special recognition for its reading and math growth.

Using three years of data, the awards are given to the top 5 percent of all the state’s elementary, middle, high and comprehensive schools and participating schools that meet the highest performing designation according to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver.

Statewide assessment data for the three previous years determines the Washington Achievement Award based on analyzed data from the Accountability Index and criteria from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver.


UPDATED: Historic tug Chickamauga dismantled, two pieces salvaged

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun The Chickamauga pictured in February at its new dryland home in Port Townsend.

Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun
The Chickamauga pictured in February at its dryland home in Port Townsend.

***This story has been updated to include cost of the disposal, towing and other expenses, condition of the boat and the court date for the ship’s owner, 8:30 a.m. April 17.

The historic tugboat Chickamauga is no more.

Likely doomed by its poor condition and the prohibitive costs needed to restore it, neither individuals nor organizations could be found to rescue the troubled tug from being scrapped after it was towed 38 miles from Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor to a Port Townsend marina Jan. 31.

America’s first full diesel-powered tugboat when it was built in 1915, the Chickamauga was disposed of the week of March 24 in Port Townsend, said Toni Weyman Droscher, the communications manager for the Aquatics Program of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The contract for disposal was for $20,000, plus tax, said Melissa Ferris, the director of the state’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program.

Daily pumping, checking on the vessel, towing, escort through the haul-out process, decontamination of the boom, etc. was $25,435.35, Ferris said. Haul-out and storage at the Port of Port Townsend was $2,674.80, she added.

DNR took control of the derelict boat Jan. 16 under the state’s Derelict Vessels Act, which gives it the authority to take custody of a vessel when an owner allows it to become derelict or abandoned. Absent Chickamauga owner Anthony R. Smith did this when he failed to pay moorage and utility fees for nearly a year to Eagle Harbor Marina, totaling $8,560.30.

In addition to what he owes the marina and in legal fees, Smith also owes the Coast Guard for its expenses in responding to the Chickamauga’s October sinking, which total $140,000, and the Department of Ecology’s expenses for coordinating the spill cleanup with the Coast Guard, which total $2,000.

Smith was charged Jan. 15 with three criminal counts from the state attorney general’s office. His trial is set to begin in June 23 in Kitsap County Superior Court.

The Chickamauga sank Oct. 2, leaked about 400 gallons of petroleum and 10 gallons of lube oil in the waters of Eagle Harbor and was lifted by a crane Oct. 10.

“The 70-foot hull (of the Chickamauga) was deconstructed with an excavator,” Droscher said. “All recyclable items were separated. Debris was placed in a 30-yard container and handled by the local waste contractor, DM Disposal.”

The boat’s helm and throttle controls were saved and delivered by DNR to the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum in Tacoma this week to be restored and eventually put on display. The historical significance of the boat that Smith purchased for $1,000 in 2009 was important to retain for Joseph Govednik, the museum’s curator of collections and volunteer manager.

“It is important to preserve this, and all historic vessels, as they are subjected to less than ideal conditions being exposed to the elements of nature,” Govednik said. “Ultimately, all wood boats turn to dust, it’s a matter of time, so it is very important to preserve, protect and maintain these boats.

“I hope this can be a lesson and reminder, that these vessels require constant care and monitoring,” Govednik added. “Although the vessel is lost, we are very fortunate to take possession of the throttle controls and helm.”

Govednik said the museum doesn’t have immediate plans to display the Chickamauga artifacts, but hopes to use them in a future exhibition on tugboats to support stories of the region’s working waterfront past.

In addition to the throttle controls and helm, the silohette of the shell and ship’s log were likely some of the few original things remaining on the Chickamauga by the time the state took possession of the vessel. In fact, DNR had its marine archeologist and others inspect the ship and found the engines weren’t the original ones and that because there had been “so much retrofitting and renovation that it was really a shadow of its original self,” Droscher said.

“The engines were 671s, which were designed specifically for the landing craft for Normandy in World War II and they don’t have any historical value since they were stamped out (for mass production),” Eagle Harbor Marina Harbormaster Doug Crow said. “They weren’t maintaining it for historical value, their interest was in keeping the boat moving and working with it. There was very little to that boat that had significant value and they got the two items that were easily retrievable and it would’ve given them something to put in the museum and write about its history.”

The demise of the Chickamauga was taken hard by well-known Poulsbo watercolor artists Michael and Sarah Yaeger, who preserved the boat by painting it for their 2015 calendar. The couple were holding out hope the boat would be saved.

“We are both angry!” Michael said. “This boat was on the Historic Register and is the first diesel powered tug in the USA – surely this DNR group could’ve tried harder in the saving of her. This whole saga smacks of ‘raw raw expediency’ over our cultural responsibility for our heritage.

“The DNR bylaws should be looked at for any violation that may have occurred in this sordid mess,” Michael continued. “What’s next – the demolition of the Arthur Foss and the Virginia V? The Chickamauga played a more crucial – or at least equal – role in our maritime history.”

Contributed photo/DNR The helm and throttle controls are now all that remain of the Chickamauga after it was dismantled recently.

Contributed photo/DNR
The helm and throttle controls are now all that remain of the Chickamauga after it was dismantled recently.


Bainbridge police blotter, April 16

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The following items were taken from Bainbridge police incident reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit bainbridgeislander.com and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

April 8

Identity theft: A 41-year-old woman living on the 10000 block of Agate Point Road recently went to her bank to apply for a homeowner’s loan. After using a credit report, the woman discovered there were multiple fraudulent accounts that were opened in her name without her knowledge or authorization over the past several years.

April 4

Traffic collision: A man driving in the parking lot of Ace Hardware Store on the 600 block of High School Road pulled up to the front of the store. The driver then accelerated the vehicle into a support post for the roof overhang of the business. The collision damaged the support post to the point that it will need to be replaced. The vehicle sustained disabling front end damage and had to be towed from the scene. The driver said he was pulling up to the front of the store and instead of pressing the brake pedal, he accidentally pressed the gas pedal. The driver sustained no injuries from the collision.

***Editor’s note: Due to a processing change in the way incident reports are released to media outlets, these were the only reports available for this week’s blotter.

 


Birding on Bloedel: Listen up for this songbird’s season

Monday, April 14th, 2014

“A Year of Birding in Bloedel” is a column that runs every Friday in the Bainbridge Islander. The project is planned to continue in 52 parts through 2014 to help readers find and identify birds in the island’s garden sanctuary. Beginning with this entry on the bald eagle, each column will also be published  here on the Bainbridge Conversation blog each Friday. 

The author, Ted Anderson, is a retired professor of biology, having taught at McKendree University (Ill.) for 32 years and for the University of Michigan’s summer biological station for 20 years, where he frequently taught the biology of birds.

Anderson is also the author of “Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow, from Genes to Populations” (2006), and “The Life of David Lack, Father of Evolutionary Ecology” (2013). Ted and his wife Carol have been members of Bloedel Reserve for seven years. They live in Kingston. 

The purple finch is a year-old Northwest resident.

The purple finch is a year-old Northwest resident.

In the Pacific Northwest we are fortunate that the Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) is a year-round resident, while in much of the rest of the lower 48 it only occurs as a winter resident, migrating to the coniferous forests of Canada for the summer breeding season.

Like many other bird species, the sparrow-sized Purple Finch shows a striking color dimorphism, the males being predominantly raspberry red, while the females have a subdued brownish back and light underparts. Like the male, the female has a short, deeply forked tail, which helps to distinguish it from similarly plumaged sparrows.

Male Purple Finches begin singing in Bloedel in mid-March. Birdsong is generally understood to be a form of advertisement indicating that the male is establishing and defending a breeding territory. The signal is directed to both females and males of the same species. It acts as an attractant to females searching for mates and a nesting site, and as a deterrent to other males by notifying them that the singing male is prepared to defend his territory against interlopers.

The song of the Purple Finch is a melodious, warbling series of notes all on about the same pitch. In flight the birds emit a very characteristic “tick” call. When my wife and I visited Bloedel last week we heard singing Purple Finches in the forest adjacent to the parking area near the entrance and in the forest to the left of the path as we walked past the barns on our way to the bird marsh. Purple Finches typically build their nests near the ends of branches of an evergreen in mature conifer forests. The male’s singing perch is usually fairly high in a conifer, and he can be very difficult to spot.

During the winter Purple Finches frequently visit backyard bird feeders, particularly finch feeders containing niger or thistle seed. Here they are easily confused with their close cousin, the House Finch. The head and chest of male House Finches tend to be orange-red to true red rather than raspberry red, and the belly is heavily streaked while that of male Purple Finches is whitish with a few faint or no streaks. Females are very similar except that the female Purple Finch as a prominent white stripe over the eye that the female House Finch lacks. As their name implies, House Finches live in close association with humans, typically nesting in residential areas, city parks and on golf courses.


Bainbride police blotter, April 9

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Policebanner11-09

The following items were taken from Bainbridge police reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit bainbridgeislander.com and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

April 8

Suspicious persons/situations: A woman living on the 10000 block of Puget Bluff reported a pizza delivery man from a restaurant on Winslow Way was peering into her windows instead of ringing her doorbell. The man said he thought the home was a library and was closed. When the woman told her neighbor about the incident, the woman neighbor said she saw a gray vehicle driving slowly down the lane within the past few days.

Telephone harassment: A 46-year-old woman living on the 10000 block of Kirk Avenue reported that a man had called her six times trying to get personal information as he pretended to be an enforcement agency for the Internal Revenue Service. The man was claiming she owed back taxes. The man had a East-Indian accent. After hanging up, the woman Googled the number and found multiple people had blogged warnings about the scam.

Theft: A woman living on the 11000 block of Country Club Road reported that her orange kayak, valued at $500, was taken from her beach property. She last used the kayak two weeks earlier. She said her property frequently attracts people to park there for views of Seattle.

Identity theft: A woman reported receiving a letter from the Internal Revenue Service asking her to verify her identity. After she did, an IRS official told her that someone else had tried to use her social security number to file a tax return.

April 7

Identity theft: A man living on the 10000 block of Arrow Point Drive reported that unauthorized charges appeared on his bank card’s account.

April 6

Suspicious persons/situations: A man and his wife, who live on the 5000 block of Wekfare Avenue, reported seeing a man in the bushes of their property. When they called out to the man, he ran to a waiting brownish gold Infinity SUV. The homeowners believed the man was casing the property since the property also stores equipment for his father’s construction company. Soon after, the suspect returned in the vehicle with two woman and the homeowner recognized the occupants as people he went to school with. The three people told the homeowners that they wanted to set up a secret cafe on the first floor of the abandoned building on the property next to the property owner’s home. They planned to sell marijuana brownies from the cafe. The three people also told the homeowners that they were aware of the movement of the neighbors in the area.

April 4

Found property: An abandoned bike was retrieved from a residence at the 4300 block of Eagle Harbor Drive. There were no matches for the bicycle’s description on the list of stolen bikes.


Bainbridge police blotter, April 2

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Policebanner11-09

The following items were taken from Bainbridge police reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit bainbridgeislander.com and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

April 1

Malicious mischief: A 26-year-old Seattle man returned to find all four tires on his vehicle were slashed while it was parked at Blakely Harbor Park. The man parked his car at 1 p.m. and returned at 6 p.m. Each tire had a 2-inch cut in the sidewall. The estimated damage was $500.

March 31

Identity theft: A 55-year-old man reported that he received a call from the Internal Revenue Service that the U.S. government agency had received his $4,000 tax return. However, the man hadn’t filed his tax return yet. The man volunteers at the Archdiocese in Seattle, which has been tied to a nationwide tax return fraud.

Found property: A 70-yer-old man found a cellphone on the street outside the Bainbridge Business Park on Day Road. The cell was inoperable, the keys were heavily worn and the frame was nicked.

Identity theft: A 49-year-old woman reported when she tried to file her joint tax return for her and her husband that the Internal Revenue Service rejected it. She was informed that some information had been compromised by work with the Seattle Archdiocese.

Theft: A couple living on the 15000 block of Skogen Lane reported that the plot of land they recently purchased had some trees cut down without their authorization. They couple listed on the police report three companies that were approved to do work on their property.

March 30

Theft – shoplifting: A 45-year-old woman living on the 5200 block of Rose Avenue was caught shoplifting at a grocery store on High School Road. The woman was caught taking two bags without making an effort to pay for them. The woman, who said she’s “a little bipolar,” said she got distracted after going to the in-store Starbucks.

March 28

Protection order: With the help of a 66-year-old man’s wife, five firearms were taken for safekeeping from a house located at the 4400 block of Point White Drive. Four of the guns were rifles and the other was a pistol.

March 27

Bicycle theft: A 48-year-old man reported that his son’s 21-speed mountain bike was missing from some bushes that his son had left hidden at the intersection of Cambridge Crest Way and Phelps Road. The son, who forgot his bike lock that day, stashed the bike in the bushes at 8 a.m. and when he returned at noon the bike was gone. The report didn’t list the son’s age.


Birding on Bloedel: An unruffled red-tailed raptor

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

“A Year of Birding in Bloedel” is a column that runs every Friday in the Bainbridge Islander. The project is planned to continue in 52 parts through 2014 to help readers find and identify birds in the island’s garden sanctuary. Beginning with this entry on the bald eagle, each column will also be published  here on the Bainbridge Conversation blog each Friday. 

The author, Ted Anderson, is a retired professor of biology, having taught at McKendree University (Ill.) for 32 years and for the University of Michigan’s summer biological station for 20 years, where he frequently taught the biology of birds.

Anderson is also the author of “Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow, from Genes to Populations” (2006), and “The Life of David Lack, Father of Evolutionary Ecology” (2013). Ted and his wife Carol have been members of Bloedel Reserve for seven years. They live in Kingston. 

Contributed photo Red-tailed hawks are a common year-round resident throughout much of America's lower 48 and Mexico.

Contributed photo
Red-tailed hawks are a common year-round resident throughout much of America’s lower 48 and Mexico.

Crows regularly mob potential predators such as hawks, owls or eagles that they discover in their habitat. The mobbing behavior involves numerous crows diving close to their enemy, sometimes even striking it with their bills and cawing loudly. This behavior may be responsible for a group of crows being referred to as “a murder of crows.”

Last Saturday as my wife and I walked down the path leading from the visitor’s center toward the birch grove, we heard a murder of Northwestern Crows expressing their intense displeasure at the presence of a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). The hawk was perched in a fir tree near the shoreline and seemed relatively unruffled by the persistent scolding and dive-bombing of the crows, although it did cock his head occasionally to maintain a wary eye on its tormentors.

The Red-tailed Hawk is a common year-round resident throughout much of the lower 48 and Mexico, and a summer resident throughout most of Canada and Alaska. Adults are predominantly brown on the back with cream-colored underparts, streaked on the belly with brown spots. As its name implies, the upper side of the tale is a deep rufous-red.

Small mammals comprise the bulk of the Red-tail’s diet, particularly mice, voles and rabbits. It hunts by soaring over open fields or grasslands, or by sitting on an exposed perch, to spot the movement of a potential prey. When a prey is located, the hawk dives through the air and attempts to capture it with its talons.

Look for this magnificent raptor soaring over one of the grassland areas at Bloedel, particularly on warm, sunny days when there are thermal updrafts. Alternatively, listen for a murder of crows to tip you off to the presence of this or another bird of prey.


Public memorial for Kitamoto set for April 6

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The community is encouraged to wear either purple and gold or Hawaiian attire when they attend a public memorial service for Frank Kitamoto at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at Woodward Middle School, Kitamoto’s sister Lilly Kodama said.

“We are telling people to wear purple and gold as Frank was an ardent U of W Husky fan or Hawaiian attire as this was his favorite vacation spot,” Kodama said.

After being hospitalized for six weeks, Kitamoto died at age 74 on March 15 at a Seattle hospital.

During World War II, Kitamoto was interred for three years with his family when he was just 2 years old. Kitamoto, who worked as dentist, was well known for traveling around the country informing people about the Japanese-American internment camps and his experiences.

“Besides his speaking presentations,” son Derek Kitamoto said, “…my fondest memories are of going to Sonics, Seahawks and Husky football games with my father. He was a big sports fan and longtime Husky football season ticket holder. I also cherished the few times I was able to go with him on his annual trips to Hawaii. The Hawaiian islands were his home away from home.”

Contributed Photo/Courtesy of Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial “(Frank Kitamoto was) a humble, gracious soul with (a) hearty, infectious laugh and a 1,000 watt smile that would light up the darkest room," says Clarence Moriwaki, president of the Bainbridge Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy of Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
“(Frank Kitamoto was) a humble, gracious soul with (a) hearty, infectious laugh and a 1,000 watt smile that would light up the darkest room,” says Clarence Moriwaki, president of the Bainbridge Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.


Police believe brazen serial ‘smash-and-grab’ burglar prowling island

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A serial burglar unfazed by daylight hours or locked doors and who typically uses “smash-and-grab” techniques is believed to be roaming quiet neighborhoods across the island, Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner said Wednesday.

Guns, prescription drugs, jewelry and generally small, easily concealable items seem to be targeted by the burglar.

Remote areas far from the Winslow downtown area have been burglarized, particularly places near a cemetery and removed from nearby parking. These locations would offer the burglar with a place to stage a getaway vehicle.

Police believe the burglar could be casing areas in a vehicle and then returning on foot.

When residents spot suspicious people and vehicles in their neighborhood, they are encouraged to call 911. Unfamiliar people coming into their driveways or yards also warrant calls.

“Please don’t be hesitant to call 911 to report suspicious activity,” Hamner said. “My officers are here and ready to respond 24 hours a day. We would rather have a call turn out to be nothing than to have another one of our residents victimized.

“We need the community to be our extra sets of eyes and ears in order to catch this burglar,” Hamner added.


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