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Tree-sit inspires song, music video

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Although 19-year-old Chiara D’Angelo’s recent Bainbridge Island tree-sit protest of the Visconsi Cos. 62,000-square-foot shopping complex didn’t prevent the clearing of 830 trees off state Route 305 and High School Road, her efforts have inspired a song and music video that was posted to YouTube Monday.

Leif Utne’s original “Girl in a Tree” song and video features D’Angelo and other Bainbridge residents of all ages dancing and holding up handwritten pro-environment signs in various locations around the island. Honey Toad Studio, located on Bainbridge, helped Utne with the video’s production.

Below is a link to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUVjSkt1QIY

As of 11:55 p.m. Wednesday, the video had received 1,728 views with 33 “likes” and two “dislikes.”

News of the video was starting to gain attention nationally. On Wednesday, Mother Earth News posted a story about it on its Facebook page and Kim Murphy, the Los Angeles Times’ assistant managing editor for foreign and national news, tweeted about it.

D’Angelo, a 2013 Bainbridge High graduate and a sophomore at Western Washington University, stayed approximately 41 hours on a wooden platform 70 feet up roped to an evergreen tree Aug. 18-19. She avoided being arrested for trespassing on Visconsi private property by making a deal before she came down from her perch, Bainbridge Island Police Deputy Police Chief Jeff Horn said.

Many islanders fought for more than a year against the 8.16-acre Visconsi shopping complex, which the Bainbridge Planning Commission unanimously rejected in November. It wasn’t until the island’s Hearing Examiner approved the project in March with 50 State Environmental Policy Act conditions that the shopping complex could move forward.

Five days before D’Angelo’s tree-sit protest began, a grade and fill permit with clearing was authorized by the city of Bainbridge for the property, which was zoned for commercial use.

Contributed photo Here's a screen shot of the tweet posted by Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times.

Contributed photo
Here’s a screen shot of the tweet posted by Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times.


Bainbridge welcomes MLK Center employee

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Appreciative of the two King Center banners they received to share at events to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month, Bainbridge residents greeted a woman who works at the Atlanta national historic site and her son recently when they visited the Puget Sound area.

Juanita Robinson, the gift shop manager at The King Center, came to the area because her 25-year-old son Thomas was participating in the U.S. Track & Field Club Nationals in Tacoma July 11-12. Thomas competed for the Atlanta Track Club and finished eighth in the 100-meter dash with a finals time of 11.43 seconds.

The 8-foot-tall King Center banners were also shared at the Navy Undersea Engineering Museum at Keyport, Kitsap County Fairground President’s Hall, Olympic College in Bremerton and the Washington state African-American awards program at Bremerton High. On Bainbridge Island, the banners were displayed at Bethany Lutheran Church, Ordway Elementary School and at the Filipino-American Community Hall for the 15th annual community celebration Kitsap Sing Out! in January.

The Robinsons visited Chief Seattle’s gravesite, St. Peters Mission Church, Ol’ Man House Park in Suquamish, as well as the Suquamish Veterans Memorial, Suquamish Museum and House of the Awakened Culture. They also toured the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

The Suquamish Tribe at the Clearwater Resort co-hosted the visitors. Upon the Robinsons return to Georgia, they were given books and publications for The King Center Library by the Suquamish Museum, Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, Kitsap Black History Museum, Bainbridge Island Japanese-American community, Bainbridge Island School District, Experience Music Project Museum and Sing Out Kitsap!

Robinson said she was “overjoyed and ever so grateful” to visit the Bainbridge and Suquamish communities.

Contributed photo / Daniel Cristofferson Welcoming the Robinson's were, from left to right, Patricia Moncure-Thomas, president of the Black Historical Society and Museum of Kitsap County; Dian O'Brien, past president, Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center and MLK Jr. Memorial Sing Out Kitsap Steering Committee; Gerald Elfendahl, Bainbridge Island historian and wife Judie Elfendahl, both Sing Out Kitsap participants; Juanita Robinson, gift shop manager at The King Center; Carolann Barrows, singer/songwriter and Bainbridge Island community advocate; the Rev. Senji Kanaeda, Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple; Rodrigo "Rudy" Rimando, past president, Filipino-American Community of Bainbridge Island and Sing Out Kitsap!; Karen Vargas, Bainbridge community advocate, Bremerton’s Embassy Center and Sing Out Kitsap!; Thomas Robinson, Atlanta Track Club; and Pat Baillargeon, former secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Contributed photo / Daniel Cristofferson
Welcoming the Robinsons were, from left to right, Patricia Moncure-Thomas, president of the Black Historical Society and Museum of Kitsap County; Dian O’Brien, past president, Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center and MLK Jr. Memorial Sing Out Kitsap! steering committee; Gerald Elfendahl, Bainbridge Island historian and wife Judie Elfendahl, both Sing Out Kitsap! participants; Juanita Robinson, gift shop manager at The King Center; Carolann Barrows, singer/songwriter and Bainbridge Island community advocate; the Rev. Senji Kanaeda of Bainbridge’s Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple; Rodrigo “Rudy” Rimando, past president, Filipino-American Community of Bainbridge Island and Sing Out Kitsap!; Karen Vargas, Bainbridge community advocate, Bremerton’s Embassy Center and Sing Out Kitsap!; Thomas Robinson, Atlanta Track Club; and Pat Baillargeon, former secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt.


Island benefits from Kitsap Great Give

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Island nonprofit groups fared very well in the inaugural Kitsap Great Give on Tuesday, May 6.

The event, organized by the Kitsap Community Foundation, set a goal of raising $500,000 for nonprofit organizations and activities throughout Kitsap County through a 24-hour donation drive. Donations were accepted through its website, www.kitsapgreatgive.org, where a leaderboard kept a running tally of donations through the day.

The total donated in the Kitsap Great Give was $539,199.95. At least 22 island-specific organizations were helped, including several near the top of the countywide list in terms of donors and amounts raised. The Bainbridge Schools Foundation raised more than any other nonprofit, with $22,840.

The Bainbridge Schools Foundation, with 82 individual donors, led all island organizations in that category, followed by Maasai Women’s Education and Empowerment Program (41), Island Time Activities (52), Island Volunteer Caregivers (40) and Bainbridge Public Library (43).

The amount raised for Island Time Activities ($19,180) was also among the highest in the county. Others at the top in terms of donations were Bainbridge Island Museum of Art ($17,310), Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council ($7,325) and Bainbridge Performing Arts ($7,235).

For a full and updated list, visit www.kitsapgreatgive.org


Bainbridge Community Broadcasting offers first six podcasts

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN FILE PHOTO Bainbridge Community Broadcasting project manager Barry Peters, left, and voice-over artist Kayla Black test the new equipment in the studio in March.

MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN FILE
Bainbridge Community Broadcasting project manager Barry Peters, left, and voice-over artist Kayla Black test the new equipment in the studio in March.

Bainbridge’s long awaited radio station has arrived – at least in the form of podcasts.

Bainbridge Community Broadcasting is now offering six podcast radio shows titled “What’s Up Bainbridge.” The 5-minute podcast previews of an upcoming local event “described in person by the organizer, artist or presenter closest to the event,” according to an email from BCB announcing the podcasts.

The radio shows are available at www.BestofBCB.org.

The six episodes are:

In March, Bainbridge Community Broadcasting switched from the planning phase to training when it received its new three-microphone studio.

Bainbridge Community Broadcasting is awaiting a decision from the Federal Communications Commission this summer on its application for a low-powered FM radio license.


Musicians sought for July’s Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour

Monday, May 5th, 2014
Contributed photo / Dave Gibson From left, violinists Lia Hardy and Lea Fetterman perform during last year's Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour.

Contributed photo / Dave Gibson
From left, violinists Lia Hardy and Lea Fetterman perform during last year’s Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour.

With July fast approaching, the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council is putting a call out for musicians interested in performing during its 26th annual Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour July 11-12.

Folk, jazz groups and classical chamber artists are sought by the Arts & Humanities Council to play hourlong sets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday of the event. Musicians can also perform longer than an hour and more frequently if they’d like.

Interested artists can contact, Bainbridge in Bloom music coordinator Karla Zimmerman at karlajzimmerman@comcast.net or (206) 979-9981.

Last year’s event drew more than 700 people.


Patriotism abounds at decommissioning ceremony for former military housing

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Ethan Fowler/Special to the Kitsap Sun Jim Walkowski, right, talks about former Government Way housing resident Tony Watson, a U.S. Navy underwater diver who was on the 1985 hijacked TWA airplane of Flight 847, during the March 20 Government Way decommissioning ceremony.

Ethan Fowler/Special to the Kitsap Sun
Jim Walkowski, right, talks about former Government Way housing resident Tony Watson, a U.S. Navy underwater diver who was on the 1985 hijacked TWA airplane of Flight 847, during the March 20 Government Way decommissioning ceremony. From left, Bainbridge Mayor Anne Blair, Kathryn Keve, Jon Quitslund, Greg Lotakis, Karen Vargas and Fred Scheffler listen to Walkowski.

Tom Vargas said giving a proper closure to a subdivision that served as government housing was one of the best things about participating last Thursday in the decommissioning of a Bainbridge street formerly known as Government Way from 1957 to 2007.

Tom, and his wife Karen, lived on the street for 10 years starting in 1992. Tom donated an American flag that was used on the USS Alabama submarine at Bangor. The flag was used during Thursday’s ceremony to conclude the event.

Karen, along with Kathryn Keve and others, worked hard to collect the names of former residents, other stories and historical facts that were tied to the 16-house street. Karen retired from the Army.

Tom served on the USS Alabama with frequent Government Way visitor Brian Moss, who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terroristic attacks while working at the Pentagon. The two friends enjoyed barbecuing together.

“It’s pretty cool,” Tom said after the decommissioning ceremony. “A lot of stuff gets closed and not a big deal is made and you come back a year later and it’s gone. This gives me closure because this was the majority of where I lived during my (military) career.”

Bainbridge Mayor Anne Blair said the ceremony was “nicely done all the way around.”

“Home is where our stories begin and this was a day of stories and it will continue to be,” Blair said.

Ross Smaaladen, a construction worker with PHC, thought the ceremony was “awesome” and appreciated learning some of the interesting history of the homes and residents. PHC employees are dismantling the 16 rambler style homes on the street to make way for the new 5-acre second phase of the Grow Community. The new development literally will be situated on what is now John Adams Lane and will feature 3 acres of open space that will be mixed with fields, orchards and light forest groves.

“We’re helping to build the next stage of history for the community and it’s great to be a part of it,” said Seppi Gorecki, another PHC construction worker.

Six of Bremerton High School’s Navy Junior ROTC members also participated in the decommissioning and conducted the flag-folding ceremony. Michael Shiflet was the cadet that presented the flag to American Legion Post 172 Commander Fred Scheffler at the event’s conclusion.

U.S. Army recruiter Sgt. Clarence Jennings drove from Silverdale to also attend the ceremony.

“I’m honored they asked us to do this and that’s what we do – leadership in the community,” said Sr. Chief Anthony Jones of Bremerton High’s Navy JROTC.

Greg Lotakis, project manager for Asani Developments on the Grow Community project, said he was appreciative of everyone who made the street’s decommissioning event possible.

“Karen and Kathryn are amazing,” Lotakis said. “Community organizers never get enough credit and they said, ‘This is what we want to do.’ And we said, ‘Absolutely,’ and they got it done. It’s a nice close to it.”

Lotakis said trails and a community center will be included in the new Grow development, which will also acknowledge the history of street and its residents with signs.

Ethan Fowler/Special to the Kitsap Sun Members of Bremerton High School's Navy JROTC unit present American Legion Post 172 Commander Fred Scheffler with an American flag that once was previously used on the USS Alabama submarine at Bangor to conclude the Government Way decommissioning ceremony.

Ethan Fowler/Special to the Kitsap Sun
Members of Bremerton High School’s Navy JROTC unit present American Legion Post 172 Commander Fred Scheffler with an American flag that once was previously used on the USS Alabama submarine at Bangor to conclude the Government Way decommissioning ceremony.

Ethan Fowler/Special to the Kitsap Sun Brandon Keller of PHC Construction, right, goes over the designs for new 5-acre second phase of the Grow Community with real estate agent Keith Hauschulz after Thursday's Government Way decommissioning ceremony.

Ethan Fowler/Special to the Kitsap Sun
Brandon Keller of PHC Construction, right, goes over the designs for new 5-acre second phase of the Grow Community with real estate agent Keith Hauschulz after Thursday’s Government Way decommissioning ceremony.


Flying over Kitsap: More comments and more flight tracks

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

blog.skinny.Traffic From Other Airports

We received a lot of feedback after my story on increased air traffic over Bainbridge ran earlier this month.

I’ve reached out to FAA and King County International Airport officials to get a more complete picture of air traffic in the area, and I’ll post whatever information they provide. In the meantime, I’ll share some of the additional reader input and flight track graphics we’ve received.

Comments posted in response to the story online were mostly of the “those islanders always find something to complain about” variety, but I also heard from a number of Bainbridge and North Kitsap residents who had concerns and observations regarding airplane noise. Here’s a sampling:

“In the twelve years we have lived here, this past summer is the first time we have been bothered by the noise. As I noted, this year the frequency of the flights has increased greatly and the planes are flying at lower altitudes than in previous years.” – Kathy, south Kingston

“My concern is these flights are too low for one thing.  At night the strobe lights up my back yard on approach as I’m on a hill and I know the plane is closer than 2,000 ft at my house off Eagle Harbour.  I believe our senator and US Congress reps should be involved but it’s King County Airport where the flights are coming in over my area.” – Jim, Bainbridge Island (more…)


Input sought for Bainbridge community radio station

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Sustainable Bainbridge hopes to bring a community FM radio station to the island. The nonprofit group plans to submit an application for a low-power broadcasting license in October.

Tonight, Sustainable Bainbridge is gathering ideas on how a radio station could serve the island and what types of programs islanders would like to hear. A meeting is scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Waterfront Park Community Center.

You can find more information on the Sustainable Bainbridge website. Written comments and letters of support can be sent to info@sustainablebainbridge.org.

We’re interested in hearing your ideas as well. Please take our poll and or leave us a comment below.

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Here’s an excerpt from our recent story on the group’s quest for a community radio station: (more…)


Islanders hold vigil for peace

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

blog.vigil1

About 65 islanders gathered for a peace vigil outside Bainbridge Island City Hall Monday evening. The vigil was held, in part, to protest potential U.S. military strikes in Syria.

blog.vigil4Organizer Norm Keegel, 74, said it seemed the nation was marching toward another war this summer.

“Lately I’ve felt a sense of helplessness,” Keegel said. “What can a person do?”

He reached out to representatives in Congress  and discussed Syria with staff from Rep. Derek Kilmer’s office. Keegel felt a vigil would show solidarity for a non-violent resolution.

“What a wonderful way to show (Kilmer) there are people on the island who care about peace,” Keegel said.

Participants in the Monday vigil gathered in a wide circle and shared their thoughts on the conflict. They stood for 10 minutes of silence, then sang and danced as the evening grew dark.

blog.vigil6

Rep. Derek Kilmer and Sen. Patty Murray remained undecided on action in Syria as of last week. You can read their statements on the issue here.

(Photos by Tad Sooter)


Blakely Rock yoga sculpture takes a tumble

Monday, September 9th, 2013

blog.sculpture

blog.blakely.sculpture
The Blakely Rock yoga sculpture finally lost its balance.

Artist Ethan Currier sent us a photo (right) of the fallen remains his 1,600-pound rock creation Monday morning. The 12-foot-tall, unauthorized public art piece had stood on the reef outside Eagle Harbor since late December.

It’s unclear when or why the sculpture fell. Currier hinted at possible vandalism in his email. He said he was confident the sculpture wouldn’t have fallen on its own, and noted the weather has been calm lately.

“I’m glad nobody was hurt,” he added.

Currier said he planned to clean up the rubble as soon as possible.


Drew Hansen shares knowledge of King’s ‘Dream’ speech

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

UPDATE: Apparently Hansen wasn’t done yet. Here’s his op-ed published Tuesday in the New York Times. 

Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s transcendent “I Have a Dream” speech.

As the occasion approaches, media outlets across the country are striving to place the historic day in context. For help, some are turning to islander and state legislator Drew Hansen.

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Few people are as intimately familiar with King’s speech as Hansen. The Bainbridge lawyer and 23rd  District representative is also author of “The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech that Inspired a Nation,” a study of the meaning, context and legacy of the famous oration.

“The Dream” was published by Harper Collins in 2003 coincide 40th anniversary of the March on Washington. Hansen became a popular guest speaker after the book’s release, giving numerous talks on King and the speech over the last decade. As the 50-year anniversary of the march approaches, he is once again sharing his insights.

In a USA Today story published earlier this month, Hansen noted the “Dream” speech slid toward obscurity in the years after it was delivered. The speech returned to prominence only after King’s death in 1968, and became – “one of those things we look to when we want to know what America means,” Hansen told the paper. (more…)


More images of Bethany Lutheran on its centennial

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

blog.bethany4

Photo on left courtesy the Bainbridge Historical Museum; photo on right by Tad Sooter.

Bainbridge Island’s Bethany Lutheran Church is marking its centennial this year. As part of the celebration a group of congregants spent Sunday afternoon revisiting the original Bethany Lutheran, a 1913 church house on Pleasant Beach Drive.

blogbethany5There are still a number of Bethany Lutheran members who attended the old church (Bethany relocated to Finch Road in 1961). Some were baptized there, confirmed there, and even married there. Today the church is a private residence.

Shirley Jenkins (formerly Ostrand) recalls when her extended family filled several pews at the Pleasant Beach church. In the early days the Ostrands drove a horse cart south from their Manzanita homestead to attend services.

Though the exterior of the building remains largely unaltered (see the photos above), the interior has been remodeled by a succession of owners. Jenkins offered to share a few pictures of how the church house looked inside when it was still a church:

blog.bethany2 blog.bethany3


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