Category Archives: History

Remembering the great Bainbridge Grange riot of 1964

Grange

The Bainbridge Grange’s last big event was a meeting of the newly-formed fruit grower’s club. They tasted pears, talked about their gardens’ successes and failures, and strategized about how to get new members – typical stuff at the quiet little community hall on North Madison.

But things weren’t always so tame. The Grange hosted some raucous teenage rock shows during the early part of the last decade, and even more back in the ’90s.

But the island’s teenagers of the recent past have nothing on the crazy knife-wielding, window bashing kids of the 1960s.

From our archives, here’s a news item about a Grange Hall riot that took place 50 years ago this week:

An orderly teenage dance became chaos Saturday night when a full-scale riot erupted at the Bainbridge Island Grange Hall.

Two youths remained hospitalized today from the melee, and three others required treatment for stab wounds.

Several others were injured but did not require treatment.

Two youths are being held in the county jail as a result of the incident. At least 10 automobiles parked outside the hall near Rolling Bay had windows broken because of the fracas.

For more about the Grange, read our 2010 story about its revival here.

And check out Larry Steagall’s photo gallery here.

Bainbridge film festival that brings together world starts Friday

From Friday to Sunday, Nov. 14-16, the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council will showcase works from Bainbridge film professionals through 28 films at its 16th annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival.

Following the simple guideline that works must have been filmed on Bainbridge or feature a past or present Bainbridge Islander in the cast, crew or production, the goal of the three-day festival is to bring the Bainbridge community together to learn about and celebrate local filmmakers, according to a news release from the Arts & Humanities Council. This year’s films hail from aspiring students, young professionals and established artists in the field of film.

Admission to films screened on Saturday and Sunday are free of charge. Saturday morning of the festival will be at Bainbridge Cinemas, where three theaters will be showcasing a variety of family focused films, in addition to the Celluloid Bainbridge Film Challenge entries. On Sunday, the Historic Lynwood Theatre will offer films from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

A full schedule and descriptions of the films and their Bainbridge Connections can be found on the festival’s website, http://bainbridgeartshumanities.org. The film schedule has been arranged for viewers to enjoy several movies in a row or come and go as they please throughout the weekend.

In addition to a diverse group of film professionals, the festival will also explore global and local topics throughout the weekend, diving deeper into social, economic and environmental issues, interpersonal relationships, historical documentation and even athletics.

In Matt Smith’s autobiographical tale “My Last Year with the Nuns,” the master storyteller himself spins a wild and surprising yarn of growing up in 1960s America. Simultaneously categorized as a comedy, avant-garde, mockumentary, dramedy and period/historical piece, the film seeks to explain why the 8th grade was the best year of Smith’s life.

Another local writer with a film in the festival is Matt K. Turner, creator of “Family Weekend.” This movie centers on a 16-year-old competition rope skipper who takes matters into her own hands to bring her parents, played by Hollywood actors Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Modine, back to “normal.”

After well-deserved accolades at screenings in Malaysia, Australia, Myanmar, Korea, China and New York City, writer Hector Carosso will return to Bainbridge to show “Kayan Beauties” to friends and family. This film tells the story of three Kayan women who travel from their remote village to sell handicrafts in a distant city in Myanmar. They are accompanied by a Kayan girl, who has just had the tribe’s decorative, heavy brass coil rings placed around her neck. In the city, the girl is kidnapped by human traffickers. Far from home and out of their element, the Kayan women desperately search for the girl.

The multi-talented Robert Scott Crane will also return to the island, bringing with him from Los Angeles his newest film “Curio Shop,” an award-winning post apocalyptic acid western. Directed by two-time Emmy Award winning Eric S. Anderson and shot by the Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning director of photograhy, DP David Stump A.S.C., this hallucinogenic fable stars Crane and Christopher Sweeney. Crane will be available for a question-and-answer session immediately following his film Sunday evening.

Local filmmaker and student at Bainbridge High School, Brendan Bennett has three of his short films in the festival this year, the highlight of which is “Listen.” A story about a boy and his drug-dealing brother and how the power of music shapes their lives, this film has been screened at festivals in Omaha, Hollywood and Ireland.

The Opening Night Celebration on Friday at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, will help to underwrite the otherwise free festival. This will be a festive evening with refreshments, a chance to Meet the Filmmakers and enjoy the feature film, The EDGE at the Movies, celebrating the best of the EDGE Improv. Tickets for opening night can be purchased at CelluloidBainbridge.org.

The educational highlight of the festival will be Sunday afternoon when three films on the topic of the Japanese American Exclusion during World War II will be shown with a discussion panel featuring the voices and stories from invited guests from the Bainbridge Japanese-American community.

In Lois Shelton’s film “After Silence: Civil Rights and the Japanese American Experience,” the past comes alive as the late Frank Kitamoto, who spent 3.5 years of his childhood in a United States concentration camp during WWII, and five students from Bainbridge Island High School develop archival photographic prints in the high school darkroom together as they discuss the need to safeguard the constitutional rights of those living in the U.S., especially in a time of crisis. Shelton offers this rescreening of the film as a fitting tribute to Kitamoto’s legacy. Kitamoto passed away in March at age 74.

“Only What They Could Carry” is a Brenda Berry film viewing the exclusion topic through the lens of a delegation of Bainbridge Islanders who journeyed to the former Manzanar concentration camp, where current Bainbridge Island educators and community leaders accompanied former incarcerated Islanders to the High Sierra desert of California on the 70th anniversary of their forced removal and relocation.

“The Manzanar Fishing Club” by Cory Shiozaki, about a small group of Japanese-Americans incarcerated at Manzanar who sought personal freedom by sneaking outside the barbed wire and machine gun towers to catch fresh fish in nearby streams, then return to camp, without ever being discovered by guards or camp officials.

The Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival is funded by the Arts & Humanities Council and its donors, along with the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. The festival would not be possible without support from Northwest Films, BIMA, Bainbridge Cinemas and the Historic Lynwood Center.

For more information about the festival and all of the wonderful films, visit the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council’s website, facebook and twitter pages.

House passes memorial site’s proper name, awaiting Senate approval

After working several years to have legislation correct a 2008 law to reflect a name of a memorial chosen by Bainbridge residents, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, successfully introduced a bill that was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday.

The bill – which would ensure the site would be properly recognized as the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial – still needs be approved by the Senate before it can become law.

“We’re so grateful for Congressman Kilmer’s leadership and hard work to get this bill passed, and we are looking forward to working with Senators (Patty) Murray and (Maria) Cantwell to ensure the bill’s passage in the U.S. Senate,” said Clarence Moriwaki, the memorial’s president.

Moments after the bill had unanimously passed the House, Moriwaki said one of Kilmer’s staff members called to tell him the good news.

“It’s very rare for any freshman congressman to prime sponsor a bill that even gets a hearing, let alone make it to the House floor and passed, unanimously – especially in this Congress known mostly for inaction and a climate of strident partisanship,” Moriwaki said. “(This) not only says a great deal about Derek’s ability to bring people together, but think of it: A unanimous vote to honor and remember the 120,000 Japanese-Americans who suffered the unconstitutional exclusion during World War II – a stark contrast to 72 years ago when there was virtually unanimous support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which set in motion this sad chapter in American history. Time can indeed be a healing solvent.”

The memorial is located at the former Eagledale ferry dock and is the only national memorial to the internment of Japanese-Americans not located on one of the 10 incarceration sites.

“I am pleased that the House was able to come together and pass legislation to properly recognize the unfair and unjust treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II,” Kilmer said in a news release. “The moving and heartbreaking stories chronicled at the Bainbridge memorial, describing how families were rounded up and forcibly removed from their homes, remind us that we must always be vigilant in fighting prejudice and discrimination.”

Moriwaki said the name change to include “exclusion” was a long process.

“We’ve been working on this name change for several years, first with Congressmen Jay Inslee and Norm Dicks, who both were working hard on ways both legislatively and administratively, to make this happen,” Moriwaki said. “However, at that time the U.S. House of Representatives was not very productive, and then Rep. Insee ran for governor and Rep. Dicks resigned. Plus, Bainbridge Island was redistricted from the 1st to 6th District, so we put the idea on the back burner until the outcome of the 2012 election.”

However, things changed once Kilmer was elected.

“I knew Derek, and shortly after he assumed office we reached out to him and his staff, asking him as out new congressman to pick up where we left off,” Moriwaki said. “Derek was not only excited, he was commendably proud to commit his time and energy to make this happen. Derek’s congressional staff is professional and competent, not only personally meeting with me on my trips back to Washington D.C. to attend the National Parks Conservation Association’s Annual Meetings, but they reached out to me for information, advice and stayed in constant contact and communication in every step of the bill’s progress. Indeed, Derek’s staff personally called me moments after the bill had unanimously passed. ”

Although it would seem adding one word shouldn’t take an act of Congress, Moriwaki said exclusion is “no ordinary word.”

“Officially adding ‘exclusion’ to the name of this beautiful memorial is so vital to completely tell this sad chapter of American history, because not only were 120,000 Japanese-Americans forcibly removed and placed behind barbed wire in American concentration camps, but some people don’t know that everyone with a drop of blood of Japanese ancestry were also forbidden to remain in the exclusion zone,” Moriwaki said. “By adding the word ‘exclusion’ we are remembering and honoring everyone who suffered from this unconstitutional violation of civil liberties, and hopefully inspire everyone to never let fear, hysteria and prejudice deprive anyone of life, liberty and equal protection under the law.”

Below is a link to a YouTube video of Kilmer speaking Monday on the House floor in support of his legislation officially renaming the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial:

Bainbridge welcomes MLK Center employee

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.

Documentary ‘Honor & Sacrifice’ wins more awards

Earlier this month, the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers were winners of an Award of Merit at its Leadership in History Awards for the documentary “Honor & Sacrifice: The Ray Matsumoto Story” in Nashville, Tenn.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards is in its 69th year and is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history, according to a news release.

The movie, which chronicles the life of Japanese immigrant Roy Matsumoto and his family’s challenges during World War II, also won the group’s History in Progress (HIP) Award by the Leadership in History awards committee.

“The HIP Award, given at the discretion of the committee, is an additional award for an Award of Merit winner whose nomination is highly inspirational, exhibits exceptional scholarship, and/or is exceedingly entrepreneurial in terms of funding, partnerships, or collaborations, creative problem solving, or unusual project design and inclusiveness,” the news release stated.

Ostrander, whose production company Stourwater Pictures is located on Bainbridge Island, said the AASLH presented only two awards for projects in Washington state and both were from Bainbridge. The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum won the other award for its exhibit, “The Overland Westerners.”

In April, “Honor & Sacrifice” won the prestigious Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians for outstanding programming in documentary film concerned with American history in Atlanta. The documentary also has won award at film festivals in Gig Harbor and Port Townsend.

Bainbridge police blotter, May 20

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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.

Crime log stats from May 11 to May 17: 3 traffic accidents, 3 false alarms, 3 identity thefts, 3 thefts in the second degree, 3 miscellaneous, 2 mailbox thefts, 2 burglaries in the second degree, 2 residential burglaries, 1 driving while license suspended/revoked in the third degree, 1 found property, 1 failure to secure load, 1 domestic verbal, 1 reckless driving including racing, 1 theft in the first degree, 1 driving without a license, 1 threats, 1 harassment, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 agency assist, 1 mental investigation, 1 possession of drug paraphernalia.

May 19

Burglary-residential: A woman living on the 9000 block of Sands Avenue returned to her home at 5:40 p.m. to an uninvited man cooking in her kitchen wearing some of her clothes. The suspect also rearranged the woman’s clothing and had stayed the whole weekend at the woman’s place.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: A 38-year-old Montlake man was stopped for driving with a license suspended for third degree with a $2,500 bail. Snohomish County Jail confirmed the warrant with Bainbridge Police Department.

May 18

Driving while license suspended in the third degree: A 28-year-old man living on the 5000 block of Rockaway Beach Drive was stopped for going well over the 35 mph speed limit. The officer also revealed that the man was driving on a suspended driver’s license after failing to pay a traffic citation out of Florida several years before.

May 17

A 37-year-old man reported that his debit card was used without his permission by someone in Puyallup, who was attempting to make a purchase of $1,700 and $700 at a national electronics store.

May 15

Theft in the first degree: A hotel located on the 900 block of Hildebrande Lane reported unwanted guests from Whidbey Island had accrued a $30,000 bill since they arrived March 24, 2012. The credit card the couple was using had been declined. The couple had made several promises they would pay the bill but had failed to do so. The couple was booked into Kitsap County Jail with a bail of $50,000.

‘Honor & Sacrifice’ wins American history documentary award

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.

Public memorial for Kitamoto set for April 6

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.

Patriotism abounds at decommissioning ceremony for former military housing

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.

Historic Preservation group seeks nominations for award

Do you know either an individual, or an organization, or even a preservation project that has had significant community value?

Bainbridge Island Historic Preservation Commission is seeking nominees for its fourth annual Blakely Awards, which are sponsored by the commission.

Nominations are due by March 28.

The Blakely Award for Project of Excellence honors outstanding historic preservation or a restoration project of significant community value. An individual or organization also can vie for the Blakely Award for Preservation Leader award, which recognizes community leadership in promoting historic preservation.

Nomination forms for the awards can be found on the city of Bainbridge Island’s website on the Historic Preservation Commission’s web page – under the Government tab – or alphabetically under Documents & Forms.

The awards will be announced in May during Historic Preservation Month.

For additional information, contact Heather Beckmann, an associate planner on the city’s planning staff, at 206-780-3754.

Past Blakely Awards winners of the Project of Excellence Award include Bainbridge Island Metro Parks for the Yeomalt Cabin restoration (2011), Michael Yates for the restoration of an early log home in the Wing Point neighborhood (2012) and Craig and Alice Skipton for the management of Hey Day Farm (2013).

Past winners of the Preservation Leader Award include Steve Romein and Ty Cramer for the restoration of Lynwood Center (2011), Jeff and Jocelyn Waite, owners of the Harbor Public House (2012) and Howard Block and CeAnn Parker, owners of Bay Hay & Feed (2013).

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

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. Continue reading

More images of Bethany Lutheran on its centennial

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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:

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