Pritchard Park will be open to off-leash dogs under
voice command all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as
Saturdays before noon. The ordinance was approved by a
City Council vote Tuesday night.
The off-leash ordinance will go into effect as soon
as the city can post signs. The city also plans to add mutt mitt
locations and additional trash cans to the park.
Pritchard Park is owned by the city, but is planned
to transfer to the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks District
later this year. The parks district does not allow off-leash dogs
except in designated off-leash areas, including the Strawberry Hill
The off-leash amendment will end two weeks before the
park is transferred to the park district.
Bainbridge Island City Council is moving forward with changes to
the city’s animal ordinance, which will affect where dogs need to
be leashed on the island.
The ordinance updates will require dogs to be leashed in two
major business areas on the island — Winslow and Lynwood Center —
and give teeth to the park district’s current leash rule.
Under the city’s current code, dogs can be off leash on city
property if under voice command.
The school and park districts already have their own regulations
that require dogs to be leashed on their property, except at
Strawberry Hill’s off-leash dog park. Those rules are not included
in the city’s current city ordinance.
Updates to the city’s animal ordinance will include that dogs
must be leashed on park district land, providing penalties for
Dogs owners can face up to a $300 fine for not keeping their
dogs under voice control or on leash.
Dog owners who do not prevent their dogs from injuring or
intimidating pedestrians or cyclists can face up to a $1,000 fine
for having a dangerous animal.
The city began discussions about changing its animal ordinance
months ago at the request of the park district, which has struggled
with enforcing its leash rule.
One resident who spoke out against changes to the ordinance
Tuesday night said the park district hasn’t enforced its own
Terry Lande, the park district’s executive director, previously
said that the park’s rule has little teeth without the backing of a
city ordinance and its penalties. Violators of the leash rule can
only be asked to leash their dogs or leave the park property, Lande
The city had previously considered requiring dogs to be leashed
in city owned parks as well, but has since decided to only apply
the leash regulations to park district owned parks.
Other updates to the ordinance will require dogs be leashed in
the Winslow and Lynwood Center business areas. The Winslow business
area will extend from the waterfront to High School Road, and fall
between Madison Avenue and Ferncliff Avenue.
The city-owned Waterfront Park will be included in the Winslow
business area, and dogs will have to be leashed there.
The city also is considering a trial period to specifically
allow off-leash dogs at Pritchard Park, another city-owned park,
during certain hours, days or in certain parts of the park.
The off-leash experiment for Pritchard Park is expected to be
discussed at a later council meeting.
Eventually, the city plans to transfer nearly all of the
Pritchard Park over to the park district. About half of the park is
already co-owned by the city and park district, where the
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is
The park transfer is expected to take place some time after
September, said City Manageer Doug Schulze.
The city won’t make any conditional requirement in favor of
off-leash dog spaces or times at the park for the transfer to take
place, Tollefson said.
While leashes will be required in more areas on the island,
there are no plans to change the animal control budget for
enforcement or code penalties.
Updates to the city’s animal ordinance are expected to be
adopted next week.
Although the Bainbridge Island City Council did not discuss
updating the animal ordinance during Tuesday’s meeting, it is
expected to be on the council’s next study session agenda.
The proposed changes would require dog owners to leash their
dogs in the Winslow and Lynwood Center business areas, as well as
city parks. A story in last week’s Islander incorrectly stated the
changes would not apply to city-owned parks.
The story has been updated online.
The potential ordinance change also would include that the
school and park district require dogs to be leashed on their
In recent years, the park district has had incidents of
off-leash dogs intimidating or injuring people as well as
Under the current city code, dog owners can face up to $1,000
fine for not preventing their dogs from intimidating or injuring
pedestrians or cyclists.
Owners failing to keep their dog under voice control or leashed
face a citation and up to a $300 fine.
There are no proposed changes to the ordinance’s penalties.
Council members disputed the original vision of the park
priority and some noted the project had been listed as an
information only item on last week’s agenda.
Councilman Wayne Roth and Mayor Anne Blair said the motion that
passed last week in favor of prioritizing a new dock was also
Roth, who voted against last week’s motion, said that he isn’t
against a new dock and had understood funding for it would be dealt
with depending on what grant money was available.
The new dock is estimated to cost a little more than $2 million,
and the park improvements about $1 million. Without the grant
funds, the city has $2,232,000 for the project, leaving less than
$250,000 for the park after paying for the dock.
Sarah Blossom and Steve Bonkowski voted against rescinding the
vote Tuesday night.
Bonkowski said he didn’t believe the council was going in the
wrong direction by prioritizing the dock, which he views as
The city began looking at updating waterfront park last summer
to improve the 5.5-acre park space and dock, which is more than 30
years old. Its 20 concrete floats and 23 piles are deteriorating,
and also contain toxic creosote.
Along with a new dock, park improvements would include
connecting trails to neighborhoods, along with ADA accessible paths
and a viewing plaza or vendor area. The current plans call for
turning the tennis court into a “multiuse area.”
Bonkowski said he understand previous discussions on the park
concept to be for water access and “water access includes a
The project has been added to the Jan. 20 agenda for discussion
and public comment.
A full story will be online with the Kitsap Sun on
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
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
“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
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
“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
“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:
“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 Canada geese,
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 7
years. They live in Kingston.
No one requires an introduction to the Canada goose (Branta
canadensis), a common year-round resident of the Pacific
Northwest. Anyone who has visited parks around our area lakes or
Puget Sound is familiar with the unappreciated “calling cards”
these geese leave on lawns and paths close to water. Grazing
on grass and other terrestrial plants is their primary means of
foraging, although they can also be seen tipping up in shallow
water like dabbling ducks to feed on aquatic vegetation. At
Bloedel they are frequently found grazing in grassy areas near the
Bird Marsh, or on the lawns near the Visitor’s Center.
The Canada goose is common throughout much of North America,
breeding as far north as Alaska and the Yukon in Canada, and
wintering wherever there is permanent open water. Their spring
migration in southern Wisconsin inspired Aldo Leopold to proclaim
in A Sand County Almanac, “One swallow does not make a
summer, but one skein of geese cleaving the murk of a March thaw,
is the spring.”
Biologists have long observed that many widespread species vary
in size and/or coloration across their broad geographical
range. One way in which they have formally recognized these
differences is by the naming of subspecies, within-species groups
that differ significantly in size and/or coloration. Most
subspecific differences are so subtle that they are recognizable
only to specialists. Until very recently, however, scientists
considered some of the most northern breeding populations, in which
adults are only about half the size of our local Canada Geese, to
be easily identified subspecies of the Canada goose. These
populations are now recognized as a separate species, named the
Cackling goose. A wintering Cackling goose has joined the
resident Canada geese at Bloedel this winter. Look closely at
the foraging flocks of geese for an individual that is only half
the size of its compatriots.
The Canada Goose has been successfully introduced into England,
where many consider it a pest. In fact, they maintain the
Canada goose and the gray squirrel (also introduced from the United
States) represent our retaliation for their export of the house
sparrow and European starling to the United States.
district will present a proposed new vision for Blakely Harbor
Park this week.
The public is invited to view and comment on a proposed new
concept plan for the park at 6 p.m. Thursday at the district’s
Strawberry Hill Park headquarters. More details on the meeting
be found here. An overview is posted below.
Comments can also be sent to Perry Barrett – firstname.lastname@example.org –
by Sept. 17. Continue reading →
we reported back in May, the park district is interested in
leasing 15-acres of city-owned property surrounding the Vincent
Road transfer station for an off-leash dog park. It took quite a
lot longer than expected for the proposal to make it before the
City Council, but the dog park is
on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.
The memo attached to the agenda item (PDF
here) lays out the history of the site and provides a
preliminary design. City staff identified a number of concerns for
the council to consider. The proposal is complicated by the
fact that a portion of the property rests over a former landfill.
The landfill was capped, and the land is safe for surface use, but
any park development at the site cannot interfere with
environmental remediation efforts.
City staff concluded the plan is feasible but will require
“additional attention and research” to carry out.
Members of the Harbor Commission feel the discussion so far has
centered heavily on the park’s uplands. They hope to rekindle
interest in rebuilding the aging city dock.
The commission is circulating refined conceptual drawings for an
expanded dock. The new dock would feature four fingers with space
for more visiting yachts as well as club sailboats, rowing shells
and kayak rentals. The plan calls for moving the head of the
dock to the west of the existing boat ramp.
The city designated $1.85 million of a recent Washington State
Ferries settlement to upgrading Waterfront Park, and plans to seek
additional grants. Many visions for the park were floated during
the June workshops, and not every idea will fit in the final
In an open letter to the boating community this week, Harbor
Commission Chair Mark Leese said he felt boaters were
underrepresented in the discussion. He urged more boaters to get
involved: Continue reading →