Bainbridge Conversation

Reporter Ethan Fowler engages island residents in a conversation about their community.
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Police believe brazen serial ‘smash-and-grab’ burglar prowling island

March 26th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

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.


Bainbridge police blotter, March 26

March 26th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

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.

March 24

Malicious mischief: A resident living on the 200 block of Madison Avenue reported finding six street signs damaged near Finch Road and Wyatt Way. When a police officer arrived, he found a stop sign that had its wooden post broken off at the base lying in a ditch. The officer propped the sign back up and notified the city’s Public Works department to respond immediately and replace the sign. The officer also found a “stop ahead” warning and a speed limit signs pulled out. He also found two sharp curve warning signs shoved sideways and a speed limit sign pulled out on Sportsman Club Road. No suspects were found in the area.

Driving with license suspended: A 21-year-old Centralia man, who was driving with three passengers, was stopped by police after they received a complaint about a suspicious vehicle driving down a long driveway in the Manzanita Road area. The vehicle was spotted at a grocery store on High School Road later by an officer. The driver had a driving while license suspended in the third degree violation and didn’t have proof of insurance. The driver and his similarly aged passengers – who were also from Centralia – said they were going down driveways “looking for the water.” The officer advised the group to stop trespassing down driveways. One of the passengers had a license issued from Kuwait and was allowed to drive the vehicle as all parties were released from the scene.

March 23

Warrant – misdemeanor: A 47-year-old woman was transported to the Kitsap County Jail for a $10,000 driving while intoxicated warrant. The woman, who was well-known to police, was spotted by an officer as she rode as a passenger in a car on the High School Road roundabout with her boyfriend. The boyfriend caught the eye of the officer because he was seen talking on a cellphone as he was driving, a violation of a state law.

March 22

Identity theft: A 67-year-old woman reported that someone had charged more than $700 on her debit card to a body building website that day. She had $500 in her account, so her account was now overdrawn by $200. Because the transactions were listed as pending, the woman was able to report the theft and cancel her card.

Criminal trespass: A woman called police after three young boys were seen fleeing on bicycles from a barn located on the 700 block of Tiffany Meadows. When police arrived, the barn’s front doors were open and an officer found a strong odor of marijuana in each room of the barn. Two park benches that are stored in the barn during the winter were surrounded by trash from candy wrappers, Girl Scout cookies, water bottles, bags of potato chips and energy drink cans. The boys were startled at about 2 p.m. by a woman neighbor, who was walking her large dog. The dog began barking and ran toward the barn. This caused the boys to dash out of the barn and jump on their BMX-style bicycles and head toward the ferry. The boys were described to be between 12 to 15 years old. The barn sustained no damage and nothing inside appeared to be taken. The husband of the woman who had called police later in the day purchased some locks for the barn and “No Trespassing” signs.

Driving under the influence: An 18-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence-liquor after he was spotted slumped over his car’s steering wheel in front of a house on the 4000 block of Tolo Road. After regaining consciousness, the driver then drove to his residence, which was a few houses up the road. When police arrived at the driver’s home, the man’s mother answered the door. After talking to her son in another room, the teen came to the door and told officers that he had insomnia, which caused him to find it easier to sleep in a car. He also thought he fell asleep in his driveway, but when he awoke and found that he hadn’t he drove his car to his house. As the teen talked to police, an officer smelled a strong odor of alcoholic beverages on his breath. The driver denied consuming alcohol and refused multiple times to take Portable Breath Tests to determine whether he had alcohol in his system or not. Because of the man’s refusal and other objective symptoms of alcohol consumption – dry mouth, bloodshot eyes and the strong alcohol odor coming off of his breath – the teen was placed under arrest for DWI. The mother later started interfering in the investigation and told her son not to say anything as she was calling his attorney.

March 21

Identity theft: A 39-year-old woman reported to police that the Internal Revenue Service informed her that she may have been a victim of identity theft. An unknown person submitted a tax return using her Social Security number.


Patriotism abounds at decommissioning ceremony for former military housing

March 26th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler
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.


Coast Guard retires cutter named for Bainbridge Island

March 20th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler
Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bainbridge Island, which was retired Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bainbridge Island, which was retired Tuesday.

After 22 years of service mostly on the East Coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said goodbye to the 110-foot patrol boat Bainbridge Island during a farewell ceremony Tuesday in Bayonne, N.J.

The boat is being decommissioned and replaced by the cutter Sitkinak, which was stationed in Miami Beach.

The Bainbridge Island was the 43rd “Island Class” patrol boat to join the Coast Guard fleet and indeed is named after Bainbridge Island. In explaining the origins of the boat’s name, the Coast Guard describes the island on its website as follows: “Bainbridge Island, Washington, combines the historic charm of lumber mills, strawberry fields, and WWII military bases with rural, pastoral ambiance, setting the island apart from the bustle of the big city next door.”

The cutter had an interesting history, according to news release written Petty Officer 1st Class Gail Dale:

–  Now Capt. Katherine Favery Tiongson was the first minority woman to serve as a boat’s commanding officer in 1991.

–  In 1999, it was part of the search for John F. Kennedy Jr.’s plane after it went missing and later discovered to have crashed into Long Island Sound.

–  It supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 for a six-month deployment by providing security for ships crossing the Mediterranean Sea between the Strait of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal.

–  The boat helped in the search of EgyptAir 900, which crashed in the Atlanta Ocean, just south of Nantucket Island, on Halloween 2003. The disaster took the lives of all 217 people aboard.

–  Lastly, the Bainbridge Island assisted in search and rescue after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey in 2012.

“What I will remember most about Bainbridge Island is the resiliency of the crew,” said Lt. Conor Sullivan, current commanding officer of the boat, in the news release. “Half of my current crew members rode out Hurricane Sandy as their belongings were damaged or lost in the storm.”


Bainbridge police blotter, March 18

March 18th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

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.

March 17

Suspicious persons-situations: A 29-year-old woman employee of a cafe located on the 10000 block of Valley Road reported as she arrived at work at 6:15 a.m. she saw a man standing in front of the door of the business that faces Valley Road. The man, described as having a medium to heavy build, wearing a jacket and baseball hat, had his hands cupped beside his face to look into the window of the business. The business was closed at the time and its lights were out. The man then left in a white small S-10 Chevrolet Blazer that was dirty and about 15 years old. The employee’s boss requested that she report the incident to police due to recent break-ins in the area.

Identity theft: A man living on the 10000 block of Roberts Road was notified by the Internal Revenue Service that he was a victim of tax fraud.

Identity theft: A woman who works as a substitute teacher at St. Cecilla’s Catholic School on the 1300 block of Madison Avenue reported that her social security number was compromised. She said she found out from the Internal Revenue Service after the Seattle Archdiocese’s reporting of tax fraud victims. The school is under the umbrella of the Seattle Archdiocese.

March 16

Robbery and assault: A 20-year-old man who lives on the 5000 block of McDonald Avenue was caught stealing from a grocery store on the 200 block of High School Road. The man was recognized for previously assaulting an employee in another shoplifting incident in August 2013. Prior to police arriving, the suspect had become combative with store employees and was actively fighting with them as he tried to escape. When a store employee first saw the suspect, the man was looking suspicious and had a bottle of whiskey fall from his pants leg. As an employee told the suspect to not run, the suspect was grabbed by the employee and the suspect bit the employee’s left triceps area for nearly 10 seconds in the struggle. The employee declined medical help for his injuries. Champagne bottles were also recovered from the suspect and returned to the store. The suspect was transported to Kitsap County Jail without incident for robbery in the second degree with a $25,000 bail and assault in the fourth degree with a $5,000 bail. The suspect told police he is a transient that sometimes stays with his mother on the island.

Burglary: A 47-year-old Edmonds man was arrested for burglary, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. The suspect was seen entering a garage that had two boats on the 200 block of Madison Avenue and was still inside when police arrived. Three police entered the garage with guns drawn and soon surmised the suspect was hiding in one of the boats that had a portion of its canvas covering unsnapped. When the suspect was non-compliant and officers saw him place his right hand downward and out of view, police felt an immediate threat and a Taser was deployed on the suspect. During the pat down of the suspect, police found a rubber tie-off used to assist in injecting narcotics intravenously. In the suspect’s belongings, police found more drug paraphernalia and a business card for a Tukwila pawn shop where the man sold a Dell laptop computer for $200 in January. Through a police computer search, the suspect had pawned at least five items since May 2013, including a snowboard and four Dell laptop computers.

Mail theft: A postman said he delivered mail to a home business located on the 9400 block of Holly Farm Lane, but the mail was missing by the time the woman homeowner arrived. Police report that there has been considerable thefts from the location.

March 15

Mailbox theft: A woman living on the 8400 block of Hansen Road reported possible mail theft as she provided police with an empty “Priority Mail” envelope that had been ripped open but not along the seams. The mail is generally delivered at 3 p.m. Saturdays and the woman opened her mailbox at 10 p.m. The only piece of mail known to be missing was a rebate check from Costco for $825. The woman had canceled the check.

Harassing phone call: A 33-year-old woman reported receiving phone calls and text messages from a man who was threatening her. She told the man to leave her alone and he continued to text and threaten her. The suspect has a record of physically abusing women and served time for drugs.

Vehicle prowling: A 21-year-old Sequim man reported that someone forced entry into his vehicle while it was parked on the 400 block of Olympic Drive. The suspect used an unknown tool to break the ignition in an attempt to steal the man’s car, but because the vehicle was equipped with a “kill switch” the suspect was unsuccessful. The man secured his car at noon in a parking lot, but when he arrived at 8:15 p.m. he saw the dome light on and found the door unlocked. The man found damage to the rear panel of the vehicle and above the ignition, where he estimated it would cost $500 to repair. An officer searched the vehicle for latent prints but was met with a negative result. Electronics and loose change were not taken from the car. Officers later discovered that a similar vehicle was stolen from the same parking lot during the same time frame.

Vehicle theft: A 40-year-old Sequim man reported at 8:35 p.m. that his green 2000 Honda Civic had been stolen from a parking lot on the 400 block of Olympic Drive. The man told police that keys were not with the vehicle and car payments weren’t delinquent.

Identity theft: A woman living on the 700 block of Moji Lane reported that she was denied being able to open a new checking account after she realized someone had used her name, social security number and driver’s license number to open credit card accounts without her consent or knowledge. A credit report showed several accounts and collections that she knew nothing about.

March 14

Theft: A 32-year-old man who parked his car at the Day Road Park N Ride at 5 a.m. returned to his car at 8:30 p.m. and found that someone had broken into his vehicle. The suspect stole a camera used for his ignition interlock device. When the man returned to his vehicle he noticed that his car’s door opened without his key. The only thing missing from the car was the interlock camera. The man, who used the parking lot to catch a ferry with his boss, doesn’t plan to use the parking lot again.

March 13

Hit and run-unattended property damage: A 72-year-old man noticed his vehicle had a 2-inch-by-2-inch hole in the license plate on his front bumper. The hole may have come from another vehicle’s hitch. The man said he had parked his car at a Winslow grocery store and later went to the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center.


Citizens’ Police Academy participants learn about police administration, fire department, counseling

March 18th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

This is the third entry in a weekly column about reporter Ethan Fowler’s participation in the Bainbridge Island Police Department’s 10-week Citizens’ Police Academy.

Senior Police Clerk Barbara Seitz said her four plus years working at the Bainbridge Island P.D. has proven the “most interesting, engaging and fun” job she has ever held.

Seitz was one of three people who spoke at last Tuesday’s third class in the Citizens’ Police Academy. She was followed by Bainbridge Fire Marshall Luke Carpenter and psychologist Dr. Ted Rosenbaum closed the night by talking about the programs in place to help officers and firefighters cope with some of the grim sights they see as part of their work.

Seitz told the group she daily helps an average of 20 people who visit the police station. Concealed weapon permits, copies of incident reports, finger printing and dog licenses are some of things she handles.

Paper record retention ranges from five years for driving while license suspended arrests, 10 years for driving while intoxicated, 50 years for traffic fatalities and 75 years for missing person cases. Files that are saved electronically are never deleted, which helps officers in the field when they view a person’s record.

Sexual offenses or allegations, mental health and cases still under investigation are some of the incident reports that aren’t released to media outlets when people like me compile the weekly police blotter.

Carpenter said Bainbridge firefighters are all trained as emergency medical technicians and that each firefighter is required to take training classes for the rest of his career each Tuesday.

Station 21 on Madison Avenue always has a minimum staff of at least four firefighters, Station 22 on Bucklin Hill Road has two people on staff always and Station 23 on Phelps Road isn’t staffed. However, Station 23 is where Carpenter works from and it’s also where they assign firefighters when they have extra staff from the other two stations.

The Bainbridge Fire Department receives about 2,500 calls for service annually. These range from building fires to cat-in-the-tree calls. Carpenter said the department does hire some of its full-time staff from its volunteer resident program, which are provided with living accommodations and guaranteed shift assignments.

He said a volunteer from Olympia is able to pull off the long commute because firefighters work 48-hour shifts but then are off the next four days.

“It doesn’t happen often when we can sleep at night,” Carpenter said of a work shift.

The fire department treats about 12-16 heart attack victims a year.

Within 90 seconds of being alerted by dispatch about an emergency, firefighters try to have tires on the road. The average response time for the Bainbridge Fire Department is 6 1/2 minutes and “we like to be lower than that,” Carpenter added.

He suggested for homeowners to come by one of the island’s fire stations to get a blue and white reflective sign to help increase address visibility. The police department also provides the signs, Officer Carla Silas said.

With not a lot of time left in the scheduled two-hour class, Rosenbaum quickly went through a PowerPoint presentation on how they screen police applicants. They seek future officers who are dominant and not domineering.

“You want someone who can take control without being badge heavy,” Rosenbaum said. “People not too rigid of right and wrong.”

Applicants typically require 3-4 hours of writing for one of his tests. People who try to list themselves “too positively” tends to make his “radar” go up, Rosenbaum said.

Combating stress or strain is a key factor for both the well-being of police and fire staff, both of which Rosenbaum works for on the island. Responders who have long-term effects from stress often have declining work performance, deteriorating family relationships, increased health problems and other issues.

To help defuse a stressful or unsettling emergency call, Rosenbaum said within 24 hours of the incident he will discuss concerns that an officer or firefighter may have. The formal process of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing helps to reduce the amount of time a responder needs to recover. However, with a catastrophe like Sept. 11, 2001, such steps likely won’t be adequate enough.

“There’s not as much stigma as there used to be with these meetings,” said Rosenbaum, who also works with spouses of emergency personnel.

Next: Our class will learn about the municipal court process with new Bainbridge Island Municipal Court Judge Sara L. McCulloch, who took her oath of office in December.


Birding on Bloedel: Busy season for vocal Junco

March 18th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

“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 7 years. They live in Kingston. 

The Dark-eyed Junco has been a research subject in many ecological, behavioral and physiological studies.

The Dark-eyed Junco has been a research subject in many ecological, behavioral and physiological studies.

My wife and I took advantage of a sunny Wednesday morning last week to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Bloedel Reserve.  The most conspicuous bird species, besides the many ducks and geese, was the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis).  We observed several individuals foraging on or near the paths as we walked, and the rather metallic and desultory trill, all at one pitch, that constitutes the male’s song at several places in the reserve.

The Dark-eyed Junco occurs throughout North America, and like many such species, it shows considerable variation across this extensive range.  In the Pacific Northwest, where the species is a year-round resident, male juncos have a black hood that covers the head and chest, a brownish back, rufous flanks, gray rump and tail, and white underparts as well a white beak and white outer tail feathers.  In females the hood is dark gray rather than black.

In eastern North America juncos are migratory, breeding primarily in Canada and the northernmost states, and spending their winters in central and southern states.  There the species is uniformly slate-colored except for the white underparts, beak and outer tail feathers.  Audubon referred to the species as the “Snow-bird,” and many Easterners still call it the snowbird.

The Dark-eyed Junco has been a research subject in many ecological, behavioral and physiological studies.  Arguably the most groundbreaking such study was published by the Canadian physiologist William Rowan in 1925.  Rowan kept juncos in outdoor aviaries in Alberta throughout the winter with nighttime temperatures dropping to as low as minus 50 degrees.  He artificially increased the day length in one cage with two 50-watt light bulbs, while the second cage served as a control on natural day lengths.  In a few weeks the juncos in the cage with increased day length began preparations for breeding in the dead of winter, while those in the other cage did not.

Rowan suggested that day length, or photoperiod, was the environmental cue that triggered the timing of migration and reproduction in the species.  Many follow-up studies on numerous species of birds confirmed this conclusion and demonstrated the existence of an internal biological clock (circadian rhythm) in birds and most other organisms, including humans.  Studies on birds identified the role of melatonin in the regulation of the circadian rhythm, a fact that has led to the use of melatonin to alleviate the effects of jet-lag in humans.


Bainbridge police blotter, March 12

March 18th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

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.

March 10
Theft in third degree: A man living on the 7800 block of Spring Ridge Road responded to a burglary. While en route to respond to the call, officers observed a vehicle matching the description of the suspected vehicle. The 20-year-old Peninsula man driving the suspected vehicle tried to elude officers but was later stopped. The driver was arrested for criminal trespass in the second degree, theft in the third degree, driving on a suspended driver’s license, reckless driving and displaying a disfigured plate with a fictitious year tab affixed that was hand drawn and colored with a crayon. A 19-year-old male passenger in the vehicle had three warrants out of Kitsap County. The third occupant was released. The driver and the passenger with the warrants were booked at Kitsap County Jail and their vehicle was impounded. The bail for the driver was set at $15,000 and passenger $6,000. Pictures of the stolen evidence were placed into evidence.

Identity theft: A man living on 10000 block of Lafayette Avenue reported his credit card had been used fraudulently in Stone Mountain, Ga., for more than $8,000 in his checking and $6,000 from his savings account. Documents from the man’s bank indicated 17 purchases of more than $505.95 each at Kroger grocery store in Stone Mountain.

Stolen bicycle: A man living on 9100 block of Northtown Drive reported that his Kona brand 18-speed hybrid road bike with black and red handlebars was stolen from his front porch between 6 and 8 p.m. The bike is two years old and valued at $2,700.

March 9
Boat theft: A man living on the 200 block of Parfitt Way reported that the dock box on the foredeck of his boat was missing. The deck box contains four folding chairs that were also missing. Later that day, the man found a small children’s table in the trash dumpster. He recovered the table and returned it to his boat.

Driving while license suspended: A 39-year-old man living on the 100 block of Lovell Avenue was stopped in a grocery store parking lot on Winslow Way. He was pulled over because his driver’s license was suspended in the second degree as a result of a driving while intoxicated charge.

March 7
Found property: A woman brought a ring of keys she found hanging on a limb of a bush at the corner of Winslow Way and Lovell Avenue a couple weeks ago.

Animal at large, harassment: Two dogs got loose and killed two neighborhood chickens that lived at a home on the 9500 block of Lovgren Road and two other chickens that also lived on Lovgren. The owner of the dogs who lives at 9400 Eric Place called the police stating that he was being harassed and threatened by the owner of the chickens. The dogs were a wolf-husky hybrid. The officer contacted the Kitsap County Animal Control.


Birding on Bloedel: Drink your ‘teeeeeeeeea’ listening for the Towhee

March 12th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

“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 7 years. They live in Kingston. 

Spotted Towhees almost exclusively forage on the ground.

Spotted Towhees almost exclusively forage on the ground.

It looks like a typical March week of persistent rain may keep many from visiting Bloedel for the next few days.

I will therefore focus this week on a year-round resident of Bloedel that is also a common yard bird in the Pacific Northwest, the Spotted Towhee.  The towhee is actually a sparrow, a large family of predominantly ground foraging, seed eating birds that also includes the juncos.  The name “towhee” actually comes from a cousin of the Spotted Towhee, the Eastern Towhee, that resides in eastern North America. That species has a unique alarm call that sounds as if  is coming out of a well that has been described as “towhee” or “chewink,” with the emphasis on the second syllable.

The Spotted Towhee, unlike most sparrows, has a strikingly beautiful plumage.  The head, chest, back and long tail of the male are black, the flanks are chestnut and the belly white.  There are white spots on the back, providing the basis for its name, and it has red eyes.  The head and chest of the female are deep brown instead of black.  On first sight some people confuse it with the American Robin, which is much larger, and it also resembles the male Dark-eyed Junco of the northwest, the “Oregon Junco.”

Spotted Towhees forage almost exclusively on the ground, vigorously scratching in the leaf litter in search of small insects, seeds and berries.  When I see that the mulch has been kicked out of one of our gardens onto the sidewalk, I know that a towhee has been foraging there recently.

The song of the Eastern Towhee is often described as “drink your teeeeeeeeeeeea,” the second note lower than the first and the trill that follows.  The song of the Spotted Towhee is similar, but lacks the “drink.”  Listen for the melodious trill as you walk along the forested paths in Bloedel.  When you hear a male singing, stop and search for this beautiful songster, which is usually perched at about eye level not far from the path.


Final Healthy Youth Summit set for Saturday

March 11th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

The community is encouraged to attend the third and final Healthy Youth Summit. It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Bainbridge High Commons.

Co-facilitators will be Doug Nathan and Carolyn Milander, a 2012 BHS graduate.

“The day’s focus will be action: what action are you as an individual or an individual organization willing to take to make Bainbridge Island a healthier place for youth to thrive and grow,” Milander said.

National presenter Clay Roberts will lead the group in an inspirational talk titled “Take a Moment, Make a Difference.” Roberts efforts have been featured on NBC’s “Today” show and he has spoken at more than 700 events around the world.

Participants will later collaborate with other audience members who share their passion for self-selected themes that emerged from the first two summits, as they try to answer, “How can we turn our vision for healthy youth into practice?”

Bainbridge Youth Services, Raising Resilience, Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island and the Bainbridge Island School District are partnering for the summits.


Boomerang joins with Bainbridge Performing Arts

March 11th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

After a successful partnership with Bainbridge’s movie theaters the first two months of the year, the Boomerang Giving Project has now joined with Bainbridge Performing Arts to encourage people older than 65 to redirect their senior discounts to those in need.

This month, discounts at Bainbridge Performing Arts, the Cinemas at the Pavilion and Lynwood Cinema can voluntarily be redirected by people over 65 years old to support Helpline House programs. BPA and the movie theaters are covering the program’s administrative costs to ensure that 100 percent of the donated discounts go to Helpline.

Dominique Cantwell, executive director of BPA, said she was “proud to be part of this inventive idea.”

Helpline House provides a full range of services to people in need.

“Boomerang Giving is a creative way for those over 65 to boost this community,” Helpline Executive Director Joanne Tews said. “We are delighted to be the beneficiary of this new effort.”

This month, Bainbridge Performing Arts is presenting the epic six-hour “The Kentucky Cycle,” which opens 7:30 p.m. Wednesday with a pair of pay-what-you-can previews with Part I on Wednesday and Part II on Thursday. An opening reception for the play is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Performances are set for Friday through March 30 with Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. (Part 1). Plus, Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. for Part II. The Bainbridge Performing Arts noted on its website that “given the length of the entire play, patrons have the option of seeing the full play over a span of two days.”

“The Kentucky Cycle” is highly regarded. It won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize – the first play in the prize’s 76-year history to win without first staging a New York production.

For more Bainbridge Performing Arts offerings this month, visit http://www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org/.

Boomerang Giving started on Bainbridge in January, with its first project the January and February donation of discounts to grant making supporting children and youth at the Bainbridge Community Foundation. At the Pavilion 39 tickets and 72 at the Lynwood were redirected, Boomerang Giving board chair David Harrison said.

Later this spring, Boomerang plans to start a pledge campaign in selected cities nationally.

“We think the idea of providing baby boomers and older Americans the chance to ‘give back’ through donating discounts will become commonplace,” Harrison said. “We are proud to have it start on Bainbridge Island.”


Bainbridge police blotter, March 5

March 7th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

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

March 3

Driving under the influence/liquor: A woman living on the 600 block of Madison Avenue was arrested for driving under the influence and transported to the Kitsap County Jail. She was stopped near Sportsman Road after 11 p.m. driving with her two dogs in the vehicle. The woman’s Breathalyzer readings were .191 and .195. Washington’s legal limit is .08. The woman had a prior DUI in March 2007 and resisting arrest. In addition to receiving traffic infraction ticket, she also received a ticket for expired registration and no proof of insurance.

Identity theft: A 39-year-old man reported someone in Atlanta, Ga., fraudulently used a credit card of his to spend $3,000 after Feb. 26. The purchases were at McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, CVS Pharmacy, Bloomingdale’s and other businesses.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: A 29-year-old man living on the 500 block of Madison Avenue was taken to the Kitsap County Jail by an officer from the Kitsap County Sherriff’s Office. The man had a Department of Corrections warrant.

Lost property: A 62-year-old woman lost her silver Samsung Integrity cellphone sometime during the afternoon of Feb. 20 and 8 a.m. Feb. 21. The phone was valued at $400 and was five months old.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: A 22-year-old Poulsbo woman working at the Bainbridge McDonald’s restaurant was arrested for a warrant for use/possession of drug paraphernalia with a $5,000 bail.

Theft in the third degree: A 43-year-old woman living on High School Road reported losing a package delivered to her home on Feb. 18 when it was dropped off in the lobby of the condominium complex where she lives. Video surveillance didn’t show the area where the apparent theft took place well enough to see either when the package arrived or departed.

Vehicle prowling in the second degree: A woman who was walking around Battle Point Park for about 30 minutes returned to her car to find her right rear window of her vehicle smashed. The woman’s brown leather purse and wallet were taken from inside the vehicle. The purse contained her driver’s license, military ID card and prescription for Lorazepam, a drug used for treating anxiety, according to MedicineNet.com.

Collision: A 19-year-old Poulsbo woman struck a tree on the shoulder of the roadway with her car while she was driving on state Highway 305 near Sportsman Club Road at 5:40 a.m. She drove approximately 200 feet on the shoulder before coming to a stop. The front passenger side wheel was torn off from the impact. The driver said she had closed her eyes for a second and when she opened them her vehicle was off the roadway.

 

March 2

Warrant arrest by outside agency: A 27-year-old Seattle woman was stopped by an officer with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office following a warrant confirmation. The woman had a driving while license suspended in the third degree misdemeanor with a $5,000 bail.

Harassment: A 66-year-old man was stopped after it was reported he was harassing passengers at the ferry terminal. The man said his behavior was triggered by a taxi driver calling him a racial slur. The officer who responded to the incident caught up to the man at a nearby grocery store and reported that he smelled alcohol on the man’s breath. The man agreed to stop his unruly behavior.

Theft in the third degree: A 39-year-old man living on High School Road was accused of stealing a woman’s earrings, which were oblong pearls with gold hoops. The man was hired by a woman, who lived on Wyatt Way, to transfer files to her new computer in her home after she met him on the street. There was no proof the earrings were stolen since the business that was selling them or the woman had any proof how they acquired them, and the man denied involvement.

March 1

Driving while intoxicated/liquor: A 30-year-old man living on the 100 block of Madison Avenue was arrested for driving while intoxicated after 1:30 a.m. He blew a .206 and a .199 on a Breathalyzer machine. The man was transported to the Kitsap County Jail and booked with a bail of $5,000. He was given a March 3 court date.

Feb. 28

Patrol check: A 71-year-old man requested patrol checks in the area of Battle Point Drive and Salmon Run Lane for speeding vehicles. He requested special emphasis between 2:45 and 3:45 p.m. when a school bus drops off children in the area.

Feb. 26

Theft in the second degree: A 58-year-old Hansville man had the front side passenger tire/rim missing when he returned to his car, which was parked in the gravel area of the Park N Ride lot facing the fire station. A finger and palm print of the suspect(s) was lifted from the car, which had lots of pollen and dust on it. A woman whose car was parked next to the Hansville man’s car reported seeing an unknown woman and man appearing to change a tire on the Hansville man’s car at 4 p.m. The woman said the suspects didn’t look or act suspicious.

Feb. 25

Suspicious incident: A woman living on Fletcher Bay Road reported suspicious transactions involving her online home business of sewing custom pillows. The woman had questionable orders for $5,000 and $14,300. Neither order went through. Police believed multiple victims of credit card theft had their cards stolen and those cards were used to purchase the pillows by the suspect, which used addresses in Turkey and Haiti.


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