Bainbridge Conversation

Reporter Ethan Fowler engages island residents in a conversation about their community.
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Library receives new hearing loop system

July 1st, 2014 by Ethan Fowler
Contributed photo / David Warren Bob Bosserman, left, chair of facilities for Bainbridge Public Library, and Rick Diaz, assistant installer at Now Hear This!, test the newly installed hearing loop in the library’s Community Room.

Contributed photo / David Warren
Bob Bosserman, left, chair of facilities for Bainbridge Public Library, and Rick Diaz, assistant installer at Now Hear This!, test the newly installed hearing loop in the library’s Community Room.

To help meet a growing need for Bainbridge residents, the Rotary Club of Bainbridge provided a grant for the Bainbridge Public Library to install a hearing loop system in the library’s large and popular Community Room.

“We want to provide good access to our ‘silently disadvantaged’ residents through the new hearing assistive technology,” said Bob Bosserman, facilities committee chair for library’s board of directors, in a news release.

Bosserman said the Community Room is booked an average of 22 days a month.

The system works by using hearing loops that transmit audio from a public address system directly to telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. The telecoil function as an antenna and relays the sounds directly into the ear of someone wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants without background noise or distortion – similar to how Wi-Fi connects people to the Internet.

“We are … eager for word to get out to islanders that there is a new venue on the island where they can be assured their hearing impairment will not be a barrier to enjoying lectures and performances,” said Sarah Morgans, one of the board of directors for Bainbridge Public Library.

Roberts to retire from Bainbridge school district in August

July 1st, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

After working 13 years for the Bainbridge Island School District, Kathy Roberts will be retiring at the end of August to close her 30-year career in K-12 public education.

Roberts, administrative assistant to Superintendent Faith Chapel, worked 17 years for Everett Public Schools prior to being hired by Bainbridge.

“It’s hard to leave my second family who are the staff, students and administrators of the Bainbridge Island School District,” Roberts said after Thursday’s School Board meeting.

Documentary ‘Honor & Sacrifice’ wins more awards

June 26th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

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 Island police blotter, June 25

June 26th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

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

Crime log stats from June 15 to June 21: 3 false alarms with unknown cause, 3 suspicious incident/investigation, 3 domestic verbal, 2 miscellaneous, 2 found property, 2 identity theft, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 stalking, 1 theft in the second degree, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 malicious mischief in the second degree, 1 open door, 1 driving with no valid operator’s license, 1 mental investigation, 1 traffic accident, 1 theft in the third degree, 1 extortion in the second degree and 1 lost property.

June 23
Patrol check: A patrol check was requested by a business owner on the 9000 block of Sportsman Club Road. The owner requested extra patrols and a meeting regarding prowlers on her property.

June 21
Found property: A woman found a cell phone on Eagle Harbor Drive that belonged to a woman in SeaTac. When police tried to contact the out-of-town woman, the number was disconnected. The phone was placed in the department’s evidence as found property.

June 20
Identity theft: A woman withdrew cash from her bank’s ATM at 10:30 a.m. and discovered her account was overdrawn by more than $200. Someone had charged more than $1,000 in airline tickets from her account without her consent.

Theft in the third degree: A woman living on the 200 block of High School Road found that the lock on her storage unit had been broken and that two tents had been stolen. The tents were described as a four-person green Coleman-brand valued at $100 and an orange two-person valued at $35. The brand wasn’t known of the orange tent. Both tents were in a blue nylon duffel bag valued at $20. The storage unit was on the second floor of the complex. A police officer didn’t see any other storage units damaged.

Identity theft: A woman living in the 500 block of Homestead Lane reported her Visa card was used today at Snoqualmie Casino for a fraudulent charge of $527.99. The woman was notified of the theft by her bank.

June 19
Driving with no valid operator’s license: A 21-year-old Bremerton man, who was involved in a minor traffic accident with another vehicle, was issued a traffic citation for not having a driver’s license or any identification or paperwork with his name on it. There was also no record found for the man, who admitted driving in reverse on Baker Hill Road after he missed his turn for Palomino Drive. The man had caused a collision with a 30-year-old Poulsbo man driving a BMW.

June 18
Open door: The door to a Winslow Way business located on the 100 block was found open and unlocked. No one was in the store when an officer arrived after a family walking down the street noticed the open door. The officer left messages with the owner and also texted her. The officer could not secure the door since it only locked from the inside. The officer later checked on the business while she was on bike patrol and the door was locked.

Malicious mischief in the second degree: At Battle Point Park, someone used a black permanent marker to write letters and offensive words on four Park District vehicles, street signs and the mobile stage. This caused an estimated $1,200 worth of damage. A metal lift gate was also damaged and would cost $1,000 since it now hit a custom door. Photos of the damage were taken by the responding officer.

June 17
Theft in the third degree: A man who was moving to Hawaii and believed he was renting an apartment found he was a victim of a $4,149.59 scam when the man he was working with that claimed to be the property manager wasn’t legitimate. The man had taken steps to confirm the apartment’s location was legitimate through numerous emails, reference checks and filling out applications. Police discussed with the man how he could avoid future theft since the man had provided the suspect with his personal information for the apartment application.

Found property: A woman living on the 10000 block of Manitou Park Boulevard came to the police station to turn over drug paraphernalia that she had found. She handed a small, clear Ziploc bag with 40 small cotton balls inside a tree near the library at 10:30 a.m. Police tested the balls and one indicated the presence of amphetamine. The balls are often used to filter narcotics prior to intravenous use. The bag was placed into police property for destruction.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: The King County Jail called to confirm a warrant on a 43-year-old Seattle woman. The woman’s warrant charge wasn’t listed on the incident report.

Bainbridge residents invited to ferry meeting

June 18th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

Bainbridge residents are encouraged to attend a community meeting that will include long-range planning, new vessel construction, route-specific issues, liquefied natural gas and other topics will be discussed at a Washington State Ferries meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 23.

The meeting will be held in Suite 210 of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, located at 100 Ravine Lane.

The ferry system hosts community meetings twice a year and also takes input from customers and the community through its Ferry Advisory Committees.

Bremerton’s meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, in the Kitsap Conference Center’s Oyster Room, located on 100 Washington St.


Roth voted City Council’s new deputy mayor

June 18th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

Starting in July, Wayne Roth will replace Val Tollefson as the Bainbridge Island City Council’s deputy mayor following an unanimous vote on the motion by the council at a recent meeting.

“In six months, you’ll look as old as I do,” Tollefson joked after the vote.

The deputy mayor is a six-month rotating position among council members, Tollefson said.

Roth, Tollefson and Roger Townsend were all elected to four-year terms to the council by voters in November 2013.

Bainbridge police blotter, June 18

June 18th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler


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

Crime log stats from June 8 to June 14: 6 traffic accidents, 4 thefts in the third degree, 3 miscellaneous, 2 mental investigations, 1 mailbox theft, 1 verbal dispute, 1 theft in the second degree, 1 found property, 1 assault in the fourth degree, 1 driving without a license, 1 suspicious incident/investigation, 1 lost property, 1 suspicious persons/situations, 1 patrol check, 1 reckless burning in the second degree, 1 harassment, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 identity theft, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 intoxicated person, 1 arson in the first degree, 1 false alarm, 1 driving under the influence, 1 agency assist.

June 16


Malicious mischief: At approximately 5:30 a.m., a family living on the 7000 block of Hidden Cove Road reported that they heard their car alarm go off after someone had broken the right rear passenger window of their vehicle. Although nothing was missing from the still locked vehicle when the residents inspected the broken window, they did see what appeared to be possible footprints left by a suspect. The estimated cost of replacing the window glass was $250.


June 14


Driving under the influence/liquor: A 31-year-old driver who lives on the 700 block of Madison Avenue was stopped for passing in a no-passing zone and was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol at the corner of Grow Avenue and Wyatt Way at 7:35 p.m. The officer observed the driver pass another driver going 48 mph in a 25 mph no-passing zone. The man said he had drank two to three beers while on the beach at Lynwood Center.


June 13


Warrant arrest by outside agency: The Bainbridge Island Police Department was contacted by the Kitsap County Jail to confirm a warrant arrest for a 24-year-old Port Orchard man. BIPD verified the man had a $5,000 bail for a driving while intoxicated arrest.


June 11


Malicious mischief: A man living on the 7000 block of Spring Ridge Road reported that someone cut 12 plants on his property with some type of trimmer. The man said he saw a man exiting out of the south gate of his property that afternoon. The man, who rode away on a bicycle, was white with a medium build and stood 6-foot-1. He also had brown hair and was wearing khaki shorts. The plants were started 10 years ago.

Bainbridge police blotter, June 11

June 11th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler


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

Crime log stats from June 1 to June 7: 5 traffic accidents, 2 thefts in the third degree, 2 malicious mischiefs in the third degree, 1 harassment, 1 warrant misdemeanor, 1 found property, 1 residential burglary, 1 littering, 1 assault in the fourth degree, 1 mental investigation, 1 miscellaneous, 1 theft of bicycles, 1 verbal dispute.

June 9

Theft in the third degree: A 48-year-old woman living on the 200 block of Tormey Lane reported that her convertible car was broken into during the night. When she went to her vehicle in the morning, she found the seats reclined forward. All the items taken out of her glove compartment and storage areas were found on the seats. The only thing the thief stole was a universal car charger valued at $200. The woman’s car was also broken into in December.

June 7

Harassing phone call: A 65-year-old man living in the 3000 block of El Cimo Lane reported that he has been receiving calls left on his voicemail from a man with a heavy accent. The man says he’s from the Internal Revenue Service and is threatening legal action if the man doesn’t contact him. The man, who has saved one of the messages, said he ignores the calls.

June 6

Malicious mischief in the third degree: A Bremerton woman was having a pizza lunch with her family at Lytle Beach Park. When she returned to her car to place the pizza box inside, she noticed a car pulled abruptly into the parking space next to her and heard a loud noise as her car got hit. The woman noticed that her passenger side mirror had been folded in and that the driver of the other car, a 65-year-old man from Kingston, had hit her car when he opened his car door. When the woman confronted the driver, he told her if she hadn’t taken up three parking spaces this wouldn’t have happened. The man then walked down the length of her car on the passenger side, which the woman saw later and found a 6-inch key marks in the paint and a black rubber substance. The woman collected her family and immediately drove to the police department to report the incident. Officers were able to find the suspected driver and woman he was with soon after at the park, which has only four parking places. The couple were sitting on beach chairs with a table that had a bottle of wine. The man admitted grabbing the woman’s car mirror and folding it in to get into the tight parking place, as well as hitting the woman’s car as he exited his vehicle. When officers asked him to see his keys, the man only had a single key with a rubber grip. Damage to the woman’s car was estimated at $1,200.

Theft of bicycles: A 52-year-old man reported two bikes of his were stolen within the last three weeks. The first was stolen while it was left unlocked at the 400 block of Olympic Drive at the ferry terminal. The yellow Kuwahara mountain bike was left at 3 p.m. and when the man returned at 9 p.m. it was gone. On May 16, the man parked another bike, a black and white Specialized Hardrock, at the high school softball fields at 3 p.m. It was left unlocked as well.

June 1

Found property: The owner of a business located on the 5000 block of Rose Avenue reported that someone had left a stroller in front of his architecture business. The stroller had no name attached to it. An officer picked up the stroller and placed it into the police department’s evidence for safekeeping.

Bainbridge police blotter, June 4

June 4th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler



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

Crime log stats from May 25 to May 31: 7 traffic accidents, 3 thefts in the third degree, 2 miscellaneous, 2 suspicious incidents/investigations, 2 mental investigations, 2 warrant arrests by outside agency, 1 driving under the influence, 1 open door/window, 1 assault in the second degree, 1 residential burglary, 1 theft in the second degree, 1 verbal dispute, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree and 1 found property.

June 2

Passing stopped school bus with red lights flashing: A woman described as a 25-year-old was reported to police for driving through a stopped school bus stop sign at 8:07 a.m. at the corner of Baker Hill Road and Lynwood Center Road. However, the license plate number given to police didn’t return to a registered vehicle.

June 1

Theft in the third degree: A 47-year-old woman who works on the 200 block of Madison Avenue reported to police that she accidentally left her car unlocked at 11:30 a.m. When she returned at 10:30 p.m., she noticed that her black Dell laptop valued at $250 and black rolling overnight laptop case valued at $150 were both missing. The car was parked behind a trail.

Malicious mischief in the third degree: A 40-year-old woman returned to find her 2014 Mazda Mx3 car had been involved in a hit-and-run collision while she shopped from 5 to 6:05 p.m. at a grocery store on the 200 block of High School Road. When she unlocked the car, the alarm beeped seven to 10 times. This alerted her that something had happened to her car while she was away. The front passenger door was no longer flush with the front panel. Also, the part of the car between the front tire and passenger door was severely scratched and buckled. The damage to the vehicle, which caused the door and car to not lock, is estimated at $1,000.

May 31

Traffic accident: A 29-year-old man living on the 10000 block of Winthers Road was the driver in a rollover vehicle collision in the area of Eagle Harbor Drive and Wimsey Lane. Although no one was with the vehicle when emergency personnel arrived, the man was tied to the collision by police through the scattered items found at the scene. Four fire crew and two police officers responded to the incident. Officers found two empty beer bottles and a small amount of marijuana in the car.

May 30

Theft in the third degree: A Quilcene woman who was visiting her mother discovered that her black Haiku-brand purse that contained her wallet, cash and other items was stolen out of her car while it was parked on Wing Point Road. The estimated market value of the purse is $130.

May 28

Hit-and-run collision: A 50-year-old woman who drove a 2013 Nissan Leaf parked her car at 7 a.m. in a car lot on Winslow Way. When she returned to her car at 7 p.m., she found a 10-inch scratch just above her vehicle’s left rear wheel.

UPDATED: Bainbridge police blotter, May 28

May 28th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler


***This report was updated at 7:30 p.m. May 28 for additional details and clarification.

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

Crime log stats from May 18 to May 24: 3 thefts in the third degree, 3 warrant arrests by outside agency, 3 traffic accidents, 2 thefts in the second degree, 2 driving with license suspended/revoked, 1 dangerous weapon on school facilities, 1 residential burglary, 1 runaway, 1 miscellaneous, 1 driving under the influence/liquor or drugs, 1 identity theft, 1 suspicious persons/situations, 1 verbal dispute, 1 suspicious incident/investigation, 1 mailbox theft, 1 found property, 1 criminal trespass in the second degree and 1 recovered stolen property.

May 26

Suspicious incident/investigation: A man living in the 8000 block of Hidden Cove Road arrived at his home at 10:30 p.m. to find his front door open. Nothing looked disturbed in the house. On May 23 at 1:15 a.m., the owner heard someone trying to gain entry into his home. When the man turned on his back patio light, he saw two figures running. The man didn’t report the May 23 incident to police the night it occurred.

Miscellaneous: Police found an unoccupied car running at 2:03 p.m. in a parking lot on the 5000 block of New Sweden Road. An officer then turned off the car and removed the key. The owner of the car, a 64-year-old man, was called by police but a message couldn’t be left since the man’s voicemail was full. Police also drove to the man’s house to find him but no one was home. Police placed the key into a temporary evidence locker. The car was still parked in the same location at 10:20 p.m. and police called the man’s home again at that time but still didn’t receive a response.


May 25

Driving while intoxicated: A 42-year-old Bremerton man was stopped at 1:30 a.m. for driving 74 mph in a 50 mph zone on Highway 305 near Hidden Cove Road. An officer smelled alcohol on the man’s breath, but the man refused to take a Breathalyzer test. The man was later booked for driving under the influence and taken to Kitsap County Jail with a $5,000 bail.


May 24

Criminal trespass: A pair of juveniles were seen by a night custodian trying to gain access to the Bainbridge High School gym at 1 a.m. One of the boys was described as having a thin build and about 16 to 18 years old. The intent of the boys was unknown.


May 23

Recovered stolen property: Police received a call from the Washington State Patrol that a white three-door Honda Civic with a stolen license plate was in-bound from Seattle to arrive at the Bainbridge ferry terminal at 10:20 p.m. The front license plate didn’t match the back plate. The 29-year-old Seattle man driving the car told police that earlier this year he was a victim of a car prowl and that the plates may have been switched then. Police told the man that switching license plates was a common tactic used by thieves to make detection harder. The officer recommended the driver file a stolen license plate report. Police removed the stolen back plate from the vehicle and booked it into police property.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: A Port Orchard police officer called Bainbridge Island Police to confirm a warrant on a 32-year-old woman he had pulled over. The woman’s warrant was for driving without a license in the third degree.


May 19

Assault in the second degree: A woman living on the 200 block of High School Road was hit in the face by a man who had being staying at her place the previous 10 days and cooking meals. No one else observed the assault.

Birding on Bloedel: Forest lover returns to Northwest

May 27th, 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 seven years. They live in Kingston. 

Mid-May brings the Black-Headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) back to the Pacific Northwest from its wintering grounds in southern Mexico and Central America.

The melodious song of this denizen of forested habitats throughout the western states resembles the song of the American Robin, but is usually longer and is often punctuated by a “chunk” note that is typical of the species. The song is virtually identical to that of its close cousin, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, that replaces the Black-Headed Grosbeak in eastern North America.

Black-Headed Grosbeaks are sexually dimorphic with adult males, as their name implies, having a black head as well as black upper back, wings and tail. The underparts and rump are a rich cinnamon brown and the wings have prominent white spots. Females and first-year males have brownish upperparts and yellowish-orange underparts, and a white stripe over the eye. Both sexes flash large yellow patches under their wings when they fly.

In most songbirds only the male sings, but grosbeaks are an exception.

Females regularly sing a song similar to that of males, but less complex. Both sexes also participate equally in breeding activities, and both male and female may actually sing from the nest while incubating the eggs. The nest is usually located in the outer branches of a deciduous tree or shrub.

The large conical beak of grosbeaks enables them to husk large seeds, and they are frequent consumers of quantities of sunflower seeds at backyard bird-feeders. About half of their diet is insects, however, particularly during the breeding season. They typically forage high in deciduous trees gleaning insects from the foliage.

One interesting feature of grosbeak foraging is that they have adapted to eating Monarch butterflies, which are toxic for most birds, in their enormous winter congregations in the mountains of Mexico. The result can be a orange carpet of Monarch sings under the trees where they congregate to spend the winter.

At Bloedel, listen for their melodious song as you walk along the forested paths, and search the upper branches for a glimpse of this strikingly-plumaged songster.

Bainbridge police warn Subaru Legacy, Honda Accord, Civic owners

May 21st, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

Due to a recent uptick in crime, Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner is urging owners of older Honda Accords and Civics, as well as owners of Subaru Legacy cars, to ensure that their vehicle is locked when they park it near or at the Bainbridge ferry terminal.

Models of the vehicles from 1995 to 2005 are being targeted the most.

Investigators believe the suspect or suspects drive to Bainbridge in a stolen car, park the vehicle on the island, walk on a Seattle ferry as a passenger and return later to Bainbridge to steal a different vehicle.

Police believe the thieves are able to steal the Honda and Subaru vehicles with little trouble because of their knowledge of the cars’ equipment.

Hamner said owners of these car models who park within proximity of the ferry need to be especially diligent in locking their cars and aware of their surroundings.

“Sometimes a few simple steps to secure your belongings can be enough to deter theft,” said Hamner, who has strong leads in the case.

According to the Puget Sound Regional Council, the Seattle-Bainbridge route in 2013 transported 6.3 million people, including 3 million walk-on passengers – more than any other Washington State Ferry route.

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