Monthly Archives: July 2008

Island vigil honors victims of Tennessee church shooting

With their fingers touching and shoulders pressed, about 60 people bowed their heads in downtown Winslow to affirm that the violence that tore through a Tennessee church can be overcome, one pair of joined hands at time.

“Feeling the touch of another person who is not going to hurt you and who is going to care for you, we pray that the compassion here will spread into the world,” said Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church co-minister Barbara ten Hove at the City Hall plaza Tuesday evening. “It’s a baby step, but it is important.”

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Bainbridge population growth hits 8 year low

The brisk pace of Bainbridge Island’s population growth slowed to a crawl this year, casting doubt on projections steering current city planning.

According to state demographers, Bainbridge’s estimated growth hit an eight-year low in 2008, dropping from an average of about 2 percent to less than 0.5 percent.

The slow rise means the island will add only 100 people in 2008, putting the total population at about 23,180.

“This is interesting because so much of Bainbridge politics is based on the prediction that growth is out of control,” said Tim Bailey, an island real estate agent and chair of the city’s 2025 Growth Advisory Committee. “As a resident, I’d say this could be welcome news because it will make it easier to plan and give us time to react.”

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Elvis “christens” island school building

When Elvis walked on to the stage dressed head to toe in tight black leather, he did what any Elvis would do.

He flashed a sideways smile and turned his back to give the full view.

The old ladies blushed. The young girls screamed.

Some things never change, even if Elvis does.

“He blows your mind,” said Sally Browning. “He’s just that good. He’s got rhythm, and oh can he dance!”

It’s not Elvis she’s praising, it’s the close approximation she brought up from Puyallup to play a fundraiser at her son Ben’s school. Saturday night’s performance marked the third time Elvis performer Danny Vernon has shaken his hips to help raise money for The Island School. The show was also the first in the private school’s newly built gathering hall.

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Gov. Gregoire storms island beach

Gov. Chris Gregoire sunk her feet in Waterfront Park’s gravel beach on Friday to give a campaign speech awash in the politics of Puget Sound.

“Four million folks live around Puget Sound,” she said, speaking to about 45 people sitting along the beach banks. “When people ask me who is responsible for Puget Sound, I tell them it’s four million folks. It’s every one of us.”

Running for re-election against Republican Dino Rossi, Gregoire’s noontime stop on Bainbridge was part of a boat tour of the Sound. Other stops on Friday included Bremerton and Twanoh State Park in Mason County.

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$1 million a year for open space?

Islanders have said loud and clear they want more parks and open space.

Now the Bainbridge parks district wants to see if islanders are willing foot the bill.

Spurred by recent surveys that identify the preservation of open space and creation of new parks as top priorities for residents, the park officials have proposed a November ballot measure that would boost property taxes to generate about $1 million a year for the acquisition, development and maintenance of new properties.

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Elvis on Bainbridge

Who can top a visit by the governor?

Why, the King, of course.

Following Gov. Chris Gregoire’s visit on Friday, Elvis (or a close approximation) will take the stage at Island School on Saturday night.

He’ll help the school raise money and celebrate the opening of its newly built gathering hall.

The show starts at 6 p.m. and costs $25. Island School is located at 8553 NE Day Road.

Call (206) 780-0428 for more info.

Gregoire on Bainbridge

Gov. Chris Gregoire hopes to take Bainbridge by sea tomorrow.

Running for reelection against Republican Dino Rossi, the governor is making a 30-minute stop at Waterfront Park at noon as part of daylong water-borne campaigning around the Kitsap Peninsula.

Gregoire will make a speech highlighting the state’s efforts to clean up Puget Sound, according to her staff.

She will also stop in Bremerton and tour Hood Canal tomorrow.

Who’s wrong? The other guy!

Recent letters and editorials in the Islander inspired Bainbridge resident Joe Honick to raise his pen and made a toast to young voices.

After reading all of the colloquies and editorials over the past few weeks, I could not help but remember one of the funniest scenes in the musical hit Fiddler on the Roof.

In this scene, the village leader, a milkman no less, named Tevye, is approached by a businessperson who complains about his competitor. Tevye assures the complainer he is correct. But the competitor, target of the complaint screams about the complaint and again is assured by Tevye he is also correct.

Finally, a bystander hearing all of this says: “Tevye, he’s right; he’s right; how can they both be right?”

In his simple wisdom, Tevye the Milkman, responds: “And you are also right!”

What we have read in Islander editorials and letters is the collective wisdom of everyone who is totally convinced of his or her commentary, something that tells us the democracy lives. If all this were occurring in a schoolyard, the principal would doubtless call for an assembly to address all the grievances because no one could be heard or understood otherwise and because no one is apparently listening to anyone else.
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Post office and T&C land swap gets a thumbs up

While the details of a land swap between the U.S. Postal Service and Town & Country Market caused a bit of grumbling, the deal’s bigger picture drew applause at a public meeting Tuesday.

“If it’s a choice of who will remain in the downtown core, I choose Town & Country, hands down,” said island resident Channie Peters, one of about 40 people to attend the postal service-sponsored meeting. “It really is the center of our community. It would be a huge loss.”

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History and horticulture meet at Bainbridge Gardens

I’ve been to Bainbridge Gardens a dozen or so times. I knew it had history, but I didn’t know so much of it was still alive, growing in quiet spots throughout the nursery.

For 50 Years, Bainbridge Gardens Has Been a Labor of One Man’s Love
By Tristan Baurick

They’re slower and a little stiffer than they used to be, but Junkoh Harui’s hands are his most prized heirlooms.

They’ve threaded miles of irrigation pipe, shaped hundreds of bonsais and rebuilt Bainbridge Gardens, a nursery that has become one of the island’s most storied landmarks.

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