Daily Archives: October 21, 2008

Bainbridge Gardens’ Junkoh Harui dies at 75

Bainbridge Gardens owner Junkoh Harui died Sunday afternoon at his island home. He was 75 years old.

Harui, a well-known and celebrated member of the community, died peacefully at 2 p.m. with family at his side, his daughter Donna Harui said.

Islanders best know him for his Miller Road nursery, a business his father started almost 80 years ago, but was forced to abandon during World War II. Harui revived Bainbridge Gardens in the late 1980s, making it a destination for gardeners around the region and a green oasis with wooded trails, an outdoor café, a garden supply shop and a bountiful selection of plants.

Despite suffering from Parkinson’s disease and, more recently, cancer, Harui was active at Bainbridge Gardens until his death.

“Junkoh’s love of the garden and his commitment to his customers allowed him to share the beauty of nature with generations of Bainbridge Islanders,” his family said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Harui was born on Bainbridge Island in 1933, shortly after his family purchased 20 acres along Miller Road and transformed it into a large farm. The family added a general store, gas station and the Bainbridge Gardens nursery.

He graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1951 and earned a business degree from the University of Washington in 1955. It was at the UW that Harui met his future wife, Chris.

He was drafted by the U.S. Army days before taking a job at a bank. Harui was stationed for almost two years in France, where his interest in working with nature was renewed.

He returned to Bainbridge with Chris and started the island’s first flower shop in 1958. He moved his shop and added a nursery at a second location at the juncture of highway 305 and High School Road. As the highway widened, Harui decided to move his business to his family’s property on Miller Road, with its crumbling buildings buried in blackberry vines. The site was reborn as Bainbridge Gardens in 1989.

This year, Harui and Chris celebrated 50 years of marriage and 50 years of operating a business on Bainbridge Island.

He is survived by his wife, two brothers, four children and five grandchildren.

A celebration of Harui’s life will be held at Sakai Intermediate School on Bainbridge Island at 2 p.m. on Nov. 8.

For more about his life and work, see my July profile of Harui here.

Scales: ‘The mayor is building a budgetary house of cards’

Former City Councilman Bob Scales says the mayor’s proposed budget would spend too much and cut too little. Read his column below.

Despite a global economic crisis and declining city revenues, Mayor Darlene Kordonowy has proposed yet another unsustainable budget. Over the next two years she plans to add more than $30 million to city coffers by raising taxes, rates and fees, and by going even further into debt.

The mayor needs this extra cash so she can launch the most aggressive capital spending program in the city’s history – $50 million for a handful of mega-projects. This spending program will leave the city with crippling debt, homeowners with higher property taxes and utility customers with massive rate increases, including a 42 percent increase in storm water fees and a 44 percent increase in sewer rates.

The mayor wants to maintain city bureaucracy at a time when other cities are slashing operating expenses and laying off employees. If the City Council approves the mayor’s reckless agenda, they will likely condemn the city to years of financial turmoil.

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BPA’s Macbeth is a ‘bummer worth watching’

Bainbridge Performing Arts’ production of ‘Macbeth’ is a gloomy, murky, heavy – sometimes blustery – bummer worth watching. Read the Kitsap Sun’s review below.

LOCAL THEATER: BPA’s ‘Macbeth’ ‘Lays On’ Thick, Indeed
By Michael C. Moore

“Macbeth” is, arguably, the darkest of all William Shakespeare’s tragedies, and the most intense.

Indeed, apart from the appearance of the drunken Porter prior to the intermission, there’s very little comic intensification — the tale of a Scottish kingdom come acropper is heavy, heavy stuff from start to finish.

You certainly get that in director Steven Fogell’s production for Bainbridge Performing Arts, which began its two-week pre-Halloween run Oct. 16. It is an intense, program-twisting, teeth-gnashing experience. Fogell wrings out Shakespeare’s cautionary tale of the corruptive power of power for its every particle of pathos.

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Police blotter: Tasered at WaMu

It’s an epic blotter this week.

There’s the boy who beats his mom with his broken arm for not supporting his video game habit. There’s the lead-footed, liquor-lovin’ California transplant who bemoans all the time local police waste pulling drunk drivers (like himself) off the road. And then there’s the motorist who finds Winslow’s streets are as dangerous as jungle combat in ‘Nam. Oh, and of course there’s the bank customer who got a shock at Winslow’s WaMu. No, it wasn’t the value of WaMu stocks that gave him a jolt, but the taser jabbed into his hip by Bainbridge police.

Read on…

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