Daily Archives: September 30, 2009

Sportsman’s Club sets sights on another 80 years


The Bainbridge Island’s 80-year-old Sportsman’s Club may seem like a place locked in the island’s past, but a lot’s going on these days.

Thanks to the efforts of vice president Steve Korn, the club has seen a recent flood of grant dollars to improve safety, expand the pistol range to accommodate increasing use by Bainbridge police, build a new archery range and fix an old clubhouse where islanders have gathered for the better part of a century.

“A lot of what this club does dates back to a different time, but it’s always been a cross-section of Bainbridge,” Korn told me for a recent story about the club. “It’s one of the few places where everyone can gather.”

Recognizing the club’s place in Bainbridge history, the city Historical Preservation Commission recently gave unanimous approval for its inclusion in the local register of historic places.

One thing that struck me while hanging out during the retiree’s trap shoot on Friday was that the topics of discussion between the members didn’t touch upon guns or gun issues all that much. Mostly they talk about failing body parts, old friends, dead friends, the weather and the club itself. They’re proud of it, and the role it serves in the community – from hosting holiday dinners for seniors to fishing derbies for kids.

Our video of the trap shoot and a tour of the clubhouse is below.

For more about the club, click here to read my story and see a photo gallery shot by Larry Steagall.

Below is the city’s draft recommendation for the club’s inclusion on the historic registry. It includes a history of the club and notes on the clubhouse’s architectural significance.

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Candidate debate touches on ratepayer lawsuit

If you haven’t yet, go here to read my coverage of Monday night’s City Council candidate forum.

One aspect of the discussion I didn’t have room for in my story was the candidates’ position on the Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance lawsuit. The suit, brought in part to stop the city from using sewer plant bonds for other projects, may lead to a double or tripling of Winslow area sewer rates.

A forum attendee asked the six candidates’ to say whether they supported the lawsuit and what they thought should be done to resolve it.

South Ward candidate Kirsten Hytopoulos, who took the question first, noted that the lawsuit was not a matter for the council or potential council members. She then stressed that the Constitution allows citizens to sue their city.

“It’s a fundamental right,” she said.

Hytopoulos’ opponent, Tim Jacobsen, staked out a clear position against the lawsuit.

“It’s not the right thing for the community,” he said.

Picking up on Hytopoulos’ comments, Jacobsen agreed citizens have a right to sue their city, but they also have the right not to.

“One freedom of choice we have in this country is to not exercise the all the rights we have,” he said, urging citizens to sue or not sue with consideration for what’s best for the community.

He likened the lawsuit to a game of chicken between the alliance and the city.

“It’s not being played on a deserted road,” he said. “There’s a lot of bystanders.”
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Wildlife shelter growing by leaps and bounds


Bainbridge Island’s West Sound Wildlife Shelter unveiled the first phase of a major expansion this week.

The shelter has added a large flight cage and plans to build a water fowl enclosure in the near future.

Three eaglets were released into the flight cage as part of Saturday’s dedication.

“This flight cage will serve as the gym,” said Mike Pratt, the shelter’s director of wildlife services. Until the roomy cage was built, the shelter’s big birds were confined to enclosures so small they could only perch.

Read Rachel Pritchett’s full story here.