Monthly Archives: June 2010

VIDEO: Bainbridge candidates square off for state House

Rep. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) has a fellow islander challenging her for the state House seat she’s held for nearly four years.

Retired U.S. Coast Guard officer and local Republican activist James Olsen is running against Rolfes on a smaller-government, pro-business platform.

They are joined by Poulsbo Republican Aaron Winters, an unemployed construction foreman.

Watch the above video to see all three discuss the economy, state spending and other matters with Sun editor David Nelson. That’s Rolfes on the left side, Olsen’s in the middle and Winters is on the right.

Islander uses Facebook to right a Rotary rummage sale wrong

Betsy Schairer hustles for the coveted cider press. Little did she know that injustice awaited. Angela Dice photo.

A Rotary runner has taken to Facebook to protest “a terrible act of injustice” that happened during the first minutes of Saturday’s mega-rummage sale.

Here’s what Betsy Schairer has to say on her page, Footrace Run For Justice: Help Betsy Get Her Apple Cider Press:

“After reaching an apple cider press FIRST despite limiting physical ability such as lack of fitness, short legs, and a generally waddling gait: A Rotary Auction volunteer refused to sell Me, Betsy, the Apple cider press she had fair and square gotten to first and instead sold it to another Rotary Auction Volunteer. This Act of Unfairness should not stand.”

And apparently it won’t.

After racking up more than 80 Facebook members who posted dozens of sympathetic messages, Betsy got a response from Rotary.

“I received an apology today from the President of Bainbridge Rotary & from the chairman of the Auction. They are investigating the incident. Stay strong!” she posted on Monday.

And today, more progress:

“I got another apology e-mail from the Rotary- this one from the Department Head of the Lawn & Garden section where the cider press was being sold. He has also vowed to track down the offending volunteer & get the cider press back so I can purchase it. UNITED WE STAND for fair thrifting rights!” she said in a post today.

Betsy’s work to right a Rotary wrong was met with huzzahs from her Facebook pals.

“Fair is fair!” declared one. “We are invincible!”

The running of the (Rotary) bulls

Head over HERE for Angela Dice’s photo gallery of Saturday’s Rotary rummage sale. Lots of shots of the 8 a.m. burst of bargain runners. I think I was about five rows behind the two guys leading the pack in the above photo. Happy to report I nabbed the item I had my eye on. Got it in the nick of time. My friend, with whom I waited an hour at the gate, was not so lucky. The play tractor he wanted for his son was snapped up while he prevented a fallen child from being trampled. That should earn him a stack of karma points for Rotary 2011.

It’s big, it’s green and it’s headed to Winslow

The largest housing development since Harbor Square is expected to break ground on the north end of Winslow by the middle of next year.

Planned for the eight acres to the west of the Pavilion, the 138-unit Grow Community aims to be a walkable, energy-efficient neighborhood with a mix of housing types.

“We’re hoping to create a community that doesn’t yet exist,” said Marja Preston, a planner for Asani, the company that’s developing the site. “The idea is to create opportunities for more community interaction through diverse housing and amenities on the site.”

Grow Community’s preliminary site plan calls for condominiums, townhouses, rental apartments and single-family homes set along a wide central trail. Asani plans to incorporate pea-patches, composting areas, rain gardens and a community hall.

Read my story HERE.

Asani’s preliminary site plan can be seen below.

Back when she was a Bainbridge city planner, Preston worked to get the site listed as pilot project with Forest Trends’ Business and Biodiversity Offset Program, which aims to strike a balance between large-scale resource use and environmental preservation.

In a story I wrote for the Review in 2007, the plan was generally panned by other conservationists who were brought to Bainbridge for a Forest Trends conference. The project site was seen as too small to have a significant impact, said conservationists who were leading biodiversity offset projects in Africa that benefit endangered animals and fragile forests.

Though smaller in scale, the project shouldn’t be discounted, a South African scientist said.

Don’t call it a biodiversity offset, he said. Call it sound urban planning.

It looks like that’s what Preston is aiming for, albeit now through the private sector rather than City Hall.

Grow Community Map

50th Rotary rummage sale aims to cut waste

Organizers of the 50th Rotary Auction and Rummage Sale want to trim down the amount of waste that’s hauled away after Saturday’s buying frenzy is over.

Last year, just over 30 tons of post-sale junk was hauled to the landfill. That’s a lot, but it’s a lot less than the 70 tons produced in 2001. Since then, Rotary has worked to increase recycling and allow nonprofits to pick over the leftovers before they’re trucked off.

For more about this year’s sale, read Derek Sheppard’s story HERE.

School clinic, school composter, art museum, kids museum

Sorry the blog’s been quiet a while. Time to play catchup. Here’s the news from the last week (or so):

School break-in: A messy prank was pulled at Woodward Middle School.

Compost kids: A Bainbridge High School student-led effort has created the nation’s largest on-site school composting program.

Big grant: Bainbridge got a $4.88 million grant to boost energy efficiency in what could amount to half of the island’s homes.

Rolfes challengers: Rep. Christine Rolfes, a former Bainbridge city councilwoman, has two challengers for her House seat: Republicans Aaron Winters of Poulsbo and James Olsen of Bainbridge Island.

Strawberry Plant Park: The City Council gave unanimous support for the Eagle Harbor park’s long-discussed shoreline restoration plan.

Cyberstalked: A Seattle man was charged with stalking a Bainbridge teen via the Internet.

Winslow Way: The City Council approved the design for the Winslow Way reconstruction project. Looks like things are moving forward after all.

New KiDiMu: The Kids Discovery Museum’s new custom-built, earth-friendly building opened in the Island Gateway development. The new KiDiMu was packed in its first week, and drew rave reviews from kids and parents.

Art Museum: The final building design for the Bainbridge Art Museum was unveiled. Updated plans for the museum, which will sit on the northwest corner of the Winslow Way-Highway 305 intersection, include an attached auditorium and classroom building.

School Clinic: Parents and educators are working to establish a free medical clinic at Bainbridge High School. They have most of the money in hand and Virginia Mason has agreed to staff it. All they need now is for a reluctant school board to give the green light. This story generated plenty of comments.
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French street gymnastics on Bainbridge Island

Parkour’s growing exposure on TV, movies and the Internet is sparking a lot of interest beyond the streets of France, where the acrobatic sport was invented less than two decades ago. Kids all over the U.S. have been inspired to try parkour’s daredevil moves, albeit through trial-and-error mimicry on park benches, stairwells and picnic tables.

Only one place in Kitsap is offering classes on how to do parkour properly and safely.

Head over HERE to see my story about Bainbridge park district’s parkour class and the young men who are building a local parkour scene. The story includes a video and photo gallery shot by Brad Camp.

Look below for some of parkour’s more iconic videos.

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VIDEO: Planting City Hall’s garden

Councilwoman Debbi Lester shot a short video introducing City Hall’s newly-planted edible garden. That’s Councilman Barry Peters doing the talking and Sound Food member Sallie Maron doing the planting.

A few days later, the planting began in earnest, with about a dozen volunteers planting corn, squash, tomatoes, chard and other crops that will be free for the taking. Read my story about it HERE.

And for more information on the guy who inspired all this, head over HERE and read one of his essays HERE.