Monthly Archives: January 2012

VIDEO: How Bainbridge cut its energy use

RePower Bainbridge from Climate Solutions on Vimeo.

Bainbridge’s efforts to curb energy use was highlighted in a video produced by Olympia-based Climate Solutions.

In it, former councilwoman Hilary Franz describes the RePower Bainbridge campaign and its success in getting residents to boost home energy efficiency.

Climate Solutions also highlighted similar efforts in Bellevue and Libby, Montana through their Solutions Stories video series.

LA Times writer who called us “snow wimps” is actually a Bainbridge Islander

Locals fumed over the headline.

“Snow wimps: Seattle is shut down by first real snow of the season,” read a Wednesday blog post in the Los Angeles Times’ Nation Now section.

Being called a wimp is bad enough, but what made it worse was that it came from LA, a place where the biggest weather danger is easily overcome with sunscreen.

Kim Murphy

“Why ya gotta hate?” @SEASteph1327 tweeted in response to the LA Times post. “Jealous we’re still happier?”

Kim Murphy, the Times reporter who wrote the story, was quick to respond.

“I don’t hate! I moved here didn’t I?” she tweeted back.

That’s right – the one who taunted us is one of us.

Murphy lives on Bainbridge Island and serves as the Times’ Northwest correspondent.

In her post, she called Seattle a “clueless” city that “always marches unarmed in its infrequent battles with snow.”

The region’s snow wimps do so, Murphy wrote, in “politically correct small cars” that spend the morning “sliding ineffectually.”

Then, with their wimpy cars quietly gathering snowflakes, snow wimps quickly forget all about being productive at work. They retreat into snow wimp pursuits, like sledding, coffee drinking and book reading.

Murphy was a guest on KUOW this morning for a discussion about her snow wimp topic.

She complained about being “severely abused” by the region’s snow wimps after her post went up.

Fortunately for Murphy, snow wimp abuse is limited to icy emails.

“I can’t tell you how much hate mail I’ve received,” she told KUOW host David Hyde.

Apparently, the snow wimps have had an impact.

Murphy softened her stance, saying she wrote the post when the snowfall was relatively light. Now that a few inches have settled in, we have cause for wimping out.

“Today is a very serious situation,” she said. “It’s with freezing rain and ice and snow on ice …. it’s just been really bad. Everybody’s allowed to be a wimp when it’s like that.”

Snow blankets Bainbridge Island

Almost five inches of snow blanketed the island on Wednesday, shutting down schools, cancelling city meetings and keeping many slick roads clear of traffic.

As of 5 p.m., the Bainbridge Island Fire Department had responded to just three weather-related calls.

“People stayed indoors and limited their driving, and I think that helped,” Fire Chief Hank Teran said.

The only reported vehicle accident was a Tuesday night rollover on New Brooklyn Road. The family inside the vehicle suffered no injuries, according to Bainbridge police.

Teran said someone suffered a fractured ankle due to a snow-related fall.

Firefighters responded to a report of power lines down on Lafayette Avenue.

No significant power outages were reported, and no roads were closed.

Teran said the department was bracing itself for the evening commute, when driving conditions could be more difficult.

A light dusting of snow is predicted for late Thursday morning.

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Bainbridge rider wins another national title

Bainbridge Islander Zach McDonald struck a confident one-wheeled pose (see above) as he crossed the finish line to win yet another another national cyclocross title on Saturday.

McDonald managed to finish the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships U23 race more than two minutes before the second-place finisher, and he did it with relatively clean spandex – a rarity for a winter sport where slips and spills are par for the muddy course.

McDonald’s clean clothes underscore what makes him one of the nation’s best cyclocross riders – uncanny poise on slick, uneven surfaces.

Velo News reports that it was a “a perfect course” for McDonald, a rider “renowned for his technical abilities.” The Bend, Ore. course was “muddy, rutted, and greasy, with a couple of fast downhills and tricky corners that had racers flying into the tape all day long.”

McDonald used one of the corners to ease past the race’s initial frontrunner, who couldn’t handle the curves with equal grace.

For more about McDonald, read Annette Griffus’ Kitsap Sun profile from last January.

PHOTO: Wil Matthews, Velo News

Police blotter: “You hit me in the head with an unregistered gun!”


This week, a Bainbridge man cleared a New Year’s Eve party by waving a gun around and pointing it at his head. His girlfriend whacked him on the forehead with the gun, eliciting the response “You hit me in the head with an unregistered gun!”

Also this week, a woman was assaulted on a boat in Eagle Harbor and a skin care device sparked a bomb scare.

The blotter’s below…

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Reviving “A History of Bainbridge Island”

Eagle Harbor Book Co. is reviving one of the most wide-ranging books about Bainbridge Island history.

Written by Katy Warner in 1968, “A History of Bainbridge Island” was printed about a half-dozen times before its last printing in 1992. While several books about Bainbridge history have focused on a specific topic or community, such as Croatian immigrant fishermen (“Let It Go, Louie”), the early development of Port Blakely (“Port Blakely: The Community Captain Renton Built”) or Filipino farmers (“Island Grown”), Warner’s book aims to tell a broader island story.

“We felt strongly there needs to be better access to this book,” longtime Eagle Harbor Book Co. employee Mary Gleysteen told me last week for a story I did on her retirement.

Gleysteen’s Eagle Harbor colleagues credit her for pushing the bookstore to republish the 68-page book. It has a new cover, a few footnoted updates and explanations about language usage (“squaw,” for example, is now considered derogatory and is no longer in common usage).

Warner’s outlook on historic events, writing style, and the fact that she would even call Native American woman “squaws” makes the book itself an interesting artifact, Gleysteen said.

“It’s a historic document on its own,” she said. “It’s really dated, and it’s sort of quaint in its writing and attitudes.”

“A History of Bainbridge Island” ranges over various Bainbridge communities, including the Port Madison and Port Blakely mill towns, Creosote and Fort Ward. It also has chapters on the Mosquito Fleet, an Indian princess who married a Slovak sailor and the time when outlaw Harry Tracy took an island family hostage.

Warner wrote the book after several third grade teachers suggested she put together a simple island history that school kids could read on their own.

The Bainbridge Island School District produced the first edition for its social studies classes.

Bainbridge Friends of the Library owns the rights to the book and have produced several of the subsequent editions.

In 2009, the Bainbridge Historical Museum put the book online (Google it and then get ready for several PDF downloads).

Eagle Harbor Book Co.’s edition is available for $20 at the Winslow Way store or on its website.