Monthly Archives: March 2013

A science fair, Gangnam Style

Wilkes Elementary School teachers took a page from PSY’s playbook and used a little Gangnam Style to promote the school’s spring science fair.

We’ll give these educators an A for effort. Not only did they nail the horse dance, they also managed to outline the entire application process without losing their groove.

The video is below for your Friday afternoon viewing pleasure. We eagerly await a Harlem Shake remix.

Friday preview: Bainbridge edition

Little LambsHere’s the Friday preview: Bainbridge edition for March 29. Feel free to give your own events a plug in the comment section below. Above, a pair of lambs and their mother enjoy some sunshine Tuesday in a field off Madison Avenue NE. (Meegan Reid photo)

0329_BI_01Weather: We don’t want to jinx it, but the National Weather Service is predicting a very pleasant weekend. Sunshine and highs in the 60s are expected today, Saturday and Sunday.

Sports: It will be a quiet weekend for the Spartans. The boys soccer team defends its home turf at 6 p.m. tonight against Chief Sealth. And that’s about it.

See a full Spartans schedule here and follow the Sun’s Prepzone on Facebook for updates.

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Island Road History | Grow Avenue

Street of the Week: Grow Avenue

Location: Runs north/south between Winslow Way and High School Road

History: Grasshoppers drove Ambrose Grow to Bainbridge Island. Grow, a Civil War veteran, left his home of Kansas after reading a New York newspaper article about “beautiful Bainbridge Island.” (The article was supposedly written by Riley Haskinson, an early settler of Eagle Harbor.) The Northwest locale, Grow hoped, would mean fewer bugs to contend with every year.

In 1881, Grow and his wife Amanda moved west with six of their children (older sons Frank and W.M. joined their parents later). The family started the long journey with a wagon train but ran into difficulties as their traveling money ran out. Eventually though the Grows made it safely to the shores of Bainbridge where they played a prominant role in the island’s early history.

Among other contributions, the Madrone School was built on land donated by Grow; his youngest daughter, Carrie, was the school’s first teacher.

The family patriarch died in 1909, at the ripe old age of 84 leaving behind a whole new crop of Grows.

Source: “Bainbridge Through Bifocals,” Elsie Frankland Marriott, 1941.

This occasional Islander series explores the history of island street names, as compiled by Elinor Ringland and fellow Bainbridge Island Historical Society volunteers.  If you have an island road story to share, email Ringland at

Friday preview: Bainbridge edition


Here’s the Friday preview: Bainbridge edition for March 22. Feel free to give your own events a plug in the comment section below. Above, reigning Metro League MVP Katie Raben leads the Spartans in their quest for another fastpitch state tournament appearance. (Meegan Reid photo)

3.22.islanderWeather: Our wild weather should mellow out today. We can expect some sunshine this weekend according to the National Weather Service, but cold temperatures will stick around.

Sports: Softball plays Mount Si at home today at 3:30 p.m., led by reigning Metro League MVP Katie Raben. Water polo hosts Bellevue at 4 p.m.

Baseball and softball both play at home Monday and Tuesday with games against Nathan Hale and Bishop Blanchett.

See a full Spartans schedule here and follow the Sun’s Prepzone on Facebook for updates.

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Septic work underway at Fay Bainbridge; trailer dump closing



A long-awaited septic upgrade is underway at Fay Bainbridge Park this week. The $57,000 project will replace the park’s old and fragmented septic systems with a single system less prone to flooding.

Two new drain fields have been dug into the berm above the beach and will serve all the buildings in the park.

The park remains open, though it may be closed to vehicle traffic intermittently during the project.

The park district is shutting down its trailer dump service at the park because the new septic system is not designed to handle chemicals from recreational vehicles. The district recommends RV campers use other Kitsap dump facilities including nearby Eagle Tree RV Park in Poulsbo.

Fay Bainbridge was once in line for a much grander and wastewater treatment plant while it was still a state park. Those plans never materialized. The contract for the new septic system was awarded to Northwest Cascade Inc. last month.

For more information, contact Mike Mejia at (206) 842-3931 or The district is also seeking input from Fay Bainbridge users with a beach ecology survey.



Islander is ‘The People’s Best New Chef’

blog.mcgill2Bainbridge Island’s Brendan McGill beat out chefs from around the nation Tuesday to win the title of “The People’s Best New Chef” from Food & Wine Magazine. McGill is the owner of Hitchcock restaurant on Winslow Way and the accompanying charcuterie and deli.

The Food & Wine competition featured chefs from 10 regions across the United States. Online voting was open March 11-18.

In his Q&A for the contest, McGill credited local farmers with shaping his cooking style:

 “The farmers really drive the menu. I just buy what they give me… It’s of the moment.” Truly, though, “This is more like what Jacques Pépin’s mom did than some kind of revolution.”

We featured Hitchcock in the Islander in 2011. You can read the story below:

Hitchcock — Bainbridge Islander 9.30.11 by tsooter

Friday preview: Bainbridge edition


Here’s the Friday preview: Bainbridge edition for March 15. Feel free to give your own events a plug in the comment section below. Above, a balcony view of The Waypoint from the evolving Bainbridge Island Museum of Art building. (Meegan Reid photo)

0315_BI_01Weather: We’re looking at showers today through the weekend, mostly in the afternoons, according to the National Weather Service. Daytime highs will hover in the low 50s.

Sports: Girls water polo hosts Inglemoor at 4 p.m. today. Boys lacrosse plays at home against Skyline at 7:30 p.m. Baseball plays Saturday with an 11 a.m. home game against Bremerton. The rest of the Spartans squads play away this weekend.

See a full Spartans schedule here and follow the Sun’s Prepzone on Facebook for updates.

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Police Blotter: Head-on collision leads to drunken driving arrest


Police arrested a Suquamish woman for drunken driving on March 7 after her Scion collided head-on with a Ford pickup on Madison Avenue just west of Highway 305. Witnesses told police the woman was driving erratically before her vehicle crossed the centerline and hit the truck. The woman and the driver of the truck were transported to a hospital for evaluation.

Also this week, a New Sweden Avenue woman accused a neighbor of making barking noises to incite her dogs, and a beer bandit was foiled by a grocery store employee.

The blotter is below:

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School district responds to continued Spanish Immersion criticism

The Bainbridge Island School District and Bainbridge Schools Foundation each responded this week to continued criticism of the Spanish Immersion Pilot Project at Commodore Options School.

As we reported last month, some Bainbridge parents questioned the process used to create and fund the pilot (known as El Velero this year). Calls for greater transparency continued at a Feb. 28 world language forum, while other parents spoke in support of the program.

Following the forum, a well-circulated letter from parent Kim Paulson accused the district of colluding with the Schools Foundation to funnel private donations to the program:

Instead of being open about their intentions and avoiding backlash, BISD created SI with a lack of communication, financial transparency, and due process. The school district and foundation should be held accountable for these shortcomings and work to earn the public trust once more.

School board President Mike Spence and Supt. Faith Chapel offered this detailed and direct rebuttal to Paulson’s letter Tuesday:

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Turnout light, media attention heavy for first day of BIPD gun disposal event

From left, evidence technician Jennifer Cooper, Lt. Chris Jensen and Reserve Officer Mark Crowthers examine ammunition turned in by a Bainbridge resident Monday. (Tad Sooter photo)

Larry of Bainbridge Island found an unwelcome heirloom while cleaning out a family home Monday morning. Inside a box, tucked away in a closet, Larry discovered a collection of bullets and shotgun shells. The ammunition looked old and corroded.

“It scared the heck out of me,” said Larry, who declined to give his last name. “I thought, whoa, I’d better get rid of this.”

A phone call and a few hours later, Larry was handing the box of ammunition over to Bainbridge Police. The department held a firearms and ammunition disposal event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. The program will continue Tuesday from 3-7 p.m. The event is open to anyone who wishes to participate and isn’t limited to Bainbridge residents. But if you do not wish to participate, you might as well read some of these firearm reviews and guides on how to use firearms safely and responsibly.

gun.turn.inThe department will destroy all guns and ammunition turned in. “Nearly a dozen” AR-10 rifles and about 1,600 rounds of ammunition were dropped off Monday, evidence technician Jennifer Cooper said. A definitive count will be taken following the Tuesday evening session.

Cooper said the motivation for the event is to help people safely dispose of unwanted ammunition and keep firearms from being stolen or falling into the wrong hands. About 70 firearms were stolen in Kitsap County in 2012, according to the department.

“Now we don’t know where those guns are,” Cooper said.

A handful of private gun buyers lingered near the entrance to the police department Monday and attempted to intercept people dropping off firearms and ammo. Among the buyers was Joe of Port Ludlow, who also declined to give a last name. Joe said he hadn’t made any purchases Monday but was glad to not see many firearms being turned in.

“It’s a good thing they aren’t bringing them down,” Joe said. “They should keep them.”

Turnout for the turn-in was light Monday but media attention was heavy. Two Seattle television stations covered the turn-in, along with local news outlets.

Larry, who was unaware of the event before he called the department that morning, found himself propositioned by gun buyers and photographed by reporters as he handed in his box of shells.

“I didn’t realize it was going to be such a big thing,” he said as he hurried back to his truck.

The police department is located at 625 Winslow Way East. For more information on the disposal event call (206) 842-5211.

Island Road History | Boulder Place

Street of the Week: Boulder Place

Location: Runs east/west off Rockaway Bluff Road

History: Excavators met a rocky start when constructing roads in this part of Bainbridge Island back in 1996.

As the native woodlands were upturned, rocks of all shapes and sizes slowed down construction, but it was one particular boulder that required reinforcements be called in.

A mammoth bulldozer arrived on the scene to move the troublesome rock. For 600 feet, the machine pushed and it shoved, it revved and it rolled until finally that burden of a boulder came to a stop at the entrance of the street.

Now the rock rests like nature’s own gatekeeper, inspiring the street’s name and offering a handy landmark for all to navigate by.

Sources: Bill and Karen Meyer.

This occasional Islander series explores the history of island street names, as compiled by Elinor Ringland and fellow Bainbridge Island Historical Society volunteers.  If you have an island road story to share, email Ringland at