Forums explore diverse community topics
By CONNIE MEARS
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
September 30, 2011 · Updated 1:03 PM
The Bainbridge community is known for being active and engaged, but a flurry of citizen-driven forums, roundtables and open-source brainstorming sessions is hitting the island this week.
Wednesday’s noon “Time Bank” gathering at OfficeXpats in the Pavilion attracted more than a dozen people interested in exploring the concept of sharing talents, expertise and effort with other community members. The group consisted of a lawyer, artists, educators, retirees, business owners and underemployed folks with experience and skills to contribute.
“There seems to be some traction on this idea,” said co-facilitator Kat Gjovak, who has also been instrumental in similar discussions with Resiliency Circles on the island.
The group, which is in an embryonic stage, meets at noon Wednesdays at OfficeXpats.
The library has been the venue for the long-standing “Speakers’ Series” and this year the topic will revolve around education.
To kick off the series, Bainbridge Island School District Supt. Faith Chapel and educator David Harrison ask the big questions about education, with the forum “Overviews, Trends, Challenges, and Possibilities for Public Education.”
What are the goals of education? How do we best prepare the students for the demands of work and society? How is success measured – for schools, teachers and students? How much funding is needed? And how do we fund it?
On Nov. 19, the series continues with “The Teachers’ View,” asking the questions: Why do we teach? What is it like to teach these days? The joys and challenges?
And finally, on Jan. 7, “The Community in the Schools” will look at how community groups are supporting education.
Backyard Forest Stewardship
Owning a home in the woods is a dream come true for many people and the island’s forested terrain offers that dream to many here. But living in a forested setting also presents unique challenges.
The Kitsap Regional Library is sponsoring a series of four workshops at which WSU Kitsap County Extension Forestry staff will teach you how to reduce the risk of fire, provide wildlife habitat, and improve the health of your trees and the forest floor.
The first workshop will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at Bloedel Reserve.
The Backyard Forest Stewardship workshops are part of KRL’s “One Book, One Community” reading of “The Big Burn,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Timothy Egan.
“The Big Burn” is the story of the 1910 wildfire that destroyed nearly 3 million acres in Idaho, Montana and northeastern Washington, and led to the formation of a strong U.S. Forest Service tasked with protecting the nation’s public lands.
For more information visit the KRL website at www.krl.org.
Last winter’s severe weather and subsequent power outages were a clear indication that more work can be done to prepare the island for emergencies of all kinds. And as an island in our particular region, Bainbridge is susceptible to earthquakes, severe storms and flooding which might result in the interruption of critical services such as power, water and communications.
Prepared Neighborhoods is a new citizen-led initiative from Sustainable Bainbridge to promote emergency preparedness for no-power and low-power situations at the neighborhood level.
On Monday, Bainbridge Island Fire Department Chief Hank Teran will lay out the five-year plan for the island. Other local leaders in emergency preparedness will discuss plans in place you can learn tips on preparing your home and neighborhood for emergency situations.
The meeting is from 7-9 p.m. Monday at the Bainbridge Commons, 402 Brien Dr.
For more information, visit www.sustainablebainbridge.org.
Local Food Roundtables
Food (air and water) are the basic necessities of life and some members of Bainbridge Island have been working hard to strengthen the island’s food system.
Local food producers, restaurants and food retailers, and the food-consuming public, which is – well, everyone – are invited to help answer the questions “What are the most important things we can do to strengthen Bainbridge Island’s food system, and how do we get them done?” in a series of Local Food Roundtables. Co-sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Grange and Sound Food, each session will focus on a specific aspect of the food system, with the goal of sharing information, developing priorities and identifying people willing to take action on those priorities.
The first session, “Our Regional Food System,” will be held from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Bainbridge Island Grange Hall. Former Bainbridge Island mayor Dwight Sutton, a member of the Puget Sound Regional Food Policy Council, will kick off the session by updating us on what the RFPC is working on, specifically as it relates to Bainbridge Island. After his remarks, there will be a general discussion about what can be done to strengthen our influence on and contribute to these efforts.
The Local Food Roundtable is a new program of Sound Food, an initiative of Sustainable Bainbridge. Future sessions will focus on each of these aspects of our local food system:
Production (land availability, community gardens, land sharing, etc.)
Processing (community kitchens, meat processing, Cottage Food Law)
Distribution (retail, schools, wholesale)
Consumption (marketing, cooking classes, etc.)
Waste (composting, gleaning, etc.)
Each roundtable will open with a speaker with expertise in that area, and then move on to a work session. Local Food Roundtables will be held on first Thursdays, from 7 – 9 pm, at the Bainbridge Grange Hall, 10340 Madison Ave. N. Stakeholders from many different groups have been invited to participate (producers as well as representatives from local government, schools, retailers, restaurants, and social service groups). The general public is also encouraged to attend.
Public Education at Library Speakers’ Series
In the first of a three-part series, Bainbridge Island School District Supt. Faith Chapel and David Harrison, senior lecturer at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, will present “Overviews, Trends, Challenges, and Possibilities for Public Education” from 10-11:30 a.m. Oct. 1 at the Bainbridge Public Library. For more information, visit www.krl.org.
Backyard Forest Stewardship workshops
The Backyard Forest Stewardship workshops are part of KRL’s “One Book, One Community” reading of “The Big Burn,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Timothy Egan. The first in the four-part series will be at 10 a.m. at Bloedel Reserve. For more information, visit www.krl.org.
Sound Food’s new monthly Local Food Roundtable
The first of Sound Food’s new monthly “Local Food Roundtables” will be from 7-9 p.m. the first Thursday of every month beginning Oct. 6, at the Grange Hall, 10340 Madison Ave. N. For more information, visit www.soundfood.org.
Bainbridge Prepared Neighborhoods
Prepared Neighborhoods is a new citizen-led initiative from Sustainable Bainbridge to promote emergency preparedness for no-power and low-power situations. The group will present from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 3 at Sustainable First Monday at the Bainbridge Commons, 402 Brien Dr. This initiative ties into and promotes the five-year emergency preparedness plan led by the Bainbridge Island Fire Department. Free. Learn what’s happening in the community and share your ideas for greater involvement in your own neighborhood. For more information, visit www.sustainablebainbridge.org or call 842-4439.
Bainbridge and North Kitsap Time Bank
This new explorative group meets at noon on Wednesdays at OfficeXpats, in the Pavilion, 403 Madison Ave. For more information, email email@example.com.
Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Connie Mears at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 842-6613.