News Roundup - A forest will one day grow/Museum head steps down/Prove your bread pudding

A forest will one day grow

With the recent quiet purchase of 19 acres off Miller Road, the Bainbridge Island Land Trust is hoping to preserve a link between two island sanctuaries.

The property, which the Land Trust calls “Heart of the Forest,” forms an undeveloped corridor between the separated southern and northern sections of Grand Forest Park.

Like the Grand Forest, the Land Trust’s parcel is heavily wooded, including a fir tree estimated to be 150 years old. The property has a well maintained trail system; ponds on the property form the headwaters for Issei Creek, which is used by salmon.

As part of an arrangement with the seller, the land is not accessible but will eventually be opened to the public, Land Trust Executive Director Karen Molinari said.

“It’s a unique property,” Molinari said. “It will be a wonderful thing to add to the Grand Forest.”

The Land Trust took possession of the property last year, but it has through 2011 to finish making payments. According to Molinari the seller lowered his price $450,000 below its assessed value, leaving the Land Trust with $1.79 million to raise.

The Land Trust has already made close to $500,000 in payments and has pledges for another $870,000 over the next four years. The group will need to raise an additional $425,857.

The “Heart of the Forest” is only the fourth property bought by the Land Trust, which mostly holds preservation easements.

Molinari said the Land Trust will have a booth with information about the property at its annual meeting Friday, and fundraising for the acquisition will be a priority for 2008.

“It isn’t too far to go, but we need to get it done,” she said.

– Tad Sooter

Museum head steps down

Theresa Cosgrove has relinquished her post as executive director of the Bainbridge Island Historical Society, after two years leading the nonprofit.

The announcement was made by BIHS board of directors president Bernie Baker on Friday afternoon. He said the board had decided to move the society forward without a director position.

“At this point we are not actively looking for a new director,” Baker said. “We feel that the staff we have, with more involvement from the board, can fill that gap.”

Museum curator Lorraine Scott, administrative assistant Hank Helm, outreach coordinator Katy Curtis and facilities coordinator Rick Chandler will stay on staff.

Baker said the “An Island History” exhibit will continue through the winter and the society will be working to extend museum hours.

– Tad Sooter

Prove your bread pudding

Call it comfort food for a cause. This Friday evening at the third annual Bread Pudding Bake-Off, local bakers will strut their carb-laden stuff at the Island Gallery to benefit Helpline House.

“It makes everyone happy,” said Island Gallery’s Susan Roth. “And you know what else – everyone who comes in here and takes an entry form says they’re going to be the ones who win because they make the best bread pudding.”

Buoyed by that confidence, ten amateur and lay entrants, and a dozen more pending at press time, will deliver their best efforts to the gallery Friday afternoon.

Tasters offer up a dollar per bite; the pudding with the most chits at the end of the evening emerges victorious.

With plenty of spoons and wine on hand, Roth said some patrons engage in a feeding frenzy, hopefully remaining sober enough to get their tickets into the right cup. Others genteelly offer up a $20 bill and step back to watch the fracas. Favoritism is all part of the fun, and Chicago rules of voting apply.

“It’s hilarious,” Roth said.

Roth herself may enter a pudding, but added that being at the gallery all day before the event may preclude a fresh, piping hot effort. She said she’d rather sit the event out than put a gelatinous mess on the table.

Another prospective competitor hadn’t yet turned in her entry form because she was waiting for her thoughts to solidify.

“As long as it’s just her thoughts,” Roth said.

The Bread Pudding Bake-Off will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Island Gallery, 100-104 Madison Avenue. Deadline for entry forms is end of day today, Jan. 30. Puddings must arrive at the gallery no later than 5:30 p.m. Feb. 1. All proceeds benefit Helpline House. Call 780-9500 for details.

– Lindsay Latimore

Swapping wives in Kitsap

Tune in, Bainbridge. Tonight’s episode of Wife Swap will feature “McDonald/Robarge,” taking island native Sarina McDonald into upstate New York to swap families with a lumberjack while her counterpart goes to Suquamish to try her hand at burlesque dance.

The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight, Jan. 30, on ABC channel 4.

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