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Drink in San Carlos poetry

In a work titled “San Carlos Poem,” Bob McAllister likens a poem to a drink, “like straight mescal with a splash of holy.”

And for the 24th year, local poets and poetry enthusiasts will gather at Winslow’s San Carlos Restaurant tomorrow afternoon to drink in the work of local poets.

The event has been in existence nearly as long as the restaurant, and always held in April in conjunction with National Poetry Month.

San Carlos owner Lee Jorgenson, whom emcee McAllister calls “the Medici of Bainbridge,” said the event partly grew out of his own state of being overworked.

“We had just started the restaurant, and we were so busy getting that up and running that I just didn’t have time to do much serious reading,” Jorgenson said. “And so I just stared reading poetry because it was shorter and concise and yet it was so communicative. It was just a great medium for me at the time.”

One of his favored writers during that period was Charles Bukowski, known for his free-spirited, foul-mouthed, Los-Angeles-flavored work. After learning about the poet’s “wild and crazy” L.A. readings, Jorgenson thought it would be fun to try his own version at the restaurant.

So he gathered McAllister, Karen Perry, John Davis, Nancy Rekow, Dick West and other “local luminaries.” The rest is history.

At the beginning, readings were held around 10 p.m. on Fridays, after the kitchen had closed. Jorgenson said occasionally diners would linger a little too long and find themselves overwhelmed by an onslaught of reading attendees.

“And then they felt too embarrassed to get up and leave,” Jorgenson said. “So they were exposed to art.”

These days, the reading takes place on Sunday afternoons. Anyone with a poem to share is welcome to sign up and read; at the same time, there’s no pressure on those who just want to be part of the audience.

Still, McAllister says the afternoon reliably offers poets and would-be poets a chance to debut new work out loud, a process he thinks is invaluable.

“You gotta get it out there and see what happens,” he said.

The 2008 San Carlos poetry reading will be held from 1-4 p.m. April 6 at the restaurant, 279 Madison Ave. Next up for poetry month is the second annual Bainbridge Island Poetry Slam, to be held Tuesday evening in the Bainbridge Performing Arts lobby.

For a complete listing of Poetry Month displays, events and activities, see www.artshum.org.

Island kudos in science, letters

A Bainbridge High School student will spend some time on the ice this summer.

Electra Magnuson was one of 10 students nationwide accepted into Earthwatch Institute’s 2008 Student Challenge Awards Program last week. The program is paying Magnuson’s way to assist Dr. Andrew Russell of Keele University in a study of an Icelandic glacier from June 30 to July 13.

The field research records the effects of glacier outburst floods, glacial surges and sediment transfer from glaciers in Iceland. The program is designed to enhance the student’s scientific knowledge while building their self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

Magnuson was chosen from 300 applicants from 31 states.

Six students were also recently honored for their writing.

The students were participants in Letters About Literature, a National Reading and Writing Promotional Program, in which students submitted letters to an author of their choice, living or dead, whose work changed the way they think about themselves and the world.

Ordway fourth graders Audrey Baker, Kamryn Coryell and Caroline Devlinj, along with eighth grader Chase McMahon from Woodward Middle School, were selected as semifinalists.

Baker wrote her letter to author Scott O’Dell in response to his book “Zia.” Coryell wrote to Erin Hunter for “A Dangerous Path.”

Devlinj used “Stargirl” as the basis for her letter to author Jerry Spinelli. McMahon wrote to Jeanette Walls for her book “The Glass Castle.”

Ordway Elementary students Brendan Bennett and Gregory Millican received honorable mention in the competition.

The honorees traveled to Olympia with their families over spring break to receive their awards.

Lions seek local chapter

Lions Clubs International of District 19C will be calling on island residents and business leaders over the next few weeks to recruit potential Lions for the purpose of establishing a Bainbridge chapter.

The international organization, with an estimated 1.3 million members in over 200 countries, carries the motto “We Serve.”

To that end, it has taken on service efforts worldwide including diabetes awareness, drug abuse prevention and recovery, environmental improvement, youth services and research on behalf of visually impaired individuals.

In that last arena, Lions have established eye banks, funded research into the causes of blindness, organized eyeglass recycling efforts and established programs to help visually impaired people develop life skills.

To learn more, visit www.lionsclubs.org.

Watch for 305 slide repairs

Slope stabilization will take place alongside State Route 305 near the Agate Pass Bridge next week, possibly causing short delays for motorists.

Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. April 7-11, crews will rebuild two sections of damaged slope by bringing in large rock to replace what slid from the area during last December’s storms.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said that for safety reasons, the work must take place during daylight hours. Although minimal traffic impact is expected, motorists should plan ahead and allow extra time to reach destinations. Drivers, for instance, may encounter intermittent stops while trucks hauling large rocks enter and leave the roadway.

For more information and traffic updates, call 511 or visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/.

Town forum rescheduled

The April 8 town forum to discuss a possible change in the island’s form of government has been rescheduled.

The event now will be held at 7 p.m. May 6 at the American Legion Hall on Bucklin Hill Road.

Community Events, April 2014

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