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News Roundup – Budget talks begin tonight/Adult living session today/BHS cancels assembly

Budget talks begin tonight

Last year, City Councilors spent some 80 hours hammering out the city budget.

This year, they hope to finish the same task in about 10 hours.

“It would be very progressive to get it all done in that amount of time,” said City Finance Director Elray Konkel. “Historically, we’ve spent a lot of time in the all-day meetings going back and forth.”

Konkel said there were nine, eight-hour meetings last year, along with three shorter evening sessions. This year, budget discussions will happen in workshops prior to regular City Council meetings.

The first such session is scheduled for tonight at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. The schedule includes 30 minutes of public comment and an hour of council discussion.

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy unveiled the preliminary $55.3 million budget last week. The document can be viewed at the city’s website.

– Chad Schuster

Adult living session today

When special education students in the Bainbridge Island School District graduate from high school, they aren’t suddenly cut loose unprepared for the world.

Instead, another network of support systems come into play in the form of the district’s Adult Living Program.

The program, which operates as part of the school district, assists 18- to 21-year-old students with disabilities in a number of transitional capacities as they enter the adult world.

BISD will tonight hold an information session, “Life After High School,” about the variety of adult living services available to students and their families.

The Adult Living Program, located off-campus in Winslow, follows a modified school calendar and helps students develop work skills, such as how to seek, secure and maintain employment, the ultimate goal being to find employment or alternative means for each student to contribute in the community.

Following his or her Individualized Education Program, each student in the program also works on social and life skills as needed. District staff work as a team with the students, their families, employers, adult service agencies, and community members to provide meaningful and relevant services.

Clayton Mork, assistant superintendent in instructional support services, will facilitate tonight’s session, at which professionals from numerous agencies in Kitsap County including the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Olympic College, West Sound Skills Center Program, WorkSource, Job Corps and Social Security will give brief presentations about the resources their organizations provide, and then remain available for questions.

The session runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Sakai Intermediate School library.

Adult Living Program Coordinator Barbara Brewis said that while the event is targeted toward families whose students are in grades seven and above, it’s never too early to learn about the program’s services.

“We encourage families to start thinking about transition early on, and to just be familiar with what’s out there,” she said.

– Lindsay Latimore

BHS cancels assembly

A Bainbridge High School homecoming assembly scheduled for the morning of Oct. 5 was cancelled after students came to homecoming week theme days dressed in costumes that administrators felt were disruptive and inappropriate.

According to Bainbridge Island School District spokesperson Pam Keyes, principal Brent Peterson decided not to hold the assembly after a number students attended “hero” and “Harry Potter” theme days in costumes that were either belittling to other school districts or gang inspired.

In an email sent to the students and parents, Peterson said students spent the time allotted for the rally discussing issues of integrity and “what it means to contribute to a safe and respectful community” with their teachers.

Peterson wrote that he was pleased with the understanding response from students and that it had been a learning opportunity.

Keyes said Peterson was flooded with emails and calls from students and parents after making his decision Thursday.

“I think it took courage and awareness that this needed to be addressed to let students know that there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed,” Keyes said.

The rest of homecoming week went smoothly, including “toga day” on Friday.

– Tad Sooter

The pumpkin walk cometh

The Harvest Fair has come and gone, the pumpkins are cut and ready to gather at Suyematsu Farms’ Day Road field, and the annual Bainbridge Gardens pumpkin walk is on the way.

Drivers heading anywhere via Miller Road on the evenings of Oct. 19 and 20 will find the going extremely slow. The event, now in its 14th year, generally draws hundreds of costumed wee ones and their families.

The evening features a magical and easily traversable trail of pumpkins, each carved by young volunteers; harvest light displays; a harvest maze; music; a bouncy house; face painting; and photos with the Great Pumpkin, along with all manner of sustenance for sale.

Admission to the pumpkin walk is free, but suggested donations for each attraction go to the Bainbridge Boys and Girls Club.

The pumpkin walk takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20 at Bainbridge Gardens, 9415 Miller Road.

Dress for the weather; costumes are optional but far more fun. Call 842-5888 for info.

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