Q&A with the candidates/Drain mapping project begins/Edible gardens go on tour/KiDiMu gets Comcast boon/Car Cruise-In for backpacks/Test drilling on Winslow Way

Q&A with the candidates

City Council candidates will answer questions from a moderator and the audience at a forum on Sept. 11 at the American Legion Colin Hyde Post on Bucklin Hill Road.

The 7:30 p.m. question-and-answer period will be preceded by and informal “meet and greet” at 6:30 p.m., at which community members can speak with the candidates.

Audience questions will be gathered in writing prior to the beginning of the program, or can be submitted via email at

Island resident and Kitsap News Group county reporter Charles Bermant will moderate.

To encourage detailed responses, organizers of the event have said it will be formatted to allow for longer answer periods than previous forums.

This will be the first time since last month’s primary narrowed the election field to four that candidates will publicly discuss local issues.

Participating in the event from the Central Ward are incumbent Bill Knobloch and John Waldo; Kim Brackett and Curt Winston will be on hand from the South Ward.

The other two seats up for election will be filled by Barry Peters and Hilary Franz, neither of whom will be contested in November.

Drain mapping project begins

Wanted: investigators to track down the city’s sprawling drainage features.

The Bainbridge Island Watershed Council and the city’s Public Works Department are enlisting volunteers to help city staff members map all culverts, storm water detention ponds and other elements of the island’s drainage system.

The mapping is part of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit program outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency and administered by the state Department of Ecology to control water contamination by regulating and monitoring sources of potential toxins.

Thorough mapping of water flows allow cities and government agencies the means to track down the source of pollutants making their way into the Puget Sound.

“This is a complicated project, because there are so many facilities to map,” Water Resources Engineer Melva Hill said. “We have four years to map the entire island. Without the internal resources to do so, we have to figure out a way to make that happen with volunteers.”

It’s a large task to accomplish, Hill admits, and Bainbridge is at a disadvantage compared to other municipalities in the area.

“Since Bainbridge is an incorporated city we have to map the entire island even though some of the outlying areas are more like a county,” she said. “Poulsbo, Kingston, Bremerton, they only have to map the city proper.”

Groundwork for the project will begin this fall with a preliminary training session to take place in mid-September.

Volunteers will work in two- hour shifts alongside a city employee or intern. Beginning at a point where water empties into the Puget Sound, they will follow the piping system upstream through each structure and branch of that system, making sketches and global positioning system identification points.

“It’s like an investigation,” Hill said. “Eventually you will have all these fingers drawn on a map that will all come back to one discharge point.”

All the mapping will be done in a geographic information system format using Topcon GPS 2 equipment that will submit accurate positioning information to the Department of Ecology.

All volunteers will work on public throughways, although eventually the city will try to map public systems that traverse private lands – with landowners’ permission.

The only condition under which there will be access to private land is if mapping teams find pollutants in waterways that need to be traced back to their source.

“During the inspection process if we find something being discharged that is illegal, we’ll have to track it, locate it, and find out who’s doing it and find the mechanism to require them to disconnect or change the problem,” Hill said.

Those interested in mapping the Bainbridge drainage system must attend a training session on Sept. 20 and should call 855-4959 for more information.

– Sean Roach

Edible gardens go on tour

It’s your chance to explore, and taste, delicious island produce during the second annual Gardens with a Purpose tour Sept. 22.

The trip, designed to highlight island plots that produce food locally, features three edible gardens that offer innovative farming techniques participants can use in their own backyards.

Sponsored by the Natural Landscapes Project, Bainbridge Island Watershed Council and Sustainable Bainbridge, the tour will conclude with a tasting of chef-prepared food from the gardens and a discussion about ways to jump-start food production and start growing your own meals.

Key locations include Winslow Cohousing’s garden, with its outdoor composting toilet used exclusively as an odor-free, pest-free system that breaks down all of the kitchen scraps, even meat, for 30 families.

The Griffin garden, with its innovative rainwater harvesting system complete with two cisterns, a pond and a recirculation pump driven by a homemade windmill of cloth and bamboo, will also be on tour.

And the Tani Creek Farm puts gardening into a new perspective by treating cultivated land as a single living organism, where all parts contribute to the health of others.

Participants will learn about different ways to design garden spaces, select the best seeds, make compost, control pests organically, water efficiently and extend the growing season. All of the gardens use organic methods.

Kitsap Transit buses will transport the participants to the three gardens from 1 to 4 p.m. The discussion and tasting will follow at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, until 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8, payable on the day of the tour. Students are free. Bus seating is limited so pre-register, or get more information, by calling 842-4439.

KiDiMu gets Comcast boon

Comcast has joined with the Kids Discovery Museum to take hands-on learning to schools. The communications company has stepped up to sponsor three popular traveling KiDiMu exhibits: the Math Investigations Kit, Amazing Magnets and the World Market.

Through the programs, classrooms are transformed into exhibits that children can explore first-hand as they learn and play.

KiDiMu staffers anticipate that with the expense of traveling for field trips, many schools will value the option of having KiDiMu come to them.

“Comcast has an incredible history of giving back to communities and we are so appreciative of our valuable partnership,” KiDiMu Executive Director Cheryl Dale said. “Last year Comcast provided free passes to the Kids Discovery Museum, enabling access to all families in the area. This year’s sponsorship extends our mission further into the county through bringing traveling exhibits to school children.”

Car Cruise-In for backpacks

The convergence of classic cars, trucks and motorcycles in the First Baptist Church parking lot became a familiar Tuesday night sight this summer.

What passers-by might not have realized is that along with raising the profile of vintage cruisers, organizer Jim Peek has used the proceeds from the regular event’s concession sales to raise money for Helpline House’s Project Backpack.

To cap off the summer, Peek has concocted a final cruise-in and family potluck from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 8, once again in the church parking lot. So dust off your finest steed and bring a dish to share; Peek will provide the burgers. Concession proceeds will once again go to Project Backpack; attendees also have the option of bringing backpacks and school supplies to donate.

For more information about the potluck, contact Peek at (206) 817-5879 or

Test drilling on Winslow Way

Test drilling with small equipment will occur from 3 to 10 p.m. Sept. 10 on Winslow Way.

The renovation of Winslow Way, proposed to begin in Spring 2009, will replace all utilities and pavement between highway 305 and Grow Avenue on Winslow Way.

A crew doing investigative work in this area will be taking samples of the ground under the street. Monday’s work is scheduled to cause as little disruption to the normal flow of traffic and parking as possible.

Contact the City’s project manager, Chris Wierzbicki, at 780-3715 with questions.

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