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News Roundup -- Pakistan relief effort ongoing/Women’s Club gives out funds/Shelter gets new name/Taking the ocean’s pulse

Pakistan relief effort ongoing

The Bainbridge Rotary Club and Clear Path International are asking islanders to reach deeper into their closets to help northern Pakistan’s earthquake survivors make it through the winter.

Realizing that many people already have given to hurricane and tsunami relief efforts, the organizations are appealing to the generous nature of their Bainbridge brethren.

“We’re not asking for a lot of sophisticated stuff,” said Imbert Matthee, Clear Path’s board president/co-founder and a Rotarian. “We really do appreciate things that are clean and useable.”

The relief drive is calling for the following items in good condition: blankets; sleeping bags; tents; tarps; ground sheets; linens; medium- and heavy-weight clothing; cold weather accessories such as hats, scarves and gloves; shoes; and boots.

Also needed are wool, sewing materials, fabric and general school supplies. Hand tools are the only equipment that will be accepted. No power tools, please, said Matthee, as there is no electricity.

Rotary and Clear Path volunteers will collect items between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Feb. 25 and 26 at Sakai Intermediate School, 9394 Sportsman Club Road.

Hill Moving & Storage will truck the goods to Clear Path’s warehouse in Seattle, from which they will be loaded into an ocean container alongside donated medical equipment and supplies.

Pak Relief & Development, a local relief group, will use the medical items to rebuild a hospital and a clinic in Mansehra. The Bainbridge donations will go to earthquake victims and local schools. A sewing training center will get the fabric and sewing materials.

A 7.6 earthquake that shook south Asia last October – just before winter set in – caused the damage. The mountainous northern region of Pakistan was hit especially hard. More than 73,000 people were killed and millions left homeless. Mountain villagers in need of help swamped the town of Mansehra, located about 20 miles from the quake’s epicenter.

The container that will carry Bainbridge donations is the second of at least two loads that Clear Path is sending to Mansehra. It has “a lot of bulky items, a lot of dead space. This is an opportunity for more stuff,” Matthee said.

The first container – jam packed with more than 60 boxes of surgical, orthopedic and operating room supplies – left for Pakistan on Feb. 3.

Clear Path is a nonprofit group that aids landmine accident survivors in Southeast Asia. Because it regularly has a surplus of medical supplies – including syringes, gauze, bandages, canes, crutches and walkers – from various donors, the organization can help people in other ways.

“We are able to do some good where it’s really needed,” Matthee said. “We also actually sent a couple of containers to Asia after the tsunami because we get stuff all the time.”

Since it began its medical relief effort, Clear Path has sent 60 containers with more than $4 million worth of supplies and equipment from North American donors to hospitals and clinics in 21 countries. The Pakistan relief effort is part of Clear Path’s hospital support program for countries affected by landmines.

Checks may be sent to Clear Path International, 321 High School Road, NE, No. 574, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

– Rhona Schwartz

Women’s Club gives out funds

The Bainbridge Island Women’s Club announced that about $4,000 raised from its 2005 quilt raffle last year was distributed to Helpline House, the Kids Discovery Museum, Bainbridge Island Special Needs Foundation, Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers and Furrytale Farm.

The quilt was made by members of the club with a pattern of several little houses. The quilt raffle has been an annual event for the club for 31 years. Its goal is to build community among members, but also raise money to give back to the community.

Shelter gets new name

For injured wildlife, any name would smell as sweet.

The Island Wildlife Shelter at Bloedel Reserve, which provides wildlife rehabilitation services, is changing its name to the West Sound Wildlife Shelter.

“This name change better ties in with our mission of striving to provide compassionate rehabilitation service to injured, sick and orphaned wildlife throughout all of Kitsap County,” Executive Director Kol Medina said. “We hope the name change helps the public realize that our services extend beyond the island boundaries.”

The shelter has been helping animals from all over Kitsap County at its current location on Bainbridge Island since 1999.

Demand for its services has increased each year as the number of human-wildlife encounters increases with human population growth. In 2005 alone, the shelter provided assistance to 577 animals.

“Since the West Sound Wildlife Shelter is the only medical facility of its kind in Kitsap County, we want people to know who to call when they need help with a hurt eagle, sick raccoon or orphaned squirrel,” Medina said. “Besides caring for wild animals, we have education and outreach programs that are available to school children and civic organizations.”

The shelter also facilitates resolutions to human and animal conflicts, providing guidance on how to humanely resolve situations, such as raccoons raiding bird feeders.

For more information, contact West Sound Wildlife Shelter at 855-9057 or www.westsoundwildlife.org.

Taking the ocean’s pulse

A daylong forum on March 4 co-sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council’s 2006 Humanities Inquiry, “Sharing an Ocean: Living on the Pacific Rim,” challenges participants to consider the human impact on the ocean’s health.

The event at IslandWood, which is a co-sponsor, brings in experts on deep ocean exploration, aquaculture, climate and oceanic studies for presentations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They include:

• 10-11 a.m.: Author Bradford Matsen gives a multimedia presentation based on his book “Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss,” about the earliest deep-ocean exploration by William Beebe and Otis Barton in the bathysphere.

• 11 a.m-noon.: Peter Granger, Ph.D., program leader for Marine Advisory Services in the Washington Sea Grant Program at the University of Washington, speaks on “The Pacific Ocean as Resource: Aquaculture.”

• Noon – 1 p.m. A screening of the film “Return of the Plankton” during the lunch break, which reveals the underwater world that surrounds Bainbridge Island. Produced by Bainbridge Island artist Cameron Snow with underwater videographer John F. Williams and science advisor Bruce Claiborne.

• 1-2 p.m. Amy Snover, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, talks on “Rhythms of Change: Climate Impacts on the Ocean”

• 2-3 p.m. Discussing “Oceans and Human Health” Usha Varanasi, Ph.D., director of Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, which is part of the National Marine Fisheries Service under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Cost (including lunch) is $35. Tickets are available at www.islandwood.org or 855-4300.

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