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News Roundup -- Ballots to mail or missing?/Man hurt as car hits bus/State rejects election gripes/KRL enhances library service/Delve into your antiques/Mind o

Ballots to mail or missing?

If you haven’t received your ballots for Tuesday’s school bond and levy election yet, ask yourself: Did I move and not tell the county auditor?

Provisional ballots will be available at Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave., on March 14 for voters who didn’t receive one in the mail.

BPA is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to receive drop-off ballots or distribute provisional ballots – which must be filled out and turned in there.

If you are mailing your ballot, don’t cut it too close as they must be postmarked March 14 to be counted. If you drop yours in a mailbox on the 14th, make sure the last pickup has not yet been completed from that box. Or, for extra insurance, bring it to the window of the Winslow or Rolling Bay post offices.

Call the Kitsap County Auditor’s office at (360) 337-7128 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for more information.

Man hurt as car hits bus

A Poulsbo man suffered injuries to his face as airbags deployed when his vehicle collided head-on with a Bainbridge school bus early Wednesday.

There were no students on the bus at the time, and the bus driver was uninjured.

The collision was reported at 7:14 a.m. March 9, when a Mazda Protege traveling southbound on the highway near Koura Road struck a guard rail and careened into the oncoming lane.

The Mazda was totaled, but the bus was driven from the scene after an investigation by the Washington State Patrol.

Steven Albert Taylor, 34, of Poulsbo, who was driving the Mazda, was transported to the hospital for treatment.

There was heavy congestion while the roadway was closed, and traffic was detoured around the accident scene.

Cause of the accident is still under investgation, but police said alcohol did not appear to be a factor.

State rejects election gripes

The state will not investigate a complaint filed by a parent alleging that the Bainbridge Island School District illegally used public facilities to support the passage of the proposed construction bond and technology levy.

The parent, Jim Olsen of Soundview Drive, alleged that letters sent to local newspapers by school employees exceeded their right to speak publicly about the bond and levy, which appear on the March 14 all-mail ballot.

Voters Tuesday will decide a $45 million school construction bond and $6.1 million technology levy, both of which Olsen has opposed as “excessive.”

“All the letters are clearly lobbying pieces that clearly lead the viewer to see the letter as coming from the school in question and not a letter from the individual,” Olsen wrote in a formal complaint filed with the PDC in late February.

Olsen further claimed the letters may stem from a union-led effort and are coercive in tone.

“I (find) it illegal and unseemly for teachers to be telling others to VOTE YES rather than giving a reason why they are voting yes.”

On this count, the PDC told Olsen that school employees do indeed have the right to express their opinions. Further, the PDC found no evidence school district resources were used to create or send letters.

Olsen, who opposed a failed school technology levy last year, also alleged Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island) illegally used his “official state legislative title” to lobby in favor of the levy.

But the PDC found that Rockefeller was within his right to speak as a legislator on the use of public facilities.

Olsen also charged that levy supporters may have been involved in the theft of his anti-levy signs. The PDC responded that it has no jurisdiction over the matter, and advised Olsen to call his local police.

The PDC’s findings were announced in letters to Olsen and Bainbridge school officials this week. Contacted Friday, Olsen expressed dissatisfaction with the PDC’s refusal to investigate his allegations.

“This is the same PDC that made wildly divergent statements on facts,” Olsen said, when he requested the agency to investigate Mayor Darlene Kordonowy’s “impulse control” failures, particularly when she ordered the removal of anti-tech levy signs from public property last year.

“The PDC doesn’t want to find problems,” Olsen said. “I feel it’s the same with this. But what are you going to do? The people have already voted.

“Probably 90 percent of the vote’s in. It’s in the bag.”

– Tristan Baurick

KRL enhances library service

Kitsap Regional Library is adjusting or lengthening library hours at all branches and will offer live homework support via Tutor.com.

“We heard over and over that people expect the library to offer formal student learning support,” deputy director for support services Carol Schuyler said. “We’ve always seen ourselves as a secondary support for students, but in all the branch libraries people see our role as supporting students, so this is the way we can do it.”

The changes are a result of the library system’s survey of patrons at public meetings for its “Vision 2010” Strategic Plan for Kitsap Regional Library.

More than 1,000 individuals sent in comments through nine public meetings, many one-on-one community leader interviews and 959 library user surveys.

The homework help, starting in May, will be available from home or library computers. Tutors with expertise in math, science, English and social studies will be available via live online chat from 2 to 10 p.m. daily to help students from fourth grade through community college.

New library hours will begin on April 1 and affect smaller branches by extending their hours to be in line with large branches such as Bainbridge.

At Bainbridge, the changes will be fairly small, with closing times extended on Fridays and Saturday until 6 p.m. and closing a half hour earlier Monday through Wednesday.

New hours will be: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Survey results to the question of what patrons consider the library’s service priorities were as follows, with percentage response in parentheses: general information (66), formal learning support (55), current topics (52); lifelong learning (51) and basic literacy (50). The following response were not ranked high priority as the preceding ones were: information literacy (44; interpreted to mean use of the Internet), commons environment (42), community referral (41), government information (38), local history and genealogy (35), cultural awareness (35), consumer information (40) and business and career information (30).

Audrey Newell, KRL’s public relations person, said the results were in line with their expectations with the exception of “formal learning support,” which was much higher than expected while consumer, business and career information were much lower.

Other survey results showed overwhelming success of the “Books 2 Go” collection of recently released trade-paperback literature titles and a desire for bigger libraries.

Read the complete Vision 2010 plan at www.KRL.org.

– Tina Lieu

Delve into your antiques

Dusty antiques in your home or garage may have many tales to tell.

Six local experts in artifacts and antiques will be on hand from 2 to 4 p.m. March 19 at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum on Ericksen Avenue to look at possible treasures hidden in island homes.

While the experts will not assign monetary value to objects, they will provide information about an object’s age, condition and rarity and some insight into its history where possible.

Sign up for a 15-minute slot by March 17 to learn more about your antique tools, toys, wooden furnishings and Native American and Asian art and artifacts.

The event is part of the museum’s annual historical series.

“We thought people might have these things in their garage and be interested in what they were used for,” the museum’s executive director Theresa Cosgrove said.

The experts – who are volunteering their time – and their fields of expertise are:

• Bernie Figgins, a carpenter by profession who knows much about old tools, farm equipment and antique toys.

• Woodworker Dave Ullin will identify logging tools.

• Woodworker Carol Fiedler Kawaguchi, proprietor of C-Saw, specializes in antique restoration and repair.

• Nathan Lauer, owner of Mandalay Road Trading Company, specializes in Asian art and artifacts.

• John McKillop is a well-known authority on Native American art and artifacts, having been in the field for 35 years.

• Barbara Winther has studied and written about Native American baskets of California and the Southwest for years.

For reservations, call the museum at 842-2773.

– Tina Lieu

Mind over body image

Bainbridge Island healthcare practitioners will discuss the mind/body connection and the influence it has over women’s perceptions of their bodies in a seminar called “Healing the Body Image: A Workshop for Women.”

The seminar will take place from noon to 4 p.m. March 26 at Yoga & Beyond, 425 Ericksen Ave.

The speakers will focus on society’s distorted body image, ways to work through emotion to avoid overeating and enhanced body awareness and relaxation through yoga and guided meditation in all phases of women’s lives.

Participants should wear comfortable clothing suitable for moving. To pre-register, call Yoga & Beyond at 842-4395 by March 20. The cost is $40.

Facilitators include: Jillian Worth, M.D., a family physician, and Kelly Lawson, R.N., of the Virginia Mason clinic; psychotherapist Janie Burke; acupuncturist Annie Allender; naturopath Amy Turnbull; and yoga teacher Lee Gurreri.

For information call Kelly Lawson at 625-7373, ext. 67124.

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