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News Roundup - BPA seeks a fund-raiser/BHS excels in math contest/IslandWood makes grade/Plant sale this weekend/Film explores Arctic politics

BPA seeks a fund-raiser

In anticipation of more productions and its upcoming 50th anniversary, Bainbridge Performing Arts has launched a search for a development director.

BPA is expanding its development office because “our productions are going to grow quite a bit,” said Christopher Shainin, managing director. “We will be expanding our chamber music series and developing several new series in theater, music and dance to promote the diversity of events on the island and in the community.”

Ticket sales pay for less than 50 percent of the productions, he said, adding, “We need to rely more and more on contributed income.”

The duties of the development director, a new position, encompass fund-raising, audience development – “reaching new audiences” – and creating relationships with the community. Additionally, the development director will oversee in-kind support and major gifts, among other duties.

“We are in the midst of planning for next year and we really need to get candidates in here,” said Shainin, citing the April 24 deadline for applicants.

The development director is a full-time position that reports to the managing director, works with the development committee of the board of trustees and manages a staff of three. For more information see www.theplayhouse.org.

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume and references to Christopher Shainin, Managing Director, Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 or cshainin@theplayhouse.org.

–Rhona Schwartz

BHS excels in math contest

Bainbridge High School has some of the best high school mathematicians in the country, as demonstrated by their 22nd-place finish in the 2006 Collaborative Problem-Solving Contest, a national mathematics contest administered by National Assessment & Testing.

While most math competitions encourage rote memorization, familiar problems and quick mental reflexes, this contest presents schools with 15 intricate problems to be solved over the course of a week.

Under the guidance of coach Joy Namtvedt Best, students worked together using brainstorming, collaboration, research and technology to solve the problems, gaining experience with skills that will be critical in college and their careers.

The 2006 Collaborative Problem-Solving Contest included creative problems accessible to students of all abilities, such as one asking teams to find good approximations for irrational numbers using the numbers one through nine at most once each.

Other problems on the test started out simply, but progressed to some very difficult conclusions.

One such problem involved storing a perishable substance so that a minimum amount of it is exposed to air.

The first part of this problem asked for the minimum exposed area if the substance was placed on a counter, which was fairly easy and required the students to find the surface area of a hemisphere.

However, later parts of the problem asked about packing the substance into a cone and a pyramid, which required calculation of “solid angles,” a topic that would require most high school students to do research to learn what to do.

BHS also was commended for having the highest score in the nation on one of the most difficult problems, which involved determining the area that a cow on a rope could graze in a field.

National Assessment & Testing administers high-quality mathematics competitions throughout the year that high schools can participate in through the mail.

IslandWood makes grade

IslandWood will expand its knowledge of experimental education – and gauge how well it’s doing – with a newly acquired $175,000 matching grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

Working with professional evaluators and experts in the field, the learning center will use the money “to develop innovative methods for assessing the effectiveness of experiential outdoor education for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders” and later release the findings in a “report card.”

Last school year, more than 4,000 children from almost 60 schools – including Wilkes, Blakely and Ordway elementary schools – participated in the 4-year-old facility’s programs.

Plant sale this weekend

Spruce up your corner of the island – and help others – by attending the Helpline House Earth Day Plant Sale.

Donated plants and craft items will be available for purchase from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22. Ann Lovejoy will dispense expert gardening advice between noon and 1:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited to tour the newly remodeled food bank at the Knechtel Way agency. Proceeds from the sale will help pay for this work.

As always, canned food donations are appreciated.

Film explores Arctic politics

How the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge connects to decisions America makes about its energy policy, transportation choices and other seemingly unrelated issues is examined in the film “Oil on Ice,” which will be screened at 3:30 p.m. April 23 at IslandWood.

Caught in the middle are the Gwich’in people and migratory wildlife. Anita Burke, former senior advisor of sustainability for Shell Worldwide, will discuss the film afterward.

This is a free event (suggested donation $5 per person) presented by IslandWood and the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network. Call 855-4300 for more information.

An intimate musical time

The premise of Simple Measures is simple: musicians travel to Puget Sound neighborhoods to perform classical chamber music. The settings are low-key and intimate, the music first-rate.

Grace Episcopal Church on Day Road East will host Simple Measures in concert from 7:30 to 10 p.m. April 22 for Bainbridge chamber music lovers.

Advance tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for students and seniors. Buy them online at www.simplemeasures.org/boxoffice/tickets.php or call 283-6058.

Tickets at the door are $27 for general admission and $22 for students and seniors.

For more information on Simple Measures, contact founder/artistic director Rajan Khrisnajswami at 283-3800 or rajan@simplemeasur.

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