News Roundup - Record haul for the auction/Ferries spice up messagesFlorian named Woodward assoc. principal

Record haul for the auction

All those toys, tools, trinkets and toilets added up.

Gross revenue for the 2006 Rotary Auction and Rummage Sale is expected to exceed $380,000, Rotarians say, up from last year’s gross of $330,000.

Revenue from the two-day auction and rummage sale, held this past weekend at Woodward Middle School, should be around $300,000 after expenses, compared to last year’s net of $265,000, auction publicity chair Craig Jarvis said.

Rotarians announced the totals as they feted the event’s success at a post-auction picnic on Sunday.

Donations of items – and of volunteers’ time – were up in almost all departments.

Close to 1,000 volunteers participated over the 10 days it took to set up the event, including a mother and her five children and at least one person who has given time for each of the past 40 years.

Volunteers also came from other Rotary Clubs and some were even from out of state.

“Thanks go to the hundreds of volunteers who make it possible, to the thousands of residents and businesses who donated items and services, and to all the folks who came out to enjoy the day, to buy the merchandise, and who make Rotary’s work possible,” said Charlie Averill, president of the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club.

Proceeds from the annual event will fund charitable projects on Bainbridge Island, as well as several relief efforts sponsored by Rotary in Third World countries.

Ferries spice up messages

When Gov. Christine Gregoire speaks, people sit up and listen.

Then they wonder what the heck she’s doing telling ferry riders to pay attention to the security announcement that follows.

A host of local celebs – including gardening guru Ciscoe Morris and Dave Niehaus, voice of the Mariners – have injected their personalities into the otherwise dry security admonishments heard on the ferries daily.

That’s precisely the point of the new announcements, which the Washington State Ferries began broadcasting last week on the Seattle-to-Bainbridge and Seattle-to-Bremerton runs in an attempt to grab people’s attention.

“The security announcements were getting to be old hat,” said Susan Harris-Huether, WSF spokeswoman. “It was a group decision to make these more exciting.”

The call for different voices came from within WSF and the governor herself. The WSF training department thought about using celebrity imitators, but disrecarded that idea.

“It’s a little too much on the lighter side,” said the department’s Brian Twietmeyer. “The safety and security of the passengers is a serious thing.”

Some riders are not amused. A few have told WSF they think it’s inappropriate for the governor to lend her voice to such an announcement. Others complain about the interruption to their morning commute.

And there are a few ferry-goers who wish the whole announcement thing would disappear.

That won’t happen, since the ferry system is required by law to broadcast security announcements on every run. Although there are people who can recite the message verbatim, they have to remember that not all WSF’s riders are regular commuters.

These negative comments delight the WSF because it shows passengers are paying attention.

“People who are happy don’t seem to give us positive feedback,” Twietmeyer said. “People are obviously listening to them and we’re accomplishing what we want.”

Kevin Calabro, the Seattle Sonics’ play-by-play announcer, is a favorite in the WSF training department and among passengers. Also heard are Seattle radio personalities Jane Shannon and Dave Ross, and John Curley, host of King 5’s Evening Magazine.

The announcements are being shuffled to keep people listening.

Harris-Huether acknowledges that eventually riders will disregard these voices, which is why the training department already is working to add to the mix. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and other local sports figures are possibilities.

Training administrator Craig Carvall gets the credit – or the blame – for bringing the necessary equipment into the digital age and getting people in his department to canvas various radio and television personalities to make the announcements.

Twietmeyer is surprised they agreed to do so. And how serious they were about it.

“Kevin Calabro’s style is a little wild. He read through the various iterations and had only one slight stumble without a rehearsal,” Twietmeyer said. “He took it very seriously. He said, ‘This is a serious announcement.’ We had to encourage him to really have fun with it.”

The pumped-up announcements are making their way onto more ferry routes and eventually will be heard on them all.

An added benefit is that, in redoing the equipment, the voices now come out crisp and clear.

“People like to say, ‘Hey, I know those voices. Let’s listen and see how they do this one,’” Twietmeyer said.

Then all they have to do is follow what Ciscoe says: enjoy the trip and “don’t forget to eat your brussels sprouts.”

– Rhona Schwartz

Florian named Woodward assoc. principal

The school district administrative shuffle continues.

Mike Florian has left his current position as a math teacher at Bainbridge High School to become the new associate principal at Woodward Middle School.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this vital position,” said principal Mary Alice O’Neill.

O’Neill and Florian worked together at BHS for two years, duing her time as associate principal there.

“I started my career at the middle school level and have always enjoyed this age group,” Florian said.

Florian is the latest in a series of changes in district administration, including the hire of Robert Lewis, who will succeed Glen Robbins as principal at Ordway Elementary School.

Florian has logged 27 years with the district, teaching at Commodore Middle School before moving to BHS, where he also served as interim associate principal.

In addition to his BHS teaching duties, Florian was the school’s math department chair, the head volleyball coach and the assistant boys basketball coach and oversaw several clubs.

He also was the computer club adviser, the computer coordinator and the webmaster.

He earned both his B.A. and Master’s degrees in School Administration in 1982 from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.

Florian succeeded Matt Vandeleur at Woodward.

For information call (360) 697-6095.

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