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Water supply just part of sensible use

"Take longer showers!Leave that garden hose running!Flush, flush away!Indeed, it's hard to know just how to respond to a long-awaited consultant's report on the island's water supply, which says Bainbridge Island has enough water to meet residents' demands well into the future. As reported elsewhere in this issue, we are now assured that even a population of 100,000 (!) could be sustained by the aquifers beneath our feet.Should we then give up any pretext of conservation, and leave the taps wide open? We humbly suggest not. While supply may seem plentiful, islanders will long be vexed by the willy-nilly water distribution system that has evolved over the years. The last time we checked, there were more than 130 water systems - defined by state health officials as any well serving four or more homes - around Bainbridge. Thoughtless usage will certainly bring the quick demise of marginal wells, forcing consolidation of systems and extension of lines, and bringing significant new costs for neighborhoods and the city. It's not like it's one big cistern down there - the supply varies at each corner of the island, and today's geyser may be tomorrow's dribble.As we said, it's hard to know what to do with a report that says we've got plenty of water.The consumer in us says, Whew!The conservationist in us says save it anyway, because it's the smart thing to do.Honor MLKElsewhere in this issue, we give a short preview of a forthcoming address by the Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, a friend and colleague of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the struggle for civil rights. We urge your attendance. McKinney will speak at Bainbridge Island's Filipino American Community Hall on Jan. 11, following a dinner that's slated for 6:30 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council, Bainbridge High School, the Filipino-American community and Sing Out! Singers. Tickets are $12/adults, $9/seniors and students; for reservations, call BIAHC 842-7901. Also, Mayor Dwight Sutton has proclaimed Jan. 20 as the island's second annual MLK Memorial Sing Out! Day, encouraging island families and friends to come together to honor the nation's foremost figure in the cause of human rights. That day will also see a reprise of last year's memorable gospel choir performance, in which 225 voices were raised.This year's event includes an eight-course dinner at 5 p.m., with the performance to follow. Cost of the dinner is $10 adults, students 10-17, $5 youth 10-12. Cost of concert is $10 adults and students, $5 youth. For reservations, call 842-4164 or (360) 779-2097. Proceeds benefit Helpline House. The Bainbridge community has long been attuned to civil rights issues. We're pleased that these two excellent events honoring MLK should keep that candle burning. "

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