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Rental store burgled again -- News Roundup

Equipment was stolen from an Island Center rental outfit Tuesday evening, the second “smash and grab” burglary there in a month.

A store alarm summoned police about 7 p.m. to Bainbridge Rental, on Fletcher Bay and New Brooklyn roads, according to reports.

Burglars smashed out a glass front door and made off with at least one chainsaw, a leaf blower/shredder, pruning shears and a case of chainsaw bar oil. Value of the items stolen was not available.

The theft was identical to a late-evening incident at the business on Oct. 23, when five Stihl chainsaws, valued at $300-$600 each, and related accessories were stolen. The front door was smashed out in that incident as well; no suspects were identified or arrests made.

Police hope passersby saw a vehicle in front of the store around the time of Tuesday’s theft.

“While (officers) were there investigating, there was traffic going by like crazy,” Bainbridge Police Detective Scott Anderson said. “We’re not looking at Oh-Dark-Thirty... We hope somebody saw something there as they were driving by, or knows someone who’s suddenly come into a couple of chainsaws.”

– Douglas Crist

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Memorial study go-ahead likely

A bill directing the National Park Service to study the Taylor Avenue road-end for inclusion in the park system has cleared the U.S. Senate, and needs only President Bush’s signature to become law.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-1st District), directs the park service to report back to Congress within two years.

“I don’t see any reason this won’t happen,” Inslee said this week. “There is nothing controversial in the bill.”

The bill allocates $200,000 for the study. While the bill does not actually appropriate the money, Inslee said finding that amount will not be an obstacle.

The road-end is the site of the old Eagledale ferry dock, from which many of Bainbridge Island’s Japanese-Americans were taken from the island to California internment camps after the outbreak of World War II.

Bainbridge was the first area on the West Coast where the exclusion ordered by Pres. Franklin Roosevelt was put into effect, and the community to which the largest proportion of excluded residents returned after the war.

Bainbridge Island’s Interfaith Council and Japanese-American Community have proposed a memorial at that site designed by local architect John Paul Jones commemorating not only the forced exclusion of Japanese-Americans from Bainbridge Island, but their re-integration into the island community.

Inslee said the committee’s work will simplify the Park Service’s task.

“The community has done such a crackerjack job of developing a plan that it has done a lot of the Park Service’s work for them,” he said.

The National Park Service will not only determine whether the site is suitable for inclusion into the system, but will also determine its designation.

Early on, the memorial committee had suggested designation as a National Historic Site, but alterations to the site – the dock has been gone for many years – make that designation problematic.

Inslee said he believes the most appropriate designation will be as a national memorial.

The road end lies immediately west of the 50-acre Wyckoff Superfund site on the south shore of Eagle Harbor.

The city is trying to acquire the entire site as a park after the EPA finishes cleaning up the creosote contamination.

While the park service could possibly recommend including a substantial portion of the Wyckoff property in a memorial, Inslee thinks that is unlikely.

“The bill allows the parameters of what is to be included to be determined by the Park Service,” he said.

“But given the dollar dilemma the Park Service chronically faces, it would be surprising if they include a large portion of the Wyckoff site.”

– John Waldo

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