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No action on planning chief -- News Roundup

Saying its members lacked enough information to make a decision, the Bainbridge City Council called off Wednesday’s special meeting slated for the approval of Larry Frazier of Tacoma as interim planning director.

Deborah Vann sent the mayor and other council members an email Monday saying she would not attend the scheduled meeting.

With three of the council’s seven members out of town, Vann’s absence would have meant no quorum, meaning no legal approval of Frazier’s contract would have been possible.

The meeting has tentatively been rescheduled for May 7.

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy tapped the 65-year-old Frazier to temporarily succeed Stephanie Warren, who stepped down in April as planning department head.

Various council members have questioned the need for an interim director, saying that city Administrator Lynn Nordby can continue in that position.

Kordonowy said Thursday that she didn’t believe Nordby should be used as anything more than an emergency fill-in.

“Many of the council members have been very vocal in their complaints about the performance of the planning department, particularly its ability to get work done on a timely basis,” Kordonowy said.

“If that’s so, you don’t want the department to be down one experienced person. It’s not workable for Lynn to do his job as well as that one.”

– John Waldo

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***Light missed, car struck

A Suquamish man faces charges of drunk driving and other offenses, after a high-speed crash at the 305/Sportsman Club Road intersection Wednesday evening.

According to police reports, the man was heading northbound at “high, high speed,” passing other motorists in the turn lane at Sportsman Club/Manitou Beach roads in an attempt to beat the signal and continue north.

The light turned red before he made it through, and his vehicle clipped the front end of an Oldsmobile that was entering highway traffic from Manitou Beach, Bainbridge Police Traffic Officer Rob Corn said.

The suspect’s vehicle, a Ford Taurus, was sent spinning and came to rest against a guardrail more than 430 feet down the highway. Emergency crews had to use mechanical means to free the driver from the vehicle, but he and his passenger were spared serious injury by seatbelts and airbags.

Corn said the suspect driver, a 34-year-old Suquamish man, was treated at Harrison Hospital for minor injuries and released. A 64-year-old male passenger remained hospitalized with rib injuries Thursday.

Both occupants of the second vehicle, a 24-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman from Bainbridge Island, were treated for minor injuries and released, police said.

The case was sent to the prosecutor for charging.

Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene. The highway was blocked for about 90 minutes while responders investigated.

– Douglas Crist

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***Nature author Pyle to speak

World-class environmentalist, author and teacher Robert Michael Pyle comes to Bainbridge for a series of classes and lectures May 3-10.

The Gray’s River, Wash., resident has received numerous accolades for his 15 books on natural history, conservation and travel, including the John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and three Washington Governor’s Writers Awards.

Author David Guterson says Pyle’s short stories, non-fiction and poetry are “infused with grace, understanding, and an incredibly expansive knowledge of the world surrounding us.”

Also evident in Pyle’s work is a profound sense of place – a topic he explores in the the two-part writing workshop for Field’s End he leads May 3 and May 10 at IslandWood.

On May 4, Pyle will present a slideshow on his latest book, “Butterflies of Cascadia,” at 3 p.m. at Eagle Harbor Book Co. An expert lepidopterist and founder of the Xerces Society for invertebrate conservation, Pyle has worked as a butterfly conservation consultant from Britain to Papua New Guinea.

Capping his appearance on the island is a benefit for the Bainbridge Island Land Trust on May 9. There, Pyle will offer his thoughts on “Homeland Security: Protecting the Planet for Humans and Other Species.”

The BILT benefit begins at 7:30 p.m. May 9 at Island Center Hall. Tickets are $25, available from the Land Trust office at the Glass Onion, Eagle Harbor Book Company and Vern’s Winslow Drug. Information: 842-1216.

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***Hunt to find a tree that’s tops

Your treasured Western red cedar may be a prize winner in the Bainbridge Island Forestry Commission’s contest to find the largest trees that are native to Bainbridge Island.

Trees will be judged by four criteria: the diameter of the tree at breast height (4.5 feet from the base of the tree); the circumference of the tree at breast height; total height; and canopy spread.

Entries will be verified by the commissioners and forestry commission volunteers. Prizes and tree finder certificates will be awarded to winning nominations.

Nomination forms and a list of native trees are available at City Hall; entries should be submitted by June 1. Information: 842-2545.

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***Revel in reverie at Arts Walk

The quarterly Arts Walk presents a spring arts event from noon to 5 p.m. May 4 throughout downtown Winslow.

A wide range of works – from softly blended colors and images, to bright and vivid fantasy art and digital work – support the Arts Walk theme of “Dreamscapes.”

More than 30 visual and performing artists will share their work in Winslow shops, including a special exhibit titled “Just Dreamy” by the students of the Monart School of Arts will be presented in the Winslow Mall.

Four Island women photographers dubbed “The Fab Four” exhibit in the Playhouse Lobby Gallery. Live music at the Winslow Mall throughout the afternoon includes Louisiana Cajun vocals and instrumentals.

The Arts Walk is a program of the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council. Brochures are available at BIAHC (221 Winslow Way West), or the Chamber of Commerce (corner of Highway 305 and Winslow Way).

Information about this free program can be found at www.artshum.org.

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***Lynwood hosts school benefit

Lynwood Theatre will host a special showing of the Academy Award-winning film “Nowhere in Africa” this Thursday, as a benefit for Chavurat Shir Hayam’s Jewish Learning Center.

Based on an autobiographical novel by Stefanie Zweig, “Nowhere in Africa,” tells the story of a Jewish family which flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya.

The critically acclaimed film won this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and headlined at this year’s Jewish Film Festival in Seattle.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit youth education at Chavurat Shir Hayam, one of the island’s two Jewish congregations.

Now entering its fifth year, the school teaches a curriculum of Judaic history and culture to children from preschool to preteen in four multiage classes.

The primary beneficiary of the benefit will be the scholarship fund for the school.

“It’s part of our philosophy that everyone should be able to participate,” said Zann Jacobrown, the school’s director.

Event organizers will also give a portion of the proceeds to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which coordinates international action for the worldwide protection of refugees.

Use of Lynwood Theatre was donated by cinema owner Jeff Brien, who also negotiated a reduced rate from the movie studio, event organizers said.

“Nowhere in Africa” plays at 7:30 p.m. May 8 at Lynwood Theatre. Tickets are $7.50 at the door. Information: 842-8453.

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***No better time to adopt a pet

This weekend, the Kitsap Humane Society joins animal organizations worldwide in Pet Adoptathon 2003, which aims to find a home for every pet in shelter care.

Potential pet owners are invited to visit KHS’s Silverdale shelter located at 9167 Dickey Road from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 3-4.

Meet the many pets available for adoption and peruse the shelter’s book sale to benefit the more than 9,000 animals cared for at KHS every year. Or try to hide from the Northwest Bloodhound Search and Rescue group, which visits KHS 11 a.m. Sunday.

Representatives from the KHS will also be at Pet Smart in Silverdale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days to arrange pet adoptions and answer questions.

Started in 1995 by North Shore Animal League America, the Pet Adoptathon has grown to include more than 2,000 shelters in 28 countries, and resulted in nearly 100,000 adoptions worldwide.

For more information, contact KHS at customerservice@kitsaphumane.org or (360) 692-6977.

The next PAWS Pet Adoption Day on Bainbridge is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 17 at Paws and Fins. Information: 842-2451.

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