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Council gives nod to ferries -- News Roundup

The Bainbridge Island City Council united this week behind a plan to restore foot-ferry service to Puget Sound.

The council approved a resolution in support of Proposition 1, Kitsap Transit’s plan to fund new foot-ferry service through sales tax hike and motor vehicle excise taxes, which will appear on the Nov. 4 general ballot. The vote was 6-0, with Councilman Michael Pollock absent.

Council members agreed that while details of the ferry plan have yet to be worked out, Kitsap Transit is moving in the right direction.

“It’s the only hope of getting passenger ferries started again,” said Councilwoman Lois Curtis, the resolution’s strongest supporter.

Councilwoman Debbie Vancil said that Kitsap County must take responsibility for its own transportation needs, and that Bainbridge Island must recognize its own place in that scheme.

Vancil cited transportation as the biggest issue facing Kitsap’s economic development.

Several council members also expressed confidence in the track record of the sponsoring agency in meeting public transportation needs.

“Kitsap Transit has performed amazingly well in the past, and they deserve our confidence,” Councilman Norm Wooldridge said.

The council had held a public hearing on the resolution at its previous meeting, but could not reach consensus at that time after mixed testimony from a dozen or so islanders.

The Kitsap Transit plan would add a fleet of yet-undesigned, low-wake ferries on runs connecting Bremerton, Kingston and Southworth with downtown Seattle.

Proponents say it will relieve traffic and growth pressures on Bainbridge Island, while foes say the plan contains too many uncertainties and would bring an unacceptable tax burden.

– Douglas Crist

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***Eat out for a good cause

Family hosts, restaurants and churches on Bainbridge Island are gearing up to participate in the third annual Night of 1000 Dinners, the global grassroots campaign on Nov. 6 to help rid the world of landmines and support landmine accident survivors.

So far, nearly a dozen Bainbridge hosts have signed up to participate. But there is still plenty of time for other islanders to join this effort to help save limbs, lives and livelihoods by inviting guests to share an evening meal, learn more about the global landmine crisis and raise money to help address it.

Every 30 minutes, someone somewhere in the world is killed or injured by a landmine or unexploded bomb. Nine of every 10 victims is an innocent civilian; at least one out of every five victims is a child.

The global grassroots campaign to reverse this legacy of armed conflicts in more than 60 countries is a brainchild of the Adopt-A-Minefield program of the New York-based United Nations Association USA.

Locally, the benefit is promoted by Bainbridge-based Clear Path International, which serves landmine accident survivors, families and communities in Southeast Asia.

Participants host or attend a dinner at home, church or a community center to bring attention to the plight of communities threatened and impoverished by the presence of mines and unexploded bombs.

Restaurants join by setting aside a portion of proceeds from the evening’s business for the cause and informing their diners about it. Supportive diners also go out to eat at participating restaurants.

Last year, Clear Path hosts raised more than $10,000 in Washington state, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Idaho and California. Eighty-five percent of that money went to support Clear Path’s landmine survivor assistance efforts in Vietnam, Cambodia and on the Thai-Burma border. The rest was passed on to the Adopt-A-Minefield program, which sponsors humanitarian mine action projects around the world.

Worldwide, the Night of 1000 Dinners campaign brought in $1.2 million from 27 countries last year and drew the participation of Paul McCartney, Michael Douglas and Queen Noor of Jordan.

For more information, see www.clearpathinternational.org or call 780-5964.

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***Top talent aids island singer

The internationally renowned quartet The Brothers Four tops the bill in a rare West Sound appearance on Nov. 7 at the Playhouse, in a concert of jazz, swing, pop and folk music.

Net proceeds from the night are dedicated to studio singer Ginene Swanson, a longtime Bainbridge resident who is fighting renal cancer with cutting-edge medical procedures and medicines.

Jazz festival favorites George Burns and the Island City Jazz Band, musicians from the great swing bands of the ‘40s and ‘50s, co-star with a special appearance by legendary Hollywood violinist Bobby Bruce, first chair for Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal and other studios on over 1,000 major motion-picture scores.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be comedian Rod Long, winner of the Paramount Theater’s $10,000 “Northwest’s Funniest” Award and a regular on the Las Vegas, Reno and West Coast night-club circuit.

Singer/songwriter Swanson has performed with several musicians on the bill, and all the cast are donating their services to her ongoing effort to “beat the unbeatable.”

An Evening for Ginene begins with a reception at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Playhouse lobby, followed by the concert at 8 p.m. Call 780-5181 for tickets, $100 per person. Information: www.theplayhouse.org.

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