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Rotary gives to memorial -- News Roundup

Officers from the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club will present a $25,000 check for the planned Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial, the club announced this week.

The award will be given at the monthly meeting of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community, 6 p.m. Sept. 1 in the Town & County conference room, on the second floor of the Bainbridge Professional Building between the Winslow Post Office and Winslow Way.

The $4 million memorial project will be located at the site of the old Eagledale ferry landing, where the first 227 Japanese Americans to be forcibly removed from their homes were taken to internment camps on March 30, 1942.

With the donation, the memorial project to date has raised about $560,000.

Also at the meeting, the latest design for the memorial project by island architect Johnpaul Jones will be unveiled. Updates are planned on the construction of the memorial entry gate by the Timber Framers Guild and its temporary installation next to the Winslow Post Office, on efforts to protect and preserve the historic cedar tree at the memorial site, and on the National Park Service’s study designating the site as a national memorial.

Pool closed for cleaning

The Nakata Pool at the Bainbridge Island Aquatics Center will be closed Sept. 7-30 for regular maintenance.

During that period, the older Williamson Pool will be open on a special schedule as follows:

• Lap swim – Mon.-Fri. 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Mon., Wed., Fri., 7-9 p.m., and Sat. and Sun. 12-2:30 p.m.

• Open swim – Sat. and Sun. 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Provided the park levy is approved by voters on Sept. 14, the Nakata pool will reopen on Oct. 1.

Voter guide is in the mail

The Kitsap County Voter’s Pamphlet was mailed to all county residents this week, to help people understand the choices in the Sept.14 primary.

“This is not a campaign ad,” said Kitsap County Auditor Karen Flynn, “The information here isn’t meant to change peoples’ minds. We want the voters to learn more about the people they’re voting for, based on asking them a couple of questions.”

The generally phrased questions, “What background and experience would you bring to this office?” and the somewhat ungrammatical “If elected, what do you see as the top challenge of this office and how will you address it?” are in some cases replaced by biographical data.

More than 118,000 pamphlets were printed. Of these, 113,000 were delivered by mail to every house and post office box.

Flynn said sending pamphlets to everyone, rather than screening for registered voters saved money, since no sorting was required.

The remainder of the pamphlets were distributed between the auditor’s office and other locations such as libraries or post offices.

The deadline for mail-in voter registration has already passed, but registration is permitted at the auditor’s office, the county fair and party headquarters until Aug. 31.

Those who did not receive a pamphlet can contact the auditor’s office directly or go online to http://kitsapgov.com/aud/elections/archive/primary/04/prilvp2004.htm.

The county will produce another pamphlet for the November general election.

– Charlie Bermant

Murray urges ferry support

Sen. Patty Murray visited the Bremerton waterfront Thursday afternoon, emphasizing the importance of federal support for Washington State Ferries and speaking in support of a bill currently before the U.S. Senate that would essentially triple this allocation.

While Murray’s efforts in support of the ferry system are considerable, she is asking her constituents for help.

“People need to exert pressure so this bill gets passed this year,” she said. “They need to contact the White House, and their legislators.”

Murray said that President Bush is paying close attention to this issue but his administration has expressed a desire to lower the transportation budget.

“I’d like to see him get 300 emails from Bremerton alone about this,” she said.

Those wishing to send the president a message can do so through president@whitehouse.gov.

The $318 billion bill – which covers improvements on all types of transportation infrastructure – corrects what Murray sees as an egregious omission in past legislation. Some $150 million is earmarked for the WSF, up from the current $38 million.

The bill has bipartisan support, with 17 Senators – mostly from ferry-dependent states – signing on with Murray.

“Congress provides billions of dollars for all surface transportation programs, but only one-tenth of one percent of that amount for ferries,” she said. “That number is far too low. Ferries are not treated the same in Washington, D.C. as other transportation modes, and that has a dramatic impact on service.”

Murray called the ferry system a part of Pacific Northwest culture that is critical for local transportation, tourism and the economy.

She cited statistics saying ferries currently carry 26 million passengers and 11 million vehicles annually, estimating those numbers will increase to 30 million passengers and 13 million vehicles by 2009.

Also addressing the group was Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman, who praised Murray’s efforts.

“She brings resources to our state,” Bozeman said. “This results in good things for the community.”

Greg Dronkert of Bainbridge Island’s Pacific Marine Group, which operates the new Bremerton/Seattle passenger ferry, said he appreciated Murray’s commitment to WSF, even if his company is not a direct beneficiary.

“We are not looking for subsidies,” he said. “We are trying to make it on our own. But any federal attention to the ferry system is a good thing for us.”

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