Flower almost reaches sun -- News Roundup

Quite-contrary Mary’s garden never grew like islander Ed Markham’s sunflowers.

Markham estimates that his “Giant Russian” sunflower was at its peak height last week, measuring 13 feet with a stem 7.5 inches around.

“These are the tallest sunflowers I’ve ever seen,” he said.

This week the seed-heavy head is drooping slightly. The sunflower grows in neighbor Helene Wilder’s Ferncliff-area garden, which Markham tends.

When Wilder moved in, the front yard had been cleared

“This would make a great place for a garden,” Markham commented, to which Wilder replied, “Let’s put it in.”

A horticulturist for over 50 years, Markham has become the mentor for “Helene’s Garden” and has an active vegetable garden going around the sunflowers.

The bounty spills over to neighbors and Helpline House, with zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkins, yellow crookneck squash, tomatillos, spinach, corn and edamame beans.

The secret to his sunflowers?

“Good watering, good soil, and a little commercial fertilizer,” Markham said. “We’ve had a good warm summer, and that’s helped.”

– Tina Lieu

IFC rallying for teen awards

The Bainbridge/North Kitsap Interfaith Council is seeking the help of members and others for the annual “Kids with a Heart” event in November, which recognizes the positive contributions of youth to the community.

Sponsored by Bainbridge Youth Services, the program is a celebration of young people for their community service.

Kids with a Heart and the Compassionate Action Awards began in 2002, initiated with “seed money” funding from the city through the Health, Housing and Human Services Council. More than 145 local youths have been honored.

The direct cost of annually presenting Kids with a Heart is $2,000 for nominee invitations, awards, rent, refreshments, and decorations. This year the program must find new sources of funding, because the HHHS seed money support has expired.

IFC is asking faith groups and their members to support the program by making financial contributions and also making youth nominations. For information, contact Bainbridge Youth Services at 842-9675.

City to discuss comp plan

The City Council will hold a special meeting on Sept. 14 to discuss the 2004 update of the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

Drafted in 1994 to meet the requirements of the state’s Growth Management Act, the plan guides growth, land use and environmental management. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to learn about the recommended updates and participate in a community discussion.

The update process is mandated by the GMA, which requires the city to review and, if needed, revise the plan to address changes in local and regional conditions and state and federal laws that have occurred since 1994.

The GMA requires that certain elements be included in each city’s Comprehensive Plan: Land Use, Housing, Capital Facilities, Utilities and Transportation. Bainbridge’s plan also includes optional elements on Water Resources, Human Services, Cultural and Economic Development.

The meeting will run from 6-9 p.m. in the council chambers, with a presentation at 6:30 p.m. and a community discussion at 8 p.m. Contact Libby Hudson for more information at 842-2552.

School first on new sewer line

Blakely School connected to city sewer service on Aug. 23, making it the first line activated as part of the South Island Sewer project, the city said Thursday.

The work was scheduled prior to the start of school to minimize impact to the school’s operations.

Pavement repairs on Baker Hill, its roadway torn up by the sewer project, will be completed in the coming week, meaning “business as usual” as students return to class in September.

The Blakely connection will be funded by the Bainbridge Island School District through Local Improvement District No. 20. The sewer main runs down Baker Hill Road and connects to a pump station at Lynwood Center, then is pumped to the Sewer District 7 treatment plant at Fort Ward Hill.

Further construction on the South Island system is in progress at Emerald Heights, and will proceed through the fall to serve Point White, Pleasant Beach and Rockaway Beach.

Heavy traffic on WSF runs

Washington State Ferries reports that although the Labor Day holiday weekend tends to be less busy than most expect, good weather could increase traffic.

For the Labor Day weekend, travelers should look for the heaviest backups and overloading between 3-7 p.m. Friday on westbound routes, WSF officials said.

Return traffic will be heaviest Sunday afternoon and evening and morning sailings on Labor Day as people return early to prepare children to return to school.

The Seattle-Bainbridge ferry will be running on a Saturday schedule Labor Day.

For the latest information, call (888) 808-7977 or see

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