Council doles service funds -- News Roundup

Council doles service funds

The City Council doled out almost $110,000 to community groups Monday, washing its hands of the task for future budget processes.

Some groups received half of their funding request for the 2005 budget, but expressed satisfaction with their allotment.

Per Sherwin, Bainbridge Performing Arts managing director, was excited to learn his organization received half of its requested $50,000.

“Cool!” he said. “That’s just fabulous. Any funding we receive we will put to really efficient and effective use.”

BPA plans to replace siding, repair doors, paint walls and make other minor repairs to the Playhouse with the funds.

The Boys & Girls Club, making its first-ever funding request to the city, received the full $15,000 it asked for. The club, which provides after-school programs for island youth, will use the funds to pay off over $90,000 in loans used to build its new facility on the north side of the aquatic center.

“It’s really cool,” said Kati Novak, club program coordinator. “We still have so much debt to pay off. This will help us be secure and permanent in our new building.”

In addition to these groups, the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum received $60,000, about $20,000 shy of the group’s request. Director Erica Varga said the money will help offset the rising expenses of operating the museum’s new facility and increased staff demands.

The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association received half its request, netting $6,000 for Winslow improvements.

The Island Wildlife Shelter’s project to replace a failing roof also had its request slashed in half, with $2,500 earmarked for the improvement. The Association of Bainbridge Communities, a group dedicated to preserving the island’s natural resources, received its full $1,000 request.

Beginning next year, the council will pass the authority of designating community group funding to the Arts and Humanities Council. City Council members said that organization is better qualified to disburse the funds.

“We should not be discriminating one (group) from another,” said Councilman Nezam Tooloee. “Next year we won’t be in this business.”

Some councilors struggled with prioritizing funding for various causes. Deborah Vann said social service groups, such as the Helpline House, should have taken a strong precedence over cultural organizations.

“We don’t have any justification for giving them the extra funds,” she said.

Councilman Bob Scales hoped to avoid weighing the merits of various groups in the future.

“We could have argued all day on the merits of requests,” he said. “We have no criteria or guidelines.”

The council initially approved funding all groups at half their requests, at a total of $61,500. But the council then boosted requests on a case-by-case basis.

The council will present the first reading of the 2005 budget and discuss the Comprehensive Plan update at a special workshop on Monday, starting at 3 p.m. at the council chambers.

– Tristan Baurick

* * * * *

Bydalek puts island on screen

In a clever fade, the steeple of Eagle Harbor Congregational Church against the nighttime sky dissolves to a bald eagle in a tree.

“I tried not to have any filler shots, but to have every shot fit in the chain,” said photographer Martin Bydalek, who is releasing a new computer screen saver of Bainbridge Island images.

The screen savers go on sale this weekend, featuring 80 photos culled from shots taken of and on the island over the last 24 years.

Bydalek, who does commercial and editorial photography, said the screen saver was an idea he has wanted to realize for a while.

Bydalek says he took care to juxtapose busy scenes with serene photos, and took advantage of the dissolve shapes from one image to another. The horizontal lines of water currents in one photo “become” horizontal shingles of a blue house with a red geranium window box in the next.

Locals will recognize landmarks like Frog Rock and Restoration Point. Scenes range from flowers to horses to the Seattle skyline seen from Bainbridge or a duckling paddling by the hull of a boat.

To promote the screensaver, Bydalek will have a CD signing from 3-7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Cafe Madison in the Pavilion. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

The CD, initially for Windows only but with a Mac version coming soon, is available for $11.99 at local stores including Town & Country, Winslow Drug, Paper Products and Doc’s Marina Grill.

– Tina Lieu

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