News Roundup -- BPA’s Sherwin calls it quits/Ferry fare hike approved/New Jaycees Club forming

BPA’s Sherwin calls it quits

Per Sherwin this week resigned from his position as managing director of Bainbridge Performing Arts.

“I love everyone I worked with. I love the organization,” Sherwin said, “the openness and seeing crowds come through. I love what I was doing. It was fun, but it was busy.”

Sherwin said he had been thinking about leaving the post for some time, to spend more time with his wife and 19-month-old daughter. Working six to seven days a week, he was spending less time with his family than if he commuted to a job in Seattle, he said.

Likening the pace to a merry-go-round, Sherwin said, “there’s not a good time to get off.”

During his BPA tenure, Sherwin raised the profile of the community arts organization. School programs are filled to capacity, more organizations use the Playhouse facility and attendance to events has increased and generally, and he said, “more people came through the door than before.”

“We are very sorry to see him go,” said Mark Sell, BPA production manager. “We’ve had a great experience with him at the helm.”

Sell said Sherwin’s resignation was a surprise to the staff, and that there is not yet a candidate for a permanent replacement. In the interim, Sell will be taking over the managing director duties.

Shewin does not have immediate plans for the future, except “spending time with my daughter and wife, which I haven’t been.” He plans to take a break and “be out of the picture for a while” to let the board and staff have a chance to see where it wants to grow.

Sherwin joined BPA as managing director three years ago, coming from a diverse background in choral work, theater, work at a staffing agency, and as a brewer for Hale’s Ales.

As managing director at BPA, he was unable to act and direct, activities he was involved in during college. Sherwin said he hopes to return to those interests and remain active in the arts community in which neighbors perform with neighbors.

“I think community theater is vital to a community,” he said.

—Tina Lieu

Ferry fare hike approved

The Washington State Transportation Commission Tuesday approved a 6 percent fare increase for Washington State Ferries, to go into effect June 1.

The increase is part of an amended tariff proposal reached after the commission had sought additional public comment during a March 23 hearing.

The increase will raise cross-sound passenger fares from $5.70 to $6.10, and car-and-driver fare from $10 to $10.60 for the non-peak season, and from $12.50 to $13.30 during the peak season May 1 through Oct. 8.

The cross-sound frequent user passenger ticket book will go up from $45.60 for 10 round-trip tickets to $48.80. Cross-sound car-and-driver frequent user ticket books, with 20 tickets, will go up from $160 to $169.60. Monthly passenger passes will go from $74 to $79.10, although frequent users do not pay the peak season surcharge.

Other changes approved Tuesday include:

Beginning this fall, WSF will introduce an electronic fare system. Frequent-user tickets will be replaced with a multi-ride card with the same expiration time of 90 days, and the same discount that the frequent users enjoy now will be transferred over to the new system.

In May 2006, a 5 percent surcharge capped at $2.50 will be charged to people pre-purchasing multi-ride cards at the terminal toll booths instead of online or via a kiosk located in the terminal building. Seniors, disabled and youths will be exempt from the surcharge.

Youth fares will apply to children 6-18 years of age. Children under six will travel free. This is consistent with other regional transit system policies.

Future fares increases will be implemented on May 1 instead of the first Sunday in May, also to coordinate with other regional transit systems.

Also beginning this fall, single fare tickets can be pre-purchased online seven days in advance.

Commercial account customers who travel aboard ferries 12 or more times per week will continue to receive a 10 percent discount until the fall, when the new fare collection system is used. At that time, WSF will phase in a “more flexible” commercial account program, the agency said.

New Jaycees Club forming

For islanders in their 20s and 30s, there may be a new answer to, “Where do the young people hang out?”

Twenty-seven-year-old David Rohrbacher hopes the answer will be the Jaycees, a social and service organization similar to Rotary or Kiwanis, but specifically for people ages 21-40.

Rohrbacher is organizing an informational and sign-up meeting to start an island chapter, 7 p.m. May 10 in the basement meeting room of Sterling Savings Bank at Winslow Way and SR 305.

“It’s all about getting connected in the community,” Rohrbacher said. “(For people who) want to help in the community but have other commitments, this won’t soak up a lot of time.”

The Jaycees will combine fun social events for young adults with community service projects, which will be determined by the interest of the members.

Rohrbacher acknowledges that it may be a challenge to find many people in this demographic on the island, since rising costs of living on the island make the community out of reach for many young people and families.

In a 2002 survey, the 15-34 age bracket represented just 8.5 percent of the Bainbridge population, whereas over half were ages 35-54.

However, when Rohrbacher was turning over the idea with a 29-year-old colleague, the two were able to gather 14 people for a preliminary discussion.

They will need at least 20 to get a Jaycees chapter off the ground.

When Rohrbacher moved to the island last fall – as a boy, he spent summers here visiting his grandfather – and became a real estate broker looking to network both socially and for business, he couldn’t find the right group.

Rotary already had too many real estate agents. And several clubs had steep membership fees and expected significant time commitments from members that he didn’t feel able to fulfill.

Then he recalled the fun events in his town of Goldenseal in Eastern Washington, which were sponsored by the Jaycees Club there.

“A lot of people under 40 have young children and work (commitments), so we want to have a club that incorporates young parents,” with lesser time commitments, Rohrbacher said.

The Jaycees Club for community-minded people interested in social gatherings and service projects, would have annual dues of $25 a year and monthly meetings only an hour long.

“You can bite off as much as you can chew,” Rohrbacher said.

– Tina Lieu

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