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News Roundup -- Local funeral home sold/Arts facility in the works?/Haruis feted for service/Horse show next weekend

Local funeral home sold

Kent and Tess Kass have sold Kass Funeral Home, the business they’ve operated in Winslow since 1995.

The business has been purchased by David and Doreen Cook of Sacramento, Calif., who took over the operation Friday.

David Cook will be the funeral director. He has served in the field for over 15 years. He is a graduate of the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science and also holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of Utah.

In keeping with the firm’s “family touch,” the Cooks have added their name to the business. The funeral home will now be known as Kass & Cook Family Funeral Home.

“I look forward to continuing personalized service with the important family touch to the families of Bainbridge Island and in other areas of our county,” David Cook said.

Arts facility in the works?

Whether you’re a performer, artist, organizer, patron, business person, teacher or student of the arts, or just in the audience, the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council hopes to see you Tuesday night.

BIAHC sponsors a community meeting 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 7 at the Playhouse to kick off phase two of a multi-year study and discussion on the need – or not – of a new community cultural facility. The discussion will precede a feasibility study for a new facility.

“Right now, everything’s on the table,” BIAHC facilities coordinator Janice Shaw said. “We’re going into it needing and wanting to hear from everyone. We have no answers and no recommendations at this point.”

With a wide definition of “arts” covering everything from shows and exhibitions to lectures, lessons and cultural meetings, the forum will examine changes in facilities, needs and interests since phase one’s “Cultural Facilities Needs Assessment Report” published in 2003.

Shaw emphasizes that the “cultural facility” is more expansive in definition than a performing arts center.

“We do not want to duplicate (what we have),” Shaw said. “We have a perfectly good performing arts organization on this island. We’re more looking at needs that aren’t being served, such as the senior center’s need to expand and concern about teen needs.”

The effort is motivated by the city’s Comprehensive Plan’s Cultural Element, which tasks BIAHC with responding “to the growing desire for cultural facilities by identifying short- and long-term facility needs and priorities and developing methods to meet those needs.”

The arts historically serve as an occupation or avocation for many island residents, according to a 1995 Community Cultural Building Plan. That study found that 54 percent of households had at least one professional or amateur artist and a quarter of households earned some income from the arts.

The community meeting is intended to get input early in a process for which two to six years is considered fast, said Bill Cleveland, an island resident and arts professional who will co-facilitate Tuesday’s meeting.

Cleveland hopes to learn whether “critical mass” exists among the “community of interest” to support an effort to build an arts center facility, and what people think the arts infrastructure on the island should look like in 20 years.

“This is a small community, it’s a generous community, but it’s probably at a point where it needs to think long and hard about where this is going,” Cleveland said.

Bob Bailey of AMS Planning and Research, who has been retained to put together the NEA- and city-funded feasibility study, will be gathering information through September.

The four questions he will seek answers to are:

• Is there an audience – both resident and visiting – for cultural activities and what are their interests?

• What is the supply of cultural programs currently?

• What is the institutional interest and capacity of cultural organizations to put on programs?

• What is the support in the broader community for a cultural center?

He will also conduct separate, in-depth interviews with the “leadership community” to see if there is support for such a facility.

Shaw said the feasibility study will also explore potential partnerships and look at other related projects, such as Winslow Tomorrow and the school district’s capital facilities plans.

An updated list of arts facilities will be online at www.artshum.org in mid-June.

– Tina Lieu

Haruis feted for service

Junkoh and Chris Harui were honored for their contributions to the community, presented with the second annual “Healing the World” award by the Bainbridge Island/North Kitsap Interfaith Council on Thursday.

The Haruis were nominated for their contributions to the community and promotion of organic gardening.

The award was established last year to honor businesses on the island that have contributed to the welfare of the community. The first award was given to Gerard and JoAnn Bentryn of Bainbridge Island Vineyard.

“It’s a matter of being concerned for the environment,” Junkoh said. “It’s the spirit of the citizens on and around the island being very environmentally conscious and valuing the flora and fauna on the island. It’s all in the preservation of that.”

Junkoh was honored for his island leadership, starting as president of the senior class of 1951 at Bainbridge High School, co-chairing the group that preserved the Grand Forest and then as councilman to acquire land for Waterfront Park.

The Haruis also contributed to the creation of the Bainbridge Library’s Haiku Garden and restored Bainbridge Gardens, which had been in Junkoh’s family for years before he re-established a nursery there more than a decade ago.

During World War II, when he and his family were interned with other West Coast Japanese Americans, the gardens fell into disrepair.

Junkoh says he was motivated to restore the family property in honor of his parents, “who worked so hard and really weren’t able to see the ending of their work” to build Bainbridge Gardens.

Bainbridge Gardens has offered organic choices – especially for food crops – since 1990, but became completely organic in 2000, in order to offer customers safer and more environmentally friendly options for homes and gardens. The business stopped selling chemically treated plants and chemical products in favor of natural plant foods and pest controls.

Chris Harui said she wants to continue to contribute to making the place they live beautiful “for your own peace of mind, make a pleasant place to live and to be satisfied with what you see.”

“For my kids’ sake, I want it to be a cleaner world,” Chris said. “I wouldn’t want my kids to eat vegetables with chemicals. Why would anyone else?

– Tina Lieu

Horse show next weekend

Freshly curried coats and cleanly braided manes will be prancing about Battle Point Park next weekend for the 23rd annual Bainbridge Classic Horse Show, June 10-12.

Both rings will be filled with competing horses and riders from 8 a.m. until about 4 p.m. each day. The show is free and open to the public.

The hunter ring will feature a jumping course where judging focuses on style and good execution. In the jumper ring, horse and rider will aim to clear obstacles cleanly and quickly.

The highlight of the weekend is the Bob Gillanders Memorial Derby on Saturday at around 4 p.m., said to be a long and grueling, timed jumper class test with double the usual number of fences in a course designed by a nationally recognized course maker.

Organizer Mollie Bogardus expects about 120 horse entries this year with riders ages 7 and up and a crowd of more than 350 to the nationally recognized equestrian event.

For more information, call Mollie Bogardus at 842-7776.

– Tina Lieu

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