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News Roundup -- Spray pool won’t be open/Quartet plays Bloedel series/Habitat seeks homebuilders

Spray pool won’t be open

Just as the weather started turning warmer, new state regulations have shut down the popular spray pool at Battle Point Park.

Because the spray pool accumulates standing water, it is subject to regulations that went into effect last October for “limited-use” pools, requiring a 72-inch-high barrier around the area with a latching mechanism and lifeguard supervision.

Parks director Terry Lande said that although reopening the sprinkler pool at Battle Point Park does not look likely, it is possible that the park district could install a similar feature at the aquatic center or install a true spray park at Battle Point, which would have no standing water.

“We’re going to keep looking into ways for people to keep cool this summer,” Lande said.

The spray pool’s single drain for the area could not quickly take away water from the area. The spouts, which could spray as high as 20 feet, output as much as 30,000 gallons in two hours by the estimates of Roger Belieu, Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District’s supervisor of park services.

Hitting a crosswalk crossing-like button would set off a sequence of water jets. Water would collect in the incline meant to direct water to the drain. At times, the standing water would submerge the water jets, creating what the state has now deemed to be a hazard to small users.

“I’m sad,” said Cheryl Dale, who helped mobilize volunteer efforts and donations over two years to see the spray pool installed in 1995. “I know the kids liked it.”

Whereas spray pools elsewhere cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the one at Battle Point Park was completed with thousands of volunteer hours and $15,000.

The spray pool had needed a series of improvements, like finding the right mechanism to activate the water jets, or adjusting the umbrella-like spout to not overshoot the paved area and turn the surrounding ground into a quagmire.

But other problems persisted. Despite posted signs, owners let their dogs romp in the unchlorinated water and kids splashed around in their clothes after sports practices, and the strips of decorative tiling in the pool surface became slippery when wet.

“It just came to so many fixes that we thought it was in the best interest of the public to get it up and running” somewhere else, Belieu said.

The spray pool equipment is salvagable, Belieu said, and could be set up somewhere at the aquatics center where there would be lifeguards available and also access to chlorinated water circulating from the pool’s system.

– Tina Lieu

Quartet plays Bloedel series

When Edward Elgar’s wife died in 1920, he lost the will to compose although he lived for another 20 years. Three of his final four works come to life again this Sunday.

“All three express Elgar, what he is all about,” violinist Stephen Bryant said. “It’s almost like he’s signing his name with these works.”

This Sunday, the Beau Quartet with pianist Allan Dameron play Elgar’s Violin Sonata op. 82, String Quartet op. 83 and Piano Quintet op. 84 as part of the Bloedel Reserve’s summer concert series.

Islander Bryant, who plays in the Seattle Symphony, and his wife, violist Sue Jane Bryant, who plays extensively in chamber music groups, make up half the quartet.

The husband-wife team of violinist Tom Dziekonski and cellist Virginia Dziekonski, who both play with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and numerous other groups, complete the quartet.

“These three works are intensely emotional and have dark qualities, yet are very different,” Bryant said. “He doesn’t cross over with any themes.”

The writing of Elgar’s last pieces were influenced by Brinkswell, located outside London, where he and his wife, Caroline Alice, took walks.

In particular, a forest of twisted oak trees was supposed to represent Spanish monks who were struck down for conducting satanic masses.

“So (Elgar) worked a Spanish flavor into pieces, especially the first movement of the piano quintet like a Spanish tango, seductive and sensuous,” Bryant said.

Following the death of Elgar’s wife, Bryant said Elgar stopped composing, only arranging the music of others.

Do the emotions of spending a last summer with a beloved wife appear in the music?

“The art of string quartets is barebones, it’s just four voices,” Bryant said. “Often composers express their most profound thoughts in quartets.”

As a boy, Bryant soaked in classical music from his father, a NASA quality control engineer for the Gemini and Apollo space programs, who always had symphonies or violin concertos playing loudly on the stereo.

When Bryant started collecting music, he would acquire the complete works of each composer, “complete” sometimes meaning 26 versions of a single work by various performers.

The great Leonard Bernstein conducting the BBC Orchestra playing Elgar’s Nimrod from the Enigma Variations caught Bryant for the tempo, half as fast as any other composer, but expressing “infinite care and tenderness,” which Bryant said the quartet would like to bring to Sunday’s concert.

In Elgar pieces, “there are sections with melody but with texture, like reflections in rippling water, like the sun on the water from the ferry,” Bryant said “Elgar does for the ear what that mesmerizing (water) quality does for the eye. The more I delve into this music, the more it gives back.

“There’s no point in giving a performance if you don’t love the music, (if not) how can you convince anyone else?”

* * * * *

The Beau Quartet with pianist Allan Demeron perform 4:30 p.m. July 17 at the Bloedel Reserve. Call 842-7631 to reserve tickets, which are $27 each and include light refreshments.

One day earlier, the Waters Speak performs Native American songs and stories 7 p.m. July 16. A complete list of concerts in the series is available at www.bloedelreserve.org.

– Tina Lieu

Habitat seeks homebuilders

Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County seeks volunteers for a mini-blitz build in Suquamish 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 9-13.

A four-bedroom, one-story home is being built at South and Urban streets for a low-income family. Volunteers will help frame the entire house, build a small storage shed and start installing the siding, all in one week for a normally 10-week project.

Habitat needs 150 people to help with general construction – no experience required – and coordinate volunteers and lunches. Crew chiefs and other helpers also are needed.

Business, civic and religious groups, and individuals, may sign up for one shift or an entire day.

Register by July 29. Habitat requests a $10 donation per volunteer to help defray building costs. Volunteer orientations are held at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Habitat office in downtown Bremerton. For information call (360) 479-3853 or see www.kitsaphabitat.org.

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