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News Roundup --Youth knifed accidentally/Yeomalt Cabin makes grade/Harbor speed limit at issue/Bring flowers, brighten days

(L-R) Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers’ volunteers Janet Kutina, Joan Pratt and (not shown) Marilyn Hirschfeld regularly come to Eagle Harbor Congregational Church to assemble bouquets of donated flowers from people’s gardens to deliver to homebound care recipients. IVC also provides transportation, companionship and runs errands for the elderly and disabled. Volunteers are particularly needed during the summer months when regular volunteers take vacations. - DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo
(L-R) Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers’ volunteers Janet Kutina, Joan Pratt and (not shown) Marilyn Hirschfeld regularly come to Eagle Harbor Congregational Church to assemble bouquets of donated flowers from people’s gardens to deliver to homebound care recipients. IVC also provides transportation, companionship and runs errands for the elderly and disabled. Volunteers are particularly needed during the summer months when regular volunteers take vacations.
— image credit: DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo

Youth knifed accidentally

A knife was accidentally thrown into the chest of a young male on Ihland Way late Monday night, according to Bainbridge Police.

Several witnesses said a friend of the 18 year-old victim had been fixing a folding knife, and demonstrated that it was repaired by flicking it open a number of times.

The knife flew out of the friend’s hands and lodged into the chest of the victim, who was standing about three feet away, a handful of juvenile witnesses said.

The victim was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle just before midnight and was in satisfactory condition Tuesday morning, police said.

The case was submitted to the prosecutor’s office for review of reckless endangerment charges.

– Tristan Baurick

Yeomalt Cabin makes grade

An ailing Depression-era cabin became the first property named to the city’s historic register last week.

“We’re so pleased to have a public building as our very first property on the register,” said city Historic Preservation Commission member Sandy Burke.

The cabin at Camp Yeomalt, set in a park east of Grand Avenue, had served as a Boy Scout gathering spot until age and disrepair caught up with it. The scouts turned the building over to the park district in 1987, but little action was taken to repair the building’s sagging logs and worn roof. The district announced in March that it would dismantle the cabin as a safety measure. Local historians jumped into action to save the cabin, forming a preservation group aimed at repairing the building for renewed public use.

Burke, also an architect, said inclusion on the register will likely boost efforts to save the 70-year-old cabin.

“This (register) is a marker of significance,” she said. “It can give access to a number of grants and help with efforts to get Yeomalt on the national register.”

Burke hopes more property owners will apply for the register now that “the ball is rolling” with Yeomalt, especially because “little bits of our island’s history are being torn down all over the place.”

Inclusion on the Bainbridge register means the properties are eligable for tax benefits, value assessment deferrals and discounts from local businesses when buying items for preservation purposes.

For more information on applying for the register, call 780-2933.

– Tristan Baurick

Harbor speed limit at issue

The city may allow rowing vessels and other human-powered watercraft to exceed the 5 knot speed limit in Eagle Harbor.

The proposed provision, now set for discussion in the Land Use Committee, was requested by the Bainbridge Island Rowing Club in an effort to avoid possible legal jeopardy.

Club members and their rowing shells regularly exceed the 5 knot (5.8 miles per hour) speed limit set in 1994.

In drafting the proposal, Harbormaster Tami Allen consulted with Seattle Police who monitor a 7 knot speed limit framed for University of Washington rowers.

Using Seattle rules as a guide, Allen proposed that rowers should be allowed to slightly exceed 5 knots on Eagle Harbor so long as they are not “reckless and slow down for congestion.”

Allen also included a provision that allows motor-powered, wakeless support vessels to keep pace with rowing shells if they are clearly marked and in close proximity to rowers.

Speed limits on island roadways are also on the City Council’s docket. A proposal to lower the speeds on all island roadways, except the highway, to a maximum of 35 mph was to be considered last week, but was tabled until a future date.

– Tristan Baurick

Bring flowers, brighten days

Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers pick up where other programs leave off, running errands and bringing flowers and cheer.

“We’re the gap fillers,” IVC administrative director Kaycie Wood said.

While paid helpers and caregivers exist, some people only need help for a short period because of a medical condition and others just need an occasional jaunt to the store, which is the need the nonprofit IVC has been filling since 1996.

Wood says volunteers help the housebound, elderly or disabled in their homes to remain independent. They run errands, provide companionship and are an affordable source of respite to family caregivers. One-third of calls are for transportation.

Although the program has about 100 volunteers, especially during the summer months when volunteers go on vacation, the need for volunteers increases, Wood said.

“The diehards are filling in and working overtime,” she said. And although no one complains, “I’m afraid of them burning out.”

An transportation run averages two hour, but ranges up to an all-day trip to Seattle to accompany a care receiver to a medical appointment. Others might provide respite for six hours every other week.

“It’s a lot of older people caring for older people,” Wood said, and sometimes caregivers become care receivers.

Others make the time by volunteering after work or on weekends.

IVC’s Flowers from the Heart program cares for the spirit. Volunteers turn flower donated from home gardens into bouquets wrapped in tissue and ribbon, and deliver them to homebound and skilled nursing home residents on the island.

“It’s a labor of love. People get attached,” Wood said, and the affection goes both ways.

Some care recipients tell her “they wouldn’t know how to get through the day without us.”

One care receiver invited the IVC helpers, who took her to weeks of chemotherapy in Seattle, to a BBQ at her home. Another recipient, although ill-able to afford to, donated $50 to the organization.

“They don’t take you for granted, they want to give back, too,” Wood said.

IVC particularly seeks volunteers in the summer months to fill in for vacationing volunteers and meet increasing demand. Call Kaycie Wood at 842-4441 for more information. Bring flower donations 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Thursday to the office at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church. Monetary donations are always welcomed.

– Tina Lieu

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