News Roundup -- Rider strikes median, is hurt/State fines school group/WIB to honor Texas vigil

Rider strikes median, is hurt

A 50-year-old Bainbridge man was seriously injured when he ran his motorized scooter into a traffic median on Grow Avenue.

Passers-by found the man lying unconscious in the roadway south of Shepard Way, just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

The man appeared to have been traveling northbound when he struck the median and was ejected from the scooter.

Although he was wearing a helmet, the man suffered multiple injuries and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment. The man’s name was not disclosed, pending further investigation. Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash, police said.

The city installed the median strip earlier this summer at the request of Grow Avenue neighbors, who have lobbied for traffic-calming measures there for several years.

State fines school group

The state Public Disclosure Commission found this week that the group Bainbridge Island Public School Supporters violated the state’s public disclosure laws in promoting last spring’s school technology levy.

PDC officials found that the political committee failed to register in a timely manner for the levy campaign, did not deposit campaign contributions within the time allowed by state law and filed late contribution and expenditure reports. BIPSS was fined $400, with $200 suspended.

The political committee routinely supports Bainbridge Island School District’s ballot measures.

“The Bainbridge Island Public School Supporters is an experienced committee and was aware of the reporting requirements,” PDC commission chair Earl Tilly said in a statement. “The committee clearly violated the Public Disclosure law.”

“They might be experienced, but they are all volunteers and the campaign was sooner than expected,” a school official familiar with the group said. “It was an oversight.”

WIB to honor Texas vigil

The familiar Friday evening black-clothed, vigil holders for peaceful solutions will gather with all comers for a special vigil tonight.

“It’s for all families who have lost sons, brothers, sweethearts and fathers, to bring the troops home,” said Jan Bailey, a representative of Bainbridge Island Women in Black, a local group that stands for non-violent resolutions to conflict.

WIB and other local organizations will hold a vigil from 6:30-8 p.m. tonight at the intersection of Winslow Way and SR 305.

The event is part of a nationwide call for vigils – organized by political groups, True Majority and Democracy For America – to support Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan has set up camp outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch in order to meet with him and ask him why her son died in Iraq.

“We’re sharing her vigil,” Bailey said. “People all over the country are sharing her vigil.”

The national vigil begins at 7:30 p.m., but the island’s vigil is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. to meet the arriving 7 p.m. ferry.

The gathering is open to men and women of all ages and political persuasions, Bailey said, particularly the families of those who have served in the military or are now serving.

From 6:30 p.m., vigil holders will hold placards in support of Sheehan until 7:30 p.m. when the signs will be lowered except for those representing Gold Star and military families, when candles will be lit until 8 p.m. If there are enough willing, there may be a walk through town to Madison to end the event.

Participants are encouraged to bring candles – jars to shield the candles against wind are recommended – or lanterns and white flowers.

“All she wants is an answer to why her son died,” Bailey said of Sheehan’s Texas vigil. “I think she has a right to an answer.”

The local vigil is co-sponsored by Bainbridge Democracy For America Meetup and Digging Deeper Media Collective.

The Women in Black have been holding a vigil for nonviolent resolutions on the corner during the Friday evening rush hour for more than three years.

“We hope to start an avalanche, to split off the side of the mountain and bring it down,” Bailey said. “I hope we can get people into the street at last.”

– Tina Lieu

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