News Roundup -- Relief efforts for Katrina/Churches host enviro-films

Relief efforts for Katrina

The Bainbridge community is raising money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Individuals and businesses are opening their hearts and wallets in creative ways to help some of the thousands of Gulf Coast residents in need.

Viki Walaskay, Ron Gurowitz and friends held an antique yard sale last Sunday, and on the strength of just a few signs posted around their Wing Point Way neighborhood, raised $2,200.

“I had a steady stream of people until 5 p.m.,” Walaskay said. “People would buy stuff and go back home and bring excellent things back to sell.”

The sale was so successful that Walaskay, a former antique dealer, will hold another yard sale this Sunday. She requests donations of “antiques or nice decorator items.”

Donations of crystal, vases and wedding present-quality items were particularly well-received, she said, and sold for about one-third their normal retail price. New items arrived all day and many customers said “keep the change,” Walaskay said.

One person told her, “I don’t need a Beleek vase, but (the victims) need water.”

If demand warrants, Walaskay will find a site with more parking. To donate items and find out the exact location of the sale, call her at 780-5246.

Cris Beattie, executive director of the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association, is receiving information about donation relief efforts from area merchants “by the hour.” They include:

• “People buying groceries at Town & Country have the option of adding on a donation to the Red Cross at the checkout stand,” Beattie said. “And T& C will match the donation amounts up to $50,000.”

This is a simple way of pulling donations together, she said, adding store receipts will serve as tax donation receipts.

• Robin Callahan, owner of Adam & Eve Clothing, has put together “a significant box of clothes” for hurricane victims. She is offering inspirational T-shirts for sale at cost that come with a blank card for writing a personalized message.

• Roby King Galleries and all artists are donating 20 percent of art sales during the current show, “All Artists Autumn Exhibition,” which runs through Oct. 1.

• Churchmouse Yarns and Teas has made a special tea purchase and are donating the proceeds from 4-ounce bags to the Red Cross.

• American Marine Bank is collecting monetary donations at its branches. All money collected will go directly to the American Red Cross for the Gulf Coast area. Make checks payable to “American Red Cross” and bring them to any American Marine Bank location. Or mail them to: American Marine Bank, P.O. Box 10788, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110; Attention Gulf Coast Relief Fund.

• Washington Mutual employees are collecting donations at all the branches, which the bank will match up to $100,000.

• Hill Moving Services in Poulsbo has two drivers in the East who have volunteered to transport relief supplies to Louisiana and Mississipi. Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge, La., has agreed to supply food at their price.

Hill is working with the Red Cross to determine what supplies are needed most and where they should go.

Hill is asking islanders for monetary support to pay for the food and supplies. One hundred percent of all donations will go toward this cost. Send checks to: Grace Church, 8595 NE Day Rd. E., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 and write “Outreach-Hurricane” on the memo line.

– Rhona Schwartz

Churches host enviro-films

Two Bainbridge Island churches are co-sponsoring an Environmental Film and Discussion Series this fall to “help individuals see how personal choices relate to environmental impacts – from preserving water quality to reversing sprawl to stopping global warming.”

One of the five Friday film and discussion nights will focus on global climate change issues that underlie the tragedy in New Orleans.

Co-sponsored by Eagle Harbor Congregational Church and Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church, the theme of the series is “Because the Earth is our Home.”

Barry Peters, a Cedars member, said: “The tragedy in New Orleans, where toxic oil-industry pollutants in floodwaters are endangering more lives, shows the importance of caring for the environment.”

He added that the Oct. 14 film session on global warming will include a discussion of how climate changes are causing greater intensity and frequency of hurricanes.

“All of the films in the series pose the question of whether our actions, as individuals, communities and nations, are sustaining or depleting our fragile environment,” said Ellen Fisher, an Eagle Harbor Congregational Church member.

Every other Friday, the public is invited to attend any or all of the two-hour evening events.

An hour of film will be followed by an hour of discussion, with an appropriate subject matter expert for each session.

Friday film series topics, and questions to be posed by discussion leaders, will include:

• Sept. 16: “Our Home, Our Waters: What are the key environmental challenges for Bainbridge and Kitsap?” Will population growth exceed our water supply? How’s our water quality? What’s to be seen under the surface Puget Sound? Can the adverse impact of land development on woodlands and water be lessened by low impact development techniques? Discussion leader is Cara Cruickshank, co-director of the Natural Landscapes Project.

Sept. 30: “End of Subur­bia?”: As communities grow, is there an alternative to sprawl, traffic and parking problems, loss of farmland and dependence on our cars and imported oil? As gas prices soar, can we design communities primarily for people? Discussion leader is Sandy Fischer, Winslow Tomorrow project coordinator.

Oct. 14: “Global Warming: What is the evidence that our global climate is changing? What’s the cause?” The film called “Rising Waters” shows how warming causes ocean levels to rise and intensifies hurricanes. Did we ignore scientific warnings that could have saved lives in New Orleans? What are the lessons for the Northwest? Discussion leader is K.C. Golden, policy director of the Seattle non-profit Climate Solutions.

Oct. 28: “Food and Fish: Will there be any seafood left for our grandchildren?” Are we overfishing the oceans? Can we bring salmon back to our streams on Puget Sound? Discussion leader is Bobbie Morgan, co-director of the Natural Landscapes Project, and facilitator for courses of the Northwest Earth Institute.

Nov. 11: “Inspiration: How can we get back in touch with the inspirational and nurturing qualities of nature?” What day-to-day choices can we make to sustain rather than deplete it? Discussion leader is the Rev. Katherine Jesch, director of Environmental Ministries, Unitarian Universalist Association.

Information: Barry Peters, (206) 963-7701.

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