News Roundup -- Auditor fixes vote miscount/Katrina dinner nets over $16K/Teen concert series slated

Auditor fixes vote miscount

Human and machine error were to blame for a miscount of more than 200 Bainbridge ballots on election day.

The double-count of 203 votes was rooted out during the Kitsap County Auditor’s post-election vetting. The inflated unofficial results gave a few candidates a short-time boost, but did not change the winners and losers.

“Obviously, we don’t like what happened,” said Auditor Karen Flynn. “But that’s why we call them ‘unofficial results’ until the day they’re certified.”

An automatic ballot counter, which resembles a large copy machine, jammed when one or more ballots in a batch sent from Bainbridge fed through at the same time.

An elections official mistakenly pushed the wrong button to correct the jam and accidently ordered the machine to count the ballots a second time.

Ballot jams are fairly common during the counting process and are typically easy to correct, Flynn said. But new machines purchased just before the Sept. 20 primary were unfamiliar to some elections staff.

“A lot goes on during election day and there’s a lot of human beings involved in the process,” Flynn said. “We anticipate machine jams, but human errors also happen. That’s why we have safeguards.”

The mistake was caught during the auditor’s “reconciliation process,” when the counting process is given a critical once-over. The Kitsap County Canvass Board was notified of the error and recommended a re-reading of the ballots.

The adjusted, unofficial results as of Thursday evening show no shake-ups or position changes in Bainbridge races.

In the race for mayor, incumbent Darlene Kordonowy drew 4,737 votes for just under 53 percent of the vote; Nezam Tooloee had 2,317 votes for about 26 percent; Will Peddy had 1,050 votes for 11.7 percent and Michael Berry drew 814 votes for 9 percent.

In the three-way race for a North Ward City Council seat, incumbent Debbie Vancil netted 1,252 votes for about 49 percent of the vote; Frank Renna Jr. received 718 votes for 28 percent and Jeannie McMacken earned 561 votes for 22 percent.

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department’s tax limit increase held a wide margin of victory, with 5,524 residents voting for the measure and 3,540 voting against.

–Tristan Baurick

Katrina dinner nets over $16K

The generosity of some 125 islanders was rewarded with good food and lots of fun at last Sunday’s Farm Dinner fund-raiser at Anne’s Flower Farm’s organic farm in Poulsbo.

The event garnered more than $16,000 from ticket sales, $500 from a live raffle and $3,500 from auction items – 100 percent of which benefited the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

“Everything was perfect,” said Weber, who thought up the dinner idea. “The weather was beautiful, the food was amazing, the band was really good and it was so rewarding.”

Calling the event a great community effort, Weber added, “It was such a good energy from the people involved. We thank all of the people who donated their time and effort and wish we could name them all here.”

Right before the auction started – and before dessert was served – a guest came up to Weber and said, “I’m cold” and handed her a check for $1,000.

“I told her to wait and ran to the kitchen to get her a plate of dessert,” Weber recalled. “I said, ‘At least take a brownie.’

“I’m so proud of the community,” Weber said, adding that she had to cut off ticket sales the day before the dinner. “People said, “Let’s do this again.’”

–Rhona Schwartz

Teen concert series slated

Let the kids have free rein, and they might douse themselves in glitter, take up the guitar, start using archaic German words or even light a few “corny candles.”

Basically, they’ll do whatever they want. And that’s the point behind Zeitgeist, a new youth-powered concert series kicking off Oct. 8 at the Island Music Guild Hall.

The monthly event will allow “young music lovers to experience what their peers are creating, and hopefully will provide them with inspiration to do the same,” said Caleb Stickland, who will serve as Zeitgiest’s co-coordinator with Gruff Mummies bandmate Paul Brinkley. “The success of (Zeitgeist) is entirely reliant on the youths’ aptitude to organize it. Creative control remains within the hands of the youths, who can decide if they want a singer-song writer night, have corny candles burning through the sets or whatever. It’s up to us, and its very empowering,” he said.

A performance by the Gruff Mummies will christen Zeitgiest’s maiden voyage. The Mummies’ “parade of glitz and glam” will follow a performance by the local Brit-blues band Harvest.

The show will also feature the Pharmacy from Olympia, a band Strickland heralds as purveyors of “punk rock dance pirate originals.”

Korum Bischoff, the guild’s vice president, said Zeitgeist was inspired by Seattle’s Vera Project, a concert venue run by and for the city’s under-21 rock community.

“I used to play shows there and it was beautiful,” Bischoff said. “The kids did the programming, ran the sound, did the advertising. You might see one or two adults back against the wall making sure everything went OK.”

The same will be true for Zeitgeist, with Bischoff serving as the adult supervisor while the island’s youth run the shows.

“The kids named it ‘Zeitgeist,’” he said. “It’s an old German word meaning the ‘spirit of the time,’ and I think that’s what they want to capture.”

Ties to the guild, and a grant from the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council, will give teens a professional-level venue for inexpensive shows without having to ferry over to Seattle, Bischoff said. The guild’s hall is free for the bands and technical help is supplied at no-cost.

“Clearly its not always easy for teens to see live acts, and we’d like to change that,” said Brinkley.

The second-Saturday Zeitgiest concert series begins Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Island Music Guild Hall, 10598 Valley Road. Admission is $3.

–Tristan Baurick

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