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News Roundup --Islander sought for ferry group/Wildlife shelter is going nuts

Islander sought for ferry group

Got a vision for the future of the island’s ferry terminal?

Then answer the call for volunteer members of the ferry system’s new Bainbridge Ferry Terminal Advisory Group.

“There’s a lot of cynicism about government and that their input with the ferry system doesn’t matter,” said David Groves, a bicycle commuter and member of the Bainbridge Island Ferry Advisory Committee, one of several regional committees established to serve as liaisons between ferry communities and the Washington State Ferries. “It’s easy to sit back in the armchair and be critical, but what people on Bainbridge need to do is put down the bonbons, turn off the Oprah and get involved in this public process.”

The new 12-member citizen group will convene later this year and provide advice to WSF into 2006. WSF hopes to draw a “broad cross-section of geographic locations, interest groups and community organizations” for the group, according to WSF spokesperson Joy Goldenberg.

WSF wishes to collect local input as it crafts an update of the 1998 Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal Master Plan and spend over $160 million in upgrades over the next 12 years.

“This is an opportunity for people to have some hands-on influence on how this proceeds,” Groves said, adding that many terminal projects islanders care about most — including pedestrian and bicycle pathways — are slated for later stages.

“That means there’s still plenty of time to have your say,” he said.

To apply, send a letter of interest to Washington State Ferries; Attn: Joy Goldenberg; 2901 3rd Ave., Suite 500; Seattle, WA 98121-3014 or email to bainbridgeprojects@wsdot.wa.gov. Letters are due Oct. 17.

—Tristan Baurick

Wildlife shelter is going nuts

The Island Wildlife Shelter was overrun by squirrels over the summer, taking in more than 25 squirrels since Aug. 1 from all corners of Kitsap County, organizers said this week

The majority of the squirrels were smaller brown Douglas squirrels; the others were the larger eastern grey squirrel. At times, the shelter at Bloedel Reserve had as many as 10 high-energy squirrels simultaneously flitting about cages, director Kol Medina said.

The shelter will release three young squirrels into the wild this week; the animals were found in different areas of Kitsap County and needed assistance because they were either injured or orphaned.

The three squirrels being released were treated for their wounds and placed in an outdoor cage together. Although they are not siblings, they were able to learn from each other and form a sense of family. Squirrels are particularly prone to imprinting — coming to see a human as its parent.

Shelter officials encouraged the public to call IWS upon finding injured, orphaned or sick wildlife.

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