News Roundup -- High school 'rained out'/Lost and found is piling up/Festivals seek island films/Rights event slated

High school ‘rained out’

The atmosphere was unusually lively for a Monday morning at Bainbridge High School, as the student population milled around on the mall.

The gym looked like a political caucus, minus the politics, as teachers held up signs to gather their students.

At about 9:30 a.m., the sprinkler system of an upstairs classroom in building 300 was triggered. The resulting water damage forced school to be cancelled for the day.

“For us, the big issue is it happened where the majority of our classroom space is,” BHS Principal Brent Peterson said. “Twenty to 24 classroom spaces became instantly unusable.”

The sprinkler system was set off when students making mobiles with coat hangers tried to hang them from the sprinkler heads near the ceiling, said Mike Currie, the school district’s director of maintenance, operations and transportation.

Students didn’t realize that the heat-sensitive glass vial of the head would break under the pressure of the coat hanger and set off both the sprinkler and fire alarm systems.

School was cancelled due to a lack of available classrooms, but Assistant Superintendent Bruce Colley said that school was expected to start again on Tuesday as usual.

“A good deal of water” from the sprinkler system also drained into classrooms underneath, Colley said.

Two classrooms on the second floor and one on the first floor will remain closed until at least next Monday for repairs and drying out, Currie said.

The alarm and sprinkler systems were back in operation by Monday afternoon.

The fire department answered the call, and water and electricity in the building was shut down until 11 a.m. Although not all classrooms in the building were damaged by water, the unaffected classrooms were not usable for the rest of the day.

“If you occupy part of the building, it’d impede the cleanup,” Colley said in the morning. “It’s also a matter of having the (sprinkler) system online and (the building) reapproved for occupancy.”

“If it had been a smaller space, we would have used other space (for classes), but with that many spaces not available, we really can’t provide meaningful instruction or a safe place for kids,” Peterson said. “It puts us in our closed-down school mode.”

In the gym, teachers helped their students with parental permission sign themselves out, while other parents were called to release their students from school.

For all the excitement, the evacuation of the buildings and emergency release of students were orderly, Peterson said.

“It’s going very well. The kids were cooperative and the staff stepped up,” he said. “You plan for a lot of contingencies, but the specifics are always different.”

Currie said a similar incident occurred soon after Sakai Intermediate School was opened. The weight of a coat hung on an emergency shower worked the valve open after several hours.

– Tina Lieu

Lost and found is piling up

If you can’t find your car keys, they might be in your coat pocket or buried under papers on your dining table.

But what do you do when you lose a pair of kayaks?

Try the police – they want to give them back.

“The two kayaks are taking up a lot of room,” said Elizabeth Lumsden, evidence assistant at the Bainbridge Island Police Department.

Lost objects, as mundane keys and cell phones to the more unusual power tools and small kitchen appliances, make their way to the police lost and found all year long.

Lumsden says the department usually holds found items for 90 days. If they’re not picked up, they may be given to the finder – if he or she said they’d like the item if not claimed – discarded or sold online at

Currently being held by the police station are sets of keys (15); wallets (six); cell phones (four); kayaks (two); two-way radios; cordless phones; garage door openers; backpacks and purses (two each); and black suitcases, maroon briefcases, trailer hitches and leaf blowers (one each).

Also waiting to be claimed are a suitcase full of personal belongings; miscellaneous power and hand tools; a toolbox; miscellaneous small kitchen appliances; a case of CDs; an AccuCheck blood monitor; a sports binder; miscellaneous jewelry; and several bicycles and scooters.

Anyone who believes one of the items may be theirs should call the station at 842-5211 during regular hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Describe the item and where you think you lost it or, in the case of money, what the denominations were.

Lumsden says a youngster once brought in $2,150 cash found at the pool, and the casino winnings were successfully reunited with their owner.

– Tina Lieu

Festivals seek island films

There’s a place for your film to screen on the island, whether it’s avant-garde, homey island vignettes or a full-length feature.

A call is out for filmmakers to submit works to February’s Celluloid Bainbridge fest, or the first Arts Studio series of art and experimental films.

Arts Studio seeks film entries by Nov. 23 to be shown this winter.

“We’re not sure what to expect,” gallery owner Art Grice said. “There will be some short experimental art films and some still images. Some are purely art films with music. And we have a pure documentary by photographer Don Normark with music by Ry Cooder called ‘Chavez Ravine.’ This was shown on Channel 9.”

This film documents what happened to the Chavez Ravine barrio near downtown Los Angeles in the 1950s.

Normark began photographing the neighborhood in 1949. The city evicted the residents and razed their homes. Instead of putting up new houses, Dodger Stadium was built on the land.

“We’ve had a few series of evenings like this – nothing too crazy or pornographic. We will review everything,” Grice said, adding that they’re not looking for films of people’s cats or “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

What they hope to get are “interesting art forms and inventiveness,” he said.

Interested filmmakers should contact Art Grice (842-1294;, Dan Kowalski (842-1890; or Sally Prangley (842-5151;

The Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival, to be held on Feb. 12, is seeking film entries that are either filmed on the island or include a past or present Bainbridge resident in the cast or crew.

Last year’s festival of 36 films including documentaries, short features, animation by children, experimental and full-length features.

Applications for festival entries are available at Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council, Bainbridge Cinemas, Silver Screen Video and Lynwood Theatre. Or download a form from

Submit applications by Dec. 1. For works in progress, contact 842-7901 or to request an extension.

– Rhona Schwartz and

Tina Lieu

Rights event slated

Islander Kim Bush chairs the 15th Annual Kitsap County Human Rights Conference, “A World that Works for All,” to be held Dec. 9 at Kiana Lodge.

Keynote speaker Jennifer James will discuss the accelerating pace of change in society, cultures and the economy and the importance of understanding one’s own culture and others in order to compete in a global economy. Other sessions include:

• First amendment attorney Bruce Johnson and Davis Wright Tremaine – “Homeland Security and Its Discontents”

• Jonathon Garfunkel and Edward Mikel – “Human Rights 101.” Pedagogical considerations for the practice of human rights education in community-based education and elementary, middle and high school levels

• Dr. Frank Kitamoto – “White Washing Yellow Faces: Looking Like the Enemy”

• Rob Jacobs, regional director, Anti-Defamation League – “Hate Activity in the Northwest.”

Reservations must be made in advance. The cost is $25 per person, including students. Download registration forms at or call (360) 337-4883. The conference is sponsored by the Kitsap County Commission and the County Council for Human Rights.

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