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News Roundup -- Relief plans for Katrina shared/Fort Ward visits museum/Fire training affects water/Canned food for bus fare/Keep holidays bright and safe/Holi

Relief plans for Katrina shared

A community-wide effort is under way to help put hurricane-ravaged Louisiana back together.

At the first “Katrina Assistance” meeting on Tuesday, hosted by the City of Bainbridge Island, 25 city councilors, representatives of community groups and individuals discussed ideas that required more than writing another check.

“We decided as a council that there is a better way as a city to show compassion and have a larger impact...a longer-time partnership with cities on the Gulf Coast,” said Councilwoman Christine Rolfes, who volunteered to spearhead the effort.

“The meeting was the first step toward forming a foundation to start building that (partnership) up,” she said, and it drew people “who actually will do the work.”

Fire Chief Jim Walkowski showed slides from his stint in Lake Charles, helping with cleanup efforts.

Hazel Van Evera, owner of Pegasus Coffee House, visited family in the area after the hurricane and shared what she saw and heard.

Rolfes said the group hopes to find “infrastructure that would welcome us, for example, distributing large amounts of goods” and build a partnership relationship through Bainbridge contacts.

Kevin Dwyer of the Chamber of Commerce is looking for business contacts to ship relief materials, while Van Evera works with a priest in Vermillion Parish, which includes three islands.

That area could possibly become a Bainbridge sister city, Rolfers said.

“We have a couple of action items to follow up, a little to-do list,” Rolfes said.

Talk also centered around the earthquake-torn area in Pakistan and “the needs on our own island,” Rolfes said. “How do you balance all that?”

– Rhona Schwartz

Fort Ward visits museum

Bainbridge Island’s Fort Ward neighborhood was once an Army post and home to a U.S. Navy radio school during World War II.

Those days are revisited in the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum’s latest exhibit, “A Brief History of Fort Ward.”

Photos and documents summarize highlights of the history of the fort, which started out as a U.S. Army post, then became a Navy radio school.

Visitors will learn about secret wartime intelligence operations conducted at Fort Ward in the main gallery’s exhibit “World War II and Bainbridge Island: World Events, Local Effects.”

Ivan Lee’s chronicle of “The Little Fort at Bean Point” has been reprinted. It provides a detailed account of the buildings, their uses and history of the area. Copies are available for purchase from the museum store. The museum is open 1-4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Fire training affects water

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department will conduct a “live fire” training exercise from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at 7729 Finch Road.

Training will be conducted inside a donated structure and traffic may be affected while fire apparatus are filled with water.

The training will provide firefighters the opportunity to practice in a live fire environment, which is an annual training requirement.

To minimize any impact on nearby water customers, the city is recommending that heavier water uses – showering, washing clothes, washing vehicles – are keep to a minimum during this time frame.

Even with curtailed usage, some water customers may experience pressure fluctuations and possible water discoloration. Public Works officials said it is only a temporary condition and that normal water pressure will return momentarily.

City personnel will monitor local water conditions during the training exercise and take actions to minimize customer impacts and return the water system to normal operating status as quickly as possible.

Canned food for bus fare

Next time you get on the bus, instead of reaching for your change, reach for the grocery bag instead.

Every weekday next week, Dec. 5-9, Kitsap Transit will be running its annual Food Fare food drive. Riders can drop canned food items in the collection box onboard each bus in exchange for a free ride.

Food-for-fare donations will be collected on routed bus service, ACCESS, vanpools, the Kitsap Transit foot ferry and worker/driver buses, which will compete again for the “Food Fare Champ” title.

Donations will be given to the food banks in the area of the county where they were collected.

Since the first year of the drive in 1988, riders have donated more than 500,000 cans of food.

Keep holidays bright and safe

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department is urging residents to enjoy holiday decorations safely by taking a few precautions.

To keep a Christmas tree from dangerously drying out, check it daily to be sure it has enough water. For each inch of trunk diameter, a tree will need one quart of water per day. A tree with a 2-inch trunk will drink half a gallon each day. Also, make sure the tree is placed away from heating sources.

For decorations, only use materials that have been certified as flame-retardant, especially when decorating around light bulbs. Light bulbs can reach temperatures of 500-700 defgrees F and will ignite paper products in contact with them.

Light displays should be unplugged when a business is closed or unoccupied.

Lighted candles or open flame devices should never be used in any displays. Do not connect multi-plug adapters together and make sure the adapters and other electrical devices have a UL sticker. Try to keep extension cords short and make sure they are in good condition and can take the load demanded of them.

For more information, contact Bainbridge Island Fire Chief Jim Walkowski or Fire Marshal Earl Davis at 842-7686.

Holidays bring artists home

Yuletide cheer envelopes the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts gallery with “Island Artists: Home for the Holidays.” Paintings, furniture, prints, glass items, weaving, photography, art books, quilts and ceramics are on exhibit Dec. 2 through Jan. 3, 2006.

Artists include Scott Allen, Gayle Bair, Barbara Berger, Caroline Cooley Browne, Gillian Bull, Kristine Carroll, Linda Costello, Greg Davis, Jason Devinney, Garth Edwards, Bob Fermanis, Raymond Gendreau, Masako Guidry, Jeannie Grisham, Denise Harris, Tracy Lang, Aaron Levine, M.J. Linford, Brian Mackin, Elizabeth Moga, Steve Maslach, Claudia McKinstry, Joe and Elida O’Brien, Carol Roi Olsen, Sally Robison, Terry Siebert, Maggie Smith, Rick Stafford, Sharon Strauss, Kristin Tollefson, Diane Walker, Kay Walsh and Amy Williams.

For more information call 842-3132.

Sticks and stones on view

A celebration of “Sticks and Stones,” an exhibit of photographs and poems by Susan K. Hylen, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Bainbridge public library.

Her works feature the terrain and trees of national forests and parks and on back roads. Hylen will read her poetry and offer framed photographs, prints and custom-made cards for purchase, with 25 percent of all sales donated to the library.

The exhibit is on display through Dec. 31. For more information contact 842-3566 or shylen@mac.com.

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