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News Roundup -- Schools seek project help/Manheim tennis benefit/Sing Out for MLK Jan. 28/Ferry fare hike, your thoughts?

Schools seek project help

The Bainbridge Island School District is seeking community volunteers to participate on a new Capital Projects Advisory Committee.

The charge: to provide the superintendent and board with advice, analysis and recommendations regarding the district’s proposed 2006-08 construction program and ensure appropriate public oversight and involvement in the expenditure of public funds derived for the 2006 school bond.

Five community members are needed. Applications should be submitted to the district administrative office, to the attention of Capital Projects by Jan. 31.

Call Tamela Van Winkle at 780-1595 for information.

Manheim tennis benefit

Tennis enthusiasts are gearing up for this year’s Garth Manheim Memorial Event, which traditionally fills all five courts at the Bainbridge Athletic Club.

This marks the fifth year for the benefit, which began six months after 16-year-old Garth’s death, said his mother, Leigh Manheim.

“Garth and (dad) Jonathan were both avid tennis players,” she said. “Garth always said it’d be fun to have juniors and seniors play together.”

Proceeds will benefit the Washington State Youth Suicide Prevention Program. On alternate years, money goes to the national organization.

“Many seniors don’t have too much contact with younger people,” Manheim said. “Here older people get paired up with teens and they love it. If somebody doesn’t have the $50 (fee), we will pay it.”

The all-day event will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 28. It is funded by the Manheim family and the BAC, with all proceeds benefiting YSPP.

“This is one of Bainbridge Athletic Club’s most popular events,” said tennis director Ross Eaton. “It’s a great charity and we are proud to be in partnership with the Manheim family.”

Teams of youths and adults of the same ability compete in groups of five throughout the day. The event includes a fitness time from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for non-tennis players and, at 6:30 p.m., a catered dinner and Pro-Am competition for all participants and their families.

The Manheims’ goal is to “raise awareness of youth suicide within the entire community.”

“It’s always a lot of fun,” Manheim said, and in terms of response, “usually we max out.”

Fees are $50 for the tennis tournament and $40 for two 90-minute fitness classes. Both prices include dinner. Dinner alone is $25.

To participate in the event or make a donation, contact Eaton at 842-5661 or ross@bainbridgeathleticclub.com.

– Rhona Schwartz

New faces on BPA board

New faces are helping steer the Bainbridge Performing Arts’ board of directors. They are Lynn Nordby, Laurie Bauman Arnold and Suzanne Merriman.

Chris Snow, now a member of City Council, and Kathleen Jennings, who served for six years on the all-volunteer board, have stepped down.

The board serves as a liaison between BPA and the community, hires the managing director, approves the annual budget and sets the long-range vision.

Sing Out for MLK Jan. 28

A day-long tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will showcase Sing Out! with Pastor Pat Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir in concert Jan. 28 at the Filipino American Community Hall.

A choir workshop and soul food dinner will precede the concert.

Everyone is invited to join the “Sixth Annual Interfaith MLK Jr. Memorial Choir” by attending founder-director Wright’s workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. The traditional black gospel-style choir requires no sheet music. Dinner is from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by the concert at 7.

Advance dinner tickets and workshop-dinner-concert packages must be purchased by 6 p.m. Jan. 25 at Winslow Drug. To order tickets by mail, call 842-2200. The dinner is $12 per person. The package is $30 for adults and $20 for ages 10 to 17. Scholarships may be available.

Concert tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students. The workshop is $12 for adults and $6 for students.

Proceeds benefit Helpline House, local nonprofits and the American Red Cross.

The Filipino American Hall is at 7566 High School Road. For information call 842-4164 or (360) 779-2097.

Ferry fare hike, your thoughts?

Washington State Ferries is seeking public comment on a proposed fare increase slated for later this year.

WSF is considering a 6 percent hike for most passengers, while motorcycle riders may see a 14 percent increase by May. Walk-on fares would increase from $6.10 to $6.50 full fare. Automobile and driver fares would rise from $10.60 to $11.25.

The fare hikes are necessary to cover the rising cost of fuel and to update the amount of space motorcycles occupy on state ferries, WSF officials said.

WSF’s Director of Operations, Traci Brewer-Rogstad, said WSF will seriously consider public comment.

“After we gather public comment, at the meetings, via email or the other ways we have to communicate, (state officials) will meet again and review their proposal based on the comments,” she said. “Public involvement in this process works, people do listen and changes have been made to past proposals based on comments. Customers should be comfortable that their opinions will be heard.”

Eight meetings are planned around the sound from February 15 through March 1 to gather public comment on the proposal, Brewer-Rogstad said.

In mid-March, the state Transportation Commission will hold a public hearing in Seattle to take formal testimony on the fare proposal, review customer comments and make decisions based on recommendations.

WSF will hold an open house on Bainbridge Island on March 1 at the Bainbridge Commons on Brien Drive from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Ferry riders can email comments to WSF at tariff@wsdot.wa.gov or call (888) 808-7977.

– Tristan Baurick

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