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News Roundup - Errant crane strikes bridge/Time to blaze a few trails/Report out on cultural center/Bergeson to visit island/Boating safety class offered

Troopers from the Washington State Patrol inspect a crane damaged when it struck the Agate Passage Bridge early Tuesday afternoon. - Tristan Baurick/Staff Photo
Troopers from the Washington State Patrol inspect a crane damaged when it struck the Agate Passage Bridge early Tuesday afternoon.
— image credit: Tristan Baurick/Staff Photo

Errant crane strikes bridge

A commercial truck carrying a construction crane clobbered the Agate Passage Bridge just after noon Tuesday, stalling highway traffic for close to an hour, police said.

Witnesses reported that the truck was northbound on the highway with the crane boom protruding upward such that it hit a stoplight at the Day Road intersection.

The truck continued on and struck the bridge, becoming lodged in the superstructure, according to police reports.

Some damage to the bridge was reported, but traffic flow resumed around 1 p.m., police said. The truck reportedly sustained “significant damage” to its hydraulic system.

More information was not available at press time.

Time to blaze a few trails

The park district’s Trail Advisory Committee is looking for a few good volunteers to take up shovel and rake as the trail building season begins.

“We have a huge, full plate trail work to do,” said committee member John Grinter.

Two large projects slated for completion in 2006 include trail connections between Fort Ward State Park and Blakely Harbor Park, as well as link between Battle Point Park and the western portion of the Grand Forest on Miller Road.

Volunteers who help at the Grand Forest will be treated to “a mind blowing” array of the rare trillium flowers, which are sprouting up this spring in clusters of 30 to 40, according to Grinter.

“I’ve been seeing thousands of them,” he said. “It’s the most amazing thing.”

Trail building efforts over the last two years have blazed several thousands of feet of new walkways. Various park properties have benefited, including the ‘shore-to-shore’ walk from Lynnwood Center to Port Orchard Bay and new trails in Blakely Harbor Park and the Grand Forest.

Grinter hopes volunteers of all abilities will consider helping with new trails during the monthly work parties held every fourth Saturday. Location listings are printed in the Review.

The committee is also looking to add new members to the seven-person advisory body. Elections of officers are slated for the committee’s next meeting on May 1. Committee meetings begin at 7 p.m. in Strawberry Hill Park’s meeting room.

For more information, contact Park District Planner Perry Barrett at 842-2306 or visit the committee’s website at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BI_Trails/.

– Tristan Baurick

Report out on cultural center

The pigments on the canvas are beginning to take form as Bainbridge Island artists inch closer to their goal of building a new cultural facility.

The Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council made several recommendations in their final report, including building a new cultural center that would host meetings, workshops, classes and performing and visual arts events.

The April 10 report was a more detailed version of the one presented to City Council last December, and was based on a cultural facilities feasibility study, which sought to determine the needs of the new facility.

The BIAHC is a private, not-for-profit group devoted to funding and promoting arts on the island.

Project coordinator Janice Shaw said that, if approved, the facility could be composed of two separate buildings, west and east.

The west site would serve as a multipurpose community center, the east would house arts education facilities and gallery space. In combination the buildings would cost some $15 million and would provide more than 31,000 square feet of new space for local artists. Shaw said much of the funding would be private.

“We have a wonderful opportunity at hand,” she said. “A facility like this would enrich the community in so many ways. The caliber of thinking involved in this project has been high and I think the recommendation reflects that.”

The group has also discussed cooperating with both the Bainbridge Island School District and Bainbridge Performing Arts to bring additional performing arts venues to the island.

For now, though, BIAHC is partnering with Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit that promotes participation and appreciation of art, to study the economic impact of the arts on Bainbridge.

The next important step is City Council’s consideration of a proposed site, located across from the farmer’s market.

“We’re further along than we’ve ever been,” Shaw said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the island will have a facility like this one day. Whether it’s two or five or ten years from now, this is going to happen because there are so many people who want it.”

– Chad Schuster

Bergeson to visit island

The Bainbridge Public Schools Trust will welcome Terry Bergeson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, to the island on May 16.

Bergeson will be the keynote speaker for the Schools Trust’s 2nd Annual Spring Luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. that day in the Parish Hall at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

The Schools Trust was created in 2002 to help the Bainbridge public schools raise money from the community to support district-wide programs and priorities. Trust funding focuses on improving the teacher to student ratio in classrooms, purchasing new curricula, and funding other district priorities.

This school year, trust fundraising is paying for 5.4 full-time equivalent teachers and helping to cover the cost of the Title 1 reading and academic remediation programs.

To attend the luncheon, call or email the Trust office soon due to limited seating. The luncheon will include a reception, short auction and presentation from other members of the education community. Tickets are $125.

Contact the Schools Trust office at 855-0530 or thetrust@bainbridge.wednet.edu

Boating safety class offered

With the boating season getting underway, now is a good time to take a boating course.

For those who want hands-on training, the Agate Pass Sail and Power Squadron is offering a classroom boater education course beginning May 23 at Martha & Mary (19160 Front St.) in Poulsbo.

The evening classes are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. The first night (May 23) starts at 6:30 p.m.

To sign up, call P/C Marty Schwartz, AP, at mschwartz@quixnet.net or (360) 692-1523.

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