News Roundup - Island shellfish harvest closed/Fugitive sought after wild chase/Cabin project earns plaudits/Gals painted the downtown

Island shellfish harvest closed

Clam, mussel and oyster harvesting are closed indefinitely on the entire east side of Bainbridge.

The Kitsap County Health District issued a closure advisory from Point Monroe to South Beach after increasing levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poison were found June 8 in oyster samples in Blakely Harbor.

The closure does not impact shrimp or crab harvesting, but will remain in effect until PSP levels reach a safe level.

“The most important thing for people to realize is that this particular toxin can’t be destroyed by cooking,” said Health District spokesperson Shawn Ultican, adding that PSP also is undetectable by taste or sight.

PSP is produced naturally by plankton in Puget Sound and is common during warmer months when blooms are more abundant.

The plankton are consumed by filter-feeding shellfish, who concentrate the toxin in their tissues. Humans who eat contaminated shellfish will become sick.

Symptoms of PSP toxin exposure usually occur within one hour after eating and may include a tingling and numbness of the lips and tongue, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness and difficulty breathing. There is no antidote for the PSP toxin, which in extreme cases can be fatal.

The health district has 15 stations county-wide that monitor the levels of PSP and other toxins in the shellfish stock.

Warning signs will be posted at public beaches within the closed area until the advisory is over.

Ultican said shellfish found elsewhere around Bainbridge Island are safe to eat.

“This particular incident isn’t more severe than usual,” he said, referring to the extent of the closure. “But it’s important that people know about it and avoid shellfish in the area.”

– Chad Schuster

Fugitive sought after wild chase

Sheriff’s deputies and local police are looking for a Kitsap County man who allegedly assaulted a woman Saturday before nearly hitting a sheriff’s deputy with a motorcycle during his escape.

Matthew Christopher Sher­man, 23, is sought by Bainbridge Police for second-degree assault, violation of a protection order and felony eluding, authorities said.

He’s also wanted by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office for attempted assault on a deputy and felony eluding.

Police responded to an altercation between Sherman and a 39-year-old woman at a Tiffany Meadows address on Saturday afternoon, but the man was not there, police said.

The woman said Sherman had been in jail for a prior assault against her before he was released June 2, and had contacted her repeatedly since. The woman claimed Sherman choked her before he fled the residence.

Officers later located Sherman, who led them on a cross-island chase before he escaped somewhere in Suquamish.

At one point, he gunned his motorcycle and nearly ran down a deputy attempting to hold him at gunpoint, according to reports.

Sherman is described as a white male, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 190 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He has several prior offenses.

Sherman once lived on Bainbridge Island, but police said they were unsure of his current residence. Tipsters are asked to call 911 or 1-800-CRIME-13 with information.

– Chad Schuster

Cabin project earns plaudits

Team Yeomalt and the Bainbridge Island Parks Foun­dation were among five recipients of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation’s Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund Grant Award.

The $385 grant will be used to purchase a moisture meter to measure the moisture content of logs felled to replace a number of rotted logs near the cabin’s foundation.

The cabin on Yeomalt point was constructed by the federal Works Progress Administration in 1935 and has long served as a gathering place for Boy Scouts.

Named after Valerie Sivinski, a Tacoma-based preservationist killed in 2000 while engaged in field work, the Washington Preserves Fund provides grants to assist with local preservation efforts.

The Yeomalt cabin’s restoration project will also be highlighted in a story broadcast on PBS in the coming weeks, including Sunday at 11 a.m., Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and June 26 at 7:30 p.m.

– Tristan Baurick

Gals painted the downtown

The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association’s Girls Night Out, held May 11 along Winslow Way, was a resounding success.

Thanks to the efforts of Stephanie Jackson and her committee, the Winslow sponsors and participating merchants and the women who attended the event and bought goody bags, $1,300 was raised to help women in the community.

“We were very pleased to add the fund-raising portion of our event this year and deliver a check to the YMCA Alive shelter program on Banbridge Island,” said Cris Beattie, BIDA’s executive director. “The information we collected from our members was very informative and will make next year even better.”

– Rhona Schwartz

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