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Happy 90th, Bette Nute

Some of Bette Nute’s fondest memories are wrapped in the pages of the Bainbridge Review. And many old-time islanders’ memories are punctuated by her presence.

“A lot of people who now live on Bainbridge Island, their first contact with anything was with Mom,” said Bette’s son, John.

On Monday, he’ll join his brother, Bob; Bette’s caregiver, Anita Dunsmore; and other friends and former co-workers in celebrating Bette’s 90th birthday.

Bette was employed by the newspaper from 1954-1978, working for years under Walt and Milly Woodward.

As described by John, who also worked at the Review folding and distributing papers, the Woodwards ran the editorial and publishing show and Bette kept it all together.

From her post at the front desk – which John said was set up with a glass partition behind it like something out of “Dragnet” – she connected with the public and offered assistance to anyone who stopped in.

“She was the one who interfaced with the community,” John said. “There was no Chamber of Commerce or anything like that. So anyone who was new to the island came to the Bainbridge Review first.”

Recently, Bette took a tour of the Review’s current offices and press on Day Road.

While the paper operated out of different locations during her tenure – Pleasant Beach, the current site of the ferry terminal and later, in Winslow – Dunsmore reported that Bette’s visit here felt exactly like home.

“Of all the things in her life, that is one of the most important things to her,” Dunsmore said.

She and John said Bette’s memory is fading somewhat these days but that she’s recently whipped through recovery for a hip replacement and is dancing. And more to the point, her enthusiasm never wanes.

“She is just such a pleasure to know. Her attitude is such a treasure. She has a positive, beautiful, I love you attitude,” Dunsmore said.

The Nutes invite warmer friends and co-workers to call or visit Bette at her birthday open house on Monday afternoon.

– Lindsay Latimore

WSF could ask for RSVPs

The idea of creating a reservation system at Seattle’s Colman Dock is gaining momentum, according to a weekly dispatch from Washington State Ferries chief David Moseley.

Moseley met with representatives of the City of Seattle Monday, who responded positively to the possibility of using reservations as a tool for alleviating congestion on Alaskan Way. A reservation system is already in place on the Port Townsend/Keystone ferry run.

“All in all, the reservations concept is gaining support throughout ferry-served communities, as the success of the Port Townsend/Keystone pilot reservations program becomes more widely known,” Moseley wrote in his Friday email.

Reservations were one of nine operations strategies being considered by WSF to increase efficiency in the system.

The agency gathered public comment on the strategies in a series of meetings this spring.

WSF is launching another series of meetings in ferry-served communities this month. A meeting will be held on Bainbridge Oct. 2.

New operations strategies will be packaged with a long-range financial plan and submitted to the state Legislature for approval in its 2009 session.

Moseley’s weekly updates are available online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/weekly.

Islander pedals in ‘Big Ride’

Islander Stephanie Grassia is setting out on a “Big Ride” for a big cause Saturday.

Starting at the Seattle Waterfront, Grassia will join 26 other bicyclists for a 15-day journey down the Pacific coast. The event is organized to raise money for the American Lung Association, and spread awareness about lung disease.

“Participating in this event has been an interest of mine for several years,” Grassia said. “After my father-in-law passed away from pulmonary fibrosis in March 2007, it became my goal. I will be riding in his memory.”

Grassia, an environmental lawyer, has raised $7,000 in connection with her ride.

The fifth annual “Big Ride Pacific Coast” covers 960 miles and ends at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. To find out more, see www.cleanairadventures.org/big_ride_pacific_coast.

City mulling new tree regs

The city is creating a tree and brush ordinance that will consolidate regulations once scattered across the forest of city code.

Proposed changes to vegetation policy will be up for discussion before the public and council members Tuesday. The meeting runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall Council Chambers.

A code revision was one recommendation made in a Community Forest Management Plan adopted by the city in 2006.

The plan also outlined ways the city’s vegetation regulations could be strengthened to promote sustainable urban forests.

A final draft of the ordinance is expected in January.

For more information, see the project page on the city website at http://www.ci.bainbridge-isl.wa.us/tree_ordinance.aspx or contact planner Kelly Dickson at 780-3725.

More higher ed for Kitsap?

The Higher Education Coordinating Board is feeling out the need for new bachelor’s and master’s degree programs west of Puget Sound.

The board is surveying resident and businesses of Kitsap County, along with Mason, Jefferson, and Clallam Counties, to determine the demand for higher education in the region, and what degrees are sought after by employers.

Responses to the 26-question survey will be accepted through mid September and results will be available in November. A report from the survey will also be forwarded to the state Legislature.

The Legislature has been considering options for creating new degree programs in the West Sound region.

A link to the survey is posted on the city’s website at http://www.ci.bainbridge-isl.wa.us/.

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