Best Bets for Feb. 16-19| The Bainbridge Blab

Man, the government is slow to act.

Did you know that President’s Day, originally established way back in 1885, is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government?

The name was actually for all intents and purposes changed back in the ‘70s.

From “Traditionally celebrated on February 22 — Washington’s actual day of birth — the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.”

Side note: Can you believe there was a time when creating more paid time off was a concern of any political organization?

Sing it, Bob: “For the times they are a-changin’…”

And there’s one more thing to think about before you turn off that alarm clock Sunday night.

“While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures,” tells us, “Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.”

That’s right.

It is literally the President’s Day.

So, how will you spend it? Aside from the usual gaggle of mattress, furniture and used car sales screaming at your from the TV screen, there are several ways to spend your Fed-given free time here on the Rock.

First, it’s opening weekend for Marvel’s newest tights-clad popcorn extravaganza: “Black Panther,” playing at Bainbridge Cinemas in the Pavilion.

Actually the 18th film (can you believe that?) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this one’s something a little different — in all the best ways.

The film already received critical acclaim, with praise for the direction, costume design, action sequences, soundtrack, and performances of the cast aplenty. Some have even called it one of the best films set in the MCU, and noted its timely and important cultural impact.

Writing for Time, Jamil Smith said “Black Panther,” which he described as a film, “about what it means to be black in both America and Africa — and, more broadly, in the world,” was “poised to prove to Hollywood that African-American narratives have the power to generate profits from all audiences. And, more important, that making movies about black lives is part of showing that they matter.

“In the midst of a regressive cultural and political moment fueled in part by the white-nativist movement, the very existence of Black Panther feels like resistance. Its themes challenge institutional bias, its characters take unsubtle digs at oppressors, and its narrative includes prismatic perspectives on black life and tradition.”

Go here for show times and ticket info:

Eagle Harbor Book Company will host former Bainbridge Island resident Anna Quinn for a reading of her debut novel, “The Night Child,” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18.

Nora Brown teaches high school English and lives a quiet life in Seattle with her husband and 6-year-old daughter. But, one November day, moments after dismissing her class, a mysterious girl’s face appears above the students’ desks: “a wild numinous face with startling blue eyes, a face floating on top of shapeless drapes of purples and blues where arms and legs should have been. Terror rushes through Nora’s body — the kind of raw terror you feel when there’s no way out, when every cell in your body, your entire body, is on fire — when you think you might die.”

Twenty-four hours later, while on Thanksgiving vacation, the face appears again.

Shaken and unsteady, Nora meets with neurologists and eventually, a psychiatrist. As the story progresses, a terrible secret is discovered, a secret that pushes Nora toward an even deeper psychological breakdown.

The novel examines the impact of traumatic childhood experiences and the fragile line between past and present.

Booklist called it, “an exhilarating debut.”

Visit to learn more.

Beautiful sights abound under Cupid’s affectionate gaze at Bloedel Reserve’s fifth Annual Cupid’s Walk, running from Friday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 18.

This romantic tradition for the Valentine season invites guests to explore the love story of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, as expressed in the spectacular gardens and landscapes of the reserve.

“A walk through Bloedel Reserve is good for the heart in so many ways,” said Ed Moydell, Bloedel’s executive director. “More than a place of uncommon originality and beauty, Bloedel is truly a living expression of a beautiful love story, the 65-year-plus marriage of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel. Their love of nature, and one another, is revealed in the gardens, ponds, and glens, and within their home.

“Cupid’s Walk is a chance to share the romance at the heart of the Bloedel landscapes with those you love. And what could be better for the heart?”

Couples and families — and friends and singles, too — can take in sweeping views, romantic overlooks and intimate gardens as they discover the real love story at the heart of Bloedel Reserve. Special spots along the trails, shown on a seasonal Cupid’s Walk map, reveal the underlying affection between Prentice and Virginia.

Bloedel Reserve is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the last admission at 3 p.m. Adult admission is $17 with discounts for seniors, students and military. The reserve is closed every Monday.

Visit for more information.

Inspired by the unique legacy of a community that welcomed their Japanese American friends and neighbors home after World War II, volunteers will gather for “service and community” by doing landscaping maintenance and making improvements at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial on Monday, Feb. 19.

Volunteers will work at the memorial from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to pitch in and help; please wear appropriate work clothing, gloves and bring your own gardening tools.

The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is located at Pritchard Park, 4192 Eagle Harbor Drive.

The Bainbridge Blab is your one-stop spot to get the 411 on all things 98110. From South Beach to Agate Passage, Battle Point to Rolling Bay, we’ve got the straight skinny on Bainbridge Island: the latest chatter, babble and burble. News, too. Have a tip or a comment for the Blab? Email us at

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