Two excellent reasons to kill the television

If we need any more proof that Mom was right when she told us to get off the couch and go do something worthwhile, the pages of today’s Review offer two more excellent examples.

Kate Carruthers could certainly have been excused for sitting down and putting her feet up after a long day in a high-pressure Seattle law firm, or later on, trying to establish a solo law practice on Bainbridge Island, bringing up two children all the while.

Instead, she turned what she concedes is an unusually high energy level into community service, cutting such a broad swath of involvement that it’s almost more unusual not to find her involved.

“I grew up in a small town in Eastern Washington, and like most kids, I found it confining and couldn’t wait to get out,” says this year’s Kiwanis Citizen of the Year. “But now, I’ve come to really appreciate just how comforting living in a small town can be.”

Carruthers tells us her parents served as examples, showing her that involvement is not time out of one’s life, but a path towards enrichment – “the wonderful rewards of being in a community,” as she puts it.

Lest we think that community involvement is a life of earnest do-gooding devoid of entertainment, let’s remember John Rudolph, whose self-deprecating sense of humor veiled only thinly a wide-ranging and penetrating intellect. A leading architect whose work is seen in our pre-renovation library and many of the island’s parks, Rudolph was a well-respected amateur astronomer with published articles on the Agate Passage petroglyphs and other archaeo-astronomical matters, and a

co-founder of the observatory at Battle Point Park.

Rudolph is just as well known for his lighter side – the Scotch Broom Parade (which, we note sadly, appears to have withered), the Intensely Vigorous Revolutionary Volunteer Dixieland Band, which became a staple of the Fourth of July Parade, and his various fund-raising stunts like a Cow Pie contest (involvement in which he denied, unconvincingly).

As long-time astronomy colleague Mac Gardiner said about Rudolph, “he made Bainbridge Island much more fun than it had any right to be.” He left us laughing.

There are a lot of small towns, but not a lot of people like Kate Carruthers and John Rudolph. And that’s why there is no place like Bainbridge Island.

The right choice

Another thing we like about Bainbridge Island is having our “own” congressman, especially one like Jay Inslee, with whose views we find ourselves generally in agreement.

While we would have wished Jay well had he decided to run for governor, and while we would have “root, root, rooted” for the home team, we applaud his decision to forego that race, and try to hang on to what is becoming an increasingly safe seat representing the 1st Congressional District in Congress.

Had Inslee made the governor’s race, the 1st District seat would have been hotly contested, and almost surely filled by a non-islander. With only 3 percent of the district’s population here, we would certainly see much less of our next congressman than we do of Inslee.

Thanks, Jay, for staying put.

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