Bainbridge Island briefs

Traffic patrols

The Washington State Patrol will join 10 other Western states law enforcement agencies with emphasis patrols over the New Year’s Holiday.

WSP chief John R. Batiste said: “Slow down! Drive sober and pay attention! Impaired driving, speed and distracted driving can turn holidays from a time of celebration to a time of sorrow, and we are going to do all we can to keep that from happening.”

An average of 300 people die in the U.S. each year in impaired-driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Last year, there were over 10,000 people killed nationwide in impaired driving crashes accounting for nearly one-third of the yearly driving fatalities. Last year between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the WSP made 359 arrests for impaired driving.

Foundation grants

The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation has awarded Community Grants totaling $16,000 to six park and recreation clubs and programs.

The 2021 Community Grants program is supported by Puget Sound Energy.

Grant awards include:

Bainbridge High School Sailing Club, $3,000 for a new C-420 sailboat for youth regattas; BI Water Polo Club, $3,000 for new conditioning equipment; Bainbridge Metro Parks stewards program, $3,000 for new tools for volunteer conservation and stewardship events; BI Swim Club, $2,775 for a new records board for the BI Aquatic Center; Boy Scouts Troop 1564, $2,775 for a new community chess table and benches at Battle Point Park; Eagledale Pottery Studio, $1,450 for a new pug mill for recycling and reusing pottery clay.

“These programs enhance the experiences of so many park users,” said Mary Meier, Parks Foundation executive director. “The range of activities our Community Grants support really speaks to the rich connections we all enjoy through our parks and trails.”

Since 1998, the Parks Foundation has awarded Community Grants totaling more than $852,000 supporting youth and adult park and recreation programs on BI.

Recycle trees

Kitsap County is one of the top Christmas tree-producing counties in the state, supporting the local economy.

But what do you do after the holiday?

Many free and low-cost recycling options are available, some from community organizations that accept donations to benefit their groups.

On Bainbridge Island, drop off trees at the Transfer Station, 7215 NE Vincent Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. No wreaths or flocked trees, which go in the trash.

Boy Scouts in Troop 1564 and Girl Scouts in Troop 1804 will pick up your tree Jan. 8. Register online at Last year they picked up over 900 trees on BI. They take the trees to Tilz, where they are composted. Suggested donation is $20 if you can afford that, but more or less will be accepted, said Kyle Schroer, senior patrol leader of Troop 1564.

Ferry meetings

Commuters, occasional riders and community members are invited to attend Washington State Ferries’ upcoming virtual meetings designed to provide updates and answer questions about the ferry system.

On Jan. 5 and Jan. 11, members of WSF staff will discuss the ferry system’s service and ongoing efforts to mitigate challenges as well as progress on key projects. Both meetings will cover the same material. Participants will be able to ask questions and provide comments. People can join from a laptop, desktop computer or mobile device, but advanced registration is required.

Register at Participants must provide a name and email address and have internet connection. Participants will receive an email with instructions on how to log in. The day after each meeting, a video recording will be available online on the Ferries’ community participation webpage.

Tax on hold

Gov. Jay Inslee has announced that tax collections for the new state-run long-term care insurance program are put on hold.

That means employers will not need to deduct the 0.58% payroll tax starting Jan. 1, 2022, as the law passed by the state legislature required.

The legislature says the tax is needed because long-term care is costly to the state and taxpayers need to share more of the burden. But the law was passed without mechanisms in place to handle it, therefore the delay in implementation.

Wage goes up

Cost-of-living increases have seen the state minimum wage rise by 80 cents per hour next year to $14.49 as of Jan. 1, 2022.

The 2021 state minimum wage is $13.69 per hour.

Special higher rates apply to Seattle and SeaTac, so SeaTac’s minimum wage becomes $16.57 per hour, and Seattle’s $16.69 per hour.

Jan. 6 vigil

There will be a vigil on Bainbridge Island Jan. 6, 2022, to remember last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The vigil will be from 4-6 p.m. at Waypoint Park at Highway 305 and Winslow Way.

Bring candles and signs urging our nation to protect democracy. The attack on the Capitol was a threat to the transition of power from one party to the other, from one president to the next.

For details call organizer Holly Brewer at 509-270-3457.

Police log

Dec. 12 — Vehicle theft, Ferncliff Ave. NE.

Dec. 13 — Fraud theft from vulnerable adult 1st degree, NE Daniel Court.

Dec. 14 — Traffic accident, NE Hidden Cove Road at Highway 305.

Dec. 14 — Traffic accident, Madison Avenue N at Highway 305.

Dec. 14 — Sex offense, High School Road.

Dec. 16 — Traffic accident, NE Ruddy Duck Lane.

Dec. 17 — Traffic accident, Finch Road NE, Wyatt Way NW.

Dec. 17 — DUI, Ferncliff Ave. NE at Grand Ave. NE.

Dec. 18 — Traffic accident, NE Foster Road.

Dec. 19 — Motor vehicle theft, Fletcher Bay Road NE

Dec. 19 — Motor vehicle hit and run property damaged, Ericksen Ave. NE at Winslow Way E.

Dec. 20 — Water rescue/boating marine accident, Bill Point Bluff NE.

Dec. 22 — Traffic accident, NE High School Road

Dec. 23 — Felony warrant NE High School Road