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Sharla Graham is always looking for the next great pucker. “I might be speaking with someone, and I’ll be thinking ‘great mouth,’” said Graham, whose Zephyr Flute Choir plays Pegasus Coffee House Oct. 20. “It’s the lips that are most important. Anyone can learn how to play the flute, but there are mouth shapes that are just better.”
For the new owners of two well-established Bainbridge stores, the lure was the island, not simply the enterprise. “Small towns give me the opportunity to get involved,” said Bob Schoonmaker, new owner of the Chandlery with partner Kimberly Corrigan. The two avid sailors live aboard a 40-foot boat in the Harbor Marina, and were long-time customers when John and Jane Jay owned the store. “I was looking for an opportunity to re-orient my life from the city back to Bainbridge Island because I love it here so much,” said Schoonmaker, who works with a Seattle outdoor-clothing firm. “This is a marriage of my passions, which are boating and managing a business,” he said.
To handle operations at the larger, more complext Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center, the park district has hired Eric Khambatta as pool operator. Khambatta, who grew up in Suquamish, is no stranger to Bainbridge aquatics, having worked at the Ray Williamson Pool while in high school and college. Since then, Khambatta has served as pool manager in Kirkville, Mo., and Anacortes before returning to this area with well over a decade of experience in pool operations.
An unexpected package in the mail. A handful of powder or dust, spilled on the floor in a public area. With America at war against nebulously organized terrorist factions abroad, and reports of possible contagion spread through our national post, we find in even the little surprises and petty annoyances of life the taint of fear and suspicion. Even on our tiny island, a seemingly unlikely target for the warped aims of international terror, we are touched by a world gone suddenly somewhat mad.
Questions of conflict of interest follow both of the candidates to succeed Alan Corner as Bainbridge fire commissioner. But both believe the conflict situations are relatively insignificant, and would not prevent them from serving.
Just how much pool will $5.5 million buy? The public can find out this Saturday, at an open house at the new Don Nakata Pool and larger Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center. The event will give users a preview of the layout before the pool is filled with water next month. “We’re getting a heck of a lot,” said John DeMeyer, park district aquatics supervisor. “By capitalizing on the existing pool...we’ll have a major two-pool complex, plus a water slide, two complete locker rooms and a family changing area. That’s a 30,000 square foot facility. “And everybody will have access. There’s something for everyone.”
Breaking from standard practice, the Bainbridge School Board let Superintendent Steve Rowley begin the school year without a three-year contract in hand. School officials confirm that over the summer, the school board declined to add a third year to Rowley’s contract, set to expire at the end of the 2002-03 school year. At the same time, the board made provisions for his possible departure by naming another district official as Rowley’s immediate successor.
Kitsap freeholders believe that a county council elected by district only deserves a chance, given what they see as overwhelming public support. But they also think voters should have the final say. So the charter that the freeholders will put to voters next February calls for the five council members to be elected by geographic district in both the primary and general election. Then in 2003, the whole contentious issue of election method will be put to a vote.
Cast and crew of BPA’s “Tartuffe,” opening at the Playhouse Oct. 19, are troupers in the grand old tradition of the theater. The 24 hardworking amateurs and professionals stepped in to save the day, when “Tartuffe” replaced Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner” as BPA’s season opener in the wake of the terrorist attacks. “Talking to Joanne (Ellis), talking to the board, we decided a dark theater was just not an option,” director Joanne Keegan said, “Corny as it may sound, we decided that ‘The show must go on.’”
When terrorist attacks blew the world apart, two Port Madison women responded by bringing their own community together. “The world has to narrow to a neighborhood before it can broaden into brotherhood,” said Sara Faulkner, who with Nancy Blakey started the effort among north-end residents. “The recent events made us decide it was time to rebuild our community.” After the Sept. 11 terroist attacks on America, Faulkner and Blakey sent out flyers to 92 homes in the Port Madison area, inviting residents to a potluck supper on the beach. The response surpassed their wildest expectations – more than 200 people turned up.
Washington voters are asked to do only a moderate amount of legislating this year. Other than Tim Eyman’s annual mischief-making, two initiatives and two referenda on the Nov. 6 ballot take aim at generally good ends, although we have reservations about one of them.
Island abodes have appeared in “Better Homes and Gardens” and “Architectural Digest,” but the claim to fame for Robin and Mike Ballou may be unique. It’s their garage. “Friends have asked why our garage was featured in a book and not our house,” Robin Ballou said, “but ‘Garage’ is the book’s title, not ‘House.’” Mike Ballou, a professional builder, saw an ad in “Fine Woodworking” magazine from an author seeking garages with unusual uses. Ballou, who built both their Diamond Place home and garage/woodshop – even handmaking the Victorian trim most builders order from catalogues – mailed off a polaroid of the space.
Ericksen Avenue and Hildebrand Lane should be connected within the next two years, the city engineer says. And while the city council’s public works committee will consider the recommendation Monday, at least one member wants to delay any final decision until the already volatile issue of Ericksen’s design is finally resolved.
Environmental concerns are driving out other values in city decision-making, contractor Bill Nelson says. In what he calls an effort to “restore balance,” Nelson is running for the central ward, position 4, city council seat being vacated by Merrill Robison. “For the sake of protecting Bainbridge Island’s environment, we’ve forsaken other parts of the quality of life, such as human interaction,” Nelson said. The 42-year-old island native says that excessive regulation is driving up costs and depriving the island of diversity. He is critical of council decisions such as the proposed landscape ordinance that have the effect of lowering housing densities, saying that lower densities require more land per home, which, in turn, raises prices. Conversely, he believes that to make housing more affordable, zoning needs to be changed to make higher densities possible in areas such as Lynwood Center. “We can promote affordable housing through zoning,” he said. “We don’t need higher density everywhere, but we need it in some areas for affordability – you can’t have it both ways.” Nelson believes the city could contract out much of the regulatory work it does, particularly on development matters, saving both money and staff time. “The developers have to pay for bureaucracies, and they pass those costs on to the end-users,” he said. “And it takes time away from work that the city engineer, for instance, needs to spend on public projects.”
What started it all was a conversation over a cup of coffee, between the milkman and a doctor’s wife in 1959. “I was the head of the United Good Neighbors drive, and she was the head of the Red Cross drive,” said Ernest Biggs, who in those days maintained a dairy route around the island. “I had a quota that year of $10,000, and she said they’d raised $200, so we decided we had to do something.” The problem, they decided, was that too much effort was being duplicated. “The women on the island seemed to be the ones chosen to go door-to-door, but they were doing it half a dozen times a year, and were kind of worn out” Biggs said.
Saying she wants to continue and extend Dwight Sutton’s work as a conciliator and mediator, Chris Llewellyn this week announced her candidacy for mayor. Presently chair of the Bainbridge Island park board, Llewellyn becomes the first declared candidate to succeed Sutton, who is not seeking re-election. “I am interested in connecting the island’s rich historical past with a visionary future,” Llewellyn said. “It’s an opportunity to give back to the community that has given me a wonderful life.” Llewellyn believes that Bainbridge is facing a unique mix of challenges and opportunities. The challenges involve the pressures from growth. “We can’t pull up bridges or stop the ferries, like some people here would like,” she said. “But we can control the number of people that move here through land-use policies.”
In her 20 years as a ceramic artist, Debbie Fecher has made more than 30,000 unique salt shakers in human form. Now, in her first gallery exhibit at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Fecher cuts loose from function to concentrate on form. “Making all the shakers, I feel like I’ve been asked to sing as many songs as I can using only six notes,” Fecher said. “With this show, I bring on the orchestra.”
Four years ago, Jim Llewellyn drew up a 10-point platform of things he wanted to accomplish on the city council. Saying that all of those items still need work, Llewellyn is seeking re-election to his central district seat. “The community values survey taken in 1992 and the one taken last year show a lot of the same concerns, many of which I share. Those concerns are not easily taken care of,” said Llewellyn. His 1997 platform included things like better communication, fiscal responsibility, affordable housing and regulatory reform – “big picture” items that can always be done better. Llewellyn does think progress has been made, in certain areas.
The Bainbridge Island City Council says it wants diversity and affordable housing, but its actions undermine those goals, Tom Hofferber says. He hopes to reverse that trend by winning the north ward city council seat being vacated by Liz Murray. He will face planning commissioner member Deborah Vancil, who was first to declare candidacy for the seat. “The council is taking more and more land out of development,” Hofferber said. “I can’t understand doing that and being for affordable housing, because that will drive up the cost of land.” Hofferber, an architect with a downtown Seattle firm, was particularly puzzled by council action to delete wetlands from total acreage for purposes of calculating density.
Devoted to flowers and friendship for 65 years, the Bainbridge Island Garden Club members gathered at the Bloedel Reserve Monday to celebrate their anniversary. If the club’s six-plus decades embody “continuity,” then the women seated in the drawing room of the Bloedel mansion – elegant dress blending with the formal setting – were the visual definition of “tradition.” Seven have been in the club for 25 years, a qualification for honorary life membership. Dorothy Noble could have been awarded a life membership twice over, for her 50 years in the club.