News

Graffiti buster grinds onThe one-man anti-tagging squad gets city support for his efforts.

"Bainbridge Island has a lot of writers. Every now and then, it needs a good eraser, and Bruce Wallace is it.But Wallace doesn't go around expunging the works of the local literati. His target is graffiti.I'm an avid walker, Wallace said, and I get tired of looking at graffiti. So just like I pick up trash, I started removing it.Years ago, there was an active anti-graffiti patrol on the island. But it faded away, and Wallace stepped into the breach. For the last two years, the city has assisted him with a $2,000 grant funded by the city's hotel-motel tax, levied on patrons of local overnight establishments. "

  • Mar 7, 2001

“Friendship, a piece at a timeA mosaic club forms.”

"The Mosaic Club has formed, and Dave Berfield, Bev Smith, Emma Stockemer, Betty Dunaway and Gayle Barker are the charter members.Their first joint project - Finch Place spelled out in bits of colored tile, each letter on a 16x16-foot concrete square - rests on a raised bed of cedar bark, outside the women's home at Finch Place Apartments.I've always loved mosaic so I wanted to start a club, an opportunity for people interested in mosaics to get together, Berfield said. I offered a class at the senior center, and we evolved into the club.The group coalesced in the course of the year-long project. They also became friends. "

  • Mar 7, 2001

Sides bump heads over helmet law

"Health advocates knocked heads with libertarian-minded bicyclists over a proposed helmet ordinance Wednesday.In a sometimes animated hearing before the city council, several riders argued that even if helmets protect bicyclists' safety, the city has no business mandating their use.People are making smart choices, they're doing it in the privacy of their homes, said longtime bicycle commuter Jennifer Sampson, and they don't need the mommies and daddies of the city council telling them what to do. "

  • Mar 3, 2001

The magic is in the details

"The title of Tod Kowalski's photography exhibit at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Out of Context, might apply to the artist as well.Kowalski could be familiar from several contexts having nothing to do with art. Thousands of children have learned to swim in Kowalski's park and recreation classes; he was, for a decade, the personable man behind the fish counter at Town and Country Thriftway grocery store.The Bainbridge Arts and Crafts exhibit reveals Kowalski's private side.I never exhibited until my wife, Leona, gave me a good push, Kowaski said. Now I'd like to show more. "

  • Mar 3, 2001

“Quake, rattle and roll – island is OKLittle damage is reported as the 6.8 tremblor shakes Bainbridge.”

"On Bainbridge Island, Wednesday's earthquake was more like an amusement-park thrill ride than anything else - scary while it was happening, but with little long-term impact.Island prize for the scariest ride may go to Paul Roy, music director at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. He was some 30 feet up in the church's bell tower when the quake hit.It was Ash Wednesday, and I was up there hanging a banner for Lent, Roy said. When it started rumbling, I thought a truck was going by. As it grew more intense, it seemed unbelievable to me because the tower was shaking back and forth. I thought it might collapse.Roy fell back against the wall and held onto ropes tied to a dowel that he was using to hang the banner. I could see the tower moving, so I focused outside, and the big trees were shaking like they were being pushed from below, he said.Both Roy and the church came through unscathed.Everyone on the island felt the sharp temblor that jolted the Pacific Northwest for half a minute at 10:55 a.m. Wednesday. "

  • Mar 3, 2001

The public/private roundaboutSome island students are going back and forth between schools.

"Editor's note: This the second of two parts examining private education on Bainbridge Island.While public and private education each have supporters and detractors, some island families find that a combination of the two works best. Families may cross over several times in the course of one child's education, or split siblings. So far this school year, directors of the island's private elementary and middle schools have seen four students leave for public schools, while 17 students have transferred from public schools to private, according to the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Brent Petersen. "

  • Mar 3, 2001

Contract for helmet foes

"Individualists don't come much more rugged than Ayn Rand. Thinker and writer, founder of the Objectivist philosophy school and matron saint of the libertarian movement, Rand espoused an egocentric worldview that at its essence might be expressed as It's my life - buzz off.For Rand, any common good was mere coincidence amongst enlightened individuals working in their own self-interests; her treatise The Virtue of Selfishness outlines a code for living wherein no person can morally make a claim on the time or resources of another (the question of what should be done with the poor and handicapped, for instance, presupposes that something should be done - to her a specious notion).We have no idea whether Rand ever rode a bicycle. But at Wednesday's public hearing on the proposed bike helmet ordinance - with opponents trotting out an array of libertarian, leave me alone objections - we pictured old Ayn wheeling down Madison Avenue, wind rippling the curls on her helmetless head, nose thumbed toward city hall. "

  • Mar 3, 2001

Justice prevails for Yamashita clanA family gathers as the state Supreme Court rights a century-old wrong.

"One hundred years after his budding legal career was sharply cut off, Takuji Yamashita is finally a lawyer.The state Supreme Court Thursday overturned a ruling it made in October 1902, denying Yamashita citizenship and the right to become a lawyer - simply because he was born in Japan.The Washington State Bar Association immediately gave Yamashita posthumous admittance to the bar, an honor the organization denied him at the beginning of the 20th century.At last he will be vindicated and we all feel very good about that, said Bainbridge Island resident Isami Nakao, age 88, a relative by marriage of Yamashita. "

  • Mar 3, 2001

“Spartans win tourney opener, 50-42”

"Bainbridge defeated Rainier Beach 50-42 to open state tournament play on Wednesday. The Spartans scored six points in the final 1:10 to break open a tight second half. Bainbridge held a 21-9 lead early in the second quarter but Beach came back to take the lead at 31-30 in the third quarter and the game was tight after that.Emily Pierce had 11 points, Alice Russell had 10, Fab Rezayat scored nine and Christine Schwager added seven. Other scorers were Jenny Maurer with five, Courtney Kimball with four, and Laura Hornung had two quick hoops at the end of the third quarter to also end with four.The team plays Blanchet, an 83-66 winner over Aberdeen, at 3:30 on Thursday at the Tacoma Dome. "

  • Mar 1, 2001

“Spartans bumped by Blanchet, 61-40”

"Blanchet scored seven points in the first minute and led 25-4 at the end of the first quarter as they crushed the Spartans 61-40 in the second round of the girls' basketball tournament Thursday afternoon. The sole Bainbridge bright spot was freshman Alice Russell's six blocked shots. Spartan hopes received a blow before the game with Emily Pierce visibly limping from hip injuries incurred during Wednesday's game with Rainier Beach.Russell led Bainbridge scoring with eight points, Fab Rezayat and Christine Schwager each added six and Jenny Maurer had five.The Spartans play a 2 p.m. loser-out game with defending champion Meadowdale. "

  • Mar 1, 2001

Bainbridge bests I-722 in challenge

"If you're keeping score, the tally now reads:Bainbridge Island 2, Tim Eyman 0.Last Friday, Thurston County Judge Christine Pomeroy declared Eyman's Initiative 722 unconstitutional. "

  • Feb 28, 2001

Just how bad is island traffic?A new study will measure problems on local roadways.

"To you, it's a traffic jam. To state and city lawmakers, it's concurrency management, an arcane-sounding concept with concrete applications - literally.The concept, articulated in the state Growth Management Act, is that transportation facilities must keep pace with population growth to prevent congestion from reaching unacceptable levels.What the law does not dictate, though, is what level of congestion is acceptable. That decision is left to comprehensive planners. And the Bainbridge Island answer may come as a surprise, particularly for downtown Winslow. "

  • Feb 28, 2001

Activists make cinema a civics lessonThe Conscientious Projector brings a political edge to the big screen.

"Film festivals traditionally tout the art of filmmaking.But Kitsap Citizen Action Network's first annual film and video festival, opening March 2 at two Bainbridge venues, promotes instant activism.We researched festivals nationwide, said Van Calvez, a film festival organizer. We didn't find another like this. It seems to be unique. At The Conscientious Projector: Films for the People and the Planet, filmgoers have the chance to process the powerful material they view, speaking with representatives of 20 local organizations, signing petitions, joining groups, forming talking circles - or expressing themselves creatively on an art wall. "

  • Feb 28, 2001

“Spartans rally, earn state berth”

"Emily Pierce sank four free throws in the final 17 seconds as the Spartans defeated sixth-ranked White River 58-54 and qualify as the No. 1 seed from District 3 for the 3A State tournament, which begins Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome. The Spartans were down by 12 points with less than five minutes to play but Pierce and Fab Rezayat powered the comeback. Rezayat drained a three-pointer with 50 seconds remaining to tie the score 54-54 as she scored 11 of her career-high18 points in the final five minutes. Pierce had 19 points to lead all scorers, while Alice Russell had 10 points and three blocked shots to celebrate her 15th birthday.Christine Schwager added eight and Morgan Zajonc chipped in three.The 16-team bracket will be announced Sunday afternoon. Information will appear here, or check www.wiaa.com. "

  • Feb 24, 2001

The Glass Shard Game

"Children carrying cardboard trays cluster around shallow boxes of colored glass fragments laid out on a large table. There's a ruby red box, a cobalt blue box - every hue one can imagine - glowing with especial brilliance under fluorescent lights that seem to bleach other colors from the room. The clink of glass on glass as the youngsters select shards is mildly disorienting. What sounds like a dinner party is actually Sherry Chandler's 4th grade Ordway art class, working on a mural project with glass artists Diane Bonciolini and Greg Mesmer. "

  • Feb 24, 2001

Tax dodging made easy for seniors

"Land rich, cash poor.It's the old-timer's lament on Bainbridge Island. You bought a home here decades ago for $30,000, and today it's worth 10 times that. You're retired and living on a fixed income, but you don't want to sell out and move.You're a Bainbridge Islander, by gum, and you want to stay that way.The biggest challenge, though, is coming up with the cash when the assessor's annual Valentine's card - the property tax bill - shows up in the mail. "

  • Feb 24, 2001

Punishment or forgiveness?The Interfaith Council hosts a forum on the justice system.

"Josh, a Colville Indian, was 15 in 1999 when he accidentally shot and killed his sister at their Yakima home.They wouldn't let me see him. They kept him handcuffed, said Vicky, Josh's mother, describing her son's isolation for seven hours of police questioning. Josh's court-appointed attorney started his own investigation a week before trial. Josh was brought to court heavily sedated for suicide watch - and then was characterized for jurors as remorseless and unfeeling. He was sentenced to 15 years in a prison for adult offenders by a judge citing a policy of no tolerance for handguns.Issues raised by stories like Josh's - children tried as adults, civil liberties eroded through get tough on crime tactics, racial profiling and other problems of the criminal justice system - are the focus of a community forum, sponsored by the Bainbridge-North Kitsap Interfaith Council Feb. 24. "

  • Feb 21, 2001

A chance to examine our history

"Such were the times.At a public meeting in November 1944, as a group of Bainbridge residents debated the return of interned Japanese-Americans to this island, Lambert Schuyler of Winslow declared:The German is savage by command. (But) the Jap is a savage by instinct. They are criminal aborigines.It was not the only such comment uttered that day. Several folks - who, history would demonstrate, constituted a distinct minority - opposed the impending homecoming of islanders of Japanese ancestry as World War II wound down. Many couched their views by saying they were simply trying to prevent trouble, not start it - or by saying, I don't hate (Japanese-Americans), but I want them put by themselves.It was a dark time for an island torn by war, grief and in some quarters suspicion; many Japanese-Americans did return to Bainbridge from Manzanar and other concentration camps, and resumed their place in the community without incident. "

  • Feb 21, 2001

“Bainbridge on the big screenThe Celluloid Bainbridge fest returns, showcasing local cinema.”

"If an islander shoots it, they will show it.Movies made on Bainbridge or featuring islander talent will be arrayed for the Third Annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival, Feb. 25 at Lynwood Theatre.Every year, kids come up to me and say, 'I hope you are going to have this next year, because I want to make a movie,' said Kathleen Thorne, program coordinator for the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council. "

  • Feb 21, 2001

Ladder truck gets trial runThe fire board could authorize purchase next month.

"The last words one hears before shooting into the sky - in a basket, no less - are not reassuring:It's very rare that someone falls out.But the words come with a wry grin from the operator, and seconds later, one is at the end of a 100-foot ladder, at eye level with a nearby cell-phone tower and looking down on a good portion of the central island.Local firefighters took their own turns in the basket last week, as the department tried out a sophisticated ladder truck under consideration for purchase. "

  • Feb 21, 2001