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I am a studio furniture maker. Four months ago I began working on an ark for a synagogue. I was shaking with excitement that morning, ready to begin this long-anticipated project. In the first few minutes, I completely severed all four fingers on my dominant hand just above the knuckles closest to my palm. I fell to my knees and began to weep, not out of the pain and horror of the accident but from the fear that I was finished as an artist. That instant was a big bang of sorts, exploding into my reality a new universe of possibilities.
Unsurprisingly, affordable housing issues top the 39 human-service needs listed in a survey that’s part of the recently-released Bainbridge Island Health, Housing and Human Services Needs Assessment. The basis of determining which needs made the list centered on the gap between how large an issue the need is for those surveyed and how well they think the need is being met. In other words, the gap between the service needs and the ability of providers to meet them.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll never forget where I was when I watched the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I was in a Super 8 Motel in Ferndale. Being only a couple miles from the Canadian border added a certain international cachet to glamour and glitz of the experience, as did the slightly fuzzy reception of the television set bolted to the dresser of my room.
Allow me to introduce myself and this column, which thereafter I hope will capture your interest. My name is Maggie Pettit. I write to you as a fellow islander, born and raised on Bainbridge, but I write to you from an island far away. Imagine two volcanoes jutting out of a freshwater lake, forming an hourglass-shaped island in the heart of Nicaragua called Ometepe, which has been your sister island for the past 21 years. I will be living and working here for one year with the Bainbridge-Ometepe Sister Islands Association (BOSIA).
The Olympics are here with all those lean, strong athletes leaping, kicking, tossing, passing, racing and flying through the air.
I turned 53 recently, and as part of my weeklong birthday celebration, the woman whose husband I am and I and half a dozen friends all went to the Woodland Park Zoo to see Emmylou Harris in concert.
For an island with some 53 miles of shoreline, Bainbridge Island might as well be landlocked when it comes to public access to the water. As one longtime islander once said, “It’s painful to live on an island and not be able to have more access to the water than we do.” Unfortunately, there is a dearth of pleasant, sandy beaches because much of the shore is inaccessible because of cliffs or is privately owned. And these days, arguably courts lean more toward the rights of the privileged than the public.
I have a confession to make.
The state Supreme Court ruled recently that school districts in Washington do not have to disclose names of teachers who have been accused of sexual misconduct against students if the allegations have not been substantiated.
The City Council meeting on July 30 was right out of an old movie about small-town controversy and simultaneously a wonderful expression of democracy at work. If we can all recollect it in that fashion, it will go a long way toward cooling some of the emotions and providing some perspective about the issues themselves.
As I write these words, I am on the cusp of starting an extended vacation. I’d call it a “well-deserved” vacation, but I don’t know if the available evidence would support that claim. Continuing an ancient and time-honored tradition that I started last year, I went to Eagle Harbor Book Co. the other day to pick out a little vacation reading material. I already have in my possession an unopened copy of Junot Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which I received as a birthday gift from the woman who is my wife, which gives me a big head start on my holiday reading list.
There’s not a lot of room for error on island roads this time of the year. Or anytime of the year, for that matter. The speed limit may be 55 mph on State Route 305 and 35 to 40 on the island’s main arterial roads, but the increase in the number of both vehicles and bicycles during the summer months behooves all of us to reduce speed for safety’s sake.
I’m very fond of the weeds we grow so successfully on Bainbridge Island. Volunteers I call them, plants that pop up wherever we don’t keep them at bay.
Business and residential members of the Rolling Bay neighborhood held a raucous meeting Thursday night in City Hall, often angrily airing their opinions about the recent parking of two or three dozen cars on the large vacant lot at Valley Road and Sunrise Drive. The group, numbering about 50, also had heated discussion about the city’s handling of the permit process regarding the remodeling of the building occupied by Rolling Bay Automotive.
Several years ago, I read a book called “The Power of One.” I was reminded of that title when I learned of what happened after Linda Coble wrote a letter to the Bainbridge Review lamenting the city’s decision to not hang, or fund, the traditional flower baskets on Winslow Way this summer.
First, let me remind all that we now live in a condo at the Vineyard, for this column is all about living in a “green” development.
Some islanders would like everyone in the community to get along and to settle their disagreements with civility and calm. That would be nice, but it isn’t always going to happen on an island that has a recent history of heated dispute over its makeup and the direction it has taken. However, while the dialogue has been contentious at times, generally it has been healthy since Bainbridge Island’s voters decided on Nov. 6, 1990, to annex all of the island to Winslow, which a year later became the City of Bainbridge Island.
Here’s something: Did you know that the sedentary lifestyle of your average bivalve has caused it to develop a very simple nervous system, a nervous system so simple that it does not even include a brain? As those of you with access to Wikipedia know, bivalves are aquatic mollusks with two-part symmetrical shells. Popular bivalves include our friends the scallop, clam, oyster and mussel. Although scallops can swim, most bivalves spend their lives firmly attached to flat surfaces or buried in the sand, feeding themselves by siphoning off passing particles, reproducing asexually, and getting by just fine without a functioning brain. The more I learn about bivalves, the more they remind me of my high school friend Reuben.
The City of Bainbridge Island is considering revisions to the Critical Area Ordinance to better protect the health of Puget Sound. After hearing concerns from some of our neighbors and friends, we believe myths are being spread that need to be corrected. Below are some of the common questions, along with answers based on what’s stated in the draft and existing regulations, as well as on conversations with city officials. We think it is important to help people understand the draft ordinance because the proposed regulations are not a threat. They represent a really positive step toward preserving and rehabilitating the Sound.
Here are two of Mildred and Walt Woodward’s timeless editorials, the first published on Sept. 19, 1962 and the second a week later: