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Archive for May, 2009

One of the island’s (and the state and county’s) greatest failures in tending to its humanitarian safety net was the closure of Serenity House at Lynwood Center which, until this year, was home to 18 developmentally disabled adults. In March, Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority closed the facility because of financial problems and relocated all but two residents off island.

Photo of Serenity House by Jay Trinidad

Photo of Serenity House by Jay Trinidad.

South-end islanders know that a couple of the former residents still frequent the neighborhood. Recently, I saw Jerome (I don’t know his last name) who used to do odd jobs at Walt’s. According to Walt, Jerome is a cousin of guitar great Jimi Hendrix, and suffered traumatic brain injury after a stint as a boxer. When Serenity House closed, he was placed in a nursing home in Bremerton, and now takes a bus to the island a couple of times a week just to visit. I asked how he was doing in his new home.

“I don’t like it,” he replied, shaking his head forlornly.

Island photographer and artist Jay Trinidad has posted a photo essay of the empty Serenity House on his blog. His pictures are full of absence and abandonment, as well as the humanity of those who lived there.  Take a look. Take a moment to consider the sorrow of some of our most vulnerable (and beloved) former neighbors, as their lives were up-ended through no fault of their own. (more…)

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Don’t forget the island’s first-ever-in-this-blogger’s-memory Soup Kitchen, Saturday night, May 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Madrone Lane across from Mora Iced Creamery. Free food and fun for all—soup, cornbread, rhubarb lemonade, lots of music and conversation with neighbors and friends.

For more info, visit the Soup Kitchen’s blog here.

I’ll be on cornbread-making detail, along with a horde of other volunteers, so come on down. There’ll be a full menu of music too, the better to feed both body and soul. With a couple of lemonades on board, we might even sing the Mock Turtle’s soup song, if anyone can remember the words.

Fans of Alice In Wonderland can sing along after the jump.

 

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UPDATED: As of 4 p.m. on May 20, with 200 additional votes left to be counted, the Kitsap County Auditor reports that the change in government  is passing with a vote of 69.76%. The school bond is still just short of the supermajority, at 59. 57%. Over 9000 people cast votes on these measures (9205 on the form of government vote, and 9414 on the bond). On another note, our change of government vote was featured on KUOW today, with Mayor Kordonowy and change of government campaign member Bob Fortner giving their comments by phone. Click here for the audio.

The voters have spoken and they want real change in local government. Last night’s unofficial vote count from the Kitsap County Auditor gave the change of government measure an impressive lead at 71.4%, out of  7511 votes counted. The school bond measure is falling short of the required 60% supermajority, at 57.68%. Results will be updated today at 4 p.m. when ballot drop-offs and late mail-ins will be counted. 

Change-of-government supporters celebrated at the Treehouse last night, noshing on pizza and salad and marveling at the wide margin of victory. Council members Debbie Vancil, Kim Brackett, Bill Knobloch and Barry Peters were in the crowd of about fifty. Shortly after the results were in, state Representative and former Bainbridge Councilor Christine Rolfes, dropped in. Rolfes sponsored a bill in Olympia that enabled the change-of-government measure to be on the ballot in May, instead of during the general election in November.   

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A pile of dirt. Lumber. Bags of compost. Galvanized steel tubs. Nothing, really, but a hodge podge on a lawn.

_MG_0166But then, the trucks and cars arrive. High school students, retirees, moms with their kids, drill-wielding dads. A man in a wheelchair, another with a cane. Someone fires up a barbecue and turns on some music. It’s a party. Little kids play on the swings and supervise the grownups. Big kids haul dirt in wheelbarrows and hammer lumber to make raised beds. Men drill holes in the tubs, fill them with gravel, dirt and compost. In two hours, nothing really becomes something wonderful. The Island Terrace apartment complex has a community garden.

On Saturday, a dozen Bainbridge High School students from the amazing Camp Siberia program provided muscle, equipment and good humor. Other hardworking friends of the project included Debbi Lester and her father-in-law, Richard Vancil (husband of Councilor Debbie Vancil, who checked in on the work too), my husband Dan Mallove, Councilwoman and farmer extraordinaire Hilary Franz and her son Nathaniel. Island Terrace manager Renee’ Levesque organized the tenant-gardeners, who not only worked on the garden, but fed the crew a tasty barbecue potluck. A special shout-out to Helen Loleas who put together the potluck and rounded up donations from local businesses. There are pictures of the fun and a couple of Youtube videos (courtesy of Debbi Lester) after the jump.

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There’s more good food news on Bainbridge Island. On May 23, a group of islanders will host a soup kitchen on Madrone Lane (across from Mora Iced Cream). The meal will feature music and art as part of the nourishment. Take a look at the kitchen’s blog, “Soup Kitchen: Promoting Good Things with Free Food.” 

From the blog: (more…)

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