The Buzz

Bite-size, behind-the-scenes editorials about local personalities, businesses and nonprofits.

A Natural Connection // Artists Find Inspiration at Bloedel

With entries from Texas to Taiwan, Bloedel Reserve’s guest book is a study in geography. Each year, close to 50,000 visitors come to experience a walk through the inspiring landscapes. And now, thanks to its Creative Residency program, a choice few have the opportunity to immerse themselves for weeks at a time […]

Splash Into Summer // Where to Get Wet

Aquatic Center No matter the weather, this public spot has something for the whole family: two indoor pools, slide, diving boards, a lazy river and tot pool. Wing Point Golf & Country Club Come for a swim and relax over dinner while the kids enjoy its Tuesday Nights on the Lawn. […]

Are We There Yet? // Destination Imagination Drives Creative Teamwork

Confidence. It’s what we all want for our children, of course. But it’s most powerful when it is earned, when children personally discover their true potential for effort and thought. Destination Imagination, a program that weaves creativity, academics and teamwork into an inspiring—and wholly fun—activity, enables such an experience for elementary-to university-aged […]

Spoiler Alert // Hi-Fi Car Buffs Rev up Talk Radio

It’s all about cars. Except when it’s not. It’s “Clutch Radio” with Dan Rosenberg, a new weekly program dedicated to a conversation about all things automobiles and the people who drive them. In other words, almost everyone. Heard Saturdays on CBS Seattle’s KFNQ-AM 1090 The Fan, “Clutch Radio” features a trio of […]

Shine on // Extend the Day Lights the Way

Here in the Northwest, many of us spend a large part of the year in the dark. We rise in the dark, we come home in the dark. For many months, the light switch is our lifeline. But for millions in the developing world, there simply is no light switch. Daytime is […]

Jammy Time // Working From Home Suits These Islanders

One of the great novelties of living on Bainbridge Island but working in Seattle is undoubtedly the ferry commute. And while it’s scenic and hands-free, still, it’s a schlep. Some savvy islanders have found a way to avoid the haul by opting to work someplace where fuzzy slippers can be part of […]

Box Trot // Local Crossfitters Pump It Up

Just the word “CrossFit” is enough to make some quiver. But Sal DeRosalia, owner of Bainbridge’s CrossFit Outcome, says that anyone can do the high-intensity workout…and it might even feel good. First drawn to CrossFit as a firefighter with limited and unpredictable time for workouts, DeRosalia appreciated its fast, flexible and effective […]

Hitting Their Stride // Island Walkers Stay In Step

Three mornings a week, rain or shine, there’s a parade somewhere onBainbridge Island. Between 30 and 40 men and women stream by, sporting weather-appropriate, reflective gear, carrying the occasional walking stick or leash, their steps quick and their tongues wagging. These are the Bainbridge Striders, and in their 18-year existence, they’ve become […]

The Long and Winding Road // Walk MS Celebrates 10 Years on Bainbridge

Eleven years ago, my wife, Trude, and I joined a few brave island friends to take the zero dark thirty ferry to Seattle to participate in the MS walk fundraiser at Husky Stadium. For Trude, who has had multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1996, it was a physical wipeout. Noticing Trude’s fatigue, our […]

Higher Intelligence // At Paper & Leaf Cannabis Is an Intellectual Pursuit

Spend an evening at Paper & Leaf, Bainbridge’s first and only retail marijuana store, and you might come to think the “paper” in the name refers to a white paper…on cannabis, of course. “There’s so much science behind how different strains of marijuana make you feel,” said Steve Kessler, who could talk […]

Let’s Build a Fort // Local Teens Dig Deep to Save Fort Ward Icon

When four island teens volunteered to be part of a youth advisory group for the restoration and conversion of the historic Navy bakery into the Fort Ward Community Hall, they had only a vague sense of the skills, time and resources needed to pull off such a feat. Now, youth advisors Aila […]

A Symphony of Fun // The Strings Are the Things

By  Gail Cole Backstage more than two-dozen classical musicians are playing a waiting game. A violist scoops up a soccer ball and heads outside to juggle it. A violinist reads, holding a book in one hand while dribbling a ball with the other. Another violinist and a cellist engage in a lively strings duel that […]

Each One, Teach One // BHS Academic Interventionists Are Here to Help

It’s easy to imagine, given the stats, that Bainbridge High School (BHS) is strictly attended by MENSA members, future rocket scientists and self-directed achievement machines. But look closer. The actual student body is much more academically diverse. According to BHS associate principal Kristen Haizlip, there is a discernable group of students […]

Sailing the Salish // Lessons Learned on the High Seas

She is 61 feet bow to stern with a 13-foot beam, the sleek, white yawl rig called Carlyn. Sails taut with Northwest breeze, she plies the waters of Puget Sound, also known as the Salish Sea, from Olympia to the San Juan Islands. Salish Sea Expeditions calls the Carlyn their floating classroom, […]

Because It’s There // Mountain Climbing With Island Fitness

A Rowing machine might lead you to joining a crew team. Indoor cycling could have you thinking about tackling the Chilly Hilly. But going from a treadmill to summiting Mount Rainier? That’s training taken to new heights. Island Fitness co-owner and general manager Michael Rosenthal first climbed Mount Rainier in 2005. At […]

Island Ink // A Closer Look at Local Color

Peer into Ryderville Ink, the island’s only tattoo shop, and you’ll find a vintage O’Neill surfboard hanging on the wall, strands of holiday lights, and a brown couch with decorative pillows. Through the partially open door, you might hear an intermittent buzz from owner Tracy Lang’s tattoo machine, which sounds like a […]

Help for the Holidays // Helpline House Lends a Hand

If you’ve ever experienced the loneliness of having no one to talk to during a dark time in your life, you know how isolated you can feel—almost out of breath from being crushed by the weight of things and having no one on which to lean. But one local resource aims to […]

What They Found // A Local Love Story Started in LAOS

Every Resident of Bainbridge Island has a story, a personal mosaic comprised of events and relationships that make up what we call “life.” Relative newcomers to the island Karen and Sid Wang, owners of the vintage boutique Meli Melo, have a unique, colorful and poignant mosaic of their own. In the 1970s, […]

Thank a Teacher // The Adult Living Program Provides Life Skills and More

Julian Wood, 24, knew that when he graduated from high school it would be tough to find work. Not only was employment scarce at the time, but he’s nonverbal and on the autism spectrum—who was going to hire him? A graduate of Bainbridge Island School District’s Adult Living Program (ALP), which supports […]

Poetic License // The Locals Behind the Arava Review

The Arava is a desert valley in Israel where agricultural efforts are cultivating an amazing amalgam of crops in the arid landscape. Half a world away, based right here on green Bainbridge Island,The Arava Review is an electronic oasis of creativity where artists and writers are likewise given a chance to flourish. […]

Their Own Drummer // Local Musicians Keep the Beat

Abraham Neuwelt carries a Body Glove bag strapped to his back like an enormous turtle shell. The bag holds his handpan, a percussion instrument played with the hands and fingers. “I take it with me wherever I go,” he said. “It’s the only drum I’ve ever had that I can carry on […]

Life on the Farm // The Skiptons Share Their Story

Everyone Knows you can’t get really good strawberries in the wintertime. Even in this day and age, when practically anything you want to eat is available all the time and in virtually endless supply, the strawberries remind us. Nature is no vending machine; if you want the really good stuff, you might […]

Friendly Neighborhood Broadcast // Community Broadcasting Provides Local Access

When was the last time you got to ask state senator Christine Rolfes about her family garden? Or facilitate a conversation between BIMA curator Greg Robinson and an island artist? Well, if you’re one of Bainbridge Community Broadcasting’s (BCB) 30-plus volunteers, the answer just might be, “Last week.” Members of Sustainable Bainbridge […]

Taking Heat // Riding Along With Our Volunteer Firefighters

Believe It or not, until the 1970s, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department was composed exclusively of volunteers. Founded in 1942 by island residents with a commitment to community safety, BIFD is now a robust institution with 60 plus members, over half of whom are volunteers. Volunteer Assistant Chief Gary Nolta has served—uncompensated—in […]

Up a Tree // Climbing the Canopy on Bainbridge Island

In Two Tall Douglas fir trees at Sacred Groves, the private land at the end of Holly Farm Lane, a grand adventure is taking place. For years scientists have climbed in the canopy as a means of researching the mysterious, hard-to reach habitat of the forest’s top layer. Professional arborists climb trees […]

Breakfast of Champions // Starting the Day With the Oatmeal Club

Give Us this day our daily…oatmeal? Sure, if you’re a member of the Oatmeal Club, a “boys only” group that meets at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church (EHCC) every Thursday for breakfast, companionship and a presentation. The bland porridge reference belies the vibrancy and extraordinary commitment level of this group of 60 retired […]

Bird’s Eye View // Exploring Bainbridge With Island Birders

For birders, it’s all about the species. Names like Hutton’s Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Bewick’s Wren and Golden-crowned Sparrow turn ordinary birds, flitting through the trees or grabbing seeds from a feeder, into something a little more special. Just walk in the front door of Bay Hay & Feed, where they sell 2,000 […]

Finding Their Happy Place // Laughing Along at the Senior Center

Who says there’s nothing funny about aging? From the sound of the rollicking guffaws coming out of the Bainbridge Island Senior Center on a recent Friday morning, getting older is absolutely hilarious. The “students” in the Liberation Laughter class are clearly at the Ph.D. level of having a blast. The class, led […]

Living on One // Local Filmmakers Making a Difference

Bainbridge Island native Zach Ingrasci lived a fairly normal “islander” life growing up. He was involved in extracurricular activities like sports and art and enjoyed an overall comfortable and privileged lifestyle. Little could he imagine he would end up spending two months living in a rural Guatemalan village on an average daily […]

Garden Walks // Looking Forward to Bainbridge in Bloom

More grows in the garden than the gardener sows. —Spanish proverb When it comes to our island’s beloved annual garden tour, truer words were never spoken. That’s because proceeds from the Bainbridge in Bloom Garden Tour, being held this year on July 10 and 11, support the year-round services and programs of […]

Office Space // Who’s Working at Officexpats

It’s the Monday morning check-in at OfficeXpats and the Post-it notes are flying. Each week the drop-in group gathers to share what they would like to accomplish in the next week. Karen Klein, a business and employment attorney, wants to change insurance plans. Sylvia Carlton, an artist, is developing a class for […]

The Cycle of Life // The Native Cycling Species on Bainbridge

Bainbridge Bikes. Some people ride for fun, with a Burley hitched to the back and their kids in tow. Others deck out in spandex, climb onto a carbon-frame road bike and fly down the highway. And some folks just bike for donuts. Sluy’s Donuts to be exact. Or maybe breakfast at the […]

Girl Power // Hope by Twelve Helps Girls Around the World

They sit around kitchen tables or meet in living rooms, organizing their next fundraiser, empowered by the knowledge that they are making a difference. With names like Flower Power Pod, The Everybody Club and Poulsbo Pod, small groups of girls, called pods, have fun planning dances, selling popsicles, wrapping gifts, painting nails […]

Mothers’ Helpers // Au Pairs Come From All Over to Work on Bainbridge

Jaana Linsenmayer tried nannies and day care after her first child was born and she returned to work. With the arrival of their second child, Jaana and her husband, Erik, wanted something more. Au Pair in America provided the solution. The program, which started in 1986, has au pairs from more than […]

He’s a Pinball Wizard // Racking up Double Bonus Points With Todd MacCulloch

Connecting a ball and goal has always fascinated Bainbridge resident and retired basketball star Todd MacCulloch. Throughout his athletic life, which included a stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, the quietly competitive 7-foot MacCulloch is particularly adept at directing a ball where he wants it to go. Today—although the ball is smaller and […]

The Comeback // Kate Goldston Walks the Road to Recovery

Finding herself in a hospice ward on her 33rd birthday, Kate Goldston knew she had to do something fast. At 5 foot 9 and a mere 71 pounds, Goldston looked nightmarishly gaunt. After two decades of anorexia, her body was shutting down. But something snapped inside her that day. “I felt like […]

Sister, Sister // Bosia’s Scholarship Program Celebrates 25 Years

Next time you’re enjoying a rich Ometepe latte at one of our local coffeehouses, go ahead and raise your cup to Kim Esterberg. He’s the man who, back in 1986, encouraged other Bainbridge Islanders to embark on a sisterhood with the Nicaraguan island of Ometepe. That sisterhood sparked the creation of the […]

Art Harvest // Artists Work Together at BARN

Enter BARN and you’ll be met with a smile. The Bainbridge Artisans Resource Network is being built on community, and welcoming new people into that community is central to the organization’s mission. But the welcoming atmosphere is not just the result of a mission statement; it comes from the hearts of the […]

Ahoy, Mateys // Life as a Liveabroad on Bainbridge Waters

For Some Folks, it’s not enough to live on an island surrounded by water—they would prefer to eat, drink and sleep while floating on the stuff. The liveaboard lifestyle, whether enjoyed in a boat tied to a dock or to a buoy in the harbor, epitomizes simplicity and freedom. For decades, boats […]

A Long Cold Crawl // Three Islanders Brave the Strait of Juan De Fuca

None of the three friends wanted to admit to coming up with the idea of swimming across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but when pressed Ken Goodman, 60, Orlando Boleda, 59, and Paul Webber, 56, cast the blame on each other. They are still trying to figure out exactly why they […]

You’ll Be Hooked // Catching up With Paul and Lorraine Svornich

Perhaps you’ve bought Paul and Lorraine Svornich’s beautiful albacore tuna at the Bainbridge Farmers’ Market. Or perhaps that particular pleasure still lies ahead of you. Sashimigrade tuna loin, so pure you can eat it raw; tuna loin canned in only its own juices; or their exceptional canned smoked toro, the highly prized […]

No Horses Required // The Pool is the Place for Polo on Bainbridge

It’s Fitting that Bainbridge Islanders—surrounded by the sea—love their water sports. Stop by the Bainbridge Aquatic Center and you’ll see a pool constantly in use. Swim, dive and water aerobics classes are full, Bainbridge Island Swim Club is capped, and Bainbridge Aquatic Masters has more than 120 members. But none are experiencing […]

Whoooo Are You? // Ogling Owls on Our Island

“Whoo-Whoo who cooks the foood?” asks a distant owl. “Barred owl,” whispers owler Jamie Acker as she leads a group, along with fellow birder George Gerdts, on an “Owl Prowl”—an owling expedition offered by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District. Ten intrepid islanders stand in the middle of Country Club […]

Taking Care // Island Volunteer Caregivers Do Much Good

Trips To The grocery store or library may seem like run-of-the-mill outings for most people. But for a growing number of Bainbridge Island residents who cannot drive, those errands would be impossible if not for the help of Island Volunteer Caregivers. “Most of the requests our volunteers fill surround transportation issues—trips to […]

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto // BHS Spartronics Make Success Seem Automatic

Bainbridge High School senior Mitchell Sachs had no idea where things would lead when, back in middle school, he read an article about robot-building competitions in a popular science magazine. He simply thought it sounded like a fun way to get kids together who like constructing things. At the time he talked […]

This Dog’s Life // Bainbridge Is a Great Place for Man’s Best Friend

Imagine a ferry en route to Bainbridge that has been boarded by two of every dog breed on the planet, a veritable canine Noah’s ark. The goldies and Labs on the WSF Wagga Wagga would have their noses pointed to the canine couture at the B.I. Barkery dog boutique in downtown Winslow, […]

Race (Across America) For a Cure // Four Island Cyclists Pedal With Purpose

What began as a notion to compete in one of the world’s toughest endurance bicycle races grew into an inspiring story about four friends who raised money and awareness for a cancer treatment center that had touched the life of a fellow classmate. Bainbridge High School juniors Lucas Weyand and Matias […]

Bainbridge in a Bottle // Island Winemakers Share Their Passion

Did you know that our little island in the cool and damp Puget Sound is home to eight wineries, two of which grow at least some of their own grapes? Why so many wineries for a town of 23,000? Winemaker Matt Albee speaks for himself, but probably all of the other island […]

Rock and Row // Bainbridge Island Pulls Together on the Water

It’s no surprise that the theme of the Bainbridge Island Rowing club’s annual auction is “Dream Big.” There’s a lot about rowing that’s big. For starters: its popularity. When Bruce Beall, BIR’s director of rowing, started coaching the junior boys team just five years ago, he had just seven boys under his […]

What’s the Cache? // Geocaching Catches on With Islanders

Sometimes it can feel like you’ve dropped into a Harry Potter scene, particularly if you’re in downtown Winslow surrounded by muggles (the official term for nonparticipants). Other times it can feel like a Lewis and Clark expedition, especially if you’re a newbie bushwhacking through the Grand Forest. What is IT? Geocaching—a real-world […]