The Buzz

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

Memorable Meals // What’s Cooking at Intentional Table

There’s a one in seven chance that you’re reading this on a Wednesday. And maybe it’s almost time for lunch. Doesn’t baked sweet potato wedges alongside a roasted vegetable and wheat berry salad with chocolate rum raisin cake for dessert sound about a billion times better than what you were planning? That’s […]

Rev up the Retro // Bainbridge Island Cruise-in Is More Than Car Talk

Motorists beware! On the last Tuesday of June, July and August, the Bainbridge Island Cruise-In is held at the intersection of Highway 305 and Madison Avenue. It’s such a sight that passing drivers often get distracted. “Drivers crank their necks to look at the show and don’t pay attention to the car […]

Senior Moments // Taking Time to Listen to Older Islanders

Driving around Bainbridge Island, you’re likely to see neon-clad cyclists, kids playing in the schoolyard and commuters bustling to and from the ferry terminal. An equally essential thread in the island’s fabric, but often not as visible, are seniors in assisted living. We sat down with a few of them to hear […]

The Philanthropist Next Door // Bainbridge Community Foundation Quietly Gives Big

What do you love about Bainbridge Island? Is it the plentiful outdoor space, the arts and culture, excellent schools, or recreation for any age? These qualities and more make up the foundation of our community, so it won’t surprise you to learn that our own Bainbridge Community Foundation (BCF) supports them […]

Out of Africa // The Kingombes Hope the Journey Ends Here

This spring there was a traditional wedding on Bainbridge Island—but that may not mean what you think. On that joyous day, parents of the bride and current island residents, Kims Kingombe Embeya and Henriette Mbutshu Wemanonge, followed the customs of their native Democratic Republic of Congo. The young couple, Ludy and […]

Teeny Yoginis // The Youngest Among Us Love Life on the Mat

Yoga has become a main ingredient of the Bainbridge Island lifestyle. Practitioners regularly gather at private studios, gyms, the Grange and even at the fire station to stretch, bend, twist and breathe as a group. Unlike traditional cardiovascular workouts, yoga boasts benefits both physical and spiritual. Trained as a physical therapist, yoga […]

Something for Owen // A New Island Playground Will Delight Kids of All Kinds

From the solar panels on their roof, to the Nissan Leaf in their driveway, to the fair trade coffee company they founded, it’s easy to get a sense for the type of people that Kelsey and Stacy Marshall are. They do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. So […]

Remembering Bob // Islanders Celebrate the Life of Bob Cederwall

By Jackie O’Brien There was a new star among the usual decorations draped across Winslow Way this past holiday season. It had a big red heart inside, with “BOB” illuminated across its center. Islanders lucky enough to know the much-loved Bob Cederwall, to whom BOB refers, are aware of the perfection of this metaphor. He […]

Rock on // Islanders Hit New Heights at Island Rock Gym

Island rock gym co-owners Michele Lang and Jason Lawson are both fresh arrivals to Bainbridge. But the approach they are taking to their indoor rock climbing business, located in the burgeoning Coppertop business park, fits island life like a glove. For starters, Lawson, who was associated with the Bremerton indoor rock gym […]

All-Of-A-Kind Family // For Kendra Field and Dee Bennett, It’s Always a Full House

Fifty-four babies in 11 years sounds like a lot. Don’t you think you’d be done by then? Not Kendra Field and Deanna “Dee” Bennett. They are hoping for dozens more. It all started 14 years ago right here on Bainbridge when the couple met on the softball field. Field and Bennett each […]

Readers Are Leaders // Local Librarian Takes Top Honors

In late 2013, Sakai Intermediate School librarian Kathy Ellison was notified that she was among 10 librarians nationwide who had been chosen for the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. Other awardees came from a variety of library types, including universities, public libraries and schools. Ellison […]

Working It Out // Islanders Help Resolve Disputes

We all have conflict. Whether it’s with our spouse, partner, children, co-workers, neighbors or friends—at some point, we all disagree with someone. Luckily, most disputes end peaceably and the relationships remain intact. Sometimes, however, it takes a little outside help to find mutually acceptable solutions. The Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County, […]

A Holiday House // A Historic Port Madison Home Carries on a 35 Year Gifting Tradition

As you drive past 15060 Washington Ave. in Port Madison, you immediately sense that there’s something different about this old house. Look closer and you’ll find antiques displayed on the wrap-around porch. An old potting shed filled with vintage dinnerware. Whimsical garden art. And what’s that sign to the left of the […]

Zero Impact // Buy Nothing Bainbridge Gathers Givers

From island moms to the rotary auction, opportunities to repurpose “stuff” are familiar to most islanders. In those examples, we may make a few bucks or at least get a charitable donation tax receipt. But what if we could easily come together to give just for the sake of giving? The Facebook […]

Hanging With Howlers // Wily Ways to Coexist With Coyotes

As a Bainbridge Islander, you’ve likely seen a coyote trotting across a road or trail, heard one (or more) howling from the woods, or listened to someone’s tale of an extraordinary coyote sighting. Is all this coyote activity something we should be concerned about? Not necessarily. In fact, coyotes are good for […]

Doctors on Call // Finding After-Hours Care on Island Time

It’s 9:15 p.m. Inside the comfort of your Bainbridge Island home, you suddenly feel a sharp pain in your chest. Is this indigestion? A gallstone? An ulcer? A heart attack? You draw a deep breath and dial 9-1-1. After-hours care has long been a pivotal issue on Bainbridge, and how you pivot […]

Bloedel in Bloom // An Island Treasure Celebrates 25 Years

Dashing outside even on the rainiest day, guest services assistants Susan Phillips and Bob Hill (aka, “the Gatekeepers”) cheerfully greet visitors to Bloedel Reserve with clipboards in hand. And visitors they have. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this internationally renowned 150-acre public garden has seen attendance increase 80 percent since doing away with […]

In From the Cold // Camp Siberia Springs Anew in Kitezh

When textile artist Janie Ekberg first purchased a parcel of land in 1998 outside Novosibirsk, in central Siberia, with plans for a summer cabin, she had no idea that decision would lay the foundation for Camp Siberia, an organization that would continue to impact Americans and Russians today. At the time Ekberg, […]

Someone to Listen // Bainbridge Youth Services Meets Teens Where They Are

In a cluster of offices on the Bainbridge High School campus, a small team of therapists helps teenage clients navigate—and in some cases, survive—the jumble of academic, personal, social and family stresses that typify the teen years. Bainbridge Youth Services (BYS), which marked its 50th year in 2012, is the state’s only […]

B-I-N-G-O // Where the Center Square is Always Free

The balls drop into the hopper, signaling the start of a game. The crowd’s attention turns to the man at the microphone. “O-74.” Heads bend over as players search their cards, the silence broken by a Dean Martin tune coming from the radio. “Don’t forget to get your spaghetti,” says the caller. […]

Creating a Spark // Ignite Bainbridge Seeks to Quickly Enlighten

Do you have an inspiring idea or passion that you’re fired up to share with everyone? Think you could light up the stage with your story? In a rapid-fire five minutes? Ignite Bainbridge might just be for you. Ignite Bainbridge was conceived in 2011 when Elisabeth Robson, computer scientist and acclaimed […]

Sailing Away // Bainbridge Celebrates Wooden Boats

One Thousand Miles off the Oregon coast, the Pacific swells are building and the tuna are biting—and Paul Svornich is out there single-handing his home-built wooden boat. The Ocean is a 47-foot sloop that he and his wife Lorraine put together in their backyard and have fished in rough north Pacific waters […]

Cooks in the Kitchen // Sweet Dahlia Spreads the Love

Bainbridge Island has no shortage of upper-crust bakeries. Islanders spend Saturday mornings hanging out in front of one, then have Tuesday business meetings in another, and finally finish writing that novel in yet another. Blessed as we are with so many delicious purveyors of sweet and savory baked goods, it still seems […]

A Safe Space to Tell the Truth // Teen Talking Circles Celebrates 20 Years

When photographer Linda Wolf and psychotherapist K. Wind Hughes first conceived their Daughters Sisters Project in 1993, they had no idea that what started as a 10-week focus group exploring and documenting the issues teenage girls faced as they transitioned into womanhood would morph into a successful nonprofit helping communities worldwide develop […]

Pointing the Way // Winslow’s New Gateway Welcomes Visitors

Winslow’s “front porch” has a lot more curb appeal thanks to the new Waypoint, the welcoming entry at the corner of Winslow Way and Highway 305. Dedicated on March 1, the formerly cringe-worthy lot is now a pleasant meeting and resting spot designed by noted island architect Johnpaul Jones, whose many projects […]

The Octopus’ Garden // Harvesting Oysters With the Puget Sound Restoration Fund

Bainbridge Island has its share of unique gardens. Islanders enjoy giant dahlia blooms, stands of whispering bamboo, roadside surprise daffodils and squishy tidelands speckled with Olympia oysters. Oyster gardens? With help from our own Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF), the answer is “you bet.” Founded in 1997, PSRF was created out of […]

Good Works // Eagle Harbor Congregational Church Serves Our Souls

While T&C Market is known among locals as our downtown’s heart, many refer to the little white church on the corner of Winslow and Madison as its soul. If you live on Bainbridge Island, you’ve probably been to Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, if only to warm up at the annual UNICEF Halloween […]

Catch and Release // Islanders Keep Fish Flowing to Food Banks

Bainbridge Islanders love seafood. Our island rests in rich fishing waters, and our restaurants and markets are stuffed to the gills with the delicious bounty of the sea. Such bounty, however, sometimes comes with a price. That price is bycatch. Bycatch is that portion of a seafood catch that a fishing vessel […]

Good Dog! // We Sit and Stay With Two Local Dog Trainers

Steven Kessler // The Brooklyn Dog Whisperer I help owners understand the pivotal role that pecking order plays in the relationship between them and their dogs. I train in a hybrid style that incorporates the best aspects of all training methods while eliminating the weaknesses. Once we understand the root cause of […]

College Bound // Bhs Seniors Share Early-Decision News

A young college freshman, just back from her first semester at NYU, once spoke on a panel. She was one of those kids who had applied to a bunch of schools and not gotten into any. She had to brush off her wounded pride, hold her chin up and basically start from […]

Another Man’s Treasure // Trash Backwards Aims to Reduce Waste

Let’s say you’ve got some polka CDs you don’t dance to anymore. You could Freecycle them, sell them, donate them or— gasp—toss them into the landfill. It’s that last, easiest option that the team at island startup Trash Backwards hopes more people will stop choosing. Trash Backwards created a web tool that […]

Heavy Metal // Soldering on at Monkey Wrench Fabrications

Tucked away down Westerly Lane in the center of Bainbridge Island you’ll find Monkey Wrench Fabrications, a two-story workshop where sparks fly year round—albeit “off the grid,” as the shop is completely powered by solar and wind. A visit through the heavy wooden sliding doors of the barnlike shop reveals a brightly […]

Our Beautiful Balloons // Jerry Brader Brightens the Way

Between road rage and gridlock (not to mention fear of missing the ferry), commuting to work isn’t usually cause for celebration. But thanks to Jerry Brader, motorists on Bainbridge Island are often treated to colorful balloons decorating the bus stop at the intersection of Highway 305 and Sportsman’s Club Road. He adorns […]

Local Heroes // Three Islanders Start an Educational Nonprofit

Education is the tool that can lift up a single soul and an entire community simultaneously. Educational Empowerment, a new and ambitious nonprofit based on Bainbridge Island, takes this belief one leap further: its goal is to empower an entire country through improved access to education. And it all starts with “The […]

Never Forget // Bainbridge Remembers Its Own

When the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, fear and panic gripped the nation. The attack set off a chain of events that affected every American, and in particular those of Japanese ancestry. The stories about the hours and years that followed have taken decades to be shared with the broader […]

A Good Yarn // Carrie Defoe Knits Something New

As winter closes in, Bainbridge Islanders love to cocoon. It’s the season for crackling fires, hearty stews and handmade crafts, like knitting. Right up there when it comes to nesting activities, knitting is something you can do even when the power goes out. (Of course, that hardly ever happens here.) When Carrie […]

Hangin’ in the Tiki Lounge // Why Avalara Might Be the Island’s Coolest Workplace

If fun is a factor in your next career move, you’re probably scanning the classifieds for work at a bar or restaurant, or considering your options as a birthday clown. You probably aren’t thinking, “What I really want to do is sell sales tax software.” But that’s just what they do at […]

Gotta Getaway // Winter Mini-Breaks Are a Half-Day Away

As you ponder the winter skies, do you find your thoughts repeatedly turning toward a lawn chair and a good book on the beach of some Pacific island? As enticing as Hawaii is, there are plenty of less drastic escapes within a half-day’s drive that just may be all your psyche needs […]

Being Santa // Spending Time at Home With Old Saint Nick

Every December 24, he’s the hardest working man in the world. For longer than anyone can remember, Santa Claus, or Saint Nick to his close friends, has been an indefatigable bearer of gifts and bringer of good cheer. Bainbridge Island magazine caught up with the bearded traveler in his newly renovated kitchen. […]

Bottoms Up! // Bainbridge Gets Its Drink On

Strawberry Farms, Ferry Rides, Killer Cycling. That’s the stuff we’re made of. But lately, it seems like we’re getting a leg up on Lynchburg and Milwaukee. Over in the Coppertop Loop Business Park, locally inspired beer and spirits are being produced and sold by family-run businesses at two different locales: Bainbridge Island […]

Itty Bitty Book Club // Checking Out Our Tiny Libraries

No Overdue fines to worry about. No Dewey Decimal System to navigate. Just an engaging little neighborhood bookshelf where you can take (or leave) a book and be on your way. Little Free Libraries, as they are affectionately known, are springing up all over. Neighbors are repurposing doghouses and retrofitting picnic coolers […]

Fun With Foraging // Feasting on the Food at Your Feet

Bainbridge Island has an abundance of so many good things—great schools, sweet little beaches, fruitful farms, elbow room, small town charm and lush forests, to name a few. Add food foraging to the list of island riches that not many folks know about. Those who do know appreciate the bounty Bainbridge offers. […]

Horsing Around // Jumping Into Our Equestrian Community

The year is 1969. Ten year old Mollie Bogardus steps out of her house on Sunrise and mounts her horse, Misty. She tucks her lunch into her saddlebag. She and a friend, also on horseback, head out. Their destination: the candy store in Lynwood, the deserted but still bountiful strawberry fields around […]

Ten Minutes of Fame // Island Theatre’s Ten Minute Play Festival

When It Comes to the ultimate theatrical experience, the play’s the thing. The arc of the characters and the story, the rising action, the dramatic climax, the final resolution—all of these elements are what make live theater so singularly enthralling that you don’t even notice you’ve been sitting there for two hours. […]

Buying the Farm // It’s a Crowded Island but There is Still Land Aplenty

Not too long ago, Bainbridge Island was mostly forest and farmland. There’s still a lot of forested land, but the farmland has largely been replaced by built property, laced with Scotch broom and ivy. While weed warriors tackle the invasive species, some landowners are working to save farmland, often with the help […]

Life on the Farm // A Visit With Bainbridge Farmers at Market

Whether you’re interested in buying locally grown vegetables, chatting with old friends, or socializing your new puppy, the Bainbridge Island Farmers’ Market will fit the bill. The outdoor market runs from April to November at Town Square in City Hall Park and offers locals and tourists a colorful sampling of fruits, vegetables, […]

Grand Old Fourth // A Salute to Island Tradition

What draws retirees back from warmer climes, gets college kids all warm and fuzzy about home and causes veteran event planners to shake in their boots? The Grand Old Fourth of July celebration, of course. The Grand Old Fourth is the biggest party of the year and an international tourist attraction. The […]

Off the Couch // Local Ladies Give Teens a Sporting Chance

Preteen girls come with their own paradoxical stigma—at once giggly and sullen, emptyheaded and complicated, boy crazy and painfully shy. Even though their defining characteristics may be hard to pin down, a “tween” girl’s attitude toward physical activity is easy to discern. Levels of physical activity decline during adolescence, particularly among girls—a […]

Positive Reinforcement // Nonprofit Parks Foundation Girds Public Works

A simple passion for parks and trails drives the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation. If you have a great idea for parks or trails——big or small——Barb Trafton, BIPF’s executive director, is eager to talk. “We can move the process along in ways that individuals can’t.” Which is a key strength of the foundation, […]