Illahee 11/30/15 Walkers, Wood Chips, Preserve Downed Trees, South Wind, North Wind, Avery Homestead, Western White Pine, Illahee Store Sign, Timbers Edge, The Lost Continent Phase 2?

Walkers.  Lots of walkers in Illahee but the most interesting was today of two grandparents giving their granddaughter (Bethany) a ride in a wagon pulled by a pet sheep named Rambo.
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Wood Chips.  We need help with getting wood chips to the people who want them.  There were four people requesting wood chips and instead this load was dumped at the Preserve.  If you see a tree service with chips they want to get rid of, have them contact us and we will put them in contact with people who actually want them.  The Preserve doesn’t need anymore at this time.

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Preserve Downed Trees.  Thanks again to those who keep the Illahee Preserve’s over 5 miles of trails open and cleaned up.  These volunteers (Rotary, Stewardship, and community members) go through a Kitsap County training class to make sure they know how to safely operate and maintain their personal chain saws.  Several years ago, when there were a number of major storms, over 100 trees needed to be cleared from the trail system.  
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South Wind.  So what damage did the recent south wind cause?  Roughly 20 trees came down over the trails including some big ones.
North Wind.  The more recent north winds took down another 10 trees that had to be removed.
Western White Pine.  We were surprised at the number of Western White Pine’s that had their tops blown down in the Preserve.  The photo below is from a residence that had the same problem.
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Illahee Store Sign.  It also appears the north winds also broke the sign at the Illahee Store.
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Avery Homestead.  Neighbors on both sides of the Avery Homestead reported the noise from a big tree coming down.  The tree was so heavily covered with English Ivy that it was hard to see the tree.  When it came down it trimmed the branches of one of the nearby redwood trees.  It is a good reminder that if you have trees with ivy on them that they are more susceptible to being blown over.  You just need to cut the vine trunks at the base of the tree.
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Timbers Edge.  With the recent purchase of 25.5 acres of the Timbers Edge project, there are questions as to what is going to happen with the remaining 10.7 acres that was not purchased.  The Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP), the non-profit group that organized the purchase of the 25 acres, is working on developing an updated long range master plan.  What kind of natural areas and recreational features should be considered to serve a large anticipated future urban population, say in the next 20 to 50 years?  These discussions need to involve the County and the City of Bremerton (whose residents are major users) and meetings are hoped to commence this week.
The Lost Continent Phase 2?  Until the talks mentioned above happen, the Lost Continent project is temporarily on hold.  Phase 2 is hoping to begin soon so those who want to make end of year 2015 contributions for tax purposes can do so.  There were also a number of people who wanted to contribute to Phase 1 after the necessary funds were collected, so it is hoped they will still want to help.  More information will follow when we find out about the discussions.
Jim Aho

Illahee 11/15/15 Trees Down, Illahee Creek, Nearby Beavers, King Tides Coming, Wildlife Photos

Trees Down.  Some Ocean View Blvd residents had to make some detours today because of downed trees from the latest storm.  We found a broken off rear view mirror on the road this morning indicating someone must have had a close call.

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Illahee Creek.  We were surprised there was no discernible chocolate colored storm water flowing out into the bay after the recent rains.  It appears the many recent stormwater improvements made by Kitsap County around Illahee are paying off with more manageable storm flows in Illahee Creek.  We are hoping to check the creek soon to see if any salmon have shown up .
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Nearby Beavers.  One of the Illahee Preserve’s maintenance (chainsaw) guys was asked to take care of some downed tree by a nearby stream.  He was surprised that the downed trees were the work of beavers, see the photos.  The last photo is of a beaver dam near Leavenworth that was taken this fall.  We will be trying to get a photo of the nearby beaver dam and note that there are some who hope the close by beavers will find their way to Illahee Creek as biologists have recommended them for helping to establish pools for salmonids.
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King Tides Coming.  This is the time of year for high tides, that have also been called King Tides.  The following notice is from our local Sea Grant representative, Jeff Adams
.Hi All- I just overheard someone talking about predictions of a windy next 24 hours. You never know, but air pressure is dropping and some 11.5’+ tides are coming up. For those of you interested in king tide/storm surge watching, the season is upon us. 
You can track water levels (predicted and actual) as well as pressure, wind, and more at…
… it’s for Seattle, but the Kitsap Peninsula follows pretty closely (add about an hour for Dyes Inlet or South Sound).
As for tides, there are a lot between +11.5 and +12.3 over the next two weeks as we head into the new moon. … If you have too much coffee and too little turkey, there are some great midnight minus tides for the holiday. Cheers! JEff
Wildlife Photos.  With all the rain a photo of some local ducks seemed appropriate and a photo of Schutt’s point at high tide.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 11/5/15 Pheasant, Halloween Photos, Community Meeting, Port Ballot Passes, Port Budget Meeting, Comp Plan Meetings

Pheasant.  Nice to see a couple of hen pheasants pass by the other day.

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Halloween Photos.  It was a quiet Halloween for some in Illahee.  Several residents were seen at the Bremerton Community Theater as they said they never have any trick or treaters.
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Community Meeting Report.  An informative community meeting was held on Monday evening at the Library.  Much of the information had to do with earthquakes and tsunamis.  The following writeup is from the draft minutes of the meeting.

Susan May, Kitsap County Emergency Preparedness did a presentation on being prepared for disasters – earthquakes, landslides, weather related problems.  You should have provisions for 5-7 days.  Susan stressed that in the case of an earthquake, we could be isolated and on our own for several days.  More information can be found at  You can also sign up for alerts and warnings.  Susan left several pamphlets including Earthquake Safety checklist, Food and Water in an Emergency, Map Your Neighborhood as well as a few others.

Port Ballot Passes.  The results below are from the county’s website as of 11/5/15.
Port Budget Meeting.  Below are photos of the Port’s kiosk and the notice of the budget meeting coming up at the next Port meeting.
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Comp Plan Meetings.  Three Illahee residents have been meeting weekly over the summer and have been working with the county regarding the Illahee Community Sub-Area plan that is being reworked as part of the county’s comprehensive plan update.  Below is information of important county meetings coming up.
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/28/15 Monday Community Meeting, Earthquake Preparedness Presentation, Port Ballot Measure, Preserve Camp, TE Phase 2 Questions, 2016 RCO Grant, Additional Purchase?, Wildlife Reports

Monday Community Meeting.  The Illahee Community non-profit group will hold its annual meeting this coming Monday (11/2/15) at 6:15 pm at the Kitsap Regional Library’s meeting room, and will cover a number of different topics of interest to Illahee and nearby residents.  Signs such as the one below will be posted on Thursday throughout Illahee.

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Earthquake Preparedness Presentation.  Susan May with the County’s Department of Emergency Management will present from 6:15 to 7:15 pm on Monday regarding emergency preparedness in light of Illahee lying directly on the west end of the Seattle fault line, which is shown below.  Other issues noted in the sign photo will follow the presenation.
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Port Ballot Measure.  We have been trying to find someone to argue against the Port of Illahee ballot measure since there was no argument against in the voter’s pamphlet.  This has resulted in some thinking we are against the measure, which is not the case.  We simply wanted to have both sides presented, assuming there would be some people against the measure. So far we haven’t found anyone against the elimination of the three individual Port district boundaries. Below is a copy of page 35 of the Voters Pamphlet and expanded views of verbiage.
Ballot Proposition
Ballot Arguments 
Preserve Camper.  A number of weeks ago we were alerted about a tent in the Preserve and it took awhile to get photos of it.  We notified the volunteers who work with the Sheriff’s department and the camp site was posted and the inhabitants packed up and left, and volunteers then cleaned up the site.  Again, it is amazing that the surrounding community and volunteers are able to maintain the Preserve, which includes helping with the policing of illegal activities, such as camping and brush picking.
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TE Phase 2 Questions.  Many questions about The Lost Continent’s campaign to purchase the rest of the Timbers Edge properties, which is called “Phase 2″.  
2016 RCO Grant?  With the purchase of the additional 25 acres for the Illahee Preserve, bringing the total acreage to 570 acres (545 plus 25), which includes the golf course, it is time to begin work on a 2016 RCO grant (which has a March 2016 deadline).  The 25 acre purchase provides matching funds in excess of $200K, and provides the appraisal data that hindered the submittal of a 2014 RCO grant.
Additional Purchase?  Members of the Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit are working with the property owner and developer on the possibility of securing another 5 acres, or the final 10 acres.  The non-profit boards of the Illahee Forest Preserve and Illahee Community group just met and voted to continue discussions for at least the forested five acre westerly Timbers Edge parcel.  The five acres could be secured in part with grant funds, in addition to other priority properties where there are landowner agreements.
Wildlife Reports.  The American wigeon ducks that winter in Illahee have returned in the last couple of days.  The first two photos below show them at the mouth of Illahee Creek.  The last photo shows some female common mergansers as they are seen swimming along the shoreline looking for fish, which they were finding this afternoon.
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Jim Aho 

Illahee 10/21/15 Timbers Edge Cleanup, Preserve Trails, Brush Picking Season, Port Ballot Proposition, Mussel Monitoring, Wood Chip Info

TE Cleanup.  During discussions regarding Phase 2 we received permission to begin cleaning up some of the old campsites on the Timbers Edge properties we would like to eventually purchase.  Thanks to the group this past Saturday who filled up enough garbage bags to fill a pickup, and the nearby property owner who volunteered to haul the garbage off.  

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Preserve Trails.  We receive many compliments on the trails in the Illahee Preserve and yesterday were told Bremerton Parks also receives lots of compliments, and people are surprised it is a county park and that it is maintained by volunteers.
Brush Picking Season.  Time to watch out for illegal brush picking in the Preserve.  If you see this happening, call 911 and/or let us know and we will pass the information on.  Last year was the first time we didn’t see any signs of brush picking in the Preserve.
Port Ballot Proposition.  There is an important Port of Illahee ballot measure “Elimination of Commissioner Districts” to be voted on by Illahee residents that is described in the local voters pamphlet.  There were no arguments against the measure in the voter’s guide so if someone has some objections we would be glad to share them in an update.
Mussel Monitoring.  On Monday evening (10/26) at low tide a mussel cage will be placed in Illahee to evaluate chemical pollution along Puget Sound’s shorelines.  If you would like to help with this on Monday evening, let us know.
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Wood Chip Info.  In our last update we mentioned we would pass on the information of those who wanted wood chips.  There were a handful of people who responded and we will be passing your information on to the tree companies.  Below is more information.

When the wood chip guys call they want immediate communication and access with whoever may be interested in chips.  Tree Service guys approach from different directions.  They like the shortest distance to dump.  With these points in mind, it would be helpful to have the following information for each interested party.

1. Name

2. General location

3. Specific address

4. Phone number(s)

5. How much chips are desired. 


There are no guarantees.  Chips are available VERY inconsistently.  I welcome info from whoever may be interested, and I will try to send chips as I am contacted.  Finally, when someone no longer wants wood chips, please notify me so I don’t waste any one’s time calling them. 

Jim Aho

Illahee 10/10/15 Timbers Edge Phase 1 Purchase Completes, Many to Thank, County Thanks, Community Thanks, Phase 2 Meeting, Preserve Work Party, Wood Chips, Earthquake Information

Timbers Edge Phase 1 Purchase Completes.  It took awhile for everything to come together, but the purchase of 25.5 acres finally closed on September 29, 2015.  Because state and some county funds were involved, an appraisal was needed to verify property values.  Below is what we saw on Facebook today.

Many To Thank.  So many people and groups to thank for making it happen.  The property owner, Jim Tallman, and the developers, John and Gary, who gave the community an opportunity to purchase are especially to be thanked.  They were the ones who contacted the community to see if we wanted to purchase the property and then stayed with us when we assigned the purchase details to the county (since it was to be part of the Preserve) which delayed it past the original closing date because of the then required appraisal.  Without their commitment and patience it wouldn’t have happened.
County Thanks!  Thanks to the County Commissioners, their staff, and Parks and the State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) and our Senator and Representatives!  They each played an indispensable part.
Community Thanks!  And finally a big thanks to the community members who showed their heart for their community, preservation and conservation of the Illahee Preserve, Illahee Creek and its watershed and aquifers, by contributing nearly $130,000 to reach our funding goal for the Phase 1 purchase.

Phase 2 Meeting.  What about the Phase 2?   We will begin meetings next week to discuss Phase 2 possibilities.  Some of the group working on Phase 1 are tired, and others are energized now that Phase 1 is completed.  If anyone would like to help, please let us know.
Preserve Work Party.  On Friday, October 2nd, another Washington Youth Academy work party completed a number of projects in the Illahee Preserve.  All the wood chip piles are now gone, and have been distributed to the trail system, and some of the small water puddles along the trails have been lined.  The Preserve has been getting high marks for having such a great trail system, thanks to groups like the Washington Youth Academy and the East Bremerton Rotary that coordinates the work parties.
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Wood Chips.  With the winds we had today (Saturday) we are likely to get calls from tree companies to see if we need wood chips for the Preserve.  We don’t need wood chips but if others would like a load of chips, give us you contact information and we will pass it on the the tree companies should they call us.
Earthquake Information.  We saw a display in Seattle the other day that showed the Seattle Fault Zone and noted that it goes west across Bainbridge Island and into Illahee.  The second photo is of the text under the graphics.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 9/20/15 Illahee Photos, Preserve Work Party, Police Reports, Hiding Spot, Why Illahee?, Culvert, Perry Ave Stormwater Project, Port Thank You, Lost Continent Updates

Illahee Photos.  Thanks to those who share their photos.
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Illahee Preserve Work Party.  Thanks to the LDS church group that accomplished some major tasks on Saturday, September 12th.  Not only did they clean up and give the rain garden a “hair cut”, they also hauled and spread woodchips on trails.  Adults, teenagers, and younger children make it a fun and productive morning, which was followed by a BBQ.  Thanks to all the volunteers to make the Illahee Preserve such a special place!
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Police Reports.  In our last Update we reported on police chase in Illahee, a crashed car, and a drug dealer who fled on foot, and eventually was found and apprehended with the help of a police dog. The first report if from the Kitsap Sun and the second from the CK Reporter.

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The Hiding Spot.  Below is the house where the suspect hid in a lower level storage area where the dog located him.
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Why Illahee?  Why does Illahee have so much of this kind of activity?  We think the reason is Illahee Road is the only road east of State Route 303 (Wheaton Way) for those wanting to go between Bremerton and communities to the north.
Culvert.  We monitor the Illahee Creek culvert under Illahee Road periodically to check the clearance as it has been decreasing over the years.  The current clearance is 21 inches maximum, but as you can see from the photo that is just at the center.  The culvert was not cleaned this year as the county has been completing many stormwater projects in Illahee to help decrease the stormwater surges.  Our concern is a major storm, capable of moving logs down the creek, could plug the culvert and wash out the road, which would leave us with some big traffic problems.
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Perry Avenue Stormwater Project.  We received a number of inquiries about a stormwater project on Perry Avenue that dumps water over the hillside into Illahee Creek.  This project was recommended by the Port of Illahee/Department of Ecology report issued in 2008 and was completed recently by Kitsap County Public Works.  The last photo shows two guys installing a second flange.  Those flanges were then covered with 8 cubic yards of concrete which serves as an anchor for the pipe just before it goes over the bank.  At the end is a diffuser to dissipate the energy before it enters Illahee Creek.  The area has experienced a number of slides and this should help.
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Port Thank You.  We want to say a special thank you to the Port of Illahee commissioners who years ago had the foresight to apply for a grant to help resolve the stormwater problems in the creek that also affected Puget Sound.  The Port’s authority extends beyond just the Illahee dock which not always understood.
Lost Continent Phase 1 Acquisition Update.  We heard the acquisition in progressing as they wait for an appraisal of the project to complete.  The acquisition is to complete by September 29th and 25.5 acres will be added to the Preserve.
Lost Continent Phase 2 Acquisition?  We don’t know the status of the Avery Homestead parcels which is Phase 2.  With the delay in closing for Phase 1, Phase 2 had to be put on hold.  We will let you know what we find out about Phase 2.
Jim Aho

Illahee 9/9/15 Police Activity in Illahee, Police Chase, Suspect Flees On Foot, Police Dog Joins Search, Subject Hid Under House, Thanks to Bremerton Police, Thanks to Police Dog, A Young Couple’s Welcome to Illahee

Police Activity In Illahee?  Anyone going through Illahee on Wednesday evening found police cars almost lining Illahee Road.  We think nearly all of Bremerton’s police cars, including unmarked ones were parked along Illahee Road from the community dock north.  We have tried to piece together what happened and this is our unofficial understanding.
2015-9-9 Misc 029This is the only photo we got before being told to go inside.  Hopefully someone was able to get some photos and will forward them on for us to share. 

Police Chase.  Evidently a known drug dealer with several felonies, was being pursued by Bremerton police in the area of Sunset and then ended up on Illahee Road about two tenths of a mile north of the dock, where he abandoned his car.  We don’t know where or what kind of car, or if it was stolen.

Suspect Flees On Foot.  What we did hear is he fled on foot and it appeared the police officers set up a perimeter containment area which is probably why there were so many officers involved.  They  told us a police dog was being brought in and we were told to go inside our house.
Police Dog Joins Search. It wasn’t much longer when we heard the dog barking and shouting which we presume was the capture of the suspect.  
Suspect Hid Under House.  After things quieted down and the flashing lights were turned off we went out to see what information we could gather.  Seems the suspect was found hiding in an area under a yellow house when he was captured.  We know the house and it was a good hiding place that would have been difficult to find if it wasn’t for the dog.
Thanks To Bremerton Police!  Thanks to the Bremerton Police Department for such a great presence and dedication to capturing the suspect.  We were impressed!
Thanks To Police Dog!  We also came away with a great appreciation for what a police dog can do in locating someone on the run and hiding in a very secluded and difficult area to search.
A Young Couple’s Welcome To Illahee.  What a way to welcome a young couple who just moved here from Seattle to get away from the big city?  Luckily Pete had gone to pick up his wife at the ferry when all this happened so neither of them were home at the time.  We will get some photos of the hiding place on Thursday.  Wanted to get this out tonight as we have had phone calls already asking what was going on.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/31/15 Power Outage, Downed Trees, Friday Work Party, Illahee Outfall Meetings, vigilant Residents, Timbers Edge, Raccoon Photo, Orca Visit, Orca Regulations, Ant Correction

Power Outage.  We heard on Sunday afternoon there were 594 residents in Illahee without power with an estimated time to restore power set for Tuesday at 6:30 am, when a plea was made for help. We don’t know how it got expedited but after 32 hours without power we are glad it happened and thank those with contacts. Another 30+ hours would have been tough.  

Downed Trees.  We heard the power outage problem was the result of branches/trees over power lines in three locations along Illahee Road hill.  Only a few trees were down across trails in the Illahee Preserve, with several of them already taken care of.

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Friday Work Party.  There was another successful Illahee Preserve work party on Friday with 55 Washington Youth Academy cadets.  Invasive plant species were removed and wood chip piles were depleted as wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of wood chips were placed on the trails.  It takes many hundreds of labor hours to keep the Preserve looking great and it is all done with volunteers.  Thanks to the Washington Youth Academy and the East Bremerton Rotary Club for all their efforts on Friday!!!  And thanks to those who helped supply the work party with wheelbarrows and tools!
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Illahee Outfall Meetings.  This past week there were three meetings held to try and resolve the problem with the Illahee Outfall that “sticks out like a sore thumb”.  A resolution was eventually agreed to by those present which needs to have revised drawings approved by the Department of Community Development (DCD).  More information will follow.  The first photo shows the problem of the pipe sticking out too far.  The second photo is looking into the manhole at the pipe being held by two long bolts, which was deemed inadequate.  The manhole will be relocated and the pipe will be moved back, and a better anchoring system designed.  
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Vigilant Residents.  There are some who think the people in Illahee are simply complainers when they oppose some of the projects being contemplated.  The response has been it is the Illahee Community that has to live with the final result of projects.  If something is not done right residents may be looking at it and living with it everyday for as long as they live here, so they want it done right.  Additionally, they have found they cannot always depend on the county to watch out for the community, which is why they need to be vigilant.
Timbers Edge.  What is the hold-up with the 25 acre TE purchase (Phase 1)?  Turns out an appraisal is needed for the state funds and the county, who is pledging interim funds.  Complex appraisals take time so we are currently projecting middle to late September for the appraisal to complete.  Phase 1 needs to complete, so things are currently in a holding pattern for Phase 2.
Raccoon Photo.  Thanks to Rick for this photo during a past thunderstorm.
Here is the picture of the raccoon, that was frightened by the thunder. He/she was at eye level just outside our back door in a large cedar tree at 5533 Oceanview Blvd.  Looks like he was praying for protection from the storm.
Orca Visit.  The orca pod visit on August 18th turned out to be quite an event.  We saw some private videos that were amazing and have been trying to find someone who will share their videos.  Turns out some of them found out afterwards that there are some strict restrictions about how close you can get to whales, assuming these were the southern resident orcas.   The person in this photo was trying to maintain some separation when another group from the pod came up next to his kayak.  He had is video running taking photos of the far away orcas and when the others surfaced next to him you can hear how scared and surprised he was.  Cameras capture the sights and sounds of some amazing events.
Orca Restrictions.  The regulations for boaters are:
Orca Regs 
Ant Correction.  In a previous update with reference to fire ants I have been corrected as follows: 
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These are not fire ants. There are no fire ants north of the Texas, New Mexico area. Fire ants do build mounds but they are made of earth not vegetation detritus. The ants you picture are one of several similar species collectively called mound building ants. They are benign to beneficial as they often prey on insect pests. Calling them fire ants may well cause people to destroy these relatively harmless creatures for no reason.
The ants might be thatching ants. That’s what we had. They were stripping my plants and made a mound as high as my waist. Never heard of them till I had them in my yard. Wish I’d taken pictures.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/18/15 Orcas Visit Illahee, Fire Ants, Lightning Cancels Work Party, Web Cam, Illahee Day, Port Proposition, Thefts, Missing Person and Lost Cat Notices

Orcas Visit Illahee.  A pod of orcas visited Illahee this evening and put on quite a show for those on the Illahee Community dock.

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Fire Ants.  As we wait to close on the 25 acre Phase 1 purchase of the Timbers Edge project, we walked through the 10 acre Phase 2 parcels and found a big fire ant nest.  These little guys can be vicious.
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Lightning Cancels Work Party.  The treat of lightning caused the work party with the Washington Youth Academy to be cancelled.  We will be scheduling for another day as we have loads of wood chips to spread on the trails.  Lots of preparations, including arranging for a portapotty and the delivery of a container with all the tools, go into these work parties and we thank the East Bremerton Rotary for making all the arrangements.
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Web Cam.  There is a 24/7 web camera that looks at the Illahee Community dock and can be viewed on the website.  At the bottom of the camera picture are time the photo was taken and the weather details.  The previous day’s time lapsed video is always available and it provided some interesting camera captures of the early morning lightning, which are shown below.  The camera takes a snap shot every 34 seconds so we were lucky to find these photos.  The second shows a likely lightning strike on Bainbridge Island.  The amount of rain noted at the site was 1.05 inches on Friday.
Illahee Day.  Saturday was Illahee day and forty plus people attended.  Toward the end of the day some fireman from the station at the top of Illahee hill attended and suggested that next year we schedule tours of a fire truck.  There were no photos taken so the photo below is a repeat.
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Port Proposition.  The Port of Illahee has a proposition on November’s ballot and they were looking for committee members both for and against the proposition.  Evidently they have some residents for a for committee, but not for the against committee and asked the county whether the committee members need to be against the measure, and below is the response and how the proposition will be worded.
Port Proposition 
Thefts.  Several residents have reported mail thefts in Illahee and also they evidently think the person who did the burglary and car theft at Illahee north, lives in the vicinity, which is why in the writeup they chased the guy back to Illahee.  Let us know if you find out more information on the mail thefts and the burglary so we can pass it on.
KCSO News Release 8-5-15 pg 1 
Missing Person and Lost Cat Notices.  Below are some notices we found posted in the community.
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Jim Aho