Illahee 8/22/16 Photos, Mail Thefts

Photos.  Another try at posting photos.  A little late on the ships.

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Mail Thefts.  Lots of reports of mail thefts this year with the latest report (received early Saturday morning) below.
All the mailboxes for Rue Villa were opened last night.Most are locking boxes and just had the inlet flap flipped open.A couple of pieces of mail were found on the ground,one from Sunset ave and one from Hicks ave.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/21/16 Photos, Port Hearing Report, Kitsap Sun Port Article, TE Phase 1 Purchase, Contributions Matched, Ranking Critical

Photos.  We are currently having problems with uploading photos so they will come in a later update.

Port Hearing Report.  We have been asked when we were going to report on the recent hearing at the Port of Illahee.  The public hearing minutes from the Port’s August 10th meeting are not officially released until they are signed at the next Port of Illahee monthly meeting, which is September 14th.  In the meantime the community was fortunate to have a reporter attend the hearing.

Kitsap Sun Port Article.  Christian Vosler, a Kitsap Sun reporter, attended the public hearing last week and wrote the story below, which is also available at the following link:–389945341.html?d=mobile
TE Phase 1 Purchase.  Some may not be aware that last year the Illahee Preserve was expanded with the purchase of 25.5 acres of the Timbers Edge (TE) development, which was a combination of community contributions, a salmon recovery grant, and a donation by the property owner and developer.  Few thought it could be done, but it happened because of many of those who receive these Updates contributed.  
Contributions Matched.  The most amazing thing happened this year as the Parks Department prepared for a grant to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres of the development (which has been offered to the Preserve for a Phase 2 purchase).  What Parks was able to do is find a grant category that allowed the Phase 1 purchase to qualify as a match.  Parks contributed another match purchase to the grant, which means 95% of the funding has already been raised for the Phase 2 purchase and some pledges have already been received for the remaining 5%.   
Ranking Critical.  The project now needs to rank high enough to assure funding.  The following is adapted from an email we saw. 
On Friday (8/12/16) Kitsap County Park’s Planner Steven Starlund presented the TE Phase 2 proposal to the State’s Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) Technical Review Committee meeting in Olympia.  The presentation went well and we are now waiting for the rankings to be finalized and posted, which is scheduled to happen on August 25th.  If the project ranks high a major portion of the funding will be virtually assured and negotiations and funding options will begin in earnest.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/8/16 Milestones, (Wed) Port Public Hearing, (Fri) Grant Presentation in Olympia, (Sat) 100th Anniversary Celebration

Milestones.  Some important milestones in the making this week.

(Wed) Port Public Hearing.  The Port of Illahee will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday (8/10/16) at 5 pm with the public encouraged to voice their thoughts on whether the Port should amend their Comprehensive Plan to try and acquire the old Illahee Foods store.  Let the Port Commissioners know what your thoughts are by attending or by emailing them at  
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We saw the following documents posted near the store, which explains the intent of the Public Hearing.  The second document tells about the store, but it is a little hard to read.
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(Fri) Grant Presentation in Olympia.  Questions continue regarding the remaining 10.7 acres left of the Timbers Edge project that would be added to the Illahee Preserve.  Kitsap County Parks is scheduled to make a presentation in Olympia to the RCO Technical Review Committee on Friday (8/12/16).  According to the RCO website they will be requesting a grant of $785,000 for the final acquisition.  Needless to say we are watching this closely as the community may need to raise some additional money as the purchase price will likely be a little over $800,000.  We should know a whole lot more on Friday.  Keep your fingers crossed as many are wanting this to happen to provide a future homestead park and access to a remote part of the Preserve.
TE Phase 2 Map
(Sat) 100th Anniversary Celebration.  We attended a meeting this afternoon where Illahee community members are working out the final details for the 100th anniversary celebration.  The store area has been cleaned up and the celebration will be held there as a number of residents have a hard time negotiating the steep (18-20 % grade) road to the dock (the second photo).
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The Port has arranged for McClouds to provide hot dogs and hamburgers.  Others have offered to provide salads, etc so there will be a potluck table.  Pepsi is providing drinks.  The Port will provide a cake.
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A 5 pm program is being worked on with suggestions to include — Brief History, Historical Homes, Growing Up in Illahee, Illahee Foods, Port/Dock History.
Parking is acknowledged to be problematic as there are limited spaces going toward the dock.  It has been suggested some parking can be directed to Madrona Ave.  If nearby residents can walk and if others can carpool it will help.
Information tables will be there for the Illahee Community Club, the Illahee Forest Preserve, Illahee Articles in the Kitsap Sun, sale of the last remaining DVDs of the film “Illahee – Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time”.
Local craft vendors are welcome to set up a table.  Send us an email if you have questions and we will direct it to the right person.
Jim Aho

Illahee 7/31/16 Fawns, Shellfish Warning, Missing Boat, First Preserve Wedding, Port Public Hearing Aug 10th, 100 Anniversay Program?

Fawns.  Thanks Ginny for the photos of fawns!

Shellfish Warning.  New danger signs showed up at the Illahee Dock the day before the notice in the Kitsap Sun.
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Missing Boat.  This boat was on the outer float of the Port dock a few weeks ago and over the weekend went missing.  It was a borrowed boat and the borrower and owner would like to get it back.  Let us know if you can help them find out what happened to it.
First Preserve Wedding.  Saturday was another first for the Illahee Preserve — a wedding.  Rose petals, along with signs, marked the trail to the place of the ceremony.  Attendees were transported by cabs to keep parking spaces open for other Preserve users, and while we didn’t hang around it looked like it was going to be a great day and place for a wedding.
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Port Public Hearing Aug 10th.  It appears there are differences of opinion on whether the Port of Illahee should have the option of purchasing the Illahee Store, if it comes up for auction at a Sheriff’s sale.  Please consider attending the hearing and expressing you thoughts or concerns.  If you can’t attend, you can send the Port a letter at P.O. Box 2357. Bremerton, WA 98310, or email the Port Commissioner who is acting secretary,
100 Anniversary Program?  There are some amazing stories out there regarding Illahee and it has been suggested there be a short program during the 100th Anniversary celebration on August 13th.  Let us know if you have some stories and would be willing to share.  
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(Notice the flags that appeared in the planters — thanks to all those taking part in beautifying Illahee.)  And remember that there will be a dumpster available on Monday for those helping with the clean up this week.
Jim Aho

Illahee 7/27/16 Deer, Illahee Day, Port Public Hearing Aug 10, Illahee Store, Illahee Day, New Sign, Cleanup Week/Day, Preserve Couch, Illahee Community Facebook Page

Deer.   Looking for photos of fawns.  This is a yearling buck.

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Port Public Hearing Aug 10.  This appeared in today’s Kitsap Sun.  Looks like an important hearing for those interested in the business of the Port and the Illahee Store.  The current Comprehensive Plan is available on the Port’s website:
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Illahee Store.  Lots of work going on around the former Illahee Store, thanks to Mark Moshay.  The Krick’s, owners of record, have given permission to clean up the area.

Illahee Day.  The Port has designated August 13th as Illahee Day and as the day to officially celebrate Illahee’s 100th Anniversary.  The Port will provide food for the event.  Others are wondering about the possibility of setting up tables in the area by the store for locals to promote their products.  This will be a discussion item when the Illahee Community Club board meets on August 1st.  
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New Sign.  We were impressed with the new sign that appeared recently at the Illahee Store.  It was provided by the Bremerton Bottling Company and they also contributed drinks for the celebration.   
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Clean-up Week/Day.  At the last Port meeting there was a request to spend some significant dollars on cleaning up the parking area, the planters, and the area in general for Illahee Day.  It was followed by a suggestion that volunteers could do the clean up and save tax payer’s dollars.  The morning of Saturday, August 6th, is the day the clean up is scheduled for, but we understand the dumpster is going to be delivered on August 1 and picked up on August 8, so the cleanup can begin anytime before and then finish up on Saturday.  Feel free to come down and help!
Preserve Couch.  Speaking of cleanup.  This couch along Thompson Lane, which goes through the Illahee Preserve, has been there for a long time.  If there is still room in the dumpster after the cleanup it would be nice to see moved there.

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Illahee Community Facebook Page.  We recently re-discovered the Illahee Community Facebook page and find it to be a very active and involved group.  It is a closed group which means you need to email Steve Pejka, the person who set up the group, to become a member, which is very easy if you are on Facebook. 

Jim Aho

Illahee 7/10/16 State Park Dock, Rabbit, Illahee Facebook Page, Sunset Homeless Check, Opossum Article, Preserve Response, Similar Response, Illahee Store, Port Meeting on Wednesday

State Park Dock.  We saw the boat hauling a long dock passing through Illahee and wondered where it was going.  Seems it was going the Illahee State Park, thanks to Dennis who sent us the following photos:

Rabbit.  This is the first rabbit we’ve seen in Illahee.  Thanks to George for passing the photo on.  When we lived in Seaford, Virginia we needed a 2 foot high fence around the garden to keep the rabbits out.  

Illahee Facebook Page.  We forgot there was an Illahee Community Facebook page until we received the following: 

One of our members on the Illahee Community Facebook page reported that there were some vehicle break-ins in the vicinity of Rest Pl and Wise St.  There also have been reports of what appears to homeless in the area seen coming from and going into the woods (Preserve) off both Sunset and Rest.  Not sure if they are camping out there or not. 
Sunset Homeless Check.  Whenever a homeless report is received it is responded to quickly and all that was discovered were some trails with some read painted markings and some great scenery.  Homeless are not allowed in the Preserve for a number of reason with fire being the main one as local fire departments are not equipped to fight a forest fire.
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Opossum Article.  Most people who receive the Kitsap Sun remember the front page photo of the opossums on June 30th.  What they don’t know is that they first wanted to release them in the Illahee Preserve.
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Preserve Response.  The response from the Illahee Preserve was opossums should not be released in a nature preserve.  Opossums are not native to the area and according to wildlife biologists out compete other mammals for food and are also impacting ground nesting birds.  Just like non-native plants, non-native species are not wanted in the Preserve, which is a designated wildlife habitat conservation area.
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Similar Response.  The Preserve opossum responders were happy to see the following letter to the editor that appeared in the Kitsap Sun on Friday (7/8/16):
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Illahee Store.  Thanks to those who responded to be part of a group advocating for the purchase of the Illahee Store.  We heard a local grant trust was contacted last week about the possibility of submitting a grant to help purchase and renovate the store to a community center, but found it wasn’t a good fit and nothing happened.  The group is looking for someone to help look for other grants.  Below are some excepts from the grant request letter.

The Illahee Community is looking to obtain a building, that may soon be available, for a Community Center.  


Illahee is a long time recognized community in Kitsap County and is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year.

We just found out the former quick stop food store, located in the center of the community, that has been vacant for years, may be going up for auction at a sheriff’s sale at a date yet to be determined.
The location is ideal for a community center as is the size of the building.  Because of this we are looking into what it would take to purchase it.  
Since the building has been vacant it will need some work, but not that much since it was built in the 1970’s and is primarily concrete block construction.  The biggest issue currently is a hole in the roof where someone removed an air conditioner unit, likely for salvage of the metal.  
Port Meeting on Wednesday.  A reminder that the Port of Illahee meets at 5 pm on Wednesday (7/13/16).  Port information is available at their website:
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Jim Aho

Illahee 6/28/16 Photos, Illahee Store, Store Interest Group Forming, Illahee Preserve Trails, Piling Worms?

Photos.  It is good to be back after being gone most of June and realize again what a beautiful area we live in.  We were alerted today about what looked like a house moving down the bay, which was actually a boat house being moved by the boat inside.

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Illahee Store.  Thanks to Mark Moshay for pressure washing at the Illahee Store!  We heard the former owners are out of the picture regarding the store, which likely means lien holders will be trying to recoup their money through an eventual sale of the store.  If this is true then the community should be prepared to act if they would like to see it become a Community Center.  
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Store Interest Group Forming.  Some of us are interested in the store becoming a future Community Center and want to meet soon to discuss what our options might be.  If you would like to join this group just respond to this email.
Illahee Preserve Trails.  During the hot weather it is especially nice to have the Illahee Preserve to walk, jog, and to bike in, and were  amazed today at how well kept the trails are.
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Piling Worms?  While watching the squid fishermen at the Illahee Dock we noticed what looked like a snake swimming near the surface of the water.  It is a little hard to see in the photo with the seaweed and reflection from the lights.  We were informed that the snake like creature is actually a piling worm which we hope someone can verify.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/25/16 Webcam, Illahee Store Meeting, Store Comments, Dog Attack Comments, Dog Park Needed, Fill-in Reporter?


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Webcam.  The webcam is up and operational and working fine.  There were issues with the processing computer which have been cleared up.  The webcam was getting 20 plus hits a day until the problems occurred and now it is single digits.  Some use it to check the weather when they are away from the area, so it may be that the lower spring/summer hits are because the snowbirds have returned.


Illahee Store Meeting.  We saw an email summarizing the meeting of the Illahee Community Club at the Illahee Store on Sunday evening, which read:

While there weren’t very many attending we looked from the outside at the store and property and decided to keep moving forward with the gathering of information.  

One of the concerns was financial, i.e., who would be incurring the costs for purchase, maintenance and upkeep?  But that discussion would be for later as there are many questions that need to be answered first, such as is the store even available to us and can it be converted into a community center?   

The good news is we are beginning the discussions, the bad news is there are lots of unknowns at this point that make it hard to know what the outcome will be, and for those who want to make it be part of Illahee’s 100th anniversary it will take some dedicated efforts to make it happen this year.  

We did have another Illahee resident who wants to help clean up around the store, and is looking at pressure washing the area.

Some Store Comments.  Mostly positive comments about trying to secure the Illahee Store for a Community Center, with some wondering about why the Port of Illahee isn’t involved.

Some Comments re the Dog Attack.  Lots of initial comments came in regarding the dog attach a few weeks ago so we have selected some representative ones. The last response is from the injured person who was responding to a request for more information.

Oh no! so sad! Glad everyone is going to be okay. I would be devastated if something like that happened to my lab, and I usually walk there with my toddler in a stroller too.

I am so sorry about the lady and dog.  I’ve lived in Illahee for over 15 years and only recently thought of cruising thru the preserve.  Have to say I would be armed.

Without being overly dramatic, this is why sensible people obtain a Washington Concealed Pistol License, then carry said pistol with them on dog walks.  My wife and I both have them.  No one likes to think of having to end a confrontation with a gunshot, but I submit that it is preferable to having your dog torn to pieces and yourself mauled trying to defend your dog and yourself from an out of control pit bull.  Versions of this story are repeated numerous times every year in Washington.  An untrained pit bull is little different from a wild tiger.

I’m sorry to hear the sad news of the dog attack to a person and her dog. Prior to this, I was close to sending an email to you voicing my concerns with off leash dogs at the preserve.
I go to the park once in a while to cycle, and walk with my 7 year old daughter.  I have seen dogs attack other dogs, right after I told the owner that she needs to leash her dogs.  I have been rushed and growled at with my daughter with me by off leash dogs until I grabbed a big stick and the owner finally got a hold of their collars, it was scary. A stick really would do nothing if the animal attacked.  To be honest I have been nearly bitten by a leashed dog as well when the owner didn’t expect, their dog lunged and chomped but fell short off getting me. I have also been bitten twice while cycling in other public hiking/cycling areas in the county. All while being polite and talking friendly when encountering them. 

I am seeing many, many off leash dogs, up to about 90% of them are off leash out there.  I have had many close calls in the preserve as well as other recreational areas in the county and see the same percentage… dog owners think they can simply call their dogs, or hold their collar and that’s not right because it doesn’t work. A high percentage of people say “Oh, she’s nice (the dog).” – As they bark at me or rush up to me.
I think action needs to be taken. The police should do a patrol (if even once a week or month) because they patrol every street for people doing anything wrong… why not protect people from animals where there is constant issues. They should give tickets, make some money and make a point.

People tell me they are afraid of the preserve being frequented by cyclists, but the place is already overrun with dogs, it’s a dog park now.
There’s my rant, I feel powerless to curtail the amount of dogs that are off leash but believe me I politely remind most people of the rules out there.

Thanks for sharing.  I’d like to say that off-leash dogs are a big problem in the preserve.   My husband has been nipped at twice and my Mother-in-law was nearly knocked over by an over-zealous dog.   When we remind people that leashes are required, we hear things like “everyone does it”, or “my dogs are friendly”.   It is a nature preserve, so allowing dogs to run loose disturbs the wildlife and the plants.   Your last line in your email saying that you hope “vicious dogs” will be kept on leash only scratches the surface. None of the owners think that their dog is a problem, and all should follow the leash laws to make it more enjoyable for all involved, including the other dogs. I believe everyone would be more comfortable if it was enforced. 

Jim forwarded us your request for any additional information about the dog and handler that attacked me on Tuesday, May 3rd, in the preserve. The dog was a large black Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix that may have had a small amount of white on the feet and possibly chest. I believe it to be a mix only because of it’s size. The dog was wearing what looked like a choke chain. Did not notice tags of any kind or hear jingling.

The handler was an African American male in his late 20’s or early 30’s. His hair was short, and he was clean shaven. He wasn’t wearing glasses of any kind. He was wearing dark pants, possible jeans, shirt and a vest. He was of average height and weight. I saw no distinguishing marks or tattoos. Appeared clean cut, and to be holding a leash or something in his hand.

The handler did not have any control of the animal. He called the dog by a name, but I was unable to make out that name. The dog did not come when called, in fact turned and went in the opposite direction. The handler chased after the dog, but was unable to secure the animal. The dog may have possibly been new to the handler. When the attack was happening the handler appeared fearful himself to reach for his dog by it’s collar or choke chain and pull it off myself and my dog. After the dog stopped the attack, which I’m not sure how that came about, he did return to help me up off the ground, but had still not secured his animal. I told him to leash his dog because I feared the dog would return and attack again. When I got up and saw that both myself and my dog were bleeding, I called to him, but he kept walking away and I never saw him again.

I don’t recall ever seeing this dog or handler in the preserve before this past Tuesday. I hope this will be of some help.

Dog Park Need.  There have been discussions about whether the former Eastside Auto Wrecking Yard could be obtained for a dog park.  Those sites are normally brown fields that are hard to reclaim for other uses.  After seeing the above comments, it might be time to see if a grant could be obtained to purchase it for a dog park. 

Fill-in Website Reporter Needed.  We are always looking for other contributors to this website, and especially when we are either busy with other things or out of town.  Let us know if you would like to help.

Jim Aho

Illahee 5/20/16 Photos, Options Agreement Ends, Grant Application, The Critique, Park Needed, Theme Ideas, Timeline, Illahee’s 100th Anniversay, Illahee Store, Community Meeting Sunday 7 pm

Photos.  Some photos around the community.

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Options Agreement Ends.  The Options Agreement to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres of the Timbers Edge project ended on May 15, 2016.  This was reported earlier as it was known in March that appropriation funding was not successful (the escrow process needed to begin in April to meet the May closing date).

Another Opportunity.  The good news is that there is another opportunity to secure most of the necessary funding, through a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant, which the county is submitting.  The property owner, Mr. Jim Tallman, has agreed to give the community and the county more time to see if they can secure a grant.

Grant Application.  The grant application has been submitted and a technical review of the project occurred this past week, on Tuesday 5/17/16.  We found the Power Point presentation on the RCO website:  Below is a copy of their first slide.  It turns out the presentation is just a preliminary one that is critiqued before a final one is presented in August that will be ranked with all the other projects in the state.

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The Critique.  The technical review was important because the briefing, though good, did not cover what the evaluators were wanting to see for a local park category grant, i.e., a more concentrated focus on the features to be in the park than on what has already been accomplished with previous Preserve acquisitions.

Park Needed.  While the property provides the necessary public access, it is also ideal for a local park with features not provided anywhere else in the Preserve which is why the local park grant category was chosen.

Theme Ideas.  One of the things being looked at is coming up with a theme for the 10.7 acre park.  Only two theme suggestions so far: “Lost Continent Park” and “Homestead Park”.  Natural features such as rocks and logs are what was envisioned for the play area so if anyone has theme ideas, let us know.

Timeline.  The grant timeline now is to perfect the application and make changes to the presentation with the goal to have the project score high enough that funding will be essentially assured.  Even with a high score the property will need to be purchased before funding is distributed (June 2017) possibly needing a bridge loan.  We will try to keep track of the progress and keep everyone informed.

Illahee’s 100th Anniversary.  The Illahee Community was established in 1916 so this is the 100th anniversary.  The Port of Illahee has selected August 13th for Illahee Day, and Port Commissioner Cassie Magill is looking to the Illahee Community Club  to help with ideas of how the celebrate the anniversary.

Illahee Store.  Would the former Illahee Store building make a good Illahee Community Center?  It is roughly 50′ by 32′ or 1600 square feet.  Can the building be saved?  What does the local community want?

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Community Meeting Sunday 7 pm.  The Illahee Community Club (ICC) would like to meet on the store property to look at it to see what would need to be done to make it a Community Center and they set a date and time to do so:  Sunday (5/22/16) at 7 pm.  Anyone interested in the idea is encouraged to come.  If it is raining they will hold their discussion in the Port meeting room, lower level, across the street.

Jim Aho