Illahee 11/30/16 Photos, Buglary, Sea Lions Eating Salmon, Timbers Edge Notice, From 110 to 45 Lots, Illahee Creek Friendly, Purchase Option?, Major Contributor Ideas?, Donation Opportunities

Photos.  A Rufous Hummingbird and a Barrow’s Goldeneye, the first with the dock in the background, and the second next to the dock.

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Burglary.  There was a burglary at a home on Illahee Road on Monday afternoon, that was evidently interrupted when the residents returned home after being away for a few hours.  The homeowners feel the thief or thieves left quickly after seeing them pick up their mail by the road as both back and side doors were wide open.  They ramsackled the lower floor of the house and took jewelry, antiques, silverware, computers, etc.  What was particularly disturbing is they turned off the power to the house at an outside box that would shut down any alarm systems and evidently entered the house breaking through a window.  In other words it appears to be professionals who did this.
 
Sea Lions Eating Salmon.  There have been some big sea lions in the area and difficult to get good photos of them.  Residents report seeing them catching and eating salmon, with one salmon, estimated to be about 12 pounds, big enough that the sea lion had trouble getting it into his mouth.
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Timbers Edge Notice.  Notices of Application were received by a number of adjacent residents and residents who were previously concerned about the Timbers Edge project.  For those who didn’t receive the post card notice this is what it looked like.
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From 110 to 45 Lots.  As mentioned in the notice this is an amendment to what was originally proposed which significantly reduces the number of home sites (from 110 to 45), which is due to the purchase last year of two thirds of the project area (25.5 acres) that was added to the Illahee Preserve.  The purchase cost was $565,000 that came from citizen contributions, the property owner, and a state salmon grant.  This left the 10.7 acres that will be developed if not purchased.  
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Illahee Creek Friendly.  This amended development proposal is a good one for Illahee Creek in that maximum infiltration helps support the base flows in Illahee Creek, especially during the summer when the stream requires a good source of water stored up in the shallow aquifer.  Better yet would be its purchase for the Illahee Preserve!
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Purchase Option?  While there is no options agreement to purchase the property, there was an understanding that if the necessary funds could be raised by the end of the year, the property owner and the developer would be willing to sell.  
 
Major Contributor Ideas?  What we need now, in one last ditch effort, is to identify any individual or group that has sufficient funds to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres.  Let us know if you have any suggestions!!!!
 
Donation Opportunities.  This is a reminder that the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) is a non-profit 501.c.3 group incorporated to support the Illahee Preserve and donations and contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.  
 
Also, for those 70 1/2  who need to take out their IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) this year, those funds won’t show up as income if they are directed by the financial institution to the IFP.  Talk to your financial advisor about this option or let us connect you with someone who might be able to help.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 11/21/16 Photos, Wildlife in the Road, Owl, Wigeon Return, Preserve Garbage, Tree Cleanup, Philanthropic Gift Sign, Store Progress, Thanksgiving Thought

Photos.  Carrier and submarine movement, along with the recent special moon.

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Road Wildlife.  Reports of wildlife in the road this past week included two coyotes, a flock of Canada geese crossing the road, and a rooster pheasant.

 
Owl.  We sometimes hear owls late at night and long to see and photo graph them so we are especially thankful for John sharing this photo with us.

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Wigeon Return.  It is assumed the same flocks of ducks return to the same place each year, and this is verified when the same Eurasian wigeon is in the flock.  The flock numbered 157 wigeon the other day.
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Preserve Garbage.  A call came in that a bunch of trash was dumped at the Illahee Preserve’s Thompson Lane parking lot and dogs were spreading the trash around.  Before we could get up there another call came in from a volunteer park steward that he had cleaned it up and had 8 bags of trash to get rid of.  Thanks goes to John who was also the one who put out the fire earlier before it could spread.  It is volunteers like John that keep our park clean and open. 
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Tree Cleanup.  Earlier an update had photos of tree damage to two cars and a car port.  The area was in the process of being cleaned up and nearby trees taken down.
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Philanthropic Gift Sign.  Many don’t realize that there is a non-profit support group that raises money for Preserve acquisitions, projects, and legal battles, and that gifts such as the one shown in the photo are needed and appreciated.  Thanks for those who remember the Illahee Forest Preserve, a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation, and as such, gifts are generally tax deductible.
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Store Clean Up.  The work party on November 12th not only cleaned up the mess created when vandals trashed the former store, but they also temporarily covered the hole in the roof to prevent further water damage.  Thanks to the 9 people who showed up to help including one younger person, who was especially helpful.
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Thanksgiving Thought.  In the most densely populated area in the county the Illahee Community stands out with three miles of waterfront, a state park, a community dock, a salmon stream (Illahee Creek), and the Illahee Preserve, a 572 acre treasure of forest, trails, and Rolling Hills Golf Course, not to mention all the wildlife that live here.  Have a great Thanksgiving!
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 11/10/16 Photos, Trophy Deer, Veteran’s Day Run Cancelled, Port Offer to Purchase Illahee Store Accepted, 90 Day Inspection Period, Vandalism Cleanup Work Parties Begin Saturday, Dumpster Ordered, Pump Removal Friday, Work Plan, Community Saturday Help?

Photos.  

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Trophy Deer.  Illahee has some big deer with bucks whose antlers are large enough to score in Boone and Crockett’s ranking system.  We know this because the antlers from a found dead buck were sent in for scoring.  We will try to find out more on the score.

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Veteran’s Day Run Cancelled.  This event that was to occur on the 10th was cancelled for unclear reasons, which someone speculated it could be because of the lack of restrooms at the Preserve, and the cost of portable toilets for events.
 
Port Offer to Purchase Illahee Store Accepted.  At the monthly meeting of the Port of Illahee it was reported the Port’s offer to purchase the store was accepted on (11/9/16), with the final details being worked out with the title company.  This is good news to many in the community who are anxious to see the abandoned store cleaned up and used.  
 
90 Day Inspection Period.  Lots of inspections need to happen with the major one being the underground gas storage tanks, the septic system, the building and the many building systems.  
 
Vandalism Cleanup.  In support of the needed inspections, the vandalism that occurred within the last year or so needs to be cleaned up.  
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Dumpster Ordered.  A dumpster has been ordered and should be delivered on Friday (11/11/16) and ready for a Saturday work party.  
 
Pumps Removal Friday.  Just inside the doors are the two gasoline pumps that are scheduled to be removed on Friday.
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Work Plan.  Basically the work involved will be clean up the vandalism and the results, which is the water and water damage resulting from the theft of the roof air conditioner and the hole that was left, and possible other roof leaks.  Light bulbs were also smashed to there is glass on the floor.  Several gallons of paint were also spread around the building.  The goal is to clean in up enough to make sure we have good inspections.
 
Community Saturday Help?  Community members have asked if they can help and this is a good first opportunity for those who don’t mind cleaning up a big mess.  An initial work party is scheduled for Saturday (11/12/16) from 9 am to 12 pm.  
Next will be to temporarily tarp or patch the holes in the roof and any suggestions would be appreciated.  
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/30/16 Photos, Deer Report, The Loser, The Winner, Vandalism & Theft Reports, Barker Creek Beaver Dam, Veteran’s Day Run

Photos.  Another winter waterfowl species has arrived, buffleheads, along with Halloween.  

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Deer Report.  A report of a blood trail from some fighting bucks was a good reason to change a jogging route and found a WDFW representative already there, along with the couple who came across it, checking on the deer.
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The Loser.  The deer was alert and resting behind a house.  We have no other information and presume it recovered.  
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The Winner.  Nearby was the assumed winner with his doe.  During the rut season these deer seem to lose all fear of humans as they barely moved as we walked by on the road.
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Vandalism & Theft Reports.  We saw reports of vandalism and mail thefts on the Illahee Community Facebook page.  Be vigilant.
Barker Creek Beaver Dam.  A 2007 Illahee Creek Watershed report recommended beavers be introduced so when we saw this beaver dam on Barker Creek we thought we would take its picture.
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Veteran’s Day Run.  We were asked what kind of ship the USS Maine is, the sponsor of the event, after seeing the information about the Veteran’s Day Run.  
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It is a submarine (SSBN-741).  For history buffs the first ship with the USS Maine name has quite a history that extends to relatively recent documentaries.  Wikipedia has an extensive report on the first Maine which included the following paragraph:
 
Maine is best known for her loss in Havana Harbor on the evening of 15 February 1898. Sent to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban revolt against Spain, she exploded suddenly, without warning, and sank quickly, killing nearly three quarters of her crew. The cause and responsibility for her sinking remained unclear after a board of inquiry investigated. Nevertheless, popular opinion in the U.S., fanned by inflammatory articles printed in the “Yellow Press” by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, blamed Spain. The phrase, “remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain”, became a rallying cry for action, which came with the Spanish–American War later that year. While the sinking of Maine was not a direct cause for action, it served as a catalyst, accelerating the approach to a diplomatic impasse between the U.S. and Spain.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/26/16 Video of Illahee Bucks Fighting, Buck Shrub Damage, Coyote Notice, Preserve Camp Cleaned, Illahee Store, Port Draft Budget, Public Hearing, Two Port Positions Open, USS Maine Veteran Day Run

Facebook Video of Illahee Bucks Fighting.  An amazing video of two Illahee buck deer fighting was on the Illahee Community Facebook page. The Carlson’s were kind enough to share it and we put it on a YouTube link https://youtu.be/udB2F1khHfc.  Below is a snap shot still from the video.  People can also request to be added to the Illahee Community Facebook page where the video resides along with other interesting information, like the coyote notice later in the Update.

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Buck Shrub Damage.  For some reason area bucks have been using blueberry bushes to take the velvet off their antlers, which essentially destroys the blueberry plants.  They destroyed two plants earlier this fall and another large one a couple of years ago, that is still recovering.

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Coyote Notice.  Another item from the Illahee Community Facebook page.  “There’s been a report of a large coyote in the area of Sunset Ave near the golf course.  Neighbors saw it trying to get through a fence to get to their dogs at approx 4 am.  Yelling and rock throwing didn’t phase it.  Just a heads up to keep an eye on the pets.”
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Preserve Camp Cleaned.  This camp was next to the location of the fire that was put out on Sept 12th.  It is believed to be the same person and note there is newly burnt wood which is evidence of another fire was being used and a violation of Preserve policy.  Thanks to the Preserve Stewards, and to John P. in particular, who helped fight the earlier fire and cleaned up this camp.
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Illahee Store.  Permission was obtained from the lawyers to replace the locks at the Illahee Store after the keys were lost.  It gave an opportunity to see the vandal damage inside the store and the hole in the roof where they gained entrance, not to mention the water damage from the hole in the roof.  We understand the proposed purchase and sale agreement has NOT yet been signed so there will likely be no further progress until an agreement is reached.
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Port Draft Budget.  The Port has posted its 2017 draft budget at the Port’s community kiosk and on its website:  portofillahee.com.
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Public Hearing.  A public hearing on the budget will be held at the Port’s regular monthly meeting on November 9, 2016 at 5 pm.
 
Two Port Positions Open.  There will be two open Port commissioner positions (a 6 year term and a 4 year term) voted on in 2017 and those positions need to filed for in just 7 months (May 25-19, 2017).  The budget meeting is a good one to attend for those who are interested in learning more about the port and what it does, in addition to the Port’s website.
 
USS Maine Veteran Day Run (Military Only).  On November 10th (the day before Veteran’s Day) there will be a Veteran’s Day Run through the Illahee Preserve scheduled to start at 1:45 pm.  The Preserve is a mostly unknown treasure in the broader community so it is good when others find it and use it like this.  
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Jim Aho

Illahee 10/17/16 Photo, Storm Photos, Work Party Cancelled, Preserve Stewardship Meeting, Timbers Edge, Port Meeting Report

Photo.  The arrival of these Surf Scoters in the waters off of Illahee is a sign the rest of the winter waterfowl will soon be arriving.  

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Storm Photos.  This sail boat weathered out the storms at the Illahee Dock.  The following photos show an unfortunate homeowner next to the Illahee Preserve where tree branches damaged not one but two of their cars.  The gray car wasn’t even visible in the first photo.
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Preserve Work Party Cancelled.  The wood chip piles along Thompson Lane remain intact after the work party with the Washington Youth Academy (WYA) was cancelled due to Friday’s storm.  Other options are being considered.
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Preserve Stewardship Meeting.  The Illahee Preserve Stewardship monthly meeting is this Tuesday form 6:30 – 8 pm at the Kitsap Pavilion Conference Room (south east corner).  The meetings are open to all and any who are interested in helping the Preserve remain the treasure it is, and with their future expansion efforts.
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Timbers Edge.  Something needs to happen soon if the Preserve is  to be able to acquire the Timbers Edge Phase 2 acreage (10.7 acres) before it becomes a 45 lot housing development.  Ideas and suggestions are welcome.  The photo below was taken on the property.
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Port Meeting Report.  At the Port meeting last week it was reported the Port has made an offer on the Illahee Store, with a due diligence period of 90 days to inspect outstanding issues.  They are waiting for an acceptance or counter offer.  It was also noted that two of the present commissioners are not planning to run in 2017 which will leave a 4 year term and a 6 year term vacancies.  Also, the approval of 2017 budget will be on the agenda for the November 9th Port meeting.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/10/16 Photo, Eel Grass Survey, Deer Hunters, Port Meeting, Commissioner Openings in 2017, Septic Workshop, Preserve Work Party on Friday

Photo.  This was a first sighting of this bird for us.  It is a scrub jay we saw as we were leaving on a road trip a couple of weeks ago.

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Eel Grass Survey.  Thanks to Brett for letting us know what this boat was doing in Illahee while we were gone.  We received a photo and a WhatsApp that read: “There’s a research vessel that’s been mulling around in front of the house for the past half hour, so I kayaked out and asked what they were doing.  Turns out is is an eel grass survey being carried out for DNR and the tribes.”

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Deer Hunters.  We also received the following  a couple of weeks ago and hope someone explained that it is illegal to deer hunt here.

Warning. Watch for deer poacher/s around Illahee Preserve Around Sunset Ave.
A neighbor and I saw a car parked along road near a known illegal trail, no driver with deer hunting bow and game arrows in plain view in passenger’s seat. Duh!
It was like a blue station wagon shaped car.
Also someone has been blazing trail/s up into the brush onto preserve land . And marking trees. Likely the same guy/s.
Besides the fact that the deer are protected, Arrows could miss and travel dangerously around houses.
Call 911 if you see.

Port Meeting.  The Port of Illahee meets this Wednesday at 5 pm at 5500 Illahee Road and we are hoping to find out more about their efforts to try and purchase the Illahee Store.

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Commissioner Openings in 2017.  There will be two opportunities in 2017 for anyone who wants to be a port commissioner.  Filings need to be completed in the Spring for those interested.

Septic Workshop.  With most of Illahee on septic systems this workshop might be a good one to attend on Tuesday (sorry for the short notice).

Septic Sense Workshop

Learn how to protect your investment and keep it happy for a lifetime of

service. Kitsap County residents who own a septic system are welcome to

attend a FREE workshop from 6:00- 8:00pm, Tuesday October 11at the Eagle’s Nest 1195 NW Fairgrounds Rd, Bremerton.

2016

  • Informative talks
  • Technical assistance
  • FREE “Green” cleaning product kits (one per household)
  • Info about low-interest loan program for septic system repairs

 

Space is limited. Sign up today!

Details and registration at:

http://septicbremerton.bpt.me/ (October 11) or call 360.337.7157 ext 3244

Preserve Work Party.  The East Bremerton Rotary and the Washington Youth Academy cadets will be spreading wood chips on trials in the Illahee Preserve on Friday (10/14/16) to get the trails ready for the wet season.

Jim Aho

 

Illahee 9/24/16 Photos, Bremerton Marathon, Fire Update, Port Moving on Store, Timbers Edge Next Steps, 2016 Funding Deadline, Possible Options

Photos.  

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Bremerton Marathon.  Last Saturday morning we watched the Bremerton Marathon runners go by and happened to get a picture of the winner, Megan Morris, early on in the race, along with a sign posted in Illahee.
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Fire Update.  We talked to the person most responsible for helping put out the Illahee Preserve fire on 9/12 and found out the fire ruined his shoes as he was stopping it out and he was worried the flames were going to catch his pant legs on fire.  This is what the area looks like now.  A big thanks again to John and Rochelle for being there and for John taking action to control the fire until Rochelle led the fireman to the fire.
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Port Moving on Store.  The Port of Illahee approved a motion at their 9/14/16 meeting to begin negotiations for the Illahee Store, subject to a number of conditions, including a title search and an inspection of the buried gas tanks.  
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Timbers Edge Phase 2 Next Steps.  The Illahee Preserve group is floundering knowing what it can do now to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres of the Timbers Edge project.  An appropriation request in 2015 failed and a 2016 grant request was just under the funding line.  The exact amount needed to purchase the property is unknown, but based on previous Purchase and Sale Agreements, the amount will be around $820,000  (the last signed agreement was a year ago and had extension fees, which today would increase the purchase amount to roughly $970,000 minus a owner contribution of $150,000 which is where the $820,000 figure comes from.)
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2016 Funding Deadline.  Recently the Preserve group found out the owner needs to sell the project by the end of 2016 to pay off loans.  This is an approved project for 45 homes and offers have been made and without an options agreement, the project could be sold.  The Preserve has been given notice that it needs to come up with the funds to purchase or a plan that will allow the loans to be paid off.
 
Possible Options.  One option that was presented by one individual was to find 45 people who were willing to contribute to the purchase of one or more of the 45 lots, with those with more money helping those who are less able.  That would mean a cost of roughly $18,000 for each lot.  
 
Another option presented later was for a smaller number of people to form a LLC and contribute a total of $200,000 and take out a loan to pay off the property owner, which would provide time to put in for an appropriation or seek other grants, with the understanding if it doesn’t work out the escape clause is the property would be developed and those contributing would probably come out ahead financially.
 
Professional fund raisers would first secure 50 to 75% of the funds from major donors, and then solicit contributions for the remaining funds from the general public.  The problem is finding the major donors with the necessary funds that are willing to commit to the purchase the property.  
 
The Illahee Preserve group is looking for ideas, so if you have some, let us know and we will pass them on.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 9/12/16 Illahee Preserve FIRE, Sunday Morning Discovery, Monday Morning Fire, Articles Found at Site, More Information Later, Homeless Issue?

Illahee Preserve FIRE.  Thanks to two alert Illahee Preserve walkers, John and Rochelle, who smelled smoke, sought out its source, called 911, and began fire fighting efforts.  By the time we got there the firemen had already arrived and were putting out the fire.

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Sunday Morning Discovery,  Just one day earlier, on Sunday morning the remains of a fire were found.
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Monday Morning FIRE.  The fire on Monday was probably started from a similar small fire.
 
Articles Found at Site.  We heard there were personal items found at the site, but haven’t had a chance to verify what.
 
More Information Later.  We were going out of town when the call came, and we went out to help with a mattock, but when firefighters had it under control, we left.  We will find out more information and report back later.
 
Homeless Issue?  Preserve Stewards have been criticized by some for being heartless for not letting the homeless camp out in the Preserve. Homeless camps are generally places where fires are used and those fires are the main concern as there are over 600 acres of connected forest that could be burned if a major fire erupted.  When you have a forested treasure in your back yard it needs to be protected as do the people who live next to it.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 9/11/16 Photos, Preserve Camp Site, Preserve Camp Fire, Preserve Work Party, Hearing to be Continued, Port Meets on Wednesday

Photos.  

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Preserve Camp Site.   It took several days for Park Stewards to post this camp site in the Illahee Preserve, but after they did the campers moved out, within the 24 hours required on the post.
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Preserve Camp Fire.  This photo of a fire is what scares Park Stewards as they have been told by local firefighters that they are not prepared or able to fight a forest fire.  This appeared Sunday (9/11/16) morning and was cleaned up by a regular Preserve walker.
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Preserve Work Party.  On Saturday (9/10/16) morning roughly 40-50 adults and children from the LDS church hauled away limbs, moved wood chips to trails, and weeded.  The Preserve is maintained by volunteers like these and we thank them for their hard work at keeping the trails so beautiful. The hope in the fall is to cover as many trails as possible with chips before the rains come.  The photos below shows just how nice the trails look after this work party.
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Hearing to be Continued.  The All Secure Storage hearing was continued as was reported in the previous Update  We saw the following excerpts in an email:
 
What happened was the county, the applicant, and the appellant all agreed a continuance.  The appellant’s attorney asked for a deadline to prelude another long delay and the associated expenses involved, so the HE set a deadline of 180 days (to allow both parties to get new lawyers, since both are moving on), and 30 days before that she wants the exhibit and witness list. 
 
The same attorney suggested 2 meetings for everyone to get together, first to go over the facts, followed by a second meeting, which we presume is to try and come to an agreement.  The HE was reluctant to spell out details so it was agreed DCD would take the lead to set up meetings.
 
Port Meets on Wednesday.  A reminder that the public is invited and encouraged to attend the monthly Port of Illahee meetings, that meet on the second Wednesday of each month beginning at 5 pm.
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Two Complaints.  When we receive two or more complaints it is time to look into a problem.  This was the second complaint:  
 
“The last few days a guy down the beach has been harassing the birds in a yellow jet ski both while in the water and in flight when the birds try to fly away from him, generally about from my place down to the dock.  Do you know if this is legal? “
 
Jim Aho