>Miscellaneous Items – 5/27/09

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Letters to the Editor re Homeless in the Illahee Preserve.  There was a recent letter to the editor in response to the Kitsap Sun article covered in our last Update.  The blog entries following the initial article weren’t very thoughtful or helpful in our mind, but the responses to the letter to the editor were much more interesting and insightful.  See the attached link: http://kitsapsun.com/news/2009/may/20/homeless-camps-raising-the-ire-of-illahee-park/


Response to the Illahee State Park Email.  In our last Update we included the text of an email expressing concerns about housing the homeless in a mothballed Illahee State park.  We received comments on both sides, with many of them phone conversations.  Most of those who live near the park and use it often have not experienced problems.  We talked with Steve Ryder, one of the Park Rangers, who said in the four years he has been there that there have been very few incidents and that Illahee is a very quiet and peaceful park, specifically when compared with other parks he has worked in.  He gave as an example this past Memorial Day weekend when the park was full and there was only one havesting citation issued at the beach. We had one person write us that after their hip surgery they started walking through the Park, but stopped when they saw some suspected drug people, which was the only other negative response.  The consensus was that there will always probably be some incidents at any public facility, and that there needs to be some regulatory presence, which is what the email was getting at.  Thank you to all for letting us know your thoughts!


Illahee Bird Watching.  Attached is the results of a recent bird watching event, and an announcement of another one coming up.
On Saturday, May 23rd Idie Ulsh led a guided bird walk thru Illahee Forest Preserve.  A total of 31 different species of birds were identified by sight or sound.  Highlights included a “first time” identification of a Hammond’s Flycatcher.  Numerous Western Tanagers were heard thru-out the forest, but not seen.  A Wilson’s Warbler was sighted near the gate on Thompson Lane.


Illahee Preserve Birding Tour
Idie Ulsh will be leading a bird walk thru Illahee Forest Preserve on Saturday, June 13th.  The focus will be upon sounds of forest birds.  Idie Ulsh is a Master Birder and past president of Seattle Audubon.  Idie is remarkable with her abilities to bird by ear.  Meet in the new parking lot located on Almira Drive at Illahee Forest Preserve.  From the traffic light on Highway #303 at Lowe’s Hardware, take Fuson Road up-the-hill and follow the hard right hand turn onto Almira Drive.  The parking lot is just ahead on your left.  Space is limited to about 12, so advanced sign up is required.  Bring binoculars. Bird books optional.  Start time is 7AM.  Questions or sign-up?  Please contact Vic Ulsh at work (360) 479-6900 orvic@bradleyscottinc.com.


River Otters.  We have had two emails asking what to do about river otters.  One has 5 of them living under their house and the other wasn’t specific.  We used to have three of them living near us, but we have some small dogs that get loose now and then and are small enough to go through the brush to their den, and so we think they moved, and probably ended up at these other residents.  It shouldn’t be too long before the otters will have their young and will hopefully move on. 


Suggestion?  Those with the otters are asking for suggestions on how to deal with them, other than contacting the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  If you have any ideas, let us know and we will pass them on.
Status of Incubating Goose Eggs.  We had reported earlier of a disturbed Canada goose nest that still had two eggs in it.  We tried incubating the eggs for five days without success (see the attached photo).  We finally broke open the eggs to see if they had been fertilized and the found they had with nearly complete chicks inside that would probably have hatched if they hadn’t been disturbed by probably a raccoon or possum. 
Jim Aho

>Meeting Reports – 5/22/09

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Tuesday’s Illahee Preserve Meeting.  One of the nice things about having the Press at a meeting is they have a deadline and one doesn’t have to wait long for their report.  Such was the case for the Illahee Preserve meeting on Tuesday (5-19-09).
 
Brynn Grimley Article.  We have been impressed with the Kitsap Sun reporters and especially Brynn Grimley who frequently covers Illahee items.  She did an excellent job of covering Tuesday’s meeting – click on the following link for her story: 
 
Monday’s Illahee Community Meeting.  One of the primary objectives of the Illahee Community meeting on Monday (5-18-09) was to see if the community could come up with a “counter proposal” to the Timbers Edge plans, that the Illahee Community could live with.  There proved to be too many different thoughts and ideas expressed by attendees for there to be any consensus, so it was decided some of the key representatives would try to pull together the various issues and come up with a draft for the larger group to go over at a later meeting. 
 
Other Actions.  The Community did vote to establish a fund raising team to look at various options in anticipation of significant legal costs in the future.  If anyone is interested in helping, let us know and we will pass your name on.  The group also voted to establish a committee to look at the possibility of becoming a Wildlife Habitat sanctuary similar to the city of Shoreline.
 
Illahee State Park Email Comments.  We received a number of responses, both verbal and written, regarding the email that we included in our last Update that expressed concern about the homeless using a mothballed Illahee State Park.  We will pass along some of those comments in a later Update.
 

Status of the Nesting Goose.  We finally have one gosling from the nesting goose family.  It appears the nest was discovered by something on Wednesday evening as early Wednesday morning there was one gosling with the mated adults, one warm egg still on the nest, one egg that had evidently rolled down from the side-hill nest, and one egg that was some distance uphill that had been smashed and eaten.  We were advised that we should put the remaining two eggs under a warming light to see if they might hatch, but now three days later, nothing has happened.  If this is the same mating pair as last year they had a nearby nest of three eggs that never hatched and they eventually abandoned the nest, so I guess we should be happy to have the one gosling.
 
Wildlife Stories?  Let us know your wildlife stories so we can pass them on.
 
Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 5/18/09

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Monday Illahee Community Meeting.  The Monday (5-18-09)meeting @ 6:30 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship Church on Perry Ave is a quarterly ICC meeting, but theprimary issue to be discussed is whether the Illahee Community can come up with a counter proposal to the Timbers Edge plan.  There is evidently a draft of a proposal that will be passed out at the meeting.  If you have any questions we will be glad to pass on what we know.
 
Tuesday Illahee Forest Preserve Meeting.  This meeting will be held on Tuesday (5-19-09) at the Eagles Nest at the Fairgrounds beginning at 6:30 pm.  The primary issue on the agenda is a sheriff”s representative to talk about various issues within the Illahee Preserve, the major one being homeless camps.  This should be a great interest to Illahee residents because of the potential for fire damage to the 460 acres of Preserve forest land in an otherwise urban setting. 
 
Concern Regarding Homeless Camps in Illahee State Park.  We received a copy of an email that was sent to Patty Lent, who was quoted in a Kitsap Sun article as suggesting that if Illahee State Park is mothballed that maybe the homeless could camp and help take care of the Park.  We think that the Park will not be mothballed, but found the email very insightful regarding possible issues with those using the facilities.
 
I realize that your suggestion regarding the use of Illahee State Park if it is closed to the general public because of budget constraints was based on your compassion for the individuals that are homeless. My wife and I have lived adjacent to the park for 23 years. I have been a park volunteer in the past. We know exactly the events that occur in the campground on a daily basis under “normal conditions”. The campground host is not there to be a friendly guide for campers, they are there to control the behavior within the campground. Sometimes they do and sometimes they are not able to maintain control. I truly believe that you don’t understand the impact of your homeless shelter proposal.

It is true that I do have somewhat of an “not in my backyard” attitude but we understand the unpublished events that happen on numerous occasions within the campground and the remainder of the park. Today neighborhood families will not let their children walk through the campground and park without supervision because of what has happened in the park. I know of adults that won’t walk into the park without a weapon on their person. The park manager and assistant park manager carry weapons for their own protection. These conditions exist in a facility open to the general public. Do you have any concept of what conditions would be like if the front gate were locked and as you suggested the facilities become a homeless refuge?
I do hope we can continue this dialogue.
 
Let us know your thoughts and we will pass them on.
 
Jim Aho, Phone 479-1049

>Miscellaneous Items – 5/15/09

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Important Meeting on Monday.
 
ICC Meeting Monday (5-18-09).  A very important Illahee Community Club meeting will be held Monday evening at 6:30 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship Church at 4418 Perry Avenue.  The meeting is the quarterly ICC meeting, with the primary item on the agenda being to come up with a community “counter proposal” to the Timbers Edge project.
 
Counter Proposal.  The reason for coming up with a “counter proposal” is to see if the community and the developer can come up with an agreement both parties can live with.  The developer and his engineer have decided what kind of development they would like build, but the community has some major concerns with what they are planning, so now it is time for the community to come up with a counter proposal of what kind of development they would like to see.
 
Primary Meeting Goal – A Counter Proposal Acceptable to the Community.  We have talked with many and all have agreed that the developer should be able to develop the property, but not with the adverse impacts on the community, the creek, and the aquifers.  During prior discussions with community members alternatives have been presented and seem to have a common theme.  It is that common expressed theme that we think will be expressed on Monday and will result in a proposal that is acceptable to the community.
 
Illahee Residents Need to Attend.  This single project has the potential to impact the Illahee Community more than any single project in recent decades.  We would encourage as many people as possible to attend.
 
Help With Fundraising?  Linda Hinde, an ICC board member, is wondering if there are any volunteers who would like to work with her on looking at fundraising possibilities?  Let us know if you would like to help and we will pass the information on to Linda.
 
Another Important Meeting on Tuesday.
 
Illahee Forest Preserve Meeting on Tuesday (5-19-09).  Another important meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.  The Illahee Forest Preserve meets at the Eagles Nest at the Fairgrounds from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  The primary item on the agenda for this meeting will be a meeting with a Sheriff’s representative to talk about what to do with the homeless who are setting up camps in the Illahee Preserve.
 
Homeless Camp Report Today.  We received the following report of more homeless in the Preserve:
 
I just received a report of 3 (or possibly more) new homeless camps within Illahee Forest Preserve.  Location is reportedly near Highway #303, just south of the Park-N-Ride.  The report suggested the property adjacent Safeway has gotten so full of homeless camps that some of the homeless are now moving their camps directly across Highway #303 into Illahee Forest for more space.  Apparently there is a faint trail access along the fencing immediately north of the vacant car sales lot.  This is not believed to be the primary point of access because the trail is not well defined.  I hope to check this situation out myself early Saturday morning.
 
Illahee State Park Update.  We received the following information from our State Representative Christine Rolfes regarding what was happening with the State Parks.
 
State Parks and Recreation Commission
schedules special meeting in Olympia
OLYMPIA – May 11, 2009 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will have a special meeting May 19, to adopt an implementation plan for the 2009-11 budget, contingent upon the Governor’s signing.
The special meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, in Room N 108 of the Tumwater Office of the Washington State Attorney General, 7141 Cleanwater Drive S.W., Olympia. The agenda is available online at 
www.parks.wa.gov. Time for public comment will be made available for items on the agenda.
Parks will remain open during the 2009-11 biennium as the result of action taken by the Legislature to establish a new revenue source for State Parks. When vehicle owners register a new vehicle or receive their annual license tab renewal notice from the Washington State Department of Licensing, their total bill amount will include a $5 donation to keep parks open, unless they specifically choose not to include the donation. Budget language adopted by the Legislature says that parks will remain open in 2009-11 unless sufficient revenues are not collected from the program.
In its Operating budget, State Parks will take a reduction of $52 million in General Fund tax dollars in 2009-11, out of $100 million General Fund in the current budget. The Legislature intends that most of this funding will be replaced by the new donation program and a temporary shift of fuel taxes associated with off-road vehicle and marine recreation uses. In addition to replacement funds, expenditure reductions are necessary which are outlined in the implementation plan. These reductions include holding staff vacancies and reducing functions at headquarters to reduce $3.8 million; consolidation of region offices from four to three to save $1 million; reduction of non-core programs at $1.3 million; and reduction of equipment expenditures by $2 million.
The plan also will include a fee increase of $2 for camping effective July 1, 2009. The camping fee increases were authorized by the Commission in August 2008 but were administratively delayed until the budget process was completed. The fee increase will apply to new reservations made after July 1. The increase will bring the range of camping charges to $19 to $24 for standard (tent) sites and $25 to $33 for utility sites.
The agency’s Capital Program budget for new projects is $25.5 million in state bond money, reduced by 60 percent from the current budget. The agency must cut indirect and management costs by approximately $3 million. The plan also reduces reliance on outside consultants and reorganizes Capital Program staff in the three remaining regions. 
The Commission has been encouraged by the Legislature to continue pursuing transfers of 13 parks that were deemed potential transfer candidates earlier in the state budget process. Any of these that are not transferred to be operated by other local governments will remain open under State Parks management in the 2009-11 biennium, unless collections of new donation and other revenues prove insufficient.
The Commission also will consider a proclamation of appreciation to the public, the Legislature and the Governor for demonstrated support of State Parks during the past several months while the state budget was being prepared.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 121 parks and several recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The 96-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.
 
Canada Goose Report.  The Canada goose goslings are emerging.  We have had one family with 4 goslings that are getting quite big, and another family with 5 small goslings.  The goose that we are monitoring is still sitting on her nest.
 
Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 5/11/09

>Illahee Creek Culvert.  Last summer the Illahee Creek culvert under Illahee Road was cleaned of sediment such that a bobcat loader could be driven in the culvert.  It quickly filled up from our normal rains and after the last rain we took the picture at the end of this email to check the impact of the last storm.  The culvert performed better than expected though the gravel bank inside the culvert is growing.  The county is proposing an annual cleaning of the culvert to prevent it from filling up and possibly washing out the road.

Last Week’s Rain.  We received the following report (on May 6th) on how much rain was received in Illahee last week.
I was amazed at the 2.49 inches in 24 hour period ending Tuesday evening.  This is the most 24 hour rainfall since the December 3rd 2007 storm.  With today’s rain we may well be over 3 inches for the 2 day period. 

>Miscellaneous Items – 5/10/09

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Deer Solutions Received.  We received a good response to the question of how to keep deer from decimating gardens and landscaping.

 I use a product called Bobbex that keeps deer from eating my roses.  You can get it at nurseries.  It’s a very foul-smelling spray, but when I cut a rose and bring it indoors, I don’t smell the Bobbex at all.  On the other hand I wouldn’t use it on anything I intended to eat; I heard it’s made from coyote urine.


A large caliber revolver would solve the deer problem. However that could get you in trouble with the law. Alternative: get a hunting license and a bow and solve the problem that way. Kill pun (intended) two birds with one stone. deer problem gone and food for a year.


We’ve been in Rue Villa for 43 years and have been visited by deer every year. Our plantings are native rhodies, ferns, evergreen shrubs etc. As has been said many times, the deer lived with the native American long before we got here.


We have been rather successful in keeping deer out of our garden by using a “Scarecrow”.  It’s a motion activated sprinkler.   This is a link to a picture with description on Amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000071NUS/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=3511465617&ref=pd_sl_92buo5st8s_e


I heard that if you contact a zoo and get lion feces and put them around your fence deer will not cross. I know someone who says dog feces do the same. I have not tired this. There might be a good source of this if you visit Squim Wild Game Park.
Now, what do you do to live with River Otters?


Deer: my only suggestion is to make up a solution of egg and water (like one egg in an osterizer of water. or even half an egg), and spray it on the targeted shrubs, maybe once a week (or more with the rain?) Deer do NOT like the taste of eggs. With regards to landscaping “go native” those plants which are native to this area stand the best chance of surviving the deer onslaught. Viewcrest hasn’t seen any yet, but they do come out of the Cheney estate sometimes. Rosemary and hemlock should slow them down, too.


My wife drove a friend to Bainbridge Island some time back  to a house she was staying in for a visit.  The owners weren’t there, but there was a key in the backyard.  Unfortunately, the owners had forgotten to disable the deer protection system for their beautiful property.  When my wife and her friend went to get the key, they were soaked by hard-hitting sprinklers triggered by motion-detectors.  This may be too expensive for most, but apparently it does work since the beautiful backyard was untouched by Bambi’s lips.


The only thing about keeping deer out your probably that I have heard is to tie Irish Spring soap all around your property that they don’t like the smell.
Deer discouragement:  Blood meal quite often works.


Sandpiper Picture Update.  The last egg in the nest did not hatch.


Canada Goose Nest.  We have included three pictures of a Canada goose sitting on a nest.  The first photo is without zooming in and the others are with the zoom.  She has been there for three weeks now and we have only seen her leave the nest once, though she could be leaving when we aren’t around.  As such we don’t know how many eggs there are in the nest.  We think it takes about a month before they hatch and will report on the outcome. 

Timbers Edge Email.  We received the following email with regards to an email sent by the Timbers Edge engineer.  We have permission to share it and it shows how many feel about the proposed development as currently planned.


The Illahee Community is a well organized group of citizens who represent a diverse segment of our community.  We live here, understand science, do not play politics, and I for one, and don’t appreciate
the “big boys” exchanging emails of a case that is on appeal to the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners, and let me refer to this as “Timbers Edge”.

Secondly, Mr. Mark Kuhlman does not represent the Illahee Community, and should not be giving advice or lead you to believe that his thoughts regarding Timbers Edge, have been discussed with our community or that they represent the views of the community. These exchanges of emails regarding closed record appeals then appear in your files from Mr. Kuhlman and end up as new information in projects that come before you at hearings.  DCD should be very careful with what they say, how they say it, and to whom they exchange these emails.

Fourthly, regarding the recent emails between Kuhlman, Grellner, Keeton and Greetham, I believe you should refer to page 21 of the Brown and Caldwell Report for the Central Kitsap Wastewater GMA Compliance Plan prepared in February 2008.  “Recent investigations have shown that groundwater recharge from septic systems represents a sizable proportion of the annual aquifer recharge.  This has led to a recommendation that the County encourage on-site septic systems over the sewer hook-ups where appropriate densities occur.”

Lastly, as a holder of Senior Water Rights and Wildlife Protection Rights per my
registered certificates, I would hope that these old homestead certificates have
some meaning in Kitsap County.  With these water rights and wildlife protection
rights as a homeowner, I am affected by decisions made in DCD on my 15 acre
parcel adjacent to your proposed development both on the shoreline and uphill at Timbers Edge.  I take this very seriously, as I watch the base flow and salmon
disappear in Illahee Creek.   I expect more from your department, then these
email exchanges provide.  I expect science, not guessing games to show what I
already know, that IIlahee Creek is in danger at this time, because of aquifer
recharge issues.  This is not about politics.  This is about very important
decision making taking place in your departments.  This is about the conditions
on Illahee Creek.  This is about the death of something bigger than your
exchange of emails to “get the project in”.  These are decisions which could
adversely affect Illahee Creek, a place where fish have historically thrived and
now base flow is threatened and on the decline.


May 18th Meeting.  Remember that one of the major agenda items for the Monday evening (May 18th) Illahee Community Club meeting (6:30 pm at the Unitarian Church) is to discuss Timbers Edge and come up with a settlement offer the community can live with.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 5/6/09

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Back in Town.  We are back after a nice trip to several of the Hawaii islands and came back to see brown silt-laden water out in the bay from the storm surges that decimate Illahee Creek during every significant storm. 
 
Illahee Creek Culvert.  Irwin Krigsman said if the county had not cleaned out the culvert last year, Tuesday’s storm would have likely clogged the culvert, flooded their property, and possibly taken out Illahee Road.  That is one of the primary reasons residents are so concerned about stormwater and its impact on the creek, not to mention its effect on salmon and riparian habitat.
 
Cumulative Effects on Culvert.  The problem is the cumulative effects from upstream developments that did not adequately evaluate the effects of stormwater on the stream, nor were they concerned with aquifer recharge – some of the issues that the community is concerned about with the Timbers Edge project.  The County approved all the previous developments, including Timbers Edge, which leaves the community with the after affects and the job of trying to restore the damage.  As one resident said, “this is getting very frustrating.”
 
Deer Issues Not everyone in Illahee likes deer, or should we say they don’t like what the deer do to their yards and gardens.  We have had a number of responses indicating their frustrations (see the below received response). 
 
These critters might be cute, but they are very destructive .
We live in Illahee and every since these cute fury critters have found our property, they have grazed on every living piece of vegetation that we have planted including a garden which has become none existent as they tell there buddies about the smorgasbord and dining pleasure that our neighbors and we provide.
They have take thousands of dollars worth of expensive landscaping and have grazed on it until there is nothing left but twigs and sticks left.
I wish there was something to do to get them out of this area so everyone who had invested thousands of dollars could get there wonderful landscaping back. What was once like Buchard Gardens has now become Stump Gully.
Does any one want to adopt our “Could Care Less About Your Landscaping Deer” ?
Please let these cute furry Vegetation Exterminators find greener pastures.
 
Our Deer Experience.  There was a big doe that some had named Sophia that would usually have twin fawns each year and they regularly visited our garden (she was killed by a car several years ago).  We tried special sprays, hanging extra fragrant soaps, garlic plants, and finally had to resort to extra high fences.  Last year the deer even went through the plastic mesh fencing that was getting old and had lost its strength.  We found they are especially fond of beans and we will soon be trying to protect them again from the deer.
 
Deer Solutions.  Let us know if you have some solutions that work and we will pass them on.
 
Coyote Sighting.  The following report was received recently.
 
Last Wednesday morning when returning from my morning run shortly after 6am, I saw a coyote running West on Wise Street then turned South on Sunset and made a right turn into the Illahee Forest behind the golf course.
 
ICC Non-Profit Status Approved.  We recently received word that the Illahee Community Club’s IRS status was upgraded from a 501.c.4 to a 501.c.3, effective in 2008.  We understand the ICC has been working on this since they decided to reorganize in November 2007.  Some of the longtime members who were around in 1959 when the Club requested IRS status, thought the ICC was a 501.c.3 so it took a little time to get everything straightened out and the new paperwork submitted.  Thanks to all those who persisted in getting that task done.
 
State Registration.  The previous ICC state paperwork was found to be up to date.  It had been registered with the Secretary of State and Audrey Boyer had been paying the required State of Washington’s yearly filing fee (thank you Audrey) which kept the club current with state officials.
 
Timbers Edge Appeal.  We aren’t sure what to report on this.  We know the lawyers involved had a meeting to discuss the possibility of compromises.  We know the appeal was filed.  We have seen some recent emails initiated by the Timbers Edge engineer that the county is responding to.  The community will also need to respond.  This will certainly be a discussion item at the next ICC quarterly meeting.
 
Commissioner Appeal?  We have been asked again about what we should expect when the ICC appeal goes before the County Commissioners.  The assessment of many is that Commissioner Baurer talks as though he is concerned about the environment, but doesn’t vote that way.  Commissioner Brown voted with the community on the Outfall Project, which was encouraging.  And Commissioner Garrido is an unknown at this point.  Commissioners as a whole tend to vote with the decision of County staff and the Hearing Examiner, even if those decisions are poor for the environment and go against the community.
 
ICC Quarterly Meeting.  We just talked with Barney Bernhard, the ICC president, who advised us the Illahee Community Club will be holding itsquarterly meeting at the Unitarian Fellowship Church on Monday, May 18th, at 6:30 pm.  On the meeting agenda there will be a discussion of what kind of compromises the community will agree to with the Timbers Edge project.  This should be an interesting meeting.
 
Our Assessment.  While many are hopeful there could be a settlement with the Timbers Edge group, we have not found them to be very accommodating or interested in compromise.  The bottom line with them are the small lots (mostly 3400 sq ft) which gives them the maximum number of houses, and therefore maximum profit.  Because they were “grandfathered” with the higher density (5-9 units per acre), that is what they have planned for, even though they could now go for 1-4 units per acre. 
 
County Position?  While the county has supported the development with their decision that there will not be any significant environmental impacts, a decision the community is vigorously contesting, the county has shown a willingness to work with groups working towards a settlement. 
 
Your Thoughts?  Let us know your thoughts on these matters.
 
Jim Aho