Scoters. Scoters are large diving ducks found throughout Puget Sound waters in the winter months. There are the White-winged Scoters, the Black Scoters, and the most colorful Surf Scoters which are in the area but those photos did not turn out. Shown in the picture below are White-winged Scoters. It is hard to believe the Scoters have gizzards capable of breaking up clams, snails, mussels and other crustaceans. We have yet so see a Black Scoter, which is less common. It is supposed to have no white markings on it but does have the distinctive orange bill. We found another person, Jeff Adams with the UW Sea Grant program, who also likes to see scoters and wrote about them in his blog for the Kitsap Sun which contains pictures of Surf Scoters, http://pugetsoundblogs.com/sea-life/2011/11/02/surfs-up-on-the-salish-sea/
TE Story in Monday’s Kitsap Sun. The front page headlines in today’s (Monday’s) Kitsap Sun looked like this:
Last Friday’s Scheduled Auction Delayed 30 Days. The courthouse step auction that was supposed to take place the past Friday was postponed 30 days while papers were being prepared and signed to transfer 21 acres of open space land to the Port of Illahee, that will eventually be transferred to the Illahee Preserve. The Kitsap Sun article does a nice job of providing some of the later history of the development which is at the following link: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/dec/18/controversial-illahee-housing-development-headed/
Next Steps? We have been asked by some residents what will happen next? The Port of Illahee was suggested as a possibility to purchase the land, though we reminded them the Port felt it did not have enough community support when the idea was raised sometime ago. Another suggested a petition drive to see if residents were willing to have their Port taxes raised to help with the purchase. One person was willing to donate $10,000 to help the community purchase the largest group of properties and commented that we only needed 30 more to raise the $309,000 amount to satisfy what the holder of the note needed. He said he thought he could find 10 more who were willing to give, which would only cover one third of the cost, but another suggested that number would likely lead to other willing supporters. What these residents all said was that this would need to be done quickly if it was to happen by the middle of January.
Land Trust Option. The Illahee Community Club board met last Thursday and stated their plan has always been to contact land trusts once the open space gift transactions were completed. We heard that a representative of the Illahee Community Club met with a land trust representative on Monday (12/19/11) and they are hoping to hear next week if the land trust organization will agree to help them. We heard they were encouraged by what they heard at the meeting, but these things need to be approved by the organization directors and possibly their board members. They also noted that land trusts aren’t rich with cash, but they are good at raising significant dollars within the community and surrounding area and that it could require support from many sources.
Illahee Community Club Name Change. We also heard the Illahee Community Club has been trying to decide what its name should be since it has rejected the “Club” ending that was a carry over from years ago when the Illahee Community Club was more of a social group as a 501.c.4 organization rather than its current designation as a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation. They asked we put the question to those receiving these updates to see if they had any preference. Among the options discussed last week were: Illahee Community Association (ICA), Illahee Community Connection (ICC), IllaheeCommunity.Com (ICC) (which coincidentally is the website address for the Illahee community. The board said this decision has been the hardest so far for them to agree on and they are hoping for some help.
Year End Giving? The board also asked us to remind residents that the Illahee Community Club (ICC) and the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) are both 501.c.3 not-for-profit groups and gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The address for the ICC is PO Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310, and the address for the IFP is PO Box 3047, Bremerton, WA 98310. Your gifts are greatly appreciated by both groups.
Third Sunrise Photo. We received a third sunrise photo from last week, this one taken from the resident’s deck.
Another Coyote Comment. Thank you for all your comments and especially from those who are dealing with or familiar with coyotes. This comment came in last week.
i believe these coyotes will move on, they are just doing what coyotes do. People should really consider keeping their cats in at night and if they have dogs, probably should keep them in at night as well. Chickens should be in a fenced in pen, with a secured cover. The coyotes will move on once the food source is not as available. They are loud and they are masters at sounding like there is more of them than there is. We see this happen on farm in Sequim all the time. No worries, just be aware and you can out smart them.