Illahee 1/30/16 Photos, Rain Event, Road Closure Photos, Litter Pickup, Illahee Store Comments, Spring Signs, Mussel Sampling

Photos.  Some local photos.  We enjoyed watching the native Douglas squirrel eat the maple seeds that got caught in the decking.  

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Rain Event.  The rain event that began on Wednesday evening (1/20/16) resulted in over 3 inches of rain in Illahee over approximately 30 hours which filled Illahee Creek, the culvert, and resulted in brown stormwater out into the bay as can be seen in the following photos.  
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Illahee Creek is noted as a small creek in a small watershed, yet a major sediment polluter of Puget Sound, because of the deeply incised canyons and unstable banks it goes through on its way to the Sound.  The Port of Illahee helped fund a study of the watershed along with funds from a Department of Ecology grant that identified the problems and it is hoped remedies will be implemented.
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Road Closure Photos.  We didn’t get an opportunity to check out the slide that closed Illahee Road near Brownsville and thank Marty
for the following photos.  (Just a note that if anyone would like to help with putting out these updates, we could use the help as things pile up when we aren’t around.)
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Litter Pickup.  Thanks to the county’s litter (jail) crew that has been busy in Illahee cleaning the ditches.
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Illahee Store.  Some comments regarding the Illahee Store.  We checked the county’s website and noted the building value is now $0 and the land value has dropped nearly half, going from $107K in 2013 to $55K in 2016.  We heard the store might be the topic of the next Illahee Community meeting to be held in late February, depending on when a time can be scheduled at the Sylvan Way Library.
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I wonder if you have any ideas about what can be done about the abandoned grocery store/gas station at the corner of Oceanview and Illahee?  I know there has been much discussion over the years about it, but it seem to me it has become an attractive nuisance and perhaps the county can get involved in forcing the owners to do something?  Ideas?
 
Commenting on the Illahee store matter:  I have always been a bit sorrowful regarding the degradation of this little Illahee icon, and secretly hoping an investor would come and rehab it so our dock would become an inviting place again for boaters.  In fact, I have often wondered why the Illahee group has not taken this on.  I assume that the expense of cleaning up the toxic soil from the gas pumps deters possible buyers, but then I have never seen a for sale sign on the property; maybe you have information about i
 
Who currently owns the Illahee store?  The store owner of record is David Krick, but the company paying the taxes because of liens is Flett Dairy, so who knows who the ‘real owner’ is.  At some point something needs to happen as the property has less value as the building deteriorates and then there is the issue of the buried gas tanks and liability issues if the tanks are leaking especially since are within 200 feet of the shoreline.
 
We were just talking about how bad the Illahee store looks and then here comes your email.  Would it be possible for the port commission to draft a letter to the county to the effect, that the old Illahee store is a derelict and eyesore and is apparently being vandalized and could the county please notify the owners that they will have to take action to clean it up or remove it at the owners expense?

What about contacting the DCD?  They are very aggressive in protecting the shoreline.  Surely the possibility of deteriorating underground gas tanks leaking into the sound would be of some concern to them?  What about contacting the sheriff as there is often unseemly looking “meetings” in the parking area?  A rash of certified letter complaints to the owner?  Isn’t the owner also an owner of a dairy or some type of business?  Perhaps a barrage of negative comments on this company’s land management practices on the internet with photos (I believe I recall that they are out of state, but if this is how they manage holding here, is it fair to make the assumption that their practices elsewhere would likewise)?  A midnight bulldozer to the site ….

who now officially owns the store and why can “they” not be prosecuted for dereliction and community defacement?  The community seems to be held hostage for this eyesore.
 
The store has been a blight on the neighborhood for years now. I have no faith that anyone will take over the store and put it back in use. It draws graffiti, trash dumpers, and ultimately bums and criminals and makes my house nearly un-sellable. Who wants to live next to a dump like that. Totally disappointed in the failed effort the port has put in to buying this property, even though I understand why they would really want the headache. Everywhere else I have lived in the past, would not allow a problem like this, because after a place like this is condemned, the owner has 60 days to fix the problem or have the house demolished. If not, the city will demolish the house and send the owner the bill. Maybe we’ll get lucky and one of the trespassers will burn the place down trying to cook food.
 
Spring Signs.  We noticed some daffodils coming up next to a Lost Continent sign, and saw a poster indicating something might be happening with a new emphasis, which we hope to cover soon in another update.
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Mussel Sampling.  Last Saturday evening (1/23/16) mussel sampling by the Navy was taking place at the Illahee community dock. In February the mussel cage north of the dock will be pulled by Kitsap County staff and volunteers and the mussels transferred to DFW personnel who will transport them to the lab where they will be tested. We hope to be able to see how the results of these two independent tests compare.
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Jim Aho