>Frilled Dogwinkles?  An article in the Kitsap Sun on Wednesday caught our eye when it mentioned “frilled dogwinkles.”   A few years ago our neighbor was cleaning his garage and was going to throw out a box of old frilled dogwinkle shells.  



Were They From Illahee?  We questioned our neighbor whether the frilled dogwinkle shells had come from Illahee because they didn’t look like any snail shells we have seen around here.  The frills on the shell extended out and they looked so nice that you would possibly want to display them.  He said he and his brother collected them from the Illahee shoreline when they were kids in the 1950’s.

Questions Raised Last Year.  Last year we brought some of these shells to a beach watchers class to see if there was anyone who could explain why we don’t see these intricate frilled dogwinkles on our beaches anymore.  We only see a few snail shells out there now, but they are without the raised frills.

The Answer?  Which brings us back to the Kitsap Sun article, as it explained that the changing chemistry of Puget Sound was increasing in acidification such that the “shells of marine snails called frilled dogwinkles get thinner.”  Is this the answer to our question?  

Shellfish Expert.  We hope to ask the dogwinkle question of Betsy Peabody, a shell fish expert, who is being asked to be in the Illahee film project and to comment about possible reasons for the diminishing shellfish in Illahee and the fouling of the shellfish beds from excessive sedimentation.  

The Kitsap Sun Article.  The title and link to the Kitsap Sun article is:  Scientists checking changing Puget Sound chemistry http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/apr/12/scientists-checking-changing-puget-sound/

Piebald Deer Question.  We asked the question of whether the piebald deer north of Illahee had migrated to the area south of Illahee State Park.  From the response below, the piebald deer by the park has different markings:
I can confirm that the piebald I saw last week was not the one in the photo below.  The individual I saw was cream colored and only had a few spots, which were along its haunches and lower parts of the leg, similar to what the writer described as potential offspring of the male in pictures. The individual I saw was also quite small.  I do not know what sex it is.  
Black Deer Pictures.  These photos (from near Beamsville, Ontario, Canada) were sent in by a resident who noted a black deer is even more rare than piebald or albino deer.

Earthquake Fault Lines.  We still get comments regarding the Updates we sent out regarding the fact the we have earthquake fault lines running through Illahee and whether residents should have earthquake insurance.  Attached is a map showing just the Illahee area fault lines, that was taken from the county’s website.  The link to the county map is:  http://kitsapgov.com/dcd/gis/maps/Standard_Maps/Environmental/FAULTS_DEC2006.pdf

>Commissioner’s Meeting and Annexation Issues – 2-12-11

>

Commissioner Agenda Items.  We noticed two Kitsap County Commissioner agenda items of interest to Illahee that we wanted to pass on.  The link to the agenda is:  http://kitsapgov.com/boc/2011%20Agendas/Regular%20Meeting/2011_2-14-11%20AGENDA.pdf

Rolling Hills Golf Course.  The first agenda item of interest is a contract amendment to the Rolling Hills Golf Course agreement.  When the contract to accept the gift of the golf course didn’t complete in December it had us worried, but we understand everything has now been worked out and we are glad to see this item on the agenda.  We have been told that March 18th is the date to hold open in our schedules, so we think this will be the date of the actual transfer, but we will tell you more when we find out.  Below is the agenda item to be discussed at the Commissioner’s meeting.

Contract amendment with Rolling Hills Golf Course Partnership (KC-
343-10-A) to accept gift of Rolling Hills Golf Course. Fiscal Impact: N/A. 
Staff Contact: Nancy Buonanno Grennan, 337-4403.

Comprehensive Plan Changes.  Every year changes can be made to the County’s Comprehensive Plan, but they need to be identified early (most are already listed and any new itemssome by March 8th) so they can go through the lengthy public process.  The notice of this amendment process is made by a resolution that will discussed on Monday.  The agenda item for this is:

Public hearing to consider a Resolution providing the initial docket for 2011 
potential amendments to the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan, Land Use and 
Zoning Maps, and Corresponding Development Regulations. Fiscal Impact: 
N/A. Staff Contact: Scott Diener, 337-4966

Interesting Kitsap Sun Article.  We read with interest the following linked article (along with the comments) as this is something Illahee could face in the future:

Island Lake residents cool to idea of being part of new city of Silverdale

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/feb/11/island-lake-residents-cool-to-silverdale/


Incorporation & Annexation Discussions.  We find the discussions of incorporation and annexation both interesting and concerning as Illahee’s southern region is in the East Bremerton urban growth area, and its center and north part in the Central Kitsap (Silverdale) urban growth area.  Theoretically this could mean the Illahee Community could be split up with one area eventually being annexed to Bremerton, and the other larger area eventually being annexed to Silverdale (presuming it will someday become its own city).  Or if the Barker Creek corridor is recognized as an urban separator between Bremerton and Silverdale, could it become part of Bremerton?  The problem becomes more complex when school districts are considered as Illahee is split between the Bremerton and CK school districts.  As you can see the issues are complex.

Experts At Feb 23 Community Meeting?  There have been suggestions that experts give us their thoughts at the Illahee Community Meeting being held at the library on the evening of February 23rd.  We agree and want experts who can talk about the Growth Management Act, our urban growth boundaries, and what the annexation issues and laws are.

KRCC Citizen Input.  One Illahee resident gave a response to the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council suggesting Illahee be removed from the urban growth area.  Is this another possibility?  Would this resolve Illahee’s dilemma of being in two urban growth areas?  This is another question we would like to have the experts respond to.

Sent From Minnesota.  This update is being sent from Minnesota where the temperatures have been chilling but finally are today above freezing.

Jim Aho

>Squid, Theft, KRCC Report – 1-31-11

>Squid Fishermen.  Just about every evening during the winter months squid fisherman can be seen at the Illahee community dock jigging their lures, such as we photographed here on a cold winters night.  We like to check in with them every so often to see what they are catching, and to see if they have caught anything unusual (one time someone caught a nice mackerel and didn’t want it so we took it home and ate it).  That question regarding unusual catches is when we found out about someone catching a lobster which we will describe in a future Update.  



Larger Squid.  On Monday evening (1/31/11) we noticed one squid in a bucket that was twice the size of any of the others, and asked if we could take some pictures.  After a couple of camera flashes along with lying on the dark decking, the squid quickly changed colors to suit its surrounding, which can be seen by comparing the two photos.

Forage Fish Report.  The other interesting news is that they have also snagged some of our primary forage fish while squidding, which are herring, smelt, and sand lance (candle fish).  (Forage fish are small fish that are preyed on by larger fish.)  While these forage fish are not seen in the numbers of decades earlier, it is encouraging to know they are still around.  If it wasn’t for these fishermen’s reports, most of us wouldn’t be aware that these forage fish are using our nearshore and shoreline areas in Illahee.

Illahee Preserve Rain Garden Thefts.  While getting ready for Saturday’s work party at the Illahee Preserve, we noticed that 3 logs and a rock had been taken from the rain garden.  We have attached a photo that shows where the rock and one log were.  This is disappointing as it takes lots of volunteer coordination and volunteer work to make the Preserve and the Rain Garden special and some are wondering if we can install a video camera to cover the parking lot.  If anyone has any ideas or expertise in this area, please let us know.


KRCC Public Meeting Report.  We saw at least 4 Illahee residents at the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council public hearing regarding the Countywide Planning Policy document.  One of the most interesting presentations showed a graph of the projected populations used to determine the urban growth boundaries in the county, and how the actual population figures are coming in at about half the projections.  We don’t have all the facts, but understand that is why either the courts or the Growth Management Hearings Board are asking the county to take a second look.  The link to the Kitsap Sun coverage of the meeting is:  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/jan/28/tribal-members-speak-out-against-large-scale-in/

Community Input.  Two residents testified during the public hearing and we received two comments that were emailed to the KRCC, which we have attached below:

Thank you for allowing public comment to the “Kitsap Countywide Planning Policy” draft document proposed by the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council.

I attended the public hearing last evening and I’m not sure I was as clear in my comments as I should have been with my last point.

My concern is with the wording changes in the document that tightened the language by replacing “should” with “shall” when it came to issues such as annexation, and then when it got to Element E (which looks at open space preservation, critical areas, and water quality/quantity), the language was loosened by replacing “shall” with “should“.

After hearing the testimony about the importance of natural resources and open space, etc, I don’t know how you can not change this wording back to “shall“.  

Additionally, I would state that current science has more than ever supported the necessity to preserve and protect critical areas and resource lands, such as critical aquifers.  We know that the Kitsap Peninsula is for the most part hydrogeologically self contained, that our ground water comes from precipitation, and that some areas, such as Illahee, are at water balance, meaning we are withdrawing and supporting stream flow with what is already being infiltrated.  The implications of this fact alone are staggering.

If you really believe that “Water is a Resource” then your wording in this county wide planning document needs to support that policy.

Thank you for considering changing the “should” back to “shall“.

Thank you for allowing public comment to the “Kitsap Countywide Planning Policy” draft document proposed by the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council.

I am requesting that Illahee be considered for withdrawal from the urban growth area that it has been assigned to. A majority of  Illahee is made up of critical areas: steep slopes, canyons, Illahee Creek, state park and Kitsap County forest preserve, in addition to documented category one aquifer recharge areas. All that is in possible jeopardy if its future is to be annexed to a city.  Under GMA and the definition of UGAs, it clearly spell out the incompatibility of urban growth and protection of important aquifers. Given that population projections have been exaggerated in the establishment of UGAs here in the county, it makes sense for a rural entity such as Illahee  be withdrawn from the UGA.

Your Thoughts?  Let us know how you feel on the issue of annexation, which is what is being proposed as a “shall” in the Countywide Planning Policy document.  

Community Meeting Discussion Item?  We would like to suggest this be a discussion item at the next Illahee Community meeting that has just been scheduled for February 23, 2011 at 6:30pm at the Sylvan Way Library.

Jim Aho

>High Tides, Port Comments,&Annexation Proposal? – 1-26-11

>High Tide Responses.  We receive some interesting comments regarding the supposedly high tides this past weekend. 


Walking On Water?  “One time, shortly after WWII, the tide was just above the decking on the Illahee Community dock and when we walked out to the end, it appeared we were able to walk on water.”  We attached a photo of the high tide on Monday, which was a 13.6 foot tide, to give you an idea that a tide that would cover the decking would need to be at least 3 feet higher than it was on Monday.

Rue Villa Resident Comment.  “Yes, High tides?, not very high. I began thinking the forecasters got everything wrong. In our 44 years here at Rue Villa we’ve had much higher. Weather conditions were fairly mild though.”

Highest Recorded Tide at Brownsville.  This data link specifies the maximum observed tide at Brownsville of 14.19 feet in 1980!  http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/PublicMenu/Documents/Reg/applications/tides/np/np66.cfm

Corps Salvage Vessel.  The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has a salvage vessel that retrieves debris in the Sound waterways, and was out on Monday in front of Illahee.  Their logo can be seen under the name PUGET.  We happened to see it and snapped the attached photos.  It had just picked up a 55 gallon barrel with a 2×6 frame that was evidently part of somebody’s float.  A little while later it picked up a log just past Illahee State Park.  The debris is placed on the center deck where the barrel and logs can be seen.



Monday’s Port Article.  Sunday’s Kitsap Sun feature was on the 12 Kitsap County Port Districts and discussed a proposal that they be consolidated.  On Monday they presented the Port of Bellingham, where consolidation has already taken place.  We thought these articles would have generated numerous responses to their website comment section, but they didn’t and we are wondering if it was because many of the normal commenters were following the Walmart shooting.  The link to the Monday article is:  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/jan/23/countywide-bellingham-gets-more-bang-for-its/


Port Comments.  While we received verbal comments to the Sun’s Port articles, we received only two emails, which follow:
If you loose the small community ports the community bond will be stripped.
 
If Bremerton Port is such a great port why does it need tax revenue or even the possible combined revenues of the Kitsap county small ports. It should be generating free cash with banks lining up to inject money into their ventures. That little bit of venting released, I truly wish Bremerton nothing but the best but do not compare Bremerton with the small community ports. I appreciate what Bremerton has done but Bremerton is about jobs and revenue as the small ports are all about the community.
 
Brownsville is fortunate to have been able to develope its port and being so well established is more or less assured a future as a community while other ports have little more to offer than a priceless scenic view.
 
It goes that proposed consolidation is nothing but future elimination of small ports and capture of revenues. The best the future could hold for small ports is a ramp as docks would be deemed to be too expensive to maintain with chains and chain link fencing. Small ports would have to go beg with strong community backing for each morsel of funding. As there would no longer be port commissioners the chance of obtaining anything for the community would be remote.
 
Loss of a port would pull the revenue and much of the voice out of the small communities and then the eventual loss of a community identity. The identity of Kitsap County has been built up around the developments of the small ports.
 
We need to see the small ports as a positive feature of Kitsap County.
Well, after reading the articles, I continued my confidence in our port commissioners and increased my pride in their performance.
 
I just have no words to describe how foolish I would consider any prospect of merging with any of the listed districts.
 
It does seem to me that the Port of Bremerton (which, I think has the highest rate of assessment) could annex some of the East Bremerton land previously held by the Navy and, for that matter I would think that Bainbridge would be an attractive addition to their scope.  If I lived there, I would be really interested in establishing a separate district to preclude annexation by Bremerton.

Annexation Proposal?  We read in the Kitsap Sun on Wednesday (1/26/11) the county is evidently proposing that cities annex nearby communities in order relieve the county of infrastructure costs.  This has the potential to directly affect Illahee.  The attached link provides more details. 

Kitsap County wants most urban areas annexed into cities within five years.

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/jan/25/kitsap-county-wants-most-urban-areas-annexed/


KRCC Proposal.  We just read some of the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council’s proposal and it appears to be the case.  The link to this document is:  http://www.kitsapregionalcouncil.org/library/D%20-%20Countywide%20Policies/Dec%202010%20Proposed%20CPP%20Changes%20for%20Public%20Comment.pdf

Public Hearing Thursday Evening.  There will be a public hearing on Thursday (1/27/11) evening at 5 pm at the Norm Dicks Center.  We copied and pasted the following information from their website.
Proposed Revisions
to the Kitsap Countywide Planning Policy are available
for Public Comment until
January 28th, 2011.
Public Hearing:
January 27th, 2011
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Norm Dicks Government Center
,Main Meeting Chambers, 345 6th Street, Bremerton, WA.
Send Public Comment to:
Vicky@KitsapRegionalCouncil.org
or mail to KRCC office (see far left panel for address).

Our Initial Comments.  In our quick read through their proposed revised policy document we have the following initial comments:

1.  There is no discussion of Subarea plans such as Illahee’s, and what the impacts would be with the adoption of this policy.
2.  It sounds like communities such as Illahee would be given an opportunity to either incorporate or be annexed.
3.  When Illahee’s Subarea plan was going through the adoption process, we were told to remove all the commercial corridor along SR 303.
4.  Illahee is then left with mostly park land, open space, critical areas and a greenbelt, which isn’t enticing for any city to want to annex, but according to this policy, they wouldn’t have a choice.
5.  We are somewhat removed from Silverdale, should/when it becomes a city, so it seems we are likely in Bremerton’s projected future annexation boundary.
6.  When asked by Illahee residents several years ago whether they wanted to be part of Bremerton or Silverdale or create their own Subarea plan, the results were 2%, 6%, & 92%.
7.  There is a statement that “adjustments” can be made to the Urban Growth Areas (Section B.3.k).  
8.  Does this mean the Illahee could propose to be removed from the UGA?
9.  Do we ask these questions at the public hearing, and/or do we discuss these at the next Illahee Community meeting?

Let Us Know Your Thoughts.  Let us know how you feel about these possible annexation issues that are suddenly before us again.

Attend Thursday’s Meeting?  More importantly, it may be better to attend Thursday’s public meeting at the Norm Dicks Center, or send your comments in by Friday.  

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous – 1-23-11

>Tide Photos.  For the supposedly highest tides of the year on Saturday and Sunday, they weren’t very exciting or very high.  We did get up early on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings in hopes of catching ‘an extreme high tide,’ but they didn’t appear.  We even checked the barometer which had low readings of between 28.3 – 28.5 in Hg, which is considered a fairly low atmospheric pressure (standard is 29.92 in Hg).  We did select a couple of photos to show that the tides were high, they just weren’t extremely high.



How High Do Tides Get Here?  We have been asked at various times about what are the highest tides we have seen.  We have lived on the waterfront for over 40 years, in various places, and somewhere have photos of extreme high tides.  The extreme high tide (late 70’s or early 80’s) we saw at this residence was 18 inches higher than the tide we had on Sunday, which is why it wasn’t very exciting for us.

Schutt’s Point At High Tide.  We took a couple of photos at Schutt’s point on Sunday morning that show some low points inside the spit.  The first photo shows the low area at the north end near the mouth.  The second photo shows a low spot at the south end of the spit, where water drains from the low area, and where a branch of Illahee Creek flowed during the December 2007 storm.  A number of years ago we paddled kayaks inside the spit area.  We entered from the north and exited to the south, which would have put us in front of the house that has been built there.  That was an instance when there was a more extreme high tide.


 
Chis Dunagan Blog.  When we posted our last Update that linked 2010 high tide photos, we did so just as Chris Dunagan had posted his most recent blog covering the same subject – Ecology’s request for people to take photos of the high tides.  The link is:  http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2011/01/21/grab-your-camera-to-share-some-high-tide-photos/

Eagle At Preserve Pond.  We received the following email regarding an eagle that was seen in the detention pond at the Almira parking lot of the Illahee Preserve.  Thanks to all who send these reports.
I wanted to let you know that I saw a bald eagle at the Preserve today.  I drove into the Almira parking lot at about 1:45 and saw a bald eagle emerge from the stormwater retention area.  The eagle took flight as soon as I pulled in so I don’t know what it was doing in there, but it didn’t have anything in its talons.  My first thought was that it may be preying on waterfowl that use the area but if the eagle was hunting it didn’t come up with anything.  It was a really spectacle to witness as the eagle was so close and not the type of bird I was expecting to fly out of the stormwater area.

Deer Photo.  There are a number of people who are regular walkers around the area.  We talked with Tom the other day and he said he regularly saw deer on his walks including some big bucks.  We asked if he would send us a photo, and the next day he did, with these comments.

 Saw that big buck again.  Exact same bed he was in before.  In the wetlands on 3rd.
Port Articles in Kitsap Sun.  It was hard to walk and read after I picked up the Kitsap Sun this morning as my interest was on the article on the Port districts, and what appears to be an effort to consolidate them.  Two feature articles in the Sunday Sun were on the Ports and we have attached the links here.  
Port Discussion Continues on Monday.  On Monday, the discussion is supposed to continue and we will provide that link later.  There are a number of residents who are snow birds and say they appreciate the Kitsap Sun links, along with others who do not receive the Sun.
Your Port Comments?  After reading these articles we would be interested to hear your thoughts and comments with respect to the general issues and also with respect to the Port of Illahee.

Jim Aho

>Orca Video&After Storm Issues – 12/15/10

>Orca Sightings in Illahee.  About 9 am today (12/15/10) we received a call that some orcas were going north through Illahee.  By the time we looked out they had disappeared.  Then later in the day we were notified there were several out front.  We grabbed a camera and got some video as they passed by.  It wasn’t until we looked at the video tonight that we realized there were two adults and a young one.


Kitsap Sun Report.  In Thursday’s Kitsap Sun will be an article about others who saw them and where they have been.   Click on the following link to read the article:   http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/dec/15/transient-killer-whales-seen-in-kitsap-waters/

Seal Seen Hugging the Beach.  We also had a report that as they went by a seal was seen close in by the beach, evidently trying to stay away from danger.

Video on YouTube.  With some help from one of our children, we were able to upload the video of the orcas on YouTube.  The link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rduYVcEyS1w
After Storm Pictures.  With a borrowed camera we were able to take some pictures of the effect of the storm on the Illahee Creek culvert and the tons of sediment deposited near the mouth of the creek.  



Notification of Emergency Illahee Creek Dredging.  It also appears the county will be dredging material from the downstream end of the culvert.  See the attached email from WDFW.  We have also attached the signed HPA (Hydraulic Project Approval) form.

I just wanted to give you a heads up that an emergency request was made by Kitsap County to remove sediment at the downstream end of the culvert. They will likely be mobilizing in the next few days. The HPA is attached for your information.
Thanks,
Gina Piazza
Area Habitat Biologist
Washington Dept. Fish and Wildlife
450 Port Orchard Blvd, Suite 290
Port Orchard, WA  98366
Phone: 360 895 3965
Fax: 360 876 1894


Response to the Dredging.  We received the following response to the dredging from Judith Krigsman, who gave us permission to print her concerns.
I find the current plan to clean out the culvert located at 5140 Illahee Road most concerning.  As the property owner at the inlet side of this culvert I can’t imagine how this is going to help the current situation.  It appears that the problem existing on my side of the culvert at 5171 Illahee Road is the side that needs fixing.  As I watch the floodplain rise on my property and see the amount of sediment that is all but totally filling this newer culvert, the ticking time bomb will still exist for road washout even if an emergency cleanout is activated.  The actions by others including the work done by the current owner of this property is creating havoc on the flow of this amount of velocity of water and sediment during these storm events.  The kink which has been taken out of the stream which served a purpose of slowing down the water during these events is now being allowed to wash out the entire point.  Just look where all the sediment is now resting on the property adjacent to the site of the proposed cleanout.  I do believe a meeting should be held immediately to talk through some of these issues before another cleanout takes place.  Illahee Creek is a dynamic water system; this practice of emergency clean-outs is not the fix which needs to take place, let’s talk!

Our Thoughts.  After seeing the amount of sediment that has been deposited at the mouth of the creek by this last storm, literally tons, there is no way that removing a few dump truck loads of sediment will do much of anything.  It is a nice gesture, but it isn’t getting to the sources of the problem, which are the storm surges coming primarily from the area north of the golf course.  

Not a New Problem.  The culvert issue has been known by the county for some time, but they needed a watershed study before they could do anything.  The Port of Illahee put in for a grant with DOE and together they paid for a comprehensive watershed study that was completed by Parametrix.  The fixes come with a multi-million dollar price tag, which emphasized the need for the county to obtain the golf course, as it is the logical place to try and restrain the problematic storm water surges.  The community is crossing their fingers that the golf course gifting paperwork will complete soon so that stormwater restraining projects can begin.

Raised Flood Plain.  What is interesting about the Illahee culvert situation is we are essentially dealing with a flood plain that steadily increasing in elevation with each storm.  A Timbers Edge report stated the elevation downstream of the culvert increased 18 inches from the December 2007 storm.  Upstream of the culvert, the reservoir that Dr. Schutt put in years ago, has filled with sediment.  With the flood plain rising on both sides of Illahee Road, and short of digging out the whole flood plain, the only solution many see is raising the height of the culvert. 

Your Thoughts On This Issue?  Please let us know your thoughts on the stormwater/culvert issues as a possible failure of the culvert would affect everyone who travels this portion of Illahee Road.

Jim Aho

>Various Items – 9/8/10

>Friday Evening Accident.  Not many details, but several reports and pictures of a pickup truck that went off Illahee Road about 11:30 pm Friday (9/3/10) at the trailer court on Illahee hill.  We were first notified about the accident on Saturday morning by those who passed by the accident scene late Friday, and then again on Monday, when they closed Illahee Road while they pulled the car out of the trees.  We dont know if anyone got hurt.  If anyone has any details of the accident please let us know and we will pass it on.



Illahee Preserve Dumping.  A number of bags of insulation were dumped at the Illahee Preserve Almira parking lot over the weekend – see the attached photo.  A Kitsap County parks department employee was picking up trash collected by a volunteer group who recently cleaned up along Thompson Lane, and picked up the trash at the parking lot.  We are thankful to have a very responsive Parks Department to partner with as volunteers work to maintain the Illahee Preserve.

Illahee State Park Temporary Closure.  Illahee State Park made the headlines of the Kitsap Sun on Wednesday regarding the temporary closure of the Park while a new sewer system is installed.  Following is the link to the article: According to the article it closes next week and will be closed until April, though people will still be able to walk in the park. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/sep/07/illahee-state-park-to-close-next-week-for/

Memorial Fund for Kara Established.  Also in Wednesday’s Kitsap Sun was an article regarding a memorial fund that is being set up for Kara Radabah.   The headline and link to the article follows:  Fund Established Honoring Bremerton Woman Found Dead Near Park  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/sep/07/fund-established-honoring-bremerton-woman-found/

Petition Distribution.  Between 1,100 and 1,200 petition packets have now been delivered to residents living within the Port of Illahee boundaries.  It appears the number of households in the Port must be around 1,300 to 1,400, so not every resident received a packet.  We attached the contents of the packet, the petition, a FAQ, and a stormwater brochure, to an earlier email Update.  If you need us to send you another, or have a neighbor who needs a packet, please let us know and we will pass the information to the ICC.  

Petition Results.  We know that statistically responses to these type of distributions are lucky to have a 10-15% return.  When earlier distributions were made in Illahee they received around a 40% return.  Up through Saturday the early response has been 93 for and 6 against, which would be a 9% return so far, but with distributions ending this week, they are hoping the numbers responding will be closer to normal.  The big difference is the petition is asking residents if they would agree to a possible increase in Port taxes in this case.  Please let the Illahee Community Club and Port of Illahee know how you feel.

Our Thoughts.  We are amazed at the current high percentage supporting the petition and that so many are supportive of the possibility of having their taxes raised for a few years in order to protect the Illahee Creek corridor.  We are hoping that with the addition of the golf course, which brings current Illahee Preserve acquisition to 80% of its Master Plan, that a Land Trust may be willing to come in and help, along with possible grants and gifts, thereby negating the need to raise anyones taxes. 

Your Thoughts?  Let us know your thoughts so we can pass them on.

Jim Aho

>Two Monday Meetings – 8/23/10

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Newspaper Articles Re Golf Course Gift.  There were a number of newspaper articles this week regarding the Rolling Hills Golf Course Gift, including an editorial in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun, see the link: 
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/aug/21/our-view-more-reasons-to-applaud-the-rolling/    Also, we were impressed by the article in Saturday’s Kitsap Sun by Brynn Grimley who had a great understanding of just why the golf course gift was especially appreciated by the Illahee Community.  The link to her article is: http://pugetsoundblogs.com/peninsular-thinking/2010/08/19/rolling-hills-more-than-a-golf-course-to-illahee-community/

Two Important Monday Meetings.  How can it be that after months with no Illahee meetings, that two important meetings that residents should attend, are scheduled on the same evening, Monday, August 23, 2010?


Quarterly Illahee Community Meeting.  The quarterly meeting of the Illahee Community Club schedules its meetings on weeknight evenings at the library and also asked Kitsap County reps to present information on the Shoreline Master Program update, which will begin at 6:15 pm.  This should be a great opportunity for residents to have an input in what they want for their shoreline areas.  They will also likely discuss the petition drive that stalled and is projected to resume soon.

County Commissioner’s Meeting Also Meets Monday.  The reason that there should be a representation at the Commissioner’s meeting that meets at 7 pm in Port Orchard is that they will be signing the agreement to accept the Rolling Hills Golf Course on Monday.  We just received a draft copy of a letter to the editor they want someone to read at Monday evening’s meeting – someone who is not planning on attending the meeting at the library.  We took the liberty of printing the draft copy below, though remember it is still a draft.   
        August 23, 2010
Letter to the Editor:
        Thank you Don Rasmussen and Kerma Peterson, for your extraordinary and especially generous gift of the Rolling Hills Golf Course!  
Illahee has become a recreational destination in Kitsap County and the greater West Sound area in a large part because of your work in establishing a premier and affordable community golf course.  While Illahee’s unique topography has limited development, it has fostered some incredible recreational opportunities such as the golf course, Illahee State Park, the Illahee Preserve, and the Port’s Community Dock, making this area and Kitsap County a great place to live. 
The Illahee Community appreciates your incredible gift and forward thinking that preserves Rolling Hills as a golfing jewel for future generations, and at the same time ensures the continuation of the “meals on wheels” program for seniors throughout the area.  Your gift will also help us eventually control of the storm water surges that pollute Illahee Creek and Puget Sound.
Thank you Don and Kerma, and also Commissioner Josh Brown for working with you to make it happen!
Barney Bernhard, for the Illahee Community Club
Help Requested.  If anyone could help out by attending the Commissioner’s meeting in Port Orchard on Monday evening, and at the end of the meeting during the public comment time, read the above letter or a similar version, it would be greatly appreciated.  Let us know if you can help and we will pass the information on the the ICC officers.

Tall Ships At Brownsville.  We were fortunate to be out boating by the tall ships on Friday and took some pictures, including the one below.  

Jim Aho

>Amazing News – 8/18/10

>Kitsap County to Acquire Rolling Hills Golf Course.  We received a call on Thursday afternoon that a press release was being prepared to announce that the owners of Rolling Hills Golf Course, Don Rasmussen and Kerma Peterson, had reached an agreement with Kitsap County in which the County would acquire the golf course subject to some very amazing conditions.  We think the Kitsap Sun reporter Brynn Grimmly did an excellent job of describing all the details, which will appear in Thursday’s Kitsap Sun.  We have attached the press release from the county and have provided the link to Thursday’s article:   Rolling Hills Transfer Seen as Win-Win for Kitsap County, Charity

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/aug/18/rolling-hills-transfer-seen-as-win-win-for/


Our Response.  This was something that was a dream for many from the time the county purchased the DNR land in 2001.  In 2003 the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Plan was issued that suggested the county consider a future purchase of the golf course to ensure it remained a golf course.  In 2006 there was a push to have the golf course zoned for housing at 5-9 homes per acre, which would accommodate nearly a 1000 homes.  The Illahee community fought that zoning proposal, and because of that fight the commissioners reversed the planner’s request and it went back to an urban reserve zone, which is one home for 10 acres.  Around the same time, the owners wanted to sell the golf course to the county, but negotiations fell through.  Subsequently, other approaches were looked at including a Centennial Clean Water grant obtained by the Port of Illahee from the Department of Ecology, which found the sediment pollution of Puget Sound was primarily from the area north of the golf course, but that likely golf course property would be needed for detention facilities.  It was thought the watershed study documenting the sedimentation problem would help justify a possible purchase of the golf course.  Subsequently the Port of Illahee looked at grant opportunities to purchase the golf course, but found there was little grant money available.  In other words we were coming up against road blocks in every direction we turned.  And so when we got the call we ecstatic and almost speech less that the golf course agreement had been forged.  Much thanks goes to Don Rasmussen and Kerma Peterson for their generosity, and to Josh Brown for finding a way for it to happen.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 8/3/10

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Preserve Inundated With Wood Chips.  After a long drought of not being able to get any wood chips for the Illahee Preserve, the log jam broke and we are now inundated with wood chips, and they need to be moved onto the trails.  See the attached photos showing the multiple piles of chips.


Work Party Workers Needed.  With so many chips to move we decided to put out the call for more work party helpers.  We will have some from the East Bremerton Rotary, and some from the John C. Stennis, and some from the surrounding community and the Illahee community, but we never know exactly how many will be there.  We have had large work parties and others have been small.  We never know how many will show up, but this time we know we have lots of chips to move, so we are asking for whoever can make it to come and help.

Multiple Tasks To Do.  In addition to moving wood chips to cover the trails, we have a number of special projects.  One is closing a trail by burying a log at its entrance to keep it from being re-established.  We have some medium sized rocks to move to the corners of the rain garden plots.  We will line the paths through the rain garden with logs and put down landscape fabric to prevent the weeds from coming through.  We will weed the rain garden plots, which should be easier now that the mulch has all been distributed.  We will have our volunteer botanist there to help with any plant or weed identification.  We will also line the water flow path with landscape fabric and place river rock on it.  Ambitious jobs that will require lots of help and if we have lots of people we should be able to finish before dusk.  


Date and Time.  The work party is Wednesday (8/4/10) and the time is between 5 and 5:30 pm. 

Tools Needed.  We will have a few wheel borrows, but will need others to bring one, along with pitch forks to load the chips.

Missing Person Found.  It is sad to report that the body of Kara Radabah was found on Sunday morning and was confirmed by the coroner on Monday as being Kara.  The links to the Kitsap Sun articles on the story are:  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/aug/02/coroner-confirms-identity-of-body-found-sunday/

Local Arborist Debuts Tree Book.  Local Illahee Arborist Jim Trainer has a new book called “Kitsap Trees” for sale. It’s about 10 trees in the Kitsap area (2 in Illahee) and the stories about them . The cost is $10.00, plus $3.00 for shipping and tax.  If anyone is interested in purchasing this interesting book, please call 360 792 2449.  It has been suggested that since the Illahee Community Club is supposed to have an August meeting (date yet to be determined), that we try to have copies of Jim’s book available for purchase there.

Jim Aho