>Miscellaneous – 4-11-11


Trillium Blooming In Preserve.  One of first flowers to bloom in the forest are Trilliums.  We took the following picture on Sunday to show just how beautiful these flowers are.  A couple of interesting facts from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillium are:
Picking a trillium seriously injures the plant by preventing the leaf-like bracts from producing food for the next year. A plant takes many years to recover. For this reason in Michigan[1] and Minnesota[2] it is illegal to pick and/or transplant trilliums from public lands without a permit from the State.

Trillium is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants. At maturity, the base and core of the trillium ovary turns soft and spongy. Trillium seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants extract the seeds from the decaying ovary and take them to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they germinate in a rich growing medium.
North Perry Water Response.  We received the following response from North Perry Water’s General Manager, George Smalley, regarding our inquiry whether the community could help or show support for a possible relocation of the Riddell well:

I know it seems that there is always a correction to be made every time a news letter goes out, so here it is.
It’s not that the Tribe “ shut NPW down” on the proposed well site on Almira Drive.
It was the simple fact that the Tribe and Dr. Massman were convinced that pumping at the new site on Almira could possibly affect a stream in Tracyton, which is a closed stream with a healthy salmon run.
North Perry Water did not want to end up in Court over the appeal by the Tribes and could not agree on where or how much water could be added to several streams throughout the District to offset perceived pumping affects on the streams  from Tracyton to Brownsville and Illahee.
The new well site on Almira was to be drilled into a deeper aquifer than the well on Perry Avenue, which is  near the beginning of Illahee creek., ( Perry Ave well site),   and the Pickering well site @ maple and Pickering St. That would have allowed NPW to pump the shallow aquifer less at those sites, and hopefully give the aquifer more time to recover between pumping times. It would not affect how often the District would be pumping the Riddell site. It should be noted however that the Riddell well does pump from a  deeper aquifer than the Perry site and the Pickering well  site. Right now the aquifers  looks very healthy and water levels are good For whatever reason the District, has been pumping and selling less water over the last five years than previously, as are other purveyors in the County.
I believe it is the result of the economy and conservation efforts that are responsible for this.
Even though the shallow aquifers look good, we do believe that getting into the deeper  aquifer is the right thing to do . The District is still looking at other options when it comes to pumping out of the shallow aquifer.
It is good to know that the people of Illahee are willing to help in negotiations on a new site in the future if needed.

Piebald Deer Movement?  We were asked whether the piebald deer seen south of Illahee State Park, is the same one that was observed north of Illahee.  And so we have included the attached info on the north Illahee piebald deer so those around the State Park can tell us if it is the same one.

This is probably the same piebald deer that visits us every few days.  I am sending a couple of pics to see if its the same one.  I have pics of this deer from Summer of 07, so he is about 4 years old.  We actually are starting to see what I believe are some of his offspring.  They have a few white spots but are mostly cream colored.  I hope hunters don’t try to shoot this deer.  I have talked to the major land owners in my area and they have said they won’t allow hunting on their land.
Hopefully there is no hunting in the Illahee Preserve and the surrounding areas.
Rolling Hills Golf Course Gifting Finalized.  We have been waiting to hear that the gifting of the Rolling Hills Golf Course by Don Rasmussen and Kerma Peterson to Kitsap County has been finalized and just heard yesterday that it has.  Thanks to Don and Kerma and to Commissioner Josh Brown for helping to make it all happen.  

Possible Next Step re Timbers Edge?  We heard that the finalization of the Golf Course gifting is what the Illahee Community Club has been waiting for as they will now be contacting the two Land Trusts that expressed interest some time ago about the possibility of purchasing the Timbers Edge properties.  The golf course is evidently a major part of the bigger plan for expanding the Illahee Preserve and now they feel that they are in a better position for a land trust to want to come in to help.

Illahee Garden Tour This Summer?  We were notified that a core group of Illahee gardeners are pursuing whether there is enough interest to have a garden tour in Illahee this summer.  If you would like to be part of this group or have some suggestions for possible gardens that could be toured, please let us know and we will pass the information on.

Jim Aho

>Video / Store / Petition Info – 10/10/10

>Filmmaker Selected to Tell Illahee Story.  We received an email on October 9th, that a filmmaker had been selected to prepare a film about Illahee and more specifically to cover the findings in the Illahee Creek Surface Water Management Plan.  The filmmaker is Shelly Solomon of Leaping Frog Films, who has worked in the area for a number of different groups, including the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, whose website contains some of her work http://www.restorationfund.org/news.php.  The film is part of public information and eduction task of the Dept of Ecology Surface Water Management Plan grant with the Port of Illahee that funded the Parametrix study that has been reported on earlier.  It was felt that few Illahee and county residents are aware that Illahee Creek is contributing to the pollution of Puget Sound because of unconstrained storm water, and that the fixes to resolve the problems are estimated to be $20 million.  Two films will be prepared, a short one, approximately 10 minutes, and a longer one, approximately 30 minutes.

Video Advisory Group Meeting Next Weekend.  A video advisory group is being assembled to help with the telling of the Illahee story, which includes covering a brief history of Illahee, and especially the changes to the area and shoreline resulting from the storm water surges.  Please tell us if you would like to help or could recommend people you think should be interviewed for the film.  We are looking at having a meeting next weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday afternoon (10/16 or 10/17).  We are pushing to get things started soon because the grant ends in 2011 and there isn’t much time available to meet the deadlines.  Also, Shelly would like to see if anyone has some historical photos of the area that would be helpful.  Please respond if you can help by calling 479-1049 or reply to this email.   

Illahee Store Information.  In our last Update we noted that a number of you had asked about what was happening at the Illahee store with the recent cleanup.  We had a number of responses including one from the person doing the cleanup.  We have permission to attach her response, which follows:
My name is Judy Blank.  I’ve been an Illahee homeowner, (on Fern Ave NE), for 9 years.  Over the years I’ve become increasingly annoyed with the continual slovenly appearance and decay of the Illahee Store and property.  When I first moved here, the little store, while not particularly well kept even then, was at least a functioning business.  It is in a pivotal location and heralds the entrance to our neighborhood….setting the tone for our area’s desirability or lack there of!  I would never have purchased my home in an area which had a slum property on the corner…..but that is what I ultimately have!  Last week I visited with Michael, a gentleman who’s brother owned the property and had passed away some years ago.  It seems the property was allowed to fall into complete disrepair and neglect since then.  Michael gave me permission to go on the property and do some weed wacking and general tidying up…..which I promptly took advantage of and got out there and attacked some weeds and blackberry vines which were taking over the place.  After I had been out there working for a few hours, another Illahee resident, Jenifer Hillyer, pulled up and was curious about what I was doing.  I just told her I was fed up with the ugly eye sore in our neighborhood, (along with likely decrease in property values because of the mess), and that I had received permission from Michael to tidy things up.  She then offered to contribute to my efforts by having an acquaintance of hers bring his truck to haul the debris away!  I was very happy about her contribution and was very pleased to discover that indeed the debris piles were promptly removed.       So as far as I know….nothing else is going on with the property!  But I certainly would WELCOME & PARTICIPATE in any efforts of my community to help improve the look of this derelict property.  Would you know the current owner’s name and address so I, (or better yet, WE), might write a letter pleading the case of our neighborhood’s desire to have this property properly cared for?
Thank You Judy and Jenifer!  In response your (Judy’s) question regarding the property, we have included the following information on the store along with a recommendation that something be done to resolve the issues you raised.

Illahee Store in the Foreclosure List Again.  We also had someone give us the 2010 Real Property Tax Foreclosure Roll that appeared in the legal section of the September 24th Kitsap News Group papers.  On the list again was the Illahee Store.  The store has had liens against it for years, and every year at the last minute, Flett Dairy Inc. has paid the taxes.  So the question for some, will the taxes be paid again? and if not will the store go up for auction?  One of the responses we received regarding the Illahee Store was the following from someone who was ready to purchase it a few years ago if it went to action.
As for the store – we obtained preliminary bid information and ran title and enviromental for the potential of a SDAP or redevelopment on the property.  The costs were staggering and the risk large for an individual so we moved on to some other projects that we have now completed. I personally am not interested in the property anymore but would be glad to share my files and information with someone who is serious about improving it.  Flett Dairy is really only protecting their lien by paying the taxes and doesn’t do it until a day or two before the due day to prevent auction by the county.  Federal taxes and enviormental cleanup costs are the real snag to a new owner redeveloping it other than a public entity like the county or port who could conceivably leverage grant money and ’eminent domain’ or ‘public good’ arguments to limit costs or payouts to third parties.

We think the above assessment is a good one and that it is time to form a group of interested citizens to work with the Port of Illahee and/or the Illahee Community Club to resolve the issues.

Port of Illahee Monitoring The Situation.  Those who attend the Port of Illahee monthly meetings are aware that the Port has been monitoring the situation for years and know they tried themselves and through their lawyer to investigate acquiring the property.

Illahee Petition Results.  We just received the latest results of the petition request to the Port of Illahee to do a number of things, including the most controversial, which is the request for the Port to raise taxes in order to possibly purchase the Timbers Edge development from the owner who approached the Port with an offer.  The Port had stated that if the community could get 500 residents to respond (the average number of voters in the last two elections) and if the response was favorable, the would CONSIDER the possibility of raising the Port tax rate.  The bad news is only 142 responses were mailed in, but the good news is that 93.7% were in favor of a tax increase to help Illahee Creek and to purchase the Timbers Edge properties.  It was felt that many did not vote because of the tax increase as Illahee petitions usually get a 25-40% response, and this time it was only 10%.  The Illahee Community Club is now hoping to work with the Port to find a land trust who could help, as was reported in the last Update.
Thank You For Your Responses!  Thank you to all those who respond to the items in these Updates!  An informed community makes for a better community.  And don’t forget to let us know what you would like to see in an Illahee film.

Jim Aho

>Important Meeting&Miscellaneous Items – 5/29/10

>Important Meeting. We received the following information about an important Port of Illahee informational meeting on Tuesday evening, and then another one two weeks later. Note: We were hoping to get this information out earlier but have been on a trip and not able to access the internet until now.

Port of Illahee informational meetings: Fire station #41 Old Military Rd. on Tue 6/1 and Mon 6/14 at 5:30pm. The Port Commissioners want to hear from all Community Members in the Port District. We will have information on the Illahee Plan, the petition from the Illahee Community Club, the Port’s opportunity with the Timber Edge option and how these issues could potentially effect community members.

Kitsap Sun Letter? We also received a call that there was a lengthy letter to the editor in the Kitsap Sun with some mis-information about the Port of Illahee’s position and the Illahee Community’s petition. We will try to get more information on the letter and provide a link for those who have not had a chance to read it, including us.

A Complex Solution. We have felt the issues are complex and that the Illahee Community Club needs to come up with a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) sheet to help explain the issues. The early article in the Kitsap Sun evidently rose more questions than could be presented in a short article. We volunteered to help with the FAQ since we received a number of calls and emails from those needing more information. We wish we had gotten to the FAQs before our trip but will be working on in later this upcoming week.

Illahee Preserve Map Signs. Just before we left we were surprised to see that someone had put up map signs at the beginning of the three main trail systems. Below are pictures of two of them, and we want to express thanks to the person/s for their thoughtfulness. A trail sign system is being designed as an Eagle Scout project for installation this summer and it is nice to see volunteers taking care of Preserve needs.

More Info Later. We will be sending out more information later this next week.

Jim Aho

>Important Meeting&Miscellaneous Items – 5/11/10

>Illahee Community Meeting Monday 5/17. There is a very important Illahee Community meeting on Monday evening, May 17th, beginning at 6:15 pm, at the Library on Sylvan Way. The consensus at the last meeting was to try and hold community meetings on a weeknight evening rather than a weekend afternoon, as this time of year there are many other competing events.

Critical Topics Will Be Discussed. There are a number of critical items that the Illahee Community Club (ICC) board has been working on for the community and will be discussed at this meeting as noted below.
Superior Court Suit. The ICC filed suit in Superior Court over the fairness doctrine and the issue has been resolved.
Shorelines Hearings Board Suit. The ICC filed suit with the Shorelines Hearings Board and that issue has also been resolved in a unique way.
Settlement Agreement. A settlement agreement was reached with regards to the Timbers Edge development and this settlement needs to be presented to the community at this meeting. Not every one is happy, but if certain things transpire we think the community will benefit.
Phase 2 Acquisitions & Easements. In addition to all that is going on legally, the various Illahee Preserve groups and the ICC have endorsed the Phase 2 Illahee Preserve/Illahee Creek Restoration Plan. This is a monumental plan to protect and preserve the the Preserve, Illahee Creek, and Puget Sound. We have attached the map showing past acquisitions and the future plans.
Rain Garden Target Area. The area north of the golf course was developed when there were no requirements to contain or control stormwater and so over 100 acres are tight-lined (piped) to the North Fork of Illahee Creek (just north of the golf course bridge) which is largely responsible for the brown silt laden waters that extend out into Puget Sound during significant rain events. We are looking at rain gardens in this target area to help slow down the water and the impact to the stream.
Petition For Port Assistance. The ICC is also trying to come up with a petition requesting Port assistance with the Phase 2 Plan, and will be looking for signatures from residents. They will try to have copies available at the meeting.
Future of Illahee Will Be Determined By These Issues. The future and look of Illahee will be determined by some of these issues and your input is needed.
Port of Illahee Commissioners Will Be In Attendance. The Port of Illahee commissioners will also be in attendance to answer questions.
Other Meetings Will Likely Be Scheduled. If you can’t make this meeting let us know what times work out best for you and other meetings will be scheduled. The issues are too important for anyone not to understand what is going on or to have their questions answered.
Other Illahee News. On the wildlife side there are several reports.
Canada Goose Families. The number of Canada goose goslings continues to increase. The oldest group of goslings numbers 4, the next number 5 (was 6), and the smallest group also numbers 5. Below is a picture of the middle group.
Nearshore Salmon. Several Illahee residents helped with the 24 hour beach seining this last weekend on Bainbridge Island and report the shorelines in the area are filled with small salmon and cutthroat. They saw lots of chum, pinks, and coho, and a few really nice Chinook, and were amazed at how small salmon become dispersed along the shorelines throughout the Sound once they leave the rivers.
Chicken Coop A Frame. We received pictures of a simplified chicken coop A frame from an Illahee resident and wanted to pass it on.

Update Photo In Patriot & CK Reporter. It was nice to open the Bremerton Patriot & CK Reporter and see the photo we took of the CK students working in the Illahee Preserve rain garden. The students were from Olympic High School and their effort was greatly appreciated.
Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 4/27/10


Rain Garden Mulching.  On April 17th six brave souls braved the rain and weeded and mulched one and a third of the five rain garden plots at the Illahee Preserve’s Almira parking lot.  It was a good start, but much more is needed to be done as can be seen from this photo. 

CK Student Help.  On Saturday, May 1st, we have heard that CK schools are having a special day for students to volunteer to help in their community and the Illahee Preserve was one of the areas selected.  We said we could use help with the weeding and mulching effort that began a few weeks ago.  They are scheduled to begin at 10 am and we hope they will be able to finish the project, and that we will have enough wood chips to go around.

New Goslings.  A new family of Canada geese have adopted our yard, see the attached photo.  While they leave a trail of droppings, some of our family think we can live with them.  I’m not sure how long the relationship will last as soon we will plant the rest of our garden.

Stillwater’s Ecofest.  We attended the Sillwater’s Ecofest in Kingston this past Saturday and found many interesting exhibits, with the most surprising being a small compact A-frame chicken coop, see the attached photo.  With all the discussions going on in Bremerton about chickens, we thought this concept would be one that many could live with.  We just had to pass the picture on.

Legal Questions Are Being Asked.  Lots of questions being asked about Timbers Edge, the Circuit Court Appeal, the Shorelines Hearings Board Appeal, and a wetlands project that was recessed by the Hearing Examiner about 3 years ago.  We will be trying to get some answers and pass the information on.  Let us know if you have questions about community issues and we will see what we can do to answer them.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 3/23/10

>Quail Report.  Awhile ago we got an email from someone reporting seeing quail.  There used to lots of quail around the area and years ago most of a covey (19) landed on a large deck we had at the time.  Since then the sightings have decreased to the point we wondered if there were still any in the area.  If anyone has them around it would be nice to see a photo.

Pheasant Pictures.  We did receive some nice pheasant pictures from John Lind that we have attached.  It also seems like there used to be more pheasants in the area than there is now.  We used to have some resident pheasants we would see daily in the area and also others when going for walks.   It is nice to know there are still some around.

County Commissioner Meeting Issue.  A number of Illahee residents were at the County Commissioner Meeting on Monday evening (3/22/10) to urge the Commissioners to change the way they handle land use appeals such as the Timbers Edge appeal.  The issues are whether the Commissioners should continue to hear appeals or remove themselves from the process, and also whether volunteer mediation should be used.  The Kitsap Sun covered the issues in the linked article on Sunday  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/mar/20/commissioners-weigh-changes-to-land-use-appeals/.

Illahee Community Statement.  Two Illahee residents spoke in favor of the Commissioners getting out of the appeal process entirely and in favor of mediation.  The following statement from the Illahee Community Club was read and submitted:
Thank you for looking at ways to improve the appeal process.
When making your decision, please take into account local community input.  After all, they are the ones who are going to have to live with the results.
In Illahee the results of poor DCD decisions in the past are evident every time there is a significant rain.  Storm water is tight-lined to the deeply incised canyons of Illahee Creek where it becomes a flushing action.  And the results are a culvert filling with sediment and brown sediment laden waters polluting Puget Sound waters.  And last year the estimate to fix the Illahee Creek storm surge problems came in at $20 million dollars.  The cost of correcting poor county decisions is significant and it looks like the community will continue to have to live with the results.
The Illahee Community has found over the years it cannot depend on county actions to protect its own interests and has had to pay for its own scientific studies followed by appeals to the Hearing Examiner and to the Board of County Commissioners.  The process was not fulfilling and community input seemed discounted at every step.  This should not be the case and there must be a better way to doing things.
We like the medication concept and hope it will help.
We would also like to see the Commissioners step out of the judicial process entirely as they usually have neither the legal background nor the training to be making these decisions.   Why should the community pay a lawyer to argue complex legal issues before a non-judicial person?  It just doesn’t make sense!
Please find a way to take into account your local community’s desires as they are the ones who will have to live with the results of your decisions.
Walker’s Paradise.  With the nice days and the blossoms on the trees and the fragrances of the blooms, it is a walker’s paradise.  We have attached a couple of photos as we know some on our email list have not returned from their winter homes.

Jim Aho

>Legal&Related Issues – 2/26/10


When is the SHB (Shorelines Hearings Board) Appeal Hearing?

When is the Timbers Edge Superior Court Hearing?

When is the Fairness Doctrine Appeal Hearing?

Why Haven’t You Put Out An Update On These Items?

What Happened at ICC Meeting Last Saturday?

Questions?  Above are some of the questions being raised that we have been asked to answer.  Also, we had a number of people who couldn’t be at the ICC meeting on February 20th who have asked that we put out an update on the meeting.  So we will try to provide some answers.

The Legal Questions on Hold?  The short answer on the three appeal questions is that they are all on hold as negotiations are taking place between the lawyers to see if they can come up with mutually satisfying solutions that will be agreeable to the Illahee Community and the other parties.  During the negotiation process many of the details remain confidential and will be presented when there is an agreement that we can share.

Tens of Thousands of Dollars Spent.  We realize that the community has spend many thousands of dollars to protect the community and there is hope in the eyes of the Illahee Community Club Board members we talked with, that the community can put some of this work behind them through the negotiations.  Board members can’t say much else at this point but do ask that we be patient a little longer.

ICC Meeting Last Saturday.  In addition to discussions regarding the above legal issues, a related issue was a report that the Illahee Forest Preserve (the non-profit corporation supporting the Illahee Preserve) met on February 16th and voted to push for a Phase II Plan to continue to acquire or obtain conservation easements on specific properties next to the Preserve and along Illahee Creek.  The Plan will probably require a number of grants from various sources to make this happen, including support from the county and the Port of Illahee.  Evidently the county has been approached as the next grant cycle for the state begins soon.  After the presentation there was a motion that the ICC support the Illahee Preserve Phase II Plan, which was followed by another motion that the Port of Illahee be asked to help with aspects of the Plan.

What Was Phase I?  We realize that many are unaware of the Phase I Plan that acquired just over 100 acres of land through purchases, delayed purchases, or conservation easements.   The Preserve started out with 352 acres of the formerly Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land and with the Phase I purchases now consists of approximately 460 acres.

Phase I Acquisitions.  We have attached the map that shows many of these acquisitions.  The light blue parcels in the middle of the map are the 66 acre trade made with North Perry Water District for the water tower and pump house properties in the Preserve.  That land was once the water source for historic Illahee and was give the the water district when it was no longer needed as a water source.

Phase II Plan Map Needed.  We will be requesting a new map showing the Phase II targeted properties and will provide it when we get it.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 2/7/10


February Illahee Community Meeting? The Illahee Community Club (ICC) holds its regularly scheduled meetings the middle month of each quarter and is looking to meet later this month at a time and place to be decided later. This is the meeting where current information about what is happening in Illahee is shared, along with regular reports about what the ICC is doing. Notice of the meeting is provided by signs throughout the area along with notice by email to residents who have provided their email addresses. The signs should be coming out soon.

Appeal Information? There evidently are some issues going on with Superior Court appeal regarding Timbers Edge that we hope will be discussed at the ICC meeting. We have heard something about the Shorelines Hearings Board appeal being delayed for discussions to take place and hope to find out more at the meeting. These appeals have been taken on by the ICC and they note they have been costly and they appreciate the community’s continued moral and financial support, both of which are needed.

Illahee Preserve Demonstration Rain Garden. This project to install a demonstration rain garden at the new Almira Illahee Preserve parking lot is a GO. We heard that a majority of the native plants have been ordered from the Kitsap Conservation District and they will be picked up on Friday, March 5, 2010, and that a planting party is being planned for Saturday, March 6th, and possibly as a backup, Sunday, March 7th. Evidently the area has been divided into 5 rain garden areas and volunteers are needed to do the planting. There is a letter scheduled to go out this week that is supposed to describe the project that we will pass on when it comes out.

Why Rain Gardens? The short answer is they help slow down and clean stormwater which is especially needed in the Illahee Creek Watershed to help alleviate the stormwater surges that plague Illahee Creek and Puget Sound. We noticed the article in the Kitsap Sun this week written by Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown that helps explain why the county is finally getting interested. When we presented stormwater arguments at the Illahee Outfall appeal, Josh was the only Commissioner that sided with the Illahee Community, and while we lost that appeal to the Commissioners, we ended up with a favorable mediated agreement as the result of the appeal to the Shorelines Hearings Board. The article link is: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/feb/04/my-turn-stormwater-crisis-needs-solutions-now/

The Other Reason For Rain Gardens – Aquifer Replenishment. The other reason for rain gardens is they help infiltrate water back into the aquifers, which are needed to maintain the baseflow in Illahee Creek (because that baseflow comes from the underlying shallow aquifer). That fact has been established as the results of community funded studies that totaled almost $10,000. (As an aside comment regarding Illahee aquifers, we felt the County Commissioners did little to protect our aquifers in their Timbers Edge decision when they stipulated infiltration, but then added the escape clause “to the extent feasible.” If they were really serious about protecting our aquifers, they wouldn’t have added an escape clause. Maybe some day the County will come around to respect our aquifers, like they are coming around to be concerned about the effects of stormwater. It seems like it takes too long in Kitsap County for the legislative process to catch up with science.)

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 1/16/10


Illegal Logging – Awhile back we noted that someone was logging on the Timbers Edge properties. Evidently this was reported to Kitsap County enforcement, who reportedly contacted Mr. Jim James, who reportedly stated that someone was stealing the timber. Since we took pictures of the logged stumps, we were called on Thursday by KC Enforcement for more information. We were not home when the call came in and will call on Monday to try and see if can give them more information.

Logging or Dump Truck Seen on Fir Drive? Theoretically someone should have seen a logging or dump truck with trees in it on Fir Drive in November or December. We would like to get some more information on this illegal logging so if anyone has any information please contact us.

Eyes in the Woods. Interestingly we just received information from another Illahee resident who thought we and the Illahee Preserve might be interested in a program called EYES IN THE WOODS, a non-profit organization of volunteers who assist the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) in protection and perpetuation of our natural resources. It is similar to the “Neighborhood Watch” program only for forests and public lands, such as we have around here.

Upcoming EYES IN THE WOODS Training Class. The Tacoma Sportsman’s Club is holding training from 7-9 pm on January 27, 2010. For more information contact see the attached pdf file brochure.

Port of Illahee New Meeting Location. We attended the monthly Port of Illahee meeting on Wednesday at their new meeting location, which is 5560 Ocean View Blvd, Bremerton, WA 98311. We asked if we could take a picture, which is attached, and shows from right to left, Commissioner George Schaefer, Commissioner Dennis Sheeran, and newly appointed Commissioner Mike Mantzke. This new location should make it easier for residents to attend the monthly Port meetings, which are at 5 pm the second Wednesday of the month, or for February 10th for next month.

Brown Storm Water in the Bay. Those living along the water have likely noticed the daily brown silt laden water emanating from Illahee Creek this past week. On Friday we watched as a flock of several hundred feeding American mergansers encountered the muddy water. They evidently were unable to see any fish and flew about a third of a mile until they were on the other side of the brown water.

Mussel Sampling Feed Back. We received several emails regarding the mussel sampling and will pass that information on in a later update.

Appeal Information. We like to provide links to articles about Illahee in our local papers. The following linked story is about the Illahee community’s appeal of the Timbers Edge project to Superior Court. We send out our community Updates to the local press and they often call us and when they think they have enough for a story, put one out. We think the papers around here do a very nice job with their stories

Visibility Helping With Donations. One of the benefits of visibility from articles such as the one above, is that some donations are coming in as a result of them. We recently had a $300 donation from a friend who heard about what was happening, and after explaining what the situation was, gave the check to the community to help with the legal expenses. We have been told that donations such as these are needed to continue the appeals

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 1/10/10

>Response to White-Fronted Goose Report.  We are amazed at the responses we often get to our updates, and also where they are read.  The attached is an example.

That appears to be the same white-fronted goose that appeared in our waterfront Poulsbo yard on November 4.  He was with a larger flock of Canada geese.  They hung around for three days, then left.  I assumed that they had resumed their southward migration.  Evidently, they did, but only as far as Illahee. 

Whitefronts are the first North American goose species to head south in the fall.  They typically winter in deep southern California, Mexico and the Gulf Coast.  I was surprised to see one still here as late as November.  Now here it is January and he is still here!  Evidently, he plans to stay with the local Canadas through the winter.

Small Squid Being Caught.  We were at the Illahee Community Dock the other night and saw some of the smallest squid we’ve ever seen being caught.  Attached are a couple of photos.  These photos were taken the same night North Perry Water had shut down the water for a couple of hours while they fixed a leak on the waterline going along Illahee Road.

Mussel Testing at the Illahee Dock.  We were info’d on the attached request and hope to get some pictures of the collecting of mussel sample at the Illahee dock on Tuesday evening.  The Port approved the request and asked that they share the results with the Port.

As part of the Navy’s ENVVEST ambient monitoring program for Sinclair
and Dyes Inlets we are coordinating with the Puget Sound Mussel Watch
Program to establish additional mussel sampling stations within the
Sinclair/Dyes system and would like to establish a mussel sampling site
at the Illahee Port District pier.  We would like to collect mussel
specimens from the pier for residue analysis of heavy metals, PAHs,
PCBs, stable isotopes, and lipids to assess long term environmental
quality trends in the area. We are currently targeting the sampling at
the Illahee Dock for the evening of Jan 12 (during low tide). I have a
scientific collection permit from WDFW and we will be following the NOAA
Mussel Watch sampling protocols.

Appeal Hearing Dates.  The dates for the two upcoming appeal hearing have now been established.  The Shoreline Hearings Board appeal date was established earlier as April 12, 2010 and the Superior Court hearing date was set on Friday as April 20, 2010.

Appeal Questions Being Asked.  The most frequent question asked is whether the developer has responded to the Community’s most recent letter requesting a lower density?  The answer is NO.

Next Question Asked.  The next most asked question is do you think the Community has a chance of winning?   Our response is we certainly hope so as some of the issues, like the fairness doctrine, is clearly stated in Washington State statutes and was clearly violated, though the county will likely argue otherwise.

Favorite Questions.  The questions we think the Community likes best are the ones we have heard like who do I make the check out to? and what is the address of the Illahee Community Club (ICC)?  The ICC has informed us that they do need additional financial support for the two appeals and contributions can be sent to the ICC, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Costly Appeals.  We just heard that this years financial report for the ICC indicated over $15,000 was received and roughly the same amount was expended in 2009, with most of the costs for legal expenses.  In 2008 the amount was roughly $20,000 with most of that going toward legal expenses that resulted in a mediated settlement to eliminate the proposed outfall at the dock.  

Another Possible Mediated Settlement?  We talked with some who are hoping the latest Timbers Edge appeals will also end up with a mediated settlement beneficial to the community, and that the legal battles in Illahee will soon end so we can move on to more productive projects.  We couldn’t agree more.

Thoughts or Comments?  We welcome your thoughts and comments on these Updates.

Jim Aho