Illahee 12/29/15 TE Options Agreement Signed, Quick Action Required, Donations Being Accepted, Looking For Benefactor, Charitable RMDs, High Tides, Illahee Store Roof Break-In

TE Options Agreement Signed. An Options Agreement to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres of the Timbers Edge project was signed on December 21st.  This is an extension of many months from the initial Options Agreement which indicates the property owner Mr. Tallman, and the developer John Johnson are willing to work with the Illahee Forest Preserve and the Illahee Community boards of directors to accommodate a possible purchase.  The map below shows all the purchases desired for 2016, with the top priority being the remaining TE property.


Quick Action Required.  The deadlines for submittals for at least 3 of the targetted acquisitions is March/April 2016 which will require quick actions by everyone to make them happen.  The RCO grant preliminary application is due in March as is a possible Birkenfeld Grant application.  The TE Options Agreement needs to begin the escrow process by April 15, 2016.

Donations Being Accepted.  With the updated map that just became available today (12/29/15) the Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit group is again accepting contributions.  For donations to be tax deductible for 2015, they need to be post marked on or before December 31, 2015.  They can also be delivered to the IFP Treasurer, Jon Buesch, at 6253 East Blvd NE, Bremerton, WA 98311, again on or before 12/31/15.  If they are for the TE purchase only, please note that on the check, so if the funding is not raised the money can be returned.
Looking For Benefactor.  There are many thousands of dollars needed to complete all the Preserve acquisitions and one or a few major benefactors could do it all.  There are many who have resources who build college buildings or other major facilities as their legacy.  We think a legacy of a forested central park and wildlife preserve located in an otherwise urban area would be a legacy gift many would like to support, if they knew about it.  Getting that information out is the priority goal of the Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit at this time.  Please pass along any suggestions or ideas as they said they need all the help they can get.
Charitable RMDs.  Another funding source that may be of interest to those who have Required Minimum Distributions to take, is that they do not have tax implications if donated to a charitable group like the Illahee Forest Preserve.  We have some who are planning to use this method in 2016 as they missed the chance to do so because of the late authorization this year, see the article below.
Thursday, December 17, 2015

By Jeffrey Levine, Director of Retirement Education
Follow Me on Twitter: @IRAGuru4EdSlott

It’s taken almost a full year – literally – but Congress is finally set to pass an appropriations act, which will include the much anticipated extenders bill. However, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill extenders bill. This year’s version of the extenders bill – something of a holiday tradition for many professionals at this point – permanently extends several key tax provisions, including the QCD (Qualified Charitable Distribution) provision that allows certain IRA owners to give IRA funds directly to charity without having to include them in income.  But wait… there’s more!

Stuffed into the bill under a section appropriately titled “Miscellaneous Provisions” are several other changes to the tax law – that have nothing to do with the extenders – but that may impact your planning for one or more reasons. The following is a brief summary of some of the most important provisions in the law which are most likely to impact you and your family.

(Editor’s Note: Congress did act, and the President signed the PATH Act into law on Friday, December 18, 2015.)

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) Are Back… “Forever”
The extenders bill will bring back qualified charitable distributions retroactively to January 1, 2015. Although the bill still hasn’t been signed into law, at this point, that’s pretty much just a formality. If you made a “QCD” earlier in the hope that Congress brings back the provision retroactively – as it has every other time it’s expired in the past – you can now rest easy. That distribution will soon become a valid QCD.

There’s more good news too. Never again will you have to wait until mid-December to figure out whether or not you should be making a QCD.  The extenders bill brings back QCDs permanently. Of course, as I’ve said before, “permanent” means something different to Congress than it means to you or I. To us, permanent means, well… permanent. Not to be changed. Ever. To Congress, however, permanent just means the way it is until we decide to pass another law to override it.

If you haven’t yet made a QCD for 2015 and want to do so now that there is clarity as to the law, you had better get to work quickly! Charitable distributions must leave your IRA no later than December 31, 2015 in order to be treated as a 2015 QCD. Despite the close proximity between now and the end of the year, there will be no grace period or other extension of that deadline. Remember, QCDs can only be made from IRAs, and only if you are actually age 70 ½ or older at the time of the distribution.

– See more at:

High Tides.  For those who live on or close to the water, there have been weeks of high tides and they are going to continue through January.  
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We used to get tide charts from shipyard employees but now it seems everyone we know has retired, and now we go to the Port of Brownsville website for our tidal information.  Below the the remaining tides for 2015 and the tides for January 2016.
Remaining 2015 Tides
Jan 2016 Tides 
Illahee Store Roof Break-In.  The Illahee Store condition has been a concern for citizens for years and now even more as there were reports of homeless inside the store.  We didn’t understand how anyone could get through the expanded metal covering the doors and windows until we talked with a nearby resident who showed us a path to the back of the store and a hole in the roof.  There have been many who have commented on how the community needs a meeting place and that this would be an ideal place, but not if it gets destroyed before anything can happen.  Let us know your thoughts and we will use this platform to pass your comments on to the rest in the community.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 12/22/12 High Tides, Homeless Article, Preserve Water Diversions, Health District Presentation, Rain Garden Article, Small Canada Geese?

High Tides.  This past week there were some of the highest tides we’ve seen in a long time.

Homeless Article.  There was an article on Tuesday in the Kitsap Sun ( that is especially worrisome to those who use and maintain the Illahee Preserve, which is just east of the property where the homeless are being asked to leave by the end of January (on the other side of State Highway 303).  It is expected that many of these homeless will simply plan to relocate to the Preserve, so if anyone has any suggestions on what should be done, please let us know.
Preserve Water Diversions.  With the heavy rains last week some of the Preserve trails become like small rivers.  Thanks to volunteers who help divert the water with diversion trenches such as is shown below.
Health District Presentation.  We weren’t able to attend the Port Orchard Restoration Project presentation last week mentioned in the post card (see below) that was sent to many Illahee residents.  We asked if there was going to be a presentation on this side of the waster for Illahee and Eneti residents, and there isn’t any planned, but they did say them would consider giving one at an Illahee Community meeting.
Rain Garden Article.  Many are quite proud of the Native Plant Demonstration Rain Gardens at the Almira parking lot of the Illahee Preserve, and were glad to see a rain garden article by Colleen Miko in the recent edition of of West Sound Home & Garden magazine that included a couple of photos of the rain garden; one of one of the signs, and another of plants.
Small Canada Geese?  This morning we discovered three small geese next to our regular large Canada Geese.  While these look like small miniature Canada geese, we think they have another name, but didn’t have time to check it out.  We have seen these small geese before in Silverdale, but this is the first time we’ve seen them in Illahee.
Jim Aho

Illahee 12/4/12 A Third Illahee Website, Preserve Dumping, Correct Phone Number for Illahee Film, Culvert Report, Lost Cat, High Tides, Seals

A Third Illahee Website.  For years there was only one website covering Illahee issues,  Then several years ago the Port of Illahee established their own website,  And more recently a separate website has been established for the Illahee Preserve,  Thanks to Rob Spearman for his great work in establishing the Illahee Preserve’s website.  The website is set up to cover the various projects going on in the Preserve and should be a great source of information for any who might want to get involved.

Preserve Dumping.  Another dumping of old furniture at the Illahee Preserve’s Almira parking lot occurred this past weekend.

Anyone recognize these items?  If so, we would like to find the person/s responsible.

Correct Phone Number for Illahee Film.  We were advised the phone number for those wanting to have the Illahee film delivered was wrong in the last update.  We apologize as it was our error.  The correct phone number is (360) 479-1049.

Culvert Report.  We have been asked if the recent clean-out of the Illahee Creek culvert outlet has resulted in an increased opening at the inlet.  The answer is it is very hard to see much of a difference.  We took a couple of photos on different days, with the last being on Monday, which showed a nominal 12 inches of clearance.  We wanted to get this photo since the culvert outlet will be dredged again on Tuesday (12/5/12).
Lost Cat.  Lots of these postings around Illahee of another lost cat.
High Tides.  There have been higher tides than usual the last few days, especially with the low pressure, which raises them even higher than the predicted heights.  This morning was exciting as the high tides and wave action caused a number of logs to go moving with the waves down the shoreline.  We had an old piling from the Illahee Community dock that washed up on our shoreline a couple of years ago that came loose from its rope today and probably ended up at Brownsville.  We took pictures of some shoreline plants that took a beating from the tide and waves.  The first one shows the plants and the second one shows how high the tide was by the piece of driftwood that ended up on top of them.
Seals.  We like to have at least one wildlife photo and choose this one of the seals as they congregated on one end of a nearby float.
Jim Aho
Note:  Past updates available at
We are always looking for Illahee photos or stories to share; please forward to

Illahee Update 2/10/12 King 5 Video, Email Re Brush Pickers, Illahee Film Location, High Tides

King 5 Video. It took someone who knew what they were doing to get the King 5 video coverage of last week’s brush picking.  We were hoping the TV station would put it on their website, but when they didn’t we had to find someone who recorded the news, then isolate the portion we wanted, so we could post it on YouTube.  Thanks to those knowledgeable individuals!

Email Re Brush Pickers. We received an email regarding brush pickers to help us better understand the process they go through to sell their goods.  If you see any pickers or campers please let us know.

As an ex employee of Alpine Farms I am familiar with pickers. Most are above board and are contracted by farmers or floral companies through Hispanic crew bosses to harvest in designated areas. However pickers sometimes raid into other properties either because they are not familiar with properties lines or because the crew boss is not so scrupulous Thus the need for farmers to hire private rangers to protect their crops.

The shady crew bosses will have both a legal  and illegal crew. The crew boss will take a bigger cut of of the illegal pickers  to put in his pocket and mix it in with the legal pickings. Some of the illegals may be on the run and dangerous. It can be scary working a forest and running into a group of marauding pickers with machetes and  wondering if they are going to run or protect their pickings.

I walk the park every other day and have run into pickers several times as well as campers.

Illahee Film Location? Lots of planning being done for the premier showing of the Illahee film project.  The filmmaker has requested a nearly totally dark room for showing the high quality blue-ray film of Illahee, and is asking if the Norm Dicks Government Center chambers< where it is currently scheduled, will work.
Location Has Changed. We had to change the location of the film event from the Norm Dicks Center to the ARC facility in Bremerton at 3243 Perry Ave because of concerns about being able to have the room dark enough to show high definition blue-ray films.  We thought by showing the films in the evening that there wouldn’t be a problem, but the lobby lights are bright and some of them cannot be turned off or dimmed, and with the two story high glass walls, and no curtains, we had no choice but to move the event.  This means the location on the poster below will be changed.  We wanted to send this out so everyone can think about attending.

Photo Request. We are a little short of Illahee photos to include in these updates, so if you have any good ones to share, we would appreciate it.

High Tides. We are going through a few more days of early morning high tides in the 13 foot range.  Last month the highest tide was not what showed up on the tide chart, but what happened when the barometric pressure was exceptionally low.  One resident said the predicted 12+ tide looked more like a 14+ tide because of the low pressure.
Jim Aho


Illahee Update 1/22/12 Auction Continued, Snow Pictures, High Tides, Egg Sacks, Illahee Preserve Snow, Brush Picking, Eagle Food

Auction Continued. The auction of the Timbers Edge remaining properties that was scheduled for this past Friday has been continued to February 24, 2012.  We know of at least one person who was there on Friday to see what was going to happen.  We will let you know the details of this auction as soon as we get them.

Snow Pictures. We received some nice pictures of birds at a suet feeder we want to pass on.  If you have some nice pictures and want to share them we will pass them on.  We are hoping someday to have a picture section on the website, and are waiting for someone to manage it.

High Tides. We are in the middle of a week of high early morning tides.  The tide on Saturday wasn’t supposed to be that high, but with the rain and wind it proved to be the most destructive of the season.  One person lamented that they had a nice log wash up this past year and they tried to anchor it down with two spiral anchors only to have it and the anchors washed away during Saturday’s high tide.

Egg Sacks? We took a picture of what we remember as the egg sacks of a frilled dogwinkle.  Because of their resemblance to oats, they are sometimes referred to as sea oats.  We thought they were more of a spring time occurrence, but maybe not in the Sound?

Illahee Preserve Snow. Not much of a noticeable impact to the Illahee Preserve from the snow and wind this past week.  There were a few small trees down but the most picturesque was the moss on the snow.  We also noticed someone had plowed the Almira parking lot and want to thank them.

Brush Picking Tape. We were told the brush pickers have been in the Preserve and lots of pink tape pieces have shown up in the brochure box at the Thompson Lane parking lot.  We found several pieces of orange tape on our trip through there on Saturday.  If you see brush pickers please call 911.

Eagle Food. We saw three horned grebes at the Illahee Dock on Wednesday while cross country skiing.  These seem to be especially vulnerable to our bald eagle population.

Jim Aho

Illahee Update 11/27/11 Fallen Tree Report, Rotary Group, Culvert Report, High Tides

Fallen Tree Report 2010/2011. The final fallen tree report for the 2010/2011 season was 105 trees removed from somewhere between 4 and 5 miles of Illahee Preserve trails.  Assuming 5 miles of trails this would equate to 21 trees per mile of trail.  Considering the time span of one year and several intense wind storms the numbers appear reasonable.  Thanks to the Rotary trail crew for staying on top of this beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving last year and finishing up with tree 105 on Thanksgiving morning this year!

Which Rotary Group? There are at least three Rotary groups in the area (two in Bremerton and one in Silverdale) and every now and then we are asked exactly what Rotary group has adopted the Illahee Preserve.  The answer is the East Bremerton Rotary Club.  Not only does this club organize and participate in Illahee Preserve work parties, they work with tree companies to get wood chips, they perform the fallen tree removal crew duties, they have been doing restoration work planting trees and ferns, and they pay for and installed two of the large Illahee Preserve signs, and are working on a new sign for State Route 303 just north of the wrecking yard.  They are also helping with Nathan Clemen’s Eagle Scout Compass Circle Meadow Restoration Project, and possible other projects we aren’t even aware of.  Thank you Rotary Club of East Bremerton!!!
Illahee Culvert Report. We wanted to see if the last rain storm had any effect on the Illahee Creek Culvert under Illahee Road.  According to our measurements the sediment level raised about 6 inches.  We look for the maximum clearance from the bottom of the stream to the top of the culvert and use a stick to do so, which you can see in the photo below.  The concern as the sediment level increases is possible blockage from upstream logs that might not fit through the culvert.  There are a number of upstream areas where logs are slowly moving down, some that would make a beaver feel quite fortunate to find.  We have included a couple of examples below.
High Tides. There have been some high tides already this month, with a few more to end up the month of November.  Early this morning was a 13.5 ft high, with a 13.4 on Monday and a 13.2 on Tuesday.
Beach Log Securing Experiment. We have heard of some attempts to try and keep transient logs at the high tide mark of the beach in order to improve shoreline habitat by securing them, some with ropes, others with an anchoring system.  We will try to get more information as there are many more high tides coming up in December, since if any of these experiments work, others might be interested in doing the same thing. Otherwise these logs float out on high tides and are eventually picked up and hauled away.

Jim Aho