Illahee 11/5/15 Pheasant, Halloween Photos, Community Meeting, Port Ballot Passes, Port Budget Meeting, Comp Plan Meetings

Pheasant.  Nice to see a couple of hen pheasants pass by the other day.

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Halloween Photos.  It was a quiet Halloween for some in Illahee.  Several residents were seen at the Bremerton Community Theater as they said they never have any trick or treaters.
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Community Meeting Report.  An informative community meeting was held on Monday evening at the Library.  Much of the information had to do with earthquakes and tsunamis.  The following writeup is from the draft minutes of the meeting.

Susan May, Kitsap County Emergency Preparedness did a presentation on being prepared for disasters – earthquakes, landslides, weather related problems.  You should have provisions for 5-7 days.  Susan stressed that in the case of an earthquake, we could be isolated and on our own for several days.  More information can be found at  You can also sign up for alerts and warnings.  Susan left several pamphlets including Earthquake Safety checklist, Food and Water in an Emergency, Map Your Neighborhood as well as a few others.

Port Ballot Passes.  The results below are from the county’s website as of 11/5/15.
Port Budget Meeting.  Below are photos of the Port’s kiosk and the notice of the budget meeting coming up at the next Port meeting.
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Comp Plan Meetings.  Three Illahee residents have been meeting weekly over the summer and have been working with the county regarding the Illahee Community Sub-Area plan that is being reworked as part of the county’s comprehensive plan update.  Below is information of important county meetings coming up.
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/9/15 Pheasant, Wednesday Inquiries, Barge on the Beach, Calls to County, Calls to Neighbors, Thursday Calls, Dock Outfall?, Project Bioswales?, Outfall Installed, After-the-Fact Application, Friday Calls, Open Government Responses, Mixed Feelings, Improved Communications, Comments

Pheasant.   We have been asked to include in any Update something about the wildlife, so this guy showed up under some bird feeders today.

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Wednesday Inquiries.   Because of these Updates, we are often called and emailed when something out of the ordinary happens.  And so it was early Wednesday morning.  First the noise of heavy equipment and then the first email about a big barge on the beach.
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Barge on the Beach.   Definitely some major work being planned in Illahee and an opportunity to call the county’s Kitsap One phone number 337-5777 advertised to provide answers to questions.
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Calls to County.   And so we began calling and getting transferred to many different numbers.  Many of those we asked for were out sick, and others knew nothing about what was happening.  They kept wanting to take our information and have someone return our calls.  Finally we talked with a supervisor who connected us with someone who seemed to really know the system and we worked looking at parcels numbers and permits and easements, and nothing showed up in their system.  They did find that Fish and Wildlife had issued a permit to work on the shoreline.  
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Calls to Neighbors.   After the county employees’ day ended we called one of the adjacent neighbors and found out they had a letter from the bulkhead contractor saying they would be doing work on the county right-of-way, and would finish within a week.
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Thursday Calls.   On Thursday we thought we would find out more. The county was working on it and would send their right-of-way inspector out later in the day.  We also talked with a DCD representative who confirmed it was likely part of the Illahee Outfall project that was once planned for the Illahee Community dock.  The photo below shows the county right-of-way.
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Dock Outfall?   For those who don’t remember the Port of Illahee fought this project that was going to put a 4 foot diameter outfall (see photo below) at the entrance and foundation of the dock.  The outcome of negotiations was an agreement among the county and the community that a better solution than the dock outfall were bioswales to clean and infiltrate the stormwater, which would take care of about 90% of the stormwater, with the remaining being directed to an outfall at the county right-of-way.
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Project Bioswales?   The county representative couldn’t talk to the bioswale prerequisite and will need to wait until one of the planners gets back to work.
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Outfall Installed.   While the county was investigating, the work continued and the outfall catch basin was installed (see photo below).  The inspector showed up at the end of the day and evidently told them they needed a right-of-way permit and an application was submitted.
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After-the-Fact Application.   We asked for and received a copy of the application. We heard it might take a few days to get the permit so it will be interesting to see if the hill side work proceeds.  
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Friday Calls.   We received a call Friday afternoon from a supervisor to assure us that the project was county approved, but the details would have to wait until next week when sick personnel return.  We did receive these plans from another source which reveal this is the same outfall that was planned for the Illahee Dock (see title on page 3) and was likely designed for much larger flows than at this location.
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Plan Pg 3
Open Government Responses.   We are happy to report open government is working.  We received the following HPA from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the application from Public Works. We will see next week what we get from other departments.
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Mixed Feelings.   We have mixed feelings regarding county government.  They tell us their permitting processes are to protect and help us.  But what we see in Illahee is a four story building constructed on a flood plain and wetland, and then there are the calls we receive about a conglomerate of vehicles and buildings on McWilliams. When the first Timbers Edge project was proposed there were no county concerns about the concrete detention vaults on the unstable slopes of Illahee Creek, that the community had to hire a geotech firm to contest.  And when the Gilberton Creek culvert washed out, no one had bothered to check the capacity of the downstream culverts.  Communities need to be vigilant as we end up living with what is approved.
Improved Communication.  That said, things are improving.  We have improved communications with the county.  For awhile the community was spending thousands of dollars every month paying for studies, hiring experts or lawyers.  When the county engages the community we think they find us reasonable and we have actually decreased the impacts and costs of some projects.  In this case, however, we weren’t contacted or given a heads up on the outfall.
Comments.  We know some would rather see just wildlife photos, but others want to know about projects that affect them and the community.  Let us know your thoughts.
Jim Aho

Illahee 4/27/14 Pheasant, Seals, Deer, Grants, Utility Questions, Preserve Trail Map, Killdeer Update

Pheasant.  More pheasants have been reported around Illahee.  We saw this one on the beach and just barely got this photo; and, while working in the garden the other day, we heard a bicycler yell at a pheasant he almost hit on Illahee Road.

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Osprey.  We haven’t seen many osprey around here, but a number of residents saw one last week that was evidently looking for fish, with a neighbor reporting one went from up high in a fir tree diving way under the water and came up with a fairly good sized fish.

Seals.  We are amazed at the number of harbor seals around here.  There were about 20 of them on this float the other day, with another one trying to decide where to get on.
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Deer.  We receive emails from those who love the deer here and those who would like to have them thinned out.  And we hear from gardeners who spend lots of money trying to keep the deer out.  The last few years the deer won the garden battles here, eating roses, young grafted apple trees, all the raspberries, and much of the garden, and they won the first go around this year, but so far not the second.
Grants.  We heard this week the Coastal Protection Fund grant application we helped with was not successful.  We are hoping for better news on other grants, including the one the Park’s Department is preparing called “The Lost Continent of Illahee, Phase 2” that is due on May 1, 2014.  This is a follow-on grant to a Lost Continent of Illahee (Phase 1) grant many years ago that resulted in about 90 acres being added to the Illahee Preserve.
Utility Questions.  We have had several inquiries about the utility markings at the bottom of Roosevelt Street.  It appears to us to be preparation for a project that goes all the way up Roosevelt since the markings extend up the hill, and should be on a Public Works website, but we couldn’t find it. Let us know if you know what it is.
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Preserve Trail Map Help?  We have been asked if there is anyone who could help verify the GPS location of trails in the Illahee Preserve as it has been many years since the waypoints were established as part of the earlier maps.  There are also some new and modified trails that weren’t on the old maps.  Let us know if you can help and we will pass your name on to the trail map volunteers.
Killdeer Update.  It evidently didn’t go well with the killdeer eggs we showed in an earlier update.  Below is the feedback we received.
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A day or so (or so)  after you took the picture, 3 of the eggs were gone with no sign of the shells or young ones. On the same day a few hours later the remaining egg was gone, again no shell remains or a chick. In the past I’ve been fortunate to get pictures of recently hatched chicks and it seems that shell remains disappear fast and it also seemed that the young ones leave the nest fast. In the past, I have seen mom (and or pop) with the young on the beach. The young grow fast.
Jim Aho

Illahee 12/9/13 Deer, Float Removed, Humming Birds, Pheasant

Deer.  We normally see deer when we walk through the neighborhood, like the ones below.

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Float Removed.  The errant float was removed by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) salvage boat M/V Puget during high on Monday (12/9/13).  We took some video of it that we need to edit so it maybe awhile before we can post it.  Below are a few photos – notice the float on top of the logs in the last photo.
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Humming Birds.  Thanks for all the information on humming birds.  Below is some good information from the local Audubon.
Our hummingbird friends need food throughout the winter   The Seattle Audubon Society offers the following tips for cold weather hummingbird feeding:   1. Do NOT adjust the mix! Keep the mix at 1:4 ratio sugar to water. Nectar concentrations vary greatly among a variety of plants hummingbirds visit, but they are typically low in sugar. Recipes with a higher concentration of sugar do not necessarily benefit hummingbirds because it cannot travel up the grooves of their tongue easily and may also damage kidneys and liver. Though increasing the sugar may help to prevent freezing, our experts recommend staying consistent with a 1:4 mix. White sugar and water only! No honey, brown sugar, maple syrup etc. Pure sucrose is what they need to survive. We do NOT recommend Red dye. A simple recipe of 1 part sugar and 4 parts water, mixed in a pan, bring to a boil, and then remove from heat and cool. You may store extra in the fridge up to two weeks. Clean feeder once a week during cold weather more often during warmer weather.   2. Have two feeders and rotate them. The mix will begin to freeze around 29 degrees. Rotating the feeders throughout the day will keep the fluid moving and available to the birds. Hummingbirds do not feed at night so you can bring the feeders indoor however they start at dawn so get a feeder back out as early as possible. Anna’s can be very territorial, and may not share a feeder (especially multiple males), so having multiple feeders can help break up the fighting and competition for a single feeder.   3. Don’t enjoy setting your alarm for 5am? String Christmas lights around the feeder, the ambient heat can be just enough to keep things thawed (depending on how cold it gets). Or hang a trouble light nearby the feeding station, or from the bottom of the feeder. This is the light commonly used by car mechanics, or garage enthusiasts. It has a little cage around it and a hook at the top. Depending on the watts, it can put out enough heat on those especially cold nights.   4. Duct tape a hand warmer to the feeder. These hand warmers (or feet warmers) are pouches with chemicals in them that get activated once out of their packaging. They emit heat for approximately 7 hours. They are commonly available around town, Fred Meyers, sporting goods, probably Ace even has them. We have them at the Nature Shop as well.   5. Finally, another method to try is plumber’s heat tape. These flexible electric tapes are similar to a flat extension cord and can easily be wrapped around and taped to many types of feeders. Most heat tapes are equipped with a built-in thermostat in the cord. The wattage of these tapes is very low and does not draw a lot of energy. Try home supply stores and hardware stores for this product.   6. Don’t stress too much about the welfare of the Hummingbirds. Generally, our winters are mild and the cold snaps are usually not that long. Hummingbirds are capable of reducing their body temperature at night and conserving their energy. They roost in trees and shrubs and do not use nest boxes or bird houses. They need a lot of sucrose (nectar) during the day to keep them going especially in the cold. In addition to nectar for fuel, hummingbirds will consume any insects they encounter which help them meet their protein, vitamin and mineral requirements. Insects can be found under bark and plants even during winter cold periods. Extended periods of cold such as the one we are experiencing right now, is especially hard on these small birds designed to spend winters in warmer climates. Some birds will not make it, however the strong ones will find a way to survive. Continuing to offer nectar is a way in which we can assist them.   The Audubon Society also recommends providing a water source for all wild birds.
Pheasant.  We haven’t seen a hen pheasant around for some time so it was good to realize there is the potential for more if this one makes it through the winter without getting eaten by a coyote, fox or raccoon.  
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Jim Aho