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Review Bainbridge Island

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 | Vol. 113, No. 38 | www.BAINBRIDGEREVIEW.com | 75¢

THE BUZZ AROUND THE ISLAND

September is harvest time for Bainbridge beekeepers BY LUCIANO MARANO Bainbridge Island Review

“You get stung as much as you want to,” said Ben McCafferty in response to the inevitable question asked of all beekeepers. “Or, at least as much as you are willing to.” McCafferty, a Bainbridge Island firefighter with seven years of beekeeping experience, is one of a rapidly growing number of hobbyists on the island. “I’m just the instigator,” he said. “I get other people interested, but there are a lot of guys with more experience than me.” It’s not a common hobby, comparatively, though beekeeping does seem to be a growing subculture in America, and especially in the Pacific Northwest. “There are more beekeepers on the island than before,” McCafferty said. “Maybe 15 or 20 in our Bainbridge group.” Between the time demands of beekeeping, the space required to keep hives safely, the daily threat of being stung and the constant specter of the much-written about Colony Collapse Disorder, which seems to be decimating the world bee population, one might wonder what kind of person would actually want to be a beekeeper? What kind of busybody chooses to spend their time around these dangerous insects? The really crazy part of it is that these guys do it for fun. “We’re just having fun with it,” McCafferty said. “We’re not out to save the world or anything.” Fun may be the reason they continue keeping bees, but the starting point for every beekeeper is plain old-fashioned curiosity. “I think they’re fascinating,” McCafferty said of the bees. Allen Turnbull, another Bainbridge firefighter and novice beekeeper, agrees. “It surprised me how docile they actually are,” he said. “I think most people have a misconception about bees are afraid of turn to lawsuit | A20

Settlement offer on the table in email lawsuit COUNCIL MEMBERS ASKED TO HAND OVER COMPUTER HARD DRIVES BY BRIAN KELLY

Bainbridge Island Review

Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review

Allen Turnbull, a Bainbridge firefighter with two years of beekeeping experience, uncaps a frame of honey comb with a heated knife. Island beekeeper Ben McCafferty shows a typical honey comb formation from one style of hive to his daughter, and Jim Ewing, a hobbyist with two years of beekeeping experience, in his backyard.

Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review

The city of Bainbridge Island has been offered a settlement in the public records lawsuit against the city and three council members. But after one closed-door executive session on the lawsuit last week, and another set for the council this week, the offer is still sitting on the table. Althea Paulson and Robert Fortner filed a lawsuit against Bainbridge Island and council members Steve Bonkowski, Debbi Lester and David Ward on Sept. 10, that claims the city and the council members failed to turn over public records that had been requested by the two government watch“We think this is a loser dogs. Paulson and Fortner for the city and the had asked for emails the city thinks this is a council members sent and loser for the city.” received from their personal email accounts, and while Attorney Dan Mallove the city did release some documents, the pair said the three council members withheld emails that should have been released. The lawsuit also quoted an email written by Bonkowski where he admitted deleting emails that he had received. The three council members have declined to talk about the lawsuit. Last week, the council met in an executive session closed to the public to talk about the lawsuit and the settlement offer. Another executive session is planned for Sept. 18. The settlement offer is no surprise. Earlier this month, both Paulson and Fortner said they were willing to drop the lawsuit if the city and council members released the public records they had earlier requested. Dan Mallove, the attorney representing Paulson and Fortner, tendered a settlement offer to City Attorney Jim Haney on Sept. 4. In the settlement offer, Mallove said the pair would drop the lawsuit if Bonkowski, Ward and Lester agreed to turn over the hard drives of their personal computers to the city for an independent, third-party inspection for emails that should have been released. The lawsuit would be dismissed, Mallove told the city attorney, if the city then released any emails that were found that were subject to the state’s Public Records Act. Lawyers for the city have since filed a motion in Kitsap County Superior Court to have Bonkowski, Lester and Ward dismissed from the lawsuit, which named them as members of the city council and as individuals. In the court filing, Jessica Goldman, an attorney for Summit Law Group, and Ryan Vancil, the attorney representing Lester, said the Public Records Act does not permit lawsuits against private citizens. They also said that ordering the council members to turn turn to lawsuit | A25


Bainbridge Island Review, September 20, 2013