Teak and mahogany, cedar and spruce, oak, pine, brass, copper and varnish are the raw materials. Skill, experience, passion artistry and vision bring all these materials to life in the wooden boats that ply the waters of the Salish Sea and beyond.

Join us on Saturday June 15th and Sunday June 16th at Harbour Marina on Bainbridge Island for tours, talks, photos and admiration of the flotilla gathered for the second Bainbridge Island Wooden Boat Festival. Builders, owners and sailors will be here to talk to the curious and devoted alike. Whether built for work or pleasure, to cruise under sail or engine power, come to visit and share in the wealth of knowledge gathered here to spread the gospel of craftsmanship and tradition.

The event is being held at the Harbour Marina, adjacent to the Harbour Public House. There will be boat tours, live music and a Speaker’s Forum. Bob Schoonmaker owner of The Chandlery at Winslow Wharf is the chair and driving force behind the festival. First held in 2011, 43 boats and some 2,000 visitors attended. Sponsor’s, including Harbour Public House, The Hudson Company, Roger Katz and Associates among others are expecting this year’s event to be even better attended. The Marina is within walking or cycling distance from the ferry terminal. Sample the island’s maritime history and marvel at the artistry of the boats themselves. Admission is free. Plan to spend the day and soak up the beauty and grace of these remarkable vessels Festival hours are Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-4.

For more information visit.

Behind the Kitchen Door Book Covr

A recent book review in YES! Magazine took the food and restaurant industry to task for poor wages and terrible working conditions as alleged in the book Behind the Kitchen Door by Saru Jayaraman. See it here. They present as facts that restaurant workers are paid only $2.13 per hour and haven’t had a pay increase in a generation. In Yes! Magazine’s home state of Washington, the minimum wage for all workers is $9.19 per hour (currently, and tied to an ever-increasing, annual cost of living adjustment) and employer’s may not include tips towards that total. This information is readily available on the Washington State Department of Labor website.

The review/book quotes extensively from the Restaurants Opportunities Centers United which is attempting to organize food service workers nationwide for better pay and conditions. The article states this organization has 26 chapters in 23 states none apparently here in Washington State.

Many full-time restaurant workers claim $35,000 to $40,000 per year, with an additional undisclosed amount made in cash tips. Full time is described as 30 hours per week or more. Also, according to the Washington State Restaurant Association (WSRA) which compiles statistics on the the industry, most full-time salaried employees are offered medical insurance and many offer it to their hourly employees. The review claims that such benefits are nonexistent. A former teacher who works in the industry has been overheard stating, “I can’t afford to go back to teaching since I get paid much more at waiting tables.” For many who choose the industry it becomes a lucrative profession.

Another example is a friend of mine who now works in the financial service industry who took a significant cut when he left his work as a food server. In fact, several of his friends now work for some elite steakhouses in the Seattle area and get paid close to $80,000 a year.

There are great opportunities available for those who are willing to commit to the restaurant business. It’s good and honorable work and provides a living wage for the workers as well as considerable pleasure for the diners. Are there poorly treated employees out there? Surely.  Is the industry as a whole corruptly taking advantage of the workforce? Not here in Washington. As in any situation talk with the people with whom you interact in restaurants. If they are being treated poorly then take your dollars elsewhere… no bad business deserves to or should thrive for long if the employees are being exploited. By that same token do support local restaurants, pubs and coffee houses which do provide not only a quality dining experience but a quality working environment for your friends and neighbors.