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No drinks anywhere in the ice arena

October 27th, 2011 by Steven Gardner

The first version of the story I wrote about the Bremerton Ice Arena managers wanting to sell beer and wine in the facility had a mistake that made it look like people could drink on the ice. They would not have been allowed to, but could in a lounge area and in the lobby.

Now it looks like they can’t anywhere, anytime soon. Arena managers are free to ask the National Park Service’s permission to sell at the arena, but even if the park service approves, the arena still may not be able to legally do it.

One of the two votes the Bremerton City Council took last week to allow the sales had to have one vote removed, that of City Councilman Greg Wheeler.

The council voted 5-4 twice to allow the beer and wine sales. One vote changed the city’s ordinance. The other changed the city’s contract with the arena. The second one is where Wheeler’s vote was invalidated. Wheeler’s wife, Sunny, works at the arena, which is considered a “remote interest,” according to City Attorney Roger Lubovich. That doesn’t affect the ordinance change, but it does with the contract. With Wheeler’s vote removed, it’s a 4-4 vote. Tie goes to the “no” side.

The contract would have to come back to the council for another vote, one without Wheeler.

In a story about the $75,000 bridge expense an alert reader posted a link to a previous story about that expense to make the case that the council should have known about it before, because it was in the paper before. I responded that the council was also surprised by the request for a methadone clinic, despite several stories in the Kitsap Sun stating Ron Jackson was looking for a site. I said it pointed out that members of the council must not read our paper, then added:

Before posting this I was a little concerned I’d be accused of being a jerk for pointing that out, but since they don’t read us, there is little risk. ;-

No one on the council ever said anything about that comment.

They also apparently didn’t read my first story about the ice arena, which included the following two paragraphs:

Wyn Birkenthal, speaking to the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission in late September, said because the federal government gave the land to the city, the National Park Service also would have to approve the concession agreement.

The commission voted 6-0 to recommend allowing beer and wine sales at the center. Sunny Wheeler abstained because she works at the center. Her husband, Greg, is on the city council.

I don’t catch everything, and I didn’t check whether there would be a conflict here, but I brought it up for a reason.

Council members read parts of the paper, at least the headlines. There were complaints Wednesday night referencing the Kitsap Sun story about the mayor’s proposal for 25 layoffs.

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9 Responses to “No drinks anywhere in the ice arena”

  1. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    “Now it looks like they can’t anywhere, anytime soon. Arena managers are free to ask the National Park Service’s permission to sell at the arena, but even if the park service approves, the arena still may not be able to legally do it.”

    Good. All that ice arena needs is good management and pr. They clearly don’t have it now…just folks who apparently expected selling booze to fix their bottom line.

  2. Robin in Manette Says:

    Steve, is this story about alcohol at the Ice Arena or is it about whether or not city council members read your articles? Last I checked it was not a requirement of the city council to read the Kitsap Sun. Did you consider that maybe they read that other paper?

    I’d have preferred to hear how each council members voted rather than your rehashing the issue as to whether or not they read your articles. For the record, I don’t care if they read your articles or not. I don’t read every one of your articles.

    I also think you are misrepresenting the issue about the methadone clinic. I attended the meeting when the council imposed a six month moratorium on Methadone clinics. What was said was that they didn’t know it was going in at the old Skookum site. The council did the right thing in stopping that back room gold ole boy deal.

    Don’t you think you should be reporting the news rather than trying to create it?

  3. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Actually Robin – Perhaps they can’t read beyond Jane and Bob and Spot. ;)

  4. Steven Gardner Says:

    @Robin,

    I would think they read both papers.

    How they voted? I already wrote that. It’s in the story linked by the words “took last week.”

    The fact that you don’t read all my stories is fine. You’re not a city council member. Even there I would have thought someone on the council would have. Maybe not everyone, but someone.

    The point on the methadone clinic is that it was known for months, in part because of multiple stories in the Sun, that Ron Jackson was looking for a site somewhere in the city. The mayor had him speak at different events, too. But the moratorium wasn’t considered until he actually picked a place. As for it being a “back room good ole boy deal,” I have no idea what you’re talking about. The objections were about the Skookum building being a bad fit, not about any shady deal making.

    As for your last question, the tone in a blog is a bit different than a straight news story, but how is this not reporting? Sure, I might sound a bit snarky, even impudent. But I am reporting.

    In my defense I led this thing by pointing out my own mistake.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Caucus

  5. Jane_Rebelowski Says:

    I would not expect that council members read every single story in the local papers but I would expect that they read at least 75% of them. How could anybody represent residents and not have a clue what is considered news in the community?

    I’ve always been under the impression that you have to send everything through the CofC before you publish, certainly some of the “Opinion” pieces have come straight out of the Dick bldg.

    This is the first time I ever heard about “the good ole boy deal” with the proposed methadone clinic also. There are plenty of “good ole boy deals” in this town, but this one is news to many (at least the three of us who have proved we read this piece). Perhaps The Sun should consider hiring Robin as an investigative reporter.

  6. Robin in Manette Says:

    Steve,

    First of all, let me say I’m having fun giving you a hard time. ;-p

    I read the article in this morning’s print edition. The article doesn’t look like a blog post in print and I cannot reference the previous article there. I continue to think the notion that City Council members should be getting their information from the Sun is silly. I also will continue to believe the space in print would have been put to better use informing me how my city council member voted.

  7. Steven Gardner Says:

    @Robin,

    Yeah, I don’t pick what ends up in print. I’m sorry I didn’t catch that you were giving me a hard time.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Caucus

  8. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Robin – There is nothing ‘silly’ about the notion that government officials keep up with local news by reading local newspapers.
    The city council folks could be considered “government officials.”

  9. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Hey Robin, they (several City Council members and the Mayor)read me. I know this because when I run into them they bring up what they like or don’t like about my columns. Lately it has been more likes, because I have been doing a lot of well deserved city cheerleading, as you know, for events and areas that are really doing some great things for our fair city.

    But I admit I am a rather odd duck operating in a grey area of the media portion of this little corner of our world. I don’t expect the city council members to look to my writing for “breaking news” as I am not a paid professional reporter by any stretch of the imagination. They are just getting the “man or woman on the street” perspective from me. I am just a community columnist or as another poster on another thread called those of us that write locally “opinion mongers”. LOL I like it.

    Nothing silly about motivated informed elected individuals utilizing all of the tools and resources they have available to them to keep track of what is going on in their own neighborhoods and city. The local media and both local papers are good resources they should be paying attention to more often than not.

    I think Steven was simply pointing out a disparity and less than uniform way in which they or the community choose to complain about what is reported. A very similar disparagy when it comes to complaints arose this past week with the Tibbs bankruptcy story. The North Kitsap Herald did a comparison piece on September 16th about Gelder and Tibbs. The bankruptcy was mentioned. Not a single person commented on that story. Yet the Kitsap Sun piece by Brynn that ran last week had people raging at the reporter and the publication. Sure timing was tight, but the local Republicans should have had their act together with the September 16th warning shot was fired across their bow. But nope they got caught with their pants down yet again on one of their candidates and choose to blame the reporter and the publication for bias instead of themselves for laziness, deniability and stupidity that put Tibbs in a bad situation.

    Back to the blog story in question. Bottom line is Greg goofed and he knows it. He is beating up on himself more than anyone else could. Sunny just works a few hours a week manning the cash register for minimum wage while her daughter skates. Just another way she helps out and gives back.

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