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Archive for August, 2009

The Navy’s ’0-0-1-3 Alcohol Use Philosophy’

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

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We got a tip last week in the newsroom that the U.S. Navy, in some way, shape or form, was implementing some sort of new drinking policy for its service members.

Vague, yes. So in an effort to get to the bottom of the story, Ed Friedrich, our military and transportation reporter, made some calls to local public affairs officers. None of them had heard of any such “policy,” being implemented.

I revisited the tipster, who said it had something to do with “0-0-1-3.” And then I consulted Google.

Turns out “0-0-1-3″ is not relatively new. I found the “Penny Press,” the newsletter of the USS Abraham Lincoln. And in its March 20, 2009 newsletter — about one month before the Lincoln headed across Puget Sound to Bremerton for maintenance — they talk of this “alcohol use philosophy.”
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Jumping off Bremerton’s Bridges is a Crime

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

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Taking the plunge off of Bremerton’s two spans across Port Washington Narrows is well established as a dangerous, life-threatening endeavor. But should you survive it, it could also result in a trip to the clink.

On Monday, an 18-year-old Bothel man was arrested by police for jumping off the Manette Bridge. A 911 caller said he jumped from the “lower part,” of the bridge closer to Manette, just before 5 p.m.

Police found him in a parked car nearby. He looked like the suspected jumper, and, the ultimate evidence: He was “soaking wet,” police said.

The man said he was not suicidal nor injured, just a “thrill seeker,” who’d done similar jumps in Maui, Hawaii recently. Police didn’t appreciate his thrill seeking, and took him to the Kitsap County jail for a relatively unused Bremerton Municipal Code known as “mischief on bridges.” They set his bail at $5,000.

Mischief on bridges, it turns out, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

“It makes sense from a public safety perspective, that we don’t want thrill seekers jumping off our bridges,” said Bremerton Assistant City Attorney Ken Bagwell, who could recall one other case of such mischief. “It’s not safe.”

Here’s how the Bremerton Municipal Code reads, if you’re curious:
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Bremerton’s ‘Considerably Larger’ Misdemeanor Caseload

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

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Numbers almost always make a story better.

I forgot — perhaps simply overlooked — this truth when writing Monday afternoon about Bremerton’s plans to prosecute its own misdemeanor cases rather than have the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office do it.

Commenter nsultan pointed out that I used the phrase “considerably larger” when writing about how much bigger the Bremerton Municipal Court caseload is when compared to fellow its fellow Kitsap cities of Port Orchard, Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo.

Shame on me.

So here are the actual numbers so you can see for yourself just how much “considerably larger” is. Which is why numbers serve stories so very well. I got these from the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office’s 2007 annual report, which you can download here.

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Local Drug Detectives Arrest Tacoma Attorney

Monday, August 24th, 2009

As we’ve seen before, detectives with our two local drug task forces — the county’s West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team and Bremerton’s Special Operations Group — often follow cases well out of their immediate areas of jurisdiction.

Last week, WestNET detectives ventured to Tacoma (their force, I will add, now includes representatives from Pierce County) for an unusual drug bust: a marijuana grow operation and distribution network allegedly involving a Tacoma lawyer.

The attorney, 54, was arrested Thursday along with four other people (two of them from Gig Harbor). Detectives raided the attorney’s office, on the 3700 block of South 12th street, and apparently found 82 marijuana plans, growing and packaging equipment, record keeping of drug sales and more than seven ounces of processed marijuana.

The task force’s Washington State Patrol-based sergeant, Carlos Rodriguez, told the Tacoma News Tribune that an informant last February led them to the suspected grow.

Pierce County prosecutors have the next move, and are considering formal charges in the case.


Is That Cocaine on Your Money? Apparently

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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Here’s a statistic I find hard to believe: an analysis of more than 200 banknotes in 18 U.S. cities found they had come in contact with cocaine.

Really?

The study was released at a meeting of the American Chemical Society a few weeks back. It made me go after the numbers of cocaine users in this country to determine if the drug was indeed that ubiquitous. The U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy says about 2 million Americans used Cocaine in 2007.

Those 2 million Americans, then, must go through a lot of bills in snorting the drug. Why? Less than one percent of the American population (around 300 million) used coke. But 90 percent of our currency had the stimulant on its banknotes.

Interestingly, notes the Scientific American, there was more residue on $5s, $10s, and $20s than on $1s and $100s.


VIDEO: Car Crashes into Hansville Home; Home Wins

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Mary Heacock and her family have enjoyed the benefits of thickly-built walls in their Hood Canal Drive home for the past decade in the form of lower heating and cooling costs.

On early Friday morning, however, they learned a different benefit of such walls.

An errant vehicle took a turn down their driveway, near the road’s intersection with NE Cliffside Road, around 3:45 a.m. and struck the side of their home.

The car, as evidenced by the Heacock’s security video, didn’t penetrate its walls. In fact, it more or less bounced off the house.

“We never thought we’d have to fend off invading cars,” Heacock said.

The Heacock’s home was built with Quad-Lock walls consisting of two inches of foam on each side of a hearty foot of concrete. Heacock said that while they saw lights outside and “the whole neighborhood” heard the car, they didn’t feel it inside.

A 24-year-old man driving the home was taken to Harrison Medical Center with unknown injuries, according to North Kitsap Fire and Rescue. No one else was injured.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash, but details weren’t made available Friday afternoon.

Heacock speculates that with traditional walls, the car might have gone through the home and even hit a neighbor’s residence.

“Had this been stick construction, we absolutely would have lost our house today,” she said.


Release of Sexually Violent Predator in Mason County Debated

Friday, August 7th, 2009

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For the first time, a man deemed a sexually violent predator by the state may be released.

The Special Commitment Center for sex offenders on McNeil Island houses about 300 men. In 18 years, none have been released.

Until now.

Gary E. Cherry, 50, could go home. Three times convicted of rape, the Shelton man will be released “without restriction if a Mason County Superior Court hearing goes his way,” said Dean Byrd, Mason County chief deputy. His petition for release will be held at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 1 before Mason County Superior Court Judge Amber Finlay.

Mason County Commissioner and state senator Tim Sheldon is none too pleased with such a release. Here’s Sheldon’s full statement:

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This is For Real: Tot, 2 Shoots Tot, 2

Friday, August 7th, 2009

I could hardly believe the story my editor, Kim Rubenstein, showed me this morning.

It comes to us from Timson, Texas, where the Associated Press is reporting that a 2-year-old child accidentally shot another 2-year-old.

Thankfully, the 2-year-old that was shot is recovering at a local hospital. But how on earth, we wonder, can a 2-year-old fire a gun?

I suppose it’s possible. Seems unlikely though.

Also interesting that AP notes: The investigation into possible criminal charges continues.


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