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Do You Want To Write About North Kitsap?

You could probably take Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” and apply it to the newspaper industry right now.

On that note, you probably guess what’s coming, eh?

Now my duties are a-changin’, too. I’ve been fortunate to stay employed as many in the industry, and (too) many of my friends here at the Sun can attest. But when you have fewer people with, arguably, more demands – or at least new ones – it takes a bit of restructuring.

First, I won’t be maintaining this blog anymore, because I won’t be covering North Kitsap. I’m not one for mushy goodbyes, so I’d just like to thank you readers and commenters who kept this space a viable, interesting place on the Web.

I do have one big request, though. I’d like some of you to help this blog keep going. Share with your neighbors what’s going on in your neighborhoods and schools. If you are interested, or know of someone you think would be a great blogger, please contact our Web Editor Angela Dice at (360) 415-2673 or

I’ll be splitting my time between videography and general assignment reporting. I’ll also still cover both tribes, so you might see me running around the north end on occasion.

You’re probably wondering who’ll cover North Kitsap, right? We’ll have a team of three reporters focusing on community and government issues. (Steve Gardner, Chris Henry and Brynn Grimley) I’m sure I’ll pop in for a few stories now and again, too.

You can read about North Kitsap political and government doings at the Kitsap Caucus blog, and our freelancer Marietta Nelson is keeping up with NK education issues at the Kitsap Education blog.

Tammy Adamson-McMullen will also continue covering Poulsbo community events for Poulsbo Life.

Feel free to e-mail me with story ideas, too.

If you really miss my witty prose (Yes, I’m kidding.) I’ll be a contributor on an as-yet unnamed photo/video blog. Keep an eye out for it. I also occassionally post my (mis)adventures in the kitchen in The Food Life blog.

Free Thanksgiving Dinner

North Kitsap High School students are pitching in for a free Thanksgiving meal on Thursday.
The North Kitsap High School ASB and girls basketball team organized to provide the free meal at the Poulsbo Middle School cafeteria between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The school is at 2003 NE Hostmark Street in Poulsbo.

If you know of any other free meals, post times and locations in the comments.

City Working To Shore Up $1 Million Shortfall

It looks like Poulsbo will dig into the piggy bank to shore up a projected $1 million budget shortfall this year.

It’s not nearly as bad as other cities and counties, even locally, but still shows what kind of climate we’re in now.

Nearly every year the city, along with darn near every other, has to trim. The difference is that it had been, according to government folks, slowly growing revenue with increasing costs. Now, some costs are going down, but so is revenue – meaning property and sales taxes, primarily.

City Approves Harrison Land Sale

The Poulsbo City Council has agreed to sell property for a cancer care center to a local hospital of $2.8 million.
The council approved the purchase and sale agreement with Harrison Medical Center Wednesday night for site on 10th Avenue near the Poulsbo Fire Department – which was once destined for a new city hall.
“All this is, is an economic shot in the arm,” Mayor Kathryn Quade said.
Harrison plans to open an outpatient cancer-care center, and has told the city it’s ready to begin construction in 2009.
In the economic downturn, the hospital deal is an example of Poulsbo’s diversifying economic base, Quade said.
The hospital’s intentions have been public since August, though work has been ongoing since 2005.
Councilman Ed Stern said the facility will turn Poulsbo into a regional medical hub.
The city had originally intended to use the land on 10th for a new city hall until voters declined that notion in a 2006 advisory vote.
The land was purchased originally for $2.1 million. Because of Harrison’s not-for-profit status, and because the land was city owned, the deal required it to be sold for a fair market value.
The sale of that land is now part of a complex plan to afford a new city hall destined for land in downtown Poulsbo. The 10th Avenue property is one of three the city plans to sell to pay for bonds needed for construction.
Plans are on hold now for the new city hall because of the constricted economy and frozen bond markets.

We Won!

The news around the Kitsap Sun hasn’t been great lately, so I was glad to see a project I put many hours into won a companywide award. We’ve got 17 papers that compete (in large and small categories) every quarter for awards.

We won the multimedia category for the “West Sound Dream 18” package.

In fact, the paper took five of the seven categories.

Reporter Josh Farley won in feature writing for a report about a Poulsbo man who lived under the Highway 3 overpass.

Jim Thomsen, Jon Williams, and Larry Steagall won headline, illustration and photography awards, respectively.

Help Sought in Hansville Planning

Sorry, a copy/paste job from the county press release:


PORT ORCHARD – Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development is working with citizens of the Greater Hansville/Eglon area to develop a community plan to guide the area’s future.  The plan allows residents to determine what they value about their community so policies and codes can be developed to preserve those values.  Once the community plan is adopted it becomes an integral part of the County’s comprehensive plan, guiding future development.  This plan will be developed specifically for the Greater Hansville/Eglon area and will cover the local business economy, transportation, the environment, public services, land use, parks and recreation, utilities and local infrastructure.

Kitsap County’s north-end residents face many future challenges, ranging from how to handle the increasing number of visitors to Point-No-Point and Norwegian Point Parks, to the building of a boat launch by the State, to the potential development of a hotel and expanded tribal casino.  Establishing this community plan enables the residents of our area to help formulate the area’s direction during the next 20 years. Not only does it establish development policies and county codes, the plan will help the current and future Board of County Commissioners allocate critical resources to meet citizen and government needs.

If you want your input to be counted, now is the time to get involved.  All residents of the area are urged to participate.  Your attendance and participation at planning committee meetings and open house events, as well as your verbal and written comments are needed.  Your participation can be as extensive as joining the committee or as simple as reviewing information online and emailing your comments to Kitsap County planners.

The planning committee meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at the Greater Hansville Community Center, Buck Lake Park. A community-wide open house will be held in early 2009 at the same location.  To join, simply come to the next meeting and sign up or online at:  You can access information online at or at the official Greater Hansville Community Center website:  You may email your comments or questions to

Those KCCHA Land Sales and Poulsbo

My first thought when I heard reporter Steve Gardner talking to an editor about this story was, “What about Poulsbo?”

The story is that the Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority is selling eight properties to cover its debt obligations related to the downtown Bremerton condo deal – which hasn’t been going so well.

The housing authority’s had a long history developing affordable housing in Poulsbo – from Vetter Homestead, to Austurbruin, the Windsong and Hostmark Apartments, and Fjord Manor, to name a few.

The property at Olhava is the big one. It’s part of the master plan there, and was to be about 100 apartments aimed at OC students. (The property’s next door.)

I talked with city officials today, and there’s no stipulation in the master plan that says whoever buys the property has to develop affordable housing. But it’ll remain multi-family housing. As far as how the property will look and what market it will serve, “That’s up to the developer,” planning director Barry Berezowsky said.

The second property is next to an apartment complex on Fourth Avenue. It’s smaller, and a lot less than the Olhava property. ($461,000 versus $2.8 million.)

The agency suffered a setback in Aug. 2007 when it had to back out of a plan for 146 self-help homes when it couldn’t get the land for an agreeable price. (How different the market is today, eh?)

Selling these properties certainly leaves me wondering about the role KCCHA will play in affordble housing in Poulsbo, at least in the near term.

Kids Prep For Election Day, Too

Yesterday I went to View Ridge Elementary in Bremerton with reporter Andy Binion. We visited Rita Dearey’s fourth- and fifth-grade class, who’ve been learning about the issues of the presidential race, and will vote in a mock election today.

It never ceases to amaze me that kids, regardless of age, are more intelligent than I think they should be. Sure, you could argue that the kids just parrot what they hear on TV and from their parents or peers. But I know an awful lot of adults who craft their political ethos in a remarkably similar fashion.