Peninsular Thinking A conversation about Bremerton, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Silverdale, Bainbridge Island, Kingston, Manchester, Seabeck, Southworth, Suquamish, Belfair, Keyport, Olalla, Bangor, Hansville, Indianola, Port Gamble, Allyn, Port Ludlow, Gig Harbor and every once in a while something about the good folks who don't have the good fortune to live here.
A sure sign of spring is the annual Port Orchard downtown
clean-up, hosted by the Port Orchard Bay Street Association.
This year’s cleanup was April 26. About 30 people, including
Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes and City Councilwoman Bek Ashby,
showed up to lend a hand, said Kathleen Wilson of POBSA. Volunteers
swept and tidied, and planted flowers in the stone planters. Rico’s
Landscape NW helped by removing small trees from the planters that
had overstayed their welcome, becoming large and unkempt.
Hanging baskets, paid for by POBSA, will arrive next week,
Wilson on Tuesday thanked the city of Port Orchard Public Works
Department for pressure washing the sidewalks before the
It was, as they say, a group effort.
Here’s a gallery of photos from Nick and Elissa Whittleton that
were posted on POBSA’s Facebook page. Port Orchard, aren’t we
looking spiffy now?
This little beauty combines the muscle of a 60-horsepower turbo
diesel engine with seven — yes seven — independent blades, cutting
12 1/2 feet of lawn at a time.
“Obviously, it’s a state-of-the-art piece of equipment,” said Steve
Mutek, parks department supervisor, who along with other staff took
the mower for its test run Monday at Blueberry Park.
Port Orchard’s had one of these little dandy’s for three years.
It sands. It plows. It de-ices. And in milder months, it serves as
a versatile utility vehicle. Different implements can be attached
and removed from the truck chassis in minutes by a single
“We call it the multipurpose truck. It basically morphs into
something else. It’s a transformer,” said Wayne Schulz of Valley
Freightliner Inc., in 2012, when he delivered it to the city.
About two-thirds of the way through “Smoke: How a
small-town girl accidentally wound up smuggling 7,000 pounds of
marijuana with the Pot Princess of Beverly Hills,” 2004 Klahowya
High School grad Meili Cady confesses:
“…I’d hung my last hope for happiness on my future with Ben. But
I knew that he would leave me. If I’d had the choice, I’d leave me
too. I couldn’t stand what I’d become. I was stuck with me and this
bizarre, unbearable reality that was suffocating me.”
Having read the previous 186 pages, seeing Cady come to the
conclusion, “I’d leave me, too,” might inspire you set the book
down for a moment and, if you’re a demonstrative type, yell out,
“You think?” Yelling at a book doesn’t count for normal activity in
most settings, but page after page Cady gives you reason.
For the uninitiated, Cady moved to Los Angeles after high school
to pursue her Hollywood acting dreams. Over the years she landed
some screen work, but not a lot. Finding a friend was tough, too. A
mutual friend introduced her to Lisette Lee, the “Pot Princess” in
The story of what happened over the next few years was first
revealed in a 2012 Rolling Stone story, “The Gangster Princess of Beverly
Hills.” That was the first time many of us were
introduced to Cady, who was Lee’s unlikely friend. When we did
our story on Cady I was somewhat
sympathetic to her, because in five decades I can count a few times
when I’ve done things despite my suspicions because I wanted to
believe those suspicions were off base. Wanting to believe can be a
Reading Cady’s own written version in “Smoke,” I was less
sympathetic, and that might be a compliment to her. Cady tells us
what happened, what she did, without much effort to justify it.
It’s a gutsy move. It’s also the most accountable way to tell a
The book is a fast read, reveals much that you didn’t know from
the earlier stories and could be the last we ever hear of this
tale, unless Lee starts talking or there is a movie. I don’t know
about Lee, but the movie is a real possibility.
From time to time, we here at the Kitsap Sun get calls from
parents concerned about bullying at their children’s school. On
Sunday, we’ll run the first of a two-part series on bullying in
schools. Day one is focused on how parents can best advocate for
their children when bullying happens. On Tuesday (our regular
Education Spotlight day), we will follow up with a look at why
middle schools are often a hot bed of conflict waiting to
Meanwhile, here are the nuts and bolts of student rights, school
responsibilities and what parents should know about helping their
student deal with bullying at school.
This information comes from the Washington State Office of the
Superintendent of Public Instruction. OSPI does not have authority
to enforce local rules except in cases involving sexual
discrimination, special education disputes and complaints of
misconduct against a school district employee.
Each school district is required by RCW
28A.300.285 to have a policy that prohibits the harassment,
intimidation, or bullying of any student. Schools must share this
policy with parents or guardians, students, volunteers, and school
employees. Districts post policies and procedures on their website
and in parent handbooks.
How do I report suspected bullying?
1. Contact your child’s school (or transportation department if the
incident happens on the bus). Fill out an incident form, which
should be available at the school or on the district’s website. The
school is required to conduct an investigation.
2. Anyone — students, parents, staff — can report suspected
bullying. Students may submit the report asking for
confidentiality, meaning the staff will not disclose the name of
the reporting student to the accused student. Anonymous reports
also are accepted. Staff cannot issue disciplinary consequences for
anonymous reports, but they may alert staff to an existing
3. If the bullying act was particularly vicious and the bully
seriously injured your child or caused significant harm to your
child’s property, the bully may be guilty of malicious harassment.
Contact the police if you suspect malicious harassment. In some
cases, the schools will make a police report on your child’s
4. If you feel the school has not adequately addressed the issues,
file a written complaint with
the district’s compliance officer, who is
an administrator appointed by OSPI to over see discipline. Next
up the chain of command would be the superintendent.
5. If you still feel that district has not adequately addressed the
issues, you may file a complaint with a school board member. Most
school boards do not permit discussion of individual discipline
cases during public meetings.
6. If you still feel that your concerns have not been addressed,
you may contact your Educational Service District Superintendent.
Kitsap County is served by Olympic Educational Service District
114, (360) 479-0993.
7. For further help and guidance, contact one of the agencies
Washington State Human
Addresses bullying based on race, color, creed, national origin,
sex, sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, gender
expression, sensory, mental, or physical disability). The Human
Rights Commission has staff throughout the state who able to meet
with you and investigate the bullying complaint.
An arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, provides conciliation
services to help prevent and resolve racial and ethnic conflict.
Contact Sandra Blair, Conciliation Specialist, Northwest Regional
Office: (206) 220-6704.
Source: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction,
19 of our ambitious, dedicated and skilled friends will run
the Boston Marathon. Bib No. 18775 is a friend of ours. Who
you see here as Luz M. Rodriguez is someone my wife, Diana, and I
know as Marcela.
We met Silverdale’s Marcela when she and Diana were teammates in
a relay that runs essentially from the Canadian border in Blaine to
somewhere on Whidbey Island. Those relays are a tough haul. Diana
had to run two extra miles when she missed a turn. Marcela herself
wasn’t sure she could tough out the last of three legs each runner
agrees to run, but she did it, making it look like it was
easy. Diana has since run the Portland Marathon and from what I can
tell is not eager to run another one.
Marcela, on the other hand, set her sights on Boston some time
ago. We’ve celebrated her progress. And since Boston is something
you have to qualify for, we’ve been especially proud of her work.
So has her home country of Chile. Marcela comes from the southern
quarter of that country and on Friday was featured in
her hometown paper. At the end of the
story she’s telling anyone that if they want to, they should go
after a goal like this one, repeating the Spanish version of the
common English saying, “If I can do it, anyone can.”
While I don’t agree that anyone can qualify for Boston, if it’s
not a marathon that’s in your dreams, there is something. And in
that sense, Marcela is right. If she can achieve this dream, you
can achieve yours. I have a few things I dream of accomplishing,
and finishing a marathon is one of them. Aside from the fact that
it’s hard for anyone (Well, a few people make it look pretty easy.)
to run 26.2 miles, for me to do it would prove that I had
accomplished so much more. If you’ve met me, you know what I’m
talking about. Any marathon would be my Boston.
So maybe that’s the question. What is your Boston?
Good look to all our Kitsap runners. Thanks for inspiring us to
pursue our Bostons.
Note from Esteef: I tidied this thing up quite a bit since
its initial publication. I normally give these things at
least another read or two before hitting the “publish” button, but
it was late on Friday and I spent most of the week coughing, so I
was tired and ready to go home. Had I read it at least one more
time I might have noticed a few things that needed changing,
including the fact that I misspelled Marcela’s name throughout. I
also forgot to mention that of all the Spanish or
Portuguese-speaking nations in the world, Chile is the best. It’s
not even a close contest. Some of it is the dramatic variety in the
nation’s landscape, going from the driest climate on Earth to a
point where the next neighbor to the south is a penguin. It’s
also got great beaches, mountains and enough earthquakes to
satisfy even the thirstiest of thrill seekers. I hear the wine is
quite good. The shellfish is excellent and plentiful , Chileans
have perfected the art of dressing up a hot dog and the empenadas
should be part of every death row inmate’s last meal as a
testament to our compassion for even the most vile among us. The
best parts of Chile are probably the Chileans, except for the one
in charge when I lived down there. He was a jerk.
Anyway, all this to say that most American of explanations,
“Mistakes were made.”
On Wednesday, I interviewed Fred Chang, administrator of the
Port Orchard Facebook group, about a face-to-face meet-and-greet of
group members on Saturday at the Port Orchard Public Market.
The same day, a flap within the group unrelated to the
meet-and-greet or the interview was stirring.
Bruce Beckman set off a lengthy thread by posting a comment in
the main group about a spin-off that Fred started in December
called Port Orchard Religious Rants and Raves group. Fred mentioned
the group during our interview, saying the idea was to give group
members a place to discuss religion. Early in the religious group’s
existence, Fred turned active administration over to another member
and didn’t pay much attention to the discussion thereafter, he
said. What Fred hadn’t noticed was the snarky tone — my description
— of the more recent posts, that some members objected to.
Bruce, in the main group post, wrote, “It’s unacceptable for
someone in public office to have a bigoted Facebook group with the
town’s name on it. Most people will agree that mocking someone for
their religious beliefs is just as bigoted as mocking someone for
skin color or sexual orientation.”
Bruce accused the group of censoring people of religious faith
and called on Fred to, “explain his position publicly on this issue
since he is a member of the Port Orchard City Council.”
Chang, in a separate post that showed a screen shot of Bruce’s
comments, said he disagreed with Bruce’s characterization of the
religious discussion group. Fred added that had he seen posts that
appeared to be mocking, he would have removed them.
Chang on Friday told me he had a private message conversation
with Kathryn Simpson, who was also unhappy with Fred about his
involvement with the group. On Thursday, Chang took the group down.
A separate group with the same name, administered by someone else,
appeared shortly afterward.
I’m pursuing the issue here not to settle whether the group was
mocking of people of faith but to address public records issues
that Bruce alluded to in his post. Should a city resident who is
also a city councilman maintain an active private profile on
Facebook? Does the use of the term “Port Orchard” in the title of a
group administered by someone who is a city councilman constitute a
First, let’s note that other Port Orchard City Council members
have Facebook pages. Like Chang’s account, the content is mostly
about sunsets, pets and the like, nothing racy, very little city
related. Cindy Lucarelli has made a couple of upbeat posts about
city cleanup day and the like.
According to Pat Mason, legal consultant for the Municipal
Resources Service Center, there is nothing that precludes elected
officials having personal social media accounts or private devices,
but as we learned from Hillary Clinton, issues arise when you
conduct public business on a private account. Mason says there’s
nothing that prohibits this, “Our concern would be, if they do, are
those records being retained?” Because, as in the case on
Bainbridge Island, people can make public records requests for
those documents, and if the city or county or water district drags
its feet in any way (as defined under public records laws) it runs
the risk of a lawsuit. Bainbridge ended up
settling a public records suit for $500,000 in late 2014.
In short, according to Mason, elected officials can conduct
public business on private accounts, but they had better be able to
quickly produce those records.
Chang occasionally will give information about the city on
Facebook, such as the date of a city council meeting. When he does,
he takes a screenshot and sends it to his city email to create a
record. Chang, as far as I can tell, stayed out of a recent heated
discussion about city zoning regulations and one business owner’s
display of a large American flag. He said he purposely avoids
posting in discussions where it might be construed that he was
making a position statement on behalf of the city.
So back to the Port Orchard Religious Rants and Raves group, was
it a good idea for Chang to start the group then turn
administration over to someone else? Maybe not. But was it city
business? No, said City Clerk Brandy Rinearson. At least not
because of the name. “We can’t regulate what people call their
Facebook groups,” Rinearson said. “I would say it’s not a public
record unless the content is about city business posted by and
elected official or (city) employee.”
And there’s another side to the coin. “He’s an elected official,
but he has a right to his free speech,” Rinearson said. “Where
there’s a grey line is if he makes a statement that has to do with
Mason concurs. “They don’t give up their free speech rights,” he
But the issue is far from cut and dried. The sheer volume of
material to be sifted through and the possibility of deleted posts
could raise questions about whether a search for public records has
The rules are being hashed out in the courts, as on Bainbridge
“To me this is an evolving area,” said Mason. “This is not a
settled area of the law in my mind.”
Some jurisdictions limit the use of private accounts for public
business. Port Orchard this year implemented software that allows
elected officials access to their city email on private devices.
And the city has a policy saying social media sites of city
departments are to be one-way only for giving out information not
for engaging in public debate. But there is nothing in the city
policy that speaks to elected officials’ private use of social
As it stands now there is some degree of conflict between
privacy rights of public officials and public records requests,
Should elected officials
have personal social media accounts?
It's OK, as long as they archive any discussion that could be
seen construed as public business. (47%, 61 Votes)
It's OK, as long as they never discuss public business on
personal accounts. (42%, 55 Votes)
No. Public officials with personal accounts present too much of
a risk to the jurisdiction. (11%, 14 Votes)
There will be quite a few more spots to sit back, relax and
enjoy the view at Poulsbo’s waterfront park next month.
The city is installing 10 new benches between the
Austin-Kvelstad Pavilion and the parking lot. The metal benches
will be similar to the blue benches at the park, although the new
ones will be dark brown to match the pavilion, said Mary McCluskey,
Workers plan to pour concrete Thursday, and all the benches will
be done by the end of April.
Fest, one of the city’s largest event, is in mid-May.
Suspending kids from school for using pot is not an effective
deterrent, in fact it can lead to more — not less — use, according
to a study by researchers at the University of Washington and in
The study, conducted in 2002 and 2003, compared drug policies at
schools in Washington State and Victoria, Australia, to determine
how they impacted student marijuana use.
The researchers were initially most interested in teens’ use of
alcohol and cigarettes, according to a news release about the
article from the University of Washington. But after Washington
legalized recreational marijuana use for adults in 2012,
researchers decided to reexamine the data to see how legalization
might influence students in Washington versus their counterparts in
Australia, where pot remains illegal, said Deborah Bach, a social
science writer at the UW.
They found students attending schools with suspension policies
for illicit drug use were 1.6 times more likely than their peers at
schools without such policies to use marijuana in the next year.
That was true for the whole student body, not just those who were
“That was surprising to us,” said co-author Richard Catalano,
professor of social work and co-founder of the Social Development
Research Group at the University of Washington’s School of Social
Work. “It means that suspensions are certainly not having a
deterrent effect. It’s just the opposite.”
This echoes reporting we did in the Kitsap Sun about student
discipline in general, in which educators and child advocates
from many corners said suspension and expulsion are ineffective at
reversing undesirable behavior.
Conversely, in schools with policies of referring pot-using
students to a school counselor, students were almost 50 percent
less likely to use marijuana.
Washington and Victoria, Australia were chosen for the study
since they are similar in size and demographics, but differ
considerably in their approaches to drug use among students.
Washington schools, at least at the time of the study, were more
likely to suspend students, call police or require offenders to
attend education or cessation programs, the researchers noted,
while Victoria schools emphasize “a harm-reduction approach that
Researchers surveyed more than 3,200 seventh- and ninth-graders
in both 2002 and 2003 about their use of marijuana, alcohol and
cigarettes and also about their schools’ drug policies and
enforcement. Nearly 200 school administrators were also surveyed.
In both survey years, pot use was higher among the Washington
students. Almost 12 percent of Washington ninth-graders had used
marijuana in the past month, compared with just over 9 percent of
Victoria ninth-graders, for example.
Tracy Evans-Whipp, the study’s lead author, said although the
research predated Washington’s legalization, the findings show what
types of school policies are most effective in discouraging teens’
use of the drug.
The study also showed “a consistent link” between increased
acccess to marijuana and higher rates of self-reported use by
adolescents, Bach notes.
“To reduce marijuana use among all students, we need to ensure
that schools are using drug policies that respond to policy
violations by educating or counseling students, not just penalizing
them,” Catalano said.
Others involved in the research are are Todd Herrenkohl at the
UW, Stephanie Plenty at the Centre for Health Equity Studies in
Sweden and John Toumbourou at Deakin University in Australia.