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.
The method (not without its critics) is trap-neuter-return. KHS
vets say it’s documented to work in gradually reducing feral,
pardon me, community cat colonies.
Adult feral cats can’t be socialized for placement as pets. The
past approach to eradication of feral cat colonies has been to trap
and euthanize the animals. But that doesn’t work well, according to
KHS veterinarian Jen Stonequist.
Because feral cats are territorial, eliminating members of the
colony simply creates a void that is soon filled again by new cats
– and their unchecked litters of kittens. The cats who live in
these colonies are generally in poor health and carry disease.
“An effective TNR program works to stabilize the free-roaming
cat population in a community by preventing new litters of unwanted
kittens, and reduces feline illnesses by reducing mother-to-litter
transmission and transmission by fighting,” said KHS Spokeswoman
Rachel Bearbower. “It can also significantly reduce the noise and
odor which arise from unaltered males fighting, mating, and marking
KHS officials estimate there are more than 2,200 feral cats in
the 98366 area code, where the effort is focused.
The Community Cats Program, funded through a PetSmart grant
provides live traps and training on trapping to willing
Adults are neutered or spayed, and given a full check up and a
rabies vaccine before they are reintroduced to their preferred
neighborhood. A small mark on the ear prevents repeats. Kittens are
taken into the humane society for placement as pets.
Over time the colony shrinks, as the animals are unable to
The humane society also has a litter abatement program. If your
pet has had a litter, you can bring the babies (dog or cat) to KHS.
They will be spayed and neutered, and placed in “forever homes.”
KHS also will spay the parent free of charge and return the animal
Anyone with information about feral cat colonies in the Port
Orchard area, or who is interested in volunteering for the
Community Cats program, is asked to contact Kitsap Humane Society
at CommunityCats@kitsap-humane.org or call 360-692-6977.
Anyone who’s met Debbie Lindgren is likely familiar with her
bottomless exuberance. Lindgren, physical education teacher at
Naval Avenue Early Learning Center, is a die hard advocate for
giving kids more chances to be active in each day.
She tries every which way to get youngsters moving. In one
example, she brings recess to the classroom with “brain breaks”
like full-body rock-paper-scissors students can do beside their
desks. Teachers at Naval Avenue are now trained to lead their
students in short bursts of activity that stimulate circulation and
give kids a breather.
Lindgren’s latest get-moving scheme involves hip hop dancers,
lots of them. Lindgren arranged for all first through third graders
to learn a dance choreographed by Erica Robinson, a co-owner with
her husband Ashley of the Kitsap Admirals basketball
team. The students performed the dance en masse at the
Admiral’s game Saturday.
Lindgren got the idea for a school-wide hip hop dance because of
her sense that some families, in particular African American
families, feel a disconnect from the school.
“At first it was just, ‘What can I do to make sure we are
inclusive of every culture at our school?'” Lindgren said.
Dance seemed a good place to start.
“It appears to me that our African American kids have more
opportunity, perhaps, outside of school to dance within their
family structure, because they come into this with better
background in dance than the majority of Caucasian students,”
Lindgren said. “In PE classes when the music turns on, our African
American kids, the majority of them, their movement patterns are
exceptional. … I thought, what can I do to celebrate their dances,
their movement, their creativity?”
Robinson is a member of the Admirals dance team the Flight
Chixx. She grew up on Soul Train and affirms Lindgren’s gut
“If you think about African Americans in this culture, you think
about hip hop, you think about break dancing,” Robinson said. “Some
of the greatest dancers in the country have been African
“I think music and dance is just the way you connect,” she
Think of the choirs in African American churches. Music is
everywhere in black culture and always has been, Robinson said.
“If you look throughout history, you see that music has really
resonated with the African American community,” she said. “Music is
something that has helped us through the hard times.”
Robinson appreciates Lindgren’s impulse to shine a spotlight on
the hip hop genre.
“Coming from the East Coast, we had a lot of things that
celebrated black culture, Puerto Rican culture,” she said. “In
Kitsap here, we don’t find a lot of that celebrated culture.
There’s a lot of quieting and shunning. In celebration, if we take
the time to embrace each culture, we’ll find that as a human body,
we’re all the same.”
Teaching several classrooms’ worth of students a single dance
was no small feat.
“You just kind of teach it in pieces,” Robinson said. “The kids
pick it up a lot easier than you think. … They wanted it.”
The performance was a hit with parents.
“We had a great turnout of kiddos. It was awesome, great
support,” Lindgren said.
It was so much fun. They were so cute,” Robinson said.
And although a few beats were missed here and there, what shone
through was “the joy they had as group.”
Kurt DeVoe, photographer for the Kitsap Admirals, shared these
photos with the Kitsap Sun. Lindgren’s husband was the
In our family this
story has become legendary, and like most legends its truthfulness
is worth questioning.
Mom swore it happened and her honesty was something you could
set your watch by, and that’s good enough for me, especially
because it’s about me and reminds people that I was once
My oldest brother was a operating on the grass and dirt of a
Southern California baseball diamond. By “operating” I mean he was
playing, baseball to be precise. “Operating” just sounds more like
a college word than “playing,” so I went there. Jim, the brother I
mentioned earlier, played for the Twins in the Mustang League in
West Covina, a Los Angeles suburb that was once home to Lee Majors
and developments built on top of a cancer-inducing former landfill.
We didn’t live on the former landfill, so we weren’t at risk for
cancer except for all the smoking and breathing outside air.
I’m told Jim was pretty good, but I was only somewhere between 3
and 5 years old, so my interests were elsewhere. In one memorable
moment my interest was going to the bathroom, so I ambled over to
the portable outhouses they set up near the bleachers and went
about my business. I’m guessing it was a seated affair, because I
had time to sing “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” at full throat. Outside at
least one man was waiting his turn as I sang. Apparently he wasn’t
in an urgent state, because he was smiling.
Back then young Americans worshipped at the Beatles altar, but I
was a Herman’s Hermits man, myself. My brother had a stack of
albums (What you kids might call “vinyl.”) and often at the front
of the pack was Noone’s face. Mom wasn’t much a fan of 60s music,
Dad even less so, referring to it often as “rotten roll,” then
laughing, usually with his mouth full. Jim would play his records
in his room. I was sometimes not allowed in, by Mom or maybe Jim,
so I would many times sit outside listening to what would become my
own personal Wonder Years soundtrack.
The outhouse incident I’ve described is not one I remember. I
obviously had the ability to speak, and sing, but this memory does
not exist for me. Nonetheless I don’t doubt it. As I mentioned I
was a big fan of Herman and his gang (I thought Peter Noone’s name
was “Herman.” I’m sure people older than I thought the same thing.)
and I was an even bigger fan of singing whenever the notion struck.
To some degree I still do that, though it’s not cute anymore.
The memories I do have involving Herman’s Hermits include
singing “Dandy” as a solo in my first-grade class. Seriously, it
was sharing time, so thought it would be good to sing. I also
remember my heart aching for Debbie Frazin every time I heard
“There’s a Kind of Hush.” There were lots of sappy love songs in
the 1960s. That song, though, had a depth even a 6-year-old could
admire, a vision of an entire world so mesmerized by love that it
falls silent. Poetic genius, perfectly elocuted by Noone.
That Noone and the rest of the Hermits are performing Saturday
at the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton on the same weekend my oldest
brother is here visiting us from Hawaii was a message from God. I
saw McCartney last year and did a whole podcast afterward about how
much my brothers needed to go see him. Neither Jim or I have seen
the Hermits before, so this is just pefect. I predict I will
probably cry like a little boy when Noone appears, not crushed like
the young female Brown’s former boyfriend, but because I’ll be into
something good for a couple of hours, something that has lasted
almost five decades for me now.
EPILOGUE: No crying at the beginning, but when the Hermits broke
into “There’s a Kind of Hush” at the end of the concert I got a
The music in the show
was as good as I would have hoped. What surprised me was how funny
Noone was. He bordered on Don Rickles humor at times, saying
some people from Belfair must have driven their in their
house. I only wished he had said it about Port Orchard, the
historical butt of my jokes.
My brother Jim, the bushy-mustached one in the photo here
interacting with Noone, spent a few decades of his life on the
radio in Honolulu. When I was taking Jim’s picture with Noone my
brother asked when Noone and the rest of the Hermits would make it
over to Hawaii. Noone said they don’t get over there much, but
mentioned concert promoter and radio/TV personality
Moffatt. It turns out Moffatt is a friend of my
brother’s. Noone mentioned that Moffatt introduced him to Elvis,
then asked my brother to say “Hello” to Tom for him.
The Belfair reference was part of a string of local jokes. He
poked fun at the airport in SeaTac, gas station attendants, and got
the whole bit rolling by saying that when he was a kid he always
dreamed that one day he would get to play at the “Admiral Theatre
in Bremerton, Washington.” I was on vacation last week, part of it
in Portland and I saw a poster advertising a Herman’s Hermits show
at a casino down in Oregon. I would love to go, mostly to hear all
the same jokes related to the different locale.
There was a time when we would laugh at guys like Noone and
other musicians whose prime had passed, but they continued
performing. I saw Paul McCartney last year and it was one of the
best concerts I’ve ever attended. (I’d say one of the best I’d ever
“seen,” but man we were sitting far away.) I’ll continue to go to
any Springsteen concert. But neither McCartney or Springsteen are
good examples, because they never lost the ability to fill arenas.
I’m talking more about groups like REO Speedwagon or Three Dog
In reality, it was seeing Christopher Cross that made me finally
gain a renewed respect for performers whose hits are decades old.
Now I think it’s wonderful that these musicians can continue to
make a living by touring and performing for old and new audiences.
Now that I’ve seen my first favorite band, (Noone is the only
original Hermit in the current band, but he’s the most important
one to me.) I’m really glad that they do.
Their defense against the jokes is their own willingness to poke
fun at themselves. It’s like we’re all in on the joke. Noone
said something akin to being on the tour of musicians who haven’t
died yet. He asked to see if there were teenagers in the audience.
He asked them if their moms made them attend, then said it was
their grandmothers. He finished by joking that one of the young
girls had forced her mother to go to the concert. I bet that joke
will seem just as funny in Oregon.
KSS band director Lia Morgan, new to Klahowya this year, wanted
to resurrect a tradition from years past by bringing the marching
band to Spokane. The band will play recently composed music by the
a cappella group Pentatonix. In the Torchlight Parade, they will
crry glow sticks for effect.
On Sunday, the marathon will continue when the KSS jazz band
plays at Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho. Many jazz band members
also play in the marching band. The rest of the band will “support
them as members of the audience,” Morgan said. Afterward, all of
the students, Morgan and a number of parents who are going along as
groupies will take a well deserved break by enjoying the rides.
Morgan is proud of her musicians, a number of whom have
performed in and won awards in solo competitions this school year.
“We have had an exciting and busy year at Klahowya this year and
I’m looking forward to more years and activities to come,” she
This is the first time Bremerton High’s marching band has played
in the Torchlight Parade.
“I thought that would be kind of fun, to do two parades in one
day,” said Band director, Max Karler, who is in his first year as
director of instrumental music at BHS. Before then, he taught band
and orchestra at Mt. Tahoma high.
The Spokane parade starts at 7:45 p.m., but the BHS band’s
staging time is 8:15 p.m. Karler figures his group will have time
to make the roughly six-hour drive to Spokane in between
No, it’s not by school bus. They are renting charter buses, so
the kids can snooze or watch movies as long as it’s “not something
I hate,” Karler said. As a student, he once got stuck on a band
road trip where the flute section had this obsession with a
particularly bad Bollywood movie. But I digress.
Luckily, BHS is near the front of the Armed Forces parade, so
they expect to be done by noon-ish.
“When we get done there (Bremerton’s Armed Forces Day Parade),
we’re going to get out of our clothes (band outfits), eat some
lunch, hop on the bus and go over to their torchlight parade,”
Karler is impressed with the group’s can-do attitude and
eagerness to try new things.
“It’s totally awesome, just lots of support,” Karler said. “The
kids are very capable, lots of strong players and strong
Karler let the students suggest the playlist. They’re going with
the top three tunes: the BHS fight song (to the tune of “Anchors
Aweigh), “Take on Me” (by The A-ha) and “Conga” by Gloria Estefan
and the Miami Sound Machine.
“I’m really excited for it. I think they’re going to do really
well,” Karler said.
BHS performed earlier this month in the Sequim Irrigation
Festival and won first place for AA and AAA school bands. Go
The online publication citiesjournal.com has taken a David
Letterman approach to the “top small cities” in Washington State.
ranks 6th in the journal’s list of 14 (not Letterman’s 10), as
noted on Facebook by PO locals Matt Carter and Todd Penland.
And look at us go. Port Orchard, with its maritime ties and
eclectic downtown mix of eateries, boutiques and salons (hair,
tattoo, piercing) beat out Poulsbo, with its Nordic theme, a
longtime solid formula for that town.
“As stated on its website,
Poulsbo has a completely unique and different history from its
neighboring communities. Unlike other small towns and cities in the
local area, this small city was founded by Norwegian settlers,”
Poulsbo came in 12 of 14, ahead of Moses Lake and Chelan.
Beating out Port Orchard, in slots five through numero uno, were
Bellingham, Sequim, Oak Harbor, Hoquiam and Friday Harbor. Nothing
against Hoquiam, but, really? (The article cites the city’s low
taxes related to depressed values on its “nice but old” homes.)
Poulsbo, the journal continues, “may not have a great deal to
offer when it comes to ultra-modern and latest conveniences, but it
does enjoy a close community that values friendship and a rich
cultural heritage. People who place greater priority on these
aspects than what modern society has to offer will find Poulsbo the
ideal place to live.”
The next time you’re in Poulsbo, look for that horse and
I’m figuring the author who wrote about
Pullman is a Cougar. The entry on this city, which ranked 9th,
reads, “Pullman has so much going for it that it is hard to know
where to start.”
Port Orchard is described thus, “The city is blessed with an
abundance of marinas filled with boats of all shapes and sizes
which provide comfortable accommodations for visitors to stay. The
downtown area offers fine dining, shopping, and cultural sites to
Too bad they illustrated the article not with a picture of the
marina but of the Kitsap County Courthouse … on a cloudy day. The
courthouse, and in fact the whole county campus, is fine and all
and very much part of the city. But PO, we can do better. They
should have checked in the day we posted all those rainbow
pictures. Oh, my God!
“Port Orchard is but a ferry ride away from Seattle and
Bremerton,” the journal continues, “making excursions to the area
quite accessible for those wanting to escape …”
Oh wait, there’s more, ” … “for a day or entire weekend.”
“Port Orchard residents are also quite proud of their military
heritage as perceived by the nearby Puget Sound Naval
We won’t tell them the shipyard is in Bremerton, which
apparently is too big to be considered for the Top Small Cities
list. And yes, we all are proud of our military.
Silverdale was not mentioned on the list of Top 10 Cities that
Do Not Exist.
The citiesjournal.com is big on lists. It’s got rankings for
other states, and informational pieces on cities nationwide and
worldwide. The journal covers a wide range of topics, including
“Top 11 Most Haunted Cities,” “13 Best Cities with the Word ‘City’
in Them,” and “Top
12 Cities Aliens Should Colonize.” Detroit tops the list.
man TJ Wheeler will present a free workshop today at the Opal
Robertston Teen Center, 802 7th St. in Bremerton. He’ll also give a
concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at Island Center Hall on Bainbridge
Island, 8395 Fletcher Bay Rd NE; donations welcome. A 6 p.m.
potluck precedes Saturday’s entertainment.
Wheeler graduated from an alternative school on Bainbridge
Island and found music to be a grounding influence in his early
life, which was full of challenges, according to Jerry Elfendahl,
who is helping publicize the musician’s visit to the Northwest. He
has earned many awards and accolades, including the W.C. Handy
Keeping the Blues Alive Award in education.
Wheeler’s workshops combine music and inspiration. His
educational program Hope, Heroes and the Blues, which started with
a small grant from Ben & Jerry’s, has reached more than 450,000
The concert/workshop in Bremerton is sponsored by New Life
Community Development Agency. Although the workshop is aimed at
youth, everyone is welcome. There is no cost.
Wheeler’s calling his Saturday concert a 50th Jubilee, since
he’s been playing guitar for 50 years.
“The next week the Jimi Hendrix Museum AKA EMP / (Experience
Music project) have booked me to do a ‘Blues to Hendrix’ BITS
(Blues in the School) residency and concert,” Wheeler wrote in his
blog. “It is a blessing to be coming home and I hope I see all of
you at one site or another.”
Firefighters from Kitsap County and across the country, ran, jogged
and sometimes leaned against walls on their way up 69 flights and
1,311 steps in full firefighting gear, including oxygen tanks and
breathing equipment, Sunday during Seattle’s annual Scott
Firefighter Stairclimb, a fundraiser for the Leukemia &
CKFR firefighter’s eight-man team has raised more
money than any other Kitsap area team with $16,036.13, beating its
CKFR also has placed in the top 10 fundraising teams
“Now we really set the bar too high,” joked
firefighter Ryan Orseth, CKFR team captain.
Orseth himself made an impressive fundraising push. He
was $403.95 short of making the list for the top 10 individual
fundraisers. He raised a total of $5,201.05.
Although firefighters are done racing stairs in
downtown Seattle’s Columbia Center, the second tallest building
west of the Mississippi, they can accept donations until the end of
So far, 1,800 firefighters from more than 300
departments have raised about $1.55 million.
Last year, the event raised $1.44 million with the
help of 1,500 firefighters from 282 departments.
While every Kitsap area fire district and department
participated in the event, not everyone is as closely connected
with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as the North Kitsap Fire
and Rescue is.
The district lost one of its own firefighters to
leukemia on March 8, 1997, according to NKFR spokesperson Michele
Tom Kenyon died at age 33, leaving behind his wife and
six-month-old daughter, who is now a high school senior.
The stairclimb has always been close to and sometimes
on the anniversary of Kenyon’s death, Laboda said.
This year, NKFR’s four-man team has raised $2,128,
just a few hundred shy of it’s $2,500 goal.
Besides the gratification of fundraising for a noble
cause, there also is a little pride in how quickly individuals and
teams climb the stairs.
Each team can have any number of participants, but
team times are calculated from the top three fastest times.
CKFR’s team time was 1 hour, 5 minutes and 30 seconds,
while the North Mason Fire Authority had the fastest time for
Kitsap area districts, finishing in 49:09.
The average firefighter takes 20 to 30 minutes to run
up 69 flights of stairs, according to the event website.
Only firefighters are allowed to climb in the
This year’s fastest time was 11:03 by 32-year-old
Missoula, Mont., firefighter Andrew Drobeck.
CKFR is looking at improving fundraising, not speed,
Orseth said he would like to see CKFR on the top 10
This year’s top fundraisers ranged from $22,318 to
To compete, Orseth suggested pooling Kitsap County’s
resources to create a countywide team.
And he has already started campaigning for next year’s
climbers, asking CKFR commissioners to consider joining the
The July deadline is just one of several in the
recently released strategic plan from the Kitsap County Behavioral
Health Strategic Planning Team. Proposals for projects or programs,
aimed at reducing the number of mentally ill juveniles and adults
cycle through the criminal justice system and the demand on
emergency services, will be accepted from Feb. 20 to April 18 at 3
p.m. Kitsap County County Mental Health, Chemical
Dependence and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Board will
review the proposals.
62-page strategic plan, which outlines recommendations for
closing service gaps for mentally ill and substance abuse, it says
county and surrounding peninsula region had the highest number of
mentally ill boarded ever recorded in October 2013.
The plan recommends increasing housing and
transportation options, treatment funding and outreach, among other
Reporting and responsibilities
The strategic planning team makes recommendations
the citizens advisory board and establishes the strategic plan for
the mental health tax.
Proposals will be submitted to the citizens advisory
board for review. The board will make recommendations for the
proposals and funding level to the county commissioners, who
ultimately approve the proposals.
The citizen advisory board will annually review
projects and programs while receiving input from the strategic
team, and report to the director of Kitsap County Human Services,
who will present reviews to the county commissioners.
Meet the team and board
Kitsap County Behavioral Health Strategic Planning
Al Townsend, Poulsbo Police Chief (Team Co-Chair)
Barb Malich, Peninsula Community Health Services
Greg Lynch, Olympic Educational Service District 114
Joe Roszak, Kitsap Mental Health Services
Judge Anna Laurie, Superior Court (Team Co-Chair)
Judge Jay Roof, Superior Court
Judge James Docter, Bremerton Municipal Court
Kurt Wiest, Bremerton Housing Authority
Larry Eyer, Kitsap Community Resources
Michael Merringer, Kitsap County Juvenile Services
Myra Coldius, National Alliance on Mental Illness
Ned Newlin, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office
Robin O’Grady, Westsound Treatment Agency
Russell D. Hauge, Kitsap County Prosecutor
Scott Bosch Harrison, Medical Center
Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH Kitsap Public Health
Tony Caldwell, Housing Kitsap
Kitsap County Mental Health, Chemical Dependence and
Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Board
Lois Hoell, Peninsula Regional Support Network: 3 year
Jeannie Screws, Kitsap County Substance Abuse Advisory Board: 3
Aimee DeVaughn, Kitsap County Commission on Children and Youth:
Connie Wurm, Area Agency on Aging: 3 year
Dave Shurick, Law and Justice: 1 year
Walt Bigby, Education: 1 year
Carl Olson, At Large Member District 2: 2 year
James Pond, At Large Member District 3: 2 year
Robert Parker, At Large Member District 2: 2 year
Russell Hartman, At Large Member District 3: 2 year
Richard Daniels, At Large Member District 1: 1 year