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.
At long last, work is under way on the Myhre’s building … at
least the exterior.
Abadan Holdings, LLC, owned by Mansour Samadpour, in October
told city of Port Orchard officials it would
address the crumbling exterior of the building, that was
gutted by fire in 2011. The city had fielded complaints about
the building’s appearance and concerns about the safety of the rock
veneer on the front and the wood canopy, which was loose.
The Rylander family had an interest in the property since 1930,
operating a restaurant there and rebuilding after a fire in 1963. A
couple who bought the property in 2005 lost it to foreclosure,
after the 2011 fire, and the building was tied up in a legal
morass, sitting fallow, incomplete and exposed to the elements.
Samadpour, who owns seven other downtown properties, bought it at
auction in May 2014.
The building’s appearance
became a political issue last fall. Incumbent Tim Matthes was
pushing for a derelict building ordinance — with Myhre’s as the
poster child — while his challenger, Rob Putaansuu, said developers
needed incentives to help projects “pencil out.” Putaansuu said at
the time he had reached out to Samadpour.
In April, Putaansuu — who beat Matthes in the election —
expressed frustration that the Myhre’s building sat as dilapidated
as ever. But the mayor was
hopeful work on the building would start soon, since the
contractor, BJC Group, Inc., of Port Orchard, had applied for a
permit. Apparently, however, the damage caused by moisture to the
unfinished building was worse than expected, so BJC had to revise
plans leading to yet another delay.
But, lo, here about three weeks ago, new siding started to
appear. Last week, Putaansuu said BJC was working on permits to
pull old plywood off the second story deck and jack up a corner of
the building that is sagging. A little paint on the canopy, and the
cosmetic fix will be complete.
The interior remains a shell that would need extensive work,
however. Putaansuu said he’s been networking to try and find
someone to buy or lease the space. “Now it’s time to find a tenant
and make it a vibrant part of our community again,” the mayor said.
“I think it’s a fabulous location for a brew pub or
As it happens The Lighthouse is
looking for a new location. But owner Brooks Konig said he is
interested in the building that formerly housed the Port Orchard
Pavilion. The Pavilion property also is owned by Mansour Samadpour
and, like Myhre’s, is located on the 700 block of Bay Street.
Putaansuu wants people to quit referring to the Myhre’s building
as “the Myhre’s building. “It’s not fair to the family that
operated it as Myhre’s,” he said. “It’s been a thorn in our side in
the community. It’s gotten some negative connotations, and I just
want to refer to it as 737 Bay until there’s someone else in
That would make “the Pavilion building” 701 Bay.
I hope we all can keep that straight, and not get the numbers
mixed up. A better solution would be for both buildings to be
quickly occupied, so we can refer to them by their new business
The news that Port Orchard recently introduced a
online public records request portal may not have exactly rang
your chimes, unless you’re an avid local government watcher or a
member of the media.
Whether you regularly request documents or have the occasional
need, the software promises quicker, easier service. I recently
tried it out and found it to be useful but also, to some degree, a
work in progress.
For one thing, you have to drill down a couple of clicks from a
menu on the right of the homepage to get to the records portal. I
would like to see a highly visible “Public Records” button on the
Court and police records are not yet available through the new
portal. City Clerk Brandy Rinearson said she will try in the future
to get them included in the “public records center.” To obtain
court and police records, contact those departments.
You do need to create an account to use the system, but I will
say it’s worth it, because you can track your requests and see them
all in one place. Rinearson told me it’s more efficient on the
city’s end, as well. For example, common and readily available
documents like city council agendas, that are already on the city’s
website, are a snap for staff to deliver. Other documents take more
research on the part of staff.
Best of all, when your documents are ready, they appear in your
account all set to download.
“It’s more of an instant gratification, if you will,” Rinearson
said. “It’s going to save some time getting the documents to
customers and them having easier access to it. It’s just another
level of customer service.”
One thing I expected was a link to frequently requested
documents. There isn’t one. There is something called a “knowledge
base,” that has frequently asked questions about public records
law, how to obtain birth death and divorce certificates, and
answers to other questions the city clerk and her staff get all the
time. I think they should have called it FAQ.
There’s also something that says “view public records archive”
that I was excited about, thinking it was a list of records
requests that have been made of the city. It wasn’t. The city keeps
an excel sheet of all records requests, showing who made them, what
was requested, how it was fulfilled and the cost to the city. This
is a public document that I and others have obtained in the past.
Rinearson said she would consider adding this as a feature of the
new system. The public archive is a place for the city to put
documents that suddenly become of wide interest.
Of course the city will still fulfill public records requests
however they’re made, by a phone call, email, fax or in person.
Many cities and other governments are moving to some version of
the records portal system used by Port Orchard. For us frequent
fliers, it’s a welcome tool, and I look forward to seeing the city
expand on its capabilities.
“Was on the waterfront today and it was very cool to see so many
diverse people all coming together,” said Donna Mathis Webb.
“Yes, almost everyone there was staring at their phones, but it was
still good to see them out and to see that some people even engaged
in interacting with others who were, until that point, strangers.
It made me feel really good inside. I kind of wish my phone was
smart enough to play!”
This is not Hillard’s photo. It was taken July 12 in Bremerton
by Kitsap Sun photographer Larry Steagall.
Port Orchard could use a little boost, regardless of the source.
The town is experiencing the summer doldrums due to partial closure
of Highway 166 (one of two routes into downtown) for most of the
summer due to
culvert replacement work on Highway 16.
Both lanes were closed from June 13 until a week ago, when the
project moved on to a new phase and the lane heading into town
opened. The impact is still being felt.
Businesses are hurting. One of our reporters who recently took
the foot ferry from Bremerton to Port Orchard said, “It looks like
a ghost town.”
We could use an infusion of whatever to bring people out and
about, even if it does look like each is off in his own little
I saw a number of Pokémon chasers as I biked through downtown
yesterday. Their presence lent an almost festive atmosphere to the
typically sleepy PO vibe.
“It’s easy to make fun of, but in this world of everyone
worrying and being offended about everything, it’s nice to see
people coming out of their homes and being active, interacting, and
smiling and having a good time,” Aaron said. “Didn’t see one bottle
of alcohol or smell one whiff of pot in the crowd of about a
hundred people. Worse things could be happening. Hunt on
Some people on the Facebook thread joked about players running
into fences or other objects. I will say from my observations,
Pokémon hunters are intent and most (apparently) not looking where
they’re going. Like Donna, I don’t have the app on my phone, so I
don’t know if you have a good sense of your surroundings while
watching your screen for Pokémon or not. I was somewhat concerned
for the folks walking casually on the side of a the road as I
pedaled by. Would they suddenly lurch into my front wheel if
Pikachu popped up in the middle of the road?
Later at a stop light, I crossed paths with a fellow bike rider,
who said, “Watch out for those Pokémon players.” As he rode off up
Sidney, he speculated aloud that there would be a serious accident
or worse before the week is out. I certainly hope not, but
seriously, folks, be careful out there.
Back to the conversation, Fred Chang, a city councilman who also
plays Pokémon Go, suggested a virtual group for players.
“Now if they’d just all spend money in the shops on Bay
Street….,” lamented Janet Karen.
What will it take for people focused on a virtual world to spend
real cash in Port Orchard? Some people in the thread suggested
business owners could capitalize on the craze by getting out on the
street with munchies, beverages, cotton candy. To that, I’d add
Band-Aids, Ace bandages, ice packs …
Last summer, Bitsey made the
ravine above Port Orchard City Hall his own. City officials and
neighbors weren’t pleased with situation where the rooster would
crow at all hours of the day and night.
Animal control finally nabbed
the rooster on May 4. He was adopted by Lone Rock Mercantile
in Seabeck on May 13, a day after he was up for
adoption. The owners of
the store declined to be interviewed, although Bitsey now is
happily spending his days with 15 hens, according to the Kitsap
Livestock tend to be adopted
fairly quickly because of the rural area in and around Kitsap, said
Meagan Richards, the humane society’s adoption program
Roosters usually take the
longest to adopt, she added.
Livestock are adopted in an
average of 12-20 days, including roosters. Without counting
roosters, livestock are adopted in less than five days, Richards
Dogs tend be adopted in less
than seven days, while cats average about a 15 day stay at the
There is still one rooster,
named Duck, up for adoption.
When Bitsey arrived at the
humane society there were at least two other roosters up for
“Over here, he’s crowing up a
storm with the three of ‘em going at the same time,” said Chase
Connolly, an animal control officer with KHS. “It’s an orchestra of
Now, only Duck is
For information on adopting
Duck, contact KHS at 360-692-6977.
Howe family history was honored Thursday in Congress.
As anyone familiar with South Kitsap knows, the Howe name is
Port Orchard’s 125-year history. It began with William Fenton
Howe, who on March 6, 1891, moved his family from Tacoma to the
shores of Sinclair Inlet in the town known as Sidney (now Port
Orchard). The Howes were movers and shakers in the town’s early
government and commerce. Members of the family, including the
late Gerry Howe Bruckart, remained influential throughout the
Anyone not familiar with the Howes’ contributions to Port
Orchard ought to be, according to Edwin (Scott) Howe of Pierce
County, great-grandson of William Fenton Howe. Edwin pitched to
Congressman Derek Kilmer a proclamation noting March 6 as the 125th
anniversary of the Howes’ arrival in Port Orchard. Kilmer was
instrumental in authorizing the proclamation, which he read into
the Congressional record on Thursday, according to Kilmer’s
spokesman Jason Phelps.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the William Fenton Howe
family for their contributions to the history of the Pacific
Northwest and to recognize their 125th anniversary of calling the
city of Port Orchard, Wash., home,” Kilmer read.
The proclamation goes on to detail the lives of the Howes, who
came to Washington in 1888 from Pennsylvania. They lived in Tacoma
before arriving in Sidney in 1891. William and his wife Emma had
five children: Harry, William, Edwin, Roy and Edith.
Sidney, incorporated in 1890, was the first town in Kitsap
County to do so. The Howes established Howe Hardware, serving a the
burgeoning lumber industry. Agriculture and a pottery works were
other major economic drivers in Port Orchard’s early days.
Following the death of his wife in 1985 and a fire at the hardware
store, William Fenton Howe placed the children with families in the
community and set off for Alaska to pursue opportunities in the
booming mining industry there. Edwin Scott Howe joined his dad, and
they provided stoves to the miners.
Back in Port Orchard, after the death of their father, Edwin and
Harry Howe opened Howe Brothers Hardware. The family also owned
Howe Motor Company, which supplied many of the first vehicles to
the Kitsap Peninsula. Members of the Howe family served on the city
council and were engaged in civic organizations. They rallied to
bring electric power to the town and ensure the location of a
veterans home in Retsil.
The Howe legacy continued with Gerry Howe Bruckart, a
businesswoman and charter member of the Sidney Museum and Arts
Association. Bruckart, who owned the Olde Central Antique Mall on
bay Street, died in 2005 at 88.
Edwin Scott Howe tells us he is “the last of the Howe clan and
never had any children. I am one of the original ‘Baby Boomers’
having been born March 13, 1946. I moved from Port Orchard in 1981
to Pierce County. My oldest sister, Judy Howe, is the sole
surviving member of the original Howe family still living in Port
Orchard. She was born September 12, 1942.”
Abadan Holdings, LLC, Mansour Samadpour’s property management
company, on Tuesday responded to our Feb. 7 article about the
impending closure of the Port Orchard Pavilion. Delilah Rene
Luke said she can no longer subsidize operations for the event
center, which she has operated since 2009. Luke said she and Abadan
were unable to reach an agreement on rent that will allow the
Pavilion to remain open.
In the article, Abadan attorney Mary Ogborn responded to
Pavilion manager Joni Sonneman’s statement that Abadan now wants
$6,000 a month for the place, by saying the future monthly asking
price would be negotiated with the new tenant. She neither
confirmed or denied that $6,000 is the current price for the
Pavilion, and Ogborn said Abadan had no further comment on the
In fairness to Ogborn (and readers) I could have and should have
pressed her for confirmation of other statements made by Delilah
and Sonneman about arrangements between the Pavilion and Abadan
through the years, including Sonneman’s statement that rent had at
one time in the past been dropped from $4,000 to $3,000 per month
then raised back up. Ogborn, in her response letter, stated the
rent was never reduced to $3,000, and I have verified that is
Ogborn gave other additional details about the lease agreement
over the years that Pavilion representatives do not dispute,
including an arrangement that gave the Pavilion some credit, in the
form of one month’s free rent per year, for work done on the
Ogborn said the rent originally, in 2009, was $5,000 a month. In
2010, Delilah and company approached Abadan regarding installation
of a sprinkler system that was required on the building and
requested a tenant improvement allowance. “Abadan was happy to
grant this allowance,” Ogborn said.
According to Ogborn and the Pavilion, this option was exercised
over the next two years, but not in the following three years.
There is some disagreement over who was responsible for initiating
the free rent option.
In May 2012, at the Pavilion’s request for a rent reduction,
Abadan agreed to $4,000 a month, and it remained at this amount
through fall of 2015. As the lease expiration approached, the
Pavilion and Abadan entered discussions on rent. The Pavilion
proposed $2,750 per month and asked for its three years’ worth of
retroactive free rent. Both parties agree that the Pavilion
received three months of free rent in the latter part of 2015 and
At the same time Abadan offered a one-year extension but stood
firm on $4,000 a month. “Thereafter the lease negotiations stalled
out,” Ogborn said.
The pavilion obtained a short-term lease extension to Feb. 15 at
$4,000 per month and later was granted another extension to March
15 at $6,000 a month (which is apparently where the $6,000 figure
came from). Abadan has said if the Pavilion wants to continue
renting the space month to month and not enter a fixed term lease,
the price is $6,000 per month, Ogborn said.
Samadpour owns multiple properties in Port Orchard, including
virtually the entire 700 block of Bay Street, where the Pavilion is
Ogborn in a letter to me had this statement: “Abadan supports
businesses in Port Orchard and has worked with the tenants at the
Port Orchard Pavilion over the years to support them through their
struggle to develop a viable business. Over the years, Abadan has
worked with many of the tenants in Port Orchard to reduce their
rent in order to help keep their businesses viable during economic
downturns. Abadan has reduced the rent for the Pavilion in 2012 and
has not raised the rent for the Pavilion in three years.
“Abadan takes issue with the characterization of the
negotiations in your article because in actuality, tenants demanded
Abadan reduce the Pavilion’s rent by $1,250 per month or no deal
could be reached. Abadan cannot reasonably be expected to subsidize
a failing business by continuing to offer rent reductions and
believes it is unprofessional for the tenants to voice their
displeasure with Abadan by presenting a one-sided and inaccurate
version of the history of their tenancy and the lease negotiations
between our businesses to you.”
Regarding Ogborn’s letter, Delilah said that renovations she
made to the building, including urgent and critical repairs,
tallied far more than the total the Pavilion received in the form
of free rent.
A link to the Kitsap Sun’s story about
nine applicants for a vacant seat on the Port Orchard City
Council hadn’t been up on Facebook for half an hour, when some one
questioned the residency status of one of the candidates.
The district 3 seat was vacated at the start of 2016 by Rob
Putaansuu, who was elected mayor in November.
The council will fill the vacancy by choosing from among the
pool of applicants. Monday was the deadline to submit a resume,
letter of interest and answers to written questions from the
council. The council will interview applicants on Thursday,
beginning at 9 a.m. at city hall. All interviews are open to the
public. The council likely will make the appointment at the Jan. 12
regular council meeting.
To be eligible for city council, an applicant must be a
registered voter and resident of the city. State law prohibits
felons from holding elected office. The city of Port Orchard does
not have districts or wards, so anyone living within city limits is
eligible for the district 3 seat … or any other seat.
During election season, we reported on a
residency challenge against Port of Bremerton candidate John
Poppe. The story, by Tad Sooter, illustrates how, as Kitsap County
Elections Manager Kyle Joyce puts it, state law puts the onus on
the person making the challenge to prove a candidate does not live
at his or her stated address.
Poppe told the Kitsap Sun he moved to the Chico Way address
listed on his candidate registration specifically so he could run
for the Bremerton port commission seat while maintaining his
standing as a Silverdale Water District commissioner. Kitsap County
Auditor Dolores Gilmore ruled in Poppe’s favor, saying challenger
Roger Zabinski failed to present “clear and convincing evidence”
Poppe didn’t live on Chico Way.
The city of Port Orchard determined some applicants for the city
council position were ineligible because they live outside city
limits. City Clerk Brandy Rinearson said her office used the Kitsap
County parcel search function to confirm the location of
applicants’ homes. In one case, where the applicant’s listed
address was close to the city limit, Rinearson verified through the
Kitsap County Elections’ Division that he lived just outside the
Rinearson then verified through the Kitsap County Auditor
(Elections Division) that the remaining applicants are registered
voters within the city of Port Orchard.
The Auditor’s Office does not ask people for proof of residency
when they register to vote, Joyce said. The voter registration form
requires a signature attesting to the truth of the information
“Should a citizen have concerns, they can reach out to me or the
Kitsap County Elections department to receive a form for
challenging,” Rinearson said, in an emailed response to the Kitsap
Sun and others with questions about residency verification. “Please
let me know if you have any additional questions or need anything
Rinearson may be reached at (360) 876-7030. The elections
division is at (360) 337-7129.
Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes was contrite Monday following
an altercation Friday over campaign finance records that
involved Matthes, running for re-election, former mayor Lary
Coppola, Teresa Osinski, executive vice president of the Home
Builders Association of Kitsap County, and others.
Osinski’s request to review Matthes’ campaign contributions and
expenditures, as allowed by law, devolved into a tug-of-war between
Matthes and Osinski over the the folder containing the records. In
an audio recording by Matthes’ supporter Robert Parker, there are
sounds of scuffling and broken glass shortly before an abrupt end
to the meeting, held at the Bremerton Bar & Grill.
“I apologize that this is reflecting poorly on the city,” said
Matthes who stressed he was acting in his capacity as a candidate
not as mayor at the meeting. “I apologize to city residents and to
my supporters, too. I let them down, and myself too, by allowing
this to get out of hand.”
The meeting, already tense in tone, went south after Coppola
arrived, and Matthes told Osinski he would not show her the records
while Coppola was present. Coppola, who lost the 2011 election to
Matthes by five votes after a contentious campaign, is a member of
the HBA’s board and was there as a witness to the proceedings,
Osinski said Matthes at one point “lunged across the table”
reaching for the documents, causing and injury to her hand. Parker
said it wasn’t a lunge and that Osinski appeared the aggressor.
Osinski reported her hand hurt after the incident. Matthes got a
Coppola and Linda Simpson, a Bremerton resident there on behalf
of Matthes, both told Bremerton police that Coppola tried to take a
video of the altercation with his cell phone and Simpson tried to
block him. Simpson and Parker say Coppola at one point pushed
Simpson. Coppola did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
The audio indicates a verbal confrontation between the two of them.
See the partial transcript from the audio recording at the height
of the confrontation, below.
“This was a candidate Tim thing. I was not representing the city
or city staff,” said Matthes. “It saddens me that political stuff
gets this bad. Sometimes the rhetoric, the viciousness just gets
out of control. I think this is prime example of things getting out
of control. I apologize for my part.”
Matthes raised and spent under $5,000 on his campaign and opted
for “mini-reporting” of his campaign spending. The law allows
people to inspect mini-reporting records within eight days of the
election, and Osinski had an appointment to do so.
Both Matthes and his supporters say a revision to state law
42.17A.235) put them within their rights to bar Coppola from
the meeting and to end the meeting when he wouldn’t leave. However,
a spokeswoman from the state’s Public Disclosure Commission and a
local legislator who co-sponsored the bill that effected the change
say the new law doesn’t speak to the presence of witnesses.
HB 1819 adds to the RCW the requirement, “A person wishing to
inspect the books of account must provide the treasurer with his or
her telephone number and must provide photo identification prior to
inspecting the books of account. A treasurer may refuse to show the
books of account to any person who does not make an appointment or
provide the required identification.”
Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard, a co-sponsor of the bill, said
the intent of the legislation is to impose requirements on the
person asking to look at the records, not to prevent people coming
along to watch the proceedings. That also was the interpretation of
Lori Anderson, PDC spokeswoman.
“I don’t know that that change necessarily prevents someone from
accompanying” the person inspecting the records, Anderson said. In
the PDC’s view, Coppola’s presence was irrelevant to the role of
the PDC, which is to ensure the candidate’s compliance in sharing
campaign finance records, Anderson said. “They have the burden of
proof to whoever wants to see them.”
Matthes’ group asserts the last sentence refers to people who
accompany those requesting to see the records. Simpson said Coppola
was close enough to Osinski to be able to see Matthes’ campaign
ledger. Matthes said, “When you’re in a room like we were, if
you’re witnessing it or in the room where it’s being discussed, I
believe it’s the same thing as inspecting.”
Anderson acknowledged that the recent dust-up at the Bremerton
Bar & Grill exposes a gray area of the new law. “You’ve brought
up a situation that the PDC hadn’t thought about, and maybe we need
to do some rule making around if other people come they need to be
Simpson said she contacted the PDC before the meeting so they
would be aware of the rules. Nothing in there speaks to witnesses,
Parker and Simpson argue that it was a private meeting, so
Coppola shouldn’t have attended. Osinski said she was not made
aware that Matthes would have other people with him.
Matthes on Monday said he has raised $1,600 in campaign
contributions (other than funds provided by himself to his
campaign). He has spent $2,889.30
Partial transcript of audio recording by Robert Parker on
Oct. 30 of a meeting between Teresa Osinski of the HBA and Tim
Matthes, cadidate for Port Orchard Mayor, for the purpose of
Osinski viewing Matthes’ campaign finance records, as allowed by
Matthes to Osinski: “I’ll be more than happy to show you these
records … if you just follow the prescribed law, you can see
Matthes to Coppola: “I’d ask you now to wait in the outside
Coppola: “I’m not going anywhere.”
Matthes: “OK, that pretty much ends this.”
Osinski: No, it doesn’t, I have an appointment and I’m going to
look at your books.”
Matthes: “No you’re not. Not as long as he’s (Coppola) sitting
here. As long as he’s sitting here, you’re not going to look …”
Osinski: “(Coppola) doesn’t need to look at them. I do.”
Matthes: “Would you give the books up?” (sounds of
“Osinski: “I have the book.” (more sounds of scuffling)
Matthew: “No you don’t have the books.” (glasses breaking) “No
you don’t have the books. Now you don’t have the books.”
Osiniski: “Give me my book.”
Other person: “It’s not your book.”
Osinski: “I have a book under there. Give it to me.”
Simpson: “Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me.”
Coppola: “Don’t you touch me.”
Simpson: “I didn’t, you touched me.”
Coppola: “I haven’t touched you.”
Matthes: “Under these circumstances I’d say you all need to be
Matthes, citing RCW 42.17A.235, told Osinski he’d show her the
records when Coppola left.
Clancy Donlin, candidate for the at-large position on the Port
Orchard City Council, and write-in candidate Bill Christensen, who
joined the race in early September, met with the Kitsap Sun’s
editorial board. Videos of the interviews follow. Usually the board
interviews candidates together, but Donlin missed the scheduled
interview, Sept. 22, and was interviewed separately on Oct. 1.
For your convenience, I have re-posted the Ed Board videos from
all other council races and the mayoral race. As a reminder, I
report on the races and am not part of the Editorial Board’s
endorsement process. I do sit in on interviews, as my schedule