Category Archives: port orchard

Renegade rooster finds a flock

Bitsey the rooster, who avoided capture for a year in South Kitsap.
Bitsey the rooster, who avoided capture for a year in South Kitsap.

Bitsey, the once elusive rooster, quickly found himself in a permanent home after being captured earlier this month in South Kitsap and taken to the humane society in Silverdale.

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 Humane Society.

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 coordinator.

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 said.

Dogs tend be adopted in less than seven days, while cats average about a 15 day stay at the humane society.

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Duck the rooster, who is up for adoption at the Kitsap Humane Society.

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 adoption.

“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 roosters.”

Now, only Duck is left.

For information on adopting Duck, contact KHS at 360-692-6977.

St. Vincent’s meets financial goal for construction loan

Just more than a week ago, St. Vincent de Paul thrift store lacked $65,000 needed to qualify for a construction loan on its new building. Time was running out for St. Vinnie’s, which for 25 years has offered aid to needy folks with profits from its sales. The thrift store was in danger of closing.

Today, St. Vincent met its goal to raise a total of $100,000, Sean Jeu, director of operations announced. The money was raised largely through small donations of $5, $10 and $20, plus several larger donations and a really big gift from an anonymous donor.

“The community’s really stepped up,” Jeu said.
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The thrift store must move from its Bay Street location, owned by Bruce Titus of Bruce Titus Ford, by January 2017. In December 2016 , St. Vincent announced it had secured roughly $400,000 in collateral but lacked an additional $100,000 the bank said would be needed to qualify for the loan. Renting was not an option, since there are no big enough spaces in Port Orchard the thrift store can afford, and building payments on land St. Vincent already owns on Bethel Avenue actually will be cheaper than current rent payments.

As of Feb. 17, St. Vincent had raised $35,300 through donations.

St. Vincent needed to apply for the loan by March 1 to start construction in April and stay on track for a move by early 2017, Jeu said. The funding gap seemed wide.

On Friday, Jeu was elated. He had met with bank officials and received encouraging news.

“I am very happy, so much weight off my shoulders,” he said. “The community is so amazing.”

Jeu said he can’t disclose the amount of the largest donation, which actually pushed St. Vinnie’s over the top of their goal. He also gave no information on the major donor, who wants to remain anonymous.

The additional money will be used for construction costs on the $1.8 million, 24,000-square-foot building, Jeu said.

St. Vincent’s board had come up with a plan B, should they fall short of their goal, which was to scale back the project and forego things like staff office space, awnings and other non-essentials, at least for now. Now, they will be able to go with plan A and possibly pay some of the principal on the loan, depending on the final cost of construction.

Bruce Titus was one of the donors who helped St. Vincent reach its goal. Jeu said he couldn’t disclose the amount, but he said Titus has been very supportive of the organization.

Young lad laments stolen bagpipes

Surely you’ve heard the story about the bagpipe player whose car was broken into. When he returned to the vehicle where he’d laid his instrument, sure enough there was another set of bagpipes in the car.

Kieran Prince has heard this joke and plenty of others like it.

“I think it’s funny,” said Prince, 21, of Port Orchard, a student at the University of Washington who’s played the bagpipes since he was 8 years old. “They are to a certain degree kind of obnoxious because they’re so loud.”
KieranCut

Even his fellow pipers in the Clan Gordon Pipe Band of Tacoma have a laugh at their own expense. “Its all in good fun though,” he said.

Prince wasn’t laughing, however, when he found his car window smashed out the morning of Jan. 2 and the century-old set of bagpipes that had been in the back seat gone.

His car was parked on McCormick Woods Drive, according to a Port Orchard Police Department report. The police are investigating the theft of the bagpipes, which Prince describes as irreplaceable.

The pipes belonged to Jack Montgomery, Prince’s mentor and a member of 60-year-old the Clan Gordon band. They were passed down to Montgomery from his late father.

“They’re totally priceless for me and for Jack especially,” said Prince (the young lad second from right in the photo below). “Had they been my pipes, its still horrible but more tolerable than not belonging to me and having been his dad’s.”
kieran2
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve known Kieran Prince since about the time he took up the bagpipes. On Christmas night, Kieran and friends showed up at our doorstep, him playing “Amazing Grace” and another tune that had us all dancing a jig arm in arm.

I know nothing about playing the bagpipes, except what Kieran’s explained to me, from which I gather it’s darned complicated. There’s the big leather bag one must keep inflated with air one blows into it. One must pump the air from the bag tucked under one’s arm into the the “drone” pipes that stick out above one’s shoulders. The melody is played on the “chanter,” with finger holes, rather like a recorder. Beside maintaining the air, the drone and the melody, one is usually marching in step with an ensemble of other pipers and drummers … in a kilt. No small feat.

“It’s a complicated instrument for sure,” Kieran said.

Kieran took up the bagpipes to please his mother, Fiona Prince, and Grandma Dorothy Russel of Bannockburn, Scotland. He started just picking out the melody on the chanter, later graduating to the full set of pipes. “At that age when you’re young you’re sort of a sponge,” he said.

Now, he’s fully invested in the art of piping and proud of his Scottish heritage.

Kieran (on the left in the photo below) is one of the youngest members of the Clan Gordon band. He plays with the band in parades, at highland games and at the annual Tartan Ball, hosted by the band in Puyallup.
kieran3
Rather than giving him a hard time about his unusual choice of instrument, Kieran’s friends are totally into it. “When I break them out. Everybody’s really excited about it,” he said.

Kieran is hopeful the police can trace the pipes, which are in a black sack and have the Clan Gordon emblem on them. He is offering a reward of $400 for their return — no questions asked.
emblem

Anyone with information can call the Port Orchard Police Department, (360) 876-1700 on case number D16-000015, or contact Kieran directly, kieranrprince@gmail.com, (360) 710-2228.

Here’s one more video of the band at the Mt. Vernon Highland Games.

Port Orchard, hauntings and such

I learned a lot about Port Orchard when I was working on our coverage advancing the city’s 125th anniversary celebration on Saturday.

See a listing of anniversary events planned for Saturday, by clicking here.

Back to my story research, I thought I knew the closest mayoral race in the town’s history. See if you know by taking our trivia quiz. I’ll give you a hint, it was not the 2011 race between then-incumbent Lary Coppola and now-incumbent Tim Matthes.

I also was amazed to find how many buildings in the city, especially in the downtown core, date to the first half of the 20th Century. PO125_9According to a map of historic buildings on the city of Port Orchard’s website, quite a number are from the ’oughts, ’teens and ’20s, and there’s even a few from the late 1800s. You can find out more about Port Orchard’s historic buildings at the Sidney Museum and Arts Association, which hosted its annual historic homes tour in July.

SMMA’s own building at the corner of Prospect and Sidney is an old Masonic hall dating to 1908, listed on the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.

Given the age of the architecture, it’s small wonder talk of ghosts bubbles up around the town. Rumor has it the Old Central Hotel building, now the Olde Central Antique Mall, is haunted.

Another restless spirit is reputed to live in the yard abutting Prospect Street that is part of the Olympic Bike & Skate property owned by Fred Karakas. According to local historian Bryan Petro, the property was homesteaded by a man named Campbell who married a Native American woman. When she and their two boys died of a fever, Campbell is said to have buried them on the homestead.

“That’s why nothing is built there,” Petro said. “We’ve been told that’s haunted. It’s probably by her.”

Karakas says the burial was on the property of the building next door, which he also owns. The building once housed a tarot card reader who got strong vibes from the place, Karakas said.

Well, isn’t that the way with history? There are sometimes multiple versions of a story. Karakas and Petro also disagree on the origin of the name “Fathoms ‘O Fun,” the organization that has hosted Port Orchard’s summer parade and Fourth of July fireworks show since the late 1960s.

According to Petro, 56, city leaders decided to ax the Days of ’49, a Wild West themed annual festival involving much boozing and debauchery. mockhangingThe festival was supposed the hearken back to the city’s rough and tumble logging days. Mock shoot-outs, stage scenery jails and pretend hangings on Bay Street were a few of the reasons the city curbed its enthusiasm in favor of a tamer summer celebration initially called Sunfest (or Sun Fest). Petro says that name was claimed by another community, and “Fathoms ‘O Fun” was the replacement.

Karakas, in his 70s, said he arrived in town shortly after the Days of ’49 ended. But the festival died an unwilling death, according to Karakas. The wild and crazy times lived on, if diminished, in the Dinghy Derby race, which involved fake cannon shots and again, considerable boozing, according to Karakas. The dinghy races were part of Sunfair (or Sun Fair) Karakas concedes, but as to the origin of Fathoms, it came from a Sunfair T-shirt, a motto of the year. The following year, there were leftover T-shirts, and the organizing committee, of which Karakas was part, just taped over the year and used them again. (This is very much Karakas’ modus operandi). Thus Fathoms ‘O Fun became ingrained in Port Orchard’s memory bank and history.

One other little piece of trivia from the odds and ends bin, do you know which downtown business operates in a building that used to house a brothel upstairs? Find the answer, and test your knowledge of Port Orchard’s legend and lore against the folks in this video.

See a timeline of Port Orchard’s history by clicking here.

Richard Sherman has Cedar Heights covered

Students at Cedar Heights Junior High School (and most staff members) showed up for the school assembly Thursday with no idea what was in store.

When Richard Sherman walked into the room, the gym exploded in applause and excitement, said South Kitsap School District spokeswoman Amy Miller.

Sherman, a pillar of the Legion of Boom for the 2013 NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, agreed to speak at Cedar Heights’ “It Takes Courage to be Great!” assembly as part of his work with Blanket Coverage, the Richard Sherman Family Foundation.
crowd
Through the foundation, formed in 2013, Sherman provides students in low-income communities with school supplies and clothing so they can more adequately achieve their goals.

Sherman recently launched a new initiative to reach out to schools with large at-risk populations, according to Bryan Slater, Director of Community Outreach for the foundation and a member of its board. Cedar Heights does not fit the at-risk label statistically, said Slater, but Sherman wants to reach out to schools in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap County. Slater, a teacher in the Sumner School District, knows Ted Macomber, a dean at Cedar and supporter of previous Blanket Coverage events, and so the foundation connected with the school in South Kitsap School District.

Although Sherman did not distribute clothing at the assembly, the Stanford grad did talk to the students about having the courage and perseverance to keep trying even when the odds are stacked against you.
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Sherman fielded questions from the kids, including, “Will you be my best friend?” to “What was your most courageous moment?”

He also invited six students to sign Blanket Coverage contracts to work on improving themselves in the areas of attendance, behavior/attitude or academics. The kids are asked to document where they’ve been falling short in any one of these areas and to list specific actions they will try to take to change their habits. The purpose is to encourage students to take small steps to reach their bigger life goals, Slater said.
richard
Sherman will personally follow up with the students to see how they are doing with their goals, according to Slater.

“Richard’s role is to kind of be a big cheerleader for the kids,” he said. “Richard doesn’t want this to be kind of a one and done thing. He wants to have authentic, real relationships with the kids.”

On his blog, Sherman on Thursday posted, “Shout out to Cedar Heights Junior High School, I had an amazing time today. These kids truly have a ton of potential; I hope I can help them reach it. We had a few kids sign contracts today to improve in various areas of their studies — it is always encouraging to see a student show their dedication to becoming successful. I hope all the students enjoyed it as much as I did. Keep up the hard work; it will pay off!”
sign
Sherman has already visited Rainer Beach High School in Seattle, where he had five students sign contracts. With more school visits ahead, how will he keep track of all these kids?

“Richard’s memory is so incredible, when he gets to meet these five or six kids, he’ll remember them forever,” Slater said.

Members of the media were not invited to or notified of the event.

“We’re not really interested in the publicity,” Slater said. “We don’t want it to be construed as a publicity stunt by Mr. Sherman.”

“South Kitsap School District would like to thank Richard Sherman and his family foundation for taking the time to visit Cedar Heights and make a difference for the students in our community,” Miller said.

Go Hawks!

— Photos Courtesy of Blanket Coverage

Elected officials can have private social media accounts but …

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 public record?

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 city business.”

Mason concurs. “They don’t give up their free speech rights,” he said.

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 been satisfied.

The rules are being hashed out in the courts, as on Bainbridge and elsewhere.

“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 media.

As it stands now there is some degree of conflict between privacy rights of public officials and public records requests, Mason said.

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)

Total Voters: 130

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More on Port Orchard’s public records

With Christmas coming up in two days, how many folks are thinking about sewers? Or tap water?

If you have guests coming for the holiday, perhaps you’re hoping your pipes will handle the pressure — those extra showers and dishwasher cycles, those extra loads of laundry and loads of other sorts.

But most of the time, be honest, who really thinks about sewer and water, at least until you get your bill.

Speaking of sewer and water bills, Port Orchard’s rates for these utilities could double over the next five years, if the City Council takes the recommendation of a utilities finance expert, as we reported in Monday’s Kitsap Sun.

The city’s utility committee has been working since May with consultant Katy Isaksen to calculate what it would take to bridge the “gap” between revenue from ratepayers and the actual cost to provide sewer and water services. The city also needs to do some major upgrades to both systems, according to the public works department. Those costs are built into Isaksen’s recommended scenario under which the average sewer-water customer would see their bill rise from about $100 in 2015 to more than $230 in 2020.

Notice how the formal presentation on Isaksen’s recommendation came after months of looking at the details and revising estimates in committee meetings. It’s no stretch to say committee meetings are where the heavy lifting of city government gets done. And the public is always welcome to attend.

One city resident who does pay close attention to utilities is Elissa Whittleton. She tries to attend most utility committee meetings and, in a Facebook post a couple of weeks ago she complained about a new (as of October) disclaimer at the bottom of the agenda stating,

“PLEASE NOTE: UTILITY COMMITTEE PACKET MATERIALS PROVIDED TO COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND CITY STAFF ONLY. NOT TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO GENERAL PUBLIC UNLESS OBTAINED THROUGH PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST PROCEDURE.”

I, like Elissa, did a “Say what?” about this, since materials for city council meetings are readily provided through links on the online agenda and by request as hard copy.

City Clerk Brandy Rinearson had an explanation. The bottom line is, you can get the materials (with a formal request), but some materials (of the kind most likely to be distributed at committee meetings) are exempted from disclosure, and like all public records, committee materials are subject to redaction.

What does all this mean?

First of all, Rinearson said, committee meetings are different from regular council meetings in that they don’t constitute a quorum of council members. Under the state’s Open Public Meetings Act, any meeting of elected officials where there is a quorum (down to your tiniest water district) must be publicly noticed and materials cited at the meeting must be readily available to the public.

Why does this matter?

While committee members can hammer out policy and develop recommendations on actions the council might take at one of its meetings, they can’t take formal action. The council, on the other hand, can act on the basis of information in reports and other documents complied into a “council packet” that is often more than 100 pages long.

Don’t be daunted by that. If you are interested in a particular agenda item — as I was by the consultant’s report on the sewer and water “gap” — you can simply download it from the city’s website or ask for that part of the packet.

I had always assumed one could just as easily get materials from committee meeting packets and until recently they could.

What changed all that?

Starting around late summer, early fall, the utility committee was knee deep in discussion of stormwater rates. The owners of a B&B, who had concerns about how the proposed rate assessment would affect them, made a request for committee materials. Rinearson, as city clerk, was pulled in on the request, which included the couple’s earlier stormwater utility bills.

Under state public records law, private information like addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, social security numbers and the like must be redacted (whited out so no one can read them). Another type of information requiring redaction would be an attorney’s advice to the city, protected under client-attorney privilege.

So Rinearson realized that, even though the couple was requesting their own utility bill as part of the committee packet, technically, their privacy rights would be violated under public records laws. Rinearson told public works and other staff answering to the committee to direct any requests for packets through her as formal public records requests.

Public records is hot topic in the city of Port Orchard, what with the city of Bainbridge Island’s recent $500,00 settlement of a public records lawsuit.

Let’s now clarify that a formal records request to the city of Port Orchard can come in pretty much any form: via email, in writing and via a phone call to the city clerk’s office.

But wait, there’s more.

Some “preliminary materials” (discussed at any kind of meeting) are exempt from disclosure under the OPM, Brandy said, citing RCW 42.56.280. After reading the law and talking with Brandy, I’d describe these as documents descriptive of works in progress. But note the exemption for any that are directly linked to a formal action.

Exempt documents include, “Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, and intra-agency memorandums in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended are exempt under this chapter, except that a specific record is not exempt when publicly cited by an agency in connection with any agency action.”

As an example of preliminary documents, note that the estimated increase in sewer rates was much higher at first, when Isaksen included all capital projects on the city’s list. Committee members asked her to revise the estimates factoring in just the most pressing sewer and water projects.

I asked Rinearson if the RCW isn’t subject to interpretation. It is, she said. In her training as the public records official for the city, Rinearson learned about a four-part test — based on a case reviewed by the Washington State Court of Appeals — which she and other city officials now use to weigh whether a record is subject to disclosure.

Records that meet the four-part test could be withheld, according to Rinearson. The test points are:
One — The records contain pre-decision opinions or recommendations expressed as part of the deliberative process.
Two — Disclosure would be harmful to the deliberative process or consultative function of the process.
Three — Disclosure would interfere with the flow of recommendations, observations, and opinions.
Four — The records reflect policy recommendations and opinions and are not simply the raw factual data underlying a decision.

Two and three seem subjective to me, which I pointed out to Rinearson. She affirmed that her department’s decision to withhold documents is always open to a legal challenge.

According to Rinearson, more than 95 percent of records requested are readily available without redaction.

Now once more with feeling, Port Orchard’s committee materials are available are available with a records request to the city clerk, cityclerk@cityofportorchard.us, or by calling (360) 876-4407.

If you actually made it all the way through this post, congratulations; email me, chenry@kitsapsun.com, and I will add you to my unofficial list of local government nerds.

Strategic plan, timeline set for mental-health tax

Up to $3 million from the local mental-health tax will be doled out July 1.

A sales tax of 0.1 percent dedicated for local mental-health services went into effect Jan. 1 after being approved by Kitsap County commissioners in September.

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.

The citizens advisory board also is asking for community input on what residents what to see funded by the sales tax via an online survey.

In the 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 suggestions.

 

Reporting and responsibilities outlined

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 Team

  • 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 term
  • Jeannie Screws, Kitsap County Substance Abuse Advisory Board: 3 year
  • Aimee DeVaughn, Kitsap County Commission on Children and Youth: 3 year
  • 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

South Kitsap woman reunites lost dogs with owners

Juliua Stroup with Zsa Zsa and Bell shortly after the two dogs were found in Poulsbo

PORT ORCHARD — Juliua Stroup has been reuniting lost dogs with their owners for only two months, but she’s already lost count of the number of reunions she’s done.

There was Brewster, a dog from Gig Harbor missing since June 15. Stroup found him in Port Orchard Friday. A chihuahua-mix found in Belfair that was reunited with its East Bremerton owner last week. A Port Orchard bulldog at the animal shelter Stroup delivered to its owner.

But if she were to see the dogs once again, she’d remember each story.

“When I’m done with one, I just move on to the next,” said the 50-year-old Port Orchard resident.

Stroup keeps track of lost dogs in the county by spending 8 to 10 hours everyday working toward rescue efforts. That means spending hours on the internet, comparing found postings to lost dog ads to match dog and owner.

Her efforts are being honored Sunday by PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap at the annual dog-celebration event, WagFest.

A retired information technology specialist at Keyport, Stroup said she got involved in reuniting dogs and their owners in early July after noticing an increase in the number lost pet ads after the 4th of July holiday.

“I was just going to help a little, but then I got pulled in,” Stroup recalled during a phone interview from her Port Orchard home.

Stroup was recently involved in a reunion between two Boxer dogs and their Port Ludlow owners.

The dogs had escaped from the Viking Kennels in Poulsbo while David and Maisie Wheatley and their family went on vacation in July.

The problem was made worse when Viking Kennels staff revealed the dogs, Zsa Zsa and Bell, had been missing about a week before the family returned.

Stroup and a team of volunteers went into rescue mode, scouring the internet and making phone calls and visiting area animal shelters on a daily basis.

It also was the first time Stroup herself physically walked and searched an area for a missing dog, despite still recovering from hip surgery at the time.

Zsa Zsa was found 11 days later while Bell was found 21 days later.

Callers noticed Zsa Zsa darting in and out of traffic near Gunderson and Stottlemeyer Roads and Bell was found hiding in a wooded area near Lincoln and Widme Roads. Other than dehydration and a few cuts and scraps, the two dogs were in good shape, Stroup said.
She calls Zsa Zsa and Bell her godchildren now.

The best part of reuniting owners with their dogs is being part of the emotional reunion, Stroup said.

Reunited dogs with their owners is just one of the ways Stroup gives back to her community.

After leaving her job at Keyport a few years ago, Stroup started collecting wood from various sources to give to the poor.

The 50 year old also volunteers for equine non-profits around the county, using her trailer to transport horses from one location to another.

“People need to know you don’t need to do something really huge to help,” she said. “You just have to be a bit inconvenienced. You don’t have o have a lot of money, but just put in the effort.”

She’ll be attending Sunday’s Wagfest with the Wheatleys and her four-legged godchildren.

Photo: Maisie Wheatley of Port Ludlow with Zsa Zsa

Maisie Wheatley of Port Ludlow with Zsa Zsa
Maisie Wheatley of Port Ludlow with Zsa Zsa