Category Archives: Poulsbo

From Poulsbo to Paris: Brenda Prowse says Parisians ‘not afraid to celebrate life’


Josh Farley writes: 

Like many of us, Brenda Prowse and her husband, Hugh, spent Friday night watching the harrowing coverage of a series of terror attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris.

But Prowse happened to be watching it from her apartment near the Eiffel Tower.

The former Poulsbo realtor has lived in Paris since January 2013. As gunmen and suicide bombers carried out the worst violence in Paris since World War II, she arrived at their apartment for the evening in the 7th arrondissement not knowing it was happening.

“We were unaware of the horror last night until we returned from dinner and started receiving text messages from friends,” she told me.

They watched the news until almost 4 a.m. Saturday. Only days earlier, they had gone to a bar near Place de la Republique, where two of the shootings occurred. While it feels close, in some ways, it also feels distant, this being Paris, she said.

“Three miles is not that far away but in a city this densely populated it is almost another world,” she said.

When they awoke Saturday, she went for a run. Their apartment manager lit a candle in the foyer. And while the streets were a little quieter, she said people were still going about their business.

“Buses, metro, taxis were all operating this morning,” she said, adding a visiting friend took the train to London without incident. “Cafes were serving lunch.”

Even as the memorials grow around the city, it seems there’s an incredible resiliency in the City of Light, though its iconic Eiffel Tower is dark for the moment. 

“Parisians are out and about today and though wary, are not afraid to celebrate life,” she told me.

Local World War II nurse writes about her service

Vida Shapanus watched U.S. planes fly through the night to Normandy, France, for the D-Day Invasion on June 6, 1944.

She was serving as an American military nurse in the British Isles during World War II. Although there were rumors around the base of a U.S. invasion coming, she didn’t know where the planes had been going at the time.

Vida Shapanus, far right, and friends during their World War II deployment in Wales.
Vida Shapanus, far right, and friends during their World War II deployment in Wales.

Two days after D-Day, Vida started treating soldiers from the invasion who had been stabilized in field hospitals and sent to her base in Wales.

Now, the 93-year-old Poulsbo resident is looking to print a book about her military service experience, including the night of D-Day planes.

Vida is searching for a professional editor, graphic artist and publisher to help finish the book, said her oldest daughter, Joanna Shapanus.

Vida grew up in Fresno, California, where she graduated from nursing school in 1943 before joining the Air Force as a nurse. She has lived in Kitsap County since 1990.

She met her husband Tony Shapanus, who died Oct. 20, 1998, during basic training. They kept in contact through letters as friends during the war and started dating once she returned to the states. They have four children, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

She was stationed at a rural base made of portable buildings surrounded by farmland in Wales.

“We had livestock wandering through the hospital grounds,” she said.

Once she ran straight into a cow during a night duty.

“I bumped into something big and solid,” she said. “One end mooed at me.”

No lights were allowed on the base at night and only a small flashlight pointed at your feet could be used to move around, she said.

Vida Shapanus, 93
Vida Shapanus, 93

She spent less than two years in the British Isles before coming back to the states to be discharged in January 1946.

While overseas she saw the wreckage of London from Nazi bombing, and rode a French cruise ship refurbished as a military vessel since it had been left behind when Germany invaded France.

Although she kept in contact with several nursing friends she made during the war, all of them have died.

“There aren’t many of us left anymore,” she said.

Nigerian firefighter dies after training with local firefighters

Olumide Ogunubi
Olumide Ogunubi

Edward Wright, owner of Targhee Fire in Poulsbo, learned Tuesday that one of the Nigerian firefighters he had helped train recently died in the line of duty.

Olumide Ogunubi, a Lagos State firefighter, died Saturday during a “deep well rescue,” Wright said in an email.

Ogunubi was one of 90 Nigerian firefighters who Wright and several regional firefighters trained through Targhee Fire.

“Nigerian firefighters face risks and challenges that are hard to fathom for those in the West,” Wright said. “We send our thoughts and prayers to the Lagos State Fire Service family and the family of firefighter Olumide.”

Olumide was assigned to the Ikotun station in Lagos State.

Poulsbo osprey return, set up home on their new platform

A osprey takes flight Monday from its new nesting platform at Strawberry Fields in Poulsbo.
A osprey takes flight Monday from its new nesting platform at Strawberry Fields in Poulsbo.

A pair of osprey have returned to Strawberry Fields where a new nesting platform was waiting for them.

The birds had built a nest on one of the lights a few years ago and it was removed for safety reasons after they left this past winter.

You can read about the platform construction and installation in a previous Kitsap Sun article.

New benches coming to Poulsbo waterfront

A map of where the new benches will be place. They are the blue rectangles.
A map of where the new benches will be place. They are the blue rectangles. Map courtesy of the city of Poulsbo.

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, park director.

Workers plan to pour concrete Thursday, and all the benches will be done by the end of April.

Viking Fest, one of the city’s largest event, is in mid-May.

Developer says assisted living facility will have small impact on parking, traffic

Site plans for Poulsbo Place II.
Site plans for Poulsbo Place II.

Questions and discussions centered around parking and traffic concerns during a neighborhood meeting last Wednesday evening about a proposed assisted living development in Poulsbo.

“It’s the project that will create the least amount of traffic and parking problems that you can put on the site,” Co-developer David Smith told about 30 people at the meeting.

The facility, known as Poulsbo Place II, would have underground parking to provide enough space for residents, guests and employees at the assisted living facility, he said.

There would be 40 parking stalls under the facility along Third Avenue, with another 52 stalls at the corner of Third Avenue and Iverson Street. There is the possibility of an expansion above the 52 parking stalls.

There also would be four handicapped parking spots by the main entrance of the building, although the area would be mainly for picking up and dropping off residents.

The north end of the development along Sunset Street would have three stories with retail on the ground level. A majority of the parking would be unground along the Third Avenue.

Although the Third Avenue buildings would have three-stories, including parking on the lower level, it would appear to be two-stories from Sunset Street, said Ian Andersen, a Rice Fergus Miller architect working on the project.

While residents had questions about traffic and parking, only one spoke out in favor of leaving the property undeveloped or developing a building that would have even less impact on traffic, such as a church, she said.

The property — 2.2 acres of grass and blackberry bushes with no trees — is assessed at $183,700.

Smith compared available parking and traffic of the proposed project to the existing Liberty Shores Senior Living in Poulsbo where his mother-in-law was.

Liberty Shores has 102 units, and Poulsbo Place II would have 100 units, fewer than a dozen of those being two-person units.

“It works great except on Christmas and Thanksgiving,” Smith said about Liberty Shores. “Other than that, I’ve always had parking.”

Most of the traffic at the proposed facility would be during a change shift for employees at the facility.

Drivers would enter underground parking near the curve on Sunset and Third Avenue, and exit on Iverson Street. Drivers can only enter and exit via right turns.

There will be an elevator, along with emergency stairs in the parking garage area.

Dumpster for the facility will be in the garage area and set out for a few hours for pickup on trash day.

The residents also would be “captive customers” that would help support nearby businesses and downtown Poulsbo just a couple blocks away, Smith said.

When one woman questioned whether residents would actually get out and about, Smith said that he often went on walks with his mother-in-law around Liberty Shores and they would go out eating or shopping about once a week.

Developers are still negotiating with Martha & Mary — which runs a nursing home in Poulsbo — to manage the assisted living facility, Smith said.

View site plans here.

Poulsbo parks board gives bike track, softball field thumbs up for Little Valley Ball Field

Residents and supporters cram into the Poulsbo City Council chambers to hear proposals for what the Little Valley Ball Field should become.
Residents and supporters cram into the Poulsbo City Council chambers to hear proposals for what the Little Valley Ball Field should become.

Poulsbo’s park board will be recommending two of four proposals for Little Valley Ball Field — a bike track and softball field — to the City Council.

The board ranked the proposal after every organization presented Monday night at Poulsbo City Hall where a crowd of residents and supporters spilled out into the hallway.

“We certainly know this process works,” said Mary McCluskey, Parks and Recreation Department director. “That was the best part of it. Know what? We could do this again if we had another piece of property.”

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance West Sound Chapter proposed a bike pump track, while the Diamond Dusters wanted a “home” softball field. North Kitsap Little League also wanted to leave the property as a ball field to use for practice, and Kitsap Children’s Musical Theater wanted a new facility for rehearsal space.

The board did not discuss why the bike track and softball field proposals were chosen over children’s theater or the little league field, although McCluskey said it was likely a combination of factors, such as timeline, cost, support and the organization’s need.

While five proposals had originally been submitted to the city, one — a solar park proposal — was withdrawn at the request of PIE Inc. owner Pedro Valverde, who told the city via email that partners for the $1 million project did not come through.

The children’s theater proposal also had changes announced at Monday’s presentations. The Kitsap Children’s Musical Theater decided to scale back plans for a $5 million performance and rehearsal center to a $3.9 million rehearsal only facility.

The project would take about five years to complete fundraising and construction.

After the board announced its recommendation, the neighbor who shares a driveway with the ball field spoke up about concerns with being able to leave and enter his property, along with preventing contamination to the shallow wells on his and his father’s property nearby.

Maurice “Gene” Foster, who has lived by the park for 55 years, told the board he did not want to favor any one proposal, although he wanted the board and the city to consider his comments.

“I really support the children of this community,” he said. “I built that field. I built that driveway. Every time we have asked the teams to keep the driveway vacant, I’ve had to weave around cars and ask people to move.”

Poulsbo City Council will consider the parks board recommendation, although council members will review all four proposals.

The final proposal must meet building code and environmental standards, McCluskey said.

You can read more details about the proposals in my previous story.

Poulsbo’s new bus route has started

Poulsbo Bus Route No. 44
Poulsbo Bus Route No. 44

Kitsap Transit fired up its newest Poulsbo bus route this week.

Poulsbo Central route No. 44 will be free for the first month, according to the Poulsbo city website.

The bus makes a full loop around town about every 30 minutes, giving riders access to the Doctors Clinic and Group Health, the Poulsbo library branch, Hostmark Apartments, downtown, Olympic College, WalMart, Central Market and the NK Medical Center.

Poulsbo has three bus routes running Monday through Saturday.

Kitsap Transit buses do not operate on Sunday anywhere in Kitsap County.

Read  Ed Friedrich’s story on the Poulsbo bus route changes.

Four candidates vie for Poulsbo City Council seat

Poulsbo City Councilwoman Linda Berry-Maraist announced her resignation in December. She was an advocate for the city's parks and area trails. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN
Poulsbo City Councilwoman Linda Berry-Maraist announced her resignation in December. She was an advocate for the city’s parks and area trails. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN

city logoPoulsbo City Council will interview four candidates and appoint a new member Wednesday night to Linda Berry-Maraist’s vacant seat.

Berry-Maraist announced her resignation at the end of last year to focus on family and starting her career back up. Her term did not end until December 2015, along with three other council members’ terms.

Boone Eidsmoe, Hunter McIntosh, Kenneth Thomas and Shane Skelley are vying for the seat.

Each candidates said they would like to run for election in November.

Council members serve four-year terms and earn $6,000 a year.


Eidsmoe, a recent graduate of North Kitsap High School, is a sale associate at Dahlquist Fine Jewelry in Poulsbo. During his time at North Kitsap High he was the drama president where he helped budget for projects and productions, his application says.

Eidsmoe also is the youngest Poulsbo Lion’s Club member, joining last year. His volunteer work includes helping rebuild trails around Raab Park.

His three highest priorities for the city would be dealing with the issue of drugs and homelessness, along with bringing more businesses to Viking Way.


McIntosh is the managing director with The Boat Company where he has worked since 2000, with a two-year stint in computer communications from 2006 to 2008. The Boat Company is a “nonprofit educational organization offering luxury eco-cruises through Southeast Alaska,” according to its website.

McIntosh’s career has been spent working with environmental policy for nonprofits, his application says.

His earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, communication and marketing from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut in 1999.

McIntosh has lived in Poulsbo for two years, and half of his community involvement is in Alexandria, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. He served on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, the Environmental Policy Commission and the Youth Policy Commission.

His three highest priorities would be redeveloping Viking Avenue, create a “college town” with Olympic College and strengthen the city’s position as a destination local via water access.


Thomas bought a Poulsbo home in 2009, before becoming a full-time resident there in 2012.

He is a retired Naval officer, working with the Navy for about 20 years and was most recently responsible for a maintenance training program in the Puget Sound region last year.

Previously he taught high school and middle school in Arizona from 2001 to 2005, after working with the Navy since 1982.

He also served as an elected Goodyear City Councilman in Arizona from 1977 to 1979.

Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Arizona State University in 1991 and a master’s in secondary education from the same university in 1997. He also earned a bachelor’s in history at Regents College in New York in 1991, and “completed graduate-level courses in public administration,” which was taught by city managers, his application says.

His top three priorities as councilman would be preparing the city for review of its urban growth areas in 2016, ensuring public safety with a well staffed and trained police department, and maintaining Poulsbo’s quality of life and character..


Skelley is a general contractor and owner of Skelley Works LLC in Poulsbo, which he started in 1998.

His company does bid on public works projects, his application said, and it has helped with city projects, including the educational amphitheater at Fish Park.

Skelley has lived in Poulsbo seven years, graduated from North Kitsap High School in 1993 and attended Clatsop Community College in Oregon from 1993-1995.

He was a member of the Poulsbo Planning Commission and Port of Poulsbo Citizen advisory board. He is currently a member of the Poulsbo Rotary Club and Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce.

Skelley’s top three priorities would be “keeping ahead of new storm regulations,” establish stormwater fee incentives for commercial and residential property owners to reduce impervious surfaces, and help streamline permitting processes, “especially when it relates to habitat restorations and projects involving non profits,” according to Skelley’s application.

Technology, tweets replace Poulsbo’s police advisory board


Technology has made Poulsbo’s Community Police Advisory Board obsolete, leading to the City Council disbanding it.

The board was established in 1991 to “ensure quality citizen input and information exchange concerning police services and programs,” Police Chief Al Townsend told the City Council Wednesday night.

Before Twitter, Facebook or even easy access to the internet, the board members were the connection between the community and police department.

It was not an investigative, watchdog or review board, Townsend said.

Townsend and the Poulsbo Police communicate directly with citizens these days using an email newsletter and Townsend’s Twitter feed, which has nearly 700 followers.

“These new methods of communication reach a considerably wider audience and supply immediate feedback from both supporters and critics of the police department,” Townsend said.

The department doesn’t have a Facebook. It’s too trendy for that right now.

“The high schoolers tell me that is old school,” Townsend replied in a tweet.

The Twitter account is where the department reaches its younger and “more mobile audience,” he said.

Beyond emails and Twitter, the department has neighborhood meetings, survey audits for those that contact the police and individual meetings with citizens.

“I still have meetings with people in our community routinely. I had one this morning at 8, another one at 1:30,” Townsend said Wednesday. “We are still reaching out. We’re still doing the one-on-one conversations with people, but now we have new methods to reach a much wider audience.”

While online communication grows, the department was struggling to fill the nine board seats and had only seven members.

“People’s schedules have changed over the years,” Townsend said before noting evening meetings are difficult for residents to routinely make, pointing to the small audience of four at the council meeting.

Mayor Becky Erickson also noted that when the board first formed there were no City Council committees, which now include a public safety committee chaired by Councilwoman Connie Lord.

“We’ve really multiplied ways we do outreach to our community,” Erickson said.

Lord said that with current technology and outreach programs the Community Police Advisory Board’s time has “come and gone.”