Category Archives: Poulsbo

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.

BOONE EIDSMOE

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.

HUNTER MCINTOSH

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.

KENNETH THOMAS

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..

SHANE SKELLEY

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

Towsend-Twitter

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.”

Child safety also a concern that lead to Poulsbo pot ban

Photo by Associated Press file The Poulsbo City Council voted Wednesday to ban marijuana-related businesses and collective gardens for medical marijuana.
Photo by Associated Press file
The Poulsbo City Council voted Wednesday to ban marijuana-related businesses and collective gardens for medical marijuana.

Before the Poulsbo City Council voted to ban marijuana related businesses and collective medical marijuana gardens Wednesday night, several council members and area residents voiced concerns about public safety.
Councilwoman Connie Lord said she was “appalled” to learn that home-based day cares would not require 1,000 feet buffer for marijuana businesses, a topic Chris Henry reported on earlier this week.
State regulations require marijuana businesses be at least 1,000 feet from certain areas:
— Elementary schools or secondary schools.
— Playgrounds.
— Recreation centers or facilities.
— Public parks.
— Public transit centers.
— Libraries.
— Game arcades.
— Child care centers.
In early March, the Liquor Control Board clarified that “child care centers,” as defined under state law, did not include “licensed family home child care,” where “care is provided for twelve or fewer children in the family living quarters where the licensee resides.”
Susan Ogilvie, a Poulsbo resident, said she was in the second phase of completing her home-based day care center that would be nearby the light industrial zone area of Viking Way where marijuana businesses would be allowed.
She asked the council not to approve a permanent marijuana ordinance, because of a nearby the Viking Way area zoned for marijuana businesses. Although there is a 1,000 feet buffer applied to the park where marijuana businesses would not be allowed, Ogilvie argued that many children ride their bikes through the area to get to the park.
Ogilvie also spoke out against marijuana related businesses in Poulsbo at the planning commission’s public hearing last month as the city moved forward with a permanent ordinance for marijuana businesses.
The commission voted to send the permanent ordinance to the City Council for Monday’s hearing.
In February, the council voted to extend the interim marijuana ordinance for six months.
If the council had decided not to act or voted down the ordinance Monday night, the current interim regulations would have expired in August.

PO Beats Poulsbo on “best small cities” list

The online publication citiesjournal.com has taken a David Letterman approach to the “top small cities” in Washington State. Port Orchard 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, nail, 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,” citiesjournal.com reports.

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 buggy.

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 explore.”

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 Shipyard.”

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.

So now, we seriously need to suggest a “Top 10″ category in which Bremerton will place. I’ll put out “Top 10 Cities that Enable Raccoons,” for starters.

The ball is in your court.