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.
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Strategic plan, timeline set for mental-health tax

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

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

Group critiques CK Fire staffing decision

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
One of Kitsap Fire Watch's signs is catching attention along Silverdale Way north of Newberry Hill Road. The group disagrees with Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue's decision to reduce the minimum number of firefighters needed per shift. Photo by Rachel Anne Seymour / Kitsap Sun

One of Kitsap Fire Watch’s signs is catching attention along Silverdale Way north of Newberry Hill Road. The group disagrees with Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue’s decision to reduce the minimum number of firefighters needed per shift. Photo by Rachel Anne Seymour / Kitsap Sun

Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue is under scrutiny from a self-described grassroots organization.

Kitsap Fire Watch, started by Ronny Smith as well as several union and community members, emerged online, followed by eye-catching yellow signs near Chico. Smith is vice president of IAFF Local 2819.

The group is voicing concerns about Kitsap County’s fire districts, specifically CK Fire and Rescue.

KFW has about a dozen administrators for its website, according to Smith, who said the group members are not trying to be anonymous. The site does not list any administrators, organizers or members, and posts are not credited.

Smith is checking with KFW contributors to see if they would like to be publicly named. Some members might not have expected to be placed in the public light, Smith said.

The group formed and quickly grew after the CK fire commission approved a staff reduction without public comment in a 4-1 vote during the Nov. 12 meeting.

Each station is covered by three 24/7 shifts. Twenty-five firefighters are assigned to each shift.

The minimum number of firefighters needed districtwide per shift was reduced from 19 to 17. Based on how staffing is prioritized throughout the district stations, if fewer than 19 firefighters are available per shift, Station 64 in Chico will not be staffed with career firefighters. Volunteers will remain assigned to the station when available, according to CK Fire.

On Jan. 8, Station 64 was not staffed with career volunteers, relying on volunteers.

“Station 64 is still staffed with volunteers at this time and responding to calls,” Ileana LiMarzi said Thursday. LiMarzi is the CK Fire public information officer.

The district will continue to respond to calls in Station 64’s response area, according to a fact sheet released by the district.

Smith argues that volunteers often work day jobs and are not available to staff stations 24/7.

No firefighters were laid off as a result of the reduction, which the district said was necessary to reduce increasing overtime costs.

In 2013, the district spent $886,730 on overtime, $177,261 more than budgeted. In 2011, the district spent $625,113 on overtime.

Smith took issue with how quickly the reduction took place and without public discussion at the meeting. Smith and many residents learned about the potential reduction for the first time when they read the Nov. 12 agenda Friday before the meeting.

“The community in Chico wasn’t allowed input,” Smith said.

He attended the Nov. 14 meeting, which was a “packed house” and had standing room only.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion on how quickly or not the decision happened,” said David Fergus, CK fire commission chair.

Fergus had “quite a few conversations” with people in and outside the fire department about the decision, and feels the best decision was made, he said.

After public comments were not allowed on the reduction vote, Smith wanted to provide another avenue for community members to speak out. KFW was formed.

Smith and KFW also take issue with the fact the reduction idea was not shared publicly before being placed on the board’s agenda item.

At the end of last summer, the district finalized its strategic plan, but staff reductions were never mentioned, according to Smith. Every part of the district had a say in the plan, including the union and Fire Chief Scott Weninger, Smith added.

Since the KFW signs have appeared in the community, residents have started to talk and ask the fire commissioners about the situation.

Commissioner Dick West said he has been approached.

During the Jan. 13 meeting he said he was “appalled” by the signs as well as the “blogs.”

West said he had planned to resign, vacating his position this summer, but decided to wait and see if talks and communication improve.

West dissented from voting on the staffing reduction.

The district is continuing “business as usual,” according LiMarzi.

In the meantime, Smith is hoping community members will step up to take over KFW.

“I want to let it go and let people who aren’t associated with the fire department take it,” he said. “We have our own political goals as a union, but the community needs a voice.”

Friends, family and interested community members have started contacting the group and providing input, Smith said.

According to Smith, the group’s current goals are to provide community input and gather community interest. “Right now the group wants the commissioners to rethink their priorities,” he said.

According to Smith, the reduction affects response times and the safety of the firefighters. Although firefighters have sick leave, Smith is concerned they will go to work regardless, worried that staffing numbers will be too low without them.

“They have created a culture where guys are going to come in, because they don’t want the station to close,” Smith said.

Pleas to foster better communication between the district and the union are rising.

“It sickens me what’s going on,” Steve Davison said. Davison, a CK Fire and Rescue Volunteer, spoke publicly at the end of the Jan. 13 CK fire commissioner meeting.

Davison said blame could be placed on both parties and suggested a communications summit be held.

“We need to bury our differences,” Davison said. “We need to get along and serve the public, because that’s what we are here to do — serve the public.”


Silverdale: It’s time to revive the monthly art walk

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Brynn writes:

It appears Silverdale is restoring its tradition of hosting art walks. The newest variation — the Silverdale ArtWalk — is scheduled for the first Thursday of the month — yes that means tomorrow.

There used to be a monthly art walk that was spearheaded by Maria Mackovjak, owner of Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery, and other Old Town business owners that helped build the Old Town Art Walk . Mackovjak has since moved her business from Old Town and it seems the art walk sort of fell off the radar.

Its revival is slated for tomorrow with the showing of “Rockitdog”, a 7-foot tall sculpture that will be on display in the lobby of the Oxford Inn and Suites. The event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and refreshments will be served. Anyone and everyone is invited to attend.

The sculpture at the center of the walk is the work of Karsten Boysen from Port Orchard. Boysen’s sculpture, described as a “brilliant yellow” made from “River Run” steel, will be surrounded by other pieces of art from local artists Lisa Stirrett, Debbie Drake, Lori Balter, Rebecca Westeren, Joan Wells, Darell Severson, Cathy Kelley and Elizabeth Haney, according to a press release sent by Boysen.

Boysen was one of 17 featured artists recently sponsored by Vigo Industries, Gunderson, Esco and other port companies to attend a Port of Portland Seaport Celebration. His work is displayed in Alaska and Washington through different communities “1 percent for the arts” campaigns, and his work is the center of many prominent private collections. Boysen is a former art instructor for the University of Washington and the University of Alasaka- Juneau and was a Washington State Arts Commission artist in residence at the Seward Park Art Studio in Seattle.

The new Silverdale ArtWalk is sponsored by the Lisa Stirrett Gallery, Oxford Inn and Suites and Reid Real Estate on Silverdale Way.

Next month’s First Thursday Silverdale ArtWalk will have a breast cancer awareness theme because of October being breast cancer awareness month. More than 25 artists will be featured and will highlight a Harrison Medical Center fundraiser scheduled for Oct. 3.


This is all Silverdale’s fault

Friday, August 30th, 2013

New York, L.A., Miami, Bremerton.

We trot out the lists whenever some magazine decides to recognize us. “They like us! They really, really, like us!” This goes back to the early 1990s when Money magazine said Bremerton was the best place in America to live. It made perfect sense to me at the time, because Bremerton was said to be near Seattle and that you got here by boat. And I had never been to Bremerton.

We’ve continued to rank high now and again on those kind of lists, though we’re also suspected of being an ungodly bunch.

Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which I’m told is not a magazine, has released a publication about expenditures on children by families in 2012. The Daily Beast, which is an online magazine, used metropolitan geographic stats from Redfin to come up with the 15 most expensive places to raise a child in the first year, citing the costs of housing, energy, healthcare and stuff for the baby and added a stat about how many OB/GYNs there are in an area.

On Redfin Bremerton is #14. Throw in the OB/GYN stat on the Daily Beast and Bremerton is #8, joining New York, L.A. and Miami.

Why blame Silverdale? Because I can. This goes back to the days when the Central Kitsap Reporter got all huffy because these lists were coming out lauding Bremerton, when most of those accolades included data that came from Bremerton’s outlying parts in the rest of the county, even Port Orchard. In those days I worked overtime finding ways to make fun of Port Orchard, because I was the Bremerton reporter. I thought it was in my job description. I might have made that up.

The point is, if you’re going to get all jacked up about a silly list that says Bremerton is neato, you better bow your head in shame when another list comes out and says it will take a bigger chunk of your paycheck to raise the li’l feces factory during the first year than it does in Seattle.

I accept your apology in advance.


What’s being built on Bucklin Hill Road in Silverdale?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Brynn writes:

3150BucklinHillRd

Whenever a new building goes in on a busy road in Silverdale, people start talking about what business is moving to the area.

That’s the case with the latest building that is nearing completion at 3150 NW Bucklin Hill Road, not far from the road’s intersection with Silverdale Way and across the street from Taco Time and Hop Jack’s.

A quick search of county records shows the tax statements go to Barber Investments Bucklin LLC with a Redmond PO Box. I found a similar name, Barber Development LLC, on permit data tied to the property and looked it up to find owner Andy Barber who has a business address in Kirkland.

I called Barber a few weeks ago to see what businesses he had lined up to fill the building and he asked me to email him my questions. We got off the phone and I sent him the email. I’m still waiting for his response.

Impatient and wanting to answer people’s questions (more than a few of you have “Facebooked”, emailed and called about the property), I started looking through the county’s records to see what I could find out about the property.

So far the only business on record is Little Caesar’s Pizza, which applied for a commercial tenant improvement permit and a commercial concurrency certificate from the county. Both were approved July 15.

Barber applied to the county a year ago in August for a site development activity permit to build on the 0.77-acre lot that is zoned regional commercial. Specific businesses were not named at the time of the permit, but Barber indicated the 6,760-square-foot building would be equipped to handle general retail, office space and/or restaurant uses, according to the application. Forty parking spaces will go in behind the building and a rain garden to handle the stormwater run off.

If I hear back from Barber that he has other tenants lined up I’ll write an update, but until then hopefully this helps answers some of the questions.


Crosspoint students tackle world changing ideas

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

For the fourth year in a row, Crosspoint teacher Carla Fontenot has challenged her students to tackle projects that make a tangible change in their neighborhoods, the community and the world. It’s a pretty tall order for third and fourth graders, but the kids have stepped up admirably, Fontenot reported in a recent news release about this year’s ideas.
Fontenot’s “Christian Leadership Challenge” started in 2009 as “a Bible lesson and morphed into a ‘life lesson’ for my students, my parents and myself,” said Fontenot.
Crosspoint, formerly Kings West Academy, is a private Christian school in Chico. In 2009, the year of the name change, there was a big focus on leadership. During the Bible lesson, Fontenot asked her class if they thought they were old enough to make a difference in the world.
They brainstormed and came up with “little things,” ideas like helping a neighbor pick up litter or helping a relative watch a dog.
Branching out, they discussed collecting food for a food bank or raising money for the humane society. Pretty soon, that original group of students was on fire with ideas like finding a cure for cancer.
Fontenot devised three categories: neighborhood, community, world, and set guidelines that students’ projects couldn’t cost their parents money (except maybe stamps and gas), and they couldn’t benefit monetarily themselves.
“I was surprised at how the students took off with the ideas, Fontenot said.
Karis Melin’s 2009 project to collect stuffed animals for sick children at Harrison Medical Center has been continued by other students in each following year. Parents have jumped in enthusiastically.
In other notable projects, Emma Rose Brown in 2010 made bracelets and note cards to sell for an organization called HOPE International, and Hayden Wallis in 2011 set up a challenge to see which classroom could collect the most food for the food bank, with his family offering a pizza party to the winners.
Here are the projects proposed for this year:
Emily Devine’s goal is to collect 40 new stuffed animals for Harrison Hospital. She has a collection box at the school.
Landon McArdles’ helped with a church program called “Feed the 5,000.” He helped set up and take down the program’s booth at his church. Landon exceeded his goal of helping to secure 20 sponsorships. Twenty-six children were sponsored for the meal program.
Trevin Foley is collecting items for Bremerton Foodline. He will go door to door and ask for one donation per house and will collect items outside of a grocery store. His goal is to collect 100 items.
Owen Wyatt is collecting board games for the Seattle Children’s Hospital. He wants hurt kids to have fun. His plan is to try to get 50 board games. He is going to ask his family members to donate games.
Marshall Hainer is collecting canned foods to donate to the South Kitsap Food Bank. He is calling his project “Let’s Feed Those in Need.” Marshall hopes to collect 100 cans of food from neighbors.
Emma Frey-Erickson is collecting items for the Kitsap Humane Society. She is asking for donations of pet food, beds, and toys for cats and dogs. Her goal is to collect 25 items.
Blessing Rene is collecting books for children in Africa. She will raise money to send gently used books abroad.
Nick Johnson wants to help endangered species by raising money. He is still working on a plan and a goal.
Anyone who wants to help these students meet their goals can call Crosspoint at (360) 377-7700.


One vision for new Silverdale library

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Brynn writes:

Wednesday night architect Steve Rice unveiled his vision for a new library in Silverdale.

At the request of the Kitsap Regional Library, Rice has been working for two years on a design for a new library. First he was tasked with creating concept for a library around 17,000 square feet (roughly the same size as the Sylvan Way library). That’s back when KRL asked voters to approve a levy increase that would in part help pay for the construction of new libraries in Silverdale and Kingston.

When that measure failed, the library board went back to the drawing board for how it could expand the current Silverdale facility, which has been a desire of the library system and the community since 1998. Ultimately the board agreed to enter into an agreement with the county that would include hiring a consultant to conduct a feasibility study. (See my story from Dec. 12 for more details on the agreement).

The purpose of the study will be to gauge how much the community is willing to contribute to a capital campaign to build a new library in Silverdale. It will also survey the constituency to determine whether people support building a new library, or if they’d rather see KRL move into a larger, existing space in Silverdale.

While I’ve reported it repeatedly, it seems some people still think to build this library KRL will be increasing taxes. KRL will not ask for a levy increase, or increase taxes to build a new Silverdale library. However much the community says it’s willing to donate to the cause will be what KRL uses to fund its expansion. (The model will be similar to the one used to build the Haselwood Family YMCA — $12 million in public donations was raised to help build the facility).

If the community determines it would prefer to see a new facility built, KRL board members have said they’d like to see the facility built on the Central Kitsap Community Campus, where the YMCA currently stands. The Y was the first phase of the campus. The second phase will be the addition of a new library (assuming that’s what the community wants) and potentially the addition of a performing arts center.

Previously there was talk that a new library would be located where the Silverdale Community Center now stands. The idea was the building would be built into the hill — the community center would be torn down to make room. But during Wednesday’s presentation, Rice offered a new location for the proposed building.

At 8,000 to 10,000 square feet, Rice envisions the new library to again be built into the hill, but this time located in the southwest southeast corner of the campus site, directly across the grassy area from the YMCA. Here’s a couple architectural drawings from his presentation.

The first depiction shows a side view of the library, facing southwest, featuring the main entrance to the library on street level to the left, the view of a proposed gallery space and the entrance from the grass area — or village commons — to the right. While the building is proposed to be one story, there is an upper floor space for a community meeting room with views over Silverdale Way toward Dyes Inlet.

The second depiction shows the view looking from the second floor of the YMCA above the front door looking down the village commons toward the library. The entrance to the library from the commons is visible, and so is the back of the library, which Rice proposed would offer a presentation space facing the commons.

As I reported in my story, Rice proposed making the village commons/grass area more appealing to the public by adding walkway features, rose gardens and an outdoor amphitheater space that would be attached to the library building.

One of the big questions about this location though is parking. The building would eliminate 24 parking spaces to fit into the campus design, and wouldn’t add any parking. It wasn’t financially feasible to add an underground parking garage, Rice said.

Already parking is often filled on the campus site because of the heavy use of the YMCA, and many people at Wednesday’s meeting questioned how the site could handle more use with library patrons. County Commissioner Josh Brown said eventually a parking garage would have to be added to the 12-acre site, which has been the intention all along. The question is, who will be responsible for building (and paying) for it?

If the library locates on the campus a study will be done to determine the library’s peak hours and the YMCA’s peak hours. Programs would then be planned around those peak times, to try and minimize the parking problems, Brown said.

Obviously parking will be a big issue on this site until more can be added, and that’s something KRL board members and Kitsap County officials will have to address if they proceed with building a new library on site.

 


Have you adopted your salmon yet?

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Brynn writes:

Each year the Clear Creek Task Force holds an annual salmon adoption event to help raise money to pay for trail maintenance throughout the year.

A plain, wooden salmon is given to those who wish to “adopt” it, then they are asked to decorate the fish and return it for judging. The money spent on the adoption goes to the trail. If you’re thinking about adopting a salmon, the deadline to turn it in is Sept. 17.

Here’s the details from the Task Force:

Celebrate Clear Creek: Salmon Run Adoption Certificate

Salmon sponsors purchase artboard for $15, $25, or $25 for the “Catch-All” category. After decorating both sides of a salmon and naming it, the salmon art is donated back to Clear Creek for judging, awards and prizes. Vote for your favorite Salmon online at www.clearcreektrail.org.

Judges award first, second and other winners, award prizes and auction off Salmon Art at Celebrate Clear Creek on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Clear Creek Interpretive Center located off off Levin Road and Bucklin Hill Road.

Salmon run proceeds will benefit development and maintenance of the Clear Creek Trail system. Salmon can be picked up at the following locations: Old Town Custom Framing, 3255 NW Lowell St, Silverdale WA 98383, 360 698-1507; Clear Creek Interpretive Center, for times visit www.clearcreektrail.org.

For more information: clearcreektrail@yahoo.com

All entries must be returned by September 17, 3 p.m. to be eligible for auction and prizes.

 


Night beach seine planned for tomorrow

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Looking for something to do tomorrow evening? Why not check out the first-ever night Beach Seine event, hosted by the Clear Creek Task Force.

Here’s the details:

What: Help pull a 100-foot fish net (seine) from shore and discover what and how many fish live in the waters at the northern most part of Dyes Inlet waiting to feed some salmon. Fish and other kinds of marine life from the Near Shore Habitat provide young salmon with their food and shelter for up to 2 years before they migrate out of Dyes Inlet. Paul Dorn, the Suquamish Tribes Salmon Recovery Coordinator, will work with us as we net, identify, measure, and record data from the beach seine. Our catch with data from other Kitsap Near Shore Habitats will help us understand more about this vital underwater habitat we rarely visit.

Where:  Old Mill Park, Silverdale
When:  Aug.16th, 5:45 p.m. ‘til 7:30 p.m.
Bring: Boots (hip or waders are best); gloves, a towel, rain gear, sunscreen.

 


Silverdale waterfront gets nod on local sailing blog

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Brynn writes:

Three Sheets Northwest highlights Silverdale this week in its regular “In Migael’s Wake” segment, which takes a look at local cruising destinations around the sound.

Here’s what Migael Scherer has to say about the stop:

The Silverdale Waterfront Park is the main attraction for boaters visiting the far north end of Dyes Inlet. Stout wooden floats attached to steel-and-concrete pilings extend into deep water from a tidy park. Silverdale’s charming Old Town is a block away, a sleepy reminder of the days when this was a logging and poultry-producing area.

To read her full review visit the Three Sheets Northwest by clicking here.


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