Category Archives: Uncategorized

UW researchers say schools’ pot policies matter more since legalization

Suspending kids from school for using pot is not an effective deterrent, in fact it can lead to more — not less — use, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington and in Australia.

Counseling and promotion of an abstinence message in schools were found to be much more effective, according to an article about the study that was published March 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study, conducted in 2002 and 2003, compared drug policies at schools in Washington State and Victoria, Australia, to determine how they impacted student marijuana use.

The researchers were initially most interested in teens’ use of alcohol and cigarettes, according to a news release about the article from the University of Washington. But after Washington legalized recreational marijuana use for adults in 2012, researchers decided to reexamine the data to see how legalization might influence students in Washington versus their counterparts in Australia, where pot remains illegal, said Deborah Bach, a social science writer at the UW.

They found students attending schools with suspension policies for illicit drug use were 1.6 times more likely than their peers at schools without such policies to use marijuana in the next year. That was true for the whole student body, not just those who were suspended.

“That was surprising to us,” said co-author Richard Catalano, professor of social work and co-founder of the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. “It means that suspensions are certainly not having a deterrent effect. It’s just the opposite.”

This echoes reporting we did in the Kitsap Sun about student discipline in general, in which educators and child advocates from many corners said suspension and expulsion are ineffective at reversing undesirable behavior.

Conversely, in schools with policies of referring pot-using students to a school counselor, students were almost 50 percent less likely to use marijuana.

Washington and Victoria, Australia were chosen for the study since they are similar in size and demographics, but differ considerably in their approaches to drug use among students. Washington schools, at least at the time of the study, were more likely to suspend students, call police or require offenders to attend education or cessation programs, the researchers noted, while Victoria schools emphasize “a harm-reduction approach that favors counseling.”

Researchers surveyed more than 3,200 seventh- and ninth-graders in both 2002 and 2003 about their use of marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes and also about their schools’ drug policies and enforcement. Nearly 200 school administrators were also surveyed. In both survey years, pot use was higher among the Washington students. Almost 12 percent of Washington ninth-graders had used marijuana in the past month, compared with just over 9 percent of Victoria ninth-graders, for example.

Tracy Evans-Whipp, the study’s lead author, said although the research predated Washington’s legalization, the findings show what types of school policies are most effective in discouraging teens’ use of the drug.

The study also showed “a consistent link” between increased acccess to marijuana and higher rates of self-reported use by adolescents, Bach notes.

“To reduce marijuana use among all students, we need to ensure that schools are using drug policies that respond to policy violations by educating or counseling students, not just penalizing them,” Catalano said.

Others involved in the research are are Todd Herrenkohl at the UW, Stephanie Plenty at the Centre for Health Equity Studies in Sweden and John Toumbourou at Deakin University in Australia.

Chros Henry, Kitsap Sun education reporter

NYT article focuses on Port Orchard man

Several people on Facebook have mentioned a New York Times article about Doug Whitney, a Port Orchard man who has a gene mutation that (in most people) causes early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Whitney, 65, has yet to show symptoms, and researchers are trying to figure out why.

Whitney’s mother and nine of her siblings, as well as Whitney’s older brother died of the disease. All began showing symptoms in their 40s.

“So Mr. Whitney has become Exhibit A in a new direction in genetics research. After years of looking for mutations that cause diseases, investigators are now searching for those that prevent them,” the article states.

The idea of beneficial gene mutations is getting plenty of attention from the scientific community.

Two Seattle researchers have started “The Resilience Project,” drawing on large databases to find people, like Whitney, who seem to have protective genes. They found Whitney after contacting Washington University (in St. Louis), where a study is under way of families with a gene, presenilin, that causes early Alzheimer’s. Whitney joined the study in 2011.

Whitney deferred getting tested for the Alzheimer’s causing gene until he turned 62. Other researchers have contacted him, as well, and Whitney, for his part, is happy to contribute to advancing knowledge of Alzheimer’s, the article states.

So, question for readers: If, based on the medical history of family members, you knew you might have a disease-causing genetic mutation, would you get tested and when?

Tell your story

Click to see a larger version.
Click to see a larger version.

Might I suggest an activity for you on Thursday?

Come tell your story. Or just come and listen to others tell theirs at Story Night in Manette.

The event starts at 7 p.m. and we have to be out of there by about 9 p.m. because Karaoke takes over the Manette Saloon.

If you wish to tell a story, here are the basic rules. Stories must be:

  • True
  • Less than five minutes long
  • Within the night’s theme: “Schooled”

We have an event page and a regular page on Facebook. And I’ve got a website,, that explains why I’m doing this. Here are a few paragraphs to give you a taste:

“I’ve been telling people for years that it’s probably one of the earliest forms of entertainment in the history of humans. Secondly, if the conspiracy theorists are correct and one day all the power shuts down, then much of our entertainment will be what we can do in person, like sing or dance. Storytelling will also be a big part of the mix.

“Storytelling events also connect us to people we might not otherwise know. We hear their stories and our beliefs about issues, lifestyles and life’s triumphs and mistakes becomes something human. If we’re not careful, storytelling makes us empathetic.

“Finally, it’s fun. You shouldn’t miss it.”

In 1999 or 2000 I attended a storytelling festival in Provo, Utah. That’s probably the first place I had ever become interested in the activity, though I always enjoyed public speaking. I know. I’m weird that way. I get scared, but I love it.

There are not that many opportunities for on-stage storytelling, so over the years I worked on improving my storytelling in my reporting. I also listened to shows that offer excellent examples, such as “This American Life” and “The Tobolowsky Files.” And then I heard The Moth, which is when I became interested in hosting an event. Angela Dice, a former reporter here, and I talked about it for years, but didn’t quite feel confident or disposed with a lot of time to get one going.

Then a few months ago Josh Farley, a fellow reporter who runs the outstanding Kitsap Quiz Night, asked me what I needed to get started. Turns out what I really needed was to have him ask me that question. He introduced me to Rebecca Dove Taylor at the Manette Saloon and we eventually set a date. Since then, it’s gone from slow simmer to full on burn as far as planning. And now the event is upon us.

The official jewelry of Story Night in Manette.
The official jewelry of Story Night in Manette.

A couple weeks ago I finally got to attend a Story Slam in Seattle put on by The Moth. And last week I participated in another Story Slam on Bainbridge Island put on by Field’s End. My message to you? You’ll do fine. Come tell your story. On the Facebook page and on the website are some tips to help you prepare to tell your story if you choose to give one. The winning storyteller on Thursday walks away with the fine jewelry you see pictured here. And I plan on bringing other prizes. I’m still working on those details.

The biggest prize, however, is just whatever you get out of being there. If you speak you get that experience. If you don’t, you get the thrill of hearing others and sharing a night with friends. I’ve been to a few of these and I’ve never been to one that wasn’t fun. And hey, even if you don’t tell a story, you could win a prize! You’ll find out about that on Thursday.

Sharing Silverdale’s history in photographs

Read about the history of Silverdale in a recently published book by the Kitsap County Historical Society.
Read about the history of Silverdale in a recently published book by the Kitsap County Historical Society.

The Kitsap County Historical Society published its third book in three years earlier this month. “Silverdale” is the second book in the historical society’s “Images of America” series.

The 128-page book, which took more than a year to complete, features hundreds of photographs of historic Silverdale and its development on the shores of Dyes Inlet from 1857 through the 1980s.

Readers can flip through the pages to see aerials of Silverdale from the 1930s and 1946, showing the growth and change because of World War II. The book also features photographs of Bucklin Hill Road as a narrow dirt road, as well as Silverdale families throughout history.

The first book of the “Images of America” series — “Port Orchard” — was published two years ago, along with the third edition of “Kitsap County, A History: A Story of Kitsap County and Its Pioneers” that was originally published in 1977.

While the historical society would like to publish a book about Bremerton some day, writer Claudia Hunt is ready for a break.

“We’re exhausted,” said Hunt, a historical society board of trustee. Hunt, along with her brother, Randy Hunt, and Carolyn Neal wrote “Silverdale”. The Hunt siblings also wrote “Port Orchard”.

All three books can be bought through Kitsap County Historical Society, on Amazon or local bookstores.

Nothing like living over the water

FRAGARIA — I caught a ratfish from my deck. Its big green eyes, large spines and gaping mouth were right out of a nightmare movie. Cut the line and let it plop back into Colvos Passage. Thirty years later, it might still be out there.
I’ll never forget that creepy creature, or much else about living on pilings over Puget Sound. It was the coolest place I’ve ever called home.
Shortly after graduating from college, we found the beach place in the want ads. Three hundred dollars a month. That was a fortune in 1980.
The road wound steeply down a hill, nothing keeping a wayward driver from tumbling into the creek canyon. At the bottom, a skinny dirt driveway slipped between a cliff and row of old cabins on pilings. Ours was third from the end, a white 1 1 1/2 story built in 1940.
Dark-stained knotty pine adorned the walls, broken up by a huge, river-rock fireplace. Single-pane windows exposed the water. On nice days, a tiny Space Needle could be spotted. Binoculars recommended.
Pull-down stairs led to an open second floor where a guy had died during a wild drug party. We were scared of his ghost — though the landlord said he was friendly — and didn’t go up there much. I did haul a Volkswagen engine up piece by piece and rebuilt it, then couldn’t get it back down the ladder.
During high tide, four or five feet of water rose under the deck. I’d cast a line, imagining beautiful cutthroat trout (you could keep them then) and salmon like my neighbors showed off, but caught nothing but dogfish. It was still fun reeling them in. Get offa my hook.
Huge perch lounged under the planks. I could hit them in the head with bait and they still wouldn’t bite. Not that I really wanted to hook one, but they could have at least paid me some mind.
Otters floated past on their backs, cracking clams on their bellies. Seals ducked below the surface, popping up hundreds of feet away.
Sound slid across the water like a shuffleboard. Ships were heard before seen. In the fog, they weren’t visible at all, just horns in the haze.
Once in a while, a black submarine cruised past, probably to an old sonar range off of Fox Island. Light-green Canadian warships were another rare treat. There were always boats of some sort, from brightly colored sailboats racing around the island to monstrous freighters steaming for Tacoma.
It wasn’t always tranquil. Storm waves slammed logs against the 40-year-old pilings, rattling the house and preventing sleep. The water was icy, racing in our out and never stopping long enough to warm up. Rainstorms pummeled the cliff. Once, mud slid across the road and knocked a cabin into the bay. We were long gone by then, fortunately. Would’ve been blocked in for days.
I’d go back in a second. Not only are they not making more waterfront, they’re not building more houses on piers over it. Let me know if you find one. I’d like to retire there.
— Ed Friedrich

Anthem rendition a kick in the brass

The Bremerton High School Brass Band gave a rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the school board meeting on Jan. 16.

Plumber retrieves sentimental band of gold

Six generations of marriage went down the drain Friday.
As Tricia Sandbeck-Marshall washed her hair, a gold wedding band first worn by her great-great-great grandmother slipped off her finger and clinked down the pipe.
The Bremerton woman called around to plumbers and got an $800 quote to try to retrieve it. Sandbeck-Marshall, who’s in an expensive battle with thyroid cancer, doesn’t have that kind of dough. Her husband is working two jobs to keep up with the medical bills.
“Being totally strapped for money now because of my cancer, I didn’t feel like I could spend money on myself for something that might not be there,” she said.
Robison Plumbing called her back Saturday morning, said it wouldn’t cost that much.
“I talked to that woman and it brought me to tears,” said dispatcher Jackie Miesse.
She sent Bill Blair out for an estimate. He sliced the price to $361. Still too high. Sandbeck-Marshall asked to make payments. Robison doesn’t do that. The plumber suggested she charge it to a credit card. She couldn’t.
Blair rang up office manager Shelley Avery. She authorized the work a Christmas present. He squeezed into the crawl space and within a half an hour had the band in hand.
“(Blair) called me and told me how much she appreciated it,” said Miesse, the dispatcher. “She was just so happy. This ring meant so much to her. The fact that he could do something like that made him feel so good. It was a wonderful day.”
The company didn’t seek publicity, but Sandbeck-Marshall couldn’t keep the deed to herself. She called the newspaper.
Robison owner Jim Short didn’t find out about the episode until the company Christmas party that night.
“I won’t say its something we’ve done on purpose during the holiday season,” he said. “We try to do nice stuff on occasion. You can’t do it all the time or you’ll go broke, but we were just glad to do it.”
Sandbeck-Marshall, who’s been married 27 years, received the ring 10 years ago when her mother passed away. The tradition will continue with her daughter. She also has three granddaughters.
“What a nice act of kindness,” she said about the free plumbing. “What a blessing, and then to find my ring. I didn’t know if they would find it or not.”
— Ed Friedrich

Pearl Harbor relics showcased at Illahee State Park

Kitsap has a 9/11 memorial, but nothing to commemorate Pearl Harbor. The closest thing, according to preservationist Mick Hersey, is a site at Illahee State Park with 5-inch guns from the USS West Virginia and a sign board heralding Dorie Miller, one of the battleship’s Dec. 7 heroes.
Miller, a mess attendant from Waco, Texas, was collecting laundry that morning when the general quarters alarm sounded. He raced to his battle station where anti-aircraft shells were stored. It had already been destroyed by a torpedo, so he went on deck. He was ordered to carry wounded sailors, aid the captain who was dying after being hit by a bomb fragment, and man a anti-aircraft machine gun. Though he’d never been trained on it, he fired at Japanese planes for about 15 minutes until running out of ammo.
“It wasn’t hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine,” he said. ” … I think I got one of those Jap planes. They were diving pretty close to us.”
The planes hit the West Virginia with five torpedoes to the port side and two armor-piercing bombs to the deck. The crew abandoned ship as it sank to the harbor bottom. Of the 1,541 men on the ship, 130 were killed.
Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary courage in battle. He was the first black to receive it.
There’s a local connection. The ship was re-floated and in May 1943 brought to Puget Sound Navy Yard at Bremerton for a complete rebuild that took more than a year.
Miller was in Bremerton in May 1943 while awaiting assignment to the escort carrier USS Liscome Bay. On Nov. 24 while taking part in the Battle of Makin Island in the central Pacific, it was struck by a Japanese submarine torpedo. The aircraft bomb stockpile exploded and the ship sank. Only 272 of the 916 crew members survived. Miller was never found. A frigate was named in his honor in 1973.
— Ed Friedrich

Bremerton pet flipping drama unfolds online

Note: This post has been updated to fill in some missing details.

Amy Phan told you something about Juliua Stroup, the woman who was honored for her work in rescuing animals. A little more than a week ago I watched a drama unfold involving Stroup and the online Facebook community Kitsap County’s Buy Sell Trade.

A woman posted that she had lost her Yorkie terrier and asked for people to look out for her. Another member of the community posted that she saw a Yorkie listed on Craigslist and linked to the ad. Here is the ad that ran. I’ve left out the last line, because it includes the seller’s phone number.


The owner of the dog confirmed that was her dog and that its name was not Punkin.’ Stroup was heavily involved in the ongoing conversation, which led to a discussion of “pet flipping,” the practice of stealing someone’s pet and selling it quickly. You can see in the ad that the seller wanted $200.

Stroup figured out who the seller was and provided links to where she had posted on other social media sites. On one of them the seller posted a picture of the dog and wrote:

“Found this little cutie out in the rain with no collar or name tag :) sweetest dog ever.”

Before long the lost dog owner learned where the seller lived. The dog owner went to the seller’s door, but reported that the seller’s husband said they had found the dog, had let it in, but that it tried to bite one of their kids so they opened the front door and let it wander off.

That is not what happened. The dog had been sold. Something happened between that visit and the following Craigslist ad.


Stroup told me the dog was returned and its owner wanted no charges filed. The thread was removed from Facebook.

Stroup remains a persistent presence and posted the following on the Kitsap County Buy Sell Trade site.

Pet theft and Pet Flipping…are you at risk?
A lot of you know my name, but I’m learning every day…I’ve heard of theft, but FLIPPING? Are there REALLY people out there that do this? Oh MY, YES. PLEASE make sure your pet is Microchipped and that the information when it’s scanned is 100% correct (mistakes get made some times)
Always make sure whoever tries to claim and found dog or cat can give a detailed description. I have acted as a “middle person” on a number of pets recently in which I demanded details and pictures… Always leave something out that only the owner can describe (collar, markings, fixed status, scars, etc). If someone has “found” your pet, ask for the same details…it’s horrible, but there are people out to cause you emotional pain stating they have your pet. Do NOT put your whole phone number on CL…leave off the area code or change a number to text (345-six78nine), there’s a weirdo calling people saying horrible things, caller id shows Nevada.
I am glad to be a “middle person” if you need one…we need to keep our pets safe here on the Kitsap Peninsula…and we need to ban together and show people “don’t mess with Kitsap,we WILL find our pets”.