Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Bio-medical class at West Sound Tech

For today’s story on a fast-track certification program for teachers in career and technical education, I visit John Thornton’s Bio-medical Research & Global Health class at West Sound Technical Skills Center.

Thornton, a retired Navy corpsman, recently graduated from a program at Olympic College that counts work experience toward teacher certification. The program could help address a shortage of career and technical education teachers in Washington State, OC officials say.

There’s a growing interest in CTE, which allows students to explore possible career fields, earn certification for entry level jobs and pursue a plan of study that leads to post-secondary education with a tight focus on a specific career or skill.

Although most of Thornton’s students plan to go to college and beyond, they could qualify right now for entry level laboratory jobs.

As I toured the lab, I had to keep reminding myself these were high school students.

I interviewed lab supervisor Hannah Whitbeck, 17, of Chimacum, on her study of a new gel being used to promote clotting in battlefield wounds. Whitbeck, a senior in white lab coat, showed me around the lab, which has equipment such as a spectrophotometer, for analyzing samples by the light absorbed in each, and an incubator, in which students were cultivating bacterial samples from swabs of epithelial cells in their mouths. Nothing nasty found, by the way.

Brandon Hoover a South Kitsap High School junior had designed a water purification system using materials, like cardboard, rocks and plastic funnels, that could be readily found in most settings, including third world countries. He called it the Zimbabwe Project. The frame is made of sturdy recycled cardboard. Water is poured through a series of funnels. The rocks remove larger debris. The water is then boiled and the steam is captured as condensed water in five-gallon jugs.

Kelsey Lantrip also of South Kitsap High School, researched the potential toxicity of crumb rubber used in artificial turf. Lantrip showed me Petri dishes containing samples from turf fields at Bainbridge Island’s Strawberry Hill Park and South Kitsap High School’s new turf field, which uses natural materials like ground coconut husks instead of crumb rubber, as on most turf fields.

Lantrip said she tested to see whether the samples were mutagenic, likely to increase the frequency of mutation in an organism. South Kitsap’s samples were not mutagenic; the Bainbridge samples were. Granted the samples are small, and this is not proof that either substance is carcinogenic or safe. But it’s a start. “I think this is a small portion of what could be done,” said Lantrip, who advocates systematic study of turf fields, as has been proposed nationally.

Carry on, kids, and thanks for the tour.

The students took a trip to Seattle’s Gum Wall, before it was demolished and took lab samples. They were even interviewed by a Seattle TV station. Remarkably, all they found was normal flora.

A message from NMSD superintendent on the shooting in Belfair

Two children were confirmed dead today by the Mason County Sheriff’s Department in a shooting in Belfair that left the gunman and two other people dead.

The home where the shooting occurred was nowhere near schools in North Mason School District and school continued without interruption. Inevitably, however, the whole community will be affected.

North Mason School District Superintendent Dana Rosenbach posted the following message, copied below in full, on the district’s website.

Take care. Chris Henry, Kitsap Sun

“Today has been a tragic day

Today has been a tragic day and we are all affected by the great loss. As parents you may want to talk to your children about today’s tragedies and their impact. Witnessing or even hearing of a traumatic incident may affect a child or adult in a variety of ways. Therefore, it is very important that children be given ample opportunities to ask questions and to talk about their reactions to the incidents. Currently children may also have concerns about their safety and security and consequently may need reassurance. Over the next two days, you may find your children need to discuss their questions and concerns with you. For that reason, we are providing the information at the end of this message.
Over the weekend, or at any time, you may access the Lewis/Mason Crime Victim Service Center at 1-888-288-9221 for 24 hour help in dealing with trauma. In addition, you can get more support at the National Traumatic Stress Network (http://nctsnet.org/).
For children, Dana Rosenbach
North Mason School District Superintendent

When reacting to a traumatic incident, a child may display behaviors such as the following:
• Clings close to adults
• Displays regressive behaviors (acting like a much younger child)
• Repetitively reenacts the event in play activities
• Appears not to be affected
• Thinks about it privately
• Asks a lot of questions
• Appears frightened
• Appears agitated and angry
• Appears sad and withdrawn
• Displays difficulty sleeping
• Stomach aches and somatic complaints
It is very important that you take the time to listen to your children. If they seem to need to talk, answer their questions simply, honestly and possibly over and over again. Below are some suggestions that parents may find useful in helping your child deal with the present events:
• Assure fearful children that you will be there to take care of them. Reassure them many times.
• Provide physical closeness. Spend extra time putting your child back to bed. Talk and offer reassurance.
• Encourage children to ask questions and to discuss, write or draw their feelings.
• Be a good listener. Listen carefully for any misconceptions or distortions the student may have regarding what happened.
• Talk with your child and provide simple, accurate information to questions.
• Provide play and fun experiences to relieve tension.
• Help the child develop safety plans and procedures (“What should you do if….?”)
• Remind them of concrete examples of where they are being protected and cared for by parents, adults, teachers, police, etc.
• Make sure the child gets rest and exercise.
– See more at: http://www.nmsd.wednet.edu/News/112#sthash.uggv8Yop.dpuf”

Oly cheer squad takes first in state

Olympic High School’s varsity cheer squad has brought home a state trophy … again. This is the fifth time since Coach Kristie Freeman took on the team in 1990.
CheerSquad
The competition took place Jan. 30 at the University of Washington. The 20-member Oly team competed in the co-ed cheer division of similarly sized squads (non-tumbling). Here’s a video from the team.

We asked Kristie what it takes to bust those moves. The answer is “a tremendous amount of athleticism.”

“I would say they work just as hard as any other sport in our school,” Freeman said.

The cheer season (like most fall sports) begins in the mid-summer. Besides learning routines, cheer squad members spend hours each week in conditioning, running, sit-ups, push-ups. In the video, you’ll see team members lift others in the air and deftly catch them coming down. That takes strength and coordination.

“We practice every day and sometimes Saturdays,” Freeman said

Throughout the fall, the squad takes part in regional competitions. Advancing to state requires a certain number of points, earned at lower level competitions. Meanwhile, the squad cheers on other athletes at football and basketball games. They are busy nearly every day July through January, and the season continues in February with basketball playoffs.

“I’m really proud of the kids. They worked really, really hard, and they did everything I asked them to do,” Freeman said.

This is not a sport for prima donnas. “There are no standouts. It’s a group effort,” Freeman said.

Routines are tightly choreographed. Freeman herself has never been a cheerleader. She began coaching cheer in 1978 in Raymond, Wash., when the cheer squad there needed a leader or would have folded.

“It is very time consuming, but it’s a passion,” Freeman said. “I’ve always had a passion for cheer. I love it.”

Congratulations, Oly cheer squad. You rock.

Kitsap education news, Jan. 11-15

And now a roundup of this week’s education news in Kitsap and beyond.

Follow the news as it happens at kitsapsun.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chrishenryreporter/.

Contact Kitsap Sun education reporter Chris Henry at (360) 792-9219 or christina.henry@kitsapsun.com.

When the big one hits
A team of Kitsap Sun reporters looked at what would happen to Kitsap County in an earthquake on the Seattle Fault of a magnitude 7.0 or greater.
“The earthquake is a nightmare for the 40,000 students attending schools around the county. They have been drilled in earthquake response, and their teachers keep supplies on hand for emergencies, but only a small percentage of school buildings were built or retrofitted to current seismic codes, leaving the rest vulnerable to shaking.”
Local districts have long-term plans for replacing buildings and have identified those that are oldest and most at risk, but the reality is replacing or retrofitting all the schools in Kitsap County will take decades.
If you haven’t had a chance to checkout the Kitsap Sun’s comprehensive package on “Our Big One,” I highly recommend you take some time with it. The package is available on mobile devices but because of the number of graphic illustrations, it may be more easily viewed on tablets or laptops.

SK Choir Carnegie bound
South Kitsap High School’s Highlighters jazz ensemble, Chamber Choir and Women’s Ensemble will travel to New York City in March for an invitational performance event at the famed Carnegie Hall. Only 16 districts in the country made the cut.
Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 2.59.58 PM
South Kitsap Choir Boosters plans a rummage sale 3-7 p.m. Jan. 22 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Port Orchard Pavilion.
Here, in case you missed it, is a video of the Highlighters doing their thing.

Free, all-day kindergarten coming to Bainbridge
The relatively affluent district is the last in Kitsap County to offer tuition-free, all day kindergarten. The new deal starts in the 2016-2017 school year.
The state has been ramping up its funding for all-day kindergarten, starting with the least affluent districts. In 2015 the Legislature agreed to cover the cost of all-day kindergarten for all districts in the upcoming school year.
Bainbridge parents can learn about the new program at a meeting 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Ordway Elementary School Multipurpose Room.

Inslee pushes for education funding plan
The Governor said he wants to address the teacher shortage by raising beginning teacher salaries from about $36,000 a year to $40,000 annually, in this story by the Associated Press.

District provides counselors for students after bus collision
A collision Jan. 13 involving a South Kitsap school bus, a pickup truck towing a trailer of bark and a passenger car resulted in one student and the bus driver being taken to Harrison Medical Center. The student was evaluated as a “precautionary” measure, according to the Washington State Patrol.
bus
(photo shared on Kitsap Sun’s facebook page)
Students on the bus, all from Sunnyslope Elementary School, were safely evacuated. Counselors were available at school the next day to support students after the accident, said district Spokeswoman Amy Miller.
The truck’s driver was cited for driving too fast for conditions, the WSP said.
“We are thankful that no one was severely injured and for the quick response from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue, Washington State Patrol and Washington State Department of Transportation,” Miller said. “We also thank the community for their concern and well wishes.”

Coming up next week: a roundup of bonds and levies on the Feb. 9 ballot.

PO Council vote on appointment unanimous

The Port Orchard City Council formalized its appointment of Scott Diener on Tuesday with a unanimous vote. Diener, who fills the vacant district 3 seat, was immediately sworn in. He took his seat and served with the council for the remainder of the meeting.
Diener
Councilman John Clauson said of the selection process, “We had six very good candidates; that’s the good news. The bad news is it made the selection very, very difficult.”

Diener said the city was “entering a new chapter” of its history.

“I’m very honored to work here,” said Diener, a senior planner with Kitsap County. “I have no preconceived notions about what’s best. We as a group will write that new chapter. I look forward to working with you all.”

The council interviewed candidates on Thursday and held two (closed) executive sessions before reaching a consensus Monday. All candidates were notified of the decision before Tuesday’s meeting.

Get your PO council applicants’ documents here

The city soon will make public the application documents of the six people deemed eligible for filling the district 3 council position vacated by new Mayor Rob Putaansuu. I offer them now for your viewing pleasure. I’ve included the incomplete packet submitted by Jaqulynne Ford, who is not eligible due to lacking a cover letter and response to council questions, City Clerk Brandy Rinearson said..

And yes, I will be asking Brandy how residency is verified … for all candidates.

If you have any trouble with these links, email me at christina.henry@kitsapsun.com.

Amy Miller
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7cXNZ_uRaIOVdnZlVZMlhWS3M/view?usp=sharing

Scott Deiner
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7cXNZ_uRaIRFBPbG5tUXlqd2M/view?usp=sharing

Jaqulynne Ford
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7cXNZ_uRaIN1pwakgySkxlTjQ/view?usp=sharing

Marcus Lane
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7cXNZ_uRaILS1aRUc5UjFGMTA/view?usp=sharing

Jay Rosapepe
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7cXNZ_uRaIS2RIbFl1TFlqOFU/view?usp=sharing

Chris Tibbs
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7cXNZ_uRaIZTFqRWhValZ0SnM/view?usp=sharing

Nick Whittleton
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7cXNZ_uRaIRkdlY0xpMDI1bjA/view?usp=sharing

Chairwoman of PDC to speak at money and politics forum

Katrina Asay, chairwoman of the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, will be part of a panel of speakers on the topic of money and politics at a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Kitsap Thursday in Poulsbo.

The panel will speak on how money influences state, local and national elections, especially since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010.

The Public Disclosure Commission oversees campaign finance in state and local elections, hosting a public database of campaign contributions and expenditures, including sources of funding for and against candidates and ballot measures.

Campaign finance was a hot topic in Port Orchard elections during the 2016 election season.

Asay, a former member of the state House of Representatives and former mayor of Milton in Pierce County, will be joined by PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson.

Also on the panel is Dean Nielsen, principal of Cerillion N4 Partners, a political consulting firm, and Serena Larkin, a senior communications associate with Sightline Institute. She was a member of the communications team for the Honest Elections Seattle campaign.

The league promises “a lively discussion about a timely issue affecting political campaigns at all levels.”

The forum will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Poulsbo City Hall, 200 NE Moe St.

It will be recorded for future broadcast by BKAT, Comcast Ch. 12 and WAVE Broadband, Ch. 3.

For information, visit lwv-kitsap.org, or e-mail Kim Abel at kbabel@wavecable.com.

SK’s turf field of dreams to open Friday

Football season kicks off tomorrow at South Kitsap High School with a new coach and a new turf field.

The Wolves play Central Kitsap, guided by coach Gavin Kralik, who is profiled in the Kitsap Sun’s football tab, Kickoff, 2015. The special section gives highlights on how this year’s season is shaping up throughout Kitsap and North Mason counties.
Coachqb_23560253_ver1.0_640_480
Before the game, district officials will host a dedication of the new, high tech turf field and track that were built thanks to donations of more than $500,000 from Kitsap Bank and $150,000 from author Debbie Macomber and family.

Joe Knowles won’t lose his spot of honor at the school, where people will refer to “Joe Knowles Field at Kitsap Bank Stadium.” The track will be named in honor of the late Dale Macomber, son of Debbie and Wayne Macomber.

“What an opportunity we have — this team of incredible, generous and innovative individuals has come together and forged a partnership that will change this community and inspire its young people for generations to come. What we are doing is truly special,” said Superintendent Michelle Reid.

Central Kitsap High School also has a new turf field, or rather a resurfacing of its turf. North Mason will get a turf field next year, leaving Bremerton the last district waiting in the wings.

Congrats South on your new field. Go Wolves!

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.

Foster homes for puppies needed

We’ve written before about Summit Assistance Dogs, the Anacortes organization, that trains and places assistance dogs with people who have a range of disabilities. Donna Vaquer, a Port Orchard resident, is a volunteer trainer with Summit and an advocate locally for the organization. She and others with the group often take their dogs to local schools.
Gabby
We recently heard from Donna that Summit has an urgent need for new foster homes for puppies.

“We will train you and support you as you learn the training techniques,” she said.
mimi
There are both short-term and long-term opportunities available. Long-term placements are usually 7 months, more or less, with breaks for vacations or whatever needs the foster families might have. Short-term placements are respite care for the long-term care givers, such as a weekend, or a week long stint.

How can you say no to these eyes?

mimi
mimi

The only hitch is, after you’ve fallen in love with them, you’ve got to let them go do their job. But there’s training for that, too, and there are multiple benefits.

“Volunteering for Summit is a most rewarding activity and really does change the life of a person with disabilities,” Donna said.

Find out more about the organization at www.summitdogs.org, where you can also find a volunteer application.