Housing Kitsap responds to complaints of mold in apartment complex

Over the weekend, a Facebook post about mold drew more than 200 comments. The post, in the Port Orchard group, started with a complaint about mold in an apartment complex owned by Housing Kitsap. The person who initially posted said she had been unable to get a response to her complaints from the public housing agency.

On Monday, I spoke with Stuart Grogan, Housing Kitsap’s executive director, who said he learned about the complaint over the weekend from South Kitsap Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. Somebody on the comment thread had contacted Garrido.

Grogan said he checked the agency’s complaint logs and found none had recently been received regarding the unit in question at Housing Kitsap’s Heritage site, in Port Orchard.

In November, I reported on Housing Kitsap’s meth abatement efforts at the Viewmont East Apartments also in Port Orchard.

Housing Kitsap send a crew out to the Heritage site apartment on Monday. Inspectors do not believe the mold reported is the highly toxic form known as black mold. Grogan said they’re working on further diagnosis of the type of mold present and why the mold is forming.

Mold spores proliferate on damp surfaces. Molds produce allergens and irritants that can cause a reaction in eyes, nose, throat and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people, according to materials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that are posted on the Kitsap Public Health District website. The key to mold control is moisture control, according to the EPA. Water damage, leaky plumbing and poor ventilation contribute to the growth of mold.

Housing Kitsap will follow up later this month with a comprehensive analysis of building issues at the Heritage apartments.

Grogan encouraged residents to contact the Housing Kitsap maintenance office to report problems with mold, structural problems or other issues so they can be addressed during the building inspection; (360) 535-6101 (day), (866) 831-2975 (after hours).

I’ll be checking in with Housing Kitsap later this month to see what they found in their survey of the Heritage site. Residents or anyone else with concerns can contact me at christina.henry@kitsapsun.com.

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

Education stories on a lighter note

In today’s Kitsap Sun, we ran a roundup of top stories on the education beat for 2016.

Teachers’ walkouts, McCleary madness, the Kennedy flap over school prayer, the end of No Child Left Behind … It was a whirlwind year.

Not all the education news coming out of Kitsap County was serious, however. Here are a few of the stories that still make me smile.

In late January, a fourth-grade class at Mullenix Ridge Elementary in South Kitsap decided to do their own scientific investigation of De-flategate, the uproar over allegations the New England Patriots weaseled their way into the Super Bowl using underinflated balls in the AFC championship game.
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Ashton Smith, the lone Patriots fan in the class, defended quarterback Tom Brady, but quickly became a bitter old man, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld a four-game suspension imposed on Brady for his part in the scandal. A federal court later tossed the suspension, for lack of due process in the investigation.

In February, acting students at South Kitsap High School made a regional ripple on social media with the hashtag #SKvsFallon. The students and their coach Scott Yingling issued a video challenge to late night host Jimmy Fallon for an “Improv-off.” The video racked up 30,000 views shortly after it posted and SKvsFallon was briefly a trending topic on Facebook in Western states.

In March, Brownsville Elementary School Principal Toby Tebo kissed a goat for a school fundraiser. “Kissing goats, it’s a good idea. It’s going to be fun, and I can’t wait to pucker up,” Tebo said, before giving Peanut the pygmy goat 21 kisses, one for each goat the students sponsored for an African village.

In December, we asked students at Pearson and Vinland Elementary schools what advice they’d give Santa. Here’s Rachel Seymour’s video with their response.

Districts offer events for sampling coding, multicultural celebration

Two events this week hosted by local school districts offer the public a chance to sample the joys of coding and cultural traditions.

On Thursday, South Kitsap School District will host a public Hour of Code from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at South Kitsap High School. Doss Bradford, the high school’s computer science instructor, will open up computer labs to let community members try their hands at the increasingly important skill of coding. The event piggybacks on the recent Hour of Code events in which South Kitsap students (along with others around the world) took part.

After the coding activity, the district will offer a free screening of CODEGIRL, a documentary, released in November, which follows female student teams in the Technovation Challenge. The Technovation Challenge aims to increase the number of female app developers by empowering girls worldwide to develop apps for an international competition.

“We hope the movie will encourage girls in our district to give coding a try, possibly entering the Technovation Challenge themselves,” said Greg Kirkpatrick, the high school’s assistant director of career and technical education.
MultiCult
On Friday, Bremerton School District will host its second annual multicultural night. The Kitsap Sun covered the event last year, and it was a blast with students performing traditional dances from Mexico, Guam and other countries. There are ethnic foods to sample and other interesting presentations. It’s one of the ways the high school honors its ethnically diverse student population. The event is at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Bremerton High School Commons.

There is no charge for either event.

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.

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

hong-kong-france-paris-attacks

Josh Farley writes: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BSD beefs up its legal fund in light of Kennedy issue

After our story Sunday on how Bremerton School District and Joe Kennedy are handling legal costs related to their dispute over whether Kennedy has the right to pray on the field after games, district spokeswoman Patty Glaser gave me some updated information.

As mentioned in the story, when and if Kennedy sues the district, the matter will be turned over to BSD’s insurance risk pool. The district’s annual premium for the risk pool (School Insurance Association of Washington) is $579,536, Glaser said in an email Monday.

Glaser and others took me to task for implying in the original story that legal posturing between Kennedy and the district short of a suit is not directly impacting the district’s budget and diverting money that would otherwise go to the classroom.

On Monday, I updated the story to clarify that legal costs the district has incurred so far in its dispute with Kennedy are covered by a legal fund that is part of the general fund, and so potentially have a direct impact on the classroom.

Last week, when I spoke with Glaser and Superintendent Aaron Leavell, they said the legal fund had been adequate so far to cover legal counsel related to the Kennedy issue. On Monday Glaser said that the dispute arose at the start of the district’s fiscal year and the fund could fall short, requiring the district to tap other sources. Furthermore, money in the legal fund is money that, were it not needed, could be diverted back to the classroom, she added.

On Monday afternoon, Glaser got back to me with updated legal costs in October (which were not available for the story Sunday). The district in October incurred $10,512 in legal costs. The legal bill in September, when the issue arose, was $6,600. The district has increased the amount in its legal fund from $140,000 to $190,000 “in anticipation of legal costs for JK.”

“We have not calculated the staff time diverted to this matter,” Glaser said in answer to a question raised by several people who read the story.

Matthes apologizes to city for tussle with opponents, stands by his interpretation of campaign finance law

Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes was contrite Monday following an altercation Friday over campaign finance records that involved Matthes, running for re-election, former mayor Lary Coppola, Teresa Osinski, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Kitsap County, and others.

Osinski’s request to review Matthes’ campaign contributions and expenditures, as allowed by law, devolved into a tug-of-war between Matthes and Osinski over the the folder containing the records. In an audio recording by Matthes’ supporter Robert Parker, there are sounds of scuffling and broken glass shortly before an abrupt end to the meeting, held at the Bremerton Bar & Grill.

“I apologize that this is reflecting poorly on the city,” said Matthes who stressed he was acting in his capacity as a candidate not as mayor at the meeting. “I apologize to city residents and to my supporters, too. I let them down, and myself too, by allowing this to get out of hand.”

The meeting, already tense in tone, went south after Coppola arrived, and Matthes told Osinski he would not show her the records while Coppola was present. Coppola, who lost the 2011 election to Matthes by five votes after a contentious campaign, is a member of the HBA’s board and was there as a witness to the proceedings, Osinski said.

Osinski said Matthes at one point “lunged across the table” reaching for the documents, causing and injury to her hand. Parker said it wasn’t a lunge and that Osinski appeared the aggressor. Osinski reported her hand hurt after the incident. Matthes got a paper cut.

Coppola and Linda Simpson, a Bremerton resident there on behalf of Matthes, both told Bremerton police that Coppola tried to take a video of the altercation with his cell phone and Simpson tried to block him. Simpson and Parker say Coppola at one point pushed Simpson. Coppola did not respond to requests for comment on Friday. The audio indicates a verbal confrontation between the two of them. See the partial transcript from the audio recording at the height of the confrontation, below.

“This was a candidate Tim thing. I was not representing the city or city staff,” said Matthes. “It saddens me that political stuff gets this bad. Sometimes the rhetoric, the viciousness just gets out of control. I think this is prime example of things getting out of control. I apologize for my part.”

Matthes raised and spent under $5,000 on his campaign and opted for “mini-reporting” of his campaign spending. The law allows people to inspect mini-reporting records within eight days of the election, and Osinski had an appointment to do so.

Both Matthes and his supporters say a revision to state law (RCW 42.17A.235) put them within their rights to bar Coppola from the meeting and to end the meeting when he wouldn’t leave. However, a spokeswoman from the state’s Public Disclosure Commission and a local legislator who co-sponsored the bill that effected the change say the new law doesn’t speak to the presence of witnesses.

HB 1819 adds to the RCW the requirement, “A person wishing to inspect the books of account must provide the treasurer with his or her telephone number and must provide photo identification prior to inspecting the books of account. A treasurer may refuse to show the books of account to any person who does not make an appointment or provide the required identification.”

Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the intent of the legislation is to impose requirements on the person asking to look at the records, not to prevent people coming along to watch the proceedings. That also was the interpretation of Lori Anderson, PDC spokeswoman.

“I don’t know that that change necessarily prevents someone from accompanying” the person inspecting the records, Anderson said. In the PDC’s view, Coppola’s presence was irrelevant to the role of the PDC, which is to ensure the candidate’s compliance in sharing campaign finance records, Anderson said. “They have the burden of proof to whoever wants to see them.”

Matthes’ group asserts the last sentence refers to people who accompany those requesting to see the records. Simpson said Coppola was close enough to Osinski to be able to see Matthes’ campaign ledger. Matthes said, “When you’re in a room like we were, if you’re witnessing it or in the room where it’s being discussed, I believe it’s the same thing as inspecting.”

Anderson acknowledged that the recent dust-up at the Bremerton Bar & Grill exposes a gray area of the new law. “You’ve brought up a situation that the PDC hadn’t thought about, and maybe we need to do some rule making around if other people come they need to be announced.”

Simpson said she contacted the PDC before the meeting so they would be aware of the rules. Nothing in there speaks to witnesses, she said.

Parker and Simpson argue that it was a private meeting, so Coppola shouldn’t have attended. Osinski said she was not made aware that Matthes would have other people with him.

Matthes on Monday said he has raised $1,600 in campaign contributions (other than funds provided by himself to his campaign). He has spent $2,889.30

Partial transcript of audio recording by Robert Parker on Oct. 30 of a meeting between Teresa Osinski of the HBA and Tim Matthes, cadidate for Port Orchard Mayor, for the purpose of Osinski viewing Matthes’ campaign finance records, as allowed by law.

Matthes to Osinski: “I’ll be more than happy to show you these records … if you just follow the prescribed law, you can see them.”

Matthes to Coppola: “I’d ask you now to wait in the outside area.”

Coppola: “I’m not going anywhere.”

Matthes: “OK, that pretty much ends this.”

Osinski: No, it doesn’t, I have an appointment and I’m going to look at your books.”

Matthes: “No you’re not. Not as long as he’s (Coppola) sitting here. As long as he’s sitting here, you’re not going to look …”

Osinski: “(Coppola) doesn’t need to look at them. I do.”

Matthes: “Would you give the books up?” (sounds of scuffling)

“Osinski: “I have the book.” (more sounds of scuffling)

Matthew: “No you don’t have the books.” (glasses breaking) “No you don’t have the books. Now you don’t have the books.”

Osiniski: “Give me my book.”

Other person: “It’s not your book.”

Osinski: “I have a book under there. Give it to me.”

Simpson: “Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me.”

Coppola: “Don’t you touch me.”

Simpson: “I didn’t, you touched me.”

Coppola: “I haven’t touched you.”

Matthes: “Under these circumstances I’d say you all need to be out.”

Matthes, citing RCW 42.17A.235, told Osinski he’d show her the records when Coppola left.

BHS JV game cancellation not related to prayer issue, school officials say

Monday’s Bremerton High School JV game at Centralia was canceled Sunday, but it had nothing to do with the school prayer issue, staff from both schools say.

BHS JV coach Joe Kennedy, an assistant coach for the varsity team, is embroiled in a legal battle with the district over his right to pray after games.

BSD officials, including head football coach Nate Gillam, said the game was cancelled because the Centralia team had a number of injuries and could not field a team.

Chamberlain, the Centralia athletic director, said that was partly true, although his team would have been ready to play. There was, Chamberlain said, a miscommunication among himself, his coaches and Bremerton’s coaching staff.

In days leading up to the BHS homecoming game, Chamberlain and his coaches agreed to touch base on Monday’s JV game before the weekend. The Centralia JV’s quarterback had had a concussion, and the previous week’s game was cancelled.

Chamberlain was out of town and didn’t speak with the coaches before they headed to Bremerton. At the game, the Bremerton coaches heard about the injuries, and on Sunday BHS athletic director Jeff Barton emailed Chamberlain calling the game off.

“I talked (with) a couple of your coaches Friday night about Monday’s JV game,” Barton said. “They stated that they would have to piece-meal a team for a JV game on Monday. After considering this and where we are at this time, I feel it is in the best interest of our program and possibly yours that we cancel Monday’s JV game.”

Chamberlain notified Kennedy by email late Sunday that the game was cancelled. On Monday, he said, he spoke with his coaches and saw how the decision had evolved.

“There might have been some misunderstanding,” Chamberlain said. “It was kind of a mix of both teams saying maybe this isn’t the best for everybody. … They didn’t say anything about coach Kennedy. That was never mentioned.”

Early Monday, after Kennedy opened the cancellation email from Chamberlain, he emailed back, “Bummer we couldn’t play today. Just wanted to say that your Team and Coaches are incredible!”

“Us to (too),” Chamberlain replied, citing the email from Barton. “We were ready to play.”

North Kitsap Fire receives new heart monitors

North Kitsap Fire and Rescue loads one of the new heart monitors into a medic unit Tuesday.
North Kitsap Fire and Rescue loads one of the new heart monitors into a medic unit Tuesday.

KINGSTON — Harrison Medical Center Foundation publicly launched part of a $1 million project to improve cardiac arrest survival rates in Kitsap County as it delivered to updated heart monitors to North Kitsap Fire and Rescue on Tuesday.

The two monitors, worth about $40,000 each, allow emergency responders to better view heart rates while CPR is in progress, said Steve Engel, with North Kitsap Fire and Rescue.

NKFR_heart-monitorThe monitors also send heart readings directly to Harrison Medical Center to see if patients require surgery for blocked heart arteries.

The hospital began receiving heart readings from emergency responders at a scene in 2014, although not all area fire authorities have monitors capable of sending readings.

South Kitsap and North Mason do not have the technology, according to Kari Driskell with the hospital foundation.

The foundation’s goal is to supply five monitors to South Kitsap and North Mason. A grant for one monitor in South Kitsap has been secured, Driskell said.

The Suquamish Tribe donated the funds needed for North Kitsap’s two monitors, although fundraising continues for a third one in North Kitsap.

Bremerton, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island already have updated heart monitors.

The foundation’s $1 million project is to supply each of the county’s fire agencies with updated heart monitors and CPR machines, as well as launch a CPR smartphone app.

The app, called PulsePoint, aims to alert those who know CPR when they are in the proximity of someone experiencing cardiac arrest in a public location.

PulsePoint also would notify users where the closest automatic external defibrillator, or AED, is.

The CPR machines provide nearly-perfect CPR at the proper speed and depth — 100 compressions a minute at a depth of 2 inches — and can perform accurate chest compression while a patient is in an ambulance.

NKFR_heart-monitor_group
Officials from North Kitsap Fire, the Suquamish Tribe and the Harrison Medical Center Foundation at the North Kitsap Fire headquarters Tuesday.