Samadpour’s company responds on Pavilion closing

Abadan Holdings, LLC, Mansour Samadpour’s property management company, on Tuesday responded to our Feb. 7 article about the impending closure of the Port Orchard Pavilion. Delilah Rene Luke said she can no longer subsidize operations for the event center, which she has operated since 2009. Luke said she and Abadan were unable to reach an agreement on rent that will allow the Pavilion to remain open.

In the article, Abadan attorney Mary Ogborn responded to Pavilion manager Joni Sonneman’s statement that Abadan now wants $6,000 a month for the place, by saying the future monthly asking price would be negotiated with the new tenant. She neither confirmed or denied that $6,000 is the current price for the Pavilion, and Ogborn said Abadan had no further comment on the Pavilion closing.

In fairness to Ogborn (and readers) I could have and should have pressed her for confirmation of other statements made by Delilah and Sonneman about arrangements between the Pavilion and Abadan through the years, including Sonneman’s statement that rent had at one time in the past been dropped from $4,000 to $3,000 per month then raised back up. Ogborn, in her response letter, stated the rent was never reduced to $3,000, and I have verified that is correct.

Ogborn gave other additional details about the lease agreement over the years that Pavilion representatives do not dispute, including an arrangement that gave the Pavilion some credit, in the form of one month’s free rent per year, for work done on the building.

Ogborn said the rent originally, in 2009, was $5,000 a month. In 2010, Delilah and company approached Abadan regarding installation of a sprinkler system that was required on the building and requested a tenant improvement allowance. “Abadan was happy to grant this allowance,” Ogborn said.

According to Ogborn and the Pavilion, this option was exercised over the next two years, but not in the following three years. There is some disagreement over who was responsible for initiating the free rent option.

In May 2012, at the Pavilion’s request for a rent reduction, Abadan agreed to $4,000 a month, and it remained at this amount through fall of 2015. As the lease expiration approached, the Pavilion and Abadan entered discussions on rent. The Pavilion proposed $2,750 per month and asked for its three years’ worth of retroactive free rent. Both parties agree that the Pavilion received three months of free rent in the latter part of 2015 and early 2016.

At the same time Abadan offered a one-year extension but stood firm on $4,000 a month. “Thereafter the lease negotiations stalled out,” Ogborn said.

The pavilion obtained a short-term lease extension to Feb. 15 at $4,000 per month and later was granted another extension to March 15 at $6,000 a month (which is apparently where the $6,000 figure came from). Abadan has said if the Pavilion wants to continue renting the space month to month and not enter a fixed term lease, the price is $6,000 per month, Ogborn said.

Samadpour owns multiple properties in Port Orchard, including virtually the entire 700 block of Bay Street, where the Pavilion is located.

Ogborn in a letter to me had this statement: “Abadan supports businesses in Port Orchard and has worked with the tenants at the Port Orchard Pavilion over the years to support them through their struggle to develop a viable business. Over the years, Abadan has worked with many of the tenants in Port Orchard to reduce their rent in order to help keep their businesses viable during economic downturns. Abadan has reduced the rent for the Pavilion in 2012 and has not raised the rent for the Pavilion in three years.

“Abadan takes issue with the characterization of the negotiations in your article because in actuality, tenants demanded Abadan reduce the Pavilion’s rent by $1,250 per month or no deal could be reached. Abadan cannot reasonably be expected to subsidize a failing business by continuing to offer rent reductions and believes it is unprofessional for the tenants to voice their displeasure with Abadan by presenting a one-sided and inaccurate version of the history of their tenancy and the lease negotiations between our businesses to you.”

Regarding Ogborn’s letter, Delilah said that renovations she made to the building, including urgent and critical repairs, tallied far more than the total the Pavilion received in the form of free rent.

Health District working with NKSD on air quality at Poulsbo Elementary

Update, 3:15 p.m. Feb. 10: North Kitsap schools Superintendent Patty Page informed parents via email that maintenance staff believe they have located the source of the odors at Poulsbo Elementary over the past several weeks. An inspection of equipment this morning showed exhaust was leaking out of a heat exchanger on one of the HVAC units on the roof.

Monitoring inside the building today showed no carbon monoxide, indicating the one (undamaged) burner they’ve been using since this morning is free of exhaust leaks. “Running the unit on one burner will provide adequate heat to the space it serves,” Page said.

Air Masters, the company that worked on the units this summer, will be on site Monday to inspect the unit and identify repairs. Monday is the earliest Air Masters can get there, Page said.

Note, this is likely not the end of the school’s HVAC woes, as the aging system gradually degrades. The district’s goal is to replace the sad, old thing, and they’re working on a plan. Read on.

Feb. 9, 7:45 p.m.: A few new developments today (Tuesday) on the issue of odors at Poulsbo Elementary School: a meeting with parents, new equipment to monitor air quality and an “evolving” plan for replacing the aging and cranky HVAC units sooner rather than later.

Superintendent Patty Page and other district officials met with parents at the school this afternoon to answer questions and field comments. The parents’ frustration was evident. Parent Lori Smith said it seems that the district is downplaying complaints of illness. “What’s the next step for the next time Friday happens?” Smith said, referring to reports of odors on Friday that brought the fire department and gas company officials out to check. The school was deemed fit to occupy and school was not cancelled.

“Nobody’s doubting anybody,” Page said in response to Smith. She said teachers have the go-ahead to remove students from a class, and Principal Claudia Alves has authority to evacuate the school without checking with central administrators. Parents are asked to report any odors to Alves or the main office. That’s the protocol, but no one will get in trouble for calling 911 if they are concerned, Page said.

The Kitsap Public Health District has loaned the district a sophisticated and fairly new air quality meter that measures for unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and relative humidity. The device also measures particulate matter, but unlike the other measures, there’s no health standard for that. The device is designed only for use in schools, and is available to the health district through a partnership with the state Department of Health and federal EPA. It will be in place in a classroom until at least Friday, as work to fix immediate problems with the HVAC units on the school’s roof continues. Health officials will analyze data from the device and determine if monitoring should continue beyond Friday in other locations of the school.

Maintenance staff purchased a hand-held gas detecting device, which they have been using since Monday. They also will regularly monitor air quality at the school.

“North Kitsap School District has a plan for investigating the odors. We support their plan and think they are taking the right approach to their investigation at this time,” said Karen Bevers, health district spokeswoman.

Health district officials have received 10 public health concern reports related to the school and “have responded to all those individuals,” Bevers said.

Finally, the district may be closer to replacing the units than earlier thought. Even a few weeks ago, district officials believed that fixing the system would require replacing not only the units but the entire air duct system as well. The projected cost would be on the order of items typically funded by a bond, and yet the district has no immediate plans to run a bond. Within the last few days, however, another potential solution has been suggested by Rashad Green, the district’s heating and air conditioning technician, who has been assigned to bird dog problems at Poulsbo Elementary. Green, relatively new to the district, has extensive knowledge of HVAC systems. He believes there are ways to replace the units without having to tear up the air duct system. District officials will be vetting that possibility with a contractor and checking on the price tag. Regardless of the cost, Page said, if this is a viable option, the district will make it work.

Green said he has two small children and understands the parents’ concern. He pledged vigilance. “I want you guys to feel that your concerns are listened to and that you’re being hear,” Green said. “We want to make sure you’re comfortable and that your kids are safe.”

Page said the problem with the schools HVAC has been ongoing for years. In an earlier renovation of the school, the HVAC system was not replaced. Now the system is so old it’s almost impossible to get parts. Problems date back to at least 2009, according to a local newspaper article, but Page said problems likely had been cropping up before then.

Full FEMA earthquake risk report for Kitsap County

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After publishing our series on Kitsap’s earthquake risk last month and a recent followup story, we’ve had several requests from readers that we post the full Federal Emergency Management Agency risk report for Kitsap referenced in some of the stories.

The 44-page report, which you can read or download in full below, assesses Kitsap’s risk to four natural hazards: flood, earthquake, landslide and tsunami.

The earthquake, landslide, tsunami and some of the flooding risks are related. In the report, FEMA chose a scenario in which the Seattle Fault rattles with a 7.2-magnitude earthquake. Such a quake would trigger tsunamis, landslides, fires and other hazards.

Page 9 is where this information begins, starting with earthquakes and moving through landslides and tsunamis.

Pages 20-30 feature short risk assessments for particular areas, such as Bremerton, Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island. For each community, FEMA lists a few specific at-risk buildings and some strategies for reducing the impact of an earthquake and other hazards.

FEMA Kitsap Risk Report by tristan baurick

On the education beat: Jan. 28, 2016

Catching up and looking ahead on the education beat here at the Kitsap Sun.

Next week (Tuesday) we’ll have a story about how to pick the best kindergarten class for your child.

I’m also working on a story about special needs students and the people involved in their education. I’d like to hear from students, parents, paraeducators, special ed teachers and anyone else with thoughts on the intersection of special needs and public education.

Contact me at (360) 792-9219, christina.henry@kitsapsun.com or https://www.facebook.com/chrishenryreporter.

Now for a recap of this week’s education news:

Voting on education funding
First and foremost, did you get your ballot? Voters throughout Kitsap and North Mason counties on Feb. 9 will decide on bond and levy measures. In case you missed it, this story gives a summary of measures by district.

Theler Center, school district asset or albatross?
Following up on Arla Shephard Bull’s comprehensive history of the Mary E. Theler Community Center and Wetlands, North Mason School District, which owns the property, hosted a meeting to bank suggestions about what to do with Theler now that the trust established to support its upkeep is depleted. Ideas ranged from burning down the community center to starting a GoFundMe account.
A Mardi Gras themed murder mystery fundraiser is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Mary E. Theler Community Center, 22871 Highway 3 in Belfair; 360-275-4898.

When caring parenting crosses the line
Do you meddle in your children’s business? Have you ever kept a reminder sheet of upcoming tests? “Helped” them with a project, or, let’s be honest, did the bulk of it yourself? Excused them from chores because they have “so much homework?”
It’s a habit that can escalate, according to Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former dean at Stanford and author of “How to Raise an Adult,” who will speak on Bainbridge Feb. 3. One college student she knew had never learned to pump gas because her parents visited every weekend and filled the tank for her.
Although the author observed the problem of hovering parents (she tries not to use the helicopter parent tag) as one of upper middle-class and affluent families, it is by no means limited to the 1 percent.
Lythcott-Haims’ talk is not limited to Bainbridge families. Here are the details: 7:30-9 p.m. Feb.3 at Bainbridge High School, 9330 NE High School Road; Cost: $15. Register at: raisingresilience.org.

Education tidbits
A Bremerton elementary school teacher earned her masters degree through classes at Woodland Park Zoo.
And South Kitsap School district will host a meeting 5:30 p.m. Thursday (that’s tonight) at South Kitsap High School to explain the International Baccalaureate program it hopes to bring to schools, including the high school. We wrote about the program last spring.

Banana Hammock still hanging in there

Speaking of bikini barista stands, did you catch the reference in our recent story on Port Orchard’s downtown banner? Public Works Director Mark Dorsey noted that since a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on sign content, the city could be opening itself up to hosting photos of bikini baristas on Bay Street. My guess is the usual customers — like The Cruz car show, Fathoms O’ Fun summer festival and the Rotary Crab Feed — will snap up all the slots when banner booking opens March 1.

In other sexpresso news, the Banana Hammock of Port Orchard recently was featured in a Zagat video in People Magazine online. That’s owner Adam Lovejoy in the feature shot.

The video largely focused on controversy over the opening of a bikini barista stand in Spokane. The title, “Topless Baristas Have Taken Over Washington State,” makes it sound like the sexpresso trend is something new. Whereas we, at the Kitsap Sun, reported on the first stands to serve coffee with a view near five years ago.

By comparison, Lovejoy’s Banana Hammock, open in April 2014, was a latecomer, but he did have the the niche of being the only such stand in Kitsap County with male baristas (baristos?). And BTW, they don’t wear banana hammocks (I had to look it up when I reported on the business). Think muscular, mostly shirtless guys, sometimes in costumes like fireman, cowboy etc.
BananaHammock
The Banana Hammock seemed to be going out on a limb, especially with its location on Highway 166, outside Port Orchard and off the beaten path. Nearly two years later, however, and “business is great,” said Lovejoy. “We made it the past two years doing what I love. … Business has been great. We’ve been growing every day.”

Banana Hammock is billed in the video as the only male topless coffee stand in the state, which is true to the best of Lovejoy’s knowledge.

The location hasn’t hurt him any. People have beaten a path to the little yellow shack with the cheeky monkey logo, Lovejoys says. “A lot of people will travel the extra mile to come see us because of our product. We offer something different that other people don’t have.”

Lovejoy, 26, who saved up money to open the business by working construction, employs five guys, not counting himself. The stand is a full-time gig for this father of two young children.

The video, which published Jan. 14 and has millions of views on YouTube, has been a boon to the Banana Hammock. “I think I’ve seen some new faces since then,” Lovejoy said.

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.
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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.

Article on corporal punishment gets folks talking

For some reason an article written Aug. 15, 2015, on the subject of corporal punishment in schools, has been widely discussed recently on social media.

The article, by Nate Robson of Oklahoma Watch, talks about a policy allowing for paddling of students at Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools, about 25 miles east of Tulsa.

Oklahoma is one of 19 states that allow schools to physically discipline students, according to Robson. Washington State outlawed corporal punishment in 1994.

“Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to produce in-depth and investigative journalism on public-policy and quality-of-life issues facing the state,” its website states.

Washington State, with others around the country, is taking a hard look at discipline practices, given that data show minorities, male students and special education students, among other groups, are disciplined at a higher rate than the general population of kids.

In 2011-2012, the data year in question for the Oklahoma Watch story, special education students made up 15 percent of Oklahoma enrollment but were more than 20 percent of students who were physically punished.

The Kitsap Sun has done articles on disproportionate discipline. In earlier stories, we discussed the impact on minority groups. With the recent release of new discipline data by Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, we plan to take a close look a discipline as it affect special education students.

We are looking to talk to parents of special needs students, students themselves, teachers and para-educators about their experiences with discipline.

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

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.

Kitsap education news, Jan. 2 – 8

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.

Chief Kitsap Academy basketball gaining steam
The Chief Kitsap Academy Bears are coming into their own. The basketball team, the first sports team at the tribal compact school, is now in its second year. The Bears’ two coaches George Hill III, 22 and We-laka Chiquiti, 19, are possibly the youngest high school coaching staff in the state.Bears

Paying for public schools remains a problem in 2016
As the short session start, legislators in Olympia are under the gun to agree on a complete overhaul of public education funding. Kitsap teachers who held one-day walkouts in the spring over pay, class sizes and testing held back on longer strikes in the fall but will be watching for signs of major progress.

Lawmakers from both parties and both houses announced Friday they may have a plan to fix the way the state pays for education. Getting legislators outside this bipartisan working group on board will be a challenge, said Christine Rolfes, D- B.I., a member of the group.

Bainbridge Montessori school eyes expansion
The Montessori Country School turns families away each year. Administrators at the private school on Arrow Point Drive hope to change that with an expansion that would combine its two campuses, add classrooms and increase enrollment from 115 to 145.
montessori

Seaquist formalizes run for state K-12 superintendent.
Former 26th District Rep. Larry Seaquist announced Thursday that he will run in November for state superintendent of public instruction, hoping to fix a system that is “slipping into crisis.” Seaquist says the law that replaces No Child Left Behind offers Washington State the chance to tailor public education to its own needs. Among the adjustments, Seaquist mentioned a “radical change” in testing.Seaquist

Speak Out Tuesday on South Kitsap Bond
There’s a public hearing set Tuesday on South Kitsap School District’s Feb. 9 bond ballot measure. The Port Orchard City Council wants to hear from the public before considering endorsement of the $127 million bond to build a second high school and make $2 million in technology upgrades at the existing South Kitsap High School
The hearing will be part of the council’s regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at city hall, 216 Prospect St.

Coming up next week: What local high school choir will be singing in Carnegie Hall this spring?

Young lad laments stolen bagpipes

Surely you’ve heard the story about the bagpipe player whose car was broken into. When he returned to the vehicle where he’d laid his instrument, sure enough there was another set of bagpipes in the car.

Kieran Prince has heard this joke and plenty of others like it.

“I think it’s funny,” said Prince, 21, of Port Orchard, a student at the University of Washington who’s played the bagpipes since he was 8 years old. “They are to a certain degree kind of obnoxious because they’re so loud.”
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Even his fellow pipers in the Clan Gordon Pipe Band of Tacoma have a laugh at their own expense. “Its all in good fun though,” he said.

Prince wasn’t laughing, however, when he found his car window smashed out the morning of Jan. 2 and the century-old set of bagpipes that had been in the back seat gone.

His car was parked on McCormick Woods Drive, according to a Port Orchard Police Department report. The police are investigating the theft of the bagpipes, which Prince describes as irreplaceable.

The pipes belonged to Jack Montgomery, Prince’s mentor and a member of 60-year-old the Clan Gordon band. They were passed down to Montgomery from his late father.

“They’re totally priceless for me and for Jack especially,” said Prince (the young lad second from right in the photo below). “Had they been my pipes, its still horrible but more tolerable than not belonging to me and having been his dad’s.”
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In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve known Kieran Prince since about the time he took up the bagpipes. On Christmas night, Kieran and friends showed up at our doorstep, him playing “Amazing Grace” and another tune that had us all dancing a jig arm in arm.

I know nothing about playing the bagpipes, except what Kieran’s explained to me, from which I gather it’s darned complicated. There’s the big leather bag one must keep inflated with air one blows into it. One must pump the air from the bag tucked under one’s arm into the the “drone” pipes that stick out above one’s shoulders. The melody is played on the “chanter,” with finger holes, rather like a recorder. Beside maintaining the air, the drone and the melody, one is usually marching in step with an ensemble of other pipers and drummers … in a kilt. No small feat.

“It’s a complicated instrument for sure,” Kieran said.

Kieran took up the bagpipes to please his mother, Fiona Prince, and Grandma Dorothy Russel of Bannockburn, Scotland. He started just picking out the melody on the chanter, later graduating to the full set of pipes. “At that age when you’re young you’re sort of a sponge,” he said.

Now, he’s fully invested in the art of piping and proud of his Scottish heritage.

Kieran (on the left in the photo below) is one of the youngest members of the Clan Gordon band. He plays with the band in parades, at highland games and at the annual Tartan Ball, hosted by the band in Puyallup.
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Rather than giving him a hard time about his unusual choice of instrument, Kieran’s friends are totally into it. “When I break them out. Everybody’s really excited about it,” he said.

Kieran is hopeful the police can trace the pipes, which are in a black sack and have the Clan Gordon emblem on them. He is offering a reward of $400 for their return — no questions asked.
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Anyone with information can call the Port Orchard Police Department, (360) 876-1700 on case number D16-000015, or contact Kieran directly, kieranrprince@gmail.com, (360) 710-2228.

Here’s one more video of the band at the Mt. Vernon Highland Games.