This blog is a Kitsap Sun reader blog. The Kitsap Sun neither edits nor previews reader blog posts. Their content is the sole creation and responsibility of the readers who produce them. Reader bloggers are asked to adhere to our reader blog agreement. If you have a concern or would like to start a reader blog of your own, please contact

Monthly Archives: January 2010

This blog is a Kitsap Sun reader blog. The Kitsap Sun neither edits nor previews reader blog posts. Their content is the sole creation and responsibility of the readers who produce them. Reader bloggers are asked to adhere to our reader blog agreement. If you have a concern or would like to start a reader blog of your own, please contact

12 CK Teachers Achieve National Board Certification

CKSD Educators Achieve National Board Certification


Pictured (left to right): Board President Chris Stokke, Dan Kontos (OHS), Scott Borgmann (CKJH), Cynthia Larson-Faragalli (WO), Janet Hegtvedt (BR), Andrea Tabert (SI), Penny Timm (CV), Janice Jacobson (BR), Lisa Pitcher (CV), David Pitcher (KSS), Superintendent Greg Lynch

Not pictured: Heidi Erickson (BR), Mindy Halstead (BR), Robbin Scheer (CO)

Twelve  educators were honored by the Central Kitsap School Board during their meeting last Wednesday night for attaining National Board Certification. This is the highest number yet for our District!

Honorees, family members and friends came to celebrate  at a reception prior to individual recognition at the School Board meeting where each teacher received a personalized frame to display their certificates.  In addition, CKSD Superintendent Greg Lynch presented the School Board President, Chris Stokke, with a “perpetual plaque” listing the names of all CKSD National Board Certified teachers. The plaque will be displayed permanently in the Jenne-Wright Administration Center, and new names will be added each year.

In his address to the assembly, Superintendent Lynch shared the following:

“It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and determination to earn National Board Certification. We currently have 29 National Board Certified teachers; 8 teachers earned their Certification last year and twelve teachers this year, over a 30% increase!  I am exceptionally proud of their success and dedication to excellence.  It also is a testament to our District’s commitment to advancing student learning and to the importance of powerful teaching and learning.”

This year, 1,248 Washington teachers were certified, placing the state second nationally in new National Board Certified teachers. Washington’s 3,974 total National Board Certified teachers place the state fifth in the nation.

Congratulations to all the honorees for all of your dedication and hard work in completing such a distinctive level of  achievement!

To learn more, Click here.

Remember to vote ‘YES!‘ in Support of the Upcoming School Replacement Levy!

King County Court decision devastates Local Family

justice-denied-for-local-central-kitsap-familyOn the morning of March 13, 2005, local CK resident Heather Lee Meadows, daughter of Greg and Leah Meadows, was driving to work with a friend on I-5 just south of Seattle, when a speeding drunk driver entered the freeway using the off ramp, going the wrong way against traffic, and hit her head on. She was killed almost instantly, while her passenger suffered internal injuries, a fractured skull and jaw, as well as long lasting emotional trauma.

The drunk driver, Ngere Tambwe Omari, had a long list of prior run-ins with the law. An immigrant from Rwanda, he had entered the U.S. illegally, but was granted amnesty by our government due to the civil war in his country of origin at that time. Just a month earlier, he had been convicted of a DUI, was placed on probation, and had his licensed suspended. At the time of the accident, in addition to a suspended license, he had no insurance, and the car he was driving belonged to someone else.

As a result, Omari was convicted of Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Assault, and 2nd degree driving on Suspended License. He was sentenced to prison for 72 months and a release date of April 27, 2010.

During his incarceration, he received extensive medical treatment to repair his crushed femur that he sustained in the crash. His physical therapy, surgery, medications, multiple mental health visits to Western State, and the expense of his translator, attorneys, etc., has cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. He has yet to fulfill any of his court ordered responsibility of paying restitution to any of his claimants.

In addition to his jail sentence, there had been an immigration hold placed on him during his incarceration. Upon release, he was to be remanded to the immigration authorities to begin the deportation process.

Unbeknownst to the Meadows family, a decision was handed down in the fall of 2009 by the King County courthouse that lifted the immigration hold. When Omari is released from prison this coming April, he will be allowed once again to roam this country freely.

Which of our daughters or sons, Mothers or Fathers will be Omari’s next victim?

More Kudos for Central Kitsap Schools

central-kitsap-school-district-creatively-controls-costsWith the vote on the Central Kitsap School Support Replacement Levy coming soon, it’s nice to report instances where our local school board and district employees are working hard to manage/curtail the financial challenges associated with operating our public schools.

The efforts of Central Kitsap School District to save money and maximize energy efficiency are paying off—literally. During its meeting on January 13th, the School Board accepted a check from Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in the amount of $76,091.

(To read the full text of the press release, please click here.)

In addition, due to the hard work of our Facilities Department, CKSD employees have joined in the campaign to reduce energy consumption—with amazing results! Thanks to their efforts, the District has saved (in the form of cost avoidances) over $1 million in energy costs and has received or been approved for PSE grants and rebates totaling more than $884,474 since implementing an energy conservation program in October 2001.

Kudos to Superintendent Greg Lynch, the School Board, and all CKSD employees for your part to reduce energy consumption and better control spending!

Central Kitsap Community Council – “Our Voice in Kitsap County”

I don’t know about you, but lately I feel like our elected officials in Washington DC have lost touch with their constituency. Our country has lost it’s sense of representative form of government and the voice of the common citizen falls on deaf ears.central-kitsap-community-council

Fortunately though, here in Central Kitsap, we do have a meaningful structure and process to bridge the communication gap between residents and local government.

The Central Kitsap Community Council is an advisory body created by the Board of County Commissioners through a resolution in 1998 and was tasked with the following purpose:

Facilitate and improve communication among the Central Kitsap community and the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)

Promote a sense of community

Advise the BOCC and government agencies of the desires and concerns of the community

Bring to the Central Kitsap community issues and projects of the County and convey the community response as requested by the BOCC.

The Central Kitsap Community Council (CKCC) exists to represent the citizens of Central Kitsap (defined as those living within the Central Kitsap School District boundaries, but excluding land within the City of Bremerton).

The charge given to CKCC is to review and make recommendations on growth management issues such as land use and zoning, public utility service delivery, transportation improvements, parks and recreation, design standards, public safety, taxes and fees, environmental protection, and other related matters.

The CKCC meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Water District Office at Dickey and Newberry Hill roads from 7:00pm – 9:00pm, except for April and October Town Hall meetings.

The next meeting is January 20th.

For more information, access the CKCC page on the website.

Central Kitsap Junior High celebrates 50th Anniversary

central-kitsap-junior-high-school-50th-anniversayCentral Kitsap residents won’t want to miss out on the upcoming celebration recognizing 50 years of educational excellence, history, and tradition at Central Kitsap Junior High.

The school will mark its 50-year anniversary next week with a community celebration on Tuesday, January 19th. Festivities will begin at 3:00 p.m., when the CKJH Boys Basketball Team will host the John Sedgwick Generals in the New Gym.

A special recognition ceremony honoring alumni and staff will occur at halftime. Also beginning at 3:00 p.m., the school will host an Open House in the cafeteria and Old Gym. Members of the public are invited to view memorabilia from CKJH’s earliest days, watch a commemorative slideshow, and enjoy some light refreshments. The Open House is scheduled until 6:00 p.m.

As a parent of 4 kids who have all gone through CKJH, we have benefited greatly from the incredibly gifted and dedicated school staff. We are extremely fortunate to have educators who are so diligently committed to the rounded development of our children.

All the more reason to vote ‘YES’ on the upcoming School Support Levy Replacement!

Demonstrators vs. Deterrence

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the opening of a new exhibit at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport WA.

The purpose for this new exhibit was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the launching of the USS George Washington (SSBN598), the first nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

I proudly served on the ‘Georgefish’ between the Fall of 1976 and Summer of 1979 as a Radioman. She was in dry dock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, undergoing a reactor core replacement, when I first reported aboard.

My first visit to the scenic Kitsap Peninsula and Silverdale WA was when we pulled into Bangor Subase to onload missiles. I have some great memories of my time spent here in the Puget Sound area.

And now, over 30 years later, I find myself once again enjoying life in Kitsap County WA, and living just a few minutes from the Trigger Gate.

During the ceremony last week, keynote speaker, Admiral Frank Caldwell, Commander of Submarine Group 9, posed the question:

“Is the mission of the SSBN still relevant today?”

Given the recent security breach at Bangor Subase by anti-nuclear arms protestors, and the overall waning of support for our military out of Washington these days, the answer to this question seems even more pronounced.

In his comments to those in attendance at the exhibit opening, Adm. Caldwell stated, “Our ballistic missile submarine force continues to be an extremely vital part of our national defense. It was, and remains today, the most survivable component of our nuclear defenses.”

In the December 2009 issue of ‘All Hands’ (official magazine of the US Navy), there is a very timely article entitled “50 years of Strength through Deterrence.” In this article, Captain David Ratte, Commodore of Submarine Squadron 17, is quoted as saying:

“The fundamental mission of the SSBN has not changed since the 1960’s. How we execute it has changed, the details such as adversaries have changed, but how and why we operate our ships at sea is all still in place. The mission of the SSBN still involves the safety, security, reliability, and survivability of our nation’s maritime nuclear deterrence force.”

Attending the ceremony at the Naval Undersea Museum brought back a flood of memories – the comradery of my shipmates, the pride and dedication of the crew, the hard work and sacrifices made to successfully carry out our mission.

Later that afternoon, as I was being interviewed by Navy media personnel, I was asked the question “In light of this new exhibit, what message do you have for today’s sailors serving in our submarine fleet?”

“Unless you’ve actually served on-board a submarine, it’s hard for people to fully understand and appreciate all the challenges and sacrifices that are a part of every day life for our sailors. The US Submarine force has a longstanding tradition of dedication to duty and unselfish service towards country. The new George Washington exhibit provides a well needed reminder to the valued legacy of pride and patriotism of all those sub sailors who have faithfully served the cause of national security and freedom.”

Facebook Photo Gallery of the new Geo. Washington exhibit at the Naval Undersea Museum.

Central Kitsap School Support Levy

I have to confess that I’m slightly biased.central-kitsap-school-support-levy-2010

Okay, I’m more than slightly biased. I’m very biased.

My wife is an elementary teacher in the Central Kitsap School District. All 4 of our kids have attended CK schools and 3 have already graduated from Central Kitsap High School (named 7 times as one of the top high schools in the nation). As a local real estate professional, one of the bigger selling points that attracts new residents to our area is the reputation our district has earned for providing students with a quality education.

On February 9, 2010, Central Kitsap residents will have the opportunity of voting to replace the School Support Levy. The current levy, approved by voters in 2006, is at a rate of $2.16 per thousand of assessed value.  For the first year of the new proposed School Replacement Levy, the rate would increase from $2.16 to approximately $2.49 per thousand of assess value.

central-kitsap-school-levy-helps-support-music-programsWith all the recent decisions being made for us in our nation’s capitol, directing our hard-earned tax-paying dollars towards bailing out Wall Street and underwriting nationalized health-care, it’s nice to know that each of us can have a direct, positive impact by deciding to invest in our community, and the continued level of educational excellence being offered to our children.

I would encourage you to take just a moment and access the Central Kitsap School District website, and view the “Did You Know” page which lists many of the recent accomplishments by CK students and staff.

And please Vote ‘YES’ to replace the Central Kitsap School Support Levy!

For more detailed information, go to Central Kitsap School Support Levy.

“Everyday CK” – Creating Community Conversation in Central Kitsap County WA

Welcome to the first inaugural post on the newest Kitsap Sun Reader Blog, Everyday CK

My name is Rich Jacobson, and I’ll be your tour guide, moderator, and occasional moving target, as we engage one another in meaningful dialog and constructive debate on issues relating to our beloved community known as Central Kitsap.Jeff-Brody

But first, before we begin, allow me to express a HUGE word of thanks to longtime local news legend, Jeff Brody, for his faithful posting on “Seeking Silverdale and Central Kitsap,” and for his incredible 21-year contribution of journalistic excellence to the communities of Kitsap County. We wish him the greatest success in his new role as Community Relations Director for Kitsap Regional Library.

And now, here’s the brief Reader’s Digest on Yours Truly:

My family has deep roots in Washington soil. My Mom was born out on the coast, along the edge of the Clearwater River, near Queets. Her parents later moved to Everett where her Dad was a tugboat captain. I remember spending several very memorable childhood summers in the Puget Sound area, including the World’s Fair in 1962.

Hood-Canal-WA-sunsetDuring my brief Navy career, my boat (USS George Washington SSBN598) pulled into the newly constructed Bangor Subase to on-load missiles. I can vividly recall standing watch topside along the shore of Hood Canal and being in awe of the majestic Olympic Mountains. Clear Creek Road was the main ‘north/south’ route back then, and Silverdale consisted of only a 4-way stop sign and Elsie’s. Since those days, in the back of my mind has always been the dream of one day returning to live in the scenic Pacific Northwest.

Just over 8 years ago, my family and I relocated to Silverdale from Lawrence, Kansas (Please, no Dorothy and Toto jokes!). I have had the good fortune of being a licensed real estate agent affiliated with Windermere here in Silverdale. My wife, Janice, is an elementary teacher in the Central Kitsap School District. 3 of our 4 kids have already graduated from Central Kitsap High School, and our ‘baby,’ Luke, just started 10th grade this past Fall.Crabbing-on-the-Hood-Canal-WA

I started blogging in 2005 through sites like MySpace and, but it wasn’t until I joined, a large social network/blogging platform for real estate professionals, that I really started to embrace social media. For just over a year, I served on staff at ActiveRain as a Community Manager. From there, I helped to create and co-author a local blog, SOUNDBITEBLOG, and later, a fun recreational pastime blog, CrabbingInTheHood.

It is my hope and intention for ‘Everyday CK‘ to become a place where local readers can find an engaging assortment of articles covering a wide range of issues/topics on the quality of life in Central Kitsap. From local business to school support levies, I will attempt to serve up consistently fresh content designed to inform and evoke your comments/opinions.