Speaking of South Kitsap

Reporter Chris Henry talks about life in the county seat of Port Orchard and surrounding areas.
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We’ve Moved!

This blog has moved. You can now find blog updates about Kitsap County at the Peninsular Thinking Blog at pugetsoundblogs.com/peninsular-thinking

Flyover could get Seahawk fans even more cranked up

January 10th, 2014 by Chris Henry

How can The Clink get any louder than the last time the Saints were here, when the 12th Man broke the Guinness world record for crowd noise? Cap it with a flyover.
The Seahawks contacted the Navy and requested just that. I reckon they asked if Naval Air Station Whidbey Island could send an EA-18G Growler down, oh, about when the 12th Man flag is climbing the pole.
A Growler — the electronic warfare version of the Navy’s Super Hornet fighter jet — emits a maximum of 150 decibels. Amazingly, you could’ve hardly heard it over the seismic crowd on Dec. 2. That’s when 68,387 fans combined to reach 137.6 decibels after the Seahawks stuffed New Orleans on a third-down play late in the first half of a 34-7 Monday Night Football victory.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island spokesman Mike Welding confirmed the Seahawks’ request, which was denied.
The Department of Defense, because of across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, mothballed community outreach programs in March. The military withdrew from 2,800 outreach events around the country. In October it brought back the Navy Blue Angels, Air Force Thunderbirds and other attractions, but not everything. There’s a 45 percent reduction in the number of events from last year that will result in savings of $104 million in fiscal 2014. Flyovers are among those events.
The Air Force typically performed 1,000 flyovers a year, but under the new outreach plan will hardly fly any. There’s no public flyover program at this time. I would think it’s the same way with the Navy, and that’s why the Seahawks’ request was denied. Decisions are made in the Secretary of Defense outreach office.
The Seahawks didn’t contact the Army or Air Force at Joint Base Lewis McChord, according to spokesmen there. But if they were snooping around for a flyover from the Navy, I can’t imagine they gave up at the first rejection. Can’t wait to see what they came up with.
— Ed Friedrich


Speaking of South Kitsap: That’s All She Wrote

May 12th, 2010 by Chris Henry

South Kitsap, we’ve had this blog to ourselves since February 13, 2007. We’ve been through a lot: entertaining events, South Kitsap businesses, small town politics, and some just plain weird stuff. Now, three months and three years later, it’s time to let the rest of Kitsap’s communities in on the fun.

As I mentioned some weeks ago, we — as in reporters Steve Gardner, Brynn Grimley and I — decided it might be best to pool our blogging efforts. Since we cover Kitsap communities (minus Bainbridge Island, which is capably reported and blogged on by freelance reporter Tristan Baurick), we thought we could work together on a blog that conveys the flavor of Kitsap’s diverse and endlessly entertaining pockets of population. Since then, we’ve heard about Bremerton’s hens, Trader Joe’s (Kitsap’s never ending fantasy) and the latest news from Port Orchard. And more news from Port Orchard. I’m surprised Gardner didn’t put us on notice last week, whew!

If you hate good-byes, think of it as a migration.

Besides, you can access archives of this blog on kitsapsun.com, just like the good old Bremerton Beat, that keeps on getting hits even though its been sent to the big archive in the sky.

Our new blog is Peninsular Thinking (we will be diligent to avoid fat fingers when typing it for obvious reasons, promise).

After much thinking and a lot of constructive help from readers, we settled on a name that wasn’t even on the list of considerations yet seemed to convey the right tone of what we’re about here. Can we have fun? Heck, yeah! Can we be serious. If needs be. Do we want to stimulate conversation among all the good people of the Kitsap Peninsula? Above all.

Look, when I started this blog, I barely knew what a blog was. Since that day, the whole media equation has been erased and rewritten … multiple times. What I love about how things have evolved is that being a reporter is no longer about simply delivering the news. It’s not a one-way stream. It’s an ongoing, sometimes messy conversation in which we inform each other.

Even if I haven’t met you in person, I feel that I know those of you who post regularly. Thanks for your thoughts and opinions. We’re all better for it … except you trolls (and you know who you are).

So let’s step on over to the new blog and keep the conversation going. We’re trying to figure out a way to help you recognize when a post pertains to South Kitsap, say, if you’re particularly interested in South Kitsap. One brilliant idea I had was to … put “South Kitsap” (or “Bremerton” or “Poulsbo” if you swing that way) in the title. But really, all of it is going to be so edifying, you won’t want to miss a thing.

So stay tuned, stay in touch, stay Kitsap.

Chris Henry, South Kitsap reporter


All PO Citizens Invited to Weigh in on McCormick Woods Park

May 12th, 2010 by Chris Henry

Public Invited to Comment on McCormick Woods Park

Parks planning meeting set for Wednesday at City Hall.
By Chris Henry
chenry@kitsapsun.com
PORTORCHARD
Planning for a 63.5-acre public park in the McCormick Woods-Sunnyslope area advanced Tuesday, when the Port Orchard City Council approved a contract with a Seattle architectural firm that will help citizens develop a master site plan for the park.
Money for park development, including professional consultant services, came to the city as a result of annexation of the McCormick Woods urban growth area last year. The county had collected $643,732 in development impact fees to cover the planning and creation of the park, and the money was transferred to the city under an annexation inter-local agreement. The city now is responsible for developing and maintaining the park on Old Clifton Road.
Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Consultants of Seattle will lead the planning process. A meeting with the McCormick Village Park subcommittee is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall. The city is paying the award-winning design company $40,000 for its services.
Among the questions Jones & Jones staff will ask: “What makes the acreage of the proposed park unique in terms of topography and history?” “Who will be using the park, and what uses will it serve?” “What method will the city use to create the park?”
All citizens of Port Orchard, not only those on the park committee or in the McCormick Woods area, are invited to weigh in on planning for the park, said development director James Weaver.
Park committee meetings, listed on the city’s website, www.cityofportorchard.us, are open to the public. The committee will meet through September. The city will conduct public hearings about the committee’s proposals through December and adopt the park plan before the end of the year. Construction on the park will likely begin in September 2011.
Information on the park can be found on the city’s website or call the planning department at (360) 876-4991.

McCormick Village Park (Proposed)


The Truth About Trader Joe’s

May 12th, 2010 by brynn grimley

Brynn Grimley writes:

I’m here to set the rumor mill straight: Trader Joe’s is not coming to Kitsap County.

At least not in the next two years, according to Alison Mochizuki, a spokeswoman for the company.

Since arriving at the Kitsap Sun four years ago I think I’ve heard every rumor imaginable that Trader Joe’s is coming to Kitsap — more specifically Silverdale. I’ve also heard varying reasons for why they haven’t located here yet. But it’s all been speculation by people who love the store and really, really, really, really, REALLY want to see the chain open in Kitsap. (Heck they have 14 locations in Western Washington, what’s one more, right?)

The latest rumor came Monday when someone called our newsroom to say an employee of the University District Place Trader Joe’s confirmed the company had signed a lease for a building in Silverdale.

I called Mochizuki at Trader Joe’s corporate office in California leaving a message to see if there was any truth to the rumor that Kitsap might become the latest county to sell “Two-Buck Chuck” (ps it really should be called Three-Buck Chuck since it costs more than $2 in this state, but that’s neither here nor there).

She called me back a few hours later leaving this message on my voicemail: “At this time Kitsap is not in our two-year plan of opening a location.” She went on to say that Silverdale was also not a part of that two-year plan.

For those who have never been to a Trader Joe’s, the best way to describe it is a small grocery store with style. The walls are decorated with cedar planks, the employees wear Hawaiian shirts, and the inventory ranges from everyday ingredients like milk to specialty products that are hard to find anywhere else. Trader Joe’s offered a large organic selection years before organic became popular for the masses.

The company is probably most well known for its “Two-Buck Chuck”, or Charles Shaw wine that it sells for cheap. It’s a decent wine for the price — which you really appreciate when you’re a college student with minimal spending money in your pocket (or a recent college grad looking for a job to support your “Two-Buck Chuck” habit, not that I know from personal experience or anything).

So while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, it seemed only appropriate I set the record straight and let the 806 people who joined the Facebook group “Citizens of Kitsap County, WA Beg For a Trader Joe’s” they’ll have to wait a little longer to see their dreams realized.


Rescuing Animals From California

May 11th, 2010 by brynn grimley

Brynn Grimley writes:

In today’s paper I wrote about a rescue effort that happened over the weekend where 34 small dogs made the long trip from Porterville, Calif. to Washington — eight of them landed here in Kitsap County.

The back story of how this came to be is fascinating. If I was a reporter working for the newspaper that covers Porterville I would write a story about Amanda Corbit. She’s 17 years old and she’s responsible for getting the dogs out of the animal control shelter there and into our state with the help of Karla Mattila (she founded Another Chance Rescue in SW Washington).

Corbit started her love affair with animal shelters in sixth grade when a teacher had their class volunteer at a shelter to teach them about community service. She’s been volunteering ever since, and has now her whole family involved. They set up a nonprofit and offer a safe place for dogs to come to find a new home, instead of facing the alternative.

I was astounded to to learn from Corbit how overpopulated their shelters are with small dogs. She told me when a dog comes into the shelter at Porterville Animal Control it has six days for its owner to either come and claim it, or for it to be adopted. If that doesn’t happen, the dog is euthanized. Spay and neuter rates are low in their area because people can’t afford the cost, she said, adding because their community is overrun with small dogs, no one wants to adopt them when they come into the shelter.

Unhappy that so many puppies and dogs were being put down, Corbit started using the volunteer network to contact shelters willing to take some of the dogs. She and Mattila connected, and Mattila called shelters in Washington to see if anyone would take the dogs.

The Kitsap Humane Society was one of those shelters. The society was also in contact with another rescue effort to save dogs from a Kern County Animal Control shelter, also in California (somewhat near Porterville). That shelter, like the Porterville shelter, is considered a “high kill” shelter. (Here’s a 2008 story the Bakersfield Californian newspaper did on the Kern County shelter in Bakersfield and its alarmingly high euthanasia rates).

Stacey Price with the Kitsap Humane Society said when they learned there were small dogs in need of homes coming from California, they made sure they had room in their Silverdale shelter to get them adopted. As my story stated, this is the first round of dogs to come to the shelter from out of state. The society hopes to get a rotation of dogs coming in so that it can diversify the sizes of dogs it has available for adoption (right now it primarily has large dogs), and to help high kill shelters reduce their numbers.

The first round of dogs to come to our area from Porterville were transported by Corbit’s mom and brother to Redding, Calif. where one of Mattila’s volunteers met them and brought them to their shelter in Cowlitz County. An animal control officer from Kitsap picked up the dogs early Sunday morning and brought them back to the peninsula to be checked out before they could be put up for adoption.

Porterville Animal Control paid for the cost of preparing the dogs for the journey — which included giving them heart worm shots, rabies shots and making sure they were certified to Washington State’s health standards, Corbit said. That cost the shelter $4,000. Mattila paid for the transportation costs.

They hope to orchestrate another rescue in the coming weeks, but need to get the money to finance the health checks and transportation costs.

People interested in donating to help with future transports can email Corbit to get the address of where to send a check. Her family has set up a nonprofit shelter and helps foster dogs in their area. Mattila’s shelter, based out of Silver Lake, Wash., is also a nonprofit. People can specify how they want to see the money spent (i.e. for dogs to be transported to Washington for adoption).

Corbit’s email is: corbit_family2006@yahoo.com

“The more (dogs) we can get up there the better,” she said. “But unfortunately the more we send up there, the more expensive it gets. We want to make people realize down here they can make a difference in the dog’s lives.”


It’s Started: Ferry Wait Times Are Here

May 11th, 2010 by brynn grimley

Brynn Grimley writes:

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the long line of cars at our most popular ferry terminals seem to come earlier and earlier each year?

I was working Sunday (Mother’s Day — Happy Mom’s Day mom!) and I kept getting alerts from Washington State Ferries about wait times on the Edmonds-Kingston route. (I’m working weekends this month, if you’re wondering why in the world I was checking work email on a beautiful sunny day like Sunday instead of being outside enjoying the weather with my mom like most good children).

I had a good chuckle about how the ferry folks write the email alert signaling the long wait times. They say “heavier than usual” vehicle traffic. Sorry guys, but everyone knows if you’re trying to get to Kitsap on a Friday, or to King County on a Sunday, the wait times will be two hours or more depending on how nice the weekend weather is expected to be.

On Sunday I got an alert before 1 p.m. saying Kingston waits were two hours, the tally system was in effect…and it was only the second weekend of May?!

You know what this means right? We have this to look forward to for the next four to five months. But it also means summer is fast approaching.

Since moving to the Kitsap Peninsula four years ago I have come to associate the long wait times on the ferries as a signal that summer is here. This weekend sure felt like summer was starting, so I guess instead of lamenting the lines, I should be rejoicing the warm weather that is hopefully here to stay.

And don’t forget folks, if you don’t feel like sitting in a ferry line for two hours, the Bremerton boat almost never has long wait times. So your options are: sit in your car in the heat for two hours waiting to move two inches every 30 minutes, or drive right on the Bremerton boat and land in the peninsula likely before your wheels would even cross the plank on one of the other more heavily used routes. I’m just saying…

And you can check out Bremerton’s new fish and fisherman statues on your way out of town.


What Happened to Espresso Gone Wild?

May 10th, 2010 by Chris Henry

I talked to the coffee stand‘s owner and the property owner. Didn’t find out much about the sudden disappearance of the stand in Gorst.
I did check with the state’s Department of Revenue. No back taxes owing.

Today I wrote a story on the little I know. It should be up on the Kitsap Sun’s Web site soon.

Chris Henry, South Kitsap reporter

May 11: Here’s the link to the story.


On Tuesday’s PO Council Agenda

May 10th, 2010 by Chris Henry

Adoption of Resolution No. 020-10, Approving the Design Review Board’s Recommendation for Proposed Development at 710 Bay Street: Will the city council give the go ahead to the first development project to come through under the city’s new Downtown Overlay District plan? The plan was intended to promote tasteful development in the downtown core. The council last month got hung up on how Swenson’s plans would work with the marquee and needed a month to think about it.

Approval of Contract No. C044-10, Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Professional Services Agreement with Jones & Jones Architects and
Landscape Architects, Ltd., for the design of McCormick Village Park: Things are moving forward with planning for a planned 63.5 acre public park in the McCormick Woods/Sunnyslope area.

More on McWoods park … The McCormick Village Park Plan Subcommittee will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall

Also on the council’s agenda:
Amending Port Orchard Municipal Code Chapter 5.12 “Business Licenses” to Incorporate the Partnership with the Washington State Department of Licensing
Master License Service: By working with the state’s Department of Licensing, the city hopes to make the process of reapplying for a business license smoother and more efficient. Presumably a benefit to both the city and business owners. I will check on that.


Friday Afternoon Club: Help the Hungry

May 7th, 2010 by Chris Henry

Two chances to help the hungry this weekend, one in South Kitsap, where South Kitsap School District encourages citizens to fill a school bus with food products. The other is no farther than your mailbox, as the U.S. Postal Service once again sponsors a Stamp Out Hunger Day.

Below is the press release from the school district and a letter to the editor from Monica Bernhard of Bremerton Foodline (note she says Saturday is the 9th; it is the 8th, regardless, Saturday is the day you should put food in your mailbox because the Postal Service doesn’t come on Sunday). Sally Santana, on her blog, had the correct date.

From SKSD:
Community rallies to help “Stuff the Bus”

Released: Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The SKSD Stuff the Bus food drive was a huge success last weekend! District transportation workers and volunteers collected 4,000 pounds of food and $359 in cash. All donations will be given to the South Kitsap Helpline.

A large yellow bus was parked at Safeway on Bethel Avenue on Saturday, May 1 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Donations were collected from shoppers, SKSD schools, and at many other locations.

Event volunteers included; Larry Durfey, Carrie Nielsen, Norma Jacobs, Linda Nguyen, Kathy Harmon, Vicki Murtha, Kim Pickering, Rita DaWald, Amber Burton, Doni Mercer, Becky Blinn and grandson Alan, Nancy Aune, Joe Ho, Gayle Newton, Robbie Wolcott, Emily Rickett, and Tyler Moon.

“We would like to give a special thanks to the Director of Transportation, Scott Logan, for giving his time to drive the bus,” said Vicki Murtha, bus driver and event coordinator. “Without his help, none of this would have happened.”

The event was coordinated by the district’s bus drivers and transportation employees. Another event is already scheduled for next year on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

For more information, please call 360-874-7090.

Here’s Monica Bernhard:
Reader Submitted

She drives your child’s school bus or takes care of your aging parents at a local nursing home. He fills your order at the local drive-thru or is your checker at the corner grocery store. They help teachers in class rooms, work at day cares and gas stations, deliver our papers, clean our offices and fix our cars. They own homes, rent apartments, live in cars, in tents and under bridges.

Some wrestle with addictions, mental illness or disabilities. Others live alone, struggling with the pain of loneliness. Some have worn our nation’s uniform while others are honoring us with their service at this very moment. Try as we might like, it is not possible to stereotype the individuals served by our local food banks. The only common thread many of them share is that today they are hungry. Today they need food. Today they are asking for help, maybe swallowing their pride in the process.

Every month, thousands of families across our community turn to one of the eight Kitsap County food banks for help. We are not grocery stores for the poor. Instead, we are part of the emergency safety net that is the heart of this community. Most families served turn to their food bank 4-5 times a year those times when they simply are unable to make ends meet. The food they need is available because you, our neighbors, have chosen to support us. Time and time again, your gifts of time, food, financial support, leadership and encouragement have made it possible for local food banks to take care of your neighbors in their personal time of crisis. On behalf of these families, we thank you.

We are looking for your help once again. On Saturday, May 9th, residents of Kitsap County will have the opportunity to join citizens across the United States in the “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive sponsored by the the National Association of Letter Carriers, with participation also by rural carriers. It’s easy. In the few days leading up to the community wide drive, look in your mailbox for bags that will be dropped off to collect your donations of non-perishable food items. Personal hygiene products and diapers are also accepted. If you don’t have a bag, any bag will do. Simply leave your donations next to your mailbox on Saturday, May 9th and your postal carrier will take it from there. Whether it’s a grocery bag full or a single can left over in your pantry, this simple act of individual generosity will keep the shelves of the eight Kitsap County Food banks stocked well into the summer. Thanks to the hard work of postal workers and countless volunteers, your food will be delivered the very same day to the food bank nearest your home, ready to be given out right away.

Last year our residents donated more than 147,000 pounds of food in the Stamp Out Hunger food drive to local food banks, one can at a time. In light of the current economic situation, the need has only grown so we encourage you to tell your friends, challenge your congregations, and put up reminders at your businesses or your reader boards. This is our community. These are our neighbors.

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of such a pervasive and complex issue such as hunger. Yet, we can bring about the change we seek when we remember that each of us has the opportunity to choose our response to this community tragedy. What can each of us do to stop hunger? Sometimes the answer starts with a single can of food.

Monica Bernhard

Executive Director, Bremerton Foodline

President, Kitsap County Foodbank Coalition


South Kitsap Soccer: Take the Poll

May 7th, 2010 by Chris Henry

In March, I wrote about a brewing brouhaha over South Kitsap Soccer Club’s proposal to switch registration for younger players to random team assignments. Today, the Kitsap Sun ran a story on the trend toward randomization. At issue is whether is it better for younger players to stay with the team they played on the year before or to be reassigned randomly to level the playing field, so to speak.

I was copied on more than 30 e-mails from parents who disagree with the soccer board’s policy. Mark Strombeck, a coach and parent who encouraged peole to sound off to the board, said that was only about a third of the 100 or so e-mails to board actually received. At that, said board president Mike Kerr, the naysayers represent about 10 percent of the club’s membership (there were about 1,300 players last year). In the interest of allowing all SKSC families to weigh in, I have posted a poll on Speaking of South Kitsap.

If you’d like to weigh in, you can take a poll on the home page of this blog (scroll down, the poll is on the right.


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