Monthly Archives: March 2007

SK Parks Spark Heated Debate

Today, I’m debating with myself my role as host of this blog. The reason: the increasingly hostile tone of comments on this topic (SK Parks).

I have in the queue several comments I haven’t posted yet, and I’m considering imposing a moratorium on entries that include verbage like “scathingly nasty,” “vicious,” and sarcastic comments implying the other party is sick en la cabeza. My Web editor, no doubt, will be unhappy with me. After all, this kind of stuff is highly entertaining, but so is Jerry Springer.

I defend each blogger’s right to assert her (or his) opinion and back it up with facts, well- or ill-founded. I invite you to take each other (and me) to task over facts well- or ill-founded. I welcome sharp criticism and passionate posts. But I wonder if the cat fight we’ve got going here really advances constructive discussion of an issue that is already so divisive. I knew Chuck Jeu, not as well as some of you, but my bet is he’d take a dim view of the escalating invective. My opinion — and my editors may disagree — is it ultimately reflects poorly on the Kitsap Sun as the host of this platform for civil (?!?!) discourse.

Of course if I were to start taking a heavier hand in monitoring the blog, I would run the risk of people saying, “Why did you post her’s and not mine?” People might start to feel they’re walking on egg shells. We could lose a lot of the honesty and immediacy that makes this blog so vibrant. The question of where (and if) to draw the line on a blog is food for thought, and something we as a blogging community must define as we continue to engage each other over issues that we care about deeply.

So I ask you, what do you want to see? What’s the purpose of this blog, and what, if any, guidelines would you like to see about postings that smack of personal attacks?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Take care, Chris

Commissioners Endorse Groups’ Use of Howe Farm

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to three groups who want to collaborate on their activities at Howe Farm.
South Kitsap School District hopes to use the 83-acre county park as an open air learning lab for its agriculture students. WSU Kitsap County Extension wants to hold gardening and other horticulture classes there, and Kitsap Dog Parks Inc. would like to develop trails and an off-leash area for dog owners.
All three commissioners seemed to favor the proposal, and they instructed representatives of the groups to continue working toward an agreement that can later be cemented with a resolution of the board.

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SK Park One Step Closer to County Ownership

The ball is back in the parks board’s court.
The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners today gave the nod to a legal agreement with the South Kitsap Parks & Recreation District Board of Commissioners that would transfer ownership of South Kitsap Community Park to the county.
The commissioners, following an executive session, authorized the prosecuting attorney’s office to forward the settlement agreement to the parks board’s attorney, Tony Otto. The development is a major step in a roughly two-year process of haggling between the county and the parks district over the fate of the 200-acre park at the corner of Jackson Street and Lund Avenue in South Kitsap.

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Help for an Economically Depressed Area

The Port Orchard City Council and Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority will work together to help local businesses get low interest loans through a federal tax incentive program.
The council on Monday approved an agreement with the housing authority allowing it to process loan applications on behalf of the city for business owners who want to stay or relocate in downtown Port Orchard. The loans are made available through the federal New Market Tax Credit program, designed to stimulate business in economically depressed areas.

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Another Delay on PO Downtown Plan

Another Delay on PO Downtown Plan
The Port Orchard City Council on Monday deferred a discussion of its proposed downtown plan to 7 p.m. April 2, citing a packed agenda.
The council was to discuss the “Downtown Overlay District” plan at its regular meeting but council members decided they needed a session devoted exclusively to the plan to do it justice.
The much anticipated discussion of the plan — and its controversial building height provision — drew a crowd that dispersed shortly after the announcement.
“I was very disappointed in how the council is approaching this thing,” said Rudy Swensen, owner of Rings & Things jewelers, who was at the meeting. “It was supposed to be done in September, and here we are six to eight months later and it still isn’t done.”
Swensen said he is eager for the council to set ground rules that will advance economic revitalization of the downtown area, which has languished for two-plus decades, after business was drawn to malls.
Many local residents have expressed concern about the building height provision, which would allow up to 55-foot structures in the commercial core, saying it will block their views and depreciate their property values.

Fathoms O’ Fun Committee Addresses Merchant Concerns

The Port Orchard City Council on Monday addressed concerns on the part of some local merchants about the annual Fathoms O’ Fun Festival, set for June 30 through July 4. Fathoms O’ Fun, now in its 40th year, includes a carnival, parade and other events.
Mallory Jackson, president of the Port Orchard Bay Street Association, in a letter to the council, said her business, Bay Street Custom Framing, and others have been “negatively impacted” by the carnival.
Jackson complained about loss of parking spaces behind Amy’s on the Bay restaurant, where the carnival set up last year. She also complained about garbage left in private parking lots and on city sidewalks, and about security.
“Last year several merchants voiced serious concerns about carnival personnel shoplifting, using vulgar language and drinking alcoholic beverages in public,” wrote Jackson. “It is our hope that this year’s carnival employees will be more respectful to our business community and our patrons.”

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Friday Afternoon Club: Bookworms Unite

Question of the Weekend: What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?

Looking for something to do this weekend?
The Friends of the Manchester Library will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the library. Come find out what this group of dedicated volunteers does.
Did you know operation of the Manchester Library building is funded solely by the Friends?
According to a recent press release from the group,” The Kitsap Regional Library provides our outstanding staff and high quality library materials. This year FOML’s budget to operate and maintain the building along with supporting special programs is approximately $23,000, which all comes from fund-raising and donations.”
Members of the group will be on hand with refreshments, and there will be entertainment. They (not so secretly) hope to recruit new volunteers to help with their many projects including book sales, an April Plant Sale, the renowned Father’s Day Salmon Bake, grant writing and more.

Have a great weekend! And let’s all blog on.

School District Admits it Could Improve Black Student Achievement

There were pie charts, there were bar graphs, there were mission statements. And in the end, there was some frank discussion of how far South Kitsap School District has to go to address the issue of black student achievement.
The Bremerton African-American Ministerial Association and South Kitsap School District officials on March 22 hosted a forum for parents on what the district is doing to support minority students. The forum is one in a series of meetings BAAMA has set up with school districts throughout Kitsap County. Their goal is to ensure all students meet or exceed graduation requirements, said the group’s president, Larry Robertson, pastor of Emmanuel Apostolic Church in Bremerton.
While the forums are aimed primarily at black families, he said, all parents are invited. Robertson noted that conditions promoting black student achievement ultimately benefit all students.

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Code 911

Today I am filling in for crime reporter Josh Farley in reporting items listed under Code 911. A couple of items related to South Kitsap caught my eye. The first pertains to a female Army soldier arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. The second refers to a drug bust at the aptly named “Pot Hole Place.”

Malicious Mischief Caused by Soldier after Bad Dream
South Kitsap
Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of domestic abuse at 1:42 a.m. Friday at the home on the 10000 block of Horizon Lane SE in South Kitsap and arrested a woman of suspicion of malicious mischief and domestic violence.
The caller said she had been arguing with her daughter, an Army soldier who had recently returned from Iraq. The mother said her daughter had damaged property in the house.

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