A Vested Interest in South Kitsap

On January third, I attended a meeting of the McCormick Woods annexation committee, a group exploring the possibility of having the McCormick Woods development and McCormick North become part of the City of Port Orchard.

The committee meeting was held in advance of a public meeting Jan. 10, and one committee member wanted to know why I was there. I explained that I am a resident of McCormick Woods but that I was there representing the Kitsap Sun. Since Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola was at the luncheon meeting, it was clearly a public meeting.

The observation was made that I should make a public disclaimer about my residency since I have been and will continue to cover the annexation. I’m happy to do so. My family and I have lived in McCormick Woods since 2002.

People have asked me my opinion of the proposed annexation, and I’ve declined to offer it because I need to stay publicly objective on the issue in order to present fair and balanced reporting.

It’s an issue that comes up frequently, as life and work become intertwined. On Jan. 10, I covered a meeting of the South Kitsap Soccer Club. The people at the door handing out ballots for the election of the SKSC board asked if I was a soccer parent (all three of my kids have played with the club). “I am,” I said. “But today I’m here with my reporter’s hat on.” Needless to say, I didn’t vote in the election.

On Wednesday, I’ll be covering a South Kitsap School District meeting and, yes, my children have attended South Kitsap Schools.

And for the record, I also drive on city streets, shop at local grocery stores and play in SK parks.

Being publicly objective, doesn’t mean I don’t care.

Lynn Saunders, a former Kitsap Sun photographer who died in a car accident some years ago, taught me that not only is it OK to become personally invested in the stories one covers; it’s vital. Otherwise, as she used to say, why bother?

6 thoughts on “A Vested Interest in South Kitsap

  1. Thank you, Chris, for your unbiased reporting about South Kitsap and the conversation it evokes. Some of the debate is actually informative.

    South Kitsap is experiencing growing pains, like a lot of places in this country, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of people in power who understand progression. A lot of the infighting is a result of people in power who want to keep things the same. It’s a moot point. You can’t stop change.

    Mcormick Woods for instance. You build all these homes and it’s obviously a bit of a retirement community, but there are many family homes out here and many families. Yet there’s a sign on the baseball field that says you can’t play here unless you have the supervision of an adult. It seems illogical to me.

    The soccer club. We have a 4A soccer program at the high school, and by all accounts, a gifted soccer coach, yet we don’t have a competitive soccer club. All those families schlepping their kids up to CK for professional soccer coaching are shopping for their groceries up there, etc. etc. It seems illogical to me.

    The school board. I think they’re doing a great job, the pay is not what it could be. In fact, it’s nothing and it is School Board Appreciation Month.
    I have a little problem with faith-based groups being allowed to meet in a public school without offering theology classes. I don’t think the founding fathers were being whimsical when they decided it might be a good idea to keep religion and government separate. By the way, I am a Christian, the Bible was one of my textbooks and in my bookbag for years, from junior high through college. I just think it’s illogical to offer faith without education.

    I went to the Laurels at the high school. There was an impressive group of young people there that night and their proud parents. I think there is hope for the future. One thing that kind of bothered was a secretary from the high school who was giving a scholarship to Tippy. (he wasn’t there) She said “my grandparents graduated from this high school, I don’t want to see things change”.
    I don’t want to see things change either, I didn’t want my Dad to die, I didn’t want my kids to grow up and go away, I don’t want to look in the mirror and see an old person. That’s life. Deal with it. It seems illogical to me that you can’t or won’t embrace it. Karen

  2. …”…The soccer club. We have a 4A soccer program at the high school, and by all accounts, a gifted soccer coach, yet we don’t have a competitive soccer club. …”

    I’m puzzled. Do the soccer club kids not play against other teams? If they don’t, how can they improve and gain valuable experience?

    When my kids played Little League or Pee Wee sports they played other teams to win – hopefully win- as they gained experience and knowledge of the game.

    How does any team get better without competition … especially when the competition is against yourself?
    Sharon O’Hara

  3. Sharon: I can’t make heads or tails of your comment. “How does any team get better without competition…especially when the competition is against yourself?” That doesn’t even make sense to me. I refrain from weighing in on subjects I know nothing about, and I suggest you do the same.

    I suspect you know nothing about competitive soccer. Been there, done that. It’s negligent to send a bunch of 15, 16 year old boys out on a soccer field without any skills or training. They can all kick balls about 60 miles an hour and that is dangerous if they haven’t been taught the basic skills they need to defend themselves, how to cut, how to win individual possession,calling on the ref to do his job.

    I’m just confused about what you’re trying to say. I think you just weigh in on every blog, and don’t really have anything to say.

    Let me repeat. It’s dangerous for the South Kitsap Soccer Club to continue to let kids play “rec” into their late teens and not teach them anything. End the club at age 14 if you’re bound and determined to keep them “rec”. And Sharon O’Hara, do not try to tell me anything about soccer. I’ve forgotten more about soccer than anyone in this community will ever know, except maybe Eric Bergeson, and he’s forgotten why they do it. Karen

  4. Karen… Your soccer abilities might well be stellar, and you the best player and most knowledgeable of the game….but you don’t comprehend very well.

    I’ve never mentioned knowing anything about ‘Soccer’ … my comments could have pertained to any team sport.

    “…It’s negligent to send a bunch of 15, 16 year old boys out on a soccer field without any skills or training. They can all kick balls about 60 miles an hour and that is dangerous if they haven’t been taught the basic skills they need to defend themselves, how to cut, how to win individual possession,calling on the ref to do his job….”

    Now you make no sense to me. ALL team sports start from the beginning. No one knows anything…they have to learn and they have coaches to teach them.

    All teams have to learn the basics… what makes soccer different?
    A softball can be pitched 100mph by certain individuals after coaching and practice…almost any sport can be dangerous.

    If your soccer team is undisciplined and can’t control the soccer ball speed or direction, give them a ball that can’t go faster than they can control no matter how hard they try….until they can control the ball direction and speed.
    Or so it seems to me.

    I have watched young family members play soccer and happened to watch the game where my granddaughter blew her knee and I wondered again what percent of kids blew joints not ready for the extreme pressures soccer demands put on growing bones and muscles.

    “How does any team get better without competition…especially when the competition is against yourself?”

    That was poorly stated, you are right.

    Any sports team is made up of individuals learning to play and exceed their last personal best AND learn to work with others as a team at the same time. To play in harmony.

    If a team doesn’t compete against other teams, what are they learning? How can they improve their game without competition?
    They can’t learn to go beyond what they think they can do unless they’re faced with other teams of varying expertise. To be ‘better’ -more skillful that day, that game, is to ‘win’ that ballgame.

    To the individual within a team, playing against competition helps point out where they need to be of most benefit to their teammates thus competing against themselves to think faster for instant reaction to perform better.
    Or so it seems to me.
    Sharon O’Hara

  5. Karen,

    First, thanks for the kind words about the School Board. I’ll pass this along to the rest of the board at our meeting tomorrow evening.

    Second, I’m not sure I agree about stopping rec teams at age 14. Some kids just enjoy the comradre of soccer and don’t want more advanced competition as they get older. They just want to play rec soccer with their friends. My daughter’s team is an example of that. They have some stellar athletes on the team, some above average, and a lot of average players. But most of all, they are friends and soccer is a social experience as well as a chance to run off some energy and keep in good shape.

    I would agree that rec teams shouldn’t be playing select teams at older ages because of the disparity in aggressiveness, training, skill, and tactics. Btw, I’m not using “aggressiveness” in a negative way. Select kids just play at a much more intense level (on average) than rec kids.

    I would also agree that good coaching is essential. Just because you can kick a ball 60 miles per hour doesn’t mean you should be playing dangerously and coaches are there, in great part, to teach skills and safety.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

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