Monthly Archives: June 2008

In Defense of South Kitsap

Another code item, another South Kitsap Dateline.

This one hasn’t been up half an hour and already the comments are starting.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for the 24-year-old driver of a Honda who is believed to have been intoxicated and traveling more than 100 miles per hour, “hill jumping” on Harper Road before crashing into a home’s garage on Saturday.

The sheriff’s office supplied a photo of the alleged offender walking away from the scene.

The first comment on the story, by “scruver,” accuses the man of “the crime of going shirtless while sporting a gigantic beer belly.”

No doubt this story, like other Kitsap Sun code items will be fodder for more of the same tongue in cheek commentary on human foibles in Kitsap.

As I jokingly suggested in an earlier blog
, it does seem like a disproportionate number of Code 911 items, especially the somewhat “out there” ones, do have that familiar South Kitsap dateline.

From the looks of it, South Kitsap is the land of mullet sporting (not that I personally have anything against mullets), gun slinging, beer-bellied wackos.

Sure there was the person in Bremerton who got in trouble trying to unload his shotgun (apparently by firing it at the wall) while under the influence. Even then, one commenter speculated the alleged offender might be related to the person we in newsroom shorthand refer to as Lugnut Man.

SK, we have a lot to live down. My theory, and I’m sticking by it, is we are such a large geographical area that there is a statistically greater chance that offbeat things will happen there than in other areas of the county. Look, as I mentioned in another blog entry about an umbrella drill team determined to “bring it on” against a bunch of book cart-wielding librarians – librarians for goodness sake – I love my beat especially because of its quirkiness. I endorse quirkiness. (I do not endorse criminal quirkiness or quirkiness that becomes a danger to oneself or others.)

So help me out here people of SK. Help me explain why our neck of the woods features so prominently in the Kitsap Sun’s Code 911.

North Mason School Bond: Take the Survey

Visit North Mason School District’s Web site to take a survey on a bond issue that will run in February.

The scope of the project and the amount of the bond is not firmly set. The School Board originally was considering a $58 bond million to renovate the high school, replace Hawkins Middle School and make improvements at both elementary schools.

But last Thursday, Superintendent David Peterson invited the school board to consider a different option for a $34 million bond.

Here’s what the survey has to say on background regarding the two proposals:

From the North Mason School District Web site:
“The NMSD Board will be asking citizens to vote on a capital facilities bond on February 3, 2009. A committee of community members has been working for several years to create a plan to ease overcrowding at the high school, replace aging systems, improve student safety, bring schools up to code, and address age-related deterioration.

The cost of a full modernization and rehabilitation of our facilities is $58 million, at a tax rate of approximately $1.77 per thousand dollars of assessed property value. While the School Board agrees that all parts of the project are needed, the Board is considering reducing the project in order to reduce the tax.”

Here’s the $58 million proposal (again from the Web site survey):
“The $58 million project would buy the community a new middle school, convert the newer (1982) portion of Hawkins MS into high school classroom, add a full sized cafeteria/commons and new PE/gym to the high school, add a covered play area for Sand Hill Elementary, and create safer traffic and parking patterns for Belfair Elementary. The project would also replace systems (pumps, boilers, etc) that are beyond their life expectancy.”

The estimated tax rate would be approximately $1.77 per thousand dollars of assessed property value.

Here’s the $34 million Proposal:
“This smaller project would add a full sized cafeteria/commons and new PE/gym to the high school, modernize and repair Hawkins and NMHS and add eight classrooms to NMHS. The project would also add a covered play area for Sand Hill Elementary and create safer traffic and parking patterns for Belfair Elementary. The project would also replace systems (pumps, boilers, etc) that are beyond their life expectancy.

The total cost of this option would be $34 million at an estimated tax rate of $1.19/thousand.”

Here’s what Peterson said in a recent e-mail about the survey:

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Your Chance to Influence State Education

If you’ve ever wanted to have a heavy hand in how education in Washington State is funded and administered, now is your chance. There is an opening on the State Board of Education. Read the press release below from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Membership on the board requires a considerable commitment of time,” the press release says. And you’d be wading into the morass that is the debate on fully funding basic education, the Washington Assessment of Student Learning and and other problematical topics without easy answers. Residents of Kitsap and Mason counties are eligible. If you decide to run, and especially if you’re elected, let me know. CTH

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Tall Ships to Dock in Port Orchard

Tall Ships to Dock in Port Orchard
Port Orchard will be host to 17 “Tall Ships” July 1 and 2. The ships are part of the 28 sailing vessels participating in this year’s Tall Ships festival in Tacoma on July 3-7.
These magnificent sailing vessels will stop overnight in the city of Port Orchard at the Port Orchard Marina on their way to Tacoma. They will arrive at the marina during the day on July 1 and will depart on July 2. Although the ships will not be open to visitors during their stay in Port Orchard, the marina docks will be open to the public daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the public will be able to view the ships up-close.
To learn more, visit Tall Ships Tacoma at the Web site.

Friday Afternoon Club: Fathom This

Fathoms O’ Fun, Port Orchard’s annual festival o’ fun, is under way, with the opening of the Carnival on the Waterfront Thursday in downtown PO. Saturday is jam packed with activities, including the traditional snake race, a 5K run, a street fair and the chamber’s new “Street Scramble,” a fast-paced urban treasure hunt. At 6 p.m. Saturday is the event organizers refer to as “the granddaddy of Kitsap County parades,’ starting at 6 p.m. in downtown.

I stopped by Vintage to Vogue consignment store in PO today and got a preview of a hot act you’ll see if you watch the parade. Following on their award-winning performance with snow shovels last year, staff and volunteers from V-2-V, ranging in age from 9 to 75, will perform in an umbrella drill team. Last year, they won the coveted Grand Sweepstakes prize.
“We were just trying to beat the librarians,” said Suanne Martin-Smith.
Apparently those PO librarians really know how to bring it, with their book cart drill team.
This from the town that brings you the annual Seagull Calling Festival.
I love my beat.

Changes at City Hall Continue Under Coppola’s Administration

Changes in staffing following a new administration are nothing new or surprising. Six months after taking office, Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola is still not done with what appear to be matters of housekeeping.
Coppola has accepted the resignation of the third staff member to leave the city since he assumed his post in January.
City Clerk Michelle Merlino, who had worked 24 years for the city, submitted her resignation 11 days ago. The city council met in executive session Tuesday, and in a public meeting afterward approved a “separation and release agreement” with Merlino.
Coppola had no comment. Merlino, reached by phone at her South Kitsap home, also had nothing to say about her abrupt departure.
The story appears on the Kitsap Sun Web site.
Merlino’s resignation bears similarities to those of former city engineer, Maher Abed, who resigned in April, and former city planner, JoAnne Long-Woods, who resigned shortly after Coppola took office.
In all three cases, the individuals left shortly after submitting their resignations and had no comment on the circumstances leading up to their actions.
Of Abed’s resignation, Coppola said, “We thank him for his service to the city of Port Orchard and wish him well.”
Deputy Clerk Patti Kirkpatrick, who has been with the city for a year, is serving as interim city clerk. The council will vote on a permanent replacement for Merlino July 8. Kirkpatrick is technically next in line for the job and is likely to be appointed by the council.
Abed was replaced by engineer Mark Dorsey, who has worked for Olson and Associates, and Art Anderson and Associates. Long-Woods was replaced by James Weaver, a former planner for Kitsap County.
Anyone care to venture a guess as to who might be next?

In related news: Coppola last week announced he was stepping down from the Kitsap County Planning Commission, a volunteer board related to ladn use, due to lack of time.

Making Parks Grants “Sexy”

Kitsap County owns nearly 6,000 acres of park land, much of it undeveloped. And citizens of a growing Kitsap are clamoring for more recreational opportunities, even as economic uncertainty has slapped the county’s parks and recreation budget with the dubious “discretionary funding” label.
Parks and recreation staff have had to find creative ways to advance capital projects on the public’s (and county’s) wish list. By the end of the summer they will have applied for more than $3.5 million in grant funding from the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office. By September, they will know where they stand in relation to the hundreds of other jurisdictions competing for state recreation dollars. By March, 2009 — if all goes well — at least some of those dollars will start flowing in.
Applying for grants is nothing new, but this time around, parks and rec staff have done everything they can to ensure that the applications they submit have the fiscal equivalent of sex appeal.
“The term this time was, ‘How sexy will this grant be?” said parks and rec director Chip Faver.
The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners will vote tonight on resolutions in support of the department’s grant strategy.
Here’s a list of the grants (note: The West Peninsula Trails plan involves two grants, one for off-road vehicles, the other for equestrian and hiking trails. This document, sent by the parks department, contains a typo indicating both applications are for off-road vehicles. Presumably the grant applications themselves will be edited for such errors.)

Mullets in SK and Tattoos in Unexpected Places


You’ll be happy to know I had a nice relaxing weekend … maybe a little too relaxing. Shame on me, I was out of town and didn’t check the Kitsap Sun Web site all weekend. So I was out of the loop when I came into work this morning, and the chatter was all about the mullet story (a Code 911 item). You’ve probably read it by now – some guy wanted to party, even brought his own beer, but was, alas unwanted by the hosts in question.

Somehow, I had the sneaking suspicion it was South Kitsap item, and sure enough, there was the SK dateline … ah, ha, mine!

The comments ran along the lines of this, from “k3my84”:
Anyone with a mullet has either just, or is about to commit a crime. Even if that crime is simply sporting a hair-do that’s 20 years past it’s prime.

“Scabby” thoughtfully sent the link to I checked it out … good stuff (if offensive in some instances); see “mullet matrimony” under pictures.

It seems some people are obsessed with “mullet hunting” which is outlined in frightening detail at We obviously need to do some mullet hunting of our own, so send in those incriminating pix past or present.

Now about the tattoos, I was doing an interview last week with H.F. “Chip” Faver, Kitsap County’s director of Parks and Recreation. It being casual Thursday, Chip was wearing a T-shirt, and I happened to notice his tattoo. It’s a “screaming” American eagle, in red, white and blue, stretched out to encircle his right bicep.
“I’m in between motorcycles,” Faver explained.

Any other body art in unexpected places we need to know about? Send a jpg (keep it clean).

Thank you.


Note: I updated this blog at 6 p.m. Monday to give a plug for a local mullet hunt. The story has grown wings unlike anything seen around here since the Code 911 item about the person we in the newsroom refer to in shorthand as Lugnut Man. He was also from South Kitsap. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Magical Strings to Play Garrido Benefit


Citizens to Elect Charlotte Garrido will host a benefit concert by Magical Strings, an Olalla-based Celtic group that has played on the international stage. All food at the concert will come from local growers and producers.
When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. June 26
Where: Moon Dogs Too, 714 Bay St., Port Orchard
Suggested Donation: $25
RSVP: or (360) 447-7386