Monthly Archives: May 2009

Friday Afternoon Club: Ramp Jam at SK Park

Leslie Reynolds can’t do a kick turn or an ollie. At 56, she’s not about to try a 180, let alone a 360. But Reynolds, whose 15-year-old son Zack Taylor has been skatingboarding since he was 3, is behind South Kitsap’s skater crowd all the way.
Reynolds, president of South Kitsap Skatepark Association, will be standing on the sidelines Saturday, cheering on Zack and other contestants at a “Ramp Jam” at South Kitsap Regional Park. The event is a fundraiser for the permanent skateboarding facility planned at the park.
It features four local bands, including the F’n A’s.
“I’m sure these aren’t groups I would listen to, but I don’t have to,” said Reynolds. “I’m just there to provide a service.”

My thoughts: Ah, what we do for our children.

Here are details on the event:
What: Ramp Jam, hosted by South Kitsap Skatepark Association
When: noon to 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: South Kitsap Regional Park
What: Contests for skaters of all skill levels ($10 entry fee), four local bands, barbecue.

PO Councilwoman Powers Hangs Tough on Not Tipping Her Hand

The race for Port Orchard City Council is taking shape with three out of four incumbents up for reelection declaring their intentions to defend their seats, and two challengers joining the race.

Filing week is next week, June 1 through 5.

Amy Igloi Matusuno, owner of Amy’s on the Bay restaurant, and Cindy Lucarelli, who lost to longtime incumbent councilman John Clauson in 2007, have both said they will run, but neither candidate will announce which seat she is seeking before filing.

Fred Chang (position 6), Rob Putaansuu (position 3) and Jerry Childs (at large), all said on Tuesday they will go after another term. Longtime Councilwoman Carolyn Powers (position 2), however, will not make her intentions known before filing week, she said.

Powers is completing her fifth full term on the council with 22 years under her belt. She has been steadfastly non-committal about whether or not she will run again. With days to go before filing begins, surely she has made up her mind one way or another. But, she said, there’s “nothing to be gained” in changing course this late in the game.

Learn more about the candidates later at

South Kitsap Kicks Off Relay for Life Season

By Chris Henry
The struggling economy has not hobbled South Kitsap Relay for Life, set for May 29 and 30, with 58 teams signed up to participate in the annual fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society. That’s a healthy turnout, even in a good year, said co-organizer Mary Ann Huntington, team development chair.
“Its huge. It’s just gotten so big,” said Huntington, now in her sixth year volunteering for the event. “I was really figuring for the economy we wouldn’t do well, but we have. I think people know the money goes for research. I don’t think there’s a family in Port Orchard that hasn’t been affected by cancer.”
Leading the survivor’s walk this year will be 12-year-old Kylie Weatherhill, who is the youngest survivor participating in the event.
As in years past, the Relay will center on a 24-hour walk-a-thon, as team members take turns circling the track. Huntington estimates there will be 500 people taking part, with at least 200 survivors, some of whom will walk, some who won’t.
Like other Relay events, South Kitsap’s will be one big all-nighter party, according to Huntington. There will be a pajama walk, hula hoop contest and other diversions, as well as plenty of food vendors to fuel participants.
The South Kitsap Relay for Life is among six other events taking place in Kitsap County, Gig Harbor and Belfair between now and July 18.

Relay for Life Events in Kitsap and North Mason Counties

* South Kitsap Relay For Life, 6 p.m. May 29 to 2 p.m. May 30, South Kitsap High School, 425 Mitchell Ave., Port Orchard
* Relay for Life of North Mason, begins at 7 p.m. June 12, North Mason High School, 200 E. Campus Drive, Belfair
* Relay For Life Of Gig Harbor, 6 p.m. June 19 to noon June 20, Goodman Middle School, 3701 38th Avenue Northwest, Gig Harbor
* Relay For Life of Bremerton/Central Kitsap, noon June 27 to noon June 28, Central Kitsap High School 3700 NW Anderson Hill Road, Silverdale
* Relay For Life of North Kitsap, 6 p.m. July 10 to 7 p.m. July 11, North Kitsap Baptist Church, 20516 Little Valley Road Northeast, Poulsbo
* Relay For Life of Bainbridge, 4 p.m. July 18 to 10 a.m. July 19, Bainbridge High School, 9330 NE High School Road, Bainbridge Island.

Source: National Relay for Life Web site, and North Mason Chamber of Commerce; for more information, call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345.

Delilah and Debbie Macomber BFF?

Is Port Orchard big enough for two super-celebrities? Absolutely, said schmooze-talk radio host Delilah, a South Kitsap resident who spoke Thursday about her friendship with local best-selling author Debbie Macomber.

“I love Debbie,” said Delilah, holding a fluffy black puppy in her downtown Port Orchard restaurant. “I love her spirit and her will, and her commitment to her family and God.”

Will Delilah be taking part in the Debbie Macomber-inspired Cedar Cove Days in August? Another emphatic “yes.” Delilah plans to broadcast from Port Orchard some time during the event

Cedar Cove Days, set for Aug. 26 through 30, plays up Port Orchard’s status as the real-life inspiration for Macomber’s Cedar Cove series.

Macomber has said she wants visitors to see the real Port Orchard, “warts and all.”

But Delilah’s not so sure that’s a good idea. She wants to see a volunteer-driven “Paint the Town Party” to give old PO a major face lift before the big event. She’ll even spring for the paint.

The painting party is still in the early planning stages. Still to be worked out is whether all property owners will sign on to Delilah’s recommended color scheme, maritime blues and other bright colors.

Meanwhile, city officials are having angst about the mural on the Port Orchard Library, which is peeling like a Northwesterner after first exposure to late spring sunshine (I predict a lot of those after this weekend).

You can read the details in a story to run Sunday. Yes, it’s shaping up to be a hot time in the old town.

Friday Afternoon Club: Taste of Port Orchard

I’m early (will miracles ever cease?) but there’s so much going on this weekend with the Kitsap Harbor Festival, I thought you’d need advance notice.

With 12 (possible) participants, Sunday’s Taste of Port Orchard may not stack up against the Bite of Seattle or similar events, but it’s a start.

The Taste will take place Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. (or later if the food holds out) in Port Orchard Marina Park. The Taste will be complemented by a beer garden hosted by Port Orchard Rotary from 3 to 7 p.m. The Michael Anthony Pratt Band will play from 4 to 6 p.m.

It’s all part of the Kitsap Harbor Festival, hosted by the port with events scheduled throughout the three-day weekend on both sides of Sinclair inlet.

“We want to bring people down to the waterfront and show them it’s a fun place to be,” said organizer Brian Sauer, operations manager for the Port of Bremerton’s Port Orchard Marina.

The Taste will showcase Port Orchard eateries and caterers, featuring small bites for $1 to $4.

On Thursday, Sauer had yet to firm up the list of participants. Those showing interest included Gino’s. MoonDogs, Too, Rosa Coffee Roasters, Amy’s on the Bay, The Candy Shoppe, Cosmo’s Deli, Juwapa’s, Capriccio’s Catering, Purple Fig Catering, Smokey’s Barbecue, Essence of Thymes Catering and Carter’s Chocolate.

So, my question is, if Bremerton held one of these “bite of … ” events would they call it “Bite in a Bag in Bremerton?”

It’s a long story. You had to be there. The salient quote from Editor Scott Sunde, dishing it out to our rival sibling city, was: “Bremerton: Where Navy ships go to die and fine dining comes in a paper sack.”Seattle P.

Cedar Heights Swine Flu Case: A Correction and Clarification

Wrong information: The South Kitsap School District on Friday issued an automated phone notification to Cedar Heights Junior High School families and staff about a student who had been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. A story that ran Saturday said the notice was district-wide.

The district posted text of the announcement on the district’s Web site.

I spoke to Superintendent Dave LaRose today about the district’s response. According to LaRose, the student, a Pierce County resident, was at home recovering when the district learned that she had the H1N1 virus late Friday afternoon. The student never showed symptoms while at school and had spent the whole week at home recovering, therefore the risk of exposure was deemed to be low, health district officials told the district.

There was no discussion of closing the school, LaRose said.

I also checked with Kitsap County Health District Director Scott Lindquist, who confirmed that health officials advised SKSD the case did not warrant a formal health advisory. He also confirmed that the risk of exposure in this case was low.

The district decided to issue the phone and Web site notices to make sure people had accurate information, and to ease concerns, said LaRose.

By the time the district got the notice, the student was on the mend. She is back at school this week, he said.

Confirmation of the first swine flu case in Kitsap resident came late Monday.

Lindquist said flu-like symptoms caused by the H1N1 virus in local residents have not been severe. The health district is advising doctors to treat it like the regular flu, taking precautions in high risk populations, but otherwise letting it run its course.

The district had two new positive cases today, Lindquist said. Not everyone with flu-like symptoms is getting tested at this point, so the actual number may be higher, he added. He advised a common sense approach and the usual precautions: wash hands, cover to cough and sneeze, stay home if sick.

A Bird’s-Eye View of Walton’s Pond: Open Space in City Limits

Laurie Walton, the owner of a 10-acre property on Melcher Street, could be the first City of Port Orchard resident to receive a tax break through classification of her land as open space.

View Walton’s Pond in a larger map
Walton’s property, which she and her late husband Bob bought in 1972, is zoned for eight dwelling units per acre, but she wants to leave it undeveloped.
Walton’s is the first application to cross the city council’s path. The council will hold a public hearing and vote on her request May 26.
The city is likely to see more such applications as land within Port Orchard’s urban growth area becomes incorporated, said Development Director James Weaver. Walton’s case sets a procedural precedent for the city, he said.

The property includes five wooded acres with a pond and wetlands. Down the hill is another five-acre parcel of old pastureland, with a small pond frequented by ducks and frogs. Coyotes, deer and numerous birds are frequent visitors, according to Walton and her neighbors.
State law provides that, as a trade off for leaving the land as is, Walton’s property taxes would drop by 60 percent, more than $2,500, based on 2009 values and tax rates.

Walton welcomes the tax break, but it’s not just about the money, she said. As development in the neighborhood has occurred over the years, the property has become an oasis for wildlife and a place for neighborhood children to explore nature.
Walton plans to leave the property available to casual visitors and groups of school children, as she has in the past. She wants to dedicate ”Walton’s Pond” to Bob’s memory.

Read more later at – Do you know of parcels in the UGA? that might qualify for open space tax classification?

Rate SKSD’s Superintendent

South Kitsap School District has posted an online survey at its Web site so that constituents can evaluate Superintendent Dave LaRose. The school board appointed LaRose last April to replace retiring superintendent Bev Cheney.

In April, the school board announced it was considering La Rose as a candidate instead of appointing a superintendent search firm, which would have cost the district $25,000 to $40,000. During an executive session to discuss potential firms and the qualifications the board wanted in a new district head, LaRose’s name was mentioned among other internal candidates, Henderson said. … The board held three public forums featuring La Rose and appointed him June 4, over protest from residents and members of the South Kitsap Education Association. Critics said they had no complaints about LaRose himself, just the process.

This April LaRose was honored by Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, who named him a recipient of the 2009 “Educating the Whole Child Award.”

Here’s the press release from the district:

Here’s your chance to evaluate how well Superintendent Dave La Rose is doing as superintendent of South Kitsap Schools. The on-line evaluation provides a broad range of questions to measure areas such as his effectiveness in leadership and accomplishments toward major district goals.

The purpose of the annual evaluation is to solicit input on how he is progressing as South Kitsap’s superintendent. “As this is my first year as Superintendent, I am eager to hear from staff, students and community members about my performance.” said La Rose. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the South Kitsap community, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to share your perceptions and observations.

Please go to the South Kitsap School District’s website at to fill out the on-line form. Completing the survey takes and average of five minutes and all responses are confidential. The on-line evaluation will be posted through Friday, June 5, 2009.

In order to monitor La Rose’s progress, the evaluation form has been kept the same as the one used at his annual evaluation by the school board.

For more information, contact Aimee Warthen, Community Relations director at 360.874.7002.

Case of Swine Flu Confirmed in South Kitsap

Health officials say case does not pose a significant public health concern.
By Chris Henry
A Cedar Heights Junior High School student has been diagnosed as having the H1N1 “swine flu” virus. South Kitsap School District officals received word late Friday.
According to an e-mail from the superintendent’s office, officials from the Kitsap and Pierce County Health Departments told the district the case does not pose a significant public health threat, because the student was never ill while at school and was absent the entire week.
“County health stated that they consider this to be comparable to the typical flu,” La Rose said.
The district was unable to send hard copy letters home with students Friday, but LaRose issued a district-wide automated phone announcement.
“We are taking our lead from the health officials who tell us that this is not a public health concern and would not require a public notification from their departments (both Kitsap and Pierce County),” said spokeswoman Aimee Warthen, in an e-mail.
Neither LaRose or Warthen was available for further comment.

Bremerton Beat Backs off on PO For Now

This would have been an easy week to get smug about not being the Bremerton Beat reporter.

As Gardner points out, it’s been turbulent of late in B-town, what with Bremerton-based Westsound Bank being seized by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions, its operations turned over to Port Orchard-based Kitsap Bank. Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman announced he will resign his post to take the CEO position at the Port of Bremerton, a move Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola says will work in his city’s favor.

Top top it off, Bremerton is laying off police officers, while Port Orchard is adding more. If ever there were an occasion for Port Orchard to gloat, that would have been it. But we took the high road.

And lo, comes Gardner, hat in hand, almost sheepish.

But before we get lulled into a false sense of security, read his parting shot (right below the Midway Market selling ShamWow sign).

“We’ll be fine, Bremerton. Keep your chin up. We’ll be making fun of Port Orchard again in no time.”

Right after you live down the county assuming debt on condos that were supposed to jump start Bremerton’s revitalization?

Surely I’m tempting karma, but I couldn’t resist.