Monthly Archives: June 2009

Public Hearing Set Monday on Manchester ULID

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday on the formation of a Utility Local Improvement District to provide sewer service to Manchester residents within the ULID boundary. A majority of residents within the proposed ULID earlier this year submitted a petition to the county for sewer service. The public hearing is required by law.

Still Time to Weigh in on Port Orchard’s Image (But Not Much)

The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce is working with the City of Port Orchard and other groups to spiffy up the towns image through branding campaign. A survey soliciting residents’ and visitors’ impressions of the town and the area will remain up through the rest of today. So speak now or forever hold your peace.

To have a little fun, I ran the draft “brand positioning statement” from the Web site through one of those word cloud programs that visually highlight prominent words in a block of text, and here’s what I came up with.

Hmmmm, does this make the Port Orchard community the big easy of the Kitsap Peninsula?

Here’s the logo they’re considering using.

Port Orchard Proposed Logo
Port Orchard Proposed Logo

To which I might add … “but hurry, we’re filling up fast.”

Precautions Taken at School Near Law Enforcement Stand-off

Update 7:30 p.m. Monday: After seeing the comment from tictaks, below this post, I called SKSD Superintendent Dave LaRose for a correction/ clarification. I have altered this post to reflect his comments, noting information that was erroneous.

Ten people were detained and five (updated from four as of 3:20 p.m.) are going to jail after a standoff at a house in the 4400 block of Sidney Road SW this morning, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson.

According to Wilson, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home around 9:27 a.m. to serve an arrest warrant on one of the occupants. At 10:04 a.m., a deputy positioned at the back door of the home saw a gun tossed out of the house and into the bushes. As a precaution, the deputies on site called for back-ups, Wilson said, and because some of the the residents did not leave the building immediately on being ordered to do so, a SWAT team was called in.

At that time, Wilson said, a deputy went to nearby Sidney Glen Elementary School to fill school officials in on the situation. Sheriff’s Office staff advised school administrators that the situation was “under control and contained,” Wilson said. The Sheriff’s Office recommendation was that a lock-down was their option, Wilson said.

Administrators at the school took precautions as school let out, in light of the law enforcement activity, according the South Kitsap School District spokeswoman Aimee Warthen. The school had a “staggered release” (half-day since it is the last day of school). Buses were allowed to leave, but students who are normally picked up by their parents were kept inside the building until after the buses had left. Students who normally walk home from school were escorted by staff members to locations where their parents could meet them, Warthen said.

According to SKSD Superintendent Dave LaRose, students were escorted to buses and to their parents waiting in the parking lot in small groups to allow for greater supervision and control. Students walking to the daycare across the street were escorted. The extra precautions did not significantly delay dismissal, LaRose said.

Cedar Heights Junior High School, also on Sidney Road but within City of Port Orchard limits, was not affected by the stand-off said Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend.

The district asked its school resource officer, a member of the Port Orchard Police Department, to maintain a presence near the site of the stand-off to supervise any students walking from Cedar Heights or Sidney Glen, LaRose said.

This map of the area shows the approximate location of the house where the stand-off occurred. Sidney Glen Elementary School is located on Sidney Road SW, between Birch Ave. and Glenwood Road SW. As a result of Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office activity, the road was closed between 11:50 a.m. and 1:42 p.m. (except to local traffic) between Berry Lake Road and close to Glenwood Road SW.

Fundraiser Sunday for Pasha Phares’ Family

Found this West Seattle Blog item on a fundraiser for the wife and two daughters of the late Pasha Phares, who died April 24 of cancer. Friends and family members will host a party from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday to benefit Debbie Phares and the girls, Sierra and Maddie, who are facing medical bills and other costs related to Pasha’s illness.

Here are the details from the Phares Fund Web site:
What: Benefit Gala for the family of Pasha Phares, a Mediterranean-themed dinner and silent auction.
When: June 21, 2009 @ 4pm – 7pm (Father’s Day!)
Where: Alki Beach Bathhouse Studio for Fine Arts
Costs: $20 per person, $35 per couple, children under 12 are free of charge, “OR… being how the economy is right now, if this price is out of range, please donate whatever you can – we still want to see you there! (Site includes option to donate online).” Beer and wine will be available on a donation basis.

Raffle tickets: $5.00 each, $10 for 3 (Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase on site.

SK Helpline Scores $300,000 Grant Toward Nursery Purchase

Food bank plans fundraiser with gardening personality Ciscoe Morris.
By Chris Henry
South Kitsap Helpline on Friday heard they were awarded a $300,000 grant from the Birkenfeld Trust through the Seattle Foundation.
The grant will allow the food bank to make a down payment on the Port Orchard Nursery on Mitchell Road, which is for sale. The food bank plans to use the three-acre facility to grow produce for its clients.
The nursery was founded in 1949 by Glen and Oleah Greseth. The Greseth’s son E.B. and his wife Kay managed the nursery for 30 years. Now they plan to retire. The Greseths support the concept of the food bank’s growing its own.
According to Helpline Director Jennifer Hardison, purchase of the nursery will allow the food bank to expand its services and offer clients classes in nutrition education, cooking and growing their own food. There are also plans to also increase the agency’s vocational skills programs.
The nursery presents new opportunities to generate more revenue for the food bank, said Hardison. They include year-round community classes, children’s programs and workshops, seasonal sales of Christmas trees and wreaths, plus on- and off-site retail produce and nursery sales.
The remainder of the property purchase price will be made up by additional grants and with funding received from the agency’s capital campaign. The campaign will kick off July 5, beginning with a Garden Festival at the nursery from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A vendor fair featuring gifts, flowers, plants and garden art will be held in the nursery parking lot that day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fair is free to the public. Free classes and workshops for children will also be offered throughout the event. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
The event will feature King 5 TV personality and master gardener Ciscoe Morris, who will speak from 4 to 5 p.m. Tickets to hear Ciscoe are $25 and include a reception with him from 5 to 6 p.m.
For more information and to make reservations for the Ciscoe Morris event, call (360) 876-4089.

Stimulus Funds Are Wild Card in School District’s Budget Process

The district will release its draft budget July 8.

South Kitsap School District – like other districts around the county and state – is planning its budget for the 2009-2010 school year with a few wild cards in the deck.
While federal stimulus funding for schools will help offset state cuts made to balance a multi-billion dollar deficit, federal regulations on the use of those funds have slowed down the state’s reporting of projected revenues. That in turn has clouded South Kitsap budget officials’ crystal ball, said Terri Patton, assistant superintendent of business and support services, in a report to the school board June 3.
Patton presented the board with a draft budget plan, saying the district stands ready to implement $3 to $5 million in reductions, depending on information that comes down from the state. No layoffs are planned, but, as needed, the district will deploy packets of spending reductions each worth $1 million or more. The district began the process during the current school year by trimming $1.2 million from the 2008-2009 budget.
School district officials expect federal stimulus funds will partially “backfill” revenue lost from the state’s “deferral” of I-728 funding, targeted at class size reduction and enhanced learning opportunities.
Districts could also be eligible for stimulus grants, including “safety” funds for major repairs other capital improvements. One of South Kitsap’s unresolved budget issues is what grants and what amounts South Kitsap may be eligible for. That information will be available later this summer.
The district will also have to determine how to spend the $2.1 million in special education stimulus funding it will receive. The question, said Patton, is whether to use it to offset lost subsidies from the state, or apply it elsewhere.
Patton cautioned that districts should be careful about using stimulus funding for programs that need to be maintained beyond the two-year span during which the funds will be distributed.
Given unknowns at the state and federal level, Patton cannot say right now whether the district will need to implement planned reductions beyond those already identified. She expects questions about stimulus funding to be answered by July 8, when the board (and the public) will receive a formal presentation of the preliminary budget.
A public hearing on the budget and budget adoption are set for Aug. 19.
Based on analysis from International Monetary Fund chief economist Olivier Blanchard, economic recovery won’t begin to be realized until the summer of 2011, Patton reported.
“We have to keep tightening our belt so we’re ready for the next contingency,” Patton said.
She added that declining enrollment – projected to continue in 2009-2010 – and declining home values, along with defaults on home loans, all contribute to the district’s financial woes.
Board member Kathryn Simpson cautioned that the state’s deferral of cost of living raises and pension increases for teachers could amount to a “balloon payment” that would impact the district as it pays for teachers not covered by state funds.
“If the state isn’t able to maintain its obligations, it doesn’t just trickled down; it floods down to our level,” Simpson said.

Henderson Sounds Off on Open Space Classification

The Port Orchard City Council will vote tonight on an open space tax classification request from Laurie Walton, the owner of a 10-acre property on Melcher Street. Walton could be the first city resident to receive a tax break through classification of her land as open space. The city is likely to see more such applications as its boundaries expand through annexation, said Development Director James Weaver

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. Hers is the first open-space application to come before the city council, which held public hearing on her request May 26. The public hearing will continue tonight before the vote is taken.

Vivian Henderson, speaking strictly “as a taxpayer,” testified at the hearing. Henderson, well known in Kitsap as executive director of the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners, emphasized that she was not in any way representing that organization in this particular testimony. KAPO advocates for individual property owners’ rights.

Henderson said she sympathized with Walton, whose property taxes doubled (from about $3,000 per year to $6,000 per year) when her land was reassessed within the past three years. “Six thousand dollars in taxes for a nine-acre property is absurd,” said Henderson. “I don’t blame Mrs. Walton, but I don’t want to pay her taxes. I have a hard enough time paying my taxes as it is.”

Henderson objected to the provision for extending a tax break to those who leave their land as open space as “a fairness issue.” She said the entire tax system is unfair and burdensome.

Walton, as a widow receives disability benefits and works at a daycare. The fact she has a choice piece of land does not make her a member of the privileged gentry, she said. “My wages, trust me, are not great. … I feel bad if I make someone else’s burden. I’m just trying to see a way I can keep my land.”

Spring Cleanup: Port Orchard Talks Trash

The City of Port Orchard with Brem- Air Disposal is holding its semi-annual clean-up week, during which residents can dispose of mattresses, furniture and assorted junk at reduced cost. There is a fee for some items. The resident pays for these items in advance in the Treasurer’s Office at City Hall and places them, along with other allowed cleanup week rubbish, at the street curb with their regular trash on their regular pick-up day. If you have questions about what’s “allowed clean-up week rubbish” call City Hall at (360) 876-4407.

I’ve been out of town. For those of you who missed the spring clean-up on your trash day, there will be another in the fall.

Here’s more from the city’s Web site:
“White goods, such as stoves, washers, dryers, refrigerators, and freezers can be included for Clean – Up week. The City will, for a fee, haul white goods/appliances to be recycled. Fees for white goods/appliances should be paid, in advance, at the Treasurer’s Office located in City Hall. The City will take items, that have been paid for, to the recycle site. White goods/appliances must be placed at the curb on the normal garbage collection day.”

Port Orchard’s Grey Chevrolet Hanging in There

Over on the Kitsap Business and Economy blog, Rachel Pritchett has reported that Grey Chevrolet remains afloat despite GM’s declaration of bankruptcy. No one’s been laid off and the dealership sold 88 cars last month, said owner Kevin Grey. Grey is on the alert for fallout from the company’s reorganization, however.
“It’s how it unwinds,” he said.

PO Council Challengers (and Mayor) Weigh in On Race

This is a follow up to a blog post I wrote earlier, in which I reviewed the comments of incumbent city council members Fred Chang and Carolyn Powers, running for re-election. I have since heard from challengers, Amy Igloi-Matsuno, up against Chang (position 6), and Cindy Lucarelli, challenging Powers for position 2.

Tomorrow in the Kitsap Sun, we are running an overview of the first day of filing week. I will run more detailed stories on individual races, and candidates, including their positions and backgrounds, at a later date. For now, emerging as issues in this race are age and length of service.

Lucarelli, a co-organizer of the upcoming Cedar Cove Days, admires all Powers has done for the city, but says she herself has new ideas and energy to offer.
“I think someone who’s been on the council for 22 years, it’s time to step over and give someone else a term,” she said.
Powers disagrees. She will campaign on her years of service to the city.
“I don’t believe in term limits,” she said. “I think the public can vote people in or out as they see, if it’s warranted.”

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola said Powers is the only candidate he would “openly support” in this race.
“I believe Carolyn has done a great job for 22 years,” he said. “She has institutional knowledge that goes back before her late husband was mayor, and I don’t think we want to lose that.”
Powers supported Coppola in his campaign for mayor in 2007, according to his campaign Web site.
“It has nothing to do with Cindy,” Coppola said. “It’s about … Carolyn has been very supportive of what we’ve tried to accomplish, and we don’t want to lose that momentum.”

Coppola said he won’t take sides in any other races. He said he and Fred Chang have sometimes been portrayed as ideologically opposed – a factor Chang cited in Igloi-Matsuno’s challenge since she, like Coppola, sees things from a business owner’s perspective. (Chang is a public relations officer for the state Department of Transportation). But, said Coppola, “I don’t think Fred and I are that opposed on most things. I think we think alike on most things.” Chang said more or less the same.

Coppola went on to say, “On the other hand, Amy brings a totally different perspective. She’s 28 or 29 (28 actually), a successful entrepreneur. People like her are the future of the city. We have to listen to them as well.”

Chang is 50.

And while we’re talking about age, don’t bother asking Powers. She never has and never will give her age in connection with a campaign. “I don’t think it’s relevant, and I never have discussed my age publicly,” she said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the job I’m doing, and I will be doing.”

Lucarelli has followed her opponent’s suit and won’t say how old she is – “It just kind of labels you” – except to hint “I’m old enough to have a 24-year-old daughter.

The reason the issue of age came up at all (Other than the mayor’s comment about Igloi-Matsuno), is that we run candidates’ ages in stories on the Kitsap Sun. I think when I’ve let the term limits poll run its course (main page of blog through Wednesday), I need to do one on what relevance, if any, age has to do with public service. We also list ages of people in key positions, such as school district superintendent.

I’ve been kind of fixated on age since I did the story about the centenarians in Kitsap County. I have a clipping in my desk from a magazine (can’t remember which one – probably something only old pharts like me are interested in):

“What you should have learned about memories by age … 50: You learn from your mistakes; 75: You learn from your kids mistakes; 100: You realize there were no mistakes.

BTW: I tuned 54 last month.