In PO, More Paint Drama and Cedar Cove Jitters

With Cedar Cove Days less than two weeks away, organizers of the festival that will transform Port Orchard into its fictional counterpart are sweating the small stuff. Does Port Orchard need a bigger flag for its pole, and what to do with “that” malodorous downtown restroom.

And while “Paint the Town” has come and gone, prickly feelings linger over design choices, flames fanned by a new effort to repaint the poles under the marquee.

At last night’s city council meeting, Heather Cole, a local business owner and design consultant for the Aug. 2 “Paint the Town” gave an update on Port Orchard’s extreme makeover in advance of Cedar Cove Days, Aug. 26 through 30. The painting party was hosted by South Kitsap’s radio superstar, Delilah Rene.

A total of eight buildings were painted in the volunteer blitz, with supplies and labor donated by local businesses, Cole said. The “Paint the Town” committee is working on “stragglers,” including the Dance Gallery, the “black and white building” next to MoonDogs, Too, and Olympic Bike & Skate, at the corner of Bay and Sidney. Cole noted that MoonDogs is seeing to the restoration of the mural on the black and white building adjacent to its outdoor patio. The bike shop is being painted in various shades of green, with accents in recessed areas, an effect Councilman Fred Chang pronounced “interesting.” “I wasn’t sure if it was finished or not,” he said. The All About Floors building also will be repainted by Cedar Cove Days, Cole promised.

With that she launched into the committee’s next endeavor: repainting the poles holding up the marquee. Cole noted that the current color on the poles was chosen as part of the Bay Street Association’s paint plan of several years ago. She said the committee understands that the paint was specially chosen to withstand marine weather and grit from passing traffic, and that the city spent significantly more than it would have for regular paint. That being said, the committee would like to replace the forest green on the poles with a cream color, using the same high quality, durable paint. That would give the sidewalk under the now-minimized marquee — its pickets removed more than a year ago after much fevered debate — a brighter appearance, Cole said. The paint would be supplied by donors, she said, so the city wouldn’t be out any money.

Cole said she had heard from merchants on both sides of the issue, but that her perception is most favor the change. Chang and other council members said they would like written documentation to that effect, and Cole said she’d produce same by the council’s next work study meeting, Aug. 18, when the matter of the pole paint will be taken up.

Commenting on Cole’s proposal, was Tim Waibel of Sugardaddy’s Salon, who said he’d like to know the process for how the council would take public comment on the proposal. The public is welcome to attend work study meetings, but the council does not have to take comment, as at a regular meeting, he said. The 18th would be the last meeting before Cedar Cove Days for such comment to be lodged, if the poles are to be painted in time.

Mallory Jackson, owner of Custom Picture Framing, was clearly unhappy with Cole’s idea. The council, should it embrace the pole painting proposal, would seem to be dismissing the work of the Bay Street Association to come up with a coordinated palette of Northwest colors.
“Your hardworking merchants downtown do have something to say in this,” Jackson said. “To the best of my knowledge, the association has not changed its mind (about the palette).”

After the meeting, Cole and Jackson had a polite but terse exchange over the paint issue.
“I understand you have a very strong opinion one way, but some people don’t,” Cole said, suggesting that there were a number of new merchants in the association since the original palette was chosen.
Jackson reiterated her contention that the merchants association should have a voice in the matter.

My thoughts: Maybe Port Orchard should offer itself up as fodder for the HGTV show “Paint Over,” in which Jennifer Bertrand orchestrates painting make-overs for those “going through a personal life transition.”

In other Cedar Cove news, Councilman Jerry Childs, a key player on the Cedar Cove Committee, raise the issue of the city-owned restroom in the Port Orchard marina parking lot. With bus tours of the town, made famous in local Author Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series, taking off from the parking lot, it’s likely that restroom will see heavy use, said Childs. The concrete structure includes a small stairway to an observation tower that is also likely to be a popular spot during the festival.

The problem is, the restroom smells.

The cause, explained Councilman John Clauson of the public facilities committee, is something no amount of cleaning will help. Underneath the structure is a “wet well,” a chamber where raw sewage from the city is collected and sent on its way to the Westsound Utility District’s sewer treatment plant, jointly owned by the city and the district.

Childs pointed out that Cedar Cove Days will draw visitors from 37 states, with 28 bus loads of Macomber fans embarking from the lot over the four days of the festival that could — organizers hope — put Port Orchard in the national spotlight. With tours lasting two hours and the predominant demographic being “women over the age of 45,” Childs said, it would seem incumbent on the city to provide a proper pit stop.

“That is the last rest room they’re going to have (before the tour),” Childs said. “I’m kind of worried about it meeting the standard of cleanliness.”

The council discussed the relative wisdom of locking the restroom, thereby minimizing the city’s potential embarrassment, with no conclusions arrived at. Meantime Public Works Director Mark Dorsey will check with the Port Orchard Marina to see if they might make their restrooms available to Cedar Cove visitors.

Childs was also concerned over the flagpole at the entrance to the city. Although the old tattered flag has been replaced with a new one for the festival, the size of Port Orchard’s pole calls for a larger tribute, said Childs.

“We want to say, ‘Hey look us over.'” he said.

The Port Orchard branch of the VFW will help accommodate Child’s request.

2 thoughts on “In PO, More Paint Drama and Cedar Cove Jitters

  1. chris,
    i was wondering last night but didn’t bring it up:
    why isn’t the cedar cove llc group renting port-a-potties?
    wouldn’t any large event organization be required to provide amenities?

    tim waibel

    ps nice perspective on the “fodder” that is downtown PO. i contacted HGTV about the potential for a PO show. i’ll let you know ;0)

  2. Tim – I thought I heard port-a-potties mentioned briefly in passing. I plan to talk to Cedar Cove organizers this week and will ask.

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