Monthly Archives: November 2009

Marathon Runner with Pacemaker Makes Good Time in Seattle Marathon

Mark Wagner of South Kitsap, featured in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun, is a marathon runner with an artificial heart valve. Sunday’s Seattle Marathon was his sixth since the heart valve was installed in 2000 to corrected a congenital defect.

Mark Wagner, Marathon Runner
Mark Wagner, Marathon Runner

Wagner took up running marathons after his open heart surgery in part to prove to himself that he could do it, in part to raise funds for the international charity World Vision. In 2008, he needed a pacemaker installed.

Sunday’s marathon, just over 26 miles, was Wagner’s shake-down cruise for the pacemaker, which held up nicely. Wagner’s time was five hours, fifteen minutes. Although he didn’t beat his best time of 4 hours, 29 minutes and 45 seconds, he was pleased considering “I’ve never seen a marathon with so many hills.”

Also, one thing I didn’t mention is that five months before the marathon, he was in a wheelchair. A fall at work injured his leg, and because he takes blood thinners, he had internal bleeding for which he was hospitalized in March. By June, he was walking again, and by July he was training for Sunday’s race. Guess, we’ll just have to start calling him Mark “the Energizer Bunny” Wagner.

Wagner will take a couple weeks off before starting to train for the Eugene (Ore.) Marathon in May.

Friday Afternoon Club: Catch Debbie Macomber’s “Miracle”

By Chris Henry
“Mrs. Miracle,” a heartwarming holiday movie based on the book by South Kitsap author Debbie Macomber, will premiere Saturday at the Historic Orchard Theatre, 822 Bay St.
The event, followed by a black-tie reception at Kitsap Bank, is a fundraiser for the South Kitsap High School Band, which will play in the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade, and for Kitsap Regional Library.
Macomber will appear at the premiere, along with the two young Canadian actors, Valin Shinyei and Michael Strusievici, who star in the film.
In the movie, James Van Der Beek, formerly of “Dawson’s Creek,” plays a widower and father to six-year-old twins (Shinyei and Strusievici). Their new housekeeper, Mrs. Emily Merkle ( Doris Roberts) works her magical touch on their home and lives.
The film will be shown Dec. 5 on the Hallmark Channel.
Shannon Childs, a member of the Cedar Cove Association, approached Macomber’s publicist during Cedar Cove Days, Port Orchard’s celebration of Macomber’s work, about the possibility of showing “Mrs. Miracle” in the author’s hometown. Hallmark was open to the idea, but no profit could be derived from the showing, hence the fundraiser.
Tickets for the premiere and reception, at a cost of $50 per person, are available at Kitsap Bank, 619 Bay St. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door, said Childs.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The movie starts at 5 p.m.
The event is hosted by the Cedar Cove Association and Kitsap Bank. For tickets, contact or (360) 876-7883.

PO’s Plans to Become an Urban Center Would be Selling “Your Political Soul to the Devil,” KAPO REP Says

Funding for which the city would become eligible come with to many “strings,” critics say.
By Chris Henry
Members of the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners and other community members on Tuesday raised a chorus of warning against a proposal by the City of Port Orchard to seek designation as an Urban Growth Center through the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Port Orchard would seek the designation as part of its yet-to-be-approved comprehensive plan update, set to come before the council Dec. 22.
Becoming an urban growth center would entitle the city to a first crack at state and federal funding for transportation and infrastructure overseen by the PSRC, said Development Director James Weaver at a public hearing on the comp plan update. The change in status would put Port Orchard in a league with Bremerton and Silverdale when it comes to accessing certain transportation funds, he said.
The city could still apply for other federal and state funds and grants even if it does not become an urban growth center. The process is highly competitive and would take about three years, Weaver said. The Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council would have to give its blessing before the matter would move on to the PSRC.
Port Orchard is eligible to apply for the designation since its population grew to more than 10,000 in 2009. Annexations, including the McCormick Woods development, raised the population from 8,420 to 10,836.
As part of its comp plan update, the city shows future plans to develop its downtown area as a transportation hub. Key to this is construction of a parking garage and retail complex known as the Port Orchard Town Center Revitalization Project . The estimated cost of the project is $36.6 million.
The city will likely proceed with the transportation hub plan, even if it doesn’t become an urban growth center, but funding administered through the PSRC represents a significant source of money for this and other capital projects on Port Orchard’s horizon.
But those who testified about the proposal said seeking the title of urban growth center would make the city beholden to the PSRC, a regional body made up of representatives from a four-county area, including King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Critics cited goals of the PSRC’s Vision 2040 as having the potential to dictate quality of life in South Kitsap.
“Make no mistake,” said KAPO’s Executive Director Vivian Henderson. “Once you get tangled up in the strings attached to PSRC grants, you have sold your political soul to the devil.”
“I would suggest you resist this siren song and, instead, consider helping Kitsap leave the PSRC in 2012,” said Silverdale resident and KAPO member Bob Benze.
“To me the PSRC is trying to change what our community is all about,” said Port Orchard resident Gerry Harmon. “If you don’t jump through their hoops, you’re not going to get the money. Everything we do will be to get those funds. Those funds will only come when we are running through those hoops.”
Mayor Lary Coppola asked Weaver to clarify requirements of being an urban growth center. Weaver said, as far as Port Orchard’s comp plan is concerned, the PSRC would be able to comment on it, as they have in the past. But the designation would give the PSRC no additional authority to dictate details of comp plan regulations.
After the meeting, Coppola, who has written blog posts critical of Vision 2040, said, “I heard all the people who spoke about it (the proposal) loud and clear last night, and I understand their fear, but this is a council decision. This is not my decision, and I think there’s pros and cons on both sides of it.”

Recount in Powers-Lucarelli Race a Go

By Chris Henry
It’s official. There will be a recount in the race for Port Orchard City Council Position 2.
In official results, posted Monday afternoon by the Kitsap County Auditor’s office, incumbent Carolyn Powers, with 49.88 percent of the vote, was 12 votes ahead of challenger Cindy Lucarelli, with 49.38 percent.
An automatic machine recount is triggered by a margin of half a percentage point or less.
Write-in votes are not counted for purposes of determining if a recount is needed. Without the 18 write-ins the margin widens negligibly (three thousandths of a percentage point to be exact), but is still within recount range.
A difference of one ballot would have deep-sixed the possibility of a recount, according to Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore.
On Tuesday, the auditor’s office will begin reprogramming and testing its equipment, as mandated by law. Between now and the recount date, likely Dec. 3, elections officials must pull all ballots within the City of Port Orchard. They must give legal notice of the recount, and they must contact the candidates and local political parties, who will have the right to observe proceedings.
The recount must be certified by the county’s canvas board. Members include Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington, Kitsap County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Charlotte Garrido, and the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s designee, Deputy Prosecutor Jacquelyn Aufderheide.
If the vote count remains the same, Powers wins the election. If the margin narrows to within a quarter of a percentage point, there will be a hand recount.
The most recent recount in Kitsap County’s elections history was the 2004 governor’s race.

Thanksgiving Dinner for $1

Sounds too good to be true? Believe it.

MoonDogs, Too – Spirits & Fine Grub will reprise its $1 holiday meal service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. Owner Darryl Baldwins says it’s his staff’s way to say “happy holidays” to the community. The event is also a fundraiser for South Kitsap Helpline. Those who feel so inclined can donate cash, clothing or food to the food bank.

Twenty-five volunteers, including Mayor Lary Coppola, will help serve food, bus tables and do dishes.

Baldwin said the event has doubled each year since it began in 2007. Last year, they served 140 for Thanksgiving and 135 for Christmas, despite a major snow storm. This year, they’re planning for 300.

Everyone and anyone is welcome, said Baldwin. He especially wants to get the word out to people in the Navy, senior citizens and others who may be far away from family.

Some folks use the event as an excuse to get out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving. They bring their guests down to MoonDogs and donate the money they would have spent to Helpline. Last year, between the two holidays, Moondogs collected $3,000 and three barrels of food and clothing for the food bank.

Partner businesses include Minder Meats of Bremerton, which donated $150 worth of turkey, and Morningside Bread Co., which donated rolls.

Because Kitsap Transit has eliminated service on Thanksgiving and Christmas, MoonDogs is working with local churches to find rides for people.

There are enough volunteers for Thanksgiving, Baldwin said, but MoonDogs could use more help for Christmas.

For more information, call (360) 895-2300.

PO Council Race: Lucarelli Closes in on Powers

Challenger is within recount range.

Chris Henry
Cindy Lucarelli, challenging long-time incumbent Carolyn Powers, for Port Orchard City Council position 2, moved within recount range in unofficial results Thursday. The two candidates are now separated by 10 votes.
Powers has held a whisker of a lead since the election Nov. 3. She was besting Lucarelli by .58 percentage points as of Nov. 9
In revised results, released Thursday afternoon by the Kitsap County Auditor, Powers, with 1,207 votes, had 49.83 percent of the total vote. Lucarelli had 1,197 votes for 49.42 percent of the vote. That .41 percentage point difference puts Lucarelli within the range for an automatic recount, triggered under state law by a margin of less than half a percentage point.
There are currently 18 write-in votes.
Results of the election will not be certified until Tuesday, and Kitsap County elections manager Dolores Gilmore cautioned that things still could change. The county has a total of 14 challenged ballots received from the City of Port Orchard. These are unsigned ballots or ballots in which the signature does not match up with the voter registration. Voters have the chance to verify their signature by affidavit or in person, but it must be done by Monday afternoon. There are also military votes that could arrive before the final count, Gilmore said.
Powers is on a trip out of the country and was unavailable for comment.
Lucarelli is encouraged and eager to see the final count Tuesday.
“I have nothing to lose at this point,” she said. “It’s very exciting for me. I can’t wait to see what happens. … Hope springs eternal.”
Lucarelli is having a bit of deja vu. In 2007, she came within 3.12 percentage points of beating incumbent John Clauson, who has been on the council for more than 26 years. Powers was appointed to the council in 1988 to fulfill an unexpired term and has been reelected five times.

Planning Consultant Undaunted by Spruce House Denial

The Kitsap County Hearing Examiner has denied a conditional use permit application for Spruce House, a proposed three-story development in Manchester. Planning consultant William Palmer says his client, John Park of BJP LLC, Gig Harbor, will likely appeal the decision.
Some of the town’s residents were unhappy with the scale of the building, plans for which received preliminary approval before the 2007 Manchester Plan limited building heights to two stories. But Hearing Examiner Kimberly A. Allen, in her ruling Nov. 11, said the project meets requirements of the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan and Kitsap County Code in effect at the time Park first applied.
Allen rejected the application on the basis of stormwater plans deemed inadequate by county staff, who testified at a public hearing Oct. 22.
Another problem stems from an easement dispute between Park and the owner of a neighboring property. The neighbor’s property encroaches on the Spruce House site, and the two parties are involved in a suit and countersuit.
Since the project is in legal limbo, Allen wrote, her hands are tied for ruling in favor of Park’s application.

Palmer, who typically withholds his opinion on land use rulings, weighed in on Manchester’s potential for development vis a vis the resistance of some residents to the size and scope of Spruce House and three other retail-residential projects grandfathered in at three stories.
“I still think Manchester is the place for the kind of development proposal that is represented in Colchester Commons, Spruce House and Frank Tweten’s Project,” said Palmer, adding The Anchors at Manchester to his thoughts. “ All four, if allowed to go forward, would make Manchester a really special place to be.
“Obviously there are some who like the run-down nature of the buildings in the area and would like to see it stay that way.”

Here’s a link to a story on the one three-story project that has been built in Manchester.

400 Submit Petition Against Park Closures

Marshall Kelch, manager of Wildcat Lake Grocery, is worried about the impact a proposed closure of Wildcat Lake County Park will have on his store.
“Our business actually doubles in summer,” said Kelch.
That’s due to the hundreds of Kitsap residents who visit the lake daily during summer months. Kelch on Thursday submitted a petition to the county with more than 400 signatures, gathered at the store, in protest of the proposed closure.

Wildcat Lake is now closed for winter, and Kitsap County Parks & Recreation officials say it’s likely they will leave it closed through 2010, along with Horseshoe Lake County Park in South Kitsap, to help balance the park’s department’s budget.

Closing the two parks would save the county $140,000 per year. The department must trim its spending in 2010 by nearly $500,000.

I wrote about the proposed closures on Nov. 4, including a discussion of the possibility of charging fees. I also made a blog post with a poll asking readers what you would be willing to pay in the way of fees.

It certainly wasn’t a scientific poll, and only 12 people took it. But for what it’s worth, the results were:
33.3 percent (4 people) said they’d be willing to pay $5 per carload
16.7 percent (2 people) said they’d pay $5 per person, $3 for students and seniors
16.7 percent (2 people) said they’d pay $25 per year
zero percent would pay $50 per year
33 percent (4 people) said they wouldn’t pay anything

Check the Kitsap Sun tomorrow for a follow-up story on the proposed park closures.

In related recreational news, a survey on a proposal to build a turf field at South Kitsap High School garnered the following results. Again, not scientific. Sixteen people responded.
56 percent (9 votes) said “Yes, the players are at a disadvantage since most other districts have turf.”
44 percent (7 votes) said, “No, muddy conditions are part of the game.”

Friday Afternoon Club: Port Orchard Party Saturday

What: Port Orchard Party, an annual gala event hosted by Fathoms ‘O Fun; this year’s theme “Rockin’ in the ’50s.”
When: 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday (Nov. 14)
Where: Towne Square Mall.
Entertainment: Enjoy local restaurants’ best efforts as they vie for the top honors, listen to jazz, and then dance to “The Wayback Machine” playing your faves from 9 p.m. to midnight. There will be a silent auction.
Why: Benefits Fathoms ‘O Fun, South Kitsap Helpline and Port Orchard branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound
Child Care: The Boys & Girls Club will provide child care for children kindergarten through 6th grade at the National Guard Armory.
Cost for PO Party: Tickets are $40 at the door, $35 if pre-purchased at the following locations: Kitsap Bank, MoonDog’s, Too, Walk N’ Comfort Shoes in Towne Square Mall, Windermere Real Estate of Port Orchard and Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce. Or visit the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce Web site.

On Tuesday Five Chances to Speak Your Mind to the SK School Board

By Chris Henry
Members of the South Kitsap School District “Call to Action” Task Force have been meeting over the past year to establish goals and plans for the district in anticipation of a shift in fall 2010 to policy governance. It’s an organizational model that uses “ends” or goals to drive “means” or actions. Under policy governance, the superintendent assumes more responsibility for day-to-day decisions, while the school board focuses more on policy.
On Tuesday, members of the board will meet with the public at five separate locations to seek opinions on the direction the district should go. Meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at John Sedgwick Junior High School, 8995 SE Sedgwick Road; Marcus Whitman Junior High School, 1887 Madrona Drive; Cedar Heights Junior High School, 2220 Pottery Ave.; Sunnyslope Elementary School, 4183 Sunnyslope Road SW; and Olalla Elementary School, 6100 SE Denny Boond Blvd.
Another series of public meetings is set for Dec. 16; locations to be announced.
For more information, contact Aimee Warthen at (360) 874-7002, or visit