Category Archives: Events of Interest

Friday Afternoon Club: Sew What?

South Kitsap resident Sharon Demianiw has organized a Cut, Sew and Serge Party to benefit American Patchwork Quilting Magazine’s Million Pillowcase Challenge starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bremerton’s Pacific Fabric Store, 4214 Wheaton Way.

I won’t be attending the event because the last time I took up a needle was to unskillfully sew on a button … in 1998.

I admire people who sew, like my late mother-in-law, who made clothing for the entire family. Demianiw, an avid quilter, and other members of the Port Orchard West Sound Quilt League apparently are of that ilk, and they’re sewing for a worthy cause. The magazine’s goal is that “sewers ( pronounced so-ers and not to be confused with waste disposal-type sewers) around the world will donate pillowcases hand made with love to their local charities totaling 1 million by January 2011.”

Numbers of donated pillowcases are reported to the official Web site (all people but people like me, whose then-fiance once laughed out loud at a shirt I made for him, trying to follow in his mother’s footsteps). So far, they’ve logged 35,296 pillowcases.

“I couldn’t resist joining the challenge,” Damianiw said.

Better her than me. But you go girl!

“We are well on our way with no projected end date in mind. In fact, the project has taken on a life of its own with individuals contacting me to suggest the possibility of involving local high school students or quilters at Mission Creek Women’s Prison,” she said.

The group so far has completed 76 pillowcases and has assembled pillowcase kits ready for the making. They’ll use an assembly line process to step up production. The plan is to donate the pillowcases to a local woman’s shelter.

They are collecting pillows to go with the pillowcases, and are looking for other sewing groups to get involved. The Heirloom Quilt Shop in Poulsbo is a drop-off point for pillowcases.

If you want to join this serge of manic pillow-case crafting, show up at the event or call Pacific Fabrics at (360) 479-4214.

Friday Afternoon Club: Eating to Support Local Food Coop

What: Fundraiser for Kitsap Community Food Coop
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cosmo’s Deli, 1821 Southeast Lund Ave., Port Orchard, WA 98366-5555; (360) 895-3138
What: Cosmo’s will donate 30 percent of proceeds to the coop. Members seek to establish a food coop, featuring local foods, in Kitsap County. They are currently evaluating potential sites around the county. Once one site has been established, the group hopes to spread out to other areas of Kitsap County.
For more information, call Laura Moynihan, (360) 813-1301.

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.

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.

Port Orchard Council to Vote Tuesday on Tax Ordinance

The Port Orchard City Council on Tuesday will vote on an ordinance declaring substantial need to raise taxes up to one percent. In past years, the city has automatically been able to do so. But this year, an ordinance is necessary because of negative inflation and the fact Port Orchard’s population has increased beyond the threshold that triggers a vote in such a case.

Read the complete story here.

Also at the meeting, the council will issue proclamations recognizing November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and recognizing Deliah Rene Luke for spearheading the Paint the Town event in August.

I’ll be at the meeting. Comment here, or e-mail me with your questions for the council,

Old Pharts Unite: Lessons in Aging

Paul Nuchims, owner of Manchester Gallery, will hold a Senior Studies discussion, from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the gallery, 724 Bay Street, Port Orchard; (360) 895-4270.

Nuchims, 75, is a retired professor of art and humanities. A casual conversation with him often winds its way into philosophical discussions of humanity, politics and culture. The one-time candidate for county commissioner who withdrew from the primary in 2008 said careful attention to diet and exercise have helped him to feel better that he did as a middle-aged man.

Nuchims perceives a void in classes on aging in that few if any are taught by those who can actually claim to be old. To fill that void, he is launching a series of discussions on what it takes to age successfully in a society that worships youth.

“This is a discussion about seniors taking charge of their life and not falling into the profile most younger people have of older people as being infirm and being an albatross around the neck of society,” Nuchims said.

Nuchims works out regularly and eats mostly food he grows himself. He’s not opposed to medical care, but hasn’t visited a doctor “in years.”

“This may be hyperbole,” he said, “but I’m healthier now than I was 35 years ago. Part of it is understanding my own body, and part of being able to do that is living this long.”

My thoughts: Ah, yes, if only these things came with owner’s manuals.

From Nuchims’ e-mail, here are some basic concepts to be covered in the class:
•Age: The older, wiser, and more adept at life you should become.
•Best Insurance?  Avoid the risk. Money doesn’t replace all loss.
•Health: Individual’s responsibility: Grow your own food. Exercise.
•Money: A useful tool but hardly an end in itself.
•Art: A window? A method for healing and understanding.
•Future is now: The past (memories), a learning tool: use it wisely.
•Responsibility: For everything? Maybe. Let’s start with ourselves.
•Change: Even a small, incremental change, will be empowering.

While Nuchims will structure the discussions from his perspective as a teacher, the conversation will definitely be a two-way street, he said. People of all ages are welcome.

Classes are free and will continue each Wednesday, 6 to 7 p.m. starting Oct. 21, at the gallery.

Speaking of aging, what do you define as “old?”

It’s commonly said we live in a society that worships youth. What, if any, specific examples have you encountered?

Nuchims said young people think of the elderly as an “albatross” around society’s neck. If you consider yourself young, do you see the elderly as a burden? What solutions if any do you see to this situation?

What bothers you the most about the prospect of getting old?

Who in your life has been a model for successful aging? I’ve had many, and they all made it look a lot easier than it actually is. On the other hand, now that I’m 54, I feel, like Nuchims, better that I have in decades.

Oh, wait, one more. If you knew then what you do now, what would you have done differently?

Friday Afternoon Club II: PO Artwalk’s Future Could Depend on Today’s Turnout

Darryl Baldwin, president of the Port Orchard Bay Street Association, said the immediate future of the town’s monthly art walk could depend on turnout at this evening’s event. Downtown businesses will host featured artists from 4 to 7 p.m. today (Friday). The art walk debuted early in the summer. According to Baldwin, about half the merchants think it’s a good idea; the rest are less enthused. The association will discuss whether to continue the art walk throughout the winter or take a hiatus ’til spring, factoring in the crowd (or lack thereof) this evening, Baldwin said.

Friday Afternoon Club: Cedar Cove to Pirate’s Den, Will the Real Port Orchard Please Stand Up?

Port Orchard, which recently portrayed the fictional town of Cedar Cove, will undergo another transformation Saturday and Sunday, with its Murder Mystery Weekend.
Landlubbers and pirates alike will follow clues throughout the weekend to discover who killed Capt. Zeke Black.
The B.O.O.M. (Brotherhood of Oceanic Mercenaries) Pirates will invade the waterfront area in Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce’s fourth annual event, filling the air with sea shanties, cannon fire and the sounds of other buccaneering business.
Here’s a look at last year’s event:

Besides the questioning of suspects and hunting for clues, highlights include a “Landlubber Dinghy Derby Race,” pirate ball, Fight-A-Pirate swordplay, costume contests and Pirate Ball.
Information: (360) 876-3505,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday: Obtain clue packets (fees listed on chamber Web site).
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: Marketfaire, Fight-a-Pirate Lessons, children’s activities.
11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday: B.O.O.M. Pirates Cannon Show.
12:30 p.m. Saturday: Landlubber Dinghy Derby Race
1 p.m. Saturday: Adult costume contest.
1:30 p.m. Saturday: B.O.O.M. Pirates Stunt Show.
2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: “Goonies” at Historic Orchard Theatre, 822 Bay St.; (360) 895-0564
4 p.m. Saturday: “The Coroner’s Report”
6 p.m. Saturday: Pirate’s Ball, Moondogs, Too, 714 Bay St.; (360) 895-2300.
9 to 11 a.m. Sunday: VFW pancake breakfast, waterfront gazebo.
11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday: B.O.O.M. Pirates Cannon Show
Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday: Obtain clue packets.
Noon Sunday: Pirates Stunt Show.
12:30 p.m.: Kids and pets costume contest.
4 p.m. Sunday: The mystery is solved.

Macomber Fans Give Rave Reviews to Port Orchard as Cedar Cove

No sooner had Cedar Cove Days, Port Orchard’s celebration of local author Debbie Macomber, ended than her fans began clamoring for an encore.

“They are asking us to provide dates as soon as possible so they can start planning for it,” said Cindy Lucarelli, executive director of the Cedar Cove Association.

Port Orchard put on its party manners for Cedar Cove Days, and visitors noticed, said Lucarelli. Many of the “guests” commented to her and other association members on how friendly and helpful the locals were.

“What a friendly, nice bunch is what I kept hearing over and over again,” Lucarelli said.

Here are some more comments from Macomber’s blog, giving you an idea of how Port Orchard looked to outsiders.

“Greetings from Canada….. although it was a struggle to maneouvre(sp?) Sea-Tac, I wouldn’t have missed Cedar Cove Days for anything. You are such a down to earth and gracious host. Kudos to the army of volunteers who were helpful and friendly. … I am reading 92 Pacific now and I must say that after being in Port Orchard I can visualize the places so much better. My only regret is perhaps not going on the cruise, but with the exchange rate it made it expensive for Canadians. However, in retrospect I did drop more than the cost of the cruise at one of your local jewellry shops!” – bevtremblay

Here’s another one from Canada:
“Cedar Cove Days was awesome, we met some great people.” dsyork, Red Deer, Alberta

“The weather was perfect, the scenery just plain gorgeous, and the people of Cedar Cove (Port Orchard) were the nicest people I think I have ever met (emphasis mine, CTH). We took pictures of all the characters and even managed to get one WITH Mack,the handsome fireman. Thank you people of Port Orchard, and thank you Debbie for giving us adults some warmhearted make-believe fun! I felt like a kid again and those experiences are hard to come by these days.” – michele.kay

Speaking of adults playing make-believe, I got a call this week that suggests Claudia Barber-Martin, the Detroit woman who said she needed a place to stay, may have embellished one part of her story, i.e. that the trip was a complete surprise to her. I have since reviewed the information I got from event organizers, Google searches, blog posters and Barber-Martin herself and concluded that, best as I can determine, she is who she said she was: a 50-something woman in marginal health who was up for an adventure … and who, apparently, had been reading a little too much soft fiction.

If you want to know the details and how I reached my conclusion, see below.
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