With Cedar Cove Days less than two weeks away, organizers of the
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
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
“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
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
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