Monthly Archives: July 2008

This Officer Has a Thing for Thumbdrives

Johnny Rivera, a Bremerton officer I’ve talked to on numerous occasions about the beat, has recently published this article on the usefulness of thumb drives on

Rivera was once an “Information Technology” kind of guy before he traded in his mouse for a badge. Except he notices that police departments, like any agency public and private, have to thrive using computer technology to survive. Enjoy.

Two Interns Lost In The Woods or You Can’t Always Believe What You Read In The Newspaper

Comes now, Sun intern and Olympic College student Chris Carter, explaining how he inadvertently became part of a horse rescue story, even though he really wasn’t.

Oh, the difficult life of a Kitsap Sun intern. Other than our stories being returned to us flowing in red ink due to our “newbie” mistakes and the constant roaming to find a computer that a full-time colleague isn’t using, our job is actually not that difficult and becoming lost in the woods is not part of our job description.

My summer intern partner Jon Miller and I had a somewhat less-than-enjoyable time tracking down the horse that had fallen into a ravine somewhere in the Gold Creek area.

The Kitsap Sun ran the story and its updates straightforward. However, still alive on KOMO’s Web site is a story that reads: “While crews were looking for the horse, two intern reporters for the Kitsap Sun were sent out to report on the rescue. In the process, the pair became lost, prompting rescue crews to turn their attention to locating them.”

Being on the other end of the story is an interesting and also depressing feeling. As we both admit freely, we were not as well prepared to enter the vast black hole that is Green Mountain. However, our trek was not as ill fated as the story made it out to be.

Jon and I headed out on what several rescue personnel labeled as an hour or so hike. But, instead of heading to the left where apparently crews had cut a makeshift pathway around the mountainside, we continued full steam ahead on clearly marked path…the wrong way.

What makes our adventure more interesting is that as we headed the wrong way (unbeknownst to us of course) we happened to run into several employees of, I believe, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue who were “headed to the horse,” also the wrong way. So we welcomed the company along our long and arduous hike up into nowhere.

I, being the photographer, am greatly concerned about getting photos before darkness befalls us. So, naturally I entertain the fantastic idea that we should hurry up ahead the trail to nowhere and get to the horse before sunset. Ah, here is where things fall apart. From what we gathered, those who we bumped into and eventually ran ahead of had made the decision to turn back due to the looming threat of darkness and eventually made the comment that two reporters were still up on the mountain and headed the wrong way.

Well, being the hardcore junior journalists we are, Jon and I clamored on endlessly only to reach the summit and find nothing but emptiness and definitely no injured horse. So at this point let me mention that we knew where we were the entire time. We had looked at a map and had planned our hike accordingly. We just planned to go the wrong way due to instructions from people encountered along the way. We have to blame someone right?

So finally upon urging from our editor, we journeyed back down. Let me emphasize DOWN. Trying to navigate even a well-marked trail in the dark is not something I recommend to anyone. My ankles still feel the stress.

And then, only when we reached the bottom, we saw the light. The headlights of a truck full of search and rescue volunteers looking for none other but “the missing reporters.”

All’s well that ends well I suppose. After confirming our identities we located the horse, now safely on its feet and being examined by the vet. And our wonderful Brynn Grimely posted the story and updated it with the wonderful newsgathering Jon accomplished after we had been “rescued.”

Interns are supposed to give the entire newsroom something to laugh at for a week, right? Well the week is almost over, so I am not sure how to top our latest parody of responsible journalism. We’ll think of something.

p.s.- I strongly dislike horses.

– Chris Carter

High Gas Prices Have a Plus Side: Safer Roads

Here’s an interesting effect of the age of $4/gallon gas: less roadway deaths.

The Associated Press is reporting that traffic deaths around the country are “plummeting,” just as they did during Arab oil embargo in the 1970s.

It’s not necessarily a scientific finding, AP points out. However, the logic is this: the less cars there are on the road, the less risk there is for collisions and injuries.

Chief: Violence, Incidents ‘Will Likely Increase’ Without SRO

How will North Kitsap’s schools look without a school resource officer? Dennis Swiney shared his thoughts with a North Kitsap School Board member in a letter dated June 30.

Swiney, Poulsbo’s police chief, sent this letter to board member Tom Anderson advising against cutting the district’s school resource police officer (or “SRO”) funding, saying that without it, “violence as well as other criminal issues such as drug possession will likely increase.” The school district faces a $2.8 million budget shortfall.

School resource officers — and their importance in introducing kids to law enforcement — has been a frequent topic of discussion here. Currently, Bremerton, South Kitsap and North Mason schools have one. Central Kitsap and Bainbridge have gone without them.

Kitsap Judge Lands President Post of State Organization

Marilyn Paja, a Kitsap County District Court judge since 1998, was recently elected to be the District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association, according to Washington Courts.

The post represents more than 200 judges in Washington that serve on benches of what are called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Basically, all of the state’s municipal courts and county district courts fall under that category.

Here’s more from the Washington Courts web site:
Continue reading

Sheriff’s Office Doesn’t Do Quotas, But …

… they did have a “traffic safety enforcement challenge last August.

Gary Simpson, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office patrol chief, sent a memo out to all deputies advising them of a contest between the different shifts (which you can read for yourself here). The gist of it was this: the shift that writes the most tickets got to have two of its members (one selected for writing the most and one selected at random) get an extra day off.

Chief Simpson volunteered to work in the winning deputies’ places. He also explains in the memo that by doing such an undertaking “the citizens of our communities are the true winners.”

As some of you may have seen, we recently wrapped up a project about traffic tickets.

FBI No Match for Ned Newlin

Ned Newlin, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office’s chief of corrections, just graduated from the 10-week FBI academy program held in Quantico, Va.

He was one of 269 members of the session to graduate the program, which provides “graduate level instruction in advanced investigative, management and fitness training.” The academy is generally reserved for those with lots of experience — graduates average 19 years of law enforcement under their belts.

Continue reading

See Crime in Your Neck of the Woods

We’re finally up and running with a project that’s been a long time coming: the Crime Incident Map.

At the beginning of this year, I was told by our Interactive Media Department (the gurus behind our Web site) that a “crime map” was a possibility. And with that, and about five months of working with our local law enforcement agencies, every one of them — from Bainbridge to Port Orchard — is participating and sending us a weekly summary of their incident reports.

See the results of this work here. You can even put your address in and check out specific crimes around your neighborhood.

It’s actually available at, a product of the Kitsap Sun.

Phew! I know I have been absent from the blog this week, and for that, I apologize. I have, however, been working toward a project on traffic tickets that is running Sunday. I hope you’ll enjoy it.