Category Archives: Volunteerism

Donkey basketball and other Port Orchard pastimes

We (and by “we” I mean reporter Ed Friedrich, but he handed this assignment off to me) recently received a copy of “Port Orchard” a pictorial history of the town by the same name, by the Claudia Hunt and George Willock of the Kitsap County Historical Society.

The book is part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. According to a press release from the company, based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, “Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places.”

Willock and Hunt, both history buffs, have deep roots in Kitsap County. Hunt’s family came to Bremerton in 1918. She serves on the historical society’s board of trustees and historical sites committee. Hunt, retired from the shipyard, recently designed the Old Town Silverdale Historic Sites Tour to benefit the Clear Creek Trail.

Willock is a fourth generation Kitsap County resident and retired state employee with a background in business writing. He serves on the board and volunteers for many museum projects.

The book features historical society photos starting with 1988, two years after the town of Sidney (now Port Orchard), was founded. In its early days, the town had a pottery works, shingle mill and saw mill, as well as a wharf for “Mosquito Fleet” boats that were the primary means of transportation.

Fast forward to the 1940s, and this picture, showing local youth diving like lemmings into the 50-degree waters of Sinclair Inlet … just ’cause. Kids still do this (so do adults during the Olalla Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day … just ’cause).






Before Fathoms O’ Fun, the town celebrated with something calls “Days of 49,” popular from the 1940s through the 1960s. Townsfolk dressed up in wild west garb and got pretty wild and crazy from what I’ve heard. “The name actually had no connection with Port Orchard. Celebration founders chose it simply because no other town had claimed it,” the book states. … Kind of like a domain name.

My thoughts: Port Orchard, where we celebrate by default. Because “Days of 47” was taken …  Makes “Fathoms O’ Fun” sound positively brilliant.

Here’s a picture of a parade float from 1950. The antique fire truck was purported by participants to be the first fire engine in Port Orchard not powered by horses.






My thoughts: Looks like it could use a horse or two or three. And a suggested caption: Now you see why we need that fire levy!

Here’s my favorite, a picture of donkey basketball at the old high school.







The sport was popular with everyone but the janitors. It spawned a special line of horseshoes, Air Wilburs. Also this explain why they needed a new high school.

Go ahead Bremerton, laugh. Just wait until Arcadia Publishing and the Kitsap County Historical Society get ahold of you.

“Port Orchard” is available for $21.99 at local retailers, online bookstores and through Arcadia Publishing,; (888) 313-2665.

Kitsap Computing Seniors celebrates 20 years of computer literacy

Thomas Burch, 94, pretty much blows the stereotype of the computer illiterate senior citizen out of the water.
“He does everthing on the computer,” said Larry DuSavage, Burch’s son-in-law and president of Kitsap Computing Seniors.
As far as DuSavage knows, Burch of Bremerton is the oldest member of the group, which will mark its 20th anniversary Monday. The public is welcome to a celebration and potluck at 10 a.m. at the Silverdale Community Center, 9729 Silverdale Way NW.
Kitsap Computing Seniors, with nearly 240 members, has introduced hundreds of older adults to new technology. Even in this day and age, when laptops are as common as telephones, the need is still there, DuSavage said.
“You’d be surprised. We’re getting 70-, 80-year-olds whose grandchildren want to Skype, want to email, and they’ve never touched a computer in their life,”
The group offers more than 350 hours per year of free computer classes to members and nonmembers. The beginner’s class, held monthly at the community center, often has a waiting list and is the only class that requires membership. Annual dues are $20 per year.
Other classes — such as Microsoft Word and Excel, introduction to Facebook and more — are held at Mountain View Middle School and the Sylvan Way Library both in East Bremerton.
Volunteers are needed to help teach classes and refurbish donated computer equipment, which is given to community members in need. Microsoft Vista and Windows 7 or later preferred.
For information, call (360) 792-6972, email or visit

Kitsap County ranks high in producing Peace Corps’ volunteers

Kitsap County joins two Oregon communities in ranking high in per capital participation with the Peace Corps in 2011. Eugene and Roseburg in Oregon are also on the organization’s Top Ten list.

This is the first year for Kitsap, labeled “Bremerton-Silverdale,” the traditional grouping when organizations like this issue lists categorizing Census groups.

Kitsap has 9.1 volunteers per 100,000 residents according to a Peace Corps press release, which follows.

Oregon is the third highest volunteer producer and Washington is seventh, per capita.

Bremerton-Silverdale Debuts at No. 7 on Peace Corps’ List of Top Volunteer Producing Metropolitan Areas Per Capita
Seattle Ranks No. 6 Among Metro Areas; Washington Ranks No. 6 Among States

SEATTLE – December 8, 2011 – The Bremerton-Silverdale area makes its debut on the Peace Corps’ Top Metropolitan Areas list this year. Twenty-two currently-serving Peace Corps volunteers call the Bremerton-Silverdale area home, making it the No. 9 metropolitan area in the nation for producing Peace Corps volunteers per capita.

“Washington is the anchor for the Peace Corps in the Northwest,” Peace Corps Regional Manager Janet Allen said. “Many cities, towns and universities across the state have made huge contributions to the 50-year legacy of the Peace Corps. It’s no surprise to see several metro areas in Washington on the Peace Corps rankings this year.”

Seattle ranks No. 6 among metropolitan areas and Washington ranks No. 6 among states. Olympia ranks No. 13 among metropolitan areas per capita.

Historically, Washington has produced 8,631 Peace Corps volunteers who have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. This ranks the state No. 3 for historical production of Peace Corps volunteers behind California and New York, respectively.

To see the full list of Peace Corps Top States and Metro Areas, visit .

Peace Corps’ nine regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information and guidance to prospective Peace Corps volunteers. The Peace Corps Northwest Regional Office serves Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Peace Corps representatives work locally throughout the region. Applicants are encouraged to plan ahead and apply for Peace Corps service one year in advance of their target departure date.

The Peace Corps is recruiting Americans from all backgrounds and skill levels. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, the environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas, such as French or Spanish language, are encouraged to apply online at .

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, the Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit for more information.

*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2011. The metropolitan area data used to determine Peace Corps’ rankings is derived from the most current U.S. Census Bureau “Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area” data. The U.S. Census population data is based on 2009 estimates. Volunteers self-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application.

A Chris Casad feast and other ways to give thanks

The late Chris Casad was known for his integrity and dedication to justice.
A Kitsap County deputy prosecutor and member of the Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard, Casad died a year ago of a sudden illness while visiting his daughter in Albania.
The South Kitsap Kiwanis Breakfast Club and the Family Inn at Manchester will host a Chris Casad Feast, open to people in need who would appreciate a complete Thanksgiving dinner and good company.
The celebration begins at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the restaurant, 2386 Colchester Drive in Manchester. The restaurant is closed to the general public during the feast, and no alcohol will be served at the event.
Organizers of the Chris Casad feast have put out the word among social service agencies. Transportation is available for those who need it.
Upon Casad’s untimely death, members of the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement praised Casad for his compassion and work ethic.

“Work was his life, but he really thrived on it,” said Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer. “If Chris said it, his word was gold.”
According to Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge, Casad was responsible for many innovations at the office, including improved relations and better training with law enforcement, and record-keeping.”
Steve Horn, a friend of Casad’s, said, in a press release, that honoring his memory through such a celebration is fitting, because Casad dedicated his life to helping others.
“In this day and age, it is a challenge to find people who put the needs of others in front of their own,” Horn said. “Chris did, and this feast is for those of us who are less fortunate and is a small way to thank and honor him for his philanthropy.”
Sissy and Doug Holme, owners of the Family Inn, also knew Casad, a Manchester resident and frequent guest at their restaurant.
“Doug and I want to thank the club for their continued generous financial and personal support to this endeavor. We miss Chris so much,” they said.
Apparently Casad was a fan of the band America. A line from one of their songs goes, “This is for all the lonely people, thinking that life has passed them by.” That is the motto of the event.
Also helping with the feast are South Kitsap Helpline, the Kitsap Continuum of Care Coalition, Kitsap Transit and local churches.
For information on the feast, call the restaurant at (360) 871-8199.

MoonDogs Too in Port Orchard will once again host a Thanksgiving dinner, open to the general public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The price is $1. That’s right, ten thin dimes will do, but if you’re inclined to do more, donations of cash and food will go to South Kitsap Helpline.
MoonDogs owner Darryl Baldwin has made this a much beloved tradition in downtown Port Orchard.
I once asked him if he ever missed having a Thanksgiving at home with his feet up. He said no, because the people who come to the restaurant are “my family.”
The restaurant is at 714 Bay St. For information, call (360) 895-2300

And one other neat tidbit about local restaurants and Thanksgiving: The Boat Shed has been inviting customers to write what they are thankful for on slips of paper. The papers have been made into a chain that stretches nearly around the whole restaurant.
Owner Kathy Hayfield said that after making a paper declaration of thanks for her family, she added another for the opening of the new Manette Bridge.
Hayfield looks forward to the completion of work, which includes demolishing the old bridge, so that life can really get back to normal in Manette … well, as normal as Manette gets, anyway.
Just kidding Manette, you rock.
The Boat Shed is at 101 Shore Drive (98310), (360) 377-2600.

Night beach seine planned for tomorrow

Looking for something to do tomorrow evening? Why not check out the first-ever night Beach Seine event, hosted by the Clear Creek Task Force.

Here’s the details:

What: Help pull a 100-foot fish net (seine) from shore and discover what and how many fish live in the waters at the northern most part of Dyes Inlet waiting to feed some salmon. Fish and other kinds of marine life from the Near Shore Habitat provide young salmon with their food and shelter for up to 2 years before they migrate out of Dyes Inlet. Paul Dorn, the Suquamish Tribes Salmon Recovery Coordinator, will work with us as we net, identify, measure, and record data from the beach seine. Our catch with data from other Kitsap Near Shore Habitats will help us understand more about this vital underwater habitat we rarely visit.

Where:  Old Mill Park, Silverdale
When:  Aug.16th, 5:45 p.m. ‘til 7:30 p.m.
Bring: Boots (hip or waders are best); gloves, a towel, rain gear, sunscreen.


For the good of the game (the poll)

Yesterday, I posted an archive of our coverage of South Kitsap Soccer Club and its history of friction, both within the club and within the hierarchy of youth soccer. This was in relation to a couple of articles we’ve run in our sports section about SKSC over the past couple of days. One dealt with the club’s change in affiliation to a state-level parent organization. The other was about the recent resignation of SKSC president Mike Kerr, who cited his disgust with the state of youth soccer on the Kitsap Peninsula.

I invite you to check out sports reporter Jeff Graham’s take on youth sports and those “games” that get played off the field.

Also, I’d like your take on Big Dawg’s comment on Jeff’s column about running youth sports organizations:
“The entire business model is broken. You need a GM who has actually run a large organization. They should be paid. Have a “volunteer Board” above them and a “volunteer” staff below them, however you need that stability and level of expertise.”

Take the poll on Peninsular Thinking Homepage.

For the good of the game (the sequel)

South Kitsap — South Kitsap Soccer Club President Mike Kerr resigned Tuesday, the day after an article in the Kitsap Sun outlined changes in the club’s affiliation to state-level soccer organizations.

Kerr, who has led SKSC for three years, cited demands of his job as technical project manager for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center at Keyport, personal issues and negativity in the local youth soccer culture as his reasons for leaving the volunteer position.

A story on his departure and the club’s history of friction among members and within the youth soccer hierarchy of organizations will be posted soon on, under the heading of Sports. Yes, I’m a sports reporter at least for today.

Below are links to coverage of SKSC and youth sports in general we’ve done over the past few years. Enough said, I think.

Rift on Board Leads to Change in Leadership, Dec. 2007

With New Board SK Soccer Club Takes Back the Reins

SKSC Rising From the Ashes?

Kitsap Kick-off Could be Cancelled

Youth Sports Dying for Volunteers?

For the Good of the Game (first installment)

Random Team Assignment Proposal Upsets Some

South Kitsap Soccer: Take the Poll