Monthly Archives: May 2007

Commissioners Send One Back to the Drawing Board

Ah, if only government decrees were clear and void of conflict with one another. But they aren’t, so when is it appropriate for county commissioners to step in with what amounts to a judgement call?
In Manchester, the fallout continues from a well-meaning community plan, written in 2002 without any “teeth,” as some residents like to say. The original plan, now under revision, “encourages’ two-story structures within the county code’s allowable maximum of 35 feet. Along comes BJP LLC, with a plan for a residential/retail complex of four stories (granted one of them underground). The Colchester Commons project has been approved by the county’s hearing examiner, who determined the 35-foot ruling superceded the wishy-washy two-stories “encouraged.”
The project was appealed in March by Doug and Cerissa Holme, owners of the Family Inn, across the road from the site. Today the county commissioners unanimously remanded approval of the project back to the hearing examiner, supporting the Holmes’ assertion that the project is out of scope with its current surroundings, and that it is not what Manchester residents want their town to look like in the future.
In the opinion of outgoing Commissioner Chris Endresen, “I think the hearing examiner struck out on this one.”
Read the rest of the story below.

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Remembering Bob Oke

Family, friends and admirers of former state Sen. Bob Oke packed Christian Life Center in Port Orchard yesterday to celebrate the life a man state transportation secretary Doug McDonald called, “just one heck of a statesman.”
McDonald, on learning that Oke’s health was rapidly declining, had bought some construction tape and scissors, and had intended to go to his hospital room for a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The second span of the bridge, set to open this summer, was something Oke pushed for during the latter part of his Senate career. His concern was traffic safety, and he took every accident and fatality on the bridge personally.
Oke died before McDonald could complete his task, but his wife Judy performed a ceremonial ribbon cutting to a standing ovation at the memorial.
Reporter Brynn Grimley attended the service. You can read the rest of her story at

Friday Afternoon Club: Alice Revisited

SKHS Takes Alice to Discoland

South Kitsap High School theatre director Scott Yingling has put a new twist on the classic “Alice in Wonderland,” with a presentation of “Alice in Discoland.” I’m envisioning John Travolta as the Caterpillar, but that’s a little scary.

The play, according to a press release from the district is “a fun, pick-me-up performance themed around the 1970’s with disco music, lights, and costumes.”

The show is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the SKHS Win Granlund Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $3 for students and $4 for adults and are available at the door. Ticket office opens up at 6:30 p.m.

The play features 20 high school students and stars….

Kaitlynn Larsen plays Alice
Maria Sharp plays the White Rabbit
Owen Eardley plays the Mad Hatter
Nelson Pennington plays the March Hare
JJ Hernandez plays the Door Mouse
Richelle Cotton plays DJ Queen of Hearts
Jon O’guin plays the Catapillar

For more information, contact Scott Yingling at (360) 874-5600.

Have a great weekend. Chris

SKsd Board: No New Bond Through 2008

The board must address a half-million budget deficit.
The South Kitsap School District Board of Directors will not pursue a bond or capital projects levy in the upcoming school year, school board president Patty Henderson announced at a budget study session Wednesday.
“It’s not for lack of desire,” said school board member Kathryn Simpson.
Voters on March 13 turned down a $163.2 million bond proposal to build a second high school, replace South Colby Elementary and provide major technology and maintenance funding for all schools. Board members maintain the needs are still there, but their focus right now is just keeping the district afloat.
“Our concern is passing the levy in 2009. That’s what drives our district,” said Henderson.

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SK School Board to Discuss Budget

South Kitsap School District will be cutting an estimated $500,000 from its 2007-08 budget.
While that might seem like a lot, it’s pretty much business as usual, said Terri Patton, business office assistant superintendent. Despite back-to-back passage of levies, the district been making annual cuts in response to shortfalls in education funding at the state level, she said. Over the past three years, South Kitsap has reduced its budget by a total of $5.5 million.
South Kitsap, along with other districts around the state, stands to gain from some education legislation passed during the recently ended session. But how much certain bills will net per district has yet to be seen, so the $500,000 estimate is still very rough, Patton said. Also up in the air is the effect of legislation that places requirements on districts without state funding, so-called “unfunded mandates,” Superintendent Bev Cheney said.
The South Kitsap School District Board of Directors will meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Burley-Glenwood Elementary School, 100 SW Lakeway Blvd. in South Kitsap, to review budget decision standards. The public is welcome.
On May 23, the board will meet at 6 p.m. at the District Office, 1962 Hoover Ave. SE, Port Orchard to review the Citizens’ Budget Review Committee recommendations on the district’s long-term budget.
The board is due to review a preliminary budget for the upcoming school year by July 10. The budget is set to be finalized Aug. 15.
For more information, visit

Racetrack Zoning to Shift into Reverse?

The county commissioners will hold a hearing in June to determine whether zoning for a racetrack should be repealed.

By Chris Henry,
May 15, 2007

Port Orchard Kitsap County Board of Commissioners on Monday voted 2-1 to settle a legal challenge with two groups opposed to a zoning provision that would have paved the way for a NASCAR track in South Kitsap.

A hearing is now planned for June, and legal challenges will be dropped if the zoning is repealed.

The zoning, called an Industrial Multi-Purpose Recreation Area, or IMPRA, applies to 950 acres near the Bremerton National Airport and was meant to support a proposed NASCAR track or other major development. It was often referred to as a “place holder” in the event NASCAR became a reality here.

The Coalition for Healthy Economic Choices in Kitsap (CHECK) and the Kitsap Citizens for Responsible Planning appealed the zoning to the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board. Now that a legislative bill that would have helped build a speedway for NASCAR events is dead, some say it is appropriate to let the zoning revert to what it was.

The settlement agreement calls for the county to hold a public hearing, now scheduled for June, to determine if the IMPRA designation should be repealed.

Land owner David Overton, who stood to gain from the zoning, was upset with the proceedings and complained that he wasn’t involved in negotiations toward the settlement.

Overton, who said he only learned of the proposed settlement agreement May 3, asked the commissioners for a two-week extension so further discussion could take place with stakeholders.

South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel favored Overton’s request, saying a dialogue with all interested parties was in order.

“This is a very important area for the entire county,” Angel said. “We need to not take it lightly.”

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown agreed there needs to be a comprehensive discussion of the whole South Kitsap Industrial Area. But, he said, it would be inappropriate to delay the issue — and run up legal costs — over what amounted to a temporary land-use designation that is now a moot point.

North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen, who will be vacating her seat at the end of June to head up U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s state office, was outspoken in her criticism of the interim zoning. Endresen said that people lose faith when governments make hasty zoning improvisations such as the IMPRA.

“I can’t even think of a polite way to say it,” she said. “It’s that we were trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.”

Angel voted against the agreement; Brown and Endresen voted for it.

Outside the commissioners’ chambers, Overton, on the verge of tears, needed a moment to compose himself.

“I think all I’d say is that we’re sorry the county chose to do these actions behind closed doors and to not partner with a family that’s had an investment in the county since 1920,” Overton said.

He added that he has potential investors interested in his family’s property. But the loss of NASCAR and now the likely reversion of zoning will be a disincentive for them to locate in Kitsap County.

Asked if he had further comment, Overton said, “Nothing you can print.”

Former State Sen. Bob Oke Dies

Oke’s Web site: Visit former Sen. Bob Oke’s personal Web site to read and make comments, and for updates on memorial events. If the link doesn’t work, log on to; see “visit a patient”; patient ID is “oke”; password is “care-suppose.”

Friends and colleagues remember a man of integrity, faith and humor.
By Chris Henry
And Associated Press
South Kitsap
When the second span of the Tacoma Narrows bridge opens in July, one dignitary prominently absent from the ribbon cutting will be former state Sen. Bob Oke.
Oke, a staunch advocate of the bridge who served four terms representing the 26th legislative district, passed away Monday at the Seattle Veterans Administration Hospital with his wife Judy at his side. He was 66.

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Coppola Says He’ll Run for PO Mayor

Lary Coppola, publisher of the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, has announced his intention for run for mayor of Port Orchard. Incumbent Mayor Kim Abel announced in April that she would not seek a second term.

Coppola, who authors the blog West Sound Politics, said his agenda will include public safety, economic development and revitalization of the downtown area.

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SK Looks at Late Start Proposal

South Kitsap School District is looking at a proposal for the 2007-2008 school year to have students arrive 45 minutes later than usual so that teachers can have more time to plan lessons and make sure they are meeting students’ needs.
As part of the proposal the district is considering eliminating three early dismissal days.
The biggest question, as I spoke to parents about the idea, was “How would the change affect families without the flexibility to accomodate and early start?” Here’s more:

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Democrats to Hold Caucus to Select Candidates for Endresen’s Replacement

Carl Olson, chairman of the Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee, has announced plans to hold a special caucus election next month to select three nominees to replace North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen.
The election will take place at 6 p.m. on June 18 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Events Center. The three nominees will be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioners Josh Brown, D-Central Kitsap, and Jan Angel, R-South Kitsap, then decide which of the three to appoint to serve out the remainder of Endresen’s term. If the commissioners are unable to agree on a replacement, the decision will be made by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
More than a dozen names have already surfaced, a press release from the committee said.
To be eligible, interested candidates must contact Carl Olson at (360) 698-6833, or by e-mail at to request an application form. The application must be returned to Olson before June 4 to be considered. Mail the application to KCDCC, Attn: Carl Olson, Box 27, Silverdale WA 98383.
The executive board of KCDCC will meet in closed executive session on June 4 to determine if applicants meet basic eligibility requirements. According to KCDCC by-laws, eligibility is based on “good citizenship; qualifications for the position involved; and past and present political affiliation.” Candidates who meet those requirements will become eligible for nomination by any Democrat at the special caucus election.
Only Kitsap County elected Democratic Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) or resident PCOs appointed at least two weeks before the special election are eligible to vote.
For more information, contact Olson.
Endresen is vacating her post after June 28 to become state director for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.