Monthly Archives: December 2007

Rift on SK Soccer Board Leads to Change in Leadership

Note Dec. 29, 9:21 a.m.: My apologies for the delay in posting your comments on this story. Here is the link to the story.

If you are a parent of one of the 1,500 kids in South Kitsap Soccer Club, you have already received an e-mail informing you that the Kitsap Peninsula Youth Soccer Association has assumed temporary leadership of the club. Disagreement among board members has interfered with the club’s ability to conduct business, said George Campbell, KPYSA president.

The complete story will be posted on a little later. I’ve pasted the first few graphs below. Note that the club will hold a general meeting Jan. 10 to elect new leadership.

Here’s the story in a nutshell (obviously not the whole story as the purpose here is primarily to publicize the meeting; feel free to contact me if you have pertinent information for follow-up articles.) :

A shake-up in leadership on the South Kitsap Socer Club Board of Directors has led the club’s parent organization, Kitsap Peninsula Youth Soccer Association, to assume temporary authority over general elections and other business.
The club will hold its general assembly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at Givens Center in Port Orchard. Parents of children on SKSC teams are encouraged to attend. Board members for the 2008-09 season will be elected at the meeting.
KPYSA president George Campbell of Silverdale announced in mid-December that he was taking over as acting president of the club until a new president could be elected.
Former president Bill Hammer of Port Orchard resigned shortly before Campbell’s e-mail was sent to club members.
One thing on which both men agree is that conflict among board members contributed to the situation.
“South Kitsap has had some fighting going on, disagreements and everything else,” said Campbell. “It’s been going on for a while, but it came to light a few months ago. They’ve been unable to get club business done. We were asked to look into things, and we did. We thought it got settled, but it got ugly.”

McCormick Woods Annexation Meeting set for Jan. 10

Dick Davis, a former South Kitsap School District bond booster, and other McCormick Woods residents have taken the first steps toward a possible annexation with the City of Port Orchard. The group has formed committees to handle tasks involved, namely setting the boundaries of the areas to be annexed and collecting signatures petitioning the city to consider the annexation.

To get the ball rolling, 10 percent of property owners within the designated area would need to sing the preliminary petition. The petition would be reviewed by county and city staff before moving to the City Council for action. To finalize the annexation, 75 percent of property owners must approve it in a separate petition. An annexation would take an estimated six to nine months, City Attorney Greg Jacoby said.

Areas eligible for annexation include McCormick Woods and two new developments, The Ridge and The Rutherford, as well as McCormick West, an area yet to be developed.

The annexation group has scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Clubhouse at McCormick Woods. According to Davis, the meeting will bring folks up to date on the annexation boundary effort and the petition drive progress. Anyone so inclined can sign the preliminary petition that night.

The City of Port Orchard recently sent a mailing to residents of the area eligible for annexation with a lengthy Q&A from the first public annexation meeting Nov. 15. In case you missed it, I’m pasting a copy below.

Once you’ve had a chance to read the fine print, so to speak, let me know what you think about the proposed annexation and if your mind changed as a result of reading the city’s information.

Continue reading

City Monitoring Traffic Since Lowe’s Opening

I received the e-mail pasted below from Roger Gay complaining about traffic on Sedgwick Road since the Dec. 21 opening of Lowe’s. I called City Engineer Maher Abed, who confirmed what Roger said, that there is only one entrance to the mega store, because of wetlands on the property. The site is further constrained, said Abed, by proximity to Highway 16 and the southbound on-ramp.

Abed said the city is monitoring traffic patterns to see if “adjustments” need to be made. The state Department of Transportation operates the lights at Lowe’s and at the southbound on-ramp (northbound off-ramp). The lights are synchronized for optimal traffic flow, said Abed, but because the store just opened, the traffic pattern may not represent business as usual. So the city is taking a wait and see approach.

“You want to keep in mind when you’re coming into a grand opening situation, traffic is going to be worse until things settle down.

Of the site itself, Abed said, “I think there’s enough property to make this site viable. I wouldn’t say the site is ideal. It worked for their use.”

Here’s Roger’s comment:

Just curious. Under what circumstances did the various planning
commissions, design engineers, and project genious’s decide that the
new Lowe’s store on Sedgwick only needed one entrance? In South
Kitsap we now have 4 stop lights between Sidney and the entrance to
Hywy 16 North bound. If the same technical people who program the
rest of the stoplights in Kitsap County have programmed these then we
are in for some traffic backups. I normally drive down Glenwood to
the Albertsons light and from there I had two lights to go to make a
left turn to the Hywy 16 and head towards Bremerton. Recently after
the Lowes opening it took 10 minutes to travel the same distance that
had taken only 3 to 5 minutes. I literally stopped in traffic while
still next to Albertsons and slowly made my way through numerous red
light changes to reach the left turn to 16. Before this new light
traffic on that stretch of road was very bad at times, now it will be
even worse. The excuse I heard was there was “wetlands” and no other
entrance could be built. Why the heck were they building in the
wetlands area anyway?? If it limited the access why were they
allowed to build there? If this is the planning I can come to expect
from the various planning groups then a change needs to be made. I
am sure a single entrance to a large facility like Lowes would not be
allowed in other jurisdictions, why was it allowed here? Just curious.

Roger Gay

South Kitsap

PO Mayor-elect Plans to Stay on Planning Commission

Note: a copy of this blog entry appears on the Kitsap Caucus political blog.

Swearing in ceremony:
Port Orchard Mayor-elect Lary Coppola, along with newly elected city council members Jerry Childs and Jim Colebank, will take the oath of office at 2 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. Council member-elect Fred Olin is not available and will be sworn in at a later date.

Here’s the entry:

Tomorrow at 2 p.m. at City Hall, Lary Coppola will be sworn in as the new mayor of Port Orchard. Coppola wants to remain on the Kitsap County Planning Commission and says he can do it without conflict of interest.

South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, who appointed Coppola to the commission, said she supports Coppola’s decision, at least for now. Angel said she is concerned about his ability to juggle running the city and a business, while serving on the planning commission.
“I just question whether he’s going to have the time to do that,” said Angel, who represents District 2. “It’s a bigtime commitment to the planning commission, and I want to make sure we’re adequately represented.”
Angel has advised Coppola to take some time in his new job to evaluate his ability to serve on the planning commission while meeting his other commitments.

Critical of Coppola’s plan to stay on the commission is fellow commissioner Jim Sommerhauser. He said it would create a conflict of interest for Coppola to represent the county by voting on land use issues regarding areas eligible for annexation into the city. Coppola, who believes he is in line for chairmanship of the commission, said he will only vote to break a tie, and will recuse himself from votes that involve a clear conflict of interest. Sommerhauser said that would leave South Kitsap poorly represented on the nine-member commission, with three representatives for each of the the county commissioner districts.

Sommerhauser said he is speaking as an individual and not as a planning commission representative.

Coppola also will continue to write his West Sound Politics blog and his column in the Kitsap Business Journal, both of which he suspended after announcing his candidacy. Now that the election is past, Coppola said, he will once again publish his opinions, with the disclaimer that he represents himself alone and no official position. The title of his column in the December issue is, “He’s baaack …”

“I don’t intend to use it as a tool for anything other than to express my thoughts,” Coppola said. “They won’t reflect any official positions.”

Your thoughts?

Returning Gifts Part of the Holiday Ritual

A story to be posted shortly on the Kitsap Sun Web site, details that hallowed post-holiday ritual, returning gifts. Although the day after Christmas is traditionally seen as the most popular day to return gifts, sales associates at Target in Silverdale, said many people hold back, hoping to avoid the crush, when it actually gets busier several days after Christmas.

Here are some tips from Consumer Reports for avoiding excess hassle when returning gifts:
Consumer Reports has the following suggestions for making returns easily.
Check the store’s returns policy on the Web site or by calling customer service.

Take care not to lose or damage packaging. Some stores, including Best Buy and Circuit City, charge a restocking fee on electronic items, whether or not you’ve opened the box.
Locate the receipt for a better chance to get credit for the item’s full value.

Double check that you’re returning the store to the right place, especially if it’s a mail-order return.

Learn about “return fraud.” “If your return is denied and you don’t know why, you may have incorrectly been flagged by a store’s computer for committing return fraud,” says a recent article at E-mail the Return Excharge, a company that monitors returns for retailers at

Source: Consumer Reports online.

The Yin and Yang of Snow

How about that? We had a white Christmas in the first time since, it seems, forever. Reader Trevor Heath sent in a couple of pictures that show the Yin and Yang of snow.

Here’s his wife Janet, who was born in Texas, with her first snowman ever.
Here’s a Ford F150 4×4 truck on Conifer about 3 pm Christmas day.

What I want to know is, how do you get a 4×4 stuck on level ground?

PO Councilman Geiger is State’s Longest Serving Public Official

PO Councilman Bob Geiger by the Numbers:
45 years
1,119 meetings
10 absences
99 percent attendance

Much has changed in Port Orchard over the past 45 years, but amid that change, Bob Geiger has been a constant.

Early photos show a much younger-looking Geiger.

But once his hair went gray, it seemed like he hardly changed at all over the past couple of decades.

And talk about consistency, he and his wife Ursula have operated the Geiger Family Rexall Pharmacy faithfully, taking nothing longer than the occasional three day weekend, for more than two decades.

As fellow councilman John Clauson said, “Bob you really need to get a life.”

Thanks to the generosity of private citizens, the Geigers will take a week-long trip to Sweden, where Geiger’s parents were born. He’s never been there, Ursula said after Wednesday’s goodbye ceremony in the Port Orchard council chambers. He had a ticket once and was all set to go, but ended up buying the pharmacy instead.

Have a great trip, Bob. After all those years of service, you deserve it.

Salmon Recovery Funding Q&A

We recently received a comment on the Blogs and Budgets entry in which Blue Light questioned county funding for salmon recovery.

Here’s what the writer had to say:
This weekend I read an article in which the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office was bemoaning budgetary cuts. And then I came upon this document whereby our county salmon recovery officials are proposing $40 million in recovery projects over the next THREE YEARS for the EAST HALF OF THE KITSAP PENINSULA. According to the document, $25 million is to come from local sources. View the document here.

*****end Blue Light’s comment ***********

As it turns out, environmental reporter Chris Dunagan just wrote on this topic.

Dunagan was out of town when the question/observation came in, so prior to the article’s publication, I asked County Administrator Nancy Buonanno-Grennan if anyone there could provide some insight. Here’s what she had to say:

Chris – I asked staff the answer to your question. Here is their response:

Last year, the US NOAA Fisheries Service requested information on the 50-year Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan from all 14 Puget Sound salmon recovery/watershed planning areas. Two of those watershed planning areas are in Kitsap County.

NOAA specifically requested estimates of the costs to implement all of the salmon recovery programs and projects that were included in the Plan. These actions were to be prioritized into a 3 year list, which was then reviewed and approved (for consistency with the Plan) by federal scientists. This list of actions communicated to the state and federal governments are the estimated total costs of projects that would be needed in order to accomplish the goal of recovering federally-listed species of endangered salmon in the Puget Sound Region. The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) will only fund projects on the 3 year list.

Project cost estimates include what other non-state SRFB funds could be expected if this list were fully funded. Other funds reflect no specific entity but rather a combination of federal, local, volunteer and private, non-profit levels of contribution.

Only a portion of this comprehensive Puget Sound-wide list of projects shows Kitsap County as the project sponsor. Of those, less than five include an estimate of potential County funds that would go towards the total funding needed.

We appreciate the interest and concern regarding plans, programs and projects dedicated to the recovery of our endangered salmon stocks. If there are any questions or if additional information is needed, please contact Patty Charnas, Natural Resources and Environmental Review Manager, Kathy Peters, of Community Development who coordinates work on salmon recovery for West Sound Watersheds or Richard Brocksmith, Lead Entity for Salmon Recovery, Hood Canal Planning Area. The Community Development staff may be reached at 337-7181.

Thanks –

Nancy Buonanno Grennan
County Administrator

Friday Afternoon Club: A Cinema Opening and Downtown Open House

The buzz in downtown PO is tonight’s opening of the The Orchard Theatre. Far Away productions of Bainbridge Island has leased and renovated (totally gutted in fact) the old Plaza Twin building, owned by Bob Geiger and operated as a cinema until May, 2005.

“We’re all looking forward to the theater opening,” said Mallory Jackson, owner of Bay Street Custom Framing. “It’s just beautiful inside. You wouldn’t believe how much work the new owner has done.”

In conjunction with the theater opening, downtown merchants will hold an “open house’ from 4 to 7 p.m. today, with specials like free gift wrapping, cocoa and other fun stuff. And the South Kitsap High School Band will be playing downtown starting around 4 p.m.

The theater will show “Across the Universe,” featuring 33 Beatles songs incorporated into the sound track, and “The Darjeeling Limited,” about a trio of brothers on a journey across India. Show times are 4:15, 7 and 9:30 p.m.

Starting next Friday, the theater will have four shows daily through the holidays. In January, they’ll go to two a day Monday through Thursday and four a day Friday through Sunday.

Thanks to a recent action by the Port Orchard City Council, tickets at the Orchard will be slightly lower than those at Regal Cinema up the hill, at least for a year. Far Away co-owner Jeff Brein and company had expected to have to pay a new 5 percent admissions tax (up from one-tenth of one percent), but the council decided to give new business owners a one-year reprieve, requiring only a 1 percent tax. Brein had priced his tickets lower, with the plan to raise them in January when the tax kicked in. Now, he says, he’ll just keep the lower price through 2008.

Tickets are $8.75, adults; $7.75, military; $6.75, matinees; $6.75 seniors 65+ and kids under 12.

While it’s often not fair to judge a place during its first week of business, I would be interested to hear reviews from anyone who decides to give The Orchard a whirl this weekend. Tell us what you think of:
The choice of movies
The atmosphere
The prices
The popcorn

Have a great weekend, Chris

I’m Dreaming of a Virtual Christmas

Check this out: Facebook has a new thing called Rockin Christmas Tree. Download the application — developed by Carl Chuang of East Bay, Calif. — absolutely free and decorate a Christmas tree for your Facebook page. Then choose gifts for your friends — real gifts in iconic form, such as iPods, jewlery, clothing, sports gear — choose from a host of wrappings, write personalized greetings. Then send them off with a click of your mouse, no shipping charges even.

The little iconic gifts appear under your friends’ virtual Christmas trees. No peeking until Christmas if you check the appropriate box.

No real gifts either, but what they hey, that’s my kind of Christmas! This takes, “It’s the thought that counts.” to a whole new level.

I’ve long thought I’d enjoy the holidays better if I didn’t actually have to do the shopping, part with the money for stuff that has a 50/50 chance of being returned or contributing to the clutter in everyone’s closets. No, this is more my style, “I imagine that I’m giving you an iPod. Hope you like it.” Virtual generosity could be easy and fun.

So I decided to give it a whirl. But first I needed my own Facebook account.
I know, it’s pathetic on so many levels.

First, since I’m definitely not in the target demographic, this is the cyber equivalent of walking into an Internet cafe and yelling, “Far out, man, let’s virtually rap!” Members of my family who are in the target demographic are horrified and are doing the cyber equivalent of pretending they don’t know me.

Second, I got everything to work except the year I was born. I have NO idea why it insists on being 1992 instead of 1955. Full disclosure to all the young people on Facebook: I am an old phart. I am not stalking you; I’m just a little Internet clueless. Anyone out there in the target demographic care to give me a hand?

Third, I haven’t figured out all the features of Facebook yet, so my page looks a little bare … except for the tree! Isn’t it cool? There were a lot of choices — candy cane trees, traditional trees, stained glass trees, but it didn’t take me long to gravitate to the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. And no needles on the floor to sweep up.

Then I had to choose a video. Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here,” from the Charlie Brown Christmas movie, was way too obvious. But what to choose? Celin Dion singing “Oh, Holy Night?” I think not. Enya’s “Silent Night” … in Irish? Too woo, woo. “Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer,” by some country singer? Tacky. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Hannah Montana. I’m not even going to pretend to understand the appeal of that.

I finally settled on Twisted Sister’s version of “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful,” which seemed fitting .. twisted yet traditional. And it’s actually a pretty faithful rendition of the song, except for the screaming guitar licks.

Now to go virtually shopping. Click on any one of the many categories of gifts — electronics, pet supplies, toys — and there’s something for everyone … just like in a real mall only without those annoying people trying to rub sea salt on your hands.

I found pet elf hats, Crocs clogs and Wii nunchuck controllers not to mention every iPod accessory you can imagine — iPod holders for your car, your bedroom even your shoes.

Did I mention that iPod was the default category? Or that you can “learn more” about products with a simple click and, viola, there you are on, where non-virtual credit cards are accepted.

Before long it dawned on me that this virtual shopping spree was designed to generate a very real desire for all that stuff. In her book, “Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture,” author Juliet Schor outlines the culture-wide indoctrination American children undergo from infancy on into the tantalizing world of material goods. In related reading, Dell Dechant, author of “The Sacred Santa,” puts a new twist on the old argument that materialism is edging out religion at Christmas. He says that in fact consumerism related to holidays is its own sacred ritual.

Oh look, there’s a present under my tree. Why, it’s from Carl Chuang. I believe that’s the Facebook equivalent of having Tom as your only MySpace friend … pathetic on so many levels.

Thanks, Carl, and a virtual merry Christmas to you, too!

Chris Henry, SK reporter