Monthly Archives: July 2008

Port Orchard Officials to Meet with Kitsap Commissioners Monday

Correction 7/31: The City of Port Orchard invested $21.5 million to upgrade the Karcher Creek Sewer District (now Westsound Utility District) treatment plant in anticipation of providing sewer to SKIA. Of that amount $4.5 million, came directly from the city treasury, out of reserve funds. The balance was bonds — which the taxpayers will be paying off for the foreseeable future. “That’s why we’re working so hard to be at the (SKIA) table,” said PO Mayor Lary Coppola, who alerted me to my error.

Original post:

I’ve only been on this beat a year-and-a-half, but it seems like this meeting of the entire council and board is unprecedented. Here’s the brief:

The Port Orchard City Council will meet with the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 216 Prospect St., to discuss South Kitsap Industrial Area and other issues of mutual interest.
On the agenda is a proposed annexation of McCormick Woods into the City of Port Orchard and likely future annexation of properties along the Bethel Corridor into the city.
Time permitting, the group will also discuss Givens Center and Veteran’s Memorial Park, county facilities within city limits.
For more information, call (360) 876-4407

My questions:

On SKIA: The Port of Bremerton and the City of Bremerton are cooperating on a proposed annexation of SKIA into that city. Port Orchard is feeling left out, having made a more than $1 million $21.5 million investment in Karcher Creek Sewer District’s (now Westsound Utility District) treatment plant some years ago. According to a 2003 memorandum of understanding between PO and the port, PO would be the jurisdiction to provide sewer, hence the upgrade. Bremerton recently completed a study saying, in part, that it could provide sewer to SKIA, so PO is no longer the only logical entity to do so. Where do county officials, especially SK Commish Jan Angel, stand on the proposed annexation?

On McWoods: The city, the county and McCormick Land Company have been hashing out details of the proposed annexation, picking apart development agreements between the county and the land company that were made years ago. What would be PO’s liabilities for providing infrastructure and services under the agreements? Where does the city stand to benefit? How will the county deal with loss of revenue if the annexation goes through? This could be a dress rehearsal for a Silverdale annexation.

On Bethel: Bethel Corridor is slated for a major upgrade that taxpayers will likely be asked to help pay for. Same question. What are the financial liabilities the city would take on? How would that be balanced out by increased revenue?

What are your questions?

Benevolent Fund Established for Goheen Family

Last week we ran a story on Tessie Goheen, whose family we’ve been following for the past four years. Tessie and her sisters, Becky and Katie, have a genetic condition, passed down from their late father Paul Goheen, that predisposes them to cancer. Becky and Katie have both survived cancer. Tessie, who was recently diagnosed, is in treatment. Tessie, always a gung-ho gal, is working to establish a cancer support center in Kitsap County in between chemotherapy treatments. The courage and resilience of the Goheen girls and their mother Beth has been sorely tried by their ordeal. The family is facing staggering medical and transportation costs.

It didn’t take long for friends of the family to step forward and establish a fund the help the family. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit any WAMU (Washington Mutual) branch and mention the Children of Paul Goheen fund, acct. number 3580779210.

To learn more about Tessie Goheen’s proposed cancer support center, visit or e-mail her at Donations may be made at any Washington Mutual branch, account 3580989968.

Tax Increase Anyone?

Kitsap County is conducting an online survey to see which, if any, of the various funding options proposed for the Bethel Corridor project would be most acceptable to voters. Due to rising property values and increased fuel and material costs, the price tag for the project has risen to $43 million since 2000, when the plan was approved by the county’s board of commissioners.

The county has paid $1.8 million for design and permitting (included in the $43 million), and construction could begin any time. There’s just one thing missing, about $41 million.

That’s more than the county, the City of Port Orchard – which will likely annex much or all of the area over the next 20 years – taxpayers or business owners alone could bear, said Eric Baker, special projects manager. So the county is proposing a combination of funding mechanisms, most of which would involve a voter-approved increase in property taxes.

One of the pieces of the funding puzzle that very well could be approved by the county commissioners is a Transportation Benefit District. Boundaries of the district have been drawn based on traffic studies and projections through the year 2025.

Voters would have to approve the measure, which could take one of two forms: a property tax increase (requiring at least 60 percent voter approval) or a motor vehicle license plate fee increase affecting everyone within the district (requiring a simple, 50+ majority approval).

According to the county’s Web page on the Bethel Corridor here’s what this could mean to taxpayers:

Transportation Benefit District (TBD)

Option 1: Property Tax Assessments

Such additional assessment would be based upon the future traffic that could be created by a particular property. The assessment may only be imposed through a public vote of registered voters within the TBD with 60% improving the increase.

Examples: 1) A property zoned residential with no further development potential would be assessed $23 per year for 20 years. 2) If the property has the ability to provide 3 additional homes the assessment would be $92 per year ($23X4) over 20 years. 3) Commercially-zoned property would be assessed based upon its commercial potential or $127 per developable acre per year for 20 years. 4) Similarly, industrially-zoned property would be assessed based upon its industrial potential or $78 per developable acre per year for 20 years.

Option 2: Motor Vehicle License Fee Increase

This mechanism would establish a fee increase per eligible vehicles (cars, trucks, RV’s NOT boats or trailers) To fund the project, the license fee would need to be increased by $26 per vehicle over 20 years. The fee increase may only be imposed through a public vote of registered voters within the TBD with 50% improving the increase.

Example: A two-car home would be assessed $52 dollars ($26 X 2) per year for 20-years.

Do the math for your household, take the survey on the county’s home page, and stay tuned. Results of the survey will be released at the end of August and will inform the board of commissioners’ deliberations on funding for the project.

South Kitsap Commissioners and the PSRC Litmus Test

Judging from the two times I have seen all four candidates for South Kitsap Commissioner “debate” one another, you’d think they were good buddies truly sorry that in order for one to win, three others will have to lose. Perhaps mindful of past rancor on the board of commissioners, they want to show they can get along and are cordial almost to a fault.

In the story I wrote for Thursday’s, my editor and I decided to focus on the county budget and the local economy because money is so much on people’s minds. On these topics, none of the candidates has ideas that are radically different from the others.

Republican Tim Matthes actually lamented being last to answer a question on the county budget because, “These folks all have really good ideas.”

What’s a voter to do? Let’s talk about growth management and land use, ah. now there’s the litmus test.

Here’s what I remember about litmus tests from my days in chemistry class: You dip a piece of paper into a substance. The paper has the same substance on it in each case, but depending on the substance into which you dip it, it turns color to indicate where on the spectrum of basic to acid it stands. Please understand that I am not assigning a qualitative value to acids or bases (and I’m not even going to try to equate political inclinations to chemical substances, which simply exist – and most everything in the world, by the way is either acidic or basic in some respect). Now you know hwy I went into journalism instead of chemistry,

Folks, this is a metaphor, my way of trying to show the substantive differences between Matthes, Democrats Charlotte Garrido, Monty Mahan and independent candidate Paul Nuchims.

On the Growth Management Act:

Matthes wants to streamline development regulations. He said, “I have some serious reservations about the Growth Management Act. The cost of regulations are driving us under in Kitsap County.”

Mahan supports the tenets of the Growth Management Act. He believes concentrating growth in urban areas will to protect the environment while making populous areas more attractive to residents.

Nuchims, in response to a question on the Growth Management Act,  said Kitsap County tends to be “reactive rather than proactive.” The county needs to “decide our own fate” instead of reacting to other government agencies, he said. The county needs to “fight for what we want.”

Garrido supports the Growth Management Act which is applied through the county’s Comprehensive Plan. When she was a commissioner (1997-2000), the comp plan had been declared invalid. Her administration had to whip it into shape. “it was a really tough time to be in office,” she said. There’s a lot of work yet to be done.

On Kitsap’s membership in the Puget Sound Regional Council:

Mahan said the PSRC affords Kitsap access to funding for infrastructure dollars and “makes us part of the the most powerful lobbying block in the western part of the state. He does not, however, “want people from across the sound representing the west side of the sound … We should be at the table fighting for every penny we should get,” he said.

Nuchims, showing his outside the box side, said Kitsap, Pierce and King counties need to coordinate on a rapid transit system similar to the Bay Area’s B.A.R.T. “It’s going to take a lot of time, planning and money, but sooner or later, it’s going to be necessary.”

Matthes said, “I think we need to understand all the ramifications of being involved in the PSRC, and we need to do more studying on that. … I’m very worried about a large bureaucratic organization telling Kitsap County how we’re going to live and where we’re going to live 20 to 30 years from now.”

Garrido said “absolutely, yes” the county needs to maintain membership in the PSRC. “We’re increasingly in need of partnering with other jurisdictions” to address regional infrastructure and growth issues.” She said Kitsap and other jurisdictions can “find efficiencies and ideas” from one another.

This doesn’t have to do with growth. It’s a category I call “baggage carried.”

Matthes is a former president of the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners. He has said he does not want to be regarded as simply a mouthpiece for KAPO, although he supports individual property rights. In addition to fiscal conservatism, his other main platform is land use regulations and the need to simplify them.

Mahan is the son of Port of Bremerton Commissioner and former Kitsap County Commissioner Bill Mahan. He has said he wants to distance himself from his father – especially when it comes to talking about SEED. The time he spend hanging around county offices as a youngster has given him an insider’s understanding of county government, he said.

Garrido lost in her bid to retain and regain her seat on the county’s Board of Commissions when she ran against incumbent Jan Angel in 2000 and 2004. She has learned much since then from her involvement with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance and other local boards about the importance of “making alliances.”

Nuchims is a relative newcomer to local politics, having moved here four years ago. He joined the race relatively late as a Democrat, but failed to get any votes of endorsement from the Kitsap Democratic Party and then switched to independent. He appears to see his role as being a “gadfly” to the status quo of county politics. He is concerned with development in Manchester and protection of view rights.

Organized Sports and Unstructured Play in South Kitsap

Did anyone read the Associated Press story on the demise of sandlot baseball that ran in our Nation & World section over the weekend? (I asked our Web editor, but the can’t pay for the privilege of archiving links to AP stories; so my link is to the Wenatchee World’s version – hey Wenatchee’s a good town.

According to the article by Eric Olson, “Nowadays, most neighborhood ball fields sit empty on summer afternoons, the idea of unsupervised play having gone the way of the rotary-dial phones kids once used to round up the fellas for a game.

** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EITIONS, JULY 19-20 ** Little League players practice in a sandlot in Omaha, Neb., July 7, 2008. Many men over 40 remember those summer days when they headed to the park or vacant lot and played ball all day, or until Mom sent word that it was time for dinner. Nowadays most neighborhood ballfields sit empty on summer afternoons, the idea of unsupervised play having gone the way of the rotary-dial phones kids once used to round up the fellas for a game. The reasons for the sandlot’s demise, baseball coaches and sociologists say, go back to the changing family structure, video games, parents’ fear of predators and the proliferation of organized and select teams.(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

The reasons for the sandlot’s demise, baseball coaches and sociologists say, go back to the changing family structure, video games, parents’ fear of crime, and the proliferation of organized and so-called “select” teams for more-talented kids.”

According to the article, a group called Batters Up is trying to revive the tradition by providing equipment to Boys & Girls Clubs and other groups.

North Kitsap reporter Derek Sheppard wrote about the Suquamish Tribe’s baseball tradition that they hope to revive with the construction of a new diamond off Totten Road.

In other local, related news, the Kitsap County Parks and Recreation staff met recently with the public to talk about a master plan for South Kitsap Regional Park. Consultants presented three schematic designs from which those attending the workshop were asked to mix and match their favorite features.

Some of the features proposed at the park include sports fields, a skate park and BMX track, playgrounds, picnic areas, horseshoe pits, a community center, environmental learning center, concessions and more. At least two-thirds of the park will be left as unaltered forest with trails.

Martha Droge of the county described the designers’ intent for each plan saying, “This one (concept 3) has the most passive use. This one (concept 2) has all sports all the time, and this one (concept 1) is kind of a mixture.”

Points for Discussion:

Organized sports are huge in Kitsap County as elsewhere. How does league (or school) play (in any sport) benefit kids? How is it good for families? And what are the  potential hazards?

For example, the Kitsap Sun recently ran a story on how intensive select play is resulting in injuries in players at younger ages than seen in the past.

Then there’s the much criticized phenomenon of parents living through their children. I freely confess that I get a huge kick out of watching my son fly down the soccer pitch, and I’ll admit there’s more to it than just entertainment. Through him, I do indeed relive the days when I could run like that.

Parents who pressure their kids to perform or show poor sportsmanship? That’s another issue.

And what about unsupervised play? How many hours a day do your kids play at something that isn’t organized or plugged in? How are their lives different from your childhood? What are the obstacles, if any, to their being able to play unsupervised?

And finally, the article deals with sandlot baseball. Anybody else ever play rotton apple baseball?

Thank you for your thoughts. CTH

Surprise, Burley-Olalla Interchange Will Close a Week Early

Burley-Olalla Road will close a week earlier than was announced. Beginning July 25, there will be no access to or from Highway 16 as work begins on a new interchange.

In related news, people using the Olalla dump are advised to use alternate routes.

Here’s a map of suggested alternate routes from yours truly. If any of you local residents have better ideas, let me know to I can alter the map.


Friday Afternoon Club: Disco Fever

Get ready to do your best John Travolta imitation.

The Orchard Theatre in downtown Port Orchard is hold a benefit screening of “Saturday Night Fever” at 7 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds benefit the Bay Street Associtation

Donation: $20, includes a small drink and popcorn. After the show Slip 45 will offer complimentary appetizers, door prizes, best costume contest, drink specials and disco dancing.

Tickets are available at: Bay Street Custom Picture Framing, 839 Bay St., The Cutlery Shoppe, 835 Bay St., The Orchard Theater, 822 Bay St

For information, call (360) 876-1031

Here’s information on the film forwarded from the Orchard Theatre via City Councilman Fred Chang

Saturday Night Fever
Directed by John Badham
Starring  John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Donna Pescow, Barry Miller, Bruce Ornstein
Music Composed by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, David Shire

View The Trailer Here

Director John Badham’s hit film propelled John Travolta to stardom, made white polyester suits an instant fashion craze, and garnered praise for its portrayal of blue-collar life. Nineteen-year-old Brooklyn native Tony Manero (Travolta) lives for Saturday nights at the local disco, where he’s king of the club, thanks to his stylish moves on the dance floor. But outside of the club, things don’t look so rosy. At home, Tony fights constantly with his father and has to compete with his family’s starry-eyed view of his older brother, a priest. Nor can he find satisfaction at his dead-end job at a paint store. However, things begin to change when he spies Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney) in the disco and starts training with her for the club’s dance competition. Stephanie dreams of the world beyond Brooklyn, and her plans to move to the big city just over the bridge soon change Tony’s life forever. This portrait of young Brooklyn natives struggling to escape their sheltered lives for freedom and adventure in the big city of Manhattan defined a generation of disco dancers and 1970s youths rebelling against the more traditional expectations of their parents. Set to the popular dance music of the Bee Gees, this instant cinematic sensation revealed the fashions and aspirations of an underground culture to the world.

McWoods Annexation: Questions Addressed, More Answers to Come

Following the proposed annexation of McCormick Woods into the City of Port Orchard is a bit like watching paint dry, pretty slow and about as exciting. I just wrote an update on the process following Tuesday’s presentation to the city council by James Weaver, director of development. (Read it. It’s really more interesting than I’ve made it sound. The implications of annexation are significant not only for McCormick residents and city officials, but for PO citizens.)

Weaver presented answers to some of the questions surrounding existing development agreements between the county and GEM I LLC, the company responsible for virtually all the building that’s gone on or will go on within the McCormick Urban Village urban growth area. The city, county and GEM are trying to sort out who will be responsible for what parts of the agreements in the event the annexation goes through. For example, estimates show that spring and fall road clean-up of McComrick Woods would triple the time the city’s public works department needs to maintain city standards.

So far, city and county officials have gotten the answers to some of the questions raised about parks, transportation (roads) and schools. Still to be discussed in detail are storm water and sewer. I’ve pasted below a chart of the issues the county and city realized they had to address. Scanning it may give you some idea of why the process is moving so slowly.

McCormick Woods Annexation Issues

City of Port Orchard Hearing Examiner Agenda for July 17

At the July 8 meeting of the Port Orchard City Council, resident Geri Harmon commented that since the city began using a hearing examiner to preview land use decisions, the discussion of same during council meetings has diminished significantly. Harmon complained that leaves citizens out of the loop.

Mayor Lary Coppola noted that the hearing examiner’s meeting schedule and agenda are posted on the city’s Web site. The hearing examiner holds hearings as needed. In order to keep track of them, one would want to check the Web site weekly.

Since I check in at least weekly, I hereby resolve to post notice of the meetings and agendas when they come up.

The hearing examiner is an attorney versed in land use law. It’s his job to to hammer through the details that the council formerly discussed. People formerly complained that the council meetings were too long. The move to a hearing examiner is one factor in meetings that are more succinct, but the details discussed in hearings are important and anyone who thinks they may be affected by recommendations from the hearing exaiminer should take the time to go. The decision of the hearing examiner is subject to approval from the City Council.

Here’s the agenda from the city’s Web site for July 17

The Public Hearing will be conducted by Mr. Todd Hunter, City of Port Orchard Hearing Examiner on the following Applications, on Thursday July 17, 2008 at the Robert Geiger Council Chambers, City Hall, 216 Prospect Street, Port Orchard WA 98366 at the times set forth or as soon thereafter as possible. Staff reports will be available for public inspection five days prior to the meeting, at the Planning Department.

Agenda Item # 1 10:00 AM Hillside Professional Building Conditional Use Permit Case No. CUP 031-08 The proposal is to amend an existing Special Use Permit (SUP) to enlarge the 6,166 square foot building by 1,475 square feet by enclosing the entryway on the U shaped structure facilitated through the Conditional Use Permit process.

Agenda Item # 2 11:00 AM Williams Preliminary Plat and Rezone Case No. SUBDIV 08-02 and R-1171 The proposal is to rezone four lots from Residential Mobile Home Park to R12 zoning and subdivide four lots totaling 2.71 acres into 18 single-family residential lots.

Agenda Item # 3 1:00 PM Overlook Subdivision/Planned Residential Development and Rezone Case No. SUBDIV 05-03 and R-1161 The proposal is to develop 6.02 acres into a 35-lot subdivision. The eight parcels are located in an area designated as Residential High Density in the Comprehensive Plan and zoned Residential 8 (R8) and Residential 20 (R20). The proponents are also requesting a rezone of seven of the eight parcels, totaling 3.49 acres, from Residential 8 (R8) to Residential 12 (R12) zoning.