Monthly Archives: July 2009

Cheap Thrills: Free Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

I’ve been meaning to mention this on the blog, but environmental reporter Chris Dunagan beat me to it. Puget Sound Energy is offering to exchange old incandescent light bulbs for new, energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

This weekend, PSE’s “Rock the Bulb” booth will come to Lowe’s hardware in Silverdale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Next weekend, Aug. 8-9, “Rock the Bulb” will be at Lowe’s in Bremerton, and the following weekend, Aug. 15-16, the event will move to Lowe’s in Port Orchard.

Did You Know Trenten Morris?

Update, Aug. 4: Trenten Morris’ name was misspelled in the original version of this blog post and the original story on his death; both have been corrected. Also incorrect information on Trenten’s town of residence was given in the original story on his death, which has since been corrected. Trenten lived in Poulsbo with his mother, Amber. His father, Scott, lives in Port Orchard.

Brynn Grimley’s story on Trenten’s life ran July. 31. Thanks to those who commented and contacted Brynn to remember this young man.

Begin original post:
At the Kitsap Sun our hearts go out to the family of Trenten Morris, the 13-year-old who drowned in Wildcat Lake yesterday afternoon. As is our custom in the case of a tragic death, we will follow up our coverage with a story on Trenten’s life. If you knew this young man, please contact reporter Brynn Grimley, who covers Central and North Kitsap, at, or call (360) 792-5242. Thank you, Chris Henry, South Kitsap/Government Team

Friday Afternoon Club II: a Movie on Local Food

This press release comes from a member of the Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance. A movement is afoot to start a food co-op that will feature predominantly locally grown food. To get a better idea of what a co-op is, check out the Web site for the Skagit Valley Co-op, which I had the chance to visit recently.

Our local group will host a showing of the movie “Food, Inc.” at the Historic Orchard Theatre, 822 Bay Street, Port Orchard. The movie runs Friday through Aug. 6 (next Thursday; times are in the press release below).

Here’s the press release:

Don’t forget our movie fund-raiser, Food, Inc., playing at the Historic Orchard Theater, is coming up this weekend — opening night is Friday, July 31st! The show runs through Thursday Aug. 6th, so you have plenty of time to bring your family and friends to see the film and support the co-op — you’ll never look at dinner the same way!

Showtimes are 3 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm. Don’t forget to bring your voucher! You only need one per party. (Download directly by clicking this link:,_Inc._files/FoodInc_WebVoucher.pdf)

We’ll be there on Friday before each of the two evening showings to answer your questions and sign up volunteers. We will receive a portion of the ticket proceeds for each ticket you buy when you use your voucher all week long. However, try to make it to an evening showing if you can, as we get the highest donation from the theater for those shows. Go to for more details.

Hope to see you there!

Laura Moynihan,
Kitsap Community Food Co-op
(360) 813-1301

Friday Afternoon Club: Businesses Open During “Paint the Town”

Most of the businesses in downtown Port Orchard that are usually open on Sundays will be open for business as usual during a Paint the Town event Sunday.
Volunteers, under the direction of painting professionals, will paint downtown buildings in need of a facelift. National radio host Delilah Rene Luke, who lives in South Kitsap, is donating much of the paint and other supplies. The event will cover a two-block area of Bay Street in downtown Port Orchard.
According to the City of Port Orchard, which has given official approval to the event, Bay Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday during the painting. Trucks will be detoured up Port Orchard Boulevard, over the Lund Avenue Bridge and down Bethel Avenue to the roundabout to bypass the downtown area. Other vehicles will be detoured off Bay Street via Kitsap Street and down Rockwell Avenue to reconnect with Bay Street.
Parking on Bay Street will also be disrupted from 6 to 8 a.m. Saturday on Bay Street between Frederick Avenue and Harrison Avenue while the city places dumpsters and portable toilets in the work area. Once the equipment is in place, any remaining spaces will be open back up for public use.
The toilets and dumpsters will be removed between 6 a.m. and approximately 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Myhre’s, the Morningside Bakery, Delilahs’ Cozy Kitchen and MoonDogs, Too will be open before 8 a.m. for breakfast. Most other restaurants will open by 11 a.m. for lunch.
Special activities, including children’s activities, are planned. The Historic Orchard Theatre will be showing free movies. The Dance Gallery will give performances.
Volunteers are asked to report at 8 a.m. to 703 Kitsap Street, where they will be assigned to a work team.
Volunteers are still needed. For information or to sign up, visit or call (253) 225-1096.

I Know It’s Hot in Kitsap, But 117 Degrees?

I was passing by the Key Bank on Silverdale Way in Central Kitsap today around 3:30 p.m., and check this out. It’s hard to read, but the bank temperature display read 117 degrees. I did a U-turn and snapped a picture, a minute or two later it had dropped to 116.

117 Degrees
117 Degrees
116 Degrees
116 Degrees

The temperature gauge at Parr Ford on Auto Center Way read a mere 108. All of which makes me wonder about the margin for error on these temperature thingys. I’d love it if someone familiar with how they actually work could explain factors affecting the temperature reading, such as placement of the heat measuring device, sun/shade, wind etc. I like the heat, but today was a little on the toasty side even for me. It was hardly any 117 degrees, however. I also wonder if the temperature variances on display boards around the county appear to vary more widely in extreme weather, hot or cold.

South Kitsap School District: An Unfortunate Series of Events

South Kitsap School District will pay an estimated $70,000 for the Aug. 18 primary election, even though one of the candidates in the three-way race for school board is ineligible.
Gail F. Porter moved out of district 3 after filing to run against incumbent Naomi Polen and former school board member Chris Lemke. By the time she informed the Kitsap County auditor’s office of her new address, the June 11 deadline to withdraw from the race had passed.
Porter said she knew she was moving at the time she filed but was unaware that her new home would be outside district 3 boundaries. Porter said her new home is not far from her old residence, so it didn’t occur to her that she would be ineligible. When she realized she had moved out of district, she asked to withdraw but was told she could not, she said.
According to Kitsap County elections manager Dolores Gilmore, candidates are not allowed to withdraw after June 11 because ballots must be printed early enough to allow for timely distribution prior to the primary, Gilmore said.

And as luck (or lack thereof) would have it, South Kitsap will bear a large portion of the total cost of the primary election, even though it is sharing the cost with other Kitsap jurisdictions, said Gilmore, who estimates the total cost of the primary at about $290,000.
South Kitsap, with 39,199 registered voters out of 119,000 total in this election, is one of the largest jurisdictions besides Central Kitsap School District, so it bears a proportionate part of the cost.
Furthermore, South Kitsap voters will only be voting on one race, unlike Bremerton, Poulsbo and Bainbridge residents, who will vote for both school board members and city council members. Those cities and school districts will share the cost of the elections within their respective boundaries where they overlap.
Porter, an Army veteran, said she would never have filed had she known what she knows now. “I totally get it,” she said. “You’ve got rules you’ve got to follow.

School Board President Patty Henderson said the district can ill afford  the $70,000 for a redundant election. “I’m sure all this (state laws) was put in place for good reason,” she said. “But unfortunately, there are unintended scenarios.”

Porter’s name will be on the primary, but not the general election ballot. If, by some chance, Porter were to win the general election, state law says the board (presumably with Polen stepping down if she were still in the race) would appoint to the position.

And for anyone keeping track, Henderson herself moved out of the district to which she was originally elected. Under state law, she was able to serve out the remainder of her term. Henderson, now into the third year of her second term, ran again and won in the district to which she had moved.

The difference between Henderson’s situation and Porter’s is that Henderson already held the office (see RCW’s below). If you’re curious, you can see all the board policies and the laws to which they relate by going to the school district’s Web site and looking under “Our District,” then “School Board,” then “Board Policies.”


Notwithstanding RCW 42.12.010(4), a school director elected from a director district may continue to serve as a director from the district even though the director no longer resides in the director district, but continues to reside in the school district, under the following conditions:

(1) If, as a result of redrawing the director district boundaries, the director no longer resides in the director district, the director shall retain his or her position for the remainder of his or her term of office; and

(2) If, as a result of the director changing his or her place of residence the director no longer resides in the director district, the director shall retain his or her position until a successor is elected and assumes office as follows: (a) If the change in residency occurs after the opening of the regular filing period provided under *RCW 29.15.020, in the year two years after the director was elected to office, the director shall remain in office for the remainder of his or her term of office; or (b) if the change in residency occurs prior to the opening of the regular filing period provided under *RCW 29.15.020, in the year two years after the director was elected to office, the director shall remain in office until a successor assumes office who has been elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term of office at the school district general election held in that year.

Speaking of Paint Jobs

I noticed, and other staff members commented, that a  long-standing business in Gorst, Toys Topless, has its windows taped and sealed and it appears a layer of white primer has been applied. In its easily two decades in business, the entertainment establishment has sported an array of interesting color schemes. Most recently, if memory serves (I only drive by there twice each work day) the building was painted a vivid lime green. Obviously Gorst is way too far from downtown Port Orchard to be infected with Paint the Town fever. But after all, summer is painting season, and its about time for Toys to get a make-over.

Here’s some evidence as to how long Toys has been operating. My oldest son, who is turning 25, started to read when he was about 5 or 6. For many years, he recently told me, he thought Toys Topless was an actual toy store, and he wondered why we never stopped there.

Speaking of Gorst, Gardener and I were talking about town mottos (since the Port Orchard City Council will hear on Tuesday about the PO Chamber’s branding campaign). I suggested Bremerton’s should be, “Gateway to Gorst.” Gardner suggested that honor should go to Port Orchard. And back and forth it went.

Which reminds me, Kitsap Sun blogger Travis Baker wrote about the Gorst Quarry earlier this month, where some extensive excavation is taking place. According to Baker, the owner first joked that it was “the new eight-lane highway between Gorst and Bremerton, plus a marina out in front.”Then he said there is still considerable material worth excavating. Also they are landscaping in order to do some hysroseeding, which, I guess, will make the quarry look nicer.

I am also reminded of the graffiti on the railroad tressle, which, until recently said, “Love is a disease. Runs before it kills you.” Ah, those ever upbeat Gorstians. I had a hard time reading what the new graffiti, scrawled over the old message says. I will try to pay better attention on my commute tomorrow.

Gorstians unite, who is there to defend your honor? Do you consider yourselves part of Bremerton (which you technically are), or Port Orchard/South Kitsap?

Delilah’s Paint the Town: A Reality Check

As a journalist, it’s my job to ask questions, to look at both sides of an issue. Take for example the upcoming “Paint the Town” event planned for Aug. 2 by dynamic radio personality Delilah Rene Luke and a cadre of enthusiastic volunteers.

What but good could possibly come out of a day-long painting party aimed at giving Port Orchard an extreme makeover? The idea is to spiffy up the town’s image before Cedar Cove Days (Aug. 26-30), a long-planned tribute to best-selling author Debbie Macomber, Delilah’s South Kitsap neighbor and good friend. How could anyone question such a prospect, especially considering Delilah is footing the bill for much of the paint and other materials?

How indeed? Yet I know I’m not the first person to ask, “They’re going to do what, by when?”

This week, I spoke to Delilah and co-organizer/ design coordinator Heather Cole, a local business owner, about details like liability, quality control and environmental concerns, issues raised last week at a meeting of the Port Orchard Bay Street Merchant’s Association. I guess you could say I was playing the role of Devil’s advocate (it’s on my job description), because, as they say, the Devil’s in the details. Here’s what I found out:

Liability: As part of her donation to the town, Delilah is purchasing short-term liability insurance to cover painting sub-contractors, also donating their services, and volunteers, should someone, God forbid, fall off a ladder or the like. During the event, children will not be allowed to wander around work areas. There will by children’s activities — including a mural painting party hosted by Delilah in a vacant lot — in designated areas of the town.

Quality Control: The two blocks of Bay Street targeted for beautification will be divided into sections, each overseen by a team of professional painting contractors. Any work that is deemed substandard will be repainted by the pros, Cole said.

Environmental Concerns: Buildings will be pretested for lead-based paint. Any that do have lead will simply be painted over rather than pressure-washed in advance.

Effect on Businesses: The event, which will require closing two blocks of Bay Street, was originally set for a Saturday, but a hue and cry from merchants prompted organizers to switch to Sunday. For some, including Morningside Bread Co., however, Sunday is one of the busiest days of the week. Owner Amanda Rudd said the enthusiasm being generated by the event is “wonderful of course,” but she’s worried about the impact on her bottom line. Even a large pre-order of baked goods Delilah will distribute to volunteers is unlikely to offset the loss of regular business, Rudd said. Rudd also worries that the job will actually take longer than one day.

Cole said the Paint the Town committee is sensitive to the merchants’ concerns, hence the switch to Sunday, which affects fewer businesses. With an expected 300 to 500 volunteers (about 200 are currently signed up, according to volunteer coordinator Leah Wattree), prep work done the day before and the leadership of people who paint for a living (as well as use of their equipment), the time line will be met, Cole said.

Color Scheme: Port Orchard has historically had trouble effecting consensus on a decor for downtown. Remember the debate over the marquee? Several years ago, a committee of the merchants association researched colors that would wear well in this damp climate and not show dust from the exhaust of the hundreds of cars that travel Bay Street, a state highway, each day. They came up with a palette of Northwest shades of green, red and gold.

Delilah, when she first mentioned painting the town, suggested lighter colors with a maritime feel. But some landlords had already painted their buildings in the Northwest theme. Cole’s job has been to choose colors for buildings to be painted that are complimentary to those already in place yet acceptable to Deliah, who after all is springing for the paint. Cole has had to do some damage control surrounding rumors that the sprucing up was being forced upon building owners. Ultimately, she said, landlords and tenants must be on board with the proposed paint job.

“We’re here to help and give a free service to the community, not only for Cedar Cove Days, but for the entire future,” said Cole. “They had the impression they would be forced. We’ve straightened that out.”

Six of the buildings to be painted belong to Seattle biologist Mansour Samadpour, from whom Delilah plans to rent a building. Samadpour has previously held back on renovating the buildings. Because of the number and size of Samadpour’s buildings, the colors chosen for them will help tie the town’s decor together, Cole said.

The committee has gotten the go-ahead from the Mentor Company, which owns part of the block in which Delilah has her restaurant, Delilah’s Cozy Kitchin, and from Bob Geiger who owns the movie theater. The owner of three homes, quite ready for some new paint, has given permission, and the committee is finalizing negotiations with the owners of five other properties, Cole said. Some building owners, including the Olde Central Antique Mall, will do their own work.

“Butt Ugly” Port Orchard?: As plans began to unfold, Delilah, not known for repressing her opinions, described Port Orchard as “butt ugly” … on more than one occasion.

Some people, including barber Ernie Moreno, took offense.

“I don’t like it when people come in and say our town is ‘butt ugly,'” said Moreno, who characterized Delilah as a “queen bee” bent on pressing her own agenda.

Delilah, speaking by phone from a radio engagement in New York City Friday, admitted that her enthusiasm for the project may have come off the wrong way. Like Cole, she reference dthe damage control that was required to convince merchants that they would not be forced to partake in the project … and that the colors would indeed be tasteful.

“The response at first was pretty bad,” said Delilah. “We did a horrible job of communicating. I take all responsibility for that. Now they’re all excited and helping us.”

Delilah was hurt by the comments on media articles and the rumors that swirled around the town.

“Somebody started really ugly rumors we wanted to do it in Pepto Bismol pink,” she said. “People personally attacked me for no reason. I came in wanting to help Debbie and bless the community and help make the town beautiful and somehow it got turned into I wanted to turn it into pink trailer trash.”

Cole, who has a background in home design, said the public can rest assured.

“She has really good taste,” said Cole. “I have not had to say, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s horrible. She’s a very classy lady, and she has very classy taste.”

Delilah will not say how much she is donating for the event. Other merchants and corporate sponsors are also kicking in, she said.

“It’s a lot, but it will be worth it,” she said. “We’re excited. We’re hoping for a great turn-out.”

Volunteers, especially those with painting or construction skills, are still needed for the event and for Saturday’s prep work. To volunteer, call Cole at (253) 225-1096, e-mail or visit

Hear Delilah interview her South Kitsap neighbor and friend Debbie Macomber in April, 2008.

Confessions of a Cedar Cove Virgin

I have a confession to make. Although, as the South Kitsap reporter, I’ve been reporting on the upcoming Cedar Cove Days (Aug. 26 -30), South Kitsap’s tribute to author Debbie Macomber, I have not read any of her Cedar Cove books. The fictional series is based on the real-life town of  Port Orchard and vicinity. So compelling are the Cedar Cove books to Macomber’s legions of fans, that the Port Orchard library often sees tourists who are looking for landmarks from the town.

According to Branch Manager Kathleen Wilson, her staff can hardly keep Macomber’s books – Cedar Cove and others – on the shelves, even though they’ve added significantly to their collection, anticipating the event.

The Cedar Cove library, and its head librarian Grace Sherman, figure prominently in the second book in the series, 204 Rosewood Lane, I am told by Wilson. When I asked for a recommendation about where I should start in the series, this was the book Wilson suggested. Surprise, surprise.

I’m looking for your advice. What Debbie Macomber book should I start with to a get a true feel for the series?

What draws you to the books, if you’re a fan?

If you’re a Port Orchard/South Kitsap resident, do you relate to the settings of the books?

What character do you relate most closely to, and why?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Where Were You 40 Years Ago Today?

I was on the couch in our living room with my family, watching the grainy image of Neil Armstrong descending the ladder of the The Eagle lunar lander, listening to the intermittent comments he made before that famous “one small step for man …” quote. I remember my father was home early from work, marking the momentous nature of the occasion. We were among half a billion people worldwide watching with rapt attention mankind’s first steps on the moon.

And if you’re old enough to relate, you officially qualify as an Old Phart, like me. I was 14, at the time. It was one of those iconic moments that defined who were were as a country. Amid news of the Vietnam War, conflict over civil rights and the 1968 assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy – eerily recalling John F. Kennedy’s death in 1963 – the lunar landing was poignant and inspiring. It made me believe, for the longest time, that anything was possible.

I found these passages from a recent Associated Press article particularly right on:

“What put man on the moon 40 years ago was an audacious and public effort that the world hasn’t seen before or since. It required rocketry that hadn’t been built, or even designed, in 1961 when President John F. Kennedy declared the challenge. It needed an advance in computerization that had not happened yet. …

In another speech, Kennedy famously said America would go to the moon and try other tasks ‘not because they were easy, but because they were hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.‘ (emphasis mine, CTH)

They weren’t just skills with rockets and slide rules. Bringing together countless aerospace companies, engineers, scientists, technicians, politicians and several NASA centers around the nation was a management challenge even more impressive than building the right type of rockets, said Smithsonian Institution space scholar Roger Launius.”

*******end citation*******

And from the same article:

“Historian Douglas Brinkley called the Apollo program “the exemplary moment of America’s we-can-do-anything attitude.” After the moon landing, America got soft, he said, looking for the quick payoff of a lottery ticket instead of the sweat-equity of buckling down and doing something hard.”

***end citation******

My thoughts: If we’ve gotten soft, the recession will probably take care of that. As a nation, by necessity, we’re getting leaner, more focused. In some ways, we’re pulling together, but will we ever be that bold again? And should we even bother?

An article in USA Today related to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, explores the pros and cons of returning humans to the moon. Obviously one of the biggest arguments against such a mission is money. According to the article, the Obama administration will likely slash NASA’s budget in 2010. Given the recession, the nation has other more pressing priorities than manned space flight, critics say.

“Many space historians and even NASA veterans agree that the glory days of Apollo — which spawned countless songs, movies and books — can’t be recaptured. Gone is the vast budget for building spaceships. Gone is the Cold War with the Soviet Union, which unified the nation and lent urgency to the effort to put an American on the moon.”

******end citation********

Some say a manned mission to the moon would not yield enough scientific information to justify the billions a single flight would likely cost. Others, including Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, say NASA should focus on Mars instead.

My question: Is it worth undertaking a revival of manned moon flights not only for what could be learned about the universe, but as an exercise that could, in JFK’s words, “serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills?”

You tell me. Take the poll on this blog’s home page.

Thanks for your thoughts.

P.S. What does this have to do with South Kitsap? OK, you’ve got me there.