Monthly Archives: April 2010

Friday Afternoon Club: An Afternoon of Fine Art and Music

The Senior Action Committee will present an afternoon of fine art and music from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Town Square Mall, 1700 Mile Hill Road in Port Orchard.

In an earlier e-mail, they solicited “senior” exhibitors 50+. If, like me, you are in the 50+ group, you may not consider yourself a “senior.” It’s interesting how the term “senior” like adolescent has grown to cover a broader range of people in recent decades. Used to be you were briefly a teen, then you a got a job; then you were an adult until you retired. Then you were “old.” Then you died.

Now kids are termed preadolescent as young as 9. And AARP starts courting new membership after they’ve barely turned 50. On the other end, young people in their early 20s could still be thought of as adolescent. And “senior” applies to people, many of them remarkable active, into their 100s and beyond.

So if you’re hung up on the word “senior” get over it. It’s just a way to describe a large, diverse group, many of whom are much more active than people of comparable age in previous generations.

OK, more about the event. It will include handicrafts and photography. There will be raffles, food specials and plenty of free parking.

Special guests will include Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, Rep. Jan Angel, and Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido, all of whom qualify as seniors.

If you are younger than 50, you should come anyway and see how the Old Pharts roll. Hopefully, you’ll see it’s not so scary to get “old.”

Hen Movement Grows Slowly in Bremerton

Did you remember that there are some people who want to be able to have hens in their Bremerton backyards. Here’s the latest from a purely observational standpoint.

I haven’t written much about it lately, but I saw another Facebook post last week to suggest the group is gathering signatures. One note said nine sheets were turned in, which would mean the group has 180 signatures and needs only 2,320 more to get on the ballot.

Meanwhile, the city council has remained silent on the issue in every meeting I have attended, and that has been quite a few. That can’t be too good a sign for those who want to decriminalize poultry in the city. You may recall that chicken fans don’t really want to go to the ballot box to get their hens, but they’re willing. This weekend they’ll travel to Port Orchard to gather signatures from Bremerton registered voters disloyally shopping across the inlet. They also have plans to hold more signature-gathering meetings to get petitions out at outdoor markets and other events.

Thursday afternoon I spotted the sign posted here, took a picture, then drove all over much of the rest of town to see if I could find even one more sign like it. I didn’t find one.

Bremerton Magic

If you’re one of those people who believe there are no accidents in life, then you have to wonder, like I have, what message I was sent on tax day.

That was the day there was a tea party in Olympia I didn’t attend, favoring instead a chance to stay in town and get liquored up, and by that I mean to write about the privatization of liquor sales in this state.

Good fortune smiled on me for making that decision, because Taco Del Mar was offering a free taco just for showing up with a coupon Jim Campbell printed out and handed to me. Had it not been Campbell I might have sensed treachery. But that guy is solid. I’ve also been well trained by my beloved to stop feeling guilty about freebies.

So on to Taco Del Mar I went, wondering if a free fish taco would be as good as one I’d pay for. It was a sunny day, so I decided to take my food to the Harborside Fountain Park on a quest for profanity.

Out of the taco fell what you see pictured here.

This has to mean something.

According to Wikipedia, the source for all truth, unicorns are pretty awesome. Conservapedia says the unicorn might actually be a rhinoceros. There once was a British band called Unicorn. Who can forget them? (Raises hand.)

As many cheese sandwiches as I’ve grilled over the years, you’d think I would have had a holy visit before now.

But this was a first. I carefully placed the cabbage back in a bag, then decided to take it out again to make sure to get a picture in case it was fragile. It was.

The picture you see here is a re-creation. I found the horse and the horn, but they were no longer attached. This is pretty much what it looked like.

I was cursed for not taking full advantage of my good fortune. On the way back I was forced to take a longer way home because of construction. When I got back to the office I carefully sealed the unicorn in the best sealant I could find (the tape in my desk) and put the apparition on the wall in case anyone wanted to come see it for inspiration or favors.

After a couple of days it started turning black, though, so I decided to dump it in the trash.

Still I feel so rewarded for my faith in free-dom that I was so honored by a visit from something so powerful as a unicorn. That never would have happened if I had lunched in Port Orchard. Over there the best you can hope for is a narwhal.

Silverdale Dog Park Looking Good

Brynn Grimley writes:

At the end of last week I finally made it out to the future site of the Silverdale Dog Park, located along Silverdale Way where the Rotary Gateway Park is situated. There’s also an entrance to the Clear Creek Trail from this location, and of course the skateboard park where local teens practice their boarding skills.

I was at the site to see students from CK High School, Navy Seabees and other area volunteers put in their time for Earth Day.

It’s been a while since I wrote about the dog park so I thought what better time to write an update than after seeing first-hand how quick progress has been made.

Through the Earth Day volunteer efforts, a 600 foot gravel trail was built in just under two hours. The trail runs from the parking lot (near the public bathrooms) all the way to the end of the property where it connects to the roadway. The grassy area along side the trail will be the dog park, which will be fenced off so trail users won’t have to walk inside the park to use the trail.

Inside the dog park there will be a small dog area, and another area for medium to larger dogs. The chain-link fence will allow dog owners to have their pets off leash. The project is being organized and completed by the Silverdale Dog Park stewardship group, which is 100 percent volunteer driven. The money being used to build the dog park is from various fund raising efforts, from private donations and money that was raised by selling plaques along the chain-link fence and advertising space within the park.

None of the money is from the county. To date the group has raised close to $30,000.

They hope to have the park open for use on July 4, but have a few more hurdles to jump over before that can happen. The biggest project still to be done is the expansion of the parking lot. A condition of the county approving the location for the dog park was the installation of 14 more parking spaces.

The group will add those by removing the berm that separates the lot from the road. They are looking to put a rain garden in to handle the stormwater run off. Right now they’re waiting to see if the stormwater will be handled by the garden, or if they’ll also need to use pervious payment in the lot. For cost purposes they’re hoping a rain garden will meet the needs, because the pervious pavement is not cheap.

Installing the trail section of the park is the first visual indication that things are moving quickly to get the park operational, said Mike McCown, vice president of the Silverdale Dog Park stewardship group.

“We’ve been looking forward to Earth Day,” he said. “This is being done with volunteers and volunteer dollars.”

The group hopes to know by this week which direction to go with the parking lot. Once the lot is ready, the chain-link fence will be installed and from there I am sure people will be anxiously waiting for the gates to open so they can let their dogs run free.

John Robbecke Describes the Polar Bear Plunge

Warning: This post contains a word that, while anatomically correct, may be offensive to some.

When I was talking to John Robbecke today about his putting Al’s Grocery on the market after its 50 years in business (story to run tomorrow), we got to talking about the annual Polar Bear Plunge off the bridge above Olalla Lagoon, across from the store.

John and 10 other charter members of the plunge decided in 1984 to ring in the New Year in a totally new and crazy way. A lot of what he said about the experience of jumping into 52 degree water in the middle of winter, I couldn’t put in the paper or on the web version of the story (only partly because of space constraints). With my assistant editor’s permission, and John’s, I bring you the uncensored version.

“New Year’s Day is kind of amateur drunk day on the couch. If you’re not drinking, what do you do? And if you don’t like sports, you’re pretty out of it. So we said, ‘OK guys, if you have enough testicles, come on down and join us, and we’ll do something different. We thought, at high noon, we’d jump off the bridge.”

John described how “invigorating” it is to feel to icy stab of the water on your various appendages as you jump or cannonball in. “You go, ‘Woah!’ You’re swimming under water before you reach the top. Once you pop out of the surface, you’re like a windmill. Once you get out of the water, you dance around and stand by the bonfire warming your buns and shake out your hair. It’s a fun time.”

Like a class reunion, the event brings together people who only see each other once a year. Some people dress in costumes. John remembers one woman whose marriage had gone sour and who jumped into the salty brine in her wedding gown. Another guy in a business suit set down his briefcase, jumped off the bridge in a businesslike way, calmly swam to shore, picked up his briefcase and drove away without so much as a shiver.

I asked John if anyone ever jumped in the nude. Yes, indeed, he said. However, “They don’t do it again, because if you’re male, and you’re climbing out of that ice cold water, and some woman says, ‘Is that it?’ you ain’t coming back.”

“Cordial” Meeting on Library Levy Follows Strained Exchange

Kitsap Regional Library’s library levy PAC announced Friday on its Facebook page that there had been a “cordial” meeting between library officials and Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola. This after Coppola criticized the library board at a PO city council meeting Tuesday, and in media comment sections after, for allocating $750,000 to Port Orchard’s library, when multimillion dollar buildings are planned for Silverdale and Kingston.

Silverdale’s new library has been in the works for many years and is planned for the Silverdale Community Center. The current library is deemed too small for the population it serves. Kingston’s library is a room in its community center, which is in severe disrepair.

Port Orchard plans to build a new library in a planned Town Center Revitalization Project, which will include a parking garage, retail spaces and a public plaza.

Library spokesman Jeff Brody agreed that Port Orchard’s library, which is 8,000 SF and serves 21,000 patrons each month, is a high priority as well. Before Friday’s meeting, he said that more money will likely be available to Port Orchard and other branches after the two new buildings are paid off in six years.

The result of Friday’s meeting is the Library board will revisit its levy proposal with Coppola’s request in mind. Vote Yes Kitsap Libraries says, “To meet the city’s request may require the levy increase to be higher than the 12.5 cent increase originally proposed.”

Marketing the “Eat Local” Movement on the Airwaves

Jim Freeman is a salesman by trade. His vocation is real estate, but his avocation is locally produced food. Spokesman for the Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance, Freeman today (Saturday, April 24) will launch a radio program about local food.

I asked Freeman if he has a background in radio. He said not, but he’s willing to try anything once. The programs will be broadcast on KITZ 1400 AM from various local food venues around Kitsap County. Today’s inaugural program comes from Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Cafe in Old Towne Silverdale.

If you are out of KITZ’s, you can listen live on the internet at

Here’s what Jim has to say about Monica’s.

“If you live on the peninsula join us at Monica’s for a full blown party. Monica and Mark Downen have been baking up a storm since 4:00 am this morning and they will have a full table of complementary (this means no charge) baked goods and treats. There is a regatta being held on the waterfront 2 blocks away and of course our launch of Buy Local Radio with stories, music and surprises as we explore buy local land.”

Free baked goods, wa-hoo.

Find out more about KCAA on their website,

Friday Afternoon Club: Loud Music, Hot Bikes, Free Stuff

Pass the word to any homeless or couch surfing young people you know. I’ll be at this even and do a story about homeless youth in Kitsap County, currently set to run Monday.

StandUp for Kids Hosts Youth Event Saturday
By Chris Henry
The Kitsap Chapter of StandUp For Kids, a national organization advocating for homeless youth, will hold an event 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Silverdale’s Waterfront Park in conjunction with the annual 48 Hours on the Streets event.
Across the United States, chapter members spend 48 hours on April 23 through 25, raising awareness and reaching out to homeless youth.
Kitsap’s event, 48 Kitsap Youth Street Concert, will feature live music by the band “Snakebite” and a display of custom motorcycles by Rottweiler Bikes.
Local organizations dedicated to helping the homeless will have information and referrals on hand. There will be food from CJ’s Evergreen Catering and distribution of backpacks with snacks and hygiene supplies.

That Mess of Sailboats on Dyes Inlet? Yeah, They Know What They’re Doing

Brynn Grimley writes:

Don’t be alarmed this weekend if you see a whole fleet of sailboats maneuvering around Dyes Inlet, looking at times like they’re doing the Lake Union Duck Dodge.

The Central Kitsap Sailing Team is hosting the Northwest Interscholastic Association’s district championships April 23-25 along Silverdale’s waterfront. Initial estimates show 130 to 150 sailors from across the state will “blow in” to Kitsap for the competition. The winner will advance to the national championship, which just so happens to be held on Lake Union this year.

A number of Kitsap teams will compete, including Kingston, North Kitsap, Bainbridge Island and of course CK. Interestingly enough, there are no teams from Seattle that qualified to race.

The competition will be double-handed fleet racing, where two sailors fill a sailboat (in CK’s case they have one Laser and eight Vanguards), and line up at a start line. When the horn sounds they take off, maneuvering the boats to get the best position on the wind and cross the finish line first.

If the weather is nice and you feel like watching some of our area kids try “their hand” at double-handing these lightweight sailboats (without capsizing and landing in the drink) head down to the Silverdale Waterfront Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cheer them on.

If you want to know more about the CK Sailing Team and how it got its start, read the story I wrote three years ago when they had their inaugural season, found here.

PO Tourism Committee Morphs Toward Economic Development

April 22: Oops sorry, wrong poll .The wrong poll was displayed with this post since yesterday. The correct poll is up now. CTH

The time has come, members of Port Orchard City Council’s tourism committee said Tuesday, for the committee to expand its duties to include economic development.

To date, the committee has focused mainly on working with the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, nonprofits and local businesses on special events that draw visitors, such as the city’s Chimes and Lights Festival, the Seagull Calling Contest and last summer’s Cedar Cove Days.

Paying more attention to economic development would be a natural progression, said committee chairman Jerry Childs. Committee members, including Childs, Jim Colebank and Fred Chang, have been looking at cities like Poulsbo and Leavenworth as models.

Childs said the committee would coordinate with Mayor Lary Coppola, who so far has been the city’s designee and spokesman in attempts to attract new business. Coppola has already hosted some focus groups with selected business owners.

One of the committee’s ideas is to host an economic development page on the city’s Web site with information on permitting and other resources related to economic development. The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce has a resource page for prospective and current businesses, but, said Chang, it’s not the committee’s intention to reinvent the wheel.

“I don’t think we intend to duplicate anything that’s already being done,” said Chang, speaking as an individual committee member and not for the committee. “If we do a website, we’d want to plug a gap where there is one. It’s certainly not intended as a slap to anyone.”

One business owner willing to take a gamble on Port Orchard is Melinda Brown and her partner Shane Makoviney, who will open Melinda Lee’s at 810 Bay Street on May 1. Shane is a clock repairman; Melinda is an artist and gardener. Their store will offer a potpourri of artwork, garden starts, gifts and sundry supplies that would be useful to boaters.

Lee is bullish on Port Orchard. She sees a positive momentum in the downtown mix of stores despite the economy. “We love Bay Street and believe in it and believe in what it could be,” she said.

Of course Port Orchard business extends outside the downtown district, and the committee will pay attention to those folks as well, Chang said.

Colebank said, “it’s not as important to draw new business as it is to keep our current businesses happy.”

So what should city government do to make the city a business friendly place? Parking you say? Right, it’s on their to-do list. What are your other beefs, worries or needs? Take the survey on the homepage.