Category Archives: Silverdale

“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.”

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.

All Things Silverdale

Brynn Grimley writes:

In the interest of time and so that I don’t have to crank out multiple blog entries, I am going to consolidate some of the recent happenings in Silverdale into this blog post.

I’ll start with the most recent news. On Thursday night Port of Silverdale commissioners voted against allowing a proposed 9-11 monument to be built along the property they own that abuts the shoreline of Dyes Inlet. Commissioners Lawrence Greaves and Henry Aus voted against the request, commissioner Ed Scholfield abstained because he volunteers as a firefighter with Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue. (Scholfield is actually one of the two volunteers who approached CKFR Assistant Chief Roy Lusk about requesting the pieces of steel from the World Trade Centers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey).

Greaves and Aus said they liked the proposed monument and felt it has a place in the community, but that place isn’t on port property in the Silverdale Waterfront Park. To read the story, click here (use the links within the story to see two previous stories I wrote about this).

The next Silverdale-related news is the relocation of the Silverdale Farmers Market to Old Town Silverdale. This also ties into a short update I wanted to give on a revitalization effort afoot within Old Town to start bringing business back to the walkable, small business shopping district.

The farmers market was formerly located in the parking lot of the Silverdale Beach Hotel. It will now be located along the Port of Silverdale grass area closest to Dyes Inlet (coincidentally this is the same area where the 9/11 Memorial Committee wanted to put the proposed monument). The market will feature your typical farmers market fare: vegetables, herbs, jams, cobblers, tomato plants, etc. The market is held Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Its opening day will be Tuesday (April 20).

Segueing into my next topic, Monica Downen, owner of Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Cafe, helped organize a meeting in February where she rallied Old Town business owners to come together to brainstorm ways to put Old Town back on the shopping destination map. She didn’t know how many people would attend, but ended up getting a full house. The group has since met a second time where they broke themselves up into three groups: Events, Marketing and Beautification. (What each group does speaks for itself, so I don’t think an explanation is necessary).

In an email this week Downen said the group was still looking into reactivating the nonprofit Old Town Merchants group, which has fallen by the wayside as businesses have come and gone. The group is also looking at joining with the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, ultimately doing the revitalization effort under the umbrella of the chamber (also a nonprofit). The new executive director of the chamber has prior experience with downtown revitalization efforts, which he did while working with the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce.

“We are getting more organized and at the very least we are starting to plan some great events and starting to be able to show a more unified front when it comes to marketing our own events,” Downen wrote in her email. “Which is a really great thing.”

The last Silverdale-related item I have is a minor update to the Silverdale Haselwood Family YMCA project. County commissioners have been looking at fixing some discrepancies in the ground lease and facilities agreement the county previously entered into with the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties (the group building the Silverdale Y).

The discrepancies aren’t much to write home about, but what did catch my eye was the new square footage of the building. It appears the fundraising campaign has been extremely successful for the group, because the new square footage is listed at 85,785 sq ft. Formerly the size estimates were between 50,000 and 70,000 sq ft. (Here’s a link to a story I wrote about the formal agreement being signed by the county and YMCA folks almost one year ago. And here links to the most recent stories I wrote about the YMCA partnering with the Ktisap Family YMCA in Bremerton, and Harrison Medical Center.)

Lastly, it looks like construction is still set to begin on the building this summer (the county documents say “on or about May 1” but I wouldn’t expect to see the ground start moving until closer to June-ish).

And that’s all for me and All Things Silverdale. (I’ll be off the next two weeks, so if you have Central Kitsap or North Kitsap news, pass it on to Gardner or Henry, I’m sure they’ll be slacking anyway and will need something to cover. I kid, I kid.)

Name that Blog

With the addition of new voices from North Kitsap, Central Kitsap and Bremerton, Speaking of South Kitsap is evolving. Since Bremerton reporter Steve Gardener and Central/North Kitsap reporter Brynn Grimley hopped on board, you’ve heard about a noted civic leader, a transformational moment or two, one town’s no so little victory and more.

On Grimley’s entry about Hank Mann-Sykes, one commenter mistakenly thought I had written the story and the post. It was an understandable error There’s my mug shot, as we call it, tacked on the home page of the blog. It’s probably time to change that, as well as the name of the blog. We’ll be mulling that over for a couple weeks while Grimley’s on vacation, and some time after that likely make the switch.

We’d like your help in re-branding the blog. While the Kitsap Caucus focuses on politics and government, Speaking of South Kitsap has, for the most part, focused on people, events and life in general in Port Orchard and surrounding communities, like Manchester, Olalla, South Colby and Gorst (Gardner and I both claim a stake in that one). Each has its own unique character … and characters. Now we add to that mix Seabeck, Lomolo, Hansville, Rocky Point, and other areas as well as the cities of Poulsbo and Bremerton and unicorporated yet urban Silverdale.

First we need a name. We’ve kicked around a few ideas and will mine our fellow staff members for others. So far we have Kitsap Klatsch and Speaking of Kitsap Communities. I suggested “That’s Kitsap with a ‘K'” but nobody got it. Excuse me while I stop by the store for some krab. … Oh, never mind.

OK, obviously we need a little help here.

We also need to replace my mug with something iconic, representing all that makes Kitsap Kitsapy. We got into a discussion of that over on the post about Hank Mann-Sykes. I asked for scenes that come to mind that represent your community. Kathryn Simpson, of South Kitsap, suggested: a picture taken from the center of the crosswalk at the end of Bay Street in Port Orchard, a picture of the scoreboard at Joe Knowles Stadium at the high school, a picture of the entrance to the older Kitsap County Admin building (the one the courts are still in), a picture of the foot ferry reaching the Port Orchard dock, a picture of the Stokes Auction windmill. If you live in Bremerton, Central or North Kitsap, you can probably think of scenes that conjure up the essence of a place. Maybe for Bremerton, we should have a chicken.

I was hoping we could have a rotating picture box with scenes from all over the county. But our Web editor says even our tech guru isn’t up to that one.

Our fall back idea is a group picture of Gardner, Grimley and me, as they have on the Wild World of Kitsap Sports blog. Not that we aren’t an attractive bunch, but I think we could do better.

So put on your thinking caps and sing out. This is a brainstorming session. Nothing is off the table, as they say. Again we need a new name and iconic picture or graphic for the blog soon to be known as The Blog Formerly Known as Speaking of South Kitsap.

Thank you.

Chris Henry, South Kitsap/government reporter

Newberry Hill Heritage Park, Last Meeting

Brynn Grimley writes:

This is a quickie, but wanted to make sure people knew the planning for a 1,000-plus acre heritage park in Central Kitsap is coming to a close. Here’s an email Martha Droge, park projects coordinator for the county sent out to interested parties:

“This is a reminder that the next public meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday April 13 from 6 – 8 pm at Klahowya Secondary School. Unfortunately we will not have a presentation by DNR staff on the land reconveyance process (postponed due to limited DNR budget/staff).  We’ll have that presentation later in 2010 — standby for an email on the date.  We will have updates on the trail management plan, the April 21, 2010 Parks & Advisory Board review of the plan, and of course public comment and the master plan.

PLEASE NOTE: The Parks Department website has been re-done.  All of the Master Plan’s presentations and all public comment received can now be found at: and click on “Planning/Capital Projects” from either the button at the bottom or under “Parks” on the upper left hand menu.  We hope that you find the website more interactive and user-friendly (there’s even a quiz with prizes!).

Throughout the process, we are pleased to receive public comment via email to or by US mail using the comment cards available at the public meetings.

Please share this information with others who may be interested in the master planning process.  Thank you for your interest in Newberry Hill Heritage Park.


As you’ll see, the plan is scheduled to come before the park advisory board on April 21 – which is next week. My how time flies when you’re planning for parks.

Silverdale Just Got a Little More Posh

Brynn Grimley writes:

Well since Henry’s out on vacation this week, and Gardner has decided to be sick, it looks like I’m left to keep you entertained. (You can yell at “Hank” and Gardner later about this).

But I digress.

As you may have seen, Silverdale’s Kitsap Mall could be home to a Gene Juarez Salons and Spas. The company hasn’t filed any permits yet with the county and is still in negotiations with the mall. But in a county meeting Wednesday, Department of Community Development Director Larry Keeton said the salon has inquired about a commercial tenant improvement permit to move into the mall.

Keeton admitted he didn’t know much about the hair salon, but when he mentioned the name my ears immediately perked up (I admit, I was writing a Kitsap Caucus blog entry during this portion of the meeting).

County commissioner Steve Bauer jokingly asked if Trader Joe’s would follow and my follow up to his question was “What about Nordstrom?” (Heck I’ll even “settle” for a Nordstrom Rack). Sadly neither company has expressed the interest.

But Gene Juarez has, and that’s a good thing. It shows there’s a shift in the way Kitsap is regarded by regional retailers, County commissioner Josh Brown pointed out.

For those unfamiliar with Gene Juarez, read Rachel Pritchett’s story here, it gives a bit of history.

From a personal experience I can say this: While in high school Gene Juarez was the salon everyone went to to get their hair done for formal dances. My first-ever “up do” was done by a stylist at the salon’s Northgate Mall location. It was for my school’s winter formal (Winter Ball) and I was going with the then-love of my life. The stylist gave me the best modern French twist adaptation I have ever seen. (It was even better than my hairstyle from my wedding). No matter how hard I tried to get that replicated, no one could ever match her styling.

Again, I digress. (See what happens when Henry and Gardner leave me alone to fill the blog? I start rambling).

Anyway, if the salon does come to Silverdale, the mall just got a little more posh.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Hank Mann-Sykes?

Brynn Grimley writes:

I first met Hank Mann-Sykes shortly after I was hired at the Kitsap Sun in April 2006. He claims he was so excited to have a reporter hired to cover Central Kitsap for the Sun that he cried.  (I don’t believe him).

I have to share our first encounter because I believe it sums up Hank’s sense of humor in a nutshell (and he is a nut).

We were to meet at the Silver City Brewery in Silverdale for lunch. On the phone Hank described what he looked like so I wouldn’t miss him: “I’m 5’5” about 200 pounds, bald with horn-rimmed glasses,” he said.

So there I sat, waiting for a short, fat, bald man with glasses, and in walks Hank — looking like none of the above. That’s when I knew: never take anything he says seriously.

Hank has been a wonderful contact for to me; if I had a question I could call him and he had the answer (assuming he answered the phone).

But a few months after we met, Hank started having health problems. I didn’t hear from him for a while, and then every few months he’d check in. I never knew how serious his health problems were because he never wanted to talk about it. (Still doesn’t).

Hank didn’t want his health issues to go into the story I wrote that ran in Sunday’s paper because he doesn’t want people feeling sorry for him. But then he decided if his story can show someone else that they don’t have to act sick just because they are sick, he was willing to share.

I believe, after speaking with Hank, it is his “one day at a time” mentality that has resulted in him proving medicine wrong. That and his desire to help the community. He refuses to focus on being sick, and instead looks at what he can do to continue to be a mover and a shaker in Silverdale.

Just last week his wife of 27 years Loisanne said he had people at the house to discuss the Silverdale Haselwood Family YMCA. He ran out of cell phone minutes for the month because he’s reconnecting with old friends and trying to connect people to find funding for the multi-million dollar YMCA facility, she said.

To write my story on Hank, I received a list of people Hank suggested I call to get some perspective on “Who is Hank Mann-Sykes.” The list grew every day, and while I called many, I didn’t call them all. I also didn’t include everyone’s comments in my story, however their input helped me shape the article. I’d like to provide some of the quotes from those who know Hank here.

Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and Hank connected first through the Boy Scouts, an organization Hank has been involved in for 20 years (his son Joshua is an Eagle Scout). They then worked together when Lent was county commissioner.

“If there ever was a ‘Man of the Year,’ or a ‘Man of the Century,’ it would be Hank Mann-Sykes,” she said. “He is as solid as a granite rock.”

Carl Johnson, another volunteer and civic leader in Silverdale, has known Hank for years. The two share a deep religious faith and met once a week to study the Bible before Hank’s last trip to the hospital.

“What I’ve discovered about Hank is, you don’t have to wonder what he’s thinking,” Johnson said. “He kind of wears his feelings and his thoughts out there for anyone to see and hear. And certainly I appreciate that about him.”

Johnson, along with everyone else, called Hank an “incredibly giving person.”

“I have a great appreciation and a general love for Hank and I think he has made a difference in our community,” he said.

Natalie Bryson, yet another longtime Silverdale volunteer, has shared a close friendship with Hank since he arrived in Silverdale and wasn’t surprised to learn he had been working on the Silverdale YMCA project from home. She said the drive to benefit his community was the “marrow of his bones.”

“He just did things at the grass roots level and made a huge difference for people in the community,” she said of his volunteerism. “I can’t think of an organization that hasn’t been impacted by his efforts in one way or another.”

There’s one thing Hank hasn’t done for the community that he’d like to see happen before he dies: Silverdale incorporation.

“I’m going to do it if I have the energy,” he said. “If it’s the last dying breath in my body I’m going to call someone and say lets get this freaking thing going.”

Looking at his success record, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does it.

Speaking of Bremerton

Steven Gardner writes:

That didn’t take long.

On Monday Bremerton gets its grubby mitts on your blog here and within days Money Magazine cedes all of Kitsap County to Bremerton.

That dude living on his boat and dumping his stuff into Eagle Harbor? He’s from Bremerton.
Those kids that spent New Year’s Day in Pasadena instead of jumping into the sound? Bremertonians.
Seabeck, Poulsbo, Silverdale? It’s all Bremerton.

I was going to one day threaten that you’d all be assimilated, but it looks like it already happened.

Money Magazine has a new list out, one of those things they create every so often to make people remember that magazines still exist. In a section devoted to Real Estate 2010, it predicts which areas will see the steepest increases and make the biggest falls in real estate value. Number five for robust real estate, or tied for it, is Bremerton, population 240,000.

This has, of course, been going on for years. One time Bremerton’s recognition got the former editor of the Central Kitsap Reporter so jacked up he wrote an editorial asking when Bremerton would stop riding on the rest of the county’s coattails. I answer, when will you shut up and accept that you’ll be riding ours forever? Quiet before we annex you.

Your assimilation into Bremerton isn’t free. There are some standards to be met.
First, Bainbridge Island has to stop its obsessive repulsion to chain stores. We want a Burger King and a Taco Bell on Winslow Way, or we’re coming over there with a bridge.
Silverdale needs one, probably two 7-Elevens. Circle K’s wine for the thrifty isn’t as diverse and the clientele isn’t as troubling.
Poulsbo, get rid of all those extra stop signs and replace them red-light cameras.
Port Orchard, the paint job is kind of a step up, so we’ll give you credit there. Some of your windows reflect direct sunlight into our eyes around sunset, though, so we would appreciate it if you’d do something about that, m’kay?

Now that we’ve all accepted that we’re all from Bremerton, I think we can also agree that we need to band together to sell some condos and direct some more retail into what we will all call “downtown” without having to ask “Downtown where?” I’ll see if we can get our paper renamed the Bremerton Sun again. I guess we can stick with the city names we’ve got, but we ought to develop nicknames. Silverdale can be “Slick.” Poulsbo is “Olaf.” Bainbridge will be “Money Bags.” Seabeck can be “Chip.” Port Orchard should be “Junior.”

If you’re not excited about this, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

The Advice Less Traveled

While in Silverdale for a discussion on health care, I stopped by Safeway. The store sells used books for a local charity. On the shelf I saw six copies of the book “Don’t Set Goals.”

The author was Wade Cook.

I’m sure I’m not the first one to see the irony in that title. I can think of a few goals Mr. Cook would have been well served to make. Staying out of prison would have been one.

It’s probably a decent book, though.