South Kitsap

Port cancels Botkin’s contract as SEED director

Shortly after the Port of Bremerton board of commissioners clarified what a pause in the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) plan will mean, consultant Tim Botkin was fired from his position as the project’s director. Board President Cheryl Kincer confirmed Monday that port Chief Executive Officer Ken Attebery dismissed Botkin on Friday, a month before his contract was to expire at the end of March.

Port clarifies SEED ‘pause’

The Port of Bremerton’s Board of Commissioners clarified Friday what a “pause” in its Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project will entail, voting unanimously to delay any new contracts until independent reviews of the endeavor’s merits are completed. “I did not call for killing the project,” said board president Cheryl Kincer, explaining that pausing progress on the clean technology business park and incubator represents “due diligence on the part of the port,” something she said she had been asking for “as far back as the end of last year.”

Bay Street’s oldest structure comes tumbling down

Shoppers walking along Bay Street might notice something new in the north facade of storefronts — a giant, gaping hole. Howard Minor’s building at 731 Bay St., which has remained empty and in great need of repair for some time, has been demolished, taking with it many years of the owner’s hard work and memories.

Is SEED plan on its last legs? Let’s hope so

Multimillion-dollar public projects, like battleships, can’t be expected to stop on a dime. Consequently, we’re satisfied — encouraged even — by the Port of Bremerton Board of Commissioners’ decision this past week to table, at least for now, the controversial Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project. Our preference would be to pull the plug on the whole boondoggle immediately, but a stay of execution at least represents a promising start.

Family keeps PO man’s dream of a POW plate alive

A bill that just passed the Washington State Senate and is scheduled for a hearing in the House today would help veterans like the late Dean Gehring, a longtime Port Orchard resident, qualify for special Prisoner of War license plates. According to his family, Gehring — who passed away last November at 78 — had tried for years to get one of the plates, but did not meet Washington state requirements.

Independents’ voices being stifled again

Unless voters in Kitsap County who have no declared party affiliation want to be left entirely out of future presidential primary elections, they need to do more than toss their ballots in the trash or mail them without declaring a party on the ballot envelope. Unlike the previous presidential primary elections in 1996 and 2000, the ballots of nonaffiliated voters (who usually call themselves independents) were not even counted this year.

Pieces of Olalla’s past sought by local author

Local author Gregg Olsen, who previously chronicled one of the more infamous residents of Olalla, is currently turning his attention to some of the tamer aspects in the life of the community he calls home. Doug Sacrison, a recent Western Washington University graduate, said he is working with Olsen to create a “historical account of the area through collected photographs.”

Driver charged in bicyclist’s death

A Bremerton woman is due in Kitsap County Superior Court on Monday to face a vehicular homicide charge after allegedly striking and killing of a 41-year-old Port Orchard bicyclist in September while driving on a canceled driver’s license. Delores Magneson, 59, has been ordered to appear on Feb. 25 by the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office, which filed the charge last month.

Gig Harbor woman eyes Seaquist’s seat

A Republican candidate from Gig Harbor will be kicking off her campaign on March 1 for a seat in the Washington State House of Representatives. Marlyn Jensen, longtime Gig Harbor resident and business owner, announced this week she plans to run for the Position 2 representative seat in the 26th District currently held by Rep. Larry Seaquist, (D-Gig Harbor).

Green means go — but I’ll look first

I’m going to change one of my driving habits. From now on, when I am at an intersection and the traffic light turns green, I am not going to pull out until I see that all cars coming from my left or right are stopped.

Locke’s speech both insulting, embarrassing

Had former Gov. Gary Locke’s remarks last week at the annual fundraiser for Kitsap County’s Boy Scouts merely been tactless, the appropriate response would have been for the event’s organizers to simply conclude it was a mistake to invite him in the first place and make a note not to repeat the same mistake next year. But Locke’s performance went so far beyond the pale that we feel obliged to heap just a little more scorn before moving on.

Visitor’s cabin on the block

Amid racks full of pamphlets and maps in the visitors cabin located just off State Route 16 at the Sedgwick Avenue exit, volunteer Howard Stage, 81, passes the time reading a newspaper and chatting with his friend Tom Hokanson, 71. During the winter months, the South Kitsap resident doesn’t see many people pass through the center on his shifts, especially this Thursday with the cold weather, rain and strong winds.

State’s baffling primary yields honest results

Depending on the outcome of yesterday’s Super Tuesday vote in the 2008 presidential primary, Washingtonians may or may not get to play a meaningful role in selecting their party’s standard bearers. But even if they do, it’s only going to happen by means of a confusing process calculated to appeal primarily to hardcore party activists and policy wonks.

The Southworth/Vashon/Fauntleroy route of the Washington State Ferries was back to a three-boat schedule Feb. 5 with the return of the Chelan.

Triangle Route back to normal — for now

After limping for three weeks on two, frequently delayed boats, the Triangle Route was back to full strength today, according to the Washington State Ferries. On Friday, WSF Spokeswoman Susan Harris-Huether explained that the M/V Chelan — which went into dry dock last month and left the Southworth/Vashon/Fauntleroy route missing a boat — would be coming out of dry dock Friday night and be returning to service by Wednesday.

The Southworth/Vashon/Fauntleroy route of the Washington State Ferries was back to a three-boat schedule Feb. 5 with the return of the Chelan.

I’m excited about clean technology

As I sat listening to the governor speak last week at the Priorities for a Healthy Washington lobby day, a thrill rose from my toes, because I was looking at and listening to some of the most exciting legislation that I had ever witnessed. The stuff was good. The stuff was really, really good.

Rite-Aid ‘robber’ facing charges

A 23-year-old South Kitsap man was still in Kitsap County Jail under a no-bail hold this week after at least three attempts to rob local businesses, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reported. Justin D. Altstatt was charged with both first-degree and second-degree robbery this month after he allegedly tried to rob the Rite-Aid drug store on Bethel Road twice, and the nearby Wendy’s fast-food restaurant once with a juvenile male accomplice.

Flood damage closes Mako’s doors

The same day the city of Port Orchard was drafting a letter recommending the liquor license for a popular but controversial downtown bar not be renewed, the Washington State Liquor Control Board sent a letter informing the city the bar was closed. “All that was unnecessary,” said Port Orchard resident Neil Wollam, father of Mako’s Bar and Grill owner Julie Wollam, referring to the letter signed by new Mayor Lary Coppola.

Helen Kleffner

Helen Kleffner

Helen Kleffner, of Port Orchard, died on Jan. 29, 2008.She was 89.She was born on May 2, 1918, in Stockett, Mont., and married Albert Kleffner… Continue reading

Helen Kleffner

Why couldn’t the bridge’s name be sold?

Erstwhile Tacoma Narrows Bridge opponent Randy Boss, now that the project has actually been constructed, has lately become an outspoken critic of the growing momentum in Olympia to name the span for the late State Sen. Bob Oke. But at least no one can say his quest is entirely personal, since Boss has come up with an idea that could make far more sense economically than turning the bridge into a shrine to the Port Orchard lawmaker who was so instrumental in getting it built, only to die of cancer just weeks before its completion last summer.

Bridge could be named in Oke’s honor

A bill expressing support for naming the Tacoma Narrows Bridge after the late Sen. Bob Oke was introduced in the Washington State Legislature this week. “Bob Oke’s vision and tenacity made possible the construction of a new Tacoma Narrows bridge that will serve the residents of his district and the entire state of Washington for generations,” states the bill, which is officially named Senate Joint Memorial 8026.