DATELINE: KITSAP | What's Up in Local Headlines
June 19, 2009 · Updated 10:01 AM
Bainbridge Island campaign raises $75,000 to save teachers, $1M pledged toward building a YMCA in Central Kitsap, Port Orchard food bank gets grant to buy local nursery and former Poulsbo mayor Mitchusson out on house arrest — in Kitsap's headlines.
Campaign for teachers raises $75,000 in 23 days
When it comes to funding education, Bainbridge Islanders are stepping up where the state fell short.
With less than two weeks before its deadline for contributions, Bainbridge Schools Foundation “Save Our Teachers” campaign has raked in more than $75,000. The money will be used to support the replacement of teaching positions which would be lost through budget cuts at Bainbridge Island School District this year.
Of the 17 teachers issued reduction-in-force notices in May, the school district is already in the process of recalling nine, based in part on contributions from the Save Our Teachers campaign. More definitive state revenue figures and several retirements have also contributed to the re-hiring, district Assistant Superintendent Bruce Colley said.
SK Helpline to purchase Port Orchard Nursery
South Kitsap Helpline was notified June 11 the agency will be awarded a $300,000 grant, enabling the local food bank to purchase the iconic Port Orchard Nursery property on Mitchell Road and vastly expand the scope of its current operations.
Helpline and its volunteers plan to use the nearly three-acre site to grow their own produce rather than being entirely dependent on donations. Classes on nutrition and agriculture are also being envisioned, along with a children’s camp, vocational training and more.
The grant money, from the Birkenfeld Trust’s Seattle Foundation, will be used to make a downpayment on the property, the total purchase price of which is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $900,000.
Another third of the funding is expected to be obtained through grant money now available to the agency because of its planned educational, vocational and agricultural programs.
The remainder is planned to be raised by a capital campaign Helpline is launching immediately.
Former mayor released on house arrest
Former Poulsbo Mayor Richard A. ‘Mitch’ Mitchusson was released June 11 from Kitsap County jail, where he has been held since March 25 under criminal charges.
He was released on his promise to appear when called to court and may only leave his home for case proceedings or medical appointments.
He will wear an ankle monitor, his attorney, Matt Clucas, said.
Charges against Mitchusson, 70, include two felony counts of indecent liberty, two counts of sexually motivated assault, one count of stalking and one of second-degree burglary with second-degree rape attached.
Ross couple pledges $1 Million for CK YMCA
Kitsap County residents Ron and Nadean Ross have pledged $1 million toward the new YMCA on the Central Kitsap Community Campus in Silverdale.
Ron Ross has owned and operated Silverdale Realty for more than 40 years and has developed many acres in Kitsap County during that time.
The couple raised their three children in Kitsap County, two of whom still reside in the area.
“The YMCA is not only good for families, it’s good for economic development in Silverdale,” Ron Ross said. “It will create construction jobs in 2010 and 2011, and then will provide jobs for 200-plus people when it opens. The YMCA will also act as a stimulus to additional development on or near the Central Kitsap Community Campus.”
This is the first private pledge to the YMCA project on the Central Kitsap Community Campus.
A YMCA board member pledged $50,000 inspired by the Rosses’ gift.
Total raised for the project is $2.85 million, which includes $1 million in Kitsap County Real Estate Excise Tax (REET), which can only be allocated toward capital projects.