North End takes positive spin in ’07

Many new concerns and issues arose in the North End, and many stayed the same, during this past year. Though not all of the new alterations have been heralded in with joy, many have been a turn in a positive direction for North End communities. Here are some of the events that took place in the first half of 2007.

Kitsap County to raze North End Navy housing

KINGSTON — Navy housing that provided homes to servicemen and women and their families for years will be demolished sometime in 2007, or early 2008, paving the way for the Village Green project proposed for the property.

Three of the 12 homes off West Kingston Road are still being used by renters, and one Navy family still lives on site, said Kitsap County Facilities, Parks and Recreation Maintenance and Operations Supervisor Beverly Reeves. But they and the other inhabitants will move soon, and the structures will be demolished.

“We’ve rented a few units on a temporary basis, and there are a couple of families already living there,” she said. “There’s actually one family, a Navy family, that’s lived there all along. He’s retiring soon, so they will be leaving also.”

Suquamish Tribe plans expansion in next two years

SUQUAMISH — Visitors and canoe pullers planning on riding the tide to the 2009 Tribal Journeys will notice a few changes in Suquamish. The flow of new buildings and projects planned in town follow the tribe’s long-standing goal: revitalizing the culture and traditions of the Suquamish people.

Designs and fund-raising efforts have begun for a new Suquamish Museum and Traditional Community House, as residents and tribal members prepare for Tribal Journeys. The event is expected to bring 6,000 to 10,000 people to Suquamish.

“I think the main purpose of all of these projects is looking to the future of the tribe, especially a cultural resurgence,” said Suquamish Foundation Director Michael Felts. The foundation was created to help raise and manage the $20 million needed to fund the projects. “Most of these projects are going in downtown, which is a return to the cultural center of the community.”

Clubhouse back on

the ground again

INDIANOLA — After spending more than three months with its skirts in the air, the Indianola Clubhouse settled comfortably back onto its new foundation the second week of January. It didn’t open for another couple of weeks until work on the furnace and interior was complete.

“They need to do a little more work, tying the building to the new foundation,” said Indianola Beach Improvement Committee President Bo Blakey. “We’re working on the drainage systems, especially from the roof, because water under the clubhouse was causing it to sink. Then we’ll start getting the furnace installed.”

Suquamish has whole world in its hands

SUQUAMISH — Continuing its work to provide a better planet for future generations, the Suquamish Tribe was presented with the Mother Earth Award on Jan. 11 for protecting the environment.

The award, given out every year by the West Sound Conservation Council, honors people and groups whose efforts and programs maintain and improve Kitsap County’s ecosystems, said WSCC chairwoman Beth Wilson.

“This award is really appreciated,” said Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman. “The council spent a lot of time working to protect our habitats. We work pretty closely with other jurisdictions to be sure that the growth in the area is respecting the environment. We do this both politically and legally sometimes.”

S’Klallam appoints new

chief executive officer

LITTLE BOSTON As chief executive officer for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Doug Quade will have the chance to make a big difference in propelling the community forward namely in education, youth and elder support, sustainable economic growth and preservation of the tribe’s culture.

As of Jan. 16, he is moving his goals into place, ready to float plans for the tribe to use to progress even further in the future.

“He’s got a good background, he owned his own business before,” said Tribal Chairman Ron Charles. “We hope as the tribe progresses, we will become more active in the business community. Doug will definitely be a great help in that respect.”

Hansville advisory group ready to enact change

HANSVILLE Before getting down to the hard stuff, like organizing community improvement projects, the newly formed Greater Hansville Area Advisory Committee got to work deciding what involvement Kitsap County would have with the group’s efforts to make Hansville a better place at a Jan. 23 meeting.

The members were looking for a less formal relationship with the county, hoping for guidance but not having their members picked for them, like the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council and the Suquamish Citizens Advisory Committee.

“The county sees real value in a relationship with a group like this one, even though we’re not going to be as formal as Kingston,” said Hansville Futures steering committee member Steve Bauer. “We’d like to have a less formal relationship, and (Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen) was quite open to that.”

Solution found for Eglon insurance hike

EGLON With the help of an Eglon resident, or more precisely his barn, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue officials are confident they have found a way to lower a recently implemented insurance hike in the community.

The increase blazed up after a non-governmental agency, the Washington State Rating Bureau, which provides classifications for insurance companies, dropped the area’s rating from a 5 to a 10 in July 2006. The WSRB listed Eglon as unprotected, which caused some insurance rates to rise. The rating fell because Eglon was, at the time, outside of the five-mile radius of an emergency response station.

Electronic fares dock with Kingston ferries

KINGSTON A new e-ticketing program, Wave2Go, is washing in with not only new possibilities, but North End concerns as the Washington State Ferries prepares to turn Kingston into the next hi-tech town Feb. 20.

Despite some local grumbling, WSF officials are doing their best to ease residents into the new age of cards, kiosks and barcodes when using the ferry system.

“There have been positive and negative reactions,” said WSF customer information manager Susan Harris-Huether. “Nobody likes change. That’s a given. People like the ticket books, they can share them easily, with a spouse or whomever, if needed.”

It’s time, however, to try something new, and the cards are just the ticket or e-ticket as the case may be. They’ve proven successful at WSF terminals in Anacortes, Port Townsend and Mukilteo, Harris-Huether said.

Local business owner to revitalize store

PORT GAMBLE After years of frequenting farmers markets and running small businesses, Ethel Molina is getting a shot at the big time running the Port Gamble General Store. And she is all fired up to shift the feeling of the historical town’s icon to a positive, family atmosphere.

“I started with farmers markets, and I didn’t really want to go any bigger because my kids were small,” she said. “But now, they are teenagers and I’m ready to take on an adventure.”

Molina’s adventure will be to transition the store back to its historical roots, while maintaining a modern enough business to draw in visitors of all kinds, said Port Gamble property manager Shana Smith. The building is currently being remodeled to recreate how it looked when it was first constructed in 1853.

Suquamish gets settlement for irreplaceable marsh

SUQUAMISH When 5,000 gallons of oil spread across the Puget Sound and washed up on the shores of the once pristine Doe-Kag-Wats Marsh Dec. 30, 2003, the Suquamish Tribe lost not only a valuable habitat, but a sacred space it had used for healing and worship throughout its history.

More than three years later, it has reached a settlement with Foss Maritime for cultural and spiritual damages $1.1 million but the money still remains the least important part as the tribe struggles to recover from the marring of its land.

“Really the money seems like the big story, but it’s not,” said Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman. “Really, it’s the completion, the closure and the acknowledgment of this event. There’s not enough money to heal this wound. But I think we reached a fair amount considering the conditions.”

Hansville property saying farewell to 800 vehicles

HANSVILLE For about 60 years, Hansville property owner Robert Eyer and his family have maintained they are running a recycling business called Eyer Trucking. Kitsap County, on the other hand, views the property as an illegal wrecking yard lacking the necessary permits and in violation of land use laws.

Hansville residents driving past the Little Boston Road site are stuck in between with their concerns of hazardous waste leaking from the estimated 800 vehicles on property.

“People who have lived here for 20, 30 years know what’s going on here, and they’re fine with it,” Eyer said. “It’s the new people in the area, the ecology buffs that don’t come talk to me. It’s the people that don’t know nothing about what’s going on here that are upset.”

But that is likely all coming to an end.

Despite ongoing lawsuits against the county, Eyer recently volunteered to clean up his property, and is now overseeing the removal of the vehicles, said county interim land use environmental review manager Steve Mount.

Kingston Sub-Area Plan sent back to county again

KINGSTON Kitsap County has again been sent back to the drawing board with regard to the Kingston Sub-Area Plan, but only to fine tune the wastewater plan proposed at the end of 2006. According to the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board, it still needs a little clarification and flushing out.

“I believe we’re looking at a September deadline,” said Kitsap County Department of Community Development Land Use Manager Eric Baker April 2. “We haven’t spoken with the community yet, but at the hearings board decision there were a number of different community members. Later this week, we’ll have an opportunity to speak with the board of (Kitsap County) Commissioners and some of the residents involved.”

The original plan was reviewed by about a dozen Kingston residents, several of whom serve on the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council. Many were disappointed when it was appealed on July 26, 2006.

Kingston stream names OK’d by state

KINGSTON The Washington State Department of Natural Resources gave the Kingston Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Committee a reason to celebrate Friday with the acceptance of seven new names for North End waterways.

A little over a year after the project began on Feb. 23, 2006, members are undertaking the next step, getting the names onto signs and maps of the area.

“It went fine,” said committee member Evan Stoll of the Friday meeting. He was one of a few KPTO members able to attend. “They took two minutes to approve it and I think that’s all the time they spent on it.”

Meeting circles safety issues

HANSVILLE A little over a year ago, Hansville residents met for the first time in recent years to formally address traffic safety concerns in the area.

May 15 they gathered again at the Greater Hansville Community Center to examine what route the Greater Hansville Area Road Safety Advisory Committee planned to take in hopes of solving the ongoing problems.

With nearly 80 residents in attendance, including representatives from Kitsap County, sheriff’s office and North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, committee members proposed speed tables and a traffic circle near the entrance of the town as options to quell speeding.

“The biggest problem seems to be the traffic circle,” said RSAC co-chairwoman Patricia Pinkham Wednesday morning, reflecting on some of the residents’ comments. “The issue is coming down the hill on snow days and potentially hitting it. It’s a matter of control coming down the hill.”

North End voters ignite levy lift

POULSBO Poulsbo Fire Department officials have something to cheer about after May 15’s vote, which passed their levy lid lift by a 55 percent margin.

In the city, 3,615 residents cast their mail-in ballots in favor of the lift, outweighing the 2,935 who voted against it.

The lift will help Fire District 18 increase staff, equipment and facility capacity next year and fund such changes through 2013.

“I’m pretty happy,” said PFD Chief Jim Shields. “I’m not surprised it passed. I fully anticipated it would pass.”

Hood Canal Bridge work passes halfway point

HOOD CANAL The Washington State Department of Transportation is navigating closer to its goal of renovating the east half of the Hood Canal Bridge by reaching the 52 percent completion mark the first week in June.

The first set of 10 anchors were sunk at the bridge site, finishing May 31, said WSDOT interim communications manager Theresa Gren.

“We are on schedule and still moving forward to our 2009 closure date,” she said. “We’re over 50 percent completed right now, more like at 52 percent.”

County OK’s speed tables, limit change

HANSVILLE Visitors and residents driving to or around the Greater Hansville Area may notice road changes taking place, including several speed tables and a speed limit reduction on Hansville Road.

The former is the work of the Greater Hansville Area Road Safety Advisory Committee, and the latter of Kitsap County Public Works all in an effort to slow motorists and protect pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners approved each action June 18, as well as officially appointed the Greater Hansville Area Advisory Committee and it’s connection with the county. Now, RSAC members are waiting for the asphalt to start pouring and searching for their next traffic safety project.

Trail plan comes through loud and clear

KINGSTON Despite a faulty microphone and the shuffling noises and whispering of 528 people, Olympic Property Group president Jon Rose’s speech came through loud and clear June 27 if everyone is interested and will support the effort, they can help preserve roughly 8,000 acres of open space in the North End.

As Rose gave his presentation regarding the different options the company is examining either sell the acreage in 20 acre lots or larger sections of land, or develop it with cluster housing and preserving 75 percent forever as open space the audience broke into applause and whistling at the idea of having miles of trails stretching from Port Gamble to Indianola to Kingston to Hansville.

The meeting’s purpose was to examine the possibility of utilizing the Rural Wooded program offered by Kitsap County, allowing property owners with 20 or more acres to dedicate 75 percent of their acreage to open space and cluster homes on the remaining land. Rose said at the meeting North Kitsap residents stood to gain much from keeping the 8,000 acres as trails and open space.

County struggles to reign in White Horse

INDIANOLA With a lengthy list of permits still needed before receiving its certificate of occupancy, the White Horse golf course galloped ahead of Kitsap County regulations and opened its doors June 15 to the public.

The golf course has had trouble teeing off for several months after announcing an April opening date. Since, officials have been working with the county to complete a list of requirements outlined in a February letter, said Kitsap County Department of Community Development engineering department manager Merita Trohimovich.

“They don’t have their certificate of occupancy yet,” she said. “We’re just trying to work to get them to do what’s necessary to get the last remaining permits.”

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