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North End residents work to maintain its rural lifestyle
UGA gets go
Kingston kicked off the year with definitive land growth restrictions. The Kitsap Planning Commission decided to recommend Alternative B as the new boundaries for the Kingston Urban Growth Area. The new boundaries include downtown Kingston, plus land west of downtown, which encompasses North Kitsap School District buildings and county property. By spring, it was ready to go to the commissioners, but the Department of County Development wanted to add population allocations to the plan. Following debates on whether to adopt the plan or wait for the numbers to be released, the planning commission decided to adopt the plan without the new numbers. The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners finally approved the new boundaries in December.
Skaters try to scratch vandalism
The Kingston Skatepark garnered national attention in April as a local skateshop hosted its 2nd annual skate competition. Well-known skaters, locally and nationally, shredded cement that sunny weekend. However, vandalism at the park increased over the course of the year, including destroying the parks bathroom. By fall, residents and skaters started to take some action, coming together in the fall with ways to reduce vandalism.
Port sees a
wave of change
The Port of Kingston Board of Commissioners developed a conceptual plan with Kitsap Transit for a more retail and service-friendly port and ferry terminal in March. The port also finished up its five-year master plan with then-port manager Gary Johnston. Following the completion of the plan, the commissioners no longer saw the need for Johnstons position and terminated the job, replacing it with a harbor master. After Johnston declined the offer of Harbor Master, longtime port employee Ed Hall was brought on deck in September as the new leader.
Heritage Park gets rolling in NorthEnd
With an increasing number of area sports teams and the lack of spaces in which to play, Kitsap County presented a concept in June for a 300-acre Heritage Park in the North End. By fall, the county had $2 million to purchase land for park space. It had also secured a location to establish the multi-use recreational park, which is located just off Miller Bay Road. The county held its first public workshop in December for input on the park design. The county is looking to install multiple sports fields.
White Horse jumps planning hurdles
The Kitsap County Hearing Examiner gave the go-ahead in August for White Horse property owners to subdivide their 450 acres into 224 single-home lots. The parcel, near the intersection of Indianola and South Kingston Roads, also includes a golf course. The decision was appealed later by the North Kitsap Coordinating Council and the Suquamish Tribe. The NKCC appeal was denied, but the tribes appeal was accepted. The owners still have several more steps to go through before they can push dirt for the homes. Development for the 18-hole golf course has already begun.
Ferries float in and out of North End
Sixty percent of Kitsap County voters said no thanks to Kitsap Transits proposal for passenger-only ferry service from Kitsap County to Seattle in Novembers general election. The plan included a foot ferry from Kingston to Seattle. About a month later, four Seattle-based private ferry-industry companies collaborated efforts to form Aqua Express. The new company wants to establish commuter runs between Seattle and Kitsap, starting with Kingston as the first run next year. Other communities got on the ferry band wagon, as officials with Port Madison Enterprises and Clearwater Casino also started talks with private ferry companies this fall about establishing a ferry run between the Casino and the Emerald City.
Service-minded people have another group in the North End to join, as a new Rotary club was developed in Kingston. The Poulsbo/North Kitsap chapter decided in June to umbrella a new club to serve the area. By the fall, charter members for Kingston were signing up. The Kingston/North Kitsap group held its first meeting in October and is working with the Poulsbo chapter. The Kingston club is expected to be officially chartered next year.
Three corners down, one to go
In the blink of the eye, the brush and trees on the corner of Miller Bay Road and State Route 104 disappeared in August as the area was cleared for a new Frontier Bank complex. Frontier Financial Corporation CEO Mike Clementz said he plans for local mom and pop type businesses to go into the five-acre complex. The remaining eight acres will be preserved with a conservation easement.
Boys and Girls Club finally gets started
The long-talked about North Kitsap Boys and Girls Club finally took shape within the area this year. Organizers started planning in January and by the end of the summer, had established a bank account, a home base at Kingston Junior High and an affiliation with the national Boys and Girls Club organization. A support team is now working on grant writing, fund-raising and activity planning to get the club started in January 2004.
Burglars find Kingston
A rash of burglaries took place throughout the year, the first and biggest of them all in January. Five businesses in the Kingston Alberstons complex were hit Coastal Coffee, Fabricare Cleaners, Kingston Crossing Chiropractic, Kingston Mail Center and Pine Cone Gifts as burglars took cash, electronics and clothing. Mr. Bs Bookery and Joy Luck Restaurant were also burglarized in August. Coastal Coffee was hit again in the fall. Burglars became unkind again around the holidays, as Kingston Classic Cycle, the Indianola Country Store and Deli and Hansville Grocery and Provisions were all broken into between the end of November and mid-December.
Making a point to fix the boat launch
Headway was finally made this year with the restoration project of the 80-year-old Point-No-Point Boat Launch and Resort in Hansville. Officials with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife met with locals in May on what they wanted done with the site. Residents and officials met again in October for an intensive workshop, where a concept for a new launch, similar to the old one, was developed. Opportunities for education, a cafe and RV parking were also presented.
Hansville getting a little too powerful
When Puget Sound Energy told Hansville residents in May that the power load to the community was at risk of going out during a nasty winter storm, the ever-alert residents started asking questions and wanted solutions. PSE suggested bringing up diesel generators on an as-needed basis during harsh winter weather. PSE officials proposed four locations throughout the community, held several public meetings and held three demonstrations of the generator itself. After six months, residents still said no, saying the generator would create air, noise and water pollution. PSE finally said okay, no generators for the winter, but residents need to reduce their power loads. The utility company is working on a long-term and short-term plans to help supply the power load to the growing community.
Port Gamble finds success in tourism
Port Gamble had a year of popular events, as the towns owner, Olympic Property Group, brought the historic town back on its feet with new businesses and festivals. The Port Gamble Sunday Market held its inaugural market in May, while the grounds were used for a variety of events during the year, including Medieval Faire and the North Kitsap Arts and Crafts Fair. Oktoberfest was revitalized in Kitsap County, as Port Gamble became the new home for the popular German festival. The town was also honored by Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed as an existing territory when Washington became a state in 1853. The only downfall to the year was when the town was vandalized in March, when picnic benches, garbage cans and the white picket fence enclosing the cemetery were torn apart.
Gambling plays in favor of the tribes
The Suquamish and Port Gamble SKlallam Tribal casinos saw nothing but big wins this year. The Suquamish Clearwater Casino opened up the doors to a brand new facility in July, moving from the old bingo hall and tent to a more Vegas-style venue. The new casino offers eight floors of parking, more entertainment and gaming, a convention center and several restaurants within the facility. The Point No Point Casino did an expansion of its own in August, with space for more gaming and a bigger dining area. The tribe also has plans to build a bigger casino on the property off Hansville Road. SKlallam economic development officials also built a new Gliding Eagle Market on the corner of Hansville and Little Boston Road, with a full service deli and bigger retail area. This replaced the nearly 30-year-old market that had been expanded three times. The new building also houses the Port Gamble Development Authority on the second floor.
Residents kicked out of mobile home park
Ravenswood Mobile Home Park residents were given one year from February to find a new home. The Port Gamble Development Authority told residents they were closing the park in February 2004 to make way for economic development. Officials with the agency said the park was no longer financially viable for them. Residents, most of which had planned on retiring there, have said they have been having difficulties finding new homes.
Radio tower charges residents
Indianola residents found out last December that the Suquamish Tribe and the 911 agency for the county, Kitsap County Central Communications, were partnering up to build a 300-foot guyed tower in the neighborhood. The tower would serve as a tool for emergency communications for law enforcement and firefighters and wireless education for the tribe. Residents felt the tower would create light pollution and be a visual nuisance, as well as harmful to local wildlife. Regardless, the county officials and the CenCom Board voted in July for CenCom to move forward and work with the tribe to construct a tower.
SKlallam reinstates its long lost culture
The Port Gamble SKlallam Tribe made great strides this year to reintroduce a part of its culture that has been missing for more than 100 years through its House of Knowledge project. The tribe broke ground in April for a new longhouse, one of four buildings expected to be constructed as part of the HOK project. The tribe received numerous grants and financial donations for HOK, including $1.1 million from the United States Department of Agriculture. The tribe hopes to break ground for a career and education center, an elders center and new library in 2004.
Old Man House in a tug-o-war
The Suquamish community found out in May that its beloved state-owned one-acre park on the Port Madison Bay waterfront would be up for grabs this year. The Washington State Parks commission said it would have to cut certain parks from its budget, including Old Man House Park. The Suquamish Tribe said it wants the park under its jurisdiction; a group of residents called the Friends of Old Man House Park wants the state to keep it and the Friends would take care of the maintenance. The Friends have submitted a proposal to the state for consideration. The tribe held community workshops in September and November to create a park management plan that the tribe would follow if it were to obtain ownership. The state is currently taking both plans under consideration.