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major changes this year, affecting North End commuters and residents in a big way. In February, the agency announced its intention to change the fare system by the fall, including replacing the ticket books with convenience cards and only allow the frequent user tickets to be used within 30 days instead of 90.
In June, WSF made another visit to Kingston, this time regarding the ferry terminal on the Port of Kingston property. WSF explained its plans to improve its customer service and desire to purchase the 3-acre parcel from the port. Port commissioners and residents opposed the idea, with residents citing distrust of the agency that has not provided the services it has promised the past several years. In August, the port commissioners signed a formal resolution, stating it would not sell the property to the state and hopes the state would want to continue good faith negotiations for a new lease.
The old mill town was honored for its environmental work as it was recognized in January by the Department of Ecology with the stateÄôs 2004 Environmental Excellence Award. The property owners, Pope Resources and Pope & Talbot, had worked with the DOEÄôs volunteer clean-up program to remove chemicals and equipment that have been in the ground for more than a century within the town and mill site.
The town was also enticing enough for Weston Solutions, Inc., a company that provides science-based solutions for environmental problems, to move in and build its own marine laboratory.
However, disaster struck in October, when a tugboat leaked about 100 gallons of red marine fuel into the water.
Suquamish casino anticipates changes
The property where Clearwater Casino is located was finally transferred from fee-simple status (when land is owned by the tribe) to trust land status (when land is owned by the tribe but held in trust by the federal government). The change of status means it becomes an official part of the Port Madison Reservation and is taken off the countyÄôs tax rolls. The casino is owned by the Suquamish Tribe and operated by Port Madison Enterprises.
The tribe also announced in April that it will build a resort hotel on its casino campus in spring of 2006, with meeting spaces and a health spa included. Groundbreaking took place in July.
Issues for Suquamish reach conclusions
The Department of Ecology announced in April that Foss Maritime, responsible for the oil spill that affected the Suquamish TribeÄôs private beach and marsh, Doe-Kag-Wats in December 2003, would be penalized $577,000.
The tribe finally constructed its telecommunications tower in July that had sparked controversy when Kitsap County Central Communications tried to partner with the tribe to improve its own telecommunications system. The tower serves several purposes, including providing wireless Internet opportunities for the tribeÄôs education programs and improving emergency communications for the Suquamish Tribal police.
The Old Man House property was also officially transferred back to the tribe in July, following an elaborate ceremony in which the tribe thanked and honored all of those who supported the transfer of the 1-acre parcel from the state parks department to the tribe.
The Suquamish Police department also moved into new and expanded offices in Suquamish Village and the tribe opened up its new education center on Totten Road.
SÄôKlallam improves quality of life
The tribeÄôs health department announced in April that it received a grant to help the tribe develop a walking trail through out the reservation.
Elder Aladdin Justin worked to improve accessibility to veteransÄô services for Native Americans by starting the process to open a Veterans of Foreign Wars post on the reservation.
The tribeÄôs largest education project, the House of Knowledge, made major steps toward finishing its second phase Äî¬ construction began on the elderÄôs center and fund-raising started for the library.
upset over propane
Residents in the Gamblewood neighborhood became concerned in February about a proposed 30,000 gallon propane tank facility being installed across the highway from the subdivision. The biggest concern was having the tank explode and the hazardous situation that would result from such an explosion. The company, Bowman Propane, of Tacoma, said the facility would be built to strict fire and building codes.
Hood Canal Bridge work impacts traffic
The project to repair the floating bridge impacted traffic between Jefferson and Kitsap in a major way in August, with a week-long closure and a weekend closure to allow crews to replace approaches on both sides of the bridge. But because of appropriate planning and cooperation of motorists, crews were able to finish the jobs on time and/or early. Also as a result, Washington State Department of Transportation recently won ÄúBest In-House Campaign AwardÄù in the 2005 Magellan awards communications campaign competition.
Farmers markets have ups and downs
The Washington State Department of Health announced in March, just before farmers market season, that due to new food regulations, baked goods that are made in uncertified kitchens and sold for profit would have to be made in commercial kitchens. The only exception would be one-time bake sales for charitable organizations. Several vendors at the Kingston FarmerÄôs Market were affected by this.
KFM officials, though, decided to expand their horizons and start a Wednesday market in Hansville, of which the vendors were greeted with open arms and plan to return in 2006.
Cindi Dudley, president of the KFM board for nearly five years, stepped down in July, citing the need for change.
Big year for
The sub-area plan working groups for Suquamish and Kingston worked all year on updating their respective land use and development plans for their communities. A big recommendation for the Kingston plan was to add the 305-acre Arborwood property.
Kingston also learned Rite Aid would be built on the corner of Miller Bay Road and Hansville Road. Local developer Behzad Mostofi announced in July he was starting the process to construct a mixed-use development on Lindvog Road, featuring businesses and condominiums. The Kingston Chamber of Commerce established a stakeholders group, where business owners communicate about their plans for the near future.
Houses on the White Horse property started to show up and the development of the golf course continued.
But Indianola and Kingston residents had issues with the proposed trail through the property, as they felt it had not been developed properly, if at all. The trail is expected to be a big part of connecting Kingston and Indianola via walking paths.
PFD remembers long-time volunteer, retains members
Long-time Poulsbo Fire Department volunteer and Nordic Viking Ken Wickert died in July after a long battle with cancer.
Members of the board of fire commissioners were up for reelection this year, and incumbents Linda Gunby, Jack Woodward and David Ellingson were retained during the November election.
North Kitsap Fire & Rescue gets levy,
Voters decided to pass NKF&RÄôs proposed tax levy lid lift in May, which would help support the first third of the agencyÄôs fiscal year. In August, the agency hired a second assistant chief, Wayne Kier, to oversee NKF&RÄôs safety, facilities and apparatus maintenance functions, while assistant chief Dan Smith focuses on operations. Former commissioner Leon Thomas made a surprise announcement of resigning in August, citing conflicting opinions on how the fire district operated. After a lengthy public process, Richard Gordon Elementary School kindergarten teacher Patrick Pearson was hired to replace Thomas.
Hansville continues green space efforts
Kitsap County approved a resolution in September to purchase the 3-acre waterfront property known as Forbes Land for $1.5 million. The property is expected to become of a part of the Hansville Greenway Corridor and allow public access to HansvilleÄôs waterfront.
The BMX track at Buck Lake Park was turned over to the Kitsap County Master Gardeners, who plan to convert the small parcel into an educational community garden filled with native plants.
The Hansville Community Center Board honored resident Bonnie Issacs with its Citizen of the Year Award in November, for the for and support she provides at all of HansvilleÄôs community events.
Residents also came together to work on the Hansville Futures Project in the last three months of the year, outlining what residents value in their community and how they sustain them through the year 2020.
Puget Sound Energy proposes substation
While the infamous Hansville generator would spend one more winter at its location on Little Boston Road, Puget Sound Energy announced in August that it will build a new substation next year to not only serve Hansville residents but also meet the power needs of Kingston as it continues to quickly grow.
The proposed location of the substation, on the corner of Three Berry Lane and Hansville Road, irked residents there, who had concerns about the proximity of the substation for health reasons. They also wanted to know if PSE had a back-up plan if the county didnÄôt approve PSEÄôs request to build it and if there were any other locations they could build on.
Stottlemyer/Bond Road Äúparking lotÄù shut down
The Kitsap County Code Enforcement Office spent a better part of the year trying to clear the corner lot at Stottlemyer and Bond Road of the junk cars that kept showing up. Aside from fighting certain issues in court, the county also worked with property owner Bill Arness to try and remove the cars. Finally in November, it was agreed that the county would dismiss the court case if Arness would allow the county to restrict access to the property, with concrete blocks and a gate. Since then, no cars have shown up on the property.
Indianola Clubhouse to get face-lift
Members of the Indianola Beach Improvement Club started researching ideas and redesigns for the 80-year-old Indianola Clubhouse this year. Plans for the upgrade include major maintenance work, such as replacing parts of the buildingÄôs foundation as well as redesigning the entrance to the clubhouse.
Landmark restaurant burns to the ground
Residents within viewing distance of downtown Kingston got a light show the night of Sept. 21 as the Kingston Inn caught fire and burned to the ground. Fire officials cited an electrical problem on the second floor of the building as the cause.
The remnants of the building stuck around for a bit longer than expected, including the leftover food from the kitchen, creating a stench that had residents and business owners complaining.
The demolition of the building was delayed by the discovery of asbestos, which was eventually removed, followed by the removal of the charred remains. Inn owner Michael Prestley declared he would rebuild again in 2006.