North End year in review: Canoe journey showcases Suquamish

Paddle to Suquamish marks cultural resurgence for tribes

Nearly 100 tribal canoes launched from beaches as far north as Vancouver Island in late July. Their destination? Suquamish.

A crowd of 5,000 lined the waterfront to welcome the Tribal Journey paddlers to Suquamish Aug. 3. After a traditional landing ceremony called “protocol,” volunteers carried the traditional, carved cedar canoes and lined them up in front of the newly opened House of Awakened Culture. To some, these were signs of a cultural resurgence for the Suquamish and tribes throughout the region.

“When I was a kid you couldn’t find a canoe,” said Suquamish Council Member Bardow Lewis as he watched the canoes arrive. “You could hardly find a drum.”

The tribe hoped to begin a new tradition during the paddle. After serving 70,000 meals, the tribe shipped off 4.5 tons of food waste for composting and another four tons of recycling.

“We feel like we made a significant contribution to Tribal Journeys as an institution with the things we tried to do here,” Tribal Chair Leonard Forsman said. “It validated our tradition of being a good hosting tribe.”

The 2010 Tribal Journey will end in Neah Bay.

Village Green rises from the rubble

A patch of green grew in Kingston in 2009 where a gray jungle of military housing had once stood.

With county parks funding in short supply, volunteers went to work transforming the rubble field left from the demolished housing complex into “Village Green Community Park.”

About 70 volunteers put in 700 hours regrading and planting the site off West Kingston Road. The park opened with a celebration and pie auction in August.

Planning continues for the upper portion of the property, where the Village Green Foundation hopes a new community center and senior housing complex will be installed. The foundation began gathering signatures in December to place a measure to create a metropolitan park and recreation district on an August 2010 ballot. The park district would pay maintenance costs for the future community center.

Hansville man dies of H1N1 virus

As Kitsap County rushed to distribute vaccines for the H1N1 flu strain in October, a Hansville man became the first in the county to die from the virus.

Charles Plummer , 59, a 13-year Hansville resident and a biologist for the state Department of Transportation, died Oct. 18 after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms Oct. 6. Plummer had been in good health before contracting the virus, his wife Pamela said.

Plummer was the first Kitsap County resident to die from H1N1 but not the first to die in the county from the virus.

The Health District confirmed that two other people had died of H1N1 in the spring of 2009. The public had not been notified, Health District spokesman Scott Daniels said, because the two victims were not county residents.

Ferries float reservation plans

In Kingston, summer came with the usual ferry quagmire, including mile-long wait lines and a parade of late boats.

At the same time, Washington State Ferries planners and North End ferry users were studying a possible solution to the ferry mess. The Kingston/Edmonds Ferry Partnership was convened to consider a reservation system that would be tested on the Kingston route and later rolled out across the ferry system.

In their report to lawmakers, ferry planners proposed the reservation system be tried out on routes in the San Juan Islands and Port Townsend rather than the complex and busy Kingston run. The Legislature will review the reservation study in its 2010 session and advise ferries on how to move forward.

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