The Poulsbo Beat

News, insight and conversation about Poulsbo.

Viking statue model for public art, no strings attached

April 1st, 2013 at 5:00 pm by Michelle Beahm
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I have a Google Alert for the word “Poulsbo,” and while my daily email usually only shows me news about Poulsbo from local sources, occasionally someone, somewhere else in the country is talking about Poulsbo.

This morning, I came across a column in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s website about Poulsbo’s Viking statue. While the column was actually a call for a unifying statue to represent local history in San Diego’s county, the author, Jim Rothgeb, made some digs at the Norseman.

First describing the Viking as a “bold-looking Viking, complete with armor and sword,” Rothgeb then writes “The city did it on the cheap,” because the statue cost $25,000. No mention of the artist’s nearly pro-bono work on the statue. While he notes the Viking shows how proud Poulsbo is of its Nordic heritage, he calls the Norseman “crude.” Rothgeb also admits he has not seen the Viking, only making these judgements from pictures.

I became a little defensive when I read Rothgeb’s column. Why pick on a piece of public art when he wishes his area had the same kind of symbol? I think Poulsbo is unique because of the different types of public art: fish made of wood, stone and steel “swimming” in our parks and on our streets; a mural of a Viking ship that sails off the brick wall across Front Street, always a favorite visitor photo; and a new friendly face in front of the aquarium, Poulsbo’s permanent resident octopus.

Although his impression seemed mediocre, Rothgeb did demonstrate that folks are taking notice of Poulsbo’s community ideas. And I think we should be proud of that.

Read Rothgeb’s column here.

Meeting March 20 on neighborhood proposed near Noll Road and Hostmark Street

March 13th, 2013 at 3:47 pm by Michelle Beahm
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A new development near Noll Road and Hostmark Street is proposed by Quadrant Homes, and representatives are hosting a community meeting March 20, 6-9 p.m., at the Poulsbo Fire station at 10th Avenue and Liberty Way.

The 29.78-acre site is located east of Noll Road and Hostmark Street; its eastern boundary is at the city limit. The development will include off-site stormwater management.

The applicant plans to subdivide the acreage into 145 lots for detached single-family units. Open space will be five acres including critical areas and a stand of “mature forest.”

Corey Watson of Quadrant Homes and Mark Kuhlman of Team 4 Engineering will be on hand to answer questions. View the application at the planning office at Poulsbo City Hall.

Why Anderson Parkway re-paving stopped at the Poulsbo Port entrance

March 12th, 2013 at 11:10 am by Michelle Beahm
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I’ve gotten a few questions about why the Anderson Parkway re-paving project didn’t cover the whole space in front of the Port of Poulsbo entrance, so I asked those at the City and at the port.

The area in question is in the small parking lot area owned by the City of Poulsbo, but used by the Port of Poulsbo (as it is directly in front of their pedestrian entrance to recreational and transit docks). The lot also holds the port’s bathroom and laundry facilities — although Commissioner Tony DeCarlo said the port owns the land directly under the bathroom building.

The short answer is the city’s funding restricted the project to repave only the parking area, and the project stopped at a fire lane — where literally parking ends in front of the port. Engineering Director Andre Kasiniak said the city’s funding restricted the construction contract — carried out by Seton Construction — to cover parking.

The project was paid for by a $270,000 Department of Ecology grant for stormwater improvements, $125,000 from the city’s stormwater fund and $175,000 from the city’s road fund.

It may seem like splitting hairs, but there was another hinderance that would make re-paving that area difficult — a large rock is embedded in the pavement near the entrance.

Then-Port Manager Kirk Stickels said Seton’s estimate of that area’s re-paving is $12,700.

Kasiniak said it is the grading of the area that would make it difficult — and expensive — to work on. He said he would estimate that area would be three days worth of work for the construction company.

City Councilman David Musgrove, council liaison to the port, said neither he nor the city had any communication with the port until the contract was finalized.

The port commissioners discussed the project at their Feb. 21 meeting, just a few days before Anderson Parkway was shut down for six days for re-paving and striping. I asked Commissioner Jim Rutledge if the port was willing to pay nearly $13,000 for that area in the near future, and he seemed hesitant.

The commissioners are more concerned that the property is not owned by the port. Rutledge said the port wants to clear up jurisdiction of the property, and wouldn’t want to be a part of a project until utility and legal responsibility are squared away.

“It was a handshake agreement between commissioners and the city, [but] we’ve always been using it,” DeCarlo said, who has been commissioner for over 20 years.

“We can’t spend port money on city property unless it’s a benefit to us,” he said.

The port wants the parking area, and Commissioners Rutledge and DeCarlo said they have had many talks with Mayor Becky Erickson about how to buy or transition the deed of the property to the port.

Poulsbo’s SMP approved (updated)

February 25th, 2013 at 5:23 pm by Michelle Beahm
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The City of Poulsbo received approval of its Shoreline Management Program plan from the Department of Ecology Feb. 13, Mayor Becky Erickson announced. The city submitted the plan for approval in May.

The plan takes effect tomorrow, Feb. 28, and state law allows 60 days for an appeal to be filed with the Growth Management Hearings Board.

The city last updated the SMP in 1976. The rules apply to new development, substantial redevelopment and land-use changes proposed within the shoreline area. City planner Keri Weaver said the shoreline buffer, at 125 feet, is now the same as the city’s Critical Areas Ordinance, which was updated and adopted in 2008.

Zoning code wraps up Wednesday

January 28th, 2013 at 9:40 am by Michelle Beahm
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POULSBO — If you were wondering about changes to the city’s Zoning Code Ordinance, but haven’t made it to a council meeting, the city now has a workshop summery on the website.

After several council workshops since September, following three years of research and revision by planning staff and the Planning Commission, the proposed zoning code is nearing the end of its review.

The council delved into five topics during their last two workshops, Jan. 9 and 16: off-street parking, street signage, tree retention, temporary transitory accommodations and wireless communication.

If development is proposed in the city’s commercial zone — new construction, an additional 1,501 square feet to an existing building, or adding a residential unit to an existing building — new parking spots will be required.

Some council members were concerned about inhibiting new development in the downtown core, where space is already limited, and the council discussed allowing a fee in lieu of additional parking. However, Planning Director Barry Berezowski pointed out that a consolidate structure would move parking from downtown’s most valuable land.

Under signage, the council discussed regulating sandwich board signs. The code proposes allowing two signs per business. Councilman David Musgrove suggested finding out how many sandwich board signs are currently around town and where are they, so the code can regulate “sign pollution.”

Significant tree retention was an important subject to the council, but the proposed code puts more responsibility of tree retention in developer’s hands. The proposed rule states developers must retain clusters of exiting trees for new construction in all zones, but especially in the area east of 10th Avenue, between Lincoln Road and Forest Rock Lane — instead of clear-cutting, and then planting new trees, developers must keep clusters of trees and build around them.

The city does not regulate current tree retention on private property, unless the trees are in a critical area. Mayor Becky Erickson said trees act as a primary source for stormwater management and can prevent low-land flooding.

The updated code must reflect a new state law that allows religious organizations to offer temporary transient accommodations — sometimes called tent cities — to the homeless. Erickson said she does not support tent cities, because “It is not the proper way to deal with homelessness.” The temporary transitory accommodations are allowed under a 180-day permit, and the city can only regulate them for public health and safety.

The council also addressed wireless communications, which directly affects the Kitsap Public Utility District’s pilot project of providing wireless internet to the public at no charge. The zoning code gives location priorities for where antennae and equipment: first on an existing KPUD facility, second on existing power structures (power poles), third in commercial districts, and fourth in residential districts, when there is a significant gap in service or coverage.

To see the changes of the proposed zoning code update, read the Workshop Response and Recommendations Document, found at The entire draft Code Enforcement Ordinance can also be found at the website, under City Council Review and named September 2012 Planning Commission Recommended Draft Zoning Ordinance.

The council will hold the first of its wrap-up workshops Jan. 30 and will continue to Feb. 6 if needed. The public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27. All meetings are in Council Chambers at City Hall, 200 NE Moe St., at 7 p.m.



Economic vitality, street maintenance among City Council’s goals for 2013

December 21st, 2012 at 12:01 pm by Michelle Beahm
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POULSBO — Poulsbo City Council members agreed on four goals for 2013 at their Dec. 19 meeting. Some goals are a continuation of past goals, updated with what has been accomplished so far.

— Old City Hall property: Implement best use and maximize value.
Objectives include analyzing marketing of the property with the adjacent King Olav parking lot, to maximize opportunity; and initiate feasibility studies.

The council will measure progress by having a feasibility report completed, reconfiguring the properties for marketability, and selling the property.

Progress so far includes hiring a real estate agent (2010), property appraisal (2010), and an option agreement with Lorig & Associates (2012).

— Viking Avenue revitalization
Objectives include a Lindvig Bridge beautification project, possible relocation of Farmers Market to Viking Avenue, supporting adaptive re-use of existing buildings, leveraging Regal Cinema’s presence, and branding Viking Avenue.

The council will measure progress by increasing community and business interest and activity, redeveloping a partnership with private-sector businesses, and creating a brand.

Progress so far includes the Viking statue as a gateway, business interest group involvement, and new private sector investment.

— Develop neighborhood street maintenance program
Objectives include determining parameters and priorities and establishing a funding source.

The council will measure progress by allocating funding and developing a timeline plan.

Progress so far includes street inventories with a plan development.

— Increase downtown economic vitality
Objectives include improving downtown parking; possible fees in lieu of parking; marketing with the Port of Poulsbo, Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association, Visitors and Convention Bureau, and volunteers; explore the night time economy; and explore downtown appeal for younger residents.

The council will measure progress by increasing ability to find parking, adding events, improved publicity and coordination, increased sales tax revenue to local businesses, and an increase in customers and visitors in the evening.

Election in Kitsap: incumbents stay in

November 6th, 2012 at 9:40 pm by Michelle Beahm
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The results — unofficially — are in.

Kitsap County had a 50 percent registered voter turnout as of 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Here is a breakdown of how Kitsap voters put their pens to the ballots on local, state and national issues.

State Senator, Dist. 23:
— Christine Rolfes 63.9 percent
— Bret Treadwell 35.8 percent

State Representative, Dist. 23 Position 1:
— Sherry Appleton 60.3 percent
— Tony Stephens 39.5 percent

State Representative, Dist. 26 Position 2:
— Drew Hansen 59.4 percent
— James Olsen 40.3 percent

County Commissioner, Dist. 1:
— Robert Gelder 55.1 percent
— Chris Tibbs 44.6 percent

County Commissioner, Dist. 2:
— Linda Simpson 47.2 percent
— Charlotte Garrido 52.4 percent

Superior Court Judge, Department 7:
— Jennifer Forbes 66.4 percent
— Karen Klein 32.9 percent

U.S. President:
— Barack Obama/Joe Biden 54 percent
— Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan 43.4 percent

U.S. Senator:
— Maria Cantwell 58.3 percent
— Michael Baumgartner 41.4 percent

U.S. Representative, Dist. 6:
— Derek Kilmer 57.5 percent
— Bill Driscoll 42.2 percent

U.S. Representative, Dist. 1:
— John Koster 42.7 percent
— Suzan DelBene 57 percent

— Jay Inslee 49.9 percent
— Rob McKenna 49.7 percent

(Statewide, Inslee led 51 percent over McKenna 48 percent)

Lt. Governor:
— Brad Owen 55.2 percent
— Bill Finkbeiner 44.5 percent

Secretary of State:
— Kim Wyman 50.4 percent
— Kathleen Drew 49.3 percent

Attorney General:
— Bob Ferguson 52.8 percent
— Reagan Dunn 46.9 percent

Initiative 1185 (tax and fee increases imposed by state government):
— Yes 64.3 percent
— No 35.6 percent

Initiative 1240 – charter schools:
— Yes 52.1 percent
— No 47.8 percent

Referendum 74 – marriage equality:
— Approve 52.8 percent
— Reject 47.11 percent

Initiative 502 – license and regulate marijuana:
— Yes 56 percent
— No 44 percent

Senate Joint Resolution 8221:
— Approved 64.5 percent
— Rejected 35.4 percent

Senate Joint Resolution 8223:
— Approve 43 percent
— Reject 56.9 percent

Advisory Vote 1 (SB 6635):
— Repeal 58.5 percent
— Maintain 41.5 percent

Advisory Vote 1 (SB 2590):
— Repeal 57.2 percent
— Maintain 42.7 percent

There are 3.8 million registered voters in the state of Washington. There are still an estimated 427,300 ballots to be processed by hand as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Poulsbo Port chooses new lawyer

November 5th, 2012 at 3:16 pm by Michelle Beahm
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The Port of Poulsbo Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Nov. 1 to retain the Chmelik, Sitkin and Davis law firm of Bellingham as legal advisers. Frank Chmelik was one of five lawyers that sent in a letter of interest when the port commissioners advertised for their need of a legal expert, said Commissioner Stephen Swann.

The law firm specializes in representing municipal governments, including ports.

The port allocated $40,000 for legal services in their 2013 budget, nearly double from their 2012 budget. Port Manager Kirk Stickels said the port is still challenging the city’s Shoreline Management Program, which was submitted to the state Department of Ecology in May. The services needed to review and propose changes to the SMP are why the commissioners projected a higher cost for legal services in the near future.

Girl Scouts earn award for parks video

October 22nd, 2012 at 10:14 am by Michelle Beahm
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Ever wonder about Poulsbo’s parks and what recreation classes are offered? Poulsbo’s Girl Scouts don’t want you to wonder anymore.

Girl Scout Troop 42062 earned their Silver Award after producing a video about the city’s Parks and Recreation department, and presenting the video to the City Council Oct. 17.

Martha Rabura, a freshman at Kingston High School; Madison Gale, a freshman at West Sound Academy; Annika Maule, a freshman at North Kitsap High School; and Kalena Ackerman-Clemons, a freshman at Kingston High School shot a video highlighting Poulsbo’s parks, and an overview of the classes and events through the recreation programs.

Each girl put in more than 50 hours, which began in September. Annika said she liked working with the other girls, and Martha and Kalena said they enjoyed learning how to film and produce a digital project.

To earn the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, the scouts must complete three community service projects. The girls earned their Bronze Award by making blankets for local children and homeless youth in need, in 2009. Their Gold Award will be an individual service project.

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson presented the four girls with certificates of appreciation at the council meeting. The video can be seen at the Parks and Recreation website, at

From right, Kalena Ackerman-Clemons, Annika Maule, Martha Rabura and Madison Gale, with Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson. The Girl Scouts earned their Silver Award with a video they produced about Poulsbo Parks and Recreation department, available on the city’s website.

Shoreline plan open for comments

October 4th, 2012 at 4:19 pm by Michelle Beahm
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Residents who still have questions or comments about Poulsbo’s Shoreline Master Program — a plan that regulates development along four miles of Liberty Bay and local wetlands and creeks — have one last chance.

The city submitted its updated plan to the Department of Ecology in July. Ecology opened its comment period Sept. 24. Comments are being accepted until Oct. 26 at 5 p.m.

Comments can be submitted to Joe Burcar via email at; or to Department of Ecology, Northwest Regional Office, c/o Joe Burcar, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, Wash., 98008.

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About Michelle Beahm

Michelle Beahm covers the Poulsbo and North Kitsap beat for the North Kitsap Herald. Check the Poulsbo Beat for information about events around the city. Have a news tip, email

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