The Poulsbo Beat

News, insight and conversation about Poulsbo.

Poulsbo Port welcomes new commissioner

May 29th, 2012 at 2:15 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners approved the recommendation from the Port of Poulsbo for their new commissioner: attorney Stephen Swann.

Port Commissioner Jim Rutledge said the port interviewed four candidates at a special meeting May 23, and recommended Swann to the county.

“He’s shown real interest in the port, has an excellent local and previous residence record of community service, and brings a lot of personal expertise that will be useful to the port immediately,” Rutledge said.

Swann and his wife Lana moved to Poulsbo in October from Virginia, where he was a JAG (Judge Advocate General) lawyer for 24 years. Swann is a retired Coast Guard commander, and the Swanns moved to Little Norway after visiting some friends and enjoying the change of pace.

“We like small towns, [Poulsbo] is extremely friendly, highly cultured, [has a] low stress environment,” he said.

“I think I’d like for the community to better recognize what the port contributes,” he added. “From talking to a lot of people in the past few months, a lot of people don’t realize what the port does.

“I’d like for the port to become more active in the community, more involved with the Coast Guard, the boating community, yacht clubs…Perhaps be more visible.”

Because of the time lap between former Commissioner Glenn Gilbert resigning in November and a protested appointment of Arnold “Arnie” Bockus in December, port commissioners asked the county for guidance to appoint their third commissioner.

The port will welcome new commissioner Swann at their next meeting, June 7, at the port offices on E dock at 7 p.m.

“The port appreciates all of the interested, multiple qualified candidates,” Rutledge added. “We hope they’ll continue to show interest in the port.”

The port is still looking for volunteers to serve on a citizen advisory council as they update their Comprehensive Plan.

New lutefisk-eating champ sets a record

May 25th, 2012 at 10:51 am by Richard D. Oxley
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One would think that eating 7 pounds of lutefisk would be enough.

But Victor Dew of Poulsbo, the 2012 Viking Fest lutefisk-eating champion, then entered the oyster eating contest and won the first heat.

Dew’s 7 pounds of lutefisk consumption is a Viking Fest record. The previous record was 5.5 pounds, according to Viking Fest Corp. president Ron Krell. This year the contestants persevered for 14 rounds and only left 1.5 pounds of fish leftover.

Eric Perkins, also from Poulsbo, came in second. Krell said Perkins also ate 7 pounds, but one bite was left on his plate when time ran out.

Dew, who went by the nickname “The Devastator,” also won the Ballard Lutefisk contest the day before — two-pound bowls of what looks like Lutefisk soup, and the first one to drink it wins, Krell said.

Tens of thousands of people attended the 43rd annual Viking Fest, May 18-20, a celebration of Poulsbo’s Norwegian cultural ties. The weekend included a parade, carnival and live entertainment. The Lutefisk contest was sponsored by Peninsula Credit Union.

Vehicle speed, alcohol may be factor in crash injuring four Poulsbo teens

May 21st, 2012 at 11:30 am by Richard D. Oxley
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Four Poulsbo teens were injured May 20 in a rollover accident in Port Ludlow, according to the Port Townsend Leader.

Two 19-year-olds and an 18-year-old were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center; the fourth passenger, a 17-year-old, was sent to Harrison Medical Center.

More information can be found at the Leader’s website.

Viking Fest Carnival begins 3 p.m. Friday

May 16th, 2012 at 5:09 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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The Viking Fest carnival will open Friday at 3 p.m., not noon, Viking Fest Corp. president Ron Krell reported Wednesday.

“Sherry McKay, owner of Paradise Amusements, who provides the carnival for Viking Fest, has told me that she will be unable to open on Friday until 3 p.m.,” Krell stated.

“We had planned to open the carnival at noon along with the vendor booths on Anderson Parkway. The vendor booths will still open at noon, but the carnival will not begin until 3 p.m.”

Carnival wristbands available for $25

Viking Fest is pre-selling carnival wrist bands at a discounted price of $25.

The wristband is reduced $5 from the regular price, and comes with a tag on the band that is redeemable at the Carnival Ticket Booth for five game tokens.

A limited number of wristbands will be sold, first come, first served, at AmericanWest Bank, 18960 Highway 305; and at the two locations for Little Bean Espresso — the corner of Jensen Way and Front Street, and the other at Highway 3 and Pioneer Way — until Friday at 4 p.m. or until sold out.

The wristbands are good from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 4-9 p.m. — you choose your session of unlimited carnival rides. If you pre-buy a wristband and use it on Saturday for the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. session, you may purchase an additional session at the ticket booth from 4-9 p.m. for $10 more. That’s a full day of unlimited carnival rides for only $35, if you purchase a pre-sale wristband.

Plowing with art: county seeks unique look for snow plow blades

May 16th, 2012 at 3:21 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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PORT ORCHARD — Kitsap County Public Works is looking for artistic flair on three snow plows this winter. As part of the annual National Public Works Week celebration, they have announced a contest to select three classrooms to paint the blades of snowplows used in snow and ice removal operations.

“This is a great opportunity for students to display their artwork on a uniquely mobile medium,” said Doug Bear, County Public Communication Manager.

The contest is open to classrooms at all levels. Applications must be received by June 5. Participants will be selected and notified June 8.

Public Works will provide the paint and brushes, and drop the plow off at the school the week of June 11. The plow blades are 12 feet long and about 3 feet high. Once the plow blades are painted crews from Public Works will pick them up and use them during this winter’s snow and ice response. Here are samples of the artwork displayed on snow plow blades in other jurisdictions.

Port parking open for Viking Fest

May 4th, 2012 at 12:07 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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As the Port of Poulsbo looks to revamp their comprehensive plan, setting the tone for their what they want the port to look like in six to 12 years, staff and commissioners are asking for the public’s input.

At their regularly scheduled Thursday night meeting, commissioners Jim Rutledge and Tony DeCarlo said they expect the not-yet-formed advisory council to meet about four times, beginning in July, to give the port direction on future projects, upland development and overall vision. The port is currently accepting applications to the citizen advisory council.

Commissioners also discussed their new parking lot, which is days away from being completed. They expect it will be open and available for Viking Fest weekend, May 18-20, and discussed offering it to a charitable organization to run parking security during the festival. The commissioners have not determined how they will charge for parking after the festival, or how much, leaving it up for discussion at their next port meeting.

For information on the port or how to get involved, call (360) 779-9905 or visit

County shoreline meetings pushed back

April 30th, 2012 at 3:55 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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Two upcoming public hearings on the Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program have been postponed.

The county invites the public to submit questions and comments on the shoreline plan before the Planning Commission. A hearing scheduled May 1 has been pushed to June 5, at the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners’ chambers, 619 Division St., Port Orchard, at 6 p.m.

A public hearing scheduled for May 7 has been pushed to June 11 at Poulsbo City Hall,  council chambers, 200 NE Moe St., Poulsbo, at 6 p.m.

Mayor reaches out to 4th Avenue residents

April 9th, 2012 at 11:03 am by Richard D. Oxley
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Becky Erickson, the mayor of Poulsbo, says she is going door-to-door on 4th Avenue next Saturday to talk about crime awareness and prevention.

As a comment on this reporter’s story, Crime-weary neighbors become more vigilant, Erickson said “we always want the citizens of Poulsbo to be safe.” She’ll be walking the mean streets of 4th Avenue to talk to residents at 1 p.m., and said she’ll also be available during her usual Saturday morning Meet the Mayor, from 9 a.m. – noon.

Erickson and County Commissioner Rob Gelder also hosted a community safety program last month, with a disappointingly low turnout.



Poulsbo Comp Plan subject of April 18 public hearing

April 5th, 2012 at 4:31 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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POULSBO — The Poulsbo City Council will hear public comment on proposed changes to the city Comprehensive Plan on April 18, 7:05 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers, 200 NE Moe St.

Among the proposed changes:
- Rezone 4.38 acres from Residential Low to Light Industrial, 20554 Little Valley Road NE.
- Redesignate 0.7 acres on Viking Avenue north of Fish Park, and 2.7 acres at 20563 Bond Road NE from Residential to Park.
- Redesignate 1 acre along 10th Avenue from Commercial to Park.
- Adopt the Urban Paths of Poulsbo Plan.

The city has posted information regarding all proposed amendments at

KRL system down while launching new online catalog April 26

April 4th, 2012 at 9:13 am by Richard D. Oxley
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Kitsap library users will have only limited access to the KRL catalog from Sunday, April 22 through Wednesday, April 25 as the library system transitions to its new integrated library system (ILS) software. The new system software from Polaris Library Systems has been scheduled to go live April 26.

During the four days of the transfer, the KRL catalog will not be accessible. No holds will be able to be placed on items in the catalog during that four-day period. Patrons will not be able to access their library account records to see when the materials they have checked out are due, to renew items they’ve borrowed or to check on fines and fees they may owe.

Staff from KRL and Polaris have already moved data from the existing system into the new one and have been testing the new system to make sure the transition later this month will go smoothly.

KRL has created a web page with some Frequently Asked Questions about the transition to the new ILS.

The April 22-25 transition period is to allow KRL to transfer all current records from the existing ILS to the new system.
KRL Board Elects New Officers

At its regular monthly meeting on March 27, the Kitsap Regional Library Board of Trustees elected John Lyall to be the Board’s next president and Jackie Aitchison to be the next vice president. Both will assume their duties at the April Board meeting.

Lyall, the Board’s Bremerton representative, has served as a trustee since Oct. 1, 2007, when he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board. He is retired after a career first in human resources (including a stint as the HR Director of Seattle Public Library) and then real estate.

Aitchison, the North Kitsap representative, has served on the Board since Jan. 1, 2004. She formerly served as a Poulsbo City Council member and has been very active in promoting farmer’s markets in Kitsap County and across the state.

The KRL Board of Trustees is appointed by the Kitsap County Commissioners. The Board’s five members represent the five school district regions of the county: Bainbridge, North Kitsap, Central Kitsap, Bremerton and South Kitsap. Board members are appointed to five-year terms and are limited to serving two terms or up to 10 years on the board.

The Board’s other members are: Dan Gottlieb of Bainbridge Island, Gail Mathison of South Kitsap and Teresa McDermott of Central Kitsap.
A Look at KRL’s Collection

Kitsap Regional Library plans to spend about $1,165,000 in 2012 on its collection, about 11 percent of its overall budget.

Part of that money goes to subscribe to special research databases that librarians and the public can use in a variety of ways to get information they need for their work, businesses or education, or to research things like family history or learn a foreign language.

But the bulk of the collections budget is used to buy new items that can be borrowed by library users.

For 2012, the library expects to spend about 62 percent of the collection budget on books and magazines; about 14 percent of the budget on downloadable ebooks, audiobooks and music; and about 12 percent of the collection on physical media (music on CDs; video on DVDs).

The demand for downloadable materials is growing at incredible speed. Ebook downloads at KRL in 2011 totaled 23,204, a 374 percent increase over 2010. If the trend for the first three months of 2012 continues, a similar increase in ebook downloads will be experienced in 2012. In the first two and a half months of the year, total downloads were nearly half of the total for the entire year in 2011.

Kindle ebooks now make up half the downloadable ebooks borrowed from KRL. Books for Kindles only became available for library users in the fourth quarter of 2011.

This is an interesting trend well worth watching over the next 18 months.

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About Richard D. Oxley

Richard D. Oxley 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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