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Reporter Central Kitsap Keep it classy Expanded classifieds inside Kitsap Week FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2013 | Vol. 29, No. 7 | WWW.CENTRALKITSAPREPORTER.COM | 50¢ Fire board reduces staffing levels BY LESLIE KELLY LKELLY@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM The minimum number of firefighter/paramedics on duty during each shift in the Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue will soon be reduced from 19 to 17. That action came Tuesday at a meeting of the Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue board of commissioners, during which the matter passed on a four to one vote with commissioner Dick West voting “no.” After more than 40 min- utes of discussion, and before a packed meeting room where at least 50 union firefighters listened in, commissioner West tried to convince the others that there was time to consider the reduction and still pass a budget for 2014, without taking action Tuesday. “We’re not at the 11th hour yet,” West said. “I think we have time to look again at all of our options.” But Fire Chief Scott Weninger said the decision needed to be made because until it was made, the staff could not complete its work on the budget. “This issue needs to be addressed now,” he said. “If the board says to fund at the minimum of 19 as it is now, we have to change the budget to reflect the $900,000 that will be needed for overtime and that money’s got to come from somewhere else. We’ll need to begin cutting the budget in other places.” The discussion about minimum staffing came about because of overtime issues in the fire district. In the past few years, the district has seen overtime range from $500,000 to an estimated $900,000 for this year. At the same time, the district has lost more than $2 million in revenue because of the assessed valuation of property in the district which affects how much funding it receives from its regular and EMS levies. Overtime is being accrued because of the minimum staffing number being at 19, the chief said. The district has 77 SEE CKFR STAFFING, A13 Klahowya celebrates Native culture BY SERAINE PAGE Pearl Harbor survivor Rocky Hoffman of Bremerton salutes the colors during Monday’s event at the fairgrounds. Veterans Day event draws huge crowd SPAGE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM War chants, love songs and drumming filled the auditorium of Klahowya Secondary School during the CK School District’s annual Native American Culture night. The event, in its sixth year, brought out around 100 guests from various tribes and the community on Thursday evening. Paige Richards, a member of the Chehalis Tribe, joins in on the celebration every year. Richards is a graduate of Klahowya and said she is proud to see the community gather together to learn about the Native American culture. “I think it is important for every person to know where they come from,” she said. “We’re very proud of our culture, and it’s okay to celebrate who you are.” Her role for the evening was manning the dessert table, which featured authentic native desserts provided by Fairview Jr. High food science classes for guests to get a taste of the culture as well. Prior to the performances of various Native American groups, guests meandered in the lobby where several booths offered artifacts and native artwork. Guests could pick up handwoven baskets, hand painted wooden masks and touch furs other cultural items. Several students’ Native American artwork was hung on the wall and displayed on Kevan Moore/Staff photo BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM Seraine Page /staff photo Members of the Haida Heritage Foundation prepare for a traditional song and dance performance during Native American Culture night at Klahowya Secondary School. tables for visitors to enjoy. Information on the Central Kitsap School District Native American Education Program was also available, which provides services to Native American students within the district. Every year since its inception, the event has grown larger and larger, said Cynthia Connell, Indian education instructor for CKSD. “It’s wonderful because when we first started doing it, we had a small turnout,” she said. “After a while, people become familiar with it… every community is made up of all sorts of bits and pieces.” Guests were ushered into the auditorium for several SEE KLAHOWYA, A13W Several hundred people packed the pavilion at the fairgrounds Monday for the county’s annual Veterans Day ceremony that, once again, lived up to its billing as one of the best in the state. Veterans of the Korean War, or the Forgotten War as it is sometimes called, and local Medal of Honor recipient John “Bud” Hawk, who died Nov. 4, got special attention at this year’s event. A separate memorial service was also held later in the day at the pavilion for Hawk. Kits ap C ount y Commissioners unveiled new road signs designating a portion Illahee Road in front of Brownsville Elementary School as John “Bud” Hawk Memorial Drive and keynote speaker Lourdes “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos, director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, spent much of her speech highlighting the sacrifices of Korean War veterans, several of whom she asked to stand for special recognition. Congressman Derek Kilmer also spoke during the event and outlined four areas in which he is trying to help veterans. In unveiling the new road signs honoring Hawk, outgoing Central Kitsap County commissioner Josh Brown noted that Hawk was not only a World War II hero, but “an example of our service men and women coming home after wars and serving our communities in wonderful ways.” In Hawk’s case, that meant a 31-year career as a principal and teacher. Alvarado-Ramos, who served 22 years in the Army before retiring in August 1993 as the Command Sergeant Major of Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, joined the state Veterans Administration a short time later and took the helm of the agency in 2005. Alvarado-Ramos noted that Washington state is home to roughly 620,000 veterans, 75,000 active duty memSEE VETERANS DAY, A13

Central Kitsap Reporter, November 15, 2013

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