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Reporter Central Kitsap St. Paddy’s Day Join the parade in Bremerton on Saturday Page 7 FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2014 | Vol. 29, No. 24 | WWW.CENTRALKITSAPREPORTER.COM | 50¢ Forum set for Tracyton closure REMEMBERING SAILOR JOHN HARRIS BY LESLIE KELLY LKELLY@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM Kevan Moore/staff photo Dozens of motorcyle riders turned out in Silverdale last week to honor Navy Lt. Cmdr. John David Harris, 36, who was killed Feb. 26 while riding in the intersection of Kitsap Mall Boulevard and Randall Way. Harris was heading home to Port Orchard when he was killed and the riders all followed the route he would have taken to get there. His wife, Shannon, is seen here being comforted by road captain Sean Butler of Bremerton. Nothing like doggone puppy love BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM Shortly after Sandi Klein lost a dog to cancer back in 2009, she started volunteering at the Kitsap Humane Society in Silverdale. “I just wanted to be around dogs and thought, ‘Okay, this is a good way to do it without having one at home and having the responsibility of owning a dog,’” she said. It wasn’t long, though, before Klein was a dog owner again. Trained volunteers are allowed to take dogs home with them in what are called “cage breaks” for the animals. When Klein did that with Mailie, the rest was history. “It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I went into the Kevan Moore/staff photo Kitsap Humane Society volunteer extraordinaire Sandi Klein gets a little snuggle time with Iris, an adorable black chihuahua who, after three weeks, is still waiting to be adopted. little dog ‘Okay, I’ll one that want for room, thinking, pick a little dog, I would never myself,’” Klein said. “There was this Jack Russell there and she was behaving very well and I said, ‘I’ll take you home for Thanksgiving.’ Well, that dog made herself so at home that by the end of SEE SHELTER, A9 The Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue District is looking at whether or not to close Station 44, in the Tracyton area and has set a date for public open house and discussion. The station, which is manned by all volunteer crews, is at 300 NW Tracy Street. Discussion about closing the station for financial reasons surfaced last November during budget discussions for the current year’s budget. The district’s board of commissioners decided this week to hear public comments about the pending closure on March 24. According to Assistant Chief Jay Lovato during the budget discussions, the station is in need of repair and to make it safe, it would cost the district about $500,000. To find a new location and build another new replacement station would run about $1.5 million. Lovato said the district wants to move volunteers from Station 44 into Station 41 and have a combined station to serve the Tracyton and Meadowdale areas. Station 41 is at 7600 Old Military Road and is about 2.5 miles away. Fire district officials said the reduction in assessed value of property in the Central Kitsap district during the past five years has resulted in financial issues for the district. In all, the district has lost more than $1 million in tax revenues because of the drop in assessed value of property in the district. A specific dollar figure for what will be saved if the station is permanently closed was not given and hasn’t been calculated, said Lovato. “It’s just not as easy as a simple figure,” he said, “given that this building is 51 years old and has safety requirements that have to be met which essentially means on-going costs if it stays open.” Station 44 is targeted for closure because it was built in 1963 and is much older than Station 41, which was built in 1979. The district plans to have an open house at Station 44 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 24 and then move to Station 41 to begin the discussion about closing Station 44. Fire Chief Scott Weninger said the meeting was being split so that those attending could see both stations before discussion about the closure. He said Station 44 is too small to host a public meeting and lacks space where audio visual equipment can be set up for the meeting. Residents of both areas are asked to come with their questions and suggestions. Anyone needing information prior to the meeting should call 360447-3550. Because the station is manned by volunteers, the closure will not result in any job loss for any firefighters, paramedics or administrators, Weninger said. Commissioners did not ask about changes in response times if Station 44 is closed. That information is expected to be presented at the meeting on March 24, Lovato said. Fire union officials said they were happy to see the district communicating with residents of Tracyton prior to making a decision. “We appreciate the district working so hard to communicate with the residents of Tracyton,” said Ronny Smith, vice SEE DISCUSSION, A9

Central Kitsap Reporter, March 14, 2014

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