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Comprehensive coverage of a single issue When the Hood Canal Bridge — a main arterial road that connects the Kitsap Peninsula to its northern neighbors — was scheduled for a six-week closure, Jennifer Morris saw that as an opportunity to tell a story. From a 10-minute brainstorming session, she created a story list that presented the closure from as many viewpoints as possible. Each story is told in a compelling, warm story-telling fashion for which Jennifer is known. Respectfully submitted, Celeste Cornish, editor North Kitsap Herald


Bargains have a home in Viking Village. PAGE 10



Eight locals vie for the title of Miss Viking Fest this weekend.

Zach Sampson enters the world of pro soccer.





FRIDAY APRIL 24, 2009 Vol. 108, No. 16


Poulsbo awards city hall bid By JENNIFER MORRIS

Brad Camp/Staff photo

The Hood Canal Bridge will be closed for six weeks beginning May 1. This photo shows some of the pieces that will replace part of the current bridge structure.

Short-term pain, long-term gain State DOT urges travelers to plan ahead for sixweek Hood Canal Bridge closure. By JENNIFER MORRIS

SEATTLE — Starting next Friday, Kitsap and Jefferson counties may experience a “couple weeks of pain” for a long-term gain. That was Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Becky Hixson’s message this week, and she’s urging those affected by the six-week Hood Canal Bridge Closure to plan ahead. The closure begins May 1, the same day a surge of busses and ferries will aim to mitigate the travel snag by providing alternative options. The DOT is estimating one-third of the average 16,000 weekday vehicles and 20,000 weekend vehicles usually crossing the bridge will forego their trip. For those still on the move, other options include:

“We want people to know as close to real-time • A fare-free, passenger-only water shuttle between Jefferson and Kitsap counties with tran- updates as possible,” Hixson explained. Drivers can also call 5-1-1, listen to the DOT’s sit connections and park and rides, including highway advisory radio and receive text message those at Lofall and Port Gamble; • A nighttime Sunday through Thursday res- updates. More than $12 million of the project’s ervation-based car ferry between Port Townsend overall $477.8 million cost has been devoted to and Edmonds to assist freight haulers and driv- closure mitigation. “People using ers; these resources • A fare-free, res“Traveling to and from the peninsula won’t to plan ahead can ervation-based medbe easy, but we hope people will be patient determine which ical bus service that will transport people and are reassured by the fact that in about six of the transportaoptions make to and from the weeks they’ll have a wider, safer, more reliable tion the most sense for Olympic Peninsula, bridge.” them,” said Dave Kitsap County and Ziegler, principal Seattle; Dave Ziegler, project engineer, in a • Driving around Principal project engineer prepared statement. on US 101 and State “Traveling to and Route 3; or • Booking flights or rides on local airlines, from the peninsula won’t be easy, but we hope people will be patient and are reassured by the buses and boats. The DOT has placed seven additional traffic fact that in about six weeks they’ll have a wider, cameras along US 101 and SR 3, and has made safer, more reliable bridge.” When the bridge reopens, it will contain 12-foot available a hotline, (877) 595-4222, and a Web site — — for current shoulders, meaning a future expansion to four lanes would be possible without shutting it down. information. Visit for more The Web site offers video, transit schedules information. and an interactive trip-planning map.

POULSBO — The Poulsbo City Council approved a nearly $8.3 million construction contract Wednesday night, taking a giant lunge forward in replacing an aging city hall. The contract was awarded to Seattle-based JTM Construction, and came in $1.3 million — or 14 percent — lower than the city anticipated. “It’s really our own little economic stimulus package,” said Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade. City Public Works director Barry Loveless said 15 bids were submitted in “tight competition,” with only $100,000 separating JTM Construction from the next lowest bidder. The city planned for a roughly $9.5 million construction estimate, and council members discussed what to do with the savings. Councilwoman Becky Erickson called for a “careful analysis of what we do with that difference,” saying it doesn’t necessarily have to be spent. The project, with a total budget of nearly $15.9 million, is expected to be complete by the end of summer 2010. According to a city press release, construction work at the Moe Street and Third Avenue site is set to begin soon, and will mean regular SEE CITY. PAGE A20

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Lacey Coolbaugh crowned as Miss Viking Fest.


NK/Kingston rivalry heats up on the diamond.


FRIDAY May 01, 2009 Vol. 108, No. 17





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The Hood Canal Bridge will be closed to traffic for six weeks while crews work around the clock to replace trusses and pontoons to get the bridge back in commission.

Six week Hood Canal Bridge closure starts today By JENNIFER MORRIS

LOFALL — The single span across the Hood Canal closed today for a reconstruction scheduled to last six weeks. The work ends more than a decade of planning and other off-site construction, which has taken place throughout the region in preparation for the bridge shutdown. At one-and-a-half miles long, the Hood Canal Bridge is the only over-water connector between the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas. It is the longest floating bridge on salt water in the world. “We are ready. ... Everything is in line,” reported Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Becky Hixson Wednesday, just two days before the bridge’s official closure. While it is closed to vehicles, crews will replace the bridge’s east and west trusses, as well as the rusted east half pontoons. Crews began immediately. They’ll remove the trusses and later replace them with new ones weighing 1.6 million pounds each. The existing east half will be removed in three separate pieces, each of which will be floated to a Canadian harbor to

become part of a pier. New pontoons will then be floated in and up to 30 mph or more, in combination with strong tides, can anchored. The operation, WSDOT spokesman Joe Irwin said, affect construction, making a target ending date unpredictable. will use 200-250 crew members and will run 24 hours a day, The DOT has created a blog, linked from its project Web site – – to provide updates as the reopening seven days a week. grows near. “The construction workers are going “The whole idea is to get this bridge open to be like ants on a chocolate bar,” he “The construction workers as soon as we can,” Irwin said. said. are going to be like ants on a Hixson said the project is a chance for Project Manager Scott Ireland said chocolate bar.” those who normally use the bridge to construction is a compilation of six years instead shop locally – or spend an extended of work. Joe Irwin, time on the Olympic Peninsula. “This work is scheduled to take place WSDOT spokesman “If you don’t have to make a trip, go ahead over the next six weeks,” he said. “We and stay home,” she said. have the crews in place and focused to The DOT has provided several alternate options for travel, do that.” Contractor Kiewit-General has the potential to earn an addi- including a Lofall to South Point foot ferry and free transit sertional $75,000 per day for each day the project is finished in vices to North Kitsap and Jefferson destinations. Find all alternaadvance of the six week mark, up to eight days. Similarly, $75,000 tive travel options at Others, Hixson said, have chosen different options, including will be subtracted each day the project goes beyond the six week mark, up to $1 million, Irwin said. Hixson explained the project is weather dependent: winds SEE BRIDGE. PAGE A3

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Friday, May 1, 2009 • North Kitsap Herald

School board lights up Kingston High By BRIAN J. OLSON

KINGSTON — Kingston athletes will have a place to call their own. After months of meetings, negotiations, fundraisers and waiting, the North Kitsap School Board voted April 23 to allocate funds to the installation of lights at the Kingston High School athletic field. The school board meeting, which took place in the KHS commons, was attended by a larger than usual contingent of supporters of the field lights, and the decision to grant funding was greeted with applause and cheers. “I’m tickled,� said Todd Tidball, one of the leaders of the community effort to install lights. “I think it’s a great day for all the kids of North Kitsap. They get what they need, and that’s lights.� With plenty of uncertainties regarding budgets and funding for various projects at both Kingston and North Kitsap High Schools, the school board spent a large portion of the meeting considering where the money for the lights would come from, how much to spend, and where the lights stood on the community and school district priority lists. According to the funding proposal put forth by NKSD Superintendent Rick Jones, the price tag on the lights is an estimated $240,000, which Jones believes will decrease when the project is competitively bid. The district was asked to fund $140,000 of that cost, with the state pitching in $40,000 and

$60,000 coming from the community. The com- That motion ultimately carried, but was not supmunity has already raised $40,000 thanks largely to ported by Strickland, and Delaney abstained. “I think it’s good that we finally got lights,� said Kingston Rotary and the KHS associated student body, and Rotary members believe the remaining Ry Ravenholt, a KHS senior and member of the $20,000 can be raised at the June 19 “Swing for student task force that presented a lights funding the Lights� golf tournament to be hosted at White proposal to the board earlier this year. “I’m not exactly happy with where all the money is coming Horse Golf Club. from, and that we didn’t go with District five director Ed Strickland, a longtime backer of the lights project, “I think it’s good that the original proposal, but I guess it is good that we finally got the voiced his opinion that the lights are we finally got lights. job done. We also understand part of the construction of KHS, and not an extra, and therefore funding I’m not exactly happy that there are other projects here that need to be done, and we want should be taken from the 2001 school with where all the those to be done, maybe not just district bond that initially funded conmoney is coming as much as the lights, but we did struction of the school. “You never finished a high school,� from ... but I guess want to get them done.� Tidball was optimistic regardStrickland told the other members of it is good that we ing the district and community the board. “You never finished it to the finally got the job efforts to continue supporting the level you finished North.� school’s future projects. District three director Melanie done.� “I think the way it was funded Mohler responded, saying, “We have Ry Ravenholt, will work out fine,� Tidball said. completed it the way it was bid. We’re Kingston High senior “The things that the kids need trying to accommodate what the realat Kingston will come to pass, ity is.� Strickland’s motion that the funds for lights maybe in a different order than some people had come from the 2001 KHS construction bond was hoped for, but if they have needs, they’ll get met seconded by district two director Dan Delaney, but somehow in the future.� For more information regarding the “Swing for voted down by the rest of the board. The proposal was then reworked so the funding would come the Lights� tournament, visit www.kingston-nkrofrom a $340,000 pot of money that KHS administra- or contact Skip Peters at (360) 297-2323 or tors had hoped to use for other necessary projects.

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Bridge CONTINUED FROM A1 staying at friends’ homes in Kitsap, living in an RV or hotel, going on vacation during the closure or telecommuting. “There’s a lot of creative ideas,� she noted. Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Krista Hedstrom said officers will monitor congestion along US 101, the drive around option during the closure. She encouraged drivers to prepare for their trips, as those who are rushed are more prone to aggressive and dangerous driving. “We’re ready for this,� she said. “We hope drivers are ready as well.� Lieutenant Commander Diana Wickman of the Coast Guard explained marine traffic must heed a 200 yard safety zone around the bridge and machinery on both the north and south sides. Recreational vessels hoping to catch a good view of construction should be aware of possible cables between machines in the waterway as well.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 • North Kitsap Herald

Hood Canal Bridge: ‘It’s starting to take shape’

SHINE – Shrouded in fog, the new east truss and draw span pontoons were floated in to the Hood Canal Bridge early Monday morning, completing placement of its major components. The draw span was installed and east truss set within an hour of each other on a day the Washington

State Department of Transportation called “milestone packed.� “This was a banner day for the Hood Canal Bridge Project,� said DOT principal project engineer Dave Ziegler. “The new east half of the bridge is really starting to take shape.� The east truss — at 280 feet long, 70 feet wide, 40 feet tall — was lifted into place by three derrick barges. The setting took about

three hours to complete, as the truss tips the scales at 1.6 million pounds, according to the DOT. “We’ve placed the three pontoon sections and the east and west trusses,� Ziegler said. “People who are looking at the east half of the bridge now are almost seeing it in its completed form, but it’s very important that everyone understands that there is still a great deal of work yet to come.� Complex pontoon joint work remains, and can only be done when winds clock in at less than 15 miles per hour, the DOT said. Crews must also set dropin spans, connect them to the pontoons, and post-tension the pontoons – meaning pull them together – to stabilize and strengthen the east half as a whole.

By the numbers The water shuttle put in service to assist travelers during the bridge closure has been well-used, according to DOT statistics. Lofall to South Point water shuttle ridership

Brad Camp/Staff photo

A new east truss and draw span pontoons were floated in to place on the Hood Canal Bridge early Monday morning. posted a daily average of 2,100 riders, aside from two windy days when service was disrupted. The DOT’s project blog stated weekend riders between May 8-10 accounted for the highest ridership since the bridge closed. Counts also show alternative driving routes, including US 101, SR 3 and SR 106, are seeing a 20 to 30 percent increase in average number of cars. See the latest project photos on the DOT’s Flickr page — photos/wsdot/sets/ — or read about construction updates on the Hood Canal Bridge blog,

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Barks and Bites The Washington State Department of Transportation revised its pet policy, allowing wellbehaved leashed dogs on its bus and water shuttles. Unsafe animals will not be allowed, and disruptive pets will be banned from the services. Owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their pet, and pets must ride on the outside decks of the water shuttle, as well as the rear of buses. Allergic passengers will be given preference, meaning those with pets may have to wait for a later departure. Bicyclists can also now travel straight to water shuttle docks in Lofall and South Point but must walk their bikes in designated areas, according to the DOT’s project blog. Water shuttles can only accommodate five bicycles per sailing. The DOT reserves the right to revoke access at any time.


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Brad Camp/Staff photo

Commuters board an 8 a.m. boat Wednesday at the Lofall Dock for the 10 minute jaunt to Jefferson County.

Crossing the sound is an adventure By JENNIFER MORRIS

LOFALL — On a rainy Wednesday morning at a Port Gamble Park & Ride, Orysia Earhart has her mind set on adventure. Actually, she has her mind

set on two. “I’m a writer,� she explains. Earhart, of Bainbridge, has a litany of stops before her: She traveled to Port Gamble to catch an 8 a.m. bus to Lofall, where she’ll hop on a ferry to South Point,

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plans. “I’m looking at this as an adventure right now, and seeing whether I will be doing this again,� she says. “I think e-mail might be cheaper.� Earhart joins hundreds of commuters traveling to and from the Olympic Peninsula via the Washington State Department of Transportation’s free alternative options, meant to make canal crossing possible while the bridge is closed for six weeks of construction. More than $12 million of the project’s nearly $500 million cost has been devoted to mitigating the roadblock for the 15,000-20,000 motorists who use the bridge. Jeff Kempf, an Edmondsbased commuter who runs a snowboard factory in Sequim, is planning to make the commute once or twice a week, sleeping on the couches of generous friends during the nights he stays on the Olympic Peninsula.

Friday, May 8, 2009 • North Kitsap Herald

Wednesday morning marked cancellations due to Tuesday his second trip across the windstorms, he’s heading canal, and he said the two- home for the first time since hour journey has so far Monday. (Read more about the cancellations in “Wind worked well. “I thought, ‘Well, that’s throws monkey wrench at going to be inconvenient, the Hood Canal Bridge projbut we’ll find a way to get ect� on page 19.) He passed over there,’� he said, recall- the 16 hours between shifts ing when he first heard of the in a Geo, which, at six-feet tall, is a long time to spend, bridge closure. Like many, Kempf tapped he contended. “You just deal with it,� said at the screen of his cell phone while riding the bus. Even Norman. He’s taken the ferry with more than a dozen pas- across the canal since the sengers, it remained a quiet closure began May 1, and transport; the roadway simi- said bus drivers and boat larly lacked its usual bustle workers have made the trip a of cars. In a row of seats pleasant one, despite ticking near Kempf’s, a young girl his Hadlock-Bellevue comin a green knit hat and rain mute time from three hours boots, too short to see over to four. “It’ll all work out in the the seat in front of her, read a book beneath soft commuter long run,� he says. T h e lights. bridge, A flux of its draw Kitsap-bound span open, passengers, stretches headed in the For continuous in full view opposite direcupdates on the Hood from the tion, prepared Canal Bridge closure, crossing. A to board the go to www.northkitsahole marks Starline w h e r e ry vehicle as the east Send questions about it pulled into the closure to Jennifer truss once Lofall. Some Morris at jmorris@ was, and a wore street northkitsapherald. fleet of tall clothes, carcom. cranes jut rying backskyward packs, while like the others looked long necks more professional, toting Bluetooths and of dinosaurs, lending the concrete horizon a jurassic feel. manillas. A few contented passenDown at the ferry dock, awaiting a ride toward the gers wax positive on the swift Olympics, Bill Norman says magnitude and efficiency of he’s a guy who goes with the short-term system. Two vessels clip across the canal, the flow. “I’m mellow,� he explains. each taking 20 minutes and He wears a bright orange leaving in half-hour intervals sweatshirt and carries a from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. “Government at its finest,� purple lunch cooler stickered with a CraneCam logo; quipped one ferry boarder. But at the Lofall dock, grisly gray curls appear from adventurer Earhart meets an beneath the brim of his cap. Norman, a crane operator, impassible foe: the last bus to works a graveyard shift in Bellevue. Because of the ferry SEE SHUTTLE. PAGE A16

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Friday, May 8, 2009 • North Kitsap Herald

Shuttle CONTINUED FROM A2 Sequim has already gone. At 9 a.m., she arrived a half-hour too late. A short woman in a long tan coat, peering from behind rounded glasses, Earhart makes a hurried phone call explaining her ordeal. “I am so ticked, there should be more than three buses,” she says later, contending the gap in service won’t just be a problem for her, but for tourists as well. Making transit connections had been her main worry before leaving Port Gamble. Soon Earhart happily tells a bit about her novel, a story of mystery set on the 1918 Eastern Front, where heroine Sophia must reassemble a stolen triptych. She says she’ll try the DOT’s system again next week, just “one more time.” For today, she’ll converse with her group via e-mail and conference call. Earhart describes Sophia and her race against time to piece together ancient panels of art, an enterprise unfinished, just like her own. “Does she or does she not do it?” she asks.

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Applications for Miss Kingston are now available at Kingston High School, North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo Middle School, Kingston Middle School and Spectrum. Contestants may e-mail the contact info below to receive an electronic version. The deadline for applications is May 13 at Terhune Custom Homes, 390 Hostmark St., Poulsbo. Applications also can be turned in at the first meeting at 7 p.m. on May 13. To be eligible for the pageant, contestants must have one parent attend the first meeting. For more information, call Leslie Burns at (360) 271-8268 or email jaci@ terhunecustomhomes. net. Pageant is tentatively scheduled for the end of July at Kingston Middle School.



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Sogno di Vino: In wine there is truth, in pizza, friendship.


Trail lovers take their case to the county.


Elle Sander is queen of the links. Page 12

FRIDAY May 15, 2009 Vol. 108, No. 19


The vikings are ... you know

NKSD reduces admin staff

41st annual Viking Fest will invade Poulsbo this weekend.


POULSBO — The North Kitsap School District announced Wednesday a restructuring of its administrative-level positions. Seven administrative positions will be reorganized into five, said Chris Case, director of communications and community relations for the district. In addition, four administrative jobs have been eliminated and in their place, two new director-level positions — director of Secondary Education and director of Elementary Education — have been created. Aaron Leavell, the current principal of Bremerton High School, will be the district’s director of Secondary Education, while Patricia Moore, currently the principal at Pearson Elementary School, was chosen as the director of Elementary Education. The four administrative spots being eliminated are director of Curriculum and Assessment, currently held by Wally Lis; executive director of Student Support Services, held by Gregg Epperson; executive director of Finance and Operations, which was held by Nancy Moffat, who resigned in December and will not be replaced; and assistant director of Learning and Support, held by Heather Carrell. The position of district athletic see NKSD . page a5

Kitsap News Group

in Kingston. They dug up and hooked into an onsite septic system and arranged to have similar work schedules because they are sharing a car. The two left home, family and their newly planted garden behind the day before crews closed the Hood Canal Bridge and removed the first of its pontoon spans. For six weeks — or until the bridge is again open, which could be sooner, with incentivized bonuses for contractors — they’ll live in a 36-foot by 8-foot RV. The RV is roughly the same size as their deck at home, on which sits all-new patio furniture they have yet to enjoy. But neither Haaby nor Hensel have many complaints. There is a house on the property, lived in by friends, which they can visit if they need to. They travel home on the weekends to see family, including Hensel’s 2-year-old grandson. On their way back, they gather little forgotten things they missed throughout the week like bills and correspondence. Hensel and Haaby mimic their morning workout routine. She pretends to lift weights over her head, he demonstrates a frog squat. They say there’s just enough room in their RV, though the headspace is a little tight. The vehicle’s interior, bedecked in ’80’s chroma, boasts a couch, bathroom, television, and a separate living room, bedroom and kitchen. Hensel was about to sell it before he heard

POULSBO — May’s glowing sun and cloudless skies would be an unfamiliar sight in North Kitsap without an end-of-month Viking-clad celebration below. The 41st Viking Fest begins today, and will fill the streets of downtown Poulsbo through Sunday. A limited number of wristbands — permitting unlimited rides at the Viking Fest Carnival in the King Olaf parking lot — are being sold until 4 p.m. today at Viking Bank in Poulsbo. The cost is $17. Later, semifinalists in the second annual Viking Fest Karaoke Contest will belt their best at The Loft, a new restaurant at the south end of Anderson Parkway. There are a few Wild Card slots available for the taking, according to a Viking Fest press release. Pre-registration begins at 8 p.m. The finals will be at 9 p.m. Saturday. Viking Fest, a Syttende Mai celebration of Norway’s Constitution Day, is traditionally a Norwegian festival of flags and colorful processions, an event press release states. The day commemorates the 195th anniversary of the adoption by Norway’s

see campers. page a16

see viking. page a5

Brad Camp/Staff photo

Home Depot employees David Hensel and Tammy Haaby have moved into a fifth-wheel along Hood Canal in Little Boston during the bridge closure. The couple lives in Port Townsend, but their swing shift did not align well with the water shuttles.

Commuters take to RVs Those dependent on the Hood Canal Bridge get creative during six-week closure.


KINGSTON — Tammy Haaby’s life is now on wheels. “It’s difficult, but it’s working out,” she says, standing beside a beige, mid-1980s Prowler Regal RV. Her boyfriend, David Hensel, agrees: “You kind of develop your own little system.” The Port Townsend couple, like many, are living out of travel bags during the Hood Canal Bridge closure. The bridge closed May 1 for six weeks of construction, removing the single overwater span connecting the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas. Thousands of commuters have had to adjust, some staying in rental houses, others surfing couches, many using free Department of Transportation shuttles and bus services — all abandoning their routine paths between work and home. Haaby, 51, and Hensel, 47, who work at Poulsbo’s Home Depot, moved into their RV and parked it on shared property

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NKSD teacher of the year nominees Six teachers throughout the North Kitsap School District have been nominated for the Rangvald Kvelstad Award presented by the North Kitsap Teacher of the Year Foundation. Each week for the next three weeks, the Herald will feature two nominees. This week's teachers are Colleen Fairchild and Greg Braun. Colleen Fairchild teaches 4th grade at Vinland Elementary and has been teaching for 19 years with 10 years in the district. She is singled out for her high expectations and creativity. As one parent explained, her son had lost his passion for learning until he entered her class and found “his spark� once again. As Vinland principal Charley McCabe observed, she is concerned with what each of her students are learning, not simply with what they are taught. Each quarter she hosts a “market day� where the students apply their math and communication skills to engage

in a real life economic experience. Through all this, she manages to make the experience both enjoyable and relevant to each of her students. Greg Braun teaches eighth grade science and coaches swimming at Poulsbo Middle School. He has been teaching for 20 years, all in the district. Braun’s nomination set a new standard in the more than 20 years that nominations have been received. In addition to his nomination by parents, he was also enthusiastically supported by 37 individual letters from his current and former students. As one student put it, Braun expects each student to succeed, and they all do. Braun has great success both as a coach and a teacher and uses each discipline to develop the other and maximize the total development of each student. Like Fairchild, Braun’s high expectations are pursued while instilling joy in the process.


Dr. Narinder Duggal is an Internal Medicine Specialist with over 20 years of experience. He is the only dual certified pharmacist and physician on the peninsula. He is an international authority of drug therapy and pharmacology. His added expertise includes: board certified hypertension BOE DIPMFTUFSPM TQFDJBMJTU t EJBCFUFT FEVDBUPS t DFSUJĂ˝FE JOTVMJO QVNQ UIFSBQZ t FWJEFODFE CBTFE JOUFHSBUJWF IFBMUIDBSF t DISPOJD QBJO NBOBHFNFOU t 4VCPYPOF UIFSBQZ t HFSJBUSJD NFEJDJOF Dr. Duggal’s special blend of expert drug and medical knowledge combined with the best of science and natural medicine synergize a state of the art medical clinic. Liberty Bay Internal Medicine is the premier health authority in Kitsap County; “The knowledge to help and the dedication to healâ€? healâ€?. Liberty Bay Internal Medicine


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of the closure, and decided to keep it until the bridge reopens. Laurie LeMay’s story is similar. LeMay is a Jefferson County resident who parked her RV on a friend’s property to stay the duration of the closure. “So far, so good,� she said. Despite a refrigeration problem in their RV, she and her husband have made the temporary living space work. And LeMay’s commute has been cut from 45 minutes to 10 minutes. “We’re hanging in there,� she said. “It’s interesting, to say the least.� Not all in RVers have

work much of the day, and just like many others, return to cook dinner and relax before starting fresh the next morning. Many of them leave on the weekends. “It’s a completely different beast,� he said. “They’re not interested in firewood. They want to minimize their costs.� And it isn’t just commuters staying over. Some Olympic Peninsula residents make a small vacation out of a doctor’s appointment that normally would have required them to travel the bridge into Kitsap. Some bridge workers are staying at the park as well.

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taken to parking on a piece of friends’ property. Ed Johanson, park ranger and assistant manager for Kitsap Memorial State Park, said he’s seen at least a few camp out on the grounds who normally reside across the canal. But those extra campers are matched by the decrease in recreational travelers stopping by, on their way to an Olympic Peninsula destination. “Essentially, I think we’ve replaced some of our casual or random campers with some that aren’t necessarily recreation campers, but they’re doing so out of necessity,� Johanson said. “Part of their commute obviously has been cut off, so in order to minimize the impacts they have opted to make reservations.� And it’s meant a different type of camper in the park: they don’t light campfires or walk down to the beach. Instead, they are gone at

Kitsap Memorial State Park holds 18 water and electricity hookup sites, as well as 21 standard sites. Costs for those range between $19 and $25 a night. The park also offers sleeper cabins, a vacation house and a group campsite. Johanson said Kitsap Memorial is a reservationbased park, which means campers can only stay for a 10-day maximum period, usually no more than 20 days within a 30-day time period. Bob Chalfant, ranger for Fay Bainbridge State Park, said the reach of closure campers has yet to extend to the island. And while Haaby admits she misses having a dishwasher, both she and Hensel are relatively contented with the situation they’ve worked out — after all, it has cut their commute in half. “There are a lot more gives and takes,� Hensel says. “Fortunately,� Haaby adds, “we like each other.�

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“We’re hanging in there. It’s interesting, to say the least.�

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Friday, May 15, 2009 • North Kitsap Herald




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Hood Canal Bridge Comprehensive Coverage  

Comprehensive coverage on the six-week closure of the Hood Canal Bridge.

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