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Journal Shelton-Mason County

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Year 125 — Week 23 — 8 Sections — 58 Pages — Published in Shelton, Washington — $1

Hunter found not guilty in shooting death By KEVAN MOORE A Mason County man was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in Mason County Superior Court last week. Gerald Wayne Aldrich, 40, was accused of criminal negligence in the shooting death of Carlos Pablo Carrillo, a 25-year-

old Shelton brushpicker originally from Guatemala. Aldrich was facing a possible five-year prison sentence. The not-guilty verdict came after about a day of deliberations following a week-and-half-long trial that included a jury visit to the scene of the shooting. Prosecutors alleged that Al-

drich, who was hunting with a friend for bear along the California Road was not careful enough in identifying his target or taking the shot. Aldrich’s defense attorney, Jeannette Boothe, though, successfully argued that Aldrich was an experienced hunter who took his time and was sufficiently

careful when firing. Aldrich testified that he didn’t think that he had hit anything, but heard about Pablo Carrillo’s death later in the day through news reports and headed into the sheriff’s office to describe where he had been and what happened. During the trial, a forensic pathologist testified that Pablo

Carrillo, who was found just shy of 50 yards from the roadway, was a healthy 25 year old at the time of his death. The pathologist said that Pablo Carrillo lost about four liters of blood through internal bleeding in his chest and probably survived for 20 minutes to an hour after being shot.

Attorney General’s office investigates sheriff’s office By KEVAN MOORE The Criminal Justice Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office is investigating the Mason County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation was prompted by an April 5 request by Mason County Prosecutor Mike Dorcy. He asked the AG’s office to look into complaints made by Deputy Martin Borcherding, an undercover narcotics detective who was involved in an August 2009 fight at a bar in Allyn and subsequent disturbance call at his girlfriend’s residence. Borcherding eventually filed whistleblower complaints alleging that fellow deputies and command staff engaged in a conspiracy to cover up a botched investigation and sloppy police work. He also later alleged further that his personell file was tampered with, Sheriff Casey Salisbury and his command staff engaged in a smear campaign and retaliated against another undercover detective involved in Public Records Act lawsuit by releasing a photo of him to the Journal. Dorcy specifically asked the AG’s office to review the sheriff’s office and Washington State Patrol investigations of the incident and investigation “for a recommendation regarding any potential implications for Brady violations or whistleblower issues, and any other issues or violations that your office deems appropriate.” Dorcy’s reference to “Brady” stems from the 1963 case, Brady v. Maryland, which entitles defendants to Due Process under the U.S. Constition by allowing them access to information that could be exculpatory or impeach the credibility of prosecutor’s witness, including police officers. Sheriff Casey Salisbury said this week that he welcomes another review of the case. “I’m aware of what’s going on and it’s basically a seond opinion of the case for (Mike Dorcy),” Salisbury said. “I trust Mike and whatever he’s doing over there is fine with me. This is not an investigation. This is simply a review.”

Dave Moses Sr. competed in Saturday’s logging show during the 67th annual Forest Festive in Shelton.

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Sunny fun Forest Festival By NATALIE JOHNSON Mason County may have had its biggest Forest Festival ever this year, which many are attributing to the weekend’s sunny warm weather. Saturday and Sunday reached high temperatures of 81 and 73 degrees respectively, according to the National Weather Service. After months of solid rain and cold temperatures in Shelton, festival organizers said the sun definitely drew people outdoors and to the festival. “This year I would say, for just a rough estimate, between 5,000 and 7,000 [people attended],” said Forest Festival President Debi Harvey. As many as 2,000 more people attended this year’s festival than last year’s she said. “For a festival that’s struggling to stay alive the participation we get on festival weekend is astounding,” she said.

Journal photo by Rick Kennedy

Fireworks light up the night sky on Saturday in Shelton. For in-depth coverage of the festival see pages six and eight.

Annually, Forest Festival takes about $35,000 to put on. This year, the festival board raised $25,000

on their own, and got $9,000 of lodging tax money, $5,000 from the city and $4,000 from the county to fund the festival. Harvey said that most events in the festival had higher attendance than in recent years. “The carnival did more business than they’d ever done,” she said. “We feel that it’s a great success – every year we feel it was better than last year.” While the Forest Festival Parade always draws a crowd, Harvey said that it almost didn’t happen this year. “This year we were not going to have a parade because our parade chair quit,” she said. “We searched for a parade chair and couldn’t find one – we were really contemplating having our float and nothing else.” However Lynne Freeman, who usually only supervises the royalty float, stepped up and organized the entire parade, saving it for this

Port infighting over records requests By NATALIE JOHNSON

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Port of Shelton commissioner Jack Miles speaks during a port meeting earlier this week.

After weeks of peace at the Port of Shelton Commission, Tuesday afternoon’s meeting quickly dissolved into arguments and name-calling. “You should build a sandbox outside so you can go out and play then come in to work … instead of wasting the first 45 minutes of a meeting,” said John Hanson, owner of Northwest Event Organizers, which was recently awarded a contract by the port commission to run this year’s Mason Area Fair. See Port on page A-7

year’s festival. The forest festival board shouldn’t have such a frantic search next year, since Holli Kimmel has already signed up to run the parade for 2012. The car show also went off without a hitch, drawing about three times as many cars as last year from as far away as Seattle. We had 410 cars – it was a pretty good year,” said Randy Howard, who organizes the festival’s car show. “Bottom line, if the sun’s out that’s a pretty good number.” Last year it rained on Sunday, and only 136 people signed up for the car show, he said. Cars competed in 24 categories, on top of Royalty’s Choice and Mayor’s Choice awards, Howard said. The festival board already began planning the 2012 festival yesterday, and beginning in September will have a new president, current scholarship chair Tom Prieskorn.

Annexation do-over for Belfair Water By ARLA SHEPHARD As it turns out, the Belfair Water District’s resolution to annex Blue Star Properties, LLC and Riverhill Properties, LLC wasn’t a resolution at all. The county commissioners reviewed a staff report from Barbara Adkins of the community development department and determined that while the annexation was valid, the water district had not actually asked for it because the district’s resolution was not in a complete sentence. See BWD on page A-7

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“I don’t believe the Belfair Water District has particularly asked us for an annexation,” said County Commissioner Tim Sheldon. “We have to have a complete sentence that we could act upon.” The water district’s Resolution 11-05, adopted on May 10, states that “It is hereby resolved by the Board of Commissioners of the Belfair Water District #1 that the annexation of Blue Star Properties LLC and Riverhill Properties LLC as proposed.” The county commissioners voted unanimously to table a decision until the water district re-submitted its proposal. If developed, Riverhill could bring up to 129 customers to the water district at no cost to ratepayers, said Riverhill developer Jack Johnson, who would pay for the design, easements and construction of all off-site development needed to connect his parcels to the district. “This is a tremendous benefit to all our customers at no expense,” said District Manager Dave Tipton during the hearing. Water district customer Greg Waggett, whose parcel of property at Romance Hill has been the subject of a separate annexation controversy for more than a year, said that he was tired of customers paying for development. The parcels are within the Belfair Urban Growth Area and per the county’s obligations under the Growth Management Act, they should receive urban services like utilities, Adkins said. “The staff report makes it clear,” Sheldon said. “The Romance Hill discussion [is] not part of our decision today.”

The dispute among the three commissioners, Executive Director John Dobson, and various other port staff members began with a question from Commissioner Jack Miles about public records requests. After making several records requests, Miles asked if he could pick up the documents at the port office, rather than having them mailed to him, at the expense of the port. “I want them to be available right in my (port) mailbox,” Miles said. Dobson responded that because Miles has not paid the standard fee for such requests in the past, the port would rather mail the documents in order to have an official receipt for their records. Also, Dobson said that the port has to follow policy to ensure proper documentation and adherence to public disclosure laws. “It’s a chain of custody issue,” Dobson said. “The question that we have is documentation, when you’re looking for a hard copy.” Miles then asked why private citizens could pick up documents from records requests at the port. Dobson said that the receipts from the document fees act as proof the document was in fact delivered. Commissioner Wallitner asked Miles why, as a commissioner, he needed to make public requests at all, when documents are already widely available to him. “Do you have access that I don’t have?” Miles asked in return. Miles argued that he has no legitimate way to gain access to material necessary to make decisions as a commissioner without resorting to public records requests. “I’m making these requests because certain things have happened in the past and they’re making me go through the request process,” he said. “It’s diminishing my ability to get accurate information in a timely manner.” Miles recently submitted 36 separate records requests in two days, Dobson said. Hupp said that there was never any restriction imposed on Miles by the commission on what he had access to. He explained that he and Wallitner get all of the information they need from conferences with port staff. “You’ve placed a couple of restrictions on yourself,” Hupp said. “One of which is the inability to talk to the executive director without a witness.” Hupp referred to a legal agreement between Dobson and Miles stemming from a harassment complaint Miles filed against Dobson in January. “You have circumvented me,” Miles said. The entire discussion fell under the commission’s action/discussion item “A” or Resolution 10-02, approved by commissioners Jay Hupp and Tom Wallitner last June, which clarifies interac-

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Port Executive Director John Dobson, left, and executive assistant Wendy Smith attended Tuesday’s Port Commission meeting. tions between the commission and port staff. Specifically, the resolution states that no port staff member works for any one commissioner and all directives, orders and reprimands must be made by the commission as a body. “You are the ones who put this together to circumvent me doing my job,” Miles said about the resolution. “I’m not recognizing this as a document because it only applies to me.” After several more minutes of arguing over whether commissioner Miles should have to pay for his 36 requests, Dobson read several emails between himself, Miles, and port Executive Assistant Wendy Smith, stemming from an incident when Smith asked Miles not to date-stamp his requests in advance. Excerpts from the emails include threats of reprimands from Miles to both Smith and Dobson. Hupp described the emails as intimi-

June

dating. Dobson read one excerpt aloud to the commission: “You need to watch how you talk to commissioners. I want you to review the Organizational Chart for the Port of Shelton, print it out and keep it posted on your wall at your desk. If you ever have any question regarding this Organizational Chart and how it works, I would be happy to show and explain it to you,” Miles wrote in a May 26 email to Smith. Miles sent another email, dated May 29, to Dobson also threatening reprimands, which ended with, “Your dirty dealings are coming to an end, it’s just a matter of time.” The discussion ended with a promise from port attorney Charles “Skip” Houser to review and update the port’s public records request policy.

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Shelton-Mason County Journal -Thursday, June. 9, 2011 - Page A-7


Journal Shelton-Mason County

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Year 125 — Week 24 — 7 Sections — 54 Pages — Published in Shelton, Washington — $1

County says no to launch fees By NATALIE JOHNSON

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Kenny Latimer spoke out against the propsed county fee for the boat launches at Latimer’s Landing and Mason Lake.

Pioneer kids keep eye on Hood Canal

After two public meetings and much input from the public, the Mason County Board of Commissioners voted on Tuesday against a proposal to create launch fees at public launches at Latimer’s Landing and Mason Lake. The Mason County Parks and Trails Department introduced the proposal for launch fees on May 17 to try to increase revenue for park maintenance. County parks director John Keates was not in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting, so Commissioner Lynda Ring Erickson gave a brief presentation on the proposal. The proposed fees for commercial boaters were $15 a day, $75

per month and $400 per year for each truck and trailer and $1,000 per business with no limit on number of vehicles. Proposed recreational fees were a $7 daily fee and a $75 annual fee. During the initial public hearing on the proposed fees, Commissioner Tim Sheldon expressed concern that the fee was actually a tax because the funds were designated for the parks department, but not a particular park. “We received a legal opinion from our prosecutor that it is a fee,” Ring Erickson said. Several members of the public asked how such fees would be enforced. “I still don’t have an answer – I don’t think there was any intent to

enforce,” Ring Erickson said. Several members of the Latimer family, who built the original boat launch at the landing, testified that it was their family’s wish to keep the launch free and public. “We are about 13 of us here who worked on the installation of the original park,” Kenny Latimer said. “My father had a dream that people could have free access to our waterway. We took so much pride in not having to take money from the taxpayers.” Latimer asked that park maintenance continue to be mostly volunteer-based, as it has been in the past, rather than charge a fee for use of the ramp. “I just ask that we pay attention to how blessed we are to have

access to this waterway for everyone in the county,” he said. Other members of the public spoke in favor of the fee, however, stating that with budget cuts, county parks are the first to be forgotten. “The problem is that tax money is not being used for parks anymore, they’re the first thing to get cut – better to charge a fee rather than close parks,” Susan Baker said. After hearing public testimony, Commissioners Sheldon and Ring Erickson voted against the fee. Commissioner Jerry Lingle did not attend Tuesday’s meeting. “This is an activity I think you pay for with your property taxes and sales taxes,” Sheldon said.

Congratulations graduates

By ARLA SHEPHARD Before this school year, nine-year-old Mason Kramer didn’t know much about Hood Canal and its marine wildlife. Now, he can tell you whether an individual salmon is male or female, he knows how to measure the turbidity and pH of water and he can spout several bits of knowledge on octopi. “It’s like ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know that about those animals,’” said Kramer of his pre-third-grade education. “It’s kind of cool to learn more about the animals in the sea. Like, I used to not know about that creature and that creature.” Kramer’s third-grade class at Pioneer Primary School has spent the better part of this school year keeping an “Eye on Hood Canal,” which is the name of the project that teacher Laurie McGovern began this year with state grant funding and support from Taylor Shellfish and Skookum Rotary. The students, with the help of their teacher and local biologists, have used personal computers and digital microscopes to study Hood Canal marine organisms, they’ve visited sites along Hood Canal and learned how to identify tidal zones and they’ve used their hands to dissect salmon and create clay sculptures on the sea creatures of their choice. “I’m always applying for these opportunities,” said McGovern, who created a blog to showcase the students’ achievements. “I know that the technology really inspires the children and it engages them.” Emily Sanford, a water resource educator with Washington State See Pioneer on page A-7

Journal photo by Donna Kinnaird

Brianna Barkley, left, and Travis Hanes present an award to outgoing Shelton School District Superintendent Joan Zook during the Shelton High School Class of 2011 commencement ceremony on Saturday at Saint Martin’s University.

Port director cleared of allegations By NATALIE JOHNSON A recent investigation conducted by the independent consulting firm Seabold Group has apparently cleared Port of Shelton Executive Director John Dobson of wrongdoing in relation to rental agreements and lease discussions related to the port’s fairgrounds. On April 10, port employee Theresa Rebo sent an e-mail to all three port commissioners alleging that Dobson planned to gift public funds by giving a less than market value rent rate to John and Rachel Hansen, of Northwest Event Organizers. The organization ran the fair in 2010, will run in 2011 and is in talks with the port for a three-year lease of the fairgrounds. The port commission responded by retaining the Seabold Group four days later, on April 14. The port commission approved the group’s final report on the investigation, dated May 31, by a vote of two to one at a special commission meeting on Tuesday. “The investigator concluded that no misconduct, conflict of interest, or other than appropriate actions as alleged by the employee has occurred,” Commissioner Jay Hupp said at the meeting.

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Commissioner Jay Hupp read a statement from the Port of Shelton Commission on a recent independent investigaton into allegations of misconduct on the part of port Executive Director John Dobson. Specifically Rebo alleged that Dobson offered the Hansens a less than market value price for leasing the fairgrounds. The lease is still in negotiations. The port commission approved a rental agreement for the fairgrounds with the Hansens last month, delaying official discussion of the lease because of this complaint. Rebo also stated in the original e-mail that Dobson chose to give up potential revenue for the port by leasing the property with a very low rent, that the alleged special

treatment resulted from a close relationship with the Hansens, and that all of these alleged activities were kept secret from the board of commissioners. According to the final report from the Seabold Group, the group’s investigator, Martha Norberg, interviewed nine people, including all three commissioners and reviewed numerous documents and newspaper articles from two local newspapers. The report also states that Rebo did not consent to an interview with the

investigator. As to the first allegation, that Dobson wanted to give the Hansens less than market value rent for the terms of the lease. Those terms are $3,000 per month for the first year, $4,000 per month for the second year and $5,000 per month for the third. According to the report, the previous lessee of the fairgrounds, Mason County, paid $100 per year plus five percent of the fair’s profit. The investigator found that in 2009 the county paid the port $7,000 in rent. The first year of the Hansens’ lease would total $36,000. Also, the investigator found that the Hansens’ rent for the fair this year would be substantially more than most other organizations that have rented the fairground in the last year. As to the second allegation, that the port could make more money running the port itself, the investigator found no evidence to support that assertion. “The issues [Rebo] raised with [Dobson] and the rest of the team had to do with her feeling that she could run events as well as the Hansens or any other event organizer and the port would See Port on page A-7

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Continued from page A-1 benefit financially from running the event rather than turning it over to a tenant,� Norberg writes in the report. Rebo also argued that work done by the port to improve the fairgrounds, such as replacing a hazardous electrical system, was done solely to benefit the Hansens. In fact, Norberg concludes that the port was required to replace the frayed wires after L&I cited the port for safety violations. As to the third allegation, that Dobson had a conflict of interest, the report states that the investigator found no evidence to support the assertion. The report also indicates that the port commission had to know about the lease, because Dobson is only authorized to sign leases under $2,000 per month without commission approval, and the lease with the Hansens, which

“I find this investigation to be incomplete and inaccurate.� has not yet been considered by the commission, is for $3,000 per month. Overall, the investigator found “no factual support� for any of Rebo’s accusations. While commissioners Hupp and Tom Wallitner were satisfied with the in-depth 21-page report from the Seabold Group and voted to accept the group’s decision, Commissioner Jack Miles, who the investigator found advised Rebo on how to make her original complaint, voiced several concerns about the investigation. “I find this investigation to be incomplete and inaccurate,� he said. Miles raised several questions,

among them, why the commissioners were provided with a “summary report� as the investigator describes it, rather than a comprehensive report including the actual evidence reviewed by Norberg. “There is no evidence provided, no statements provided by those interviewed, only mine and it is inaccurate,� Miles said. “Based on the lack of evidence in this final report, I cannot accept this investigation as being complete, accurate or comprehensive by any means.� Miles vowed to forward the report to Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office for further review. Despite Miles’ intention to continue the investigation, commissioners Hupp and Wallitner expressed a desire to move on. “The board will continue to move the port forward in a positive direction,� Hupp said.

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ADOPT-A-PET’S 18TH ANNUAL 4 PAWS DOG WALK All dogs must be on a leash. You can also have our mascot walk for your contribution to all the dogs at the kennels. There are hot dogs & cake plus water for dogs & their humans. There will be a gift for each entrant, also vendors & raffles. Come and enjoy a walk while you support our no-kill dog rescue.

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June 25th at the Huff-N-Puff Trail on Shelton Springs Road from 9am - 3pm

Journal photo by Arla Shephard

Nine-year-old Justin Elkins from Laurie McGovern’s third-grade class at Pioneer Primary School shows off his sea anemone sculpture during the class’ “Eye on Hood Canal� showcase this Tuesday. The class has been working all year on science and art projects that explore the uniqueness of Hood Canal.

University Extension Office, taught the students how to study watershed models to understand how pollutants affect Hood Canal, and Washington Sea Grant biologist Teri King helped the students collect water quality data at Twanoh State Park earlier this month. U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Daniel Spencer showed the students how to dissect salmon, and each month, Taylor Shellfish outreach educator and biologist

and music overlay, and created clay sculptures on a sea creature and showcased their work to parents and community members earlier this week. “I never knew how to do that,� said nine-yearold Sam Winter, who liked studying sharks so much that he made two PowerPoint presentations on the animal. “Now I do, and it’s fun, and you get to show people what you did.� –– To see videos, photos and more of the students’ work this year, visit www. eyeonhoodcanal.blogspot. com.

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Jennifer Hopper visited the classroom to talk about marine life. “It’s been really impressive for me to see the way they’ve achieved by the end of the year,� Hopper said. “I can really see the difference from when I first started coming, that they understand the concepts, which might not have happened if I came only once. I think it’s awesome how much Laurie has integrated Hood Canal and Puget Sound into the curriculum.� For a culminating project, the students made PowerPoint presentations, with their own voice narration

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Shelton-Mason County Journal -Thursday, June 16, 2011 - Page A-7


Journal Shelton-Mason County

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Year 125 — Week 25 — 8 Sections — 60 Pages — Published in Shelton, Washington — $1

Kindergarten Cops SPD makes arrest at Evergreen Elementary By KEVAN MOORE An arrest made in front of Evergreen Elementary School last week has some people, including Shelton School District Superintendent Joan Zook, scratching their heads. Several officers, with guns drawn, made the arrest in front of the school as students were

wrapping up the day and heading home. Officer reports show that the police used a ruse, via Craigslist, to set up an encounter with the suspect in order to perform “a high-risk vehicle stop” and execute the arrest. “We would expect to be notified if there was going to be a police action in the vicinity and we would expect to be notified if the police

had prior knowledge,” Zook said. “If somebody had contacted me, yes, the building would have been locked down and I would have asked the police to meet the person at a different place and at a different time not on school property.” But the police gave no notice to Zook or any officials at the school “I find this incredible and to be

of great dismay,” Zook said. “I have not experienced anything like this in the time that I have been superintendent. This was planned in advance without it occurring to someone to inform us or move the meeting, that’s what amazes me. I’m extremely upset with the police department for what appears to be lack of forethought with regards to this incident.” Interim Shelton Police Chief Dave Eklund said that his informal review of the arrest was up-

graded to a formal internal investigation following a request this week from Zook. “It might have been the right time, but it wasn’t the right place,” Eklund said. “It was the wrong place to make the arrest and we definitely need to look into what happened. A lot of answers are going to come from that interal investigation.” Taken into custody in front of See Evergreen on page A-7

Whistleblower fired from port By NATALIE JOHNSON

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Commissioner Jerry Lingle spoke out in favor of a future sales tax increase for mental health services during the county commission meeting Tuesday.

Sales tax increase coming? By NATALIE JOHNSON In an issue that proved to be divisive for the Mason County Board of Commissioners, the commission awarded a $31,738 contract with consultants Clegg and Associates, who will advise the county on implementation of a sales tax increase. The consultant will advise the county and help

create an advisory committee with community involvement related to the proposed tax increase, follows RCW 82.14.460. Under RCW 82.14.460, one-tenth of one percent of sales tax may be used for mental health and chemical dependency services. Mental health services in Mason County are not adequate to serve those in need, said Mason County

Public Health Director Vicki Kirkpatrick. The consultant approved by the county commission will help the county “to facilitate a community process, gather community input and create a report identifying the unmet need for mental health and chemical dependency services in Mason County. Additionally, the consultant will work with a Com-

missioner appointed Advisory Committee,” according to the county’s request for proposal. “If their recommendation is to implement it, we would ask them to design a skeleton of the program,” Kirkpatrick said. The commission voted to approve the contract with Clegg and Associates, See Tax on page A-7

Less than a week after the Port of Shelton Commission formally accepted an investigation clearing Executive Director John Dobson of wrongdoing, port employee Theresa Rebo, who accused Dobson of attempting to gift public funds, has been fired. Dobson confirmed that Rebo had been let go on Monday, but denied that it resulted from the investigation’s findings. He said that because Rebo was a “whistleblower,” the port could not terminate her because of anything related to her complaint. “This has nothing to do with the complaint,” he said. Dobson would not elaborate on the exact reason for Rebo’s firing, saying that he felt uncomfortable discussing an “employee issue” without legal council. Rebo accused Dobson in April of trying to gift public funds to John and Rachel Hansen by giving them a less than market value rent in a lease which is still in negotiations. The port retained a consultant, Seabold Group of Seattle, which conducted an investigation and concluded last week that Dobson was innocent of

John Dobson Rebo’s allegations. Rebo contends that the port’s investigation is not valid because only the prosecutor’s office has the authority to investigate a whistleblower complaint. The Port of Shelton Commission addressed the issue after several members of the public spoke about it during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting. “Ms. Rebo was not terminated by this commission, she was terminated by her boss and for cause,” Commissioner Tom Wallitner said during Tuesday’s meeting. “The charges were investigated by outside council, they were unfounded charges, the rhetoric could not stop, this commission has no business in interfering in port staff problems. Mr. Dobson’s responsible for hiring, maintaining and dismissal of all employees.”

General equivalency graduates celebrate their success By NATALIE JOHNSON It’s graduation season, and students across the world are donning caps and gowns to celebrate the end of their long journey through high school, college, or even grad school. But for one batch of graduates, those who recently received their General Equivalency Diploma or a GED, the journey is just beginning. “Some of these folks have been told all of their lives that they’ll never make anything of themselves,” said Janis Johnson, program coordinator for student services at Olympic College Shelton (OCS) and alter-

nate GED tester. “I love the look on their face when they walk out the door.” About 20 of the 84 students who graduated from the GED program at OCS this year attended the GED certificate celebration at Oakland Bay Junior High School last Thursday night, and many shared their stories of academic struggles and success at the event. “In March of last year, I was diagnosed with stage four inflammatory breast cancer,” said GED graduate Bridget Imsdahl. “I was told I had two years to live and I chose not to accept that.” Imsdahl, who dropped out of high school 25 years ago, said that she studied and took classes to prepare for taking her GED tests while she was undergoing chemotherapy and radia-

tion to treat her aggressive cancer. Imsdahl, like many of the men and women who earn their GEDs every year, said that she had convinced herself over the years that a GED was not attainable, but decided to work hard to achieve the diploma to set an example for her 13-yearold daughter. Imsdahl celebrated earning her GED on Thursday only a few days after learning that she was cancer free. Several other women shared their stories Thursday night, including Christina McCune. She said that finding a good job without a high school diploma is very difficult. “I don’t want to talk down to anyone – having a job is something,” she said. “I don’t want to go back to waitressing and bartend-

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Bridget Imsdahl celebrates at Olympic College Shelton’s GED Celebration of Success last Thursday. ing.” While many students were motivated to get their

GED for the same reason as McCune, to get a better job, others went through the

program simply to prove to themselves that it could be done. “Thirty four years ago in my sophomore year, I dropped out of high school. It was a decision I came to regret,” said Cindy Lowe. “Even though I have had a successful cleaning business for the last thirty years, I still felt stupid.” After years of feeling like a GED was simply out of reach, Lowe said she went to a neuropsychologist who diagnosed her with a learning disability – Adult ADHD. “I set my goal to get my GED before my first grandchild was born … I achieved that goal,” she said. Some students not only achieved their GED, but also did so with honors. Seven graduates completed their See GED on page A-7

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Journal Shelton-Mason County

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Year 125 — Week 27 — 8 Sections — 60 Pages — Published in Shelton, Washington — $1

Port censures commissioner Commissioner Jack Miles accused of disclosing confidential information By NATALIE JOHNSON

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Commissioner Jack Miles ripped up a letter of censure directed at him by the Port of Shelton Commission during a public meeting on Tuesday.

The Port of Shelton Commission voted 2-to-1 Tuesday to issue Commissioner Jack Miles a letter of censure admonishing him for disclosing confidential information from an executive session on blogs. While commissioners Jay Hupp and Tom Wallitner both approved and signed the letter of censure, Miles ripped it in several pieces when Hupp passed it to him. Specifically, Miles left a post on masoncountyprogressive.blogspot. com on Saturday, June 25, on the contents of an executive session held on the previous Tuesday.

Commissioner Hupp said that he drafted the letter of censure in response to Miles’ blog post. “By publishing comments in several local internet sites, (i.e. blogs), you have deliberately and intentionally disclosed confidential information gained through executive session discussions of the Board of Commissioners,” the letter reads. The letter states that Miles violated RCW 42.23.070 paragraph 4 which states that a commissioner cannot disclose confidential information gained by their position as a commissioner. The letter threatens See Port on page A-7

Celebrate Hoodsport Festival during Fourth of July weekend brings crowds By ARLA SHEPHARD

Journal photo by Arla Shephard

Nine-year-old Ginniviev Sexton shows her Fourth of July spirit at the Celebrate Hoodsport festival last Sunday. The two-day festival raised twice what it made last year during Saturday’s auction for the fireworks show.

With more than twice the amount of vendors and twice the amount of money raised at Saturday’s auction, the Celebrate Hoodsport festivities were more successful this year than in previous years, said event organizers. The Hoodsport Community Events Association (HCEA), which hosts the Celebrate Hoodsport street fair and fireworks show each year, raised $4,800 at Saturday’s auction at the Model T Pub & Eatery. “It was double last year’s,” said HCEA President Victoria MacLeod. “Our auctioneer showed up, and we had really wonderful prizes.” About 56 vendor spots were sold, compared to 25 vendors at last year’s event, and the whole affair was more kid-friendly, MacLeod said. The fireworks show drew crowds, with volunteer Rob Reed providing patriotic music to go along with the display for the first time. Instead of live music at the street fair, entertainment came in the form of “princesses” from the LA-based party company Real Princess Parties, who painted faces for children, and octopus balloons dotted the roofs of several local businesses. “Making the fair more child-friendly has been a big improvement,” said Reed, who dressed up as a town crier to deliver news and updates to fair-goers. “We’re seeing mountains of kids, and it’s been great.” Reed and his wife Holly volunteered at the festival for the first time this year, even though they’ve attended in the past. See Hoodsport on page A-7

Fireworks lead to accidental brush fire in District 4 By ARLA SHEPHARD A young man confessed to accidentally setting fire to a half acre of brush, grass and Christmas trees near Taylor Town on July 3, while lighting fireworks. A crew from Mason County Fire District 4 responded to the brush fire at about 2:40 p.m. on Sunday and controlled it within 25 minutes. “We had a gentleman

across the street who was firing off aerial fireworks,” said Fire District 4 Chief Bob Burbridge. “A neighbor witnessed it and shared what was going on, and a father and son took the honest route and admitted to what happened.” The value of the damage to the farm will be determined by the farm owner, who will decide whether they want to recoup the costs. “Most likely the state [Department of Natural Resources] will do their investigations and bill for the services,” Burbridge said.

Courtesy photo

DNR Firefighter Theo Walker, who is also a live-in resident firefighter with Fire District 4, helps mop up a small brush fire near Taylor Town on July 3.

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

The Mason County Board of Commissioners voted to approve the appointments of two deparment heads on Tuesday.

County cuts titles, combines positions Commission approves staff consolidation for ‘efficiency’ By NATALIE JOHNSON The Mason County Board of Commissioners approved a proposal Tuesday to appoint Barbara Adkins as the director of community development and John Keates as the director of Facilities, Parks and Trails. Keates was already the director of Parks and Trails. After Facilities Manager Mike Rutter retired last month, Keates suggested combining the departments to save money. “It’s been done before,” Keates said. “The staff have similar skills – we have similar equipment and a similar mission.” In the past, Mason County’s Parks and Trails and Facilities departments were combined, but later split. “When I got here parks was part of utilities,” Commissioner Lynda Ring Erickson said. “Facilities and parks often go together. In some respect you can define parks as a facility.” While the combination of Parks and Trails and Facilities is convenient, it also saves the county the cost of a salaried employee. As the Parks and Trails director, Keates made $5,663 per month. As Facilities and Parks and Trails director, he’ll earn $6,367. “We’re looking at refocusing on better serving the county and looking at how county dollars are spent,” Commissioner Jerry Lingle said. Adkins’ new position, that of Community Development Director, has existed in the past, but for the last two years, she, as program manager, and Mark Core, as Permit Assistance Center Manager, effectively ran the Community Development Department, said county Human Resources Director Karen Jackson. “She and Mark were both acting in the absence of Barbara Robinson,” she said. Core was let go several months ago, and Adkins has now been promoted to Community Development Director. As the director of the department, Adkins will make $6,526 per month, up from her previous salary of $5,951.


Port Continued from page A-1

Journal photos by Arla Shephard

Above, Princess Rose of the party company Real Princess Parties decorates the face of five-year-old Jaelah Coley from Squaxin Island at the Celebrate Hoodsport festival on Sunday. This year’s Celebrate Hoodsport event included kid-friendly activities like face painting from the princesses of the party company Real Princess Parties. Below, Hoodsport’s Rob Reed, dressed as a town crier, creates octopus balloons for children at the Celebrate Hoodsport festival. Bottom, two-year-old Adella Chambers from Seattle has her face painted by Pearl the Mermaid, as her grandmother Corinna Wilkins looks on.

that if Miles again violates the statute, “the Board will consider the penalties provided for under RCW 42.23.050.� RCW 42.23.050 states that the “officer violating the provisions of this chapter is liable to the municipality of which he or she is an officer for a penalty in the amount of five hundred dollars, in addition to such other civil or criminal liability or penalty as may otherwise be imposed upon the officer by law.� Miles’ blog post concerns a conversation during the executive session about the port’s firing of employee Theresa Rebo, who recently filed complaints against port Executive Director John Dobson with both the port commission and the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office accusing the executive director of attempting to gift public funds to Northwest Event Organizers, the event-planning company responsible for running the Mason Area Fair. The port commissioned an investigation by Seattle consultant the Seabold Group to determine the validity of Rebo’s accusations. The investigation showed no wrongdoing by

“It’s always been a tradition for years, and it’s always a pleasant time,â€? Holly Reed said. “This year, we’re putting in more hours and more work, but it’s more fun ‌

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The kids are just having such a great time.� While there seemed to be less people attending the fair than in previous year, MacLeod said, the event’s association hopes to continue the more successful aspects of the fair. “I think it’s been a real good event,� she said. “We plan on continuing to make the kid-friendliness part of the event.

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to the general public. Miles expressed concern that port attorney Charles “Skipâ€? Houser reviewed the letter before it was brought before the commission. He also questioned whether Commissioner Tom Wallitner had seen the letter before it was made public as well. “Did you get authorization from this board ‌ to speak to the attorney? How did you know that commissioner Wallitner would be in agreement,â€? Miles said. Hupp said that he did not need the board’s permission to discuss a matter with attorney Houser.

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11375

Continued from page A-1

Dobson. At a meeting last month, Miles’ vowed to continue the investigation by sending the investigation and the complaint to the State Attorney General’s office. Miles’ blog post, one of several on the website, also states that the port is in the middle of litigation resulting from two other firings in the office. “Additionally, your comments were erroneous concerning comments by others during that meeting and thus misleading to the public,� the letter states. Minutes from executive sessions are not available

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Hoodsport

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Commissioner Jay Hupp wrote a letter of censure directed at Commissioner Jack Miles for posting confidential information on a local blog website.

Shelton-Mason County Journal -Thursday, July 7, 2011 - Page A-7


Taylor, Miles, Avery compete for port commission seat in primary

15920

By NATALIE JOHNSON

MIRMA –

By chance an old friend needed a place to stay and by chance I had one. Because of that, life rewarded me with a beautiful woman who is one of a kind. I wish we were together on our 4th anniversary. I wish we talked more about what bothered us and tried harder to work things out. Thank you for all your love and unlocking my heart. I miss you very much and I would do anything to be the man you married. Please try to remember the good. If there’s no chance then let’s sit down and be fair about this so we can move on. Know we love you and let us go. You will always be loved.

— Anthony & Smoke

In the August 16 Mason County primary election, three men will compete to be the top two candidates for Port of Shelton commissioner for district 2 and to head to the November general election. Candidates will compete for a four-year term, rather than the former six years. Mason County voters passed an initiative lessening the terms for port commissioners in 2010. I n cumbent c a n d i date Jack Miles was elected as commissioner six years ago, Miles in November 2005. He said he is running for reelection because of “unfinished business.” “It’s not just the controversial stuff,” he said. “I just think that’s where I need to be right now.” Before he was elected as port commissioner, in 2003 Miles was appointed to the Mason County Housing Authority Board by the county commission. He is also the former chair of the Mason County Republican Central Committee. Since Miles moved to Mason County in 2002 he has volunteered as a firefighter and EMT for Mason County

and worked for KMAS as a broadcaster. Miles said that if reelected he wanted to make sure that the port completed projects that it started and worked efficiently. “If we have any projects, get them completed, get them finished so we can move on to the next project and focus on ways to bring in new business productively,” he said. Miles said that if reelected he would resist the biomass industry in Shelton. “We can’t just focus on the biomass industry to bail us out of some kind of economic crisis,” he said. Miles said that in the future he would encourage the port to create citizen advisory boards to recommend business ventures to the port. Miles briefly addressed recent controversy at the port and disagreements between himself and the two other commissioners. “I think it’s a generational gap,” he said. Dick Taylor said he decided to drop his hat in the ring to increase economic development at the port. “I think that the port is the engine for economic development – that’s what it’s there for,” he said. “We need to get the port back in the business of working towards economic development. We don’t seem to be doing that now.” Taylor spent 34 years in the United States Navy, rising to the rank of Com-

mander. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). He served as the Shelton City Commissioner of Finance for six years and was the executive director of the Shelton Chamber of Commerce. “My platform is let’s work together through the Port of Shelton to build our economy,” T a y l o r said. “To do that, there’s several things we need to look at.” T a y lor listed Taylor concerns about the port’s water rights on Johns Prairie Road, as issues that he would address if elected commissioner. Taylor also said that he wants to take advantage of a partnership with the Port of Grays Harbor and membership in a free trade zone to increase trade within the county, and said he is eager to resume work with the Peninsula Region Transportation Planning Organization. Taylor has lived and worked in Shelton since 1993 and works at Taylor Insurance. Brian Avery ran for port commissioner once before in 2001. This year he plans to run again to try to in-

crease business at the port. “I consider the port commission to be one of the most important jobs in Mason County,” Avery said. “It is the economic future of Mason County and Shelton. I think it’s been an underutilized resource.” Avery said that he has worked as an activist in the community his whole life and has a degree in political science from St. Martin’s University and also has degrees in criminology and United States history. Avery said his first goal is to bring living wage jobs to the Port of Shelton. “You talk to people, they love living here but they work someplace e l s e , ” he said. “There is a definite lack of living wage jobs.” Avery Above all, Avery said that he wants to court “green” industries to the port. “There are a lot of green industries out there that are looking for homes,” he said. “I do not think we have to sacrifice our way of life for jobs. I don’t think it’s a mutually exclusive thing.” Avery is a lifelong Shelton resident and is married with four children and two grandchildren.

Journal photo by Natalie Johnson

Port of Shelton Commissioners Jay Hupp, left, and Tom Wallitner agreed Tuesday to work on a resolution on commissioner use of port facilities after an incident with Commissioner Jack Miles last Friday.

Port commission criticizes Miles again By NATALIE JOHNSON Two Port of Shelton commissioners agreed Tuesday to draft a resolution on commissioner use of port facilities after what they described as an “incident” with Commissioner Jack Miles. Miles was absent from the meeting, after calling in sick. The incident, port staff said, occurred last Friday when port Executive Director John Dobson was out of town and had left administrative assistant Wendy Smith in charge, said Maintenance and Environmental Manager Al Frey. Frey said that in a previous staff meeting, he and Dobson had discussed making sure all of the port office building’s doors were locked at closing time – 4:30 p.m. Frey said that last Thursday, Miles Page A-2 - Shelton-Mason County Journal -Thursday, July 21, 2011

was working on a computer in the commission chambers. “At 4:15, I came in … and basically told him we were locking up at 4:30,” Frey said. Frey told Miles he needed to lock up the office. “He looked at me and says ‘I have to work, I’m not leaving,’” Frey said. “His eyes got kind of big and he got agitated.” Frey said that because the staff didn’t have the decision about locking the doors promptly at 4:30 in writing, so he waited until 5:45 for Miles to finish and locked up after him. Frey filed the incident report to support a claim for overtime pay during the incident. Commissioner Tom Wallitner commented on the issue. “I find the deportment of the com-

missioner unacceptable,” he said. “It’s quite simple if you’ve got work to do get here early … get done and get your ass out of here.” Miles told the Journal that he has worked late before, and there was no need for a port employee to lock the door after him. “I was not aware anyone was there,” he said. There was no reason for Al (Frey) to be there. The door locks itself.” Miles said that the controversy has to do with his upcoming reelection campaign. “This is just another attempt to make me look bad,” he said. “It’s all petty and it’s all nonsense.” Commissioners Wallitner and Jay Hupp agreed to draft a resolution on commissioner use of port facilities to avoid further confusion.

SPOT RED


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