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Patriot Bremerton

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turkey day

It’s the time of year where families gather together and give thanks over steaming platters of turkey. While some may be thankful for material things, like PlayStations or shiny new cars, children have a way of reminding adults to ground themselves and look at what really matters. Education reporter Seraine Page visited Katie Sprague’s thirdgrade classroom at View Ridge Elementary in Bremerton to ask students: What are you most thankful for? Their humbling answers may surprise you. Here are their responses: 1) “I’d say my family because they care for me and they’re really nice to me.” Juliana Meyer, age 8 2) “Probably my parents and my


money. Because without my parents, I wouldn’t have a place to live.” Alex Caldier, age 9 3) “A family and a roof over my head, most of all.” Autumn Knifong, age 9

4) “I’m thankful for my family. I love them a lot. They love me and care for me.” Cooper Herold, age 9 5) “I’m most thankful for this year because I got on the swim team. The best part is to

celebrate and be thankful.” TiaJane Fowler, age 9 6) “Getting to go to my grandma’s because I don’t really get to see her.” Savannah Jackson, age 8



7) “Having a good family. They love me.” Caedmon Wristen, age 9 8) “That’s hard. It’s a lot of things (I’m thankful for). To have a new friend, my friend Tia.” Leah Howell, age 9

Park doesn’t measure up to state law BY KEVAN MOORE


There’s no doubt that the recent $1.6 million renovation of Kiwanis Park in Bremerton’s Union Hill neighborhood turned the facility into one of the city park system’s crown jewels. There’s just one catch, though. The long V-shaped ramp from the soccer field to the lower play area does not comply with Washington state requirements for those with disabilities. The concrete pathway is wide enough, but

steel railings mounted into either side of that path, make the passage too narrow for state standards. “It certainly meets the city code and federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, but there is a discrepancy with the state code,” said Bremerton Parks and Recreation Director Wyn Birkenthal. “During a planning review, nobody caught the fact that the state ADA law is more stringent.” The space between the railings, it turns out, comes SEE KIWANIS PARK, A13

Stevens gets plea deal from prosecutors

Kevan Moore/staff photo

A new ramp at Bremerton’s Kiwanis Park, part of a $1.6 million renovation project, does not comply with state disability law standards. The space between the railings, while wide enough for federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, is four inches short of Washington state standards.

Former Bremerton school board candidate Wendy Stevens agreed to cut a deal in her first-degree theft case and her attorney cut the check. At a scheduled court appearance on Tuesday morning, Stevens sat in a packed Kitsap County District Court room. Like many others, though, she never had to appear before a judge. Instead, her lawyer, Thomas Weaver, presented an $8,000 check to Naval Avenue PTA president Barbie Swainson. He also gave Swainson a little more than $60 in cash. Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Barbara Dennis says that Stevens will enter the Kitsap County Superior Court’s felony diversion program, a contract between her and the state, where paying restitution to the PTA is one of several conditions. Stevens will also have to perform 48 hours of community service, pay a $1,500 fine and stay out of trouble for a year. “If she does those things, the case will be dismissed at the end of the year,” Dennis said. “If she doesn’t, she’s given up her right to challenge any of the evidence. So, if she’s out of compliance, we would just submit the police reports and the judge would make a determination of guilt based on the police reports alone.” Stevens will not have to enter a guilty plea as part of the deal. Dennis said Stevens’ ability to pay back the money she took was critical. “The PTA has been paid back in full and that is one of the main reasons she was offered diversion, was she would be able to pay that restitution up front which I thought was the most important part of that case,” she said. Dennis also doesn’t think that allowing Stevens to enter the diversion program sends the wrong message about first-degree theft to the residents of Bremerton. “No, this is exactly the type of case that our felony diversion program usually accepts,” she said. “It’s one where it’s a financial crime and one where restitution can be made to the victim. And this case is one where Mrs. Stevens has no felony history.” A person convicted of theft in the first degree, with an offender score of zero, meaning they have no criminal SEE STEVENS, A13

Bremerton Patriot, November 22, 2013  

November 22, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot

Bremerton Patriot, November 22, 2013  

November 22, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot