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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2013 | Vol. 16, No. 46 WWW.BREMERTONPATRIOT.COM | 50¢
Kevan Moore/staff photo
Professional and technical workers from Harrison Hospital hand out leaflets in front of the shipyard. The workers say contract negotiations are not going well.
Hospital workers hope for health care, better hours BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM
Several union members from Harrison Hospital’s professional and technical ranks spent last Thursday leafleting in front of the hospitals in Bremerton and Silverdale and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. The workers — about 800 strong working in nursing, medical assistance, imaging, registration and more — are members of United Food and Commercial Local 21. They have been in contract negotiations since June. “These workers provide direct patient care every day,” said UFCW 21 Communications Director Tom Geiger. “Negotiations have not gone well and significant issues remain including concerns about health care and a proposal from the employer that would require 12-hour shifts.” UFCW 21 is the state’s largest private sector union with over 43,000 members, more than 16,000 of whom work in health care. Bremerton resident
Kathleen Kish has worked at Harrison for almost eight years. She used to work in the emergency room and had healthcare, but was laid off two years ago during a reorganization. She now works as a Licensed Practical Nurse in the day surgery unit on a part-time basis without any health coverage through Harrison. Fortunately, she said her husband works in the shipyard and has family coverage. “It’s an insult to work at the hospital and think I could be devastated by an emergency,” she said while leafleting in front of PSNS&IMF last Thursday. Seabeck resident Aimee Oien, a pharmacy technician who has worked at Harrison for nine years, said she was out leafleting in front of the shipyard to support her fellow coworkers at the hospital. Oien said she hasn’t previously been involved much in negotiations or union matters, but felt it was worth getting involved this time around to advocate for “reasonable health care for my coworkSEE HARRISON, A13
To celebrate the holiday season, we thought we’d look back at the past year by reviewing a few of our favorite stories. Some are news stories. Some are events we covered. And others … well … they’re just some of the memories we want to share with you, our readers.
Incorporation vote The year started out with a campaign to make Silverdale a city. After much talk and several community forums, voters in the affected area said “no.” On Feb. 12, voters rejected a measure to incorporate the Silverdale area in almost a 70 to 30 percent majority. Of the 9,696 registered voters in the incorporation area, 3,891 votes were cast and tallied by Kitsap County election officials. Those voting not to incorporate totaled 2,718, (69.85 percent) while the “Yes” votes were 1,173 (30.15 percent). Rob MacDermid, a member of Citizens United for Silverdale, the group backing the “Yes” campaign, wasn’t that surprised. “I’m not particularly surprised that it lost, but I am surprised by the margin,” he said. “In talking to people over the last few weeks, I talked to people opposed to it. It seemed like the percentages were against us.” Across town, Edward Berg was with those opposed to incorporation. They gathered to watch results election night and he said it was a matter of not wanting to pay more. “People didn’t want more taxes,” Berg said. He has been a resident of the Silverdale area for 64 years. “And no matter what anybody says, it would be inevitable. Becoming a city would cost us more.”
Kevan Moore/staff photo
Hugs filled with tears of joy were a common sight this pasty May when the John C. Stennis returned to Naval Base Kitsap - Bremerton following an eight-month deployment overseas. Incorporation has been a hot issue in Silverdale for the last few decades. Beginning in the mid 1980s, efforts surfaced to make the Silverdale area its own city. The last time the issue was before voters was 1999, when it passed by less than 10 votes. That election, however, was thrown out when it became apparent there were ballot irregularities and the following February, when the vote was re-done, the issue failed by a larger percentage.
Off to Paris Headlines were made by the Port of Bremerton when just one month after its commission voted to eliminate five positions and tighten its budget, commissioners voted to send its CEO Tim Thomson to Paris for the Paris Air Show. After the restructuring and downsizing move, commissioners chose to send the port’s CEO to the Paris Air Show in June. In an agreement reached at the port meeting in March, CEO Tim Thomson
was given the go-ahead to attend the air show on June 17-23 at an estimated cost of $5,600. Thomson attended with County Commissioner Josh Brown, and John Powers, executive director of the Kitsap Aerospace and Defense Alliance (KADA), which is a public-private consortium aimed at bringing aerospace business to the port’s properties and Kitsap County. Larry Stokes, chairman of the port’s board of commissioners said he had conversations with Thomson about attending the show at the request of Powers. He said while Thomson told him he thought he shouldn’t because of the current belttightening taking place in the port’s operations, Stokes wanted Thomson to attend. “I feel he needs to sell our airport,” Stokes said. “He needs to go there and show our stuff.”
Bombings felt locally Several Kitsap County residents participated in the Boston Marathon in April, but none were injured in
the bombings. Nonetheless, the bomb blasts sent shockwaves across the country and hit close to home for a tight-knit group in the local running community. About 100 folks got together in Silverdale the day after the bombings to take part in a worldwide event called Runners United to Remember. One of the night’s participants, Silverdale resident Renee Partsch, tracked her mom’s movements online as she made her way through the marathon. “She crossed at 4:04:50,” Partsch said of her mom, former Silverdale resident Eileen Glenn. “I left the house to go to Costco and everybody started messaging me ‘explosion at the finishing area’ and I’m thinking that’s where she is, she’s right there. And she was. She had just grabbed her bottle of water and hadn’t even gotten her medal yet. My step-dad (Lee Glenn) was right off to the side near the bleachers and it was about 30 minutes SEE YEAR IN REVIEW, A6
December 27, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot