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Patriot Bremerton

Celebrating Black History Month at Olympic High School Page 8


Hauge reacts to Inslee’s death penalty moratorium Bremerton girl’s killer could get first reprieve BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM

Kit s ap C ou nt y Prosecutor Russ Hauge said it will be “business as usual” for his office following Tuesday’s

announcement by Governor Jay Inslee that he will institute a moratorium on the death penalty in Washington state while in office. “What he did was basically promise that if any death warrant reaches his desk, any case where all appeals are exhausted, he’s going to give that person a reprieve, not a commutation or a par-

don. A reprieve is nothing more than a stay and it’s only effective as long as he’s in office.” Hauge said that by law, his office still has to consider the death penalty in certain cases. “Although I would not really argue with any of the positions raised by the governor to justify the decision, nothing about his decision

changes the workload that we’re going to bear in Kitsap County or that other prosecutors will bear in the rest of the state. We’re still obligated to consider the death penalty in appropriate cases.” Hauge also noted that one of the first death warrants to hit the governor’s desk could be that of Jonathan Gentry.

Gentry, 57, was sentenced to death in 1991 for the 1988 murder of Cassie Holden, 12, whose body was found near Rolling Hills Golf Course. Hauge said it was one of the first cases in the state where DNA was used at trial and helped convict Gentry. Later testing of blood on Gentry’s shoelaces showed the chances of it being anyone’s blood

other than Cassie’s to be 1 in 110 trillion. “It’s her blood, so there’s no doubt about his guilt,” Hauge said. Hauge also noted that the governor didn’t mention any death row inmates, victims or particular cases. “It didn’t really change anything other than to SEE MORATORIUM, A13

Pacific Avenue work called into question Bremerton voters say ‘yes’ to school levy


A pair of citizens have raised several concerns about the quality of construction work on the Pacific Avenue project. The concerns go beyond $1 million worth of cost overruns and zero-in at ground level on what some describe as shoddy work on a once-in-a-lifetime project that won’t hold up to regular wear-and-tear and inclement weather. Among the issues that have been documented in dozens of photographs and a walkthrough of the project with Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin are cracked or spalling concrete; sidewalks that are too shallow or lack the proper gravel foundation outlined in city specifications for satisfactory design; a lack of proper drainage that will lead to pools and puddles in the roadway and gutters; and concrete separation joints that are too close together to other joints, unnecessarily extend into planter beds or are otherwise misplaced. Another major concern is a step that was added in the front entrance to a business at 701 Pacific Avenue. Kevin Bernt owns the building and operates his business Compressions for Life, which offers CPR classes, out of the storefront. “Several issues have occurred during this process that are deeply concerning and will affect the community that my building will serve,” Bernt wrote in a Feb. 3 letter to the city. “The ramp that gave access


Contributed photos


Several questions have been raised about the quality of construction work on Pacific Avenue. Cracked or spalling concrete, ADA concerns in front of a business (top right) and two homes, a lack of inadequate drainage and misplaced concrete separation joints are among the many concerns. City specifications also call for four-inch sidewalks on top of four inches worth of crushed material, but it appears that those specifications simply were not met in several locations throughout the project area. to the front door of the building was removed and replaced by a steep six-inch-curb-type step. This is very concerning: I recently renovated the entire inside of the building to meet every ADA requirement, however now no wheelchairs are capable of gaining access to the building due to the steep curb.” Bernt also noted that his parking lot was used on a daily basis during the project to stage heavy machinery, trucks and various other vehicles. “There were multiple times that I had to park on the street and could not park in my own parking lot, because there was no room,” he said. “Due to the

fact that heavy machinery was routinely used during the revitalization, the pavement of my parking lot was degraded and heavily damaged.” Bernt said he was all for downtown revitalization and that is one of the reason he chose to locate in Bremerton instead of Silverdale. “I wanted to be a part of this process and the improvement of the downtown core,” he said. In a Feb. 4 memo to Department of Community Development Director Andrea Spencer, building inspector Jeannie Vaughan outlined the decision to remove concrete skirting and instead install the

step in the front doorway of Bernt’s business and references an Oct. 30, 2013, meeting at the site. “Mr. Bernt appeared to understand during the meeting that although he thought his building was accessible for his business when he purchased the building, it truly was not compliant, and the landing step option discussed with Public Works staff was the best option with the most code compliant elements,” Vaughan wrote. Vaughn has earlier made a similar argument for a pair of stairways in front of homes SEE PACIFIC AVENUE, A13

The Bremerton School District School Support Levy passed in Tuesday’s mail-in election. After much anticipation, voters chose in favor of the levy which acts as a supplement to state and federal funds. The local levy and levy equalization funds almost 24 percent of the district’s overall budget. “We’re very excited. It feels fantastic,” said Bremerton School Superintendent Dr. Aaron Leavell of the results. “We’re very thankful to our community not only in passing the levy but that percentage is really a stamp of approval of what we’re doing.” Of those who voted, 61.8 percent voted in favor of the levy. In opposition, voters brought in 38.2 percent of the vote. For those who responded ‘yes’ the total was 4,112 ballots. For ‘no’ ballots, 2,538 voters responded. The current levy expires this year, and the total collection amount is $43 million. While there is a slight increase, it would generate an extra $3 million from 2015 through 2018. For Bremerton, the approxiSEE LEVY, A13

Bremerton Patriot, February 14, 2014  

February 14, 2014 edition of the Bremerton Patriot

Bremerton Patriot, February 14, 2014  

February 14, 2014 edition of the Bremerton Patriot