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Both sides report feeling harassed in rift over home business.
Neighbor denies pellet gun shooting
By JUSTINE FREDERIKSEN
Tensions between two Port Orchard neighbors that erupted after one attempted to open a home business last year led both women to head down to the Kitsap County Courthouse Monday and file restraining orders against each other. Shelia Cronan, 49, said she filed a restraining order against Amber Keehn after returning home from a camping trip Aug. 17 and discovering pellets had been
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FOLLOW THE RAINBOW
Superintendent eyes balanced SKSD budget
Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
shot in three of her home’s windows. Cronan, who lives on the 200 block of Flower Meadows Street in Port Orchard, said she believed the attack was part of an ongoing dispute with Keehn, whom she alleges has been running a hair salon out of her home without a business license and in defiance of a city “stop-work” order. Keehn, 30, said she filed for permission from the city of Port Orchard to operate a hair salon out of her home on the 2300 block of Flower Avenue soon after pur-
By DANNIE OLIVEAUX Editor
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▼ Matthes, Garrido advance in SK commissioner race; Dalton, Danielson in judicial contest.
By CHARLIE BERMANT
By CHRIS CHANCELLOR
Rotella resigns, district looking for finance director
Expectations were turned on their head in two Kitsap County political contests during Tuesday night’s primary election, as the perceived front-runners came in third and were disqualified in their respective races. Republican Tim Matthes drew the most votes in the South Kitsap commissioner’s race, followed by Democrat Charlotte Garrido. Monty Mahan, who was the first to declare for the seat and earned the endorsement of local mayors, came in third (See related story, page A3).
SEE UPSETS, PAGE A2
For the second time in three years, the South Kitsap School District is looking for a finance director. Sandy Rotella, assistant superintendent of business services, left March 28 to return to Colorado to continue her career. She announced her resignation March 13 in a memo to district officials. Amy Miller, district spokesperson, said the district will accept applications for Rotella’s position until April 25 for the district, home to more than 9,000 students. During Rotella’s tenure, the school district experienced declining enrollment, budget shortfalls and employee layoffs. In May 2013, the board approved cutting 68 jobs, including 61 teaching positions under Interim Superintendent Bev Cheney that would reduce a $3-million shortfall. Of the 68 positions proposed to be cut, 33 would be eliminated due to the $2.5 budget reduction, but 25 would remain open because of retirement and resignations. In June, during the school district’s budget process, the South Kitsap Education Agency issued a statement that teachers in the district voted no confidence in Rotella and expressed concerned about teacher layoffs and class sizes. Former school board member Kathryn Simpson said Rotella was “villainized unjustly by SKEA last year.” “She repeatedly informed us of the risks associated with our shrinking fund balance and the board took those risks into consideration as we continued to focus on student achievement needs,” said Simpson “SKEA chose to use her as a whipping post.
SEE BUDGET, A22
SEE ROTELLA, A22
South Kitsap School District officials have grappled with budget deficits for several years. But first-year superintendent Michelle Reid is determined that trend will end. “It’s kind of like our home budgets,” Reid said. “If I want a snappy new car, I need more money in my checking account than I currently have. If I don’t have that then I need to keep driving the car I have for a while longer.” SKSD’s latest financial report, which ran through February, shows the district will have about $92.5 million in revenue from state, local and federal sources. Its estimated expenditures are almost $91.3 million, but that figure does not include about $1.1 million in transfers to the debt service and capital outlay funds. That pushes SKSD toward a balanced budget when those monies are accounted. JEANETTE DALTON
After rain showers passed through Port Orchard on March 28, a rainbow appeared over the Sinclair Inlet. The optical phenomenon was caused by the reflection and refraction of light in water droplets in the atmosphere.
Custodians won’t be replaced, $1.72 million will be taken from reserve fund.
and pension rates along with inflation as issues. In addition to the money saved on custodians, Patton said the district will dip into its reserve fund for $1.72 million. She said that’s not all bad because the district saved more than it anticipated in its last fiscal year, which ends Aug. 31. Patton said they also will save through not filling other vacant positions in the district, and through cutting expenses on supplies. The board unanimously adopted the budget. Patton warned in previous meetings that the “hard decisions” likely won’t end
SEE SCHOOL, PAGE A2
activities she reported as stemming from Keehn’s attempts to operate a business out of her home. Weaver said following an April 11 hearing with the city’s Hearing Examiner, certain conditions were placed on Keehn’s permit to mitigate Cronan’s concerns before she would be allowed to operate her business. “(Keehn) has addressed all but one of those conditions, with the last being the letter from the (Kitsap County) Health Department,” Weaver said, explaining that Keehn’s current sewer facilities are
SEE NEIGHBORS, PAGE A2
Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo
District’s revenue projected to exceed expenses
By CHRIS CHANCELLOR
The South Kitsap School District is a little closer to closing its $2.9 million deficit for the upcoming school year. Terri Patton, assistant superintendent for business and support services, said at Wednesday’s school board meeting that the district won’t replace five full-time custodians who left the district after the last school year. She said that will save the district $250,000. Patton said the deficit stems from unforeseen circumstances when the district presented its last levy to voters in 2004. She cited escalating teacher salaries
chasing it last spring. City Development Director James Weaver confirmed that Keehn received a conditional-use permit to operate a onechair hair salon out of her home, which he described as “pretty innocuous” and something that doesn’t typically reach “the level of intensive use,” as far as impacts on the neighborhood are concerned. However, since November of 2007, Cronan has filed multiple complaints with the city regarding traffic, noise and other
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Cody Wright from Milford, Utah, got a mouth full of mud and a zero score after falling off Strawberry Delight in the Saddle Bronc Riding competition Wednesday night at the Kitsap County Stampede. The fair runs through Sunday.
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Attorney’s letter threatens reopening of Anderson Point Park Clients willing to cooperate for concessions
By DANNIE OLIVEAUX Editor
A letter, sent by an attorney representing a group of Millihanna Road residents, to the head of Kitsap
County Parks and Recreation, threatened legal action if Anderson Point Park is reopened. The letter also noted his clients “would be willing to cooperate with the county and assist in acquiring a lawful means of access” if the county and park advocates would make a few concessions. Attorney Ronald Templeton sent the letter March 18 by email to Jim Dunwiddie, director of
the parks department, along with Commissioners Charlotte Garrido, Robert Gelder and Linda Streissguth. In February, commissioners announced the county approved $400,000 to the parks department and announced they expect Anderson Point Park to be opened by the year’s end. Half of the $400,000 will be used at the 66-acre South Kitsap park to help shore up
trails damaged by landslides in 2010 and to repair Millihanna Road, a gravel driveway to the park’s parking area. The park was purchased by Kitsap County for $1 million in 1999. In the letter, Templeton stated his clients will seek damage and injunctive relief prohibiting the county and the public from accessing the park via Millihanna Road. He noted the county does not have “record”
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access over most of Millihanna Road, even if the county claims it has a prescriptive easement claim. In June, a gate was installed on Millihanna Road without any formal agreement with the county and with no public knowledge or input. Templeton, of Silverdale, also stated in addition to injunctive relief, his clients would seek SEE LETTER, A22