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Reporter Central Kitsap

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Seraine Page/staff photo

Brownsville Elementary student Devon William pours compost into a tumbling compost bin as teacher Rochelle Lancaster and student Olivia McFall watch. The trio participates in Green Club, a school club focused on green living, gardening and global awareness.


Piles of garbage, splayed out across a tarp, waited to be sifted through. Slowly, gloved fingers dug through the trash, pulling out items that could be recycled. While slightly unappealing, it is one of the many projects the Green Club at Brownsville Elementary

has taken part in since its founding in January. “I thought it was gross, but sort of interesting to see how many things can be reused that get thrown away,” said Olivia McFall, club member. The lesson is just one of many that founder and teacher Rochelle Lancaster shares as the advisor to the environmental club.

Lancaster is also an avid farmer and into green living in her own home. Aside from the one project of going through garbage for recycling, the students have a chance to work in a garden, compost, make “green” items and have discussions about the environment. Lancaster also sends recipes to students to “encourage kids to shop

local and eat local.” My favorite part is being able to share something I’m passionate about with the kids and watch them take off with it,” said Lancaster. “Almost all the kids have started a compost bin at their house. It’s exciting to see how passionate they are about it and how surprised they are when they learn SEE GREEN CLUB, A9

Gun range ordinance on to commissioners BY LESLIE KELLY LKELLY@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM

It’s not what either side seemed to want, but a proposed countywide gun range ordinance is headed to county commissioners for their consideration. After more than two years in the making, the committee studying the issue signed off on an ordinance last week following a heated last committee meeting. At issue was the noise component of the ordinance

which had brought the committee to a stand still earlier this year. Last week, the committee voted four to one to submit the ordinance to commissioners without a noise component. Marcus Carter, executive officer of the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club, was the lone committee member to vote against the ordinance. He cited that he thinks the ordinance violates the gun ranges’ rights. The committee had discussed adopting a muzzle-

energy restriction which included a time of day form of noise control. The committee also talked about a “good neighbor agreement” which could exempt gun ranges from time restrictions. The muzzle-energy restrict was proposed by committee member Jim Sommerhous, and estimated muzzle-energy is based on the type of gun and bullets that are used in a firearm. That suggestions surfaced

after three gun clubs in the county, Poulsbo Sportsman Club, Bremerton Trap and Skeet Club and the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club, opposed a noise restriction that was based on a decibel limit. The county had authorized a study to help determine what decibel limit would be appropriate. But when none of the gun clubs involved supported that way of evaluating noise SEE GUN RANGE, A9

At the same time commissioners from the Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue District are pondering closing a fire station, they’re looking at pay raises for the administrative staff. At Monday’s board meeting, CKFR Chief Scott Weninger asked the board to consider giving all administrative staff (management and supervisory employees — non union) cost of living raises, citing that they had not had COLAs since 2009. “At the time we froze administrative salaries to lead by example,” Weninger said, noting that the finances of the district were tight and have remained so. “But it’s probably not feasible to leave them frozen forever.” Weninger said all administrative and management positions should be considered for raises, except his own. The chief works under a contract with the district. His current salary is $142,000 annually. Weninger said the district’s legal advisor’s assistant had done a survey and determined that for five sample positions, CKFR is anywhere from 10 to 22 percent below the going wages when compared to similar fire districts in the area. For example, he said, a deputy chief with CKFR makes $129,081, whereas the average pay is $145,444, or a difference of $16,363 (11.25 percent below the going rate.) In the years that there have been no COLAs, the consumer price index has shown a total inflation rate of 18.5 percent. During those same years, firefighters and EMTs who are represented by unions, have received pay raises including 3 percent in 2010, 2011, and 1 percent in 2013. The district and the union are currently at a stalemate in their current contract negotiations which Weninger said are expected to go to arbitration. Union employees

have been working without a contract since Jan. 1 of this year. The union is requesting annual pay raises for firefighters and EMTs. Weninger said he is concerned that because management levels are not getting pay raises, the district is having a hard time getting good employees to advance into management positions. “This is an issue for me,” the chief said. “This will eventually come to be a significant cost to the district. At some point there will be no incentive to join the management team.” Commissioners asked Weninger to give them data on what compatible positions are paid in cities, school district at at the county level in Kitsap County, before they discuss the issue further. “This has been a problem for a number of years,” said Commissioner Dick West. “We’re not really comparable (fire) district to (fire) district. I’d like to see what the salaries are for comparable positions at our local school district and other cities in the county. Then come back to the board with what the options are that are available to us.” Board Chair Dave Fergus agreed. “I’m not surprised that we’re so far behind,” he said. “But I’d like to see some (salary) data from school districts, ports and other cities as well.” Weninger agreed to collect more data and bring the matter back to the board. Also at Monday’s meeting, the board discussed closing the Tracyton Fire Station which is now manned by all volunteers. And open house and public discussion on the matter was held in April. Several of of the same people who spoke out then were at Monday’s meeting questioning the district’s figures of what it would cost to keep the station open and make the needed repairs. Among them was Gary Keenan who said the district’s figures were inflated. “Nothing’s going to fall SEE PAY RAISE, A9

Central Kitsap Reporter, May 02, 2014  
Central Kitsap Reporter, May 02, 2014  

May 02, 2014 edition of the Central Kitsap Reporter