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State Rep. Drew MacEwen (R-Union) will hold a town hall with 35th District residents on Feb. 22 in Belfair.

Citizens who attend will receive a brief update on the 2014 legislative session, then ask MacEwen questions and share comments or concerns about legislation, state government and issues affecting the 35th District.

The meeting will be from 2-3 p.m. at the Theler Community Center, 22871 NE State Route 3 in Belfair.

Residents unable to attend the town hall meeting can e-mail MacEwen with ideas, solutions and concerns at Drew [dot] MacEwen [at] leg [dot] wa [dot] gov or call (360) 786-7902.


The Central Kitsap Community Council and the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce are jointly sponsoring a meeting to examine Kitsap County’s proposals for changes to the county sign code. Darren Gurnee, project leader for this effort with Kitsap County, will outline the county’s proposed changes and seek input from businesses and citizens on these amendments.

This is an opportunity for Central Kitsap citizens to express their concerns with signage in and around Silverdale. In addition, there will be a brief presentation by county planner David Greetham on the early stages of the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan update, and how the county intends to work with community councils during the update process. read more »


The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is looking for a new District 3 representative for the Board of Equalization, an independent group that hears appeals on property tax determinations made by the County Assessor. The board also hears appeals of other Assessor determinations including denials of home improvement and personal property tax exemptions, historic property and forest land classifications and current use. Ideally, applicants will be familiar with Kitsap County real estate or appraisal practices.

A detailed position description is available at www.kitsapgov.com/volunteer/boards/BOE.htm. For more information, contact Kitsap County Volunteer Services at 360.337.4650 or rpirtle [at] co [dot] kitsap [dot] wa [dot] us.


U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) will be holding two town halls around the region over the next week. The first will be Feb. 18 in Port Orchard, at 5:30 p.m. in the Commissioners Chambers of the Kitsap County administration building at 619 Division St.

The Tacoma meeting will be Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. in Commencement Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus (map) at 1500 N. Warner St.

Town halls are open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. Doors open a half hour before the start of each meeting. read more »


State Sen. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard) encourages residents of the 26th Legislative District to participate in a telephone town hall meeting on Feb. 20 starting at 7 p.m.

Angel will host the hourlong community conversation much like an interactive radio program, during which participants may ask questions or just listen to the conversation about issues that affect their district and the state.

“I’m looking forward to connecting with constituents and addressing the issues they are most concerned about,” Angel said. “A telephone town hall is a very effective way for me to communicate with hundreds of residents at the same time — and people can participate from the comfort of their own homes.” read more »


Steve BoyerKitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election this fall to a fifth term.

Boyer, who spent 27 years with the Washington State Patrol before he was elected sheriff in 1998, said health concerns factored into his decision to retire from a law enforcement career of more than 42 years.

“Fortunately, medical professionals have ruled out any serious issues affecting my wellbeing,” the longtime sheriff said in a news release announcing his decision. “While another term would be possible, this has prompted me to reflect on the future and consider some new adventures. Although this may slow me down a bit, I consider it yet another challenge.” read more »


Voters soundly rejected a ballot measure to annex more property in Poulsbo and along Liberty Bay into the Port of Poulsbo district.

However, port officials said the election outcome won’t have any effect on the port’s plans to expand its marina and to possibly purchase the old City Hall property in downtown Poulsbo for development.

In Tuesday’s special election, 75 percent of the ballots were ‘no’ votes on the annexation measure, which was defeated by a margin of 706-237.

Had the measure passed, the 2,404 properties in the proposed annexation area would have generated about $190,000 a year in additional tax revenue for the port. But a revenue boost wasn’t the port’s purpose in sending the annexation measure to voters, Commissioner Mark DeSalvo said. read more »


Kitsap County has completed a purchase of 535 acres of forestland and 1.5 miles of shoreline on Port Gamble Bay for permanent conservation. It is the first acquisition of the multi-year Kitsap Forest & Bay Project.

The Kitsap Forest & Bay Project is an ongoing effort by Kitsap County, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, the Suquamish Tribe, Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy, and many community partners to conserve 6,700 acres of forest and shoreline owned by Pope Resources around Port Gamble Bay.

Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder noted the significance of the transaction, saying “This acquisition has been years in the making and the beginning of a series of great things to come in 2014. We are lining up funding to protect additional lands from Kingston to Port Gamble as part of this preservation effort.” read more »

No fines for most employers until 2016 as firms pressure White House in wake of troubled rollout

Most employers won’t face a fine next year if they fail to offer workers health insurance, the Obama administration said Feb. 10, in the latest big delay of the health law rollout.

The Treasury Department, in regulations outlining the Affordable Care Act, said employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t have to comply with the law’s requirement to provide insurance or pay a fee until 2016. Companies with more workers could avoid some penalties in 2015 if they showed they were offering coverage to at least 70 percent of full-time workers.

The move came after employers pressured the Obama administration to peel back the law’s insurance requirements. Some firms had trimmed workers’ hours to below 30 hours a week to avoid paying a penalty if they didn’t offer insurance. read more »

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