Millions and Millions….

By now, most people should be aware of the latest temporary hire at the South Kitsap. Karst Brandsma is the latest budget busting hire of $150K+, after 61 teachers were forced out of the district in 2013. And as always, they overpaid again, for a guy who was a central figure in videotaping a teacher in her classroom, for questionable purposes. Here’s what one parent had to say about him.

Here’s an an article that was cached to a regional labor group’s blog.
It’s important because when I went back to review prior district conflicts in the archives at the Kitsap Sun, they’ve been purged of all finance audits and leadership issues. Gone, are all the reports on finance and layoff issues in 2012-2013. No mention on if school levy money was properly spent on roofing, as well as reporting on reimbursements for car care, mileage, and a smartphone allowance for Bev Chaney during her previous interim stint. A harder search for other controversial issues like drunk mayors, passenger ferry mishaps, etc., also returned blank. So the fix is in here folks.

This is a bad hire. And I predict that this individual will have a negative effect on the community. And no where in the press release does it say Mr. Brandsma will reside in the district.

Update: Prior to publication, I emailed the corporate people for the Sun’s new ownership, USA Today, about this story , which was restored, about former board member, and onetime president, Kathryn Simpson. The story should speak for itself. And I would remind readers that she has since left the area, and no longer lives here. Lastly, I expect this article to mysteriously disappear within the next week. So, for reference and preserving the true record, here it is.
A school board member’s request for a protection order against a resident, which was based on a comment posted at kitsapsun.com, has been denied.


Kathryn Simpson, a member of the South Kitsap School Board, asked the court to keep South Kitsap resident Mary Colborn from coming within 300 feet of Simpson or her children at her home, work or school district property.


The request came in late April after Colborn wrote a post-story comment about her “intense dislike” for Simpson, saying, “Shall we meet in the parking lot, Ms. Simpson? Maybe with knives and metal pipes.”


The April 23 story was regarding a vacancy on the school board that was filled by Naomi Polen. The comment was removed by Kitsap Sun staff at the time, as it violated the user agreement that asks readers to refrain from being abusive to one another.


In court papers Simpson asked that Colborn not be allowed to attend South Kitsap school board meetings without seven days prior written authorization and that she stay 50 feet away from her and her children in public. Simpson wrote in her request that Colborn’s comment “crossed the boundary between disagreement and threat of physical harm. Respondent has become increasingly harassing to me in the last year.”


Judge Stephen J. Holman ruled that Simpson did not meet the burden of proof and dismissed the protection order.


This story has been edited since its original publication to include the name of the judge.   Kitsap Sun, May 16, 2008

Out Fuchsing Around…….

Go ahead and read this.
  

So allegedly, we all know what she likes to do, and who she’s doing it to, after school. But I have concerns about reduced bail considering what’s been alleged, and that as a popular teacher, there’s the possibility of getting other students to harass and bully the alleged victim.

Could I speculate about her hiring? How many of her relatives work for the school district, are affiliated with the county government? Who did the background check, and if asked in a public records request, would there be a cash receipt, or warrant item on the books for it?

Y’all remember a guy by the name of Scott Anthony Fuchs? Read about him here and his previous arrest, here.

Keep in mind this guys was caught making videos, more than 50 HOURS worth on an iPhone. Which coincidently (?), was done by this girl, with the same last name.

Here’s his sentencing data.

The Judge in this case was Anna Laurie. She’s given notice that she will retire at the end of June, back on the 1st, of May. Keep in mind that Ms. Fuchs was arrested one week later. And her next court date is in July, after the Judge has retired.
Here’s my last thought. Is there a LIVING, BREATHING, CRITICAL THINKING reporter/editor willing to actually report on this story, or should I look forward to more fluff pieces about Bruce Jenner’s transformation?

The Local Yokels….

There’s been an increasing controversy, and one largely created by local news media (slow news cycle), concerning some activities on Facebook, by government officials. There’s a blog entry (here) that gives a little background on one of the people involved. Let’s dig deeper into this.

The issue is about how much of a public officials social interactions online, are subject to scrutiny by the public, and are those instances covered by public information requests.

This became an issue way back when Lary Coppola was the Mayor of Port Orchard. As a reference, here’s Lary’s thoughts on online commenting (here). And yes, how actually Lary used anonymous online commenting (here), (here), and of course, his late night antics (here). Lary, as some might remember, wanted his salary raised. He used his private email address in the solicitation. Another piece of this puzzle concerns his relationships to the Kitsap Sun, Kathryn Simpson, and Fred Chang.

For it’s part in this mess, the Sun has employed Lary, and even bought one of his publications. The Sun has also enabled Simpson to carry out an online campaign against people, like Fred Chang, that she doesn’t care for. Simpson is rarely portrayed as a polarizing figure, that she actually is. For a refresher, here’s a link about how she make charges in open court that don’t meet the burden of proof (here). The Sun also has bad blood with regard to a legal notices contract it lost in 2010 (here), and again Chang is involved.

So these links are a start into the background of thhe critics complaining about Chang. That includes a former mayor with drinking problems, a divorced former school board member that has a history of court problems, and probably some other people who don’t actually live in Port Orchard, or anywhere near the district represented by Chang. Start running some of these personalities through the courts.wa.gov databases. Do online searches involving Simpson for fiscal/financial issues of the South Kitsap School District, frequent personnel turnovers, video taping in the athletics locker rooms.

Fred Chang isn’t the problem here, as most of the critics have arrest records, residency issues, or some other character flaws. And really ask yourself if $200 for an annual subscription to a news media outlet is justified, when they do business with, and consider these critics as quoteworthy reliable news sources.


Another Episode of N00b Strube News….

Let’s look at how local officials are treated by the media, as to their qualifications for elected, or appointed office.

Go back to 2009, in the SKSD school board race (here).

Then in 2010 we had the qualifications issues surrounding the Bremerton Finance Director (here). She only lasted 6 months and didn’t really live in the area.

The most recent case involved a school board candidate in Bremerton (here).

That gets us to our latest questionable appointment, Michael Strube as a member of the Bremerton Planning Commission.

Most people would suspect that he got the appointment based upon his quality of work, and the reorganization of the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce. He “resigned” from that job last week. And for some time, has had members of the community, along with chamber members, asking what the hell was he doing. My previous entry talked about his latest flame war on Facebook.

Seriously, are you running the business of the Chamber, or are you running for elected office, tending bar and attending “after show” parties at the Admiral Theater, or going to numerous Ampitheater rock concerts in the state? Listen to this interview (here).

Since personal conduct is sometimes examined by the media, let’s run Strube. Case number #322012 in Bremerton Municipal Court. How about his antics on Facebook? Did you know he’s been online commenting on local media sites, as Nate Grey, Dave in Wa, etc? Is he even able to keep the Chamber website up and running? Evidently not.

And about that website, let’s compare to a site in Port Orchard (here), and Silverdale (here). These websites are up and running, recruiting businesses (not losing them), and putting out events and monthly newsletters. Obviously, that hasn’t happened in some time at the Bremerton website.

So, there’s two challenges out there to the media, and the city mayor. Are you guys actually involved in the selection and vetting of your government officials? For the Sun, are you people going to “follow the trail”, or even offer a pointed editorial for the selection processes and hopes for better qualified candidates? For the mayor, will this inspire you to get a city clerk upgrade? Because someone could write a similar entry and ask, how the hell is Shannon L. Corin qualified to work as the city clerk….

So let me ask the big question. It’s after 2:00am, is it safe to assume that your government officials are at home, sober, and ready to start the workday?

Programming Note: Catch a podcast with Lary Coppola handicapping the election this Fall (here). As a reference, his thoughts on the primary (here). Lary’s thoughts on online commenting (here). And yes, how actually Lary used anonymous online commenting (here), (here), and of course, his late night antics (here).

Facebook Flame Wars

On a previous entry on my Bremerton centric blog, I outed a local government official as an anonymous commenter on local media websites. For some time, Michael Strube has been commenting as under several aliases on these sites. His primary purpose, it appears, has been to silence, or discredit any dissenting opinions that are critical of the Bremerton city administration. If he wants to do that as a private citizen, good for him, as everyone is entitled to anonymous dissenting opinions.

However, his behavior has negatively impacted the county with his antics. For those of you who are new to the area, we used to have an every day transit system. Kitsap Transit is largely funded by sales tax revenues. Bremerton isn’t gaining businesses, it’s losing them.

Businesses like El Coral, Kate’s Jersey Subs (previously Pete’s), and Windermere stand out to me as as examples of non support by the city and the cold shoulder from the chamber. Local media and Strube kept giving “free press” to chained owned businesses that do not invest profits in the local economy. They may generate some sales tax income, but the trade off is the below market price they pay in subsidized rent. Take a good look at the Harborside, anything they want, the city obliges. But getting permits and publicity for the Horse and Cow, a wholly locally owned business, fat chance.

Second, Strube hasn’t been active on getting “prime” reconditioned, or new construction spaces occupied. He’s accepted the city line and remained silent when non-profits (and non tax paying ones) have occupied those spaces. Curiously, he also is a commissioner on the Bremerton Planning Commission. What the city desperately needs is a walking distance area grocery, properly paved roads, a redeveloped Wheaton shopping center, and a new DCD. Please show me how he’s advocated for any of this, on behalf of the chamber members. Has the city redeveloped Wheaton? No.

So that’s a little background on the issues leading up to Strube’s departure. However, the recent racial slur used by the Bremerton City Clerk at a city council meeting is what really magnified Strube’s shortcomings. Here’s the last barrage between Strube and the public on Facebook.

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Moonbeam Alpha

For those of you who’ve watched Dick Cavett’s Watergate (here), one can see how there’s an obsession in controlling critics of government, policy, and political figures. Nixon was obsessed with it to the point he had audio/visual surveillance of his critics, whenever possible. In Cavett’s case, Nixon complains to Liddy that they need to really “screw” Cavett. That meant firing up the FBI and IRS. Here, that means targeting a local gun club. The local media will print anything about it. Even down to a new load of gravel on the driveway. Too bad they can’t report about violence in Mannette, property crime, and car thefts from public parking lots. Here’s one editor’s response to a lack of critical reporting on crime statistics (here).

Our recent history includes a former SKSD board member making “unsustainable” charges against a voter in her district, by way of filing for a Protective Order (here). A former mayor, and a drunk driving one, abused commenting by creating an estimated 16 different aliases (here). That’s how government officials deal with dissenting, or contrary opinions within the voting public.

We don’t seem to have stories about Monsanto marches, chalk drawing dissenting opinions, or critical examinations on the fitness of public officials, or the budgeted expenditures foisted upon the public. There’s little, to no reporting on the eligibility of people running for elected offices. Do they live in the district (Josh Brown)? Do they have an education (Abby Burlingame, Chris Tibbs)? Do they have a criminal record? Does it get reported?

At a recent Bremerton City Council meeting, the City Clerk used a racial slur and directed it at the citizens in attendance. NO front page coverage by the Sun there. How about the mayor causing a chain reaction wreck involving THREE vehicles? Back page blog, and no followup on a court date, unless somebody asks about it for six weeks. What about a court date for that fine, because other people get summoned to court for those things, just not Peppermint Patty, right? Go to courts.wa.gov , and see for yourself. Zilch, on if downtown developments like the SEEFilm are profitable, status of the serial killer investigation, and the epidemic proliferation of used drug needles all over the place.

Is there a controversy about Harrison’s finances, employment, and development plans? Yes. Is there a communications officer there, with a spouse in an editorial capacity at a local media source? Yes. Is it reported? No. In fact, when it comes to keeping the local media from examining the use of public money, these entities just end up employing a spouse, or a drinking buddy of the local media.

So look to this blog in the coming days ahead to start outing government workers, and their associates, and examine the roles these people play in our society. As I write this, various government employees continue to attempt to silence critics on Facebook by claiming that dissenting opinions are spam, thus getting comments removed and accounts deactivated.

Get your popcorn ready, this election season is about to get interesting. And as a prelude, we will next chat about that city clerk, Ms. Shannon L Corin. Because when S. L. Corin talks, she uses racial slurs……