Odds, ends from the editor’s desk March 4, 2015

Sequim schools, you are not alone. On Feb. 10, 16 of 27 school construction bond proposals across Washington met the “super majority” benchmark of 60 percent.

Sequim schools, you are not alone.

On Feb. 10, 16 of 27 school construction bond proposals across Washington met the “super majority” benchmark of 60 percent.

Three of the 11 that didn’t meet the mark? All are within a comfortable lunchtime drive of downtown Sequim. Along with Sequim’s $49.26 million bond, Port Angeles’ $98 million high school bond plan and Chimacum’s $34.8 million bond to fix a primary school and elementary school also came up short.


(Notice I didn’t use the phrase “failed” there? Some

Sequim school folks cringe at the use of that particular “f” word. So I’m writing around it.)


Some semi-interesting stats from February’s special election regarding state school proposals:

• While two-fifths of our state’s school bond proposals didn’t pass, none of them got beaten badly: each one received at least 49 percent of the overall vote. The lowest? Port Angeles, at 49.68 percent. The highest? Ellensburg, with 73.15 percent to accept a $31.7 million bond.

• Think that one vote doesn’t make a difference? In Cowlitz County, folks in the Toutle Lake School District approved a $7.1 million bond with 60.06 percent of the vote, 609 for and 405 against. One vote shift there (from yes to no) would put the percentage at 59.96 — not quite enough to pass.

• The biggest bond measure on any ballot was King County’s Highline bond of $376 million, which came up short with 54.8 percent yes votes. The second-, third- and fourth-biggest bonds (King County’s Snoqualmie Valley at $244.4 million, the Spokane School District 81 at $145 million, Spokane’s Central Valley at $121.9 million) all passed.

• While there were mixed results for school bonds, maintenance and operations levies (or educational programs and operations levies, as they’re called here in Sequim) fared much better. In all, 42 of 44 levy proposals on Feb. 10 ballots — including Port Angeles’ $17.36 million levy — got voter approval, with just one in Ferry County and another in Klickitat County getting less than the 50 percent (“simple majority”) of votes to gain approval.

• Voters in Washington also approved 11 of 12 capital project levies, with just one (in Benton County) not hitting the 50 percent mark. The one transportation vehicle levy on ballots on Feb. 10, a Snohomish County plan, did not pass.

• Washington voters approved a total of $1.9 billion in school bond proposals, $804 million in school levy proposals and $17 million in capital project levies.

Sun not setting for Sequim in Sunset mag

Gazette reader Bob Lampert tipped us off to the fact that the spotlight once again is on our corner of the world via March’s edition of Sunset Magazine.

Look for the yellow flag and red headline noting an article about “The Best Road Trip Eats.”

Writer Brigit Binns describes a culinary route on the North Olympic Peninsula, from “Quilcene to Port Townsend to Sequim to Port Angeles.”

Her stops include: 1) The Timberhouse Restaurant (Quilcene), 2) Sweet Laurette’s Cafe & Bistro, Port Townsend, 3) Alder Wood Bistro, Sequim and 4) Michael’s Seafood and Steakhouse, Port Angeles.

Among her comments is this slice: “Heading west, I stop in the charming seaside town of Sequim. After getting my fill of farm-to-table cuisine — and stocking up on elk jerky (sold at many roadside stands) — I wind up in Port Angeles, the perfect base for exploring Olympic National Park.”

So if you see folks cruising Sequim looking for elk jerky and the sea, you’ll know why.

Lighting up the Lincoln

In Port Angeles, folks are gathering resources to renovate the old Lincoln Theater into a nonprofit multi-purpose performing arts center for the entire community.

A crew of folks — Ed Bedford, George Bergner, Dan Gase, Cherie Kidd, Brian Kuh, Jim Moran, Scott Nagel, Don Perry and Karen Powell — are seeking to take the old movie theater and transform it. Their effort, dubbed “Light Up the Lincoln,” comes with a price tag. They’re seeking to raise $235,000 in the next 30 days to buy the building. Donors of $1,000 or more will be permanently recognized as such on a plaque in the lobby, on the new theater website and in subsequent publications.

(Donations, which would be paid after the group raises the $235K, are tax deductible to the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c)3 corporation.)

The group has supporting plans and documents. Call Nagel at 808-3940 for info.

Watch the road

The 18th annual Tour De Dungeness is back. Set for two Saturdays (March 7 and March 14), the event brings hundreds of bike riders to our community’s north end for the better part of those two dates.

Races start at 9:45 a.m. each day and run through late afternoon, rain or shine. Let’s keep everyone involved safe by watching for flaggers and the bike races these next two weekends.

Also, traffic on West Cedar Street is going to be tight for a while. The city is closing the road to one lane heading eastbound (closed to westbound traffic) on West Cedar Street between Sequim Avenue and Second Avenue until March 23 to construct some sidewalks. Businesses on West Cedar Street will be open during this time so don’t be shy, but do plan accordingly.

How cool is that?

The newly opened Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) in Olympia is opening some eyes. The 66,000-square-foot, two-story facility — the fastest growing school in the Olympia School District — is a “net-zero” facility. That means it can draw less energy from the grid than it produces on site.

It has a geothermal heating and cooling system, 18 skylights, rain gardens that collect storm runoff and a rooftop able to hold photovoltaic panels to generate solar electricity. Founded in November 2006, ORLA is divided into three programs: hConnect, which provides resources, classes and support for home-school families; iConnect, an online school for grades 6-12, and ORLA Montessori, which serves children in preschool to sixth grade.

Where exactly is ‘Get It Growing’?

Last-minute changes can wreak havoc, even at newspapers with weekly deadlines. Folks looking for the Master Gardeners “Get It Growing” column in our B (“Community”) section should look in our regular A section this week (page A-11) — and to disregard our teaser on page B-1. Sorry for the confusion. In future weeks, “Get It Growing” will be back in its normal location in “Community.”

And finally …

If the world wasn’t weird enough, Iran blasted its mock-up of a U.S. aircraft carrier during naval drills on Feb. 25, attacking it with 100 speedboats armed with rockets, shoulder-launched missiles and mortars as well as striking it with cruise missiles, according to Iranian news reports.

A government-run Iranian news agency said the aircraft carrier target was a full-size replica of the USS Nimitz.

Sleep tight everyone!



Reach Sequim Gazette editor Michael Dashiell at editor@sequimgazette.com.