According to the Kitsap Visitors and Convention Bureau, visitors to Kitsap County spend an average of $113 on an overnight trip and $43 on a daytrip. That translates into millions of dollars a year. Representatives from Kitsap Transit, Clearwater Casino, Visitors and Convention Bureau, county government and other tourism-related groups met with United States Sen. Patty Murray recently to voice their concerns. The senator also talked about her efforts regarding the Ferry Transportation Enhancement Act. The act would quadruple the funding for the countrys ferry systems including those in Washington State. Our ferries are our highway system, she told the group. The symbol of ferries moving people and vehicles across the Puget Sound is as much a part of our states identity as Boeing aircraft and Washington apples, she said. The nations six largest ferry systems Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, New York/New Jersey, North Carolina and San Francisco transported 73 million people and 13 million vehicles last year. Washington State Ferries, the largest ferry service in the country, transported 26 million passengers and 11 million vehicles per year. The Ferry Transportation Enhancement Act would: l Provide $150 million a year to the Federal Highway Administrations Ferry Boat Discretionary program for fiscal years 2004-09. l Ferry maintenance facilities are eligible for funding. l Ferries would be added to the Clean Fuels Program, which would help boat makers design cleaner and more efficient vessels. Murrays second initiative would be to establish broadband technology in rural communities. Every rural community wants broadband, but they dont know what they want it for, Murray said at the conference held at the Red Lion Hotel Silverdale. She hopes to see Internet access available on the ferries for those commuters who want constant connectivity. Its one of the things that would add charisma to the ferries, she said. I want to do what I can at the federal level to do that, she continued. Then the floor was opened to comments for the senator. Jon Rose, of Olympic Resource Management, suggested it isnt the place, but the experience that draws tourists. The quality of experience has to be world class to get them here, he said. All three Kitsap County Commissioners attended the meeting including Patty Lent of Central Kitsap. We need to get the message out to more than just Seattle, she said relying on her decades of experience in the travel industry. Phil Dorn, who represented the Port Gamble SKlallam Tribe agreed. Marketing is important. If youre in the county you know about (the attractions) but in Thurston County, you wouldnt have heard of them, he said. Russell Steele, CEO for the Suquamish Clearwater Casino said a major issue for him was the education of his employees. With a hotel on the horizon, his people need training in the art of hospitality he said. Others agreed that education and offering vocational training is crucial to developing a base on which tourism can be built. We desperately need each other to make this happen, said Jan Angel, county commissioner. After about an hour of idea sharing the group adjourned so that Murray could tour the area. Im excited by the energy, she said.
Theyve done it so often its as though it were choreographed.
Nine peace activists were arrested at the entrance to Bangor Trident Submarine Base Saturday, Aug. 9. They were blocking ingress/egress to the military installation and, as per their plans, were arrested.
A handful of self-described pro-Trident activists watched. Led by Mick Sheldon, they carried American flags and signs reading Support the Troops.
The no-nuke activists, members of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, have been through this routine before: They block a gate, they get arrested, theyre taken into custody, then released on their own recognizance.
Its all symbolic. An attention getter. Its their statement against the military and, in particular, against nuclear weapons.
I want no genocide in my name, said one of the Ground Zero activists, Karol Milner. Were commemorating Nagasaki never again.
Nagasaki was the second city to have an American atom bomb dropped on it after Hiroshima was likewise destroyed at the end of World War II. Its the 58th anniversary of the destruction of Nagasaki.
Ground Zero blocked traffic at the Main Gate of Subase Bangor, off SR 3, north of Silverdale. The protests are the good old-fashioned sit-down variety practiced since the 1960s.
This opposing group with the slogan Peace Through Strength was present with a handful of volunteers. Organizer Sheldon staged his Pro Trident Rally to coincide with Ground Zeros 1:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday.
There were about 40 people with Ground Zero but only a handful with the pro-troops group. The two set up on either side of the road about a block apart. There was little direct communication and no clashes verbal or otherwise.
The conservative rally was To commemorate Americas use of force, said Sheldon. He said he lost a brother-in-law in the Twin Towers collapse of Sept. 11, 2001.
One of the citizens arrested, Mona Lee of Auburn, had worked at U.S. Navy facilities and at the nuclear Strategic Weapons Facility at the base from 1978-82. She quit as an act of conscience.
Ground Zero officials say Bangor is the Pacific home of nine Trident subs and 1,760 warheads. They say the base is currently refitting subs for deployment of the Trident D-5 missile system.
These arrested included Mary Gleysteen of Kingston, Lynne Greenwald of Bremerton, Alice Zillah of Olympia, Barbara and Michael Hill of of Elbe, Ellen Kohjima of Auburn, Joy Goldstein of Vashon Island, Mona Lee and Glen Milner, both of Seattle.
County prosecutors have been unable to get convictions in such arrests. Ground Zeros next protest will be held on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 9, 2004.