Sequim News - June 28, 2007

from Peninsula News Network

Kirner passes away at 102

Thursday, June 28

Former Clallam County Commissioner and long-time City Councilman John Kirner’s colorful life has come to an end, with his death this week at the age of 102.Dungenessschool-Kirner0000.jpg

Kirner was a landmark figure in the Sequim community, not only for his long residency, but for his decades of public service. After serving as East End county commissioner in the 1960s, Kirner was later elected to the Sequim city council, where he served well into his late 80s. He also served on the Sequim school board.

Even after he stepped down, Kirner was frequently seen around town. He had just been honored last fall as the oldest surviving student from the historic Dungeness School, making his last public appearance to cheers of the crowd as Grand Marshall of the Irrigation Festival parade in early May.

Kirner, a logger and farmer by trade, was as well known for his hard work as his pioneer heritage and politics. He continued operating farm machinery and doing a little logging until just a couple of years ago.

A memorial service is set for Saturday afternoon at the Masonic Temple in Sequim, beginning at 1pm.

SARC commissioner resigns
Monday, June 25

Add one more race for the Sequim Aquatics and Recreation Center to the ballot, after an incumbent commissioner decides to step down.

David McArthur, who was just elected to the board last year, decided to step down last week, resigning from the SARC board. That means a special election will have to be held to fill the remainder of his term.

Clallam County Auditor Patty Rosand says a special three day filing period will be opened next week, running from July 2nd through the 5th so the county can accept declarations of candidacy from anyone in the SARC district that wants to fill the post. Rosand says there will be no filing fee for the position which will cover the rest of the year and the remaining 2-years of McArthur’s unexpired term.

Since the courthouse will be closed on July 4th, the three-day filing period will be extended through Thursday.

Three other SARC commission positions are already on the ballot.

Sequim crackdown on graffiti
Monday, June 25

Sequim leaders say a graffiti ordinance is the best way to crackdown on a the growing problem of vandals illegally defacing public property.

And police say stopping graffiti will also put the brakes on other criminal activity.

The ordinance, which was expected to be approved by the Sequim council Monday night, gives the city it’s first law aimed squarely at graffiti, or “tagging” as it is sometimes called. The rules set up procedures for authorities to be notified when vandals strike, allowing for a quick process of appeal and removal. The regulations are based on graffiti ordinances that have been used in other cities.

Police Chief Bob Spinks says studies have shown that if graffiti is allowed to spread unchecked then other criminal activity will follow. He says Clallam County has seen a growing problem with graffiti in the past couple of years, some of it criminal in nature and associated with suspected gang activity.

Sequim candidate arrested after confrontation
Friday, June 8

Friday was an eventful day for Sequim architect Ken Hays, who was not only caught in the flurry of political activity as a city council candidate, but also arrested for a roadside assault.

Sequim Police say they were called to a residential construction development off Lofgrin Road Friday morning, with a 47-year old woman complaining she’d been assaulted. She’s working on a road project there. Witnesses told police Hays had confronted the victim and got into a shouting match, reportedly shoving her several times.

Co-workers took the woman away and Hays left as police were called.

Police say came voluntarily to the police station later in the morning and when he declined to give a statement he was arrested on charges of 4th degree assault. He was cited and released.

Sequim council to get city hall site report
Friday, June 8

Sequim leaders will have a better idea of where a new city hall might be constructed this coming week.

The city has been wrestling with issue of the location, and cost, for building a new city hall since last winter. Earlier proposals to build a multi-story structure on the present city hall site on Cedar Street proved problematic after cost estimates soared to $10-million. That’s well above the $3-million to $4-million the city had been hoping to spend.

City staff have spent the past couple of months studying other possible sites that might be cheaper to develop, including a review of more than 27-different properties around Sequim that could host a 30,000 square foot building.

Last month, Capitol Projects Manager Frank Needham had pared that back to a list of 7-candidate properties, including the site near Carrie Blake Park. But council members asked him to do one final search for any properties of 4-to-20 acres that might have become available since the first list was developed.

Monday night, Needham will present that report to the council, including information on retrofitting any existing vacant building that might be converted into an affordable city hall or co-locating facilities with any other government agency.

The city has continued to work on the financing for a new building, which is a point of major concern as the city faces an estimated $60-million in street, water and sewer upgrades over the next few years.



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