Kitsap County News

Ballots mailed this week10/16/2018

Ballots for the Nov. 6, 2018, General Election will be in the mail later this week. Voters have an opportunity to vote on several local and state ballot measures, as well as on races for local, state and federal offices.

Local Voters' Pamphlets were mailed over the weekend and should arrive ahead of the ballots. The pamphlet is also available online at

"We are expecting additional interest in this midterm election because people are more engaged this year," Dolores Gilmore said. "Kitsap County voters have an opportunity to impact important races and measures."

Just like the Primary, no postage is required for returning ballots. The county added five new ballot drop boxes earlier this year, one each in Seabeck, Naval Base Kitsap, Keyport, Indianola and at Olympic College's Poulsbo campus. For a list and maps of ballot drop locations, go to Additionally, the state provided funding for elections this year so ballots could be returned by mail without the need of a stamp.

Residents not currently registered in Washington can register in person at the Kitsap County Auditor's Office, 619 Division Street in Port Orchard through October 29.

Ballots must be returned to one of the county's drop boxes by 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, or postmarked by that day.


Contact: Steve Gardner, Auditor's Office, 360.337.7128 or

DiCaprio explores climate change in Sustainable Cinema's latest feature10/16/2018

​Using his celebrity status to draw attention to the problem of global warming, actor and United Nations Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio travels the globe to witness firsthand the effects of an impending environmental disaster in "Before the Flood," showing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at Dragonfly Cinema, 822 Bay St., Port Orchard, presented by Sustainable Cinema. This film is an insightful look at how climate change affects our environemnt and what can be done to present the desmise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet. Sustainable Cinema is sponsored by Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. For more information, go to

Before the Flood sm poster.jpg

Port Orchard Fires Result in Arrest due to Several Counts of Arson10/12/2018

(Port Orchard, WA)-  A 34 year old suspect was arrested on Thursday October 12, 2018  in connection to several Port Orchard fires that occurred in September and early October.

"These were dangerous fires.  In one instance a propane tank was hidden under debris in a garbage can on the side of the road and lit on fire.  The firefighters had no idea of the potential danger when they arrived – they thought it was a routine garbage can fire.  Our Fire Marshals and detectives did a terrific job bringing the case to a quick resolution," said David Lynam Fire Marshal and Manager of the Kitsap County Building and Fire Safety Division.

The arrest was made for the connection to the following fires:

  • September 5, 2018 - House Fire on SE Cedar Road
  • October 4, 2018 - Brush, debris and fence fire along Woods Road
  • October 5, 2018 - Brush fire along Farmer Dell Road
  • October 7, 2018 - Improvised Explosive Device/ Fire along Farmer Dell Road 

The arrest was made due to investigative efforts from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal's Office, The Kitsap County Sherriff's Department.


Department of Community Development 
360.337.5777 |

Commissioners approve recommendations for mental health tax funding10/10/2018

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Oct. 8, approving $4.1 million in funding as recommended by the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee.

The funds are generated from the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax Commissioners approved Sept. 23, 2013, which are designated for mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court services in Kitsap County.

“Most of us know someone with mental illness or drug and alcohol dependency and see that there are behavioral health service gaps in our community,” said Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. “Too often, the de facto systems of care are local jails, courts, and hospital rooms. This funding develops a coordinated approach similar to the continuum of care model from public health.”

Commissioners appoint members to the citizens advisory committee to advise on funding allocations of the mental health tax. The committee voted unanimously Sept. 18 to recommend funding for 19 of the 25 proposals submitted. The awards total $4.1 million for a 12-month period.

“The citizen’s advisory committee evaluated 25 submissions requesting a total of $7.4 million in funding,” said committee chair Richard Daniels, during the Commissioners' business meeting Oct. 8. “These submissions were closely reviewed. Each of the proposers went through a question-and-answer period with the committee. Committee members then considered each proposal in relation to the county’s Continuum of Care, Strategic Plan for Services, and the $4.5 million of funding available. The process was not easy. Every proposal submitted had merit.”

Fourteen of the proposals approved received continuation funding for their programs that were also funded previously for the current year. These include therapeutic court programs such as behavioral health court, juvenile individualized and drug courts, and adult and veterans drug treatment courts. Support for law enforcement crisis intervention training and a program that teams behavioral health navigators with law enforcement officers was also continued.

Five of the programs approved for funding are new, including re-entry coordination at the jail, substance abuse prevention services, support for the Prosecutor’s Office in operating therapeutic courts, pre-development for permanent supportive housing and mobile behavioral health services provided by Peninsula Community Health Services.


A complete list of the funding recommendations and more information on the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax is available here or contact Doug Washburn, director of Kitsap County Human Services, at (360) 337-4526, for more information.

Caregiver conference offers free seminars on dementia, healthcare systems, dealing with grief10/10/2018

November is Family Caregiver Month and to honor this, Kitsap County's Aging and Long-Term Care Family Caregiver Support Program hosts free seminars for unpaid family and volunteer caregivers during its annual Family Caregiver Conference from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel, 3073 NW Bucklin Hill Road. Doors open at 8:15 a.m. There is no charge, but pre-registration is required.

This year's caregiver support seminars include:

  • Dementia Overview - Types and Symptoms, Denise Hughes
  • Caregiver Grief and Guilt, Dr. Kriss Kevorkian
  • Let's Talk Healthcare Systems, Mari Van Court
  • Strategies and Resources for Dementia, Denise Hughes

When trying to juggle multiple roles, caregivers may put aside tending to their own well-being, resulting in increased stress, health problems, depression, and/or feelings of anger and anxiety about their situation. This year's Family Caregiver Conference seminars offer unpaid caregivers the opportunity to increase their resiliency, network with each other, and gain relevant information and knowledge of local resources from professionals in the community.

Complimentary refreshments and a light continental breakfast will be served. Professional caregivers may also attend for a $15 fee. Registration is required for everyone. Call (360) 337-5700 or (800) 562-6418. Individuals who may require special accommodations should contact Vicki Hanson at (360) 337-5700, (800) 562-6418 or TDD (360) 307-4280.  One-week advance notice is needed for interpreter services.

The state of Washington estimates that more than 900,000 people provide care for another adult. A caregiver's role may have developed slowly or suddenly and can be physically and emotionally demanding.

Located in Silverdale, the Kitsap County Family Caregiver Support Center offers free services to support caregivers. Trained staff are available to provide practical information and options for ongoing support. The center also provides a library of materials and free personalized consultation with a professional case manager.

Anyone 18 years of age or older, living in Kitsap County and providing unpaid care for an adult with functional disabilities is eligible to utilize services. To learn more, call (360) 337-5700 or (800) 562-6418, or stop by our Caregiver Support Center at 9857 Silverdale Way in Silverdale. Drop-in hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment.


Check fire extinguishers for Kidde recalled products10/4/2018

​(Port Orchard, WA)- The Kitsap County Fire Marshal's Office responded to an accidental house fire that started on the exterior of the home on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 in Port Orchard, WA. The homeowner tried to use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, however the extinguisher fell apart and did not discharge as intended.

"Upon investigation, we found that the extinguisher that the homeowner tried to use, appeared to be one of the Kidde Fire Extinguisher models recalled back in November 2017," according to David Lynam, Kitsap County Fire Marshal. "This is a safety issue that we don't want to happen again. We want everyone to check their fire extinguishers and make sure the model you have isn't on the list of this major recall," said Lynam.

The Kidde recall includes 134 models of fire extinguishers with plastic handles, a total of about 37.8 million extinguishers. Already one death was reported due to failure to discharge and nozzle detachment. To find out more information about this recall, visit Consumer Product Safety Commission's Website:

Join a focus group and help shape the future of cable TV in Kitsap10/2/2018

​(Port Orchard, WA) - What's your vision for media in Kitsap County in the next 10 years?  Sign up for a focus group on October 24-25 to weigh in on the future of community media,public technology, and cable television service.

Kitsap County is seeking your input on the future of cable service, community media, and technology needs for the next 10 years. Comcast and Wave Broadband submitted requests to renew their cable franchise agreements with the County.  A community process is being undertaken as part of the cable franchise renewal process. The process examines the past performance of Comcast and Wave and identifies future services that residents, schools, community groups, businesses and local government want included in the new cable franchise agreements.

Kitsap County is hosting a series of four focus groups October 24-25. There is an afternoon and evening group each day.  These focus groups provide a chance for interested community members to learn about franchise renewal and provide input regarding future services you want available through the cable systems serving the County.

Sue Buske of The Buske Group, a nationally recognized public policy consulting firm, will facilitate the focus groups. These groups provide information on

  • The cable franchise renewal process currently underway
  • How cable systems work, and how they can work in the future
  • Public, educational, and government access to cable television resources
  • Ways community groups and organizations, schools, businesses, residents, and government agencies can use a cable communication system.


The focus groups gather input from participants through brainstorming and completing an online questionnaire. There is no charge, and refreshments are served.

If you're interested, select the group that is most appropriate or convenient and RSVP online. All groups cover the same information but focus closer on the community in the title.

While the four scheduled meetings have a focus group title, they remain open to anyone who wishes to attend.  Each if these meetings will be very similar in agenda and format.  Each of the meetings will begin with an overview covering the "why" portion of the a franchise renewal and then the facilitator will attempt to draw out ideas on how the residents might better utilize our local PEG cable channel.  All County residents are encouraged to attend any of these meetings.

RSVP online here ( –or by email to George Geyer at or by phone at 360.337.4404

Wednesday, October 24
1:30 - 3:30pm     Government, Business and Technology
Kitsap County Administration Building
619 Division St., Port Orchard

5:30 - 7:30pm     Community Education
Kitsap County Administration Building
619 Division St., Port Orchard

Thursday, October 25
1:30 -3:30pm       Nonprofit and Faith-Based Organizations
Silverdale Water District
5300 NW Newberry Hill Rd. #100, Silverdale

5:30 – 7:30pm     Arts, Culture, & Heritage
Silverdale Water District
5300 NW Newberry Hill Rd. #100, Silverdale

Clearwater Casino Resort one of 150 businesses recognized in first year of Washington’s Green Business Program10/2/2018

Kitsap County, WA – Clearwater Casino Resort was recently certified as EnviroStars Tier 1 Partner and is the first casino/resort in the state of Washington to achieve this certification. EnviroStars, Washington's green business program, has helped more than 150 businesses of all sizes and type improve their sustainability during the program's first year.

The Clearwater Casino Resort earned EnviroStars recognition by implementing a set of best practices in their facilities that include energy and water conservation, replacing inefficient lighting with LEDs, pollution prevention, and recycling. "Becoming certified as a Tier 1 partner is certainly an accomplishment when you consider the size and complexity of the operation. The team at Clearwater Casino Resort continues to demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship that is to be commended," said Eirik O'Neal, Kitsap County Education and Outreach Specialist.  

The Suquamish people have been living in the Suquamish area for thousands of years and understand firsthand what it takes to make good decisions to help the environment. "Here at the Clearwater Casino Resort, we pride ourselves on becoming a Tier 1 Partner with EnviroStars. There are 84 measures in Tier 1 that we have met and are excited to continue perfecting. We are currently working on a piece of Tier 2 that includes Solid Waste and continue toward the completion of Tier 2," said CEO Samuel Askew. "We'll continue to work with our Green Team committee to become the most efficient business we can become."

EnviroStars helps businesses implement best practices that save energy and water, generate less waste and pollution, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions – choices that are both good for business and good for Kitsap County's environment. Kitsap County supports EnviroStars as part of a coalition of 21 Washington cities, counties, utilities, and local public health jurisdictions reaching from Whatcom County to Pierce County.

To find green businesses near you or get environmental assistance for your business, visit


Contact:  Eirik O'Neal, Education and Outreach Technician, 360.337.5777 or

Kitsap WSU Extension survey asks for public input on current programs 10/2/2018

​Kitsap County is partnering with Washington State University (WSU) Extension to survey residents about how they use the WSU Kitsap Extension programs and services, and which are most valuable to their families and communities.

The survey, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, asks about residents' familiarity with WSU Kitsap Extension, the frequency of their participation and suggestions for outreach and expanded programs and services.  You can complete the survey online. Participation is voluntary, and responses are confidential.

"We want to be sure we are focusing on the needs of the community and using Kitsap County's resources to support the programs that make the most difference for our citizens," said Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. 

WSU Kitsap Extension has served the county since 1917, coordinating educational and outreach programs such as the Master Gardeners, 4-H Youth Development, Strengthening Families, Noxious Weed Control, Stream and Salmon Stewards, Rain Garden Mentors, Beach Naturalists and Small Farm Resources. WSU Kitsap extension has over 550 volunteers who support these programs annually.

Send questions about the survey to or for more information, contact the Kitsap County Commissioners' Office at (360) 337-7080.  Learn more about programs at Kitsap WSU Extension online.

New Cooking Oil Recycling Station in South Kitsap9/28/2018

Kitsap residents can now recycle their used cooking oil for free at the South Kitsap Recycling and Garbage Facility in Olalla. This is the fourth cooking oil recycling station in the county.

Why is it important to recycle used cooking oil? Cooking oil poured down the drain clogs pipes used in sewer and septic systems. These clogs cause 65% of sewage spills.

What happens to the cooking oil? It is refined and recycled into biodiesel in Salem, Oregon, by a company called SeQuential. Biodiesel is a clean, non-toxic alternative to petroleum diesel with a carbon footprint up to 85% smaller than petroleum diesel.

 How to use cooking oil recycling stations:

  • Stations are for residents with cooking oil from their home kitchens. Cooking oil from businesses cannot be recycled at these stations.
  • Before bringing your cooking oil, filter it at home using a strainer, coffee filter, or cheesecloth. Throw away the food particles you filtered out.
  • Take your empty container home to reuse or throw away. Do not leave it in the recycling area.

 All four county-owned disposal and recycling facilities now have used cooking oil recycling stations. For driving directions and hours, visit

 North Kitsap Recycling and Garbage Facility (Hansville)
7791 NE Ecology Road, Kingston, WA 98346

Central Kitsap Recycling and Garbage Facility (Silverdale)
8843 NW Dickey Road, Silverdale, WA 98383

South Kitsap Recycling and Garbage Facility (Olalla)
2850 SE Burley – Olalla Road, Olalla, WA 98359

Olympic View Transfer Station
9380 SW Barney White Road, Bremerton, WA 98312
Contact: Lisa Edge, 360.337.5777 or

Applications open for Conference for Human Rights workshop proposals9/21/2018

The 28th Annual Kitsap County Conference for Human Rights will focus on "Building Community in a Polarized Environment: Celebrating Togetherness" and takes place Dec. 7 at Olympic College in Bremerton.

Applications open for workshop proposals

Applications are now open for conference workshop proposals. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 15, 2018.

Presentations are sought that reflect the conference theme or provide skill-building such as mediation, anti-bias training, mental health awareness or resiliency. Interactive and participatory workshops in particular are preferred. Workshops may also address topics of concerns local community groups have identified this year including: homelessness; barriers to navigating services (language, computer access, health care insurance, transportation); systemic racism; and the detention of immigrants. 

Proposals should identify whether the workshop is an entry-level presentation or assumes some knowledge of the topic. Workshops specifically geared towards youth are also welcome. Please complete the online application here.

Nominations accepted for Linda Gabriel Awards, recognizing contributions to human rights

The Kitsap County Council for Human is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Linda Gabriel Awards. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 5, 2018.

The Linda Gabriel Awards (formerly known as the Wall of Fame Awards) are presented each year at the annual Conference for Human Rights to recognize youth, adults, organizations and lifetime achievements that made significant contributions to human rights efforts in Kitsap County. Linda Gabriel, who passed away in 2014, was a founder of the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights in the late 1980s.

For a complete list of recipients, please click here. For more information and to make a nomination, please complete the online application form here. 

Interested in joining the Council for Human Rights?

Applications are open for representatives from north, south and central Kitsap. Complete the online application here.

For more information, contact Rebecca Pirtle in the Kitsap County Commissioners' Office at (360) 337-4650,


Council for Human Rights logo.jpg

Assessor's Office begins property inspections in Kingston, Hansville9/13/2018

Appraisers from the Kitsap County Assessor's Office are now conducting on-site inspections throughout the greater Kingston and Hansville areas. Washington state law (RCW 84.40.025) requires inspections of all real property throughout the county at least once every six years. 

Current inspections should be completed by March 2019. If an appraiser from the office attempts to make contact with the resident or homeowner, please understand they are trying to verify the characteristics of the property to ensure the accuracy of data. 

Due to the high volume of inspections being conducted, appraisers are unable to accommodate appointments at this time.

Appraisers do not drive county-issued vehicles, however their vehicles are marked with county identification on both sides.  Other verification options are: request to see individual credentials; contact the Assessor's Office at (360) 337-7160; or check the inspection-area progress map at:

The Assessors' Office staff appreciates the public's cooperation. For more information, contact the Assessor's office at (360) 337-7160 or

Not your common pain in the grass: How to control noxious weeds8/28/2018

​Noxious weeds are not your common pain-in-the-grass weeds - they are plants that are highly aggressive and may be toxic to humans and animals. These plants often cannot be controlled just through cutting, digging or pulling and are like a cancer on the land that needs to be managed. They pose an ecological threat and often impact wildlife and nearby waterways. 

Many noxious weeds spread by root and shoot fragments, and by seeds. State law (RCW 17.10) establishes rules to control the spread of these plants to preserve ecological integrity and reduce negative economic impacts of noxious plant species. The Washington State Weed Control Board has a list of three categories for control and management, available at  

The local Kitsap County Noxious Weed Control Board is mandated to ensure known populations of noxious weeds do not spread within the county, using a matrix to determine what noxious weeds are the highest priority for management. A full list of noxious weeds in Kitsap County can be downloaded here along with the control matrix to provide citizens information on priority levels for noxious weed management.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Where are noxious weeds found?

Many noxious weeds are found along roadways, open areas and even in backyards. Weeds often travel the roadsides and use the roads to continue to spread. The seeds of noxious weeds may be picked up by cars, people and mowing equipment, causing them to spread rapidly.  One noxious weed plant can produce over 10,000 seeds and most plants have evolved to produce multiple seed sets in one season.  Often these plants move from roadsides to adjacent lands, causing problems for private landowners. Many open fields and parks are vulnerable lands and prime locations for many of the most aggressive plants to take root. Control then becomes more difficult and if not done properly, the infestation can become more aggressive.  

How are noxious weeds controlled?  Why are chemicals used to control noxious weeds?

Like an infection, if noxious weed populations are not managed properly, they may spread more rapidly and become more aggressive and harder to manage. The Kitsap County Noxious Weed Control program works to ensure that known populations of noxious weeds are managed and maintained in the most effective manner to protect the land within the county. Noxious weed infestations are identified, and seeds are prevented from setting by cutting down plants and flower heads. The area is then searched for seedlings and smaller plants that are managed before they have had a chance to set deep, large roots. For some noxious weeds, the best management is a small amount of herbicide to fully work through the plant to get to the root of the problem. In some cases, simply cutting back or digging out a noxious weed can leave roots behind and create a more aggressive plant. With a small amount of product (normally less than 10 ounces of a 1 percent solution of Vastlan on a normal roadside site), the noxious weeds can be managed while allowing grasses and other desirables to thrive and fill in the area previously inhabited by the invasive weeds. Visit the Kitsap County noxious weed Facebook site to see photos of roadside treatments.

What if I don't want chemicals used?

Landowners who do not want a herbicide product used in the immediate vicinity of their property are invited to 'adopt a spot' to maintain and keep weed free. This includes signing an agreement to be on site at least once per week to ensure noxious weeds are not blooming. Any plants that are identified must be removed, including flowers and roots. Please make sure to wear gloves whenever pulling noxious weeds as many of them are toxic and can cause skin irritations, or if ingested may cause digestive issues. 

For more information on the Kitsap County Noxious Weed Control Program, contact Dana Coggon at


Walk & Talk through North Kitsap with Commissioner Rob Gelder8/2/2018

Join Commissioner Rob Gelder to "Walk & Talk" as he traverses through North Kitsap communities to talk about topics that are important to residents. No reservations required!

"Walk & Talk"  sessions are scheduled the first Saturday of the month, beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp at the following starting points:

August 4, 2018
Port Gamble
Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park parking lot
(main lot, west side of highway 104)
September 1, 2018
Hansgrill - 7532 NE Twin Spits Rd
No October Event
November 3, 2018
Kingston office - 26076 Illinois Ave
December 1, 2018
Coffee Oasis - 780 NE Iverson St
January 5, 2019
Bainbridge Island
BI Senior Center - 370 Brien Dr SE
February 2, 2019
Kingston office - 26076 Illinois Ave
No March Event
April 6, 2019
Keyport Mercantile - 15499 Washington Ave
May 4, 2019
General Store - 9175 NE Shore Dr
June 1, 2019
Kingston office - 26076 Illinois Ave
July 6, 2019
Suquamish Pier
August 3, 2019
Port Gamble
Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park parking lot
(main lot, west side of highway 104)
September 7, 2019
Hansgrill - 7532 NE Twin Spits Rd
October 5, 2019
Kingston office - 26076 Illinois Ave
November 2, 2019
Coffee Oasis - 780 NE Iverson St
December 7, 2019
Kingston office - 26076 Illinois Ave

For more information, contact Commissioner Gelder at (360) 337-7080, Click here for a Walk & Talk flyer.

AARP awards community challenge grant to Homes for All project 7/23/2018

Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido is pleased to announce that Homes for All, which is planning a tiny house village in South Kitsap, is the recipient of an $11,153 AARP Livable Communities challenge grant. Funds will be used to renovate a donated 320-square-foot trailer into an ADA-compliant, shared kitchen facility to be located within the village. The trailer will provide the community with room for food storage, appliances, nutritious meal preparation, individual lockers for residents and a multi-purpose community room where they can have meals together, and participate in activities such as educational and wellness classes.

"I'm thrilled Homes for All is receiving this national recognition and support from AARP," said Commissioner Garrido. "These funds will allow us to begin renovation of the trailer immediately. Having a central gathering place for the village will be vital to building a sense of community and improving the confidence, health and well-being of the residents."

Homes for All is a countywide leadership coalition of government agencies, businesses, non-profit and faith-based organizations, partnering to provide affordable micro-houses that are a safe, secure and sanitary option for those who have no home. The Homes for All coalition's tiny house village in South Kitsap is a pilot "livability community" project that will provide housing, case management and care services for men, women, families and seniors. The village design incorporates 14 tiny homes as transitional, emergency or temporary housing for approximately 20 residents and will include shared open space for community activities.

The Homes for All grant is one of only 129 awarded nationwide, and one of two in Washington state. AARP is distributing $1.3 million to innovative projects that inspire change and positively impact the lives of residents of all ages. The grants help communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress.

"AARP has teams on the ground in communities across the country who hear from mayors, community leaders and local residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change. We developed the Community Challenge Grant Program to answer that call and help build momentum for more livable communities nationwide," said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President of Community, State and National Affairs. "This year, we are proud to fund more projects in more communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico."

For more information, visit the Homes for All website, call (360) 337-7287 or e-mail To learn more about AARP and the Community Challenge grant program, visit


Kitsap County files lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and wholesalers7/23/2018

(Port Orchard, WA) - Kitsap County has joined the nationwide effort to hold opioid manufacturers and wholesalers responsible for the harm caused by opioid overuse and addiction within the community. Kitsap County filed suit today in federal court with this goal in mind. The lawsuit's allegations highlight the deliberate and systematic practices of manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids who put their financial interests above the interests of their patients, at the expense of communities such as Kitsap County.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the defendants made false claims and provided misleading information to doctors and patients about the safety of opioid use and aggressively pushed the sale of opioids despite knowing, among other things, that the drugs were not safe for long-term use, that they were falling into the hands of "pill mills," and that they were being diverted for illicit and illegal uses.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges these defendants knew or should have known they were distributing an unreasonable and unconscionable amount of prescription opioids into the country. These practices, as alleged by the lawsuit, have contributed to a marked increase in opioid overuse and addiction in the community. The result has been a ripple effect of opioid-related hospitalizations and deaths, affecting countless individuals and their families.

"There isn't a community that hasn't been touched by the opioid crisis – friends, family members, neighbors," said Kitsap County Commissioner Robert Gelder. "It's time to join in the fight to turn the tide in the conversation, debate and response."

Between 2002 to 2004 and 2011 to 2013, the number of opioid-use treatment admissions rose 305 percent in Kitsap County. From 1993 to 2003, there were 62 opioid-related deaths in the county – from 2012 to 2016, there were 107 deaths. Beyond the costs of human life, the costs nationwide are estimated at $78.5 billion annually.

For years, Kitsap County and the Kitsap Public Health District have been working to alleviate these harms by providing public-funded treatment, drug court programs, and needle-exchange programs. Unfortunately, this has come with a public financial toll.

Kitsap County and the Kitsap Public Health District continue to allocate substantial resources and have seen a rise in costs related to opioid-related programs and services as the epidemic continues to grow. The lawsuit seeks to hold prescription opioid manufacturers and wholesale distributers financially responsible for these costs. The opioid crisis has impacted not only the delivery of treatment services, but has also contributed to homelessness, family support cases involving child support affected by opioid addiction, and placed significant burdens on the criminal and civil justice systems.

"As opioids continue to flood our communities, the impacts to law enforcement have increased dramatically," said Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson. "Deputies have had life-threatening exposure to these substances, which has greatly influenced how we respond. Deputies are now required to carry Narcan kits to be administered to themselves or others when necessary. We have limited resources to continually address the increase of assaults, thefts and major crimes associated with addictive behaviors. The influx of opioids must be curtailed, and options for people suffering from addictions increased."   

The Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has partnered with Seattle-based law firm, Keller Rohrback, to represent Kitsap County in this lawsuit. Keller Rohrback is a nationally recognized law firm that routinely litigates against some of the largest corporate defendants in the country. The firm, hired on a contingency-fee basis, has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of King, Clark, Skagit, Pierce, Clallam, and Thurston counties, the Tulalip Tribes, and the cities of Tacoma, Kent, Mount Vernon, Burlington, and Sedro-Wooley.

New story map explores North Kitsap communities5/24/2018

​Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder invites the public to explore the new North Kitsap Communities story map on the county's website.

The story map format allows viewers to scroll through information about North Kitsap, while accompanying maps adjust to provide a close-up look at the many communities. There are links to additional maps and community resources for those who live in the area or are planning a visit.

"In this day and age, we all try to find ways to explore and connect with our neighborhood. This is an interactive way to take a tour of our community, from the comfort of our home," said Commissioner Gelder.

For more information on North Kitsap Commissioner District 1 and to sign up for electronic notifications, visit Commissioner Gelder's website here.

Commissioner Wolfe holds monthly listening sessions in Silverdale3/13/2018

​Constituents of Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe now have an opportunity to meet with him in Silverdale - without an appointment - during First Friday Listening Sessions in Old Town Silverdale every month from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Monica's Waterfront Bakery & Café, 3472 NW Byron St. The first session will be April 6.

The time and location allow for those in Central Kitsap to drop by over the lunch hour to share concerns and ideas or just engage in lively conversation.

Other First Friday Listening Sessions are scheduled May 4 and June 1. The July session will be cancelled because of its proximity to the Fourth of July but meetings resume Aug. 3.

For more information, contact Angie Silva in the Commissioners' Office at (360) 337-7080,

Kitsap County Aging & Long Term Care offers expanded support services for individuals and caregivers1/9/2018

After the success of the state's Family Caregiver Support Program, the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services received a demonstration grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand support services in Kitsap County for individuals and caregivers.

The grant allows for the creation of new programs that will preserve and promote choices for long-term care support services; family support for the well-being of those caring for loved ones; and allow for the delay or avoidance of the need for more intensive Medicaid-funded, long-term support services, when possible.

In addition to the local Family Caregiver Support Program, there are new, expanded services for those in Kitsap who do not live in a residential facility. No copayment is required for the services and the programs do not impose estate recovery. There are higher income and asset limits for eligibility, compared to the traditional Medicaid Long-Term Care program.

The Medicaid Alternative Care program allows people age 55 and older, who need help with activities of daily living and are currently eligible for certain Medicaid programs, to transition to services that support their informal, adult caregiver.

The Tailored Services for Adults program is for people age 55 and older, not currently eligible for Medicaid, who need help with activities of daily living. The program can either support someone's informal, adult caregiver or provide services directly to an individual without a caregiver.  

Contact the Kitsap County Aging and Long-Term Care office at (360) 337-5700 or (800) 562-6418 to learn more about eligibility requirements, benefits available, and the application process, or stop by local offices of the Kitsap County Aging & Long-Term Care in the Givens Community Center, 1026 Sidney Ave. Suite 105, Port Orchard, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or the Caregiver Support Center, 9857 Silverdale Way, Silverdale, open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information on these programs go to .

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