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News / Belfair Herald

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  • Owners hope priority for 'structurally deficient' bridge

    June Williams|May 23, 2024

    A group of Stretch Island property owners is hoping Mason County Public Works makes replacement of the Stretch Island bridge a priority. The bridge has been declared "structurally deficient" according to the department's 2024 Annual Bridge Report. The bridge is the only way on and off the island and now has a posted load limit. "The Stretch Island Property Owners (SIPO) is in receipt of Mason County's Public Works Department's 2024 Annual Bridge Report. Accordingly, we have formed the SIPO, an...

  • North Mason Fire levy on August ballot

    June Williams|May 16, 2024

    North Mason Regional Fire Authority will have a levy restoration proposal on the Aug. 6 ballot that will allow the district to add two firefighters, according to the department’s statement about the levy. NMRFA saw a 53% increase in call volume in 2023 compared with 2009, when voters approved the last levy. In 2009, the levy rate passed was $1.49 per $1,000 of assessed property value. State law now limits an increase of 1% per year for the fire levy collection, meaning NMRFA currently collects $0.81 per $1,000 of assessed property value. T...

  • Sea lions still hanging around on Allyn dock

    June Williams|May 9, 2024

    Port of Allyn commissioners continued to discuss ways to get sea lions, who have taken up residence on the port's dock, to leave. At the May 7 regular meeting, Commissioner Michael Curtin, who was also elected secretary, suggested purchasing a float to be moored away from the dock, so the sea lions would have an alternate perch. "It's not going to work," Commissioner John Sheridan said. "If you give them more platforms, they'll just take it up." Sheridan said he's spent decades working on...

  • North Mason students get help budgeting

    June Williams|May 2, 2024

    A Financial Reality Fair for North Mason High students is today in two sessions from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Before the event, students will download an app on their phone or borrow a device that has the program. "Teens are given a fictional occupation, salary, credit score, spouse and a child, student loan debt, credit card debt and medical insurance payments. The teens then walk around to various table-top stations to 'purchase' housing, transportation, food, clothing and other needs. Fortunately,...

  • Alleged McLendon's shoplifter is arrested

    June Williams|May 2, 2024

    Police arrested an alleged shoplifter outside of McLendon’s Hardware in Belfair after the store manager called to report the theft and said the thief punched him. The incident happened the morning of April 25 when employees opened the store and a woman walked in acting “weird,” according to the Mason County Sheriff’s Office probable cause document. Store manager Roy Arbogast said the woman, later identified as Anne Belson, 29, began walking down store aisles removing products from their packaging. “Roy kept an eye on Anne while she was in th...

  • Water break temporarily closes North Mason schools

    June Williams|May 2, 2024

    A water main break April 24 at North Mason High School caused classes there and at James A. Taylor High School and Hawkins Middle School to be dismissed early. The schools were closed all day April 25 while repairs were made and students moved to remote learning. Buses operated on normal hours Thursday morning so students could come to school and collect computers and grab-and-go food. Buses then took students back home, according to the North Mason School District. Schools returned to normal schedules April 26 following repairs of the water...

  • Sportsmen's Club commemorates public access

    June Williams|Apr 25, 2024

    The Bremerton's Sportsmen's Club is finally getting recognition for a good deed done in 1948. That's when the club donated waterfront properties on Wooten, Devereaux and Haven lakes in Mason County and Mission and Wildcat lakes in Kitsap County to the Department of Game, now the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The club wanted to preserve public access to the lakes at a time when shoreline property was being bought and developed for private use. Local fishers, canoers and kayakers now know who...

  • Input sought on Theler Wetlands restoration project

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 11, 2024

    The state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group is seeking public comment on the planned restoration of 7 acres of estuarine habitat in the Mary E. Theler Wetlands Nature Preserve in Belfair. The project focuses on estuary restoration to improve habitat for fish and wildlife species, including Hood Canal summer chum salmon, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. It also includes removing a 1,250-foot breached levee to...

  • North Mason Food Bank gets relocation money

    June Williams|Mar 28, 2024

    The North Mason Food Bank will be relocating to a larger building, helped in part by $47,000 in state money secured in the last legislative session. The nonprofit group recently purchased the property at 24131 NE state Route 3, Belfair, in the old HD’s Pub’s building just a few miles from its current location. “For more than 20 years we have been operating out of a small, converted house on a main highway. Parking is extremely limited, and our clients have to back out onto the busy road. In addition, we are very small, so our folks wait outsi...

  • HUB hosts all-ages Easter event March 30

    Gordon Weeks|Mar 21, 2024

    The HUB Center for Seniors in Belfair has scheduled an Easter event for all ages, The Hoppining, from noon to 4 p.m. March 30 at the center at 111 N.E. Old Belfair Highway. The event is billed as a “Glow in the Dark Extravaganza” with thousands of eggs and many prizes. The nonprofit group is seeking sponsors, vendors and community booths to host booths at the event. The center is also offering hand-crafted Easter baskets as a fundraiser. Fill out the order form available on the group’s website and provide information to help create a baske...

  • North Mason School board gets midyear update

    June Williams|Feb 29, 2024

    District students are making progress towards year-end academic goals, but most have a long way to go, according to midyear presentations given at the North Mason School Board Feb. 26. The district’s academic goals for 2023-2024 are to have 100% of third-graders reading on grade level, 100% of seventh-graders meeting state standard on ELA (English Language Arts) and math SBA (Smarter Balanced Assessment), 100% of ninth-graders on track (0% failures in core classes), 100% graduation rate (85% on time) and 100% of graduates complete CTE (...

  • Grapeview port gets new webmasters, supports study

    June Williams|Feb 29, 2024

    Port of Grapeview commissioners announced webmaster Bob Pastore’s resignation at the regular meeting. “We greatly appreciate his time and effort,” Commissioner Mike Blaisdell said. Blaisdell and Managing Official Amanda Montgomery will take over the website duties. Commissioners also discussed forest fire protection assessments on seven parcels donated by Pastore to the port. The Department of Natural Resources “uncombined” the parcels after the donation and billed each separately, Blaisdell said. Commissioners voted to apply for a refund an...

  • 'Dogs at districts

    Feb 22, 2024

  • Port of Allyn approves access to safe deposit box

    June Williams|Feb 22, 2024

    Port of Allyn commissioners removed former Executive Director Lary Coppola and former Interim Executive Director LeAnn Dennis, who are deceased, and former commissioner Scott Cooper from the safe deposit box contract with Kitsap Bank at a special meeting Feb. 16. “So we can get this resolved soon, by the advice of the bank,” Commissioner Judy Scott said. Commissioner John Sheridan will inspect the contents of the box, accompanied by Mason County Commissioner Randy Neatherlin. Scott said they will “discover what’s in there,” make a record of...

  • Port of Allyn begins search for new commissioner

    June Williams|Feb 8, 2024

    The Port of Allyn will be posting applications on its website for the District 2 Commissioner position, current commissioners said at the Feb. 5 meeting. The post is open after Commissioner Ted Jackson’s sudden resignation Jan. 19. Jim Freeman, a prospective candidate, introduced himself at the meeting and said he “wanted to give back to the community.” Freeman grew up in Port Orchard and currently lives in LakeLand Village. He’s spent most of his career in the waterworks industry and works at the Belfair water district. “There’s certainly b...

  • Salmon Center group has internships in Hood Canal area

    June Williams|Feb 8, 2024

    StreamTeam is looking for Hood Canal-area interns to help with a variety of research projects that help protect wild salmon and restore their habitat. The organization is part of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and based at the Pacific Northwest Salmon Center in Belfair. Interns can expect to hike in rugged areas, perform wading surveys, drive on remote logging roads (with company vehicles) and perform basic data entry using MS Excel and MS Word, according to the job description. Interns will gain skills in field work and research that...

  • North Mason Fire shares risk reduction tips for your home

    June Williams|Jan 25, 2024

    In 2022, fire killed 81 civilians in Washington, according to the most recent figures from the state Fire Marshal’s Office. More than 30,733 fire incidents resulting in $330 million in property damage happened that year. Most of these events are preventable, state officials say, by taking steps such as installing multiple smoke detectors, having fire extinguishers handy and having an escape route. Rural Mason County residents may face additional challenges with fires, including increased response times, limited driveway access and lack of a...

  • James A. Taylor High School adopts mascot

    June Williams|Jan 25, 2024

    North Mason School Board members met the Sasquatch on Jan. 22. James A. Taylor High School's new mascot made its debut at the monthly board meeting. "I think it looks strong right before it gets scary," District 2 Director Leanna Krotzer said. The logo features a stern bigfoot face popping out of evergreen trees and holding "JTHS" with its claws. Superintendent Dana Rosenbach said staff used artificial intelligence to design the logo so that it's "totally original" and students approved it. "I...


    Jan 18, 2024

  • Port of Allyn to vote on gazebo rental change

    June Williams|Jan 11, 2024

    Port of Allyn commissioners were expected to vote on a proposed change to the gazebo rental policy at the Jan. 10 meeting that happened after the Herald went to press. Patty Noel, who was appointed interim executive assistant at the Jan. 1 meeting, proposed changing the current rental schedule that's set at 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., to a minimum four-hour rental with an additional hourly charge after four hours. "Right now, the gazebo is only able to be rented twice in one day," Noe...

  • Beekeeper bills county for deaths from pesticides

    June Williams|Jan 11, 2024

    Master Beekeeper Debra Langley-Boyer, a North Mason resident, has filed a claim with the county for reimbursement for the loss of her bees due to herbicide spraying. Langley-Boyer is asking for $4,035.48 and provided the county with an itemized list for the deaths of her bees in 2020 and 2023, including $800 for the loss of queens, $483 for honey lost and “unrecoverable” for native bee loss. “This is the second time (May 2023) Mason County has killed my honeybees and native bees due to spraying herbicides along the Tee Lake county road. The h...

  • Port of Allyn interim director LeAnn Dennis dies

    June Williams|Jan 4, 2024

    Port of Allyn commissioners observed a moment of silence at the regular meeting Jan. 1 for interim Executive Director LeAnn Dennis, age 55, who died Christmas Day. “LeAnn will be greatly missed. She left a big hole,” Commissioner Judy Scott said. Scott read a statement from Dennis’ daughter, Alena Dennis, at the meeting. “Anyone who ever met LeAnn would tell you that their lives changed forever after knowing her. She made everything brighter and gave her whole heart to anyone who showed her kindness and love. Her commitment to caring for her...


    Dec 28, 2023

    Taelor Schooler, a 2023 graduate of North Mason High School in Belfair, completed 13 weeks of recruit trailing at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Schooler was assigned squad leader duties and meritoriously promoted to private first class. Schooler graduated from 3rd Training Batallion, Lima Company, Platoon No. 3249. Schooler, whose father, Josh, is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, will be on active duty. Her grandfathers were also veterans, one serving in the Navy and another in the...


    Journal Staff|Dec 28, 2023

    JANUARY The state Department of Transportation in early January used a blog post to update North Mason on the state Route 3 freight corridor project, pushing back the expected construction year to 2026 instead of 2024 as it had been projected. According to the blog post, the Move Ahead Washington funding package included two more roundabouts for the project, which are located at the intersection or state Route 3 and state Route 302 near North Mason High School. The connections of the roundabouts will allow new local roads to be built by Mason...

  • Thomas named to North Mason School Board seat

    June Williams|Dec 21, 2023

    The North Mason School Board unanimously voted for Nicholas Thomas to replace retiring District 4 Director John Campbell at a special meeting Dec. 14. During his interview for the position, Thomas said “being a dad” is one of his reasons for applying for the position. He said he really wanted to get involved. “I can only do so much as a Pee Wee football coach,” he said. Thomas has lived in the area for 20 years and works in instructional design for the Navy as a civilian. He told the board he can help improve communication with communi...

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