Because it’s the most wonderful time of the year

Carlisle II Loading for the cruise to see Santa on his sailboat in Dyes Inlet


Here in Bremerton, we don’t take the holidays for granted. Take, for instance, the 33rd annual Special People’s Cruise, in which boaters at the Bremerton Yacht Club — for the 33rd year in a row — gave their guests Dec. 7 a ride around Puget Sound.


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Or what about the 25 or so people who went out to grave sites at Ivy Green Cemetery to clean them in preparation for the Wreaths Across America event?

And there’s more to come, too. How about Salish Soap Co., whose owner, Dana Stephens Littell, is collecting clothing and toys for four children in our community? (More on that at her Facebook page.)

There is our Bellringer fund, which has already raised close to $40,000 this year.

There is the pop-up street store, which on Dec. 23-24 at Sixth and Broadway, in which all of the yard sale items are free. (Remaining items will be donated to charities.)

But there’s so much more here in Bremerton that residents here do at the holidays. So please: help me to add to this list! I want to showcase the generosity of this community here.

The tide is high but we’re holding on


The tides have been quite high these past few days, surpassing 13 feet on a few occasions. Here’s a few photos around the Port Washington Narrows in Bremerton from this morning, near the high mark about 8 a.m.

For a couple schedule, go here.

The tide should subside a bit in the next couple of weeks. But believe it or not, it will surge again later this month. The tide will actually be the highest on Christmas Day — slated for a 13.76.

If you have photos of the high tide, don’t hesitate to send them my way to post.
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Friday’s festivities in Bremerton

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Here comes Friday night. I’ve already mentioned many of the big festivities downtown tonight, as well as the appearance of chef-restauranteur Renee Erickson. But there’s much more going on, and here’s a running list to help you out. Did I forget something? Please let me know.

Fingers Duke Design Studio presents the artwork of Sean Dietrich (pictured), 523 Fourth Street. Bottom line: the ‘Industricide’ artist is ridiculously talented. Time: 6-9 p.m.

FROG Soap‘s grand opening and ribbon cutting, 530 Fifth Street. (Here’s a story the Kitsap Sun wrote about this environmentally conscious business.) Time: 4 p.m.

Admiral Theater Presents Livewire Theater, 515 Pacific Avenue. Tickets are $18 to $55 and a family pack is $40. Dinner’s 5:30 p.m. and show’s at 7 p.m.

Ish Vintage Clothing & Costume‘s Sixth Annual Art & Craft Show Local, handmade goods paired with live music and window models. Time: 5-8 p.m.

Mistarian Roses‘ Second Annual Student Art Show, 519 Fourth Street: first exhibitions by Stephen Voyles, Chloe O’Laughlin and Maggie Babb, students from Olympic College and NCAD. Live music to go with. Time: 5-8 p.m. 

Isella Salon & Spas Eighth Anniversary, 530 Fourth Street: Gift and service specials, live music, sample spa services and giveaways. Time: 5-8 p.m.

Viva Flow Yoga‘s Christmas Party, 515 Fourth Street: Complete with free Henna for guests. Time: 5-8 p.m.

Bremerton City Nursery’s Holiday Social, 912 Adele Avenue: Enjoy hors devours, Harvey’s Hot buttered rum and assorted desserts at the annual event. There’s also going to be a drawing for a $50 gift certificate. Time: 5-8 p.m.

Corner Coffee & Cafe’s Open Mic Night, 435 Pacific Avenue, plus the music of The Folkers. Time: 5-8 p.m.

Tami Sioux’s Open House, 658 Pleasant Avenue. Gathering at her home and studio. Time: 4-8 p.m.

The Kitsap Community Food Co-op at Toro Lounge, 315 Pacific Avenue: The co-op is hosting an art show this month, to include a piece it inspired. Time: 5-8 p.m.

Winterfest, Magic in Manette headline a busy Bremerton Friday

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 3.44.27 PMSanta Claus is double-booked, it turns out, between downtown and Manette on Friday evening. He won’t be the only one with a busy schedule. There are so many events happening between 5-8 p.m. around the city, it will be hard to get to them all. So here’s my roundup. If you have more to add, please drop me a note at

Santa will arrive via fire truck to the Puget Sound Naval Museum by the ferry terminal at 5:30 p.m. A tree lighting there will follow, as will the sounds of the Bremerton High School marching band. Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 3.44.20 PM

In Manette, Santa will arrive at 5:15 p.m. with the Ice Princess. A tree lighting there won’t happen until 7 p.m. (at the corner of E. 11th and Scott Avenue) but in the meantime, photos can be taken with Santa courtesy of Aubin Ahrens Photography. (All they ask is a donation of food, warm coats or cash for local food banks.)

Back downtown, Santa photos will be available from 6-7 p.m. by Hudson Photography at the Kitsap Historical Society on Fourth Street.

There will be horse drawn carriage rides downtown at Burwell and Pacific and free refreshments will be served at the Evergreen Children’s Theater & Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum, 257 Fourth Street.

Of boats, whales and walruses

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Bremerton will be hopping on Friday night. Christmas trees will be lit downtown and in Manette and art walk will be in full swing, among other festivities. I’ll be showcasing a few in advance here at the blog, starting with a special visit by acclaimed chef and Seattle Restauranteur Renee Erickson.

Erickson, who’s started a number of Puget Sound area restaurants — The Whale Wins, Boat Street Cafe, The Walrus and the Carpenter and Barnacle — recently released a cookbook she’s promoting around the country. Her whistle stop here begins at The Weekender in Manette, from 6-8 p.m., followed by The Honor Bar near Evergreen-Rotary Park at 8 p.m.

She’s a huge star in the culinary world right now, with big write ups in Bon Appetit and the Seattle Times.

“We are incredibly excited and fortunate to have this event in our town,” said Alan Davis, co-owner of The Honor Bar.

To RSVP for the event, go to the Facebook invitation here.

Envisioning community


Twenty years ago, a group of local artists, who’d long met in the living rooms and public libraries of the county to discuss their craft, made a bold decision. They formed a co-op art gallery that has become a staple of downtown Bremerton.

Collective Visions, at the corner of Fourth Street and Pacific Avenue, survived what was arguably the downtown’s worst years in the mid-90s and has cultivated an arts community that has continued to churn out works of the best artists in Bremerton and around West Sound.

“We have persisted,” said artist Alan Newberg, one of four remaining original members. “And we’re proud of that fact.”

On Friday, the gallery will open its doors for the event that many would argue it started as one of the first in the state: the art walk. It is one of many ways — and perhaps the most prominent way — that the gallery has helped its surrounding community.

“We see ourselves as community builders,” Newberg said.

The gallery actually began as the Washington Avenue Art Gallery, on that street, a few blocks away, in 1994. But just two years later, the co-op moved into its current location after McBrides Hallmark packed up and left downtown. They couldn’t beat the initial $500 a month in rent there, Newberg recalled.

There was a lot to do to convert the building, constructed to be a bank, into an art gallery. The orange shag carpet had to go. And the 20-plus artists within the co-op weren’t told initially that there was even a downstairs to the building. It had been covered up, so the artists peeled back a makeshift floor to find a beautiful staircase.

 “It was a dark dungeon down there,” remembered Barbara Mills, another original artist in the gallery.

The gallery now includes some 3,400 square feet of space to showcase all its members, one of the bigger art galleries in the state. The room allows the cooperative to feature prominently one of its artists every month. (This month’s exhibit comes from Michelle Van Berkom (pictured), whose watercolor paintings take the viewer on a tour of some of North Mason’s most pastoral settings). They all pay dues to keep the gallery going but that allows for lower commissions on art sold there.

The gallery also takes center stage in the state art community each year during its annual CVG show. In its ninth year, Newberg said the even has served its purpose:  “create an event that would be on the cultural calendar of the county and beyond.” (Deadline for the 2015 show is Nov. 17, by the way.)

The gallery has played host to more than just art on its walls, though. They’ve had more than 100 concerts. Bremerton Mayoral Candidate Louis Mentor held his campaign kickoff there. They also started “Ars Poetica,” a show in which area poets would submit a poem to be paired with an artist, who would illustrate it.

But it all comes back to the art that has kept it going. The gallery has roughly as many artists now as it did when it started. Ages range from early-20s to mid-90s. They’ve seen many businesses and even art galleries come and go downtown. But they’ve maintained.

“The gallery has been a major success story,” said Ken Lundemo, another of the original artists. “I haven’t heard of an equal in my life that has stuck it out, have so much talent come and go. It’s going to go on.”

Bremerton police blotter, Oct. 18-31

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A Bremerton cop who reluctantly accepted a “believe in miracles” plaque on the beat hung it up in the squad room as an “attempt to foster a sense of encouragement to my fellow officers.” All that and more in this week’s edition of the Bremerton police blotter.

Here’s my report from the line-up board at department headquarters:

Welfare check, 1100 16th Street: Police were called the night of Oct. 22 to Olympic College to check up on an allegedly intoxicated male. They found a man who was “carrying bandages and had all sorts of monitor connections on his chest and stomach.” The man evidently had just gotten out of the hospital and was concerned about someone who he said had just crashed a car in a ditch. Police offered the man a ride back to the hospital. He agreed.

Theft and a warrant, 2900 Wheaton Way: Police went to the Midway Inn the night of Oct. 22, where a man said he had about $5,000 in cash stolen out of the Inn’s computer room. He said he had all the money because he was moving to Reno, where a job was waiting for him. Police reviewed the surveillance at the hotel but it proved inconclusive. However, the man had an arrest warrant for assault in Bremerton Municipal Court and so he was taken to the Kitsap County jail. Police have no other leads as to what might have happened to his cash.

Vehicle prowling, 100 Lilac Lane: A woman reported that a man was inside her car on Lilac Lane just before 5 a.m. Oct. 23. Police converged on the area to only find one man, who was “acting nervous,” was “panting heavily” and had soaked shoes, pants and coat. The man initially gave police a false name but came clean about it eventually. He had a felony warrant for probation violation. He said he was prowling to help feed his wife, and that the pair live below the Madrona Inn in a tent by the highway. She came up to take possession of his stuff and he was taken to the Kitsap County jail.

DUI, Wheaton Way at Sheridan Road: An officer stopped a woman driving for malfunctioning brake lights early Oct. 24. The officer smelled intoxicants coming from her person. She was found to have a .15 blood-alcohol level. An open container of beer was found inside her car. She was taken to the Kitsap County jail.

Welfare check: Police were called the night of Oct. 24 to check on elderly woman who’d been inside the Bremerton ferry terminal for about eight hours. The woman also had a bag full of Christmas presents with her. The woman seemed confused to police but said she lives in a home where there’s construction going on. She was friendly but seemed to have no one to pick her up. So the officer gave her a ride home. For the gesture, the woman insisted on giving the officer a gift. Despite the officer’s efforts to refuse, he relented and took the gift, which was a plaque that reads “Believe in Miracles.” “I hung it in the line-up room in an attempt to foster a sense of encouragement to my fellow officers,” the cop wrote in his report.

Burglary, 100 South Summit: Officers were called the night of Oct. 24 for a burglary at someone’s attached garage. A thief or thieves broke in through a sliding door and took a table saw and some tools. Police have no suspects.

Hit and run, 11th Street at North Callow Avenue: A man told police early Oct. 25 that he’d been driving on 11th Street headed east when a car came through the red light on Callow and struck his vehicle. The damage included a broken axle on the truck. A headlight of the car that hit the truck fell off at the scene. Police searched the area for the car but could not find it.

Criminal trespassing, 4300 Wheaton Way: Police ultimately found six people inside the Old Lowes building, near Wheaton Way at Riddell Road, late Oct. 25. Some of the suspects claimed they were bored and it was during a power outage, so they went with a friend who had a key to the building. Only after officers surrounded the building and then went inside did the six come out. They were all taken to the Kitsap County jail for trespassing.

Road rage, 3400 Kitsap Way: A road rage incident nearly turned violent the afternoon of Oct. 28 in the parking lot of Papa Murphy’s. Two cars were headed east on Kitsap Way, with one, driven by the suspect, swerving toward the alleged victim’s, who then flipped the suspect the bird. The alleged victim heard a “thud” on his car and then called 911. While the alleged victim waited in the parking lot of Papa Murphy’s, the suspect came to the lot, pulled a baseball bat and allegedly threatened the other driver. Then the suspect left. Witnesses confirmed the threats and the bat. Police drove to the suspect’s nearby home and arrested him. He was taken to the Kitsap County jail.

Vehicle prowling, 600 Fourth Street: A man reported that his truck was broken into Oct. 28 while parked in the SEEFlim Theater parking lot. The man, who worked from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., came out to find what he thought was his locked truck unlocked and numerous items missing, including two cell phones. Police have no suspects.

DUI, 2900 Wheaton Way: Police stopped a driver on the road for speeding shortly before 2 a.m. Oct. 31. The driver had a strong smell of alcohol coming from her, officers said. She blew a .14 blood-alcohol level, almost twice the legal limit. She said she’d consumed three beers; officers were skeptical but she said they were “strong beers. 2/11s.” She was booked into the Kitsap County Jail.

Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan’s weekly update included a few incidents worth noting as well:

This Would Have Done George Costanza Proud:  We received information that a suspect in a serious felony was at an address in West Bremerton.  He had five (5!) misdemeanor warrants and a felony arrest warrant for Rape of a Child.  Officers surrounded the residence and knocked at the front door.  The man opened the back window and began his exit when he was confronted by Officer Brandon Greenhill.   The man then ran to the front door and almost knocked over a pregnant woman trying to get out.  Officer John Bogen deployed his Taser at the man while he was at the front door, and he made his first good decision of the day, giving up and being taken into custody.  He went to jail.

Dave’s Not Here Man…:  We have been looking for a man wanted on a Burglary warrant all week, and Officer Jordan Ejde went to an address seeking this ne’er-do-well.  We had information the man had been living at an empty house outside of our city.  While being assisted by Officer Jacob Switzer, Jordan observed a bike leaned up against a shed.  The officer knocked on the shed and heard a male’s voice inside.  The officer said he was “Greg” and “had his $20 bucks.”  The suspect opened the door and was taken into custody.   The man has 233 contacts and 29 separate booking photos. He is in jail thanks to some good police work, and another strong message sent by our department.

Also, this week Officer Chris Faidley located a car that had crashed into the steps of the Synagogue at 11th St and Veneta Ave.  The driver had suffered a seizure while driving, and fortunately had only minor injuries.  The damage to the building was also minor, but the man’s vintage 1966 Mustang did not fare so well.

Strachan also has info about a new scam:

We sent out a message on our Twitter account this week about a scam being perpetrated nationwide, in which people receive calls from someone saying they are with the IRS, and demanding payment for back taxes owed.  We have reports of several people in our city receiving this call, and unfortunately one man sent $16,000 to the scammers.  It is infuriating to think that someone lost that much of their hard-earned money to these criminals.  Here is more information on the scam:

And finally, the High 5 criminal list is out:

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Dispatches from downtown


Here’s some slices of life from downtown Bremerton this week. 

You’ll soon notice a new sign at Uptown Barbershop (above) where the business has shed its original “Acme” name. Kellie Quanrud, who’s owned it for the past year, said she had already agreed to change the original name due to the Acme barbershop they were once affiliated with on the Seattle side. Only now, that same Seattle barbershop wasn’t happy about the Bremerton barbershop keeping any part of “acme” in its name. So look for a sign change soon.

“At this point I think its best we go completely our own direction anyhow,” Quanrud told her Facebook fans. ” …  We love and appreciate all of our customers and our regulars that pop in to just hang out with us! That is what a barbershop should be! Thanx for supporting your local shop and being patient with us through all these changes!”

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Just down the street, more serious changes maybe in store at The RockIt Roost. Owner Chuck Mitchell is looking into transforming it into a pub and arcade. He told me he’s not sure if it will happen, but he’s trying to make it work. I’ll keep you posted.


Also nearby, you might have noticed Evergreen Trophies and Kitchen got a paint job. Joe Hudson told me they’ll soon have a new sign out front to complete the facade.


Work continues on an expansion of El Balcon, the popular El Salvadorian eatery on Pacific Avenue. I’m told they’ve got some hurdles to go but could be open in another slice of the Dietz Building by the end of the year.


Work on a $3.5 million overhaul of the Salvation Army continues downtown, near Park Avenue on Sixth Street. Tad Sooter has further details here.

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You’ve probably seen Monday’s story about the new apartments going up at Park Avenue and Burwell Street. The $9 million project will get started this week.

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All this and I didn’t even mention the yellow submarine.

Have a dispatch from somewhere in Bremerton? Email Josh Farley at to have yours included next time.  

Bremerton police blotter, Oct. 11-17

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Here’s this week’s police blotter. I have been remiss in getting these out in the last couple months and I am to get back on track. Starting now.

First off, you’ll see in this photo the new signs that are accompanying the police department’s rollout of an “alcohol impact zone” from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. each day. Participating in the zone, which starts Nov. 1, is voluntary at this point. We’ll see how many retailers go along with it.

Secondly, here’s an item from Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan’s weekly update:

Last Saturday, Officer Frank Shaw pulled over a suspected drunk driver, and the man was asked to do some field sobriety tests. Following a less than stellar performance in the one leg stand, the driver commented, “Come on, I can’t do that s–t drunk.” Quickly realizing that this was probably not the right thing to say, he corrected himself by saying, “I mean, I can’t do that s–t whether I am drunk or sober!” Pretty good recovery…He was ultimately arrested, blew a .16 alcohol content and was booked into the jail.

Here’s more, from the reports board at the Burwell Street station:

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Bremerton holiday flea market kicks off Saturday

Dick Hausdorf shows off his treasures for sale prior to Saturday's market.
Dick Hausdorf shows off his treasures for sale prior to Saturday’s market.

Attention junkers, pickers and treasurer hunters: Pacific Avenue’s Uptown Mercantile & Marketplace kicks off the first of three holiday flea markets Saturday.

The market, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., will feature food, live music and of course, a variety of vendors to peruse. The only constant is the vintage flavor, points out Uptown shopkeeper Wendy Rushing.

“We have a unique look I don’t think you will find at the mall,” she said.

Uptown, which also features a year-round 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. market on Sundays, will really break out the holidays next month.

“The day after Halloween,” Rushing said, “We are putting Christmas up.”

The market’s located at 816 Pacific Avenue.