The Bremerton Beat

If it's about Bremerton and happening now, it's on the Beat. Written by the Sun's Josh Farley.
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A bike ride around Bremerton, in pictures

September 25th, 2014 by josh farley

I love a good bike ride around Bremerton, a dynamic city where change is constant. Recently, I trekked all the way to the Oyster Bay Chevron station — you remember the story — from downtown. I made sure to fill my trip with lots of interesting stops. Here’s my photographic journey.

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After the hard climb past Callow Avenue, you come to this beautiful house flying the colors. I’ve always found the home very charming.

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Nearby is Forest Ridge Park, with what I am presuming to be an old fire station. Anyone know its history?

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My original destination: this mural on the back of the Chevron Station, where I met young artist Lue Brentwood. He painted this lovely scene after vandalizing the wall. I plan to check back soon to find out what will happen to the charges he faces.

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Just up Kitsap Way, the old Dunes Motel is changing hands. Motel 6 will take it over soon.

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I stopped by Bremerton City Nursery, on Adele Avenue, to check out their new moss-lined “potstickers.” These innovative pots were invented by the nursery. But more on that in a later feature.

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Have you been to Spiro’s on Kitsap Way yet? I’ve heard nothing but good things so far.

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The famous Callow Avenue mural, at Pied Piper’s Emporium. I’d love to know more about how it got there and the artist.

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I was sad to see the Pour House pub on Naval Avenue closed at the end of August. Sorry that I didn’t get a chance to write a story about the place, too.

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Yes, the Bremerton Evergreen-Rotary Park Accessible Playground has been getting (much deserved) ink in the Kitsap Sun of late. But have you seen the other side of the park? The grass has grown in nicely at the 9/11 Memorial, over the top of the old Chevron site. Next, the road you see here will be removed and the park will ultimately be connected together — an sizeable expansion of Bremerton’s busiest park.

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Wrapped up my trek on the east side, where a number of roads in Manette have been chip sealed, using funds from the car tab increase.

Are you a bike rider? Even a walker? Ever want to go for a ride or a walk around town? Drop me a note, I’d love to join you sometime.


Video Q&A with Marvin Williams

September 23rd, 2014 by josh farley

Atop a little hill at Eighth Street and Park Avenue Friday afternoon, Marvin Williams helped heave some ceremonial dirt that marks the beginning of what’s thought to be a transformational project for an area once referred to as “the hood.”

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Williams, who grew up in West Bremerton, has gone onto become one of the area’s most celebrated sons, having spent a decade in the NBA. He finished up his college degree from the University of North Carolina this summer, his father, Marvin Williams, Sr., told those gathered Friday. He’ll play for the Charlotte Hornets this year as well.

But because the NBA season starts up in November, Williams won’t be around at that time to mark the official groundbreaking of the center that will bear his name. The Marvin Williams Community Center, combined with the C. Keith Birkenfeld economic empowerment center, is a $7.1 million project spearheaded by the New Life Community Development Association, a wing of Bremerton’s Emmanuel Apostolic Church. Organizers already have almost $5 million in donations and government grants; the Williams-named recreation center, complete with basketball court, will be built by summer 2015.

Speeches Friday by politicians, donors and Williams himself were upbeat with promise about the future of the area (even a speech by Kitsap Community Foundation Executive Director Kol Medina, in which he referred to county residents perceiving West Bremerton as “the armpit of Kitsap County,” didn’t spoil the mood).

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Marvin and the Mayor.

“Bremerton has stepped up and embraced this project in a very special way,” Congressman Derek Kilmer told those gathered. “You have an extraordinary coalition here in Bremerton embracing this project.”

“This building is going to be for everyone,” added Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, noting the City Council’s recent renaming of nearby Seventh Street for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Watching this project go forward is in some ways witnessing Williams’ legacy unfolding before our eyes. And, I must say, he’s got some serious style — I snuck a photo of his shoes and socks during the interview. See below.

 

 

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Your favorite Manette Bridge pics

September 8th, 2014 by josh farley

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Saturday’s Manette Fest was a lot of fun. As a challenge, on the day of the 11th annual event, I asked Facebook readers to show us their favorite photos of Manette’s most iconic landmark — the bridge that has long connected it to downtown Bremerton. We got a few of the new bridge and a few of the old, some night and day and some sunny and stormy.

Here’s the results! Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Photo by Margret Mountjoy.

Photo by Margret Mountjoy.

Photo by Jean Fu.

Photo by Jean Fu.

Photo by Grant Mellor.

Photo by Grant Mellor.

Photo by Wendy McNeal.

Photo by Wendy McNeal.

Photo by Malia Miller.

Photo by Malia Miller.

Photo by Patrick Kerber.

Photo by Patrick Kerber.

Photo by Catherine Tomko.

Photo by Catherine Tomko.

Photo by Mick Hersey.

Photo by Mick Hersey.


Photo gallery: The treasures hidden inside the Hoffman homes

September 4th, 2014 by josh farley

They may be dilapidated, but inside John Hoffman’s homes are some treasures, notably a few pianos and a giant vintage record collection.


Bremerton police blotter, Aug. 22-26

August 29th, 2014 by josh farley

Here’s your weekly look at the Bremerton police calls: 

Theft from pay boxes, Burwell Street and Washington Avenue: Police were called Aug. 22 for a man picking pay boxes downtown. Officers found the man and discovered he had forceps and $14 in his pocket. Witnesses confirmed the man was the suspect. He was taken to jail.

Driving under the influence, Riddell Road at Wheaton Way: An officer watched Aug. 22 as a man sped down Wheaton Way going 52 in a 30 mph zone. The officer felt the man was intoxicated, with watery, droopy and bloodshot eyes. The man did field sobriety tests and ultimately blew a .10 blood alcohol level, above the .08 legal limit. He told the officer he could “beat” the charge as he had with a ticket and a “DV” in the past. He was jailed.

Possession of heroin, 2900 Perry Avenue: Officers Aug. 22 found that a woman wanted for heroin possession had gone into a bar’s bathroom. When she came out, she said she had “one point” of heroin on her currently. In the car outside she was riding in, officers found heroin and meth paraphernalia. She was taken to the Kitsap County Jail.

Meth possession, 1500 Shorewood Drive: Police were called for a man running through yards “acting as if someone is chasing him,” on Aug. 22. When they caught up to the man he was moving continuously, sweating profusely, was paranoid and had trouble carrying on a conversation. Officers suspected he was high on meth. Since he’d trespassed in someone’s yard, he was arrested. Officers found meth in his pocket. He was jailed.

Driving under the influence, 1500 Warren Avenue: Officers Aug. 23 stopped a driver for going 51 mph in a 30 mph zone. Officers felt she had been drinking and following field sobriety tests she blew a .12. She was taken to jail.

Driving under the influence, Veneta Avenue at 11th Street: A driver apparently hit a tree in the area Aug. 24. When police arrived, they noted the driver had an opened can of beer on the passenger side floorboard. He denied drinking it. He appeared very nervous and was “very fidgety” police said. Officers said he blew a .09 blood alcohol level. He was jailed.

Egging, 1700 Marine Drive: A man reported Aug. 24 his truck was egged sometime overnight. Police have no suspects.

Burglary, 1500 Snyder Avenue: A man reported Aug. 24 that sometime between Aug. 20 and the 24th his home had been burglarized and the thieves took power tools, clothes and fishing gear. It appeared the suspect or suspects came in through a window. He mentioned he’d been gone from the house, as had his wife, who was giving birth at the hospital. Police are investigating.

Assault, 600 Callow Avenue: A bartender reported she was hit in the face Aug. 24 by a girlfriend of a man who was bringing his own liquor into the bar. Police could not locate the suspect.

Burglary, 5100 Auto Center Way: A store manager called police Aug. 25 to say a back closet containing cleaning supplies had been broken into sometime overnight. The manager suspected someone in a nearby homeless camp as a possible suspect. Police have no leads.

Vandalism, 400 Chester Avenue: A woman reported to police Aug. 25 that her car’s rear passenger side window was broken out. Police have no suspects.

Found credit cards, 2000 15th Street: A woman weeding her flower garden found a stack of credit and debit cards and a drivers license belonging to a Silverdale woman Aug. 25. Police were able to contact the Silverdale woman, and get her stuff back to her. She said her purse had been stolen in early July from a tanning salon.

Homeless camp, 4300 Wheaton Way: An officer Aug. 25 went exploring behind the building that once housed Lowes in Bremerton, discovering a broken lock on a fenced gate that led to two “transient camps.” Two women were found camping and the officer warned them they’d soon be trespassed. Couches, stoves, beds, chairs, carpet and other items were found and the officer concluded people had been staying in that area “for months.” A report was forwarded to the city’s code enforcement officer and community resource specialist.

Trespassing, 10th Street and Park Avenue: An officer late Aug. 25 found a man lying on a mattress in Puget Sound Energy’s property there. He had been trespassed four times before and was taken to the jail this time.

Theft of license plate, 2000 Nipsic Avenue: A man who returned home from vacation Aug. 25 noticed his rear license plate had been removed and replaced with another. Police are still investigating.

Possession of a stolen vehicle, Burwell Street and Montgomery Avenue: An officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen Aug. 26. He stopped it and the woman driving was arrested for possessing the stolen car, though she said she had permission. A woman riding in the car also had a warrant for her arrest for DUI and drug possession. The two were taken to jail. Two men also riding in the car were released.

Fraud, 4000 Wheaton Way: Moneytree employees reported that a woman Aug. 26 had just tried to cash a check issued by a local company. A Moneytree employee called the company to verify they’d issued the check, but a company representative was adamant they did not. When the suspect and a companion in the Moneytree overheard the Moneytree employee say she would call police, the pair fled. The suspect apparently then called the company and apologized, saying if she didn’t try to cash the fraudulent check “she’d be shot.” Moments later, police got word that a woman parked in Fred Meyer, who worked at the company, had her car prowled. The car was unlocked and the thieves took a briefcase filled with documents related to the company inside as well as company checks. Police are still looking for the suspect.


Bremerton police blotter, Aug. 12-21

August 22nd, 2014 by josh farley

The Bremerton police blotter has been on hiatus for about a month. With apologies, here’s the latest installment:

Theft from a pay box, Burwell Street at Pacific Avenue: Police responded to the Harborside Parking Garage for a report of someone stealing money from a pay box Aug. 12. A sergeant arrived to find a man leaving in a car who tried to divert police by saying “Are you looking for a gun who ran toward the back?” The sergeant didn’t buy it, noting the driver matched the suspect description and had a worried look on his face as if he’d done something wrong. “I have three children of my own and have seen this expression many times before,” the sergeant said. The man, who was found with $26 in wrinkled bills, went to jail.

Disorderly conduct, 600 Park Avenue: An officer Aug. 12 watched as a man at the 7-Eleven store tried to pick a fight with a stranger, kicking a propane bottle storage rack and making “karate gestures.” He was taken to jail for disorderly conduct.

Theft from front porch, 1000 Walnut Street: A woman told police Aug. 13 that a UPS package was stolen off her front porch. Police have no suspects.

Suspended license and more, 2600 E. 10th Street: An officer Aug. 14 watched a car with a defective tail pipe drive by him on the Manette Bridge. He attempted to pull the car over, but the driver, who was on a cell phone, kept driving, including running a stop sign. He finally stopped and told the officer he was getting medicine for his pregnant girlfriend. He let an officer search his car, confirming first a half an ounce of pot inside. Nothing criminal was found. He was taken to jail for having a suspended license and the officer wrote several citations stemming from his driving.

Stolen liquor, 2900 Wheaton Way: A man walked out of Albertsons with a vodka bottle Aug. 14. Police arrived to find him walking in the area. The man had recently been featured on the police department’s “High 5” list. He told officers to “just take me to jail.” They did. A second man on the very same day attempted to steal two bottles from the store as well, police said. He met the same fate.

Burglary, 5200 Sinclair Way: Officers were called to an audible alarm at a business on Sinclair Way early Aug. 14. A front window was broken out to gain access inside. Police are still investigating.

Very drunk teen, 1400 Fourth Street: A woman found a 14 or 15 year-old teenager passed out on Fourth Street late Aug. 15. When she came to, officers took her blood alcohol level and found it to be .40. “I have never in my years as a police officer had a subject provide a breath sample that high before.” The teen was belligerent all the way to, and at, Harrison Medical Center. Police left her to be treated for the alcohol overdose.

Stolen bicycle, 2500 Cherry Avenue: A Harrison Medical Center worker said someone cut his bike lock and took his $500 bike while it was chained up at work Aug. 15. Police have no suspects. Bike theft has been rampant in Bremerton lately.

Vehicle prowling, 200 South Summit Avenue: A woman reported Aug. 15 that someone had stolen a couple of iPod touches out of her car sometime overnight. Police have no suspects.

Theft from rental home: 100 North Marion Avenue: A woman reported Aug. 15 that a washer and dryer had been stolen out of the rental unit she owns. Police are investigating.

Harassment in the ER, 2500 Cherry Avenue: Officers were called to Harrison Medical Center Aug. 17 for a man harassing and asking for money from people in the emergency room lobby. He’d admitted himself to the ER five times in the past 48 hours. Police told him not to return to the ER unless he was brought there by police or EMS. A report was forwarded to the Bremerton city prosecutor for review of the incident.

Was it the dog?, 3500 Parker Lane: A man came home to find a pile of feces on his bed Aug 17. His house was locked up and his dog was “cowering” in another portion of a house separated by a baby gate, leading the owner to believe someone else had done it. Police decided that, judging by the fact nothing else had been taken, it was probably the dog, but told the owner to give police a call if anything was missing.

Trespassing, 1000 Park Avenue: Officers found a man camping on Puget Sound Energy property Aug. 17. He was told to leave.

Vehicle prowling, 3200 Pine Road: A woman reported Aug. 17 that her iPad was stolen out of her car overnight. There are no suspects.

Left in the car, 4100 Kitsap Way: Officers were called Aug. 17 for an approximately 3-year-old child left in a car. The mother of the child reported she’d only been in the store for a few minutes; store employees said it was at least 20. An officer told her how dangerous it was to leave a child in a hot car and, when asked why she did it, she responded the baby was “cranky.” Police took a report for prosecutors to review and let the mother and child go.

Shoplifting, 2900 Wheaton Way: A woman Aug. 17 stole chicken and donuts from Albertson’s. Police were able to track down the car she allegedly fled in but she was not in it at the time. Officers are looking for her.

Vehicle prowling, 4000 Bledsoe Avenue: A man told police that his car was prowled sometime overnight Aug. 18. He came outside to find his car doors open, with a GPS device, stereo face plate, 24-pack of cola and bag of chips missing. Police have no suspects.

Driving under the influence, Olympus Drive: An officer pulled a car over doing 40 mph in a 25 mph zone Aug. 20. The driver, who said he was the “DD” smelled of alcohol and exhibited signs of being intoxicated, an officer said. He blew a .12 blood alcohol level, higher than the .08 legal limit, and was taken to the Kitsap County Jail.

Counterfeit bill, 2100 Sixth Street: A man Aug. 20 passed a counterfeit $20 bill, but the clerk knew it was fake and would not accept it. The man left the store before police arrived. The incident remains under investigation.

Domestic assault, 100 Bloomington Avenue: Police were called there early Aug. 21 after a woman had an altercation with her boyfriend. He allegedly punched through a door and they struggled; she ended up with what appeared to be a broken nose. Police are working to track down the suspect.


Bremerton clerk apologizes for ‘peanut gallery’ comment

August 20th, 2014 by josh farley

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In the midst of a busy Bremerton City Council meeting Wednesday night, City Clerk Shannon Corin apologized for the “peanut gallery” comment she made two weeks ago.

It was Corin who, you may recall, tried to reign in a discussion between the Council and audience members interested in an ordinance increasing taxicab regulations. Here’s how I characterized it in the Kitsap Sun:

The council meeting felt like more of a town hall-style forum when the taxi ordinance was discussed, with Council President Greg Wheeler allowing for more of a free flow of questions, comments and responses from the council, city staff and the audience. At one point while the council was talking directly to an audience member, City Clerk Shannon Corin admonished the “peanut gallery” for speaking without being recognized.

That led to several calls for an apology, including one from John Larson, a Bremerton resident who was in the audience that night. Larson, who also is Bremerton Parks Commission Chairman, posted this on the City of Bremerton Citizen Watch’s Facebook page:

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To start Wednesday night’s Council meeting, Council President Greg Wheeler made several decrees that I think made it clear he would be calling the shots in the future when so-called “points of order” come up. The bottom line is that I suspect that we won’t see Council meetings as “free flowing” as the one on Aug. 6 concerning taxis.

But on Wednesday night, after another call for an apology came during public comment from Port Orchard resident Robert Parker, Corin spoke up. She said she “felt horrible” over what she said.

“It was an unfortunate use of words,” she said, choking back tears. “I did not mean to insult or offend anyone in the use of those words. Please forgive me.”


VIDEO: Curbs coming in on Lower Wheaton Way

August 20th, 2014 by josh farley

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Crews poured the first curbs as part of Bremerton’s $3.4 million reconstruction of Lower Wheaton Way Tuesday. 

It’s a milestone for the project, which will add wide sidewalks, bike lanes and better lighting to an approximately one mile stretch of road spanning Bremerton’s bridges.

The project is slated to be completed in the fall.


Need a gun lock? Bremerton police are giving them away

August 20th, 2014 by josh farley

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The Bremerton Police Department has a small surplus of gun locks that officers have decided to donate to the public. There’s only 30 of them, but anyone who comes to the front desk in the near future can get one.

“The gun locks are an added layer of safety,” said Bremerton Officer Frank Shaw. It’s not a foolproof way to keep firearms safe, but it is an important step in the right direction. Safe storage to keep firearms out of reach of children is another important layer of protection.”

The locks come with instructions. Anyone who gets a free lock must also sign a waiver.

For more information, call Bremerton Police Community Resource Specialist Joe Sexton at (360) 473-5231.


New bike rack goes up at Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe

August 15th, 2014 by josh farley
Tom Baker installs a new bike rack Friday.

Tom Baker installs a new bike rack Friday.

Tom Baker was looking for a way to “do his part.” The Bremerton man, who works in the city’s public works department, has become an avid cyclist. After completing the Tour de Kitsap and Seattle to Portland bike rides, he felt he had to chip into the local cycle community.

He joined West Sound Cycling Club, became its secretary, and now is helping to install 13 new bike racks around Bremerton and Kitsap County. On Friday morning, he bolted a new rack near Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe in Bremerton.

The racks are important, he says, to give bicyclists confidence at their destinations.

“You want to feel your bike is secure,” he said.

As the city of Bremerton constructs more bike lanes in the city, including as part of its Lower Wheaton Way and Washington Avenue projects, more racks will be needed to accommodate the additional two-wheeled riders.

“Racks encourage you to ride your bicycle,” he said. “You’re more likely to ride if you have a place to park it.”

After installing a few outside Silverdale Cyclery, the group now has nine racks left to put in, in spots anywhere from Gig Harbor to Hansville. If you have questions about the new racks, email Baker at tombaker070@gmail.com.


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