The piano keys of Quincy Square

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A cascade of oversized piano keys would run along the sidewalks of both sides of Fourth Street near Pacific Avenue, should plans for “Quincy Square” materialize.

As you may have read in my story in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun, a bunch of volunteers calling itself the “Fourth Street Action Group” has been meeting for about two years in an effort to revitalize a largely vacant section of the roadway between Washington and Pacific Avenues. I wanted you to have a chance to see for yourself the designs that have come out of those meetings, put together by Rice Fergus Miller Architects.

As you can see from above, the piano keys would serve to tell the story about how Jones, the icon, discovered his love of music after breaking into an armory one night in Bremerton about 70 years ago. There would be a square for concerts and other events and the roadway could be shut down to create a plaza around the square.

This project is by no means a slam dunk, however. The group, with the city as its advocate, will have to raise nearly $5 million to complete it.

And what about Quincy Jones himself? City officials have yet to talk with him about the plan and confirm he’d be willing to come to Bremerton for any kind of festivities surrounding the plaza project. Mayor Patty Lent has reached out to his staff, and has vowed to also contact federal judge Richard Jones, a half brother of the music icon based in Seattle.

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A fountainless Bremerton in 2016

Before the dark times.
Before the dark times.

Bremerton’s Harborside Fountain Park will be a decade old in 2017. Unfortunately, that’s also the next time the submarine sail-shaped spouts will operate again.

City officials made the call this week to forgo attempts to get the fountains back up and running in time for this year’s summer season. Regulatory hoops and repairs, to make the park safe for water waders, will eat up the entire year, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent said Thursday.

“It’s very disappointing,” Lent lamented. “On the hot days, those fountains draw so many people downtown. And our downtown couldn’t look prettier.”

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The fountains will be dry ’til 2017. Parks director Jeff Elevado pictured. Photos by Meegan M. Reid.

As a consolation, the city will fire up the sprinklers from noon to 3 p.m. Friday (Aug. 26) at Evergreen-Rotary Park, Lent said. There could be more sprinkler outings on subsequent hot days.

Under Lent’s watch, the fountains have turned on each year in March (former Mayor Cary Bozeman would run them year round, but Lent thought it a prudent cost savings measure to turn them off in winter). Not this year. The city’s parks department, which maintains them, has grown increasingly concerned that the mechanisms keeping them going are failing.

The $20 million fountain park, formerly a rather unsightly lay-down yard within the shipyard, was not meant to be a swimming pool. But treating them as such has taken a toll. So city officials have authorized up to $100,000 in Real Estate Excise Tax funds to reconstruct filtration, control systems and upgrade plumbing. The goal is to ensure the water’s safe for human contact.

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But the fountains also caught the eye of both the state and county’s health departments. The city had to apply for permitting to make the fountain park a recreational water facility. That took several months earlier this year. Even now, with approval, a bunch of parts needed for the repairs remain on back order.

Lent said that even once the repairs are done, the state and county health departments will want to conduct testing to ensure the water is safe. That’s going to take time, and sadly, that means Bremerton’s fountain park will be fully fountainless through 2016.

Beat blast: Islander fest, a topless protest and a trip to the South Pole

“We are all one, under the sun.” That’s what Bailey Tupai told me this morning at Evergreen-Rotary Park, the site of this Bremerton’s first ever Pacific Islander Festival this Saturday. Thousands are expected to attend the event, which will highlight and celebrate the cultures of islands all over the Pacific.

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Elsewhere in this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, you’ll learn:

The cause of a West Bremerton couple protesting for women to be able to be topless in public;

The trek of a Bremerton man to Antarctica for the past two years;

How the big fly-in at Bremerton National Airport went;

A special cause this Saturday for a boy fighting cancer.

Questions? Comments? Send ’em to me at josh.farley@kitsapsun.com.

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Bremerton ‘fly-in’ eclipses expectations

Photo by Pilot Scott Kuznicki.
A packed Bremerton National Airport Saturday. Photo by Pilot Scott Kuznicki. 

History was made this weekend at Bremerton National Airport this weekend. Almost 700 aircraft were joined by 1,000 cars and 4,000 people for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association‘s Bremerton fly-in Friday and Saturday.

“I thought it was awesome,” Fred Salisbury, the airport’s director, was quoted as saying on AOPA’s web site. “That back runway probably hasn’t seen aircraft for fifty years and it was packed with parked airplanes all the way down.”

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I spent some time Saturday morning just perusing the planes. It was like a massive vintage car show except all the vehicles had wings and took to the skies with great frequency. I found aircraft made all over the world, to include everything from classic biplanes to modern private jets.

Sun Reporter Tad Sooter wrote recently of the economic impacts the fly-in, one of four the AOPA holds each year around the nation, would have on Bremerton and Kitsap County. Seems likely those expectations were eclipsed.

Here’s some additional photos I took:

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Beat Blast: Airplane fest, farm funk and some happy pups

Boredom is simply not possible in Bremerton this weekend. The largest airplane fly-in in Bremerton National Airport’s history occurs Friday and Saturday; on the east side of town, a music festival will take over Minder Farms.

You’ll learn about both on this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, plus:

There’s word of a possible parade in store for Olympian and hometown hero Nathan Adrian;

There’s no doubt of a lawsuit former assistant Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy has filed in federal court;

And finally, the cutest story you will hear all week: a Kitsap Humane Society volunteer has been bringing shelter dogs to Starbucks, and photographing the results.

Questions? Comments? Send ’em my way at josh.farley@kitsapsun.com. Thanks for watching!

 

Beat blast: Road construction, a Bremerton arcade game and an old ferry

We’ve arrived at the portion of summer in which everything seems to be under construction.

On this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, you’ll learn all of the locations of said construction, as well as:

The origins of Mayor Patty Lent’s “Legacy City” slogan;

464660_3420810_ver1.0_640_480-1A new arcade game downtown that was made by a Bremerton game designer;

The new businesses boosting Sheridan Village;

The relocation of an old ferry back to its Astoria roots.

Questions? Comments? Don’t be a stranger. Send them to josh.farley@kitsapsun.com.

Sheridan Village in a ‘rebirth cycle’

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The village that may become a crossing.

Let’s face it: it’s not terribly difficult in Bremerton to find a barren parking lot abutting a shuttered strip mall. If you’ve taken a drive down Wheaton Way anytime in the last decade, you know what I’m talking about.

But look closer, and you might find signs of life.

Take, for example, Sheridan Village, at the corner of Lower Wheaton Way and Lebo Boulevard. The once-bustling commercial mall, anchored by Red Apple Market, was pretty much a thriving marketplace in the decades following World War II.

But in the 1980s, as the baton of retail hub was passed from Bremerton to Silverdale, places like Sheridan Village suffered. Despite its proximity to Harrison Medical Center, downtown and Highway 303, the place has nearly been a ghost town in recent decades.

But this year, the complex has been filling up. In the last six months, five new businesses have opened, leading to new hopes for growth in the area, said Ken Malmborg, the property manager for Sheridan Village.

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Lanette Duchesneau

“It’s in a rebirth cycle,” he said.

The complex’s owners are looking at re-branding the village into “Sheridan Crossing.” And two businesses are holding grand openings there this Saturday. The Salad Shack, at 722 Lebo Boulevard, and H&J’s Natural Beauty Supply next door, are owned and operated by longtime Bremerton residents.

“It’s starting to boom here,” said Lanette Duchesneau, owner of the Salad Shack.

The mall’s tenants point to several factors to explain the growth spurt: the increasing popularity of other neighborhoods, including Manette, downtown and Kitsap Way areas, the reconstructed Lower Wheaton Way (and soon, Lebo Boulevard) and the efforts to create a “bridge to bridge” walking trail between Manette and Warren Avenue bridges.

It can’t hurt to have a hospital nearby, the owners acknowledge. And that hospital is leaving. But many of the businesses remain optimistic that they’ll remain without it. In Duchesneau’s case, she’s hopeful word of her restaurant will spread. “If it’s good, they’ll come,” she said.

“There’s still a community here, even if the hospital leaves,” she said. “The hospital doesn’t make a community. People make a community.”

Beat blast: A young country star, edible garden tour and speed boats

 Afton Prater’s barely graduated high school but she’s already an accomplished recording artist. The Seabeck native, who has been called one of the brightest young stars in country music, performs this Saturday at Bremerton’s Rock the Dock summer concert series at the Louis Mentor Boardwalk.
Bottom line: don’t miss the chance to see her hour-long set. You’ll be glad you did.
Following the show, she’s off to Nashville, Tenn., to work with other songwriters. The sky’s the limit.
Elsewhere on this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, you’ll learn:
How to score tickets to Manette’s Edible Garden Tour de Coup, in which 13 homes are available for touring;
The ongoing controversy between neighbors and a church over the demolition of homes at Fifth Street and Veneta Avenue;
The closing of Bremerton’s longtime hub of cannabis culture, ironically, at the hands of marijuana legalization;
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One woman’s crusade to snuff out drug pushers and problem houses on her block.
And! Don’t miss the cool footage of speed boats cruising under the Manette Bridge.
Questions? Comments? Send them to me at josh.farley@kitsapsun.com.
Oh, and if you want to watch Afton perform her song without my blabbing about other stories, click on this link below.

New bakery’s headquarters up and running

Kate Giuggio of Saboteur Bakery on the first day.
Kate Giuggio of Saboteur Bakery on the first day.

The smells of fresh baked goods have begun emanating down East 11th Street. Saboteur Bakery, whose Fourth Street had already developed an abundant following, opened Thursday in downtown Manette.

Fresh croissants, brioches and quiche were going fast on the first day. The opening is a milestone for Matt Tinder — a baker at California Michelin-starred restaurants who came north looking for new opportunity — and Kate Giuggio, his business partner, as they continue to build a local bakery empire.

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Giuggio said there’s more to come, too. An espresso machine and additional baking equipment will come online in the coming days. They were able to purchase baking equipment, including ovens and mixers, from  Whidbey Island’s Tree-Top Baking, whose owners recently retired.

They moved to Seattle last October, then came to Bremerton — and they liked what they saw. An initial plan for the Quonset Hut near Evergreen-Rotary Park fell through, but the Manette location offered a quicker chance to get up and running. Meanwhile, Tinder baked at Evergreen Kitchen on Fourth Street to keep their location up the street running.

Outside the E. 11th bakery, a picnic table full of people was enjoying Stumptown Coffee and goods Thursday morning. I’m going to guess that the table will become a popular community spot from here on out, on each sunny day.

Saboteur is open Wednesday to Sunday until 1 p.m., and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. But beware: they do sell out frequently.

Beat blast: Land of the tides, high-end syrups & gamers

There’s a lot of brainpower inside 603 Fourth Street. That’s where intense battles play out over many hours on large tables filled with strategy games.

And on this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, you’ll learn that Blue Sky Hobbies, the host of those games, is upping the ante. The store is adding 5,000 square feet of gaming space in its basement, to go with more retail — including a brand new comics section — upstairs.

The grand re-opening is set for 11 a.m. Friday, and festivities will run through the weekend.

Elsewhere on the beat blast, you’ll hear about:

This week’s free Story Walk, where experts will teach you about the mysteries of the tidelands at Lions Park;

A new business in Manette that specializes in syrups that enhance cocktails, mocktails and cooking;

The arrest of a sex offender who allegedly attacked two women in Stephenson Canyon;

Who is vying to be South Kitsap Commissioner, in a district that includes parts of Bremerton.

Questions? Comments? I am all ears. Send them to josh.farley@kitsapsun.com.