Monthly Archives: January 2006

Vetting to Know You

To make a short story long, every time I see a resume anymore it’s a trigger to get out the phone book, fire up our trusty friend the Internet and do a little fact checking. On Friday I did a little of that checking out the information on the resume of soon-to-be new Bremerton Assistant City Attorney Mark Koontz.

The whole breakdown of former Bainbridge Island Code Enforcement Officer Will Peddy’s career started with a call (by a reporter from an online publication) to verify some of the information he had on his resume when he ran for mayor. (Here is a list of Will Peddy stories in case you need a refresher. Start from the bottom.) Peddy’s situation was one in which the more we checked into what he said was his past, the more differences we found between his reality and everyone else’s. At first his campaign manager characterized the resume discrepancy as “a mistake.” But then while the city was investigating the issue and refusing to say anything public, I was able to get my hands on a “smoking gun” document that revealed it was no mistake. It was a lie, unless there is some truth to his claim of having a double identity.

The Peddy incident showed how important it is to check out information people provide. So when Mark Koontz’ name was put before the Bremerton City Council in December, the agenda packet included his resume. Friday I made some calls and the good news for Bremerton is everything I checked into was verified.

Something Old, Something New

Daniel Surratt can fix your 1908 Victrola.

Meanwhile, the city might offer wireless Internet access by the end of the year.

So if you had wireless access to the Internet, how would that serve you? Would you be willing to pay for it?

Offering wireless is something done in other cities, some with great success and others not so much. The libraries here have the access and it can be a pretty handy tool.

When I was covering Bainbridge Island I had a company-issued laptop. Sometimes if we wanted to turn a story around the next day, I would leave a meeting at city hall, drive to the library and either park in the perfect spot or walk up close enough to the library building to connect wirelessly and send the story from there. Sometimes it was nice to be out and about and be able to stop in and check my e-mails and perform other tasks as if I were in my office.

Now that I work out of the Bremerton office the need is not as acute. However, I could see getting my own laptop, sitting in a council meeting, writing the story as it transpires and filing it, saving precious seconds over walking from city hall and writing and filing it here. OK, it would save minutes.

If you live in Seattle and do business over here I could see the wireless network being a benefit. And the other way around: If you live here and do biz in Seattle, you can be waiting at the ferry terminal, get connected and collect everything you need until the boat leaves. Once you’re in the water you’re out of luck, for now, but I understand the WSF folks are still working on that.

So do you think wireless would be a benefit to Bremerton? Is there any reason you can think of the city should’t pursue this? If the city does do it, do you have any ideas for how it should be delivered?

New Digs Across Port Washington Narrows

The Bremerton City Council approved moves paving the way for a developer to build 400-plus homes on the east side of the narrows. Downtown Bremerton has seen some significant newness with a government building and a conference center. But this is one way the new stuff is getting spread around.
The project might also be noteworthy, because there just don’t seem to be that many large developments like this. Large tracts of land ready for building aren’t plentiful in this county.
Go see the city’s information, with renderings, here.
Whaddya think? Is the city headed in the right direction? Is this development significant to Bremerton’s upgrade? Would you like to live in any of the new neighborhoods this project will create?

Come Sail Away . . . from Bremerton

The Port of Bremerton has plans to build a bigger marina. Some critics say there isn’t the demand and that the design hasn’t proven itself able to block the wake the ferries create.
The added slips has been part of the vision for downtown redevelopment from the beginning, according to supporters.
I’m assuming most of us are not boaters, so the biggest differences would be more people walking downtown and a different view over the water.
Perhaps there are things you think a new marina adds. Or maybe you have thoughts about the port’s plans. The biggest question asked in the near future will be how to pay for it. The port could bond against existing general funds, or could add a six-year tax that would almost double the amount of property tax going to the port while it’s paying off the debt.
I’ll be paying close attention to the port’s ongoing discussion.

Under the Boardwalk – A Sewer Main

If those with the plans have their way, we’ll be able to walk from downtown Bremerton to Evergreen-Rotary Park over the water on planks obscuring a sewer main underneath. (See the story.)

(Bremerton Utility Managing Engineer Thomas) Knuckey explained the boardwalk, which would most often be used by joggers, wildlife watchers and strollers, would also allow city employees to access the sewer main that runs along the shoreline on the western side of Port Washington Narrows.

The city is looking for grant money to get the plan designed, which Knuckey said would then help the city get more grant money to actually build the boardwalk and sewer.

Welcome to the Bremerton Beat

As Bremerton continues to redefine itself, downtown and in the neighborhoods, my job will be to cover what’s happening. That means covering the city government, the businesses and the people. You’ll also find news about the county’s two housing authorities — the Kitsap and Bremerton versions.
Prior to my assignment here, I covered Bainbridge Island for three years, combining that coverage with North Kitsap during the first year. Now it’s my turn to fill the big shoes left behind by Eric Williams.
Prior to joining the Kitsap Sun I was a business reporter for The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash. I also covered city government and higher education for The Daily Herald in Provo, Utah. In the more distant past I wrote freelance for different news organizations and worked full time for a computer publication.
Feel free to send me your questions, comments and complaints. Some of the best story ideas will no doubt come from you.