On the heels of a report showing rapid momentum in Kitsap job
growth, today we get an announcement that the chief economic driver
for Kitsap County, the U.S. Navy, is sending more people here.
Elaine Helm will be covering it. She writes in her
blog that two subs will be coming to Bremerton.
Check this blog, her blog, or the Kitsap Sun for the latest.
The image on the right (oops,
technical difficulties) is of Shane Schrodt fixing up one of
his Highland Avenue properties. The shot was taken in April 2003
for a story written by Eric D. Williams. In the story, Schrodt gets
lots of credit from the late Ed Rollman.
“Boy we’re glad to have him in this neighborhood,” said Rollman,
who attended West Bremerton High around the same time as Schrodt.
“In the past, we’ve had homes in disrepair that hadn’t been treated
real well. But he’s fixed them up and changed our neighborhood for
Now, however, neighbors are hoping the Bremerton City Council
will send its decision to allow Schrodt and others in the area
to build condos up to 60 feet high back to the Planning Commission.
The neighbors want the heights limited to 40 feet. So now, three
years later, the same people who were credited with helping vastly
improve the neighborhood are being accused of planning to ruin
The arguments are the same as those heard in city halls across
America. Cities plan for improvements. Often those plans threaten
to change the way of life for those nearby and the battle
An outsider who isn’t vested in the outcome can surely sympathize
with both sides in this issue.
I plan to go into more detail on this neighborhood soon.
But based on the little you know, who do you think is right on this
specifically or in this kind of question in general?
2/23:According to an L.A. Times story released today, Bremerton-Silverdale
moved from 122nd in 2004 to 18th in 2005 in the Milken Institute’s
Best Performing Cities index.
(This is the point where if I could I would insert a little
emoticon, also known as a smiley face, only this one would have a
look of surprise.)
The index has a lot to do with job creation, and methinks the local
ranking may have something to do with the influx of
Whatever the cause, I plan to spend all day Thursday figuring out
exactly what the index actually means and how we made Bremerton and
Silverdale look so jobs-creative.
So, uh, how’d we do it?
UPDATE 2/24: Today’s story clarifies that much of what’s
driving the entire county’s job growth is the influx of wealthy
people from the other side of Puget Sound. They, in turn, are
spawning the demand for jobs in the service sector and in
construction. On Bainbridge Island much of the
discussion in City Hall is that it gets worked more than other
cities because wealthy people demand better service.
What may be the best piece of news in the Milken index is the 3
percent job growth between July 2004 and July 2005, because it
means the most recent numbers show the momentum is continuing.
It’s worth noting that indexes come and go and show different
things. Surely another one could come out that could paint a
depressing picture of what’s happening here. I’m guessing
first-time homebuyers aren’t thrilled with the rising median home
What do you think? Is your own job picture improving? Is the
economy here improving? I was listening to NPR the other day and an
economist was saying often what matters more than the raw data is
how people feel about the economy. So, how do you feel about the
local, state, national, or world economy?
Here’s a question for all you
Bremertonians, close-to-Bremertonians or readers of some things
Bremerton: Do you need the ferry?
Does news like the bit announced earlier today that a ferry boat broke down cause you to blow
coffee out your ears?
Are you what we often call a “commuter?”
Or do you appreciate the ferry as a reason in and of itself to live
When you’re driving down Ilahee and you see the ferry in the
distance, do you make a straight line for the waterfront so you can
watch the boat pass?
Do you ever ride the boat to Seattle, turn around in the terminal
over there and come back?
The City of Bremerton has installed a
survey on its Web site asking residents and those who frequent the
city about their interest in a proposed wireless cloud over the
The questions address how the access would be used, where it should
be expanded to and whether users would be willing to pay for higher
Mayor Cary Bozeman told the City Council earlier this year it’s his
intention to see the downtown area have wireless Internet access by
the end of the year.
The survey is available at the city’s Web site.
I wrote about the wireless idea in January. You can read that
I also blogged about it, which you can read here.
The photo above was taken by Associated Press photographer Jae
A high tech model to
determine how Sinclair and Dyes Inlets get polluted could help get
those waterways cleaner. Read Chris Dunagan’s story, Pollution Study Nears Completion.
So you’re looking to park downtown but you’re not sure you can
limit your visit to two hours. Mercy once was part of the deal,
which was unusual, but I was happy to accept it. Once every 30 days
you could get away with parking over the time allowed.
Sunday’s story , Projects in City Center Up Hotel Demand, is
worth some discussion both in its seeming validation of those who
see Bremerton as a growing city, and for those who are feeling
perhaps a bit forced out of the discussion. (The photo on the
left is of the former Bremerton City Hall, which could become a
First off, however, let me mention that the story underestimated
the number of rooms to be available in downtown Bremerton. The
total, if everything pans out, will be around 380.
That headline was the equivalent of shouting, I know. I hope
your Internet ears will stop ringing soon.
My exultation comes from the release of the Feb. 2-8 print edition
In it there is a news brief datelined in our very own
You can read the story yourself by clicking on Vegetarian Can’t Bring Self To Eat IHOP’s Funny Face
Seriously, does it get any bigger for a community than to have a
story in the Onion? Probably not. It’s the print and online
version of The Daily Show.
OK, maybe it’s not that big a deal, but just to add more civic
pride let me mention that a search on the Onion site revealed
Bremerton has been the location for news briefs six times since
1999. Port Orchard? Poulsbo? Bainbridge Island? ZERO!!! Take that
you other Kitsapers.
This picture from yesterday’s paper
has nothing to do with the latest from Bremerton, but some of us
still want to wallow in it for a while. There’s a new hotel right
on the water downtown from where we can recover from the Super Bowl
while we look out the window and give thanks for where we live. Or,
if an entire hotel stay isn’t necessary, I recommend a ride up to
the top floor of the Norm Dicks Government Center for a look at the
Even if our sports teams break our hearts, we still get to live
Yeah sure, the skies are gray a lot this time of year and some
people are just now getting their power turned back on. But when
this places shines it’s heavenly.
You can have your trophy. I’d have preferred having it come here
this year, but even if we never get another shot I feel pretty
blessed to call this place home. That will certainly do for now and
for a long, long time.
I’ll be in Portland today, learning some more about writing
In the meantime, if you go to the Kitsap Sun you’ll
find a story about a new hotel planned for downtown Bremerton.
Maybe by the time it’s finished we’ll all be over our
disappointment about the Seahawks. Actually, that’s entirely
possible, because the sale isn’t scheduled to close until January
of next year.
Wait ’til XLI!
Businesses other than the ones listed in
the Sunday story are for sale. A barbecue joint in downtown
Bremerton is closed.
Normally I’m reluctant to do stories like this one, especially
covering the restaurant industry. Restaurants are perhaps the most
difficult to run. A lot, not necessarily the ones mentioned in the
story, of people who dream of running an eatery have no idea what
they’re in for. The hours are long, the equipment is expensive and
the health requirements are (thankfully) strict.
Nonetheless the news about Simon August is noteworthy and the
opening of JW’s in the old Black Angus space is too. And the owner
of Posey’s certainly knows how to do her guerilla marketing.