Monthly Archives: February 2007

Cultural Challenges

Andrew Binion writes of a tile mosaic made from bits of beer bottles fished out of Puget Sound by school kids about 50 years ago that could be demolished as part of a project to build new facilities at Olympic College.

When architects visited the site of what is slated to become a brand-new, $19.4-million humanities and student services building, they “all kind of scratched their heads and looked at it,” Martin said.

There was no plan to save the mosaic, which is essentially cemented to a concrete wall. And there’s no money set aside to do it.

But earlier this month, college librarian Dianne Moore took the issue of preserving the mosaic to the College Council.

“It’s not only a beautiful piece of art, it is an integral part of the history of the campus and of Bremerton,” Moore said.

A major piece of a memorial honoring a Bremerton giver was stolen, and folks are working to replace it.

Irving Allen was a driving force in Bremerton for 40 years. Appropriately, a memorial to the Forget-Me-Not Florists founder centered on a propeller.

That memorial was stolen Dec. 15 — sawed right off of its steel base.

Outdoorsy in Bremerton

REI is reportedly looking at downtown Bremerton as one of the possible locations for a Kitsap County store.

(Mayor Cary) Bozeman also said that officials from recreational company REI have said they are looking at Kitsap County for a location, and downtown Bremerton is among the sites being considered.

“We’re certainly not the only location they’re looking at,” he said.

REI officials were unavailable for comment late Friday. The company reported $1.02 billion in sales at its 82 stores in 2005, the most recent information available.

Bozeman wrote in a city newsletter an REI official announced the idea at a meeting of Boy Scouts, which is hardly the place I’d expect to hear a revelation like that. I’ve heard the rumor before, though, from other sources. The thought is there may be a way to take advantage of the proximity to the waterfront, though the store probably wouldn’t be right on the water.

UPDATE: An REI spokeswoman called Monday and said the company wouldn’t address the speculation about a store site Kitsap County. Megan Behrbaum, company spokeswoman, said REI doesn’t announce such things until there is a lease signed, and that hasn’t happened. Given the time I’ve covered business (I did that exclusively for two years in Vancouver.) that’s not an unusual stance at all.

Why Not Bremerton?

At Wednesday’s City Council meeting there was little discussion of the possible annexation of Navy Yard City and West Hill, in part because it’s still early.

Nonetheless, in Tracyton the city estimated the costs to residents would be about equal to be in the city rather than being in unincorporated areas.

So, if all costs (taxes and utility fees) truly are equal, tell me the advantages of not being within city boundaries. Tracyton folks, by and large, didn’t want to come in. And there’s some thought residents in the two new targeted areas might not either. Why? And if you’d like to make the argument in favor of being annexed, feel free.

Check Your Cupboards

By now you probably know about the tainted peanut butter. A Bremerton woman and her daughter did not find out soon enough.

On Thursday, Cindy Murphy and her 16-year-old daughter, Rachelle, described days of nausea and diarrhea they experienced.

“The second day, oh, yeah, it was bad,” Cindy Murphy said.

The two had a penchant for peanut butter. Cindy Murphy, 43, liked crunchy on toast, while Rachelle Murphy preferred creamy on pancakes.

But their encounter with what they believe was poisoning by salmonella cured them of the craving for the time being.

“Now I’m sick of it,” Rachelle Murphy said.

NYC in Bremerton

Now for an annexation of another kind. On the City Council agenda Wednesday:

A. Resolution No. 3022, commencing negotiations for Interlocal Agreement regarding the potential annexation of Navy Yard City (#AB07-035)

B. Resolution No. 3023, initiating annexation proceedings for the West Hills Island of unincorporated territory in West Bremerton (#AB07-036)

I’ll have to check the history, but I believe there has been resistance to this in the past from Navy Yard City residents. I don’t know how significant opposition would be now. The change would mean different tax rates, new cops and a new fire department.

Residency Challenge No, Felony Complaints Yes

James Olsen dropped his residency challenge based on his belief he couldn’t get a fair hearing. He said he filed a formal felony complaint against Brown, based on Brown’s statement in court that he registered to vote using an address at which he never lived. Brown said in court he and the homeowner at the address, Brown’s former math teacher Arna Souza, had discussed him housesitting. Souza testified the conversation never happened.

Brown’s attorney, John Morgan, said he planned to file a felony complaint of perjury against Olsen for filing an affidavit stating that he had proof Brown didn’t live where he said he did.

This all began with an earlier challenge of Brown’s residency, a challenge that was dismissed.

Grimley’s story, linked above, will provide more details Friday morning.

Studies Say Cameras Work

Josh Farley passed along this news item from USA Today, red-light cameras work.

First, researchers found that violations dropped by 36% after yellow lights were extended to give drivers more warning that the light was about to turn red. After red light cameras were added, remaining violations dropped by 96%.

“There’s a dramatic change in driver behavior when red light cameras are used,” says Richard Retting, senior transportation safety engineer for IIHS. “The jury is in on that question.”

Bremerton plans to install the cameras this year and is taking bids at the moment. On a related note, state Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, is sponsoring a bill that would allow the cameras to catch speeders in work zones.

Piggybacking Part II

You may have read the earlier entry on “piggybacking” wireless. You may also have read the story we ran about it on Sunday. On Rich Passage, I made the trip and kept hitting refresh to see the number of available networks and the numbers were ample. The connections may have been weak, but I could pick up signals.

Today, we have a story in our national section from the Washington Post that goes into why network owners should secure their networks.