Monthly Archives: February 2015

A new but familiar pizza option in Bremerton

Soon to be filled with pizzas.
Soon to be filled with pizzas.

The east side, as it turns out, is getting a Westside Pizza.

It’s not the first time the franchise has come to East Bremerton, having been in Wheaton Mall a few years ago. There are also locations in Poulsbo and on Bainbridge Island. But this time, it’s a new franchise owner who has remodeled the building at 1217 Sylvan Way, in what was last known as Rachel’s on the Eastside.

Joe Kirsch, a Sequim electrician who owns his own company, decided to diversify a bit and go into the pizza business. He shopped around for locations in Kitsap but felt the area is his best chance to be successful.

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“I thought about Silverdale but found the opportunity better in Bremerton,” he said.

Kirsch said the Great Recession was hard on any field related to construction but that pizza places actually fared pretty well. He’s proud to promote and sell the Westside brand.

“People love their pizza,” he said.

The franchise will offer delivery, dine-in and take-out. Opening is scheduled for Feb. 21.

The location joins Boston’s Deli and Pizza, Tony’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Spiro’s, Brother Don’s, Kitsap Pizza, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa Murphy’s and Little Caesars in Bremerton City Limits. There’s also plenty of places outside the city. The pizza economy, it would seem, is faring well. After all, who doesn’t like pizza?

A new incarnation at one of Bremerton’s oldest taverns

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Well, that didn’t last long. The tavern building at 312 Naval Avenue, most recently known as the Pour House, has been in existence since 1927, according to county records. But when the bar’s owners closed the long-running drinking hole last August, it faced an uncertain future.

Todd and Lisa Arnold were ready to step in, though. The owners of Papa’s Eats, Treats and Spirits in the Perry Avenue Mall had been eyeing the place for some time. Last Friday, following permit approvals from the city and the state’s liquor control board, the bar once known as the Blue Jacket and Red Rooster was open again.

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This time it will be known as “Mama’s Mess Deck,” to complement their eastside establishment. The sign’s on order, Lisa Arnold said.

The Arnolds have owned Papa’s for four years. Todd works at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Lisa, who once worked at Washington Mutual before the big crash, is now bar-tending and running the locations. They have put in a fair share of upgrades, to include new security cameras, better lighting and lots of cleanup.

They know that they’ll probably get a number of patrons as they spill out of the shipyard. But Lisa Arnold would like to give the place a comfortable feel where locals congregate. They plan to hold pool tournaments and have a loyalty program to boot.

“I would like to get it back to being more of a neighborhood style bar,” Lisa Arnold said.

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The sign’s back on, but soon it will change.

 

 

Bremerton’s week in review, Feb. 1-7

Photo by Meegan M. Reid.
Photo by Meegan M. Reid.

Signs are going in asking for you to not smoke in Bremerton parks (but not require it.)

Two breweries announced their intentions to open in downtown Bremerton within the next few months.

The police department’s morning booze ban appears to be fizzling.

Two out of three people wanted in a Jan. 23 carjacking have been captured.

The City Council made a list of goals for 2015 and then live streamed their discussion of them.

A man was convicted by jury of shooting a homeless man in the Fred Meyer Parking lot in November 2013.

The USS Ranger aircraft carrier’s departure from Bremerton for dismantling has been delayed.

The Stennis came back to Bremerton following more training.

The foundry, a 103-year-old building in the shipyard, is getting an overhaul.

A suspect was arrested in ongoing thefts on Marine Drive.

The Bremerton Housing Authority just got more money to help those teetering on homelessness.

The water in a stream inside NAD park is orange but health officials say it’s harmless.

The city bid farewell to its managing engineer.

Amy Burnett’s Pyrex Museum Store emerged anew.

And finally, we got a visit from Orca whales! (OK, this was admittedly in January.)

An ‘evolution’ in East Bremerton

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Might something stir the economic embers of East Bremerton’s Wheaton Way corridor? 

Fitness Evolution aims to do just that. And, it appears that at $9.99 a month for a membership, the desolate parking lots of big box stores near Riddell Road are finally filling up with some cars again.

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“We’ve been very successful so far,” said Ryan Anderson, general manager of the Bremerton location, amid the whirs of workout equipment.

Currently, the fast-growing company, with locations all over Puget Sound, is occupying an old storefront, akin to lifting weights and doing cardio within a grocery store. But in the months ahead, they’ll move next door to a 23,000+ square foot permanent home, specially built for the fitness center.

They’ll include all the fixings you’d imagine, plus some special amenities unique to Evolution. A “cardio cinema” will allow those working out to watch a movie together, looped all day. There’ll be childcare too.

Anderson said there’s no certain opening date for the new space yet. But “as soon as possible,” is what they’re going for, he mentioned.

Aside from providing an affordable workout experience, he’s hopeful the business can springboard further development in what has been a tough corridor to develop.

“We love neighbors,” Anderson said. “And we’re hoping to be a catalyst for more businesses here in Bremerton.”

Pyrex for show, now Pyrex for sale

The museum's closed but the sign was repurposed.
The museum’s closed but the sign was repurposed.

Katrina Demmery may live in Florida, but that doesn’t mean she was going to miss out on the first day of sales at Amy Burnett’s new Pyrex-inspired store. 

Demmery, once stationed here in the U.S. Navy, sent a friend to the shop today to buy her up some of Burnett’s Amish Butterprint Pyrex models. I talked to her on her friend’s cell phone.

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“I’m also looking for a lasagna pan,” Demmery said. “They’re pretty hot right now.”

Burnett’s store, which once boasted one of the world’s only — if not the only — museum devoted to the kitchenware, closed in December. She’s revamped the place into a store selling midcentury kitchen items, along with her art.

But mostly Pyrex.

On Thursday, the first day her new store opened, the place was pretty well full right at 11 a.m. But this was no liquidation, Burnett insisted.

“It’s a transition,” said Burnett, who is planning to sell her downtown building in the future. “Nothing has ever happened like this before.”

Burnett’s open on Fourth Street, near Pacific Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, if you’re looking to buy. Prices of most models are in the $20s and $30s.

Introducing the City Council’s goals for 2015

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On Mayor Patty Lent’s whiteboard.

This weekend marks the a yearly tradition in Bremerton: a time for the City Council to get together and hash out goals for 2015.

If you’re interested, the Council, Mayor Patty Lent and other city leaders will get together from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Cascade room at the Gold Mountain Golf Club, 7263 West Belfair Valley Road. The marathon session is open to the public, though there’s no chance for residents to comment and the Council will take no official action.

If you can’t make it, or would like a sneak preview to the session, have I got a deal for you: The Mayor and every Council member but one shared with me their own goals for the year ahead. Here goes:

Mayor Patty Lent: The mayor’s goals are outlined on a white board in her office (pictured), atop the Norm Dicks Government Center downtown.

They include:

  • Annexing Gorst into the city
  • Using the Rich Passage 1 ferry and putting it into some kind of regular service
  • Repurposing building sites — a nod to Harrison’s departure to Silverdale
  • Develop plans to redevelop some vacant commercial properties
  • Focus on fixing transportation choke points around the city.

As far as the Council members: Only Councilman Roy Runyon did not respond to my request, saying he wanted to wait until Saturday to talk about his goals publicly.

UPDATE: I was able to request a copy of a list of goals he submitted to Council President Greg Wheeler. See below.

Councilman Mike Sullivan said his priorities are for “roads and public safety” for 2015. He didn’t go much into detail, other than to say that he’s hopeful to improve the city’s road network and ensure emergency response in the city is expedient.

Councilman Dino Davis was quite detailed:

  1. Improve walkability
    1. Build on 6th and Callow improvements to create a bow wave of neighborhood pride
    2. Invest in sidewalks on streets in Southwest area of the district (Preble, Farragut & Rodgers). Run off and erosion is causing havoc with stormwater and depressing neighborhoods.
    3. continue to create new and improve pedestrian crossings.
  2. Increase public & civic interaction
    1. Bi-weekly lunch with a councilperson
    2. attending Block watch meetings with Officer Sexton
  3. Economic Development for Historic Charleston Business District
    1. Actively support Cinco De Mayo celebration
    2. Leverage support of other elected. (Commissioners, Representatives and Congressman)
    3. Revitalize Business owners and citizen community group.
  4. Annexations
    1. Navy Yard City
    2. Rocky Point
    3. Ghorst Gorst
      1. Sewer versus septic agreement
      2. Volunteer Fire agreements
      3. Utility rate savings for coming into the city

Councilwoman Leslie Daugs targeted projects within her district:

1. Plan/Implement how to get rid of Red-light Cameras (is it necessary or not)

2. Continue to move District 2 forward with growth (Wheaton Way), this also includes Harrison Hospital.  (to look at ways to not lose current businesses in this area)

3. Continue work with East Park neighbors…to ensure a safe living environment for their familiesAs well as Hanford neighbors to ensure a safe living environment (Speed Humps).

Council president Greg Wheeler added these goals:

1) Work with City Staff and Council to develop home improvement incentives; and/or remove barriers, to single and multi-family property owners.

2) Continue working with the Harrison Medical Center; Bremerton Community Healthcare Advisory Group, to ensure Bremerton residents maintain access to acute and urgent care in the Bremerton City limits.

3) Work with commercial property owners; in Bremerton, to attract businesses to long vacant buildings.

4) Return Kitsap Transit’s cross sound foot ferry, the Rich Passage 1, to Bremerton/Seattle full service.

Councilman Jerry McDonald had these priorities:

…Economic Development:

What do we do to make Bremerton Business Friendly?

Can we extend the “one year” time requirement to be current with all codes? Too many of our building do not meet current codes and have been empty for more than a year.  Do we have any flexibility in these requirements?

…Annexation discussion:

Let’s build a schedule/time-line for these annexations to happen…

Riddell Road North (we have negotiations to complete with the county…is this happening?

Rocky Point

Gorst

…Marketing:

Join Visit Seattle

Discuss a “Visit Bremerton” Website

Chamber/City/(whomever) create a welcome store front

Better direction signs

And finally, Councilman Eric Younger‘s goals:

1. Decide on a business model/funding plan going forward for the Parks department.

2. Performance audit/review of the Fire department (similar to what we recently did for our Police department).

3. Increase home ownership ( i.e. implement a “Move to Bremerton” campaign).

4. Planning for the void after Harrison moves to Silverdale.

And finally, Councilman Runyon‘s Goals:

  1. EMPHASIZE FUNCTION OVER FORM FOR FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
  2. Restructure the Parks and Recreation Dept.
    1. Merge Parks Maintenance Div. with PW Facilities Division.
    2. Place Recreation Div. under Finance Dept.
    3. Streamlines government while enhancing core functions (recreation and parks maintenance).
    4. Potential cost savings up to $250K less additional funds dedicated to Parks O&M.
    5. Parks Commission to continue role.
    6. 2015 to be transition period with full implementation Jan.1, 2016.
  3. Revive the effort to create a Regional Fire Authority (RFA)
  4. Purpose 1: “Through consolidation, find administrative and operational efficiencies that maintain or improve current core emergency service levels without subsidizing or raising tax revenue significantly.” Bremerton Fire Department And South Kitsap Fire Rescue Consolidation Fact Finding Financial Report August 2010, pg. 15.
  5. Purpose 2: Control govt. costs. “The net potential cost savings from a Bremerton Fire Department and South Kitsap Fire Rescue consolidation would be approximately $140,000 the first year, $935,000 in the first three years and $655,000 each year thereafter.”
  6. First step: Update information by third quarter of 2015 in preparation for consolidation discussions with SK&FR and possibly, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue.
  7. Second step: Initiate discussions with applicable fire district boards to gauge interest.
  8. Adopt a policy regarding City-owned commercial property to reduce City’s role as a landlord…Is this a core function of our government and at what cost?
  9. Negotiate with tenants of the MLK Library building, the Bremerton Community Theater building and the Naval Museum Building (Bldg. 50) to have tenants pay some or all of the O&M costs.
  10. Offer to sell properties to existing tenants.

 

  1. ADOPT NEW INITIATIVES FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  2. Obtain Certified Local Government (CLG) status by adopting an historic preservation

ordinance in order to:

  1. Become eligible for State Historic Preservation Office technical assistance, grants and information exchange.
  2. Conduct state and federally recognized historic preservation.
  3. Enable registration of local historic properties in the National Register.
  4. Facilitate property eligibility for Federal tax incentives for historic preservation and for the WA State special valuation tax incentive defined as: “A revision of the assessed value of a historic property which subtracts, for up to ten years, such rehabilitation costs as are approved by a local review board.” Special Valuation Flyer, Washington State Dept. of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
  5. Leverage a portion of City CDBG funding through the HUD Sect. 108 loan guarantee program for assistance to the private sector.
  6. Tool for helping finance rehabilitation of privately-owned commercial buildings and correct code deficiencies in those buildings.
  7. May be used to finance special economic development activities under CDBG program.
  8. City can issue loan guarantees worth up to five times its annual approved CDBG entitlement.
  9. Can be used in conjunction with other federal (and state) tax incentives like New Market Tax Credits, CLG-related tax incentives for historic preservation and Community Empowerment Zone incentives (BMC 2.15).
  10. There is an element of risk but there have been no documented HUD Sect. 108 defaults.

 

III. CREATE A MORE OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE AND EFFECTVE GOVERNMENT

  1. Create a Utilities Advisory Committee (UAC)
  2. Modeled somewhat after City of Bainbridge Island UAC.
  3. Membership consisting of one ex-officio member from the council and a combination of up to seven resident and non-resident City utility rate payers including at least two commercial rate payers.
  4. Provides somewhat of a buffer between council desire to raise rates to increase PILOT revenue for the GF and Street Fund and helps represent the interests of the rate payers.
  5. Provides a body whose sole focus is City utilities.
  6. Video tape all council committee meetings, study sessions and special meetings.
  7. Preserves record of meetings.
  8. Make recordings available via BKAT website.
  9. Establish an official City Facebook presence.

 

Document

 

Farewell to Bremerton’s managing engineer

Gunnar Fredriksson explores Schley Canyon, off Lower Wheaton Way.
Gunnar Fredriksson explores Schley Canyon, off Lower Wheaton Way.

Gunnar Fredriksson has worked for the city of Bremerton for 17 years, rising to become its managing engineer for transportation. But an opportunity to work in Clark County and be closer to family has lured him south.

Fredriksson has managed the biggest of public works street projects in recent years, though he’s quick to give credit to those around him. He was hired here as a civil engineer primarily to take on the Gateway Project, which revamped the stretch of Burwell Street from the ferry terminal and snaked out all the way to Navy Yard Highway.

More recently, he was in charge of revamps of Pacific Avenue and Lower Wheaton Way, as well as numerous others.

Fredriksson, originally from Iceland, grew up as a “civil service brat” as his father worked between Naval stations on the island country, in Bermuda and in Adak, Alaska.

Mayor Patty Lent praised his accomplishments and said his void in the city will most certainly be felt. He called him “Mr. historian,” and said he possessed an invaluable institutional memory. She was also impressed with his zeal to improve the city.

“Anytime I needed something, he was always willing to take the work on, and it was always done with expertise and in a timely manner,” the mayor said.

Fredriksson said his love of the engineering projects he took on is simple.

“It’s fun being out there and watching something come out of the dirt,” he said.

In Clark County, he’ll be close to his brother, Jonas, who is a teacher in Battle Ground, and be construction manager for a department that completes around $25 million in road projects per year. He said he’s excited for the new opportunity but will miss Bremerton.

Bremerton police blotter, Jan. 23-Feb. 1

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Here’s a slice of what the police officers of Bremerton have been up to lately.

Stolen car, 2500 Fir Avenue: A woman reported that her car was stolen the morning of Jan. 23 after she’d started it to warm it up. The car is a Honda Accord. Police documented the theft but the report did not say whether they’d found the car yet.

Hospital outburst, 2500 Cherry Avenue: While an officer was working an unrelated detail at Harrison Medical Center Jan. 23, a patient in the emergency room “became violent” and began to fight with staff. The officer assisted the hospital staff in getting the man under control.

Vehicle prowl, 3200 Pine Road: A woman reported to police that her car alarm went off the morning of Jan. 23 and she went outside to investigate. She’d found a thief had cut into her car’s convertible top and gotten inside, taking some change, a “cheap” camera and an inexpensive pair of sunglasses. Police have no suspects.

Assault, 100 Bloomington: A man reported early Jan. 24 that he’d been punched in the face by a man he’d been letting stay at his place. He’d let the man stay there because he was “(hiding) from the police” but after the argument and assault, the guest had fled. Police are investigating.

Vehicle prowl, 4500 The Cedars: A man said that he witnessed someone get into his father’s SUV early Jan. 24, so he went to confront the apparent prowler. The prowler ran but the man was able to grab onto his backpack, pulling it off. The suspect got away but police took the backpack as evidence.

Break-in, 4800 Driftwood Street: A man allegedly forced his way into a woman’s apartment. He was not allowed to contact her by court order, but forced a door open. He demanded to use her phone but she would not let him. He was arrested and jailed.

Unhappy customer, 4200 Wheaton Way: Officers were called to a mobile phone store Jan. 28 for an unhappy customer, who was yelling at store employees. He was subsequently trespassed form the business.

Car found, 600 Broadway Avenue: An officer Jan. 28 spotted a a car stolen from a local auto dealership. The officer found a man inside, who was arrested for possessing a stolen vehicle.

Another car found, 1600 Wheaton Way: You may have seen the story we ran about the Port Orchard man arrested after a brief chase in a stolen car in Manette Jan. 30. Find the whole story here.

Assaultive shoplifter, 900 Callow Avenue: A man was arrested after twice stealing alcohol from Safeway. On the second time — the first wasn’t reported — police ran after him and caught him. He was in “severe mental distress” and fought officers, injuring one (the extent of injuries wasn’t disclosed in reports). The man was treated at Harrison Medical Center until fit to be booked into the jail.

Bar scuffle, 2900 Perry Avenue: A man was kicked out of a bar after causing a “disturbance” there, according to reports. Police were called just after midnight Jan. 31 to McClouds, where security staff explained an intoxicated man had taken a swing at a staff member. The man was taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs. He complained he was treated “roughly.” No arrests were made but the man was trespassed from the bar for 30 days.

Attempted liquor theft, 2900 Wheaton Way: A man trespassed from Albertson’s for stealing liquor attempted to do it again on Jan. 31, police said. He filled a shopping cart up with booze and, when noticed he was being watched, fled the store. Police caught up to him and he was jailed for burglary.

Squatters house, 100 South Wycoff: Officers searched a home at 113 S. Wycoff Jan. 31 after a door was reported swinging one. The house, categorized as abandoned, had sleeping bags and other evidence that it was not so abandoned after all. Officers sent their report to the community resource unit to followup with the home’s owner.

It only looked suspicious, North Wycoff at 19th Street: Officers were called Jan. 31 to a home where a man was doing yard work at almost 7 p.m. When police contacted him, he said he has permission to do yard work at the home. Police confirmed that with the home’s owner.

Burglary, 3500 11th Street: Officers went to Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation for a report of a burglary. A person had watched a man crawl inside a window. Sure enough, police found a suspect in the attic, where he’d been cutting up copper and other wiring. He even had a voltage tester to see if the wiring had electrical current, police said. He was arrested and jailed.

Stolen car found, 900 Washington Avenue: A woman reported that she was at a party Feb. 1 when she discovered her keys were gone. She went outside and her car was gone. Early on Feb. 2, the car was found near Evergreen-Rotary Park. It had been rummaged through but otherwise was fine, reports said.

Here’s a few nuggets from Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan’s weekly update:

“Officer Kent Mayfield handled a complex call last Saturday night. He observed a vehicle in the area of Naval Avenue and 11th Street with a blown-out tire. He followed the car as it traveled on the metal rim. Officer Mayfield stopped the car and could see it had substantial front-end damage. At about the same time, dispatch put out a call of a hit and run collision at 6th Street near Pennsylvania Avenue. Other officers got to that location, and spoke to the driver of a taxi who had been struck head-on, causing his airbags to deploy, before the suspect vehicle drove away at high speed. The driver described the suspect vehicle… surprise, surprise; it perfectly matched the car Officer Mayfield had stopped. The paint transfer between the cars even matched. The driver was arrested for DUI and Hit and Run. Great heads up work by Officer Mayfield!

Sunday afternoon Officer Spencer Berntsen and Sgt. Randy Olson were checking a neighborhood in East Bremerton on a report of a reckless driver. The vehicle was described as a white minivan that had been backed into a rock wall and possibly hit a fence. As they were checking, Sgt. Olson saw a white minivan driving by and turned around to follow it. The minivan was drifting over the shoulder and the centerline as Sgt. Olson prepared to stop it on a downhill grade, but before he could activate his lights the minivan drove onto the shoulder, over-corrected and went into the oncoming lane and back. It straightened out long enough to center-punch a smaller utility pole, when the airbag deployed and the pole was severely split. Luckily, the pole somehow remained upright and the wires attached. The driver tested a .24 alcohol content and went to jail while the power company replaced the pole.”

And finally, you can view the departments “High 5” list and “Filthy 3” by clicking here.