MxPx. Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent has started a “Move
to Bremerton” campaign of her own.
The mayor hired filmmaker Mike Barnet for $5,000 to create
videos promoting the city, particularly its downtown and incoming
apartment units. She says in the video that 400 to 500 units could
open in Bremerton in the next few years. (By my own count, 315 are
projects that are a go, with more in the planning stages.)
Her economic pitch:
“They are twice the size that the pod apartments in Seattle and
across the water (are), and half the price,” Lent says.
She also talks up the city’s World War II-era housing stock,
saying “sturdy” homes make “great fixer-uppers” for young families.
It’s an “old city with a new look,” that’s pedestrian-friendly, she
says. And there’s no comparison between an I-5 commute, and a “much
more relaxing,” ” fun,” “and a beautiful ride,” the ferries
“We invite you all to come live in Bremerton,” she
Lent told me Friday that she’s hopeful that some employees of
Seattle’s biggest companies will want to move to town, and that if
enough of them come, the Boeings and the Microsofts will even want
to pay for faster ferry service to Seattle.
Despite a relentless rain shower, we had one heck of a
turnout for Saturday’s Story Walk of Evergreen-Rotary
Park. The park — and the neighborhood around it — is
changing rapidly. Here’s a rundown of all the things we learned
The city’s first power plant was a lumber mill that existed near
Smith Cove. The lumber mill’s operators would burn refuse that
would operate a primitive turbine that generated power.
The park had campgrounds following World War I; during the war
it was taken over by the federal government for training and
housing military personnel.
The Bremerton Memorial Swimming Pool was constructed there
(outdoors) in 1953, thanks to an $80,000 donation from the Lions
Club. It would remain open until an indoor pool was built in East
Bremerton in 1979.
The “other side” of the park — where the 9/11 Memorial exists
now — was once an industrial zone. Steam laundries, coal and gravel
bunkers, and bulk oil storage abounded. One of the oil tanks was
actually an old submarine torpedo boat once known as the
USS Fox. It would take years, and hundreds of thousands of
dollars, to cleanup the area, to include the Chevron site.
In recent years, the park has seen a number of improvements. The
9/11 memorial was
completed in 2013 with private funding. The All-Accessible
was completed in 2014 with a combined $523,000 in grants and
private funding. This year, close to a half-million dollars is
revamp the boat ramp and launch, a combined project by the
state, Port of Bremerton and city.
developer of the Evergreen-Pointe Apartments near the park on
Sheldon Boulevard, was on hand Saturday to answer questions. Her
project, which she says will start “going vertical” in the late
spring, will have a 95 unit complex and a smaller 14 unit one off
Sheldon Boulevard. Williams said she’s working with the city
to establish a public walking path through the middle of
Williams also touched on some retail possibilities in those
spaces she’s constructing, to include a wine bar, bike store and
We won’t have to wait for Bremerton’s newest
bakery to open in its destined space near Evergreen-Rotary
Park. Matt Tinder, the acclaimed baker behind Saboteur,
confirmed to me this week that he’s opening up a retail space at
245 Fourth Street, in the heart of downtown.
Tinder said he’s excited to open as soon as Feb. 1 in
his first permanent space in Bremerton.
“I can’t just be doing popups,” Tinder told me. “I
want to start doing something more than that.”
Tinder and his fiancee Kate Giuggo will share a space
with Envy-Fit, the
pole dancing studio run by Adrienne McLaughlin. Classes will
still be held there toward the back of the building, with Saboteur
occupying the front. Patrons can look forward to “a nice
mixture of pastries” and bread, to include bagels and croissants.
The product will be mostly “savory and healthy,” he said. They’ll
also serve up coffee.
The couple really likes Fourth Street, to include new
Hopps and the
iconic Roxy Theater. Tinder, who grew up on Kauai, recalls
fondly a Roxy theater there too, that has sadly since been
The couple’s longterm plans are to
move in to the Quonset hut off 13th Street near
Evergreen-Rotary Park. But it will take some time to remodel the
steel drum-shaped structure and, as Tinder said, they’re eager to
get going. Currently, he’s baking at a facility in Redmond for the
pop-ups he’s been hosting — a daunting commute.
It’s going to get a lot shorter. Tinder plans to bake at
Evergreen Kitchen just down the street.
And even when the Quonset hut has been transformed into a
commercial bakery, Saboteur would like to stay downtown. He
sees an emergence of nightlife on the street and is
contemplating cooking up pizzas to satisfy nighttime appetites.
If you can’t wait ’til February you’ll want to be at LoveCraft
Brewing Company, 275 Fifth Street, at 4 p.m.
will open a pop-up there at that time. I’ll be near downtown for
monthly Story Walk and plan to stop by. Hope to see you
I must admit, I was feeling some guilt at
Wednesday night’s City Council meeting. On the agenda was
a new contract for service with the Kitsap Humane Society, part of
which included a new “lifetime” license for cats and dogs. Owners
of such pets are required to have them licensed each year.
And then it hit me. I had become a scofflaw.
My wife and I adopted Grover, our precious 007-like
tuxedo cat, from the humane society in 2009. The organization was a
different place then; our cat was sleeping in a litter box when we
came upon him. Euthanasia rates, now at 2.5 percent, were closer to
50 percent back in those days. But I recall walking out the door
with our new kitty, having licensed him for a nominal fee.
Kitsap Humane Society Executive Director Eric Stevens
explained to the Council Wednesday that a new “lifetime” fee
— $25 for cats and $45 for dogs — would make it easier for pet
owners by eliminating a $12.50 annual fee for dogs and $7.50 for
I hadn’t paid for our license since that fateful day
we adopted our kitty. I didn’t know it but I was skirting the
Upon hearing the news, Grover — who we named for
America’s 22nd and 24th president — just gave me a blank
stare. I tried to convince him this was a big deal, but he wasn’t
interested in much else other than a tummy rub.
My cat’s lackadaisical attitude made me wonder: what
good is a pet license for him, anyway? And how many other pet
owners out there had also failed to keep up their licenses?
First, take the number of cats and dogs that reside
in Bremerton. While impossible to quantify exactly, Stevens said
most communities average two pets per household. Thus, with 26,000
households, that puts our pet population somewhere around
Roughly five to 10 percent of those are licensed.
“So we’ve got a little way to go on our licensing?”
Councilman Dino Davis asked Stevens on Wednesday.
Stevens said that 820 licenses were issued for
Bremerton pets in 2015, an increase of 63 percent. That’s still a
far cry from covering all pets in the city, he acknowledged, but he
anticipates the number rising higher with the new “lifetime”
option. Plus, more people are choosing to adopt from shelters, and
animals that leave there must be licensed, he added.
But what’s the point? Stevens said licensing makes it
easier to return pets to their rightful owners if they get lost. He
called it a kind of “insurance policy.”
The Council approved Wednesday a new contract with
the humane society to handle animal control services. The contract,
which goes through 2020, increases two percent each year, from
$202,000 to almost $219,000 annually.
Licensing revenues go to the humane society, not the
city. You can
register your pet online here. I know I plan to get Grover
properly licensed — and back within the confines of the law —
Leading off this week’s blast are the ongoing changes
happening in the Evergreen-Rotary Park neighborhood. Hope
you can join us this Saturday at
1 p.m. for our latest Story Walk there; if not, here’s my
weekly newscast to get you up to speed on the goings-on in town.
Quirky church signs, yarn bombs and red light tickets
are among the topics of this week’s Bremerton Beat
Blast. This week’s edition, from the basement of the
Kitsap Sun, also includes where to find an incredible collection of
archived Sun photos.
In case you missed it, here’s three
highlights from Wednesday night’s city council meeting, the first
of the year.
New cop on the beat
Derek Ejde was sworn in as the city’s newest police
officer (pictured). The North Kitsap High School graduate’s brother
Jordan is already a Bremerton officer, and their father, Andrew
Ejde, was a longtime Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy. I did a story
on the brothers in November,
which you can read here.