The county’s first large-scale fiber-optic Internet
service is coming to Bremerton.
Or, as you can see from the map above, pockets of it. CenturyLink recently informed
city officials of a summer project to extend fiber-optic lines
throughout many areas of West Bremerton and Manette.
While fiber-optic cable forms the backbone, or “trunk” lines of
Kitsap County’s high-speed network, it’s not been delivered to
neighborhoods in Kitsap before, according to Paul Avis,
Superintendent of Telecom for the Kitsap Public Utilities District. Avis
applauded their efforts as an improvement for the city’s
“From the PUD’s standpoint, it’s outstanding,” he said.
Many other companies, including CenturyLink and Comcast, have
been operating on copper cable or telephone lines. The result
can be slower service. CenturyLink has been mailing postcards to
some city residents boasting of speeds of up to one gigabyte fiber
In terms of delivery, Avis uses a water utility analogy. A
two-inch water pipe and a 10-inch water pipe will have the same
pressure. But once multiple users begin to consume, 10 inches goes
a lot further than two.
Of the improvements, a company spokeswoman would only tell me
this: “CenturyLink is working on plans to extend
fiber services to thousands of homes in the Bremerton area.
We hope to make those services available to customers at the end of
2016.” No word yet on what that home
service will cost. I’ll keep you posted as I find out
The more things change, the more they stay the
same. A World War I-era advertisement featured at
the Kitsap History Museum
claims “your government has warned — of a necessity for
purchasing a winter fuel supply now.” And of course, there’s
the names of vendors right below the ad to help you in the right
Yes, many of the advertisements featured in “Your Ad Here,” an
exhibit currently showing at the museum, showcase the
technologies and skills of their time, but the strategies used seem
similar to today, don’t they?
The history museum is also hosting a
scavenger hunt this Friday — and the entire museum is open to
the public free of charge, all day, including for art walk that
night. (It’s normally $4 for adults.)
Yes, there was a ribbon cutting at a new bathroom at
Gold Mountain Golf
Club. No, I did not go. Reporters don’t generally
get too excited about such PR events; they’re often a political
photo-op about a subject we’ve already covered.
In this case, I have to admit that cutting a ribbon
— well, in this case, cutting toilet paper — seemed subpar for
the course as ribbon cuttings go (pun intended). But several city
leaders told me this was not just any bathroom.
Daryl Matheny, general manager of the club,
said in an email that replacement of the old bathroom was
“The new bathroom has been a long
time coming, and yes there are many golfers out here (as well as my
entire team) who are extremely excited about our new edition,” he
The city actually put a contract out
for the bathroom replacement; bids came in more than double what
the city estimated it would cost. So the city constructed the new
loo in-house for about $36,000, according to interim parks director
That’s not the only improvement at Bremerton’s
municipal golf complex. Gold Mountain’s also adding a new outdoor
wedding venue in time for summer and extending the 5th hole on the
Cascade course to make it a par 5, Matheny told me.
Gold Mountain, which is managed by Columbia
Hospitality, is known as one of the premier clubs in the northwest
but is still saddled with a heavy debt load of around $5
As for the bathroom: I’m told that several golfers were
happy to christen the new restroom upon the completion of the
ribbon cutting. OK, I’ll stop now.
It’s one thing to just miss
the 10:30 p.m. ferry sailing to Bremerton from Seattle, knowing
you’re in for a two hour, twenty minute wait. But it’s
entirely another to get there on time and be told a rather empty
vessel can’t take any more passengers.
That’s exactly what Danielle Maloni
encountered this past weekend. Because there’s only one ferry
traversing Rich Passage at that time, the Coast Guard cuts
drastically the vessel’s capacity on those late runs,
as Ed Friedrich found out.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg
in this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast.
The most important thing about the Illahee
Preserve in Mike Taylor’s mind? “Simply that it persists,”
Passersby of the more than 500-acre
forest off Highway 303 might assume its enduring legacy is
secured. Not so. For much of Taylor’s life, he’s watched the land
be logged, used as a garbage dump and as a haven for off-roading
Today, that forest has largely been cleaned up and
returned to its pristine past. Its location in one of the densest
areas of Kitsap County makes such forestland invaluable, say the
stewards who help maintain it. Some, including Bremerton Mayor
Patty Lent, see it as a kind of Central Park for Bremerton as the
city grows to encompass it in the coming years.
About 110 of you ventured to the woods of Illahee
Saturday for the Kitsap Sun’s latest Story Walk. That includes
Taylor, who has lived nearby for most of his life. It includes Jim
Aho, a forest steward whose involvement in all things Illahee has
given rise to his nickname as its mayor. And finally, it includes
Vic Ulsh, who has headed East Bremerton Rotary’s involvement in
keeping up the forest since that organization adopted the woods as
a major project in 2005.
But as I mentioned, it did not have to be this way.
In the early 1700s, a fire burned down most of the woods there,
giving rise to some more diverse conifers including white pines and
Western Hemlocks (to go with the Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedars
and Madrona we all know and love). It was logged at least twice
since. It became federal trust land before it was turned over to
the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
On at least three occasions, it could have been sold
for development but neighbors fought back, according to Ulsh.
Kitsap County took it over in 1999. Aho, Ulsh and others have been
maintaining it since.
But they’re not stopping at its current boundaries.
Last year, a successful effort to purchase what became known as
Lost Continent,” brought in another 25 acres. The stewards hope
to extend the preserve all the way to Illahee State Park one day,
to create a wildlife corridor and a stream — Illahee Creek —
that can remain in its natural state.
Already, the forest is home to some treasures of
nature, including this 500-year-old tree that got its share of hugs
Taxicab regulations: Bremerton City
Attorney Roger Lubovich introduced two updates to the city’s
taxicab regulatory framework,
passed in 2014. First, the city will
not be regulating “transportation network companies” like Uber
and Lyft. And second, the police chief now has the authority to
immediately suspend a cab license without an appeal period.
Lubovich said that was necessary to get the driver off the streets
should public safety be threatened.
“If we have an incident — a public safety issue — we
need to be able to revoke that immediately,” he said.
RESULT: Passed unanimously.
CenCom changes to Kitsap 911: As you
read in the Kitsap Sun recently, CenCom (or Kitsap County
Central Communications) is becoming Kitsap 911. The county’s
dispatch service is becoming a standalone agency separate from
Kitsap County. Like other agencies that use the dispatch services,
that involves moving assets to Kitsap 911 so the switch can
Councilman Greg Wheeler noted that the public will
notice no change to 911.
“Everything you’ve come to expect will remain the
same,” he said.
RESULT: Passed unanimously.
Car tab fees: The Bremerton City
Council is the board which oversees the pot of money that is our
accumulated $20 car tab fees. But under state law, the Council
had to hold a separate meeting of something called the
Transportation Benefit District board to discuss the funds and how
to use them. No more. In a vote Wednesday, the Council has
effectively merged the benefit district with the Council
Councilman Dino Davis, who serves as chairman of the
benefit district board, hailed the move. He said the benefit
district was “redundant.”
“More government and more boards … just make for more
work for an already overtaxed staff,” he said.
The curbs are coming: Mayor Patty
Lent acknowledged that this year, all of the curb ramps at
intersections on Warren Avenue and Wheaton Way will be replaced and
modernized. The state is doing the work in preparation for repaving
the thoroughfare — Highway 303 — in 2017.
I have more background on this process here.
Chief’s report: Bremerton Police
Chief Steve Strachan produced some interesting statistics. Arrests
are up in the city from 155 in the month of February 2014 to 210
this past February. He blamed many of those on offenders who
skipped court dates (therefore they’re not new crimes). Thefts
ticked up in the same period in the city though, from 39 in
February 2014 to 53 last month.
Strachan also pointed out police are stepping up
efforts at the intersection of 6th Street and Park Avenue. Between
January and early March, there had already been 11 assaults
Strachan introduced his department’s
professional standards report, which documents officer
discipline and use of force, among other things. He noted the
department has adopted a more strict policy when pursuing eluding
vehicles — basically they can chase someone by vehicle
suspected of a violent felony. He does not believe the chases are
safe on city streets, and Bremerton has the most strict of pursuit
policies. The numbers showed what that can do: pursuits were down
from 21 in 2014 to 8 last year. You can read the whole report
Quote of the night: The honor goes
to Mayor Patty Lent. In describing a Puget Sound Energy outage map
app, Lent described our recent stormy weather this way: “March
madness. It isn’t just basketball.”
Around 100 Philly Cheese Steaks are consumed each
and everyday at Noah’s Ark. And now that the
restaurant has turned 40, some simple arithmetic is all you need to
determine they’ve made the popular sandwich more than a million
A project is underway that is installing
seismic cutoff valves to the city’s water system where it
crosses the Port Washington Narrows. Work at the Warren Avenue
Bridge has been completed; work is going on at the Manette Bridge
Bremerton Police Lt. Pete Fisher, who was often the
face of the department in times of crisis in the past decade, is
set to become the police chief of Fife.
Chief Steve Strachan announced the news in a department email
“That is a loss for us but a great
selection by Fife,” Strachan wrote. “Pete is a very talented leader
and we have been fortunate to work with him.”
Fisher, 44, started as a line officer in Bremerton in
1998. He made sergeant in 2004 and lieutenant in 2006, where he’s
remained. The job includes a lot of administrative work, including
making shift schedules, conducting serious collision investigations
and performing disciplinary reviews. Fisher also served as liaison
to Redflex, the company that runs the city’s
red light photo enforcement cameras.
“This has been a great city to work for,” Fisher said
Friday. “I’ve had a lot of support and mentorship here. It’s given
me the drive to want to become a chief. And I’m at the point in my
career where I’m ready to try the next challenge.”
Fisher, a New Hampshire native, spent four years
in the Air Force before moving to Puget Sound with his wife
Christine, who was in the Army and got stationed at Fort Lewis. He
started as a reserve officer in Ruston in 1994.
Harry Truman made his second
sojourn to Bremerton on Monday, venturing to the Fifth Street and
Pacific Avenue spot where the former president addressed the masses
on June 10, 1948 in a campaign speech. The spot is marked
with a plaque and is the place where the 33rd president first heard
a supporter’s rallying cry, “Give ‘em Hell, Harry.”
Guest post written by the Kitsap
Sun’s Local News Editor Kimberly Rubenstein
Truman, in this case, was Seattle
attorney Michael B. King, who has taken to appearing as the
president in front of Rotary groups around the state since
King appeared in front of the Rotary
Club of Bremerton at the invitation of Rotary member Tim Quigley.
Making the Rotary circuit, King was not aware of the significance
of Bremerton on that 1948 campaign tour through the Pacific
Northwest, until Quigley told him about it.
Chuck Henderson, who manages
downtown properties for
developer Ron Sher, was revealed by a fellow Rotary member to
have been at the speech. Henderson confirmed that he heard
“Everyone laughed and clapped” after
the man in the crowd said it, Henderson recalls from that day. He
said he was 8 or 9.
King spoke to Rotary members — as
Truman — on the topic of “Making the Tough Decisions.” Pointing out
that the president is much more popular through the lens of history
than he was while in office, “Truman” talked about the “paradox” of
leadership in a democracy.
“Sometimes the leaders in a
democracy have to be willing to tick off the people who put them in
office to do what’s best for the country,” he said.
Three of the toughest decisions
Truman had to make, according to King: His decision to remove
General Douglas Macarthur from command in 1951 (“He was a little
bit like the girl in the nursery rhyme — ‘When she was good, She
was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid’”); his
decision to desegregate the Armed Forces in 1948 (“We had defeated
the most racist power in the history of the globe, yet this country
was stained with racism”); and the decision to drop the atomic bomb
to end hostilities with Japan in World War II.
What politicians of today can learn
from the Truman of yesteryear, King, ur, “Truman,” told the
audience, was the importance of being in touch with the people. The
president is the president – not a king, or an emperor. The people
in a democracy are sovereign. There are so many layers today
between our country’s top leader and the people, he said, remarking
on Secret Service caravans.
could figure out some way to peel those layers back…”
The Rotary Club of Bremerton meets
at noon on Mondays.