officially worn out their welcome on the Manette Bridge’s
If you travel it often like I do, you’ve probably noticed
an accumulation of gull doo-doo along the bridge’s grey
concrete and green rails. From above, the birds perch on top of the
lampposts and, well, do their business from there.
But their reign of raining poop on the bridge is coming to an
In early May, Bremerton Public Works crews will attach “bird
deterrent” on the lampposts. This likely means those spike strips
you see on other possible bird perches, including at the Bremerton
But what about Manette? That’s the thought of two business
owners, who’ve joined forces to create a closer connection between
downtown Bremerton and Manette. Hear from both the Boat Shed’s
Kathy Davis-Hayfield and the Manette Saloon’s Rebecca Taylor on
this week’s beat blast about this new prospect.
Though he’s a Sasquatch aficionado, Patrick
Cooper is passing on Bremerton’s Bigfoot conference this
Too far-fetched, the Bremerton resident believes.
second annual conference, held at the Baymont Inn & Suites
starting tonight, is indeed intended to highlight an “alternative
point of view,” about Bigfoot, conference host Matthew Johnson
says. Cooper doesn’t buy it, and though he presented at the
first annual event in 2015, he charges that the conference turned
into a “side-show carnival.” Johnson calls believers like Cooper
“old school,” who are unwilling to keep an open mind about
different possibilities that surround the “Squatch.”
And therein lies the idealogical divide among some
Cooper, who has been researching Bigfoot for the past
16 years, says he’s following evolutionary science. Searching for
Sasquatch out along Hood Canal, he believes the creatures are
simply descendants of a different evolutionary line.
Johnson, a clinical psychologist now living in
Medford, Oregon, once held the same viewpoint. But an experience
along a greenbelt near Puyallup in 2011 changed his mind. He and
some friends say that they saw a Bigfoot and it “cloaked” as it
passed them — they could see ferns still moving after the creature
disappeared, and ultimately brushed past him.”
“No, we weren’t drinking, and no we weren’t
drugging,” Johnson said.
The experience thrust him into a more paranormal
mindset — that perhaps Bigfoot is a far more intelligent species
whose DNA could even mix with something out of this world.
“They’re treating them like they’re dumb mountain
apes,” he said of the old schoolers. “They’re just as smart out in
the forest as we are in the cities.”
That was enough last year to convince Cooper to stay
away this year.
“About half of the presenters were
legitimate hardworking bigfooters but the slant of the conference
last year was to set up to showcase supernatural hucksterism,”
Johnson says there’s plenty of “old school”
conferences around the country and that his is meant to offer
The schism will continue as both sides continue the
search for the elusive creature.
If you go:
A panel of the nation’s top recognized Bigfoot
researchers will speak at a three-day conference starting tonight.
Tickets are $50-$95. For more information go to http://www.teamsquatchinusa.com/.
Next time you get stopped by a Bremerton police officer,
take note of those stripes you see on his or her
OK, so that might not be the first thing on your mind if you’re
being pulled over. But the sleeve can tell you a lot about an
In Bremerton, it’s becoming a bit more nuanced. An officer who
makes the rank of sergeant has three blue “stripes” on the arm (see
photo below). But here in the city, you’ll soon see seven officers
who have two stripes (see photo above).
That review found flaws in the former “MPO” or “Master Patrol
Officer” program, whose participants could cover for sergeants to
run the shift. The review also found that not many officers were
looking to get into management roles, Strachan said Wednesday.
Strachan is hopeful the new rank not only introduces the seven
corporals to leadership roles but that it it inspires them to go
These will be the leaders of the department long after folks
like me are gone,” Strachan told the Council.
The department is also bringing back a third lieutenant
position — the next step up from a sergeant — which had been
the victim of budget cuts a few years ago.
There’s a lot of open positions right now in the police
department. Lt. Pete Fisher left to be chief of the Fife Police
Department, so they’ll have to fill two lieutenant spots. And the
city held a retirement ceremony Wednesday for Randy Olson, a
longtime sergeant and officer who’d been with the city since
“Part of me will always be a Bremerton police officer,” Olson
told the Council.
If you happened to watch the Today Show last Monday, you may
have noticed there was a “Nice Bremerton Couple” in the
The sign East Bremerton residents Bud and Linda Witte made — a
repurposing of the NBC acronym — not only made the show but its
Instagram account. It was a simple goal of the couple, who are both
lifelong area residents.
“It was just fun to see them in person,” Linda Witte said. “And
shake Al Roker’s hand.”
They had to wake up and get down to Rockefeller Plaza early in
the morning — some had even been there since 4 a.m. — to get a good
enough spot behind the show’s studio.
Part of their motivation was to bring back memories for some
students of PineCrest Elementary, where their daughter Kim teaches
and where the retired couple both volunteer.
As for the “Nice Bremerton Couple” sign itself, Linda Witte said
it just made a good fit. There was one point on their trip where
the seed may have been planted, however. The Wittes dined at
Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Broadway, a place where the waitstaff not
only brings food to your table, but also sings while they do
They were both impressed with the kindness of New Yorkers and
felt our area, too, is one known for its nice people. They ended up
chatting with one employee at Ellen’s for some time.
The employee could tell they were out-of-towners. But before he
left their table, he complemented them.
Kitsap Sun photographer Meegan M. Reid
was in our newsroom early Friday morning when she heard a
harrowing call come over the police scanner.
“Something about babies not going to
make it,” was about all she could make out, she told
She rushed to the scene, on Naval Avenue, and found
police and a woman named Lynne Weber, a wildlife rehabilitation
specialist for the West Sound Wildlife Shelter — along with a whole
bunch of baby opossums.
Sadly, their mother was struck by a vehicle while she
was carrying them in her pouch, Reid said. The mother was badly
injured but the babies were flung from her pouch, and many appeared
to be OK. All were taken to the Bainbridge Island wildlife shelter
Update: The mother did not survive
the crash but the babies did, Weber noted on Facebook Sunday.
On Saturday, about 130 people joined me for the latest Kitsap
Sun Story Walk. We were so fortunate to have a group of speakers
with a great knowledge of the approximately 14-acre site. Here’s
some of the things we learned along the way.
Ivy Green Cemetery didn’t start out as just one burial ground.
It was two: Charleston, a separate city at the time, established
the first burial ground in 1897. Bremerton followed five years
later, according to Fredi Perry’s book “Bremerton
and PSNY.” When the two cities merged in 1928, the cemeteries
also became one.
Ivy Green includes one of only 10
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier memorials in America, Bremerton
resident and memorial preservationist Mick Hersey pointed out.
Bremerton’s was born when a traveling exhibit actually stopped in
the city and decided to stay for good. It’s a replica one-half
the size of the original in Arlington National Cemetery. There’s
differing views on when it got here, which we are trying to sort
One last note on the Tomb: no one is buried there.
The cemetery includes a Medal
of Honor recipient: John Nibbe. At age 17, Nibbe stood his
ground aboard the USS Peterel as Confederate forces in the Yazoo
River of Mississippi fired on the ship. Just about everyone died.
But not him. Awarded the honor by President Lincoln, Nibbe then set
sail (via Cape Horn) for the west coast, first coming to Point
White on Bainbridge Island. In 1896 he opened a general store in
downtown Bremerton and also served as postmaster there. He died in
1902 of Bright’s Disease.
A grave surrounded by Rhododendrons is perhaps the cemetery’s
best known. It honors 64 people who died aboard the USS Saratoga
when it came under heavy fire from Japanese forces during World War
II in 1945. The ship limped back to Bremerton with dead sailors and
marines aboard. Those who could not be identified were buried in
this collective grave. Hersey explained that it was not until 1992
that the remains were identified.
The cemetery is full of prominent Bremertonians of yesteryear.
They include Benjamin and Angie Harrison, creators of the hospital
that still bears their name; Charles Dietz, a businessman whose
Dietz building still stands in downtown Bremerton; and Warren
Smith, a prominent landowner who is the namesake of both Warren
Avenue and Smith Cove in Evergreen-Rotary Park.
One of my favorite things about our Story Walks is that we all
learn together. It also gave me an idea: a digital map of the grave
sites, something I hope we can produce in the future.
If you were along, I encourage you to leave a fact or story you
learned below. In the meantime, I’ll get to planning our next walk
*The cost of burial there is 25 percent more if you live
outside city limits.
You may have noticed scaffolding now surrounds the
Chase Bank building on Pacific Avenue (pictured). There’s good
reason for that, as the building’s property managers are embarking
on a two-week project that will secure every rock in its rather
unique facade and will add a sealant and epoxy over them to ensure
they don’t go anywhere in the future.
“We’re going to make sure the exterior is
maintained,” said Melissa Marsh, a senior property manager with
Beverly Hills, California-based Cardinal Equities. Cardinal manages
the building for its owner, Bremerton Capital Group, also
based in Southern California.
Marsh said that other options to remake the facade
proved too costly. So, for those fans of the
Mo-Sai architecture, you’re in luck: it’s here to stay. I was
amazed at the range of the 80+ Facebook responses Wednesday when I
asked a simple question: what do you think of the building’s
“I love it, and so do my kids,” Sara Lyn commented.
“I like the earthy, Natural feel to it, versus brick and mortar
everything, and my kids love to examine the cool rocks!”
“Hate it,” Will Maupin wrote. “Looks like a cheap
1960s apartment building.”
And every opinion in between.
One thing’s for sure: it’s recognizable. As Craig
Johnson noted on my Facebook post, which contained an oddly angled
picture (above) of the facade, “Notice how everyone knows what it
is, even from a somewhat abstract photo?”
The building was built in the site of a former
Methodist church (pictured) which was demolished in the mid-1960s.
In its place first rose the First Federal Savings & Loan. Its
architects built it in the Mo-Sai style (see pictured ad), a series
of quartz rocks that filled the sides of the seven story building
like some kind of a vertical beach. (The
city’s Carillon bells also happen to ring from the top of the
At some point, a rock or two was bound to become
loose from the facade.
In November, staff at the Department of Labor and
Industries — which has an office in the building — expressed
concern after a customer brought in three rocks he said had fallen
off the building.
“As you can imagine, we are
concerned that a rock could potentially fall on a pedestrian,” Lori
Oberlander, an office manager with L&I, told the city’s
Department of Community Development in an email.
City staff attempted to investigate,
but had no way of contacting the man without his name or contact
The property management company decided to nip any
potential problems in the bud. They’ve hired Applied Restoration to
perform the masonry work over the next two weeks. Each rock on the
building will be individually checked, to be on the safe side,
Marsh said. I’ll keep an eye on the project as it proceeds.
Lastly, I must add the pun-filled Facebook comments
of Jeff Coughlin, who happens to be a NASA scientist living in
Bremerton: “I think it rocks, but we probably take it for granite.
A change could be gneiss. Perhaps clean the slate and lime it with
some sort of trendy new schist.” Oh, dear.