All posts by josh farley

What’s in store at the new East Bremerton grocer

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Fully stocked and ready to go in East Bremerton.

Don’t expect the musical chairs of grocery stores at 2900 Wheaton Way to continue, Kyle Saar says. The general manager of Saars Super Saver Foods believes the family-owned chain of stores will be a permanent fixture in the Bremerton community.

“We look at our stores as long term locations,” said Saar, whose father, Greg, established their first in Oak Harbor in 1988. “We’re fully stocked in Bremerton and ready to go.”

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 4.16.27 PMThe East Bremerton location, which Albertson’s began, Haggen floundered at and now, is fully owned by the Saars, is once again buzzing with retail life. On Wednesday, it will open for the first time. On Saturday, it will hold a grand opening celebration.

The Bremerton location is the seventh store for the family-owned business. Saars said their formula is simple: keep the prices low and appeal to a diverse cross-section of consumers. There are large sections of the store devoted to Asian and Hispanic foods; but don’t count on an abundant selection of organics.

The store’s hours will be from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

In celebration of their opening, the first 200 customers will receive free paper towels at 8 a.m. Wednesday, a tradition that will continue through the first weekend. And they’ll do the same promotion next week, also Wednesday to Sunday.

“We’re looking forward to being a a part of this community,” Saar said.

To see more of the inside of the store, check out this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast.

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Beat Blast: Manette Fest, a wall of graffiti and a (very minor) t-shirt controversy

Like parades? Have I got a tiny one for you.

14192039_1027287937391929_2109597291412981088_nThey don’t get any smaller than the one at Manette Fest on East 11th Street. (Yet it is still among the liveliest parades you’ll see.)

Elsewhere on the Bremerton Beat Blast (click above to watch) we cover:

The new Super Saver grocery store is ready for its debut;

We’ve got an update on Harrison Hospital’s half-billion dollar move to Silverdale, and what it means for Bremerton;

The new art wall in Manette, at the site of the old Maple Leaf Tavern, continues to blossom;

And finally, we’ve got some news regarding the $15 million Spyglass Hill project on Highland Avenue, including some aerial footage.

Oh, and don’t forget to watch until the end, to settle the (very minor) Macklemore concert t-shirt controversy. (It involves a fishing boat.)

Questions? Comments? Send them to me at

Benghazi defender, portrayed in ’13 hours,’ coming to Bremerton

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Kris “Tanto” Paronto

A former Army Ranger and private security contractor who helped defend American lives during the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack will appear in Bremerton next weekend. 

Kris “Tanto” Paronto, whose actions that day have been chronicled in the book “13 hours” by Mitchell Zuckoff and have since been adapted into a big screen production and directed by Michael Bay, will speak at the Kitsap Conference Center Sept. 10.

Janet Christopherson, a Tracyton resident, spearheaded efforts to bring Paronto to Bremerton after she saw him in Green Valley, Arizona. She was struck by his harrowing first-hand account and felt her hometown would be too. Tickets, which are $55 for lunch and $100 for an opportunity to meet him personally, have gone fast.

“It has really taken off,” Christopherson said.

The Benghazi attack ignited a political firestorm that has continued into this year’s presidential election. Christopherson and fellow members of the Silverdale-Seabeck Republican Women are supporting the event. Paronto himself has been critical of Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. But she hopes that partisan politics will give way to his riveting recounting of the events.

“You’re listening to this story, what happened that day from beginning until the end,” she said of his Green Valley presenation. “At the end you wonder, ‘Is this fiction?’

For tickets or more information, call (360) 509-0606 or email Sales will close at the end of the weekend.

Everything you need to know about the Macklemore show

Left to right: Lucan Catel, 15, Piper Burke, 15, and Ellie Wade, 15, all Olympic High School, line up early for the show.
Left to right: Lucan Catel, 15, Piper Burke, 15, and Ellie Wade, 15, all Olympic High School, line up early for the show.

Macklemore’s Camping Trip tour has officially arrived in Bremerton. But some fans aren’t waiting for the doors to swing open at 8 p.m.; the diehards are already in line.

Willow Hudson, 16, and Ashleigh Klemetson, 23, actually started the journey yesterday. The Seattleites boarded the 12:50 a.m. ferry to Bremerton and got some shut-eye in their car across the street from the iconic 1942-built venue. The two, who got in line just after 6 a.m., have seen several shows along the current eight-stop tour of small Washington theaters.


“If he’s playing a show in Washington, I’m going,” Hudson said. “Unless I was dying or something.”

Just down the line from them were three Olympic High School students. It’s the first concert ever for Lucan Catel, 15. “This whole tour is super awesome,” Catel said, noting the hip hop artist also known as Ben Haggerty is a “top three favorite” for him.

He and classmates Ellie Wade and Piper Burke have just one problem: school starts tomorrow. That did not deter them from the show, however.

“We’re gonna have bags under our eyes,” Burke said of Thursday’s first day.

As of the morning, the line was a bit longer than one you might expect at El Balcon for lunch, but it’s expected to get a whole lot bigger. The theater holds 999 people, and it appears the line will snake down Fifth Street toward Park Avenue.

The show is among the most highly anticipated in recent memory for the theater. Hometown favorites MxPx and Death Cab for Cutie also played there in recent years, drawing sell-outs as well.

First and second in line for the Macklemore concert are Seattle residents Willow Hudson, 16, and Ashleigh Klemetson, 23, who staked out their place in line at 2am on Wednesday in front of the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. (MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN)
First and second in line for the Macklemore concert are Seattle residents Willow Hudson, 16, and Ashleigh Klemetson, 23. (MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN)

Other notes about the show:

Tickets: If you were lucky and got them in the first hour they went on sale, you can pick them up at the box office. If not, this is about as sold out as a show gets. They can only be picked up day-of, in an effort by Macklemore and Co. to offer something special to fans (and not to scalpers).

When to queue? That’s up to you, my friend. It is all general admission. The doors will open at 8 p.m. First of two openers is at 8:40 p.m. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are due somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 and 10:30 p.m., and will play until about midnight. One thing to know: there’s not a bad seat in the house.

The openers are Dave B. and  Xperience (XP).

Street closed: Pacific Avenue, between 6th and 5th streets, shut down about 10:30 a.m. and is closed through the entire concert.

Food and drink: Lots of spots locally but the theater will have just concessions and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis appearance outside: Word is the pair will appear in the late afternoon outside the theater, and sign a limited number of autographs for fans.

T-shirts: The Camping Trip tour includes individualized t-shirts for each town they’re visiting, including Bremerton. They’ll sell for $30, more than the $20 tickets for the show, and while we all know you’ll get a better deal at a thrift shop, these are once-in-a-lifetime mementos.

The Venue: The historic Admiral Theater opened in 1942. It’s currently raising money for a big remodel to occur on its 75th anniversary.

Jennifer Heath, 23, of Federal Way, sits in front of the sign adorned with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis as she and fellow fans brave the rain and wait in line in front of the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. (MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN)
Jennifer Heath, 23, of Federal Way, sits in front of the sign adorned with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis as she and fellow fans brave the rain and wait in line in front of the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. (MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN)

Beat Blast: Macklemore, Nathan Adrian and a 125th birthday

Bremerton’s biggest concert of the year is Wednesday. That’s when Ben Haggerty, AKA Macklemore, will perform with Ryan Lewis at the Admiral Theater.

The show’s 999 tickets were purchased within an hour of going on sale. Pacific Avenue out front of the theater will also close down for the evening and rumor has it the hip hop artist himself will sign autographs there in the late afternoon.

It’s been a busy week in Bremerton. Here’s the other things on the beat blast video (above) this week:

Bremerton-born Nathan Adrian brought his Olympic swimming medals back to town Monday in a festive and emotional homecoming;

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

The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, long Kitsap’s largest employer, turns 125 this coming month. (Stories to come this weekend in your Kitsap Sun.)

The football season is upon us and I spent some time at the Bremerton High School team’s practice (the Kitsap Sun’s prep football guide is out Thursday.)

The Blackberry Festival is back Labor Day weekend for its 27th year.

Questions? Comments? I love the feedback. Send it to

The piano keys of Quincy Square


A cascade of oversized piano keys would run along the sidewalks of both sides of Fourth Street near Pacific Avenue, should plans for “Quincy Square” materialize.

As you may have read in my story in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun, a bunch of volunteers calling itself the “Fourth Street Action Group” has been meeting for about two years in an effort to revitalize a largely vacant section of the roadway between Washington and Pacific Avenues. I wanted you to have a chance to see for yourself the designs that have come out of those meetings, put together by Rice Fergus Miller Architects.

As you can see from above, the piano keys would serve to tell the story about how Jones, the icon, discovered his love of music after breaking into an armory one night in Bremerton about 70 years ago. There would be a square for concerts and other events and the roadway could be shut down to create a plaza around the square.

This project is by no means a slam dunk, however. The group, with the city as its advocate, will have to raise nearly $5 million to complete it.

And what about Quincy Jones himself? City officials have yet to talk with him about the plan and confirm he’d be willing to come to Bremerton for any kind of festivities surrounding the plaza project. Mayor Patty Lent has reached out to his staff, and has vowed to also contact federal judge Richard Jones, a half brother of the music icon based in Seattle.

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A fountainless Bremerton in 2016

Before the dark times.
Before the dark times.

Bremerton’s Harborside Fountain Park will be a decade old in 2017. Unfortunately, that’s also the next time the submarine sail-shaped spouts will operate again.

City officials made the call this week to forgo attempts to get the fountains back up and running in time for this year’s summer season. Regulatory hoops and repairs, to make the park safe for water waders, will eat up the entire year, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent said Thursday.

“It’s very disappointing,” Lent lamented. “On the hot days, those fountains draw so many people downtown. And our downtown couldn’t look prettier.”

The fountains will be dry ’til 2017. Parks director Jeff Elevado pictured. Photos by Meegan M. Reid.

As a consolation, the city will fire up the sprinklers from noon to 3 p.m. Friday (Aug. 26) at Evergreen-Rotary Park, Lent said. There could be more sprinkler outings on subsequent hot days.

Under Lent’s watch, the fountains have turned on each year in March (former Mayor Cary Bozeman would run them year round, but Lent thought it a prudent cost savings measure to turn them off in winter). Not this year. The city’s parks department, which maintains them, has grown increasingly concerned that the mechanisms keeping them going are failing.

The $20 million fountain park, formerly a rather unsightly lay-down yard within the shipyard, was not meant to be a swimming pool. But treating them as such has taken a toll. So city officials have authorized up to $100,000 in Real Estate Excise Tax funds to reconstruct filtration, control systems and upgrade plumbing. The goal is to ensure the water’s safe for human contact.


But the fountains also caught the eye of both the state and county’s health departments. The city had to apply for permitting to make the fountain park a recreational water facility. That took several months earlier this year. Even now, with approval, a bunch of parts needed for the repairs remain on back order.

Lent said that even once the repairs are done, the state and county health departments will want to conduct testing to ensure the water is safe. That’s going to take time, and sadly, that means Bremerton’s fountain park will be fully fountainless through 2016.

Beat blast: Islander fest, a topless protest and a trip to the South Pole

“We are all one, under the sun.” That’s what Bailey Tupai told me this morning at Evergreen-Rotary Park, the site of this Bremerton’s first ever Pacific Islander Festival this Saturday. Thousands are expected to attend the event, which will highlight and celebrate the cultures of islands all over the Pacific.


Elsewhere in this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, you’ll learn:

The cause of a West Bremerton couple protesting for women to be able to be topless in public;

The trek of a Bremerton man to Antarctica for the past two years;

How the big fly-in at Bremerton National Airport went;

A special cause this Saturday for a boy fighting cancer.

Questions? Comments? Send ’em to me at


Bremerton ‘fly-in’ eclipses expectations

Photo by Pilot Scott Kuznicki.
A packed Bremerton National Airport Saturday. Photo by Pilot Scott Kuznicki. 

History was made this weekend at Bremerton National Airport this weekend. Almost 700 aircraft were joined by 1,000 cars and 4,000 people for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association‘s Bremerton fly-in Friday and Saturday.

“I thought it was awesome,” Fred Salisbury, the airport’s director, was quoted as saying on AOPA’s web site. “That back runway probably hasn’t seen aircraft for fifty years and it was packed with parked airplanes all the way down.”


I spent some time Saturday morning just perusing the planes. It was like a massive vintage car show except all the vehicles had wings and took to the skies with great frequency. I found aircraft made all over the world, to include everything from classic biplanes to modern private jets.

Sun Reporter Tad Sooter wrote recently of the economic impacts the fly-in, one of four the AOPA holds each year around the nation, would have on Bremerton and Kitsap County. Seems likely those expectations were eclipsed.

Here’s some additional photos I took:






Beat Blast: Airplane fest, farm funk and some happy pups

Boredom is simply not possible in Bremerton this weekend. The largest airplane fly-in in Bremerton National Airport’s history occurs Friday and Saturday; on the east side of town, a music festival will take over Minder Farms.

You’ll learn about both on this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, plus:

There’s word of a possible parade in store for Olympian and hometown hero Nathan Adrian;

There’s no doubt of a lawsuit former assistant Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy has filed in federal court;

And finally, the cutest story you will hear all week: a Kitsap Humane Society volunteer has been bringing shelter dogs to Starbucks, and photographing the results.

Questions? Comments? Send ’em my way at Thanks for watching!