I’m not really sure how someone who steals a child’s
bike can sleep at night. But that’s exactly what happened
to Alexandra Funari, a 10-year-old student at View Ridge
Elementary School. Last Thursday, her mother, Bonnie Flacco, came
home to find someone had ripped off Alexandra’s bicycle from right
beside their home off East 31st Street.
“It made me cry,” Alexandra said. “I really liked my bike.”
Flacco said that several kids’ bikes have gone missing in the
neighborhood recently, something she too finds unconscionable.
“It’s sad that someone would go around the neighborhood and
steal children’s toys,” she said.
Bike theft is all too common in Kitsap County and across the
country. In Bremerton alone, 69 bikes have been reported stolen
between Jan. 1, 2013 and today. Bremerton Police Chief Steve
Strachan said the best thing you can do, other than make sure the
bike is locked up, is get the serial number off of it for safe
keeping and take a picture. And, if it is stolen, be sure to report
it to police.
“We recover a bicycles fairly frequently,” Strachan
said. “We have a really hard time getting them back to people if
they don’t report it.”
Alexandra’s bike, unfortunately, remains missing. But
there is a silver lining.
Bremerton resident Joanne Jogerst saw a post from
Flacco on a Facebook page. She knew a man named Thom Kalmbach,
a Renton resident who grew up in Bremerton — and that he might have
a bike. Kalmbach contacted me and said his 13-year-old daughter had
indeed outgrown her bike and he was willing to part ways with it. I
arranged a meeting at Evergreen-Rotary Park this afternoon for the
parties to meet.
Alexandra had no idea.
“I hear someone borrowed your bike,” Kalmbach said as he
approached. “And they didn’t give it back.”
“Stole it,” Alexandra replied.
Then, Kalmbach wheeled over a white and purple bike with thick
mountain bike tires. Alexandra’s eyes lit up.
She quickly got on the saddle and began riding it around the
Evergreen-Rotary Park boat launch parking lot.
“I love it,” she said.
Flacco said they’ll make sure to get a lock to deter thieves in
Here in Bremerton, there’s good reason to celebrate
as the school year draws to a close.Bremerton
High School‘s class of 2014, which held its official graduation
festivities Friday, has been hailed as one of the school’s
strongest ever academically.
“This is a very strong class with a long list of
accomplishments,” said Chris Swanson, a career and college
counselor at the high school.
The numbers speak for themselves: of the 250 who graduated, 81
got at least one scholarship. Those scholarships total $801,528
toward their college educations in one year alone. Over
four years, those scholarships will fund $2.6 million for Bremerton
High School’s graduates.
Little wonder then, of the class’ motto: “Give us today to
conquer tomorrow, in our hands we hold the future.”
I know I’m keeping a close eye on education trends in Bremerton.
Here’s another one worth watching: this year’s Kindergarten class
in the Bremerton School District is about 60 students bigger than
the last. Is it a bubble, or a sign of a growing population of
families in the city? Time will tell.