Silvia Klatman, executive director at the Bremerton Area Chamber
of Commerce for nearly a decade, announced Tuesday she is resigning
to take a new job.
Klatman will work in public affairs with the Naval Undersea
Warfare Center in Keyport beginning in January.
Klatman said the new job offers a good opportunity for personal
and professional growth. “They’re looking at expanding their
communications with employees,” she said. “It sounded very
interesting and intriguing.”
Steve Green, president of the chamber, said Klatman will be
difficult to replace. “She’s done a wonderful job for the
community,” he said.
Green said the chamber’s board will wait until Jan. 4 to begin
accepting resumes for a new executive director. Between now and
then board members will be coming to an agreement about what they
are looking for in Klatman’s replacement.
In addition to running the day-to-day affairs for the chamber,
Klatman was often the face of the organization, leading chamber
lunches and moderating early-morning political debates during
campaign season. She began as executive director in August of 2000
but had worked for the chamber before as well as for the Kitsap
Economic Development Council.
Klatman said Bremerton’s volunteers and business leaders will
continue to keep the city growing. “The big thing that Bremerton
has going for it, and frankly has always has had going for it, are
the people,” she said.
Earlier this year, the USS Missouri Memorial Association began
work preserving the gray lady, on whose decks Japan signed the
declaration of surrender that ended World War II. For the next
three months, the ship will be cleaned up, rewired and
otherwise spiffed up (if you can call $18 million worth
of work “spiffed”) for the nearly half million tourists who now
visit the ship ever year. They will sandblast and fortify the hull,
and upgrade electrical and sewer systems. The work is being paid
for with a $10 million Department of Defense grant and funds from
the nonprofit USS Missouri Memorial
She’ll be back open for tours — they cost $20 per person — in
I visited the ship last month. They were doing early painting
touch up work, but it still was open for tours.
I didn’t visit it when it was in Bremerton; I probably wasn’t
old enough to appreciate it at the time. But I remember the fight
when its departure from Bremerton was announced. It was downright
vicious, involving a federal lawsuit and strong words from our
The ship was mothballed in front of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
from 1954 to 1984. Perhaps because of the popularity of the tours
and the exposure it received during the 1962 World’s Fair in
Seattle, other cities began clamoring for visits from the Mo.
The ship was towed to Long Beach, Calif., and recommissioned in
1984. It toured the world and was deployed during the Gulf War. Its
return to Bremerton was promised by then-Navy Secretary H. Lawrence
Garrett III in 1989, and it came back for its second mothballing in
In 1995, the year of the 50th anniversary of Japan’s surrender
1995, several cities — including Bremerton, Pearl Harbor, and Long
Beach, Calif. — petitioned to become its permanent home. Hawaii, of
No matter the argument about where the ship belongs, it serves
its purpose at the Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor. As one of our
commenters put it, the Missouri provides a “period” to the
memorial’s statement on the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
So while I was there, taking it all in, I thought I’d bring a
little back for my fellow Bremertonians. It may not be the ship,
but these images from the tour are going to have to suffice. Also
included at the end of the slideshow are photos of the Arizona
memorial so you can read the sentence backward. (If you also have
visited the Mo in Bremerton or there, e-mail me photos or post a
link to them in a comment.)
Deborah Jackson, who wants Bremerton residents to write in her
name for mayor in November, plans to hold a meeting Thursday in
which she will discuss:
A. A warrant for her arrest in Oklahoma;
B. Another misdemeanor;
C. What is going on with the Bremerton School District;
D. Anything else we might ask about her run for mayor.
That’s the information I received by telephone. She plans to
send an e-mail out with the details. I don’t know if this is
technically a public event or invite-only. I’ll update you when I
know. The event is at 2 p.m. Thursday at 853 Sixth St. in
Bremerton, the Kitsap Business Center.
UPDATE: I received the e-mail and it had less information than
what I had above, except for the name.
You are invited to a mayoral facts; Disclosure Forum!
Date: Thursday, 10/8/2009
Place: Kitsap Business Center 853 6th Street Bremerton Washington
I’m posting the press release from the Secretary of State’s
office without making any “ha-ha” remarks to my good friends who
live and work across the Sinclair Inlet from Bremerton. Isn’t that
big of me?
This is the second Kitsap resident to be honored in this way be
the state. The first was former Bremerton Sun writer Adele
I’m hoping to interview Ms. Walker on Monday.
`Legacy’ honors civil rights pioneer Lillian
OLYMPIA – A 95-year-old Bremerton civil rights pioneer is the
latest Washingtonian to have her life story told by The Legacy
Project, the oral history program established in 2008 by the Office
of the Secretary of State.
Lillian Walker helped found the Bremerton branch of the NAACP in
1943 and went on to serve as state NAACP secretary. She was
conducting sit-ins and filing civil rights lawsuits when Martin
Luther King was in Junior High.
A biography and an oral biography based on sit-down interviews,
plus photos and other materials, have just been posted at
A rollout ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. on August 11 in
Secretary of State Reed’s office at the Capitol, featuring remarks
by Congressman Norm Dicks, Reed, chief oral historian John Hughes,
and Dianne Robinson, Bremerton councilwoman and co-founder of the
Kitsap County Black Historical Society. The ceremony will be
televised by TVW and available on streaming video at
The Legacy Project e-publishes oral histories and biographies of
Washingtonians who have been instrumental in shaping our history.
The materials are published online and are free for easy click-on
reading or downloading. They are excellent resources for school and
In the past nine months, The Legacy Project has offered up
profiles of Charles Z. Smith, the first ethnic minority on the
State Supreme Court; pioneering female journalist Adele Ferguson;
rocker-turned-civic activist Krist Novoselic; former Chief Justice
Robert F. Utter; and trailblazing federal judge Carolyn Dimmick,
who was the first woman on the State Supreme Court.
Soon to be published are the oral histories of former first lady
Nancy Bell Evans and astronaut Bonnie Dunbar. An oral history with
former Governor Booth Gardner is in preparation, and a biography of
the late Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn also is in the works.
“It is a real privilege for Washingtonians to learn more about
the inspiring Lillian Walker story, which is emblematic of the work
of so many in this state for racial equality and equal rights for
all,” Reed said. “It also reminds us that the clock is ticking if
we don’t want to lose the chance to preserve these stories. The
Legacy Project, which is part of the planned state Heritage Center
on the Capitol Campus, is hard at work, on a shoestring budget, to
preserve this part of our history and our heritage.”
Mrs. Walker and her late husband, James, arrived in the Navy
Yard city of Bremerton in 1941 together with thousands of other
African-American wartime workers who thought they had left racism
behind in the South and industrialized cities of Midwest and East.
But many Kitsap County businesses, including cafes, taverns, drug
stores and barber shops, displayed signs saying, “We Cater to White
In a landmark case, the Walkers took a soda fountain owner to
court and won. They also discovered there were “a lot of righteous
white folks” in Bremerton. Sixty-five years later, the centennial
year of the NAACP finds Mrs. Walker still in the trenches,
“reminding people about The Golden Rule.”
She is a charter member of the YWCA of Kitsap County, former
chairman of the Kitsap County Regional Library Board, a 68-year
member of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a
founder and former president of Church Women United in
Lillian Walker exudes dignity, pluck and perseverance. One of 11
children born to a mixed race couple on a farm in rural Illinois,
she dreamed of becoming a doctor, but she was the wrong color and
the wrong gender at the wrong time in the wrong place. Still,
there’s no bitterness over the fact that she and her late husband
took on an assortment of part-time janitorial jobs for 40 years to
make ends meet and give their kids a better life. Their son
graduated from Stanford University, went on to earn a Ph.D. and is
an epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control.
Someone once asked her, “Why are you always smiling?” “Frowning
and cursing,” she replied, “that’s not going to make you any
Bremerton’s five mayoral candidates met at the Cloverleaf this
morning to explain their plans and views.
It’s from these that I’ll go back and write the story, which
you’ll see later.
I don’t know if providing notes will be helpful or not, or
whether I’ll do it again. I happened to have it work out this time
and wasn’t interrupted during the debate, so for this one here you
go. If there are any swear words in here, they’re accidental. No
one said any. (more…)
The first candidate filings are posted at the county elections site and
Bob Winters, former city councilman, is running for a seat on the
He last ran in the Manette council district, but now lives near
Kitsap Lake. Assuming Nick Wofford runs for re-election, Winters
will be at least one of his opponents. Adam Brockus is running to
retain his Manette seat.
Mike Shepherd, city councilman, was first to file for Bremerton
Downtown business owner and former city council candidate Carlos
Jara announced he will run for Bremerton mayor. Jara becomes the
sixth candidate for the job being vacated by Cary Bozeman, who will
be taking the CEO job at the port.
Jara ran in 2007 for the seat won by Roy Runyon. He and his
wife, Christina, moved to Bremerton in 2004. He opened Puget Sound
Box & Shipping near the ferry terminal and later turned it into
Harborside Market. Christina Jara owns and operates the Isella Day
Spa, also in downtown.
Former county commissioner Patty Lent confirmed Tuesday she
plans to run for mayor of Bremerton.
Lent was commissioner from 2003-06, losing in the one-time
“pick-a-party” primary in the Republican race against Jack
Lent’s confirmation puts the number of mayor candidates up to
five, following Daryl Daugs’ announcement hours earlier. City
council members Mike Shepherd, Will Maupin and Cecil McConnell Brad Gehring
Daryl Daugs, chairman of the 35th District Democrats, announced
on his blog Tuesday that he intends to run for Bremerton mayor. It
means he gives up the Democratic post.
Daugs ran for state representative in the 35th District, losing
the race eventually won by fellow Democrat Fred Finn.
His campaign Web site from that run indicates that most recently
he was a lead organizer for the Washington Federation of State
Employees in Olympia focusing on system reform of Child Protective
Services. He and his wife have been foster parents for 54
One reason he decided to run:
“Not one of the people that has stepped up to run makes me very
Beyond that, he writes:
“For me … this is not political … it is personal. I grew up
here. I cruised Pacific Ave in my 66 Mustang. I watched movies in
the Roxy and the Admiral. My kids have all gone from grade school
through high school here. I love and care for my community and the
many friends and family that live here with me.”
Daugs joins Mike Shepherd, Will Maupin and Brad Gehring in the
race. He’s the only one running, so far, who isn’t a member of the
current city council.