It’s not often
you hear about the theft of a three-wheeled bike. But on
Monday, such a trike was taken in front of the Fred Meyer in East
Bremerton — one belonging to a popular store employee who depends
on it for getting to and from work.
For now, Pablo Lozano will have to take the bus to
“Disappointing,” is how he described the theft.
Others — and he has quite the following at the Fred
Meyer and beyond — describe the theft more harshly, and are hoping
to see justice in this case.
He was working his shift Monday when another employee
informed him someone might be “messing” with his trike. He went out
front to find it was gone.
This wasn’t just any trike. Lozano had it customized
with a speaker, motor and lights. He suffered a stroke and
meningitis when he was just five years old, so the bike’s brakes
work through his left hand. He didn’t lock it up Monday — he rarely
does, noting a community of good people who’ve never touched it
since he started working there — and someone wandered off with
Since the theft, many tips have rolled in about its
whereabouts. It may have been painted and taken to Port Orchard. In
any event, if you have any information about the bike’s
whereabouts, call 911. The county sheriffs’ case number is
Several efforts to get Lozano a new trike are
underway. I’m keeping an eye on them, and will keep you posted if
anyone is able come to Lozano’s aid.
UPDATE #1: Seattle E-Bike is outfitting Pablo with a
new bike and are delivering it to him soon, Lozano told me. Here’s
the story of
how the delivery happened.
UPDATE #2: Strangely, another trike was stolen from a
Bremerton home this week in the North Wycoff area (pictured). But
it was found a few days later.
A number of break-ins to businesses have been
reported in East Bremerton in recent weeks. Bremerton
Police Sgt. Rich Cronk told me that the burglaries remain under
investigation and police are hoping to find the culprits.
The recent burglaries are:
Sunny Teriyaki, 1221 Wheaton Way: A window was broken
out Oct. 15 and money was taken from a tip jar. Two cash registers
Andy and Cindy’s Diner, 3561 Wheaton Way: Suspects
got inside sometime between Oct. 16-17 and took a laptop, cash and
a power cord.
State Farm, 1100 Wheaton Way: A window was broken out
Oct. 26. Nothing was reported stolen.
Two Sisters Fine Jewelry, 1100 Wheaton Way: A window
was broken out and jewelry was taken sometime before 9 a.m. Oct.
Bicycle Works, 2109 E. 11th Street:
A door was forced open and a bike was stolen. The burglary was
reported the morning of Oct. 27.
If you have any information as to who is responsible,
police encourage you to call 911.
Today marks my 10 year anniversary at the
Kitsap Sun. It’s a milestone that I’ve been thinking
about a lot lately. I’ve witnessed a dramatic transformation
in journalism this past decade. Not all has been positive: the
newsroom staff is half the size it was when I got here, reflecting
an era of massive media consolidation. (That’s
the nice way to put it). But I am also part of a new
era, where the most creative and industrious minds will prevail in
an age where anyone can publish a story.
I wanted to take you back through this decade, for a
trip through the stories that fascinated me most. Many of
these, you will notice, are from my first seven years on the job,
when I was the Sun’s crime and justice reporter. But Bremerton, as
home to the Sun and those I’ve covered, has always played an
1. After 62 years, death comes six hours
Amazing stories that are told on the obituary page
nearly everyday. So I was especially curious when my editor, Kim
Rubenstein, came to me with a rather unique one: A couple whose
obituary ran together, in the same article.
I phoned the family, wondering if they would be
interested in telling their parents’ story. It’s a phone call that
never gets easier, having to call someone coming to terms with
death, but it’s a call I feel is a newspaper’s obligation. In doing
so, I’ve always tried to explain I’d like to give the community a
chance to know the person they were in life, and if not, they were
free to hang up on me. Everyone grieves differently but some people
view the opportunity as cathartic.
In this case, the family was thrilled and invited me
to their home in Kingston.
I learned of a
very special love story — a couple through 62 years of marriage
did everything together. Everything. Even getting the mail.
It’s a story that not only touched me emotionally, but
apparently others as well. Few stories I’ve ever done attracted
broader attention. I got calls, emails and letters from all over
the country, and was even interviewed by the Seattle P-I about
2. The CIA is doing what in Washington
Undercover police officers have their identities
concealed for a reason: they are often conducting sensitive, and
sometimes high risk, investigations that warrant it.
But what about when police chiefs, who use their
government issued vehicles mainly for the purpose of driving to and
from work, start using those undercover license plates?
But nothing could prepare me, months after the
initial story, for a call from Austin Jenkins, NPR reporter in
Olympia, who’d been hearing testimony in the State Legislature
about these license plates and changes to the program.
Later, the DOL would backpedal and say that they had
no authority to release information about those “federal agencies”
that have the licenses. But it was a fascinating discovery, an
amazing story to work on and I am glad
we were able to help bring the program to transparency.
3. The Pentagon’s calling, and they’re not
Ever wonder what it’s like to have The Pentagon angry
with a story you did? Well, let me tell you.
Through a public records request, I got hold of a
Navy document that reported he’d received an honorable
discharge from the Navy — something a former Navy JAG told me was
unheard of following a sex crime conviction.
We ran the story.
The following Monday, The Pentagon called.
“Your story is wrong,” I was told repeatedly. “Are
you going to correct it?”
“How is it wrong?” I asked.
I couldn’t get an answer because those records were
private, I was told.
“So how can I correct it?” I wondered.
Round and round we went, for what felt like an
eternity. Newsroom meetings were held. I freely admit it does not
feel good when the Pentagon is not happy with you.
Eventually, others at The Pentagon and the local base
released information that showed the man had received an “other
than honorable” discharge. To this day, I am uncertain why I
saw reports that contradicted each other.
4. Burglary victim becomes the
Imagine coming home from a trip to find your home has
been burglarized, and yet
you’re the one getting hauled off to jail. That was the
situation Luke Groves faced in 2009. A felon, he’d broken into a
school in Shelton at 18, and now, at 37, police found his wife’s
guns in their Hewitt Avenue home.
Prosecutors, who charged him with felon in possession
of a firearm, had offered him no jail time in exchange for his
guilty plea. But Groves took the case to trial,
was convicted, and could’ve faced years in prison over it.
The case was one that former Kitsap County Prosecutor
Russ Hauge and I had butted heads about. He felt we’d cast the
prosecutor’s office as the bad guy in a case which they could not
just “look the other way” on a weapons charge.
I followed the trial from start to finish, including
Hauge himself handling the sentencing — something I can’t
recall on an other occasion in my seven years covering the court
system here. Hauge told the judge that Groves should ultimately get
credit for time served for the crime, and Groves was released.
The story started with a scanner call for a DOA (dead
on arrival) near the road in Olhava. I inquired with the police
sergeant, who told me that the death was actually a pretty
interesting story — certainly not something I expected to hear. I
headed north, parked, and followed a little trail into the woods
where I found “The Shiloh,” Christensen’s home among Western Red
It was a “meticulously organized world,” I wrote. “A
campsite with finely raked dirt, a sturdy green shed and a tent
filled with bins of scrupulously folded clean laundry and cases of
Steel Reserve beer.”
In the subsequent days, I learned all about his quiet
penned this story. Most satisfying to me was that Christensen’s
family had lost touch with him. Without the story, which thanks to
the Internet made its way across the country, his family would’ve
never found him. He got the dignified burial he deserved.
6. Heroin’s ugly grip on Kitsap, the
I’ve probably put more energy into covering the
opiate epidemic than any other single topic in my decade at the
I’ve received a lot of “jail mail” over the years,
and while there’s usually an interesting story, it is, shall we
say, not always one I would pursue in print.
When the letters started coming from Robert “Doug”
Pierce in 2010, I was skeptical. He was convinced that Kitsap
County had miscalculated his “good time” or time off for good
behavior, and that he was serving too long a sentence from his
current cell, at Coyote Ridge in Connell.
Now I will tell you I am a journalist and not a
mathematician. But the basic gist was that jail officials here were
calculating his good time by simply dividing his time served by
three, rather than tacking on an additional to his overall
sentence. The result was he would serve 35 extra days.
A criminal past can often haunts someone for the rest
of his or her life. That was certainly true for Ed Gonda, a man who
moved his family to Bainbridge Island and had heard it was a “laid
back, forgiving kind of place.”
His crime was a sexual relationship with a
15-year-old girl. He admitted to it, did time for it, paid more
than $10,000 in treatment for it — and had lived a clean life for
15 years, to include starting his own family.
But under Washington state law, he had to register as
a sex offender, though he was not a pedophile. And somehow, after
making friends at a local church and at his daughter’s school, word
“The news traveled fast, and people who they thought
they knew well acted swiftly,”
I wrote. “His daughter could no longer play with friends down
the street, he said. The church pews around them were vacant on
Sundays. They more or less stopped going out anywhere on the
“We’re treated like we’re diseased,” his wife told
It was the start of a
three part series I knew would be controversial, but I felt was
important. We want to protect all people in society, especially
children. But is there ever a point when we’ve gone too far and it
has infringed on the rights of those who have already done their
Let’s face it: Bremerton has a gotten a bad rap over
the years, following the demise in the 1980s of its retail downtown
core. An increasing violent crime rate followed, and in many ways
the reputation was earned.
When I was hired in 2005, the city had the highest
per capita violent crime rate. During my interview, which was just
weeks after two murders blocks from the Kitsap Sun’s office, I was
asked how I would take on the story. Aggressively, I said.
If you live in Bremerton, you know that each time we
do have a tragic, violent episode — even if far outside city limits
— it reinforces the stereotype.
But followers of this blog know better. There are
many positive signs of a community improving: Increasing ferry
traffic. Volunteers embracing parks. Home improvements being made.
We’ll see how long it takes for the rest of the world
10. Walking the story in
Any reporter will tell you that we spend a lot more
time with the story than what ends up in the paper. But what about
those people who want to know more, who
are curious for every last detail?
I’ve been thinking a lot about a conversation I had
with the owner of Bremerton’s
Quonset hut last week. Andrew Johnston, the hut’s
owner who now lives in Jefferson County, gave a varied review of
Bremerton — some good, some bad.
Johnston moved to Bremerton sometime around 2000, an owner in a
long line who was drawn to the Quonset hut’s
peculiar and industrially-inclined space. He was intrigued by
the city’s various neighborhoods and how mixed they were
socioeconomically and racially.
He was distressed, however, by several problem homes
nearby. He got tired of the police calls, traffic and noise at all
hours and a near certainty that there were drugs being sold and
drugs being done. (If you’ve lived in the city for any length of
know what he’s talking about.)
Even within that Quonset hut, a nearly indestructible Navy
relic, that stuff could get to you. It made Johnston wonder, just
as we all have wondered: how could such a pretty place have such
“Bremerton should be a gem,” he told me. “This should be one of
the most sought after communities in the entire Puget Sound.”
And yet, Johnston, who is trying to sell the hut, also had a
fondness for the place. He saw it as that melting pot — “what
America aspires to be,” he told me.
Combine that with inconclusive evidence they do much
to promote safety at intersections and a scandal that has embroiled
the company to which Bremerton pays $432,000 a year in operational
fees, and the cameras
may not last much longer. Mayor Patty Lent has signaled she’d
get rid of them if they become a cost for the city.
2. Bremerton’s rate of violent crime is
I rode with Bremerton Police in every shift possible
first year I worked at the Kitsap Sun. I’d routinely witness
drunken fights, domestic assaults and even a Tasering (interesting
if sad story, ask me about it sometime).
That was 2005, the year Bremerton held the dubious
distinction of being no. 1 in violent crime per capita in the state
Spare a tire? The police shooting range west of
Gorst, within Bremerton’s watershed property,
has plenty of them. In fact, the city has spent in excess of
$12,000 removing them about 8,500 of them, and more may be
The police department thought they might need them
for training but at a certain point, Public Works Director Chal
Martin said they
had to go. How they got there was actually even investigated by
a separate police agency. Ultimately, no wrongdoing was
4. It’s the water
Meanwhile in the Bremerton watershed, another
little brouhaha cascaded from the headwaters of the Union
River. The city built a dam in the 1950s and has used the water
above it as the bulk of the drinking water for around 1/3 of Kitsap
Because the lake is remote — like 3,000 acres around
it remote — the state doesn’t require Bremerton to filter its water
supply (though the water is treated with chlorine and ultraviolet
Some wonder if the city
couldn’t lighten up a bit, and a countywide trail is being
contemplated for the total 8,000 acre parcel the city owns, where
the city also has a golf course and the police shooting range (and
by the way, anyone need some
5. The towers were for the hoses
Why, when you see old fire stations do they have
towers that rise into the sky from their basic structures?
Turns out fire hoses used to be made of cotton, which
needed to be hung up to dry after fighting a fire. If they weren’t
dried properly, they’d mold. Today’s hoses are synthetic.
6. There’s redwoods in them there sewer
Speaking of towers — a somewhat routine at the city’s
sewer treatment plant contains an
Some giant filters made of redwood trees are being
retired out. While the new material is plastic , the redwoods, from
the 1980s, have broken down but may have a second life as beauty
bark (Or bark. Or mulch. Or whatever term you like).
Yes, we said
goodbye to the Maple Leaf Tavern in 2014. The place was
unrivaled in its around 77 years tending bar in Kitsap County. But
the now fabled Lower Wheaton Way watering hole closed due to
nonpayment of $25,000 in taxes, in 2010. And city engineers saw it
as a chance to clear some needed room for the Lower Wheaton Way
project earlier this year, tearing it down for $18,000.
Breakfast at Sally’s author Richard LeMieux called
its slanted floor — you have to admit it had been worn down in
recent years — the feel of “one of those oblique fun houses with a
moving floor” that actually got more stable as you drank.
I get asked a lot about if its storied sign was
preserved. The answer: yes. It is in the capable hands of the
Kitsap Historical Society.
8. The ‘Mo-Sai’ Bank Building has the state’s
most complex Carillon system
A longtime curiosity of mine was satisfied when I was
learning about the bells on the roof of the Chase Bank building at
Fifth and Pacific this year. That odd facade on the building giving
it the look of a vertical beach? It’s called Mo-Sai, and the
architects used this rock peppering as a way to reflect the
Northwest’s rugged terrain. Huh.
It certainly is unique. But up on its roof are the
speakers that play
Bremerton’s Carillon system. Probably the most complete in the
Pacific Northwest. Yep, they’re real bells. And they played on a
snowy Christmas Eve, 1971,
for the first time.
The playground, inside Bremerton’s Evergreen-Rotary
Park, is almost always packed when the weather’s nice. Hard to
believe how quickly it came along — a testament to what the
community can do when it comes together.
10. Mudslides in Schley Canyon
What about a mudslide? The state views Schley Canyon, that land
cavity that cuts Manette from the rest of East Bremerton (or does
it? The boundaries, to be fair, are unclear) as one fish could head
up, or fish passable. The city says the little crevasse’s just a
drainage and it doesn’t need to pay millions of dollars to replace
the 1927 culvert over it at Lower Wheaton Way.
But the canyon has had a slide once when rains get
too heavy. A geologist told me the canyon’s probably not a huge
slide hazard. But it’s something Mayor Patty Lent said recently
she’d like to
further examine to be sure.
*Many are just convinced the apartments at
704 Chester Avenue are haunted. Even the skeptics have to agree
the building does have a long, and sometimes spooky history. It
served as the site of Harrison’s first hospital and was later
converted into apartments. Bremerton native and Washington State
Legislator Speaker of the House Frank Chopp’s low-income housing
nonprofit improved the complex in the early 2000s, but residents
there still say there’s still strange noises at odd hours.
(Blogger’s note: Introducing the blotter, a new feature at
Beat, that will give you the inside scoop on police activity
around the city. This blog does not take the place of the Kitsap
Sun’s Code 911
section, which will still cover serious crimes and incidents across
Kitsap. But it will provide an idea of what Bremerton police are up
to in town.)
Among the calls Bremerton Police handled
Vehicle Prowl, 300 Callow Avenue: A resident watched
surveillance footage of a suspect going through a church van April
5. He reported it April 11. It was unknown if anything was
Burglary, 3200 Herren Avenue: A resident came home to find a
downstairs exterior door wide open April 12. The resident’s
backpack was found strewn in the yard and an XBox was taken from
inside. Police took fingerprints but have found no suspects as
Civil issue, 2700 Callahan Drive: A resident complained that her
neighbor was “banging on the walls,” April 13 and that it has been
an issue for three months. Police noted an eviction process was
ongoing for the neighbor.
Vehicle prowl, 2300 Ninth Street: A motorist reported his truck
was rummaged through April 13 but nothing was taken. He told police
he had locked it.
Burglary, 1200 10th Street: A garage was broken into and a
“bunch” of power tools stolen from inside on April 11. Police
learned a nearby resident was suspected but did not make any
arrests at the time of the report.
Fight in the drive thru, 4300 Kitsap Way: Officers responded to
the Jack in the Box restaurant for reports of threats with a gun
early April 13. A man reportedly drove up the drive thru and asked
for a shake, but the restaurant staff couldn’t make one because
they were performing maintenance. The man “became belligerent” and
ultimately said something along the lines of “I’m going to shoot
the place up.” Another customer said that same driver began blaring
his horn and then began taunting the customer and “gesturing toward
him.” The two men got out of their cars and fought for a brief time
until the threatening man was pulled away by acquaintances and
left. Police said the fight was “mutual combat.”
Vehicle prowl, 2500 15th Street: Two cars were prowled
“overnight” April 11. One victim reported nothing stolen from their
car; another said $6 in cash and the vehicle registration was
taken. Both motorists believe their cars were locked. Police had no
suspects at the time of the report.
Traffic ticket, 600 Fourth Street: A cab driver was cited for
running two stop signs the evening of April 14.
Assault, 1300 Callow Avenue: Early April 15, officers responded
to an apartment where a suspect had pushed down a man outside and
then shoved his way into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, where he
pushed her down twice. He mentioned he was “going to prison forever
so this does not matter.” Neither victim was seriously hurt. The
suspect, who police said was violating his probation, was arrested
after calling the victim from a home on Olympic Avenue. He was
arrested and taken to the Kitsap County jail on $50,000 bail.
Theft, 1100 16th Street: A woman reported her bike tires, valued
at $800, were stolen about 9 a.m. April 15 from the Olympic College
parking area. She’d locked the bike to a bike stall, but when she
returned, the tires, rim and hardware were gone. Campus security
reviewed surveillance video but police did not have a suspect at
the time of the report.
Agency assist, Bainbridge Island: A Bremerton officer drew a
composite sketch April 15 of the suspect in a burglary to a Wing
Point Way home on Bainbridge.
Theft, 800 McKenzie Avenue: A resident reported that car parts,
including a transmission and five wheels sitting in his driveway,
were taken April 15. They are valued at $800. Police have no
Car prowl, 4500 Auto Center Way: A man early April 15
tried to steal items from a convenience store before the manager
confronted him. An hour later, walked up to a car in the parking
lot and asked for the vehicle. The driver declined to give it to
him. Later, employees of a local company nearby caught the man
trying to prowl a car in their parking lot. Police came and took
him to the Kitsap County jail on $30,000 bail.
UPDATE: Suspicious incident, 300 Callow Avenue: A man in his 60s
entered a local business demanding his “suit of armor” back.
Employees inside would not give it to the man, described as
intoxicated, and he tried to punch the employees. At some point, a
gun fell off the the suspect’s person, and he eventually fell
through the business’ front window, breaking it. Police took
possession of the gun and the man was taken to Naval Hospital
Bremerton for treatment.
Bike theft, 1500 Spruce Avenue: A man April 17 informed police
that his BMX-style “pawn shop junker bike” had been taken from his
residence after thieves had cut the cable he had secured it with.
There are no suspects in the case.
Shoplifting, 4200 Kitsap Way: Police said a man stole two quarts
of motor oil from Winco Foods April 18, and then promptly went to a
nearby parking lot where he prowled a van. The van’s owner yelled
at the apparent their and the suspect asked that he “not call the
cops.” The cops were called, and he went to the Kitsap County jail
with bail set at $10,000.
A piece of Bremerton’s tragic past will be spotlighted this
True-crime author Gregg
Olsen has a new book about the 1997 murder of Dawn Hacheney.
Her husband, Nicholas Hachney, a former Bainbridge Island pastor,
was convicted in 2002 of killing her in and hiding the evidence by
setting fire to an East Bremerton apartment. He was sentenced to
just over 26 years in prison, though he could be released in 16-19
years. Details of his post-prison
community custody terms still must be worked out in court
The case drew gasps and wide eyes of horror from community
members when sordid details of the case came out in court. Nicholas
Hacheney had reportedly had affairs with several parishoners,
including one mistress’s daughter. One woman claimed she had a
vision from God, who told her that Dawn Hachney was going to die
and that she would become Nicholas Hachney’s new wife.
In other words, the details of the case proved perhaps
inevitably that a true-crime writer would seize upon it. That seems
apparent in the promotional video for the book “A Twisted Faith,”
which is set for release March 2010 (see promo video below).
It may not one of the highlights of Bremerton’s collective
memory (we’ll just blame Bainbridge), but then isn’t all PR good
Anytime anyone writes in the news or blogs about Bremerton, I
get to hear about it through the magic of Google Alerts. Many of
you are probably familiar with Google Alerts and use it to be
notified when things like “Bremerton School District,” “MxPx” or
“salamander” come up somewhere.
I’m curious, though, in my role as monitor of scurrilous attacks
on our fair seaside city, why every once in a while I get an alert
about Bremerton that has nothing to do with this place. Moreover,
it usually involves crime.
Case in point: Today I received an alert about a murder in Manassas,
Virginia. Sometimes when we get news like that there is a
verifiable Bremerton connection. But in this story there’s no link
Are we being typecast? Are we the Adam West of crime now? For
all the talk of revitalization and no new taxes, Bremerton still
gets tagged with stories of residential murders?
It’s not all bad news. Thanks to the link to the story I found
out that Laura Bush “totally forgot” about Obama’s speech.
There are still those who are milking this act of terrorism for
humor, including me.
fella is actually funny, unlike me. In this blog post he suggests
alternative notes to include on the bricks. So this May Day, when
you and your family are preparing to stick it to the man, keep his
suggestions in mind.
The fella is a supporter of the brick thrower, and says so.
1. Look, I read the financial reports, its not as if you’ll be
standing here a long time anyway…
2. I’ll turn myself in as soon as the attorney general I appointed
3. I would appreciate it if you would ignore this brick just like
you ignore impeachment and a million dead iraqis.
4. Hey, I tried voting…
5. If life was fair, I’d get a parade and you would be locked up
for usury you bankin’ bitches…
6. Hey, you said you wanted the house back because I couldn’t pay
7. Redline this!
8. And I’m not too thrilled with the insurance industry,
9. There might be some anonymous people out here who aren’t just
only upset about scientology. Just sayin’…
10. This is in no way a modern day cointelpro psyop meant to
trigger massive detention camp arrests, followed by subsequent
rioting and thereby a legitimate “shock doctrine” excuse to cancel
elections and permanently keep Bush in power. But if you need more
explanation call me at NSA headquarters, across the street from the
book deposity and remember the codename is “Operation Grand
11. I’ll have you know that despite this latest attack against the
evil institutions of the state I still have more respect for the
law than the current president of the United States. I mean, at
least I haven’t killed anybody, yet.