Category Archives: East Bremerton

First look: East Bremerton grocer wraps $10.2 million renovation


Those passing by Fred Meyer on Highway 303 might not notice that a $10.2 million overhaul is wrapping up. The store’s exterior hides a transformation on the inside that includes new departments and products, has made the 204,000 square-foot location much greener and gives the grocer a contemporary look.

Sushi now has its place in the East Bremerton store.

Since March, construction crews have been gutting the store section by section. Aside from some finishing touches to the jewelry department and children’s play area, the work is done. Kroger, which owns the store, wanted a renovation that revolved around the customer experience, and store manager Axel Strakeljahn is confident they succeeded.

“We believe that this community is committed to growing,” he said. “And we’re committed to being part of that.”

One need only look up or down upon entering to find the most obvious changes. The store now has 63 skylights and new lighting, to go with brighter color schemes. On the ground, all the original tiles were stripped off, exposing a concrete floor. It was ground down, sealed and polished, giving the floor a darker, more contemporary look.

The goal was sustainability, Strakeljahn said. Natural light will lower the building’s carbon footprint and its new floor needs none of the chemicals — just water — that the old one required.

Here’s a brief look at many of the changes:


  • A new Starbucks cafe now greets visitors near the store’s northern entrance, replacing what was a (Starbucks-owned) Seattle’s Best Coffee location.
  • Also near the northern entrance is a floral department and, for the first time, the store has hired a full-time florist.
  • Near that is a brand new sushi bar. (Your Bremerton Beat correspondent, who is quite fond of sushi, sampled a California roll and found it delectable.)
  • The wine section doubled in size, and is now more than 100 feet longer than it was before (And the store already has a full-time wine steward). For local beer connoisseurs, there’s also more room for microbrews, too.
  • New product lines have been introduced, to include Seattle’s Top Pot doughnuts (which are delivered daily), Boar’s Head Premium Deli meats and cheeses and a create-your-own pizza section in the deli.
  • For the first time, there’s a dedicated section for Washington sports teams.
  • A new, larger pharmacy replaces the electronics department, which moved east to the back of the store and is also larger.
  • The nutritional food section, which includes organics and bulk foods, is also about twice the size it used to be.

The store is celebrating its “Grand Re-opening” starting at 7 a.m. Friday. Doughnuts and coffee will be served, specials will run through the end of the month and the first 2,000 customers will get Fred Meyer reusable grocery bags.

Check back to the Bremerton Beat Tuesday for a video of the remodeled store and an interview with Strakeljahn.

Strakeljahn (right) at the store Monday, as more Top Pot doughnuts are loaded onto the shelves.

What’s in store at the new East Bremerton grocer

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 4.14.17 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 4.18.08 PM


New bakery’s headquarters up and running

Kate Giuggio of Saboteur Bakery on the first day.
Kate Giuggio of Saboteur Bakery on the first day.

The smells of fresh baked goods have begun emanating down East 11th Street. Saboteur Bakery, whose Fourth Street had already developed an abundant following, opened Thursday in downtown Manette.

Fresh croissants, brioches and quiche were going fast on the first day. The opening is a milestone for Matt Tinder — a baker at California Michelin-starred restaurants who came north looking for new opportunity — and Kate Giuggio, his business partner, as they continue to build a local bakery empire.


Giuggio said there’s more to come, too. An espresso machine and additional baking equipment will come online in the coming days. They were able to purchase baking equipment, including ovens and mixers, from  Whidbey Island’s Tree-Top Baking, whose owners recently retired.

They moved to Seattle last October, then came to Bremerton — and they liked what they saw. An initial plan for the Quonset Hut near Evergreen-Rotary Park fell through, but the Manette location offered a quicker chance to get up and running. Meanwhile, Tinder baked at Evergreen Kitchen on Fourth Street to keep their location up the street running.

Outside the E. 11th bakery, a picnic table full of people was enjoying Stumptown Coffee and goods Thursday morning. I’m going to guess that the table will become a popular community spot from here on out, on each sunny day.

Saboteur is open Wednesday to Sunday until 1 p.m., and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. But beware: they do sell out frequently.

Mailbag: Free swims at the Y and manhole covers


Here’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately. “I am not a member of the Bremerton YMCA, but I’ve heard you can still swim there for free periodically.”

There have been doubts cast about whether this is true, so I went to the source: Bremerton Parks Director Jeff Elevado and YMCA Director Jane Erlandsen. Both confirmed that once every quarter, local residents can use the pool for free, as part of their operating agreement (the YMCA runs the pool but the city owns it).

In fact, it’s not just the pool. Elevado told me.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 8.27.15 AM

“The Bremerton YMCA provides voucher for one visit per quarter,” he said. “The visit provides full access to the Y, including the pool.”

To print out the voucher, click here.


Felicienne Griffin-Matheson asked me recently on Facebook why there are so many manhole covers on Trenton Avenue. “If anyone has driven Trenton they know what the difference between a drunk driver and a man hole avoider is. Why is there 50+ man hole covers between 11th and Stone on Trenton? I have been wondering why for so many years!”

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 8.51.50 AM

Others commented that Lower Wheaton Way has a whole bunch of them too.

For the answer, I consulted Wayne Hamilton, the city’s utility operations manager. He printed maps showing the city’s network of water, sewer and stormwater pipes that snake under the road.

The short answer, Felicienne, is that the street is old and has seen a lot in its lifetime. The more elaborate answer is that, as time and development of the street has gone on, more underground utilities have been needed, and added.

Anytime one of the pipes under Trenton has needed a new branch, a manhole cover has to be added, Hamilton said. Also, anytime a pipe turns at a 45 degree angle or higher, a manhole cover must be added. The reason is that clogs in those pipes are most likely to be found at the corners, so they have to be easily accessed by crews to get them unclogged.

“If things get plugged, you want to have access to it,” he told me.

Also, the city embarked on a utility project there about 25 years ago that separated sewer flows from runoff — or stormwater — ones. The reason: each time we have a big storm and lots of rain, it overflows the city’s sewer treatment plant, causing sewage to be spilled into Puget Sound. By creating a new system for the runoff, you keep it from going to the sewer system, but you also get more utility covers on the street above.

“That all adds up to a lot of man holes,” he said.


Several people have asked about the foundation on a plateau off Kitsap Way near Westbay Auto Parts (see picture). 


For the answer, I asked the city’s community development department. The foundation is actually a part of the construction of a private home with a large garage. Larry Taylor, a local resident who fixes bikes as a hobby, is the applicant.

Got a question for the Bremerton Beat’s Mailbag? Send it to 

Trike theft leaves Bremerton man without his ride

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 7.38.26 PMIt’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 work.

“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 it.

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 K16-004140.

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.

Levy’s passage spells eventual end to East High School decay


It may only be a matter of time before the deteriorating buildings of the old East High School get bulldozed. 

The Bremerton School District’s three-year, $8.3 million capital levy passed resoundingly in early February, with 61.5 percent of voters in support. The levy funds turf fields, improvements to the high school’s performing arts center and — last but not least to many readers of this blog — the destruction of much of the old campus off Wheaton Way.


Ideas abound for the future of the campus, once a series of flat-roofed, California school-style structures is gone. Bremerton School District Supt. Aaron Leavell admits it’s hard to even think that far ahead.

“It still feels like a dream,” he said of the real possibilities.

One thing he’s sure of for the future: “We’re going to do something that benefits kids and this community,” he said.

But first things first: there’s still a lot that needs to happen to ensure destruction of 125,000 square feet of school carcass. The federal EPA is contributing $50,000 worth of technical assistance that will determine what needs to be done on the property.

While the district penciled in $1 million for the teardown, it’s unclear just how much it will actually cost. Plus, as Leavell notes, if higher priorities emerge — the superintendent mentioned the Crownhill Elementary School roof will need work in the years ahead — those may take precedence.

The money from the levy begins to roll in for the district on April 1, 2017. Even then, the district’s plan is to sandwich the East High School teardown between other upgrades, slotting it for sometime in 2018. Part of the motivation for waiting is because the EPA might have ideas for other funding sources.

Meanwhile, this summer, the old school’s storied gymnasium will get a new roof, thanks to $1 million from the State Legislature last year.


The district also must figure out how to “shore up” the gym complex once the rest of the school is demolished. They’ll have to add new walls so the gym will be an entirely self-contained structure.

Leavell’s excited about the future prospects. He said the district had been approached about selling the property as is, but that school officials want to keep it for the community. It may be awhile, but there’s no doubt that the demolition of the old school has moved up the district’s priorities list.

Beat blast: 5 stories you’ve gotta know in Bremerton this week

Here’s your three minute news update for the week in Bremerton. In the video above, you’ll learn:

  1. What Bremerton road will soon get a $5 million makeover?
  2. What park is getting expanded?
  3. Who may be to blame for too much saltwater in the sewers?
  4. The City Council’s change to utility taxes
  5. What brewery opens in Bremerton Friday


This week’s blast was filmed on location at LoveCraft Brewery, 275 Fifth Street, and includes an interview with the owners.

Comments or suggestions? Send them to me at

An abundance of asbestos: why the old East High hasn’t come down


Shame the producers of a SyFy zombie drama did not stick around Bremerton after filming aboard the USS Turner Joy recently. They could have found the disrepair of Bremerton’s former East High School campus fitting for scenes of a post-apocalyptic world.

About 100 of you came with me to the old school of Wheaton Way last Tuesday to tour the decaying school, and discuss a way forward to relinquish the property of a 125,000-square foot carcass we all agree is holding it back.


Many ideas have been floated for the property, owned by the Bremerton School District. I also do not want to undervalue the amazing things that are already happening there, primarily a teen center, soon-to-be renovated gymnasium and a number of sports fields already teeming with practicing youth.

But first things first.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to get those buildings down,” Aaron Leavell, Bremerton School District superintendent, told me.

Leavell said a survey in 2013 found it would cost about $1.5 million to tear down the building. The district doesn’t have the money to complete the job right now but would like to take care of it “sooner rather than later,” Leavell acknowledged at our Story Walk last week.

“As time goes on, things don’t get cheaper,” he said.

The hard part isn’t the demolition work itself. It’s the abatement of asbestos, a once commonly used construction material now known to be carcinogenic. And there’s a lot of it in the building: in the ceiling tiles, the floor tiles, the downspouts on the gutters and even in putty used in the window seals.

With those environmental concerns in mind, Leavell has been meeting with Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent to find a solution. They’ve even held a meeting with officials from the federal Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to identify possible grants available. While the property’s not a Superfund site, Leavell believes applying for federal grant assistance is worth a shot. They’ve completed the first phase of the grant process, he said.

The good news: the historic gym's not going anywhere.
The good news: the historic gym’s not going anywhere. Photo by Mark Morton.

“You never know until you try,” Leavell said.

The superintendent said he and the school board are open to discussions for local funding, to include the possibility of a new capital levy when the existing one expires. Notwithstanding community support for myriad possibilities there, Leavell added that nearby View Ridge and Armin Jahr elementary schools aren’t getting any younger. Perhaps a new school could be built there, too.

“Everybody recognizes the potential for this property to really be the eastside hub for great things,” he said. “But we’ve got to get through the first hurdle first.”

At last Tuesday's Story Walk. Photos by Margret Mountjoy.
At last Tuesday’s Story Walk. Photos by Margret Mountjoy.






10 Stories from my 10 Years at the Kitsap Sun

This job is never boring, let me tell you. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN
This job is never boring, let me tell you. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN

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 integral role.



1. After 62 years, death comes six hours apart

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.

When they were buried, they were placed side by side, in the same casket.

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 doing it.


2. The CIA is doing what in Washington state?

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?

That line that line of inquiry got me started down a path that revealed that in Kitsap County, and indeed all of Washington, there are a lot of confidential license plates driving around.

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.

The story had revealed not only the confidential license plate program, but that the state’s Department of Licensing was also issuing confidential driver’s licenses.

I teamed up with Jenkins and we went to Olympia to interview the DOL. Amazingly, Gov. Jay Inslee and Gov. Chris Gregoire before him, didn’t even know about the program.

The biggest shocker of all came when a spokesman revealed that many of those confidential driver’s licenses were going to the CIA.

“Yes, that CIA, “the spokesman told us.

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.

Wikipedia photo.

3. The Pentagon’s calling, and they’re not happy

Ever wonder what it’s like to have The Pentagon angry with a story you did? Well, let me tell you.

You may recall the story of Naval Base Kitsap’s highest enlisted man being convicted in a sting not dissimilar from To Catch a Predator. He served his time, but I had wondered what kind of discipline he faced from the Navy, and that became the subject of a story months later.

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.

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

4. Burglary victim becomes the suspect

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.


5. Squatter’s ‘meticulous’ highway home

I never met Chris Christensen. But I feel like in many ways I knew him following his 2008 death in the woods off Highway 3 in Poulsbo.

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 Cedars.

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 life and 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.

Nametags of those who went through Kitsap Recovery Center who later died or went to prison.
Nametags of those who went through Kitsap Recovery Center who later died or went to prison.

6. Heroin’s ugly grip on Kitsap, the nation

I’ve probably put more energy into covering the opiate epidemic than any other single topic in my decade at the Sun.

Heroin, in particular, was virtually nonexistent when I got here. But following the explosion of opiate medicines for pain, drug cartels seized their chance to feed a spreading addiction more cheaply.

The story has taken me all over Puget Sound. I interviewed a man at McNeil Island prison who had an 8-pill a day OxyContin habit and was bringing sheets full of “Oxy” from California to Kitsap; I visited a woman who was literally injecting opiates near the knuckles on her fingers in Suquamish. I’ve hugged mothers whose children were lost forever when they could not kick the habit.

It is a problem that remains unsolved.


7. Bad math on jail’s good time

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.

He was right.

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.

Small potatoes? When you consider that at the the time it cost about $100 a day to house a prison inmate and that there were 548 inmates from Kitsap in prison, it’s actually quite an expense. After our story ran, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office corrected his sentence, along with everyone else’s, and fixed the policy.


8. ‘Where can we live?’

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.”

It turned out to be anything but for his family.

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 got out.

“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 island.”

“We’re treated like we’re diseased,” his wife told me.

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 time?

As part of my series on the 20th anniversary of the Community Protection Act, I also ventured to McNeil Island with Photographer Larry Steagall to see the state’s civil commitment center for sexual predators. Such a beautiful and pastoral setting for such a hideous complex. I am fairly certain Larry will never forgive me.

Yes, I have ridden in the back of a cop car. MEEGAN REID / KITSAP SUN
Yes, I have ridden in the back of a cop car. MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN

9. Bremerton’s plunging violent crime rate

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.

I spent a lot of time in a patrol car — every shift including graveyard — and was introduced to Bremerton’s seedy underbelly before meeting any other part. It was a scary place: I saw lots of people high on meth, fights between police and drunkards, violent domestic abusers whose victims would try to shield their attackers from the cops. And I wrote extensively about it.

But in the years since, that violent crime rate plummeted, for reasons I documented in a story last November. The tide, in my eyes, is turning: the city is making a turn for the better.

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. Developments downtown.

We’ll see how long it takes for the rest of the world to notice.


10. Walking the story in Bremerton

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?


This January, I found myself thinking about those two big Sequoia trees on Veneta Avenue. In writing about longterm plans to save them but close the road their roots are destroying, I came to the realization that nothing — not a story in print, online or even a video — would compare to the experience of going there, and seeing the story for yourself. I invited experts who I’d interviewed for the story to come along.

And thus was born the thing I’m most proud of since taking over the Bremerton Beat: my monthly Story Walk. It’s been such a satisfying journey taking the story to the community, rather than the other way around. We’ve walked all over town and I have gotten to know so many great people in the city in doing so.

There’s momentum for many more to come, too.

Here’s to 10 years at the Sun, and a hope that the next 10 will be just as exhilarating.

STORY WALK: A campus at a crossroads in East Bremerton

Photo provided by Mark Morton.

What on Earth are we going to do with the former East High School campus?

Efforts to revive the school district property, which was also home to Bremerton Junior High School, have failed to this point.

But this place has a proud history. There is also another bright side: the Bremerton Teen Center and a low-cost dental clinic are now located at the campus. There’s still talk of demolishing the 125,000 square feet of mostly rotting classrooms. Plus, in a surprising move, the State Legislature this year kicked in $1 million in improvements for the school’s revered gym.

On Tuesday at 6 p.m., we will meet inside that gym (3102 Wheaton Way) to discuss the campus’ past, present and future and we’ll tour the area. Special guests for our latest Kitsap Sun Story Walk include:

To conclude the story walk, staff from both the Bremerton Boys & Girls Club and the Lindquist Dental Clinic will be on hand to give tours of both facilities.

Hope you can join us! You may RSVP here if you like. In the meantime, I ask: what would you like to see happen at the campus?

All photos of East High School provided by Mark Morton.

12015598_744911912321678_867779705_o 12016378_744910828988453_1682146068_o 12032443_744912012321668_1564734294_n 12021945_744911802321689_2088503614_n 12018484_744914075654795_2103100187_o

Links to previous Kitsap Sun Story Walks:

Is the Cove turning a corner? 

Storywalking history, the Roxy, and all things hoppy

Walking the new Westpark

The new Lower Wheaton Way

Washington Avenue, past and present

The meandering Madrona Forest

Redwood Rendezvous in West Bremerton

Fourth Street’s Economic Divide