Category Archives: Transportation

Live Video — Bremerton Car Tab Debate

Yesterday’s experiment with the live feed from the Sun editorial board meeting went fairly well, we counted more than 140 viewers watching the discussion with state ferries director David Moseley. If you missed it, the session is archived here.

It’s unique that the ed board meets more than once a week, but due to some creative scheduling we’re back together this afternoon. Today’s guests are Bremerton city councilmen Nick Wofford and Cecil McConnell, who’ll debate the car tab fee being considered by the council.

We’ll get started around 5 p.m. Our web editor, Angela Dice, will host a live blog during the meeting alongside the broadcast. Head to around then and there will be a link to the coverage. You’ll have a chance to comment there, or send a question and we’ll try to fit it in. And send along any feedback on the experience of listening in on the editorial board meetings, it’s a new idea for us and we’d  like to know how it works for our readers (or viewers in this case, I suppose).

— David Nelson

Live Interview with David Moseley

Late warning on this, but some of you check the Beat compulsively during the day, right?

In about 30 minutes our editorial board will interview David Moseley of Washington State Ferries. If you’re online from roughly 3 to 4 p.m., you’ll be able to watch the board meeting live, at the Web site we’ve set up for ferry news and discussion,

The site will also feature a live blog, and those watching will be invited to suggest questions. Hopefully we’ll get to some of them, as you can imagine we have plenty to discuss already.

— David Nelson

Another Satisfied Customer

In a week that hasn’t exactly been one to write home about for the state ferry system, a writer’s-blocked Seattlite jumps on the pile with a pot shot at the Bremerton route. See his blog, hosted for the time being by the Seattle P-I, here.

Since Sean is a pilot for a major airline, you wouldn’t think he’d be one to cast a stone at an agency trying to wring an extra dollar for additional service to pass the time. Not that I want to be nickel-and-dimed by the ferry service for Wi-Fi or galley service any more than need be, but a writer searching for solace and inspiration should look beyond fried food and an Internet connection.

To things like, for example:

— Coffee, and beer, in the galley. Don’t stray from the basics, WSF can handle these.
— Silence, or near silence, in the galley seating during pretty much every run from 10:30 until 3. Try it on a Sunday sometime.
— Manchester, Mt. Rainier, West Seattle, cargo ships on the starboard side (headed into Seattle), downtown, Manette, Bainbridge and Elliott Bay out the port windows. Plenty to muse on there.
— The occasional run-in with Bremerton ferry commuter/critic/sage Chris Kornelis to wade through the issues of the day.

It ain’t much Sean, I’ll admit, but for me those sooth the experience. Given the threats coming out of Olympia this month, for now we’re hoping to hold on to that.

— David Nelson

That Ticket You Made a Big Show of Shredding? No One Will Ever Know

Grace Park, a woman whose names both have context related to this story.
Grace Park, a woman whose names both have context related to this story.

A couple of miracles are at work here. First, our regular InterWeb site got this news out before I did on this here blog, even though I wrote the durned thing and had every intention of rushing right over here to post as quickly and dramatically as I could. I like doing that.

My trouble was that during my absence from The Bremerton Beat I was no longer welcome as a contributor. So I couldn’t log in with ease. That was fine with me until about 27 minutes ago, when I was trying to post the miraculous news that the city of Bremerton was no longer going to make you pay for your parking indiscretions while it was snowing.

Andy Binion, who turned this blog I created into the BEST (pause) BLOG (pause) EVER (pause) made the case on Christmas Eve that Bremerton was issuing tickets “like spiked punch at a freshman mixer.”

I’ll have you know I dared Bremerton to cite me, envisioning the day I could go to Municipal Court and take down the man by showing photos of the street where my car was parked before and after I was cited, then asking the question, “You really want to make me pay for parking on that day?” There I was, a humble servant of the public, daring drive into work and I get tagged $25 for the privilege. The judge was sure to cower and beg mercy.

Somehow the little scooters with tire chains missed me. They didn’t today, though. I got a ticket on my first day back on the Bremerton Beat. I deserved this one, but barely.

Anyway, if you got cited between Dec. 18 and Dec. 26, you don’t have to pay it. If you already did, call the municipal court. Those of you who dared dance an inflamed tantrum on the icy streets while ripping up your ticket on one of those days, it was all for naught. Your righteous anger was noted in Heaven, to your benefit or detriment, but there will be no one here reminding you of it. The day it’s overdue will pass like, um, like, um, coeds walking by those passed-out students on the lawn, the ones who attended that mixer the night before.

Starting a Petition for a Bridge from Bremerton to Bainbridge

Ferry docked in Bremerton (Larry Steagall | Kitsap Sun)
Ferry docked in Bremerton (Larry Steagall | Kitsap Sun)

With all this talk of Bremerton runs possibly on the chopping block, maybe it’s time to re-ignite debate about other options:

Ferries were only supposed to be a temporary fix when they were introduced in 1951, as officials started pushing for a bridge from Kitsap to the East side. In 1959, a plan that would have added a couple of bridges from South Kitsap at Fragaria over Vashon to someplace by Burien failed by one vote. It kept coming up year after year, especially when the state proposed a new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Well, maybe that plan is out now.

How about this one:

Through the years, letter-writers and even a former county commissioner have advocated a bridge from East Bremerton to South Bainbridge Island. Stan Stageberg of Poulsbo was a huge promoter of such a thing (to get traffic off of 305).

The time may be finally be ripe for some enterprising, Seattle-loving group to start a petition for it. Throw in a commuter rail, and the overall commute would be reduced by 10 minutes.

Ferry-lovers shouldn’t fret. This plan never had any political will, and never will. But here’s my semi-devious contention: if Islanders thought there was any true chance that Bremertonians could swarm Bainbridge via a 15-minute drive, just imagine the strings all those lawyers and rich property owners could pull to restore Bremerton ferry service (and thereby keep we Bremertonians off their Island).

A Manette Bridge By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

In the early days of linguistics, a man named Ferdinand de Saussure forwarded the idea that units of language (words) are made up up two components, the “signifier” and the “signified.”

An example would be a bridge, say, the Manette Bridge. The signifier would be the sounds that, when linked together, form “M-A-N-E-T-T-E B-R-I-D-G-E.” The signified would be the steel structure that spans the Port Washington Narrows and furthers Bremerton’s insatiable hunger for land acquisition and iron-fisted power.

Soon, assuming the state and city survive the snow and the conversion to digital television signals, Bremerton will have a new signified, a new Manette Bridge, but it may also get a new signifier in the form of an honorary name.

Comes now, Jacob Metcalf, writer, activist, roller-derby emcee, video game scholar and perhaps bridge-name-campaigner

His plan is to lobby a local state lawmaker to introduce a bill in the Legislature. He’s pushing to get a small metal plate on the bridge, so that would be the extent of the state’s involvement, which will cost very little.

Here are his ideas:

Bob Deitz – Former county Democratic party chair, OC instructor and friend to Kisap Democrats. Metcalf admitted this is a long-shot, but noted that “Republicans have a bridge named after Adel Ferguson.”

President Harry Truman – It’s said Truman gave his “Give em hell, Harry” speech on Pacific Avenue, that is, a heckler yelled the catch-phrase at him during the speech, presumably a Bremertonian. It’s nice that a president’s visit was the occasion for a memorable piece of profanity.

Robert F. Kennedy – Not sure about this one, but it was one of Jake’s suggestions.

Martin Luther King – Again, not sure what King thought of Bremerton, if he thought of it at all.

President-elect Barack Obama – “That would make the Republicans heads explode, but if they had their way they would name everything after Reagan,” Metcalf wrote.

State House Speaker Frank Chopp of Seattle – One of the strangest things about Bremerton, beside all the places where one can buy exotic swords and knives, is that living, sitting politicians get structures named after them. Chopp already has a building named after him here. “Of course he would actually have to vote on this bill,” Metcalf wrote.

Who Not:

Late U.S. Sen. Warren Magnuson – “Already has a bridge named after him.”

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks – “Has his building.”

Mayor Cary Bozeman – “Has his damn tunnel and condos.”

Late U.S. Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson – “Has a naval base in Everett and a submarine named after him.”

Metcalf also mentioned former President Jimmy Carter and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, as out of the running.

Long shots:

MxPx – Pepsi pitchmen and sons of Bremerton.

Sir Mix-A-Lot – Wrote a song about women from Bremerton, demeaning them. We all know what a bunch of winners the men are.

Andy’s suggestions:

Quincy Jones – Not a strong Democratic connection, but before he left town and never returned, this Michael Jackson producer and Dizzy Gillespie band member lived here.

Pat O’Day – The scoutmaster of northwest rock, voice of the hydros, drug and alcohol treatment center owner and former Westpark resident, brought the Beatles to Seattle and was personally responsible for whipping up more youthful exuberance in the Puget Sound region than Rainer Ale.

Singh the 7-Eleven Man – Always remembers my brand of cigarettes, along with the brands of half of the city, endlessly patient and generous, tries to break up fights, once refused to sell me an old churro out of concern for my health. He’s a really good guy, I’ll vouch for him.

Seattle Weekly: The Hi-Lo Is Good For What Ails You

Photo Credit

Former Kitsap Sun features writer and current Seattle Weekly staffer Chris Kornelis rolled out of bed Thursday to chase down this review of the Hi-Lo Cafe, the out-of-the-way quirky west Bremerton diner at 2720 15th Street. It’s a tale told from the perspective of a someone who may be rheumy-eyed and headachey from a night’s debasement of his body temple.

The author notes that the Hi-Lo does not serve alcohol. “But, this is Bremerton. And there’s a nearby convenient store with tall-boys and brown bags if you really need a morning fix.”

Kornelis lives in Bremerton, I think, and has been touting the glories of the Sucka Free Zone in the pages of the Weekly, which I use to plug the gaping holes in my Murphy bed box spring. I also use Strangers. Neither works very well, but it’s interesting to see big city coverage of Bremerton that doesn’t have to do with 1) murder 2) the Harborside Fountain Park 3) pasties. Now that Seattle is uninhabitable to those who weren’t born rich, maybe Bremerton will take the mantle of most-favored-suburb. Or even be considered a suburb. I guess that depends on fast ferries.


“In Bremerton — light on Breakfast options, but not as bad as you’d think — the Hi-Low reigns king of the scene.”

If anybody knows of any other non-corporate breakfast joints in Bremerton, drop us a line.

Bremerton Tunnel ‘Poised to Make Significant Impact’

What are you looking at?

The four types of shoring used in the Bremerton Tunnel were exposed this month in a splashy tell-all in that edgy trade journal, Pacific Builder and Engineer.

Known for its full-page spreads of construction projects, some without siding, the story digs deep into the Bremerton project, needling Project Engineer Brenden Clarke until he revealed, “Waterproofing the tunnel was a difficult challenge.”

Funny, though, no mention of elves or molemen.

Read the story by writer Carl Molesworth by clicking here.

‘Cheap’ Drinks For Those Who Miss The Ferry

Photo Credit

Next time you miss the Bremerton-bound ferry from Seattle, don’t go with the same-o lame-o and retire under the viaduct to shiver in the frigid June air with an ice cold can of Steel Reserve.

Instead you could get a $2 discount off a beer made from organic ferns at the Bookstore Bar at the Alexis Hotel, a drinking establishment that is crafting it’s latest marketing scheme around ferry riders.

(By the way, they don’t sell Steel Reserve in the downtown area. And microbrews just taste like they are made from ferns.)

The watering hole has observed an increase in ferry passengers – because of preposterous gasoline prices, they opined – and they have also taken note of the increase of people missing the ferry. Maybe because they are drunk?

The bar is one block up at 1009 First Avenue. Show your ferry pass or ticket and get $2 off the first drink.

“This is the perfect spot for ferry riders who don’t want to wait at the terminal, but don’t have time to wander very far,” said a PR representative in an e-mail to the Sun.

It might be a good location – especially considering there are many bars within walking distance of the ferry terminal, which could also be “perfect spots” – but $2 off one drink might not be the deal it sounds like. (Especially since you can buy a whole can of Steel Reserve for about that much, and if you drink it under the viaduct, you can smoke cigarettes and not be beaten to death. But you might still get beaten.)

A call to the Bookstore found that a glass of beer costs about $5-$6. A mixed drink runs about $8-$9. There’s no High Life or Rainier on tap. The cheapest possible drink is Bud or Bud Light in a bottle, for about $4.75.

So, theoretically, you could buy a single 12 ounce bottle of Bud for $2.75, not including tip. That’s a better deal than you’ll get in the ferry’s galley, which has taken a page from the Safeco Field/Qwest Field play book and shows no shame in trying to remove every last cent from the pockets of the thirsty masses. Let the good times roll.

(By the way, has anybody noticed the breadth of cheap, fortified wine selection available at the 7-11 on Park Avenue and Sixth Street? They have them all, Boone’s, Night Train, Thunderbird, Wild Irish Rose, Cisco, Mad Dog, that isn’t to mention the malt liquor offerings, including Steel Reserve and off-brand 40s. That’s quite a selection.)