Tag Archives: Kitsap Sun

Waking Up to the News

I woke up to a neighbor knocking on my bedroom window really early this morning, which is never a great way to get out of bed. It got worse when I looked out the window and Brandon yelled: “fire!”

The fire wasn’t at my home, but had consumed two buildings on a property just behind where I live in Bremerton. My neighbors and I watched the huge orange glow rise and crackle from my backyard for a few minutes just before 1 a.m., worried that the blaze would catch on trees that separate the properties and come at us.

The flames didn’t head our way, thanks to the efforts of CKF&R and Bremerton Fire, though sadly a few of my neighbors were displaced from their home. Everyone escaped, but two homes are now destroyed and I feel for the folks who I’d see around the neighborhood. Most of my other neighbors were out rubber-necking in the middle of the night, and we’d take a minute to chat and share when we’d woken up or just shake our heads at the destruction. I even met a few folks who are new to the area, though it wasn’t the circumstance I had expected to do so.

After getting over the initial shock I managed to put on my journalist hat and do a little reporting/videography with Sun photographer Larry Steagall, who even beat me to the scene (Larry’s great like that). It was an odd feeling sitting there in my living room at 2:30 a.m. posting a web story, smelling smoke in the air and knowing that some flames were still being knocked down a few hundred feet away.

It was a first for me to be that close to having a news event become a personal event, and the nearest I’ve ever come to feeling threatened in my own home by fire. Knowing one of the residents who lost his home brought home to me again the personal side of this business. I don’t know when I’ll see John next, but I know I’m concerned about where he’ll go.

I walked over to Jacobson this morning in the rain to check the remains. The only person there was a fire marshal looking through debris, shockingly sparse even after the witnessing the sensational scene just a few hours earlier. The unique steady August rain and dawn on a dreary day would have been a surreal enough way to start a Tuesday. Don’t think I’ll forget this one for awhile.


A Few Last Thoughts On 75 Years

By now you’ve all seen how we celebrated our 75th anniversary in print. I hope you enjoyed the special section, and the online companion piece. I’ve been raving about the ‘How News is Made’ video the past two days, and not because of my performance. It just did such a nice job capturing so many aspects of a day here, as well as the thoughts and personalities that are a part of putting the Sun out. If you see Angela Dice on the street, tell her “nice job.”

The anniversary day here was filled with, naturally, putting together news for kitsapsun.com and Friday’s paper. You can’t completely close down for a party at a daily operation. But we did take some time to savor the moment.

Management grilled hot dogs and burgers out behind the office and we shared a big staff lunch in the afternoon. The in-house ping pong tournament was won by Circulation Manager Dennis Harang, who then compared himself to Kobe Bryant for the focus it took to climb such a mountain. He might have been joking. In the evening we unveiled the “Newspapers in Art” show at Collective Visions Gallery. First prize went to “Paperboy,” by Brett Enos, seen just below. Second was “Zenoscope” by Frank Corsey and Ron Harper, and Bruce Enns earned third for his box covered with portrait illustrations and a poem, titled “Faces of Kitsap.”

"Paperboy," by Brett Enos

We also welcomed Paul Scripps, who flew up from San Diego. Like I mentioned in Thursday’s special section, when Paul visits he always takes the time to greet everyone in the office and expresses how much this newspaper means to his family.  His father was the man who rescued the Sun in 1940, and to hear Paul tell it this place never left the heart of John P. Scripps. Paul’s a true gentleman, and to hear him share about our history — from “an acorn to an oak” is how he phrased it — was special.

I also had a few notes leftover that didn’t make today’s “75 Things You May Not Know About the Sun” I’ll share here.

First, I omitted Ed Friedrich from the list of long-time employees — Ed should have been listed as having been here 25 years. (There was a break in his tenure, so I think HR categorized him incorrectly. Still, I should have caught it.) Secondly, I didn’t find a space to point out one more interesting thing about former editor Gene Gisley: Gisley wasn’t a journalist by trade initially. He was a professional printer, and came up through that side of the business before moving into a reporter’s desk. That doesn’t happen often. Third, when preparing a presentation on our 75th that I’ve given to a few Rotary Clubs, I found Gisley’s notes from 25 years ago. One is a memo scheduling an appointment to speak to a Kiwanis Club. The contact name on that yellowed sheet of paper is Vic Ulsh, now head broker at Bradley Scott — and the same guy who arranged my speech to the East Bremerton Rotary Club on Wednesday. The more things change…

Finally, I apologize for being a little light here on the blog lately. I’ve been busy working on that 75th anniversary material and got a little swamped. But there’s a few ideas kicking around on items to share, and I’m planning to get back into a more regular schedule of keeping you up to date on the comings and goings of a newsroom.