Kitsap Crime and Justice

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Kitsap: ‘The Redneckiest Place in God’s Whole US of A.’

December 28th, 2007 by josh farley

Some of our Code 911 stories have received national — even international — exposure recently, as many of you know.

Here’s a question I have been thinking about a lot: for people who’ve never heard of Kitsap County, is this kind of publicity a good thing?

According to bloggers at “Inside Europe: Iberian Notes,” I’d say that answer is a no.

“Kitsap County, Washington, is apparently the redneckiest place in God’s whole U. S. of A.,” they declared recently.


But wait — there’s more:

“The local rag, the Kitsap Sun, gleefully chronicles the doings of the county’s sobriety-challenged lumpenproletariat.” And the entry goes on to link to many of our Code 911 stories from there.

As we continue covering the so-called “sobriety-challenged,” I have to wonder: are we writing about events that happen in every county, or have these past few months qualified outsiders to refer to us as the “redneckiest?”

I tend to think we’re delivering what readers want: stories from around town, as observed by police. Other newspapers could be covering the same types of stories — and there are some undoubtedly out there — but choose not to because they deem “police blotter” beneath them, or not a priority to fit into the day’s decreasingly-sized dailies.

What’s your take? Are we the “redneckiest?” Or do we simply bring to the page odd news from the police beat?

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14 Responses to “Kitsap: ‘The Redneckiest Place in God’s Whole US of A.’”

  1. Tracy L. Hope Says:

    Josh: I’m a Bremerton native who has lived in Seattle for about 30 yrs. now. I read you online daily. I don’t think that Bremerton is “rednecky” but I find the comments by readers at the end of the articles to be more disturbing than the articles themselves. If people are that unhappy, then move! It’s fairly simple. I choose to visit family in the Bremerton/Port Orchard area on my terms. I left Bremerton in 1975 and a lot has changed there in the time since. I find it sad to visit there, and I’m happy to see that the city father’s are stepping up to make changes. Are the people who complain taking steps to improve what happens in their town? Do they vote? Do they take measures to show some form of civic pride? I have questions about all of this. I loved Bremerton while growing up; what has happened?

  2. nkroadcaptain Says:

    I prefer to view this as some folks (including the blogger) are truly ignorant of what goes on in their community (or they sweep it under the rug).

    The Sun’s printing of these items would be complete if they also posted the names of people – while I understand the liability associated with this, I see the unveiling, and subsequent shaming, of the miscreants in our ranks as a better deterrent to crime than jail.

    I’ll take a true 911 blotter over the feigned Utopia that so many Europeans seem to have.

    But I guess the ugliness of domestic violence, alcoholism, and drug abuse in their own communities is too much for European sensitivities. I do realize that’s an unfair generalization on my part, as the blog has comments from the U.S.

  3. Shawn Says:

    Sheesh come on now…every city in the USA has ‘redneck’ crimes.

    I have lived here for 20+ year s now.I grew up in Stockton California.

    Ill take people trying to shoot off their lugnuts on their vehicle any day over people shooting others in the head at point blank range over a $20 sack of dope any day.

  4. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    I also was born in Bremerton, moved away several times, but I never stopped loving her….or lost hope she would come alive again under proper management and good teamwork for our town’s future..

    I didn’t even mind the empty buildings downtown…they were only waiting to come alive again.

    I did mind seeing cars parked inside the JC Penny building and felt insulted that the building was so discredited that its only value was to house stinky cars.

    Europeans have had centuries of learning to be polite and civilized. Rather than cry out and complain, Europeans have a sense of pride to keep their troubles to themselves and/or those closest to them. They are known to be discreet.

    Many, if not most, have learned to take care of themselves and don’t have both hands held out waiting for someone else to give them what the average European would do for themselves.

    The complainers – all talk and no action – don’t matter. Most likely their only excitement in life is to stir up the pot…without lifting a finger to help change what they complain about.

    I do not mind anyone using tic tac toe names…after a few posts, the nasty tic tac toe posters offer nothing but venom and can be ignored. Most of the people working toward change…agree with me or not… are worth reading. Only a few are not.

    The complainers are usually comfortable maintaining the status quo. Trouble is – towns that don’t grow, die and Bremerton has already been there, done that.
    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  5. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Wasn’t it the Kitsap Sun that had a blog post making fun of the police blotter in Twisp/Winthrop just a few months ago? It’s all a matter of perspective. What goes around has come back around.

    I grew up in Puyallup and I love living here in Bremerton.


    BLOGGER’S NOTE:

    Ah, yes, Colleen, we did. But it was more the lack of specific news than an abundance of news — the latter of which we have.

    You can look at that entry here.

  6. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    I just realized I didn’t answer your question, Josh.

    I would not have written about the guy shooting the lug nut … I don’t think its very interesting… odd, yes.

    But it got world attention… is that the aim?

    I wouldn’t have written about the Santa figure on the cross either … it isn’t interesting to me – other than feeling sorry that kids would see it and that the person who put it up may well be another person with little to do. So be it.

    Both stories have carried around the world and brought attention to the Kitsap Sun and our little NW corner.

    Have the stories been financially beneficial to the KS? I hope so.

    But…how many people would move here based on those type stories of…seemingly… an area where many folks aren’t dealing with a full deck…or living in a place with nothing to do.

    I like to know the ‘rest of the story’…not just the explosive beginning.

    For example…. Rachel had a ‘rest of the story’ letter on her blog written by a departing BI Council member. It was terrific! He spelled out the accomplishments of the Council …where they were on on issues… proving again that conflict can mean good end results and usually does, in my experience.

    Another example is a surprising police situation that no one wanted to talk about…but I wanted to know the resolution…. and kept asking. Silence answered.

    The comments – most – finally, came in as defensive.. as though my questions were personal attacks.

    How can we learn from headline stories without knowing the end result…whenever there IS an end result?

    Rachel’s letter from Mr. Scales is a great example of good results through conflict….two points of view – one reporting on actual said and heard stuff…and now the flip flop end result. Really neat.

    Ann Lovejoy not only writes about gardens, she puts the reader ‘inside’ the gardens/situations to where we can almost feel the foliage. She completely covers the subject telling/showing the reader one of the best How To’s I’ve read.

    The other day her article had me too close to grabbing a pine cone, stuffing it with Adams chunky, rolling it around birdseed I’d have to buy, then tie it in a tree. The mention of ‘thistle’ bird seed took care of that idea..
    Bird houses hang everywhere here, but have never felt the weight of a single birdseed-nor seen one.

    Would it be difficult to keep tabs on the results of whatever is printed as a police report?

    I’m guessing the results would be mostly positive … much as a rainbow after the storm… and prove that just as a tide goes out, it will come in.

    Well, Josh…you asked.
    Sharon O’Hara

  7. Punkinhead Says:

    I moved here 15 years ago from the east coast. I love it here in the GREAT NORTHWEST. It’s beautiful despite the gray winter skies. In those 15 years, we have only had 3 gray summers…the rest have been amazing. (I live in Silverdale.) While every town has its rednecks, they have just as many rich snobs. But no where in the world is it more rednecked than in the deep south…(I have lived there too, unfortunately.)

    Bottom line here is this is a small town News Paper…it’s not the New York Times. No, it’s NOT the redneckiest…although there are some bloggers who are.

  8. tb Says:

    Don’t know about redneckiest, but certainly in the top 10 for this region. I loved the lug nut story because with it I can encapsulate, in just a few short sentences, much of what there is to know about where I live.

    I like the 911 reports for the same reason most of us can’t look away from a train wreck, but the comments are more disturbing than most of the stories and I don’t read them anymore (the same sentiments from the same people). The people in the reports are usually drunk and didn’t put a lot of thought into their actions; the same can’t be said about the people who comment. What sad, hating little lives those forum trolls must lead.

  9. Cean Says:

    I don’t think that these stories accurately reflect on us. However, they are, without exception, a hoot to read!
    I’ve lived in other places where these stories would not make the local papers. The press there is “community minded,” don’t you know.

    You haven’t seen “redneck” until you’ve lived in West Virginia or Alabama. Port Orchard and Hansville are just fine, thank you!

  10. Krissypoo Says:

    Right on Cean!…or Tennessee, or Arkansas, or Louisiana, or…the list goes on and on and on and on………………

  11. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    What is more ‘rednecky’ than a Board of Directors apparently incapable of working together to properly and efficiently look after the interests of a park and a kid’s soccer team?
    Oh, yes. TWO Boards of Directors! Both in the same town, in the same county and could be duplicated in any town USA.

    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  12. GTO Girl Says:

    Being a fourth-generation resident of rural Kitsap County, we take a certain pride in that “redneckiness”. Especially when that means that we work hard, play hard,don’t take any [expletive], and sometimes make poor decisions. No different than any other part of the country, except for all of the blue tarps. Maybe if this word gets out some of those blue-bloods will stay put and not invade our “God’s Country”.

  13. withheld Says:

    Let me see? Corrupt sheriff’s department, corrupt court system,legal give away welfare system, a legal system that discriminats against men (the new minority?) Kitsap County has the mindset of the deep south of the 1920′s. Corruption runs deep, but is ignored. Its really bad when you become afraid of the police. When did they go from peace officers to enforcement officers. Go look at the mega-jail system behind the court building in Port Orchard. Jail and the “Domestic Violence Industry” are the new growth industry. There is big money in Domestic Violence.

  14. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Discriminate against men?

    I recently sent something to an organization using my name only.
    The return correspondence was to “Mr. and Mrs…. ”
    The organization had changed my identity from Sharon to “Mrs.”…

    Correspondence to companies and organizations initiated by me usually come back as “Mr. & Mrs.”
    Discrimination runs deep, withheld, but not against men.

    I don’t think this discrimination is deliberate, but ingrained.
    Sharon O’Hara

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