Category Archives: Bainbridge Island

Port Orchard bear still on the loose

Brynn writes:

Thanks to Doug Miller and his quick shutter finger, we have proof that the elusive Port Orchard bear was trying to escape Port Orchard for better digs on Bainbridge Island.

Miller sent the email this afternoon and unless there’s another bear walking around out there with a dart in its hindquarters, I’m guessing this is the same bear that was hiding out in the greenbelt off Mile Hill Drive earlier this week. I have to say, it looks a lot bigger here than it did when it was running at me on Monday…what do they put in those darts, steroids?!

Miller spotted the bear this morning swimming across Rich Passage, headed for Bainbridge off Point Glover. Here’s what he said in an email:

We saw him swimming out in the middle of the channel. A boat stopped to check him out and he got spooked and decided to swim back to our side I guess.

Pretty cool.

Last I heard from wildlife Sgt. Ted Jackson was that the bear still hasn’t been captured, but that it is being spotted all over. The hype over the bear has hopefully gone down now that its not running across Mile Hill Drive and bounding over the fences of the nearby Orchard Heights Elementary and Discovery Alternative High School.

I’m guessing Jackson and the other wildlife officials are also hoping the bear quietly fades into the woods, so they don’t have to try and relocate it.

Without further ado, here’s the photos. (Look close in this first one, you can see the dart sticking out his right hind leg).

Rolfes returns Port Orchard pigeon to owners

Amy Phan writes:

After a weeklong stay at Rep. Christine Rolfes’ Bainbridge Island home, a lost black-and-white show pigeon from Port Orchard was ready to go home.

Rolfes said her husband found the bird in their backyard last Friday. Her kids went and got bird food and lured the bird into a chicken cage.
Rolfes contacted several pigeon clubs in the area, attempting to find the bird’s owners.

But the Bainbridge Democrat wasn’t having any luck.

For a week, the bird, which the Rolfeses named “Anthony”, lived with the family’s other pets including chickens, cockatiel and rabbit.

“Everyone got along fine,” she said.

After failed attempts at reunited Anthony and its owner, Rolfes said she got on Craigslist to see how much a pigeon cage would cost — she figured the family would adopt Anthony as a rescue pet.

Rolfes clicked on the lost and found section of the Web site.

“It was the first link on the page — lost, white and black bird,” she said.

The Port Orchard owners said their bird flew out of their open door.

On Friday, the owners traveled to Rolfes’ Bainbridge Island home for the reunion.

Rolfes was glad the owner and her pet was reunited.

“It was a fun adventure with no long term commitment,” said Rolfes, laughing. “It was a nice animal, but we really didn’t want another pet in our home.”

Benefactors step up to help the indigent dead

Since our story Sunday on the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office running out of money in 2011 to care for the remains of the indigent, Coroner Greg Sandstrom called me to say he’d heard from some people who want to help.

Sandstrom and others plan a ceremony this summer at the Old Silverdale Cemetery. There, the remains of some of the 18 people now stored at the coroner’s office will get a dignified burial in plots donated to the county some years back. Those who are certified veterans will be buried at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent.

One of the 18 will be buried next to his wife at the Seabold Cemetery on Bainbridge Island, thanks to some sleuthing by a caretaker for the cemetery. The caretaker called Sandstrom to say he’d found the name of one of the indigents, Walter G. Autem, on a marker at the cemetery with a date of birth but not death date. Clearly he had a place reserved for him.

A woman, who turns out to be Mr. Autem’s wife, is buried in the same plot. Sandstrom verified the man’s identity by cross checking the two birth dates, which match. And Mr. Autem, who died at 89, was a Bainbridge resident. The caretaker has offered to bury the remains of the two other Bainbridge residents in the coroner’s care at Seabold Cemetery as well. They are Raymond L. Cassalery, 73, and Victoria Frances, 59.

“I thought it was pretty nice,” said Sandstrom. “People who know them will be able to come and visit them.”

As for the funding shortfall, a Bremerton woman has come forward offering to donate some money to help defray the coroner’s cost for cremation, at $500 per person.

The story has generated interest beyond Kitsap County. It was mentioned in the Oregonian’s blog. Sandstrom was recently interviewed by Q13, and he’s been contacted by KOMO, which is doing a story on indigents.

Anyone who wants to help defray the coroner’s cost to care for Kitsap’s indigent dead or who has information on the individuals listed below should call Sandstrom at (360) 337-7077.

The remains of the following people are at the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office awaiting burial.

Ruth Gross, 79, Belfair

Darrell Elliott, 59, Bremerton

Grace Seeley, 89, Olalla

Betty Honeycutt, 64, Bremerton

Sue Stuart, 60, Bremerton

Delbert Hersha, 57, unknown

Raymond L. Cassalery, 73, Bainbridge Island

Henry M. Gordon, 70, Olalla

Charles E. Curlee, 64, Bremerton

Brian Garcia, 50, Bremerton

Carl G. Hasty, 71, Port Orchard

Victoria Frances, 59, Bainbridge Island

Monte Welenkel, 76, Port Orchard

Walter G. Autem, 89, Bainbridge

Joyce E. Koranda, 82, Poulsbo

Jess M. Wilks, 81, Bremerton

Arnold Mauricette, 70, Seattle

William G. Brown, 77, Port Orchard

Casting Call for Kitsap Native Americans

Jason Beattie, a 1996 Bainbridge High School graduate and music video director, is planning another project in his old stomping grounds. Beattie, now with Ghost Town Media of Los Angeles, in July shot a video at Bremerton’s Skateland featuring U.K. singer Cheri Moon.

On Friday, he was back in Kitsap, speaking at Bainbridge High School and planning for an upcoming video production of a song by Steve Aoki, a nationally known DJ and founder of Dim Mak Records. The song, called “Wake Up,” features electronic music and essentially no lyrics, unless you count when Aoki screams, “Wake Up.”

See an example of Aoki’s music below.

In choosing Kitsap County as the location for the video, Beattie wanted to break out of the monotony of L.A. videos by showing viewers a new area of a the country and a culture they may not be familiar with. He thought a spot featuring Native Americans would fit with the message of the song.

“Obviously, growing up here, (local tribes are) a big part of all our community here in the Pacific Northwest,” Beattie said. “The concept is really kind of shining a light on the Native American community. I think a lot of people don’t see this community, and it’s kind of a wake-up call for some people.”

Beattie is drawn to Kitsap County for obvious reasons, but will Kitsap become the next big location for music videos? Why not? We already have our partially rotten foot in the door with “Zombies of Mass Destruction,” filmed in Port Gamble.

Beattie said of Kitsap, “I’d love for it to be my hidden gem here, because I think it is. For this video, I’d like to shine a light on the community.”

Beattie has contacted members of the Suquamish Tribe to broadcast the need for Native American families, children and dancers. Members of other tribes also are welcome to tryouts at a yet-to-be-disclosed Poulsbo location Monday through Jan. 17. Contact

A Vet’s Perspective

In preparation for Thursday’s Veterans’ Day story on Thuong Kien “T.K.” Mac, I contacted Bainbridge Island’s Frederick Scheffler, who served in Vietnam and is currently the adjutant at the island’s Colin Hyde Post 172 of the American Legion.

Mac, a former Vietnamese refugee, wrote in gratitude to soldiers who served in the Vietnam War on our “Your News” site.

Scheffler’s response did not get to me on time for the story, but I wanted to post it here.

I served with the Vietnamese in the Mekong Delta. Reading this man’s account brings back memories of the young Vietnamese soldiers that we recruited and trained. They all had one thing in common and that was a fierce determination to see their country become what they thought America was. America was a beacon and inspired semi-literate farmers to risk death by participating in the national elections in 1967. The vote was something that was precious to them and they were willing to risk the wrath of the local Viet Cong by voting. They were an example that I will never forget. His story is one that has been lived by thousands of Vietnamese who risked everything to come to this country and make a new life. They have demonstrated their dedication to living the American dream and have excelled. When we left Vietnam in 1975 we left a lot of good people. When the North Vietnamese invaded the South in 1975 these people who had been our friends and comrades paid a heavy price.

The Vietnam War was the coming of age for a generation of young Americans. The world has turned many times and Vietnam has changed from when we went there. It has evolved and gone through some terrible growing pains. Although I fought in that war and lost friends, the war we fought was not against the Vietnamese people. My memories of them is not framed by those we fought but rather by the noncombatants, the children are especially memorable . I have a picture on my wall of 20 of them that we brought medical attention to in a small village on a Mekong tributary. Those are the memories of Vietnam that I hold dear. This man’s perseverance and what he has achieved speaks volumes. I wish him and those who made it to the States welcome and remember those who did not in my prayers.