Peninsular Thinking

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One voice will be missing from Hal Champeness memorial Saturday

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Friends and family of Hal Champeness plan a memorial from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Old Town Bistro, 3388 NW Byron St.
Hal Champeness
Champeness, 90, originally from Bainbridge Island, was a local music legend who died in a house fire in Poulsbo April 10. He played stand-up bass and sang with local bands, including Don Alverson & Friends.

At an informal gathering at the Old Town Bistro shortly after his death, Champeness was lauded as “the little Giant with the sharp wit, golden voice and seductive smile.”
The pictures below the picture of Hal are from that get-together.
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Below, you can read a detailed biography of Champeness by his friend Gerald Elfendahl. Campeness was born Aug. 9, 1924. He lived on Bainbridge. He started out singing and playing violin at school. On the football team, he was a 5-foot-3-inch tall, 140-pound quarterback, who earned “most inspirational” award.

In 1940, Champeness heard of a band that needed a bass player, and for the remainder of his life, he and that instrument were “joined at the hip,” as Elfendahl says.

Champeness served as a Navy radio operator in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Later, after the war, he joined up with Stan Boreson, a Seattle entertainer known as the “King of Scandinavian Humor.”

Later yet, he continued his musical career playing and singing at Whiskey Creek Steak House and other venues. His CD “The Champ” was issued in 2010.

He was married and widowed three times, and he leaves behind his son Hal Jr.

Even after he finally set aside his bass, Champeness continued singing, mostly at the Bistro, where he and Hal Jr. stopped in regularly.

Anyone attending the memorial is asked to bring instruments, voices, cookies and memories of “The Champ,” whose own voice at the event will surely be missed.

* Photos, except the picture of Hal Champeness, courtesy of Brei Rasmussen-Dodd.

Hal Champeness, 1923-2014


BHS, KSS bands plans marching marathon

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Marching bands from Bremerton High School and Klahowya Secondary School in Central Kitsap plan a marathon of performances on Saturday, starting in Bremerton’s Armed Forces Day Parade and ending in Spokane for the Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade.

KSS band director Lia Morgan, new to Klahowya this year, wanted to resurrect a tradition from years past by bringing the marching band to Spokane. The band will play recently composed music by the a cappella group Pentatonix. In the Torchlight Parade, they will crry glow sticks for effect.

On Sunday, the marathon will continue when the KSS jazz band plays at Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho. Many jazz band members also play in the marching band. The rest of the band will “support them as members of the audience,” Morgan said. Afterward, all of the students, Morgan and a number of parents who are going along as groupies will take a well deserved break by enjoying the rides.

Morgan is proud of her musicians, a number of whom have performed in and won awards in solo competitions this school year. “We have had an exciting and busy year at Klahowya this year and I’m looking forward to more years and activities to come,” she said.

This is the first time Bremerton High’s marching band has played in the Torchlight Parade.

“I thought that would be kind of fun, to do two parades in one day,” said Band director, Max Karler, who is in his first year as director of instrumental music at BHS. Before then, he taught band and orchestra at Mt. Tahoma high.

The Spokane parade starts at 7:45 p.m., but the BHS band’s staging time is 8:15 p.m. Karler figures his group will have time to make the roughly six-hour drive to Spokane in between parades.

No, it’s not by school bus. They are renting charter buses, so the kids can snooze or watch movies as long as it’s “not something I hate,” Karler said. As a student, he once got stuck on a band road trip where the flute section had this obsession with a particularly bad Bollywood movie. But I digress.

Luckily, BHS is near the front of the Armed Forces parade, so they expect to be done by noon-ish.

“When we get done there (Bremerton’s Armed Forces Day Parade), we’re going to get out of our clothes (band outfits), eat some lunch, hop on the bus and go over to their torchlight parade,” Karler said.

Karler is impressed with the group’s can-do attitude and eagerness to try new things.

“It’s totally awesome, just lots of support,” Karler said. “The kids are very capable, lots of strong players and strong leaders.”

Karler let the students suggest the playlist. They’re going with the top three tunes: the BHS fight song (to the tune of “Anchors Aweigh), “Take on Me” (by The A-ha) and “Conga” by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine.

“I’m really excited for it. I think they’re going to do really well,” Karler said.

BHS performed earlier this month in the Sequim Irrigation Festival and won first place for AA and AAA school bands. Go Knights!


Bremerton-born blues man performs locally Friday and Saturday

Friday, April 4th, 2014

So, got any plans at 4 p.m. today (April 4)?

Bremerton-born blues man TJ Wheeler will present a free workshop today at the Opal Robertston Teen Center, 802 7th St. in Bremerton. He’ll also give a concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at Island Center Hall on Bainbridge Island, 8395 Fletcher Bay Rd NE; donations welcome. A 6 p.m. potluck precedes Saturday’s entertainment.

Wheeler graduated from an alternative school on Bainbridge Island and found music to be a grounding influence in his early life, which was full of challenges, according to Jerry Elfendahl, who is helping publicize the musician’s visit to the Northwest. He has earned many awards and accolades, including the W.C. Handy Keeping the Blues Alive Award in education.

Wheeler’s workshops combine music and inspiration. His educational program Hope, Heroes and the Blues, which started with a small grant from Ben & Jerry’s, has reached more than 450,000 students nationwide.
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The concert/workshop in Bremerton is sponsored by New Life Community Development Agency. Although the workshop is aimed at youth, everyone is welcome. There is no cost.

Wheeler’s calling his Saturday concert a 50th Jubilee, since he’s been playing guitar for 50 years.

“The next week the Jimi Hendrix Museum AKA EMP / (Experience Music project) have booked me to do a ‘Blues to Hendrix’ BITS (Blues in the School) residency and concert,” Wheeler wrote in his blog. “It is a blessing to be coming home and I hope I see all of you at one site or another.”


Dr. Who: the video

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Here’s our video of a replica of the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), made by Fred and Jordan Rabinovitz in their South Kitsap garage. The TARDIS, of course, is the spaceship (in the form of a British police call box) that allows the Doctor to travel through time and space.


Dr. Who? In which I learn what I’ve been missing

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Yes, I have been living under a rock.
So when the Kitsap Sun got an email from Fred Rabinovitz of Port Orchard saying he and his son had built a TARDIS in their garage, the newsworthiness of the announcement whizzed right past me … defying the laws of space and time … much like the TARDIS itself.
When I was asked to write about Rabinovitz’s TARDIS, I had no idea how lucky I was. My first clue was photographer Meegan Reid, who clawed the assignment away from Larry Steagall and who gushed with excitement when we arrived at Rabinovitz’s garage.
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Meegan is by nature pretty low key. I don’t think I’ve seen her this worked up over anything … except maybe those whales in Dyes Inlet. To myself, I’m like, “Nice blue box. But what’s the big deal?”
To Whovians everywhere, I apologize for my ignorance.
The TARDIS, of course, is the time-space travel machine that figures centrally in the long-running BBC television series “Dr. Who.” From the outside, it appears an ordinary British police call box. Inside … ah, that’s another story.
The Doctor in “Dr. Who” has had multiple incarnations since the show launched in 1963 — each played by different actors, with different (mostly female) sidekicks and villainous otherworldly enemies.
I’m not going to say how many Doctors there have been for fear of stepping into Whovian trivia quicksand. I do know the Doctor is an alien Time Lord (apparently with two hearts) and a shape shifter … unlike the TARDIS (for Time and Relative Dimension in Space), which got stuck as a police call box early on in the series.
That’s not to say the TARDIS is a static prop.
Over the course of the series — both the “classic” earlier version and the reincarnation that began in 2005 — the TARDIS has been so much more than a vehicle through space and time. It (she?) has a personality and oft independent will, as the Doctor does battle over the millennia with various hordes of rubbery monsters. All of this is served up with that dry British wit that seems to poke fun at the show’s inherent hokiness.
What’s not to love?
Jordan Rabinovitz, 17, is the resident Whovian – reminiscent of the 11th Doctor in a natty vest and bow tie — proud as a hen on a new clutch of eggs as he opens the door to the TARDIS.
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Inside, Fred Rabinovitz, an engineer by trade, has done wonders with a metal recycling bin, some holiday rope lights and a DJ’s music mixing console he got off eBay. There’s even a black-and-white television that displays a grainy image of the hypnotizing introduction to the show.
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Jordan pushes a button and the TARDIS emits a noise suggestive of futuristic travel. His secret? A key scraped along a piano wire. It’s thoroughly convincing. Take note, BBC.
The Rabinovitz TARDIS has had its own dramatic career, appearing in the family’s extravagant Christmas light display and as a prop in a video for a Spanish assignment.
Jordan is a relative newcomer to the fandom — which like the TARDIS is bigger on the inside that it appears from the outside. He started watching in December 2012.
“I had heard a little bit about it. I decided I may as well watch the first episode (from the 2005 reboot), and it just got me intrigued,” Jordan said. “Episode by episode, the emotional attachment set in.”
By June he had his dad hard at work on the TARDIS.
“I would build it, and he would come out and say, ‘That’s not right.’” Fred said. “I’d say, ‘It’s good enough.’ And he’d say, ‘No, it’s not.’”
“It’s a work in progress,” Fred said. “We’re always adding to it.”
Jordan Rabinovitz has watched many of the Dr. Who episodes — including those of the classics he can locate — and he can rattle off trivia rapid fire. He even has a replica of the crazy-long scarf worn by an earlier doctor and a sonic screwdriver.
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Jordan, a senior at Crosspointe Christian Academy, often comes home from a long day and closes himself in the TARDIS. Listening to the take-off noise or music from the console, he is indeed transported.
“It’s a getaway. It’s imaginative. It lets the creative juices flow,” Jordan said. “I have achieved time travel, but only when I’m in it.”
In case there was any question, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: “I’m a huge fan, not obsessive,” Jordan said. “There’s a line; you don’t cross it. Some have, and I’m sorry for them.”
As to the question, “Is it bigger on the inside?” Just wait ‘til you see their next model.


You’ve earned the right to cry over this.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014


Super Bowl XLVIII trophy and the guys who made it happen.

Super Bowl XLVIII trophy and the guys who made it happen.

Several years back Bremerton got a Popeyes chicken restaurant and for a few weeks the lines were atrocious. One of my bosses asked if there had been a pent-up demand for Popeyes. Apparently, but that’s nothing compared to the demand in Seattle for the silver football.

The projected numbers kept growing. It went from an expected to 300,000 to a half a million on Tuesday. The lines at the ferries made it easy to believe the other estimates that came out on Wednesday, that the crowd was up to 700,000. During the party at CenturyLink Field Paul Allen said it was a million. If Allen was wrong he can be forgiven for not really identifying with numbers less than a million. He can also be forgiven because Seattle was celebrating in the house he and you, the taxpayers, built. Whatever the numbers, they were massive.

If there weren’t a million people downtown, it sure felt like it. Imagine if all those people who tried to board boats around Kitsap and trains in the areas surrounding Seattle had managed to get on.

It was cold, it was crowded and it was beautiful.

I saw someone posting on Facebook a wish that we could gather that many people for something perhaps more noble. That’s a worthwhile dream, but let’s not spend a lot of time feeling bad about this. I certainly don’t have a mind sharp enough to tell you why it is we care so much about sports, I just know I’m as big a sucker for this as anyone.

Charlie Peach of Bainbridge Island told me he cried when Percy Harvin ran the second-half kickoff back for a touchdown. I haven’t been a Seahawk fan as long as he has. He was a fan when the team was launched. I jumped on the bandwagon in 2003, when I heard on the radio some guy talking about wanting the ball so they could march down to score. You know what I’m talking about.

Despite my relatively recent adoption of the Seahawks, I’ll confess that I kind of cried too when Harvin scored. I wanted this win as bad as you lifers, because I wanted it for you. I grew up somewhere else and have seen my teams win it all. A lot of you, including a few of my cousins, had not. I know the Storm won two titles, but as Nathan Joyce wrote before the Super Bowl, those titles have not filled the void that has been building since the Sonics won it all in 1979. Sunday was a good day.

So I wasn’t at all surprised to hear the outrageous estimates of the crowd size in Seattle. This victory was special. If the team gets more, the parades and the rallies in the future probably won’t be as well attended. It will still feel great, but this one is special. Years of frustration, at least in football, are over.

America gets to kiss your ring, Seattle. For years you’ve been able to talk about your teams’ greatness, the 2001 Mariners, the 2005 Seahawks, the 1996 Sonics, and everyone else could ask to see the trophy. Now you can show them the proof. And you can puff out your chest and declare yourself a champion.

And don’t be surprised if every time you see the replay of Harvin taking that kickoff to paydirt you shed another tear. Over the past 38 years you have earned the right to be emotional about this.

Editor’s note: This piece was edited to include the mention of the Seattle Storm and to correct the year figure in the last sentence. While we’re discussing this a little bit, let me mention the video. I wasn’t prepared to take video yesterday. That was going to be another reporter’s role, but that reporter couldn’t get on the ferry. Not getting on the ferry became the main story and Josh Farley did an excellent video on that topic. I was left to my own device, my iPhone, which kept running out of juice at inopportune times. That’s why there is no video from the ceremony itself.


KRL hands out “catch and release” books

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

You’ve heard the term “catch and release” used by fishermen (and -women). Here it is applied to books.

Kitsap Regional Library staff members will tour the county Saturday to “release” special copies of KRL’s One Book, One Community selection to the public.

More than 100 copies of “The Leisure Seeker,” by Michael Zadoorian, will be handed out, free and available to keep … or release to bring others enjoyment.

The books are not part of the library’s collection and don’t need to be returned. They were purchased with funds from the KRL Foundation. Each comes with special labeling urging temporary owners to enjoy and share.

The label on the cover of each book says, “Read & Release. Take this Book. Details inside.” Inside the front cover is another label explaining the One Book, One Community program, coming up in October, which gets the whole community on the same page, so to speak. Online discussion of the chosen book and book groups around the county draw readers together.

Each “read and release” book has a unique identification number that has been registered at Bookcrossing.com. Readers can use that number to record their comments on the book, see the path it has taken through the community and to note where they have released it for the next person to take.

The “read and release” effort is aimed at getting people jazzed about the One Book, One Community program, said library Spokesman Jeff Brody. Copies of the book also will be available for checkout from the library.

The Leisure Seeker,” announced in March as KRL’s One Book selection for 2013, is “a story about making the most of your time, a celebration of love and partnership, of Old Route 66 and the challenges of modern life,” according to a KRL news release. A couple, married 50 years, “goes on the lam against doctors’ orders and the wishes of their grown children, piling into their RV, the Leisure Seeker, to take one last road trip together.”

“KRL hopes to encourage more people to read this thought-provoking book by releasing these extra copies into the community and urging people who find them to read them and pass them along to family, friends or neighbors,” Brody said.

Copies of the book will be released Saturday at the following locations and events:
8 a.m.: A Port Orchard senior center (will it be yours?)
9 a.m.: Poulsbo Farmers Market
10:30 a.m.: Bainbridge Farmers Market or other Bainbridge location (they want to keep you guessing)
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Silverdale Whaling Days Festival

For more information on the special release of “The Leisure Seeker” copies in the community, contact KRL Marketing Manager Jeannie Allen, (360) 475-9033


World premier of Macomber’s Cedar Cove series is Saturday

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

The big question is, “How will we look?”

Fans around the country are eagerly awaiting Saturday’s world premier of “Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove,” the Hallmark Channel television series based on books by local bestselling author Debbie Macomber. Macomber in turn based her wildly popular series on the town of Port Orchard, where she makes her home.

The show is at 8 p.m. Saturday on the Hallmark Channel, with episodes scheduled at the same time every Saturday at least through August 31. Spoiler alert: I’ve pasted summaries of the six episodes below for those of you who want to get a jump on the whole experience.

The Debbie Macomber experience has been a phenomenon for the city of Port Orchard for nearly three decades. The humble and perennially cheerful homemaker began her career typing at the kitchen table. Macomber rose through the ranks of bestselling women’s fiction beginning in the 1980s. Her early success was documented by the late JoAnne Marez, retired Kitsap Sun reporter and editor, who died July 7. Macomber recalled how a story JoAnne wrote in the mid-1990s was picked up by the Associated Press, accelerating the author’s fame and fortune. I know if JoAnne were alive, she would be glued to the TV for every episode.

I interviewed Macomber in 2009, as the town was getting ready to portray itself in the first (and so far only) Cedar Cove Days, which drew thousands of fans from far and wide. Locals dressed up as characters from the books. A map showed places — the library, restaurants and homes around town — that inspired Macomber’s imaginary Cedar Cove. The town got a new paint job, and there was some tension over the color scheme. Some aspects of the town didn’t lend themselves too well to sprucing up — Bay Street buildings that showed (and still show) their backsides (adorned with dumpsters) to the waterfront and marina. But the unpretentious Macomber wanted her fans to see the town “warts and all.”

In the series, Judge Olivia Lockhart is played by Golden Globe winner Andie McDowell. We’ll take that as a compliment.
Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove 1001-- (Photo by: Chris Large/Hallmark)
Macomber herself stumped for the filming to take place in Port Orchard, but producers may have felt that was a little too much reality. The series was shot in Victoria, Canada. We’ll take that as a compliment, as well. Which brings us back to the original question, “How will be look?” All glammed up by Andie McDowell and Victoria, B.C., will Port Orchard (a.k.a. Cedar Cove) even be able to recognize itself?

In the series premiere, MacDowell plays Judge Olivia Lockhart, “whose Cedar Cove Municipal Court is the professional milieu and social microcosm of issues the judge will face in her own day-to-day life with family and friends,” according to the Hallmark Channel website.

“Jack Griffith (Dylan Neal), the editor of the Cedar Cove Chronicle, is a new friend and potential love interest for Judge Lockhart,” the website continues. “Judge Lockhart hears her name is being put forth for appointment to a Federal judgeship in Seattle, and she asks that her family keep the news a secret. But Griffith, “desperate for a meaningful news story,” (those damn newspaper people!) “corners Olivia’s mother who inadvertently tells the editor about everything in her daughter’s life – including the possible appointment. … Suddenly, Olivia (much to her chagrin) is front page news.”

Hmmmm, judge-editor, potential love interest … I could have told Judge Lockhart THAT was a bad idea.

Two actors from the set recently visited Port Orchard, according to Macomber’s daughter Adele LaCombe, executive director of Debbie Macomber the Brand. Yes, our neighbor Debbie Macomber is a copyrighted brand that covers not only her books, but movies, television series and even cookbooks that Macomber has written (one based on recipes mentioned in the Cedar Cove books).

The actors were utterly charmed by Port Orchard, LaCombe said. Fortunately, they made their visit about a week before a fire ripped through the upstairs apartment/rooming house of the Los Cabos building on Bay Street. The cause of the fire is considered suspicious and is still under investigation. Now, with renovation of the Myhre’s building (also gutted by fire two years ago) stalled in a legal morass, the town has bookend eyesores.

But there are also some charming new additions: The nearly completed DeKalb Pier upgrade and a new dock at the Water Street Boat launch help make the town look prosperous and classy. The city of Port Orchard did that work and a recently completed a segment of the Bay Street Pedestrian Pathway that is one of several enhancements to the Port of Bremerton-owned Port Orchard Marina Park.

I guess your impression of the town depends on your willingness to look past the “warts” and see the efforts being made by shopkeepers and building owners — flowers, banners, attractive wares, a public market in the works at the old Slip 45 building — to make Bay Street look like something out of a storybook. Oh, alright, maybe we’ll never be Cedar Cover. But if we were Debbie Macomber — our down-to-earth neighbor, not the brand — maybe we could see the best in our town and cherish it for what it is … warts and all.

See, I can write fiction, too.

Here at the episode capsules courtesy of Hallmark:
‘DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE’
Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series
Episode: #1001 “A House Divided”
Saturday, July 27 at 8p.m. ET/PT, 7C
Starring: Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal, Teryl Rothery, Bruce Boxleitner, Barbara Niven, Brennan Elliott, Paula Shaw, Sarah Smyth, Corey Sevier, Timothy Webber, Elyse Levesque and Garry Chalk

Judge Olivia Lockhart finds herself in a house divided after her seaside town goes up in arms when arrogant and wealthy developer Warren Saget threatens to tear down Cedar Cove’s historic lighthouse. Local Thyme and Tide innkeepers Bob and Peggy Beldon lead the townspeople in protest, including Olivia’s mom Charlotte, leaving Olivia caught in the middle when the case ends up in her courtroom and she must put her emotions aside to abide by the law. Then, Olivia’s new romance with newspaper reporter Jack Griffith is threatened when he paints Olivia in an unfavorable light in his story about the case. While the town begins to turn their backs on their respected judge, Olivia’s daughter Justine, recently single after ending her engagement to Warren, sees a spark reignite with old high school sweetheart Seth Gunderson and Olivia’s best friend Grace Sherman, home from a post-divorce vacation, begins readjusting to single life.

‘DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE’
Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series
Episode: #1002 “Reunion”
Saturday, August 3 at 8p.m. ET/PT, 7C
Starring: Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal, Teryl Rothery, Paula Shaw, Andrew Airlie, Sarah Smyth, Corey Sevier, Timothy Webber and Elyse Levesque
Guest Starring: Sebastian Spence and Tom Stevens

When Jack’s estranged son Eric shows up in Cedar Cove completely unannounced, their uncomfortable reunion is long overdue. As Jack starts to get to know his son amid Eric’s constant hurtful reminders of Jack’s alcoholic past and poor parenting, Olivia and Grace learn a secret that makes them question Eric’s intentions. Charlotte wants to fulfill the dying wish of a stroke victim she met while volunteering at the local hospital by tracking down his family and asks Olivia for help. But when Charlotte also recruits Olivia’s friendly ex-husband Stan to do some digging, Olivia is faced with her own uneasy reunion.

‘DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE’
Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series
Episode: #1003 “Suspicious Minds”
Saturday, August 10 at 8p.m. ET/PT, 7C
Starring: Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal, Bruce Boxleitner, Barbara Niven, Teryl Rothery, Paula Shaw, Andrew Airlie, Sarah Smyth, Corey Sevier, Garry Chalk, Brennan Elliott, Elyse Levesque, Timothy Webber, Kendall Cross, Matreya Fedor and Brendan Meyer
Guest Starring: Tom Stevens and Charlie Carrick

A bloodied and quiet man arrives to the Thyme and Tide in the middle of the night asking for a room, inexplicably missing all of his belongings. Sensing trouble, Bob and Peggy reluctantly let him stay, promising to work out the details later. But when he is found mysteriously dead in his room the next morning, the Beldons are stunned and upset and the Cedar Cove gossip mill begins buzzing with the news. As Sheriff Troy Davis leads the investigation, Jack is quick to begin covering the story for the Chronicle—even in the midst of rising tensions between him and Olivia about Eric’s bad attitude. Meanwhile, at Cedar Cove’s annual Art Walk, Justine is on the verge of a new career when she receives a prominent booth to display her work and is stunned when her dad Stan shows up to support her, invoking unresolved feelings.

‘DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE’
Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series
Episode: #1004 “For the Sake of the Children”
Saturday, August 17 at 8p.m. ET/PT, 7C
Starring: Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal, Teryl Rothery, Kendall Cross, Lochlyn Munro, Paula Shaw, Elyse Levesque, Matreya Fedor, Sean Michael Kyer, Sarah Smyth, Brennan Elliott, Timothy Webber and Garry Chalk
Guest Starring: Tom Stevens and Sebastian Spence

In court, Olivia hears both sides of Rosie and Zach Westen’s heated, he-said, she-said divorce case, struggling to decide what’s best, for the sake of the children, Allison and Eddie. While the case stirs up painful memories of Olivia’s own divorce, Jack is also reminded of his past when he notices Eric is stalling to find a job and starting to take advantage of Jack’s guilt. Then, after budget cuts leaves the Mayor no choice but to close the town’s beloved library, Grace resolves to raise the money to keep it open herself, hosting a fundraiser where she meets a charming man new to Cedar Cove, Cliff Harting.

‘DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE’
Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series
Episode: #1005 “Free Spirits”
Saturday, August 24 at 8p.m. ET/PT, 7C
Starring: Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal, Teryl Rothery, Bruce Boxleitner, Sarah Smyth, Corey Sevier, Paula Shaw, Elyse Levesque and Timothy Webber
Guest Starring: Sebastian Spence and Charlie Carrick

Justine is excited to welcome Seth back from his job at sea, but when he doesn’t show up for several days, she fears the worst and decides to go on a dangerous solo trip to a remote Alaskan town to find him. Olivia is concerned, especially as she remembers the pain of losing her son several years ago in an accident. Worried she’ll lose Justine too, Olivia’s sleepless nights start taking a toll and is hesitant to leave town when Jack asks her to go to Seattle for the weekend on their first trip as a couple. As both Justine and Olivia face stepping out of their comfort zones, they ultimately realize the adventure might be worth the risk.

‘DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE’
Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series
Episode: #1006 “Help Wanted”
Saturday, August 31 at 8p.m. ET/PT, 7C
Starring: Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal, Teryl Rothery, Bruce Boxleitner, Barbara Niven, Matreya Fedor, Brendan Meyer, Kendall Cross, Sarah Smyth, Paula Shaw, Andrew Airlie, Garry Chalk, Timothy
Hallmark’s two-hour world premier of Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove is 8 p.m. Saturday. The program kicks off a television series based on the Cedar Cove books by local best-selling author Debbie Macomber.

Webber
Guest Starring: Richard De Klerk and Sebastian Spence

The Westen’s messy divorce starts taking a toll on daughter Allison, who is quick to lean on her friend Anson for support and put in extra hours at the Thyme and Tide Inn just to escape. But when her mom Rosie gets a permanent room at the Inn, Allison is on the verge of a breakdown. Then, before a trip to Seattle with Jack, Olivia gets a surprising visit from Lenny, a reformed criminal she helped put in jail years ago, who has returned to Cedar Cove wanting a fresh start. Seeing a change in him, Olivia promises to help Lenny find a job, but feels defeated when everyone in Cedar Cove is too quick to judge the ex-convict and turns him away. Then, when the harbor’s beautiful pergola goes up in flames at the hands of an apparent arsonist, even Olivia is suspicious of Lenny, but everyone is shocked by the conclusion in court.


With skatepark open, a word on helmets

Friday, June 21st, 2013

South Kitsap Skatepark opened today, after six years of planning and nearly eight months of construction. Immediately the place was filled with jubilent skateboarders and trick bike riders, according to Kitsap Sun reporter Brynn Grimley, who passed the park on her way home earlier.

Tomorrow (Saturday) there will be a grand opening celebration.

As work on the park was under way in January, I heard from James Gates, a local resident concerned with personal safety. More than one member of Gates’ family has had head injuries related to skateboarding.

“I am in favor of a park, but not in favor of accidents that are preventable,” Gates said.

The county, which owns the skatepark at South Kitsap Regional Park, does not require helmets. Signs are posted recommending use of helmets and knee pads. Those signs confer “recreational immunity” on the county from anyone who would sue over injuries from use of the skatepark, according to Ric Catron, the county’s parks project manager.

Catron is from Oregon, where helmets are required by law for bike riders and skateboarders under 16. Earlier this year a bill, now dead, proposed to raise the age to 18.

Catron was surprised by Washington’s lack of a similar helmet law. In Oregon, where Catron also worked in parks development, violators could be fined, heftily. Some jurisdictions confiscated skateboards from those who neglected the law.

Gates thinks South Kitsap Skatepark Association, a major donor to the skatepark, should take the lead in educating young skateboarders about the importance of helmets, and, Gates said, they should lead by example. Mike VanDenBergh one of the SKSPSA’s leaders said he always wears a helmet and has his children, Ethan, 13, and Sophie, 11, do so as well.

At the event Saturday, professional skateboarders will be giving tips. It will be interesting to see if safety is emphasized in their lessons.

Parents, do you make your children wear helmets? Do you wear them yourself?


The Bay Street Report: works in progress

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Old buildings, they’re like that box of chocolates in “Forrest Gump” — you never know what you’re going to get.

The old Slip 45 building, now being transformed into a public market, has hatched more than its share of surprises. The discovery of asbestos caused a delay last year. A new hitch has impeded progress on the market — billed as a Pike Place-style venue — but the project is still on track, says local businessman Don Ryan, who leases the building from Seattle-area property owner Mansour Samadpour.

Samadpour in 2012 agreed to invest in renovation of the building at 715 Bay Street. Ryan had hoped to open the market last summer, but he and Samadpour, whose investment has crept from $300,000 to nearly $600,000, used the delay to improve the design. Ryan now is shooting for this summer … sometime.

The latest hitch, which has slowed work to a crawl, was the discovery of two walls back to back where the facade of the building is to be built. The property, although listed by the assessor as a single structure, is made up of at least two, possibly three buildings, Ryan said. The assessor’s office says it dates to 1935.

The wall configuration means the façade must be re-engineered or redesigned to meet city standards for structural integrity. Once the city of Port Orchard, construction can resume at full speed ahead, possibly by next week, Ryan said. Vendors will then build their own kiosk-style spaces inside the market, which will offer fresh produce and flowers, cheese, seafood, beer, meat and more.

Ryan remains intentionally vague about pinpointing an opening date, because you never know ….

Down on the 600 block, another project under wraps is chugging along, according to the couple who plan an “Old World-style” pub on the corner of Bay and Harrison Street (the former Jordan’s Western Wear store).

Stacy Bronson and Dave Tagert, formerly of South Kitsap, opened the Devilfish Public House in Chehalis in 2007 and, emboldened by their success, are planning a second incarnation in Port Orchard.

“We’re not a bar or a saloon or a tavern,” Tagert said.
The Devilfish will be a quiet little gathering place that caters to an older crowd (35+), a place where you can engage in conversation without competition from the big screen or a loud band. The occasional acoustic group might be part of the mix. Microbrews from around the country and hearty pub fare (nothing fried) will be on the menu.

Tagert and Bronson are remodeling the interior themselves, and it will take as long as it takes, they say. Like Ryan, they are hoping to open this summer … sometime. Meantime, brown paper on the windows hides what’s going on inside the former deli.

Both veterans, Bronson and Tagert are looking to hire cooks and bartenders, with preference given to military spouses. The name Devilfish (for octopus) harkens to Tagart’s days as a commercial diver.

The building long owned by the Cohen family is now in the hands of Doug Zimmermann of Seattle.

The DeKalb Pier refurbishment, another Bay Street work in progress, should be complete by early July, said City Engineer Mark Dorsey. The city will replace the viewing platform and some of the crossbeams underneath, and make the platform handicapped accessible.


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