Category Archives: Entertainment

Welcome to Pork Orchard

It started as a joke at a meeting last year of the Port Orchard Bay Street Association.

Clancy Donlin, a contractor who was chairing the Taste of Port Orchard 2014, asked Mayor Tim Matthes if they couldn’t change the name of the city for the day to Pork Orchard. Everybody laughed, then the subject of barbecue came up. Donlin, a self-described “crazy foodie” and barbecue aficionado, later was chatting with his friend Don Ryan (involved in the Port Orchard Public Market among other ventures) and they cooked up the idea (pun intended) of an event centered on barbecue.

Hog Fest 2015 is set for Sept. 20 on the Port Orchard waterfront, and will include a “competition, meat tastings, beer garden, root beer garden for kids, ALL DAY MUSIC with several bands, half-time events for kids and family, Hog Rally with (Harley riders), a professional butcher shows you how pork meat is cut into chops and more to come…,” according to the event’s Facebook page.
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Planning began last fall for the event, which is sanctioned by the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association. The Port Orchard Bay Street Association is sponsoring Hog Fest and has put up the $5,000 in prize money, to be divvied up among contestants in various categories, Donlin said. The judging is double blind, with judges provided by the association, according to their website.

Sanctioning by the association means points for professional barbecue chefs, who compete at local events like Port Orchard’s Hog Fest 2015 to qualify for regional and national events. Like rodeo, only for meat. There will be an amateur division. More on that later.

The nonprofit PNWBA has a mission “to provide education about barbecue,” according to its website. The organization has about 700 members (one need not be a member to participate in sanctioned events) and hosts about 40 shindigs, like Hog Fest, each year, mostly in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, California and western Canada, but sometimes farther afield. Top chefs and judges have participated in events such as the Jack Daniels World Invitational, The American Royal
and the Great American BBQ.

But back to Pork Orchard (has a nice ring, doesn’t it?). Organizers are inviting amateurs to preliminary “satellite” barbecue competitions, where they can qualify for Hog Fest itself. The first one is 10 a.m. Sunday at the Red Dog Saloon in Port Orchard. Here’s the rest of the schedule:
Aug. 8: Whiskey Creek Steakhouse, Keyport; McCloud’s Grill House & Saloon
Aug. 9: New Way Vapors, Port Orchard
Aug. 15, Al’s Market, Olalla
Aug. 30, Wig Wam Pub, Gorst
Sept. 5, McCloud’s again
Sept. 12, The 19th Hole Bar & Grill, Bremerton

Hog Fest will start out small, compared to some of the other PNWBA-sanctioned events, Donlin said. They’re not going to go whole hog, so to speak. The thought being to keep it manageable the first year of what organizers hope will become a beloved Port Orchard tradition.

“With Hog Fest, combined with our other food events, the Chocolate Festival (held in November and sponsored by Fathoms ‘O Fun) and Taste of Port Orchard (held as part of the town’s Labor Day festivities), we plan to turn Port Orchard into the culinary capital of Kitsap County,” Donlin said.

And, yes, the event has been the butt of many jokes and puns, like “praise the lard,” a phrase on one Facebook post.

Oh, wait, I’ve got one, “Hog Fest, it’s nothing to swine about.”

Think you can do better? Of course you can! Have at it.

Peninsular Interning: The best of Kitsap

Peninsular Thinkers, you know your towns better than anyone else. So what are the things you’d recommend to someone who’s never set foot in the Pacific Northwest before? If your relative came into town (and you liked that relative) what are the places, attractions and restaurants you would insist they experience?

That’s the position that I’m in. My name is Miranda Davis and I arrived in Kitsap County about two weeks ago to spend my summer interning at the Sun. The plot twist? I’m from Kansas. I’m a senior studying journalism at the University of Kansas and I drove two thousand miles at the end of May and before that, I’d never been west of Denver. Everything I thought I knew about the area before arriving was from Grey’s Anatomy and Starbucks. I know, I’m awful.

When I tell people I’m new here they say I’m so lucky, because summer is the best time to experience the area, and I completely agree. It also appears as if I brought my pink rain boots for nothing.

So send in the things you think I have to see, eat and experience before August 1st, and I’ll give them a try. Ideally, I want to experience the things that you think of when you think of the word “home,” so hopefully that includes a mix of tourist attractions and things that are off the beaten path.

My rules:

  1. I am willing to drive up to two hours each way if It’s something I can do for the majority of the day. I also like taking the ferry to Seattle but I plan on trekking it on foot once I get into the city.
  2. I’ve already been to the Space Needle and Pike Place Market (It was so busy! There was too much happening around me! I ate a really good grilled cheese!)
  3. I have no diet restrictions and I will eat almost anything. Seafood is growing on me every minute I’m up here. (However, bonus points if you recommend an awesome cheeseburger, and double bonus points if you recommend barbeque)
  4. I’m not afraid of heights but I really dislike roller coasters. Please don’t make me go on a roller coaster.
  5. While mountains and large bodies of water are new to me, I like hiking and swimming, but do not expect me to run a half marathon.
  6. I want to attend festivals and events and I’m 21 years old (so yes, I would really like to know what craft beer I should be purchasing at the grocery store)

I’ll post about the best of my experiences on the Peninsular Thinking blog, where you can see what I think of the best Pacific Northwest and weigh in from the comments section or on social media.

Send all ideas to Miranda.Davis@Kitsapsun.com, or find me on Twitter @MirandaDavisUDK. That’s also where I’ll be posting photos, videos and unrefined thoughts from my adventures.

#SKvsFallon: High school acting group challenges Jimmy Fallon to an Improv-off

… And they’re serious.

We at the Kitsap Sun aren’t sure what Scott Yingling, South Kitsap High School’s acting ensemble coach, put in his coffee Friday, but it clearly got him buzzed. Or is he always like this?

Regardless, an idea hit him, a rather gutsy idea, some might say.

“I’m a huge Jimmy Fallon fan, and my kids are, too,” Yingling said. “We were just talking one day, and I said, ‘You guys, you know what would be fun? Let’s challenge Jimmy Fallon to an Improv-off!”

The kids were down with it. Of course they were, they’re kids … with plenty of chutzpah of the kind kids in acting ensembles have in abundance, probably like Fallon himself at that age. The group of 17 juniors and seniors also has considerable experience with improvisation, since SK high hosts not one but four wildly popular Improv Nights each school year. I can say the “wildly popular” part is true, because my son, who graduated from South in 2013, attended quit a few and described a packed house every time. Granted it’s not NBC studios, but whatevs!

In a YouTube video shot at the school Friday and produced by South Kitsap High School’s video production class, Yingling — in a suit and tie, his minions mugging behind him — issues his challenge.

He calls Fallon “James.”Yingling

“You host a show that is very popular, and I host a show that is very popular,” Yingling says. “We have an Improv Night here in South Kitsap, and behind me is my crew, and basically right now what we’re saying, James, is that we are challenging you, OK? Yeah, bring it!

“You can come to my house or we’ll go to your house. Either way, you’re going to lose.”

Did we mention that Yingling, too, has chutzpah with a capital “B?”

Maybe, but if in some alternate universe Fallon actually hears the online yammering of the students, who have posted memes like this
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If Fallon’s own minions, perhaps, pick up on the chatter and buzz (the video has nearly 30,000 views since Friday) and, let’s imagine in our wildest dreams, they nudge the Emmy winning comedian and say, “Hey, this could be a good shtick.” Let’s say that happens. And let’s say Fallon says, “Why not, I’m already on the West Coast this week.”

What if Fallon and his film crew walked right through the doors of South Kitsap High School into the commons in the middle of lunch, the smell of chicken nuggets pervading? What if he walked up to Yingling, mano e mano, and said, “You’re on.”

What then?

“I’d be ready right now,” Yingling said. “I honestly have that much confidence in my kids. They’re an amazing group of young people. They use intelligent comedy. They’re smart. They look out for one another. Nobody in the group is all about themselves. They’re all about the group.”

Oh, and Jimmy Fallon, if you actually do take them up on their offer. Here are few things you should know. The acting ensemble is the school drama equivalent of the varsity football team. As in years past, the troupe will be taking part in the August Wilson Monologue Competition, which honors the late, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright. The preliminary round is Feb. 21 and 22 at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, with which South Kitsap’s acting program is affiliated through a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts grant. South Kitsap’s acting ensemble has participated in the competition since 2010, and each year has had students make it into the top 10 for the final regional competition (to be held this year on March 17). Two of Yingling’s students went on to the national competition, Drew Benning (2011-2012) and Alexandra Hope (2012-2013).

Most of these kids hope to go into show business themselves some day. So, Kitsap County and beyond, if you’re so inclined, let’s augment this trend on the social media platform of your choice, #SKvsFallon.

Jimmy Fallon, can you hear us now?

One voice will be missing from Hal Champeness memorial Saturday

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

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

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

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

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.


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

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