Monthly Archives: October 2006

Pay $101 and Say ‘Cheese’

Bremerton is considering using cameras to help cut down on red-light runners and speeders, and to create enough revenue to add five new police officers. In preparing the story I called reps from two cities — Bonney Lake and Auburn — to find out how the programs are working there. Neither city is using the program hoping to generate revenue, they said. Bremerton’s not shy about wanting to make some money for the program, enough for the officers.

In Auburn the mayor said most of the complaints he gets are from people who don’t live in town. He shared one of the letters with me, and his response. Early hint: The part written in all caps (the Internet version of yelling) is from the complainer. The Bremerton council will begin discussing the issue in a workshop Thursday.

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B&O Smells Bad

Sorry, couldn’t resist the obvious pun. Bremerton appears poised to reduce its B&O tax, which charges business owners a tax on their revenues. Over the years I’ve heard gas station owners complain the most about this tax, because it relies on revenues, not profits. Not that they would like taxes on profits either, but one on revenues is even worse. So if gas prices go up, your B&O tax goes up even if your bottom line doesn’t.

If You Have to Wait . . .

A couple months ago my son and I were about 30 seconds late for the 5:30 p.m. ferry. We were on our way to a Mariners game, so we drove around rather than wait for the next boat.

Had we not been in such a hurry and had it been, say, next year we might have waited in the new downtown park.

Photographer Lenna Himmelstein and I got a sneak peak last week at the park and I’m guess some of you are going to find the place downright impressive. You can get a good look at it now from the platform in front of the ferry terminal. There are some who think the money would have been better spent dealing with other issues, such as the one quoted in the story.

What do you think? You looking forward to this park or do you think something else?

Ferry Gerry?

Thursday’s Kitsap Sun detailed some of the elements in Kitsap Transit’s hopes to change the transit district size. OK, so there’s some element of fixing its boundaries to reflect the agency serves. But Richard Hayes, executive director of the agency, comes forward with no hesitation in saying he hopes the changes will help the agency get approval from voters in February for a passenger-only ferry system financed by a three-tenths of one-cent sales tax increase.

Never mind that outside the district the sales tax will actually go down. Never mind that people in those excluded areas will still get Access service and rideshare and vanpool programs. I got no e-mail today about that. I also got nothing about the fact that those residents probably still do most of their shopping in the areas they’ll pay the higher sales tax.

What I got e-mails about today was “gerrymandering.”

Any thoughts?

A View of a Boring Bridge

Is there such a thing?

On Sunday you may have read two stories, one that shows that despite all the planning and intentions of locals within the past decade, the bridge Bremerton gets to replace the Manette Bridge may not be the bridge locals thought they were getting.

The second story was in the business section and relates that the waterfront condominiums under construction will likely have their occupants early next year. So in about four or five years residents there will have good seats to watch the new bridge go up and the old one go down.

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“You’re just the lucky neighborhood.”

In June a man on San Francisco’s list of the 10 most wanted was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Westpark. Fingerprint matches linked him to the Bay Area.

Last week a man wanted for allegedly murdering his former girlfriend in Reseda, Calif. was arrested in Port Orchard, where he was staying with friends who apparently didn’t know he was wanted.

Then Monday, police descended on a neighborhood in Bremerton to find a man who was hiding out after allegedly murdering a guy in front of 500 to 800 people in Ohio.

In Ohio.

I’ve let my subscription to “Fugitive’s Digest” lapse, so I missed the advertisement encouraging murders to come to Kitsap County to hide out. What is it about this area in the past few months that has revealed that if we’re not committing violent crimes, we’re harboring people who do?

Eric E. Robertson, the U.S. Marshal for Western Washington, gives us reason to keep our chins up and not take it personally. “You’re just the lucky neighborhood,” Robertson said in Josh Farley’s story Tuesday.

Wow, thanks. I feel better.