Monthly Archives: May 2007

You’re on Notice! – Armed Forces Weekend

Do you hear that? Hey, you in Poulsbo. How many bands you got? Here in Bremerton we’ve got 32 marching bands ready to brave the rain to deliver our local members of the armed forces and other hangers-on a parade that blows yours away. And in case it doesn’t happen figuratively, we’ve got a tank!


Once again it’s time for Bremerton’s unofficial “You’re on Notice” board, based on the one done by Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

The Web site, not a Comedy Central site, allows ordinaries like me to create a “You’re on Notice” board, sending a warning to let people know you’re watching them. These are based on your suggestions, which you can read in the comments, and my personal whimsy.

Regarding this week’s board: The first one is a shout to Poulsbo, which has a competing fest going on this weekend. I lived in Poulsbo three years and loved Viking Fest. But I live here now, so to heck with them. The middle six are all your nominations and I have no idea what you’re talking about. Port Orchard is on there again, this time because we want the drum beats from 32 marching bands to be heard all the way across the Sinclair Inlet. Hey Port Orchard, can you hear what the Bremerton is cooking?

Continue sending your nominations and I’ll continue to update this board, probably every Friday.

Remember, “You’re on notice” means “I’m watching you,” not “You’re dead to me,” which is a different board. Send me your nominations for things or people you’re getting a little suspicious of, or getting a little tired of, or you think isn’t getting the attention it should. Try to be Bremerton-specific and feel free to duplicate other peoples’ nominations. If something gets nominated a lot, it’s more likely to get on the board.

Then again, this isn’t scientific and is subject to the blogmaster’s personal bias and sense of what’s relevant and/or funny.

32 Marching Bands

Ed Friedrich gives the goods on the Armed Forces Festival this weekend here in Bremerton.

Most Armed Forces Day parades feature 40 to 50 entries, Larsen said. Bremerton’s is pushing 200, with 32 marching bands alone. Pearl Harbor survivors are also recognized and every service branch participates. Crowd favorites include the Army National Guard’s M1A1 Abrams tank, Combat Veterans International’s motorcycle tribute, and Gamewardens of Vietnam’s river boat. There will also be a flyover of C-17 Globemaster planes from McChord Air Force Base.

I’m there, dude.

Bremerton Boys Play in Bruce Haunt

MxPx, the local rock band that urges a girlfriend to “Move to Bremerton,” gets to play in the Stone Pony, an Asbury Park, N.J. club most known for occasional sightings and performances by Bruce Springsteen.

The show Wednesday is an all ages show beginning at 5 p.m. and includes Hawk Nelson and the Classic Crime on the bill as well.

The Wikipedia entry on the Jersey shore club cites Springsteen biographer Robert Santelli offering hefty kudos for the place:

According to the vice president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Robert Santelli, “the club has already earned its place in history as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s great venues. Most rock critics and historians that I come in contact with on a regular basis feel that The Stone Pony is one of the greatest rock clubs of all time.”

As a Springsteen fan for most of my life, I didn’t miss the opportunity to go to a show at the Stone Pony when I was in Eatontown, N.J., about nine miles away, for work sometime around 1990. I don’t remember liking the band much, but I wasn’t really there to see them. I was hoping for a drop-in by Bruce. It didn’t happen. I bought a crappy t-shirt and counted myself lucky for having had the opportunity to see the place.

For a rocker, I would think playing the Stone Pony would be like batting at Yankee Stadium. You get to play on the same ground as the legends. Then again, I’m a romantic.

Click on the link below to see a couple MxPx videos.

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West Hills Annexation Vote

West Hills residents get to vote Aug. 21 whether they want to officially be part of the city, not an island within it. I haven’t heard anything yet that would suggest the vote would be anything but a landslide against annexation.

Pamalonia McCrary, who has led the anti-annexation effort in West Hills, e-mailed and said Navy Yard City residents have been in contact with her. Seems residents there are preparing to petition a vote as well.

Lid Lift Fails — How Stunning

In Brynn Grimley’s story Wednesday about the library lid lift failure, she quotes the regional library chief as being “stunned.”

“I’m really pretty stunned because we didn’t have any formed opposition,” said Kitsap Regional Library Director Jill Jean. “I think what we’re getting is a real backlash” against taxes.

This is not to take a shot at Jean, but I wonder why anyone is stunned anymore when a proposed tax increase fails with the voters.

Well, you could look at the last 24 times that local voters were asked to approve taxes for local taxing districts, going back to 2004. Of those, 15 measures passed. That makes it seem like the odds are pretty good.

But wait, six of those were for fire districts, with at least one win coming after an earlier defeat.

Of the other nine that passed, seven were measures to keep existing funds in place. The two that passed where more spending was requested was a Bremerton School District capital bond measure in 2005 and a similar one on Bainbridge Island in 2006.

The nine that failed include the library lid lift, the South Kitsap School District measure from March, the fast ferry item in February, a law and justice tax in 2005, a Bainbridge technology levy the same year, a Fire District 7 levy in 2004, a Bainbridge fire department lid lift earlier that year and the city’s park district excess levy, which failed to get the 60 percent required.

In 2004 I was covering Bainbridge and writing a column from the Bainbridge Islander publication the Sun sends to BI residents. After the fire levy defeat I wrote,

If you’re going to make the case that you need that money, you better have some pretty convincing evidence and some believable people on your side. Anti-tax moves come with a decided advantage. . .
The bottom line is neither the fire district nor the park district did enough to convince voters this year that their increases were necessary. They couldn’t overcome criticism that came from credible sources.

Perhaps taxing district leaders should study carefully the book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book Gladwell explains several ways in which large groups of people start heading in the same direction. The library levy effort had some notable supporters, but they obviously didn’t reach about 29,709 voters in a meaningful way.

Baker Weighs in on the Fountains

Did you see what former full-time Kitsap Sun reporter and still the “Road Warrior” (as well as occasional reporter for us) Travis Baker had to say about the new Harborside Fountain Park downtown?

To me the most interesting commentary was how this park differs from other Bremerton developments.

Most of the development on the city waterfront the past few years has struck me as catch-up, Bremerton trying to offer what other cities can, so visitors don’t leave disappointed.
This new park, though, takes it to the next level. It is a stunning blend of artistry, creativity, relevance and technology that goes beyond what I have seen in other cities. It will create a buzz and send visitors home likely to tell their friends about it.

Baker also goes into what it might take to get the fountains timed well with arriving ferries.

Stern Dunking

It was just a week ago we posted an entry and a photo after the Empress of the North stopped by in Manette. Now we have new photos, thanks to Pauline Meyers.

She sent the photos today on the news that the boat ran aground in Alaska today. Apparently it’s not the first spot of trouble the boat has had. The Columbian recalls the story from a year ago when it ran aground on the Columbia River.

Little do you know that when you snap a picture of something unusual that it could be even more noteworthy later.

Photocop Coming

Does the camera on the right look familiar? It should in July when “the long lens of the law” makes its first appearance in Bremerton. The city plans to install cameras at a few intersections to reduce the number of people running red lights. You run the light, the camera catches you and the city sends you a $101 ticket in the mail.

Four intersections are to be armed with lights, as well as one unit to catch speeders in school zones. Bremerton Police Lt. Pete Fisher said the city will likely have eight cameras, which could be placed anywhere from two each at four intersections to one each at eight. The city may also have a speed camera.

Fisher said the cameras improve safety.

“It really does change drivers’ behavior. It makes them more aware in those intersections,” he said.

Some of the changed behavior will include some outrage by those who get the letters. We’ve had some robust arguments here in the past about the program. I would assume that will increase once the ticketing begins.

Dino’s Non-Campaign Speech

Dino Rossi, who came 129 votes short of becoming governor in 2004, swears he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run again in 2008. It’s a good thing he says it, because if he didn’t you’d swear he already is.

Discussing the state’s climate for small businesses, Rossi held court with a room full of Republicans at the Bremerton Elks Lodge Wednesday and blasted the Legislature (which, coincidentally, is largely full of Democrats) and the governor (herself a Democrat) for overspending this past legislative session.

He said Washington’s economic surge the past few years is the result of national economic factors, not anything local. So should the national scene turn soon, Washington won’t fare well against Oregon or Idaho, he said.

Rossi said he’s confident Democrats who crossed the ticket to vote for him in 2004 would do it again.

In a March story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, there was a reference to the Republicans’ Plan B if Rossi doesn’t run. It’s not pretty for the party.

If Rossi, 47, does run again, he’ll have the Republican nomination all but locked. Ever since his 2004 loss to Gregoire by a bitterly contested 133 votes out of almost 3 million cast, virtually every Republican in Washington has assumed that he again will be the nominee. At least they fervently hope so.

If Candidate A doesn’t run, Republicans are at a loss to point to an electable Candidate B to whom they can turn.

Before Wednesday’s speech, Rossi told me his end-of-the-year decision will hinge on whether it works for his family and whether his skills will be needed to turn the state around. He later told the audience the same thing. What could happen between now and the end of the year to shed any more light on the skills question? What could we know then that we don’t know now?

I asked him what kind of “Plan B” would have to emerge to have an impact on his decision over whether to run. It would depend on who it is and whether the “Plan B” could win.

Real Money

Rising college costs are constantly discussed in our media. Thanks to a $2 million gift from the estates of three former residents, Bremerton High School kids will get a big chunk of help to pursue higher education.

Henry and Elsinor Groth and her brother Wayne Elder left the money to the district for kids attending colleges within the state of Washington and pursuing two- and four-year degrees.

The district already has an ongoing scholarship fund program. This gift adds a big chunk, about $60,500 this year and an estimated $80,000 for the class of 2008.

Krista Carlson, district spokeswoman, said Bremerton grads from 2006 netted more than $2 million in scholarships for this school year from various sources, which was almost double the year before.

We got this announcement from American Marine Bank, the trustee of the estates’ trust.

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