Monthly Archives: October 2007

Manetters for Prop 1

On the Kitsap Caucus blog I posted much of the same information, but asked why groups support measures like these, while individuals who don’t join tend to vote against them.

I saw this today on the Manette Neighborhood Coalition site.

The Manette Coalition Board of Directors has unanimously endorsed the Neighborhoods Now! Levy.

We believe in supporting measures that promote parks that we can walk to from our homes. An investment in maintaining and retaining open spaces in our neighborhoods fits with our core values. The Neighborhoods Now! Levy is affordable, has a time limit (6 years) and will benefit all citizens of Bremerton; many of our parks are in dire need of revitalizatioon.

As an autonmous neighborhood organization, we have become more involved in attending city council and park commission meetings. The process has been enlightening and interesting. We may not always support everything coming out of city hall, but this is one measure that is highly beneficial and gives great value for a very small personal investment. Please mark your ballot “YES” on proposition 1.

If I lick my finger and put it in the air, I can’t tell you which way the wind is blowing on Bremerton’s Proposition 1. I’ve heard lots of support from different groups. Supporters canvassed the city’s likely voters and have planted signs around town.

Bremerton City Councilman Cecil McConnell and council candidates Roy Runyon and Cassandra Helmrick have all said they planned to vote against it, but I’ve heard of no organized opposition actively campaigning against it.

Bremerton’s ChalleNGe

This is pretty much the scene on day one at the Oregon Youth Challenge program. A similar school will begin in Bremerton in January 2009. Kitsap Sun photo by Larry Steagall

You drive about 10 miles out of Bend and you really are out of town. It becomes a landscape of rolling tan and you pass by a property offering “beetle cleaned skulls” before you turn left.

You walk into the school, which is a single building that looks like it could store airplanes, and as soon as you get into the common hallways it becomes a constant refrain of commands and other reasons to yell.

As you can read about in Sunday’s story and slideshow, Oregon Program Gives Window Into Bremerton’s Planned Youth Academy, this is the kind of place coming to Bremerton.

The first surprise was the kids want to be here. I expected to perhaps “hear” that they wanted to be in Bend for this school, but I thought I would get a sense that they were there at the urging of their parents. I came away convinced that the three boys I spoke with knew why they were there, even if they didn’t have a clue what they were in for. My conversations with them occurred while two other platoons were already going through their initial stages. So these guys I was talking to hadn’t yet entered, they were hearing what was happening and they were choosing in anyway.

The second surprise was that nine weeks later all three that I spoke with were still there, albeit with different experiences of their time there. Having made it that far, they’re likely to make it to graduation in December.

The third surprise the second time there was how settled into the program the guys were. They were understandably afraid the first day, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been taken aback by how calm they were weeks later. A person can get used to anything, I suppose. More than getting used to it, though, the guys had pretty much learned how to not get yelled out.

We didn’t talk to the girls the first time, because by the time we arrived they had already started. I’m sure the school would have let us speak to one or two, but I was more focused on people before they began. Once the program started I wanted to stay out of the way, at least on the first day. Nine weeks later there was a better opportunity to chat.

Burwell Erupts

Boston’s 4-0 sweep of the Colorado Rockies is cause for joy at Burwell and Washington, where Don Stauff dishes out pizzas and calzone.

Kitsap Sun reporter Josh Farley went and talked to Stauff and his wife Cheryl, owners of Boston’s Deli and Pizza, while the World Series was still a going concern, though the Red Sox were up 2-0.

The infamous curse of the Bambino is broken and Boston’s Red Sox are knocking on the door of their second World Series title in four years. But the owners of Boston’s Deli and Pizza, on the corner of Burwell Street and Washington Avenue, know better than to celebrate before the last out of the last game.

“I’ve had my hopes high too many times,” lifelong Red Sox fan and Boston’s co-owner Don Stauff said. “They’ve still got two games to go. And it ain’t over til it’s over.”

Yeah, it’s over.

Bad News For Those Who Don’t Want the Manette Bridge to Change

While the state heard comments from Bremertonians, mostly those from Manette, about the future of the city’s signature bridge, one group pointed to the Murray Morgan bridge in Tacoma. Local activists had managed to save the bridge from the demolition the state planned. The state had agreed to hand the span over to the city, along with millions to help fix it.

Today, the state closed the bridge, a surprise to the Tacoma City Council. The News Tribune reports:

The state Department of Transportation closed the 94-year-old Murray Morgan Bridge today, citing “life safety concerns.”

The news led City Council members to angrily question new transportation Secretary Paula Hammond about the state’s apparent failure to maintain the iconic span. Council members also grilled Hammond about the consequences the closure would have on emergency response to the Tideflats.

State officials had been inspecting the bridge with greater scrutiny following the collapse of an interstate bridge in Minneapolis this summer. The inspection showed corroded and crumbling steel to such an extent that officials decided to immediately close the bridge to all traffic, including emergency vehicles.

“We can’t let them drive across the bridge right now knowing what we know,” Hammond said.

According to the survey the state did, most people do want to see the Manette replaced, so a similar movement to the Murray Morgan effort is not likely to fare as well as that one did. And if what happened today represents “faring well,” then who would consider it worth it.

Most in the survey did prefer making the Manette bridge something other than its neighbor, the Warren Avenue bridge. State Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, suggested to state Department of Transportation officials putting up the existing steel on the new bridge as a facade. She said she hasn’t heard from DOT yet.

Bremerton Kid Credits Bremerton

Bremerton kid Tara Kirk gets a high five from fellow Bremerton kid Kirsten Brandner

Tara Kirk, Bremerton High School and Stanford graduate (I hear she also swims.) came back home last week to deliver $12,500 in scholarship money for BHS grads. Apparently she didn’t know how revered she and her sister, Dana, are. From Annette Griffus’ story:

Tara Kirk loves her hometown and high school, she just wasn’t sure if the feeling was reciprocated.

The Olympic silver medalist and national champion found out how much she means to Bremerton last week when she was the recipient of a rowdy standing ovation during a homecoming pep assembly last Thursday at the high school.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever got a reception that awesome and I was just so impressed and excited to count myself as part of that fraternity,” Kirk said. “I was a Bremerton High grad, just like these guys will be. I can’t even put into words how much it meant to me.”

According to John Hickey’s story in the Seattle P-I, when Tara Kirk interviewed in her bid to be a Rhodes scholar (she didn’t get the scholarship), she was advised to get out of the swimming game (She won an Olympic silver medal as part of a U.S. relay team in Greece.):

. . . she said her interviewer told her she was one of those people who could change the world. It was suggested she give up swimming and get into the world-changing gig as soon as possible.

That’s when she had a talk with Donald Kennedy, president emeritus of Stanford and editor-in-chief of Science magazine.

He told her to ignore the earlier advice.

“He told me that I needed to take the opportunity I had while my body could still do this,” Kirk said. “He said there would be time for everything else later. So I swim now to make it worth it.”

Stanford grad. Olympic swimmer. Just missed on the Rhodes scholarship. World Changer. Tara Kirk gives a lot of the credit to her hometown. From Jesse Hammond’s story on

When I think about my roots, where I came from, and how I came to be the person that I am today I think about my hometown– Bremerton. I’m proud of how I turned out and I think that Bremerton had a lot to do with that.

Kind of makes you want to raise your kids here, doesn’t it.

P.O. P.O.’d

Now wait a second, when I mocked Port Orchard residents I at least did behind their backs. Chris Henry had the nerve to come in here and actually post on the Bremerton Beat site. Well, fine then, I’ll take that original post and put it on the Speaking of South Kitsap blog, for all of South Kitsap (and the world) to see.

South Kitsapers will notice how, unlike Ms. Henry, I was fair enough to put pictures up from both P.O. and Bremerton.

Henry did latch on to something I’ve noticed, too, that the top line of the sign at Noah’s Ark is often funny, like the pumpkin-free shrimp.

In related news, my nephew used to insist that his father specifically request no e-coli when ordering a burger.

Having Fun at Bremerton’s Expense

A copy of this entry appears on the Speaking of South Kitsap blog, hosted by SK reporter Chris Henry.

I was asleep at the switch when Bremerton reporter Steve Gardner posted this entry on the Bremerton Beat. The entry, “That’s Your Business,” makes fun of a store in Port Orchard called “Tobacco Tobacco.” Gardner asks, “Do people in Port Orchard have to be told everything twice?” Never mind that he also gets in a dig at a dog grooming store in Manette called “Doggy Style.” I consider the gauntlet thrown and am responding in kind, albeit belatedly.

Here are three signs I saw recently in Bremerton.

This happens to me all the time in Scrabble. And as my opponents remind me, you can fool some of the people some of the time …

Now, completely out of z’s, the good folks at Newman’s Deli Mart (and towing service) get creative. Hmmm, is it just me, or is there something vaguely unappetizing about this meal deal?

Here’s the latest in trendy diets, “Pumpkin Free Shrimp.” In large industrial complexes reminiscent of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” tiny sea creatures are forced to heft pumpkins to increase their muscle mass for hungry consumers. But at Noah’s, you can get shrimp that were allowed to range free in their tank, no pumpkins on their backs, before being boiled and flash frozen for your dining pleasure.

Park Visions

A rendering of the Harborside Park extension from the corner of Burwell Street and Pacific Avenue, over the tunnel.

Gary Sexton, Bremerton’s economic development boss, gave a presentation about the new park extension that will top the tunnel along Pacific and drew applause. There were only about four people there who weren’t reporters or with the city, but the applause was a noticeable distraction. The rendering above is just one of those that appeared to draw the awes of the city council and everyone else in the room, except for Sexton and maybe this jaded reporter. I’m not confessing anything.

This goes on top of a story in the Seattle P-I that went online Wednesday. Gordy Holt writes:

As soil was being turned just one year ago, Mayor Cary Bozeman promised another “great public place” for his city’s emerging waterfront.

Turns out he was wrong.

Bremerton’s new Harborside Fountain Park is plainly incredible, and likely will be seen as unmatched anywhere around Puget Sound.

If any of the sentiment expressed Wednesday captures what will happen when the park’s finished, Holt and others might have to come back.

Lid Chart

In Thursday’s edition we tackle the parks levy request you find on your ballots in Bremerton. An explanation, with arguments on both sides, can be found here.

The city does some explaining of its own at its Web site.

Here I’ll give you a couple of charts. The first is supposed to be part of the print edition. It’s fairly simple. Look here and if you’re a Bremerton resident you should be able to guess about how much extra the Proposition 1 levy would cost you per year.

2008 Assessment 2008 Regular City Levy if “Yes” Vote Prevails 2008 Regular City Levy if “No” Vote Prevails Difference in Levy Between “Yes” Vote and “No” Vote
$98,410 $208.63 $189.93 $18.70
$143,990 $305.26 $277.90 $27.36
$152,760 $323.85 $294.83 $29.02
$166,920 $353.87 $322.16 $31.71
$175,980 $373.08 $339.64 $33.44
$190,380 $403.61 $367.43 $36.18
$219,550 $465.45 $423.73 $41.71
$335,510 $711.28 $647.53 $63.75
$406,270 $861.29 $784.10 $77.19
$531,040 $1,125.80 $1,024.91 $100.91
$668,640 $1,417.52 $1,290.48 $127.04

Source: Kitsap County Assessor

This second chart, however, is a little more complicated. It’s what I wanted to have for the paper, but the more I looked at it the more I thought there was too much data. Sure, a nerd like me loves it, but I couldn’t expect anyone else to spend more than a few seconds on it.

Nonetheless, for you, our sophisticated blog audience, I invite you to examine the complex world of big charts.

What I was trying to do was show not only the difference between a yes and a no vote, but the difference between the 2007 levy and the 2008 levy in either case.

2007 Value 2007 Assessment 2008 Value Regular 2008 city levy if voters vote “yes” Regular 2008 city levy if voters vote “no” Difference between “yes” vote and “no”vote Difference between 2008 levy and 2007 levy if voters vote “yes” Difference between 2008 levy and 2007 levy if voters vote “no”
$74,180 $155.78 $98,410 $208.63 $189.93 $18.70 $52.85 $34.15
$123,120 $258.55 $143,990 $305.26 $277.90 $27.36 $46.71 $19.35
$132,160 $277.54 $152,760 $323.85 $294.83 $29.02 $46.32 $17.29
$147,460 $309.67 $166,920 $353.87 $322.16 $31.71 $44.20 $12.49
$157,220 $330.16 $175,980 $373.08 $339.64 $33.44 $42.92 $9.48
$172,240 $361.70 $190,380 $403.61 $367.43 $36.18 $42.63 $6.45
$195,460 $410.47 $219,550 $465.45 $423.73 $41.71 $54.98 $13.27
$325,110 $682.73 $335,510 $711.28 $647.53 $63.75 $28.55 $-35.20
$324,160 $680.74 $406,270 $861.29 $784.10 $77.19 $180.56 $103.37
$426,680 $896.03 $531,040 $1,125.80 $1,024.91 $100.91 $229.78 $128.88
$537,160 $1,128.04 $668,640 $1,417.52 $1,290.48 $127.04 $289.48 $162.44

Source: Kitsap County Assessor

One of the reasons I wanted to spell that out is because I hoped someone could look at real world examples and be interested enough to do their own math. The middle number is the median, both in 2007 and 2008.

You’ll notice that for one homeowner the property tax levy would actually go down in 2008 if the levy fails.

So for the owner of a home that was near the median price both years, the tax increase is in the $42 neighborhood if the levy passes and around $6 if it doesn’t. Does that kind of information matter to anyone but me?