Monthly Archives: June 2008

CJ’s Evergreen General Store, by Jo


Jo Soss-Olson isn’t just a real estate agent. She’s a one-woman new-media juggernaut.

The Bremerton Beat has tooted the Jo horn before, but we thought another toot was in order, given this profile of CJ’s Evergreen General Store she posted to her blog Thursday.

Not only does it feature a story, but photos and even a video.

And check out her blog for other “things to do” in Bremerton tips.

Really, Portland, We’re Not All 40s and Mullets

Mullets, Mullets, Mullets

It wasn’t just the Kitsap Sun writers that got a shout out from the Oregonian on Monday, but the readers.

The Oregonian ran this brief item on its Web site, highlighting a couple of recent CODE 911 items and encouraging readers to check out

“The paper goes a great job of hunting down juicy cop shop tidbits,” the Oregonian wrote.

Aw, gee, thanks. Although, in fairness, we don’t really “hunt” them down. We walk or drive to the police station and read reports. Then we write them. Each item takes maybe 15 minutes. I guess they just look like they take a lot of work.

The Oregonian reporter then encouraged his readers to click on the stories, not for the skillful writing of Sun reporters. No. But for the comments after the stories.

“But really, it’s the readers who close the loop.”

(Full disclosure: I wrote the item about the man who tipped back the four-ohs and tried to unload an unfamiliar shotgun. The Oregonian called it a “gem.” Can you see me blushing?)

For an account of how CODE 911 is attracting international attention to our most humiliating moments, also written by me, click here.

For a reader commenting on the piece, click here.

And if anyone in Portland, Ore. gets to feeling a little superior to us in Kitsap, please consider this.

Air Mail Comes to Bremerton

air mail.jpg
Kitsap County Historical Society

May 19, 1938 was an historic day for Kitsap County. It marked the first air mail flight from Fleet Field in Bremerton to Boeing Field in Seattle. Bremerton Postmaster Elmer Brandlein and pilot Bob Barrett are shown shaking hands and holding the first bag of air mail to be delivered. This flight was part of the “Roosevelt-proclaimed National Airmail Day.”
-from Kitsap County Historical Society

While learning about the U.S. Post Office for this story about how the Postal Service may sell its historic building downtown I found the above photo and caption.

East Park Summer Meltdown on Friday

snow angel.JPG
Photo Credit

The mercury on Friday is expected to get as high as 88 degrees.

But the forecast calls for snow, localized entirely in East Park.

Using cutting edge technology, shaved ice from the Bremerton Ice Center will be transported via bobcat to East Park. There a summer snow mound will be built for kids – and immature adults – to play in and build snowmen.

Hence, the the East Park Summer Meltdown, an evening festival to reacquaint neighbors with their old friend, East Park.

But that’s not all!

The festival held at the park near the corner of Magnuson Way and Homer Jones Drive starts at 5 p.m. In addition to the mound of snow for the playing, there will be free swimming, free ice skating, carnival games, face painting, Cosmo the clown, Sparky the fire dog and much, much more!

Click here for more info for the fest.

The party is sponsored by the City of Bremerton Parks and Recreation Department, Bremerton Ice Center and Kitsap Family YMCA.

Ninjas Among Us

ninja_true ninjas.gif
Ninjas Mean Business

This post may not at first appear to have anything to do with Bremerton, but that’s just what the ninjas want us to believe.

The truth is we are one throwing star away from a complete ninja infestation. Don’t believe me? Are you thinking to yourself, “OK, sounds like old Andy has gotten into the horseradish?”

You have the luxury of skepticism. But not me. We in the mainstream media know the truth, the truth that we are bound not to reveal, the truth that I will reveal here on the Bremerton Beat.

We are surrounded by ninjas.

Once thought to have gone the way of pull tabs on cans of Schlitz, this report of a ninja suspected of menacing school children shows us that we can’t be too careful.

It also reminds us that when somebody reports a ninja lurking near a school and the police find a camp counselor dressed in a karate outfit on his way to a costume party, we need to dig deeper.

If I disappear tonight, you know who to blame.

Shhh. They’ll hear us.

Lessons Bremerton Can Teach Seattle?

Photo Credit: Kristine Paulsen/ P-I Photos
This Port of Bremerton trashcan made an impression on the P-I.

On Tuesday the Seattle P-I, owners of the third best news Web site in the Northwest, published this ode to Bremerton’s “Long Beach Blue” trash cans.

Unlike other media attention Bremerton has received recently, freelance writer Lawrence W. Cheek doesn’t dwell on the “Land Before Time” Bremerton. No comparisons to Compton or Harlem, no references to the overwhelming bleakness before Starbucks.

Cheek doles out credit for the gleaning Harborside District, and directed his highest praise toward Harborside Fountain Park.

“It’s no stretch to call it spectacular.”

But that’s not the reason for Cheek’s story. It’s not a “come to Bremerton, eat at Taco Del Mar” piece. Cheek believes “mighty but cumbersome” Seattle, with its shameful history as a city once full of people who worked real jobs, can learn a thing or two from Bremerton.

What can Seattle learn from humble Bremerton?

Well, he admits it’s apples and oranges to compare the two, but that doesn’t stop him.

“Mark another reason comparisons may be unfair” between the two cities, Cheek notes, arguing why Seattle shouldn’t feel too envious of Bremerton’s shiny new waterfront. “No Seattle process in Bremerton.”

It’s kind of a backhanded compliment. Another word for “process” is public participation.

Of Economic Development Director Gary Sexton, Cheek says: “He dodged committees and commissions.” Not a nice thing to say.

Does Cheek really want Seattle officials “dodging” committees and commissions?

Why is Cheek dragging Bremerton into the fight over the Seattle waterfront? Is he irked that he isn’t getting his way and is forced to endure the “relentless roar” of Highway 99? Does he long for a latter day Richard J. Daley?

Cheek also sounds a little bothered that much of the prime Bremerton real estate was “long ago gobbled by the naval shipyard.” Which, by the way, is the backbone of the local economy.

I’m no historian, but am I wrong in assuming that when PSNS “gobbled” up precious waterfront there wasn’t much Bremerton to speak of? Would it be presumptuous to think that Bremerton would be radically different if PSNS “ungobbled” its waterfront? What would that look like? Wait, wait, don’t answer that question.

What does this have to do with Seattle? Not sure. The Seattle waterfront is one of the best in the country. (It used to be better before they butchered Myrtle Edwards Park in the name of “art,” but the viaduct still provides even the lowliest among us a chance to take in a million dollar view). Seattle has its revitalization, it’s been going on since Nirvana bumped Michael Jackson from the top of the charts in January, 1992 (Corrected from 1991 – Binion). Why would they want less or a different “process?” Their “process” got them this far.

The good news is, I guess, when the yuppies finally overrun Seattle like swarms of locusts in North Face fleeces, maybe Bremerton will inherit the artists and musicians and thinkers who made Seattle attractive to yuppies in the first place.

Then we’ll take on the Navy, PSNS will become our viaduct. We’ll start a petition and tell them that having the shipyard on the waterfront makes too much noise and isolates Bremertonians from their shoreline.

I mean, the Navy doesn’t need to have its shipyard right on the waterfront, right? Can’t they just move to Ellensburg, or something?

Norm? Judas?


The old warning went something like this, “Never get in a fight with a person who buys ink by the barrel.”

This civic-minded vandal with a taste for hyperbole has placed this bill in an alley off Pacific Avenue. He or she might buy ink by the printer cartridge, but point taken.

Apparently it’s a bit of unfriendly criticism of U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, who gave a hearty “Yay” Friday to approve House Resolution 6304, which is a renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The House bill renews the powers through 2012 and gives some immunities to phone companies who are alleged to have helped the government illegally spy on U.S. citizens. The resolution would also give the government expanded powers to wiretap foreigners without warrants.

The measure was approved 293-129, with the majority Democratic caucus splitting nearly down the middle.

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, voted against the measure.

It now goes to the Senate, where a certain presumptive Democratic presidential candidate has indicated he liked the measure.

So … it remains to be seen if Senate leadership will put the House Resolution up for a vote “as is,” but if they do, and Barack Obama votes for it, can we expect fliers around Bremerton calling him Judas?

The other problem this agitator will face is now that he/she has played the Judas card, the only cards left are the Stalin, Hitler and Satan cards. After that, what next? There’s only so many overblown, hysterical names you can call people with whom you disagree. My advice to direct-action provocateurs: pace yourselves.

Here is the Tacoma News Tribune‘s roll call list:

YES: Baird, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Dicks, Reichert, Smith.

NO: Inslee, Larsen, McDermott.


Frosty’s Is Leaving Us, and We Might Be Bigger Than We Think

photo credit

Here are two stories worth reading from our friends the Bremerton Patriot and the Seattle P-I.

First is the revelation that one of downtown’s best purveyors of comfort food is throwing in the apron.

That’s right, Frosty’s on Pacific Avenue will close its doors at the end of the month, according to this story from the Patriot’s Rachel Brant.

The saddest thing about losing a restaurant like Frosty’s is that it won’t likely be replaced by another independent, reasonably priced diner that does up spaghetti with meat sauce like mom used to. Any chance there will be a Return of Frosty’s? Not likely. As owner Chung Madsen told Brant, and I can’t blame her, “I’m 69 years old. What would I want with another place?”

Second is this blog post from the third best Web site in the northwest – congratulations on that – which has gotten around to questioning the veracity of Bremerton/Kitsap population numbers released four months ago.

Read the Sun’s story, from March 26, cited in the P-I blog post Friday.

Turns out the sluggish population growth relative to the rest of the Puget Sound might not have anything to do with long, marginally reliable ferries and the lack of a major employer beside the Navy, but fuzzy methods for counting people. And also there is the difficulty of counting military personnel.

In any case, it gave the reporter a chance to reference MxPx.

Next time I write a story about Elliot Avenue, I’m going to end the story with, “It smells like something GOOD, and it’s not Teen Spirit.”

Hairy Men Are On Their Way!

Superman’s Mustache

What makes a man a man?

Is it growing a mustache? I, for one, hope not.

In any case, Bremerton will host the first ever North American Beard and Mustache Competition July 5. The first showdown of its kind in the New World.

Read the story about organizer Bruce Roe and his gravity-defying facial hair!

Peruse Bremerton’s Whisker Club Web site!

Marvel at a 32-year-old man can’t grow a proper mustache! (Actually, that’s Henry David Thoreau, but it’s close to what I would look like if I tried to grow a beard, except not as smart)

Actually, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t marvel, or ever bring it in conversation. After meeting Bruce Roe, and seeing what I’ve been missing out on, it’s a sensitive subject.

Things I Have Learned On The USS Bremerton

Photo Credit

This guy is funny. Apparently he is a “nuke,” or a nuclear technician.

(I’ll let that one sink in.)

Anyway, he’s aboard the USS Bremerton, the best-named submarine in the Navy. (That is, until someone gets around to naming a malfunctioning life raft aboard a laundry ship the USS Binion.)

I’ve been told there are no female nukes aboard submarines, but there are female nukes aboard other ships. My apologies if this particular nuke is a “she.” I’m a land-lubber, after all.

I don’t get some of the jokes, and I wouldn’t, because it’s sort of inside nuclear tech humor, and some of the comments the post has attracted aren’t that funny, but this guy, “rayray,” made me laugh out loud. I really liked the rule about not making junior officers giggle. My favorite: “Spin the bottle is not a good underway game.”

For more military hilarity, I strongly recommend the book (or even the movie) “Catch-22.” It’s one of my favorite novels of all time and is about the funniest thing I’ve ever read. There were times when I had to put the book down because i was laughing so hard.

And for help deciphering some of the slang, and for further reference, here is a collection of Navy slang and definitions.

You can read the post by clicking here, or just read them below.

These are some of the things that I have learned by personnel experience, seen it happen, or have been randomly informed of by my chain of command.

l. Hanging an eviscerated squirrel at the watertight door is not an approved method for stopping NRRO monitors.
2. I am not the system expert for the core ejection system.
3. The EDMC did not serve on the USS Turtle.
4. “Keel hauling” someone is no longer approved.
5. 2190 TEP oil is not a good personal lubricant.
6. Telling junior personnel to find something and “put your d*** on it” is not a better method of training.
7. This is especially true in the RC.
8. Official correspondence to the captain does not need to be ended with “Until we meet again.”
9. I am not allowed to shorten any officer’s name to Dick.
10. Senior Chiefs do not do “Drive-by tasking”. Just ask them, they will tell you.
11. I am not allowed to call Doc “Nurse.”
13. An equal opportunity survey should not be used as a joke checklist. Ever.
15. A Beer Drinking qual card is not command endorsed. (I actually received one. Theoretical Knowledge included a discussion of a dark and ta).
16. Fields day is not to be referred to as “Nap-nap time”
17. Going in-depth into an officer’s questionable family tree is not allowed.
18. The 2MC announcing system is not my personal paging system.
19. The movie game cannot be played on the 2JV phone system.
20. Playing hide and seek with NRRO monitors is frowned on.
21. “Your mom” is a perfectly acceptable answer to any question, at any time, posed by anyone.
22. The morning brief is not a good place to “try and sober up.”
23. A hip flask is not allowed on watch, regardless of what it is filled with.
24. The shaft seals do not need to be feed.
25. Bringing a sloth onboard a submarine to live is not allowed.
26. Referring to another submarine as “The guys who keep hitting s***” is rude.
27. NEVER let any officer touch any tool.
28. No one on any submarine has ever had a threesome with two hot chicks, regardless of what they say.
29. Trying to make a JO giggle while making announcements is frowned upon.
31. Spin the bottle is not a good underway game.
32. Every coner could have been a nuke.
33. Shift work is the only way to make nukes happy.
34. Nukes hate shift work.
35. How many nukes have had to reenlist during shiftwork?
36. I am not the lone ranger so an EB red tape mask is not part of my watch uniform.
37. “Repel borders” is not an effective way to ward off NRRO.
38. The M-div stare is the most powerful force known to man

By the way, what’s up with the blank spots? To racy? If your out there rayray, drop us a line.