Monthly Archives: February 2009

On Again, Off Again at Bremerton Library

The entry below comes from current Sun intern Angela Lu. My seat in the newsroom has a view of the downtown library’s front entrance, so I’ve watched with mild curiosity the past few weeks as a plaque by the front door was covered, then uncovered, then covered, then uncovered. (I also watch with curiosity every morning when a guy walks by, like clockwork, with either an 18-pack of Budweiser or Coke in his hand. But I digress.) Here’s a little story on the plaque go ’round.
— David Nelson

The Kitsap Regional Library’s downtown Bremerton branch, named for Martin Luther King, Jr., planned on unveiling a new plaque dedicated to the civil rights leader last Monday.

The library used to have a wooden sign in its front lawn to honor King, but last fall felt it had “gotten to look a little worn and needed some refreshing” according to Carolyn Neal, branch manager of the downtown location. The new plaque is on the outside of the bright stucco building, immediately right of the front entrance. King’s face is engraved on it, with opening dates and dedication dates of the building, over the words “I have a dream.”

After it was installed in January, the plaque, about three feet by a foot and a half, was covered with duct tape and plastic. But library staff felt it would be disrespectful to keep the plaque covered over MLK holiday weekend, and uncovered the plaque to zero fanfare on January 19, the holiday that honors King. The covering never returned, and the plaque could be seen by any patron.

That was until Monday. The library planned on a formal unveiling that evening with members from the local NAACP chapter, and Neal dutifully re-covered the plaque with a black veil.

However, after waiting for 20 minutes, the NAACP still hadn’t shown up, and a light rain that had been on and off through the afternoon had started. Neal had no choice but to take the veil back down, in fear that someone would steal it.

Joan Ferebee of the NAACP said the group had visited the library earlier that day, but seen scratches on the plaque. They decided they couldn’t unveil it in that condition, so they called the library and told another librarian that they were not coming. Apparently Neal did not get that message.

Ferebee said she’ll be talking to the library to set a new date for the unveiling. And the covering may go up just once more.

Bremerton Education Roundup

Two items for a Friday morning that I’ll just send you other places to read, if you haven’t seen them yet:

Just posted on the Sun’s main page is this story about state school superintendent Randy Dorn’s visit to Washington, D.C., where he shared some successful ideas from our state — including Bremerton — with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. To me the surprising thing isn’t Bremerton — it’s that for once it’s not the early education model getting the praise.

The Associated Press reports that the program he highlighted provides incentives for Bremerton dropouts to return to school. It’s not something we’ve covered recently, though sounds akin to the new Washington Youth Acadmy in town, so I’d expect we’ll check in on it soon if it’s being proven as something that works for the district.

The morning’s second story is here, from the Kitsap Education blog by correspondent Marietta Nelson. The city council and school board heard last night from Robin Waite, who’s behind the Kitsap Pumas soccer club that will be playing at Memorial Stadium this summer. Waite floated the idea of a new soccer complex being built at the closed junior high on Wheaton Way. I’d heard about talk of some type of collaboration between different entities (city, schools, OC, parks department, etc.) on such a project last year, so maybe the Pumas can be the private-sector catalyst for that effort. Clearly there are a lot of what ifs on the venture, but Waite seems like a guy who dreams big and doesn’t wait around to make things happen. That’s how the soccer team got to Bremerton in the first place.

It’s worth a read, and we’ll keep tabs on where this plan goes. If the existing fields were removed (there’s two backstops and a football field there now), my softball team would have to move our practices. But that may be a blessing — ground balls are always reminding me that an infield the texture of the moon’s surface is not the place for a guy who values his teeth.

— David Nelson

Bremerton Car Tabs Discussion Recorded

We recorded the Kitsap Sun editorial board’s discussion with Bremerton council members on a proposed $20 car-tab fee. You can watch the video and the live blog and comments written during that discussion by clicking play on one of the features below:


Live blog:

– Angela

Live Video — Bremerton Car Tab Debate

Yesterday’s experiment with the live feed from the Sun editorial board meeting went fairly well, we counted more than 140 viewers watching the discussion with state ferries director David Moseley. If you missed it, the session is archived here.

It’s unique that the ed board meets more than once a week, but due to some creative scheduling we’re back together this afternoon. Today’s guests are Bremerton city councilmen Nick Wofford and Cecil McConnell, who’ll debate the car tab fee being considered by the council.

We’ll get started around 5 p.m. Our web editor, Angela Dice, will host a live blog during the meeting alongside the broadcast. Head to around then and there will be a link to the coverage. You’ll have a chance to comment there, or send a question and we’ll try to fit it in. And send along any feedback on the experience of listening in on the editorial board meetings, it’s a new idea for us and we’d  like to know how it works for our readers (or viewers in this case, I suppose).

— David Nelson

Live Interview with David Moseley

Late warning on this, but some of you check the Beat compulsively during the day, right?

In about 30 minutes our editorial board will interview David Moseley of Washington State Ferries. If you’re online from roughly 3 to 4 p.m., you’ll be able to watch the board meeting live, at the Web site we’ve set up for ferry news and discussion,

The site will also feature a live blog, and those watching will be invited to suggest questions. Hopefully we’ll get to some of them, as you can imagine we have plenty to discuss already.

— David Nelson

The Scent of Bremerton

Maybe my nose is playing tricks on me, but the last few nights when I’ve gone outside of the office (Here in downtown Bremerton, of course.) I notice a pungent odor.

It’s a stronger-than-usual odor of the sea. I hope. I’ve always wondered why some days that briny odor is more up-front than others.

Apparently the odor is courtesy of bacteria.

Anyway, anybody else around the water in Bremerton or elsewhere notice it lately? Anybody know why it does that?

– Derek Sheppard

Parks, Plans and the Public

Lions Park Panorama

I cracked wise on the recent pleasant weather in that last post, but I have enjoyed the sun. The seeds I ordered for my garden arrived Thursday, I read on the porch one afternoon, I ran through a fairly full Lion’s Park on Monday morning.

Which reminded me to pass along an announcement about a public meeting coming next week. The city is planning a renovation of the park, and asking for insight from users as they finalize plans. The city has grant money in hand for low-impact development as part of the renovation, and among the goals are water quality improvements in Port Washington Narrows. That may not directly enhances the Sunday night softball experience, but maybe someone will get creative and explain how new dugouts and a beer garden are needed holistic improvements.

The meeting is Tuesday at 6 p.m., at the Sheridan Park Community Center, just up the street on Lebo.

Also next week, if you’re really feelin’ civic-minded, is another round of the Manette Sub-Area plan meetings. At 5:30 p.m. at the Norm Dicks building, there will be an open house on the draft plan. According to an email from the Manette Neighborhood Coalition, they’ll likely bring up zoning issues concerning the R10 designation, or where the commercial core zoning of the neighborhood will be, and maximum height designations for the entire neighborhood, or whether any part of the plan will include buildings over 35 feet.

After this open house, the Sub-Area plan is scheduled to head for the Planning Commission March 17.

For more, see the city’s Web site, which includes a new photo gallery by participants of examples elsewhere of models Manette could follow, or check Have fun planning!

— David Nelson

Back On Notice

Nelson here, channeling Gardner for another round of the Bremerton Beat’s ‘On Notice’ list. I would have left it to Steve to bring back the board and fulfill the reader call to poke Port Orchard and anything else that needs watching these days. But a story I saw this afternoon at the — ‘Obama put the country’s mayors “on notice”‘ — was a sign that this needed to happen. Now.

Don't call it a comeback...

Of course, the list doesn’t go without a little explanation. The first two are on notice because, well, I hate to sound ungrateful, but as a Pacific Northwest native I’m a little thrown off by how much it hasn’t rained this February. Maybe I have too much Vitamin D flowing through the epidermis, makes me jumpy. In any case, when I saw two different convertibles driving top-down in downtown Bremerton this afternoon it felt a little early for the Seattle summer.

Then there are the state budget writers, who announced this week a further drop in forecasted revenue, and next week will dig into where federal stimulus money fits into their budget. That’s something to keep an eye on. Hopefully that’s watched as closely as local cops seem to have eyed Craigslist, where a sting that started on the website’s personals section and ended with prostitution arrests (including, yes, a Bremerton woman) at a Bainbridge hotel.

Marvin we’re watching to see how he represents Bremerton High as the school’s first jersey retiree, and Griffey because everybody has their eye on him as he returns to SafeCo. Especially all those so desperate for a good sports feeling that they rushed out Thursday to plunk down $230 and replace the #24 jersey mom threw out in 2000.

And of course, there’s always Port Orchard…

— David Nelson

A Bremelo Rides in Style

*eghemmm* Could somebody drop me some beats, please? Rap with me, now.

Here’s a boring kinda story ’bout a reporter cruisin’ sixth,

With a burger in hand and a phone that takes pics, 

Econoline stops and he does a double take,

Gotta flip up the camera and prove this ain’t fake

This van’s a bremelo

This van’s a bremelo

Hope you guys channeled your inner Mix. 

Bremelo is indeed a less-than-flattering reference to a type of lady from our fair city, immortalized in song by the great Sir Mix-a-lot in 1988.

(If you’re new to the area, defines bremelo here.)  

Love it or hate it, this guy’s celebrating a slice of Bremerton’s pop culture heritage, I can’t deny. 


Fifty Years of, Well…

You’ve probably seen the sign above hung around downtown, or been handed one at the terminal recently. It’s donated artwork from a Port Townsend painter that the Citizen’s Plan C group has sent around the peninsula, to gather momentum for its cause in ferry communities. There are five or six different versions. That group’s next big push is Wednesday the 18th, when ferry riders from around the Sound are scheduled to rally at the Capitol in Olympia. Last I heard they were still looking for Bremerton riders to participate and represent the route. If you’re interested in joining or hosting a carpool from our fair city, email

Now, considering the current situation and community’s proactive response, as well as the growing perception that Bremerton gets hammered more than other communities any time ferry cuts are discussed, it’s interesting to happen upon this beauty from our ‘Remember When’ archive, running in Sunday’s edition:

In 1959 (50 Years Ago)

Bremerton-Seattle ferry service, branded last week as “neglected” by state ferries management, will top the agenda of the Toll Bridge Authority meeting in Olympia on Wednesday. Lester M. Lewis, chairman of the Committee for Improved Bremerton-Seattle Ferry Service, said his group is seeking assignment of more adequate vessels to the route along with improved landing facilities and better scheduling. “For the first time, Bremerton has been promised serious, top-level consideration of its case,” Lewis said.

A committee dedicated to improving Bremerton service! And the group of residents facing the same worries we are now! I guess that even though times change, some things stay the… oh, right.