All posts by David Nelson

About David Nelson

Editor-in-Chief of the Kitsap Sun.

A Dodgers Fan for a Day

Vicente Padilla was tapped to start for the L.A. Dodgers in today’s National League Championship Series game against the Phillies. The Dodgers are up against the wall, facing playoff elimination, and it’s Padilla’s job to bail them out.

Kind of like what he did for a group of people here in Bremerton two years ago.

Padilla’s $25k bailout wasn’t enough for El Centro de la Familia in the long-term, but it was a great gesture and, along with the United Way, kept the place afloat for another year.

So, at least for today, I’ll join Gardner and say “Go Dodgers.”

—David Nelson vicente-padilla-2009-9-24-20-45-21

A League of Bremerton’s Own

Our friend The Bremelogger hosted a debate for Maupin and Lent last night, following a Monday League of Women Voters event for the Bremerton mayoral hopefuls.

No slight at the LWV, since they’ve been in the business of promoting elections for years and have covered the county with forums this season, but when phrases like “pool of blood” and a question about urban chickens* become part of the debate, you know it’s not the typical candidates forum. Which is a good thing, given a primary turnout that clearly showed many voters aren’t being reached. So the candidates were good sports to participate in something a bit out of the ordinary.

Host Chris Kornelis played it glib (joking about those turnout numbers, former Mayor Bozeman, and his daily ferry commute), let audience members take the mic for their own questions and follow ups, and finished at least one can of Pabst Blue Ribbon during his hour of interviewing. Wednesday’s gig also boasted better attendance than Monday’s, with maybe 50 in a standing-room only at the cramped back room at the Hi-Fidelity Lounge on Sixth Street just off Wycoff**. (The LWV forum played to a 3/4 empty council chambers at the Government Center, though it will be replayed on BKAT three more times, including this morning at 10 a.m.)

That was the third public forum between these two I’ve watched, not including two editorial board interviews***. So I’m a little fatigued on listening to how downtown can improve or what the budget strategy should be next year****. A lot of the viewpoints have been very similar, and the tone, for the most part, has been cordial. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always paint a clear picture to help voters decide. The two butted heads just a bit in our interview last week, when Maupin scoffed at Lent’s suggestion to save money on future street repairs by including the work with stormwater projects funded by the state. Other than that, the gloves stayed on.

Wednesday’s most aggressive statement came again from the sitting city councilman, asked to name a different between the two. Maupin had played on his working-class Aberdeen roots and shipyard background early in the interview, and concluded with this: “She’s a politician, I’m not.” (Lent was a county commissioner for one term, before losing in the 2006 primary.) Lent wasn’t baited by the comment, and stuck to her guns by simply reiterating her passion for the city, business background and “fresh” perspective.

Lent’s best point of the evening, which also came up in our interview and seems to be one of the campaign’s really good ideas, was her promise to aggressively court small manufacturing businesses here from the Kent Valley, where they are in pretty serious danger of being flooded by the Green River due to a leaking dam in the Cascades.

But she missed one with the crowd when she passed on giving an opinion on state issue R-71, saying she hadn’t yet made up her mind. Maupin said he’s in favor of keeping the domestic partnership law on the books. (To be fair, Maupin drew his own eye-roll, when an opening joke about being “born at a very early age” fell flat.)

The other state issue, Tim Eyeman’s I-1033, came up Monday. Both Lent and Maupin said they disagreed with initiative, as presently worded.

Both answered the “pool of blood” question with assurances that law enforcement, and cleaning up blighted neighborhoods that harm Bremerton’s reputation, will be a priority. And then they walked out onto those very streets in the Callow neighborhood, letting the kids stay and listen to Boise rockers Finn Riggins*****. The opening act had done its job.

— David Nelson

*City Councilman Roy Runyon is hosting a district meeting at 5:30 tonight at Cora’s Diner on 4th Street. On the agenda? Yup. Urban chickens.

**Maupin’s father-in-law, former Bremerton Mayor Whitey Domstad, owned a tavern at that site until the mid-1950s, called “Whitey’s.”

***Endorsements begin this weekend and run through next week, if you want to hold your ballot a few days to see our opinion.

****Believe it or not, there’s at least two more coming up. Monday from 5-8 p.m., Mike Siegel of KITZ radio will interview the two at the Comfort Inn, and then Tuesday they’ll be at the Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues breakfast (also, incidentally, held at a bar).

*****Kornelis told me he used to be in Finn Riggins. But having two drummers is awkward in a rock band, and that was that.

Bremerton Mayoral Candidates, Live Tuesday

Tuesday afternoon our editorial board will host the Bremerton candidates for mayor, Patty Lent and Will Maupin. That’s the first of three forums the two will attend in subsequent weeks*, so hopefully this race is about to develop in earnest. Steve Gardner is working on profiles of the candidates and the race for coming stories in the Sun, so watch for that as well.

Our interview begins at 4 p.m. (office jockeys, tell your boss it’s a work-related “webinar” you’re watching). There will be a link to the live video at when we get started, and the archived video will go up in the evening at Our other election interviews are there now, and our editorial board endorsements will start rolling out next week.

I’ve got some questions in mind for the interview, but I’m open to any suggestions you might have. The likely topics include ferry service, diversity in the city’s tax base, neighborhood improvement plans and what’s to be done about the growth in hot dog vendors downtown (ok, we’ll get to three of those). But if there’s something you’d like to hear about, throw it in the comments below or email me at dnelson(at)

— David Nelson

*Oct. 14, The Bremelog is sponsoring a debate, 7 p.m. at the Hi-Fidelity Lounge in West Bremerton, and Oct. 20 is the early morning Eggs and Issues bash sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce at the Cloverleaf.

Quick Takes From a Mayor’s Debate

An interview with four others doesn’t give any candidate much room to stretch his or her legs, so with Will Maupin and Patty Lent advancing in the mayor’s race I’m ready to see what separates them. (Especially since we heard from readers in the primary essentially saying, “not much.”)

This afternoon about 100 business people got an early evaluation, at a Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce forum. There’s still some pushing to be done on the issues, and a few more public forums to allow it, including another editorial board interview we’ll broadcast on But quickly, today’s highlights (or at least a sample of some areas where the two differ):

Parking: Maupin will fix the parking problem downtown, he said, and early in the administration. He’d like to do it with meters, of the automated variety they use in Seattle, which “are the answer.” Lent agreed there’s a problem, and said the planned downtown lot will help ease the strain. (Maupin also referenced the lot, which could be part of a public/private project on the corner of Burwell and Park, as a parking solution and economic driver.)

Economic Development: Lent trotted out an idea “that hasn’t been mentioned before,” as she put it: Attracting the scientific manufacturer DuPont to the SKIA property. Right now the company has offices in the East and South, as well as around the world. Maupin said he’d expand “Community Empowerment Zones” to boost neighborhoods and small business, and look for tax exemptions or other incentives to encourage growth.

Tourism: Here was the first real split in opinion. Lent said the Admiral Theatre should be “weaned” from the help it gets through the Lodging Tax, with money being spent promoting tourism instead. Maupin maintained the Admiral’s support should continue, but come from new tax monies.

Passenger-only ferries: For Maupin, those should be part of a long-range state plan that current service should start conforming to now. For Lent, passenger-only should be operated by the private sector.

— David Nelson

Round 1, Lent v. Maupin

The Bremerton Chamber of Commerce just dropped a press release for the first forum featuring the two mayoral candidates left standing.

Patty Lent and Will Maupin will rumble Tuesday, Sept. 8 (actually, they’ll be the speaking and taking questions, respectfully, at the Chamber’s September membership luncheon). It’s the first chance the public will have to hear from them since the primary.

Lunch starts at 11:30 at the Sons of Norway Lodge in Bremerton; $22 at the door, $18 if you RSVP by Sept. 3.

The Chamber is at (360) 479-3580 or

— David Nelson

Election Statement (and Response) of the Day

We took a jab at the eligible voters who couldn’t be bothered to walk to the mailbox in an editorial today, and Chris Henry and her blog followers have some theories on the low turnout for a “pointless primary” here. But the indignant (and spot on) comment of the day comes from councilman Nick Wofford: “We’ve got people in other countries risking their lives to vote and we can’t get off our duffs to put a stamp on an envelope.”

Finishing first in the witty rejoinder division is commentor paradyne64: “Don’t worry Mr. Wofford, the voters will turn out to vote down your $30 car tab increase.”

Today’s updated totals are out and it’s still Maupin-Lent-Shepherd. And the turnout is still embarrassingly low.

— David Nelson

Bozeman’s Campaign Cash

Your friendly neighborhood Bremelog combed through some public records and uncovered a little political tidbit yesterday: Cary Bozeman has raised the most campaign cash of the mayoral candidates.

His $47,237 is ten grand more than anyone else has brought in, and there’s $14,000 left in the coffers. Chris Kornelis reports that Harrison Medical Center Foundation will be the beneficiary next Wednesday.

If you want to check out the PDC filings yourself, click here. It’s a pretty slick database, as it should be to communicate such information.


Across the Port Washington Narrows, there’s a poorly-publicized meeting scheduled for this afternoon that may be of interest to Manette residents (I just heard yesterday, and not from the city). The parks department will invite the public’s input/show them what’s coming on the future of Domstad Park, which may be reconfigured when the Manette Bridge is rebuilt. WSDOT and Public Works are getting the bids together, but Parks will host the forum at 1:30 p.m. today. Happens at its offices in the Sheridan Community Center, 680 Lebo Blvd.

— David Nelson

The People’s Champ: It’s Indy

Despite my brief lobbying effort for Lebowski a few weeks ago, the tally added up in favor of Indiana Jones for this Friday’s season finale of downtown Movies on the Roof.

Bremerton’s choice is ‘Radiers of the Lost Ark.’ The show starts at dusk Friday on the roof of the old J.C. Penny’s building (which the Third Place Books company, which is owned by building owner Ron Sher and sponsors the four movies, is calling ‘Harborside Commons.’ Until I see some renovations, it’s still ‘the old J.C. Penney’s building’.) Classic cars park upstairs, beer garden and some snacks are available, and lawn chairs and fedoras are recommended.

— David Nelson

Bremerton Schools Questions? Get ’em In

Tonight our editorial board will interview Bremerton School Board candidates, beginning with the district 1 at 5 p.m. and district 5 candidates around 6 p.m.

Like we’ve done with other candidate interviews it’ll be shown live on the site, and archived over at the Kitsap Caucus afterward.

Unlike the other interviews we won’t be able to accept comments and questions live. It’s a staffing thing. So if there’s something you’d like asked during our interview, post in the comments below. Thanks, and enjoy the show tonight.

— David Nelson