Category Archives: Manette

New bakery’s headquarters up and running

Kate Giuggio of Saboteur Bakery on the first day.
Kate Giuggio of Saboteur Bakery on the first day.

The smells of fresh baked goods have begun emanating down East 11th Street. Saboteur Bakery, whose Fourth Street had already developed an abundant following, opened Thursday in downtown Manette.

Fresh croissants, brioches and quiche were going fast on the first day. The opening is a milestone for Matt Tinder — a baker at California Michelin-starred restaurants who came north looking for new opportunity — and Kate Giuggio, his business partner, as they continue to build a local bakery empire.


Giuggio said there’s more to come, too. An espresso machine and additional baking equipment will come online in the coming days. They were able to purchase baking equipment, including ovens and mixers, from  Whidbey Island’s Tree-Top Baking, whose owners recently retired.

They moved to Seattle last October, then came to Bremerton — and they liked what they saw. An initial plan for the Quonset Hut near Evergreen-Rotary Park fell through, but the Manette location offered a quicker chance to get up and running. Meanwhile, Tinder baked at Evergreen Kitchen on Fourth Street to keep their location up the street running.

Outside the E. 11th bakery, a picnic table full of people was enjoying Stumptown Coffee and goods Thursday morning. I’m going to guess that the table will become a popular community spot from here on out, on each sunny day.

Saboteur is open Wednesday to Sunday until 1 p.m., and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. But beware: they do sell out frequently.

Mailbag: Free swims at the Y and manhole covers


Here’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately. “I am not a member of the Bremerton YMCA, but I’ve heard you can still swim there for free periodically.”

There have been doubts cast about whether this is true, so I went to the source: Bremerton Parks Director Jeff Elevado and YMCA Director Jane Erlandsen. Both confirmed that once every quarter, local residents can use the pool for free, as part of their operating agreement (the YMCA runs the pool but the city owns it).

In fact, it’s not just the pool. Elevado told me.

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“The Bremerton YMCA provides voucher for one visit per quarter,” he said. “The visit provides full access to the Y, including the pool.”

To print out the voucher, click here.


Felicienne Griffin-Matheson asked me recently on Facebook why there are so many manhole covers on Trenton Avenue. “If anyone has driven Trenton they know what the difference between a drunk driver and a man hole avoider is. Why is there 50+ man hole covers between 11th and Stone on Trenton? I have been wondering why for so many years!”

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Others commented that Lower Wheaton Way has a whole bunch of them too.

For the answer, I consulted Wayne Hamilton, the city’s utility operations manager. He printed maps showing the city’s network of water, sewer and stormwater pipes that snake under the road.

The short answer, Felicienne, is that the street is old and has seen a lot in its lifetime. The more elaborate answer is that, as time and development of the street has gone on, more underground utilities have been needed, and added.

Anytime one of the pipes under Trenton has needed a new branch, a manhole cover has to be added, Hamilton said. Also, anytime a pipe turns at a 45 degree angle or higher, a manhole cover must be added. The reason is that clogs in those pipes are most likely to be found at the corners, so they have to be easily accessed by crews to get them unclogged.

“If things get plugged, you want to have access to it,” he told me.

Also, the city embarked on a utility project there about 25 years ago that separated sewer flows from runoff — or stormwater — ones. The reason: each time we have a big storm and lots of rain, it overflows the city’s sewer treatment plant, causing sewage to be spilled into Puget Sound. By creating a new system for the runoff, you keep it from going to the sewer system, but you also get more utility covers on the street above.

“That all adds up to a lot of man holes,” he said.


Several people have asked about the foundation on a plateau off Kitsap Way near Westbay Auto Parts (see picture). 


For the answer, I asked the city’s community development department. The foundation is actually a part of the construction of a private home with a large garage. Larry Taylor, a local resident who fixes bikes as a hobby, is the applicant.

Got a question for the Bremerton Beat’s Mailbag? Send it to 

Gulls to be evicted from Manette Bridge lampposts

gulls1_22247519_ver1.0_640_480Seagulls have officially worn out their welcome on the Manette Bridge’s lampposts. 

If you travel it often like I do, you’ve probably noticed an accumulation of gull doo-doo along the bridge’s grey concrete and green rails. From above, the birds perch on top of the lampposts and, well, do their business from there.

But their reign of raining poop on the bridge is coming to an end.

In early May, Bremerton Public Works crews will attach “bird deterrent” on the lampposts. This likely means those spike strips you see on other possible bird perches, including at the Bremerton ferry terminal.

The poo issue came to light last year, when the bird droppings had a banner year.

“This year, it seems like there’s a whole bunch more,” Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin told me last year, noting, “every single (lamppost) had a bird on it.”

Work is expected to take a day or so, and is scheduled for May 2 & 3.

A brief history of Bremerton

Bremer's monument, on the Louis Mentor Boardwalk.
Bremer’s monument, on the Louis Mentor Boardwalk.

Bremerton is a city rich in history. I wanted to create a single post that would cover its most pivotal events. I intend this synopsis to be a living post; that is, I offer anyone a chance to offer his or her two cents on how it could be made better — and most importantly to me, more accurate. Please share it with your friends and neighbors. We’re all in this together.

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Pre-World War II photo of Bremerton, courtesy of Evergreen Upholstery.

Bremerton’s beginnings can be traced in large part to two men: Ambrose Wyckoff and William Bremer.

Wyckoff, a Navy lieutenant, came to Seattle in 1877 to conduct a surveying mission. The man who would become known as “That Puget Sounder” made his case to Congress for a shipyard in Sinclair Inlet, and eventually, he got his way. Congress appropriated $10,000 in 1891 and the 145-acre Puget Sound Naval Yard was born.

Bremer, a German immigrant and Henry Paul Hensel, a jeweler, saw opportunity in Wyckoff’s purchase. They bought up the land, sold some of it to the Navy at $50 an acre and ultimately developed the beginnings of Bremerton.

The shipyard sputtered at first during a nationwide depression but got rolling after Wyckoff and others worked to get another $1.5 million from Congress by 1901, when the city was officially incorporated. The same year, nearby Charleston established a post office, the beginnings of a bustling commercial district there. The postmaster, who also owned a mill near what is now Evergreen-Rotary Park, started burning refuse from the mill in what became the city’s first source of electricity.

Bremerton has been known for its rowdy bars through the years, but its earliest era may well have been the roughest. By 1903, the town had 16 saloons in a city of only 1,200 people. The Navy threatened to leave Sinclair Inlet until Alvin Croxton, the town’s first mayor, did something about it: he led the charge to close them all.

Even before Bremerton, a community was building around a mill on the shores just north of present-day Manette. William Renton established a saw mill in 1854 at Enetai Point, but it burned down 16 years later, after Renton sold it and established a mill at Port Blakely on Bainbridge Island. Still, a town grew there and in neighboring Tracyton. In 1916, a ferry was established between Bremerton and Manette. Two years later, Manette was incorporated into the city, and Charleston followed in 1927. What was created was a city on two peninsulas, finally linked by the Manette Bridge in 1930.

Shipyard Crane
The iconic shipyard crane was installed in 1933.

As it has throughout history, Bremerton has ebbed and flowed like the tides with the country’s war efforts. Following the first world war, the city started to languish until its biggest boom of all came with the second. The population here exploded from 15,000 to 85,000, as Westpark, Eastpark and Sheridan Park were built in an effort to provide enough housing. An African American population grew as well, but was confined to Sinclair Park in what is now the West Hills until residents like Lillian Walker fought against the de facto segregation.

Barrage balloons surrounded the city in case of an attack by Japanese warplanes, blackouts were held and “victory gardens” became popular. Women working in the shipyard gave rise to the cultural icon “Rosie the Riveter.” Even after the war, it was allegedly a local resident who told President Harry Truman to “Give ’em hell,” while at a speech at Fifth and Pacific.

The post-war years saw Bremerton decline from its war boom but maintain its status as Kitsap County’s commercial hub. Olympic College was created by the Bremerton School District in 1946, and was eventually taken over by the state. The Casad Dam, named for the visionary head of Bremerton public works was completed in 1957, and its Union River headwaters still provide the city’s water supply today. The Warren Avenue Bridge was completed in 1958, offering a second link to East Bremerton.

Warren Avenue Bridge.
Warren Avenue Bridge.

Then came an exodus toward more rural parts of Kitsap County. The federal government chose to build a new submarine base at Bangor in 1973. Suburban life grew in other parts of the county, and developers started eyeing locations outside Bremerton for shopping malls.

Ed Bremer, last surviving member of the founding family, attempted to keep Bremerton as the commercial center of the county. But his efforts would backfire: Ron Ross, developer of the Kitsap Mall, sued successfully and won a $2 million judgement for impeding an attempt by Ross to build a mall near Wheaton Way and Riddell Road.

Ed Bremer and others cross Second Street in this 1970s photo. (Evergreen Upholstery)

Bremerton’s end as the county’s retail hub more or less officially came on Aug. 1, 1985, the day Kitsap Mall opened in Silverdale. Ed Bremer died about a year later. His fortunes went to the Bremer Trust, which now benefits Olympic College but still maintains a portfolio of Bremerton properties.

Efforts in the 1990s to restore Bremerton’s downtown were hit-and-miss. There were victories, including the restoration of the Admiral Theater and the construction of the new Bremerton Transportation Center. But gang violence and high crime still plagued the city, and in 1998, the city lost the famed World War II Naval ship USS Missouri to Hawaii as a museum.

Downtown today.
Downtown today.

Bremerton’s beginning to the 21st century has seen its own set of victories and setbacks. Under Mayor Cary Bozeman, the city embarked on a vigorous downtown revitalization effort, branding it the “Harborside,” and developing controversial condominiums, conference center and fountain park. Many other city parks have been redeveloped, the old Westpark housing area was demolished and violent crime has plummeted.

A tunnel funneled traffic out of downtown, a new Manette Bridge replaced the old span and a 10-screen movieplex was built. But Harrison Medical Center, with roots here dating back to the early 20th century, announced plans recently to vacate most of its East Bremerton campus for Silverdale. A spate of downtown apartment projects aims to bring even more people into living an urban lifestyle in downtown Bremerton.

Special thanks to so many in helping me to put this together, including Kitsap Sun’s archives, historians Frank Wetzel, Fredi Perry Pargeter, Russell Warren and Ruth Reese, The Kitsap Historical Society and Museum and its staff, the book “Manette Pioneering,” and others.

Beat Blast: 5 things you must know in Bremerton this week

In this Bremerton beat blast, we journey to the end of Pacific Avenue, in search of the city’s newest pop-up store. (Spolier alert: We find it!)

In this week’s edition, you will learn:

1. What pop-up businesses are invading Bremerton?
2. Where can you spot Santa this Friday?
3. What cuts are the Bremerton City Council planning to make?
4. Where will Bremerton’s newest arcade be located?
5. Where can I take a free Bremerton history tour Saturday?

As always, let me know what you think. Oh, and see you Friday at Winterfest, Magic in Manette, and more!



Bremerton Beat Blast: 5 things to know happening in Bremerton this week

Stories featured this week:

1. This Bremerton theater is under contract with a local developer
2. Detectives investigate a murder in East Bremerton
3. The 2-year election battle shaping up
4. Is the ferry terminal’s door broken again?
5. Which Bremerton landmark has a birthday today?

Please let me know what you think! Suggestions welcomed at

Roxy today, Roxy yesterday. Photo by Meegan M. Reid.
Roxy today, Roxy yesterday. Photo by Meegan M. Reid.

The treasures of gardening in the city


Almost two years ago, Karesha Peters traded her landlord’s grass for a vast city garden in Manette. She did all the heavy lifting herself, tearing out the lawn and replacing it with boxed beds now filled with butternut squash, chard, tomatoes and more.

“He let me rip up his entire front yard,” she joked of her landlord. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

The work, she says, was all worth it.


“I can’t imagine not growing my own food,” she said.

Peters maintains one of the prettiest gardens in the city, using the fruits of her labor to sustain her family all summer long, and selling the overage at the Bremerton Farmer’s Market.

The child development specialist, who is originally from South Africa, got into gardening eight years ago while living in Seattle. Since moving to Kitsap County, she has grown a garden on a family property in Seabeck until she started her own in Manette in early 2014.

She’s honed her craft, as evidenced by her taste for the boldest flavors around. I’d never had New Zealand Spinach before, but its sweet flavor makes me struggle to eat anything but in the Spinach department. Her carrots always go fast at the market; even if you miss them, don’t worry, because she overproduced green beans a bit this year following robust demand at last year’s market for them.

In the spirit of city gardening, she also planted a healthy amount of strawberries, which she allows the neighborhood kids to take off the vine for a quick snack.

Almost anytime of year, her garden is in production. She still loves that first sprout, whenever it may be. “That initial pop out of the ground gets me every time,” she said.

I’m hopeful she’ll be among the gardeners featured when the biennial Manette Edible Garden tour returns in 2016. But if you wish to try Peters’ farm fresh vegetables this year, better hurry: Only three Thursdays — Oct. 1, 8 and 15 — remain in the farmers market season.


3 inspirational summer stories in Bremerton

You can feel fall coming. The weather’s cooling, the colors are starting to change and summer will soon end. But before it does, I wanted to reflect on three stories that just flat made me feel good this summer in Bremerton. They’re the kinds of stories that give you hope for humanity.

They found Tiffany 


I remember physically cringing when I saw the sight of the crumpled Motel 6 in West Bremerton, the victim of a massive gas explosion. We braced for the news of loss of life. But somehow, in what can only be described as a miracle, there was not. Larry Jennings, the Cascade Natural Gas technician who was closest to the explosion, continues to recover at Harborview Medical Center.

In the days after, the lone casualty appeared to be Tiffany, a black lab and chow mix that could be seen in surveillance video running from the Motel 6 as it exploded. But Tiffany’s owners, who’d recently moved here, never gave up hope. Dozens of people took on the task of posting flyers around town, creating a Facebook page, and combing the area looking for her. Nine days after the explosion, she was found drinking from the Port Washington Narrows.

What touched me the most about this story was after the fact, when complete strangers came together on a Sunday at Lions Park. Everyone got a chance to meet Tiffany (pictured). It was a wonderful story of community coming together, and then celebrating that cohesion.

The mailman of Manette 

I’d heard a lot about Norm the mailman before Monday, when I got to tag along with him as he delivered on his 11-mile route. But I was awestruck by just how beloved he is in the community he serves.

On each block, a few homes, if not more, were in on “Norm Day,” an impromptu celebration of his close to 30 years delivering mail in Manette. From simple cards to bottles of wine, he was showered in praise throughout the day. It was fascinating to watch a neighborhood band together for someone like that.

Only here’s the thing: after walking with him much of the way, I can say with confidence he completely deserved it. Norm is more than a mailman. He helps people on his route each and every day, as I wrote about him in Tuesday’s paper.

Putting joy in Turner Joy 

Photo by Mike Stitt.
Photos by Mike Stitt.

Since becoming the executive director of the USS Turner Joy Museum last year, Jack James has been a man on a mission. The retired Navy Seal, who’s led tasks like removing explosives from beaches in Iraq, is known for thinking outside the box.

Earlier in the year, he came up with a crazy idea to swim from the Turner Joy to the Boat Shed, crossing the Port Washington Narrows — one of the swiftest currents in Puget Sound. It sounded just crazy enough that I thought I’d like to join him. When else do you get a chance to swim from west to East Bremerton?

We all know Jack’s a hard worker. But what was so inspirational to me was his determination. Right before plunging into the water Sept. 12, I complained about the currents and the possibility of getting stung by a jelly fish.

“Look,” he told me. “All that other stuff, it’s just noise. See the Boat Shed over there? That’s the goal — do not think about anything else.

“Focus on the mission.”

And I did.

I’m excited for Bremerton to see what James comes up with next.

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Manette’s new public art only visible in the rain

Photo by Mark Henson.

Wanna check out Bremerton’s newest public art? You’ll have to wait for some rain, or bring some water balloons along to reveal it.

That’s exactly what a group of Manette residents did on Saturday (not to mention it did actually briefly rain!). The neighborhood capped a community drive that brought a Seattle artist to Bremerton Saturday with a big reveal, on a sidewalk underneath the Manette Bridge.

The company behind the design is called Rainworks, and they’ve done around 50 of these pieces, according to artist and founder Peregrine Church. He and colleague Xach Fisher utilize a non-toxic and environmentally safe product that repels water, stenciling it onto the concrete below.

Cher and Church, of Rainworks. Mark Henson photo.

They came to Manette because the groundswell of support was great. About 130 people voted through a community contest to have Rainworks come here — more than the next four communities combined.

Church called it a “high energy, fun reveal.” (I regret I was not there due to other assignments.)

“It was pretty exciting,” he said. “They were pumped for it.”

A special thanks goes out to Mark Henson, one of our area’s great photographers, for taking photos.


Edgewood Villa fire: what you can do to help


A devastating fire ripped through one of the buildings at Manette’s Edgewood Villa apartments on Monday, leaving 16 people without a home, the Red Cross says. 

The cause of the fire has been determined to be discarded cigarette butts left in a cardboard box on one of the balconies, according to Bremerton Fire Marshal Mike Six.

Many people have asked me how they can help. I’m compiling a list of resources here so you can contribute on your own terms. If I have forgotten any, please go ahead and drop me an email at I’m hearing food and toiletries are more important right now than clothing and furniture.

The Red Cross is also working to coordinate plans for donations. They were able to help two of the 16 with shelter last night at Peace Lutheran Church, and supported 11 families financially to get lodging, according to Dave Rasmussen, disaster program manager.


“We’re still in response mode,” he said. “But we know people in Kitsap County, and particularly Bremerton, want to help.”

Here’s some ways you can do that:

The Manette Neighborhood Coalition has set up a GoFundMe site where you can contribute financially.

The Allstate Insurance office of Betty Skinner, 4181 Wheaton Way, Suite one, is accepting donated items to give to the fire victims. Clothing, personal toiletries, gift cards and more will be accepted. Open regular business hours. For more information, call (360) 479-9850.

Rejuv Salon & Spa,1007 Scott Ave. Suite B, is also a “drop spot” for clothing, linens and other donations. It’s open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Their phone number is (360) 405-0293.

If you’d like to stick to donating to the Red Cross, Rasmussen told me you can call their Bremerton office (811 Pacific Avenue) and they’ll make a list of everyone who would like to donate. Rasmussen emphasizes that financial donations are of critical importance, as they help families just like the ones at Edgewood Villa get immediate housing, clothing, food and supplies. Their phone number is (360) 377-3761.

Newlife Church in Manette will host a free community dinner at 5:15 p.m. Saturday at Mountain View Middle School. All donations will be donated to the fire victims. Facebook has the details.