Category Archives: Random Stuff

A ‘Mighty’ Former Bremerton Resident Gets an $18M Facelift

The USS Missouri is seen in Drydock 4, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP Photo/The Honolulu Advertiser, Gregory Yamamoto)
The USS Missouri is seen in Drydock 4, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP Photo/The Honolulu Advertiser, Gregory Yamamoto)

For all of you here in Kitsap who still feel a connection to the historic USS Missouri, which was mothballed on Bremerton’s waterfront for decades, here’s a little update.

The ship was towed from its tourist spot near the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center yesterday and into a Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard drydock.

Earlier this year, the USS Missouri Memorial Association began work preserving the gray lady, on whose decks Japan signed the declaration of surrender that ended World War II. For the next three months, the ship will be cleaned up, rewired and otherwise spiffed up (if you can call $18 million worth of work “spiffed”) for the nearly half million tourists who now visit the ship ever year. They will sandblast and fortify the hull, and upgrade electrical and sewer systems. The work is being paid for with a $10 million Department of Defense grant and funds from the nonprofit USS Missouri Memorial

She’ll be back open for tours — they cost $20 per person — in December.

I visited the ship last month. They were doing early painting touch up work, but it still was open for tours.

I didn’t visit it when it was in Bremerton; I probably wasn’t old enough to appreciate it at the time. But I remember the fight when its departure from Bremerton was announced. It was downright vicious, involving a federal lawsuit and strong words from our local Congressman.

For those of you who don’t know the battleship’s history and tearful goodbye with Bremerton, here’s a synopsis:

The ship was mothballed in front of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1954 to 1984. Perhaps because of the popularity of the tours and the exposure it received during the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, other cities began clamoring for visits from the Mo.

The ship was towed to Long Beach, Calif., and recommissioned in 1984. It toured the world and was deployed during the Gulf War. Its return to Bremerton was promised by then-Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett III in 1989, and it came back for its second mothballing in 1992.

In 1995, the year of the 50th anniversary of Japan’s surrender 1995, several cities — including Bremerton, Pearl Harbor, and Long Beach, Calif. — petitioned to become its permanent home. Hawaii, of course, won.

Last year, 10 years after it was towed away, some Kitsap residents still felt saddened by the battleship’s departure.

No matter the argument about where the ship belongs, it serves its purpose at the Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor. As one of our commenters put it, the Missouri provides a “period” to the memorial’s statement on the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

So while I was there, taking it all in, I thought I’d bring a little back for my fellow Bremertonians. It may not be the ship, but these images from the tour are going to have to suffice. Also included at the end of the slideshow are photos of the Arizona memorial so you can read the sentence backward. (If you also have visited the Mo in Bremerton or there, e-mail me photos or post a link to them in a comment.)

A Song Dedication for 23-Year-Old Olalla Man

Man, I can relate. Here at the Bremerton Beat we love to toss jabs across the bathtub at our close, personal friends in Port Orchard and, if necessary, South Kitsap at large. Little gives us more joy than to find foibles and exploit them. Makes us feel bigger, you know?

But in this case my Harborside Condominium-sized heart goes out to the Olalla man who saw the former love of his life driving around in the ride he paid for with another guy. Man, that’s gotta hurt.

But hurtin’ is what happens in this life. Way back in 1983 and 1993 (2003 was just peachy.) I had massive stomps put on my heart. It was tough. It made me think of things I wouldn’t want anyone to know. One way I kept people from knowing some of my more awful thoughts was by not telling them. Another way was not doing them. Even in my most emotional moments, I managed to be rational. I might have wanted to yell at those women in public, or take out a particularly biting classified ad. But I didn’t. I knew that ultimately it wouldn’t help my cause.

Olalla man didn’t trust that, though. He saw his ex-girlfriend driving the Chevy Blazer he paid for with some dude from California. So he flipped a Jake (That’s a U-turn in some parts.) and followed her, scared her and caused an accident. Fortunately no one appears to have seriously been physically hurt. As for the emotional scars I have no prognosis.

For Olalla man I have a prescription for you next time you think you want to do something you’ll ultimately apologize to cops for. When that feeling in your heart runs up to your mouth and makes you want to shout random expletives at your former girlfriend, retreat. Find a music player and try to find a song that speaks your story. Feel, man, feel, like Port Orchard has to tell itself every time it compares itself with the jewel that is Bremerton. Find a half hour some time when you can listen to the song over and over, until you’re tired of it and tired of feeling bad about yourself. Dude, a song lets you know you’re not the only one forced to pick liver at the buffet table.

For me the song was “I Wish I Were Blind,” by Bruce Springsteen in the 1993 drama. Risking copyright infringement, I’ll post the video here for you. I’m sure Bruce would understand. His lawyers probably won’t, but for you I’ll take that chance.

And You Thought We Picked on Port Orchard

Perchance you saw Chris Henry’s story about ideas to spruce up downtown Port Orchard. If you read it, you saw this paragraph:

Calling Bay Street’s current hodgepodge of colors “butt-ugly,” Delilah last week described her ideas for a volunteer-driven “Paint the Town” party before Cedar Cove Days. She’ll buy the paint, she said, while local painting contractors would be called upon to lend their equipment.

“Delilah” is Delilah Rene, evening radio host of a show that combines love songs with chats between Delilah and her listeners, none of which I would ever suspect of using the term “butt-ugly.”

Give Delilah credit in this case, though. I complain about Port Orchard but I never do anything about it.

Bremerton Gets Boils

Dear Bremerton,

This is just a little note in case you’re feeling a little blue lately. You’re walking around with pride in chest and a comfortably fitting hat because you held your own in that smackdown with Seattle. All is well in B-Town, you think.

Then your hometown bank gets taken over by the feds and a bank from Port Orchard, your mayor and your high school principal quits and you’re losing police officers while those guys across the bay are talking about hiring more. And we’ve still got a lot of empty condos.

Let me start with a story I think you can relate to.

There was this guy. Job. (Pronounced Jobe, and it’s not the one from “Arrested Development,” but the one from the Bible.) According to the books written about him, he had it goin’ on, if you know what I’m saying.

OK, he lived in a place called Uz, but otherwise he had a pretty good gig.

He had a hot wife, amazing kids, tons of bank, a loyal posse of friends and a killer crib. Actually, I don’t know if his wife was hot or if it’s appropriate at all for me to speculate. But the guy had 10 kids. You decide.

Word was he was a righteous dude, but Satan didn’t buy it. God and the devil get into this conversation and decide to let Job get tested. First he loses his stuff and some of his kids.

Job shaves his head, which is something I can relate to, because I once shaved my chest hair after a girlfriend broke up with me. TMI. Sorry. Then he says something like “Easy come, easy go.”

So then he gets boils all over his body. Now I don’t know what a boil feels like, but I had an abscess that got me hospitalized for a couple days and off work for a week. I had the benefit of drugs to get me through it. Job’s boils were so bad his wife suggested he curse God and die.

Job’s friends came to see him and didn’t recognize him, then didn’t say anything for a whole week. When they do speak they tell him all this stuff is probably his fault.

Job complained a lot, but not about God. In the end Job eventually gets it all back and twice as much.

This could be your lot (not “Lot”) Bremerton. Sure things look tough now, but let’s just call this a Job moment on the way to the “twice as much” part. We’ve got a new downtown park opening this weekend and I had someone tell me it’s pretty kickin.’

And if we needed any other reasons to feel good about ourselves, there’s this display on Sixth Avenue:


We’ll be fine, Bremerton. Keep your chin up. We’ll be making fun of Port Orchard again in no time.


Steven Gardner

Port Orchard Doesn’t Make the Cut

When I read this headline — ‘Having a bad hair day? Eugene, Oregon, Olympia on a list‘ — I figured Port Orchard isn’t mentioned right away because that’s what we call ‘dog bites man’ type of news.

But somehow, our neighbor to the south really didn’t make the cut. Of course, neither did Forks, so perhaps the methodology of these Californian experts needs scrutiny.

Or maybe last year’s haircut campaign in the city just worked too well. In any case, congrats all around, and I’ll keep holding my breath and an A1 slot until the ‘Top Ten Tunnels’ list is announced to get some notoriety over here.

— 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

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. 


Do You Know This Woman?

The city of Bremerton would like to know who the woman is pictured at the end of this entry. Gary Sexton, the city’s economic development director, picked her photo as one representing what went on at the shipyard during the first world war. A statue of the woman will be placed at the newest downtown park, expected to open in a few months.

If you know who she is, contact the city at (360) 473-5269 or by e-mail at

Bremerton on Zooey Watch

Hello fellow Bremertonians! This is Angela Dice here, Sun Web editor and writer over at The Food Life blog. I’ll be one of several folks taking over the Bremerton Beat blog now that we’ve had to say goodbye to Andrew Binion.

I’m going to start off this transition a little light, a little trite:

OK, Bremerton, you’ve officially been put on Zooey watch.

Zooey Deschanel, that is. (Pronounced ZOH-ee)

She’s a singer/actress (the dark-haired beauty with big, blue-eyes who played Will Ferrell’s love interest in “Elf”, Wark Wahlberg’s in “The Happening” and the upcoming “Yes Man”) newly engaged to Bremerton-raised rock star Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service fame.

Gibbard’s family still lives in the area, so it would seem likely that he’d bring his sweetheart home to mom, right?

So, keep your eyes out, but don’t embarrass the rest of us Bremertonians. A smile and a nod of the head will suffice.

Park Avenue Diner (Breakfast) Rises From Ashes

The best way to start your day

Has life been less buttery since the Park Avenue Diner closed its doors? Do you find yourself driving by Denny’s late at night, when it’s not on your way home?

The cooks from the now shuttered Park Avenue Diner will be banging pots and pans in the kitchen of Badda Boom Badda Bing Pizza and Pasta (315 Pacific Avenue), where they will be cooking breakfast from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday.

That’s right, corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy, all the good stuff.