Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beat blast: Santa’s schedule, annexations and a raging waterfall

Stop me if you know the words: Santa Claus is coming to town … downtown and Manette, that is. This Friday, you’ll find him in Manette and on Saturday he’ll light Bremerton’s Christmas tree near the Naval Museum.

15107272_10156447187836515_8525358591163129541_n-1You’ll get all the details about the festivities on this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, and also these four other stories:

How the Salvation Army’s shelter, to open Dec. 19, differs from others as a “low barrier” shelter;

Bremerton’s plans to annex parts of the community not in the city, including Rocky Point and Navy Yard City;

How Bremerton’s tiniest park is being used as a lay down yard for construction;

And finally, with all this rain, your chance to see one of Bremerton’s most vibrant waterfalls.

Questions? Comments? Send them my way, to



Happy birthday, new Manette Bridge


The concrete span that connects Manette to West Bremerton turns five years old today. The $60.6 million span, completed after years of planning and construction, opened to much fanfare on Nov. 10, 2011.

I’ll often ask Bremertonians which bridge they prefer — that classic green steel truss or the far more functional new span? Closer to the new bridge’s opening, the vote was mixed. However, has time has wore on, the city’s residents increasingly prefer the new bridge. Particularly popular its wide pedestrian walkway. Walkers are crossing it constantly, taking in views of Bremerton and the Port Washington Narrows — especially on a sunny day.

Happy birthday, new Manette Bridge. You’ve got a long way to go to get to 81 years old, the age of the old one, but you’re on your way. Here’s some photos of the bridge over its first half decade.

Opening day. The outer railing on the bridge had not been completed.
Opening day. The outer railing on the bridge had not been completed.
The old bridge's truss comes down. The company that did the work recycled the old span. Yet some of its steel is still a fence in Manette.
The old bridge’s truss comes down. The company that did the work recycled the old span. Yet some of its steel is still a fence in Manette.
Bridge in fog.
The bridge's foundations.
From construction: The bridge’s foundations.
That's how far into the Narrows its foundations of steel and rebar go.
That’s how far into the Narrows its foundations of steel and rebar go. The massive tower on the left is completely underwater, where it will be for the test of time.


One more photo of the old bridge. If you have photos you'd like to add, send them to
One more photo of the old bridge. If you have photos you’d like to add, send them to

Beat blast: Islander fest, a topless protest and a trip to the South Pole

“We are all one, under the sun.” That’s what Bailey Tupai told me this morning at Evergreen-Rotary Park, the site of this Bremerton’s first ever Pacific Islander Festival this Saturday. Thousands are expected to attend the event, which will highlight and celebrate the cultures of islands all over the Pacific.


Elsewhere in this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, you’ll learn:

The cause of a West Bremerton couple protesting for women to be able to be topless in public;

The trek of a Bremerton man to Antarctica for the past two years;

How the big fly-in at Bremerton National Airport went;

A special cause this Saturday for a boy fighting cancer.

Questions? Comments? Send ’em to me at


Beat Blast: Airplane fest, farm funk and some happy pups

Boredom is simply not possible in Bremerton this weekend. The largest airplane fly-in in Bremerton National Airport’s history occurs Friday and Saturday; on the east side of town, a music festival will take over Minder Farms.

You’ll learn about both on this week’s Bremerton Beat Blast, plus:

There’s word of a possible parade in store for Olympian and hometown hero Nathan Adrian;

There’s no doubt of a lawsuit former assistant Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy has filed in federal court;

And finally, the cutest story you will hear all week: a Kitsap Humane Society volunteer has been bringing shelter dogs to Starbucks, and photographing the results.

Questions? Comments? Send ’em my way at Thanks for watching!


Beat blast: Marvin Williams, high heels and a new grocery store

It’s been quite the week for Marvin Williams. Not only did the Bremerton native sign a four-year, $54.5 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets, the center that will bear his name will start construction Thursday. (5 p.m. start at 8th and Park.) 

You’ll hear about the Marvin Williams and Birkenfeld Empowerment Center in this week’s beat blast, but you’ll also learn of four other stories including:

-What event will have men walking a mile in heels on Saturday at Evergreen-Rotary Park;

What new apartments are being constructed in downtown Bremerton;


-The latest in Pablo’s tricycle theft case;

-And last, but not least, the possibility of a new grocery store in East Bremerton appears to be coming to fruition.

Questions? Comments? Email me at


COUNCIL SCORECARD: New conference center contract, a parks boost and more


There was plenty to do at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting. The Council approved a new contract for the Kitsap Conference Center, a boost to the parks department’s maintenance staff and even accepted a $20,000 donation from the son of a fallen Council member. Here’s my full report:

Four more years for Columbia at Conference Center 

The City Council approved a nearly four-year agreement for Columbia Hospitality to continue operating the Kitsap Conference Center. Columbia has done so since the facility opened in 2004.

Columbia will be paid $7,500 monthly and receive 1.5 percent of gross revenues. That’s an increase of $500 per month.

Several Council members expressed displeasure that they didn’t have long enough to review the contract; Councilwoman Pat Sullivan mentioned that the city hasn’t competitively bid the contract for managing the conference center but said that at this point “I don’t believe we can afford to lose the momentum we have gained.”

The conference center has rarely been in the black financially (see chart). There was talk that the Great Recession and the government shutdowns of the past few years took a toll.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 7.04.59 PM

Council Members Dino Davis and Leslie Daugs voted against the extension. Davis complained that the city hadn’t done its “due diligence” while Daugs wondered if the city was “subsidizing a business.”

Council President Eric Younger, in addressing that point, said few conference centers are profitable and that most are an “economic tool.” He asked Arne Bakker, the conference center’s general manager, if he was right about that.

“For a conference center this size, it’s very difficult to make money,” Bakker replied.

Columbia also manages the city’s golf course. And McCormick Woods.

Parks gets boost for boots on the ground

Readers of this blog and the Kitsap Sun know that Bremerton’s parks department has struggled to keep up with maintenance needs. The promotion of Jeff Elevado to parks director following Wyn Birkenthal’s retirement meant Elevado’s former position of recreation manager remained open.

Instead of filling it, Mayor Patty Lent’s administration chose to follow an analysis’ recent recommendations and beef up the front desk at the Sheridan Community Center — making part-time front desk staff member full time — and is adding a full time maintenance worker.

Not all Council members were happy with the move; Greg Wheeler and Leslie Daugs voted against it. Wheeler felt the position of recreation manager was important “long term,” and not filling it would be detrimental. Daugs said frankly, “I don’t like eliminating positions.”

Elevado had support from the other five members and reiterated why he’s supportive of adding staff at the maintenance level.

“Our maintenance staff is really beat up,” he said.

Arends Park?

Jack Arends, son of longtime Bremerton Councilwoman Carol Arends, gave a $20,000 check to the Bremerton Parks Foundation. His mother, who passed away earlier this year, was particularly fond of Forest Ridge Park, which she lived by for many years, he said.

Carol Arends.
Carol Arends.

He’s hopeful the Council would consider renaming Forest Ridge for his mother.

“I wanted to do what I could to honor my mother’s memory,” he said. “She loved that park.”

Jailing to continue in Forks

The Council approved unanimously continuing a contract with the Olympic Peninsula city of Forks for jail beds. Why? The city saves about 50 percent on the cost of sending someone sentenced in Bremerton Municipal Court to Forks instead of Kitsap County Jail. A bed night at Forks costs $41.45, for prisoners who have year-long sentences.

The city also contracts with Chelan for jail beds.

Car tab money gets dialed in 

Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin explained where all the money generated from $20 car tab fees will go this year. See below:

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 10.26.05 PM

Yes, Austin Drive is being repaved this year. Also, a new guardrail will go in where a young woman tragically died earlier this year. And finally, all those cut-up curbs on Warren Avenue and Wheaton Way were largely paid for by the state, but the city must provide some matching funds. The road, collectively known as Highway 303, will be repaved next year. The Council approved the plan unanimously.

Public path from Gorst to Kitsap Lake gets funding 

Last but not least, the Council passed unanimously, but did not discuss Wednesday, $30,000 in funding from the city forestries department to pitch in with Kitsap County for a design study of a trail spanning Otto Jarstad Park in Gorst to the south end of Kitsap Lake. It may be the start of efforts that have sputtered in the past.

Floundering without fountains: when will the Harborside reopen?

Come back, water!
Come back, water!

The site of empty fountains on Bremerton’s waterfront Sunday left me saddened, I must admit.

The dried-out, greenish water cannons have had no children dancing underneath them since last October, when the fountains closed down for the winter. Then, the city embarked on a $60,000 plumbing overhaul that will make them safer and more sanitary.


That overhaul has been planned out and now just needs approval from the state’s Department of Health, according to Bremerton Parks Director Jeff Elevado.

How long will that approval process, plus installation, take? Elevado isn’t certain yet.

“We hope to have them open sometime this season,” he told me Monday. “But we can’t promise that at this point.”

So stay tuned. Hopefully, they’ll get it up and running soon. In the meantime, the city cautions people to steer clear of the other city fountains. On a day that’s going to get into the 80s, that may be a tall order.

On a recent hot day, no one could resist the Memorial Fountains while the Harborside ones were closed.
On a recent hot day, no one could resist the Memorial Fountains while the Harborside ones were closed.


Has the next Bremerton mayor’s race already begun?

Too much to do: Mayor Patty Lent says her work will not be done at the end of her current term.
Too much to do: Mayor Patty Lent says her work will not be done at the end of her current term.

This year’s election may have wrapped up Tuesday night. But one race two years from now is already starting to brew.

Greg Wheeler is "definitely contemplating" a run for mayor.
Greg Wheeler is “definitely contemplating” a run for mayor.

That would be the one for Bremerton mayor.

Yes, in a cycle that may even rival the length of a U.S. presidential election, at least two candidates are already public about their ambitions to run the city.

The first would be the incumbent: current Mayor Patty Lent.

Lent, 71, had felt a few years ago that the 2013 election would be her last. But as she hits the midpoint of her term, she’s realized there’s just too many projects left to pursue. Several downtown development projects, the passenger-only ferry to Seattle, establishment of a Bus Rapid Transit system and bringing business to Puget Sound Industrial Center-Bremerton are a few of her top goals.

“I have a to-do list that will take me another term of office to complete,” said Lent, who was also a Kitsap County commissioner earlier in the 2000s.

Enter Council President Greg Wheeler, who thinks it might be time for some new blood in the office following Lent’s two terms.

Wheeler, who Tuesday secured a new four year term in district four while running unopposed, said he’s “definitely contemplating a run.”

The 56-year-old Navy veteran recently retired from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard’s engineering department. He, like Lent, is heavily involved in the community.

“I’d love the chance to be mayor,” he told me.

Neither will formally declare their campaigns for some time but knowing the other is likely to run will no doubt shape these next two years politically in Bremerton. Already, the two publicly disagreed over whether Bremerton should exit the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, a group of local governments that band together for planning and grant money. Wheeler was for it; Lent against it.

And who knows? Perhaps there are others who could join in the race eventually. Last time around, Todd Best filed to run against Lent on the last day before filing week closed. In 2017, it appears there’s already two candidates lined up.

Are you up for a walk through the cove?

The new park in Anderson Cove is almost done.
The new park in Anderson Cove is almost done.

Good things are happening in Anderson Cove. A new park on the waterfront is slated to open in about a month. Plus, a few new businesses, including an Irish pub and a brewery, have come to 15th Street.

Who wants to go check it out?

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, I will lead my latest Story Walk through the cove, starting at Hi-Lo Cafe at 15th Street and Wycoff Avenue. We’ll hear from the owners about how they’ve created one of the best breakfast and lunch spots in all of Kitsap County.

Then, we’ll set off for an approximately 1/2 mile walk to Bremerton’s newest park, named for Bremerton civil rights pioneers James and Lillian Walker. The park, with an ampitheater-like setting overlooking the Port Washington Narrows, will likely open in September. We’ll get a sneak peak with help from Bremerton Parks Preservation and Development Manager Colette Berna. The architect of many of Bremerton’s redeveloped parks will take us through how the less than 1-acre parcel came together, and how it demonstrates the state’s newest methods to keep stormwater out of Puget Sound.

We’ll return to 15th and Wycoff to conclude the walk (you can also take a bus back for $2) and a stop at Bremerton’s newest restaurant, Bualadh Bos, for some food and good company. I am also hopeful we can speak with the proprietors of soon-to-be opened Hale’s Ales brewery and taproom, on the corner of 15th and Wycoff as well.

I hope you’ll join us for a walk through this changing Bremerton neighborhood Saturday! Please RSVP here, and here’s links to our previous walks.

Photo by Greg Salo.
Photo by Greg Salo.

Storywalking history, the Roxy, and all things hoppy

Walking the new Westpark

The new Lower Wheaton Way

Washington Avenue, past and present

The meandering Madrona Forest

Redwood Rendezvous in West Bremerton

Fourth Street’s Economic Divide

Beat buzz: There’s something about this Bloody Mary

Recently, a group of 35 Olympia bikers called the Garage Bar & Grill in Kitsap Way with a warning: they were en route to Bremerton and they weren’t leaving without a Bloody Mary.

Not just any Bloody Mary, mind you. We’re talking about a freshly-made 22-ounce monster equipped with an entire buffet of bar food around its rim.

The mere act of delivering it to one of The Garage’s bar stools is a showstopper.

“Their faces light up and their phones come out,” said Annie Herinckx, The Garage’s manager and creator of the special line of drinks there.


Far as I can tell, if you’ve not somehow heard about these behemoths from a friend or scrolled past a picture of one on Facebook, you’re the rarity. They sold more than 1,600 Bloody Marys in May alone. The buzz around the specialty menu is big, to include a write-up in Chilled Magazine, dedicated to those things served mixed.

Personally, I found a lot to like in the Ultimate Bloody Mary ($13) which includes a slider, three shrimp and sweet candied bacon. Even more carnivore-inclined Seahawks fans will want to indulge the Beast Mode ($16), which comes with bacon, tater tots, chicken wings, a pepperoni straw and — what else? — a bag of skittles. The drinks range from the “basic” (still heavily garnished) at $7 all the way to the recently-debuted “Big Mother Mary,” a $40 pitcher equipped with every last accompaniment they have.

Herinckx said the idea for the specialized line of drinks just came to her late one night. She had inspiration from Danny Mederios, a legendary Bremerton bartender who made scratch bloody mary’s at Romeo’s before his death four years ago. His picture still hangs in the bar. She also had help from the TV show “Bar Rescue,” she says.

The drink is the integral part of a successful turnaround of the bar. Once better known for its place in the “Barmuda Triangle” DUI trap, Herinckx and bar owner Jack Johnson transformed it into The Garage in October 2012. With an emphasis on staff kindness to create a welcoming environment and having a nearly 24-hour kitchen — the place is only ever closed from 2 to 6 a.m. — Johnson and Herinckx have nearly quadrupled the business.

The bar’s located at 6812 Kitsap Way. Their full Bloody Mary lineup is below.