Category Archives: Port Orchard vs. Bremerton

Nice lawnmower, too bad it’s not a wonder truck

Well, look here.

Bremerton is the proud owner of a new lawnmower, a Toro Groundmaster 4700-D to be precise.

The price tag? Nearly $80,000.

This little beauty combines the muscle of a 60-horsepower turbo diesel engine with seven — yes seven — independent blades, cutting 12 1/2 feet of lawn at a time.
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“Obviously, it’s a state-of-the-art piece of equipment,” said Steve Mutek, parks department supervisor, who along with other staff took the mower for its test run Monday at Blueberry Park.

Too bad it’s not a Wonder Truck.

Port Orchard’s had one of these little dandy’s for three years. It sands. It plows. It de-ices. And in milder months, it serves as a versatile utility vehicle. Different implements can be attached and removed from the truck chassis in minutes by a single worker.
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“We call it the multipurpose truck. It basically morphs into something else. It’s a transformer,” said Wayne Schulz of Valley Freightliner Inc., in 2012, when he delivered it to the city.

The cost of the Wonder Truck: $262,000.

Maybe someday, Bremerton.

Donkey basketball and other Port Orchard pastimes

We (and by “we” I mean reporter Ed Friedrich, but he handed this assignment off to me) recently received a copy of “Port Orchard” a pictorial history of the town by the same name, by the Claudia Hunt and George Willock of the Kitsap County Historical Society.

The book is part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. According to a press release from the company, based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, “Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places.”

Willock and Hunt, both history buffs, have deep roots in Kitsap County. Hunt’s family came to Bremerton in 1918. She serves on the historical society’s board of trustees and historical sites committee. Hunt, retired from the shipyard, recently designed the Old Town Silverdale Historic Sites Tour to benefit the Clear Creek Trail.

Willock is a fourth generation Kitsap County resident and retired state employee with a background in business writing. He serves on the board and volunteers for many museum projects.

The book features historical society photos starting with 1988, two years after the town of Sidney (now Port Orchard), was founded. In its early days, the town had a pottery works, shingle mill and saw mill, as well as a wharf for “Mosquito Fleet” boats that were the primary means of transportation.

Fast forward to the 1940s, and this picture, showing local youth diving like lemmings into the 50-degree waters of Sinclair Inlet … just ’cause. Kids still do this (so do adults during the Olalla Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day … just ’cause).






Before Fathoms O’ Fun, the town celebrated with something calls “Days of 49,” popular from the 1940s through the 1960s. Townsfolk dressed up in wild west garb and got pretty wild and crazy from what I’ve heard. “The name actually had no connection with Port Orchard. Celebration founders chose it simply because no other town had claimed it,” the book states. … Kind of like a domain name.

My thoughts: Port Orchard, where we celebrate by default. Because “Days of 47” was taken …  Makes “Fathoms O’ Fun” sound positively brilliant.

Here’s a picture of a parade float from 1950. The antique fire truck was purported by participants to be the first fire engine in Port Orchard not powered by horses.






My thoughts: Looks like it could use a horse or two or three. And a suggested caption: Now you see why we need that fire levy!

Here’s my favorite, a picture of donkey basketball at the old high school.







The sport was popular with everyone but the janitors. It spawned a special line of horseshoes, Air Wilburs. Also this explain why they needed a new high school.

Go ahead Bremerton, laugh. Just wait until Arcadia Publishing and the Kitsap County Historical Society get ahold of you.

“Port Orchard” is available for $21.99 at local retailers, online bookstores and through Arcadia Publishing,; (888) 313-2665.

Cedar Cove Association looking to piggyback on Macomber pilot buzz

Members of the Cedar Cove Association were deflated by news that a pilot of the Hallmark Channel’s Cedar Cove series won’t be shot in Port Orchard, the town that inspired bestselling author and long-time Port Orchard resident Debbie Macomber.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. Macomber joined association members and city officials in late 2010 to try and woo producers with a tour of the town. Unfortunately for PO, Canada offers generous tax breaks for film production that the Hallmark Channel just couldn’t pass up. The film will be shot in Victoria, B.C.

“It was a disappointment that the series is not being filmed here in Port Orchard,” said Cindy Lucarelli, CCA executive director and a city councilwoman. “CCA did work with Debbie and the producers to try to make that a reality, but financially it did not turn out to be a viable option. On the other hand, we are grateful that the plan for the series is now very nearly a reality!”

Take comfort, Port Orchard. The Hallmark Channel thinks you look like Victoria. … I wonder where they’d film a movie about Bremerton.

The association is trying to figure out how to capitalize on the buzz around the pilot, due out in late 2012. Lucarelli says it’s likely that the movie would premier at the Dragonfly Cinema in downtown PO, since three other made-for-TV movies based on Macomber’s books premiered here in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. The premier would likely be part of on the city’s Festival of Chimes & Lights, which has grown to be a huge event.

Lucarelli said the association also is looking at a 2013 summer event, similar to but shorter than the 2009 Cedar Cove Days, when the town got into character as itself. The association is looking for a major sponsor. Unlike the earlier five-day event, Cedar Cove Days II, probably would be held over a long weekend.

If you are a fan of the Cedar Cove books, which character do you relate to the most? Which character would you like to play if a Cedar Cove Days happens again? Who do you think would be a good fit for other characters?

Port Orchard restaurant featured on KMPS tour (Bremerton ignored)

PORT ORCHARD — That One Place, 1386 SE Lund Ave., was featured Friday on Candy & Potter’s Hole in the Wall Tour. The KMPS country radio hosts held their morning show at the restaurant, which was chosen from listener nominations, according to restaurant owner Craig Kenady. Breakfast was on KMPS for their first 94 people, and Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola was there to represent his fair city and help raise funds for South Kitsap Helpline.

Coppola was featured earlier this week on a radio spot with Candy & Potter. Potter mangled his name, as many non-locals do, by calling him Mayor Coppola, as in Francis Ford etc.

Coppola staunchly upheld the city’s honor, when Potter asked about what he understood to be a standing rivalry between South Kitsap and North Kitsap.

Coppola: “Nah, but there is one, Port Orchard versus Bremerton, or like we call it, Bummerton. We like to think we win, you know?

Me: Ah, Grasshopper, I have trained you well.

Candy: Right, at the end of the day, Port Orchard would be the one left standing?

Coppola: That’s what we think.

Coppola politely declined Candy’s invitation to do an on-air imitation of a seagull, Port Orchard’s mascot and subject of its wacky annual seagull calling contest, set this year for May 29 on the waterfront.

“Oh, I don’t do the seagull call,” Coppola said. “I get to judge them. I don’t do them. You know, I have a grandson that does it, and it’d be a conflict of interest for me to do anything else, you know?”

Candy (laughing): And now, we’ve met Lary the politician.

Me: Honey, you have NO idea!