All posts by brynn grimley

The Truth About Trader Joe’s

Brynn Grimley writes:

I’m here to set the rumor mill straight: Trader Joe’s is not coming to Kitsap County.

At least not in the next two years, according to Alison Mochizuki, a spokeswoman for the company.

Since arriving at the Kitsap Sun four years ago I think I’ve heard every rumor imaginable that Trader Joe’s is coming to Kitsap — more specifically Silverdale. I’ve also heard varying reasons for why they haven’t located here yet. But it’s all been speculation by people who love the store and really, really, really, really, REALLY want to see the chain open in Kitsap. (Heck they have 14 locations in Western Washington, what’s one more, right?)

The latest rumor came Monday when someone called our newsroom to say an employee of the University District Place Trader Joe’s confirmed the company had signed a lease for a building in Silverdale.

I called Mochizuki at Trader Joe’s corporate office in California leaving a message to see if there was any truth to the rumor that Kitsap might become the latest county to sell “Two-Buck Chuck” (ps it really should be called Three-Buck Chuck since it costs more than $2 in this state, but that’s neither here nor there).

She called me back a few hours later leaving this message on my voicemail: “At this time Kitsap is not in our two-year plan of opening a location.” She went on to say that Silverdale was also not a part of that two-year plan.

For those who have never been to a Trader Joe’s, the best way to describe it is a small grocery store with style. The walls are decorated with cedar planks, the employees wear Hawaiian shirts, and the inventory ranges from everyday ingredients like milk to specialty products that are hard to find anywhere else. Trader Joe’s offered a large organic selection years before organic became popular for the masses.

The company is probably most well known for its “Two-Buck Chuck”, or Charles Shaw wine that it sells for cheap. It’s a decent wine for the price — which you really appreciate when you’re a college student with minimal spending money in your pocket (or a recent college grad looking for a job to support your “Two-Buck Chuck” habit, not that I know from personal experience or anything).

So while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, it seemed only appropriate I set the record straight and let the 806 people who joined the Facebook group “Citizens of Kitsap County, WA Beg For a Trader Joe’s” they’ll have to wait a little longer to see their dreams realized.

Rescuing Animals From California

Brynn Grimley writes:

In today’s paper I wrote about a rescue effort that happened over the weekend where 34 small dogs made the long trip from Porterville, Calif. to Washington — eight of them landed here in Kitsap County.

The back story of how this came to be is fascinating. If I was a reporter working for the newspaper that covers Porterville I would write a story about Amanda Corbit. She’s 17 years old and she’s responsible for getting the dogs out of the animal control shelter there and into our state with the help of Karla Mattila (she founded Another Chance Rescue in SW Washington).

Corbit started her love affair with animal shelters in sixth grade when a teacher had their class volunteer at a shelter to teach them about community service. She’s been volunteering ever since, and has now her whole family involved. They set up a nonprofit and offer a safe place for dogs to come to find a new home, instead of facing the alternative.

I was astounded to to learn from Corbit how overpopulated their shelters are with small dogs. She told me when a dog comes into the shelter at Porterville Animal Control it has six days for its owner to either come and claim it, or for it to be adopted. If that doesn’t happen, the dog is euthanized. Spay and neuter rates are low in their area because people can’t afford the cost, she said, adding because their community is overrun with small dogs, no one wants to adopt them when they come into the shelter.

Unhappy that so many puppies and dogs were being put down, Corbit started using the volunteer network to contact shelters willing to take some of the dogs. She and Mattila connected, and Mattila called shelters in Washington to see if anyone would take the dogs.

The Kitsap Humane Society was one of those shelters. The society was also in contact with another rescue effort to save dogs from a Kern County Animal Control shelter, also in California (somewhat near Porterville). That shelter, like the Porterville shelter, is considered a “high kill” shelter. (Here’s a 2008 story the Bakersfield Californian newspaper did on the Kern County shelter in Bakersfield and its alarmingly high euthanasia rates).

Stacey Price with the Kitsap Humane Society said when they learned there were small dogs in need of homes coming from California, they made sure they had room in their Silverdale shelter to get them adopted. As my story stated, this is the first round of dogs to come to the shelter from out of state. The society hopes to get a rotation of dogs coming in so that it can diversify the sizes of dogs it has available for adoption (right now it primarily has large dogs), and to help high kill shelters reduce their numbers.

The first round of dogs to come to our area from Porterville were transported by Corbit’s mom and brother to Redding, Calif. where one of Mattila’s volunteers met them and brought them to their shelter in Cowlitz County. An animal control officer from Kitsap picked up the dogs early Sunday morning and brought them back to the peninsula to be checked out before they could be put up for adoption.

Porterville Animal Control paid for the cost of preparing the dogs for the journey — which included giving them heart worm shots, rabies shots and making sure they were certified to Washington State’s health standards, Corbit said. That cost the shelter $4,000. Mattila paid for the transportation costs.

They hope to orchestrate another rescue in the coming weeks, but need to get the money to finance the health checks and transportation costs.

People interested in donating to help with future transports can email Corbit to get the address of where to send a check. Her family has set up a nonprofit shelter and helps foster dogs in their area. Mattila’s shelter, based out of Silver Lake, Wash., is also a nonprofit. People can specify how they want to see the money spent (i.e. for dogs to be transported to Washington for adoption).

Corbit’s email is:

“The more (dogs) we can get up there the better,” she said. “But unfortunately the more we send up there, the more expensive it gets. We want to make people realize down here they can make a difference in the dog’s lives.”

It’s Started: Ferry Wait Times Are Here

Brynn Grimley writes:

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the long line of cars at our most popular ferry terminals seem to come earlier and earlier each year?

I was working Sunday (Mother’s Day — Happy Mom’s Day mom!) and I kept getting alerts from Washington State Ferries about wait times on the Edmonds-Kingston route. (I’m working weekends this month, if you’re wondering why in the world I was checking work email on a beautiful sunny day like Sunday instead of being outside enjoying the weather with my mom like most good children).

I had a good chuckle about how the ferry folks write the email alert signaling the long wait times. They say “heavier than usual” vehicle traffic. Sorry guys, but everyone knows if you’re trying to get to Kitsap on a Friday, or to King County on a Sunday, the wait times will be two hours or more depending on how nice the weekend weather is expected to be.

On Sunday I got an alert before 1 p.m. saying Kingston waits were two hours, the tally system was in effect…and it was only the second weekend of May?!

You know what this means right? We have this to look forward to for the next four to five months. But it also means summer is fast approaching.

Since moving to the Kitsap Peninsula four years ago I have come to associate the long wait times on the ferries as a signal that summer is here. This weekend sure felt like summer was starting, so I guess instead of lamenting the lines, I should be rejoicing the warm weather that is hopefully here to stay.

And don’t forget folks, if you don’t feel like sitting in a ferry line for two hours, the Bremerton boat almost never has long wait times. So your options are: sit in your car in the heat for two hours waiting to move two inches every 30 minutes, or drive right on the Bremerton boat and land in the peninsula likely before your wheels would even cross the plank on one of the other more heavily used routes. I’m just saying…

And you can check out Bremerton’s new fish and fisherman statues on your way out of town.

Silverdale Dog Park Looking Good

Brynn Grimley writes:

At the end of last week I finally made it out to the future site of the Silverdale Dog Park, located along Silverdale Way where the Rotary Gateway Park is situated. There’s also an entrance to the Clear Creek Trail from this location, and of course the skateboard park where local teens practice their boarding skills.

I was at the site to see students from CK High School, Navy Seabees and other area volunteers put in their time for Earth Day.

It’s been a while since I wrote about the dog park so I thought what better time to write an update than after seeing first-hand how quick progress has been made.

Through the Earth Day volunteer efforts, a 600 foot gravel trail was built in just under two hours. The trail runs from the parking lot (near the public bathrooms) all the way to the end of the property where it connects to the roadway. The grassy area along side the trail will be the dog park, which will be fenced off so trail users won’t have to walk inside the park to use the trail.

Inside the dog park there will be a small dog area, and another area for medium to larger dogs. The chain-link fence will allow dog owners to have their pets off leash. The project is being organized and completed by the Silverdale Dog Park stewardship group, which is 100 percent volunteer driven. The money being used to build the dog park is from various fund raising efforts, from private donations and money that was raised by selling plaques along the chain-link fence and advertising space within the park.

None of the money is from the county. To date the group has raised close to $30,000.

They hope to have the park open for use on July 4, but have a few more hurdles to jump over before that can happen. The biggest project still to be done is the expansion of the parking lot. A condition of the county approving the location for the dog park was the installation of 14 more parking spaces.

The group will add those by removing the berm that separates the lot from the road. They are looking to put a rain garden in to handle the stormwater run off. Right now they’re waiting to see if the stormwater will be handled by the garden, or if they’ll also need to use pervious payment in the lot. For cost purposes they’re hoping a rain garden will meet the needs, because the pervious pavement is not cheap.

Installing the trail section of the park is the first visual indication that things are moving quickly to get the park operational, said Mike McCown, vice president of the Silverdale Dog Park stewardship group.

“We’ve been looking forward to Earth Day,” he said. “This is being done with volunteers and volunteer dollars.”

The group hopes to know by this week which direction to go with the parking lot. Once the lot is ready, the chain-link fence will be installed and from there I am sure people will be anxiously waiting for the gates to open so they can let their dogs run free.

That Mess of Sailboats on Dyes Inlet? Yeah, They Know What They’re Doing

Brynn Grimley writes:

Don’t be alarmed this weekend if you see a whole fleet of sailboats maneuvering around Dyes Inlet, looking at times like they’re doing the Lake Union Duck Dodge.

The Central Kitsap Sailing Team is hosting the Northwest Interscholastic Association’s district championships April 23-25 along Silverdale’s waterfront. Initial estimates show 130 to 150 sailors from across the state will “blow in” to Kitsap for the competition. The winner will advance to the national championship, which just so happens to be held on Lake Union this year.

A number of Kitsap teams will compete, including Kingston, North Kitsap, Bainbridge Island and of course CK. Interestingly enough, there are no teams from Seattle that qualified to race.

The competition will be double-handed fleet racing, where two sailors fill a sailboat (in CK’s case they have one Laser and eight Vanguards), and line up at a start line. When the horn sounds they take off, maneuvering the boats to get the best position on the wind and cross the finish line first.

If the weather is nice and you feel like watching some of our area kids try “their hand” at double-handing these lightweight sailboats (without capsizing and landing in the drink) head down to the Silverdale Waterfront Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cheer them on.

If you want to know more about the CK Sailing Team and how it got its start, read the story I wrote three years ago when they had their inaugural season, found here.

All Things Silverdale

Brynn Grimley writes:

In the interest of time and so that I don’t have to crank out multiple blog entries, I am going to consolidate some of the recent happenings in Silverdale into this blog post.

I’ll start with the most recent news. On Thursday night Port of Silverdale commissioners voted against allowing a proposed 9-11 monument to be built along the property they own that abuts the shoreline of Dyes Inlet. Commissioners Lawrence Greaves and Henry Aus voted against the request, commissioner Ed Scholfield abstained because he volunteers as a firefighter with Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue. (Scholfield is actually one of the two volunteers who approached CKFR Assistant Chief Roy Lusk about requesting the pieces of steel from the World Trade Centers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey).

Greaves and Aus said they liked the proposed monument and felt it has a place in the community, but that place isn’t on port property in the Silverdale Waterfront Park. To read the story, click here (use the links within the story to see two previous stories I wrote about this).

The next Silverdale-related news is the relocation of the Silverdale Farmers Market to Old Town Silverdale. This also ties into a short update I wanted to give on a revitalization effort afoot within Old Town to start bringing business back to the walkable, small business shopping district.

The farmers market was formerly located in the parking lot of the Silverdale Beach Hotel. It will now be located along the Port of Silverdale grass area closest to Dyes Inlet (coincidentally this is the same area where the 9/11 Memorial Committee wanted to put the proposed monument). The market will feature your typical farmers market fare: vegetables, herbs, jams, cobblers, tomato plants, etc. The market is held Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Its opening day will be Tuesday (April 20).

Segueing into my next topic, Monica Downen, owner of Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Cafe, helped organize a meeting in February where she rallied Old Town business owners to come together to brainstorm ways to put Old Town back on the shopping destination map. She didn’t know how many people would attend, but ended up getting a full house. The group has since met a second time where they broke themselves up into three groups: Events, Marketing and Beautification. (What each group does speaks for itself, so I don’t think an explanation is necessary).

In an email this week Downen said the group was still looking into reactivating the nonprofit Old Town Merchants group, which has fallen by the wayside as businesses have come and gone. The group is also looking at joining with the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, ultimately doing the revitalization effort under the umbrella of the chamber (also a nonprofit). The new executive director of the chamber has prior experience with downtown revitalization efforts, which he did while working with the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce.

“We are getting more organized and at the very least we are starting to plan some great events and starting to be able to show a more unified front when it comes to marketing our own events,” Downen wrote in her email. “Which is a really great thing.”

The last Silverdale-related item I have is a minor update to the Silverdale Haselwood Family YMCA project. County commissioners have been looking at fixing some discrepancies in the ground lease and facilities agreement the county previously entered into with the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties (the group building the Silverdale Y).

The discrepancies aren’t much to write home about, but what did catch my eye was the new square footage of the building. It appears the fundraising campaign has been extremely successful for the group, because the new square footage is listed at 85,785 sq ft. Formerly the size estimates were between 50,000 and 70,000 sq ft. (Here’s a link to a story I wrote about the formal agreement being signed by the county and YMCA folks almost one year ago. And here links to the most recent stories I wrote about the YMCA partnering with the Ktisap Family YMCA in Bremerton, and Harrison Medical Center.)

Lastly, it looks like construction is still set to begin on the building this summer (the county documents say “on or about May 1” but I wouldn’t expect to see the ground start moving until closer to June-ish).

And that’s all for me and All Things Silverdale. (I’ll be off the next two weeks, so if you have Central Kitsap or North Kitsap news, pass it on to Gardner or Henry, I’m sure they’ll be slacking anyway and will need something to cover. I kid, I kid.)

Do Ya Like Pancakes?

Brynn Grimley writes:

Well if you do, you should try to make it to a pancake breakfast planned for Saturday at the Brownsville Yacht Club.

For a suggested donation of $5 you can find yourself munching on two pancakes, two sausage links and wash it all down with a Cup of Joe, or some OJ. And, while you’re enjoying your breakfast treat, you can know your “suggested” $5 is going to a good cause.

The fund raising breakfast is being organized by Carolyn Thomas, the wife of Capt. Jonathan Thomas, who was instrumental in bringing the various tall ships to Kitsap County over the last few years. The breakfast will benefit the Schooner Lavengro, which county commissioners declared the official tall ship of Kitsap County last month.

The schooner is run by the non-profit NW Schooner Society, based out of Seattle. Jonathan has done a lot to keep the boat afloat (so-to-speak), including covering a lot of the financial costs needed to keep the boat running. He’s also gone out to the community and found people willing to volunteer their time to make the boat better.

The money raised from Saturday’s breakfast will help the group pay for a full-time captain (former Kitsap resident Dave Haslam who I wrote about last year) to stay on the boat and do the daily upkeep needed to make the Schooner Lavengro suitable for the many free public sails she’ll be giving this summer. *** I learned later tonight that the money raised through the breakfast will be put toward the purchase of a new sail (the forsil), that the boat needs desperately. Jonathan said a new sail runs about $5,0000. ***

*** But Dave Haslam will be captain of the Schooner Lavengro from about May to September, which is a huge bonus for the boat because he’ll be there full time to keep the boat up and running for the free public sails, which will still be offered this summer. ***

The Schooner Lavengro now calls the Port of Brownsville Marina its base of operations, so there’s a desire by the port and Jonathan to get the community plugged in.

So if you feel like getting your eat on this Saturday, and want your money to go to a nonprofit instead of some other international-type pancake plance (I won’t name any names here), head to the Brownsville Yacht Club (at the Brownsville Marina), 9756 Ogle Road NE in Bremerton.

Newberry Hill Heritage Park, Last Meeting

Brynn Grimley writes:

This is a quickie, but wanted to make sure people knew the planning for a 1,000-plus acre heritage park in Central Kitsap is coming to a close. Here’s an email Martha Droge, park projects coordinator for the county sent out to interested parties:

“This is a reminder that the next public meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday April 13 from 6 – 8 pm at Klahowya Secondary School. Unfortunately we will not have a presentation by DNR staff on the land reconveyance process (postponed due to limited DNR budget/staff).  We’ll have that presentation later in 2010 — standby for an email on the date.  We will have updates on the trail management plan, the April 21, 2010 Parks & Advisory Board review of the plan, and of course public comment and the master plan.

PLEASE NOTE: The Parks Department website has been re-done.  All of the Master Plan’s presentations and all public comment received can now be found at: and click on “Planning/Capital Projects” from either the button at the bottom or under “Parks” on the upper left hand menu.  We hope that you find the website more interactive and user-friendly (there’s even a quiz with prizes!).

Throughout the process, we are pleased to receive public comment via email to or by US mail using the comment cards available at the public meetings.

Please share this information with others who may be interested in the master planning process.  Thank you for your interest in Newberry Hill Heritage Park.


As you’ll see, the plan is scheduled to come before the park advisory board on April 21 – which is next week. My how time flies when you’re planning for parks.

Silverdale Just Got a Little More Posh

Brynn Grimley writes:

Well since Henry’s out on vacation this week, and Gardner has decided to be sick, it looks like I’m left to keep you entertained. (You can yell at “Hank” and Gardner later about this).

But I digress.

As you may have seen, Silverdale’s Kitsap Mall could be home to a Gene Juarez Salons and Spas. The company hasn’t filed any permits yet with the county and is still in negotiations with the mall. But in a county meeting Wednesday, Department of Community Development Director Larry Keeton said the salon has inquired about a commercial tenant improvement permit to move into the mall.

Keeton admitted he didn’t know much about the hair salon, but when he mentioned the name my ears immediately perked up (I admit, I was writing a Kitsap Caucus blog entry during this portion of the meeting).

County commissioner Steve Bauer jokingly asked if Trader Joe’s would follow and my follow up to his question was “What about Nordstrom?” (Heck I’ll even “settle” for a Nordstrom Rack). Sadly neither company has expressed the interest.

But Gene Juarez has, and that’s a good thing. It shows there’s a shift in the way Kitsap is regarded by regional retailers, County commissioner Josh Brown pointed out.

For those unfamiliar with Gene Juarez, read Rachel Pritchett’s story here, it gives a bit of history.

From a personal experience I can say this: While in high school Gene Juarez was the salon everyone went to to get their hair done for formal dances. My first-ever “up do” was done by a stylist at the salon’s Northgate Mall location. It was for my school’s winter formal (Winter Ball) and I was going with the then-love of my life. The stylist gave me the best modern French twist adaptation I have ever seen. (It was even better than my hairstyle from my wedding). No matter how hard I tried to get that replicated, no one could ever match her styling.

Again, I digress. (See what happens when Henry and Gardner leave me alone to fill the blog? I start rambling).

Anyway, if the salon does come to Silverdale, the mall just got a little more posh.

Trenten Morris Remembered

Brynn Grimley writes:

It was just about eight months ago that we reported the drowning of Trenten Morris, a Klahowya Secondary School eighth grader who split his time between his mother’s house in Poulsbo and his father’s house in Port Orchard.

He had been swimming at Wildcat Lake at the end of July with friends and family. After his death the community was outraged that aid crews didn’t jump into the water to try and save him like people expected. Reporter Josh Farley covered a community meeting that was held by Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue shortly after Trenten’s death. In that meeting CKFR Chief Ken Burdette explained why things happened the way they did. (You can read that story here).

That meeting prompted some people in the community to want to do more to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again. The idea to build a life-jacket loaner board for Wildcat Lake, and supply it with life-jackets suitable for infants up to adults, was born. (Read my story about this here).

On Saturday (April 3), roughly 100 people gathered at Wildcat Lake to celebrate the installation of the life-jacket loaner board and to remember Trenten. His family played a role in the board’s installation (his mom Amber donated money from a fund set up in Trenten’s name to the project). This blog post includes photos from the event, taken by CKFR spokeswoman Theresa MacLennan.

In an e-mail MacLennan wrote this:

“Trenten’s family, the Kitsap Medical Society, Safe Kids Kitsap, Kitsap County Parks and Recreation, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, and the Long Lake Bass Club all worked to establish the life-jacket loaner board as a way to ensure other families have access to life-jackets and understand that drowning is quick, silent and can happen to even strong swimmers. Throughout the swim season, twelve life-jackets of varying sizes will be hanging and available for use at Wildcat Lake. Life-jacket loaner boards are also available at Buck and Horseshoe Lakes. The groups hope to establish life-jacket loaner boards at least six other swim areas including Long Lake and Island Lake.”

While it’s sad that it took Trenten’s drowning to prompt the installation of this board at Wildcat Lake, it would be even worse if someone who needed the life-jacket didn’t use it and met the same fate this summer. The jackets are there for a reason, please use them, and please don’t steal them.