September 2009

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev.

Old Man Winslow, Illustrated by Jessica Randklev.

Dear The Bremelogger: I’ll be honest, I’ve completely overestimated Bremerton. What? You’re surprised that I’ve given your City of Destiny the benefit of the doubt? It’s no secret that your “fair” city has more problems than our Island has unemployed real estate agents, but I was under the impression that a few of the basics were under control. I was grossly mistaken.

When building a city, the rest of us do well to make sure that essentials are in place and strong. We call this “infrastructure.” Apparently when the people of Bremerton were cobbling together what would become a social, economic, and legislative eye sore, they cut a few corners. From what I hear from a few friends who got lost on the way back from Tacoma, a few balloons took down the power in most of West Bremerton on Friday morning. Balloons. A item with which to denote a celebration. When they put warnings on balloons about the choking potential they have for infants, I doubt the makers thought they would have to warn Bremertonians that the these devices could also choke off your power grid. This is really saying something. Bremerton’s outdone itself once again.

Yet, after catching up on your “news site” recently, I’m reminded that this particular instance may not be your fault, Logger. It is well documented that you were not born nor bred in Bremerton, but are a relative newcomer. And I read that a write-in candidate for the Bremerton mayor gig, Deborah Jackson, claims that “we built Bremerton” and that “all these newcomers that came here … come with their ideals and what they think we should have, when they left out what was our real needs.” OK, so do we have Deborah Jackson and whoever she’s grouping with her to blame for the frail infrastructure of the city? Or is it that all you newcomers have not been the proper stewards of what your forefathers left for you? Did she build the town that you’ve destroyed? Or were the walls built so thin that the touch of a party balloon could bring it down?

Think of it, Logger, over your next bowl of Robitussin. It is the season.




jacksonDeborah Jackson didn’t plan to run for mayor. She’d considered a run for a different elected office, but until she met with a few supporters of former mayoral candidate Mike Shepherd on Saturday, she hadn’t given a run any thought. But her friends and fellow supporters encouraged her to run. So she thought about it. She consulted her “higher power.” And on Tuesday, the executive of the non-profit Surviving Change made her write-in campaign for mayor of Bremerton official. (Read Mike Shepherd’s comments here.) Here is an excerpt from our conversation:

Why did you decide to run for mayor?

I felt like the people weren’t left with a choice. Everybody comes and talks about the committees that they sit on and all the stuff that they’ve done. And then I looked at what did they support? One of the candidates, they used the HUD money to build that, you know, the condominiums, you know what I’m saying? Then it was a hidden agenda for that.

We still got the homeless. We still got the people that didn’t have nowhere to take them to transitition them out of West Park to somewhere else, but then you took that money did that with it and then … welfare for the rich. You know what I’m saying?

There’s so much that I’m passionate about, I just feel the needs and the burdens and the cries. I weep for my community, you know what I’m saying? I advocate. I’m in the courts, I’m in the schools, I’m down in Olympia. I fight for my people. And people don’t listen to us, like we don’t matter, we don’t care, and we don’t have a voice, when we built Bremerton.

We got all these newcomers that came here, and like, we were supposed to be stupid and ignorant. And they come with their ideals and what they think we should have, when they left out what was our real needs. The beautification and the upgrade was fine, but we still should have left our downtown. But did they come and ask the people what they wanted? Instead of like dictating to us? And these people don’t know where they belong. And I want (the people) to feel like I feel now: Free. You have a voice, and you count and you matter, you understand what I’m saying?

sweatermikeMike Shepherd, the only candidate to challenge then-incumbent Mayor Cary Bozeman, was ringing doorbells and setting up his ubiquitous campaign sings around Bremerton months before Bozeman dropped out of the race and four other candidates jumped in. That he did not advance to the general election — nudged aside by Will Maupin and Patty Lent — was more than a surprise.

“We were shocked,” he says. “I mean really shocked by how that came down.”

He blames his loss largely on the fact that he and his supporters underestimated how much work would be needed to get out the vote. “I believe that there was some complacency.”

And after meeting with a group of supporters recently, he says he’s still not interested in endorsing Maupin or Lent.

“It really wasn’t about me, it was about an idea,” he says. “The supporters, the folks who really believed in this idea of changing direction, didn’t want to endorse either of these two candidates. They didn’t see a difference. They asked Deborah Jackson to think about carrying on the torch to make a difference in this town.”

bremelogposter2Many thanks to our fabulous illustrator, Jessie Randklev, for her work on the poster. Look for them around town in the near future. We’ll be posting more information on the debate and the musical guests, Finn Riggins, in the coming weeks. Little more about both over there.

Via Washington State Ferries: “Seattle/Bremerton – Hyak Out of Service: The 9:00am departure from Bremerton is cancelled (sic) due to electrical problems on the Hyak. A one-boat schedule with the Kitsap is in effect until necessary repairs are completed. We apologize for the the inconvenience this may cause.

Boy, I’m sure glad we don’t have those backup passenger-only ferries anymore. Our friends in San Francisco need them more than we do.

The one-boat schedule, via Kitsap Sun is:
Leave Bremerton: 10:15 a.m.; Leave Seattle: 11:25 a.m.; Leave Bremerton: 12:35 p.m.; Leave Seattle: 3 p.m.; Leave Bremerton: 4:15 p.m.; Leave Seattle: 5:30 p.m.; Leave Bremerton, 6:40 p.m.; Leave Seattle: 7:50 p.m.; Leave Bremerton: 9 p.m.; Leave Seattle: 10:30 p.m.

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev

Dear The Bremelogger: I must congratulate you on your unmatched measure of delusion, but this frivolous “Bring EndFest Back to Bremerton” campaign is about your leanest idea yet.

Nobody wants to go back to Bremerton. The idea is to get the hell out of Bremerton as fast as possible. Notice that everyone with half a brian, a decent chance of  assimilation, or a public case of herpes gets the hell out. The rest of you are a collection of toothless drones content to eek out an existence taking your pants off in public and whining incessantly about how Washington State Ferries doesn’t do you right anymore. Which brings me to your guest “columnist” Steve David Morse.

Morse is an example both of your quintessential West Bremerton whiner and a bloke with the means and the know-how to make it across the water. Why he ever decided to experiment with the Bremerton estabilishment the way the rest of you experiment with off-brand sleeping pills is beyond me.



We're not in Frosty's anymore, Toto. Retro Dogz is at 701 Pacific Avenue in downtown Bremerton.

We're not in Frosty's anymore, Toto. Retro Dogz opens in the next couple weeks at 701 Pacific Avenue in downtown Bremerton.

“(Customers) can expect the same quality,” says Chris Bortisser, the proprietor of Retro Dogz and former owner of Manette’s August Wynn. But that’s basically the extent of the similarities between his old digs and the hot dog restaurant he and co-owner Michelle Golden have planned for the space formerly inhabited by Frosty’s on Pacific Avenue. They hope to serve their first dogs within the next two weeks.

For this project, Bortisser says he’s all about offering a laid-back hot dog experience with an adventurous array of toppings, weekly specials, and a few other sandwiches — egg salad, tuna salad — that can be served on a hot dog bun. He also plans to bring in black and white cookies and knishes to a menu that will be hardly any longer than that of a street vendor you’d find in Manhattan. “Which is to say, not a whole lot of choices, usually,” Bortisser says.


boat_and_jawsThinking about David Morse’s guest column today, here’s a look at what the mayoral candidates said regarding passenger-only ferry service at last week’s Chamber of Commerce forum (full report on K-Sun’s Bremerton Beat).

Will Maupin said passenger-only ferries should be part of a long-range state plan that current service should start conforming to now.

Patty Lent said passenger-only should be operated by the private sector.

What do y’all think? Does anyone think a Mayor Maupin could get the state back into the passenger-only business, or at least inside some kind of plan to make this happen? And is Patty Lent kicking passenger-only ferries to the curb by relegating them to the private sector?

We’ll address this issue and many more at’s mayoral forum/debate/concert on October 14 at the Hi-Fidelity Lounge.

By David Morse

You may see some very angry letters in the paper from fellow commuters.  Mine may be one of them.  When it all comes down to it, what we want and what would benefit the community is “regular and reliable” ferry service.  More frequent boats would be a huge plus ~ but we’ve dealt with that for the past 7 years.  I don’t see things getting better and it’s time to move on.

We’re angry.  We’ve invested lots of time, money and effort into trying to make Bremerton a better place.  We moved to a town which was pretty down-and-out.  Did many of us from Seattle move to the “nicer” but boring parts of Bremerton?  No.  We purchased in the older parts of West Bremerton, the areas with the more interesting houses and sketchy neighborhoods.  When we leave, our homes will become rentals and the downward cycle begins again…


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