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WELCOME! With its shoreline, blend of urban and rural and diverse attractions, Bremerton and Central Kitsap offer a bit of everything to all. In these pages you will find a short, but hopefully comprehensive, picture of our community. From food to history to rock shows, we hope to give you a taste of what Central Kitsap and Bremerton have to offer. Whether you are moving here, visiting, or have lived in the area your whole life, new adventures await.

REPORTER

3

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Calendar MARCH 12 20th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, downtown Bremerton. APRIL 16 The Rotary Auction and Garage Sale (RAGS), Kitsap Fairgrounds Pavilion. MAY 21 The 62nd annual Armed Forces Day Festival, downtown Bremerton. JUNE 25 Thunderbird Pro Rodeo, Kitsap County Fairgrounds at Events Center’s Thunderbird Stadium. JULY 29 — JULY 31 Whaling Days, Silverdale. AUG. 24 — AUG. 29 The Kitsap County Fair & Stampede. SEPT. 3 — SEPT. 5 Bremerton Blackberry Festival DEC. 2 WinterFest First Friday Art Walk, Bremerton.


CENTRAL KITSAP

5

File photo

BUSINESS FOR THE OLD,

School for the Young In Central Kitsap, there is a variety of directions to turn to in terms of employment. EJB Facilities Services is a private sector defense contractor that is a top employer in Silverdale. Its local headquarters is at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Naval Base Kitsap is the largest naval organization in Navy Region Northwest and is made up of bases in Bremerton and Keyport along with Bangor. Though in a navy-oriented area with several nearby bases, there are other employment opportunites. Major public agency employers in Central Kitsap include Central Kitsap School District, Washington State Department of Transportation and Kitsap Transit. Private sector retail and service employers include

Harrison Medical Center, Group Health Cooperative, The Doctors Clinic, Fred Meyer, Laurier Enterprises and Safeway. For families with children, Central Kitsap School District is your local school district. The district includes 12 elementary schools, three high schools, three junior high schools and four alternative programs. There are currently about 11,500 students enrolled in the district. The district offers free all day kindergarten classes at five of its elementary schools and tuition-based all day kindergarten at five others. Many of the elementary schools also offer half day kindergarten programs as well. At the junior high and high school level, there are many extracurricular activities

and sports that students can take part in to complement their studies. Central Kitsap High School is located in Silverdale and Olympic High School is in East Bremerton. Both high schools offer grades 10 through 12. Klahowya Secondary School includes 7th through 12th grades and is located in Silverdale on Newberry Hill Road. High school sports teams include soccer, swimming, cross country, bowling, basketball, football and tennis, among others. Other school activities range from American Sign Language Club to Key Club. An alternative to learning another foreign language, more than 200 students at five of the district’s junior and high schools are currently taking American Sign Language classes.


6 KITSAP BY THE NUMBERS

Economic Indicators

Kitsap County had a population of 248,300 in 2010. By year’s end, Kitsap had a civilian labor force of 127,070; 117,860 were employed and 9,220 were unemployed, for a jobless rate of 7.3 percent.

Employment by industry December 2010 Total nonfarm: 82,700 Service providing: 77,100 Total private: 54,000 Private service providing: 48,400 Government: 28,700 Income 2007 Per Capita Personal Income: $42,004 Total Personal Income: $10,000-$574,000 Assessed Value of Real Property 2005: $23,348,211,078 Taxable Retail Sales 2005: $3,196,322,900 Tax Revenue All State Taxes: Sales Taxes: Retail Sales: Use Tax: Motor Fuels:

2006 $15,525,437,000 $9,261,147,000 $6,882,255,000 $471,744,000 $1,056,524,000

Sources: Employment Security Department, Office of Financial Management

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Unemployment rate December 2010 Kitsap County 7.3 percent Washington state 9.3 percent United States 9.4 percent

December 2009 7.4 percent 9.2 percent 9.9 percent

Median Home Prices by School District, 2010 District Sold Median Average Lowest North Kitsap: 550 $279,173 $308,452 $20,000 Bainbridge Is: 253 $542,000 $640,745 $175,000 Bremerton: 401 $178,000 $189,489 $250,000 Central Kitsap: 460 $240,000 $260,768 $45,900 South Kitsap: 756 $229,998 $243,916 $22,000

Highest $1,850,000 $2,550,000 $795,000 $1,050,000 $925,000

Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Median Home Prices since 2002 Kitsap County 2002: $166,050 2007: $290,342 2003: $184,000 2008: $265,000 2004: $206,500 2009: $244,499 2005: $250,000 2010: $240,000 2006: $275,000 Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service

The preceding figures are the latest available as of January 2011.


7 The Great Outdoors

in Central Kitsap

Clear Creek Trail is a convenient trail to walk the dog or to cruise with the kids because of its prime location right through Silverdale. Beginning near Dyes Inlet, it extends about five miles north through the heart of Silverdale. In 1880, A.J. Schold selected property in Clear Creek Valley. Six years later he brought his wife and children and their first night was dampened by a huge storm. His wife, Hannah, was surprised by how clear the creek was even after the storm, and so she named it Clear Creek. Nearly 90 species of birds call Clear Creek home, so there is always an opportunity to see a feathered creature along the trail or salmon in the creek if it’s the fall season. In 1995, the Clear Creek Task Force transformed a nearly 50-year-old barn into an interpretive center located on the southern end of the trail. The task force also maintains the trail with support from other volunteers and educates the community on the trail and the different habitat and species that are a part of it. Every year, many residents gather to celebrate National Trails Day by helping to clean up and clear the trail. This year’s work party will be Saturday, June 4. “It’s one of the greatest urban trails on the Kitsap Peninsula,� said Mary Earl, a task force member since 1997.

More Information: Clear Creek Trail www.clearcreektrail.org Newberry Hill Heritage Park www.friendsofnhhp.com Scenic Beach State Park www.stateparks.com/scenic_beach.html Illahee State Park www.stateparks.com/ illahee.html

Newberry Hill Heritage Park is an alternative to get farther away from the center of town. Located southwest of Silverdale next to Klahowya Secondary School, the park has many trails for those who like trail running or residents who want to take a walk and escape any hustle and bustle. Lots of

File photo

When the weather cooperates, and even when it doesn’t, Central Kitsap residents head outdoors. trees surrounding the trails make it an ideal place to hike for anyone. The park’s stewardship group has several projects lined up for 2011 including connecting trails, adding more trail signage and creating viewing platforms near three beaver habitats. Not far from town is Seabeck, which is located a short drive west of Silverdale. The Scenic Beach State Park is located at 9565 Scenic Beach Road NW in Seabeck and is a Washington State Park. It is an 88-acre camping park with 1,500 feet of saltwater beachfront on Hood Canal.

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9 I must go down to the sea today:

A Marina for Everyone

In Central Kitsap and Bremerton, there are several marinas to choose from depending on the activities you’d like to take part in. Just five miles east of the heart of Silverdale, there is the Port of Brownsville Marina that has the amenities a large marina can provide, but in a small community-oriented environment. “We consider ourselves a working man’s port,” said Port of Brownsville Manager Jerry Rowland, adding that they try to keep their prices affordable so that everyone can use the facility. The marina has 320 permanent slips and about 40 to 60 guest moorage spaces available and can accommodate almost any type of vessel. For guest moorage, the rate is 50 cents a foot. There are two ramps for boat launch and the launching fee is $2. There is a full service fuel dock including diesel, gasoline, motor oil fuel additives, propane and spill containment material. There is also two free sanitary pump outs with bathrooms. A nearby laundromat is available, too. Not a boat owner? Not a problem. Jackie’s Marine & Kayak up the road from the marina has rental kayaks. The shop opened in July 2010. Activities away from the water also exist. There is the covered pavilion overlooking the Port of Brownsville water that can be Marina reserved for potwww.portofbrownsville.org lucks or other gath(360) 692-5498 erings. The Burke Bay Overlook Park Bremerton Marina is north of the www.portofbremerton.org/ marina and offers a picnic space with marinas/bremerton tables, fire pit, bar(360) 373-1035 becues and a horse shoe area. Next Port Washington Marina to the marina, the www.portwashingtonmaBrownsville Marine rina.com and Deli offers (360) 479-3037 food and beverages

How to contact the marinas:

File photo

With so much water surrounding Central Kitsap, residents find time to head out to sea. as well as fishing and marine supplies.

uled ahead of time.

Bremerton has two marinas, the Bremerton Marina and the Port Washington Marina. The Bremerton Marina is part of the Port of Bremerton and is conveniently located next to the Washington State Ferry, making a trip to Seattle only 30 minutes away. The marina is located at 120 Washington Beach Ave.

Nestled near Anderson Cover and located at 1805 Thompson Drive is the Port Washington Marina owned by Bob and Stephanie Stanberry. This is the place to go for a more long-term stay. There are no guest slips but there is a total of 81 permanent slips. The slips are available at a rate of $5.95 per foot. The marina offers metered power, showers, laundry, phone jacks, cable TV access and a pump out. Both of the Bremerton marinas do not have a fuel dock but about 1.5 miles away from the Bremerton Marina is the Port Orchard Marina that has fuel available.

The marina has 80 to 100 guest slips and 221 permanent slips. The rates for guest moorage run from 50 to 70 cents per foot depending on the season. There is a laundry facility for boaters and free showers. Free pump outs are available and must be sched-


10

From Farmland to Mall land:

Silverdale’s History

In 1841, Lt. Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Navy led an expedition to the area now known as Silverdale, giving Dyles Inlet its name after sailing through a narrow channel from Puget Sound and reaching the bay. He named it after the expedition’s assistant taxidermist, John William Dyes, according to the Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau. The timber industry began heavily logging at the start of the 1850s, removing much of the area’s forestland by the 1880s. At this time, logging was the major industry. They began cutting trees at the shores of Dyes Inlet and progressed north to the valley between Bucklin Hill and Newberry Hill. Around the 1880s, Scandinavian immigrants, the first permanent settlers, came to the area, according to the convention bureau. Later, the first townsite was platted in 1889, according to the Kitsap County Historical Society Museum. The townspeople voted to formally name the town Goldendale in 1890 but the name was rejected in Olympia because there was a town in Eastern Washington that had selected the same name. They agreed on the name Silverdale, replacing “gold� with “silver� in the town’s first pick name. Two names that were rejected by the townspeople included Port Washington and Dickeyville, after Silverdale’s first teacher, Silvanus A. Dickey, according to the historical society museum. Many people who lived in the valley that had previously been deforested by the timber industry were farmers who raised chickens,

File photo

according to the Clear Creek Task Force. With chickens, they didn’t need to remove the tree stumps left behind from all the logging, whereas the stumps may have obstructed from raising larger animals. By the early 1900s, milk, chicken and egg production were major town industries. Silverdale was shipping 62,000 chickens and 50,000 cases of eggs a year by the 1930s, according to the task force. And there’s a reason it’s now called Old Town Silverdale. In 1909, the community’s first telephone was installed in the Silverdale Hotel, according to the historical society mu-

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seum. At the corner of NW Byron Street and Washington Avenue NW was the Silverdale State Bank, that was built in 1919, according to the Port of Silverdale. There was also a drugstore and a butcher shop attached to the building. Three years later, Silverdale Light and Power Company began the process of delivering electricity. In 1932, Silverdale State Bank experienced a robbery, which was the first bank robbery in Kitsap County. The National Register of Historic Places recognizes Jackson Hall Memorial Community Hall, also known as Silverdale Scout Hall, as a historic building. It was added in 1995, according to the National Register. The building is located at 9161 Washington Avenue in old town. In April of 1920, the residents of Silverdale voted to establish a port district, which became the Port of Silverdale. Three port commissioners were elected and in October of 1921, the Port of Silverdale officially took over operating the wharf after it had been run by the Silverdale Poultry Association. The port became a point where both goods and people were ferried. In the 1930s, Highway 21 was built through Silverdale, according to the historical society museum. This later became State Highway 3.


11

Outdoor Sporting in Central Kitsap and Bremerton

Lakes for trout and bass on a seasonal basis.

dale and East Bremerton. The Sinclair inlet is located south of Bremerton as you enter the city. Sinclair’s bays include Oyster, Ostrich, Mud and Phinney, while Chico Bay is alongside the Dyes.

Whether you enjoy water sports or hunting in the wilderness, Central Kitsap and Bremerton have become mainstays for the seasonal sports fan.

In terms of hunting, Oathout said most of the hunting in Central Kitsap and Bremerton involves small game birds, such as quail and duck in the outskirts of south Bremerton.

The peninsula features various lakes and inlets, specifically in the central region, that provide anglers with options depending on the type of fish. Either for finding dinner or participating for sport, the public piers at Island Lake, Kitsap Lake and Wildcat Lake include trout, bass and smaller fish for home cooking, known as panfish.

For those looking to enjoy the waters of Central Kitsap and Bremerton in the comfort of a kayak, the area presents a beautiful array of inlets and bays for enthusiasts. The Puget Sound area is one of the premier kayaking locations in the country, and the Kitsap Peninsula has its own treats to complement the scenery.

Brian Oathout, a store manager at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Silverdale, said people can find fishermen and women at most public piers kicking around with their poles at their favorite spots. He said most of his customers who fish regularly use lures instead of bait at the local lakes. A lure is normally made of rubber, plastic or wood, that appears as a small fish or insect, Peninsula Wilderness aimed at temptClub ing fish to bite, 4418 Perry Ave NE whereas live bait Bremerton, WA 98310 is an actual fish, http://www.pwckitsap.org/ worm or critter. In forums/content.php addition, Oathout said there are opOlympic Kayak Club tions for entry-level (360) 930-9652 fishermen near Naval Base KitsapUptown Seabeck Bangor, hoping to 14753 Seabeck Highway catch smaller fish in Northwest Kitsap waters. Seabeck, WA In Central Kitsap (360) 830-4222 and Bremerton, the two main inlets are Jackie’s Marine & Kayak Dyes and Sinclair. 9756 Ogle Road Northeast Dyes is located Bremerton, WA 98311-9310 north of Bremerton, (360) 286-2045 separating Silver-

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Š 2011 PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company. Trade/service marks are the property of PlainsCapital Corporation, PlainsCapital Bank, or their respective affiliates and/or subsidiaries. Some products may not be available in all states. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions apply. All rights reserved. PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company (NMLS no: 13649) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a state-chartered bank and is an exempt lender in the following states: AK, AR, CO, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IA, KS, KY, LA, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI, WY. Licensed by: AL State Banking Dept.- consumer credit lic no. MC21004; AZ Dept. of Financial Institutions- mortgage banker lic no. BK 0907334; Licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act- lender lic no. 4130996; CT Dept. of Banking- lender lic no. ML-13649; D.C. Dept. of Insurance, Securities and Banking- dual authority lic no. MLO13649; IL Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation- lender lic no. MB.6760635; IN Dept. of Financial Institutions- sub lien lender lic no. 11169; ME Dept. of Professional & Financial Regulation- supervised lender lic no. SLM8285; MD Dept. of Labor, Licensing & Regulation- lender lic no. 11058; Massachusetts Division of Banking– lender & broker license nos. MC5404, MC5406, MC5414, MC5450, MC5405; MI Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth- broker/lender lic nos. FR 0010163 and SR 0012527; Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department- lender lic no. 14553-MB; NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance-lender lic no. 0803658; NM Regulation and Licensing Dept. Financial Institutions Division- lender license no. 01890; ND Dept. of Financial Institutions- money broker lic no. MB101786; RI Division of Banking- lender lic no. 20102678LL and broker lic no. 20102677LB; TX OCCC Reg. Loan License- lic no. 7293; VT Dept. of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration- lender lic no. 6127 and broker lic no. 0964MB; WA Dept. of Financial Institutions-consumer lender lic no. 520-CL-49075.


14

Central Kitsap, Bremerton offer array of sports talent

Kitsap Athletics Online File photo

Kitsap sports fans gear up for the Pumas soccer club, whose indoor and outdoor teams play in Bremerton.

Semi-professional, community college teams headline marquees throughout the area.

indoor team competes at Olympic Soccer & Sports Center at Pendergast Park in Bremerton. The third outdoor season starts in May and the inaugural indoor season is currently in progress.

It’s not hard to find sports action around every corner in Bremerton and Central Kitsap gymnasiums, fields and hockey rinks. The area hosts various semi-professional teams that give sports lovers a chance to experience their favorite sports either in the stands or sidelines. The Kitsap Pumas soccer club is currently in its third year, having fielded outdoor and indoor squads. The outdoor team plays at Bremerton Memorial Stadium, while the

In 2009, the Pumas won a Premier Development League title in its first season. In each of the club’s first two seasons, the franchise has reached the playoffs. In addition, the Pumas announced that for the first time a English soccer club will visit Kitsap County. The team will host the Port Vale Football Club of the English Second Division July 19 in an international friendly match at home. “It’s a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against a high-level English team, that’s potentially Division I, and see how we’ve progressed,� Pumas owner Robin Waite said

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in January. “It’s going to decide whether we can compete, and if we can, then that indicates our level of play has increased significantly over the last couple of years.� The Kitsap BlueJackets is another semi-professional franchise that draws crowds at the ballpark every summer. The BlueJackets hit the diamond at Lobe Field in the Kitsap County Fairgrounds from June through August. The franchise provides a fun atmosphere for all ages looking to enjoy America’s pastime under the sun. There’s bargain ticket packages and food and drinks at the stadium. Central Kitsap and Bremerton also host two rodeos, the Thunderbird Pro Rodeo and the Kitsap County Fair and Stampede every summer.

Silverdale Pee Wee Adult Association www.spwaa.org Bremerton Pee Wee www.bremertonfootball. com Diamond Dusters www.ddusters.org Tracyton Soccer Club www.tracytonsoccer.com Bremerton School District athletics www.bremertonschools. org/studentsfamily/athletics Central Kitsap School District athletics www.ckschools.org Olympic College athletics www.olympic.edu/ Students/StudentServies/ Athletics Kitsap Pumas www.kitsapsoccerclub.com Kitsap BlueJackets www.kitsapbluejackets.com Silverdale Thunder www.silverdalethunder.net Thunderbird Pro Rodeo www.thunderbirdrodeo. com Kitsap Fair & Stampede www.kitsapstampede.com Puget Sound Tomahawks www.pugetsoundtomahawks.pointstreaksites. com/view/pugetsoundtomahawks


15

BREMERTON

File Photo

The Charleston, one of Bremerton’s all-ages venues for local bands, showcases out of town acts as well.

EATS AND ENTERTAINMENT IN BREMERTON:

shows, food and parades

Bremerton has many opportunities for entertainment, from live music to local eats to annual festivals that bring residents together. Bremerton’s performing arts community invites participants and spectators alike and includes the Bremerton Symphony, Bremerton Community Theatre, Kitsap Peninsula Opera and Peninsula Dance Theatre. The historic Admiral Theatre and the Bremerton School District’s Performing Arts Center host concerts, talent shows and cultural activities throughout the year. Bremerton also has a vibrant homegrown live music scene. As the hometown of punk band MxPx and Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard, some Bremerton musicians have hit the mainstream, and Quincy Jones spent part of his childhood in Bremerton.

Charleston is home to a couple local live venues, including the Hi-Fidelity Lounge at 2711 Sixth St. The Hi-Fi has jazz Thursdays featuring Bremerton musicians and the occasional electronic night between indie acts, drawing touring groups as well as local ones. The Charleston, at 333 N. Callow Ave., fea-

tures punk, rockabilly and ska music among other genres and opened in 2008 in an old theater and nightclub building dating back to the days of unincorporated Charleston. The venue attracts bands from across the country. In Manette is the Manette Saloon and Sidebar, at 2113 E. 11th St., which brings out a live

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16 band every Friday and Saturday, with genres ranging from rock to Latin. It also has open mic Wednesdays. The Winterland, at 1220 Sylvan Way, offers hard rock and metal fare. The club puts on Friday and Saturday shows featuring indie rock bands from all over the U.S. Bremerton’s arts districts offer galleries featuring the work of local artists. The Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum, located at 257 Fourth St., updates its exhibits regularly to display all its different puppets. Items range from South Asian deities to a series of Chinese puppets. Collective Visions hosts concerts and is open six days a week to show off its local art to the public. There, you will find everything from pottery to drawings at 331 Pacific Ave. The Amy Burnett Gallery, at 296 4th Street, features the work of Bremerton artist Amy Burnett. Her work can also be found throughout the city in places such as Anthony’s HomePort Restaurant and the Norm Dicks Government Center. Fingers Duke, at 705 Pacific Avenue, is opening this year and includes a screen printing shop as well as a retail space that offers locally designed T-shirts. Its gallery features art from young Kitsap artists. Businesses in both the downtown and Manette neighborhoods stay open late the first Friday of each month for the First Friday Arts Walk, featuring live music, updated galleries

and other activities.

ders and brews crafted on-site.

Black Historical Society of Kitsap County, located at 1204 Park Ave., features exhibits about black Kitsap pioneers, who date back to 1857, and Sinclair Park, the segregated World War II-era community.

Kate’s Jersey Subs, at 2100 E. 11th St. in Manette, offers sub sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks and burgers made to order.

The Puget Sound Navy Museum, at 251 First St., is dedicated to the Northwest’s Naval heritage, covering the ships homeported in Bremerton throughout history and offering a gift shop and children’s area. Bremerton food offers a range of options, from fine dining to cheap but popular eats. Near the waterfront is Fritz European Fry House, 94 Washington Avenue, which offers a variety of Belgian ales and specializes in fresh cut Belgian style fries. For a sit-down affair with a view, there is Anthony’s Home Port seafood restaurant at 20 Washington Ave., which allows guests to take in the views of Sinclair Inlet. Across the Manette Bridge you’ll find The Boat Shed. Located just under the bridge at 101 Shore Drive, The Boat Shed offers seafood, steak, sandwiches and burgers, complete with a floating dock for boaters. Two blocks away is La Fermata, at 2204 E. 11th St., a fine dining restaurant which features authentic Italian cuisine. For a more casual setting, head one more block up 11th to find the new local brew pub, Der Blokken, at 1100 Perry Avenue. There, you’ll find sandwiches, salads, chow-

FERRIES: The

Noah’s Ark Restaurant at 1516 Sixth St. in West Bremerton, has a massive menu which yields the Ark Burger, cheesesteaks, gyros, salads, fish baskets and handmade milkshakes. North of Noah’s is Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch and claims to be home of the Northwest’s unofficial Thermos museum. The restaurant is filled with vintage decor and is known for its old Volkswagen van outside that also offers seating. Other events throughout the year unite Bremertonians and attract visitors, such as the Armed Forces Festival, which includes the country’s largest and longest-running Armed Forces Day Parade on the third Saturday in May. Post-parade festivities include an arts and crafts fair and a car show. In December, there is the two-day Lighted Boat Parade by the Bremerton Yacht Club, which covers Phinney Bay and the Port Washington Narrows one night and Rocky Point, Oyster Bay and Silverdale the next. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with a Saturday downtown parade in which all members of the public can participate, followed by music and food for everyone to enjoy. The Bremerton Blackberry Festival takes place Labor Day weekend and includes live music and blackberry-themed food and drinks.

link to the big city Bremerton offers a regular ferry to and from Seattle that residents use to commute to work, attend cultural events and enjoy Seattle nightlife. The Bremerton ferry terminal is located at 211 First Street on the downtown Bremerton waterfront. Food service is available on the boat and several restaurants and coffee shops neighbor the terminal. File photo

The Bremerton ferry, an hour-long ride, links Central Kitsap to downtown Seattle.

The ferries run throughout the day and a one-way

trip takes one hour. Walkon passengers board the boat to Seattle for free, but returning passengers pay a $7.10 fare. Vehicles less than 20 feet long and a driver are $12.15 each way. A motorcycle and driver are $5.30. Cyclists are free from Bremerton to Seattle, $1 from Seattle to Bremerton. Monthly passes and multiride commuter cards are also available.


Education in Bremerton:

a lesson in history

17 R A N D A L L

BUSINESS CENTER NOVUS AUTO GLASS 360-698-2179

www.novusglass.com

WEST SOUND AUTO File photo

Bremerton is home to diverse businesses and schools, but is largely characterized by its status as a Navy town. Naval Base Kitsap, with branches in Bremerton, Bangor and Keyport, is Kitsap County’s largest employer, with more than 15,586 employees, almost 10,000 of them civilian. Bremerton’s Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has 10,784 mostly civilian workers. Naval Hospital Bremerton is also among the county’s largest employers, with 885 employees. Another major employer in Kitsap County is Harrison Medical Center, which is based in Bremerton and has branch clinics throughout the county. Harrison has 1,235 employees. Others among the Bremerton’s largest employers include the TeleTech call center, with 699 employees, Olympic College, with 972 employees, and the Bremerton School District, with 670 employees. The Bremerton School District educates about 5,500 students. Bremerton also includes the West Sound Technical Skills Center, a regional technical education program for high school students, and the Washington Youth Academy, a statewide military-style school for at-risk youth.

Longtime Bremerton residents remember the old rivalry between the former West High and East High Schools. In the 1950s, Bremerton High School split in two - West High remained in place on 13th Street, while East High School was established on Wheaton Way. In the late 1970s, the two schools were combined again, remaining at the former East High location before moving back to the original Bremerton High School location on 13th Street. Bremerton is also home to Olympic College. The community college opened in 1946 on 11th Street to accommodate the return of World War II GIs. Classes were held in the 11th Street main building, Bremerton High School and vacated military buildings on Chester Avenue. Today, the school, with branch campuses in Shelton and Pouslbo, has more than 12,000 students and offers two-year degrees, as well as four-year degrees in fields such as mechanical engineering, nursing and education. The 33-acre Bremerton campus, has seen several changes in recent years, including a new humanities and student services building, child care center, library and science and technology building.

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18 Bremerton: A boom town

poised for resurgence

Fleet warships damaged in battle. As the largest city in Kitsap County, Bremerton has a unique history shaped largely by its Navy presence. German immigrant William Bremer platted the town of Bremerton Dec. 10, 1891. It was the same year Navy Lt. A.B. Wycoff bought 190 acres of waterfront on Sinclair Inlet from the Bremer family to establish the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, now the oldest Naval installation on the Puget Sound. Bremerton was officially incorporated Oct. 15, 1901.

File photo

The shipyard was the first dry-dock and repair center in the Northwest that could handle the Navy’s largest ships. The shipyard expanded during World War I to include shipbuilding to add hundreds of new vessels to the Allied war effort. The shipyard grew even more during the Great Depression, building up the Navy’s fleet, and during World War II, its primary objective was to repair Pacific

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The city’s growth in the early 20th century was partially fueled by the annexation of neighboring cities Charleston and Manette. Manette, east of the Bremerton city center, was annexed in 1918, adding nearly 9,000 people to the city’s population. Charleston, west of Bremerton, was annexed in 1927, with a population of about 10,000 people. Businesses migrated to the Silverdale area and the Naval Submarine Base at Bangor pulled families north of Bremerton. But today, Bremerton remains the most diverse city in the county, with about 35,000 residents, and is investing in parks, residential and business development in its urbanization effort. The past 10 years have seen a facelift along the downtown waterfront, intended to attract tourists from throughout the county and across the Puget Sound.

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