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Patriot Bremerton

JOB SHADOW Students learn the ropes at Harrison Page 8

FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014 | Vol. 17, No. 7 WWW.BREMERTONPATRIOT.COM | 50¢

Couple leads charge in war on weeds Smile, you’re on Adopt-a-Beach candid camera program at Lions Park is their brainchild

Bremerton cops will test cameras as part of a new pilot program


Rick and Ruth Richtmeyer have been a godsend to the Bremerton Parks Department. The couple, who live in the condos overlooking Lions Park, has worked tirelessly for close to three years to eradicate invasive plants from the 1,700 feet of shoreline along the Port Washington Narrows. “Their work has allowed the native plants installed by parks department as part of the $2 million Lions Park redevelopment project to thrive,” said Bremerton Parks Director Wyn Birkenthal. The Richtmeyers started an Adopt-a-Beach program by creating 35 lots, spaced out every 50 feet or so, between the


Kevan Moore/Staff photo

Rick and Ruth Richtmeyer stroll along the waterfront at Lions Park. The couple started an Adopt-a-Beach program to fight off invasive weeds so native species can thrive. pathway and the beach. Now, different folks or groups can take on weed control in a particular lot and prevent invasive species from outpacing native ones. “After it opened a few years ago, the weeds just got higher and higher, about knee high, and

(Ruth) said, ‘We’ve got to do something about this,’” said Richard. So, they rolled up their sleeves and got to work. “We would go and work a little bit and people would ask if they could help,” Richard said. That’s when the Richtmeyers decided to

make a brochure and create the small, manageable lots. With more than 250 grasses, approximately 1,200 shrubs and more than 50 trees, it made sense to break down the beachfront into smaller lots to win an ongoing war with the weeds. SEE RICHTMEYERS, A9

Port hopes to attract more boaters BY LESLIE KELLY LKELLY@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM

It’s all a matter of how it’s phrased. That was the message from the consultant who is marketing the Bremerton Marina. Bob Wise, of the Marsh Andersen consulting firm, told Port of Bremerton commissioners this week that one of the ways he hopes to fill the Bremerton Marina this summer is by rewording an offer for a free month’s rent. In the past, the marina has offered one month of moorage free when a boater pays for six months. Wise said when that

offer is made to potential customers, what they hear is $345 a month for a 36-foot boat. “But if you take that amount and spread it over seven months, they are told the moorage rate is $296 a month,” Wise said. “Breaking that $300 mark makes it sound like a much better deal.” Wise said that by offering seven months at the $296-a-month rate, the port still makes the same amount of money and the boaters feel they are getting a better deal. Kathy Garcia, marina manager for the port, said the deal is made on the understanding that payment of fees are never

late. She said moorage fees are due on the first of the month and the port gives a 10-day grace period. After that time late fees are assessed and once a tenant has to pay a late fee, their cut-rate seven month deal is in jeopardy. Wise and Garcia also told commissioners that they think late fees should be doubled from $20 to $40 a month as an incentive for tenants to pay on time. If payments are made on time, the seven-month rate can be extended for another seven months, Garcia said. Commissioners said

they liked the idea and gave Garcia the go-ahead to begin selling it to prospective tenants. Wise also spoke to commissioners about the rates for covered moorage at the Port Orchard Marina. He said compared to other covered moorage in the area, Port Orchard’s was below the competition. He suggested that commissioners consider raising the rates, which he said could be raised about 10 percent, and still be below the competitors. Commissioners asked the port staff to draft a specific proposal and bring it back to them at SEE MARINA, A9

In just a few weeks, a handful of Bremerton police officers will begin wearing video cameras attached to their uniforms as part of a new pilot program. “I have not heard of a department that has gone to one of these video systems that hasn’t had a good experience for the department, the community and the officers,” said Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan. Strachan says that if the program is successful, he will look at incorporating the cameras into next year’s budget. Strachan prefers to call the devices “officer based video” rather than body cameras. Three different styles, all of which record both audio and video, will be tested throughout the summer. Those include a camera attached to the chest area of an officer, a collar mounted camera and a camera that can attach to an officer’s eyeglasses, hat or a head strap. Captain Jim Burchett says that the last variety is, “the oddest looking, but it provides the best view of all them. That’s the tradeoff. The most nondescript is the chest mounted, but an officer’s hands can get in the way.” The sight of police officers wearing cameras has become more ubiquitous in recent years as the technology for smaller and smaller cameras and cheaper and cheaper video storage solutions has improved exponen-

Courtesy photo

Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan tially. For many years, there was a perception that officers were opposed to using the devices, but that trend is on the wane. “I’ve heard anecdotal things that an officer might not like it (at first) and then they’ll demand it and say, ‘Where is mine?’ after seeing how useful they can be,” Capt. Burchett said. Strachan said that Bremerton officers haven’t offered any real push back to the pilot program. “I cannot speak for them, but they’ve generally been receptive,” he said. “They understand the way this tool can be a benefit to officers. I think we have the same goals. If an officer clearly does something in bad faith, we want to have a consistent and fair process. At the same time, if we also have allegations against officers, that video will help us resolve it much more quickly. And that’s certainly been the experience of departments that have implemented officer cameras.” There’s growing evidence, beyond the anecdotal, that officers wearing cameras is a good thing. In Rialto, Calif., SEE BPD CAMERAS, A9

Bremerton Patriot, March 28, 2014  
Bremerton Patriot, March 28, 2014  

March 28, 2014 edition of the Bremerton Patriot