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2008: A look back at Bremerton’s highlights

The newly expanded Bremerton Marina was officially dedicated May 31 with a community celebration. - Charles Melton/file photo
The newly expanded Bremerton Marina was officially dedicated May 31 with a community celebration.
— image credit: Charles Melton/file photo

As we look toward the future in preparation of what 2009 will bring, it’s only appropriate we take a look back at what made 2008.

It was a year of change and, for many, a year of tightening the pocketbooks and battening down the hatches for what was the economic storm of ’08.

Despite unsteady financial times, Bremerton saw no lag in its continual growth spurt. The people of Bremerton managed to make it a special year in a variety of different ways. Here’s a month-by-month look at the Bremerton Patriot’s most memorable stories of the past year:

January

The Bremerton School District emerged victorious after being named in a lawsuit filed by Disabilities Rights Washington on behalf of the parents of six children with developmental disabilities. The group sought to prevent the district from moving the students from Mountain View Middle School to the Francis Haddon Morgan Center.

By a one-vote margin, Bremerton City Councilman Will Maupin retained his position as council president.

February

Bremerton civic leader and former Bremerton City Councilman Al Colvin died Feb. 7 at Harrison Medical Center. A passionate supporter of Bremerton, Colvin was involved in a long list of community organizations, which included serving on the city council for 12 years and serving at the helm of the Bremerton Central Lions Club as president.

Construction, including additions and upgrades, at Mountain View Middle School was completed and made official with a dedication ceremony.

March

Gov. Chris Gregoire joined local and state dignitaries in the groundbreaking of the Washington Youth Academy at the Washington Army National Guard Readiness Center. The program, set to launch at the beginning of the new year, will strive to educate, discipline and right the lives of at-risk teens.

Northwest African-American Museum opened on Massachusetts Street with the help of the Black Historical Society of Kitsap County.

April

South Kitsap Industrial Area (SKIA) annexation petitions were officially delivered to Bremerton city offices. The proposed annexation covered more than 4,300 acres.

Bremerton School District Superintendent Bette Hyde makes her retirement public with a late-April announcement to the Bremerton Patriot. She first took the helm in 2001.

May

The weekend homeless feeding program, the Lord’s Diner, reopened May 10 after being closed for two months. The strain could be felt among other homeless feeding organizations as the Lord’s Diner is the only weekend homeless feeding organization.

A revamped Bremerton Marina officially opened to the public May 31. The marina, payed for mostly by property tax revenues, features 229 permanent moorage slips and 100 guest moorages.

June

The Bremerton Patriot transfered to a tabloid format and the paper’s office moved to Silverdale Way in Silverdale. In an economy ripe with change, readers were quick to adapt to the new size of the paper, a more reader-friendly version with far more color pages as opposed to its broadsheet predecessor.

The Bremer Trust donated $2 million to Olympic College Bremerton toward construction of a 10,000-square-foot childcare center.

July

Linda Jenkins assumed the Bremerton School District pro tem superintendent position, filling the vacancy left by superintendent Bette Hyde who retired — at the time.

Bremerton resident Ron Roehmholdt was one of the lucky $1 million winner’s in Washington Lottery’s Raffle drawing. Roehmholdt, who has worked at Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport for 24 years, had no plans of quitting work.

“I’m not running out and buying new cars. I’m still driving my used cars,” he said. “I’m just paying off some bills. It just makes things a little more comfortable.”

August

Bremerton City Council members voted 9-0 in favor of annexing a 150-acre SKIA parcel into Bremerton. The parcel is the northernmost section of the 3,400-acre SKIA.

BSD officials announced the return of Bette Hyde to the helm of the district. Hyde accepted the district’s interim superintendent position, less than 24 hours after the board of directors made the offer public.

September

Michael Charles Cully was sentenced to 27 years and nine months in prison for the March 24 stabbing death of his wife, Girlie Quintana Weight. Cully repeatedly stabbed his wife 19 times while she showered inside their Montgomery Avenue home.

Kitsap Mental Health Services officials broke ground on the Keller House, a multifaceted psychiatric treatment facility that will house citizens who are mentally ill, homeless or can’t sufficiently care for themselves. The $3.9 million project is scheduled to be completed in late 2009 or early 2010.

October

A Mountain View Middle School student was taken into custody Oct. 17 after threatening a school bus driver, saying there was a bomb on board. The school was locked down for several hours.

Bremerton City Council members were presented with first official draft of the proposed 2009 city budget. With a $4.4 million deficit, Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman called it “a budget for the time we live in today.”

November

Longtime Bremerton resident Jorgen Nelson died Nov. 1 at the age of 83. Many people knew him because of the jewelry store he operated in Bremerton for almost eight decades. He also was the Bremerton Central Lions Club’s longest-standing member, joining the organization in 1949.

More and more area residents were out to save a buck or two this year. Local discount and consignment shops, like Goodwill and Value Village, continued to see a steady incline in sales as the economy declined.

December

The Bremerton City Council approved the 2009 city budget and made several cuts to account for the $4.4 million deficit including laying off four city employees and closing city hall public service counters on Fridays.

2008 ended in a cold snap for the area with below-freezing temperature for days on end and heavy amounts of snow. Bremerton School District students got a two-day start on their winter vacation with snowy and icy roads leading to school cancellations.

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