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In our opinion: Bremerton, post-hype
It’s not like Bremerton has been ripped off. The tab for downtown’s redevelopment has been mostly footed by the state, the federal government and private developers.
That isn’t to say people didn’t get ripped off, just not the people of Bremerton.
But for those who live and work in the city that once was, waiting for a revival that has not happened, the enormous amount of money is only part of the disappointment.
When wonderful things are promised and don’t appear – a vibrant downtown, rising real estate values, inspiring fish statues – that promise starts to stink like a cheap cigar.
One lesson in this anticlimactic chapter of Bremerton’s history is that prosperity, hipness and relevance can’t be bought like statues, no matter the hired PR firm and dump trucks full of cash.
Those who have promoted Bremerton as being a corner’s turn away from the Big One at one time sounded prophetic. Now they sound like they are trying to convince themselves.
All isn’t lost. The hundreds of millions of dollars – the numbers keep changing, depending on which politician one asks – were not simply buried beneath the unpopular ferry tunnel, which ensures nobody has to visit downtown ever again.
There is something to show for the money, and these seeds may yet bear fruit.
But in the interest of candor, the promise should be revised from “Bremerton, a city on the move,” to “Bremerton, you may not live to see it happen.”