Thursday, April 3, 2008

An Old-Fashioned Bridge in Manette

The Manette Bridge played a significant role in the building and expansion of Bremerton. Built during the Great Depression, the Manette Bridge is the oldest of two bridges that connect East Bremerton to West Bremerton.

In this photo, Manette is to the right, West Bremerton on the left side. The Port Washington Narrows goes north toward Silverdale. The Olympic Mountains are in the distance. (Much appreciation to Capt. Alan R. Beam, USN, ret., for the photo. Thanks, Dad!)
Prior to the building of the bridge, Mosquito Fleet ferries made the crossing each day to allow families from East Bremerton to go to their jobs in West Bremerton. If a laborer missed the last ferry, he would have to make an extremely long commute around the north end of the inlet, through Chico, Silverdale, and Tracyton.

Construction on the bridge began in October 1929, and continued until opening day in June of 1930. The bridge was originally a toll bridge, charging $.25 per car and $.05 a passenger. The toll continued until 1939.

Shortly after the toll was lifted, it became clear that the little two-lane bridge would not support the growing traffic burden, and talk of a second bridge began. This resulted in the building of the Port Washington Narrows Bridge, commonly known as the Wheaton Way Bridge, in 1958 as a toll bridge.

At that time, the toll was placed back on the Manete Bridge. Why pay the toll on the Wheaton Way Bridge if you could cross the Manette Bridge for free? The tolls were lifted in 1972 when both bridges were paid for.

Today, residents of the charming neighborhood of Manette use the bridge to cross to West Bremerton, Naval Base Kitsap - Bremerton, and the Washington State Ferry Terminal to commute to Seattle. Unfortunately, the charming Manette Bridge is currently considered unsafe. The bridge is scheduled for demolition when a new bridge is constructed, beginning in 2010.

For more information on the neighborhood of Manette, including a list of homes for sale in Manette, Bremerton, stop by Realty Station. Or visit our website for more on Bremerton and Kitsap County real estate.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Military Appreciation Day at Kitsap Mall

Military Appreciation Day at Kitsap Mall is scheduled for next Saturday, March 29, 2008. This annual event, sponsored by Kitsap Mall, the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, and local military installations, is a salute to our military men and women as well as their families.

Local businesses will be on hand offering demonstrations of their products, as well as discounts and specials. Many military divisions will also be showcased. Entertainment includes NJROTC drill units, Navy EOD divers, Navy Working Dogs, and performances by Navy Band Northwest. Other local entertainers will be the Clan Heather Dancers and Halau Hula O Healani.

For elementary kids, the Marine Security Force will hold a special mini-boot camp, featuring a climbing wall and giant slide.

The event is free and runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Displays will be both inside and outside Kitsap Mall in Silverdale.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Famous Dave's Opens in Silverdale

Famous Dave's, the largest barbecue franchise in the nation, has opened a restaurant in Silverdale! The grand opening was today, March 17, 2008, at 3276 NW Plaza Road, between Pier One Imports and Target.

I first became familiar with Famous Dave's when my friend and past client Tara S. heard we were moving to Kansas for a year. She said we absolutely HAD to go check out this barbecue joint next to the Kansas City Speedway. Turns out, we stumbled across it when we went to Nebraska Furniture Mart, and I have to say it is some of the best barbecue I have ever had, a big compliment coming from someone born in Georgia.

Famous Dave's has "five ways to get sauced", including their Georgia Mustard sauce and the Texas Pit sauce. I haven't been brave enough to try their Devil's Spit sauce yet, and I doubt that I ever will. I'll let hubby try that one out!

They serve pork ribs, barbecue brisket and barbecue chicken, with sides that include Wilbur beans, coleslaw, and corn on the cob. The service at other Famous Dave restaurants has been exceptional, even if the lines can be long at peak times.

I am definitely looking forward to dinner at Famous Dave's later this week!
Update: The phone number to Famous Dave's is 360-307-9999. They do not take reservations, but you can call ahead to find out how busy they are.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

FREE Over-the-Counter Meds for Military

I've been a navy spouse for eight years now, and was a navy brat for more than, well, I won't tell my age. I like to think I am a pretty well-informed military spouse, but I had no idea how easy it was to get over-the-counter meds free from the Bremerton Naval Hospital until recently!

I had heard that you could get certain meds free, but I always assumed that it would be a huge pain in the rear to do so, like so many "benefits" of the military are. But my good friend, Barbara A., told me to go check out the drive-through refill pharmacy at Jackson Park, near the Bremerton Naval Hospital.

Sure enough! It only took ten minutes, and I didn't even have to get out of my car. A really cool thing, especially since I am on crutches right now and had my three year old son in the car.

Take the second right turn off of Austin Drive into the Jackson Park navy housing complex, and the refill pharmacy is immediately on your right. As you pull in to the drive-through window, you will see a box of forms on the driver's side. Grab a form for each of your family members, and fill it out as you wait in line or pull back into a parking spot to fill it out if the line is short.

Military is allowed 3 unique products per family member in any 30 day period. I got adult acetamenaphine, children's liquid acetamenophine, cough suppresant, antacid, and a cream for hubby's athletes foot (welcome to hot days on deployment in the gulf in bad shoes and socks!). All free!

Do understand that these are not name-brand products, but they have the same ingredients and work just as well. When you realize how much it would have cost me to buy these items in a drug store, it was definitely worth the drive and a few minutes of my time. And, they are open on Saturdays!

PS I thought I was the only navy spouse who didn't know about this, but then I ran into my friends and past clients Chris and Tammy K. at Wal-mart, and they were surprised that it was so easy too!

Friday, February 15, 2008

This post is worth $100!!!!

Well, I certainly got your attention, didn't I?

Yes, seriously, you can make $100 for doing a few simple things that many of us should be doing anyway - saving and investing. Perhaps there is another, less risky, short-term way to do that than investing and buying a home in Bremerton, in Kitsap County. Even if you do own investment property, never put all your eggs in one basket.

In Suze Orman's new book Women and Money, Orman and TD Ameritrade offer Orman's readers the chance to open a brokerage account at TD Ameritrade and TD Ameritrade will put $100 extra in their account at the end of one year. The investor must agree to invest at least $50 a month into the account and the money can not be withdrawn until the year is over.

So, save $600 this year, and get another $100 in addition to the "competitive" interest you will receive anyway. That's quite a nice return, don't you think?

For more details, go to Suze Orman's website at You can also find more information in her book Women and Money, beginning on page 85. It's worth $100 to you!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What Can Your BAH Buy You?

Buying with BAH

“We want to buy a house, and we’re probably going to use our VA loan. Can you tell us how much we can afford? We’d like to keep our payments below our BAH.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard young military couples (and a few singles) tell me this. It’s a good goal, but I have to tell you that, depending on your expectations for a home, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish this goal. Don’t get me wrong, it does happen, but it usually takes some re-prioritizing and perhaps settling a little.

Allow me to explain…..

The Basic Allowance for Housing was put in place to pay rent for military service members who either can not or choose not to live in military housing. That’s right, I said rent. BAH was not designed to allow military personnel to purchase a home without taking any money out of their regular pay.

Also, different paygrades are given enough BAH to rent a home that is specific to the lifestyle that the military imagines that particular paygrade to have. For example, an E-3 with dependents are given enough to rent a two-bedroom apartment. An E-5 with dependents is given enough to rent a two or three bedroom townhouse. An E-7 should get enough to rent a single family home.

The same generalization applies to Officers and Warrant Officers too. The lower paygrades will have enough to rent attached family homes, while the higher paygrades will have enough to rent a single family home.

And remember, that is to rent a house, not to buy. Right now in Kitsap County, you can rent more hosue than you can buy for the same amount of money. In other words, you can afford to rent a nicer house than you can afford to buy.

With all that said, if you expect to buy a house and not pay more than your BAH, you will not be buying your dream home right away. Compromises will have to be made. And yes, you will probably end up taking money out of your pocket, as it were.

It all depends on what you are looking for, and what you can give up and what you absolutely can’t live without.

Sit down with your lender and your real estate agent and decide what you are willing and able to pay, and what you expect to get for the money. Do this before you start looking at houses – it will save you a lot of heartache.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Recycle your Christmas Tree in Kitsap County

The Christmas hoopla is over. Time to take the lights down, pack away the ornaments, put away the inflatable "Frosty" lawn spectacle (or, in my family's case, the Home Depot and Lowe's cars currently racing across our front lawn), and make your home look a little less glitzy.
Now, what to do with the tree? Let's face it -- we live in the Pacific Northwest. Most of us have real Christmas trees. Some of us even cut our own. Seems a shame to waste them.

Don't! Recycle those trees instead! Kitsap County makes it so easy. Trees are accepted for recycling at most facilities until at least January 15, 2008.

First, remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, etc. from the tree. Only clean trees will be accepted for recycling. remember that next year before asking to have your trees "flocked." Flocked trees are not accepted, and neither are garlands or wreaths.

Next, drop your tree of at any of these locations. Best to call and confirm hours of operation, if possible.

Bremerton: Public Works Department at 100 Oyster Bay Avenue in West Bremerton, or the Water Utility Building at 3027 Olympus Drive in East Bremerton.

Silverdale and Central Kitsap: Silverdale Recycling and Garbage at 8843 Dickey Road, up Newberry Hill.

Poulsbo: Poulsbo Recycle Center at 710 Iverson, downtown Poulsbo.

Port Orchard: Olalla Recycling and Garbage at 2850 SE Burley-Olalla Road. Also, the Olympic View Transfer Station at 9300 SW Barney White Road near the airport.

For all of Kitsap County: Please consider donating your tree as well as a $10 donation to Boy Scout Troop 1506! They will dispose of the tree for you! You can drop your tree at the front door of the Scout Hall in Tracyton and leave your donation in the mail slot. This way, you don't need to worry about hours of operation, and it is so convenient to help out the Scouts!

At Realty Station, we plan to recycle our Christmas trees. The giving season doesn't have to end at Christmas -- keep recycling all year.