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Bremerton is a maritime town, 14 miles as the crow flies from Seattle or a 30-minute ride on the new fast ferry. Bremerton’s boosters think that this passenger-only ferry—which began service last summer—will provide the final surge in a wave of civic investments and private construction that will carry the once-struggling city to new heights.
But with it arises the same conundrum that is being faced across the region. If growth and prosperity come to the city, will the working-class wage earners from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (one of the town’s biggest employers) and the service industry be priced out?
I began an afternoon walk through the seven blocks that make up the downtown core of the city at the 2.2-acre Harborside Fountain Park. It’s just west of the ferry terminal and runs the length of the shipyard. Water again flows from the coning tower fountains, following a $75,000 investment to make the park safer and friendlier for wading. When it was first opened in 2007, the $20 million park was built to provide an additional defensive perimeter for the naval shipyard, more security fence than water attraction. But you can’t keep little children away from spouting water, so take that, al-Qaida. Freedom wins again.
Walk through the park, dip your toes in the water, think about the design of those fountain ….Read more>>