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Archive for February, 2009

Doctors Clinic New Urgent-Care Facility in Poulsbo Opens Monday

Friday, February 27th, 2009

By Rachel Pritchett

rpritchett@kitsapsun.com

POULSBO

On Monday morning, The Doctors Clinic will open a new urgent-care facility at its Poulsbo clinic.

The facility is appropriate for people suffering from conditions that are not life-threatening, like cuts, coughs, sore throats or sprained ankles.

Five physicians who work at the clinic will rotate into the new PromptCare facility.

X-ray and laboratory services also are available on-site.

The Poulsbo PromptCare is the second for The Doctors Clinic. It opened its first in 1995 on Wheaton Way near Bremerton.

No appointments are necessary, and the hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

“Having a PromptCare in Poulsbo will make it easier for those in the north end of the county experiencing unpredictable times of accident and illness,” said Dr. Brian Wicks, president of The Doctors Clinic.

The Doctors Clinic began in 1949 in downtown Bremerton, and has since expanded to include about 75 physicians in nine clinical locations.

Its Poulsbo clinic and new PromptCare is at 19245 Seventh Ave., at the corner of Seventh and Iverson Road.


Stocks End the Week Down, at 7,062

Friday, February 27th, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have fallen sharply after Citigroup Inc. and General Electric Co. announced moves that will reduce the value of the companies’ shares.

Citigroup will turn over a big piece of itself to the government. That is fanning worries that banks would face more trouble. And GE is slashing its quarterly dividend by 68 percent.

Both Citi and GE are part of the Dow Jones industrial average.

Stocks closed off their lows of the day, but still had big losses as investors close another unforgiving month for stocks.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is at its lowest level since 1996, while the Dow industrials are showing their lowest finish since April 1997.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow is down about 119 points at 7,063. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 17 at 735, while the Nasdaq composite index is down 13 at 1,377.

Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was a heavy 2.25 billion shares.


Coming Soon: A New Wedding and Event Center in Port Gamble

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I am working on this story now. The 2,900-square-foot facility will be the first new construction in the historic town since the 20s. Rachel


Wall Street Gains as Investors Bet on Banks: Thursday Dow at 7,304, Up 33

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street set aside some of its worries about the financial system Thursday as governments stepped up efforts to help struggling banks.

Stocks rose moderately, extending a back-and-forth pattern shown throughout the week. The gyrations are revealing investors’ indecision rather than big shifts in sentiment over the economy — they are still looking down a long list of concerns about the recession and the stability of banks.

“I don’t think anybody is comfortable if you’re in the market right now. You still have quite a bit of fear driving equity prices,” said Bill Knapp, investment strategist for MainStay Investments, a division of New York Life Investment Management.

Investors bought into some beaten-down bank stocks as the U.S. and British governments signaled they would do more to help the industry and as several big financial houses announced steps to further slash costs and streamline their operations.

President Barack Obama’s proposed $3.55 trillion budget outlines spending up to $750 billion more for additional financial industry rescue efforts on top of the $700 billion that Congress has already authorized.

The British government set up a program to allow banks to access government insurance against future losses on bad assets. The plan is designed to boost lending by reducing banks’ uncertainty about the value of past investments.

Investors also are applauding planned job cuts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. And moves by Royal Bank of Scotland to sell businesses and a decision by Swiss banking giant UBS AG to replace its chief executive helped lift financial shares.

The improved sentiment about banks overshadowed a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss at General Motors Corp. as well as weak readings on employment, demand at factories and home sales.

“At the moment, economic data are not that crucial, at least from the market reactions,” Knapp said. He said some investors are starting to regard the numbers as not likely to get much worse, even if they don’t improve for some time.

In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 60.77, or 0.84 percent, to 7,331.66.

Broader stock indicators also rose. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 6.52, or 0.9 percent, to 771.42, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 4.09, or 0.3 percent, to 1,429.52.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 2.49, or 0.6 percent, to 403.93.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 5 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 525 million shares.

Stocks ended a bumpy session down 1 percent Wednesday. The government addressed some questions about banks by confirming it will buy preferred shares from banks that can be converted into common shares, and reiterated that it does not plan to nationalize banks.

In afternoon trading overseas Thursday, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.33 percent, Germany’s DAX index rose 2.32 percent, and France’s CAC-40 rose 1.78 percent. Earlier, Japan’s Nikkei stock average slipped 0.04 percent.

Royal Bank of Scotland posted an annual loss of $34.4 billion, the biggest in British corporate history, and announced a massive restructuring in which the company will jettison many of its international businesses. The company said it will put toxic assets into the UK government insurance program. The stock jumped $1.74, or 26 percent, to $8.33 in New York trading.

Also in Europe, UBS replaced its CEO on Thursday, naming Oswald J. Gruebel to take over immediately. He is the former head of crosstown rival Credit Suisse Group and led a turnaround of that company before he left two years ago. Gruebel replaces Marcel Rohner, who has resigned. UBS rose $1.30, or 15 percent, to $10.06.

In the U.S., investors are watching for news from Citigroup Inc. The company’s effort to boost its equity capital could result in the federal government raising its stake in the bank this week to as much as 40 percent, a person familiar with the talks said.

The company received $45 billion in U.S. bailout money made up primarily of debt-like preferred shares, plus federal guarantees to cover losses on some $300 billion in risky investments. The bank has been in talks with regulators over ways the government could help strengthen the bank still further.

While a deal is unlikely to be announced Thursday, it could be come within days, the person told The Associated Press late Wednesday, asking not to be named because the discussions are still continuing. Citigroup rose 5 cents, or 2 percent, to $2.57.

JPMorgan jumped $2.05, or 9.4 percent, to $23.78 as the company met with analysts and said it would cut about 12,000 jobs as it folds in the operations of Washington Mutual Inc. JPMorgan acquired the assets of WaMu, the largest bank ever to fail in U.S. history, at the end of September.

General Motors Corp. reported a $9.6 billion loss for the fourth quarter and said it burned through $6.2 billion of cash in the last three months of 2008. Top GM executives were in Washington, D.C., Thursday to meet with the Obama administration’s auto task force to talk about restructuring and additional loans. GM slipped 3 cents to $2.52.

Investors looked past weak economic readings.

The Labor Department said the number of newly laid-off Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to 667,000 from the previous week’s figure of 631,000. Analysts had been expecting a modest drop in claims. The new claims are the most since October 1982, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.

The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods — manufactured products expected to last at least three years — fell 5.2 percent in January, which was more than expected.

The department also said sales of new homes tumbled 10.2 percent in January to a record-low annual pace of 309,000. The reading was weaker than the pace of 330,000 that economists expected and broke a monthly low record set in September 1981.


Commercial Lending Story in Making

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Bloggers,

I am working on a story looking at commercial lending, and how it’s doing locally. Agents and lenders, please call me at (360) 475-3783. Rachel


Kitsap Business Briefs

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Speakers Named 

for Island Home
and Garden Event

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND

Speakers have been named for several events connected to the sixth annual Bainbridge Island Home and Garden Show, scheduled for March 7 at Woodward Middle School on the island.

The theme of this year’s show is “Going Green.” It will showcase vendors from more than 60 businesses in the home and garden industries and speakers will emphasize utilizing green technology to save money.

BI architect Rodney Bauch will discuss efficient lighting design at 11 a.m.; Matthew Coates will focus on dealing with change by converting buildings from energy consuming to energy producing structures at noon; deconstruction expert David Bennink will discuss choosing deconstruction over tearing down or remodeling and how to utilize most of the existing materials instead of taking them to a landfill at 1 p.m.; and at 2 p.m., Susan Harrington will show those attending that lavender is more than a color, discussing how the herb can be used for aromatherapy, culinary delights, medicinal treatments and housekeeping.

At 3 p.m., a full service home performance testing company, the Orca Efficiency Group, whose goal is to provide advice to reduce energy use and resource consumption in residential and commercial buildings, lower utility bills while improving home/building comfort, reduce deferred maintenance and improve indoor air quality and safety. At 4 p.m., “Island House Calls,” with local handyman Ron Gurowitz, will offer advice on when to do it yourself and when to call a handyman.

The trade sow also will offer advice on how to build your own greenhouse in five minutes using recycled materials, hosted by the Bainbridge Island Garden Club, and a program by Tricia Hanley at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on how to sell do your spring cleaning and how to sell your stuff on eBay. No registration is required, but organizers recommend you get there early for priority seating. 

For information, call the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce at (206) 842-3700.

Kitsap Consultant
to Speak in Alaska

BREMERTON

Patricia Graf-Hoke of Bremerton will discuss strategic marketing at the Heritage and Cultural Fair Conference in Sitka, Alaska, on April 1. It is among several presentations on her speaking calendar.

She also will be guest speaker at the April 21 meeting of the American Society of Women Business Accountants In Bellevue and at the June Women’s Business Exchange at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle.

Last month, she presented a mini-version of her “90-Minute Branding and Marketing” workshop for nonprofit organizations at a Kitsap United Way event in Bremerton. She and Bill Hoke will similar workshops in Walla Walla in March and in North Mason and Wenatchee in April.

She provides workshops and presentations, especially for women-owned businesses and organizations. Reach her at pgh@grafhoke.com.

Kitsap Doctor to
Get Psychiatric
Leadership Training

Bremerton

Dr. David Beck, medical director for Kitsap Mental Health Services, is one of 10 emerging community psychiatric leaders nationwide to be selected for a comprehensive psychiatric leadership training program sponsored by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.

He was chosen for the yearlong program based on his leadership style and 20 years’ experience implementing integrated health and recovery models across systems of care. A board-certified internist, he has practiced in both community and tribal health centers, specializing in addiction medicine and community mental health.

Beck called it a “tremendous opportunity to learn from and be mentored by some of the finest professionals in the community mental health field … Some of the work we are doing right now in Kitsap County, such as integrating behavioral health care with health care at Peninsula Community Health Services, is the type of cutting edge work we will explore.”

Area Wedding
Planner Wins
Bride’s Award

Bremerton

Studio G occasions of Bremerton has won the Bride’s Choice Award from WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company. The award, voted on by newlyweds through surveys and reviews, recognizes and honors vendors from the WeddingWire Network that demonstrate excellent quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value of cost and flexibility. This year’s recipients represent the top 3 percent of WeddingWire’s vendor community, which includes more than 100,000 wedding vendors from across the U.S.

On the Job

Mary Jo Leighton has been promoted to senior branch office administrator at the Poulsbo branch office of financial-services firm Edward Jones. Leighton has been with Edward Jones the past five years. For the promotion she had to meet specific training requirements, demonstrate exceptional performance when completing office responsibilities, handle complex tasks associated with running a high-volume office and have at least five years’ experience with the firm.

 

Calendar

Feb. 24

What: The Puget Rental Owners’ Association will host several speakers at its monthly dinner and seminar. Guest speakers will be Andy Oakley, a community relations spokesman for the Bremerton Police Department; Bremerton Officer Billy Renfro and K-9 officer Lance. Topics include crime-free housing strategies; registering your property for criminal activity notification; keeping bad guys and trouble off your property; and controlled substances. All rental owners and the public are invited to attend.

When: 6 p.m. dinner; 6:45 p.m. president’s comments followed by the program.

Where: AA China Buffet, 3583 Wheaton Way in East Bremerton.

Info: Call (360) 479-1683.

Kitsap Sun staff


Major Indexes Down 6 Percent the Week: Dow Closes at 7,365, Down 100

Friday, February 20th, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street ended another terrible week Friday, leaving major indexes down more than 6 percent as investors worried that the recession will persist for at least the rest of the year and that government intervention will do little to hasten a recovery.

Investors shaved 100 points off the Dow Jones industrial average just a day after the market’s best-known indicator dropped to its lowest level since the depths of the last bear market, in 2002. Stocks of struggling financial companies were among the hardest hit.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, the barometer most closely watched by market pros, came close to its lowest point in nearly 12 years.

“Right now, more than a crisis in mortgages or in housing, we have a crisis in confidence. That is biggest problem in trying to analyze the current market,” said James Stack, president of market research firm InvesTech Research in Whitefish, Mont. “You cannot analyze psychology.”

Wall Street has been sinking lower as investors come to terms with the fact that the optimism behind a late-2008 rally was clearly unfounded. Companies’ forecasts for this year, on top of a dismal series of fourth-quarter earnings reports, pounded home the reality that no one can determine when the recession will end.

“It was a market that was built on that hope, and what we’re seeing now is an unwinding of that,” said Todd Salamone, director of trading and vice president of research at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati, of the rally from late November to early January.

The disappointment seen this week arose from the market’s growing recognition that the Obama administration’s multibillion-dollar stimulus and bailout programs are unlikely to turn the economy around anytime soon.

“There were a lot of people that were banking on Washington to get us out of this. I don’t know if there is anything Washington can do,” Salamone said. He said the global economy is going through the tedious process of reducing borrowing and working through bad debt — something government help can’t speed up.

With the week erasing whatever shreds of hope the market had, there is virtually no chance of a rally on Wall Street. What the market might see is a blip upward — but blips tend to evaporate quickly.

That’s what happened Friday. Stocks erased some of their losses after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs doused fears that the government would nationalize crippled banks. Investors who worried about seeing their shares wiped out by a government takeover welcomed the news, but it didn’t ease broader concerns about the economy.

The Dow Jones industrials briefly went into positive territory, but quickly turned down again.

Salamone said investors had been too hopeful in late 2008 and at the start of this year that the new administration would be able to swiftly disentangle the economy.

The Dow industrials fell 100.28 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,365.67 after earlier falling more than 215 points. On Thursday, the Dow broke through its Nov. 20 low of 7,552.29, and closed at its lowest level since Oct. 9, 2002.

The Dow’s 6.2 percent slide for the week was its worst performance since the week ended Oct. 10, when it lost 18.2 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index on Friday fell 8.89, or 1.14 percent, to 770.05. The benchmark most watched by traders came within less than 2 points of its Nov. 20 close of 752.44, which was its lowest since April 1997. It remains above its Nov. 21 trading low of 741.02.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 1.59, or 0.11 percent, to 1,441.23.

For the week, the S&P fell 6.9 percent, while the Nasdaq lost 6.1 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by about 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 2.12 billion shares.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 5.75, or 1.4 percent, to 410.96.

Other world indicators also fell sharply. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 3.2 percent, Germany’s DAX index tumbled 4.8 percent, and France’s CAC-40 fell 4.3 percent.

Shares of financial bellwethers Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. plunged on worries the government will have to take control of them. Citigroup fell 22 percent, while Bank of America fell 3.6 percent. But the stocks were down as much as 36 percent during the session.

The fears about the banks are hurting shareholders of those companies and dragging down the rest of the market because the broader economy can’t function properly when banks are unable to lend at more normal levels.

“Financing is the blood which runs through our nation’s veins. It’s what keeps us alive,” said Lawrence Creatura, a portfolio manager at Federated Clover Investment Advisors.

He said the talk of nationalizing banks only underscores the troubles with the economy.

“Things are clearly not normal. It’s not healthy. The patient was on life support, and now what we’re talking about getting out the paddle with respect to nationalization,” Creatura said.

As investors dropped out of stocks, safer investments like Treasury debt and gold rose. The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose sharply, sending its yield down to 2.79 percent from 2.86 percent. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, fell to 0.26 percent from 0.30 percent late Thursday.

Gold broke above $1,000, closing at $1,002.20 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Investors are looking desperately at any safe havens simply because the stock market, which rises and falls on investors’ expectations for the future, sees only trouble ahead.

“There’s still a big fear factor syndrome,” said Michael Strauss, chief economist and market strategist at Commonfund. “There is a focus on what is happening here and now instead of six months to nine months from now.”


Two Marinas Get Highest Rating For Cutting Waste

Friday, February 20th, 2009

By Rachel Pritchett

rpritchett@kitsapsun.com

The Bremerton and Port Orchard marinas have both received five-star EnviroStars Program ratings from the Kitsap County Health District.

Five stars is the highest rating in the program that encourages businesses and other entities to reduce hazardous waste while giving consumers tools to identify them. Recipients receive EnviroStars certification and are recognized as leaders in preventing hazardous waste and recycling solid waste. 

It is the first EnviroStars designation for the new Bremerton Marina, which opened in 2008, and an upgrade from a four-star EnviroStars rating for the Port Orchard Marina.

Both facilities are operated by the Port of Bremerton, and the port’s director of marine facilities said receiving the designation also meant educating boaters so that they comply with rules to keep the marinas clean. 

“The port takes great pride in partnering with our marina tenants, visiting boaters and the local community to promote environmental stewardship,” Steve Slaton said.

The Port Orchard Marina’s rating was improved following an update to a handout for boaters outlining rules for maintenance and sewage handling, Slaton said. The EnviroStars ratings place both marinas in the Clean Marina Washington program, an incentive-based certification program in which marinas monitor and improve their operations to help protect the environment.

Cheryl Kincer, president of the port’s board of commissioners, said, “These facilities add to the recreational opportunities for our citizens, are great economic development assets, and now set the most appropriate example in protecting the environment.”

Among other port marinas, Brownsville Marina, Bremerton Yacht Club and Eagle Harbor Marina also have five-star ratings, awarded in 2005.


Bremerton Port Seeks New Leader

Friday, February 20th, 2009

BREMERTON

The Port of Bremerton is looking for a new chief executive officer to replace Ken Attebery.

Commissioners announced Thursday that they are looking statewide as well as locally for a replacement. Attebery retired at the end of the year.

Commissioner Larry Stokes said he wants a candidate who has wide range of experience.

“The port commission is seeking a person (who) has a background in the private sector as well as the public sector,” Stokes said.

Commissioner Bill Mahan said the available position already has generated some interest, and that commissioners hope to have a replacement by April. Attebery earned about $120,000 annually. The salary of the new CEO will depend on experience, Mahan said. Meanwhile, the port’s chief operating officer, Tim Thomson, is filling in with duties. Attebery now is providing hourly consulting work for the port. Those interested can find out more at the port’s Web site, www.portofbremerton.org.


Who We Are In Kitsap ….

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Bloggers,

The following is from Kitsap County Health District report of public-helth indicators, released mid-2008. Use these to wow your friends. Rachel

 

RESIDENCE

69 percent of us live in unincorporated areas of the county.

 

RACE

82 percent of us are white

5 percent Asian

5 percent Hispanic or Latino

4 percent mixed

3 percent black

1 percent Native American

 

EDUCATION

In 2006, 65 percent of Kitsap residents aged 18 to 64 had more that a high-school education

81 percent of residents were graduated from high school

 

ECONOMY

9 percent of residents live in poverty

28 percent of grade-school students in free ore reduced lunch program

 

HEALTH CARE 

85 percent adults had health insurance in 2006

89 percent of kindergarten children had complete immunizations

39 percent of adults at a healthy weight 

77 percent of youth (10th grade) at a healthy weight

57 percent of adults engaging in recommended levels of exercise

38 percent of youth engaging in recommended levels of exercise

16 percent of adults report binge drinking (5 or more at a time) in past 30 days

30 percent of youth (grade 10) reporting using alcohol in past 30 days