Monthly Archives: March 2009

Realtors Say Stop to SEED

By Steven Gardner

Mike Eliason, association executive, said the statement will not so much be against the overall project as much as it is a statement about the economy and the number of vacancies in the county.

Eliason said commercial vacancies are above 10 percent and industrial properties are seeing vacancies even higher. Adding more industrial property, he said, could harm the overall market.

Kitsap SEED is designed to be a business park for clean-technology companies. The first phase is to include an incubator for start-up clean-tech businesses.

Bill Mahan, port commissioner, said the incubator building would not compete with traditional commercial real estate, because it’s “designed for businesses moving from garages to the next stage of development.”

Wednesday Stocks Up 39 as Rally Goes On

Now at 6,966. Rachel

NEW YORK (AP) — Financial firms are continuing to rally amid hope for additional government support and as an analyst upgrades two major banks.

Wednesday’s rally comes a day after banks surged. On Tuesday, Citigroup’s chief executive said the beleaguered bank operated at a profit in January and February.

The KBW Bank Index jumped nearly 5 percent, after surging nearly 16 percent Tuesday.

One analyst says the government has signaled in recent days it might relax accounting rules that have forced banks to takes hundreds of billions of dollars in write-downs since the middle of 2007.

Another analyst on Wednesday upgraded his ratings on Morgan Stanley and U.S. Bancorp. Each banks’ shares jumped more than 10 percent.

Time to Dust Off Those Resumes

By Angela Lu

alu@kitsapsun.com

SILVERDALE

Dressed in a suit, Matt Hogg walked into the FedEx Office in Silverdale on Tuesday to print copies of his resume for free.

Formerly the regional manager at Moneytree, the 42-year-old has been back on the job hunt since the beginning of the year, and he was grateful for FedEx Office’s Free Resume Printing Day.

“I think it’s fantastic what they’re doing,” Hogg said. “Anything to help with the job search is great.”

Dallas-based FedEx Office, formerly known as FedEx Kinko’s, offered customers up to 25 free black-and-white copies of their resumes at each of their more than 1,600 stores all over the nation. They even let customers pick which resume-quality paper they wanted.  

The event was in response to millions who are out of work across the nation. There were more than 3,800 unemployed in Kitsap County in January, according to the latest economic indicators released by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance. The county’s unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in January. 

“We know it’s a tough time for customers and we wanted help,” said Sonya Thorpe, spokeswoman of FedEx Office. “People need us more than ever.”

Workers at the Silverdale FedEx said they had a lower turnout than they had expected by Tuesday afternoon, but there were still a trickle of people coming in who had heard about the offer through various media outlets.

Aleta Nims, 33, brought her 20-month-old son with her as she printed resumes. She has been looking for a position as a mental health counselor for the past three months, and she sends out about three resumes a week. Although many job applications are now filed online, she still appreciates the help.

“It’s just nice the fact that they are offering this service,” Nims said.

Hogg said that he often submits his resumes online, but he still hands paper copies of his resume to potential employers when he meets them for interviews.

The free resume printing will help Hogg save money on printer toner and resume paper, which can get expensive.

“It may not seem like such a great deal, but everything adds up,” said Hogg.

Dow Skyrockets, and That’s a Relative Term, 379 Points

Who would have ever thought we’d cheer at this level? Rachel

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street has had its best day of the year, storming higher after some good news from Citigroup.

Citigroup Inc. says it operated at a profit during the first two months of the year. That energized financial stocks and in turn, the entire stock market.

However, many analysts are still cautious — noting that Wall Street has seen many blips higher since the credit crisis and recession began. And no one is confident this advance will hold.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 379 at 6,926. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up 43 at 720. The Nasdaq composite index is up 90 at 1,358.

More than 15 stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 2.17 billion shares.

Recession On Track to be Longest Since WWII

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factory jobs disappeared. Inflation soared. Unemployment climbed to alarming levels. The hungry lined up at soup kitchens.

It wasn’t the Great Depression. It was the 1981-82 recession, widely considered America’s worst since the depression.

That painful time during Ronald Reagan’s presidency is a grim marker of how bad things can get. Yet the current recession could slice deeper into the U.S. economy.

If it lasts into April — as it almost surely will — this one will go on record as the longest in the postwar era. The 1981-82 and 1973-75 recessions each lasted 16 months.

Unemployment hasn’t reached 1982 levels and the gross domestic product hasn’t fallen quite as far. But the hurt from this recession is spread more widely and uncertainty about the country’s economic health is worse today than it was in 1982.

Back then, if someone asked if the nation was about to experience something as bad as the Great Depression, the answer was, “Quite clearly, `No,”’ said Murray Weidenbaum, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan White House.

“You don’t have that certainty today,” he said. “It’s not only that the downturn is sharp and widespread, but a lot of people worry that it’s going to be a long-lasting, substantial downturn.”

For months, headlines have compared this recession with the one that began in July 1981 and ended in November 1982.

—In January, reports showed 207,000 manufacturing jobs vanished in the largest one-month drop since October 1982.

—Major automakers’ U.S. sales extended their deep slump in February, putting the industry on track for its worst sales month in more than 27 years.

—Struggling homebuilders have just completed the worst year for new home sales since 1982.

—There are 12.5 million people out of work today, topping the number of jobless in 1982.

“I think most people think it is worse than 1982,” said John Steele Gordon, a financial historian. “I don’t think many people think it will be 1932 again. Let us pray. But it’s probably going to be the worst postwar recession, certainly.”

The 1982 downturn was driven primarily by the desire to rid the economy of inflation. To battle a decade-long bout of high inflation, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, now an economic adviser to President Barack Obama, pushed interest rates up to levels not seen since the Civil War. The approach tamed inflation, but not without suffering.

Hardest hit was the industrial Midwest; the Pacific Northwest, where the logging industry lagged from construction declines; and some states in the South, where the recession hit late.

Frustrated workers fled to the Sunbelt to find work. In Michigan, which led the nation in jobless workers, newspapers offered idled auto workers free “job wanted” ads in the classified section. Mortgages carried double-digit interest rates. When the 1982 recession ended, the national jobless rate had hit 10.8 percent.

Just like today, that recession led to political finger-pointing.

When the government reported a 10.1 percent jobless rate for September 1982, organized labor rallied across the street from the White House. A few protesters chained themselves to an entrance at the Labor Department. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called it a national tragedy and blamed Democrats. Democrats called it a national tragedy and blamed Reagan.

Even months after the recession officially ended, Reagan was greeted in Pittsburgh by signs that said: “We want jobs, Mr. Hoover” and “Reagan says his economic program is working — are you?” President Herbert Hoover’s term is forever linked in history with the Great Depression.

Those not as badly hurt have fuzzy memories of the 1981-82 recession.

Not Jim O’Connor of Pekin, Ill., who was president of United Auto Workers Local 974 when Caterpillar Tractor Co. was laying off workers in Peoria in the 1980s.

Maybe time has soothed the sting O’Connor felt, but he contends the economic problems facing workers today are worse than during the recession he survived nearly three decades ago.

“The days of walking out of one factory and walking into another one down the street are over,” O’Connor said. He retired from Caterpillar in 2001 but thinks he might find part-time job to help pay his health insurance.

“When I hired in at Caterpillar in 1968, we had numerous factories here. Almost all of that has left the country or moved South. The unions don’t have any leverage anymore at the bargaining table. So these young people (today) aren’t only out of work, you know. They weren’t making a living wage when they lost their job,” he said.

Like Reagan did then, Obama is dishing up hope. Trouble is, people can’t visualize any reward they might get from making it through this recession, said William Niskanen, an economic adviser to Reagan.

There’s little hope of any gain from the pain. Falling housing and stock prices have undermined household wealth. People are worried about losing their jobs, their homes and their retirement savings all at a time when health care is weighing down income.

“In the 1980s, it was clear to people that the inflation rate was going to come way down and it did,” Niskanen said. “There was a sense that we were going through a tough time for a while as a price of getting inflation down and that things would come back up. Today, they can’t see any gain from what’s going on.”

Consumer confidence is in free fall. Banks are in peril. The overall economy, as measured by the GDP, shrank at a 6.2 percent annual rate in final three months of last year, the worst drop since the first quarter of 1982. The unemployment rate, at 8.1 percent in February, hasn’t reached the 10.8 percent reported in November 1982, but the recession is not over.

It’s not only blue-collar workers who are feeling the greatest anguish. Americans who are trapped in houses worth less than their mortgages are suffering. So, too, are people whose personal wealth is tied to the stock market. Personal wealth is dwindling in the U.S., and the effects of the financial meltdown have been felt around the world.

“This recession is broader, deeper and more complicated than virtually anything we have ever seen,” Wachovia Corp. economist Mark Vitner said. “The whole evolution of the credit markets resulted in all sorts of complex financial instruments that are difficult to unwind. It’s like trying to unscramble scrambled eggs. It just can’t be done that easily. I don’t know if it can be done at all.”

He said he sees fear in the eyes of his clients.

“I’ve had people come up and hug me after a presentation, which is unusual,” he said. “I haven’t told them anything about how it’s going to be better, but they just feel better having a better understanding of what’s happening.”

More Bad News from Newspapers, This Time From McClatchy

The P-I’s last print edition will come soon, possibly even as soon as tomorrow. Get your collector’s edition. Rachel

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — McClatchy Co. is shearing another 1,600 jobs in a cost-cutting spree that has clipped nearly one-third of the newspaper publisher’s work force in less than a year.

The latest reduction in payroll announced Monday follows through on the Sacramento-based company’s previously disclosed plans to lower its expenses by as much as $110 million over the next year as its revenue evaporates amid a devastating recession.

The layoffs will start before April. Several of McClatchy’s 30 daily newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee and The Kansas City (Mo.) Star, already have decided how many workers will be shown the door.

After the latest purge, McClatchy will have saved at least $300 million annually, with management now confident it will exceed the $110 million target set for the latest cuts, although the company didn’t specify by how much.

The savings are accumulating mostly through the elimination of 4,150 jobs, or more than 30 percent of McClatchy’s work force, since June. The Sacramento-based company will end up with the equivalent of about 9,200 full-time workers.

Paying severance and other benefits in the latest round of layoffs will cost McClatchy $30 million.

Besides jettisoning jobs, McClatchy is also lowering the wages of many employees, including its chief executive, Gary Pruitt, whose salary is being trimmed by 15 percent. Labor leaders representing workers at The Sacramento Bee had sought an even bigger reduction that would have capped Pruitt’s salary at $500,000 this year. Pruitt received a $1.1 million salary in 2007, the most recent year his pay has been disclosed.

“I’m sorry we have to take these actions, but we believe they are necessary,” Pruitt said.

The downturn in McClatchy’s fortunes has been compounded by about $2 billion in debt, most of which was taken on to finance the company’s $4.6 billion acquisition of Knight Ridder Inc. in June 2006.

The newspaper industry began to suffer from declining ad revenue about the time that deal was completed. Classified ads have shifted to the Internet in recent years, and the recession has been siphoning away more revenue in all ad categories since last summer.

Investors have largely abandoned the company’s stock. The shares declined 18 cents Monday to close at just 41 cents. The stock has plummeted by nearly $40 since the Knight Ridder acquisition was completed.

The adversity has driven McClatchy to pursue a bare-bones strategy that’s likely to make online news coverage the top priority for its smaller newspaper staffs, said industry analyst Ken Doctor of Outsell Inc.

“They will try to milk the print product for as long as they can, but they are clearly shifting to more of a hybrid model as they restructure the work force on the fly,” he said.

The Internet accounted for about 12 percent of McClatchy’s revenue last year, up from about 9 percent in 2007.

Despite the progress, McClatchy — like other major newspaper publishers — still hasn’t been able to plumb the Internet for enough revenue to make up for what’s been lost on the print side.

McClatchy’s overall revenue plunged by $343 million, or 18 percent, last year.

Management is allowing its individual newspapers determine the best way to achieve the company’s savings targets.

The Kansas City Star is lopping 150 jobs, mirroring the company’s overall 15 percent reduction in work force.

The flagship Sacramento Bee is trimming 11 percent of its work force, or 128 jobs, and wringing other savings through wage cuts of up to 6 percent and possible unpaid furloughs of one week. Newsroom workers saved 19 jobs by making those concessions.

Similar job-saving pay cuts are coming up for a vote at two other McClatchy newspapers in California, The Modesto Bee and The Fresno Bee. The vote at the Modesto newspaper was scheduled Monday evening and the Fresno newspaper workers were to cast their ballots Tuesday.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas and The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, S.C. are among the other McClatchy newspapers that have already disclosed their job cuts.

Kitsap Gas at $2.16 Tuesday as Oil Prices Rise

Kitsap’s current prices for unleaded reg is three cents more than a month ago, but way down from the $3.50 that was the price at the pump a year ago. Rachel

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Crude prices rose for the third straight day alongside Wall Street with oil traders awaiting the release of key data Tuesday that may provide a clearer picture of energy demand.

Oil also benefited from remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who told the Council on Foreign Relations that the U.S. recession could end this year if the government is successful in getting financial markets to operate more normally. The recession, now in its second year and already the longest in a quarter-century, has turned out to be more severe than the Fed had anticipated, he acknowledged in fielding questions after his speech.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 66 cents to $47.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after closing at a two-month high Monday. Oil prices gained $1.55 on Monday to settle at $47.07.

In London, Brent prices rose $1.38 to $45.51 on the ICE Futures exchange.

“Today, we can be optimistic about potential demand in the future,” said Phil Flynn of Alaron Trading Corp.

The Energy Information Administration releases its monthly short-term energy outlook later Tuesday, and that is followed by U.S. crude inventory expectations by the American Petroleum Institute.

Analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., expect that the government will report that inventories of both crude and gasoline declined last week.

“Assuming crude imports steadied out at about 9 million barrels per day with no change in refinery inputs, there will likely be another drop in commercial crude stocks,” said Linda Rafield, Platts senior oil analyst.

On Wednesday, the Paris-based International Energy Agency will release its forecast for global demand.

If forecasts for oil demand are weak, “That may dampen some of the enthusiasm we’ve seen the past couple of days,” Flynn said and could serve as a “reminder what we’re not out of the muck just yet.”

Oil also benefited from a strong rally that pushed the Dow Jones industrial average, which closed Monday at its lowest level since the spring of 1997, up nearly 4 percent in trading Tuesday morning.

Traders are watching to see whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which produces 40 percent of the world’s crude, cuts output quotas at its next meeting on Sunday in Vienna.

Investors believe OPEC could announce fresh production cuts of between 500,000 and 1 million barrels a day, said Clarence Chu, a trader with market maker Hudson Capital Energy in Singapore.

“If the cut exceeds expectations, there would be a short-term pop in prices,” Chu said. “But it will take months for the cut to affect supplies in the U.S. It’s not an overnight thing.”

Prices at the pump, meanwhile, fell 0.4 cents overnight to $1.941 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Prices are now 2 cents higher than a month ago, but $1.281 lower than a year ago.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline for April delivery rose 2 cents to $1.3546 a gallon, while heating oil rose 4.27 cents to $1.2581 a gallon. Natural gas for April delivery rose 4 cents to $3.905 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Tuesday Stox Shoot Up On Citigroup Profit News

Up 253 this morning, to 6,800. Rachel

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street got some good news from Citigroup, and responded with a huge rally.

Led by financial stocks, the market made its first big move upward in weeks Tuesday after Citigroup Inc. said it had operated at a profit during the first two months of the year. All the major indexes soared more than 3.5 percent, and the Dow Jones industrials shot up more than 250 points.

Still, while word of Citi’s performance at least temporarily broke a months-long torrent of bad news from the banking industry, analysts weren’t ready to say the stock market was at a turning point and about to barrel higher.

In a letter sent to employees Monday, Citi Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said the bank had an operating profit of $8.3 billion before taxes and special items through February — its best performance since the third quarter of 2007.

Pandit declined to say how large credit losses and other one-time items have been that would at least partially offset profit.

Citi shares jumped more than 23 percent while Bank of America Corp. was up more than 25 percent. Other banking stocks were also sharply higher.

Financial stocks have been a primary driver in a market collapse that has left the major indexes at their lowest point in more than a decade. Every report of loan losses and asset writedowns have sent banking stocks to incredible lows — Citi fell below $1 a share last week. And fears that hundreds of billions of dollars in government bailouts wouldn’t be enough to save the big banks exacerbated the fears on the Street.

Ben Halliburton, chief investment officer of Tradition Capital Management warned that the advance was likely just another bear market rally. Short-lived rallies are common during periods of extended declines as the market searches for a bottom.

“I would be surprised to see us trade back over 800 in the near term,” he said, referring to the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. “The news coming out on the economic front will continue to be rather gloomy.”

Halliburton also suggested that the market’s gains, especially among financial stocks, could be attributed to short covering, an investment strategy that tends to drive rallies in volatile markets. Short-sellers are traders who sell borrowed stock and then buy it back later on the hopes that the price will fall. If they believe a stock will be going up, they have to “cover” their positions, or buy shares to repay the loan.

But investors were further encouraged by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who called for a revamp of the country’s financial regulatory system. Speaking before the Council of Foreign Relations, Bernanke said “too big to fail” companies must be subject to more rigorous supervision to prevent them from taking on excessive risk. Bernanke’s remarks come as the Obama administration and Congress begin to devise their overhaul strategies.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 259.02, or 4 percent, to 6,806.07. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 29.62, or 4.4 percent, to 706.15, while the Nasdaq composite rose 62.04, or 4.9 percent, to 1,330.68.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 19.23, or 5.6 percent, to 362.49.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by more than 13 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 485.1 million shares.

Also Tuesday, the Commerce Department said wholesale inventories declined 0.7 percent in January, versus a 1.4 percent decline in December. This was better than the 1 percent drop economists had expected.

The market looked past news of more job cuts, which has been a particular sore spot for investors.

United Technologies Corp. said it plans to cut 11,600 jobs. The owner Pratt & Whitney jet engines also lowered its 2009 profit forecast because of an anticipated decline in revenue.

There was also more merger and acquisition news.

Late Monday, Dow Chemical signaled it would go through with a reworked deal to buy specialty chemicals maker Rohm & Haas for $15 billion. The revised deal limits the amount of debt the company will take on. The original deal, Dow said, would have been disastrous for the company, which has been forced to slash thousands of jobs as it weathers the recession.

Meanwhile, Genentech is reportedly close to striking a deal for a $95-per-share sale to Switzerland’s Roche, the company’s cancer drug partner. Investors, however, were largely unimpressed with Merck’s $41 billion offer to buy fellow drugmaker Schering-Plough on Monday. A combination between the two companies had long been speculated. Still, news of big acquisitions normally moves the market in better economic times.

Bond prices were mixed early Tuesday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, jumped to 2.97 percent from 2.88 percent late Monday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, was unchanged from late Monday at 0.23 percent.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 60 cents to $47.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Overseas, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 3.08 percent. Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 0.44 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 2.85 percent, Germany’s DAX index was up 3.64 percent, and France’s CAC-40 was up 3.17 percent.

Kitsap Business Briefs

Abiding Homecare 

Earns Recognition

SILVERDALE

For the second year in a row, Abiding Homecare has been recognized by Pinnacle Consulting as Best in Class, improving on its performance over last year. The private duty home care agency was “quality certified” in every category evaluated by Pinnacle Consulting.

Categories include overall quality of service, knowledge of staff, accessibility of staff, communication from agency, timeliness of visits, response to problems, and courtesy and friendliness.

Pinnacle Consulting has been giving the home-care service monthly feedback and comparisons regarding the satisfaction levels of its customers for the past two years. It surveys hundreds of home and health care clients across the country, contacting thousands of home-care customers and their families. An agency that consistently ranks in the top 90 percent of all their clients is recognized as “quality certified.”

Visitor Bureau to
Move to Silverdale  

SILVERDALE

The Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau is moving to Silverdale in mid-March to reduce costs and to be in a more central location. 

The bureau’s new address will be 9481 Silverdale Way, Suite 203A.

The move from its current Port Gamble location will reduce the bureau’s occupancy costs by half, according to a statement it issued. The move will take place March 15.

Upgrades in technology will also be part of the move. The new location will also allow staff to spend more time working in the community. 

The visitor center in Port Gamble is being turned over to a store. 

Contact the bureau at (800) 337-0580.

Belfair Animal
Hospital Gets
Certification

BELFAIR 

The Belfair Animal Hospital has been certified by the American Animal Hospital Association for another three years, the third time it has received this certification.

The AAHA requires clinics to pass rigorous inspection of facilities for cleanliness, lab capability and surgical equipment. Advanced staff and doctor continuing education and credentials as well as various practice protocols also are part of the inspection. 

Only 15 percent of the nation’s veterinary clinics are AAHA approved.

Chiropractic Clinic
Adds New Doctor

MANETTE

Smith Chiropractic, 1100 Wheaton Way, Suite B in Bremerton, has hired chiropractor Forrest Hartford for practice in its Manette office. He is a graduate of Western States Chiropractic College, where he was class valedictorian.

Before attending the college, he played baseball at the University of Puget Sound, where he majored in exercise science. Both practitioners at Smith Chiropractic specialize in active release techniques.

Vendor Sign-ups
Ready for Military
Appreciation Day

SILVERDALE

Vendor registration forms are now available for the annual Military Appreciation Day, hosted by the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, April 4 at the Kitsap Sun Pavilion, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

This annual salute to the men and women of the Armed Services is a chance for businesses and organizations to show their appreciation through offering significant discounts on products and services. 

Along with the commercial booths, there will be interactive displays and demonstrations showcasing the missions of various local military commands. 

Service members and their families are also eligible to win gifts donated by local merchants.

Vendor registration forms are available online at www.silverdalechamber.com. For more information contact the chamber office at (360) 692-6800.

Bank to Celebrate
10th Anniversary

BREMERTON 

Westsound Bank, the operating subsidiary of WSB Financial Group, will mark its 10th anniversary Thursday with festivities in all nine branch locations. There will be giveaways, prizes and refreshments.

On the Job

Jim Kinas, June Moore, Michael Ley, Sandy Elijah, Shiree Burbank, Wendy Crenshaw, Gary Payseno, Ellie Renne and Samantha La Deaux of Coldwell Banker Park Shore Real Estate in Port Orchard were recognized recently for their sales and support efforts.

Production award recipients included Kinas, Moore, Ley, Elijah, Burbank and Crenshaw. Burbank was also recognized as the company’s top sales associate. Crenshaw earned the company’s top listing associate and top overall sales associate awards. Payseno received the most valuable player award for his community involvement with the Relay for Life fundraiser, Scramble for the Cure and his overall support and encouragement within the office. Renne was named rookie of the year and La Deaux received the “most inspirational” award.

Master at Arms Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Mroczek, Missile Tech Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Hahn, Storekeeper Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Hoover and Lance Cpl. Bobby Read were recognized by the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce as sailors and Marines of the quarter. The Chamber also presented Marine Security Force Bangor’s Sgt. Maj. Brent Cook with the Board of Directors’ Award of Appreciation for his efforts in supporting the organization and the community through his very strong partnership with the organization.

At Westsound Bank, Ronnie Colburn-Currier, senior vice president; Gayle Cokelet, Bremerton client service representative and vice president; and Tracy Pelley, controller, were recognized on their 10th anniversaries with the Bremerton-based bank.

Calendar

March 11

What: The Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce will host Scott W. Bosch, president and CEO of Harrison Medical Center, at the monthly luncheon. He will discuss Harrison’s plans for expansion and job opportunities, especially in the Poulsbo area.

When: 11:30 a.m. networking, noon luncheon.

Where: Kiana Lodge, 14976 Sandy Hook Road NE in Suquamish.

Reservations: E-mail admin@poulsbochamber.com.

 

March 14

What: A free homebuyers class will focus on the process of home buying and the available tax credit for the first-time homebuyers. The local housing market will be discussed.

When: 10 a.m. to noon.

Where: Kitsap County Fairgrounds Events Center, 1200 Fairgrounds Road.

For More Information: Call (877) 212-1465, Ext. 13 or e-mail Info@NWHomepartners.com.

March 19

What: Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce will have an after hours to provide an opportunity for networking.

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: Well Being Health Center, 19337 Jensen Way, and Jak’s Cafe, 19355 Jensen Way, in Poulsbo.

 

March 20

What: Scott Bosch, president and CEO of Harrison Medical Center, will discuss “Kitsap Health Care During Uncertain Times” at the annual meeting of the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance. There also will be reports on 2008 economic development activity and a review of KEDA’s 2009 initiatives by Executive Director Bill Stewart. David Mitchell, president of Olympic College, will update the group on the establishment of a university center on the Kitsap Peninsula, and Poulsbo City Councilman Ed Stern will report on progress with broadband deployment and telework. There also will be an election of board members.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Kitsap Golf & Country Club, 3885 NW Golf Club Hill Road in Bremerton.

Cost: $25 for members; $30 for non-members.

Registration: Visit www.kitsapeda.org or call Becky Newton at (360) 377-9499.

 

 

March 26

What: Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce will hold a networking breakfast for business people to mix and exchange information. Becky Dolan will discuss the Hood Canal bridge Project. 

When: 7:30 a.m.

Where: Jak’s Cafe, 19355 Jensen Way in Poulsbo.

 

March 17

What: Stuart Elway, president, Elway Research, will be guest speaker at the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce general membership luncheon, open to the public. Washington State’s premier survey organization, Elway Research, has taken the pulse of Washingtonians for nearly 35 years. It conducts polls for product research, community relations and other business reasons and is best known for their work with public opinion polls on elections and hot-button issues.

When: 11:30 a.m.

Where: West Sound Technical Skills Center, 101 National Ave. in Bremerton.

Cost: $20, $17 if paid by March 10 deadline.

Reservations: Required by March 10; Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Call the chamber at (360) 479-3579 or e-mail chamber@bremertonchamber.org

 

March 18

What: Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce will host a program, “Tourism on Bainbridge Island: Where It’s Been and Where It’s Going” and a panel discussion. It is open to the public.

When: 11:30 a.m.

Where: Wing Point Golf & Country Club, 811 Cherry Ave. NE on Bainbridge Island.

Time: 11:30 a.m.

Cost: $15.

Reservations: Call (206) 842-3700.

 

March 26

What: The Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce will hold its March after-hours. Nosh on goodies and network with business friends and associates. It is open to the public.

When: 5:30 to 7 p.m. 

Where: Island Spa Lounge, 115 Hall Brothers, Suite 102 in downtown Winslow.

Cost: Free.

Kitsap Sun staff

Planners Reveal Vision for Waaga Way Town Center

By Brynn Grimley

Bgrimley@kitsapsun.com

SILVERDALE

After 18 months of planning, the county is nearing the end of its work on the area it is now calling the Waaga Way Town Center.

At the direction of county commissioners, special projects planners Angie Silva and Eric Baker created a vision for 450 acres of commercially zoned land.

The vision includes the road design and placement of three roads connecting commercial development to the Waaga Way extension road currently under construction.

Commissioners have gone back and forth on road designs and whether the northern road should connect through to Old Frontier Road at Westgate Road. Commissioners will make a final decision on road placements later this month.

After vetting the project through the Planning Commission twice, the board reviewed its suggestions Monday. 

Recommendations included building the connector roads with two lanes and sidewalks on both sides. Private developers would pay for their development.

The county could eventually add a bike lane. 

Because the bike lane would be built using taxpayer money, North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer suggested a combined pedestrian-bike lane be created along one side of the road to keep costs down.

Planning commissioners also made changes to the proposed design standards for the area.

The vision is to create a pedestrian-friendly shopping center where people would park and be able to walk between stores without having to return to their car to drive to another store in the same complex, Baker said.

The varying developments would not resemble a strip mall, but instead have altering storefronts.

To achieve its vision, the county has included language in its Silverdale Design Standards for the Waaga Way Town Center. 

The standards would require landscaped pedestrian walkways between parking stalls, and connecting walkways between buildings.

They also include language that guides building aesthetics including varying roof heights, the appearance of storefronts, building setbacks, and the maximum building size allowable.

Initially the county proposed limiting building size to no more than 100,000 square feet. Planning commissioners changed the size to no larger than 125,000 square feet.

Bauer told Baker he was less concerned with building size and more concerned with appearance.

Having the standards in place ensures the buildings will be developed in a similar fashion, even though different developers will be responsible for building them.

County commissioners are scheduled to review the planning commission’s final recommendations during a public hearing March 23.