Kitsap Business and Economy

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Archive for August, 2009

How Are You Feeling About Spending for Back to School?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I’m asking for a story I’m working on. National Retail Federation says we’re way, way down.

Rachel Pritchett
475-3783
rpritchett@kitsapsun.com


Kitsap Gas a Dollar More than in December

Monday, August 31st, 2009

The average price for a gallon of gas in Kitsap County rose to $2.89 Monday, up 16 cents from a month earlier and up about a dollar from last December.
The price of gas in Kitsap County on Monday was 28 center highe than the national average for a gallon of unleaded gas.
Nationally and locally, the price has generally been creeping up since last December. In Kitsap County, the price hovered around $2.85 a gallon.
Nationally on Monday, the state with the most expensive gas was Hawaii, where getting around cost about $3.32 a gallon.
The state with the cheapest gas was South Carolina, where it was $2.36 a gallon.


Would You Buy a Washing Machine if …

Monday, August 31st, 2009

You’d receive a rebate for as much as $200 off a higher efficiency major appliance? That’s what’s coming this fall. Give my your thoughts.

Rachel Pritchett, business writer
(360) 475-3783
rpritchett@kitsapsun.com


Monday Stocks Lower After Asia Sell-Off

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Now at 9,450, down 94 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors were trading cautiously on the last day of August following a big drop in Asian markets.
U.S. stock futures fell after China’s main index plunged 6.7 percent, adding to a nearly 3 percent drop on Friday. The selloff in Chinese shares has been fed by concerns over a tightening in bank lending that could hurt the country’s economy. That in turn has weighed on markets around the globe this month.
Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 0.4 percent after the country’s opposition party came to power in a landslide victory. European markets were also lower.
There is little economic news scheduled for Monday, but key readings come later this week on manufacturing and employment in August that have the ability to either sustain or upset the market’s massive six-month rally.
After rising more than 45 percent from 12-year lows in March, the Dow Jones industrial average stands less than 500 points away from 10,000. Investors have grown increasingly worried that the market may have gotten too far ahead of the economy. Without evidence of actual economic growth, analysts have warned that the market’s rally could fizzle in the coming weeks, especially as traders head into September, historically a rough month for the stock market.
“There’s enough jitteriness to set the stage for a decline,” said Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors. “The economic numbers could neutralize the nervousness, could put portfolio managers’ worries to rest.”
Ahead of the market’s open, Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 61, or 0.6 percent, to 9,475. Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures fell 6.80, or 0.7 percent, to 1,020.60, while Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 15, or 0.9 percent, to 1,627.50.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.46 percent from 3.45 percent late Friday.
The dollar was higher against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.
Oil prices lost $1.67 to $71.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Germany’s DAX index was down 0.8 percent, while France’s CAC-40 was down 0.7 percent in afternoon trading. The London Stock Exchange was closed for a public holiday.
In corporate news, oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said it will buy BJ Services Co. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $5.5 billion.
BJ Services shares shot up more than 11 percent in premarket trading, adding $1.74 to $17.17. Baker Hughes shares fell $1.34, or 3.5 percent, to $36.75.
Stocks are on track to have their best August since 2000, with the Dow and the S&P 500 up just over 4 percent for the month as of Friday. Most of the gains were made earlier this month as investors cheered improvements in consumer confidence and an upbeat assessment of the economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Last week, the major indexes all rose less than 0.5 percent amid light trading and little news.
Trading is expected to be relatively light this week as well, with many traders taking vacations. Light volume can skew the market’s movements. Still, there are a number of important readings on the economy that could sway the market one way or the other.
On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management will issue its assessment of the manufacturing industry during August. Economists are expecting ISM’s manufacturing index to come in at 50.1, up from 48.9 in July. A reading above 50 would indicate growth in manufacturing, something that hasn’t happened since January 2008.
The most important piece of data this week is the government’s monthly jobs report on Friday. Economists are expecting another 220,000 jobs were lost, down from 247,000 in July. Last month’s report showed an unexpected dip in the unemployment rate and investors are anxious to see if the rate continues to fall.
As unemployment spiked this year, Americans who lost their jobs or were worried about their job security dramatically cut back on their spending. If fewer jobs are being lost, consumers might start to feel comfortable spending again and help get the economy back on its feet.
August sales reports from major retailers this week will provide the latest insight into consumer spending.


Port Madison Enterprise Employees Hit the Books

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By Rachel Pritchett
rpritchett@kitsapsun.com
SUQUAMISH
Olympic College and Port Madison Enterprises are putting the final touches on a certificate program in tribal gaming management that represents a new level of collaboration between the two.
A few more instructors have to be hired and a few more lines added to the customized college-level curriculum before school starts Sept. 21.
Eighteen promising PME workers have been chosen to earn the new Tribal Enterprise Gaming Management certificate. Their tuition will be paid by PME while they earn 15 credits over a year on company time.
Classes will be held near the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, which PME manages.
Enrollment at present is only open to PME employees, but leaders say if the program’s successful, it could be opened to neighboring tribes. While some have asked, there is no current plan to open the course up to the public, however.
“We firmly believe in investing in our employees and our community,” Russell Steele, PME chief executive officer, said of the collaboration that’s been a year and a half in the making.
Wendy Miles, OC’s director of customized training, expressed similar enthusiasm.
“I think both parties are very excited about the opportunity,” she said.
What PME gets out of the deal are that its best employees become better ones, now equipped with a broader understanding of the tribal gaming management. The models they learn will equip them to work in casinos beyond the Clearwater Casino.
And PME boosts its stock of trained leaders in an industry that even in this recession continues to grow.
PME currently has 760 employees, according to Steele, making it among the top private employers in Kitsap County.
Students will take educational excursions into the history of tribal casino game, hospitality, human relations, financials and marketing. Instructors will come from the community and OC, and will include OC’s Jeff Yergler teaching human relations in the workplace.
The collaboration between a tribe and an institution of higher learning is becoming increasingly common. In the Northwest, similar partnerships are in place in with Everett and Tacoma community colleges and neighboring tribes, as well as with The Evergreen State College and Grays Harbor Community College.
The partnership between OC and PME started growing around 2006, when OC provided hospitality training for people who would work in PME’s new resort. One instructor ended up becoming head housekeeper at the resort, Steele said.
Everyone hopes the collaboration continues to grow.
“Both parties hope that we will launch another program in 2010,” Miles said.


Kitsap Business Briefs

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Transition Company
Now at La-Z-Boy’s
Silverdale Locale
SILVERDALE
A transition-management company is handing pending orders at the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries store in Silverdale.
A spokeswoman for La-Z-Boy said a previous franchise license for that store and several others in the Puget Sound region has been suspended.
The transition company is expediting customers’ orders as quickly as possible.
Kurt Darrow, chief executive officer of La-Z-Boy, said, “We apologize to those customers who continue to wait for furniture orders they placed with previous management. We have moved these orders to the front of the line in our manufacturing process and are committed to getting them completed as soon as possible.”
Customers have been contacted, according to a statement from the company.
The Silverdale store is at 3108 NW Randall Way.
Future ownership of the Silverdale store and the others in Issaquah, Tacoma, Tukwila and Lynwood has not yet been determined, according to the statement.
Bremerton Chamber
Plans Trip to Ireland
BREMERTON
The Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Eden Prairie, Minn., Chamber of Commerce for a unique trip to Ireland next March.
Anyone may travel with the group, however, members of local chambers of commerce and their guests receive a $100 per person discount.
An informational meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Chamber office, 286 Fourth St. in Bremerton.
While in Ireland, travelers will have the opportunity to meet with business people and civic leaders from the Killarney Chamber of Commerce. Arrangements are in progress for a meeting with Dublin Chamber representatives as well. The itinerary also includes plenty of sightseeing.
Travelers depart March 2, 2010, and return on March 11. They will visit Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Blarney Stone, Killarney, Limerick, Galway and the Cliffs of Moher. Interested travelers may also extend their trip to enjoy golfing in Ireland or visit other countries in Europe.
To reserve a space at the meeting or for more information about the trip, contact the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce at (360) 479-3579 or chamber@bremertonchamber.org.
Free Workshop
in Bremerton for
Small-Biz Owners
Bremerton
The Bremerton office of the state Department of Revenue is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 10 at the Sheridan Park Community Center, 680 Lebo Blvd. in Bremerton.
Participants will learn about Washington excise taxes, reporting classifications, deductions, tax incentives, sales tax collection and record-keeping requirements. All will receive a workbook and reference guide to Department of Revenue rules and regulations.
To register, visit the Department of Revenue Web site at www.dor.wa.gov or call (800) 647-7706. Space is limited.
A complete schedule of workshops statewide, and a short streaming video version of the workshop in English and Spanish, is available on the Web site.

On the Job
Bill Strunk has been named the new financial adviser with the Navy Federal Credit Union for Washington state. He will be based out of Silverdale and will service the Bremerton, Whidbey Island, Everett and McChord Air base branches. Strunk is a lifelong Washington resident, a Navy brat, a U.S. Army veteran of the Gulf War era, and a graduate of the University of Washington. He previously worked for two global financial firms, most recently Merrill Lynch. Reach him at (360) 337-9994 or toll-free at (877) 221-8108.
Tiffany Walton has been promoted to general manager of Olympic Peninsula Personnel Inc., which is celebrating 40 years of business in Kitsap County. It provides permanent and temporary employment services to the Kitsap and surrounding areas. Hours of operation are now 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reach her at (360) 479-4950 or e-mail her at info@olyjobs.com.
Calendar
Sept. 10
What: The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce will host Navy Capt. Mark Olson, commanding officer of Naval Base Kitsap, at its Sept. 10 membership luncheon. He will discuss the base, which is the third-largest in the Navy inventory with more than 45 real properties (land, buildings or facilities) encompassing more than 10,000 acres in Washington, Alaska, Idaho and British Columbia. The chamber also will present a new award: Hospital Corpsmen of the Quarter. The chamber’s Military Affairs Committee will benefit from the September raffle.
When: 11:30 a.m.
Place: Banquet room at McCormick Woods Clubhouse, 5155 McCormick Woods Drive SW in Port Orchard
Cost: $20 for members who prepay by Sept. 8; $22 for non-members
Reservations: Required; visit www.portorchard.com or call the Chamber office at (360) 876-3505 by 11 a.m. Sept. 8

Sept. 16
What: The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce will hold Oktoberfest, its annual fundraiser and installation banquet, Sept. 16. Following the installation of new chamber board members and officers, the previously sold-out show of Jeff and Rhiannon on Dueling Pianos will be presented. The South Kitsap Small Business of the Year and the 2009 Man and Woman of the Year awards will be presented. silent and dessert auctions also are planned for the evening and included in the ticket price.
When: 6 p.m. Sept. 16
Where: Banquet room, McCormick Woods Clubhouse, 5155 McCormick Woods Drive SW in Port Orchard.
Cost: $60 per person or $110 per couple. Silver VIP table sponsorships also are available for groups of 10 for $700, which includes dinner, Oktoberfest beer and beer steins, listing in the program and recognition from the stage and a choice of premier tale locations.
Sponsor: BJC Group Inc.
Tickets: Purchase online at www.portorchard.com, by calling the Chamber office at (360) 876-3505 or through Port Orchard Chamber board members.

Sept. 17
What: A program on how to bootstrap your business, stick your toe in the water to test a market or overcome the cost for your IT infrastructure is planned for Sept. 17 by the West Sound Technology Association. Learn about industry’s best practices and how open source products can revive old hardware to get you started with less expense. Presenters will include Chris Fisher and Brian Lunduke, producers of “The Linux Action Show,” an internationally renowned show focusing on open source best practices, and Brandon Fouts from Puget Sound Network Users Group.
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Poulsbo Branch of the Kitsap Regional Library, 700 NE Lincoln St. in Poulsbo
Cost: Free to West Sound Technology Association members; $10 for non-members
Registration: Required; go to wstpa.org
Info: Contact West Sound Technology Association, P.O. Box 1102, Silverdale, WA 98383
Kitsap Sun staff


Gardening Outback in Gorst

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By Rachel Pritchett
rpritchett@kitsapsun.com
GORST
It’s not a sight you see every day.
But there it is: A well-tended garden brimming with corn, beets, yellow squash and cukes right out back behind Peninsula Subaru and Suzuki in Gorst.
No, all these leafy vegetables aren’t here to help out the ailing auto industry. These vitamin-brimming carrots, peas and zucchini are headed to South Kitsap Helpline, to help feed the really poor.
Not surprising, it’s the only known community garden growing at a local auto dealership.
“We’re doing the right thing,” said Peninsula president and owner John Dionas.
He got the idea recently when he was in attending a Subaru of America meeting in New Jersey, spotted the corporate garden, and thought, “Why not here?”
The fenced, medium-sized garden sits on a grassy area on the shore of Sinclair Inlet. It’s impossible to see from the highway.
Called “Peninsula’s Love
Garden,” the new garden is a delight to customers and staffers who wander out from the showroom to find themselves in an
oasis amid the constant stream of rumbling trucks, fumes and down-home businesses that is Gorst.
It’s tended by two or three Peninsula employees, headed by Carol Clinefelter.
“It creates good morale with the company,” Dionas said.
Employees have been harvesting for a couple weeks now, and believe there’s still time for more planting.
It’s going to be permanent, said Dionas, who’s also active in charity in the Gig Harbor area, where he lives.
“We’ll do it every year.”


Friday Stocks Search for Direction

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Now at 9,520, down 60 points

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are searching for direction as investors hesitate to extend the market’s recent rally despite an improved outlook from Intel.
Technology stocks are slightly higher after the world’s largest maker of computer chips raised the top end of its sales forecast.
The Intel news failed to spur other sectors higher, however, and the broader market reverted to the back-and-forth pattern that has defined trading for much of the past week.
Investors are worried that after sending stocks up more than 45 percent since early March, the market’s rally may have run its course.
At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average is down 37 at 9,543. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 1 at 1,029, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index is up 5 at 2,033.


Paddling North to Port Gamble

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

By Rachel Pritchett
rpritchett@kitsapsun.com
POULSBO
Olympic Outdoor Center, a fixture in downtown Poulsbo for the past two decades, is moving to Port Gamble.
The kayak-rental business will move into the old fire hall in the historic sawmill town.
“It opens up a lot of opportunities for us,” said OOC owner and founder John Kuntz.
Among those are paddling excursions in Port Gamble Bay and Hood Canal, including overnight stays at parks that dot the canal. Paddling there is a notch up over paddling alongside Liberty Bay’s protected shoreline, he said.
“Port Gamble is a totally different place to paddle than Poulsbo is,” he said.
So that visitors are ready for the new challenge, OOC plans to boost its array of paddling classes, trips and events.
OOC will close its Poulsbo store Sept. 21, and open its Port Gamble store on Sept. 26. It will continue to keep some kayaks at its Poulsbo dock.
The move also allows OOC to work toward becoming a regional kayaking center. Kuntz is planning a major paddling expo next May that will spread into the town’s new Hood Canal Vista Pavilion and down onto the flats. Visitors will stay in tents, something that wasn’t possible in Poulsbo. He believes OOC’s new Northwest Paddle Sports Expo will draw visitors from all over the Northwest.
“Those opportunities make themselves available when you go to a bigger place,” he said.
And someday, perhaps OOC can grow its new location to include a water sports park and training facility, Kuntz said.
“The possibilities are there.”
The move falls in line with a desire of the manager of Port Gamble, Olympic Property Group, to retool the town a bit to draw more tourist action than it has in the past. Since it opened in July, the new pavilion has hosted a steady flow of weddings and other events.
More fairs and special weekend events have come to Port Gamble in recent years, as well.
“We plan on being a big part of that,” Kuntz said.
The building where OOC is located now is for sale, spurring Kuntz’s decision to head north, he said.


Olympic Outdoor Center Moving to Port Gamble

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The popular Poulsbo boat-rental outfit will relocate into Port Gamble’s historic fire house. Look for my story soon.

Rachel Pritchett