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Archive for September, 2009

Kitsap Gas Prices Continue Slow Slip

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Bloggers,

It got very, very close to $3 for a gallon of unleaded regular in Kitsap a couple weeks ago. Since then, the average price for a gallon of unleaded slipped and today was at $2.87.

Here’s an explainer why. Rachel

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices climbed more than 5 percent, surpassing $70 a barrel Wednesday after a government report said the nation’s gasoline supply dropped unexpectedly and demand increased from last year.
Benchmark crude for November delivery added $3.39 to $70.10 a barrel in late trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude rose $3.06 to $68.55 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
The Energy Information Administration put U.S. gasoline stockpiles at 211.5 million barrels last week, a drop of 0.8 percent from the prior week. It also said demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Sept. 25 was 5.4 percent higher than last year.
The price of oil, which is used to make gasoline, rose as investors placed some final bets on the last day of the quarter. Crude prices have waffled between $59 and $75 during the past three months, but equities markets surged during the quarter as investors became increasingly confident that the economy was healing.
Despite the drop last week, gasoline supplies are still considered to be well above normal. They’re nearly 11 percent higher than they were last year, and much of last week’s drop came as many U.S. refiners cut back on their operations.
Petroleum supplies have been growing most of the year as trucking companies shipped fewer goods, and a growing number of unemployed workers kept their cars out of the morning commute.
“There’s nothing inspiring about oil demand right now,” said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service.
Crude supplies grew more than expected last week, according to the government report, and they’ve now swelled to 11.4 percent above what they were last year.
It’s unclear when Americans will regain their appetite for petroleum.
Though Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recession is “very likely over,” the unemployment rate is still expected to top 10 percent this year, forcing the economy to recover at a sluggish pace.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the economy shrank in the spring at a pace of 0.7 percent, which was not as bad as analysts had expected. But the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index showed that the Midwestern manufacturing sector was weaker than expected.
At the pump, retail gas prices fell by less than a penny overnight to a new national average of $2.479 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. A gallon of regular gas is 13.1 cents cheaper than last month and $1.154 less than in the same period last year.
In other Nymex trading, gasoline for October delivery rose 9.04 cents to $1.7185 a gallon, and heating oil advanced 9.19 cents to $1.7925 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 4.7 cents at $4.828 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Wednesday Stocks Rebound from Slide on Manufacturing Data

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Dow now at 9,762, up 20 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors shook off their disappointment with a weak regional economic report Wednesday and resumed buying stocks on the final day of a stellar quarter.
The Dow Jones industrials initially fell more than 100 points after the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index came in weaker than expected. But by early afternoon, buyers emerged and lifted stocks, sending the Dow up about 20.
It was fitting that on the last day of the quarter, the market followed a pattern seen throughout this year’s rally. When bad news hits the market, reminding investors of the economy’s fragility, stocks slide. But within a few days, or even the same day, they start to recover as investors seem to grab hold of the fact that no one expects the recovery, or stocks, to have an unbroken path upward.
The Chicago PMI fell to 46.1 in September rather than rising to the 52 that economists expected. The index, considered a precursor to the national Institute for Supply Management index to be released on Thursday, pointed to a Midwestern manufacturing industry than is weaker than had been expected.
The market had more encouraging news earlier, an upward revision in the Commerce Department’s reading for the second-quarter gross domestic product. The government said the GDP, the broadest measure of the economy, sank at a pace of just 0.7 percent in the spring. The new reading was better than the annualized 1.1 percent drop that economists were predicting.
But the Chicago PMI data were fresher, and therefore more troubling, than the GDP. And it reminded investors that the economy still has major obstacles to be overcome before a solid recovery can occur.
In early afternoon trading, the Dow rose 19.96, or 0.2 percent, to 9,762.16. The index had been down nearly 134 points at its low of the day.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.60, or 0.3 percent, to 1,063.21. The Nasdaq composite index rose 12.67, or 0.6 percent, to 2,136.71.
Advancing stocks narrowly outpaced those that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 652.9 million shares compared with 562.3 million shares traded at the same point Tuesday.
The market was uneasy ahead of Friday’s September employment report from the Labor Department.
A snapshot Wednesday on employment showed some modest improvement in the labor market. The ADP National Employment Report found that private sector employment fell by 254,000 in September following a revised loss of 277,000 jobs in August. It was the fewest jobs lost since July 2008.
Traders are waiting to see whether there will be a significant drop in the number of jobs cut nationwide during September. Investors also are concerned about the unemployment rate. Economists predict the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September from 9.7 percent a month earlier.
The market could have trouble continuing its advance if economic reports don’t boost optimism.
Steve Hagenbuckle, managing principal for TerraCap Partners in New York, expects that corporate earnings will likely exceed expectations again in the third quarter and help boost the market.
“The corporate numbers will continue to be met or exceeded so I think we’ll continue to run up,” he said. “I don’t think this is a major pullback.”
The stock market has had a robust third quarter as investors have been betting on an economic recovery. However, as the Chicago PMI showed, there are still many vulnerable spots in the economy that can stall the rally that began in March.
Through Tuesday, the benchmark S&P 500 index gained 56.8 percent since hitting a 12-year low in March, and for the quarter, the S&P 500 and Dow were both up more than 15 percent.
Investors also worried about commercial lender CIT Group Inc., which is preparing an exchange offer that would eliminate as much as 40 percent of its more than $30 billion in outstanding debt, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources. The exchange give control of the company to its bondholders and wipe out common stockholders, according to the report.
The stock fell 79 cents, or 35.9 percent, to $1.41.
Meanwhile, bond prices were little changed Wednesday but recovered from earlier losses following the Chicago PMI report. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.32 percent from 3.29 percent late Tuesday.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.
Light, sweet crude rose $2.90 to $69.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 0.44, or 0.1 percent, to 610.01.
Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent, Germany’s DAX index lost 0.7 percent, and France’s CAC-40 fell 0.5 percent.


Kitsap: Brand It and Sell It

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

By Rachel Pritchett
rpritchett@kitsapsun.com
BREMERTON
Kitsap needs to be branded and sold.
Some 70 business and government leaders agreed Tuesday that would be the best way to bring economic development to Kitsap, along with jobs that come with it.
What that brand should be caused a fair bit of animated conversation at the Economic Vitality Summit held at the Kitsap Conference Center.
Patricia Graf-Hoke, manager of the Kitsap Peninsula Visitor & Convention Bureau, suggested Kitsap be branded as the “natural playground” of Puget Sound, where outdoor tournaments of all kinds could be held right here at home.
“Tournaments are a huge, untapped market for us,” Graf-Hoke said.
But others thought Kitsap could be marketed to the rest of the world as the place where clean-technology manufacturers could settle, grow and thrive.
“We’re clean, we’re green, we’re mean,” suggested Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce director Kevin Dwyer, thinking off the top of his head.
But in spite of Port of Bremerton recently killing SEED, the proposed Sustainable Energy and Economic Development project, the idea of encouraging clean-tech seemed to have some traction.
Teresa Osinski, government affairs director for the Home Builders Association of Kitsap County, said Kitsap’s brand should be Built Green, based on a program long in place locally where home builders use low-impact techniques.
“Built Green is really the grassroots,” she said.
Dona Keating, president of West Sound Technology Association, suggested Kitsap have a “sustainability showcase” where tourists could come and see the latest in sustainable home furnishings, energy-efficient appliances and the rest.
The all-day event was hosted by the port and the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance. At the onset, port director Cary Bozeman asked the leaders to come up with a “roadmap” that he and others can follow to diversify Kitsap’s economy.
He was met with a wave of tourism-themed suggestions.
Sam Askew, hotel director for Port Madison Enterprises, said 4,500 jobs in Kitsap come from tourism and conventions.
“We’ve got a really untapped resource here,” he said.
Others suggested Puget Sound Naval Shipyard show off its ships to satisfy tourists who come to see the Navy up close but find the door shut tight.
Richard Tift, executive director of the shipyard, nodded that he understood.
Someone even suggested making Kitsap a destination for megayachts, which perhaps could solve the emptiness problem at the Bremerton Marina.
Whatever the brand is, Kitsap should have one big annual event tied to it to draw in the crowds, like Seattle has Seafair, Mount Vernon with its tulips or Portland and its roses, a few said.
Beyond a theme, just about everyone in the room agreed that the prospect of a healthy, active lifestyle that’s possible in Kitsap was a huge draw, and building on it could only help.
Part of that means helping the farmers’ markets, and buying and eating local to entice workers to want to live here.
“They’re here because they want to be here,” Clif McKenzie, owner of Watson Furniture Group, said of his employees.
And the theme also means promoting the kayaking and bicycling, and designing what Graf-Hoke called “stay-cations,” where weary urban dwellers could come for a weekend of healthy activities, or just watching a moonrise over Appletree Cove.
And it also means promoting the ferries, by far the No. 1 tourist draw to Kitsap, audience members said.
The leaders drew up long lists of things they believed were hampering economic development in Kitsap. Topping it was lack of higher education options which has led to Kitsap’s best and brightest young people leaving for college and never returning.
That situation has left employers like Harrison Medical Center having to search nationally for its most highly technically trained workers — and their just as highly educated spouses.
“We need to create those opportunities for highly educated people who have time to be involved in the community,” said Scott Bosch, Harrison president.
With all of that, Bozeman and the other economic-development leaders had their roadmap.
Kitsap, he said, hasn’t fulfilled its potential to get and keep new businesses.
“So why don’t we try something different?” he asked.


Some More From the Economic Vitality Summit

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Bloggers,

I’ve been to a lot of these economic-development summits. This was one of the better ones. If I had one suggestion, it might be giving the powerhouses in the audience more time to talk, and less to the facilitator. Here are some tidbits I picked up I couldn’t jam into my story.

Clif McKenzie of Watson Furniture Group, listened for a long time to the myriad of suggestions about what people thought economic development was. Finally, he nailed it. “Jobs provide financial security. Financial security makes the rest of our dreams possible.”

Cary Bozeman of the Port of Bremerton talked about Kitsap becoming a haven for baby boomers who want a kicked-back and cheaper lifestyle that’s still close to their families in Seattle.

Port of Bremerton Commissioner Bill Mahan noted that commercial assessed valuations in Bremerton have grown substantially in the past 5 years. “If we could copy that throughout the county, that would be great.”

Bill Stewart, chief of the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, sais the military generates a $1.2 BILLION annual payroll in Kitsap.

There was talk about the under-construction $142 million pier at the shipyard and all that means. The pier will be able to handle the newer classes of carriers, and some, including Tim Thomson of the port, hope that the pier will increase Kitsap’s chances of keeping carrier air wings here instead of sending them to Whidbey when the big flattops come in.

Scott Bosch, chief of Harrison Medical Center, said one fourth of all Kitsap residents who need hospitalization head out of county. To which Lary Coppola, mayor of Port Orchard, said, “There’s a preception that it’s better in Seattle.”

Kevin Dwyer of the Bainbridge chamber, estimates the island has 600 home-based businesses. Lots of those are consultants, I’m told.

All for now.

Rachel


Housing Authority Receives Honor

Monday, September 28th, 2009

The Bremerton Housing Authority has received a national award for its superior housing and community-development programs.
The local housing authority was among 18 entities to receive the 2009 Award of Excellence from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).
A NAHRO leader credited the Bremerton Housing Authority with its construction of Bay Vista Commons in 2006, which can accept as many as 66 Medicaid-eligible residents and which has 12 units reserved for residents with dementia.
“We are proud to recognize the achievements of our members who are committed to finding innovative solutions and groundbreaking programs that address local needs and opportunities that enhance the lives of families, operations and community development,” said NAHRO President Renée Rooker.


If You’re Looking for Some Help with Your Small Business And Can’t Find Anyone …

Monday, September 28th, 2009

You’ve got these new phone numbers of advisers who are filling in for Rand Riedrich, who left Olympic College’s Small Business Development Center last summer. Ruth Ann Halford of the Kitsap County Community Development Corp. said she doesn’t expect a replacement for Rand to come on board until next year.

John Rodenberg, jrodenberg@bates.ctc.edu, (253) 680-7768

Kathleen Purdy, kprdy@olympus.net, (360) 344-3078

Celia Nightingale, cnightingale@spcc.ctc.edu, (360) 407-0014

Ruth Ann Halford, ruth.ann.halford@wsbdc.org, (206) 246-4445


Luck Ran Out for the Lucky Dog Casino

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Bloggers,

The Lucky Dog Casino in Union will close Wednesday. People who used to come in two to three times a weeks were coming in two to three times a month, the general manager said. That’s a loss of 120 jobs, at least for the winter. See my story soon.

Rachel Pritchett
475-3783


Port Budget Meeting Next Week

Monday, September 28th, 2009

The Port of Bremerton commission will hold a workshop at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at Bremerton National Airport to consider the 2010 budget. For more information, visit www.portofbremerton.org.


Kitsap Business Briefs

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Kitsap’s ‘40 Under 40’ Announced
Port Orchard
The annual “40 Under 40” list was announced by the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal earlier this month.
The nominees, honored for the career success and involvement in the community before the age of 40, were recognized at an event Sept. 16.
Judges for the awards were David LaRose, South Kitsap School District superintendent; Kathryn Quade, mayor of Poulsbo; and Scott Alexander, director of golf at Gold Mountain Golf Club.
Those receiving the distinction were:
Zahra Akhgar, C.O.O., Ultra Custom Cleaners; Terry Arndt, president/customer account manager, Life After Graduation, LLC/Avalara: Cynthia Bellas, chief grants officer, Anthem Grant and Advocacy; Tanya Bleil-Geiselman, owner, Just For Kicks School of Dance; Shawnee Brown, service manager, HugesTech NW; Mindy Byers, marketing/community relations director, The Willows Retirement Living; Dr. Kimberly Chan, Kitsap General Surgery; David Connolly, owner, David Connolly Insurance Agency; Eric Fong, attorney/partner, Rovang, Fong & Associates; Dr. Michelle Cho Gip, Well Being Health Center; Heidi Hartman, director of property management, Details Property Management/Karin Kay Properties; David Hawley, financial adviser, Edward Jones; Cassandra Hoffman, owner/agent, C.L. Hoffman Insurance Agency; Dr. Paul Hutchinson, owner, South Kitsap Family Dentistry; Christina Jara, owner/aesthetician, Isella Day Spa; Katerina Kailey, marketing representative, Sound Publishing, Inc.; Kassie Korich, editor/reporter, Sound Publishing, Inc.; Lanette Kuklinski, brand specialist/designer, Lanski Marketing; Matt LaMagna, sous chef, Port Madison Enterprises; Melissa McDonald, executive assistant, Drury Construction; Robert McNamara, architectural designer, Rice Fergus Miller Architects; Lori Midthun, executive director, Bainbridge Youth Services; Johnathan Miller, owner, Boomtown Productions; Chrysztyna Montanez, owner, Lighthouse Cove Property Management; Amy Munns, president, Leash4Lease, Inc./Amy Munns Consulting; Aaron Murphy, owner/architect, ADM Architecture, LLC; Patrick Murray, executive director, Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge Island; David Nelson, editor, Kitsap Sun; Jennifer Paige, interior designer, Rice Fergus Miller Architects; Jason Parker, president, Parker Financial LLC; Kristin Pearson, development assistant, Kitsap Humane Society; Julie Poston, owner, Rejuv Massage & Spa; Dr. Satyavardhan Pulukurthy, cardiologist, Kitsap Cardiology Consultants PLLC; Jenn Putnam, president/art director, Jennergy, Inc.; Patrick Rieder, real estate salesman, Karin Kay Properties; Jamal Stoudemire, store manager, Verizon Wireless; Aimee Warthen, director of community relations, South Kitsap School District; Leah Wattree, business development manager, Kitsap Hospitality Executive Apartments; DeAndrea Williams, logistics specialist/beauty consultant, Bremerton Housing Authority/Mary Kay; Kathleen Wilson, branch manager, Port Orchard, Kitsap Regional Library.
Grand Opening
of Well Being
Yoga Studio Set
POULSBO
A new yoga and health studio is planning an open house Thursday at which patrons will have a chance to meet instructors, tour the studio, enjoy refreshments and win a door prize.
Well Being Yoga & Health Studio is opening at 19347 Jensen Way NE in Poulsbo.
The open house will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The studio offers classes for all ages and fitness levels.
Instructors include a doctor of chiropractic, a licensed massage therapist, certified yoga instructor, a doula/prenatal/childbirth educator and a certified Itsy Bitsy yoga instructor.
Classes in Pilates and T’ai Chi will be added soon.
Reach them at (360) 697-6100 or visit www.wellbeing-center.com or www.wellbeing-yoga.com.
Sweet Deal
Store Honored
for Display
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND
The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association has chosen Sweet Deal as the winner of this month’s best downtown window display.
Sweet Deal grabbed the blue ribbon for their creative collection of vintage Barbie and Friends.
Owners Jen O’Neill and Nicole Niehaus decked out a collection of childhood favorites in some fabulous outfits, complete with stacked heels and matching accessories.
Included is Barbie, Skipper and the rest of the girls as they get set for a day at the beach in an original pink Barbie Jeep.
The winner is chosen each month for their creativity, color, originality and display.
Each January the committee will choose a Best of the Year from the monthly winners.
Sweet Deal is located at 184 Winslow Way on Bainbridge Island. Reach them at (206) 842-3233 or visit www.sweetdealbainbridge.com.
Kitsap Bank
a Finalist for
Best Workplaces
PORT ORCHARD
Kitsap Bank recently was recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of 65 finalists for the title of Washington’s Best Workplaces at a ceremony held in Seattle at Safeco Field.
The bank was commended for their hiring and retention of employees, as well as various employee benefit offerings, leadership culture, and work/life balance philosophy.
On the Job
Joyce Smith, a caregiver with Abiding Homecare, recently was presented with the 2009 “Lion of the Year Award” for 2009 at a recent meeting of the Poulsbo Noon Lions Club. She is past King Lion of the Poulsbo Noon Club and was lauded for her service to the community through her work with the Lion’s LEO Clubs, as well as preparing an annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner.
She is the Lions club adviser for the LEO Clubs that meet at Poulsbo Middle School, and Kingston and North Kitsap High Schools.
She also is the District Chair for 53 LEO Clubs throughout the Puget Sound, and is responsible for establishing 13 new clubs in the past two years.
LEO stands for Leadership, Equality, Opportunity, and is a teen service organization of Lions Clubs International, which tries to serve people in need with special emphasis and focus on children.
Following the death of her husband, John, in 2002, the family established an annual JC Smith Scholarship for a North Kitsap School District graduate, and Smith serves on the Lion Club’s scholarship committee.
Business Calendar
Sept. 30
What: Schelleyh Dyess, an Edward Jones financial adviser in Port Orchard, is hosting a free 50-minute educational seminar titled, “Foundations of Investing.” She says fear of the unknown often prevents people from investing in their future and will explain some basic principles of investing and creating goals. Space is limited.
Where: 2299 Bethel Ave., Suite 102, in Port Orchard.
Cost: Free.
Reservations: Call Trina Sanquist at (360) 876-3835.
Kitsap Sun staff


Monday Stocks Up 154 Points

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Now at 9,819

The Associated Press
The stock market is advancing after the market’s worst week since early July.
A rise was to be expected Monday after the stock market’s latest rally stalled in response to disappointing housing and manufacturing data. Investors are trying to decide whether it’s wise to commit much money to the market while the economic recovery looks more tentative.
Investors feel they got little direction over the weekend from leaders of the Group of 20 nations, who said they would keep stimulus plans.
In early minutes of trading, Dow Jones industrial average is up 42.10, or 0.4 percent, at 9,707.29. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up 5.30, or 0.5 percent, at 1,049.68. The Nasdaq composite index is up 13.11, or 0.6 percent, at 2,104.03.