Monthly Archives: September 2009

Port Plans Trails, Soccer Field

By Rachel Pritchett
Life’s not all work.
To prove that, Port of Bremerton CEO Cary Bozeman wants a soccer field and jogging trails in the port’s industrial park to make workers happier and maybe even attract a few new ones.
Some 740 people work for about 30 employers in the port’s remote Olympic View Business and Industrial Parks off Highway 3 near the Bremerton National Airport. “And there’s no place for them to jog or walk or have some kind of recreational opportunity,” Bozeman said.
About $50,000 to build the trails and soccer field has been included in the proposed 2010 port budget that’s being drawn up now. Port leaders are hoping for some grant money.
By next year, employees from businesses like Safe Boats International, Fred Hill Materials and Waste Management could be jogging the trails or kicking a soccer ball around, taking a few moments off from the job to stay healthy.
The facilities, which would include bathrooms at the soccer field, could be used by the public, too, Bozeman said.
He believes the additions would make empty port properties more attractive to potential employers looking for sites that have a little something extra for their workers.
“Currently, our park doesn’t offer any those amenities,” he said.
In other news, port leaders are reviewing eight bids to immediately begin building the first leg of a new road planned to run from Highway 3 around the north end of the airport runway, then south, hooking up with Old Clifton and Lake Flora roads.
The road would take several years to complete and would provide access to the port’s now-vacant South Kitsap Industrial Area. It also would allow for airport-related development just east of the runway.
The low bidder at just more than $2 million was South Kitsap-based Stan Palmer Construction, and Tim Thomson, the port’s director of industrial park development, anticipated the Palmer bid would win.
A favorable bidding climate caused all the bids to come in much lower than predicted, and port leaders now figure they’ll be able to double the initial road construction from 2,000 feet to 4,000 feet.
The work could start in mid-October, according to Thomson.
Some $3 million in federal stimulus money is funding work on the first leg.
Future funding has not yet been identified. Planners estimate a second, final leg could cost three times as much.
Low-impact-development techniques will be used for the road, allowing rainwater to seep into nearby ground instead of Puget Sound.

Bozeman Takes on the Seattle Waterfront Again


Port of Bremerton CEO Cary Bozeman will join state Sen. Ed Murray of Seattle and Jon Kvistad, a federal administrator from Portland, on Monday in Seattle to talk about the viaduct and redevelopment of the Seattle waterfront. All
three are being billed by host Building Owners and Managers Association as having dealt with difficult transportation and redevelopment issues in their home cities.

Rachel Pritchett

Unemployment Benefits Extensions Under Discussion

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Labor commissioners from 10 states, including Washington, are coming together to urge the U.S. Senate to extend unemployment benefits for people who will exhaust theirs in another week.
New York Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith is in Niagara Falls Thursday with her counterparts from Wisconsin, Washington, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oregon, Maine, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
They’re hoping to find strength in numbers as they push for extended unemployment insurance for more than 300,000 people whose benefits will run out in September.
The U.S. House has agreed to give the jobless in a majority of states an additional 13 weeks of benefits. The Senate has yet to act.
Supporters say unemployment benefits positively affect the economy by supporting existing jobs and the housing market.

Thursday Stocks Falter on Housing Data

Dow now at 9,697, down 51 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have reversed early gains and are slightly lower after a report showing a surprising drop in home sales.
The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales fell 2.7 percent in August compared with a 7.2 percent rise in July. Economists had been expecting a fifth straight increase.
Stocks had been rising in the early going after the Labor Department said the number of newly laid off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell for a third week in a row. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 21,000 last week to 530,000, better than the 550,000 economists had expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 22 at 9,725. The Standard & Poor’s 500 is down 6 at 1,054, and the Nasdaq composite index is down 15 at 2,115.

Port Sells Bonds to Aid Marina

By Rachel Pritchett
Port of Bremerton commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday to borrow $4.425 million and use most of it to pay for a piece of downtown waterfront they believe is essential to putting more boats in the Bremerton Marina.
They also believe the purchase will make the port a major player in future downtown development.
“When opportunity knocks, if you don’t take advantage of it, sometimes you sit back and watch the world go by,” said Commissioner Bill Mahan.
Even conservative Commissioner Larry Stokes supported the purchase.
“The facts are, it’s over two acres next to the marina, right downtown,” he said.
The borrowing will be in the form of general obligation bonds to be paid back over the next 20 years. About $330,000 in annual debt service will be paid on the bonds, which are rated by Moody’s Investors Service as Aa2, considered high quality.
The overall interest rate is 4.21 percent. The lion’s share of the bonds were sold Tuesday morning, a good number to banks across the nation. The remainder, about $200,000, was picked up by the port’s underwriter.
The new bonding will allow the port to complete a $3.5 million purchase of the downtown Bremerton waterfront property. The purchase agreement with the seller, the troubled Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, is expected to be completed by the middle of next week.
An independent appraisal company hired by the port concluded that in May the property had a market value of $5 million.
Not part of the sales agreement is a $392,000 federal grant that will allow almost immediate public improvements to the property, located along Washington Avenue between KCCHA’s Harborside condominiums and Second Avenue.
The grant money will be used to install public access to the waterfront off the end of Burwell Street — across the part of the property that’s nearest to the condos — to the water.
The stairway to the shoreline will be flanked with trees and boulders. It will be topped on Washington Avenue with a viewing and seating area, and there will be two stairway landings below. The project will also have a lawn below the parking area, according to Gary Sexton, the city of Bremerton economic develop director acting as project manager for the grant.
The access should be ready for the public by late fall or early winter. The grant was given to KCCHA, and there was talk about trying to transfer it to the port. But as of Tuesday, it appeared the grant would stay with KCCHA, and that all sides have agreed it will be used for the public purpose.
City of Bremerton workers already were on the property Tuesday, relocating a sewer line to under the future pedestrian-access portion at an additional cost of about $60,000 to the port, according to Sexton.
Port leaders have said it would be cheaper to move it now on the undeveloped property than in the future, when the port might decide to more intensely develop the property with buildings.
But right now, the purchase is all about providing parking for the marina, now only 31 percent full.
Boaters have complained loud and hard that there’s no parking available, hampering their plans to come to Bremerton. A private parking lot with about 116 parking spaces is there now. The port will dedicate 33 waterside spaces it inherits in the sale for marina parking and charge the public to park in the rest, providing some income to the port.
Ultimately, the purchase is about making the new marina less dependent on port taxpayers for its operation and more self-sufficient, Mahan said.
“That’s what’s really at stake for the port,” he said.
How the remaining rough million of bond money is spent remains up in the air, but Mahan and port CEO Cary Bozeman said it could be used to pay for the port’s portion of a new road connecting its industrial park with 75 acres of empty and waiting industrial space to the north. The 1,150-foot-long road would cost
$1.8 million in total, and port officials hope to reapply for a grant to help pay for it.
The new bonding for the Washington Avenue property doesn’t significantly change the port’s indebtedness level. At the end of 2009, the port will make final payment on a $3 million bond issue initiated in 1999. The remaining balance on bonds taken out by the port in 2006 to building the Bremerton Marina is $14.5 million, according to Becky Swanson, the port’s financial officer.
As part of the port’s purchase of the Washington Avenue property, the port has also agreed to take over an office-space lease for the KCCHA in the Norm Dicks Government Center.
Not everyone watching Tuesday night’s meeting was pleased at how the port informed the public about the bond sale.
Resident John Hanson said the port should have distributed a news release a lot earlier than late Monday.
“Very few people in your constituency got a chance to weigh in on the issue,” he said.
Bozeman countered by reading a timeline of all the times the bonding was discussed.
“I don’t know if it was a perfect process, but we made every effort we could to inform the public,” Bozeman said.

Work Has Begun on Bremerton Waterfront


Work has begun on the two acres of Bremerton waterfront along Washington Avenue to make it more people-friendly in the short term.

The port anticipates buying the property between the Harborside Condominiums on the north and Second Street on the south.

When done later this fall (maybe early winter) there will be a pedestrian access from the end of Burwell to the water next to the condos.

It will have two landings and an overlook at the water’s edge. There will be boulders and trees.

It will be paid for under a $392,000 grant, the port and Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, the seller, are negotiating now. U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks helped with the grant.

What you’re seeing now is the relocation of a sewer line on the property to go under the new pedestrian access.

It’s cheaper to move it now rather than later, port commissioners say.

Look for my story here later tonight as the port moves into the final phases of purchasing this property.

Rachel Pritchett

Rebound in Commodities Tuesday Carries Stocks Higher

Dow now at 9,828, up 49 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — A rebound in commodities is drawing investors back into the stock market.
Major stock indicators rose at least 0.5 percent in early afternoon trading Tuesday, including the Dow Jones industrials, which gained 61 points, recovering all of the prior day’s losses.
In a reversal of Monday’s pattern, the dollar weakened against other major currencies and commodities like oil and gold bounded higher, lifting energy and material stocks.
The gains in stocks and commodities came as the Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting on interest rates. Investors are hoping the Fed will provide a clearer indication of when it may raise interest rates when it issues a statement at the conclusion of a two-day meeting on Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to keep rates at their record low of near zero for the time being. Rock-bottom interest rates have helped fuel the market’s nearly seven-month old rally, making cash plentiful and cheap and encouraging investors to buy up riskier assets.
The market appears to be following a well-established pattern where brief selloffs are met with more buying as investors fear missing out on a continued rally.
“Reluctantly, investors are continually being dragged into a market that is finding a path of least resistance to the upside,” said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co.
The consensus on Wall Street is that the economy is healing despite ongoing challenges like unemployment. But investors still have doubts over how strong the recovery will be, and whether the stock market’s more than 50 percent move off of 12-year lows in March accurately reflects such a strong recovery.
“Right now, it’s a more orderly market,” said Greg Reynholds, senior vice president of asset management at Lenox Advisors. “People are digesting the data, trying to figure out exactly where we’re headed.”
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61.14, or 0.6 percent, to 9,840.00. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 8.71, or 0.8 percent, to 1,073.37, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 11.31, or 0.5 percent, to 2,149.35.
About three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 600.7 million shares, compared with 596.9 million shares traded at the same time the day before.
In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 5.25, or 0.9 percent, to 621.22.
Gold and silver prices rose after three days of declines, while oil prices gained $1.69 to $71.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Commodities rose as the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of foreign currencies, fell 0.9 percent, after earlier hitting a fresh low for the year. The dollar has fallen sharply since early March amid record-low interest rates and unprecedented government spending designed to stimulate the economy.
Energy and material stocks were lifted by the gains in commodities. U.S. Steel Corp. rose $1.81, or 3.8 percent, to $49.83, while Chesapeake Energy Corp. rose $1.33, or 4.7 percent, to $29.44.
Financial stocks were mostly higher after Rochdale Securities analyst Richard Bove raised his target price on Bank of America Corp. to $25 a share. Shares of the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank jumped 39 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $17.64.
Citigroup Inc. shares added 23 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $4.66 after a Singapore sovereign wealth fund cut its stake in the New York bank to below 5 percent from 9 percent following a recent exchange of preferred stock.
Among technology stocks, Google Inc. shares hit a 13-month high after a Canaccord Adams analyst raised the target price on the stock to $560. Shares rose as high as $501.19 in early trading, and recently added $4.11 to $501.11.
In economic news Tuesday, a government index showed U.S. home prices rose slightly in July from the previous month, further evidence the housing market is stabilizing.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency said prices rose 0.3 percent in July from the prior month. The index is still 4.2 percent below last year’s levels and 10.5 percent off its peak from April 2007.
Stocks sold off on Monday as the dollar rose ahead of the Fed meeting, sending shares of commodity companies lower. The Dow Jones industrials lost a modest 41 points after being down as much as 94 points earlier in the day.
After soaring 49 percent since hitting a 12-year low in early March, the Dow stands less than 200 points away from the 10,000 mark — a level the average first crossed in March 1999 and hasn’t been above since October of last year.
Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, held steady at 3.49 percent.
Overseas, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent, Germany’s DAX index jumped 0.7 percent, and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1.1 percent. Japan’s markets were closed for a public holiday.

Kitsap Business Briefs

On the Job
Penny McLaughlin, broker and owner of Penny’s Team, has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert designation for having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. She now has developed a new Web site,, to help distressed homeowners find information about options to help them.
Brenda Prowse, Hugh Nelson and Taylor Brown of Prowse and Company Real Estate in Poulsbo have earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation as well.
Jamario Washington and Jennifer Walters, who work for Express Employment Professionals, have been honored as associates of the month for July and August, respectively, at Express Employment for their continued service and exemplary customer service skills. Express helps businesses of all types by finding the right person for their jobs.
Magaly Brewton-Hight of Silverdale, an agent for Farmers Group Inc., has received the company’s highest award for district managers and agents for “outstanding overall performance.” Brewton-Hight joins a select group of fellow achievers as a member of the prestigious Presidents Council. Brewton-Hight will be honored at a conference later this month in Washington, D.C. Brewton-Hight represents Farmers’ member companies in automobiles,homeowners, life and business insurance.
Julie Hohenstein, a limited practice officer and senior escrow officer for Pacific Northwest Title on Bainbridge Island, has been promoted to branch manager. She has spent more than 18 years in the industry with experience as an escrow branch manager, an escrow closer and as a trainer for both new employees and those just entering the business. She attends weekly brokers’ tour of homes to stay current on the local real estate market and educational seminars to stay informed on issues and concerns.
Printing Services
Honored as Small
Business of Year
Printing Services of Port Orchard has been chosen as Port Orchard’s Small Business of the Year and will be honored Sept. 26 by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce at its installation banquet.
Owner Brad Potter founded the firm more than 23 years ago and has been involved in many local organizations. He previously served on the Chamber board and as president. His son, Nate Potter, works with the business as manager and customer service representative. The staff includes Dena White, Shelly and Mike Gizzi.
The senior Potter and his wife, Merry, co-owner of Printing Services, have lived in South Kitsap for more than 30 years, raising their two children in the house on Bethel where the print shop is now located. Potter and his staff are well known for their generosity and willingness to go the extra mile for community organizations and businesses in the community, according to the Chamber announcement.
Business Media
Business Opens
Chris Hemer, who has
23 years’ experience in automotive work and as a business journalist/photographer, recently launched West Sound Media to provide local businesses with professional writing and photographic services. The firm also specializes in press releases, advertising concepts and marketing.
Hemer has written for a variety of nationally published magazines, including Hot Rod, Road and Track and Trailer Life, as well as for noted companies such as Cummins Onan, Haas Automation and Microsoft.
Services are billed by the hour, by the word, or a combination of both. Reach him at West Sound Media, 3377 Bethel Road, Suite 107 in Port Orchard, (360) 895-5175 or visit

Sept. 26
What: The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce will hold Oktoberfest, its annual fundraiser and installation banquet. 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 are included in the ticket price.
When: 6 p.m.
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 table locations.
Sponsor: BJC Group Inc.
Tickets: Purchase at, by calling the Chamber office at (360) 876-3505 or through Port Orchard Chamber board members.
Sept. 30
What: Schelleyh Dyess, an Edward Jones financial advisor 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 Dow Off Slightly

Now at 9,788, down 31 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks mostly fell Monday but were off their lows by early afternoon, buoyed by small gains in technology and health care shares.
News of Dell Inc.’s plans to buy information technology company Perot Systems Corp. for $3.9 billion helped to lift some stocks, but failed to raise the broader market. A stronger dollar ignited a sharp sell-off in commodities like oil and gold, which weighed on energy and material stocks.
Stocks and commodities have been on a relentless ascent over the past six months as investors make bets that the economy is healing, bolstered by improving activity in the housing and manufacturing industries and better consumer sentiment.
With stocks up more than 50 percent since bottoming in early March, analysts say breaks in the rally are perfectly healthy.
“This is what should happen, needs to happen, is going to happen along the way but it doesn’t mean we’re headed down significantly from here,” said Jordan Smyth, managing director at Edgemoor Investment Advisors in Bethesda, Md.
Meanwhile, a private sector group’s forecast of economic activity on Monday further validated Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s pronouncement last week that the U.S. recession was “likely over” from a technical standpoint. The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators increased 0.6 percent in August, just shy of the 0.7 percent increase economists expected. It was the fifth straight month the index rose.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50.71, or 0.5 percent, to 9,769.49, after earlier falling as much as 95 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5.69, or 0.5 percent, to 1,062.61, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index dipped 0.55, or 0.03 percent, to 2,132.31.
In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 3.92, or 0.6 percent, to 613.96.
About three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 581.3 million shares, down from 1.04 billion at the same time on Friday.
The dollar rose against other major currencies, sending prices for gold, oil and other commodities tumbling. Commodities are priced in dollars, so a stronger greenback makes them less appealing for foreign investors.
Oil prices dropped $2.64 to $69.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, driving energy stocks lower. Sunoco Inc. lost 72 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $27.72.
Bond prices were mostly higher, benefiting from the modest losses in stocks. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 3.45 percent from 3.46 percent late Friday.
Trading on Monday reflected a shift out of risky assets that have benefited from the stock market’s advance and into safe plays like the dollar and government bonds. Investors are taking some money off the table ahead of several key government meetings this week, including the Federal Reserve’s two-day rate-setting meeting that begins Tuesday.
As long as there are no bad surprises this week, analysts expect the market to continue to move higher.
“Right now there is not a whole lot to change the overall direction of the market, except for some profit taking,” said Dan Cook, senior market analyst at IG Markets Inc. in Chicago.
The Fed this week is widely expected to keep interest rates at a record low of near zero, but the market will be looking for any indication of when the Fed plans to actually raise rates, a tactic it would use to ward off inflation.
The Fed has kept interest rates low to help stimulate the economy, but if the central bank signals inflation is becoming a concern, that could spook investors. Up until now, the Fed has insisted that inflation, which would further erode the value of the dollar and eat into Treasury yields, is largely in check.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama will host the Group of 20 economic summit in Pittsburgh.
Analysts say investors are waiting for more clarity following the meetings before they make more bets on the market.
Shares of Perot Systems shot up more than 65 percent, or $11.71, to $29.62 after Dell offered to buy the company for $30 a share in cash — a 68 percent premium over the stock’s Friday closing price. Dell shares slid 76 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $15.93.
In earnings news Monday, homebuilder Lennar Corp. reported a wider loss in its fiscal third quarter as it wrote down the value of unsold homes. Customer orders were down 8 percent year-over-year, but the number of new orders increased each month during the quarter, Lennar said. The company’s stock fell 53 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $16.01.
Overseas, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.7 percent. A number of other Asian markets, including Japan’s, were closed for holidays. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.8 percent, Germany’s DAX index dropped 1.2 percent, and France’s CAC-40 fell 0.8 percent.