Monthly Archives: February 2011

Hearing set for union allegations against Kitsap Mental Health Services

A National Labor Relations Board hearing takes place at 9 a.m. March 29 at the Jackson Federal Building in Seattle to examine still unsettled charges of unfair labor practices brought against Kitsap Mental Health Services by SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. I plan to cover the hearing, to be in James C. Sand Hearing Room. The federal building is at 915 Second Ave.

Here’s the the most recent story I wrote. Rachel Pritchett

Tuesday stocks fall on surprisingly weak retail sales

Midday Dow at 12,205, down 62 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in afternoon trading after the government reported surprisingly weak retail sales figures.
The Commerce Department said retail sales rose for the seventh straight month in January, but the increase was the smallest since June. Retail sales rose just 0.3 percent, half of what economists had predicted.
Kim Caughey Forrest, equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, said higher prices for gasoline and raw materials are beginning to be passed along to consumers. That’s hurting retail sales and spending, she said.
“Without wage gains,” she said, “people are going to buy less.”
Energy companies led stocks lower. Exxon Mobil Corp. lost 2 percent, the largest drop for any of the 30 large companies that make up the Dow Jones industrial average. Exxon Mobil said it added 3.5 billion barrels of oil and gas last year to the company’s massive reserves, more than twice what Exxon produced in 2010.
The Dow fell 47, or 0.4 percent, to 12,220.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5, or 0.3 percent, to 1,327. The Nasdaq composite index fell 10, or 0.3 percent, to 2,807.

Some postscripts from the latest Port of Bremerton meeting

Port of Bremerton commissioners met Tuesday, and real-estate director Tim Thomson said negotiations are underway between the port and Bremerton MotorSports Park to arrange for a park move to the south part of the port’s industrial park across Highway 3. A proposed new lease for the park should go before commissioners in March.

Commissioner Bill Mahan said Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent has reviewed raceway leaders’ plan to move and is supportive, even at this time when the South Kitsap Industrial Area plan is being worked on by the city.

Also, I have heard nothing new from Safe Boats International that might shed more light on any decision to stay or go from the industrial park.

Thomson did say that he is working with Safe Boats for an expansion at the industrial park. ASafe Boats constitutes 35 percent of the park’s tenants, so this is a very big deal.

And, port meetings no longer will be held in downtown Bremerton in the Norm Dicks Government Building. They’re going back out to newly remodeled space at Bremerton National Airport. Next meeting is 6 p.m. Feb. 22.

Rachel Pritchett, 475-3783

Kitsap gas prices up 3 cents in a week; Egypt power transition will help fuel the trend

Kitsap per-gallon price for unleaded is at $3.28 today, up 3 cents from last week.

The Associated Press
Oil prices rose Thursday on expectations that Egypt’s president will step down, easing worries that oil shipments from the Middle East could be disrupted by ongoing protests.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 29 cents to $87 per barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices climbed as high as $88.28 earlier in the session. In London, Brent crude fell 63 cents to $101.69 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Cisco, Akamai pull technology stocks lower Thursday

Dow at 12,214 at midday.

NEW YORK (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. and Akamai Technologies Inc. led stocks lower Thursday after both companies issued weak earnings forecasts for the current quarter, raising concerns about business and technology spending.
Cisco, the world’s largest networking equipment maker, fell 13 percent in early trading, the most of any of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones industrial average. The company said late Wednesday that its fourth-quarter income fell 18 percent because of lower sales to government agencies, a problem that could worsen over the next few quarters.
“Cisco is stumbling,” said Rob Lutts, president and chief investment officer of Cabot Money Management. “When you’re No. 1, it’s hard to stay there.” Lutts said the weak results reflect Cisco’s struggle to stay competitive, not necessarily weakness in the technology industry overall.
Akamai Technologies fell 16 percent after the company said competitors are forcing it to offer lower prices for its Web streaming services. Akamai was the weakest stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index of large U.S. companies.

Kitsap business briefs

New officers for Silverdale chamber
SILVERDALE — Angela Sell, a financial adviser with Edward Jones, recently was installed as the 38th president of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce.
She told fellow members she was looking forward to a “remarkable year.”
Board members include Julie Jennings, senior sales director with Mary Kay, president-elect; Rene Morris of Kitsap Mall, Michelle Moyer of Kitsap Bank, Jackie Carr of Anytime Fitness, Sean McDonald of the Central Kitsap Reporter, Frank Ellerbroek of Network Home Loans, Lisa Saice of Everest College, Maria Mackovjak of Old Time Custom Framing, Gary Chaney of John L. Scott and Michele Wasson of Nielsen Appliances.
New business directory planned
A new business directory is being organized to help consumers find services in Kitsap County.
The directory will be called Kitsap County’s Top Ten. It bills itself as a compilation of the top 10 local businesses in a variety of categories, ranging from accounting to window installations.
The directory expects to be available online and in hard copy. The listings are currently being compiled. To qualify for Kitsap County’s Top Ten you must be in business for at least one year and have no marks on the Better Business Bureau within the past six months.
To learn more, contact Julee Younger at 360-633-5352 or at
On the Job
JoAnn K. Lau, formerly JoAnn K. McGraw, has been hired as a senior employee benefits consultant at EHL Insurance in Poulsbo. She has a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and a master’s degree in human behavior from National University in Sacramento, Calif.
Simon Little of BC&J Architecture, Planning and Construction Management recently was promoted to design/project manager. His new role will include development of architectural projects as well as coordination of design work prepared for the Perfect Little House Company. Both companies are owned by architect Peter Brachvogel, AIA, and Stella Carosso of Bainbridge Island. He also will continue to service the ongoing development of the design products sold through The Perfect Little House Company, which sells permit-ready design and construction drawings for houses, barns, garages and other outbuildings.
Alisha Harrison of John L. Scott in Belfair has been selected as 2010 Realtor of the Year by the Mason County Association of Realtors. The selection is based on a variety of categories including business practices, community service and dedication, active involvement in the association, and commitment to the real estate industry. Harrison also volunteers for the North Mason’s School District, Relay for Life and Food Bank, and is active with the North Mason Chamber of Commerce.
Business Calendar
What: The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce will present a program by Randy Spitzer, president of Responsibility Cultures, on “Creating a Responsibility Culture.” Spitzer says because there is so much unhealthy behavior in organizations, many business leaders conclude that the people around them are lazy and morally suspect. So they add more rules and beef up their monitoring systems. It never occurs to them that the rules and monitoring systems are a major cause of bad behavior and poor business results. He will focus on three key strategies for building a responsibility culture: establish a healthy social contract, encourage emergent leaders and empower employees to deliver customer value.
When: 11:30 a.m.
Where: Banquet Room at McCormick Woods.
Reservations: Required; make at or by calling the Chamber at 360-876-3505 by Feb. 8. Cost: $20 if prepaid; $22 at the door and for nonmembers in advance.
Feb. 15
What: Edward Jones financial adviser Schelley Dyess of Port Orchard will host an educational seminar, “Making Sense of Retirement,” in Port Orchard. It is designed to educate participants so that they can make informed decisions about their own retirement.
When: 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: 2299 Bethel Ave, Suite 102, in Port Orchard.
Cost: Free, but space is limited.
Reservations: Call Trina Sanquist at 360-876-3835.
What: The new Belfair Branch of Olympia Federal Savings, which opened Dec. 20, will hold a grand opening Feb. 7- 11. There will be free gifts and refreshments for visitors, special rates on CDs and prize drawings.
Where: 24081 NE Highway 3.

Week’s stocks start on an upswing

Dow at 12, 168 at midday.

NEW YORK (AP) — Strong earnings reports and big acquisitions are pushing stocks higher in midday trading.
Pride International jumped 16 percent on Monday after Ensco, an oil rig operator, said it would buy the offshore driller for $7.3 billion.
Beckman Coulter Inc. soared 9 percent. The tool maker Danaher Corp. said it plans to buy the medical diagnostic test maker for $5.8 billion.
AOL Inc. dropped less than 1 percent after saying it would buy the Huffington Post, a news and opinion website, for $315 million.
Loews Corp. rose 5 percent after earnings beat estimates.
The Dow Jones industrial average is up 86 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,179. The S&P 500 index is up 10, or 0.8 percent, to 1,321. The Nasdaq is up 24, or 0.9 percent, to 2,794.

Discussion scheduled for port district on Bainbridge Island

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Persons interested in discussing formation of a port district on Bainbridge Island are invited to a meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at The Commons. Planners hope to form a steering committee.
For more information, contact Wini Jones at (206) 842-7603 of or Jim Llewellyn at (206) 842-4552 or

Thursday stocks rise on economic reports

Dow up so far to 12,062, a rise of 22 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks posted small gains Thursday after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank’s bond-buying program is working.
The Federal Reserve plans to buy $600 billion in bonds, a tactic known as quantitative easing, in hopes of spurring lending and making stock ownership more attractive. In a speech at the National Press Club, Bernanke said that the central bank expects the economy to improve this year and inflation to remain low despite the jump in commodity prices. Some economists had worried that the Fed could end its bond purchases earlier than anticipated.
Stocks had fallen for the most of the day as concerns over violent protests in Egypt weighed against better-than-expected economic news in the U.S.
Clashes continued in Egypt between pro- and anti-government demonstrators, leaving some analysts worried about their impact on oil-rich countries throughout the Middle East like Saudi Arabia and the stability of the region.
“That’s the fear,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners.
But better than expected December sales figures sent retail companies higher. Consumer discretionary companies in the Standard and Poor’s 500-stock index gained 1.2 percent after national chains reported that sales were nearly double what analysts had forecast despite heavy snowstorms in much of the nation.