Monthly Archives: May 2011

Funds infusion means nonprofit center construction coming soon

In the just-passed state capital budget, United Way of Kitsap County received $605,000 from the Washington Department of Commerce for a new nonprofit center at its present location at 647 Fourth St., Bremerton.
The allocation means United Way has roughly $2 million now in hand to commence with the project that will create new space for a nonprofit center, plus conference rooms. The project, which also will include some exterior facade updates, costs about that amount.
Previous funding over two years $1.2 million in federal funding, $400,000 from donations, and a $120,000 grant from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to David Foote, executive director.
Construction bids go out next month.
The concept behind the nonprofit center is for the agencies to share common services and facilities, cutting their costs. The conference rooms, for example, will be used by all.
The remodel will allow for space for four additional nonprofits. Six are there now. Besides United Way, they include Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Catholic Community Services, Leadership Kitsap, Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help, and Puget Rental Owners Association.

Port road work will allow for eight new manufacturing pads


The third year was the charm for the Port of Bremerton, which received $1.1 million in the state-capital budget to complete a portion of Cruiser Loop Road in the northeast section of Olympic View Industrial Park.
The money also will allow for infrastructure along the half-completed road that will open up eight new pads for prospective light industrial tenants.
The project is different from the port’s uncompleted road into the South Kitsap Industrial Area, stopped because funding ran out.
The Cruiser Loop Road project could start in a year. Half has been build; another 700 feet means it’s done.
Three years ago, the port asked for a similar appropriation to build a road into its proposed SEED project, or Sustainable Energy and Economic Development project. The project died, and the port retuned its proposal for the Cruiser Loop Road and pad work. The Legislature took it out of the budget last year, but the port finally succeeded.
“You can’t give up,” said Cary Bozeman, chief executive officer.

Kitsap Health and Rehabilitation Center scheduled to close


Kitsap Health and Rehabilitation Center in Bremerton is slated to close in July and patients are being relocated now. It’s among the oldest and smallest nursing homes in the area, and had quite a few Medicaid patients. But with the current Medicaid reimbursement rate only covering 70 percent of the true cost of patient care, the for-profit corporation was in very much a losing proposition. That and the corporation was facing $1.5 million in upgrades there. See my story soon. Residents and families, please call me now as I prepare my story. I want to hear where you’re going.

Rachel Pritchett, reporter
(360) 475-3783

Pre-holiday weekend gas prices continue slipping from peak in Kitsap

A gallon of unleaded today in Kitsap County is going for $3.96, down a penny from Tuesday and down six cents from a week ago, says the AAA. Here’s a portion of a national Associated Press story on gas prices. Rachel Pritchett

Drivers getting an early start on the Memorial Day weekend are pulling out of gas stations with a little more cash in their pockets.
The national average for unleaded regular gasoline was $3.81 a gallon on Thursday. That’s 9 cents less than it was a week ago, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service.
Most stations across the country are charging even less — about $3.70 a gallon. That’s down 10 cents from Wednesday, according to Fred Rozell, retail pricing director for the OPIS.
Consumers in California, Washington, Illinois and five other states are paying the highest prices in a range between $3.91 and $4.28 a gallon. The cheapest prices — between $3.57 and $3.69 a gallon, can be found in Wyoming, Arizona, parts of the Midwest and the South.
Pump prices are expected to drift lower through the holiday weekend, reflecting lower oil prices, which are down about 12 percent since the beginning of May.
“There’s a lot of room between what the retailers are charging and wholesale prices so we should see that continue to creep down,” Rozell said.
AAA predicts nearly 35 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, a slight increase from 2010. They are expected to spend less on things like hotel rooms and restaurants because of higher gas prices. Pump prices are the highest they’ve been since August, 2008.

Depth of support for industry clusters questionable


At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Port of Bremerton commissioners, there was a hint that there may not be much support for Bill Mahan’s idea to promote and build a marine “industry cluster” to keep tenant Safe Boats International here in Kitsap short-term and to create a bigger and more diversified workforce long-term.
Commissioner Roger Zabinski proposed the port spend neither staff time nor any money on investigating the concept and Commissioner Larry Stokes quickly seconded Zabinski.
“I don’t get it,” Mahan countered, adding the port has spent any staff time or money on the idea.
“The project involves $200,000,” Zabinski said, if a consultant were hired to help go forward with the project.
Mahan reminded Zabinski that the cost would be shared with other entities, if it even got that far.
Why do we want to preempt this project right now,” he asked Zabinski.
Stokes, apparently convinced Mahan’s argument had more merit, withdrew his second and ordered that the subject of industry clusters be discussed at an upcoming study session.

Rachel Pritchett, reporter

Wednesday stocks reverse earlier losses

Dow at 12,428 close to close time, up 72 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks turned higher Wednesday, reversing earlier losses, as rising oil prices offset worries about the global economic recovery.
Europe’s worsening debt crisis and weak Japanese exports raised concerns that the world’s major economies were flagging. Oil jumped above $100 per barrel, helping to turn energy stocks higher.
Energy companies in the S&P 500 rose 1.4 percent. Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. led the S&P 500 higher, rising 6 percent. Higher prices for other commodities including copper and silver helped send material company stocks higher. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. rose 2 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,394, in midday trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4, or 0.3 percent, to 1,320. The Nasdaq composite rose 16, or 0.6 percent, to 2,761.