Monthly Archives: October 2012

State unemployment rates drops slightly in September

From Kitsap Sun news services

OLYMPIA – Washington’s unemployment rate headed back down in September, while the number of jobs continued to climb, according to the state Employment Security Department.

The estimated unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, down from an estimate of 8.6 percent in August. At the same time, jobs grew by an estimated 1,200 in September.

Industries with the most estimated job gains in September were leisure and hospitality, up 3,900 jobs, and government, with a gain of 2,700. Most of the government job gains were in education, while employment in state agencies dropped by another 1,000.

Industries with seasonally adjusted job losses included manufacturing, down 1,300; retail trade, down 1,100; other services, down 900; transportation, warehousing and utilities, down 900; wholesale trade, down 900; and financial activities, with a loss of 500 jobs.

Port leaders dedicate flag park

A Marine color guard helped Port of Bremerton commissioners dedicate a Old Glory Park at Bremerton National Airport last week.

Three new flags are featured in the small area that also includes plantings. It is adjacent to the north end of the terminal building.

The park came at the request of Commissioner Larry Stokes.

Picture left to right are port Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn; NROTC cadets Blaine Dueck, Casey Woods and Michael Shiflet; Cmdr. Gary Brooks, Ret., and port Commissioners Larry Stokes and Roger Zabinski.

— RP

Employment Security issues job-vacancy report

Washington employers had an estimated 52,000 job vacancies last spring, according to a new report from the state’s Employment Security Department, most in Western Washington.

Occupations with the most vacancies were in sales, registered nursing and customer service. Industries with the most vacancies were health care and social assistance, with 11,000 job openings; retail trade, with nearly 7,000 vacancies; and accommodation and food services, with about 5,600 available jobs.

— RP

ATS widens work for Patent and Tradmark Office

By Rachel Pritchett

SILVERDALE — Applied Technical Systems has expanded its work streamlining operations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

ATS has received two new contracts worth $1 million to streamline processes in the office’s arm that deals with trademarks.

The expansion of its work with Patent and Trademark Office also will include ATS making fee-processing procedures more efficient.

For the past two years, ATS has been working to streamline the office’s burdensome and time-consuming process for handing out patents, which can take applicants years to obtain.

Working with ATS on the new contracts will be partner Design for Context.

“The (Patent and Trademark Office) is putting itself at the forefront of user-experience innovation through these major program re-designs, and ATS is pleased to be selected for the efforts,” said ATS Vice President Carey Kolb.

Founded in 1980 in Bremerton, ATS is a leader in software, services and solutions that help the government and businesses transform data to decisions. Now headquartered in Silverdale, ATS also has offices in Alexandria and Suffolk, Va.

For more information about ATS, visit or call 360-698-7100.

AWB chief urges everyone to vote

By Don C. Brunell, president, Association of Washington Business

Elections are always important, but the stakes are particularly high this year with our economy stuck in neutral and threatening to slip into reverse.

The economy will move forward only when employers feel confident enough to begin hiring. The choices voters make this November will either strengthen or weaken employer confidence.

When you mark your ballot, ask yourself, “Will my vote help create real private-sector jobs for me and my family? Will my vote put us on the path to reducing our crushing federal debt? Will my vote begin to reverse years of high unemployment?”

This will be a pivotal election and both camps will have their get-out-the-vote efforts. But voting is something Americans often take for granted. That is in stark contrast to the people of Iraq who braved death threats in 2005 to vote in their first free election.

By comparison, Americans have it easy. Perhaps too easy. Having the right to vote isn’t enough — we have to use it!

Washington citizens are more active than most when it comes to voting. But even here, the number of people voting in major elections has dwindled over time.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, back in 1952 nearly 91 percent of eligible adults in Washington were registered to vote, and 80 percent of them went to the polls.

In 2008, only 72 percent of eligible adults were registered. Even though a high percentage of them voted, the lower number of registered voters meant that only six out of ten eligible people voted.

What does that mean?

It means that four of every 10 adults let other people make decisions for them. They threw away the right to decide who leads their state and nation and what direction we take.

This is a big election year in Washington state. In addition to the governor’s race between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna, Secretary of State Sam Reed and Auditor Brian Sonntag are both retiring this year.

Initiative 1185 will let voters decide — again — if they want to require a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature to increase taxes. Hopefully, the answer will be “yes” — again.

Initiative 1240 would allow charter public schools in Washington, one of only nine states without that option. Voters should say yes to this opportunity to provide parents with more choices for their children’s education.

But however you vote . . . vote!

In spite of everything, some folks believe they can’t make a difference. Not true.

Remember the 2004 Washington governor’s race? It was the closest political race in U.S. history. Republican Dino Rossi was declared the winner in the initial automated count and again in the automated recount. It wasn’t until after the second recount done by hand that Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared the winner by 129 votes.

The only way to guarantee you don’t make a difference is to not vote. And, as the old timers say, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

Monday, Oct. 8 is the last day to update your registration or register online or through the mail, and Oct. 29 is the deadline to register in person.

General Election ballots will be mailed out to registered voters on Oct. 19. Your completed ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day. (Remember to sign it.)

If you’re dropping off your ballot in person, you must deposit it in a designated ballot drop box or at your county elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Contact the Secretary of State’s office or your county elections office for assistance.

Voting is easier — and more important —than ever these days. Vote.