Minimum wage initiative would affect thousands of Kitsap workers

20060124-061050-pic-985377851_5739340_ver1-0_640_480A minimum wage initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot could boost pay for thousands of low-wage Kitsap County workers, according to analysis by a state economist.

But nailing down exactly how many jobs would be affected if the initiative passed is no easy task.

If approved, Initiative 1433 would incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage from the current $9.47 an hour to $13.50 an hour in 2020.

To help understand the implications of the initiative, state Employment Security Department economist Scott Bailey created a hypothetical scenario in which a $13.50 minimum wage was applied to 2015 labor markets in each county. He used a $12.23 minimum wage to account for inflation between 2015 and 2020.

B0013070067--582128For job and wage data, Bailey turned to a database of quarterly wage records.

The records include most jobs covered by unemployment insurance, but exclude federal jobs, private household employment like nannying, and home health care workers.

Bailey also noted the records capture three-month periods, which makes it difficult to create an exact point-in-time job count, since individuals move in and out of labor markets, and many jobs are short-term.

With all those caveats in mind, here were key takeaways from Bailey’s analysis of Kitsap County’s labor market in 2015:

— Somewhere between 3 percent and 6 percent of non-federal jobs in Kitsap paid minimum wage ($9.47, plus or minus 18 cents).

— Somewhere between 19 percent and 26 percent of non-federal jobs paid less than $12.23 an hour (the equivalent of $13.50 in 2020). That was between 9,000 and 19,000 jobs.

— Jobs paying less than $12.23 an hour accounted for 8 percent of Kitsap’s non-federal payroll.

— Payroll would have to increase by about 1.2 percent to meet the minimum wage requirement under 1433, a change of about $29.7 million.

Bailey also took a statewide look at what industries would most be affected by the minimum wage hike, again using 2015 labor market numbers.

This chart shows the percentage of jobs by industry paying less than $12.23 an hour (the equivalent of $13.50 in 2020):

Developer shares plans for Rolling Bay project


A Bainbridge developer plans to seek approval this fall for a project that will bring new homes, shops and a restaurant to the island’s Rolling Bay center.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Sunrise Square, which came before the city’s Design Review Board in 2015, will be located on Sunrise Drive, just north of the intersection with Valley Road.

Rolling Bay Land Co. owner Lisa Martin said she expects construction to begin by next summer, if permitting goes smoothly. The development could be ready for tenants in by early 2018.

 Plans for Sunrise Square include 6,700 square feet of residential space (both detached homes and apartments), 4,100 square feet of commercial space and a 2,300-square-foot freestanding restaurant.

Martin and architect Russ Hamlet, who’ve teamed up on several eco-friendly projects, emphasized energy and water efficiency in the design of Sunrise Square.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Geothermal and solar systems will help offset the development’s energy needs, Martin said.

Buildings in Sunrise Square will feature vacuum toilets that use far less water than even low-flow toilets. Waste will be composted before it’s discharged into the development’s septic drain field.

The western portion of the 2-acre parcel will be left undeveloped as an open space meadow.

Rolling Bay Land Co. is seeking tenants for the future development. Leasing information and more designs are posted below.

Renderings courtesy Rolling Bay Land Co. and Studio Hamlet

Harrison Port Orchard Urgent Care cutting late night hours

20090113-181808-pic-839579123_5852379_ver1.0_640_480Harrison Port Orchard Urgent Care will reduce evening hours this fall in response to complaints regarding long wait times and understaffing.

The new clinic hours will be 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily, beginning Oct. 31, according to a letter sent to CHI Franciscan Health patients. The clinic is currently open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

According to the letter: “This change will ensure that three providers are in clinic during all business hours, which will improve access to our providers and decrease the time patients spend in the waiting room.”

CHI Franciscan spokesman Scott Thompson said the clinic saw an average of 8 patients between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“We are much busier during the day,” Thompson said.

South Kitsap patients needing care overnight will have to travel to an emergency department in Bremerton, Gig Harbor or Silverdale. CHI Franciscan Health also offers virtual urgent care 24 hours a day.

The Port Orchard clinic was originally open 24 hours a day. CHI Franciscan eliminated overnight hours at the urgent care in 2015.

The full letter to patients is posted below:

PO.urgent.hours by Tad Sooter on Scribd

Peninsula Cancer Center adds oncologist

cancercenter01_8283522_ver1-0_640_480A fourth physician has joined Peninsula Cancer Center in Poulsbo to help meet increased demand for services.

The independent cancer treatment center announced the addition of radiation oncologist Dr. Aaron Sabolch in a news release Thursday.

“There’s a growing demand for our services and the addition of Dr. Sabolch will allow us to continue to provide timely, high-quality patient-centered care for new and existing patients,” practice co-founder Dr. Berit Madsen said in the release. 

Sabolch received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed his residency at University of Michigan, Department of Radiation Oncology.

Peninsula Cancer Center was founded by Madsen and Dr. Alex Hsi in 2009. Dr. Heath Foxlee established a satellite clinic in Port Townsend in 2010.

See the center’s website or Facebook page for more information.

Marijuana grow approved in Bremerton; SK retailers on the move

111-bruennThe state approved a marijuana grow Wednesday off Auto Center Boulevard in Bremerton.

Producer and processor United Western Green will be located in a warehouse at 111 Bruenn Ave., according to Liquor and Cannabis Board records.

United Western Green is the 16th producer/processor licensed in Kitsap County.

Retailers on the move

Marijuana retailers originally licensed in South Kitsap are shuffling locations this fall, perhaps seeking less crowded markets.

Eight marijuana retailers were approved in the Port Orchard area. Now some are moving out. Click to enlarge.

The board recently approved an address change allowing 21+ Recreational Marijuana to hop from Bethel Road in Port Orchard to 3062 SW Hwy. 16, Suite A in Gorst.

Two other South Kitsap marijuana stores have applied to relocate to Silverdale.

Fillabong, which also operates a shop in Silverdale, already shifted its license from Mile Hill Drive to 3249 Perry Ave., just outside Bremerton limits.

Here’s my map of Kitsap marijuana businesses. I’ll update the new retail locations once they’re approved by the board:

Kingston farm named finalist for $20k prize

A Kingston cattle farm is the last Kitsap company left in the running for the $20,000 edg3 FUND small business prize.

Silver Creek Angus was one of five finalists Kitsap Bank announced for the prize last week. 

The longtime family farm raises Black Angus cattle and sells beef. You can learn more about their operation in the video above.

The edg3 FUND competition, now in its third year, promotes entrepreneurs “dedicated to growing our local community economically, socially and environmentally.”

This year’s $20,000 winner will be selected by a panel of judges during a live event Nov. 17 at Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton.

An additional $5,000 will be awarded to the entrant that best embodies “the spirit of community.”

Apartment rents keep climbing in Kitsap

b0016037975-446099Average rent for apartments in Kitsap climbed to $1,186 in the third quarter of 2016, marking the 10th-straight quarter rents have increased in the county.

Per-unit rent at large apartment complexes has risen $109 since the start of the year, according to Tom Cain of Apartment Insights Washington.

Port Orchard and Bremerton reported the largest rent increases in the West Sound region in the third quarter.

Vacancy rates remained low in Kitsap, with 4.35 percent of units available.

The market was tightest in Port Orchard where just 3.32 percent of apartment were vacant, while Silverdale’s vacancy rate jumped to 5.21 percent.

Cain said a balanced rental apartment market typically has a vacancy rate of 5 percent.

Here’s a graphic showing apartment rental trends in Kitsap:

CHI Franciscan names chief medical officer

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson

Former Harrison Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Anderson has been tabbed to fill the same role for all of CHI Franciscan Health.

CHI Franciscan announced Anderson as its new chief medical officer Monday. He was named to the position in an interim capacity in February.

Anderson will oversee medical operations, medical staff services, regulatory compliance and quality of care for all eight CHI Franciscan hospitals, including Harrison.

“With Dr. Anderson’s guidance, we will continue to elevate physician leadership within our system to position us to set the standard for quality care, patient safety, and patient outcomes,” CHI Franciscan CEO Ketul J. Patel said in an announcement.

Anderson received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and his master’s in health administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

He previously served as medical officer to the Marine Corps and medical inspector general for the Navy.

Real estate report: Supply of homes for sale is gradually increasing

After scraping bottom last winter, the supply of homes available for sale in Kitsap increased gradually since March.

Notably, the number of home listings active in September nearly matched the number reported in September of 2015 (see chart below).

There were 593 listings added last month, a 21 percent increase from the previous year, according to a report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Based on the stats, Kitsap remains squarely a seller’s market.

Real estate professionals consider a market balanced when it has a four- to six-month supply of homes, meaning it would take four to six months to sell off all the houses available if no new listings were added.

B0015078797--870950Kitsap had just a  2.15-month supply of homes in September. In other words, the market would need about 1,000 more active listings or a slowdown in sales to achieve some balance.

But even an incremental increase in supply could be good news, as sales activity didn’t cool off all that much in September.

Pending sales were down in the county from August to September — as is typical for the season — but were up 13 percent from September of 2015. The 448 deals closed in September marked a 15 percent increase from 2015.

Home prices remained elevated. The median price for houses and condominiums sold in September was $284,999, a 10 percent jump from last year.

Here’s a graphical look at Kitsap real estate trends.

And here’s a map showing real estate stats by submarket. Wave your clicker over each area to see details:

Kitsap will receive $200k from marijuana excise tax in FY 2017

paper_leaf_img_6126_webMore than $200,000 in marijuana excise tax revenue will flow into Kitsap in the coming year.

Kitsap County is in line to receive $126,774, according to a list of fiscal year 2017 tax distributions posted by the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Port Orchard will receive $40,107, Bremerton $27,989 and Bainbridge Island $16,419.

Poulsbo, which has a moratorium on marijuana businesses, will not receive any money.

The state committed to distributing $6 million in revenue from the 37 percent tax on recreational marijuana to local governments in both fiscal years 2016 and 2017. (The fiscal year runs July through June.)

The money is divvied up based on the amount of marijuana tax generated in each jurisdiction in the previous year. Kitsap governments are spending the money on law enforcement.

Beginning in fiscal year 2018, the state will distribute 30 percent of marijuana excise tax revenue to local governments. Thirty percent of that amount will go to cities and towns. Seventy percent will go to counties.