Minding Your Business

Reporter Tad Sooter keeps tabs on the West Sound economy, nonprofits and health care.
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Brookdale, Emeritus finalize massive merger

July 31st, 2014 by Tad Sooter

emeritusSenior living giants Emeritus and Brookdale closed a merger deal Thursday, according to a new release. The deal was first announced in February.

After absorbing Emeritus, Brookdale now owns 1,150 communities in 46 states, with the ability to serve 110,000 residents.

Emeritus operates the Montclair Park community in Poulsbo (pictured). We took a close look earlier this year at how the merger might impact the local community, and the trend of ownership changes in assisted living.

 


FAQs on the Harrison/Regence negotiations

July 30th, 2014 by Tad Sooter

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UPATE: Regence and Harrison agreed to a temporary contract extension late Wednesday.

The contract, previously set to expire Wednesday afternoon is now good through mid-August.

The last-minute extension makes my original post here moot, but I’ll keep these resources posted so they’re readily available. Below are fact sheets distributed by Regence and Harrison regarding the contract negotiations and what customers can expect if Harrison indeed becomes “out-of-network.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Kitsap Bank names semi-finalists in small business competition

July 29th, 2014 by Tad Sooter

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Eight Kitsap Companies were among the 16 semi-finalists announced in Kitsap Bank’s inaugural edg3 FUND competition.

The contest recognizes small businesses that benefit their communities economically, socially or environmentally. The winner will receive $20,000.

These were the semi-finalists, selected from nearly 70 applicants from areas served by the bank, with Kitsap companies in bold: Read the rest of this entry »


The Doctors Clinic is still in-network with Regence

July 29th, 2014 by Tad Sooter

The Doctors Clinic is still in-network with Regence.

The Silverdale-based medical group is stressing that point this week as a contract standoff continued between insurance company Regence and  Harrison Medical Center.

The Harrison/Regence negotiations have created confusion for some patients of The Doctors Clinic, in part because physicians for The Doctors Clinic do provide services at Harrison facilities.

Dr. Randall Moeller, president of The Doctors Clinic, said the group sent voice messages to patients assuring them Regence insurance will still be accepted, regardless of the outcome of the Harrison negotiations.

The Doctors Clinic posted this explanation on its website:

The Doctors Clinic will still accept Regence Insurance plans after August 1, 2014. The contract dispute with Harrison Hospital does not affect in network coverage with The Doctors Clinic.

All services from The Doctors Clinic — Physician visits, urgent care treatment, lab work, and surgery in our Ambulatory Surgery Center will continue to be considered “in network” through Regence.

If you were to require surgery by a physician from The Doctors Clinic who performed the surgery at Harrison Hospital, only the hospital portion of the bill would not be covered “in network.”


Report: Bethel shopping center sells for $21 million

July 28th, 2014 by Tad Sooter

 

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UPDATE: Here’s our story on the sale of Bethel Junction.

A Bethel Junction shopping center that includes a Safeway and Big Lots has sold for $20.8 million, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The buyer was a San Diego investment group.

The 157,500-square-foot development was built in phases in 1989 and 1998, according to a commercial listing. Assessor’s documents list the most recent owner as Tavitac Corporation.

We’ll post more details as we get them.

Photo courtesy Pacific Capital


Mixed bag of job numbers midway through 2014

July 25th, 2014 by Tad Sooter

The Kitsap County unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent by the end of June, due mostly to continued decline in the labor force. Meanwhile, the number of people working for Kitsap County employers remained unchanged from 2013.

Here’s a look at the June employment report for Kitsap:

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Employment/Unemployment

An estimated 1,050 people left Kitsap County’s labor force (stopped looking for work) in June, according to the state Employment Security Department. That negated a labor force gain in May. Another residents 130 were hired.

The decline to the labor force and slight increase in employment dropped unemployment rate among Kitsap residents to 5.1 percent, a full 2 percent lower than in June 2013.

On a positive note, 990 more Kitsap residents were employed in June than in June 2013. For perspective, this chart shows how Kitsap’s labor force and employment numbers have changed over the past decade at the midpoint of each year:

Read the rest of this entry »


Is it time to rename SKIA?

July 23rd, 2014 by Tad Sooter

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The Port of Bremerton needs to recruit manufacturers to the slow-growing South Kitsap Industrial Area.

But most companies outside the region have never heard of Kitsap County, let alone its southern extremities. Given the county’s lack of name recognition, port Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn believes it’s time to rebrand SKIA.

VicinityMap“Where is South Kitsap and what does that mean to you?” Strakeljahn said at a Tuesday night commission meeting. “It has no meaning outside our local area.”

His solution? Give the 3,500-acre industrial area a name that reflects the broader region. “Puget Sound Industrial Center” was one suggestion.

Strakeljahn said he and port CEO Jim Rothlin have informally discussed a potential name change with a number of area leaders, including representatives from Puget Sound Regional Council and Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent. The idea was well received. Read the rest of this entry »


“Major” car maker shoots ad at Bremerton Marina

July 23rd, 2014 by Tad Sooter

photo1Bremerton Marina will soon be the backdrop for a “major” car manufacturer’s international ad campaign.

A photo crew shot images at the marina Monday evening. The ads will roll out in about five to seven months, according to Port of Bremerton staff.

You’re free to speculate on the identity of the car manufacturer. Port employees were asked not to divulge the name of the company, though they say its a well-known brand. There was no car on hand for the shoot – apparently it will be Photoshopped in later.  Read the rest of this entry »


Sonic Drive-In approved for Poulsbo

July 22nd, 2014 by Tad Sooter

1370393911873350457sonic-logoThe Poulsbo city planning department gave the green light Tuesday for a Sonic Drive-In restaurant.

Plans for the much-hyped fast food restaurant were submitted back in April. The Sonic will be built at the northwest corner of Highway 305 and Viking Way, near the Highway 3 interchange.

Cascade Development Group LLC. is spearheading the project. Columbia Property Managers LLC. bought the corner property in June for $1.25 million, according to assessors documents.

Cascade principal Richard Ramsey said the restaurant is on track to open by the end of the year. Site work could begin this summer.

The 2,300-square-foot floor restaurant will include indoor seating – a new design element for Sonic in Washington. Roll-up doors will be opened when the weather is warm.

“On nice days it will feel like a patio,” Ramsey said.

Site plans call for 34 parking spaces, including 16 large stalls for carhop service.

The Viking Way parcel was originally approved for a gas station, car wash and fast food restaurant. Cascade filed a revision to those plans that included only the Sonic.

The planning decision can be appealed to a hearing examiner. Documents are embedded below.

This post was updated to include comments from the developer.

Read the rest of this entry »


Air show recap, fiber optic easement on port agenda

July 22nd, 2014 by Tad Sooter

Port of Bremerton commissioners will hear a recap Tuesday evening from a delegation that visited the Farnborough International Airshow last week to promote the aerospace industry in Kitsap.

Kitsap Economic Development Alliance will also present a quarterly report and commissioners will consider a granting an easement for a portion of a fiber optic cable that will stretch across Sinclair Inlet.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Bremerton National Airport. The full agenda is posted below: Read the rest of this entry »