MAP: Migration to and from Kitsap

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Ever wonder where Kitsap residents move from and where they go when they leave?

The Census Bureau has answers.

The map below shows net migration between Kitsap County and other U.S. Counties for 2009 through 2013, based on Census estimates (you can find the raw data and methodology here).

 

Instructions: Use the zoom tools to explore the map, or select individual states from the dropdown menu in the top right corner. Hover your mouse over the counties to see details. Click the house button to reset the map. 

Counties in the map are color coded. Counties shades of red are counties more Kitsap residents have moved to than have moved from. Counties in green are counties more residents have moved from than have moved to.

There are lots of interesting trends here I’ll hopefully be able to explore in more detail. Feel free to drop a comment below if something catches your eye.

Real estate: Prices up, inventory down in January

New year, same tight real estate market.

The key real estate trends of 2015 carried through January, according to numbers released last week by Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Inventory? Still low. There were 587 active listings in the county last month, compared with 843 in January 2015.

Prices? Still rising. The median price for houses and condominiums was about $265,000 in January, a jump of nearly 18 percent from the start of 2015. The median price for houses, excluding condos, was up 15 percent.

Prices were buoyed by sales on Bainbridge Island, where 19 homes sold with a median price of $690,000.

Sales? Still strong. Pending and closed sales were both higher last month than in January 2015, up 5.7 percent and 7.6 percent respectively.

Kitsap bucked a sales trend in January, as an inventory shortage drove down sales across much of the state. King County saw a 14.5 percent drop in pending sales from the previous year.

Here’s a graphical look at real estate statistics in Kitsap County in January:

And here’s a map showing statistics by local MLS area. Hover your mouse over the map to see details:

Harrison sees big increase in ER visits

Harrison Medical Center has seen a steep increase in ER visits at a time when hospitals are working to reduce patients’ dependence on emergency care.

The number of visits to Harrison’s emergency departments in Bremerton and Silverdale jumped from 67,965 in fiscal year 2014 to 79,950 in fiscal year 2015, an change of nearly 18 percent.

(Harrison’s fiscal year runs July through June.)

The Harrison ERs remained busy in the second half of 2015, receiving another 39,468 visits.

The increase in emergency department use was somewhat surprising given Harrison’s recent success in reducing preventable ER visits. 

It was also hoped the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid would lower emergency department dependence, as more residents gained access to primary and specialty care. Only 5.6 percent of Kitsap residents lacked health insurance in 2014.

So why are ER visits still climbing at Harrison?

The hospital noted three possible factors in an email this week: 

I haven’t seen figures for how many emergency visits the Naval hospital received before the conversion, but the facility serves a large population. About 29,000 active-duty service members, retirees and their families are enrolled at the hospital.

  • There’s a shortage of primary care providers in Kitsap. Even as residents gain health coverage, they may still struggle to access care.

Harrison is launching a residency program over the next few years with the hopes of injecting more young doctors into Kitsap’s medical community.

Concentrix files official layoff notice with state

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Concentrix gave the state official notice Wednesday of plans to close its East Bremerton call center.

As we reported last week, the closure will impact about 500 employees.

concxlogo_business-983x3001The official WARN notice reports 520 positions are being cut, though Concentrix spokeswoman Jyllene Miller told me fewer than 500 people are currently employed at the center.

Miller said the displaced employees will be given priority for “a few hundred” work-at-home jobs Concentrix is hiring for.

The center is slated to close March 4, according to the WARN notice. Concentrix will continue paying employees through March 28.

A team from the local WorkSource office is responding to the call center to provide employees with information about unemployment insurance claims, retraining opportunities and job leads. Kitsap WorkSource Administrator Margaret Hess said a forum for employees is being planned.

This isn’t the only WARN notice being filed by a Kitsap employer this week. We also received word defense contractor BAE Systems will lay off 68 workers in Silverdale by the end of March.

Hitchcock pizzeria expanding to old Winslow hardware

As we recently reported, the long-vacant Winslow Hardware space on Bainbridge Island is being renovated to accommodate a restaurant and offices. 

Now we know what restaurant will be moving in.

Hitchcock owner and chef Brendan McGill announced on Facebook that his pizzeria popup Bruciato will open as a standalone restaurant in the old hardware this summer:

With full hearts and tremendous gratitude, allow us to introduce our new home in the heart of Winslow Way. That's…

Posted by Bruciato on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The 6,350-square-foot hardware had been owned by Storyville Coffee, which for years teased islanders with promises of a café “coming soon.”

Storyville sold the property to California developer Joseph Lacko for $1.73 million this winter. Lacko planned to subdivide the space and bring on two tenants.

We’ll have more on this story soon.

Silverdale printer files for bankruptcy

1405 logo for webWest Sound Printing, Inc. of Silverdale filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week.

The Clear Creek Road company listed $51,000 in assets and $381,000 in liabilities in a petition filed Jan. 29 with U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Western Washington.

West Sound Printing provided a wide variety of printed products, along with binding and design services, according to its website.

State records indicate the business has been inactive since early January.

Bainbridge marijuana shop gives employees free samples

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Salespeople have to know their product, whether they’re selling cars or selling marijuana.

To make sure its staff are knowledgeable about its wares, one recreational marijuana store in Kitsap has been providing employees with free samples.

According to a blogpost on Forbes, Bainbridge Island’s Paper & Leaf provides “budtenders” with samples of the cannabis strains and edibles the store carries. Employees try the products at home and report back. The store even set up a private Facebook group where workers post their reviews.

“They post about the scent of the product, the potency, how it makes them feel,” said Hill.

“Most of our employees have been with us since we opened last June, so they know the information that customers are looking for,” he said.

Staff reviewers will use lingo like “gave me couch-lock,” “relaxing,” “euphoric,” “uplifting” or “made me kind of nervous,” in their reviews for each other.

According to the blog post, the state’s rules regarding free employee samples are murky. You can read the full Forbes story here.

Kingston’s Axe Handle Café closing in February

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Kingston’s popular Axe Handle Café will close Feb. 6, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page:

Dear Greater Kingston Community,It is with much sadness and relief that we are announcing the closing of Axe Handle Caf…

Posted by Axe Handle on Monday, January 25, 2016

Amy and Mark Anderson, owners of Cup and Muffin, launched the sit-down café three years ago and it quickly became a staple in downtown.

“There’s no better way of building community than just stopping in and sitting down together,” Amy Anderson told Kitsap Sun contributor Terri Gleich, who profiled the business last year.

Also closed in Kingston is the Main Street Ale House, which is apparently in the midst of an ownership change. A reopening date has not been announced.

Hello everyone! Another chapter for the Main Street Ale House is about to begin as we are transferring ownership in the…

Posted by Main Street Ale House on Friday, November 27, 2015

County job numbers, employment improved in 2015

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More Kitsap residents were employed and more people were working at jobs inside the county in 2015, according to preliminary year-end numbers released by the Employment Security Department.  

Kitsap jobs

An average of 87,600 people worked for employers within the county last year, a 3.7 percent uptick from 2014. It was also a slight increase from Kitsap’s pre-recession high of 87,400, reported in 2006.

Job growth came from both the private and government sectors, which increased employment by 2.7 percent and 5.4 percent respectively.

Here’s a graphical look at job trends in Kitsap:

Employment/unemployment

Overall employment among Kitsap residents remains lower than before the recession, but there were signs of improvement last year.

0827_KSLO_Wash-625x417The labor force – the total number of people working or seeking work – appeared to stabilize over the past three years, after declining through the recession. Kitsap’s labor force averaged 113,580 in 2015.

Average employment rose in 2014 and 2015, reaching 107,200 last year.

An average of 6,382 Kitsap residents were counted as unemployed last year, though the number only included people who were actively seeking work.

The county’s unemployment rate has fallen steadily since 2010, reaching 5.6 percent in 2015. This was partially due to declines in the labor force.

Here’s a graphical look at employment trends in Kitsap:

Port launches free Wi-Fi at marinas

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Boaters can now surf the web while snug in their slips at the Bremerton and Port Orchard public marinas.

The Port of Bremerton has launched a free Wi-Fi service at both Sinclair Inlet marinas, according to a Monday announcement.

“Studies have shown, and our customers have repeatedly told us that the number one utility they value bar none is connectivity,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said in the announcement. “It’s also the number one frustration they have with marinas as it can so often be weak, slow and unreliable.

The network provides a 125-megabyte-per-second access link shared by both facilities, which can be scaled up to 1 gigabyte-per-second as demand increases.

marina_23283854_ver1.0_640_480The system can accommodate up to 1,000 devices at a time. Service is provided by NW Commnet of Bremerton. 

In an email, Rothlin said the agency spent about $150,000 installing a fiber optic backbone and Wi-Fi system at both marinas.

Hardware chosen for the network had to be especially rugged to survive in the corrosive marine environment.

“I would say the biggest challenges were getting coverage through all parts each marina, dealing with getting coverage within covered moorage, and keeping the connection across the two marinas as the tide goes in and out,” Rothlin said. 

The full announcement, with more technical info, is posted below:  Continue reading