here for our story on the proposed Haggen store
Update: Citing bankruptcy court documents, the Bellingham
Herald reports Haggen plans to close stores in East Bremerton, Gig
Harbor and Silverdale, in addition to the Port Orchard
The Seattle Times has a
map of proposed store closures here. The closure plan
requires court approval.
Haggen plans to close most of its newly-acquired
stores and regroup around 37 “core stores” in the
Northwest, according to a Thursday news release.
The Seattle Times reports
Haggen has selected about 14 Washington stores for
closure, including the former Safeway in Port
Orchard. Haggen also operates former Albertsons stores in
Silverdale and East Bremerton.
In an email, a Haggen representative said a full list of stores
slated for closure would be released at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Affected employees will be given 60-day notice before their
stores are closed, according to the release.
The reorganization is part of an ongoing bankruptcy for the
Bellingham-based grocer. Haggen
acquired 146 former Albertsons and Safeway locations across the
west early this year but struggled to compete in some of
its new markets.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sept. 9.
If you’re a Haggen employee and want to share your perspective
on the situation, please contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-475-3783.
The full news release is posted below: Continue reading
Patients can now
consult with Virginia
Mason health professionals face-to-face without leaving
The Seattle-based medical group announced the launch of a
care clinic” Wednesday that links providers with patients via
video-conferencing. The service is available to both existing and
new Virginia Mason patients,
according to a news release.
Providers can diagnose ailments, recommend courses of treatment
and prescribe medications through the virtual clinic. The cost is
Most insurance plans don’t cover virtual care,
though that’s beginning to change. Virginia Mason’s online
clinic is not available to Medicaid or Medicare clients.
Virginia Mason joins a growing number of health care
groups offering virtual care and telemedicine. CHI Franciscan
Health, parent company of Harrison Medical Center,
recently opened its
virtual urgent care portal to Kitsap County
Virginia Mason has also expanded services locally with the
addition of no-appointment urgent care on Bainbridge
The website for Virginia Mason Virtual Care Clinic
commuters have a new coffee option.
Starbucks opened a store
with drive-thru Monday next
to Rite Aid on Highway 104, east of the Miller Bay Road
The café has seating for 50 and will employ 19 “partners,”
according to a company spokeswoman. Store hours are 4:30 a.m.
to 8:30 p.m. daily.
New Starbucks stores have been popping up all over the county in
the past year. The first standalone Starbucks on Bainbridge
opened in 2014, along with
a Wheaton Way location in Bremerton.
added a store and drive-thru at Silverdale Way and Bucklin Hill
Road in July. Another is planned for
Poulsbo’s College Marketplace.
The opening of the Kingston café brings the
county’s Starbucks count to 21 (including Starbucks
kiosks inside larger stores).
After news broke the
Tribe would be
entering the recreational marijuana market this fall, I was
interested in gauging the reaction of the
nearest state-licensed marijuana retailer.
That retailer is Paper &
Leaf, a marijuana store that
opened on Bainbridge Island in June. The Suquamish
marijuana shop will be located about three miles north of
Paper & Leaf on Highway 305.
In an email, Paper & Leaf co-owner Brendan Hill said he sees
the tribe’s entry into the industry as part of a groundswell of
support for legalized marijuana:
Personally, we are excited to see
interest in the legalized retail recreational marijuana landscape
expanding. As one of the fastest growing new industries in
Washington, we feel grateful to be invested in a business model
that can welcome others with open arms.
When my partner, Steve Kessler, and
I made the decision to open Paper & Leaf, it was because we had
a unique vision for the store. We wanted to
create a welcoming, artistic atmosphere that reflected both of our
personalities and individual interests—as well as that of the
community of Bainbridge Island—which we are fortunate enough to
Judging by public response and
consumer feedback, we’ve been successful in meeting this goal, and
we feel confident in the unparalleled experience we are able to
offer our customers.
With that being said, we have no
concerns on the pending opening of any retail
cannabis shop, as each new store is further testament to the
increase in market demand and the public’s evolving opinion of
cannabis in the main stream.
As more shops open, consumers not
only benefit, but also the farmers and ecosystem of cannabis as a
whole. We wish all those entering the market the best of luck in
their new business venture.
The state health
exchange is getting out of the payment processing business.
Beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, customers who bought insurance
Washington Healthplanfinder will make premium
payments directly to their insurance carriers.
Healthplanfinder will no longer accept payments. Billing
questions should also be directed to the insurance companies,
according to a news release.
The change does not affect business customers or Apple Health
The Washington Health
Benefit Exchange board voted to make the change last December
after hearing complaints from customers and insurance companies,
according to a news release.
“By taking the Exchange out of the
payment process, customers and insurance companies can work
directly on any accounting-related issues,”
interim Exchange CEO Pam MacEwan said in the release.
“This frees the Exchange to do what we do best.”
Billing was not what the Exchange and its partners
Healthplanfinder was plagued by glitches over the
past two years. A tax calculation error derailed
Healthplanfinder on the first day of open enrollment for
In February the Exchange
mistakenly double- and triple-charged customers for March
insurance coverage. The agency promised to have the charges
reversed within 48 hours. But,
as I chronicled on this blog, it took weeks for one Poulsbo
woman to get her account sorted out.
The open enrollment period for 2016 health plans begins Nov.
The Exchange has the following tips for existing customers as
they transition to paying insurance companies directly:
The Port Orchard Les
Schwab will move from Bay Street to Sedgwick Road early next
Work has already begun on a 12,000-square-foot new tire
center across from Fred Meyer.
Les Schwab Assistant Manager Jim Flinner said the Bay Street
center had become outdated.
“The company saw our building was older,” he said. “It’s hard to
take care of our customers here.”
The new center will be roomier and allow easier access for
drivers. The building is being constructed on a 2.7-acre
lot and will feature eight garage bays.
“It’s going to be a really nice facility,” Flinner said.
Les Schwab expects to move south to Sedgwick in mid-April.
Flinner said no decisions have been made on what will happen with
the 1216 Bay Street property, which Les Schwab owns.
Brown Bear plans to build a car wash on the site of its old
Highway 305 gas station in Poulsbo.
Car Wash Enterprises, parent company of Brown Bear, is proposing a
single-lane, tunnel-style car wash on the 0.75-acre parcel,
according to city planning documents. The proposal also includes
eight covered vacuum stations and a two-lane auto pay station.
The property is located at the southeast corner of Highway
305 and Hostmark Street. A pre-application meeting for the
proposal was held Sept. 1.
closed and demolished Chevron fuel stations and mini-marts
in Poulsbo and on Bainbridge Island early this year,
citing challenges in the retail fuel market.
“We are a car wash company,” company Vice President Lance
Odermat said at the time. “Fuel is not our core business.”
Nary a day passes
without some fresh revelation on the travails of Haggen,
the Bellingham grocer that grew from 18 locations to
164 by gobbling up stores divested in the
Haggen filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week.
Haggen also sued Albertsons
for $1 billion, claiming the grocery giant sabotaged
its expansion. Haggen operates three Kitsap County stores in
Bremerton, Port Orchard and Silverdale.
Business reporters have been sifting through the bankruptcy
filings to gain some insight into the future of the troubled
grocer. Here are some recent Haggen headlines:
- Despite the lawsuit, the Seattle Times reports Haggen is
seeking approval for Albertsons
to hire back employees from the stores it divested. There
was a one-year ban on Albertsons hiring employees from its
Back in July we reported that much of the vacant land remaining
in Poulsbo’s College Marketplace was
bound for a trustee’s sale on Oct. 16.
The public auction is moving ahead, according to a notices of
trustee’s sale published Thursday.
The sale will include about 40 tax parcels totaling 60 acres.
The properties border the Walmart, Home Depot and Big 5/OfficeMax
complexes at the interchange of Highway 3 and Highway 305.
According to the notices, the land owner, Olhava Associates of
Edmonds, owes more than $17 million in unpaid loan
Union Bank, successor
to defunct Frontier Bank.
The sale won’t include two parcels identified as 3H and 3I,
car wash and Starbucks are planned. Those parcels recently
sold and the notice of trustee’s sale for the Olhava properties was
amended to exclude them.
The notices appeared on pages 10B and 11B of the Sept.
17 Kitsap Sun.
Tribe made headlines this week as it announced
plans to enter the recreational marijuana market by
The announcement came after the state Liquor and Cannabis Board voted
to approve a marijuana compact
with the Suquamish, the first agreement of its kind in the
The Squaxin Island
Tribe, based in Shelton, is also negotiating a compact with the
state, according to the
Tacoma News Tribune.
the Port Gamble S’Klallam
Tribe has taken a cautious approach to the issue of
marijuana legalization and sales. PGST Executive Director Kelly
Sullivan sent this statement to the Kitsap Sun on Wednesday:
“PGST does not currently have any
solid plans to move toward the marijuana business.
There are several issues on the
marijuana spectrum that are being considered.
medicinal use, recreational sale, manufacturing/distributing, all
have different potential impacts in our community.
The Tribe is not taking these
decisions lightly and is considering impacts each of these
different potential changes and how they each balance with the
values of our tribe.”