Tag Archives: bremerton

Census acknowledges data gap that led to faulty fast ferry numbers

The U.S. Census Bureau has acknowledged a data gap in one of its online applications that led Kitsap Transit to publish untrue statements about local commuter trends.

While fact checking campaign materials for Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry sales tax proposal, the Kitsap Sun discovered Census’ OnTheMap employment mapping tool doesn’t display civilian Department of Defense jobs, even though documentation for the application stated those jobs were included.

The omission was readily apparent in Bremerton, where defense jobs represent a large segment of the labor market.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility employed about 11,000 workers in 2014, the most recent year OnTheMap has data for. But OnTheMap showed only 218 jobs in the area of the shipyard.

The Sun contacted the Census Bureau regarding the discrepancy on Oct. 12. At first, bureau representatives were unable to confirm whether shipyard jobs were included in OnTheMap data. Then on Friday, Census provided this statement:

“The U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap tool does not include civilian employees of the Department of Defense and Armed Forces.

“We have updated the application documentation for the tool to reflect this exclusion. We are committed to providing data that gives an accurate snapshot of our nation’s communities.”

Without the disclaimer regarding civilian defense jobs, OnTheMap presented a skewed snapshot of many communities like Kitsap with a strong military presence. The Department of Defense employs nearly 800,000 civilians, according to its careers website.

By relying on the incomplete Census data for its research, Kitsap Transit drew the incorrect conclusion that more Kitsap residents work in Seattle than work in Bremerton — a talking point that helped bolster the case for fast ferry service across Puget Sound.

Kitsap Transit removed fast ferry materials that referenced the claim after the discrepancy in OnTheMap data was brought to light.

We don’t know how many other local public agencies have used OnTheMap for planning.

Puget Sound Regional Council spokesman Rick Olson said council staff do not use OnTheMap for research, but do recommend the tool to people looking for a quick overview of commuter trends.

Including civilian defense jobs in OnTheMap would be a useful service to the public. Users of the application will at least now be warned a large gap exists in the data.

Fifth marijuana grow approved in North Kitsap; retailer relocating

The state approved a fifth marijuana grow in North Kitsap this week.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board issued licenses to recreational marijuana producer and processor Americanna Naturals on Tuesday. The company will be located at 26420 Pioneer Way NW, near Twelve Trees Business Park.

Americanna Naturals is the 15th producer/processor licensed in the county. A grow was approved in Kingston just last week.

In other marijuana business news, a retail store that had been licensed in Port Orchard has successfully changed its location to East Bremerton.

Fillabong, which also operates a shop in Silverdale, was originally approved for 4978 Mile Hill Drive. The store will now be located at 3249 Perry Ave.

Here’s an updated map of marijuana business licenses in Kitsap:

New brewery planned in West Bremerton

badbulldogsThe former Grainger building across from Safeway could soon be home to Bremerton’s fifth brewery.

Silverdale residents Dave and Dawn Dodge (pictured) bought the Callow Avenue building last year and have applied for licenses to begin brewing in a portion of the 11,000-square-foot space. They hope to launch their Bad Bulldog’s Brewery as early as December.

Dave is a retired Arizona police officer who home brews beer and now works at Sound Brewery in Poulsbo.

“It was a blessing,” Dave said of landing his job at Sound, which has familiarized him with brewing on a commercial scale. “They’ve been really inviting to me.”

14034912_1412432445437392_2110010914126635088_nThe Dodges plan to build out their Bremerton brewery in stages. They’ll start by installing a 3.5-barrel brewing system in the lower level of the building and open a simple tasting room with a patio for outdoor seating.

Later the couple will add a full-scale tasting room one of the building’s street-level storefronts. A bar built around an opening in the floor will allow patrons to sip beers while watching brewers at work below.

Eventually the Dodges hope to transform the entire building into a beer-centric hub. The structure encompasses four separate commercial spaces with individual addresses, giving them plenty of room to experiment. They envision hosting a home brewers collective and perhaps a bottle shop.

It’s an ambitious vision, but Dawn is confident they can pull it off.

“When Dave decides to do something, he does it right,” she said.

Marijuana, not beer, was the Dodges’ initial plan for the building. They owned Emerald Coast Collective on Wheaton Way before it shut down at the end of June along with other medical marijuana dispensaries.

The couple applied for a license to place a recreational marijuana shop in the Grainger building, but were never approved. They joined a class action lawsuit against the Liquor and Cannabis Board with the hope of still landing a license.

If they prevail, Bad Bulldog’s Brewery could share the building with a marijuana store.

Bremerton Marina now 85 percent full

harbor3_18647849_ver1.0_640_480Bremerton Marina crept closer to full occupancy this summer.

Boats filled 187 of 221 permanent moorage slips in the downtown marina in July, up from 164 in July of 2015, and 88 back in 2012. July and August are peak months for the facility.

Marina marketing consultant Bob Wise told Port of Bremerton commissioners Tuesday that the port’s “two-for-one” moorage discount continues to reel in boaters.

The deal allows tenants to pay moorage every other month, if they agree to a two-year contract.

The port rolled out the discount in 2013, and offered it again at the Seattle Boat Show in January. That resulted in 31 new leases, Wise said.

Most tenants are sticking around to sign full-rate contracts after their two-year discounts expire. The retainment rate for boaters attracted by the two-for-one deal is about 70 percent, Wise said.

The discount “gives us an opportunity to showcase what we have to offer,” he said.

More downtown activity is also helping draw attention to the marina. A revamped Rock the Dock concert series drew large crowds this summer (the last concert of the season is Saturday). Brewfest and the Harbor Festival are popular with boaters.

The port continues to aggressively plug the marina on social media, in magazine ads, and at boat shows. Revenue has increased as slips filled up, but the facility is still far from breaking even.

Tax break was ‘absolutely critical’ to Bremerton apartment project

12096541_10206510262029092_907327638897249611_nThe 606 Apartments in Bremerton was the first project to make use of the city’s mutli-family tax exemption program, as I noted in a Sunday story.

PJ Santos, whose Lorax Partners company developed the 606, was off on vacation last week when I put the story together, but called Monday to give me his thoughts on the program.

Put plainly, Santos said the apartments couldn’t have been built without the incentive, which exempts to value of new apartment buildings from property taxes for up to 12 years.

“The project would not have happened if we didn’t have the abatement,” Santos said. “It was absolutely critical to make it viable.”

Rents in Kitsap are much lower than in Seattle, but construction costs are just as high. Santos aid the tax exemption, which saved 606 owners roughly $25,000 in 2016, made the project pencil out.

He noted cities are still able to tax the improvements as new construction once the exemption expires. But the delay in taxing the full value provides a much-needed boost for building Bremerton.

“It helps kick start development,” Santos said.

You can read more about Bremerton’s multi-family tax exemption here.

New owner, new name for Bremerton’s Wobbly Hopps Brewery

bremertonbreweries01_27506929_ver1.0_640_480One of Kitsap County’s newest breweries is set for a relaunch.

Wobbly Hopps Brewery, which opened on Fourth Street in Bremerton last fall, will change hands at the end of August and be rebranded as Dog Days Brewing sometime in the next few months.

Wobbly Hopps owners Jon and Sheree Jankowski are selling the business to fellow brewing enthusiast Jeffery Scott of Port Orchard. Scott takes the helm Sept. 1, just in time for Blackberry Festival.

The Jankowskis originally planned to hire a professional brewer to oversee operations at Wobbly Hopps, but that never came to pass. Jon said the couple has too many other interests and obligations, including full-time jobs, to carry on running the brewery.

“I haven’t mowed my lawn in a year,” he said.

Jon believes Scott will preserve the friendly atmosphere and unorthodox brews customers enjoy at Wobbly Hopps.

“I waited until someone came along who I could trust to take it over,” Jon said.

Jeff Scott brewing at Wobbly Hopps

Scott said he’s been homebrewing for five years and worked an apprenticeship at Sound Brewery in Poulsbo.

He was considering opening another brewery in downtown Bremerton before striking a deal with the Jankowskis.

Scott will take over a five-barrel brewing system and a lively taproom with an outdoor seating area. He’ll continue serving Wobbly Hopps’ beers at first, while gradually adding his own recipes to the mix.

Scott’s first beer, a “Dog With No Name IPA” is already brewing for the Sept. 1 opening.

“I can’t wait to serve some beer to the neighborhood,” Scott said.

Check the Wobbly Hopps and Dog Days Brewing Facebook pages for updates. And keep an eye on this blog for more Bremerton brewery news coming soon.

SAFE Boats unveils ‘multi-mission’ vessel

safe.boatsSAFE Boats International announced a new model in its lineup of commercially-available”interceptor” vessels.

The Port of Bremerton-based manufacturer unveiled the 35-foot “Multi-Mission Interceptor” Wednesday at the Multi-Agency Craft Conference in Baltimore, according to a news release.

“We are excited to launch the Multi-Mission Interceptor, one of the most versatile and highest performing models in our already great portfolio”, SAFE Boats CEO Dennis Morris said in the release.

The aluminum vessel boasts a maximum speed of more than 55 knots, and is capable of tight maneuvers and open-ocean crossings. A unique mounting system allows the rear deck to be reconfigured quickly.

SAFE Boats recently celebrated a milestone with the completion of its 2,000th hull and the delivery of its first coastal interceptor for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Marijuana store approved in Manette


A fourth and final marijuana store has been approved for the city of Bremerton.

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board gave the green light Thursday for a recreational pot shop called Budeez, at 2111 E 11th Street, next door to Manette Saloon. The space was previously home to a martial arts studio.

With Destination HWY 420, Pacific Cannabis Co. and The Reef already licensed within city limits, Bremerton has now reached its state-imposed cap of four marijuana retailers.

Budeez is the 15th store approved in Kitsap County. The state plans to license up to 20 retailers county wide.

Average apartment rent in Kitsap reaches $1,077

12096541_10206510262029092_907327638897249611_nKitsap’s rental market remains tight, but rents and vacancy rates seem to be steadying.

Average rent at large apartment complexes was $1,077 a month in the first quarter of 2016, a $6 increase from the fourth quarter of 2015.

Rent was up about $116 from a year ago, a 12 percent change, according to numbers provided by Tom Cain of Apartment Insights Washington.

Vacancy rates ticked up for the third straight quarter, reaching 4.22 percent.

The opening of the 71-unit 606 apartments in downtown Bremerton likely played a role in increasing vacancies. Bremerton’s vacancy rate jumped from 2.64 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 4.53 percent in first quarter of 2016.

Poulsbo/Bainbridge Island remained the tightest submarket, with a 2.91 percent vacancy rate.

In his quarterly report, Cain noted the shortage of homes for sale in the region has been a boon for rental owners.

“The tight home sale market and moderate level of new apartment construction will help keep pressure on rentals,” Cain wrote. “We expect the market to flourish this year.”

Here’s a graphical look at Kitsap rental trends:

Marijuana store approved on Hwy 303

A recreational marijuana store has been approved for a space near Walmart on Highway 303.

The retailer, licensed by the Liquor and Cannabis Board on Friday, is called Pacific Northwest Green Leaf. Its listed address is 6733 Highway 303 NE in East Bremerton (but outside city limits).

Green Leaf is the 14th marijuana seller approved in Kitsap. The state will issue a total of 20 retail licenses in the county.

Nine Kitsap marijuana stores posted sales in March. These were the top five performing stores by gross revenue in the first quarter of 2016 (before the 37 percent excise tax and other taxes are subtracted):

1. The Pot Zone (Port Orchard)

First quarter sales: $890,399
Excise tax:  $329,448

2. Destination Hwy 420 (Bremerton)

First quarter sales: $755,53
Excise tax: $279,549

3. Hwy 420 (Bremerton)

First quarter sales: $745,941
Excise tax: $275,998

4. Paper & Leaf (Bainbridge Island)

First quarter sales:  $652,043
Excise tax: $241,256

5. Pacific Cannabis Co. (Bremerton)

First quarter sales:  $470,718
Excise tax:$174,166

(The Suquamish Tribe’s Agate Dreams store is excluded from this list as its revenue is not made public.)

Here’s a graphical look at recreational marijuana sales in Kitsap: