Monthly Archives: January 2014

Poulsbo Safeway set for May opening


The new Safeway store under construction off Highway 305 in Poulsbo is now slated for a May opening, a corporate representative said this week.

The grocery and gas station was initially scheduled to open in December.

A new traffic signal is in place at the corner of Lincoln Road and 10th Avenue but hasn’t been activated.  The gas station is also installed but won’t open until the store is finished.

Construction appeared to progress slowly at times this winter. The Safeway representative acknowledged some challenges with the hillside site.

We hope to have a full update soon. In the meantime, you can learn more about the project from our 2012 story.



Eastside Auto Wrecking shutting down Friday

Eastside Auto Wrecking – in business since the 1940s – will shut down for good Friday.

The East Bremerton wrecking yard has been in the Lillybridge family since 1981. Manager Mike Lillybridge said the family couldn’t keep pouring money into a business in rapid decline.

A shrinking customer base, hard-to-work-on modern cars, and government regulations have made junkyards nearly impossible to keep open, he said.

“I would be shocked if this industry is still around in 10blog.wreckingyard years.”

He said the work was hard but enjoyable.

“I’ve always been a big customer service guy, just being able to help people, and help them save money.”

Friday was the last day Eastside would sell auto parts. There are still about 350 cars in the yard to strip and prep for the crusher. That process will probably take a month.

Meanwhile the Eastside property is up for sale. Lillybridge said the 6.5 acres were listed Thursday at $1.5 million.

Watch the Kitsap Sun for an in-depth story and video on the wrecking yard business. If you were an Eastside customer please share your thoughts in the comment section or send me an email at



Volunteers offer free tax help around Kitsap


Tax return season is finally getting underway this week.

Once again, a small army of volunteers from AARP’s Tax-Aide program will fan out to locations around Kitsap to offer free tax help. Residents of all ages can get assistance with basic 2013 income tax filings beginning in February.

Full details, schedules and locales are listed in the document below below. You can download the document or print it out and stick it on your fridge. Continue reading

WWU means business in Poulsbo

Western Washington University will expand its course offering at Olympic College next fall with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

The degree will be available at the Western Washington University Center in Poulsbo, with classes starting in September. Kitsap students can already enroll in environmental degree programs through WWU in Poulsbo.

An information session on the new business degree will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at in the Haselwood Library, Room 110, on OC’s Bremerton campus. See more information here.

Kitsap Economic Development Alliance is highlighting the expansion of WWU programs on the peninsula with a new Kitsap Connected video, posted above. The video discusses the value of collaboration between the Bellingham-based university and Bremerton-based college. The video will be presented Wednesday at KEDA’s Decision Makers Breakfast.




Verizon Wireless retailer opens on Kitsap Way

blog.verizonA GoWireless Verizon store is open in the Kitsap Way building once occupied by Blockbuster.

The new retail outlet opened Thursday next to QFC. A grand opening will likely be held in February.

The new 3,000-square-foot Kitsap Way store is positioned to draw in traffic from the busy thoroughfare. There is also a GoWireless outlet on Wheaton Way, near Fred Meyer.

“We’re always growing, always expanding,” said manager Katie Mantey.

The store will carry a full lineup of phones, tablets and other devices. Live displays should be up and running soon. Customers can sign up for home services at the branch.

The Blockbuster video store closed two years ago.

Clarification made: This is a GoWireless store, a Verizon retailer.

Great Peninsula Conservancy moving downtown

blog.corner.buildingThe nonprofit Great Peninsula Conservancy is moving to a prominent downtown corner, after outgrowing its Kitsap Way digs.

The land trust will slide into a corner office on the top floor of the Sound West Building at the corner of Pacific Avenue and 5th Street.

Great Peninsula Conservancy is currently located at 3721 Kitsap Way. The small offices were getting cramped with a staff of five and a growing list of projects, said Executive Director Sandra Staples-Bortner. The group was interested in the exposure offered on Pacific Avenue, and liked the growing energy downtown.

“We see what’s happening there and want to be a part of it,”Staples-Bortner said. Continue reading

Environmental comments taken on Poulsbo CVS

The City of Poulsbo is taking comments on the environmental impacts of a proposed CVS pharmacy and fast food restaurant at Highway 305 and Hostmark Street.

The new development would replace Northwest Design Center building. A site plan was submitted in October by Michigan-based Velmeir Companies.

The development could be open by October 2014, according to documents filed with the city. It would be the only CVS in Washington according to the company’s website.

City staff determined the project will not have a probable adverse environmental impacts if mitigation steps are followed. Comments will be taken through Feb. 7.

See the notice below for more information: Continue reading

More Kitsap residents enrolling in qualified health plans

blog.healthplanfinderEnrollment in the state health insurance marketplace has so far been dominated by Medicaid enrollees.

But in December, Kitsap saw a jump in the number of residents enrolled in qualified private health care plans offered through Washington Healthplanfinder. Enrollment in those plans jumped from 735 at the end of November to 2,454 at the end of December, according to a report released Thursday by the exchange.

A surge in enrollment for qualified health plans was noted statewide in December. Exchange representatives attributed the jump to people rushing to meet the Dec. 23 deadline for coverage activated on Jan. 1.

Another 9,149 Kitsap residents have qualified for Medicaid plans, including 3,801 newly enrolled. That brings the total number of Kitsap residents enrolled through the exchange to 11,603.

The exchange opened in October. Open enrollment continues through March 31 (applications are accepted at any time for Medicaid).

The full data report for December is posted below: Continue reading

Kitsap home prices up slightly in 2013 report

The end of a five-year slide in home prices was the headline for Kitsap County in an annual report released Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

A spike in sales and a low inventory of available homes helped propel the modest price gain of 3.3 percent, the first since 2007. You can read our story here. The full report is embedded below: Continue reading

New CFO announced for Kitsap Bank

Alan Crain was announced Tuesday as the new executive vice president and chief financial officer of Kitsap Bank.

Crain was most recently CFO of Seattle Bank, working to rebuild the standing of the distressed institution, according to a news release. He also served 14 years as CFO of Cashmere Valley Bank.

Crain is a 1987 graduate of Central Washington University and 1996 graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.  He is active in several banking and business associations.

“Alan has a broad background in finance, accounting, investment management, information technology, public finance, mortgage banking, and overall bank operations,” Anthony George, president and chief operating officer at Kitsap Bank, said in the release. “We are excited to have such a high-quality and well-respected banker join Kitsap Bank in this critical role.”

The Port Orchard-based bank maintains 20 locations and reports $900 million in assets.

In related news, Kitsap Bank announced a new branch for Wheaton Way in Bremerton, to be combined with a Starbucks. Head on over to the Bremerton Beat blog for details.