Monthly Archives: January 2015

Barbershop opens at Burwell and Callow

20141119_101335A new barber has set up shop on a prominent Bremerton corner.

Miss Monica’s Barber Boutique opened at the intersection at 2616 Burwell Street, at the busy intersection with Callow Avenue.

Owner Monica Fowler has cut hair for 17 years, since earning her license at Bates Technical College. She spent most of her career in Atlanta before relocating to Tacoma recently.

Fowler opened the shop on Burwelll last week with one other  barber on staff. She is eager to let people know the shop is under new ownership. “I’m really excited,” she said.

Miss Monica’s is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Sunday. Call (360) 627-8214 for information.

Buffalo Wild Wings opening Feb. 9

bwwBuffalo Wild Wings plans to open its Silverdale restaurant in February, though not quite in time for the Superbowl.

The highly-anticipated Kitsap Mall location is slated for a Feb. 9 opening.

“We are very excited to be bringing the Buffalo Wild Wings experience to a new location in Silverdale and we look forward to becoming a part of this dynamic community,” Kathy Benning, a Buffalo Wild Wings executive vice president, said in a news release.

The sports-centric restaurant and bar will feature “wall-to-wall” big screen televisions. Its menu includes wings, of course, paired with an array of sauces, and a host of other casual dining entrees.

According to the release, the first 100 customers in line for the opening Feb. 9 will receive a voucher for 52 snack-sized wing orders (one order for every week in the year). Doors open at 10 a.m.

First Mason County pot shop approved

The state Liquor Control Board issued a license for a recreational marijuana shop in Belfair last month. It was the first retail marijuana license issued for Mason County.

The store, called Ganja Vita, is planned for 23441 NE Highway 3, across the street from the Harrison Medical Center clinic.

Owner Erica Weick said she’s waiting on final county approval to open. She hopes the high-visibility location will keep business brisk.

Mason County has become a hot spot for growing operations — 13 producers have been approved so far (see map). Three were approved in December alone.

Retail has been a different story. The state will allow up to five shops in the county, including one in Shelton. But Weick said zoning restrictions made it challenging to find a suitable space for a shop.

The state received 20 retail applications and 47 producer applications for Mason County. Seven recreational marijuana businesses have been approved in Kitsap County.

Flu cases on the rise in Kitsap County

Flu season is upon us.

Hospitals, longterm care facilities and physicians are reporting an increased number of influenza cases. One person in Kitsap County who died recently tested positive for the flu.

Flu viruses have adapted, making the current flu shot somewhat less effective this year. Kitsap Public Health District is still urging residents to get the vaccination, as it still covers a number of flu strains and may offer some protection from the adapted strains.

The district offers low-cost flu shots for children (more information below). Free flu shots for moms are available through a program offered at Rite-Aid. The Department of Health has a flu vaccine finder tool on its flu information page.

A full news release from the health district is posted below and downloadable hereContinue reading

Navy Federal opens in downtown Bremerton


B7U-aqFCUAACMnIA Navy Federal Credit Union branch opened in downtown Bremerton Monday, after relocating from Auto Center Way.

The new branch is located at 555 Pacific Ave., Ste. 110, in the Sixth and Pacific building.  Navy Federal spokesman Brian Parker said downtown offices provide easier access for members.

693808_6341520_ver1.0_640_480“With the proximity to the shipyard, and the ferry terminal really, its really a key location for our members,” Parker said.

The full-service branch includes an ATM, mortgage services, and a  coin sorting machine. Parker said staff includes 10  full-time and five part-time employees. Navy Federal has about 23,000 members in the Kitsap area.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Navy Federal is the world’s largest credit union, with 259 branches nationwide, including seven in Washington State and two in Kitsap County. The credit union plans to open 20 new branches this year. A Tacoma branch is slated to open this spring, according to a news release.

Navy Federal is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard active duty, civilian, and contractor personnel and their families.

The opening of the credit union branch is a positive development for the Sixth and Pacific building, which narrowly avoided a foreclosure sale this winter. Group Health, Edward Jones and Distributed Energy Management also have offices there.

More information about Regence and Harrison

A lot of Regence BlueShield customers in Kitsap County are confused and frustrated by the rift between their insurance company and Harrison Medical Center.

They have every right to be. It’s a confusing and frustrating situation.

regence_1418607978483_11097742_ver1.0_640_480Regence and Harrison terminated their contract on Aug. 22 after failing to agree on reimbursement rates. That meant Harrison was no longer “in network” for thousands of Regence BlueShield customers. Those customers would have to pay more out of pocket to receive care from Harrison.

As we reported in December, Regence and Harrison reached an agreement that ensured most Kitsap residents could still access Harrison’s emergency departments at an in-network rate. (Regence determined residents in seven South Kitsap zip codes could use Pierce County hospitals, so they were excluded.)

The agreement was made retroactive to Aug. 22, so anyone who was charged too much for emergency care last fall should get their bill corrected.

The agreement hardly ended the confusion.  Continue reading

Kitsap tour company is shutting down

20100430-185631-pic-325800664_5622775_ver1.0_640_480Kitsap Tours, which introduced visitors to Bainbridge Island and the peninsulas for five years, is shutting down this winter.

Owners Jean and Jim Boyle have decided to “re-retire,” according to a post on the company website. The couple plans to spend more time… travelling.

“We have decided to trade our bus for a camper van and spend some of our time exploring the back roads of this beautiful country and Canada while maintaining our home base here in Suquamish,” Jean Boyle wrote on the website.

The news wasn’t unexpected. The Boyles put the business up for sale last year and said 2014 would be their last season.

During its half-decade in operation, Kitsap Tours drew visitors from all 50 states and “introduced thousands of people to the natural beauty, history and charm of the area,” Jean Boyle wrote.

Here’s our story and video from the launch of Kitsap Tours in 2010.

Franciscan Medical Group names president

Michael Marshall, MDA new president and chief medical officer was announced Thursday for Franciscan Medical Group, CHI Franciscan’s network of clinics, physicians and providers.

The Tacoma-based medical group hired Dr. Michael Marshall, who most recently served as president of Allina Health Clinics and senior vice president of Allina Health, in Minnesota. His first day with CHI Franciscan is Feb. 23, according to a news release.

Marshall is one of several new executives to join CHI Franciscan and Harrison this winter. David Schultz started began his duties as Harrison president in December.

CHI Franciscan hired Ketul Patel as its CEO in December. He also starts Feb. 23.

CHI Franciscan and Harrison are affiliated with Catholic Health Initiative of Colorado.

The full new release on Marshall’s hiring is below: Continue reading

Kitsap real estate market ends 2014 with a bang

The Western Washington real estate market ended 2014 with fireworks.

Home sales logged in December 2014 outpaced sales made in December 2013 by double digits, according to numbers released by Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The trend held true in Kitsap County, where December pending sales (306) were nearly 20 percent higher than at the same time in the previous year. Closed sales (324) jumped by 29 percent. Unseasonably high sales were seen in nearly every Kitsap community.

While sales surged, the available inventory of homes continued to plunge. Just 205 homes came on the market in Kitsap in December. Fewer than 900 homes were available for sale in the county, the first time the inventory has dipped below 1,000 in at least the past three years.

Hot sales and low inventory drove the months supply of homes (the number of months it would take to sell off all the homes available) down to 2.76. For comparison, King County’s months supply was a rock-bottom 1.44, while Pierce County’s was at 3.02.

Here’s a look at listing trends in Kitsap:

Despite dramatic swings in sales and inventory, Kitsap home prices remained virtually unchanged.

The median price for a closed sale in December ($235,000) was actually down from December 2013 ($244,000). The overall median home price for 2014 fell $200 short of the 2013 price: $239,250 to $239,450.

I’ll be writing a more in depth review of 2014 real estate trends later this month when NWMLS releases its annual report. In the meantime, here’s a big fat chart showing 2014 median home prices for various areas of the county: