Monthly Archives: June 2015

CoderDojo finds permanent home

CodeDojo_17743908_ver1.0_640_480West Sound CoderDojo, a free computer programing workshop for kids, has landed a permanent home at Western Washington University’s Olympic College center in Poulsbo.

West Sound Technology Association booted up the CoderDojo this spring as a nomadic program, offering courses at different places around the county. The partnership with WWU will give coders a consistent meeting space.

West Sound Coder Dojo’s first class at the WWU center in Poulsbo will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 11. Tickets are free but registration is required.

You can read more about CoderDojo’s move here and find my story about the program here. 

Check the West Sound Technology Association website for information about upcoming classes.

State approves pot shop on Callow Avenue

The state has given the green light for the first recreational marijuana store inside Bremerton city limits.

The Liquor Control Board issued a license Thursday to Pacific Cannabis Company. The shop will be located at 625 N Callow Ave., next door to China Wok.

City permit documents indicate another pot shop is planned for Callow, though a state license hasn’t been issued yet. The Liquor Control Board will allow only two recreational marijuana retail licenses within city limits, barring a rule change.

A shop called HWY 420 opened in October on Charleston Beach Road, just outside city limits.

Pacific Cannabis is the sixth licensed retailer in Kitsap County. A shop called Paper and Leaf opened on Bainbridge this week.

The state also approved another marijuana producer for Kitsap Thursday. The grower, called Lano, will be located at 12363 Clear Creek Road in Silverdale.

Lano is the eighth producer approved in the county. Expand the map above to see all the locations, or click here.

Gap store at Kitsap Mall closing July 3

gapclosingStore openings and closings are being announced at a dizzying pace this year at Kitsap Mall.

The Gap is the latest to join the list of departing mall tenants. The store, which includes a GapKids, will close  July 3.

A Gap outlet store is planned for The Trails at Silverdale shopping center, but a store representative indicated The Trails shop may not open until 2016.

Gap plans to close 175 stores and laying off about 250 employees in North America this year in response to slumping sales.

Check the Gap at Kitsap Mall’s Facebook page for updates.

Kitsap brewers medal at Washington Beer Awards

wba_007_bwPoulsbo’s Sound Brewery and Silverdale’s Rainy Daze Brewing claimed gold at the Washington Beer Awards this month.

Overall, four Kitsap-based breweries — Sound, Rainy Daze, Silver City Brewery and Bainbridge Brewing —  combined for 13 medals. 

Kitsap breweries made an especially strong showing in Belgian- and Abbey-inspired categories, where Sound picked up three golds.

Rainy Daze won the American-style pale ale category with its Stash Box III.

Here’s the full list of Kitsap medalists:

Other Wheat and Rye Beers

Bronze: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – Rainy Rye IPA

English Ales

Bronze: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – English Pale Continue reading

More jobs in Kitsap as summer season arrives

The busy summer hiring season is shaping up to be even busier than usual in Kitsap this year.

About 87,800 people were working for employers within Kitsap County in May, according to statistics from the state Employment Security Department. That was the largest number of jobs reported in the county since July of 2009:

Job levels in the county have been elevated all year. About 2,500 more people were working for Kitsap employers in May 2015 than in May 2014. The private sector accounted for about 1,900 of those added jobs, while 600 came from government agencies.


While jobs are up in the county, overall employment among Kitsap residents continues to underwhelm.

There was some cause for optimism in May as both the labor force (the number of people working or actively seeking work) and employment ticked up by about 1,200 and 750 respectively.

The jump in jobseekers joining the labor force caused the county’s unemployment rate to climb from 5.4 percent in April to 5.7 percent in May.

Hale’s Ales bringing tasting room to Bremerton


Hale’s Ales left the Kitsap Mall but it’s not leaving Kitsap.

The Seattle-based brewery hopes to open a tasting room in West Bremerton, across the street from Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe. Hale’s applied for a state liquor license Monday at 1509 Wycoff Ave.

hales.logoMike Hale said the brewery already had plans for a satellite distribution and storage warehouse in Bremerton. While setting up the warehouse, Hale and his partners decided they might as well open a “simple tasting room” on the corner.

The taproom could open as early as September.

“It’s a pretty fun building, a pretty fun spot,” Hale said Tuesday.

Hale’s will join Hi-Lo’s at the corner of Wycoff Avenue and 15th Street. An Irish restaurant called Bualadh Bos could also open soon near the intersection.

Hale said the mix of businesses should make for a busy, “beer-centric” hub.

Hale’s Ales closed its Silverdale alehouse in September, after failing to draw enough customers at the mall. Mike and Kathleen Hale, who’ve lived in Kitsap County since 1986, said they wouldn’t rule out another Hale’s location on the peninsula.

Now Silverdale’s loss will be Bremerton’s gain.

Food safety: Restaurant scores for April and May

Below are the April and May restaurant inspection scores distributed by the Kitsap Public Health District. (If May sounds like a repeat, it’s because I mistakenly labeled the March scores as May scores in a June 3 post).

The health district keeps tabs on more than 1,000 establishments in Kitsap. Each is usually inspected twice a year. Inspectors make sure food is handled properly from prep to serving.

The district works with operators to correct deficiencies. Grades from the inspections are made available to the public.

The inspection reports from April and May are posted below. For even more detailed safety information on a restaurant, you can use the health district’s handy database search.

April Restaurant Scores

May Restaurant Scores

Harrison earns ‘A’ grade for patient safety

Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton was one of 11 Washington hospitals to earn an “A” grade for patient safety in the Leapfrog Group’s latest Hospital Safety Score rankings.

674094_5539855_ver1.0_640_480-1This was the second straight year Harrison Bremerton earned an A grade. The hospital earned B grades in 2013 and 2012.

The grades rate how well hospitals protect patients from injuries, accidents and infections.

“Receiving an ‘A’ rating reflects directly on Harrison’s tremendous effort in providing the best and safest quality of care for our patients,” Harrison President David Schultz said in the release. 

Harrison in Silverdale was assigned a B grade in the spring 2015 ratings. Harrison Silverdale also scored a B in 2014, improving from C grades in 2013 and 2012.

Leapfrog Group assigned ratings to about 2,500 hospitals nationwide in April. About 31 percent earned A grades.

Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit hospital watchdog organization.

You can explore Harrison’s Hospital Safety Score rating in detail here. 

The Washington State Hospital Association also maintains detailed hospital quality page for Harrison.

Port of Bremerton lands clean energy startup

The Port of Bremerton has inked a lease agreement with a clean energy company it hopes will power future job growth in Kitsap County.

The tenant is SuperCritical Technologies Inc.,  a 3-year-old startup organized with the modest goal of revolutionizing the energy sector.

“It’s a massive market,” SuperCritical CEO Craig Husa said during a presentation to the port commission Tuesday night. “We’ve got great technology that disrupts that massive market.”

The startup has developed power plants that harness supercritical Co2, rather than traditional steam, to power turbines and generate electricity.

A key advantage of the technology is it’s compact. SuperCritical claims it can produce a 5-megawatt plant small enough to fit in a  40-foot shipping container.

The company’s systems can be used to convert waste heat at industrial facilities into electricity, which can help offset the facility’s power needs.

For now, SuperCritical is a scrappy startup with a tiny team. Its leaders see unlimited potential for growth.

“This is one of the reason’s we’re excited to be here at the Port of Bremerton,” Husa said. “We’ve got great space, we’ve got potential to grow, there’s a potential labor force that’s strong in the area, we’ve got access to shipping… it’s really is an awesome place for us to be.”

All of this was music to the ears of port officials.

“This is something we could see growing really big,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said. “… we talk about trying to find what’s going to be our niche here. This could possibly be our niche… nowhere else has this kind of thing.”

SuperCritical is starting small at the port. The company has agreed to lease a 6,000-square-foot building in Olympic View Industrial Park for $2,880 a month. The initial term is for two years, with the option for 10 two-year extensions.

The port is obligated to install a security fence in January 2016 and upgrade the building’s electrical system. The cost of those improvements is estimated at $53,000.

The full lease agreement is embedded below.

We’ll have a full story on SuperCritical technologies soon. In the meantime, you can read a Puget Sound Business Journal Q&A with company officials here. 

SuperCritical Lease

Medical buildings sell in Port Orchard, Silverdale


A Wisconsin company bought two prominent Kitsap County medical campuses in May for a combined $34 million.


The Hammes Company bought properties home to Harrison Medical Center’s Port Orchard urgent care (pictured above) and The Doctors Clinic’s Salmon Medical Center (pictured at right).

The sales were recorded May 14, according to assessor’s documents. Both properties were owned and developed by Tim Ryan companies.

The 6-acre Port Orchard campus, located at 450 South Kitsap Boulevard, sold for $13.74 million. Harrison’s 36,000-square-foot urgent care opened there in 2009.

Hammes paid $20 million for the 6.4-acre Salmon Medical Center property at 2200 Myhre Road. Tim Ryan Construction completed the 59,000-square-foot Salmon Medical Center building on the site in 2005.

The Hammes Company specializes in medical consulting and property management. The business is headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, outside Milwaukee.