Monthly Archives: July 2015

Two marijuana grows approved near airport

Not one but two recreational marijuana grows have been approved southwest of Bremerton National Airport.

The state Liquor Control Board issued licenses to companies called Hesperides and R 7 this week. Both are located at 11854 SW Lake Flora Road, off Highway 3.

The addition of Hesperides and R 7 brings the count of licensed marijuana growers in Kitsap to 10. The state has approved a total of 16 recreational marijuana businesses in the county.

Expand the map above or click here to see all the marijuana business locations in Kitsap.

On a related note, Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the of the first recreational marijuana sale in Washington. The first bag sold was produced by Nine Point Growth Industries in Bremerton.

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First Choice Health could drop Harrison hospital

674094_5539855_ver1.0_640_480-1Harrison Medical Center will fall out of network with insurer First Choice Health if the two sides can’t agree on a new contract by Sept. 1.

Bob Hinman, First Choice vice president for network management, said contract negotiations with Harrison have reached an impasse.

First Choice believes reimbursement rates Harrison receives under the current contract are unfairly high, Hinman said. He was hopeful talks would continue.

“I think that’s everyone’s hope we could come to agreement on appropriate terms,” he said.

Hinman said First Choice has roughly 3,000 customers in Harrison’s market, and has included the hospital in its network since the 1990s.

The insurer sent a notice to clients warning them the contract with Harrison may terminate in September. If Harrison is dropped from the provider network, First Choice customers will have to pay much higher out-of-pocket costs to access services at the hospital.

The contract in jeopardy only covers Harrison Medical Center. Harrison HealthPartners physicians have a separate contract with First Choice, Hinman said.

Representatives of CHI Franciscan Health, Harrison’s parent company, remained confident an agreement would be reached.

“We are in active contract discussions with First Choice Health and anticipate to have a resolution before the September 1 deadline,” CHI Franciscan spokesman Shawn Jennison said in a statement.

Harrison has had rocky relations with insurance carriers over the past few years. A contract between the hospital and UnitedHealthcare terminated in December 2013. Harrison rejoined United’s network in April 2015.

Harrison and Regence BlueShield failed to renew a contract in August 2014, prompting widespread outcry among Kitsap customers. Regence and Harrison signed a new agreement in February 2015. 

First Choice Health is a Seattle-based health care company owned by physicians and hospitals.

If you have insurance through First Choice I would love to hear from you. Drop me an email at or leave a comment below.

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Kitsap median home price steadies at $265k

Kitsap home sales remained strong in June, while the county’s median home price leveled off at $265,000.

Pending sales were up 18 percent compared with June 2014, according to numbers released Monday by Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The $265,000 median price for closed sales was 6 percent higher than a year ago. Year-to-date, homes are selling for about 8 percent more this year than in 2014.

Inventory remained very low in June with 956 homes on the market, 35 percent fewer than in June 2014.

The months supply of homes (the time it would take to sell off all available homes if no new listings were added) dropped to 2.23 months. A six-months supply is considered a balanced market.

I’ll be writing a more in depth story about Kitsap’s real estate market through the first half of 2015 a little later this week. For now, here’s a graphical look at June real estate trends:

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Paper Products closing in downtown Winslow

paperproductsPaper Products will close its Winslow Way store July 31, after more than 40 years in business on Bainbridge Island’s main street.

Competition from online retailers is driving the craft and office supply store to reorganize, owner Joanna Arndt said in a news release.

“As a family owned brick and mortar store, we need to find ways to compete in a market demanding variety, ease and accessibility,”

Paper Products will reorganize and reopen on High School Road with two new ventures, according to a Monday news release.

A new shop, called Create Bainbridge, will offer craft and art supplies, journals, open stock pens and pencils, specialty gift wrap and card lines. The store will be located between Star Nails and Sole Mates in Island Village, near Safeway.

Create Bainbridge will also host adult craft classes and provide subscription based craft supply services to businesses.

Paper Products’ role as a back-to-school supply hub will continue with a seasonal store called Bainbridge School Supply. Bainbridge Schools Foundation, Helpline House and parent teacher organizations are partnering in the business and will share in the profit, according to the news release.

Bainbridge School Supply will be located between Safeway and Great Clips.

SAFE Boats lands $48M U.S. Customs contract

Bremerton-based SAFE Boats International will build up to 52 Coastal Interceptor Vehicles under a new contract for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Coastal Interceptor Vehicle (Courtesy image)

The contract is valued at more than $48 million, according to a news release. 

The 41-foot Coastal Interceptors designed to chase down suspect boats, and serve as a platform for officers to perform searches and seizures.

The vessels are highly maneuverable and can reach speeds of more than 54 knots over open ocean.

“We are gratified to be selected and entrusted with this program by the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection”, SAFE Boats President Dennis Morris said in the release. “We understand how critical their mission is and believe that the SAFE Boats CIV will insure effective mission execution for years to come.”


The interceptors are similar to a center-console vessels SAFE Boats has already produced for the Royal Bahamian Police, Colombian Navy and private owners.

With the addition of the Customs contract, SAFE Boats is now working on three projects for the federal government, including a series of small, “Over-the-Horizon” vessels for the Coast Guard, and larger Mk VI patrol boats for the Navy, which are being produced in Tacoma.

With the award of CIV, SAFE Boats is now delivering 3 major US Federal programs including the USCG Over-the-Horizon (OTH) and the US Navy Mk VI High Speed Patrol Boat.

SAFE Boats employs about 190 workers at its Port of Bremerton manufacturing facility, where it recently renewed its lease.