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Kitsap County has released a new version of its online parcel search. “Many of the enhancements that the public and county staff requested, such as a larger map view and multiple data layers, are now available,” said Diane Mark, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) manager. The existing parcel search application, which has been in use since 2002, is based on older GIS software technology and needed to be replaced.

The new Parcel Search application provides all the existing capabilities and adds many new features. The map screen is now a full-screen map, and maps can now be printed to portable document format (PDF). Users can draw shapes and text on the maps that show up when maps are printed. Imagery is available from 2012, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2001 and 1994, which helps users see how parcels and areas have changed over the years. There are also several layers to choose from to display on the map including the Comprehensive Plan, critical areas, county utilities, critical aquifers, shoreline management and more. read more »

 

Jessyn FarrellDemocrats in the state House are signing on en masse to a bill that would increase the state minimum wage, already the highest such wage standard in the country, to $12 an hour by 2017. Even as the measure makes its debut it has a deathly pallor.

Opposition in the Senate seems likely to write a quick end to the bill, if it gets that far. And there is at least one telling indication that it may not. For an idea that has pushed into the spotlight by a national campaign from labor and activist organizations, and buoyed by a first-of-its-kind vote in the city of SeaTac last year for a $15 minimum wage, the sponsorship list is a bit weak. It carries only 32 sponsors — 18 short of the number required for passage in the House. Nearly all backers come from safe Democratic districts in the urban Puget Sound area. read more »

 

The City of Port Orchard will formally kickoff its 2016 Comprehensive Plan update process with a public open house on Saturday March 8. The event will take place in the Robert G. Geiger Council Chambers at Port Orchard City Hall, which is located at 216 Prospect Street, Port Orchard. Open House hours are from 9:30 a.m. until noon.

The City will conduct this open house for the purpose of gathering public input on key issues and challenges facing the City, as well as for expressing opinions on what opportunities there are for improvement of the City overall.

The City has partnered with a University of Washington class of Masters Degree students who will be there to facilitate the visioning process. read more »

 

Representatives from small business are planning to blanket the Legislature Building at the state capital in Olympia tomorrow in a lobbying effort organized by the National Federation of Independent Business of Washington State (NFIB).

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), 98 percent of all employers in the state are classified as small businesses, and they generate paychecks for 53.7 percent of the state’s private-sector workforce.

But NFIB organizers say small businesses have uniquely different challenges staying solvent than major multi-national corporations, and that legislators aren’t always aware of the difficulties they face. read more »

 

Business Examiner

Tacoma rates among the most expensive cities to do business in the western United States, according to a study released Feb. 11, while nearby Kent and Federal Way are among the least.

The 19th annual Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey Report, released by Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., compares the impact of municipal governments on business costs in California, along with eight other states many companies view as possible alternatives, including Washington. Tacoma, along with Seattle to the north, rated in the highest cost category, joining cities like Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland and San Francisco. read more »

 

A presentation on “The Supreme Court, Corporations and You” will be offered March 18 in Bremerton. A series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions have established corporations as persons and equated money with speech. Featured speakers will be U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Fran Korten, publisher of YES! Magazine, Kitsap Sun editor David Nelson and attorney Michael Stowell.

They will discuss the impacts of these decisions and the grassroots response. Each speakers will talk for 10 to 15 minutes, and they will dialogue among themselves and field questions from the floor.

The presentation will be from 7-9 p.m. in the Bremer Student Center at Olympic College, 1600 Chester Ave. in Bremerton. read more »

 

The state Department of Labor & Industries is offering an informative workshop to help new employers. The next workshop will be held March 27 in Bremerton, from 9-11:30 a.m. at the L&I office at 500 Pacific Ave., Ste. 400. Online registration is encouraged to allow for planning, and registration is available by calling 1-800-574-2829 or online at www.Workshops.lni.wa.gov. Make sure to reference course number 3-78-0079.

This free workshop is essential for all business owners and managers who don’t yet have a full understanding of employer rights and responsibilities relative to the Department of Labor and Industries, or of the services and resources L&I provides. Participants will learn about workers compensation, quarterly reporting, critical claims management strategies, workplace safety and health requirements, wage and hour laws, and contractor registration rules. read more »

 

Business Examiner

Laws are normally written to place the responsibility for compliance on a business being taxed, putting the onus for learning how to comply on the taxpayer.

For the first time, the State Department of Revenue is offering an online business outreach session through a webinar planned for March 12. Its focus is new and small business owners who are learning what their responsibilities are as related to state taxes.

“We’ve offered in-person workshops for a number of years,” said agency director Carol K. Nelson, “and offering online webinars will make it easier for small businesses to fit a workshop into their busy schedules.” read more »

 

U.S. regulators will propose rules before President Barack Obama leaves office requiring vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems in new cars, which advocates said may aid safety more than seat belts and air bags.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at a news conference Feb. 3. “The potential of this technology is enormous.”

Technology companies including Cisco Systems Inc. are among those vying to build the architecture for the connected car of the future. Google Inc. and Tesla Motors Inc. are among companies looking at employing automated systems that could be precursors to self-driving cars. read more »

 
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