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The Kitsap Community Food Co-op and is sponsoring a presentation by Howard Vlieger, an expert on GMO (genetically modified organisms), in support of Initiative 522, the Washington state ballot measure that would require labeling of genetically engineered food.

The public is invited to this free event on Sept. 11 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Olympic College in the Bremer Student Center, at 1600 Chester Ave. Bremerton.

Vlieger will share his expertise and research regarding genetically modified crops and how one can become involved in this movement. There will be a Q & A at the end of his presentation. read more »


South Kitsap School DistrictSouth Kitsap Education Association members voted overwhelmingly to ratify a three-year contract with the South Kitsap School District, with 96 percent of the 407 members attending the Sept. 3 ratification meeting voting yes. The 2013-14 school year will begin Sept. 4 as scheduled in the district.

“We are pleased to be getting back into our classrooms and excited to see our students tomorrow,” SKEA president John Richardson says. “Our members are pleased to be making progress toward lower class sizes and we are happy we’re moving forward on eliminating split classes.”

SKEA members voted to go on strike last week after seeing no movement from the school board on class sizes. read more »


College students this year will get relief on federal student loans.

Interest charges will be lower than planned a few months ago, and lower than many students and their parents have been paying the last few years.

So enjoy, because this is a one-time deal. If you have to borrow again for your education after this school year, the loans you take on will probably cost you more.

For the 2013-14 school year, undergraduates will be entitled to federal Stafford loans with 3.86 percent interest rates.

That’s significantly better than the 6.8 percent that was planned for students from middle-income families before Congress argued for weeks about what to charge. read more »


WASHINGTON — The newest resource to help small business owners more efficiently use technology to run their businesses is being provided to help grow their businesses and create jobs. The Business Technology Simplified online course series teaches the benefits of using modern technology that can take businesses to the next level of success.

“We are excited to partner with Microsoft to offer online courses that will provide entrepreneurs with technology-focused tools and resources to build their businesses and create jobs,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “We know that technology-savvy small businesses can increase sales, expand their customer base and even attract new business opportunities through exporting.” read more »


In January, the Georgia Institute of Technology plans to offer a master’s degree in computer science through massive open online courses for a fraction of the on-campus cost, a first for an elite institution. If it even approaches its goal of drawing thousands of students, it could signal a change to the landscape of higher education.

From their start two years ago, when a free artificial-intelligence course from Stanford University enrolled 170,000 students, free massive open online courses, or MOOCs, have drawn millions and yielded results such as the perfect scores of Battushig, a 15-year-old Mongolian boy, in a tough electronics course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. read more »


The Kitsap Adult Center for Education (KACE), formerly known as the Literacy Council of Kitsap, has moved its South Kitsap program to the Port Orchard United Methodist Church at 725 Kitsap St.

KACE offers tutoring and small classes to adults improving their basic skills or preparing for the GED, as well as to adults learning English or preparing for citizenship. The new location is two blocks from the Port Orchard passenger ferry terminal and has excellent access to public transit routes in South Kitsap.

“The Port Orchard United Methodist Church is committed to service outside our church and has recently dedicated space in our Church as an Outreach Center to assist groups in their mission to assist others less fortunate in South Kitsap community,” said Jim Craig, mission chair for the church. read more »

Tools For Your Business

The Olympic College campus in Poulsbo will be the home of a new Western Washington University Center to offer area students a program to complete a bachelor's degree in business.Western Washington University will open a new university center in partnership with Olympic College that will offer a four-year program for a bachelor’s degree in business at the OC campus in Poulsbo.

The two schools officially announced creation of The Western Washington University Center at Olympic College in Poulsbo at an event July 17 at the Poulsbo campus.

Olympic College president David Mitchell said the new center will offer a four-year program read more »


TUMWATER — The state Department of Labor & Industries has finalized new agreements with health-care organizations to provide Centers of Occupational Health and Education. The COHEs are organizations that improve medical treatment for Washington’s injured workers.

“The COHEs have proven their ability to prevent disability for workers,” said Joel Sacks, L&I director. “By improving occupational health care, they keep valuable workers on the job and reduce costs for employers.”

Two brand-new COHE sponsors include read more »


A significant and far-reaching economic development — “development” — occurred in Kitsap on July 15 at the North Kitsap campus of Olympic College in Poulsbo. On that day, in front of community leaders and citizens, David Mitchell, president of Olympic College, and Bruce Shepard, president of Western Washington University, announced a new partnership that will make it possible for students at the OC Poulsbo campus to earn a bachelor’s degree in business from WWU.

When it comes to higher education, access, plus affordability, plus market-affirmed accreditation equates to success. I believe this OC/WWU collaboration will lead to much success for the collaborating institutions, for the communities served, and most importantly for the students educated and the employers whose teams they join. read more »

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