Virus Watch Reports

Through Science to Health ~ 5/27/22

In our final regular edition of Through Science to Health, KPTZ host Chris Bricker speaks with Dr. Christine Skorberg, Medical Director of the Women’s Health Clinic at Jefferson Health Care. While in search of a new and all-inclusive name for the Clinic, her colleague, Dr. Asif Luqman, suggested its new appelation, OB/Guyne Clinic. Dr. Skorberg discusses her philosophy of relationship-based medicine, which is centered on listening, honest conversation, and respect for patients including all races, sexual orientation, situations, and lifestyle.  She describes the panorama of care and guidance that ranges from birth to vintage years and covers the services offered at the Clinic. Chris would like to acknowledge his former co-hosts who have provided their expertise, insight, and talent at different times over the course of our program’s run: Kate Keenan and Lynn Sorensen. A big Thank You from the Heart for your earlier contributions to the show!

Brewocracy Now with John Mauro ~ 5/26/22

Today on Brewocracy Now KPTZ host Taylor Clark was joined by City Manager John Mauro and special guests Nation West, City Manager of Port Angeles, and Matthew Huish, City Manager of Sequim. They discussed the importance or regional collaboration and the efforts they have made to advocate for communities on the Northern Olympic Peninsula.

Tales of Bristol Bay

(Airdate: May 25, 2022) The promise of adventure in Alaska has captivated people for generations — a phenomenon with which Joe Upton is very familiar. Upton is a fisherman and writer who has penned books such as Alaska Blues and Journeys Through the Inside Passage. Host Samantha Larson talks with him about how he found fishing and tales from fishing in Alaska, including Bristol Bay. 

Nature Now #563
Climate Resiliency on the Olympic Peninsula, part 2

(Airdate: May 25, 2022) Nan Evans and Erik Kingfisher of the Jefferson Land Trust talk about climate resiliency on the North Olympic Peninsula. Longer, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters pose broad threats to forest, farms, and wildlife habitats. Together Nan and Erik will explore whether current conservation efforts are enough. Are these efforts strategically targeted to help benefit biological and human communities? How does science guide us in taking wise conservation actions in the future?

County Public Health Report – 5/23/22

The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting made by Jefferson and Clallam County Public Health Deputy Dr. Tom Locke . The summary below was provided by and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.

Public Health Deputy Dr. Tom Locke told Commissioners this morning that COVID-19 cases are climbing throughout the U.S. by 53% and hospitalizations are going up as well. Washington is 15th on the list of states in terms of COVID-19 activity; cases are up 37% and hospitalizations area up 27%. Deaths are also increasing in the state. Jefferson’s two-week case rate is 848/100,000. Two people currently are hospitalized. The World Health Organization estimates the official global death rate to be 6.2 million. The U.S. has surpassed 1 million deaths, and Dr. Locke reported that three-quarters of these were in people 65+. Black, Hispanic, and Native American populations were disproportionally represented with almost two times the risk of death as their white counterparts. Harvard and the Brown School of Public Health computed that 318,000 people could have been saved if the U.S. had been fully vaccinated. As of today, 29 people in Jefferson County have died from COVID-19.

In Washington State, the BA.2 sub variant is the predominate COVID-19 strain. On the east coast, there is another strain – BA.2.12.1. Both of these are extremely transmissible and three times as contagious as Delta. These two covariants are partially resistant to prior immunity. The immunity derived from a vaccine or a prior infection is still very valuable but is not effective in preventing mild or moderate infection.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Allison Berry and to Willie Bence by emailing contactus@kptz.org. Note: The weekly deadline for these to be submitted is on Fridays at noon, to be answered at the following Monday’s BOCC meeting.

Note: Due to the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no BOCC meetings, nor Public Health Briefings, on Monday, May 30. The next Briefings will take place on Monday, June 6. Please send any questions by Friday, June 3.

Campaign to Save Chimacum Springs

(Airdate: May 23, 2022) About one hundred men, women, and playful children gathered under the central ramada at Chimacum’s HJ Carroll Park on a blustery afternoon in early May to celebrate an event aimed at raising money for reparations not only to the Chemacum, a local tribe incorrectly dismissed as extinct, but also to one African-American family. KPTZ ‘s Steve Evans was on hand.

Community Tides ~ 5/20

On alternate Fridays during the noon hour, KPTZ’s Chris Bricker joins co-host Siobhan Canty, President & CEO of Jefferson Community Foundation, to discuss new developments, new paradigms and the “New Normal” with members of out community as we roll into the weeks and months ahead. In today’s special edition, we talk with a unique group of folks who have pooled their resources and talents into a vibrant partnership with the Rhody Festival Association to keep the event alive and well here in Port Townsend. Festival weekend will have a magical and special twist, because the New Old Time Chautauqua and The Production Alliance have combined to cook up something very, very special…A Lottery where everyone wins, a Dance Party, a host of Workshops, The Big Show, the Community Congress, Tribal and Statewide Officials…Oh! And don’t forget the Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Band & Orchestra!  Take a listen and find out more!

Brewocracy Now with John Mauro ~ 5/19/22

Today on Brewocracy Now, KPTZ host Taylor Clark and City Manager John Mauro focused their discussion on the City’s response to the need for a variety of housing solutions for populations ranging from those experiencing homelessness to market rate housing. Mauro also encouraged members of the public to participate in the ongoing housing discussion by going to the Engage PT section of the City’s website.

Nature Now #567
Winter Weather, Summer Water

(Airdate: May 18, 2022) Guess what? Rains will cease and Summer’s coming, with predictable challenges to local water supplies. Listen to Nature Now with Ann Soule, Water Resource Manager for the city of Sequim, as she joins Mary Robson to evaluate what’s known about these strange cold weeks, current snowpack, and suggestions for managing during limited rain months. She’s watched that snowpack for over twenty years.

Monika MickHager, PT City Council Member

(Airdate: May 17, 2022) Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Monica MickHager, a  first-term Port Townsend City Council member. Monica has been involved in city politics for years, serving over a decade on the Planning Commission, many years on Parks & Recreation and School District committees plus 19 years with the PT Film Festival. But running for elected office was a big step. She took office in January 2020, just before the pandemic shut everything down. Monica had campaigned aggressively on getting the town’s debt load under control and repairing our pothole-riddled streets. But with the city under strict emergency orders, there was little chance for major change. Still, Monica’s stint as a council member has been eye-opening. She understands more fully why it takes so very long for the city to change policies. That doesn’t mean she has given up on her goals. In addition to focusing on debt reduction and streets, she is also working on affordable housing, renters’ rights, and parking management. And then there’s the ever-growing deer herd in Port Townsend. Monica has meticulously studied every issue and is ready to suggest what she sees as better solutions. Not everyone agrees, of course.

County Public Health Report – 5/16/22

The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting made by Jefferson and Clallam County Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry. Also Willie Bence, Director, Director of Emergency Management, gave a report. The summary below was provided by and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.

Click here to read complete notes on the day’s briefings

Northwind Art – Grover Gallery exhibition

(Airdate: May 16, 2022) Some Mornings: Paintings by Meg Kazcyk from poems by Linda M. Robertson.
Larry Stein interviews painter Meg Kaczyk and poet Linda M. Robertson about their exhibition pairing poems by Robertson with paintings by Kaczyk, inspired by those poems.The exhibition is on view through May 30.

From Bed Races to the Grand Parade

(Airdate: May 16, 2022) This week’s Attention Please! is all about Rhody, the Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival. Joining host Phil Andrus are Festival organizers Laina Amerson, Mary Baker Crozier, Melanie Bozak, and Wyatt Ranson.

Our Working Waterfront ~ 5/13

It’s time again for our monthly update on news, issues, and stories surrounding our vibrant Maritime Community. In this edition of Our Working Waterfront, KPTZ’S Chris Bricker and co-hosts Port Commissioner Pam Petranek and Port of Port Townsend’s Director Eron Berg give us a report from the boatyard. Then, sitting in the sunshine at “C” Dock, we engage in conversation with Eric Toews, the Port’s Deputy Director, about current developments in the Quilcene community’s Port Property planning process. Later, we speak with Pete Langley, Port Townsend Marine Trades Association President and owner of the Port Townsend Foundry. We Discuss the PTMTA board, its activities, and the role Marine Trades have in the County’s economic development. Topping things off, Pam honors the past District 3 Commissioners, especially Herb Beck, who recently passed and will always be remembered for his long service.

Brewocracy Now with John Mauro ~ 5/12/22

Today on Brewocracy Now KPTZ host Taylor Clark and City Manager John Mauro discussed the City Council’s upcoming budget process and where the city gets input into setting strategic priorities. We are early in this process and there will be a strategic retreat for city council and city department heads on July 18. The location is still to be determined. This will be an open meeting that the public may attend.

Jefferson County April 2022 Case Numbers

Jefferson County saw 268 cases in April 2022, more than twice as many as March. In fact, it was the 4th highest monthly total seen we’ve had during the entire pandemic. Moreover, our two-week case rate was 584 per 100,000 people as of May 10. That’s almost three times the “high risk” level, defined as 200 per 100,000. For the most current case rate, go the County Health Department’s online risk calculator at https://jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/1429/COVID-19. About half of all new cases recorded in Jefferson County are from people who took a home test and reported it to the health department. You can report a test result at the link above. Masks are no longer required in Jefferson county except for medical facilities, congregate care housing, and a few other instances. However, our Health Officer, Dr. Allison Berry, strongly recommends wearing masks in all indoor public spaces. And please, if you have symptoms, get tested right away and take precautions so you don’t infect anyone else, especially people who are immuno-compromised.

Update on Coastal Hazards

(Airdate: May 11, 2022) Coastal Café for this week is a conversation between host Aaron Barnett and Dr. Ian Miller, Coastal Hazards Specialist for Washington Sea Grant. Dr. Miller gives some compelling updates on his work since we last spoke with him in February of 2019 – from shoreline changes and uses at the mouth of the Elwha River, Tsunami research to sea level rise tools and data for municipal planners.

Nature Now #566
Seaweeds, part 2

(Airdate: May 11, 2022) Host Debaran Kelso heads out along the shore with guide Nam Siu of the WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife to talk about our native seaweeds.  This is part two of a two-part program.

Fort Worden Creative Alliance

(Airdate: May 9, 2022) The Fort Worden Creative Alliance has been announced as a collaboration of 7 major arts organizations on the Fort Worden Campus.  This week’s Attention Please! features leaders from three of the member groups, Rob Birman, Executive Director of Centrum, Kate Ingram, General Manager of KPTZ, and Julie Johnnson, Finance & Operations Manager of Copper Canyon Press. Host/producer of the program is Larry Stein.
** Note: More discussion of this topic can be found in the podcast of Community Tides of May 6, 2022, where Hosts Chris Bricker and Siobhan Canty interview Teresa Verraes, Exec. Director of Northwind Art.

Community Tides ~ 5/06

On alternate Fridays during the noon hour, KPTZ’s Chris Bricker joins co-host Siobhan Canty, President and CEO of Jefferson Community Foundation, to discuss new developments, new paradigms, and the new normal, as we roll into the months ahead. In case you haven’t heard, something very exciting is afoot at Fort Worden! Teresa Varraes, Executive Director of Northwind Art, dropped in to tell us about it. She’s one of the prime movers behind the Cultural Alliance, a group of eight tenants in the fort’s arts and cultural corridor: Copper Canyon Press; Port Townsend School of Woodworking; Madrona MindBody Institute; Centrum; Corvidae Press; KPTZ;  Northwind Art; and Rainshadow Recording. Learn more right here…

Brewocracy Now with John Mauro ~ 5/05/22

Today on Brewocracy Now KPTZ host Taylor Clark talked with City Manager John Mauro KPTZ. Details to follow. Our guest this week was Carrie Hite, our city’s new Director of Parks & Recreation Strategy. 

Email your questions in advance for next week to JMauro@cityofpt.us

#199 Rob Birman, Centrum Executive Director

(Airdate: May 5, 2022) Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Rob Birman, Executive Director of Centrum. Rob came to Centrum after 25 years managing symphony orchestras. It was flourishing under his direction. But like many other organizations, Centrum endured two years of being largely shuttered due to the pandemic. Now it looks like Port Townsend’s cultural jewel is poised to return with a full slate of conferences, seminars, classes and even concerts. Rob says it has been tough – revenue was down about 90% during the pandemic. But there were some valuable lessons learned. Centrum already had attendees from 17 countries and all 50 states. Under Rob’s direction, the team honed skills in online presentations, which will now become a permanent part of the Centrum experience.  He predicts a wider international and national presence. The ripple effect of in-person attendance is a real driver for the local economy. Big week-long sessions such as jazz or blues might attract over 700 people. Weekend concerts add more than 1,000 people. Let’s hope that the music will again fill the air at Fort Worden!

Stop and Smell the Rhodies ~ Rhody Fest 2022

(Airdate: May 3, 2022) In 1935, a local businessman convinced Hearst Metrotone News to come and film the blooming rhododendrons in Jefferson County. Hearst provided “short subjects” to theaters throughout the United States. Thus was the inspiration for Port Townsend’s annual Rhododendron Festival. Join Missy Nielsen of Everybody Can as she discusses the return of our most beloved festival with Rita Hubbard and Mary Crozier. From Bed Races to Pet Parades this festival hearkens us to come out and “Smell the Rhodies.” Join us for this conversation!

A Pair of Plant Sales

(Airdate: May 2, 2022) This week’s edition of Attention Please! begins with a pair of spring plant sales, one by the Jefferson County Master Gardeners Foundation and another by Swan School with their annual Plant-a-Palooza. The second half of the show is an update of the programs which fulfill the purposes of the organization Olympic Neighbors.  Produced and hosted by Phil Andrus.

County Public Health Report – 5/02/22

The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting made by Jefferson and Clallam County Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry. Also Willie Bence, Director of Emergency Management, gave a report. The summary below was provided by and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.

During County Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry’s weekly update, she noted that cases are rising on the west coast and throughout the U.S. Additionally, she feels there is a “dramatic undercount” because the vast majority of the country doesn’t count home antigen tests in their reported totals. Locally, home tests account for 70% of our positive cases. Washington state believes that they’re capturing about 16% of the positive cases in their counts right now. Dr. Berry noted that hospitalizations are beginning to rise which she noted is a “concerning trend.”

Because both Jefferson and Clallam counties are in the high risk transmission zone (above 200 cases per 100,000), Dr. Berry strongly recommends masking in indoor settings. “I think that transition back is going to take a little bit of time, she noted. “Many, many people in our communities got the message that COVID-19 was over when a lot of the restrictions went away so I think it’s going to take a little time to get everybody on board with masking in indoor settings again. I do think it’s a really good idea to do so. We’re seeing quite a bit of COVID-19 transmission. “If you’re in an indoor space with people you don’t know and you don’t know their vaccination status, that’s a space where it’s a really good idea to wear a mask. But, if you are in a private setting, I think a small dinner party is reasonable. If you are going to have a party with 10 or more people regardless of their vaccination status, I would recommend wear a mask in a setting like that. ”Dr. Berry suggested that location is important, too. For example, when visiting a care facility or a high-risk family member, wear a high-quality mask. Consider testing before you go and, if you are symptomatic, postpone your visit.

Dr. Berry noted that COVID-19 at-home testing is an important measure to determine if you are infected. Here’s the protocol from Dr. Berry: If you just have a mild symptom and it goes away and you test and it’s negative, that’s good enough. If you’re testing just because you’ve traveled and you don’t have any symptoms, a single test should be enough for you. But if you are sick, especially if you’re vaccinated, we know that your symptoms tend to start very early and sometimes even before your viral load has caught up enough to get to turn positive on a test. So, especially for our fully-vaccinated folks – but really for anyone – if you get sick and you take a test on that first day that you have symptoms and it’s negative, but those symptoms persist, take another test the next day. We’ve seen people turn positive 24 to 48 hours later, especially if you’re vaccinated, because your viral loads are low. That’s good. Your low viral load makes you less likely to transmit to other people and less likely to get severe symptoms, but you could still turn positive later. If you’re sick, take more than one test. There are an ample supply of antigen tests right now. If you’re still sick a couple days later, definitely still stay home whenever you’re symptomatic. And take a test again the next day. Test kits are available at Jefferson County Public Health, the libraries, and the fire departments in South County. They are also available free of charge from the State: https://sayyescovidtest.org. Order now to have a supply when needed.

As for Booster shots, Dr. Berry noted that the first booster is the most important one. “It would be reasonable if you are 75 and up and you have underlying conditions, consider getting that fourth booster just as a safety precaution,” she said.

If you are 65 and older, test positive for COVID-19, and are at a high risk for severe disease, there is an 5-day course of oral medication available. In Jefferson County, contact the Jefferson Healthcare COVID Nurse Consult Hotline for information on how to access the prescription: 360-344-3094.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Allison Berry and to Willie Bence by emailing contactus@kptz.org. Note: The weekly deadline for these to be submitted is on Fridays at noon, to be answered at the following Monday’s BOCC meeting.