Compass for 11/07/20

Early in the morning on Thursday, November 5, Nordland General Store owners Tom and Sue Rose were awakened by an alarm ringing in the neighboring nearly 100-year old building that serves as a kind of unofficial community center for Marrowstone Island. This week on the Compass we visit with the Rose family at the beloved store in the aftermath of a mysterious fire that gutted the community institution as they contemplate the devastation and the store’s uncertain future.

Compass for 10/31/20

A biography of the Doors’ lead singer Jim Morrison was entitled, No One Gets Out of Here Alive. And that’s true for you, me and every human being on the planet. But how we go out remains a big question. This week on the Compass, we talk with two local folks who have devoted themselves to ensuring that we all have a chance to go out in peace and comfort.

Compass for 10/24/20

Spurred on by an unprecedented attempt by a sitting president to cast doubt on the validity of a national election, voters in record numbers across the country have been casting their ballots early, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by 14 points thus far. And despite the fact that Donald Trump has repeatedly warned (with absolutely no evidence) that mail-in ballots such as those that have been in use in Washington state for years – and which stand as the obvious safe alternative to in-person voting in a time of pandemic – are inherently corrupt and prone to fraud, turnout has been especially high in the state, and higher than the state average in Jefferson County, where an astounding 56 percent of registered voters had already cast their ballots as of five pm last Friday afternoon.

Back in August we talked with Jefferson County Auditor Rose Ann Carroll and Elections Coordinator Quinn Grewell about how the integrity of our mail-in elections is assured. This week on the Compass we reprise that conversation.

The Compass airs Saturdays at noon and repeats on Mondays at noon and five pm.

Compass for 10/17/20

As we approach election day, the nation is focused on a Presidential race that features perhaps the highest stakes in the nation’s history.  Some, including former President Barack Obama, feel the future of democracy itself is on the ballot.  But here in Jefferson County, we are lucky to have only one local contest of a much milder nature, that for the District Two seat on the Board of County Commissioners between a pair of candidates who mostly seem to share a common perspective of community concern.  This week on the Compass, we present excerpts from interviews with Board of Commissioner candidates Lorna Smith and Heidi Eisenhour conducted by KPTZ Reporter Lily Haight in early September.  The two candidates were asked basically the same set of questions in separate interviews, but for the sake of brevity, the two interviews here have been cut together.

The Compass airs Saturdays at noon and repeats the following Monday and noon and five PM, exclusively here on KPTZ.

Compass for 10/10/20

After working pretty much without a break since February, when COVID-19 went pandemic, Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke decided to finally take a few days off at the beginning of October to go camping and cycling.  While he was away, the White House became the hottest COVID hot spot in the nation and the President himself was hospitalized for several days with the disease.  In this week’s Compass we talk with Dr. Locke immediately upon his return from his rest-break about the dangerous messaging coming from the top level of government as case numbers rise nation-wide, pointing towards a much-feared surge that could once again overwhelm our health care systems as we enter the cold months of the year.

The Compass airs Saturdays at noon and repeats on Mondays at noon and five pm.

Compass for 10/3/20

New Aldrich’s Owners, Yos, Christa, and Rachel Ligtenberg introduce Nadine’s Kitchen, The Coffee Experience, and Manpuku Sushi

These days, amid the quiet of a pandemic, if you travel down to the corner of Port Townsend’s Tyler and Lawrence Streets, you just may hear a chorus of busy voices accompanied by the rhythm of hammers, whirling drills, and the hum of newly wired coolers. 

It’s all part of a transformed Aldrich’s Market, about to open its doors in mid-October to the curiosity and smiles of neighbors far and wide.  In this, our second installment focusing on the rebirth of a Port Townsend institution, we meet three more special characters coloring the feathers of this Pheonix called Aldrich’s …

Compass for 9/26/20

This year, the Port Townsend Virtual Film Festival will be the longest, most accessible Film Festival in its history – ten days in length, with a panorama of both documentary and narrative features and shorts. But how does it all work – the selection process, the programming, the technology, the muscle and blood of our wonderful Fest? To find out, on opening day we caught up with part of the amazing team that works the magic behind the scenes: Janette Force, Chris McFaul, and KC Upshaw, and we discover the anatomy of a successful Film Festival.

Compass for 9/19/20

We catch up with Zach and Jordan Eades, former Port Townsend residents who decided a few years ago to sell their business, their home and almost everything else they owned, then travel all over North America in a 32-foot Winnebago RV. Their story is one of joy, sorrow, and some lessons that could teach us all a thing or two about what really matters in life.

Compass for 9/12/20

This week on the Compass, we bring you two important stories:

First, as the U.S Census Bureau struggles to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and political maneuverings seemingly aimed at hampering its mission, KPTZ’s Chris Bricker spoke with the 2020 Census Jefferson County Project Director Jeannie McMacken and Jefferson County Commissioner Greg Brotherton about the logistics, the challenges, and the successes that good planning have brought to our County’s efforts.  Both emphasize convincingly the importance of being counted before October 31st.

And then we catch up with the Board President of an amazing volunteer organization that is seeking to expand its mission to help foster children and their families at a time of most urgent need.

The Compass airs Saturdays at noon and repeats the following Monday at noon and 5 pm, exclusively here on KPTZ, 91.9 FM in Port Townsend

Compass for 9/05/20

This week on the Compass, we talk with the director about the triumph of imagination and technology that prevented the 44th Annual Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival from becoming yet another victim of COVID-19.

Compass for 8/29/20

This week on the Compass, we take a look at the local response and effects of the attack from within on the U.S. Postal Service and then, after an interview with the USPS regional spokesperson, we get an inside glimpse of an apparent rebellion at the Tacoma mail processing center, where postal workers restored some high-speed mail-sorting machines against orders from on high.

Compass for 8/22/20

Around this time of summer, lots of folks in these parts are usually getting ready for one of the biggest outdoor events of the year – the Jefferson County All-County Picnic at H.J. Carroll Park in Port Hadlock. They come together on what is usually a beautiful summer day and enjoy free music, free corn on the cob, and free admission. The Coronavirus pandemic may have put a dent in all that fun, but it did not have the last word. This week on the Compass, we talk with a man who helped make sure that the 2020 All-County Picnic would happen – albeit in a somewhat different way.

Compass for 8/15/20

We talk with a doctor about hearing loss, a problem that’s likely to affect every one of us sooner or later … and if you don’t address it sooner, you almost certainly will be worse off later.

Compass for 8/08/20

For nearly 125 years, Aldrich’s Market in Uptown has changed hands only five times – through five families, unrelated by birth. That is, up until now. The Market has survived economies of the times and two world wars, and has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes of two fires. It’s the oldest grocery store in Washington state still operating under the same trade name.

Clark Aldrich hung out his sign in 1896, and since then, the store’s location has moved several times. Aldrich’s has been both a physical as well as symbolic cultural center for the both the neighborhood community and the town in general. Enter siblings Yos, Rachel, and Christina Ligtenberg! Yes, yet another family – and one with a deep understanding of the Port Townsend community. They’ve appeared, serendipitously, right at a time when Aldrich’s – like a family cat – was about to lose another one of its lives.

Compass for 08/01/20

In an unprecedented attempt by a sitting president to cast doubt on the validity of a national election months before a single vote is even cast, Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that mail-in ballots such as those that have been in use in Washington state for years, and which stand as the obvious safe alternative to in-person voting in a time of pandemic, are inherently corrupt and prone to fraud – despite a complete lack of evidence for the claim. This week on the Compass we talk with Jefferson County Auditor Rose Ann Carroll and Elections Coordinator Quinn Grewell about how the integrity of our mail-in elections is assured.  

Compass for 7/25/20

In April of 2015, a church group from Tumwater set out in seven kayaks for a day paddle on Dungeness Bay.  After lunch, a predicted 35 mph wind kicked up with three-foot seas, and three of the kayakers overturned.  At that time of year, water temperature averages in the high 40 degrees.  While all three were eventually rescued, each had spent about two hours in the water. Two of the three died while receiving medical attention.  None of them had been wearing clothing and gear suitable for cold water immersion.

This year on July 12,  a 31-year-old kayaker capsized in Port Angeles Harbor near the City Pier. He was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).  At rescue, the man was extremely hypothermic, unresponsive, and near death.

On Monday, July 13, a 31 year-old man failed to return from a paddle from Freshwater Bay to Ediz Hook.  Only his kayak was found, along with an unworn PFD.

In light of recent events, KPTZ’s Mermaid Keri introduces you to a timely reprise of our Compass Kayak Safety Special produced after the Dungeness incident in 2015.

Compass for 7/18/20

In ordinary times, the Port Townsend Main Street Program serves as an essential behind-the-scenes booster for the economic well-being of the town’s commercial prospects. From keeping the uptown and downtown retail districts spruced up with everything from hanging flower baskets to holiday decorations, to luring tourists to town with programs like the Concerts on the Docks and the Uptown Street Fair, the volunteers and staff of the non-profit organization work tirelessly year-round to keep the local economic engine purring. But these are not ordinary times, and like the rest of the economy, the Main Street Program has been forced to curtail much of its activity. This week on the Compass, we check in Main Street Program Director Mari Mullen about how the town’s businesses, and their biggest booster, are doing.

Compass for 7/11/20

Downtown and uptown, Port Townsend comprises small businesses, the most vulnerable of all enterprises to the economic ravages of our 2020 pandemic. Will they survive? This week on the Compass, the owner of Abracadabra, a landmark gift store for more than 30 years in Port Townsend, gives us the inside story what’s happening on Water Street, and how she and her husband Dave managed to keep their business alive just long enough to get their green light to re-open.

Compass for 7/04/20

This being the first Compass to fall squarely on Independence Day, the Compass Team decided to focus this week on two local institutions that have proven their worth in creating the kind of independence and resilience that has given Port Townsend a distinct local advantage in dealing with the global COVID-19 Pandemic.

First, Dave Cunningham talks with Jefferson County Emergency Operations Manager Willie Bence about the special challenges the pandemic has presented, and how the EOC responded. And then Chris Bricker talks with former Port Townsend Mayor and long-time Local 20/20 leader Deborah Stinson about the role neighborhood preparedness groups have played in meeting the crisis.

Compass for 6/27/20

This week on the Compass reporter Chris Bricker visits two sides of a very important coin. With a rapidly changing and constantly evolving environment, both the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson Community Foundation have shown their creative and innovative metal, by working to demonstrate the strength of our dedication to the Common Good, and helping keep Jefferson County safe, healthy, and vibrant. We talk with Arlene Alen, Executive Director of the Jefferson Country Chamber of Commerce, and then with Siobhan Canty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jefferson Community Foundation, about new paradigms and creative leadership.

Compass for 6/20/20

As almost everybody knows, personal service establishments like hair salons and skin care businesses were forced to close during the pandemic. Most struggled to survive, and some went bankrupt and closed forever. This week on the Compass, we talk with two local business owners who lost a lot of money … but came out on the other side not only with a new look on business … but also a new look on life itself.

Compass for 6/13/20

Like every other performing arts organization, Port Townsend’s New Old-Time Chautauqua was thrown for a huge loop by the emergence in February of the COVID-19 pandemic.  But unlike many of the others, the Chautauqua – perhaps because its leaders are jugglers and thus have highly-tuned reflexes – has not been forced to entirely cancel activity for 2020, but has instead been able to pivot in the air, and to move online.  Having heard that the Chautauqua was planning to go forward with a full-featured online performance this very weekend, I quickly got on the phone with Director Paul Magid, to find that he was in a quite unexpected place, after having had quite a wild pandemic ride.

Compass for 6/06/20

This week on the Compass we talk with one of the designers about a survey that seeks your ideas for building a better, more resilient society coming out of the COVID-19 lockdown, and then we drop in on an extraordinary anti-racism rally held in Port Townsend Friday afternoon in solidarity with Black Lives Matter at which, of the several hundred marchers, there were virtually no African Americans to be seen—and very few policemen.

Compass for 5/30/20

Unexpected changes have altered the complexion of society in a very short amount of time, and there have been all manner of creative pivots and interesting, if not profound, changes, discoveries, and “a-hahs” hitting us right between the eyes. The concept of how to throw a Film Festival has been no exception.

This week on the Compass, we speak with Janette Force, Executive Director of the Port Townsend Film Festival, and we explore the creative alternative paths staff and volunteers are exploring this summer, from the launch of the Women in Film “mini” festival, to a picture of what September’s major festival may look like.  We’ll also discuss how the times are affecting both filmmakers and the Industry.

Compass for 5/23/2020

This week on the Compass, KPTZ’s David Cunningham interviews KCPT Artistic Director Denise Winter, looking at the question of whether Key City Public Theater can possibly survive the slings and arrows of the coronavirus.

Compass for 5/16/2020

This week on the Compass we talk about charting a course out of lockdown with Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke, whose steady steering hand on the wheel of hometown COVID-19 pandemic crisis management has earned him the honor of having a sandwich named after him by a local eatery.