Give Jefferson

KPTZ joins United Good Neighbors to proudly support the nonprofits, staff, and volunteers dedicated to providing basic human needs for the residents of Jefferson County. In 2020, the extraordinary impacts of COVID-19 triggered an unprecedented demand for aid, challenging local organizations to respond with critical programs and safety-net services. UGN’s annual Give Jefferson campaign ensures that food, shelter, healthcare, and education are made available to folks you interact with everyday. To all who are weathering uncertainty and recovering from crisis, Give Jefferson offers hope and the reassurance that we are not alone. Visit UGN’s website for more information. 

UGN supports these local organizations: 
Bayside Housing & Services
Clallam Jefferson Pro Bono Lawyers
COAST Shelter
Community Boat Project
Community Wellness Project
Connected Students Initiative
Dove House Advocacy Services
Food Bank Farm & Gardens of Jefferson County
Foster Supports of Jefferson County
Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County
Jefferson Clemente Foundation
Jefferson County Farmers Market Association
Jefferson County Association of Food Banks
Jefferson Interfaith Action Coalition
Jefferson Teen Center
JUMP Playground
Kaleidoscope Play & Learn
Olympic Angels
Olympic Neighbors
Saint Vincent de Paul of East Jefferson County
The Benji Project
Weekend Nutrition Program
YMCA of Jefferson County

County Public Health Report ~ 11/16

Today, date Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke shared about the recent Jefferson County increase in COVID-19 cases. He answered questions from KPTZ listeners about:

• The country and our county are in exponential growth phase, with state case increase of 124% in the past 2 weeks.
• Locally in Jefferson County, 31 new cases in the last week. Four were from household and close friend spread, others were from out-of-county visitors or from visitors here; extended family infections; cluster in a pod;
• There is a 7-day threshold following exposure, meaning that if the person who was exposed is negative on Day 7, they are likely not to become infected or infectious.
• Tests of the new vaccine are looking to be viable strategies. It is thought that it will require 70% of the population to be vaccinated in order to be effective.
• Baking for others is considered to be minimum risk.

Don’t forget, you can submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing

Port Townsend Education Foundation Inspiring Students and Supporting Teachers, Part 2

(First airdate: November 10, 2020: From resources and supplies to academic opportunities, P.T.E.F. has awarded nearly $500,000 in grants over the past 12 years. Grant recipients, Jef Waibel and Logan Stegner discuss with Everybody Can host Missy Nielsen the impact these grants have had on their teaching and their students as the district continues to adapt to COVID-19 Pandemic policies. Please, join us!

Our Working Waterfront ~ 11/10

(Airdate: November 10, 2020) This month on Our Working Waterfront, we join Port of Port Townsend Executive Director Eron Berg, and Port Commissioner Pam Petranik give us an update on happenings around our Port.

Eron talks about the ongoing budget 2021 planning process, our International Airport runway project, the Airport’s mission for emergency management, and the delightful Port Townsend Aero Museum and its program for teens.

Pam explains the ways in which the Port weaves itself into the community and the ways of connecting to current activities, ways of conversing with the commissioners, and ways to explore the Port and its history.

We talk about derelict vessels, lift tires, houseboats, developing transportation links to the airport, COVID-19 recovery, and Pam gives some shouts out to local Icons and businesses around the Port.

County Public Health Report ~ 11/09

Today, date Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke shared about the recent Jefferson County increase in COVID-19 cases. He answered questions about:

• Case count has increased by 8 in the last 7 days, with the total now at 96. This moves us into the moderate risk positivity rate, at 34 cases per 100,000. Some other counties in Washington are farther along into the third COVID-19 wave, as had been predicted for the fall-winter season.

• Our Public Health Department is working very actively to be ready for vaccine distribution, is likely to prioritize first responders and those at greatest risk.

• As for masks, surgical masks are the most effective, but cloth masks are nearly as effective for source control such as when out shopping.

• The costs of quarantine, although challenging for people and families, is a concern our local public health department is working to address, whenever needed.

Department of Emergency Management Director Willie Bence expressed preliminary concern about whether there will be adequate PPE available here, should the case count continue to increase.

My-My-My-My Corona

Image: WA Department of Health

Reflections about our own experience with COVID-19:

KPTZ DJ host Dick Keenan and his wife, Kate, a public health retiree, share their experience after Dick was diagnosed in August with COVID-19. They recount their surprise at the diagnosis, and why it’s important to know the symptoms of COVID-19 and seek medical advice. In addition, they worked with the Jefferson County Public Health nurses to inform their few contacts, and used technology to trace their whereabouts during the period when Dick may have been the most likely to spread the infection. Dick experienced a very mild infection and Kate tested negative, as did all their contacts.  

While it takes a particular constellation of circumstances to become infected, we’re reminded that continued adherence to public health practices to keep us all safer through the winter, is worth the effort. 

On Monday November 16, at 5:40pm, tune in to learn more about the Coronavirus pandemic, in this informative rebroadcast of reflections about this personal experience with COVID-19.

Live Broadcast ~ ICG Presentation on Our Local Economy 10/27/20

On Tuesday, October 27 at 5pm, KPTZ will live broadcast the ICG presentation from Michael H. Shuman, who will speak on the topic of Rebooting Our Community After COVID-19. A leading expert on community economics, Mr. Shuman works with communities to help them develop local reinvestment strategies. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant economic challenges for our community, and planning for recovery and resiliency is already underway: our elected leaders at Jefferson County, the City of Port Townsend, the Port of Port Townsend, and Jefferson County PUD have joined together to form the Intergovernmental Collaborative Group, or ICG, to begin this recovery planning effort. 

KPTZ’s October 27 Local News and Community Calendar, normally scheduled for 5pm on Tuesdays, will immediately follow this special ICG presentation broadcast. An additional airing of Our Town with host Maryanne McNellis’s interview of KPTZ Board President Robert Ambrose will begin at 6:10pm, with information about KPTZ’s upcoming move to Fort Worden in 2021. Alternative Radio, which usually airs at 6pm, will return next week at its usual time.  

You can watch the proceedings here – just click on the arrow in the window on the left.

County Public Health Report ~ 10/26

At today’s Public Health Briefings for the Jefferson County Commissioners, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke and Willie Bence discussed:

Dr Locke:
• We are now in the third wave of the Covid pandemic, with Jefferson County now at 86 cases.
• Some Phase 3 activities are allowed here, even though Jefferson County is still under Phase 2 of the Safe Start program.
• School opening continues to go well, as example to other counties.
• The issues of indoor spread, since aerosols are causing spread.
• Encourages Flu vaccines to reduce risk of COVID-19.
• Discussion of testing accuracy and availability

Willie Bence:
• Mask availablity
• La Nina weather pattern may bring colder, wetter weather. Our Department of Emergency Management is preparing.
• People should prepare for storm situations with flashlights and supplies.

Community Tides ~ 10/23

Siobhan Canty, President & CEO of Jefferson Community Foundation, and Chris Bricker from KPTZ get together twice a month to talk about new developments, new paradigms, and the “new normal” facing Jefferson County as we transition toward 2021. This week on Community Tides Siobhan & Chris celebrate Good People doing Good Work.

Siobhan reports on new grants awarded from the COVID-19 Fund, and gives us a fresh and full landscape overview based on what is in the proposals – community needs for financial assistance, food, and more.

They also recognize some of the wonderful individuals behind the scenes who make Good Work happen in Jefferson County.

#163 – Robert Ambrose: Leading KPTZ To The Next Level

(Airdate: 10/20/2020) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Robert Ambrose, the chairman of the board of KPTZ. Robert has an adventurous past including stints in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, England and the San Francisco Bay area before settling in Alaska. He and wife, Jessica, decided that they did not want to raise their sons in an urban center. They found life quite different in rural Alaska. It suited them well. He was a stay-at-home dad for a while and Jessica was in public health. But the call of the local community station soon had Robert more than just a little involved. All was good. But years later Jessica died in a tragic accident. Robert was undone and after some travel and life reassessment he decided to move. He was lucky to find Port Townsend. His passion for community radio is so deep that he pitched a show to Larry Stein, KPTZ’s program director, even before he got to town. Soon he was on the board and quickly after that became chairman. So now he’s in charge of all of KPTZ’s efforts. He’s leading the team through some tough times. The station is growing and adapting to the challenges of the Covid pandemic.. It also needs funds to help renovate quarters at Fort Worden. The show is scheduled to air on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct 25.  

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.

Community Tides ~ 10/9

Explore new developments, new paradigms, and the new normal facing Jefferson County, with KPTZ’s Chris Bricker and Siobhan Canty, President & CEO of the Jefferson Community Foundation.

This week on Community Tides, Chris and Siobhan speak with Sarah Rubenstein, Communications and Outreach Director for Port Townsend Schools. She’s also an integral part of the Maritime Schools Initiative.

We feel different today than we did six months ago. Parents, students, administrators, teachers and schools have faced a thousand choices and myriad changes.  Sarah discusses the planning and developments that have taken place over this time, the social and emotional aspects of it all, and the programs in place that support in the school system and its students throughout Jefferson County.

Siobhan talks about the Foundation’s involvement in this process, and she asks Sarah about how the general community can become engaged, including those in their own risk category and not able to become directly involved in helping our students.

Good news from the Foundation!  Due to a substantial anonymous donation, there will be a new round of funding from the COVID Response Fund.  Any non-profit or public-serving entity is welcome to submit funding proposals to the Foundation.

#162 Mike Howell: Sandwich Shop in Purgatory

(Airdate: 10/6/2020) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Mike Howell, owner of Howell’s Sandwich Shop in downtown Port Townsend. Mike opened his eatery only two years ago. Business took off rapidly – his first two years were stellar. Sure, a major winter storm blew out his windows the first year. But that was nothing compared to coping with Covid. With limited seating and hours he’s struggling to stay afloat. Howell’s only has about 1,000 square feet. Mike’s fortunate that he has a deck with a dynamite view. But now that winter is coming on, that asset might not help that much. His first two years were heaven and now he’s facing hell. He calls it “purgatory” and hopes to climb out soon. Here’s another small home town businessman that we all need to help support. The show is scheduled to air on Tuesday, October 6, and Sunday, October 11.

Eric James Peterson

(Airdate September 11, 2020) Eric James Peterson, former drummer from The Electric Hellfire Club and owner of The Ritz in San Diego, on how COVID has impacted music venues, and beyond.

Paul Rogers

(Airdate September 11, 2020) Paul Rogers, of Those Darn Accordions, on the life of a COVID-era accordionista

Resiliency of the Heart – Art Matters

(Airdate: 9/29/2020) Local 2020, through action groups, works toward local sustainability and resilience – integrating ecology, economy and community through action and education. For the past three summers, “Resiliency of the Heart Action Group” has  hosted monthly art happenings. All ages worked together to create art, music, poetry, and photography.  Listen in as Missy Nielsen of Everybody Can speaks with Adrianna Santiago about how Covid 19 has both inspired and created challenges to this Local 2020 group.

Everybody Can airs on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:40 pm.

County Public Health Report ~ 9/28

At today’s Public Health Briefings to the Jefferson County Commissioners, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke discussed:

  • Jefferson County case count remains at 71, no new cases in 2 weeks.
  • The local schools have been in session for a month and are examples for other counties, statewide.
  • KPTZ questions: dilute bleach, isopropyl alcohol are sanitizing agents. Alcohol-based wipes are a preferred product.
  • For gyms, distancing guideline is 300 square feet between people, or a 17-foot radius.
  • PCR antigen test is the “gold standard” for Covid testing.
  • County Commissioners are looking at ways for Jefferson County to maintain, encourage and support behaviors that keep the incidence of Covid-19 cases low in our area.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing

Through Science to Health ~ 9/18

Through Science to Health series with Chris Bricker, KPTZ host, and Lynn Sorensen, RN, discuss the politics of the ongoing news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic information, coverage that is often confusing and opposing in nature depending on the source.

Lynn reviews a recent article in the Washington Post regarding the difference between those who gather for a Trump rally and those who gather and participate in a protest march as far as risk of transmission of coronavirus infection.

Is the worst of the pandemic behind us? A new term, long-haulers syndrome is being applied to some people who have ‘recovered’ from Covid 19 but are still suffering from multiple symptoms such as brain fog, severe fatigue, and trouble breathing.

County Public Health Report ~ 9/21

At today’s Public Health Briefings to the Jefferson County Commissioners, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke discussed:
• Latest regional case count statistics
• Folly of non-mask wearing
• Timing for COVID-19 vaccine is not imminently expected
• Need for ventilation to be inside when smoke prevents air flow from outdoors
• Dose exposure of virus is a big factor
• Efficacy of testing

And Willie Bence discussed the additional available N95 masks.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing