Virus Watch Reports

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 7/04/2020

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 5/30/2020

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.

Compass for 5/09/2020

This week on the Compass, we talk with Chimacum Schools Superintendent Rick Thompson about the scramble the school district has gone through in trying to adjust to a world that changed literally overnight on March 13th of this year – and about the process of planning for a very uncertain future.

Compass for 5/02/2020

Since 1999, Jumping Mouse Children’s Center has helped kids heal through expressive mental health therapy. Play, rather than talking, is a child’s natural way of communicating. At Jumping Mouse, play therapy is based on a trusted relationship between the child and therapist, so the child feels safe to tell their story. This week, we visit with Jumping Mouse’s Executive Director, Jenny Manza, and we talk about the importance and their good work, especially during these difficult times, when nurturing a child’s healthy development is so important

Compass for 4/25/2020

One might expect that, at a time of pandemic, hospitals at least would be prospering if nothing else was, but the ironic truth is that the very health care crisis that has made the need for their services of vital importance has pushed many hospitals across the country close to the brink of bankruptcy. This week on the Compass we talk with Jefferson Healthcare CEO Mike Glenn about why Jefferson County’s community hospital is no exception.

And then we talk with the founders of a new organization dedicated to giving foster kids and the families that take them in the kind of support that can literally save lives.

Compass for 4/18/2020

Wednesday, April 22nd is the fiftieth anniversary of the original Earth Day.  This week on the Compass we talk with one of the organizers of what was to have been a week of activities and celebrations to mark the occasion – and learn what opportunities still exist now that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on all public gatherings. The Compass airs on Saturdays at noon and repeats the following Monday at noon and 5pm.

Compass for 4/11/2020

This week on the Compass, we explore the idea of Community.

Terry Wagner was one of the local victims of CoVid-19.  She was able to weather the storm it brought to her body, and she kindly sat down with KPTZ to talk about her experience, not only with her illness, but also with the creative outpouring of love and support our community showed her during her sickness and recovery.

Then, Police Department Navigator, Judson Haynes, tells how the Port Townsend Police department, with support from the Jefferson County Health Department, sought to add the services of an embedded mental health professional to the Department’s ranks in 2019. 

Finally we share a poem about homelessness, forgiveness, and redemption on big city streets.

Compass for 4/04/2020

As the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19 wreaks havoc upon the world, Jefferson County, with fewer than two dozen confirmed cases so far, has been a relatively safe haven from a storm that has elsewhere overwhelmed hospitals and morgues. But how long will we be spared? Can we avert the kind of tragedy that has hit Italy, Spain, and New York?

This week on the Compass, we once again talk with Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke about how the Olympic Peninsula might come through the biggest health crisis of our times.

If you value the local coverage KPTZ has given to the current crisis, please show your appreciation by going to the website and utilizing the “donate now” feature.

Compass for 3/30/2020

This week on the Compass, Steve Evans talks with the highly-acclaimed journalist Dahr Jamail about the relationship between the COVID 19 pandemic and the climate crisis. Then he talks with OlyCAP’s new Executive Director Cherish Chronmiller about how the Olympic Peninsula’s primary social services agency is coping with increasing demands as the virus spreads and the economy shrinks.

Compass for 3/23/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world economy into a tailspin, and last week any hope that the Olympic Peninsula might somehow sidestep the calamity was struck down as the first evidence of community spread of the potentially lethal disease emerged locally, and a gubernatorial decree closed down the bars, restaurants, and event venues that together form the heart and soul of the local economy – with no clear answer to the question of when (or even whether) life will return to normal.

This week on the Compass we first talk with a popular longtime Sirens Pub bartender who abruptly found herself laid off last week. Then we talk with Port Townsend Main Street Program Director Mari Mullen about the crisis facing local businesses and what resources are being mustered to help them out. And finally, we talk with Centrum Executive Director Robert Birman about the likely fate of the summer festival season upon which so much of Port Townsend’s economy relies.

Compass for 3/14/2020

As the nation and the world move into emergency mode to try to slow the spread of the potentially lethal COVID-19 coronavirus, we talk again this week with Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke about the local response to the pandemic on the Olympic Peninsula where, despite the fact there is thus far no evidence of community spread of the disease, events from church services to dances at the Grange to author readings are being cancelled, and grocery shelves being emptied of hand sanitizer and toilet paper as people prepare to hunker down and self-isolate for the long run.

This Compass was originally broadcast at noon on Saturday, March 14, and will be repeated with updates on Monday, March 16 at noon and 5pm after the calendar. In coming weeks, the KPTZ News Team will be focused on bringing reliable, up-to-date coverage of the local effects of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.

Compass for 3/09/20

Day in and day out all around the world, highly trained epidemiologists are constantly on watch for the next bug that might result in widespread mortality. In Jefferson County, that guardian is Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke. This week on the Compass, we talk with Dr. Locke about the threat posed by the new coronavirus that’s been dubbed COVID-19, and the plans that are being laid to deal with what he believes is the inevitable local spread of the potentially lethal virus.

Compass for 3/02/20

This week on the Compass we revisit a November talk with a lawyer who has spent much of her career helping people think about those things nobody wants to think about: things like deadly diseases, dementia, and the big “D” itself: Death.  And she tells us why we should think about them now, so we don’t need to worry so much about them later.

Compass for the Week of 2/24/2020

There’s a small piece of land in Poulsbo, Washington, near woods that witness and fences that guard the propellant and nuclear payloads for Trident missiles.  This piece of land near the fences is called Ground Zero, and it has carried its name and its significance for 39 years.

As wind blew through the trees on a Saturday in August of 2019, supporters of the Pacific Northwest Peace Pagoda gathered at Ground Zero from across the U.S. and from other nations.  They came in solidarity, ceremony, prayer, and music, to a ground purification ceremony for the Pagoda.  After almost four decades of effort, the possibility of the Pagoda’s construction had finally become a reality.

This week on the Compass, we bring you the sounds, the words, and the emotions from that ceremony.

Compass for the Week of 2/17/2020

We take you inside an eclectic, authentic watering hole off the beaten path in Chimacum. It’s a place where everyone feels free to be their authentic selves. 

Compass for the Week of 2/10/2020

After four years of mulling it over, the U.S. Navy has decided a controversial proposal to greatly expand its secretive dark-of-the-night training for Navy SEALs in Washington state parks and public marinas will have no significant environmental impact which, barring a public outcry, will probably clear the way for implementation of the plan. This week on the Compass, we talk with the executive director of the Navy watchdog group Sound Defense Alliance about the plan.

Compass for the Week of 2/03/2020

This week on the Compass we take you inside the cheese production facility at Mount Townsend Creamery on its last day of operation, and we talk with the employees and Creamery co-founder Ryan Trail about the sad end of an institution that was until very recently considered perhaps the brightest light of the local food economy.

Compass for the Week of 1/27/20

While continuing their long and active careers, dancers and choreographers Bill Evans and Don Halquist have chosen Port Townsend as their home. Recently, Evans, Halquist and Claire Porter, renown comedic dance and movement artist, showcased part of Porter’s repertoire to sold-out audiences at Key City Public Theater. We caught up with all three performers between rehearsals for opening night, and talked about their performing lives and the works they have created, both as solo and ensemble artists.

Then we speak with Justine Gonzalez Berg of the Housing Solutions Network, a recent initiative of the Jefferson Community Foundation that addresses the need for more community engagement on the issue of affordable and available housing in our county. This is an important conversation that has increased over the last several years. Justine discusses HSN’s efforts to bring people into the fabric of a larger community dialogue needed to explore solutions to this crisis.

Compass for the Week of 1/20/2020

In early December the Washington Department of Natural Resources released a long-awaited management plan for State Trust forests that has at its heart a concern for sustainable harvests and a court-ordered conservation plan for the marbled murrelet, a tiny threatened seabird that relies upon large tracts of old growth forest for successful breeding. Considering the DNR’s concurrent and seemingly contradictory missions to conserve the forests for the likes of the murrelet and to maximize timber sale revenues to support schools and other tax districts, it is perhaps not surprising that lawsuits challenging the legality of the plan have this month been filed on both sides of the issue, with state trust lands revenue beneficiaries on the one hand arguing that the plan breaches the DNR’s fiduciary responsibility to them by “dramatically” reducing revenues, while a consortium of environmental groups has filed a complaint that the plan does not go far enough to protect the public’s interest in conserving the forest.

In this week’s Compass, we first reprise a story we did a little more than six years ago, when the marbled murrelet was at the center of another lawsuit against the DNR, and then we catch up with the fortunes of the murrelet in a follow-up phone interview with Maria Mudd Ruth, the author of a book about the bird who was one of those consulted in devising the controversial management plan.