Our Town

#117 Ariel Speser, Northwest Justice Project

(First airdate: August 14, 2018) ARIEL SPESER: TRYING TO SOLVE THE UNSOLVABLE. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Ariel Speser of the Northwest Justice Project. The non-profit law firm handles cases ranging from eviction or foreclosure, to domestic disputes or sexual assault. The common thread is that their clients cannot afford to pay the going rate for a lawyer. Ariel always knew she wanted to help those in need – particularly children. She wins more often than she loses. But each case is a unique challenge for her. She brings endless enthusiasm to her 90 hour work week and still finds time to be on the Port Townsend City Council.

      Episode

#116 Richard Davies, Public Defender

(First airdate: July 31, 2018) RICHARD DAVIES: FIGHTING FOR THE UNDERDOG. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Richard Davies, head public defender for Jefferson County. Charged with murder? Caught robbing a bank? If you can’t afford to pay for a lawyer, the judge is likely to appoint Richard and his team at Jefferson Associates Council to defend you in a criminal case. After more than two decades fighting for the underdog, Richard’s still an idealist at heart. He’s a passionate believer in the American justice system.

      Episode

#115 Scott Rogers, owner of Dogs-a-Foot

(First airdate: July 17, 2018) SCOTT ROGERS: BOSS MAN AT ALDRICH’S & DOGS-A-FOOT. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Scott Rogers, who owns two local icons – Aldrich’s and Dogs-A-Foot. Scott jumped around a few career paths, laying carpets, selling security systems and running restaurants. But when the bottom fell out of his life in the Great Recession, Scott somehow found both the love of his life (his now wife Robin) and a home in Port Townsend. Buying Dogs-A-Foot four years ago seemed like a natural fit for his entrepreneurial nature. Then Aldrich’s became available a little over a year ago. Scott is trying to take the venerable Port Townsend fixture back to its roots as a true community general store and gathering place.

      Episode

#114 Polly Rogers, Mom’s Laundromat

(First airdate: July 3, 2018) POLLY ROGERS: THE GREAT GRANDMOM AT MOM’S LAUNDROMAT. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Polly Rogers, a mainstay at Mom’s Laundromat for the past several decades. What better place to delve into the town’s dirty laundry than a laundromat? Panties in the wrong bag can lead to inescapable clues. Polly was just 19 when she married a mill worker here. She ended up living in the same house in the Four Corners area for the past 63 years. Mom’s features a wall of framed “lost socks” and Polly was once humorously awarded a gold-plated sock. She’s never quite found gold in a laundry bag, but there was a laptop, a 10-inch clock, and lots of other strange items. Still, Polly loves her job and comes in early and stays late just to share in the stories of the ever changing cast of characters from townies to tourists.

      Episode

#113 Gary Keister, Old Alcohol Plant

(First airdate: June 19, 2018) GARY KEISTER: BRINGING LIFE TO THE OLD ALCOHOL PLANT. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Gary Keister, the new owner of the Old Alcohol Plant. Gary has a unique vision. Half of the property is now a charming Inn & Restaurant, with spectacular views of the Port Hadlock Marina and the coast beyond. It features galleries that celebrate local artists and hosts classes and lectures. The reincarnated Old Alcohol Plant is fast becoming a popular venue for weddings, parties and conferences. Then there’s the “other side.” Gary has a unique vision. Half of the property is the Bayside Tower, which houses community members in need of transitional housing. The ‘for profit’ side (the Inn & Restaurant) helps support the ‘non-profit’ side. It’s an innovative and compassionate way to help with our housing crisis.

      Episode

#112 Bob Snow, From Spook to Computer Guru

(First airdate: June 5, 2018) BOB SNOW: FROM SPOOK TO COMPUTER GURU. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Bob Snow, former counter-intelligence agent. Bob was stationed in multiple countries around the world where he learned to “read” people and discover their weaknesses. He was a behind-the-scenes operative in places as different as the Amazon rain forest to the mountains of Germany. But here in Port Townsend, he has morphed into a Mac computer guru.

      Episode

#111 Miles Vokurka, PT Summer Band

(First airdate: May 22, 2018) MILES VOKURKA: LEADING THE BOYS & GIRLS OF THE BAND. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Miles Vokurka, new Conductor of the Port Townsend Summer Band. Band members include teenagers and teenagers at heart who are drawn together by their love of music. The first concert of the season is Memorial Day (May 28) down at the Legion Hall on Water Street. Summer concerts in the gazebo at Chetzemoka Park are a long-standing tradition. Miles picks up the baton from retiring conductor Karl Bach. He promises to continue the tradition of rousing marches and will also add some newer touches ranging from Oklahoma to The Beatles.

      Episode

#110 Angela Hewitson, NW Maritime Center

(First airdate: May 8, 2018) PARTY TIME AT THE MARITIME CENTER. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Angela Hewitson, the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Northwest Maritime Center. That tongue-twister title means that Angela is in charge of running down a list of some 1,400 “active volunteers” and getting about 500 of them lined up for the annual Wooden Boat Festival. She’s also helping out with the R2AK race, now in its fourth year. Hopefully Angela’s love of woodworking and her hospitality industry background will help her bring off the parties (and, yes, the Festival too).

      Episode

#109 Matt Wallace, Hope Roofing

(First airdate: April 24, 2018) MATT WALLACE: A VIEW FROM THE ROOF TOPS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Matt Wallace, the new owner of Hope Roofing. Matt’s a long-time roofer but new at running a business the size of Hope Roofing. He has backing from a group of private investors known as LION (Local Investing Opportunities Network). Matt wants to continue and expand this local institution – a company that’s been roofing the peninsula since 1977.

      Episode

#108 Bob Farr, Father Time Clock Repair

(First airdate: April 10, 2018) TICK, TOCK: IT’S FATHER TIME. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Bob Farr, the guy behind Father Time Clock Repair. Super-mechanic Bob worked his way from cars to jet planes and finally to grandfather & cuckoo clocks. Every clock has a story, he says, if only they could talk about the generations they have watched. One peninsula clock dates back to 1741. That family has the multigenerational story memorized. Some clocks he worked on came from the great sailing vessels, some are more modest family mantle clocks. But all are lovingly restored.

      Episode

#107 Rose Ann Carol, Jefferson County Auditor

(First airdate: March 27, 2018) AUDITOR ROSE ANN CARROLL – A HEAD FOR NUMBERS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Rose Ann Carroll, Jefferson County’s Auditor. Marriage licenses, car registration and taxes on your home are all handled by the Auditor’s office. Perhaps one of her most complex responsibilities is handling all elections from small county elections to the presidential races. Rose Ann has her fingers on the pulse of Jefferson County – a county that has seen the 60+ age category increase by over 25% since 2010.

      Episode

#106 Martin Mills

(First airdate: March 13, 2018) SHIPWRIGHT MARTIN MILLS – A PASSION FOR BOAT BUILDING. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Martin Mills, who is one of the 12 partners in the Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op. Not everyone realizes that there are as many – if not more – people employed down at the Boat Haven than at the Mill. The maritime trades are a key underpinning of the local economy. The Co-op’s business model means these skilled tradesmen share in things like rent, bookkeeping and even many tools. All receive an hourly wage and if there’s an annual profit, it’s shared.

      Episode

#105 Johnpaul Davies

(First airdate: February 27, 2018) JOHNPAUL DAVIES – A TASTY MARITIME TRADE AT KEY CITY. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Johnpaul Davies, owner of Key City Fish Company. As a young man fishing in Alaska, Davies had no idea he’d end up running a successful fish (& meat) operation in Western Washington. His skills as a salesman meshed with his knowledge of how to cut, handle and display seafood. It’s a much more complex job than you might think. Even his nuclear physicist father was impressed.

      Episode

#104 Sheriff Dave Stanko

(First airdate: February 13, 2018) SHERIFF STANKO: ALIGNING COMMUNITY & COPS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Sheriff Dave Stanko, who explains his mission to improve and humanize the police force in Jefferson County. During his first term, Stanko – who ran and won without the support of either major political party – has ambitiously revamped the sheriff’s office. He set up a Citizen’s Advisory Panel; sent officers into the schools; arranged for “coffee with a cop” meetings, and even put his entire force through extensive training sessions.

      Episode

#103 Judy Lundgren

(First airdate: January 16, 2018) TOASTING THE TOWN: JUDY LUNDGREN, HILLTOP TAVERN. Our town host Maryanne McNellis talks with Judy Lundgren, co-owner of the Hilltop Tavern, one of the few authentic taverns left around the region. As drinking habits have changed, so has the tavern. Judy’s been doing charity bingo nights for about 20 years now – raising tens of thousands of dollars for community causes. Music events range from honky tonk to punk or metal. And now she’s added a ‘painting night’ where a local artist coaches people to create their own masterpiece.

      Episode

#102 Peter Hanke

(First airdate: January 2, 2018) CAPTAIN PETE TALKS WHALES & THE VIBRANT PORT BUSINESS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Pete Hanke, owner of Puget Sound Express and a Commissioner for the Port of Port Townsend. PSE will add another high-speed boat to its fleet this spring as the public’s appetite for whale watching continues to grow. Meanwhile, the Port is grappling with multiple issues including a failing breakwater at Port Hudson. Marine trades are an economic underpinning for the region, with jobs at the Boat Haven rivaling the number of jobs at the Mill. Port Commissioners want to make sure there will be a steady flow of educated young tradesmen for this seafaring town.

      Episode

#101 Daniel Knudson

(First airdate: December 19, 2017) DANIEL KNUDSON AND THE AUTHENTIC VICTORIAN FEAST. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Daniel Knudson, an extraordinary foodie from Key City Meat and Fish. Want a Victorian menu for your Victorian Christmas holiday? Daniel happily provides tips for rendering down pigs feet and heads; baking meat pies into inedible brick crust and why the 4th stomach of the young bull is so important.

      Episode

#100 Pilar Clark

(First airdate: December 5, 2017) PILAR CLARK: TWIRLING THROUGH THE “BEAUTIFUL VORTEX”. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Pilar Clark, a server at the Old Whiskey Mill in downtown Port Townsend. This single mom has two kids under the age of five. She also has a boundless optimism for the future. She adores Port Townsend, which she calls a ‘beautiful vortex.’ Her bubbly, sunny nature warms the damp darkness of our Northwest winter. Friends, customers and even strangers turn toward her like flowers to the sun.

      Episode

#99 Lawrence Johnson

(First airdate: November 21, 2017) THE JOHNSON ROOTS RUN DEEP ON MARROWSTONE ISLAND. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Lawrence Johnson, the owner of Carl’s Building Supply in Port Hadlock. The Johnson family pioneered the Olympic Peninsula, settling here back in the 1880s. Lawrence is the fourth generation Johnson on Marrowstone Island. His great-great grandfather (Karl with a “K”) started what would ultimately become Carl’s (Carl with a “C”) under Lawrence’s father. Lawrence has turned Carl’s into a thriving company that serves both contractors and home improvement mavens. It’s a company that stands for quality products.

      99OurTownCarls

#98 Sam Lillie

(First airdate: October 24, 2017) HYPERLOCAL FOODIE ALERT: FROM YOUR GARDEN TO MY TABLE. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Sam Lillie, the founder of Vinder, a company that takes the ‘farm to table’ movement right down to the basics. Type your zip code into the web site (www.veggievinder.com) to find out who is growing what in your neighborhood. Cherries, tomatoes, kale – it’s all there. You can pay via Paypal. Then you can either get things delivered or pick them up right in the backyard. Sometimes you can watch the owner/grower pick the produce right in front of you. And, of course, she/he could share some gardening tips. This is really fresh and really, really local.

      98OurTownSamLillieVeggieVinder

#97 Bob Saring

(First airdate: October 10, 2017) TAPS & FOLDED FLAGS: HONORING THOSE WHO SERVED. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Bob Saring, the Captain of the Honor Guard for Port Townsend’s American Legion Post. The Legion’s contributions to the community are many: scholarships, the homeless shelter, and a veterans assistance program that covers everything from filling out paperwork to providing funds for an operation for a disabled vet’s service dog. Then there’s the Honor Guard. It will come to any vet’s memorial service to play taps and deliver a folded American flag to the grieving family. Not many people realize that you don’t have to be a member of the Legion for this free memorial. It’s for all honorably discharged vets.

      97OurTownBobSaringLegionManager

#96 Lance Bailey

(First airdate: September 26, 2017) LANCE BAILEY: THE CZAR OF BUILDING PERMITS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Port Townsend Planning Director Lance Bailey. From the Howard Street expansion to Water Street construction to your neighbor’s renovation, he’s the man on the ground when it comes to building permits. And, as ever in Port Townsend, the real question is “to grow, or not to grow?” There are some very differing opinions out there on that one. Lance must listen and carefully weigh all options and all opinions.

      96OurTownLanceBaileyPlanningDirector

#95 Teresa Hoffman

(First airdate: September 12, 2017) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Teresa Hoffman, owner of the Port Townsend Athletic Club. She didn’t set out to own a fitness club. But thanks to hard work, determination and a couple of angel investors, she’s built the Athletic Club into a healthy and growing business. This mother of five spends part of her “off” time tending to eleven horses with her youngest daughter.

      95OurTownTeresaHoffmannPTAthleticClub

#94 Michael Hale

(First airdate: August 29, 2017) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews the popular Port Townsend artist Michael Hale. Michael’s paintings have served as posters for several Wooden Boat Festivals and the Uptown Street Fair. He has also published a fantasy book. But he’s perhaps best known for his Port Townsend Portfolio, a series of paintings that captures the soft colors of early morning light on the street of Port Townsend. Michael has given KPTZ permission to use one image – “Rainy Morning on Water Street” – to represent Our Town on our web site.

      94OurTownMichaelHale

#93 Steve Bergstrom of Bergstrom’s Sewing Machines

(First airdate: August 15, 2017) THE SECRETS OF SEWING FROM STEVE BERGSTROM. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Steve Bergstrom, the owner of Bergstrom’s Sewing Machines. It’s a traditional business that has helped several generations of Jeffersonians. Steve includes a lesson with every sewing machine and he’s always there if you need a little consultation about your quilt, or your tutu for that matter.

      93OurTownBergstromSewingMachines

#92 Mike Gaede of Rain Coast Farms

(First airdate: August 1, 2017) MIKE GAEDE: A MAN WITH AN ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Mike Gaede, the new owner of the experimental farm, Rain Coast Farms. Mike’s life is one adventure after another. Previous careers include park ranger, builder of carbon fibre racing yachts in New Zealand, fisheries biologist, general contractor and even dog sled runner on Alaskan glaciers. Rain Coast Farms, with its 32 varieties of tomatoes and endless varieties of other fruits and veggies, is his latest challenge. Master Gardeners already know and love Rain Coast, and Mike’s going to give it more of a public face.

      92OurTownRainCoastFarm