Our Town

#145 Marge Rosen, PT Summer Band Conductor

MARGE ROSEN: NEW LEADER OF THE ICONIC PT BAND. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Marge Rosen, the new conductor of the Port Townsend Summer Band. Her parents wouldn’t let her play drums as a kid, so the trumpet became her favorite. She also plays a variety of other instruments. As a former Navy band member, Marge loves marches and patriotic music. That’s convenient for her new position because the PT band is all about marches and patriotic music. Marge also hopes to add some music that might attract a younger generation. The band’s next performance is on Nov. 11 – Veteran’s Day – down at the American Legion on Water Street.

#144 Jim Roberts, Expedition Club head

(First airdate: October 22, 2019) ROBBIE ROBERTS: THAILAND TEMPTS PT TEENS. Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Jim “Robbie” Roberts, head of the Expedition Club, which has sent over 300 local teens to Thailand for the past 16 years. Roberts was a fixture at Port Townsend high school for decades. He taught and, as Coach Roberts, supervised the athletic department though decades of wins and losses.. His crowning inspiration was to take teens to Thailand – to open their eyes to another culture and way of living. For most, it changes their lives profoundly.

#143 Ian Jablonski, Water Resources Mgr.

(First airdate: October 8, 2019) IAN JABLONSKI: GUARDIAN OF THE WATER WORKS. Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Ian Jablonski, Water Resources Manager of the City of Port Townsend. Climate change is making us all think more about the earth’s resources. Even though we live in the so-called “Emerald State” we are not immune to water shortages. The summer of 2015 brought us every close to real problems. Ian and his team are responsible for making sure that the water that’s piped to us from the Big & Little Quilcine Rivers is pure and safe for drinking. Water-borne pathogens have killed in other parts of the country. He explains the elaborate system for making our water safe.

#142 Terry Snider, Lab Tech

(First airdate: September 24, 2019) TERRY SNIDER: NOT A BLOODY VAMPIRE. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Terry Snider, lab tech at Jefferson Healthcare. Terry is part of the bustling lab where two technicians run tests on over 100 individuals every day. She’s on the front line for screening for all sorts of diseases. Over the years she’s developed strategies to coping with everything from squalling toddlers to overly macho teenage boys. Yes, there is the occasional faint at the sight of blood, but it’s rare. Her childhood struggles with asthma sparked her interest in the medical field.

#141 Piper Dunlap, Acupuncurist

(First airdate: September 10, 2019) PIPER DUNLOP: NOT SO SCARY NEEDLES. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Piper Dunlap, acupuncturist. Piper once thought he’d become a doctor but ended up spending years as a captain of tall ships, research vessels and almost every other kind of sea-worthy ship. But the sailing life left him with crippling lower back pain. An almost chance encounter with an acupuncturist showed him a side of medicine he had never considered. So he went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine. Piper believes the divides between Western medicine and other genres, such as Chinese medicine, are blurring. More Western doctors are beginning to recognize the benefits of practices such as acupuncture. He explains why.

#140 Cameron Roberts: Dogs A Foot

(First airdate: August 27, 2019) Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Cameron Roberts, a local boy who came back from the big city to take over the local institution, Dogs A Foot. Cameron and his Thailand-born wife have ambitious plans for the culinary scene here. They want to keep Dogs A Foot pretty much the way it was when Cameron was growing up. But they want to add a few family-friendly ventures to the prime corner on Water Street. Shaved ice? Ping pong? They are also freshening up Manresa Castle, serving Asian fusion food and elaborate cocktails in the classic bar and restaurant there. The Castle is once again a happening place with comedy shows, burlesque and even (upcoming) paranormal events.

#133 Wayne Chimenti, Community Boat Project

(First airdate: August 13, 2019) WAYNE CHIMENTI: CREATING SAILORS & SUCCESS STORIES. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Wayne Chimenti, director of the Community Boat Project and former skipper of the Adventuress. For years Wayne has been instrumental in helping to rescue troubled teens through maritime training. He calls that course “beautiful chaos”.  But now he’s onto a new program called “Shelter From the Storm”. It’s designed to teach practical construction skills to young adults (18 to 25) who haven’t found their footing. Among other projects, they are building tiny homes. Most of them are what Wayne gently calls “housing insecure”, so being able to essentially build shelter is a huge step towards a productive and financially secure future.

#139 Steve Heigel: Paddling the Ocean Blue

(First airdate: July 30, 2019) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Steve Heigel, the owner of PT Paddlesports. Steve rents everything from kayaks to standup paddle boards from his location near the Marine Science Center at Fort Worden. The thrills of being out on the water include regular sightings of eagles, otters and sometimes even dolphins. He’s a stickler for safety and all of his clients must wear safety gear. Steve watches the weather and tides like a hawk and makes sure everyone’s enjoying the full maritime experience. When he’s not running tours and supervising trips, Steve’s racing kayaks. Steve and his wife, Amy, successfully completed the recent Race to Alaska…well, they completed the 70/48. That race is from Tacoma to Port Townsend. Participants must row or paddle 70 miles in under 48 hours.

#138 Ken Collins: PUD Commissioner

(First airdate: July 16, 2019) Our Town host Maryanne McNellis, interviews Ken Collins, PUD Commissioner & founder of Marrowstone Vineyards. Ken had wanted to relocate to the Olympic Peninsula for decades, but couldn’t financially swing it until he retired from his first career as a counselor and social worker. After moving to Marrowstone, he says it was probably “misplaced ambition” that got him into the wine business. He worked hard to turn his stunning five acres on Marrowstone Island into a working vineyard. But he’s since sold the vineyard and turned his attention to our Public Utility District (PUD). In addition to his role as Commissioner on the Jefferson County PUD he’s also on the board of the state-wide industry group. He’s pitching hard to get funds to improve internet access in rural Jefferson County.

#137 Dick Schneider: Orchid Master

(First airdate: June 18, 2019) Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Dick Schneider, who runs the Orchid Recovery Program out at Raincoast Farms. A lifetime ago Dick was a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. He relocated to the Olympic Peninsula to retire. But life in the slow lane didn’t sit well with a guy used to excitement. His interest in the food chain led to starting Raincoast Farms. It’s an experimental farm designed to help farmers increase their yield and quality. Farmers all through the region came to rely on him to guide them to raise fabulous fruit. The farm expanded beyond tomatoes, of course. Somehow someone asked him to save an orchid that was clearly on its last legs. He then became entranced with the tropical flower.  One thing led to another and now, with two greenhouses full of orchids, he donates orchids to a wide range of charities such as hospice, the Dove House, and even individuals recovering from surgery or disease.

#136 Rae Kala Stier, Occupational Therapist

(First airdate: June 4, 2019) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Rae Kala Stier, who’s now an Occupational Therapist for Jefferson Healthcare. Her passion for dance once led her to West Africa. She incorporated some of those African movements into an innovative hospital program called “Dance With Parkinsons.” It’s a rare exercise therapy session accompanied by live music. Rae’s story includes years of living in Baja, Mexico on a school bus or sailboat with husband and two small children. But, interestingly, as the kids got bigger the boat got smaller. The kids began to crave a “regular” life with things like school and soccer practice. That’s when the small “hippie tribe” moved to Port Townsend.

#135 Daniel Evans, R2AK Race Boss

(Reprise airdate: May 7, 2019) DANIEL EVANS: RACE BOSS OF R2AK. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Daniel Evans, Race Boss for the upcoming R2AK (Race to Alaska). This eclectic event is now in its 5th year. It has expanded and evolved. Now there’s a race from Tacoma to Port Townsend called the 70/48 – that’s 70 miles in 48 hours. Not all that difficult? Well, the boats must be people powered – no motors, no sails – just muscles and grit. The main event is the 750-mile R2AK. Sails are allowed, but there are no motors of any sort. And don’t get eaten by a bear (that’s on Daniel’s business card too!). There are amazing feats of guts and glory. One guy made it all the way to Alaska on a standup paddleboard.

#134 Pete Sexton, Owner of Broken Spoke

(First airdate: April 23, 2019) PETE SEXTON: PEDAL POWER FOR PORT TOWNSEND. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Pete Sexton, the owner of bike shop The Broken Spoke. Pete says Port Townsend is an ideal biking town – it’s small, compact and has many hills. Even the aging demographic works for a bike shop – the popularity of “e-bikes” (electric bikes) is soaring. Today’s e-bikes are half the weight of their predecessors and the battery lasts significantly longer. The Water Street shop sells, rents and even repairs bikes. And, by the way, the mechanics there can also repair walkers, wheelchairs and even golf carts. Pete notes that the shop definitely caters to the youth market. It sells Trek bikes – aerodynamic road bikes, from carbon race machines to refined aluminum models. You’ll see them flying like the wind around Jefferson County.

#132 Lance Bailey, Development Services Director

(First airdate: March 26, 2019) LANCE BAILEY: BUILDING A BIGGER & BETTER PORT TOWNSEND.Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Lance Bailey, Port Townsend’s Development Services Director. Whether you want to build a new apartment complex or remodel your home, all permits and approvals run through Lance and his team. Construction is at a historic high with over 900 permits issued in both 2017 and 2018. This year is on track to be even even higher. Growth or no growth? It’s a touchy issue. Lance is under a lot of pressure as demand grows for big subdivisions, apartments, affordable housing, tiny homes, ADUs and even single-family homes on in-fill lots.

#131 Caroline Culbertson, On Stage and Off

(First airdate: March 12, 2019) CAROLINE CULBERTSON: A LIFE ON STAGE AND OFF. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis, interviews Caroline Culbertson, who is now known for her wildlife art. But for much of her career, Caroline was an actress. She traveled around the country, appearing in stage productions both large and small. She has fond recollections of days performing in the Catskills in New York State (affectionately called the ‘Borscht Belt’) and not-so-fond memories of being mugged at knife point in New York City. She now makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula where nature’s beauty turned her artistic nature to painting.

#130 Gary Lane, American Legion Service Officer

(First airdate: February 26, 2019) GARY LANE: READY TO HELP VETS IN NEED. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Gary Lane, the Service Officer for American Legion Post #26. Vietnam vet Gary was exposed to Agent Orange during the war. It took him quite a while to realize and accept the fact that he needed help getting the benefits due to him. He ultimately decided to put his expertise to good use. As Service Officer he has helped hundreds of veterans from all branches and all wars get the benefits and pensions due to them. Over the past seven years he’s learned how to maneuver through the endless paperwork and bureaucratic red tape. If you have a friend or family member that’s a vet, this show should give you some valuable insight into how to help your vet.

#129 James Kennedy, Jeffco’s New Prosecutor

(First airdate: February 12, 2019) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis, interviews James Kennedy, Jefferson County’s new Prosecuting Attorney. He’s a decorated military veteran and a father of three. He brings to the office boundless enthusiasm and a determination to get the job done. Kennedy wants to revitalize the prosecutor’s office. He has openly questioned the turnover in the office under previous leadership.

#128 Bill Kraut, Hadlock Building Supply

(First airdate: January 29, 2019) HARDWARE HEAVEN IN HADLOCK. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Bill Kraut, the owner of Hadlock Building Supply. As a young sailor on a submarine, Bill had no clue that he’d one day be running a thriving hardware business on the Olympic Peninsula. But love showed him the way. This Indiana boy met his now wife Elena Lovato online. The rest, as they say, is history. The couple now have two teenage sons and are quite active in all sorts of charity events around the peninsula.

#127 Brenda Wildcat

(First airdate: January 15, 2019) BRENDA WILDCAT: A MOTHER’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Brenda Wildcat, the mother of a transgender child. Brenda survived a childhood in foster care, with multiple moves and schools. By the age of 21 she was a single mother with two kids to support. The brutal custody fights over her son culminated in her getting custody when he was 12 year old. He grew up,  married and had a child of his own before coming out. A reality television show on TLC has documented his transition from male to female, including multiple surgeries. Brenda has struggled with questions. But, in the end, a mother’s love led to her acceptance if her child and the difficult decisions made.

#126 Daniel Knudson, Feasting on Seven Fishes

(First airdate: December 18, 2018) DANIEL KNUDSON – FEASTING ON SEVEN FISHES. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Daniel Knudson, chef and resident cooking guru at Key City Fish. Daniel recounts his adventures through various Port Townsend restaurants – including the “paranormal” (or ghost) sightings that are common at venues such as the Manresa Castle. For this holiday season, Daniel explores the Southern Italian tradition of the Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. We live in a seaport, so even if we are not all Italian we can try to cook like one (with Daniel’s recipes, of course)!

#125 Mauricio Cisneros, San Juan Tacqueria

(First airdate: December 4, 2018) LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Mauricio Cisneros, the owner of the San Juan Taqueria. Mauricio first came to the USA from Mexico as a teenage migrant worker. He started his culinary career as a bus boy in Sequim’s first Mexican restaurant. He slowly worked his way up the ladder and along the way became an American citizen. Many people know Mauricio as the owner of El Serape and Nifty Fifties in downtown Port Townsend. But he’s now the owner of the San Juan Taqueria near Kala Point. Despite the constant scramble for good staff, Mauricio loves the restaurant biz – he’s a people person who loves catering to his customers.

#124 Mike Howell, Howell’s Sandwiches

(First airdate: November 20, 2018) BUILDING SANDWICHES & DREAMS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Mike Howell, the enthusiastic owner of Howell’s Sandwich shop. He’s a Chicago boy who followed his girlfriend (now wife) to Port Townsend. She had a job, he didn’t. After checking things out, he decided the vacant space Jordini’s once occupied was perfect for a Chicago-style sandwich shop. The walls are covered in old family pictures. One shows a very young Mike in a toy plane in front of a hanger at Howell’s Airport, once owned by his grandfather. Mike has big plans for Howell’s.

#123 Kelly Barlow, Massage Therapist

(First airdate: November 6, 2018) KELLY BARLOW: SOOTHING SPIRITS AS WELL AS SORE BACKS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Kelly Barlow, one of Port Townsend’s talented massage therapists. She’s a local girl – once upon a time she was even a cheerleader for the football team at Port Townsend High School. Over the years she built a thriving practice while raising her sons as a single mom. Like all great massage therapists, she listens to her clients. Stories get told behind the closed door of her tranquil salon. It’s as confidential as a confessional. She often ends up soothing spirits as well as tense muscles.

#122 Jim Walkowski, Fire Chief

(First airdate: October 23, 2018) JIM WALKOWSKI: FIGHTING FIRES & SAVING LIVES. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Jim Walkowski, the Chief of East Jefferson Fire & Rescue. Those blaring sirens and flashing lights mean that our brave men & women are off to help citizens in need. But few realize that about 80% of the calls in Jefferson County are medical calls. Our aging demographics present unique challenges to the fire department. The department’s thinly staffed and badly in need of both more funds and more volunteers. Perhaps you should consider helping out!

#121 Carlyn Stark, Sailor

(First airdate: October 9, 2018) CARLYN STARK: A SAILOR WITH A PASSION FOR SCHOONERS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Carlyn Kaiser Stark, Emerita on the Board of the Maritime Center & the Wooden Boat Foundation. Carlyn was instrumental in bringing the 100-year-old schooner “The Martha” to Puget Sound from San Francisco. Her father, industrialist Edgar Kaiser, purchased the ship for his daughter and she brought it to the Four Winds Camp on Orcas Island. Carlyn was a camper there as a girl, then ran the place for years. As a token of appreciation the Camp (which is now a foundation) later named its huge sailing ship “The Carlyn” after her. Today school kids from Seattle to Orcas Island learn about the sea aboard “The Carlyn”.

#120 Anita Schmucker, First Security Bank

(First airdate: September 25, 2018) ANITA SCHMUCKER: 100 KIDS & A BANKING CAREER. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Anita Schmucker, manager of the Port Hadlock Branch of First Security Bank. Anita switched from waitressing to banking and is excelling – she’s worked her way up the ladder to be branch manager. Along the way, Anita and her retired firefighter husband Andy have fostered around 100 kids. She’s passionate about children’s causes and works constantly to try to see that no kid slips between the cracks. She brings that same passion and enthusiasm to her bank. According to Anita, excellent customer service is the key to her career success.