(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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)!
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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!
(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”.
(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.
(First airdate: September 11, 2018) CREATING A NICHE BY BOILING BAGELS. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Mike Garling, the owner of Metro Bagels. After visiting 22 states in their Honda, Mike and his wife discovered their dream home on the Olympic Peninsula. But jobs like the one he had back at the Chicago Board of Trade are scarce out here. So he created a business plan for a bagel business. The local investment group, LION, was duly impressed. He’s now paid back their loan and Metro Bagels has locations in both Port Hadlock and Port Townsend. Not everyone sits and grumbles about their dead-end job. Determination and hard work can pay off.
(First airdate: August 28, 2018) KIM RAFFERTY: FROM HIPPIE TO PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE. Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Kim Rafferty, a nurse with Jefferson County Public Health. Once upon a time Kim lived in the proverbial hippie commune in California. But reason prevailed. She ended up becoming a nurse. She’s run group homes for mentally challenged seniors and run clinics on Orcas Island. Today she’s the public health nurse who provides foot care to seniors and disabled all around the county.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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).
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.