KPTZ underground radio surfaces at Fort Worden

Bill Mann Mann Overboard
Posted 7/10/24

“We’ve returned radio to the underground,” smiled KPTZ board member Fred Flanzer as he gave me a tour of the new KPTZ studios in Fort Worden.

KPTZ’s vastly expanded …

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KPTZ underground radio surfaces at Fort Worden


“We’ve returned radio to the underground,” smiled KPTZ board member Fred Flanzer as he gave me a tour of the new KPTZ studios in Fort Worden.

KPTZ’s vastly expanded studios are no longer shoehorned into a cramped portable classroom at Mountain View, and are now lodged deeply under an old Army building at the Fort. 

But despite the aged, concrete location, there seems to be a station reborn with much new space: Two broadcast studios (up from one),  a production studio, and, coming soon, a performance studio that will give local talent space to, well, perform. 

Flanzer, a relatively recent board member, probably has more radio experience under his belt than anyone on the Peninsula, having been a program director at stations in San Francisco, New York, Phoenix, Nashville and Seattle. 

Flanzer knows the building territory: he’s just built a station from scratch in her hometown of Reedsport, Oregon, for an old friend, nationally syndicated music host Delilah. 

“This station is top-notch, and well-equipped,” he said proudly, as KPTZ’s capable program director, Taylor Clark, nodded with a smile. 

Why did it take so long for the noncommercial station to get to Worden? “Covid and technical issues,” said Flanzer, who still does commercial radio in Texas from his home under his air name, Smoky Rivers. 

“Plus, they had to retrofit the building.” 

Nearby, Program Director Emeritus Larry Stein, an NPR veteran, is doing his weekly music show. KPTZ has six new music programs. 

Progressive radio stalwart  Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” show is gone from KPTZ (but is widely available on the web), replaced by news and public affairs, and KPTZ  has added Kate Dwyer’s “Did You Know” show of historical vignettes. A local standout show,  Nan Evans’  “Nature Now,” remains on KPTZ. 

The new programming and new equipment has already made a difference. 

“There’s lots of new thinking here that makes KPTZ more in the moment,” sais Flanzer, showing me the station’s new computers and production facilities. 

The station’s new programming and updated equipment and higher morale has already made a difference. Tune in the new 91.9 FM and hear for yourself. 

And now, a sorta-bold prediction: When we moved here from the affluent Bay Area 18 years ago, we were called “equity refugees,” referring to Californians who cashed out their houses and bought here with those nice profits. Now I expect to hear the term “climate refugees,” as people baking in hot temperatures elsewhere see the national weather maps — and spot the cooler Pacific Northwest, where temps haven’t climbed that much. They’re  coming! 

An old San Francisco radio friend, Ronn Owens, relocated to Arizona, jokes that the broiling state’s license plates now read, “But It’s A Dry Heat.” 


Fingers-crossed department: At this writing it appears that our long-shuttered pool reopening may be on target! Capable City Works Director Steve King told me, “The parts order is on schedule. We have lined up contractors to make the repairs. It looks like we are on schedule per the original press release.” That date is July 26. Those of us who have been carpooling or taking the shuttle thoughtfully provided by the YMCA to access the fine Sequim Y pool, are counting the days. 

I stopped in the just-reopened Nordland store the other day and asked when the community would get a resumption of postal service there. “We’ve asked and asked again,” said one employee. “And we know Amazon should also have a place here to pick up packages, instead of its driver having to shuttle all around Marrowstone Island.” One big problem: Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (who still hasn’t been ousted) is busy closing small post offices because of their “inefficiencies.” Good luck, Nordland.

Great line from a piece about photogenic possible presidential candidate Gavin Newsom, from The Guardian: “He looks like the guy whose photo comes with a new wallet.” 

Finally, I love this line from Martin Short to his longtime comedy cohort Steve Martin while hosting Jimmy Kimmel’s show: “Your smile reminds me of an e-mail from Granny … all caps.” 

PT humorist and failed radio talk host Bill Mann was once told he had a “voice made for print.” Reach him at