Posted 11/15/23

Dear Jefferson Community,

I wanted to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for your incredible efforts in organizing and participating in the recent WAVE …

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Dear Jefferson Community,

I wanted to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for your incredible efforts in organizing and participating in the recent WAVE fundraiser. Your dedication and commitment have had an extraordinary impact on the Jefferson County Food Bank Association, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude.

The WAVE fundraiser, raising over $20,000, is a testament to the strength of our community and the power of coming together for a common purpose. We are profoundly grateful for the support you’ve provided to our organization, which serves as a lifeline to the individuals and families in our community who rely on our four food banks.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, the needs of our clients have grown exponentially. Unfortunately, our donations have not kept pace with the increasing demand. The funds raised through the WAVE fundraiser will enable us to continue our mission to provide nutritious food to those who are struggling, ensuring that they have access to the basic necessities they need to lead healthier, more stable lives.

Your generosity has not only touched the lives of our clients but has also provided hope and comfort to our entire community. We are inspired by your commitment and dedication, and it reminds us of the incredible impact that can be achieved when we work together.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to all the volunteers, donors, and members of your congregation who supported this event. Without your collective efforts, this fundraiser would not have been possible. Your kindness and selflessness serve as a shining example of what can be accomplished when we join forces to make a positive change in our community.

Once again, thank you for your unwavering support and for standing with us in the fight against hunger. We look forward to continuing our partnership and working together to ensure that no one in Jefferson County goes to bed hungry.

With warm regards and heartfelt appreciation,

Deisy Bach


Jefferson County Food Bank Association

That was a report?

City Manager John Mauro’s November newsletter read like a motivational seminar presentation rather than a Senior Manager’s relevant and timely report. 

 Port Townsend residents require no motivation to participate in the Comprehensive Plan. Residents have never lacked for vision, well-informed advocacy or active participation. Our community strength, resilience, coherence and willingness to participate in the planning process are all very well established. Continuing positive results have proven to be the rule rather than the exception for many decades.  

These assertions should have become obvious to Mr. Mauro within weeks after his arrival in Port Townsend. Accordingly, he should avoid patronizing us, and instead, directly address the challenge he offers in his own closing of the November Newsletter: “To make that quirky, authentic, awesome place we call home possible indefinitely.”

Specifically, Mr. Mauro should focus his impressive skills in climate- and sustainability-related policy, research and advocacy on leading the monumental effort to secure the funds necessary to plan and build the seawall necessary to keep the Historic Downtown District from flooding and disappearing altogether as sea levels continue to rise (indefinitely). 

The Dutch have been doing it for hundreds of years. We can do it too but time is of the essence. Delay is not an option.

Lead with confidence and conviction Mr. Mauro. Address head-on the most difficult challenge facing Port Townsend’s future. Delegate all other Comprehensive Plan priorities to junior managers and focus on “making the place we call home possible indefinitely.” You will gain both traction and respect in this community and worldwide by doing so.  

Paul Schutt

Port Townsend

Thanks to Kirk

Thanks to Kirk Boxleitner for his excellent reporting on entertainment and local issues.  I particularly appreciated his interview with Carrie Hite about the proposed Aquatic and Wellness center, which helped to dispel some of the rumors floating around. 

I sincerely hope that a new aquatic facility will be built to replace the aging Mountain View Pool. As a senior for whom the pool is vital, I am grateful for water walking, lap swimming and water aerobics. 

In our county, surrounded by water, swimming lessons are important for children’s safety. Swim teams will benefit from a regulation-length pool. I hope that those who don’t yet use the pool will recognize the importance of a public pool as a community asset.

Linda Rhines

Port Townsend

Thanks for reviews

Kirk Boxleitner – nice to have you back. And yes please, do go on with reviewing “Moonlighting.” It was a pleasure to read your analysis and reminisce about that wonderful show.

And now I have to subscribe to Disney+ again, so I can watch “Loki” ! You are bad for our budget. 

At least now, the Actors’ strike is over, production can get back on track. Must have our Entertainment! The show must go on...

Rachel Rutledge

Cape George

Let the flag fly

To the Editor;

I wonder how many people saw the American Flags flying along Sims Way today (Veterans Day). It has taken the Kiwanis, with some financial help from the American Legion, about four-five years of negotiating with the Mayor, City Council and PUD to get permission to do this limited display.

Many years of asking PERMISSION TO FLY THE US FLAG at no expense to the City of Port Townsend, and only on patriotic holidays such as Veterans Day, Fourth of July, Flag Day, Memorial Day. You can see them throughout Jefferson County, placed by the East Jefferson Rotary, and everywhere in Sequim and Port Angeles. But Port Townsend - Oh, no.

When did patriotism become shameful? We want to fly the flags on Sims right through from the Bayview to the Ferry Landing and then on Water Street to the Maritime Center. However, the only way to do that is to get permission from the PUD so that we can mount them on light poles (which belong to the PUD).

This is how it is done in Sequim. The reason for denying permission? “If we let you do it, then we’d have to let everyone do it.” Well, sure. Not even close to likely. We want to purchase the flags and the clip-on devices to hold them, put them up the night before, take them down the day after, and at no expense to anyone.

Not likely others are going to even want to do this. Both sponsoring organizations are non-profits, so there is nothing commercial going on here - just patriotic. Seems that Port Townsend leadership thinks that’s not okay.

 Kathryn Bates 

Port Ludlow

Lofty goals for a newspaper

For me a good newspaper tries to print “all the news that fit to print” to quote my favorite paper The New York Times.

In a small community like Port Townsend each of us holds strong views and having a chance to share our views is crucial as long as we do no harm with our letters. Writing a letter is risky but essential so that others can think about some issue and open their mind to different options.

For me a good paper both informs us and enlightens us. When I am done reading The Leader I want to know more about the people who passed away, and their lives. And feel appreciation for all the art and music activities and movies that are happening. So for me a good paper achieves all those things and one feels better after finishing the paper.

The letters to the editor and photos and sports news also are important.

So I hope The Leader and new staff will try to create a newspaper that brings more light into the world instead of darkness.

Nan Toby Tyrrell

Port Townsend


Those are lofty goals that sometimes conflict, but we’ll do our best. — ED

Bikes and buses


In reflecting on last week’s front page article on climate change threat, I would like to shout out two wonderful organizations that are poised to make a real impact in reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses produced locally.

Their services, if more utilized and supported, would demonstrate a proactive commitment from our populace toward mitigating climate change. These organizations are the ReCyclery of Jefferson County (ptrecyclery.org) and Jefferson Transit (jeffersontransit.com)

A huge focus of the ReCyclery is educating the community, particularly our youth, on how to safely and comfortably ride a bike around Jefferson County. The Recyclery hosts programs in the local school system and daily at their facility on Blaine St. They are not a typical bike shop — they are a community resource and gathering place where everyone is welcome to show up as they are.

They also donate bikes to those who express need, offer refurbished bikes for sale well below market prices, and advocate for bike infrastructure and protections.

Jefferson Transit is an invaluable and under-utilized resource in our area. Despite being zero fare (that’s right, it’s free!) and holding regular and consistent route operation, ridership is relatively low. (Did you know they accommodate bikes and dogs!?). Of course it’s not perfect, but the more of us who utilize this great service, the more it can grow and improve. (Not to mention that the bus drivers are all fantastic and more than willing to answer any questions!)

All of us are busy; all of us make excuses. Cars are convenient, but what is the cost? Slow life down, ride a bike, take the bus, and support efforts for more people to do the same. You might even enjoy it.

Eric Jones

Port Townsend

On the Cherry Street mistake


I took note of the November 1st PT Leader article titled, “City solicits input on Cherry Street mistake” and, like Charley Brown being invited to kick a field goal with Lucy holding the football, I wrote down a few thoughts and made my way to city council chambers on Monday night, November 6th, to share what I had to say.

As the meeting began it didn’t take long for Lucy to pull the football. Well before the public comment period commenced, the city manager announced that demolition of the Cherry Street Apartments was to begin in a week or so.

In the light of this announcement, part of what I had to say no longer mattered. I made my comments anyway. 

I stated that I hope we have learned that it is essential to not react, nor rush into solutions that don’t have a clear pathway to completion, and that council members must have courage to stand up against even a majority to protect the interests of the people they represent.

I believe the first action that any city council should take when it comes to the topic of affordable housing, is to carefully manage the cost of living in the community that already exists.

I finished with, considering the dire state of city finances, as reported to the city council by city staff in May of this year, I would like the city council to concentrate on infrastructure; roads, sewer, water, power, anything else should be set aside. 

Thus the Cherry Street Apartments should be left as they are, not a priority. I am not expecting demolition to be halted.

I did learn something my fellow citizens might be interested in. After demolition, the city-owned land upon which the Cherry Street Apartments are located, will be surplussed and sold. What is to be done with the proceeds will be up to the City Council.

The money can either be rolled over into the next, even bigger, utopian vision of affordable housing known as The Evans Vista Project, or it could be used to pay down the original sum borrowed to rehab the apartments, a $1.4 million bond, principle and interest obligation, which the city will be paying $61,896 annually until the year 2040.

The city may be able to make the apartments disappear. They can’t do that with the debt. I suggest you contact your city councilors and make your opinion known. 

 Brett  Nunn

Port Townsend

Carole Marshall fan

Dear Editor,

As “a woman of a certain age,” I’ve appreciated the candor and humor in Carole Marshall’s pieces on “Aging in Good Spirits.” I’d welcome more.


Ruth Whitney, Port Townsend

In favor of the pool


Stephanie Land, author of Maid and Class, stated that people were upset when she bought ice cream for her daughter, suggesting that poor people (and their children) do not deserve nice things. We fall into this mindset about our community when we say we can’t afford to replace the Mountain View Pool. 

The partners (the PT schools, Port, County, Hospital, Y, City, JAC and consultants) recommend that we replace our failing pool with a facility that is accessible, clean, designed for lessons, exercise, water safety training and fun. 

Construction will be paid for by grants, donations and .2% (two-tenths of one percent) sales tax. This tax will cost a household shopping in our county $10-40 per year. Nearly half of the pool construction costs will be paid by grants, donations and tax paid by people living outside of our county.

The City will continue to contribute $400,000 per year for pool operations, with remaining costs covered by user fees. 

Area pools show a significant increase in use and in reach into the county when old pools are replaced with new pools. Swim lessons for children and indoor water safety training will be available in our county.

How do we make it happen? We ask our county commissioners to put the sales tax to a vote and then we say YES. 

YES, we believe every child should learn to swim. YES, we believe that access to safe, water-based exercise and training for people of all ages, swimmers or not, is part of living healthy.  And if so moved and you have the capability, give to the campaign to close the construction funding gap. It can only happen if we say YES, and if we come together. 

Jane Armstrong

Port Townsend


Don’t elevate opinions to fact


I was pretty weirded out to see the Leader refer to an opinion piece on Scarantino’s blog as an “article.” Please don’t attempt to elevate his often hate-mongering, slanted writing. Let’s be clear when we’re talking about facts, and when we’re talking about opinions. And here’s an opinion of mine: The new Aquatic and Wellness Center is going to be so great for our community!

Darcy Reeder,

Port Hadlock-Irondale