Posted 9/27/23

Short fiction writer coming to library

Ballering grew up in Portland and holds an MFA in creative writing from Western Washington University. Her short fiction has appeared in Electric …

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Short fiction writer coming to library

Ballering grew up in Portland and holds an MFA in creative writing from Western Washington University. Her short fiction has appeared in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Hobart, and Craft, and her story “Double or Nothing” won the 2021 Rougarou Fabulist & Speculative Fiction Contest. Zoe’s debut collection of stories, There Is Only Us, was selected as the winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and was released in November 2022. Zoe continues to call Portland home, where she works at Reed College as an Assistant Dean of Admission Communications.

No pets allowed at PT Market

Last weekend, one of our shoppers who uses a service dog at the Port Townsend Farmers Market (PTFM) came to the Market Information Booth in a panic, Amanda Milholland wrote to The Leader.

“She was at the market with her service dog without its vest. Another community member approached her to let her know that we don’t allow dogs at the market. When she told them that her animal was a service animal, they asked what disorder the customer had, followed by a statement about how she was taking advantage of the “service animal” label, making it easier for others to think it was okay to bring regular dogs into the market.”

Milholland, executive director of the market, said she was emailed by someone who described themselves as a former Market shopper who chooses not to shop at the PTFM because of the policy.

Milholland outlined the reasons for the new policy:

“The PTFM is a destination for local fresh and prepared food. In Washington State, no animals are allowed to be brought into a restaurant unless they are service animals. We maintain the same expectations at the PTFM for community health and safety in our public food environment.

“Accessibility is one of our core values as a nonprofit. Service animals help support Market accessibility. However, including pets in our busy marketplace does not support accessibility. Some of our neighbor farmers markets that allow dogs have shared that almost every week, there are issues resulting from having dogs in the market– long leashes and/or dogs tripping shoppers, not to mention dog fights.

“Recently, as I was approaching a Market shopper to let them know about our service animal-only policy, I saw their dog lift their leg and pee right on the canopy of one of our vendors. Last season, I cleaned up dog poop that was smeared across the road between our vendor booths and was being tracked through the market. Keeping the PTFM clean and protecting the fresh food and arts our vendors work so hard to produce is a priority for us.”

Dog fights, she wrote, is another on-going concern.


Musician seeks to transport her audience

“If it were the intention of the creator or creators of this universe to perfectly blend together the night sky with moon and stars, it might have been their intention as well to deliver Claudia Schmidt as their messenger of reminder,” Matthew Miner wrote to the Leader.

Schmidt, he stated, takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box.

From lying on sandy beaches under an endless barrage of northern lights, to the expected anguish and frustration of spinning tires on cars stuck deep in snow, from the age-old struggle of change between adolescence and adulthood to the observation of sheer idiocy, she leaves it to the imagination of her audience to conjure their own images of her storytelling and song. No interpretation of a Claudia Schmidt song or story is wrong-she invites audiences to tie their associations to her style.

Schmidt weaves her way through her concert in much the same manner as a jester. Interwoven anecdotes, revealing her past and present, bring people to expect a relationship between themselves and memories driven deep with the passage of time. The concert is an endless display of self-realization through humor and longing, leaving audience members yearning to become an integral part of her world, Miner wrote.


Golf course survives Council vote

The Port Townsend City Council voted unanimously at their meeting on Monday to advance a “vision and policy direction for the future of the Port Townsend municipal golf course,” City Manager John Mauro wrote to The Leader.

“The decision comes after over 14 months of focused and intense community engagement including open houses, surveys, targeted meetings, and a regular stakeholder committee that met 13 times over the course of a year,” Mauro added.

The City hopes to find an emerging non-profit to operate the course and the park. The vote brings new direction to a 2020 decision to enter into a three-year operational agreement for golf and to investigate alternative uses but including the possibility of extended golf use.

“I’m encouraged that the vote tonight represents a creative solution and something for everyone now and into the future,” Mayor David stated.

Director of Parks and Recreation, Carrie Hite, stated that she is inspired by the engagement of the citizens:

“In my entire professional career, I’ve never seen people show up in the numbers like they have in our community.”

The draft phasing and access plan presented to City Council can be viewed online at