Posted 10/13/15

Our library is changing, much for the better

Signing up for a library card was one of the first things I did when I moved to Port Townsend in 1980. For the past 10 years I have volunteered to care …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in



Our library is changing, much for the better

Signing up for a library card was one of the first things I did when I moved to Port Townsend in 1980. For the past 10 years I have volunteered to care for the library magazine exchange. I am aware of the flow in the library, and it is a busy place. There are over 70 volunteers at the library, ranging from foundation and Friends board members to the people working at the book sale.

Recently there was a letter in the Leader saying how things had gone downhill at the library. Yes, there have been some negative things that happened, but this started with all the changes: the move, polarizing bond failure, rehabbing of our Carnegie and downsizing of the collection. This all happened before the current director was hired.

Let's talk about the wonderful things going on at our Carnegie. There's the book sales and talks by current authors from far and near. Exciting new things are happening, such as adding computers to the children's section. There are books to loan to book clubs. There are creative circulating collections that offer checkout of robots, American Girl dolls, and kits for learning to knit, crochet and embroidery. And there are e-books and movies.

Our Carnegie has partnered with Northwind Arts Center for Art in the Library. In September they featured local artists from the '70-'90s. Through CLAN, books and materials from the County Library and the Northwest Maritime Center are available to Carnegie readers.

People say libraries are becoming redundant. Not our Carnegie. A public library is meant to change over time, and ours is doing that.

Director Melody Sky Eisler makes sure of this. New copies of classic books, new books and new formats will always keep the library collections changing and ever involving as does our community.


Where are the benches?

Why do y'all suppose the "city" removed the four or five benches from the pedestrian wharf (Union Wharf)? I'd like to know.

They are good for a private sit in an open arena, where two or three people can be fairly certain no one else will sit next to them while they visit for a few minutes. I use them for prone and sitting exercises.

Why were they removed? One city worker told me they might have been removed for repair. I have my doubts. But that would be sweet. There is no good reason to deprive us of such simple comfort.

ARTIS Port Townsend

The Leader asked Mayor David King to respond. Because Union Wharf is port property, he in turn sent the inquiry to Port of Port Townsend Executive Director Larry Crockett.

Crockett responded: "Many of the large posts supporting the structure on Union Wharf are in need of repair due to rot. The benches were removed in order to access the bottom of the posts. As soon as those repairs are finished, the benches will be reinstalled."

Wooden Boat Festival should support locals

I was surprised to discover that the paella being served at our Wooden Boat Festival was not our own Paella House. The paella that was served at the Wooden Boat Festival was from a Bellingham business.

When I inquired with our own local Paella House about why they were not working the Wooden Boat Festival, they said they had asked to be a part of it, but that the business from Bellingham had already been given permission.

However, I think there may be more to this, as the Wooden Boat Festival's food vendors website states they choose vendors based on "successful years in the festival."

In Port Townsend we pride ourselves on supporting local business. In fact, we have signed agreements as a community to support our local businesses. I think that the Wooden Boat Festival should adhere to this as well because they represent the community and our values.

While I did not have any of the paella from the Bellingham group (opting instead to support our own local Paella House), I heard that it was nothing compared to our own local, and now famous, Paella House.

In fact, Paella House has been receiving complaints from locals who mistakenly thought it was their paella. Paella House has made a name for themselves in Port Townsend and beyond (they were recently mentioned in a Seattle newspaper), and the Wooden Boat Festival missed an opportunity to support a growing local business run by an incredible Port Townsend family.

I would hope that regardless of "successful years in the festival" that next year they will place priority on supporting our local Jefferson County businesses. Paella House buys local, so when we support them, we support other local businesses. This year the money went to Bellingham.

TONY BROWN Port Townsend

The Leader asked the Wooden Boat Festival to respond. Barb Trailer, executive director, wrote:

"There actually isn't any more to it: Paellaworks, the Bellingham company, applied and was accepted to be a Wooden Boat Festival food vendor prior to the Paella House making an inquiry. In order for each vendor to be as successful as possible, we do not accept multiple vendors with the same food offering, and thus the Paella House was not an option this year. About half of our vendors are local, and we certainly do take that into consideration when making our selections each year. We encourage the Paella House to apply to to be a vendor at the 2016 Festival (Sept. 9-11, 2016) as soon as the registration process opens on Jan. 1, 2016."

Center Street too bumpy for my bike

I go to Blue Heron Middle School and I almost always bike. What I have noticed is that the Center Street hill is very bumpy. It has caused my bike chain to fall off twice.

Please, City of Port Townsend, repave the bumpy parts of Center Street. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

INDIGO GOULD Port Townsend


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here