Working Waterfront


Letter to the editor: Support our working class

My father was a shipwright and fisherman who supported our family and a mortgage. I have been both surprised and sad to read opinions that maritime work lacks security and doesn’t produce family wages. I know that it does.

So many of us in the marine trades fully provide for our families and own homes. I bought 20 acres when I was 28 from working in the boatyard.

Marine tradespeople are some of the most family-oriented, skilled and hardworking folks I know. Eighteen years ago, my first job was working for my dad. Many people in the port work alongside their children. The marine trades is one of the few places that a person can make a good living wage upon arrival. With determination, focus and drive, it is not difficult to succeed here, and live comfortably. It’s a place where people can be creative, build friendships, produce quality work and have the ability to do things like travel or buy or build a home.

One of the lifelines of this area is our maritime heritage and there is no reason this legacy should be lost. It is incongruous and alarming to praise and celebrate our historic identity while simultaneously disregarding one of the very things that supports this identity. Not supporting the port now is detrimental to all of the yard workers, marina workers and boat workers providing for themselves, their families and this community. I grew up and live in the county and once a week my mother drives into town. We would always visit my father in the boatyard. It is my second home, as it is for many others. Supporting the port is supporting families, the working class and our community.

Daryl Dietrich



Letter to the editor: Petranek for port future

Preserving our working waterfront is the best long-term investment in Port Townsend’s future.

With many years of first-hand experience in the marine trades, Pam Petranek is committed to supporting and expanding these businesses that create jobs that are so critical to the Port’s success, Jefferson County’s economy and the future of this beautiful and unique town. Pam Petranek embraces stewardship of the waterfront as critical to the essence of Port Townsend, our shared sense of place, heritage, and community. She is committed to protecting our public shoreline and affordable access to the water and the port’s facilities and services.

Talking to Pam, I sensed her dedication to transparency and collaboration, and her desire to include all stakeholders in the decision-making process. She pledges to grow awareness of the crucial role marine businesses and a thriving port have in sustaining our economy, community, environment, and future. Let’s keep the “Port” in Port Townsend. Join me in voting for Pam Petranek on Nov. 5.

Anna Young

Port Townsend


Letter to the editor: Marine trades offer real jobs

As is the case sometimes during election season, blanket statements can be made that dismiss a whole class of people.

My husband and I own a commercial fishing vessel, and have been coming to the Boat Haven for 10 years now, to haul-out and consult with the expert shipwrights Port Townsend is famous for.

About four years ago, I was offered a job in the Boat Haven, and I’ve loved working and living here. It’s a wonderful community of craftspeople, and businesses. I have a good job, with benefits, including medical and retirement. To hear folks in the Marine Trades being dismissed as tailgaters and “shed-boys” seems elitist and patronizing.

I am voting for a candidate for port commissioner that knows the value of these jobs, and the importance of the waterfront to the identity of Port Townsend. I’m voting for Pam Petranek because she’s right here in the yard, supporting us, and helping preserve an industry that makes Port Townsend remarkable. Thank you!

Diana Clausen

Port Townsend


Letter to the editor: What's best for our port

Misinformation and a divisive approach are not going to help our port. The claim that rates for marine trades leases and associated port services that bring substantial economic benefit to Jefferson County are below fair market is plain nonsense.

The Port Commissioners adopted a policy of charging fair market lease rates consistent with an independent MIA certified appraisal. The most recent appraisal, completed in 2018, found lease rates to be generally in line with fair market, any adjustments indicated are being instituted as terms allow. Additionally, a recent study of lease rates at Western Washington ports done by the Port of Port Angeles and independent surveys of like facilities at Bellingham, Anacortes and Port Angeles, all indicate that the Port of Port Townsend rates are generally in line with the market.

Likewise an extensive study of vessel haul out and on-land storage rates was completed in 2018. The study found that vessel haul-out and short-term storage rates were right in line with competing facilities and rates for vessels stored on land. For two months or longer, they were above market.

Above market rates for lease, vessel haul-out and storage would devastate our maritime economy and ultimately reduce port revenue.

The port’s financial challenges can be solved; it’s going to take a collaborative approach. Stakeholders need to work together, entities should include: County, City, Tribes, Maritime Center, Marine Trades and Constituents. There are a number of opportunities to increase the Port’s revenue and create economic development; applying sound business practices to port operations will help bring this about. Let’s work together and get it done.

I believe Pam Petranek is the Port commission candidate that will best help our port - please vote for her.

Mark Burn

Port Townsend


Letter to the edtor; Marine trades are second to none

The conclusion is universal. Whether you’re talking about sales in general or economic development specifically: the most successful strategy is to hang on to the customers you already have, and invest in what’s already working. In Jefferson County, what’s already working is our working waterfront and the 20% of the jobs that are tied to it throughout our county.

In our roles we get to hear from people across the continent who reflect to us the two things we already know: the talent in maritime sector here is second to none, and there are many places who are looking to emulate the authenticity and productivity we have forged as a community over the last half a century. Yes, there are other dimensions that make our community vibrant, but while there are other arts communities that parallel our own our community stands alone in its concentration and quality of the blue collar heroes who work in our maritime trades. There is simply nowhere else that comes close.

The state is currently focused on developing economic opportunity through the maritime sector. Moving away from our marine trades would forgo the opportunity to be a part of that effort and jeopardize the sector that verifiably holds up one fifth of our jobs, generates $12.5 million in taxes, and is a point of entry for young people into our aging community. Without our marine trades working on the waterfront, there would be no Maritime Center, no Boat School, Edensaw Woods, Maritime Discovery Schools, Wooden Boat Festival, Race to Alaska, and we’d have less taxes to pay for core services. Those who say differently aren’t thinking hard enough.

Vote with your conscience on the Port related elections, but do so knowing that the base of our living wage jobs are in the marine trades and those supported by them.


Jake Beattie, Executive Director, Northwest Maritime Center

Betsy Davis, Executive Director, Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding

Kiwi Ferris, Owner, Edensaw Woods


Letter to the editor: Port & marine trades are partners

Dear Editor,

The “Stranglehold on Port” letter implied that the Marine Trades Association produced the The Marine Trades Economic Impact Study. They did commission it to be produced by well-respected Martin Associates who have used their methodology “to estimate the economic impacts of seaport activity at public and private marine terminals of more than 800 US and Canadian ports”. If you read the study, you will see their processes and conclusions.

The report says there are 1,154 direct jobs in the marine trades cluster in Jefferson County, not 405 as stated in the letter. That includes “boat building and repair, marinas and recreational boating, commercial fishing and seafood processing, and maritime education and training, marine passenger and charter services, and government.”

The letter seems to suggest that the port breakwater should not be fixed due to sea level rise. So much for being a port, I guess. Just hope it doesn’t breakup when Point Hudson is full of expensive vessels during Wooden Boat Festival… or maybe we should just cancel that event.

The Port of Port Townsend and the marine trades are partners, not adversaries. All for one and one for all??

I am voting for Pam Petranek. She has been going to port meetings for years, testifies at public hearings to help find creative solutions, knows how to read a budget, is smart, and really cares.

Jackie Aase


Letter to the editor: Petranek on the side of Marine Trades

The Marine Trades industry of Port Townsend is not "a myth." We have a robust Marine Trades industry that accounts for nearly 20% of the jobs in Jefferson County. In addition to providing skilled jobs, the Marine Trades also generates significant tax revenues to the City and County.

My husband and I have owned several fishing boats over the last 40 years and all of them have had work, including major re-fits, done by our local Marine Trades people. The talent is astounding, there are men and women with a myriad of skills from traditional wooden boat building to electric hybrid propulsion and everything in between! The diversity of skills and the quality of work has made Port Townsend one of the most desirable ports on the west coast for boat work.

The Port and the Marine Trades are an important part of our past and certainly our future. We don't want to see our working waterfront transformed into boutique hotels and high-end real estate projects that only serve a few. We want to see a vibrant, working waterfront that provides well-paying jobs and access to everyone.

Pam Petranek is the Port Commissioner candidate who has championed the Marine Trades. She is smart, hard working and believes in collaboration. Pam clearly understands the issues and challenges facing the Port of Port Townsend. Please vote for Pam, she'll make a stellar Port Commissioner.

Thank you,

Kathleen Mitchell & Scott Landis

Port Townsend


Letter to the editor: Petranek focused on issues

I am writing a letter of support for my friend Pam Petranek. Pam is running for the port commissioner.

I often encounter Pam while riding my bicycle around Port Townsend. If you are a long time resident of Port Townsend you have doubtless seen Pam riding her heavy duty cargo bike with the salmon trailer towed behind, on her way to the Saturday Market.

I have heard Pam address the port commission several times over the past ten years. She is always well organized and has presented issues that are important to the Port. Pam is very aware of the connection between the success of the many marine trades enterprises that conduct business in the port. The marine trades provide many living wage jobs in our community.

Pam’s presentations to the port commissioners have always been respectful, positive and fact based.

Pam is focused on transparency – informed public debate, financial accountability , affordable community access and she has a passion for environmental stewardship.

Pam will make an excellent port commissioner. Please give her your support.

Lon Zimmerman

District 2


Letter to the editor: Petranek good for Port

I am writing to endorse Pam Petranek for the position of Port of Port Townsend Port Commissioner.

It has been my good fortune to work in the Marine Trades in Port Townsend as a shipwright and business owner since 1979. In my 40 years of experience Pam is a rare combination of a good heart, a keen intelligence, and a real willingness to work for the good of the Port. She played a crucial role in establishing a vastly improved relationship between the Marine Trades and the Port Administration. She organized the Marine Trades team that helped the Port adjust rates for boat storage and haul out fees that made us competitive with other ports in our region. She was instrumental in the Marine Trades contribution to a new lease policy that gives Port business tenants long term stability in a mutually acceptable environment with the Port. Pam has engaged the City, County and community to collaborate in solving the Port's problems.

Pam was central to the conception and implementation of the Marine Trades Economic Impact Statement. That document is the only quantified assessment of the contribution of the Maine Trades to Jefferson County. It reveals that the Marine Trades create, directly or indirectly, one out of five jobs in the County, and contribute 5.8 million dollars of tax revenue to the County and City annually.

The next best step to meeting the challenges facing the Port of Port Townsend is to elect Pam Petranek to the position of Port Commissioner. We need her focus on evidence based policy, her ability to draw together effective coalitions, and her talent for creating solutions rather than stand offs.

Ernie Baird



Letter to the editor: Port should earn revenue

At the League of Women Voters debate, the difference between the two candidates’ agendas was striking. Pam Petranek stands for meticulous management of overhead expenses and a sincere desire to elicit the good counsel of the community. She understands that the present Port crisis is the result of fifteen years of poor financial management by the previous director and his refusal to listen to constructive public suggestions. Her opponent’s central theme is that because of climate change and rising sea level, we should abandon the Port’s infrastructure crisis and invest in county-wide waste water treatment. The last thing the Port needs is to invest money in projects that earn no revenue. Dredging, ramps, jetties, bulkheads, aged docks, building roofs and work yard surfaces are all deteriorating. Funding these infrastructures at Boat Haven, Point Hudson and Quilcene with limited financial resources requires the undivided focus of the Port Commission. The Port understands the demands of the rising sea level. The old policies of building new structures with 60 life spans have given way to less expensive repairs that allow adaption to future climate remediation. Ms Petranek has been attending Port meetings for 4 years and has been part of that discussion. She has helped champion the change from replacing to repairing the Port Hudson jetty. Some people believe that the Port’s fate is only a District One issue. In reality the entire county depends on marine access to our waters. Vote for Pam Petranek, or change our entrance sign to "Welcome to Port Townsend: a Victorian Waste Water Treatment Center”. Bertram Levy


Audio Link: KPTZ 91.9 Host Phil Andrus interviews Port Commissioner Candidates

Audio Link:

Port Commission District 1 Race

On the October 11, 2019 Tossed Salad show, host Phil Andrus discusses current issues with Port Commission District 1 candidates Chuck Fauls and Pam Petranek.

You can also access this by going to;

Podcasts, Tossed Salad Special Guests, Port Commission District 1 Race.


Letter to the Editor: Petranek for the port

These days are full of fake news and misrepresentations to promote an agenda of a few; this includes the local politics around the election of a new commissioner for the Port of Port Townsend.

But it is time, to see through this and use your vote for the common good of our community. Knowing the facts are far more powerful and useful, then disinformation. I believe we have the power to install a collaborative voice in this position and one that has shown strong abilities in many different ways throughout our community. Being heard in all three districts, working with positivity and shared enthusiasm is just part of the job. Knowing the budget, the expenditures, the expense of deferred maintenance at all of the Port holdings are real. These issues will only be resolved by those with a true vested interest in making things work for all tax payers. This is the Port for all Jefferson County; a rural working community that needs good paying Jobs and contributions to our tax base, so your taxes can remain low, for those who are no longer working. For every one dollar from property taxes received by the port, the community receives five dollars in tax revenues back to our county. The marine trades are 20% of the work force and are not the only players on the team, but our working waterfront is vital in many ways that affect the quality of life of those through out the county who work and live here. I will be voting for Pam Petranek for Port Commissioner.

Thank you,

Peter R. Langley

Port Townsend Foundry LLC


Audio Link: League of Women Voters Port Commissioner Candidate Forum

Audio Link:

(Airdate: October 7, 2019) KPTZ broadcasts the candidate forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the American Society of University Women-Port Townsend, which was held Tuesday October 1 at the Port Townsend Community Center. For the first of the three candidate forums intended to inform voters about candidates running in November election local races, Chuck Fauls and Pam Petranek, Port Commission District 1 are featured.

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