“In Blue Skies, Out Grey Skies”

By Tom Moore Argus McEnerney’s sights are set on New York University. Admittedly, the 9-year-old Salish Coast Elementary student has time before pursing a college major in theatre but he is wasting no time, honing his passion for acting with Key City Public Theater (KCPT). Argus, and his enthusiasm for the theater, comes in no small part from the educational outreach that is an important part of KCPT’s mission. Collaborating with teachers and students in 1st-12th grade throughout Jefferson County, their goal is to help develop real world skills through play and performance. Skills like reading comprehension, self- and social awareness. The goal is for each student to learn “ensemble awareness”, says Resident Ensemble Artist Maggie Jo Bulkley. “Providing kids with a creative space where they can express themselves, and where there is a safety net so they can take risks and find their courage,” she said. “This helps them to “not only be better artists, but better community members.” Having attended KCPT summer camps and workshops since 2018, Argus is picking up on that groove. “I can be my true self and just be crazy and stuff,” he says of his experience in theatre class.” He also admits to learning some key social skills. “Once during a performance, I got a line wrong, but no one interrupted me. And that taught me not to interrupt. I’d been struggling with that.” Another skill learned through acting is how to find a place of calm in the face…

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Avant Garde Approach to the Housing Crisis

Laura Jean Schneider ljschneider@ptleader.com There’s an avant garde approach to the housing crisis right here in Port Townsend: Applicants will need to make it through several rounds of interviews. They need proof of reliable income, because 20 percent will go toward rent. They must be willing to undergo state and federal background checks and be in good standing in their community. Approved tenants are required to help upkeep their community grounds and attend weekly meetings. Tenants share one meal per day in a communal kitchen. There’s 24-hour security on site, easy access to public transportation, schools, medical care, and a grocery store. It’s a weapon and substance-free community, with enforced quiet hours. Applications can be obtained from Bayside Housing and Services. Address? Well, it could be a modest lot between Ninth and Rosecrans streets, arguably the most contested soil in Jefferson County right now. PREJUDICE, PERHAPS PRIDE“I’m one of those really fortunate people who have lived a really charmed life,” said Debbi Steele. She moved to Port Townsend in 2007, where she started the Jefferson Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls, and founded the Wearable Art Contest to fundraise for it. Recently, she’s become involved with the Community Build Project, a volunteer-run organization that helps craft homes for those in need. After trying her hand at slapping on paint, which she admits she was miserable at, she took over as volunteer coordinator. “We want to build community,” she said, and in this case, that’s literal. She…

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Rhody Festival parade now set for August

By Diane Urbani de la Paz Thursday, July 29, 2021 PORT TOWNSEND — Blackberry and lemon cake with Italian buttercream. Spiced, gluten-free chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache. This is dessert — the ninth annual Cake Picnic — for the 85th Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade, now rescheduled for noon Aug. 14. Uptown’s East Jefferson Fire Rescue station, at Lawrence and Harrison streets, will be the starting point for a procession unlike any Rhody parade in history. For one thing, the fresh rhododendron blooms of May won’t be prominent on the 2021 floats, said festival president Lori Morris. The organizing committee is yet undeterred. Still, “we need more people,” said Rita Hubbard, keeper of the entry forms. So far, 28 applications have come in — about a third of the number in past parades held in May. She hopes for many more before the Aug. 9 deadline. Prospective 2021 entrants will find applications at www.rhodyfestival.org while information is available by emailing rhodyfest@gmail.com. So far, several parade stalwarts have signed up: local steampunks, midwives, kinetic sculptures, hardware and marine companies and the Kiwanis Club will sashay down Lawrence Street to Monroe Street to downtown. The Port Orchard Fathoms of Fun festival, Sequim Irrigation Festival and Washington state Daffodil Festival floats will make the scene. Port Townsend’s own Rhododendron Festival float will carry Queen Jenessah Seebergoss, Princess Hailey Hirschel and Princess Brigitte Palmer while the Boeing Bluebills serve as grand marshals. Missing: marching bands. School’s out for summer, so Hubbard and Morris are wondering…

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