Breaking News

August 18, 2017


Port Townsend High levels of the toxin microcystin were detected in a water sample taken from Gibbs Lake on Monday, August 14. The toxin level is 9.5 micrograms per liter, which is above the Washington State recreational criteria of 6 micrograms per liter. Microcystin is produced by bluegreen algae, also known as cyanobacteria, and can result in illnesses in people and animals. As a result, Jefferson County Parks and Recreation has closed the lake for fishing, boating, and swimming. Visitors are also urged to keep pets out of the water. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) has posted closure signs at lake access points. The rest of Gibbs Lake County Park remains open for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

JCPH has monitored local lakes for bluegreen algae seasonally since 2007. Monthly monitoring of Anderson, Gibbs, and Leland lakes began in April of this year. Anderson Lake closed in May due to high levels of Anatoxin-a, another toxin produced by cyanobacteria. No toxins were detected in Lake Leland on August 7. Lake conditions can change rapidly and lake status can change between samples. JCPH urges recreationists to avoid contact with heavy blooms or scums. If you observe a bloom in a Jefferson County lake, please report it by calling (360) 385-9444.

To check the status of Jefferson County Lakes and learn more about toxic cyanobacteria monitoring, consult the JCPH website  or call (360) 385-9444. For fishing seasons and regulations see the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website. Also see this information on visiting Gibbs Lake County Park.


July 31, 2017

“Nude with Violin” Time Correction

The Ludlow Village Players have been invited to do a reading of Noel Coward’s “Nude with Violin” at the Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St., Port Townsend, Sunday, August 20 at 4:00 p.m. (NOT 7:00 p.m.)

Tickets at the door will cost $20, and there will be limited seating.


July 26, 2017


Vessel returns to regularly scheduled programs

July 26, 2017 – Port Townsend, Wash. – The United States Coast Guard concluded a vessel inspection of Lady Washington in Port Townsend Boatyard at approximately 12:30pm on July 25th. The inspecting officer determined Lady Washington was undamaged and fully cleared to resume regular operations.

Lady Washington’s next port of call is Port Orchard, Washington. She will arrive Wednesday afternoon and be open for dockside tours from 4pm to 5pm, and an evening sail from 6pm to 8pm. The full schedule of events for Port Orchard can be viewed at

At this time the causes of Lady Washington’s grounding are still under internal investigation. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport will issue a statement once the internal investigation has concluded.

For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Caitlin Stanton, Operations Director at 360-532-8611 or email at


July 24, 2017


Vessel safely sails to Port Townsend for follow up inspection

June 24, 2017 – Sequim, Wash. – At approximately 8:15am this morning, tall ship Lady Washington ran aground in Sequim Bay, shortly after departing John Wayne Marina bound for Port Orchard. The United States Coast Guard was notified by the vessel’s Captain at 8:27am. No one was injured, and as of the time of this release, no serious damage to the vessel is predicted.

At 3:10pm the tide had risen sufficiently for Lady Washington to get underway, and she conducted sea trials with a Coast Guard vessel in attendance. All vessel systems appear functional and Lady Washington will proceed with an escort to Port Townsend Boatyard to confirm that no significant damage occurred.

At this time the causes of the grounding are still under internal investigation. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport will issue a statement once the internal investigation has concluded.


July 22, 2017

Port Townsend Bay, Kilisut Harbor and Mystery Bay Shellfish
Closed Due to Marine Biotoxins

Port Townsend – Shellfish samples from Port Townsend Bay and Kilisut Harbor have been found to contain elevated levels of marine biotoxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). As a result, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has closed Port Townsend Bay, Kilisut Harbor, and Mystery Bay for recreational shellfish harvest. Danger signs are being posted at public access points warning people not to consume shellfish from this area.

The closure includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops and other species of molluscan shellfish and extends a previous closure that covered only butter and varnish clams. Discovery Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca east to McCurdy (Middle) Point closed in June. Crabmeat is not known to contain the biotoxin but the guts can contain unsafe levels. To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (also known as the “butter”). Shellfish harvested commercially are tested for toxins prior to distribution and should be safe to eat.

Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing. People can become ill from eating shellfish contaminated with the naturally occurring marine algae containing toxins harmful to humans. Symptoms of PSP can appear within minutes or hours and usually begins with tingling lips and tongue, moving to the hands and feet, followed by difficulty breathing, and potentially death. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a health care provider immediately. For extreme reactions call 911.

In most cases the algae that contain the toxins cannot be seen, and must be detected using laboratory testing. Therefore, recreational shellfish harvesters should check the DOH Shellfish Safety Map at or call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State. Recreational harvesters should also check Fish and Wildlife regulations and seasons at or call the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline 1-866-880-5431.


March 20, 2017

Online Community Produce Market Opens

On March 21, 2017 an online community marketplace for local, homegrown produce launched in Port Townsend. To access the market go to Users can list and discover delicious produce being grown in their own communities on this site.

The startup is bootstrapped by the founder and CEO, Sam Lillie, a group fitness instructor at the Port Townsend Athletic club. The idea was begun on foot and bicycle operation in July of 2016 for $18.56. Within the first three months, over 300 pounds of produce was exchanged between community members.

The vender aims to strengthen communities across the nation, both economically and nutritionally by promoting a transparent, sustainable agricultural system and making it accessible to people everywhere.