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PENINSULA DAILY NEWS December 25, 2012 | 75¢

Port Townsend-Jefferson County’s Daily Newspaper

Now, they’re ready for a long winter’s nap

JOE SMILLIE/FOR PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Don McIntyre of Sequim, above, has his own naughty or nice list. Don Talmadge of Kingston, right, greets Teresa Verraes, left, and Heather Bailey at Port Townsend’s recent Yuletide Salon.

CHARLIE BERMANT/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Standing in for St. Nick Santa’s surrogates say they ‘feel called’ to don the suit BY JOE SMILLIE FOR PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Filling the most famous pair of black boots in the world could be a weighty occupation, but those who portray Santa Claus on the North Olympic Peninsula agree that it’s one of the easiest jobs they have ever had. “As soon as I walk in and look in the eyes of kids delighted to see me, every other worry I could have is erased,” said Don Talmadge of Kingston, who has 32 years of experience in the red suit — and his own white beard — and who served as Father Christmas at Port Townsend’s Gilded Age Yuletide Salon

last weekend. Larry Klinefelter of Sequim, who has 11 years of experience under the big, black belt, said the Christmas spirit comes to life for him when he experiences the generosity of children. “It’s when a kid looks at you and says, ‘Santa, I don’t want anything, I just want my Grandma to live forever,” Klinefelter said. “That really cuts you to the heart.” Klinefelter and John Hubbard of Port Angeles donned the suit for a visit to Necessities and Temptations gift shop in Port Angeles for a benefit for the Olympic Medical Center Foundation.

Peninsula St. Nicks said even cynics melt at the sight of their white beards. “People who will not open the door to anybody, anywhere, anytime will let Santa in,” said Don McIntyre of Sequim, who has played Kris Kringle for 33 years — wearing his own beard. “Security goes out the window when Santa comes by.”

Naughty or nice? One of Santa’s most laborious chores is his legendary job of tracking the behavior of 7 billion people. They all have systems. “All children are good. That part’s

easy,” said Hubbard, who’s been standing in for Santa in Port Angeles since 1977. Adults, though, are another story. “I learned that you always tell women they’re on the nice list,” said McIntyre, known for cracking candy canes in pieces before handing them to men, while giving whole ones to women. Why? “Most men have been bad.” McIntyre rates 60 percent of the adult population on the nice list, 30 percent on the naughty roster and 10 percent “really, really naughty.” But, said Talmadge, it’s not carved in stone. “As long as you know you’re bad, admit you were bad and try to make up for it, there’s always room to move your name to the nice list.” One way to make the nice list, said McIntyre, is to leave out a plate of oatmeal cookies with raisins, cranberries and ‘lots of nuts” on Christmas Eve. TURN

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Mental-health Sequim lawmaker fights court is ready for horse riding at refuge to get started BY PAUL GOTTLIEB

PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

BY JOE SMILLIE FOR PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

PORT TOWNSEND — A new court program designed to divert the mentally ill from the courts to treatment should be up and running early next year, Jefferson County officials say. County Prosecuting “Someone with mental Attorney Scott illness can’t wait for a Rosekrans said the mental health court will work couple of years.” similar to the county’s SCOTT ROSEKRANS Drug Court, focusing on Jefferson County prosecutor providing treatment to offenders who have mental health issues instead of putting them into prison. “The criminal justice system just isn’t suited to deal with a lot of those issues,” Rosekrans said. “This is kind of keeping them on a tight leash.” Sam Markow, Jefferson’s mental health director, said county officials will meet early next month to discuss when such cases would be heard. He estimated that the new court program could be running by February. TURN TO COURT/A6

SEQUIM — State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege is taking on the federal Fish and Wildlife Service over its proposed ban on jogging and horseback riding at D u n g e n e s s National Wildlife Van De Wege Refuge, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula’s prized Dungeness Spit.

PRNINSULA DAILY NEWS

Would revoke easement

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking to ban jogging and horseback riding at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.

If the proposal goes through, the 24th District lawmaker has threatened to look into legislation that would revoke a wildlife-protecting easement the state granted to the federal government for part of the Dungeness Spit, the protected area’s main attraction.

“If Fish and Wildlife moves forward with their proposed limit on recreation, I am interested in seeing if we can revoke the easement so the state can dictate what recreation can be done on that land,” Van De Wege said. The Sequim Democrat and House

Merry Christmasy

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from Our Famil to Yours

majority whip — the fourth-ranking Democrat in the chamber — represents Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County. “I don’t want to move forward on this,” he said. TURN

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INSIDE TODAY’S PENINSULA DAILY NEWS 96th year, 310th issue — 3 sections, 24 pages

PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

BUSINESS CLASSIFIED COMICS COMMENTARY/LETTERS DEAR ABBY HOROSCOPE MOVIES NATION/WORLD PENINSULA POLL

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PUZZLES/GAMES SPORTS SUDOKU WEATHER

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