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MADE by the COMMUNITY Crafted sodas bringing back nostalgic flavors Port Townsend foundry teaches old skills to young craftspeople Supplement to Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader

Sequim’s Batson Enterprises an international fishing gear player


Port Angeles • Sequim Port Townsend • Discovery Bay Kingston • Edmonds • Greyhound Amtrak • Downtown Seattle Sea Tac Airport • Seattle Hospitals Olympic Bus Lines is an independent agent of Greyhound. You can now purchase your Greyhound tickets locally at your only nationwide reservation location on the Olympic Peninsula. • Free WiFi on board • Providing complimentary home-made chocolate chip cookies from “Cockadoodle Doughnuts” in Port Angeles.

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Winter 2015 LOP 3


Contents 14

6 |  Outdoor Recreation Peninsula hikes on two legs or four 10 |  Food & Spirits Food co-op bears deep PT roots, boasts organic bounty

30 |  The Living End The Artistry of Life 28


In Focus Foundry teaches old skills to young students 8 |  A presence of viability The Sol Duc Hatchery boasts a center for learning and life on the West End 9 |  The West End Tree of Life Find out how a 46-year-old mill has withstood and embraced change

Vol. 11, Number 4 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.

16 |  Wake up and smell the coffee Rainshadow Coffee Roasting Company brews a good cuppa 147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 © 2015 Sequim Gazette

19 |  Sole’s Journey Shoes: Made in Port Townsend A pair of moccasins led a man to a career as a shoemaker 23 |  The nuts and bolts of fishing Creating quality fishing gear is a labor of love for family-owned Batson Enterprises 26 |  A taste of nostalgia Bedford’s beverages sell from coast to coast 28 |  Building a better bee A Joyce couple discovers the joys and challenges of beekeeping

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Terry R. Ward, Publisher Steve Perry, Advertising Manager Editorial: Patricia Morrison Coate, Editor pcoate@sequimgazette.com

On the cover: Joe Berta, left, helps Jessie Thomas fill another mold at the Port Townsend Foundry. They are part of a youth movement in the foundry, located just outside of Port Townsend, learning time-tested skills from longtime foundry operators Pete and Cathy Langley. Photo by Nicholas Johnson

Production: Brenda Hanrahan, Page Designer Laura Lofgren, Page Designer Advertising Sales (360) 683-3311 • (360) 452-2345 226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Patrick Sullivan: psullivan@ptleader.com © 2015 Port Townsend Leader

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Integrity above all else Passion for the quality of people’s lives Quality that is obvious Innovation, not emulation A culture of trust and respect Reaching to learn, grow and embrace and change Teamwork, camaraderie and fun!




on two legs or four

Story and photos by Michael Dashiell

I DIDN’T THINK he had it in him. Then again, I think my dachshund is used to being the underdog. The first time I took Louis, our rescue dog, on a hike, I figured he’d get about 1,000 feet, look up at me with those “carry me” eyes, and we’d be done. Three miles later, he was furring his brow — yeah, he can do that — as he wondered why we were turning back for the trailhead. Hiking with dogs can be a blast, depending on a number of factors, from your pup’s temperament to varying weather conditions to accessibility of trails. Fortunately, on the last point, we have plenty of options. As noted in the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission’s new map of dog-friendly hiking spots (download a map and get more details at www.olympicpeninsula.org/dog-friendly, or check out the opposite page), our area has a multitude of perfect spots for you and your pet to roam. Though the majority of Olympic National Park’s trails are off-limits to canines (the wonderful Spruce Railroad Trail and Quinault trail system are exceptions), there are thousands of acres of Olympic National Forest land, and Washington state and Clallam County parks, the Olympic Discovery Trail, Ediz Hook in Port Angeles and other prime day-hike spots.

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While some dogs are more apt to be typical hiking breeds — retrievers, beagles, border collies and the like — Louis is proof that it’s all about the dog. Sometimes even the smallest dog can have a big heart for the trails. (Side note: If you dig hiking with dogs and haven’t read Tom Ryan’s Following Atticus, go get it now.) TIPS FOR DOG HIKES While I don’t always adhere completely to the 10 essentials of hiking, I do try to carry the majority of these on my treks: map, compass, sunglasses and sunscreen (even/especially in winter months), extra clothing, headlamp/flashlight, first-aid supplies, fire starter, matches, knife and extra food/water. When you’re hiking with a dog (or dogs), the pack will gain a bit more weight, even on day hikes. Remember to carry the doggie essentials: • Fresh water and food/treats, with collapsible bowls • Strong leash; we also use a body harness, as dogs can slip out of leashes if they pull hard enough • Bed/blanket and kennel (if needed) in the car • Towel for cleaning your pup • Booties for the paws (depending on the terrain) • Dog vest or coat, for breeds with thin coats • Dog packs (if you want your pup to help

shoulder some of their load) In general, most regular hikers will have a better constitution than their canine pals, so stop often and offer your dog water throughout your hikes. Like humans, it’s best they not have a big meal right before a hike but get some food along the way. Also make sure your dog has its ID tags and shots. I’ve noticed Louis get a bit carsick, particularly when heading out to a hike like Mount Townsend, where the road to the trailhead winds through the forest. Best to keep travel time short if your dogs display some unpleasant side effects from long trips. A lot of hikers (myself included, at times) like to let their dogs off leash, but this is a bad habit; among the dangers they can get into are poison oak and sumac, wild animals, scaring other hikers/bicyclists/pack animals and running away to join the circus. It’s more than common courtesy to keep your dog close as other hikers go by. You never know what kind of situation you can get in on the trail, even if your dog is normally eventempered. REI and PetFinder have some great dog hiking tips online.

FAVORITE DOG-FRIENDLY HIKES Here are a few of my favorite dog hiking spots, though there are dozens of other trails, parks and beaches within a couple of hours drive from downtown Sequim. •  Deer Ridge Trail This trail — accessed by Lost Mountain Road and Forest Service Roads 2780 and 2875 — offers impressive views of Mount Baldy and further back toward Buckhorn Mountain, Mount Deception, across the Graywolf River and into the Buckhorn wilderness. Completing the trail means trekking into Olympic National Park, where pets are not allowed, so those with dogs should only expect to finish twothirds of the hike up to the park boundary. (Minus a pet, hikers can finish the 5.2-mile hike at Deer Park.) •  Mount Townsend This trail is for the heartier of dogs and hikers alike. It’s about a four-mile jaunt from the upper trailhead to the two summits at Mount Townsend, with snow and ice possible at its peak elevation of 6,260 feet. There are four ways to the top so you can vary your path to the summit. At the top on a clear day you may be able to get impressive views with Mount Baker to the north, Mount Rainier looming to the east and Mount Saint Helens to the southwest, the skyscrapers of Seattle dwarfed when drawn to scale next to these Cascade Range peaks. The path is quite rocky in places, so consider gearing up your dog with booties. •  Spruce Railroad Trail With some of the area’s hiking trails unreachable during winter months, the Spruce Railroad Trail is simply a gem — and dog-friendly to boot. The trail starts on Lake Crescent’s north shore, shortly after the road crosses the Lyre River. Take a short jaunt downhill from the trailhead through a fern-littered forest flanked by deciduous trees and pines to an abandoned rail bed that comprises much of the trail. The trail features a pleasant lagoon spanned by a wood and steel bridge, beneath black basalt cliffs on the right. To the south are snow-dusted peaks and ridges along the south shore, including the imposing Mount Storm King. •  Robin Hill Farm County Park This park, located just west of Sequim, offers 3.4 miles of foot trails and 2.5 miles of equestrian trails for hikers, walkers and equestrians alike. The undulating running/biking and horse trails offer plenty of variation with much of the trails featuring soft soil under foot, giving you and your dog’s joints and back a break from flat, hard surfaces. Though one’s peaceful hike may be occasionally disturbed by the nearby shooting range, it’s a good go-to for a short day hike. (Note: There’s no waste disposal at this park, so you have to bag your dog’s waste.) •  Olympic Discovery Trail (just east of Sequim) Starting at Whitefeather Way, this is a smooth, paved section of the Olympic Discovery Trail heading east toward Sequim Bay State Park.

For a while you have to deal with the din of highway traffic but soon are nestled nicely between U.S. Highway 101 and views of the bay. Pause for a moment at some of the bridges and at the state park before heading back. A short jaunt west from the starting point puts you on the picturesque Johnson Creek Trestle. (Note: Be aware of bicyclist traffic.) •  Dungeness Recreation Area While dogs aren’t allowed on the Dungeness Spit, the recreation area offers three miles of foot/equestrian trails. Get a gorgeous, one-mile view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and quiet, sandy foot paths in the recreation area’s east and south sides. This spot can get chilly, so consider bringing some extra clothing for dog and company. Reach Sequim Gazette editor Michael Dashiell at editor@sequimgazette.com.

Above: With four different trailheads, Mount Townsend offers a challenge for hikers and their canine compatriots alike. Left: The Olympic Discovery Trail offers dozens of miles of paved trail for hikers, runners, walkers, bicyclists and others across the Olympic Peninsula.

Winter 2015 LOP 7

A presence of viability

The Sol Duc Hatchery boasts a center for learning and life on the West End

Story and photo by Christi Baron

SOME MIGHT SAY there is a science to catching a fish. The fisherman attempts to figure out the natural world of the fish, experimenting with what bait the fish will bite, what fly the fish will strike, hoping that the experiment will result in catching something. Attempting to understand the fish creates much food for thought. The science of fisheries management also can create intellectual nourishment. The Sol Duc Hatchery at 1423 Pavel Road is between Beaver and Sappho in western Clallam County. It began operations in 1970. The facility has a spring that produces up to 25,000 gallons per minute (GPM) and three pumps on the river that produce 3,000 GPM each. The property spans 43 acres and consists of an incubation building with office, shop, a fourbay storage building, interpretive center, a pump building and three residences. The Sol Duc Hatchery is on the Sol Duc River at Mile 30. The hatchery rears Sol Duc spring chinook, summer coho, fall coho and rainbow trout. Multiple transfer and plant strategies are involved. The hatchery follows strict protocols — everything that is done in the process of handling the fish is monitored and documented.

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Men fish below the hatchery catwalk on the Sol Duc River.

The Sol Duc Hatchery is the first facility in the world to find a cure for cyrptobia, a disease caused by leeches. The on-site interpretive center is open to the public and the hatchery gets visitors from all around the world. The different types of salmon and steelhead are on display and back-lit pictures explain the difference between natural spawning and rearing and hatchery spawning and rearing. In 2014, Forks High School student Cheyanne Kilmer helped with the remodel of the center for her senior project. The Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition assisted with the project, too. In addition to raising fish to be released in area rivers, the hatchery raises fish for local derbies at the Bogachiel Hatchery and Lincoln Park in Port Angeles and some are destined as plants in Lake Wentworth. At the incubation building everyone entering must step on a mat to sterilize their shoes. Rows of incubation trays contain a mesh that is used as an anchor for the growing stock and water temperature is regulated to assist in the fish’s rate of development. While things are usually quiet at the hatchery, there can be trouble. Crows and otters sometimes harass the fish, stressing them. There are the two-legged predators that also

help themselves to the fish. A few years ago and more than once, in the middle of the night, individuals climbed the fence, with three rows of barbed wire, in order to steal fish; unfortunately, the fish they took were brood stock. The theft of the fish was more damaging than just losing a few fish. The thieves did not just steal fish — they stole the future — and the loss will have an effect on the returns for years. The staff at the hatchery take their jobs very seriously and are sort of possessive of the fish they raise. Since that theft, a state of the art security system has been added. The staff at the hatchery also is proud of the fact that at times the hatchery supplies the local food banks with fresh fish. Washington’s salmon and steelhead fisheries are managed cooperatively in a unique government-to-government relationship. One government is the State of Washington and the other governments are Indian tribes, whose rights were established in treaties signed with the federal government in the 1850s. The Sol Duc Hatchery is just one of many facilities around the state working hard to provide fisherman with the opportunity to try their hand at the science of catching a fish.

Story and photo by Christi Baron

The western red cedar is a tall, sturdy tree that can grow 150-200 feet tall. The cedar’s popularity as a building material dates back thousands of years to the Native Americans who first inhabited the Olympic Peninsula region of North America. The “Tree of Life” is the name Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest gave to the western red cedar, which furnished them with so many elements needed for their existence. Native craftsmen and artists found many uses for each part of the tree. They carved canoes, totem poles, storage boxes and ceremonial masks from the heartwood. They wove the inner bark into mats, baskets and water-repellent clothing, shaped the branches into ropes and fashioned the roots into baskets and cords. The Coastal Indians of the Pacific Northwest also built their longhouses with logs or split-log frames and covered them with split log planks and sometimes an additional bark cover. Cedar was the preferred lumber. When the first settlers arrived on the peninsula and started their settlements, homebuilders found the stability of western red cedar ideally suited to create flat, straight planks that could be used for buildings. In early shake and shingle production there was a lot of handwork. Eventually, several large shingle operations came into existence. In the 1930s the Forks Shingle Mill, south of Forks, and M.R. Smith Mill at Lake Pleasant employed hundreds of people. Over the next 30 years, shake and shingle mills came and went and by 1969 there were 15 mills operating in the production of shakes and shingles in the Forks area, employing around 200 people. In a 1969 interview in the Port Angeles Evening News, one of those mill owners was Harold Newton. Newton started his mill in Forks in 1965, having moved from the Kelso area. At that time, Newton Cedar Products employed 16 people. In the interview, Newton is quoted as saying, “We have approximately 10 to 12 years of cedar cutting left,

The West End Tree of Life

Lucas Larson is the manager, millwright and mechanic at ML Cedar in Forks and another mill in Amanda Park. He, along with six other employees, helps produce cedar shingles.

its availability is becoming less each year.” Today, 46 years later, the mill formerly known as Newton Cedar Products is still in operation. The mill today is called ML Cedar and a few things have changed. There now are seven mills in the Forks area and fewer people employed, but there still is a supply of cedar that keeps the saws going. ML Cedar sits along Calawah Way. Lucas Larson, 35, is the manager, millwright and mechanic for this mill and another in Amanda Park. Both mills are owned by Francisco Lieza. The mill employs seven people. The supply of cedar for the mill is procured through cedar salvage sales. The amazing rot-resistant properties of cedar mean that when covered in mud and dirt for years, it is just as good as new when unearthed. Once salvaged, the cedar is flown by helicopter to the nearest road,

where it is then trucked to the mill. While cedar shakes and shingles are not used as much anymore for roofing, their appeal as a high-end decorative feature and their aromatic smell still are popular, according to Larson, especially on the East Coast. Once at the mill, the shake making begins. The mill is a noisy, dusty place and it still is as dangerous as it ever was; saws operate inches from fingers. ML produces 16-inch Fivex Shingles, 18-inch Perfections and 18-inch Tapersawn Shakes. All products are inspected multiple times a month for quality by a certified inspector from the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau and each bundle has a tag to prove it. It is Larson’s job to keep the saws sharp and the equipment running. Special equipment in the sharpening room at the mill keeps the blades in good working order. Change in the industry has eaten

into profits. In the old days, wigwam burners got rid of the waste. Today, because of air quality rules, sawdust and scrap is loaded in a truck and taken to Port Angles or Longview. There it is mixed with hog fuel to be burned in cogeneration plants. The mill also offers a scrap pile of larger waste that those in need of kindling can purchase for $20 per load. It helps save a little on hauling it away. Larson said, “At first we got money back from the waste we trucked out, but now every truck load costs us.” Once the shakes are sawn by the two sawyers, Ed Bishop and Rob Hart, they are packed and then loaded on pallets. They are then loaded on trucks, eventually going by rail to their final destination. It is hard to say what changes the next 46 years will have on the shake and shingle industry. Hopefully the amazing “tree of life” will still be around for all to enjoy.

Winter 2015 LOP 9



Food co-op bears deep PT roots, organic bounty

Story by Leader staff Photos by Kathie Meyer As much today as when it began more than 40 years ago, the Port Townsend Food Co-op remains committed to providing its Olympic Peninsula clientele with wholesome, locally sourced organic food. In the first years of the 1970s, a Vietnam War veteran and whole foods advocate dedicated a corner of his candle shop in Port Townsend to sacks of whole wheat flour, rice, grains and buckets of honey. In 1972, that early iteration of the co-op graduated to a storefront in Port Townsend’s Uptown District. Today, in its current location at 414 Kearney St., the co-op boasts the peninsula’s only state Department of Agriculturecertified organic produce department. That means virtually everything offered in that department is certified organic or grown using organic farming practices. “Our store is at the forefront of the ‘buy local’ movement,” general manager Kenna Eaton said. “We track what per-

Port Townsend Food Co-op deli employees (from left) manager Brendan Johnson, Nicholas D’Andrea, Angela Mason, Estelle Giangrosso, Tracy Nichols, Josh Madill, Jo Holmstedt and Dylan Carter gather at the grocery store’s deli counter.

centage of local products make up our total sales every week and look for every opportunity to find more locally made products.” According to a 2012 study commissioned by the National Co-op Grocers, for every dollar spent on local products, $1.60 in economic activity is generated in the local economy. In 2014, the co-op purchased inventory from 78 local producers and 40 local farmers, amounting to more than $1.4 million in sales. “Before we bring it into the store, we can pretty much tell you the whole story of where it came from,” said deli manager Brendan Johnson. “We listen to our customers as much as we can and we always try to go local.” For the co-op, local is defined as products originating in one of five surrounding counties: Jefferson, Clallam, Kitsap, Island and Mason. “When we say ‘local,’ we really mean it,” Eaton said. “We really do know our farmers personally and every year our goal is to sell more of their yield.”

Over 3 Miles of Drive-Thru Adventure Petting Farm Observation Tower & Picnic Area Gift Shop Snack Bar (open in Summer)

M.A., CCC-A, a Certified Clinical Audiologist and a licensed hearing aid dispenser, opened The Hearing Advantage in 1990 to provide the finest quality hearing aids and services to the Olympic Peninsula. The Hearing Advantage specializes in the newest Scott John Raszler, M.A., CCC-A technology in hearing aids, including new digital instruments. The Hearing Advantage provides complete hearing evaluations, hearing aid sales, repairs, batteries and accessories. If anyone has a hearing problem, call The Hearing Advantage for the best in professional hearing healthcare.



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You don’t have to be a member to shop there, but, in many ways, it pays if you are. Last year, the members voted for a patronage dividend system. Unlike with private corporations, the co-op’s board of directors may decide to give back a portion of annual profits to its members based on how much they spent in the store the previous year. Members also have a say in how the business is run, receive discounts during the co-op’s Member Appreciation Days held twice a year and have access to a special-order program when buying case quantities. More than 20,000 people have signed up for membership over the years. Today, the number of active members who shop in the store regularly is somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 people. What does the future look like for the co-op? Its board currently is looking at the next move, Eaton said. “It’s a popular place,” she said, “and we are bursting at the seams.”


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The store employs about 100 people, who together have earned a variety of awards, including “Best Vegetarian Food” and “Best Health-Conscious Menu” in the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader’s Best Food contest. In 2014, the staff earned the Jefferson County Health Department’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Nationally, it has won awards such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill 2014 Achievement Award for Best Emissions Rate as well as first place in a pear marketing and display contest sponsored by USA Pears. “Our staff work very hard to provide the very best in everything they do, no matter what task they are faced with,” store manager Marcia Atwood said. Cooperative grocery stores are member-owned, member-governed businesses that operate for the benefit of their members according to common principles agreed upon by the international cooperative community.

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Winter 2015 LOP 11


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PT Food Co-op’s Beet & Kale Salad Ingredients: 4 bunches lacinato kale 1 pound golden beets, tails and tops removed 1 1/2 cups carrots 1 bunch green onions 3/4 cup hempseed 1 red bell pepper 1/2 cup sunflower oil 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup tamari 1/2 cup roasted tahini 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled 1/2 Tablespoon oregano 1/2 Tablespoon dry basil Directions: Shred kale, beets and carrots. Dice green onions. Remove seeds from bell pepper and slice. Add all wet ingredients and herbs in a blender and emulsify well. Dress to taste.

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Winter 2015 LOP 13

By hand, with pride, across the globe

ABOVE: Joe Berta of Port Townsend does precise cutting to create a pattern for a future piece. Precise measurements and cutting are the key to a the perfect bronze or aluminum part. Berta is one of the 20-somethings learning from Pete and Cathy Langley.

Port Townsend foundry teaches old skills to young craftsmen Story Scott Wilson |

Photos by Nicholas Johnson

Think of the word foundry. Picture molten metal blazing like the sun poured by steady hands into molds below. You probably see some greasy old guys in their coveralls breaking another sweat. But at the Port Townsend Foundry, owned and operated by Pete and Cathy Langley, the pour on most days is instead done by 20-something men and a woman, all from the Olympic Peninsula and all becoming expert in the ancient trade of turning liquid metal into rugged tools, fittings, artwork and boat parts. They sweat inside shiny, fire-proof insulated suits. They work silently together, perfectly choreographed, sliding a bucket of molten bronze from mold to mold, pouring in just the right amount. Bartenders of 1,900-degree liquid metal. Pete Langley, who started the foundry 35 years ago, also pitched in — but only to help slide the glowing bucket to its new spot via tracks overhead. He didn’t need to say a word to his crew, each of them one third his age. Langley almost always looks like he’s going to let you in on an inside joke. Today, though, he couldn’t be happier that a new generation is both eager to learn and unafraid of the hard work it entails. “Most of these young folks search us out,” said Pete. They bring some skills to the job but primarily the interest to learn a lot more. “They’re all learning and they’re pretty enthused,” said Pete. They understand that manufacturing from metal always will be important, “even to put a man on the moon.” Because the Langleys are both north of 50,

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LEFT: After 35 years in the foundry business, Pete Langley can tell by sight the temperature of molten metal. This batch, at 1,900 degrees, was perfect for two dozen bronze pieces that would be created on this day. The foundry does several pours each week.

they’re hopeful to pass their knowledge and perhaps even their business on to someone younger.


Foundry work is literally as old as human civilization. Copper was being melted and cast in 3200 B.C. in Mesopotamia. Sand molding (the same technique used by the Port Townsend Foundry) was being done in China in 645 B.C. Humankind used shaped molten metal to travel many of its avenues of evolution. One of the most important of those avenues was the oceans, where bronze has proven the perfect metal for use on ships. It resists corrosion and it has some flexibility so that it can handle vibration and whipping motions. If smashed or bent, it can be straightened without breaking. Bronze parts for boats, ships and docks make up 90 percent of the work done at PT Foundry, said Cathy, Pete’s partner in life and business. Most of the work is custom. “We cast to order,” said Cathy. “We never know what someone will need when they come in. They might have a dinghy. They might have a 300-foot ship.” Whatever the scale, at PT Foundry, boaters find boat people devoted to the highest standards of handmade metal ready for the punishment of seawater, high tension and salty air. With one foot in modern times, the Langleys’ other foot reaches back generations through the belief that the hand-crafted product of craftsmen is superior to mass-produced, machine-made parts.

Most of those bronze parts, these days, arrive to American shelves from Asia. Here’s how Cathy puts it: “Pete’s pretty particular. He doesn’t want anything to go out of here unless it’s perfect.” PT Foundry is one of the last craftsman-run foundries on the West Coast, a fate that reflects changes in the industry across the region. “We used to be a strong state in manufacturing,” said Pete. “There were 389 foundries in Washington in 1980. Today there are fewer than 40. Most of the product now comes from off-shore.”


Everybody has good stories to tell about their upbringing, but Pete Langley has many more than most. His parents were seafaring adventurers who spent their lives buying old vessels and raising their family on them while fixing them up. Pete was the youngest of seven who grew up either on board sizable vessels or in various ports ranging from Mexico to Oregon. One of those vessels, the 76-foot Catalyst, is home-ported in Friday Harbor these days but is often in Port Townsend. The family bought that 1932 vessel in 1959 and it almost sank the entire family during a massive Pacific storm when the steering chains broke. The family was tossed around for days, the children lashed together with life vests in case they needed to go into the water en masse. Finally Pete’s dad rigged up a fix that held until they got into port.

“I spent 14 years on boats or on the beach,” said Langley. Some of that time was with Mexican glass blowers around Guadalajara. Langley credits those days with his fascination with fire and what intense heat can create. (He and Cathy were both longtime firefighters in and around Port Townsend.) Young Pete, home-schooled for many years, was a mechanical prodigy. When he did go to junior high school in California, he latched onto a metal shop teacher and started doing castings. In high school at Morro Bay, Calif., the metal shop teacher was a graduate of Cal Poly and essentially turned Pete into his teaching assistant, giving him free rein in the shop. After high school he jumped into the fabrication industry for marine uses, much of it in Hawaii. After several boat trips that took him past Port Townsend starting in 1973, he came to live here in 1980. Before long he set up his own foundry, which has been located at various places including Cape George, Point Hudson and the Boat Haven. For three years his operation was on a trailer, to take advantage of a city code provision that allowed for “portable” industries. He met Cathy in Port Townsend. She was a contract traffic officer with the Port Townsend Police Department directing ferry traffic down by the old Town Tavern. “Nothing like a cute girl in a uniform,” recalled Pete. They were married 31 years ago. She works with customers, shipping, billings, payments, “all that good stuff,” said Pete. A few years ago, they moved into the ample space of the foundry’s current location at 251 Otto St. They use three spacious buildings and storage sheds; Port Townsend Foundry is downright airy.

GLOBAL REPUTATION The reputation for quality work is one reason that serious boaters or boat-builders all over the world seek out PT Foundry. The business website, www.porttownsendfoundry. com, is not terribly up to date. Both Pete and Cathy say they get most of their business through word-of-mouth and returning customers. “People in the marine trades know where to find the quality stuff,” said Pete. Thanks to the sailing world, word about the Langleys has gone all over the planet. “I would say that 80-85 percent of our work goes out of state,” said Cathy, “and quite a bit of it out of country. We recently did stuff for a boat from Ireland and another one from Canada.” The precise mix of metals for each pour depends upon the customer’s needs. The shop does silicon bronze, manganese bronze, aluminum bronze, aluminum nickel bronze and aluminum, said Cathy. The metal itself is recycled waste that goes to an Ohio facility and comes back in purified ingots. While the walls of the shop are loaded with patterns that allow it to make reliable equipment week after week, a workshop in the loft remains constantly busy as young artisans construct custom wooden patterns meeting strict design standards. A 21-year-old woman from Sequim, Lindsey Moore, has been working alongside Pete and is today the shop’s main pattern maker. A young man, Jessie Thomas of Port Townsend, on this day was putting sand molds together. The molds are made from volcanic sand — heat-treated by nature — mixed with bentonite clay and water to hold its form. The actual pour goes into those molds and this process is assisted by Joe Berta, also of Port Townsend and in his early 20s.

For 35 years, Pete Langley of Port Townsend has been manufacturing metals, primarily for ships and boats, in Port Townsend. Langley virtually grew up on boats and, together with his wife Cathy, operate one of the last domestic foundries focused entirely on handmade metal through Old World craftsmanship on the West Coast.

The young artisans of Port Townsend Foundry recently poured 1,900-degree silicon bronze manganese into molds to manufacture specialized parts for ships. The foundry is known throughout the boating world for using old-fashioned techniques to create the most reliable marine fittings and fixtures.

Kyle Reed is a manager, heading up the machine shop and keeping everyone on task. Rich Sloat floats throughout the shop — pouring, grinding, machining and making patterns. PT Foundry also has welcomed interns, including Keith Stone and Erik Brown. Another employee, Daniel Berta, is 17. The propane-fired furnace that melts the metal resembles a jet engine pushing into the earth, green flame roaring out the top. On this day, it holds 250 pounds of molten Everdur silicon bronze and after 35 years Pete knows whether it’s the right temperature just by looking at the surface. In the course of a month, PT Foundry pours almost a ton of molten metal or about 10 tons per year. After the pour, and after the metal cools, the molds are broken apart and the rough part released. It goes through several finishing steps: sand-blasting, grinding, machining, polishing and patina. Each step is done by hand, at various work stations throughout the PT Foundry complex. That’s the way Pete and Cathy Langley always have done it — and always will. “It comes down to the ability to control things,” said Pete. “We are hands-on craftsmen. We probably have the oldest equipment around and we use it to do the best possible work. It’s not the tool, it’s how you use it that makes the difference.”

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Wake up and smell the coffee Who can resist these yummy-looking blueberry muffins, fresh out of the oven? Baker Angie Dickson arrives early in the morning to bake all of the treats offered at Rainshadow Coffee in downtown Sequim.

Rainshadow Coffee Roasting Company brews a good cuppa Story and photos by Mary Powell Aah, coffee. A morning staple, midday pickme-up, meet-a-friend beverage and a comfort companion for a stressed-out day at work. Whether a cup of regular drip coffee or an espresso-laced drink, the average American consumes between two and three cups of coffee per day. It’s no wonder then the early morning lines at espresso kiosks and coffee shops are extensive. (Full disclosure: Before I go any further, I must confess I absolutely love coffee. I must not be an average Ameri-

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can because I consume a bit more than two to three cups per day, more like four or five. Hoping my bias as a coffee enthusiast doesn’t sneak in. Back to it, just let me get a refill first.) Which brings us to the Rainshadow Coffee Roasting Company. Located on Cedar Street in Sequim, directly across from City Hall, Rainshadow not only serves up some of the best coffee I’ve had, but is the only coffee house among the dozen or more in Sequim and Port Angeles that roasts coffee beans on site. “We roast between 50 to 100 pounds of coffee beans a week,” says Nick Batcheller, who, with his father

Don Batcheller, owns the Rainshadow Coffee Roasting Company. Don and Nick begin most of their days not drinking a morning cup of joe, but tearing open bags of fresh coffee beans from faraway places such as Guatemala, Ethiopia, Colombia and Brazil, and then roasting the beans, which takes up most of the morning for the duo. After the roasting is finished and any necessary paperwork, ordering or filling orders is complete, Don and Nick step out to the cafe and take time to greet customers and help barista Heide Hendrick. The owners are on a first-name basis with a good number of the

coffee faithful, a handshake here, a quick pat on the arm there, smiles all around. “We provide a product that is fun, that makes people happy,” says Don, a ruddy-complected man who is difficult to pin down what with roasting, serving up coffees and managing his coffee shop. “And I enjoy that,” he adds. Speaking of baristas, (Italian for bartender, did you know that?) a good one is worth his or her weight in, well, coffee. And Heide Hendrick is a good one. She knows her foam, steamed milk and espresso, and the difference between an Americano, macchiato or cappuccino.

I watched her make a breve for me and was amazed that she could talk and steam milk to perfection at the same time. About espresso. For those who think otherwise, there is no plant that grows espresso beans or a roasting style that makes espresso beans. The beans that are used to make espresso can be a blend of different coffees or one specific type of coffee bean. Espresso is prepared using a much finer grind than what would be used to prepare drip coffee. These grinds are tamped with 3040 pounds of pressure into a filter basket so they are very compact. This prevents the water from “blowing a hole” into the grinds and making a poorly “pulled shot,” barista talk for pulling down on the espresso machine’s lever, allowing water to build up in a small reservoir just above where the ground coffee sits in a portafilter. When the lever is released, a tightly coiled, contracted spring slowly starts to expand inside the reservoir, pushing against the water as it opens and returns the lever to its upright, at-rest position. The force of the spring against the water causes it to flow through the tightly compacted ground coffee, creating the espresso liquid. Thus, pulling a shot. Probably a little more than you cared to know, but there you have it. Timing is very important; the time it takes for the hot water to run through the grinds should take about 15-20 seconds. Any more or less time will affect the way the shot of espresso looks and tastes. After a morning of bean roasting,

I had an opportunity to sit down with Nick for a quick tutorial of everything coffee, which turned out to be a bit more complicated that I had anticipated. A tall, thin fellow with expressive blue eyes, he is the quintessence of a North Olympic Peninsula dweller. Outdoor activities of any kind are on his to-do list. In fact, he relocated from San Diego a few years ago specifically for the abundance of outdoor opportunities. His personal favorites are cycling and surfing. Nick greets me with — you guessed it — a cup of coffee in his hand. I ask him how many cups he downs per day and he admits to only two. “I get affected by the caffeine while in the roasting room,” he says. Don walks by and I ask him how many cups he has a day. He says one, maybe two, but Nick shakes his head and holds up four fingers. That’s not to say the two don’t enjoy their coffee as much as the next guy. “There was always a pot of coffee on when I was growing up,” recalls Nick. But, he adds, he really started liking coffee in the 1990s, when living in Santa Barbara, Calif. Now 34, that would have put him in his 20s, probably the college years when most of us discover the black stuff has the ability to keep us awake. Roasting coffee was a combined decision for Don and Nick. Don worked as an auto mechanic in California and ended up taking care of vehicles for a local — of all things — coffee bean roasting company. Not wanting to stay in the auto mechanic business, Don

Above: The roasting takes place in the big burner on site at Rainshadow Coffee Roasting Company. Owner Don Batcheller built this one from scratch. Below: A customer looks over the extensive number of choices offered at Rainshadow Coffee in Sequim.

was mentored in the art of roasting coffee beans by a Guatemalan man he knew. In 2008, Don moved to Sequim, remodeled a house, bought a roaster, which he rebuilt from the ground up (no pun intended), and began his business roasting and wholesaling coffee at a small warehouse on the corner of Third Avenue in downtown Sequim. Soon he and Nick were packaging and selling bags of whole bean coffee from the warehouse. “We were roasting 1,000 pounds of coffee each week,” Nick remembers. Word got out that this Rainshadow coffee was good stuff. After a few years, the next step was obvious: open a coffee bar, a place for coffee-lovers to gather and enjoy a cup of java, an espresso or latte, or purchase a pound or two of something as sensuous as Sunchaser Espresso Blend, as daring as Cliffhanger Costa Rica Dark, or for those not as adventurous, the Early Bird Breakfast Blend. The building they found was only a couple of blocks from the warehouse, but it needed serious updating. “We started with a plywood countertop, a pot of coffee and one table,” Nick says, smiling at the memory of those first days. But, to quote the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” And come they did, so many it was difficult to keep up with the remodeling. Taking tiny steps over a four-year period, the coffee bar as it looks to-

day finally opened in 2014, replacing the old roasting shop on Third Avenue. Back to the coffee. Oh, one more thing before adventuring into the roasting room. There is another delicious aroma mixed in with the coffee and it comes from the kitchen. Just as I was walking down a short hallway, here comes baker and kitchen manager Angie Dickson with a muffin pan filled with piping hot, huge blueberry muffins. In the oven behind her I spot more baked goods, treats with names like pumpkin bars, a pumpkin cupcake affair with cream cheese frosting and Danish-type pastries that I’m sure have enough calories to cover two days worth of eating. Nonetheless, I did go home with four blueberry muffins and one of those pumpkin thingies — for a friend, of course. Now back to the roasting room. Don and Nick decided to roast their own beans for a couple of reasons. First, they learned no other coffee houses in the area were doing so. And second, roasting beans and grinding those beans into your own brand is an intimate process, maintains Nick. That’s not to say Rainshadow has a corner on the coffee market in Sequim. According to the National Coffee Association, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, just after oil.

Winter 2015 LOP 17

grading system, with 1 being the speciality grade coffee beans with no defects and no underripe, undeveloped coffee seeds that fail to roast properly. As one might suspect, Rainshadow buys Arabica beans that are graded 1-A, in other words, the best of the best. Everything from the variety of the coffee plant, the chemistry of the soil, the weather, the amount of rainfall and sunshine and the altitude at which the coffee grows can affect the taste of the final product. The beans that arrive in the burlap bags are green and ready for roasting. After being sorted and screened for debris, the green beans are transferred to the drum-style roaster. A batch of about 30 pounds of green coffee beans are put into the tumbler and are roasted at about 400 degrees between 14½ to 16½ minutes, depending on how dark the roast master, in this case Don or Nick, wants the coffee. The beans are kept moving to keep them from burning. Roasting causes chemical changes to take place as the beans are rapidly brought to very high temperatures. When they reach the peak of perfection, they are put into a big spinner and quickly cooled to stop the roasting process. “The hot air has be drawn away from the coffee in less than five minutes,” Nick explains. It’s a critical point in the roasting process. Once the roasting process is complete, the now aromatic beans move to an automated weigh and fill apparatus and dropped into Rainshadow bags. The bags are unique in two ways. First, each of the labels for the blended coffee bags includes an original watercolor art by Port Angeles artist Todd Fischer. Second, the bags have a one-way degassing valve, originally developed for coffee.

Did you know … Barista Heide Hendrick fixes a breve for a customer. She admitted it took a while to learn the ins and outs of making expresso drinks, but she enjoys meeting customers and creating personalized coffees.

Coffee is a $46 billion industry, with speciality coffee comprising 51 percent volume share. Speciality coffee is not a latte, but describes beans of the best flavor which are produced in special microclimates, the kind of beans Rainshadow buys. “We do have competition here,” Nick admits. With more than 21,000 Starbucks stores worldwide, one in Sequim and a kiosk in the Safeway store, and only one Rainshadow Coffee shop, it can be daunting. Nick calls Starbucks the McDonald’s of coffee shops — not disparagingly, but simply that the giant of the coffee industry is quite often the go-to stop for tourists or visitors. With Rainshadow being one street off the beaten path (West Washington Street), getting more coffee drinkers into the door is sometimes a concern. In the roasting room, bags of beans, 1,000 pounds per pallet, are waiting to be torn open and the contents dumped into the roaster. On this day, Don and Nick were roasting beans from Guatemala. “We buy coffee beans from 12 to 18 farms from all over the world,” explains Nick. “Some of the coffee is single-origin coffee, meaning coffee just from Costa Rica or just Brazil.” The name of the coffee then, is usually the place it was grown. The ideal condition for coffee trees (did I mention your cup of coffee starts on a tree?) to thrive are found around the world along the equatorial zone called “The Bean Belt,” located between latitudes 25 degrees North and 30 degrees South. Arabica beans, most commonly used in the U.S., grow best at high altitudes in rich soil, while the heartier, darker Robusta bean prefers a higher temperature and can thrive on lower ground. After milling, green coffee is graded and classified for export. The aim is to produce consistent lots that meet defined quality criteria; however, there is no universally accepted grading and classification system for green coffee. Each producing country has developed its own classification and grade charts, which are used to set minimum standards for export. Most use a 1-5

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• 31% of coffee drinkers make coffee the most important part of a morning, brewing a cup first before any other morning behavior. • 65% of coffee consumption takes place during breakfast hours. • 58% of coffee drinkers brew their coffee the same way every morning. • 72% of coffee drinkers take their coffee with dairy or nondairy creamer, which means 28% drink their coffee black. • 30% of coffee drinkers sweeten their coffee with sugar or some other form of sweetener. • 55% of coffee drinkers would rather gain 10 pounds than give up coffee for life. • 52% of coffee drinkers would rather go without a shower in the morning than give up coffee. • 49% of coffee drinkers would rather give up their cell phone for a month than go without coffee. • Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, equivalent to 146 billion cups of coffee per year, making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world. • Coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed in the United States. • The average coffee cup size is 9 ounces. • The average price for a cup of brewed coffee is $1.38. • Seattle has 10 times more coffee stores per 100,000 residents than the United States has overall. • The United States imports more than 4 billion dollar’s worth of coffee each year. Coffee is a $46 billion industry, with speciality coffee comprising 51 percent volume share. Source: Specialty Coffee Association of America

Coffee, it turns out, needs to be completely protected from oxygen while at the same time it gives off large volumes of carbon dioxide. At one time it was impossible to package fresh, whole bean coffee because there was no package that could be sealed off completely from oxygen, while at the same time releasing the carbon dioxide gas from the package. Voila! The degassing valve and fresh whole bean coffee. That’s the whoosh sound you get when you open a bag with a degassing valve. Once bagged, the whole bean coffee is ready for sale, either in the coffee bar area, on the Internet or wholesale. Locally, Rainshadow is sold at farmers markets in Sequim and Port Angeles and a private roast is served at The Oak Table Cafe in Sequim and another is sold at Sunny Farms. Nick points out that only whole bean coffee is sold.

Shoemaker Mike Ferguson and dancer Sarah Peller are trading talents. He’s making her a pair of dance shoes and she’s doing graphics work for him in exchange.

After grinding, he says, the coffee begins to oxidize and lose its flavor; however, they are happy to grind some up at the store for taking home. I, for one, don’t have a coffee grinder, probably the only person in the free world. After all, roasting and serving the perfect cup of coffee, one that tastes as good as it smells, is the whole purpose of owning a coffee house, right? It’s not really as complicated as it seems, roasting a perfect cup of coffee, that is. Both Don and Nick enjoy sharing their knowledge of coffee and the roasting process, and, of course, drinking a cup or two. Nick likes to say his blood type is coffee. Coffee indeed, is more than a beverage, or even an industry — it’s a community. This has been true ever since the first coffee houses were established centuries ago. We are a social society and what better way to enjoy the company of

Don Batcheller, right, owner of Rainshadow Roasting Coffee Company, and son Nick Batcheller pose next to the company’s van. The cafe is located at the front of the roasting room. (Photo courtesy of Rainshadow Roasting Coffee Company)

one another than over a good cup of coffee. As Thomas Jefferson once said,

“Coffee — the favorite drink of the civilized world.” I wholeheartedly agree.

SOLE’S JOURNEY SHOES: MADE IN PORT TOWNSEND Story and photos by Allison Arthur Mike Ferguson’s journey as a shoemaker started innocently enough. He saw some handmade moccasins and wanted a pair. “I had a friend who had learned how to make shoes and she’d done a few workshops with a teacher in Portland. I wanted to find her teacher and see if he would make me a pair,” Ferguson says. The teacher said no. He’d be happy to teach Ferguson to make his own, but he no longer was making them for people. And so the 32-year-old took a four-day class with shoemaker Jason Hovatter and ended up with his own pair of shoes, a first step that led him a year ago to start his own business, Sole’s Journey Shoes. There was something about the process of making something he wears every day that made Ferguson happy. Mostly, though, he says that the act of making something he needed made him feel connected and that it’s a soul journey, really. “I really want to be connected to the things I use. That’s why I’m interested in farming. I want to be connected to the food I’m eating. It’s so many things.” Up front, Ferguson says that shoemaking is not his calling, although he’s now made about 30 pairs for people and sets up a booth regularly at the Port Townsend Farmers Market on Saturdays and at the Port Townsend Food Co-op, displaying samples of moccasins and turnshoes that he can custom-make for people. Born in Kodiak, Alaska, and raised in Port Angeles, Ferguson has walked a few different paths already. After dropping out of high school, he entered a forestry training program in eastern Washington and has fought wildfires, helped maintain trails on the Olympic Peninsula, done organic farming in Sequim and Joyce, and has worked as a massage therapist and yoga instructor at Evergreen Fitness in Port Townsend.

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Mike Ferguson brings samples of the shoes he can make to both the Saturday Port Townsend Farmers Market and to the Port Townsend Food Co-op. Samples range (from left) from a simple sandal to what are called turnshoes to work boots to moccasins.

In addition to making shoes, he’s taking a class in sustainable agriculture through Peninsula College.


While he is making about a pair of shoes a week, which he enjoys, he’s taking a cue from his teacher, Hovatter, and offering classes on basic shoemaking. “I’d like to move a bit toward teaching. I don’t know, I might end up doing something totally different. It’s nice to have many different things that I can do. I’ve thought about maybe training to be a Waldorf teacher or wilderness awareness education. And I’m interested in mindfulness-based stress reduction,” Ferguson says. Sitting in a quiet basement work studio in Port Townsend, below a law office, Ferguson admits that his interests change a lot. He had been working alongside a young woman who was involved in sewing projects, but she left. Another friend also was engaged in some creative projects, but he’s gone, too. “This time last year, I had five jobs. Two weren’t for money. One was caregiving for a friend. I wasn’t even working full-time with those. I don’t have a car and my rent is low,” he says of his laid-back lifestyle. Samples of seven kinds of shoes he can make sit on a small wicker basket. They don’t have mates yet, but are serving as examples of shoe styles. There are samples of leather scraps below them. And a vintage cast iron shoemaker cobbler stand is next to him with a turnshoe in progress.


Before starting a shoe, Ferguson makes a duct tape cast of the person’s foot that the shoe needs to fit. That will serve as the start of a pattern. Once the person decides what style of shoe and color of leather are desired, Ferguson goes to work on cutting it out and sewing it. It takes from a few days to a week to make a single pair, depending on the style. “Turnshoes are assembled inside out, so the last thing I do is turn it right side out,” he says of the shoe on the cobbler stand. “There are three styles of turnshoes I’m sewing now: a 10th-century Scandinavian turnshoe, a ninth-century German turnshoe and a modern turnshoe that’s more like a tennis shoe,” he explains. He also makes a slipper, a sandal and a moccasin that is similar to a Navajo moccasin. The welted moccasin has been modified to include rivets and a Vibram sole that is glued on. If someone needs arch support or a special feature, that can be built in or added later. He’s added sheepskin to his own pair of moccasins and says, “It’s so nice and soft.”

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“These are good for the winter and fall, but not so desirable in the summer,” he says of the moccasins. “In the summer, I’ll wear one of the turnshoes.” Every pair is handmade specifically for the person who orders the shoes, which range from $175 to $300 a pair. Since most shoes sold in stores these days aren’t made in America, Ferguson says, people who stop by his booth aren’t at first surprised that they can get customized shoes, but they are surprised he makes them himself. “They think I’m selling them at the market for someone else,” he says. It’s not the most lucrative of jobs, he admits. “No, I’m not making a lot of money, but it’s very flexible and I enjoy it.” That’s why he is contemplating teaching more classes in the future. He’s taught two so far — cost is $300 a person — and has had as many as eight students. He also has continued to teach himself the art of shoemaking. He saw a photo of a pair of shoes and figured out how to make them on his own. Much of the equipment he uses was passed on to him from members of the community, including the industrial sewing machine he uses. “It’s been a slow accumulation,” he says of the equipment. He’s also frugal. He buys scraps of leather from a shoemaking company, Native Earth. Puffin Shoe Repair, a business that is located mere feet from his workspace in Uptown, has assisted him by letting him borrow its equipment from time to time, giving him the rubber shavings that collect in a shop’s vacuum after repair work. Ferguson mixes those rubber shavings with glue and pastes them onto the bottom of his shoes to make soles. He says his shoes should last a lifetime, although they will need resoling from time to time. And odds are, they’ll start to look like a well-worn pair of shoes. Ferguson seems to be finding his way around the peninsula, learning, teaching, taking time to figure out what he wants to do, what he wants to make, how he wants to connect. “I’ve had a couple of people say, ‘Oh, it’s great you found your calling,’ but this doesn’t feel like a calling,” he says of making shoes. “I feels like it fits into a greater calling, which is to be connected.”

SOLE’S JOURNEY INFORMATION For more information visit the Sole’s Journey Shoes Facebook page or call Mike Ferguson at 360-565-6647. Shoemaker Mike Ferguson uses a tape measure to go over the outline of Sarah Peller’s foot before cutting out the pattern, which is then used as the base for a duct-tape casting.

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22 LOP Winter 2015


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The nuts and bolts of fishing Story by Mary Powell Photos provided by the Batson family

Above: The late Bob Batson, founder of Batson Enterprises, loved to fish. Here he is pictured in Hawaii with his catch of a ulua, also known as a giant trevally, which can reach well over 100 pounds. Below: Batson Enterprises CEO Bill Batson stands in one of the many workrooms at the Batson building in the west end of Sequim. A blank rod is on the wall in front of him. (Photo by Mary Powell)

It’s a crisp day — that kind with the sun burning through the haze and wisps of fog settling into the valleys. It’s a perfect day to play hooky from work, grab the fishing tackle and rod and head to the nearest river, lake or sea. Bait up and delight in the hypnotic rocking of a boat, the mesmerizing ripples of the river or the foghorns of nearby vessels, while waiting patiently for the big one to bite. A dreamlike aura takes hold, and then, wham!, the tip of the rod bends nearly in two and, indeed, it is that kind of a day — a fishing kind of day. Bill Batson has had many a day just described. To say he is an avid fisherman would be an understatement. To say he is an aficionado of fishing would be more to the point. Like most fishermen, Bill and his siblings learned the art of fishing at the feet of their father, Bob. At 48, Bill now serves as the CEO of Batson Enterprises and is thankful his father, who died in 2003, gave him a trade that he has turned into a business he enjoys. That trade, Batson Enterprises, has everything to do with fishing, Bill said. Batson Enterprises is a privately owned family corporation and is a wholesale distribution center for all things fishing. Located on the west end of Sequim, the 1,200-square-foot building is home base for 21 extraordinary employees, including Bill, his mother, Connie, who is president of the company, Bill’s son and his cousin. “We care a lot about each of our

employees,” says Connie Batson, a good-natured woman with an easy laugh. “Each one is important, we are like a big family.” Before this big family, however, was the Batson family itself. BATSON IS BORN Connie and her late husband Bob had a 32-year marriage before his untimely death. They met on a beach in Southern California, Connie recalled, and after they married, they moved to Maui, Hawaii, where Bob worked on a ranch. But his passion was the ocean and fishing. After 10 years working the ranch, he started making fishing rods in the family living room. “My father started building fishing rods 36 years ago. He used to say why buy a tool when he could make a better one,” Bill said about his father’s quality fishing rods. Thus began a new era for the family, one that eventually turned into Batson Enterprises.

Winter 2015 LOP 23

“We are blessed to do what we do and make a living from it.”

tors of fishing-related products, incorporates into the manufacturing of its components.

In 2000, the family decided to move to Sequim. “One of our friends lived here and told us it was a good place to come, especially for fishing,” Connie related. So up they came to the North Olympic Peninsula, along with eight other families, most of whom settled in Carlsborg. Together they started a company called PACBAY International. Soon the house was crowded with fishing rods and materials to build those rods, and it became apparent the family needed a house and a place to build those fancy rods. They moved the business piece to a building on Third Avenue and Pine Street in Sequim. But by 2013, space was tight again and Connie purchased their present building. A FISHING ROD IS BORN What exactly does Batson Enterprises do? What it doesn’t do is retail. If you want to buy fishing gear, it’s not the place to go. What they do sell are fishing rod blanks and all the parts of a rod — grips, handles, reel seats, guides, cork, wrapping thread — anything to do with fishing. These components are shipped to hundreds of sporting goods outlets, mostly geared toward fishing products, throughout the United States and worldwide. There are 400 accounts total. From there, fishing rods are built to preference or for general sale. The parts are manufactured in Taiwan, Bill said, adding they haven’t found a manufacturing company to suit their needs in the U.S. yet. Under the Batson Enterprise name are a number of brands any fisherman worth his or her weight in fish would recognize: RainShadow, ALPS, ForeCast, Guidespacing, Jaguar Designs and Team Rainshadow. “With our large array of product lines, we can provide combinations to customize any rod build,” Bill explained. By now, those who don’t live and breathe fishing might be a bit lost. If it seems as though the days of going fishing meant finding a long stick or tree branch or bamboo pole, attaching a string to it and a worm to that are over, they are. Granted, there are probably youngsters — and maybe a few older anglers — who continue that simple way of bringing in the fish, but for most fishermen and women these days, having top-notch tools is the way to go. As simple as the art of fishing might be, the tools have become high tech, meaning the components of fishing gear. Fishing rods, for example, start out as what is called a blank, the foundation of the rod. (Basically an empty, typically graphite pole, thus the word blank.) And before turning into a pole, blanks are graphic sheets rolled into a company’s own blank. The aforementioned grips, handles, guides and whatnot are combined to make a rod and determine the rod’s power and action. Rod blanks are purchased from any one of a number of suppliers, such as Batson Enterprises. Selection of the appropriate rod blank consists of choosing the weight, length, number of sections and action. A good rod is the sum of its parts and how they’re combined. It’s the extra steps and materials a company uses to make their rods better that set them apart. It is, quite simply, engineering and design, all of which Batson Enterprises, whose corporate profile purports as being one of the leading innova-

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24 LOP Winter 2015

Bill Batson, CEO of Batson Enterprises, holds up a prize tuna he caught. Batson has a sculpture of the fish hanging in his office.

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INSIDE BATSON Walk through the Batson Enterprises office with Bill Batson and the company’s mission and purpose becomes a bit clearer. First and foremost, Bill emphasizes, “we are a faith-based, Christian-based company. We take that very seriously and our values and mission statement show that.” Indeed, the first declaration is to be good stewards of what God has give them. In light of that statement, Batson Enterprises, with its far-reaching customers, provides jobs for hundreds of people around the world. As Bill puts it, “We feed families in an industry we enjoy.” Backing that up is a 2011 report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, which states the fishing industry creates employment for more than 828,000 people. The company also conducts an education program whereby youngsters learn to build fishing rods. A palpable camaraderie among the Batson employees is evident when walking through the various departments. Employees work in a casual and team atmosphere, which in turn, leads to creativity and innovation.

Which, in turn, leads to exemplary customer service. As CEO, Bill is at the helm of the ship, so to speak, steering the family and employees to live up to the company’s mission and what he calls the Fight For Excellence. The goal, he maintains, is to be at the ready to lend a helping hand with professional assistance and a positive attitude. It’s obvious Bill is proud of his company. Easygoing, with a wry sense of humor, he is well-liked and has a well-suited temperament to work with the international business community. Several times a year he travels to various cities throughout the U.S and worldwide to consult with fishing rod companies — and to take in a bit of fishing, his favorite pastime, of course. His office is a testament to his love of fishing — and of his late father. Three walls are lined with fishing rods of every kind, photos showing he and his family enjoying fishing trips and the “big ones” caught cast into bronze or aluminum and hoisted onto the walls. “When I do get to go fishing, I come in here, grab a rod and reel, and I’m ready,” he grinned, pointing to a set of shelves with every kind of reel imaginable. Beautifully crafted fishing rods in wooden cases are displayed throughout the building. “I burned the pattern for the last rod my father designed,” he pointed out, while contemplating one of his father’s rods on display. The design team keeps the fishing world up-to-

“Move Better. Feel Better. Live Better.”

date with the latest and best in order to reel in the biggest. Bill calls lead designer Mike Thorson the “top in the country.” Batson designers use computer-aided design programs to enhance all the intricate parts of a fishing rod. The warehouse at the back of the building is where the bits and pieces of the Batson brands are stored for shipping. Here, also, is where fishing rod blanks made from graphite or fiberglass are tested for strength and flexibility. Rows and rows of shelves neatly stocked with guides, cork, reel seats and other paraphernalia relative to fishing are ready for shipping. Six to 10 shipments per month arrive at the warehouse. There is a quick turnover of parts, Bill said. WHAT’S NEXT? According to the Batson team, several changes are in the works, both for the direction the company is taking and product offerings. Plans for new products will be geared toward attracting more younger and tech-minded anglers, focused toward the product companies of RainShadow, ALPS and ForeCast. “From cutting-edge reel seats to the most advanced rod blanks on the market, you’re going to see some very eye-opening things coming from us in the future,” forecasts an exuberant Bill. However, he pointed out, as important as it is to keep things fresh and exciting, the company will stay strong to its mission to remain true to the people it serves and the values they hold. After Bob died, Connie wondered what she

Batson Enterprises is located at 130 Harrison St. Ste. 8 Sequim, WA 98382 877-875-2381 batsonenterprises.com Distributor List in Washington State: Utmost Enterprises Sequim, WA 98382 800-588-6678 utmostenterprises.com Offers rod-building classes Shoee Tackle Supply 866-867-4004 Puyallup, WA 98056 www.shofftackle.com Most Cabela’s sporting goods stores would do next. It didn’t take long to figure out she should stick with what she knew best: the world of fishing. “I had family and good people working for us. Why not keep it going?,” Connie reminisced. And keep going they did, much to the joy of fishermen and women, especially those who are lucky enough to lived on the North Olympic Peninsula, where it’s almost always that kind of fishing day.



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A taste of nostalgia

Bedford’s beverages sell from coast to coast

Story by Patricia Morrison Coate Graphics courtesy of Bedford’s Sodas ED BEDFORD IS one guy who loves his beer and he’s proud to tell you with a broad grin he — and his grandchildren — drink a lot of it. Grandchildren drinking beer? Yes, ginger beer, root beer and creme beer plus orange creme and Bedford’s favorite, ginger ale. Perhaps better remembered as cream soda, Bedford recalled, “My dad called it cream beer because during Prohibition beer manufacturers got into the soda business.” Bedford, an upbeat Port Angeles native, has been crafting carbonated beverages under the Bedford’s Sodas brand since 1984 after working his way up from route salesman to general sales manager of a distributing business. Noticing on his routes that “a premium version (of cream soda) wasn’t out there,” in 1983 he contacted Flavorchem in Downers Grove, Ill., and described in detail the vintage flavor he still could taste. In the first generation of baby boomers, Bedford, now 69, remembered the vanilla-infused drink as a big treat during his childhood and wanted to make that nostalgic flavor available to a new audience. Bedford Sodas’ very first run was in July 1984. “It’s a really good cream soda, smooth but not too sweet at the right carbonation level because you don’t want it to have too much bite,” Bedford advised. Others have commented his creme beer has a light vanilla body with a buttery finish. The formula hasn’t changed since 1984. Bedford said at first, he tried cans and plastic

bottles, in addition to glass, for a few years because that’s what the industry was pushing but returned to glass solely in 2009. “Glass maintains the image of an older feel, it’s cleaner and maintains the product’s quality for a longer period of time and it’s recyclable,” Bedford explained. Through several series of investors, sales and purchases, by 2009 Bedford owned 100 percent of the company and continues to be a one-man operation. With fewer and fewer glass bottlers around the country, Bedford said he was fortunate to find one practically in his own backyard. Orca Beverages in Mukilteo described on its website as “a manufacturer and bottler of specialty and retro soda beverages, supplying wholesale distributors, retail stores and retail customers,” has been a great partner over three decades, Bedford said, and he brainstorms with one of its flavor chemists, too. “I know what I’m looking for in a flavor, so it’s frustrating for them sometimes with multiple efforts to reach the product I’m looking for,” Bedford said. “It does take a certain amount of effort to play with it. I’ve always said the packaging sells it the first time but the taste is what brings customers back. “It takes some doing, and consistency is so important in our business that it’s got to taste the same every time you drink it. Consistency in sales tells you that you shouldn’t mess with it.”

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26 LOP Winter 2015


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Bedford owns the formulas, the recipes for which are in a safety deposit box, and supplies concentrated formula to the bottler with it adding other ingredients to make the finished product. “The market is turning into more of a craft product, so we produce it in small batches, about 1,500 cases at a time, while for Coke and Pepsi runs are into the tens of thousands,” Bedford said. He explained that based on inventory sold, he and Orca maintain a bottling forecast of three weeks out on individual flavors for production runs. “I’m in the plant every two weeks taste testing and I do a lot of traveling, making headquarters calls with chain stores. It’s all about maintaining quality,” Bedford said. One change in quality Bedford insisted on in 2009 was doing away with high fructose corn syrup and replacing it with pure cane sugar. “I decided to go back to more of a vintage soda because I wanted to make it in just glass bottles and produce it with pure cane sugar. Since I made the change, the company has grown five-fold,” Bedford said, noting his sodas are sold from coast to coast. “So many Peninsula retailers are so good at carrying local products. It’s a very long list of where Bedford’s Sodas are sold on the peninsula — most are locally owned restaurants and grocery stores and several of the big chain stores,” Bedford said, “plus in Port Townsend and the West End lodges, too. Now I’m getting calls from all over the country. The website [www.bed fordssodas.com] really is creating a lot of interest. “For 2015, I’m forecasting right around 60,000 cases [with 24 12-ounce bottles in a case.]” The sodas are available in 4-packs and individual bottles. Bedford introduced his ginger beer two years ago and now it’s his No. 1 selling item enjoyed straight or as a mixer. In the greater Seattle area, he noted, the company sells 1,000 cases a month of the beer with a ginger punch. “My favorite flavor is ginger ale because it’s refreshing and a great mixer, with probably only 25 percent of the ginger that the ginger beer has, and my root beer, like I recall drinking as a child, is smooth and rich in flavor.” With five classic sodas, plus a diet ginger beer, does Bedford have more flavors on the tip of his tastebuds? Probably not. “I’m still a one-man operation for sales and marketing and to expand into other flavors always is being suggested. But I’m cautious about branching out too far,” Bedford admitted. “This spring, I did do a private label flavor for the 100th anniversary of

Lake Crescent Lodge. They wanted a marionberry creme, and it was very popular, so that might be under consideration. I like my products to be construed as a treat — as a child, if I could get a bottle of soda for a dime, it was a real treat,” he nodded. “I really do think when people enjoy a Bedford soda, it is a special treat,” Bedford said. “My grandkids, they love Papa’s soda!”

Ed Bedford is the owner of Bedford’s Sodas in Port Angeles. (Photo by Vivian Hansen)

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Winter 2015 LOP 27

AFTER LEAVING THE MILITARY IN 1985 FROM FORT LEWIS NEAR TACOMA, DAN AND JUDY HARVEY didn’t have a great master plan to “build a better bee” — it’s just turned out that way. All they were looking to do was to establish their own cottage beekeeping operation on the North Olympic Peninsula — and they liked sunny Sequim. However, they found themselves making a most unlikely choice after stumbling upon an isolated log cabin just outside of Joyce. “Against all logic, we exchanged the bee-friendly valley of Sequim for five shadowy, rain-soaked acres situated in the world’s largest temperate rain forest, inhospitable to sun-loving honeybees,” said Judy. She worked at Olympic Medical Center while Dan poured himself into building and maintaining a successful apiary. “Like most beekeepers,” Judy said, “he purchased the best commercially available honeybee stock he could buy. He combed tirelessly through professional journals and continually improved his skills through hard work and careful attention to detail.”

Left: Dan Harvey inspects a 3½-year-old untreated feral colony that has remained productive in spite of excessively high levels of varroa mites and nosema fungus. Above: Harvey checks a frame of queen cells while wearing proper protective gear. Inset: The bee with the blue dot is a virgin queen bee amid an army of female worker bees.

BUILDING a better


Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate

28 LOP Winter 2015

They grew the business, Olympic Wilderness Apiary, through the 1980s with more and more hives of bees which they “rented out” to area farming operations for pollination purposes and began marketing their high-indemand Fireweed Honey, which they sell at Sunny Farms in Sequim, Country Aire in Port Angeles and the Port Townsend Food Co-op. Honey gleaned averages about 75 pounds per colony and the Harveys usually run about 50 honey-producing hives. “Our dream business was up and buzzing,” Judy quipped. But by the 1990s, with increased environmental stressors, beekeepers across the country found it more difficult to maintain healthy, sustainable colonies. According to Dan, “For decades, the commercial queen rearing services had been selectively breeding for traits that were tailored to meet the demands of their large-scale agribusiness customers. The practice had left available stock populations increasingly vulnerable to newly emerging diseases, pests and pathogens. Beekeepers were forced to use harsh chemicals to specifically control a lethal mite species known as varroa that was decimating their apiaries.” Varroa mites, Dan said, are like “little vampires that feed on the pupa and adult bees injecting lethal viruses.” Unilaterally, the Harveys decided they were unwilling to expose their bees, their honey and themselves to strong chemicals which did little but contaminate their products and began looking in their own “isolated backyard” for feral stock that had not been affected by these commercial practices. “We must be stewards of our own backyard,” Dan mused.


Around 1997, the varroa mite was storming through bee populations across the country, but the Harveys weren’t deterred and captured many wild swarms that had been exposed to the mite but managed to survive, even though scientists estimated that 90 percent of the wild bee populated had been decimated by varroa. “Reliable oral history of the area confirmed that these isolated bees had managed to survive without human intervention since they had been introduced by pioneer families in the 1850s, so we assumed they had developed some kind of natural resistance to have survived for decades in such a harsh environment,” said Dan. “That was the beginning of our Wild Survivor Bee Program, transitioning us from being merely local beekeepers into the ‘stock breeding’ arena, selling our queens to other beekeepers. In raising queens, you have to have good genetic control.” Dan, ever the citizen scientist, purchased a microscope for in-house monitoring of pathogens affecting his hives and continues to submit samples for independent lab testing to Washington State University and the USDA. Then in 2008, came more devastation for Washington beekeepers. “It was a new pathogen in Western Washington that was a fungus called nosema ceranae. The bees would ingest the spores and the fungus would reproduce in the bees’ guts by the millions and destroy their ability to digest food, shortening their lives,” Dan said. Thousands of colonies were lost in Western Washington and four years of 90 percent losses followed in the Harveys’ apiary. “Using feral bees that have adapted to the cool damp conditions of the Olympic Peninsula has produced a very hardy stock that is able to survive against this particular pathogen,” Dan explained. By spring 2012, only 10 percent of the Harveys’ colonies had failed so they felt hopeful their bees were developing an adaptation to the fungus. The result has been that their bees stayed robust despite high levels of the spores. “By carefully selecting our breeder queens from this core group of survivors, our stock is in demand from beekeepers all over the United States,

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Each hive has its own queen and she is the mother of the brood, larger than a male drone or a female worker bee. On instincts alone, worker bees in the hive feed her royal jelly from the time she’s in the larval stage. When she’s reached the adult virgin stage, the queen leaves the hive several times to mate with 8-20 drones, under strict isolation protocols that the Harveys have developed in their mating yards. A queen lays about 2,000 eggs daily during the spring and summer, the vast majority of which will be female worker bees with only a few hundred drones. A few will become virgin queens which arise from larvae singled out by worker bees to be specially fed so their ovaries will develop. “We sell mated queens in every state because people are interested in mite-resistant bees — ours are just plain hardier,” Dan said. “We sell breeder queens to commercial queen producers, most in the southern states, that produce queens by the tens of thousands in California, Texas and Florida, so they’re using our stock to improve their genetics. We’ve been producing about 500 queens a year and ship them in queen cages — plastic or wooden vials — putting in a queen and five attendants — and send them in ventilated boxes by UPS or USPS.” Dan added, “We’d like to be able to ship our queens to Canada because we’ve had a lot of requests, but we can’t because we don’t have a state bee inspector to certify their health. It’s too much red tape.” Dan acknowledged that his bees, with their feral genetics, probably aren’t the best choice for backyard beekeepers, saying, “These are wild bees and you have to respect them for that — put them at least 50 yards away from humans and livestock, and wear adequate protective gear. It’s that simple. Our bees are not for everybody because they’re wild bees — are you going to keep a bear for a pet?” he laughed.

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from Alaska to Florida, from Maine to California,” Dan said. “We are one of the first apiaries in the country to pioneer regionally adapted honeybees that demonstrate genetics capable of withstanding many of the lethal pathogens that threaten honeybees worldwide.”

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Winter 2015 LOP 29


The Artistry of Life By the Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith

OUR WORLD IS a truly fascinating planet. One filled with vibrant life in an ever-changing and infinite variety of forms. Each place found upon this spinning orb of blue and green is unique and holds its own magic. Some deserts with wide vistas, small creatures scurrying below and eagles soaring in the skies above. Some mountainous with rugged peaks, forested hills and the footprints left on paths by bear and cougar. Some beaches with shimmering sea water flowing onto soft sand or jagged stones where seashells and other treasures are left behind as the tide ebbs. Some tropical forests with constant rain, cascading waterfalls and birds feathered with hues of every color. Each place a living form of the universal energy of creativity seeking expression. The Olympic Peninsula is a place of amazing beauty and rich natural creation … surrounded by the Salish Sea’s changing wave patterns that dance with the wind, holding an ancient spiritual heart set deep in the Olympic Mountain range, and filled with forested lands of enchanting seasonal changes in color and texture. All existing through long summer days of sunlight and soft winter mornings of deep mists. Amid this kaleidoscope of earth, water and air shines the energies of creative fire that finds expression in its people as well as its nature. Peter Koestenbaum writes that “Creativity is harnessing universality and making it flow through your eyes.” And how beautifully

30 LOP Winter 2015

and naturally that happens in this particular place. From rich oil paintings to soft watercolor images … from wingspread dragons crafted in steel to intricately woven scarves from local wool … from jewelry of silver and gold with colorful enamel inlays to finely aged wines fermented from grapes harvested in nearby vineyards. And yet, true artistry is found in many more ways than one might think. Although we are blessed with a community of artists, poets, writers, craftspeople and musicians, we also are blessed with a creative energy that seeks a far wider expression. It is found many places … in the beauty of gardens tenderly cared for, in the cozy warmth of a home filled with the light of fireplace and sparkly lights, in the sharing of a cuppa tea with vintage china and in silently walking the beaches to watch the light play on the water. For the true Artistry of Life is found in simply seeing it and then being willing to express it. Daily life is filled with doing the activities that are practical, logical and necessary. We live in the modern world of mechanical physics where action is the key and “to do” lists rule the day. It’s all about doing; however, to truly enjoy life we can open to include a far more enlivening perspective from the realm of quantum physics where invisible light sparks become creations amid infinite possibilities. It’s about being and then doing what comes from the spark within. This is the true creative artistry

that makes our hearts sing and allows joy to infill our communion with life. In response to this beautiful place, let us expand our expressions and allow our daily lives to be re-enlivened. We can begin with Pablo Picasso’s insight that we were all artists as children, but that the problem is how to remain one as we grow up. What did you love to do when you were young? What activity have you left behind simply because you’ve become too busy? What fun creative adventure would you have if you could? And most of all, are you willing to release any fear of being wrong or not good enough that has held you back from opening to this artistry of your life? Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way reminds us that the true artistry is in consciously living our lives so that we can embrace and express our creative gifts, whatever they may be. In Finding Water, she suggests we begin by acknowledging what we’ve wanted to do but have been procrastinating about, perhaps thinking it’s too late or too hard. She invites us to take pen in hand to write about the deferred dream and also about actually doing what is longed for. Reflect on the feelings that arise as the possibility unfolds within and then realize what specific changes can be made to manifest it. Now, with a willing heart and focused mind, simply make some small step in the direction of this renewed inner fire. We are surrounded by inspiring natural landscapes and creative

kindred spirits. We are constantly nourished by natural beauty and ever-changing seasons. There are certain places on Earth that invite a true Artistry of Life and we are blessed to abide in one. It’s simply about opening our souls to new adventures and our lives to new expressions. For a final inspiration, remember the words of Marcel Proust when he wrote: “The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” It begins with where you are and who you are right now. Nothing is needed but the willingness for a vision of possibility. We’ll all be gifted as each discovers new expressions with which to bless our world. Most of all, let’s remember to do it with the playfulness of a child … a child whose natural wonder and unencumbered joy lead the way. The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith is the minister at the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend who leads international spiritual pilgrimages. Contact her at revpam@ unitypt.org.

We’ve Moved! The PUD’s new Main Office is now open for

We’ve business at Moved! 104 Hooker Road in Carlsborg,

Happy Holidays from our family to yours...

Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Customers enjoy “One Stop The PUD’s newcan Main now OfficeWe’ve is open for business at Moved! Shopping”104 atHooker the new Main Office with all Road in Carlsborg, The PUD’s new Main Office is now open for departments Mondayconveniently - Friday 8:00 a.m.located - 5:00 p.m.together. business at 104 Hooker Road in Carlsborg,

We are leading providers of long-term skilled nursing care and shortterm rehabilitation solutions, located right here in your community. With our full continuum of services, we offer care focused around each individual in today’s ever-changing healthcare environment.

Customers can now enjoy “One Stop- Shopping” the- 5:00 new p.m. Main Monday Friday, 8:00 at a.m. Customers now enjoytogether. “One Stop at Office withoptions all departments conveniently located Payment are also can offered online Shopping” atoffered the new Main Officeatwith all Payment options are also online www.ClallamPUD.net or pay-by-phone at departments conveniently located together. www.ClallamPUD.net or pay-by-phone at 1-888-402-0663. 1-888-402-0663. Payment options are also offered online at

For more information or to schedule a tour, please call or visit us today!

www.ClallamPUD.net or pay-by-phone at 1-888-402-0663.

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Profile for Sound Publishing

Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula, Winter 2015/2016  


Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula, Winter 2015/2016