Compass for 3/23/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world economy into a tailspin, and last week any hope that the Olympic Peninsula might somehow sidestep the calamity was struck down as the first evidence of community spread of the potentially lethal disease emerged locally, and a gubernatorial decree closed down the bars, restaurants, and event venues that together form the heart and soul of the local economy – with no clear answer to the question of when (or even whether) life will return to normal.

This week on the Compass we first talk with a popular longtime Sirens Pub bartender who abruptly found herself laid off last week. Then we talk with Port Townsend Main Street Program Director Mari Mullen about the crisis facing local businesses and what resources are being mustered to help them out. And finally, we talk with Centrum Executive Director Robert Birman about the likely fate of the summer festival season upon which so much of Port Townsend’s economy relies.