As we all are well aware, there are no movie theaters in Port Angeles, though the Lincoln Theater is still for sale. But just down the road in little ol' Port Townsend they have a seasonal drive-in and two great year-round movie theaters. Oops! I mean they have three...
Port Townsend's Cotton Building, refurbished as 100-seat theater, to be unveiled at film festival
Oh, right. With all those theaters, they also have a well known and well attended film festival every year. Meanwhile, Port Angeles has lost some festivals (Arts in Action), while others (Juan de Fuca Festival) are really just fading echoes of previous versions. It seems like just about the only event that still draws crowds (though not enough money to be self-sustaining) is the annual Crab Festival. Which leads us to the second headline of the day...
Study: Eating large amounts of Port Angeles Harbor crab could raise risks of cancer
As the saying goes, you can't buy publicity like that.
Two Port towns, just an hour apart. Yet divided by an incredibly wide chasm. One has greatly transitioned to being a pleasant, successful and picturesque arts-embracing 21st century community. One continues down the path of resource extraction and environmental devastation that was a successful model generations ago. One has made some sort of peace with their past as a mill town, and moved forward. One is stuck in the mill town mindset, which literally and figuratively poisons any attempts to move on, to grow, or to evolve.
Now, I'm willing to bet that the crab from the waters around Port Townsend is probably none too healthy either. But that sort of toxic image isn't the one most people have of Port Townsend. They're far from a model community, but they do have a eco-friendly, marketable image that allows them to, well, market their community on almost every level, and from many different angles.
But Port Angeles...Well, Port Angeles still thinks it can make a fortune by "cutting more trees." Port Angeles still swears allegiance to the Nippon Corporation over people. And Port Angeles still thinks it's functional and doable to simply shout "We're the best!" to try and drown out the voices who are crying out for help, for jobs, and for a more sustainable and modern community.
It's not a perfect match of analogies, but...In the ever-more global marketplace of people/ideas/businesses, Port Townsend is like the traveler who learns to speak French before going to Paris. Port Angeles is like the classic Ugly American who goes there and just shouts louder and louder in English, and somehow expects to get positive results.