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<<The town (Port Townsend) is actually less remote than where I was living in Alabama. There is a hospital here about 5 miles away from my house. From there, I could be transferred to wherever necessary, I guess.

When I visit Port Townsend, I seem to frequently talk to residents who are commuting into Seattle for medical care not available at the local hospital. Then there's the issue of whether the hospital will survive. Along with a good deal of Port Townsend's iffy economic base, it seems to exist on a somewhat uncertain basis.

That's among the reasons why I have doubts about the wisdom of trying to establish a new local electrical utility to buy out the large electric utility providing service in the area now. The promise by advocates is that a public utility district would provide lower rates because it doesn't have to pay taxes, and because it could get cheap Federal electric power.

The cheap electric power may prove to be hard to get, since there is a huge demand for cheap Federal power, and the supply is likely to decline, especially if we wind up destroying the dams that generate the power. And there are large uncertainties about how a very small start up public utility might fare.

I've always liked Port Townsend, but it's a delicate community that could fare badly for economic and political reasons.

My impression is that housing prices in Port Townsend are relatively expensive, although getting cheaper recently, while rents are relatively cheap. I've considered moving to Port Townsend myself, but renting has seemed like a better deal than buying.

If things don't pan out well for Port Townsend, I'd be concerned that a good many things might implode one after the other. If the paper mill there closed (it's only recently come out of bankruptcy), the water supply for the town becomes iffy and the hospital might close, with other cascading problems.

The ferry problems recently suggest another delicate lifeline for the town that could change.

I certainly wish you and Port Townsend well, but I'd keep my eyes open for the pitfalls out there that exist.

Seattle Pioneer
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