Saturday, October 29, 2011

Funeral Hearse Benefits Haunted House

In 1905, a funeral hearse was built in Vienna, Austria as a carriage for the funeral ceremonies of wealthy and well–respected locals. In 1970, an antiques dealer from the Salt Lake area of Utah brought the hearse to Park City. He displayed it in his antique shop, and then put it aside. It sat neglected in a junkyard for thirty years, until it was discovered by a Park City resident. This was Bill Brown, at the time the president of the Glenwood Cemetery Association, who bought all the parts and started the process of renovating it. After a year and a half, the hearse was as good as new. He began to take part in parades around the country, and enter it in antique competitions. When he moved to Port Townsend last year, Brown brought the Hearse with him.

Like a darker version of the horse-drawn cart from Cinderella, the hearse is black and ornate with black roses carved into its exterior and lanterns. It has glass on three sides, and inside are red velvet curtains surrounding a replica coffin.

“It’s really unique,” Brown said. “I haven’t seen any others like it.”

Earlier this month the carriage was displayed in the parking lot of Safeway, as a fundraiser for the Hauntownsend “Carnival of the Twilight” haunted house, whose proceeds benefit the local Rotary club.

The haunted house, which takes place at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, is in its last weekend. It is open from 7pm to 10pm. Admission is $11.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street comes to Port Townsend

Occupy Wall Street has come to Port Townsend.

The movement, which officially began September 17 in New York City, has now spread around the world. People in cities from every corner of the world have taken to the streets to demonstrate their anger at their governments and the global financial system.

This list of cities now includes Port Townsend, as a large group of people gathered at the triangle park in front of the Chase Bank on Friday to wave signs that said things such as Make Jobs, Not War, Keep America’s Jobs in America, and Save the American Dream.

Linda Brewster, a regional organizer for MoveOn and the American Dream movement, who sponsored the event, said that she was delighted with the turnout, which she estimated at around 200 people.

She also added that Port Townsend’s reaction was great as well.

“There’s been a lot of honking and waving from passersby and just a huge amount of enthusiasm here today,” she said.

“This is a great turnout,” said Mark Twain Stevenson, another organizer for MoveOn, “people driving by seem to be pleased. I am very pleased with this turnout.”

Gretchen Brewer, of the PTAirwatchers, took part in the demonstration, and feels that the media plays a part in this movement as well.

“The media in general is playing it a little bit coy, claiming not to understand what the issue is, that (the demonstrators) are scattered and all that. But no, the underlying issue is corporate privilege. It’s about corporate dominance and the diminishing of our individual rights and individual abilities to conduct our lives as we see fit.”

The movement is now at day 29, and shows no sign of dissipating anytime soon. In fact, it's growing stronger as it reflects a worldwide dissatisfaction with the status quo.