Lisa Bryan

The Key Peninsula is a community where being different turns out to be a very good thing. 

When the Key Peninsula News joined the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in 2018, we knew we were a little different from other member newspapers. For starters we are a monthly publication, while others publish daily or weekly. What we didn’t know, until we attended the convention in October, was that KP News is the only (intentionally) nonprofit newspaper member in the WNPA. 

The recognition of our unique mission and business model led us to deeper thinking about how we can position ourselves to benefit from our strengths and create a reliably sustainable newspaper for the future.

We deliver the print edition of KP News free of charge to every mailbox holder on the Key Peninsula south of the bridge at Purdy. Unheard of in traditional newspaper business models, KP News makes quality local journalism available to everyone in the community for free. 

Our focus remains providing high quality in-depth local news affecting the Key Peninsula and the waters surrounding it, bringing you the well-researched illuminating history of the area, coupled with fascinating personal stories about the individual people, businesses and organizations who make this far-flung unincorporated rural community so livable. 

Thanks in part to assistance from Executive Directors Ben and Susan Paganelli of the KP Partnership for a Healthy a Community, KP News Publishing Board Member John Nichols was able to access and research possible funders interested in independent local news, a search that led us to the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Key Peninsula News is honored to be accepted as one of the newest members of INN, a foundation for collaboration among a new and growing collective of over 200 nonprofit media newsrooms nationwide dedicated to serving the public interest. 

You’ve read these words here before and they still hold true: Journalism is fundamental to the functioning of democracy, to inform communities, hold the powerful accountable and keep our democracy free. 

We are proud to be your community newspaper and we believe that local news is vital to the life we enjoy on the KP. 

For now, the lazy days of August are here and with them a yearning to retreat and savor an uncomplicated life with simple pleasures without the weight of the world on our shoulders. Indulge that thought. It’s time to cultivate some compassion and kindness for yourself and tap into what it feels like to be a human again.

In the middle of a blueberry patch with sun at our backs, we began picking blueberries along the tidy rows as three little girls ages three, four and six begin talking all at once—“Look, look! See how big this one is?”—as each berry drops into their half-gallon pails. Their smiling eyes sparkled in the sun as they popped the occasional blueberry directly into their mouths, giggling. 

Someone spotted a bee. Together we concluded it was a honey bee, not a bumble bee. The girls already knew there are many different kinds of bees that live in different ways, do their jobs differently and occupy important niches in our ecosystem. Every one is important. 

The girls laughed and played while their mothers shared stories and a world of ideas while berry picking alongside one another. Before it was all over, the girls cooled off in the sprinkler before we piled into the car. We proceeded to sing songs and share giggles all the way home. 

Other summer days we will gather to play on the beach, which rarely fails to deliver recollections of my own carefree childhood summers. As children we transformed into young naturalist beachcombers exploring tide pools delighting in colorful purple starfish of every size. We loved the thrill of watching the small crabs scurry as we turned over big rocks, mortally afraid they might pinch us. We may have loved the hermit crabs most of all, watching them struggle to move while carrying their house at the same time. We loved the idea of moving into a new, bigger and better house whenever as the hermits grew too large to fit inside. 

My memories are deeply rooted along the shores of Puget Sound and Washington’s coastal beaches. We dug clams, raked clams, and collected oysters. We fished for salmon with rod and reel, most often setting out with our dad from the old Steilacoom marina at Saltar’s Point—decades before it was destroyed by fire in 2009.

Times may have changed but our shores and beaches are still the magical places they’ve always been, but desperately need our help to stay that way. 

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