PORT ANGELES — An author who penned a book on the history of the North Olympic Peninsula news media will be featured in two panel discussions Thursday.
Bill Lindstrom, author of “Strait Press: A History Of News Media On The North Olympic Peninsula,” will discuss the 617-page work with several key sources in the programs at Peninsula College.
The free presentations will begin at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Peninsula College’s Little Theatre in Port Angeles, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
The panels will be moderated by former Sequim Gazette publisher Brown Maloney, who commissioned the newly-released book.
Former Newsradio KONP owner Jim McDonald, retired Peninsula College journalism instructor Robbie Mantooth, and former Peninsula Daily News publishers John Brewer and Frank Ducceschi will be featured with Lindstrom in the early presentation.
Lindstrom, Brewer, Ducceschi, McDonald and Lonnie Archibald, a longtime West End photographer, author and PDN freelancer, will highlight the evening panel.
“What I’ve seen I’ve really liked,” Archibald said of the book. “It’s got some details, it’s got some dates and a lot of names.”
Maloney, who owns KONP’s parent company, Radio Pacific, will moderate the discussion and direct questions from the audience.
“I hope people do come and ask about specific things in the book, and anything else they’re curious about,” Brewer said.
While Lindstrom’s book focuses on newspapers, radio stations and public-access TV stations, it chronicles the history of the North Olympic Peninsula. It is organized to allow readers to flip to sections on specific communities.
“It’s not just a book about the media and how the media handled the various events that occurred but it’s a history book,” Lindstrom said Tuesday.
“It’s a history book of every city and how it got established, how it progressed though the years. It’s a book about fascinating events and extremely fascinating people.”
Lindstrom interviewed 62 people over 3½ years for the self-published book. He had 1,000 copies printed in the book’s first run.
“Strait Press” was officially launched at a well-attended book signing in Sequim on Friday.
Autographed books will be available at both presentations Thursday. Proceeds from the sales will support local charities.
Brewer said Lindstrom’s book is “easy to jump around in” and covers the history of every town on the North Olympic Peninsula.
“I found it very interesting,” Brewer said Tuesday.
“There’s been history books on Port Angeles, but most of them end 30 years ago.”
“Strait Press” includes major news stories from recent decades such as the capture of terrorist Ahmed Ressam in downtown Port Angeles in 1999.
Ressam, also known as the “Millennium Bomber,” tried unsuccessfully to smuggle in explosives to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on or about Jan. 1, 2000.
He was caught driving off the MV Coho ferry with a trunk full of explosives Dec. 14, 1999, and fled after being stopped by customs inspectors at the ferry terminal.
Then-U.S. Customs Inspector Mike Chapman, now a state representative, shoulder-tackled Ressam near the corner of Lincoln and First streets after a foot chase.
Ressam, an Algerian national who had attended Osama bin Laden’s terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, was sentenced to 37 years in prison in October 2012.
“If they hadn’t captured Ressam here in Port Angeles — thanks to Mike Chapman — we could have had 9/11 two years earlier,” Brewer said.
“The history of the world was changed on the streets of Port Angeles. I don’t think people realize that.”
“Strait Press” is on sale at Port Book and News, Odyssey Bookshop, KONP, KSQM and Sequim Museum & Arts, Lindstrom said.
It also is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Lindstrom, 76, was a working reporter and editor from 1958 to 2013, including a stint as PDN news editor from 1999 to early 2001. He retired as city editor from The Daily World in Aberdeen.
He lives in Olympia.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.