Meet the KP News Staff

These talented and dedicated folks bring the Key Peninsula News to life

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It takes a lot of talent and diligence to bring Key Peninsula News to your mailbox every month. A growing group of donors help pay the bills, loyal advertisers add a significant contribution and we receive underwriting from organizations like the Angel Guild and NewsMatch.

It takes more than a printing press and a checkbook. Volunteers and staff give valuable time every month to manage, create, research, write, take photographs, edit, coordinate and deliver the KP News.

Here's where we spotlight some of the people who give their talents to help create this newspaper. If you know them, tell 'em how much their contributions mean to you. And thank them for their generosity.

Krisa Bruemmer, Staff Reporter, Columnist

To escape the slow pace of rural Vashon Island, Krisa left in 1998 to spend her senior year of high school in Switzerland where she lived with a German-speaking family she couldn’t understand for months. She then attended college on the east coast, earning a B.A. in East Asian Studies with a junior year in Japan. Krisa completed graduate school at the University of Sydney in Australia, then spent a decade in California, where she became a roller derby girl named Neon Nightmare, before returning home to the slow pace of rural Puget Sound.
Since joining the KP News staff in 2019, Krisa has won three Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awards for writing and photography. Her work has also appeared in Sammiches and Psych Meds, Mothers Always Write, Motherscope magazine and other print anthologies and online journals.
When she’s not writing, Krisa enjoys knitting, borrowing more books from the Key Center Library than she can possibly read, walking through the forest while listening to podcasts about writing, participating in storytelling competitions, spending time with her childhood friends and watching way too much TV. She lives in Vaughn with her husband Kenny, daughter Violet and pandemic pup Donna.

Lisa Bryan, Executive Editor

“There are times when a bucket of luck is worth a truckload of talent.” That’s how Lisa describes joining the Key Peninsula News team. Back when Ted Olinger ran the whole operation, he invited her to write an opinion column three or four times a year and pitched a few ideas. “There are enough opinions out there,” she said. “Nobody wants to know what I think.” She was, however, interested in volunteering to report local news. Her first article made the front page in June 2016. The hook was set; she threw herself into the boat and stayed.
In January 2018, she was named executive editor — more on the basis of relationships within the community than formal journalistic training. Her work has earned awards for news reporting, feature photography, editorial writing and general excellence.
She loves hearing peoples’ stories and making connections. Her eccentric life experiences combine to give her a unique perspective and open ears for news. A Puget Sound native, Lisa lives with her husband and dogs in Longbranch. She enjoys walks in the woods with dogs and friends, reading, knitting and good coffee. She is passionate for everything outdoors and recently adopted Sound swimming year-round surrounded by the bravest of friends.

Tim Heitzman, Operations and Design  

Five years ago Tim casually offered newly appointed editor Ted Olinger “help with anything you might need.” Tim’s name has been on the masthead ever since.
A roll of Verichrome Pan 620 film and a Brownie camera on his 10th birthday started a path that evolved to graphic design and advertising, eventually to a senior advertising agency position as art director for a Seattle cruise line account. Late in 1999, Tim bought a leaky cottage on the north side of Filucy Bay. Since then, he's served on the LIC board, helped local nonprofits fundraise and kept a little freelance marketing communications practice.
When he’s not hunched over a Mac, he’s looking out over the bay with his terrier, Buddy. Tim loves to cook (and eat) good food, fill Wed-Sat crosswords and read mysteries.
As anyone who has worked for, with, or against him knows, things that need attention get it. He is proud to work on what in just a few years has become a bigger, brighter newspaper, filled with award-winning photography, stories and ads (yes, KP News ads win awards) that should make everyone on the Key Peninsula proud.

Deanna Hunter, Account Sales

Since joining the KP News sales team in 2019, Deanna has met, worked and created friendships with most KP business owners. She helps create ideal ad schedules that help get the word out.
Her background wasn’t in media sales but she’s perfectly suited to use KP News advertising to help boost local business. As a member of the KPBA, she’s working to market local businesses and nonprofits.
Deanna and husband Mark recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary, explaining their young looks with “we married while in high school.“
They have two mid-thirties married children, Kristin and Justin. When not taking care of four horses, Deanna and Mark are on the trails horse/bike riding, he on bicycle, she on horseback. She also enjoys adventures with family, digging in the vegetable garden and walking her beloved dog.
Even with a life so filled with activity and rewarding pleasures, Deanna always finds time to make sure every advertiser’s needs are met and adds valuable insights to the News team.

Ed Johnson, Photographer

Award-winning photos by Ed Johnson have appeared on the pages of KP News countless times since he joined the staff in 2010. After a couple of years “in the trenches” as he calls it, he became a member of the KP News Publishing Board and served as its president for three years.
Ed swears he hadn’t paid much attention to taking photos until he retired from his career as a data communications specialist for Lynden Transport and Logistics. He is a self-taught photographer, “after being offered lessons by my dad.”
Forever out and about capturing the beauty of Key Peninsula, he rarely leaves home without his camera. His photos have been featured in art shows, company calendars and covers of phone books. Ed loves taking scenic shots, flora and fauna, especially birds. A devoted sports fan, especially for baseball—his favorite subjects are his four grandchildren.
Around year-end, Ed’s in the kitchen making batches of his famous peanut brittle. He shared his recipe in the December 2019 KP Cooks so if you’re not among his long list of friends, you can still enjoy the nearly addictive treat.

Tina McKail, Staff Photographer

Tina was born and raised in Pensacola, Fla. She followed her Navy husband 20 years ago, settled in Port Orchard, and fell in love with the PNW — after a three-year weather adjustment. They settled in Vaughn to raise two sons, currently attending Peninsula High School. “My kids absolutely love their community, their schools and their lifestyle,” Tina said. “Every time I cross the cursed Purdy bridge, there is a great sense of relief and calm heading back home.”
A self-taught photographer, she is constantly learning new techniques. Her specialty is nature: “Nature is everywhere and you just have to take a moment to look for it." A lifelong animal lover, she has a horse, multiple dogs, cats and two crazy goats (and said she would have more if her husband wouldn’t divorce her).
When not working part-time in healthcare, Tina is out shooting her boys’ sports and events or nature and animals. She appreciates the chance to share her photography with the community she loves. “If I can give one person a smile or joy when they look at my photos, that’s a win for me,” she said.   She hopes to take photography into her retirement years. “I don’t ever see myself putting my camera away.”  

Ted Olinger, Associate Editor

Ted Olinger sailed into Vaughn Bay one sunny day in April 2004 and never left. He’s been writing about life on the shores of Puget Sound since 1991. His work has appeared in Canoe & Kayak, House magazine, Wetdawg.com, and other local and national periodicals.
He grew up on a beach in Los Angeles, studied literature and writing in Boston and New York, and learned how to edit during his years working for G.P. Putnam’s Sons Publishing in Manhattan in the 1980s (see Peninsula Views).
Ted has won numerous awards for his work, including four from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for his reporting, and the Foreword Review literary prize for his 2013 book of short stories about the Key Peninsula, “The Woodpecker Menace.”
He was hired by the Key Peninsula News in 2009 as a reporter and became executive editor in 2016. Ted now assists part-time as an associate editor. He lives in Vaughn with his family, a fleet of half-built boats, and a rotating cast of dogs.

Joseph Pentheroudakis, Staff Journalist, Copy Editor and Social Media Editor

Joseph came to the U.S. from Greece in 1968 to enroll as a pre-med undergraduate at the University of Chicago. To the dismay of his parents, counting on having a doctor in the family, he was lured away from medicine by archeology and then linguistics, which was where he parked for his undergraduate years and graduate school in Chicago.
Somewhere in there, Joseph discovered computational linguistics and spent the next three decades writing language-processing software. Another career followed, this time in the arts, primarily printmaking and drawing, which he studied at Pratt Fine Arts Center and Gage Academy in Seattle. He said he owns the largest collection of his work.
He’s a frequent contributor to the paper as a journalist, editor, On The Wing columnist and historian. His research into the history of this place was so inspiring he’s currently completing a book on Herron Island founders and settlers.
When he’s not writing or combing archives, he works in his Herron Island studio and keeps a small garden, fenced against ever-voracious deer. In whatever time his dog Eva allows him to be away, he bikes the hills of the KP and paddles his kayak in Case Inlet.

Chris Rurik, KP Naturalist

Since being asked to adapt a chapter of a book he wrote on his great-grandfather’s farm into an article on how newts see the world, his “Into the Wild” columns have been a KP News mainstay.
Chris and his family live on that very farm. In addition to freelance writing and helping manage farm operations, he is a community naturalist-at-large. He cut his teeth at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and Hopkins Marine Station and for six years worked with students as an environmental educator at Bluff Lake Nature Center in Denver.
A hardcore birder and casual cyclist, he loves the thrill of finding a rare bird on the KP, especially when he finds it carbon-free. Writing projects have taken him from the Oregon Coast’s new marine reserves to Nunivak Island in Alaska. He is on the board of the Prince William Sound Science Center.
The daily discipline of paying attention to wild creatures and how they move through the landscape is Chris’s meditation and inspiration. He loves to tromp around the KP — its crown jewel parks as well as its roadside thickets — and think about how habitats connect through all types of land. He thinks the KP has all the ingredients needed to grow its reputation as one of the Puget Sound’s iconic landscapes.

Sara Thompson, Publishing Board President, Feature Writer

Sara wrote her first story for the KP News in 2014. She was the editor of her high school newspaper, that was the extent of her journalism background. She'd spent 30 years in Seattle working as a family physician and teaching new doctors. “Getting to know patients through their stories and learning to explain complicated issues in ways they could understand helped me when it came to writing for the paper.”
Sara first knew the KP as an 8-year old when her parents bought property in Lakebay. She and her husband bought a small house nearby 30 years ago when their kids were young. In 2012 they built their retirement home and moved here full time.
When she’s not reporting or working as a board member of the Mustard Seed Project, she’s kayaking, riding her bike, walking Lil the golden-doodle or hopelessly trying to eradicate horsetails from her yard.
“Writing for the paper is such a gift. It has allowed me to delve into issues like logging and geoduck farms and to get to know some of the incredible people who live here. Winning the 2020 Feature Writer of the Year from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association was the thrill of a lifetime.”

Carolyn Wiley, Columnist, Reporter

A native Texan, Carolyn came to the Pacific Northwest in 1962 to see the World’s Fair. A University of Texas graduate, she started in pre-med but switched to education for the assured time off each summer. She earned advanced degrees at Seattle Pacific University and moved to the Key Peninsula in 1998 after a career in education.
A passionate educator and advocate for the arts, Wiley discovered that she had more talent as a grant writer than a visual artist. Grant-writing sessions require less cleanup than painting or printmaking. For a number of years, she was active as a citizen lobbyist for the arts and presided over the Washington State Arts Alliance that funded a full-time arts lobbyist in Olympia.
Wiley has spent her retirement years vying for the title of “Best Grandma Ever,” designing quilts and jewelry, writing poetry and explaining how the world works to fans of “Devil’s Head Diary,” her KP News column. Over the past five years, feedback from readers and numerous awards continue to pump up an already-inflated ego.
When not writing or raising funds for community causes, Wiley spends her idle hours teaching Tai Chi Sword Form and pulling scotch broom with David — her one and only — who has been a reliable source of amusement and delight for 60 years.

Bob Wilkins, Publishing Board Member, Distribution 

Bob grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, until age 10 when his family moved to Heidelberg, Germany, where he learned the German language to the point of being mistaken for a native.
After dropping out of Louisiana State University for lack of finances, Bob received a letter from the President of the United States inviting him to visit the exotic Far East. Bob served in Vietnam as a combat medic with the 1st Cavalry Division, finishing his Army career at Fort Lewis. He quickly discovered that Western Washington had no snakes worthy of the name, hurricane season, “stinkin’ ” humidity or huge mosquitoes. Instead, it had beaches, rivers, mountains, year-round green forests and even sand dunes.
In 1972, a friend helped him land a part-time job at the Tacoma News Tribune, where he stayed for 36 years, eventually supervising a team of 30 graphic artists who produced all the newspaper ads. After retiring, Bob worked on his 5 acres and 100-year-old KP farmhouse. When he met a like-minded group of folks, he started the Key Peninsula Swap Meet. Later, Bob volunteered for the Key Peninsula News distribution team and soon joined the publishing board, helping bring our award-winning paper to the community.


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