UPDATED — Paul Cronauer, Port Angeles business leader, dies at age 63.
By Peninsula Daily News staff
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Cronauer, 63, who had been fighting cancer, died in his Port Angeles home at 11 p.m. Thursday, according to Phil Lusk, city power resource manager, and other friends.
Other details were unavailable.
Mayor Cherie Kidd named April 21 as Paul Cronauer Day in a ceremony earlier this year, recognizing him as “a man who has accepted the challenge that Earth Day is a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment.”
He accepted the mayor's proclamation before more than 100 who were in attendance at the The Landing, where he had installed a cutting-edge battery storage project. He also led beach cleanups and was the organizer of this year's Klallam Earth Day celebration in Port Angeles.
“It all just shows we all do good things as groups, as families,” Cronauer said in receiving the proclamation.
After buying The Landing in 2006, Cronauer and his wife, Sarah, sought to make it a dynamic center of the downtown waterfront area.
He and Sarah later opened Wine on the Waterfront, a wine bar with food and live music; they made space for art in the Long Gallery upstairs and the Landing Art Gallery downstairs, alongside a pair of popular restaurants, Downriggers and Smuggler's Landing.
“Paul is an out-of-the-box thinker,” Lusk told the Peninsula Daily News last spring. “He wants to engage his community in a way that will change us and bring us forward.”
While undergoing cancer treatments in Alberta, Canada, he wrote a lengthy "Open Letter to the Citizens of Port Angeles" that was run as paid advertisement in the Peninsula Daily News in June.
It criticized the city's plans for a massive sewer/storm-water project on the waterfront that he felt was too costly and not good for the environment.
"The Combined Sewer Outfall (CSO) debate is about more than just money, it is the cultural divide between big infrastructure and all it embodies versus local, grassroots neighborhood environmental responsibility," he wrote.
"The City of Port Angeles sits on the pinnacle of decisions that will determine the future of Port Angeles. Will it be a future of consumption or replenishment?
"The city government currently supports the construction of a massive, centralized infrastructure project to manage stormwater quality.
"I am proposing the construction of multiple, small, cost effective, storage and infiltration structures spread throughout the city."
Cronauer grew up in Agnew, a rural area between Port Angeles and Sequim. He graduated from Sequim High School in 1967 and from Western Washington University in 1971.
He worked in construction contracting in Alaska, Canada and on the North Olympic Peninsula and developed real estate projects in Port Angeles and other areas.
Peninsula Daily News published a profile of Cronauer in April: http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20120422/news/304229980/
Last modified: August 17. 2012 7:10PM