Letter to the Editor: Matthews is a strong advocate for Mukai
September 14, 2010 · 12:46 PM
My wife and I are 31-year residents of Vashon Island, currently living in our home of 26 years that was originally built and owned by Masa Mukai. Our home is next to the Mukai Farm and Garden and is actually part of the original farm. Masa was a longtime friend of mine, so I know his personality and history about as well as anyone.
As the caretaker of the historical Mukai House and Japanese gardens, I cannot stay silent any longer.
I have worked side-by-side with Mary Matthews at the Mukai Garden for many years. Though at times we have had our disagreements, I have watched her host an annual cherry blossom festival and have seen the delight on faces after they watched the slide show of its history. My wife and I have pulled weeds, solved flooding problems and done overall upkeep and caretaking and security for the past six years.
We have supported Mary as she worked to purchase the fruit barreling plant, finally bringing the two properties back to their original state.
The attacks on her are unfair. She is a passionate advocate for this property. She has personally funded this project when others would not step forward. I know. I have been on the board. In fact, she has put over $250,000 of her own money into paying people to keep the lawns mowed and the blackberries from overtaking the house and garden. She has paid all expenses including utility bills and all insurances on it, etc., including my wages. And then she bought the fruit barreling plant with her own money when no other organization would step forward.
— Ken DeFrang