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News story was really a shameful witch hunt against Bangasser | Letter to the Editor
The self-serving, misinformed and disingenuous response of the editorial board of the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber to Alice Larson’s deliciously sarcastic lambasting of your J.T. Sheffield Building article deserves additional discussion.
Putting aside your simplistic assessment of regional commercial real estate issues as simple naivete, let us rather focus on the editorial defense of your actions. That defense is based on a glib parsing of what issues are worthy of your sage reporting and commentary. In your purported world view, an owner’s inability to pay his mortgage, a situation that may ultimately lead to foreclosure, is a private matter while an owner’s inability to pay assessed property taxes is a public and newsworthy issue. Following that logic, you should be reporting on how many of our neighbors are not able to pay their assessed property taxes, but you shouldn’t report to us on their houses in foreclosure. I doubt a scan of your previous news reports or editorials would support this alleged editorial stance.
What that scan would certainly reveal is your editorial animosity towards Tom Bangasser, and it would support an alternative rationale for why you chose to report on the J.T. Sheffield building’s current tax standing. This is not about our schools and park districts, because you well know that most property taxes collected on this Island are from private non-commercial properties, and you do not feel compelled to report on their tax status.
This is rather a shameful continuation of The Beachcomber’s witch hunt against Tom Bangasser, and this sort of tabloid journalism is unwelcome on this Island.
— Kevin J. Freeman