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Letters to the Editor: March 18
Location in town is ideal
The Vashon Library has been in the center of town for generations as a stimulating place for learning and entertainment. Having one of the highest per capita readerships in Washington has to be a measure of success. We should also take pride in our history of community support for a library. It started with the Vashon Island Women’s Club in 1911 providing books and services to enhance the learning experience for our citizens and their children.
The Aspiri family has lived on Vashon for 43 years and has used the library for our six children and 12 grandchildren. We would drop off our children at the library while we ran errands in downtown Vashon. We also used Ober Park extensively, where we played on the berms and playground. We saved on transportation cost and even reduced our carbon footprint even before we knew what that meant.
Combining the benefits of the park with the library made the learning experience for our children and grandchildren rewarding and enjoyable. I would like to see future generations learn by reading and reflecting on what they have learned while playing.
We also need to consider that we have the Senior Center, elderly housing and other housing in close proximity to the current library. Moving the library to K2 would mean driving instead of walking for many.
I believe, after having done some research, that we should look beyond brick and mortar as we plan for the future. Technology provides us with the opportunity to meet future needs in less space. What is our long-range plan at the library for future generations, most of whom are use laptops, cell phones and the Internet to do research, read and work?
I would like to see the King County Library System and Vash-on Park District work out a plan that can accommodate the long-term needs of our community. Please keep the library in the present location for easy access for everyone.
— Ray Aspiri
Library would fit well at K2
I wish to share something I observed in Germany, a community-involved center that seemed to draw all ages and on the day I was there had good energy to it.
Located outside of a small town, it had a two-story, atrium-style central area, with a coffee house-café along one side. Around the atrium were nooks and tables where people sat, talked and visited. Along the opposite side were classroom spaces, and I noticed a sign pointing upstairs to a yoga class.
An aqua center seemed to be the central theme for the building with a large swimming pool, saunas and exercise rooms that looked like they might be part of a health club. Across the parking lot were soccer fields.
The thing that struck me was that there seemed to be all ages in the center, young and old visiting, reading and engaged with each other. They seemed to enjoy being in an indoor area where they could find activities or hang out with their friends on that cold, blustery day.
When Dick Sontgerath and Truman O’Brien shared with me their vision for K2 Commons, I remembered the community space I had seen in that Bavarian town and how it seemed to promote an all-ages gathering place, even though there was also a separate and thriving town center.
Although I have heard some good reasons for keeping the library in its present location, its proposed move could enhance its use by even more people, particularly with improved parking. To be able to browse the offerings of the library and then meet friends in a covered area where there are other activities available could become an enjoyable aspect of community life, especially in a climate where we have five to six months of cool, wet weather.
— Chuck Roehm
Thanks to all who helped
During the last four months, it has been our very great pleasure to work with the “Vashon for Schools” Committee, the people who organized and ran the effort to pass the school bond proposal.
This small group was only the tip of an iceberg of volunteer designers, writers, publicists, data analyzers, photographers, endorsers, speakers, video artists, businesses, planners, cajolers, strategists, fund managers, donors, tour guides and many others who sent e-mails, waved signs and helped with our phonathon. We appreciated all your efforts.
We thank all the Islanders who took their time to tour the high school and all the voters who supported us, despite the dismal economic times. The election did not go the way we hoped, but we are grateful for the joyful “yes” that so many delivered up.
— Nancy Kappelman, chair of Vashon for Schools, and Jean Bosch, campaign manager