Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: July 1

Vashon airport

Bringing more facts to light

Beachcomber editor Leslie Brown did a good job of documenting the controversy at the Vashon Airport, but as a good reporter she could only report what is told when interviewing the parties involved. There are several statements made by the people interviewed that avoid the facts and need to be pointed out:

George Kirkish is quoted as saying that looking in everyone’s hangars to ensure their use for aviation purposes is “Gestapo-like” and a violation of his Constitutional rights.

Kirkish ignores the fact that a lease agreement has been in place since 1963 that he and all Vashon Air Service members have signed. Paragraph 3.2 of the lease agreement stipulates that the lot be used only for the purpose of maintaining and storing aircraft, and paragraph 4.3 says the lessee shall allow lessor and lessor’s agent free access to said premises at all reasonable times.

Ron Mitchell is quoted as saying that the “commission misused Bob’s trusting personality and threw him under the bus.”

I strongly object to Mitchell’s absurd contention that the commissioners of King County Airport District #1 have cynically thrown me “under the bus” to further some sort of dictatorial plot involving the airport. The only thing being thrown in connection with this controversy is baloney, and it is being thrown by Mitchell. The truth is that as president of Vashon Air Service, the airport users’ organization, I fully support the commission’s attempts to protect and improve Vashon Municipal Airport and preserve it as the important public asset that it is.

Finally, contrary to Laura Leonard’s wish that the airport operate like a flying club, I must point out that all us flyers are tenants of the community’s airport, and like the highway system, the rules of use apply whether you are conducting commerce or flying for pleasure.

I think it would be a pity if the community were to lose our incumbent commissioners because of this controversy. They are by far the most conscientious that I’ve seen since Vashon Air Service was formed in 1963.

— Robert Therkelsen,

president, Vashon Air Service

Vashon parks

They’re no place for off-roading

The sounds of motors and motorcycles are not unusual on Vashon, unless you live off the roads in the woods. During the last few weeks, however, the Vashon Park District has heard from neighbors of Paradise Ridge, Agren Park, Burton Adventure Recreation Center and Fisher Pond that they’re hearing the roar of all-terrain vehicles in these parks. 

VPD staff and commissioners want to make it clear to all that motorized vehicles are not permitted in our parks, either on the trails or in undesignated areas. It is, in fact, illegal, and we have notified the King County sheriff of these events. This rule is aimed at protecting the safety of pedestrians, their dogs and equestrians with their horses, as they use the parks. It also protects the flora and fauna living in our parks, as well as the ATV riders themselves. 

We’re writing now because, in the last few weeks, the complaints about ATVs in the parks have been on the rise. It’s simply not safe to ride motorized vehicles on trails also occupied by pedestrians and equestrians. 

So, the park district asks that riders of all-terrain vehicles keep their activities on pavement and work with the community to prevent accidents when motors and non-motors collide, and to keep the natural habitats we share with other creatures as safe as possible. Thank you, Vashon, for your cooperation.

— Susan McCabe,

Vashon Park District

A bequest

Environmental concern lives on

Enid Dolstad was a remarkable woman, and her dedication to environmental concerns has been perpetuated by her bequest to Preserve Our Islands — her 1965 Plymouth Valiant.

An Island car, possibly in some years a collector’s car! I will avail myself of this opportunity not only to honor her memory, but also to buy a fistful of raffle tickets in hopes of having some Vashon history to park in my driveway.

Way to go, Enid! Bravo! Thank you.

— Evonne Wise

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