Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Dec. 23

Dancing

Where’s the evidence?

I would greatly appreciate it if Jack Stewart would share with us the “empirical” evidence he references to support his contention that “grinding” will lead to society’s downfall, or at least high school graduates who are not “ladies and gentlemen” (Beachcomber, Dec. 16, “Island benefits when the generations converse”).

My own empirical evidence is my senior daughters and their friends have been “grinding” at dances since middle school, and yet have somehow managed to become impressive “ladies and gentlemen.” Then, let’s share all this data with the high school students and the parents and give them a voice in the decision.

— Scott J. Engelhard

In the news

Columnists got it right

Kudos, Will North! The Island Lumber sign makes me sick. It’s so wrong for Vashon. I’m sure they know this, yet they still did it. That says a lot.  

Yeah, Jack Stewart! Grinding doesn’t do our procreation-able young people justice. The media doesn’t offer many options — that’s why we need elders offering wisdom from experience.

Looking for a teen-friendly (although I love them myself) example of healthy and respectful intimacy? The Twilight books (not movies) do a great job! I bet most young women would prefer Edward Cullen’s passionate high regard and self-restraint to sloppy attempts at groping.

Publicly funded schools, however, need to stick to middle-ground limits that align with modern concepts of sexual harassment, health realities of stupid sex and statutory rape laws.  

Somehow, drugs and alcohol get brought into the dancing conversation. As if concern over stupid sex is less valid than concerns over drug and alcohol use. 

These three cross over a lot. They can all kill you. There’s no shame in focusing on dancing. After all, many music videos/songs that promote promiscuity also encourage drinking, drugs and more.

Dog attacks! I completely agree with the many folks on our Island who think we need to get serious about prosecuting dog owners that put us at risk, period. Love your dog, but protect your neighbor and your neighbor’s animals.  I think we need a zero tolerance attitude on the Island with legal prosecution every time.

Finally, many thanks to the Petersons and Luke Lukoskie — I loved those hockey skates! Fisher Pond was a joy — another reason to live here for a long, long time.

— March Twisdale

Community council

They give a great deal to the Island

After reading the article by Leslie Brown in the Dec. 9 issue (“Vashon College to charge fee for use of Courthouse Square”), I felt embarrassed that I have never acknowledged the work that Jean Bosch and the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council have done and continue to do on behalf of the citizens of Vashon-Maury.

As they are volunteers, I understand the commitment they make to spend their evenings reading information that helps in the understanding of complex issues, attempting to meet the needs of a diverse (and wonderful) community and sitting in long meetings taking in even more information as they fulfill their mission to act as a liaison between residents of our Island and the county.

I commend Ms. Bosch’s leadership in this regard and the council for its willingness to take on issues for those of us who live here. They are on my personal list of Good Samaritans.

Do I breathe a huge sigh of relief every time I don’t have to tromp downtown to a meeting? Yes! It is impossible to thank the people who do these things for us enough. I suppose a good bottle of wine is in order or some flowers or some firewood. Wait, I’ve got it; a thank you note!

What more appropriate way to thank those who are truly working for our community and allow others to focus on the groups we volunteer for because they have stepped up and taken on what is sadly an often thankless job.

I encourage the citizens of Vashon-Maury to join me in applauding the work of this body and for allowing us the luxury of going about our lives, spending our time doing what we want to do while they donate their time to us at no cost.

Bravo!

— Donna McDermott

Youth on the Island

I’m proud of Vashon, my hometown

Since I graduated from Vashon High School in 2004, I realize there’s something that makes me part of a very fortunate minority of college students: I love where I grew up.

Simple enough, but out of hundreds of people I’ve met from all over, only a few truly loved their hometowns. Now, in my senior year at The Conservatory of Film at Purchase College in New York, my only disappointment has been my inevitable distance from Vashon, the community that supports the aspirations of its people, revels in their achievements and has been watching my films at Vashon Theatre since I was 16. Joining Andrew Franks in showing our latest films this past July has inspired me to involve Vashon with my senior thesis film, the culmination of my four years at Purchase.

Titled Sabina, it is the story of a couple whose newborn child is tragically smothered to death by their cat. In the 48 hours following the accident, their lives become consumed with the impossible decision of choosing the fate of their pet. By assembling a cast and crew of professionals (all of whom are volunteering their time) from all over the New York City area, I hope to bridge the gap between student film and independent.

My pursuit of the arts began with Vashon, and I want to keep the community involved with what I’m doing. I invite Islanders to follow the production via its Web site and blog. The official site is sabinafilm.com and is being designed by fellow VHS graduates Gennaro Avolio-Toly and Julian Birchman.

I also encourage you to follow our blog: sabinafilm.blogspot.com or contact me directly at alex@drawingboardfilms.com. My hope is that my community will follow the progress of the film and then share their questions and ideas at the 2010 Vashon showing of Sabina.

— Alexander Atkins

Vashon history

Digital archive is an impressive contribution

Wow. I am so proud of and grateful for the impressive contribution to Vashon history made by Laurie Tucker and Rayna Holtz.

Both women are longtime employees at the Vashon Library, where their dedication and tirelessness are well known to all of us.

Thank you, Laurie and Rayna.  You really do us proud.

I’m also proud of Emily Gripp and Max Westerman. They’re headed to Washington D.C. to attend a conference on tolerance and understanding.

I hope they have contacted the Washington State Holocaust Education and Resource Center in Seattle (www.wsherc.org). They’re a gold mine of information and support.

— Morgan Ahern

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