Please let me compliment Elizabeth Shepherd for the excellent piece of investigative reporting regarding the finances and construction of the Vashon Center for the Arts.
Regardless of one’s feelings about the situation, today, when reportage is undergoing denigration and, in my view, has never been more important, I am proud and relieved that fine journalism is pursued on Vashon Island.
In my time as a reader, writer and advisor for The Beachcomber, I have seen discussion, debate and discourse regarding the parks department, the school district, the fire district, back to parks, back to schools, health care, helicopter pads and while writing this I am steeling myself for the annual outrage about those fun-loving hydroplanes.
I figure we well earn the right to speak up when our property taxes are financing football fields and fire engines. In the case of the construction of VAA/VCA, I understand private donations did much of the heavy lifting. In either case, it seems reasonable for folks to be curious about how their money is spent and to have a point of view. The wealth of personal opinions is something that makes Vashon both interesting and appealing.
Which brings me to my current conclusion: may we all take just a moment to be grateful to the Vashon others? Non-behemoths and non-public supported districts and departments. Those family run businesses that run on sweat equity, passion, and determination, not tax levies or charity. Coffee shops and the copy center. Galleries and gas stations. The movie theater, fitness studios, bike shops, books shops, plumbers, and landscapers. It’s my experience that you will get something more than you pay for by supporting them. Good feelings. They are appreciative for your hard earned dollars, and you will likely feel your money is well spent as you drink your tea and write your letter to the editor.
— Margaret Heffelfinger