Letters to the editor

Party caucuses

We saw history in the making

On Saturday, I was a participant in an amazing (and historic) event, the Democratic Party caucuses.

It was absolutely amazing to see so many of my neighbors I didn’t know I had, neighbors who emerged from anonymous driveways. They were young, old and in-between. They were articulate and direct in discussing their preferred candidate. And some came to be persuaded, and were.

Why can’t we have this type of community meeting more often? We could be a real driving force for change with closer-to-home issues like energy use, water use, ferry use, parking issues, our environment, our schools. Neighbors talking to neighbors. At the very least, we should have an e-mail bulletin board or chat list, and it should involve our non-Democratic Party neighbors as well.

This event was a direct result of the enthusiasm that Obama has brought to the campaign (and likely also the desire to get rid of George Bush).

On that day, McMurray students were participating in History Day in their library, while in the gym and other rooms, history was being made in the caucuses.

Ron Irvine,

Chautauqua precinct chairman

Parking woes kept some away

Through a combination of general ineptitude and poor planning, the Democratic Party in Washington and the party leaders on Vashon Island disenfranchised me on caucus day.

For the first time in living memory, Washington was set to play a role in the selection process of a presidential candidate. The principal candidates from both parties hit the state two days before caucus day and tried to work voters into a frenzy of support.

Both Democratic candidates emphasized the necessity for Democrats to participate in a caucus on Saturday, since the state party had already announced that votes cast in the primary election a week later would be irrelevant.

I decided to heed this advice and attend the caucus at McMurray Middle School. When I drove down Cemetery Road at about 1:05, I found cars parked to the west all the way from the school to Vashon Highway and another block or two beyond that. And cars were parked east of the school as far as the eye could see. Although I’m not physically disabled, I am old enough so I cannot easily hoof it three-quarters of a mile or more to attend a meeting. Judging from the lack of planning for parking, I hate to think what crowd control might have been in that gym.

I circled the grounds and headed home.

With all the hoopla of the past few weeks about the importance of these caucuses, I find it incredible that the party organizers on Vashon Island did not have the foresight to set up caucus meetings at three or four separate locations — perhaps one in the north end, one in the middle of the Island, one on the south end of Vashon and one on Maury Island.

Will Rogers is credited with saying, “I’m a member of no organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” The Democratic Party leaders on Vashon have raised this insight to a new level.

Harry Reinert

K2 Commons

If it’s toxic, who will clean it up?

Yesterday, as I was sitting in our lounge where I live, the conversation became lively as we were discussing the plan for the K2 Commons. One said, “I wouldn’t use that building. It must be contaminated from the chemicals used and the fiberglass dust that was floating about in the air.” Another spoke about how, within a short time, she had pneumonia twice and her doctor told her that she would be signing her own death warrant if she went back to work at K2. Another agreed with her and told of working in the sanding room where she sanded the fiberglass skis with the dust going everywhere and when the ceiling vent became too full of particulates it would catch on fire. She said she would come home from work putting her clothes first into the dryer to remove the blackened particulates from her clothes and then washing them separately, not wishing to expose her children to any contaminants.

They both spoke of noxious chemicals and how the fumes would drift throughout most of the building as there was only one door that was closed leading into the press room, all other rooms were open.

Hillary Emmer stated in the Jan. 30 issue of The Beachcomber, “Please don’t label the people who ask questions. Let’s continue to ask the questions and have the debate.” My question is, do we have a toxic site in the K2 building? If so, who is going to pay for the cleanup?

Mary Beth MacCauley

After 25 years

Moving away, saying goodbye

I haven’t quite moved off-Island (see the article about Mukai Farm in last week’s Beachcomber). I’m trying to make it 25 years to the day, which it will be on Feb. 25! I arrived a newlywed. My twins were born while we lived in the “Yacht Club House.” I now make my forced exit, a displaced homemaker. So long, my cherished friends, trees, cats, stray dogs, coffee stand, vocal minority, silence broken by the main fire station exhaust fan, beach rocks, secret paths, committee toils and networks, historic riches, most beautiful city bus ride in the world (the 118/119) and The Beachcomber — where I worked when we still used heated wax and hand-developed negatives, even for the whole page!

Nancy Silver

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