The April 11 story “Tours at lighthouse depend on changes” felt like it was missing a little humanity and a compelling dependent clause: “Following fatal accident.” Because I missed your August article that called out the death of a woman who fell during a “guided” lighthouse tour (yet nobody witnessed her fall), this April follow-up story was the first I learned about this. The introduction of the story cites an accident, but it’s not until the fifth paragraph the reader learns there was actually a death involved.
To read the headline alone, one would get the impression this was a facilities improvement story. The rest of the story focuses on what the cost of improvements would mean to the Vashon Park District, anecdotes of beloved tours and how anxious stakeholders are to reactivate the tours. I can’t help but wonder if this tragedy was downplayed because there is a VPD levy increase vote on the table right now.
Please, try to think if this was your departed family member. I think The Beachcomber missed an opportunity to shed more light on the “why” early in the story. It wasn’t any slip-and-fall accident; it cost a life.
— Heidi Skrzypek