When it comes to the media, it's often what you don't see that is the most telling.
Granny's Attic has awarded $110,000 to island health-related organizations, but among the grants for Vashon Community Care and the newly opened Neighborcare Health clinic was $3,000 for the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness. The reason for the funds? Medical marijuana.
I grew up on a 40-acre farm in New York State where my family grew 20 different crops for fresh market. It was a love-hate relationship for me. I loved being outside and watching the plants grow from tiny seedlings to sturdy plants that produced bushels of food. Waking up to the sounds of the Johnny Popper tractor and the steel wheels of the antique potato digger churning was where the hate came in.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine reports drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014 — 18,893 of those related to prescription pain relievers.
Good health is something most people desire, whether they act on making it so or not. If we have good health, we are free to do the things in our life we enjoy. Thus, I have often said good health equals freedom. If true, it would be important to know what causes us to fall out of optimal health. Why does the body go into a state of dis-ease, producing symptoms that cause us to suffer? This is the question that I employ when caring for patients.
Schools and businesses in some states throughout the nation were closed on Monday in observance of Columbus Day, the U.S. holiday that has historically celebrated Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World on October 12, 1492. In some places such as the city of Seattle, however, the move has been made to rename the holiday Indigenous People's Day to recognize the nation's true original citizens.
We all know the saying "think globally, act locally." On Vashon, we take that to heart. People here work through Audubon, the Land Trust, the Nature Center and other groups to protect nature on Vashon.
Among the many urgent problems that compete for our attention, the political choice between more war or the courage to seek peaceful solutions to the many and complex problems of global violence begs for our attention and discernment.
Vashon Partners in Education (lovingly known as PIE), will kick off its fall fundraising campaign in October. Teachers across the school district are busy dreaming about how they can make our children's learning experience rich and exciting. And, thanks to PIE, they can dream big.
Digital safety in a rapidly changing world
Ever since the Vashon Island School District's attempt last fall to pass a bond that would fund the replacement and updating of some of Vashon High School's athletic facilities — including the track and field — islanders have been abuzz with questions about the high school's field, specifically, "What if the turf were artificial," and, "What would it mean for the safety of athletes, the water supply and potential pollution?"
Last week, during a conversation about the island's newest cougar, my son asked me: "Which is more likely, getting attacked by a shark or a cougar?" I looked it up. "Shark," I said. He smiled. In school he'd learned that, annually, more people were hurt by vending machines than sharks.
Steve Graham, Betty Capehart and Richard Paulis would have us believe we would "serve the greater good" were we to vote for Jill Stein ("Make your vote count: Choose the greater good, not the lesser evil," Sept.21). I supported Bernie Sanders, and I consider myself, like them, an activist for peace and justice. Yet, I cannot understand how it "serves the greater good" to vote for a candidate as unqualified and incompetent to perform the duties of president as Stein is, or exactly what "message" it would send, especially when the authors admit that Stein has no chance to win.
Summer ends tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 22, which means not just an end to warmer, sunny weather, but also an opportunity to look back at a busy summer on Vashon that saw many significant changes that will shape the island's future.
After a recent trip to Seattle, I sat on the ferry feeling as though I had visited the moons of Jupiter, or at least been witness to the Northwest equivalent of the bar scene in Star Wars. I didn't recognize Seattle and she didn't recognize me. My favorite city had become an alien place, one where my beloved personal landmarks were disappearing, where my old neighborhood was unrecognizable and where folks on the street and in their cars found me too slow and in the way. And for the first time while in downtown Seattle, I felt underdressed. Farm attire has no place in Pacific Place.
Once again, America's two major political parties have nominated candidates for president who will drive many progressive voters to the lesser of two evils. However, it is possible to vote for a truly progressive candidate and not risk helping Donald Trump become president.
It is once again time for the pilot hunting program at Island Center Forest (ICF) to commence and I believe it is time to rethink this. This forest is a valuable island resource used by a wide variety of enthusiasts and is closed for two weeks every year to all but hunters — most of whom come from off island.
Eight months ago, a group of passionate Vashon residents met in a south-end living room to discuss the plight of people fleeing the Syrian civil war. Those present represented a spectrum of ages, professional backgrounds and involvement with political, charitable and religious organizations, but they all had one thing in common: a deep sense of gratitude for their blessings and a desire to reach out to those who must make desperate and heart-wrenching choices because they are no longer safe in their own country.
I had no idea I'd ever need the services of Vashon's health center at Sunrise Ridge.
Well, it's official. After months of waiting and planning and worrying, Vashon's largest medical clinic will reopen under new management on Monday, Sept. 26. While this is the culmination of efforts on the parts of countless people from the island, county and state, it is not the end point. In fact, this is just the beginning for the islanders who will be the ones actually using the clinic for everything from day-to-day care to emergencies.