When it comes to the media, it's often what you don't see that is the most telling.
It is a sacred moment in life, expecting a child. Pregnant mothers and their partners spend hours rubbing the swollen belly, talking to the growing child inside and dreaming of the future. Parents who create their families through adoption ready themselves for the child who will arrive at an unexpected moment. We know our children will take us to new places and adventures.
There is a popular trend you've probably noticed over the past few years. It's a trend that confirms what many of us have intuitively known our whole lives: Spending time in nature is good for us. It's good for the brain, it's good for the body, it reduces stress, it slows us down, and it teaches us about our environment and our role within that environment.
You don't have to pay a per-page fee to get your medical records from CHI Franciscan Health. CHI states that I would have to pay 39 cents per page, after a complimentary 10 pages, to get a copy of my medical records. However, you have the right to ask for an electronic copy of your medical record, and CHI cannot charge you a per-page fee. CHI can charge you the cost of the CD or USB drive, the cost of postage for the records to be mailed and the cost of transferring the information from CHI's computer to the portable media. CHI can't include the cost of time to search for the records, just the hourly rate of the employee doing the transferring of data and the time it took that employee to transfer the information from CHI's computer to the portable media; the hourly rate must be reasonable. Alternatively, CHI can charge a flat fee that does not exceed $6.50.
As more facts about the lawsuit filed by two families against Vashon Island School District are made public, the accompanying commentary on social media seems to gain fervor and anger.
The other day I went to Island Center Forest with some friends to walk our dogs. We entered at 188th Street. I used the porta-potty, and there above the urinal, written in bold marker, was a racist comment. I pulled out my phone, took a picture and showed my friends. This started a conversation on race and what race looks like on Vashon.
I am a backyard dyer. Plant a seed; give it water, warmth and light from the sun; a little compost for food; then watch. The day the first seed-leaves (cotyledans) push up from the soil is amazing. This is where I can sense the movements plants make, the life they have. Later in the summer when the flowers are full of bees and stalks grow tall, that is another satisfaction.
Washington is one of multiple states participating in next month's Cascadia Rising exercise, a disaster drill aimed at preparing emergency response agencies from the federal government to local organizations for a large-scale earthquake and tsunami. But while the exercise will prove useful for the agencies and help improve communication among them, the exercise does not address the underlying fact that Washington is behind when it comes to earthquake policies and legislation.
Friday's announcement that Vashon's primary health care clinic will close its doors in August sent shockwaves through the island. But while the majority of the island's 11,000 residents were scrambling for answers and wondering who to blame, a quiet group of islanders, who call themselves the Vashon Maury Health Collaborative, kept their heads and vowed to work to fill the void.
Throughout the month of May, parents, professionals, politicians and others are joining together to celebrate Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal is to raise public awareness of the prevalence of maternal depression, its impact on families and communities and the importance of screening and early intervention for all postpartum women.
Every year around prom and graduation, students from hundreds of high schools throughout the country participate in dramatic crash reenactments and assemblies that address the issue of drunk and distracted driving.
It was a slow night at my usual watering hole when a sharp-eyed bartender noticed a new scar on a patron's arm. This begat a fearsome tale of its acquisition and that begat a fearsome game of how-I-got-my-scar. Whiskey Neat pulled up his shirt to reveal a doozy across his stomach. House Red hiked up a leg to show a burn on her calf (motorcycle muffler). As the various stories of pain and valor began to run out, the group looked to Draft Beer, a guy not known for keeping his mouth shut.
Vashon is fortunate to have a local history museum. The building itself is an artifact. For 109 years the iconic church building and adjacent residence have stood side-by-side, reminders of our community heritage and pride.
As a young mother of two, at times I felt like a portable dairy, but I almost always felt judged. I had my first baby in mid-Missouri — Bible Belt country — when I was too young to buy alcohol and I looked younger still. I struggled to trust my instincts as a mother because my own childhood hadn't provided good examples and the corporal punishment culture of my birthplace didn't resonate with my gut. I was 20 years old, feeling like an alien in a completely changed body and getting the stink eye everywhere I went for being a "teen mom." Needless to say, my mental health was not optimal.
With impassioned semantics to narrate dramatic events, lawsuits and legal papers have a way of wrapping people up and inciting strong emotions. These emotions cause many to jump to conclusions and assume that allegations made are a matter of fact.
Change is coming to the Vashon Park District. With a new board in place, we, the park board commissioners, are learning to work together in a collaborative, honest, respectful and productive way.
In spring I'm reminded of Theodore Roethke's poem about slugs. He calls them "a fat, five-inch appendage /Creeping slowly over the wet grass/ Eating the heart out of my garden."
The American justice system is not known for being quick, and when the already complicated Mukai property ownership issue was extended by multiple appeals, the process became even longer, testing the patience of all involved.
Today, King County Elections will mail out ballots for the Vashon Island School District's expiring Technology and Facilities Capital Projects Levy.
Just over 2 million of America's 319 million people are farmers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2012 Agriculture Census. Of those, 6 percent are under 35 years old.