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Staffing shortages at WSF suggest bigger problems | Editorial

  • Sep 17, 2013 at 5:00PM

The state ferry systems’s inability to fully staff several sailings on a recent Saturday is a reminder that life on Vashon isn’t always bliss. And as if we needed it, the long lines and personnel disruptions stand as yet another wake-up call that our ailing state ferry system is in desperate need of a fix.

A sculptor turns rust into razzle-dazzle art

  • Sep 17, 2013 at 5:00PM

It’s easy to find sculptor David Erue’s house on Cove Road — there’s a baby elephant next to the driveway.

School bus drivers to vote on striking

  • Sep 18, 2013 at 4:36PM

Vashon school bus drivers are scheduled to vote this week on whether or not to strike as they face contract negotiations with an employer many drivers say underpays them.

Bank of America to close this week

  • Sep 18, 2013 at 4:39PM

After announcing in the spring that it would close its Vashon branch this fall, Bank of America will close this Friday.

Weekend ride brings pain and camaraderie

  • Sep 18, 2013 at 4:44PM

Even when things don’t work out the way you planned, Vashon’s Passport to Pain, the P2P, is one heck of a ride. As the big ride approached, I realized I had not trained nearly as much as the year before and was poised for a classic sophomore slump.

Restoration at Judd Creek set to create healthy habitat for salmon

  • Sep 18, 2013 at 4:00PM updated Sep 19, 2013 at 9:45AM

The possibility for robust salmon runs on Vashon was strengthened last week when King County took the lead in enhancing fish habitat in several hundred feet of Judd Creek. Along a stretch of stream in the 90-acre Paradise Valley Preserve that the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust owns, workers placed logs in the creek to create pools and protected areas for salmon. While many people — ranging from loggers to landowners — pull dead wood from streams, those logs are essential for salmon to thrive, according to Paul Adler, the project manager for King County’s Small Habitat Restoration Program, which is overseeing this project . “Woody debris is a key element,” he said. Work at the creek was made possible by a vehicle called a spyder hoe, an excavator that is designed to go where other heavy equipment cannot. Given its unusual design, it is able to walk over land, instead of roll across it, and leaves a much smaller footprint behind than other vehicles its size. Adler said he believes there are only two such vehicles in the state of Washington and that this is the first time one has been used on Vashon. Using such a nimble piece of machinery was important both in the stream and on land, those involved with the project said, as it was transporting logs that had been thinned from a stretch of overcrowded woods and carried over a distance of a few hundred yards. “We want to make sure the impacts of the project don’t outweigh the benefits,” Adler said. “It’s really about having the right tool for the job.” Adler called this work a “nuts and bolts” project, but it is part of a larger effort that Tom Dean, the executive director of the land trust, calls a “rolling restoration project” at the large swath of land near the center of Vashon. While the land trust owns the property, Dean said, King County has a conservation easement to it, meaning that it can do conservation projects there, but is not required to. It’s an agreement that works well for both parties, Dean said. Islander Greg Rabourn, Vashon’s basin steward for King County, was also involved and lined up the project after walking Judd Creek last year and seeing — in what he called the “ground truth” — just how little wood there was in the stream. Many projects are difficult, Rabourn noted, but this one, in comparison, was relatively straightforward and required a simple direct action to bring about the desired benefits. “This stream needs wood. Let’s do it,” he said, recounting his decision-making process. Also helpful, he said, is that Judd Creek is a large enough system that he can fairly easily direct money for improvements to it. Since purchasing property there over a period of several years beginning in 2004, Dean said they have spent a great deal of time and energy removing weeds and planting conifers, and in particular they are trying to establish more conifers near the stream. They are looking to the future, he said, and are planting trees now for the creek’s health years down the line. “We want conifers to grow and fall into the stream 300, 500 years from now,” he said. Indeed, there is much worth protecting there, Dean said. Judd Creek is home to the island’s most stable salmon runs and rare freshwater pearl shell mussels, and Paradise Valley has the best songbird habitat on Vashon. Future plans include tearing down old homes that are too near the creek and would not be permitted today and, hopefully, developing a loop trail in the area, which would go through an open meadow and the woods and run near the creek as well. Dean noted he is working on a grant for such a trail now, and it would give access for work crews in their ongoing restoration efforts and provide enjoyment to islanders. Recreation is really important. We think people should see it, touch it and experience it in ways that do not damage it,” he said.

Motorcycle event creates hardship for many

  • Sep 18, 2013 at 4:42PM

Although controversial, this commentary is not intended to deny anyone’s pleasures. Rather, it is to educate and create a community dialogue.

Cami Lundeen stakes out Nirvana

  • Sep 19, 2013 at 10:01AM

Singer songwriter Cami Lundeen will play an all-ages, free show at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Nirvana.

Staff will be missed after branch closes

  • Sep 19, 2013 at 9:48AM

It is with a grateful heart that I commend the employees at Bank of America for their fine and friendly service for many, many years

Organizers extend thanks

  • Sep 19, 2013 at 9:47AM

The Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts (VME) would like to thank the Vashon-Maury Island community for supporting the 31st Annual Old Bike Rally known as the Isle of Vashon TT.

A bounty of art is on the block with 'Camelot'

  • Sep 19, 2013 at 9:55AM

Attention, all comely maidens, noble squires and others enamored of Athurian legend: Vashon Allied Arts has the event for you, and it’s coming up next weekend.

New Triumph plays the Bike

  • Sep 19, 2013 at 9:57AM

A Seattle band called The New Triumph will bring a mix of funk, Latin and jazz music to a free show at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Red Bicycle Bistro.

Top-ranked Cascade Christian takes down energetic Pirate football squad

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:38PM

It was obvious to everyone waiting for the Pirate-Cougar matchup to begin that Friday night football has again become a rallying point for high-school spirit on Vashon

Laws were broken: The yearly ride is a tragedy waiting to happen

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:17PM

This is my annual letter about the Vashon Motorcycle Enthusiasts.

A poet aims to help others pen their own tales

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:31PM

On Saturday, island writers can indulge in two free events led by East Coast poet Michael Czarnecki — a memoir writing workshop at noon and a poetry reading at 7 p.m.

Take the annual event with a cup of tea and some tolerance

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:18PM

I read Mary Morse’s commentary and was sorry to hear of her experience. (“Motorcycle ride creates hardship for many,” Sept. 18)

Volunteers prepare to help navigate health care reform

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:00PM updated Oct 1, 2013 at 1:43PM

With the biggest change of federal health care reform slated to begin next week, more than 30 islanders are learning to assist Vashon residents with the new health insurance enrollment process.

Join the club, know the date — but were the organizers truthful?

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:19PM

Why doesn’t everyone who signed Mary Morse’s petition, called “Addressing the negative impact of the motorcycle day,” give her $1, and she can pool that money and join the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts for $30.

Recent herding trials prove dogs are not sheepish on Vashon

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:22PM

I don’t know about you, but the first time I saw a sign for “Sheepdog Trials” a year or so ago, my immediate thought was, okay, I get yelling “bad dog” when your dog chews up a shoe. But criminal proceedings? And what would a jury of his peers look like? But it turns out this is about sheep and the dogs that herd them. Who knew?

Art will take center stage at the Harbor School

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:44PM

Thanks to a successful spring fundraiser and private donations, the Harbor School has launched a new arts program and also will increase the size of its physical campus for the first time with the addition of a new building.

Islanders pave the way to help others get help

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:14PM

A couple on a date is stabbed and the man is killed by a mentally ill homeless person outside of a Sounders game.

Recent island burglaries make crime prevention lessons clear

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:15PM

Yes, we were burglarized. Since that fateful day of Monday, Sept. 13, Vashon will never be the same for me … for us. It is like our own mini 9/11 paradigm shift.

Passport to Pain | Many who participated appreciated island hospitality

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 5:20PM

All of us at Vashon Island Rowing Club would like to thank the many, many island motorists who smiled, waved and cheerfully made way for the over 200 cyclists who pedaled Vashon and Maury Saturday, Sept. 14, during our annual Passport to Pain (P2P) ride.

Vashon to get new ferry, new schedule

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 6:00PM

A state plan to change the north-end ferry schedule for the first time in 10 years is already raising concerns on Vashon.

Investigation completed following vote of no confidence in assistant fire chief

  • Sep 24, 2013 at 6:00PM

The board of Vashon Island Fire & Rescue met in executive session Tuesday evening to discuss the results of an investigation into union allegations against the agency’s assistant chief.

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