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Is it time to build a new Vashon High?

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:17PM

When Keith Putnam designed what is now the main building at Vashon High School some 35 years ago, he included in one of his mock-ups covered walkways connecting the school’s scattered buildings. “And the school board said, ‘Why should we have covered walks? Let them walk in the rain; it’s good for them,’” he recalled. Now, that architectural feature — a hodge-podge of buildings that makes the campus both wide open and, in the winter months, a source of colds and discomfort — is seen as one of its greatest liabilities. Educators say that kids sit in classrooms wet and cold in the winter months, and attendance falls. They say the fact the campus is “porous,” as some have put it, makes it far less secure in this post-Columbine era, where student safety has become paramount. They also say an ill-fated educational concept of the ’70s, when Putnam designed Building A, has resulted in a building that today is cramped and unworkable. When Putnam came up with the design — three large octagons connected to a central area — open classrooms were vogue; no walls separated the classrooms, and the building, though not quite big enough even then, could accommodate all the students, he said. But the open classroom concept did not last long; walls were soon built to give teachers the noise barriers they needed to teach effectively. And today, Building A — the main classroom building at the sprawling campus — is crowded, dark and difficult, teachers and administrators say. Earlier this month, the school board agreed to offer up to Islanders a couple of different architectural scenarios for a potential bond levy next February. One of them — the option preferred by many teachers and administrators — includes a new 40,000-square-foot structure that would replace Building A as the main classroom facility: a square, two-story building that would have big windows, adequate classroom space and only a couple of entrances.

Chautauqua music teacher prepares for retirement

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:19PM

The line of second-graders slithered its way out of Carolyn Candy’s classroom door one recent afternoon, dancing the snake dance conga-style. For the past several years, there’s been room to groove in room 115 — a classroom that boasts xylophones and drums rather than chairs and desks. That’s one of the reasons Candy — who’s retiring this year after six years as Chautauqua Elementary School’s music teacher and 27 years as a teacher there — is hailed by many as innovative, creative and gifted.

Vashon contractor blows whistle on Parks' Baldwin House work

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:26PM

The Vashon Park District failed to get a grading and clearing permit prior to some of its extensive work upgrading the historic Belle Baldwin House at Fern Cove, according to King County officials. Wendy Braicks, the park district’s executive director, said the lack of a permit was an oversight that the staff quickly addressed. Though called a grading and clearing permit, she noted, the park district’s work on the landscaping around the home has mostly focused on clearing invasive plants from the property.

Three Vashon High School seniors recognized with athletic awards

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00AM updated at 10:54AM

Three Vashon High School students, less than a week from graduation, were honored with awards for their outstanding athletic achievement in the last four years.

Burby Fun Run supports Vashon High students, athletes

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:29PM

The Bill Burby Inspirational Fun Run and Walk is a family affair. Burby was a beloved coach, teacher and mentor at Vashon High School who died suddenly of cardiac arrest in 1989. His legacy lives on in this community event. Proceeds from the event support Vashon High School (VHS) varsity athletics and the Vashon Community Scholarship Fund.

Vashon High track team honored | Vashon-Maury Sports Briefs

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:34PM

A quick look at what's going on in sports on Vashon and Maury islands.

School board to decide open/closed Vashon campus June 26 | Community Briefs

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:37PM

School board to meet tomorrow

Researcher to discuss world conflict June 27 | Vashon-Maury Meetings

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:38PM

Yaani Drucker has spent 25 years researching the underlying cause of conflict and injustice in the world and would like to share her findings and engage Islanders in a meaningful discussion on the problem and the solution in a weekend intensive called “Planetary Enlightenment and You.”

Historic steamboat Virginia V visits Vashon Aug. 17

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jul 28, 2010 at 10:40AM

Steamboats played an important role in Vashon and Maury islands’ history and development, and this summer brings opportunities to learn about this history firsthand. The steamer “Virginia V,” a national historic landmark constructed in 1922, will visit the Island on Aug. 17. The boat will pick up passengers at the northend ferry dock and cruise around the Island past waterfront landings where Islanders once waited for the daily boats that took them to Seattle or Tacoma.

Vashon-Maury Clubs & Organizations

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:41PM

A listing of various clubs and organizations on Vashon and Maury islands.

Vashon Susans get together | Photo

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:44PM


  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00AM updated at 10:57AM

Vashon Fire board to meet July 1 | Notes

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:54PM

The Vashon Island Fire & Rescue board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, in the Penny Farcy Memorial Training Center.

Drivers needed for Vashon Senior Services

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 12:57PM

Senior Services’ transportation program provides an essential service to local seniors by arranging transportation to medical appointments. The programs is in need of more volunteer drivers. Every week the program turns away 10 or 20 seniors who call, due to the shortage of drivers.

Vashon High School achievement awards recognize high performers

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00AM updated at 10:57AM

Tall ships to return to Vashon’s quiet waters

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00AM updated at 10:57AM

More than a dozen tall ships, with masts up to 115 feet tall, will spend the night in outer Quartermaster Harbor before setting sail southward in a Parade of Sails at 8 a.m. on July 3.

Vashon's Café Luna to screen 1984 version of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 1:14PM

Directed by British filmmaker Michael Radford, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” — the second film adaptation of the famous George Orwell novel — is set during April 1984 in post-atomic war London, the capital city of the repressive totalitarian state of Oceania, ruled over by dictator Big Brother. Oceania is permanently at war, though the opponent changes from Eurasia to Eastasia and back again. Tele-screens watch your every move and pump out propaganda 24 hours a day.

Grammy-winning blues guitarist John Hammond to play Vashon Theatre

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 1:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 1:15PM

John Hammond, a Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist and a long-time icon of the music industry, will play at a special benefit concert at the Vashon Theatre at 7:30 Thursday, July 31.

Singer Ian Moore to bring band to Vashon for first time

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 1:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 1:17PM

Ian Moore and his Lossy Coils come to the Red Bicycle at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 28, for a performance that marks the first time the renowned singer has brought his full band to the Island.

Vashon author North to read from new novel June 27

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 1:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 1:18PM

Vashon Island author Will North will read from and sign his book “The Long Walk Home,” recently issued in paperback, and share excerpts from his new novel to be released next spring, “Water, Stone, Heart,” at Books by the Way.

Plenty to do at Vashon Allied Arts for kids 3 and up

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 1:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 1:19PM

Kids ages 3 and up can find plenty to do this summer, thanks to an array of camps provided by Vashon Allied Arts (VAA).

Eric Horsting stepping down after run as arts editor, sports editor, reporter...

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 2:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 1:25PM

Last August, after a brief vacation, I returned to The Beachcomber with a gift for Eric Horsting, who had steered the ship in my absence. It was a smooth, pale-gray rock with a poem on it, and it seemed the perfect token for this man who loves poetry and is rock solid and dependable.

Abundant Vashon deer could be profitable if domesticated

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 1:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 1:27PM

The pea sprouts are about 10 inches high now. Noticing this, I decided I’d better patrol the perimeter of the deer fence that was erected after one summer when we got home to find the deer had eaten every single pea plant down to the nub.

Summer can be mischevious, dangerous time for Vashon kids

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 1:00PM updated Jun 26, 2008 at 1:28PM

Kids are rejoicing. Parents who work outside of the home are scrambling to piece it all together. And a new energy has already, it seems, come to the Island.

Fern Cove’s cobbles make for hard walking, but it’s well worth it

  • Jun 25, 2008 at 12:00AM updated at 11:02AM

Mud then cobbles and more cobbles, the hike from Fern Cove south to Cove on Colvos Passage tours Vashon’s best beach forms. The first wonder is Fern Cove’s delta, then Peter Point’s salt marsh and finally the big rock before Cove.

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