Rhodie pulled from route

The 60-car Rhododendron has been pulled off the Tahlequah-Point Defiance route and replaced with the 34-car Hiyu because of problems on another route.

The change will likely last about two weeks, Washington State Ferries announced. Because of Hiyu’s smaller size, WSF has added a 12:50 p.m. weekday sailing from Point Defiance and a 1:15 p.m. weekday sailing from Tahlequah.

Wallrof named Grand Marshal

Paul “Big Wally” Wallrof, who is running for unofficial mayor of Vashon, has just been named this year’s Strawberry Festival Grand Marshal.

He said it’s something that’s never before been done — a mayoral candidate being named grand marshal — but that he’s pleased as punch to have the honor. “I hope I can stay humble,” he said.

His work on the Island includes coaching Vashon Pirates Youth Football — the nonprofit for which he is campaigning as mayor — as well as volunteering for St. Vincent de Paul, fundraising for St. John Vianney Catholic Church and volunteering for the homeless.

Dan Milbrath, one of Wallrof’s Pirate players, has volunteered to sell Big Wally lemonade at Saturday Farmers Market.

Wallrof said he’d be on hand as well, and for $5, Islanders can “fresh squeeze” him.

Public lands

candidate visits

From 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Peter Goldmark, candidate for Washington state commissioner of public lands, will be at the Land Trust Building on Bank Road.

Goldmark, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Doug Sutherland. The commissioner of public lands manages the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and more than 5 million acres of state-owned lands, including forests, agricultural lands and submerged aquatic lands.

The position has particular relevance to Vashon because Glacier Northwest will need to obtain a lease signed by the lands commissioner to build its dock, which will extend over aquatic lands owned by the state.

Support pours in for service dog

A fundraising drive to help James McCrackyn, a 7-year-old autistic boy, get a service dog has brought in $12,700 in less than a week, the family reported. The family needs $13,500 to receive the highly trained dog.

Raven Pyle-McCrackyn, James’ mother, said the outpouring of support has been remarkable: Churches took up collections; kids emptied their piggybanks; people from as far away as Wyoming have contributed.

“I just feel so incredibly supported by this Island,” she said.

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