Natalie Johnson

Public safety a concern as plan for paramedics moves forward

A year after Vashon’s fire board approved an overhaul of the island’s paramedic program, the changes have not yet happened and there are growing concerns that the plan might compromise public safety.


Longtime librarian turns a new page

Though some may think of librarians as stern, bookish and bespectacled, this is not the case with Jan Riley, head of the Vashon Library. Even as she is set to retire this Friday, Riley has exemplified the new model librarian, devoted to public service, adept with the latest technology for information gathering and flexible.


Under new ownership, liquor store moves down the street

Vashon’s liquor store has a new owner and has moved to the southern edge of town.


School district approves $19M budget

Vashon’s school board recently passed a no-cuts budget for the upcoming school year that includes modest teacher raises, the elimination of some fees and added funding for some school programs.

For five years, it’s been an honor to tell your stories — A final note from an editor

This issue of The Beachcomber is a bittersweet one for me — it’s my last. After five years as both a reporter and editor at the newspaper, I’m moving on.

Hot weekend makes for a fun, sweaty Strawberry Fest

Temperatures reaching into the 90s last weekend didn’t stop hordes of island residents and visitors from heading to town for the Strawberry Festival, the annual celebration that typically draws 40,000 to 50,000 people.

Ferries to go to two-boat schedule this week

Vashon's north-end ferry will go to a two-boat schedule next Monday through Wednesday, as other boats in the state's fleet undergo emergency repairs.

Tireless activist named Strawberry Festival grand marshal

Local real estate broker and community activist Emma Amiad has been selected as the grand marshal for this year’s Strawberry Festival.

Nelson announces millions more for environmental conservation

As a group gathered last week to celebrate a flurry of recent conservation purchases on Vashon, State Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island) announced that she has secured another $2 million for environmental preservation on the island.

Land trust will show farm as fundraising continues

Vashon’s land trust will give tours this weekend of a swath of property near town that it plans to purchase as its first-ever farmland preservation project.

State proposes ferry fare increases

The Washington State Transportation Commission is asking the public to weigh in on a proposal to raise ferry fares over the next year, with car fares increasing slightly more than passenger fares.

Unofficial mayor runs for reelection

Caleb Johns, the current unofficial mayor of Vashon, announced last week that he will run for reelection to the faux post.

Schools narrow options for next bond measure

Rob Kearns remembers shooting hoops at the Vashon High School gym when he was a kid. Standing in the same gym last week, Kearns, who is now 46 and a basketball coach, said he thinks it’s past time for a new one.

Concerned about fire risk, chief urges islanders not to light fireworks

In light of the dry conditions on the island, George Brown, acting chief at Vashon’s fire station, said on Monday that he is urging residents not to light fireworks this Fourth of July.

Department fined by L&I for handling of house fire

Vashon’s fire department has been fined $900 and has increased its training after the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) issued a citation earlier this year.

County oversight leads to primary mix-up

There will be no primary election for a Vashon Park District commissioner race with three candidates, King County Elections announced last week.

Water district releases shares to possible housing developer

Vashon’s largest water purveyor recently released 20 water shares, the majority of them to an island man interested in building affordable housing near town.

Moving up: A big moment for the class of 2015

Vashon High School’s class of 2015 graduated under sunny skies on Saturday at the high school stadium. The ceremony, in turns spirited, funny and solemn, featured several speeches. In an opening address, Principal Danny Rock said he has been impressed at how this year’s graduating class — 127 students in all — has handled both academic challenges as well as personal ones. “School is both preparation for life, and it is life itself,” he said.

Two meetings will focus on dock issues

Public officials will hold meetings next Monday and Tuesday to discuss and take comment on issues surrounding two public docks on Vashon.

Accident victim had turned his life around, encouraged others

Kenny Sudduth is described by those who knew him as a fun-loving man who had a genuine care for others that was perhaps fueled by his own life’s struggles.