Letters to the editor | Sept. 15 edition

Readers weigh in with thanks to ferry workers and first responders, and thoughts on Health Care District, concert and efforts to help teachers


Thank you to the heroes

My dad had a heart attack at the ferry terminal on Friday, Sept. 2.

He is alive and that is only because of the immediate, capable attention of Washington State Ferry (WSF) employees members Kimm Shride, Jen Hartle, Lindsey Morris and Ian Fisher. Our family wants to publicly thank them.

The physicians at Harborview made it very clear that my dad is only alive because the WSF crew responded so quickly and competently.

We also want to thank the first responders who took over his care and quickly got him to Harborview, including Josh Munger and Brad John. We also want to thank King County Sheriff’s Deputy, Nathaniel Obregon, for calmly and compassionately informing my mom, getting her to me, and helping us get on a ferry so we could get to the hospital.

We are sure to have missed naming other individuals involved. Please know their contributions, though unnamed, are still appreciated.

I’m happy to report that my dad is now back home, on Vashon.

We feel so thankful to be Islanders right now.

Erin Weisbart


Sea Mar must operate in good faith

I am so happy that Sea Mar has agreed to continue operations in our community and continue to employ the good people at the clinic.

I am so unhappy that Sea Mar executives feel the need to malign our elected hospital district and pit community members against each other because they are called upon to build a working relationship that is outside their comfort zone. As long as they continue to do this, they are not operating in good faith in this community.

Neighborcare pulled out of Vashon just as I was diagnosed with cancer. I underwent intensive and toxic treatments without the support of a clinic. I grew up on Vashon. We had a clinic that stitched people up and did after-hours consults. I advocated for a hospital district to make sure our needs were well met — to not leave it in the hands of outsiders, to commit local resources to local needs, and to make sure any operator who accepted local tax dollars was accountable to the needs of the community.I am happy to support Sea Mar operating independently and with less oversight as long as they are not accepting tax dollars, but I do not support Sea Mar undermining the people who brought them here when we were without care.

To Sea Mar: Please sort this out like professionals, adults, and community health advocates. Let your relations with our local elected hospital district be as functional as your relations with patients and care providers. You will be richly rewarded with universal support from this community.

Jane Slade

Sea Mar plans are great news

What great news that Sea Mar is planning on staying on Vashon not only to continue providing the services they already do but with plans to add dental and behavioral health. No dentist on the island takes Apple Health, forcing our low-income residents to leave the island for dental care. Sea Mar also plans to build a new clinic. All this with none of our tax dollars.

So why is Tom Langland, president of the Health Care District, quoted as saying the district is still pursuing a search for other providers to operate the clinic? Why is the district continuing with the purchase of land to build a clinic? We do not need two large health clinics on the island.

Both Tom and the last Beachcomber editorial talked about the importance of local control. The Beachcomber seemed to blame Vashon Community Care’s (VCC) closing on the fact that we no longer controlled it. We, Vashon, did own and control the health clinic and VCC, but were not able to sustain the ongoing financial pressures of both these entities.

Tom is quoted as saying, “Frankly, we know little of the day-to-day operational things required to run a clinic, while SeaMar knows a great deal.”

The 70% vote for the Hospital District was to have a health clinic remain on the island. Nowhere is that a mandate for control of an entity. I agree with Tom on the point that we should let the successful organization by Sea Mar, with a proven track record, run the clinic. And they want to do this with none of our property tax dollars!

Please Heath Care District commissioners – slow down! Don’t buy the land. Don’t look for other providers. Let Sea Mar do what they do best — providing quality health care. And none of this will be on our dime!

Hilary Emmer


A don’t-miss concert coming up

Music is back, and Vashon Center for the Arts has had an unusual lucky knack of bringing a great eclectic, talented group of local and national performers to the island.

VCA has now gone international by bringing, to Little Old Vashon, the Aberdeenshire folksinger, Iona Fyfe, on Sept. 30. She has become one of Scotland’s finest young folk singers, rooted in the musical traditions of Northeast Scotland. Her voice is as sweet, mellow, and pure as any $500 Scotch produced.She was the first ever singer to win the coveted title of Musician of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2021, Iona has been described as “one of the best Scotland has to offer.”

I agree with this wholeheartedly. Do not miss this performance.

Steve Nourse


Thank you to the community

Thank you so very much for contributing to Partners in Education (PIE )last school year, helping our students who need a bit of extra support.

Last year we purchased four weighted log rolls, which help students calm their bodies and brains. This is needed for students to perform to their best potential whether accessing teacher instruction, participating in testing, or helping them be calm in order to demonstrate more pro-social behaviors.

This tool is a realistic-looking log, which is quite soft, and squishy for nice hugs. It is weighted, so can sit on their laps, providing deep touch pressure, or be hugged by the student for extra input to their torso. They also come with a removable cover that can be washed. So nice!

These were distributed to our Chautauqua Elementary School (CES) psychologist, counselor, behavior support staff and teachers, who reported that they were well used and provided positive outcomes. Our students continue to benefit from your generosity.

Nan Van Putten, School Occupational Therapist