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What happened to the third option for the Vashon library to be built anew just west of the Napa store? The branch would remain inside the town core, conveniently close to the Post Office, and offering a chance to revitalize nearby Vashon Plaza. Moving to K2 will only contribute to further sprawl and increased traffic congestion along Vashon Highway; tearing down and building a new branch at its present location would inconvenience patrons during construction and seems to be objectionable to the King County Library System.
Issuing a bond in U.S. dollars to rebuild the high school will create future hardship. But that is not the only means, as there could be a parallel process in community currency: Vashon investors put up U.S. dollars, the dollars purchase stockpiles of critical materials at present prices, and the investors get repaid in community currency. The benefits of a parallel process go beyond the obvious merit of sidestepping inflation. The extra benefit is the economy resulting by use of Vashon talent compensated with community currency for all phases of design and construction. And there is a little engine of gain hidden in the parallel process. Islanders paying the tax in community currency to investors who have with good-will invested in Vashon will repay those investors with cups filled to overflowing.
My Grandma Skov wanted to help poor people back in the ’20s when the men came to the kitchen door asking for food. One time she gave a man a dime and then watched to see what he did with it. He went into the saloon with Grandma after him, demanding to get her dime back. It wasn’t going to make him less poor, and she didn’t want her dime to be used foolishly.
As we settle into our house here in Sebastopol, Calif. — a true sister city to Vashon — today I came across a large bundle of cards. It will be two years this April since David passed, his death touching all of us in some way.
I must admit that I was highly skeptical when I first heard of the Vashon High School bond issue. Why remodel a school that looks so great as you drive past it? To learn more about the situation, my wife and I took one of the school tours being offered, and grim reality quickly set in as we saw, firsthand, the inside story of overcrowded classrooms and inadequate facilities.
I’ve noticed around the Island after the recent snows that the plows scraped many of the new reflectors off our roads. Some of them are still in good shape by the roadsides.
The downtown Vashon Library has been a great joy to so many of our citizens: The parents who bring their children to play at Ober Park; the people who go to the grocery stores, our local pharmacy, other stores and eating establishments and to the senior center; the many apartment dwellers, and others who walk to the library.
Not only do I not support the movement of the Vashon Library to the Vashon K2 facility, I do not support the agenda of the director, Bill Ptacek, the “vision” he has for the KCLS (and the Vashon branch in particular) or the manner in which he conducts his meetings. I have spoken with Mr. Ptacek on several occasions on the telephone and in these gatherings, and it is clear that he is not interested in the commentary that he invites.
In my opinion, above all else a new beginning in America requires relearning respect for public employees. Many of us, including me, lashed out at David Moseley, Washington State Department of Transportation’s assistant secretary, and other ferry representatives for what we saw as the dumb and dumber options presented for our ferry service. But in retrospect, many of us — again, including me — were wrong to do so. Whacking the messenger is equivalent to blaming the troops for the mess in Iraq. It’s the Legislature that’s to blame, darn it — those who cannot collectively muster a grand vision, those who applaud whenever Tim Eyman squeaks, those who can’t distinguish between an investment in our future and a waste of money, often using as a reason that the bureaucrats will simply squander the money — a thinly veiled excuse for being greedy, I think, or inaction by those who mean well but are afraid to believe in the future. But I rant!
In a time of financial crisis, we must re-examine how we spend our money. As a taxpayer, community member and parent of a first-grader and a fifth-grader who attend Chautauqua Elementary School, I want to express my support for the idea of a single start time for the three schools.
Before this Island burdens itself with a $75.5 million school district bond debt, there are several questions we should ask ourselves:
For two and a half years, I had the privilege of living in Sandy Shores, the neighborhood a quarter mile south of the Glacier mine site. Every day there I counted as a gift.
An article about the library in the Jan. 14 issue of The Beachcomber referred to a restriction on development at Ober Park because of surface water requirements that forced the King County Library System to look elsewhere for a new site.
The people of Vashon are known for their caring and generous ways. They pull cars out of snow drifts, assist a nurseryman to restore his storm-damaged greenhouses and look after home-bound neighbors. My neighbor cleaned up a garbage spill on her street, putting it in her garbage can — which leads to this suggestion that we all could carry a clean trash bag and rubber gloves in our car.
The process was a sham. But let us, for the sake of argument, assume that the process was as rigorous and honest as current laws require. Current laws, even if obeyed, are not enough. We need to change our ways.
We’ve only lived on Vashon for three years, but we’re already looking forward to having a new library. The present library is too small for… Continue reading
Many Islanders contacted Dow Constantine, our King County Council representative, to express concern that the library was about to be moved out of the town core.
One of the most important things we heard from people 15 years ago was that they wanted economic development and commercial land uses to be concentrated in town and not spread out as one long highway strip between Ober Park and Center (where Sound Food is located).