Happenings | Feb. 1 edition

Free tax preparation, Levy forum, Poetry Open Mic, Expand your consciousness, and more.

Free tax preparation

Volunteers from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) will offer free tax preparation on Thursdays at the Vashon Lutheran Church again this year, beginning on Feb. 8. The free tax preparation services are available to anyone, regardless of age. However, AARP-prepared returns are limited to non-complex returns. Acceptable returns can include wages (W-2), Social Security and pensions (1099R), unemployment (1099G), dividends/interest (1099INT/DIV), capital gains (1099B), and self-employment (1099NEC) income — no inventory or depreciation. Sorry, no rental income.

Email VashonAARP@gmail.com to provide your phone number and a range of times/dates when volunteers can call you to set up an appointment.

February Fix-a-Cat

For decades, Vashon Island Pet Protectors has sponsored Fix-A-Cat, a low or no-cost spay/neuter program to diminish the number of unwanted cats on the island. In the past, VIPP has partnered with vet clinics on the island, but due to the closing of one clinic and staffing shortages in the other, VIPP is doing something different this year.

This February, VIPP will offer free spay or neuter for your cats and transportation and microchip (if requested) at Northwest Spay/Neuter Clinic in Tacoma. Slots will fill fast, so sign up at Fixacat@vipp.org, or send an email to cats@vipp.org.

Levy forum

Vashon Island School District (VISD) invites islanders to participate in its upcoming Safety, Security, and Technology Improvement Levy (Prop. No. 1) community forum. February election ballots with Prop. No. 1 have arrived in mailboxes and this event aims to provide valuable information about the identified projects, tax impacts, and address any questions islanders may have. The election date is Feb. 13.

The community forum will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in the district’s board room at Chautauqua Elementary School, and will also be live-streamed and available for future viewing here.

Poetry Open Mic

Vashon’s next poetry open mic, hosted by Vashon’s poet laureate, Margaret Rancone, will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Coop, at 15245 115th Ave. SW. Sign up at 5:45 p.m.

NAMI Support Group

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Friends and Family Support Group will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in person at the Vashon Presbyterian Church, at 17708 Vashon Highway SW, and via this Zoom link.

This support group meets monthly and is intended to be of help to our friends and neighbors who have a loved one in their life with a mental health condition. For further information, contact 425/221-1142 or pastorleigh@comcast.net.

Adults Only

Granny’s Attic’s annual “After Dark” sale, featuring donated items for adults only, will take place from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at the thrift shop. For ages 18 and older only.

Expand your consciousness

Join fellow Vashonites at the Vashon OM Center (Oneness Meditation), who gather from 5-6 p.m. every Monday, at the Vashon United Methodist Church’s sanctuary, 17928 Vashon Hwy SW, to chant, meditate, practice Oneness Yoga, and share. The event is by optional donation.

Grief Ritual

Vashon’s monthly “first Sunday” Grief Ritual will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at Tree of Life Wellness Center, 17331 Vashon Hwy SW. Express your grief, out loud or in silence, for loved ones, pets, lost relationships, the climate, war, or any other cause. The event is by donation and hosted by Susan Pitiger, Brad Davis and Colleen Carrette.

Lacrosse season

Save the date for Vashon Lacrosse Club’s annual kickoff event and general meeting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at McMurray Middle School’s gym. Registration is also now open for boys and girls ages 7-18. No lacrosse experience is necessary. Sign up at vashonlacrosse.net or send questions to info@vashonlacrosse.net.

Post Office Jobs

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will hold a hiring fair from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Vashon Library’s meeting room, at 17210 Vashon Hwy. SW. The job fair is open to anyone, age 18+. Employees will be available at the in-person event to help attendees with benefits, qualifications, and application questions. Laptops will be available on the day of the event for immediate application submission.

Starting pay varies depending on the job. But starting pay for carriers ranges between $19 and $20 per hour paid bi-weekly. Applications are accepted online at sups.com/careers.

Brown Briefly

Vashon-Maury Island is among the leading communities in the nation when it comes to home solar installations, but we only have one community solar installation. Why is that, and who is seeking to change the stats? Join Truman O’Brien, Bruce Haulman, Craig Beles and Kevin Jones at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, on Voice of Vashon, 101.9FM, to hear David Vogel and Don Wolczko talk about current solar installations and some “in the works” community solar aspirations.

Film screening and discussion

Join VARSA, a nonprofit aimed at reducing youth substance use, for a free community screening of “Screenagers: Under the Influence,” from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Vashon Theatre. The film provides a look at the impact of alcohol, marijuana, vaping, and other substances on adolescent health today, and how teens’ decision-making is influenced by online and digital media. This is not an alarmist “phones are bad” film, according to organizers, but rather, filled with accurate and up-to-date information that comes from authoritative sources. A panel discussion will follow the film screening.

For more information about VARSA and this event, connect to VARSAconnect on Facebook and Instagram.

Baseball and Softball

Vashon Youth Baseball and Softball (VYBS) will sponsor throwing clinics at the Vashon High School gym from 12-2 p.m. on Feb 11 and 25 — a great way for kids to get ready for the 2024 season. VYBS, a member of Pony Baseball and Softball, has been serving island youth for years. Visit vashonbaseballandsoftball.com for more information.

Water District 19

Water District 19’s next regular board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the district’s board room at 17630 100th Ave SW.

Community Scholarships

Our Community Credit Union has announced that ten $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to graduating 2024 high school seniors who attend school in Mason, Grays Harbor, Thurston Counties, and on Vashon Island. Eligible individuals must be a member of the credit union. Applications and guidelines for the scholarship program are available at www.ourcu.com/scholarship-program. Applications will be accepted through April 30. Winners will be announced in May. Questions can be directed to Amber Trail at 360-427-3405 / 1-800-426-5657 or emailed to atrail@ourcu.com.