Happenings | Feb. 9 edition

Free tax preparation, Fruit and Mason Bees, wellness classes, 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, Social Security and pensions, unemployment, dividends/interest, capital gains, and self-employment income — but 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.

Garden Club

The Vashon-Maury Island Garden Club will hold its monthly meeting at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at the Bethel Church gym. The club will have a Garden Club business meeting followed by a guest speaker who will describe the work of the Vashon Island Growers Association (VIGA). Meetings are open to the public.

King County Cemetery District #1

The Cemetery District’s next regular board meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, in the district’s board room at 19631 SW Singer Rd.

Community Council

Come at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15 to the Vashon-Maury Council community meeting, and mingle with snacks at the Vashon-Maury Land Trust building. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in person and on Zoom.

Both Washington State Ferries and the Islanders for Ferry Action will be there. Also come meet Vashon’s new Precinct 4 Captain Eric Muller, and Precinct Major Koby Hamill. Learn more about Puget Sound Energy and its property easements. Meeting details and Zoom link at v-mcc.org/event. All are welcome.

Fruit and Mason Bees

Join Vashon Island Fruit Club (VIFC) for a hands-on workshop on winter pruning of apple and pear trees, led by a club orchard specialist, from 12- 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Dr. Bob Norton Memorial Orchard, 10088 SW 210th St., on Sunrise Ridge.

Learn essential techniques for maintaining healthy fruit trees, and maximizing fruit production. This event is suitable for both seasoned gardeners and novices. Bring pruners.

Also join VIFC for “Get Ready for Spring Pollination with Mason Bees,” a presentation by local Mason bee specialist Jerry Gehrke, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Vashon Library, 17210 Vashon Hwy SW. Gehrke will cover how to obtain, care for and propagate Mason bees to improve orchard pollination.

Both events are free for VIFC members, or $30 for 2024 VIFC dues, paid at the event.

Email questions to Lisa Loeffler at secretary@vashonislandfruitclub.org, or find out more at vashonislandfruitclub.org.

Vashon-Maury Island Garden Club will also present a workshop by bee guru Jerry Gehrke, “The Life Cycle of Mason Bees,” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the greenhouse of Dig Deep Gardens. To sign up, contact Sharon Montoya-Welsh at oysterlady@gmail.com or call 206-771-0972.

Inclusive Screening

Inclusion Island will present the beloved family film, “The Princess Bride,” from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at Vashon Theatre. This free screening, for adults with developmental disabilities and their families and friends, includes free concessions. Meet at Island Queen at 12 p.m. to hang out before the show. For more information, contact hersheyhousing@gmail.com.

DOVE Project wellness classes

On Fridays throughout February, the DOVE Project will offer free art-making sessions, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the DOVE Project office, at 17311 Vashon Hwy SW.

Each session will begin with a short meditation based on a theme meant to inform the art-making process, centered on self-care, self-love and self-expression.

On Tuesdays throughout March, the DOVE Project will offer free movement classes, in qigong, with Arlette Moody. The classes, from 7-7:50 p.m. on March 5, 12, 19 and 26, will take place at the Tree of Life Wellness Center, at 17331 Vashon Hwy SW. What is qigong? It’s like tai chi, only with shorter forms that are easy to follow, improving coordination skills, core engagement, stretch and strength, and relaxation of both the body and the mind.

Pre-registration is required for both the art and movement classes. Sign up at vashondoveproject.org/events.

Forest Stewardship Course

Owners of wooded property on Vashon can build skills for caring for their trees by taking Washington State University Extension’s Forest Stewardship Coached Planning course. The course — open to property owners of all skill levels with properties of any size — will be held on Wednesday evenings, Feb. 21 through April 17, at the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust building, 10014 SW Bank Rd.

Participants will also be able to develop personalized forest stewardship plans that will qualify their properties for recognition as stewardship forests and may help otherwise qualifying landowners enroll in conservation cost-share grant programs or property tax reductions through King County’s Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS) program.

Each participant will receive a private consultation site visit by a stewardship forester and/or wildlife biologist. The all-inclusive course fee is $175. Pre-registration by Feb. 16 is required, at forestry.wsu.edu/nps/events/cpvashon or by calling 425-738-0103. The program is open to all without discrimination. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Sarah Stewart, 425-738-0103, sarah.stewart1@wsu.edu at least two weeks before the event.

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.

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.

Brown Briefly

Accessibility here continues to improve, but challenges remain. Who best to share their insights on Vashon-Maury accessibility than Dr Steven Nourse and Steve Ice? Join Truman O’Brien, Bruce Haulman, Craig Beles and Kevin Jones at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13 on Voice of Vashon, 101.9FM, as Steve and Steve rejoin the Brieflys to bring us up to date on the state of accessibility on our islands.

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.

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.

Corrections: In previous versions of this article, an incorrect email was given to contact the organizers of an inclusive screening of “The Princess Bride.” The correct address is Hersheyhousing@gmail.com. We regret the error.