News Briefs | July 4 edition

Burn ban, Strawberry parking, new water taxi hours, and more

Prepare for busy ferry traffic

Washington State Ferries (WSF) is warning travelers to prepare for busy and crowded ferry traffic the rest of this week and Independence Day weekend.

WSF expects roughly 700,000 people to ride the ferries from June 28 through July 7.

Consider leaving early to arrive at ferry terminals, planning trips ahead and using services like the WSDOT mobile app to keep an eye on sailings.

Stage 1 Burn Ban

Vashon so far has enjoyed a cool, cloudy “Juneuary” of summer weather, but with dry and hot conditions forecast for the coming weeks, King County Fire Marshal Eric Urban has issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for unincorporated King County, including the island.

The burn ban took effect on June 29. It prohibits the use of fires to burn yard debris or clear land. Recreational fires and use of gas/propane appliances—including grills, pellet smokers and charcoal grills—are still permitted.

Stupid Bike Night fundraisers

Vashon’s merry band of pedal-powered visionaries needs community support, and has launched a GofundMe campaign to keep a treasured tradition — Stupid Bike Night — alive and well on Vashon.

The campaign, at, details the costs of the event for the next three years. Another chance to support Stupid Bike Night will be “Barn Burner,” a micro-music festival to take place from 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Dig Deep Gardens. The fest will feature performances by The Duration, Twig Flicker and Croaker.

“We want to build a sustainable event for our community that fuels impractical creativity, sparks childlike joy, and uses bicyles as a means of expressions,” said Emily Burns, who is helping organize the fundraising campaign.

Local student recognized

Zach Van Dusen was named to the winter 2024 Dean’s List at Bates College, which requires maintaining a 3.92 grade point average or higher.

Strawberry Festival parking

Vashon Presbyterian Church is offering limited parking and front lawn chairs for the Strawberry Festival parade on Saturday, July 20. Parking and chairs are by reservation only. There is no fee, but donations will be accepted and forwarded to the Journeymen Institute on Vashon.

Reservations may be made by sending an e-mail to Bob Spangler at; please indicate how many parking spots and seats are requested. If a wheelchair place is required, please note that.

Vote for Vashon’s unofficial mayor

The candidates are set for the Vashon-Maury Chamber of Commerce’s “Unofficial Mayor” election. Island nonprofits nominate people — or pets, places, even fictional characters — each year, and islanders vote by donating to the nonprofits whose candidates they want to win.

This year, the candidates include just one human: Marjorie Watkins for the Vashon Senior Center. There are four dogs: Andy the service dog for the Vashon Food Bank; Buddy Butterbean Bukowski for Vashon Youth and Family Services, Fiona for VARSA and Nisqually for Vashon Rotary. Also competing are the Uncle Wigglebottom’s Cabin for Camp Sealth and Edgar the Forest King for Oscar the Bird King.

Land Trust

Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust seeks volunteers to join the organization’s farmers, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays, to work at Matsuda Farm. Join the Land Trust’s stewardship crew for work parties from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday, rain or shine. Learn more at or sign up to volunteer at

New leadership at Vashon church

The Vashon branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced new leadership.

Marty Mickelson, who has lived on the island for 19 years, has been called as the new branch president, with Ed Murphy and Gene Kuhns as first and second counselors, respectively.

President Mickelson works in the tech industry with a background in software engineering and management. He and his wife Jenny have three children.

Ed Murphy has lived on Vashon since 1990, managing Murphy Family Builders, a construction company. He is a loving husband to his wife Robin, father to his children, and brother.

Gene Kuhns has lived on the island for 16 years with his wife Jan. They have 7 children and 18 grandchildren scattered around the country. Gene is the estimating manager for a mechanical contractor and runs a tree service business on Vashon.

Chet Tillman, long time islander, has been released from serving as branch president after seven years of service.

“We all thank him for his devoted service,” Mickelson said.

The church does not have paid clergy and all local members are volunteers. The church meets Sundays at 10:00 am at 9330 SW 204th St, and all are welcome.