News Briefs | May 16 edition

SeaMar project still underway

Work remains underway by Sea Mar Community Health Centers to launch its new clinic at the site of the Spinnaker Building in Vashon’s town core.

According to Sea Mar executive vice president Mary Bartolo, the organization is waiting on King County to issue permits for demolition and construction of the site.

Sea Mar closed on the purchase of the Spinnaker Building in November 2022. Its new clinic will expand on the healthcare services the organization currently offers at its Sunrise Ridge clinic.

Dog fans call on county to allow dog park on Vashon

A petition by the members of Friends of Island Dog Owners (FIDO, formerly known as Friends Into Dogs Organization) is calling on the county council to drop a limitation on off-leash dog parks in the county at one of the upcoming King County Council meetings.

Current restrictions (county code 7.12.410) only allow dog parks in unincorporated King County in two places, neither of which are on Vashon.

But that could be changing. The county council is reviewing changes to the code and the changes could come up for a vote in the next few months.

FIDO’s petition calls on the King County Council to amend county code to allow fenced, off-leash dog parks in the county “where appropriate” and when compatible with their surroundings, opening the door for such a park on Vashon. Vashon pet owners, the petition points out, currently must shoulder ferry fees and long travel times to access off-leash parks.

Residents can learn more at, or speak with FIDO volunteers at the Vashon Island Pet Protector’s “FurBall” on May 18.

A look from King County into using a sliver of the south end of Wax Orchard Park as an off-leash dog park site fizzled out this spring when King County said the proposal ultimately wouldn’t work. It joins a long list of other efforts to site such a park on the island, and Vashon residents have expressed enthusiasm about the idea of a dog park in King County Parks surveys.

Candidates file for office

Filing week is over for Washington’s summer primary election. May 13 was the final day to withdraw from the ballot.

At the state level, both of Vashon’s state representatives in the 34th Legislative District are up for election. Incumbent Democrats Emily Alvarado and Joe Fitzgibbon have filed and will be challenged respectively by Republicans Kimberly Cloud and Jolie Lansdowne. State Senator Joe Nguyen’s seat is not up for election this year.

Vashon will also participate in crucial statewide races for Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General and other offices.

Vashon is a part of Washington’s 7th Congressional District, which includes most of Seattle. It’s the most Democrat leaning district in the state. Republicans Cliff Moon and Dan Alexander, and Democrat Liz Hallock have filed to challenge incumbent Rep. Pramilla Jayapal.

U.S. Senators don’t have districts, so Vashon will choose from the same candidates as the rest of the state. Vashon voters will also decide whether to give President Joe Biden another four years or to return former President Donald Trump to the White House.

The voting period opens July 19 for the primary election and closes Aug. 6, after which the final stretch of the election process begins. General election day is November 5, but voters can begin turning in ballots as early as Oct. 18.

Walkway construction could cause Southworth dock delays

Starting in mid-May, construction crews will begin replacing the decking on the passenger walkway at the Southworth ferry terminal dock. Space on the dock will be tight during this work, according to WSF — closure of two of the four lanes on the dock is estimated to begin May 20 and last for three weeks.

The work could result in delays on the Triangle Route schedule. Passengers should sign up for alerts, arrive early, and consider alternate routes. Oversized Vashon-bound vehicles that require the completion of a travel request form will not be able to travel out of Southworth, according to WSF.

The decking is “badly in need of repair,” according to WSF. After the walkway is reopened, crews will replace a leaky roof on the terminal building.

The work involves setting up a pedestrian and bike lane. WSF is doing this work now so it’s complete ahead of the busy summer travel season, according to the agency.