News Briefs | May 30 edition

Beachcomber to feature grads, Students meet pen pals, new minimum wage, and more.

Beachcomber to feature grads

As graduation season approaches, The Beachcomber wants to highlight the many achievements of our island youth. Are you a high school student living on Vashon and graduating from a school off-island? Take part in our annual Grad Tab!

(Vashon High School grads already have an in-school process to submit information and photos for the Grad Tab, and can skip the following instructions.)

We are inviting all high school seniors living on Vashon to take part in this special insert of The Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber to honor and showcase their accomplishments. Whether attending a school in Seattle, Tacoma, or beyond, this is an opportunity for students to share their journey, highlight their successes, and inspire future generations of Vashon students.

Complete our brief survey at this link, which includes questions about your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, future plans, and personal reflections on your high school experience. Provide detailed responses and share any memorable moments or key lessons learned during your high school years. Photos are also welcome.

Afterward, help us spread the word! Help us reach as many Vashon students as possible by sharing this opportunity with your friends and classmates. The more participants we have, the richer and more diverse this special keepsake will be.

Students meet pen pals

Fifty Chautauqua Elementary third-graders met their counterpart grown-up pen pals on May 20 as part of the school’s second annual Pen Pal program.

The students and adults have written snail mail back and forth since January, and at their meeting, the members of each duo taught each other something new — including how to throw a curve ball, quilt, play chess, or even do a flip on the bars at the playground, according to third-grade teacher Margie Butcher.

Notably, two of the older pen pals met each other as pen pals 45 years ago, Butcher said.

The event also featured the donated time of photographer Annie Marie Musselman. Photos from the program will debut on First Friday, June 7 at Pop Pop Bottle Shop, Butcher said.

Join Bird Alliance

The Vashon Bird Alliance, formerly Vashon Audubon, is looking for new board members as some of the present members will end their terms in July. Call Jody Pritchard for more information at 206-920-7833.

County approves new minimum wage

The King County Council this month passed an ordinance that will raise the hourly minimum wage in unincorporated areas, including Vashon, to $20.29.

The ordinance passed 7-2 on May 14, with Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Pete von Reichbauer voting no.

The full effect of this ordinance will only begin immediately for businesses with 500 or more employees on Jan. 1, 2025.

Smaller businesses could increase their wages more slowly. Businesses with more than 15 employees (but fewer than 500) will have to start paying an $18.29 minimum wage, and businesses with 15 employees or less which make less than $2 million in gross revenue can start off with a $17.29 minimum wage. These wages will increase incrementally until 2030, when all businesses will pay the new minimum wage, plus inflation adjustments.

According to the Living Wage Calculator, run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a family of two working adults with two children would have to make just over $36 per hour to meet the living wage standard in King County.

SeaTac noise study

The Port of Seattle will host public workshops on June 5, 6 and 8 related to a study it will conduct to evaluate noise from SeaTac airport and possible ways to reduce it, to alleviate the effects of noise on nearby communities.

Vashon, though separated by Puget Sound from the airport, nonetheless gets its share of noise from departing and arriving flights.

The workshops, which will include information on the study and a chance for residents to share concerns, will be held:

  • Wednesday, June 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gregory Heights Elementary School (16201 16th Ave. SW, Burien).
  • Thursday, June 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mount Rainier High School (22450 19th Ave. S, Des Moines).
  • Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at Glacier Middle School (2450 S. 142nd St., SeaTac).

For more information, visit online.