I commend the effort of the Vashon Air Service, The Harbor School, and a group of Vashon real estate agents to establish a fund to reward individuals for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the latest round of vandalism on “our Fair Isle.”
But it is a sad commentary on the character of our Island community that we must pay for this information. If citizens care about the quality of life here, this information should come forth unbidden. I am a private citizen and a Vashon resident for some years. I’m not a realtor, I do not have any children at The Harbor School, and I haven’t yet needed to be airlifted from the airport.
But I care about the quality of life here, so I am contributing $100 to the fund. I encourage others to do likewise.
I would also like to add that the most effective way to stop this activity, which I understand is a perennially recurring event, is for authorities to make some arrests. Hopefully, a reward fund will lead to arrests. But there also must be a will to make the arrests. In my opinion the general populace on Vashon is way too lenient toward the (probably) youthful hooligans. Some arrests and convictions, with stiff fines, not paid for by the affluent parents, coupled with a few days in the county jail will do wonders.
This is really the basis of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s success in significantly reducing crime in New York City. As you may know, his approach was based on solid sociological theory, as well as on common sense, and is called “the broken glass” approach to crime prevention. The main idea is that you make arrests for small crimes, e.g. broken windows, jumping over subway turnstiles without paying and, on Vashon, smashing mailboxes, and pretty soon serious crimes are also reduced. Without these arrests for “small” crimes, more serious crime escalates.
This, in my opinion, is what is now happening on Vashon. Smashing mailboxes has escalated to serious vandalism at the airport and school. The high rate of drug and alcohol usage among Island youth, reported in The Beachcomber’s lead article on March 5, is also directly related to the perception that such behavior is acceptable.
I’m a psychotherapist. In my work I see the sad results of too lenient parents who do not help their children learn appropriate boundaries, respect for others and respect for authority. If parents refuse to discipline their own children, then the community must do so, or face the decline of our much touted “idyllic” Island life.
Make some arrests. The vandalism will decline.
— Bill Carr, D. Min., is a resident of Vashon and has a private practice offering psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and pastoral counseling.
Catch the vandals
Anyone wishing to donate to the vandal apprehension fund should e-mail Ken Zaglin, who is spearheading the account. Many Island real estate agents, including all of Zaglin’s John L. Scott office and Emma Amiad, have made pledges to the fund. Now, it’s the community’s turn to chip in.
Anyone who gives the authorities information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals will take home the fund.
Contact Zaglin at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a pledge.