Community requires creativity

In this week’s edition, we highlight numerous island figures building community through creativity.

In this week’s edition of The Beachcomber, we highlight numerous island figures building community through creativity.

There’s legendary island educator and firefighter Mike Kirk, who like so many longtime community builders, helped make the island a better place simply by taking the initiative to do his part — and to encourage the dreams and ideas that parents, students and teachers dreamed up together.

There’s nothing as community-building as food, and our paper this week also features departing school district food services director Lisa Cyra — whose forward-looking approach to giving students real meals required hard work and a devoted team to pull off.

Brand-new Land Trust executive director Theron Shaw is an ideas person too, promising an age of thoughtful planning and relationship building for the critical island nonprofit; the launch of our fire department’s Mobile Integrated Health program is yet another example of how the unusual geography and service needs of the island require unusual and creative solutions.

And there’s Dexter Oakenshield and all the other musicians on Vashon making a home for gritty, live music — all doing their part to wake the “sleeping dragon” of grungy rock, alternative metal and reflective indie music that has long breathed electric fire all over the Pacific Northwest. (See page 7).

Every community is unique, and what works in Seattle may not work in Tacoma, Spokane, Yakima or Vashon and Maury.

But we have residents with fierce creative spirits and a desire to make the island safer, healthier, more connected to the land, and — last but certainly not least — more punk rock.

We salute these efforts and encourage everyone to reflect on their own creative interests and skills — and how they could be applied in service to the island.

Take it from Mike Kirk’s advice to Vashon’s class of 2024: “You have talents and interests. Find opportunities to involve yourself in these things for the benefit of others.”