As a long-time supporter of Vashon Center for the Arts, I found your coverage of Kevin Hoffberg’s resignation to be offensive and misleading. With Hoffberg’s leadership, VCA came out of a turbulent time to become an important venue for the Vashon arts community, demonstrating his visionary leadership and execution skills. During his time as executive director, VCA has become an outstanding showcase for local artists, a winter home for the Farmers’ Market, a learning place for our children and a partner with Vashon Nature Center to restore and study the adjacent wetlands. These successes were achieved with increased revenues and a sensible budget.
Rather than recognize Hoffberg’s many achievements, The Beachcomber wrote an article and an editorial filled with loaded words, speculations and innuendos. The coverage was yellow journalism at its worst.
Hoffberg stated that he resigned for many reasons, most of which were personal. The editorial states that “the true news of his announcement resonated painfully with life in the #MeToo era,” implying that his resignation was a #MeToo issue, which is defined by Wikipedia as “a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault,” certainly untrue in this situation.
I disagree with your position that an accuser should not directly and immediately deal with an action that engenders discomfort. Direct action is exactly what women are taught to do when they are in an uncomfortable situation. I acknowledge that some people are uncomfortable being touched in any way. For the rest of us, the world would be a lesser place if a touch on the arm or back were forbidden.
I hope that your coverage will be the end of this unfortunate misunderstanding and that VCA will offer to reinstate Hoffberg in recognition of his exceptional performance as executive director.
— Nell Miller