Editorial: Giving thanks as the holiday season arrives on Vashon

Reflecting on what makes Vashon special as the holidays approach.

  • Wednesday, November 24, 2021 2:15pm
  • Opinion

This editorial is being written on Friday, Nov. 19, as we head to press with an early deadline for the Thanksgiving Day issue of our newspaper.

We and many other Sound Publishing newspapers do this every year, but somehow, it always still creeps up on us.

Monday, Nov. 15, the day of an island-wide power outage, and Tuesday, Nov. 16, the day we sent our Nov. 18 edition to press, already seem long ago, and will no doubt seem like even more ancient history by the time you hold this newspaper in your hands.

Putting out one paper a week is hard for The Beachcomber’s small staff, and putting out two is even harder.

But this issue contains a special treat — our annual Holiday Guide, complete with a calendar for upcoming events, ideas for charitable giving, celebrating the arts, and shopping locally. We hope it serves as a reminder to you about what is so special about the holidays on our island home, and how both important and fun it can be to shop and dine locally this year.

We also hope you find the articles in this issue — with some having more of an “evergreen” theme than breaking news — to be interesting and even heart-warming.

The story of the 100th edition of our long-running Time & Again series, by historian Bruce Haulman and photographer Terry Donnelly, shows their passion for preserving the places, people and events that have defined Vashon through the years.

Time & Again stories always remind us of who we are, where we came from, and how we can make Vashon’s future brighter. We are so grateful to Haulman and Donnelly for their contributions to our community, and to this newspaper.

Paul Rowley’s story about The Basket Brigade is another example of community in action — showing that a spirit of generosity and volunteerism on Vashon is alive and well.

We also share news about the plans for events and educational programs taking place as part of World AIDS Day on Vashon in this issue, as envisioned by Peter Serko and a band of collaborators — with youth at the forefront of their efforts.

And of course, as we count our blessings this Thanksgiving, we at The Beachcomber must also remember our collaboration with VashonBePrepared’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which allows us to bring readers weekly news content filled with clear, concise, and hyper-local information about the ongoing pandemic.

As much as we wish we could wish COVID away, it hasn’t left us yet. But VashonBePrepared, Vashon’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) have helped us live with the reality of the pandemic, and they have kept us safe as a community.

These groups’ swift organization of recent vaccination clinics for children ages 5 to 11, presented in partnership with the school district and Vashon Pharmacy, proved their worth once again.

Hundreds of kids and their families can literally breathe a little easier now, knowing they are better protected from the worst impacts of COVID, just in time for the holidays.

We salute all the tireless volunteers who have kept stepping up, time and again, to serve in this way.

We are also thankful to you, our readers, for sticking with The Beachcomber through thick and thin, believing in the worth of local journalism, and opening up the paper week after week to see what’s inside.

Putting out two newspapers in one week was a stretch, but you’re worth it.


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