Gratitude for Community

We have deep gratitude for the people who make the miracle of our weekly newspaper possible each week.

As we take this issue of The Beachcomber to press, to be published on Thanksgiving Day, it only seems right to express our gratitude for the many people who help contribute to our newspaper, week after week, and to the local news-makers who have brought good news to our community this year.

How could we not be grateful to Vashon’s Chamber of Commerce, whose members rally to organize such celebratory street-fair events as our Strawberry Festival, Halloween, and Winterfest (see page 10) each year?

We’re also awed by the generosity and efforts of members of the Vashon Eagles, who open their club’s doors for free Thanksgiving and Christmas community dinners each year, complete with all the fixings.

We also have deep gratitude for the people who make the miracle of our weekly newspaper possible each week.

These heroes include our local poster workers, now delivering our paper along with all the other mail on Vashon under extremely difficult circumstances.

The staffing issues at the Vashon post office and beyond are deep, but we must never forget these structural problems are not the fault of the foot soldiers who remain on the job, doing their work each day under almost impossible conditions.

No thank-you list, from The Beachcomber, should ever omit the tireless efforts of the dedicated volunteers of VashonBePrepared, and the members of its affiliated efforts including the EOC (Emergency Operations Center), CERT(Community Emergency Response Team) and the healthcare heroes of Vashon’s Medical Reserve Corps.

Here at The Beachcomber, we must single out the manager of VashonBePrepared’s Emergency Operations Center, Rick Wallace, who faithfully coordinates the publication of our newspaper’s weekly update from VashonBePrepared each week, in addition to so much other work he undertakes to ensure our community’s health and safety.

Readers may have noticed that in recent weeks, the update has somewhat shifted in terms of its content, to not only provide up-to-date information on COVID but also other health and safety concerns of great importance to islanders.

In late 2022, this counts as good news, indeed. But while COVID may have receded in terms of its dangers, we all know that it hasn’t gone away — too many of us have come down with cases of it in recent months and weeks.

But thanks to VashonBePrepared, and Wallace’s tireless efforts to amplify the messaging, Vashon has continued to lead King County in terms of the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated and thus, much better protected from the worst impacts of the virus.

Finally, we’d also like to thank our many contributors, both new and longtime, for their efforts to make our weekly newspaper possible each week.

To single out but three fine folks in this small army of helpers:

Susan McCabe, working on behalf of the Whole Vashon Project, coordinates a series of environmentally-themed commentaries under the banner of “Green Briefs.”

Writer Amy Drayer has also stepped up this year in a big way to help us create Beachcomber special sections and thoughtful articles about issues including affordable housing on Vashon, as well as features about local businesses and other topics.

And our esteemed island historian, Bruce Haulman, provides not only stellar support to our paper in terms of endlessly answering our questions about local history, but also regularly contributes “Time & Again” articles, delving into Vashon’s past.

There are too many others to name — but each week, The Beachcomber continues to roll off the presses, thanks to the efforts of so many.

We’ll see you all at Winterfest, we hope.