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When it comes to making change, politicians matter, lawyers matter, but more than anything else you matter. What you do, what you say, the sacrifices and risks you take all make a difference. Cynicism is our enemy, and action is our ally. Here’s some proof.
Conscientious parents have long known not to leave a loaded gun in their closet. They know to keep poisons out of reach from small children, to lock their liquor cabinets and to insist on seatbelts and bike helmets.
Conservationists often struggle with a dilemma.
When lawmakers came to Olympia on Jan. 12, we all knew that the national recession, which is now a global recession, was hurting the state of Washington. By March, the revenue forecasts for the state had further deteriorated, and we faced a $9 billion revenue shortfall. Washington was not alone: 40 other states faced enormous budget gaps with a cumulative hole of $281 billion.
One of the things I like most about Vashon is its diversity. Make the same assertion to 10 people about almost anything and you’re likely to get 10 distinct responses. So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and ask for unanimous consent just one time: Reading is important.
A wonderful thing happened in our house this year. My 12-year-old son began coming home from school and diving into his homework without prodding. He now works on projects for hours, humming to himself, lit up by the joy of learning that his humanities teacher has inspired.
About eight years ago, we were preparing to move to Vashon Island from West Seattle. At the time, I didn’t know anyone over here and was nervous about making connections and leaving my full-time job in the city, let alone trying to make a living from home with kids who were 5, 3 and 9 months old.
First, let me make it clear that the Vashon school board didn’t ask me to write this. The Beachcomber did. I’m not speaking for any board member but myself.
When I first came to live on Vashon, my attention was absorbed by the woods, filled with lush plants and abundant wildlife. Glancing at the beach, usually from a car window, I saw rocks, sand, water, sea stars, clam shells. Sort of a damp desert, I assumed, under constant assault by cold water, wind, periodic drying out, summer heat and winter temperatures below freezing.
Every year about this time crocuses and daffodils pop their heads up through the soil. Robins start showing up in huge flocks to snatch worms drawn to the earth’s warming surface. And, people — children and adults — start playing on Vashon Park District fields. Or, as some would express it — sliding into home base with one eye on the dirt.
Not a day goes by without my wife Christel and I telling each other how lucky we are to be living on beautiful Vashon Island. Friendly, supportive people with varieties of nationalities, religious beliefs, no prejudice.
OK, Vashon, it is time to show that vision thing, thinking outside the box, the “keep Vashon weird” spirit.
In some ways, it’s a radical notion to suggest abandoning the stretch of Dockton Road that runs along Tramp Harbor and turning it into a promenade for pedestrians and cyclers. In other ways, it makes all the sense in the world.
A significant grassroots effort, spearheaded by Vashon and other ferry-served communities, culminated last week.
I was starting to give up on that old greenhouse; a 25-by-50 foot patchwork of old windows and scrap wood built by the former owners of the farm.
I used to call our dog Terri the Terrific but Sometimes Terrible Terrier. Now I call her Slumdog Millionaire.
It’s hard to feel optimistic about the funding of our public schools these days.