Back from tour, Backbone looks ahead to Glacier fight

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.

On this Island of anomalies, prepositions matter

The other day, on my way to what is euphemistically and antiseptically known hereabouts as “the transfer station,” I looked up at a road sign… Continue reading

Editorial: Drugs in our cabinets

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.

  • May 20, 2009

Editorial: The low tide festival

Conservationists often struggle with a dilemma.

  • May 19, 2009

Legislative session was tough but rewarding

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.

Nurture a lifelong passion: Give the gift of reading to a local child

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.

Island schools need help; we can give it

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.

Saying a sad goodbye to Camp Fire

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.

Letters to the Editor: May 13

K2Shared facilities already existSteve Abel, in his column in last week’s Beachcomber (“K2: Let’s think in terms of shared facilities”), speaks eloquently about his vision… Continue reading

  • May 12, 2009

Editorial: A sad day for schools

Vashon Island School District is facing one of its toughest budget crises in years. Due in part to a significant decline in state spending for… Continue reading

  • May 12, 2009

The school district will have to ask for money again soon

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.

Our intertidal waters are full of life, color and wonder

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.

It may be a dog’s world, but please pick up after them

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.

Don’t ever forget what a wonderful place we live in

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.

K2: Let’s think in terms of shared facilities

OK, Vashon, it is time to show that vision thing, thinking outside the box, the “keep Vashon weird” spirit.

Editorial: Closing Dockton Road is a notion worth considering

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.

  • May 5, 2009

Future of ferries is in the hands of riders

A significant grassroots effort, spearheaded by Vashon and other ferry-served communities, culminated last week.

Beloved greenhouse is the glass heart of our farm

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.

  • May 5, 2009

A dog’s recovery — and a family’s joy

I used to call our dog Terri the Terrific but Sometimes Terrible Terrier. Now I call her Slumdog Millionaire.

PTSA auction should be a celebration for all

It’s hard to feel optimistic about the funding of our public schools these days.