Opinion

Preschool at Chautauqua: Prinicipal sets the record straight

There have been many questions raised about Chautauqua’s preschool program. As a parent of a 4-year-old who attended this program for the past two years, I can honestly say that I am honored to be a part of it, both as parent and principal. The following is my attempt at providing a brief overview of the program, including how students are being served, the district’s obligations for providing a preschool program and where we go from here.

  • Aug 12, 2008

Hints of autumn arrive in the undercurrents of summer

The spherical webs of the forest spiders glisten in the afternoon sunlight, the slight breeze stirring the yellowing leaves of the Indian plum and unleashing a sprinkling of fir and hemlock needles. The crunch of the madrona’s leaves and peeled bark under my feet is the only sound except for the territorial chatter and occasional piercing alarm cry of the native Douglas squirrel. The image of the squirrel, at the top of Douglas fir trees tossing down ripe cones to then gather and store, is the quintessential expression of this season: a celebration of the bountiful summer harvest with an equal appreciation for the need to begin storing for winter. I call this season “Hints of Autumn in the Undercurrent of Summer.”

  • Aug 12, 2008

A sense of refuge, a view and the grapevine create a home

My first home on Vashon was a nine-month winter rental.

  • Aug 12, 2008

The incident at the synagogue is a lesson in the power of words

I love you. You’re terrific. Great job. Congratulations. I’m so proud of you.

  • Aug 12, 2008

The incident at the synagogue is a lesson in the power of words

I love you. You’re terrific. Great job. Congratulations. I’m so proud of you.

  • Aug 6, 2008

Vashon Island: The meaning of our synagogue’s desecration

As many of us now know, the Island’s synagogue was broken into and defaced. Written on the west-facing wall, near the ark where the Torah is kept, were the words “God Hates Jews,” accompanied by a Nazi swastika.

  • Aug 6, 2008

Teaching kids about life doesn’t end when they become teens

I recall a woman telling me once at a party years ago that her 12-year-old was rebelling, starting to date boys too early and starting to be snappy and surly. I listened with trepidation, holding my new baby in my arms and wondering how I could avoid this fate. I remember the woman sighed deeply and said something to the effect of, “I don’t know what good it will do me to correct anything at this point. All of those parenting experts say that once your kid hits 13, you’ve done pretty much all you can do. From there on in, your kid is raised by their peers.”

  • Aug 6, 2008

In our opinion A tremendous response

It’s been an intense week on Vashon Island in the aftermath of the Havurat Ee Shalom’s desecration. Stars of David, many of them printed and distributed by Islander Alice Orr, have been posted on windows, cars, even front doors. A vigil — organized by Father Tryphon — drew perhaps 100 people. Television crews arrived on Vashon, visiting, among others, The Beachcomber office. (They wanted a copy of the photograph we ran in last week’s paper of the anti-Semitic graffiti at the synagogue.) And finally, the King County Sheriff’s Office and Prosecutor’s Office have begun investigating the incident as a hate crime, calling it “a textbook case,” as deputy prosecutor Mike Hogan put it.

  • Aug 5, 2008

In our opinion A tremendous response

It’s been an intense week on Vashon Island in the aftermath of the Havurat Ee Shalom’s desecration. Stars of David, many of them printed and distributed by Islander Alice Orr, have been posted on windows, cars, even front doors. A vigil — organized by Father Tryphon — drew perhaps 100 people. Television crews arrived on Vashon, visiting, among others, The Beachcomber office. (They wanted a copy of the photograph we ran in last week’s paper of the anti-Semitic graffiti at the synagogue.) And finally, the King County Sheriff’s Office and Prosecutor’s Office have begun investigating the incident as a hate crime, calling it “a textbook case,” as deputy prosecutor Mike Hogan put it.

  • Aug 5, 2008

The incident at the synagogue is a lesson in the power of words

I love you. You’re terrific. Great job. Congratulations. I’m so proud of you.

  • Aug 5, 2008

We need a spirit of inclusion to help special needs kids thrive

Seeing one’s verbal quote in print — as I did when I picked up Wednesday’s Beachcomber and read the story, “School board passes a $15m budget” — always seems a little stark and dramatic. Certainly the statement I made — that “Vashon does not have a reputation for supporting families with kids with disabilities” — can seem a little severe, given the number of caring teachers, support workers and community members who do support those families and children.

  • Aug 5, 2008

Vashon superintendent: Improved facilities critical to stronger, safer, better schools

Vashon Island School District (VISD) is at a critical juncture. We are in the midst of major changes that will affect student achievement over the next few decades. These changes are inspired by the strategic plan that the school board adopted last fall. This plan provides a roadmap for making Vashon one of the top districts in Washington state.

  • Jul 30, 2008

Battling Glacier: The fight’s far from over

Let me state as emphatically as can be conveyed in newsprint: The fight to protect Maury Island is not over. And far from being a last-gasp fight, our battle remains a strong one.

  • Jul 30, 2008

A return to Island life reminds us of its richness

A perfect storm took my wife and me off Vashon in early 2002 — some kind of collective response to Sept. 11, loss of a parent to cancer and the opportunity to make change in a neighboring community long suffering from civic neglect.

  • Jul 29, 2008

Parks serve the Island in many ways

For years I’ve wanted to do something in the public arena, but there was never enough time or the right opportunity. I walk regularly and often found myself in the woods of Vashon. Given my business background in the timber industry, those woods gave me the idea of becoming involved with the Vashon Park District (VPD).

  • Jul 29, 2008

Anti-Semitism on Vashon: Not on our watch

When members of the Island Jewish community arrived at the Havurat Ee Shalom for their Shabbat Torah study, they found their place of worship desecrated. Graffiti was scrawled on the wall of their small synagogue on the Westside Highway. It was a hateful act — directed towards one of our Island’s minority groups.

  • Jul 29, 2008

Vashon residents are working to create a ‘culture of ecology’ at schools

Vashon Island School District’s board is leading our community to a brighter and healthier future as we are forging a “culture of ecology” in our schools.

  • Jul 23, 2008

Strawberry Festival 2008 A celebration of scale that captures Vashon’s creative spirit

In the peaceful pause that comes to all Strawberry Festival volunteers the week after, it’s fun to reflect on the beauty of the event. I came across the following description that says it perfectly for me.

  • Jul 23, 2008

With summer here, let’s drive extra safely and obey the signs

The busy summer season is upon our Island.

  • Jul 23, 2008