Opinion

The hottest months of the year can be busy and stressful

“You can always tell the English. You can always tell the Dutch. You can always tell Lubahn’s class, but you can’t tell much. Thank goodness it’s Friday!”

  • Jul 1, 2008

Often shunned, horsetail actually has an abundance of medicinal benefits

Many plants that are maligned as weeds are actually highly beneficial, with a long history of use by humans. After hearing about a friend’s determination and challenges in eradicating horsetail from his yard and listening to his children mimic his “I hate horsetail” mantra, I felt compelled to point out the practical and important uses of this botanical oddity.

  • Jul 1, 2008

Fighting Glacier

To some of us, it may seem like tilting at windmills to take on Glacier Northwest. The company is huge, rich and relentless. It also, obviously, has a keen financial interest in the tons of sand and gravel that lie beneath its arsenic-laced soil — a commodity that has proven to be quite valuable in booming Pugetopolis, where new development means new roads and new roads mean a hunger for gravel.

  • Jul 1, 2008

Vashon mother considers miracle of new baby

On March 28, with six weeks to go until my due date, my midwife worried that the baby’s growth had slowed. She ordered an ultrasound. The technician started out chatty as she squirted goo on my tummy and flashed grey blobs on the screen. Then she fell silent. The doctor, too, looked gravely at the screen and didn’t say anything. They sent me straight to the hospital, sheet of indecipherable medical jargon in hand.

  • Jun 26, 2008

Summer can be mischevious, dangerous time for Vashon kids

Kids are rejoicing. Parents who work outside of the home are scrambling to piece it all together. And a new energy has already, it seems, come to the Island.

  • Jun 26, 2008

Abundant Vashon deer could be profitable if domesticated

The pea sprouts are about 10 inches high now. Noticing this, I decided I’d better patrol the perimeter of the deer fence that was erected after one summer when we got home to find the deer had eaten every single pea plant down to the nub.

  • Jun 26, 2008

Eric Horsting stepping down after run as arts editor, sports editor, reporter…

Last August, after a brief vacation, I returned to The Beachcomber with a gift for Eric Horsting, who had steered the ship in my absence. It was a smooth, pale-gray rock with a poem on it, and it seemed the perfect token for this man who loves poetry and is rock solid and dependable.

Eric Horsting gave it his all — and covered it all — week after week Eric Horsting gave it his all — and covered it all — week after week

Last August, after a brief vacation, I returned to The Beachcomber with a gift for Eric Horsting, who had steered the ship in my absence. It was a smooth, pale-gray rock with a poem on it, and it seemed the perfect token for this man who loves poetry and is rock solid and dependable.

Fern Cove’s cobbles make for hard walking, but it’s well worth it

Mud then cobbles and more cobbles, the hike from Fern Cove south to Cove on Colvos Passage tours Vashon’s best beach forms. The first wonder is Fern Cove’s delta, then Peter Point’s salt marsh and finally the big rock before Cove.

  • Jun 25, 2008

Making jam in June: It is a metaphor for living life

June, with graduations and weddings and the garden’s demand for attention, is the calendar’s metaphor for a homemade jar of jam. You take the barely ripe fruits of your labors, give them a grand push of formality, endure the heat of an impossible schedule and an expensive, dizzying list of to-do’s and cross your fingers the finished product achieves a “successful set.”

  • Jun 20, 2008

Opportunities for Vashon teens could help prevent delinquency

Freshly graduated seniors have already heard their last high school bell and are steeling themselves for the next and often final phase of their education. Juniors, like myself, are anxiously awaiting their ascension to the apex of the high school pecking order next fall, all the while wondering how they managed to become the upperclassmen they looked up to just months ago. In light of this hallowed rite of passage, an examination of the oft-misunderstood role of youth seems relevant.

  • Jun 20, 2008

Vashon Pet Protectors give homes to lonely pets

I’ve always gravitated toward animals; as a kid I was the one who brought home skinny stray cats and flea-infested dogs. As an adult, I’ve rescued countless feral cats from the Central District of Seattle, where we used to live. When we moved our family to Vashon years ago, it was natural for me to volunteer for Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP).

  • Jun 20, 2008

Tour of Vashon High reveals sorry state of disrepair

It’s too early for The Beachcomber to weigh in on the merits of the three proposed renovations to the school district’s aging campus — different options that the district plans to take before voters over the next several months. It’s not too early, though, to take note of the sorry state of Vashon High School (VHS) and urge others to do so as well.

  • Jun 20, 2008

Buy local, Vashon — and do it for the flavor

If you believe that buying locally is the same thing as shopping at Thriftway, then please read on.

  • Jun 18, 2008

Buy locally — and do it for the flavor

If you believe that buying locally is the same thing as shopping at Thriftway, then please read on.

  • Jun 18, 2008

Sunrise Ridge, an epicenter of Island services, seeks support

When I arrived at Sunrise Ridge the other evening for a meeting at the conference room, I was greeted by the “thwack” of baseballs being hit by little bats and the usual encouragement voiced by families and friends out to support the kids.

  • Jun 10, 2008

District officials make tough decisions about every cut and every allocation

There’s a lot of activity in our school district right now. We are nearing the end of a very successful year. However, because the budget continues to be a problem to solve, I want to take some time to share what is happening with next year’s funds.

  • Jun 10, 2008

Grandfather gave a lasting gift: laughter

It was 22 years ago that I gave it to him for Father’s Day. I wrote it and framed it of my own accord.

  • Jun 10, 2008

On grads, camps and more

We at The Beachcomber are going to take a moment to indulge in shameless self-promotion. Under the heading that we buy the ink and every now and then get to use it to call attention to ourselves, we want to highlight the three “special sections,” as we call them, that have been published almost back to back by our small, hard-working staff.

  • Jun 10, 2008

Rainfall helps meet summer water demand

It’s a cold, dreary, rainy “June-uary” Friday, and I’m sitting here obsessing about summer water limits in Vashon’s Water District 19. I suppose I’m one of the few Islanders who appreciates June rainfall. I like rain even more in July, August and September. Because when it rains in the summertime, Islanders don’t water their grass, landscaping or crops as much. And that means your water district is more likely to be able to come up with enough water to meet your peak day demand.

  • Jun 10, 2008