Jean Bosch, real estate agent and housing advocate, captured the dilemma well when she talked to The Beachcomber this week about Vashon HouseHold’s newest project.
Remember the good old days, just a year or two ago, when $20 would fill up your car’s gas tank? Remember when the gas pumps at Engels could keep track of the cost of gas? Remember when buying heating oil didn’t require a second mortgage? Who thinks our natural gas or electric rates are going down? Our school district is facing these same dilemmas.
When Emir Nohutcu was preparing to leave his native Turkey last summer for a year on Vashon, he turned for advice to his uncle, an Istanbul ophthalmologist who had been an exchange student in Philadelphia 30 years ago.
Wasn’t it just last week that you read about vandalism in this very spot? Well, it happened again. This time, Vashon’s unidentified troublemakers smashed into the Island’s public schools and several school buses between 3 and 4 a.m. last Tuesday.
While it’s wonderful to hear that the Island has seen a slight decline in assaults and other serious crimes in the last year, a contrasting yet unsurprising crime statistic is disheartening: “Quality of life” crimes on Vashon have seen a 20 percent spike since 2007.
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.”
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.
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.