Rinse and repeat: here comes 2023

This year, it seems, everything old is new again.

In casting about for inspiration for this week’s editorial, we took a look back at stories that appeared in The Beachcomber one year ago — and found a yardstick for measuring the current news of Vashon.

January of 2022 wasn’t an easy month.

Our island was in the teeth of the COVID Omicron spike, with an astounding 131 cases reported in the first full week of the month. And after heavy rains on Jan. 6, Vashon saw at least four landslides the following day, with one of them destroying a residence on Dolphin Point.

That week, Vashon was also hammered by King Tides, which inundated Quartermaster Drive, Manzanita Beach and KVI Beach, as well as other island locations. Sound familiar?

One year ago, The Beachcomber reported on a process underway to fill a vacant school board seat — something that will again take place this month, following the resignation of Kali Aguilera, who departed the board in December due to her move to the Dominican Republic.

(Applicants for Aguilera’s seat will be interviewed by the school board at its Jan. 12 meeting, after which the board will take action to appoint one of the candidates.)

And in the January 13, 2022 issue of The Beachcomber, a front-page story ominously detailed a problem that certainly hasn’t gotten better, headlined “Islanders experience delays in mail delivery.”

Another story, published in January of last year, was headlined “Officials, legislators look for ferry fixes as woes mount.”


This year, it seems, everything old is new again.

What we hope for every year, around this time, is for solid ground, for our institutions to be ably led, for both our public and personal health to remain strong, and for our weekly newspaper to have some good news in it too.

That is certainly the case this week, as we report on the careful deliberations by Water District 19 to lift its moratorium on new water shares — an action that would help enable Vashon to build more affordable housing, close to island workplaces. We’re immensely grateful for Leslie Brown’s solid journalism on this subject. (See page 1.)

It’s also good news to read that Vashon’s venerable and nimble nonprofit, Vashon Partners in Education (PIE), has once again delivered a sizeable check to our school district to fund educators’ special projects — students need this kind of support more than ever, as our district continues to grapple with budget woes, and yet another reduction of force measure may loom in the spring.

The decades-long work of PIE, as described in Marie Koltchak’s article, is worth celebrating. (See page 1.)

Incredibly, VashonBePrepared is also, in January of 2023, still contributing to The Beachcomber’s pages on a weekly basis, with sound advice on how best to stay healthy and prepared for whatever comes our way.

The Beachcomber’s partnership with VashonBePrepared, throughout the past three years, is a particular point of pride to us here at the paper — we believe it has helped our community make informed decisions and stay healthier and more connected.

This brings us to you.

Do you have a story you’d like to tell on the pages of our newspaper? A thoughtful commentary on a subject important to islanders? A pet cause you want to amplify? A letter to the editor?

Newspapers serve many purposes in a community, but perhaps one of their most important functions is, week by week, to lay down a rough draft of the history of the place where they are published.

Our Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber has been doing that since 1957, and each week, we keep that history alive by going to press one more time.

So as the calendar turns to 2023, and this newspaper officially becomes a 65-year-old senior citizen, we want to thank our loyal readers, and all those who care about this publication — who, in the age of social media, still find value in reading, and even writing, in-depth news stories about what is happening on our island.

A great town deserves a great newspaper — with a voice that is all its own — and despite our own staffing shortages at The Beachcomber, this is something that is still possible on Vashon, with your readership and help.

And that counts, for us, as very good news.