Tending the seeds of our island’s stories

This week, we have a Beachcomber that contains a bountiful Home & Garden special section blossoming with remarkable content written by community members.

This week, breaking news has taken a back seat at The Beachcomber as we continue to wait to hear back from the parties involved in a story that we published last week, about the Seattle Indian Health Board’s likely plans to re-establish its Thunderbird Treatment Center on Vashon.

We’re also waiting to learn more about the possible buyer — which may in fact be the Seattle Indian Health Board — of Vashon Community Care (VCC), a storied facility on Vashon that has stood empty now for more than a year.

But despite our reaching out repeatedly to both the current owner of VCC, as well as the Seattle Indian Board of Health, we haven’t heard back.

One possible reason might be that, as of press time, no sale of the building has yet been recorded on King County property records, which we have also been diligently checking on a daily basis.

For 33 years, Thunderbird Recovery Center was a nationally-recognized facility in Seattle that enhanced and saved lives, ably serving Indigenous people as well as other communities, and we believe that islanders will support its mission and welcome its new home on Vashon.

We’re eager to write more about all this, but to tell the story fully and fairly, we need to do so with the help of the parties involved.

We need to hear from the leaders of the Seattle Indian Health Board what their plans are — it’s important information for them to share and for islanders to learn.

We’re also eager to tell readers, as soon as possible, about the appointment of Vashon High School’s (VHS) new principal — John Erickson, who served as the school’s interim principal after the mid-year departure of former principal Danny Rock.

The news of Erickson’s appointment came just before our deadline — but he’ll still be new in his job for a while yet, so we’ll let him get settled before checking in with him about an interview.

Stay tuned for these stories.

But this week, we have something else for you — a Beachcomber that contains a bountiful Home & Garden special section and also blossoms with remarkable content written by community members.

We are glad to bring you Jean Lenihan’s thoughtful and well-written article advancing the upcoming Vashon premiere of “An American River,” a soaring documentary film adaptation of islander Mary Bruno’s book of the same name.

And speaking of Mary Bruno — well, her article about Dockton Water Association’s success in upgrading their facilities and systems over the past two years is also in this week’s paper.

Bruno — when she isn’t off starring in movies and attending film festivals — keeps her sharp mind trained on Vashon’s water issues through her blog for Vashon Nature Center, and we’re always happy to see a new post from her.

This week’s paper also boasts a lovely contribution from local writer Kathryn True, telling a remarkable story about education and cross-cultural connections bearing fruit. The story, about the Vashon Primary School in Uganda, is also about the ongoing legacy of islander Ed Swan, who left us too soon last year — but whose brilliant mind and eagerness to serve others now lives on in his good works.

And if all that isn’t enough — peruse our Home & Garden section for ideas and inspiration about how to make your own garden grow.

This section of the paper has been penned by avid organizers, gardeners and birders, and celebrates the end of our dark, wet winter, and the lush growing season ahead.

It also contains an article by The Beachcomber’s former reporter, Paul Rowley, about his experience living in a tiny house — and Paul just about snapped our hearts in two with his little article about his little house.

It is, in turn, funny, poignant, a bit sharp, a bit heartwarming and completely quirky, just like our Paul.

The article is also the end of the line in terms of the hundreds — perhaps thousands — he has written for our paper, over the years. Paul is moving to Cleveland at the end of the month, and we wish him complete happiness there.

But we’ll miss him madly.

Thank you, Paul, for all your words and wit and your extremely hard work, from 2018 to 2021, for The Beachcomber — and for your continued support of your former colleagues still here in the trenches at the paper.

We love you.