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Articles in "Community"

Solar power is at the epicenter of a storm that is transforming the way we power the American economy. Once the domain of futurists and environmentally-minded fanatics, solar power is becoming mainstream thanks to changing public opinion, a federal incentive program, and, in some states–including Washington–a sales tax exemption.

There were all sorts of kids growing up on Vashon in the 50’s, most good, some bad.  There was a kindred spirit in us, as joined, to the instant recognition of an off-islander.  City people coming to Vashon seemed to have an attitude of the “city slicker” versus the “country bumpkin” that we found annoying.

A good man died Friday, August 14th.  His name was David Hodges.  Some of you knew him as Diver Dave.  Many of you may recognize his face, as your septic truck driver, or your customer, or your neighbor.

It is the responsibility of a community to provide for the safety and well-being of its citizens as shown by the fire department, police services and school system.  It is also the community’s duty to provide adequate facilities, equipment and staff to take care of the needs of the doctors, who want to practice medicine and help people get well and remain healthy.

The Vashon Sheepdog Classic (VSDC) will host its nationally sanctioned sheepdog trial for the 6th consecutive year at Misty Isle Farms September 10-13. The VSDC  has become the most well attended sheepdog trial on the West Coast. Known for its bucolic location and tough competition, spectators come to see some of the best handler and dog teams from Canada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California compete on one of the most challenging fields around. This year’s judge, Luca Fini, comes from Italy.

Situated on beautiful Vashon Island, PASSPORT TO PAIN (or P2P) is an extraordinary cycling challenge that offers 3 levels of vertical climb -- the 80-mile Idiot ride with a climb of 10,000 vertical feet, the 50-mile Weasel ride (6,500 vertical ft.), or the 30-mile Weenie ride (3,400 vertical ft.).

A Uniquely Vashon Event is Back and Better!
Building on the success of last year’s event, Vashon Youth & Family Services today announces the second annual Raft Up!

Kenpo Karate self-defense fall season classes for adults and continuing children will start Wednesday, September 9, at the Ober Park Performance Room.  A new class has been added for beginner children every Tuesday starting September 15.

 It was dusk and a low mist hung over the field where two deer stood, a doe and a buck, hardly visible through the haze. It was cold but not raining, my eye trained to the little B-B on the end of my barrel. It was my first shotgun at 12 years old and cost me $25 at McCormick’s Hardware, a Stevens 20 gauge-single shot.

Last summer, I met my friend Dunja at the Vashon Island Historical Museum to view the exhibit “Vashon Island’s Native People: Navigating Seas of Change.” Sunlight streamed in as we pondered each display, grateful to be learning about the pre-contact history of the island.

We all know Vashon is a wonderful place to live. And all of us would like to see it stay that way. But we are vulnerable to dangers caused by the very reason it is such a unique place. Its isolation. We are very dependent on resources found off island.

Vashon Youth and Family Services (VYFS) announced today that it has hired a new Director of Clinical Operations, Heather Youngs, effective July 8, 2015. Ms. Youngs previously served VYFS as Manager of the Outpatient Addiction and Recovery Services program, and as the Quality Management officer for the Behavioral Health program. Her new position replaces the previous role of Clinical Director.

It doesn’t matter if you think of yourself as a writer or how old or young you are. It doesn’t matter if you were born on Vashon or arrived last month. We’re looking for YOUR story.

Sheriff Tex wasn’t a real sheriff as far as I know but he had a TV cartoon show every day and in the 50’s, us kids lived for it.  It was in the early days of television and Saturday cartoons were never missed.  Early in the morning, we would sit in front of the test screen with the picture of an Indian chief in the middle of a bunch of graphic calibrations which would shift as the engineers adjusted the picture for the upcoming cartoons.

The 5th Annual PASSPORT TO PAIN on Vashon Island: The toughest, most fun ride in the Puget Sound region. Is Saturday Sept. 12.

 This July 18 and 19, during the Vashon Island Strawberry Festival, the M/V Lotus, a 92 foot, 1909  cruising houseboat will be docked at the Quartermaster Yacht Club.  This spectacular floating museum and B&B will be open to the public from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday during the festival.

VoV returns for the tenth year to the corner of Bank Road and Vashon Highway to announce the Strawberry Festival Grand Parade. New volunteer hosts Tim Everitt and CC Stone, formerly of the KVSH Friday Morning Scramble, will host the live broadcasts on KVSH 101.9FM,,

One of the contenders running for Unofficial Mayor of Vashon this summer, a revived Strawberry Festival tradition, is Joe Thieme, also known as Joe T, with a campaign slogan of “Vote for THE Old Goat!” – a subtle nod to his competitor Bandit, a pet goat.

I’ll be honest. Talking with youthful islanders about Carrie The Musical was remarkably easier than talking to adults. Begging the question, why? After three weeks of chatting people up, I’m beginning to craft an answer to that question.

The Strawberry Games, Straw Fest TEEN DANCE, plus an awesome surprise...
Open Space for Arts & Community jumps into Strawberry Festival fun! For the first time, we are working with Festival Organizers to expand Strawberry Festival activities beyond the traditional town core.

 In the early 50’s, every school morning was chaos getting ready to run for the 7:30 AM ferry.  Molly and I had just started school in Seattle, she to Holy Rosary and me to Seattle Prep.  My job was to start Dad’s 49 Oldsmobile Super 88 with the rocket V-8 engine to warm it up for the mad dash to the ferry.

We have had  a second home on Vashon for almost 35 years and we access our property via Pillsbury Road, south of Burton. I became curious about the name, so I consulted the history books by Ronald Carey and O. S. Van Olinda, but found no reference to any Pillsbury family on Vashon Island.

Writers are like chameleons. They tend to disappear into the multi-colored canvas of life unintentionally and generally without regret. As such, most islanders are unaware that the Vashon they know and love is considered to be, by the Seattle Writing Scene, “an island of writers.”

The Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum’s special exhibit on its indigenous people, the sxwoabc, which was displayed from June 2014 through mid-March 2015, has received three awards from state and national organizations.