April 2024, Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editorial Team,

The headline of your March 7 editorial is a good description of its reasoning – “Feckless.”

You argue that public funds now “serve irregular immigration, people with addictions and/or mental illness,” unlike 20 years ago when “the concern was for members of our community with modest means – they held down jobs, had families, and Vashon benefited by their being a neighbor.” Why the distinction? People with addictions and mental health issues are or have been our neighbors. Recent immigrants have families and are some of our hardest-working, lowest-paid neighbors.

You criticize our governor for wanting to site a homeless center in Kirkland* over the community’s objections. I’ve always been a strong advocate of bottom-up planning and other forms of participatory democracy, but I also acknowledge that government has a role to play in siting unpopular facilities that have a public benefit – homeless shelters, treatment facilities, jails, garbage transfer stations, sewage plants, and transportation infrastructure. There would be no Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal if it was up to the immediate neighbors.

It’s ironic that your editorial criticizes the siting of the Seattle Indian Health Board’s facility on Vashon. When you’re talking about Native Americans, it is the rest of us who are the “irregular immigrants.”

Your neighbor,

Jim Diers

* Editorial correction; this should be Kenmore

Andy Valencia responds on behalf of the Loop Editorial Team:

Feckless or otherwise, The Loop’s editorial stance is that citizens should be involved early enough in local proposals to influence early decisions. Even when the issue is contentious. In fact, especially when the issue is contentious.

With respect to Vashon Community Care Center – VCCC – the comments we’ve received assume, variously, that we have adopted a pro or con position on the development. To repeat the relevant text from our article (emphasis added), we wrote about VCCC:

    Without questioning the merits of our own new development

Since publishing our “Feckless” article, we’ve become much better informed on the VCCC project, and hope to cover it in future issues. My own first contact with the new owners of VCCC is a tale in itself, which may get published at some point.

Thank you for writing to us!

Andy Valencia

April 8, 2024

About Author

vandys Andy Valencia is a 20+ year islander, tech guy, father, writer