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Carter Castle is one of Vashon Island’s most original musicians and lyricists. Inspired by our rich heritage of folk artists and blues greats, Castle’s music expresses universal themes and his personal stories. His sound is touched by his love of the American folk sounds of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and country artists such as John Prine, Steve Earle and Dave Van Ronk. His lyrics bring all the senses into play, conjuring up shapes, images, colors and moods.

This Summer, Vashon Youth Theatre (VYT) brings Carrie The Musical to Vashon Island! As a youth production, Carrie The Musical gives young island thespians a safe opportunity to explore and grapple with the real world challenges of bullying, domestic abuse and mental illness. In their place, Carrie The Musical asks the question, “What does it cost to be kind?”

All right, class, we have discussed the non-linear properties of grief. Non-linear means that the stages of grief which Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described for us do not happen in order. You don’t work your way through them like lessons from a textbook. More like they work their way through you, at unexpected times.

When I was a boy of 10 or 12, my family had 5 acres at Cove and we loved every square foot of it.  There was a story for every part of it.  One day I nearly drowned my brother Mike on purpose; or at least he thought so.

At the end, that is all there is, because there is no time for anything else. At the end, most of the time is spent seeking a way for it not to be so, especially when the end comes from nowhere, as if the ticking clock and the calendar on the wall were not clues enough.

Voice of Vashon will launch a new email service this week, dedicated to keeping people informed, comfortable and safe. It’s a major new addition to the Voice of Vashon Island Emergency Alert Service and it was created with support from partners VashonBePrepared and Vashon Island Fire and Rescue.

The Rumble Strips play high-energy dance music from anywhere: West Africa, New Orleans, Brazil, and the pop charts. With full batteries of percussion, horns, guitars and vocals, it’s all hands on deck for a sound that’s sublime, ridiculous, oversized and built for joy. Not a show; a party.

The weeks around Mother’s Day, the first one after my mother’s death, bordered on unbearable this year. Distraught and preoccupied were the operative modes. On May 18, I was on a major bummer -- profoundly sad and missing my mother intensely.

It has been good to see a lot more people using their bikes as practical transportation.  I love to see mothers with their kids or cargo in bike trailers.  There always seems to be a bike or two outside the grocery stores.

After her last sold out album release concert last January, Allison Shirk will perform once again with her band on Saturday, June 13th at 7:30pm at Vashon Allied Arts. Joining her are Island musicians Joseph Panzetta on guitar, Kevin Almeida on bass, Christopher Overstreet on keys, Paul Colwell on mandolin, Sarah Howard on backing vocals, and Wesley Peterson on drums.

Under the Sea is this year’s theme for the eighth annual Father-Daughter Dance. On Saturday, June 6, girls and their partners celebrate at the Vashon Golf & Swim Club. The dance is limited to 120 participants, and an early sell-out is expected again.

Vashon Audubon Society presents Dr. John Marzluff screening two short films and discussing his new book Welcome to Subirdia.  The event is free and open to the public.

Jury duty was, as I expected, heck.
The slickest part was taking the bus. You get a bus ticket with your jury summons, so the fare is covered. I parked at my church parking lot, which the county uses as a park and ride, and went out to the side of the highway to wait.

This is a dish I learned to make by peering over the shoulder of my then-young husband’s grandmother, born Jane Macbeath. She was Scotch, not Scottish. She wanted it clearly understood that she was a Highland Scot. “Scottish,” she told us, “are people who live near the English border.

A month from today, as I write this, I am officially retired from 52 years of caring for and teaching other people’s children and parents. Wow! That is a long time to have car seats in the car and be changing poopy diapers.

Celebrate the start of summer at the FRFC Summer Concert, Sunday, June 7th, 7:00pm at the Burton Community Church.  Profound music from the civil rights movement with a full band and jazz piano, as well as soul stirring songs from South Africa, Macedonia, Israel, and more, in one of the very best acoustic spaces on Vashon.  This is a night you won’t want to miss.

Early 19th-century chamber music for flute, violin, viola and cello from Beethoven’s time will be presented on period instruments in A BEETHOVEN BAND on Sunday afternoon, May 31 at 2:00 PM at Bethel Church

Nationally-acclaimed performer, composer, arranger, and educator, Jamie Laval is hailed as “One of North America’s finest practitioners of traditional Scottish music” (San Jose Mercury News).

Dimestore Prophets is made up of guitar player and vocalist Ray Glover, drummer John Wilson, and bassist Eric Groff. DSP has diverse array of musical influences; each player brings his own unique approach to their musical role in the band. Influences range from Bob Marley to Sublime, the Clash to the Dave Matthews Band.

In October, I found out I had been hired as the Family Support Specialist for our new ECEAP preschool.  ECEAP stands for Early Childhood Assistance Program and is funded by the State of Washington and Vashon School District.  It is a FREE preschool for 3, 4, and 5 year old eligible children.  An affordable (free) preschool had long been a dream of many on Vashon.

In recent years, I’ve really gotten tired of the common use of simplistic labels that cause us to bypass our critical faculties to accept judgements about matters that our leaders and pundits would rather not look into too closely.

I was recently presented with a big problem at the Church wood lot. Steve, a fellow wood stacker, couldn’t find the water line to his house. His line is plastic and therefore undetectable. “Would water witching work to find the lost line”, I asked?

I don’t remember if I’ve ever told this story here- I certainly have thought about it. It has to do with a time capsule and a responsibility to your voting public. It has to do with the ongoing relevance of a lesson from the youthful times. It has to do with not making assumptions about what is important to others and what isn’t.

Seattle band The Onlies, who play original and traditional fiddle-driven music, will give a benefit concert for Rock Island String Kollective (RISK) on Sunday, May 31st from 4:00—6:00at the Havurat Ee Shalom (15401 Westside Hwy. SW). Riley Calcagno, Sami Braman, and Leo Shannon are Garfield High School juniors who have played together since they were two years old.