To help plan your Tour, here is a preview of the amazing gardens and Garden Art Market, a schedule of gardening seminars, and sneak peek of artists in the gardens. Tickets—$25, valid both days—are available at VAA, Heron’s Nest and VashonAlliedArts.org.

 “Oh-No, another red light”, I said to myself, as I pushed hard on the brake pedal, trying to stop my 38 Pontiac for the light. The mercury in the back seat slopped yet another time and rolled out the rusty holes in the floorboards to grease the street between East Marginal Way and the Fauntleroy ferry dock.

Opening night is always exciting. But this summer, opening night holds special meaning for island youth. Maijah Sanson-Frey summarized it like this, “There are shows where the audience is saying, “Oh, what a cute play!” With a show like Carrie, it’s more of an art piece and more of a moving piece. People will say, “Wow...you did a really great job of sharing those messages.”

The second season of Picnics in the Park, the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank’s newest program, designed to provide free lunch and activities to Vashon’s kids and teens, starts on Monday, June 22, and will run, five days a week, through August 28.

Sellen Construction began earthwork following the demolition of the existing structures on the site. Materials were recycled or properly disposed, and the ground cleared of stumps and brambles. Old underground tanks were decommissioned and removed. Testing showed that there were no toxic materials in the soil.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Five students, all 4th and 5th graders at Chautauqua Elementary, celebrated their winning entries in the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association’s second annual “History Project Contest” on Friday evening, May 8.

King County Parks wants the community’s help in determining the future of the public docks in Vashon-Maury Island’s Dockton and Tramp Harbor parks. These recreational amenities have been subject to deferred maintenance and are in need of improvement. In order to plan for the best use of limited public funds, King County Parks wants to understand how these docks are used.

Three seats are up for grabs in the November election. Bill Ameling and Joe Wald have refused to say whether they are running again. Bill has been on the Park Board almost since its beginning--nearly 30 years now. Term limits, anyone? Scott Harvey had a short term because he was filling out the seat originally vacated by Michael DeBlasi. But to be on the ballot in November, all candidates MUST FILE WITH THE KING COUNTY ELECTIONS OFFICE BY MAY 15 (by 4:00 by email, or 4:30 at the KC Elections Office itself--where you can look to see who else is filing for each seat).

GiveBIG Day comes but once a year and it’s happening again Tuesday, May 5th. You know, this is the one-day online event when you can donate to your favorite non-profits and whatever you give will be “stretched” by The Seattle Foundation.

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.” Our goal, as members of the VWO, is to open your eyes to the literary menagerie that surrounds you.

On a sunny day in April, the students exploring Raab’s Lagoon as part of a seastar survey for their high school biology class were so engaged that they forgot they were learning.

I am grateful to Marcia C. Pearson, Joana Gardiner and Jo An Herbert for kick-starting awareness around our food choices and the environment. The angle they bring is well-documented and accurate. Modern agricultural practices have huge and devastating impacts on our environment.

Sometimes it starts with a simple story.  No joke.  A guy walks into the Senior Center... He asks about an inexpensive way into town for a doctor’s appointment because he’s on limited income and no longer drives.  He talks to Executive Director, Ava Apple, who tells him about the limited and sometimes inconvenient options currently available.

We lived a half mile south of the Cove store on the Westside Highway and our Grandma Ollie lived at Cove where the post office occupied the basement of Mrs. Anderson’s house.  I didn’t remember her name, so we’ll just call her Mrs. Anderson, because a lot of the people at Cove were Swede or Norwegian, it having been a fishing village before there were any roads.

I view Vashon as something of an academic oasis.  In a broader State educational landscape suffering from the “drought” of program cuts and staff reductions that result in incrementally failing each year’s “crop” of children, the Vashon Public School district stands as a thriving exception.

Vashon Island’s community broadcasting operation has launched a membership program, looking to the future and the need for a steady and reliable source of funding to sustain all the services the organization provides.

Have you ever been enraptured by a good book? The hours slide away as the story unfolds, and you can’t help but continue to turn the pages. This past sentence summarizes a countless portion of my youth. I would read during family meals, at school, and even when I had friends over:

There has been a lot of talk lately about “going green” and reducing your ecological footprint. Many environmentalists suggest switching to compact florescent lights, taking shorter showers, and driving a hybrid car. While these things do help, the environmental benefits of these actions pale in comparison to the good done by going vegan