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FINDING HER WAY A nursery owner charts a new course. Page 4 BUSINESS | Williams Heating begins selling gas to public [3] NEWS | Park director to step down in January [5] SPORTS | Crew ends season with a strong showing [15] CULINARY DELIGHTS Macrina Bakery owner issues a new book. Page 10 BEACHCOMBER VASHON-MAURY ISLAND WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012 Vol. 57, No. 45 Coho return to Judd Creek Judge rules against new board in Mukai case A BANNER YEAR FOR SALMON By NATALIE JOHNSON Staff Writer On a dry, chilly morning last week, a small group of Islanders gathered at a culvert over Judd Creek and peered into the clear, rushing water. “Do you see it?” one woman asked. Clad in workout clothes, she had come to the creek in Paradise Valley with two friends after an exercise class. They were joined by Tom Dean and Beth Bordner with the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, as well as another couple who stopped by the spot above the creek. Suddenly a coho salmon jetted across the shallow stream, sending water splashing behind it. The small group erupted into cheers. “This is a big event on Vashon,” Bordner said. “People get very interested in the salmon returning.” This fall, many are eyeing Judd Creek with special interest. A large number of coho have been making their way up the stream to spawn, a sign that — among other factors — restoration efforts at the creek may be working. “This is definitely the biggest pulse of coho we’ve seen in many years. There’s no question,” said Dean, director of the land trust, which has headed the restoration 75¢ By NATALIE JOHNSON Staff Writer and make sure a code they’ve been using for the past 30 years remains solid. “It’s a prudent decision,” Koler said. Opponents of the designation, meanwhile, cheered the news. “I think that was the best decision, all things considered,” said Jim Stewart, who owns the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie building. “I’m glad to have the issue put to rest.” “I’m basically glad it’s over,” added Bob Seibold, a property owner in the proposed district who was torn over the designation An effort by a group of wellknown Islanders to assume control of the historic Mukai Farmhouse was dealt a blow Thursday when a King County judge ruled the group had not orchestrated the takeover legally. Superior Court judge Monica Benton made the decision in a packed courtroom in downtown Seattle Thursday morning, after attorneys for the two boards vying for control of the property argued they were the rightful representatives of the Vashon organization. Bob Krinksy, the lawyer for the existing board, said he was pleased by the judge’s ruling. “It came down to fair play, and they didn’t (play fair),” Krinsky said, referring to the Islanders who tried to assume control of Mukai. The other side — Islanders who thought they had legally crafted a new board to take on stewardship of the famed property — said they questioned the judge’s decision. “We didn’t think the bylaws read that way,” said Ellen Kritzman. “We thought we had a good case.” At issue was control of Island Landmarks, a nonprofit organization that owns the Mukai Farmhouse and that was founded a dozen years ago by Mary Matthews, a historic preservationist who lives part-time in Texas and part-time on Vashon. A group of Islanders, concerned that Matthews and her small board of largely out-of-state residents were letting the historic property fall into disrepair, held a meeting four months ago, where several new members of the organization — enlisted without Matthews’ knowledge — elected a new slate of officers. They did so with the SEE CENTER, 19 SEE MUKAI, 18 Natalie Johnson/Staff Photo (above); Kelly Keenan Photo (top) Islanders congregate on a bank above Judd Creek last week, where coho salmon are being spotted in record numbers. From left are Beth Bordner, Kathy Ostrom, Donna Klemka, Jennifer Shields and Tom Dean. effort. Dean and Bordner spotted three salmon during their halfhour visit to the stream on Friday — more than they expected to see that day. The coho, dark fish with bright red underbellies, took occasional breaks in calm waters before again fighting the currents to travel upstream, where they would eventually spawn, or attempt to spawn, and die. Vashon’s Salmon Watchers — a SEE SALMON, 14 County suspends effort to declare Center historic district Preservation law called into question by VAA lawyer By LESLIE BROWN Staff Writer The Islander who nominated Center as a historic district withdrew his request after King County officials told him the code the county uses to establish historic properties is apparently flawed and needs to be amended. Duane Dietz, an Islander with a deep interest in historic preservation, withdrew the nomination Friday. Without a local champion for the proposal, officials in the county’s Historic Preservation Program have decided not to move forward on the nomination on their own, thereby ending what had become a contentious issue on the Island. “We wait for communities to bring nominations to us,” said Julie Koler, the county’s preservation officer. “If someone else were to resubmit it, absolutely we’d pick it up again.” At the same time, she said, Dietz’s decision gives county officials the time they need to go through the legislative process without a controversial designation hanging in the balance

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, November 07, 2012

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