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NIRVANA NO MORE The popular restaurant has closed. Page 5 NEWS | Author discusses food to grow and eat. [4] COMMENTARY | The park district has lessons to learn. [6] ARTS | Teens share the stage [11] with rising band. POLAR PLUNGE Several hardy souls take to the water. Page 4 BEACHCOMBER VASHON-MAURY ISLAND WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2014 Vol. 59, No. 02 75¢ Mukai case continues, sent back to lower court By NATALIE MARTIN Staff Writer Natalie Martin/Staff Photo Vashon High School graduates Keegan Oswald, Kaitlyn Davies and Nolan Moyer were among many who attended an open house to see the new high school building on Sunday. New high school is unveiled By NATALIE MARTIN Staff Writer More than 1,000 islanders flooded through the new Vashon High School last weekend, getting a first look at the spacious and modern building that students began classes in on Monday. The halls, common areas and classrooms of the new school buzzed with energy at a community open house Sunday afternoon, when the 80,000-squarefoot building was opened to the public for the first time. Students led tours of the new school and staff members were on hand to answer questions. “It’s over-the-top fabulous, unbelievable,” commented one woman as she took a tour with her family. “I’m blown away,” she said. Many at the event echoed the same sentiments, commenting on the building’s impressive architecture, light-filled spaces and modern features. Large banks of windows, island wood accents, a state-of-the-art theater and hightech features in classrooms drew the most praise. The legal battle over control of the Mukai house and garden will continue, as late last month a state appeals court considering the case sent it back to trial court. In a Dec. 23 ruling, a threejudge Court of Appeals panel ruled that the Friends of Mukai, a group of island activists who attempted a takeover of the nonprofit Island Landmarks, did orchestrate their 2012 special meeting and election according to the organization’s bylaws, reversing a superior court decision from last year that sided with the organization’s original board. However, the judges also ruled that other facts in the case are unclear, and therefore the superior court should not have granted a summary judgement — a ruling given when there are no facts in By SUSAN RIEMER Staff Writer Visitors stroll through the courtyard of the brightly painted school. “You can feel the energy here,” said Emily Burns, whose daughter attends the high school. Maya Battisti brought her kids who will eventually attend the high school to the open house. She, too, said she was impressed with the new building, which she called a vast improvement over the old, 1970s structure, which many have said was cramped, dark and not configured well. “This seems like an inspiring place to learn,” she said. Derryn Williams, another mother who came to the event, said she was glad to see the high school has also revamped its recycling program and will use real plates, trays and utensils in the SEE HIGH SCHOOL, 18 SEE MUKAI, 19 Goodtimes supporters rally to keep camp running New nonprofit forms after cancer society funding is lost Natalie Martin/Staff Photo dispute — in favor of the original board. The case will now be reconsidered in King County Superior Court, and the parties will have an opportunity to settle before a trial. Though neither side prevailed in appeals court, Lynn Greiner, a Friends of Mukai board member and one of the group’s attorneys, characterized the decision as a positive step for the Vashon activists. “I think it’s a big victory,” she said. “It was a unanimous decision by the court of appeals ... that we have a legitimate claim to move forward with here.” The Vashon group has been in dispute with Island Landmarks, the nonprofit that holds the title to the historic Mukai farmhouse and garden and is headed by When Veronica Jannetty went to summer camp at age 13, she had been diagnosed with leukeumia the year before. The camp — for kids affected by cancer — gave her the chance to both connect with others facing the same struggle and simply be a teenager at summer camp. Jannetty, an islander, attended Camp Goodtimes, which is held for two weeks each summer at Camp Burton for cancer patients, survivors and their siblings ages 7 to 17. The camp also offers a week of a week of kayak camping in the San Juan Islands for cancer survivors age 17 to 25. For 30 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) supported the camp and several others like it around the country. But last spring the ACS announced it would no longer fund the camps, focusing its resources instead on research. Now a new nonprofit organization, The Goodtimes Project, has taken root and is working to raise half a million dollars so that the popular camp can continue, both this summer and for years into the future. It is an effort Jannetty, who attended camp for five years and will volunteer as a staff member for the second time this summer, hopes many will support. “It takes a lot more than research and chemotherapy to cure cancer,” she said. So far, the group has raised $150,000, according to Carol Mastenbrook, the executive SEE CAMP GOODTIMES, 20

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, January 08, 2014

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