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A JAZZY CHRISTMAS Well-known singers bring soul to holiday favorites. Page 11

NEWS | Emergency ferry repairs affect Vashon route. [3] COMMENTARY | Community should stand up to crime. [6] SPORTS | VHS basketball team is off to a decent start. [14]

RULES OF THE HARBOR Boaters react to new plan for Quartermaster. Page 5


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2012 Vol. 57, No. 50

Marriage equality in Washington

Islanders embrace historic moment By NATALIE JOHNSON Staff Writer

Last Wednesday evening, hundreds of people lined up downtown at the King County Administration building, forming a long line that twisted around roped barriers and spilled out onto the sidewalk. As the stroke of midnight neared, the crowd counted down, New Year’s Eve-style, then erupted into cheers as the doors to the county’s Recorder’s Office were opened. It was in that office shortly after midnight that Islanders How did Brendon Taga Vashon and Jesse Page vote in the became the secNovember ond same-sex election? couple in King See story, County to be page 19 issued a marriage license, signed by county Executive Dow Constantine himself. Three days later, they were one of the first same-sex couples in the state to be married, saying their vows in a small ceremony at the King County Courthouse shortly after midnight Sunday. “It was really exciting,” said Taga of the midnight licensing ceremony. “It think that it was a very special moment for everyone in the room.” The two men — young, dapper and clad in suits — were a


County tells park district it needs better cash management By LESLIE BROWN Staff Writer

decisions. Just before Thanksgiving, the county agency said the development met state environmental requirements and did not trigger a full Environmental Impact Statement; it also issued a conditional use permit, required for any project that abuts the waterfront, as does this one. Last week, the county rescinded its conditional use permit after neighbors, working with Vashon activist Amy Carey, argued that the agency couldn’t issue both decisions concurrently. Jim Chan, assistant director of

King County’s highest financial official said the county won’t let the Vashon Park District default, a specter raised last week after the agency’s four commissioners failed to reach an agreement on a plan to pay off a $410,000 loan due Dec. 31. Ken Guy, the county’s director of finance, said that it’s the county’s job “to ensure that the district pays its debt service obligations on time.” The county would step in to ensure that happened, he added, but only “in a worst-case scenario.” The finance director talked to two of the four board members, Chair Bill Ameling and Commissioner David Hackett, last week, after news of the park district’s escalating cash-flow crisis spread. According to Guy, he urged Ameling to see to it that the park district develops accurate and reliable cash flow predictions, works with a financial advisor who understands government accounting and builds up a cash reserve that could get the agency through financial emergencies. “We’ll be keeping a close eye on the district’s cash flow,” Guy added. Meanwhile, Ameling and Hackett, who exchanged sharp words at a meeting last week and in emails passed on to The Beachcomber, said it appears they’ll be able to agree to a shortterm solution that staves off the immediate crisis. U.S. Bank has agreed to loan the agency $400,000, funds the district will use to pay off its existing loan, due at the end of the month, both men said. Other cash the district



Photo Courtesy King County

Brendon Taga, left, and Jesse Page hold up their marriage license, signed by County Executive Dow Constantine, far right. Looking on is Sen. Ed Murray, left, and County Councilmember Joe McDermott, center. stark contrast to the first couple in line that evening: two whitehaired women in sweaters and slacks who have been spotlighted in Seattle news coverage of gay marriage. But reached the follow-

ing day, Taga and Page had what was likely a similar message as the women — gay rights activists Pete-e Petersen and Jane Abbott Lighty — and as the more than 300 other couples who received

marriage licenses that night. “We have a commitment to one another, and marriage equality has supported that commitment,” SEE MARRIAGE, 19

Neighbors raise concerns about ‘rustic’ church camp County rescinds a permit for the site after residents noted it was wrongly issued By LESLIE BROWN Staff Writer

Morningside Farm is a quiet, park-like expanse on the south end of Vashon, surrounded by a white split-rail fence and dotted by towering firs. On a recent rainy day, hardly a soul was there, save for a couple of men driving tractors to repair potholes in the gravel

road leading up to it. But a recent decision by King County to give owners of the 100-acre spread — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) — a green light to develop the former Morgan horse farm into a youth camp is triggering concerns among neighbors, who question the county’s process as well as aspects of the church’s plan. The neighbors, many of whom are members of the Sunny Slopes Mutual Water Association, a 40-household water cooperative perched above Tahlequah, recently took issue with the way the county’s Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER) issued two

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, December 12, 2012  

December 12, 2012 edition of the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, December 12, 2012  

December 12, 2012 edition of the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber