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GIRLS RUN FOR GOLD Cross country team places first at meet. Page 14

SATURDAY SOIREE Slip into a romantic mood this weekend. Page 11

NEWS | VIFR responds to report [4] on assistant chief. COMMUNITY | Park, water district candidates face off. [5] ARTS | Galleries open for First [10] Friday art walk.



Vol. 58, No. 40


Islanders consider Vashon’s future as a pot producer New group forms for those interested in starting businesses By NATALIE JOHNSON For The Beachcomber

Natalie Johnson/Staff Photo

Annie Crawford, at left, joins other island children drawing at an annual gathering for adoptive families on Vashon.

A common start binds many Vashon families together By ELIZABETH SHEPHERD Staff Writer

When Laura Wishik’s daughter Daniela entered first grade, one of the first things Wishik did was mention to her teacher, Tina Taylor, that Daniela had been adopted, and asked her to be on the lookout for any issues that might arise from that fact. But Taylor didn’t react to the news as though it was anything unusual. “’Well, I was adopted, and 15 of the kids in my class were adopted,’” Wishik remembers being told by Taylor. Vashon’s seemingly large numbers of children who came into their families through adoption is something that Wishik, who adopted both her children in Guatemala in 1999, has noticed repeatedly over the years. “When my son was about 10 and still playing softball, one year his entire team

was adopted boys,” Wishik said. Statistics on the actual number of children who were adopted into their families on Vashon don’t exist. But a phenomenon does indeed seem to be in play on the island. Last Sunday afternoon, a large group of families, all bonded by their varying experiences with adoption, came together for a potluck. The party, organized by Mary Margaret Briggs, was the latest installment of a annual gathering that Briggs has hosted for the past 10 years, since moving to Vashon. The noisy party, which took place on a rain-soaked afternoon in Briggs’ spacious artist’s studio, provided a snapshot of the melting pot that is Vashon’s adoptive family community. On the guest list were children from the ages of 4 months to teenagers, of

varying ethnicities, who were born in the United States and many other countries. Their mothers and fathers represented an equally diverse population: single parents, gay and lesbian partners and husband and wife pairings. The children’s adoption stories, too, were different, with adoption taking place at different ages and some children being brought into their homes through the foster care system. But according to Briggs, the entire group has much in common, and it has been important not only for her, but also for her children to stay in touch with other families like hers on the island. “The goal is for our kids to see that the family they’re in is like so many other families in the community — to normalize that for them,” she said.  Like many other families SEE ADOPTION, 18

Islander Shango Los claims that in the 1970s, Vashon Island had a reputation for producing good marijuana, so much so that it was even written about in an issue of Playboy. Now Los, who recently started the Vashon Island Marijuana Entrepreneurs Alliance (VIMEA), hopes to see Vashongrown marijuana revive such a reputation, and he wants to make sure it’s Vashon residents, not enterprising off-islanders, who are producing it. “We get to do it with our own social mores and keep the profits here,” Los told a small group of islanders interested in pot businesses last week at the north-end grange hall. For the past few months, Los, a small business owner who has a background in marketing and communications, has been working to help prepare Vashon residents

Courtesy Photo

Shango Los of the Vashon Island Marijuana Entrepreneurs Alliance, pictured above at a legal medical marijuana grow on the island, says he wants to help Vashon marijuana growers navigate the new system. for what many are calling the gold rush of this generation — the legal sale of recreational marijuana in Washington following the implementation of Initiative 502. The energetic 42-year-old, who also has a business breeding and selling specialty SEE MARIJUANA, 20

Granny’s Attic funnels thousands to health-related programs By SUSAN RIEMER For The Beachcomber

In its first granting cycle since voting to fund health-related programs instead of funneling most of its dollars to the Vashon Health Center, Granny’s Attic recently awarded grants to three organizations that offer a variety of services to low-income islanders. At a meeting last week, Granny’s members provided nearly $40,000 to seven programs run by the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness (IFCH), the Vashon Senior Center and Vashon Community Care. The funds will support established and new programs and services ,ranging from free dental care for adults to a kitchen upgrade at the senior center. Granny’s members also voted to expand the medical voucher program at Vashon Youth & Family Services, making it possible for the program’s clients to obtain

care from several island practitioners, not just those at the Franciscan Medical Clinic — Vashon Island. All of the funds Granny’s provided came from proceeds from the popular thrift store. Janet Kime, the president of the Granny’s Attic board, noted this granting cycle was particularly large because it has been several months since their previous cycle. “We provided almost $40,000, which is a lot for us,” she said. Granny’s Attic first opened in 1975 to support the fledgling clinic that became the Vashon Health Center. In recent years, Granny’s provided $9,000 a month to Highline Medical Center, which administered the clinic, and provided other funds as well, contributing more than $150,000 annually to Highline, Kime said. But SEE GRANNY’S, 19

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, October 02, 2013  

October 02, 2013 edition of the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, October 02, 2013  

October 02, 2013 edition of the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber