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STEP OUT FOR ART Cruise town for the First Friday art walk. Page 13



Vol. 58, No. 44 h b h ber.c



Islanders attempt to stop surprise sale of Mukai By NATALIE JOHNSON Staff Writer

The group of islanders fighting in court over control of the Mukai house and garden is now trying to stop the property’s sale to an unknown buyer. Representatives of the Friends of Mukai filed an emergency motion in the state Court of Appeals last week after learning that Island Landmarks, currently headed by Texas resident Mary Matthews, plans to sell the historical property near town to an unidentified third party. Members of the friends group argue that the sale should be stopped, as they are still appealing a King County Superior Court decision that they did not lawfully take control of Island Landmarks, the nonprofit that owns the Mukai farmhouse, last year. The appeals case is scheduled to go before a three-judge panel next month. “We’re doing everything we can to stop it,” said Lynn Greiner, a Friends of Mukai board member and an attorney for the group. “The only asset to Island Landmarks is the house. If the property is sold, Island Landmarks is a shell.” The motion asks that the court halt the sale, which could be finalized Nov. 6, until the appeals case is resolved. The 10-page motion, filed by Greiner and Vashon attorney Dan Chasan, argues that if the current Island Landmarks board was legally ousted last year, as they claim in their appeals case, then Matthews and her board have no right to sell the house. What’s more, they say, if the historic property is sold to a third party, public stewardship of the site would be unlikely and nearly half a million dollars of public funds used to purchase the farmhouse in 2000 would be squandered. “It was purchased with public money, and it belongs to the public,” Greiner said. “Our position is they don’t have SEE MUKAI, 24

Ray Pfortner Photo

The hull of an old boat, believed to have been abandoned decades ago and left to sink near Dockton, was removed last week.

State hoists hazardous boat to the surface By SUSAN RIEMER Staff Writer

In last Thursday morning’s fog, a massive crane lifted a sunken 60-foot steel boat hull off the floor of Quartermaster Harbor in Dockton, removing what could have been a hazard to the large number of boaters that use the area. A barge the size of a football field was barely visible in the low-hanging clouds filling the harbor that morning, and the crane on board stretched 200 feet into the sky as

workers, including a diver in the water, prepared to bring the remains of the old vessel up. The sunken hull, rumored to have been stripped by its owner, tied to an abandoned structure and left to sink not far from Dockton’s shore 15 to 30 years ago, was removed through the Department of Natural Resources’s Derelict Vessel Program. “I am really glad the vessel came up in one piece and did SEE BOAT, 27

VES Fields project meets major milestone Some still critical of how project was managed By SUSAN RIEMER Staff Writer

Scores of soccer players took to the pitch at the VES Fields Sunday afternoon, too young to know that the fields complex had cleared a hurdle just days before, when the agency providing funds for the project gave its final approval.

Laura Moxham, a grants manager for the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), toured the fields complex north of town last Friday. She noted an accessibility issue to be addressed there, but said the project looked good overall and appeared to have met the terms of the grants awarded several years ago. “I believe the scope of the project has been completed,” she said. Moxham’s stamp of approval provided a landmark moment for the fields project, which has had a turbulent history. After Moxham’s visit,

park district General Manager Elaine Ott succintly summed up how she felt. “Fantastic,” she said. Since Ott stepped into her position in February, she and others at the park district have been working to secure the final $152,000 of more than $500,000 in RCO funding awarded for the project in 2008 and 2009. After several extensions, the deadline for the RCO-funded portion of the project was Sept. 30. If Susan Riemer/Staff Photo the district had not meet that deadYoung players with the Vashon Island Soccer Club race one another line, officials said, it risked losing the

to the ball while playing at the newly renovated VES Fields Sunday. SEE FIELDS, 25

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, October 30, 2013