MUSIQUE FRANÇAISE Blue Heron will fill with sounds of a French cafe. Page 13
ROWERS SPEED AHEAD Crew blows competition out of the water. Page 14
NEWS | Granny’s votes to move shop into town.  COMMENTARY | A parent’s take on autism awareness.  ARTS | Bergamot will close its  doors.
BEACHCOMBER VASHON-MAURY ISLAND
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014
Vol. 59, No. 15
A SPRING SCENE AT THE MARKET
Affordable housing proves increasingly hard to find Social services describe a bleak picture for renters By SUSAN RIEMER Staff Writer
Laura Daughenbaugh and her teenage daughter have been living in their rental home on Vashon for more than five years, but their house is now for sale, and they need to move this month. Now, Daughenbaugh — a single mother with her own business — has joined the ranks of islanders in the search for affordable housing, which many on Vashon say is becoming increasingly elusive. “This is the first time in 20 years I can’t find something,” Daughenbaugh said. “I have always been able to find something.” Although she has been looking for three months, so far she has found nothing in her price range — about $600 a month, she said. That is a small sum, she acknowledged, but she is open to a variety of options,
including a work trade to help lower the rent, but so far — nothing. “Even studios are more than I can afford,” she said. Indeed, people involved in Vashon’s rental housing market, from property managers to social service providers — say the picture on Vashon is bleak for those with moderate and low incomes, and it has grown even more dire in the last year. Bret Taitch, of Vashon Maury Island Property Management, recently talked about the shift he has seen in the rental market. In the summer of 2012, there were as many as 23 houses on the rental market, he said, and while the owners might have been hoping to rent them for $1,300 to $1,400 a month, they were lucky to get $1,100 to $1,200. Just recently, however, he rented out a three-bedroom home in Gold Beach for $1,600 a month, a figure he says he believes is $300 more than the owners would have gotten a year ago. SEE HOUSING, 19
Pot company is out, ends contract to purchase K2 By NATALIE MARTIN Staff Writer
Some light drizzling on Saturday didn’t stop hundreds of islanders from turning out at the Village Green for the opening day of the Vashon Farmers Market. Between 300 and 400 people were counted at the first market, said Jordan Beck, the interim market manager. That’s about twice as many as last year’s opening day, which was much rainier. “It was awesome. I was really surprised at the great turnout of customers, and the energy from all the vendors was really high,” Beck said. Farms, food vendors and craftspeople were all on hand at the market, though produce offerings were somewhat limited, partly because of bad weather earlier this year and partly because it’s simply the beginning of the season, Beck said. All farms should be present with heaping tables by May, she added. Pictured clockwise from the top, a family checks out the plant starts for sale by Pacific Potager; Karlista Rickerson looks at flowers on display at Calico Gardens’ booth, and a girl finds a fun use for an empty shopping basket. See more photos of the Farmers Market on page 13.
The marijuana company hoping to purchase the K2 building has terminated its contract to do so, said Dan Anglin, a spokesman for the company, and it will look outside King County to set up its factory for edible marijuana products. Anglin said the company, Bakkhos Holding, is pulling out of its plan on Vashon because of county land use processes that make it difficult and time-consuming to establish such a business on the island. “Unfortunately, this just comes down to a simple business decision that equates to are we going to lose money for a year or are we going to start our business,” he said.
Anglin said there was too much time and uncertainty involved in rezoning the K2 building and obtaining a conditional use permit (CUP) required by the county of all new marijuana businesses of that size. Bakkhos, a company with ties to the Colorado marijuana industry, recently asked the county to pass legislation that would allow it to avoid the CUP, he said. When that wasn’t proposed at last week’s meeting of the county council’s Transportation Economy and Environment (TrEE) Committee, Anglin said Bakkhos decided it was time to look elsewhere. Lorelei Borland, a vice president of Jarden Corp., K2’s parent company, SEE K2, 20