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BEACHCOMBER a directory of summer fun and island preschools



Vol. 59, No. 16


Islanders join in effort at Oso slide By SARAH LOW For The Beachcomber

Natalie Martin/Staff Photo

A shoreline portion of Luana Beach Road, pictured above, is the site of a fictitious landslide scenario Vashon’s Emergency Operations Center team is using to help train for a real landslide. Below, a county map highlights parts of the island that may be at risk for landslides.

Responders work to prepare for a landslide on Vashon The island’s coastal bluffs are prone to small slides By NATALIE MARTIN Staff Writer

In the wake of last month’s deadly landslide in Oso, Vashon’s emergency volunteers are preparing for a significant landslide on Vashon while also attempting to highlight the island’s own risk for slides. Volunteers with Vashon’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) team are currently using a fictitious Vashon landslide

scenario they created to help plan for such an event. In the detailed scenario — similar to ones the organization has used to help prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies — an 800-meter-wide landslide comes down on a portion of Luana Beach Road. It inundates or moves two dozen homes in the middle of the night and traps an unknown number of people. For the next few months, EOC volunteers will discuss what Vashon would need to do to respond to such a landslide,

Following one of the deadliest natural disasters in state history, several Vashon residents have joined in the large response effort at the Oso landslide. These islanders have volunteered their time or worked at the site and incident command posts in the area, doing everything from providing information to the media to monitoring the slide stability and river flow. Rick Wallace of VashonBePrepared is one of the volunteers. Due to his experience and qualifications, he was asked to act as the deputy chief of logistics at the Snohomish County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which is coordinating the slide response. He went up on Sunday and will be there for a week. “It’s an honor to be recognized as unpaid volunteers, and it shows that Vashon knows what it’s doing,” he said. Wallace, who has held a leadership position with Vashon’s EOC for 10 years, also has incident command training through federal courses he took on emergency management. Wallace explained that the emergency operations center is responsible for synthesizing information, coordinating activities and supporting the field operations. He won’t be working at the landslide site, he said, but helping support those who are. “We get the field workers what they need



A legacy of pet rescue: VIPP celebrates 30 years Grassroots organization has grown considerably By SUSAN RIEMER Staff Writer

When island veterinarian Dana Ness was new to Fair Isle Animal Clinic a decade ago, she treated a cat that she suspected had a fatal disease and received her first introSusan Riemer/Staff Photo

VIPP founder and board member Barbara Drinkwater, left, with her dog Duke.

duction to Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP) at the same time. Believing euthanasia would be the only option, Ness said she was taken by surprise when the volunteer who had brought the cat in had other ideas. “This is a VIPP cat, so do whatever you can,” Ness recalls the volunteer saying. For Ness, who had come from a veterinary clinic where resources were stretched thin, this kind of determination from an animal rescue program was a dramatic change. “That is not what I was expecting to hear,” she said. “It was a whole paradigm

shift. It really blew my mind.” Over the years, VIPP, a nonprofit organization run entirely by volunteers, has continuously shown this type of support for animals, said Ness, who stressed that such an approach to individualized treatment is unique in a humane society or shelter setting. VIPP’s work , she said, stands apart. “They’re a really great partner in providing care and helping with the general wellbeing of the animals on Vashon,” Ness added. VIPP, founded in 1984 by a small group SEE VIPP, 20

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, April 16, 2014  

April 16, 2014 edition of the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, April 16, 2014  

April 16, 2014 edition of the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber