Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 04/23/2023

We start this week with ravens. An islander posts, “Ravens are on my mind.  Does anybody have an update on the Ravens and their nests in Island Center Forest and have their eggs hatched??  Thanks MuchO!”

We don’t have updates on those particular ravens, but we have some insider information from the raven expert community that hints that it’s too early for raven babies. One islander says, “They have a vocalization unique to egg hatching, I’ve not heard it this year. (Which isn’t to say it hasn’t occurred, just that I haven’t heard them announcing.)”

Another islander says, “I love to watch the young ravens at Agren park every year, and have daily ‘conversations’ with the local raven’s here. Awesome birds!”

I love that there are not one but two islanders who speak fluent raven. 

The week’s big news is that a Bremerton ferry ran aground near Bainbridge. Moving the boat again took over 7 hours, and people were evacuated. As one islander noted, “People had to leave their cars overnight. Can you imagine if you had a horse trailer on the ferry!!!!!!”

Another replied, “Good reminder to always carry extra hay and water containers in your trailer.”

One writer for the Seattle Met wrote an account of being stuck on the boat for 7 hours with her cat, which I recommend reading. 

We then recount all the ferry mishaps we’ve lived through over the years 

One islander tells us, “The Walla Walla has been aground once before in Rich Pass, in 1981. The Kitsap ran aground in Rich Pass in 1996. It’s a tricky stretch, even when you don’t lose propulsion.”

 Another mentions, “​​1993 the m/v Sealth broadside the M/V Kitsap”

So, how did they solve the problem of getting people off Bremerton when the boat was stuck? You guessed it! They pulled a boat from the triangle route. As one commenter so succinctly put it,  “and………. the Issaquah goes away and Vashon is once again in the pickle barrel.”

Despite rarely posting and only lurking on the website for fodder for this column, I’ve somehow earned this badge of dishonor.

It’s probably because I posted about spending hours stuck at this crossroads, like a grounded ferry, trying to figure out where to go. 

And speaking of being parked in the middle of the road for seven hours, we have this post in the rants group: “Drive stupid, park stupid. New island motto.”

We then discuss what the island motto should be. One suggestion:  “”New motto? What rock have you been hiding under..”

Another islander says: “I’ve always been a huge fan of ‘keep Vashon wildly intolerant of the lower class’ really fits.”

I once saw this bumper sticker in the pharmacy parking lot that I identify with on a spiritual level: 

This is who we are as a people.

The real Vashon motto should be “Let’s have the same arguments over and over forever.” This week’s rehashed beef is about anonymous posting. 

We have this post: “If everyone posted as Group Member then nobody would know who was responding to who.  Now that would be true anonymity (except for the admins of course).”

We have two camps. In one camp’s trenches sit the philosophers who say that the world is harsh, and anonymity allows you to speak your mind without being bullied. 

The barbarians in the opposite camp say one should stand behind their words. If you have a bad opinion, own it. Or, as one put it,  “Has Group Member experienced trauma surrounding their actual personality? Maybe bullied in Thriftway or tailgated in Tahlequah? Just asking for a friend…..”

In favor of anonymity, we have: 

  • “Seriously …. getting annoyed at the many people who make fun of those that choose to be anonymous.
  • “Those who are group members, I applaud you. I know how hard it is to speak up and sometimes anonymity is the only way to be heard.”
  • “Shame on those that make fun of the people who choose anonymity.”

And in the other camp, they’re throwing empty beer tankards in the fire, wrestling naked, and saying, 

  • “I have to disagree. This IS a rant page after all. If one is too timid to stand up to harsh discussion, they should use one of the other pages. My opinion, and you know what they say about opinions…”
  • “Anonymous IS NOT COURAGE! If you don’t have the real courage to own your thoughts, then leave them in your head. Way too many Anonymous postings are from outright TROLLS.”

Who said we have to be brave to post online? Nothing in the group description says this is the arena of valiant warriors. Perhaps we should be more like thoughtful philosophers, interested only in the idea at hand and not its origin. But then I am reminded of this Thucydides quote, “The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.” 

What we need is a compromise that takes the bravery of standing behind your words and the academic freedom allowed by a degree of anonymity. 

Luckily, we  have a beautiful solution outlined by the King Solomon of the Vashon Rants page. “I think maybe there are times when anonymity is necessary for safety or something, but to use it so that you can be unkind or shame others is cowardly. If you have something mean to say, at least own it. That being said, to the lady in the black Versa something or other that drove on the side of the road so she could cut through the VCA and get to the schools before everyone else; eff you! Unless it was an emergency. Then I forgive you.” 

In lighter news, someone is offering these skeletons for free: 

“Free** Educational models for school, clinic or doctor’s office. We don’t have room for them in our clinic anymore. Must take both”  

You must take them both because they’re a bonded pair.

Within minutes there were multiple takers, so I’m sorry to say I did not get the skeleton, or the creepy snake backbone with a human head that I would have displayed, claimed was a cryptid I had fought in the woods, and charged people $12 to see. I would also have sold postcards. Let this be a lesson to you, kids. Spend every second of the day online so you can be the first to jump on cool free stuff being given away. 

Also, we recently passed April 20th, which is a high holiday for Vashon. It was celebrated by one local business with the following offering: “Sushi and 420 cupcakes” 

Interesting looking sushi

Finally, I was complaining to my daughter that there wasn’t much to write about this week, so she suggested I pose the question:  “What if cats ruled the world instead of humans?”

We came to the conclusion that cats would be Meowists, and she drew this picture of their temple for you all to enjoy. 

I’m converting.

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

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