February 2020


Freshman class to experience Axiom Equine workshop
By Eliza Pinckney, reporter

This spring, groups of ninth graders will go with their SMART classes to a horse ranch in Glen Acres on a full day field trip. Axiom Equine’s goal is to help people in a unique and meaningful way and teach them valuable skills and lessons.

In the Axiom Equine workshop, students will be led by founders Kate Shook and Melissa Pate in a series of activities where they will interact with...Read More

Racial equity team discusses discrimination at high school
By Halle Wyatt, Co-Content Editor

Racism has often been an uncomfortable subject matter through the school district. Four years ago, administrators aimed to change that by forming an equity group to give staff the resources to learn more about racial discrimination and apply that knowledge to their teaching. This year, administrators also implemented a similar group specifically for students to share their experiences with inequity and create change at the ...Read More

Forks get the chop with switch to alternative utensils
By Elizabeth Lande, Managing and Copy Editor

Humor and cynicism broke out among the student body on Friday, Jan. 10 in response to an email from assistant principal Andrew Guss. The school wide email announced that, in the following week, the lunchroom would begin using chopsticks. A string of witty student responses followed this initial email, but the fact remained: forks were off the menu.

In the email, Guss directly laid forth the...Read More

Arts & Entertainment

Keeping Me on My Toes
By Isaac Escovedo, Reporter

Dance studios have mirrors on every available surface, which is great because I can see how clumsy I look from every angle. On a cold Saturday morning, I walked into the Blue Heron — home to one of Vashon’s ballet schools — and prepared to show off my lack of flexibility. Juniors Tamsen Henry and Mia Kuzma agreed to run me through an hour and a half of ballet, and I had no idea that dancing could hurt so...Read More

The Pixies stun audiences with latest album
By Chick Green, Reporter

The Pixies are Back! It’s been three years since their last release, and I couldn’t be more stoked. “Beneath the Eyrie” presents a fresh take on an aging band. This album is considerably more mellowed out than many of their more popular past releases. However, this makes it no less of an engaging experience. The place once occupied by schizophrenic lead guitar riffs and screaming vocals is now full of catchy pop songs that can be almost creepy at times.

The goofiness that made the Pixies stand out is still 100 percent there, but the tone of the songs is entirely different. I think the aging of Frank Black’s voice helps...Read More

Oscar nominations range the gamut
By Ellie Lande, Managing and Copy Editor

It’s 2020, and by (debatable) popular demand, I have returned to write my predictions for the top four Oscar Categories. I did decently well last year, coming away with 60 percent accuracy — a D- for those of you playing at home. I’m not necessarily aiming for a higher grade this year, but I’m just as eager to see how it all plays out.

Best Director

I think I can pretty quickly give this one to Quentin Tarantino for “Once Upon a Time he did the best job. In fact, I’d argue that Todd Phillips rivals with “Joker,” Bong Joon-ho created a masterpiece with “Parasite,” and Sam Mendes should actually be winning this category with “1917.” The edge goes to QT for the subject matter. It’s a love letter to Golden Age Hollywood, and while it might not have been 2019’s best directing, Tarantino...Read More

Island Burgers: Which beef is best?
Milo Carr, Reporter

You’ve seen pizza reviews and coffee reviews — now it’s time to review something that occupies the menus of most restaurants on this island: burgers. While I didn’t have the space (both word count and intestinal) to review all nine shops that serve burgers, I knew I had to give an unbiased, standard experience at some...Read More


Social media divides generations, promotes communication
By Mari Kanagy, Publishing Editor & Hannah Spranger, Co-Content Editor

Starting in 2020, Instagram will extend the newest addition to its platform to the United States: taking away the ‘like’ feature on posts. The intent of the modification is to, as Instagram released in a tweet in July, shift the focus toward enjoying the posts themselves, “not how many likes they get.” This significant change in such a widely-used social media platform has sparked conversation about the effects of social media, and the ways in which technology impacts people’s lives every day.

This impact can be felt close to home in the high school community. Senior Shira Stahl has expressed annoyance at being a part of...Read More


Students must work towards an increased positive relationship to technology
By Isabelle Spence, Editor-in-Chief

The current generation has been struck by a new plague. The disease takes over their every thought, consumes all of their free time, and cripples their mental and emotional health At least, this is how some older generations have come to describe teens’ current reliance on phones and technology. A great deal of fear surrounds these relatively new machines, especially in relation to the unknown landscape of social media. While some of the fears can be proven true, it is this board’s belief that there is an equal amount of positivity as negativity that can be gained from social media. If we as a society work to develop our relationship with social media, the technology can become a tool...Read More


Grading deadline should be required of teachers
By Catherine Brown, Photo Editor and Business Editor

As a student with many teachers who don’t always keep their gradebook updated, I often feel stuck in my classes. Although many teachers will help out their students or prioritize communication with them, other teachers do not.

There are multiple teachers in our school who focus more on their extracurricular activities than on the core classes they teach. My question is this: why does the school allow a teacher to continue to focus more on activities other than...Read More

National age to purchase tobacco should not be raised to 21
By Alexander Wolf, reporter

On Jan. 1, the national age to purchase tobacco products was raised from 18 to 21. This change may initially seem logical and productive. However, this law takes away choice ...Read More


Jennifer Coe arrives at high school
Stella Chilcote, reporter

Jennifer Coe, the new CTE office manager, has been warmly welcomed by the school community. Coe will be taking on the role of leading the high school’s CTE programs and assisting students with their required community service hours.

Coe has lived on Vashon for 22 years and has done social work for Vashon Household, supporting low-income families. She also has experience working with the food bank to help students get their community service hours.

“Right now, the biggest challenge [as CTE manager] is that there’s so much to...Read More

Senior Barlow trains with Pacific Northwest Ballet
By Amelia Spence, Reporter

Everyone has their passion, something that makes them tick, an activity they do just because they enjoy it. However, few people get...Read More

Island director explores different lives and cultures in films
By Halle Wyatt, Co-Content Editor

Director John Jeffcoat has lived on the island for nearly a decade. However, he has much more experience exploring both distant lands in films such as “Outsourced” and “Big in Japan,” as well as the lives of everyday people, as in the...Read More

Islander reflects on Zen and the human condition
By Ellie Lande, Managing and Copy Editor

Part-time island resident Jyl Brewer hasn’t led the most traditional life, but her experiences have been no less fulfilling. She pursued every ambition that’s come her way, ranging from...Read More

My friend, Taylor Duncan
By James McCrackyn, Reporter

1. What TV shows are you into?
Answer: Friends

2. What sports do you play?
Answer: Soccer, basketball...Read More


Young debate team excels in competition
By Isabelle Spence, Editor-in-Chief

The small classroom is filled with words being spoken at hard to decipher levels. High school students rattle off obscure facts from dossiers hundreds of pages long. Students spend their weekends engaging in not only homework, but assignments typically harder than what they face in an average school day. To some, this scene may sound confusing. But, this is the core of debate. The complex club pushes its students’ ability to critically think, teaches them important communication skills, and helps bolster their inner...Read More

Rutschow wins tournament, predicted to place at state
By Olivia London-Chambers, Reporter

The 2019-2020 wrestling season has been a particularly successful one for junior Jordan Rutschow. The season is not yet complete, but Rutschow is predicted to finish in third place in the state for division 1A wrestling.

“I've won the Rock tournament, the Everett tournament, and...Read More

Students practice competitive horseback riding
Reese Thompson, Reporter

Horseback riding is becoming an increasingly common sport, ranking as the 13th most popular sport in the U.S. The equestrian community is prevalent on the island, where riders find benefits in health and companionship.

Students Rumor Pollard...Read More

Winter sports see mixed success in league play
Hannah Spranger, Co-Content Editor

Winter Cheer:

For the first time in many years, Winter Cheer attended a competition at a statewide level on January 4. The squad competed in the game day large co-ed category, and narrowly missed placing for state.

“I wish we could’ve been competing for all four years,” senior Maya Harrison said. “[Competing] brought the team together and it was good to see other schools compete and their techniques and dancing because we could...Read More


Docks close, future remains unclear
By Isaac Escovedo, Reporter

What will we call Dockton when there’s no more dock? Vashon has had docks for as long as it’s had white settlers, and without these docks, Vashon is at risk of losing tourism from sailors. The Dockton and Tramp Harbor docks have been popular fishing, swimming, and boating destinations on Vashon Island for years, and with their closing

“The fisher people … like the Tramp Harbor Dock because of its...Read More

Women take on local businesses
By Catherine Brown, Photo Editor and Business Editor

Whether it’s winning our hearts over by flowers or food, local women are running and operating businesses. Women are not only a crucial part of global society, but they also have a special place on the island.

Cara Briskman is the shop manager at Herban Bloom, a local flower shop. She has lived on Vashon for 20 years and has been working at the shop since it opened six...Read More