Letters to the editor

Jones Soda, sold!

My name is Nathaniel Parrott, and I am going into the seventh grade. Last Saturday, my friend Ryan O’Grady and I sold Jones Soda to the people in the ferry line.

All the money went to the Vashon Skate Park in Burton for a new indoor skate ramp. We raised more than $120 for the skate park.

I just wanted to thank the people who bought the Jones Soda and and an extra thanks to the people who gave extra money and donations to the skate park and the people who go there. Thank you!

The skate park is a great place for kids to go on the Island. The skate park allows skateboarding, inline skating (roller blades) and scooters too.

Around the building are some bike jumps, a Frisbee golf course and just a great place to walk your dogs, too (as long as you pick up their “items”). The skate park is also trying to build an outdoor skate park so the kids don’t have to be stuck with the same thing every day.

— Nathaniel Parrott

Innocent until proven guilty

Scapegoating is the act of holding a person or group of people responsible for a multitude of problems.

We on Vashon have already convicted a whole group of people, “teens,” for the current hate crime at Havurat Ee Shalom, with no evidence. We are guilty of scapegoating teenagers.

Do we not believe in the presumption of innocence as a sacred canon of justice?

When and if a person or persons are arrested for the hate crime at the Havurat, the breaking of the stained glass window at the Presbyterian Church, the vandalism at the airport or any other of the myriad acts of hate or mischief that have occurred recently, when and if that person or persons are arrested, even then, whether teenager or adult, that person or those persons are innocent until proven guilty.

I agree with Philip Cushman in his op-ed piece that “the problem isn’t that a couple of kids wrote an absurd statement on a synagogue wall. The problem is that they must have heard that statement from others or gathered that sentiment from the behavior of others,” but I go further, that whoever it was who committed the crime heard this sentiment from others is the problem.

It may be a misdirection of energies and resources to focus attention on teens to cure the problem of anti-Semitism here on Vashon, when perhaps it is a larger problem.

Can’t we just hold off on prejudging and presume innocence?

— Kate Hunter

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