Residents weigh in on the Mercer Island Center for the Arts | Letters

CCMIP once again misleads Islanders

In Peter Struck’s recent letter to the Reporter, once again he and the political action committee he supports, Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks (an organization historically “aided and abetted” by an off-Island political action committee in Kent), misled Islanders with inflammatory, exaggerated claims about the proposed Mercer Island Center for the Arts.

The building footprint will not impact Summer Celebration or other activities and events in Mercerdale Park. The impervious surface area of Mercerdale’s abandoned recycling center, unused for anything today beyond restrooms for the Farmers Market and occasional mulch storage, comprises approximately 1.2 percent of the 30.9 acre park. MICA’s current design, proposed to replace the unused recycling center, will provide Youth Theatre Northwest and other arts education and performance organizations a home and will continue to provide restrooms and other support for the Farmers Market. MICA’s impervious surface area would cover 2.7 percent of the park. Islanders, please visit the MICA website and read the facts: www.mercerislandarts.org/faq or email any specific questions to AskMICA@mercerislandarts.org.

Virl Hill

Mercer Island

Many thanks, MICA, for the music

The July 19 article “Farmers Market offers live music program,” inadvertently did not mention that the Mercer Island Center for the Arts is the organization that sponsors the fabulous, live music we all enjoy so much every week at the Mercer Island Farmers Market. We would like to express our deepest appreciation to MICA for their continued support of the local musicians who add so much to our patrons’ experience at the market and to our community.

The MIFM Board of Directors

Would council allow parking lot in Mercerdale Park?

The inability of Mercer Island Center for the Arts to offer parking for their patrons and employees may cause encroachment on the Mercerdale neighborhood. MICA is asking the City Council for an off-site parking waiver for their patrons and employees, which will cause patrons and employees to park in the neighborhood. This may have unwanted consequences. MICA patrons and employees may not wish to walk several blocks to MICA. They will probably complain and MICA may try to solve the problem by asking the City Council to allow a parking lot in Mercerdale Park. The council may feel it has no choice and approve the request.

MICA’s building must not be allowed in our family park. Any MICA construction belongs at the community center. The MICA building has morphed into a 28,000-square-foot edifice, with an unnecessary fire lane crossing the park from Southeast 34th Avenue to their building, a water detention tank, a facility that serves alcohol, a request to have a right of way at the end of Southeast 32nd Street, the destruction of a native plant garden adjoining the Mercerdale Park grassy area, the possible removal of the middle lane on Southeast 77th Avenue, etc. To this list we must add the eventual and almost certain request for a parking lot in the park. This would permanently and forever destroy the park. This is a loved and well-used park. This park belongs to all Islanders, not just to an entitled few expecting special treatment.

Virginia Arnon

Mercer Island

Council’s MICA deal reeks of special interest motives

The Mercer Island City Council has seen fit to basically change the role of government.

No longer do we operate under the mantra of government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Mercer Island has adopted a new concept. It has become “ government of the City Council, by the City Council and for the City Council. We are elected to do what we want.”

Somehow the concept that we, the citizens, elected them to look out for the best interests of the Mercer Island electorate has gone by the wayside.

The deal made by our council to replace beautiful parkland and open space near our downtown area with more concrete, mortar, steel, wood and pavement, serious parking issues, traffic congestion and crowding, all for a sum of $1 per year for a lifetime, is thoughtless and reeks of special interest motives.

Mercer Island’s open spaces, flora, waterfront and parklands are what makes our community a special place to live. The lure of living here is not because of buildings.

Does the community want the Youth Theatre Northwest and the other arts to be part of the Mercer Island culture? Of course. Just not at the expense of losing our parklands. And for $1 per year — that has to be a fantasy.

Here is the negative truth:

Beautiful parklands — gone.

No transparency by our leadership. No vote of the people.

Serious intimation tactics used by advocates, including some council members, to silence opponents and to try and prevent a citizen vote.

A give-a-way to private interests at a ridiculous fee of $1 per year.

Creation of serious parking and traffic problems , with no viable solutions addressed.

City Council — listen to your people, they elected you to represent them, not special interests.

Ed and Shirley Pepple

Mercer Island

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