Time to put our shoes back on

Nancy Gould-Hilliard
Around the Island

As we wrest the last fun from summer, some picnic in the parks or travel to family reunions. Our last gossamers were the panorama of the San Juan archipelago from atop Orcas Island’s Mount Constitution, and helping haul in 14 salmon on a fishing trip in Admiralty Inlet with two of our sons.

For Mercer Island’s Tom Callahan, Nancy Kolton, Lynda Hamilton, Cindy Baker, Rei and Eiichi Shimizu, the last summer thrill was riding with the Cascade Bicycle Club from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. This “RSVP” ride went from Seattle’s Magnuson Park, through the Skagit Valley to Canada. The two-day 183-mile ride was free of flat tires and rain, and included stunning scenery, great company and fantastic food, says Callahan. Chuckanut Drive was a high point, overlooking Samish and Bellingham Bays.

Nearly 20 Island swimmers completed the fourth annual “Tour De Mercer” around the Island Aug. 24. Included were Mike Bersos, Howard Jess, Dave Landes, Cory Mackie, Don Maclane, Donna Peters, Tom Robertson, Jim Smersh, Loretta Soffe, Kelly Sterling, Kerry Sussex, Paul Von Destinon, Sarah Vranesh, John Vranesh, Mike Wayte.

In the water by 6 a.m. every other day from Aug. 13-24, they swam 13 miles to raise $1500 for the Stanley Stamm Children’s Camp through Children’s Hospital. Dave Landes began the several-day swim in 2004, along with other Mercerwood Shoreclubbers. A yellow thong is awarded the victor, akin to the yellow jersey of a Tour de France front-runner. It went to Paul Scoglund this year.

Back into the fold: With summer gone, schools, churches, companies and government ask us now to drive more cautiously, clean up our yards and homes and gather unwanted items for the Fall Recycling Event, Saturday, Sept. 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MI City Hall.

Bring batteries, cardboard, clothing and household items in good condition, confidential material for shredding; stripped down porcelain toilets and sinks, propane tanks and appliances, scrap metal, electronic equipment and TVs; plastic containers, tires, motor oil, filters and antifreeze. For fees and what won’t be accepted, see the calendar at and click on Sept. 15.

After making room for new school clothes and fall fashion in your closets, take your cast-offs to Mercer Island Thrift Shop Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. Your donations support MI Youth and Family Services. The thrift shop even accepts cars!

Fall Park-lifts: Good times lie ahead, as the city completes fall upgrades of several Island parks. Scheduled are landscaping of Rotary Park with help from the local Rotary Club; replacing playground equipment in response to public requests at First Hill Park, West Lid and Secret Park; completion of new turf for South Mercer Playfields; and planting of the front bank at the Community Center at Mercer View.

The City also seeks help managing vegetation in Mercer Island’s 300 acres of open spaces, vulnerable to storm damage, vandalism, alien plants and imported diseases. EarthCorps will host work parties at Pioneer Park from 2-5 p.m. Oct. 1; Ellis Pond Oct. 13, SE 53rd Open Space Oct. 14, Wildwood Park Oct. 20, Island Crest Park Oct. 27, Pioneer Park Nov. 11 and Mercerdale Hillside Dec. 1. Please pre-register for these events at For more on Island park, road and utility projects see, or contact Keith Kerner, Parks Manager, 206.236.3279,

Go, sister pastors! Linda Fowler, Glo Ceteznik and Eliana Maxim are back to their studies in the master of divinity degree program at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. It is an approved seminary for ministerial candidates in 11 Protestant denominations. Linda finds the ecumenical program spiritually and academically sound, and practical in its multicultural context. Her call is to chaplaincy (spiritual care) in a hospital or nursing home setting.

Everyone loves love: No wonder Island photographer Jim Garner won studio album of the year at the Wedding Photography and Portrait International contest in Las Vegas last spring. He beat out several hundred photographers by artfully capturing the energetic Emily (Odegard) and Marshall Jamieson throughout their March wedding. If you can’t go to (click on newlyweds then the Jamiesons), know that Jim captured that private moment when bride reveals her begowned self to groom, waiting nervously alone in the chapel — and all the ebullient activity that follows.

Jim is a local boy (MI mom is Jan Shaefer), who graduated MIHS in 1988. He and his wife, Katarina, lived here after their 1999 marriage, until recently moving to Seattle. Photo subject, Emily, grew up on Mercer Island as well and lives here again, after attending Dartmouth University. Marshall is the local Young Life director, and both are involved in the high school community. They are expecting their first child this fall.

Consider the solution to unsnarl regional traffic that John Bruns, former Islander and inventor, presented last week to MI Rotary. His automated “Puget Pullway” is relatively cheaper, doesn’t pollute, banishes collisions, and moves 5,400 cars per hour — three times more than today.

The Pullway consists of special lanes with an automatic track that attaches a tow bar of sorts to your car and pulls it along. Would drivers make the extra effort to retrofit their cars to accept the tow bar and join the steady stream?

Carrie York Williams, Island dentist and vestry member of Emmanuel Church, and other Islanders appeared on “Northwest Afternoon” Aug. 27 to invite the public to a “U2Charist,” a communion service using U2 songs in lieu of traditional hymns. Fellowship and feast begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, in the Parish Hall, service with live music by Church Of The Apostles Band begins at 6 p.m.

The band comes from the Episcopal and Lutheran church in Fremont, and plays Irish rock and U2’s music. Bono, U2’s lead singer and humanitarian, stresses global justice for the poor and oppressed, and caring for neighbors. The offering goes to Episcopal Relief and Development, to benefit the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Football season is upon us. Did you hear the cheering from the high school stadium Aug. 31 — first home game against Eastlake? I bet new coach Bill Heglar agrees with Paul Dietzel, of Louisiana State University, that “young men learn more character on the two-yard line than anywhere else in life.” Next home game is 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, against Mt. Si. It’s Hall of Fame Night.

Lance Rhoades, film historian, kicks off the Hitchcock film series tomorrow, Sept. 6, at the Community Center, with behind-the-scenes background on each film. The films will show Saturdays at 1 p.m., at the MI Library: “Rear Window,” Sept. 8; “Rebecca” Oct. 6; “The Birds” Oct. 27; “Vertigo” Nov. 3; “North-by-Northwest” Dec. 8. (Note the date change for “Vertigo” from original listing.)

G & ME classes — for grandparents and their grandchildren ages 0-4 — debuts at the Jewish Community Center Sundays, Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9. For 45 minutes (just before noon) the duos can play music, dance, do balance routines and bake cookies together. Great addition to the J’s family and parenting offerings.

Ebay know-how: The U.S. Post Office offers two classes at the Mercer Island Library on how to buy, sell and ship on Ebay, Sept. 12: one at 2 p.m. and one at 4 p.m.

The Science and Management of Addictions (SAMA) Foundation and its “family navigator program” invite parents concerned with their teen’s substance abuse to an event Sept. 27, 6-8 p.m., Seattle Central Community College. Register by Sept. 12 at or phone 206-822-SAMA.

Premier car show “Concours d’ Elegance” once again parades at Carillon Point in Kirkland from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9. The proud owners of the finest vintage and concept automobiles will put spit-shines not only on their cars, but themselves.

“Navigator Program” helps families fight substance abuse.

You’re here. Approximately 10 percent of society is addicted to drugs, pills, alcohol or other substances, and an average of four people surrounding the addicted suffer the side effects.

In ages 12-25, the stats more than double for untreated substance abuse disorders. And Mercer Island youth, according to a governmental study, have higher than norm attitudes that drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana is cool.

Mercer Island’s Chemical People movement of the early ’80s addressed local substance abuse and helped provide a drug counselor at the high school. Now, several Mercer Islanders have joined the board of the Science and Management of Addictions (SAMA) Foundation that brings hope to those in the struggle.

The terrifying trap that locks family members into the addiction battle can seem futile — or can miraculously end in recovery. SAMA’s approach is to bridge that gap with a “navigator program” to coach and support families through the discovery stages to treatment and recovery.

“You lose connection with your child the moment addiction takes over,” says an involved local parent who remains anonymous. “This navigator program helps educate us, direct us to support and helps us learn to manage the mine fields.”

SAMA, which strives to eliminate the disease of substance addiction in youth, presents an event for parents concerned with their teen’s substance abuse Sept. 27, 6-8 p.m. at Seattle Central Community College.

Registration is requested by Sept. 12 by contacting or 206.328.1719. For general inquiries, phone 206-822-SAMA.

To contact Nancy Hilliard, e-mail her at

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