Island briefs

Rosen honored by scholarship

Twenty extraordinary high school students will be the 50th anniversary recipients of the American Jewish Committee’s Max Block Student Human Relations Awards on May 13, and three students selected as award finalists will receive the inaugural Deborah Rosen Scholarships.

The new scholarships were named by the AJC Seattle Chapter for longtime board leader, community activist and Mercer Island resident, Deborah Rosen, who established an education endowment in order to fund three $2,500 scholarships to be given annually to the program finalists.

“This award is critical because it acknowledges the profound importance of compassion, justice and leadership in young adults,” Rosen explained.

AJC President Moshe Dunie praised the creation of the Deborah Rosen Scholarships.

“Deborah’s leadership and commitment to young people, education and the core values of human relations is an inspiration to all of us.”

Rosen has also been named to the College Success Foundation (CSF) board for 2009, along with three other new members.

Rosen joins 18 other board members. She has been committed to education and youth mentorship since she was a middle-school director of special education in Boston. She co-founded Basic Education Tutors, Inc., which operated until 2003 and specialized in helping students with reading difficulties and special needs as well as tutoring and enrichment in other subjects. Rosen’s contributions to Seattle’s nonprofit community include her service on the Seattle Public Library Foundation Board, the University of Washington Medical School Board of Visitors and numerous other advisory boards. She is a United Way ambassador and past board president and chair of the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

A past president of the Seattle Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, Rosen is now a national vice president serving on the Board of Governors. She is also the founding chair of the Seattle Jewish Film Festival.

For more information on AJC, visit

Island Quake ’09

The city of Mercer Island will be conducting “Island Quake ’09,” an emergency drill to test the city’s preparedness in the case of a severe earthquake, on April 30. The scenario, which runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., simulates a 6.7 magnitude earthquake along the Seattle Fault.

Based on King County’s 2008 “Sound Shake Exercise,” the drill will replicate serious impacts to the city’s transportation and communication systems as well as simulate power outages, utility disruptions, health care issues, and effects on schools and businesses. It will be the first time that Mercer Island has enacted a full emergency response, according to Emergency Preparedness Officer Jennifer Franklin.

“We’ve never done a functional drill on Mercer Island before where we activate the shelter and have King County here as evaluators. It’s not full scale, we don’t have actors, but it’s one level up from a tabletop exercise,” she said.

One of the unique issues that Mercer Island faces, due to its geography, is that in a catastrophic earthquake, residents could become isolated without bridge access to the mainland. Therefore, involvement from not only the city government but also the Mercer Island School District, city emergency volunteers, churches, businesses and residents is essential.

“I don’t expect that everyone will know exactly what to do, but it’s about getting everyone familiar with our new plan and the volunteers involved,” Franklin said.

The city implemented a new City Emergency Management Plan in December 2008. Island Quake ’09 provides one of the first opportunities for Mercer Island citizens, city workers, business employees, volunteers and schools to prepare for not only an earthquake, but any natural disaster. The drill will be held at City Hall, which serves as the Island’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Community Center will also participate, setting up as a shelter sight.

The city invites all residents to use Island Quake ’09 as an opportunity to review emergency preparedness with family and neighbors. Island Quake ’09 will not involve Island residents; however, if anyone is interested in becoming a Mercer Island emergency volunteer in the future, he or she is welcome to contact Franklin.

For more information, visit

Island Children’s Choir auditions

The Island Children’s Choir is holding auditions for the 2009-10 season from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on May 7 and May 14 at the Mercer Island Covenant Church. All boys and girls currently in the third, fourth and fifth grades are encouraged to audition. Nothing needs to be prepared, and no appointment is necessary.

For information, contact Marsha at (206) 232-8007 or

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