Community briefs

Travel writing comes naturally to Islander

Native Islander, Roger Schwarz, will discuss his novel, “Layover,” at Island Books on January 14th at 7 p.m. “Layover” tells the story of a crew of flight attendants who, with the expectation of a relaxing layover at a beach resort in a small Central America country, instead, find themselves embroiled in a political coupe aligned with an environmentalist intent on disposing the oppressive military regime.

Schwarz graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1969, earned an English degree from the University of Washington and went on to a 38 year career as a flight attendant with United Airlines. His parents, Phil and Connie, were active members of the business community in the 60s, 70s and 80s with Mercer Island Travel, and Travel Professionals.

YTN presents the Little Mermaid

Youth Theatre continues its 30th Anniversary Season and opens the New Year with a magical tale. The YTN Mainstage will be transformed into a magical underwater kingdom. Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr. opens Friday, January 17 and performs through February 9.

This production will take families under the sea  in pursuit of a young and beautiful mermaid who longs to be part of our world. Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr. shares a story of hope, strength and true love and inspires children to stand tall and find courage when feeling awkward, afraid or like a “fish out of water.”

For tickets and more information about Youth Theatre programs and schools season, visit

Workout for Free in January

Only at the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island can you find an indoor pool, fitness center, and more than 35 fitness classes included with membership.

The SJCC is offering a free membership during the month of January. They invite everyone to check out the new, state-of-the-art strength and cardio equipment in the fitness center; swim a few laps; work out with a personal trainer; or try a Zumba, yoga, cycling, or boot camp class.

Become a member in February and the J will waive the joining fee – a savings of up to $250 per family.

For more, go to

TED talk Jan. 13

The next TEDx Mercer Island Library event is between 7 and 8:30 p.m., Monday, January 13, at the library at 4400 86th Avenue S.E.

The theme of the talk is Fitness – Brain and Body and will include special guests Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Fletcher and Mercer Island musician Nancy Stewart.

Upcoming TED Talks are “The Hidden Power of Smiling,” “On The World’s Killer Diet,” and “Less Stuff More Happiness.”

The events are free and refreshments will be served. Please RSVP,

Donate those Metro tickets

The King County Metro Transit Incentives Program offers all residents tickets for eight free rides on Metro busses.  Residents receive an order form when they renew their vehicle tabs, providing everyone an opportunity to try using the bus.  When people ride Metro, they help reduce congestion and pollution, save money, and improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.

If you don’t need or want the tickets, please consider the option to donate them for distribution to low-income and other needy individuals. For information go to

Wi-Fi for Mercerdale Park?

The city is considering plans to implement Wi-Fi service in Mercerdale park and the adjoining Thrift Shop.

Council briefly discussed the plan before holiday break, at its last meeting of 2013, on Dec. 2. Public Wi-Fi is already available at the city’s Community and Events Center and City Hall.

“We’ve heard from citizens before that they’d like to have access to it at the Thrift Shop and the park,” said city manager Noel Treat at the Dec. 2 meeting. “We think it’s a good public benefit.”

Staff are looking into new funding options at the next financial update. If no funding is identified, council won’t proceed.

Its tax time

The Seattle office of the Washington State Department of Revenue is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners from 1-4 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, January 8, at 2101 4th Ave., Suite 1400, in Seattle.

Participants will learn about Washington excise taxes, reporting classifications, deductions, tax incentives, sales tax collection, and record-keeping requirements. All receive a workbook and reference guide to DoR  rules and regulations.

To register, visit the Web site at or call (206) 727-5300. Space is limited.

For those who can’t attend this month’s workshop, there is a complete schedule of workshops statewide and a short streaming video version of the workshop available on the website.


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