Brotman wins Grammy

Former Island resident Charles Michael Brotman, a producer and musician who now lives in Hawaii, won a Grammy for best Hawaiian music album at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 13.

The album, ``Slack Key Guitar, Volume 2,'' is a compilation of music by various artists. Slack key is a form of traditional Hawaiian music that was brought by Spanish cowboys in the late 1800s. Native musicians devised the slack key to accompany the hula dance. Guitar strings are loosened to allow musicians to play bass and melody at the same time.

Brotman graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1970 and was the senior class president. His parents, Arnold and Barbara Brotman, still reside on Mercer Island.

Fine Arts Showcase March 8, 9

The annual Fine Arts Showcase will be held March 8 and 9 at Mercer Island High School.

``WE DREAM ...'' is the theme of this year's musical and visual arts event, the 26th celebration of the varied artistic expressions of the students in the Mercer Island School District.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8, for visual art displays and craft activities. Musical performances begin at 6:20 that evening.

On Wednesday, March 9, doors open at 5 p.m. for visual arts viewing. The two musical performances that evening begin at 6:30 and 8:15 p.m.

Food donations to benefit the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services food bank will be accepted at the door.

For ticket or questions,e-mail . or check the school district Web site.

The showcase is a joint production of the Mercer Island School District and the Fine Arts Advisory Committee and is an all-volunteer event. If you would like to help, please contact Terry Pottmeyer at

Memorial at Mercerdale

The Mercer Island Peacemakers and Veterans for Peace will present a one-day public art installation of more than 1,400 crosses and headstone-shaped pieces to represent soldiers killed during duty in Iraq. The memorial will be on view from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Mercerdale Park, 77th Avenue S.E. and S.E. 32nd Street.

The intent is for viewers to interpret what the installation, also known as ``Arlington NW'' mean to them.

This will be the 18th such display by Veterans for Peace, with the most recent installations at Peter Kirk Park in Kirkland and Cedar River Park in Renton.

Volunteers and docents will be on hand during the day-long event.

Firefighter fundraiser

Mercer Island firefighters will be at the north-end QFC later this month to work out on a Stairmaster in their bunker gear to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The fundraiser is a precursor to the annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, in which teams of firefighters wear full gear, including heavy air tanks, and climb the 76-floor Bank of America Columbia Tower in Seattle as quickly as they can.

Last year, Mercer Island firefighters won first place in the team event. The Island team that finished with the lowest overall combined time included Barry Collier, who finished second out of the 837 firefighters competing, with a time of 11 minutes and 14 seconds; Aaron Fleming, was fourth, with a time of 11:59; and Stephen Mair, who placed 16th, with a time of 13:39. Also competing last year from Mercer Island were: Jason Cook, Kent Bastrom, Ray Austin, Trever Kissel, Matt Kennedy and Larry Jorgenson.

The Island firefighters dedicated last year's climb to the wife of Lt. Bob Barden, Marianne Barden, who died of cancer in 2003.

To make a donation, stop by the QFC or send donations made out to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to the MI Firefighters at P.O. Box 1114, Mercer Island, 98040.

Police contract approved

The City Council last week approved a new collective bargaining agreement with the Mercer Island Police Association. The previous agreement had expired on Dec. 31.

A team of city staff members including Public Safety Director Ron Elsoe, City Attorney Londi Lindell, Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds, Human Resource Manager Kryss Segle and Police Cmdr. Ed Holmes had been negotiating with members of the police association and their attorneys.

The terms of the agreement call for paying employees at the midpoint of the market range and provide for a 2 percent wage increase in 2005 and 2006.

Parks fees, policies change

The Parks and Recreation Department is announcing several changes in policies on refunds and cancellations for recreation classes and rentals of park facilities, picnic shelters and athletic fields. Some fees are also being adjusted to match market rates and cost of services.

Refunds and cancellation policies are changing slightly to make online registration consistent with other cities participating in the same online registration Web site. Highlights include:

  • Participants who request a refund a minimum of five business days before a class begins will receive a refund, less a $10 administrative fee; class withdrawals requested less than five business days before class will offer a 50 percent refund, less the $10 administrative fee.
  • Deposits for day camps are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • Classes cancelled by the department will offer 100 percent refunds.
  • Cancellations for park and picnic shelter refunds must be made at least seven days before the date of the reservation in order to receive a refund, less the $10 administrative fee. There will be no refunds for inclement weather.
  • Athletic field cancellations must be made at least five business days before a scheduled booking to receive a refund, less the $10 administrative fee.

Fees for ballfield use will stay the same as last year. However, when seasonal field preparation beyond the normal level of service is required -- such as extra soccer field layouts and linings -- staff time and materials will be charged back to the user. Other fees that will differ from last year include picnic area rentals and vehicle access fees for Luther Burbank Park and the I-90 Lid Park picnic shelter.

A new $1 surcharge will be imposed for all park facility rental bookings and program registrations will be assessed, in order to help cover costs associated with software and hardware purchases, maintenance and support services costs and related supplies and equipment. Picnic area rentals and access fees will now be the same for mid-week and weekend rentals.

For more information, visit or contact the Parks and Recreation Department at or 236-3545.

Banner Bank robbed

Three weeks after opening for business, Banner Bank was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money by a man who implied that he had a weapon on Monday, Feb. 14. No one was injured in the robbery, which occurred at about 3:30 p.m.

The bank, located at 2918 78th Ave. S.E., opened Monday, Jan. 24.

Bank employees described the robber as a male in his 30s to 40s and standing approximately 5 foot 1 inch to 5 foot 3 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a baseball cap, red sweatshirt and blue jeans. He left the bank on foot.

Ric Power, owner of Island Graphics, was inside the bank opening an account when the robbery occurred. Power did not see the robbery and said he learned of it from the branch manager. He added that the bank's staff was professional and calm throughout the incident.

Mercer Island police and the FBI are investigating the robbery. Police ask that anyone with information regarding the robbery to contact them at 236-5300.

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