Editorial | Penny wise...

We live a life here that many cannot imagine. We do not worry about car bombs or random shootings. Yet we have our own life and death dramas right here every day.

Two frightening incidents occurred on the Island last week. A burglary and a brazen attempted armed robbery on the South end serve as a reminder that the Island sits in the center of a large urban area easily accessible along an interstate corridor.  Beyond the freeway ramps, it is relatively simple to prowl mailboxes, unlocked cars or to enter secluded homes for cash and valuables. It is fortunate that no one was hurt in the last two incidents (shaken up, no doubt) and that the dog beaten during one crime is going to recover. The word is that the Mercer Island Police Department is focusing their resources to find who is responsible. As far as the rest of us, it is our charge to remain vigilant and careful and to lock our homes and cars.

Off-Island, there have been some extremely serious accidents involving cars, drunks, commercial trucks and cyclists. Two cyclists have died on the streets of  Seattle in just four months. Last Thursday, a man was killed by a hit and run driver within a marked bike lane. Another cyclist was killed in Kirkland the weekend before in another accident. All of this comes into sharper focus as the weather warms up and cyclists are cruising the many blind corners on East and West Mercer Way.  With everyone in such a hurry, it is a wonder that there has not been a serious accident along those arterials.

Finally the sun brings out swimmers and boaters along Island shores. One can only hope that swimmers are competent and aware when out in the still-cool waters of Lake Washington. Because of city budget cuts, a lifeguard is not on duty at Groveland Beach — a very popular park along the shore with an inviting beach and dock.  A single full-time lifeguard costs the city perhaps $6,000 each summer.  More than one would be needed.  But surely a few dollars could have been shifted around to maintain this crucial safety measure and quite possibly save a life.


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