Opinion

Looking ahead | Editorial

The work done to date by the 21st Century Committee is impressive — not only for the results accomplished to date but the people who have come forward to help out. A diverse group of people with the kinds of skills needed for such an important undertaking have been recruited. Educators, engineers and finance experts have come forward.

Equally important is the fact that all are Islanders who have a personal history here on the Island and in the schools, and have a stake in the community’s future. No matter that these projects will come to fruition long after many of the people who serve on this committee will be gone; Islanders are committed to the future.

Such groups are fairly common in this town. There are busy professionals, parents and active retirees who serve on the Design Commission, the Planning Commission, committees on youth, band and sports. There is Island Vision, the Arts Council, Rotary, and many others. These individuals are part of what makes the Island a special place — a place focused on excellence. It is oft repeated that the fine schools here are the reason for the high property values. True — but not likely the reason people volunteer day and night for the various needs and programs at the schools. Yet, with or without such investments in K-12 education, there are serious issues ahead. Even with a fine K-12 school system, will there still be enough spots for high school grads at college? Will there be schools they can attend without facing a huge debt when they graduate?

Among the many who swam, paddled or boated on the lake during the beautiful, warm and sunny last week are a couple of stand-outs. Not concerned about prizes or accomplishments, a pair of Island women in their 80s set out to swim across the open water from Bellevue to Mercer Island. At the end of their swim, ‘a piece of cake’ to them, they were met by other friends who stay fit. Lean and fit, and matter of fact about their longevity and their passion for the water, these two, Peggy Pomeroy and Alice Smith, have been swimmers for years. We salute them.

 

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