Summer Celebration! fireworks show

I just want the City of Mercer Island to know that they did an outstanding job with the fireworks celebration show. The shuttle service from City Hall to Luther Burbank Park was a great idea. When the show was over, we were back to our car in 10 minutes — it doesn’t get any better than that. Thanks, MI.

Common courtesy — or “Didn’t your mother teach you manners?”

On Monday night an experienced Obama volunteer knocked on our door, wishing to share information about the candidate’s mission and hopefully collect contributions for his campaign. She is a recent high school graduate, volunteering 60-80 hours per week since graduation, and has worked up to a supervisory role. She is a highly intelligent, ambitious, articulate, petite (5-foot-tall) young woman on her way to NYU to study political journalism.

Tonight that same young woman came back to my house practically in tears asking if she could have a drink of water and sit for a bit. Apparently, this evening after visiting dozens of homes off south E. Mercer, she had repeatedly been insulted — bordering on verbal assault. She had the door loudly slammed in her face, and one man (an Obama supporter) threatened to sic his dog on her.

In a world today where we complain about how things don’t change, about voter apathy, the economy, the war, government, healthcare, unemployment, taxes, gas prices ... the majority of us sit and watch from the sidelines.

The future of our country lies on the shoulders of and in the arms of our children. We should be celebrating those who are committing themselves to greater causes this summer than working on a sun tan. We should be encouraging the ones who are pursuing their education while still finding time to stretch beyond their own worlds and reach out in volunteering to help make a difference in everyone’s future.

I congratulate that young woman and others like her. I feel embarrassed and ashamed she received such an outrageous, uncalled for, unwelcome and downright nasty reception on MI. Shame on those who didn’t learn in kindergarten how to play nicely with others.

Plastic bag ban

I would like the City of Mercer Island to adopt a ban of plastic bags much like the city of San Francisco, which only allows compostable and reusable bags in its grocery stores. I think it is unfair to punish the customers by charging them a fee for a bag like what Seattle might consider. I urge the City of Mercer Island to be the example in Washington state and show how we care about the environment and how to do it correctly.

I’ve talked with the Albertsons and QFC managers on Mercer Island, and I figured out that Island customers use about four million paper and plastic bags a year. I’ve written Mayor Jim Pearman and the City Council, and they are on board to figure out a solution to the excessive use of plastic and paper bags that often do not get recycled. I asked the store managers to offer reusable bags at the check stand, to promote the use of reusable bags, and to have reminder signs in the entrance of their stores. Some customers do have bags, but they often forget them either in their cars or leave them at home.

I would like the clerks to ask customers if they would like to purchase a reusable bag as another option. I was excited to see QFC giving away their reusable bags at Summer Celebration! I hope this will encourage people to use their new reusable bags and help save our environment.

Hospitality for

Tent City 4

As members of the Mercer Island United Methodist Church, we are thankful for the overwhelming expressions of support that the church has received from neighbors, other faith communities, city leaders and fellow citizens of Mercer Island.

Extending hospitality to Tent City 4 means welcoming strangers into our community. Extending that hospitality also means providing fundamental help to persons in need.

We are thankful that we can be of service, and we thank those who are also willing to share their resources in such a meaningful way.

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