Opinion

Task and tradition

It has been a dreary, endless rainy November, bringing wind, gutters and drains blocked with leaves and debris, sluiceways on the streets, wet basements and leaking roofs.

City maintenance workers are in the thick of it, cleaning up the wake left behind by Mother Nature, unclogging storm drains and keeping watch over tree limbs and power lines.

These tasks are often performed unseen and unnoticed but, if left undone, can cause great havoc.

One task in particular that many of us are keen to see happen is the clearing of leaves on the streets. But one benefit of living on the Island means that many trails and stairs around and through city parks and open spaces are also cleared.

The slippery leaves that cover walkways and steps are dangerous. It makes a huge difference to walkers, runners and dog walkers to have those leaves cleared. In a time when we should do everything we can to encourage exercise and people to use their cars less, this effort is essential.

The clear sidewalks and paths might mean fewer of us will opt to drive rather than walk because of the puddles and slick sidewalks that await.

We applaud city workers who do their job so well.

The annual Firehouse Munch set for Friday, Dec. 1, is a tradition to keep. The City of Mercer Island coordinates the annual event, lighting up the Town Center and the big Sequoia tree in Mercerdale Park at 7 p.m. The tree lighting is a way to bring everyone together, sing a few songs that we all know by heart and get into the spirit of the season.

After the tree is lit, firefighters and community businesses will be just across the street at the station house, ready with all the fixins’- hot chocolate, cookies, firehouse chili and, of course, jolly ol’ St. Nick. The north-end firehouse is quite the party place — full of shiny trucks, dashing men in uniform (one with a curly white beard), friends and neighbors, music and fun.

See you there.

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