The good and the bad

As the tragedy brought by Hurricane Katrina in the South heads into its third week, it has become clearer how terrible the devastation has been and how much is needed to rebuild the South. As we have come to expect, Islanders are doing what they can to help.

? Thumbs up to Island firefighters Chris Tubbs and John Brindenbaugh, who set off to help during the first few days after the storm. Kudos to other firefighters and safety personnel who are filling in for those who have left and stand ready to go themselves.

? Thumbs up for Island churches, synagogues, banks, individuals and schools who have rallied to send money and supplies through their organizations to hurricane victims. Knowing that school children also want to help, the principals at Island public schools are working with their students to find the best way to help the people of the South.

? Thumbs up to city emergency services planners who have long anticipated the effects of an earthquake or other disaster on our community. The lessons learned in New Orleans will hopefully help us remain vigilant and prepared and thankful as well.

? Thumbs up to Islanders who volunteer for emergency preparedness, such as the Mercer Island Radio Operators who meet regularly and keep up to date.

? Thumbs up to city and school planners and contractors who completed road projects on Island Crest Way, East Mercer Way and others for the beginning of school on Sept. 6, making access to home, school and work easier and faster.

? Thumbs down to the planners of the Boys & Girls PEAK project for messing up on the correct number for computing how much land can be developed on school district property at the high school. We hope this is not the shape of things to come.

? Thumbs down to county officials for carpeting the Island with campaign signs. A few well-placed signs could probably do the trick. Islanders are clued into the importance of the Port of Seattle and King County races and other key issues. Campaign signs do not educate, they annoy.

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