Up to candidates, down to parking crunch

Thumbs up to the City Council and School Board candidates for putting themselves out there for a chance to serve the public. Even though John DeVleming and Adair Dingle are uncontested in their bids for School Board, Mercer Island was close to having no candidates run for the two positions left open by board members John Fry and Carrie George. The three contested races for City Council already seem to be spirited. We would like to applaud everyone's willingness to serve our community and to renew calls for both candidates and supporters to keep campaigns civil and responsible.

Thumbs up for Mercer Island's good swimming beaches as the temperature climbs this summer. According to the city, Mercer Island beaches are some of the best in the area because the water is clean and safe for swimming. Other swimming beaches in King County have been closed at various times this summer due to high counts of bacteria, but testing at Island beaches show that the count is well below the level of concern. Head for Luther Burbank and Groveland beaches, where there are lifeguards on duty, or Clarke Beach for a safe and clean way to cool off on a hot day

Thumbs up to Mercer Island's 55-and-over co-ed softball team, the Rockers, which took the senior softball league title last week. The Rockers not only caught up to the first-place Seattle team in the standings, but also defeated the team twice to win the tournament. Way to go!

Thumbs down to people cribbing parking spaces from businesses when they are not customers. Some businesses have taken it upon themselves to post signs, some not so subtle, as a reminder. Though they won't get you into a store's spot, the city issues parking permits for spaces along Town Center streets, which are restricted to Mercer Island residents on weekdays between 7 and 9 a.m. Permits are available at City Hall, 9611 S.E. 36th St., or by mail or on the city's Web site (www.ci.mercer-island.wa.us). The cost is $5 per permit.

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