Reporter Staff

Appeals Court affirms decision on the legality of permit for the 2008 Tent City

The Washington State Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of a lower court that dismissed the claims by a group called Mercer Island Citizens for Fair Process (CFP), in its action against the City of Mercer Island regarding the decision-making process that allowed the roving homeless encampment, Tent City 4, to come to Mercer Island in 2008. The CFP's lawsuit was an attempt to prevent the establishment of Tent City 4 on Mercer Island.

‘Sin’ taxes on beer, candy, bottled water go into effect June 1

Starting this week, consumers will shell out more for items such as beer, candy and bottled water as the state’s so-called “sin taxes” go into effect. The taxes, which will help the state lower the budget deficit, increase the cost of items that people purchase every day. As of Tuesday, buying beer will get more expensive as the state adds a tax that equals $0.28 per six-pack. The tax means that large breweries, those which make more than 2 million barrels a year, and foreign beer will be raised from $8.08 to $23.58 per barrel. Small U.S. breweries will be taxed at a lower rate, $4.78 per barrel, on the first 60,000 sold.

Considering selling gold? Read this first

Thinking about selling some old jewelry now that the price of gold is way up? For some extra cash, many have been considering using one of those mail-in “cash for gold” services that are advertised on TV. But are these companies the best option for selling old jewelry and scrap gold? According to the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, with the price of gold reaching record highs of well over $1,000, ads have prompted millions to sift through their valuables for rings, chains and coins that they are willing to part with. However, the allure of the promised “fast cash” has many hastily submitting items they may know little about to companies they haven’t researched. This has created an industry tailor-made for a recession and a hotbed of opportunity for consumer scams.

Adventure awaits at Island’s ‘You Powered’ event June 5

The Green Ribbon Commission’s ‘You Powered’ community celebration is set from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. this Saturday, June 5, at the South-end shopping center. The event is a free community celebration to learn about environmentally friendly practices and will bring together local merchants and an eclectic mix of You Powered organizations to celebrate the benefits of shopping locally and getting there using alternative transportation options.

Auction extended for Mercer Island mansion

The sealed bid auction of the 22,800-square-foot waterfront estate situated on the North end of Mercer Island on Roanoke Way has been extended to June 30, according to Sheldon Good & Company, the Chicago-based real estate firm which is conducting the sale. Reportedly, a suitable buyer has not been found. The extended deadline is a result of the seller’s objective to receive a contingent-free contract, said Craig Post of Sheldon Good.

Current Mercer Island Mayor Jim Pearman gives Jim Horn the 2010 Distinguished Service Award.

City honors citizens for service

The Mercer Island City Council awarded the 2010 Distinguished Service Awards to Marguerite Sutherland and Jim Horn, and the 2010 Distinguished Service Awards to Jane Meyer Brahm, with Jim Pearman, at its May 17 meeting. The Distinguished Service Award honors residents who provide ongoing leadership and service to the Mercer Island community. The Council presented each honoree with a plaque and a symbolic key to the city.

Current Mercer Island Mayor Jim Pearman gives Jim Horn the 2010 Distinguished Service Award.

Federal grant to fund system to track student data

Washington state was awarded $17.3 million for the design and implementation of a statewide education data system. The money is being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Known as a statewide longitudinal data systems grant, the money will support the development of an integrated data system from early childhood education to adult employment.

County execs Constantine and Jarrett to speak at Chamber lunch

The last Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon before the summer break is set for noon, June 10, at the Community Center at Mercer View. Speakers are King County Executive Dow Constantine and Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett. Please RSVP to the Chamber office, 232-3404, or via e-mail, mi_chamber@msn.com. The deadline for reservations is Tuesday, June 8. Please note that the Chamber bills for reservations made but not cancelled 24 hours before the event.

Mercer Island moms launch book drive at Island schools for public health clinic

Early this June, Mercer Island elementary schools and preschools will be holding their first “Graduation Book Drive.” As children “graduate” from one reading level or grade level to another, parents are encouraged to donate their books for a good cause: families in need. Early reading books and board books are especially needed, but all donations are accepted.

Maydenbauer Slough water once again safe after sewage spill

Water quality returned to safe levels in Meydenbauer Slough following a sewage overflow last week. The spill had limited effect on Meydenbauer Bay and did not harm public beaches. County officials were able to remove signs warning people to avoid contact with polluted water in the Meydenbauer Slough following a sewage overflow from a pump station in Bellevue.

‘Adventuress’ wins preservation award

The American Express and National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Partners in Preservation grant winner is the schooner Adventuress ship. The popular vote winner earned 20 percent of the votes for a $125,000 grant from American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

King County officials still considering sales tax hike

The Metropolitan King County Council is still weighing options on whether or not to put a sales tax increase on the August primary ballot. The two-tenths of an increase to sales tax, which was proposed by County Executive Dow Constantine last month, would help the county maintain criminal justice and public health programs that otherwise would be facing budget cuts to do shortfalls.

Public meeting set for Recycle Center future

The city is inviting Islanders to discuss land-use options for the former Mercer Island Recycle Center at a public meeting on June 2. The Mercer Island School District-run center was closed in February due to budget constraints after 34 years of operation. Because the Recycling Center, tucked between Mercerdale Park and the Farmer’s New Life Insurance building downtown, is on city property, it is up to the city to decide what to do with the land.

Business brief | MudBay coming to Mercer Island this summer

A natural pet food store is coming to Mercer Island this summer. With a grand opening scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 14, MudBay will be taking over and remodeling the building that previously housed Hollywood Video on 77th Avenue. Products include natural foods for dogs and cats — brand names such as Natura, Addiction, Nature’s Variety.

Extra Bridge the Gap money will help teachers

The Mercer Island School District’s Bridge the Gap fundraising campaign may earn $200,000 in excess of the $500,000 budget shortfall that it aimed to fill. With record donations raised during April’s Breakfast of Champions fundraiser, the Schools Foundation- and PTA-led initiative has already earned $556,000. A group of “challenge donors” has promised that, if 50 percent of MISD parents participate in the campaign, they will put in an additional $170,000. If this money is collected, the district will be $200,000 beyond its budget shortfall of $500,000.

Prom night quiet for Safe Rides

Prom night is always a busy evening for Mercer Island High School seniors and their families, but this year it was a quiet one for the Safe Rides program. Safe Rides provides free and confidential rides for youths on Saturday nights on the Island. Coordinator Leanne Reel said the organization gave zero rides and had two phone calls all night.

State holds St. Helens exhibit

With May 18 being the 30th anniversary of Mount St. Helens’ big eruption, the Washington State Archives is featuring an exhibit on what the mountain and Spirit Lake looked like before St. Helens literally blew its top on that fateful Sunday morning in 1980. The free exhibit is in the front lobby of the State Archives Building (1129 Washington St. S.E.) on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

Islander Wendy Liu has published a collection of Chinese proverbs applied to life in America.

Books from Mercer Island authors

An urban fantasy novel, cookbook and unique collection of Chinese proverbs are among the latest collection of books written by Islanders.

Islander Wendy Liu has published a collection of Chinese proverbs applied to life in America.

Northwest Yeshiva student takes third in Holocaust Remembrance arts contest

A local student at Northwest Yeshiva High School recently won third place in the annual Jacob Friedman Holocaust Writing and Art Contest, sponsored by the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. Adira Reback, a freshman in Virginia Hess’ class at the school, won after writing an essay answering the question: “How would your life be different if people were more respectful and tolerant of each other’s differences? How does change begin with you?”

Sheriff’s office reminds boaters to be safe on water

The King County Sheriff’s office is reminding boaters and anyone who uses the water this spring and summer of important safety measures. “While the weather will be great, the rivers and lakes of King County are still very cold. And the rivers are fast-moving, and extremely dangerous”, said Sheriff Sue Rahr. Most drowning deaths in King County occur in April, May and July – 56 percent of nine out of 16 in 2009.