Sun in January

Island Sun, the tanning salon under construction in the Islandia Center next to Island Books, is scheduled to open in January.

Island Sun, the tanning salon under construction in the Islandia Center next to Island Books, is scheduled to open in January.

Owner Kirk Robinson, who grew up on Mercer Island and now works as a firefighter in Bellevue, will run the salon with his girlfriend, Jessie Pollock, and his mother, Island resident Lori Robinson.

Island Sun will have 11 separate tanning rooms, including bed and spray tanning services.

“I have always wanted to own a business of my own and move back to Mercer Island,” said Robinson, who currently lives in Bothell. He said tanning was a service that was needed here. “I know a lot of people on the Island that tan, and they hate driving to Factoria,” Robinson said.

He recently took over the lease of the space at 3016 78th Ave. S.E., formerly occupied by Hands of the Hills. That business is now renting the back portion of the same space, where owner Steve Dunning is maintaining bead sales over the Internet.

Construction is ongoing as Robinson and his partners continue to work with the city on matters such as electrical requirements. Once the salon is open after the New Year, Robinson said he thinks Mercer Islanders will appreciate having a local place to tan that is owned and operated by local residents.

20 Years of

filming Islanders

GSC Video Productions, which has documented countless memorable moments in the lives of Islanders, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Owner George Conway, a Mercer Island native, started his business in 1985 in the Globe Building on S.E. 36th St. He has since moved three times, ending up in his current location in the Ogden Building near City Hall. With the help of his single employee, cameraman Tom Valentine, Conway has filmed weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, sporting events, computer seminars and real estate programs.

The fondest memories Conway has made behind the camera, he said, have come from videotaping the building of “certain celebrities’ houses,” where he has been witness to some unique designs and complex engineering feats.

Other GSC projects have included a shooting at the Caroline Kline Galland mansion in Seattle, recreating scenes of Galland’s original bequest of $1 million to the renowned Jewish retirement home, and tapings of more than 25 plays put on by Lakeridge Elementary School on Mercer Island, which Conway has done free of charge.

From Beta to VHS and DVD, keeping up with changing video technology has been interesting to Conway, who is looking forward to new high-definition DVD that he said will appear within the next nine months.

“Like always, there will be competing formats — and of course one is Microsoft and the other is Apple,” Conway said. “That’s what we have on the horizon.”

The Dogfather

Mercer Island High School 1992 graduate Kevin Donner has opened Dogfather Grooming and Boarding, a dog care service on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Trained at Maser’s Grooming School in Kenmore, Wash., Donner opened his own business in May after eight years grooming dogs in Shoreline. He offers standard grooming as well as specialized styles at his shop at 1605 12th Ave. E., and boards the animals on his acre of land in Kenmore. Dubbed “Doggie Disneyland” by Donner’s sister, the facility is designed to make the dogs feel at home. They can run around, go outside, socialize or watch TV as they please, he said, “as long as they’re not fighting or peeing.”

In his first six months, Donner said he has done fine, but business has been a bit up and down. The welcome sight of some familiar Mercer Island dogs in need of a new `do has helped warm things up.

Dogfather Grooming accepts walk-ins as well as appointments. Call 778-9716.

Windermere Foundation

Sales associates and staff with the 17 offices of the Windermere Real Estate East Group, which includes the Mercer Island office, have donated a total of $170,000 to 17 Eastside area non-profit organizations.

The recipients include: Assistance League of the Eastside, Catholic Community Services, Eastside Baby Corner, Eastside Domestic Violence Program, Echo Glen Canine Connections, Family Friends and community, Friends of Youth, Healthy Start Mentor program, Housing at the Crossroads, KITH, Mama’s Hands, Northshore Family Center, Olive Crest Homes and Services, Overlake Service League, Shoes from Santa, Washington Women in Need and the YMCA.

Founded in 1989, The Windermere Foundation supports the needs of homeless and low-income families across the Western United States. A portion of each Windermere transaction is donated to the Foundation. Funds are reallocated to the region where each office is located.