Letters to the Editor, Feb. 27, 2019

Vaccines; re-election; budget cuts

Nutritionist misled

I don’t know where your nutritionist correspondent gets her information on immunizations, but she surely has been misled. I searched the World Wide Web and found https://www.encephalitis.info/measles-infection-and-encephalitis, one of many scientific sources your readers might consult.

My personal experience with preventable diseases dates to my childhood in the 1920s when our homes were posted with red Board of Health placards if we caught measles or other contagious diseases. My medical education included infectious disease wards at Harborview Hospital, the Haynes Memorial Infectious Disease branch of the Mass. General Hospital, Boston Children’s and regular continuing update lectures at Children’s Hospital in Seattle and elsewhere.

I have cared for many patients with what are now vaccine-preventable diseases and their complications. My interest in children with learning disabilities adds concern for measles post-infection meningoencephalitis and its consequences.

I heartily support Dr. Glassey’s opinion recently printed in your paper.


Alfred L. Skinner, M.D.

Clinical professor of pediatrics, emeritus, University of Washington

Formerly at Mercer Island Pediatric Associates, Ltd., P.S.

Not seeking re-election

It has been an honor and privilege to serve on the Mercer Island School Board since first appointed in May 2015 and elected in November 2015. I will not be seeking re-election this November 2019. In reflecting upon the past four years, I am especially proud of the work that our five-member board has been able to accomplish together, including:

• Hiring our current Superintendent Donna Colosky.

• Continuous monitoring of our district’s long-term goals and priorities.

• Approval of the district’s newest goal and priority regarding inclusivity and diversity.

• Monitoring the 2014 construction bond projects at the high school, middle school and Northwood, which were all completed on time and on budget.

• The board’s approval of the capital projects and technology levy and transportation levy of 2016, and the maintenance and operations levy of 2018, that all passed with 74 percent, 77 percent and 72 percent “yes” votes, respectively.

• Successful avocation and partnership with the city regarding various safe-routes to school improvements including the left-hand turn signal at Northwood Elementary, in-set pedestrian trail along the south side of 42nd, and two raised crosswalks at the high school campus.

Lastly, it has also been a pleasure to be part of such a community that is so supportive and dedicated to all of our students’ education. This community includes, first and foremost, the students, parents, PTSA, the schools foundation, taxpayers as well as those which have chosen to serve our students in their various professions including teachers, administrators and staff, including custodians, bus drivers, kitchen employees and maintenance and facilities.

Ralph Jorgenson

Mercer Island School Board

Director position 1


We are sad that the community center had to cut 27 hours per week.

We are especially distressed that Summer Celebration with its parade, Mercerdale Park activities, art and crafts show, and fireworks had to be eliminated.

We have yet to see what cuts will be endured by Youth and Family Services.

We regret that Proposition One did not pass (in November 2018). It was a minimal amount per household to keep these community assets.

Rich and Dee Hitch

Mercer Island