Can we talk? Questions for you!

Nancy Hilliard
Around the Island

  • Monday, November 24, 2008 9:01pm
  • Life
Can we talk? Questions for you!

Nancy Hilliard
Around the Island

A metal engraved “Invisible History” map embedded in the sidewalk on the Albertsons’ side of 77th Avenue S.E. (across the street from McDonalds) remains a mystery. We reached a dead-end trying to discover when and who made the interpretive map of the Island’s sunken forests, early schools and churches, former dairies, skid roads, ferry landings, cellular phone transmissions, marshes, sandy areas, trails and bridge roads. It refers to Lake Washington as hyus chuck, the Duwamish name for our big water.

Beth Brennan, Arts Council, Phil Flash, Historical Society, Marianne and Bob Norton, former Councilman and Iowa farmers in town for the weekend, John and Jane Nelson, Ginnie and Winn DeForrest, now in Kirkland, Peggy Reynolds, former Reporter publisher of 19 years, former Mayor Aubrey Davis, Jim Stipes, Chamber of Commerce, Joy Johnston, city communications — all scratched their heads.

Another of the map’s mysteries refers to “q!oq!o’btsi” around the Proctor Landing area on the western shore of the Island. This was the Duwamish Indian name for our shoreline water lilies, with big yellow blooms. Could they possibly have survived our assault on the land of earlier inhabitants and still grow in front of 3211 60th Ave. S.E., the home recently for sale for $34 million?

Could this have been a Scout Project? Let us know what you know.

Litter survey: Joy Thomson says cast-offs in her neighborhood along 84th Avenue S.E. seem to be lessening. There are still some cigarette butts, dog poop in bags and water bottles, but fewer. What about others of you who collect litter on your walks, in your neighborhoods or along the roadsides? Tell us what you’re finding. Especially Wally Meier, from Covenant Shores, who is weekly seen walking and picking up others’ throw-aways.

By-gone Park Adoptions? When the sign recently disappeared along Gallagher Hill that declared it to be a neighborhood project, Keith Kerner, MI park maintenance manager, said there had been no response to it since 1995. “It was a sign that had been part of an old effort to get groups to adopt a park or trail,” said Kerner. The only “live” groups seem to be Ellis Pond, Wildwood and Luther Burbank. Are the Adopt-a-Park-or-Trail days over on Mercer Island?

Know the most honkin’ bonkin’ spot on the Island from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., weekdays? Lisa Getty, manager at Mercer Island Printing, declares it to be the curve where 76th Avenue S.E. and S.E. 26th Street merge. Sometimes she and her customers take timeouts to watch the frenzy across the street from Starbucks’ drive-through as parents and commuters wheel in for their morning caffeine fix after dropping their kids at school and before hitting the freeway.

Ever taken a closer look at a Clampitt’s Cleaner truck as it picks up your laundry and those of 110 others on MI? It shows Craig Clampitt’s grandparents (Milt’s parents) standing proudly in front of their Tacoma “Valet Cleaners” shop next to their 1948 Dodge truck that did all the delivering. They began their business in Sumner, Wash., in 1939. Seems like folks have supported this cleaning shuttle for more than 60 years.

Will you ride the East Link Light Rail of the future? Check out Sound Transit’s proposed project at to see if you might like to be one of its 40,000-some riders. An environmental review is underway, so now’s the time to give your input to The fast track could link us to Bellevue, Redmond, the University of Washington, Sea-Tac Airport, Qwest Field and downtown Seattle — some years away.

Final question: Where on the Island do you think you can find a blown-up, well-displayed map of the New York City Subway? (Answer next week.)

No questions about these people, recently recognized for good work:

Rick Duchaine and Charles Hodge, lay leaders for MI United Methodist Church, were among 76 nominees for the Seattle P-I Jefferson Awards for community involvement. Three years ago they organized (at their own expense) an annual tennis camp in Rainier Valley and the Central Area. At the camp, children learn about success through hard work and determination.

Also nominated was Gordy Graybeal, MIHS class of 1978, a leader for “The First Tee” of Greater Seattle, helping low- and moderate-income kids learn to play golf, along with its disciplines and etiquette. First Tee’s motto: “They may never be great golfers, but golf can help these kids become great people.”

Congrats to Stacy Cho, IMS 7th-grade math teacher who won a $75,000 prize from HopeLab to nurture more physical activity among teens. She and her husband created “Dancing Craze,” which synchronizes dance steps to a video screen using a hand-held sensor. She also encourages kids to get up from their seats to see review questions posted around the room, demo angles and geometry with their arms, do stand-up reviews for tests, and the game of “trashketball.” In the war on obesity, the school also removed all fried foods and pop machines from its cafeteria.

To contact Nancy Hilliard, e-mail her at

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