Mercer Island Reporter Letters to the Editor | July 30

A Seattle Times story on July 24 about tolls for SR-520 mentions that Islanders would pay a half-toll to Seattle or a half-toll to Bellevue under a “Tolls for I-90 and 520” plan.

Problems with toll proposals

A Seattle Times story on July 24 about tolls for SR-520 mentions that Islanders would pay a half-toll to Seattle or a half-toll to Bellevue under a “Tolls for I-90 and 520” plan.

Several issues come to mind immediately:

Islanders do not have the option that Eastside or Seattle residents have — they can choose a road around the lake if they don’t opt for tolls or mass transit.

With this plan, if more Islanders opt for mass transit, the new Park and Ride will not hold the crowd. The cost to expand? Will Metro provide better bus service to all parts of the Island if that happens — for both residents and employees coming to work? And even bigger — a commitment to do it?

In addition to the work commute (which most people think of for tolls), living on the Island means that you make many other trips off-Island. A couple of examples: we have limited medical care unless we cross a bridge. Young people (and their parents) cannot attend inter-league sports without crossing a bridge.

I’m sure some folks will chirp immediately that MI can afford it. That presumes that all residents are as financially well off as those who have bought homes here in the past few years. But many people have been here a long time; they couldn’t afford to buy their houses now if they were on the market.

Actually, this toll is essentially a tax. MI people will have to afford it, since we have no land route alternative available to us. And the odds of our getting public transit service at the level we’d need aren’t high.

There are public open houses on the tolling plans to be held during the next two weeks. Although this is touted as a “520” issue, it’s clear Mercer Island has quite a stake in the solution.

Lorelei Herres

PEAK settlement

This is a follow-up to the article, “PEAK settlement,” by Lisa Strauch-Eggers, that appeared in the July 16 issue of the Mercer Island Reporter.

I agree with her very much, but there are others who deserve praise in this situation. Amanda and Robert Clark reside in the residential area where the PEAK facility will be located. They have worked tremendously hard with extreme zeal and untiring efforts to support their cause. They should be recognized for their courage, sincere dedication and involvement. Many, many thanks. It is very, very much appreciated.

Phil Flash

MIVAL thanks

Wells Fargo

The Mercer Island Visual Arts League (MIVAL) hosted its annual MIVAL Adult Art Show and the 34th Annual Junior Art Show during Summer Celebration! We would like to thank Wells Fargo Bank for sponsoring both shows. We are grateful to have the bank as a venue for the Junior Art Show and for allowing us to set up the tents in their driveway for the Adult Art Show. We especially want to thank Troy Fox and his staff for their time and assistance before and after the shows. Wells Fargo has sponsored the Junior Art Show for the past 11 years and the Adult Art Show for six years.

We would also like to thank Island Books, What to Wear and Cascade Frames for donating their gift certificates, and all of the individuals who contributed money for the special awards for Junior Art Show winners. A special thanks also goes to the Mercer Island Reporter for running notices for a full month about the receiving date for the Junior Art Show.

Without the many hours of hands-on work by MIVAL members and the creative efforts of the students who submitted their art work (not to mention the parents who make sure everything gets in on time!), these two shows would not be possible. Jurors for the Junior Art Show were Nadine O’Donovan and Judith Roan, Northwest artists and members of MIVAL. Finally, thanks to all of the wonderful Island residents who encouraged us by coming to view both shows, by supporting the children and by purchasing works by our local artists. Working together, we were all able to contribute to another very special Mercer Island event that is looked forward to each year.

Our heartfelt thanks for another outstanding year at Summer Celebration!

Colleen Mohn & Genny Rees

MI Visual Arts League

Summer Celebration! Junior Art Show