The waterfront home of a Town Center restaurant owner was engulfed with flames early on Friday morning, leaving behind a charred house and the lingering stench of burnt wood along East Mercer Way as Islanders began to celebrate their Fourth of July holiday.
Two North-end Mercer Island residents filed suit against the City of Mercer Island and the United Methodist Church, seeking a court injunction to prevent Tent City from coming to the Island. The suit came less than a day after dozens of neighbors and Island residents met a handful of their future homeless neighbors at the United Methodist Church on S.E. 24th Street, the proposed site for the camp.
There are about 300 more residents living on Mercer Island than a year ago, as the population has increased for the third straight year. According to data released by the Washington State Office of Financial Management on July 2, the Island’s population went up by 270 individuals from 2007 to 2008. The population estimates show that there are now 22,650 Island residents, which is about a one-percent increase from the previous count.
Four video cameras have been installed at city hall to broadcast City Council meetings. The first televised Council meeting will air live at 7 p.m. on July 21 on cable channel 21. The telecast will then be repeated at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day and will become available online in the coming weeks. For information, go to www.mercergov.org.
Before the first pioneers set foot on Mercer Island, the soil was trodden with deer hooves of all sizes. This graceful creature, a treasured Northwest symbol, wandered the Island’s forests and meadows for centuries. As Mercer Island’s population developed in the 1900s — growing from a rustic farming town into a suburban city — the deer population dwindled until the last few reportedly swam away some years ago. Today, the tranquil species is back.