Letters to the Editor, Jan. 9, 2019

Numbers

Don’t mislead with numbers

As an engineer and a math teacher, I’m careful not to use numbers to mislead. That is not the case in a recent email from Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA).

The Dec. 31 “2018 Year in Review” email from MICA stated: “Intensive listening to the MI community” that included “dialogs” and a “survey” resulted in “feedback from over 1,500 Islanders…giving us the resounding input that 72 percent of MI is eager for an Arts Center.”

Actually, only 803 (not 1,500) respondents replied to the survey prompt: “Mercer Island would benefit from having a centralized location for the arts.”

The 803 responses were: “Strongly disagree” 96 people (11.96 percent), “Somewhat disagree” 64 people (7.97 percent), “Undecided” 67 people (8.34 percent), “Somewhat agree” 155 people (19.30 percent), “Strongly agree” 421 people (52.43 percent).

MICA’s report is inaccurate and misleading: “Somewhat agree” responses were counted as “eager for,” and “72 percent of Islanders” would be 17,474 Islanders (Mercer Island’s population is 24,270), but the “eager for” respondents actually represent 2.4 percent of Islanders (576 / 24,270).

Stating that “72 percent of MI is eager for an Arts Center” is incorrect and misleading. I trust we will see more accurate number crunching by MICA as they pursue their fundraising and mission.

Al Lippert

Mercer Island

[flipp]

More in Opinion

Prescription for a 2020 Vision | On Faith

A monthly column dealing in matters of faith.

Come for the conversation, stay for the friendships | Windows and Mirrors

Talk Time classes allow English language learners to practice their speaking and conversation skills.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Despite ruling on Public Records Act, we need to keep a close eye on Olympia

Washington Supreme Court upholds that state legislators are subject to the Public Records Act.

Helping neurodivergent students navigate higher education | Windows and Mirrors

The Neurodiversity Navigators program at Bellevue College offers various services to students who are on the autism spectrum.

When asked their opinion on contract talks, they were silent

A 2017 law lets lawmakers offer negotiation topics. But a bipartisan panel didn’t do so this week.

Changing systems doesn’t happen overnight | Windows and Mirrors

It’s been a year since the Menchie’s incident and here is what the city of Kirkland has been working on since then.

Discerning fact from opinion

It can be more difficult than people first think, according to the Pew Research Center.

Our newspapers have many reasons to be thankful

Changes have had positive impacts, readers offering support.

Trust violated by past letter to the editor | EDITORIAL

Mercer Island Reporter unable to verify letter writer’s identity.

From a place of respect | Windows and Mirrors

What does it mean to share your culture with others?

Letters to the editor, Oct. 23, 2019

Letters on the upcoming election.

Mental health: One size does not fit all | Windows and Mirrors

The challenges of providing mental health services for communities of color.