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The election is finally over, and although we would be naïve to think that the economic forecast will change dramatically right away, I am suddenly filled with hope for the future. As I tackle my role as the Capital Campaign Director for the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club, the thought of leading the efforts to raise the final dollars needed to break ground on a new club in this challenging financial climate is lofty, if not overwhelming. But then I remember that I am among friends in a place where good people make amazing things happen.
Initiative 985 says it will address congestion, which is a very tempting idea. It reports that focus groups said congestion is a major problem and we should do something about it. Since transportation funding was starved all during the ’90s in a period of substantial growth in population and in jobs, it is true that we accumulated a congestion deficit. The Transportation Commission recommended every year after 1993 that the legislature find funding to accommodate our growth, but a political philosophy prevailed that there would be no tax increase for any reason, no way, no how.
Some have suggested that our parks and open space will do fine if we simply mow the grass and leave the other areas alone. Nothing could be further from reality. When walking around the South end of the Island 15 years ago, one could wander among the trees at Wildwood Park and along the trails in Pioneer Park without confronting blackberry vines and ivy. Today, it is impossible to walk through Wildwood or Pioneer Park except on the established trails, and even then, regular maintenance is required to hold the blackberry at bay. As the diseased Douglas fir and aged maples fall, the added sunlight encourages blackberry vines which then suffocate the other ground foliage, eliminating any possibility of natural re-growth. Walking through a blackberry maze is not the future we wish for our parks. Please vote YES on the parks levy and bond issues.
I park at the North Mercer Park-and-Ride structure daily. This morning, it was almost full by 8:30. I have noticed that during the day some cars park in unmarked areas, for which they have recently been receiving parking violation notices. I have also observed that a great many of the cars leaving in the late afternoon, when I do, turn onto I-90 eastbound, which causes me to believe that they are not Mercer Island residents. Additionally, I have spoken with a woman who lives in Redmond and regularly parks at the Mercer Island facility because, she says, the bus service is more frequent than a park-and-ride near her home. I realize that all King County residents contribute to financing park-and-ride lots and the public transit systems serving those lots. I do think, however, that Mercer Island residents should get some preference in using the MI lot, at least until better park-and-ride facilities are constructed elsewhere, such as closer to the home of the Redmond woman who now drives to MI. Is it possible to reserve one of the two floors of the Park-and-Ride structure for MI residents, with those from MI having a sticker on their car identifying their residence? With the price of gasoline and Seattle parking, I believe that the demand for parking at the MI Park-and-Ride will only increase and ask that MI residents be assured of access to the facility.
Islanders use and enjoy our parks, trails, ball fields and other “open spaces” in many different ways. Last December, the City Council asked two dozen of your neighbors to serve on a Stakeholders Committee to evaluate the state of our parks and to prioritize a list of upkeep and capital improvement projects. Seated around the table were members from a wide variety of user groups: park and trail users; sports field users (particularly children and organized youth groups); the School District; families of preschoolers; dog owners; and others.
The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce is not affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Recent advertisements by that organization regarding the 8th District Congressional race do not represent or reflect any position of the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce.
Islanders should vote “no” on the excessive levy and bond propositions. Why can’t the city of Mercer Island learn to live within its budget?
It’s a new year in the Mercer Island School District, and I am pleased and honored to be serving in the role of Superintendent — my first official year in this position. Your School Board and I are excited about the year ahead and eager to share the excitement we feel as we embark, once again, on this wonderful journey of educating students for the 21st century.
The Mercer Island Sister City Association is organizing a summer exchange to France for students this summer. Students will stay in the home of a French student in Thonon les Bains, France for three weeks, then host the student in their home on Mercer Island for three weeks. High school and college students are invited to apply. For information and applications, contact Sheila Billbe, 230-0866 or Jane Meyer Brahm, 232-0701.
Audrey Arpin Retired Mercer Island Erin Baker Stay-at-home mother Mercer Island Chris Martin Seattle firefighter, Mercer Island Roseann Hall Retired Mercer Island Casey Geloneck Naval… Continue reading
If politics were boxing — and sometimes it certainly seems that way — then we have finished with the sparing and it is now time for the main event. In other words, the general election will be nothing like the primary.
More traffic, more taxes and fewer choices are what Dino Rossi’s transportation proposal would mean for area commuters.