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REPORTER Mercer Island Serving the Mercer Island community since 1947 Scheid to run for City Council seat Big tree brought low Chamber lunch Thursday, June 6 The June membership luncheon for the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce is set for noon, June 6, at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center. Legislators Marcie Maxwell, Judy Clibborn and Steve Litzow will speak and answer questions. Reservations required. Please call 232-3404. Coast Guard vet says he is running to fight right to prevent tolling on I-90 By Mary L. Grady Commencement ceremonies for the Mercer Island High School Class of 2013 will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6 at Key Arena in Seattle. Tickets are required for entry. For information, go to the MISD website at Sound Transit East Link open house Sound Transit will hold an open house between 5 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 6 at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center. The open house is for community members to hear about the designs proposed for the Mercer Island light rail station. Transit officials are looking for comments and input. A presentation will be held at 5:30 p.m. For information go to www. Library renovation meeting June 13 A meeting will be held at the Mercer Island library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 13 to discuss the plans to renovate the building. The meeting will allow the public to share views and give input to planners. Rebecca Mar/Staff Photo A large tree fell early Thursday morning, May 23, 2013, in Bicentennial Park next to the Farmers Insurance building. Onlookers from Farmer’s peered down at the fallen tree from the rooftop. The tree was cut up and hauled away by midday Friday. Safe or not, Council approves fireworks By Reporter Staff Every year, city nonprofit organizations who hope to sell ‘safe and sane’ fireworks in the parking lot of the Mercer Island Shopping Center at the corner of S.E. 32nd street and 78th Avenue S.E., must seek approval from the city fire department then apply for a special permit to be approved by the City Council. In the past, the Kiwanis Club has managed the fireworks stand and has used this event as their primary fund-raiser. Money from the sale of the fireworks is returned to the community for scholarships and service projects. However, this year, the Kiwanis Club partnered with the Mercer Island Masonic Lodge and Mercer Island VFW, to manage the sale of fireworks and split the proceeds. But as it does every year, the Council debates whether or not fireworks should be allowed at all on the Island. There have been several changes over the years to the code. In 1992, City Council reduced the number of days that legal fireworks could be set off from 9 days to 2 days. Two years later, Island citizens were surveyed on whether or not to ban fireworks. Out of 1,400 respondents, 55 percent voted for a ban. Instead, the Council decided to limit fireworks discharge to July 4th only, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., a rule that still stands. In 2005, former Fire Chief Walt Mauldin recommended the Council to ban fireworks completely. But Council voted to keep the current ordinance and increase public education and enforcement. Jeffrey Costello 206.595.5709 In 2009, the Council reduced the time frame for the sale of fireworks to a one-week period July 4th. City Fire Chief Chris Tubbs signed off on the initial permit and presented it to the Council on May 20. At the meeting, Councilman Mike Grady was incredulous that the community service groups were still wanting to sell fireworks. Speaking for several minutes, Grady referred to fireworks as “gateway explosives,” followed by “I can’t believe that you(the Kiwanis, the VFW and the Freemasons) are selling dangerous things to our kids.” John Gebhart, who represented the group said that workers at the stand check ID and only sell to buyers over 16. He added that most people who purchase the items are parents. The fireworks are ‘safe and sane’ types of devices. Fire Chief Tubbs noted that his department has not had any Kevin Scheid, a retired Coast Guard Captain and 19-year Mercer Island resident, is running for City Council position 2 in order to stop tolling on Interstate 90. “No one should have to pay a toll on one road to finance another road,” stated Scheid. Scheid, who has not held elected office before, is running for City Council Pos. 2, now held by Dan Grausz who is running to retain his seat. Scheid said that Grausz is taking the wrong approach to defeating tolling and protecting Islanders. In a press release Scheid said, “I believe this election will determine the future of tolling on I-90. SCHEID | PAGE 2 FIREWORKS | PAGE 2 Chase Costello Read the full paper online Mercer IslandREPORTER MIHS Class of 2013 graduates June 6 Green Edition MI | THIS WEEK WEDNESDAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH MAY 20, 29, 2013 | 75¢ 206.999.4420

Mercer Island Reporter, May 29, 2013

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