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Mercer Island

Charter school initiative is filed

Relay sets records

MISD board meeting Thursday, May 31 The Mercer Island School District board of directors will hold their last regular meeting of May on Thursday, May 31. The meeting, held in the board room, is scheduled to begin with an executive session, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. The next meeting is set for June 7 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. prior to the high school’s graduation.

Advocates begin gathering signatures next month

Letterboxing begins on June 2 in Pioneer Park

The Mercer Island Clergy Association is invited all Mercer Island students, staff and parents to celebrate the MIHS class of 2012. The event will be held on Wednesday, June 6 at 7 p.m. at Herzl-Ner Tamid, located at 3700 East Mercer Way. The event will include featured speaker, former principal, John Harrison.

MIHS Band canned food drive June 2 The Mercer Island High School band will be having a can drive on June 2. Island residents can set out canned food and band members will stop by on June 2 to pick it up. All items are being donated to Northwest Harvest.


Alpenland is sold, to retain character New owners promise to keep essence of Island institution intact By Rebecca Mar

Alpenland Delicatessen has been sold. The new owners, Chris and Dianne Masaoka, will take over the restaurant on June 4. They plan to keep everything the same, from the menu to the European imports and the nutcrackers. “We’re delighted, absolutely delighted,” said Linda Gadola, who has owned Alpenland for nearly 15 years. The new owners, she said, have experience. “They are qualified, and we think they’ll do a great job. We know that they’re nice people, and that’s what we wanted for our customers. The main thing is, we were hoping to find someone who would continue to keep it as it is.”

Chris Masaoka’s grandparents, Carl and Gertie Krautheim, were the founders of Oh! Chocolate, another distinguished Island establishment, in 1986. Carl was German — a tie-in with Alpenland, Gadola said. Chris’s mother and aunt now run the chocolate shop, which has other locations in Madison Park and Bellevue Square. Dianne helped with purchasing, payroll and bookkeeping. Alpenland, which opened in 1974, went up for sale for the second time in August 2011, when Toni and Linda Gadola decided to retire because of Toni’s health. But, just as the owners before them, they will be slowly transitioning out. They will help the Masaokas settle in and “learn the ropes for

awhile,” Linda said. The original owners, in fact — Katrin and Gunter Bonnofsky — stayed on as employees after selling to the Gadolas, and only just retired last month. The Masaokas are previous customers of Alpenland, where they have many memories of meeting Chris’s great-aunt Trudy for lunch. The veal loaf sandwich is Dianne’s favorite, with a cup of soup. Her two boys prefer the French dip. Now, Chris — who has worked in commercial kitchens, and developed new flavors and products for Oh! Chocolate — is learning new recipes and techniques from Toni. He also continues to teach chocolatemaking classes at the Madison Park Linda Gadola, Oh! Chocolate. The couple Alpenland resides in Bellevue and is originally from Los Angeles. They moved to Washington nine years ago. “Chris and I both really enjoy small business,” Dianne said. “We like being involved in family-owned business, and we just

“We were hoping to find someone who would continue to keep it as it is.”

sold | Page 2

Charter | Page 2


MIHS Baccalaureate Wednesday, June 6


Students write out ‘relay’ during the Mercer Island High School Relay for Life event in mid-May. This year’s event raise $108,000, setting a new school record. The event raises money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Over 515 people and 54 teams participated at MIHS.

Mercer Island

The third annual summer of Mercer Island’s Letterboxing contest begins on June 2 at Pioneer Park. This year’s contest kicks off from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Pioneer Park across the street from the south-end QFC and Starbucks. The contest will run through Sept. 1. See page 4 to learn more.

By Reporter Staff

Last week, group of education advocates, teachers, parents, legislators filed an initiative measure that will authorize a limited number of public charter schools in Washington state and evaluate their success in improving academic achievement and outcomes for Washington public school students. Most states have public charter schools, but they are not yet authorized under Washington’s current state law. Charter schools are independently-managed public schools

One year $39, two years just $59


Wednesday, may 30, 2012 | 75¢

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Mercer Island Reporter, May 30, 2012