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Mercer Island

Serving the Mercer Island community since 1947

Closing the books on 2012

A kitty for Christmas

Holiday closures City offices, the post office and the Mercer Island Library will be closed for the holiday on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1. The Mercer Island Reporter office will also be closed for the holiday, Dec. 31 through Jan. 1.

Biggest stories include the school bond issue, the ‘road diet,’ the election and now, safety

MIVAL artist reception Jan. 3 The Mercer Island Visual Arts League will host its first event of 2013 on Thursday, Jan. 3, with a gallery artist reception. New works by 31 local artists will be featured. The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the gallery, located at 2836 78th Avenue.

MICEC closures The Mercer Island Community and Event Center has changed its hours for the rest of the year in order to conduct maintenance. From Dec. 26 through Dec. 29, the MICEC will be open from 8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. On Dec. 30, the hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 31. It will be closed on Jan. 1.

Rebecca Mar/Staff Photo

Ginna Seese, an Island House resident, holds ‘Smokey Joe,’ the cat that she rescued and adopted two and a half weeks before Christmas.

Saving Smokey Joe By Rebecca Mar

The gray cat across the street from Ginna Seese’s Island House apartment was not easy to catch. Seese’s own cat had recently died, and she hadn’t planned to get another pet. But when she first noticed the gray cat, ‘Smokey Joe,’ among the group of feral cats next to Island House three months ago, she knew she had

to get him off the street. When Seese and a few of her friends put out food for the feral cats, Smokey would eat and then routinely run off across 30th Street. Seese has been feeding feral cats for years — even before she came to Island House, when she lived in a First Hill neighborhood. MEOW Cat Rescue has provided some of the cat food. Worried that Smokey could be hit by a car, Seese decided to start feeding the cat on the other side of the road, in the parking lot of the Reporter. Bedraggled, mangy and in obvious need of veterinary care, Smokey would make his

Smokey | Page 12

Jeffrey Costello


The new year begins as the Mercer Island High School Marching Band appears in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. As the 270-member band rounded the corner onto Colorado Avenue, at least one television station went to a commercial, leaving Island viewers shaking their fists at the TV. Luckily, the march was soon posted on YouTube. Tolling begins on SR-520, pushing thousands of motorists onto I-90 instead. Two Island businesses, Quiznos and Cellar 46, close. Minimum wage for Washington state workers jumps 37 cents. Councilmember Bruce Bassett is sworn in as the new mayor of the city of Mercer Island. Former mayor, Jim Pearman, resigns after 10 years on the City Council. Just four Islanders applied for the position, in contrast to 17 who applied a few months earlier to replace Steve Litzow, who was elected to the State Senate. Tana Senn is elected. She joins Debbie Bertlin, who was elected just two months before, in the November election, when she ran against incumbent El Jahncke. A powerful windstorm on Jan. 20 brings snow, downed trees and power outages. Kids grab their sleds and head for the hills. The city begins discussion about ‘parking partners’ in

February The Mercer Island School District School Board votes to put a $196 million bond issue on the April 17 ballot. The bond was to fund a major construction effort to rebuild

Year | Page 2

Chase Costello



Want to recycle your Christmas tree now that the holiday is over? The Mercer Island boys lacrosse program is once again picking up trees on Mercer Island to be recycled. Make a reservation at www.mercerislandlacrosse. com. Trees should be set by the curb by 9 a.m. Tie a donation (suggested $20) to the tree. Trees will be picked up Dec. 29 or Jan. 5-6.


Mercer Island

Recycle the tree

the Town Center as a way to get property owners to agree to share some parking in their private lots. No progress is made. Services are held for Islander pioneer Larry Lunden, who is killed after being hit by a car’s side view mirror on Island Crest Way as he stepped from the curb into a crosswalk that had been recently moved. He was 90. Lunden built the family home on the Island by hand in the late 1940s.

One year $39, two years just $59

By Mary L. Grady

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012 | 75¢

Mercer Island Reporter, December 26, 2012