Serving the Mercer Island community since 1947
School budgeting finally underway
Ready to roam free
‘Shrek’ at YTN through Aug. 24 The latest Youth Theatre Northwest production ‘Shrek’ will continue this week through Aug. 24. Performances run Friday and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. and Tuesday Aug. 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (206) 232-1445 ext. 109 or by visiting www.youththeatre. org.
By Reporter Staff
Food and music at Farmers market this Sunday This Sunday’s Mercer Island Farmers Market will feature funk rock, jazz band Strange Nails, along with more hands-on kids activities and the master gardeners. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18. Learn more online at www. mifarmersmarket.org.
Learn about plans for new schools at listening sessions Aug. 27-28 The Mercer Island School District will host two more listening sessions for the community to learn about ongoing plans to build and expand the schools on the Island. On Tuesday, Aug. 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Island Middle School multi-purpose room learn about plans for IMS. On Wednesday, Aug. 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the North Campus Gym, learn about plans to build a new elementary school and the high school expansion. Learn more about the meetings and projects online at www.mercerislandschools.org.
Megan Managan/Staff Photo
Country Village Day School students react to being up close and personal with a horse during the one-day horse camp at the Mercer Island Saddle Club on Wednesday, Aug. 7. See more pictures on page 4.
Unsolicited offers for homes raise red flags Island homeowners receive unsolicited offers to purchase home By Megan Managan
It started with a letter. Earlier in July, several Mercer Island homeowners got a letter in the mail – an unsolicited offer on their home. At least six letters went out to residents on the Island, including to Peni Schwartz, the managing broker with Windermere Real Estate on Mercer Island. “My husband opened the letter and it was an ‘oh my gosh this is an offer on the house’ moment,” said Schwartz. The problem – the couple isn’t interested in selling their home and upon further inspection, the contract included
with the letter featured what some agents have deemed scary language. The letters, all from Jim Thorpe, explain he is looking for a home in the area and would like to make the homeowners an offer. The packet includes a purchase/sale agreement which simply needed the home owners signature. The letter states that Thorpe is a real estate investor and builder who is looking for a new property for his family, along with a rental property. He explains he likes to make the process easy. “I determine the highest and best price I can, move quickly to do my homework, and close when I say I will,” the letter stated. “This offer is our ‘best guess’ derived solely from the tax records and an exterior drive by. This offer price might be too high or too low. It is
HAVE YOU SEEN BOB? Bob Toomey, C.F.A., 25 years of experience in Financial Planning & Investments and contributor to the Mercer Island Reporter
meant to be the start of a conversation to show you that I am serious about purchasing your property. I have written the enclosed offer as an owner financed offer, but would certain consider a cash offer option if that is more beneficial to you.” Coincidental or not, said Schwartz, is that most of the letters went to homes which have been owned by the same people
offers | Page 8
Island home sale prices up in July By Reporter Staff
The inventory remains flat but prices were up for Island homes sold last month. Numbers available from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service showed that despite the apparent increase in sales activity for Island homes and western Washington in general, the
The Mercer Island School District had to wait to get final figures from the state in order to prepare their budget for the coming school term, that is now just weeks away. The MISD board of directors got its first look at the numbers at their meeting on Aug. 8. The board, which did not meet in July, left June with uncertainly as to how much money would allocated to the district, as the state budget had not yet been finalized before their final meeting in June. Yet, there is good news. School districts will be receiving more money than in the last couple of years, thanks in part to the State Supreme Court requiring the state legislature to uphold the McCleary decision. The Mercer Island School
Budget | Page 2
Read the full paper online Mercer IslandREPORTER www.mi-reporter.com
MI | THIS WEEK
Wednesday, Wednesday,August March 20, 14, 2013 | 75¢
Real estate | Page 9
(206) 275-2700 Bob is at the drive-thru Starbucks every Friday from 9:30 – 10:30 am. Come by for a cup of coffee!