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Rise Up and Halloween featured in Scene section


Golfers win medalist title

Page 9 & 11



SINCE 1947


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Church goes solar



City of Mercer Island rejects Metro’s bus intercept demands A letter denies the changes to the 2017 agreement. By Natalie DeFord ndeford@kirklandreporter.com


From left, energy team Rev. Roberta Rominger, Hans Fredrikson, Cheryl Malcham, Jonathan Harrington and Jay Mavoori in front of Congregational Church on Mercer Island, whose new solar panels are on the roof.

Solar panels, environmental events make for a bright future. By Natalie DeFord ndeford@kirklandreporter.com

Congregational Church on Mercer Island has new solar panels, which they recently celebrated earlier this month. The church is also hosting a series of events and activities to inspire Islanders to take action against climate change. At the launch event, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony and church staff switched on the solar panels for the first time. Mayor Debbie Bertlin and council member Wendy Weiker were present. Since then, pastor Roberta Rominger said she can’t stop looking at the app on her phone that shows the current readings for the amount of electricity being generated by the panels. “I don’t know why I’ve been so excited. I’m on the app all

the time watching the electricity crank up,” she said. “I think they look fantastic on the church, too. They just look like hope.” The church has been in the process of permitting and installation for the building’s 15 kilowatt array, on the south-facing side of its roof, for about a year. Rominger, who has been pastor at the church for four and a half years, said the launch event also featured music — including singing their own words to “You Are My Sunshine” — and sunshine cookies. The new panels are just one way the church continues to decrease its carbon footprint and actively inspire the community to care for the environment. They also host a series of events, led by the church’s climate action team. These events are free and open to anyone. “Climate is really important to us,” Rominger said. On Oct. 26, they will have an event called From Active Hope to Embodied Hope, which she said aims to inspire, motivate and

create hope. “There are strong emotions associated with the climate crisis, like grief, fear, anxiety, guilt and hopelessness,” she said. “It’s (this event is) about mustering spiritual resources to keep us hopeful and involved for a greater future.” Then on Nov. 2 they will host a concert - by donation - called The Alaska Suite, which is a multimedia program that will feature a jazz quintet and poetry to celebrate the Alaskan wilderness. “It talks about the threat but it ends on a hopeful note,” Rominger said. “I’m really looking forward to that one.” The church also previously partnered with the community for global climate strike day Sept. 20. They organized sign making and sign waving on the Island. Rominger said they always work to invite the community in and to engage with Island residents. They have a large reader board that they frequently update with messages.

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An Oct. 16 letter from the city of Mercer Island to Sound Transit officially rejected King County Metro’s requested changes for the Island’s bus intercept plan. This comes after months of review and hundreds of residents raising concerns that the proposed plan presented safety concerns and did not follow a previous agreement. The letter, from the city manager’s office and signed by Interim City Manager Jessi Bon, states that the city rejects Metro’s demands for bus service on both sides of North Mercer Way and unlimited bus layovers. It says that the city has put lengthy thought and consideration into this decision. “The city does not accept the demands set forth by the county, although the city remains open to consider other reasonable alternatives to, and additional studies of, the county’s demands,” the letter states. When East Link light rail opens in 2023, King County Metro (Metro) will no longer run Eastside buses across Interstate 90 like they do today, but will integrate their bus services with light rail to reduce redundancies. Thousands of bus commuters will make a transfer from bus to light rail or vice versa at either the South Bellevue or Mercer Island light rail stations, and the buses will turn around there. A 2017 Settlement Agreement between the city and Sound Transit (ST) called for a configuration for Metro buses to turn around at a new roundabout on 77th Avenue


The Mercer Island light rail station under construction, set to open in 2023.

Southeast. It also outlined that passengers would be dropped off only on the south side of North Mercer Way — the side with the light rail station, so that passengers would not cross the busy street — and limited bus layover times to 15 See BUS, Page 16




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CALENDAR What’s going on in Mercer Island and beyond FRI., OCT. 25 Friday Night Films: Loving Vincent: This cinematic marvel explores the life and death of painter Vincent van Gogh. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, making Loving Vincent the world’s first fully painted feature length film. Free to the public. 7:30 p.m. Aljoya Mercer Island, 2430 76th Ave SE, Mercer Island. Movies at Mercer Slough: Our Blue Planet: Bring the family for a free movie night. Popcorn included. This episode of Our Blue Planet examines the role of human anthropogenic activity on the oceans. Best for 5 years and up. RSVP at 425-452-2565 or mseec@bellevuewa.gov 5 - 6 p.m. Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, 1625 118th Ave SE, Bellevue. Fall Fun Fest: Calling all kids, ages 1-6 and their families. Join us for Fall Fun Fest, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Wear festive costumes and come enjoy activity booths, Toddler Time toys, face painting and prizes. $3/ child donation. 5:30 p.m. Issaquah Community Center, 301 Rainier Blvd S, Issaquah. Nightmare at Beaver Lake: Come experience one of the Northwest’s Premier Indoor/Outdoor Haunts. Take a scary stroll through Beaver Lake Park in Sammamish. Open 7 - 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday’s, and 7-10 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2019 on Sunday’s. Open 7-10 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 31. Tickets available at the Park or purchase in advance at https://www.brownpapertickets. com/event/4341711. Production goes through Oct. 31. Beaver Lake Park Ballfield, 2526 244th Avenue SE, Sammamish. Pee Wee Monster Bash: For preschoolers age one through 5. Admission to this open housestyle event is $15 and kooky costumes are welcome. Please leave your strollers at home so there’s more room for exploration and fun. Pre-register at https:// secure.rec1.com/WA/city-of-kirkland/catalog or call 425-587-3336. 10 a.m. - noon. North Kirkland Community Center, 12421 103 AVE NE, Kirkland. Kirkland Zombie Wine Walk: Grab some friends and if you’re daring don a costume and go on a wine tasting adventure of local wineries at downtown Kirkland businesses. Costumes encouraged but not required. Online purchase of tickets are available at $25. Early Bird ticket holders beat the crowd and may purchase their tickets online for $35. 6 - 9 p.m. The Heathman Hotel, 220 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland. Story Times at Farrel-McWhirter Park: Come for stories and songs about farm animals and surprises. Family program, all ages welcome with adult. Space may be limited if we have inclement weather. 10 a.m. Redmond Library, 15990 NE 85th Street, Redmond.

SAT., OCT. 26 World Travels: South Africa: In celebration of its 25th year of post-apartheid democracy, take a virtual tour through this richly diverse nation-from Cape Town to Kruger National Park. Presented by world traveler Lance Rhoades.

1 p.m. Mercer Island Library, 4400 88th Ave SE, Mercer Island. 2nd Annual Monster Dash 5k Run/Walk & Lil’ Frankenstein 1k: Participants are encouraged to wear costumes, and we will host a costume contest. Arrive early to check out all the lovable furry friends that could be part of your family. Race Day: 8 a.m., race number pickup at SHOES-n-FEET 8:45 a.m., Kids 1k Race Start 9:15 a.m. - 5k Race Starts. SHOES-nFEET, 15015 Main Street, Bellevue. Halloween on the Hill: Halloween on the Hill is a Howling Celebration for the whole family. Check you our Event Booklet for more information. Registration required for some events; fees for activities vary. Contact SBCC at 425-452-4240 to register. 10 a.m. South Bellevue Community Center, 14509 SE Newport Way, Bellevue. Owls in the Pacific Northwest: Join us to ask and get answers to your questions about owls. Touch the feathers of a Snowy Owl and look inside a pellet. Listen carefully. Is that the scary screech of a Barn Owl? Halloween is definitely owl time. Ages 5 and older. Noon. Kenmore Library, 6531 NE 181st St., Kenmore. 10th Annual Zombie Walk: Unleash zombie chaos on Front Street at the dead crawl. Hoards of un-dead are known to tap on cars, shops and restaurants windows frightening the occupants – all in the name of ghoulish fun. Join us as the un-dead make their way down Front Street to flash mob dance to Thriller at the City Hall steps. Free event. Show up in your best zombie threads and you could win a prize. 1:30 - 5:30 p.m. Historic Shell Station, 232 Front St. N., Issaquah. Halloween Trolley & Handson History: Kids will have an

BUILDING FINE CUSTOM HOMES AT A FAIR PRICE Our motto: Driving down the unreasonably high cost of home construction! Do not confuse Mercer Island home values with construction costs. Mr. Fay has invented a new process of home construction (HC) that results in very high quality and much lower construction costs. Over $100 per square foot (SF) in cost savings for new construction. We charge a fee based on the size of the HC project and then all construction work at cost! We also return unused construction funds to the homeowner! The Pat Fay Method was invented during the construction of Mr. Fay’s 5,000 SF Kirkland home built for $65/SF (no fee). It is a combination

of all of his experience: engineering, design, project & construction management (CM), value engineering, cost estimating, and home construction. Mr. Fay was a field engineer in the construction of over 800 houses early in his engineering & construction career. These are the pictures of the project that led to the invention of the Pat Fay Method.

opportunity to celebrate an old Halloween tradition — decorating their own masks. Admission fee of $6 per person includes a trolley ride and participation in the Hands-on History activity in the Depot, plus admission to the Gilman Town Hall Museum. Children under three and members of the Issaquah History Museums enter free. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Issaquah Depot, 78 1st Ave NE, Issaquah. Halloween Scavenger Hunt: Join the Bridle Trails Park Foundation for its third annual Halloween Scavenger Hunt. This fun, free adventure features a one-mile scavenger hunt and Halloween hike, Halloween treats for all and a photo booth with a miniature horse. 10 a.m. Bridle Trails State Park, 5300 116th Ave NE, Kirkland. Pumpkins in the Park:This fall harvest festival offers a pumpkin patch, hay maze, a pop-up farmers market, carnival games, goats, food and a costume contest. This free event is fun for the whole family. Trick or treating begins throughout downtown Kirkland after the event. Noon. Marina Park, 25 Lakeshore Plaza, Kirkland. Thrill the World Redmond: Back for the 11th year. Thousands of dancers and spectators shamble, stagger, and shimmy their way down to Redmond Town Center for the annual Thrill of the World Redmond. Visit http:// redmondzombies.com/ for more details on workshops. Noon - 4 p.m. Redmond Town Center, 7525 166th Avenue NE, Redmond. Terrifying Tales: Horror Writing & Open Mic: Join published author and horror enthusiast, Scott McGough for a Horror Writing Workshop and then share your eerie, horrifying and/or spine-chilling short stories at an open mic. Grades 6-12. 1:3 - 4:30 p.m. Redmond Library, 15990 NE 85th


CORRECTION In the Oct. 16 issue, the Reporter incorrectly stated the number of people on its editorial board. There were seven members. Street, Redmond. Trick-or-Treat Trek: This event is free, family-friendly, and open to everyone. Three walk options: 5K, 10K, and 13K, all on essentially flat trails or sidewalks. Register at Remlinger Farms on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m.- noon. Remlinger Farms, 32610 NE 32nd St., Carnation. Fall Harvest - Pie Baking Class: Join chef, Joy Lund for a fun and informative, maken-take, fall harvest pie baking class. Students will leave with a gourmet pie made with their own hands. Pre-registration required, payment ( $50) of the class fee reserves your space. Call Mt. Si Senior Center for more information at: 425-888-3434, or www. mtsiseniorcenter.org. 3 - 5 p.m. Mt. Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S., North Bend.

SUN., OCT. 27 MI Pumpkin Walk: The MI Pumpkin Walk will take place from 5 - 8 p.m., rain or shine. Attendee’s will stroll around the Meadow Loop Trail that will be transformed by the glow of hundreds of carved pumpkins. Free community event. MIYFS will be accepting non-perishable food items in the parking lot to help stock the Food Pantry. Donations of carved pumpkins are needed. Carvers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to drop-off a creatively carved pumpkin the morning of the event between

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9am-3am at the North Parking Lot. Candles will be provided. Pumpkins can be retrieved outside the Administrative Building 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. the following day. Luther Burbank Park, Mercer Island, 2040 84th Ave. SE, Mercer Island. October Is For Orcas: Join City of Bellevue park rangers for our Family Discovery Series. The series is an introduction to the families that make up the J, L, and K pods, a fintastic orca game, and to learn how you can help our endangered southern resident orcas. Best for children ages 5-10 with accompanying adult(s). Indoor/ outdoor program. 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Lewis Creek Visitor Center, 5808 Lakemont Blvd. SE, Bellevue. Discover the Art of Tai Chi: Discover Tai Chi for relaxation with instructor SiFu Richard. Discover Tai Chi for relaxation with instructor SiFu Richard. This is an interactive workshop, please wear comfortable loose clothing. Please register. 4 p.m. Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, Issaquah. Study Zone: Drop-in for free homework help from trained volunteer tutors. Grades K-12. 2 - 4 p.m. Kingsgate Library, 12315 NE 143rd St, Kirkland.

Performing Prokofiev, Shostakovich & Glazunov

Saturday, November 2, 2019, 7:00 PM Presented by the Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle & the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church Concert Series $10–$20 donation at the door


Sean Osborn, Clarinetist

Concert Pianist Dr. Natalya Ageyeva

Mercer Island Reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Islander, Bothell firefighter remembered Robinson, remembered by loved ones as a selfless and genuinely kind person, died on Oct. 4. BY BLAKE PETERSON bpeterson@soundpublishing.com

“He was a walking angel.” That’s how Tinya Anderson, a Mercer Island resident, describes Kirk Robinson, a born-andraised Islander and lieutenant for the Bothell Fire Department (BFD). Robinson died Oct. 4 at the age of 42. He is survived by parents Gary and Lori, brother Clay, wife Jessica and their two children, Gavin (10) and Levi (8). Pat Angell, who neighbored the Robinson family decades ago, remembers the firefighter as “the sweetest little boy” growing up. “He did so much for anybody,” she recalled. Robinson graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1995. Later, he studied kinesiology and sports medicine at Westmont College. In 1999, he joined Mercer Island’s auxiliary firefighting force; then, in April 2001, he was hired to work at BFD full time. Robinson was close to the community he was raised in until his death. In his youth, he served as a lifeguard at the Stroum Jewish Community Center. He was also a dedicated member of the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church (MIPC), of which he was a board member in adulthood and, when he was younger, a youth leader. Robinson made many major contributions to his church throughout his years there, but among the most notable was his participation in a missionary-esque program it backed. In high school, he helped build houses in Mexico for the less fortunate; then, eventually, he started leading the trips. “Kirk was the person we

all would like to be,” his father Gary said. Lindsay Murphy, an associate pastor at MIPC, had known Robinson since college and spoke of his dedication to his faith and his church community. “He always had a heart for wanting to invest in the lives of the youth coming to church,” she said.

Beyond his community Robinson didn’t just make an impact regionally. Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he volunteered to assist with ground zero clean up. After Hurricane Katrina devastated Florida and Louisiana in 2005, Robinson and eight other firefighters hailing from Bothell and Redmond traveled to the East Coast to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in mitigating effects. “He never seemed to want anything back in return,” Murphy said. “In fact, I think he was uncomfortable with receiving help because he liked to be the one who helped.” Paul Barrett, a pastor who previously worked with MIPC and who knew Robinson for about 20 years, echoed this. “He was the guy you called and without reservations would be there in the blink of an eye…and he did that for all circles,” he said, adding that Robinson never sought to be recognized for his generosity. On Feb. 23, 2017, Robinson was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma. When he went public with his diagnosis on June 4, 2018, on social media, he received support in abundance. Shortly afterward, he was given a “Hometown Heroes” award at Mercer Island’s Summer Celebration parade. The diagnosis and its aftereffects didn’t stop Robinson from

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being involved with his community. Anderson, who met Robinson last summer, joined forces with the latter and several community members after Mercer Island’s annual Fourth of July picnic event was canceled due to city budget cuts. The group took it upon themselves to make sure that the long-running program didn’t leave the community. “Kirk had this very can-do attitude,” Anderson said. “He didn’t want to focus on regret or frustration…he was like, ‘What can we do moving forward?’ He did it with grace and motivation.” Gary said his son was also behind a free-for-all annual event during which he’d gather Islanders to play soccer on Thanksgiving Day — usually adults-versuskids scrimmages. Almost every Halloween, Robinson hosted a taco-themed dinner event — something Gary said will be missed this year. And with the help of Anderson and a couple of others, Robinson helped revive a “firehouse munch” event that, like the Fourth of July picnic, would have otherwise been hampered by budget cuts.

Honoring Kirk Robinson continued to receive community support as he battled his illness shortly before his death. On Sept. 29, scores of Mercer Island residents met up in a field to take a group photo showing their support. On social media, friends and


Robinson being sworn in as a lieutenant of the Bothell Fire Department.

acquaintances wished Robinson well. When his BFD heard about his passing, the department dispatched someone to bring an American flag over to the hospice at which Robinson had been staying to be placed on his body. As he left, hospice staff lined the walls in his honor, according to a press release. Afterward, a motorcade comprising Bothell and Mercer Island officials accompanied his hearse on the highway as he was brought to a funeral home in Bellevue. Loved ones noted that it isn’t the support for Robinson that’s surprising. It’s “the layers of stories,” as noted by Barrett, that’s been so unexpected. “I’ve never seen anything like the current outpouring…it’s extraordinary the people that love this man,” Angell said. “I didn’t know the magnitude of the effect he had,” Murphy said, adding that, shortly after his death,



Celebrating 15 years of FREE movies on Mercer Island


Loving Vincent Friday, October 25 | Aljoya, 2430 76th Ave SE 5-7 pm: Aljoya Art Exhibit Opening Please RSVP for the art opening at 206.230.0150.

7:30 pm: Film screening with historian Lance Rhoades

Clockwise from left: Jessie, Kirk, Gavin and Levi Robinson.

her feed was packed with remembrances of her friend. Anderson said she and some city officials are working to ensure that there is a dedication to Robinson at Mercer Island’s annual tree lighting ceremony in December. She also said that there is a possibility that a skate park in town that Robinson frequented in his youth might be given his namesake.

What made Kirk unique Those close to Robinson spoke of him as having a

special quality hard to find in others. “He possessed that magical ‘x factor’ that made everyone from his closest loved ones to the stranger on the street feel known and secure,” longtime friend Stephanie Boyer, who is the director of tuition programs at MIPC, said in an email. “He advocated for the good in people and modeled love in action on a daily basis.” “He was the real deal,” Gary said. Robinson’s memorial service will be held Oct. 24 at Overlake Christian Church, 9900 Willows Rd. in Redmond.

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Who are the people in your neighborhood? A monthly column about matters of faith.



ifty years ago “Sesame Street” debuted on public television. To celebrate this remarkable milestone, Covenant Living at the Shores has an elaborate display of “Sesame Street” memorabilia. Even though the residents on our campus are now senior adults, they were parents or preschoolers when “Sesame Street” took to the airwaves of public television. Because I was a senior in high school, I wasn’t one of Jim Henson’s disciples. But I was aware enough of what was going on in popular culture to recognize the names of his


Here’s a portion of Covenant Living at the Shores’ display of “Sesame Street” memorabilia.

Muppets who were making news. There was Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch in addition to Bert and Ernie. I also was clued in to some of the music associated with the residents on “Sesame Street.” The lyrics of one of the songs

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asked “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” As with Mister Rogers, Jim Henson and his writers and puppeteers were concerned with helping children recognize and appreciate the various people that contributed to their lives. Having an appreciation for those “people in our neighborhood” is just as important to us as to our children or grandchildren. And yet it is easy to take such people for granted. With a month to go before our nation celebrates Thanksgiving, I’m all for getting an early start and finding ways to express gratitude to those individuals who make life meaningful to us every day. Here’s hoping you’re willing to join me. Make a list of those professions without which your little world would not turn as smoothly. There’s your mail carrier, FedEx driver and Amazon Prime delivery person. There’s your barista, the person who does your nails and your haircutter. There’s your landscaper, your housecleaner and pizza delivery guy. There’s your pastor, priest or rabbi. How about your doctor, pharmacist and therapist? Life is a challenge to be

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sure. But can you imagine how much more challenging your life would be if these “people were not in your neighborhood?” And most of them are not accustomed to being thanked for the necessary (often overlooked) work they do. Because there are so many, it’s unrealistic to give each person on your list a Starbucks gift card. But you could write a handwritten note and leave it where they could find it. Personal expressions of thanks are not as common as they once were, but you likely can personally attest to how an unexpected note of appreciation makes you feel. There’s only one holiday that even comes close to honoring the jobs people do that make the world a better place. But since Labor Day is considered the unofficial end of summer, we tend to spend that day coupled with a couple other days and celebrate ourselves. We enjoy a long weekend, but we come up short when it comes to showing thanks to people who most deserve it. Maybe we need a new national holiday called “People in Our Neighborhood Day.”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Choose Mercer Island first Mercer Island is at a crossroads. November’s election offers voters a choice; Mercer Island or regional agendas? Choose Mercer Island first. I should have paid closer attention to local politics. I trusted our elected leaders to do the right thing. It took the loss of the onramp to Interstate 90, the proposed Transit Center and a budget crisis to get my attention. Because Seattle isn’t allowing more buses to enter the city, Metro Transit announced plans to terminate dozens of bus routes here, transforming Mercer Island into one of the largest regional transit hubs. How will the island handle 14,000 commuters per day? Who pays for required infrastructure and extra police? Island leadership must prioritize the island, first, in negotiations with Metro and Sound Transit. Cancelling the Summer Celebration and lifeguards at our beaches shined a spotlight on the budget crisis. In fact, it turns out there was a budget surplus. Voters rejected Proposition 1, and the city manager and finance director resigned. We need new leaders who will get control of the budget, prioritize transparency and restore confidence in City Hall. Town center is threatened with more tall buildings, mimicking Seattle’s unsuccessful urban village model. Businesses will be forced out because city leaders prioritized density and taller buildings over a vibrant retail core. A revitalized town center would improve tax revenues, reducing taxes on homeowners. A revitalized town center is a priority expressed by residents. Mercer Island needs leaders that will respect the priorities of residents. A course correction is needed. I am supporting candidates who will put Mercer Island first. These candidates have the experience and passion that will be invaluable toward restoring confidence in government. Please support Lisa Anderl, Heather Cartwright, John Hanlon, Jake Jacobsen and Daniel Thompson. Ray Akers Mercer Island

Supporting Daniel Thompson I am supporting Daniel Thompson for council for the following reasons: 1) He is only taking donations from island citizens because he believes the council’s loyalty runs to the citizens. 2) He joined Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks in the fight to preserve Mercerdale Park and find a suitable home for Mercer Island Center for the Arts, helped permanently protect Kite Hill, and has worked tirelessly on the Aubrey Davis Master Plan to get a better master plan. 3) He fought to reform our residential development code to stop out of scale houses, and to enact a tree ordinance that preserves significant trees during development. 4) He was one of the first citizens to read the new garbage contract and identify the undisclosed taxes, and to fight the waivers for drive down service. 5) He has fought a bus intercept on Mercer Island, first in 2014 and now today, because there is no shown benefit to Mercer Island. 6) He opposed Proposition 1 because he felt unpopular council policies had to be changed first before a levy could pass, he believes all efforts should be made to identify efficiencies before raising taxes, and we must focus on our aging infrastructure including our water and sewer lines first. Matthew Goldbach Mercer Island

Vote for new leadership

Over the past few years it has been difficult to watch our city council engage in decisions that are not wise See LETTERS, Page 6

Mercer Island Reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

PHONE-A-THON • OCT 28 & 29

Join our growing number of “Friends” who have already made their investment for Mercer Island students by donating $500 or more this school year.

You make the difference!

Exceptional education is the foundation upon which our children will build their lives. Priorities funding request: $480,000! Suggested giving level $500/student. Go all in for kids!

FRIENDS Asma Siddique & Shiraz Ahmed Yusuke & Miho Amamiya Gretchen Anderson Scott Anderson Gregg & Kirsten Aoyama Aaron & Jessica Apodaca Warren & Jill Ashton Matt & Linnea Augustine Richard & Karla Aylen Jamey & Carolyn Balousek Kevin Millison & Jeanne Ballot John & Evan Banbury Robert & Samantha Barnes Orin Levine & Amie Batson David & Hilary Benson Jeff & Joci Besecker Tom Henderson & Sue Biggins Jeff & Sheri Blumenthal Bill Radke & Sara Bowen Don & Koni Braman Samuel & Lynn Browd Richard & Elizabeth Buchan David & Katie Bunker Alan & Stephanie Burnett Nicole Burnett Ray Szylko & Michelle Burns Lin Ding & Yibo Cai Scott Swerland & Brooke Catano Marc & Seonaid Chappell Marc & Andrea Chatalas Cheng & Lingyan Chen David & Julie Chivo Mario & Marilyn Chorak Jeff & Kim Comstock Tim & Tracy Conway Sedy Cordova Richard & Barbara Crawford Bill & C.C. Crenshaw Christopher & Barbara Di Re Mike & Andrea Dickstein Eric & Jennifer Dorre Christopher Belden & Patrick Dougherty Bradford & Cristi Duea Ken & Julie Duffié David & Michelle Dumler Jeff & Dawn Dunn Gordon & Susan Empey Jeffrey & Elizabeth Evans John & Louise Farrell Lewis Malakoff & Michelle Feder Chad & Wendi Fischer Donold & Lara Fosseen Eli & Karen Friedman Brett & Anne Gerry Brian & Jennifer Giannini-Upton Brian & Shandon Gierke Arye & Ellie Gittelman

Joddie & Skip Gleason Peter & Beth Goodman Jason Baumgarten & Tiffin Goodman Andrew & Jennifer Goodrich Greg & Shannon Gottesman James & Gloria Gottesman John & Pam Greer The Mary E. Groff Charitable Trust Robert & Nicole Grogan Khanh Ha Mark & Stacy Harrington Greg & Kristin Hart Charles Hately & Julie King Hately Andrew & Ashley Hay Aaron & Christina Hendelman Jill Hendrick Bruce & Jennifer Henry Edward & Lisa Herzinger Kevin & Janelle Honeycutt James Motz & Ames Hwang Andrea Rodolico & Monio Iorillo Larry & Mara Izzo Lloyd Hounsell & Kelsey Joyce Mahesh Rajagopalan & Roshini Jain James & Laura Jantos Gexin Xu & Yan Jiang Darren & Ariane Justus Daniel & Grace Kalish Hank & Susan Kaplan Philip Moberg & Elizabeth Kaplan Afsaneh & Mehdi Karami Brett & Daphne Kelley Iain & Jessica Kennedy David & Julien Kern Scott & Jeanne Kesapradist Veena Shankaran & Saurabh Khandelwal Sean & Binh King Jeff & Carrie Kingston Alan & Sandra Kipust Peter & Lynn Kiriputt Jeremy & Danica Knievel Aaron & Stephanie Kornblum David & Jody Kris Brent & Kelly Krupp Mijeong Seo & Hyung Kwon Kevin & Julie Larkin Travis & Deborah Larsen Kai Bottomley & Penelope Livingston Sam & Sarah Leclercq Elton & Doris Lee Ed & Diana Lein Nick & Rachel Lenington Renton & Shannon Leversedge Jeff Latkowski & Gwen Loosmore Shabai & Elizabeth Li Wenxia Gao & Guofu Li Yue Zhang & Ying Liao

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mercer Island Reporter


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Letters From Page 4

and often detrimental for the island. Our legacy council chose to threaten the community they were to serve with Proposition 1 while not being honest about the budgetary “crisis” they created and actually did not exist. It was a priority and spending issue that has still not been properly addressed. They mis-negotiated with Sound Transit for our longterm access as an island and favored developers over their citizens. Now our legacy city council members are continuing to harm the island with a large bus depot that we don’t need and shouldn’t have to shoulder for the region as we are an island with limited land mass and access. Simply stated, we deserve better leadership on Mercer Island. Leadership that is honest and transparent with the island’s resources, citizens and our fiscal health. Leadership that properly prioritizes safety, protection of our mobility and access, and listens to its citizens. Now we as an island have an opportunity with the upcoming election to appoint new leadership on the island, and not simply re-elect the same bad leadership that got us into the place we are currently. We can elect a new slate of city council members that will work to protect the island, our citizens, families, parks, and our mobility and safety. I strongly advocate voting for Lisa Anderl, Heather Cartwright, John Hanlon, Jake Jacobson and Dan Thompson, and I recommend that everyone who is concerned about preserving and protecting the island do the same. Vote for new leadership on the Mercer Island City Council this election cycle, and vote for candidates that care about protecting our community and will listen to our citizenry. Elizabeth Buckley Mercer Island

Keep Anderl on the city council I’m voting to keep Lisa Anderl on the city council. She has worked hard this year to understand both the big issues facing Mercer

Island as well as how the city operates. She comes to the meetings well-prepared and asks great questions. Most importantly, we know where she stands on tough issues. As an experienced attorney, I think she brings the necessary skills to some very challenging issues. She’s focused on public safety and on preserving our quality of life. For example, Sound Transit and Metro are currently trying to significantly rewrite the settlement agreement regarding bus traffic, and Lisa has taken a strong stand against any modifications to the agreement, which would negatively impact the island. She has come out and said clearly that if the settlement configuration will not work for Metro, then they should consider a different location for a bus intercept. She is also insisting that Sound Transit and Metro be responsible for any resources necessary to ensure that our island stays as safe as it is now after light rail starts running. Lisa has shown that she values the character of our single-family residential neighborhoods. She supported the current city manager’s proposal to “hit pause” on the community facilities zone, which was proving to be divisive and unworkable for many groups on the island. Lisa is already doing the hard work on city council. Let’s let her keep working to benefit our community. Cathie Hall Mercer Island

Facts-driven approach? Vote Cartwright I’ve always been an actively-engaged citizen on key city issues and now, with so many contentious problems, I’ve been even more intensely involved. I have followed both Heather Cartwright and Craig Reynolds and been at planning commission meetings with Craig. It’s interesting they’re running against each other – they both claim to be data (and fact) driven and bring business experience, but when you interact with them, you find their actions behind the talk track are very different. When talking with Heather, she is immediately engaged and listening. She asks for facts on an issue, and she asks a lot of questions so she can get more insight.

She genuinely cares about understanding my perspective. Heather wants to listen and learn so she can respect all sides of the equation. On the other hand, Craig shows limited interest in understanding other perspectives or representing more than one side of the equation. The difference? Heather’s data-driven approach comes from applying in the real business world. I realize because she works in technology, which changes fast, she always has to be tuned in to customer inputs and new information, so she’s always listening. Heather wants to validate data and facts…. she looks for accountability and how new data might change the way we approach a challenge. MI citizens want a lot of the same goals – public safety, mobility, improved parks, protection of residential neighborhoods, and fiscal responsibility…. but we have different perspectives on how those things get achieved. Our city council leadership has to reflect all citizen interests, understand all parties, and find positive consensus for everyone. I consider myself factbased driven. It’s very important to be able from a business point-of-view to understand the contracts the city is engaged in, and interpret the material with integrity. This is why I’m voting Cartwright over Reynolds. Jeff Davis Mercer Island On Oct. 14, the candidates running for Mercer Island City Council and school board came together at W. Mercer Elementary to discuss questions from the community. The question most poignant was the following: “This week, the MI Reporter published an article about the rise in antisemetic activity on MI. There’s a concern in the community that these hate crimes were minimized. What is your view and what would you do about them in office?” The first candidate addressed was Daniel Thompson, who for the first 15 seconds of his response time, pretended not to hear his name while feverishly writing on his notepad. When he was addressed for a second time, Daniel, in a state of shock how to address an issue he has See LETTERS, Page 7

Mercer Island Reporter

Letters From Page 6

refused to acknowledge, rather defending the acts as stated in the article reported, rants how ridiculous a question it was to have to answer in 30 seconds. That being said, Daniel’s nine other opponents seemed to handle the question with grace and acceptance, acknowledging the “solution begins with us.” Daniel Thompson’s true colors shined brightly Monday night. Be wary and vigilant of Daniel’s practices and beliefs and his supporters. They DO NOT stand for inclusivity in the Mercer Island community. Lana Ma Mercer Island

Support for John Rivera-Dirks

Despite Mercer Island being a small community, I did not know either candidate for school board position No. 5 before this election. I took the opportunity to talk with both candidates earlier this summer because I have three children in the school district (one in elementary, one in middle and one in high school) and I care deeply about their education. I’m voting for John Rivera-Dirks because I was impressed with how he connects with stakeholders. Prior to our

meeting, he had already conducted research into other districts, learned about various educational models, and talked with school administrators and current and past school board members. He goes beyond a simple, “I’m listening, I hear you.” He researches, he listens actively, he finds innovative solutions. I’m voting for John because he is absolutely passionate about academic excellence and a well-rounded school experience. Mercer Island is blessed with an intelligent, engaged and supportive community. There is always room for improvement, and we should continually be asking ourselves if the curriculum and programs that are in place are preparing our kids for where they want to go. I’m voting for John because he is a strong advocate for STEM in our schools. The world is ever-changing and we want our kids to be prepared for the careers of the future. John knows that supporting STEM isn’t just about throwing technology into classrooms. I’m voting for John because he is dedicated to promoting mindfulness, kindness and resilience in our kids. He is also committed to providing support for our kids as they learn how to manage stress and anxiety in their lives. In today’s world, no student’s education would be complete without the help of these survival skills. Helen Wu

Richard John “Dick” Wotipka Dick Wotipka, age 67, passed away on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Dick was born on August 12, 1952 to Jake and Bobbie Wotipka. The eldest of 4 children including Toni, Scott and Chuck, Dick was raised on Mercer Island and graduated from MIHS in 1970. Dick joined the Merchant Marines after high school. He received his BA in English in 1978 from the University of Washington and his Juris Doctorate in 1981 from the Seattle University School of Law. Dick and his law partner, Jeffrey Broihier started the Broadway Law Group. Throughout his career in civil litigation Dick was known for his very humanistic and moral practice of the law. He enjoyed an active lifestyle with his family – skiing, camping, fishing, biking, swimming, rollerblading, kayaking and running. He was an avid soccer player and loved music. Dick was incredibly kind, compassionate, and known for his wry sense of humor. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Libby, his three sons, Jake, Nicholas, and Matthew, brother Chuck (Jackie), and sister Toni. Dick was preceded in death by his parents and brother Scott. Thank you to the soccer players who jumped into action and administered CPR, as well as the medics, nurses, doctors and staff at Harborview Medical Center. Donations may be made to the Union Gospel Mission or the AED fund of the Greater Seattle Soccer League, (Attn. Marc Goyette) 9750, Greenwood Ave N, #101, Seattle, WA 98103. A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 pm, November 16th at the Mercer Island Beach Club., 8326 Avalon Dr., Mercer Island.

Mercer Island

Reynolds is connected to community values

During this time when devoted public servants are being “trashed,” we have the opportunity to elect representatives who will move Mercer Island in a positive direction. If you want a representative on city council who is connected to our community values, who represents our budget priorities and who understands the impact of zoning, development and municipal finance laws on our quality of life, then you will find no one better than Craig Reynolds. Our island will be the fortunate beneficiary of Craig’s professional experience, energy, thoughtfulness, volunteerism and deep connections to our community. Craig Reynolds has my enthusiastic support and my vote. John Stewart Mercer Island

Voting for Thompson

Many regional groups are endorsing candidates to further their agenda without properly vetting them. Daniel Thompson is accepting only island resident donations to assure he

isn’t beholden to off island interests. He has worked for years advocating for islanders and will continue to prioritize Island interests over regional interests. Preventing the bus intercept, preserving Kite Hill and developing a tree ordinance are all examples of his good work on our behalf. Please join me in voting for Daniel Thompson for Mercer Island City Council. Tom Robinson Mercer Island

Take the time to read about the candidates

For the incumbents, if we paid attention, seeking re-election for positions to the Mercer Island City Council, we know their voting records, for achievements and setbacks. Many important decisions for the future for the city have been made since the last election, which remain controversial. Therefore, please take the time to carefully read about the candidates seeking seats on the next council. We are fortunate to have some eminently qualified persons to better position us with fresh, sensible positions for the future. Thomas Frey Mercer Island

Supporting Debbie Bertlin

Marion Elizabeth ‘Jonnee’ Dohoney Marion Elizabeth ‘Jonnee’ Dohoney, a resident of Mercer Island for over 60 years, passed away September 9, 2019 at the age of 91. She was born in Los Angeles, California to Fritz and Elin Hammerstrom who emigrated to the Unites States from Jonkoping, Sweden to work with the Salvation Army. Serving the less fortunate led the family to many places throughout the western United States including Spokane, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and finally, Seattle. Jonnee loved the adventure of moving to new places along with her sister, Carmen and her parents. One of her best childhood memories was serving the homeless on the Wharf in San Francisco during the Depression. These experiences had a lasting impact on her life. Music was also a passion for her family and as a child, Jonnee learned to play the piano beautifully by ear, never having taken a lesson. Jonnee married Charles ‘Nace’ Dohoney in Seattle and started their family on Mercer Island where they raised two sons. During her 60 years there, she had a successful career as a real estate agent. She was highly respected by her peers and was always willing to mentor new agents, only retiring when her eyesight began to fail. Some of her favorite things were red geraniums, lemon drops and The Sound of Music. Jonnee truly enjoyed visiting with people and especially cherished her annual trip to Maui with close friends. She also enjoyed occasional trips to the casino to play the nickel slots. Jonnee was an avid sports fan, cheering on the Huskies and the Seahawks in football and the Mariners baseball team. She had a deep love for animals and her hope was that when she passed, she could become a gatekeeper in heaven for the animals. Jonnee was preceded in death by her husband, Nace and is survived by her sons Shane and Chic, her daughter-in-law Libby, and grandchildren Mary Claire ‘Molly,’ Peter Francis and Patrick Ignatius Dohoney.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I am writing to express my support of Debbie Bertlin for city council. I’ve known Deb for five years, and I’m lucky to call her my friend. And while some may view my endorsement with skepticism for that very reason, I’m compelled to share my perspective with other voters — particularly in light of an ongoing effort by a small, but very vocal group of islanders to discredit her honesty, decency and good intentions. Anyone who knows Deb personally will tell you she’s a compassionate, straight-shooting, honest-to-a-fault, pragmatic, hard-working, wicked smart woman who, as cliché as it may sound, wants to leave this world — and this community — in a


better place. Deb grew up on the island, is raising her two daughters here, and her parents continue to reside here. Her passion and concern for the well-being of our community run deep, as does her long-standing knowledge of the regional forces driving many of the challenges we face as islanders. Given the increasingly contentious tone of our local politics, I was somewhat awestruck that Deb decided to run for council again. But Deb is an optimist of the highest order. She’s also tough, follows her heart, and doesn’t back down from a challenge. Most of all, I believe she feels there’s work left undone. See LETTERS, Page 8

David “Buster” Leuckel, Sr. February 24, 1936 – October 13, 2019 David “Buster” Leuckel Sr., long-time resident of Mercer Island, Washington, passed away peacefully on October 13, 2019 at his home in Lynden, Washington at the age of 83. Buster was born in Perryville, Missouri on February 24, 1936 to Phil and Debbie Leuckel. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Joyce Leuckel, his sister, Mary Kay Moore and his brothers Smiley Leuckel and Buddy Leuckel. As a child, Buster grew up in Van Buren, Missouri – a playground of mountains and trees to explore along with sandbars and rivers. He graduated from Poplar Bluff High School and attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. During his teen summers, he worked on a paddleboat that carried cargo up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. At age 20, he married Barbara Joyce Reasons. They lived in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Nebraska before moving their family to Mercer Island in 1972, when he was asked to lead the Western Washington Regional Office for Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company. As a founding member of Bellevue Club, Buster played tennis competitively in dozens of tournaments as a ‘left-handed’ doubles partner. After retirement, Buster and Joyce moved to Lynden, where he was a member of Homestead Golf Resort, and was fondly referred to as the honorary ‘marshal’ of the course for the past 20 years. Buster was a fun-loving friend to everyone he knew and lived life to its fullest. Some of his hobbies and activities included golf, tennis, biking, skiing, and travelling with Joyce to beautiful cities throughout the world. Buster is survived by his brother Scott Leuckel of Van Buren, Missouri. He is also survived by his three children: Melissa Milburn of Mercer Island, WA, Dave Leuckel Jr. (Lea) and Shawn Leuckel (both from Seattle, WA). He was grandpa to three grandchildren who loved him greatly. A mass will be said in his name at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lynden, WA. The family will be holding a Celebration of Life in the coming weeks on Mercer Island. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Whatcom Hospice in Bellingham, Washington or a charitable organization of your choice.

...obituaries TO SUBMIT A PAID OBITUARY, CALL: 253.872.6677 EMAIL:paidobits@reporternewspapers.com or go ONLINE at this publication. Paid obituaries include publication in the newspaper and online. All notices are subject to verification.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Letters From Page 7

Like most islanders, I choose to live here because of the excellent schools, safe streets, beautiful parks, and easy access to a major city. We can (and should!) disagree about how to maintain those qualities, how our community should evolve, and ultimately, which candidates best represent our collective interests. For these reasons, it’s vital that we focus on the real issues facing Mercer Island. As a friend of Deb’s, I can assure you that her integrity, character and commitment to our community are not among them. Debra Hafermann Brandt Mercer Island

Reynolds is careful and

Mercer Island Reporter

diligent in his approach On Oct. 17, I attended the candidate forum for the city council race between Craig Reynolds and Heather Jordan Cartwright. In her introduction, Cartwright stated she liked to “surround myself with people that don’t agree with me.” It is a good idea to have a variety of perspectives especially on a governing body. But I found her statement perplexing since she is one of Mike Cero’s PAC slate of candidates who apparently are all committed to put “efficiency first” in dealing with the issues and challenges facing the island. A CFO asked Cartwright about how the “efficiency slate” planned to reduce expenditures and received a vague response. The next questioner, also a CFO, asked Cartwright to be more specific. Again

no specifics other than “I never met a budget I couldn’t cut by 5 percent.” In closing, Cartwright painted herself as a big-ideas person (e.g., instead of the controversial bus-intercept, “let’s lid the freeway and put all the buses down below”), but I wondered about the practicality, timing and cost of her proposals. I would prefer to have someone who is committed to careful analysis and diligent examination of realistic, not fantasy, options. Reynolds is that person. He has the analytic eye of the actuary he is and is careful and diligent in his approach. He answered all questions put to him in a measured, factual and candid fashion. When Mike Cero tried to pin congestion in the downtown core on the current planning commission (on which Reynolds has sat for just a little over a year), once again I was perplexed. The impacts Cero was referring to would have been a result of decisions made years ago, most likely during Cero’s eight-year tenure on the city council. Robert Olson Mercer Island

POLICE BLOTTER SEPT. 24 Burglary: At 12:49 p.m. in the 3600 block of West Mercer Way, a victim’s house is being remodeled. No one is currently occupying the home. Sometime between Sept. 20-22, someone entered the home and stole several items from the homeowner and general contractor.

SEPT. 26 DUI: At 12:26 a.m. in the 7600 block of Mercer Way, a driver was stopped for an equipment violation. The driver showed signs of impairment. The driver provided

Incident occurred 300 yards off Renton shoreline. Mercer Island police responded to a report of a man shooting a rifle off a boat floating in Lake Washington, according to police.

4:30 p.m. Linkage Study Session with City Council 6:00 p.m. Recognition; Public Input; Superintendent Report Partial Governance Process Monitoring: a. Board Policy 1800 OE-10: Instructional Program – School Improvement Plans (MIHS; IMS) b. Board Policy 1800 OE-7: Financial Administration – Certification of Levy Collections; Resolution No. 679 (1st reading) c. Board Policy 1800 OE-9: Communication and Support to the Board – Sustainability; Resolution No. 680 (1st reading) d. Board Policy 2019: Course Design, Selection, and Adoption of Instructional Materials – AP Statistics Text (1st reading) Full Governance Process Monitoring: Board Policy 1800 OE-3: Appropriate Treatment of Community Members Post-Monitoring Language Review: Board Policy 1800 OE-1: Student-Focused Fundamentals – Fundamentals 1, 2

Agenda items are subject to change. Please verify agenda items by going to: boarddocs.com/wa/misd/Board.nsf/Public

MERCER ISLAND SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS Brian Giannini Upton, President Deborah Lurie, Vice-President David D’Souza, Director Tracy Drinkwater, Director Ralph Jorgenson, Director Donna Colosky, Superintendent

The 73-year-old man who was allegedly firing the gun lives in Seattle. He was turned over to Renton police for further investigation. He has not been charged with a crime at this point. A detective will determine what charge, if any, is appropriate and applicable, said Renton police. There is no timeline for that decision.

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Regular School Board Meeting Thursday, October 24, 2019 Agenda

The gun fire took place on Oct. 15 and was happening about 300 yards off the city of Renton shoreline. The caller was unaware of who or what the shooter may have been targeting. MIPD responded to the call, in two marine patrol vessels. They contacted the boat and a lone man, at the south end of Mercer Island.

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Unless otherwise noted, school board meetings are held at Mercer Island City Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th St., on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month at 6 p.m.

Dog chase: At 8:25 a.m. in the 8100 block of Southeast 40th Street, a dog was running off leash and chased someone walking their dog. That person fell and had a thumb injury. The dog was not being aggressive nor did the dog bite the injured person. The dog owner was cited for the dog being off leash and not under control. Theft: At 11:59 a.m. in the 3600 block of 76th Avenue Southeast, the victim had a check from a tenant stolen from his mailbox. This likely happened on the same day his son’s passport went missing after USPS reported it delivered. Check was from a tenant in Renton who said the check was cashed in a bank account by a female suspect. The check was for $2,803.

Police respond to report of man shooting rifle off boat


MEETING NOTICE Mercer Island School District

SEPT. 30

two valid breath samples. Car theft: At 6:58 a.m. in the 3800 block of 76th Avenue Southeast, a car was stolen and dumped nearby in the 3500 block of 69th Avenue Southeast. The victim’s father and brother arrived at the location and recovered the car. Fraud: at 3:23 p.m. in the 4600 block of 8th Avenue Southeast, a victim was told by their credit card monitoring service that there were multiple fraudulent attempts to open credit cards in his name. All of these attempts were seen as suspicious and declined. Forgery: At 10:43 a.m. in the 4700 block of Forest Avenue Southeast, a victim reported a check forgery and identity theft that happened on Sept. 19.

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MEETING NOTICE Mercer Island School District Unless otherwise noted, school board meetings are held at Mercer Island City Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th St., on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month at 6 p.m.

Special School Board Meeting Thursday, October 29, 2019 Agenda Northwood Elementary School, 4030 86th SE Purpose of Special Meeting: to conduct a site visit at Northwood Elementary School and meet with staff, students, and parents. 8:30 a.m. Call to Order; Meet with Staff in Library Classroom 9:00 a.m. Meet with Administration Team in Conference Rm. 9:35 a.m. Classroom Visits/Site Tours 10:50 a.m. Meet with Students in Quiet Commons 11:05 a.m. Open Meeting with Parents/PTA in Quiet Commons 11:30 a.m. Adjourn Times are approximate. No final action will be taken.

Agenda items are subject to change. Please verify agenda items by going to: boarddocs.com/wa/misd/Board.nsf/Public

MERCER ISLAND SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS Brian Giannini Upton, President Deborah Lurie, Vice-President David D’Souza, Director Tracy Drinkwater, Director Ralph Jorgenson, Director Donna Colosky, Superintendent

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• Courtyards, Lattice Work • Lawns, Flowers • Container Plantings • Arbors, Decks • Pruning, Maintenance • Renovations, Consultations • Interior & Exterior Design






HALLOWEEN ON THE HILL EVENT CELEBRATING ITS NINTH YEAR The event is set for Oct. 26 and is hosted by the South Bellevue Community Center. BY BLAKE PETERSON bpeterson@soundpublishing.com


or its ninth year, the South Bellevue Community Center (SBCC) is hosting Halloween on the Hill, an all-day holiday-themed event seeking to bring families together through a range of events. This year encompasses activities like a carnival, a pumpkin race and a zipline as well as more artistically oriented features, like a theater show and a movie screening. “There’s a little something for everybody,” Jennifer Newton, the manager of the SBCC said. “It’s just such a great event.” Halloween on the Hill dates back nearly a decade, to when the SBCC’s previous manger was looking to increase community engagement in the area through more event work. After looking at what some cities in the East Coast had been doing to better connect with residents, the center decided to try out for itself what’s now recognized as Halloween on the Hill. Originally, though, it merely included the now-traditional pumpkin race, where participants put their carved creation on wheels and compete. “It’s definitely evolved,” Beau Stanford, the community services program coordinator at the SBCC and one of the event’s main organizers, said of Halloween on the Hill. Though one of its elements — the “zip scare,” which is essentially a zipline course that runs through the surrounding wooded area — is available to the public on Oct. 18, 19 and 25, the event’s activities are otherwise confined to Oct. 26. The day begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. There are two scheduled pumpkin-race periods — one from 10 a.m. to noon, the other from noon to 2 p.m. — which coincides with the carnival, which starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Halloween on the Hill’s carnival includes games,


Halloween on the Hill seeks to be inclusive of all ages.

inflatables, food and more. It’s capped off with an hour-long comedy show from the entertainer Alex Zerbe, which begins at 3 p.m. “There are more pieces to the puzzle that I think have made it [Halloween on the Hill] an attraction to local residents,” Jill Rittenhouse, the SBCC’s community services recreation technician and a key event organizer for the last two years, said. Bellevue Youth Theatre is then putting on a theater show — a piece called “Nevermore” — at 6:30 p.m., for $10. “A lot of folks are coming out to watch their performance,” Rittenhouse said. “They do a unique performance every year. They spend a lot of time and effort doing that.” This year, Halloween on the Hill is concluding with a

screening of the Pixar movie “Coco.” It’s free to attend; popcorn is complementary. Stanford noted that, by including several subevents at Halloween on the Hill, an opportunity is provided for parents with kids — and in many cases grandparents with grandkids — to bond. “A lot of families have kids that are into their iPads or video games or what not,” he said. “But it’s fun to actually get parents and grandparents and kids and grandkids… to spend time together. I think it’s key for different generations to spend some time with each other.” By Rittenhouse’s estimate, about 1,500 people attended last year’s event, showing that the program has “grown exponentially over the last three to five years.” But she added that it can sometimes be challenging

finding sponsors and community participation, and that the size of the Eastside as a whole can make it difficult to stand out from other holiday programs. “There is so much information out there and so many great events with Bellevue and the Eastside area and beyond,” Rittenhouse said. “There’s a lot of choices for families.” Still, the event has proven increasingly popular, and this year has extensive support from the surrounding community. At Halloween on the Hill 2019, many of the volunteers are students from Sammamish High School and Newport High School; a nearby Nike Factory store is having some of its employees help out with the pumpkin races, for instance. Sponsors include Voya, Key Bank and Northwest

TeamBuilding. Despite some of the challenges, the efforts have come with rewards. To Rittenhouse, events like Halloween on the Hill are important to Bellevue and the surrounding area. “It helps people feel a connection to their community,” she said. “The scope of our city and the area is so large, it’s almost overwhelming to folks. I think people are always looking for that community feeling. They want to feel like they belong; they want to feel like they don’t have to go too far. It’s important that you’re reaching out to your local community so they feel like ‘this is part of my world’ and that we’re really serving them.” For more details about the event, go to its online booklet(https://en.calameo.com/ read/0050715996a4ebd99907f).


191008 Crossroads Malloween Scene Mag 9.83x12.75 f.pdf

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mercer Island Reporter



2:46 PM


Mercer Island Reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019



THE COMMUNITY VALUES OF RISE UP The ‘Hamilton’ tribute band credits effortless chemistry and enthusiasm as key parts of its success. BY BLAKE PETERSON bpeterson@soundpublishing.com

In 2008, Lin-Manuel Miranda read “Alexander Hamilton,” a 2004 biography by Ron Chernow, while vacationing in Mexico. What if he hadn’t casually picked it up? Time off is characteristically supposed to be relaxing, but for Miranda — then taking a break from his mid-aughts musical venture “In the Heights” — beach-reading turned into a font of inspiration. For the next few years, Miranda’s music and performances were directly inflected by the founding father, if on a small scale. Then, beginning in 2015, Miranda made epic his newfound obsession. His claim to fame was soon Broadway’s “Hamilton,” a genre-hopping play that revised and musicalized the founding father’s story and subversively populated it with people of color and celebrations of immigrants. It became a fully fledged cultural phenom nationwide — so much so that in June 2016, Miranda, dressed in blowsy 18th-century wear, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, as if he were Broadway’s less tortured answer to Jim Morrison. “Alexander Hamilton” led Miranda to an artistic epiphany. In turn, “Hamilton,” the musical, led Kirkland native and self-described “intermittent semi-professional musician” Jeremy Stone to one, too. When he was first introduced to “Hamilton” a few years ago, the play’s music and equal parts inclusive and emboldened messages lit up something within him. “For me, it was something I turned to when I needed help making sense of the world,” Stone said. “It’s music that celebrates immigration at a time when maybe immigrants are not celebrated by all people. It’s music with a message that’s rooted in diversity and love. Just the material is for the right time.” About as quickly as Stone fell for “Hamilton,” he also thought about how many people might not be able to directly see or hear what it had to offer. If you didn’t live in or close to New York City and/or didn’t have the means to attend a show, how would you be able to enjoy it? The stance for many a “Hamilton” fan to take would be to relish the show’s offerings while keeping that faint disappointment in the back of their mind. But Stone took his fandom a

From left to right: performers Bo Mendez, Rebecca Garcia, Mikaela Romero and Denny Le at a previous Rise Up show.

step further. Some inquiries and cold calls around the Seattle area later (“Essentially, I found people on the Internet,” Stone said) and he’d formed what, in the spring of 2017, was for all intents and purposes a “Hamilton” cover band. It called itself Rise Up. It was made up of about 10 people who seemed to have the musical chops necessary to pull the project off. Stone was assiduous as he contacted people: it was important that he not only found capable artists in the greater Seattle Area but kept intact “Hamilton”’s diverse ensemble. Jim Horne, Rise Up’s musical director and an old colleague of Stone’s, said that the latter is a bit modest about how much talent it takes to have both made the project a reality and get it to succeed in the long term. According to Horne, Stone has a strong musical instinct. But he also has notable business acumen, managing the band and getting gigs locked down, sometimes even pestering venues until he got an answer in the early days. At their initial breakfast meeting, during which Stone expanded on his recent idea, Horne voiced his concerns about getting the rights to the music — and Stone was already a step ahead of him. “It’s tough for any band no matter how good you are to get noticed,” Horne said. “You have to keep chipping away… Jeremy has been absolutely ruthless in pursuing the success of the group.” The pursuit appears to have paid off. Rise Up has been consistently touring since its formation,

predominantly stopping by venues in the Pacific Northwest. On Nov. 14, the group is kicking off a two-day residency at the Kirkland Performance Center (KPC). The show on the 14th, as of mid-October, is almost sold out; the Nov. 15 performance is getting there. The ensemble will be joined, on the 14th, by the Finn Hill Middle School Choir. The Juanita High School Concert and Jazz Choirs will guest on the 15th. Rise Up has routinely involved community groups in past performances, and, for Kirkland, the group was cognizant of the venue’s community emphasis when it reached out. “Because there’s such a community focus at KPC, we wanted to keep it local and get youths from the community to join us,” Stone said, adding that, when connecting with schools in the area, sometimes he’d at first receive a cocked eyebrow after stating his idea. A typical Rise Up show lasts for about two hours. It focuses on just the music; the group does not indulge in the musical’s narrative. But that isn’t to say that performances are exclusively “Hamilton”-oriented. In addition to featuring in the setlist the majority of the play’s songs, the act incorporates tracks either adjacent or even unrelated to the musical. The group has recently added numbers from the stage musicals “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Waitress” and “Rent” to its repertoire. “You’re Welcome,” from Miranda’s “Moana” soundtrack, has also been included. Original music has

become part of the shows, too. “Love Like a Yeti” — from a musical Stone, according to Horne, is ostensibly working on — has recently been stirred into the mix, for instance. Rise Up hasn’t yet been noticed by anyone involved with the original incarnations of the play. But public reaction has been positive, and often physically evident during concerts. Last year, the act got runner up for Seattle Weekly’s Best Musical Act. This October, Rise Up received the 2019 Performance of the Year Award from the KPC. Enthusiastic audience engagement has long been a fixture at the group’s shows. Singing and dancing along has come to be expected, particularly from youngsters (5 to 85, according to Stone, is “Hamilton”’s main demographic). This was first made clear at the group’s first show — at Luther’s Table in Renton — after Rise Up invited kids in the audience to come on the grandstand with them. The effect was overwhelming. “Pretty soon, they all came up to the stage,” Horne remembers. “The stage was absolutely packed… I had no idea what kind of impact this music had on young people.” Contributing to the success of Rise Up is the camaraderie between its members. Backgrounds do vary. While all the musicians involved have the necessary musical experience, their relationship to music, and which outlets they’ve explored it through, differs. Yet the ensemble, according to singer Po Leapi,


who also performs solo under the stage name P.O. BOXX, has had “an effortless chemistry” since day one. “There isn’t pride or egos floating around, like some other bands I’ve been with in the past,” Leapi said. “Everyone is on the same wavelength.” Horne cherishes the unity the group has come to achieve. “We all come from different backgrounds,” he said. “These are people I would not have come into contact with in my normal life largely. It’s been a joy working with them.” There’s a level of awareness, on Stone’s part, that the buzz surrounding “Hamilton” won’t last forever — which means that Rise Up, if to continue on, will likely have to adjust accordingly to retain audience interest. The ultimate goal is that, even if Rise Up eventually isn’t emphasizing “Hamilton” as much in future shows, the ensemble remains together. “I expect Rise Up to be this music collective bringing amazing music to diverse audiences and building community through music,” he said. “The music we play is going to evolve over the years.” Though the group’s website shows that concerts are for now scheduled until next February, Stone clarified that there is more to come. As shows go on, a sense of pride, nearly three years later, remains instilled in those involved. “I’m so proud to be part of this group,” Horne said. “It makes people happy — I like that.”


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mercer Island Reporter

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Mercer Island Reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


‘Perils and Promises of Interfaith Dialogue’ set for October 26 Pacific Northwest Interfaith Amigos come to Mercer Island. Mercer Island Presbyterian Church will hold a presentation by the Pacific Northwest Interfaith Amigos from 4-5:30 p.m. Oct. 26. Their presentation will be titled “Perils and Promises of Interfaith Dialogue.” The program runs about 60 minutes with 30 minutes for questions and answers. The Interfaith Amigos started to work together after 9/11. Their members included Imam Jamal Rahman, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie as the Christian partner.

When Pastor Mackenzie moved to Minneapolis some six years ago, Pastor Dave Brown became part of the Pacific Northwest Interfaith Amigos. They have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences all over the U.S., as well as Canada, Israel-Palestine and Japan. Their work is dedicated to supporting more effective interfaith dialogue that can bring greater collaboration on the major social and economic issues of our time. The Interfaith Amigos present a crucial message in their unique humorous style, helping participants appreciate the promise

and the problems of the interfaith experience. With their willingness to openly address the usual taboos of interfaith dialogue — the “awkward” parts of each tradition — they create a more authentic conversation between themselves and with their audiences, giving people an opportunity to step more fully into the rich promise of the interfaith experience. One participant noted that “The Interfaith Amigos’ message of inclusion, empathy for and understanding of ‘the other’ struck a muchneeded chord. It is this message that attempts to heal and provide a bridge

Cutting down on creating trash By Nancy Weil and Kaarina Aufranc Special to the Reporter

I am going to admit something here: when I travel, I create trash. Lots and lots of trash. Know that this is not something I strive for. In fact, I try to be relatively thoughtful about what I need to bring with me to create less trash. But I often find myself in an unknown area — I am thirsty, hungry, in a rush, and have five or more kids in tow that are all in the same boat. Therefore, I create lots of trash. So much of the trash that I personally create when I travel has to do with food or hydration. In an effort to cut down on my trash creating, I did a little digging to find ways to cut down on the problem and separated these efforts into categories — beginning, intermediate and advanced. We are all in different stages of trying to change our habits, and I hope to encourage you to take some of these tasks on in whatever stage you are in: Beginner: Carry a water bottle and a reusable coffee cup and straw. Stash a few utensil packs in your bag. Bring extra bags (reusable grocery, silicone ziplocks). Ask for food to be put into compostable containers if possible.

*** See below for extra credit Intermediate: Look for restaurants that serve on plates, not in to-go containers. Look for food at local markets, rather than big-box stores to buy produce and cut down on produce wrapped in plastic . Refuse the giveaways (mini shampoo, conditioner, soaps). Fill reusable containers (100ML) for shampoo, conditioner, and soaps. Use public transportation instead of a cab or Uber. Advanced: Refuse plane snacks and drinks to avoid the packs and cups. Bring toothpaste bites instead of toothpaste tubes. Talk to the managers at

hotels and give them feedback on how they are doing with their sustainability efforts . Bring your trash home with you to recycle if it cannot be recycled where you are . Try flying less and travelling more locally. *** Extra credit: At our very own New Seasons, located on Mercer Island, they have paper containers in the back of the deli section and will put your salads, meatballs and amazing chicken parmesan in a paper container — but only if you ask for it. So next time you are there, refuse the plastic container and ask for a paper one. Email comments, questions or ideas to nancyweil@ gmail.com




NO BERTLIN Paid for by Seth D Landau 7605 SE 27th, # 209 Mercer Island, WA 98040

back to civility.” There will be a free-will offering collected. Mercer Island Presbyterian Church is located at 3605 84th Ave. SE.


From left to right, Imam Jamal Rahman, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Dave Brown.




Dear Eastside Neighbor, Giving Back. Philanthropy. Supporting a cause. I know that it’s as important to you as it is to me. And, to celebrate the tradition of philanthropy on the Eastside, Sound Media – Eastside, will be publishing a special section this November highlighting the giving spirit of our community. EASTSIDE GIVES will explore and extol the charitable efforts of local people, businesses and corporations in support of a wide range of causes. Giving at every level will be included, with a look at who gives and why, as well as profiles of doers of good deeds. The section will spotlight local non-profit foundations and their strategies for navigating the economic climate. Added bonuses will include a social calendar of fundraising events, galas and parties and a comprehensive listing of non-profits. WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU: When businesses or individuals buy an ad in this special section, an equal amount of advertising is donated to the charity or non-profit of their choice. As part of the print and digital editions of Sound Media – Eastside, your message, and that of your favorite cause, will reach more than 200,000 Eastside area adults. I am eagerly anticipating this project, which will put a spotlight on the good works of our city. Your involvement in making EASTSIDE GIVES a success is just another way to give back to the community. Join me in the spirit of giving and be a part of this unique opportunity. I am truly inspired by the good works that you do for our community. Should you have any questions or if you’re ready to share your advertising opportunity with a non-profit organization, please feel free to contact Pili Linares, Sound Media’s Eastside Advertising Director at plinares@soundpublishing.com or 425-654-0390. Sincerely yours,


Mercer Island Reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mercer Island Reporter



8163 W Mercer Wy | Mercer Island Vacant Land

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Special Opportunity: Purchase 1st 2 lots of a 4-lot plat on Mercer Island’s Prime Westside! A Unique setting surrounded by nature on a prestigious street! Luxury Modern Homes designed.

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17971 E State Route 106 | Belfair 3 bd | 3.25 ba | 3,995 sf

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Panaramic western view and 40’ private waterfront. Sunsets year round. Large main and lower decks perfect for entertaining. SW exposure for lots of natural light all year.

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8410 SE 72nd Pl | Mercer Island 5 bd | 2.75 ba | 3,660 sf

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Move-in condition! Sought after neighborhood! Great location! On a cul-de-sac and near south end shopping.

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9523 SE 68th St | Mercer Island 5 bd | 3.5 ba | 4,000 sf

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Wonderful ranch style home with level lot on Northend. Lovely front yard plus large patio and back yard.


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Lovingly restored historic 1914 Craftsman Home. Light and bright flowing floor plan and separate apartment downstairs.


7025 N Mercer Wy | Mercer Island 3 bd | 1.75 ba | 1,590 sf Betty DeLaurenti - 206.949.1222

4130 92nd Ave SE | Mercer Island 3 bd | 1.25 ba | 1,490 sf

4667 Eastern Ave N | Seattle 4 bd | 2.5 ba | 2,856 sf

Frank Ceteznik

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Mark Anderson

Modern Farmhouse on Southend. Exciting design elements in this highly functional home with exciting spaces with open great room concept. Covered deck feels like an outdoor room.

25810 114th Pl SE #C-101 | Kent 2 bd | 1.75 ba | 1,046 sf Beautiful remodeled 1st floor condo with quartz countertops, tile backsplash, ceramic tile floors, new water heater, new refridgerator. On Kent’s East Hill. Helen Hitchcock - 206.856.7007


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9458 SE 52nd St | Mercer Island 4 bd | 3.5 ba | 3,140 sf

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Mercer Island Luxury Update | October 2019








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MERCER ISLAND $2,650,000

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Get a FREE Market Analysis 5420 96th Ave SE | Mercer Island 4 bd | 4 ba | 5,230 sf

10700 NE 4th St #2116 | Bellevue 2 bd | 2 ba | 1,932 sf

7800 SE 27th St #403 | Mercer Island 3 bd | 2 ba | 1,837 sf




Wonderful private waterfront home with covered dock, waterslide, and big deck.

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Frank Ceteznik - 206.979.8400

6379 119th Ave SE | Bellevue 5 bd | 2.75 ba | 2,984 sf

2836 78th Ave SE | Multiple Units Mercer Island | 2 bd | 2 ba | 1,700 sf

Enclave at Newport Hills near friendly Newport Park. 2 Open floor plans, 9’ ceilings, gas fireplace, maple cabinetry, car garage, bonus room, and easy commute. and luxurious wool carpeting. Nina Li Smith - 206.669.8983 Dieter Kaetel - 206.427.0863

206.232.8600 7853 SE 27th Street, Ste 180




Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Bus From Page 1

minutes and occurring only in certain periods of the day. Metro was not a party to the agreement, but ST and the city knew that eventually they would be involved with the fine tuning and implementation of the design. Additionally, Metro was aware of the details of the agreement. This week’s city letter says, “It is important to note that the county, though not a signatory party to the agreement, was fully informed of the issues and options explored, which resulted in the county sending the city an October 13, 2017 letter … (that letter) is an express county recognition of the agreement and of its concurrence with the city and Sound Transit’s decision.” A May 2019 letter from Metro said they would require two changes to meet their service needs: to drop off and pick up passengers on both sides of the street, and to have no limit on the length or time of bus layovers. Those two refinements, which a ST spokesperson previously stated were the only proposed changes to the Settlement Agreement, are exactly what the city just

Mercer Island Reporter

denied this week. Many residents have been urging the city to renegotiate and fight these changes since they were proposed. One distinctive group that has organized more than 200 families together over mutual opposition to Metro’s refinements is the Moms 4 Safe Mercer Island (M4SMI). Group co-founders Ashley Hay and Olivia Lippens have been advocating against the bus intercept, citing concerns of public safety, crime and traffic congestion. The pair — who are excited about light rail but against the bus intercept — had previously expressed frustration that the city had not been fighting back as strongly as they would hope. They said they think this rejection letter is a good start, but both find the timing a bit odd, being that it is election season. “It was about time that an official response was issued and made public, but it is still quite concerning that it took seven months for our council to simply state — no, we had a deal, let’s stick to it,” Hay said. “I hope the irony of this letter being sent on the day ballots dropped is not lost on anyone. I will remain cautiously optimistic that this is the first step in a positive direction for


Morning traffic moves along Interstate 90 on Mercer Island, passing by the future Mercer Island light rail station.

Mercer Island residents, but it remains essential as ever to elect a council who will promptly and tirelessly advocate for Mercer Island, putting residents ahead of regional interests,” she said. She and Lippens said they feel some candidates for city council, both incumbents and challengers, had not been clear on where they stand on this, perhaps because they are waiting until after the election. But the M4SMI want voters to be aware of candidates’ stances. “The city has the opportunity to change the outcome. We are pushing council to advocate. Whatever response they give, this is important to us. Right now the issue is not resolved. The election is in six weeks. The new council will have to deal with this,” Hay said. The M4SMI group recently sent out a

questionnaire of specific questions on this topic to all city council candidates. They have received their responses and plan to distribute the results soon. “Notifying Sound Transit that they aren’t complying with the agreement they signed in 2017 is a small step in the right direction,” Lippens said. “Our base remains skeptical of the majority of this council’s ability to create outcomes beneficial to Islanders in the face of a regional bully. Given the timing of this letter, it could be a day late and a dollar short as we could have a whole new council in a few weeks’ time that is more willing to stand up for homeowners, families and small businesses. After the election is when we will have real clarity on the council’s appetite for this issue.” Some residents have

Your dollars and sense candidate. The City Council has a duty to make sure that your money is spent wisely, efficiently delivering the services that you value. Operating transparently and efficiently makes delivery of city services practical. I will protect public safety, our parks, infrastructure, school mental health counselors, senior services, and our community center. The city needs experienced leaders who plan for the long-term, a skill that I have honed in a three decade consulting career advising Fortune 500 companies on risk and financial management issues. I would be honored to be your next City Councilmember - Craig

Paid For By Reynolds For Council 8105 SE 48th St Mercer Island, WA, 98040 Website: micraig.com Email: Craig@micraig.com Facebook: /Reynolds4council

recently said city council members should be commended for all of their transit discussions and negotiations over the years. They’ve said they feel some community dialogue has been too focused on the negatives. Judy Clibborn, resident and former Mercer Island mayor who served in the state House of Representatives and was chair of the Transportation Committee for 16 years, said she thinks people should be appreciative of the negotiation efforts of their city council. She said that it was through the negotiation work of council members, including Debbie Bertlin, at the time that the city secured major positives from the Settlement Agreement — like the $10 million for mitigations and plans for resident only parking — that they would not have gotten from ST otherwise. She said she understands how all the new changes can be concerning but hopes people will remember all the positives that come with getting a light rail station. She said she thinks property values will go up all over the Island, with access to the train being a hot commodity. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to be watching how people respond to it, how much more energy

goes to our town center. I think we’ll have a slight uptick,” she said. “There are places that would kill to have what we’re getting — a station.” She also said that she thinks the ongoing conversation and hard work, including previous negotiations as well as this week’s letter, is praiseworthy. “I would see it as a positive. Sound Transit is hearing the city’s concerns and the city is hearing the citizens’ concerns.” Mercer Island resident Carol Friends echoed this positive outlook on the subject. “I don’t understand why people want to change leadership. This is up to the whole city council,” she said. “I think they’ve done a good job. It’s good for us to go on in the direction we are going. City council is working well.” Both transportation agencies have received the letter, but neither has an immediate response to share at this point. ST public information officer Rachelle Cunningham said, “At this point we are still reviewing the letter. Sound Transit will continue to work with the city and King County Metro with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.” See BUS, Page 17

Mercer Island Reporter



From Page 1

Rominger said that the system installed on the church is not as big as they had originally been hoping for, but they are still happy. They also did not qualify for a state incentive for residential solar installations because they are a public building. Part of the process of meeting the proper codes and requirements included a structural engineering inspection of the roof. Rominger said that while buildings are typically designed with a roof strong enough for heavy snowfall, not all of them are strong enough to support solar panels. Only a limited section of the church’s roof was deemed strong enough, and fire regulation required them not to put panels within 10 feet of the edges of the roof, she said. So, they ended up with a smaller system, paying more for higher quality panels on less of the roof. “It’s just the right thing to do,” she said. “We’re really committed to making that happen.” Rominger said that the panels are currently covering about two thirds of the church’s electricity needs, and they are still working on further efforts to cut down their carbon footprint.


From Page 16

“We’ve received the letter from our partners at Sound Transit,” said Jeff Switzer, spokesperson for King County Metro. When the Reporter reached out to the city for further comment, they said they would let this week’s letter speak for itself. “The County’s demands constitute a material change to the agreement’s terms, conditions and intentions as agreed to by the city and Sound Transit. As a consequence, the city reasonably withholds its approval of the county’s demands set forth in the May 10, 2019 letter. The city, in the spirit of good faith and collaboration, is willing to consider other reasonable alternatives to, and additional studies of, the county’s demands. The city looks forward to a constructive dialogue with Sound Transit and the county on these issues

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


The message board outside of Congregational Church on Mercer Island often shares friendly notes with the community.

She feels strongly that community efforts to fight climate change should be a priority. “Nothing we’re facing is more important than this,” she said. “It’s utterly urgent.” “The two things that give you hope are getting involved and doing it with other people. We’d welcome anyone who wants to roll up their sleeves and get involved with us. We really hope we can make a difference.” Rominger said she has been so excited and loves keeping track of the panels’ activity. She said the church’s solar panels were partly inspired by the city’s efforts to encourage climate action and solar panel installations on the Island. The city has led two different residential solar installation campaigns, one in 2014 and 2018.

According to the city’s weekly newsletter, the city of Mercer Island has about 200 commercial and residential solar installations that altogether have a total generating capacity of 1660 kilowatts. This includes two systems on top of local schools, according to the city’s website. Overall, the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the Island and increase clean energy. The city has a 2050 goal from 2007 to reduce emissions by 80 percent below the levels recorded in 2005. A calendar of events held by Congregational Church can be found on the church’s website (https:// www.ucc-ccmi.org/ community-events), and more information about solar power on Mercer Island can be found on the city’s website. (http:// www.mercergov.org/Page. asp?NavID=2972)

in the hope that a reasonable position can be agreed upon,” the letter states. Although ridership numbers are uncertain and many decisions have yet to be made between the city and both transportation agencies, recent study based ST projections estimate about 4,200 total daily on-boardings at the Mercer Island light rail

station each day, including bus transfers, commuters who’ve driven to the park and ride, and Island residents. If bus pick ups and drop offs were to occur on the north side of North Mercer Way, this could mean up to about 1,000 people would cross the street in a single hour during the busiest commuting periods.



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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mercer Island Reporter

King County could increase tenant protections The council is considering ordinances designed to help renters. By Aaron Kunkler akunkler@soundpublishing.com

Renters in King County could have more protections soon if a slate of ordinances before the county council is approved. The council is considering tightening rules for when a landlord can evict tenants, creating a low-income assistance pilot program, creating a renters commission and looking at ways to preserve affordable housing in areas of south county. The ordinances could end up before the council for a full vote by year’s end. The county has seen displacement in recent years, as people are priced out and existing affordable housing is converted or redeveloped into more expensive units. Daniel DeMay, county council spokesperson, said rising rents have been part of the council’s considerations. “I think that this is in response to that, and to just

try to provide some more protection for renters in the county,” he said. The most comprehensive ordinance would make it illegal for landlords to remove tenants from a property, reduce services or increase obligations without going through a legal process. Landlords also would be barred from retaliating against tenants for reporting housing violations to the department of Local Services. Further, landlords wouldn’t be able to evict residential tenants without a court order, which would only be issued after the tenant has an opportunity to contest the eviction. Renters could be evicted by not complying with a 14-day notice to pay rent or vacate, or for breaking various rental agreements including conducting drug-related activity. A tenant who is late paying rent four or more times a year and notified in writing also can have a court order issued for eviction. The department of Local Services will enforce the ordinance and investigate complaints of illegal termination and assess penalties. The protections would

create just-cause evictions, meaning the landlord would have to have a reason to force someone out of housing. The Washington state Legislature passed statewide renter protections this year forcing landlords into a 14-day waiting period before they could evict residents. However, there was a loophole built in, which let landlords who served three late rent notices evict residents without letting them appeal. Crosscut found that across the state, predatory landlords began issuing the notices almost as soon as the law came into effect on July 28. At an Oct. 15 county Health, Housing and Human Services committee meeting, senior legislative analyst Sahar Fathi said the proposed county tenant protections were modeled after Seattle’s, but lacked some of the wrap-around services like tenant relocation licensing programs found in the city. However, a separate ordinance before the county would create a pilot program to assist low-income tenants who are displaced by rent hikes

Perils and Promises of Interfaith Dialogue Pacific Northwest Interfaith Amigos Saturday, October 26 from 4 to 5:30PM Mercer Island Presbyterian Church 3605 84th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040

in unincorporated parts of the county. The pilot would include relocation assistance, particularly for those who earn less than 50 percent of the area-median income. It would also require 90 days notice before raising rents and limit the instances when landlords could spike prices to housing demolition, rehabilitation, changes of use or property tax increases. Another ordinance would create a renters commission which would make recommendations to the county government, and another would study ways to preserve affordable housing near Skyway and Highline. “These are very complicated pieces of legislation we have spent a great deal of time on,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles. Kate Dunphy, deputy director of the Tenants Union of Washington State, said she was most focused on the just-cause eviction ordinance. “The just-cause eviction protections for us are the most important, because we still very frequently hear from renters who receive


The Interfaith Amigos started to work together after 9/11. Their members included Imam Jamal Rahman, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie as the Christian partner. When Pastor Mackenzie moved to Minneapolis some 6 years ago, Pastor Dave Brown became part of the Pacific Northwest Interfaith Amigos. They have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences all over the U.S., as well as Canada, Israel-Palestine, and Japan. Their work is dedicated to supporting more effective interfaith dialogue that can bring greater collaboration on the major social and economic issues of our time. The Interfaith Amigos present a crucial message in their unique humorous style, helping participants appreciate the promise and the problems of the interfaith experience. There will be a free will offering collected.

$8.5 million in the next five years to implement the plan, which includes several recommendations from the Affordable Housing Task Force. The funding would be used in unincorporated portions of the county and most of its cities, with the notable exception of Seattle. Economic segregation is a major issue throughout the county, and lower-income households and communities of color and immigrants have been particularly affected. About half of the 132,000 single-person households in the county, excluding Seattle, are renters, and some 26,500 are low to moderate income residents in need of housing assistance. Many are seniors. Countywide, there are about 38,000 renter households with incomes at or below 50 percent of the area-median income which are severely cost burdened. In the previous plan the county preserved or created 117 units of affordable housing and rehabilitated 43 rental units. Some 2,338 households received homeless diversion services and 824 businesses received assistance.

Balducci runs against Hirt for District 6 county council seat By Aaron Kunkler

Mercer Island Presbyterian Church is pleased to invite the community to a presentation by the Pacific Northwest Interfaith Amigos on Saturday, October 26 from 4 to 5:30PM. Their presentation will be titled, “Perils and Promises of Interfaith Dialogue.” The program runs about 60 minutes with 30 minutes for questions and answers.

what’s called a no-cause eviction,” Dunphy said. Creating a legal process will also generate a dataset of evictions. Right now, Dunphy said they don’t know how many evictions are served in the county because there’s no legal mechanism to track them. Anecdotally, she said the Tenants Union receives calls every week from renters asking for help stemming from no-cause evictions. Some tenants have even been evicted for seeking help or speaking out about the condition of their rentals. Burien recently passed a just-cause eviction ordinance, and Dunphy is proud of Tenant Union organizers and the city council for getting it passed. “It’s something that is really incredible,” Dunphy said. In coming weeks, the county council also will decide whether to approve its Housing Consortium 2020-2024 plan, which is required to receive federal community block grants to address homelessness, housing and community development. In total, the county could receive some

The Metropolitan King County Council District 6 race should be a shoe-in for incumbent Claudia Balducci, who is running essentially unopposed to preserve her seat representing the Eastside district. Balducci is running against Bill Hirt, who declined to comment for this story. In an email, he directed readers to his stopeastlinknow blog, which chronicles his opposition to Sound Transit’s East Link project that will bring light rail to the Eastside. It is the eighth time he’s run a similar campaign. Balducci was elected to the county council in 2015 after serving as mayor of Bellevue. Before that, she spent 12 years on its city council. She

said housing, transit and making government run better were among her top priorities. “District 6 has got Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, all the points communities, small parts of Bothell and Woodinville,” she said. “You know, it’s an expensive area, but it’s going to turn into an exclusive area if we don’t do something to make sure people don’t get priced out of even modestly expensive homes in our area.” Balducci said in her first term, she has laid the groundwork for future policy, including helping create a regional task force on housing affordability, which delivered its report late last year. It quantified the need for housing and made recommendations on how to get there. It also laid the groundwork for a committee of cities and corporations, which

held its first meeting this summer to find ways to increase affordable housing. “All of the county’s cities and the county agreed to these. That was actually one of the major accomplishments I’m most proud of,” Balducci said. Since nearly all of her district is incorporated, Balducci said she has limited authority to write legislation directly, but can propose collaborative ways to work with both the county and the cities she represents. These include making recommendations for protecting renters protections along with land use reform that could allow more affordable housing to be built. “If elected to another term, I want to really continue that regional cooperative work with the counties and the cities to advocate for and push forward policies,” she said



Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage.

Mercer Island Reporter

WHEN Sunday, October 27TH 5:00 – 8:00 PM

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mercer Island Reporter

Trick or Treat at Mercer Island Businesses returns to the Island The event will take place Oct. 31. By Stephanie Quiroz squiroz@soundpublishing.com

The annual Trick or Treat at Mercer Island Businesses returns for another year. The Chamber of Commerce, members of the chamber and local businesses will open their doors on Halloween. From 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 31, community members are invited to join the chamber and participate in the annual Trick or Treat event

in town center and the south end shopping center. North-end and south-end shops will decorate their doors and hand out candy and treats. Laurie Givan, executive director at the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has hosted this community event more than six years. “The community really comes out for it,” she said. “It seems to grow every year…people are super excited and we encourage [participating] businesses to decorate, dress up, and

do whatever they can to make it festive.” Givan said the annual Halloween event is an opportunity for clients or customers to come out and meet business owners. She said it’s a community event for local businesses to highlight their shops. More than 100 people come out and walk through downtown, according to Givan. Participating business on the south end include Sahara Pizza, Movement System Therapy and Chase Bank. Businesses on the north end include Studio 904, the

Eastside Halloween roundup Family-friendly seasonal events throughout the Eastside. Mercer Island • The Night of 1000 Scares 7 p.m., Oct. 25 Youth Theatre Northwest Get into the eerie spirit of the Halloween season

with A Night of a Thousand Scares at Youth Theatre Northwest. Enjoy a trio of original short horror films starring YTN student actors, directed by Seattle theater artist and honest-to-goodness paranormal investigator Kim Douthit. Watch a group of thoughtful teens discuss the pros and cons of cannibalism in

Where’s Zeke. Join a creepy sleepover as one guest finds herself alone in the house with mysterious shadows in Phantasmal. And after a run-in with a bully, can Ellie stand up for her new friend Charlie before it’s too late? Find out in See Me. Plus, there will be some vintage-style spookiness with an all-new radio drama written by Seattle theater

Christian Science Reading Room and Island Treats. Anne Peterson, owner of Island Treats said she is looking forward to the event. “It was so fun to see families last year,” she said. “It wasn’t just the kids but the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles coming through in costumes. It’s exciting to be out on the streets of Mercer Island. It’s kind of fun.” Peterson, who’s been open for two years now said this event is a fun way for owners to get involved with the community. This will be

Island Treat’s second year participating in the event. “We’re looking forward to it,” Peterson said. “The staff is excited to come up with a new theme and package treats for the kids… it really is a highlight of our year.” Givan said there are various Halloween events happening on the Island. “It shows that the growing community really embraces when organizations are able to put something together during a particular holiday,” she said. Trick or Treat at Mercer Island businesses is

veteran, Gillian Jorgensen, and directed by YTN alumnus Rachel Carlson. Listen as this intrepid young cast brings a story to life with just their voices and the use of live sound effects. To add to the fun, the lights will be turned off and you can listen in the dark. And rounding out this embarrassment of theatrical riches, YTN’s very own improv troupe, Chaos Theory, will be on hand for fast-paced, seat-of-theirpants comedy that will only

ever exist once. Don’t miss it. • Mercer Island Preschool Association (MIPA) Family Pumpkin Carving, 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 26 Mercerwood Shore Club Join other MIPA families for a festive and social pumpkin carving event. Bring your own carving implements and they’ll supply the pumpkin. Little ones can also enjoy painting and decorating smaller pumpkins. They encourage


Event flier.

sponsored by Banner Bank, L’Experience Paris, and Sunrise Senior Living. To learn more, see www. mercerislandchamberofcommerce.org.

kids to come in Halloween costumes. Park anywhere in the Shore Club lot, except the area between the tennis courts and the clubhouse. • Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation Pumpkin Walk, 5-8 p.m., Oct. 27 Luther Burbank Park Join in for a fun and festive non-scary Pumpkin Walk through Luther Burbank Park. The Meadow Picnic Area Loop will be See EVENTS, Page 22

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Events From Page 20

lined with pumpkins, artfully carved by volunteers, for people of all ages to enjoy. This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever with food trucks, dedicated parking lots and a paved walking trail. In order to make this event a success, they need your help. If you’d like to drop off your own carved pumpkin bring it to the North Parking at Luther Burbank Park between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Oct. 27. Admission is free and you do not need to bring a pumpkin in order to participate in the walk. They are

Mercer Island Reporter

thrilled to announce that the Pumpkin Walk is now brought to you in Partnership with the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation. They encourage attendees to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the MIYFS Food Pantry. This is an outdoor event; dress for the weather. Costumes are optional. No headlamps or flashlights. Parking is available in both the North and South Luther Burbank lots, and at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center parking lot.

Bothell-Kenmore • Halloween at McMenamins Anderson

Mercer Island Places of Worship Mercer Island Baha’i Group Mercer Island Baha’i Group Welcome all to join us to celebrate the Oneness of Humanity and learn about the Faith of unity, peace, and justice through our grassroots level community-building gathering.

9:00am & 10:30am Services Worship, Nursery, Preschool & Kids’ Program at both

3200 78th Ave SE

evergreenchurch.cc (206) 232-1015

6-9pm, Monday October 28, Mercer Island Library Meeting Room

emmanuel episcopal church

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spiritual formation for all ages; includes nursery

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St. Monica

4400 86th Avenue Southeast 206-232-1572 | emmanuelmi.org

Catholic Church 4301 - 88th Ave S.E., M.I.


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6001 Island Crest Way 232-1711

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7070 SE 24th Street Mercer Island, WA 98040

206-232-3044 www.miumc.org

First Church of Christ, Scientist,

Presbyterian Church

Sunday, Oct. 27

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School, 8-11 p.m., Oct. 25 up a kids face painting area in the dining room from McMenamins Anderson 5-8 p.m. A special Day of School the Dead margarita will be Come in costume to available for the adults, and celebrate the spookiest of don’t forget to vote in our holidays… Some of their spots are said to be haunted, employee pumpkin carving with guests claiming to have contest. experienced paranormal activity. Or perhaps it’s just Snoqualmie Valley the Hammerhead talking. • Spooky Farm Tour, 7-9 You be the judge. Dance p.m., Oct. 26, Carnation the night away with Purple Farms Mane: $10 advance, 21 and Are you curious about the over. ghost history of Carnation • Family Costume Farms and want to learn Dance, 6-9 p.m., Oct. 25 more about those who Frank Love Elementary maybe have never left the Bring the whole family, farm? They invite you to join and your friends’ families us for a spooky walking tour too — all are welcome. Fun where you will learn interfor all ages: dancing, DJ, esting facts and hear ghost snacks, games, costumes stories about this unique and pumpkin painting. and mysterious farm. • Howl-O-Ween Party, The tour ends with hot noon to 3 p.m., Oct. 27 chocolate and hot cider at Academy of Canine the fire pit. Bring a ghost Behavior story to share if you dare. Hosted by Basset Rescue • Halloween Storyof Puget Sound, there will be telling Train, Oct. 26-27, games, a costume contest, Snoqualmie Depot raffles, off-leash play area, Halloween Storytelling and treats for hounds. Train is a two-hour event. • Rock the Knock, 4-6 You begin your adventure p.m., Oct. 26 Bothell with a train excursion to United Methodist Church North Bend, and then the Grab your family and museum’s history center. enjoy a free, safe, and Detraining, you will enter indoor Halloween event in the neighborhood hosted by the Train Shed exhibit building where you will hear the Kids’ Ministry at Bothell child-friendly storytelling, United Methodist Church. see cider press demonstraCandy & Teal-pumpkin tions, have an opportunity (non-food) treats. Sensory-friendly space for all to to operate a small cider enjoy the fun. Plus, enjoy press, and enjoy some warm games, inflatables, and apple cider. While in the more. Train Shed, you can also see • Halloween Carnival, a variety of museum exhibits including Wellington 6-8 p.m., Oct. 31 Cedar Remembered, Chapel Car Park Church Messenger of Peace, or even The annual Halloween play at the train tables with Carnival is a sweet event the wooden railway system. for the whole family. This Reboarding the train, you kid-focused event features will resume your journey games, candy, inflatables, to a scenic outlook near contests, trunk-or-treat, Snoqualmie Falls, and then and more all in a safe return to the Snoqualmie environment. Depot. • Brewlab Halloween • Halloween in DownCostume Contest, 7-10 town Snoqualmie, noon p.m., Oct. 31 Redhook to 4 p.m., Oct. 31, DownBrewery town Snoqualmie It’s the spooky time of Wear your costume and year and they’re celebrating stroll along Railroad and at Brewlab with a Halloween costume contest. From Falls Avenues in Historic 7-9 p.m., they’ll be pouring Snoqualmie. Look for the delicious beers and hosting orange balloons to collect the contest. The winner will treats at participating receive a $100 Brewlab giftReporter businesses. MI   revised  ad   card. • Trunk-or-Treat Along Oct  11,  2019   • Day of the Dead at the Boardwalk, 3-6 p.m., Poquitos Bothell, 5-8   p.m., Oct. 31, Snoqualmie Oct. 31, Poquitos Bothell Boardwalk Day of the Dead weekWalk along the end will be celebrated from Snoqualmie boardwalk Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at Poquitos across the street from Bothell. Kids visiting will the shops in downtown have the chance to decoSnoqualmie. Hosts will rate their own Day of the park their vehicles with Dead face masks starttheir open and decorated ing the week leading up trunks while kids walk to Halloween through the along from car to car trickweekend, and candy will be or-treating. Enjoy free hot available for trick-or-treatchili, candy, crafts and ers on Halloween. On Nov. games. 1, artist Lars Laduke will set

Kirkland • Pee Wee Monster Bash, 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 25, North Kirkland Community Center Gather up your ghastly ghouls, miniature monsters and caped crusaders for the Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department’s annual costumed Pee Wee Monster Bash. The 2019 Pee Wee Monster Bash is for preschoolers ages 1 through 5. Your tiny tykes will love our clever collection of kooky Halloween-themed carnival activities, including a cookie walk, swamp fishing for tasty treats, crafts, a monster movement maze, story time and more. Admission to this open house-style event is $15 and kooky costumes are welcome. Please leave your strollers at home so there’s more room for exploration and fun. • Kirkland Zombie Wine Walk, 6-9 p.m., Oct. 25, Downtown Kirkland October brings Kirkland’s famous Zombie Wine Walk. Brought to you by the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce, the Kirkland Downtown Association and Seattle Uncorked, this 21-and-over event will take you on a mouth-watering adventure with tasty highlights sips from local wineries and breweries, hosted by downtown Kirkland businesses. Start at the Heathman Hotel and make your way throughout Kirkland’s gorgeous downtown core while enjoying this vibrant wine tasting experience at numerous downtown shops, galleries and boutiques. • Pumpkins in the Park, noon to 3 p.m., Oct. 26 — 25 Lakeshore Plaza Come join the Kirkland Downtown Association’s festivities at Kirkland’s Marina Park. This fall harvest festival offers a pumpkin patch, hay maze, a pop-up farmers market, carnival games, goats, food and a costume contest. This free event is fun for the whole family. Trick or treating begins throughout downtown Kirkland after the event. • Halloween Scavenger Hunt, 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 26, Bridle Trails State Park Join the Bridle Trails Park Foundation for its third annual Halloween Scavenger Hunt. This fun, free adventure features a one-mile scavenger hunt and Halloween hike, Halloween treats for all and a photo booth with a miniature horse. Come and meet our state parks

interpretive specialist, who will be on hand to reveal some “creepy” animal specimens. This is a free community event. A Washington State Discover Pass is required to park in the main Bridle Trails State Park parking lot. • Pumpkin Spice and Pampering is Nice, 4-6 p.m., Oct. 29, Woodmark Hotel and Still Spa Pumpkin Spice and Pampering is Nice is a Passport Event. Take a trip around the luxurious Still Spa while enjoying express treatments, a specialty cocktail, appetizers, champagne, expert skincare and beauty advice from Still Spa partners and exclusive retail discounts. Once your passport is filled with stamps, turn it in for the chance to win a special prize. Treatments include massages, facials and nail treatments. • Halloween Boo’s Cruise by the Kirkland Downtown Association, 6-9 p.m., Oct. 31, 1 Kirkland Avenue Join the Kirkland Downtown Association for its inaugural Boo’s Cruise, a Spooktacular Halloween cruise on Lake Washington. Food, drinks, costume contest and music. This is a 21-and-over event.

Issaquah • Halloween Trolley & Hands-on History Day, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 26, Issaquah Depot Museum Kids will have an opportunity to celebrate an old Halloween tradition — decorating their own masks. The admission fee of $6 per person includes a trolley ride and participation in the Hands-on History activity in the Depot, plus admission to the Gilman Town Hall Museum. Children under three and members of the Issaquah History Museums enter free. • Zombie Walk, 1:305:30 p.m., Oct. 26, Front Street Unleash zombie chaos on Front Street at the Zombie Walk. Hoards of undead are known to tap on cars, shops and restaurants windows frightening the occupants – all in the name of ghoulish fun. Join us for this Downtown Issaquah Association (DIA) event as the undead make their way down Front Street to a flash mob dance to “Thriller” at the City Hall steps. The event is free and open to all ages; no zombie experience necessary. Show up in your best zombie threads and you could win a prize.





Mercer Island boys golf rides momentum into district tournament

Islanders win 2A/3A KingCo medalist tournament on Oct. 14. By Benjamin Olson benjaminolson@ soundpublishing.com

Mercer Island boys golf head coach Tyson Peters knew he had a talented and experienced team going into the 2A/3A KingCo medalist tournament on Oct. 14 at Snohomish Golf Course. What he couldn’t have expected is the team performing as well as it did, placing first and shooting 283 as a team. “We had three of our five guys have career lows or life lows on the same day,” Peters said. “It’s pretty amazing that you can rise to the occasion and perform that well on such a pressured day.” Peters said one of the reasons for their success was a familiarity with the tournament and the course. Snohomish Golf Course is not a long course, something that Peters said gave his team an advantage. “They’re veteran players and they’re particularly long hitters,” Peters said. “That course isn’t super long. Since they can hit the ball a long ways and be pretty accurate, they were able to make a lot of birdies and take advantage of the

golf course.” The team also spends a lot of time strategizing and preparing. Peters said that is a point of emphasis for his players. “We spend a lot of time every week, wherever we play, going over the golf course and studying the layout and talking about course strategy, course management, and where we want to be with each shot,” Peters said. “We’re very deliberate about how we’re going to play a golf course.” Mercer Island sophomore Ethan Evans tied for first place with Bellevue’s Ian Siebers by shooting a 67. Another top performer for the Islanders was junior Camdon Gierke, who finished third with a 69. “That was the best tournament round (Gierke) has ever put up in his life,” Peters said. “He’s certainly been capable of it, but it’s one thing to be capable and another thing to be able to execute.” Henry Watson (73) finished fifth and Jack Dilworth (74) finished seventh overall at the tournament to make up the Islanders top four scores. Even though they didn’t count junior Liam Kelly’s 76 in the team score, Peters said it was a great score. “That’s a phenomenal round of golf and a great


The Mercer Island boys golf team finished first at the 2A/3A KingCo medalist tournament on Oct. 14 at Snohomish Golf Course. From left to right, Spencer Smith, Ethan Evans, Jack Dilworth, Camdon Gierke, Henry Watson, Liam Kelly and head coach Tyson Peters.

round for him,” Peters said. “The fact that his 76 was our throwaway score is just crazy to say, because every other team would have gladly taken his 76.” In the regular season, Mercer Island had a 7-2 record, both of its losses coming against rival Bellevue. “Our motivation is to be the best that we can be and hopefully be the KingCo regular-season champ, but we also knew we had defending state champion Bellevue in the same

league, which makes it particularly challenging,” Peters said. He said getting the better of Bellevue at the KingCo tournament will give them confidence in the district and state tournaments. Peters said there are pros and cons to being in the same league and competing against Bellevue. “It’s a pro because it provides absolute motivation for the kids, week in and week out, to have a rival like that,” Peters said. “The flipside is that it’s hard to be

in a league where probably the two best teams in the state of Washington are in the same league. Either team realistically deserves to be a league champion.” Peters said the team is confident heading into the 3A Sea-King district tournament on Oct. 22, at Riverbend Golf Course. “Ultimately, the hope is that we qualify for state,” Peters said. “We are defending champs at (the district tournament) as well. We feel good about our chances to repeat.”

The Islanders will look to carry the momentum from the KingCo tournament into the district and state tournaments, but Peters said that can be difficult since the state tournament is in May. Along with its stellar performance on the course, the team was also named as an outstanding academic team by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. Peters said the team had a 3.75 grade-point average during the season.

Mercer Island water polo rallies to beat Newport By Chris Vacca Special to the Reporter

Coming off a three-game losing streak in league play, the Mercer Island boys water polo team rallied to beat Newport, 11-9, at Newport’s pool to improve its record to 3-6 on Oct. 14. This group is beginning to play together as a team, which was evident by generating eight steals, two field blocks and three ejections drawn on their opponent and an overall stellar defensive game.

The Islanders got out to an early start with a 3-1 lead after the first quarter. Newport shut Mercer Island out in the second quarter and had a 4-3 halftime lead. It was back-and-forth the rest of the way, but freshman Torger Peterson’s no-look goal helped rally the Islanders in the fourth quarter. With goalie Jacob Swerland easing back into the water after an injury, both he and sophomore Finn Freidland made some outstanding saves to seal

the win. Combined, they saved 17 Newport shots in the victory. On offense, Max Vacca led the team with five goals and four assists. Peterson added two goals, and Finn Freidland, Justin Jradi, Oliver Schaaf and Lucas Peng all chipped in with goals of their own. The Islanders will take a break from league play and will head down south to San Diego for an annual three-day tournament to test their skills against some of the best high school water polo in California.


The Mercer Island boys water polo team celebrates after an 11-9 victory over Newport on Oct. 14.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mercer Island Reporter

Mercer Island Reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Mercer Island swim and dive team beats defending state champion Bellevue The Mercer Island girls swim and dive team (5-1) defeated defending 3A state champion Bellevue (3-3) by a score of 96-90 on Oct. 10.

Mercer Island event winners: 200-yard individual medley: senior Grace Olsen (2:11.56) 50-yard free: senior Ellie

Bailey (25.53) Diving: freshman Brooke Andrews (257.15) 500-yard free: senior Cayla Prophater (5:10.72)


Mercer Island senior Grace Olsen (black cap) finished first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.56 in a meet against Bellevue on Oct. 10.

Mercer Island freshman Brooke Andrews dives into the pool during a meet against Bellevue at Mary Wayte Pool on Oct. 10.

Cheer program celebrates 20 years Eastside Dream Elite offers classes and competitive teams across the Eastside. By Benjamin Olson benjaminolson@ soundpublishing.com

Eastside Dream Elite, a recreational cheerleading program originally based out of Bellevue, has spent the last 20 years coaching cheer teams and camps to people living on the Eastside, including Mercer Island. Anne Christiansen was teaching ballroom dance for the Bellevue Parks Department when the department asked her to start a cheer program for kids. Since then, the program has grown, but Christiansen said it’s still mostly run through the Bellevue Parks Department. “I kind of had my doubts that it would work,” Christiansen said. “We started with a beginning cheer class and 20 people signed up and we had a waiting list. It’s been growing ever

A group of Eastside Dream Elite cheerleaders march in the Mercer Island Summer Celebration Parade in 2016.


Eastside Dream Elite cheerleaders compete at a competition last February.

since. We’ve expanded over the years and we now have classes all over the Eastside and even in Ballard.” Since 2006, the program has offered a team for people with developmental disabilities called “Cheerability.” Christiansen said it’s important for everyone to have the opportunity to

be physically active and to be part of a team. “The first day that I went in to practice for that team, a woman came up to me and said, ‘This has been my dream my entire life, thank you for making my dream come true,’ and I was speechless,” Christiansen said. “She’s actually still on the team 13 years later.

She’s our captain now.” Christiansen said it’s a special feeling to help someone follow a lifelong dream. “Everyone and anyone should have the opportunity to do what they love and what they’re passionate about,” Christiansen said. The program originally

started in Bellevue, but in the past few years they have expanded to Mercer Island, Renton, Kirkland, Issaquah and Ballard. “We just keep adding where there is a need,” Christiansen said. “We started with 20 kids and now we serve upwards of 200-250 kids each year through our teams and our camps.” While they do offer a competitive team, Christiansen said Eastside Dream Elite focuses on the community. Christiansen said they don’t require

tryouts and the classes are less expensive than most cheer programs because they are offered through the parks department. Christiansen said they also try to teach kids important leadership skills by letting them become junior coaches and group leaders. The teams perform at local events, including University of Washington basketball games and at Seattle Storm games. Christiansen said they have been performing at Storm games since 2003.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mercer Island Reporter

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Mercer Island Reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Study on shipping or burning King County trash released The report fleshes out the two main options for trash disposal over the next 50 years. By Aaron Kunkler akunkler@soundpublishing.com

A long-awaited study has arrived comparing two options for King County as it decides how to deal with its trash in the future — should the county ship its trash to another landfill or build a waste-to-energy plant? The study comes as the county is figuring out how to dispose of trash in unincorporated areas, as well as 37 of the county’s 39 cities. The Cedar Hills Regional Landfill is owned and operated by the county, and the final destination for much of the trash generated within it, with the exception of Seattle and Milton. But the landfill is expected to reach capacity within the next decade. The 300-page report, conducted by Arcadis, fleshes out the two main options facing the county. In addition to the two options in the report, the county also could keep expanding its landfill, but prior settlement agreements and pushback from neighboring communities have placed restrictions on expansion. The report found that in the next 20 years, both the freight and waste-to-energy (WTE) options will cost about the same. But looking out to 50 years, the WTE plant would cost between $4.3 and $7.2 billion less, depending on how much trash the people in the county generate. The total


The Cedar Hills Regional Landfill is the only active landfill in King County. It will operate until at least 2028. It has been in operation since the 1960s.

cost for construction and operation of the WTE plant ranges from less than $7 billion to nearly $8.9 billion, while shipping waste will cost from $11.3 billion to $16.1 billion. Part of the discrepancy between the numbers is the high up-front cost of building a WTE plant. A plant capable of burning 3,000 tons of trash per day would require about 43 acres and cost $3.7 billion. A larger plant, which could churn through 4,000 tons of trash, would need 55 acres would cost more than $5 billion. Once the WTE plant is complete, the report said the ongoing maintenance costs will eventually dip below the ongoing costs required to ship trash out of the county by the container.

However, there are significant obstacles facing a WTE plant even if it is cheaper. One of the hurdles would be securing an air permit and removing or scrubbing CO2 emissions from the plant. A WTE plant takes trash, burns it and generates energy. It was expected to generate .42 tons of CO2 per ton of trash processed compared to between .13 and .34 tons of CO2 for shipping it on freight. However, if the plant was able to use electricity generated to offset existing demand, scrub CO2 and recycle more metals and ash, it could end up carbon-negative, as opposed to freight which has a fixed emissions scheme.

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But even with emissions offsets, the plant likely would need carbon capture and sequestration technology installed to operate past 2030, when state law mandates all electricity producers in Washington must be carbon neutral. By 2045, all electricity in state grids must be sourced from renewable or non-emitting sources. The technology to capture the carbon exists, the report said, but demonstration projects have been small, and a potential King County plant would be the first in the nation to use it.

The CO2 would be captured from emissions and turned into tablets which could be buried or sold. But if that doesn’t pan out, the plant could run the risk of being non-compliant with state law, and would need an exemption from the state, like Spokane’s WTE plant. Landfills aren’t free from emissions either. As biomass decomposes it produces methane, a gas around 10 times more powerful than CO2, although it dissipates from the atmosphere much more quickly. For rail, the county would

need to find a location or build a transfer and load facility on between 15 to 25 acres. It would need to be less than one mile from an existing mainline track and be near a highway or arterial road. Few suitable sites exist in the county, the report said. However, the timeline for this option would be between three to six years, shorter than the eight to 11 which the WTE option would require. Both the Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway have expressed interest in shipping King County waste. Landfills in Roosevelt as well as Arlington and Boardman, Ore., were identified as destinations. The report noted that both railways would likely require short five- to 10-year contracts to adjust for fuel cost and capacity pricing. Of the two options, the report recommended the county begin working on a WTE plant. “Due to the long-term cost savings, improved recycling rates, and potential for net negative (greenhouse gas) emissions with the inclusion of carbon capture technology, WTE facility disposal will prove a significant financial and environmental benefit to the county,” it said. With the report in hand, the county council will need to decide which option to pursue with time to find an option dwindling.


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Mercer Island Reporter, October 23, 2019  

October 23, 2019 edition of the Mercer Island Reporter

Mercer Island Reporter, October 23, 2019  

October 23, 2019 edition of the Mercer Island Reporter