Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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February 2, 1994     Mercer Island Reporter
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February 2, 1994
 

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Bea Artist weaVes‘ tales With her jewelry/C1 l Townhouse development gets OK/A4 Take a run at training with Fran Call/Bi Read all about Reflections winners/A4 hdercer IslandREPORTER Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1994 THIS WEEK Who says one person can’t make a difference? Last week we ran a small item about a small girl‘s big effort to help the victims of the Los Angeles earth- quake. Haley Deking a third-grader at West Mercer Elementary. wanted to or- ganize a drive to collect household items and food for Los Angelenos. in just two days, huge piles of items were dropped oliat the school. Haley and her mother, Suzanne, delivered a van-full of items on Friday to Hanna Trucking in Seat- tle, where they were loaded onto trucks to head south to California. By now, the lives of some earthquake victims are a bit brighter thanks to Haley and other Mercer ls— landers. Meanwhile, cash dona- tions are urgently needed. Checks marked “LA. Quake" may be mailed to The Salvation Army, PO. Box 9219, Seattle WA 98109. Credit card contribu— tions and pledges may be made by phoning 1—800—725-9005. For years, people from all over the region have converged on the Island for the-Marce‘r-lsland Half Mar- athon, cosponsored by Farmers New World Life and Mercer Island Rotary. This year's race is eight ‘ Weeks-away on Sunda P ape-you we watched participants run by, and thought about running the race yourself. With this issue the Re- porter is launching a “Halfv Marathon Training Tips" col- umn by Fran Call, retired teacher and lsland resident ‘who's run the race a dozen or so times, and has trained hundreds of students to run it with her. She’ll include a step-by— step program, running tips, island running routes. And you can join her for training runs between now and the big race. Turn to page Bi for all the details, and get ready to run! , , I For contact details see A8. «1.. INDEX 24 pages . Four sections ‘ Vol. 41, No. 5/ Records Editorial..........,.......A6 Sports Lifestyle..................Cl Calendar Business.................B4. Gleeb......................A2 Classified Reporter telephone numbers: . News: 232-1215 ....Circulation: 4534240 Retail ads: 232-1215, ............ ..Classificd 5 453—4186 ‘ ~ r «Ia-coming, Ml Second basin recommends all—Island storm utility By Chris Norred Mercer Island Reporter he stream running through the wooded gully behind Robert Borovec’s house may change colors suddenly to red or blue. Sometimes, the stream turns sudsy like bubble bath. The water in the stream drains from the streets and driveways of Borovec’s uphill neighbors — about 100 houses a1- together. “You can tell when people wash their cars or clean paint brushes,” said the semi- retired computer consultant. “It was pretty common in the past. But it has been better lately.” Wearing knee—high rubber boots, he waded into the stream to remove a muddy tree branch and some scraps of styrofoam. Borovec is a member of the Mercer Island Ad Hoc Commit- tee on Drainage Basin 32b. Last week, the group recommended that the city create an Island— wide utility to charge Islanders equally for the cost of a multi- million dollar drainage system. The system will control flood- ing, mudslides and water pollu- tion. The new utility is expected to cost Mercer Island homeown- ers about $10 a month to build , and operate. , mittee“w:tl1egive’ eporft , Utility Board and the City Coun cil. ' IT IS THE second time in re- cent months that a neighbor— hood committee has studied drainage problems on. Mercer Island. Both groups decided that sharing the cost of repair is fair. Last week, Borovec and five of his neighbors reached that conclusionI even though they could save money by fixing their own drainage and ignoring other neighborhoods on the Island. “When we talk about all the complexities, it just leads us back to the idea that the best way is to have one charge (for all Islanders)” said Duane Mat- thews, a retired banker who served on the committee. Mercer Island has 54 neigh— borhood drainage systems, which channel excess rain into Lake Washington. Almost every system needs repair, according to city officials. Some repairs will be cheap, some will be ex- pensive. , But if each neighborhood fix— es its own drainage and ignores the rest of the Island, Matthews said, .the overall cost will in« crease. For example, City Hall would be monitoring 54 different projects, with 54 different price tags. “The complexity of doing that would almost overcome any savings,” he said. “The more Mercer Island, Washington Andrea March ese. Robert Borovec, who serves on a committee studying Mercer Island drainage problems, points out the culvert behind his house. Rain from about 100 homes uphill from his house [drains through the culvert and down a stream to Lake Washington. City’offi’ cials are working on a plan to repair drainage systems on the Island and control flooding, erosion and water pollution. complex government becomes, the more expensive it be- comes.” ‘ The Basin 32 committee, which includes two bankers, recommended that the City of Mercer Island charge everyone equally and pay with savings in- stead of borrowing money. - Basin 32 is a triangular area between ‘ Lakeridge Elementary School, the South Mercer Shop- ping Center .and the shore of Lake Washington at the end of MeadowyLane. The ad hoc com- mittee has been meeting each Wednesday night for more than a month to studydrainage, LAST FALL, a committee from Drainage Basin 42 also recommended an Island-wide utility. The Basin 42 neighbor- hood is east of Pioneer Park and has some of the Island’s worst drainage problems. State law requires that the city finish a plan by July. But 2,5- Please see ‘Drm’nage’ on A8. Board to vote on usingi$1 million 11 from capitalprojeCts for technOIOgy ” By Breck Longstreth Mercer Island Reporter proposal to spend $1 million this year for technology equipment will go before the Mer- cer Island School Board for ap- proval on Feb. 10. The district wants to use. $1,003,757 from the capital pro- jects fund to pay for the first phase of its tech plan. The money is part of a $12,217,232 budget ex— tension that will be voted on by the board following a public hear- mg. The largest piece of the‘budget I 'extension is $10,945,000 in bond money that voters approved in November to fund the Islander Middle School renovation project. ’ The district must create capacity in the capital projects fund in or- der to flow the money through it. Another major piece of the budget extension is $600,000 for frdnt funding of Phase II of the district’s capital projects plan, which calls for voters to approve ‘ approximately $14 million next‘ November to remodel the dis- trict’s three elementary schools. Neither the technology money nor the front funding for the ele- mentary schools will come from ‘the IMS bond money, but rather from the money already existing in the capital projects fund. The 1993-94 projected ending fund bal- ance of the capital projects fund is expected to be $3,058,026, after expenditures. IF FUNDED, Phase I of the tech plan will include purchasing equipment for each school site, plus the administration building. A new PBX (private branch ex- change) system and telephone network will replace the current one. “Our PBX system i517 years old._ It could stop working any day; we can’t get parts,” said Mike Ziara, associate superin- tendent for business services. ‘fAt the‘high school, you can’t place a call on hold, it’s so antiquated.” Among other things the new sys? tem will provide voice mail for every staff person in the district. Board member Boyd Vander Houwen asked if the new system would cause problems when fu- ture remodeling projects are un- dertaken. “No,” answered Ziara. “It will be state of the art,” and will accept anything we’re going to do in the future.” Lots of computers and print- ers, as well as software, CD Rom bundles, fax machines, video cas- sette recorders, and television monitors are included in the tech proposal. “In our school system today, no two VCRs or TVs work the same,” said Rock Osborn, technology, specialist for the dis trict. He said the goal is to get ev— erything standardiZed. MOSt of the computers to be purchased are Macintoshes. “We’ll be tar- geting power PCs in the equip- ment we’re procuring,” said Os— born. Islander Middle School, due to be remodeled by the time school starts in September, will receive the most equipment. As other schools are remodeled, they’ll be brought up to speed. Eventually, for instance, each classroom teacher will have a telephone in his or her room; initially, only those at IMS will. ' The first in-service’ class for teachers to get training on the new equipment will be held in February. “Our plan is to contin; no that process,” said Osborn. “Our objective is to get the teach- ers confident, so they’re not in- timidated by the equipment.” “We will not purchase any— thing that people will not be trained on,” said Superintendent Dick Giger. ‘ I cess. 75 cents District to hire a planning consultant By Brock Longstreth Mercer Island Reporter Strategic planning for the Mer- cer Island School District will be facilitated by a professional con- sultant, at a cost. of up to $28,700. Although the district can opt to pay only a portion of that cost - $11,500 for the first of three phases - should it choose to do the rest of the work in-house, Su- perintendent Dick Giger said he’d prefer to have a facilitator for the entire process. The district will also incur costs for substitute teachers when staff members se~ lected to be on the strategic plan- ning team participate in meetings during class time. On Thursday, the school board put aside months of indecision on how to accomplish strategic plan- ning by agreeing to hire a facilita— tor from the Cambridge Manage— ment Group. Board member El J ahncke voted against the mo- tion. J ahncke said he thought it im- portant to get going on strategic planning, but objected to the lim- ited representation of school board members on the strategic planning committee under the Cambridge model, and also to the lack of schbol board input in the selection, of that committee. “I take issueWith theidea that we as a board contaminate the process by participating in, ‘it.’_We’:re not, elected 1 to stand off and say, Ha ‘ ' saié 5321:1921 $9 L looking at this for a long time,” said board member Boyd Vander Houwen. “You don’t have confi- dence in the board to take control of a major issue. I feel there are going to be many times to be able to say, ‘Yes, we agree with this,’ or ‘No, I don't.’ The fact that the whole board is not sitting there doesn’t bother me one bit.” Mike Wendell, who served for a year on the district’s strategic planning advisory committee '— now defunct — asked Larry Hug— gins, 3 Cambridge facilitator who made a presentation at the school board meeting, why the board is excluded from the selection prov “It’s the superintendent’s job to develop a strategic plan. It’s not the board’s job, so, it’s based on that assumption,” said Hug- gins. He noted that typically two board members serve on the plan— ning team, and any number of beard members can serve on “ac— tion planning teams.” Jahncke also said the board needed a more in~depth look at other options, after Giger talked briefly about two other groups that do strategic planning. “Based on your short list, it’s hardly looking at other options,” he told Giger. “If you find something that’s r ~ Please see ‘Consultant’ on A8. Studying the future of Mercer View The Mercer View ad hoc committee held its first meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 25. * The nine—member committee ‘ will identify options for the dis- position of the Mercer View property, currently owned by the Mercer Island School Dis- trict andzleased by the City of Mercer Island as a community center. . ‘ Tom' Weathers, appointed jointly to the committee by the city and “the school district, was elected chairman. r ,The group will meet from 7-9 p.m. on the first and third Tues‘ munity Center at Mercer View. The next meeting is Feb. 15., Meetings of. the ad hoc commit- tee are open to the public. days of each month, at: the Com~ 1 f i "w w: we.» we: “mum/w we»ng «» we .. mp» mm;