Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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April 29, 1998     Mercer Island Reporter
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April 29, 1998
 

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Notional Monufactur Tennis team is still tops /B,1i Mercy. ships bring to needy/Cl Time fOr Parent Patrol/A3 ' I i i r l t r i l i l l 3. naRE ORT ER Wednesday, April 29, I998 Mercer Island, Washington 75 cents "Step, ‘ magifte , Mercer island mothers up around in a living room. anntn faepring carnival for s.'_They’re members Mercer Istand Preschool tattoo and they Want to it torE-lto 8~year~o|d$r ames'. food and i n- ,ttt;,They settle-Zone u LEARNING TO GIVE Matt Bushfire/Mercer island Reporter Huma Din plays a Winnievtheal’ooh interactive game with bone marrow transplant recipient jaime Mesones-Gilbert, 3, at Swedish Medical Center on Wednesday. Din and other students volunteer tojplay with children in the bone marrow transplant unit as part of their service learning class. ‘ Student volunteers gain much from giving By Nora Doyle Mercer Island Reporter S upplementing the role of parents, nurses and doctors who just can’t be there every minute of every day, Mercer Island High School stu— dents knew they could make a differ- ence to young patients in the bone marrow transplant unit at Swedish Hospital. What they didn‘t expect was to re ceive so much in return from the chil— dren they care for. “I thought I would teach-them, but I’ve learned so much from these kids,” said l7~year-old volunteer Stephanie Biehn. “You realize how much you take for granted.” . She and four other students, all en— rolled in the MIHS service learning class, spend at least 50 hours a se— ‘ mester with the patients and their par— agents in the transplant unit. Now regu— lars at the hospital, the students have been volunteering there since November with the patients who range in age from six months to l8 years. By talk— ing with the young patients, watching TV and playing games, they provide a sense of normalcy to the kids who can’t make it out of bed some days. Last week, Kasha Bell. '17. and Abby Garner. 18, double-teamed 10- year—old patient Brandon Emely in a game of poker. “They‘re fun. Sometimes better than my dad," Emcly said. But it can’t all be fun and light— City Council sanctions ‘ paving of gravel. roads Council setting precedent on maintenance of substandard roads By Jeff Gove Mercer Island Reporter Thanks to a small Island neighbor- hood, gravel roads on Mercer Island may soon get a new asphalt surface. A group of four households on a dead end, pothole~ridden gravel street recently initiated a significant change in the city’s 38‘year-old philosophy on road maintenance, and they weren’t even trying. The neighbors just wanted to drive down their street without being jolted out of their cars, but the changes that theyinstigatcd will ultimately affect neighborhoods all over the Island. Residents of the 7800 block of SE. 42nd Street have been working to get the city to take responsibility for their road ever since incorporation in 1960. Prior to the city’s existence, the coun- ty maintained 42nd and considered it a public street. When the city took over road maintenance, they classified it as a private roadway and the upkeep stopped.«Ever since then, the residents :of 42nd have been periodically trying to change that classification. o On March 2, a few longtime resi— dents of the street showed up at a City Council public input session to voice their concerns yet again. Since they were the only citizens at the meeting, they had the floor for an entire hour, and the council eventually directed city staff to look into the 42nd Street situation. East week, after presentations from various city staff, the council finally recognized the city’s legal responsibil— ity for 42nd because it had historically been a public street, maintained by the county. And, though the council didn’t make any firm decision at the meeting, chances are good that 42nd might be getting a brand new; paved surface sometime soon along with six other gravel roads on the Island. “We’re delighted so far,” said Anne Hurlbut, a resident of the neighbor- hood.“‘We’ne really very pleasai that they admitted that we were a public street and we’ll be glad to see our street im- proved." In studying the 42nd Street situa~ tion, members of the city’s traffic, en‘- gineen‘ng and maintenance departments also identified 70 other public road— ways on the Island that aren't main— tained by the city because they do not meet width or surface standards re-v quired by the municipal code. The vast majority of these roads are in good condition, but some are in such disrepair that emergency vehicle ac- cess to the homes on the street could be difiicult, a public safety hazard and a possible liability issue for the city. nAssistant City Manager Deb Symmonds explained that residents on 36 of these roads have received a City Council resolution allowing them to deviate from standards. One of the con— ditions of those resolutions is that the res— idents on the street are responsible for its maintenance, so they will continue to be unmaintained by the city. THE OTHER 34 streets have no such agreements and most of them ei— ther haven’t had any maintenance or have received sporadic repairs from the city due to citizen requests. Symmonds stated that, according to the cityattor- hey. the city is legally responsible for any street that has received even small amounts of maintenance from either the city or the county. Whether the city could be held re— Please see Roads on A8 a“ hearted. Initially most of the group had a tough time emotionally dealing with the circumstances of the patients, most of whomliave cancer. While Garner found working with them up— lifting from the Bell and Bichn took longer to adjust. “I’m the biggest sap of all of them,” . Biehn said. “I used to cry every time I went.” These teenagers have seen children Please see Volunteers on A8 ‘ ed.“ ‘ City fears RTA budget may fall short on MI By Nora Doyle Mercer Island Reporter A new transit station proposed for the Island might be in jeopardy, acceding to the Mercer Island City Council. Deputy Mayor David Clancy re- cently Went before the RTA Sound Transit Finance Committee to voice concerns about what the City Council feels is an underfunded budget for the Community Connections project, which includes the new transit sta— tion and park and ride on the Island. In addition. the council is worv ried that a disproportionate amount of funding for the project is going to preliminary engineering and envi- ronmental documentation. With funding for the transit sta— tion and park and ride budgeted at $10 million, the council’s concern is that there Won’t be enough money to complete the bricks and mortar of the project. According to a letter from Mayor Gordy Edberg to the finance com~ mittee. nearly one—sixth of the $l0 million total project budget is go» ing to the consultant Dames and Moore and its work with Community Connections. The contract with Dames and Moore will take the project through. only 30 percent of the necessary engineering, and there will'be oth- er unknown rare-capital“soft-Costs"- store the project can be camper; As one of the participants which developed the program, the City of Mercer Island feels a responsibility to re—examine it, and offers a num~ ber of ways to reduce the amount of soft costs, explained Diane White, the city’s capital projects manager. The work program calls for the examination of up to 16 project al- ternatives for the Island RTA pto~ jects. But the city believes this num. ber can be reduced, especially in light of previous work thathas been done for the transit station location. Since $50,000 of city funds were spent last summer looking at alters natives for the transit station in the center roadway. this work should provide a head start to the Community Connections program, Please see RTA on A2 Matt anhears/Mercer Island Reporter David Hurlbut, a resident of S.E._42nd Street, measures the length of his gravel road that will now be maintained by city crews. .. .4). at ,_._