Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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June 29, 1994     Mercer Island Reporter
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June 29, 1994
 

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Mercer Island OPINION ’i‘fiffiiiREPORTER Wednesday, June 29,1994 r1145 RESTRIOTION OF LEGAL FlREWoRKs is THREATENING‘ BUT YOU GUYS ARE HAVING Hues VKOFITS FKom HAM/KING Jane A. Meyer Editor and General Manager Linda Morgan Associate Editor PO. Box 38 0 Mercer Island, WA 98040 7845 S.E. 30th St. 0 Mercer island. WA 98040 232—1215;fax: 2324284 Editorial-*- Mercer View deal good for all In some ways, things won’t change much at the Communi— ty Center at Mercer View, under the new deal being negotiat— ed between the City of Mercer Island and the School District. Classes and activities will still go on as usual. The parks and recreation department, Youth and Family Services, and a number of other organizationswill continue there as they have for the past 14 years. But the deal being worked is very significant for Mercer Island, because it secures the future of the property once and for all. If there’s one issue Mercer Islanders have agreed on all along, it’s that the property should remain in the public do- main. The lease—purchase option being worked out between the city and the school district will do that, and more. It’s a financing arrangement that allows the transfer of the title from the school district to the city, without raising taxes. The city will lease the property for up to 20 years, using a variety of existing funding sources. This will allow the city to seek grants and other outside funding in the meantime, not an unlikely happening, and something that outright owner- ship wouldn’t allow. With the title secure, the city can make its long-range plans for the use of the property. The school district will have a steady income which will apply to the district’s school construction projects. Then when the district comes to the voters for a bond issue for the high school project, the bond amount. issue will be reduced by that In effect, it’s a transfer of title over time, which will allow the district to complete its school construction projects and allow the city to seek Open Space funds and other monies. The Mercer View Committee has come up with a plan that meets the needs of the city, the school district, and the vot- ers. It’s a good deal for everybody involved. Letters are welcome The Mercer Island Reporter welcomes letters from members of the community on issues of concern to residents. Letters should be a maximum of two pages in length, double~spaced, and may be edited for style and length. Deadline is noon on Monday. Letters should be sent to the Report- er at PC. Box 38, Mercer Island, 98040, or dropped‘at the‘Reporter office, 7845 53.12. 30th Street. Letters may also be faxed to 232-1284. Compromise on signs ' The John L. Scott Real Estate Company thinks they’re losing business to the guerila sign tac- tics of someone who believes resi- dential streets look better without a proliferation of commercial ad— vertising. The sandwich board “Open House” signs are technically i1- legal but the city has a tolerance policy about enforcement. A John L. Scott employee was assigned the duty of private eye for a day and got photos of someone pranc- ing away with a sign and placing it next to a garbage can. They presented the photos to the assis- tant city attorney who filed theft charges. I have some questions: I. Will the Island’s realtors now photograph all the real estate signs which are illegally posted around Mercer Island? The sand- wich board “Open House” signs are legal on Wednesdays and Sun- days but the permanent signs, hanging from 4-by-4 posts, are il- legal under current law unless they are on private property with the owner’s permission. The real estate companies admit the signs are illegal but continue to place them because their competitors are doing it too. 2. How can the city attorney prosecute this case with a straight face when the accusers of the al- leged thief have dozens of illegal- ly-placed signs on the Island? 3. Would we all be offended by the visual blight if every home— based business on the Island put up a commercial sign at the cor- ner of their street and another on their property? If I put up a sign like that at the top of our street I’d expect my neighbors to rip it down! I personally have no objection with Wednesday and Sunday “Open House” signs, or for that matter with temporary signs for garage sales, pancake breakfasts, politicians or civic events. I have no problem with signs of any size on the property being sold. I do object, though, to the city selec- tively allowing illegal commercial real estate signs to remain post— ed. It’s time for the City Council to get to work on a sign ordinance which prohibits a proliferation of commercial signs on residential streets and which favors no spe—4 cial interests. And let’s not waste any money prosecuting those_who place or those who move Signs. What name would YOU Mercer Islanders submitted 111 names for the new park on the lid before the deadline recently. With a $50 prize on the line, the would—be name—givers tried every angle to make their ideas rise to the top. The City Council will choose a winner July 5. O Panorama Park ~ This favorite of the parks board was suggested independently by two prominent Mercer Island women, Peggy Reynolds, former publisher of the Mercer Island Reporter; and Delores Erchinger of the Chamber of Commerce. Reynolds wrote: “We ought to reiterate that no single historical figure was personally responsible for The Lid... Panorama Park because it gives you a perch for enjoying the scenery. Where else can you look around and on three sides view two mountain ranges, two sparkling big cities, a lake, and lots of beautiful Northwest greenery.” o Aubrey Davis Park —— Four people suggested names that honor Davis, the respected former executive of Group Health who was mayor of Mercer Island in the early 19705 when citizens forced the highway department to “I like fireworks. They can be fun if we keep them safe. It’s up to the parents to keep the chil- dren safe. I’d like to try it and if there are too many accidents, then review it again. AcceSs is easy. They go off anyway.” Alice Marshall media marketing Chris Norred build the lid on the freeway. 0 Votes were also cast for a park name to honor such notables as Ben Werner, George Lightfoot, Lacey Murrow, and Cleve Anschell, all of whom are mentioned in the book Mercer Island Heritage. Mary Ann Hansen Memorial Park —— Perhaps the most sincerely touching suggestion was submitted by Mary Speigel. She wrote: “Mary Ann Hansen died “Personally, I could do without fireworks. There are so many trees behind us that it’s scary. People can watch fireworks at public places. We used to have them at Greenlake when I was growing up.” Yvonne Lange -» homemaker this year after a long battle with cancer. She was a huge part of the foundation of the Great Books program for the Mercer Island Public Schools...l would like to see someone honored in this kind of permanent way who has contributed to the education of our children in such a profound way. This would also help her surviving family...and the community cope with a terrific loss.” 0 Two names were submitted without explanations. Probably, we should know who the intended honorees are. But we don’t. The names: “J.C. Goss Conservatory,” and “Jackie K. Park.” 0 Fleet’s In Park — This suggestion qualifies as the Most Humorous by a Curmudgeon Afraid to Take Credit. “The thought behind this name came from one of the residents on First Hill, who upon seeing the stacks for the first time said, ‘My, the fleet’s in.” The submittal was signed only: F.H.R, First Hill Residents. o overestimated Park — This qualifies as runner-up in the Humorous Curmudgeon category. 0 Jurassic Park — This “Let’s try it. It’s a clear and present danger, but if done in the correct way with supervi- sion, I have no problem. So many kids are doing it unsuper- vised.” Mark Stover retired Surely there’s compromise out there. David L. Webster, IV We assumed too much Barbara Swier’s letter in the Reporter (June 8) plus what I saw the other night prompts me to write this letter. We are some of the many “lay” people she re- ferred to who did not participate in the process of the CBD plan— ning. We “assumed” (one of the worst crimes there is) there were enough qualified and caring peo- ple on and off the council who would see it through and decide on the basis of the aesthetics for the CBD and what the majority wanted. The other night I had occasion to be driving by the shopping complex at Lake Forest Park late at night and saw a large building with garish lights flashing on and off and was so disappointed to see it said “Hollywood Video” as that day I’d seen the new sign on Mer- cer Island by the ugly square box building that it was to be Holly- wood Video. I am so hoping that the city planners have not given permission for that same lighting arrangement to be on this Mercer Island building. We live up the street from it and the wisdom of the city fathers escapes me when I realize who many videos are A” Amadch TRADITION I]! not let this happen. readily available now at Island Video, Globe Video, QFC at the southend, and Albertson’s store at the north end. Why would we need an ugly building erected to house more videos? Why couldn’t they have taken over the white ele- phant Safeway building? Use what we have, don’t mess up a street that was pleasant to walk along. Are these the same city planners who allow Four Seasons cleaners to be such an ugly, in- harmonious colorin the CBD? No one could really justify five- story structures on Mercer Is— land. All we non-participating lay people are apparently guilty of thinking and assuming that the people who serve as our represen- tatives and those they hire think as the majority do or really pay attention to surveys. What hap- pens after elections? The elected people on all levels seem to adopt that “we know what’s best for the people” syndrome. The new I-90 lid, the tree-lined streets are all a joy and how sad to see it dimin- ished by what’s going on with 77th Ave. SE. I don’t know Barbara Swier but I ask her forgiveness for not participating in the process (al- though I am still not convinced we have any leverage) and she'll need to forgive us also for “as- suming” there were enough peo- ple with smarts and sensitivity in and out of the city government to B. J. Paine ISN’T ml N CoNQUMER We. H\\ K \‘\\., A preview of CBD plan Returning from other countries (45 so far) I’m always impressed with Mercer Island, and how liv- able and really extra special a place it is (still). And that’s why I need to express my thoughts on what’s going on downtown. In his letter “Applauding the CBD plan,” (June 1) one Mercer Island downtown land owner thanks the City Council (as well he should) for their recent approval of what he terms “a superb CBD plan.” Other citizens, including me, may not agree. “Obstreperous” is his pejora- tive applied to those with the te- merity to question the wisdom of building out to the sidewalk, re- placing the paid-for street lamps, installing medallions, ugly trash containers, uglier benches. Those needing a preview of these upcoming CBD “improve- ments” can see same just east of Albertson’s. . Jerry Gropp Good news story ‘ We are told its a pretty bad world out there. The media tells . ~ Please see ‘Lette‘rs’ on A7. give the new lid park? suggestion by John E. Redifer was only one of several submitted by the Redifer family. “We love our new park,” they write. John’s idea qualifies as the Most Savvy Suggestion in a Media Age. 0 Roanoke Park — This suggestion from Douglas and Rose Mary Gordon of Mercer Island qualifies as the Most Considerate but Redundant suggestion. They said the name would please Adeline Gordon, whose home was moved by the freeway construction. But Mercer Island al ady has a Roanoke Park one lock north of the lid. 0 The Lid Obviously, the most common theme in the , suggestions. Altogether, 15 different suggestions included the word “lid.” 0 View Park — Fourteen different suggestions included the word “view.” 0 Bridge Park Also submitted were Bridgeway Park, Bridges Park and Bridgeview Park. 0 Mercer’s Lid — Actually, considering that so many places on Mercer Island have been named after the pioneering Mercer brothers, it was quite a relief that only three of the “It’s OK as long as it doesn't get out of hand. If there are com- plaints or injuries - then proba- bly stop it. We’ve never had a problem." Monica Howell mom suggestions included their name. 0 Some entries arrived in the Parks and Recreation , Department office office with little or no explanation: : “Haystack Park” and “The Wrap,” for example. 0 Stellar Park Paul Richards of 74th Place submitted this name. “Because it’s stellar you can watch the stars at night,” he wrote. . O Tunnel Top Park This idea from Rand Goldman was one of the most catchy and musical sounding. Other catchy names include Top of the Rock Park and Jewel of the Isle. O Serenity Park - This is a very nice name. But as the name of a park atop an eight-lane freeway, it ‘could be mistaken for sarcasm. 0 Park 90 - This name qualifies as Most Hopeful of Winning A Buck. “There is only one name that fits the geography,” wrote the entrant. “P.S., You will probably get 50 more Park 90s in the mai ." o Fireman’s Park — “They get little sleep, are on call 24 hours a day, and can still manage a smile for all they meet,” wrote Kathy Lang. “1 think it’s. great. Kids should be allowed to do it. It’s part of the Fourth of J uly.” Art Vaccaro real estate agent an O The Dawn — This submittal“: from Ms. D.Y. Tottenham qualifies as the Most Carefully Prepared. “The Dawn was the name of the stIa'amboat that ferried passengers to and from Seattle for 55 years until 1939.” She submitted five pages of historical research, news clippings and photographs to support her entry. 0 Parkpoint Park"— The Most Generous Spouse suggestion came from Mr. A.D. Bullock who' submitted this name, which he admits is a mouthful. “Send the . $50 to my wife she is always broke,” he writes. O Drumlin Park This suggestion from Helen Rodgers of Mercer Island qualifies as the H vocabulary builder of the contest. “Drumlin an elongated, oval, . hill of glacial drift, which would fit your criteria as using a name with geographical significance,” she writes. It also fits the criteria} for geological significance. v A o Klut-Use Park —- “According to the Mercer Island Heritage ’L; book, the original Chinook Indian. name for Mercer Island was Klut-f Use, which meant ‘that which is in the middle,” wrote Ronald Kaufman. “The Mercer'lsland City Council has voted that Mercer Islanders can discharge low-power, “safe and sane” fireworks on the Island from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on July 4 for this year and next year. Then the Council will take up the issue again. What is your opinion of this?” “I have mixed emotions. ,1 en- joyed fireworks very much as a kid. The-homes were further . apart — so I feel for families and animals that are disturbed by it. The kids will miss it.” ILL. Turney commercial real estate