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Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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September 2, 1998     Mercer Island Reporter
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September 2, 1998
 

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M , as; OPINION i522? REPORTER Jane A. Meyer, Editor and General Manager Linda Morgan, Associate Editor Wednesday, September 2, 1998 A6 v HEY! T we is -~ I. f¥§lVATE Future State Events that The Roanoke Inn is a community treasure When my parents and four chil- dren moved to Mercer Island 61 years ago in 1938, the Roanoke Inn was a long-established friendly little tavern. Yes, it is a “community treasure" al~ though at my age then was never vis— ited. However, it is a historic place still in existence on the Island where all other older facilities and places of his- toric interest have long vanished. The Petersons were well aware of its presence and use when they bought the adjoining property 14 years ago. They have only themselves to fault if . they are now Unhappy about the neigh— bors, and they don’t even live there themselves. In this age of glitz and gloss, and here—today-and-gene-tomorrow, this establishment is a place “where every- body knows your name.” Let’s treasure it and petition the City of Mercer Island for it to be es— tablished as a designated Historic Site. Mary Lou MacGilvra McKibbon ‘ Peter A. Horvitz, President Thurston 'I’Wigg-Smith, Chairman Emeritus Catherine Shen, Publisher Published by King County Journal Newspapers Citizens’ Academy an innovative program It may not be quite like “NYPD Blues” or “Law and Order.” But Mercer Islanders have a unique opportunity to get an inside look at the workings of their own police department through Citizens’ Academy. It’s a new, eight-week educational program designed to acquaint Islanders with first—hand information about how their police depart- ment works. Residents will learn about patrol procedures, how dispatch works, how crimes, accidents and traffic incidents are investigated. They'll learn about narcotics investigations, search and seizure, and how officers are hired and trained. But they won’t just sit in a classroom. They’ll see demonstrations by we need a new and remodeled facili— fun and free. the Dive Team and the Bellevue K—9 unit, and they’ll take a ride on the Marine Patrol boat. They’ll be able to participate in a shoot-don’t shoot scenario in a firearms exercise. And they’ll be able to ride along with a patrol ofiicer for an evening, if they wish. It’ll be hands-on, educational, And the program isn’t just one~directional. When police officers and Island folks get together, there’ll be an opportunity for citizens to learn about the concerns of the officers, and for the officers to find out what Islanders feel about issues facing the community. It will help build the mutual understanding and trust that’s essential between a cit- Plan for community center is wonderful My personal favorite quote from Mr. Phillips’ letter (Reporter July 22): "Trouble with our council is that they are now infected with the Kingdome Syndrome. If it works and needs mi— Department; three day care facilities; a huge amount of space for seniors ——I mean the real seniors, Mr. Phillips, those well into their 705, 80s, plus! Please check with Patty Nelson at Parks and Recreation, as well as Amy Ulrickson, head of Senior Outreach, Mercer Island Youth and Family Services. Mercer View Elementary School was built with cement blocks. Nearly ty at Mercer View. Frankly, Mr. I would willingly give part of my Social Security check to finance the bond issues to restore the CCMV. I would ask everyone on Mercer Island to do their homework regarding the remodeling of the CCMV. I do be- lieve that if you do, you will discov— erthis is a wonderful plan. It will pro- vide everyone on Mercer Island, for the versity’s program. A big name in his day, his speeches drew crowds of peo- ple. In wondering how an educator could attract so much attention, Trahant draws the conclusion that “the coun- try wassmaller then -— it was easier to be a leader.” According to Trahant, “we’ve . come to believe that a successful leader can address any problem no matter how complex with a simple slo- izenry and the police for that serves and protects it. nor repairs, just tear it down and build days snake—oil salesman, ran into a th e 11 am e o f . . , , its citizens;_Keep thgfiGOP majority in the L:4 funny coincidence the other day. Issatlluahlés Slkip yawns House-and Senator Foreman’s smiling face appeared on the Row ey: ow ey, HERE ’8 THE C OINCIDEN CE: eca. ‘ ’ I So Senate Majority Leader Dan McDonald *‘ Miriam] page ofThe Seattle Tums last Tuesday, “ o n e o f G o v. Foreman’s article appeared 'in the Tuesday .support; b use’ and others bypasSedPfice, Hem-and the most- "along with an article he wrote in praise of Locke ’ s tran s— afternoon Times. Hours later, The Eastside / It (10081] t much, knowledgeable transportation people. Referendum 49. Foreman was selling Ref. poflation advisers,” Journal’s wednesday morning editions had there’s no alternative I Ref. 49 was created to, among other things, 49 as the great elixir the Republican Legislature who is contribut- Skip Rowley’s name in an article on page 1. , ' reallocateysome motor vehicle excise taxes r... had stirred up to solve Washington’s trans— ing $20,000 to the It described how Rowley and others have to transportation. It’s getting both yawns and *5 portation agonies. Ref. 49 campaign, formed Mobility 21, a political-action group widespread support, because, while it doesn’t ‘ substation. city for not doing more to alert Islanders. for taking the city to task unfairly. ale Foreman, the likable state Republican Party chairman and nowa- No new taxes, 3 $30-per—car cut inthe mo— tor vehicle excise tax all that and much “more is in this wonderful package, Foreman "wrote. Foreman also took a couple of swipes at Gov. Gary Locke and Democrats who, he "said, suggested that some tax increase is need- ed to deal with massive transportation needs Statewide. Right off, you might wonder why a polit- ical party boss is telling you about trans— portation. Foreman is a former legislator and was a loser in the 1996 Republican primary election for governor. He’s a lawyer and or» 'chardist from Wenatchee. He may know sub- ryaxesg‘ W eras) five era, .4 is" poenas and apple maggots, but he’s never been accused of being a transportation ex- pert. So, to get some transportation authority We applaud the city and the Public safety Department for launching the new, innovative program. And we encourage Islanders to sign up and be a part of the Mercer Island Citizens’ Academy. Editorial was unfairly critical ;, of city notification process ast week, we criticized the City of Mercer Island for not doing enough to notify residents of the proposal to put a l30—foot monopole. for cellular communication at the south end Puget Sound Energy Mercer Islanders had taken little note of the application for vari- ance and the proposal by US West and Western Wireless that had been moving through the city processes for many months. We misinterpret— ed some information about the notification process, and blasted the We were wrong. In fact, the city went far beyond state requirements for notificaiton, and was the first municipality in the region to require \‘ an Environmental Impact Statementon the installation. We apologize into his article, Foreman invoked wrote Foreman: 'Ihat rang a hell with me. In one of our conversations a few weeks ago, Rowley had told Ricrd, Larsen 9 me that Ref. 49 wouldn’t cure statewide gridlock problems, but, he reasoned, the state is years behind in build- ing infrastrucmre, transportation dollars are des— perately needed and Ref. 49 “is the only game in town.” Rowley had given $20,000 to the cam— paign against the Regional Transit Authority because, he said, it won’t have much effect on the Eastside’s traffic congestion. Now, he said, he’d give an equal $20,000 to Ref. 49 be- cause it might be a start. , Mercer Islanders speak out a new Taj Mahal." Mr. Phillips, have you done any homework at all? I do not think so. The Community Center at Mercer View building was built in the late . 1950s as a school, not an office build- ing. Our children attended this school in the late ‘60s and, frankly, it was not in good condition then. Mercer View Elementary School was never a “Kingdome.” The Kingdome was built as a football Sta.- dium. Mercer View was built as a school and became office buildings. Mercer View Elementary School was built before anyone had thought of computers, faxes, copiers, much less phone lines with voice mail, etc. The now Community Center has no power to run the multitudes of com- puters that occupy each and every “of- . fice” located at Mercer View. , , i center today is oc- ,, [cupied by the Parks and Recreation It’s a mistake to think Ref. 49 will end grilock ’903! of some 300 Eastside business leaders. It quoted a letter Written by Rowley: “As community leaders, we need to find more so— lutions for transportation funding and elect v people to office who supporfithesc goals.” ' “Our transportation system is very, very sick,” he added. , ' , ._ That doesn’t sound like everyone’s hap- pily buying Foreman’s snake oil in the Ref.49' bottle. - In Our state, it’s unusual for a political par.- ty boss to have such an influence over ac- tions of the Legislature, but by all accounts, Foreman was influential in the birth of Ref. 49 in Olympia. In 1997, business, labor and civic groups of all kinds lobbied hard to get significant funding for transportation —- including a long- v 40 years after its construction I can tell you that these buildings freeze in the winter and just cook in the summer. Eachand every time anyone tries to plug in a fan (much less a small air conditioner), the computers go down; as well as the faxes, copiers, etc., etc. These buildings are ancient and were never designed for businesses in the Mr. Phillips, have you actually looked at the plans for the remodel of Mercer View? Again, I do not think so! I looked and discovered that the remodel plans are quite well—designed. I drink they have had lots of input and are trying to' construct the very best community center possible. I know from personal experience that our current buildings are anti— quated facilities that need enormous ren- ovation. rarely write letters these days, disagree with Our City Council. HOWever, I know that seniors! truly worth the price tag. builds consensus Ref. 49 is getting both overdue increase in the gas tax; “A user fee, that’s what it should be called,” said Sen. Jim H0rn of Mercer Island, one of many Republicans who understand the issue. ' With the‘gas tax losing purchasing power year after year, there were estimates that $20 billion or more would be needed to repair old highways and bridges, build added capacity " ‘ and the infrastructure needed to sustain the state’s, econOmy. ‘ At the time, Sen. Gene Price, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said there were enough votes to pass a compre» hensive transportation revenue package. Then, reportedly, came the message from Foreman to leaders of the new GOP majority in the House and Senate: If a gas tax increase is en- acted, we can kiss ourmajorities goodbye. first time, with a terrific facility, ben- efiting everyone from preschool through , Please take a good look. This is Karin Pangbom Giger is leader who An editorial by Mark Trahant in the Aug. 23 Seattle Times prompted thoughts on Dick Giger’s retirement this coming June and his legacy to the Mercer Island School District. The article, “An alternative method of leadership -—~ consensus-building — evolves in the West,” focuses on Robert Maynard Hutchins, who, in 1929 at the age of 30, was named press ident of the University of Chicago. ‘ Today, he is best known for “de— claring college football a major hand» I leap to education and killing the uni— gan, a philosophy compacted into a .10 or 15 second clip.” The editorial concludeswith the “good news” about a new model of leadership evolving here in the West, “a craft of consensus-building.” One practitioner, Gov. Marc Racicot of Montana commented that, “too of- ten the winner in political discourse today is the person who shouts the ' loudest or is the most clever on TV,” Consensus—building is the alternative: “place-based solutions, a system where neighbors figure things out. ‘If we lis— ten to each other,” says Racicot, “we can find a resolution to any problem.” It seems to me that Dick Giger has a long time. Under his leadership, the Mercer Island School District has developed a strategic plan with input from teach- IT'WASA’ Cynical political strategy: Never mind the longrr‘anggfiheeds of the state and help much, there’s no alterriative. Department of Transportation officials say _it will start some projects, but won’t finish them. No one who knows anything abopt trans- portation buys Foreman’s snake-oil pitch that Ref. 49 will “solve (Washington’s) major transportation problems.” , Skip Rowley and the others of the new Mobility 21 are on the right track — elect- ing quality people to the Legislature Who will, regardless of party affiliation, work to start solving Washington’s long-term transporta- tion needs. s (Mercer Islander Richard W. Larsen was for many years a political and editorial colum— nist for The Seattle Times. Readers may con— tact him via the Internet at dickfrsn@aol. com) ‘ What is your reaction to the cumplaint has been filed with the city that would shut down the Roanoke Inn? known about consensus-building for “ Please see Letters on A7 L <: Ar; , , , . “V VI- qn has” ‘ AV'I l'qu .: . ‘ “(Code violations) happen all the "the Roanoke’s really'old, a classic , “It’s like when you buy a house next time. It’s an institution. You place. It’s a to get a burg- to an airport..Since the Roanoke v shouldn’t shut down an institu— er,.l like to hang on the was therebefore most houses, they ’ tion.” I porch. I wouldn’t like to see it go.” have no right to complain.” Maurice Yolmgs T 2 Stewart Vassar: . Margie Kuhn attorney program manager dental assistant. “Sentimentally, I think it should . stay. But if the law says it should move because it’s in a residential neighborhood, then that’s tough.” , Mary Barr ' retired “We just ate there yesterday. I think it should be grandfathered in. It’s a little late to be crying about Rachelle Porter. it." loan officer “I like their food andthey have great beer, and I think they should stay open” Joe Cracker Northwest Mortgage Pv—‘-“~a,"“-fl‘-’J‘“--‘“--———-m~'--m-—-‘—---m——um if 3‘ 3‘ if 155': fife-Pmesz‘vee. ‘ r» r names; are a a S! as a a a see-86w