Newspaper Archive of
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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A8 Mercer Island Reporter Schools. . . - Continued from page A1 Enrollment is up about 40 students from last year at IMS, Murdock said. Projected enrollment is 1,003 students, and as of the end of last week, the school was at 1,011. There will be four portable classrooms at IMS this year; there were two last year. West Mercer Elementary School will have three teachers who are new no the building this year. and two spe- ( cialists (music and physical educa~ tion) that it will share with Lakeridge Elementary. West Mercer‘s enrollment is cur~ rently very close to projection, said principal Nancy Emerson. The school had 616 students enrolled at last count; the projected number is 618. This will add about 15 students to last year‘s student body, Emerson said. The school will also have five portable class- rooms. up two from last year. In ad- dition to the increasing enrollment, the spillover from pared down class sizes and adding a fifth-grade will fill the portables. Other additions to the school in- clude playground equipment that will be purchased with proceeds from fundraisers during the year, said Emerson, who was looking forward to the first day of school. "I love the beginning of school, the energy. the excitement," Emerson said. Lakeridge Elementary School has about a dozen additions to its staff for the 1998-99 school year. includ~ ing a new teacher for almost every grade, a new psychologist and a new special education teacher. Two of the new teachers were hired solely to keep down class sizes, said principal John Cameron. Lakeridge‘s average class size is 23.5 students. he added. Projected enrollment is 627 stu‘ dents; the latest enrollment figure available was 609. Although the num» bers are similar to last year, Cameron said, the school has experienced a higher than usual percent of turn0ver, with about 50 students replacing 50 that left the district. Two portables will be added to Lakeridge this year, bringing the total up to six. Island Park Elementary School, which operates on a cluster system that combines two consecutive grades in the same classroom, will have two fourth-grade and two fifth—grade class~ es taught separately. This is in addition to four classrooms that are still four— five split classes. Two staff members are new to the building this year, one a special edu— cation teacher apd the other a para- professional. ‘ New at the elementary level is the position of associate principal, which will be filled by Kathy Morrison. Formerly a music teacher who also assisted with implementing the cur- riculum throughout the district, she will now divide her time among Lakeridge. West Mercer and Island Park. Morrison will work with the el- ementary specialists and help admin- ister the kindergarten program. Cameron said. New and improvedlseems to be the theme for St. Monica’s School this year, with its revised schedule, addi— tional staff and the creation of sever- al new positions. In order to lengthen class periods and have more time when instructors are teaching students, the weekly sched- ule has changed, along with time al- lotted for passing in between classes. said Principal Kenneth Dorsett. Mondays, students will attend school from 8:30 am. to 2 p.m.. while Tuesdays through Fridays hours are from 8:30 am. to 3 pm. Passing time went from five to three minutes. These changes will add three and a half ex— tra hours of instructional hours per week, Dorsett said. , The school has created a number of new positions, including one for an arts specialist, two instruction as- sistants and a technology specialist. A full-time librarian. new kindergarten teacher and aid, and a new adminis- trative secretary will fill out the rest of the staff. In addition to the schedule and stall" changes, the bathrooms at St. Monica’s have received a remodel, which in- cluded retiling the walls and floors and new toilet fixtures. Enrollment is currently at 232. which is down slightly from two years ago, but about the same as last year. Dorsett said. Classes begin Tuesday, Sept. 8 for St. Monica’s students. Notable changes at Northwest Yeshiva High School include four new micro] studies instructors. Marcos Carmona will teach a first—semester beginning guitar class, an elective. Charles Jones will teach the senior ans class, share instructional duties for sophomore language arts and supervise indepeth study sec— tions. William Pringle will teach the sophomore American government classes, and Robyn Smith will teach the sophomore fine arts classes during the second semester. Enrollment this year at Yeshiva is over 75 students. It has been increas— ing every year for the last four years due to a tuition reduction program, said Dean Rabbi Bernie Fox. The first day for Yeshiva was Aug. 26. - Continued from page A] “That is the lowest possible des- ignation they can give. You will not be able to this tower from the Sunnybeam school,“ Quinn said. Sunnybeam’s lawyer, Janet Garrow of Cairncross & Hemplemann. fo- cused on what she sees as the inade- quacies of the monopole‘s Environmental Impact Statement. She said that the document was written by the company’s consultants, and does not objectively discuss the pole‘s possible impacts. She believes the EIS does not adequately discuss shorter alternatives to a 13(H'oot mono- pole, that it provides an inadequate visual impact study, and that it lacks any information about possible health risks. “The report reads as though it were a public affairs publication, not an in» dependent, scientific report." Garrow said. Quinn responded that this mono- pole has received more attention and environmental study than any other pole the company has ever built. and that this was first time an EIS has been required for a cellular phone tower in the state of Washington. She said the EIS did not include an in~depth discussion of alternatives to a l30~foot pole because the company had determined that a shorter pole would not allow it to reach its objec- tive of providing iii-building cover— age over most of the south end. IN PUBLIC TESTIMONY, res— idents questioned why a pole intend- ed just for use by Mercer Islanders would have to be so tall. "This proposal is a lie. This pole would be visible in Bellevue and Redmond, and will be able to shoot cellular transmissions ot’HsIand. That’s why they want it so high.” said resident Susan Bogert. Bill Chapman scoffed at the sertion. “That’s absolutely ridiculous. The purpose of this pole is to serve Mercer Island.” But when pressed by Planning Commissioner David Azose to dis- close how many Mercer Island cus— tomers US West expected to serve with the pole. the company‘s Radio Frequency Engineer Tim Bozzo an— swered with a caveat that elicited laughs and whispers, the loudest au- dience response of the evening. "Specifically on Mercer Island, I’m not sure how many users this will serve," he said. Even ifthe monopole is intended for Mercer Island alone. residents and Azose questioned the desirability of US West‘s plan. The company wants enough sig- nal strength to penetrate buildings on the south end. Azose wondered why I like to invest inr - _- r’ *l t r tin-«t var Lilli my .‘un' mun .il’nm! mu i In tits I ills. l tilt; Monopole application brings up such service is need- ed, since most of the buildings on the south end are houses with land telephone lines al— ready installed. A res— ident said she did not necessarily want people to be able to use their cellular phones while shopping in the south end QFC. Bozzo responded that such senice is in growing demand regionally. And Chapman defended the company‘s right to determine invbuilding cover— age as the monopole‘s goal. “Companies don‘t have a whole lot of power in all this. Just about the only thing companies are entitled to is the right to decide their own project ob~ jectives.“ Chapman said. The mono— pole would cost $200.0(X) to $31X).()(X) to build. Island.’ THE FEDERAL Communications Act contains another thorn for the Planning Commission to negotiate. According to the law. municipalities ‘The purpose of this pole is to serve Mercer Bill Chapman. consultant to Western Wireless cannot discriminate be— twccn cellular compa— nies. US West and Western Wireless say that denying their pro— posal would break the law. because doing so would exclude their digital technology and give their analog com» pctitor's an unfair op— portunity to reach cus~ tomers on the Island‘s south end. Residents have a different inter pretation. There are four cellular corn- panics that use digital technology in the Northwest, only two of which can co-locatc on this polc. Residents wor— ry that allowing one monopole would obligate the city to grant the same varri‘ ance to the other two digital ctrn‘icrs, AT T and Sprint. “I think this sets at very dangerous precedent. There are other companies out there. What happens when they come to us asking for more variances like this w will the south end of Mercer Island just become filled with tall mct— nI poles?" rcsidcnt Tom Ilclsoc said. CITY OF MERCER ISLAND COUNCIL MEETINGS Councilmembers: Bryan Cairns David Clancy. Deputy Mayor Judy Clibborn Gordy Edberg, Mayor Alan Merkle John Nelson Peter Orser (‘ouncilmembers do not have offices at City Hall; however, they do receive their mail at: City of Mercer Island 9611 36th Street Mercer Island, WA 98040 To leave a message for a Councilmember call 236-5300. UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED: Council Meetings are held in the Council Chambers at City Hall the first and third Monday of every month; Special Meetings and Study Sessions begin at 6:00 pm; Regular Meetings begin at 7:30 pm. CITY COUNCIL MEETING OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, I998 Wu: 9 Management Budget Policies Begulaefiusinfis: 0 Code Enforcement Re Trees 0 Geographic Info System Status Report 0 Possession of Tobacco by Minors Please call Tina Eggers, City Clerk at (206) I . 1 questions of nos ..1_ ,. Ralph long. US West Regional real estate mun— ager, said he could not answer questions about the future objectives of other companies. Susan Blake was the most outspoken of the commissioners in her questioning of US West. “Now you say you need a I309foot pole to trans— mit technology. that live years ago you said couldn‘t happen. We begged and pleaded for you to co—Io- cute antennas on poles with different companies. and after years of saying it couldn’t be done. now you‘re do- ing it.” Blake said. "You are being disruptive to our code and not being respectful of your impact on our community. My ques- tion is. what’s to say that in five years, you won't have technology that can do _what you want to do but at a much lower height? This is getting a little absurd." Long responded. “The technology ‘This proposal is a lie. . .This pole would be visible in Bellevue and Redmond.’ Susan Bogcn Wednesday. September 2. I998 thetics, Safety. . . might come along in two or five years. As of today. we don‘t have the technology." Quinn said that a clause could be writ— ten into the commis— sion‘s approval state» ment that. if the mono~ pole became obsolete or was no longer be- ing used. the cellular companies would be responsible for re— moving it. Tonight’s Planning Commission meeting at 7:30 pm. at City Hall will not discuss the monopole issue. It will focus on the site plan for the residenv tial subdivision planned for the QFC Village shopping center. The commission will meet again at 7:30 on Wednesday. Sept. 16 at (‘in Hall to deliberate on the monopole proposal. The commission could de— cide to approve or deny the variance. or to continue it for further study. 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