Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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December 15, 2004     Mercer Island Reporter
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December 15, 2004
 

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Taken down Liberty defeats Mercer Island wrestlers A13 Subscribe Call 425-453-4240 A protest film Local filmmaker's debut movie about media B1 L Searching for sun? Island man opens tanning salon in Bellevue A3 The only two words ll! fe you need to know Wednesday, December 15, 2004 Mercer Island, Washington www.mi-reporter.com 75 cents School Board Want to hear more about the Boys & Girls Club's proposal to build on the high school cam- pus? The Mercer Island School Board will discuss that issue and others at its meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, at Crest Learning Center, 41 50 86th Avenue S.E. I) Nutcracker dances Feeling festive? Island Youth Ballet and Children's Dance Conservatory will present "Excerpts from the Nutcracker," at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19; and 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Dec. 22, at Youth Theatre Northwest. For tickets, call 947-7483. I Christmas ship Wednesday, Dec. 22 is your last chance to catch the Christmas Ship on Mercer Island. It boards at Luther Burbank Park from 7:50 to 8:10 p.m. The cost is $29.50 for adults and $17.50 for children between the ages of 5-12. The Con Brio Columbia Women's Choir will perform on board. A portion of the ticket sales benefits The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy. Call 206-623-1445 for reser- vations and information or visit www.argosycruises.com. 0 'Animal Band" Check out the second "Animal Band" alumni game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Mercer Island high School. Join friends and for- mer band directors from all years for this event. R.S.V.R to Dave Sanford at dsan- ford@stanford.edu. Editor Business /13 Calendar B3 Classifieds Cl Editorial A5 Lifestyle B1 Records A7 Sports A13 PHONE NUMBERS News: 206-232-121 Circulation: 425-453-4240 Retail ads: 206-232-1215 Classifieds: 425-455-2525 Fax: 206-232-1284 E-mail: stephen.weigand@ mi-reporter.com 30 pages 3 sections Vol. 51 No. 50 IIII!!!!UI!!!!!IIII 'Peek-A-Boo' nativity Julie PefialMercer Island Reportey Catherine Bardon, 8, leads both "Peek-A-Boo" the sheep and fellow shepherd, Garrett Stiller, 6, to their positions in the Mostly Live Nativity held at Redeemer Lutheran Church on Sunday, Dec. 12. Money raised at the event went to Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Plans for 50 more parking spaces, more lanes at school By Mary L. Grady along the Island's main arterial Mercer Island Reporter while guiding school buses in and A proposal to improve pedes- out of the school north lot. trian safety, access and parking School administrators and par- at Island Park Elementary School ents have been worried about the was presented to the School Board safety of students being dropped earlier this month, off or picked up at the school as The design will add 50 more well as pedestrians crossing Island parking spaces, additional lanes Crest Way. and space for vehicles to queue In the parking lot and the load- up off of Island Crest Way to en- ing zone in front of the school, ter the school lots and improve school safety patrol members, the bus access. More signage will volunteers and often Island Park also be added on Island Crest Principal Kathy Morrison, help Way, both north and south of the students and traffic maneuver, of- school. The existing lighted cross- ten assisting students in and out of cars to keep the traffic moving in walk will remain in place. The proposal is estimated at front of the school. $500,000 and will take a big bite Parents or volunteers who come of land -- 100 feet out of an ex- to the school during the day are isting playfield on the north side lucky to find a.parking space, ei- of the school. That playfield was ther legal or illegal. Visitors have to park parallel to cars already just re-seeded last year. The majority of the funding parked or along both sides of will come from a school district Island Crest Way, south of the reserve fund. Administrators plan school. to approach the City Council to so- It seems that the substantial- licit their help with the rest of the ly lower cost estimate will help financing, the project move ahead, but there Most agree the changes aremay be some concern about the long overdue, loss of field space. The school district and the city The north field, while re-seed- have talked since 1997 about the ed last year, does not have an ir- situation at the school, but initial rigation system and is not a reg- estimates of $1 million and the ulation soccer field. The play- need for more land, often stymied fields available west of the school the proposal, are often too wet for use. The "Nothing had come together," costs to upgrade the southwest said Mike Ziara, the district as- field are not included in the park- sociate superintendent for busi- ing lot proposal. Upgrading one or ness services, both western playfields would "We have been talking about cost $100,00 to $150,000 each. this issue since the (school) re- Despite the loss of the field, model" he said. Toby Suhm, an Island Park parent Traffic flaggers hired by the and president of the PTA at the school district are responsible for school, welcomes the changes for a complex and often dangerous safety reasons. roadway that includes turning "While I am always concerned traffic, school buses, impatient about the loss of a precious com- commuters and elementary school modity like flat, green play-space children. The flaggers must also on the Island, I think the trade keep the flow of traffic going Please see Traffic on A8 June MIHS drug arrests go to court Juveniles received deferred sentences By Mary L. Grady Mercer Island Reporter Two Mercer Island High School graduates charged with selling marijuana will appear later this month in King County Superior Court. Charges against a third adult student for ob- struction were dropped. Alex Biller and Jackson Embly, both 19, graduated from Mercer Island High School in June. They were arrested with four juveniles just a few days before graduation ceremonies. Some of the students were arrested at school. All of the students were imme- diately expelled from school by Superintendent Cyndy Simms. The two seniors were not allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies. Both students had completed re- quirements for graduation and re- ceived their diplomas later. The arrests were the result of an investigation by the Eastside Please see Drugs on A8 M.I. teacher pens science fiction book By Mary L. Grady Mercer Island Reporter Island Park fifth-grade teacher Thelma Ritchie has written a book for young readers about the future and life on Mars. The book, "Terra Nova," is a story of the first settlement on the red planet. It comes out this month. It is not your usual science fiction book. Although the tale will be found on the sci-fi shelves, the science in the book is real. The mechanics of space travel and of life on the inhospitable plan- et described in the book con- form to the realities of scientif- ic and physical laws. Ritchie wanted to write a "real" science fiction book about how humans could settle on the red planet in the not-so-distant fu- ture. The author not only de- scribes how to get there -- no hyperspace, she said firmly -- but describes how it would be pos- sible to live there. But there is more to the 208- page book than science. There is a mystery to solve and nev- er-ending puzzles of human re- lationships to ponder. The set- tlers are distinct individuals who work as real scientist do, facing setbacks and accomplishments, both alone and together. She wants to have her readers see and learn from how the char- acters in the book make choices, deal with rules and the conse- quences of their actions -- and each other. Ritchie also wants readers to understand that Christian beliefs do not conflict with science. It is the story of the first fam- ily to come and settle on the dis- tant planet. The two young peo- ple in the book are a girl, 17, and a boy who is 11. The children are leaving their friends and life on Earth behind. Needless to say, the teen is not thrilled. But the boy is eager and curious. As she does in her own class- room, Ritchie wants readers to learn as they read and dream. Julie Pefia/Mercer Island Reporter Island Park Elementary School teacher Thelma Ritchie is awaiting the release of her book for young teens, "Terra Nova: Settling the Red Planet." The novel is set in the future and revolves around a Christian family that is chosen to live on Mars for two years. She wants them to picture them- book is full of adventure, sus- selves as explorers and learners, pense and even a little romance. "For a long time I have want- ed to write a book -- a book LONGER than she has been with a good story, about science, a teacher, Ritchie has been in- without bad language," she said. terested in the science of space. "A credible story, an inspira- Ritchie watched Neil tional story. That is the teacher Armstrong walk on the moon in me." during a visit to Alaska in July "And I want to share my of 1969. It was then, she said, Christian faith" she said. "I can't that her interest in space explo- do that in the classroom." ration took a giant leap forward. And it won't hurt that the Please see Mars on AI I