Our monthly “Island Links” blog post is a curated list of the previous month’s most notable Mercer Island-related links from around the web. February 2017 was an exceptionally newsworthy month for Mercer Island.
One issue generated over a dozen news stories around the web – the City Council’s decision to take legal action against Sound Transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) over the loss of access to I-90 for single-occupant vehicles via the Island Crest way on-ramp.
Many community members (including me) felt that some of the media misrepresented the issue in their reports – characterizing the City’s objectives as an attempt to protect a privilege rather than the mobility and safety of its community members. Other media outlets got it right, like the Puget Sound Business Journal:
The mayor noted that the city council supports light rail and that Mercer Island residents voted in favor of the East Link Light Rail Project by a wide margin. But the city is objecting to the light rail plan over Lake Washington because it will create a traffic nightmare on Mercer Island streets.
The Seattle Times Editorial Board also published an editorial in support of Mercer Island providing a deeper historical background of the ongoing negotiations and agreements made by the regional organizations.
While we wish we had more uplifting links to balance news reports of the City’s legal involvements, the other dominating local news of the month was about the bomb threat to the Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC).
Sadly, the SJCC was just one of 91 locations of Jewish organizations nationwide that received bomb threats. It’s unconscionable that these threats were made to any organization, and especially those that house child care and day school facilities. Following a safe evacuation, police conducted a complete building search, but didn’t find anything suspicious. The threat was followed by an incredible outpouring of community support.
Find all related news links and other Mercer Island-related news and notes below:
City of Mercer Island lawsuit against Sound Transit, WSDOT; Sound Transit’s Counter Suit
City of Mercer Island
- City Council Votes to Take Legal Action to Preserve Mobility for Residents (February 13th, 2017)
The Seattle Times
- State says no to special I-90 HOV access for Mercer Island solo drivers by Lynn Thompson (February 2nd, 2017)
- Mercer Island council votes to sue Sound Transit over access to HOV lanes this summer by Lynn Thompson (February 14th, 2017)
- Sound Transit threatens legal action if Mercer Island sues over HOV-lane access by Lynn Thompson (February 14th, 2017)
- Sound Transit must heed Mercer Island’s transit concerns by the Seattle Times Editorial Board (February 23rd, 2017)
The Mercer Island Reporter
- Mercer Island to sue Sound Transit, WSDOT over I-90 access (February 14, 2017)
- I-90 debate escalates in region, state as Sound Transit board votes to countersue Mercer Island by Katie Metzger (February 28th, 2017)
- Sound Transit statement on City of Mercer Island lawsuit regarding East Link light rail construction on I-90 (February 14th, 2017)
Seattle Transit Blog
- Mercer Island to Sue Sound Transit, WSDOT by Zach Shaner (February 13th, 2017)
- Sound Transit to Sue Mercer Island by Brent White (February 18th, 2017)
Puget Sound Business Journal
- Dispute over Mercer Island’s I-90 access lane threatens to stall light rail project by Greg Lamm (February 15th, 2017)
- Sound Transit CEO calls Mercer Island lawsuit ‘regrettable’ by Kipp Robertson (February 15th, 2017)
- Mercer Island votes to sue Sound Transit, WSDOT over I-90 HOV lanes (Video – February 16th, 2017)
Stroum Jewish Community Center Bomb Threat
Mercer Island Reporter
- Mercer Island Jewish Community Center evacuated after telephone bomb threat by Katie Metzger
- Elected officials, community leaders react to threat to Mercer Island JCC
- Jewish Community Center in Mercer Island evacuated after bomb threat, one of many across U.S. (Video)
The Seattle Times
- Bomb Threats to Jewish Community Centers and Organizations by Ken Schwencke and Al Shaw
New leadership at Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce
Mercer Island Reporter
- New direction for Mercer Island Chamber | Exec. Director Terry Moreman to retire by Katie Metzger
- Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce selects Laurie Givan as new director by Katie Metzger
Mercer Island School District News
- Community input sought for update to MISD demographic study
- Two School Board positions up for election this year – learn more at upcoming informational meetings
- Three MIHS graduates to be honored with Pathfinder Awards at Breakfast of Champions April 25
- Nine Mercer Island teams qualify for Destination Imagination state tournament
- Mercer Islanders debate ‘neighborhood character’ versus property rights by Katie Metzger [Mercer Island Reporter]
- Untouched Mercer Island mansion lists at $4.25M by Tom Tribath [Curbed]
Other News & Humor
- Mercer Island police arrest burglar, prolific mail thieves [Mercer Island Reporter]
- City Council Approves GoFundMe Campaign To Build New Lake Washington Bridge [Mercer Island Distorter]