15 Island Links for December

January 1, 2017 | by Erin Sirianni

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Here are 15 interesting links for the month of December – all Mercer Island news and notes from around the web. Enjoy!

Light Rail

If you’re looking for an overview of the history, issues, and latest developments concerning Mercer Island and the EastLink Light Rail expansion, this Seattle Times article is a good read.  [The Seattle Times]

KIRO 7 also provided coverage of Mercer Island’s impending loss of Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) access to the “R8A” lanes. [Video]

The Mercer Island School Board expressed their concerns regarding the EastLink Light Rail expansion in a letter to the Mercer Island City Council. Specifically, board members note potential challenges for the district to attract and retain teachers and staff, as increased commute times will impact 70% of the district’s teachers and staff who live off-island. [Mercer Island Reporter / Mercer Island School Board]

If you are wondering what the City Council has been doing to mitigate the negative impacts of the light rail expansion for Mercer Island, Deputy Mayor Debbie Bertlin’s Op-Ed in the Mercer Island Reporter provides insight.  [Mercer Island Reporter]

Local community groups are also proposing different strategies for mitigating negative impacts. Citizens for I-90 Mobility have created a petition asking the City Council to revoke the City’s shoreline permit toward more effective negotiation. Vision Mercer Island has also proposed a strategy – “a win-win position,” in which Mercer Island SOVs will continue to have access to the HOV lanes until they become HOT lanes upon EastLink’s completion. [Change.org / Vision Mercer Island]

If you are wondering what the Mercer Island light rail station will look like, Sound Transit recently released its final designs. [My Mercer Island]

Around the Island

The Mercer Island Reporter reflects back on the Island’s most memorable moments and biggest news stories of 2016.

Mercer Island residents can meet Julie Underwood, Mercer Island’s new City Manager, at a welcome reception on January 3rd, to take place before the regular City Council Meeting. [City of Mercer Island]

The Mercer Island Police Department is urging increased safety awareness and visibility measures for pedestrians following three vehicle-pedestrian collisions that occurred in one week.  [Mercer Island Reporter]

The Roanoke Inn was recognized as Mercer Island’s 2016 Business of the Year. [Mercer Island Reporter]

Long-time Mercer Island resident and veteran Seattle Times sports writer Walt Parietti died at the age of 89. [Seattle Times]

Still need to get rid of your Christmas tree?  The City of Mercer Island has information about tree chipping and tree pick-up during curbside yard waste collection. [City of Mercer Island]

Schools

The Mercer Island School District is seeking nominations for its Pathfinder Alumni Awards, which honor graduates of Mercer Island High School whose achievements, strength of character and citizenship inspire and challenge today’s youth. [Mercer Island School District]

The Mercer Island School District has also released its 2015-2016 Annual Report. [Mercer Island School District]