Category Archives: Uncategorized

Great Fall Farmers Market

A jamming band and fall colors. Last before the Harvest Market in November. You’ve got til 3 pm to come out!

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Second e coli alert. Boil water.

You’ve got to be kidding me. Here’s the Mercer Island gov alert.

Schools closed Monday; e coli update expected 8 am Monday

UPDATE: As of 8:45 am Monday, the City says the Mercer Island boil water advisory is lifted and all water is fine.

The Mercer Island Reporter tells us schools will be closed Monday.

QFC north island has plenty of bottled water. They must have gotten a shipment (apologies if you saw an earlier and somewhat vulgar autocorrect) since yesterday, I heard about a run on water yesterday afternoon.

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Looks like they had to wipe out a LOT of veggies though:

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Next update expected from the city at 8 am Monday.

E coli Closes Farmers Market

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There’s no farmers market here in Mercerdale, and a policeman just taped off the water fountain. The e coli warning is forcing folks to continue to boil water for drinking.

E. Coli is Unwelcome New Neighbor on Mercer Island

At 3 p.m. today the City posted a notice that residents should boil all drinking water because routine water tests showed the presence of the E. Coli virus. Best guess from the City is this alert will last through Monday at least.
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Ha ha Bellevue, thanks.

I found out a little after 4, much the way many folks probably did: from a neighbor. I texted some friends on the Island and told another neighbor. Yet another neighbor sent their son door to door to make sure people knew.

Great to see neighbors reaching out, but it does seem that there’s got to be a better way to alert folks for something that might kill kids or older residents. The first neighbor found out through a text alert from King 5. Sign up for those if you want to get such alerts.

There are no hard numbers of what the concentration of E.Coli was discovered to be, nor what’s a safe amount. At this point the safest thing is to boil or buy any water that goes in your mouth, including brushing teeth. So far, no reports of sickness. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Two really interesting notes in the Seattle Times article. First,
Water is delivered to the island through a 16-inch pipe that runs from the Eastside over Mercer Slough and along the Interstate 90 bridge, but no signs of E. coli have been found in the utility’s water system outside Mercer Island, said SPU spokesman Andy Ryan.

One pipe for the whole Island. That’s a less redundant system than I would have expected.

Second interesting note:
“We are very confident that the E. coli originated on Mercer Island and is contained on Mercer Island,” he said. “In other words, it can’t get back to the rest of our system.”

How’s that happen? I guess that’s the question right now.

Mercer Island Farmers Market: Which Vendor is Your Favorite?

The Mercer Island Farmers Market is back! Has been for several weeks, in fact. Note to readers: if you’re following this blog for timely news, you shouldn’t be. I recommend The Mercer Island Reporter for news.

There are a lot of new vendors, including a yogurt stand. The yogurt is sweet. I couldn’t figure out if it was supposed to be lunch or dessert but I liked it.

The music is always my favorite. Last week Joe Ross had the kids going:
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And a couple of weeks ago, swamp soul was pretty good too.
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Other changes: there’s a guy who sells edible plants. We got some basil to round out our garden. This year they had crafts in June. There were some cool aprons and bird art. Crafts will come back for the Harvest Market, which has a nice enough selection that you can do a bit of Christmas shopping there.
Aprons and birds

Good returners are the pizza place, lots of the veggie places, and the Master Gardeners, who will patiently look at the cuts from your garden and tell you what they are. Once I saw them look at a cut and say to the presenter, Get out while you still can! Just kidding.

The organizers have done a great job of creating a community gathering place. There’s lunch, there’s ice cream, there’s music, and it’s right next to Mercerdale Park which offers a grassy field and playground. If you have little ones, the nearness of the firehouse and fire engines is an attraction too.

Who’s your favorite vendor at the market? Leave a note in the comments, we’ll do this the unscientific way.

Disturbing Plans for The Mercer Island Library

Thanks to commenter Barbara Halliday, who let me know about a project to renovate our library and the response by a group of concerned citizens. Before I get into any specifics, why don’t you judge for yourself. Here’s the Library today:

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And this is the Library tomorrow?

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Source: Presentation from public meeting on 1/7/2104. 

A few of the major differences:

  • The skylight is gone. Why would you ever take out a skylight?
  • There are many fewer books. Libraries serve many functions, but the serendipity of walking around and browsing books is an important one, especially for younger readers.
  • The Library may be closed for up to a year to complete the project.
  • The new design is marked by the loss of a feeling of warmth.

To that latter point, the response of the citizens’ group struck me: “The issue with furniture and finishes is not darker wood, but having a warm, and friendly home-like atmosphere, not a bright, very light atmosphere similar to airport terminals.”  

I moved here about 6 years ago now. I was– and am– pleased at what a comfortable and attractive library we have. It’s got great windows and nice spaces for sitting. It’s not the biggest library, but it’s got stacks of books, like a library should.

I agree with the citizens’ group that this overhaul is not only not necessary, it’s out of character and will leave us with a worse library. The group advocates that we meet current shortcomings, in particular Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, with a reconfiguration that stays in character with Mercer Island. It’s at least worth looking at.