MI Weekly

    A weekly update from the City of Mercer Island

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(For event details, visit the City's online calendar or click on a specific event)

Mar 27

Apr 3

Apr 5

Apr 6

Debbie Bertlin

Volunteer Opportunities 

9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040



Monday - Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm

Donations Requested 

The Mercer Island Food Pantry relies on your non-perishable food donations to keep the shelves stocked year-round.
Click for more info.
Mar 27, 2019 | Vol. 14 | No. 13
Womens_HistoryWomen's History Month: Boards and Commissions
Women Board and Commission Members (clockwise from top left): Arts Council; Design Commission; Open Space Conservancy Trust; Planning Commission. Not pictured: Carol Lynn Berseth, Mary Grady, Linda Jackman, Jennifer Mechem, Marci Nemhauser, and Hui Tian
This week we conclude our Women's History Month series by highlighting the women who help lead our Boards and Commissions by generously donating time from their busy lives to serve on the Arts Council, Planning Commission, and more...
The Arts Council was established almost 35 years ago; it's nine members help nurture, promote, and support art in the Community and include seven women: Amy Barnes, Candace Chuck, Jessica Prince, Xixi Shakes, Rene Stratton, Gaylene Vaden, and Erin Vivion. These women are software engineers, attorneys, marketing professionals, and classical ballet dancers. Amy enjoys helping animal rescue organizations, and a host of other hobbies. Candace grew up on Mercer Island and does pro-bono work through the Moderate Means Program and the Law Library of Congress in her spare time. Jessica serves on the Mercer Island Farmers Market Board of Directors. Xixiwas born and raised in Beijing, China, moved here in 2002, and is an active volunteer for her children's schools and community organizations and the YFS Foundation. Rene has a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois Chicago and a BS in Mathematics from Michigan State University. Gaylene is an advocate for arts organizations and has help raised funds and awareness for area arts and education institutions. Erin retired from classical ballet to become a lawyer, focusing her practice in trademark and copyright law.
The Design Commission is a seven-member advisory board to the City Council with regulatory power on matters related to community design; it includes three women: Claire McPherson, Hui Tian , and Suzanne Zahr. Claire, born and raised in the Puget Sound area, moved to Mercer Island with her husband in 2014. Hui is a licensed architect in Washington State and BC and has been practicing architecture for 12 years. Suzanne was responsible for reinstating Mercer Island's First Thursday Art and Wine events.
Mercer Island's Open Space Conservancy Trust exists for the purpose of managing the City's open space properties, and has three women members: Carol Lynn Berseth , Marie Bender, and Geraldine Poor. Carol Lynn spent the majority of her career as a neonatologist at the Mayo Clinic and Texas Children's Hospital. Marie, a graduate of Georgetown Law Center, has worked for the Federal Trade Commission, in financial public relations, and practiced law in the financial services area. Geraldine is the Regional Transportation Director for the Port of Seattle, where she leads its Regional Transportation program and has volunteered for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Children's Hospital.
The Planning Commission has served as an advisory board to the City Council since 1960 and includes four women: Tiffin Goodman (Vice-Chair), Carolyn Boatsman, Jennifer Mechem, and Lucia Pirzio-Biroli. Tiffin is an independent contractor working as an Urban Planning Consultant. After receiving her Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning, she joined City of Auburn as their long-range transportation planner. Carolyn is a Mercer Island resident of 32 years who worked for the Seattle-King County Department of Public  Health, focusing on public drinking water supplies and groundwater management and protection. Jennifer served as a member of the Town Center Development Code Revision Stakeholder Group. Lucia is a licensed architect, who, along with her husband, generously donated their talents to the City by designing the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) retrofit at City Hall.
The Utility Board focuses on City-operated utilities and consists of seven volunteer citizens and one woman: Mary Grady. She is a journalist who has covered a wide range of topics including public policy, education, and science, education. Mary is the recipient of six General Excellence awards from the Washington State Newspaper Publishers Association while editor of the Mercer Island Reporter, as well as more than two dozen individual awards.
Finally, there are two lesser-known boards, with one woman member each: the Civil Service Commission (Marci Nemhauser), and the Disability Board (Linda Jackman).
The City is very grateful for all of the talented and dedicated women who volunteer their time. This concludes our four week focus; w e hope you enjoyed the information and learned more about your community!
Mercer Island Goes Green
RecycleSpring Recycling Event This Saturday
Click to view the event flyer 
and items accepted
A quick reminder that the City's annual Spring Recycling Event is this weekend, on Saturday, March 30, from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the South Luther Burbank Parking Lot.  

All residents are invited to safely dispose of the old equipment, electronics, appliances, and other household items that are cluttering their basement or garage. There will once again be a limited supply of highly discounted rain barrels (just $25), as well as document shredding. Please also bring a non-perishable food or cash donation for the City's Food Pantry.

For more event information about these events, visit this webpage, or download the Spring 2019 Event Flyer. Call (206) 275-7608 with questions.
VOICE_SVPRegister Now for Summer Youth Community Service Programs
Click to learn more about 2019 
youth  volunteer opportunities
The City's   Youth and Family Services Department (MIYFS) offers two popular summer volunteer opportunities for Mercer Island students in Grade 6 and above.  The middle school  Summer Volunteer Program (SVP) is open to current 6th and 7th grade students, and the  Volunteer Outreach in Communities Everywhere (VOICE) program is open to current 8th through 11th grade students. 
Both programs provide students the opportunity to raise their social awareness by working directly with populations in need around the greater Seattle area, while volunteering alongside their peers. The  SVP and VOICE projects available are plentiful and diverse, providing a chance to: cook a meal at a homeless shelter, tutor a child in need, participate in recreational activities with people living with disabilities, build a hiking trail in Snoqualmie, and many other options.
Each program runs from June 24 to August 16, and registration closes on  Friday, April 26 at 5:00pm.   More information and online registration available here .  Contact  Brittany Aguilar, Youth Development Program Coordinator at MIYFS, or call (206) 275-7743  
BeachGroveland Beach Construction Update
An excavator at Groveland Beach working on finishing touches; click to learn more
A long-awaited update on Groveland Beach: it will be open again to the public on Saturday, May 25.  Contractors have finished their work and the City's Parks Maintenance staff are now putting in the finishing touches so that it's ready for summer beach fun...

The restored park has a new wave attenuator and buoys beyond the large pier, structural repairs to the large pier, renovated shoreline north of the concrete bulkhead (including new steps for hand-carry boat access), new native landscape plantings, and salmon spawning gravels in shallow water.  See you there! Note in the summer of 2019, no City beaches will have lifeguards, due to budget cuts.


For questions and comments on the MI Weekly, contact
Sustainability & Communications Manager Ross Freeman at

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.