City Declares Emergency Curfew To Protect Former Recycling Center

File photo of the former recycling center, the "crown jewel" of downtown Mercer Island.

Mercer Island city officials confirmed yesterday that this week’s nightly curfew was instituted primarily to protect the city’s former recycling center from threats of vandalism by local and off-Island agitators.

“During these unprecedented and uncertain times, it is our solemn responsibility to safeguard the people and property of Mercer Island,” said Mercer Island Police Department spokesperson Joe Viernes. “And if there’s one thing we’ve heard consistently over the years from Island citizens, it’s that no community space is more treasured than that old recycling building.”

The recycling center, which is located in the northwest corner of Mercerdale Park, has been referred to by local supporters as Mercer Island’s “crown jewel” and was nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2015.

The imposition of the nightly curfew has generated a variety of reactions from Island residents, as represented by these quotes collected by The Distorter:

  • “What’s the point of an 8 PM curfew? Nobody’s ever out that late here, anyway.”
  • “Can we get the rioters to destroy the light rail station? Because I’d be all for that.”
  • “What we really need here is a curfew on Nextdoor.”
  • “I’m paying no attention to the protests. Like most Islanders, the whole reason I moved here is so I’d never have to concern myself with anything that doesn’t directly affect me.”

Still, the prevailing sentiment on the Island is strongly in favor of these emergency measures.

“I’m so relieved that the civil authorities are stepping in to protect the recycling building,” said local concerned citizen C. Ken Little. “If we let down our guard, even for one night, someone might turn it into an arts center.”