In other items: Mercer Island bonfire tomorrow for Christmas ship; Bellevue council meetings to be accessed online; and art commissioned for new Redmond City Hall.

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A 50-year-old Bellevue man has been charged with stealing up to $500 in donations from the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Redmond.

Robert S. Gabrio was a veteran who had been working as a cook at the post for about a year, post officials said. According to prosecutors, on Dec. 13 Gabrio stole money that had been set aside to help homeless people, to buy teddy bears for troops’ kids, and to help the post’s honor guard, which participates in military funerals.

Gabrio was charged Friday in King County District Court in Redmond with third-degree theft, a misdemeanor. He faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Post officials checked a surveillance tape that they said showed Gabrio taking three containers full of cash while he worked alone, making lunch.

Mercer Island

Bonfire tomorrow for Christmas ship

A community bonfire will greet Argosy’s Spirit of Seattle Christmas ship when it visits Mercer Island tomorrow night.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department will provide the beach bonfire, hot beverages and refreshments from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Luther Burbank Park, 2040 84th Ave. S.E..

The songs of choirs aboard the ship will be broadcast from ship to shore. The ship is decorated with hundreds of white lights and holiday garland. Bonfire-goers are advised to pack a flashlight because lights will not be on in the park.

For more information, contact Nancy Woo at 206-236-3545.


Council meetings to be accessed online

Starting in early January, a new Web-streaming system will allow Bellevue residents to watch live City Council meetings and to access archived meetings over the Internet.

The on-demand access to a year’s worth of archived meetings is part of a city effort to make civic participation easier.

Viewers will be able to connect to documents online. They’ll be able to search for specific topics and go straight to the portion of a video dealing with the topic in which they are interested.

For more information, look on the city’s home page,, in January.


Art commissioned for new City Hall

The city has commissioned two public-art projects for its new City Hall and parking garage, now under construction.

Ed Carpenter, of Portland, has been commissioned to create a glass sculpture for the City Hall entrance. The budget is $165,000, said Renee Tanner, spokeswoman with 4Culture, art-management consultants for the two projects.

The second work will be done by Blue McRight and Warren Wagner, of Los Angeles. The artistic team will design a large, textured relief for the east facade of the new four-level parking garage. The art budget is $80,000, Tanner said.

Construction of the City Hall and parking garage is expected to be finished in late 2005.

Seattle Times Eastside bureau