Opinion

Idealism is alive in Federal Way | Andy Hobbs

I am pleased to report that idealism is alive in Federal Way.

In an ongoing series, The Mirror will highlight efforts that raise Federal Way’s quality of life. Be sure to read about Advancing Leadership Youth’s “One Day Federal Way” project in The Mirror — and mark your calendar. More than 150 volunteers will join the Feb. 22 effort to spruce up the grounds at three schools.

The 30 students in Advancing Leadership Youth have the right idea in promoting community pride. Consider the ripple effects when a few hundred people come together for a common cause. The more you put in, the more you get out. Volunteers only want to know that their efforts are appreciated.

However, the concept of an annual “One Day Federal Way” brims with potential for mass community involvement, much like the Mayor’s Month of Concern for the Hungry in the fall.

Community service is one facet in the quest to improve quality of life. Social gathering spots, both public and private, are also essential to the well being of residents.

Poverty Bay Coffee is one worthy example of a “third place,” a term to describe where local people meet regularly for social camaraderie outside of home (“first place”) and work (“second place”). The mom-and-pop coffee shop, located at 1108 S. 322nd Place, will expand by 1,500 square feet while adding a grill and food storage (completion date will be announced). There are plans to serve beer and wine as well as attract local musicians. Poverty Bay’s regular patrons will appreciate the investment in their favorite third place, and by raising its level of excellence, the coffee shop will strengthen its bond with these patrons. This stronger bond will attract more people who call Poverty Bay their third place.

With a little focus, the coffee shop’s investment will strengthen its status as a contagious social environment — and keep more money flowing through Federal Way. One coffee shop can’t do it alone, but the more positive ripples we make for Federal Way’s social well-being, the stronger the current will flow. It’s an idea worth repeating.

The idealistic forecast

The Federal Way Chamber’s 2011 economic forecast breakfast Jan. 25 delivered a similar message to 2010: The economy will improve later rather than sooner. A keen observation came from panelist Melanie Dressel, CEO of Columbia Bank: If the media reported three straight days of good economic news, “that would give us confidence” of economic recovery.

That’s true, but only if people read that good economic news in the first place.

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