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Politics and the ice bucket challenge | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way
Q: Mr. Federal Way, I am outraged that there is a glaring endorsement of Shari Song on the front cover of the Mirror’s Back to School section in the Aug. 15 print edition. If the Mirror is going to fairly cover the 30th Legislative District race, then don’t publish one-sided information and be sure to include both candidates the next time.
A: Actually, Mr. Federal Way feels compelled to let you know it was an advertisement and insist you look up the difference between an advertisement and an endorsement. In case you don’t bother with a simple Google search, an advertisement is paid for and reserved ahead of time, while an endorsement is freely given through an editorial board vote. An editorial column is then published, explaining why the Mirror’s editorial board chose that candidate to endorse. Endorsements won’t happen until October.
Shari Song paid extra for prime position on the Back to School section cover and was the first to do so. Also, according to the sales team at the Federal Way Mirror, word around the office is that Mark Miloscia was, in fact, one of the last ones to purchase advertising in the Back to School section.
If you have a problem with fairness, please write a letter to Miloscia explaining why it’s important to purchase advertising as soon as possible in your local newspaper.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, the Mirror recently included a very nice article about the blueberry farm in Auburn, near Federal Way. Why is the Blueberry Park on 356th Street in Federal Way not maintained?
A: Assuming you’re speaking of the Hylebos Blueberry Farm located at 630 SW 356th St., Mr. Federal Way heard from Parks Deputy Director Steve Ikerd that the city doesn’t have the staff or resources to maintain the blueberry plantings.
“We mow the grass around the large plantings as we can fit it in but maintenance of the plants and rows has been performed by volunteers and groups,” Ikerd wrote in an email. “We haven’t had many volunteers lately, [which] is why it is overgrown more than previous years.”
Ikerd said while there are a few special interest groups who have tried to adopt the five-acre farm, it hasn’t worked out.
The Parks Maintenance and Operations crews also have 30 other parks and two major trails to maintain — 543 developed acres and 551 open space acres. According to the city’s website, the maintenance division is also responsible for City Hall, Steel Lake Annex, Steel Lake Maintenance Facility building and grounds, the Dumas Bay Centre and the Kuntzen Family Theatre.
Talk about a full plate.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, what’s so difficult about dumping an ice bucket over your head? Enough already with these ice bucket challenges.
A: The ice bucket challenge you are referring to is the most recent trend on the Internet but it’s meant for a good cause. The idea is the videos of people getting ice water dumped on their head will become viral with the goal of raising awareness of ALS or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and can lead to death.
At first, Mr. Federal Way thought people dumping water over their heads during a drought to avoid donating to the cause (the undertaking of the challenge) and then calling out others to do the same was really, really stupid.
But Mr. Federal Way has since had a change of heart. It’s because the ALS Association started reporting a surge of donations after celebrities such as Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Adam Sandler, Iggy Azalea, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Kerry Washington, to name just a few, joined the bandwagon.
On Wednesday, the association reportedly had $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year, sans ice bucket challenge. Additionally, there’s 637,527 new donors to the association.
Mr. Federal Way thinks that’s well worth enduring silly Facebook, Instagram and Twitter videos of people suddenly getting dumped with ice cold water for a few more weeks this summer.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, did you do the ice bucket challenge?
A: None of your business.