Cheers and jeers: Federal Way's online future | Editorial

Cheers to Federal Way's future on the Internet. The city's website is headed toward an overdue makeover after spokeswoman Linda Farmer won a contest with CivicPlus Next Generation Government Websites. Federal Way's revamped website is expected to launch in the fall. The current website's ancient format has not been updated in more than seven years, Farmer said. This victory means everything for Federal Way's first impression with the world. For citizens, it will mean more online interactivity and better communication. For our maturing city, it means more modern and efficient methods to serve citizens. Communication is a bridge to trust, or at least a bridge across a gap. Any effort by the city to improve communication with the public is an effort well spent.

Jeers to a June 21 article in USA Today titled "Teen driving risks in high gear in summer: Safety programs aimed at deterring behavior linked to more fatalities for ages 15-20." The article itself provides a short but informative glimpse at crash statistics involving young drivers. However, in USA Today's print edition, the article is inaccurately paired with a photo of the memorial outside Decatur High School that honors Derek King and Nicholas Hodgins. These two students were killed by a suspected drunken driver on Interstate 5 just three days before graduation.

Pairing the photo with the story implies that these young drivers died as a result of their own risk-taking behavior. To clarify: The students died after a 50-year-old man with two prior DUI arrests, and a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 at the scene, crashed into their stalled Honda Civic on the freeway.

Amid the tragedy, The Mirror urges Washington state legislators to re-examine the penalties for multiple DUI arrests and make it tougher for repeat offenders to get behind the wheel.

In the bigger picture, the USA Today article still delivers a message of safety related to young drivers. And while young drivers tend to take more risks, the rules of safe driving apply to all ages.

Cheers to a promising business climate in Federal Way. The recently launched South Sound Regional Business Incubator, which is designed to assist start-ups and companies looking to expand. Financial management tools, business planning, Internet access, marketing advice, access to capital, business training programs, mentoring and more are available to participants. Also, cheers to The Commons mall for attracting new tenants even in this struggling economy.

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