Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Aug. 11, 2007

City needs a curfew

After reading about the question of safety in the parks here in Federal Way (Aug. 8), I was wondering why there has not been the question of a curfew for those under 18.

It seems, for some reason, parents have been fighting against a curfew for their children. After reading about the young 14-year-old running away after tagging a wall, at 4 a.m., I was wondering where his parents were and if they knew where their son was.

Why is the Federal Way City Council afraid to impose this law? Are they afraid they won’t get the votes from the parents the next time around, when they run for re-election?

A curfew may not answer all the problems, but if we all take a look at the boys and girls out after a certain hour, during school, weekends, etc., for no other reason than just hanging out, then that can and will cause concern for everybody. By the way, I thought all state, county and city parks closed at 10 p.m.

It also appears that we have more youngsters coming into Federal Way parks from other nearby cities who don’t belong here unless they have a very good reason, like a job, staying with a parent, going to a school function, grandparents, etc. Why are there so many children out of control? All discipline starts from within the home, so where are the parents of those who are dirtying up our parks and making them unsafe?

Where are the parents of the children that are running the streets at all hours of the night, and early morning?

Pat Gee, Federal Way

Ready for some condos

I ran into city council member Linda Kochmar at the Kiwanis meeting last week, and it came as no surprise to her when I said I was ready to sign up to buy one of the soon to be built (I wish!) downtown Federal Way condos.

I told her my first choice would be a unit on the 10th or 12th floor, facing south so we could enjoy a nice view of Mt. Rainier. I told her we are looking forward to leaving our cars in the garage when we go out for dinner or visit Starbucks for a latte while we window shop or take in a movie.

Think about it! A trip to the airport or to downtown Seattle will mean a quick trip on the light rail system. Now don’t laugh, this all may happen!

Art Hagberg, Federal Way

Annexation is the right call

I live just east of I-5, in the area proposed for annexation to the City of Federal Way.

There is opposition to this “east side” annexation, just as there was opposition to incorporating the City of Federal Way in the first place 15 years ago. Maybe the same folks...

Think of green fir forests and green pastures being replaced by 500-unit apartment complexes. Think of cows, peacefully munching grass while fertilizing salmon streams, being replaced by SUVs and monster pickups, not-so-peacefully inching along at rush hour while adding sound and other rich content to our breezes.

Then stop and think: Is far-away county government, which is well suited to govern bucolic cows and greenery, still the best way to govern dense suburban apartment complexes and heavy commuter traffic?

The anti-annexation folks are in denial. This suburbanization process is going to happen anyway. Our east side is surrounded on all sides by built-up suburban areas. Keeping us governed as part of rural King County won’t stop our exploding suburban growth, or even slow it down. It will merely ensure that decisions affecting our east side will be made by folks 25 miles away in Seattle and Bellevue, who think of Federal Way (including our unincorporated east side) as a soulless widening of the road, if they’ve even heard of it or know where it is. This remote-absentee management is how our local street grid got so terminally screwed up originally.

Do the math. The population of our east side is usually reckoned at about 20,000, and may be more than that by now. As residents of rural King County, we’re a drop in the bucket.

As almost 20 percent of the population of an expanded City of Federal Way with maybe 110,000 residents, we’re a swing voting block whose wishes any sane city politician must reckon with. If you want your voice heard and listened to, by the folks with the power to affect your neighborhood and your way of life, vote for annexation.

Federal Way hasn’t been perfect, of course. I can count four arterial streets that have sprouted speed bumps, and the new megachurch is a traffic disaster about to happen, and I recall that a few years back some Federal Way regulators got a little bit overzealous about business signs.

But local control has been improving the area’s traffic pattern, and more parks are being acquired and developed, and some actual urban planning is going on instead of the random sprawl that King County’s absentee management was enabling before Federal Way cityhood came about.

And we’re getting good new folks moving in, like World Vision, which is located in an already annexed small sliver of our east side.

If you live on the east side, and you want balanced development, rational traffic engineering and accessible close-by government, vote for annexation on Tuesday, Aug. 21.

Chuck Hastings, Federal Way

Vote no on annexation

In response to the Aug. 8 article “Annexation vote awaits its fate:”

My vote for annexation is no. I urge all residents in the proposed annexation area to also vote no.

The only real benefit to this annexation is to the City of Federal Way. It is all about money, money and more money. There are no additional benefits for the proposed annexation area. The City of Federal Way is proposing more “police presence,” stating there will be 29 additional police officers added and that approximately six to eight officers will be patrolling the proposed annexation area.

I have a hard time believing that the police department will even be able to actually hire that many police officers, especially since reading other news articles about how other police departments are having a hard time recruiting, even the Seattle Police Department.

So how successful do you think Federal Way will be? I only see more money coming out of our pocket to help the City of Federal Way deal with all the crime that is happening on the west side of the freeway. Don’t be fooled by their crime statistics. Just look in the newspaper every single day and see the crime that is happening there.

Your local services will not change. The school district, fire department and garbage collection will remain the same. So then why in the world would you want to be annexed to the City of Federal Way? Your taxes will increase and you will have to pay a utility tax on top of that.

Keep in mind, the City of Federal Way will be receiving additional funding from the state for 10 years. What do you think will happen when the 10 years has come and gone? The City of Federal Way will increase all taxes to make up for that lost money.

I urge all residents in the proposed annexation area to vote no on annexation.

Carole Rusimovic, Auburn

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