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Letters to the editor: July 28, 2007
Little stop of horrors
This letter is in response to the July 25 front page article written by Jacinda Howard, "Residents want help with bus stop of horrors."
I am writing with a few more details about our plight.
I am the neighborhood "representative" fighting for the new bus stop. Thank you, Jacinda, for such a fine article. Since the article came out many other residents have come forward with concerns.
Our problem is deeper than just the "gang wanna-bes." I have learned of home break-ins, drug use, a child abduction attempt and stolen property on our small street. One neighbor had his homeowner's insurance canceled due to four break-ins in the past year.
But back to the hopeful bus change we are looking for. Cindy Wendland of the Federal Way Public Schools Transportation Department is working to move the bus stop from in front of our homes. She said that it will "require a commitment on the sides of the students and their parents."
Oh, how we agree! But only if it were that easy. If only there were a way to gather the parents of the "graffiti artists."
Also, I have to make clear why we are asking for the move. Only one house has visibility of the students at the stop, and in many cases even this doesn't have full view and/or the resident isn't always home to watch over ther kids (and none of us have children utilizing the stop). Our original suggestion to Ms. Wendland was to move the stop to a locale where parents who do have children riding the bus can personally watch. Plus, the odds are that these vandals will not do damage to a friend's property.
There have been a couple of parents who now bring their children to the stop via car, but never have said anything about witnessing damage. This could simply be because the huge number of kids block the view of the graffiti writers or because of the fact that it is still very dark during the winter mornings.
We are in the early stages of organizing a meeting between the neighborhood and Stacy Flores of the Federal Way Police Department. To our Federal Way friends throughout the city, I highly suggest that if you are having similar problems, call the police immediately when you see anything minutely suspicious. The police truly want to help us. Get to know and communicate with your neighbors and pressure your City Council to enact a curfew. There is no reason for any child to be on the streets past midnight.
We, all, have worked too long and hard for what we have, only to see these vandals destroy it. It's time to unite and make a stand to take our streets back!
Gary Schwark, Tacoma (Madrona Trails neighborhood representative)
Front page was sinful
The July 25 paper had a horrible cover on it with all those pictures of gay people who think they are couples, which they are not.
I do not think you should have had such a big article and then those pictures. You shouldn't contribute to such sinfulness with an article on the front page of the paper. Articles like these should not be put on the front page or printed at all.
Caroline Norris, Federal Way
Rights for domestic partners
In response to "State's new partner law is a small step" (July 25):
Why would domestic partnership not include a male and female who don't desire to be married, have a child together, have been living in the same home for over 15 years?
She does not have her own medical benefits because she works part time in order to be available for their daughter after school.
They are domestic partners. Where are their rights regarding employer-provided benefits?
Cynthia Moore, Federal Way
Roegner's crystal ball
Even though I don't know the man and have had exactly one conversation in my life with him, I love Bob Roegner.
He always manages to make politics sound so interesting and exciting, no matter what the reality is behind it.
Before I ever even considered running for Federal Way City Council, Bob Roegner reported in The Mirror that I was considering doing so. I had a good chuckle about the idea of Bob having a crystal ball somewhere and knowing my future before I did.
Then when I decided not to run, Bob called me. He was really, really interested in my reasons for not running and he told me that if I didn't disclose these reasons, people would continue to speculate.
Trust me, the rumor mill was rampant with reasons why I chose not to run. I was rather disappointed that after a half-hour on the phone, Bob chose to make it all sound so suspicious in his next article.
It was nothing of the sort. I told Bob the same story that I have told everyone else that several other opportunities were presented to me, and in the end, I felt that I could make more of a positive impact for this community pursuing these other avenues.
And then there was my endorsement of City Council position seven candidate Eric Stavney.
One of the wonderful aspects of politics is that people like Bob get to surmise, speculate and second-guess the intentions and motivations of others. I endorsed Eric because I agree with his position that the Federal Way City Council should be more involved with creating partnerships with our school district and I agree with his vision for our community. I like Eric as a person and I believe that his personality will work well with other current council members.
Why would MY future political aspirations have anything to do with WHO I endorse? I simply endorsed the best person for the job. There was no long- or short-term self-serving political strategy in my endorsement.
Please, Bob, while I appreciate you making me sound so calculating and thoughtful, there was never any such intention on my part. But while you have your crystal ball out, can you please tell me whether I passed the Washington State Bar Exam?
Renee Maher, Federal Way
Thoughts on downtown Federal Way
I have never been so proud of a person on the Federal Way City Council as I was July 17 when, once again, Deputy Mayor Jim Ferrell was out front and firm in his efforts to represent the people you, me, us and not the special interests rife in Federal Way politics, sometimes known as the entrenched council majority who, with their tight grip on our throats, I fear, plan on leaving only by way of the medical examiner's wagon.
Concerning the proposed development in our core area, Ferrell pointed out what they were voting on was not true to the vision these efforts were to produce and was supported in his view by two very thoughtful council members, Jack Dovey and Dean McColgan.
Remember this at election times. Mr. Dovey is running right now. Keep him!
Conversely, there was the unseemly speed with which council member Eric Faison pushed his agenda literally, making a motion to proceed when the discussion phase of the meeting had only just opened and had to be stopped by an embarrassing point of order. His eagerness is worrisome as he has also been involved in a Tacoma project that has had problems for years just getting off the ground.
Primarily, we do not want apartments in our core area, and having them is putting the Bellevue-wannabe syndrome cart before the horse because, with a 51 percent business loss in the core area, where do they shop?
It's mainly lifestyle retail, office space and condominiums we want first. And, don't forget, we're all going to be paying their school, fire, police, library, etc., taxes for 10 years; the bye given the builder as an enticement.
On July 15, the Tacoma News Tribune printed an article on the planned growth in Federal Way, in particular, these two proposals we have for up to four buildings, up to 22 stories, with retail, office, condos and apartments at the old AMC Theater site.
I found it most interesting the reporter of the article chose to interview a "former" council person, Mary Gates, who was unelected several years ago primarily for various universally unwanted plans she endlessly pushed for our downtown development.
Years ago (I've been in my home 49 years) when we incorporated, it was to get control of the proliferation of apartments to the exclusion of all else. We were becoming nothing more than a bedroom community for Tacoma and Seattle. Now we're to put more downtown? How convoluted.
Ms. Gates says it was never about apartments; it was because they had no transportation to and from them. That's odd. They were all full and the occupants, seemingly, got to and from all the places they needed to go.
I'm all for the proposed development, just not for rental apartments downtown, and we still have time to negotiate, so make your views known.
They will be future slum areas whose rent will probably be lowered in a desperate effort to keep them rented and will need large areas around them for the endless number of grocery carts that I guarantee you will always be there.
Ah, we can call the new buildings The Constant Cart Towers; now there's a spiffy name!
Clara McArthur, Federal Way
Support for fire levy
Once again our fire district, South King Fire and Rescue, has a Levy Lid Lift measure on the ballot in this years primary election.
As this years election on Aug. 21 is a month early, it is important that voters are informed of the changes.
For the past six years, we have voted overwhelmingly "yes" to maintain the current levy rate to support our firefighters, and I urge my fellow voters to do so again. As before, Proposition One allows the district to maintain the current levy rate of up to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. By voting yes, we are voting to maintain the current fire and emergency medical services so important to our community.
To hold the election every year is very expensive to taxpayers, and it continues to climb. King County charged our fire district over $200,000 just to have the measure on the ballot last year.
Because of legislation passed in Olympia this year, fire districts are now allowed to have six-year levies. This has a potential savings to us of more than $1 million over the next six years.
Just think these dollars could be better spent on things like new fire trucks, aid cars and more firefighters.
It is important to understand that your taxes will not increase during the six years. As before, this election is just to maintain the current levels.
Once again, I urge our district citizens to get to the polls on Aug. 21 and support our firefighters and vote yes for Proposition One.
Wayne Corey, Enhanced Public Safety Committee, Des Moines