Letters to the Editor

Dog found hanging out a car window

Returning to our car after enjoying a local farmers market, we saw a horrifying sight: A dog, hanging by its neck out the open window of a nearby parked car.

We raced over to it, to see that it was still alive, although only moving feebly; the amount of spittle and scratched door paint told that it had been struggling for a while.

The dog’s owners, probably thinking they were doing a good thing by not locking their pet in a hot car, had rolled the windows down for the dog, and secured the dog in the car by wrapping its leash around the gear shift. The dog must have decided that being outside the car would be even better, and jumped out the window — only to be brought up short by its leash.

This story had a happy ending: We were able to disentangle the dog before it was too late, and that dog is still alive. But please, people, think about what you’re doing with your pets. If the day is warm, and the car is too hot, just tying a pet in the car with rolled-down windows can be just as dangerous! When in doubt, leave pets at home.

Kat Wamba,

Federal Way

Arts center will help our city prosper

As a concerned citizen and a supporter of the arts, I would like to share some thoughts regarding a proposed performing arts and conference center for the City of Federal Way.

I believe most of us appreciate the benefits of the arts, their beauty and vision; how they inspire, soothe, provoke and connect us. However, when it comes time to make tough funding decisions, elected officials and business leaders need to have strong and credible data that demonstrates the economic benefits of a vibrant non-profit arts and cultural center.

According to a recent study titled “Arts and Economic Prosperity III,” investment in the arts produces additional jobs, economic growth and quality of life that positions communities to compete in our 21st century creative economy. “Arts and cultural organizations — businesses in their own right — leverage additional event-related spending by their audiences that pump vital revenue into local restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other local businesses. A typical arts attendee will spend $27.79 per event in addition to the cost of admission. And when a city attracts cultural tourists, it garners even greater economic rewards. Non-local audiences spend twice as much as their local counterparts. Arts and culture are magnets for tourists.”

So, not only will we as a community enjoy wonderful arts and cultural events, our business community will thrive.

One only needs to look to our neighbors to the south to see the gigantic impact the arts have made on the City of Tacoma and its economic revitalization. Across America, cities that once struggled economically are reinventing and rebuilding themselves by investing in the arts and culture.

It is now our time to stimulate and develop a vital community that supports the arts. With a new performing arts and conference center, we will create a catalyst for learning, discovery and achievements within our community and our children will benefit from a diverse cultural experience in the arts. An adjoining conference center with ballroom and meeting space would complement the performing arts center and leverage future hotels. A multi-use space could be used for special programs, community meetings, private functions, an artist’s gallery and exhibition hall.

The new arts facility will bring inspiration and enjoyment to residents, beautify shared public spaces, strengthen our city economically and enrich our quality of life. Local performing groups deserve to have a theater that will enhance their artistic abilities, and citizens and tourists deserve to have a professional production in an appropriate venue.

Please express your support to the Federal Way City Council and help promote the arts in our community. Thank you.

Peggy LaPorte,

Federal Way

Angels are still illegal immigrants

I started to read the May 3 front page story “Community angels help heal immigrants in crisis,” expecting to learn about people who have immigrated to the United States and their struggles.

However, it was soon apparent that was not the story. Your headline was misleading. It should have been written “illegal immigrants” — why are you so afraid to tell the truth? While I applaud the “angels” for volunteering their time, money, etc., I condone them for enabling a behavior that is in fact illegal.

The woman Aileen Charleston wrote about, Oddie, stated: “It hurt a lot deep inside because we felt like we weren’t doing anything wrong.” Oddie, I must say, you knew exactly what you were doing was wrong when you illegally crossed the border into our country, obtained false documents to be employed here, and went to work for UPS. I’m sure UPS doesn’t hire people without proper documentation; if they do, they should be fined and held accountable.

While I have sympathy for the plight of people in other countries that are not as fortunate as we are, at the same time, I have no sympathy for someone who comes here illegally expecting to be treated like a United States citizen. As a citizen, I’m tired of hearing that illegal immigrants are “doing jobs Americans won’t do.” The truth is, the employers are exploiting these people by paying substandard wages that only someone who is as desperate as Oddie will work for.

It’s time our leaders recognize this and penalize the employers that are exploiting these people. Employers would be forced to pay a wage that is commensurate for the work, and “Americans” will take the jobs. I don’t believe construction jobs are ones that Americans are unwilling to work, yet a recent study found that 26 percent of construction workers are illegal immigrants.

So sorry, Federal Way Mirror, you’ll have to write a different story to keep me reading next time.

D. Wood,

Federal Way

Governor and road congestion

Nothing makes Washington drivers more upset than sitting on the freeways filled with potholes and hundreds of cars all around us.

Gov. Christine Gregoire has affected no transportation plan, presides over one of the highest gas taxes in the country, and proposes putting tolls on new roads that will be built. Why do we have these problems? Because of the governor’s $2.4 billion deficit.

It’s time for a change. Dino Rossi has indicated that he wants to use less than half of the tax from new and used vehicles to fund transportation, and will dedicate $15 billion to address our state’s more pressing transportation needs, including the 520 bridge, our ferry system and fixing our roads. Rather than ducking the issue, Dino has a plan.

When Dino Rossi was a leader in the Legislature, he managed to get a balanced budget passed. In 2003, his leadership fixed our budget deficit while protecting education, health care and services to the most vulnerable among us.

The next time you are sitting on congested highways, you can thank our governor for huge deficits and no plan to fix the problems for four years, or you can decide to help elect Dino Rossi as the next governor or our state.

Scott Jablon,

Federal Way

Don’t turn arts center into a burden

Dear Federal Way council members and city manager,

As per the city’s commissioned Johnson advisory group’s conclusion, there is insufficient public support to warrant this proposed grand facility.

Unlike public safety, arts facilities are never a priority except to the special interest groups that initiate that pursuit — in this case, the arts coalition.

Prudent conditions for acceptance of the state art contribution should be required and demonstrated of the benefactors/users(the arts groups) to ensure that the city/taxpayers won’t be saddled with further expense (e.g., dedicated matching funds, plus a $1 million performance bond to ensure the art group’s future responsibility for ongoing operation and maintenance costs).

If the arts coalition can provide the financial commitment, let them accept the state contribution and encourage use of property offered by the Federal Way School District to build another arts venue.

City taxpayers must not be saddled with yet another theater burden. FWPAC is well organized, capable of duping our legislators — they can lure investors as well.

This is a poor investment for us, the taxpayers. Leave it to the private sector to speculate.

We deserve the convenience and competitive marketing provided with revenue-generating use of the downtown real estate, not a budget drain that’s desired by only a small segment of the area residents — the talent groups that wish prominent siting for their use.

Real local priorities are:

• A jail facility. Even the little city of Fife has its own jail, and their performance theater is in a junior high school.

• Public transportation to city destinations currently unserved, i.e. to community center, Dumas Bay Center, etc.

I’d prefer to testify in person on this and other city issues, but public transportation to City Hall, especially at night, is a huge deterrent (lacking).

Let the theater people find private investors and sponsors to finance their venues that don’t obligate the city to another huge budget drain, nor deny the downtown area the vibrant retail core we were promised, that conversely would enhance our budget with needed revenue for essential priority projects.

Marie Adair,

Federal Way

Question on kindergarten

Regarding the Federal Way School District:

A recent decision has been made to no longer allow job sharing for the all-day kindergarten programs.

My question is why? My son is currently enrolled in an all-day kindergarten class that is team taught by two wonderful teachers. I have only seen benefits to this and would like to know why they have focused their time and energies on this?

Julie Jenkins,

Federal Way

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