Letters to the Editor

Equality in marriage | Federal Way letters to the editor, Nov. 26

Civil rights and equality in marriage

I’m 47 years old. The civil rights movement of the 1960s was as familiar to me as the Flintstones and Barbie.

I watched as women and minorities stood up and said “We are equal and demand equality.”

While I am proud to be able to share the excitement of the civil rights movement with my teenage daughter as we march side by side for the equal rights of same-sex couples to marry, I am dismayed that the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) community has been marginalized for so long. I stand by this community as it too stands up to say “We are equal and demand equality.”

Each of us deserves to be treated fairly and have the same chance to realize our hopes and dreams. As important as the progress on domestic partnerships has been, they don’t provide the same security as marriage, and are used as a way to exclude people from marriage and treat people as second-class citizens.

Even if we disagree on marriage, that doesn’t mean it should be illegal. It is not for us to judge other people.

Deborah Skorstad

Seattle

Not afraid to be called homophobic

I would like to know why people are afraid to say they are against same-sex marriages.

Is it because they are afraid to be referred to as “homophobics?” Personally, they can call me anything they like, but it still will not change the way I feel about same-sex marriages. They can change gay to mean a man who prefers to be with another man, instead of what Webster says it is. Call it what you want, but same-sex marriage in the State of Washington is still illegal.

If you doubt me, look up our state constitution and see what it says about marriages. It makes reference that marriage is between a man and a woman. To those seeking same-sex marriages, then first of all, they have to change our constitution. I don’t know what it says about marriages in the California state constitution.

I am getting sick and tired of people who want to live in same-sex partnerships. Do what you want, but don’t keep shoving it down my throat, to believe the way you want to live. I don’t buy it and never will.

Stop trying to change the minds of others, especially politicians, by screaming and yelling at those who oppose your way of life.

Pat Gee

Federal Way

City Center project causes headaches

The City Center Access Project has destroyed our plans.

We have put a lot of money and time to develop our home and short platting the lot next to us. Our plans of selling our house next year and having the option of building a more affordable retirement home on the lot next to us have been shattered.

The City of Federal Way is planning to take our home and property for the planed interchange and bridge over Interstate 5 at South 312th Street. The problem: We just found out about it at the City Center Access Project open house two weeks ago. And to top it off, they will not buy our home for four to seven years. So we are stuck. We cannot sell or move.

We also found out that even if the city does not select the Preferred Alternative 1 North Interchange at South 312th Street, the bridge over I-5 will be built anyway. So now our plans to sell cannot happen because no one would want to buy, with the discloser laws, a house or land that is going to be taken by the city.

We live on the east side of I-5 on South 312th Street. We are one of seven homes that will be taken by the City of Federal Way because of the new over-designed and very expensive revised South 312th Street plan that will now be over 30 feet above our house and a new bridge over 32nd Avenue South. The height of the new road plan would make access to or from our homes impossible. We always knew the road and traffic were coming some day, but thought it would be at the existing road levels.

All through the public input process, open houses and briefings during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this project, over the past five-plus years, this is the first time that we were told that our property would be taken because of the new revised plan. The people impacted the most by this recent design change cannot go back and give input over the past five years of the public process.

The City Center Access Project should start over because we, the King County property owners, have not been afforded an opportunity to review input or provide feedback in the form of issues, concerns and priorities — or comment on the effect and impacts to our neighborhood to satisfy the public notice and comment period requirements.

This new revised plan from the City of Federal Way affecting us over here in King County should not be forced upon us without any consideration for the devastating effect. This big change to the design near the end of the public review process is unfair. We cannot vote to change the city council because we are not in the city limits.

We cannot go back to 2005 and become a stakeholder or be involved in the community participation and public review process.

Just because we do not live in the city limits, please do not just trap us here for four to seven years or more, not able to sell or move.

Sincerely in limbo,

Gary Anderson

Auburn

The destiny of city center Access Project

After the total waste of time we experienced at City Hall for the 312th Street City Center Access Project meeting, I decided not to go dance like a puppet on city strings at The Commons mall meeting.

Remember how, no matter what was asked of the meeting leader, Ms. Maryanne Zukowski, she was mostly unable to answer or would get back to us later? At one point I asked her if anyone representing the city had purchased any property around the 312th Street site; her reply, I have no idea.

Ms. Zukowski is one of the engineers on this project, and can you imagine any engineer on any project of this size being oblivious to the status of any pertinent piece of concerned property, even the adjacent properties? However, you never get a straight answer out of the group controlling decisions involving the destiny of our city.

Stop and think: No one in their right mind would put, as an option for an exit from the freeway, that kind of traffic through a city park jewel on both sides of the street; elder and health care facilities at the corner of 312th and 23rd Avenue and along the street lined on both sides with homes and apartments, some approaching 70 and 80 years duration.

On the other hand, the other option is Belmor Park, a stand alone assemblage of manufactured homes or trailers trying to hang onto their golf course and country club lifestyle.

Proof of the lack of a fair comparison was presented by Ms. Zukowski who, as you will recall, with tears in her eyes, telling us of the tragic traffic death of a resident of Belmor. Yes, death is always tragic, but where was the mention of numerous accidents and deaths that have occurred on 312th? Two deaths come to mind without research. An elderly lady at the corner of 312th and 23rd, an Asian lady hit by two separate trucks and my own son who was hit by a truck going 35 mph and, thank God, survived.

There was no need for them to look anything up as this decision is written in stone and I’m no longer trying to convince you of this. I will be proven right. The only way they can disprove what I have said repeatedly is by opting for their third choice, which is to do nothing. That is not going to happen.

In fact, if I’m not mistaken, one can look around and possibly see some preliminary work going on right now.

Now, that takes cajones, but I’ve found people convinced of their superior decision making usually try and flash them. What I am trying to convince the voters of Federal Way now, and have been trying and will continue to try as long as I am able, is how this group functions.

I can prove it with a classic example of their machinations in the placement of that incredible eyesore and rapidly forthcoming slum in our core area, the Transit Center. And, incidentally, without a word to the citizens of this city, they tried to put our library there. Can you believe it? Where our children spend so much time! Let’s see, how many murders have we had there so far? Two that I can think of, not to mention the drug deals, muggings, etc. Because no one I knew in Federal Way wanted that mess where it is, I asked the city for the minutes of the transit meetings and was told, why of course, come right in and get them.

When I got there, I was handed a 4-inch stack of loose paper and, with a smarmy grin, told just to ask if I needed anything else. What they didn’t know about me then was that I would read them — and I did! They haven’t misjudged me so since. When the citizens found what they were planning, they rightfully demanded input. So, an input meeting was held at which 108 people showed up. Five city officials wanted it where it is and 103 citizens didn’t want it there! It was called sufficient input. I think it’s sad the 312th group and Belmor didn’t stand against these exits together. Hmm, I wonder what they’ll go after next? Think about it...

Clara McArthur

Federal Way

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