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Republican leaders felt this was finally the year that they could add the Governor's Office and state House of Representatives to their majority in the State Senate. A trifecta that would give them absolute control of state politics.
The Mirror's Editorial Board researched and interviewed candidates in a host of races important to Federal Way so it could make informed voting recommendations in important elections. Each candidate who met with the board was afforded no less than 45 minutes to talk about themselves, their positions and their goals if elected, as well as to answer a variety of questions posed by the seven-member panel.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, I heard Sen. Mark Miloscia wants to audit homeless programs and fine cities with "lenient" encampment policies. I thought he was running for state auditor? Since when is it ethical for lawmakers to push laws that would impact their potential future job, especially one like state auditor where you need ethics to do it well?
As a young girl working in the cotton fields of Louisiana with her grandfather, she'd probably never heard of Federal Way.
Each day, our parents and caregivers bring their most precious possessions to our schools – their children.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, I'm not the only person in Federal Way that's upset with all the new multi-family construction. The city's poor planning makes it madness. What is the city going to do to stop this?
Republicans control the state Senate with a 26-23 margin, and they have long believed that 2016 was the year for them to take control of the state House of Representatives and the governor's office.
The words "what just happened?" are clanging around in my head as I lean against my car in that sunny parking lot, trying to wrangle the right words to describe the meal I'd just had.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, I'm surprised you didn't respond to the letters calling out your snide comments. I mean, usually you take to that feedback like a moth to a flame. Is this the beginning of a Mr. Federal Way who takes the high road or were you just waiting for someone to ask about it?
Last week, citizens were invited to provide comment to Mayor Jim Ferrell and City Council members in a study session on the proposed use of the former Weyerhaeuser property for an Orca Bay Seafoods fish processing warehouse. More than 300 residents attended to share their earnest, passionate belief that this was the wrong business in the wrong place.
I can't believe it, but after I wrote my last column, "A Call to Community," I myself was challenged in that call: My car was broken into.
Ryan Lochte's emotional interview with Matt Lauer shows a man struggling to come to terms with what it means to, well, be a man.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, what did you think about the Mayor's Memo about the fish plant?
If you don't believe one vote matters, think again.
Longtime area residents have spent the past week or so explaining to me why the structure that once housed Weyerhaeuser's corporate headquarters is so important to this city.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, have any final thoughts on the Olympics? Best in show, worst?
We live in a great community, and I am always positive and enthusiastic about Federal Way's history and potential. Sometimes that enthusiasm may get the best of me, which was the case a few days ago when I made the statement calling the proposed developments on the Industrial Realty Group property (the former Weyerhaeuser property) a positive development for our community. I was speaking in terms of job growth and investment in Federal Way.
Politics, thou art a heartless and unforgiving mistress. Mayor Jim Ferrell can attest.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, I live not far from the former Weyerhaeuser campus and am opposed to the seafood processing plant on 19 acres of that property. I have a neighbor, not far from me, who's also expressed their thoughts with a sign in their yard that says "NO SEAFOOD PLANT." But I want your thoughts on this, and I'm wondering if there are other locals that feel the way my neighbor and I do.
The Weyerhaeuser property has been the face of Federal Way for decades; a regional image that many cities envied. A place that lived its legend and embodied the best in Northwest culture. It proved business, jobs and the environment could live as one.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, do you have kids? If so, are they about ready to go back to school?
The storyline for the primary election sounded familiar: When King County voters turn out, those voters will decide elections in this state.
"If you get, give. If you learn, teach." - Maya Angelou
As Republicans gathered in Cleveland two weeks ago, I imagined what GOP leaders might dish out against Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee had the subject of his re-election been on the convention menu.
The Federal Way Mirror's Diversity Section has been a great addition to the newspaper and a great motivator for learning and researching the challenges that are faced as communities grow in diversity across the country.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, keeping with your recent comments supporting the idea that "important politics are local," including school districts, what is your opinion of the large number of senior employee turnovers in the Federal Way school district? Has the school board hired another superintendent by mistake?
Federal Way was racked with several shootings earlier this year, the first in February. However, at a neighborhood meeting at Sacajawea Middle School, some city leaders felt community concerns were overstated and presented a picture of relative safety. It wasn't until May, after three more shootings followed in a 48-hour period, that residents, feeling a shared kinship with other parts of the country, demanded action. Some citizen suggestions were unrealistic or impractical, but such was the level of fear within the community.
Taking a cue from the Grand Old Party's four-day fete in Cleveland, consider the case Republican leaders in this state might make against Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee if given a convention pulpit from which to prosecute.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, Pokemon Go is quite the craze. Do you play? If so, do you know any good PokeStops in Federal Way and do you think the game is as dangerous as people say it is?
With several incumbents choosing to retire or run for a different office, the Aug. 2 primary ballot is crowded with new candidates for statewide office.
I posted on Facebook recently that I had scheduled my annual mammogram, and I asked what others with breasts were doing to care for them – unfortunately, there's still a lot of avoidance of this health care practice, and it costs lives. Anything I can do to encourage folks to go get screened is important to me.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, it seems like all the roads in Federal Way are under construction right now. It's dumb, because traffic's already bad. Are they even accomplishing anything?
The races with the biggest impact on the future of our state may not be for governor, superintendent of public instruction or the Legislature. The educational future of our state's children will be in the hands of next year's state Supreme Court.
It's hard to watch someone, or something, you love go through a rough patch.
I recently returned from a five-week road trip with Captain Commando, aka Vic Magruder.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, why did the Federal Way Police Department comment on the police shootings in Dallas but not on the shootings of innocent black men in the past? Federal Way's diverse – shouldn't they also acknowledge national issues like racial profiling and police brutality?
We live here for a reason. Not in Dallas, Orlando or Chicago.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, you haven't really said anything about the presidential race. What gives? You have an opinion on everything else, but not the biggest issue of the year?
I receive a lot of questions, and I like to share and answer them every so often since others may have similar questions. Here are a few:
Dear Federal Way straight, white, cisgender people: