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EVICTION | The downtown Gen X store is evicted over unpaid rent and taxes [2]

VOL. 10, NO. 312

Mirror

F E D E R A L WAY

division of Sound Publishing

OPINION | Hobbs: The city’s quality of life depends on you [4] Guest column: FW community gardens cultivate prosperity [4] CRIME BLOTTER | The latest and craziest entries in the Federal Way police log [5] COMMUNITY CALENDAR | February entertainment and happenings [online]

SPORTS | High school gymnastics wrap. SATURday, JANUARY 29, 2011 Plus: Hidden cost of ‘select’ sports [6]

BREAKING NEWS | Check out the latest news online [federalwaymirror.com]

‘Midnight rambler’ starts walking club By NEAL McNAMARA nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

At approximately 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Jeff Kendig stood in front of Chase Bank at the southeast corner of Pacific Highway South and South 320th Street. It was cold, in the high 30s. Kendig glanced at the clock on his cell phone and wondered whether he should wait for Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest. A few seconds later, Priest walked around the corner. The mayor seemed almost surprised that Kendig was actually there — as if Kendig’s recent calls to Priest about joining him for a midnight walk around Federal Way was some kind of a joke. But the incredulity lasted only a second. With Priest there, Kendig, 39, was ready to walk. “I should have brought my Pekingese!” Priest said as the pair began walking east along 320th Street. Kendig’s invitation to Priest was not just a strange constituent request, but what he hopes is the beginning of something: Kendig wants to start a midnight walking club in Federal Way. He wants all types of people to get exercise and experience a different view of Federal Way. So far, the

Special series

Quality of

LIFE

Each week, The Mirror will highlight ideas for improving quality of life in Federal Way. Quality of life relates to the satisfaction people derive from social, cultural and intellectual opportunities in the place they call home. To share ideas for making Federal Way a better place to live, e-mail editor@federalwaymirror.com. Read more on page 4 in today’s Mirror. route for the walk is around the block that occupies The Commons Mall. Kendig recently posted an ad on Craigslist and told his co-workers about it, but that failed to attract anyone. A little publicity and the mayor’s blessing might start the fire. “I think people would like to go for a walk (at night), but maybe they’re afraid,” he said. Besides creating a community group, Kendig thinks this club might counter negative perceptions about crime and safety in Federal Way. But the time and place is also pragmatic. He works as a nurse at the Highline Medical Center and his shift ends at 11:30 p.m. He [ more WALK page 12 ]

A new flashing beacon intended to increase pedestrian safety was installed Jan. 19 in front of Sam’s Market on Southwest 312th Street. The design includes curbing that blocks most of what used to be a wide entrance to the convenience store. The curbing directs traffic to a narrow entrance to the west of the store. Below: Mi Young Shin, owner of Sam’s Market, thumbs through pages of signatures from customers who protest new curbing in front of the market. The curbing reduces access to the market and impacts business. JACINDA HOWARD, The Mirror

Project threatens business City spokesman: ‘We dropped the ball’ on notifying owner By JACINDA HOWARD jhoward@federalwaymirror.com

At a small convenience store near Mirror Lake, Mi Young Shin worries a new traffic device intended to ensure pedestrian safety will put her out of business. Shin is the owner of Sam’s Market. The store operates at the corner of Southwest 312th Street and Southwest 8th Avenue, where the city recently installed a crossing device at an existing crosswalk on Southwest 312th Street. When prompted, the beacon flashes yellow, signaling to motorists that a pedestrian is using the crosswalk. Included in the project’s design is a long stretch of curbing that runs parallel to the road and across most

of a formerly unobstructed entrance to Sam’s Market. The convenience store’s entrance once stretched from Southwest 8th Avenue past the store to neighboring business JDK Small Engine Repair Inc. The curbing restructured the access, channeling traffic to a much narrower entry at the west flank of the market near the engine repair shop. The city made the landowner aware of the curbing and subsequent narrowing of the market’s main access, but never spoke with Shin, she said. The city’s policy is to contact a landowner and business owner and seek comments if a project will impact both individuals, city spokesman Chris Carrel said. Carrel admitted that process, for some [ more BUSINESS page 9 ]

Former owner of Wild Waves Theme Park returns as manager By ANDY HOBBS editor@fedwaymirror.com

Wild Waves Theme Park in Federal Way will return to local management under a former owner. CNL Lifestyle Properties Inc. announced Jan. 25 that it has reached an agreement with NorPoint Entertainment to manage the theme park, located off Interstate

5. Former pro soccer player Jeff Stock, a Browns Point resident, formed NorPoint Entertainment specifically for this venture and is assembling a management team. Stock owned and operated Wild Waves from 1992 to 2000 before selling the park to Six Flags for $19.2 million. Six Flags sold the park to CNL Lifestyle Properties in 2007.

Stock was first approached by CNL in June 2010 to manage the property. He praised CNL’s willingness to invest money into the park, which will lead to building the first new rides since 2005. “I’m almost as excited as when I bought it,” said Stock, who had purchased Wild Waves and Enchanted Village for about $8 million

in 1992. “I’m doing it with CNL because they are a class company. I feel very comfortable having them as a partner.” Stock wants to reinvigorate the park as well as its presence in the community, noting that Wild Waves was ignored for too many years under previous management. “The potential now is

greater than when I took it over. It’s got the infrastructure in place,” said Stock, who plans to meet with homeowners in the surrounding area off Enchanted Parkway South. “I also want to be a good neighbor.”

Background Wild Waves Theme Park opened in 1977 as the Enchanted Village, and owner

Byron Betts built the adjacent Wild Waves Waterpark in 1984. In 1992, Betts sold the parks to Jeff Stock, who merged them into one park. CNL is a real estate investment trust (REIT) [ more WILD WAVES page 9 ]

6 89076 19979 7


[12] January 29, 2011

www.federalwaymirror.com [ U-TURNS from page 3]

Jeff Kendig wants to start a midnight walking club in Federal Way. He wants all types of people to get exercise and experience a different view of Federal Way. So far, the route for the walk is a couple of laps around the block that occupies The Commons Mall. People interested in joining him can contact midnightstroll federalway@ gmail.com. NEAL MCNAMARA, The Mirror

Club seeks local midnight walkers to Federal Way’s image. Priest thinks Federal Way’s brighter points are not might usually just go home publicized enough. and watch TV or surf the “It’s frustrating to read Internet. But, he would like the headlines in Federal to use his time better. Way, ” Priest said. “When we “If I’m sitting around (at home), I know other people have a tragedy, it gets all the publicity.” are,” he said. “What does it “It’s all transit center say about not just our city, all the time,” Kendig said. but any city if people are “That’s all anyone hears afraid to go out at night? It about.” shows that we’re giving in. A few minutes later, the It’s nonsense, it’s baloney. walk has progressed to This is sort of a thumb in the rear of the mall, along the eye of what makes us 324th Street. It’s dark. The afraid.” only lights are in the parking lot of the mall, and are The walk not angled correctly The sidewalk to illuminate the that circles the Quality of sidewalk. There isn’t perimeter of The a car or another peCommons Mall is destrian in sight. It’s roughly 1.36 miles so quiet you can hear long and passes by the overhead power massive parking lots, lines buzzing. chain restaurants, bus stops, The desolation of that grassy berms and high stretch is not lost on Priest tension power lines. Long or Kendig. Priest stops, stretches of sidewalk are looks around and says, “I colored orange by the light didn’t notice, we’ve been from overhead light poles; out walking here and we more desolate spots are didn’t have any lights. That’s pitch black and marked by just interesting when you broken glass and litter. look at it.” At night in this small part Would either of them be of Federal Way, the usual afraid to walk back here context of shoppers and alone? (Kendig, in fact, traffic is gone, replaced with already has, on a previous a sleepiness like that of an walk.) idle factory. “I’d be a little worried,” As Priest and Kendig Kendig said. approach the intersection Nothing weird happens, of 23th Avenue South and though. In fact, no one 322nd Street, near Target, is out, except drivers in Kendig raps his fist on the passing cars, and no one is crosswalk signal — neither seen during the entire walk. want to risk getting a jayNearing the end of the loop, walking ticket, even though heading north along Pacific there isn’t a car in sight. Highway, the surprise of “I wonder if we actually Kendig and Priest’s initial walk against that?” Priest meeting is settled. said. “I’ll be darned, we made Nearly halfway into the it,” Priest said. “I usually do walk, conversation has hot yoga every night, but turned from biographies tonight I didn’t. I have the

[ WALK from page 1]

LIFE

energy to walk a mile. And I didn’t have the dog dragging me!” “I appreciate you taking an interest,” Kendig replied. “You could’ve been like, ‘Oh, I can’t do it,’ but you came out at midnight. That was kind of cool, huh?”

‘Not revolution, community togetherness’ Kendig said he grew up in a military family and moved around a lot. He was in the Army in the 1990s, but later had an epiphany to become a nurse. He lives in a condo along 320th Street and has lived in Federal Way for about five years. He used to live in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, but moved here because it was more affordable. There seem to be a lot of reasons why he wants to have a midnight walking group: It’s convenient to his work schedule, sure, and you get some good exercise; he does not like bars because he doesn’t drink; he wants to fight negative perceptions about nighttime in the city. He wants other people to enjoy this sort of thing, and he’s convinced that they will. “Picture if you will 20 to 30 people, maybe a couple of dogs or a kid or two, strolling along, meeting new people,” he said. “There’s no reason that even if it didn’t happen tomorrow or the next week, it doesn’t mean I have to stop doing something cool for my community.” When asked his opinion of the scenery along the walk, Kendig was frank: it looks like a lot of other suburbs in America; it’s

“What does it say about not just our city, but any city if people are afraid to go out at night? It shows that we’re giving in. It’s nonsense, it’s baloney. This is sort of a thumb in the eye of what makes us afraid.” Jeff Kendig oriented toward the car and there are a lot of strip malls — all the better to take it back by walking around. “This is America, this is it, this is our culture,” he said. Walking two laps around the mall is quick, about 50 minutes. It’s enough exercise to get the blood flowing to warm the extremities against the cold. Five laps would seem doable in warmer weather. Kendig hopes his event will grow. He set up an email account for those interested in joining him (midnightstrollfederalway@ gmail.com). He hopes that enough people start doing the walk so that he doesn’t need to be around ; if it’s midnight in Federal Way, night owls or the curious will have a place to go. “If at midnight they want to go for a walk, they know that other people might go there at that exact time,” he said. “An instant little community for 20 minutes or 40 minutes.” Kendig said he’ll be out there every Monday for the next couple of weeks to meet anyone else who wants to walk. He’ll be the guy dressed for exercise and checking the time on his cell phone in front of the Chase Bank at Pacific Highway and 320th. “If nothing else,” he said, “I got a nice walk.”

Despite its ability to move traffic, the design has the potential to negatively affect nearby businesses. Delivery trucks will use the design, making street widening necessary at the location where the U-turns take place, Perez said. “We want to be able to accommodate truck deliveries to businesses,” he said. The city is still contemplating whether to allow drivers to make left turns out of businesses located near the U-turns. “There’s a couple different scenarios that could occur with how we treat access to those businesses,” Perez said. “I know the businesses are going to be concerned about access restrictions.” Other options for addressing traffic conditions

at the intersection were considered. Designs such as roundabouts and additional traffic lanes were in the running. A threelane roundabout would be needed to adequately address traffic needs, Perez said. It would affect businesses on three of the intersections’ corners, bumping the price to build a roundabout up to nearly $12 million, he said: “That drove up the cost tremendously.” Adding lanes was an undesirable option because it’s not considered pedestrian friendly and would likely require rightof-way acquisition. “The biggest thing to remember is how we got here,” Perez said. “(City) council was very concerned about both the pedestrian impacts and the cost impacts of building massive intersections.”


LETTERS

Your opinion counts: To submit an item or photo for publication in The Mirror, e-mail editor@ federalwaymirror.com; mail attn Letters, Federal Way Mirror, 1414 S. 324th St., Suite B-210, Federal Way, WA 98003; fax (253) 925-5750. Letters may be edited for style, clarity and length.

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Rudi Alcott Publisher: ralcott@federalwaymirror.com (253) 925-5565 Andy Hobbs Editor: editor@federalwaymirror.com (253) 925-5565 Advertising (253) 925-5565 Classified Marketplace (253) 925-5565 Letters editor@federalwaymirror.com

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Gardens feed FW’s prosperity By MIKE STANLEY Executive director, Federal Way Community Garden Foundation

Guest

COLUMN

In a recent Federal Way Mirror article, editor Andy Hobbs encouraged the development of “third places” in the city that will bring social well-being and happiness to citizens by creating places for social interaction. These can include the local coffee shop, churches, parks and other safe places to gather. In support of this idea, the Federal Way Community Garden Foundation is bringing the concept of the French potager to Federal Way in the form of community gardens. These gardens are a great place for social interaction between gardeners as well as all members of the community. The potager is a beautiful “landscape feature” that not only provides fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers, but also a place of rest and relaxation, a place of teaching and learning, and a place for physical exercise. A potager not only feeds the body, but the mind and spirit as well. The first potager built by the foundation is the community garden at the Federal Way Senior Center (4016 S. 352nd St.). This 10,000-squarefoot garden began operation in the spring of 2009. It is made up of 56 raised beds, has a central resting area with benches, hanging flower baskets and a fountain. The paths are suitable for wheelchairs and walkers. The produce from this garden is given to low-income seniors in our area. A second community garden is being constructed at the Truman Career Academy (31455 28th Ave. S.) and will begin operation in the spring of 2011. This garden is patterned after the senior center garden with raised beds, a central area with fountain, hanging flower baskets and benches with views of Mt. Rainier. Four additional smaller gardens are in the planning stages and will be constructed at local elementary schools. The community gardens are all funded, operated and managed by volunteers. Unlike a “pea patch” community garden, where community members rent a space to grow their own produce, the produce from the Federal Way’s community gardens is given away to low-income members of our community. There are many opportunities for Federal Way resident to be involved with the gardens. Individuals, church groups and civic organizations can all contribute by volunteering in the building, operation and financial support of the gardens. Because of the design of the gardens, most of the [ more STANLEY page 5 ]

Pedestrian safety seems expensive Mary Paterson beat me to it (“Pedestrian islands waste city’s money,” letters, Jan. 26). I too was wondering about who authorized the construction and why they need to construct these pedestrian crossings on South 320th Street. I am all for safety, but painting crosswalk lines just a few feet away at the intersection would do the same job and would be a lot cheaper. An intersection, even if not marked, is considered an unmarked crosswalk, which gives the pedestrian the right of way. To the motorist who may not be familiar with this, I suggest that people read RCW 46.61.235 and

Quality of life depends on you Do you like living in Federal Way? If so, share the love — and your city could love you back. The Mirror is launching a series that highlights ideas for improving quality of life in Federal Way. Quality of life relates to the satisfaction people derive from social, cultural and intellectual opportunities in the place they call home. Webster’s dictionary defines quality as “a degree of excellence.” The more Federal Way creates and supports amenities of excellence, the more attached and satisfied residents will become with their city. A recent survey by Gallup suggests that residents invest more time, money and energy in communities with quality of life amenities. These amenities range from a college campus and cultural celebrations to top-notch parks and a thriving music scene. Two examples in Federal Way include the MLK celebration and the Fourth of July fireworks — and remember, some cities have neither of these. Same goes with a quality veterans tribute or charity-driven clubs like Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions. People involved with these events and groups are brought together by a shared purpose, whether they’re honoring Independence Day or chatting with friends over coffee. The more value residents find in Federal Way, the more they will stay and play. This investment of time, money and energy benefits businesses, schools and the overall well-being of residents.

Each investment in the community is like a positive ripple in the water, so to speak, and the more positive ripples in the water, the mightier the current grows. The Mirror’s series will show Federal Way residents more reasons to appreciate and invest in their city, for when that happens, everyone wins. The idea behind the series was partially inspired by sociologist Ray Oldenburg. He coined the term “third place” to describe a gathering spot outside of home (“first place”) and work (“second place”). Churches, coffee shops and senior centers are examples of third places. A good third place brims with social interaction and mutual interests, and is colored by the pursuit of happiness. It is important to distinguish between standard of living and quality of life. Standard of living refers to the accessibility of tangible needs such as income and health care. Those issues of survival are already mainstays in the public consciousness. Quality of life, in contrast, tends to be peripheral and subtle. It deals with the satisfaction of survival and day-to-day living. All Federal Way residents share an innate desire, and the right, for a higher quality of life. The best way to reach that goal is to move toward it. Andy Hobbs

FEDERAL WAY

www.federalwaymirror.com

MIRROR EDITOR

f e d e r a l way

OPINION

[4] January 29, 2011

Mirror editor Andy Hobbs: editor@federalwaymirror.com

● L E T T E r S - Y o u r o p i n i o n C o u n ts :

To submit an item or photo for publication in The Mirror: email editor@federalwaymirror.com; mail attn Letters, Federal Way Mirror, 1414 S. 324th St., Suite B-210, Federal Way, WA 98003; fax (253) 925-5750. Letters may be edited for style, clarity and length.

RCW 46.61.240. It may be too late now for the two I noticed on South 320th Street, but I hope that a little more research goes into projects such as this to determine if there is a more economical way of achieving the end.

Harry M. Reichenberg, Federal Way

It’s time for rational reform of gun laws Mark Knapp’s Jan. 22 column (“Sex, guns and progressives”) has to be his most bizzare to date. Without addressing all the various rambling, off-topic, right-wing

paranoia Mr. Knapp expresses in that column, I would just like to point out that 90 percent of the American public, including gun owners, support full funding of the National Crime Information System Reporting Act, which created incentives for states to improve the reporting of background information to the NCIS database. Such information would help ensure that someone like Jared Loughner, the person who allegedly shot Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., could not, with his history of drug abuse and mental illness, freely walk into a gun store or gun show and walk

out with a firearm. Gun shows require no background checks whatsoever. Closing that loophole should be a no-brainer, as should the reinstatement of the 1994 assault weapons ban, and a ban on magazines that hold more than say, 10 rounds. No one outside of law enforcement or the military needs magazines with a greater capacity than that. These three changes — fully fund the NCIS Act; close the gunshow background check loophole; and restrict firearms magazine capacity — should be the minimum three changes we make in existing

gun laws. For the record, I grew up hunting, target shooting, served in the military, and later reloaded my own ammunition and belonged to the NRA for several years, until the endless fear-driven fundraising for lobbying from the NRA got to be too much for me. I am one of many progressive liberals, like the president, who supports citizens’ Second Amendment right to own firearms. I just happen to think it’s far past time for some rational form of gun law reform in this nation of 90 guns for every 100 citizens — a nation that has a murder rate 40 times that of Great Britain.

Rich Doggett, Federal Way

[ more LETTERS can be seen online: federalwaymirror.com ]


LETTERS

Your opinion counts: To submit an item or photo for publication in The Mirror, e-mail editor@ federalwaymirror.com; mail attn Letters, Federal Way Mirror, 1414 S. 324th St., Suite B-210, Federal Way, WA 98003; fax (253) 925-5750. Letters may be edited for style, clarity and length.

Mirror

.com

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Rudi Alcott Publisher: ralcott@federalwaymirror.com (253) 925-5565 Andy Hobbs Editor: editor@federalwaymirror.com (253) 925-5565 Advertising (253) 925-5565 Classified Marketplace (253) 925-5565 Letters editor@federalwaymirror.com

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Mirror Editorial

Cheers n’ jeers Cheers to the failure of the Twin Development skyscraper plan. The developer was unable to meet a deadline for buying the AMC Theatres site. The developer planned to tap a federal program that awarded U.S. immigrant status to foreign investors willing to spend $500,000 or more. The problem? No money and no investors. For now, the three skyscrapers will no longer waste the time and energy of Federal Way’s leaders and taxpayers. The proposal was pie-in-the-sky thinking from the start. Thankfully, city leaders recognize that Federal Way needs the tax revenue that comes from developing the site. Here’s hoping the city finds a practical and public solution. Cheers to the Federal Way Noon Rotary Club for donating $20,000 to Communities in Schools (CIS) of Federal Way. The money will strengthen a program that provides positive adult mentors for students who need them. Rotary and CIS are quintessential vehicles for enhancing quality of life within the city’s borders. Any investment of time, money and energy toward the greater good is an investment worth making. Jeers to three Federal Way police officers on bicycles who crossed in the middle of busy South 320th Street on Tuesday morning. Cars had to stop to let the smiling officers cross as they chatted nonchalantly in the middle of the road. Keep up the good work, dear police officers, but please follow the same traffic rules — and use the same crosswalks — as the regular folks. Cheers to resident Jeff Kendig for starting a midnight walking club in Federal Way. The club’s recent inaugural meeting involved two laps around The Commons Mall. Regardless of whether it’s safe to walk around downtown Federal Way at midnight, Kendig deserves kudos for both his courage and community outreach. Jeers to the loss of another downtown Federal Way business, Gen X. Even if you’ve never shopped at the store, the closure hurts — and leaves an empty building at the city’s busiest intersection. Cheers to Wild Waves Theme Park returning to local management under former owner Jeff Stock. Stock formed NorPoint Entertainment specifically for this venture, and plans to add new attractions/rides to Wild Waves. He wants to reinvigorate the park as well as its presence in the community. Local management provides an ideal catalyst for reaching those goals.

Local idealism is alive and well I am pleased to report that idealism is alive in Federal Way. In an ongoing series, The Mirror will highlight efforts that raise Federal Way’s quality of life. Be sure to read about Advancing Leadership Youth’s “One Day Federal Way” project in today’s paper — and mark your calendar. More than 150 volunteers will join the Feb. 22 effort to spruce up the grounds at three schools. The 30 students in Advancing Leadership Youth have the right idea in promoting community pride. Consider the ripple effects when a few hundred people come together for a common cause. The more you put in, the more you get out. Volunteers only want to know that their efforts are appreciated. However, the concept of an annual “One Day Federal Way” brims with potential for mass community involvement, much like the Mayor’s Month of Concern for the Hungry in the fall. Community service is one facet in the quest to improve quality of life. Social gathering spots, both public and private, are also essential to the well being of residents. Poverty Bay Coffee is one worthy example of a “third place,” a term to describe where local people meet regularly for social camaraderie outside of home (“first place”) and work (“second place”). The mom-and-pop coffee shop, located at 1108 S. 322nd Place, will expand by 1,500 square feet while adding a grill and food

Lakota’s parking lot

● L E T T E r S - Y o u r o p i n i o n C o u n ts :

I love (or hate) how the Federal Way Mirror can keep putting out news, letters and columns that provoke me into writing. This time it’s Nandell Palmer’s “Lakota’s parking inconvenience doesn’t make the grade” (Feb. 2) and the dilemma at Lakota Middle School. More pavement for a handful of events? Thanks, but I’ll walk the extra block. My daughter attends Lakota and we went to the culture fair (Italy — on my wife’s side). Yes, we had to park on a side street, but it wasn’t far, and we didn’t have to block anybody’s driveway. Most of us could use the exercise. Also, if you get there early, you can get a spot in the lot. How many times a

year do they max out the parking? A couple of concerts, fairs and a few athletic contests. The rest of the year (three months in the summer) it’s a gray, barren wasteland. Let’s leave the green. I have two more pressing concerns. Most important is the stretch of 13th Avenue SW from SW 316th Street to Lakota: There are no sidewalks and parking on both sides of the street. It’s very dangerous for the students who have to navigate their way, to and from school, often in the dark. As for the drop-off procedure, there is roughly 150 feet of curb to drop off and pick up children, but

storage (completion date will be announced). There are plans to serve beer and wine as well as attract local musicians. Poverty Bay’s regular patrons will appreciate the investment in their favorite third place, and by raising its level of excellence, the coffee shop will strengthen its bond with these patrons. This stronger bond will attract more people who call Poverty Bay their third place. With a little focus, the coffee shop’s investment will strengthen its status as a contagious social environment — and keep more money flowing through Federal Way. One coffee shop can’t do it alone, but the more positive ripples we make for Federal Way’s social wellbeing, the stronger the current will flow. It’s an idea worth repeating. Andy Hobbs

FEDERAL WAY

www.federalwaymirror.com

MIRROR EDITOR

f e d e r a l way

OPINION

[4] February 5, 2011

The idealistic forecast The Federal Way Chamber’s 2011 economic forecast breakfast Jan. 25 delivered a similar message to 2010: The economy will improve later rather than sooner. A keen observation came from panelist Melanie Dressel, CEO of Columbia Bank: If the media reported three straight days of good economic news, “that would give us confidence” of economic recovery. That’s true, but only if people read that good economic news in the first place.

Mirror editor Andy Hobbs: editor@federalwaymirror.com

To submit an item or photo for publication in The Mirror: email editor@federalwaymirror.com; mail attn Letters, Federal Way Mirror, 1414 S. 324th St., Suite B-210, Federal Way, WA 98003; fax (253) 925-5750. Letters may be edited for style, clarity and length. many parents wait in a line to get one of the three spots closest to the entrance, leaving most of the drop-off area unused. The line will back up to the street, and soon people who are trying to leave the parking lot will meet up with cars waiting to turn left into the lot (as more parents/teachers arrive), creating a cicular backup. I have actually witnessed this. It would be quite comical if we all didn’t have to be somewhere, like work. Parents, when there is room, please go to the end of the curb. PS: It is a beautiful campus and building. Good job Federal Way.

Stephen Flavin, Federal Way

If dad rides his bike (Re: “Lakota’s parking inconvenience doesn’t make the grade” by Nandell Palmer, Feb. 2) I hear you, Mr. Palmer. But we get wrapped up in the convenience of automobiles at our peril. Whether the lack of parking was by design, I don’t know, but I do hope it was. Studies show that people with higher levels of education have higher rates of physical activity, smoke less and earn more. Since Lakota has this fabulous program, what a great opportunity for the students and teachers to use their noggins. As

the primary influence on their children’s education (contrary to the beliefs of various blamers), parents would probably have an enormous effect on their children’s behavior with regard to transportation modes: bus, bike, walk, carpool... If dad rides his bike to work, the kids start to see (because dad becomes more fit, sees more of his community, uses less petrol, starts to feel good about his choice to bike, etc.) that, “Hey, it’s kinda cool. Dad’s busting his hump, doing the right thing. I used to think it was dorky to ride my bike to school, but I think I might try to do it.” There’s a certain pride and attitude that comes with biking or walking or using public transpor[ more LETTERS page 5 ]


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SCHOOL BUS | Attorneys are investigating an incident in which a bus hit students [2]

VOL. 10, NO. 318

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F E D E R A L WAY

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OPINION | Hobbs: Cub Scouts earn Pink Floyd merit badge [4] Firearms Lawyer: Charter schools vs. the 500-pound gorilla [4] CRIME BLOTTER | The latest entries from the Federal Way police log [3] CALENDAR | Upcoming entertainment includes bluesy tribute to Billie Holiday [8]

SPORTS | Plenty of postseason action SATURday, FEBRUARY 19, 2011 updates in Federal Way [9-12]

SURVEY | Take the Federal Way Mirror’s survey for a chance at cash [online]

City moves ahead on parks and recreation Playgrounds, disc golf course and Sacajawea Park rank among top projects By JACINDA HOWARD jhoward@federalwaymirror.com

Federal Way is moving forward on several parks and recreation projects in 2011. On Tuesday, the city council approved the Parks and Recre-

ation Commission’s 2011 work plan. The commission is a group of residents who advise the city council and staff on matters pertaining to Federal Way’s parks and recreational areas. The group’s 2011 goals are to print a park and trail map,

consider future recreational development near Panther Lake Elementary, evaluate a proposed disc golf course, replace annual playground equipment, make recommendations on field improvements at Sacajawea Park, organize volunteer projects and review

identify potential locations for a disc golf course. The course would be the first within Federal Way boundaries. It Disc golf Quality of could bring visitors from At the urging of Tom outside the city. Bontempo, owner of Bontempo said Auburn’s Mando’s Disc Golf Pro course brings 200 people on Shop in Auburn, the parks weekdays and 300 or more on commission will evaluate and [ more PARKS page 3 ]

Laurelwood Park. The projects will be completed depending on funding.

LIFE

Midnight walk: foolish or not? Police statistics suggest downtown FW is safe at night By NEAL McNAMARA nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

Jerry Warren was named the top assistant principal in the state for 2011 by the Association of Washington School Principals for his work at Federal Way High School. He was notified about his winning the award last year, but has since moved up to principal of Illahee Middle School. He was honored for the award at a ceremony last week in Seattle. NEAL McNAMARA, The Mirror

Warren’s commission: Illahee principal ranks among the best in Washington By NEAL McNAMARA nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

It’s just after 8 a.m. Tuesday, and Illahee Middle School Principal Jerry Warren is already cleaning up. Walking through one of the many courtyards that bind the Illahee campus, he notices an errant pink candy wrapper on the ground. With a walkie-talkie in one hand, he bends down, scoops it up and continues on his way without missing a beat. He patrols the campus, going

from building to building, peeking in classrooms, greeting teachers and students and picking up trash (he would later rescue two perfectly good No. 2 pencils from oblivion in a gutter). It’s one routine in a day that often breaches 10 hours. Each day, he confronts problems in a school with a student population of more than 800 fifth- through eighth-graders; one moment, he’s chatting with a student, the next he’s scheduling events for the rest of the school year. There’s evidence he’s quite good at

what he does. Warren was named the top assistant principal in the entire state for 2011 by the Association of Washington School Principals for his work at Federal Way High School. He was notified about his winning the award last year, but has since moved up to principal of Illahee. He was honored for the award at a ceremony last week in Seattle. He’s modest about the award — “I’m not the type of person who goes into this looking for accolades” — [ more WARREN page 6 ]

How likely is it that you would get shot, stabbed, beaten, robbed, carjacked or otherwise molested if you were to take a walk around The Commons Mall late at night — say, between midnight and 2 a.m.? What dangers lurk in that shadowy space between Sears and the shoe outlet? What weirdo is waiting to strike from behind Panera Bread? Who is that Lothario loitering outside of the movie theater feeling the need to commit violence after seeing “No Strings Attached?” The mall at night can seem scary. There are lots of dark places, vacant expanses and unreliable overhead lighting. Despite these factors, Federal Way police statistics show that the area around the mall is hardly a hotbed of criminal activity. Several weeks ago, Federal Way resident Jeff Kendig started a midnight walking club that traversed the area around the mall. On the first night, Kendig and Federal Way Mayor

Each week, Quality of The Mirror will highlight ideas for improving quality of life in Federal Way. Quality of life relates to the satisfaction people derive from social, cultural and intellectual opportunities in the place they call home.

LIFE

Skip Priest did the walk and came away unharmed. Subsequent walks, Kendig reported, attracted more people and even a canine. The idea, Kendig said, is to get people out in the community late at night, partly to fight perceptions about a lack of safety. However, in response to publicity of Kendig’s effort, some expressed dismay. A man named Larry Trotter sent this letter to the editor, titled “playing a fool’s game,” after a story about Kendig appeared in this newspaper: “Mayor Skip Priest exibited (sic) an amazing lack of judgment by going for a walk in a dark and deserted portion of Federal Way at midnight, and Jeff Kendig showed even worse judgement by doing it alone. [ more WALK page 2 ]

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[2] February 19, 2011

School bus accident update

the school. One student, who was on foot, was sent to St. Francis Hospital for treatment; another student, A group of attorneys who was on board the bus, is reviewing the case of a was also sent to St. Francis. Federal Way School District Their injuries had been school bus driver who called “minor.” was involved in The bus was on an accident Feb. IN OTHER its way to a district 14 that sent two program at Highstudents to the line Community hospital. District College when the spokeswoman Diane accident occurred. Turner said that informaTurner could not provide tion from an investigation a specific date for when by police into that incident the investigation might be was handed over to the complete. human resources department, which was assigned to attorneys to investigate. The Federal Way Arts The bus driver is on paid Commission is sponsoring administrative leave. an art contest in partnerThe accident occurred ship with the Federal Way around 7:30 a.m. Monday Municipal Court. The at Decatur High School. contest is open to all stuThree students were hit by dents in grades 1-12 who the bus at a crosswalk near live within the Federal Way School District. Winning entries of original artwork will be displayed at the court from June 2011 to June 2012. The Arts Commission will offer cash awards for students in elementary, middle and high schools. All entries must be based on the theme “Liberty and justice for all.” Deadline to enter is April 15. Winners will be notified by April 29. Entry forms are available at each school or by contacting Leah.Fraine@ cityoffederalway.com.

NEWS

Art contest

www.federalwaymirror.com half of midnight. [ WALK from page 1] Good P.R. I guess, but having the mayor mugged at midnight in his own city would have made national news. I can only hope that one of the two were bright enough to have a friend in their pocket.” Trotter did not respond to an emailed request for comment. Is the mall really that dangerous of an area?

Stats show little crime

A search of violent crimes in the Federal Way police district that includes the entire mall (excluding the intersection of 320th Street and Pacific Highway) over a six-month period reveals just three incidents between Aug. 1, 2010, and Jan. 31, 2011. Only one of these incidents took place late at night. Two of these incidents were classified as sex crimes. One incident took place at 9 a.m. Jan. 20 at 322nd Street and 23rd Avenue South, on the east side of Target. Another incident occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Aug. 19 last year at 324th Street and 20th Way South. The other incident was a robbery that took place around 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6 last year inside the mall. A number of other crimes took place near the mall, but none that are classified by police as “violent.” These include: • Two domestic disputes; one on Aug. 15, the other on Sept. 20, both shortly after midnight • Three vehicle thefts, on Dec. 15, Dec. 23 and Jan. 25, all of which occurred around midnight. • Two larcenies on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, both within an hour and a

neighborhood. The biggest dangers he has encountered came from motorists, especially bad drivers, drunks and mischievous teens. One of Kendig’s motives for starting his walking club, he said, is to combat the negative perceptions garnered by violent incidents at the Federal Way Transit Center, just a block away from the mall. Be alert, don’t get hurt One factor that might lead people to perceive the area around the mall James Clark is a psychologist in as dangerous is what Sue Rochester, N.Y., who specialFrantz, head of the psycholizes in criminal behavior. He ogy department at Highline formerly headed the MonCommunity College, called roe County mental health the “availability heuristic.” department, and worked “That’s when we make with criminals residing in decisions based on how the county jail. In his career, available information is in he’s observed what motivates Jeff Kendig our memory,” Frantz wrote criminal activity — he did in an email. “We can easily not mention cruising for laterecall instances when people have night walkers as one. “No. 1, (criminals) are not particu- been attacked at night — not just in reality, but also on television where larly courageous. No. 2, they’re not the world is very violent. So we asgoing to want to go through a whole sume that violence is likely to occur lot of trouble” to commit a crime, at night.” Clark said. “The lazy, simple, easy Clark said that humans tend to way tends to be common course of have a primal fear of the dark and action.” strangers. He also said that violent If one is worried about being atcrime statistics have dropped over tacked by a criminal, he said, there are a couple of ways to let them know the past couple of decades. Still, for a long time there was a “media drumthat you are not a victim waiting to beat” of reports of violent crime. happen. First, be alert; carry yourself “There’s a little bit of societal miswith confidence and purpose; and information about the level of risk don’t make obvious appeals to victimhood, like flashing cash or dis- people have,” Clark said. tracting your senses with a portable Midnight walking club music player. To learn about the midnight walk“It’s situational awareness combined with the decision to be respon- ing club in Federal Way club, contact Jeff Kendig at midnightstroll sible for one’s self,” he said. federalway@gmail.com. In fact, Clark said he often takes late-night walks around his own • There was also a traffic offense on Nov. 15, and two incidents listed as “miscellaneous non-criminal” on Aug. 14 and Jan. 2. The area around the mall is also guarded. There are police surveillance cameras, and the mall security force patrols late at night.


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LITERACY | Special section features ads designed by Federal Way children [9]

VOL. 13, NO. 319

Mirror

F E D E R A L WAY

division of Sound Publishing

OPINION | Roegner: Merging municipal services can improve efficiency [4] Palmer: In search of Federal Way’s Main Street [4] CRIME BLOTTER | Suspect gets caught trying to mail marijuana and heroin [3] CALENDAR | Upcoming entertainment and happenings in Federal Way [6]

SPORTS | Plenty of postseason action WEDNESday, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 for Federal Way athletes [18-22]

SEX IN THE SUBURBS | No glove, no love: February is National Condom Month [7]

‘Cash for gold’ gets blamed for burglaries Ordinance seeks stricter regulations on city’s secondhand dealers to curb theft By JACINDA HOWARD jhoward@federalwaymirror.com

April Hiatt fires at her target Thursday at Bull’s Eye shooting range in Tacoma. Hiatt and her husband, Chad, are founding members of the Armed Defense Training Association, a new organization based in Federal Way. ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

Federal Way shooters share the love Organization discusses building local gun range By ANDY HOBBS editor@federalwaymirror.com

Less than two months since its inception, the Armed Defense Training Association is starting off with a bang — and bringing dozens of like-minded Federal Way shooters together.

In one accuracy drill, shooters where the vibe was both friendly and waited for the go-ahead before turneducational. ing toward a paper target and firing The association’s first live-fire event two quick rounds. The scent was held Feb. 17 at Bull’s Eye of gunpowder soaked the shooting range in Tacoma. room as shooters took their Quality of ADTA co-founder and vice stations. Shell casings clinked president Chad Hiatt led on the floor amid a chorus basic skill drills for more than of pops — and a few booms a dozen participants. from one man’s .44 Magnum. “I am incredibly excited about Shooters shouted conversations loud seeing so many responsible and enough to penetrate their protecdynamic individuals come together,” [ more GUNS page 23 ] tive headphones in an atmosphere

LIFE

Federal Way has seen an increase in burglaries, specifically those in which jewelry is stolen. The jump in crime is being blamed on the proliferation of “cash for gold” businesses, which offer onthe-spot cash for precious metals. Police suspect stolen jewelry is finding its way to “cash for gold” dealers that have set up shop on a temporary basis, looking to make a fast profit. Some of the dealers operate without a business license, and some fail to document the items they purchase and the sellers of those items, police chief Brian Wilson said. To curb jewelry theft, the Federal Way City Council is considering stricter regulation of businesses buying coins, gold, silver and other precious metals. The regulation would come by amending the

city’s ordinance related to pawn brokers and secondhand dealers. “Our goal is to deter stolen jewelry trafficking,” Wilson said. From 2009 to 2010, Federal Way experienced an increase in residential burglaries. In 2009, 559 of these crimes were reported. Last year, that number rose to 645. This reflects a 15 percent increase. Burglary cases involving stolen jewelry jumped from 110 to 124 — a 13 percent increase — in the same time frame, Wilson said.

Proposed amendments Stricter regulations would give police more resources and time to locate stolen goods that are bought by secondhand dealers, Wilson said. The ordinance amendment is directed at secondhand dealers that are temporarily [ more GOLD page 2 ]

Three schools score high on state achievement index

Awards honor Mirror Lake, Mark Twain and Public Academy By NEAL McNAMARA nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

Three Federal Way schools have won awards given out in a joint effort by the state Board of Education and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The schools each won a Washington State Achievement Award in three

separate categories. Mark Twain Elementary won for narrowing the achievement gap, the Federal Way Public Academy won for overall excellence, as did Mirror Lake, in a category for schools with high populations of gifted students. The three Federal Way schools were among 186 around the state that won. The awards will be pre-

sented at a ceremony on April 27. The awards were given based on how schools scored on the state Board of Education’s Washington Achievement Index. The index keeps track of outcomes on state tests among various student groups and on the achievement gap — the difference in academic achievement between

ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups. According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the awards are important because “by lifting up our most successful schools, the Washington Achievement Award shines a light on some of the best practices that are making that success possible.” The Public Academy, Mirror Lake and Mark Twain all employed differ-

ent tactics to earn an award. The Public Academy is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the state. The school is a little more than a decade old, but has developed a rigorous approach to education fundamentals. The school is also different from many in the district. Students are accepted into the school through a lottery (anyone can enter the lottery), and it’s much smaller at 300

students than other middle schools. Principal Kurt Lauer explained that students in sixth and seventh grades are treated to extended classes in math and reading (outside those two subjects, they take only history and [ more SCHOOLS page 2 ]

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www.federalwaymirror.com

Federal Way resident Bill Pirkle fires his .44 Magnum at a paper target during the Armed Defense Training Association’s first live-fire event Feb. 17 at Bull’s Eye shooting range in Tacoma. ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

[ GUNS from page 1]

president of ADTA. The column noted that a shooting range “that is also open Hiatt said of the promising to the public will draw in start for ADTA. “I’m learnvisitors with dollars from ing new things as far as surrounding areas.” techniques and methods I Knapp’s column hadn’t considered “We think we can led to a meetbefore.” build something ing by a handful The genesis closer to home. It’s of Federal Way for ADTA came something we could citizens who from a December be moving forward then formed the 2010 column in The Mirror titled on in the next six to Armed Defense 12 months.” Training As“Federal Way sociation. Two Chad Hiatt, co-founder needs a shootinformational and vice president of the ing arts center” gatherings by the Armed Defense Training by Mark Knapp, ADTA, held Jan. also known as the Association 26 and Feb. 9, atFirearms Lawtracted nearly 50 yer. The column attendees each. pondered the posThe organization’s goal sibilities of a shooting range is to promote responsible in Federal Way that could events related to firearms benefit both the public and and self-defense training. police. At the recent live-fire event “There is already an in Tacoma, attendees even indisputable ‘multiplier kept one another in check effect’ that results from all when it came to handling the retail stores in Fedweapons. Beforehand, pareral Way that sell shooting ticipants received detailed equipment,” wrote Knapp, instructions on safety rules who is also co-founder and

POLITICS

Democrats: The 30th District Democrats meet at 7 p.m. every first Wednesday of the month at the Federal Way Senior Center, 4016 S. 352nd St., Federal Way. To learn more about upcoming events and happenings, call Tim Burns at (253) 874-6292 or e-mail chair30ld@aol.com or visit 30thdemswa.org. Republicans: The 30th District Republicans meet 7 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at Intellipass, 1925 S. 341st Place. To learn more, visit Facebook and search for Kcgop 30th District.

Letters: email: editor@ federalwaymirror.com

and shooting exercises. As for building a shooting range in Federal Way, the demand is there and the response has been positive, Hiatt said. For now, Federal Way shooters must travel to ranges in Tacoma, Ravensdale, Graham, east Bellevue and Kitsap County. “We think we can build something closer to home,” Hiatt said. “It’s something we could be moving forward on in the next six to 12 months.”

Learn more The ADTA will host a skill-building shooting event March 17. More advanced shooting drills are in the planning stages. There will also be “no-fire” seminars (without ammo) that focus on weapon handling, trigger techniques and more. To learn more or register, visit armeddefense.org or email membership@ armeddefense.org.

February 23, 2011 [23]


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IN OTHER NEWS | Census data shows population growth in Federal Way [2]

VOL. 13, NO. 320

Mirror

F E D E R A L WAY

division of Sound Publishing

OPINION | Hobbs: Federal Way falls off top 10 list [6] Guest column: Proposed cuts would hurt thousands in King County [6] CRIME BLOTTER | The latest entries in the Federal Way police log [3] WEATHER REPORT | Recent snowy weather leads to school cancellations [4]

SPORTS | Federal Way High School girls SATURday, FEBRUARY 26, 2011 basketball team claims district title [12]

CALENDAR | Upcoming entertainment and happenings in Federal Way [10]

2010 sales tax revenue increases over 2009 National Retail Federation predicts 4 percent sales jump in 2011 By JACINDA HOWARD jhoward@federalwaymirror.com

Year-end financial data shows Federal Way, in 2010, experienced a slight increase in sales tax revenue compared to 2009. In 2010, Federal Way

received $10,708,951 in sales tax revenue. This reflects a 1.2 percent increase over 2009’s year-end total and exceeded, by the same percentage, what had been budgeted for 2010. Tho Kraus, the city’s finance director, said she

had estimated that 2010’s sales tax activity would be similar to that seen in 2009. The revenue increase over the year’s time is slight ($125,648), but it’s better than a deficit. “At least it’s going in the right direction,” Kraus said.

Retail sales tax drops in 2010 With $5.7 million, the retail sector continued to produce the majority of the city’s sales tax revenue. However, retail sales brought in 0.9 percent less tax revenue than they did the previous year.

The South 348th Street block and the Federal Way Crossings both produced less tax revenue in 2010 than in 2009. The closure of big box retailers such as Circuit City and Joe’s greatly contributed to the decrease, Kraus said. The Commons at Federal [ more REVENUE page 5 ]

Sales tax in FW

Sales tax revenue is defined as revenue generated from a tax charged at the point of purchase for certain goods and services. A 9.5 percent sales tax is charged in Federal Way. The City of Federal Way receives less than 1 percent of the total sales tax collected on a purchase.

Book donations reflect diversity of city’s schools By NEAL McNAMARA nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

Ben Summers, a student at Federal Way Public Academy, joins other volunteers in clearing blackberry bushes and debris from the grounds at Mark Twain Elementary School on Feb. 22 as part of One Day Federal Way. Below: Volunteers and members of Advancing Leadership Youth class of 2011 take a break at Star Lake Elementary. View a slideshow at federalwaymirror.com. Photos by ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

One Day Federal Way nets 300 volunteers By ANDY HOBBS editor@federalwaymirror.com

Quality of

LIFE

Amid chilly winds and a forecast for snow, more than 300 volunteers spruced up the grounds surrounding three Federal Way schools in what could become a community tradition. The Federal Way Chamber of Commerce’s Advancing Leadership Youth (ALY) program held its service project, “One Day Federal Way,” 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at Mark Twain Elementary, Star Lake Elementary and Totem Middle School. Volunteers spread beauty bark, removed blackberry bushes, painted hallways and more [ more ONE DAY page 4 ]

If there’s ever a question about how culturally diverse Federal Way is, one need look no further than the selection of books recently donated by the city’s Diversity Commission to local elementary schools. The books tell stories centering on the cultures of Afghanistan, Russia, Ethiopia and Vietnam, among others. One book, “At the Zoo in Samoan and English,” teaches about exotic animals in two languages. The Diversity Commission acts as a cultural advisor to the Federal Way City Council. Since 2002, the commission has donated books to local libraries and elementary schools about the cultures represented in the community. This year, Green Gables, Sherwood Forest, Rainier View and Nautilus elementary schools were gifted such books. “Someone came up with a concept that there are a lot of kids in our community and it’s becoming more diversified,” said Diversity Commission member Ron Walker about how the donations got started. “We said, what are some ways

we can make an impact?” Each year, the commission sends out letters to librarians at elementary schools asking what types of books would highlight the ethnic and cultural groups at each school, Walker said. The librarians are given a budget of $300; the commission then takes the selections to the Border’s store at The Commons Mall, which orders the books (Walker noted that the store gives the commission a “nice size discount”). Some of the books bought this year include “Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing,” “Fiesta Dress: A Quinceanera Tale,” “Spider’s Gift: A Ukrainian Christmas Story,” and “I Come From Afghanistan.” This year, a total of 88 books were donated. The commission buys books using its own budget and usually spends around $1,200. The culmination of the donation is a series of readings at elementary schools by local community leaders. This year’s readings revolve [ more BOOKS page 2 ]

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[4] February 26, 2011

www.federalwaymirror.com

Snow days in Federal Way

Federal Way and the rest of Puget Sound was under a winter storm warning Tuesday through Thursday last week. Snow fell in feather-sized flakes on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Federal Way Public Schools cancelled all classes and activities on Thursday, although much of the snow had melted by Thursday afternoon. An arctic air mass dropping south from British Columbia combined with developing low pressure off the Washington coast led to the heavy snow, according to the National Weather Service’s forecast. High temperatures are expected to hit the mid-30s Saturday and the mid-40s Sunday. ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

[ BILL from page 2] said, noting that it might be cost prohibitive given the relatively few number of students enrolled in the program statewide. Garcia favored that idea, too, but for both International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge Program, offered at Federal Way High School. “It should be equivalent,” he said. Federal Way also offers the International Baccalaureate “middle years programme” for students ages 11 to 16, which precedes the two-year year diploma program. International Baccalaureate is an nonprofit education group based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Above: Nimo Azeez, a sophomore at Todd Beamer High School, clears debris in the courtyard at Totem Middle School on Feb. 22. Below: Chris Moody of scout troop 337 paints a hallway at Star Lake Elementary School on Feb. 22 as part of One Day Federal Way. PHOTOS BY ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

[ ONE DAY from page 1] at three schools that needed it most. Organizers hope One Day Federal Way becomes an annual tradition that goes beyond the schools to touch multiple areas of the community. Jon McIntosh, pastor at Grace Church, first suggested One Day Federal Way as a class project for the ALY students. His church partnered with South King Fire and Rescue to perform similar work in August at Thomas Jefferson High School and Olympic View Elementary. On Tuesday, he praised the volunteers for rallying behind the idea and bringing people together. “Thank you for surpassing my hopes and expectations,” he told a crowd of volunteers at Star Lake Elementary. “You are a credit to the city of Federal Way.” Umpqua Bank handed out ice cream to the volunteers for One Day Federal

Way, and adults from the Advancing Leadership program also helped out. Mayor Skip Priest, Superintendent Rob Neu, Federal Way Chamber CEO Tom Pierson, City Councilwoman Jeanne Burbidge and Federal Way School Board members Tony Moore and Suzanne Smith delivered messages of inspiration to

the student volunteers. To learn more about Advancing Leadership Youth, contact Teri Hickel: terih@ federalwaychamber.com or (253) 528-0846.

Slideshow online To view more photos from One Day Federal Way, check out a slideshow at federalwaymirror.com


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IN OTHER NEWS | Service club network collects diapers and baby formula [2]

VOL. 13, NO. 322

Mirror

F E D E R A L WAY

division of Sound Publishing

OPINION | Johnson: The fight against human trafficking and sex slavery [4] Palmer: Nigerian teens find their local calling [4] CRIME BLOTTER | The latest entries from the Federal Way police log [3] BUSINESS | Energy efficiency grants, plus: Tao restaurant closes its doors [10]

SPORTS | Federal Way High School girls SATURday, MARCH 5, 2011 basketball team shoots for state title [6]

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CALENDAR | Upcoming entertainment and happenings in Federal Way [9, 12]

City seeks new developer after high-rises fizzle Bids will be accepted for vacant downtown site By JACINDA HOWARD jhoward@federalwaymirror.com

Federal Way will again solicit developers for the former AMC Theatres downtown property.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the city council unanimously agreed on a timeline by which to proceed with identifying, for the second time in four years, a developer for the 4.1-acre site, located at 31600 20th Ave. S. The city was previously working with Seattle-based Twin Development, which planned three

skyscrapers (one at 35 stories and two at 45 stories) for the site. The purchase and sale agreement with the company lapsed in January when Twin Development failed to make a $100,000 interest payment to the city. The city council hopes to select a new development team by August. A request for qualifications (RFQ) and a request for

proposals (RFP) will be issued.

Project components Leaders are still pursuing a mixed-use project. Components will include residential, commercial, retail, office and public space. The project must be pedestrian friendly and supportive of transit. Aesthetically pleasing building

facades and a potential mix of building heights are desired. A park, plaza or other public space is essential. The city will not, at least initially, stifle potential developers’ creativity by restricting building heights or setting requirements for the open space component. [ more DEVELOPER page 10 ]

Sequoyah taps the meaning of music in education Concert is March 7 By NEAL McNAMARA

Graffiti on a ‘forgotten’ sculpture at Steel Lake Park. The sculpture is nearly 20 years old. It was rediscovered during a recent survey of city-owned public art. PHOTOS BY NEAL McNAMARA, The Mirror

Boat-shaped sculpture rescued at Steel Lake Park Public art projects in Federal Way By NEAL McNAMARA nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

A nearly 20-year-old sculpture at Steel Lake Park will soon be pulled from the weeds after it was rediscovered during a recent survey of city-owned public art. Both a gazebo and a bench, the sculpture is shaped like a boat and sits among a tuft of trees and brush near the western edge of the beach at Steel Lake. Brush was recently cleared from near the sculpture, but the Federal Way Arts Commission wants to move the sculpture to a more popular

location in the park for by artists Gail Simpson and public enjoyment. Aristotle Georgiades, who “We think it would be also created similar pieces enjoyed by a lot more at Steel Lake: there’s another people if it was in a more gazebo (but not shaped like prominent spot,” said a boat) and two fenceparks and recreation like sculptures farther supervisor John the beach. SimpQuality of up Hutton. son and Georgiades Arts Commisalso designed a sion Chair Susan fence that rims the Honda said that forparking lot near the mer commissioners were beach. called during the creating Simpson and Georgiades of a brochure of city-owned are now based in Wisconsin art, which was how the boat and have works in Chicago, sculpture was rediscovered. North Carolina, Kansas “There was actually a and as far away as Gerdead fish hanging from it,” many. Georgiades, who is a Honda said when the sculp- professor at the University ture was revisited. of Wisconsin, could not be The city obtained the reached for comment. piece in 1996, shortly after Hutton said that the Federal Way was incorposculpture could be moved [ more SCULPTURES page 9 ] rated. The work was created

LIFE

nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

Above: This sculpture at Steel Lake Park will be rescued from a thicket of weeds and moved to a more public area of the park. Left: Chainsaw sculptor Bob King works on carving the likenesses of birds into a tree at the Dumas Bay Centre. The sculpture is the city’s newest art acquisition. NEAL McNAMARA, The Mirror

A gusty, gray and drizzling Wednesday morning was the backdrop for Sequoyah Middle School teacher Rebecca Pomeroy’s eighth-grade orchestra students to demonstrate their version of “Conquistador,” an epic, driving piece that recalls a Spanish solider rushing into battle. Natalie Hoss’ upright bass provided the warm foundation, while violinists Inna Grib, Honson Ling and Junguk Lee brought the intensity, and cellos and violas produced taut rhythm. Pomeroy sat in front of the nine-piece Phoenix Orchestra (Sequoyah’s mythical mascot) conducting, demonstrating the time signature with her right hand and volume with her left. In the middle of “Conquistador,” Pomeroy stopped conducting and [ more MUSIC page 8 ]

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[2] March 5, 2011

www.federalwaymirror.com

Service clubs unite Explorers savor a taste of police life behind diaper drive By JACINDA HOWARD

jhoward@federalwaymirror.com

We don’t want to duplicate something someone else is editor@fedwaymirror.com doing,” he said. “The project The Federal Way Comgives us the visibility we munity Service Club wanted to have. If we can Network is launching a support one another, that quarterly project to stock would be the ideal thing. the shelves at South King We created a reason to County’s largest charity. come together.” To kick off the project, The idea for the quarterly clubs in the network will collection drive is months collect baby formula and in the making. diapers, then deliver the For the second quarter bounty to the Multi-Service of 2011, the network will Center on March 9. collect kid-friendly “The people in foods such as macamy club have been Quality of roni and cheese, absolutely amazed microwave soups, at how expensive juice boxes, granola baby diapers, baby bars, fruit and pudfood and baby items ding cups and snacks. are,” said Wayne Triplett of Delivery will take place the Kiwanis Club of Greater June 8. The third project Federal Way. “That points seeks more non-perishable out just how difficult it is food and garden produce, for some people to have an with delivery slated for adequate supply of those Sept. 14. For the fourth things because they’re project, volunteers will colalready living on limited lect socks, coats, blankets, incomes.” gloves and scarves for the Triplett volunteers as a Multi-Service Center, with driver for the Multi-Service delivery set for Dec. 14. Center. On Wednesday, The Federal Way Comhe’ll help load baby supmunity Service Club plies brought in by clubs Network meets at 10 a.m. throughout Federal Way. the second Wednesday of The network consists of every month at City Hall. local service organizations Participating organizations including Kiwanis, Lions include AAUW (American and Rotary. Many clubs Association of University address specific issues such Women); GFWC SOKICO as scholarships, eyeglass (General Federation of donations, homelessness or Women’s Clubs South King domestic abuse. County); Federal Way Lions The network was started (Noon and Sunrise); Fedthree years ago by Dennis eral Way Rotary (Noon and Jaraczeski of the Federal Sunrise); Federal Way KiWay Noon Rotary. Initially, wanis (Noon and Sunrise); he sought support to build Federal Way Community a big sign that announced Caregiving Network; Reach the city’s service clubs. The Out men’s homeless shelter; network continues to foster Veterans of Foreign Wars camaraderie and communi- (VFW); Pray Federal Way; cation among local clubs. Federal Way Community “Federal Way is only so Garden Foundation; and big and everyone is trySoroptimist of Federal Way. ing to get into the same To learn more, call Jaracpockets (for donations). ... zeski at (206) 878-3048. By ANDY HOBBS

LIFE

Late last month, 64 youths representing 10 police departments gathered in Federal Way to show off their law enforcement skills in a Police Explorer challenge. Nationwide, many police departments feature an explorer program. The program offers young adults an inside look at what law enforcement officers do daily. It also serves as career development training. “What this program does is just give them an idea of whether this is something they want to do,” said Federal Way Officer Curtis Tucker.

Explorer challenge

Youths participating in Federal Way’s Police Explorers challenge run through a mock scenario in which they investigate a suspicious vehicle. COURTESY OF FEDERAL WAY POLICE Explorer challenges are a way for youths to put what they’ve learned to the test in a series of scored mock with the program and is confident MacPhail from the Chico Police scenes that are similar to what police that she will seek a police position Department in an email to Federal may encounter. Explorer teams when she graduates high school. Way Police Chief Brian compete against one an“My program here, Wilson. “In all the years I “At first, I was a little skeptical that other for the highest score. a majority of the I wanted to be a police officer,” Wells have been involved with Federal Way’s recent chalsaid. “But now I love it.” exploring, the Federal Way lenge featured a number of kids are going to Wells will not be alone in her job Challenge was by far the stay in the law simulated tactical scenarisearch. Tucker estimates 70 percent os. The youths performed enforcement fields.” most exciting and rewardof explorers go on to pursue police ing experience.” Curtis Tucker, a traffic stop, K-9 track, careers. In fact, two Federal Way offiBecause Federal Way Federal Way police building search and SWAT cers were hired after they completed Explorers hosted the event, call, and participated in a Federal Way’s Explorer program. they did not partake. scene where terrorists on a “My program here, a majority of The challenge was still bus were holding hostages. the kids are going to stay in the law worthwhile for the youths. Visiting The explorers used Simunition and enforcement fields,” Tucker said. teams paid a fee to participate in Airsoft weapons to simulate actual Wells said the explorer program the challenge. The money collected firearms. goes toward sustaining Federal Way’s has given her an edge over her comThey were scored on their actions petition. She is already aware of what during the 13 mock scenes. In reality, program, which is free. she can expect in the field and holds a police officer’s ability to explain Federal Way Explorer some law enforcement skills. why a given decision was made at She encourages other teens interThe Federal Way Police Explorer the height of a stressful situation is a ested in police or law work to join program began in 1997. It is available valuable skill. the Federal Way group. to participants ages 14 to 21. They Explorers are also expected to be “This is the best opportunity you able to explain their actions. Why did learn about each unit within the Fedhave,” she said. “It’s a gateway path they fire their weapon? Why did they eral Way Police Department. They for you.” also assist the department on issues stop a suspicious vehicle? Why did Explorers must still pass the police such as traffic control. they make an arrest? academy to qualify for a law enforceHeidy Wells, 17, has been with the “They have to articulate why they program since she was 14. She joined ment position with Federal Way made the decision they did, which is police. Completion of the program when she lived in Federal Way, and what (officers) do,” Tucker said. does not guarantee a job with the though she now lives in Northeast The challenge earned rave reviews. department. Tacoma, she prefers Federal Way’s A team from Chico, Calif., took program. Her older sister was a home first place. Learn more Federal Way Explorer and set an “Chico Police Explorer Post 637 Learn more about the Federal Way example for Wells. traveled a far distance to attend. It Police Explorers online at federalway Wells said she was unsure at first was every bit worth it. Not only did policeexplorers.com. Federal Way’s if she wanted a career in the law enthey do well, but the experience was forcement field. She has since worked program is open to residents and unparalleled to any other Explorer non-residents. her way up to a leadership position competition out there,” wrote Lori


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SENIOR RESOURCES | Check out a special 8-page section in today’s paper [inside]

VOL. 13, NO. 324

Mirror

F E D E R A L WAY

division of Sound Publishing

OPINION | Hobbs: Value of camaraderie in the community [4] Letters: When will the Marlboro Man start rolling joints? [4] HYLEBOS BOARDWALK | Proposal would honor a Federal Way conservationist [2] CRIME BLOTTER | The latest entries from the Federal Way police log [3]

SPORTS | Presenting the all-city boys SATURday, MARCH 12, 2011 and girls basketball teams [15]

CALENDAR | Upcoming entertainment and happenings in Federal Way [6]

Light rail in Federal Way is derailed, for now Sound Transit: Tax revenue projections for South King County are down 31 percent By NEAL McNAMARA nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

A planned expansion of light rail into the Redondo area of Federal Way may be pushed back past 2030 due

to a larger than expected revenue shortfall. A station in the vicinity of South 272nd Street and Pacific Highway South was planned by Sound Transit as part of the Sound Transit

2 expansion package to be completed by 2023. The station would link with the existing light rail line that runs from downtown Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Sound Transit is projecting $3.9 billion less in revenue through 2023 than expected when voters approved the Sound Transit 2 expansion in 2008. “Given the revenue

shortfall, there does not appear to be sufficient funds to complete the Redondo station by the life of (Sound Transit 2),” said Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason. Sound Transit has recently held public workshops showing a route to a station

at South 200th Street and International Boulevard in Seatac. Sound Transit wants to push up the project’s completion of that station by four years to 2016; it was originally scheduled to open by 2020. The Sound Transit board, [ more rail page 20 ]

Driver changes plea in fatal crash Suspect waives his right to a trial and feels remorse: ‘I understand what I did‘ By JACINDA HOWARD jhoward@federalwaymirror.com

Federal Way service clubs collaborate on diaper drive The Federal Way Community Service Club Network is launching a quarterly project to stock Quality of the shelves at South King County’s largest social service entity. Clubs in the network collected baby formula and diapers, then on March 9 at City Hall, volunteers loaded a van bound for the Multi-Service Center. The next project will collect kid-friendly foods. To learn more, call (206) 878-3048. Pictured above (left to right): Dick Mayer, Kiwanis and Lions and Wal-Mart; Kathy Ward, FUSION; Bob Darrigan, Lions and Federal Way Senior Center; Carolyn Johnson, GFWC Sokico Woman’s Club; Mo Hitchcock, Federal Way Community Caregiving Network and St. Francis Gala Committee; Linda Persha, Soroptimist of Federal Way; Dennis Jaraczeski, Federal Way Noon Rotary; Tom Leonard, VFW Post 2886; Wayne Triplett, Federal Way Kiwanis (morning group); Mike Persha, Lions. Pictured right: Dennis Jaraczeski unloads diapers from Carolyn Johnson’s car March 9 at City Hall. ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

LIFE

Lagrant D. Pegram pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of vehicular homicide originating from the Dec. 29 incident that killed Emmanuel Franco of Federal Way. Pegram, 35, faces a sentence ranging from 135 to 164 months, said King County Superior Court Judge LeRoy McCullough. The maximum sentence is life in prison and a $50,000 fine, he said. Pegram, of Auburn, originally pleaded not guilty to the charge on Jan. 3. Pegram, who was traveling northbound on Pacific Highway South around 2:20 a.m. Dec. 29, is accused of running a red light at South 320th Street and striking Franco’s vehicle, which was traveling westbound on South 320th Street. Franco, 21, died at the scene. Pegram’s blood alcohol level registered at .242 shortly following the incident, according to court

records. Upon his arrest, Pegram gave an account of the incident that did not match evidence found at the crime scene, according to court records. He told police Franco turned in front of him, causing the fatal incident. There were inaccuracies in Pegram’s account of the incident due to his intoxication, said Lee Russo, Pegram’s attorney. Following Pegram’s Wednesday court appearance at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Russo said that the decision to change the plea was not a difficult one. “It was a relatively easy decision,” Russo said. “The evidence in this case was overwhelming.” The collision was caught on camera. The Pacific Highway South/South 320th Street intersection is monitored by both red light [ more PLEA page 20 ]

6 89076 19979 7


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BUSINESS | Federal Way’s Target store will carry more groceries this summer [2]

VOL. 13, NO. 328

Mirror

F E D E R A L WAY

division of Sound Publishing

OPINION | Hobbs: Seizing the bully pulpit in Federal Way [4] Firearms Lawyer: Open carry and your right to bear arms [4] SOLDIER DIES | A soldier who attended school in Federal Way was killed in Iraq [3] COMMUNITY CALENDAR | The latest events and happenings in Federal Way [5]

SPORTS | Prep track and field recap. SATURday, MARCH 26, 2011 Plus: Decatur pitcher hurls 1-hitter [10]

BEETHOVEN | Two performance groups pay tribute to composer’s masterpiece [13]

Medical marijuana co-ops light up debate The city has rejected only eight business license applications in four years; proposed laws in Legislature would establish regulations for dispensing down just eight business licenses in the past four years, while in the same time period approved more than 4,000. Conscious Care Cooperative and Cascade Medical Center LLC were among the eight rejections. Federal Way City Clerk Carol McNeilly ultimately signs off on business licenses. She affirmed

By NEAL McNAMARA nmcnamara@fedwaymirror.com

Two medical marijuana co-ops are fighting for licenses to do business in Federal Way after being rejected for the permits by the city. A public records request revealed that Federal Way turned

that rejections are rare in Federal Way, adding that “we have few limitations in the (city) code.” City code allows a license to be denied or revoked if it is determined a business is conducting illegal activity. This premise was used as basis for rejecting applications by Cascade and Conscious Care. The businesses would pro-

vide qualified medical marijuana patients with a supply of cannabis in exchange for a donation. “The business application was denied because it is the belief of the city that Conscious Care was going to distribute marijuana, which is an illegal act under state and federal law,” assistant city attorney Peter Beckwith said Wednesday at an appeal hearing for Conscious Care. Marijuana possession and distribution is still illegal under

state and federal law. Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act provides an affirmative defense for medical marijuana patients and providers. No criminal charges have been brought against anyone involved with Conscious Care or Cascade. Conscious Care, however, continues to operate without a business license. The city sent the business a cease and desist letter, and city code makes operating a business [ more MARIJUANA page 6 ]

Partnership adds muscle to conservation City gains control

over grant money

By ANDY HOBBS

editor@federalwaymirror.com

Two forces have combined to enhance Federal Way’s urban wilderness experiences and overall quality of life. Friends of the Hylebos joined EarthCorps in a partnership that’s expected to strengthen conservation and restoration efforts in Federal Way’s natural areas. EarthCorps, which is affiliated with Quality of AmeriCorps and based in Seattle, mobilizes thousands of volunteers every year for environmental restoration projects. The partnership with Friends of the Hylebos makes sense in today’s economic climate, said Steve Dubiel, executive director for EarthCorps. “The goals remain the same in engaging the community in its involvement with restoration,” Dubiel said. “There’s such a shared perspective and approach to conservation.” The two organizations have worked together for more than 10 years, and the merger reflects the recession-era funding shortage for conservation efforts. Friends of the Hylebos lost 25 percent of its operating budget — nearly $125,000 — from King County, according to a June 2010 report. At that time, the non-profit organization reduced its staff from 4.5 fulltime employees to two; cuts included the executive director, restoration coordinator and administrative assistant positions. The new group will operate a branch office at Dumas Bay Centre under the name EarthCorps. [ more HYLEBOS page 6 ]

New arrangement will make more federal funding available for local use By JACINDA HOWARD jhoward@federalwaymirror.com

LIFE

The 120-acre West Hylebos Wetlands Park can best be seen from the park’s boardwalk, which was installed by Friends of the Hylebos and remodeled in 2008. The park is located on South 348th Street, about a mile west of Pacific Highway South. NEAL McNAMARA, The Mirror

Federal Way will gain more control over its Community Development Block Grant funding — money provided by the federal government to be applied toward developing viable communities — beginning in 2012. The city is seeking to receive its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG funding is meant to strengthen communities by providing decent housing and suitable living environments, and by expanding economic opportunities, primarily for low- and moderate-income residents. The funding may go toward a range of actions including property acquisition, relocation or demolition; construction or improvements of public facilities; activities relating to energy conservation and assistance to businesses engaged in economic development and job creation, according to HUD’s

website. Federal Way usually receives an annual allotment of roughly $770,000 in CDBG dollars. Because the city is part of a King County consortium, which manages and monitors its member cities’ CDBG awards, Federal Way does not control how nearly $286,000 of the $770,000 is spent. The city won’t receive more CDBG money through direct entitlement, but will have a say in how the entire funding is used. “By having control over the decision making process, and ultimately the decisions, we can be accountable to our local residents,” said Lynnette Hynden, human services director. City staff believe direct entitlements will strengthen relationships between the city and local private partners, thus putting more CDBG funding to work in Federal Way. Hynden would like to see the funds [ more GRANTS page 7 ]

6 89076 19979 7


[6] March 26, 2011 [ MARIJUANA from page 1] without a license a misdemeanor, with penalties reaching $500 for each day the business remains in violation. Cascade owner David Madrid said he submitted a business license application on Feb. 10 under instructions from his attorney. The first he heard from the city, he said, was the denial letter. His appeal hearing is scheduled for March 30. “My attitude is, medical marijuana patients have a right to their medication,” said Madrid, who thinks the city is denying the licenses “because they don’t want (a co-op) there.” McNeilly, when asked, denied that city leaders do not want medical marijuana co-ops — or dispensaries as they are also known — in Federal Way. “They just want businesses that are operating legally,” she said.

Medical marijuana business denials Of the business licenses rejected between Jan. 1, 2007, and March 15, 2011, three were in 2009, and three were in 2007. Conscious Care was denied in 2010, but notice was not received until January 2011. Cascade was rejected on Feb. 15. The non-medical marijuana related businesses rejected were Lumber Plus, a retail store; El Cambalache, a tool seller; USA-UA Transportation, a trucking company; Mr. Tow, a towing service; K and G Enterprises, a contractor; and Taqueria El Cazador, a mobile food truck. A total of 4,076 businesses were approved between Jan. 1, 2007, and March 15, 2011. The medical marijuana co-ops were the only two rejected for criminal law-related issues. McNeilly is not the only city official who holds sway over business licenses. Applications are circulated among officials in different departments — typically the planning and building department and police, who give input on whether a license should be approved. Under city code, a business license may be rejected or revoked for a number of reasons, including: • Using a business as cover for illegal activity • If it becomes a nuisance or a threat to public safety • The owner has had a criminal conviction in the 10 years prior to opening that is related to the nature of the business

Hearing process Both Conscious Care and Cascade have appealed their business license denials. Conscious Care’s hearing was held March 23 in front of Phil Olbrechts, a hearing examiner hired by the city. At the hearing, Beckwith interviewed McNeilly and Federal Way Police Cmdr. Stan McCall as witnesses. McNeilly testified that the city received Conscious Care’s business license application on Nov. 19 and mailed out a denial

www.federalwaymirror.com letter on Dec. 9. However, the denial was returned to the city as undeliverable — possibly due to a wrong address on the application — on Jan. 19. Police later hand delivered the letter, which McCall testified he did. Both denial letters cite illegality of the businesses as reasons for denial. McCall testified that one of Conscious Care’s owners had outstanding warrants from other states, and that a review of the co-op’s website revealed the alleged illegality of its business model. McCall underscored the suspicion that Conscious Care was distributing marijuana by saying that he smelled the drug when he hand delivered the letter. “We could smell marijuana, and in my experience as a police officer (31 years), I’m familiar with what marijuana smells like,” he said. “It wasn’t burning, it was growing or a green marijuana smell.” Conscious Care’s attorneys, Abe Ritter and Aaron Pelley, argued that the business license denial was not done in a timely manner. Pelley said that the city is presuming that the co-op is operating illegally, even though no one has been convicted of a crime. “The important point, as it Federal Way denied a business license for Conscious Care Cooperative, which opened seems to be missed by the city, is that to be arrested or accused does in January at 29500 Pacific Highway S. and dispenses medical marijuana to authorized not make one guilty of a crime,” patients. According to city code, anyone operating a business without a license is guilty of Pelley said. “To accuse someone a criminal misdemeanor and subject to penalties of up to $500 a day. FILE PHOTO of a crime is simply that, an acmarijuana businesses, but recently one patient at a time is allowed to cusation. So is it illegal to possess see the caregiver. A donation is marijuana? Yes, it is true that it can revoked the licenses of 19 such businesses. exchanged for the medical maribe found to be illegal to possess When asked, neither McCall nor juana, though some patients can marijuana. It is a jury who’s going Beckwith could explain why other qualify for free medicine. Ecklund to decide who’s convicted and cities allow medical marijuana said that prices are kept at a rate to who is guilty of criminal businesses. discourage resale — that a donaconduct.” “You have to sign “Those are good question for the cannabis is more than Beckwith, when asked codes of conduct, tions — we work for one could get on the street. after the hearing if there’s you have to be a “I understand I can’t just open evidence of a crime, said medical marijuana the city of Federal Way,” McCall said. up and dispense medicine,” that the point is moot patient. We check There is no state or Ecklund said. “This is a co-op. It’s because no one is deny- to make sure federal law that explica club. You have to sign codes of ing that Conscious Care documentation is itly speaks to medical conduct, you have to be a medical distributes marijuana. valid.” marijuana dispensaries. marijuana patient. We check to “There’s the smell, the make sure documentation is valid. website,” he said. “I don’t Brad Ecklund, Conscious When McNeilly was Care Cooperative asked which state law There are all these steps that go think you can dispute outlaws dispensaries, into it.” that they’re selling marishe pointed to the state’s A new law is working its way juana.” through the Legislature that would “It is their biz plan,” McCall said. overarching drug law on the sale, clarify the issue. State Sen. Jeanne “It’s specifically spelled out on their possession and use of marijuana. The Medical Use of Marijuana Act Kohl-Welles’ law — which has website. The nature of the highs — a medical marijuana law passed passed in the Senate — establishes are described (on the website), a regulatory system for producing by voters in 1998 — only states not the medical effects — the high and dispensing medical marijuana; that no marijuana is allowed for associated with the different types establishes arrest protections for of marijuana they sell. That’s pretty use or display in public. patients, providers and dispensThe legality of medical mariclear. It’s spelled out in black and ers; and sets up a voluntary state juana businesses is a gray area to white.” registry system for all involved some. Olbrechts questioned both Brad Ecklund, a principle manin medical marijuana. The bill on sides at the Conscious Care hearager at the Federal Way Conscious Thursday was voted out of the state ing on how a medical marijuana Care location, said that he will House to the floor with the recomoperate the co-op whether he has a co-op functions under state law. mendation of a “yes” vote. The state’s medical marijuana law business license or not. Both Ecklund and Madrid are allows an affirmative defense for Olbrechts said he has 10 days determined to see their businesses caregivers, as long as they serve to make a decision; however, the through. They contend that a only one patient. It is not clear record of the case is open until well-run co-op is safer for medical whether that is meant as one Tuesday to receive documents marijuana patients. patient in the entire world, or one from the city and the appellant. “The city will be much better patient at a time. Co-ops exist elsewhere; served by working with us to zone Proprietors say that medical regulation possible marijuana co-ops and dispensaries and regulate (medical marijuana operate much like a doctor’s office. businesses),” Ecklund said. “This According to newspaper adis what we’ve been pressing them A patient enters the business and vertisements, medical marijuana to do from the beginning, instead waits in a lobby area to see a caredispensaries, co-ops and patient of ignore the elephant in the room giver. There is a security barrier referral services operate in Tukand say, ‘no we’re not going to have between the lobby and where the wila, Burien, Spokane and Seattle. this here.’” medical marijuana is kept. Only Tacoma had allowed medical

[ HYLEBOS from page 1]

In addition, the internationally-known EarthCorps will take on financial and bookkeeping responsibilities. The group’s first project in Federal Way will involve the creation of an online map that allows web users to track restoration efforts at Poverty Bay, Dumas Bay and West Hylebos Wetlands. The project will be made possible by a recently secured $10,000 grant from the Washington State Urban and Community Forestry Program, Dubiel said. More projects will come. “It gets you one step closer to your neighborhood park,” Dubiel said, noting that parks offer a connection to nature and are crucial to a community’s overall quality of life. Dubiel said that EarthCorps projects recruit thousands of volunteers in a network that spreads ideas for restoration to other communi- “The goals remain the ties. same in Friends engaging the of the community Hylebos in its formed as involvement an allwith volunteer restoration.” group in the late Steve Dubiel 1990s, and has primarily focused on preserving the 120-acre West Hylebos Wetlands along with more than 535 acres of local open space. Over the years, Friends of the Hylebos has helped plant more than 93,000 native trees and vegetation in the Hylebos Watershed. The organization also regularly leads efforts to remove invasive plants such as English Ivy and blackberry bushes at Federal Way parks. In 2008, the popular boardwalk at West Hylebos Wetlands was reopened following restoration work. “Friends of the Hylebos and EarthCorps have a long history together working on projects,” said Federal Way resident Margery Godfrey, who will participate on a newly-formed advisory committee that guides the group on local endeavors. “All the stars lined up on this (partnership). It must have been meant to be.” The partnership will be officially recognized during the Federal Way City Council meeting at 7 p.m. April 5 at City Hall. To learn more about EarthCorps, visit www.earthcorps.org.

Quality of life in Federal Way  

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