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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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Police guild’s special interests Endorsements of politicians from special interest groups often come with strings attached. The recent endorsement of the strong mayor proposition by the Federal Way Police Guild points out exactly that. If Federal Way City Council member Jim Ferrell and his Accountability Comes to Town (ACT) organization gets the vote to change our present council/city manager form of government to a strong mayor form of government, and councilman Ferrell becomes mayor, he will be responsible for negotiating

MIRROR EDITORIAL

Federal Way’s lost periods A period is used to indicate the end of a sentence — a conclusion, if you will...and Federal Way faces at least two lingering issues that thrive due to a shortage of periods: • Form of government • Drama involving an elected judge at the municipal court Some language purists would deem the lack of periods in the list above as improper; however, in a period shortage, we must rely on alternative punctuation to survive, such as the ellipsis...a series of dots that, unlike periods, represent thoughts that trickle to an incomplete conclusion...and if the elected mayor initiative doesn’t pass in November, supporters will try for a third time to overhaul the city’s government... Also in high demand is the dash — a strong way to interject a thought (as opposed to using parentheses); when it comes to the divided opinions over Federal Way’s form of government, each side adds a contrasting dash to the other’s arguments — a situation that brings to mind a few lines from this classic Bob Dylan song: “I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world, Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’ Heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’ Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’” As for the unending drama seeping from the Federal Way Municipal Court: That collection of doozies depends on the semicolon, which according to the dictionary, “indicates a degree of separation greater than that marked by the comma and less than that marked by the period;” voters who have followed the judicial drama over the past two years have a chance in November to add a period — and finish an ugly run-on sentence... In conclusion, great effort was taken to avoid wasting any periods in this editorial because Federal Way needs them more than ever — but for the sanity of our readers, The Mirror keeps a few spare periods at the office, and it makes sense to use one right now.

I am guilty of being an extremist I have been accused of being an extremist, angry, negative, loudmouth, trouble-making Uncle Tom — and black. All this before breakfast. I plead guilty to four out of six. I don’t have an uncle named Tom, and my grandfather was Jewish. I’m only part black, just like Barack. To the charge of being an extremist, I plead guilty. Was Jesus not an extremist when he said “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them that hate you?” Was Abraham Lincoln not an extremist? He said, “This country cannot live half-slave and half-free.” Was Thomas Jefferson an extremist when he said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal?” I dare not put myself among these great men, although I have tried to advocate for change because of the fierce urging of now. We have a school system that continues to fail our children and the world. We live in a society that doesn’t value life. The only thing that really is important is sex and money. What shall I tell my child — that we are here by accident? Shall I teach her to get hers before somebody else does? Shall I ignore the alpha

and the omega in my life? Shall I downplay the miracles that have occurred? Shall I, in the mist of the rain, turn my back on those loving hands that guided me to the sun? I cannot, and I will not, ever do that. I say this because several people have responded to me. They have said, “Walter, I enjoy your writings, except when you talk about that God fellow.” I write because I believe that we can do better — and that we must do better. I have, to the best of my ability, advocated and worked for the change I believe in. I have not just sat back and pointed fingers. I am aware that some of the things I write about make people uncomfortable. So much so, that they wish this column would go away. The things I advocate, the things I want, are the things that are deeply rooted in the American dream. It doesn’t matter whether I write, or if my critics win. The reality is: Truth will always win, even after me and my armchair critics are gone. Is it wrong to point out that we are 43rd in graduation rates, and to demand that we do better? Is it wrong to say that a “D” average is unacceptable, even when the Seattle school district says it isn’t? [ more BACKSTROM page 7 ] Walter Backstrom

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OPINION

[6] September 26, 2009

● L E T T E R S . . . Y O U R O P I N I O N C O U N T S : To submit an item or photo: 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. the police guild’s salary and benefit contract with the city. The following is a quote from the guild’s endorsement: “A mayor has to be approachable or face consequences with the media and public because they are an elected position. This gives the Guild more options to flex our political muscles.” A city manager is beholden to no other entity than the city council. If he or she becomes otherwise, the city manager can be immediately fired. A strong mayor, on the other hand, is beholden to every

special interest group that supports him. Vote no against a strong mayor form of government.

Bob Kellogg, Federal Way

Contract dispute is no Hukilau Aloha from Maui, Have been thinking about what has been happening on the home front, when I came across an article, here on the island about teachers and contracts in The Maui News. This reminded me of the Kent School District and the whining the teachers

were doing about needing more “my time” to prepare for classes. They said it wasn’t the money. Yeah right, like I really believe them? The Hawaii public school teachers, here on Maui, ratified a two-year contract Tuesday that included 17 unpaid days off for teachers each year — furlough days that would close schools on certain Fridays and leave students without instruction, forcing some parents to arrange for child care. Yes, there were some who did not agree with the 17day furlough, but they were

in the minority: 81 percent of the 13,500 teachers voted for the “negative package.” They felt it was the best they were able to do. The Hawaiian Islands are hard hit because of the economy, so the teachers were trying to make the best of it until things got better, in the near furture, they are hoping.

Pat Gee, Federal Way

Referendum 71 and Dark Ages As a fair-minded and educated individual, I want to reach out to the community

at large about the necessity to approve Referendum 71. We are living in a society that now has access to the latest scientific evidence that seeks to remove a damaging and unfair stigma to people with affectational preference for their own gender. It is not considered a mental aberration and, like traditional couples of opposite gender, equal rights under the law should be their due. I am urging all fair citizens to come out of the Dark Ages of unjust prejudice and cast their ballots to approve Referendum 71.

Mary C. Otterness, Federal Way

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