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HOV LANES | Project on Pacific Highway enters final phase after 10 years [3]

VOL. 10, NO. 195




OPINION | Mirror editorial: Property values at stake in Twin Lakes [6] Roegner: What did we learn from 2009 election? [6]

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16, 2009

SEX IN THE SUBURBS | Vibrators and guns: What’s on your toy list? [4] RUDI ALCOTT | My two cents — and some spare change to boot [8] LOCAL ARTS | Shyan Selah and friends SPORTS | Wrestling: Gators pin down Federal Way. Plus: Decatur ‘s 3A status [15] perform Dec. 19 at The Commons [9]

Bank robberies add up in 2009 12 total so far in Federal Way BY JACINDA HOWARD

This year, compared to recent years, brought a spike in citywide bank robberies. Banks across Federal Way have become victims. As of Dec. 7, a total of 12 robberies have taken place in 2009. Several of the cases are unsolved. Small details of the robberies are grabbing attention. May and October were the busiest months, each bringing three robberies. Many of the robberies occurred within days of one another. Weapons were not used or implied in the two most recent incidents, on Dec. 4 and 7. Half of the robberies were carried out in the past three months. But these and other details have not led police to an overarching pattern in the robberies, nor have most of the suspects been detained. “We are always looking for patterns or connections somehow,” Det. Jeff Vanderveer said. “Nothing is jumping out that says any of these are related.”


Oct. 19: Suspect in robbery at Key Bank, 1918 SW Campus Drive. FILE PHOTO

Oct. 31: Suspect in robbery at Key Bank, 32400 Pacific Highway S. FILE PHOTO

Nov. 18: Suspect in robbery at Key Bank, 1918 SW Campus Drive. FILE PHOTO

Dec. 4: Suspect in robbery at HomeStreet Bank, 33525 Pacific Highway S. FILE PHOTO

Repeat targets Some banking establishments were hit multiple times. Key Bank was robbed four times this year. Of those, three robberies took place at the Twin Lakes location, 1918 SW Campus Drive. The bank takes robberies seriously, but does not discuss the crimes or its prevention efforts, said Anne Foster, Pacific Northwest division spokeswoman. “You can be certain our policies and procedures are adjusted as needed to react to situations that are current in that area,” she said. U.S. Bank and Heritage Bank were twiceover victims as well. U.S. Bank’s incidents took place Jan. 30 and May 8. The latter is the same date Heritage Bank was robbed. That bank’s two robberies happened within one week of each other, records show. Still, more banks were victims this year. Chase (formerly Washington Mutual), Sterling Savings, Columbia and HomeStreet banks have each been robbed once, according to police records.

Suspects not identified With the exception of the suspect in the Aug. 24 robbery of Sterling Savings bank, many of the suspects have not been identi-

Schools hire firm to find a new supt.

fied. Joel Crom, 24, was caught on video surveillance robbing the bank. He was shot and killed by police Sept. 3 when a tip led them to a Federal Way residence where he was located. Crom threatened officers, at which point they shot the suspect. Crom later died at Harborview Medical Center. The officers were placed on administrative leave, pending an outside investigation. There does not appear to be a connection between the other suspects, police spokesman Raymond Bunk said. Police are unsure why there have been so many robberies lately and why half of them took place in the past three months. “Nothing is jumping out that says any of these are related,” Vanderveer said. [ more ROBBERIES page 2 ]

Dec. 7: Suspect in robbery at Key Bank, 1918 SW Campus Drive. This was the bank’s third robbery of 2009. FILE PHOTO

The Federal Way School Board has taken the next step in selecting a new superintendent. The board hired McPherson and Jacobson as the search firm to look for a new top dog in the school district. The firm was one of four firms that pitched their leadership to the board at a work study meeting on Dec. 1. The board narrowed it down to the top two, but ultimately, McPherson and Jacobson prevailed. “Both finalists seem to impress all of us,” board member Angela Griffin said. “Both had the contacts and background to do a national search.” However, it was McPherson and Jacobson’s more “West Coast centric” approach that appealed to the school board, said board member Suzanne Smith. Smith stated that in this economy and housing, it may be difficult to convince someone to move across the country. Therefore, someone with a better access to West Coast talent might be the best choice, she said. McPherson and Jacobson have been conducting national searches since 1991, and have done numerous [ more SEARCH page 2]

[2] December 16, 2009

Human attraction and toilet seats at Truman Physical science and biology students get ‘squirrely’ for Dec. 17 Museum Night BY KYRA LOW

As any teacher or student can tell you, the short time between Thanksgiving break and winter break can fly by and drag on at the same time. It can also include a complete lack of focus and concentration for the students. Not in Truman High School teacher Dawn Brown’s science class. “December is really ‘squirrely’ time for them,” said Brown, who teaches physical science and biology. “We’ve learned a bunch. Now let’s take it and do something.” Physical science students are creating an invention, anything they want, but they must show how it works, then model it. Students can do anything as long as it involves movement. Biology students must relate their presentations and projects back to

genetics and ethics. Both groups of students will present their projects at Museum Night, which they will host from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 17 at 31455 28th Ave. S. Brown did the project for two years at Todd Beamer High School and is now bringing it to Truman. “They are stepping up to the plate,” Brown said. “Their answers are much more thoughtful.” Students are working in small groups or as individuals. The project is a big hit. Students have been coming in to work during their free time and weekends. “They excel at working at their own pace and having bigger ideas,” Brown explained.

Attraction and toilet seats The projects are varied among the students. Maria Ramirez, a senior

Truman High School senior Maria Ramirez works on her presentation board for her research on facial expressions and the perfect ratio for her biology class with Dawn Brown. KYRA LOW, Federal Way Mirror

biology student, is working on how body language, facial expressions and the perfect facial ratio relate to what humans are genetically attracted to. She has measured faces and researched what certain

movements mean. Licking lips might mean they are chapped, or it might mean interest in a man. Men touching women’s hips can be casual, or it could be linked to the woman’s fertility, Ramirez said. “I didn’t think about stuff like that before,” she added. Students in the physical science class have come up with interesting ideas for

their projects. Sophomores Jacqueline Guzman and Christian Zamudio are part of a group working on the “Seat Solver,” a device that puts the toilet seat down after every flush. The idea came after Guzman sat down without looking at her home, after her brother had used the toilet, and fell in. Their device is activated by the flushing of the

handle. “We’re solving a normal problem using homemade stuff,” Guzman said. During the Museum Night presentations, students will explain their projects and methods to community members and judges, who will grade them on their presentation and understanding. Ten people have volunteered to judge.

Likely motives for bank robberies [ ROBBERIES from page 1]


Speak with your financial advisor to determine if BABs make sense for you. Jim Dolan

Doug Legg


3430 Southwest 320th Federal Way, WA 98023 253-874-1234

204 So. 348th St. Ste 3 Federal Way, WA 98023 (253) 838-3332

32020 1ST AVENUE SOUTH STE 103 FEDERAL WAY, WA 98003 253-661-1670

Dan Altmayer 1632 S W Dash Point Rd Federal Way, WA 98023 253-661-3155

Steve Rapp 31835 Pacific Hwy. S. Ste G Federal Way, WA 98003 (253) 839-1276

Washington Bankers Association president Jim Pishue has a theory. The banking organization works in conjunction with the FBI. It offers rewards for tips that lead to the arrests and convictions of bank robbers. Bank robberies generally occur when two conditions are present: High and increasing unemployment rates, and impending holidays, he said. “As we approach holidays, as far as I know, bank robberies have a tendency to escalate during this time,” he said. Following a robbery, police take measures to identify and apprehend suspects. They set up a perimeter, blockading exit points near the bank, Vanderveer said. They also collect evidence, sometimes including video or photographs of the suspect, he said. When appropriate, that information is distributed to other law en-

forcement agencies, and some bank branch managers, to alert them to the suspect, he said. Police also rely on tips to catch bank robbers, he said.

In comparison Last year, five bank robberies took place. Three of the robberies occurred at Rainier Pacific Bank locations; two of the robberies were at the 35007 Enchanted Parkway South location and another at 1900 S. 320th St. First International and Center Bank were each targeted once, according to police records. In 2007, six bank robberies took place, according to police records. U.S. Bank and Chase Bank were each robbed twice. Rainier Pacific and Bank of America were robbed once each, police records show. Anyone with information on this year’s bank robberies is asked to call Det. Jeff Vanderveer at (253) 835-6791 or e-mail

Search for new superintendent of schools [ SEARCH from page 1] searches for school boards in the past. They have more than 70 consultants across the United States and have four in Washington. The firm’s home office is located

in Omaha, Neb. The base cost for conducting the superintendent search is set at $23,500. The board will still appoint a citizen’s advisory committee in the coming months. A new superin-

tendent will be announced in May 2010, and will take over for current superintendent Tom Murphy in July. On Oct. 13, Murphy announced his retirement, effective June, 30, 2010.


VOL. 10, NO. 195 YOU’LL LIKE WHAT YOU SEE IN THE MIRROR | 500 Nov. 18: Suspect in robbery at Key Bank, 1918 SW Campus Drive. FILE PHOTO Dec....

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