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Officials reach agreement on light rail’s impact to school



he 430-acre Weyerhaeuser property in Federal Way has

TAF Academy students breaking fashion barriers with clothing line BY JESSICA KELLER editor@fedwaymirror.com

For Annette Acheampong, Sarah Jacob and Cecilia Jacobs, starting a fashion line in their Technology Access Foundation Academy engineering class was more than just creating clothing. While the TAF Academy juniors, all from Federal Way, are all interested in fashion and are on course to display their clothing in a fashion and art show in Seattle in April, their clothes are aimed at bridging a gap they have noticed in the fashion industry. Calling their upstart business Melan, after melanin, which determines skin and hair pigmentation, the 16-year-olds are creating their fashion line with dark skin in mind. Acheampong and Jacob said they started Melan to empower young women of color. Both Acheampong and Jacob said the team has noticed a lack of bright-colored clothing that flatters darker skin tones in the fashion industry and wanted to do something to [ more DIVERSITY, page 12 ]

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell: ‘State of the city is strong’ With new businesses expected to open this year, a task force to address air-

plane noise and continuing plans to keep roads the best in Washington, Federal Way residents have many things to look forward to this year. This was just part of the message Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell told a packed banquet room during a state of the city address at the

Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday. After making assurances that helping the homeless, funding the Performing Arts and Event Center and addressing public safety concerns continue to be city priorities, Ferrell said the

the state of the city is strong. With Ellonos and MOD pizza opening in Federal Way and the possibility of an aerospace company locating on the former Weyerhaeuser site, Ferrell said he’s seen “noteworthy” investment in the city’s economy. City officials are also

tackling airplane noise with the creation of a Safe and Quiet Skies Citizen Task Force. Federal Way resident and former Alaska Airlines pilot Col. Robert Blix will lead the seven-member committee. Blix is involved with Quiet Skies Puget Sound, a regional task force

that addresses these issues. “The expansion of the Sea-Tac Airport and the increased economic development that has driven it can be real positives for our region,” Ferrell said. “However, it must be balanced and [ more CITY, page 3 ]

the property’s next chapter.” Weyerhaeuser officials announced in August 2014 that they would move their Federal Way-based headquarters to Seattle in mid-to-late 2016, citing the too-large 430-acre campus and lack of enough talent in Federal Way as the main reasons for that decision. Officials have since confirmed they will make the move to 200 Occidental [ more IRG, page 21 ]

FWPS tech levy poised for passage

Olesea Ialanji received a shoebox filled with gifts, including markers, as a 5-year-old living in Moldova. The Federal Way resident now volunteers for Operation Christmas Child, the organization that provided her the shoebox. Courtesy Olesea Ialanji

Operation Christmas Child




Community thanks voters

Citizens for Federal Way Schools members, parents, teachers and students waved signs on Wednesday at South 320th Street and Military Road South, thanking voters for voting ‘yes’ on the Federal Way Public Schools’ technology replacement levy. The levy received approximately 61 percent , 9,833 ‘yes’ votes. Photos

Federal Way voters appear ready to approve Proposition 1, a levy to fund technology infrastructure for Federal Way Public Schools students, by a comfortable margin. Updated ballot tallies released Wednesday evening showed Proposition 1 passing with 61.2 percent of the vote for “Yes” and 38.8 percent for “No,” or 9,833 votes to 6,225. King County Elections officials said ballotcounting would continue through Friday, and the results will be certified Feb. 19. Federal Way Public Schools officials say the six-year, $26.4 million levy will pay for technology like wireless and wired network infrastructure and hardware like computers and tablets. It replaces the district’s existing technology levy, which was approved in 2010 and replaced the district voters have re-approved in every such election since 2004. “The larger community of Federal Way recognizes the importance of ensuring our 22,500 student-scholars are tech-literate,” said Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell. “The current passing rate of the technology levy is proof of their commitment to our student-scholars.”

Federal Way woman helps organization that gave her toy-filled shoebox as a girl BY HEIDI SANDERS hsanders@fedwaymirror.com

When Olesea Ialanji received a shoebox filled with toys as a 5-year-old living in Moldova, she didn’t know the impact it would have on her 20 years later. The box came from Operation Christmas Child, a project of the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, that has provided shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies to more than 146 million children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease since the ministry started in 1993. Ialanji, a 2010 Federal Way High School graduate, now volunteers for Operation Christmas Child and shares her story with groups and

courtesy of Kelley Tanner


FEDERAL WAY (253) 838-2424 1515 SO. 344TH ST.

Must present coupon to get this price. Fluid/filter disposal charges only. Most cars & light trucks. Vehicles requiring synthetic or diesel oil filter may cost extra. No other discounts apply. Additional charge for shop supplies may be added. Redeemable only at Eagle Tire & Automotive.


churches throughout the country. One of seven children, Ialanji grew up in a small village in the Eastern European country of Moldova, where many of the families, including hers, grew their own food and raised livestock to survive. “My parents had to work really hard to make ends meet and to make sure we had food on the table,” she said. “We never were hungry because they worked so hard, but we never had little toys or just fun items little kids would want.” Although she didn’t have much, Ialanji has good memories from her childhood. “We spent lots of time outside playing, making up our own games, making our own toys, just climbing trees, running around with other big families in the village,” she said. “It was just great. [ more CHILD page 17 ]

A new 16-bed mental health evaluation and treatment facility in Federal Way will begin serving those in crisis this month. The King County Department of Community & Human Services and Telecare hosted an open house at the new facility, 33480 13th Place S., Dec. 14. Telecare, a family- and employee-owned behavioral health provider, will operate the facility, which will serve adults who are involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. “One of the things we deal with on a daily basis is people who are in psychiatric crisis who need a place to go,” Jim Vollendroff, direc-

tor of the King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division, said during the open house. “Oftentimes, people end up on what we call single-bed certifications at hospital emergency rooms, which means they are in hospitals because we don’t have enough capacity within our system. With facilities like this bringing online this number of beds at this particular time, (it) will make a huge difference in the lives of the people we interface with on a daily basis.” The new facility in Federal Way is one of eight evaluation and treatment centers in King County. King County put out a request for proposal for the new facility in 2014. While it is Telecare’s first [ more HEALTH page 8 ]

Decatur students raising awareness, funds for food pantry BY JESSICA KELLER editor@fedwaymirror.com

Olesea Ialanji, front left, and her siblings with the shoeboxes they received from Operation Christmas Child in 1997 while living in Moldova. Ialanji now volunteers for the organization, sharing how the shoebox impacted her life. Courtesy Olesea Ialanji

Not content to stand on the sidelines and see what other people are doing to help the homeless in the community, three leadership students at Decatur High School are doing something about it themselves. Now seniors Marmar Greene and Dahvae Turner and junior Ruby Edwards, all students in Heather Oliver’s leadership class, are well on their way to creating a food and supply pantry at Decatur High School so students who don’t have homes or are facing tremendous hardship outside of school have a place to get immediate assistance during the day. Their mission, however, did not happen overnight. The food pantry, once it opens, which Edwards anticipates will be sometime in mid-January, will be the culmination of a lot of work that actually started in Oliver’s leadership class last year on proposal day, where students shared ideas for projects they felt would make a difference either in the community or at the school. [ more PANTRY page 17 ]

Alleged Federal Way drug dealer charged in federal court BY RAECHEL DAWSON rdawson@fedwaymirror.com


ederal prosecutors indicted an alleged Federal Way drug dealer, along with five other suspects, last Wednesday after at least two years of watching the “street-level dealer turned high-level, multiple-pound narcotics supplier,” according to court documents. Michael Duane Humburgs, a convicted child molester who goes by the street name “BM,” was

Michael Humburgs

charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of a firearm after a six-month-

long investigation by the King County Sheriff ’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration. After obtaining search warrants, investigators found a Glock 19 handgun and $89,646 in Humburgs’ residence, located at the 3500 block of Southwest 339th Place in Federal Way. They also found 40 capsules of white heroin and 2-and-a-half pounds of marijuana in a black Chevrolet Impala detectives witnessed him driving on Feb. 9. SWAT teams raided five

residences, four vehicles, one storage unit and two stash houses across multiple cities on April 29. In their raid, they found pounds of drugs, thousands of dollars in cash, and multiple illegal weapons. Detectives first trained Crystal meth found in the April 29 SWAT raid. Contributed photo their eyes on Humburgs after an informant told In a separate arrest, a them he/she could buy nar- tives tried to make another purchase that summer, but drug trafficker told officers cotics from him in March the informant told them that Humburgs was his/her 2014. After a successful Humburgs was allegedly “main source of supply.” controlled buy of cocaine “no longer selling to indiBut when detectives asked and methamphetamine viduals at the street level.” [ more DRUGS, page 3 ] the next month, detec-

Sallee, Federal Way High, Watson win big at state track tournament BY TERRENCE HILL


A little motivation was all Mason Sallee needed during the long jump finals at the state track and field meet. Already holding the lead heading into his final jump, Sallee decided to observe the final two jumpers before him. He watched as South Kitsap’s Albert MacArthur took the lead from him by more than an inch with a jump of 22 feet, 11 3/4 inches. MacArthur began to celebrate when the board showed the new standard. “Once he got pumped like that, I knew I had to bring it all,” Sallee said. “It was my last jump as a senior in high school and I just gave it my all.” As he landed his final jump, the crowd erupted in a frenzy. As he stood up and looked back, he too began to celebrate. Before the official measurement was even done, everyone knew he had won. The final measurement for his final jump was 23-08 3/4, a full eight inches better than his previous personal best. For the second time in as many days, Sallee was crowned a state champion. “It was fun to see him have to overcome some adversity to be able to do this

TAF Academy to move to Saghalie in coming years BY RAECHEL DAWSON


Mason Sallee triple jumps during the state championships on Friday, May 27 at Mount Tahoma High School. Sallee won with a jump of 23 feet, 8 3/4 inches. TERRENCE HILL, the Mirror and see him do that,” said Federal Way jump coach Beckett Cordes. “That’s who Mason is. He’s a competitor.” On day two of the State Track and Field Championships, held May 27-28, Sallee successfully defended his triple jump title. Again, he saved his best


FEDERAL WAY (253) 838-2424 1515 SO. 344TH ST.

jump for last. On his final jump, with the state title in hand, he leapt 48 1/2. It was another personal record for him, a goal he had set from himself. “This feels way better than the [ more TRACK, page 5 ]

Must present coupon to get this price. Fluid/filter disposal charges only. Most cars & light trucks. Vehicles requiring synthetic or diesel oil filter may cost extra. No other discounts apply. Additional charge for shop supplies may be added. Redeemable only at Eagle Tire & Automotive.

Trying to enhance science, technology, engineering and math education at Saghalie Middle School, the Federal Way Public Schools district is preparing to move Technology Access Foundation Academy to the middle school’s building by the 2017-2018 school year. Despite being named a Washington STEM Lighthouse School in 2015, the middle school has “not realized the achievement results that we want,” according to district superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell. The lighthouse title came with a $20,000 grant and is given to a handful of schools that become tabbed to provide technical assistance and advice to other schools implementing the first stages of STEM education. As the district tries to improve those “achievement results” at Saghalie,

Campbell said TAF Academy has been named a School of Distinction for three consecutive years. “At the same time that’s happening, TAF Academy for three years has been looking for a new facility,” Campbell said. “They’re in portables. They do not have labs in the way you need labs. They do not have a gym.” The solution? TAF at Saghalie. Campbell said Saghalie is currently built to house more than its 500 students, and moving TAF’s 250 students to the building is a good move for both schools. “The Technology Access Foundation has a lot of grant sponsors,” Campbell said, adding that its political resources and financial capital, with a proven achievement record, will elevate Saghalie’s results during a time when Saghalie staff has been work[ more SCHOOL, page 26 ]


POLICE | Cleanup crews find dead body in foreclosed Federal Way house [22]

Rep. Roger Freeman dies at 48

Rep. Roger Freeman, of Federal Way, died on Wednesday after a long battle with colon cancer. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Federal Way as a member of the city’s volunteer Human Services Commission where he helped lead efforts to organize the community’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event. He was elected to the City Council

in 2010. And in 2012, he was elected to represent the Federal Way area and the 30th District in the Washington state House of Representatives where he served his first term in the Legislature.

Opponent Dovey said he thinks it’s a tragic event and that “we need to do everything we can to support his family.” Rep. Linda Kochmar (R-Federal [ more FREEMAN, page 17 ]

VOL. 19, NO. 52

ederal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell assured a packed banquet room at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club on Wednesday that the state of the city is strong. His indicators? Progress in city-led development downtown, a

Firefighters attempted to rescue a 69-year-old woman from condo fire in Federal Way on Tuesday night. She died shortly after crews got her out of the building. Courtesy South King Fire & Rescue


west 337th Street and crashed into a one-story single family house and a parked truck. It appears the driver suffered a serious medical condition, the suspected cause of the crash. Kahler said the man was found not breathing and without a pulse but after 30 minutes of aid

his heart started beating again. Cathy Schrock, a spokeswoman for the Federal Way Police Department, said the department would not launch a major accident investigation because it was a medical incident. The homeowners have since been notified.

A driver who suffered a serious medical condition crashed into a Federal Way home on Monday. RAECHEL DAWSON, the Mirror

the fire started, Goodsell said. “That was a challenge to rescue her from the apartment,” he said. “She wasn’t able to get out on her own.” Halder died on the scene shortly after firefighters got her out of the building. The damage to the building is valued at $400,000 and the loss of its contents at $200,000, Goodsell said. Three of the eight units sustained significant damage, while the others had moderate smoke and water damage, he said. All of the residents in the building were displaced because the units were still without power and water on Wednesday afternoon. The South King Firefighters Foundation paid for hotel rooms for two of the displaced families on Tuesday night, Goodsell said. As of Wednesday, the cause of the fire had not been determined. “Early reports and fire patterns indicate the fire originated on the balcony of second-floor unit,” he said. The Tacoma Fire Department also responded to the call.


Among the many significant events that took place in Federal Way in 2017, a few stood out as the biggest, whether in regard to the long-term impact in the community or the severity of the event. Here are the Mirror’s top 5: 1. Voters approve $450 million school facilities bond The top story in Federal Way for 2017 was the passage of the $450 million school facilities bond, which will fund renovating or rebuilding aging, deteriorating facilities and address overcrowding at elementary schools and safety issues across the district at Thomas Jefferson High School, Totem and Illahee middle schools, and Olympic View, Mirror Lake, Star Lake, Lake Grove and Wild-

wood elementary schools. The eight schools were built between 1956 and 1971. In total, the district has 19 buildings that are 40 years old or older. Memorial Stadium is also set to receive some upgrades. With the successful passage of the bond, all state School Construction Assistance Program funds will address significant maintenance needs, such as roofs and boilers, security enhancements and the relocation of Mark Twain Elementary. Passage was never a certainty, however. Not only did the school district have to receive a 60 percent plus one vote approval, voter turnout had to exceed 40 percent of the number of voters who participated in the last general election in

BY RAECHEL DAWSON rdawson@fedwaymirror.com

wrote in the letter that the contract was terminated with Preferred Freezer Services but later clarified that Industrial Realty Group and Chill Build Seattle dissolved the contract. Chill Build Seattle, LLC is the company who applied for the fish warehousing, distribution and processing center to be occupied by Preferred Freezer Services and Orca Bay Seafoods as

tenants. In a letter to Mayor Jim Ferrell and the Federal Way City Council, Industrial Realty Group’s Vice President of Special Projects Tom Messmer said that the termination was a “mutual decision” that allows the applicant to “better meet its project timeline.” Messmer said Industrial Realty Group, however, will continue to move

[ more STORIES page 8 ]


November. • The city launched a Homeless Mothers and Children Initiative — chaired by Mayor Jim Ferrell, City Councilwoman Susan Honda and Sharry Edwards, a community activist and Group Health nurse — aimed at creating a shelter for homeless children and families in the city. • Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care expanded its Federal Way operations and moved its administrative offices to the city. February • The Federal Way High School boys basketball team set a 4A state record with 63 consecutive wins, before losing to Kentwood High School. • City officials committed $1 million toward purchasing and preserving

BRIGHT FUTURE | Girl meets donor who ‘saved her’ from leukemia [17]

Industrial Realty Group and Chill Build Seattle have agreed to terminate a contract for the sale of land. The 19 acres affected are represented in the image.





the local Hike it Baby Federal Way branch. With mommies, a grandma and and one dad close behind, the young hikers set off to collect the 36 candy canes at Alderwood Park. Another Hike it Baby success. An organization that’s reached a global scale, Hike it Baby connects families with [ more HIKE, page 26 ]

on o ound Pub h ng


POLICE | Robbery suspects hit victim in head with handgun [7] SENTENCING | Man gets nine years in prison for killing woman on I-5 [8]

SPORTS | Todd Beamer grad Sean Okoli FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014 | 75¢ joins Seattle Sounders FC [10]

CALENDAR | Free public screening of ‘Inequality for All’ [16]

Movers and shakers’ oral history of city BY CARRIE RODRIGUEZ editor@fedwaymirror.com



he Attorney General’s Office is not planning to file criminal charges against former Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest, who was caught removing cityconfiscated campaign signs last September. “The actions of the suspect, while perhaps viewed as suspicious to the reporting officer given the time of evening when the suspect chose to retrieve his campaign signs, do not amount to a crime,” said Scott Marlow, assistant attorney general, in a letter he sent to the King County Prosecutor’s Office on Jan. 9. He noted the Washington State Patrol’s initial investigation revealed a “complete lack of criminal activity in this matter.” Priest said the outcome of the investigation “confirms what I’ve said all along … that I acted legally and appropriately when I picked up the signs.”

Above, Rick Johnson speaks about the history of Federal Way at his Redondo home during an interview with the Historical Society of Federal Way in October 2013. Johnson is surrounded by several Federal Way artifacts that he has collected over the years. He is one of 10 notable community members who were interviewed as part of an oral history project. Left, Phil Eichholtz, who owned New Lumber and Hardware before he died of cancer on Dec. 31, 2013, is interviewed at his business in November of 2012. Eichholtz’s sons currently operate the store, which has been in business since 1954. PHOTOS COURTESY OF HISTORICAL SOCIETY





When Phil Eichholtz scouted the Federal Way area 60 years ago, he saw a cluster of businesses along Pacific Highway South. There was a service for nearly every need, including a grocery store and meat market across the street that sold everything from beef to appliances. There was a drug store and a hybrid post office that also sold books. He saw an electrical hardware store, an insurance company and three gas stations. And a lumber store. A Pennsylvania native, Eichholtz served as an officer in the Army Air Corps during World War II and became interested in merchandising, before transferring to Spokane, where he met his wife. While they were looking for a place to settle down, he turned t


NEWSPAPER RACKS: To see a list of rack locations for the print edition of The Mirror, visit federalwaymirror.com/about_us.











Federal Way • 34415 16th Ave S • (253) 927-1159 • lesschwab.com






New Hope o p ov de




empo a he e o h ome e am e W

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SCHOOLS | Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Todd Beamer [13]




Above, Sarah Seo teaches Korean to a group of students at Saghalie Middle School recently. Left, Saghalie Middle School faculty met with members from the Korean Ministry of Education and the Korean School of Federal Way recently to talk about the middle school’s new Korean language programs. The school received a $14,000 grant from the Korean Ministry of Education and a $1,000 donation from the Korean School of Federal Way to start the program. SARAH KEHOE, the Mirror

Skip Priest cleared over campaign signs case

da eb ua 2 2018

VOL 20 NO 1

Celebrating 20 years of local community news


Saghalie starts new Korean language program School receives $15,000 to start the program; officials hope to expand BY SARAH KEHOE

So far, five Saghalie Middle School students are beginning to learn the Korean language this year. The Korean language program at Saghalie features Rosetta Stone curriculum and will be taught by Sarah Seo, a Korean language paraeducator. Federal Way school district officials hope to eventually expand the program to Decatur High School and Saghalie’s feeder elementary schools, which include Brigadoon, Green Gables, Olympic View and Silver Lake. Seo will visit those schools throughout this school year to help build interest in the program. “The future is bilingual,” said Marin Miller, Saghalie principal. “Research shows the earlier you start learning a language, the easier it is to learn. That’s why we are pushing starting it in elementary schools.” The school received a $14,000 grant from the Korean Ministry of Education and a $1,000 donation from the Korean School of Federal Way to start the program. Miller said he hopes to expand it to include three full-time certified teachers and around 200 students. “My goal is to eventually work with a sister school in Korea and participate in that student exchange program,” he said. “I want this program to maintain longevity and carry out long after I am gone.” Representatives from the Korean Ministry of Education and the [ more KOREAN, page 17 ]





rounds of voting and received more than 100,000 votes in each round. Cooks originally finished 11th place in the semifinal round of voting, meaning he wouldn’t advance into the final round. But the next morning, Decatur assistant athletic director Teri Galloway received a call from USA TODAY informing her that Cooks would advance into the top-10 after [ more TOP 10, page 26 ]





he year 2014 was fraught with inspiration and sorrow, scandal and surprise for Federal Way. From high school student Dom Cooks’s passing to former school

board member Tony Moore’s senDom Cooks, a Decatur High School tencing, the Federal Way news never student who inspired many, died on stopped in 2014. Here are the top 10 stories from a brain tumor this year. file photo

OPINION | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way: School board travels and traffic lights [5] Roegner: Legislative outlook [4]


Federal Way • 34415 16th Ave S • (253) 927-1159 • lesschwab.com



Over the years, the cliff edge near the Camp Kilworth lodge and fire pit has been steadily eroding, and now erosion has temporarily inactivated the camp so experts can conduct a safety study. The 25-acre camp is owned by the Pacific Harbors Council and is used by Boy Scout of America troops throughout the area. After an engineer from the national organization inspected Camp Kilworth and other camps nearby, the Pacific Harbors Council decided to temporarily inactivate the camp for the winter months to conduct a safety study on the eroding cliff, said scout executive Ralph Voelker. “It’s important that we take this extra step,” he said. The safety of campers has to come first, and campers are regularly found around the lodge and the fire pit, which are both close to the erosion zone. The council received a donation designated for the study, and is hopeful it will be enough to fund it, Voelker said. The council has received one bid for the study and is waiting for two more before choosing experts and moving forward. The whole process should take two or three months, with the study itself only taking two or three weeks to complete. “It’s fairly early in the process,” he said. Only five groups were scheduled to use the camp during the three-month period. The groups were able to relocate to other camps.

.com com


CITIZEN OF MONTH | Deputy Mayor dedicates her time to improving quality of life in Federal Way [11]

2014, as compiled by the Mirror’s editorial staff: 1. Federal Way student with inoperable tumor in running for national inspirational award (By Casey Olson, March 24). Decatur senior Dominque Cooks became a top-10 finalist in the 2014 Air National Guard USA TODAY High School Sports Inspiration contest. Cooks advanced through two


For the Mirror

Hike it Baby helps moms recharge Top, Abby Laxa-Anderson with son Milo at Hike it Baby Federal Way’s Candy Cane Hike on Monday. Above, branch ambassadors Emily Troxell with son Rogan and Adrienne Brand with son Hunter. RAECHEL DAWSON, the Mirror

POLICE | Student hit in crosswalk by uninsured driver [9]

Top 10 news stories of 2014

Erosion closes Camp Kilworth

Contributed photo

A toddler sat in a puddle. Soon, others joined in the fun – jumping and splashing with not a care in the world. Never mind Monday morning was about 40 degrees; approximately 20 bundled-up children were ready to start the “Candy Cane Hike,” one of many organized hikes through

COMMUNITY | Todd Beamer students coach middle schoolers for Computer Science Education Week [6]


[ more COUNCIL, page 3 ]

Photos courtesy of Bruce Honda

SPORTS | Federal Way running BUDGET | Governor’s state budget eyes new sources of revenue [16] FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014 | 75¢ back commits to UW [18]

City officials say ‘no’ to moratorium on Corporate Park, Office Park zones


Hong Kong Market celebrated with a Chinese lion dance during their grand opening on Jan. 30. Hong Kong Market is located at 35415 21st Ave. SW in Federal Way. The grocery market is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more photos of the grand opening, see page 20.


Council shoots down zoning proposal BY RAECHEL DAWSON and Martin Moore voted no, while Councilwomen rdawson@fedwaymirror.com Susan Honda and Dini The Federal Way City Duclos voted yes. CouncilCouncil failed to pass woman Kelly Maloney, who a proposed six-month submitted her resignation moratorium on developeffective Dec. 31, recused ment in Corporate park-1 herself, citing a conflict of and Office Park-1 interest. zones at a special “There are so many The formermeeting Wednes- real issues which Weyerhaeuser we need to apply day night. campus, now After an resources. We’re owned by Inhour-and-a-half very happy that we dustrial Realty executive session don’t have to put Group, is the only discussing poany energy toward property in the tential litigation, the ‘what ifs’ of this city with Corthe council first property.” porate Park-1 voted to suspend Tom Messmer zoning. the first and Wednesday’s second reading to vote came on the fast-track the ordinance to heels of Industrial Realty a vote. Group Vice President of The vote to pass the Special Projects Tom Messmoratorium failed 4-2 with mer’s Tuesday announceone abstention, however. ment that Industrial Realty Deputy Mayor Jeanne Group and applicant Chill Burbidge, Councilwoman Build Seattle, LLC, termiLydia Assefa-Dawson, nated their contract for the Councilmen Mark Koppang sale of 19 acres. Chill Build Seattle had proposed to build a fish

Hong Kong Market opens

N’Guy Hughes has been homeless multiple times in his life. At 41, he’s been forced to sleep in shelters during the holidays. He’s paid health and fitness club membership dues just so he could use the facilities’ showers, and he’s slept on county buses. “Whatever in life has come into your hand, you just have to deal with it and keep the faith that something is going to happen to you,” Hughes said. Hughes has housing now, but stories like his have increased dramatically in Federal Way within the last year. This year, volunteers with One Night Count – an annual, community-organized count of people sleeping on one winter night – tallied 263 people sleeping outside in Federal Way on Friday, Jan. 29 – a 150 percent rise from the 105 in 2015. The count doesn’t take into consideration the amount of people “couch surfing,” sleeping in overnight shelters or transitional housing. Countywide, volunteers counted 4,505 people outside, a 19 percent increase from last year. “The figures went up tremendously,” said Multi-Service Center Housing Director Manuela Ginnett. “In Federal Way, part of the problem, last year we had a low count because we weren’t able to get as many police [volunteers]. There was an incident that happened that night so they couldn’t spare the normal amount of police officers.” This year, officers supported the 60 Federal Way volunteers as they ventured a little bit deeper into the woods to count those sleeping on the ground or in tents. “They participate every year,” she said. “It’s a very helpful partnership. Not all communities have the police involved but [ more COUNT, page 3 ]

[ more YEAR page 5 ]

You’ll Like What You See in the Mirror

BUSINESS | Puppy Dog Tales dog sitting opens in Federal Way [12]

forward with the city’s State Environmental Policy Act technical review comments, which had 61 comments and questions. “While the end-use and building construction details studied under SEPA will likely change, perhaps resulting in fewer environmental impacts, the proposed building footprint representing a similar [ more CONTRACT, page 23 ]



Industrial Realty Group, Chill Build terminate contract Industrial Realty Group announced Tuesday that it has terminated its contract with Chill Build Seattle, LLC for the sale of land that would have led to construction of a 19-acre fish warehousing, distribution and processing center at the former Weyerhaeuser Company property. Tom Messmer initially


OPINION | Roegner: Political humor in 2014 [12] Editor’s Note: Most inspirational stories of 2014 [12]

POLICE BLOTTER | Gas station attendant in scary situation [9]

SPORTS | Burleigh nears PR in FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2016 | 75¢ 500 relay [6]


Local One Night Count tallies 263 sleeping outside

Federal Way police recently arrested a man for violently raping a woman after he broke into her house Sunday morning. Although he has not been formally charged yet, the man could face first-degree rape, seconddegree assault, first-degree burglary and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle charges. According to probable cause documents, the woman fell asleep at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday at her Federal Way apartment. She awoke at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday to send a text message to a friend, but receiving no reply, she fell back asleep. Some unknown time later, the woman awoke again but this time it was because she was being strangled and beaten. “She felt tremendous pain to her face and was unable to breathe,” the documents state. As she grabbed the suspect’s hands, she realized he had gloves on. He squeezed her neck and she [ more RAPE, page 2 ]

Looking back: Elections, successes among highlights January • City, Federal Way Public Schools, Highline College and University of Washington-Tacoma officials signed a memorandum of understanding to work collaboratively toward bringing higher education classes to Federal Way. The city is asking the state Legislature for $800,000 to help cover start-up costs including rent, furniture and equipment and hiring a site manager and site adviser. • Bob Celski was appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council after a one-year hiatus when he decided not to run for another term in 2015. He replaced Kelly Maloney, who stepped down from her seat at the end of 2016. Celski lost a bid to keep the seat to Jesse Johnson in

POLICE | Man robbed at gunpoint in front of church [33]

Mayor Jim Ferrell delivered the State of the City address at a Chamber luncheon on Wednesday.


School bond, PAEC opening among city’s top 5 stories

COMMUNITY | Davies to appear at Holiday Bazaar book signing [8]

VOL. 18, NO. 51

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BUSINESS | Federal Way woman spreads passion for health and wellness [10]

underway to fill that gap. City officials also completed a Hotel Feasibility Study for a hotel to be located at the former Target site the city purchased for $8.2 million in November 2014. “The results were positive for Federal Way,” he said. “We are now entering a Request for Proposals [ more CITY, page 8 ]


A firefighter walks past the remains of Federal Way Center Plaza, which housed nine businesses. The story about the May 21 blaze was one of the top five in Federal Way in 2017. Mirror file photo/courtesy Shelley Pauls

OPINION | Editor’s Note: Making a homecoming [4] Roegner: The person who could defeat Ferrell [4]


gan Town Square Park’s $1.7 million redesign and construction crews broke ground on the city’s $32.7 million Performing Arts and Event Center. Ferrell said the city has secured two-thirds of the center’s construction funding, with $800,000 from the Federal Way Coalition for the Performing Arts fundraising campaign, and there’s work

Man arrested for violent rape

69-year-old FW woman dies in condo fire Tuesday

Man crashes vehicle into home, truck The crash occurred at around 1:55 p.m. Monday in the 2700 block of Southwest 337th St. in Federal Way. South King Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Chuck Kahler said the man looked to be in his 40s. He clipped the corner as he turned onto South-

6 percent decrease in crime throughout Federal Way, increased revenue at community centers and new retail and office businesses. “In the last two years, we have moved Federal Way forward with vision and a deliberate sense of urgency,” Ferrell said. “The people of our community deserve no less.” In 2015, the city be-


A 69-year-old woman was killed in a fire at Federal Way condominium complex on Tuesday night. South King Fire & Rescue received a call about a fire at 32303 Fourth Place at 9:52 p.m., SKFR Fire Marshal Gordy Goodsell said. The King County Medical Examiners’s Office on Wednesday identified the victim as Carol A. Halder. The cause and manner of her death had not been determined as of Wednesday afternoon. The call was upgraded to a two-alarm blaze shortly after the first crews arrived at the two-story, eight-unit building. “What we found when we got there was a fire burning on a rear balcony that extended up to the rear attic,” Goodsell said. Firefighters had to remove Halder, who had respiratory and mobility issues, from her unit across the breezeway from where

COMMUNITY | Brookdale Foundation House hosts their third annual art show [8]

Mayor reports crime down, business growth at State of the City BY RAECHEL DAWSON


DIVERSITY | ‘Red Wolf’ artist shares personal story at Chamber luncheon [6]

SPORTS | Eagles top Raiders, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2016 | 75¢ finish undefeated season [14]


Staff at Life Care Center in Federal Way have stepped up to help a coworker in need. Christine Alcala has been out of work for two weeks watching over her 15-year-old daughter who lies in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center. Her daughter, Juzreel Alcala, was hit by a Federal Way Public Schools bus in front of Federal Way High School Oct. 16. Juzreel was in the crosswalk at South 308th and Pacific Highway South when she was hit, according to police. The district is investigating the incident and the bus driver was placed on administrative leave during the course of the investigation. Federal Way police are investigating the incident and examining all evidence, including details from the bus, video from the street and witness statements, according to Cathy Schrock, police spokeswoman. “Right now there is no obvious fault of the driver or pedestrian,” Shrock said in an email following the accident. “The only question to answer is who had the right of way and this will not be determined until all the evidence can be until all the evidence can be [ more BUS, page 3 ]




POLICE BLOTTER | Young boy removed from home after burns discovered [17]



A man went to St. Francis Hospital after crashing his vehicle into a house and a SUV.


NEW YEAR | Community officials share resolutions for 2018 [3]


The Mirror


OPINION | Editor’s Note: Greetings from new Federal Way Mirror editor [4] Roegner: Keeping an eye on Olympia [4]

WALK FEDERAL WAY | Parks department receives grant to promote trails, walking [2]

Federal Way 2017 in review

Community to host benefit for girl struck by bus

30th District legislator remembered as community advocate

CITIZEN OF THE MONTH | Shelley Pauls, a community cheerleader [4]

SPORTS | Beamer runner has FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2017 | 75¢ sights set on college [21]

VOL. 18, NO. 6

CITIZEN OF MONTH | Bob Wroblewski tireless volunteer in Federal Way community [13]

SPORTS | Beamer swimmer FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014 | 75¢ makes record time [10]

ep. Roger Freeman has died at the age of 48. According to a Franciscan media relations manager, Freeman passed away at 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way. He had been in the hospital since Tuesday night. Freeman (D-Federal Way) was running for representative Position 2 in the 30th Legislative District against Jack Dovey (R-Federal Way). In April 2013, Freeman disclosed he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and that doctors said the cancer had spread to his liver and his lower lungs. At that time, he endured three chemotherapy sessions with nine more to go. “Roger was a dear friend and colleague,” said Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell. “We worked together as lawyers, as City Council members and in our current roles. He was a true champion, an advocate for everyone and this community has suffered a great loss. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.” City officials said staff is mourning the death of Freeman, who was a former Federal Way City Council member. Officials said the mayor has ordered flags at city facilities and the new 60-foot flagpole at South 320th Street be flown at half-staff to honor him. Freeman began representing


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VOL. 16, NO. 44



seahawks coverage page 9 sponsored by

JIMMY MAC’S ROADHOUSE COMMUNITY | Business to help quadriplegic girl [6]


BUSINESS | Noble Spirits owner is entrepreneur from Eritrea [18]



SPORTS | Local second-grader FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2016 | 75¢ wins wrestling triple crown [4]

OPINION | Roegner: Predictions for general election in 30th District and beyond [4]


BLOTTER | Dog feces dispute ends with stool smeared [17]


VOL. 18, NO. 23



VOL. 19, NO. 51

BY HEIDI SANDERS hsanders@fedwaymirror.com

Bruce Honda


COMMUNITY SERVICE | Local LDS members donate time, services Saturday mornings [19]

New mental health evaluation, treatment center opens in city

Federal Way officials said Tuesday the Weyerhaeuser campus was bought by Industrial Realty Group, a real estate investment and development firm. Courtesy of

KeyBank robbed twice in week Federal Way police are investigating two bank robberies that occurred twice within one week at the same bank. At 1:26 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, the KeyBank, located at 32400 Pacific Highway S., was robbed by a suspect described as either a Pacific Islander or Native American male, about 5-feet 9-inches tall, weighing between 170180 pounds. The suspect demanded money before fleeing on foot, cash in hand, eastbound. Federal Way Police Department Commander Brett Hatfield said the suspect didn’t mention a weapon and a K-9 track was unsuccessful. That same KeyBank had [ more ROBBERY, page 2 ]

CARING FOR KIDS | Local organization hosts gift drive [3]

NEWS | 2 longtime Federal Way officials seeking statewide office [2] DIVERSITY | Speaker encourages students to take back stories at Native Student Success Summit [10]

VOL. 16, NO. 52



sold. Industrial Realty Group, LLC, closed on the deal, which was $70.5 million, on Tuesday, according to city of Federal Way spokesman Steve McNey. John Mase, the CEO of Industrial Realty Group,

said his company’s experience in redeveloping corporate campuses and leasing is “extensive.” “We understand the importance this site has in Federal Way and the region,” Mase said in a news release. “The architecture and surrounding land is impressive and will be highly-desirable for future tenants. We are also excited about forging ahead with the city in preparation for



.christmas christmas

Colorful fashion

Top, Annette Acheampong, 16, left, and Sarah Jacob, 16, both juniors at the Technology Access Foundation Academy, talk about their plans to complete their clothing line using colorful fabric with different designs at the school recently. Right, Acheampong and Jacob discuss the pookalam design, which features elaborate flowers. Jacob wants to incorporate it in the clothing she will contribute to their fashion show, which will take place in April. The students, along with Cecilia Jacobs, not pictured, created the clothing line, which aims to empower women of color by featuring clothes that flatters their skin tone. JESSICA KELLER, the Mirror

Industrial Realty Group purchases Weyerhaeuser property rdawson@fedwaymirror.com

Federal Way School Board President Geoffrey McAnalloy, Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell, King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer, Councilman Dave Upthegrove, and Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff at the memorandum signing. Courtesy of King County


SPECIAL SECTION | Health & Wellness [13]

POLICE BLOTTER | Woman reports seeing suspect in groping case [5]


Light rail will cut across Mark Twain Elementary school’s playground once it is built in 2024, Sound Transit officials determined last week. After signing a memorandum of agreement

munity,” Superintendent Tammy Campbell said. “Our work now begins to continue this effort to address the possibility of the land swap to relocate Mark Twain Elementary, pending a voter-approved bond and mitigation with Sound Transit. We will continue to engage our community in this effort.” Construction on the Federal Way Link Exten[ more LINK, page 22 ]

SPORTS | Federal Way beats FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016 | 75¢ Curtis in SPSL Championship [4]

COLORFUL DISPLAY | Federal Way man decks the halls — and his house — with lights [2] EXPANDING CARE | Village Green building memory care facility on campus [11]

VOL. 16, NO. 3

with Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff, however, the school district has a plan B. In the agreement, Sound Transit, Federal Way Public Schools and King County Metro, have stated the intent for King County Metro to assume property of Mark Twain Elementa-

BY RAECHEL DAWSON rdawson@fedwaymirror.com

ry, and the school district to take over the Metroowned Redondo Park and Ride, if the district passes a 2018 bond to rebuild Mark Twain Elementary. “The memorandum of agreement between the district, King County Metro and Sound Transit demonstrates the effective collaboration that can result when agencies work together for what is best for our scholars and com-

POLICE | Man shot in legs near business [10]


School district, King County Metro and Sound Transit talk property swap



COMMUNITY | Parent, OneAmerica support language access [8]


CALENDAR | Loving Kindness Meditation Circle on Feb. 5 [27]

OPINION | Johnson: Will the real threats to women please stand up? [6] Roegner: Did we learn anything 2013-16? [6]

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – from the Mirror family to yours!


PHOTOS | Korean school celebrates Lunar New Year [2]


SPORTS | Raiders win district FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2017 | 75¢ tournament [6]


VOL. 18, NO. 7

POLICE | Stolen urn found on BPA trail, returned to owner [24]


DIVERSITY | Korean school, Hong Kong Market celebrate Lunar New Year [12]


BUSINESS | Federal Way Licensing Services moves after 20 years [8]

VOL. 19, NO. 05

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OPINION | Q&A with Mr. FW: Absences and resolutions [6] Roegner: Year-end awards for leaders [6] OPINION | Federal Way Flashback: The fast life, high times of Balch [6] Roegner: Ferrell unpredictable at midterm [6]

OPINION | Mr. Federal Way: Expensive rides and Trump [4] Roegner: Education lead issue for Legislature [4]

Federa Wa y Rocks



u e



2018 W

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THE MIRROR... the glue that holds our community together.

Congratulations on your first 20 years!



20th Anniversary EDITION


Thank you, Federal Way - let’s go for 20 more years BY ANDY HOBBS Mirror publisher

As we look back at the Federal Way Mirror’s 20year history, I am excited to reflect on this newspaper’s thriving role in the Andy Hobbs community today. During the past two decades, the digital revolution has overhauled the media landscape as well as our smartphone society’s expectations for news. The transition has coincided with a pair of recessions that left surviving news outlets struggling to reinvent themselves for the 21st century. Most news outlets today act like shepherds for clickbait instead of the information gatekeepers they once were. The Mirror has also endured its share of cuts for survival’s sake. But I am here to tell you that the Mirror is here to stay. Sure, there are bigger news outlets in Seattle and Tacoma with a fleeting presence in this community. They occasionally swoop into Federal Way to capture a crime headline that generates a few clicks on their websites. The Mirror, however, is invested in Federal Way every day - and we have the boots on the ground to prove it. We report the news and we give people a place to share their views. We celebrate Federal Way’s finest citizens and businesses. We connect local businesses with readers and we connect local political candidates with voters. We hold our public officials accountable. We partner with organizations that share a mission to improve Federal Way’s quality of life. We strive to be a catalyst for positive change. I have worked in communities where residents referred to their local newspaper with an unflattering nickname, or even worse, treated it with indifference.

But it is evident that Federal Way folks support the Mirror, whether they read it in print or online. Look no further than all the “support boxes” from community members in this special commemorative magazine. On that note, the Mirror will donate a portion of proceeds from this magazine to help fund memberships at the Boys and Girls Club as well as scholarships through Federal Way Rotary. The community’s connection with the Mirror is one reason I am grateful to be back in Federal Way after becoming your publisher in May 2017. I had previously served as the Mirror’s editor from 2006-2013 before following an opportunity to improve my journalism skills at a daily newspaper. I gained new insights into journalism during that four-year stretch, but I also grieved over leaving Federal Way. I missed working in a community where the newspaper mattered to people from all walks of life and where a story could have an immediate impact. I missed being part of one of the state’s most culturally diverse cities, and I even missed the Mirror’s online commenters, who have typically been more civil than all the rest.

We’re tippin our hats to our friends over yonder at the Mirror … Best dern wishes for another 20 years!

‘preciate ya! 7 Federal Way 34902 Pacific Hwy So. 253.874.6000

Most of all, I appreciate the chance to reconnect with a community where in many ways the grass has always been greener. On behalf of the Mirror family, I hope you enjoy this magazine and the accompanying trip down memory lane. Thank you, Federal Way, for helping the Mirror celebrate our 20th anniversary - and for helping us get here in the first place.

Contact Mirror Publisher Andy Hobbs: ahobbs@federalwaymirror.com or 253336-5359.

Wishing you a smooth ride for the next 20 years… COMPLETE VEHICLE & SEASONAL LICENSING SERVICES



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First days in the life of the Mirror BY GEORGE LE MASURIER First publisher of the Mirror

I was presenting a workshop for newspaper editors on Vancouver Island in 1998 when I received a call from David Black, the owner of Black Press. He wanted me to help start a brand new newspaper in Federal Way, Washington, as soon as I could get there. The Seattle Times Company had shuttered most of their South King County community newspapers, and Black’s U.S. operation, Sound Publishing, saw an opportunity. The first days in the life of the Federal Mirror felt like a MASH unit in a combat operations area in some far-flung newspaper war. Reporters and editors worked at computers on a floor tangled with network cables, resembling a snake-infested nightmare that would have sent Indiana Jones into cardiac arrest. They shared phones. The advertising department had it better. They had chairs, but only one desk. Phones, but no computers.

When we called news sources or advertisers, people didn’t know us. They thought their community had lost its newspaper. It took awhile to explain who we were, but eventually everyone we met in those early days expressed gratitude that we were there, and hoped that we would survive. And we did. Over the next several weeks, a remarkable and dedicated team of newspaper veterans slowly built a relevant and valuable local newspaper for the Federal Way community. I like to think that over the ensuing months and years, the Federal Way Mirror played an important role in helping the city find its core identity. We were active in the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, Federal Way Rotary and other organizations. We sponsored runs and other events. We tried to do the thing that good businesses do. One of my favorite community contributions was the Students of Distinction. This program to honor graduating high school seniors who have distinguished themselves in some way had started out as an athletic scholarship, Athlete of the Year. It was the brainchild of our original sports editor, Bob Coleman. The concept changed after its second year when we selected the Athlete of the Year who was not, in fact, the most outstanding athlete in Federal Way high schools. But that person edged out others for the award because he had a better grade point average and had done more community service work.

20th Anniversary EDITION

Sound Publishing president Elio Agostini and acting publisher George Le Masurier, right, hold up an early mockup of the Federal Way Mirror. This photo was featured on the Mirror’s first edition Feb 4, 1998. FILE PHOTO We realized our mistake, but also that we uncovered a wonderful opportunity to recognize the talent and accomplishments of students in many other categories such as the arts, academics and community service. I enjoyed my time in Federal Way. Starting this newspaper from scratch and blending it into the community was both exhilarating and draining, but ultimately rewarding. Congratulations to the community for continuing to support the Federal Way Mirror over two decades, and also to new publisher, Andy Hobbs, who I hope will be writing a similar look back in 2038.

George Le Masurier was the Mirror’s first publisher who had also served as CEO and president of Sound Publishing. He retired from a decades-long newspaper career in 2015 after serving as publisher of The Olympian. He now lives in Comox, B.C.

timeline… 1998 Sound Publishing launches the first edition of the Federal Way Mirror on Feb. 4. The paper is published every Wednesday and Saturday for the next 14 years. 2003 The Mirror marks its fifth anniversary with a fight to retain its status as the

newspaper of record. 2006 Bob Roegner’s weekly political column, “Inside Politics,” debuts in August 2006. The column still publishes today, and Roegner hasn’t missed a week in 12 years. 2009 The Mirror undergoes a redesign to save on

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printing costs, and starting Jan. 28, begins publishing in a tabloid format instead of a traditional broadsheet. 2011 The Mirror moves to its current location at 31919 1st Ave. S., Suite 101, in the Chamber of Commerce building. The Mirror’s office had been

located in Celebration Center,1414 S. 324th St. 2012 In January, the Mirror switched its publication date to Friday and began printing once a week. 2013 Mr. Federal Way’s snarky Q&A column debuts June 28. When asked to elaborate

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on his professional qualifications and personal background, Mr. Federal Way replied, “none of your business.” 2014 Longtime Mirror sales representative and office manager Mary Lou Goss dies of cancer at age 57. 2015 Mirror circulation

manager Eddie McClain dies of natural causes at age 40. 2016 The Mirror earns its first General Excellence award (1st place) from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. 2018 The Mirror celebrates its 20th anniversary.

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Polly Shepherd & Greg Girard


20th Anniversary EDITION


Congratulations from Mayor Jim Ferrell

To the Federal Way Mirror: As mayor of our beloved City of Federal Way, I congratulate all of you at the Federal Way Mirror upon the 20th anniversary of the newspaper, and I thank you for the incredibly hard work you do every single day. A community newspaper like yours is vital to the health of a community and to local government. It serves as a forum for the whole community and as Jim Ferrell an accountability vehicle for local elected officials. As your name implies, the Mirror serves as a reflection of the entire community. You provide a voice for the otherwise voiceless. You act as a cheerleader for our too-often-unsung heroes and when necessary as a constructive critic of our leaders, myself included. You have helped me become a better mayor, and even when I cannot

come to agree with something you have written, I always remember the words Evelyn Beatrice Hall used when explaining the philosophy of the great Enlightenment historian and philosopher Voltaire, famous for his advocacy of freedom of speech: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” You are the only source of information out there on local news, events, happenings, and milestones. You air our issues and our concerns. You serve as the glue that holds our community together. You help inform us so that we can make our community better, and you make us feel proud about all our community is accomplishing. You make us proud. It is often said that our newspapers write the first draft of history. As we move forward, you tell the story of Federal Way hour-by-hour, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, and year-by-year. All of us in Federal Way owe you a debt of gratitude for the great job you do and for your dedication to the truth. Congratulations again!

Sincerely, Jim Ferrell, Mayor City of Federal Way



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Downtown development still dominates discussions more than 20 years later BY JESSICA KELLER Mirror editor

Where economics, city government and progress all intersect in a young, upstart city like Federal Way, the wheels of change are slow rolling. In 1998, Federal Way was the sixth-largest city in Washington state, with a population

of a little more than 74,000 people. The city’s largest private employer was Weyerhaeuser, whereas the Federal Way school district was the city’s largest public employer. To improve community appeal and alleviate a shortage of playing fields in the community, the city committed $8 million to build trails, access roads and four soccer and four softball fields at the 84-acre Celebration


Wishing The Mirror Continued


20th Anniversary EDITION

The Federal Way Transit Center opened in February 2006 with 1,200 parking spaces and more than 700 daily bus trips. FILE PHOTO Park. The new fields were to be lighted so teams could play at night. Farther up the road, the business sector along 320th Street was experiencing major growth with the construction of a nine-story Courtyard by Marriott near Interstate 5. A Comfort Inn was being built on 316th Street, and an eight-story Holiday Inn was planned near the new Marriott. A piece of property off of 320th Street and 20th Avenue would be the future site of a Walmart. Those developments were intended to become the “cornerstones of a bustling central district.” As published in the Federal Way Mirror’s inaugural edition Feb. 4, 1998, along with the community improvements and development, the city would have a clearly defined downtown sector and find its identity in its downtown core. [ more DOWNTOWN page 8 ]

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[ DOWNTOWN from page 6] To help that along, the city of Federal Way and Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce created a Downtown City Revitalization Program. According to the article, the program “aims to accomplish a couple of main goals: Make the downtown core around SeaTac Mall more pedestrianfriendly, and encourage new buildings to rise higher with more of a mix of retail shops, offices and hotels.”

A pedestrian friendly, visually appealing downtown At the time, city and chamber officials driving the downtown revitalization campaign agreed that for downtown to thrive, it needed to be pedestrian friendly. That included cutting back on “a sea of signs and power lines” and billboards by passing a strict sign ordinance. The new sign ordinance, among other things, prohibited billboard signs and required business owners to replace pole signs with monument signs. It also established permitted sign sizes and setbacks from the street. According to the Mirror’s first edition, the proposed new sign ordinance irked some downtown retailers, “but city leaders say they hope the results will give the city’s residents a greater sense of identity.” A caption underneath a photo running with the front-page story said: “Looking north along Pacific Highway South, downtown Federal Way becomes a sea of signs and power lines.” Recently retired deputy mayor Jeanne Burbidge, who has also lived in the area for over 50 years, remembers how awful the downtown looked with all the signs. “The sign clutter was just incredible before we became a city,” she said, adding the problem was especially bad - and detrimental to businesses - along 320th and on Pacific Highway South from 312th to 330th. “When there is too much clutter, people tend to zone it out of their brain, and they don’t really see anything,” Burbidge said. “They just see a bunch of clutter.” By enacting the sign ordinance, that stretch of Federal Way became more visually

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20th Anniversary EDITION

appealing and inviting for people passing by to stop, Burbidge said. She said to make the change easier for retailers, city officials gave business owners 10 years to come into compliance and gave bonuses to those who met requirements early.

Transportation project deja vu According to the Mirror’s inaugural edition, city officials “hoped that a new, expanded Park-and-Ride lot, combined with thicker hotel traffic and pedestrian traffic around a redeveloped Celebration Park will sow the seeds of a mid-rise, more self-contained downtown to replace the city’s core of parking lots.” Just as Sound Transit is now in the planning phase of a significant transportation investment in the form of a light rail station in the Federal Way downtown, back in 1998,

Federal Way hosted its first movie night at Town Square Park in August 2014 with a free showing of “The Lego Movie.” The park now hosts events such as the annual holiday tree lighting. FILE PHOTO the agency intended to build a large transit center with a park and ride and was determining the best location. City officials and developers hoped the [ more DOWNTOWN page 9 ]

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20th Anniversary EDITION

[ DOWNTOWN from page 8] new transit center would move away from I-5 and be located in the business center. According to Mirror articles at the time, city officials were banking on the idea that an expanded park and ride and transit center, and nearby hotel and business growth, would generate considerable pedestrian traffic and lead to construction of nearby boutique stores and restaurants. Paired with hotel and business developments along with visually appealing, pedestrian-friendly streets, the transit center would become an anchor to a defined downtown core and centralized business district.

Twenty years later Fast forward to 2018, and Pacific Highway and South 320th Street are no longer cluttered with signs. The sidewalks sport trees,

practical and stylized light fixtures, baskets of flowers and other decorations during the year. At the same time, major discussion topics still frequently published in the Federal Way Mirror include creating a centralized downtown core; the need for pedestrian friendly sidewalks and downtown streets that encourage shopping and foot traffic; more transportation options that cut back on traffic congestion; a major Sound Transit project that could change the landscape of downtown; and determining an overall city identity. Burbidge said, however, it would be a mistake to presume that city officials never accomplished their goals in 1998, and said current plans and discussions are just a continuation of what was set into motion 20 years ago. In trying to facilitate growth in the down-

PAGE 9 town over the years, the city has purchased additional property, including the former AMC movie theater at the site of the current Town Square Park. Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell has celebrated the completion of Town Square Park as a significant accomplishment to improving the downtown and making it more attractive for residents. City officials originally had other intentions for that property. Burbidge said they had initially planned to partner with a development company to transform that property into mixed-use development and a park area. “They had some really intriguing ideas,� she said. City officials then had a landscape designer with roots in Federal Way come up [ more DOWNTOWN page 14 ]


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Longtime publisher’s view from the hot seat BY RUDI ALCOTT

Mirror publisher (2008-2017)

Nine years - or 3,312 days, to be exact was the length of time I had the privilege of being the publisher of the Federal Way Mirror. There’s no fake news here. No revisionist history. Simply my take on my time in the hot seat. I started in February 2008 when the Mirror was still in its former location in Celebration Center. At that time, we were a twice weekly newspaper struggling to make a mark in Federal Way. Our editorial product was beginning to make an impact as former editor Andy Hobbs was about 15 months into his 7-year tenure of changing the dialogue of the newsroom. Up until that point, the Mirror wasn’t a great newspaper. That’s a tough sentence to write, but the reality was at that time we just didn’t have a good feel for the community or how it worked, and we ignored what the community was asking of us.

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Former Mirror publisher Rudi Alcott, left, received the Key to the City from Mayor Jim Ferrell in March 2017. Alcott accepted a position within Sound Publishing’s digital sales division after leading Federal Way’s newspaper of record for nine years. FILE PHOTO My mission was to change that. Call me a simpleton – I was called a lot worse than that over the years – but my mission was very simple: to be compelling and local. It had to be both to qualify as a news story in the Mirror. To this end, this created a more compelling newspaper that the community wanted to read. This meant that articles had to be clear and concise, and columnists had to take stances, like Bob Roegner, Amy Johnson, the late Walter Backstrom and the irascible Mr. Federal Way. It also meant that the business side of the house had to have its affairs in order. This included a business model that was profitable. Without this, I always argued that the Mirror could be betrothed to parties that had financial influence. This is simply not acceptable. To give the newsroom the power to write that tough article about City Hall, the school district, a major community based business or anything else was of paramount concern. This was only possible if the paper was in a financial position to risk losing advertising revenue because of a contentiously viewed article that the community had a right to know about and the paper had to publish as one of its core competencies. Believe me, being a publisher of a newspaper is an odd position for a career choice. Where else can you work where your direct

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Bob McKenzie

20th Anniversary EDITION

reports write a scathing article about City Hall, then you turn around to that same municipality and have them pay you for running advertisements or a legal in your paper that they have to do as a matter of law because you are the newspaper of record? There’s no lessons one can take to learn these dancing moves. Just when the newspaper was hitting its stride, this little thing called the Great Recession hit. As if newspapering isn’t hard enough, let’s go ahead and dry up small businesses, their advertising budgets and their staff hirings. The revenue model of a newspaper is based on a few things, but namely advertising. When “main street” struggles, then a community paper struggles because they are inextricably linked together. In order to compensate for this while keeping in mind my prime directive to keep us profitable, I made the difficult decision to reduce our printing schedule to once a week on Dec. 31, 2011. At the time, I was sure this was the beginning of the end for the Mirror, but this turned out to be the best decision possible. A Wednesday and Saturday publication date were not favorable to the news cycle or the advertising needs of the community. Moving it to a Friday publication solved both of these issues, and the readers could have cared less. The content was just as compelling and easier to digest because they received it all at once. For any of the late breaking news, we posted these directly to the website and the Mirror’s online growth exploded. Along the way, the Mirror grew as the community grew: a change of government from a city-council form to a strong mayor form; the widening of both directions of Pacific Highway; the introduction of legions of apartments; way too many murders; a misbehaving school superintendent with an exorbitant raise and a failed grading system; the reconstruction of several elementary schools and our signature named high school; the selling of the Weyerhaeuser property; and the completion of the Performing Arts and Event Center. The growth of this paper wouldn’t have been possible without the staff and their [ more ALCOTT page 12 ]

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Dini Duclos

Congratulations to the Federal Way Mirror for 20 years as our community newspaper! ---King ---King County County Councilmember Councilmember Pete Pete von von Reichbauer Reichbauer



20th Anniversary EDITION

Newspapers then and now: Odyssey of a production guru BY MARCIE SHANNON Mirror creative artist

OK, so I’m not a guru, but that’s what they like to call me around here. They also call me a magician. But, just Marcie Shannon between you and me, it’s all about technology. The computer can do amazing and magical things. I would know. I’ve been in this business for just about 30 years, 20 of which have been with the Mirror. I was hired in 1998 to act as Assistant Production Manager for the production of four of Sound Publishing’s South Sound community newspapers in addition to assisting with the startup of Sound’s newest addition to the family - the Federal Way Mirror. The initial production

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of the paper was a huge undertaking with a tremendous amount of pressure, but the entire staff worked hard and made it happen. There was a strong sense of ownership and satisfaction with the components each person contributed. Numerous past employees - with whom I still have relationships - are proud of the part they played in making the Mirror successful through the years. I haven’t always been with the Mirror exclusively, but routinely provided production support and design assistance for the first few months. By 2001, two of the four South Sound papers I was working on closed and I was transferred to the Mirror full time to relieve the existing production crew. I have been here ever since. Throughout my tenure here at the Mirror, I have seen many changes. The improve-

[ ALCOTT from page 10] commitment to the paper. I’d like to say they did it for me, but at the end of the day they did it because they took great pride in their jobs and wanted the Mirror to be a reflection of who they were. From Teryl Heller, Laurie Vincent, Mary Lou Goss, Kristi Chevalier and Jennifer Anderson at the front desk taking in all of the walk-in customers and listening to me ask for another revenue report, they made the office run. A constant throughout my time at the Mirror in the creative department was the ever-talented Marcie Shannon and her counterparts, Odis Crosby, Dottie Garza and Brandon Carr. Editors that made me look good were Andy Hobbs, Carrie Rodriguez, Jason Ludwig and Jessica Keller. Without their leadership of the newsroom, I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on the financial side as much as I did, much to the chagrin of the stellar advertising representatives. The advertising staff universally loved me and loathed me at the same time. I was always asking for more, lest the prime directive not be accomplished. Each one of them had their own talents and made the paper profitable because of it: Loray Rainwater, Diane King, Betsy Hoggarth, Hugh Hirata, Tamie Beitinger, Angela Webster, Theres’a

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ments in technology have been the most astounding. In 1998, we were on the cusp of fully delving into the desktop publishing era, but there were still many labor intensive days and nights. At the beginning of my career we would put the newspaper together with paper and wax, literally. This process was called pasteup. Production staff would print out long strips of paper with editorial copy printed on it, and run it through the “waxer,” a machine with rollers that coated one side of the “galley” in hot wax. Then using an X-acto knife, staff would cut those strips out in “columns” and paste them down onto huge grid sheets (paste-up boards) thus becoming the page proof. This was also the process for ads: we’d typeset the copy, then the art, photos, and [ more PRODUCTION page 22 ] Baumann, Karen Henry, Kay Miller, Linda Staples and Cindy Ducich. The Mirror had a plethora of talented writers over the years: Jacinda Howard, Kyra Low, Casey Olsen, Beth Elliott, Neal McNamara, and Margo Hoffman were staples during the first few years. Next came Greg Allmain, Terrence Hill, Sarah Kehoe, Jerod Young and Raechel Dawson. The paper couldn’t have been delivered without the hundreds of carriers and the circulation managers of Vincent, Dawn Thomas, Eddie McClain and Michael Smith. Sadly, we also lost two members of the Mirror family with the untimely passing of Goss and McClain. They will forever be missed and their deaths haunt me to this day. While I have left the Mirror to take a corporate position within Sound Publishing, my time is still spent mainly in Federal Way on various boards, at the Federal Way Farmer’s Market and at the local shops. While I don’t live here, I still consider Federal Way home. Lastly, all of this doesn’t exist without you, the readers. Thank you for your continued readership, for your commitment to the community you live in and for your patronage of the businesses in the community. The Mirror exists because of a three-legged stool: its readers, its advertisers and its content. It can’t stand without all three legs.

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Jim & Debbie Harrer

became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world. HENRY R. LUCE

At the Chamber of Commerce, we love to say that Federal Way is the beating heart of the South Sound region. Our community has a great story to share with the world. It is our good fortune federalwaychamber.com to have the Federal Way Mirror to help us tell that story. For 20 years, the journalists at the Mirror have dedicated themselves to sharing the many struggles and triumphs that come with a community embracing progress. Like our diverse business base, the Mirror knows this simple truth: We are open for business in Federal Way. We’ve got a lot of stories to tell on the road ahead. Located in a business corridor that stretches between the working ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Federal Way is a hub for commerce that reaches a global marketplace. Like the Federal Way Mirror, the business network at the Chamber connects members to consumers, civic issues, and vibrant ideas. They know, as we do, that when you are looking for success-- all you have to do is Take the Federal Way.

On behalf of the business community in the greater Federal Way area, congratulations on the 20-year anniversary of publishing the Federal Way Mirror! Rebecca Martin, CCE/IOM President & CEO

Photography courtesy of Chris Leavitt Photography, Beaux Arts Studio, Alison Dempsey-Hall, LaRaye Rushing



20th Anniversary EDITION




A Division of Sound Publishing

Andy Hobbs Publisher: ahobbs@soundpublishing.com 253-336-5359

While Pacific Highway near the city’s downtown is no longer a sea of signs as it used to be 20 years ago, it is still a sea of cars and utility poles. JESSICA KELLER, the Mirror

[ DOWNTOWN from page 9] with some conceptual drawings of what that area could look like. In the end, nothing happened because the development company that had originally expressed interest in the property was unable to come up with the funding. “Over the years, it’s been a combination of economies, who’s come forward and what they presented and, you still have to look at the challenges that the city of Federal Way has faced virtually since the beginning to the present in terms of availability of funds,” she said, adding most of the other cities in King County receive a higher revenue per person than Federal Way, which is approaching 100,000 residents. Since that failed initial attempt at redeveloping what is now Town Square Park, Burbidge said city officials received other proposals for the site, but nothing ever happened due to lack of funding. The purchase of the nearby Target property and the addition of more acreage has since spurred other visions for that segment of the downtown. “It wasn’t until we purchased that additional property and made the firm decision to build the [Performing Arts and Event Center], that we’ve had more significant investment in our downtown,” Burbidge said. The city, she said, has always been subject to the prevailing economies and funding available. Other ideas to increase shopping and foot traffic have surfaced, but many proved too costly. One suggestion was to build a walking bridge over 320th Street to make it easier and safer for people to cross the street. As

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Diane & Rick Elder

with many ideas, a walking bridge turned out to be unfeasible strictly because of the cost it would entail. Engineering study costs alone to construct a walking bridge over 320th would have been huge, not to mention the cost of the actual structure. Burbidge said “what is known to be absolutely true” is shorter blocks are needed to have a pedestrian-friendly downtown that encourages foot traffic. “The only way a city can afford to have shorter blocks happens when you add more streets,” she said. Most of the improvements for the downtown have come in the way of more streets, and those streets have only come with new development like Town Square Park and the Performing Arts and Event Center. Burbidge said all of the new streets added to the downtown in the last 20 years meet very strict standards for sidewalks, planting strips and special lighting. Related to the diversity of businesses located in the downtown, Burbidge said the city is somewhat limited in that regard because that is at the discretion of the property owners and development companies that own the existing structures. With the construction of Sound Transit light rail in downtown, and the number of unknowns in regard to that project, Burbidge said she wouldn’t be surprised if developers are hedging their bets and waiting for the project to progress before making any significant investments. “If I were a developer there, I would be very thoughtful in my timing in putting up new buildings,” she said, “and also realizing the kinds of tenants I can attract.”

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Jessica Keller Editor: jkeller@federalwaymirror.com 253-292-2309 Heidi Sanders Reporter: hsanders@federalwaymirror.com 253-336-5349 Cindy Ducich Sales consultant: cducich@federalwaymirror.com 253-336-5362 Linda Staples Sales consultant: lstaples@federalwaymirror.com 253-229-3041 Marcie Shannon Creative artist: mshannon@federalwaymirror.com 253-925-5565 Mary Lou Goss 1957-2014 Advertising 253-925-5565 Classified Marketplace 1-800-388-2527 Letters editor@federalwaymirror.com Fax 253-925-5750

31919 1st Ave. S., Suite 101, Federal Way, WA 98003 For delivery inquiries Call 888-838-3000

or email circulation@soundpublishing.com


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20th Anniversary EDITION




The work of educating each of our scholars is both complex and all encompassing. Over the last few decades, the focus of schooling has transitioned away from a factory model to one where we work to personalize learning for each ing in this manner has implications that extend beyond the school, and into We know schools can’t do it alone and authentic community and family engagement is the key to ensuring our families and the community are valued and engaged partners in the work of educating each of our student-scholars. Effective communication about the work occurring in schools across the district is an essential component of our school and community partnership. Over the years, the Federal Way Mirror has played a major role in depicting the school district’s work to the community, and conversely in presenting the needs of the community so education goals Most recently, our partnership with the Federal Way Mirror has resulted in ongoing and dynamic communication with families and the larger community about our strategic plan goals and the work we do every day to educate the happen without leaders at The Mirror having a value, vision, and recognition of the role that education plays in our thriving community and city.

Thank you for your support and partnership. Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell



20th Anniversary EDITION


Growing pains have always been a challenge for school district BY JESSICA KELLER Mirror editor

In 1998, the city of Federal Way, while still relatively young, was facing a growing population. How best to educate the younger population — and the buildings needed to accommodate them — dominated much of the discussion in the school district that year. The year started, however, with school district supporters making a late push to garner support for the educational program and operations levy on the ballot. Up until just recently, school districts in the state depended on residents to provide the bulk of their funding, and EP&O levies were the primary mode of doing so. Just as in years prior, as well as those



following through today, obtaining the necessary voter support for the EP&O levy to pass has been a concern for school district administrations. Without those dollars coming in by way of property taxes to impact the school district’s bottom line, any cuts in staffing and educational programs already being offered would affect the type of education students would receive. The EP&O levy for which the school district was seeking voter approval in 1998 was not new. It was a continuation of a levy that had passed 18 years early. In fact, the EP&O levy put before voters in February 2018 is a continuation of that same levy that the school district was so concerned about in 1998.

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Although supporters and district officials were feeling all but certain about its passage at the time, the EP&O levy successfully passed in spring of 1998. Attention then turned to district facilities, specifically the number of schools in the district, versus the number of students coming in. Early in the year, then-Superintendent Tom Vander Ark warned the school board that the steady influx of students coming in through the years was outstripping the schools’ capacity to hold them. Fast forward to 2017, and district administrators issued that same warning to the school board and, combined with the age and deterioration of existing school facilities, that argument drove the district to put a $450 million facilities bond on the Nov. 7 general election. The bond successfully passed. In 1998, however, school district administrators, staff and parents could not agree what should be included in a bond package to put before voters. At the time, the district only had three traditional high schools, and many staff felt another one was needed. School administrators were thinking of a scaled-back project. School district officials unveiled a $52 million bond issue that they hoped would be approved and then put on a ballot for a 1999 vote. At the center of the plan was a scaled down $11 million high school that would be built at the Truman High School site that would hold 1,100 students. The school would have offered high-tech courses, such as computer network engineering, website publishing and multimedia production. The package also would have dedicated $15 million for a new middle school, which would have accommodated its plan to shift away from the junior high model in favor of a middle school model, where sixth grade would be taken out of elementary schools and moved to middle school, and high schools would begin in ninth grade. The year closed, however, without the school board adopting the plan because there was still disagreement as to whether the proposed bond issue would solve and best meet the district’s and students’ needs.

1/15/18 11:49 AM

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20th Anniversary EDITION

Federal Way Mirror has received multiple awards over the past 20 years for its journalism and advertising One banner year was in 2016, when the Mirror won its first General Excellence award, which is the top honor from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. The Mirror staff won 23 total awards that year, including Feature Writer of the Year for reporter Raechel Dawson. The Mirror’s advertising and creative staff, meanwhile, earned five first-place awards among their 12 total. Creative Artist Marcie Shannon produced all 12 of the ads with input from advertisers and staff sales consultants Cindy Ducich and Kay Miller. In 2014, former Mirror editor Carrie Rodriguez earned the Washington Coalition for Open Government’s (WCOG) Key Award for winning disclosure of public information that Federal Way city officials had wrongly withheld.

…wishes to congratulate the Mirror on their 20 years of service to our community!

When the Federal Way City Council was considering applications from 20 candidates to fill a council vacancy, the city initially released only their names. The city declined to release the application packets, contending that council members are city employees and such “employment” applications are exempt from disclosure. Rodriguez consulted attorneys, including the state attorney general’s ombudsman for open government, and confirmed that council members are not legally city employees and such application materials are public records that must be disclosed. She published a column challenging the city to release the information. A week later, the council held a special meeting and voted to release the application packets. The Key Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have made a notable contribution to the cause of open government. The coalition is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advocates for the people’s right to access government information. WCOG President Toby Nixon presented the award to Rodriguez on April 24, 2014. “Carrie Rodriguez served the community well by insisting on disclosure of information that should be routinely provided to any citizen who asks for it,” Nixon said. “Citizens need this kind of information to evaluate candidates for public office.” Another past honor includes the 2011 WNPA Community Service award for the Mirror’s series titled “Quality of Life.” Quality of life relates to the satisfaction people derive

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WCOG President Toby Nixon, right, presented the Key Award to former Mirror editor Carrie Rodriguez in 2014. The 2016 General Excellence award, the highest honor from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, is proudly displayed on the wall at the Mirror office. from social, cultural and intellectual opportunities in the place they call home. The series showed Federal Way residents more reasons to appreciate and invest in their city. In 2012, the Mirror won the WNPA’s Best in Advertising award for its “Reasons to Play for Father’s Day” promotion. The whimsical ad depicted former publisher Rudi Alcott on a rock-climbing wall, surrounded by Father’s Day deals from local businesses. Mirror Photoshop whiz, Marcie Shannon, designed the ad and gave Alcott several colorful tattoos. Multimedia sales reps Cindy Ducich and Mary Lou Goss also contributed. In 2009, the Mirror’s editorial page received first-place honors from Suburban Newspapers of America, which is the largest suburban and community newspaper trade association in North America, representing over 2,000 newspapers with more than 22 million in circulation. Mainstays of the editorial page at that time included political cartoons by Frank Shiers, Bob Roegner’s weekly “Inside Politics” column, and the late Walter Backstrom’s column, “No Excuses.”

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20th Anniversary EDITION


looking back… The Mirror has been, and continues to be, a huge part of my life. Not only did I spend over a decade covering sports in Federal Way, but I also have made the city my family’s home for the last 12 years. It was truly a pleasure covering the boys and girls sports teams at Decatur, Federal Way, Todd Beamer and Thomas Jefferson high schools. It was also a pleasure watching the city’s Special Olympians right alongside its Winter Olympians. Those are memories that will stick with me for a lifetime. I got into journalism because I truly enjoyed telling other people’s stories. I loved working at the Mirror because it allowed me to tell the story of my community, Federal Way. Happy 20th Anniversary, Federal Way Mirror. Casey Olson Sports Editor (2003-2014)

The Federal Way Mirror is an integral part of the community. Working there for 10 years was an honor and allowed me to meet both the talented staff and community leaders. Teryl Heller, Office Coordinator (2000-2010)

Quotes from residents in the first edition Feb. 4, 1998: What do you think of Federal Way’s newest paper, The Mirror? “There is a need. It is the little things that count … like high school sports and neighborhoods.” - Gail Herrick “We could always use a community newspaper. I like local news better than what you get in the bigger newspapers.” - Janet Orvis “I think any community can use a newspaper. It’s important to know what happens around you.” - Sandy Neilson

HAPPY 20TH Federal Way Mirror!



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20th Anniversary EDITION


For longtime Federal Way auto dealership, some things never change BY MIRROR STAFF

Jet Chevrolet is among a handful of businesses that advertised in the Federal Way Mirror’s inaugural edition on Feb. 4, 1998 - and are still doing business today. In fact, the family-owned auto dealership has lasted 41 years and counting in Federal Way, including 28 years at its current location, 35700 Enchanted Parkway S. Jet Chevrolet opened for business long before bluetooth technology, satellite radio, video screens, rearview backup cameras, keyless entry and GPS navigation became standard equipment on vehicles. The nature of auto sales has also changed dramatically during the past two decades because of the rise of the internet. According to marketing manager Matt Wicks, today’s car buyers are much more savvy and do their own research on prices before visiting the dealership. To entice customers these days, auto dealerships now offer incentives such as lifetime warranties and lifetime oil changes as part of the price.

Just like in 1998, pickup trucks still top the list of the dealership’s best-selling vehicles, Wicks said. One model that made its debut in 1998 is the Chevrolet Silverado. Vehicles were easier to repair back in 1998 due to the lack of computerized parts, said Wicks, who quickly noted that the quality of vehicles in 2018 is “leaps and bounds better” today with all the technology. Today’s electronic monitoring systems also notify drivers about problems under the hood. “The engines are twice as good as they used to be, and the quality of oil is way better,” he said Styles and tastes have changed too. Electric vehicles such the Volt and Bolt are steadily rising in popularity. As for colors, there were no burnt orange or bright green vehicles on the road back in 1998, but then again, there are few teal vehicles on the road today. Despite the rapid evolution in the way vehicles are bought and sold in 2018, one crucial element has always remained the same for the Johnson family’s Jet Chevrolet: “We still do business with a handshake,” Wicks said. “That hasn’t changed.”


…and now

The 1998 Chevy Blazer, left, is similar to the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, right, in size and even price. However, the Equinox and most vehicles today come equipped with more efficient engines as well as technology that was unheard of back in 1998. COURTESY PHOTOS

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[ PRODUCTION from page 12]

content would all be pasted onto a grid sheet in whatever size of ad purchased. The photos and/or art for the ad would be submitted to the camera department for reproduction of a “Velox.” Later in the day, camera department would present a halftone or velox to be waxed down within the borders of the ad. This border was also labor intensive, as it was rolls of very thin, black tape that would be cut to form the ad box. If the ad had color, we’d do an “overlay” using an acetate sheet and color with markers those areas in need of color, then we’d submit a proof. The customer could then flip through those color overlays to determine exact placement of the color on their logo or art. When color and ad were approved, we’d meticulously mask out the color “plates” using a product called amberlith (or rubylith) masking film. But back in that day color was a luxurious expense for most advertisers due to its labor intensiveness and press ability. At the end of the day in the composing department, we’d put away our X-acto knives, hang up the pica poles, scrape the wax from the light tables, and turn off the waxer. This is all in stark contrast to what happens today: Photoshop this, pdf that, click “File,” “Print” then WHOOSH! It “magically” ends up on 30,000 doorsteps the very next day. I’ve pretty much grown up with this newspaper. I was only in my early 30s when I started, and now in my 50s looking back at the changes in technology, I am amazed. Dailies printing tens of thousands of newspapers with sections “A” through “J” have flourished, then fallen. But our community paper continues to go strong and thrive in the face of the internet, social media and “tweeting” news. The “ink-printed” copy of anything has diminished significantly - but our community paper keeps going strong. Working at a small community newspaper takes a certain je ne sais quoi in never knowing if the company’s next move will be

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20th Anniversary EDITION

this paper. And successful it has been - from just starting out in 1998 to finding our footing in a technological world that would just as soon eat us up and spit us out. I am proud to be a part of the Mirror. It’s hard, almost overwhelming, to recall how much has changed over the years. Memories are flashing to the forefront of my brain of the immense amount of work that is and has been put into this paper. Whether through the magic of technology or Marcie the Magician, this production guru is grateful for our success over the last 20 years. We are here. We are strong. We are at your door and will be for the next 20 years and beyond.

First edition of the Federal Way Mirror. successful, while always being aware we are teetering between the red and the black. The Mirror has been my lifeblood, my family, my day-to-day sustenance. But this paper would not have seen successful had it not been for the community support we continue to experience and the amazing, talented employees who have graced our paper’s history. Numerous people who have given their blood, sweat and tears. Those who have given a good go at building this paper and community into what could have been considered a transient town 20 years ago - they helped formulate and have been part of turning the city into the community that it has always strived to be. The majority of the people who have worked here, whether it be for a couple months or many years, have all contributed to the success of

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Federal Way Community Center • 876 S. 333rd Street • Federal Way, WA 98003 ItAllHappensHere.Org • 253-835-6900 Feb 10 Daughter’s Night Out 3:30–5pm & 6:30–8pm FWCC Pre-registration $25 per couple, $10 additional person April 2–6 Spring Break Camp 6:30am–6:00pm Grades: K–6th Cost: Entire $180 (before March 2nd) $190 (after March 2nd) Apr 7 Pirate, Pixies & Helmets 1:30–5pm FWCC Free Helmet fittings and giveaway Apr 21 Parks Appreciation 9am–12pm TBD Free Brush Clean–up, & Litter Pick–up Volunteers needed

May 19 Touch a Truck 11:00am–2:00pm PAEC lot Free Kids enjoy climbing in big trucks June 2 Hooked on Fishing Derby 8am–12pm Steel Lake Park $5 per child pre-register; $6 Day of Fishing event for children ages 2–12 June 9 Summer Splashtacular 11:00–1:00pm FWCC Pool Free A fun, family water safety event Great Rate Options! Starting at $34.99/month Adult (18-61) Family of 4 $67.99/month Senior, Teen, Youth rates as well! All Group Fitness Classes included

Group Fitness Classes Classes include Spinning, Weight Lifting, Step, Kickboxing, Core, SilverSneakers, Chair Yoga and Yoga/Pilates Amenities Lap pool • sauna • hot tub • lazy river • water slide • b-ball • climbing wall • steam room • group fitness Great Rental Spaces For all your party needs Birthdays to special events Susan.Freeburg@cityoffederalway.com

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Special Sections - Federal Way Mirror 20th Anniversary Edition  


Special Sections - Federal Way Mirror 20th Anniversary Edition