Wednesday, December 26, 2007

FWPD Media Release: Officer Involved Shooting

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Officer Involved Shooting
Date of Incident: December 25, 2007
Case No.: 07-18806

On December 25, 2007, at approximately 2:30 p.m., Washington State Patrol received numerous 9-1-1 calls from motorists regarding a disturbed individual on the interstate interfering with traffic. Witnesses described a white male running from the on-ramp of South 320th Street onto traffic traveling Northbound on Interstate 5.

Witnesses described the subject, a 27-year-old male from Olympia, who had begun to shed his clothing, strike moving vehicles, and attempted to pry open the doors of moving vehicles.

At approximately 2:45 p.m., the first Washington State Patrol Trooper arrived on scene and was confronted by the subject who began to physically attack the trooper and refused to obey verbal commands.

The subject continued to lunge at the trooper and the trooper in fearing for his safety drew his pistol and fired at the subject.

The subject was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity is not being released at this time until next of kin is notified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

At the request of Washington State Patrol, the Federal Way Police Department Criminal Investigation Unit is investigating this incident.

The identity of the trooper involved in this shooting is also not being released at this time. The involved trooper is an 11 year veteran with the Washington State Patrol. The trooper involved in the shooting was not injured and has been placed on Administrative Leave in accordance with the standard department policy when an officer is involved in a shooting.

The Federal Way Police Department is requesting the assistance of the public. We are requesting any citizens who may have witnessed this incident to contact our agency by calling the Puget Sound Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.


Approved by: Deputy Chief Andy Hwang -- Date & Time: 12/25/07 @ 1935 Hours
Released by: Stacy Flores, PIO -- Pager: 206-916-1139 -- Date & Time: 12/25/07 @ 1935 Hours

Press Release: Federal Way Municipal Court Judge Hartl announces resignation

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Federal Way Municipal Court Judge Hartl announces resignation
Federal Way Municipal Court Judge Colleen Hartl has resigned her post effective immediately, citing personal and health reasons. Hartl, a Federal Way resident, has been a municipal court judge in Washington since 2001 and has been with the City since May 2007.

Federal Way City Manager Neal Beets thanks Hartl for her dedication, service and commitment to Federal Way.

Subject to City Council approval, in January Beets will begin the process of seeking an appointed successor to fill out the rest of Hartl’s term. The seat will be open for election in 2009.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- December 19, 2007

Linda Farmer, APR -- Communications & Government Affairs Manager -- 253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211
Neal Beets -- City Manager -- 253.835.2410 or 253.261.3242

Press Release: Federal Way supports Korea-US Free Trade Agreement

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Federal Way supports Korea-US Free Trade Agreement
Federal Way Mayor Michael Park, a prominent Korean-American, led the Federal Way City Council Tuesday night in signing a proclamation in support of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).

The KORUS FTA, which was signed by the United States and the Republic of Korea in June, will eliminate tariffs on nearly two-thirds of US agricultural exports worth more than $1.9 billion. The proclamation states that this action will expand consumption and demand. The proclamation also states that the nearly two million Americans of Korean heritage living and working in the US will directly benefit from the agreement.

“Here in the Pacific Northwest we are highly dependent on international trade,” said Mayor Park. “You woke up this morning and probably had Starbucks Coffee. You turned on your computer with its Windows Operating System and you may have shopped at Costco. And, whether you’re traveling domestic or oversees it’s likely on a Boeing aircraft. These are world brands now.

The mayor added, “I encouraged our City to support the KORUS FTA because international trade is important to our country and also to our community. And, I’d like to encourage other governments to support the agreement.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Park -- Mayor -- 206.335.2479

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Installation (285)

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(go to the map)

Utility Pole (284)

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(go to the map)

Utility Box (283)

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Utility Pole (282)

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Kilworth Worth Killing?

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Federal Wayan makes a great argument for Killing the Kilworth Deal. Actually, to be fair, they end up with a different proposal that would actually benefits all kinds of groups. A good read.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Letter: How Important are Athletics in Schools?

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FWG welcomes your thoughts and comments. Email us at or click on the "comments" link at the bottom of any posting. Of course, all postings are moderated to prevent online graffiti.

How Important are Athletics in Schools?

At the last Federal Way School Board meeting Vice President, Tom Madden, cited a research paper from Wittenberg University on the advantages of GIRLS athletics, when if comes to college completion, by girls. Since Washington State is now 50th in the nation in college completion, this would suggest that if the School Board made participation in high school athletics mandatory for all girls, Federal Way might arise from this sad position wouldn't it? Mr. Madden didn't cite what is also pretty well known is graduates from high schools where there are no athletics do even better! Just take a look at the International Schools of Lake Washington and Bellevue for some fine examples.

What is also pretty well known is that Title IX has forced public schools to offer girls athletics, increasing the total cost of athletics, while not increasing what little revenue there is in this "exercising of the physically fit" that deprives actual instruction of needed dollars. Perhaps even less well known to most is that most successful girl athletes' families have spent considerable amounts of money on special training, often starting at a very early age, to prepare them for these endeavors. These parents, deeply involved in their children's upbringing, also usually attend to the academic needs of their children with whatever resources are needed. Hence these children usually also have high GPA's in their academic endeavors.

Therefore it can be said that these are "successful" students. Would these students be academically successful without the taxpayer's subsidy? Probably so! Is there any financial incentive for girls in the athletic profession? Unlike for boys, there isn't much.

The "case" for boy's athletics is quite different. Here, there are basically two kids of boys involved. Some, like their sisters, come from families where scholarship, and finances, are not difficult issues. These kids are not usually involved in some of the "high profile" sports which we have pages devoted to in the newspapers. The other end of the spectrum is also, unlike with girls, very well represented. Low grades, low interest in academics, and doubtful values are often seen on both the sports pages and the front pages of newspapers. I can't count the number of kids that have told me "that I am planning on being in the NBA" as an excuse for lack of participation, or concern, about even the most basic of topics presented in a classroom. Hero worship of players who often exhibit some pretty bad behaviors is common place.

College coaches spend a great deal of time traveling all around the country scouting for "scholar-athletes." Emphasis upon the "athletes" at least in recent times. Once these "doubtful scholars" are found they are offered a full ride to college, special housing, individual tutoring, and many other advantages over "scholars." Still these athletes, students might not be a proper term, seem to feel that education just isn't that important and often leave school before graduating, either due to "academics" or the promise of reaping more dollars from professional teams. TV interviews with many of these former college athletes would suggest that their academic efforts were minimal. After all how can you be playing on the other side of the nation on a Tuesday night and attending classes that same day? Must be a shift in priorities there somewhere.

This puts high schools, and the taxpayers, in the less than desirable position of subsidizing what is a doubtful enterprise. As a tutor in this community I have seen more than enough of this to give me heartbreak. Why does a school district that is near the bottom of the barrel for funding continue to play this game? Why do we encourage students who struggle academically to spend time on these diversions?

Federal Way could have some of the finest schools in the nation if they were to concentrate on the basics and forget the "exercising of the physically fit" and other forms of entertainment/diversions. Elsewhere in the world this is the way. There are no shortcuts to success in education and yet some believe that athletics are the "pathway to success." Count me as "doubtful."

-- Charlie Hoff

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What's News in Federal Way -- Dec. 16

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Kilworth park development trapped in legal limbo
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (12/10) -- Legal wrangling over a deed threatens to delay Federal Way’s purchase of Camp Kilworth for a year or longer and could even kill the deal. Trustees for the estates of the Kilworth family have appealed a ruling that cleared the way for the city to buy the Boy Scout camp for $3 million. More...

Job - Sales Recruiter to $33k+
LONGBEACHCAREERS.NET (12/09) -- Challenging career position for sales recruiter with a Staffing Specialist company. You will identify,qualify and develop solutions for key clients in regards to clerical, accounting and sales staffing in the South Sound area. More...

Town Hall With Adam Smith
WASHBLOG.COM (12/09) -- ... Smith went on to state the obvious, that the Iraqi adventure had been grossly mismanaged and that Democrats were doing their damndest to rein it in ... when a group from Federal Way Matters stood up in the back of the auditorium and displayed their T-shirts which spelled out the word "IMPEACH." ... More...

Acccountability Comes to Town? I don't think so!
GOODGOVERNMENTBLOG.BLOGSPOT.COM (12/08) -- Proponents of the Strong Mayor-Council Initiative named their group ACT, short for Accountability Comes to Town. They proclaim that by changing our form of government that an independently elected strong mayor, as chief executive officer of the city will be more accountable than the current city manager. Nothing could be further from the truth and in fact there will be far less accountability under their proposal. More...

Downtown high-rise plan makes more room for retail
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (12/07) -- The Federal Way City Council approved, 6-0, the $6.156 million sale of the former 4.1-acre AMC Theatre site to Canadian developer United Properties Ltd. City staff has worked with United Properties to alter its proposal to better serve Federal Way since July 17, when the city council chose the developer to create a sense of community downtown through the creation of a four-tower, mixed-use project called Symphony. More...

Safe City Federal Way Kicked Off
VOICEOFSOUTHSOUND.TYPEPAD.COM\ (12/07) -- A two-year project between the Federal Way Police Department, the City of Federal Way, the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, and Target Corporation ushers in a new era of community policing. More...

Smile, thieves: You're on city's cameras
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (12/07) -- Onlookers watched Tuesday as a man prowled the Macy’s parking lot -- peering into vehicles’ windows -- before opening the door of a parked truck and rummaging through its contents. The man was caught on camera as part of a staged demonstration that illustrated how 25 closed-circuit cameras will be used to catch criminals in Federal Way’s downtown core. The cameras are part of a program called Safe City. More...

Join the $10,000 food bank challenge
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (12/07) -- The Multi-Service Center’s Federal Way Food Bank has a challenge for Federal Way residents: Match the $10,000 donated by the city. The City Council voted on Dec. 4 to grant $10,000 to the Food Bank and now hopes that others in the city will join in the giving. Now is also a good time to donate money because with the matching grants and purchasing discounts the Food Bank receives, $1 donated can be turned into $4 worth of food, said Tricia Schug, community relations manager for the Multi-Service Center. More...

Busting communication barriers
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (12/07) -- Increasingly, Federal Way’s police officers are called to a scene where they can’t easily communicate with the people involved because of language barriers. Often the first responders to an emergency, police officers must quickly determine what happened as well as identify potential victims and possible suspects. More...

Opponents organize to fight strong-mayor ballot measure
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (12/07) -- A group has formed to oppose the Feb. 19 ballot initiative to switch to a strong, elected mayor in Federal Way. Barbara Reid is chairwoman of the 10-member steering committee for the new group called Federal Way Works. Reid, retired from corporate communications at The Boeing Co., says her city’s current council-manager form of government works well and has been accountable to the public. More...

Performing arts center will survive if slated for mixed use
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (12/07) -- C.H. Johnson Consulting presented its first phase of findings Dec. 5 on the feasibility of a Federal Way performing arts center. The firm found that a performance hall could survive in Federal Way, but it would need strong anchor tenants and ownership partners. More...

Spokane man sues Scouts for alleged abuse in early 1960s
THEOLYMPIAN.COM (12/07) -- A Federal Way man is suing the Boy Scouts of America and its Spokane scouting council, alleging he was sexually molested by a scoutmaster in the early 1960s. In the Spokane County Superior Court lawsuit filed Tuesday, Len Zickler contends that former assistant scoutmaster William Cormana sexually molested him during outings to Camp Cowles at Diamond Lake, north of Spokane, starting in 1962. More...

City sells land for massive towers
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (12/06) -- A project to build four skyscrapers as tall as 24 stories -- the biggest buildings in downtown Federal Way -- will go forward, despite last-minute objections about the developer’s past financial and building problems. The developer, United Properties Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C., filed for protection in Canada six years ago, similar to a Chapter 11 reorganization. More...

Sixth-grader's bubble invention eliminates needles
SEATTLEPI.NWSOURCE.COM (12/06) -- Sitting on a desk in his middle school classroom, sixth-grader James Gentry is confident and curious. Cradled in his hands is another hand, a yellow one made with a wad of tissue packed into one of his mother's dishwashing gloves. Clear packing tape holds a dime-size dot to the wrist of the faux-paw. More...

Multi-service Center and Caregiving Network team up to make this holiday memorable for Federal Way children
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (12/05) -- When there isn't much stretching room in a budget, buying Christmas gifts can put a low-income family into a deeper financial crisis. Fortunately, the caring Federal Way community can help insure that every child will have at least one gift to open on Christmas morning. Through the annual Giving Tree, sponsored by Multi-Service Center and the Caregiving Network, local residents can stop by the Giving Tree table at the Commons mall (located in the center area between the movie theatre and Target), now through Dec. 16, take a slip of paper with a toy suggestion listed on it, and go buy that toy to be donated to Christmas House. More...

Don't like needles? Try Bubble Wrap
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (12/04) -- James Gentry, like many 12-year-olds, hates getting shots. So with the painful experience of back-to-school shots fresh in his mind this fall, he came up with a creative way to use Bubble Wrap to dispense medicine through a patient’s skin. More...

City of Federal Way's Safe City Initiative Will Demonstrating City-Wide Public Safety Camera Technology
GOVTECH.COM (12/04) -- LenSec, a provider of IP-based public safety camera solutions to cities, school districts, and universities, has announced their involvement in Safe City Federal Way (Washington), a project the company says will that will usher in a new era of community policing. More...

City jumps on the hybrid wagon
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (12/03) -- Federal Way is going green by spending as much as $50,000 extra to buy five hybrid vehicles and up to $80,000 to develop a plan for how the city can best protect the environment. The City Council is one of the first in the South Sound to take such steps since former President Bill Clinton spoke on stopping global warming last month at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Summit in Seattle. More...

Going to Federal Way? The police have their eyes on you
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (12/03) -- Santa won’t be the only omniscient mortal watching to see if you’ve been naughty or nice in Federal Way next year. The cops will have an eye on you too. Make that 25 eyes. From their squad cars, patrol officers will have Wi-Fi control over 25 video cameras strategically mounted throughout a 1-square-mile zone around The Commons, Federal Way’s regional shopping mall. More...

The homeless need our help
SEATTLETIMES.NWSOURCE.COM (12/03) -- It is important to remember our homeless neighbors as we approach the coldest part of the year. During last winter's one-night count of people living on the streets and in shelters, there were 7,839 people in King County, 271 of these in South King County. More...

Review: Federal Way Korean Fried Chicken Report
CHOWHOUND.COM (12/02) -- Last week, when I visited my mother in Des Moines, I decided check out Korean fried chicken. There are two KFC places in Federal Way, just about a block from each other. Cockatoo's Chicken Restaurant (33130 Pacific Highway S., No. 5) and Hanmaum's. Don't bother looking for the signs, unless you read Korean. I got to Cockatoo's first, heading south. More...

How are Federal Way’s students doing?
FWCON.WORDPRESS.COM (12/02) -- Several years ago the School Board, and I believe I was a member, decided that we could raise the rigor of our high schools by installing the Advanced Placement Program in 3 of our 4 high schools. Thomas Jefferson already had the International Baccalaureate Program in place so it didn’t make sense to scrap a truly great program to adopt the Advanced Placement Program. More...

FWPD Media Release: Barricaded Suicidal Subject

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FWPD Media Release: Barricaded Suicidal Subject

Type of Incident: Barricaded Suicidal Subject
Date of Incident: December 14, 2007
Case No.: 07-18359

On December 14, 2007, at approximately 2:30 p.m., Federal Way Police officers responded to the 150 block of South 357th Street for a 47 year old suicidal male who was in violation of a domestic violence, no-contact order.

The suspect refused to cooperate with police officers and barricaded himself in the home. Numerous attempts were made to communicate with the male suspect throughout the incident but were unsuccessful. The suspect refused to surrender. Family members confirmed the suspect was alone inside the residence.

Multi-jurisdictional Valley SRT (Special Response Team) was utilized. A perimeter was established and necessary measures were taken to safeguard the residence and the neighborhood.

Illahee Middle School initiated lockdown procedures. Staff, parents and students were evacuated by school transportation.

The incident was safely resolved at approximately 8:20 p.m. Efforts by multiple jurisdictions ended the occurrence successfully with no injuries and the suspect was taken into custody.

The road closure affected all traffic westbound and eastbound on South 356th Street from 1st Avenue South to Pacific Highway South. The roadway is now open.

There is no further information pertaining to this incident at this time.


Approved by: Commander Chris Norman
Date & Time: 12/14/07 @ 2100 hours

Released by: Stacy Flores, PIO
Date & Time: 12/14/07 @ 2130 hours (Pager: 206-916-1139 Media Line: 253-835-1PIO)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

FWPS Replacement Levy

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Federal Way Public Schools will run a placement levy February 19, 2008. Approval of the levy will continue school programs and services at their current levels.

This four-year Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O*) will replace the current levy which is due to expire, and will continue to bridge the gap between what the state provides and what the community expects in education. (*Formerly called a Maintenance & Operations Levy)

This school level will not increase your tax rate.

Learn more at the Federal Way Public Schools website...

Response: Keep Our Eye On The Ball

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FWG welcomes your thoughts and comments. Email us at or click on the "comments" link at the bottom of any posting. Of course, all postings are moderated to prevent online graffiti.

Response to Keep Our Eye On The Ball

The first step in getting FW's kids on track to international level of academics would be to get them modern textbooks.

The second step would be to commit to teaching them internationally accepted scientific facts. I don't trust Dave Larson to do this, as he has shown far too much willingness to succumb to political and theological influences in academics. One reason the U.S. loses at the international academic "game" is that most of the countries on the leaderboard don't tend to sully their education (or their government) with political and religious biases.

Step three would be to make school a place where children want to be and participate in, instead of coming up with new arbitrarily created and enforced rules for them to follow, handing out detention and suspension like candy, or scrambling to jam WASL knowledge into their heads at the last minute. (Watching a FW student go through WASL cram time is disturbingly reminiscent of college finals week. Kids in grades 5-10 shouldn't be going through that.)

Let's not, however, become so engrossed in science and geography that we leave the arts behind. If U.S. kids have one advantage over the rest of the world, it's that the U.S. is still a worldwide creative leader. Our music, movies, television, etc., are, for what it's worth, admired and imitated the world over like those of no other country. If we decide to play the technical "game", let's make sure not to lose our edge in the creative "game" as a result.

It's terribly telling that a FWPS board member was surprised to discover what the average student knew (or didn't). It shows just how out of touch they are with the schools they are in charge of. They need to stop banning things and making rules and waving legal sticks, and start actually caring about actual education in FW.

-- FederalWayan

Response: A Departing School Board Member's Apology to the Federal Way Community

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FWG welcomes your thoughts and comments. Email us at or click on the "comments" link at the bottom of any posting. Of course, all postings are moderated to prevent online graffiti.

Response to A Departing School Board Member's Apology to the Federal Way Community

Charlie Hoff ROCKS. He has more passion for the future of the kids in this community than many parents do - to our shame.

Unknown to many, he offers consulting to help kids prepare for college; on Sundays you can find him down at the local bookstore doing so. For free.

He has been an outspoken proponent of improved education for YEARS, long before his election to the board; and the resistance he encountered during his tenure only speaks to the unfortunate, ill-informed, self-centered nature of his opponents that's frankly based far more in ego and being unable to admit it when they are wrong than in recognizing common sense when they see it.

To them, I ask: what kind of triumph do you think you have won?

To Charlie, I say: the class and dignity that you consistently display is all the more evident in your taking personal responsibility for the performance of the board during your term of service; and in not giving up and not giving in to your opponents.

Be encouraged, Charlie. You are a good man, and your service has been appreciated. Your positive influence has been felt. Kids are in college because of what you've done; and their lives and the lives of their families will be better.

Your goal is education; and I for one, have learned much from you.

May God bless you.

-- Skip Stocks

How awesome is this?

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This is so freaking awesome it's hard not to use a stronger word. I am so excited about this project I'm literally giddy. I know our friends at Hybelos prefer low density, but low density means more sprawl, more cars, more pavement. Go north, south or east, further east or even further east of Los Angeles to see how awful sprawl is.

In case you missed it in the press release, Symphony has a website: It's pretty much focussed on pre-pre-selling the residential space, but hopefully over time it'll add more information. In the meantime, is that not just a stinking brilliantly beautiful rendering?

Federal Way? Boo yeah, baby. Welcome to the big leagues. Dang. So cool.

Press Release: High-rise development in downtown Federal Way one step closer to reality

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High-rise development in downtown Federal Way one step closer to reality

The City of Federal Way stepped closer to the reality of a high-rise mixed use development in its downtown core last week. On Dec. 7, the Federal Way City Council unanimously approved an agreement with United Properties of Vancouver, BC, for $6.2 million to purchase and develop the former AMC Theaters property at the southeast corner of 20th Avenue South and South 316th Street.

The City purchased the property in January of this year for $4.1 million and has been in negotiations with United Properties since selecting its development proposal in July. Since the selection, the council has worked with United Properties to enhance the original proposal.

The development, called "Symphony," spans a four-acre site and calls for four towers ranging from 16 to 24 stories in height -- the tallest towers of any city between southern Seattle and Portland. The development features approximately 60,000 square-feet of retail, office and commercial space on the lower levels with about 900 condos and apartments taking the upper floors. Responding to council
concerns in July about the large number of apartments, United Properties intends to provide at least three quarters of the units as condos as dictated by the marketplace.

Another key concern of the City’s was to include space for Highline Community College’s Federal Way facilities, negotiations for which are currently underway. Lastly, the project includes an approximately one-acre public park that will most likely include a water feature, outdoor fireplace, areas for outdoor caf├ęs and casual seating, a small band shell, and areas for both active and passive activities. In 2008, there will be opportunities for the public to participate in shaping the park’s development.

Federal Way Economic Development Director Patrick Doherty calls the development a "transformational project" that will become a landmark in Federal Way’s city center and serve as "a catalyst to additional investment in the area."

The total cost of the project is estimated at about $225 to $250 million, with construction likely to span four phases. United Properties intends to break ground on the first 16-story building in late spring 2008 and finish by the end of 2009. United Properties also will be establishing a sales center near the development in early 2008. Residential units will range in cost from under $200,000 for a junior suite to
approximately $800,000 for a top-floor penthouse. A large majority of the upper floors will boast commanding views of Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains.

Learn more at


December 13, 2007

Patrick Doherty - Economic Development Director - 253.835.2612
Linda Farmer, APR - Communications & Government - Affairs Manager - 253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

FW Home Prices

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Federal Way Undressed (I still don't get the name) has new charts available:

Edgewood Blog also has some stats for Federal Way. Not clear on what 100 vs. 110 means, but here's the original post.

While I'm at it, here's the
Zillow link as well.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Graffiti Report Card

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Ok, based on some of the comments, not everyone understood that this is supposed to be mostly satirical.

Essentially, this is a "graffiti report card." You can print it out, tape it up next to the graffiti and grade on artistic qualities and leave notes. It's supposed to be funny, but they did also establish a Flickr Pool so people can submit images of where they've graded other people's graffiti.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Letter: Keep Our Eye On The Ball

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FWG welcomes your thoughts and comments. Email us at or click on the "comments" link at the bottom of any posting. Of course, all postings are moderated to prevent online graffiti.

Keep Our Eye On The Ball

In Saturday’s “Federal Way Mirror” newly elected president of the Federal Way School Board asks us to “keep our eye on the ball” when it comes to the education of our community’s children. He is so right!

It would be well to understand that the “ball,” or even the shape of the ball, is not defined in Federal Way, Washington State, or even the Nation. We are now in an “international game” and this ball is not found on a field or in a gymnasium, and the scoreboard isn’t at one end of either a field or gymnasium. Let’s not have an extended debate on “what shape the ball should be” as this isn’t a matter for Federal Way to decide. In the 21st century the rest of the “teams” are pretty focused on skills that are productive, and allow their children to be constructively productive in society.

The “scores” in this game keep coming in and they aren’t inspiring. The nation is 25th in the world in mathematics, 29th in the world in science. Less than 10% of students, nationally, can tell you the difference between Thailand and Taiwan, high school social studies teachers cannot make it through the 5th grade social studies questions on the television program “are you smarter than a 5th grader,” 50% of all the 10th grade students in Federal Way cannot do 8th grade mathematics, only 25% of minority students can do 8th grade math, less than 20% of those taking Advanced Placement tests in Federal Way can earn credit for the course they have taken. A parent once told me that their son was taking “Advanced Placement Physical Education!” While the national average for Merit Scholars is between 1% and 2% of graduating classe, we only have one high school that has any at all.

The previous school board, at least a majority of them, didn’t want to even learn the scores that fit on this scoreboard!

Newsweek and USNews and World Report have both listed the finest high schools in the nation. There are no schools on Newsweek’s list of 1,200 and of the 44 high schools in the State of Washington that are on the USNews report we haven’t made either list. There are no schools in South King County on either list! So much for a “reputation” in college admissions.

A recent survey of parents, nationally, found that the highest priority they felt for education was that their children be “satisfied” with school! In this world of “things” satisfaction with Trigonometry may just not be possible. When I explained this to a community leader last week they expressed, justifiably, shock that this could even be considered a viable priority. Satisfaction for today’s America’s teens is more about cell phones, MySpace, and malls than it is about “classroom learning.” “Multitasking” that includes any serious learning just doesn’t have a priority. Elsewhere in the world teenagers are “required” to rearrange priorities to excel in things like trigonometry. Here, “satisfaction” overtakes any concentration on learning.

This past week I spoke with a former school board member who was shocked at what they found to be the knowledge base of some students that they had met recently. Not me! I have been tutoring in this community for several years and I have become immune to the gaps that I see in the basic knowledge of today’s students. However I have been assured by “educators” that a knowledge base just isn’t important as we have now moved on to “critical thinking!” Arriving at wise decisions, “critical” thinking, requires knowing as many facts about the topic as possible but I am assured that these facts are all “readily available.” I don’t think that I want to be looking for the “facts” on how to drive on ice when I find myself in an icy situation.

Are there solutions to this? I think so, but they involve some unpleasant discussions with educators and parents about standards and priorities. We have to insist that reports to parents be accurate even if they are unpleasant. This accuracy has to be linked to actual standards for the subject, not to the relative performance of others in the class. “Doing well” just isn’t an accurate report. Once we are sure that parents are getting accurate information as bad as that may be, based upon standards not opinions that are designed to soothe parents, then we will find some parents that are shocked enough to “rearrange priorities” of their family. This renewed emphasis upon actual academic process should change the climate of our secondary schools where we have actually seen a decline in relative achievement for most kids. Some places this is called grade inflation and it seems to be a great ingredient in developing “satisfaction.”

This would take a determined school board focused on “the ball” and the “scoreboard.”

President Larson concludes with “Larry the Cable Guy’s” quote “Let’s “get ’er done.”


-- Charlie Hoff

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New on the City of Federal Way Website

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Some new stuff I found recently...

What's News in Federal Way -- December 4, 2007

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Students get expelled over alleged financial scam
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/30) -- At least seven Federal Way High School students appear to have been involved in a scam in which students' debit cards and personal identification numbers were willingly sold and later allegedly used to commit financial fraud. Two students allegedly solicited the material from at least three of their peers and offered money in exchange for the debit cards and PINs, according to a Nov. 2 search warrant affidavit. Information gathered by Federal Way police suggests the materials were then provided to another student who passed the materials on to a Federal Way man and a Tacoma man, according to the document. More...

Experience a waste-free holiday season
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/30) -- As shoppers scurry to purchase holiday gifts, King County hopes some will invest in experiences rather than material objects. The county is promoting the Waste Free Holidays program. Through this, King County businesses provide discounts on services as a way to encourage residents to think about purchasing experiences as holiday gifts. By doing this, residents can help decrease the amount of trash created during the festive season. More...

City pays off Celebration Park
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/30) -- A decade ago, many Federal Way residents did not want to see Celebration Park constructed. Now the city is retiring — five years early — the bonds it withdrew to build the recreational space, among other things. The action will save the city money and free up other tax-generated revenue to be used elsewhere. In April 1997, the city was issued the 1997 Community Investment Bonds package, totaling $16.15 million. For the past decade it has paid on those bonds semi-annually, said Iwen Wang, management services director. More...

Opinion: Repeat after me: Federal Way is NOT rural.
HORSESASS.ORG (11/27) -- Erica C. Barnett was a guest on The Stranger's "Dear Science" podcast, which is hosted by Jonathan Golob, who was himself a guest on "The David Goldstein Show" just recently. [...] But the downside of [light rail developement from Seattle to Tacoma] is that in Tacoma, the rail line they were takiing about building was going out to relatively undeveloped area. (Language) More...

Stolen van puts Federal Way daycare in a bind
KING5.COM (11/27) -- The Smart Start daycare center says someone has stolen its van, leaving staff without a way to shuffle kids back and forth to school. Daycare director Cathy Chavez says she was astonished someone stole the van. More...

Retired Chicago opera singer Foldi dies in WA state
SEATTLEPI.NWSOURCE.COM (11/27) -- Retired Lyric Opera of Chicago singer Andrew Foldi has died, the company said Tuesday. He was 81. Foldi, who sang in more than 20 roles at Lyric Opera from 1954 to 1993, died last week in Federal Way, Wash., following a stroke, according to a statement released Tuesday. More...

Highline Medical Center donates scrubs to Federal Way relief group
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (11/27) -- Highline Medical Center recently donated more than 1,800 old scrub suits, over 4,000 pounds of linen and 30 linen carts to World Vision. The scrubs will be used as part of World Vision's international outreach efforts, while the linens will help residents of Southern California who lost everything in last month's wildfires. More...

Federal Way residents can chime in on Sea-Tac's noise abatement programs
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (11/26) -- Port of Seattle officials will be on hand at the Dec. 3 meeting of the Federal Way City Council's Land Use and Transportation Committee meeting to update residents on Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's regional noise abatement programs. More...

Baden Sports Inc. Launches Retail Web Site
PRWEB.COM (11/25) -- Baden Sports, Inc. announces the launch of their official online store accessible at Fans and sports enthusiasts can now purchase any of Baden's high quality, technology-driven sports balls from this new website. To celebrate the grand opening, the BadenBall site is offering its customers a 25% discount on all products, free shipping on all orders over $99, and a free ball pump with each inflatable ball purchase. More...

Elected mayor: Pro and con teams chosen for voters pamphlet
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/23) -- Pro and con teams, designed to formulate arguments for and against an elected mayor, were confirmed Nov. 20 at the Federal Way City Council meeting. Federal Way residents H. David Kaplan, Mary L. Ehlis and Joann Piquette will write the con statement for the voters pamphlet. David McKenzie, Roy Parke and Frosty Hardison will write the pro statement. More...

Federal Way, Scouts revisit waterfront deal
BIZJOURNALS.COM (11/23) -- The city of Federal Way and the Boy Scouts of America are talking about changing the terms of the city's proposed purchase of a waterfront scout camp for $3 million. Federal Way agreed two years ago to buy 25-acre Camp Kilworth from the Pacific Harbor Council of the Boy Scouts of America. More...

Video of Best Buy in Federal Way
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/23) -- Word on the Street special correspondent Liz Shaw shot this video of the line outside Best Buy in Federal Way at 1:20 a.m. – still about 3½ hours before the electronics store opened its doors. More...

Volunteers give neighborhood new look
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/23) -- Federal Way's Westway neighborhood needed a radical makeover to counter crime, gang activity and rundown housing. Enter Habitat for Humanity, which stepped in to help with more than its usual approach of building new homes. This time, the Christian-based housing program is rehabbing and repairing homes for their low-income owners. More...

Schools scramble for subs
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/23) -- They say journalists have to become an expert in any given subject on any given day. Substitute teachers often ride in the same boat. Substitute teachers are in high demand right now. The Federal Way School District, along with many school districts in Washington state, faces so much of a sub shortage that it also employs emergency subs. More...

Forecast predicts a regional jail
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/23) -- Though Federal Way has been conscious of looming jail contracts with facilities in Yakima and King County, which will expire in 2010 and 2012, respectively, the city has been hesitant to officially declare its participation in a regional jail study until now. The city entered into an inter-local agreement with Renton to provide funding for a jail facility feasibility study. More...

Seniors on the Streets?
PUBLICNEWSSERVICE.ORG (11/21) -- Caregivers who run adult family homes in Washington say almost 5,000 seniors and disabled citizens won't have places to live as of December 1 if their adult family homes are required to take on a bigger insurance burden. Two dozen adult family home providers went to the State Capitol on Tuesday to ask Governor Gregoire to reconsider a state requirement they say will put many in their field out of business. More...

Money for Prometa drug trials headed north
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/21) -- The Federal Way City Council has approved spending $20,000 for a trial of the Prometa drug-treatment program, for which neighboring Pierce County has recently cut funding. Federal Way council member Jack Dovey suggested the pilot program after a former employee, David Smart, told Dovey three months ago he'd stopped using methamphetamine after being treated with Prometa. More...

Federal Way Food Bank asks citizens to dig deep for holiday donations
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (11/20) -- When planning your Thanksgiving celebration this year, Multi-Service Center would like to encourage you to remember the area's needy families with donations of Thanksgiving dinner items to MSC's Federal Way Food Bank. It has become a tradition of the food bank to provide customers this time of year with the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. More...

Joint Operating Agreement Available to the Public
TAFACADEMYLAUNCH.BLOGSPOT.COM (11/20) -- Here is a link to the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between the Federal Way Public School District and the Technology Access Foundation. More...

Food and toy drive set for Federal Way
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (11/20) -- The annual Community Food and Toy Drive for Des Moines and Federal Way is now in high gear, and South King Fire and Rescue is asking for the public's generosity once again. Donations of canned goods, non-perishable (dry) food items and new, unwrapped toys (no stuffed animals, please) will be accepted at each fire station from now, through Dec. 12. More...

Grass-roots effort begins to save school libraries
SEATTLETIMES.NWSOURCE.COM (11/20) -- Supporters of school librarians and library programs have launched a statewide online petition drive to try to save what they believe is an endangered school position. Two parents from the Spokane School District, where budget cuts this year reduced 10 librarian positions to half-time, want librarians and library services included in the state's definition of a basic education. More...

Northeast Tacoma residents plea to Federal Way City Council to be aggressive in its approach to proposed Northshore development
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (11/20) -- The meeting may not have resulted in any definitive action from the seven-member City Council, but for the crowd of opponents of the proposed development in Northeast Tacoma (and a stone's throw away from the Federal Way line), the venting session must have felt cathartic. More...

Opinion: Free Trade = Jobs in Federal Way
FWCON.WORDPRESS.COM (11/19) -- My concept of conservatism is the fundamental rule that people are smart, and given freedom, will make better choices than the government can. Nowhere is this more obvious than the arena of international trade. Nowhere does this affect your income as much as it does here in Washington State. More...

Elected mayor movement ripens
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/19) -- How best to govern Federal Way was the topic Sunday at a forum in which residents voiced their arguments for and against an elected mayor. Accountability Comes to Town (ACT), a Federal Way organization at the forefront of vying for an elected mayor, sponsored the public forum at Decatur High School. More...

Opinion: Gates could help reduce skilled-job shortage he bemoans
WHACKYNATION.COM (11/19) -- I have a great suggestion for Bill Gates, the brilliant chief wizard of the Microsoft Corporation, and I hope someone carries it to him, since I have been unable to break through his wall of receptionists, secretaries, and others for several years, even though I have many more valuable ideas for him and Microsoft. The suggestion referred to involves a complaint he has been making for some time now and which addresses an issue that grows more serious by the day for the U.S. In his most recent statement, Gates lamented the fact that the nation is not turning out the technicians and engineers that are needed to keep our economy going and steadily improving. More...

Opinion: Are school boards effective?
FWCON.WORDPRESS.COM (11/18) -- Should we abolish School Boards? This month I attended my 7th consecutive State School Board conference. One of the topics that is discussed in the hallways, but not in a formal meeting, is "should school boards be abolished?" There have been attempts, by the legislature, to require certain levels of training and to remove the school boards of those districts that are not meeting standards. More...

Strong mayor topic in Federal Way
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/17) -- The group sponsoring the initiative to switch to a strong, elected mayor in Federal Way will present a program on the issue Sunday. Accountability Comes to Town is putting on what it calls a town hall meeting at 3 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Decatur High School, 2800 S.W. 320th St. More...


Contract Position: Client Administrator
HOTGIGS.COM (11/15) -- Our client, a Christian relief and development organization, is dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty is looking for a Client Administrator. If chosen for this role you will need to have a good grasp of Client/Desktop technologies. More...

Real Estate

Federal Way Area Manufactured Home -- $45,000 (3/2)
WINDERMERE.COM -- See this Lite, Bright Well-Maintained, Updated Home in Great Culdesac Location. Kitchen with Pantry has Tile Counters, open to Family Rm with Slider to Big Deck w/steps at both ends. More...

Federal Way Area Home -- $334,950 (3/2.25)
WINDERMERE.COM -- Get ready to walk into this turn key home in the heart of Federal Way! This 3 bed 2 1/4 bath home features a updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, wet bar, den/office with loft and newer furnace and hot water heater.More...

Money: Best Places to Live -- Federal Way profles

2006 (not a winner or finalist, just included in the survey.),
2007 (limited to cities under 50k population this year)

Good Charlotte at Verizon Wireless

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Good Charlotte at Verizon Wireless in Federal Way on Sept. 9, 2007.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Letter: A Departing School Board Member's Apology to the Federal Way Community

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FWG welcomes your thoughts and comments. Email us at or click on the "comments" link at the bottom of any posting. Of course, all postings are moderated to prevent online graffiti.

A Departing School Board Member's Apology to the Federal Way Community

I would like to apologize to the children and taxpayers of this district. During my 7 year tenure on this school board we have spent over $1 billion dollars on what some may have thought was education. I would contend that most of our children are still not getting an education that will prepare them for their next steps beyond the Federal Way school system.

What have we got for this expenditure?

We have built a “comprehensive high school” that isn’t comprehensive and has earned a reputation that doesn’t allow some its students to enter the colleges of their choice. Unfortunately this school has incorporated many of the less than desirable traits of other high schools instead of being a showplace of academic achievement that it was intended to be. As for its “comprehensiveness” there isn’t any recognized course there to prepare a student for something other than college and the schools SAT scores are causing college admissions officials to wonder.

We have built another middle school that hasn’t broken the mold that middle schools have. Many middle school students do not survive high school as a result of their middle school experience.

We have started an Advanced Placement program to raise the level of rigor in 3 of our high schools. Unfortunately less than 14% of those that enter this program earn any credit for these courses.

We continue to fund exercise for the physically fit while failing to expend these funds on addressing the more than 50% of our kids that are not making it while we continue to spend money on “electives” and entertainment.

Our secondary schools continue to be places where scholarship takes a back seat to “activities” that divert our children’s attention from study and scholarship. We only have to remember a video that this board saw a few years ago about the “fun” that it was to attend a particular school.

In the past year, in spite of an emphasis on closing the gap, our gaps have increased.

This will not change if the next board continues to do as we have always done.

It would be my hope that the next board will take a serious look at educating our children and eliminate the diversions that occur inside our school houses. There are plenty of diversions outside of our schools. In the short time that we have kids we need to be sure that learning is what takes place, not entertainment.

Since the last board meeting one of the board members discussed with me their thoughts that we have “good schools” in Federal Way. I don’t believe for one moment that this is the case. Granted we have pockets of excellence in a few locations in our school district but my greatest disappointment is that in the 7 years, and a billion dollars, that we don’t have large numbers of children that are in the words of our former motto “world class.” Recently revealed statistics on our Advanced Placement exams is a pretty good confirmation of this.

I have said on several occasions “You can get an excellent education in Federal Way schools. I did not say you will get an excellent education in Federal Way schools.” Children left to their own whims, and the minimal guidance that we offer, are not very likely to be in one of the pockets of excellence that exist in our school district.

No more than 30% of our children are taking advantage of these opportunities.

Again, I wish to express my heartfelt regrets to the taxpayers, and many of the students, for the inadequacies of our school system.

While some are getting a very high quality education the majority are not so fortunate.

I will close with what I said earlier this evening. You can get an excellent education in the Federal Way School District. I did not say that you will.

In the time that I remain in this community I will endeavor to find ways for more to get this excellent education.

Charlie Hoff

Saturday, December 1, 2007

FWPD Media Advisory: Safe City Kickoff

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Federal Way Police Department Media Advisory

Safe City Federal Way Kickoff Scheduled For December 4th

Federal Way Police News Conference/Safe City Kickoff
December 4, 2007 - 10:00 a.m.

Federal Way Commons -- Macy’s Courtyard (indoors)
1928 South 320th Street, Federal Way, Washington

A two-year project between the Federal Way Police Department, the City of Federal Way, the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, and Target Corporation ushers in a new era of community policing. These partners would like to invite you to an exciting kick-off event for the SAFE CITY FEDERAL WAY program held on December 4th, at 10:00 a.m.

SAFE CITY FEDERAL WAY uses a combination of technical and information-sharing tools to empower the community to achieve crime prevention results. The intended results of SAFE CITY FEDERAL WAY are:

· A reduction in crime committed in the City of Federal Way
· A flourishing and safe atmosphere for consumers and businesses
· Economic development within the safe zone
· Increase communication between city government, law enforcement, and the business community
· A decrease in response time in the City of Federal Way and an increase in officer safety
· Law enforcement personnel will utilize fewer resources within the safe zone

SAFE CITY FEDERAL WAY will use existing technical solutions and combined resources to invest in new upgraded solutions, such as closed circuit television. The program will make use of 25 wireless cameras set in strategic locations within an approximate 1-square mile of the downtown area. Each camera will be accessible from any computer accessed by the Federal Way Police, including laptops located in each patrol vehicle. The goal of these cameras is to catch criminals while "in the act" and to emphasize that the City of Federal Way is not a friendly city for criminals.

Private security and loss prevention located within the safe zone and the Federal Way Police Department would be connected to each other via a dedicated SAFE CITY radio frequency.

Brian Wilson, Federal Way Police Chief said, "We are excited about the SAFE CITY program and believe it will play a key role in our crime reduction strategy and in our city’s economic redevelopment plan."

The SAFE CITY FEDERAL WAY project was made possible through funding from the Target Corporation, the City of Federal Way, Weyerhaeuser Corporation, and the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce. Currently there are only 17 cities in the nation which can claim the title SAFE CITY. A majority of those cities have populations over 500,000. The City of Federal Way will be the first city in the Northwest region having a community-policing program of this caliber. The distinction of becoming a "safe city" will enhance community safety and economic development in the City of Federal Way which will help the city to retain and attract new businesses.

The SAFE CITY FEDERAL WAY program was modeled after a similar program in Northampton, England which yielded impressive results in crime-reduction:

· 12% overall crime reduction in the 1st year
· 36% crime reduction by the end of the 2nd year
· Shoplifting crimes reduced by 15% in both the 1st and 2nd years
· Citizen feedback indicates a higher satisfaction with community safety

The SAFE CITY FEDERAL WAY website offers citizens and the business community the ability to efficiently receive ongoing information from law enforcement (i.e.: crime bulletins and crime prevention tips). This website will also allow citizens an opportunity to report illegal activity. As a result of this feedback, police can dedicate enforcement efforts to address those concerns.

Through the use of integrated technology and enhanced communication systems, safe zones are strategically created for improvement of safety and promote economic development in those areas. These monitoring systems strengthen the ability of law enforcement to respond both within and beyond the safe zone. The SAFE CITY FEDERAL WAY initiative comes as a result of the joint efforts of law enforcement, the business community and city government.

Press conference and demonstration of program will be held on December 4th, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in The Commons Mall at Federal Way in the Macy’s Courtyard (indoors). Expected in attendance will be City Government officials, dignitaries and stakeholders.


Date of Release:
November 30, 2007

Federal Way Police Lieutenant Mark Bensen at 206-571-4983
Federal Way Police Officer Shawn Swanson at 206-786-7931

Approved by:
Lieutenant Mark Bensen Date & Time: 11/30/07 @ 1520 Hours

Released by:
Stacy Flores, PIO (206) 916-1139 Date & Time: 11/30/07 @ 1520 Hours

Friday, November 30, 2007

Press Release: Consultant to present initial findings on performing arts center feasibility

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Consultant to present initial findings on performing arts center feasibility

Chicago-based Johnson Consulting firm will present initial results of a study looking at the feasibility of building and operating a new stand-alone performance/cultural arts center in Federal Way.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S. (Map)

The meeting is free and public comment will be taken.

The $80,000 study also is analyzing the future viability of the City-operated Dumas Bay Centre and Knutzen Family Theatre -- with and without a stand-alone performance/cultural arts center in Federal Way -- as well as provide business and operations plans for the facilities. The final study is expected in January 2008.

For more information about the feasibility study or about how to get involved, contact
Scott Pingel, City Manager’s Office, 253.835.2403,


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 29, 2007

Iwen Wang - Assistant City Manager - 253.835.2510
Scott Pingel - ICMA Fellow - 253.835.2403

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Utility Box (276)

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(go to the map)

Traffic Control Box (275)

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(go to the map)

Agenda - Federal Way City Council Regular Meeting

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Agenda - Federal Way City Council Regular Meeting

Council Chambers - City Hall (Map)
December 4, 2007 - 7:00 PM



• Certificates of Appreciation to Weyerhaeuser and Print Northwest for their support and contributions to the Human Services Brochure
• Emerging Issues

Citizens may address City Council at this time. When recognized by the Mayor, please come forward to the podium and state your name for the record. PLEASE LIMIT YOUR REMARKS TO THREE MINUTES. The Mayor may interrupt citizen comments that continue too long, relate negatively to other individuals, or are otherwise inappropriate.


Items listed below have been previously reviewed by a Council Committee of three members and brought before full Council for approval; all items are enacted by one motion. Individual items may be removed by a Councilmember for separate discussion and subsequent motion.

a. Minutes: Approval of the November 13, 2007 Special Meeting and the November 20, 2007 Regular Meeting

b. Enactment Ordinance – 2007-2008 Budget Adjustments

c. Enactment Ordinance – Setting the Property Tax Rate for 2008

d. Enactment Ordinance – Amending SWM Fees

e. Enactment Ordinance – Changing Name of Public Safety Department to Police Department

f. Enactment Ordinance – Correcting Various Non-substantive Errors in the Federal Way City Code

g. Resolution: Amendments to Fee Schedule

h. S. 348th St. HOV Lanes (9th Ave S to SR 99) – 100% Design Status

i. Surface Water Infrastructure Maintenance and Service Contract – Authorization to Bid

j. 2007 Asphalt Overlay Project – Final Acceptance

k. Interlocal Agreement – City of Federal Way and Lakehaven Utility District for Office Space Occupancy


a. Surplus Property - 31600 20th Ave South (Old AMC Theatre Site) - Parcel No. 09-2104-9021-08

• Staff Presentation (Includes Presentation on Proposed Purchase and Sale Agreement with United Properties re: Symphony Project)

• Public Comment – 3 Minute Limit

• Proposed Resolution: Declaring Property Surplus


a. Proposed Purchase and Sale Agreement with United Properties re: Symphony Project

b. Camp Kilworth Agreement Extension

c. Interlocal Agreement relating to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

d. Crestwood Park PUD Settlement Agreement

e. Acquisition of Goldmax Property (aka Kwon Property)




a. Potential Litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)

b. Purchase of Real Property pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(b)




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