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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Traffic Control Box (275)

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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)



Agenda - City of Federal Way City Council Finance/Economic Development/Regional Affairs Committee

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Agenda - City of Federal Way City Council Finance/Economic Development/Regional Affairs Committee

Tuesday, December 4, 2007
5:00 p.m., City Hall (Map) - Hylebos Conference Room





Topic Title/Description -- Presenter (Page #) Action or Info

A. Approval of Minutes: November 6, 2007 FEDRAC Meeting -- K. Roe (1) Action

B. ORDINANCE: Increase Advance Travel Expense Fund (Amending Chapter 7 Finance, Article II, Funds) -- Wang (3) Action

C. October 2007 Monthly Financial Report -- Turley (7) Action

D. Vouchers -- Turley (18) Action

4. OTHER - Setting Next FEDRAC Meeting Date


6. NEXT MEETING - To Be Determined

Committee Members:
Eric Faison, Chair
Jeanne Burbidge
Dean McColgan

City Staff:
Iwen Wang, Assistant City Manager
Krystal Roe, Deputy City Clerk

K:\FEDRAC\2007\December 4, 2007\12-4-07 Agenda.doc

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Utility Box (274)

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Utility Boxes (273)

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Video: Mickey Dolenz

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from the 2007 Federal Way Festival Days

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Utility Box (272)

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Fence (271)

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This is really old, but apparently I never tagged it before. (go to the map)

FWPD Media Release: Death Investigation/Drowning

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Federal Way Police Department Media Release

Type of Incident: Death Investigation/Drowning
Date of Incident: November 27, 2007

Case No.: 07-17407

On November 27, 2007, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Federal Way Police Officers responded to Steel Lake Park to an apparent drowning.

A passerby was walking his dog this morning when he discovered clothing and a wallet on the docks at the lake. Paramedics from the American Medical Response (AMR) team were in the parking lot at the time and the passerby motioned for their assistance. The passerby reported to the AMR crew members what he had found and crew members noticed the body of the victim floating in the lake. After recovering the body from the water, the AMR crew members notified police.

The victim is believed to be a thirty-nine year old Federal Way resident and was pronounced dead by medics on the scene.

Federal Way police recovered a note from the victim’s residence -- indicating plans to commit

The King County Medical Examiner responded and took custody of the deceased.

The Federal Way Police Department is committed to conducting a thorough investigation to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding this death. Investigative efforts are on-going. Determination of cause of death and next of kin notifications will be made by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Any other significant information will be released as the investigation continues.


Approved by: Commander Stan McCall Date & Time: 11/27/07 @ 1300 hours
Released by: Stacy Flores, PIO Date & Time: 11/27/07 @ 1300 hours
Pager: 206-916-1139
Media Line: 253-835-1PIO

Friday, November 23, 2007

Press Release: Port of Seattle to give update on Sea-Tac’s noise abatement programs

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Port of Seattle to give update on Sea-Tac’s noise abatement programs

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.

At the request of City Councilmember Linda Kochmar, John Creighton, Port of Seattle Commission president, and Stan Shepherd, airport noise programs manager, will give an information-only briefing on the following topics:

· The Part 150 Noise Study process
· Flight tracks & noise monitoring
· Activation of the Third Runway

The Part 150 Noise Study is an ongoing noise and land use compatibility plan that was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2002. The process for updating the plan will begin again in 2009.

Federal Way residents interested in airport noise issues are welcome to attend the meeting, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S. (map) Public comment will be taken. For more information, contact Cary Roe, Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director, 253.835.2701.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2007
MEDIA CONTACTS: Linda Farmer, APR, Communications & Government Affairs Manager, 253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211

Public Notice: Surplus Property (AMC)

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Public Notice - Surplus Property

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the following Federal Way City Council Public Hearing will be held on: Tuesday, December 4, 2007, 7:00 PM at
Council Chambers - City Hall, 33325-8th Ave So, Federal Way, WA (map)

PUBLIC HEARING (to be held during the regularly scheduled meeting):

Disposal of surplus city property in accordance with RCW 39.33.020. The property involved, the Former AMC Theatre Site, Parcel No. 09-2104-9021-08 is located at 31600 20th Avenue South, Federal Way, WA (map).

Usage is Mixed-Use – City Center Frame, in accordance with the current Federal Way Zoning Code.

Dated this 20 day of November, 2007

Laura K. Hathaway. CMC, City Clerk

Display ad published in Federal Way Mirror November 24, 2007


Surplus Property Notice

Press Release: Trusts appeal judge’s decision on Camp Kilworth sale to the City of Federal Way

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Trusts appeal judge’s decision on Camp Kilworth sale to the City of Federal Way

The William Kilworth Trust and the Florence Kilworth Trust today appealed a Sept. 26 ruling by Pierce County Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Larkin that gave the go-ahead to the Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America to sell a Scout property called Camp Kilworth to the City of Federal Way.

City and Scout staff will now work on modifying the existing purchase and sale agreement for the property, which calls for the title to clear by the end of this year. A modified agreement may be brought to Council in December. The current agreement calls for a purchase price of $3 million and the agreement includes a provision to allow the Scouts to use the property several weeks out of the year for Scout day camps, meetings and training.

Camp Kilworth is a 25-acre site near Dash Point State Park on Puget Sound that was deeded to the Tacoma Area Council (now Pacific Harbors) of the Boy Scouts of America in 1934. It is one of the last remaining undeveloped properties along the Sound. Pacific Harbors wants to sell the property in order to improve Camp Thunderbird, a 200-acre facility west of Olympia, and Camp Hahobas, a 600-plus-acre facility near Belfair.

The Boy Scouts will continue to use and maintain the camp as part of its normal operations until the appeal is settled.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2007
Linda Farmer, APR, Communications & Government Affairs Manager, 253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211

Pat Richardson, City Attorney, City of Federal Way, 253.835.2570
Doug Dillow, Executive Director, Pacific Harbors Council, BSA, 253.752.2134

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Press Release: City ‘Connections’ video program now showing on TV21 and online

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City ‘Connections’ video program now showing on TV21 and online

The Fall edition of "Connections," the City's quarterly newsmagazine show, is now airing on TV21 and is posted online. "Connections" has a new name (formerly "City Update"), new theme music and new graphics. It is hosted by Natalie Rees and was shot and produced by Sid Lee, both City of Federal Way employees. The show is 26 minutes long and was taped at Dash Point State Park.

Segments include:
  • Downtown redevelopment
  • Annexation update
  • Hylebos boardwalk construction
  • Spring Valley restoration project
  • Performing Arts Center feasibility study
  • Parks maintenance
  • Knutzen Family Theatre summer program
People featured in the show include: Economic Development Director Patrick Doherty, Surface Water Division Manager Paul Bucich, longtime Federal Way resident and community activist Joann Piquette and Federal Way resident and Parks Commissioner Fred Konkel.

In addition, Knutzen Family Theatre Director Holly Rose shares a heart-warming episode about the theatre’s summer program, focusing on Maggie Baughman and her mother, Louise Baughman, both Federal Way residents.

“Connections” plays at a variety of times on the City’s television station Channel 21. The City reshuffled the lineup on Channel 21 this week to showcase “Connections” in more prime-time slots.

Watch “Connections” online as well.

You’re invited.

Community members are invited to join City employees for a free showing of “Connections” from noon to 1 pm on Nov. 27 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S. (map> The event includes a brief but lively discussion by the show’s host and producer. Attendees are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. For more information, contact Natalie Rees, City Manager’s Office, 253.835.2402,


Linda Farmer, APR, Communications & Government Affairs Manager, 253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Video: Police Dept. Recruiting Video

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Not bad, except the cheap background music and some shots that say "We're just filling time here."

Press Release: Living Nativity Tour

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Living Nativity Tour
A free program offered in Federal Way December 19-23

LifeWay Church
5015 SW Dash Point Road (map)
Federal Way, WA 98003

(253) 946-8107

FEDERAL WAY - Take a step back in time to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ. This live reenactment of the greatest story ever told is a journey to visit Mary, Joseph, the wise men, and to Bethlehem, the place of Jesus’ birth. This free, outdoor tour by torch and candlelight recreates this moment in history that took place thousands of years ago.

This 17th annual nativity will be beautifully reenacted at LifeWay Church, 5015 SW Dash Point Road in Federal Way, on Wednesday, December 19 – Sunday, December 23.

Tour times:
  • Wednesday, December 19: 6, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15 pm
  • Thursday, December 20: 6, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15 pm
  • Friday, December 21: 6, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15 pm
  • Saturday, December 22: 5:15, 6, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15 pm
  • Sunday, December 23: 5:15, 6, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15 pm
Dress warmly, as tours are outdoors, but there will be plenty of hot drinks, refreshments, and music inside between tours. Tour sizes are limited. Call (253) 946-8107 or visit to reserve tickets or for more information.

CALENDAR RELEASE: November 20, 2007
MEDIA CONTACT: Terri Campbell,, 253-874-1571

Letter: Why do we have school boards?

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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.

Why do we have school boards?

When the one room school house was the standard school boards held the responsibility for the individual administration of these one room schools. In those days the board hired a teacher, knew all of the kids attending, and made a “on the ground” evaluation for the effectiveness of the quality of education in their community. They probably had less than 60 students that they were responsible for and there was no “administration” of the school except for the board and the teacher. I think that most, today, would feel that this was a pretty effective system. No special education, no “behaviorally disabled”, no chariot racing, no gladiator training and no other peripheral issues to “reading, writing and ‘rithmetic”. The focus for the school day was simply the “3 R’s”.

Over the past 100 years this vestige of these one room school days now has the responsibility for, in some cases, over 100,000 students, payrolls of 1000’s and layers of “administration”. The individual members of the school board may not even know 1% of the students and not many more of the actual teachers in the 100’s of classrooms that the district has in several schools.

While the law, at least in Washington, places the responsibility for the education of each individual child on the school board there may be little, or no, understanding of what is actually happening in the classrooms by board members. Often school board members meetings involve a discussion of arcane policy that has little or no effect upon the education of individual children.

School boards now cede this “administration” to the Superintendent, their only employee, while they try to “invent policy” that is often esoteric and seldom has any significant impact upon that actually happens in the classroom. Most school board members haven’t spent any “unescorted” time in a secondary school to understand that the priorities of the kids that are having achievement problems. My experience has been that these kids have other priorities such as text messaging, skateboarding, video games, and “hanging out” and there doesn’t seem to be any adults in their lives that are moderating these priorities.

Where are school boards in this? In some cases they are accused of “micro managing”, in other cases they just aren’t focused on this as they “struggle” with meaningless “policies” that have no effect in the classrooms and hallways of the schools.

The Washington State Code (RCW’s) places the responsibility of the education directly upon the school boards of the local communities. However it would seem that the citizens of the local communities haven’t held these elected officials feet to the fire. One only has to look at the results on national achievement tests to see that text messaging, gladiator training, chariot races, skateboarding, and other diversions have overtaken the acquisition of knowledge in most secondary schools.

Not elsewhere in the developing, and developed world. Chariot racing, instead of effective government, brought down the Roman Empire.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Press Release: Register now for City-sponsored Jingle Bell Brunch

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Register now for City-sponsored Jingle Bell Brunch

Bring your friends, family and holiday spirit to the City’s Jingle Bell Brunch from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 at the Federal Way Community Center, 876 S. 333rd St. (Map)

Activities include brunch, pictures with Santa, music, holiday crafts and more. Tickets are $6 for ages 2-11 and $8 for ages 12 and up. Registration is required. The deadline is Nov. 30.

Seating is limited. Call 253.835.6900 and give the ID code 20346.


November 16, 2007

Tarra Reardon
Cultural Events & Arts Coordinator

What's News in Federal Way -- Nov. 18

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Proposition One: Back to the drawing board
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/09) -- Following Tuesday’s election, city leaders are left pondering how to improve congestion, given voters’ rejection of Proposition One — the roads and transit package five years in the making. Had Proposition One passed, it would have offered much-needed traffic relief in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. But it appears the price to pay — $47 billion, including inflation costs, after the last bond was paid off — might have been too much for the majority of voters to accept, said Tom Pierson, Federal Way Chamber of Commerce CEO. More...

North Shore controversy draws a crowd
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/09) -- Northeast Tacoma residents packed Federal Way City Hall this past Tuesday to voice their views on a proposed 860-home development at the North Shore Golf Course. The controversial site sits just outside the Federal Way border in Northeast Tacoma. Those living in surrounding neighborhoods including Stonebrook are concerned about the increased congestion and environmental impact the development will bring to the area. More...

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/09) -- The lifespan of an election sign is not always as short-lived as one may think. Campaign signs — colored red, green, white, blue, yellow and combinations thereof — urged Federal Way residents to vote for candidates and initiatives. The signs marked several highly-traveled intersections throughout the city in the weeks preceding Tuesday’s election. More...

Federal Way Food Bank as citizens to dig deep for holiday donations
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (11/12) -- 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...

Federal Way voters speak out
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (11/12) -- With all 151 precincts reporting, the fate of the outstanding mail-in ballots might decide a tight race to fill the vacant Position 7 seat on the Federal Way City Council. Since the incumbents on the seven-member council have demonstrated great success at the polls, the left empty by the resignation of Councilmember Dean McColgan ignited a flurry of interest among would-be candidates seeking a term in City Hall. More...

School Board Results
FWCON.WORDPRESS.COM (11/13) -- Looking at the results for the Federal Way School Board (here) leaves me scratching my head. Trying to figure out what the people want based upon who they vote for is always an art, not a science. This is especially true in an election where there is so little visibility. More...

Ex-Garfield and Wazzu Star Tony Harris Missing in Brazil
ENJOYTHEENJOYMENT.COM (11/13) -- What is going on with Garfield grads playing basketball overseas? First Tre Simmons nearly gets blown up by a firecracker in Israel, now Tony Harris is missing in Brazil. A chilling column by the P-I's Robert Jamieson reveals that Harris, star of two Garfield High state championship teams and leader of Wazzu's mid-90s NCAA tourney run, hasn't been heard from since an ominous phone call to his pregnant wife. More...
Update, 11:03 pm - KIRO just reported that Tony Harris' body has been found; the FBI is declaring his death a murder. No links on or yet.

Federal Way takes tech-school idea that Seattle rejected
SEATTLETIMES.NWSOURCE.COM (11/14) -- Seattle Public Schools rejected a deal with a local nonprofit to start a technology-based school — not once, but three times since 2005. So the Technology Access Foundation (TAF) went elsewhere, and now the Federal Way School District is poised to sign a deal this morning for a $1 million annual donation to start a program for grades 6-12 at Totem Middle School. The agreement will almost double the per-student money for kids enrolled in the school, which is in north Kent. More...

Students through 12th grade may enter celebration art contest
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/14) -- Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit posters, essays or poetry for Federal Way’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration. Entries should incorporate the theme for this January’s celebration, “Triumph … in a World of Possibilities.” More...

Backers of strong mayor system host forum this weekend
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/16) -- 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. Federal Way voters will decide Feb. 19 whether to switch from the current council-manager form of government to that of a strong, elected mayor. More...

Drug addicts find hope
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/16) -- A drug treatment program called Prometa is considered experimental by some accounts and miraculous by others. Federal Way City Council member Jack Dovey has suggested the city allocate $20,000 through its mid-biennium budget amendment process for a 2008 Prometa pilot program in Federal Way. More...

An olive branch, but no kiss goodbye
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/16) -- Outgoing school board members Evelyn Castellar and Charlie Hoff won’t be bickering during public meetings anymore, but they will continue to disagree in private. Castellar and Hoff have openly disagreed and argued during both of their terms on the Federal Way School Board about things ranging from student dress to electronics to the value of athletics. Their arguments have, at times, escalated to raised voices. More...

Federal Way Husband Inspires Special Gratitude This Thanksgiving
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/18) -- If one is lucky to get to their middle-aged years reasonably whole and healthy, a number of Thanksgiving holidays have been duly observed along the way. In this respect, my life has not been different from most others in this category. As on previous holidays, I am thankful for being born into a family that was a perfect fit for me, who helped identify the outlines of the path I was to travel in life and gave me the foundation to begin the journey. More...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's News in Federal Way -- Nov. 15

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Photo of mystery school stumps longtime residents
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/06) -- A photo surfaced in fall 2006 -- an old photograph, hand dated 1946, tucked in between some old yearbooks at the library at Federal Way High School. The photo features a few dozen school-age kids in front of a large building, presumably the school. The name at the bottom reads Donald Mecham, a graduate of Federal Way High. More...

Shelter from the storms
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/06) -- During this past winter’s windstorms and resulting power outages, St. Vincent de Paul Parish continued to congregate -- despite the fact that 60 percent of parishioners lacked power at their homes. Church member Greg Vicars said the storm helped leaders realize that St. Vincent de Paul Parish and other community organizations could do more to assist Federal Way in an emergency. More...

Northshore development not just a Tacoma concern
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/06) -- Northeast Tacoma and Federal Way residents voiced their concerns Tuesday night about increased traffic, storm water and other impacts a proposed 860-home subdivision in Tacoma could bring to Federal Way. Nearly 100 people packed a Federal Way City Council meeting for an update on how converting the North Shore Golf Course into a housing development in Tacoma could affect neighbors to the north in King County. More... (Map)

Critics of Northshore plan vent
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/08) -- They live in different counties, but Federal Way and Northeast Tacoma residents share the same worries about a proposed housing development on North Shore Golf Course. Increased traffic, more storm water and jammed schools are some of the concerns residents say they fear an 860-home subdivision in Tacoma could bring to Federal Way. More... (Map)

Federal Way Real Estate Market Survey
FEDERALWAY.NEIGHBORHOODSUNDRESSED.COM (11/08) -- Condominiums October 2007

How does the Federal Way School Board spend your dollars?
FWCON.WORDPRESS.COM (11/14) -- How about sending the cheerleaders from one of our academically struggling high schools to Disneyland? Is this a joke? No this will actually happen in March and while the kids are missing two days of school, we will pay for two substitute teachers to baby sit the classes that the two escorts would normally teach, their airfares, hotel and meals, etc. More...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's News in Federal Way -- Nov. 13

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Sequoyah Middle School administrator headed for Argentina next year
THEOLYMPIAN.COM (10/31) -- Patty Elmer, assistant principal at Sequoyah Middle School in the Federal Way School District, has been awarded a Fulbright Teacher Exchange grant for school administrators. An Argentinian school administrator, Ros-ana Colodio, is working at Sequoyah through Nov. 10 as Elmer’s exchange partner. Elmer will travel to Santa Fe, Argentina, in July 2008, where she will work for three weeks at Colodio’s school. More...

Judge sends school salary issue back to the Legislature
THEOLYMPIAN.COM (11/02) -- A King County Superior Court judge agreed Friday with the Federal Way School District that the way the state distributes school salary money is unconstitutional and that the Legislature needs to find a more equitable way to distribute it. More...

Federal Way schools victim of 'disparate funding,' judge rules
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (11/02) -- A King County Superior Court judge ruled today that Washington’s formulas for paying teachers, staff and administrators cause funding disparities that violate the state’s constitution. Judge Michael Heavey sided with the Federal Way School District in its suit against the state by ruling that funding levels based on salaries established 30 years ago are arbitrary and must change. "Today’s state funding has no basis in reality and is a vestige from a discredited and unconstitutional system," Heavey wrote. "It cannot stand." More...

Dropout Factories
WATEACHERS.BLOGSPOT.COM (10/30) -- It's a nickname no principal could be proud of: "dropout factory," a high school where no more than 60 percent of the students who start as freshmen make it to their senior year. A handful of Washington's 290 high schools -- about 22 -- would be included on the list. More...

History books belong in the past
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/02) -- The seventh-grade social studies textbook used in Federal Way middle schools contains no mention of the Persian Gulf War, NAFTA or the breakup of the Soviet Union. Neither do the first, second, third, fifth or sixth-grade textbooks. More...

A boost for downtown's quality of life
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/02) -- With assistance from Federal Way’s Korean Women’s Association, the city’s downtown core and affordable housing opportunities will continue to grow. The Korean Women’s Association (KWA) provides multicultural and multilingual services to primarily Asian, Pacific Islander, low-income and elderly residents. The association has served Federal Way for more than 20 years. On Oct. 26, it received a grant of $8,592,300 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Lua Pritchard, Korean Women’s Association executive director. More...

Bacteria kills Federal Way man; new case in Port Townsend
COLUMBIAN.COM (11/02) -- Port Townsend High School canceled a football game and closed its athletic facilities because a player contracted MRSA, a staph infection that resists antibiotics. The actions came as the King County medical examiner's office said a 46-year-old Federal Way man, John Jones, died Wednesday of MRSA - methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus - at Haarborview Medical Center in Seattle. More...

Yet even more homeless camps
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (10/30) -- I'm getting more calls about homeless encampments in Pierce and southern King counties. I've updated the Google map of the sites. More...

City code acts like a wall
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (10/30) -- After 18 months, several sleepless nights and debt accumulation, Federal Way resident Lorina Delfiero has been granted permission to operate her second adult family home. Delfiero has attempted to register her business in Federal Way three times, she said at an Oct. 16 City Council meeting. But each time, the registration was not granted. More...

Library will close during expansion
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/02) -- The Federal Way Regional Library will close for about a year during a proposed 10,000-square-foot expansion. When construction ends, the library will measure 35,000 square feet and rank among the largest in the King County Library System. More...

Federal Way Symphony Part 1: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
WAMALAMADINGDONG.NET (10/08) -- I joined the Federal Way Symphony as principal clarinetist at the start of the 2001-02 season. My six year tenure with this small budget, medium sized (50+) professional orchestra has been a mixed bag and has illuminated some of the best and worst aspects of orchestral playing. More...

Two women stabbed, man in custody at apartment complex
THEOLYMPIAN.COM (10/30) -- Two women were stabbed and a man was under arrest early today at a Federal Way apartment complex. Officers were called to the complex in the 2500 block of South 317th Street because of an assault about 4:20 a.m., police spokeswoman Stacy Flores said. More...

Federal Way utility cites rising costs behind incremental four-year rate increase
FEDERALWAYNEWS.NET (10/29) -- Some Federal Way residents should expect a noticeably higher water and sewer bill, thanks to the Lakehaven Utilitiy District's decision to raise rates incrementally during the next four years. The Board of Commissioners of the Lakehaven Utility District voted unanimously in September to approve recommended increases in water and sewer rates over the next four years. More...

ICE doesn't work in Federal Way (In case of emergency, skip cell phones)
FEDWAYMIRROR.COM (11/02) -- Many folks throughout the country have programmed emergency contacts in their cell phones under the heading "ICE," an acronym for In Case of Emergency. The ICE Campaign is an Internet-fueled initiative to get everyone with a cell phone to enter their emergency contacts, making it easier for emergency medical personnel to reach friends or family members in case of a tragic accident where the patient is unconscious or in shock. (Nevermind that the graphic accompanying the story in the printed edition puts "ICE" after the name, making it far less useful.)


Real estate calendar
IAQPUBS.COM -- NOV. 17 First-time home buyers seminar; Local experts will prepare you for homeownership. Olive Garden in Federal Way. More...

Inlaws & Outlaws - hosted by Federal Way Matters
BRAVENEWTHEATERS.COM -- What do you get when you fall in love? Inlaws & Outlaws cleverly weaves together the true stories of couples and singles -- both gay and straight -- and all into a collective narrative that is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking. More...


Weyerhaeuser CEO optimistic despite 3Q profit skid
COLUMBIAN.COM (11/31) -- Weyerhaeuser CEO Steve Rogel remains optimistic even though third quarter profits are down 55 percent due to the housing slump. More...

Weyerhaeuser completes asset sale
ABCMONEY.CO.UK (10/31) -- Weyerhaeuser Co., one of the world's largest lumber and paper producers, said Wednesday it completed the sale and transfer of assets from its former New Zealand joint venture to the sole ownership of Global Forest Partners LP. More...


Opinion: Three good choices for FWay schools
THENEWSTRIBUNE.COM (10/26) -- With three Federal Way School Board seats up for election, voters have a chance to shape a board that will focus more on big things like student achievement and less on trivial things like flip flops. In recent years, the board has gained a reputation for getting bogged down in controversial and needlessly distracting issues. More...


Press Release -- Assault Investigation
CITYOFFEDERALWAY.COM (10/29) -- On October 29, 2007, at approximately 4:20 AM, Federal Way police officers were dispatched to a stabbing in the 2500 block of South 317th Street at the Chelsea Court Condominiums in Federal Way. When officers arrived on scene they found two female victims suffering from stab wounds and one male suspect lying on the back porch semi-conscious with a ligature around his neck. More... (PDF) (Nap)

Press Release -- The FWPD is searching for candidates to join Explorers Program
CITYOFFEDERALWAY.COM -- Do you know a teenager interested in Law Enforcement? The Explorer program is in association with the Learning for Life Organization and it offers the youth of Federal Way an opportunity to look into the world of law enforcement as a possible career choice. These young adults are presented with training and exposure to associated law enforcement activities throughout the year. More... (PDF)


Breakfast in Federal Way?
CHOWHOUND.COM -- I am looking for a good breakfast spot in Federal Way? More...

Photo: The Walk Towards Winter
FLICKR.COM (10/3) -- This is a walkway at the eccentrically beautiful Weyerhauser headquarters in Federal Way, Washington, USA. More...

Federal Way Area Home - $529,950 (4/2.5; 3,068 sq')
WINDERMERE.COM -- Beautifully maintained Norris resale. 4 bedroom, 2.5 bth + Den with bonus room. Open double high foyer. Chair & Crown molding, nice Columns, arch entry ways and Spindle Stairway. More... 36114 10th Ct SW, Federal Way, WA 98023 (map) (Zillow: $524k)

Federal Way Area Condo -Waterfront - $179,000 (2/2; 1005 sq')
WINDERMERE.COM -- Lovely Waters Edge Unit,two bedroom, ground floor Condo. Custom window coverings, excellent Lake views. This unit is in excellent condition &ready to move in. More... 1010 S 312th St 314, Federal Way, WA 98003 (map) (Zillow: $184k)


Sean L. McCarthy, New York's Funniest Reporter (former FWN reporter)
GOTHAMIST.COM (10/29) -- Sean L. McCarthy has got it made. Blogger of comedy for The NY Daily News, New York's Funniest Reporter , and he spends his nights hanging out with some of the funniest people in the world. A truly enviable position! What's his secret? How did he get to where he is? Gothamist wanted to know and found out! More...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Press Release: City sets election date for change of government initiative...

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City sets election date for change of government initiative and seeks volunteers to write pro/con statements for voters’ pamphlet
October 18, 2007

City sets election date for change of government initiative and seeks volunteers to write pro/con statements for voters’ pamphlet

The City of Federal Way set Feb. 19, 2008, as the election date for a citizen-led effort to change the form of government from council-manager to a strong, elected mayor. The measure will share the ballot with the Presidential primary.

The City is seeking volunteers to write the pro and con statements that will appear in the voter’s pamphlet. The deadline to submit names is Nov. 13, 2007. At its regular meeting on Nov. 20, the City Council will choose three people maximum to write the pro statement and three people maximum to write the con statement. At that meeting the Council will also approve the ballot title for the measure.

To submit names or for more information, contact Laura Hathaway, City Clerk, 253.835.2540 or


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: Do Not Leave Vehicles Running While Unattended

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Media Release / Informational Release

Type of Incident: Do Not Leave Vehicles Running While Unattended
Date of Incident: November 2, 2007

The sudden cold front has motorists warming up their cars in the morning. With the decrease in temperature we’ve had an increase in auto thefts. There were 17 auto thefts in 2006 and 12 so far this year that were stolen while running unattended.

The Federal Way Police Department would like to ultimately educate citizens on the common risks of auto theft. Also encourage the community to practice a few simple Crime Prevention tips to minimize the chances of potentially becoming a victim of auto theft. We continue to improve our efforts in the reduction of auto thefts in our city. A reminder to citizens of the RCW 46.61.600, unattended motor vehicles, which briefly states; it is unlawful to leave your vehicle running while unattended. An infraction of $124.00 could be exercised for this type of violation.

Crime Prevention Tips:
  • Do NOT leave valuables (purse, wallet, shopping bags, personal items, etc.) in your vehicles
  • Do NOT leave your vehicles running while unattended (this is also unlawful according to RCW46.61.600 )
  • Keep your car doors and windows locked AT ALL TIMES.
  • Purchase a “Steering Wheel CLUB” for your vehicle
  • Register your car with your local Law Enforcement Agency (ie: Watch Your Car)
Federal Way Police successes:

  • Created and published a Top Offender List, consisting of auto theft and theft related suspect names, to provide a coordinated and targeted focus for law enforcement attention.
  • Established a protocol for apprehension, processing and charging of suspects.
  • Explored enhanced sentencing guidelines with the City Prosecutors office.
  • The Federal Way Police Department also distributes a Steering Wheel “CLUB” to local residents for FREE along with registering for the Watch You Car program.
The reduction of auto theft has been attributed mainly to diligent policing, proactive efforts, and a collaborative approach between local government agencies. In September of 2006 auto theft crimes reached a total of 357 with a total amount of 1199 for the entire year. As of September 2007 auto thefts reduced drastically to 190 in the City of Federal Way.

Again, the Federal Way Police Department is asking for the community to assist in reducing auto thefts in our city by remembering prevention is an essential component in deterring these types of crimes.


Approved by: Lieutenant Sandy Templeton Date & Time: 11/02/07 at 0800 Hours // Released by: Stacy Flores, PIO Date & Time: 11/02/07 at 0800 Hours; Pager – 206-916-1139

Saturday, November 10, 2007

City Hall: Customer Disservice

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Once upon a time, there was a city called Monrovia, California. Population 38k (Federal Way: 84k), size 13.7 square miles (Federal Way: 21 square miles)

It also had an unincorporated area, but rarely did they vote to incorporate it, and when they did vote, it was the incorporated city doing the voting on whether or not to annex the unincorporated area. And they never did, they didn't want them.

It also had a nice little main street running south to north. Wide sidewalks, quaint shops, a single lane of traffic in either direction. (Parallel streets to the east and west feature multiple lanes in each direction to encourage people not to drive down the main street.)

At the other end of one block, government complex. Fire station, police station, city hall. The other half of the block is a huge movie theater (with stores, restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, etc.) that no one wanted when it was first proposed but now is the flagship draw to the area.

If you saw Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, you saw much of the main street and the fire station the fire truck races out of is the Monrovia Fire Station. On Friday nights all summer, the street (and several side streets) are closed. Farmer's Market, fair, live music.

I do believe Federal Way could develop a main street. City Hall's placement in the middle of nowhere couldn't be duplicated, but a small street designed to encourage pedestrians (and get the Farmer's Market out of the Sears parking lot).

But this isn't about that. At the Monrovia P.D., the door was always open. The door opened to a small lobby and a desk. There was glass to the ceiling, but still, it was welcoming. You could walk in, day or night and there would be a clerk there to help you.

Anyhow, this isn't about the Monrovia P.D.

Last week, we had our daughter do a sort of her stuffed animals. They had grown out of control again -- it's like they multiply or something. We combined that new bag of stuffed animals together with two bags that we had already amassed in past sorts. I had cleaned them all and set aside any that weren't clean.

My wife called the Federal Way Police Department. We knew that sometimes police departments take gently used stuffed animals and keep them in cruisers for when they come upon a situation in which a child has been traumatized. She explained that they were used, but clean. The person on the phone said that they would love to have the animals.

So we go to City Hall today. The place looks quiet. There's a sign taped to the front door announcing Monday's closure. No visible "hours" sign. We see a desk immediately inside and a man sitting at it. We open the doors and walk into the vestibule. There's a second set of doors which won't open. The man at the desk makes some gesture to indicate that we're to go to the other door. Back outside, there's an "after hours" door for the Police Department. Let me tell you, if you are ever in urgent trouble, do not try to get to the Police Department for help after hours. Instead of help (especially if being pursued), you'll end up in front of a keypad, where you dial into a disembodied voice. You know, like at an apartment complex or something.

So the person on the other end asks if the toys are new. We say "no" and they say they only take brand new toys. We say we called first and were told that the police department would accept them. The person at the other end demands to know who told us that. We didn't know and feeling quite stupid and annoyed, walk back to the car with our daughter and three bags of toys.

Not wanting to just give them to Goodwill or something who will sell them, we wonder if the Fire Station would take them.

So we drive over there. The place is wide open, but it doesn't look like there's anyone there. I do spot two people and they greet me and I stammer asking if the station is actually open. They immediately ask me if I had come for a blood pressure check. I say no and explain about the toys. He gestures to a nearby desk and says to put them there and he'll get them to the "guys." I explain that they're used but that I cleaned them all and he says that's not a problem. So I go out and get my wife and daughter (who decided to wait in the car this time) and the toys and we come back in. He comes and greets us and professes his thanks and spends time addressing my daughter and telling her how the toys would come in helpful for children and how appreciative he was, and that some of the firemen would also like them, to help them fall asleep. As he walked out with us, he got something out of his truck, parked in a parking spot marked "Assistant Chief."

So now only was City Hall poorly located in the middle of nowhere, but the very way the police station was designed just doesn't seem like it was done with the thought of the citizens at all.

Press Release: Council appoints new members to citizen advisory groups

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October 22, 2007

Council appoints new members to citizen advisory groups

The City Council has announced new appointees to fill vacant positions on the Diversity Commission and Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

The Diversity Commission advises the Council and staff on policy matters involving the community’s cultural and ethnic differences, ensuring that these differences are considered in the decision-making process. The Commission is well known for its community involvement and cultural events. Appointed to the commission are:

Jaye Zern, a Minister of Community Outreach at Community of Christ-St. Luke’s Church. She has a BSBA in Marketing, Travel, and Tourism from the University of New Mexico and has been a cast member and participant in “Up With People”. Ms. Zern has lived in Federal Way for 4 years.

Lawrence Yapp, who has been a resident of Federal Way for over 20 years. He is employed as a consulting software engineer and has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.

Susan Honda, who has lived in Federal Way for 18 years. Ms. Honda, a graduate of the Tacoma General School of Nursing, was appointed as an alternate to the commission. She has worked as a volunteer for the City, the school district, scouting, and church groups for many years.

The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee advises the City Council on the allocation of lodging tax revenue for programs and activities that encourage tourism activity in Federal way. Members must represent either the local lodging industry or be a representative of activities that are authorized to be funded by the city’s lodging tax revenues. Appointed to this committee are:

Mike Dunwiddie, who has served on the committee since December 2002. He is the Facility Director of the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. He was the director for the 2003 US Olympic Trials Synchronized Swimming event, and has served as a board member of the Federal Way Boys and Girls Club and the Community Center Advisory Group.

Carrie Wells, who has been in the hospitality industry for 13 years and is currently the Director of Sales at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites in Federal Way. She is originally from Oregon, moving to the Seattle area 16 years ago. She is married, has 3 stepchildren, and is a new mom.

Michael Yim, who grew up in Federal Way and earned a degree in Chemistry from the University of Washington. He is the new general manager of the Comfort Inn/Quality Inn & Suites.

The City Council welcomes these new additions to the citizen advisory boards and appreciates their service to the Federal Way community.

# #

Laura Hathaway -- City Clerk -- 253.835.2540 --

Friday, November 9, 2007

Letter: How good are Federal Way’s 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 good are Federal Way’s Schools?

If you ask the Public Relations Department of the School District you will get an answer that says that "we beat state averages" or some other superlatives. A recent article in the local paper by a local cheerleader for the community suggested that the schools were "better than Puyallup."

Are these good answers? I don’t think so!

The taxpayers and the students of this community deserve better. The future of this community depends upon educating our children with positive moral values, and a knowledge base that will allow them find employment at living wages. A look at the crimes described in the local news might suggest to some that many of the students of this district aren’t exhibiting the positive virtues just described.

In fact of the four high schools that we have in the district only one may have a positive reputation among college admissions officials. We have seen evidence of high gpa students being rejected by competitive schools. In fact most competitive colleges don’t even bother to stop to talk to students.

The District will lament over poor funding, minorities, and non English speaking students as reasons why they are only "better than Puyallup." I contend that these are not good excuses for this poor achievement levels.

What is a significant part of the problem? Simply a lack of focus on achievement by either the schools, or the parents and other adults, who influence the lives of the students that are lagging in achievement.

The district claims lack of funding and yet it continues to fund peripheral, non required, activities at the expense of being targeted and focused on meeting the shortcomings of those that come to school with a less than desirable learning environments.

Instead of funding the "exercise of the physically fit" the district could adopt a longer school day for those who are behind, as other districts have done with disadvantaged students and an active engagement process with those adults that are not assisting in the development of their children.

As long as our schools remain juvenile social halls with attached playgrounds where students seem to be focused on topics not related to achievement our school system’s reputation will be something that we can’t be too proud of. Because of this many students will be receiving rejection notices from competitive colleges that have adequate endowment funds to assist them in their education.

The cost of going to college is no longer an obstacle for those who cannot afford it. Well endowed colleges, the state institutions of this state, and other sources are quite plentiful for those students that can meet the academic standards that these institutions require. Unfortunately most students, and their parents, are not made fully aware of these wonderful opportunities.

The emerging countries of this world have recognized the importance of knowledge and yet we continue to be more concerned about other priorities in the raising of our community's children.

This reputation influences what businesses are prepared locate in, or near, Federal Way and as such we have not seen much positive activity in the community.

What can be done to change this? It only takes adult concern, and that seems lacking in this community. It is only our future and we need a vision of educational excellence to change the future of Federal Way.

To date I have not found that the traditional "leaders of the community" have any stomach for this. Many send their kids to private schools and many others would be reluctant to be critical of the "system."

Elsewhere, when the SAT scores come out, parents come out of the woodwork if they are not competitive with the best schools, as these are determinants in college admissions, and demand change. Not here, yet.

Is anyone concerned?

-- Charles Hoff

Press release regarding the arrest of a warrant subject after a brief k-9 track and lockdown of 3 schools in the City of Federal Way.

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Media Release

Date of Incident: November 8, 2007
Case No.: 07-16478

Federal Way Police officers were attempting to locate a suspect, with an outstanding felony warrant from Department of Corrections (D.O.C.), on the evening of November 7, 2007. On the morning of Thursday, November 8th, at approximately 7:15 a.m., Federal Way police officers located the suspect in his vehicle and initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of Southwest Dash Point Road and Southwest 312th Street.

The suspect, KHALIF DEAN TOMS a black male in his thirties, then fled on foot in the area. Federal Way Police Department, with the cooperation of the Federal Way Public Schools, requested a lockdown of Adelaide Elementary (map), Lake Grove Elementary (map), and Lakota Middle School (map) as a safety precaution.

Federal Way Police K-9 Roscoe was called to the area and a perimeter was established. The road to Southwest Dash Point Road was temporarily closed to minimize foot traffic until the suspect was located.

At approximately 9:00 a.m., today the suspect was detained and was arrested without incident. The lockdowns to each school were lifted and no citizens were injured as a result of this incident.

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


Approved by: Commander Melanie McAllester Date & Time: 11/08/07 @ 0950 hrs
Released by: Stacy Flores, PIO Date & Time: 11/08/07 @ 0950 hrs 206-255-5231

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Public Notice: Time Change of Budget Meetings

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Source: (PDF)



* * * * *


NOVEMBER 13 & 15, 2007 –SPECIAL MEETINGS (November 15th only if needed)

- Public Hearing Continued
- Council Study Session on Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments

All other dates and times remain as advertised. The November 15th meeting will take place only if necessary.

All meetings will be held at City Hall, 33325 – 8th Avenue South, Federal Way, Washington (map).


Laura Hathaway, CMC
City Clerk

Posted at City Hall; Web, E-subscribe and Media October 30, 2007

Letter: Please Discuss Freewall Idea

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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. These below posts were made as comments to the "Welcome" post and are republished here as I suspect they weren't being seen and the author is hoping for some kind of response/dialogue.

Freewall Could Discourage Random Tagging and Serve As an Art Piece

On August 7, 2007 11:36 PM at Kevin said...

It goes like this. Graffiti as you all may know is a evergrowing problem in FW. But realisticly, do you believe that you can stop Graffiti? No. Look At New York, where "graffiti" emergerd from. Every Effort they have tried to combat graffiti has failed and even til' this day there are tags on the walls. FW needs to look at graffiti as something that isn't going to get up and leave our city. Why hasn't anybody suggested a way to barter with these graffiti artist. Graffiti will never stop. New kids are going to find new ways to get spray paint and markers and go write a name somewhere. Has anybody ever seen or heard of a "freewall" or "legal Wall"? It's a place with a big wall where kids can go and paint, tag, bomb or whatever they do LEGALLY! Why not give these kids a chance to express themselves LEGALLY?!? A freewall would be less money to build and maintain in the longrun rather then keep erasing the graffiti. A wall like this would in my opinion slow down graffiti very much. If You have any Qustions PLease feel free to E-mail Me at

I would love to discuss this issue and go into more details about a freewall.

Thank you.

And then on November 8, 2007 9:38 AM, K-e-v-i-n said...

how come nobody has replied to my comment yet? are you afraid that this might actually be a good idea?


I personally like the idea of a freewall. (I talked about the idea here.)

Please feel free to address Kevin directly by email, or by leaving a comment here.



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