Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sportsman's Warehouse to Change Hands

Bookmark and Share

Sportsman's Warehouse, in an effort to "improve liquidity," recently announced plans to shutter 23 stores and sell 15 stores (including the Federal Way store) to UFA Co-operative, "Canada's largest re-seller of diesel products."

More details: SportsmansWarehouse.com, UFA.net

Monday, March 30, 2009

Press Release: Work of three-in-one artist on display at City Hall through May 14

Bookmark and Share

March 19, 2009

Mary Faber
Recreation and Cultural Services Superintendent

Work of three-in-one artist on display at City Hall through May 14

Pottery? Painting? Photography? Longtime Federal Way resident Jeanie Campbell didn’t have to choose one art form over another to express her creativity — she’s developed a singular way to use all three. She paints the inside of bowls with pottery glaze, fires them, then captures the brilliantly colored results in pictures.

Her work is on display inside Federal Way City Hall through May 14 as part of a rotating art exhibit sponsored by the Federal Way Arts Commission. Many of her pieces also are displayed online at www.artbyjeanie.com.

“I used to be a potter and a painter, and I always liked glazes and the way they look,” Campbell said. “When you make things to sell, you photograph them, and the photos of my bowls were stunning. So now I paint pottery specifically for the photo.”

Much of Campbell’s work reflects her awe at the beauty of NASA’s images of stars and galaxies. She sometimes draws on another love — gardening — and employs a floral theme.

Campbell, who has lived in Federal Way 15 years, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of South Florida where she studied pottery and paintings. Although busy afterward with marriage and raising a family, Campbell found ways to work art into her everyday life, whether it was painting murals on her children’s walls, creating sculptures for the garden or making wall tiles for her home’s art studio.

“But I was always drawn back to the depth and movement in glazes,” she said. “What happens in the process of the kiln is magic.”

The Federal Way Arts Commission is a nine-member group that advises the City Council on all areas of the arts, including the fine arts, literary, performing, visual and cultural. The commission also oversees two public art galleries (City Hall and Dumas Bay Centre), and juries new shows quarterly.

City Hall is located at 33325 8th Ave. S. The gallery is on the second floor and is open to the public 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, contact Mary Faber, parks, recreation and cultural services superintendent, mary.faber@cityoffederalway.com, or 253-835-6920.

Press Release: Two national corporations open offices in Federal Way

Bookmark and Share

March 3, 2009

Patrick Doherty
Economic Development Director
253.835.2612 or 206.854.4300

Linda Farmer, APR
Communications/Gov. Affairs Mgr.
253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211

Two national corporations open offices in Federal Way

A global leader in business process and information technology services and the new headquarters for an Alaska Native American-owned government services company are two businesses that have recently opened offices in Federal Way.

Affiliated Computer Services, headquartered in Dallas, has opened a call center that will serve clients nationwide. ACS provides business process outsourcing and IT services to commercial and government clients in more than 100 countries. Plans are to staff ACS's Federal Way office initially with about 250 employees, with the potential for future expansion.

The Doyon Government Group provides security, logistics, transportation, maintenance, construction and telecommunications services to federal agencies. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Doyon Limited -- one of 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 -- and one of Alaska’s major employers. Doyon Limited, located in Fairbanks, is the largest private landowner in Alaska and one of the largest private landowners in North America.

To attract new businesses such as ACS and Doyon, the City of Federal Way launched a new economic development initiative last fall -- Federal Way: For Businesses on the Move. The outreach relies on a strong public-private partnership involving City staff, the Federal Way
Chamber of Commerce, local building owners and leasing agents.

Businesses on the Move targets companies and organizations in certain key market sectors such as back-office operations, engineering firms, health care and the nonprofit community. These sectors were already well represented among businesses calling Federal Way home. The City mailed materials and produced a print ad and a short video as well as built an online resource center with a database of available office buildings and facilities.

ACS employs 70,000 people worldwide and its clients range from education and energy to government and health care. The company, which is leasing 18,500 square feet of office space in Federal Way, is scheduled to open in second quarter 2009.

Doyon Government Group has contracts with military bases in Washington State and hopes to provide similar services to other federal agencies. Its Federal Way headquarters, located at 33810 Weyerhaeuser Way S., opened its doors last month. Companywide, Doyon Government Group employs about 3,000 people.

"Federal Way is a great location for companies on the move," said Patrick Doherty, Federal Way's economic development director. "We have an ample selection of affordable office space, with many locations in park-like settings--lots of trees and natural light. And with no business-and-occupation tax or employee head tax, the cost of doing business here is one of the lowest in the region."

In addition to affordable office space and a favorable tax environment, the city also offers:

Strategic location. Companies value the city's central Puget Sound location between Seattle and Tacoma. Federal Way offers convenient highway access to I-5, I-90 and SR 18. The city's proximity to the state's capital and to the area's air and sea ports are also key selling points.

Companies that draw a large percentage of their employees from the South Sound and decide to open a Federal Way branch can save money on rent, and their employees get a shorter commute which can affect productivity and job satisfaction over time.

Readily available work force. Although the city is home to more than 55,000 residents of working age, only about two-thirds of those are employed in town, leaving a built-in pool of skilled workers who would be interested in new jobs closer to home.

Affordable housing, great recreational activities. Federal Way is the state’s eighth largest city with a population of 88,040. With more than five miles of Puget Sound shoreline and more than 825 acres of parkland, the city offers a variety of recreational opportunities, from hiking and biking to fishing and walking the beach. Its new community center has great classes and plenty of work-out and recreational amenities, including two pools and a climbing pinnacle.

For more information on Federal Way’s Businesses on the Move campaign, contact Patrick Doherty, 253.835.2612 or bizonthemove@cityoffederalway.com. Additional information can be found at www.cityoffederalway.com/bizonthemove.

Press Release: Town Hall meeting on City Center Access Project set for April 2

Bookmark and Share

March 23, 2009

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

Town Hall meeting on City Center Access Project set for April 2

The Federal Way City Council invites the public to attend a special Town Hall meeting on the City Center Access Project from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 2 at the Truman High School Cafeteria, 31455 28th Ave. S. Korean and Spanish interpreters will be available.

Preliminary design drawings and informational materials that have been presented at past open houses and public meetings will be available for review. The purpose of the Town Hall is for the city council to discuss the project with the public.

The City Center Access Project is designed to relieve traffic safety concerns and congestion at the I-5 and S 320th Street interchange, which may involve adding a new freeway interchange. The project started five years ago and has been led by the City, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and a team of community stakeholders, citizens and consultants. The parties worked extensively with the public to narrow the original 47 alternatives down to three in 2005 using a variety of methods and a technical scoring process.

At its April 21 meeting, the City Council will make a final decision on whether to move Alternative 1 forward (with the No-Build Alternative) to finalize the Environmental Assessment process. Information on the project can be found at www.cityoffederalway.com by clicking on the “City Center Access Project” link. Comments can also be sent to Project Manager Maryanne Zukowski, P.E., 253.835.2707 or citycenteraccessproject@cityoffederalway.com.

Additional information

This project is identified in the City’s 6-year Transportation Improvement Plan and its 20-year Capital Improvement Plan. The project is driven by the City’s plans to expand and widen the S 320th Street interchange over I-5 and implement other local roadway improvements in those plans.

For information in Korean, call 253.835.2605. For Spanish, call 253.835.2606.For Russian call 253.835.2612. Persons with disabilities may request this information in alternate formats by calling 253.835.2730. For TTY, call Washington State Telecommunications Relay Service at 711 and ask to be connected to 253.835.2730.

City of Federal Way Title VI Policy Statement: The City of Federal Way assures that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, national origin, or sex, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and as amended, and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (P.L. 100.259) be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance from the Washington State Department of Transportation. The City of Federal Way further assures every effort will be made to ensure nondiscrimination in all of its programs and activities, whether those programs or activities are federally funded or not.

Press Release: Police chief apologizes for misusing mobile device on the road

Bookmark and Share

March 26, 2009

Linda Farmer, APR
Communications and Government Affairs Manager
P/253.835.2411 C/253.261.1211

Police chief apologizes for misusing mobile device on the road

Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson is mortified. On March 18 Wilson stopped at a red light, glanced down at his BlackBerry and then — thinking that traffic had started moving again — took his foot off the brake and collided with the car in front of him. There was no damage to either vehicle and no injuries.

City Manager Neal Beets conducted an internal review on March 24, found the collision to have been preventable and issued a verbal reprimand to Chief Wilson. In the past, Federal Way officers who have had collisions resulting in less than $700 in damage have received a verbal reprimand or counseling for a first collision.

“I take full responsibility,” said Wilson, who has never had an at-fault accident in his 28 years as a police officer. “Staying focused and avoiding distractions while driving is essential for safety. This is a good lesson in the intense concentration driving takes. If you’re not focused, accidents can happen — even to the chief of police.”

Emergency vehicles such as police are exempt from the new Washington State law that prohibits sending, reading or writing messages while driving. This exception is based on the need for operators of emergency vehicles to use essential communication devices. However, Wilson said that doesn’t excuse the behavior. “Was this an essential communication for me to be on at the time? No.” Wilson was viewing newspaper headlines and e-mail on his BlackBerry at the time of the incident and said he violated the spirit of the exception in the law. He has vowed this will not happen again.

The accident occurred at the intersection of South 324th Street and Pacific Highway South in Federal Way. Wilson was driving an unmarked police vehicle. Immediately after bumping the car in front of him, he turned on his emergency lights and used his police radio to request assistance.

The incident was the subject of a routine accident investigation.


Editor’s Note: Chief Wilson can be reached for comment at 253.835.6711.

Press Release: City offering $100K for local businesses and groups for disaster prep

Bookmark and Share

March 6, 2009

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

Ray Gross, CEM
Emergency Management Coordinator

City offering $100K for local businesses and groups for disaster prep

The City of Federal Way is offering $100,000 in matching funds to local groups and organizations to better prepare for emergencies and major disasters. The money comes from the $1.5 million allocated by the 2007 City Council for new emergency management activities in the wake of the crippling December 2006 windstorm. Other emergency preparedness work the City has completed with that funding include:
  • New snow plows and sanders
  • New dump trucks
  • City’s own radio station (AM 900) for emergency broadcasts
  • Generator for the Federal Way Community Center (designated emergency shelter)
  • Backup power for traffic lights at 30 key intersections
Eligible groups

Businesses, faith-based groups, and non-profit organizations that are located out of or operate within city limits.

Eligible projects

Applicants should explain how their proposed project will enhance emergency preparedness in their organization as well as the community as a whole. Grant funding is split into three categories:

  • Emergency shelters, $60,000. Priority will be given to projects aimed at aiding vulnerable populations in an emergency by providing shelter facilities, warming/cooling centers or developing or enhancing the applicant’s ability to shelter in place (thereby freeing up more resources for others).
  • Overall emergency preparedness efforts, $25,000. Contribute to improving the community’s overall preparedness efforts by obtaining emergency supplies and equipment, conducting a preparedness fair, producing and distributing emergency preparedness materials and other efforts.
  • Emergency communications or notification systems, $15,000. Improvement of applicant’s emergency communications or notification systems such as amateur radio, National Weather Service all-hazards radios, etc

Grant criteria

Applications for the one-time grants must be postmarked by April 30 and awards will be made on May 15. Work must be completed by May 2010. A five percent match is required. The minimum amount awarded to any one organization will be $2,000 with a maximum award of $40,000. Applications will be reviewed by selected representatives from the Greater Federal Way Emergency Management Program (City of Federal Way, Federal Way Public Schools, Lakehaven Utility District, and South King Fire & Rescue).

Allowable expenses
  • Printing and reproduction costs
  • Mail and postage costs
  • Equipment purchase and/or rental
  • Supplies and training materials
  • Hiring contractors or consultants to perform work eligible under the grant

Non-allowable expenses
  • Overtime costs
  • No funds may be used to replace or supplant local government funding of existing projects

Attend an information session on March 31

The City is holding an information session on its emergency preparedness grant program at 1:30 p.m. on March 31 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S. Applications may be downloaded from www.cityoffederalway.com under the Forms and Applications link in the Quick Links section. For more information or to have an application sent to you, contact Ray Gross, the City’s Emergency Management Coordinator, 253.835.2712 or ray.gross@cityoffederalway.com.

Recent Job Opening Tweets in Federal Way

Bookmark and Share

Teller (Part-Time), Key Bank

Senior Web Analyst Non-Profit Christian Organization

Electrical Engineer

Relationship Manager

Office Administrator

Mental Health Coordinator, Franciscan Health Systems

Sales Representative, Liberty Mutual

Physical Therapist/Rehab, Hallmark Manor

Speech-Language Pathologists and Speach-Language Therapists, Hallmark Manor

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weyerhaeuser Bonsai Collection to Close April 2

Bookmark and Share

If you haven't been to Weyerhaeuser's Bonsai Collection, time is running out. Citing the bad economy, Federal Way's Weyerhauser has decided to (at least temporarily) close the collection to the public. A wonderfully tranquil spot, the collection offers a number of the tiny trees, many decades or centuries old. (One is estimated toIf you haven't been to Weyerhaeuser's Bonsai Collection, time is running out. 

Citing the bad economy, Federal Way's Weyerhauser has decided to (at least temporarily) close the collection to the public.  A wonderfully tranquil spot, the collection offers a number of the tiny trees, many decades or centuries old.  (One is estimated to be - in part - from around the year 1,000.)  be - in part - from around the year 1,000.) 

The exhibit is open to the public free of charge.  See their website for hours and directions.  You can probably walk the exhibit in less than an hour.  There are no steep hills and parking is free.

The only thing I was surprised to not see was a large zen garden.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

GOOG 411 doesn't like Federal Way

Bookmark and Share

Is anyone able to successfully get 1-800-GOOG-411 to recognize "Federal Way, Washington" as a city?  My wife and I can't.  No matter how we say it, it always gets something else like "Cedro Wooley" or "Buenos Aries."  No joke.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's News in Federal Way -- March 16, 2009

Bookmark and Share

Federal Way letter carrier credited with saving woman's life

Girl Scout Cookies Save Woman's Life

Federal Way's World Vision president ready for new role at White House

Opinion: "How does Federal Way Public Schools become one of the best performing school systems?"

Crime down, local economy better than most, Mayor says

News in brief: Man in underwear runs from cops

Survey: More teens volunteer than work part time

Payday loan company to pay $2.5 million

Cities plan to build new jail in South King County by 2011

Review: Clarion Hotel Federal Way

IHOP-Northwest Moves To My Hometown

Another American record broken

DBM Contracts loses Chairman

Two national corporations open offices in Federal Way

City puts off tough decision on new Federal Way overpass-ramps

Ashley House a home for medically fragile kids

RV the Cat finds her way home

Ex-teacher says bias concerns cost her job

City Reports Successes in Marketing Campaign

Federal Way police push for look-alike weapon sanctions

Federal Way tries to help developers think about future (abbreviated story)

UPDATE: Man killed in Federal Way fire identified

Weyerhaeuser to Lay Off 480 in Six States

Boeing exec deals in Federal Way

Green Jobs: A Puget Sound Success Story

Two options for South 320th in Federal Way

Real Estate

35133 11th Pl SW, Federal Way, WA -- $335k -- 4/2.5

Overheard on Twitter

"It's like the whole state was based on the aesthetic principles of Federal Way, WA--industrial mess, fast food, potholes, urban poverty."

"What in the world in the Federal Way coach wearing!? Does he realize he's on TV?"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Representative Roundup

Bookmark and Share

Realtors back legislation to boost state economy by $1.35 billion
Senate Bill 5452 and House Bill 1384 propose to increase the debt limit of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission so that the agency can provide down-payment assistance to more people. The economic stimulus proposals are sponsored by Sen. Claudia Kaufman (D-Kent) and Rep. Mark Miloscia (D-Federal Way).

Struggling States Look to Unorthodox Taxes
In his 11 years in the Washington Legislature, Representative Mark Miloscia says he has supported all manner of methods to fill the state’s coffers, including increasing fees on property owners to help the homeless and taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, most of which, he said, passed "without a peep."

What will Washington’s living wage be if all the businesses leave?
For those of you who don’t read the comments, I received a comment from Representative Miloscia regarding this post. I’d like to take the opportunity to make a correction to my earlier post.

In Our View, March 1: Expand DNA testing
Expanded DNA testing is a good idea, and we recommend the Legislature follow the lead of several other states and approve House Bill 1382, sponsored by state Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way. Among the states that have adopted such a practice is California, which started the program this year after 62 percent of voters approved Proposition 69.

Freedom Under Fire, Mar. 1st, 2009
In Washington, Democrat Mark Miloscia was recently shot down when trying to levy an 18.5% sales tax on pornography and adult products. Miloscia relates, "People came down on me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t quite understand. Apparently porn is right up there with Mom and apple pie."

A 'living' wage apparently is between $9.70 and $11.55 an hour
Thanks to state Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, I may have found out. Or something close to it. Miloscia has introduced House Bill 1716, which would require "living wages" be paid after Jan. 1, 2010 to anyone being paid under a contract let by the state Community, Trade and Economic Development Department.

Earmark Reform at a Standstill
Lists Patty Murray with 155 earmarks

HANFORD: Senators silent on nuke waste defeat
And did anyone notice that there is not a word from Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell? They know that in the world of Washington, D.C., politics, this was a fight that they could not win. This shows that they want to "get along." This was a fight they should have fought, because it was for the people of the state that elected them.

What I know (so far) about Medicare
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. has reintroduced a bill that would reform Medicare reimbursement rates so that Washington's rate would at least meet the national average. This bill, to my way of thinking, has little chance of passing because the money will have to come out of programs in such states as Florida, California and New York. Good luck with that, Patty.

Patty Murray Big On Earmarks
Senator Patty Murray ranks 12th in total dollars of earmark spending in the stimulus bill. A grand total of $171 million dollars can be credited to Ms. Murray. She is responsible for 155 earmarks.

Brad Pitt makes surprise visit to Sen. Murray
It wasn’t just another day at the office Thursday, March 5, for Sen. Patty Murray. Brad Pitt dropped by.

A withdrawal of sorts from Iraq
Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Senator Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Services Committee, both indicated that the figure was higher than they had expected. Senator Patty Murray of Washington, said, "I do think we have to look carefully at the numbers that are there and do it as quickly as we can."

Murray in Top 12 for earmark requests, Larsen in top half
As The Seattle Times notes, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, is ranked 12th in the Senate for the amount of earmarks she was able to place in the federal omnibus spending bill.

White House Rethinks Tax Hikes
Another Democrat, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, questioned why the administration wouldn't look for savings in the tax code through a comprehensive overhaul. "Why not look at a broader approach to tax policy, [rather] than coming in with this proposed change to marginal rates?" Ms. Cantwell said.

On the Challenges to Grid Expansion
Just last year, Senator Maria Cantwell noted that it would take $900 billion to sufficiently upgrade the current electric grid so that it could handle current needs and transmission for future renewable power plants. If Cantwell is correct than what good can $11 billion really do?

AIG, still a black hole
Tim Geithner had a little argument about this with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) at a Senate Finance hearing today. Here's Cantwell: "AIG has been bailed out four times since September to the tune of $160 billion... why hasn’t Treasury come forward and said who are the affected counterparties?"

Bill on ROZs introduced in US Congress
In the Senate, Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell sponsored the Act, which has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. The co-sponsors include Senator Robert Casey and Senator Orrin Hatch.

Smart Grid May Present New Opportunities for Broadband, Say Experts
The open architecture will consist of many application programming interfaces, Gallagher told Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. Cantwell worried that TCP/IP architecture may not be appropriate for some applications. "We need to keep our eyes on that," she said. But Murkowski later said in an interview that the "bottom line…is how to get the information to the consumer."

Cantwell Pushes Economic Strategy in Afghanistan
Last Thursday, Sen. Maria Cantwell introduced a bill she’d shopped last session that adds an economic aspect to the overall (military) U.S. strategy in Afghanistan -- something we’ve been a little panicked about lately.

Congress to Examine Counterthreat Finance Successes & Plans
The U.S. House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities, chaired by Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, will hold a hearing on March 11 titled, "Tracking and Disrupting Terrorist Financial Networks: A Potential Model for Inter-agency Success?"

Clinton, Obama Dispatch Envoys to Damascus for Talks
Representative Adam Smith, a Democrat from the state of Washington led a congressional delegation to Damascus in February, the first since President Barack Obama’s inauguration. He said he came away convinced that Syria wants to normalize ties with the U.S.

Democrats gearing up to go after U.S. Rep. Reichert, again
Locally, Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, who serves the 3rd district including Olympia, was ranked the 175th most liberal and 252nd most conservative. Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, who serves the 9th district including Lacey, was ranked 135th most liberal and 293rd most conservative.

WA Legislators to Up Dealers’ "Doc Fees" from $50 to $150
Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, said she sponsored Senate Bill 5816 at the request of the Washington State Auto Dealers Association and its 328 dealerships, and one of her former constituents, Mary Byrne, former owner of Nissan of Fife.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Whose Side is She On?

Bookmark and Share

So apparently car dealerships are allowed to charge a maximum of $50 for "paperwork handling." It's been a few years since I bought a car, but that seemed to be the part where the printer printed out paper forever and then we had to sit there and sign over and over and over again and initial here, initial there. Washington State Senator Tracy Eide (D, Federal Way) has submitted a bill that would raise the maximum from $50 to $150. She claims it will save some dealerships from going out of business. Really? How will gouging customers even more, in this economic climate? As a citizen, I really don't feel well represented. Sounds more like auto dealerships are the ones getting represented. Tell Miss Eide this is a bad idea and that she's really not representing us when she proposes stupid bills like this.


Federal Way Blog Feed