Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Federal Way


Milton approves joint resolution with Fife, Edgewood that rejects Pierce Transit cuts, moves ahead alternative proposal

The Milton City Council unanimously approved a joint resolution with Fife and Edgewood that rejects Pierce Transit’s plan for cuts to service in the three cities and proposes an alternative to soften the blow of the reductions.

Last month both Fife and Edgewood city councils approved the resolution, which will move to the Pierce Transit board for review upon Milton’s approval of the resolution at a special study session Monday night.

The planned transit cuts are part of a sweeping reduction in Pierce Transit service across Pierce County. The affected routes in the Milton area include Routes 501 and 402,

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Washington ranks second for new board-certified teachers

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced Tuesday that Washington state is continuing its role as a leader in national teacher certification. It said Washington ranked second in the nation this year for the number of teachers newly certified under the board’s program. It ranks fourth nationally for total numbers of teachers certified.

The board said that in 2012, North Carolina produced the highest number of new national board certified teachers, with 636. Washington was second, with 573.

Washington has been a leader in the national board rankings for several years. A total of 6,739 Washington teachers have

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South King County schools part of bid for federal dollars

A grant application written jointly by seven King County school districts is among 61 finalists for the federal Race to the Top competition, the U.S. Department of Education announced.

The region’s application involved the following school districts: Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila. The grant proposal was submitted under the name “The Road Map District Consortium” in reference to the districts’ participation in the Road Map Project, a community-wide effort to drive educational improvement in South Seattle and South King County. The region’s application asks for up to $40 million.

The national finalists represent more than 200

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South Sound students take a bite out of hunger

Federal Way High School students are coordinating a Halloween “We Scare Hunger Campaign.”

Students from more than 21 area high schools – including students from the Puyallup, Tacoma, Auburn, Kent and Highline school districts – will gather at 7 p.m. at the Federal Way Lowe’s, 35425 Enchanted Pkwy. South, to kick off the event Wednesday.

Students will gather canned foods for Halloween trick or treating between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., return to Lowe’s and fill up two trucks with canned food to take to the Federal Way Multiservice Center.

The campaign is part of a district-wide initiative in Federal

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Federal grants support South Sound school communities

Eight South Sound schools will benefit from federal grants aimed at providing academic and enrichment opportunities for kids in high-need neighborhoods.

State education officials announced Tuesday that 12 educational and community groups in Washington will receive an estimated $4 million a year for five years. The grants are designed to create what will be known as 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which will offer help for students when school is not in session. The goal is to have students meet state standards in reading and math, and offer opportunities to participate in art, music, recreation and more.

Included in the

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Farewell reception slated for Federal Way councilmen

Federal Way is inviting the public to say goodbye and share a piece of cake next week with two City Council members and former mayors who have a combined 28 years in their elected offices.

The reception for departing councilmen Jack Dovey and Mike Park is set for Dec. 6 at 6 p.m., at Federal Way City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S.

Both men are small business owners, and both were originally appointed to fill vacancies on the council in 1995 before going on to win election to their seats. Dovey held the appointed mayor position in 2008 and 2009.

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Federal Way approves more money for sand-sculpting event

Federal Way city leaders have approved spending more money on a sand-sculpting competition.

The City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday night to spend another $25,000 from the city’s hotel-motel tax, or lodging tax. The council also approved moving $5,000 that was designated for a parade to the budget for the sand-sculpting competition.

Organizers said $5,000 wasn’t enough money to fund a parade in conjunction with the event.

The council’s action increases the total city money for this summer’s “Tour of Champions” competition to $53,000, including $23,0000 approved earlier this year. All of the money will come from the city’s

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Sound Transit to study transit options from Federal Way to Tacoma

Sound Transit’s board decided today to study whether there are less costly options that could extend light rail to Federal Way sooner than projected.

Board members were sympathetic to concerns voiced by Federal Way leaders over Sound Transit’s projections that light rail to Federal Way will be delayed from 2023 until 2034 at the earliest.

“The good news for Federal Way is I think we’re going to get there,” said board member and Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow. “I’m not exactly sure when.”

Sound Transit officials aren’t even sure for now how long the new alternatives analysis study will take. The board decided to study transit alternatives – including light rail and bus service – all the way to the Tacoma Dome.

Studying alternatives to Federal Way – including elevated light rail along Interstate 5 instead of state Route 99 – could take a year, said Sound Transit planner David Beal.

Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest said he appreciated that the board heard the concerns of those who live in Federal Way and Northeast Tacoma. But Priest said he’ll be looking down the road for Sound Transit to take action, not just study.

“The devil is in the details,” Priest said.

Priest and Federal Way City Council members Jeanne Burbidge and Linda Kochmar politely but firmly voiced their concerns to the board today about Sound Transit’s projected delay in extending light rail to South 272nd Street, Federal Way’s northern boundary.

Priest described the delay as a “broken promise” to Federal Way’ workers while more well-to-do areas get light rail sooner.

“The rich get richer while the working class gets the shaft,” Priest said.

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