Federal Way's name change, part 2 | Andy Hobbs

Last week, this column examined whether Federal Way should undergo a name change.

The response by residents was fairly split. Some people crave a more exciting and appropriate name for the city, while others have no problem with Federal Way’s name.

Federal Way certainly could have done worse compared to other strange city names. Perhaps the root of discontent comes from Federal Way’s name being chosen for the city, rather than chosen by the city.

In the spirit of sparking productive discussion, I have a few thoughts and suggestions for Federal Way’s new name.

1. Redondo: This comes from the tiny beachfront community of the same name, located at the northern end of 1st Avenue South. Redondo is already a destination with a beach, boardwalk, Salty’s Restaurant and Highline’s Marine Science and Technology Center. There is a familiar ring to the name, partly because of the L.A. suburb of Redondo Beach. The downside? Redondo residents might balk at sharing the name.

2. Lakehaven: This moniker pairs nicely with Lakehaven Utility District, which provides Federal Way’s water and sewage services. Also, names with a water or beach connotation carry a touch of class — even for rougher places like Atlantic City, N.J., and Long Beach, Calif.

3. Evergreen: Although a little generic, this name never gets old in the Northwest. Evergreens, along with the mountain ranges, define the beauty of Western Washington.

4. Paradise: Even diehard Federal Way fans would skip this adjective to describe the city.

5. Twin Lakes: As one of Federal Way’s largest neighborhoods, Twin Lakes could masquerade as a city itself. Maybe there’s something in the water, but Twin Lakes residents are among the most engaged when it comes to community issues.

6. Garden City: As discussed in last week’s column, Federal Way could establish a reputation as the public garden mecca of Washington. A name like Garden City could help sell that vision. All the city needs is an official head gardener, along with a lot more money, a lot more gardens and a lot less apathy.

7. Hendrix: Although guitar legend Jimi Hendrix actually hailed from Seattle, this name would rock.

8. $: Inspired by musician Prince’s unorthodox name change to an unpronounceable symbol in the 1990s, Federal Way could change its name to the symbol for the U.S. dollar. On second thought, Federal Way is a little short on dollars these days. Perhaps a more appropriate suggestion for a symbol-only name would be the question mark ... ?

That’s the short list, dear reader. If I forgot any names, please let me know. The city is likely stuck with the name Federal Way, unless someone or something ignites a passionate movement among voters. Take comfort in knowing there’s only one Federal Way. The world will judge Federal Way not by the sound of its name, but for the achievements we put behind it.

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