Opinion

Dr. Phil offers sage advice for Federal Way | Andy Hobbs

Editor: Dr. Phil, it appears Federal Way has a contender for the vacant downtown parking lot. Some people already hate the proposed design for the tentatively titled Crystal Palace.

Dr. Phil: It’s time to get real. Life rewards action. Why do some people dislike it?

Editor: A rendition of the building showed crystal-looking arms branching upward. It’s daring but different.

Dr. Phil: Some people could start an argument in an empty house. Give yourself what you wish someone else would give you. Take an idea and make it yours. What else did people want at the vacant parking lot?

Editor: Some want a park. A few want a veterans memorial. A Federal Way candidate wants Cirque du Soleil. As far as tourism goes, monuments are an economic niche. For example, a statue of Yoda outside Star Wars creator George Lucas’ headquarters in California is a tourist attraction. Where there’s tourism, there’s money. That’s why Federal Way needs a Yoda. Perhaps not a statue of the little green Jedi master, but another popular culture attraction. Federal Way needs a Yoda.

Dr. Phil: Listen, if I want smoke blown up my backside, I’ll take a bathroom break with a box of cigars and a garden hose. The whole Crystal Palace idea is a more profitable use of that vacant land. In this economy, functionality rules. A park is not financially practical.

Editor: It depends on what surrounds the park and monument. A bold marble ode to veterans or a pop culture icon will bring in visitors who might just stay for lunch. Federal Way could even build a Dr. Phil statue.

Dr. Phil: Son, your elevator ain’t going to the top on this one. Isn’t that right, audience? (crowd applauds) Speaking of which, what’s this I hear about the sand sculpting tournament returning to Federal Way? It lost money last year.

Editor: The event may not be a cash cow, but it can be a calling card for the community. Last year’s event took a while to heat up, plus the rain ruined  —

Dr. Phil: You will never fix a problem by blaming someone else. Speaking of so-called problems, what’s this I hear about Federal Way banning medical marijuana?

Editor: The city placed a moratorium on dispensaries and collective gardens. Federal Way’s leaders are deferring to state action, if anything happens. On Thursday, the cannabis reform group Yes End Penalties WA launched a petition to remove all pot-related criminal penalties for adults statewide. As a doctor, what’s your take on medical marijuana?

Dr. Phil: Look, don’t make me put your head in my blender. Cancer patients aside, there are thousands of people who view these dope dispensaries with a big wink.

Editor: But really, who is it hurting? Think of all the tax money, even if marijuana causes short-term memory loss, which leads to short-term memory loss, and ... wait, what were we just talking about?

Dr. Phil: Medical marijuana. Have you interviewed any of these dispensary managers?

Editor: Yes. At one dispensary, I thought the owner was going to bash in my head over a story that failed to make him a medical savior. One dispensary looked like a lounge with leather couches, rock posters, lava lamps and a bead curtain that segued into another room with the medicine. It’s like a store. Brownies and candy sit alongside clear quart-sized jars glowing with green nuggets. Because of their openness, and despite their status as robbery targets, the dispensaries seem like safer places for sick people who need marijuana to ease the pain.

Dr. Phil: Did someone sneak up here during the commercial break and write “stupid” on my forehead? The bottom line is that marijuana, medicinal or recreational, is an illegal drug on the federal level. Federal law trumps the rest.

Editor: Speaking of medicine, I am learning more about Federal Way’s so-called medical device business incubator. It has potential to dovetail with the Crystal Palace we were just talking about.

Dr. Phil: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. In this economy, there’s nothing to incubate.

Editor: Think of it as an investment, but instead of investing not to lose, invest to win. The more medical device businesses pay Federal Way workers to manufacture their items, the more jobs will grow in Federal Way to support those medical device makers. Maybe they can move into some of that Crystal Palace real estate.

Dr. Phil: Let’s make one thing clear. Federal Way and downtown development are not on a long date. It’s a marriage. And remember, people fear anything that overwhelms them. By the way, I heard about The Mirror running a photo of a boy from the Westboro Baptist Church, holding a protest sign outside Mars Hill Church that said “God Hates Fags.”

Editor: A few readers were upset about the photo, even if it depicted a local controversy.

Dr. Phil: Mister, you better quit while you’re ahead or while you still have a head. Sometimes you make the right decision, and sometimes you make the decision right. Ask yourself, was the photo necessary to tell the story, or was it an effective way to draw attention to an ugly side of society better left ignored?

Editor: A little of both.

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