Opinion

Basketball and magic tricks at new park | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way

Mr. Federal Way - File photo
Mr. Federal Way
— image credit: File photo

Q: Mr. Federal Way, I heard the new Town Square Park will have basketball courts; are you concerned that may bring unwanted activity?

A: Balderdash. As a sports fanatic, Mr. Federal Way is offended that people associate “unwanted activity” with basketball.

“The concern I’ve heard, over the last several weeks, is the basketball courts,” Councilman Martin Moore said during the Council meeting this week. “Is there a plan put in place that’s going to assure the public that there’s not going to be negative behavior?”

Mr. Federal Way knows the “negative behavior” Moore refers to goes beyond a basketball foul.

Are those concerned about unwanted activity implying that hoodlums play basketball? Are thugs and gangsters attracted to the sport?

There are many well-accomplished basketball players who would disagree with those preconceptions, including NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Did Mr. Federal Way mention that Johnson is one of the most powerful African-American businessman in America, who owns a share in Federal Way’s Commons mall?

Mr. Federal Way has watched many great basketball players on the court and seen their determination when they power the ball through the basket. Mr. Federal Way plays basketball and Mr. Federal Way is well educated, is not in a gang and the only negative behavior Mr. Federal Way engages in is throwing the remote at the TV when Mr. Federal Way’s favorite team is not winning.

All that aside, it’s balderdash that city officials would even question an activity bringing negative behavior to a park that was built across the street from the Transit Center garage — one of the city’s most crime-infested areas. Maybe it’s the park’s location that may attract negative behavior and unwanted transients.

Nevertheless, city officials hope the park will help curb crime in the area and Mr. Federal Way thinks that is a brilliant idea. Basketball will be the impetus for that positive change, not the cause of negative behavior.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, with all the activities planned for the Town Square Park, which ones do you see yourself engaging in more?

A: Mr. Federal Way is impressed with all the activities city officials plan for the park, especially the magic tricks with all the rabbits they keep pulling out of their top hats.

First, they pulled out a rabbit and — poof — the price of the park nearly doubled.

Then city officials waved their magic wand and made the Parks Commission members disappear, dodging their input.

To Mayor Jim Ferrell’s credit, he did follow through on a campaign promise with the park. But even as impulsive as Mr. Federal Way is sometimes, Mr. Federal Way knows how to execute a short-range plan with minimal flaws and with others’ help.

And for the magic show’s finale, city officials pulled so many rabbits out of their top hats that Mr. Federal Way lost count of how many bunnies the city has.

This week, city officials said the new park will draw three part-time staff positions from the Parks and Recreation Department to man the park and do things, such as checking in and out chess pieces. The city will also install surveillance at the park, which is not a bad thing looking at the situation from a safety standpoint. But in terms of dollars, cameras are costly and staff paychecks are too. Where will the city get the money to pay for all the amenities and additions it keeps adding?

We’ll see what other tricks officials have up their sleeves.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, I don’t think you live in Federal Way. Where do you live, really?

A: None of your business.

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com

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