Opinion

Flower beards, fireworks and Facebook | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way

Mr. Federal Way sports his summer beard garden. - File photo
Mr. Federal Way sports his summer beard garden.
— image credit: File photo

Q: Mr. Federal Way, what’s your take on all these lawsuits against the school district regarding discrimination, etc.? Is the district really that corrupt or is this a case of people smelling blood in the water and joining the fray?

A: Mr. Federal Way thinks it is unfortunate Federal Way school district officials continue to decline to comment on these matters, as there are probably some legitimate reasons why things were handled the way they were.

The school districts’ overall intentions are good, so no, Mr. Federal Way doesn’t believe there’s a set agenda for corruption.

Stuff happens, but readers have to admit this “stuff” hasn’t always generated the best headlines.

For those of you who aren’t regular readers, the school district is currently involved in a discrimination lawsuit against a TAF Academy humanities teacher, who is African American and was asked to read a poem titled “Nigger Lips” as the only African American at the school.

And there’s also the case where the school board was recently berated by an anti-racism advocate for allegedly discriminating against an African American student at Sacajawea Middle School.

The incident allegedly caused a Native American security guard to be terminated when he spoke up.

Read the Mirror’s version for more details.

These are only the two most recent cases.

Mr. Federal Way thinks the first one is legit, the second — there may be more to the story, which is being kept under wraps.

But whether the district has good reasons for not talking or not, their actions in keeping mum and the mere fact that public records requests take a minute (or several thousand) to fulfill, have caused the Federal Way Mirror staff to work with what they’ve got.

And often they only have the people’s word, the records that are available and the knowledge that the school district — the largest employer in Federal Way — is an entity directly involved in our children’s future and should be held to the highest degree possible.

Federal Way is a diverse community with a lot of people in power. Some ethnic groups are represented, some aren’t. Some people who work for the school district may be racist, some aren’t.

Racism and discrimination are sensitive topics but Mr. Federal Way believes there needs to be an active discussion when cases such as these are brought forward so that it is no longer swept under the rug.

Racism exists, discrimination exists. Federal Way Public Schools officials are not perfect individuals and mistakes happen but it is up to them whether a huge public matter will be something they learn from or continue to repeat.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, fireworks are banned in the city of Federal Way but for three hours the night of July 4 I felt like I was living in a war zone out here in Twin Lakes. I never once saw a police unit come by. Yes, they were likely busy with the Red, White and Blues celebration and I know they are spread thin. So anyhow, just how many citations did the Federal Way Police Department write this year for violating the fireworks ban? Seems to me it is not effective at all. What do you think?

Signed, Still Shaking in Twin Lakes.

A: Dear Still Shaking in Twin Lakes, according to South King Fire and Rescue, firefighters responded to 32 fireworks-related incidents between June 28 to July 5.

Just outside of that timeframe was an incident that involved exploded mortar that cost a 37-year-old man part of his hand and a $15,000 garage fire.

Fireworks damaged $100,000 worth of roofs and decks and two residents required hospitalizations.

So to answer your question, yes there were more pressing matters than basic fireworks citations on the Fourth of July. Nonetheless, police were still called 118 times for fireworks-related complaints, which accounted for more than half of their total calls for service count.

The city’s Fourth of July 2014 After-Action Report states police charged 17 people, issued 91 warnings and confiscated approximately 250 pounds of fireworks.

My question to you, Still Shaking in Twin Lakes, is did you call 911 during the three hours of your misery or did you do just that — sit in your misery? Why not be proactive in your happiness, which to Mr. Federal Way seems quite the opposite of happy. Federal Wayans break the laws with real crime every day, in what way did you think it would be any different on Fourth of July?

Q: Mr. Federal Way, what is this ridiculous hipster trend of men taking photos with flowers in their beards?

A: Well, you caught Mr. Federal Way in an, ahem, awkward moment. Mr. Federal Way typically doesn’t let the man scruff get past a certain length but not this week.

Flower beards have certainly been around for some time with photos dating back to 1977, according to DeMilked, a design milking magazine, but hipsters have just flocked to the idea with many believing it’s a mockery of women’s obsession with flower crowns, a symptom of summer, music festivals and beautiful youth, of course.

Federal Way Mirror reporter Greg Allmain refused to join the trend with Mr. Federal Way, citing allergies as a deterrent, however, Mr. Federal Way thinks it adds a bit of fancy, don’t you think? Don’t mind the bugs that will likely get caught in my face, it’s all about how many likes under Mr. Federal Way’s profile picture will collect.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, do you have a Facebook or will you be getting one anytime soon?

A: None of your business.

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

 

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