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BEST

BESiTce

nightlife

ser v

BEST

shopping

A S U P P L E M E N T TO T H E

BEST

food

BEST l iving


kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma, federal way

[2] March 11, 2016

FOOD Asian

Buffet

Ice Cream

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

EAST INDIA GRILL 2nd Salty's 3rd Jasmine Mongolian Grill

FIRST PLACE |

SALTY'S 2nd Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse 3rd Thai Bistro

Bakery

FIRST PLACE |

PANERA BREAD 2nd Poverty Bay Coffee Company 3rd H-Mart Barbeque FIRST PLACE |

JIMMY MAC'S ROADHOUSE 2nd Billy McHale's 3rd Buffalo Wild Wings

Brunch / Breakfast FIRST PLACE |

BLACK BEAR DINER 2nd Poverty Bay Coffee Company 3rd Biscuits Cafe

Coffee Shop

SUBZERO 2nd Cold Stone Creamery 3rd Menchie's Indian

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

POVERTY BAY COFFEE COMPANY 2nd Starbucks / Dash Point 3rd Marista's

EAST INDIA GRILL 2nd Indochina Seafood and Satay Bar 3rd Can Am Pizza Lunch

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

Deli / Sandwich

BLACK BEAR DINER 2nd Panera Bread 3rd [tie] East India Grill Deli Smith Flame Burgers

PANERA BREAD 2nd Jimmy John's 3rd Deli Smith Family FIRST PLACE |

Mexican

BLACK BEAR DINER 2nd Red Robin 3rd The Ram

FIRST PLACE |

PUERTO VALLARTA FAMILY MEXICAN RESTAURANTS 2nd Azteca 3rd Los Bigotes de Villa

Hamburger FIRST PLACE |

BURGER EXPRESS 2nd Red Robin 3rd Stacks

...BEST OF

Best of Federal Way: 18 Years BY RUDI ALCOTT Federal Way Mirror Publisher

Over the course of the last nine years, I have had the pleasure of unveiling the winners of the Best of Federal Way that you, the readers, have chosen. At the annual community event last Wednesday, we gave away plaques, had a number of prizes and announced the stories of the year and the winner of the

Citizen of the Year. During the year, the editorial team keeps a list of the stories they've written that are the most touching and interesting. These stories have been winnowed down to a winner. It’s only appropriate that we recognize, along with the businesses, the community members that make Federal Way a great place to live. It was a tough choice to pick a Citizen of the Year recipient. All of the monthly winners are incredibly worthy of this honor, but Presley Anderson (see story on page 7) won out in the end. Anyone that volunteers to raise funds for those who lost everything during the wildfires last year, then finds a local corporate sponsor to match those funds, all while only 8 years old, earns a special place in the heart of the Mirror’s staff. A special thanks goes out to the remaining finalists: Doug Barker, Sharry Edwards, Hope Elder, Jenna Fowlow, Charlie Hoff, Dave Larson, Mickey McLain, LeAnn Taylor, Tom Wallat and Dorothy Wells. It is with great pride I present to you the winners of the 18th Best of Federal Way. Thanks for taking the time to vote, and thanks for viewing the messages on the following pages. I welcome your continued help in years to come to make this a great success. Mirror publisher Rudi Alcott: ralcott@federalwaymirror.com

Superior Service with Integrity! Thank You, Federal Way for Voting Us

the

BEST AGAIN this year!

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...BEST OF federal way, kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma

Pizza

City Leader

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

THE ROCK 2nd Gino's Bistro 3rd Pizza Pizazz

SUSAN HONDA 2nd Jim Ferrell 3rd Dini Duclos

Seafood

Community Volunteer

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

SALTY'S 2nd McGrath's Fish House 3rd Ivar's Steakhouse

Educational Facility

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

BLACK ANGUS STEAKHOUSE 2nd Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse 3rd Outback Steakhouse

LIVING Best Cop FIRST PLACE |

ANDY HWANG 2nd Mike Chi 3rd John Stray

Best Firefighter FIRST PLACE |

JEFF BELLINGHAUSEN 2nd Ed Plumlee 3rd Al Church

CINDY DUCICH 2nd Janice Siebenaler 3rd Dave Larson

SYLVAN LEARNING OF FEDERAL WAY 2nd Federal Way Community Center 3rd Christian Faith School

Best Cop

FIRST PLACE | Andy Hwang

Best Teacher

Kid's Activity FIRST PLACE |

FEDERAL WAY COMMUNITY CENTER 2nd Wild Waves Theme Park 3rd Pattison's West

Local Charity / Non-Profit FIRST PLACE |

MULTI-SERVICE CENTER 2nd World Vision 3rd FUSION

SECOND PLACE | James Brown

March 11, 2016 [3] “I am honored to be nominated in the Top Cop category. I am truly blessed to work with so many caring and dedicated professionals committed to safeguarding and serving our community. We want to thank everyone who took the time to vote to recognize government leaders.” Andy Hwang Chief of Police, Federal Way

I really want to thank the readers of The Federal Way Mirror for their nomination. Over 22 years ago, I drove down from Seattle and interviewed at TJHS for a math position, landed the job and have never left! I love Federal Way and the students I get to work with every day. I chose to move here and raise my family (my own children attend FWPS). Our schools have an abundance of passionate and dedicated teachers, and I am humbled that my community has singled me out for recognition. Again, thank you! James Brown, Math Teacher, Thomas Jefferson High School


[4] March 11, 2016

kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma, federal way

Teacher / Elementary FIRST PLACE |

...BEST OF

Tourist Attraction FIRST PLACE |

KRIS BAKER / BRIGADOON 2nd [tie]

Oksana Sokolan / Christian Faith School Cindy Dennison / Meredith Hill

Teacher / High School FIRST PLACE |

DONALDPETERS/CHRISTIANFAITHSCHOOL

2nd [tie]

Laurie Beaver / Decatur Karin Weberg / Federal Way James Brown / Thomas Jefferson

Teacher / Middle School FIRST PLACE |

DASH POINT STATE PARK 2nd Wild Waves Theme Park 3rd Farmer's Market

NIGHTLIFE

Bar / Night Club FIRST PLACE |

SCOREBOARD 2nd Time Out Ale House 3rd Billy McHale's

Casino

FIRST PLACE |

FRANK WOOD / ILLAHEE 2nd Yvette Gregg / Illahee 3rd Jerry Krueger / Kilo

MUCKLESHOOT CASINO 2nd Iron Horse Casino 3rd Emerald Queen Casino

City Leader

“It is an honor to be mentioned as one of the 'Best of Federal Way.' Each year this award highlights local businesses and service groups that truly make our community the best of the best in Washington state. Good luck to all the nominees!" Jim Ferrell, mayor

SECOND PLACE | JIM FERRELL

Thanks for Voting us the Best in 2010 - 2016 The senior management of The Powell Companies extends our sincerest thanks to the community of Federal Way for voting us Best of 2016 in senior living. We strive to provide the best senior lifestyle for our residents and are honored you took notice! We thank our General Manager, Lisa Valdes, and her dedicated staff of professionals for providing our residents with a warm and caring place to call home. It is what’s inside the building that counts the most – our staff and our residents.

Voted Best Jewelry Store!

6 FULL SERVICE GOLDSMITH SINCE 1975! – All work done on premises– jeffreysjeweler.com • 1200 S. 324th St # 6 • Federal Way (253) 941-3131 Tues.-Fri. 10 am - 6 pm; Sat. 10 am - 4 pm

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...BEST OF federal way, kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma

Local Arts Group

Barber Shop

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

CENTERSTAGE THEATRE

March 11, 2016 [5]

GENTS FINE GROOMING FOR MEN 2nd SportClips 3rd Gene Juarez

2nd Federal Way Symphony 3rd Rosebud Children's Theatre

Conservatory

Barista / Location

SERVICE

FIRST PLACE |

Adult In-Home Care

KASIE CHARLES / BIGFOOT JAVA 2nd Jamie Carlisle / Starbucks Fred Meyers

FIRST PLACE |

COMFORT KEEPERS 2nd Multi-Service Center 3rd Village Green Retirement Campus Attorney 1st [tie]

3rd [tie]

Jeff Aasen / Asensio Coffee Amber Thompson / Jump Start Espresso

Bartender / Location FIRST PLACE |

FRANK CORNELIUS HERMAN C. BREWER IV 3rd Tim Hickel

LACEY JOHNSON / SCOREBOARD 2nd Tawna Gogolin / Salty's 3rd Jen Rosentrater/ Time Out Ale House

Auto Body / Collision

Chiropractor

FIRST PLACE |

BOB BJORNEBY'S CARSTAR FEDERAL WAY COLLISION 2nd Blackstone's Collision 3rd Complete Collision

Auto Detail

FIRST PLACE |

WOLF CHIROPRACTIC CENTER 2nd [tie]

Life & Health Chiropractic & Massage Bastron Chiropractic

FIRST PLACE |

JIM'S DETAIL SHOP 2nd Pro Touch Auto Interiors 3rd Karl Sutterlin

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Auto Repair Shop FIRST PLACE |

SPARKS CAR CARE 2nd Eagle Tire and Automotive 3rd Greg's Japanese Auto

Bank / Credit Union FIRST PLACE |

Best of … 2016 is a special section published by the Federal Way Mirror. Rudi Alcott, publisher Jason Ludwig, editor Advertising: Cindy Ducich | Kay Miller | Jennifer Anderson Marcie Shannon, designer Federal Way Mirror is published every Friday. Contact us at:

HERITAGE BANK 2nd BECU 3rd Sound Credit Union

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kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma, federal way

[6] March 11, 2016

Clinic / Hospital

Day Care

Dentist

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

ST. FRANCIS HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CENTER 2nd Virginia Mason Medical Center 3rd MultiCare

KINDERCARE LEARNING CENTERS 2nd Federal Way Community Center 3rd St. Luke's Childcare

Computer Repair

Day Spa

FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

GEEKS @ SITE 2nd Infotech 3rd Best Buy

8TH DAY SPA 2nd Twin Lakes Hair Salon 3rd Massage Envy

KENNETH BROSSEL, DDS 2nd Donald Ausink, DDS 3rd Brian K. Filbert, DDS

Financial Advisor FIRST PLACE |

PATRICK RHODES 2nd Dan Altmayer 3rd Barney Hartley / Cetera Advisors

THANK YOU for Voting Us One of the BEST in 29YEARS FEDERAL WAY! OF SERVICE

WITH A “PERSONAL” TOUCH

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Fitness Facility / Location FIRST PLACE |

FEDERAL WAY COMMUNITY CENTER 2nd LA Fitness 3rd Jazzercise

Hair Salon

...BEST OF Healthcare Professional FIRST PLACE |

JADE RIVER ACUPUNCTURE 2nd Virginia Mason Medical Center 3rd St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center

FIRST PLACE |

TWIN LAKES HAIR SALON 2nd 8th Day Spa 3rd MeMe & Co.

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...BEST OF federal way, kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma

March 11, 2016 [7]

Presley Anderson named Mirror’s Citizen of the Year FROM STAFF REPORTS

Presley Anderson, 8, was named the Mirror’s Citizen of the Month for September 2015. On Wednesday, she was chosen as Citizen of the Year. Anderson raised $5,600 for the thousands affected by the Presley Anderson Washington wildfires over the summer. She helped by urging her classmates at Brooklake Christian School in Federal Way to wear yellow on Sept. 4, and she held a hotdog fundraiser at their home in Puyallup. “I just felt bad,” Presley said in September. “I don’t like seeing people in pain or hear about people dying or being dead. But I just didn’t feel

good, so I thought about it the rest of the day and then when we were going home, I just told my mom that we need to do more, we just have to.” Everyone helped — her father went to a fire station to ask for some boots to fill with donations, her uncle set up a gofundme.com account and her brother had the idea to provide Starbursts for dessert. They were out there for the whole day with 72 hotdogs. However, most people preferred to donate without receiving the hotdog. Figuring out where and who the money could help was a task in itself. Anderson wanted a place that would match their donation because she felt it was important to be good stewards of the money. Eventually, Anderson found a business in

Wenatchee called Jet Pro Auto Wash that agreed to match up to $5,000. The business will then donate the money with their match to the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. For about $2,400, people can live in temporary, tiny houses while their homes are repaired from the fires or they find other more permanent ways of living. Presley is part of the Good Samaritans group at her church and, as part of the group, helps collect comfort items and travel-sized shampoo and conditioner to give away to homeless people. They also give away a note with resources showing where to find a hot meal or shelter for the night. When Presley grows up she wants to be either a roller coaster engineer — she loves roller coasters — or a teacher.

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Thanks for nominating us as one of the BEST for years! ★ BEST Night Club ★ ★ BEST Bartender: Lacey Johnson ★ BEST Waitress: Jade Conway 1200 S 324th St, Federal Way • 253-839-4791• RJaysScoreboard.com

We are proud of our members nominated for the Best of Federal Way: Debi Braulik - Keller Williams Ken Clark - Sparks Car Care Frank Cornelius - Cornelius Law Firm Cindy Ducich - Federal Way Mirror, Community Volunteer

Barney Hartley - Cetera Advisors Terry Koubele - Allstate Insurance Janice Siebenaler Heritage Bank Alice Stevenson - Geeks @ Site

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Meetings are held each Thursday at 7:30 am by invitation only. For more info, contact any member or visit our website:

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2016 “Best of Federal Way” Medical Facility nominee MultiCare Federal Way Urgent Care Urgent care, when and where you need it. When you’re sick or injured, you want quality care you can count on—fast. With MultiCare, you don’t have to travel far to find it. MultiCare Federal Way Urgent Care offers you and your family the convenient care you need for all minor illnesses and injuries, from coughs and colds to strains and sprains. No appointment needed daytime, evenings and weekends.

MultiCare Federal Way Urgent Care

1413 S. 348th St Bldg. L, Suite 104 Federal Way, WA 98003 253.545.5940

©2016 MultiCare


kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma, federal way

[8] March 11, 2016

Thanks for Valuing the ARTS and Voting the BEST!

Insurance Agent / Company Residential Painter FIRST PLACE |

FIRST PLACE |

JACK STANFORD / STANFORD INSURANCE 2nd Jeff Burnett / Allstate 3rd Terry Koubele / Allstate

PROTECT PAINTERS 2nd JA Painting Services 3rd Doxa Painting & Services

Senior Living Facility

Nail Salon

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...BEST OF

FIRST PLACE |

DEATH ON THE SUPERMARKET SHELF

FIRST PLACE |

Pet Groomer

VILLAGE GREEN RETIREMENT CAMPUS 2nd Brookdale Foundation House 3rd SHAG Tutor

from Poisoned Tylenol

FIRST PLACE |

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Real Estate Agent / Company

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TWIN LAKES HAIR SALON 2nd 8th Day Spa 3rd Eden Nails

SIMPLY PAWS 2nd Biscuits Federal Way 3rd Petsmart

SYLVAN LEARNING OF FEDERAL WAY 2nd Treehouse 3rd Kumon Learning Centers Veterinarian FIRST PLACE |

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DEBI BRAULIK / KELLER WILLIAMS 2nd Sarah Asay / Keller Williams 3rd Byron Hiller / Coldwell Banker Danforth

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...BEST OF federal way, kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma Waiter / Location

Nursery & Garden Store

FIRST PLACE |

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DUSTIN VISTANTE / PUERTO VALLARTA FAMILY MEXICAN RESTAURANTS 2nd Tristan Gamble / Billy McHale's 3rd Jose Garcia / Black Bear Diner

Waitress / Location FIRST PLACE |

JADE CONWAY / SCOREBOARD 2nd Jen Maden / Red Robin 3rd Cassandra Mangialardi / Applebees

SHOPPING Discount Store FIRST PLACE |

COSTCO WHOLESALE 2nd WinCo Foods 3rd Walmart

Jewelry Store FIRST PLACE |

March 11, 2016 [9]

BECU MEMBER: Kathi H., Federal Way

BRANCHES GARDEN CENTER 2nd Lowe's 3rd Oriental Garden Center

Pet Store FIRST PLACE |

SIMPLY PAWS 2nd Mud Bay 3rd Petsmart

Second Hand Store FIRST PLACE |

GOODWILL 2nd Deseret Industries 3rd Heaven Sent Children's Resale

Tire Store FIRST PLACE |

LES SCHWAB 2nd Eagle Tire and Automotive 3rd Discount Tire

JEFFREY'S JEWELERS 2nd Federal Way Custom Jewelers 3rd Fred Meyer Jewelers

A special thank you to the readers who took the time to vote, the businesses that won and the community members who attended the presentation of the awards on Wednesday, March 9, at the Community Center.

Honored to Be

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...BEST OF Federal Way martial science teacher motivated after mother’s murder kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma, federal way

[10] March 11, 2016

BY TERRENCE HILL thill@fedwaymirror.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally appeared in the Mirror on March 20, 2015. Fifteen years of martial arts experience were not nearly enough to prepare Christopher Frazier for the tragedy in his family nine years ago. The murder of his mother by his own nephew made headlines across Seattle and forced him to isolate himself from the world while he grieved. His mother was the caretaker for her then 13-year-old special needs grandson. After an argument between Frazier’s mother and nephew in March 2006, the teen stabbed her to death. Police would later find drawings and notes that alluded to the teen’s plan to kill her before the incident took place. While the teen was initially charged with the murder, he was eventually found to be mentally incompetent and did not stand trial. “I spent a lot of time with him until he was about 10 or 11 years old,” Frazier said. “He went everywhere with me. Even though he was my nephew, he was more like my little brother.” The situation now motivates Frazier. He was not around his nephew as much while he attended college and believes that things may have turned out differently if he was there. He spent time coaching at his former high school, Rainier Beach, to take his mind off the tragedy. He began to notice that he could have an impact on kids through that time coaching. Reaching youth has now become his main priority. “I don’t like to say that I’m making up for it in that way, but it comes up,” Frazier said. Just a month ago, Frazier opened the Keishindo Martial Science Academy in Federal Way. He has over 20 years of experience in various martial art forms and is looking for that to be a gateway to interaction between everyone in the community. Frazier began martial arts at the age of nine. He was taught goju-ryu by the uncle of one of his friends in a basement while living near Beacon Hill. “My mom got me into [martial arts] when I was little,” he said. “I used to come home and show her moves I had learned from class that day. That was kind of like our little bond.”

Frazier continued his training throughout his childhood. He moved to Georgia as a child and began to learn Korean martial art styles like hapkido and taekwondo. When he moved back to Washington, he trained under Master Derek Carlton for the next five to six years. He earned a black belt in dragonfist martial science at the age of 17. He then trained in styles from various locations. While in college he took a jujitsu class and began to expand to numerous martial arts styles instead of focusing on one. Now at age 33, Frazier is ready to teach what he learned. “From a young age I was taught to take whatever you can,” Frazier said. “I always remember my mom telling me that whatever you put your hands on, always do your personal best.” Martial science is not exactly the same as martial arts. While martial arts focuses on the artistic outcomes of actions, martial science is focused on the practical movements of martial arts. “It’s really studying the physiology of the body and adapting that to martial arts,” Frazier said. “The moves of martial arts do apply, but if you’re not doing it in a practical sense, then the movements are kind of wasted. So we break it down to a science rather than an art.” Keishindo Martial Science Academy offers classes for three different age groups: 5-9-year-olds in the kids group, 10-14-yearolds in the youth group and ages 15-plus for teens and adults. Jukido jujitsu, a style focused on grappling and close-range selfdefense, is taught to anyone ages 9 and above on Saturdays. Anyone who is willing to learn is able to go to the academy for training. Currently, the youngest student is 4 and the oldest is 55. There is no specific type of person that Frazier is looking for at the academy. He says he will teach anyone, even if they have one leg missing or are blind. He says that martial science is about using what you have to your best ability, which can allow for this, unlike some martial arts. “We train hard, but we are a very familyoriented school,” he said. “We are a mixed martial arts school, but not a cage fighting school. We still do character development and we make sure we’re always taking care of each other.” Frazier believes that people, particularly

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Christopher Frazier opened the Keishindo Martial Science Academy in Federal Way in February 2015. His mother’s murder in 2006 now motivates Frazier to impact kids through coaching. TERRENCE HILL, the Mirror the youth, spend too much time at home and in front of their phones and not enough time interacting with each other. He believes that his academy can provide a place for them to go. He is also open to do more than just martial arts-related activities to get kids involved. Using the academy for dance classes is high on his list. “I’m even having ideas of a video game

tournament here with something like ‘Street Fighter,’” Frazier said. “Anything to get the kids involved and out of the house and doing stuff with other kids. They’re kids; they should be kids and have fun.” Keishindo Martial Science Academy is located at 29500 Pacific Highway S., Suite D, Federal Way. For more information, visit kmsacademy.com.

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...BEST OF federal way, kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma City, Centerstage debate contract renewal; theatre says it may close March 11, 2016 [11]

BY CARRIE RODRIGUEZ

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally appeared in the Mirror on May 22, 2015. Just days before Centerstage Theatre produced its final showing of its newly acclaimed World War I musical on Sunday, the longtime theatre became embroiled in a battle of its own with the city of Federal Way. Mayor Jim Ferrell and city staff notified Centerstage on May 20 that the city decided to allow the contract to expire with the theatre, which has operated the city-owned Knutzen Family Theatre at the Dumas Bay Centre since 2009. Instead, the city will manage and operate the Knutzen Family Theatre in-house. City officials requested that Centerstage vacate the theatre when the contract expires on June 30. “This is the death of Centerstage,” said the theatre’s board of directors president Bob Dockstader, who said the city “abruptly and precipitously” ceased negotiations with Centerstage last week. Following the city’s announcement, Centerstage artistic director Alan Bryce launched an aggressive email campaign that has already generated over 500 emails from theatre supporters to the city. The massive emails and a letter from

the board to the city on Friday prompted city officials to schedule another negotiation meeting with Centerstage on Wednesday morning. The board asked the city to temporarily extend the date of the current contract to provide the board the necessary time to discuss options for both Centerstage and the city to mutually achieve their goals. The board said they would like to make some arrangement with the city by this Friday. After that point, they wrote, “the cancelation of commitments for future productions and summer programs, plus the liquidating of assets to meet our remaining financial responsibilities must begin.” Ferrell said emails flooded the council’s inbox over the weekend. “Centerstage is putting this into the context of, if they don’t get this contract with the city, [the recent musical] could be their last show in Federal Way,” he said. “But after six years of receiving over a half million dollars of the city’s money, I am concerned about the financial health of Centerstage and its management. I’m very concerned how their entire viability rests on this management concept.” The mayor said the money the city pays Centerstage to manage the facility — $76,500 per

year — is supposed to be spent managing the facility, “not to prop up Centerstage. That’s a deeper story and, frankly, I’m not sure if taxpayers of Federal Way should be solely responsible for Centerstage’s survival.” Nevertheless, Ferrell said the city has a longstanding history of supporting the arts and they are going to “work really hard to make sure the needs of both parties are met.” City contracts with Centerstage Bryce said managing a theater and trying to stay afloat is “a constant battle that you just have to fight to move forward.” Nine years ago, Centerstage struggled with its rent payments

to the city, which then operated the Knutzen Family Theatre. Bryce began lobbying the city to see if Centerstage could manage the facility because he feared the theatre would go out of business. After several delays, he said the recession hit in 2008 and the city finally put out a request for proposals, seeking for someone to manage the facility. Centerstage and the Tacoma Musical Playhouse both bid for the contract. “I remember when I first ran for mayor, I actually had in my [campaign] brochure that I stood up for Centerstage and wanted to make sure that we have Centerstage in this facility because the Tacoma Musical Playhouse was one of the bidders and I felt passionately that I wanted local theater [here,]” Ferrell recalled. He “linked up arms” with Deputy Mayor Jeanne Burbidge and he recalls “saying how important I believe that it was that Centerstage get this contract because of its locality and its connection with the community. So I make this move with a heavy heart because I value them and they’ve got some of the real pillars of the community in this, but I represent all the people in this community.” The city paid Centerstage $70,000 to manage the facility in

2009, and then $76,500 per year over the next five years. Dockstader said his understanding of the management concept was that Centerstage was an asset to the community, so the city would support the theatre by allowing them to operate the facility, use the Knutzen Family Theatre for its own productions and to rent it out to the community. The city renewed the contract in 2012 and recently entered into negotiations with the theatre, which was the sole responsible responsive bidder for the project this year when the city sent out a request for proposals in February. But Dockstader said Centerstage was “blindsided” when city officials said they reached a negotiation impasse and decided to allow the contract to expire. Negotiations John Hutton, director of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, said he met with Dockstader, Bryce and Dumas Bay Centre manager Rob Ettinger twice to negotiate a new contract before the city ultimately decided to terminate the agreement. During the first meeting, the theatre asked the city for an $8,900 per year increase to cover inflation. More story online at: http://tinyurl.com/hhejpyg

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[12] March 11, 2016

Teacher / Elementary

I would like to say thank you to those who voted for me! I consider this such an honor. As a teacher, I was fortunate enough to teach many different grade levels. I have been a 3rd grade teacher for Christian Faith School for 15 years and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I love what I do. My job is to inspire and encourage kids to believe in themselves. It brings me great joy to see them eager to learn and curious about life. Teaching isn’t always an easy SECOND PLACE | OKSANA SOKOLAN job, but it is a rewarding one. Thank you again for voting for me!

Teacher / High School

SECOND PLACE | LAURIE BEAVER

...BEST OF

Needless to say, I was very surprised and honored to receive the email about being a finalist in the 2016 Best of Federal Way High School Teacher category. I am truly humbled. I wish to thank whoever nominated me and those of you who voted for me. I have been blessed to have been part of the FWPS for almost 30 years. Between my students, who teach me a thing or two every day and stole pieces of my heart, and the staff who have supported me and become my family, you're the reason I continue to teach. One heart one soul!!!

Oksana Sokolan, Christian Faith School

Laurie Beaver, Decatur High School

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...BEST OF federal way, kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma Teacher / Middle School

Thank you for your support. It has been a privilege to serve the community of Federal Way for over 30 years, and I have had a blast along the way! As a teacher and coach in this school district, it means a great deal to me to be considered for this award. Frank Wood, Illahee Middle School

FIRST PLACE | FRANK WOOD SECOND PLACE | YVETTE GREGG

Thank you so much to the community for nominating me for this award! I am so very humbled to even be considered. I love my job and feel very blessed by each and every student that I am privileged enough to teach. Thank you for your continued support! Once a Brave, Always a Brave! Yvette Gregg, Illahee Middle School

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[14] March 11, 2016

kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma, federal way

Federal Way photographer tells family’s story in Dwarfism Awareness Month photo essay BY RAECHEL DAWSON rdawson@fedwaymirror.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally appeared in the Mirror on October 16, 2015. Men sexually harass Rachel Webster every day. “I get it every single day and it ranges from, ‘hey baby, wanna come home with me’ to ‘I wonder what it would be like being with you. I’ve never been with a midget before,” Rachel Webster said, adding that

the sexual comments are the points when she feels the lowest. As a little person, the 28-year-old has had to endure a lot of ignorance and rude behavior from people her whole life. “Dwarves are still the butt of jokes. It’s one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice,” she said, quoting “Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage. Children gawking, parents laughing and strangers taking photos of

...BEST OF

teaching them? Are they scolding them? Are the parents laughing? It’s infuriating to me,” Rachel Webster said. “Most of the time I try to reach out to educate with kindness.” Other times, she calls them out with “it’s not polite to stare.” “I think it’s so frustrating that we’re in this world, this country that’s so progressive but it’s astounding to me that society seems to be

her are a few examples that don’t begin to scratch the surface of what she’s been through. But the catcalls top them all. “It just makes you feel like a piece of meat,” she said. “It makes me feel like, so dehumanized, I guess.” Humiliating interactions with parents and children are also a frequent. “When an innocent child asks a question and the parent just hushes them and rushes off, what are they

[ more DWARFISM, page 15 ]

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...BEST OF federal way, kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma [ DWARFISM from page 14 ]

forever stuck in this realm and this regard,” she said. This is why the American Sign Language interpreter partnered with good friend Stephanie Jarstad, a photographer living in Federal Way, to create a photo essay for Dwarfism Awareness Month in October. Jarstad and Rachel Webster met at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Living in northeast Tacoma, Rachel Webster attended Fife High School while Jarstad went to Federal Way High School. Jarstad describes Rachel Webster as loving, kind, social and seemingly secure with herself but she knows her friend has “a struggle that’s so real and apparent for so many.” The photo essay consists of powerful quotes and experiences from Rachel Webster and her

parents Chris and Nancy Webster, also little people. “My family means more to me than anything else in my life,” Nancy Webster said. “When we are together, I feel completely content. My husband and I feel so blessed to have each other, a son, daughter-in-law and daughter. A special gift we were given is to have a child with dwarfism and one who is average size. They are blessings in our lives.” In the photo essay, Nancy and Chris Webster are pictured in their custom kitchen and home – a more intimate setting, Jarstad said. Nancy Webster said it’s been interesting to see how other cultures react to her family’s “unique situation” as they’ve traveled throughout their lives. “Educating the world is important,” she said. “Knowledge is power.” Having grown up in a small town in Canada

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March 11, 2016 [15]

to a farmer with four siblings, Nancy Webster now teaches special education at the Tacoma School District. Although she leads a happy life, she’s had challenges related to her short stature. “Job discrimination, dating, walking long distances, stairs, shopping (finding shoes and clothes), health issues related to my dwarfism (it’s not just being short), being made fun of, bullying, acceptance in general,” Nancy Webster lists. “I think it’s important to mention that I also feel that life can be beautiful and it’s overcoming those challenges that mold us into who we eventually become.” Jarstad’s photo essay showcases Rachel Webster in a crowd of people walking around Pike Place Market, her own neighborhood. “We had a think-session of ‘when do you feel most vulnerable and noticed,’” Jarstad said. “We talked about standing in a crowd. She can’t walk anywhere without people pointing and saying

something to their friends.” Jarstad said the photo of her in a crowd was the highlight of the project. The friends also worked together on a similar project five years ago when Jarstad was assigned an assignment from her college photography class. The assignment asked her to photograph a controversial issue. She chose accessibility. For the assignment, one photo depicted Rachel Webster standing on a public bathroom toilet, unable to reach the women’s sanitary box. Jarstad said her photography, specifically this photo essay, is a vehicle to promote awareness and acceptance. “The main point is for society to just be a little kinder and I feel like education helps that,” she said, adding the work she does aligns with the Aristotle quote, “’Where your talents and More story online at: http://tinyurl.com/j4d6dpt

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kent, auburn, des moines, northeast tacoma, federal way

[16] March 11, 2016

Teacher / High School

FIRST PLACE | DONALD PETERS

Thank you to everyone that voted to recognize me with such an honor. More importantly, I would like to thank all of those parents that entrust their children with me day in and out. That you would allow me to sow into your child’s life, to have a hand in shaping and sculpting the men and women who will be the leaders of tomorrow, is the greatest privilege that you could bestow on another. Donald Peters, Christian Faith School

Community Volunteer

...BEST OF

I believe in our Federal Way. It's my joy to support the arts, women, kids, our business community, and organizations that help others. For me, it's always about the people! Thank you, Federal Way, for allowing me to serve you. Cindy Ducich, Community Volunteer

FIRST PLACE | CINDY DUCICH

Teacher / Elementary

Teacher / Elementary School

SECOND PLACE | CINDY DENNISON

FIRST PLACE | KRIS BAKER

I want to thank the Federal Way community for nominating me for this award! Federal Way is the community that I not only have taught in for 37 years, but the community I grew up in, graduating from Federal Way High in 1975! Teaching has always been my passion. Teaching has always been about my students and the relationship that I build with them each and every year. To me that is what teaching should be about! Each and every day I watch my very talented colleagues build these relationships with their students. Even though I have been nominated for this award, every teacher in Federal Way deserves this recognition! They are my heroes!

I would like to thank all of those who voted for me. I truly feel honored. I have always wanted to be a teacher and feel blessed that it suits me well. I also feel very fortunate to work with such a great group of people. I must thank Federal Way Public Schools and my wonderful colleagues for being so supportive. My students are pretty awesome too. I look forward to spending time with all of them each and every day. Kris Baker, Brigadoon Elementary

Cindy Dennison, Meredith Hill Elementary School

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