Neo-Nazi Flyers in Bellevue, a Pageant Platform for #MeToo, and a Controversial Mascot Remains

A weekly recap of regional news.

Neo-Nazi literature appeared in Bellevue over the weekend telling residents to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on “undocumented immigrants.”

The fliers, which were placed in plastic bags with candy, read “Keep America American” and included the ICE tip hotline for people to report others to the federal government. The fliers were placed in neighborhoods near Clyde Hill Elementary School and Chinook Middle School with candy seemingly designed to attract children.

Clyde Hill resident Heather Chaney said she noticed the fliers around 4 p.m. on June 9 as she was getting her mail. The fliers were placed next to her and her neighbors’ mailboxes. She quickly recognized the fliers as hate group propaganda.

“I turned it over and immediately, the stark red, white and blue and the, I knew right away,” she said.

Blood and Soil is a website for the American neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front. According to It’s Going Down and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)—both of which track hate groups in the Pacific Northwest—the Patriot Front is a splinter group from a larger neo-Nazi organization known as Vanguard America. A Vanguard America member was accused of murdering Heather Hayer at the “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia last year. The Blood and Soil website promotes a white supremacist ideology, which states that the United States was founded on a pan-European heritage and refers to immigrants and people of color as “the replacement population.”

Chaney said many of her neighbors are immigrants but wasn’t sure if that factored into their neighborhood being targeted. She went around and collected more than 60 fliers over a few blocks. Some of the candy had been eaten while the fliers had been left behind.

“(They) have candy obviously to catch kids eyes,” she said. “It’s just really a low tactic.”

Officer Seth Tyler, spokesperson for the Bellevue Police Department (BPD), said they received a separate report of fliers being posted in the 1300 block of Bellevue Way Northeast as well as Clyde Hill. Tyler recommended residents throw away or recycle the fliers.

“At this point we don’t have any surveillance video or other evidence to indicate who left the items,” Tyler said. Bellevue Reporter

A Miss Pierce County Outstanding Teen winner may not have moved on in the Miss Outstanding Teen competition, but her efforts in speaking up about sexual violence have been noticed by some important figures.

Chloe Furnstahl, 14, from Bonney Lake was crowned Miss Pierce County Outstanding Teen last March, and was the runner up in the Miss Washington Outstanding Teen competition at the end of May.

Placing second means she can try again for Miss Washington Outstanding Teen, but she’s not convinced that’s something she wants to do, especially with all that’s going to be happening between now and the next Miss Pierce County Teen pageant.

All pageant competitors have a platform, and submit essays on their platform to judges. Of those, the top five essays are chosen to have an in-person interview, where a winner is selected.

Furnstahl’s platform is “Victim to Victorious,” and focuses on how difficult it can be for survivors of sexual assaults to navigate the legal system.

She herself is a survivor of sexual assault, and Furnstahl and her parents spent five years inside the Washington court system before a jury ruled in her favor.

Her platform didn’t get the top award, but it did attract the attention of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center’s Speakers Bureau, which Furnstahl will be training with to be a public speaker for them later in June.

Being a part of the Speakers Bureau will give Furnstahl the chance to talk to a wide range of people about her experiences on sexual assault, from media outlets to social service groups and even lawmakers. The Courier-Herald

Students at Juanita High School have voted to keep their mascot, the Rebels.

Students at the Kirkland high school voted on a petition, which sought to change the mascot. In the final vote just under 350 students voted to change the mascot while 680 voted to keep it. In order for the petition to move forward it needed to garner 685 student votes.

Students took a vote on June 7 and absent students were given until the following June 11 to cast their votes.

“We will remain the Rebels. As we move forward next year, we will continue to work on what it really means to be a Rebel and be a part of the Rebel Family,” JHS principal Kelly Clapp said in a press release.

The Rebels mascot, which shows an eagle sitting on a shield in front of crossed swords, came under scrutiny earlier this year after a student petition gained signatures from 10 percent of the student body, qualifying it to be put to a vote.

Those supportive of the change made a petition, which said the Rebels mascot was racist. Previous iterations of the logo included a feature known as a “stars-and-bars” design, a design feature which was prominent in the Confederate battle flag.

A counter petition to retain the mascot was also formed, which gained support from many alumni. Kirkland Reporter

Current and former residents of Kitts Corner Apartments in Federal Way are claiming they were unfairly discriminated against and charged unnecessary fees by property management.

About 15 protesters expressed their frustrations with the complex, 1201 S. 336th St., during a demonstration hosted Wednesday morning by Washington Community Action Network.

One of the speakers during the peaceful protest, Malena Gaces, said property management told her and her family their lease would not be renewed, and the management did not provide a reason for the decision.

They also charged her $2,600 and refused to return her $700 security deposit, resulting in her owing more than $3,000 to collection agencies.

Gaces said she was told she would receive a letter explaining why she had been charged such a large fee after she moved out in March, but has yet to see any written explanation.

The event hosts Erin Fenner, Ashley Cormier, and Xochitl Maykovich, all from Washington Community Action Network, delivered a letter to the property management office during the protest, expressing the tenant’s concerns.

“You and each of you are hereby notified that your practices of charging tenants arbitrary move-out fees and refusing to make basic repairs must end,” the letter reads in part.

Property management at Kitts Corner declined comment. Federal Way Mirror