John Caulfield (253) 983-7703 • Fax (253)
City Manager


June 30, 2017

Weekly Info Bulletin

To: Mayor and members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager


Celebrating Independence Day safely

Fourth of July is Tuesday, which means some residents will set off fireworks to celebrate the holiday. According to Lakewood Municipal Code , fireworks are allowed between 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., on July 3-5.

If there is a code enforcement issue or concern related to fireworks, such as tall grass or improper sales, please contact West Pierce Fire & Rescue (253) 564-1623.

To report the use of illegal fireworks or discharging fireworks outside of the designated dates or times, please contact South Sound 911’s non-emergency dispatch line at (253) 798-4721.

Prefer to let the professionals put on the show? Here's information about where to watch:

JBLM Freedom Fest at Cowan and Memorial Stadiumsall day event July 3 (for military members and family); July 4 open to public, fireworks at 10 p.m.

Steilacoom’s Grand Old Fourth of July on Lafayette Street, Downtown

Tacoma’s Freedom Fair at the Ruston Way Waterfront

Adult supervision around fireworks is important. Only adults should light fireworks and handle matches and lighters. Set family boundaries and talk with children about celebrating safely. Use care in selecting the area for discharge of fireworks, and the type of fireworks appropriate for that area. Weather conditions make grasses and vegetation dry and vulnerable to fire, so be aware of your surroundings.

The following can be used in Lakewood:

  • Dipped sticks and sparklers
  • Ground and hand-held sparkling devices
  • Cylindrical or cone fountains
  • Wheels
  • Ground spinners
  • Filter sparklers
  • Smoke devices
  • Helicopters
  • Roman candles
  • Mines or shells
  • Illuminating torches

These are not allowed:

  • Firecrackers
  • Sky rockets
  • Bottle rockets
  • M-80’s, M-100’s or larger cherry bombs
  • Tennis ball bombs
  • Pipe bombs
  • Tampered, altered or homemade fireworks.


Legislative Update

With just hours to go the State Legislature was expected to adopt its operating budget prior to midnight tonight (June 30), when the fiscal year ends. If that happens and Gov. Jay Inslee signs sign before midnight, they will avoid a partial state government shutdown.

As of Thursday an agreement amongst budget leadership was reached, but the 616-page budget document was still being reviewed by the larger Legislative body and the public Friday.

The agreement comes after three special sessions were called to find common ground on the adoption of the 2017-2019 biennial budget, including how to fund public education.

Details of where that funding will come from were still being made available Friday, but The News Tribune reported state budget leadership agreed to increase the state’s property tax to raise $1.6 billion over two years. At the same time a cap would be placed on local school levies, which could mean an overall decline to people’s property taxes, except in areas with existing high property values.


Save the date: Asian Film Fest

Presented by the Lakewood Arts Commission, this year’s event is Aug. 11, 12 and 13. Admission is free and the five films being shown won’t disappoint.

Also on display: a special exhibit hosted by Lakewood-based Bonsai Kaihara. 

Owned and operated by Hank and Thelma Kaihara, the couple’s award winning Bonsai trees have been displayed at colleges and festivals throughout the state. 

Hank is a retired Army officer and Vietnam veteran. When he was 8 years old he and his Japanese-American parents were placed in the Tule Lake Relocation Camp during World War II.

He vividly remembers getting paid $1 a day to pick flowers and vegetables with his grandmother while at the camp. Hank’s Tule Lake experience taught him perseverance, strong work ethic and a desire to succeed. 

Married more than 60 years, the couple have hundreds of trees in a wide range of styles. Thelma is the one working behind the scenes, potting, pruning and transforming the trees into living sculptures. The job keeps her busy year round.

Everyone is invited to stop and say "hello" to Hank and Thelma while at this year’s Asian Film Festival at Pierce College, Fort Steilacoom campus.

Film line up includes:

  • “The Bridge on the River Kwai”
  • “Rabbit-proof Fence”
  • “Airlift”
  • “Like Father, Like Son”
  • “Neerja”


Lakewood SummerFEST is July 8

We are one week away from SummerFEST – the city’s biggest party of the year!

Spend your Saturday, July 8 in our beautiful 350-acre Fort Steilacoom Park. This family-friendly, FREE festival is a great chance to get outdoors, enjoy the summer weather and participate in a wide array of events.

The morning kicks off with our annual Lakewood SummerFEST Triathlon, which begins at American Lake Park and sends athletes through the city via bike until they reach Fort Steilacoom where they'll throw on their running shoes and traverse the trails to the finish line. Check out the stories of some of our previous participants . Register here

For those a looking to expend a little less energy, there is a 5k and 10k race, as well as a 1 mile Kids' run. Learn about those events here.

Running not your speed? Don't worry there's plenty to do for those who just want to relax.

We'll have live music from Spike and the Impalers, Tacocat and Kuinka, children's arts and crafts, vendor booths, food trucks, trapeze shows, extreme trampoline performances, car show, International Festival and if you stick around for the evening hours fire dancers will perform at dusk.

The night concludes with a movie in the park. But before you curl up on your blanket in the grass, check out the pet parade happening at 8 p.m.

Are you a car enthusiast? Then you won’t want to miss our annual car show, as well as a chance to meet BMW PRO3 Driver Lance Richert who will be there with his PRO3 car – no. 35 – signing autographs.

Richert has raced BMWs since 1999 after years of lapping days with the Puget Sound BMW Club. His PRO3 car is one of the first four BMW E30s that raced in the first PRO3 season after it was converted from ITS specs.

By day Richert does residential architectural design, but on the course he is a force to be reckoned with. He held the lap record for PRO3 twice at Pacific Raceways.

So what is PRO3? It is the largest and arguably the most competitive race group in the PNW. It’s a spec racing class for BMW E30s which has an intent to create a restrictive formula for BMW cars that focuses on driver ability instead of design/preparation of the car. Typically 30 or more PRO3 cars compete in the International Conference of Race Car Clubs each year.

Come meet Richert and learn more about PRO3 racing at SummerFEST July 8!

See the full list of events here.


Playing around at the Lakewood Farmers Market

Lakewood’s Promise, a collaboration of youth-serving organizations in the city, had some fun this week at the Farmers Market – and so did its visitors.

The group was promoting its “5 Promises” for youth to thrive:

  1. Caring adults
  2. Safe places
  3. A healthy start
  4. Marketable skills (through education)
  5. Opportunities to give back to the community

Community partners, including Tacoma Community House, Lakewood Family YMCA, CHOICE coalition, St. Leo’s children’s meal program, Exceptional Families Network, Girl Scouts of Western Washington and the Lakewood Historical Society, will be at the Lakewood’s Promise booth at the Farmers Market so make sure to stop by and check them out. (Lakewood’s Promise will be at SummerFEST too, July 8).

Reminder: The July 4 market is canceled for the holiday but will resume July 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the courtyard outside City Hall.

Check out these great photos of kids and adults who stopped by the booth Tuesday.















Stay up to date with MyLakewood311

Did you know Lakewood has its own free mobile app?

All you need to know about the city is at your fingertips. Updates on road projects and detours around the city and other city announcements can be found under the “Public Announcements” header. Read this weekly bulletin by clicking “City Manager’s Weekly Info Bulletin”, or contact the city using the “submit a new request” button and select from the appropriate category.

Download it now in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play.


Weekly transportation update

Here’s what’s happening with Lakewood’s roads July 3-7:

108th Street (Main to Bridgeport): Contractor has one minor item remaining. City staff inspected the signal at 108th/Main and gave a list for the electrical subcontractor to complete.

South Tacoma Way (SR512 to 96th St.): Striping will be finished July 3 during the day. All that is left are a few arrows and bike symbols.

Gravelly Lake Drive (100th to Bridgeport): The contractor will resume work July 5 installing storm catch basins and pipe along both sides of the roadway and potholing to identify potential utility conflicts. Electrical subcontractor will continue installing spare, illumination, and fiber interconnect conduit under area reserved for future sidewalk on the west side of the roadway.


Volunteer with Lakewood

Do you like to give back to the community? Are you looking to get better connected to Lakewood? Have some free time you want to fill? Consider joining one of the city's community advisory boards . Board members often have experience or expertise they can lend, can meet on a monthly basis and can commit to serving a full term, or longer.

Descriptions of boards with openings:

Public Safety Advisory Committee : Members provide citizen input and advice to the City Council in developing and monitoring public safety policies. The committee reports to the council and assists in assessing that department resources allow for compliance with city and department policies. Three vacancies. Deadline July 3.

Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board : Members identify and actively encourage the conservation of historic resources by establishing and maintaining a register of historic landmarks, landmark sites, historic special review districts, and conservation districts, among other responsibilities. Three vacancies. Deadline Aug. 14.

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board : Members provide policy recommendations to the council and staff on a variety of park and recreation related issues. The PRAB meets monthly, typically on the fourth Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Two vacancies. Deadline Aug. 14.

Descriptions of each board and commission, meeting schedule and application form can be found online .


Upcoming Council meetings

All meetings start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Meetings are held in council chambers at City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood.

The July 3 regular meeting is canceled. The council will return July 10 for a study session.

July 10, 2017 Study Session

  • Joint Lodging Tax Advisory Committee meeting
  • Review of purchasing policy amendments
  • Review agreement to prepare Central Business District Subarea Plan
  • Review of Tacoma Public Utilities electric franchise
  • Solid Waste Clean-Up Day update