Brynn Grimley (253) 983-7761 • Fax (253) 589-3774 •
Communications Manager

Sept. 8, 2017

The B&I Public Marketplace was shut down Aug. 17 by the City of Lakewood and West Pierce Fire & Rescue because it is unsafe for people to be inside.

During the week of Aug. 21 power was shut off to the building at the recommendation of the state Department of Labor & Industries, which determined electrical work done to the building is unsafe and hazardous.

City and fire officials are in regular communication with the building owners and their agent and all parties are working together.

The city and West Pierce Fire & Rescue have requested the following items from the owner:

  • Copy of Fire Protection Engineer evaluation of the building’s fire protection system.
  • Copy of electrical reports from Labor & Industries and utility providers Lakeview Light & Power and Tacoma Power.

These reports will include recommendations from the experts who inspected the property. City building officials and West Pierce Fire & Rescue representatives will use these recommendations to prioritize the work that must be done in order for the building to reopen.

City and fire officials will work with the building owner and their agent to create an action plan with the intent to address the most severe problems first. Once the items affecting public safety are fixed, the building can reopen.

A timeline for the completion of additional items not impacting public safety will also be drafted for the owner.

Once the action plan is complete it is up to the owners to hire licensed, bonded and insured contractors to do the work. That includes filing for permits and passing inspections once the work is done, as required by law. In some cases work may be required to be done sequentially, which could take time.

It is unknown how long it could take to complete the work, but it is not something that will be done in a matter of days. An accurate timeline is unknown until the prioritized list is created and the building owners hire contractors. Re-opening the building also depends on the work passing inspections.

The building will remain closed until it is safe for the public to be inside.

On Monday, Sept. 11 West Pierce Fire & Rescue and the City of Lakewood will hold a short ceremony to honor those who died on Sept. 11, 2001 and pay tribute to our first responders and military service members.

The program will include speeches by local officials from Lakewood and West Pierce Fire & Rescue and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The ceremony begins at noon and will be held at the flag plaza in front of City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW, Lakewood.


The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department issued a toxic algae advisory for Lake Steilacoom Aug. 29, 2017. That means there are areas of the lake with algae that are unsafe for people and pets.

The advisory means people and pets should avoid areas of the lake where algae is present.

  • Keep children and pets away from areas with algae
  • Do not swim, wade, water ski, or fish in areas with algae

You can easily identify a toxic algae bloom because of its unusual color or appearance in the water. Usually a bloom makes the lake surface look like pea soup or green paint, but sometimes the bloom may be a different color (bluish or brownish). Wind and rain can greatly change the amount and location of algae in the lake.

Swallowing lake water containing algae or prolonged skin contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. Anyone who swallows water containing large amounts of algae should seek immediate medical attention.

The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people. Pets have smaller body sizes and are more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae. If a pet ingests a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Runoff from fertilizers, animal and human waste reach our lakes and contribute to algae growth. Reducing the use of fertilizers, properly maintaining septic systems, and properly disposing of pet waste helps improve water quality in lakes, streams, groundwater, and Puget Sound.

Paula Wheeler can thank her grandfather for her success as a jewelry maker.

He didn’t make jewelry, but the special moments they shared walking the beach searching for agates when she was a young child planted the seed for the eventual launch of her business Aspirations by Paula.

Now more than two decades after starting her business and selling her intricate pieces at art festivals and farmers markets, Wheeler reflects on the impact those walks and visits with her grandparents had on her life.

"My grandmother taught me a lot about glass from her world travels and glass collection,” the Gig Harbor resident said.

At age 6 Wheeler taught herself to make jewelry using a miniature jewelry tool kit ordered from the back of a comic book.

“I started making jewelry again in my late 20's, early 30's,” she said. “People liked what I was doing and started offering me money for it."

Making jewelry as a hobby is one thing, turning it into a small business is another.

Add to the complexity being laid off from her corporate job, and Wheeler was left without a lot of extra financing needed to get the business off the ground.

It took shrewd business skills to jump start Aspirations. But Wheeler thought if she could succeed in the corporate world, why not with her own business? She went to work and it soon paid off.

"I used my customers to grow my company," Wheeler said. "I gave them discounts when they brought me people."

Wheeler offers her customers more than just jewelry. She crafts pieces with individual history.

She doesn’t go to the hobby store for materials. Instead she seeks pieces that are not replicated today like glass beads with large quantities of manganese or 24k gold dust made before World War II that were found in 1995 in an old German factory.

"The glass was made so much more superior than anything made after the war," Wheeler said. "The ingredients in old glass reflect light whether you have long hair or short hair, or are in a dark room or standing in sunshine.

“The old glass makes fantastic earrings if you like your earrings to show.”

From the materials she uses to her customer service, every aspect of Wheeler’s business is personalized.

When customers order online, Wheeler makes the selection simpler by asking a series of questions about the buyer or the person that they're buying for. Then she sends suggestions along with a photo of each piece.

"I'm trying to feel a person out, what they're heading towards and where their personality is going," she said.

Wheeler enjoys the vendor lifestyle and loves the people she meets, but admits it is hard work. Still, to anyone who wishes to try, she offers this advice:

"Patience. Listen to customer's feedback. Listen to other vendor's advice. Trial and Error."      

Meet Paula and see her one-of-a-kind pieces every Tuesday in Towne Center at the Lakewood Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.        

The latest edition of the Lakewood Connections Magazine hit mailboxes over the three-day Labor Day weekend.

Inside the publication you'll find:

  • Recognition of Joint Base Lewis-McChord on its recent centennial celebration
  • A reminder that fast trains are coming to Lakewood soon (December)
  • Information on our Fall Community Cleanup (scheduled for Oct. 28/29 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Feature article on our recently established Veteran’s Treatment Court
  • Information on registering for the Rental Housing Safety Program
  • Updates on economic development, transportation and park improvements
  • Listing of upcoming events including the 11th annual Truck and Tractor Day, scheduled for Oct. 14 from noon to 3 p.m.

View the online version.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department lifted is sewage spill advisory from Waughop Lake Friday, following water quality tests that show the water quality has improved.

The health department posted the advisory earlier this year after storm lines from Pierce College drained into Waughop Lake. The College addressed the problem and worked to clean up the site.

Recent water quality samples from the lake showed the average E.coli levels below the health department’s threshold for requiring public notification of a sewage spill. The location near the outfall where the sewage drained from the college had one of the lowest results for E.coli.

The water quality results, in combination with the efforts by Pierce College led to the removal of the Sewage Spill Advisory.

An additional E.coli sampling will be taken following the next rain event to make sure residual sewage doesn’t impact the lake.

The toxic algae advisory remains in effect and areas with visible algae should be avoided.

Our park is a wonderful place. Volunteers are working each month to make it even better!  Can you join us?

As you walk through the park, you may notice that destructive plants are taking over many areas. Scotch Broom, English Ivy, and Himalayan Blackberry are the main culprits, but other invasive plants are also gaining a foothold. Left unchecked, these plants will steadily crowd out or smother our wonderful native plants. They will destroy the habitat that our local birds, butterflies, bees and other beneficial pollinators, and small woodland animals rely on.

You can change this! Join us to help eradicate these invasive plants and replace them with native plants. We meet monthly on the fourth Saturday of every month, and would welcome your help whenever you are available. 

Volunteer Dates in 2017

Join us from 9 am to noon:

  • August 26
  • September 23
  • October 28
  • November 25
  • December 23

What you need…

  • Wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. 
  • Dress in layers for our changeable weather.
  • Bring sturdy shoes.
  • Leather work gloves are helpful.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Bring water.

Why do we volunteer?

  • Connect with your community.
  • Have fun!
  • Learn which native plants are best for a specific site.
  • See how to attract birds, butterflies, and pollinators.
  • Learn about invasive plants and how to eradicate them.
  • Make the park better for future generations.  Help make a lasting change!
  • Support improved water quality.
  • Gain community service hours and enhance your resume.  Great for students!

Everyone is welcome!  Children must be accompanied by an adult.


The City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin is a roundup of news items, happenings and other items of note for the City of Lakewood.

Lakewood's recognizes strong and longstanding local businesses with its Business Showcase.