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City Installing Flashing Yellow Arrows

Quick question: Flashing yellow arrows. You've seen them in other communities - do you love 'em or hate 'em?

The reason the City wants to know is it's converting many of its "doghouse-style" signal heads to flashing yellow arrows in the coming months. There are a couple of the flashing yellow arrows installed, and you'll soon find more around Lakewood.

For reference, see the attached picture depicting a flashing yellow light, with one column of lights. When making a left during a flashing yellow light, the driver must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians in the sidewalk.

Sister Cities International Festival, April 25-27

The Lakewood Sister Cities Association (LSCA ) is hosting its annual Sister Cities International Festival from April 25 – 27.

The festival highlights one of its sister/friendship cities each year. This year, Okinawa City will be highlighted through the festival’s main performances. In past years, Lakewood’s additional sister cities of Bauang, Danzhou and Gimhae were highlighted.

The event will take place at the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus at 9401 Farwest Drive SW in Lakewood.

The free, family-friendly event will honor the rich cultures of the Philippines, China, Korea, Japan and more. Activities will include cultural entertainment, art exhibits, and international cuisines and arts and crafts vendors touting jewelry, art and other goods.

“We’re so proud to once again host the Sister Cities International Festival,” says Ellie Chambers-Grady, economic development manager for the City of Lakewood. “This event is a fantastic way to showcase and celebrate Lakewood’s diversity with our community members.”

The feature act is a special performance by members of the renowned Miyagi-Ryu Minoruno Kai-Megumi Matsuda Dance Institute from Okinawa City, Japan. Other entertainment includes performers and troupes from Korea, Guam, India, Thailand, Samoa, Afghanistan, Philippines and Ireland.

Additional highlights include:

  • A public market featuring arts and crafts and ethnic food vendors.
  • A Kids Corner with face painting, calligraphy lessons, origami and more.

A full schedule of activities and performances, as well as a list of vendors, can be found at

“The Lakewood Sister Cities Association works year-round to promote international harmony,” says Connie Coleman-Lacadie, LSCA president. “This festival gives us the opportunity to share our important work with the rest of our community, and we’re very excited to do so. Moreover, we are very excited that this year's Sister Cities event allows us to partner with the ArtsFest Celebration on April 25th and 27th.”

The Lakewood Sister Cities Festival - ArtsFest Celebration is proudly sponsored by Clover Park and Lakewood Rotary Clubs, Pierce County Crime Stoppers, Lakewood Family YMCA, Asian Pacific Cultural Center, The Ranger, KLAY Radio, City of Lakewood and Pierce College.

City of Lakewood Receives WellCity Award

This month, the City of Lakewood was one of 96 cities and government agencies in Washington that earned a 2014 WellCity Award from the Association of Washington Cities Benefit Trust. The award is given to AWC members that meet nine best practice standards for employee health.

The distinction means the City of Lakewood will receive a 2-percent premium discount on all medical premiums for employees. The discount will be applied to 2014 premiums for active employees, spouses and dependents.

A 2-percent premium discount is significant in today’s economy, and the reward is even bigger. WellCity award winners enjoy reduced costs and a culture of health at City Hall.

Mary Dodsworth Receives Top WRPA Award

Parks, Recreation & Community Services Director Mary Dodsworth was recognized with the Honor Fellow Award at the Washington Recreation & Parks Association (WRPA) annual conference in Seattle this week.

This award is the highest recognition bestowed by the state professional organization to an individual. It recognizes her dedication and achievement in her field over a minimum of 10 years. Mary has been recognized in the past with the Young Professional award in 1991, the Citation of Merit award in 2008 and served as the president of WRPA in 2008-09.

Here is what WRPA said about Mary during the awards ceremony:

This year’s Honor Fellow is the definition of “walking the talk,” she inspires people simply by who she is. Her enthusiasm for life, passion for this profession, generous warm heart, and joy for  her work put her in a class of her own.

As the Town of Steilacoom’s Director of Parks and Recreation, she helped the recreation programs flourish and provided needed direction to turn neglected areas into park jewels.  In her current position as the first Director of the City of Lakewood Parks and Recreation, she built a new organization from scratch while earning the respect and appreciation of the community. Inheriting overgrown parcels surrounded by locked fences, she entered a low income, high crime community and despite great adversity, built an amazing parks and recreation system.

Mary Dodsworth is always looking for ways to improve the field of parks and recreation. She is optimistic, innovative and creative in promoting our profession. She is not afraid to leap into the unknown and tackle new initiatives. She is definitely a leader in our field.

Mary has received many acknowledgements in her career including the Young Professional award in1991 and the Professional Citation of Merit Award in 2008.

Last month, Mary was also recently recognized by the US Army with the Commander’s Award for Public Service. This award was given by the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team. She received a military medal and ribbon, similar to an award they would have given an enlisted person.

Outside of her real job, Mary has been a tireless supporter of WRPA and our profession. She helped re-establish the Risk Management School and served as the chair for several years. She has also volunteers with the Recreation and Conservation Office, judging grant projects. She chaired the WRPA 60th Anniversary Committee, she has served as a speaker at state and national conferences and has served in many WRPA board positions over the past years and is also one of our esteemed Past-Presidents.

Mary’s endless energy and enthusiastic personality has left an indelible mark on our organization and our profession. Please join me in recognizing Mary Dodsworth as our 2014 Honor Fellow Award winner.

City Honored at AUSA Regional Meeting

On Saturday, the City of Lakewood received a big honor that recognized its support of 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

At the AUSA Sixth Region Annual Meeting and Symposium in Portland, the City of Lakewood got the Sixth Region Exceptionsal Contributions Award for its service to soldiers, veterans and family members of 4-2, the City's former Community Connector to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The City was recognized for its massive parade welcoming Raider Brigade soldiers home in 2013 and other efforts to support the brigade, which officially inactivated in March. The City of Lakewood's new Community Connector is 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

In addition to the City of Lakewood being recognized, the Lakewood Subchapter of AUSA recived the Major General (CA) Ronald H. Markarian Award for Outstanding Cooperative Success for its superior service to the City of Lakewood and the Raider Brigade.

The 4-2 also was recognized with the Sixth Region Distinguished Unit Commendation for exceptional performance of combat and civic duty. including multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, from June 2006 through March 2014.

(Photo courtesy of Task Force Raider)