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Lakewood Shows Support For Jermaine Kearse, Seahawks

Passers-by to Lakewood City Hall might have noticed that the City’s headquarters is sporting some blue-and-green swag.

To show its support for the Seattle Seahawks, the City of Lakewood is flying a 12th Man flag. It also posted a special message on its third floor window to support Seahawks wide receiver and Lakewood native Jermaine Kearse, who grew up in Lakewood and attended school in the Clover Park School District.

The City first Tweeted a photo of Kearse’s message Wednesday night, and since then it has been “Favorited” 52 times and “Retweeted” 26 times, including by the player himself.

“When you’re the hometown of a key player on a team that’s on the cusp of winning it all, there’s plenty of reason to boast,” said Brent Champaco, Communications Manager for the City of Lakewood. “Jermaine is a local guy who attended our schools and succeeded in our community. He’s succeeding on a much bigger stage now, but you can tell he doesn’t forget his roots.”

“He’s such a great role model for Lakewood. We all look up to him. We’re all so proud of him.”

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration

Lakewood Celebrates Its Diversity at 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on January 18

  • WHAT: 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
  • WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, January 18
  • WHERE: McGavick Conference Center, Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW, Lakewood
  • WHAT ELSE: Event will feature entertainment including cultural performances
  • COST: Free

Every day in Lakewood, residents celebrate the spirit of the “I Have A Dream” speech that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered more than 50 years ago.

But they don’t throw parties. They don’t hold rallies. They simply live and work in one of the most diverse communities in the state.

People with an array of ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds call Lakewood home. African American, Korean, Samoan, Latino, Russian - the list goes on. The community’s diversity, residents say, is one of its biggest strengths.

On January 18, the City of Lakewood will celebrate its cultural diversity with the 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. This year’s theme - “The Dream Begins” – commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The free event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, at the McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW, Lakewood.

Dennis Higashiyama, the City’s Recreation Coordinator, says the annual MLK celebration is something in which Lakewood takes plenty of pride.

“It’s a celebration of the diversity of the City,” he says. “It’s also a chance to showcase the talent of that diversity.”

The celebration features an array of cultural performances from Lakewood. This year’s lineup includes:

  • Total Experience Gospel Choir
  • Little Church Prairie Bells
  • Vorece Batchman-Miller
  • Korean Drummers – Chang Hee Suk
  • Life Christian Academy Choir
  • Fly Dancers – Lakewood YMCA
  • Kurt & Kelsey Sample
  • Morris Northcutt
  • Lakes Studio Choir
  • Grace’s Anointed

In addition, the winning Clover Park School District student in the Lakewood Arts Commission Essay contest will read his or her entry.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Nancy Bristow, African American Studies professor University of Puget Sound. Bristow – who also works with the Race and Pedagogy Initiative – has written two books and has received several awards for her teaching, including selection as the Carnegie/CASE Washington State Professor of the Year in 2007.

Her Current Research Focuses on Several Incidents of State Violence Against African Americans During the Black Power Era.

City Council to Discuss Prohibiting Tobacco, Requiring Alcohol Fee at Parks

  • WHAT: Lakewood City Council to discuss parks code and fee changes
  • WHEN: 7 p.m., Monday, January 13
  • WHERE: Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW

The Lakewood City Council will discuss a number of proposed changes to the City’s parks code during Monday night’s study session, including prohibiting tobacco use and establishing a new permit for alcohol use during special events.

Every few years, the City reviews its parks code and fee schedule, then recommends changes based on legislative requirements, citizen or staff requests, Council actions, planning policies and other factors. Members of the Lakewood Parks and Recreation Advisory Board reviewed the current code and recommended the changes.

In terms of tobacco use and smoking, Lakewood is recommending prohibiting both at City parks and facilities, including restrooms, picnic shelters, beaches, aquatic facilities, playgrounds, trails, athletic fields, natural areas and spectator/concession areas. Previously, the “Parks” section of the Municipal Code did not specifically prohibit tobacco.

“There is no safe level of second hand smoke,” wrote Mary Dodsworth, the City of Lakewood’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director, in her report to the City Council.

“Tobacco use in the proximity of children and adults engaging in or watching outdoor recreational activities is detrimental to their health and can be offensive to those using such facilities. Cigarettes or chewing tobacco, once consumed in public spaces, are often discarded on the ground, requiring additional maintenance expense and diminishing the beauty of the area (and can pose a risk to children who might ingest them.)”

In terms of alcohol use, the City is recommending introducing a new permit fee when alcohol is present in parks during special events (alcohol is regulated already by conditions of a special use permit). This new fee would be in addition to the City’s existing special use permit fee. The City is recommending a sliding scale based on the size of the event, ranging from $200 to $1,000 per event.

“Alcohol use permit fees vary from city to city,” Dodsworth wrote, “but most base the fee on the size of the event. The PRAB wanted to ensure the fee was substantial enough to denote the added value and impact that alcohol will add to a park-related event.”

To see a full list of the proposed changes, visit .

City Offices Closed For MLK Day

In observance of the Martin Luther King Day, Lakewood City Hall and the Lakewood Police Station will be closed Monday, January 20.

If you have an after-hours, Public Works-related emergency, please contact (253) 267-1628. If you have an after-hours, Police-related matter, contact (253) 830-5000 or 911 if it’s an emergency.

Potential Streetlight Replacement

Potential Streetlight Replacement Could Save Lakewood $250,000 Annually

  • WHAT: Lakewood City Council to discuss streetlight-replacement program
  • WHEN: 7 p.m., Monday, January 13
  • WHERE: Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW

The City of Lakewood is looking into a streetlight-replacement project that could potentially end up saving almost $250,000 in annual energy and maintenance costs.

At Monday night’s study session, the Lakewood City Council is scheduled to get an update on the work of its Public Works Department, the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services and Renton-based Ameresco. They have been examining the feasibility of replacing more than 3,000 of the City’s streetlights with energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) streetlights.

A Department of Enterprises Services program allows a municipality such as Lakewood to easily enter into what’s known as an Energy Savings Performance Contract with an energy services company. The City of Lakewood chose Amaresco, which has worked with Olympia and Renton on similar LED streetlight replacement projects.

Amaresco is currently performing an audit on the City’s streetlight system, including determining current energy and maintenance costs, developing cost estimates for LED replacement, calculating potential savings and identifying potential grants and rebates.

Public Works Director Don Wickstrom said replacing the streetlights with LED lights will likely save the City money over many years. A successful streetlight-replacement project, he said, is one in which the energy and maintenance savings over 12 years will be able to pay for the project costs.

On Monday, Amaresco will provide some preliminary project costs and phasing. Public Works might also ask the Lakewood City Council at its regular meeting January 21 to approve a resolution to apply for a Department of Commerce grant. That grant could cover up to $500,000, or 25 percent of a streetlight project’s costs.