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(The following message comes courtesy of Pierce County)

As you recycle your wrapping paper, don’t forget to treecycle your Christmas tree.

Pierce County residents who subscribe to yard waste collection service can place their unflocked tree in their container. Flocked trees cannot be recycled and must be disposed of as garbage.

Residents may also recycle their tree free of charge at Pierce County’s transfer stations. For locations, visit .

To treecycle, remove the tree stand, tinsel, decorations and any nails or staples. Place the tree in your yard waste container for pick up on your regularly scheduled collection day. The tree must fit into the closed container, so cut the tree into pieces if necessary. If your tree isn’t in the cart, you may be charged for the additional pick up.

“All trees collected are composted into PREP Compost, a beneficial soil amendment that is popular with home and commercial gardeners,” said Sheryl Rhinehart, Public Works and Utilities outreach coordinator. “The compost created enhances soil quality, saves water, and reduces reliance on chemical fertilizers. Treecycling also helps save valuable landfill space.”

The cities of Milton, Tacoma, Puyallup and Ruston have special collection programs for households within their city limits. Contact your city hall or local garbage hauler for more details.

For more information about getting ready for winter, visit .

South Sound Military & Communities Partnership Sign Agreement

Today, the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership took a big step in giving more control to locals regarding the region's future.

Officials from jurisdictions from across the South Sound gathered at the American Lake Conference Center to sign a Memorandum of Agreement in support of the SSMCP.

This agreement continues their commitment to help the region grow and develop effectively, along with its installations.

Under the new agreement, the SSMCP will initially be comprised of:

  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord
  • City of Lakewood
  • City of Lacey
  • City of Tacoma
  • City of DuPont
  • City of Yelm
  • Pierce County
  • Thurston County
  • Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Camp Murray
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
  • Thurston Regional Planning Council
  • United Way of Pierce County

Under the new agreement, these local governments and agencies will collectively control the future of the SSMCP, including taking on the bulk of financial support from the Department of Defense. It also calls for the establishment of an executive leadership team for SSMCP comprised of the Cities of Lakewood and Lacey, as well as Pierce County. Additional members are expected to join throughout 2014.

Lakewood Officers Charity Distribute Holiday Meals

On Thursday, Lakewood Police and volunteers converged on Dower Elementary for a response that required speed, agility and coordination.

But this response wasn’t about crime. They were there because someone needed help, and this time of year, it’s the type of help some Lakewood families need the most.

Coordinated by the Lakewood Officers Charity, about 20 or so volunteers packed holiday meal bags for 150 families in the Lakewood area.

Led again by Officer Ryan Moody - something he has done the past 10 years now - they stuffed bags with everything from canned corn to stuffing to cranberry sauce. Parkland Market Place generously donated all of the food, something that inspired the Charity and that it greatly appreciated.

Amazingly, the goods were sorted, packed and ready for the families within 20 minutes. Afterward, while most of the officeers returned to their shifts or their days off, the families received their meals.

Kudos to the Lakewood Officers Charity for, once again, sacrificing to help others.

City Hall closed Christmas Day, New Years

In observance of the Christmas holiday, Lakewood City Hall and the Lakewood Police Station will be closed Wednesday, December 25, 2013. Also, in observance of New Year’s Day, Lakewood City Hall and the Lakewood Police Station will be closed Wednesday, January 1.

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.

Shop with an Officer

While most kids wish for toys and video games for Christmas, some simply want some kitchen supplies for mom and dad, or some clothes for their brothers and sisters.

That was one of the remarkable things Lakewood Police noticed on Sunday, when the Lakewood Officers’ Charity held its 5th Annual Shop with an Officer event, in which the charity helps 20 struggling families from Lakewood.

With the help of a generous grant from Walmart, the event allowed officers to give back by allowing a child - with the help of a Lakewood Police Officer – to buy items for his or her family. An Officer picked up the child in a police car and drove to Walmart, where the shopping begins.

This year, the shopping began in earnest, according to Sgt. John Unfred, with some of the children prepared with a detailed gift list and others who decided to simply shop on the fly. Each shopper is given a set amount of money to spend on each member of the family. Once they took care of everyone on the list, the children got to visit Santa Claus while their presents were wrapped by volunteer employees from Walmart, who also donated gift bags, snacks and cupcakes for the kids.

But the most amazing thing, Unfred said, is that most shoppers didn’t head directly to the toy aisles when shopping.

“Instead many headed straight to the housewares for mom and dad or to the clothing section for siblings,” he said. “We hope this truly makes a Difference in their lives.”