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American Lake Park Hosts Two Weekend Water Events

There are two aquatic events happening April 26-27 at American Lake Park:

Kayak training event

On April 26-27, about 50 participants (30 trainees and 20 trainers all in kayaks) use the beach area for pre-water entry training. They then move into the water for further training. A number of the participants are seniors. The City pulls the swimming rope back to the side of the swimming area so there is no impediment to smooth water. It also unlocks the gate between the launch area and the swimming area so attendees are able to carry their kayaks from the launch area to the event area in the park. The event has been annually at this site for the past several years,

Cast Mater Bass Fishing Club

On April 27, the Cast Master Bass Fishing Club is conducting a tournament arranged through the WA State Fish and Wildlife Department and launching from the American Lake Park Boat Launch facility – about 20-30 large bass boats involved in the tournament and participants have been directly invited to fish in this event.

Parks Appreciation Day is April 26

Park Appreciation Day has been celebrated in Lakewood for 13 years. The improvements and beautification projects completed by volunteers during this annual event are too numerous to list, but they have all made a difference in our community’s parks. We count on volunteers and their support each year to prepare Lakewood’s parks for the spring/summer season..

The 2014 sites set for City of Lakewood Park Appreciation Day projects on Saturday, April 26, are:

  • Fort Steilacoom Park — the major project is pulling scotch broom! This is not particularly fun or exciting project, but it is really crucial this year to prepare for the 2015 US Open Golf Tournament and we need more volunteers than ever before to help us remove this invasive plant.
  • Also at the FSP site, a group of volunteers will be tasked to help with restoration of historic cemetery grave markers and cemetery clean –up. The playground is receiving repairs and will need volunteers to help wrap up the project on Saturday.
  • American Lake Park – the West Pierce Fire and Rescue Dive Team will clean up the swimming area, and volunteers will help remove the underwater materials collected by the crew.
  • General clean up of the American Lake Park beachfront sand will coordinate with the water clean-up.
  • Wards Lake Park – trail maintenance and sign installation.

If a community/church group is interested in a specific park site and can provide the numbers of volunteers adequate to take on a project, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department will coordinate with them directly to develop site specific projects to spread chips under playground equipment. The City will provide the chips and some gardening tools for these groups. Firm commitment by volunteers would be necessary for these individual group projects.

Join us on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at 9:00 am. To register your family, service organization or your school or church groups, please call Suzi at 253‐983‐7758. We’ll find a spot for you and will appreciate your help.

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.

Police Search For Fatality Hit-and-Run Suspect

On Sunday, April 20, 2014, a fatality hit and run accident occurred at approximately 5 a.m., in the 4000 block of 96th Street South in the City of Lakewood.

The 19-year-old male victim had just been involved in a single-car accident where his vehicle had travelled off the main roadway. According to a witness passenger in the victim vehicle, the victim then went into the roadway in what investigators believe was an effort to flag down a passing motorist for assistance. The victim was struck by a vehicle going westbound on 96th Street, which only stopped briefly after the collision. The witness passenger told investigators that he yelled at the driver that he had just hit the victim. The driver then fled the scene without identifying himself or attempting to render aid for the victim.

The witness described the suspect vehicle as a tan or white Ford Windstar type minivan being driven by a young looking white male and reported seeing at least three other occupants in the fleeing vehicle. The suspect vehicle should have front end damage towards the right front fender/wheel area and possibly undercarriage damage too.

Lakewood Traffic Investigators in cooperation with the Metro Collision Response Team investigated the collision scene and are still working to identify the driver and passengers, along with locating the suspect vehicle.

The Lakewood Police Department is asking for the driver and passengers to come forward with their information and to report what happened.

If anyone in the public knows anything about this case, they are urged to call the Lakewood Police Department at (253) 830-5000 or the Lakewood Tip Line at (253) 830-5064. Tips can also be submitted through the Lakewood Police website at /government/departments/police/crime/tips or through Crimestoppers at (253) 591-5959 or

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.