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Lakewood Recognized at 4-2 Invactivation

On Friday, March 14, the Army conducted the official inactivation ceremony for4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

And with it, Lakewood officially said goodbye to its longtime Community Connector to the base.

The ceremony marked the end of a remarkable relationship between the City and the Raider Brigade. The two were intertwined, as much as a community and brigade could be.

When the 4-2 returned from deployment and rejoined their families and friends, the City celebrated. When they lost a soldier, the City mourned. Lakewood was mentioned multiple times on the official Army video about the Brigade, which can be viewed on the City of Lakewood's hompage .

Raider Brigade soldiers were seen throughout the community, whether it was volunteering at a community festival, thanking a business owner or speaking to elementary school students about the importance of Veterans Day.

On Friday, the 4-2 recognized the City for its support and gave Lakewood an award for organizing a community parade when the Brigade returned from deployment in 2013. It also recognized former Lakewood Mayor and Pierce County Councilman Douglas Richardson with the highest civilian honor for his support of the Brigade during his tenure.

The ceremony had special meaning for Lakewood City Councilmember John Simpson, who as a journalist embedded twice with the Brigade while overseas, something for which he said was an honor.

He added that while Friday marked the end of Lakewood's relationship with the 4-2, the community can reflect on the unique connection it had to the Raider Brigade.

"This is a good day," Simpson said. "It marks the end of a great chapter in Lakewood's history."

Again, the City thanks every member of the Raider Brigade and their families for our relationship, which Lakewood will never forget. We also can't wait to start a new relationship with our new Community Connector, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division .

Click here to view a Facebook photo gallery of Friday's festivities.

Future Elementary School Named After Lakewood Fallen Four

A future Lakewood elementary school will honor the memory of the four police officers who lost their lives serving the community they loved.

On March 9, the Clover Park School Board selected the names of three schools under construction. The name of one of them - a school that was part of a construction bond that voters approved in 2010 and will consolidate two other elementary schools - will commemorate the memories of Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Ronald Owens and Officer Greg Richards.

The future school’s name: Four Heroes Elementary.

It’s a fitting name to describe the four officers. In a crime that the Lakewood community will never forget, Renninger, Griswold, Owens and Richards were murdered in 2009 by a gunman who was later killed by authorities.

In the years since their deaths, the Lakewood community has produced numerous remembrances and tributes for the Fallen Four, everywhere from Lakewood City Hall to the Lakewood Police Department. The future school -located next to the Lakewood Police Department - is another example of how the four officers will never be forgotten.

Four Heroes Elementary is scheduled to open by September 2015. The School District plans to recognize the name when it officially opens.

Here is the Clover Park School District's full release on Four Heroes Elementary and two future schools on Joint Base Lewis-McChord that also received names:

(Lakewood, Wash.) In action taken at its board meeting on March 10, the Clover Park School District (CPSD) Board of Directors selected the names of three elementary schools currently under construction.

Two new elementary schools will open next fall on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). One of the new schools is being built in the new Meriwether Landing housing area on JBLM-North and the other is located on JBLM-Main and will serve students currently attending Clarkmoor and Greenwood Elementary Schools.

Board members chose Meriwether Elementary as the name of the new school on JBLM-North. The Meriwether Landing housing area is divided into four neighborhoods, each corresponding to the Army’s history and rank structure. The landing’s name is a tip of the hat to Meriwether Lewis, the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1804 to 1806.

The new elementary school located on JBLM-Main will be named Rainier Elementary, after Mt. Rainier, a visible landmark easily seen across JBLM.

Both of these new elementary schools on JBLM are funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and Washington state school construction Assistance program.

The third elementary school located off of Lakewood Drive near the district’s Auxiliary Services Center, is part of the 2010 voter-approved school construction bond for a new Hudtloff Middle School, a new Harrison Preparatory School and a new consolidated Oakwood and Southgate Elementary School. The name of the new elementary is Four Heroes Elementary. This name commemorates the four Lakewood Police Officers who were tragically killed in 2009. “Four Heroes” honors the four fallen Lakewood Police officers: Sergeant Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Gregory Richards and Ronald Owens. The new school is located very close to the Lakewood Police Department headquarters.

“Each school being named had a committee made up of parents, staff and community members who followed the school board policy and procedures for naming facilities,” said CPSD superintendent Debbie LeBeau. “The committees were charged with recommending three to five names for school board consideration.”

“I know each committee took on this task very seriously and a lot of research was done,” said CPSD school board president Marty Schafer. “We thank you for your efforts. The board spent a lot of time discussing the school name options and made the best choices for all concerned.”

All of the new school names will be formally recognized at each school’s grand opening celebration. Meriwether and Rainier Elementary Schools are anticipated to open in late summer 2014 and Four Heroes Elementary is anticipated to open by September, 2015.

Fort Steilacoom Playground, Shelters Closure

Eight years after the community came together to build the Fort Steilacoom Park playground, volunteers and project coordinators will gather again for a weeklong work party to complete restoration projects to the playground equipment. The FSP playground and two shelters will be closed while the projects are completed from Wednesday, April 23 through Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Please note these closure dates on your calendar so your family is not disappointed during a park visit while construction and restoration are active. If you have questions, please call the City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department at (253) 983-7887.

Spot Eyesores In Your Neighborhood, E-mail The City

Ever drive by a building near your child’s school and spot graffiti? Ever find a turned-over shopping cart while walking your dog through the neighborhood?

The City of Lakewood knows it happens, based in large part on what it has heard from residents. Now, Lakewood Police and Community Safety Resource Team are giving residents an immediate, easy way to inform the City about these eyesores.

People can now simply send an e-mail whenever they spot graffiti and junk or an abandoned shopping cart in their neighborhood.

Here’s how it works:

  • If residents spot graffiti, junk, etc., in the public right-of-way of their neighborhood, they can e-mail . Please include the location.
  • If residents spot rogue shopping carts in their neighborhood, they can e-mail . Please include the location of the carts, as well as to which store they belong, i.e., “Target cart off Main Street and Gravelly Lake Drive.”

And that’s it! The e-mail will go directly to the CSRT – which is designed to solve problems that are unique to each neighborhood district in Lakewood. The CSRT will then work to address the problem cited in the e-mail as soon as possible.

“This is a great way to solve neighborhood issues at a neighborhood level,” Police Chief Bret Farrar said. “Residents are serving as the eyes and ears of their neighborhoods, and it’s a fast, easy way to tell us about two problems that people don’t like to see.”

“This is just another example of how the City of Lakewood is working with residents to solve neighborhood issues,” he added.

Click here for more information on the City of Lakewood’s CSRT.

2015 U.S. Open Parking at Fort Steilacoom Park

The USGA’s transportation plan for any U.S. Open event is extensive and meticulous.

On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council voted to allow Fort Steilacoom Park to play a small part in that plan when the 2015 U.S. Open comes to Chambers Bay Golf Course.

The Lakewood City Council voted to approve a $40,000 agreement that will allow the USGA to use a portion of Fort Steilacoom Park for off-site parking during the week of June 15-21, 2015.

Mary Dodsworth, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director for the City, said the USGA can now determine exactly how Fort Steilacoom Park – one of many regional parking sites during the tournament - will be used to shuttle people to the University Place course.

The USGA has been looking throughout the region for parking locations. Along with studying routes and methods of transportation (bus, boat, train and car) to get visitors to the event, it is studying how to distribute parking locations for the estimated 245,000 people who will attend (plus 4,500 volunteers and 2,000 media contacts).

The City met several times with members of the USGA logistics team to assess Fort Steilacoom Park, as well as to discuss ingress, egress, traffic patterns and other transportation and site impacts. The USGA is looking to park approximately 5,000 cars each day at this site. Large buses would take the event attendees from the park to the golf course.

Following Monday night’s vote, the USGA and the City will look at specific routes in and out of the park, citywide transportation impacts and how they can minimize the effect on regular park visitors and neighbors.

“This was just the first step,” Dodsworth said of the agreement. “The USGA has an excellent track record of planning for the U.S. Open, and we’ll do our best to reduce impacts to our park visitors.”