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Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar to Retire

After nearly three decades of serving and protecting the Lakewood community, Police Chief Bret Farrar has announced that he will retire in April.

One of the most recognizable faces and personalities in the community, Chief Farrar will end his law enforcement career where it started. He began as a Patrol Deputy in Lakewood for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in 1988, before the City’s incorporation.

He rose through the ranks, elevating from Patrol Deputy to Detective, then Detective Sergeant to Lieutenant. In 2006, two years after Lakewood officially formed its own department, Chief Farrar was promoted to Assistant Chief. In February 2008, he was appointed Chief of the Lakewood Police Department.

Under Chief Farrar’s leadership, crime has fallen across the board in Lakewood. Both tangibly and intangibly, Lakewood has become a safer community because of its police department and its leadership.

Chief Farrar was also leading the department when it suffered its worse tragedy on Nov. 29, 2009, when Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Ronald Owens and Officer Greg Richards were murdered at a coffee shop as they filled out paperwork.

Chief Farrar’s leadership in the days, weeks and months after the tragedy helped unite and reaffirm the conviction of his department to serve and protect Lakewood.

He will bid farewell to a decorated career. Chief Farrar received the Medal of Valor in 2001, a Life Saving Medal in 1993, five Medals of Merit from 1998 to 2003 - including a Special Commendation Medal of Merit in 2002 - the Leadership Award from the Tacoma Pierce County Chaplaincy in April of 2010 and the Administrator of the Year Award 2010 from the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs. Also, the Lakewood Police Department received the 2014 Rise Agency of the Year Award from Taser International and its accreditation through WASPC.

“Chief Farrar has been an outstanding leader who has nurtured the professionalism of the department and guided it to ever-increasing credibility and national recognition,” Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson said.

“It has been obvious, to me, that his success has been a product of his deep concern for the people he has served in his many years of protecting our citizens,” Mayor Anderson added.

Outside of the Lakewood Police Station, Chief Farrar served as the department’s unofficial ambassador to countless charities and service groups. They included the Y.W.C.A. Women’s Shelter and the Crime Free Business Task Force for Lakewood, Y.W.C.A. Youth Basketball Coach and a Bone Marrow Donor to unrelated recipients, as well as being a host family for foreign exchange students through the International Home Stay Program. Farrar belongs to several organizations, including the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs, the Pierce County Cooperative Cities and the Pierce County Chief’s Association.

Chief Farrar’s last day with the City of Lakewood will be April 6. He plans to spend his retirement days with his wife, Cindy, in sunny Arizona.

When asked today about his reflections on his 27 years of law enforcement in Lakewood, Chief Farrar offered this:

“It has been my honor and sincere privilege to serve the citizens of Pierce County and Lakewood for the last 27 years,” he said. “I look forward to serving my wife for the remainder of my life.”

Chief Farrar’s last official act as Lakewood Police Chief will be joining his department in the traditional unfurling of the American flag at the Seattle Mariners’ home opener, a fitting symbol of remembrance for Lakewood's four fallen officers.

Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield said the City will begin the process of searching and recruiting Chief Farrar’s successor in the coming weeks.

“I want to thank Chief Farrar for what he has accomplished in a long and distinguished law enforcement career to include all he has done for the Lakewood community,” Caulfield said. “I have a lot of respect and admiration for Chief Farrar and the leadership he has brought to our City.”

“He can be proud of his legacy in that Lakewood today is a safe City because of his efforts,” the City Manager added. “Chief Farrar is the ultimate professional who will be missed, and we congratulate him on his retirement.”

West Pierce Fire & Rescue Responds to Hazardous Materials Incident in Lakewood

Just before 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, West Pierce firefighters had a citizen walk into the station to report an odor coming from his home at the 8600 block of Moreland Ave SW.  The man described coming home and finding both his cat and his bird dead and a strange odor coming from the house.

Firefighters initially monitored the air using special devices from the exterior of the structure and found nothing.  More specialized equipment monitored the air inside the structure and found traces of a hazardous material.  At this point the Pierce County Hazardous Incident Team was called, along with the Hazardous Materials Team from Joint Base Lewis McChord, the 10th Civil Support Team from Camp Murray and the Department of Ecology.  The Pierce County Hazardous Incident Team is made up of firefighters who specialize as Hazardous Materials Technicians. This incident included Hazardous Materials Technicians from West Pierce, Gig Harbor, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue and Graham Fire & Rescue.

These additional specialized firefighters were called in to identify the chemical and to determine if the home was safe for the occupant to return.  In the end, a carpet cleaner was identified as the cause of the incident.  The incident has been turned over to the Pierce County Health Department for further investigation.

Lake Steilacoom Toxic Algae Advisory

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department wants you to know there is a toxic algae bloom in Lake Steilacoom. Areas of the lake with algae are unsafe for people and pets.

  • Keep children and pets away from areas with algae
  • Do not swim, wade, water ski, or fish in areas with algae

You can easily identify a toxic algae bloom because of its unusual color or appearance in the water. Usually a bloom makes the lake surface look like pea soup or green paint, but sometimes the bloom may be a different color (bluish or brownish). Wind and rain can greatly change the amount and location of algae in the lake.

Swallowing lake water containing algae or prolonged skin contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. Anyone who swallows water containing large amounts of algae should seek immediate medical attention.

The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people. Pets have smaller body sizes and are more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae. If a pet ingests a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Runoff from fertilizers, animal and human waste reach our lakes and contribute to algae growth. Reducing the use of fertilizers, properly maintaining septic systems, and properly disposing of pet waste helps improve water quality in lakes, streams, groundwater, and Puget Sound.

For more information, please contact Ray Hanowell at (253) 798-2845 ( ), or Lindsay Tuttle at (253) 798-3530 ( ), or visit our website at www.tpchd.org/toxicalgae .

Lakewood Station at the Walkable Washington Symposium

One of Lakewood’s newer landmarks is getting some statewide attention for its pedestrian-friendly design and overall accessibility.

The Feet First Walkable Washington Program – which recognizes and supports communities creating “walkable places” throughout the state – will recognize the Lakewood Station Connection Project at its annual symposium and awards ceremony April 2 in Redmond.

The program will showcase the Lakewood Station Connection as an example of the projects from cities, counties, school districts and community organizations that are intended to make Washington a safer, easier and more inviting place for people to walk. Walkable Washington has even produced a case study about Lakewood Station Connection.

Opened in 2013, Lakewood Station Connection is a result of calls for transit improvements at the Lakewood Sounder commuter rail station. The project was specifically identified in the City’s first Comprehensive Plan, which called for a mix of office, retail and high-density residential uses supported by direct, regional transportation access.

The Lakewood City Council proposed two top priorities for the Lakewood Station Connection Project:

  • To significantly increase the station’s regional access and improve connections between neighborhoods and major employers;
  • To promote the Lakewood Station area as a multi-modal commuter hub by incorporating non-motorized travel and connections that will enhance the livability and the attractiveness of the community.

The Lakewood Station Connection Project includes a pedestrian bridge across the Sound Transit railroad tracks, as well as connecting the Lakewood Sounder Station to the residential and employment area of Kendrick Street immediately to the north. Street improvements include sidewalks, bicycle facilities, street lights, and street trees installed along Kendrick approximately 900 feet from the pedestrian bridge north to 111th Street Southwest.

Benefits for the community include a safe and secure walkable neighborhood, increased housing development, new retail and business opportunities, and an important connection to the City of Lakewood Sounder multiā€model transit hub. The City of Lakewood plans to follow up with this new development by installing more way finding signs and promoting the station’s usage.

The Walkable Washington Annual Symposium and Awards is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 2 at Redmond City Hall, 15670 Northeast 85th Street.

Part of the Feet First Cities Program, it’s the state’s only event designed to provide creative networking opportunities, helpful resources, and awards to organizations and cities building healthy, livable and walkable communities. The symposium offers a fun learning environment with sessions moderated by experts to discuss projects and programs implemented in the last three years throughout Washington. 

 

Next Week at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center, 3/2/15

The Lakewood Senior Activity Center, located at 9112 Lakewood Drive SW, keeps a busy schedule. After all, the LSAC exists to promote healthy minds and bodies by providing recreation and social opportunities for older adults. Courses for fitness, art, writing and even computer literacy run for weeks. Day to day, there are plenty of other events freely open to the public, or with only a couple days’ advance.

Call the mainline at (253) 798-4090 to RSVP for events.

Monday, March 2

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Enjoy this total body conditioning class that will help strengthen both your cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • SAIL Class(Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.
  • Join us for a fun hour of exercise that includes light aerobics and strength training, while focusing on balance, coordination and falls-prevention.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3  
  • Beginner and Intermediate Ballroom Dance, 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Learn basic and advanced steps, techniques and choreography.
  • Mondays, Jan. 12-March 2
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $7
  • Yoga Stretch Concepts, 5:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
  • Traditional yoga poses with a mix of Tai Chi and Pilates, with alternatives to accommodate mobility issues.
  • Mondays, Jan. 12-March 2
  • Members: $28 Non-members: $41 Drop-in: $6

Tuesday, March 3

  • Zumba Gold, 9 a.m.-10:55 a.m.
  • A combination of Latin dance and low impact aerobic exercise for older adults with a little cha cha cha! Try it!
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 17-March 26
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Stretch and Strengthen, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
  • Improve your core strength, balance and posture. Class includes warm up, muscle-specific and abdominal exercises, and stretching.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 17-March 26
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Cake Day, 1 p.m.
  • Are you a brand new member this year? This special party is to welcome those who are new to our Center in 2015. Enjoy treats, meet new friends and pick up a personalized goodie bag. Explore new adventures with us!
  • New members only. Free!
  • Drop-in Line Dancing, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesdays
  • Free!

Wednesday, March 4

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Enjoy this total body conditioning class that will help strengthen both your cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • SAIL Class(Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.
  • Join us for a fun hour of exercise that includes light aerobics and strength training, while focusing on balance, coordination and falls-prevention.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3  
  • Knotty Knitters, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
  • Meet, mingle and knit! Drop in and learn the basics or share your talent and techniques.
  • First and third Wednesday of every month, March 4 and March 18
  • Free! 

Thursday, March 5

  • Zumba Gold, 9 a.m.-10:55 a.m.
  • A combination of Latin dance and low impact aerobic exercise for older adults with a little cha cha cha! Try it!
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 17-March 26
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Stretch and Strengthen, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
  • Improve your core strength, balance and posture. Class includes warm up, muscle-specific and abdominal exercises, and stretching.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 17-March 26
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Sassy Scrappers, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
  • Grab your photos and supplies and join your friends for an afternoon of scrapbooking. Expand your horizons, explore new techniques, try something new and meet new friends. Bring a snack and your creativity!
  • Free!
  • Sketching and Colored Pencils, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Have you always wanted to try your hand at drawing? Learn about tones and values, texture and pencil methods.
  • Thursdays, March 5-April 9
  • Call for a supply list

Friday, March 6

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Enjoy this total body conditioning class that will help strengthen both your cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • Open Computer Lab, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • This computer lab is open for use by older adults who would like to practice what they have learned in classes, work on special projets and get hands-on experiencing using the computer. Volunteers are available each month to share information and answer questions.
  • Fridays
  • Free!
  • SAIL Class (Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.
  • Join us for a fun hour of exercise that includes light aerobics and strength training, while focusing on balance, coordination and falls-prevention.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3