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Lakewood, Region Sound Off on JBLM Reduction

Although some 500 people packed the standing room-only Army listening session on Jan. 21 in Lakewood, a clear, unified message emerged from the Sharon McGavick Center.

A proposed reduction of 11,000 soldiers and civilian jobs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord would hurt the region in more ways than one.

They came from all parts of the South Sound - Lakewood, Lacey, DuPont, Tacoma, Olympia. They shared how intrinsically tied their cities, businesses and organizations are tied to JBLM.

Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson told Army leaders in attendance that a drawdown at JBLM would "be bad for soldiers, our Army and national defense."

Anderson added that not only are soldiers integral parts of the local economy, but the identities of the base's neighboring communities, especially the host community of Lakewood, are rooted in the military.

"You don’t have to shake a family tree very hard to have a veteran fall out," he said.

Gov. Jay Inslee spoke about how the state has developed programs, as well as a culture, of helping local soldiers and their families: "We wrap military personnel in our arms in our state."

Other speakers focused on JBLM's economic reach, which according Kristine Reeves, Director of Military & Defense Sector for the State Department of Commerce, rivaled The Boeing Co.

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy: "The reach of what JBLM means to us is greater than Pierce County."

This was the last chance for the public to voice its view on potential drawdown at JBLM, which the Army is proposing in the face of changing strategies and reduced funding.

Several speakers touched on how JBLM is positioned as the Power Projection Platform for the U.S. to the Pacific. Others talked about how cuts now - in light of ongoing investments to improve the base's infrastructure - simply "don't make sense."

One of the most memorable comments came from Lakewood Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen, who channeled his inner 12th Man a little more than a week away from the Seattle Seahawks facing the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX when comparing the community's support of JBLM.

"We hope the Seahawks will demonstrate that the true patriots are here in the Pacific Northwest," he said.

To read The News Tribune's coverage of the event, visit http://goo.gl/lyirVQ .

Li'l Firehouse Coffee Fills the Boot

On Jan. 16, Li’l Firehouse Coffee of Lakewood joined forces with the Western Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association to "Fill the Boot" for the coffee shop’s Grand Opening Celebration.

The shop’s employees were joined by Danielle Harada, a client and volunteer of the MDA. Customers were treated to live music and a visit from Sparky the fire dog. The event successfully raised $450 for the MDA.

Li’l Firehouse Coffee is a firehouse-themed coffee shop that is operated by Robin and Ted Dailey of Puyallup, and formerly of University Place. Li’l Firehouse Coffee offers a great variety of coffees, lattes, breves, energy drinks and great food like bagels and muffins. Li’l Firehouse Coffee is located at 8813 Edgewater Dr. Southwest in Lakewood. Their phone number is (253) 212-1796.

Check out more photos of the Grand-Opening Celebration on our Facebook page .

 

Army Listening Session Jan. 21

Consider attending the South Sound community listening session on Jan. 21, 2015, 10 a.m. to noon. Senior Army leaders will be there to speak and hear citizen input about a proposal to cut up to 11,000 combined military and civilian jobs at JBLM. The session will be held at Clover Park Technical College’s McGavick Conference Center, located at 4500 Hageness Dr SW, Lakewood.

Plan now to attend and give comments to contribute to your community’s input  - numbers count!

Speakers will also discuss the environmental and socioeconomic issues presented in the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA), as well as several other factors that will affect future stationing decisions.

These factors include: strategic considerations; costs and efficiencies; training facilities; power projection; readiness impacts; mission command; well-being; mission expansion; and, community input. 
This is the South Sound's and Washington State's opportunity to demonstrate the importance of JBLM operations to not only our local communities and economy, but also how Washington supports its military presence and the real need to keep JBLM fully ready to serve as a power projection base on the West Coast.

South Sound Military Communities Partnership is an innovative and flexible partnership uniquely positioned to provide regional leadership to bridge military and civilian communities. The SSMCP’s mission is to foster effective communication, understanding, and mutual benefit by establishing the most effective point of coordination for resolution of those issues which transcend the specific interests of the military and civilian communities of the South Sound Region.

Please RSVP by email at

 

City Hall closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Lakewood City Hall and the Lakewood Police Station will be closed Monday, January 19, 2015. 

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.

Lakewood Gets $1.6 Million in Federal Grants

The City of Lakewood will get almost $1.6 million in Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds that will pay for two projects intended to make our roadways safer.

The two projects are part of $48 million worth of projects across Washington that received federal funding, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced last week. The Lakewood projects are:

  • Safety improvements (Military Road & 112th Street), $788,500: Improvements include removing the existing traffic signal and street lighting at the intersections; installing new traffic signal system that includes a protected/permissive flashing yellow left turn arrow for Military, reflective yellow tape around traffic signal backplates, accessible countdown pedestrian signals and street lighting. Also, curb ramps will be removed and replaced with ADA-compliant curb ramps, and the intersection will be repaved.
  • Roadway safety improvements (40th Avenue and 96th Street), $823,350: Installation of curb gutter and sidewalk through the curve area, along with 325 linear feet of guardrail on the outside of the curve. Also includes installation of streetlights, placement of pavement area through curve and restriping the pavement, including installing shared use marking.

“Public Works is pleased to receive these two grants, as they enable us to make important safety improvements to our road system which, upon completion in 2017, will make our roads safer for our citizens. “ said Don Wickstrom, the City’s Public Works Director.