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Wounded Warrior Project-Albertsons $50K

On Thursday, Dec. 18, Albertsons awarded the Wounded Warrior Project a check for $50,000. The money was raised in November through two weeks worth of sales on specially marked items at 104 stores in Washington and Oregon.

The check was given to Wounded Warrior Project representatives at the Albertsons located on
8611 Steilacoom Boulevard Southwest. In attendance were Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson, City Councilmembers Marie Barth, Paul Bocchi, Mary Moss and John Simpson, as well as City Manager John Caulfield, state Rep. Dick Muri, soldiers from Joint Base-Lewis McChord and Linda Smith, President/CEO of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees had the chance to pose with Wounded Warrior Project and their check, and enjoy a handsome cake.

For photos from the ceremony:

Benning Potoa'e Chosen for U.S. Marines Game, Given City Coin

Lakes High School defensive end Benning Potoa'e credits much of his hard-work ethic to his father, Aleki, a first sergeant in the 5th Battalion, 200th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"Being in the military has really helped me out," the younger Potoa'e says. "My dad being a soldier, him going through his routines, waking me up in the morning, it has really helped me out."

"Him being in his position, he's used to yelling at people," added Benning, one of the most highly touted recruits on the West Coast, "so it put me in a position to listen to him."

On Dec. 16, the same military that served as the foundation for Potoa'e's determination rewarded him with one of the most prestigious high school football honors in the country, when the United States Marine Corps invited him to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

During a ceremony at the Lakewood high school , Potoa'e, 18, was presented with an honorary game jersey, although No. 15 won't likely be his number in the game that takes place Jan. 4 at The StubHub Centr in Carson, Calif., and will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1. A few numbers regarding Potoa'e that Lakewood residents might want to remember, however:

  • 100: The number of student-athletes from across the United States who will play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl based on their athletic prowess, academic success and embodiment of the Marine Corps values of honor, courage and commitment
  • 4: The number of Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl players from the Pacific Northwest
  • 3: The number of Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl players from Washington

Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson and City Councilmember Mary Moss attended Potoa'e's ceremony, given Lakewood's deep and longstanding relationship with the military.

"I think it's particularly approriate that Benning selected to play defense given that some of our best defenders are the sponsors of the game," Anderson said.

"Being a military community, we have adopted one of the military customs in that the City of Lakewood has its own coin," said the Mayor, who then presented Potoa'e and his family with an official emblem of the City's recognition. "We really appreciate your hard work, the honor that you brought to Lakes High School and our community."

The City of Lakewood has posted a piece on Potoa'e's ceremony on its YouTube channel .

Business Showcase-Lakewood Hardware & Paint

On Monday night, Dec. 15, the Lakewood City Council recognized longtime Lakewood institution Lakewood Hardware and Paint as its Business Showcase for December 2014. Owner Donn Tyler received the award for his store, and announced his recent engagement.

Lakewood Hardware and Paint has been part of Lakewood for more than 65 years, ever since Russell Fry opened the first store on Gravelly Lake Drive. The building the community frequents today is actually the store’s third incarnation.

The father of the current owner, Donn Tyler, bought Lakewood Hardware and Paint from Fry in the 1950s and later moved to a building more than twice its size on 105th Street and Bridgeport Way. In 1983, five years after purchasing his father’s share of the company, Tyler moved to its existing 12,000-square-foot spot on Lakewood Drive.

Over the years, Lakewood Hardware and Paint has continued to expand and grow. The original store sold hardware, paint and a few plumbing tools. These days, Lakewood Hardware and Paint’s selection includes home appliances, STIHL power tools, home and garden, plumbing, electricity and lumber. It even sells doors. And if customers can’t find what they need, the store will order whatever they request—and keep a stock of it in the future.

Tyler says the relationship between customers and employees is the secret to the store’s success. The interview process for a new employee, for example, is intensive. The store incorporates the whole team to make sure every potential hire fits. Tyler looks for experience and knowledge. In addition to knowing the products inside and out, employees have to be able to talk with customers, answer their questions, find out what they need and help them solve problems.

“For all we’ve added and done, it’s no good without people to support it,” said Tyler, who proudly referred to his current team as “the best staff we’ve had to date.”

Helping the customers is Tyler’s favorite part of the job, something that has turned many customers into longtime friends. That’s one of the reasons he loves doing business in Lakewood.

“You come to work, you like seeing the customers, you like seeing the other employees,” he said. That spirit of friendship and community is why Lakewood Hardware and Paint has succeeded for decades no matter the competition. Tyler grew up, attended school and has worked in Lakewood almost his entire life.

The store gives back to the community through countless partners and donations. Lakewood Hardware and Paint supports local churches, the Chamber of Commerce, veterans organizations, the Lakewood Area Shelter Associates, the Kiwanis Club and the Boy Scouts.

The future of the store is stable. In the coming years, Skip Tyler, Donn’s son, will slowly take over from his father. They know what they do and how to do it well. “We do the best job we can without worrying about what other people are doing,” Donn Tyler said. 

Lakewood Hardware and Paint is located on 9020 Lakewood Drive SW. You can learn more about them on their Facebook/Lakewood Hardware, or shop online through their website at . You can also call at (253) 581-1010.

Check out photos of the Business Showcase here:

Suburban Times: City Helped Remove 'Parking Lot Lake'

Here's more proof the City of Lakewood is listening to its residents and businesses.

In a story published Dec. 16 in the Suburban Times , author Ken Upton wrote about the "parking lot lake" that regularly forms during rainy seasons in front of the Hobby Lobby and Big Lots stores in the 5400 block of 100th Street Southwest.

Upton wrote how he contacted the City. Compliance Inspector Diana Halar worked to locate the store's management company, which eventually had the lake pumped and the sediment blocking the drainage removed.

"I applaud and appreciate the effort Diana put forth in just a few days to address and resolve the mystery of the 'parking lot lake,'” Upton wrote, "and I hereby nominate her for 'City Employee of the Month!'

Read the whole story on the Suburban Times website . It's a good one.

Great job, Diana! #IamLakewood

Interlaaken Bridge Closed Friday for Modifications

The Interlaaken Bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. until approximately 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12 for storm drainage modifications. The bridge drain on the west end of the bridge will be removed and upgraded with a drain to improve water quality. The storm drainage outfall on the east end of the bridge will be retrofitted with a stormwater treatment structure. Electron reader boards noting the closure are up and presently operating on both sides of the bridge at key locations.

The work is part of the Outfall Water Quality program conducted to retrofit 15 storm water outfalls that presently discharge into Clover Creek, Steilacoom and Chambers Creek.  The performance of the work is subject to weather condition.