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Jingle Bell Rock Your Ugly Sweater 5K

Hey Lakewood residents! Have you been so busy crafting your ugly, er, holiday sweater that you’ve forgotten to register for the City of Lakewood’s 3rd Annual Jingle Bell Rock Your Ugly Sweater 5K on Dec. 6?

Well, worry not because this weekend, registration for the Jingle Bell Rock 5K is only $20. That's right, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21-23, you can save $5 off your registration!

Each registration includes a timing chip, an awesome t-shirt and no less than one million (we've counted) selfie opportunities for you, your friends and your ugly sweaters! Register by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at (253) 983-7887 or checking us out online at: .

So sign-up and get together with your friends to put the finishing touches on that holiday fashion disaster, uh, masterpiece. Or, dig out that old sweater that you haven’t donned since the Christmas your grandparents gave it to you, and wear it on the day of the 5K.

The City's annual holiday run (you can walk or jog too) is a partnership with the community and a way to bring the residents of Lakewood together. As in years past, St. Clare Hospital is a presenting sponsor of the Jingle Bell Rock 5K. This year, the Lakewood hospital is joined by sponsor Drangsholt Orthodontics. Last year’s attendees might remember Drangsholt Orthodontics’ water stop, where runners could grab some refreshments and a free jingle bell.

"It’s about everyone out there having fun in their Christmas sweaters,” said Arielle Carney, Lakewood Parks and Recreation Coordinator.

City Council Adopts 2015-16 Biennial Budget

On Monday, Nov. 17, the Lakewood City Council unanimously adopted its 2015-2016 Biennial Budget.

It is a balanced budget that results in residents getting an increase in services. One example: For the first time in a number of years, this budget increases resources to preserve and maintain the City’s road system, which is a key priority identified by the Lakewood City Council. This budget reflects the City’s commitment to providing quality services and amenities to residents while reestablishing Lakewood’s short- and long-term financial viability.

The budget also includes funding for several new park improvement projects, including upgrades to the Waughop Lake Trail, expansion of Springbrook Park, replacement of playground equipment and new docks at Harry Todd Park, and trail improvements at the Chambers Creek Properties in partnership with the City of University Place and Pierce County.

An essential component of this budget is the City’s allocation of financial resources to establish a proper level of reserves. The 2015-16 budget gradually returns the City to sound financial footing by replenishing General Fund reserves to meet its 12% policy objective by the end of 2016. The reserves are intended to accommodate unexpected operational changes, legislative impacts and other economic events that affect the City's operations.

This balanced and strategic approach has resulted in a spending plan that adapts to the changing needs of our community without compromising our financial future.

In terms of numbers, General Fund operating revenues are projected to grow 2.7% in 2015 and another 1.2% in 2016, which is slightly better than historical trend between 2009 and 2014, when the average growth was closer to 1.5% per year. General Fund operating expenditures are projected to grow 0.4% in 2015 followed by 2.2% in 2016, reflecting the necessary changes to stop using one-time monies and reserves to balance the budget. Simply put, that practice is not sustainable.

The end result of this budget is that the General Fund will be balanced and operating expenditures will not exceed operating revenues, resulting in a positive operating margin in both 2015 and 2016.

The City is dedicated to meeting service demands and providing them to our citizens, both in the near- and long-term. This requires reevaluating the paradigms that have been governing the City for a number of years.

We will be looking to economic development, focusing primarily in our commercial areas, to generate additional property and sales taxes. Locally, we see nothing but opportunity in our key commercial areas such as the Towne Center, Springbrook, Tillicum, and the Pacific Highway South corridor, which is directly adjacent to I-5 with multiple prime properties ready for redevelopment and revitalization. Areas such as the International District and Woodbrook Industrial Business Park area stand ready and available for new investment to create jobs and opportunity for Lakewood and our region.

Burn Ban Issued For Pierce County

Watch out Lakewood, the use of fireplaces and wood stoves is prohibited until air quality improves.

Due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency issued a Stage 2 burn ban for all of Pierce County, effective at noon, today, Nov. 17. The ban is in effect until further notice. These conditions are expected to persist for some time.

The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the pollution that is creating unhealthy air, usually due to excessive wood smoke. The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation.

During a Stage 2 Burn Ban

  • No burning is allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, certified or uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. Lakewood residents should rely on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves and the ban is canceled.
  • The only exception is if the homeowner has a previously approved, "No Other Adequate Source of Heat" designation from the Clean Air Agency.
  • No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
  • Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

It is still OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts.

The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children, and adults over age 65.

You can download a free app: Burn Ban 411 , for up to date information on burn bans throughout the Puget Sound area.

For more information, visit the Washington Burn Bans website at .

This Week at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center

The Lakewood Senior Activity Center, located at 9112 Lakewood Drive SW, keeps a busy schedule. After all, the SAC 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. Registration for the Winter 2015 courses opens January 2. However, an oil painting class and a number of short exercise courses open in December, and you can sign up at any time.

In the meantime, checkout what the center has running this week!

Monday, Nov. 17

  • Movie Monday, 5 p.m.
    • Flight: An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.
    • Popcorn will be served.

Tuesday Nov. 18

  • Men’s Coffee, 10 a.m.
    • A fellowship time for men, to enjoy conversation and a great cup of coffee.
    • Free
  • Mah Jongg, 1:30 p.m.
    • Open to everyone.
    • Free
  • Drop-in Line Dancing, 3 p.m.
    • Grab your friends and exercise your body and mind by dancing to lively, upbeat music.
    • Free

Wednesday, Nov. 19

  • Workshop Wednesday—Coaster Set, 1p.m.
    • Unfortunately, registration is closed. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Workshop Wednesday after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, Nov. 20

  • Memory Social Hour: Gratitude Gathering, 2 p.m.
    • A support group for people with early stages of memory loss. People with Alzheimer’s or dementia, their caregivers and families, are welcome. It provides an opportunity for everyone to be themselves in a safe and supportive environment while enjoying activities and entertainment.
    • For more information or to RSVP please call Elizabeth Scheid at (253) 798-4090.
    • Co-sponsored by Narrows Glen.

Friday, Nov. 21

  • Open Computer Lab, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
    • Anyone over 50 is free to drop in and use the computers

#IamLakewood Spotlight: Original House of Donuts

Today, the City of Lakewood introduced the first edition of its new YouTube video series : #IamLakewood Spotlight.

The inaugural spotlight features the Original House of Donuts , one of the community’s most iconic businesses. Opened in 1959, OHOD has been serving up sweet and sugary goodness to generations of customers from Lakewood, Tacoma, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Olympia and beyond.

Two years ago, Lakewood native Tom Peterson purchased the shop (which features an iconic roofline that’s now featured in the log) from OHOD’s original owner and made it his mission to restore and improve the quality of the legendary doughnut creations. From classics like apple fritters and maple bars to new creations such as the Devil’s Food Chocolate cake, OHOD is a doughnut-lover’s Graceland.

Peterson has big plans for the Original House of Donuts , which now has a mobile food truck and is considering expansion.

Still, no matter how big of a doughnut footprint Original House of Donuts makes on the world, Peterson says he’ll never forget where it all started.

“We have had so many customers grow with us as we develop our products in Lakewood,” he says, “and we’ve watched them come in and out with their kids and their grandkids. The military support here is incredible. Lakewood is unbelievable, so many mom-and-pop shops. We feel like we really fit in here.”

Check out the video on the City of Lakewood’s YouTube channel , where you’ll find other videos showcasing the community.

What is the #IamLakewood Spotlight?

Based on the popular #IamLakewood social media hashtag, this video series highlights the personalities, businesses, organizations and groups that make Lakewood what it is today. If you’re posting messages, pictures or videos to social media of things that make you proud of our community, don’t forget the hashtag: #IamLakewood.