City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/16/10

April 16, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Sub-Chapter of AUSA operational: The Lakewood Sub-Chapter of the Fort Lewis Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Chapter recently formed and is looking for new members. This group was created to support Lakewood's "Community Connector," the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team and to support local veterans. The sub-chapter is composed of active, reserve, and retired military, local businesses, the City of Lakewood, and friends of the Army. If you'd like to get involved, please consider attending their next general membership meeting on June 9th at 4pm at Lakewood's Burs Restaurant at 6151 Steilacoom Blvd SW. Call Richard Wall at 984-1523 with questions.
  • Gravelly Lake Drive Closure/Detour Update: Due to scheduling issues associated with the relocation of other utilities that lay in the path of the City's sewer construction work on Gravelly Lake Drive, the City's contractor (NW Cascade) has deferred starting that work which was originally scheduled for Monday April 19th to Monday April 26th. Accordingly, Gravelly Lake Drive between Pacific Highway and I-5 will remain open to traffic through next week. Beginning on Monday, April 26th at 8:00 PM Gravelly Lake Drive between I-5 and Pacific Highway will be closed to traffic. The closures will be restricted to night time hours between 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM and will continuing for up to 6 work days, depending on weather. Signs and detours will be posted on I-5, Gravelly Lake Drive, and Pacific Highway. Local businesses have been notified of this change.
  • Robber Caught: On Tuesday in Woodbrook, LPD arrested the man sought by both LPD and Tacoma for robbing stores at knife point in the past two weeks. Detectives got a Crime Stoppers tip which led them to his location.
  • Community Safety & Resources Team (CSRT) presentation on Code Enforcement: CSRT team member Randy Richards gave a presentation at the Crime Free Housing Seminar on April 6th at the Police Department, with over30 apartment owners and managers and mobile home park owners/managers were in attendance. The presentation covered various private property topics such as adequate garbage service, abandoned vehicles, graffiti removal, identification of dilapidated buildings for abatement, business license procedures, sign permits as defined in the municipal sign code, and general issues of property maintenance.
  • CSRT responds to Abandoned House Clean-Up: CSRT team members Randy Richards and Dawn McGinnis responded to a complaint of a large pile of rotting garbage, furniture and debris sitting in the driveway of an abandoned house. The former occupants were believed to have moved out, possibly the result of an eviction. Household trash bags were stacked around the mailbox blocking citizen passage on the sidewalk in the public right-of-way. The complainants stated that animals were tearing apart the trash bags and scattering the remains throughout neighboring properties. Various unidentified people were stopping by the property during all hours of the day and night, trespassing and removing articles from the pile. The property stands adjacent to a main arterial highly visible to citizens passing by. The CSRT team was able to quickly secure the house and remove the trash off of the sidewalk allowing safe passage by pedestrians and cyclists. Through the joint cooperation of the State Corrections Dept and Lakewood work crews, the trash was removed.
  • Senior Safety Meeting: CSRT team member Dawn McGinnis provided a Senior Safety Meeting for the tenants of one of Lakewood's senior citizen apartment complexes. This meeting was at the request of several concerned tenants after multiple thefts at the property. The on-site manager worked with CSRT staff to coordinate the event; 35 tenants attended the meeting as well as management. Tips were presented on staying safe, how and when to call 911, and how to store valuables; tenants were provided written materials and contact information for City staff.
  • WRPA annual conference in Tacoma: Mary Dodsworth, Dennis Higashiyama, Amanda Richardson and Scott Williams of Lakewood's department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services attended the Washington Recreation and Park Association (WRPA) Annual Conference this week at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. Session topics during the conference focused on Cultural Arts and Heritage, Nature and the Environment, Health and Wellness, and Economic Development. Mary Dodsworth, Lakewood's department director and immediate past-president of the state organization, presented awards for the most outstanding park projects completed in Washington State over the past two years. Lakewood's Hill Ward Memorial project in Fort Steilacoom Park was ranked extremely high during the review process.
  • City of Lakewood now on Facebook: The City launched a Facebook page earlier this week, and within the first 24 hours had gained 100 fans. Find us at "City of Lakewood, Washington." There is a page using the name "City of Lakewood, WA" that is not affiliated with the City but is rather a real estate company impersonating the City. They have been asked to modify their name and indicated they would. City staff will use Facebook to provide updates on events, projects, and other matters of general public interest. Interested citizens are welcome to follow us on Facebook.
  • Metro SWAT Officers attend SniperWeek: This past week, three officers from Metro SWAT attended SniperWeek 2010 in Florida. SniperWeek is four-day professional development event in this specialized field, consisting of a conference and a competitive live-fire training event. The conference included discussions on functional fitness, malfunctions, special application/large caliber sniper weapons, rifle maintenance and repair issues, IED and booby-trap recognition and several debriefs by snipers regarding shootings they were involved in. There were 44 teams participating this year, a noticeable increase from 2009; the other teams included local, state and federal law enforcement, police officers from foreign countries and several teams of military sniper instructors. All of the courses of fire are based on actual police sniper shootings, or problems those officers had to overcome in order to save a life. Our Lakewood officer and a Bonney Lake officer ranked 5th place, while the Metro/Tac-30 team ranked 25th, a solid performance for two first-time attendees.
  • "Batter Up": The City will partner with the Lakewood Baseball Club during the spring baseball season as the baseball fields at Fort Steilacoom Park come alive with the sound of "Batter Up!" The local club holds its Jamboree games on Saturday April 17th on all four of the FSP fields.
  • April 24 is Parks Appreciation Day: Citizens are encouraged to join us on Saturday, April 24th at the City of Lakewood's 8th annual Parks Appreciation Day celebration. Projects are planned at Fort Steilacoom Park, American Lake Park, the city's Blue Berry Fields and Wards Lake Park, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon. This is a regional effort associated with a county-wide Parks Appreciation Day and celebrations of Earth Day, Arbor Day, and National Parks Week. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather, with clearly-labeled hand tools from home, including such things as pruners, gloves, rakes, shovels, small pitch forks. Participants will be able to help prepare our local parks for the busy spring/summer seasons, and have fun as well. To register families, service organizations, school or church groups, please call Suzi Riley at (253) 983-7758.
  • Major Construction Projects on I-5 between Lacey and Tacoma: The Washington State DOT has advised travelers to expect major delays on upcoming weekends during evening and morning hours. Most start times begin at 7pm for various lane closures and run through the morning - sometimes until noon. The best source for information before you plan any trips is the following WSDOT website: www.tacomatraffic.com.