City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/14/06

July 14, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:    Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Criminal Investigations-- Update on Fort Steilacoom Park: LPD’s robbery/assault investigations have now identified all of the suspects involved with the recent attacks at the park.   Four male adults and one female adult are already in custody and have provided confessions.  There are three other male adults fully identified. Recovered weapons are hatchets, machetes, wooden clubs, and a medieval war axe.  We have collected a vast amount of paraphernalia to include photographs, graffiti, and clothing.  One subject who is already in custody was arrested in 2004 by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for attacking and stabbing a soldier eleven times inside Fort Steilacoom Park.  At that time, he was also dressed in Juggalo costume, including clown makeup.
  • Fort Steilacoom Park discussion: The Parks & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB), Landmarks & Heritage Advisory Board (LHAB), and Planning Advisory Board (PAB) met jointly this week to discuss strategies for the park.   It was a first-time session for all three groups to meet together, on a fairly complex subject, and a good model of citizen interaction on policy issues.
  • Fireworks Update: On July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, – LPD received 122 fireworks related calls.  That is down from 226 in 2005. The sensing from the officers was improved compliance with our city ordinance, particularly in our fireworks “hot spot” zones. We issued 7 criminal cites (about the same as last year) and confiscated a full trunk load of illegal fireworks (much less than last year). Total calls on July 4th were 279 – again the busiest day of the year. Total calls in 2005 were 290. Generally daily calls average around 180.  The fire department reports they responded to 6 fireworks related incidents – all minor. We are cautiously hoping that the reduction in fireworks related workload is the product of our extensive pre-4th awareness campaign.
  • Apartment Owners Meeting: Due to a recent rise in gang-related crime that is anchored in apartment complexes in the Lakeview Area along Bridgeport between 111th and 108th Street, LPD held a meeting on June 28th for apartment owners/managers, with support from Community Development and the Fire Department.  Most participants agreed to cooperate in screening out known criminals and gang members from renting or visiting, as well as enforcing quiet hours and reporting suspicious behaviors to the neighborhood patrol team.
  • Safety and Crime Prevention Training: In District 5, LPD completed a series of three presentations for the Washington Karate Association.  Over sixty youth, from age 6 to 17 learned about safety and crime prevention. The karate students were divided into age appropriate groups.  The older students viewed a power point presentation on drug and gang awareness with a group discussion, and the younger students played learned about stranger dangers, online safety, and how to deal with bullies through interactive games. In District 3, the NPO/CSO team hosted their second “Coffee With A Cop” event at Starbuck’s on So Tacoma Way.  Many law enforcement professionals were on hand to talk with citizens and hand out crime prevention literature.
  • Water Quality Sampling: The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) will provide the City with water quality sampling in the swimming areas at American Lake and Harry Todd Parks.  Samples will be generally near the middle of the swimming area and the samples will be collected at a depth of approximately six inches in three feet of water.  If a single E coli sample exceeds 235 /100ml, the beach will be re-sampled as soon as possible.  If the results are still above 235/100ml, TPCHD will recommend against swimming until at least two consecutive samples are less than 126/100ml.   Although levels fluctuate during the summer, we have not had to close down an American Lake swimming area in the past 5 years.
  • 2nd Annual Lakewood Idol Contest: Forty contestants entered the 2nd Annual Lakewood Idol contest.  The Council Chambers rang with music of all types – country western, R & B, top 40 hits, ballads and some golden oldies.  Everyone present was entertained as 12 year old’s matched singing skills with 40+ year old adults.  City employee Elizabeth Hildgo-Linna’s two daughters, ages 12 and 14, did their mother proud!   Sara Millbauer coordinated the event.  Eight finalists from last night’s competition will perform at the City’s July 25th concert in the Park and the winner will perform at the Battle of the Idols at the Puyallup Fair.
  • Chip Sealing Program: The Public Works Department will have a chip sealing program this year. The chip sealing program will be limited to local access roads (approx 14.8 lane miles).  The streets/roads involved will be listed on the city’s web site and we have also developed an article for publication in the next newsletter.  The work will be performed by Pierce County road crews.  It is anticipated that the chip sealing will begin in the middle of August.  Prior to the chip seal application, Pierce County road crews will perform crack sealing and patching of the roads.
  • Intersection of Amber and Zircon: The re-contouring and associated re-landscaping of the northeast corner of Amber and Zircon is now complete, thus eliminating the site distance issue at this corner.  Along with rumble strips and signage on Zircon this hopefully addresses the neighborhood’s concerns.