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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/10/07

August 10, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • National Night Out: Lakewood NNO had 48 events and almost 4,000 participants join us in our observance this year. This represents a reduction of two events from last year, but an increase of over 1,000 participants. We distributed almost 1,800 pandemic preparedness kits. Thanks to everyone who participated in this event for connecting with our citizens and underscoring again the critical importance of City/police/community partnership. Special thanks to the many police and firefighters who supported this event to the fullest. Special thanks also to our sponsors; particularly Puget Sound Energy, Target and the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. And very special thanks to Mike and Sharron Kanter, our volunteer event coordinators.
  • Neiditz elected president of WCMA: Lakewood city manager Andrew Neiditz was elected this month as president of the Washington City/County Managers Association, and will take office at their annual conference in Walla Walla on August 16th. He has served as WCMA vice president for the last year. He will also serve on the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) board as part of his new WCMA role.
  • Lakewood Senior Activity Center 2nd Annual Summer BBQ: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center celebrated the season with our 2nd Annual Summer BBQ on August 2nd. This year’s event was a western hoe down. There were over 100 participants and they were all dressed in their western wear. We celebrated with great food, live music, and good company.
  • Cascades Sunoco in the Lakewood Industrial Park: The City’s economic development administrator and EDB’s David Nishamura met this week with the plant manager for Cascades Sunoco as part of an annual business retention/assistance program. Casades Sunoco is an international firm with 102 plants and 12,000 employees specializing in paper and roll packaging. The Lakewood facility is located in the Lakewood Industrial Park and employs 45. The Lakewood plant provides roll packaging products to U.S. and Asian customers.
  • Pierce Transit: The city manager met this week with the CEO of Pierce Transit to review the agency’s long range expansion plans at their headquarters facility in Lakewood.
  • Lakewood Homicide Suspect Arrested in California: The City unfortunately recently experienced the homicide of a three-month-old infant. The father of the child, who was the primary suspect, fled to California. LPD located him there approximately one week after the homicide and coordinated his arrest with the help of local law enforcement. He was interrogated by LPD detectives once in custody, has subsequently has been charged with Murder 2, and now faces extradition back to Washington State.
  • Chip Sealing Update: On August 13th Pierce County maintenance crews will commence chip sealing the 3 areas associated with our 2007 roadway chip sealing program. Those areas, which have been posted on the city’s web site (Department/Public Works/Capital Projects/Chip Seal Program), are: 1). area located between Elwood Dr SW, Hipkins Rd SW, Angle Lane SW & Steilacoom Blvd SW; 2). area located between 86th St SW, Custer Rd SW, John Dower Rd W & 70th Ave Ct SW; and 3). area known as Southgate area.
  • 108th Traffic Control Program meeting: In association with the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Control program, Public Works and the Citizens Transportation Review Committee held an informal meeting on August 7th with area residents and the users of 104th St between Idlewild Rd and Lake Louise Drive. About 67 citizens were in attendance. A second meeting has been scheduled for August 23rd at 6:30 pm in City Hall to enable those who may have missed this first meeting due to National Night Out an opportunity to express their concerns. Under the city’s Neighborhood Traffic Control Program, Phase I measures (non evasive measures including targeted police enforcement) proved not be effective and thus the emphasis has moved to Phase II measures (physical features, traffic circles, etc). There will be no action report developed until input from the second meeting is gathered.
  • Pacific Highway State Enhancement Grant: The potential $3 million State Enhancement Grant for the Pacific Hwy Improvement project (Gravelly Lake Drive to Bridgeport Way) cleared another hurdle as the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Executive Board has approved it as one of the 3 projects they will forward to WSDOT for the next phase of the FFY 2007-2009 Statewide Enhancements Competition.
  • Sewer Project Funding: The ALG/Tillicum sanitary sewer project has made the funding cut off list in this round of Public Works Trust Fund loan monies. We made application for approximately $1,800,000 for which roughly $1,130,000 is associated with providing financial assistance to individual property owners for their respective connection costs.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulleting 8/3/07

August 3, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Environmental review of Tillicum/American Lake Gardens sewer project: This week, the City issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Tillicum/American Lake Gardens sewer project. This is one of the more significant milestones that have to be accomplished prior to beginning sewer line construction.
  • Street Lighting in Springbrook: The new street lighting system along Bridgeport Way within the Spring Brook area from I-5 to San Francisco Ave has been installed and is operational.
  • STW and Steilacoom Blvd Drainage Project: Beginning next week, the S Tacoma Way and Steilacoom Blvd Drainage Improvement project will be out for bids. This project involves redirecting the outlet of the existing drainage system that presently services the intersection as well as a significant portion of 88th St easterly to a publicly owned and operated system. This project would eliminate flooding in the area, and by redirecting flow into a public system, maintenance of the system can readily be performed. The project involves reconstructing about 1000 linear of undersized storm pipe within the travel lanes of Steilacoom Blvd and accordingly is being bid for night time construction work.
  • City assists with USGA Junior Girls Championship: The LPD Explorers served as volunteers at last week's USGA Junior Girls Championship. They received glowing praise from Jack Butson, Parking/Security Committee Chairman, on behalf of the Tacoma Country and Golf Club. An excerpt of the thank you note reads, “In addition to serving as much needed volunteers, they were delightful individuals to get to meet and work along side. Their supervisor, Officer Cheri Gumm, was a great help and her guidance to my parking committee was greatly appreciated. In addition, Sgt. Joe Kolp was a great asset in putting me in touch with the individuals that I needed to contact to make it all happen. Everything ran smoothly and the USGA personnel in attendance were quite impressed. Again, thank you to Lakewood's Finest...”
  • AG’s Domestic Violence Advisory Group: Ann-Marie Dvorak, Victim Advocate in the City’s Legal Department, has been asked to join the Domestic Violence Advisory Group being formed by the Attorney General’s Office.
  • National Community Crisis Response: Victim Advocates Rebecca Hendricks and Ann-Marie Dvorak successfully completed the National Community Crisis Response Team Training, when they attended the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) Conference on July 24-26, and are eligible to respond to local and national emergencies.
  • Sewer connection across 104th: On August 4th, a developer will be making a sanitary sewer connection across 104th street at Butte Drive, and both Butte and 104th St will be temporarily closed off. Detours routes will be marked and advance signage has been posted. A Public Works construction inspector will be on site during the construction activities.
  • Bridgeport retaining wall: The construction of a retaining wall on the west side of Bridgeport Way between Leach Creek and Flanegan Road is planned for action shortly. The purpose of the retaining wall is to be able to cut back on the property slope to provide additional sight distance to the vehicles exiting Flanegan Road, as well as allowing for the future construction of the ultimate improved roadway section through the area. The inclusion of artistic features into the project, since it’s adjacent to the City’s entry way, is expected to be accommodated within the project’s budgeted amount. Public Works well present the two wall design concepts that have been developed to the Art Commission on August 6th.
  • Employee Wellness Program: The Spring Alive with 5 & 5 campaign has come to an end. The City of Lakewood team collectively participated in 225,456 minutes of physical activity over ten weeks. The team achieved 163% of the overall collective goal.
  • Habit for Humanity house: Lakewood building inspectors reported that the City’s first Habit for Humanity house on Yew Lane SW in Lakewood was completed and signed off this week. Inspectors said the house turned out very nice, and was very well built, considering it was the work of a group of volunteers, and that they were a pleasure to work with

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulleting 7/20/07

July 20, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood Ford Opening: Lakewood Ford was issued a conditional certificate of occupancy this week. The permit allows them to open for business this Sunday, July 22nd. There are remaining improvements yet to be installed, including entry gates, signs, landscaping and street improvements. The property owner posted a cash guarantee for the landscaping and road work which is scheduled to be completed in August.
  • Waughop Lake Treatment: Since there is already a significant blue green algae bloom on Waughop Lake, our vender recommends against proceeding with the planned calcium hydroxide treatment at this time as it’s too late in the process to provide any water clarity benefits for this season. In order to be effective in limiting the availability of phosphorus which is needed for the occurrence of a bloom, the calcium hydroxide treatment needs to happen before such an occurrence. Once a bloom has occurred, excess phosphorus has already been assimilated and stored within the micro organism’s cell structure which then takes multiple generations before phosphorus once again plays a growth limiting role. A bloom then continues to grow seemingly irrespective of the treatment process. Waughop Lake will not be treated this season but will be treated early on next spring. The DOE grant the city received for funding this treatment attempt was budgeted through June 30, 2008.
  • WSDOT Grind and Asphalt Inlay Projects: Starting July 23rd, WSDOT’s contractor will be performing grind and asphalt inlay of several interchanges in the area including the Bridgeport Way and the Gravelly Lake Drive interchanges. There is the possibility that they may do the Thorne Lane interchange also. The work is primarily on the on and off ramps. Some additional work approaching the bridges will be done within their right-of-way. The work will be performed at night, starting around 7:00 p.m. and lasting until 5:00 a.m.
  • City to receive funds acquired from Police seizure: The US Treasury Department prepared the package on July 13th for the payment to the City in the Pong Rhee/Joon's Variety Store seizure which was a 2001 police operation. The City anticipates receipt of about $1.18M. Two properties have yet to be sold, and additional funds will be forthcoming.
  • Lakewood Sister Cities Association Potluck: Council Member John Arbeeny and his wife Suk Arbeeny of the Lakewood Sister Cities Association hosted a potluck dinner honoring 10 years of service by outgoing Sister Cities President Patrick Cavendish of Pierce College. The dinner included volunteer Sister Cities members from subcommittees for Japan, Philippines, South Korea and China. Mayor Thomas and newly installed Sister Cities President, Franclyn Heinecke of Clover Park Technical College were joined by City Clerk Alice Bush and other members in honoring the accomplishments and growth of the Sister Cities Association and of Dr. Cavendish’s leadership. The Sister Cities Association welcomes anyone interested in promoting international understanding to their monthly meetings at City Hall
  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness Training for Businesses: Dozens of local business representatives attended a working luncheon on Preparation for Pandemic Flu on July 12th at the Great American Casino. The luncheon, coordinated by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department and LPD provided businesses a realistic look at the multitude of issues a pandemic will bring and the simple things they can do in advance to diminish the impact of such an outbreak.
  • Governor’s Community Transition Task Force: Chief Saunders has been confirmed as the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) representative on the Governor’s Community Transition Task Force, which will oversee the implementation of the recently passed Offender Reentry legislation.
  • County-wide Gang Data Base: As a major project of the Pierce County regional gang task force, LESA Records will be introducing on August 15th a new Gang database called OSCAR for all cooperating agencies such as Lakewood, Tacoma, Pierce County, and Puyallup to use. The database was put together for several reasons which include: one centralized database for all agencies to input and share information on known gang members; tracking gang and gang member activity; assisting with gang investigations and Officer safety alerts.
  • Chip Seal Program: The City will be chip sealing the local access streets denoted in the attachments starting in mid to late August. Chip sealing is a preventative maintenance procedure that includes placing a “shot” of asphalt (oil), and then a layer of crushed rock (chips). This extends the pavements life by rejuvenating the pavement surface and sealing off the road base from water. After some use, the streets are then swept of excess rock for which it could take multiple sweepings over a period of time before the streets are free of loose rock. Signs will be placed a minimum of 24 hours on all streets prior to commencing chip sealing. The City’s 2007 chip seal program will also be published on the City’s web site.
  • Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol assists in arrest: The new citizens Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol is paying off. Thanks to their vigilance, a violent felon was taken off the streets Wednesday night. Four volunteer members witnessed a violent and apparently unprovoked assault at Harry Todd Park on July 18th. While on routine neighborhood patrol in the park, they witnessed a tall, powerfully built young thug suddenly strike with a closed fist into the head of a tall, slim early 30s passer-by without warning or provocation. The victim was struck unconscious and fell to the ground, suffering a concussion and other injuries. The Patrol Volunteers immediately called 911. The suspect’s vehicle fled, and one Volunteer remained with the victim to meet incoming police and EMS units while the other three followed the vehicle only long enough to get a good plate and establish a direction of travel. They immediately returned to the park and stood by near the scene, safely out of the way. Thanks to their fast, accurate information to 911 an off-duty sergeant spotted the suspect vehicle in traffic. He called for marked units to make the stop, and the subject was quickly detained. The main eyewitness Volunteer Patroller was brought to the site of the stop where he positively identified the suspect. In addition to the violent physical assault, the arrestee was found to have an outstanding warrant for escape. He was booked into Pierce County Jail for Assault 2nd and the warrant. The volunteers’ conduct, dedication, and clear-headedness in a difficult situation speak very highly of the Volunteer Patrol. Contact Carol Hudgins at 584-5905 for more information.
  • Robbery Suspect Arrested: A Lakewood Officer was near Happy Days when he was flagged down by a frantic pizza delivery person. She was reporting that someone tried to rob her at gunpoint in front of the apartments on 115th St. Ct. Officers responded and the suspect and several others were located. After they were all detained, a gun was found on the suspect she described. The gun was stolen and the suspect who possessed it had a previous conviction for a gun charge. He was charged for the gun, robbery and a couple other felonies.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulleting 7/27/07

July 27, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • National Night Out Events in Lakewood: On August 7th, over 40 neighborhoods in Lakewood will be observing Night Out Against Crime. Almost 3,000 Lakewood residents are expected to take part in this year’s observances. This is the 24th year of the international observance of law enforcement-community partnerships working together to remove crime and drugs from their neighborhoods. Lakewood’s additional theme is Preparing for a Possible Pandemic. “Pandemic Preparedness Kits” will be distributed to event participants. Police and fire departments will visit NNO events, as will elected officials, NNO sponsors and honored guests. The Lakewood NNO events are sponsored by the Lakewood Police Department and the Safe Streets Campaign.
  • Traffic Calming Public Meeting: In accordance with the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Control program, the Public Works Department has scheduled a public meeting with the neighborhood residents and the users of 104th St from Lake Louise Dr. to Idlewild Rd. The meeting is to discuss traffic calming measures there and will be held at Lakes High School on Tuesday, August 7th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.
  • News Tribune Coverage of Volunteers at Lakewood Police Department: Volunteer Disabled Parking Enforcement Coordinator Kristy Kernen will be “shadowed” by reporter Rob Tucker and his camera man while on “DPE training” duty Friday July 27th, from 1300-1500 hours. The article is expected to be published on July 29th.
  • Abatement Cleanup On Nixon Ave: A City-hired abatement contractor began work on the cleanup of a house and property contaminated from illegal methamphetamine production on Nixon Avenue SW, just 300 feet from Fort Steilacoom Park. While working through the legal and contracting process, the City had the house boarded up as an emergency measure, as the owner/meth-cook kept breaking in, and realtors were reportedly taking people through the contaminated house. The cleanup should be complete shortly, and a buyer is waiting to purchase the house as soon as the City and the Health Department release it.
  • Clover Park School Superintendent: The city manager met this week with the newly-appointed CPSD executive team, Superintendent Al Cohen and deputy superintendent Debbie LeBeau, to ensure continued coordination of cooperative and joint efforts between the City and the District.
  • LPD Firearms Instructor Training: Range master and LPD Officer, Brian Wurts took LPD’s firearms instructors to a WSLEFIA (Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor Association) training event last week. LPD took third in the three gun competition (only a couple second spread from first to third) out of many agencies from around the State and Canada. One of our instructors, Sergeant Ralph Evans, took first in the shotgun category. All of the instructors attended numerous four hour blocks each day to include tactical rife (taught by Massad Ayoob who is a nationally know firearms instructor) and handgun teaching techniques taught by another nationally known instructor. Four of the instructors attained the Glock armorer certification so we now have an adequate number for a department of our size. The LPD program meets or exceeds National and State standards, and our LPD firearms instructors are building a great reputation for our own program and our skill set.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/13/07

July 13, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Dave Bugher, Assistant City Manager
  • Seeley Lake Apartments: Officers responded to three subjects breaking into cars at the complex. When officers arrived two of them fled on foot. While chasing them a van drove out of the complex with no lights on. An officer put the license plate out to incoming units. Officers stopped the van as it exited the complex. Officers also caught one of the suspects who fled on foot. The other subject was tracked by K-9 but unfortunately he was not located. There were six more subjects in the van which had several stolen stereos and other victim’s personal property in it. Two females in the van cooperated fully and gave statements. We located a total of five victims whose cars were broken into. One of them will be an attempted MVTR. A total of three adults and two juveniles were arrested. Most of the property was returned to the victims. Excellent work by everyone involved.
  • Officer representing LPD and CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) at International Conference in Montreal: Officer Jeff Carroll has been asked to be an Ambassador at the CALEA conference in Montreal. Officer Carroll will introduce guest speakers and instructors to the audience and distribute/ collect course evaluations. Jeff will represent LPD and the NWPAC well.
  • July 4th LPD Fireworks Update: On July 4th, the City of Lakewood had 244 police calls for service which is about twice the normal number. Seventy nine or 32.5% were fireworks related calls. Two criminal citations, and six notices of infraction were issued, in addition to two juvenile referrals. In 2006, LPD received 276 calls for service, with 78 fireworks related, so total calls came down, but fireworks calls remained constant.
    From July 3rd through the 5th, there were a total of 151 fireworks related calls for service. Two extra patrol cars were on call from 8 PM to 12 PM, and specific to July 4th, LPD had four extra patrol cars on overtime plus two cars staffed by police administrators, for a total of six. The police department responded to 141 of the calls; the remainder likely occurred before or after the fireworks emphasis patrols. There were some ‘hiccups’ with the fireworks ordinance. Police staff will present some possible amendments to the ordinance at an upcoming Council study session.
  • Pierce County Striping Crews: Pierce County paint striping crews are starting this week. They should be in town from now through August.
  • Bridgeport Way – McChord Drive to I-5 street lights: The City worked with Lakeview Light and Power to install street lights along this section of Bridgeport Way. This is the number one location currently on the street light request list. The street lights will be installed economically on wood poles with overhead power service. This is in anticipation of future development in this area which will ultimately provide frontage improvements. Work should begin next Monday, July 16.
  • National tournament comes to Lakewood: The U.S. Girls Junior Golf Championship will kick off on July 23 at Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Lakewood, and organizers are confidant the event will continue to feed Pierce County's reputation as a national-caliber golfing destination with the new course at Chambers Bay and in DuPont. The national-level tournament will feature 156 girls from 10 countries. Tom Hosea, director of government relations for Key Bank and member of the club, said that club member Pat Lesser Harbottle actually won the tournament in 1950, and Tacoma Country and Golf Club's hosting of three past U.S. Girls Junior Championships led to the club's selection as this year's venue. For more information, visit 2007usgirlsjunior.org.
  • City Code Enforcement: The City’s Code Enforcement Division issued Notice and Orders of Abatement on two properties, conducted an emergency abatement to secure a methamphetamine contaminated house from unauthorized entry, and entered into a contract for a complete abatement of the same house. The licenses of two motels were revoked, following revocation of their State licenses and multi-agency inspections that found them to be dangerous. A business, whose license was revoked for numerous violations of state and local laws, withdrew their appeal of the Lakewood license revocation after their State business registration was also revoked.
  • Great Northwest Planning Conference: Lakewood planners Alexandra Bilderback and Deborah Johnson are serving as committee members for this year’s Great Northwest Planning Conference sponsored by the Washington and Oregon chapters of the American Planning Association. The conference is a three day event being held at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center on October 3rd through the 5th. The conference is expected to attract planners from around the Northwest. Alex is serving on the Program Committee, which selects and develops themes and topics for the conference program. This year’s theme is Planners without Borders, and the program will include presentations from planners with a national and international focus. Deborah is serving on the Host Committee and will be representing the City of Lakewood in a mobile workshop being held in conjunction with Jeff Brown and BCRA Architects that will present BCRA’s plan for redevelopment of the Tillicum community.