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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/26/05

August 26, 2005
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Heidi Wachter, Acting City Manager

  • Skatewave Demo Tour: Lakewood Parks and Recreation Department hosted a Skatewave Demonstration at Harry Todd Park on Saturday, August 20th. Lakewood was one of just 33 cities selected to host a Demo Tour Stop. We had 66 riders and numerous spectators. Some By Sea provided great live music.
  • Car Theft Ring: Lakewood Dayshift Patrol Units, led by Officer Oscar Maysonet, responded to a LoJack Alert of stolen vehicle and located it at the Starlight Swap Meet.  In a team effort between Police Operations and the Criminal Investigations Unit Detectives, surveillance was conducted and two individuals were taken into custody after claiming the vehicle.  Further investigation led to a search warrant at a location in Tacoma and recovery of another stolen vehicle and further investigative leads.  A search warrant of a storage unit also turned up several stolen engines and parts. This has led to the dismantling of a car theft ring.  A job well done by patrol with great cooperation between units.
  • Volunteer Patrol Program: On Monday, August 22nd at 6:30 pm at the Lakewood Police Station meeting room the new, improved volunteer patrol program (a mobile block-watch)  met with key stakeholders  present.  The Parks Department , City Council, Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association president,  Pacific Neighborhood Association President, and several community members were in attendance. Darlene Picon, from Safe Streets, presented  many  aspects of the program at the meeting.
  • Steilacoom Blvd / Lakewood Drive Improvements – LID 1101: The contractor will begin work on this project the week of August 29th.  Work that week will be limited to mobilization and setting variable message signs informing the public of the construction zone.  After Labor Day, the contractor will start heavy construction and will need to have 24-hour closure of the outside lane adjacent to their work.  The contractor has been asked to limit their 24-hour lane closures to one direction at a time.  So, for example, the contractor will start on the north side of Steilacoom Blvd.  During this time, there will be only one travel lane westbound, and two travel lanes eastbound through the construction limits.  This staged construction and lane closure is required for a safe work zone for both the contractor and the traveling public.  The contract period is for 100 working days.
  • Farwest Drive Storm Drainage Improvements: The pipe work is almost complete on 116th Street (off Farwest Drive).  The contractor is scheduled to pave on September 9th.
  • Transportation Grant Applications: Grant applications are being completed for the following projects.
    • Pacific Highway – Gravelly Lake Drive to Bridgeport Way: We are applying for a Transportation Enhancement Program grant for design only.  There are no local funding match requirements for this grant program.  This project is part of the 6-Year Transportation Improvement Program (2006-2011).
    • Pacific Highway – 108th Street to SR 512 Park and Ride: We are applying for a Transportation Enhancement Program grant for design only.  There are no local funding match requirements for this grant program.  This project is denoted as a City commitment in the 2002 cooperative agreement with Sound Transit and it fills in the missing pedestrian link between Sound Transit’s new Commuter Rail Station and Pierce Transit’s existing Park-n-Ride facility. Sound Transit is still very much interested in seeing that these improvements get built.
    • Bridgeport Way – 83rd Street SW (in Lakewood) to 54th Street W (in University Place): This is a joint project between the City of Lakewood and City of University Place where we are applying for right-of-way and construction funding to complete roadway improvements along this corridor.  This grant program is called the “Corridor Completion Program” sponsored by the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB).  We received previous federal grant money as a joint project with University Place to complete the design.  Again, this grant provides right-of-way and construction dollars.  This project (in phases), is part of the 6-Year Transportation Program (2006-2011).
    • Steilacoom Blvd – Bridgeport Way to Fairlawn Avenue: We are applying for a Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Grant for completing sidewalks on this portion of Steilacoom Blvd.  This is a continuation project of our previously completed TIB project for the realignment of Gravelly Lake Drive at Steilacoom Blvd.  This project is part of the 6-Year Transportation Improvement Program (2006-2011).

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/19/05

August 19, 2005
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • WCMA Conference: The city manager attended the annual Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) conference in Winthrop this week, for which he is on the board. Sessions included emphasis on labor relations, performance measurement, and economic development.
  • Community Policing – With Animal Control Support: A case came to the city regarding an elderly lady who lived alone in a single wide mobile trailer in the Northwest Mobile Home Park located on San Francisco Street in Springbrook. Through the exceptional partnership of Code Officer Ron Baer, Animal Control Officers Randy Richards and Correne Buck, NPO Angel Figueroa, CSO Gail Conelly, and Patrol Officer Darrin Miller, the City was able to remove a vicious/dangerous dog, eight neglected cats and the owner from a living situation in a trailer completely filled with trash and waste. The pet owner was treated with respect and concern, so that she understood and accepted what had to be done. This is a cameo example of community policing at its finest, to make neighborhoods more livable and to serve and assist vulnerable segments of our population.
  • Close Out on National Night Out: Mike and Sharron Kanter recently took four SUV loads full of items that were donated by neighbors in Lakewood during National Night Out events to Fisher House at Madigan.  The donations to Fisher House will be used by the families of military members in the hospital and those families coming to the area to attend memorial services for their loved ones.
  • Radio KLAY Panel on DV: Patrol Officer Christopher Bowl, Detective Sergeant Heidi Hoffman, Lakewood Legal Advocate Ann-Marie Dvorak and YWCA representative Gretchen Hanson were part of a 90-minute panel discussion on KLAY radio August 17th on domestic violence.  Discussion covered the many responsibilities of a patrol officer on DV calls, the mandatory arrest law, Primary Aggressor determination and the role drugs and alcohol play – particularly meth – in accelerating the frequency and aggressiveness of DV incidents.
  • SWAT Raid: Special Ops developed probable cause for another warrant for continued cocaine traffic at Washington Court Apartments in Tillicum August 17th. Metro SWAT served the warrant, arresting two individuals and recovered over 15 grams of cocaine. LPD and Community Development are in the process of meeting with the land lord to put firm controls on the operation of the complex.
  • National Liquor Law Enforcement Association Presentation: Chief Saunders has been invited to do a presentation on combating gang and violent crime in liquor establishments at the NLLEA annual conference in Vienna, VA; Sept 6th thru 8th. NLLEA will cover all expenses.
  • National Weed & Seed Conference: Assistant Chief Dave Hall has been invited to participate on a panel discussion on controlling crime in apartment complexes at the annual national Weed & Seed conference in Los Angeles, August 22-25. This is the third time Lakewood has been asked to do a presentation at the national conference.
  • Washington Race and Reconciliation Summit: The Washington State Working Group on Race and Reconciliation in Law Enforcement is hosting a one day summit on September 22nd, promoting collaboration between law enforcement agencies and communities of faith. LPD will be sending a contingent of leadership, community policing officers and members of our ethnic outreach groups. LAAPAC, LPAB, and KAPAG all have churches engaged in our outreach partnership. Chief Saunders will be one of three Washington law enforcement members on the panel discussion.
  • Paint Lakewood BeautifulUnder LPD Lt. Dave Guttu’s able lead, thirteen employees of the City and two family members of employees began the home repainting project on July 9th and finished on August 6th. The home on Doten Drive belongs to Gregoria Dumloa, a retired civil servant from Fort Lewis and widow. The family has lived in this Lakewood home since the early 60’s. Mrs. Dumloa is on limited income and has suffered multiple strokes and heart attacks. Neighbors told us numerous times that she is deserving of the help and thought it was a fantastic volunteer project.   Gregoria was very appreciative of the City assistance.  City employees who invested time were: Dave Guttu (LPD), Jeff Carroll (LPD), Gene Rossi (DPW), Sherwin Fermahin (DPW), Alex Bilderback (DCD), Oscar Maysonet (LPD), Stephanie Buss (Finance), Joanna Nichols (LPD), Thom Stewart (LPD), Kim Holmes (LPD), Tes Ongoco (City Clerk), Steve Mauer (LPD), Debi Young (HR); Family Members: Debi Young’s husband Roger and Oscar Maysonet’s son (Nathan Lane Maysonet)
  • Police Training:
    • Chief Saunders will be attending the American Leadership Forum Wilderness Leadership training the week of August 22nd. There is no cost to the City for this.
    • Traffic Officer Scot Novasky will be attending “Investigation of Motorcycle Accidents” a forty-hour course in advanced investigation specific to serious accidents involving motorcycles. The tuition for the course is being refunded to the City on a grant.
    • Assistant Chief Dave Hall and Weed and Seed Coordinator Ivy Murphy will be attending the National Weed & Seed Conference in Los Angeles, California. Attendance is being paid for through a grant.
    • Traffic Section officers Mike Russell and Bryan Norton will be attending a forty-hour course in advanced investigation specific to serious accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. The training is sponsored by the Criminal Justice Training Commission and is at no cost to the City.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/05/05

August 5, 2005

WEEKLY INFO  BULLETIN

To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Gramercy Place Water Quality Improvements: A project was advertised this week to solicit bids to install a water quality vault just upstream of a storm water outfall into Steilacoom Lake.  The project is located on Gramercy Place SW, near the north end of the lake.  The bids will be opened on August 9th, and awarded to the lowest responsible bidder at the August 15th Council meeting.
  • Future Police Headquarters Property Acquisition Nearly Complete: On August 9th the City is scheduled to sign the closing papers and take ownership of 2.75 acres of land located on the west side of the Lakewood Industrial Park and adjacent to Lakewood Drive SW.  The land is proposed as the future site of the Lakewood Police Department Headquarters.
  •  Automated Traffic Enforcement:  Larry Saunders, Heidi Wachter and Candice Bock attended the Traffic Safety Commission’s traffic camera meeting in SeaTac on August 5th.
  •  City Clerk Recognition: Alice Bush has earned the designation this week as a Master Municipal Clerk (MMC), which in the highest recognition given by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. It signifies completion of the third level of the MMC Academy and recognizes Alice’s exemplary performance as a municipal clerk.
  • Human Services Timeline: Attached is the timeline for the 2006 Human Services funding process again as a reminder of the start of the process and that Councilmembers are welcome to attend the meetings of the Human Services Funding Advisory Board.   Applications for funding will become available starting Monday, August 8th.
  • Chamber of Commerce Car Show: The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce “Return to Lakewood” Car Show was attended by Sgt. Mark Eakes.   He presented “The Lakewood Police Most Wanted” car award, which went to a 1941 Model T with 850 horsepower behind it. The owner of the car said he can’t take it out of 2nd gear because of the power. When the awards for the Most Wanted car were given Assistant Chief Lopez went forward and placed cuffs on the winner.
  • National Night Out:  This year’s National Night Out Against Crime (NNO) on August 2nd was a huge success.  Lakewood elected officials visited the city’s 33 venues, and we also had representatives from McChord AFB, including the Commander of the 62nd Mission Support Group, and from Ft Lewis, the Executive Officer of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, as well as representatives from Puget Sound Energy, and the Attorney General’s Office.  Pierce County Department of Emergency Management provided “TAC ONE” command post vehicle for the night.  The NPO/CSO teams did a great job of getting support in their districts.  Three apartment complexes in the Springbrook area having NNO events is a record.  Eight of the 33 hosts were first-timers, and everyone was hugely enthusiastic. Several of the venues featured live music and other entertainment, including a very talented Elvis impersonator!  This was the eighth year that Mike and Sharron Kanter coordinated the Lakewood NNO event, and once again, they did a splendid job.
  • Pay-up Time: Chief Larry Saunders paid off his bet with Lakewood Fire Chief Paul Webb on August 4th, after losing the crown in January at the 2004 Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-off. The losing chief traditionally has to wash the winner’s official vehicle at a Chamber lunch meeting while wearing a costume designated by the winning chief.  Chief Webb decreed that Chief Saunders would appear as “Elvira, The Vampire Queen”, which he gamely did.  “Elvira”, with back-up singers Dave Hall and Tim Lopez, belted out the Oakridge Boys tune of the same name, and began washing Chief Webb’s car only to be taken into custody by the LPD SWAT Team for “Felony Embarrassment in the First Degree.”
  • Air Show Traffic: The Lakewood Police Traffic Unit provided traffic control assistance on the streets and intersections surrounding McChord AFB during the annual air show on July 30 and 31.
  • Promotion Ceremony: Officer Kim Holmes was promoted to the rank of Detective on August 1st.  She is currently assigned to the Special Assault Unit.  Council and all city staff members are invited to join us as we “officially” promote Detective Kim Holmes, commission five Reserve Police Officers, and present dog collar badges to our two K-9 partners. Bo and Titan. The ceremony is at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, August 12, in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/12/05

August 12, 2005

WEEKLY INFO  BULLETIN

To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Photo Enforcement Summit: On Friday, August 5th, the photo enforcement summit was sponsored by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission.  The Faculty was the City of Lakewood: Police – Larry Saunders plus several officers and CIO’s; Legal - Heidi Wachter; Public Works – Retired Public Works Director – Bill Larkin and Staff; Court – Kathy Schmieder,  Sandra Piro and Cheryl Capps; Public Relations and the Media – Candice Bock.  The conference was a success.  There were approximately 150 attendees according to the WSTSC.
  • Court Training: Kathy Schmieder will be attending an Alternative Sentencing Conference next week (sponsored by the Washington Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Association) August 16th and 17th.  Also attending are Probation Counselor, Jeanette Merod, and Court Compliance Officer, Ray Richardson.  On the agenda are the latest in Electronic Home Monitoring, Work Crew, Day Jail Programs, Regional Jails in the State of Washington and other methods of alternatives to Traditional Jail Sentences.
  • Informational Meeting for Fort Steilacoom Off-Leash Dog Park: The August 15th meeting to update the community regarding the status of the off leash area has been rescheduled to Monday, August 22nd.  The meeting will be at 5:00 p.m. in Fort Steilacoom Park (meet near the cemetery).  Neighbors asked to delay the meeting for one week so they had more time to review past meeting materials and help distribute information to nearby residents.
  • LPD/Korean Cultural Awareness Training: LPD conducted their first Korean Cultural Awareness Training.  The 40 minute training was facilitated by LPD’s own Korean-American Police Officer Austin Lee.  Members of Korean-American Police Advisory Group (KAPAG) were also present during the training.  LPD employees were shown a 5 minute video clip as the introduction and presentation on history, geography, people, food, clothes, language, economy of Korean-American in Lakewood, and cultural issues in law enforcement were reviewed during the training.  The objectives of the training were 1) get familiar with the Korean culture, 2) get familiar with Korean-American economy in Lakewood, and 3) identify cultural differences and issues in law enforcement.  During the training, a 14 page “Korean for Law Enforcement” booklet was issued to the members of LPD.  The booklets were made by LPD with assistance by KAPAG and they were designed to assist officers in the field during their interactions with Korean-Americans who may have language barrier.  The booklets contain Korean translations of constitutional rights, various commands, greetings, traffic stop procedures, medical questions, anatomy, and contacting robbery victims.  Most of the translations also contain annotations of how to say things phonetically in Korean.  The “contacting robbery victims” section of the booklet is especially beneficial to the first responders because the majority of groceries in Lakewood are own by Korean-Americans.  Officers can now simply have the victims read the booklet, which is in Korean, and have them circle their answers to describe the suspect(s) and the vehicle.  This type training will be replicated for Latino and African American cultural awareness.  Booklets have been placed in Council mailboxes.
  • Bridgeport Bar & Grill Update: Officer Austin Lee and Liquor Control Board (LCB) Officer Jackie Eliason had a meeting with the Bridgeport Bar and Grill regarding the recent violation of “allowing a minor to frequent off-limits area.” This was their second violation within four months.  Based on the LCB’s administrative notice, the BBG liquor license will be suspended for 7 days from 09-09-05 (10 am) to 09-16-05 (10 am).  The City of Lakewood is concurrently processing the revocation of the business license for this and numerous other offenses that have rendered the business a community safety risk.
  • Marine Services Unit: The MSU Unit has engaged ten Citizen Marine Patrol Volunteers to work the Sound Meter detection device on American Lake as well as conduct vehicle safety inspections. This has been very successful and popular with the local boaters.  We have also been working with lake improvement clubs on Gravelly, Steilacoom and Louise to develop citizen marine volunteer networks at those locations to monitor and report concerns and assist with water safety education and awareness.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/29/05

July 29, 2005

WEEKLY INFO  BULLETIN

To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Tillicum Summer Outreach Program award:  The Community Capacity Development Office (OCDO) selected Lakewood’s Tillicum Summer Outreach Program to receive a Coordination Honor Award, to be presented at the National Weed and Seed conference in California on August 22nd.
  • Camp Murray: The city manager met this week with Major General Lowenberg, who is the adjutant general in command of Camp Murray, as well as the director of the State’s Military Department, to discuss mutual concerns, including facility security, the boat launch, the traffic along Berkeley and Union in Tillicum, and the city’s urban growth boundaries.  The City and Camp Murray have an excellent working relationship, including a recently approved joint training agreement related to the Counter Drug Task Force.
  • Planning Advisory Board: The PAB conducted a study session this week to review a draft Public Participation Plan for the regulation of group homes, correctional facilities, in-patient facilities, and mental health facilities in Lakewood’s Public Institutional Zoning Districts.   The audience included representatives from DSHS, Keep Lakewood & Steilacoom Safe (KLASS), the Oakbrook Neighborhood Association, and the Clover Park School District.  The draft plan was well received, and it is anticipated that the Board would adopt it on August 3rd, to be followed by presentation by the PAB chair to the City Council   
  • Group Home Procedures: The community development director met with a select working group representing DSHS, the Oakbrook Neighborhood, and adult family home interests, to review draft administrative procedures for the uniform permitting, inspection, and enforcement of accessory dwelling units, adult family homes, bed and breakfasts, daycare facilities, group homes, group-care facilities, home occupations, and rental housing complexes located within residential zoning districts.  The procedures would increase accountability on the part of property owners and DSHS administrators, and further introduces levels of coordination between the City and DSHS that are not currently in place.  Once final revisions have been made, Lakewood will request that the document be reviewed by policy analysts with the state.  It is likely to be reviewed by the PAB in September, to be followed by a presentation to the City Council.  The process has been complex in that it involves the regulatory elements of the Fair Housing Act, the American with Disabilities Act, state law and administrative code, local zoning and development regulations, business licensing, and construction and building codes in one coordinated document. 
  • Department of Corrections: The city manager met again this week with the Secretary of the State Department of Corrections (DOC) regarding the City’s opposition to siting the Progress house work-release program at Western State Hospital.  DOC was urged once again to drop consideration of the WSH site and to initiate a broad-based site alternative selection process. 
  • Lakewood Idol: The City held the Lakewood Idol 2005 finals at American Lake Park on July 26th.  Eight finalists competed after being selected to advance from a pool of 29 contestants at an audition held earlier this month.  The judges were Roger Laybourn, Dr. Benjamin Keller and Tillie Donaldson. Angela Baum, age 15, took home the grand prize of $250 (courtesy of Columbia Bank) and the title of Lakewood Idol 2005.  She will now represent Lakewood at the Battle of the Idols at the Puyallup Fair on Friday, September 16th where she will compete for $1,000, a recording session, and a photo shoot.  Angela is a student at Lakes High School and a member of their award-winning choir.  She “wow’d” the crowd Tuesday night with a soulful rendition of “How Come You Don’t Call Me?”  Event sponsors included City of Lakewood, Columbia Bank, Crane’s Creations, and Desert Sun Tanning.
  • Code enforcement: Code enforcement action was initiated on the Refuge Recovery House, a group home, located at 10310 Kendrick.  The City issued a stop work order on July 22nd which resulted in follow-up inspections and may lead to a declaration that the building is unsafe because of illegal construction and zoning violations.  The group home is supposed to be used as a transitional housing facility for homeless addicts; however, it appears that recently released Corrections inmates are residing at this location.  The State Department of Health and the Department of Corrections have been contacted; because of their respective jurisdiction over the individuals involved.
  • Marine Services Unit on American Lake: Over the past 10 days, MSU has added another 25 hours of patrolling, and an additional 15 hours spent at the ramps conducting 36 vessel inspections. Five sound meter checks were completed with none passing, with two warnings and three having their boating day cut short.  On the weekend of July 16th, two of boats were not allowed to launch because of previous noise level warnings, and no corrective action taken.  12 boaters elected to leave the lake in lieu of citations. Officers did 176 spot checks on vessels and assisted 5 boaters with mechanical or operator difficulties.  The number one boating violation is still “direction of travel”. LPD/MSU Intern Brianna Burroughs has created an educational boating pamphlet for citizens, which she will be handing out at American Lake Park boat launch and answering questions.  MSU has also established contacts at both Lake Steilacoom and Lake Louise.
  • John School and Vice Task Force: Our interlocal agreements supporting the John School and Vice Task Force were approved by Tacoma City Council, and the newest partner to the program is now St. Joseph’s Hospital.
  • Bike Patrol Officers: Officers Joe Sandall and Jim Lofland have completed the IPMBA Bike Certification through the Bremerton Police Department.
  • Public Safety in the Parks: Officers have been sweeping the parks at closing and assisting the lifeguards in closing down. Because of the recent encounters of juveniles swimming off the dock at Harry Todd Park the Parks department will be stenciling “NO SWIMMING” on the docks.  One adult has been cited for criminal trespass to exclude him from American Lake Park for continually creating problems.  Five additional people were kicked out of the park for the day.  One juvenile was arrested for obstructing and resisting arrest.  Two gang members were ID’ed at Springwood Park and the information was passed onto the Gang Officer.  A total of 11 hours were spent on Bikes in the parks. In Fort Steilacoom Park, numerous juveniles were surprised when two bike officers arrived at their illegal social gathering.
  • Landmarks and Heritage Board: The Board met this week and reviewed its historic properties inventory handbook (71 properties in all) with the purpose of selecting 10 properties for potential National Register placement, or for local landmarks designation.  Because Lakewood is comprised of several different historic communities, Lakewood provides an incredible variety of cultural resources.  Once this selection process has been completed, it would be the Board’s desire to contact those specific property owners and determine if there is an interest in pursuing landmarks designation.  Designation is entirely voluntary. 
  • Steilacoom Kiwanis: The city manager was the guest speaker on July 28th at the Steilacoom Kiwanis on the subject of “state of the city”.
  • Community Policing; District 2 Team Members held the first English/Spanish Block Watch Meeting on July 21st , which was well attended by 12 local community members and Officer Angel Figueroa, who interpreted in Spanish for those who did not speak English.  Thanks to Officer Figueroa and Community Service Officer Gail Conelly for setting up the meeting.  District 3 Team Members Officer Austin Lee and Community Service Officer Laurie Lowery have successfully worked with the owner of the 7-11 on South Tacoma Way and the parent company in implementing a Crime Prevention Program due to the high number of 911 calls generated from the business. This is one of our ongoing projects on South Tacoma Way; we are currently working with The Golden Lion Motel in a Crime Prevention Program, and the Sage Terrace Apartments just successfully completed their program.