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Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar to Retire

After nearly three decades of serving and protecting the Lakewood community, Police Chief Bret Farrar has announced that he will retire in April.

One of the most recognizable faces and personalities in the community, Chief Farrar will end his law enforcement career where it started. He began as a Patrol Deputy in Lakewood for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in 1988, before the City’s incorporation.

He rose through the ranks, elevating from Patrol Deputy to Detective, then Detective Sergeant to Lieutenant. In 2006, two years after Lakewood officially formed its own department, Chief Farrar was promoted to Assistant Chief. In February 2008, he was appointed Chief of the Lakewood Police Department.

Under Chief Farrar’s leadership, crime has fallen across the board in Lakewood. Both tangibly and intangibly, Lakewood has become a safer community because of its police department and its leadership.

Chief Farrar was also leading the department when it suffered its worse tragedy on Nov. 29, 2009, when Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Ronald Owens and Officer Greg Richards were murdered at a coffee shop as they filled out paperwork.

Chief Farrar’s leadership in the days, weeks and months after the tragedy helped unite and reaffirm the conviction of his department to serve and protect Lakewood.

He will bid farewell to a decorated career. Chief Farrar received the Medal of Valor in 2001, a Life Saving Medal in 1993, five Medals of Merit from 1998 to 2003 - including a Special Commendation Medal of Merit in 2002 - the Leadership Award from the Tacoma Pierce County Chaplaincy in April of 2010 and the Administrator of the Year Award 2010 from the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs. Also, the Lakewood Police Department received the 2014 Rise Agency of the Year Award from Taser International and its accreditation through WASPC.

“Chief Farrar has been an outstanding leader who has nurtured the professionalism of the department and guided it to ever-increasing credibility and national recognition,” Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson said.

“It has been obvious, to me, that his success has been a product of his deep concern for the people he has served in his many years of protecting our citizens,” Mayor Anderson added.

Outside of the Lakewood Police Station, Chief Farrar served as the department’s unofficial ambassador to countless charities and service groups. They included the Y.W.C.A. Women’s Shelter and the Crime Free Business Task Force for Lakewood, Y.W.C.A. Youth Basketball Coach and a Bone Marrow Donor to unrelated recipients, as well as being a host family for foreign exchange students through the International Home Stay Program. Farrar belongs to several organizations, including the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs, the Pierce County Cooperative Cities and the Pierce County Chief’s Association.

Chief Farrar’s last day with the City of Lakewood will be April 6. He plans to spend his retirement days with his wife, Cindy, in sunny Arizona.

When asked today about his reflections on his 27 years of law enforcement in Lakewood, Chief Farrar offered this:

“It has been my honor and sincere privilege to serve the citizens of Pierce County and Lakewood for the last 27 years,” he said. “I look forward to serving my wife for the remainder of my life.”

Chief Farrar’s last official act as Lakewood Police Chief will be joining his department in the traditional unfurling of the American flag at the Seattle Mariners’ home opener, a fitting symbol of remembrance for Lakewood's four fallen officers.

Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield said the City will begin the process of searching and recruiting Chief Farrar’s successor in the coming weeks.

“I want to thank Chief Farrar for what he has accomplished in a long and distinguished law enforcement career to include all he has done for the Lakewood community,” Caulfield said. “I have a lot of respect and admiration for Chief Farrar and the leadership he has brought to our City.”

“He can be proud of his legacy in that Lakewood today is a safe City because of his efforts,” the City Manager added. “Chief Farrar is the ultimate professional who will be missed, and we congratulate him on his retirement.”

West Pierce Fire & Rescue Responds to Hazardous Materials Incident in Lakewood

Just before 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, West Pierce firefighters had a citizen walk into the station to report an odor coming from his home at the 8600 block of Moreland Ave SW.  The man described coming home and finding both his cat and his bird dead and a strange odor coming from the house.

Firefighters initially monitored the air using special devices from the exterior of the structure and found nothing.  More specialized equipment monitored the air inside the structure and found traces of a hazardous material.  At this point the Pierce County Hazardous Incident Team was called, along with the Hazardous Materials Team from Joint Base Lewis McChord, the 10th Civil Support Team from Camp Murray and the Department of Ecology.  The Pierce County Hazardous Incident Team is made up of firefighters who specialize as Hazardous Materials Technicians. This incident included Hazardous Materials Technicians from West Pierce, Gig Harbor, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue and Graham Fire & Rescue.

These additional specialized firefighters were called in to identify the chemical and to determine if the home was safe for the occupant to return.  In the end, a carpet cleaner was identified as the cause of the incident.  The incident has been turned over to the Pierce County Health Department for further investigation.

Lakewood Station at the Walkable Washington Symposium

One of Lakewood’s newer landmarks is getting some statewide attention for its pedestrian-friendly design and overall accessibility.

The Feet First Walkable Washington Program – which recognizes and supports communities creating “walkable places” throughout the state – will recognize the Lakewood Station Connection Project at its annual symposium and awards ceremony April 2 in Redmond.

The program will showcase the Lakewood Station Connection as an example of the projects from cities, counties, school districts and community organizations that are intended to make Washington a safer, easier and more inviting place for people to walk. Walkable Washington has even produced a case study about Lakewood Station Connection.

Opened in 2013, Lakewood Station Connection is a result of calls for transit improvements at the Lakewood Sounder commuter rail station. The project was specifically identified in the City’s first Comprehensive Plan, which called for a mix of office, retail and high-density residential uses supported by direct, regional transportation access.

The Lakewood City Council proposed two top priorities for the Lakewood Station Connection Project:

  • To significantly increase the station’s regional access and improve connections between neighborhoods and major employers;
  • To promote the Lakewood Station area as a multi-modal commuter hub by incorporating non-motorized travel and connections that will enhance the livability and the attractiveness of the community.

The Lakewood Station Connection Project includes a pedestrian bridge across the Sound Transit railroad tracks, as well as connecting the Lakewood Sounder Station to the residential and employment area of Kendrick Street immediately to the north. Street improvements include sidewalks, bicycle facilities, street lights, and street trees installed along Kendrick approximately 900 feet from the pedestrian bridge north to 111th Street Southwest.

Benefits for the community include a safe and secure walkable neighborhood, increased housing development, new retail and business opportunities, and an important connection to the City of Lakewood Sounder multiā€model transit hub. The City of Lakewood plans to follow up with this new development by installing more way finding signs and promoting the station’s usage.

The Walkable Washington Annual Symposium and Awards is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 2 at Redmond City Hall, 15670 Northeast 85th Street.

Part of the Feet First Cities Program, it’s the state’s only event designed to provide creative networking opportunities, helpful resources, and awards to organizations and cities building healthy, livable and walkable communities. The symposium offers a fun learning environment with sessions moderated by experts to discuss projects and programs implemented in the last three years throughout Washington. 

 

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/27/15

Feb. 27, 2015

WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN

To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager

Topics of Interest and Updates

Lakewood Station at the Walkable Washington Symposium

The Feet First Walkable Washington Program – which recognizes and supports communities creating “walkable places” throughout the state – will recognize the Lakewood Station Connection Project at its annual symposium and awards ceremony April 2 in Redmond. The program will showcase the Lakewood Station Connection as an example of the projects from cities, counties, school districts and community organizations that are intended to make Washington a safer, easier and more inviting place for people to walk. The Lakewood Station Connection Project includes a pedestrian bridge across the Sound Transit railroad tracks, as well as connecting the Lakewood Sounder Station to the residential and employment area of Kendrick Street immediately to the north. Street improvements include sidewalks, bicycle facilities, street lights, and street trees installed along Kendrick approximately 900 feet from the pedestrian bridge north to 111th Street Southwest.

For more information: http://goo.gl/g3NK9H

Lakewood Industrial Park Expansion

The Lakewood Industrial Park, the fourth largest private sector employer in Pierce County, is expanding. A new 136,000-square-foot building, the first of two planned structures, is nearly complete and already in the leasing process. The other new building, at 208,000 square feet, is expected to be completed in early 2016.

Projects Throughout Lakewood

Per the Public Works Department, the following projects are underway in the City of Lakewood with associated impacts:

  • Bridgeport Way – 83rd to 75th: Continuous outside lane closures to facilitate construction of curb, gutter, sidewalks, streetlights. Patching next week (weather permitting) will allow portions of the travel lanes through the project to be re-opened. Project construction to continue through May 2015.
  • Bridgeport Way – 112th through 83rd (various spot locations): Completing modifications to junction boxes and addition of conduit for fiber optic cable installation. Temporary (work day) outside lane closures at spot locations required.  Work to continue through middle of March 2015.
  • Lakewood Drive – Bridgeport Way to 100th Street: Completing modifications to junction boxes and addition of conduit for fiber optic cable installation. Temporary (workday) outside lane required.  Work to continue through middle of March 2015.
  • Steilacoom Blvd – 87th to South Tacoma Way:  Aerial fiber optic cable installation.  NIGHT WORK (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) starting Sunday, March 1, 2015 and continuing through Friday, March 6, 2015.  Rolling outside lane closures required.
  • Steilacoom Blvd – Lakewood Drive through Lakeview Ave:  Lakewood Water District project – constructing a new water main.  Temporary (work day) lane closures (up to 1,000 feet long) will be required.  Work started February 25, 2015 and will continue through April 2015.

Lake Steilacoom Toxic Algae Advisory

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department reported a toxic algae bloom in Lake Steilacoom. Areas of the lake with algae are unsafe for people and pets. Swallowing lake water containing algae or prolonged skin contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. Anyone who swallows water containing large amounts of algae should seek immediate medical attention. If a pet ingests a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

For more information: http://goo.gl/eK2RlO

13th Annual Father/Daughter Dance

  • WHAT: City of Lakewood's 13th Annual Father/Daughter Dance
  • WHEN: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sautrday, March 14
  • WHERE: Lakes High School, 10320 Farwest Drive SW, Lakewood
  • COST: Preregistration $35 per couple, $10 per additional daughter; At the door $45 per couple, $15 per additional daughter
  • REGISTER: Visit lakewoodparksandrec.com  or call (253) 983-7887

For more information: http://goo.gl/HK6J0M  

Registration Open for SummerFEST Triathlon

Register now for the 4tj Annual Lakewood SummerFEST Triathlon! The event is scheduled for July 11 at the renowned Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood and is open to participants 15 years and older.

The course consists of:

  • Half-mile swim starting and ending from the shore at American Lake Park
  • 14-mile bike course looped through the streets of Lakewood, Steilacoom, JBLM and Pierce County
  • 3.1-mile run at Fort Steilacoom Park

The race will start at 9 a.m., along the shore of American Lake (9222 Veterans Drive SW) and end at Fort Steilacoom Park (8714 87th Ave SW). Register in the next two months and get the early rate: $40 for Hero (military, police, firefighter); $50 for individual and $120 for team.

You can register here: http://goo.gl/2bzuZ5

For more information: http://goo.gl/IX2qGR  

#IamLakewood Photo of the Week

It's Lakewood in the other Washington this week. Mayor Don Anderson, Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen and City Manager John Caulfield were in our nation's capital meeting with the City's Congressional delegation and advocating for federal agenda items that are in Lakewood and Joint Base Lewis-McChord's best interests.

Parks and Recreation

Next 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 LSAC 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.

Monday, March 2

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • SAIL Class(Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.
  • Beginner and Intermediate Ballroom Dance, 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Yoga Stretch Concepts, 5:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.

Tuesday, March 3

  • Zumba Gold, 9 a.m.-10:55 a.m.
  • Stretch and Strengthen, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
  • Cake Day, 1 p.m.
  • Drop-in Line Dancing, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 4

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • SAIL Class(Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.
  • Knotty Knitters, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Thursday, March 5

  • Zumba Gold, 9 a.m.-10:55 a.m.
  • Stretch and Strengthen, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
  • Sassy Scrappers, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sketching and Colored Pencils, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Friday, March 6

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Open Computer Lab, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • SAIL Class (Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.

For more information: http://goo.gl/1qCrgx

Council Meetings

The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, March 2, 2015, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:\

  • Youth Council Report
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Proclamation declaring Classified School Employees Week
  • Public Hearing on Residential Target Area designations in Lakeview area
  • Appoint individuals to the Community Services Advisory Board
  • Create a Salary Commission
  • Amending the City Council Rules of Procedure
  • Resolution 2015-03 37100 100th Street property donation
  • City Manager Briefing – Food trucks regulations

The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, March 9, 2015, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

  • Review of banking services agreement.
  • Review of 5-Year and FY 2015 Consolidated Annual Action Plan & funding recommendations
  • Review of Motor Avenue concepts
  • Review of 2015 SSMCP Work Plan
  • Community Visioning update (tentative)

 

Lake Steilacoom Toxic Algae Advisory

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department wants you to know there is a toxic algae bloom in Lake Steilacoom. Areas of the lake with algae are unsafe for people and pets.

  • Keep children and pets away from areas with algae
  • Do not swim, wade, water ski, or fish in areas with algae

You can easily identify a toxic algae bloom because of its unusual color or appearance in the water. Usually a bloom makes the lake surface look like pea soup or green paint, but sometimes the bloom may be a different color (bluish or brownish). Wind and rain can greatly change the amount and location of algae in the lake.

Swallowing lake water containing algae or prolonged skin contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. Anyone who swallows water containing large amounts of algae should seek immediate medical attention.

The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people. Pets have smaller body sizes and are more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae. If a pet ingests a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Runoff from fertilizers, animal and human waste reach our lakes and contribute to algae growth. Reducing the use of fertilizers, properly maintaining septic systems, and properly disposing of pet waste helps improve water quality in lakes, streams, groundwater, and Puget Sound.

For more information, please contact Ray Hanowell at (253) 798-2845 ( ), or Lindsay Tuttle at (253) 798-3530 ( ), or visit our website at www.tpchd.org/toxicalgae .

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