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City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 10/31/08

October 31, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Domestic Violence Innovation Unit Sponsors Informational Meeting: Members of the Lakewood Domestic Violence Innovation Unit (Judge Ernest Heller, Senior Court Specialist Deana Wright, Probation Counselor Jeanette Matthews, Victim Advocates Ann-Marie Evans and Rebecca Hendricks) hosted an informational meeting with Pierce County batterer treatment agencies on October 29th. This meeting was attended by over 25 providers from 14 agencies. City staff presented information on the Court Innovation project, and solicited information and encouraged cooperation from batterer treatment providers. The discussion focused on legal/Court processes, batterer assessment procedures, and the impact of domestic violence on children.
  • Fort Lewis community connector combat teams helps "Make a Difference Day" a success: The Youth Council coordinated 4 project sites to celebrate Make a Difference Day in Lakewood on past Saturday, October 25th. They had an overwhelming turnout from our community connector, the 4/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Fort Lewis. The celebration began with a Kick-Off event at City Hall and a welcome by Mayor Richardson to an overflowing crowd of participants in the Council Chambers. Approximately 250 soldiers, spouses and children left from City Hall to the different project sites. They planted daffodil and tulip bulbs at Washington Park, planted Garry Oak trees, native bushes and replaced cemetery markers at Fort Steilacoom Park, spread wood chips, laid weed fabric and removed invasive plants at the Flett Creek Blueberry Farm and prepared "goody bags" for a children's event that would be held in the Springbrook neighborhood later the same day. Park cleanup was also done at the three park sites.
  • Lakewood Arts Commission Hosts Reception at Lakewood Playhouse: The Lakewood Arts Commission hosted a reception for guests and actors on October 24th during the opening night celebration of the Lakewood Playhouse production of Macbeth. Commission members secured art work for display in the lobby during the play's run, greeted and seated guests and prepared and served refreshments for this event. One of the goals of the Arts Commission is to continue to build partnerships with other organizations to promote the arts in Lakewood and this activity helped members meet that goal.
  • Tillicum Teen Center building permit issued: The Youth for Christ agency's project for a teen center in the building that was formerly Sig's Tavern in Tillicum received its building permit this week.
  • WSAMA 2008 Annual Fall Conference: City Attorney Wachter, Assistant City Attorney McKenzie and Associate City Attorney Kaser attended the 2008 Annual Fall Conference of the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys (WSAMA). Wachter was presented with the Outstanding Service Award and currently serves on the WSAMA Board as the First Vice-President; she also served on a panel addressing the issue of executive authority in the Municipal Court.
  • CSO Participates In Annual Lakewood Fire Department Pumpkin Patch: There were over 500 participants in the annual Lakewood Fire Dept. Pumpkin Patch on October 25th, with support from our CSO Conelly. Brochures and coloring books were handed out and participants were directed to a Free Car Seat inspection next door. There were also opportunities for children and adults to purchase low-cost bicycle helmets, call 911 and talk to an operator, crawl through a "smoke house", try on life jackets, jump in a bouncy house, shoot water out of a fire hose, and take home a pumpkin for Halloween.
  • LPD attends Harvest Carnival at Oakbrook Elementary School: CSO Wagner and NPO Wurts attended a Harvest Carnival at Oakbrook Elementary on October 23rd, attended by about 500 kids and parents. Besides giving out the usual safety/community info, Wurts used his radar gun to clock the baseball throws of the kids...which was a huge hit.
  • Chambers Creek Toxic Algae Bloom: The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has advised that there currently is a bloom of toxic algae in Chambers Creek that is coming from Lake Steilacoom. To prevent illness when toxic algae are present, the Health Department recommends these precautions in areas that have a heavy concentration of algae: keep children and pets away, don't swim and don't fish. Wildlife are can also be impacted by toxic algae. If sick or dead wildlife are noticed, please contact the Health Department at: (253) 798-6470

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 10/24/08

October 24, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Bridgeport Project Out to Bid: The Bridgeport Way (59th Ave to Steilacoom Blvd) Street Improvement project is out for construction bids with a bid opening date of November 12th. The project includes pavement widening, an asphalt overlay, bike lanes, curb and gutter, concrete sidewalks, street lighting, storm drainage and associated traffic signal systems.
  • Veterans Recognition at November 3rd Council Meeting: All citizens are encouraged to attend the November 3rd City Council meeting at 7pm in Council Chambers to honor our nation's military veterans. November 11th, 2008 is the 90th anniversary of the end of World War One, the original "Armistice Day." The council program will include:
    • Singing of the National Anthem by Brian Hoffmeister (Harrison Prep student)
    • Presentation by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR Office from Camp Murray)
    • Presentation by our military neighbors on "Joint Base Lewis-McChord"
    • Veterans Davy Proclamation to Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps representatives
    • Armed Forces Service Song Medley (video)
  • Third Annual Truck and Tractor Day A Success: The third annual Truck and Tractor Day held Saturday October 18th was a huge success. Lakewood Parks and Recreation hosted 250 children, along with their parents and grandparents. We had great weather and community participation. Children were able to climb through 15 trucks, tractors and strykers, decorate a pumpkin, receive a hard hat and take a ride on the hayride around Waughop Lake. Lakewood Refuse, Ft. Lewis, Lakewood Police, Lakeview Light and Power, Lakewood Fire, and Gene's Towing contributed.
  • Police Complete Personnel Protective Equipment Survey: In the spring of 2008, Lakewood PD completed a survey administered by Seattle PD related to personnel protective equipment. The results of the survey awarded Lakewood PD 120 Millennium gas masks, 120 canisters, 120 carriers and 24 voice amplifiers, amounting to $37,869 in equipment.
  • Police Officers Awarded Certificates of Appreciation: On October 22nd, Community Policing Unit Sergeant John Unfred and Community Service Officer Mike Miller were awarded Certificates of Appreciation by the Lakewood Observation Patrol. These certificates acknowledge the long-term support, guidance, and professionalism shown by Sgt. Unfred and CSO Miller in the continuing development of this valuable citizen-driven community observation patrol group. Sgt. Unfred is further recognized for accepting a position on the Lakewood Observation Patrol Board of Directors. The LOP/LPD partnership supports community members' involvement with block watch and mobile observation patrol operations, providing 'eyes and ears' in the neighborhood, and focusing police and government services to rapid, efficient and effective responses. These motivated, well trained, and disciplined citizen volunteers provide a vital link to ongoing community issues and concerns.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 10/10/08

October 10, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • SRO Program review: The city manager met with the Superintendent LeBeau, Chief Farrar, and CPSD senior staff this week to evaluate the first month of the new arrangement with School Resource Officers at the high schools and middle schools. Effective with this school year, Lakewood police officers are now working in an off-duty capacity directly for the school district, and have formed a pool about 47 officers for assignment to the schools. As a practical matter, about 10 officers serve each school so that there is more consistency to the service, and less likelihood of a school shift going uncovered. The new system appears to working quite well in spite of the initial administrative tasks involving all the officers signing independent contracts with the district. Most importantly, the feedback from the principals appears to be very positive.
  • Wapato Jail Tour: Police and Court personnel toured the Wapato Jail in Yakima County on October 8th, including Deana Wright, Chanel Pearson, Cameron Hines, Dottie Badgley, Suzanne Clark, Wes Morrisette, and Alexandra Kasuske. Wapato Sgt. Benscoter aka Scooter provided the tour, and a briefing regarding the future expansion for 30 additional prisoners, as well as the possibility of having a doctor on staff to reduce medical costs to contracting agencies. Lakewood contracts with Wapato for jail service and currently has 19 prisoners housed there, at a cost of $30 per day less than the County Jail rate, and with no booking fee. The City uses the facility for sentenced prisoners to minimize the transportation issue.
  • WFOA award. The Washington Finance Officers Association notified the city manager that Lakewood's finance manager, Mary Ann Norquist, was awarded the "Professional Finance Officer Award" this year. This award requires annual ongoing educational and professional excellence on the part of each individual and is not automatically awarded.
  • Speed limit on 100th near Park Lodge: The City will be reducing the speed limit on 100th Street to 25 MPH a short distance prior to crossing Gravelly Lake Drive (west bound) to prepare drivers for the reduced speed school zone in front of Park Lodge Elementary. This change is being done to be consistent with internal City policy on school zone signage and should be accomplished within the next two weeks.
  • WSH police team review: The Lakewood Police Department community policing team at Western State Hospital (police officer, community service officer, and detective) presented a progress report this week to the administration of WSH, the city manager and police chief, and Rep Tami Green, to document the successful implementation of the program and to ensure continued state funding. The hospital acknowledged improved safety and security for staff and patients, and the team has been positively integrated into the institution.
  • Fort Lewis and McChord AFB coordination. The garrison command staff from Fort Lewis and representatives of McChord met with the city manager and senior staff at City Hall this week to continue the on-going coordination of issues of mutual interest and concern. A review of the application for federal assistance from OEA (Office of Economic Adjustment of DoD) is a high priority in the areas of Transportation, Schools, and Housing. A presentation on the joint basing effort will be made at the City Council meeting on November 3rd.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 10/17/08

October 17, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Traffic Advisory - S Tacoma Way/Pacific Hwy Street Project: On Monday, October 20th, the SR 512 intersection will be closed off for pavement grinding from 11 PM to 5 AM. Should it rain, the work and the closure will be shifted to Tuesday, October 21st. The intersection will be closed again from 11 PM to 10 AM, weather permitting, on Friday, October 24th and Saturday, October 25th, for paving.
  • Truck and Tractor Day: Lakewood Parks & Recreation will host the 3rd annual Truck & Tractor Day event this Saturday, October 18th from 9am to noon at Fort Steilacoom Park. Youngsters can receive a hard hat, climb through the big rigs and decorate a pumpkin, and then take a tour of the park with their families on our hayride. Event partners include Lakewood Fire, Ft. Lewis, Lakewood Police, Lakewood Refuse, Gene's Towing, and Lakeview Light and Power.
  • Fort Steilacoom Park Barn Feasibility Study Public Meeting: Lakewood Parks and Recreation staff will host a public meeting Wednesday, November 6th to brief community members and members of the our advisory committees (PRAB, LHAB and PAB) on the findings of the barn feasibility study.
  • EDB Investors Briefing: The City hosted the bimonthly "investors briefing" for the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board (EDB) at Clover Park Technical College this week. A power-point presentation on Lakewood's priorities was presented which covered the Pacific Highway project, Tillicum and American Lake Gardens plans, and military base relations.
  • Residential Abatement: Residential structures located at 9628 Oak Lane were demolished as part of a City-initiated abatement process. The house had been structurally compromised in unpermitted remodeling attempts and had multiple unpermitted and substandard additions. A fire had occurred a year ago and the garage had recently been occupied by transients.
  • Fort Steilacoom Park Restoration: Lakewood Parks & Recreation hosted a meeting of representatives from Pierce College, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Friends of Fort Steilacoom Park & Nature to discuss a planting and revegetation plan for the park. Make a Difference Day project sites were defined for 2008 and 2009 with WSDOT providing free plants for the sites. The Friends of Fort Steilacoom Park & Nature have done extensive scotch broom removal throughout the park over the years and are partnering with Pierce College and WSDOT to design a planting and restoration plan that will provide native plants and habitat at the park. Pierce College will utilize students to develop the plan and to provide "student power" to plant, monitor and maintain the planting areas as a segment of their curriculum. WSDOT will continue to provide free plants, and also provided contacts from Department of Natural Resources - Forestry division to discuss trees and vegetation surrounding Waughop Lake.
  • LPD Officer Writes Article for Police Newsletter: Officer Jeff Carroll was asked to submit an article for "The Full Slate" which is a newsletter for the Police Society for Problem Based Learning. The article is about the importance of networking, in particular networking for Police Training Officer Program coordinators. Lakewood is the first known agency to establish a forum for regional PTO coordinators to meet quarterly. Carroll led the first meeting in June which consisted of about 8 agencies, and the second one was held at the group's international conference in October with about 15 agencies represented.
  • Local Businesses Assist Lakewood Animal Control: For the last 3 weeks, Animal Control has received complaints regarding wild dogs in DuPont. These dogs, first thought to be coyotes, have been seen in and around a working construction site in DuPont. The dogs have also worried many of the citizens and their pets in the neighborhood. With the cooperation of Tad Larson, with Hoss Bros. Construction Inc. and Dennis Kim, owner and operator of Sunny's #7 Japanese Restaurant on Bridgeport Way SW, we were able to bait our humane dog traps with Teriyaki chicken. As a result, both dogs were safely captured. Once the dogs were contained, it was determined that both dogs were friendly and appeared to be in good health. After giving them some "settle in time" at the Humane Society, both dogs will have full health checks and behavior evaluations before being put up for adoption.
  • Stolen Coins Recovered: Patrol was called to the B & I Coin Shop for suspicious perpetrator's trying to sell rare coins. Coins they were selling fit the description of stolen property from recent coin shop burglary and car prowl in Thurston County. Suspects were gone on arrival but returned to coin shop after a ruse was put in motion to buy coins from them. Female suspect arrested at the shop - booked and charged with PSP and Trafficking Stolen Property. The male suspect is still at large, but has been identified and charged with same crimes. Male suspect's car located at Palace Casino and impounded for warrant. Warrant served resulting in more stolen coins recovered as well as additional charges of UPCS and paraphernalia for both suspects. Victim originally lost $3000.00 worth of rare coins. To date, we have recovered $1000.00 of it. The victim was very pleased to see part of his collection recovered. He is a retired DOC employee on a pension. LPD worked with Thurston County S.O. to arrest a male suspect who lives in their jurisdiction. Lakewood Officers Hall, Sivankeo and Noel were involved.
  • Rape Suspect Arrested and Charged: A 20 year old Lakewood man was arrested on October 12th and charged by the Pierce County Prosecutor's office with three counts of Rape of a Child in the 2nd Degree after admitting to LPD detectives that he'd been having sex with a 12 year old girl for the past two weeks. The girl, who was reported missing by her grandparents on Saturday, was located with the male suspect and returned to her grandparents on Sunday.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 10/3/08

October 3, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Prosperity Partnership Tour of Military Bases: Councilmember Finnigan and Senior Planner Deborah Johnson joined the Prosperity Partnership tour of Fort Lewis and McChord AFB on September 26th. Launched in 2004, the Prosperity Partnership is a coalition of over 260 government, business, labor and community organizations from Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Snohomish counties dedicated to developing and implementing a common economic strategy. This work is based on the concept of "industry clusters," which recognizes military-related businesses as a source of significant economic activity in our region, both in terms of direct employment and contracting opportunities. The tour was an initial look at military operations in the region, with a follow-up tour of Kitsap and Snohomish county installations to follow in the spring.
  • Arts Commission members paint soup bowls: Several members of the Lakewood Arts Commission volunteered to paint ceramic soup bowls for the Emergency Food Network’s “Empty Bowls” charity fund-raising event. The hand-decorated bowls will be sold at the South Park Community Center on Sunday, October 12th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Over the past 12 years, this event’s gross sales have generated enough revenue to purchase $1.3 million in food products that supply all 69 food banks in Pierce County. The main food distribution center for the Emergency Food Network is located in Lakewood.
  • Tacoma/Lakewood coordination on M Street to Lakewood railroad project: The Lakewood and Tacoma city managers met this week with the Sound Transit CEO and staff to review progress made on Tacoma review and approvals of the capital projects necessary for the upgrade of the rail line connecting Tacoma to both South Tacoma and Lakewood. The overall project includes an elevated crossing over Pacific Avenue, vacation and closure of streets, pedestrian crossings, retaining walls, and other urban design features in the Dome District in Tacoma; and rail service to Lakewood is dependent on timely completion of these projects. The two city managers will continue to meet and review project progress on a regular basis.
  • WCIA Orientation: City staff received a full orientation this week by the Washington Cities Insurance Authority, the city’s new pool for insurance coverage. With the City of Federal Way transferring its coverage to WCIA, the pool covers over 100 cities, including most comparable-sized cities in western Washington.
  • Police participate in Hope Center/Boys and Girls Club Day for Kids: NPO Jeremy Vahle and CSO Gail Conelly were able to visit and entertain approximately 200 kids at the Hope Center/Boys and Girls Club Day for Kids on Friday, September 19th. The Lakewood Fire Department was also there with an engine company. The kids were able to learn about the equipment in the patrol car as well as entertain the neighbors while using the PA system.
  • Police give identify theft presentation at Senior Center: CSO Gail Conelly gave an ID Theft presentation to older adults at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center on September 30th. Resources and pamphlets were handed out for future reference.
  • LPD presentation on staying safe to kindergarten class: On October 2nd, St. Mary‘s kindergarten class hosted NPO Karen Herritt and CSO Sandi Stauffer for a presentation on staying safe, when to call 911, and bicycle safety. The students had many questions, and were especially fascinated by all the equipment Officer Herritt carries. They were given police “tattoos” and safety-oriented placemats for coloring.
  • Guilty verdict for Pub shooter: The verdict was read today in the case involving at shooting at a local pub at Lakewood Drive and 74th almost a year ago. It took the jury about 3 hours to return a verdict of guilty of Attempted Murder in the First Degree (with a firearm), guilty of Assault 1st Degree (with a firearm), and guilty of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. The defendant will be sentenced on November 7th and is looking at around 30 years.
  • Guilty verdict for rape suspect: Detective Darin Sales and Officer Martin Knott received a verdict on one of their rape suspects who was sentenced to 102 months for two counts of Rape of a Child 3rd, two counts of Assault 2nd and one count of Incest 1st. The victim was the suspect’s 15 year old daughter. The crime occurred in June of 2006 but was not reported until late 2007.