By Andrew Neiditz, Lakewood City Manager
Update on Camp Murray Gate: On July 19th, city staff provided updates on the Camp Murray Gate relocation to three citizen advisory boards (Transportation, Planning, and Redevelopment) in the afternoon and to the Tillicum neighborhood later that evening. The latter meeting was attended by about 50 people including three councilmembers. The city manager and assistant city manager Bugher presented the extensive review of options and new traffic data which led to the determination that a new gate at Portland Avenue, in conjunction with traffic measures to discourage “cut-through” traffic on Portland/Thorne, provided the best long term solution. A roundabout at Boundary/Portland would expedite the flow of traffic, and additional turn lanes would encourage traffic to utilize exit 122 (Berkeley). Eventually the existing gate will need to be relocated when the I-5 interchange at Berkeley is upgraded. Other locations considered (Washington and Grant Avenues) proved untenable from a “force protection”/security standpoint.
City meets with Towne Center management: Senior city staff met on July 20th with two vice presidents of Inland Western, the Illinois-based company which owns and manages most of the Lakewood Towne Center. Discussion covered issues of directional signage, retail recruitment strategies, and potential improvements to the overall shopping center.
Emergency Management Training: Lakewood Parks staff and volunteers attended county-wide emergency management training at Pierce College on Saturday, July 16. Topics included ham radio communication, food handling, creating shelter care teams, ADA access, and the introduction of a new and improved shelter training manual. The afternoon ended with a mock shelter exercise. A highlight for the participants was touring the City’s mobile emergency response trailer which Pierce County would like to replicate in their other service areas.
LPD Hosts “Street Survival”: The Lakewood PD hosted two days of Street Survival, with over 50 officers from 25 law enforcement agencies in attendance each day. The Street Survival Course teaches techniques for mental preparation, situational control, armed encounter preparation, high risk stop skills, tactical awareness, and non-lethal force options. The Street Survival seminar motivates, inspires, and teaches officers not only to survive but to prevail.
Senior Activity Center Workshop on Aging: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center hosted a workshop in collaboration with Pierce County Aging & Long Term Care on July 19th. “End of Life Emergencies: Essential Documents to Prepare” was attended by over 30 older adults. The free presentation covered living wills, power of attorney, POLST (Physician’s orders for life sustaining treatments) and other pertinent topics. The goal was to help seniors be prepared for the unexpected and to encourage sharing this important information with family members.
Proposed development on Interlaaken between Washington and 112th: On July 19th, the Community Development Department received the Hearing Examiner’s decision for the SHB Preliminary Plat, which was presented at a public hearing on July 6th. The decision took into consideration comments by members of the public who were concerned about the proposal’s high density, impacts from site preparation activities, and lack of open space for children to play. In addition to conditions of plat approval recommended by Community Development, the Hearing Examiner provided the following additional conditions: 1) Construction of a security/privacy fence on the south property line prior to clearing, grading and construction; 2) Extension of a security/privacy fence along the southwest and west boundaries of the site; 3) Provide for a centrally-located recreation area for the residents of the plat, which may reduce the number of lots by one; 4) Restrictions to construction traffic work time and routing, as determined necessary by the Public Works Department for public safety
Lakewood’s Brightest Star: On a blustery Tuesday evening, four finalists competed for the title of “Lakewood’s Brightest Star” at American Lake Park. With a mixture of songs from popular artists and a few original works, finalists wowed the crowd with their vocal talents while singing a three song set. The judges for the event included Dr. Ben Keller, Choral Director for the award-winning Lakes High School Choir, and Shirley Petersen, current chairperson of the Lakewood Arts Commission. This year’s winner was Lakewood resident Sammi Bradley who took home $100 in prize money. This local talent sang two original songs and a Taylor Swift song and accompanied herself with the guitar.