Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

NOTICE: Word on the Street has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Word on the Street.
Visit the new section.

Category: Woodbrook


More booming times at Camp Murray this weekend

The Washington Army National Guard is alerting neighbors about the firing of cannon salutes on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14, on the north end of Camp Murray.

The first salute is for a change-of-command ceremony for the 81st Armored Brigade Combat Team scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. Col. Christopher Fowler will transfer command to Col. Michael Weitzel.

Sunday’s salute will accompany the retirement ceremony for Master Sgt. Joel Cournyer, who served the Guard and active-duty Army for more than 30 years. The retirement ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.

The duration of the volleys

Read more »


Lakewood to honor Vietnam vets Monday

The City of Lakewood will honor local veterans of the Vietnam War with a special ceremony at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Mayor Doug Richardson will make a proclamation to recognize this month as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Month,” in light of the city’s large Vietnam veteran population.

The city’s proclamation comes on the heels of the U.S. Senate declaring last Wednesday as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” The last U.S. service members left Vietnam 35 years ago, on April 30, 1975, the day the American Embassy was finally vacated.
Read more »


“Bad news” about Lakewood fire hydrants

Lakewood may be on the hook to pay for maintenance of its fire hydrants – an annual expense to the tune of $195,000 annually.

City Manager Andrew Neiditz said this week that the Lakewood Water District — citing a 2008 state Supreme Court decision that placed the responsibility of fire hydrant maintenance on local governments — wants the city to pay for maintenance.

“This is certainly a major cost, a cost we have never covered,” he said.

“This is not good news,” he added.
Read more »


Lakewood to “stagger” filling positions of four fallen officers

Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz announced Monday night that the city will have to trim its budget another $500,000 this year.

That’s about 1.5 percent of Lakewood’s $37 million budget, and it comes as cities across the South Sound are reducing expenses in the tough economy. Staff is proposing to eliminate two positions – one in the administrative and the other in the community development department — and make other reductions in expenses.

But staff also proposes to stagger the timeline to fill the positions of the four Lakewood police officers who were gunned down in a Parkland coffee shop Nov. 29.
Read more »


UP crowd mixed about merger

University Place and Lakewood fire officials say merging the two districts makes sense financially, but some residents are questioning whether their tax dollars would be spent wisely.

On Tuesday, about 60 people attended the University Place Fire District 3 board meeting to discuss the proposed merger.

Some residents said they support the move; others argued against it.

“I firmly believe this is a good deal for Lakewood,” said Scott Stephen of University Place. “I do not believe this is a good deal for University Place.”

Bill Bush, UP’s former fire chief, said the two districts have common interests. This isn’t the 1990s either, he said, referring to previously failed efforts to merge the districts.

“As far as a ‘them-us’ mentality — please. We’ve been down that road before and it serves no purpose,” he said.
Read more »


Public forum on Lakewood-UP fire merger tonight

Residents interested in the proposed merger between the Lakewood and University Place fire districts can attend the first of two open house meetings tonight.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. today at the Evergreen Primary School cafeteria in University Place, 7102 40th St. W.

On Jan. 25, the Lakewood Fire District Board of Commissioners voted in favor of a merger following a yearlong study of regionalization options. Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, East Pierce Fire & Rescue and South King Fire & Rescue made similar mergers.
Read more »


Lakewood’s blue lights: history and tragedy remembered

Holiday blue lights have been synonymous with Lakewood for decades.

But given the city’s tragedy Nov. 29— when four of the city’s police officers were gunned down at a Parkland coffee shop — the blue lights took on new meaning this past season.

On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council unanimously adopted blue as the official color for holiday lights in its residential and commercial districts.

Mayor Doug Richardson proposed the amendment to the city’s books. In 1997, Lakewood made blue the official holiday color among businesses, a practice that dates back three or four decades.

In the weeks after

Read more »


Neary asks residents to write feds with concerns over train project

As reported in my story today, Lakewood residents and their elected leaders voiced their concerns over the state Department of Transportation’s plan to reroute passenger train service through their community.

Monday night’s tight deadline meant I had to leave out most of the back and forth between the city and DOT representatives from the meeting.

Councilman Walter Neary urged the 50 or so people who attended, the majority of whom said they opposed the Point Defiance Bypass project, to write their elected federal and state leaders who might have more pull.
Read more »