Plus Earth Day Thanks, Flowers Galore and Healthy Kids Day
April 27, 2016 - Volume 8, Issue 17  
Mayor's Update: Project Homeless Connect

We all know that homelessness is a growing concern in our entire region.  Sumner is not immune:in fact, we never have been.  There are stories of how in the '30s, "hobos" or "tramps" (the term used back then) would gather at the river by the Cannery, which was then actually a cannery.  Like then, homelessness now is usually about something else, not just lack of housing. There's no question that it affects the entire community, and cities large and small alike struggle with how best to address it. At the same time, "it" is all about people, and our theoretical and conceptual conversations must remember the humanity at its core.  
As I talk to people around town, I find also that there are perceptions about homelessness that may or may not be trueWhile I sometimes understand people's fears, homelessness itself is not a crime.  Yet our Police Officers do a great job trying to get to know our homeless population so that they can check on their wellfare and understand what other issues individuals are facing.     One thing that I think has really helped in our community is the networking that takes place behind the scenes to coordinate assistance and serve the needs of families that find themselves in this situation.  I grew up hearing the old adage, if you give a person a fish, you feed him once; teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime. One-time handouts don't seem to help anyone, despite the good intentions.  Helping established organizations like the YWCA, Catholic Community Services, or our Family Center that try to tackle the root problems that cause homelessness, whether that's domestic violence, drug addiction, unemployment, etc. can be much more effective.
For several years now, Project Homeless Connect has been doing great work to help.  This annual event started here in Sumner at Calvary Community Church and grew so much that it is now at the fairgrounds.  In their own words, "Project Homeless Connect provides a starting place on the journey back to safety, stability, health, and hope. Project Homeless Connect reduces the duration of homelessness by providing services that address the basic needs; basic medical and dental care, access to education, employment and benefits systems, chemical dependency assessments, flu shots, haircuts, and much more - all under one roof!"   Take a look at their website for more information.  I like that they are about reconnecting individuals, reconnecting to help, to society, to others, as I think that's what this is all about.

In addition, the Sumner Food Bank does great work with directly providing food.  The Sumner Pierce County Library offers classes for resume building and computer skills to help people get jobs, and Exodus Housing helps individuals fleeing domestic violence.  If we all work together, maybe we can make a difference in the local version of this national issue. After all, I often think it's the small towns like Sumner who can do more quickly than the big cities in the news. 

Click here for the full Project Homeless Connect flyer

Mayor Dave Enslow    
Earth Day Thanks
Thank you to REI for helping to clean up a portion of the Sumner Link Trail (shown here); to Golden State Foods for helping to plant and landscape the corner of Puyallup Street and Fryar Avenue; and to Daffodil Valley Kiwanis, Sumner High School Key Club, McLendon Hardware, Sumner Police, YWCA and Goodwill Industries for another successful Shred & Clean.  We appreciate your commitment for helping to keep Sumner looking beautiful. 
Flowers Galore! 

Sumner is the place to buy your summer flowers.  Here are a few options:
  • FFA Plant Sale is the rest of this week at the High School Greenhouses (see image, right, for details).
  • Sumner Downtown Association is selling Windmill Gardens hanging baskets to support purchasing the BIG baskets that go downtown.  Baskets $35 members/$40 for non-members. Call 253-891-4260 by May 6th.
  • The beautiful retail options of Windmill Gardens, Garden Market, Woodland Park Nursery, McLendon Hardware, and Fred Meyer offer lots of plants and flowers!

Keep in mind that early predictions indicate a hot, dry summer ahead. (Can we say 90 degrees in April?) Check tags to be sure to select the right kind of plant for your locations (sun vs. shade) to avoid using lots of extra water this summer. 

About Sumner's Water 

The recent news about lead in Tacoma's water and schools has put this issue in the spotlight. Sumner's water supply system does not contain any known lead lines, pipes or goosenecks. Sumner's crews check and work on the system every day, so it is not a "hidden" system to them.  In one employee's 40 years here, there were only two instances of finding lead.  One was a line that was not connected to anything in the system but was still removed, and another was one lead gooseneck a few years ago that was immediately replaced. 
We constantly test the water supply for any contaminants, including lead, and have very clean water with no cases found.

Older houses may have lead pipes within their own homes. If you have lead pipes and are concerned, you can have the water from your own home tested in the same place the City sends its tests.  If interested, call Water Management Lab at 253-531-3121. The cost is $25, and they need 1 liter of your water. They recommend buying a bottle of distilled water, emptying it and using the container to make sure you have a clean container.  Just be aware that the lab may be a bit busy right now from residents in Tacoma. 
YMCA Healthy Kids Day This Weekend


Upcoming Meetings & Calendar

Community Calendar:
  • Train to Sounders Game on Saturday, April 30
  • Train to Mariners Game on Sunday, May 1
  • Spring Tea at Ryan House on Sunday, May 1
  • Test of the Lahar Siren on Monday, May 2

City Meeting Calendar:  

  • City Council Meeting, Monday, May 2, at 7 pm
  • Planning Commission, Thursday, May 5 at 7 pm

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at City Hall.  For a full calendar including links to agendas, click here.