November 20, 2014

Drilling deeper into Yelm's aquifer may be dangerous

City of Yelm's 750' well drilled at end of Tahoma Blvd.
Photo copyright © 2010, Yelm Community Blog
Photo taken with zoom lens June 21, 2010.

- Is Yelm's groundwater being depleted?
Is drilling so deep (750') into the aquifer to more-than-double Yelm's water rights so the city can approve increased building permits wise? See the CBS News report from last Sunday below.
Read more

- "Depleting the water"
"Lesley Stahl reports on disturbing new evidence that our planet's groundwater is being pumped out much faster than it can be replenished"

"It's been said that the wars of the 21st century may well be fought over water. The Earth's population has more than doubled over the last 50 years and the demand for fresh water -- to drink and to grow food -- has surged along with it. But sources of water like rainfall, rivers, streams, reservoirs, certainly haven't doubled. So where is all that extra water coming from? More and more, it's being pumped out of the ground.

Water experts say groundwater is like a savings account -- something you draw on in times of need. But savings accounts need to be replenished, and there is new evidence that so much water is being taken out, much of the world is in danger of a groundwater overdraft."
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November 19, 2014

A novel idea for citizen involvement -
Yelm is a long way from something so unique!

"The City That Gave Its Residents $3 Million"
"Then [Vallejo, CA. Councilwoman Marti] Brown]had an idea.

She’d read about an experiment in Brazil where a local government allowed its residents to suggest and vote on ideas for how to spend tax dollars. The process, with the clunky name Participatory Budgeting, allowed citizens, rather than politicians, to decide how to spend infrastructure dollars. Would this be a way, she wondered, of making sure Vallejo’s money would be spent in a way its residents liked?

'I thought, there’s got to be a better way to do budgeting, there needs to be more transparency,' she said, in an interview. 'It was a huge part of what helped propel Vallejo toward bankruptcy–that financial process is not a transparent process. The public doesn’t get to see it, they don’t know anything about it,'" quoting Alana Semuels, The Atlantic.
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Editor's Note:
While way too progressive for this Yelm City Council, this IS an innovative idea that got citizens involved in their local government.

November 18, 2014

Yelm's Calli Hyder is National FFA winner

Calli Hyder - National Winner (1st place)
in Job Interview receiving her award with Yelm FFA Adviser Matt Mounts
and two national FFA officers. Photo courtesy: Yelm Community Schools

Yelm students impact National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky.
"Congratulations to the following Yelm FFA students for their national accomplishments, including:
* Calli Hyder - National Winner (1st place) in Job Interview, who received a $1,000 cash scholarship.
* Top 10 Chapter in the Nation - Models of Excellence
* Top 10 Chapter in the Nation - Models of Innovation
* Students presenting: Chloe Riggins, Erin Smith, Casey Sowles and Taylor Koch
* Sheridan Lantz - national finalist in Goat Proficiency
* McKenzie Bateman and Kelley Quiroz - outstanding Agriscience projects
* Amanda Brown - chosen from among several hundred talented applicants to sing at a general session in front of a packed house of over 10,000 members.

Yelm Community Schools has the state's largest FFA chapter, in operation here for 75 years. Hyder is Yelm’s fifth national winner.
Click here for the National FFA Press Release.

November 17, 2014

Tied record low today for any November 17th

The National Weather Service recorded 18 degrees this morning at Olympia Regional Airport today, which tied the previous November 17th low of 18 degrees set in 1961.
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JZ Knight in the news in local and daily newspapers

"JZ Knight relaxes with her dog at her pool inside her home on the grounds of the Ramtha's School of Enlightenment. Knight, who says she channels the 35,000-year-old Ramtha, is turning over day-to-day operations of her business JZK Inc. to a board of directors."
Photo credit: Michael Wagar, Nisqually Valley News

- "Purported Channeler of Ramtha Stepping Down From Daily Responsibilities for JZK, Inc."
"JZ Knight is stepping down from some of her duties as president of her company, JZK, Inc.

"Michael Wright, a spokesman for the company, said Knight — who claims to channel Ramtha, a 35,000-year-old Lemurian warrior turned spiritual guru — is stepping back from the day-to-day business management role she’s held for the past 10 years at the company. She’ll be stepping into a role as President Emeritus, Wright said.

Knight will remain the company’s “visionary” and continue to channel Ramtha, Wright said.

'“She’s going to continue to be involved in molding the future of the school and the organization behind the school that supports it,' he said. 'She’s just not going to be involved in the business management, day-in, day-out affairs.'

'Knight has committed to appearing with Ramtha at major events next year in February and July in Yelm, in May in South Korea, in August in Italy, and in September in South Africa, Wright said,'" by Steven Wyble, Nisqually Valley News
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Copyright © 2014 Lafromboise Communications, Inc.
Used with permission – can not be republished for commercial use/advertising.

- "Tax-exempt status of Olympia-based think tank under challenge by channeler JZ Knight"
"The tax-exempt status of the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank, has been called into question by lawyers for Yelm-based spirit channeler JZ Knight.

Knight, who has a long-running battle with the Olympia-based foundation over its use of her videotaped spiritual talks, contends the group is acting as a politically partisan organization," by Brad Shannon, The Olympian.
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Blogger Klein is an 11+ year employee of JZK, Inc. and beginning his 30th year as a student of Ramtha.

November 16, 2014

Record low today for any November 16th

The National Weather Service recorded 16 degrees this morning at Olympia Regional Airport today, which beat the previous November 16th low of 18 degrees set in 1961.
Read more

While the previous mornings have been as cold, no records were broken.

Public comment accepted through November 30 on Electromagnetic Warfare training (EW) in Oly Peninsula

EA 18G Growler: Shadowhawks of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141.
Photo: Mass Comm. Specialist 3rd Class Bradley J. Gee, US Navy

- "Navy Plans Electromagnetic War Games Over National Park and Forest in Washington State"

"What is at stake is not just whether the military is allowed to use protected public lands in the Pacific Northwest for its war games, but a precedent being set for them to do so across the entire country."

"These protected national commons [Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest] are also the areas in and near where the US Navy aims to conduct its Northwest Electromagnetic Radiation Warfare training program, wherein it will fly 36 of its EA-18G "Growler" supersonic jet warplanes down to 1,200 feet above the ground in some areas in order to conduct war games with 14 mobile towers. Enough electromagnetic radiation will be emitted so as to be capable of melting human eye tissue, and causing breast cancer, childhood leukemia and damage to human fetuses, let alone impacting wildlife in the area.

If it gets its way, this means the Navy would be flying Growler jets, which are electronic attack aircraft that specialize in radar jamming, in 2,900 training exercises over wilderness, communities and cities across the Olympic Peninsula for 260 days per year, with exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day," quoting Dahr Jamail, Truthout.
Read more

- "Petitioning the U. S. Navy"
"DO NOT put ANY camper-sized trucks with electromagnetic radiation equipment to conduct war exercises with military aircraft from 15 sites in Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties."

"The Navy wants to allow three camper-sized trucks with electromagnetic radiation equipment to conduct war exercises with military aircraft from 15 sites in Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties.
The locations — 12 in Olympic National Forest and three on state Department of Natural Resources land — would be part of the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range and would involve aircraft from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island," quoting
Read more


Written public comments are accepted through November 30 and should be submitted to Greg Wahl, a Forest Service environmental coordinator, at 1835 Black Lake Blvd. S.W., Olympia, WA 98512.
Questions or comments about the project should be directed to Wahl at or 360-956-2375.

November 15, 2014

"Olympia ranks as one of Washington’s most LGBT-friendly cities"

"Olympia has joined the ranks as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in Washington.

Olympia scored 100 out of 100 possible points in the 2014 Municipal Equality Index. Sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, the index rates cities nationwide based on their sensitivity and outreach to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The average score for cities in Washington is 85 out of 100 points, which exceeds the national average of 59, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Olympia and Seattle both scored 100 points. Tacoma scored 92 points," quoting Andy Hobbs in The Olympian.
Read more

November 14, 2014

Run, don't walk to see 'The Producers' @ The Triad -
Community Theater lights up Yelm with a HIT!

Daniel Wyman, Jessica Loertscher in SRO's 'The Producers'
Photo courtesy: Yelm's Triad Theater

To quote Billy Rose, a mid 20th century theater showman and lyricist, on the Broadway opening of his theatrical production of Crazy Quilt in 1931, "We're bringing in a hit!"
Yelm has a hit in the SRO Production of 'The Producers' directed by Nancy Tribush Hillman at The TRIAD Theater.
This show had an almost filled theater last night, second night of a 6 performance run nightly through November 17th. The show is already SRO (standing room only) tonight and Saturday!

'The Producers' is a musical adaptation by comedic genius Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan from Brooks' 1968 film of the same name, which opened at New York's St. James Theatre April 19, 2001. The show ran for 2,502 performances, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards. The original show starred Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock and Matthew Broderick as Leopold "Leo" Bloom, with Yelm's show providing commanding performances by Dave Champagne and Daniel Wyman in those roles, respectively.

Champagne has a huge on-stage presence and is a Yelm favorite.
I was initially hesitant that Wyman could hold his own and carry his character well enough to shine along side a talent such as Champagne, however his ease of manner, strong singing voice and versatility provided just what was needed to successfully pull off such a challenging role. Bravo to Daniel! He has a great future on-stage.

Theater-goers know that when they lose sight of the performers themselves and blend their view to only see the characters, the stage performances were successful. Such is the case here, as Champagne & Wyman were that good! Their on-stage presence reminded me often of Lane and Broderick in these roles, as well.

An amazing performance was delivered from Jessica Loertscher in the role of Ulla. Her seemingly effortless execution in her every scene and numerous, gorgeous costume changes sparkled and shined. Loertscher was accompanied on-stage by her husband Kurt in his first SRO play, who precisely animated the character of Franz, and brother-in-law Fred, who demonstrated his talents, unusual "prop" and agility as Scott. They all had fun, as the audience noted.

I was thrilled to see Aaron Rodriguez as Roger DeBris and Tyler Hennessy as Carmen Ghia stretch themselves in "out-of-the-box" roles, which reflected their range of talent. Hennessy's on-stage presence captivated me, as his enunciation, body language and expressions "nailed it" to the letter in his role and accompanied Rodriguez precisely. I expect to see more of his talent shine. Not since Kevin McManus was in Hillman's plays have I been so impressed with the potential and depth of a young, male performer!

Other cast members that made an impression were Tahsis Fairley in several roles that delighted the audience, Champagne's son Will and the singing duo Lilly Keeslar and Kat Milligan. While a small part, Shannon Russell's singing as Stormtrooper was outstanding. Of course, all of the stage performers and crew were an integral part of bringing in this "hit" and deserved the robust hooting and applause at the end scene.

The Musical Direction of New York's Stephen Borsuk can not be underscored enough in keeping the tempo lively and in-tune with his stage performers. Thanks & appreciation to Stephen for returning to Yelm!
Hillman has again done wonders with props and scenery on a confined stage that work exceedingly well under her direction. She continues to amaze in effective utilization of such a small space and in garnering the best from a variety of our local talent!

I spoke with a group of seniors from Olympia who van-pooled to Yelm to take in a show and left uplifted, in their spirited description and their shining faces. This is a true tribute and a Chamber of Commerce marketer's dream!

Don't miss this show, nightly at 7:30pm through Monday:
The Triad Theater
Yelm's home for Arts/Entertainment/Nightlife
102 Yelm Ave. SE
Yelm, WA 98597
(360) 458-3140
Visit for more info.
Tickets: $15 at the door.

November 13, 2014

Why Yelm area loses young talent

- "Why Millennials Are Avoiding Small-Town America"
"While the number of millennials is ticking slightly upward in small towns and rural areas, it’s nothing compared with the growth of their numbers in suburbs and cities. 'At this point, the prognosis does not look good for much of small town America,' writes William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution."

- "Why You Should Care"
"Because small-town America won’t survive without an infusion of fresh blood."

"It’s easy to find people who will sneeringly complain about how trapped they felt as teenagers [in small towns].

"But affordable real estate and waterfront views don’t have millennials biting. They 'continue a multigenerational pattern of young adults preferring more expensive urban areas over lower-cost rural ones because the lifestyles and opportunities in such places make the extra burden of cost worth it,' says Robert Lang, professor of urban growth and population dynamics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas," quoting Beau Dure, OZY.
Read more

- Editor's Note:
Ice Chips Candy co-owner Charlotte Cleary's statement at the Yelm Business Assn. meeting and in the Nisqually Valley News reverberated around this town like no other in recent memory.
She said Yelm is "non-business friendly."

Ice Chips Candy signed a Tumwater lease to allow for their planned growth and are leaving Yelm and talking 34 employees with them, according to the Nisqually Valley News:

"The two were even considering constructing their own building, but were told by city of Yelm Building Official Gary Carlson and Yelm Mayor Ron Harding they did not think they could zone the business, according to [Ice Chips co-owner Beverly] Vines-Haines.

'I feel bad, because I love Yelm, but cities that keep business away never reach the status they think they are,' she said.

'When I read about Yelm in the Chamber of Commerce information, it’s read like they’re pro-growth,' Clary said. 'What concerns me is that they might think they are, and they are so not.'

- UPDATE: November 13, 2014
Op-Ed in the Nisqually Valley News: "Bye-Bye Ice Chips; Is Yelm Anti-Business, Anti-Growth?"
Read more


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