March 31, 2015

Red Wind Casino opens 2nd phase Thursday

By Rolf Boone, The Olympian:
“The second phase of the Nisqually Red Wind Casino expansion is set to open to the public on Thursday.

The second-phase addition, which is smoke-free, features more than 600 slot machines, a pit for table games and the Medicine Creek Deli. Pealo’s Landing, a full-service bar, and the Potlatch Gift Shop, which now offers ice cream and espresso drinks, also will be part of the smoke-free area.”

“The first phase of construction was a 600-space parking garage.”
Read more


March 30, 2015

Yelm area’s Dr. Karriem H. Ali, MD responds to NVN –
About Dr. Matthew Martinez story


Dr. Karriem H. Ali, MD

From the RSE-Newsletter, used with permission:

Dr. Karriem H. Ali, MD wrote the following letter to Nisqually Valley News reporter Steven Wyble:

I would like to share some thoughts with you regarding your recent publication as below:
Chiropractor Who Led Ramtha DNA Study Sanctioned for Fraud
“Martinez Improperly Charged a Client’s Insurance; Falsely Claimed He Was a Licensed Massage Practitioner”
By Steven Wyble, posted online Thursday, March 19, 2015 –
“The chiropractor who took DNA swabs for tests purportedly showing JZ Knight’s DNA changes when she channels Ramtha, a spiritual entity, was sanctioned by the state’s chiropractic commission two years ago, state records show.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries also issued Matthew Martinez an assessment in September 2014 for $14,622.17 in unpaid wages.”

Interesting line of commentary. Your presentation appears to be founded upon allegations against Dr. Matthew Martinez, none of which relate in any way to the suitability of an individual to conduct DNA investigations. In my impromptu online research, I found the following document~
http://df7s0hkt8o8r9.cloudfront.net/media/english/pdf/sanctions/HGPYG8N8Q05232013.pdf

In reading said document, I found the State of Washington Chiropractic Quality Assurance Commission ‘stipulated’ that:
• A given patient was treated in a clinic in Olympia WA on or about 24 July 2009.
– She was not reported to have been harmed or mistreated in any way.
– Her insurance carrier was billed for unspecified services using CPT codes promulgated by the AMA.
– The record does NOT show this treatment as having involved Dr. Matthew Martinez.

• The same patient’s insurance carrier was billed by Dr. Matthew Martinez on or about 26 February 2011.
– She was not reported to have been harmed or mistreated in any way.
– The insurance billing in question referred to three CPT codes corresponding to chiropractic manipulations and therapeutic exercises.
– Dr. Martinez failed to document these procedures in his clinical record.
– The Commission only takes issue with this clerical omission, NOT with the quality of treatment given to the patient by Dr. Martinez. The “sanction” against him amounted to a procedural fine, continuing education and monitoring focused upon his attention to more appropriate clinical note-taking.
Of note was their mention that Dr. Martinez had no past disciplinary record.

I was unable to find any reference to your newspaper’s allegation that Dr. Matthew Martinez ever “Falsely Claimed He Was a Licensed Massage Practitioner.” Perhaps you could provide such, or a reference noting same?

I did not concern myself with the allegation attributed to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries for “unpaid wages,” as I find such consideration spurious and irrelevant to any association with the quality of a physician’s care or DNA research.

My wife is presently attended to by Dr. Martinez. As a physician and member of the community at large, I find no fault with the care he has given. I cannot speak to Dr. Martinez’ past (as I have only had the pleasure of his acquaintance for a few recent months), however, from brief observations of his clinics, I can see where he (or his staff) could have once overlooked making an entry into the clinical record suitable to the standards of an insurance corporation and a remote, governing commission.

Dr. Martinez clearly extends and overextends himself in order to see most capably and compassionately to the needs and demands of his burgeoning patient flow. The noted allegations are virtually slanderous related to the actual records found in my search. What I did find seems equivalent to mailing payment for an insurance bill, but forgetting to sign your check~ the corporation could very well treat your payment as fraudulent for not being appropriately signed and, as such, sanction you with fees for late and/or non-payment.

I thank you for taking the time to read this letter, sir. I do look forward to your thoughtful reply.

Best regards,

KH Ali, MD


March 30, 2015

Bald Hills Fire Dept. asks their area for input via survey


Thurston County Fire Protection District 17, Bald Hills

From Mark Gregory, Fire Chief, Thurston County Fire Protection District 17:
The Bald Hills Fire Department is currently working on its next five year strategic plan. In preparing this plan, we would like input from the public regarding their perceptions, experiences and expectations of us. We have created an questionnaire to solicit input. This questionnaire pertains only to Fire District 17 residents and/or land owners [approximately 4,190 citizens]. It is available on-line, and participation is voluntary and anonymous.

The public need not have had personal use of fire services in order to provide input.

Here is the link to the questionnaire:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1nAyKDp66FzxWaqPX-dQOGLjzPy106TVN6qQVm8HAyis/viewform?usp=send_form

Thank you for helping us to better serve you.

Very respectfully,

Mark Gregory
Fire Chief
Thurston County Fire Protection District 17
Tel. (360) 894-2517
Fax (360) 894-0848
email – chief17@fairpoint.net
URL – www.baldhillsfire.org


March 29, 2015

Yelm Community Blog’s 9th anniversary today –
Begins 10th year of service to Yelm area

On March 29, 2006, the Yelm Community Blog was established with a story about the Yelm Community Schools, marking the 9th anniversary of this blog today.
Click here

Enduring challenges by the former Nisqually Valley News Publisher/Editor and a Yelm City Hall that does not foster public interaction, this Blog has had many firsts in reporting local stories, yet not limited to:

The city authorizing and funding a water study for a private developer, without any contract for taxpayers to get repaid. The developer defaulted and left the city with the bill, as publicly presented first by this Blog,

The default of the Thurston Highlands mega-development was first reported by this Blog, which left Yelm with over a hundred thousand of dollars in unpaid taxes and fees and for which the city never placed a lien,

The WA State Auditor notifying the City of Yelm that the bidding for an electronic reader board contract on city land should have been publicly posted was first reported here,

Was the City of Yelm’s Municipal Code violated when the mayor authorized buying a condo for a library here without admittedly consulting the City Council was first raised on this Blog? The mayor had told the public the city could only afford to offer $600,000, yet the city authorized a $1,000,000+ purchase and tacked-on another $1 million to the bond for a community center without public discourse.

Then Venture Bank President Jon Jones led a committee advocating to attract a NASCAR track to Yelm without public comment, saying the proposal represented the community. There was a community-wide outcry. This Blog was the first to correlate that the Venture Bank Board fired Jones for what was called a “lack of confidence in his (Jones’) decision-making” that was consistent with his lack of judgment in omitting public comment in his NASCAR committee leadership the previous year. Venture Bank subsequently failed and was sold by the FDIC,

Mayor Pro-tem Bob Isom said in the July 7, 2006 edition of the Nisqually Valley News this Blogger speaks-up to undercut the Yelm City Council.



Yes, for 9 years the hallmark of this Blog has been to post the public documents for readers to discern for themselves and are not fed some government official’s spin by intimidating any dissenters.

Thank you for your interest and support as the Yelm Community blog begins the 10th year of service.


March 28, 2015

Cut down on plastic – why? Read this!
Yet Yelm still resists a plastic bag ban


Mouth of the Los Angeles River, Long Beach, California.
Photo source: ©© Bill McDonald, Algalita Foundation / Heal The Bay

“As stated in the featured documentary, Inside the Garbage of the World, ‘we’re going to create an environmental catastrophe that we may not be able to recover from.’

Many take for granted that their garbage “magically disappears” once it’s picked up by the garbage truck, but nothing could be further from the truth. Most garbage does not disappear. It’s simply relocated to a landfill or a recycling center. Trash also makes its way down storm drains and into nearby waterways.

The Abomination That Is Plastic…

Our throwaway mentality has created a pollution problem that now threatens the future of humanity itself. Plastic trash is of particular concern, as bits and pieces of plastic are mistaken for food by birds and sea animals.

Debris in the ocean also blocks sunlight from which plankton and algae sustain themselves, and this has negative implications on up the food chain as it eventually becomes micronized and winds up in some of the seafood you eat,” by Dr. Mercola.
Read more

- “Are Plastic Grocery Bags Sacking the Environment?”
By John Roach for National Geographic News
September 2, 2003, over a decade ago
Read more

Editor’s note:
Yelm is the largest city in Thurston County that has not banned the use of plastic grocery bags.


March 27, 2015

A patient of Dr. Matthew Martinez responds to accusations


Dr. Matthew Martinez
Photo courtesy: Absolute Health Clinic

Editor’s Note:
In a rush to publish a story without sufficient background and waiting for Dr. Martinez to return from his family holiday to be able to provide comments, I wrote this letter now published in the online edition of the Nisqually Valley News in response to the newspaper’s foray into an incriminating story of an area physician, yet omitting many facts and patient interviews. The newspaper’s Online Poll was highly inflammatory in omitting key facts, as well.

Yelm_Blogger posted:
I have proudly been a patient of Dr. Martinez for over a year and am a very satisfied customer.
I have come to know him as a man of integrity, personal responsibility and most of all – “heart.”

I am standing-up for this PHYSICIAN, so that your readers have the opportunity to hear from one of his patients,
rather than from those commenting who have never experienced his manner, touch and healing nature.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a retired RSE staff member, as your newspaper reported last December.

Steve Klein

Absolute Health Clinic’s statement for his Yelm patients:
“Dr. Matt has decided to close his Yelm office.

It was a hard decision but with the demands of his travel it has proven to be too difficult to maintain two clinics.

He values all of his patients and we will do our best to get you into the Olympia Office.”

Introducing Project Hope

Dr. Matthew Martinez with David in Australia
Photo courtesy: Absolute Health Clinic

Project Hope is one of the many examples of “heart” conveyed by Dr. Martinez, a story that should be told locally:
“Project Hope is about a young man named David from Australia that Dr. Matt is helping……..

David was misdiagnosed at birth & as a result has been in a wheelchair his whole life. He is a carefree & happy young man & loves life & his family.”
Read more

I have known the family of David in Australia for many years, his parents having been guests in our Yelm home and us visiting with them in Oz.
They are so thrilled with David’s progress since Dr. Martinez has been working with him.


March 27, 2015

I-5 changes will bring Tacoma into HOV era


Washington State Department of Transportation

Interstate 5 Tacoma M Street to Portland Avenue project
“The project widens northbound and southbound I-5 to four general-purpose lanes and one additional HOV lane from M Street to near L Street. To allow for the widened roadway, WSDOT will replace the Pacific Avenue and McKinley Way bridges over I-5, and build a new northbound I-5 bridge over the I-705 interchange,” quoting KING 5 TV News, Seattle.
Read more


March 26, 2015

Tonight in Oly, screening the documentary:
“Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields”

- The documentary “Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields” will be shown in The Capitol Theater, Olympia tonight.
Ground Operations is a documentary film and social action campaign that champions the growing network of combat veterans who are transitioning into careers as sustainable farmers, ranchers and artisan food producers. Let’s help them get started and build their resources, so that veterans can create healthy new lives for themselves and delicious food security for communities across America. Ground Operations screening events feature farm-fresh food, the film, farmer-veteran speakers and a robust conversation about local food and farming.”
Read more

- Organized by GRuB (Garden-Raised Bounty), a grassroots Olympia-based non-profit dedicated to nourishing a strong community by empowering people and growing good food.

- Oly Float is proud to be a sponsor, featuring a discussion panel after the viewing.
Oly Float is committed to helping veterans transitioning back into civilian life, as floating can be incredibly beneficial in any treatment program focused on PTSD and TBIs.

Tickets available at the Capitol Theater box office. Doors open at 6. Tickets are $9.

Read more at GroundOperations.net.
Click here to watch the trailer.


March 25, 2015

Crowe Law: New attorney brings expertise to Yelm


Holly Scott, Crowe Law, Yelm

“New Attorney…Family and Workforce Expertise to Crowe Law”
“Holly Scott believes that the legal profession is a service industry. ‘That’s something Dan Crowe and I share, an understanding that we’re helping people with problems they can’t necessarily deal with on their own,’ she says. In January, Scott joined The Crowe Law Office in Yelm, bringing a wealth of experience in workforce issues and a familiarity with family law.”

“At Crowe Law, Scott will be focused on general practice. ‘Whatever comes up,’ she says.”

“The Crowe Law Office offers comprehensive legal services, including criminal defense, family law, estate planning, business law, real estate and civil litigation. For more information visit http://www.crowelawoffice.com/home.html,” quoting Thurston Talk.
Read more


March 24, 2015

Yelm Council must deal with contract labor pay tonight


Public Safety Building housing Council Chambers, Yelm

2015 is the year that the City of Yelm has to get new contracts in place via Collective Bargaining Agreements of the city’s two represented groups: the recently approved agreement with Public Works and the yet to be ratified contract with the Yelm Police.

Editor’s Note:
While this town has grown into a city nearing 10,000 inhabitants, Yelm lags behind in staffing/funding key labor groups. Therefore, the Yelm City Council is expected to approve 3 resolutions tonight, quoting the Staff Reports:

* Resolution No. 555 Establishing a Policy for Payment of Retroactive Pay.
This year is unique in that the bargaining with the Teamsters and Public Works began after the 2015 Budget adoption. Council ratified the 2015-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement with Public Works membership on March 10, 2015. The terms of the agreement include a retroactive payment of wages effective January 1, 2015 to the membership.
Any adjustments will require an amendment to the Salary and Benefit Schedule based on the terms of the agreement. For non-represented employees, Resolution No. 555 would establish a policy to allow the City to make adjustments to the compensation of the non-represented employees.

* Ordinance 997 Amending 2015 Salary and Benefit Schedule Appendix II and Appendix III for Rate Adjustments and Benefits related to the 2015-2017 Public Works Collective Bargaining Agreement and on-represented employees.

* Ordinance 998 Amending 2015 Salary and Benefit Schedule Appendix II for Market Rate Adjustments for Public Works Director and Police Chief.

Historically, the City has provided consistent wage and benefit adjustments to all employees, including both represented and non-represented when financially and operationally able. The wages and benefits determined in the Salary and Benefit Schedule is adopted as part of the annual budget with consideration of the Collective Bargaining Agreements of the two represented groups in place. The 2012-2014 CBA agreement with Public Works and the Yelm Police expired 12/31/14, prior to the start of bargaining for a 2015 agreement. The terms of the previous agreements remain until a new agreement is in place.

Recommend to amend the 2015 Salary and Benefit Schedule Appendix II increasing the salary of the two exempt positions found to be significantly below the market comparables for Public Works Director and Police Chief.

In addition for approval tonight:
* 2015 Water Conservation Program – Commercial Irrigation
The City Council adopted a water conservation program in 2010 that established a water budget for each water customer with an irrigation meter. The budget was based on the amount of water according to the Washington Irrigation Guide needed to maintain healthy and productive landscaping, or the customers use in 2009, whichever was less.This program was anticipated to reduce irrigation usage in half. The program was highly successful and water customers saved over 65 million gallons (200 acre feet) of water since 2010. These water savings, along with residential water conservation, helped to realize the City’s conservation goals and extend the life of existing water system infrastructure.The Council has continued the program each year since 2010.