April 27, 2015

Yelm Community Center update

Drawing courtesy: City of Yelm

Editor’s Note:

I have been getting so many questions from the public about the small footprint of the foundation now noticeable at the site of the Yelm Community Center at Yelm City Park. I have told everyone this is a much smaller version of what the city approved to do an end-run around two failed public ballot measures to build a community center here.

From the City of Yelm:
“In 2013, the City Council approved a Master Plan for Yelm City Park that included a complete update of the park as well as a spray park, a new skate park, and a 10,000 square foot community center. The total cost for all improvements was expected to be around $6.7 million. City voters rejected a bond to pay for the entire park upgrade.

The City Council had previously budgeted $1 million for a community center, and the Washington State Legislature included another $1 million in the 2013 capital projects budget. Additionally, the City received a Community Development Block Grant for $439,000 to construct a new Skate Park.

The Mayor and City Council, after reviewing options with key stakeholders, chose to phase the Master Park Plan and complete Phase I, the Community Center project to fit within existing funds. [Note: Not going to the public taxpayers for a vote.]

The City hired the design firm BCRA to complete the design of a 5,000 square foot community center.
[Note: half the size of the 10,000 sq. ft. community center the public voted down twice.]

The design includes 3,300 square feet of multi-purpose space which will accommodate events of up to 250 people.
[Note: not even the half-sized 5,000 sq. ft. community center.]
The space can be divided in half to host smaller events. Roll up doors will allow the interior space to be used in conjunction with Yelm City Park for community events such as Prairie Days and Christmas in the Park. [Note: the costs of the design changes have been staggering!]
Read more

The Yelm City Council approved adding an additional $1,000,000 to the $1,000,000 Library Bond for a 4,950 square feet community center, without public input. Yet the Nisqually Valley News reported October 30, “The new community center design includes a 3,300-square-foot multipurpose space.”

– How do THE voters feel that voted this down on 2 ballots?

– How do tax payers feel to know the city added an additional $1 million to the $1 million library bond for a community center, where the public was not consulted?

– Many new public buildings nationwide are designed as LEEDS certified, the best way to demonstrate that a building project is truly “green.” Why is Yelm not following LEEDS certification with this public building?

– I have always been in favor of a community center, however I am on the record objecting to the lack of public involvement in the process!

April 26, 2015

This summer, visit two lavender farms in our area

Photo courtesy: Urban Harvest

- Mountain Meadow Lavender Farm
Opening May 1
“Welcome to Mountain Meadow Lavender Farm near Roy…. 10 acres that is soon to be LAVENDER CENTRAL in the Nisqually Valley! Owned by Barbara and Gerald Hulscher, we now have nearly 1,000 plants of several varieties growing in our fields on the corner of 8th Ave. So and 304th. Come on over and visit our store or give us a call!”

Mountain Meadow Lavender Farm
919 304th St So
Roy, WA. 98580
(253) 843-4109

- Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm
“Our new hours are June 14th – August 17th, Thursday – Sunday from 11am to 4 pm.
Our Gift Shoppe is open by appointment during non-open days.”

“The Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm is a boutique farm located, in Olympia Washington, at the base of the Puget Sound. We specialize in Dried Lavender Crafts, Dried Lavender Bundles (fresh in-season), Lavender Buds, Culinary Lavender, Soothing Body Products, Aromatherapy and Lavender Gifts.”

Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm
9733 Evergreen Valley Rd. SE.
Olympia, WA. 98513
(360) 754-2002
Read more

April 25, 2015

Visitor Bureau’s George Sharp resigns

George Sharp
Photo courtesy: OLTVCB

“George Sharp, executive director of Visitor & Convention Bureau, resigns”
“In a surprise announcement, George Sharp, who had raised the profile of the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau after the previous executive director was fired, resigned Thursday [Apr. 23] from the organization he led for more than four years.

Sharp said he plans to start two new businesses, both of which will be family-run. The first is called Sharp Strategies and Solutions LLC, while the details on the second business are still coming together.

Sharp said he has been thinking about his new ventures for some time, but was stirred to action after the death of two industry friends and his daughter’s graduation and marriage.

‘Life is really short,’ he said Thursday. ‘I want to create a legacy and make a difference in people’s lives.'”

“Sharp, 52, was hired in November 2010 after working at the state Department of Commerce for 11 years,” quoting Rolf Boone, The Olympian.
Read more

Editor’s note:
Mr. Sharp was also instrumental in raising Yelm’s business profile in the Visitor & Convention Burueau, with two recent inspirational presentations to the Yelm Business Assn. & Yelm Chamber as well as the Yelm City Council. He will be sorely missed, however is wished well in his new endeavors.

April 25, 2015

Preparedness Seminar – The Triad, Wed., Apr. 29, 6pm -
Closing out National Preparedness Month!

National Preparedness Month in Yelm concludes with this OPEN TO THE PUBLIC seminar!

April 25, 2015

Faith Communities Planning Workshop Mon. in Yelm

- From Thurston County Emergency Management
Faith Communities Planning Workshop

The Faith Communities Planning Workshops are to facilitate awareness, provide information, and offer opportunity for faith communities to plan for emergencies and disaster; and to partner with local emergency management in community disaster planning.

For more information, click here.

Local faith organizations meet quarterly to discuss disaster planning for their organizations and for the county.
Our program builds upon the “3 Days, 3 Ways” concept: Make a Plan, Have a Kit, Get Involved.
The meetings are generally held the last Monday evening of the first month of each quarter.

Next Meeting:
Monday, April 27, 2015 ~ 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
First Baptist Church, Yelm
602 103rd Ave. SE, Yelm
(Corner of 103rd and Creek St.)

April 24, 2015

Yelm area resident Dr. Karriem Ali, MD shared a Harvard Dormitory
with newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch, Harvard Dorm Weld Hall, Dr. Karriem Ali, MD
Photo credit: RSE Newsletter, Dec. 26, 2014

Yelm area resident and RSE Scholar Series Lecturer Dr. Karriem Ali, MD attended Harvard University in the late 70’s and early 80’s at the same time newly confirmed Attorney General Loretta Lynch was also a student. Both resided in the same dormitory hall, studying for medical and law degrees, respectively.

Dr. Ali reports that Weld Hall (pictured above) was also the former home then-future President John F. Kennedy, Daniel Ellsberg, Michael Crichton, Ben Bernanke, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

“Loretta Lynch was confirmed Thursday [April 23] as attorney general, the first black woman in American history to hold the country’s top law enforcement post,” by Halimah Abdullah, NBC News.
Read more

April 24, 2015

Home & Garden Show opens tomorrow


Click here for the schedule.

April 23, 2015

From “Feeding America” – Stats for Food Insecure Thurston County

- From Feeding America:
“What is food insecurity and what does it look like in America?”
“Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.

Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.”

“The [links] below reflect 2009 – 2013 data, and will be updated every year with new data. Select a year and your state in our interactive map below and start learning more about the residents struggling with hunger in your community and the food banks that serve them.”
Read more

Click here for Thurston County map and information.

- From Green is Universal #nofoodnowaste:
“This Earth Week, NBCUniversal wants you to help reduce food waste.
Plan meals ahead, purchase wisely and store groceries properly for optimum shelf life. These small actions can make a big difference.”

“The average person wastes 240 pounds of food each year — roughly the same weight as a refrigerator!”
Read more

April 22, 2015

Gov. Inslee’s Earth Day address calls for Legislative action

Gov. Jay Inslee

- “In Earth Day address, Inslee calls for Legislative action”
“In a brief Earth Day address delivered from the state Capitol grounds, Gov. Jay Inslee said the Legislature’s impending special session should be used to advance an environment-friendly agenda.

On Wednesday, Inslee said the extended lawmaking session needs to result in new laws on carbon pollution, oil-train safety and toxic pollutants that show up in the state’s fish,” quoting the Associated Press and KING 5 News.
Read more

Editor’s note:
BRAVO to Gov. Inslee’s leadership on so many vital issues.

April 22, 2015

4-H Clover Campaign Starts Today

“4-H Clover Campaign Starts Apr. 22″
“Get your $1 paper clover at Del’s Feed and Farm Supply stores in Yelm and Olympia to support Thurston County 4-H youth and programs!
The Spring Paper Clover Fundraiser runs Apr. 22 through May 3.”
Click here: More details on the 4-H Spring Paper Clover campaign
Click here: Thurston County WSU Extension 4-H program
Read more from Thurston County.