October 18, 2017

Ballots for the November 7th election mailed to today




– “Ballots to be Mailed and Ballot Drop Boxes to be Opened for the November 7, 2017 General Election”
“On Wednesday, October 18, the Thurston County Auditor’s Office will mail ballots to registered voters in Thurston County for the November 7, 2017 General Election,” quoting the Thurston County Auditor’s News Release.
Click here for more information.


October 18, 2017

Branch-Military Parent Technical Assistance Center Auction Oct. 21




Branch-Military Parent Technical Assistance Center
Announces the 7th Annual Dinner and Auction
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Tacoma Country and Golf Club!
Lakewood, Washington
Doors Open at 5:30 pm
Click here to Reserve your tickets today.


October 17, 2017

Yelm Mayoral Candidates Public Debate Oct. 18th. –
First time in modern history Yelm has a mayoral debate

– Open to the public debate in Yelm Wednesday evening
WHAT: Mayoral candidates debate between JW Foster and Joe DePinto
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 18, 7pm
WHERE: Yelm Community Center

A 3-person panel will ask their questions and those submitted by the audience.
Panel members are Steve Craig, Ronelle Funk, Michael Wagar.


October 17, 2017

Fall rains, wind could bring up to 5 inches of rain through Sunday


Photo credit: NWS, Seattle


– “First big wind, rain storm of fall coming this week”
“The first significant wind event of the fall is expected to move into the area first thing Tuesday morning, with an even bigger storm coming Wednesday morning.

After an almost perfect fall weekend (of the sunny kind), we are about to see a big change in the weather patterns that will give us the other kind of fall weather — wet and windy,” quoting Rich Marriott and Travis Pittman, KING-5 TV News, Seattle.
Read more


October 16, 2017

In Yelm city races: DePinto, Colt and Blair are the best choices –
Votes for the future, not more of the past!

– A Yelm Community Blogger Editorial:
City leaders in Yelm are cognizant they are on the verge of a plateau in the city’s phenomenal growth, as the allocation of water rights is topped and new permits will soon be few. They have come to understand the city must mature where further growth has to be in a sustainable and responsible manner, as development methods of the last decade are can no longer be supported. No surprise then that most candidates for mayor and city council mention the brewing confluences of water issues, Public Works infrastructure needs, and how to fund these. Economic viability coupled with supporting the city’s budget revenue stream with taxes/fees has been the centerpieces of the council to-date in guiding and developing the city’s future — a goal candidates have committed to re-examine if elected Nov. 7, looking outside the box to other innovative revenue sources.

Other campaign issues are transportation (Bypass completion), diversifying the economy, homelessness and public safety.

Three candidates in contested city races stand out and deserve to be elected, including Joe DePinto seeking a term as mayor. DePinto is challenged by Interim Mayor JW Foster, appointed by a divided council when former Mayor Ron Harding resigned with no explanation mid-third-term just over a year ago. Foster inherited a government in turmoil and the need to fill a vacant city administrator position. While he is well-liked and has done an admirable job in bringing stability to city hall, Foster does not possess the years of experience DePinto has acquired working in the state legislature and in understanding public process, to where often times in the last year, DePinto had to correct Foster on proper procedures.

In the two contested City Council races, Cody Colt is the better candidate than Russ Hendrickson vacating his Position 7 seat to run for Position 3. And James Blair brings a voice and platform with a new perspective the council needs over Terri Kaminski, who has worked for over a decade on the Planning Commission and is aligned with past policies that now require a new mindset.

Running unopposed are Tad Stillwell and Tracey Wood.


Candidate Joe DePinto, Mayor of Yelm
Photo credit: City of Yelm



Joe DePinto was raised in Yelm and attended Yelm schools, New Market Vocational Skills Center and Eastern Washington University, then returned as a “product of Yelm.” He has over 6 years experience working in our state legislature with U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, and as executive legislative assistant to Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, a huge benefit when he is elected mayor.

“I understand government, I understand higher levels of government, I understand government best practices and I want to bring those best practices here to Yelm,” DePinto said. “Things that we are not doing, things that we could easily do. There is so much potential here that I have seen since I was a kid.”

DePinto differentiated himself from opponent JW Foster at the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Forum saying that Foster has been on the council and as interim mayor for a total of 7 years and never once brought-up the issue of public transparency (omitted in the NVN story). He has challenged Foster’s full-time mayor advertising, as Yelm’s mayor by ordinance is a part-time mayor paid $30,000 a year. DePinto also supports term limits here to allow the opportunity for new minds, new ideas to serve in public offices. DePinto listened to constituents in wanting a YMCA here, and initiated a conversation with Y management, working with city staff to get this idea off of home-plate. DePinto has taken stands to avoid additional taxes/fees on residents, suggesting other potential revenue-stream development, often times voting singularly against imposing new taxes/fees. Joe brings a youthful vitality and focused interest in seeking alternative and innovative solutions to city funding issues and examining areas of cutting expenses, instead of the usual taxes/fees increases on residents.

Michelle Obama said: “Being President Doesn’t Change Who You Are, It Reveals Who You Are”

How true with Joe DePinto, for in his almost two years serving on Yelm’s council, Joe has grasped being a beacon of light in standing-up for the public he serves, open government, transparency, and following proper procedures!
Click here for DePinto’s video.



Candidate Cody Colt, Council Pos. 3
Photo courtesy: Cody Colt for Council



In the Position 3 race, Cody Colt says his experience as a history teacher has taught him the quiet content person gets little done. His platform is for transparency, bringing a voice to new ideas, easing business restrictions, and making infrastructure a priority. Colt said, “We continue to grow yet nothing is being done about the system which supports that growth.”

Colt brings a unique perspective with his almost 9 years of military experience serving in the U. S. Navy and was stationed in Turkey at the beginning of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom.’ With city leaders touting almost 40% of Yelm’s population comprised of military families, Colt would an additional military representative whose views this city council sorely needs.

And in this era of no longer tolerating abuse by public officials, the time has come to defeat Councilor Hendrickson arrested for domestic violence during his term, yet the then-complicit city council did nothing to censure him. While laudable that he was defending his daughter, elected officials are held to a higher standard of personal responsibility and integrity in representing themselves on behalf of the public interests, and resorting to violence has no place when a phone-call to police would suffice. Further, this had an effect on the city due to a conflict of interest, where the City of Yelm had to hire an outside attorney to prosecute the Yelm councilman. He has also had some contemptuous outbursts of anger expressed at council study sessions, another inappropriate method for en elected official to handle disagreements. And why did he not defend his Position 7 council seat, moving to Position 3 when Littlefield announced she was not running again and no opponent had yet filed for Pos. 3? Hendrickson is like shifting sand in not defending his post, a relic of past thinking.
Colt is the best choice.



Candidate James Blair, Council Pos. 7
Photo credit: Elect James Blair



The first 2017 Yelm candidate to announce he was running for the city council, James Blair brings a thoughtful approach to city government with his clearly enunciated stands. James believes in family first saying,”Our community in Yelm is like a family, and I will always put the best interests of that family first.”
What’s important to Blair: Public Safety, Business development, Personal liberty and property rights, homelessness and housing.
James has a background in manufacturing and transportation, a skill-set that will be useful on the council.

While opponent Terri Kaminski has been a dedicated public planning commissioner, she is too aligned with the way Yelm has operated, for over a decade she has interfaced with city officials, an adherent to past policies that now require change, a new vision. Kaminski is in the Foster campaign’s Facebook splash page photo, so clearly has not differentiated herself as an independent voice. A councilor candidate aligning with the mayor candidate is so ‘yesterday’ here.


– Bottom line:
Yelm has been one of the fastest growing cities in the state with much promise for the future. However, the city must get the public involved in discussing the “elephant in the room,” the Public Works infrastructure in need of at least an estimated $17 million in upgrades and maintenance.

I’d like to see Yelm’s leaders take the Public Works issues and water allocation limits more seriously as a city-wide business issue, where ultimately they bring the best community minds to the table in a new summit-like partnership to deal with these matters before emergencies with extensive repair costs arise.

Meanwhile, business development, traffic and other growth issues in Yelm can benefit from having people with passion and new ideas on the City Council. It’s about the future!

Those best equipped to deal with these facets are Joe DePinto for mayor and Cody Colt and James Blair for council.


October 15, 2017

SRO presents “Young Frankenstein” at Yelm’s Triad Theater –
Opens Oct. 20, purchase your tickets online


Courtesy: Standing Room Only Theater Group


From the brains behind The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs. Legendary filmmaker and comedian Mel Brooks brings his classic monster musical comedy Young Frankenstein to life on stage.

Standing Room Only Presents: Young Frankenstein the Musical
Directed by: Daniel Wyman
Musical Director: Carol Banach
Choreographer: Andrea Levanti & Sarah Burke
Production Designer: Dawn Young
Producer: Dave Champagne
Executive Producer: Rich Frias

– Show Opens October 20th, 2017
The Triad Theater
102 E. Yelm Ave
Yelm WA 98597

– SHOW TIMES & DATES:
Oct 20th (Fri) 7:30 pm
Oct 21st (Sat) 7:30 pm
Oct 22nd (Sun) 3 pm

Oct 27th (Fri) 7:30 pm
Oct 28th (Sat) 6:30 pm *Special time – Halloween Engagement – No discounts – includes after party
Oct 29th (Sun) 3 pm

Nov 3rd (Fri) 7:30 pm
Nov 4th (Sat) 7:30 pm
Nov 5th (Sun) 3pm

Nov 10th (Fri) 7:30 pm
Nov 11th (Sat) 7:30 pm VETERANS DAY SPECIAL ½ off all Military (Active & Veteran) & Families
Nov 12th (Sun) 3pm

– PRICES:
$25 – Regular Price
$20 – Military, Seniors, and Students
$17 – Group Rate (10 or more)
Click here to buy tickets.


October 14, 2017

2 Yelm area Fire Depts. send support to California


The Pride of the Southeast Thurston Fire Authority Fleet
Photo courtesy: Southeast Thurston Fire Authority


– “Local crews head to Northern California to help fight massive wildfires”
“Firefighters from Thurston County are on their way to help fight massive wildfires burning in Northern California.”

“According to Washington’s Emergency Management Division, 50 fire engines and two command vehicles were dispatched Friday along with 185 firefighters from 45 departments and fire districts from across the state.

That includes crews from Southeast Thurston Fire Authority, McLane Black Lake Fire Department, Thurston County Fire District 17, West Thurston Regional Fire Authority and Lewis County Fire District 5,” by Abby Spegman, The Olympian.
Read more



Thurston County Fire Protection District 17, Bald Hills


Blessings to our firefighters serving others, many who fought our state’s fires, too!


October 14, 2017

Thurston County Flood Awareness Week, Oct. 16-20




– “WA State Preparedness Month”
“October is Washington State Preparedness Month.

“Sign up for the County’s Alert & Notification System to recieve (sic) notices of severe weather, flooding or other types of notifications. Click here for more information.

Take steps now to be prepared before disaster strikes. Plan to be on your own for at least 2 weeks. For more infomation (sic), click here.”
Read more from Thurston County Emergency Management.


– Thurston County Flood Bulletins for Fall 2017 were mailed to residents
Click here for more info.


October 13, 2017

Rainier’s “Sgt. Justin. D. Norton Memorial Highway” could be named next week


Rainier’s fallen son, Justin Norton


– “Move to name highway after fallen Rainier soldier”
“A two-mile section of Highway 507 in Thurston County could be named the “Sgt. Justin. D. Norton Memorial Highway” next week.

Rainier Councilmember Everett Gage will present the proposal to the Washington State Transportation Commission Tuesday, October 17.

‘Even though he’s not here, his legacy continues in this community,’ said Gage, who did not know Norton.

Norton was killed in Iraq in 2006,” by South Bureau Chief Drew Mikkelsen, KING-5 TV News, Seattle.
Read more


– Editor’s Note:
The wars have left their mark on this area, as we are reminded from one of the first from this area to give the ultimate sacrifice in the Iraq War, Rainier’s Justin Norton, who was killed in June 2006.

Justin Norton Scholarship Fund honoring Rainier, Washington’s fallen soldier in Iraq.
About Sgt. Norton

Donations can be mailed to:
Justin Norton Scholarship Fund
c/o Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 444
Yelm, Wa 98597

Donations can also be made at any Key Bank. If going to a Key Bank outside of Washington State just mention that the account is set up in Washington State. Tax Deductable Donation Internal Revenue # 91-2079079


October 13, 2017

America’s Shake-out Earthquake Drill Oct. 19 includes Yelm –
Chief Todd Stancil encourages the Yelm community to participate




– The Great America Shake-out Earthquake Drill October 19, 10:19am
“Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves during earthquakes. Even if earthquakes are rare where you live, they may happen where you or your family travel.

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness.”
Read more from the Southern California Earthquake Center @ USC.


– How you can participate in Washington State
“Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:19 a.m. on October 19 during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills!

Washingtonians can join them today by registering for the 2017 Great Washington ShakeOut.”
Click here


– From Yelm Police Chief & Emergency Preparedness Manager Todd Stancil
“The month of October is Washington State’s Disaster Preparedness Month and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month. The Great Washington Shake Out Drill will be on Thursday, October 19th at 10:19 a.m. I would encourage private citizens and businesses to participate in the state wide Drop, Cover, and Hold earthquake drill and join over a million participants throughout the state that will take part in this important planning drill.”
Read more


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