May 23, 2015

Multi-event athlete James Rodeman of Yelm featured in TNT

“Rodeman’s top mark in the long jump this season of 22 feet,
71/2 inches ranks second among Class 4A competitors.”
Photo credit: Tony Overman, McClatchy Newspapers

By Grant Clark, Tacoma News Tribune:
“A second call was made over the public-address system at the 51st annual Bob Shaner Track and Field Invitational at Tumwater High School on May 8, requesting the top finishers in the boys 110-meter hurdles make their way to the podium to receive their medals.

Casually, the athletes begin to filter in, and after a few minutes the top eight participants are announced in reverse order before being handed their hardware.

Yelm’s James Rodeman, the winner of the event, is nowhere to found.

“Yeah, he’s over doing pole vault,” divulged Rodeman’s sophomore teammate Kaleb Lunderville, who finished fourth in the 110 hurdles.

Rodeman is difficult to catch on the track but, as it turns out, it’s equally complicated to reel him in between events.

The talented senior who an hour later would be a no-show at the medal presentation for the pole vault, too — an event he also won — is about as busy as you’ll find during a meet, racing back and forth from event to event.

It’s a finely-tuned — albeit hectic — schedule, but that’s the life of a decathlete.”
Read more

Click here for the story also published in sister newspaper The Olympian.

May 23, 2015

“Climb Fossil Rock for Expansive Views”

“Climb Fossil Rock in Mount Rainier’s Shadow.”
Photo credit: Sydney Boyle.

From Thurston Talk:
“Tucked away in the Bald Hills of the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, one of the few rock climbing locations in the region sits quietly on Weyerhaeuser land. In the summer sun, only a handful of hikers and climbers make their way to this little known area, taking in views of Olympia, the Olympic Mountain Range, Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. The location, know as Fossil Rock near Yelm, should be a sought-after destination for locals hikers, rock climbers and those looking for an impressive view of the region, with minimal effort.

Most who venture up to Fossil Rock for the first time wonder why they haven’t been there before, as the views, hike and rock formations make it one of the more unique hiking destinations in Thurston County. The main reason few have heard of or explored Fossil Rock is that it is located on Weyerhaeuser land, making it inaccessible at times for those hoping to explore one of the views from this rocky cliff in the South Sound. Yet, despite the lack of popularity of this amazing region, it has been known by locals as one of the best hikes and rock climbing destinations around.”

“Fossil Rock can be accessed with a Weyerhaeuser permit for permission to travel on their land.”
Read more

May 22, 2015

Yelm Chamber announces new Executive Director has left the organization

Then-Yelm Chamber Executive Director Casey Cochrane featured in The Olympian
Photo credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian Staff Photographer

Five questions for Casey Cochrane, Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce executive director
was the title of a very high-profile article by Rolf Boone in The Olympian last month. On Monday, May 18, Yelm Chamber of Commerce President April Sage announced that the new Executive Director is no longer with the organization. No reason was given in the Press Release and is very mysterious.

Cochrane was chosen by the Yelm Chamber Board of Directors last December after former Executive Director Cecelia Jenkins retired. Cochrane came to Yelm highly touted and with an extensive resume perfectly matching his skill-set for the Yelm Chamber Executive Director position. Early on, he reached-out to various leaders and business owners in the community getting to know all of the facets to remold the Yelm Chamber to be a more dynamic, financially self-sustaining organization. In a recent conversation with me, Cochrane stated one of his immediate goals was to develop revenue sources to be able to expand the Chamber beyond annual fundraising events. Cochrane was also working to be more aggressive with the Chamber being an advocate in support of local businesses, even joining with the Yelm Business Assn. (this writer is a founding Board member) to co-sponsor local business forums.

The lack of details from the Chamber on Cochrane’s departure within 6 months of his being hired is very ominous. We can only hope that whatever issues the Chamber Board had with Mr. Cochrane and/or vice-versa are made transparent for new applicants and the Yelm Chamber members.

Applicants for the Executive Director postilion may send their resumes to

The Yelm Community Blog wishes Casey Cochrane well in his future endeavors. He brought a welcomed passion, vigor, professionalism and upbeat attitude in all of his public presentations and meetings.

May 21, 2015

Yelm water main replacement project out for bid

Yelm’s water main replacement project is now out for bids:
“Bid Date: 5/27/2015 @ 2:00 pm PDT”

“Work under this contract is divided amongst two separate Bid Schedules (B & C) and includes the construction of approximately 1,950 lineal feet (LF) of 8-inch diameter ductile iron or, alternatively, C900 PVC water main in two separate areas identified under the City’s Capital Improvement Program as Projects D-5 and D-6 and herein as Bid Schedule B and Bid Schedule C. Bid Schedule A is not included in this contract. Bid Schedule B includes approximately 1,330 LF of new water main along and off of Algiers Drive. Bid Schedule C includes approximately 620 LF of new water main along Tranquility Lane. The work for each Bid Schedule will also include connections to existing system piping, abandonment or removal/disposal of decommissioned AC waterlines, installing fire hydrant assemblies, replacing service connections and installing new meter boxes and appurtenances, bedding of pipe, backfill of trench, surface restoration, pressure testing, disinfection and commissioning of new facilities,” quoting Engineer BHC Consultants, LLC in Tacoma.
Read more

Read more from Demolition Central.

May 20, 2015

Chamber’s “Business After Hours” at Yelm Food Co Op Thursday

Courtesy: Yelm Food Co-Op

When: May 21, 2015, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Yelm Food Co-Op
308 East Yelm Avenue
Yelm,WA 98597

Read more

May 20, 2015

Karla’s Homesteading Class this weekend: Basic Goats Milk Soap Making

Photo courtesy: Karla’s Wild Shop

– Karla’s Homesteading Class this weekend
Saturday, May 23rd, 2 pm to 5 pm
Basic Goats Milk soap making class for beginners

You will learn the basics of soap making and will create goats milk soap bars with organic ingredients. You will go home with your own soap molds and several bars of soap.
Cost: $35 plus $10 for materials.

– Also mark your calendar for the following classes, because they are filling up quickly:
* Sauerkraut and Co. Learn the art of fermenting food. Saturday, June 6th, from 2pm to 5pm
* Stock up your medicinal cabinet and learn to prepare herbal tinctures and more (part3) Saturday, June 13th, from 2pm to 5pm

From May 31st through the Summer, find Karla every other Sunday at the Yelm Farmer’s Market with honey, bee pollen, candles and soaps.
Read more

May 19, 2015

South County Entrepreneurs networking event Thursday

– STEDI Networking Event
Thursday, May 21st, 2015 – 5:30-7:00PM
FOOD, DRINKS, & TALKING SHOP. A networking event for South County Entrepreneurs.

Are you an entrepreneur that wants to meet other business people like yourself in South Thurston County?

FREE. Join us for drinks, appetizers, and an evening of discussion about business. Over the course of the night, you will have an oppotgunity (sic) to hear from other entrepreneurs in South Thurston County, showcase what you do, and make direct connections with other business people.
Read more

Sandstone Cafe
273 W Sussex
Tenino 98589
(360) 264-4400

“The South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (STEDI) is a recently-formed group that is committed to ensure that business owners in south Thurston County have access to resources. A number of organizations are involved, including Thurston Regional Planning Council, the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau, local municipalities, Washington State University TeleWork program, Yelm Chamber of Commerce, Tenino Chamber of Commerce and Thurston EDC.

The Thurston EDC [Economic Development Council] works to connect local businesses with experts and resources to help them stay competitive through its Business Resource Center providing counseling, mentoring, and technical assistance to new and existing business owners.”
Read more

May 18, 2015

Pacific NW snowpack is dismal as seen from space

Photo courtesy: NASA

“Specifically, snowpack in Washington and Oregon is at very low levels. A NASA report says Washington’s snowpack is just 16 percent of normal, and that will likely lead to the lowest yearly runoff in 64 years. It’s not any better to the south; Oregon’s snow surveys revealed the state’s mountain peaks are averaging a snowpack that’s just 11 percent of normal, the lowest level since 1992.”

“NASA’s Aqua satellite recently pointed its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) at the Northwest and captured a very striking image, especially when compared to a similar image from a year ago. With the typical “dry season” ahead, the photo illustrates bad news for a region that relies on snowmelt to keep aquifers full in the summer months,” quoting The Weather Channel.
Read more

May 18, 2015

Gov. Inslee declares statewide drought emergency –
Supreme Court hears Yelm water rights case Thurs.

Gov. Jay Inslee

– From Gov. Jay Inslee’s website:
“Gov. Jay Inslee today [May 15] declared a statewide drought for Washington. Snowpack is at historic lows, rivers are dwindling and irrigation districts are cutting off water to farmers. State agencies are already ramping up work to relieve hardships from water shortages and the Department of Natural Resources expects more early-season and higher-elevation wildfires.”

“On May 1, the Natural Resources Conservation Service found 11 snow sites in Washington that are snow free for the first time ever. Of the 98 snow sites the Conservation Service measured in Washington, 66 of them are currently snow free.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported in April that 78 percent of streams statewide were running below or much below normal. Some were already at historic lows.”
Read more

– WA Supreme Court to hear testimony on a citizen challenging Yelm’s water rights
Sara Foster submitted an Appeal against the City of Yelm and the Dept of Ecology November 18, 2011 to stop the pumping of 942 acre feet of water, every year for 20 years, from the aquifer. She asserts Ecology had just rubber-stamped Yelm’s Mitigation Plan and the city was approved to begin pumping and that this amount has huge environmental impacts to the aquifer. Foster suggests wells of property owners in a vast surrounding area [outside of Yelm city limits] could drop in static level and people would have to drill new wells. She contends the city’s new well (pictured above), even at a depth of 750 feet, would impact Foster’s well “downstream” in the same aquifer less than a mile away, affecting her property.
Read more

The WA Supreme Court will listen this Thursday for 20 minutes each to the Dept. of Ecology, City of Yelm and Sara Foster’s attorney, with a decision to follow in a few months.

One has to wonder if the current drought emergency will weigh in to the Court’s decision where Foster appealed Ecology’s granting a more than doubling of Yelm’s water rights, leading to another doubling of the city’s population and ensuing environmental impacts.

May 17, 2015

For the first time in many years –
Yelm Council seat headed to Primary

With the close of 2015 election season Filing deadline last Friday, the three candidates who applied for Yelm City Council Position 6 will be required to be on the August 4th Primary ballot, as the top two vote-getters advance to the November 3rd election.

Yelm City Council Position 6 goes to the Primary:
– Ken Garmann currently occupies this Position and is not seeking re-election.
Candidates for his position are Joe DePinto, Terry Kaminski and Preston Collins.

– Other Yelm City Council seats and their candidates are:
City Council, Position 1: J.W. Foster, running unopposed,

City Council, Position 2: Joe Baker (incumbent) and Molly A. Carmody,

City Council, Position 4: Jen Littlefield (appointee to fill an unexpired term) and Tad Stillwell

For the first time in many years, the City of Yelm voting public will have choices for 3 of 4 City Council seats.
Congratulations to all who want to serve our community.