September 30, 2008

STATE REP. CANDIDATE CAMPBELL ENDORSED BY SIERRA CLUB


Representative Tom Campbell
Photo from Representative Campbell’s official website

Incumbent area candidate for State Representative Tom Campbell has been endorsed by the Cascades Chapter of the Sierra Club who said:

“Representative Campbell, a Republican incumbent for many years in the 2nd Legislative District, has become a leader in promoting good environment and human health bills. He has the unique position, serving as a Minority Party member, as Chair of the Select Committee of Environmental Health in the Democrat-Majority House. This exemplifies the respect he has from the Majority Party and his bipartisan work to get good environmental legislation passed. He is also on the Transportation Committee working to solve a number of challenging transportation issues.

Over the last four years he has voted for bills for green buildings, septic systems clean-up, public transit, transportation, bio-fuels, and e-waste recycling. In the 2007 2008 Session he was instrumental helping pass legislation on banning PBDEs and toxic toys. He supported numerous other environmental legislative priorities including global warming mitigation, support of local agriculture, and climate action/green jobs.

His website is http://www.tcampbell.com.”


September 29, 2008

FT. LEWIS INCREASED NOISE BEGINS TODAY THROUGH OCTOBER 10TH

“Increased noise and more aircraft than usual will be part of a U.S. Army Rangers exercise starting Monday [Sept. 29] and going through Oct. 10.

Soldiers will use training ammunition to make the exercise as realistic as possible, a base news release says.

The increased air traffic will include low-flying aircraft – both helicopters and airplanes – at night.

The training is conducted periodically. The 75th Ranger Regiment is the Army’s premier raid force. It must be ready to deploy worldwide on a moment’s notice,” quoting The Olympian.


September 28, 2008

“WATER SYSTEM CONCERNS DISMISSED” ABOUT KNIGHT’S PROPERTY

Water system concerns dismissed
“Concerns expressed by Tahoma Terra developers about JZ Knights water system were reviewed and dismissed by the state Department of Health.”

[ED. NOTE: This writer found the front page, sensational headlines in the Nisqually Valley News on August 15th about accusations made by Thurston Highlands/Tahoma Terra developers Steve Chamberlain & Doug Bloom concerning water rights on JZ Knight’s property and Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) must be some journalistic attempt to sell newspapers. Seems like the modus-operandi at the NVN is to throw mud hoping it will stick and deal with the full story in-context later, once they do more homework. There was another front-page follow-up in the NVN on this issue on August 29th. Once an investigation was completed by the Washington State’s Depts. of Ecology and Health, the results finding Ms. Knight’s property in total compliance was in a small title in the lower left front-page of last Friday’s newspaper, under another sensationalistic headline with accusations hurled against Ms. Knight by a former employee from 17 years ago, renowned city volunteer, Yelm Chamber of Commerce President-elect & Mayor-appointed citizen committee official Glen Cunningham. Where was the top front-page headline “Bloom & Chamberlain’s concerns have no merit say 2 State agencies?”]

“Concerns expressed by Tahoma Terra developers about JZ Knights water system were reviewed and dismissed by the state Department of Health.

‘Our staff had a meeting with them (Tahoma Terras Doug Bloom and Steve Chamberlain),’ said Carolyn Cox, public information coordinator for the DOH. ‘We were able to bridge some misunderstandings.’

In a letter dated Wednesday, Sept. 10, Bloom and Chamberlain alleged non-compliance by Knights Ramtha School of Enlightenment and asked the Department of Health to look into the schools water system.

Bloom and Chamberlain claimed that Knight was overusing her water rights, violating a 100-foot setback of Thompson Creek and exceeding capacity.

Knight is fighting the approval of five developments in Yelm, including Tahoma Terra. Knight is arguing that the City of Yelm does not have enough water rights to accommodate the growth…

‘The Department of Ecologys Report of Examination regarding (Knights) water rights shows that each attendee would use an average of 35 gallons per day and each staff member would use 15,’ Cox said…

‘Ecologys approval of that projected use is good through 2013, and they see no problem with (Knights) water rights.’…

‘The Office of Drinking Water has looked into the developers concerns,’ she said.

‘We are satisfied that the water system is operating within its water rights and we see no need to adjust usage/event attendance limits in their Water System Approval document.’

Cox said her staff has thoroughly looked into Bloom and Chamberlains concerns and are satisfied with the findings.

‘From our perspective as the water system regulator, (Knights) water system is in good standing,’ Cox said.”


September 27, 2008

UPDATE: YELM TIMERLAND LIBRARY STATUS



Yelm Timberland Regional Library
Photo courtesy of Guustaaf Damave

Six months ago this week, the Yelm Timberland Library Advisory Board made their annual presentation to the Mayor & City Council saying the Library’s 10 year lease is up in the current location in 2012 and the 10 year exemption granted by Timberland Regional library (TRL) to operate Yelm’s Library in a non-public building expires then, too.
Further stated, “TRL would be hard pressed to grant Yelm another exemption to operate a library in a private facility, as the other 18 jurisdictions in the TRL five-county region are all required to be in public facilities. Some of these cities have expressed their concerns about the favoritism granted Yelm on this issue.”

I wrote to TRL Manager of Administrative Services Michael Crose for an update, since there has been nothing announced to the public about Yelm’s Library status after 2012. Here is his response approved for Yelm Community Blog readers:

“Good Morning Steve. I met with representatives from the City and Prairie Park Development [owners of the current library building] last month. We are considering several options including remaining in the current location for a couple more years. It was agreed that since the City and Timberland are in the middle of one of the most difficult budget cycles in recent memory we would postpone our next meeting until February. Although you may not recognize it, the Yelm library issue is second only to the issue of the District’s [almost $2 million] …million deficit in order of importance.”

Covered here on July 1st was this NVN story:
“The Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees may go to the voters seeking a levy lid lift.

Its either that or face cutting services, according to Timberland officials.”

And this story in The Olympian:
“Timberland Regional Library, which operates libraries in five southwest Washington counties, is in a tough financial spot a $1.9 million budget shortfall by year’s end.

The library system, which includes libraries in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Yelm, has two equally unappealing choices: raise taxes or cut staff, reduce hours of operations and scale back the book-buying budget.

The ensuing debate will be a referendum on the value people place in library services.”

[Ed. Note: So the deficit will give TRL an out with other TRL Libraries for Yelm’s Library to remain in a non-public facility for awhile longer. However, at some point TRL & Yelm are going to have to grapple with the situation of a more permanent future for a Yelm facility. When the agreement was penned in 2001 for the Library to move to Prairie Park for 10 years, work should have started then on the library’s future facility. TRL’s approved statement in the Library Board presentation last March said that a facility was Yelm’s responsibility. Little to nothing was done since 2001 on a permanent facility, hence the current situation we library property tax payers find ourselves.]

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR PROPERTY TAXES BEING USED TO PAY RENT FOR A LIBRARY IN A PRIVATE COMPANY’S BUILDING AND NOT A PUBLIC STRUCTURE?


September 26, 2008

NATIONAL ALPACA FARM DAY THIS WEEKEND

NATIONAL ALPACA FARM DAY TODAY

“We are excited to present National Alpaca Farm Day, September 27-28, 2008.”

Disappearing Creek Alpaca Ranch
4315 424th St.
Eatonville
10a.m. – 3p.m.

Majestic Farm
38209 62nd Ave. Ct. E.
Eatonville
10a.m. – 3p.m.

Alpacas of America
16641 Old Highway 99 SE
Tenino
11a.m. – 3p.m.


September 26, 2008

YELM RESIDENT’S LETTER TO MAYOR & CITY COUNCIL

This letter was sent to Mayor Harding and the Yelm City Council on September 22nd in reference to the Mayor’s Column in the Nisqually Valley News:

“Please read this letter in the next meeting, which I believe is tomorrow night [Yelm City Council meeting on Sept. 23rd]

You [Mayor Harding] are supposed to be a person who is open minded and not mired in negativity. Writing in your column that people are a “vocal minority” and “negative viewed” is extremely offensive and smacks of you drawing a division of people that are not “like minded”.

Your personal name calling and assassinations of people that may not agree with you or your decisions is pitiful.

It is not leadership at its best, its nothing but negativity. You spewed out your personal opinions & that is not what I think a person of responsibility is about. You are misusing your column and I hope not your office to negate your constituency.

Some of these people are some of the same people that helped put you in office.

I would like to know also why doesn’t anyone in that same constituency know that 2 of the people on the Yelm City Planning [Commission] had a working relationship with that developer [Tahoma Terra & Thurston Highlands] and that they were listing agents [real estate] for him. And, evidently the rest of the community was not informed.

I would like to know what is your opinion of “undue influence”?

And also conflict of interest?

I ask this question because I feel like people who rub elbows constantly with each other can’t distance themselves from decision making, altruistically.

I am very suspect of the arrangement of Yelm city planning [Commission] officials being on the commission that have had a past working relationship with this developer. Representing the developer of Tahoma Terra [and Thurston Highlands] in past times should not have been kept a secret. It should of been brought out into the open of this community so we could have discussed this issue and understood more fully “that relationship”.

People who have had longstanding relationships with the City of Yelm certainly have influence with decision making processes.

Just so you understand, your column was very offensive and short sighted. Everyone has their own belief system; you have yours, I have mine. But the bottom line is about your attitude; it’s like there are us…and then there is them…which reflects on your ability to lead this community in a non-threatening and intelligent manner.

Since I feel you have maligned the non-like-minded people that you represent in this community, it’s too bad; it just makes suspect the things that you do and represent.

I shall have people in the audience [Yelm City Council] that will let me know if you did in fact read this letter at the next city meeting. Personally, I do not feel you represent most of our interests.
This development will threaten this environment and put undue burdens on city services…..

Cindy Anderson

[Ed. Note: Cindy Teixeira, Community and Government Relations Coordinator for the City of Yelm responded to Ms. Anderson saying, “I received both your emails regarding the Mayors column and will provide a copy of the letter to the City Clerk for proper disbursement to the City Council members.” Mrs. Teixeira copied the Mayor on Ms. Anderson’s email.]

This writer checked the real estate records and found Ms. Anderson’s assertions to be true:
Yelm Planning Commissioners Graver & Kaminski purchased property from Steve Chamberlain, president of SCA Consulting, co-developer of Thurston Highlands & Tahoma Terra.

Is there a conflict of interest?
Should Commissioners Graver & Kaminski have recused themselves from any discussion involving Thurston Highlands & Tahoma Terra?

WHAT DO YOU SAY?


September 25, 2008

YELM GATHERING THIS SATURDAY ON EMERGENCY PREAPREDNESS

Dear Community,

We are happy to announce that we are finally joining forces with the Survival Center and putting together a gathering for Building Community by helping each other to Map our Neighborhoods. We also would like to discuss important options for communication to each satellite community by using Shortwave/Hamm Radios, CBs, etc.

Please kindly mark your calendars for Saturday, September 27th from 4-6pm at the Survival Center. Please let us know Right Away if you can attend and if you have Shortwave/Ham Radios, CBs, etc.

We are personally creating a community in our area by Mapping our Neighborhood and Gathering Skills & Important Information from each household like who knows First Aid, CPR, Medical Skills, Animal Husbandry, Construction/Building, Gardening, etc Also, who has a Shortwave/Ham Radio, Generator or Energy System to be a Base for Communication. We are setting this up now, so that in potential critical times we can all work together to support our neighbors, help each other and know who is in reach of us in a few mile radius…

Kindly spread the word and help us to build our local community into an even stronger force.

Thanks so much.

Warm Regards,

Liza Bennett
EarthWave Living, LLC
liza@earthwaveliving.com
888-589-WAVE

Ride the Wave to Self Sufficient Living…

Here are some very informative links for creating Local Community, Radio Communication and First Aid/CPR Classes:

Taking Care of your Local Community within 1 mile of your home:

Map your Neighborhood: http://www.emd.wa.gov/myn/index.shtml

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT): https://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/

For Shortwave/Ham Radios, CBs:

Olympia Amateur Radio Society: http://www.olyham.org/

National Association for Amateur Radio: http://www.arrl.org/

Thurston County Amateur Radio Emergency Services: http://www.wwa-district3-ares.org/thurston_county/

First Aid/CPR Classes:

Olympia 1-Day First Aid/CPR Classes: https://www.rainier-redcross.org/classes/classlist.aspx?courseid=HSSFA404

Rainier 3 Hour First Aid/CPR Classes: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/medic1/M1_class.htm


September 25, 2008

EMERGEMCY PREPAREDNESS FAIR THIS SATURDAY IN OLYMPIA

Don’t Be Caught in the Dark!

Prepare Yourself!

Emergency Preparedness Fair

Saturday, Sept. 27 ~ 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

St. Martin’s University

Worthington Center & Marcus Pavilion

5300 Pacific Avenue SE, Lacey

Sponsored by:
The Emergency Management Council of Thurston County
St. Martin’s University
The Olympian
Qwest Communications
Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers
American Preparedness


September 24, 2008

NISQUALLY WATERSHED FESTIVAL THIS SATURDAY

Nisqually Watershed Festival
Saturday, Sep 27 10:00a to 4:00p
at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Olympia, WA

Enjoy good music, food, guided walks, educational displays and more.
Phone: (360) 753-9467

Click here for the Nisqually Watershed Festival Main Stage Schedule;
“There will also be great exhibits and children’s activities including a marine touch tank, the Red Salmon Tent, tours, lectures, and of course the Nisqually Salmon Bake!”

Sponsored by The Nisqually River Council, who implements the Nisqually River Management Plan “which includes representation of certain non-governmental river interests.

The Nisqually River Council is a coordination, advocacy and educational organization with no independent authority. The Council seeks to integrate the history, culture, environment and economy of the watershed,” quoting their site.


September 23, 2008

YELM SCHOOLS BURSTING AT THE SEAMS


Yelm Community Schools Superintendent Alan Burke

YELM BLOG READERS KNEW OF YELM SCHOOLS EXPANSION PLANS MONTHS AGO!

The Nisqually Valley News reported on September 12th:
“Yelm Community Schools has a plan to deal with a continuing population boom.

Approximately 90 more students than last September enrolled in school this year.

More accurate population counts are taken in October, when movement of students has steadied.

Last October, the district counted 5,345 students. Counts this month show the district has 5,386, but that number seems to be increasing.

Schools Superintendent Alan Burke estimates the school district will need to expand facilities in 2012.

The high school can be added to on the east side of the campus, where portables currently sit. Those portables could be moved to elementary schools or middle schools, and a few elementary schools would be renovated.

Lackamas and Southworth elementaries are the two schools in greatest need of repair or restructuring, Burke said.

Burke speculated that an additional elementary school may need to be built…

The school experiencing the most rapid growth is Southworth, with an estimated population increase of about 50 students this year.

The growth is apparently related to the availability of new, affordable housing in the Tahoma Terra development Burke said…

Cadero [Southworth Principal Lisa Cadero] agrees that Tahoma Terra is probably the biggest reason for the population increase.

One day, she said, the Tahoma Terra school bus was too full. An additional trip had to be made to get all of the students home…

One teacher teaches two grades with the help of a part-time teaching assistant.”

The Mayor’s growth initiatives & the City of Yelm’s “planned growth” are now displaying havoc created with school bus overcrowding, teachers teaching two classes and strained facilities?
Planning? Applications for building 1,800 homes the last 3-5 years + accepting an application on another 5,000 homes in a city of 5,000 people is planned growth?
Area property owners should expect more requests for taxes to build more facilities in the next couple of years, on top of levies!

Schools Superintendent Burke mentioned a targeted 2012 expansion date when he penned this story for Yelm Community Blog readers in March of this year.


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