December 31, 2008

DECEMBER, 2008 WAS A MONTH OF WEATHER RECORDS

TEMPERATURE RECORDS
Yelm recorded no record high temperatures this month, however several record low temperatures were set:
21 was the record low on Dec. 14th
21 tied the record low on Dec. 15th
13 was the record low on Dec. 19th
10 was the record low on Dec. 20th
From AccuWeather

SNOW RECORDS
“He [“weather service meteorologist Jay Albrecht said”] said Sea-Tac set a record Sunday [Dec. 21] with 3 inches of snow, but that in some areas, including South Sound, records of snow are not well kept.

But South Sound officials said Saturday and Sunday’s [Dec. 20 & 21] snowfall was among the heaviest in recent history,” quoting The Olympian.

“This month already is thought to be the snowiest December on record in the Olympia area, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. Between 1 and 2 feet of snow has fallen since Wednesday [Dec. 17], depending on where you live in Thurston County…

The previous snowfall record for December in the Olympia area was 10 inches in 1955, according to a weather service database, Haner said.

The snowiest month on record for the Olympia area is 14.2 inches in January 1972, he said. Some areas of Thurston County have exceeded that amount, but not the Olympia area.

The weather service recorded snow depths at the Olympia Regional Airport until 1997, when it moved to automated monitoring. It now relies on a network of weather spotters to measure snow depth. There’s no reliable way to measure snow depth using an automated system, Haner said,” quoting The Olympian.


December 30, 2008

YELM, ORTING, EATONVILLE PROJECTS SEEK ECONOMIC STIMULUS OPPORTUNITY

“With the federal and state administrations looking to economic stimulus packages to aid states and communities struggling because of the economic turmoil, Rep. Tom Campbell has put together a list of needed projects in his 2nd District that can help create jobs and stimulate Washingtons economy.

President-elect Barack Obama is calling for a massive economic stimulus program to help the economy of the U.S., the 50 states, and local communities. In a meeting with 48 state governors earlier this month, including Gov. Chris Gregoire, Obama said his administration will work closely with Congress and the states to seek the wisest course for the future.

Obama asked the nations governors to help draft and shape a multibillion-dollar stimulus plan that also would aid states struggling with deficits. The economic stimulus package will be before Congress as soon as it convenes, and expects to get it passed before the end of January.

Gregoire had said Washington would need at least $600 million in federal money for short term road and bridge projects to help kick-start the states struggling economy.

Campbell has identified a number of projects in the 2nd District that are ready to move quickly, including Yelm Loop Road, a 4.2 mile two lane corridor that will loop State Routes 510 and 507 to bypass the Yelm city-center, relieving the city’s growing traffic congestion.

About 100 people could be employed during the construction, Campbell said, and they could get the project underway as early as April and complete the project by the end of 2009.

One of several worthy construction projects in Orting Campbell would like to see considered is a project that would complete signalization of the SR-162 Whitehawk Boulevard intersection. This would be the first phase of a project to provide a bypass to motorists traveling between SR-410 and the South Hill plateau, relieving congesting through Ortings downtown corridor.

Two other Orting projects ready to go are: the creation of two softball fields, one baseball field, two soccer fields and other park amenities; and a 40,000 gallon storage facility and other improvements which would give Orting a promising new opportunity to attract a Nestle Waters bottling facility that would provide 50 permanent family-wage jobs for Ortings economy.

And, Campbell is also encouraging federal or state stimulus assistance for Mashell Ave., Eatonvilles historic main street, which would be suitable for an Eatonville Downtown Plaza, a much needed improvement to revitalize Eatonville,” quoting Rep. Campbell’s December 30th Press Release.

Contact: Rep. Tom Campbell at (360) 786-7912 or campbell.tom@leg.wa.gov


December 30, 2008

LD 2 REP. TOM CAMPBELL LEADS STATE FOR HOSPITAL MRSA SCREENING LAW


Representative Tom Campbell
Photo from Representative Campbell’s official website

“Washington hospitals will be required to screen vulnerable patients for a potentially deadly germ called MRSA under proposed legislation spurred by a Seattle Times investigation.”

“Hospitals would also have to isolate infected patients in private rooms. And for the first time since 2004, hospitals would be subject to surprise inspections by the state Department of Health.

These measures, if passed, would establish Washington as one of five states that have taken extraordinary steps to mandate how medical centers battle germs and protect patients.

‘If hospitals won’t take meaningful steps to stop drug-resistant infections then we’ll pass legislation to make sure they do,’ said Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Roy, who is sponsoring the measures.

At least a dozen more states are debating similar legislation that would mandate some form of screening.

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is spread by touch or contact and can slip through small breaks in the skin. Most infections occur on the skin and are easily treated, but the germ can be fatal if it gets into the blood.

Six out of seven people infected with invasive MRSA contract it from a health-care facility, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Campbell said the patient-safety initiatives were in response to last month’s Seattle Times series “Culture of Resistance,” which detailed how MRSA infection rates have soared as hospitals often ignored steps to control the threat.

In the first comprehensive tracking of the germ, The Times found that the number of hospitalized Washington patients infected with MRSA escalated over the past decade from 141 a year to 4,723…

Campbell also seeks to reinstate surprise inspections to more accurately gauge hospital infection-control programs. At the request of hospital officials, Washington legislators in 2004 voted unanimously to require a four-week notice by state health inspectors even the exact hour of arrival…

Before drafting the bill, Campbell said he consulted with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumers Union, a nonprofit group that has helped introduce MRSA screening legislation in other states.

Campbell, a chiropractor, is a member of the legislature’s Health & Wellness Committee. Last year, he successfully spearheaded the state’s first law that requires hospitals to publicly disclose certain infection rates, and he’s sponsored numerous laws that have strengthened oversight and licensing of health-care professionals.

Officials at the Washington State Hospital Association, a lobbying group for most of the state’s hospitals, said they are reviewing Campbell’s proposals and will take a formal position once the legislative session begins on Jan. 12.

Overall, the association supports a uniform strategy to screen patients for MRSA and does not oppose surprise inspections, said spokeswoman Cassie Sauer,” quoting the Seattle Times.

And, this ridiculous comment about Rep. Tom Campbell of Roy having his name missing from a list of leading Republicans.

“After all, he’s the chairman of the Environmental Health Committee. Doesn’t that make him its “leading” Republican? Lisa Fenton, the caucus’ communications director, [was asked] why being chairman doesn’t qualify Campbell as being the “leading” Republican on the committee.

Here’s her reply:

Rep. Campbell was appointed to serve as the chairman of the committee by Speaker Chopp. Rep. Shea has been appointed to serve as the lead for the Republican caucus by our leadership. While it is true that Rep. Campbell is technically a Republican, he serves more as an independent member of the Legislature. He doesnt caucus with either the Democrats or Republicans,” quoting the Tacoma News Tribune blog.

My, oh my, what kind of absurd rationale is that?

THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG CONGRATULATES REP. CAMPBELL IN HIS PERSISTENCE IN KEEPING THE HOSPITAL INFECTIONS ISSUE IN THE HEADLINES AND ACTUALLY GETTING LEGISLATION MOVING! TOM, DOESN’T MATTER THE PARTY’S ACKNOWLEDGMENT OR NOT – YOUR FINE WORK FOR WASHINGTONIANS SPEAKS FOR ITSELF AND STANDS ON ITS OWN MERITS…


December 29, 2008

SENATOR-ELECT RANDI BECKER SET TO TAKE REINS IN OLYMPIA


Senator-elect Becker’s Campaign Banner

“Incoming state Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, said she is ready to take on the Second District job.

‘Im very excited, honored and humbled to be given this responsibility,’ Beck said in a prepared press release. ‘I promise that the concerns and issues that are important to my constituents will be my top priority throughout the entire legislative process.’

In a phone interview Wednesday [Dec. 10], Becker said she plans to tackle transportation issues, specifically finding the funding for the Yelms downtown bypass.

Currently $56 million of the project is unfunded…

‘Right now Im in the learning process,’ Becker said. ‘I do know were going to have to work hard to protect the funds we have and to get funds.’

Becker said her plans involve working with the City of Yelm and state Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Graham.

‘I know Rep. Tom Campbell has been working on the bypass,’ Becker said. ‘Id like to work with (him) and get into the process.’

While Beckers position doesnt officially start until January, she said she is getting out in the community, attending meetings and building contacts,” quoting the Dec. 12th NVN.

And this:
“State Senator-elect Randi Becker, R-Eatonville was appointed last week as the ranking member of the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee.

She was also appointed to three other committees.

Becker will be serving on the Senate Health and Long-Term Care, Transportation and Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Committees.

Transportation was a key appointment for Becker, who has professed support for the Yelm Avenue bypass and Cross-Base Highway.

‘To be appointed as a freshman senator to four different committees is an honor by itself,’ Becker said in a prepared release.

‘But being asked to represent the caucus as the lead Republican on higher education and workforce development policy is truly a privilege.’ …

The Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee deals with issues relating to the states public and independent colleges and universities, community and technical colleges and private career schools.

The Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee considers policy and financing issues relating to health care delivery and access, emerging public health issues, long-term care for all vulnerable populations and regulatory matters involving health professions and health care facilities.

The Senate Transportation Committee drafts the transportation budget, finds revenue sources for transportation funding and is responsible for dealing with issues relating to transportation policy and transportation agencies.

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Committee deals with issues relating to agricultural land, the production, sale, and marketing of agricultural products, food safety and policies and programs that affect economic development in rural areas of the state,” quoting the Dec. 19th NVN.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MS. BECKER ON DEFEATING TWO-DECADE-LONG INCUMBENT MARILYN RASMUSSEN. AFTER 20+ YEARS, CHANGE IN THE REPRESENTATION OF THIS DISTRICT IN THE STATE SENATE IS WELCOME. ELECTED POSITIONS WERE NEVER INTENDED TO BE FILLED FOR DECADES. WE WISH SENATOR-ELECT BECKER WELL IN HER NEW POST. THIS DISTRICT IS NOW REPRESENTED IN OLYMPIA ALL BY REPUBLICANS, SO WE’RE COUNTING ON SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS ON MANY ISSUES FOR LD2!


December 28, 2008

YELM LIBRARY’S ADULT READING PROGRAM BEGINS THIS WEEK



Yelm Timberland Regional Library
Photo courtesy of Guustaaf Damave

“Chilly weather is one reason to curl up in a warm blanket and read through a pile of good books.

Timberland Regional Library is offering another great reason the 12th annual Adult Winter Reading program.

Running from Friday, Jan. 2 to Saturday, March 14, the program provides an opportunity to participate in an easy-going community activity and to win prizes.

Begin by reading five books or listening to five audio books on Jan. 2.

Good reading materials are offered at www.TRL.org and from Yelm Timberland librarians.

Fill out a form for each five books completed and turn it in at the local Timberland library by March 14.

When prizes are drawn Friday, March 20 at TRL headquarters in Tumwater, participants may receive a call that an overnight getaway at a resort or a book-and-beverage basket is theirs.

Libraries will award additional prizes locally at various times during the program. Businesses and Friends of the Library groups have donated all of the prizes.

Participants must be 18 or older and have a current Timberland library card,” quoting the NVN.

YELM LIBRARY JANUARY, 2009 ACTIVITIES OF NOTE
– Games, Unplugged Teen Program
– Yelm Anime Club Teen Program
– Guitar Hero Teen Program-
– Page Turners Book Discussion
and more!

Check-out all of the Yelm Library events.
CLICK HERE
then the month on the right column, then check Yelm under the LOCATIONS box on the left.

SUPPORT OUR LOCAL LIBRARY — THE KEYS TO KNOWLEDGE !


December 27, 2008

NVN REPORT ON THURSTON HIGHLANDS EIS IS CURIOUS – IN WHAT WAS OMMITTED!

The Nisqually Valley News published on December 19th a story about the Final Thurston Highlands Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released on November 24th
[Ed. Note: What took the local newspaper so long to publish this important story?]:

Final EIS for the Highlands issued by City of Yelm
The City of Yelm Community Development Department issued the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Thurston Highlands Master Planned Community.

“The City of Yelm Community Development Department issued the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Thurston Highlands Master Planned Community.

The final statement addresses all comments submitted during the review period.

Many of the comments addressed the length of the document.

People, including JZ Knights attorney Keith Moxon, felt the document was too long.

The text of the draft EIS is 331 pages, including tables, excluding figures.

Chapter Three is 154 pages and summarizes approximately 1,200 pages of separate technical reports.

[Ed. Note: Yes, many comments were about the length of the document. Why even the City of Yelm Planning Commission Chair Carlos Perez wrote to Community Director Grant Beck and said in reference to the exceedingly long document, “‘By those rules [State of Washington’s Administrative Code, WAC] the Thurston Highlands DEIS is not in compliance.”]

‘Several methods could have been used to achieve a shorter document; for example, using a smaller font, narrower margins, no subheading structure in the impact analysis or mitigation measure sections, and more cross-referencing to the technical reports,’ the city countered.

‘The city felt those methods would have made the draft EIS more difficult to read.’

‘No one wants to have to continually flip back and forth while reading,’ Community Development Director Grant Beck said.

[Ed. Note: Shorter document? Difficult to read?? Oh, come on, Mr. Beck! Beck says, ‘No one wants to have to continually flip back and forth while reading,’ Grant, please spare the public such an embarrassing response from a City official! You and your colleagues at City Hall chose to not follow State regulations regarding this matter, to which even your own Planning Commissioner Chair wrote in the NVN, covered here previously.]

Other comments asked for additional time to review the document.

The standard review period is 30 days from the documents release date.

The review period was set for 45 days.

Additional comments from Moxon addressed the documents clarity and thoroughness.

‘It should be noted that, almost without exception, the (Moxon) comments that follow below request additional information and analysis in the draft EIS that would have further increased its size, not reduced the volume,’ the city countered.

The primary purpose of the EIS is to provide an impartial discussion of significant environmental impacts, and reasonable alternatives and mitigation measures that avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts.

[Ed. Note: Yes, that is true, however AFTER responding to public issues raised during the Draft EIS process; public Draft EIS comments in this case that were denied a response from the City of Yelm prior to the Final EIS, covered here on August 28th.]

The final EIS will be used by decision makers, along with other regulations and policies, in taking action on the proposed master planned community,” quoting the NVN.

[Ed. Note: I hope the community speaks up and lets the City know public input during this process was flagrantly disregarded, as stated in SEPA & the WAC. And, for such an outrageous lack of respect for the public by Mr. Beck’s ridiculous comments in the NVN!]

Additionally, the NVN omitted extensive reports from and the City’s response to Olympia engineer Ed Wiltsie and 25-plus year veteran ecologist Bill Hashim, experts in their respective fields. They each wrote on a whole host of issues submitted in response to the Draft EIS. And, there were comments from/to the other 50 people who took the time and energy to write the City.

View all of Final Thurston EIS info: CLICK HERE
then scroll down and click: Thurston Highlands Final EIS.

AND FINALLY, A THURSTON HIGHLANDS 5,000 HOME DEVELOPMENT IS IN SERIOUS JEOPARDY, WITH A RECENT SUPERIOR COURT RULING AND THE STATE’S DEPT. OF ECOLOGY TESTIMONY THAT THE CITY OF YELM DOES NOT POSSESS ENOUGH WATER RIGHTS TO SUPPORT THE NEW CONSTRUCTION PERMITS THEY HAVE ISSUED TO DATE, AND/OR ANY NEW ADDITIONAL PERMITS.

UPDATE December 30, 2008
Another blow to a Highlands-type development are these headlines in recent days:

Housing Starts Fall Through the Floor
The sharp fall in construction means that builders can no longer get credit.
From the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Home prices tumble record 18 percent
Closely watched index falls by sharpest annual rate on record in Oct.
From the AP.


December 26, 2008

“OLYMPIA GROUP PAVES WAY FOR ELECTRIC FUTURE”

“Joe Lambrix of Olympia is building an electric vehicle infrastructure in the South Sound, one 120-volt plug-in at a time.
The founder of the nonprofit group Plug In Olympia is motivated on several fronts.

On the personal level, Lambrix, wife Kathy and daughter Sarah, drive two all-electric vehicles, so it helps to have places around town to recharge the car batteries when theyre commuting to work or running errands.

Since forming Plug In Olympia in May 2007, Lambrix has persuaded about 10 businesses, four state agencies, Intercity Transit and the City of Lacey to install electric plug-in stations in their parking lots. Some of the state agency sites are for state employees only, but most of the sites are open to anyone who needs an energy boost for their electric vehicles.

But the Lambrixes passion for electric sockets in parking lots runs deeper than personal convenience. Its the familys way of promoting increased ownership and use of electric vehicles, which, in turn, reduces the nations dependency on foreign oil and curbs greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.

‘We want to build a national infrastructure,’ said Lambrix, 52, an Intercity Transit bus driver. ‘Our goal at Plug In Olympia is to go nationwide.’

When it comes to green energy, the Lambrix family walks the talk. About one-third of the electricity used at their home on Olympias west side comes from their array of 18 solar panels they installed on their roof in December 2006. They also have a solar-powered hot water heater. They planned to add another six solar panels to the system before the years end.

The solar array allows the family to make a claim that few can: They produce the electricity that powers their vehicles.

They bought their first all-electric vehicle in April 2007 a three-wheeled, shiny blue Zap Zebra that Lambrix uses to commute to work and run errands around town. The vehicles range is about 25 miles per charge.

The family added a Miles in June. Its a four-passenger sedan with a 35- to 45-mile range and top speed of about 35 mph…

The family has about 8,000 miles on their two vehicles at a fuel cost of about a penny per mile, or a total of about $80.

The same mileage in a car averaging 25 miles per gallon of gasoline priced at $3.50 per gallon would have cost the family $1,120.

Lambrix is realistic about the limitations of electric vehicles. The family owns a gasoline-fueled car for longer trips out of town. And he realizes electric cars powered by electricity from coal-fired power plants isnt a real answer in the battle against global warming. The cost and the need to dispose of electric car batteries are other challenges for electric vehicle supporters.

‘But I think technology will solve many of the environmental problems with electric cars,’ Lambrix said.

Lambrix said hes invested more than 1,000 hours and $1,000 of his own money in Plug In Olympia, driven in part by a conviction that the auto industry and politicians have held back the development of the electric vehicle.

‘When I think about whats happened to our environment, and after seeing the movie Who Killed the Electric Car? it just burns me up,’ Lambrix said.

‘My ultimate goal is to meet the president of General Motors, shake his hand and say to him: Weve built the infrastructure for electric cars, now when are you going to build the electric cars?'” quoting a story published November 28th in The Olympian.

PLUGINOLYMPIA.COM A Washington State Registered 501C-3 Not-for-Profit Organization”

ONE DAY, MAYBE YELM WILL HAVE PLUG-IN STATIONS FOR ELECTRIC CARS & BE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS!


December 25, 2008

MERRY CHIRSTMAS FROM THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!

This Christmas Guest Entry from last year is timless.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

AN HONEST RECOMMENDATION
A Christmas story by Guustaaf Damave

The light of the of the street lamp barely made it to the ground, so thickly was the snow coming down. At three in the morning the street was empty. A faint bluish glow emerging through the flakes directly above betrayed where the full moon was revealing itself. It was a cold winter’s night in 1964, a week or so before the Dutch holiday of Saint-Nicholas. The snow had covered all traces of the day’s comings and goings and was quickly covering a fresh track of footsteps leading to a broken window. Inside, the beam of a flashlight moved across the wall, from painting to painting. The thick white carpet outside hushed every sound. Carefully avoiding the sharp glass, the man climbed out of the window with two paintings under each arm and dissolved into the curtain of icy flakes.

I was born in that old town, the son of a fine artist. That year I was eight. I enjoyed going for long walks looking at shop windows, building sites and ships moored on the river Spaarne, on which we lived. The snow made it a little bit harder to get around, but the river and canals being frozen over, more than made up for that. A trip with a note from my mother and a ten guilder bill to the grocery store only took half as long walking over the ice.

For a young child the sight of the full moon on a cold and crispy night stirs the sense of wonder and imagination like nothing else. I had looked at it often and read about it. The idea that the light came from the sun meant that the sun shone at night too! Was there really no one living there on that moon? I wasn’t so sure about that. On my many walks through the streets of our nine century old town I frequently included one particular store in my route. In the window there was an instrument of magic and mystery called telescope. If only I could own this. Many of the questions that occupied me could be settled once and for all. I would be able to look at the moon and the stars whenever I would like. My life as I knew it would definitely be over and new and brighter existence would be mine. The telescope… I wiped the fog of my breath off the store window. The price tag was the appropriately astronomical sum of twelve guilders.

In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas’ eve is the primary occasion for gift-giving. Even though it is his birthday being celebrated, Sinterklaas is the one who gives the presents. Children are allowed to express their wishes by putting a note in one of their shoes and putting it near the fire place. I had my own ideas about where exactly these presents came from but I carefully played along with the traditional protocol so as not to interfere with any of its mechanics. I had written down the telescope as the only item on my list and the address of the store that was displaying it in its window. It was a lot to ask for, and I was one of ten children. All the same, if there ever was a chance that this telescope could be mine, this was it.

As the long awaited evening drew closer and the air became thicker with expectation, I made my daily rounds to the store window and imagined everything I would be able to see once I could look through the telescope’s eye piece. The glance that my mother gave me however, when I came home, made me think that I had asked for too much and that I would probably have to settle for perhaps a new sweater.

Early that morning they found the broken window and the empty spaces on the wall. It is not hard to guess at the motives of the mysterious man who broke into the museum on that icy cold night so close to gift giving day. More mysterious than his identity was his particular taste in art. Maybe his choices were dictated by the convenient size of certain works or their proximity to the shattered window. Still, there were quite a few works to choose from and the burglar left slushy footsteps throughout the contemporary wing of the Frans Hals Museum.

That afternoon as I got ready to leave to continue my explorations of the snowy landscape the newspaper dropped on the floor inside the front door. It reported the art theft from the museum on the front page. I knew my father would be interested in this and took the paper to him in his studio. He read the article with rapt attention. He looked at me and said that they stole one of his works. He went to the front of the house to tell my mother about it. A burglary in the museum is serious business I thought, but they did not seem particularly distraught.

Over the next few days there were frequent phone calls and visitors interested in purchasing one or more works of this artist whose work was stolen from the museum. The unknown burglar had unwittingly brought abundance to our house. I knew that my chances of having a close-up view of the moon had taken a turn for the better. Saint Nicholas’ eve was only two days away now and as I was approaching the store window with the object of my desire and felt pretty sure that indeed it would be mine. But as I came closer I was struck with shock and horror. It was gone! Someone must have bought it. I had to muster all my restraint not to let tears roll down my cheeks. I slowly turned around and walked away. I wandered the cold dark streets in a blur of disappointment. When I came home too late for dinner my mother asked what was the matter. I explained to her that the telescope was gone, the only thing I really wanted. “That’s terrible,” she said.

When the evening of great expectations arrived the air was charged with excitement. Knowing that I would not get what I really wanted, I was prepared to pretend to be happy with whatever I would get. But when the package with my name on it was pulled out of the large pile I could not believe my eyes. It had a long familiar shape. In a frenzy I ripped off the paper. I was surprised and delighted that I did get the telescope. It had disappeared from the store because it was making its way to me. My father also had his best present ever because there is no more honest recommendation than that of a thief in a hurry.

2007 Guustaaf Damave


The author, Guustave Damave


December 24, 2008

YELM SCHOOLS NAMES NEW SUPERINTENDENT


Outgoing Yelm Community Schools Superintendent Alan Burke

“Yelm Community Schools will promote assistant superintendent Andy Wolf to head the district, after superintendent Alan Burke announced his plan to take a state schools job.

Burke, who has been at the district for 18 years, will be in a leadership position in the incoming administration of Randy Dorn, who was elected Superintendent of Public Instruction last month. Burkes resignation from Yelm is effective Jan. 30.

The Yelm board will decide on Wolfs contract at a special meeting scheduled for today.

The board picked Wolf without posting the position or considering other candidates.

‘We would not turn down Andy Wolf,’ said board vice president Ed Sorger. ‘We couldnt find a more committed person. When youve got that in your own backyard, why waste taxpayer dollars, when we as a board are elected to make those kinds of decisions? ‘

Wolf, a graduate of Yelm High School who returned to the Yelm district as a principal at Fort Stevens Elementary School six years ago, credited Burkes work with the district.

‘I have been fortunate enough to have a great mentor,’ Wolf said. ‘We have a great team out here. Hes put together a great team.’

Burkes job title with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is unknown because Dorn and his transition team will reorganize the office, said Dorns transition team leader Robert Harkins.

Burke, who has known Dorn for 30 years, said he expects that he will work on matters of instruction, but he does not know whether the future of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning would fall under his supervision.

Dorn is a critic of Washingtons standardized test, saying that the multi-day test needs to be simplified and is unfair. His criticism of the test was a major part of his campaign platform against incumbent state Superintendent Terry Bergeson.

Burke said that he absolutely agrees with Dorn about the WASL,” quoting the December 22nd Olympian.

THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG WISHES ALAN BURKE WELL IN HIS NEW ENDEAVORS AND SAYS ALL OF THE BEST TO ANDY WOLF IN HIS NEW POST!

UPDATE
From the NVN of December 26th:
“State budget cuts will hurt schools
Yelm facing staff layoffs”


December 23, 2008

JEANMARIE CHRISTENSON’S UNIQUE AUCTION TO RETIRE CAMPAIGN DEBT


Former LD District 2 Rep. Candidate JeanMarie Christenson with Gov. Chris Gregoire

“As newly-elected officials prepare to take office, candidates who werent elected are scrambling to cover campaign debts.

The Committee to Elect JeanMarie Christenson held an online auction last week to help pay the remaining debt from her campaign.

Proceeds went to cover campaign expenses incurred during the campaign.

On Dec. 10, Christenson posted a debt of $1,802.11 to the Public Disclosure Commission, or PDC.

That debt is listed as a loan to herself.

Candidates who werent elected have until Wednesday, Dec. 31 to take in contributions, PDC officials said…

Thirty-two items were up for auction, donated by individuals and local businesses. Items included a lime green color scheme gift basket valued at $45, a hand-made quilt valued at $800, a gourmet soy candle valued at $18, Shaklee Basics Essential Vita Strips valued at $45 and an evening of storytelling and song valued at $150.

Christensons 2008 campaign raised more than $19,000,” quoting the NVN.

See the complete auction list: CLICK HERE

CONGRATULATIONS TO MS. CHRISTENSON FOR HER WILLINGNESS TO SERVE THE PUBLIC IN RUNNING FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE TWICE. THAT IS NO SMALL TASK!


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