February 28, 2009

YELM ANIMAL RESCUE ROBBERY

From Seattle’s KING-5 TV about Yelm:

Thieves steal animal shelter’s pet food supply

“Wanda Bittner helps pet owners put food in their dog bowls when times are tough, but now the owner of a Yelm animal shelter has been targeted by thieves who stole hundreds of pounds of pet food.

Bittner has been finding homes for unwanted pets for more than 20 years, but this 80-year-old Yelm resident has also made it her mission to help seniors feed their pets by giving them free dog and cat food.

But last week, someone helped themselves to her supply and hundreds of pounds were stolen.

‘I’m in shock… I can’t believe it… Our food is free, no questions asked,’ she said. ‘Why would anyone take our pet food?’

Bittner supplies donated food to low-income pet owners and seniors in five cities…

Bittner has always kept her gate unlocked and it’s very hard for her to think that she likely knows the person who stole from her.

‘It’s heartbreaking. I work hard at this,’ she said.

Bittner will continue to work hard so pets can stay in their homes. She is hoping pet food donors will come forward to replenish her supply.

She regrets she has no other choice than to put in a surveillance system…

If you would like to donate dog or cat food, contact the Animal Rescue and Adoption in Yelm at 360-458-3281”

For further assistance, contact the Yelm Animal Alliance.


February 27, 2009

MAYOR PLACES ‘FOOT IN MOUTH’ ON YELM LIBRARY FUNDING!


Yelm Timberland Regional Library
Photo courtesy of Guustaaf Damave

From the NVN about Mayor Harding’s State of the City Address on the future of the Yelm Timberland Regional Library:

“One challenge the city faces is determining a new location for the Yelm Timberland Library.

Only a certain number of people are taxed for the library, but many more people use it.

‘The library is a unique situation,’ Harding said.

‘Theres only so much 5,000 people can pay for.’

‘Im confident in the end there will be a library in Yelm.’

Ed. Note:
This comment by the Mayor should be an outrage for all of those property owners outside of Yelm’s city limits who pay property taxes to support the Yelm Timberland Regional Library. Mr. Harding, more than the 5,000 people of the City of Yelm fund the Yelm Library, in case you did not know!
Property owners from the Timberland regional area and outside of Yelm fund Yelm’s Library, too!

NVN Publisher/Editor Keven Graves penned an Op-Ed piece Friday, February 13th titled:
“Hoping that mayor seeks second term”
where he said:
“Just to make it clear, I also have a great appreciation for well-intentioned government watchdogs.
Open government is essential to a free and democratic society, and taxpayers have every right to know how their money is being spent.”

That’s right, Mr. Graves.
This writer sure wishes you & your newspaper staff were as zealous in investigating the comments of government officials of the City of Yelm as you are being watchdogs for the Cities of Roy and Rainier.

There is no question your loyalties lie with Mr. Harding, yet I am truly amazed your newspaper did not follow-up on Mayor Harding’s ridiculous comment about Yelm Library funding and service area. You seem to be an intelligent and observant man and were present in the Chamber Forum when Mayor Harding presented this information on the library. Your and your newspaper’s silence on the remarks of the Mayor about Yelm TRL Library’s funding and future speaks volumes!
The City of Yelm always gets a “bye” from the NVN on important issues.

Mayor Harding touts planning for a community youth center while giving lip service to the future of a Yelm Library facility that has the largest youth participation in the whole TRL system.

And, the silence by City Council member and Yelm TRL employee Mike McGowan about a smaller library here is noted, as well.
Where was your newspaper’s award-winning investigative reporting on this, Mr. Graves?

Interestingly, Yelm is not currently on the list for public meetings asking for public input regarding budget cuts.
THIS IS IMPORTANT!

If you want a local meeting, email: comments@trlib.org now!

The Yelm Timberland Regional Library serves a two county area including the cities of Eatonville, McKenna, Rainier, Roy, and Pierce & Thurston County residents, which includes many from Fort Lewis and those surrounding these communities.

TRL to seek public input on budget cuts
“Timberland Regional Library’s Board of Trustees met in a special board meeting Thursday evening [Feb. 19] at the TRL Administrative Service Center in Tumwater to determine how public input should be gathered regarding reductions in spending and revenue options to meet an expected $2.5 million shortfall in the library system’s 2010 budget.

TRL will hold town meetings in the month of March in each of the five counties that have Timberland libraries. The meetings will provide the public an opportunity to understand the financial challenges facing the library district, learn what various programs, initiatives and services cost and participate in a facilitated discussion. In addition to town meetings, patrons in the month of March will be able to provide comments and suggestions via an online survey at www.TRL.org, by suggestion forms in all library branches or by email to comments@trlib.org.

Public input will be gathered and provided to TRL task forces focused on reviewing ideas for reducing expenses and increasing revenues. Recommendations will be delivered to the TRL Board of Trustees in the April or May 2009 board meetings, with decisions on budget cuts made by the June Board Meeting, which will be held at the Ilwaco Timberland Library.

The following town meetings have been confirmed and the public is invited to
attend. Additional town meetings will be announced when confirmed.
(SEND IN YOUR REQUEST!)
March 9 – 6:30 P.M. Olympia Timberland Library
March 10 – 6:30 P.M. Mountain View (Randle) Timberland Library
March 12 – 6:30 P.M. Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library
March 17 – 4:00 P.M. Lacey Timberland Library
March 18 – 7:00 P.M. Montesano Timberland Library (W.H. Abel Memorial Library)
March 19 – 7:00 P.M. Aberdeen Timberland Library
March 25 – 4:00 P.M. Shelton Timberland Library (Wm. G. Reed Library)

If you want a local meeting, email comments@trlib.org now!
Media Contacts: Jeff Kleingartner, Communications Manager, 360-704-4507;
Leanne Ingle, Communications Specialist, Olympia area: 360-704-4508, or 877-284-6237.
Timberland Regional Library
Website: www.TRL.org
Information: 704-4636
in the Olympia area, or 1-800-562-6022.”

LET TRL KNOW WE WANT A MEETING IN YELM!
TELL THEM YOU READ ABOUT THIS ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!
THAT YELM HAS BEEN OMITTED IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO OUR COMMUNITY!


February 26, 2009

NOW THE YELM CHAMBER SPINS TALES – LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cecelia Jenkins says in the Spring, 2009 Chamber Connection publication insert in the February, 20 NVN:
“Third-quarter 2008 data for taxable retail sales show Yelm rose 5.35 percent to $43.2 million from $41 million….
Retail trade data show Yelm rose 9.58 percent to $21.6 million from $19.7 million. This is a positive reflection on the quality of goods and services being offered locally. More importantly for chamber members, the study confirms what we promote and believe; our community is supporting local business.”

OF COURSE THIRD QUARTER 2008 SALES FIGURES WOULD SHOW A MAJOR INCREASE, SINCE 2008 HAD A NEW SUPER WAL-MART OPERATING FOR THE FULL QUARTER, COMPARED TO LESS THAN 2 1/2 MONTHS OF OPERATION IN THE COMPARABLE 2007 QUARTER, AFTER THEIR JULY, 2007 GRAND OPENING.

TO PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE, WITH WAL-MART OPEN 17% MORE DAYS IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2008 VS. THE 3RD QUARTER OF 2007, DOES 9.58% RETAIL TRADE GROWTH ACTUALLY EQUATE TO A NET NEGATIVE RETAIL GROWTH? YOU DECIDE.

TO GET A FAIR COMPARISON, LET’S SEE THE 4TH QUARTER COMPARABLE NUMBERS, SINCE WAL-MART WAS OPEN FOR THE FULL QUARTER IN 2007 AND 2008.

THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG SAYS TO NOT ONLY SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES AS THE CHAMBER, RATHER SUPPORT LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES, TOO!

Congratulations to Yelm Citizen of the Year Cecelia Jenkins!


February 25, 2009

YELM BYPASS NIXED IN FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE

“The federal economic stimulus package is sending $5.4 million to Thurston County communities for eight local transportation projects, including $1 million to complete Lacey’s Woodland Trail, officials said Tuesday [Feb. 25].

The money is part of the $492 million sent to Washington state for transportation projects, $151 million of which is earmarked for use in local projects approved by local transportation planning organizations. No state projects in Thurston County receive funding from the larger, $341 million state share of the federal stimulus money, however…

No South Sound projects qualified for an additional $341 million in money earmarked for state projects in Washington. Yelm had sought $11.3 million to start constructing the first 1.5-mile phase of the “bypass loop” along state Route 507.

But Rep. Judy Clibborn, the Mercer Island Democrat who chairs the House Transportation Committee, said she plans to secure $10 million for the first phase of the Yelm project this year using state dollars in the 2009-11 budget,” quoting The Olympian.

Ed. Note: As discussed here last month, if funding is obtained, the additional monies will be robbed from Phase 2 of the Bypass r-o-w and engineering funding, leaving that part of the Bypass unfunded until at earliest, the 2021-2023 biennium. That means there will be no Bypass at Wal-Mart for over a decade and a half – a building that got approved using an unfunded Bypass to mitigate the store’s traffic. The Yelm area will pay a dear price for a partially funded Bypass taking truck and vehicular traffic through residential streets to access a Phase 1 Bypass (i.e. Killion and/or Cullens).

Mayor Ron Harding said in his recent State of the City talk that traffic is one of the things that had improved in Yelm in the last year thanks to all of the road projects the city has completed on his watch. While the city is to be commended for completion of the Inner loop, many of the existing street and sidewalk improvements were completed with federal or state grants. Many of the miles of new roads and sidewalks added to the city’s grid were in new developments, for which the developers paid. Of course, almost 50% of the funding for the addition of a center turn lane and sidewalks on Yelm Ave. West, Killion & Tahoma Blvd. improvements were completed on the backs of the property owners along those roads, with a developer requested LID.

Further, let’s put the traffic “improvements” in perspective. As reported here and in every area newspaper, traffic trips from Yelm to Olympia, Tacoma and elsewhere and to Yelm greatly decreased last year with $4 a gallon gasoline and continued to slide as the economy tumbled and gasoline prices dropped. So, YES, traffic has improved.

ProtectYelm.org filed this report on Yelm’s reported traffic improvement. CLICK HERE

KING-5 TV had this report today about less traffic in Seattle due to the economy.


February 25, 2009

TRADER JOE’S COMING TO OLYMPIA

Last June, the Yelm Community Blog asked readers to send in a request for a new store to come to the South Sound, as Trader Joe’s was looking to expand in the South Sound.

Now, TJ’s has announced plans for an Olympia area store as reported in The Olympian,
“Trader Joe’s is coming to the city’s west side this year, bringing jobs and an injection of business activity into South Sound’s slower economy.
Company spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said Tuesday that the neighborhood grocery store chain will open a 12,500-square-foot store this year at 1530 Black Lake Blvd. She didn’t have details about when the store will open.”

CLICK HERE for morei nformation on Trader Joe’s.


February 24, 2009

HARDING SPINS MISREPRESENTATIONS TO STATE LEGISLATURE ON WATER CASE

Yelm’s Mayor Ron Harding answered questions on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 before senators in the State Legislature about State Bill 5867 stemming from the case of JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm et al.
CLICK HERE for information on the bill.

The Senate Environment, Water and Energy Committee asked about why the lawsuit against the city came forward.
Mayor Harding said the litigation is a land use issue.
He opened his remarks by saying funding for city improvements to roads could not have been accomplished without the growth here, and to limit growth because of this water case would hurt the city in the long term.
That is NOT exactly true, as many of the existing street and sidewalk improvements were completed with federal or state grants. Most of the miles of new roads and sidewalks added to the city’s grid were in new developments, for which the developers paid.
Harding was asked if the case is in appeal and answered that was so.

Harding went on to say, “The opponent (JZ Knight) used water and water timing as a mechanism to stop growth in the area.”

“What came out of the Superior Court was a vague ruling…
the opponent may feel they won,
yet we feel we won?”

Ed. Note:
Knight wants to stop growth?
She has made very clear this not about stopping growth, rather requiring the city to provide water resources prior to final plat approval for a development and following state law on the city’s water appropriations from the State Dept. of Ecology. The court agreed with Ms. Knight.

Vague ruling?
There was nothing vague in the ruling by Superior Court Judge Wickham. The Court was VERY specific in the final judgment.

The city may feel it won, however, even The Olympian reported last November the city lost the case:
Judge says Yelm must prove it has water
Condition placed by city on subdivisions ruled illegal

“The city has lost the latest round in an apparent precedent-setting case that will determine when and to what level a city must prove it has the water to serve a planned development….”

IF THE CITY WON, MR. MAYOR, THEN WHY DID YOU APPEAL THE CASE?

Harding has not been so credible or truthful in his previous statements about this case.

Now, the Mayor has taken his spin to the State Legislature. One can only hope they do their homework on this case and find out Mayor Harding was not totally factual with them.
CLICK HERE to see Mayor Harding’s comments before the Senators:
Beginning of SB 5867 Hearing: 32:40
Ron Harding Testimony: 40:55
End of SB 5867 Hearing: 56:00

Would Mayor Harding have said the same thing to the senators if under oath?
HMMM!

WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT MAYOR HARDING’S CONTINUED WHITEWASHING OF THE FACTS ON THIS ISSUE?

UPDATE:
JZ Knight issues official statement on this issue February 26, 2009
CLICK HERE

The NVN story of Friday, Feb. 27
CLICK HERE


February 23, 2009

NVN SURVEY: DO YOU WANT MAYOR HARDING TO SEEK ANOTHER TERM?

“Do you want to see Mayor Ron Harding seek reelection to a second term?”

Take the NVN survey.
See upper left box…

UPDATE: The NVN removed this survey on Monday afternoon, Feb 23rd.
At the time, the survey was 55 percent in favor, 45 percent against.

The NVN reports in their February 27th edition that 57% or 94 votes were tallied for and 72 votes or 43% against, not exactly a mandate!

UPDATE:
In the March 6 edition of the local weekly newspaper, the Op-Ed said, “The online survey has been a popular crossover feature [from the website] into the newspaper. Last week, readers said by a healthy margin that they’d like to see Ron Harding run again for mayor of Yelm.”

Ed. Note: Most would not consider 57% to 43% a healthy margin from 166 votes tallied?


February 22, 2009

COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM (CERT) TRAINING OFFERED

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training

“CERT is a 20-hour training program that prepares you to help yourself, family, neighbors and co-workers in the event of a disaster. It was created in 1985 by the Los Angeles City Fire Department and adopted by FEMA in 1993.

Currently, there are 55 registered CERT teams in Washington State, and over 2,314 across the nation,” quoting the Thurston County Homeland Security Region 3 website.

Bald Hills Fire Department
16306 Bald Hill Rd. SE Yelm, WA
Saturdays, February 28th, March 14th& 28th, 2009
8:00AM 5:00PM

– CERT is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, family, neighbors, and co-workers in the event of a disaster.
– CERT training will give you the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.
– CERT Curriculum Completion of all modules required for certification:
* Emergency Preparedness
* Fire Safety
* Medical Operations
* Light Search & Rescue
* CERT Organization
* Terrorism and CERT
* Disaster Simulation

For more information or to register for this course, contact:
Brittany Ruiz, 360-786-5207 or email ruizb@co.thurston.wa.us


February 21, 2009

CITY OF YELM, ROY & RAINIER SALARIES PUBLISHED BY NVN

A recent blog commenter said,
“The NVN consistently writes negative articles about Roy and Rainier and yes, their city government has suffered greatly because of budget issues and constraints.
Frankly, I’m tired of seeing it on the front page news every few weeks, pointing fingers at anything which may reflect them in a more negative manner. Where are the positive stories about them on what
they have and or trying to accomplish on their budget restrictions?

Where are the real stories and reports on Yelm city government, over-staffed police department, and the inefficiencies in Yelm city government? If NVN has to write a story? they need to start in their
own back yard, addressing and investigating the Yelm community issues and concerns on the front page too.”

The NVN provided a terrific public service by their December, 2008 listing of Yelm Roy, & Rainier public employees salaries:
“Public employees work for the taxpayer. Plain and simple.

In an era where obstacles to public information are being thrown up by lawmakers, what we pay them cannot be kept a secret.

When reporters for the Nisqually Valley News contacted various agencies about pay for public employees, some voiced displeasure at the idea of that information appearing in the newspaper, and others speculated on the motivation.

Its information that every citizen has a right to. Anyone can seek public information, and they dont have to explain or justify their request to anyone.

In the spirit of democracy and transparency in government, the following is the first-ever Nisqually Valley News list of what public employees are earning in Yelm, Rainier and Roy.”

CLICK HERE for the NVN article listing City of Yelm employees salaries.

Protect Yelm.org said this:
“Hats off to the Nisqually Valley News for researching and posting public employees earnings for the Yelm area online.

CLICK HERE for the NVN article listing City of Yelm employees salaries.”


February 20, 2009

INTRODUCING DAVE’S KILLER BREAD – NOW SOLD IN YELM!

Introducing Dave’s Killer Bread – Organic, whole grain goodness!

What does “USDA Organic” mean?
“Organic breads are made using ingredients that at no time come into contact with chemicals (such as conventional pesticides or artificial fertilizers), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or anything that was processed using ionizing radiation or contains food additives. No bread with yeast and/or salt is 100% organic, since these ingredients are not available in an USDA organic form. All of our breads that have a green USDA organic symbol on them are at least 95% organic (the minimum level allowed for this designation) and all ingredients that are available in organic form are utilized. As for the differences between organic and regular breads, we would like to think that first and foremost, bread tastes better when the grains are grown in the most earth-friendly manner possible and the bread isnt loaded up with artificial preservatives and other nasty chemicals.

Dave’s Killer Bread is certified organic by Quality Assurance International.

If you have any questions about our breads or our organic certification, please contact us!”

Dave’s Killer Bread
5209 SE International Way
Milwaukie, OR 97222
E-mail: shobi@daveskillerbread.com
Phone: 503-335-9086

Dave’s story.

GET DAVE’S KILLER BREAD IN YELM AT THE YELM FOOD CO-OP!
TELL THEM YOUR READ ABOUT THIS PRODUCT ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!


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