January 31, 2010

JANUARY MAY BREAK WARM WEATHER RECORDS

“January’s warm weather in Western Washington might set a record.

Through Thursday, the average temperature at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was 46.9 degrees. That would top the record of 46.6 degrees set in 2006. Records have been kept there since 1945.

In a typical January, the average temperature at the airport is 40.9 degrees. The average high temperature is 47 degrees. That means this Januarys average temperature is close to the average high temperature for the month in previous years.

Many cities in Western Washington including Olympia are also close to records for January. The warmer-than-normal weather largely can be attributed to El Nio, a cyclical warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean,” quoting The Olympian.

UPDATE, fEBRUARY 1, 2010:
“Warmest January on record for Seattle”
“2nd warmest in Olympia”
From The Olympian


January 28, 2010

$400,000 BID FOR 12 FLUSHABLE PARK TOILETS GOING OUT!

“Residents are getting closer to flushable toilets at Longmire Park.

The City of Yelm is accepting bids for the Longmire Park Enhancement Project, which is slated for a June completion date.

The $400,000 project includes bringing restrooms and a concession stand to the park.

Engineering figures estimate construction costs to range $280,000 to $330,000.

Costs include installing water and sewer lines out to the park located on Canal Road.

‘This is a fun little project,’ said project manager Stephanie Ray. ‘And its a great addition to the park.’

Bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Ray said the bids will be reviewed and taken to council…

The great thing about this project, Ray said, is that its not costing the city anything.

All the funding was received in a non-matching grant.

The city submitted a grant proposal to Representative Tom Campbell in 2009.

The restrooms will feature six standard and two ADA stalls.

Right now the park is equipped with portable bathrooms, which Ray said fill-up quickly during weekends.

A neat feature of the concessions stand, Ray said is that it will be set-up so people can plug their computers in for internet access,” quoting the NVN.

Ed. Note: What are we building out there, a Taj Mahal?
$400,000 for “six standard and two ADA stalls” flushable toilets.

Just because the city thinks this is free because of a grant from the State, due to the tough economic conditions, shouldn’t the city ask the State to do something else more productive with $400,000 – like a Community Center?


January 25, 2010

LOCAL BIKE BUSINESS HAS SALE – DON’T MISS THIS!

Check-out this SALE at a Yelm business:
All folding bikes and Trikkes will be sold at wholesale prices the week of January 25th – January 29th 10:00am to 4:00pm…all bikes and trikkes sold as is, all sales are final.


NEW DYNAMIC TRANSPORT
is a revolutionary, cost effective, zero emissions, convenient and fun way of getting around… As a distributor of Dahon and Trikke products, we will help you select the perfect fit bike or trike. Whether you are riding in the city or the country, we have the right match for you.

Our bikes offer a revolutionary, cost effective, zero emissions, convenient and fun way of getting around…

NEW DYNAMIC TRANSPORT
206 Yelm Ave East
Yelm, WA.
360-400-7433 (RIDE)
Owners: Sir Robert D. Jones, Jr + Cozette S. Fyrst


January 22, 2010

VOTE “YES” ON THE REGIONAL FIRE MEASURE


Due to so many misunderstandings about the Fire Authority Consolidation Issue, I posed some issues to SE Thurston Fire/EMS Chief Rita Hutcheson to address for Yelm Community Blog readers. She addresses them all here in her own words:

“After careful consideration of the current service levels and impending budget crisis, SE Thurston Fire and EMS chose to ask voters to approve the formation of the SE Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

KEY FACTS FOR FORMING A REGIONAL FIRE AUTHORITY (RFA)

Why South East Thurston Fire Authority is being proposed & what the Fire Authority would accomplish?

1. Thurston County Fire District #4 (Rainier), Yelm Fire District #2, and the City of Yelm are seeking voter approval to form the South East Thurston Fire Authority (SETFA) on the February 9, 2010 ballot.

2. Citizens living outside the Yelm City limits are currently paying $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This proposition WILL NOT change the current tax collection for citizens outside the city limits of Yelm.

3. Citizens living within the city limits of Yelm will see the same tax collection as district residents for fire services beginning in 2011. This will be an increase in taxes for Yelm City property owners.

4. City of Yelm citizens will be able to vote on all fire district ballot issues and will be eligible to run for Fire District Commissioner positions. Unlike a merger, which is dependent on a lead agency, South East Thurston Fire Authority proposes equal representation and a local voice for the citizens of Thurston County Fire District #4 (Rainier), Yelm Fire District #2, and the citizens of the City of Yelm now and into the future.

5. The South East Thurston Fire Authority Operations Plan provides for improved service. Service improvements include the capability to provide 24 hour staffing at more than one station which will help to decrease response times and will make it possible to meet National Fire Protection Agency standards that require at least 4 firefighters on a structure fire before entering a burning building. There will also be a reduction in duplication of administrative personnel and services.

6. The improvements (more 24 hour staffing and additional fire apparatus) will allow the fire department to apply for a reduction in the insurance rating for the City of Yelm, City of Rainier, and the unincorporated area outside the cities.

7. If voters approve the RFA in February, the new South East Thurston Fire Authority (SETFA) will replace the two (2) participating fire districts on July 1, 2010 with voter approved funding to take effect January 1, 2011.

8. Proposition 1 will be on the February 9, 2010 ballot.

9. Questions, contact Chief Rita Hutcheson at 360-458-2799.

CLICK HERE for a link to the RFA website, from Citizens for Fire Protection. There is an interesting video from J.W. Foster (Yelm Planning Commissioner), a paramedic firefighter in Tumwater who has lived in Yelm for many years. He worked here as a paid employee 9-10 years ago. The entire RFA Plan is also posted there.

Mission Statement of S.E. Thurston Fire & EMS:
S.E. Thurston Fire/EMS will provide professional, caring volunteer and full time responders for Public Education, Prevention Activities and all manner of emergencies. We will strive to effectively utilize all available resources provided by our community. We commit to the support, caring, and well-being of every member of this organization. We value compassion, integrity, respect, and support for citizens in their time of need.

THIS FIRE CONSOLIDATION MEASURE IS NOT A LAND USE ISSUE
Although no citizens ever came forward to the planning committee and expressly opposed the formation of the SE Thurston Regional Fire Authority, a letter was sent to the Nisqually Valley News which insinuated that, due to the passage of ESSB 5808, the formation of the Regional Fire Authority would allow the Cities of Yelm & Rainier to annex any property. These thoughts are fundamentally flawed. What follows is a list of Facts related to those concerns:
FACT: ESSB 5808 did pass the legislature and did include language relating to how a city may annex property.

FACT: Any statutory language enacted by the state legislature under ESSB 5808 will be binding upon cities and towns whether or not a Regional Fire Authority exists.

FACT: A portion of the annexation process described in ESSB 5808 calls for an agreement between the annexing city and the fire department currently providing services to the citizens in the property to be annexed. An approval such as this would currently require approval by either 2 of the 3, or 4 of the 6 fire commissioners currently serving SE Thurston Fire and EMS. If the Regional Fire Authority were to be approved by the voters, such an agreement would need to be approved by 5 of the 9 members of the board.

FACT: The proposed SE Thurston Regional Fire Authority will require everyone who is currently served by SE Thurston Fire & EMS to pay the same rate for fire service and to have a vote on bonds and levies. If you live outside the city limits of Yelm (Unincorporated Thurston County and the City of Rainier), you are already paying the $1.50 rate and will not be required to pay anything additional.

FACT: The creation of the SE Thurston Regional Fire Authority does not simply create a larger government. Instead, it would eliminate the need for the fire department to contract with the City of Yelm and it would eliminate the need to have some administrative functions duplicated.

FACT: By no longer contracting with the City of Yelm, citizens would be assured that every dollar that was collected for the needs of their fire department was going directly to the fire department.

Note: The Regional Fire Authority (RFA) ensures the Yelm City Council will no longer determine how fire department tax dollars are allocated for the citizens of the City of Yelm through the contract process. The RFA enables City of Yelm citizens to determine how fire department tax dollars are allocated by enabling the citizens to vote.

Specific quotes from the article:
1. “…with the regional fire authority [RFA] in place and SB 5808 in effect, then the City of Yelm and the Fire Commissioners could decide to annex areas into the city limits without a vote of the people affected.”
FACT: If the RFA is in effect there is no annexation issue. The RFA pertains only to fire and emergency service provision. The RFA will ensure emergency services are provided to all citizens residing within the RFA boundaries regardless of location within or outside either the Rainier or Yelm city limits.

2. “…think long and hard about turning over the power to decide who has jurisdiction over your rural property.”
FACT: The RFA has jurisdiction over fire and emergency medical services only. The RFA has NO jurisdiction over land use issues whether inside or outside city limits.
The RFA provides equal representation to all citizens within the RFA boundaries.

If anyone needs to register to vote, an application can be picked up at the fire station
SE Thurston/Fire EMS
709 Mill Road
Yelm.

The last day to register is February 1, 2010. All updates to voter registrations must be done by January 11,
2010. Again thank you for your continued support of this department. It is indeed an honor for me to be the Fire Chief for this wonderful community.”

THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG ENDORSES THE REGIONAL FIRE AUTHORITY MEASURE!


January 21, 2010

CLARK’S OFFERS WINE TASTING DINNER & MUSIC 3RD SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH

Yelm really has some very nice offerings of great food & local talent with the Blue Bottle, Liquid Soul cafe and others.

Now, the Yelm Community Blog is pleased to announce that Clark’s Bar & Grill on the Tahoma Valley Golf Course is offering a very unique program on the 3rd Saturday of every month – a price-fix wine-tasting dinner with music!

“We are pleased to present a special evening of Great Wines, Delicious Food and beautiful Music.”

Saturday, January 23rd
Tasting starts @ 6PM
Tickets are $30 per person

Ticket price includes-
Dinner,
White Wine tasting (last month was Red Wines Month)
and
the amazing guitar playing of Marcelo Portaro.

Clark’s is proud to feature Yelm’s own Stewart’s Meats.

Clark’s Bar & Grill Restaurant
15425 Mosman St.
Located in the Tahoma Valley Golf & County Club
Phone: 458-2799

Steve Clark is already a coach for Yelms varsity football defensive line.
He chatted with my wife & I earlier this week as we enjoyed his sirloin dinner special, which was fantastic & a great value.

TELL CLARK’S YOU READ ABOUT THEM ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!


January 20, 2010

CITY GETS HIT BETWEEN THE EYES WITH A BASEBALL BAT – A 1/2 MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT!


Yelm Public Safety Building & City Council Chambers

The NVN reports,
“A couple is seeking damages of more than $460,000 from the City of Yelm because they are being prevented from moving into a home they purchased in the Palisades West Subdivision.

Andy and Cynthia Smith claim the city wrongfully issued a building permit for their home in the 24-lot subdivision.

The house was finished in April 2009; however, the city wont issue a certificate of occupancy citing public safety regulations…

The family filed a tort claim for damages in the amount of $469,660.32, plus additional and continuing costs to be determined with interest.

Damages include costs the family incurred having to pay rent on an additional house because they could not move into their home, as well as legal fees and interest-only payments on the Palisades home.

‘The Smiths have incurred and are obligated to continue making mortage (sic) payments on a house they cannot live in, and on a lot on which they cannot reside, due to the citys errors …’ the claim states.

In the claim, the Smiths allege the city was negligent in its supervision of Community Development Director Grant Beck, saying it enabled Beck to use city legal services for his personal biases and benefit.

They claim Beck used his power to delay and oppose the familys occupancy and plat amendment including burdening the family with tasks and conditions that are not required by other citizens.

Stipulations were placed on the final subdivision that a booster pump station and sewer roll seal must be installed before any building permits are issued.

A building permit for the booster pump station was approved.

About a month later, a building permit was issued, with a reminder that no certificate of occupancy would be issued without the completion of both conditions.

However, the developer could not secure financing to construct the requirements.

The Smiths and the city have been working on trying to come to a solution.

The family offered to waive any liability if the city issues a certificate of occupancy. A plat amendment was also brought to the table, to exclude the Smiths property from the requirement…

The plat amendment has been tabled indefinitely, Beck said, and the city has not responded to claim as of Wednesday [Jan. 13].”

Ed. Note: The Smith’s home builder told this writer after the November 10, 2009 Council meeting that SE Thurston Fire/EMS Chief Rita Hutcheson issued a letter saying their Mill Pond Fire Station could respond to any issue in Pacific Palisades West within 3 minutes, due to the close proximity.

IF THE CITY COUNCIL WOULD TRULY FOCUS ON THE COSTS & DAMAGE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR BECK HAS CAUSED, THEY WOULD FIRE HIM IN A HEARTBEAT.
HOWEVER, SINCE MOST OF THEM DO NOT KNOW THE MECHANICS OF THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT, THE COUNCIL RELIES TOTALLY ON BECK’S REPORTS WITH LITTLE QUESTION.
BECK HAS BEEN INVOLVED AND THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING FROM THE THURSTON HIGHLANDS DEBACLE & LACK OF CONTRACTS OR LIENS FOR COSTS OF CITY SERVICES RENDERED, THE MDNS FILING & WITHDRAWAL, THE WATER ISSUE HERE, THE MCMONIGLE WATER RIGHTS ISSUE & ON & ON & ON.
THE CITY COULD ISSUE AN EXEMPTION FOR OCCUPANCY OF THE SMITH’S HOME IF THEY REALLY WANTED TO!
THIS WRITER & SEVERAL OTHERS WARNED THIS VERY COUNCIL SEVERAL YEARS AGO ON THE RECORD THAT THE BEHAVIOR OF CITY OFFICIALS WILL BRING LAWSUITS,& THEY ARE COMING SWIFT AND SURE. THAT THIS COUNCIL APPROVES OF MR. BECK’S DECISIONS MEANS THEY ARE COMPLICIT WITH THESE ACTIONS THAT ARE COSTING YELM TAXPAYERS DEARLY.

AS I WARNED THE COUNCIL LATE LAST YEAR, THEY HAD BETTER TRIM THE SAILS OF THEIR BUDGET. WITH HEFTY LAWSUITS & LEGAL FEES, EXPECT MORE TO COME!

This picture was submitted with the comment below:


January 19, 2010

YELM OFFICIALS NEED TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT LIBRARY’S FUTURE HERE!


Yelm Timberland Regional Library
Photo courtesy of Guustaaf Damave

The January 15th NVN story on the future of library really demonstrates City of Yelm officials are just continuing to use a “band-aid” approach for a Timberland Regional Library facility to operate here beyond 2012.

Let’s examine Megan Hanson’s & Susan Louis’s report, in-depth. My comments are in CAPS:

“Future of Yelm library unknown”
By Megan Hansen and Susan Louis
Nisqually Valley News
Published: Friday, January 15, 2010 4:22 PM PST

As the lease nears an end for the Yelm Timberland Library, city officials think they have a solution.

Were having a conversation with the property owner (of Prairie Park) to renegotiate a reduced price and extend the current lease, Mayor Ron Harding said.

Harding submitted a proposal to TRL [TIMBERLAND REGIONAL LIBRARY] suggesting the two entities extend the lease three to five years, at a new negotiated rate, and split the cost.

WHY WOULD THE CITY DO THAT?
PRAIRIE PARK IS A IN A PRIVATE, RENTED FACILITY.
THE TIME HAS COME TO BITE THE BULLET AND HAVE OUR PUBLIC LIBRARY IN A PUBLIC FACILITY!
THE CITY HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY WARNED BY THE STATE TO STOP USING PUBLICLY COLLECTED TAXES TO PAY FOR PUBLIC FACILITIES HOUSED IN A RENTED BUILDING, AS WAS THE CASE WITH THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY RENTING SPACE FOR THEIR MUSEUM IN THE SAME PRAIRIE PARK FACILITY, COVERED HERE DECEMBER 1, 2007.
WILL MAYOR HARDING GET AS PASSIONATE ABOUT A PUBLIC LIBRARY FACILITY AS HE WAS IN GETTING A PUBLIC FACILITY FOR OUR HISTORICAL MUSEUM?

TRL is not in the facilities business. Yelm is an anomaly, said acting Executive Director Michael Crose. Normally we require our libraries to be in public buildings.

We agreed to make a 10-year exemption for Yelm, and that is not one that other libraries are happy with.

As it stands now, the city will be required to cover building costs after 2011.

Until instructed otherwise by the TRL Board, the district will make no further payments to Yelm after the lease expires, Crose said. However, the mayor has proposed a couple of options that I will share with my board at its next meeting.

MR. CROSE & TRL HAVE BEEN VERY UP-FRONT FOR YEARS NOW WITH THE CITY OF YELM, THE YELM LIBRARY BOARD, AREA PROPERTY TAXPAYERS AND PATRONS THAT YELM’S EXEMPTION TO OPERATE IN A NON-PUBLIC FACILITY WAS FOR 10 YEARS & YELM WOULD BEAR THE FULL COST OF RENT IN A NON-PUBLIC FACILITY AFTER 2012!
WHY WOULD THE TRL BOARD CHANGE THAT NOW, WHEN THEY ARE UNDER SUCH FINANCIAL PRESSURE WITH THEIR BUDGET & DOING SO VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES? NO OTHER TRL LIBRARY IS ALLOWED TO DO THIS.

Harding believes that a three- to five-year extension will give them enough time to develop a plan that can be sustained.

The city is committed to providing a space for a community library, Harding said. What is unknown is how large a space and the location.

It has to fit within our current city budget.

Harding said when Tahoma Terra was designed, there was supposed to be a site for a library, but when that folded, they were back to square one.

We looked at all kinds of things: finding an existing facility, extending the lease or building a new facility somewhere, Harding said. With the economy the way it is now, those options are changing, he added.

ABOUT THIS RIDICULOUS COMMENT FROM MR HARDING: It has to fit within our current city budget.
THE YELM TIMBERLAND REGIONAL LIBRARY (TRL) IS A REGIONAL LIBRARY FUNDED BY PROPERTY TAXPAYERS FROM ALL OVER THIS LIBRARY’S TAXING DISTRICT & DOES NOT DERIVE FUNDING JUST FROM TAXPAYERS IN THE CITY OF YELM! ANY LIBRARY FACILITY’S SOLUTION REQUIRES A REGIONAL APPROACH. THE CITY’S RESPONSIBILITY IS TO TAKE THE LEAD ON A FACILITY THAT WOULD SERVE THE GREATEST NUMBER OF CONSTITUENTS IN THE AREA. THE CITY HAS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED THEY WOULD LIKE THAT STRUCTURE HOUSED IN WITHIN THE YELM CITY LIMITS.

WHY WOULD AN EXTENDED LEASE OF 3-5 YEARS GIVE THE CITY OF YELM ENOUGH TIME TO DEVELOP A PLAN?
THE CITY OF YELM & MOST CURRENTLY SITTING ON THE CITY COUNCIL HAVE DONE LITTLE TO NOTHING FOR THE 10 YEARS THEY HAVE KNOWN OF THIS EXEMPTION, AND THAT WAS DURING YEARS OF AN ECONOMIC BOON IN THEIR BUDGET, WITHOUT THE BUDGET CHALLENGES THE CITY FACES TODAY. LET’S BE CLEAR HERE, TAHOMA TERRA WITHDREW THEIR OFFER TO PROVIDE LAND AT A REDUCED PRICE TO THE CITY FOR A LIBRARY FACILITY LONG BEFORE THEY FOLDED. THE CITY NEVER GOT OFF SQUARE ONE WITH THE TAHOMA TERRA OFFER BECAUSE NO AGREEMENT ON THE REDUCED-PRICED LAND OFFER WAS REACHED NOR MOVED BEYOND THE COUNCIL’S CLOSED-DOOR SESSIONS FOR PUBLIC CONSIDERATION.

Comments were made by several in attendance at the Friends of the Library meeting about how the city seems to have no idea of the importance and the value of the library in the community.

Former library manager Kristen Blalack agrees.

I have long been disappointed and frustrated by the lack of interest and support expressed by the City of Yelm for its library and I believe that its up to the citizens of the city to generate that political will, Blalack said. A strongly vocal advocate for the library has been singularly lacking, largely, I think, because people take the librarys existence for granted.

I ABSOLUTELY CONCUR WITH MS. BLALACK!
I MET WITH MR. CROSE, TRL FOUNDATION & SEVERAL OTHER TRL OFFICIALS WHEN I WAS ON THE YELM LIBRARY BOARD WAY BACK IN 2007 ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE YELM LIBRARY BEYOND 2012. THE STORY WAS ALWAYS THE SAME — THERE WAS NO VISION OR DIRECTION AS REQUIRED BY TRL OF THE CITY OF YELM TO PROVIDE A PUBLIC FACILITY BEYOND 2012. IN 2006, MY WIFE & I COMMITTED TO WORK TO RAISE FUNDS & UNITE THE COMMUNITY TO GET A PUBLIC FACILITY OFF THE GROUND HERE, BY PLEDGING UP TO $25,000 IN MATCHING FUNDS FOR EACH DOLLAR RAISED. WE RECEIVED SILENCE FROM THE CITY.

John Thompson, Prairie Park property manager and Yelm council member, was not able to divulge any of the details of the negotiations.

Everybody will be pleased, he said.

MR THOMPSON SHOULD RECUSE HIMSELF FROM THE LIBRARY ISSUE, AS THERE IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITH HIS BEING PRAIRIE PARK’S PROPERTY MANAGER AND ON THE CITY COUNCIL THAT WILL VOTE ON RENTING IN HIS FACILITY. MR. MCGOWAN SHOULD ALSO RECUSE HIMSELF, SINCE HE IS EMPLOYED IN THE YELM LIBRARY BY TRL.

THE YELM LIBRARY BOARD’S REPORT TO THE MAYOR, CITY COUNCIL, TAXPAYERS & PATRONS OF MARCH 25, 2008 HAS BEEN AND REMAINS THE SINGLE MOST COMPLETE DOCUMENT OUTLINING THE ISSUES HERE FOR THE PUBLIC.
CLICK HERE to read for yourself.

MR. MAYOR, MAY GOD BLESS YOU DURING THESE CHALLENGING TIMES, HOWEVER, CONTINUING TO RENT IN A PRIVATE FACILITY FOR A FEW MORE YEARS ONLY “KICKS THE FOOTBALL DOWN THE ROAD” AGAIN, LIKE THIS COUNCIL HAS DONE FOR NIGH A DECADE.

YOU REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING TO HAVE A PUBLIC LIBRARY HERE?

I RECOMMEND THAT YOU FORM A COMMISSION LED BY A RESPECTED BUSINESS LEADER WHO HAS THE EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE TO UNITE ALL FACTIONS THAT WOULD SUPPORT A YELM LIBRARY, BRINGING THEM TOGETHER TO WORK FOR A COMMON GOAL – TO HAVE A FIRST CLASS PUBLIC LIBRARY FACILITY IN YELM FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS. THAT PERSON NEEDS TO BE A MOTIVATED SPEAKER THAT CAN COMMUNICATE & ARTICULATE EFFECTIVELY WITH THE PUBLIC AT LARGE!
ALL OF THESE GROUPS NEED TO BE REPRESENTED ON THIS COMMISSION:
– TIMBERLAND REGIONAL LIBRARY COMMUNITY RELATIONS OFFICIAL
– YELM LIBRARIAN MIKE WESSELLS
– YELM LIBRARY BOARD REP.
– COUNTY PROPERTY TAXPAYER REPRESENTATIVE
– CITY TAXPAYER REPRESENTATIVE
– TRL FOUNDATION REP.
– FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REP.
– FREQUENT PATRONS REPRESENTATIVE
– GENERAL PUBLIC REP.

THERE HAS BEEN NOTHING DONE TO UNITE OUR COMMUNITY FOR OUR LIBRARY’S FUTURE. PERIOD!

ANYTHING LESS NOT INVOLVING ALL OF THESE INTERESTED PARTIES WILL JUST FIZZLE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF A LACK OF UNITY, VISION, INDECISIVENESS, INACTION & DOUBT, ALL OF WHICH HAVE BEEN ATTRIBUTES THAT HAVE US IN THE PICKLE WE’RE IN 2+ YEARS BEFORE THE CURRENT YELM LIBRARY LEASE ENDS!

The NVN published my Letter to the Editor on this issue in their January 22, 2010 print edition.
CLICK HERE


January 18, 2010

THE NATION PAUSES TODAY TO REMEMBER THE LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.


Civil rights leader Martin Luther King
in Montgomery, Alabama, April 29, 1966.
(Photo: JRT / AP)

THIS IS THE WEEKEND THE NATION PAUSES TO REMEMBER THE LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

“Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War, both from a religious perspective. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986,” quoting Wikipedia.

The Seattle Times has a fabulous expose on the civil rights giant.
CLICK HERE

“The full version of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.”
August 28, 1963 on YouTube.


January 15, 2010

YELM REPORTS WORST IN COUNTY THIRD QUARTER 2009 TAXABLE SALES

“Year-over-year taxable retail sales in Thurston County fell nearly 9 percent in the third quarter of 2009, the seventh consecutive quarter in which businesses and consumers cut back on their spending, according to state Department of Revenue data released Thursday [Jan. 15]…

Statewide taxable retail sales fell 11.6 percent from the previous year in the third quarter, the third-largest decline on record…

In Thurston County and its four largest cities, the overall year-over-year taxable retail sales data show:

Thurston County: Fell 8.95 percent to $968.7 million from $1.06 billion

Olympia: Fell 2.68 percent to $435.3 million from $447.2 million

Lacey: Fell 15.29 percent to $238.8 million from $281.9 million

Tumwater: Fell 5.44 percent to $109.2 million from $115.5 million

Yelm: Fell 17.29 percent to $35.7 million from $43.2 million,” quoting The Olympian.

THIS WRITER WARNED THE CITY COUNCIL ON THE RECORD IN LATE 2009 THAT REVENUES FROM TAXES WOULD CONTINUE TO DECLINE, AFFECTING THEIR BUDGET!


January 10, 2010

HEARING ON CITY SEIZING CITIZENS’ WATER RIGHTS POSTPONED

“Negotiations to purchase the McMonigle Water Rights continue, and an anticipated court hearing was postponed until July…

The McMonigles were willing to sell their water rights for $5,000 per acre foot.

The city was offering $2,500 per cubic foot.

Yelm council passed an ordinance last November to start exercising the citys right to use eminent domain to secure those rights…

The city has believed from the beginning, and continues to believe, that this is a good, solid transfer, said Badger [Shelly Badger, city administrator for the City of Yelm]…

City officials said the move was considered to help secure the rights. The city has spent $200,000 trying to secure them…

The city is seizing only the transferable portion of their water.

Water will remain in the familys ownership for the familys personal use.

‘We will fight the condemnation and I believe we will win,’ said Charlotte (McMonigle) Zinski. ‘I believe the price is fair,’ quoting the NVN.

Covered here previously on this issue, in depth (click on each title below to access the full story):

CITIES’ ABUSE OF EMINENT DOMAIN COVERED ON KIRO-FM RADIO

STUDY: “…WASHINGTON NEEDS EMINENT DOMAIN REFORM”

MCMONIGLES RESPOND TO CITY’S CONDEMNATION OF THEIR WATER RIGHTS

CITY COUNCIL ‘STANDING ROOM ONLY’ FOR WATER ISSUES

CITY OF YELM SEEKS TO CONDEMN CITIZEN’S WATER RIGHTS

KEY POINTS NOT COVERED BY THE NVN FRONT-PAGE STORY THIS WEEK:
1. The city has no approved Water System Plan (WSP).

2. The city is going to continue to sink more thousands of dollars into seizing these Water Rights. ($200,000 to date, wow!).

3. “Ecology REVERSED the decision of the Thurston County Conservancy Board on July 20, 2009” and says the McMonigle water right may not be a transferable right and may not be valid.
If so, why is the city still pursuing these rights, already to the tune of $200,000 in legal fees?

4. The City of Yelm Draft Water System Plan points out that one of the city’s needs for such a huge water supply is for developments, especially Multi-Panned Communities (MPCs).

5. Eminent Domain is NOT to be used to support developers who want to build large developments, which is what cities do to abuse eminent domain and one of the reasons why Washington needs eminent domain reform!
The report ‘The Use and Abuse of Washingtons Community Renewal Law,’ concludes that…home and small-business owners of the Evergreen State are not protected from eminent domain abuselocal government officials can take anyones property and sell it to a developer for private gain.”
Even KIRO-FM radio talk show Dory Monson said on-air:
“…for government to take property to spur economic development is a gross misuse of the whole intent of eminent domain, isn’t it?”


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