February 25, 2010

MT. RAINIER FROM THE BALD HILLS


Photo courtesy Victoria Harper Parsonson,
taken Feb. 2nd, 2010 on Peissner Rd, 14 miles from Yelm


February 18, 2010

PSE: MORE SOLAR POWER IN CLOUDY TIMES

“A year of cloudy economic news proved to have at least one bright spot: the rapid growth of Puget Sound Energy customers connecting their home or small business solar systems to the utility grid.

In 2009, nearly 200 PSE customers installed solar systems, making it the fastest-growing year ever for local renewable energy from the sun. The growth raises the total number of grid-connected solar systems to 516 up from only 100 solar power systems that were online with PSE in early 2007.

Thurston County residents installed 50 solar generator units this year, with another 16 put in by PSE customers in Pierce County.
‘Solar works in Washington and our customers are proving that each time a new array goes online,’ said Cal Shirley, vice president of energy efficiency Services for PSE. He also credits elected officials’ leadership in boosting the federal and state incentives for solar power.

In October 2008, Congress removed a previous cap of $2,000 on federal tax credits for home solar installations, with homeowners now eligible to receive a full 30-percent credit for their investment.

A second key incentive is the state’s production payment program which pays residential customers for the solar power they produce. Cash payments distributed by PSE reached $170,000 this year, a substantial gain from the $86,000 distributed in 2008, when PSE customers had approximately 325 home and small business solar systems,” quoting the Pierce County Business Examiner.


February 17, 2010

OLYMPIA’S HOSPITAL “PROVIDENCE ST. PETER’S EARNS MAGNET AWARD”

“Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia has joined the ranks of the top 4 percent of hospitals in the nation by earning Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes health care organizations for providing nursing excellence.

Only two other hospitals in Washington State, the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, have received the award.

Providence St. Peter Hospital has been developing its case for achieving Magnet status for the past six years. The work includes a rigorous evaluation of nursing policies, practices and procedures to ensure they are consistent with national benchmark standards. In addition, the process includes a three day site visit from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The Magnet surveyors interview patients, hospital staff and community partners to assess the quality of nursing care delivered by Providence nurses.

Providence St. Peter Hospital, founded in 1887, is a 390-bed nonprofit hospital serving the South Puget Sound region with comprehensive medical, surgical and behavioral health services,” quoting the Pierce County Business Examiner.


February 16, 2010

HAITI THROUGH THE EYES OF AREA VOLUNTEERS

“Three firefighters from the Graham Fire and Rescue Department are joining a Pierce County contingent of trauma experts heading to the beleaguered country of Haiti this week. Once in the capital city of Port-au-Prince they will be providing secondary medical care to survivors of the Haitian earthquake.

Paramedic Jared Bonea will accompany firefighters Casey Hill and Troy Flowers, and all three will be in Haiti for seven days. They are part of a weekly rotational system of caregivers being organized to provide medical services in a growing number of emergency field hospitals throughout the country.

In Pierce County, this effort is being coordinated by an agency called the Tacoma Trauma Trust, a coalition of first responders and other trauma professionals, along with a group nurses and clinicians from Tacoma General Hospital.

Bonea told The Dispatch that his team will dispense post-trauma recovery care, such as changing bandages and monitoring wounds, administering medications, and providing post-amputation treatments.

The Graham firefighters will be working in a temporary hospital established in an amusement park on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince , and they will be relieving a Pierce County team currently on site.

In addition to the Graham team, the group is composed of two paramedics from the Tacoma Fire Department, two trauma physician assistants from Tacoma General and one paramedic from the Lacey Fire Department.

A similar effort is being conducted by Doctors without Borders, and Central Pierce firefighter Brett Martinson has just returned from his week-long deployment with that group.

Graham’s contingent is traveling first to the Dominican Republic, and then driving by truck to Haiti. Their flights are being offered gratis by Alaska Airlines via their [partnership with] “Angel Flights West,” program, a service of the airline’s nonprofit division that collects frequent flyer miles from contributing customers and then donates them to rescue groups or bereaved families who cannot otherwise afford to travel for needed medical care or to attend funerals.

Each individual on the team is volunteering their time, and the group will also be traveling with some food and donated medical supplies,” quoting The Dispatch of Pierce County & printed here with permission.

Dispatch Reporter Bruce Smith tells the Yelm Community Blog,
“Some Thurston County firefighters are also joining the project to rotate paramedics into the emergency field hospitals for a week at a time.”


February 15, 2010

2010 BEEKEEPING SEASON IS COMING FAST & OUR AREA IS VERY ACTIVE

Introducing “Olympia Beekeepers, Thurston County

“Meetings are on the second Monday of each month, except July and August, at the Roosevelt Elem. School, at 1416 San Francisco St. The beginner class is from 6:00 to 7:00 o’clock and the meeting from 7:00 to 9:00.”

Yelm resident Thomas Mani is Vice President & Yelm resident Marjorie Smith is Secretary.

From Mr. Mani,

Dear friend of the honey bees,

Dear friends of the honeybee
The bee season 2010 is approaching fast.

Times for bees and beekeepers are challenging, not only in the Pacific Northwest. The headlines about the mysterious disappearance of honey bees all over the world made many people aware about the problem.
Unfortunately, those articles do not mention possible solutions other than leaving it to science. However, there is a solution that is simple and very efficient: more beekeepers!

The benefits of having bees are enormous. Not only is their pollination service required for every third bite we eat, but they also pollinate flowers to produce fruits essential to wildlife. Furthermore, they produce honey and bee pollen as nutritious food and natural remedies, as well as propolis and beeswax for many useful applications. In order to do their amazing work the honey bee flies up to three miles, way across your property line. Therefore, keeping bees is a service to the community and not only you will enjoy a bountiful harvest in the garden and orchard but your neighbors as well.

The interest in beekeeping is growing. In Yelm alone over 60 people have become beekeepers in the last two years. Join in!
For all the interested people we are offering a follow up class.
It will be held on Tuesday, February 16th at Gordon’s Grange from
7 to 9 pm (cost $10).
Gordon’s Grange is situated next to the Gordon’s Patio Shop downtown
Yelm (308 Yelm Ave E).
The class will cover topics like basic bee biology, safety equipment, hive equipment, costs, suitable locations, educational material and more. Respond today and send an email to bee4ever@fairpoint.net to let us know that you are coming! We are looking forward to meeting you.

Thomas Mani, Karla Broschinski
Bee Forever Apiary

And, our other local Apiary in Rainier covered here previously: Starry Lane Apiary


February 14, 2010

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY”


Photo courtesy of JZ-Rose website, Copyright 2001-2008 JZ Knight. Used with permission.

“Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14. It is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sending Valentine’s cards, donating to charity or gifting candy. It is very common to present flowers on Valentine’s Day. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of “valentines.” Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The mid-nineteenth century Valentine’s Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow. The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. The association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines,” quoting Wikipedia.

This Valentines Day message first appeared on the Yelm Community Blog in 2008.


February 13, 2010

NATURESCAPING FIELD CLASS SET FOR FEB. 18

Stream Team is an education-to-action program for people interested in protecting and enhancing our local streams, rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound.

The Native Plant Salvage Project was initiated in 1994 to involve Thurston County residents in protecting water resources and improving wildlife habitat in Southern Puget Sound.

Stream Team and WSU Extensions Native Plant Salvage Project will offer a free Naturescaping for Water and Wildlife workshop on

Thursday, Feb. 18
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Yelm Community Schools Building
107 First Street N.
Yelm.

Workshop participants will learn design ideas to attract more birds, butterflies, amphibians, and beneficial insects to home landscapes while reducing maintenance headaches and protecting water resources. Participants will also receive hardscaping ideas, learn how to minimize lawn areas and discover how to select drought-tolerant plants. A special emphasis will be placed on landscaping on tricky prairie soils. Participants will receive free handouts to help them create more attractive and sustainable landscapes.

The workshop is free, but advanced registration is required.
To register, e-mail nativeplantsalvage@gmail.com or call 867-2166.


February 12, 2010

“REPUBLICAN TRIO PAINTS GRIM BUDGET PICTURE”

Bruce Smith of The Dispatch (Pierce County) filed this report from Eatonville,

“Over 80 Eatonville and Graham residents gathered in separate locations Saturday for an historic occasion: all three 2nd Legislative District elected officials – all Republicans – hosted four joint Town Hall meetings, including ones in Yelm and Orting. Senator Randi Becker and Representatives Jim McCune and Tom Campbell spoke to their constituents on the marathon day.

The mood of the Graham audience was often tense, and focused on two primary themes: taxes and big government…

‘There is a gap of about $2.6 billion between our expected revenues and projected expenses,’ Tom Campbell said. ‘We will close it because the state constitution requires that we do so, but the majority party will only do so by patching it together with new taxes and some spending cuts.’

Campbell also said that a fundamental shift has to take place in Olympia, so that state legislators first accept what revenue is available and then prioritize where that money needs to be spent.

As for new taxes, Campbell foresees that about $800 million or more will be raised in a variety of quirky taxes, such as on candy and snack food.

More troubling though, he said the state is planning to repeal many tax exemptions for businesses, a strategy he says will blunt job growth wihout generating the expected monies. He also anticipates about $1.5 billion being slashed from state funding across the board, including education and health care. Currently, public education gets 42 percent of the state budget, while colleges receive over 10 percent.

Jim McCune spoke to the financial specifics of his Governmental Affairs committee, which is slashing $76 million from eighty agencies, with the biggest piece coming from the Department of Corrections. McCune said the DOC will be closing all or parts of several prisons.

Randi Becker stressed that the state needs to renegotiate salary contracts with its employees, particularly those in unions. Becker specifically called for the abolition of “step” payments, which are guaranteed pay increases based on longevity.

‘We need to get down to baseline government,’ she said.”

Ed. Note: Yelm got perhaps half this audience at the Town Hall held by the same three elected officials on the same day at Rosemont.


February 11, 2010

THURSTON COUNTY PROSECUTION AN EMBARRASSMENT

A 13-year old & 14-year old were arrested & to be arraigned on a felony “for allegedly sending photo messages of a naked 14-year-old girl to classmates via a cell phone….Thurston County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rick Peters said that it is the first case involving alleged sexting to cross his desk…
Dealing in depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct is a class C felony, and a conviction carries a requirement to register as a sex offender,” quoting The Olympian.

Yes, as an adult, that is true.
The Prosecutor says the law has not caught-up in dealing with this type of thing yet & he has to enforce the laws as written.

Ed. Note: Oh, jeepers!
What is this country coming to in destroying these two teen’s lives?
Sex offenders for the rest of their lives!
Come on, can’t we do better than this?
What kid hasn’t done something similar, or worst!

Dori Monson covered this topic well on KIRO-FM RADIO 97.3 in Seattle on February 2, 2010 in his 12 noon hour.
CLICK HERE to listen.


February 10, 2010

“YELM-AREA FIRE CONSOLIDATION RUNS SLIGHTLY AHEAD”

From The Olympian,
“A proposal to consolidate the City of Yelm and two neighboring rural fire districts into a regional fire authority was leading by just seven votes, Tuesday nights election returns show.

It was the same proposal voters turned down by a total of 12 votes in August after a recount.

‘All we need to do is just stay ahead,’ said Rita Hutcheson, chief of Southeast Thurston Fire and EMS.

Once again, voters within the City of Yelm and the Rainier Fire District were supportive, while those in the Yelm Fire District were turning it down by more than 150 votes.

The proposal requires a simple combined majority to pass.”

We will know when the vote count is finalized by the Thurston County Auditor.

UPDATE: February 11th:
“Merger of fire districts in Yelm area still passing”
From The Olympian.


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