March 31, 2010

SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES: ECO EARTH MANOR

Paula Meyer & her business partner Diane Baker founded Eco Earth Manor “out of a desire to contribute to our community, both locally & globally, in a way that honors our beautiful planet Earth. We are two women, both mothers, who are also interested in supporting women all over the world”.

Paula tells the Yelm Community Blog, “We’ll be at the Nisqually Valley Home show with lots of our cool stuff!”
http://stores.ecoearthmanor.com/StoreFront.bok
And, the Nisqually Valley Home Show is April 24 & 25 this year.

“Eco Earth Manor was created out of a desire to contribute to our community, both locally & globally, in a way that honors our beautiful planet Earth. We are two women, both mothers, who are also interested in supporting women all over the world. Many of our products are created by women in other countries, as a means of supporting their families and communities. We feel truly blessed to be a part of their worlds, and to have the opportunity to introduce them to you, our valued customers.

We are located in a lovely, small community called Rainier in the beautiful Evergreen State (Washington), not far from the Emerald City (Seattle), an easy place to be green!

We look forward to being a great resource to you, both for products and information, in support of your earth friendly choices.

Please contact us by email at info@ecoearthmanor.com or by phone at 1.877.336.4326,” quoting Eco Earth Manor.


March 30, 2010

“GAS THIEVES REPEATEDLY TARGET ONE DEALERSHIP”

“Gas thieves are repeatedly targeting one car dealership in rural Pierce County. The crimes have gotten so bad, the owner says gas is stolen from his cars almost every night of the week.

Almost every day at Baydo Chevrolet in McKenna, the staff finds a gas cap open on a car, or a hole punched in a gas tank. The gas has been stolen.

The thieves don’t just take gas. They have stolen nine cars, a backhoe, and a 20-foot cargo trailer. They’ve broken into a storage shed twice to steal detailing equipment.

When the equipment was moved to a more secured storage unit, they broke into that too.

“We’ve lost well over $200,000 in merchandise and equipment,” said Walt Baydo, owner of the dealership…

‘It’s not just us either. It’s the community in general. Roy, McKenna, Yelm,’ said Baydo.

Baydo Chevrolet will host a town hall meeting Tuesday night with law enforcement and lawmakers. Residents and business owners hope with some group brainstorming, they’ll find a solution. The town hall meeting will be Tuesday night at 7 p.m.” quoting KING-5 TV.


March 29, 2010

YELM’S WATER RATES GO UP THIS WEEK!

As April 1st approaches with the City of Yelm’s new water rate increase of 16% going into effect, this is a good time to remind Yelm’s officials of the oath of office they took and especially this from the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), as one blog reader submitted:

RCW 42.30.010
Legislative declaration.

“The legislature finds and declares that all public commissions, boards, councils, committees, subcommittees, departments, divisions, offices, and all other public agencies of this state and subdivisions thereof exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of this chapter that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

Last week’s entries here demonstrate clearly the City of Yelm has not informed the people “so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

– HARDING TO ADDRESS CHAMBER WITH WATER UPDATE — BYPASSING THE GENERAL PUBLIC!

— IF THE CITY IS OUT OF WATER, WHY DO THEY KEEP ISSUING BUILDING PERMITS?

And the key questions remain unanswered-
– Why is the city collecting monies through a water rate increase based on a 6-year Draft Waster System Plan for 2009-2015 that has not been approved by Ecology & Health!
– If the Plan is not approved, how will the city reimburse their water rate-payers for the collection of these monies, if the plan is not approved in the current form?
– Why was the city still issuing building permits & accepting applications for construction when city planners knew they were out of allocated water, even recommending to Council to seize a citizens water rights?
– Why has the public never been told the city over-pumped their water allocation in 2009?
– How is the city going to get reimbursed from a defaulted develope for the pro-rata share of the Water Study, as stated by City Administrator Badger? or recoup the developer’s unpaid taxes & fees?
– How is the city going to pay & use the Golf Course well they inherited, estimated to cost $1.6 million to return to service?

WITH INFORMATION ON THESE AND MANY OTHER QUESTIONS NEVER ADDRESSED BY THE CITY,
“The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”


March 27, 2010

TWO UNIQUE WA. STATE ENVIRONMENTAL STORIES

Plant seeks energy boost
Gas-powered: Company wants to expand operation that started in 2008

“Inside the control room of the Grays Harbor Energy Center on Fuller Hill near Elma, the monitor told plant operators that about 550 megawatts of electricity enough to power about 425,000 homes pulsed from the plant into a Bonneville Power Administration transmission line erected some 30 years ago to serve the Washington Public Power Supply Systems Satsop nuclear plants.

Those controversial nuclear plants succumbed to cost overruns, mismanagement and a deflated Northwest energy market in the early 1980s, long before they were completed.

By comparison, the Satsop gas-powered plant has been low-profile and running in near anonymity for two years except for complaints from nearby neighbors irritated by noise and, to a lesser extent, air pollution.

When WPPSS faded from the Satsop scene, the consortium of public utilities left a lot of land, water supply and infrastructure behind to support a gas-fueled power plant, Invenergy plant manager Todd Gatewood said,” quoting The Olympian.

Washington state’s ‘Cash for Appliances’ program begins

“In an effort to get residents to upgrade to more energy efficient appliances, the Washington state Cash for Appliances rebate program began on Monday, March 15.

Residents can make use of either a $75 or $100 rebate for the purchase of qualifying Energy Star refrigerators or clothes washers, respectively, under the program.

According to the state Department of Commerce, those rebates will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Approximately $5.6 million is available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Once those funds run out, so does the program, according to the department’s Web site,” quoting the Marysville Globe.


March 26, 2010

RAIN GARDEN WORKSHOP SET FOR YELM, APRIL 1ST

“Do your part to help protect streams and Puget Sound while also keeping stormwater drainage away from your home. A free workshop will provide all the details needed to build one or more rain gardens in your yard to create a low-maintenance, attractive feature that will also provide habitat for birds and butterflies.

This how-to workshop will be offered on
Thursday, April 1,
from 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
at the Yelm Community Schools Building,
107 First Street N.,
in Yelm.

Each participant will receive detailed information about designing and building a rain garden, as well as a free handbook and beautiful four-color poster.

The workshop is free but registration is required. To register or for more information, contact the WSU Native Plant Salvage Project at nativeplantsalvage@gmail.com or call 360-867-2166. This workshop is co-sponsored by Thurston County Stream Team and WSU Extensions Native Plant Salvage Project.”


March 25, 2010

THURSTON COUNTY MASTER COMPOSTER TRAINING TO START

2010 Thurston County Master Composter Training starting soon!

“Master Composters are trained volunteers who teach the basics of home composting to the citizens of Thurston County. Participants receive 14 hours of hands-on training based on a variety of composting topics. Some of these subjects include kitchen and yard waste, worm bins, compost safety, how to maintain piles, troubleshooting, application tips plus much more.

It is our goal to not only provide a research based composting program, but to also provide instruction that will assist volunteers to become successful composters.

The year after training trainees will agree to give 35 hours of volunteer service working as a community composting educator.

Master Composters can participate in a wide range of activities; giving free workshops on backyard composting to community members, staffing information booths at community events, giving composting presentations to community groups, help Master Gardeners compost garden waste at three demonstration sites, work with community organizations to help them learn the benefits of composting and much more.

Master Composter training will be conducted at the following times:

Wed, March 31: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Wed, April 7: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Wed, April 14: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Wed, April 21: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Sat May 1: 10:00am – 12:00pm (field days)

Sat, May 8: 10:00am – 12:00pm (field days)

Wed, May 19: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Attendance at all seven trainings is required to become a certified Master Composter.

Class size is limited to 20. Applications will be accepted until March 26, 2010.

If you need more information, please e-mail Cori Carlton at carltoc@co.thurston.wa.us or call 360-867-2162.
www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org


March 24, 2010

AL VICTOR’S POPULAR SALON IN YELM IS STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS!


Photo of Al Victor courtesy of MastersConnection.com

Though Al Victor passed away last year on Mother’s Day, his legacy in this town lives on!
Al was the owner of Al Victor’s Beauty Salon, which had a grand re-opening as a tenant in Prairie Plaza, as reported here March 27, 2009.

AL VICTOR’S FULL SERVICE SALON IN YELM
Announces
We’re Still Open
Call Us for Your Haircut/Styling,
Hair Color, Foils, Manicure, Pedicures, Waxings, etc.

CALL TODAY FOR AN APPOINTMENT
AL VICTOR’S SALON
10501 Creek St SE # E
Yelm, WA 98597-9805
Phone: 458-6800


March 23, 2010

IF THE CITY IS OUT OF WATER, WHY DO THEY KEEP ISSUING BUILDING PERMITS?

On the February, 13, 2009 blog entry, I wrote:
“The Dept. of Ecology says Yelm pumped 756 acre feet per year (afy) of its allocated 796.66 afy in 2008. An acre-foot is about 325,000 gallons which, for the City of Yelm, is about enough water to serve 3.5 homes for a year, according to the Dept. of Ecology. Doing the basic math then, the City would be over their limit with the current water rights they hold withdrawing an additional 40 acre-feet (796.66-756 = 40.66 underage).
That 40 acre-feet X 3.5 homes per acre-foot = 140 homes.”
THAT WAS OVER A YEAR AGO!

In March, 2010, the Dept. of Ecology says Yelm pumped 810.42 afy of its allocated 796.66 afy in 2009. That is 13.76 afy over the city’s annual allocation and 54.42 afy over the 2008 amount pumped. Doing the math with an acre foot serving 3.5 homes, that means the city hooked-up the equivalent of 190.47 homes in 2009, as a comparison to the additional water used year-over-year – either that or average usage increased, or both (3.5 homes/acre foot X 54.42 afy).

Knowing that approved building permits issued several years ago would eventually have to be hooked-up to the city and the city was near their pumping maximum in 2008, why did the city keep accepting building applications in 2009, full well knowing they did not have the water to support those new hook-ups?
Additionally, the city has had an expired Water System Plan (WSP) for almost a year and a half, resulting in a Yellow Operating Permit from the Dept. of Health. The city is supposed to update their 6-year Water System Plan every six years. Quoting the city’s own website, “an update to the Citys 2002 Water System Plan” was supposed to be done in 2008. The public only saw the Draft Water System Plan covering 2009-2015 in June, 2009. About 20% of the time of the 6-year Draft of the city’s WSP has passed by AND still we have no approved city Water System Plan.
Don’t you find that odd?
HMMM!

Ecology reports they are are jointly working with Health and the City of Yelm “to help Yelm find ways to further conserve on water use (by primarily addressing irrigation uses by Yelm businesses) and to further evaluate ways Yelm might be able to get more water added to their current portfolio to address the expected demands over the next couple of years” as Ecology seeks voluntary compliance because Yelm exceed their annual legal limit for 2009. Most businesses along Yelm Ave., including Safeway, did not irrigate their street-front grass strips, leaving a brown drive through Yelm last summer. Will any further irrigation cut-backs offset the acre-feet-per year overage?

“Just to cause chaos” is now the mantra about anyone who has shined the light on this issue, as Mayor Harding stated in his Mayor’s Column in this week’s NVN. Yet, the true cause of the city’s water urgency (over pumping allocated water & no approved WSP) lies at the feet of city leaders’ actions, or inactions.

– DOES ANYONE WISH TO ASK THE BUILDING PERMITS QUESTION?
– WHAT ABOUT YELM’S OVER-PUMPING OF ECOLOGY’S ANNUAL WATER ALLOCATION?
– AND WHAT ABOUT 20% OF THE TIME PASSED-BY FOR THE 6-YEAR WATER SYSTEM PLAN COVERING 2009-2015, AND STILL THERE IS NO APPROVED WATER SYSTEM PLAN?

HELLO NVN?
WHERE IS YOUR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING ON THESE CRITICAL QUESTIONS?

DOES SILENCE FROM THE PUBLIC, YELM BUSINESSES AT CHAMBER FORUMS & THE NVN ON THIS URGENT ISSUE EQUATE COMPLICITY?
OR MERE ACCEPTANCE OF THE CITY’S ACTIONS?


March 23, 2010

RAINIER EDUCATION FOUNDATION’S 11TH ANNUAL AUCTION THIS SATURDAY!

Rainier Education Foundation (REF), a Chapter of Dollars for Scholars March 27, 2010

11th Annual Auction for Education

Saturday, March 27, 2010!!

At Rainer High School

3:30 p.m. ~ Concessions Open

>> Jamba Juice << 4:00 p.m. ~ Silent Auction 7:00 p.m. ~ Live Auction >> BABYSITTING AVAILABLE << Contact REF to reserve your spot!! rainiereducationfoundation@gmail.com CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Click Here to see our Online Catalog


March 22, 2010

HARDING TO ADDRESS CHAMBER WITH WATER UPDATE — BYPASSING THE GENERAL PUBLIC!


Mayor Ron Harding

The Yelm Chamber of Commerce has announced their guest speaker will be Mayor Ron Harding with a Water Update on April 13, 2010 at the Chamber’s Forum Luncheon. This is the 2nd time in two months Mr. Harding has given an update about city issues to the Chamber Forum, bypassing taking his message directly to the general public. He is now in his 5th year of operating with NO public forum of any kind on the city’s & public’s business, instead speaking in a controlled setting at the Chamber Forum luncheon.
Mr. Harding is a Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board Member and the Treasurer, while Chamber president-elect Glen Cunningham is his own appointed Yelm Planning Commissioner…

As reported here on March 13, 2010, I said that the city was going to be forced to demand conservation from residents and businesses because the city is pumping over Ecology’s allocated water. Now, the mayor is laying that foundation with his NVN column last Friday where he said,
“City residents understand the difference between involvement to improve their quality of life and involvement just to cause chaos…

Challenges, by nature, indicate we would like the situation to be different.
As we move toward summer, we face challenges associated with our water supply.
We will be looking to everyone to do their part to help conserve water this year. Hopefully everyone will be looking for ways not to use as much water this summer as in the past.

Working together, as an informed, involved and personally invested community, we will take this challenging situation and make positive improvements that will benefit us all.”

Ed. Note:
If the city is out of allocated water to supply, why does the city keep issuing building permits?

City residents will soon know the difference about involvement, as they get kicked in their gut with another 16% water rate increase effective April 1st. The mayor will be prepared for the public outcry like last year when Council Chambers were at near capacity by posting a police officer for sessions after that increase, for surely there are again going to be some angry residents voicing their concerns – a whopping 32% total water rate increase within a year. And five persons limited each to 3 minutes at Council meetings will not be enough to handle the groundswell coming Council’s way this year. Last year’s 16% water rate increase brought a public response to Council that was only a dress rehearsal to this year. If city residents don’t get involved after seeing their water bills rise this Spring, then they should blame no one but themselves.

Unfortunately, this town re-elected a mayor that just cannot be up-front and face his constituents directly, to share with them in any open-to the-public setting except City Council, where he controls who speaks and for how long. The City of Yelm is over their water pumping capacity and has had an expired Water System Plan for over a year and a half, resulting in a Yellow Operating Permit from the Dept. of Health. The public deserves ALL of the facts from Mayor Harding and an opportunity to interact with him. Yet, since no one says anything at these Chamber Forums and no one speaks up when the Council votes on these things, the citizens get what they want – no inclusion in policy decisions.

MAYOR HARDING, IF YOU WANT YELM RESIDENTS HELP TO CONSERVE WATER, YOU SHOULD HAVE AN OPEN -TO-THE-PUBLIC WATER FORUM TO PRESENT THE FACTS & ENLIST THEIR SUPPORT, OR AT THE VERY LEAST, A BULLETIN TO CONSTITUENTS ON CAUSES YOUR VOTERS SHOULD BE AWARE.

And last, least you think I am involved in this city’s issues “just to cause chaos” as Mayor Harding describes of some in his latest NVN column, I love this area just as much as the mayor or anyone else. Since the Mayor, Council, City Administrator and City Planner do not provide the complete facts on these public issues such as water, this is one of the few resources around here for those wishing to be in the know.


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