August 31, 2010

SMOKE IS FROM CONTROLLED FIRES – TODAY’S RAINS WILL QUELL THE DUST

Flames return to lands forged by fire
Environment: Controlled burns planned for 200 acres of prairie land this fall

The Olympian’s John Dodge reported recently,
The Nature Conservancy, working with state and local agencies and fire districts, plans to set about 10 fires totaling 200 acres late this summer and fall on the prairies of South Sound…

Its part of a continuing effort that began in 2001 to use a centuries-old tool fire to restore fire-dependent prairie landscapes on public and conservancy-owned land in south Thurston County.”

Unseasonable rain forecast for W. Washington
“The National Weather Service forecasts about one inch of rain Tuesday in much of Western Washington as an unseasonable wet and windy system moves through the Northwest,” quoting the AP in The Olympian.


August 30, 2010

TWO STORIES AFFECTING AREA HOME SALES

Alan Zibel reports for the AP on MSNBC:

New home sales hit slowest pace on record
Unexpected 12.4 percent drop is latest sign recovery fading

“Sales of new homes dropped sharply last month to the slowest pace on record, the latest sign that the economic recovery is fading.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday [Aug. 25] that new home sales fell 12.4 percent in July from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 276,600. That was the slowest pace on records dating back to 1963. The past three months have been the worst on record for new home sales…

Weak home sales mean fewer jobs in the construction industry, which normally powers economic recoveries. Each new home built creates, on average, the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.”

Ed. Note: How will that translate to Yelm?
Long-time Yelm Remax agent Cynthia Schmier, who has her fingers on the pulse of Yelm real estate, gave a personal account to Yelm’s City Council last Tuesday about the massive water rate increases & 235% increase for residential water hook-ups here affecting people’s decisions to not rent & buy homes in Yelm’s city limits, especially military on a monthly stipend.

And effective this Wednesday in Thurston County:
time of Transfer / sale inspection
Program Begins September 1, 2010

Thurston County’s sewage system regulations (Article IV) were updated on May 18, 2010 to meet the minimum requirements of state law WAC 246-272A-0015. A key part of these amendments is a requirement for the evaluation of On-Site Sewage System (OSS) when the property they serve is sold or transferred. The requirement was put in place to help inventory sewage systems and identify and assure the timely repair of Failing Sewage Systems.
Application and Supporting Documents

Part of this process requires an Industry Professional, either a certified Pumper, Installer, or Monitoring Specialist, to inspect the system. The following documents must be submitted to our office either by mail or in-person along with the $170 fee.

Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department
412 Lilly Rd. NE
Olympia, WA 98506-5132
(360) 867-2500


August 29, 2010

GUEST ENTRY: YAEL KLEIN IN RESPONSE – ABOUT YELM’S LIBRARY

Hopefully, we will be hearing soon from Mayor Harding on the city’s plans for the future of the Yelm Library.

With a little over a year until the lease is up in the current facility, the city will have to share with the public all of their efforts to secure the library’s future in Yelm, whether at the current facility in some breakthrough rental deal, the former Police Station structure or some other option.

In the meantime, this writer’s wife wrote a rare Letter to the Editor to the Nisqually Valley News on the distortions of what has been written by former Nisqually Valley News reporter, most recent City of Yelm Community and Government Relations Coordinator (whose position was eliminated in 2009 during the city’s cost-cutting) & Friends of the Yelm Library official Cindy Teixeira.

Yael said,
“Our library is about to shrink down considerably, as Mayor Harding has publicly stated. His comment that the library should be of a size to only serve City of Yelm residents ignores the fact that property tax-payers
outside of Yelm contribute a large percentage to fund Yelm’s library.

Some serious people stepped up in a significant way long-ago & asked about the future of a public library building, years AHEAD of the ending of the 2011 lease. Cindy Teixeira’s letter last week unintelligently attacked those that stepped forward…

We all want a library here.”

CLICK HERE for the full text of Klein’s letter, used here with permission.


August 28, 2010

SUMMER THEATER OUTDOORS AT GORDON’S GARDEN CENTER

Director Nancy Tribush Hillman announces the presentation of
LISTEN TO ME, an original musical revue
with musical direction by Stephen Borsuk.

LISTEN TO ME,
title song by Steven Silverstein (music) and David John Madore (lyrics), is about a group of ambitious and diverse young people who compete to win first prize in the local literary contest…..by presenting original performance pieces on the subject of the evolution of communication through the ages.

They are daunted, urged on, critiqued and inspired by a motley group of local judges, and their own personal internal grudges. No one, not even the cast, knows who the winner will be.
The show features music from Broadway’s funniest and brightest hit shows.
Choreography by Patrick Wigren and Lucrecia Longshore.

This is the Inaugural debut as an outdoor live theater space for the Covered Stage at Gordon’s Garden Center.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY EVENINGS AT 7:30PM.
ALL TICKETS $10

Gordon’s Garden Center
508 Yelm Ave. E.


August 27, 2010

JZ KNIGHT INTERVIEWED BY MSNBC’S COSMIC LOG


JZ Knight
Photo Copyright 2010 JZ Knight.
Used with permission

JZ Knight is reporting on her website,

In a broad-ranging interview with JZ Knight, MSNBCs Cosmic Log reporter Alan Boyle writes:

Its been six years since What the Bleep Do We Know!? blended the woo-woo world of spiritual self-actualization with the woo-woo world of quantum physics with a channeled 35,000-year-old spirit named Ramtha playing a prominent role in the documentary.

Today, JZ Knight, the 64-year-old woman who channels that 35,000-year-old spirit, is looking back at the Bleep and giving a lot of thought to what lies ahead.

CLICK HERE
for the MSNBC interview.

Also from Mr. Boyles report,
JZ Knight discusses spirit channeling, quantum physics and life after What the Bleep Do We Know!? Click to watch video clips:

* The linkage between physics and personal reality
* Mind over matter? JZ Knight argues that mind is matter
* Looking beyond the What the Bleep movie
* Making a quantum leap from the laboratory


August 26, 2010

APPLAUSE FOR YELM COUNCIL MEMBER TRACEY WOOD

Yelm Council member Tracey Wood questioned the Council’s Agenda item Tuesday night a 3 fold + increase for new residential water connections via Ordinance No. 926, from $1,500.00 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) to $5,036.00 per ERU.
This is wonderful & shows he is thinking.
He just need to go one step further.

Even Mayor Pro-tem Bon Isom asked City of Yelm Project and Program Manager Stephanie Ray if this kind of major increase had a cap.

Both of these concerns were wonderful, yet missed the point.
As Mrs. Ray explained, as is seen now, this increase is only because of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) which required these kind of increases.
Why are there Capital improvement Projects (CIP) for new wells. new reservoirs, new infrastructure, new multi-miles of pipelines, new decontamination tests and other items to support a new water system 2 miles from the existing one?
DRILL BABY, DRILL.

Only because this City Council has approved all of this in their Water System Plan and is using major water rate increases to exiting customers and outrageous new connection fees on new residential hook-ups to fund to the 10’s of millions of dollars for a whole new water infrastructure in the SW area (Thurston Highlands).

Doesn’t that want to make you want to ask what is wrong with the existing water system?

And well-respected, local real estate agent Cynthia Schmier raised some excellent points about the water rate increases here affecting home rentals & sales. She should know, as she’s been in the real estate market here for years.
Unfortunately, Mayor Harding did not get her and answered rather defensively saying his water rates for his family of 4 were only about $20 per month – the rest was for sewer.
He missed the point – the huge increases to water bills affecting his constituents HAVE been for water, raising monthly bills from $50 to $60 and up.
This lady is a bellwether of what is going on in this town & what she said should bring the Mayor and City Council to attention:
Ms. Schmier said people cannot afford to move to Yelm anymore after seeing the new residential connection fees, increased monthly water rates, increasing taxes & other city imposed sanctions and fees, especially as these affect military families on a monthly stipend.

To Mr. Woods’ benefit, the Water System Plan (WSP) was first voted before he took office, though he voted for water rate increases in 2010 and to send the WSP to Health for approval.
Of course, last night he anyway went ahead & voted for the massive connection fee increase.

Hopefully, Mr. Woods will be asking more and more questions.


August 25, 2010

HIGH-TEMPERATURE TIED RECORD TODAY

Weather record for today’s high-temperature tied the official reading at Olympia Regional Airport with 90 degrees, set in 1982.


August 25, 2010

RAINIER’S MCCREA WINERY OPENS OLYMPIA WINE & TASTING BAR

From the McCrea Winery website:
The McCrea Cellars winery is located in a lovely country setting with a stunning view of Mt. Rainier. We’re a half-hour from Olympia, the State capital, and benefit from being only about an hour south of Seattle, with its many fine restaurants, markets, and cultural riches. Our lush, green maritime zone has a moderate climate with warm summers and occasional winter snow.”

Rolf Boone reported for The Olympian on August 12th:

“Doug McCrea of McCrea Cellars of Rainier plans to open the Olympia Wine and Tasting Bar at noon Saturday [Aug. 14] , featuring the red and white Rhone Valley varietals that the business is known for, as well as Salida wines, a relatively new wine label for the company.

The wine-tasting bar is in the New Caldonia Building on Fifth Avenue, which also is home to the Olympia Downtown Association and the shoe store Bonaventure.

McCrea Cellars offers wine tasting by appointment at his production facility in Rainier, but the location doesnt lend itself to visitors, he said. The new tasting room allows the business to market itself to an area outside of Seattle, potentially boosting its direct-to-consumer sales, which represent 18 percent of McCreas sales.”


August 24, 2010

CITY COUNCIL TO REALLY ‘STICK-IT’ TO NEW WATER CUSTOMERS TONIGHT


Yelm Public Safety Building & City Council Chambers

The Yelm City Council will hold a Public Hearing Tuesday, August 24, 2010 to “shove-it” to new water connection uses with an almost 3.5 times water connection fee increase via Ordinance No. 926, from $1,500.00 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) to $5,036.00 per ERU.

They are also set to approve Ordinance No. 927 amending the Yelm Municipal Code (YMC) to revise the definition of an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), effective October 1, 2010, at 215 gallons per day, which equates to 875 cubic feet per month.
CLICK HERE to calculate your own daily water usage, from the USGS.

SINCE THE CITY KNOWS FEW WILL ATTEND THE PUBIC HEARING OR MAKE ANY COMMENT, THE YELM CITY COUNCIL WILL VOTE ON THIS DIRECTLY AFTER THE “PUBLIC HEARING”, WHICH IS JUST A FORMALITY.
OTHERWISE, WHY SCHEDULE AN ORDINANCE VOTE RIGHT AFTER A PUBLIC HEARING ON THAT ORDINANCE?
THEY KNOW LESS THAN A HANDFUL WILL COMMENT.
THIS SHOWS THE CITY COUNCIL HAS NO INTENT TO CONSIDER & DELIBERATE ON A PUBLIC COMMENT, PERIOD.
THIS IS ALL FOR SHOW FOR THEM TO SAY THEY FOLLOWED PROCEDURE.
AND, YOU KNOW WHAT?
THEY ARE RIGHT.
FEW WILL ATTEND EXCEPT CITY CHAMBER PRESIDENT GLEN CUNNINGHAM AND THE NVN REPORTER.
YET THE CITY COUNCIL IS SETTING POLICY ON FUTURE DEVELOPMENT ALL IN FRONT OF AND YET BEHIND THE PUBLIC’S BACK!

Mayor Harding spoke in his NVN column this week of his admiration for the large number of military families in this community he encountered while recently door-belling. Yet that comment is hypocrisy, since under his administration has been the largest string of annual tax increases, the largest water rate-payer increases & the largest spending (on litigation) in City of Yelm history!

And recently-elected City Council member Tracey Wood ran on a ticket to speak-up for the public here.
His actions in voting for tax increases, water rate-payer increases & the litigation spending in Yelm in his 8 months in office show otherwise!
I warned the public he had little knowledge of water issues here on October 3, 2009 when he said about the water rate increase:
“is not that the water rate has gone up, it’s how much the water rate has gone up all at once.”
What an ignorant statement then!
Mr. Wood, you preside over a Water System Plan (WSP) that raises water rate-payer rates almost 70% between 2009 & 2015, a Plan about which you show you know virtually nothing, yet vote for ordinances on this Plan’s rate increases!

These two and their fellow Council members are basically voting to tax the very people they say they want to help – via water rate increases & connection fees! To raise the water-connection fees almost
3 1/2 times will certainly dampen development here & people wanting to buy a home here now.

Questions should be raised, yet will not be:
– Why is the public funding almost $20 million dollars to move the city’s water system to the SW area [Thurston Highlands site]?

– Where is the justification & why is the City of Yelm so completely absolute in rebuilding the entire water system 2 miles from their current system?
Why not question why the city doesn’t drill existing wells deeper into the aquifer if the issue is the city’s shallow wells affecting Yelm Creek?

– Why is that water system move being funded on the backs of water system rate-payers through massive water rate increases & connection fees?

– Isn’t the city is well-served with their current, adequate water system?
Why not make improvements to that?
Wouldn’t that save millions of dollars?

– Is the city dumping their current water system?
Certainly seems that way with the 10’s of millions of dollars proposed in miles of new piping, drilling test wells, storage, etc. as outlined on the city’s Water System Plan.
Funding requirements for the the 6 year plan is almost $11 million without Master-Planned Communities, $16.5 million with Master-Planned Communities.

– Yelm’s Water System Plan (WSP) has not yet been approved by Health or Ecology.
Yet, these ordinances when passed become city policy.
This is also against the city’s own Yelm Vision Statement (Plan).
Is this is just another avenue to future development so no one notices?
Where is the public asking why?

– Folks, Ordinance No. 926 unanimously now becomes city policy Tuesday, all while the Yelm public is asleep!

– This is Yelm’s City Council:
At the close of 2009, the tally of what this City Council imposed on their residents & businesses were:

1. a 69% water rate increase from 2009-2015
2. 1% property tax increases in 2008 & 2009 (and probably again in 2010)
3. B & O tax increase
4. Utility tax increase
5. Laid-off 6 city staffers, including Community and Government Relations Coordinator Cindy Teixeira, for whom the city had then built a new office.
6. Made policy to leave an open Police Department position unfilled.
7. Instituted spending multi-tens of thousands of dollars in litigation expenses to seize a citizen’s water rights.

And in 2010, Yelm’s City Council voted to reduce businesses’ irrigation by a mandatory 50%
& now are raising water hook-up fees from $1,500 to over $5,000 for residential customers.

And, if anyone didn’t notice, on the Council’s Agenda tonight,
“Executive Session to discuss litigation & potential litigation.”
Translated = That means more thousands of dollars in expenditures for sure!

If you should wish to attend to voice your concerns,
7pm
Tuesday, August 24th
Yelm’s Council Chmabers
Public Safety Building
206 McKenzie Ave SE
Yelm


WATCH YOUR WATER BILL ANNUALLY FOR MORE INCREASES & ENJOY!
THE PUBLIC’S SILENCE ON THIS IS COMPLICIT IN THE RATE INCREASES.


August 23, 2010

“HOPEFULLY THE CITY DIDN’T FLUSH AWAY FUNDING”


Yelm Timberland Regional Library
Photo courtesy of Guustaaf Damave

Letter writers to the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) Belinda and Larry Barkan of Yelm wrote had their letter published August 20, 2010 titled: “Hopefully the city didn’t flush away funding”

“Is it true that our city leaders could have asked for a grant to keep our present library open or to build a new library building?

If they instead chose to ask for a grant for toilets in the park plus kicked in millions of our dollars, they have some explaining to do…

Please, city leaders, show us that you have not flushed our great library down the toilet.”

Someone here FINALLY got the message and had the courage to say that if the Longmire Park flush toilets were the city’s priority, where did that leave the future of the library in the city’s mind?

And, we have former Nisqually Valley News reporter, most recent City of Yelm Community and Government Relations Coordinator (laid off in 2009) & Friends of the Yelm Library official Cindy Teixeira spouting-off in this week’s newspaper all sorts of things that do not correlate with the facts.

Instead of Teixeira segregating people on the Library issue, she should have the vision to see everyone wants a good library here.

That people are called “naysayers” that are “distractions” about those that have come forward and volunteered their time, given large donations for book/audio titles, pledged even more no-strings-attached monies for a new building, funded all sorts of children & adult library programs & shared the truth with the public about the library’s future issue over the years, is well, sad and unfortunate!
We’re all in this one together, Cindy!

However, Mrs. Teixeria’s attitude shows us why we don’t have a public library building here.
If she is with Friends of the Library and saying these things, I would not like to see the “Enemies of the Library”!

Mrs. Teixeira’s wrote in her Letter to the Editor to the NVN this week:
“Timberland’s situation with the Yelm library in a rented space is not such a big deal. Timberland says the agency is not in the business of providing facilities and yet about one-third of the libraries in the 27 library system are in fact owned by Timberland or are in a configuration not in keeping with the agency’s ancient policy.
In other words, Yelm is not the only exception to their rules:
there are so many exceptions the rules are irrelevant.
It is time for Timberland’s board of directors to scrap a 50-year-old policy that does not apply to today’s economic circumstances.
It is time for the City of Yelm to make the library a top-shelf issue. Both agencies need to step pout of their own way and let us get to work.”

In response to Mrs. Teixeira’s unfounded assertions,
TRL Director Michael Crose told the Yelm Community Blog on August 20th all TRL libraries in incorporated cities and towns are in public buildings except Montesano (which was donated & that city now owns) & Yelm’s current facility in leased space.
Crose said, “Not surprising considering that our mandate is to assure that residents in those areas receive quality library service.”
Crose continued, “Timberland DOES own or lease several buildings in un-incorporated areas of the five-counties” (totaling 7 of the 27 libraries) & these are very small libraries.

I do agree with Teixeria on this: “It is time for the City of Yelm to make the library a top-shelf issue.”
For a public library in Yelm, the city must take command to acquire that space. This is their responsibility.
Unless the public wants to have one in unincorporated Thurston County & leave the city out.

The time for the city to have made this a priority was 5 or 10 years ago, was it not?
And, where WAS the Friends of the Library then?
Their silence all these years on the future of a public library building here has been baffling to me.

Mrs. Teixeira attended and said nothing then about the March 25, 2008 Yelm Library Board’s annual report to the Yelm City Council raising the “red-flag” on the library’s future.
HMMM!

Cindy, are we all going to reach out and stand together on this
or
be divided?
I reach my hand out to you.
Will you take mine for the greater good of our community in our desire for a wonderful library
or not & remain divided?

“UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL”


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