March 31, 2012

EARTH HOUR TONIGHT FROM 8:30-9:30 PM

“We only have one planet. You can help protect it. Participate in the worlds largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour. It starts by turning off your lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on March 31, 2012 in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet. Think what can be achieved when we all come together for a common cause.”

Participate in Earth Hour

Pledge your support
Sign up to participate and turn off all non-essential lights from 8:30-9:30 pm local time.

Editor’s Note:
For years, this Blogger has urged the City of Yelm to take the lead in our area and sign-up our city to participate. Sadly, they have declined.

Read more from World Wildlife Fund.


March 31, 2012

OLYMPIA, SEA-TAC, SPOKANE BREAK RAINFALL RECORDS

“Olympia, Hoquiam and Sea-Tac Airport broke rainfall records for March 29 on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Olympia had 1.98 inches; the airport had 1.08.”

“Also Thursday, Spokane has set a record for the wettest March since record-keeping began in 1881 [3.89 inches of rain].
Read more from The Olympian.


March 31, 2012

“Thurston County courts to waive traffic-infraction fees in April”


Jeremy Pawloski filed this report in The Olympian:

“Thurston County District Court and municipal courts countywide are offering a program in April that potentially waives interest and partial collection-agency fees for unpaid traffic fines.

Participating courts include Thurston County District Court; Olympia, Tenino/Rainier, Tumwater and Yelm Municipal Courts; and the Lacey Traffic Violations Bureau.”

“In April, the courts and their collection agencies will waive interest and half the collection-agency fee, and will remove cases from credit bureau listings once payments are received, Pearson said [District Court Administrative Services Manager Jerry Pearson].


March 30, 2012

WILCOX EASTER EGG HUNT IS SATURDAY

Wilcox Family Farms Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Download the Wilcox Annual Easter Event Poster

Wilcox Annual Easter Event
Saturday March 31st 2012
10am-4pm
Come join us for a fun-packed DAY!

2 EASTER EGG HUNTS!
11am AND 2pm
By popular demand there will be 2 hunts so one is sure to fit your schedule
Come join the fun!

Activities for EVERYONE!
– Hay Rides
– Guided Farm Tours
– FREE Omelets
– Face Painting…and more!

Admission is FREE.
Wilcox Farm
40400 Harts Lake Valley Rd.
Roy, WA

CLICK HERE to see the 2011 Wilcox Easter Egg Hunt on YouTube.

Wilcox Farms donates 54,000 eggs to Yelm Community Services
“The donation was part of a national effort organized around the Easter holiday by the United Egg Producers.

‘We provide donated Wilcox eggs to the Yelm Senior Center, the Rainier Senior Center, and the Nisqually Elders Center, who have been our partners for many years, said Cindy Marchand-Cecil of Yelm Community Services. ‘Our hats are off to everyone at Wilcox Farms, who has regularly contributed to Yelm Community Services since 1989. They are, by far, the single largest source of food to this agencys food bank over time,’ quoting KOMO-TV 4 News in Seattle.
Read more


March 30, 2012

TRL FIRES DIRECTOR CROSE

Chelsea Krotzer reports in The Olympian:
“The Timberland Regional Library Board unanimously voted to fire Director Michael Crose Wednesday night, saying he was paid by another entity while acting as a library employee and used library equipment for personal purposes.”
Read more


March 30, 2012

“Thurston County’s jobless rate rises again”

Rolf Boone reports in The Olympian:

“Thurston Countys jobless rate rose to 8.5 percent last month from a revised 8 percent rate in January, the result of seasonal changes in employment following the holidays, a regional economist said Tuesday [March 27].

County unemployment rates, which are not seasonally adjusted, tend to rise in January following the holidays, but that also can continue into February, regional economist Jim Vleming said.

He expects the countys jobless rate will fall in March as another wave of seasonal hiring begins in the spring. Still, the county added 700 jobs in the January-February period, he said.”

Editor’s Note:
Thurston County unemployment rates may not recover as fast as Vleming stated with the announced closure of Lacey’s K-Mart, 750 jobs slashed at Verizon, state liquor stores closing and now the 50 store closures of Best Buy nationwide.


March 29, 2012

IN MEMORY OF YELM’S 1ST FIRE CHIEF: GEORGE COWLES

George Ray Cowles George passed away March 13, 2012 in Yelm, WA.

“George married Mary Frances Aschenbrenner-Fields on Dec. 20, 1946. Mary and George co-owned and operated the Yelm Garage with Marys twin brother Joe Aschenbrenner and his wife Rose. George was a founding member of the volunteer Yelm Fire Department and proudly served as its Fire Chief for 25 years”.

“He will be remembered for his love of family and friends, vast knowledge of history of Yelm and his enjoyment of sharing it with everyone. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Cowles, daughters Marilee Bollinger and Karen McCarrell, son Jerry Cowles, and grandson Billy Ray McCarrell.

He is survived by his son, Bill Cowles (Margo), daughter Ruth Cowles-Porterfield (Michael), grandchildren, Dennis McCarrell, Mary Shephard, Margaret Sims, Michael Bollinger, Kara Tappan, Mitchell Cowles, Donovan Olson, Kurtis Olson, and 12 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren along with many cousins, nieces, and nephews. George loved many things but, most of all life and the people in his life.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations go to the Alzheimers Research. Www.alzheimers-research.org
Read more from Funeral Alternatives.


March 29, 2012

YELM FOOD CO-OP MOVES IN WITH GORDON’S GARDEN CENTER

Exciting News from Gordons Garden Center and the Yelm Food Coop

Yelm, WA, March 27, 2012 “Kellie Petersen, owner of Gordons Garden Center, and Bill Wyman, President of the Board of Directors of Yelm Cooperative, are pleased to announce the relocation of the Yelm Food Coop Retail Store to the Gordons Garden Center complex during the month of April in 2012.

Gordons opened in Yelm 47 years ago as a food market, and over the years expanded to include garden products including premium quality decorative and food producing trees and plants for the home gardener. Today, Gordons stands as one of the regions premiere retail destinations for quality gardening products, and has achieved the Washington State Environmental Award of Excellence for their organic program. This year, Ms. Petersen is expanding Gordons services to include a Wedding Registry, Design on Demand, Personal Shopper, and an innovative Best Food Forward to better serve the Yelm Community.”

Gordons Garden Center and the Yelm Cooperative are forming a Perfect Partnership by operating independently yet together at the Gordons Garden Center complex. Organic and sustainable principals guide both operations, and provide the community with a centralized hub for shopping and access to their complementary services.

Working together, Gordons Garden Center and the Yelm Cooperative help to promote a healthy and sustainable community, now and for future generations.”

Read more from the Press Release.

Editor’s Note:
Now this is a wise move for the community & both organizations – unique & innovative.
A true home-run outta da ballpark!

Yelm Community Blogger Klein is a founding member of the Yelm Food Co-op.


March 28, 2012

YELM’S ARBOR MONTH PROCLAMATION – APRIL

Mayor Harding’s Proclamation of March 27, 2012 recognizes April as Arbor Month in Yelm, for the 16th year.
Yelm’s Arbor Day celebration will be at 11am on April 27.
Mayor Harding said the celebration “will be fun.”

Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care.

Founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April.

Washington State’s Arbor Day is the second Wednesday in April.

“The National Arbor Day Foundation has published a new hardiness zone map, based on climate data from the past 15 years, that clearly shows the warming trend across the country,” quoting the National Arbor Day Foundation website.

Won’t you donate a tree to our town by sending a check to Yelm City Hall for Yelm’s Tree Fund!


March 27, 2012

YELM LIBRARY PURCHASE FINALIZED TONIGHT


Yelm Timberland Regional Library

City of Yelm taxpayers will officially authorize the funds for the library condo purchase tonight!

UPDATE: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 3pm
This action item on tonight’s Yelm’s City Council Agenda was removed today without explanation.
In writing to the the City of Yelm for an explanation since none was explained publicly, an official wrote “the documents were not ready to come before Council that evening.”
Interesting, because they certainly were posted on the city’s website prior to the meeting.
Why would the mayor not officially go on the public record saying this item, 8B was removed?
Why does the public have to find out about the reason for a public agenda change in the local newspaper?
HMMM!

From the Yelm City Council Agenda & Staff Report for tonight’s Agenda:

To: Mayor Ron Harding
Yelm City Council
From: Grant Beck, Community Development Director
Date: March 15 (for March 27, 2012 City Council Meeting)
Subj: Purchase and Sale Agreement – Timberland Regional Library

Recommendation
“Authorize Mayor Harding to sign a purchase and sale agreement for the purchase a condominium unit within the Fay Fuller Building at Prairie Park for $1,000,000.00 (one million dollars), subject to approval of the final declaration of condominium and covenants, conditions, and restrictions by Mayor Harding.”

“The building will be divided into three units, the largest of which is the library, at approximately 10,000 square feet including the loft and first floor lobby. The library space represents approximately 59% of square footage of the entire building.”

Editor’s Note:
Not mentioned in the Staff report is the interest expense and other Yelm taxpayer expenses totaling $2,275,000 in bonds to acquire the library portion of the building and to purchase other property and capital improvements that include an additional one million dollars for a city owned community center, for which the public was not informed. The Yelm taxpayers knew only they were buying a $1 million library condo!

Something that should be celebrated here will garner nothing more than a yawn, due to almost a year of hype. Yet, a regional library is a wonderful thing for our area.

However, the city’s purchase of a less-than-satisfactory, second-floor and way-to-large condo just to appease former lessor Margaret Clapp is poli-tics as usual in Yelm. “I’ll rub your back if you’ll rub mine.” So, Clapp lowered the asking price by $200,000 from $1.2 million and called that her “gift”, IF Harding agreed to buy her condo.

You can see that with the library comprising almost 2/3 of Clapp’s building she would have alot of vacant space if the library went elsewhere, seeing how there are so many other unoccupied, commercial facilities in Yelm. Knowing what I know from my experience with the library, I am certain Clapp’s “full-court press” was on Harding to do any-thing to keep her building’s 2nd floor occupied. Harding threw a “Hail Mary’ pass last April to the Timberland Regional Library Board about purchasing Clapp’s condo, all without prior consultation or authorization with his own city council. That takes alot of hubris!

Donors saw through the smokescreen of Mayor Harding’s request for the greater Yelm community to contribute to defray the $1 million cost of the condo, and raised only $30,000. There were no fundraising goals nor was Harding forthcoming to the public at the time of what the costs would be. Harding would never publicly disclose the other options he and city staffers investigated as library facility options. Further, Harding never galvanized the entire library patron area to join in this effort, rather divided the community between Yelm patrons and those not living within the city limits. And now, the library fundraising effort’s leader Glen Nutter will be leaving Yelm for his philanthropy work in Africa.

Then former US Presidential candidate Bo Gritz & decorated Green Beret Veteran was in Puget Sound in the early 1990’s & I went to hear his talk. He said,
“I have only 2 things to say about politics:
Poli means many &
Tic is a blood-sucker”

Mayor Harding’s handling of the whole library issue going back 7 years in which I have been involved, has been Yelm poli-tics as usual!


Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star

Yelm Community Blogger Klein is a former mayor appointee to the Yelm Library Citizens Advisory Board and subsequently that Board’s selected Chair.


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