April 2012 Archives

April 30, 2012

YELM MAN'S STORY NOTED IN WALL ST. JOURNAL -
Bruce Smith on his recent heart attack


Eatonville resident & The Mountain News Publisher Bruce Smith
Photo credit: Wall Street Journal
Copyright ©2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Bruce Smith's amazing story was featured in a Wall Street Journal story titled:
"If You're Stricken, Minutes Matter, Yet Many Ignore Signs, Delay Treatment"

"Bruce Smith was out for a walk around midnight on Feb. 26 when he felt 'like a grenade had exploded in my chest.'

He knew he was at risk for heart problems. 'I'm a fat guy, and over the years, I've become more sedentary,' says the 62-year-old journalist in Yelm, Wash., though he had been trying to walk more and eat less lately.

But what went flashed through his mind was: 'What is this? What can I do about it? I don't have any money or any insurance.'

He decided to go to sleep and woke up thinking, 'Thank God, I dodged that bullet'" But an hour later, the pain returned, worse than the night before," quoting the Wall Street Journal.
Read more

Read Smith's story in his own words, in The Mountain News.
Click here

On December 9, 2011, Smith published a story on how a Yelm man healed his heart after an attack titled:
"Profile: Anthony Latoski and his efforts to heal a heart attack with focused thought"
Read more from The Mountain News.


Klein has known Bruce Smith for many years and features stories periodically from The Mountain News here on this Blog.

April 29, 2012

THURSTON COUNTY'S 'NO-SHOOTING ORDINANCE'

Several Yelm Community Blog readers have asked for information on the proposed Thurston County 'No Shooting Ordinance." The following are several informational websites:

1. "Hunters fighting to stop Thurston Co. gun ordinance"
By Bryan Johnson on KOMO-TV 4.
Read more

2. Freedom Foundation has several informational links
- "Thurston County’s No Shooting Ordinance - A bad idea"
Read more

- "Hunters organize against proposed no-shooting ordinance"
Read more

- "Singing about the Thurston County Commissioners and teaching the next generation about our freedoms"
Read more

April 28, 2012

YELM: BLUE WATERS ACUPUNCTURE EXPANDS!

A Yelm business moves AND expands:
Blue Waters Acupuncture Center announces

WE HAVE MOVED OUR OFFICE AROUND THE CORNER!!

WE ARE GROWING AND WE HAVE MOVED INTO A NEW SPACE THAT WILL ALLOW US TO IMPROVE OUR CURRENT LIMITED PARKING SITUATION AND IT WILL ALLOW US TO BE ABLE TO HELP MORE PEOPLE.

OUR NEW LOCATION IS:
503 FIRST STREET SOUTH
SUITE 4
YELM, WA 98597

IT'S IN THE CLOCK BUILDING OFFICIALLY KNOWN AS TIMES SQUARE BUSINESS PARK.

LOOK FOR OUR SIGN ON THE MARQUEE.

FIRST STREET SOUTH IS ALSO 507 WHICH GOES FROM THE MAIN INTERSECTION IN TOWN TO RAINIER.

NOTICE: WE RECENTLY ACQUIRED THE DOMAIN NAME:
WWW.YELMACUPUNCTURE.COM

COME LET ME HELP AND GUIDE YOU AS YOU EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES OF OVER TWENTY CENTURIES OF MEDICINE IN CONTINUOUS USE AND HOW IT MAY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU OR THOSE YOU CARE ABOUT.

Dr. Michael E. Carruth, MD, LAc

TELL BLUE WATERS ACUPUNCTURE CENTER YOU READ ABOUT THEM ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!

April 27, 2012

YELM CO-OP: "Yelm Gets its Farmers Market!"

The Yelm Food Co-op opened in their new location Friday, April 27th in Gordon's Garden Center.
Read more

- A FARMERS MARKET FOR YELM
"The Yelm Cooperative is pleased to announce that plans are well underway for a 2012 season Farmers Market in Yelm. We are in the final stages of site selection with the city, and outreach has begun for vendors, volunteers and sponsors," quoting the Yelm Food Co-op.
Read more

- FARMER'S MARKET ON COUNCIL'S STUDY SESSION AGENDA
This was on the Yelm City Council's Study Session Agenda last Wednesday evening to be approved by the Council in-public May 8th:

Right of Way Use Agreement
This Right of Way Use Agreement ("Agreement") is made and entered into this 8th day of May by and between the City of Yelm ("Yelm") and the Yelm Cooperative ("Yelm Co-op"), a Washington non-profit corporation.


NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the promises and commitments made herein, the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, it is agreed as follows:

2nd Street shall be closed between Mosman and McKenzie Streets from 8:00 AM to 7:00PM each Sunday between May 27 and October 28, 2012, EXCEPT for June 24, 2012, for the purpose of holding a farmers market sponsored by the Yelm Co-op.

The Yelm Co-op shall manage the farmers market according to the standards of Chapter 17.70 YMC and the terms of this agreement for the operation of farmer’s markets as a temporary use, including:

• A farmers market in the city of Yelm provides a place where local growers and artisans can offer their fresh and locally grown produce and crafts for sale. A farmers market is not for the purpose of reselling farm products nor for selling used or household goods.

Yelm woman's act noted:
"Woman to woman in Afghanistan’s villages"

From today's Tacoma News Tribune:
"Some soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been forging ties with female villagers who are normally almost invisible to outsiders. As reported from Afghanistan by The News Tribune’s Adam Ashton, “female engagement teams” fielded by Lewis-McChord battalions are serving as liaisons between the U.S. military and Afghan women.

Among them are Sgt. 1st Class Laurie Eggleston of University Place and Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Wages of Yelm, who manage the effort on behalf of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

The teams help the Army connect with Afghan women, one on one, as part of its mission to defeat the Taliban. In the process, the villagers see American women who are confident and educated, women who aren’t guarded around the clock by males. Eggleston and Wages embody the expansive opportunities available to most Western girls and women," quoting "Inside Opinion"
"What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers"
Read more

April 26, 2012

YELM'S NISQUALLY HOME SHOW THIS WEEKEND

The annual Nisqually Valley Home, Garden and Trade Show is this weekend at Yelm High School, April 28-29.

Ciscoe Morris from Seattle's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show (oo-la-la) and a "Yelm's Got Talent" contest are featured.

Here's the full entertainment schedule:

Saturday
10am Yelm Middle School Choir
10:30am Yelm Prairie Elementary School Choir
11am - 3pm Nisqually Wild & Scenic Film Festival
11am - 11:30am Yelm's Got Talent, Session one
12n Kellie Peterson, Rose Queen
1pm - 4pm Mike Wall, Antique appraiser
1:30pm - 2:30pm Yelm's Got Talent, Session two
3:30pm Yelm Got Talent, Finals

Sunday
11am - 3pm Nisqually Wild & Scenic Film Festival
1pm Ciscoe Morris
1pm - 4pm Mike Wall, Antique appraiser
Read more

Hand's On Children's Museum available both days.

The Weekly Volcano (Tacoma and Olympia's only edgy, irreverent and thought-provoking alternative newsweekly) provided a terrific write-up of this weekend's Yelm events.
Read more

YELM MAN SUSPECT IN RAINER VEHICULAR HOMICIDE

Stacy Mulick from The Olympian reports this morning:
"A 58-year-old man was hit and killed Wednesday night as he walked along state Route 507 in Rainier, the Washington State Patrol reported."

"The truck’s driver, a 42-year-old Yelm man, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide."

More from KIRO-TV 7 in Seattle & the AP:
Click here

UPDATE: April 27
"Richard Lee Peace, 51, was being held Friday at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of one count of vehicular homicide. His bail is set at $200,000.

Donald R. Moore, 58, was walking on the right shoulder of state Route 507 near Binghampton Drive about 9 p.m. Wednesday when a driver crossed over the fog line and hit the pedestrian from behind, said Trooper Guy Gill.

Moore died at the scene."
Read more from Jeremy Pawloski in The Olympian.

April 25, 2012

YELM'S ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION FRIDAY

Yelm's Arbor Day celebration will be at 11am on April 27 at Yelm City Park.
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!

April 24, 2012

YELM LIBRARY - NOT ON COUNCIL'S AGENDA AGAIN TONIGHT


Yelm Public Safety Building & City Council Chambers

On March 27, 2012 the Yelm City Council had the final Library purchase agreement on their agenda, yet removed it just prior to the council session. The following week, the public was informed via the local newspaper that the library purchase was postponed to fix contract wording.

Mayor Harding was quoted in the newspaper saying:
"'Wording in the contract wasn’t quite right,' Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said. 'Two weeks won’t hurt us.'"

Tonight marks one month since the library purchase agreement was pulled and still no official word form the mayor or city council on why. We only learned about a two-week postponement via the newspaper.

- Why was the library agreement redacted from the official council record on March 27th without public disclosure?
- The mayor & city council have a fiduciary responsibility in communicating agenda changes to the public, even those just prior to a meeting.
- The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 35A.12.110 says "A journal of all proceedings shall be kept, which shall be a public record."
- Why did the public learn of this omission via the newspaper instead of the city council meeting?
- The local newspaper is not the journal of council proceedings nor the public record of the council's agenda, according to state law.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE YELM CITY COUNCIL'S LACK OF PUBLIC DISCLOSURE?

April 23, 2012

WHY HAVE WE HEARD NOTHING ON THIS HERE?

From KMAS News-radio in Mason County:
Public Invited to Comment on Draft Air Permit

"Public comment is currently being accepted on a draft Air Operating Permit (AOP) for the Aquatic Company (Aquatic) located at 801 Northern Pacific in Yelm, Washington. This renewal process is pursuant to Title V of the federal Clean Air Act and Chapter 173-401 of the Washington Administrative Code. This is a draft of the AOP renewal that will be in effect for five years.

Aquatic, formerly Lasco Bathware Inc, is a reinforced plastics manufacturing facility that produces bathtubs, showers, spas and other bathware products. This will be the third renewal of the AOP for this facility. Aquatic’s Yelm facility requires an AOP because it has the potential to emit major quantities of volatile organic compounds as well as the compound styrene, which is a hazardous air pollutant.

Click here for the draft AOP renewal and the associated draft Technical Support Document (TSD) for Aquatic.

Comments may be submitted to ORCAA in writing.
Written comments should be addressed to: ORCAA, 2940-B Limited Lane NW, Olympia, WA 98502, and will be accepted up to close of business on April 25, 2012.
Read more

April 22, 2012

EARTH DAY, 2012

"On April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012 and help Mobilize the Earth™. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection. Together we will stand united for a sustainable future and call upon individuals, organizations, and governments to do their part."
Read more

Help save the environment
Stop unwanted mail
Free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.
CatalogChoice.org
Read more

April 21, 2012

YELM'S COMMUNITY THEATER RETURNS HOME
AND PRESENTS TWO MAY SHOWS

STANDING ROOM ONLY (SRO) THEATER PRODUCTIONS RETURN TO YELM'S HISTORIC WOLF BUILDING,
NOW NAMED - THE TRIAD THEATER (YELM, RAINIER, ROY)!

1. ALICE IN NEVERLAND, May 4-5
As an originally scripted musical. hand crafted by director Nancy Hillman and author Daniel Wyman in order to spotlight the talents of the youth branch of the SRO Acting Troupe. StageStruck Playactors provides training in the performing arts and is composed of over 40 students and teen assistants who learn the basics of acting, singing and movement in the process of creating and rehearsing a show, whose performance is the culmination of the class.
This term's production is a mixed up Mother Goose adventure tale of three iconic teen-age girls, Dorothy, Wendy and Alice, who become separated from their storybooks, and spend two acts and twenty musical numbers finding their way home, with the aid of a multitude of famous and infamous fairytale characters.

WHEN: May 4-5
WHERE: The new Triad Theater Performance Space (formerly the Drew Harvey Theater)
102 Yelm Ave. in Yelm.
TICKETS: On sale at the Yelm Food Co-op & Gordon's Garden Center
For advanced reservations, call 360-446-2188.
PRICE: All tickets $6.

2. A LOUD NOISE IN A PUBLIC PLACE, May 17-22
A play with music, spans four decades in the life of George Metesky, the notorious Mad Bomber, who held New York City hostage in the 1950s with his homemade pipe bombs. In this epic vaudeville, George is an Everyman figure who takes on the established power structure in a quixotic quest for justice, and despite repeated betrayals, rebuffs and indignities, never gives up in his relentlessly determined though monstrously misguided battle for fair play. Ultimately, the show poses the question, What is the proper response to, and is there an antidote for the dehumanization and depersonalization of life in industrial/post-industrial society?

STANDING ROOM ONLY's production of this musical will be its first full scale presentation, in effect, the World Premiere. The production, as directed by Nancy Tribush Hillman, will use wit and irony to maximize the entertainment value of Metesky's situation in the style of Bertold Brecht's Three Penny Opera. She will be aided in this task by musical director Stephen Borsuk and his magnificent arrangements.

WHEN: May 17-22
WHERE: The new Triad Theater Performance Space (formerly the Drew Harvey Theater)
102 Yelm Ave. in Yelm.
TICKETS: On sale at the Yelm Food Co-op & Gordon's Garden Center
For advanced reservations, call 360-446-2188.
PRICE: All tickets $12.

Read more about Nancy Tribush Hillman and STANDING ROOM ONLY (SRO) and StageStruck Playactors.


Klein & his wife have been longtime financial contributors and patrons of Hillman's N Theater [Standing Room Only and StageStruck Playactors].

"Yelm [High School] hosts Mountain Invitational"

Meg Wochnick penned this article in The Olympian:
"[Rashon] Smith, a Timberline senior, holds the top three times in Class 3A for the boys 110-meter high hurdles and 300 low hurdles with career-best times achieved in last weekend’s Larry Eason Invitational.

His time of 15.43 seconds in the 110 high hurdles at Friday’s Mountain Invitational at Yelm High School wasn’t a personal best, but thanks in part to a push from teammate James Segura-Mitchell in the next lane, it was enough to propel him to a come-from-behind, first-place finish."
Read more

April 20, 2012

"Eatonville Mayor Ray Harper embroiled in 'Trail Funds' controversy"

"Eatonville’s mayor Ray Harper found himself squarely on a political hot seat Wednesday, April 18, when renowned conservative radio talk show host Dori Monson railed about the Town’s mis-use of funds donated for the purpose of building walking trails and a system of foot bridges over the Mashel River and using them to pay regular, on-going Town expenses.

Eatonville Town Councilmember Robert Schaub appeared on Monson’s long-running radio broadcast “My Northwest” on KIRO radio in Seattle, and the two discussed the controversy," quoting Bruce Smith of The Mountain News, an Eatonville-based "online news magazine that has in-depth features, columns and news stories pertaining to our area that can not be found anywhere else.
Read more

YELM: COUNTY COMMISSIONER ROMERO'S COFFEE -
Monday, Apr 23rd OPEN TO THE PUBLIC


Sandra Romero

FROM COUNTY COMMISSIONER ROMERO'S E-MAILER:
Please join Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero, as she hosts her monthly informal coffee hours in Rainier and Yelm on Monday, April 23rd:

Come learn the ins and outs of your septic system with this month’s guest, Environmental Health Specialist David Tipton, who will give a one hour presentation titled How Maintaining Your Septic System Can Save You Money.

David has been with Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Environmental Health Division since 1991. He has worked with septic system programs for 14 years and is currently working in the Henderson Watershed Protection Area (HWPA) program, assuring proper septic system operation and maintenance. David also conducts workshops teaching HWPA homeowners how to properly inspect their own septic systems for deficiencies and maintenance needs.


There is a lot happening in Thurston County, and we want to hear from you! These coffees give you the opportunity to talk about issues of concern, ask the Commissioner questions about the county, and share ideas. Commissioner Romero provides participants' coffee that she pays for herself. She is the representative of District 2, which includes Yelm and Rainier.

What: Citizen meeting with second district County Commissioner Sandra Romero

When
: Monday, April 23, 2012

Where: Rainier: 9:30am – 10:30am - Rainier City Hall – 102 Rochester St. W.

Yelm: 11:00am – Noon – Fadi’s Restaurant (Tahoma Golf Course) 15425 Mosman Ave. SW.

Read more from Commissioner Romero's quarterly Newsletter.


Klein has been a supporter of Romero as a Yelm campaigner, Town Hall co-sponsor and contributor.

April 19, 2012

EARTH DAY 2012 IS SUNDAY

EARTH DAY 2012

"On April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012 and help Mobilize the Earth™. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection. Together we will stand united for a sustainable future and call upon individuals, organizations, and governments to do their part.

Attend a local Earth Day event and join one of our Earth Day campaigns as we collect A Billion Acts of Green® and elevate the importance of environmental issues around the world."
Read more from Earth Day Network.

TWO AREA EARTH DAY EVENTS
1. YELM
Nisqually Land Trust is teaming up with Alpine Experience to host a work party in Yelm.
Date: Sunday April 22nd, 2012
Time: 10 am – 1 pm
Read more & register, which is required.

2. OLYMPIA
"Following on last year’s success, the [South Sound] Green Tour will feature 18 commercial and residential sites in and around Olympia.

These sites highlight the comfort and affordability of sustainable lifestyles both at home and at work."
Read more from Thurston County Solid Waste, a proud sponsor of this exciting and educational event.

While this writer has asked, suggested & offered to help Yelm on this and other events:
AGAIN THIS YEAR, THE CITY OF YELM WILL HAVE NO EARTH DAY EVENTS OR PARTICIPATION!

April 18, 2012

YELM: BURGLARY WAVE - WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

The burglary wave that has been hitting Yelm in recent months and bringing media scrutiny here was certainly ratcheted-up Tuesday when the local store of multinational corporation's Wal-Mart was targeted:

Jeremy Pawloski reports in The Olympian:
"Yelm police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday on suspicion of stealing more than $15,000 of merchandise, including six laptop computers, from Walmart on state Route 507."
Read more

"Donations put Thurston County horse-rescue group in the black"

From Chelsea Krotzer in The Olympian:

"An outpouring of community support has put Thurston County’s largest horse-rescue organization back in the black.

Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County takes in horses seized by the Sheriff’s Office; it also helps horse owners with feed and medical bills. Representatives of the agency said it would have been forced to turn the Sheriff’s Office away after the seizure of six extremely sick horses in January cost $10,000 in medical bills.

Residents donated about $12,000 over the past two weeks, putting the nonprofit halfway to a comfortable goal of $25,000. The group’s plight was featured in a story in The Olympian early this month."
Read more

April 17, 2012

RAINIER STUDENT'S ACHIEVEMENTS RECOGNIZED


Navarreaux Simmons

Reprinted from the April 13, 2012 RSE Newsletter.
Copyright © 2012 JZ Knight. Used with permission.

Navarreaux Simmons was nominated by one of his teachers to participate in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) in June 2012 in Washington, D.C. This is quite an honor in recognition of a student’s achievements. Simmons is a student at Rainier Middle School in Rainier, Washington.

The Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) offers mature, high-achieving middle school students the opportunity to learn about leadership by studying the leaders of the past and by focusing on social advocacy to make a positive impact in their homes and communities. Through an examination of both different historical time periods and characteristics of leadership, students will gain a better understanding of what it takes to become an effective leader.”
Read more

Navarreaux said his desire is to study string theory. He was inspired by the July 2011 visit to Yelm and presentation at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) by Brian Greene. Greene is Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University, physicist, string theorist, and author of The Elegant Universe. As an example of his interest in science, the last report Navarreaux turned in to his teacher was on Non-Newtonian fluid.

Navarreaux is the son of Marlee and Greg Simmons. Greg is the Director of Marketing at RSE.

April 16, 2012

YELM HOTEL'S CLAPP AGREES TO A SURCHARGE

Matt Batcheldor reports in today's Olympian:

"Thurston County could see new hotel surcharge"
"Promotional aid: Visitors would pay extra $2 per room in a newly created Tourism Promotion Area"

"Hotel patrons in Thurston County could pay $2 extra per room to fund tourism promotion, under a proposal the Olympia City Council is scheduled to discuss Tuesday."

"Presenting the idea will be George Sharp, executive director of the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau. He proposes creating a countywide Tourism Promotion Area, a state-sanctioned designation that would allow the hotel surcharge to go to his agency."

"To make it happen, Sharp needs Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm and Thurston County to agree to the proposal, as well as 60 percent of the hotels in the affected area. Sharp said he needs to meet with five more hotels to reach the threshold."

"Hotels have endorsed the marketing area."

The Prairie Hotel in Yelm also agrees."

EDITOR'S NOTE:
I have often thought taxes on hotel or rental-car patrons to fund stadiums and tourist promotion was taxation without representation.

The Olympian comments as follows tend to agree:
1. "If the hotels are in such an agreement that they support the additional tax, why don't they just make a contribution to the Tourism Promotion Area for each room they rent?

Why do we need more government involvement in the affairs of private industry?"

2. "Makes sense to me, charge the Tourist more to visit....wow what a concept!"

3. "This whole idea sound more like somebody wanting to keep their gubbmint job by taking money from taxpayers without giving them a sound reason for another tax. Yes, it's a TAX, not a "surcharge".
And read this article from last December: http://www.theolympian.com/201..."

LONGTIME YELM RESIDENTS WILL REMEMBER YELM PRAIRIE HOTEL OWNER MARGARET CLAPP LED A GROUP IN 2003 TO BRING A NASCAR TRACK TO YELM, ALL WITHOUT A PUBLIC SAY, EXCEPT THE TAXPAYER WOULD FUND THE PROJECT!

YELM: UPDATE ON 'Phase 2' OF BYPASS

Due to the request for an update from a Yelm Community Blog reader, the following is the current status of the Yelm Bypass Phase 2:

"The $56,059,900 required for Phase II (the 3.4 mile section from Cullen to Wal-Mart Blvd. at SR 507), is currently unfunded.
While the City of Yelm is working with our area's legislators in Olympia to arrange funding, this will be a hard-sell, with the current difficulty in the state's budget-balancing process."


City of Yelm officials ALL knew that going into this, as reported here April 3, 2009:

WSDOT Bypass Project Manager Dennis Engel told the Yelm Community Blog last January [2009]:
"The City of Yelm is working with the legislature about the possibility of splitting the project into stage 1 and 2, and changing some of the funding to be used for construction so stage 1 could be built.
...one possible solution is to move some of the stage two PE [engineering] and Right of Way [r-o-w] money to stage one construction work."

Stage 1 - is a "Yelm High School Bypass" from Mud Run Rd. to Cullen Rd. (approx 1.1 miles)

Stage 2, the eastern, longer end of the Bypass is from Cullen Rd. to SR 507 & Wal-Mart, which now has no allocated funding until at least the 2021-2023 biennium."

EDITOR'S NOTE:

This split of the Bypass funding was requested by the City of Yelm to WSDOT.

However in doing so, the City of Yelm requested to transfer r-o-w [right-of-way] and engineering funding from Phase 2 to Phase One construction funding, so Phase One construction could begin, yet leaving Phase 2 with little to no remaining funds.

And, the city approved Wal-Mart to be built here by saying a Bypass would be built to their front door within 7 years of Wal-Mart's July, 2007 opening to mitigate their traffic and allow their construction.
So, Wal-Mart received a building permit from the city for their traffic to be mitigated by an unfunded AND unbuilt road.
Would the city allow that for you or me?
We'd be admonished to leave the Council Chambers.
Phase 2 was to mitigate the Super Wal-Mart traffic and now looks like almost 15 years before any further funding would be considered by the legislature for that section, in violation of Yelm's Transportation Plan.

Governor Gregoire said Phase II of the Yelm Bypass funding would not be on the Governor's budget until the 2021-2023 biennium.

YAWN - HO-HUM!
WHAT ELSE IS NEW IN YELM, WITH THESE KIND OF DECISIONS FROM CITY HALL!

April 15, 2012

YELM: IN THE NEWS FOR UNUSUAL PROPERTY THEFT - AGAIN!

Kate McEntee reports in The Olympian:
"A Washington State Patrol trooper found more than just a driver without a seat belt on during a traffic stop Saturday afternoon in Yelm."
Read more
Read more from KIRO TV 7 in Seattle.

YELM: STIEBRS GIVES EGGS TO AUBURN FOOD BANK

From Pacific Northwest Local News published April 8th:
"Despite signs of economic recovery, record numbers of families in Washington and across America are relying on food assistance.

In fact, one in eight Americans will receive help this year from local food banks. And among the most needed items are sources of high quality protein.

Washington's own Stiebrs Farms donated more than 8,000 eggs to the Auburn Food Bank, Hoquiam Food Bank, White Center Food Bank and UCBO Yelm Community Services this week to help families struggling with food insecurity.

Stiebrs Farms' efforts are part of a national effort, organized by the United Egg Producers. For the fifth consecutive spring, America's egg farmers are giving the Easter Bunny and families in need, a helping hand by donating nearly 10 million fresh eggs. That brings the number of eggs farmers have contributed since 2008 to 60 million — equaling nearly 5 million dozen.

'Stiebrs Farms is a third generation family farm, and we are proud to be partnering with the local Washington food banks and assistance organizations to provide much-needed protein to the most needy in our community, especially during the Easter holiday season,' said Dianna Stiebrs of Stiebrs Farms.

THURSTON EDC ACKNOWLEDGES
YELM BASED 'FAITH HARVEST HELPERS'

From the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC)
2012 Annual Meeting & Business Recognition Awards

"The Thurston EDC is proud to acknowledge the significant role that private business and non-profit organizations play in creating a healthy and diverse economy throughout our community. The EDC recognizes and encourages innovation, entrepreneurship, and commitment to community. Please join us in honoring the accomplishments of these outstanding Thurston County businesses and organizations."

Non-Profit Organization
Thurston County has one of the highest concentrations of non-profits per capita in Washington State and this category acknowledges their contribution to the overall health of the county.

Non-profit of the year: Faith Harvest Helpers -Yelm

Click here for Thurston EDC President Sandra Miller's video profile highlighting Faith Harvest Helpers - Yelm.
Produced for the Thurston EDC 2012 Business Recognition Awards.

Dale Richardson from Yelm Prairie Christian Center featured, who said,
"approximately 100-180 people a day come through that [food distribution center]," for free food.

Read more about Faith Harvest Helpers on Facebook.

April 14, 2012

YELM: MAY IS BICYCLE MONTH -
MAYOR SAYS CITY'S AIR POLLUTION A FACTOR

On Tuesday, April 10th, "Mayor Harding and Yelm City Council approve Proclamation for Bicycle Commuter Month in May 2012 and encourage all citizens to put forth their best effort to reduce single-occupant motor vehicle trips to reduce air pollution, energy consumption and improve the general health and well-being of the community," quoting the city's website.

Harding states in his Procalmation:
"...strongly encourage all citizens to put forth their best effort to reduce single-occupant motor vehicle trips to reduce air pollution, energy consumption and improve the general health and well-being of the community."


Editor's note:
Air pollution from traffic associated with Yelm being in the top 10 Washington cities for growth has been discussed here many times as a quality of life issue. Now the City of Yelm acknowledges this problem!

Don't you think July would have been a more appropriate Bike month in Yelm, since the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic comes through Yelm every July (July 14-15, 2012)?
Did Yelm REALLY have to follow the National Bike Month?
Why can't this city be an individual & honor OUR local traditions?
HMMM!

Yelm Community Blogger Klein is a long-time, avid bicyclist.
Klein was the first registered owner in the 98597 zip code of the ground-breaking 2003 Honda Civic hybrid & 2011 all-electric, non-polluting Nissan LEAF.



Proclamation

WHEREAS, transportation accounts for half of the energy use in Washington State, over half of our State’s air pollution, and 60% of our carbon dioxide emissions; and

WHEREAS, bicycling is one of the most energy-efficient forms of transportation ever invented, and is a mode of transportation well suited to community environments where trips are short in length and overly congested roads are difficult and costly to expand; and

WHEREAS, bicycle commuting reduces energy consumption, pollution, and congestion; and

WHEREAS, bicycle commuting makes people healthier and more productive through exercise; and

WHEREAS, the national non-profit bicycling safety and education association, the League of American Bicyclists, has declared the month of May to be National Bike Month for each of the last fifty-five (55) years, and has done so again in 2012, and

WHEREAS, The City of Yelm has completed commercial collector roadway projects that include bike lanes, including bike lanes that connect to Yelm Middle School; and

WHEREAS, The City of Yelm encourages and supports both pedestrian and bike traffic through our development standards; and

WHEREAS, Intercity Transit, with co-sponsors the Capital Bicycling Club and many area businesses is hosting the 25th Annual Bicycle Commuter Contest during the month of May 2012.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron Harding, Mayor of the City of Yelm, on behalf of the Yelm City Council, proclaim May 2012, as Bicycle Commuter Month in the City of Yelm, and strongly encourage all citizens to put forth their best effort to reduce single-occupant motor vehicle trips to reduce air pollution, energy consumption and improve the general health and well-being of the community.

Read more about May is National Bike Month from the League of American Bicyclists.

April 13, 2012

THURSTON DEMOCRATS: Presidential Precinct Caucuses Sunday

Presidential Precinct Caucuses will be held on Sunday, April 15th, 2012 at 1pm. Your caucus location will be determined by the precinct in which you live.
Read more

Note: Yelm's Middle School will be the site of area precincts' caucuses.

"The Era of Big Box Retail Dominance Is Coming to an End"

Bloomberg reports:
"The new mantra is small box. While Best Buy, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Target Corp. (TGT) are still opening large stores, all are putting increasing emphasis on smaller ones. Best Buy plans to double the number of its smaller Best Buy Mobile stores by 2016. Wal-Mart is building as many as 100 small-format stores this year, while Target is opening five CityTarget locations.

After 50 years of putting mom and pops out of business, big-box retail is having a mid-life crisis. A slow economy has hurt same-store sales, narrowing margins at big stores. Meanwhile, consumers, armed with price-comparison technology, are visiting more stores seeking deals or exclusive merchandise rather than making one-stop, fill-the-cart excursions."


"Since the recession, big-box retailers have struggled. Until its third fiscal quarter last year, Wal-Mart had posted eight consecutive quarters of declining sales at stores open more than 12 months."


"Other forces are conspiring against the big-box model. Baby Boomers no longer have kids at home and don’t need to stock up on food and packaged goods."


"'The biggest challenge for big boxes is increasing consumer confidence in making online purchases,' said Matt Arnold, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in Des Peres, Missouri, who rates Best Buy and Wal-Mart as buys."


"'While big-box retailers are struggling, they aren’t going away,' Arnold said in a telephone interview. 'They are shifting to smaller formats and investing in online retailing.'"
Read more


Editor's Note:
One can't help but wonder if Yelm's 9.5% retail sales decline in the 2nd half of 2011 was led by a sales decline at the local Wal-Mart.

Remember these things about the Yelm Wal-Mart:
1. TRAFFIC
The Yelm City Council approved the Yelm Wal-Mart to be built here in violation their own requirements to mitigate the store's traffic with the Bypass, which stated the Bypass would be operational within 7 years to handle Wal-Mart's traffic.
EVERYONE knew that was not going to happen, since the City of Yelm requested the Wal-Mart end of the Bypass funding be transferred to the High School end of the Bypass, so that section could be completed first. The mayor & city council were tripping all over themselves to get this store approved, no matter what, for the promised sales-tax revenue.

2. EFFECTS ON LOCAL BUSINESSES
The July 18, 2007 opening of Yelm's Wal-Mart was a contributing factor to QFC closing their grocery store here and other long-time Yelm businesses closing. Indeed, driving through town now and you'll see over 1/3 of Nisqually Plaza vacant and many other vacant store fronts from The Wal-Mart Effect - locally-owned businesses closing after a Wal-Mart arrival.
A very astute Jim Zukowski wrote this guest blog entry on June 22, 2007, about the effects of a Yelm Wal-Mart opening,

3. "WAL-MART THE LOW PRICE LEADER? THINK AGAIN."
From September, 2007:
Read more

4. MAJOR NATIONAL CHAINS THROW IN THE TOWEL ON YELM
From January, 2008:
"Applebees & Walgreens scrap plans to build in Yelm. The Wal-Mart Effect is alive and well in Yelm, as predicted.

5. YELM'S 'MORATORIUM ON MORATORIUMS' GARNERS NATIONAL MEDIA ATTENTION
The Yelm Commerce Group was formed in 2005 to stop Yelm's Wal-Mart.
From the Seattle Times:
"...the city passed a moratorium on moratoriums. Meeting minutes say Council Member Bob Isom moved that 'no moratoriums be imposed and that the issue not be brought before the council again.'"

The Associated Press ran this story June 23, 2005:
Wal-Mart is a dirty word in Yelm
&
ACLU criticizes town council's ban on 'Wal-Mart' comments

6. YELM'S COUNCIL GETS BLACK-EYE FROM 2006 JEFFERSON MUZZLE AWARD
And the dubious distinction of the Jefferson Muzzle Award went to Yelm in 2006:
"A number of people requested that City Council place a “moratorium” on so-called big box stores while the city’s staff reviewed Yelm’s decades-old zoning laws. Apparently, so many people made this request that City Council tired of hearing about the issue and, in April 2005, voted to prohibit future discussion of the topic—a moratorium on moratoriums. This did not, however, prohibit citizens from continuing to voice their opposition to Wal-Mart so, in June 2005, City Council expressly prohibited citizens from using the terms “Wal-Mart” or “big box stores” when addressing the Council."

THE WAL-MART EFFECT IS ALIVE & WELL IN YELM.

April 12, 2012

"SUSTAINABLE THURSTON" YELM WORKSHOP -
WEDNESDAY, APR. 18

From Chelsea Kritzer's report in The Olympian:
"After receiving a $1.5 million federal Sustainable Communities Planning Grant a year ago, members of Sustainable Thurston County have spoken with local experts, covering topics including water, transportation and housing.

Experts determined the county’s population would grow from 252,000 to about 420,000 by 2040, adding 80,000 housing units and 84,000 jobs.

To make sure the county can handle those needs, Senior Planner Kathy McCormick said it is seeking the public’s help."
Read more

The Sustainable Thurston County community workshops are held 6-8 p.m:

April 12: Tenino High School commons, off Second Avenue.

April 18: Yelm Public Safety Building, 206 McKenzie Ave. S.E.


What is "Sustainable Thurston"?
"Simply put, Sustainable Thurston is a community-wide conversation - with a goal to develop a vision for a vibrant, healthy and resilient future for the Thurston region, as well as the actions and responsibilities necessary to achieve it."
Read more from www.SustainableThurston.org.

"Mixed economic news dampens optimism"

The Pierce County Business Examiner reports:
"Rising gasoline prices have added to concerns about the strength of the recovery – with high gas prices negatively impacting consumer's ability to purchase other goods and services. As of April 2, average U.S. gas prices were just a fraction of a cent below $4 per gallon.

As has been noted in the national economy, recent employment growth in Washington appears to be weakening. February's job growth was the slowest in the last five months. Housing activity is holding up a bit better than expected. Regional inflation increased late last year due to energy costs but has since come down. Core inflation remains moderate.

The biggest threat to the U.S. and Washington economies, the council says, is high energy costs. However, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe remains a significant risk as well.

Washington is suffering from fiscal drag from state and local government budget cuts. Also, the construction sector, which is extremely important for state revenue, has stopped declining but is not yet adding to growth."


NOTE:
All four indices of the Thurston EDC's Vitality Index were up in the first quarter of 2012 for the first time in a year and a half.
Read more from the Thurston EDC Special report.

April 11, 2012

CAPITOL VOLKSSPORT CLUB'S YELM WALK - THURSDAY

Join the Volkssport Club on a Yelm Walk tomorrow at 9:15 a.m.
Meet at the Martin Way Park & Ride, Martin Way East, Lacey.
The Walk is free.

What is CVC?
"The Capitol Volkssport Club [CVC] of Olympia, Washington, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting public health, fun, recreation and fellowship through non-competitive walking and biking events. Membership is open to all."

What is an event?
A volkssport event is usually a 6.2 mile (10km) walk. It is often through a scenic or historical area designed to appeal to all ages. It is not a contest for speed or endurance. The walks are rated 1 (easy) thru 5 (very difficult).
Read more

PHOENIX RISING SCHOOL & OLYMPIA FILM SOCIETY PRESENT THIS FRIDAY - "SAVING PEILCAN #895" VIDEO WITH Q & A

Rainier's Phoenix Rising School (PRS) & the Olympia Film Society

Present

SAVING PELICAN #895
Capitol Theater, Olympia, Washington
Friday, April 13th 6:00 p.m.

More than 7,000 birds were killed as a result of the April 2010 BP oil spill that spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico. HBO Documentary Films presents the story of the effort to save the 895th surviving oiled pelican in Louisiana, showing how conservationists, government agencies and wildlife activists joined forces to preserve this one life. An inspiring bird's-eye view of the rigorous process of rescuing thousands of oiled birds.

Directed by Oscar® nominee Irene Taylor Brodsky, SAVING PELICAN 895 tells the gripping story of "LA 895" following LA 895 from his rescue and recovery as an incapacitated juvenile bird with oil-slicked feathers through his ultimate maturation and release back into the wild.

International Bird Rescue Research Center Director Emeritus Jay Holcomb, who is featured in the film, will be on hand afterward for a q & a session.

Tickets will be available online through the Phoenix Rising School website at www.thephoenixrisingschool.com.

or
online through Brown Paper tickets.

April 10, 2012

'ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE' CLASSES BEGIN IN YELM -
April 11 - June 14

CIELO Project {Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia] announces

English as a Second Language

in Yelm

Wednesday & Thursday

April 11 - June 14

10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Read more

Click here for more information.

YELM CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE FOR 3RD YEAR OF SUMMER WATER RESTRICTIONS

The Yelm City Council will approve tonight to:

"Adopt Resolution Number 531 restricting the use of water for irrigation pursuant to Section 13.04.97 Yelm Municipal Code and establishing policies and procedures for the implementation of water conservation measures in 2012."

Editor's Note:
This is such a joke when Megan Hansen reported in the March 16th edition of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) that if Yelm's Class A reclaimed water issue does not get fixed, there may be no water for summer irrigation, so a June 30 deadline has been set for repair.

When is the city council going to be up-front & on-the-record with their constituents, instead of via the newspaper?

UPDATE: YELM RAINIER FREE CLINIC STATUS


From Dr. Bill Elledge posted on Facebook April 9th:


"Hi everyone: I hope all of you had a good Easter holiday, and that all is well with each of you. I just want to briefly give you an update and let you know that the committees are hard at work setting the stage for opening our free clinic for our area. The Environmental Scan committee has made amazing progress toward a document that will outline the current health status of the area, and document the medical needs of the community.The Legal Committee has likewise been hard at work with determining the local, state and Federal requirements for opening our facility, and the Operations Committee has a meeting scheduled for tonight to continue their progress toward getting ready to actually start seeing patients. My sincere thanks to all of you who are involved.

There is much work still to be done, and we need the help of everyone who is interested and has time and energy to contribute. Please let me know if you have questions or want to know more about how you can help. The willingness to contribute to this project by members ofur (sic) community has been so energizing to those of us who concieved (sic) of a free clinic in our area, and I have never doubted that before too long we will have a source of medical care for those who haven't had access for whatever reason. Our goal remains the same: to open a free clinic for residents of the Yelm, Rainier, Yenino (sic), Roy, McKenna and surrounding areas for the under- and uninsured. With your help, that goal seems much closer to a reality now than ever.

You can keep an eye on our progress on our Facebook page, Yelm Rainier Free Clinic. Or call or e-mail me for questions or if you have suggestions."

Dr. Bill Elledge

April 9, 2012

RAINIER HIGH STUDENTS HONORED ON ABC-TV

From Rainier HIgh School's website:
"Watch Rainier High School student, Chelsea McComb, on ABCs "Good Morning America" as she helps honor Marcus Crone as a Disney Memory Maker for his act of kindness. Marcus invited Chelsea to prom and made a memory that would last a lifetime.
Click Here to watch the full clip."


Yelm High School reports:
Alumni Marcus Crohn Honored by GMA
"Congratulations to Marcus for being selected by Good Morning America as a "Disney Memory Maker." Click on the headline to watch more about his caring act towards a Rainier student."

Yelm: the welcome mat is out with the new Yelm.com

From the Press Release issued April 9, 2012:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

YELM, Wash., April 9, 2012 -- On Friday, April 6, 2012, a new welcome mat to the Yelm community was rolled out in the redesigned website www.yelm.com.

The domain is owned, developed, and maintained by Steve Klein. Klein said, "The public interest in this town from being in the top 10 of Washington cities for growth necessitated a single information point. Yelm.com is the logical website to provide a professional platform where every resident can feel proud in how our area's assets are presented."

Klein purchased Yelm.com in 2005, along with www.cityofyelm.com and Yelm Community.org (www.yelmcommunity.org), which has been the home of his local news and commentary blog. The Yelm Community Blog has been an additional area resource for over six years providing an in-depth analysis of local issues yet frequently critical of the city and mayor for their lack of public involvement and disclosure. Having been recognized as far away as Seattle for local insights, Yelm Community Blog stories are occasionally posted on the KOMO-TV 4 News (ABC) Communities website. With meticulous research, Klein was first to break the story of the 5,000-home Thurston Highlands development default on May 7, 2009, from which the City of Yelm was owed over a hundred thousand dollars in unpaid taxes/fees, a story subsequently carried by other media, including The Olympian.

Klein has resided for 24 years in the Yelm area, serving on the mayor-appointed Yelm Library Board from 2004-2008 and subsequently becoming the appointed chair in 2007. He is a former 2005 mayoral candidate and founding member of the Yelm Food Co-op. Klein currently is the Event Services Manager for JZ Knight at the Yelm-based Ramtha School of Enlightenment.

Klein and his wife Yael have been major supporters of area children and young adults through their annual scholarships for several years to Yelm High School seniors and the Children's School of Excellence. In recent years, their scholarships at Rainier High and Rainier's Phoenix Rising School have made a local impact. They have also contributed to the Drew Harvey Theater, SE Thurston Fire Authority, Bald Hills Fire Dept., Yelm Community Services, Yelm Food Co-op's holiday food drive, Standing Room Only theater company, and Yelm Community Schools. Klein and his wife endowed the Yelm Timberland Library with a large book collection when the new facility opened in 2002. They have annually contributed hundreds of turkeys to ensure every family had one on their table that submitted a request to the Yelm Community Services at Thanksgiving.

In the spirit of the "Pride of the Prairie" and supporting this community, the new yelm.com is born.

Contact:

Stephen R. Klein
P. O. Box 1971
Yelm, WA. 98597
steve@kleinerskorner.com

YELM: NEWS TIDBITS FROM AROUND THE AREA

1. The Washington Forest Protection Association issued a Press Release lauding Rep. JT Wilcox (R-Yelm):
"Foresters, Tree Farmers, and Conservationists Applaud Rep. Wilcox for Protecting Rural Jobs & Renewable Energy"
OLYMPIA, Wash., March 23, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Today Gov. Gregoire signed legislation, HB 2238, to help do a better job of spending money on environmental mitigation. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. JT Wilcox-R, Yelm, expands options for environmental mitigation to include investments in forestry programs, thereby increasing forestry conservation and rural resource jobs
Read more

2. Thurston County Commissioner Romero's County Newsletter for April, 2012 is now out titled:
"2012: Working Toward a Better Future"
Read more

3. KING-5 TV News in Seattle reported yesterday:
"Thurston Co. horse rescue in desperate need of funds"
"Thurston County's largest horse-rescue operation is in desperate need of donations.

Hooved Animal Rescue says it can't help any more animals until it gets more money."
Read more

4. Last Thursday, the Yelm-based Ramtha School of Enlightenment issued a national Press Release through the school's public relations firm Wynne Communications titled:
"Three Students report nontraditional recoveries from serious conditions thanks to RSE"

YELM, Wash., April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Three long-term students of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE), an academy of the mind based in Yelm, Washington, have experienced remarkable recoveries from life-threatening illnesses thanks to knowledge received and practices learned through workshops, retreats, and home study courses. The students are from diverse backgrounds and different locations, and their stories were confirmed independently and results verified by medical professionals.
Read more

Yelm Community Blogger Klein is employed as the Event Services Manager at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment.

April 8, 2012

HAPPY EASTER FROM THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!


Mr. or Mrs. Easter Bunny Fairy by Mark Roberts
Available in Yelm at JZ-Rose

Happy Easter from your Yelm Community Blog


Easter Egg hunt
Sunday, April 8, after 10:30 mass

St. Columban
506 1st St S
Yelm
Map

April 7, 2012

"What triggered an increase in concealed pistol licenses?"

1. Natasha Ryan reports for KING 5 News in Seattle:
"What triggered an increase in concealed pistol licenses?
"On average, Washington's Department of Licensing sees anywhere from five to eight thousand concealed pistol licenses replaced, renewed, or requested for the first time. In March, it saw 12,000 licenses -- a number they haven't seen in years."
Read more

2. Chelsea Krotzer reported in the Tacoma News Tribune:
"Thurston shooting-zone briefing draws large, passionate crowd"
"Thurston County commissioners tabled any decisions about a controversial proposed controlled-shooting zone ordinance for two weeks during a Thursday briefing attended by more than 100 people.
Read more
Click here for an informative YouTube video.

3. Chris Sullivan reports for KIRO 97.3 FM radio in Seattle:
"More homeowners confronting burglars with guns"
Read more

4. Megan Hansen reports on the front page of the April 6th NVN:
"Property crimes 'through the roof'
"Property crimes have gone through the roof," said Thurston County Sheriff spokesman Ray Brady, referring to crimes county-wide."
Brady said all of the property crimes are a sign of the times."

April 6, 2012

Response to NVN's Graves' Op-Ed on TRL Yelm Library'

Nisqually Valley News Keven Graves in his Publisher's Column today misses the mark:
"[TRL's] Executive director's firing is not unwelcome"

Whatever issues Graves had with former TRL Director Crose, nor the reasons for Crose's firing, had any bearing on the poor handling and lack of public disclosure which Yelm and Mayor Harding handled their contractual responsibilities for providing a library building in their city.

- I can tell you this from experience going back 7 years on this issue when I was then on the Yelm Library Board Citizen's Committee and subsequently their Chair. I invited then-TRL Manager of Administrative Services Crose here in Fall, 2007 to discuss with the Board the library's future. The Yelm Library Board filed an official report to the Yelm City Council on March 25, 2008. Mayor Harding dragged his feet and kept expecting TRL to contribute to a Yelm library purchase, which TRL always declined citing Yelm's contractual responsibility to do so. Harding even asked Thurston County to join in paying for a Yelm Library, who also referred him to the city's contractual agreement to provide one. Harding then threw a "Hail Mary pass" with the $1 million library condo purchase presented to the TRL Board in Spring, 2011, without prior consultation with the Yelm City Council.

- Graves himself said in his April 4, 2008 NVN op-ed titled "It's not too early to plan for Yelm library's future",
and that, "It may be a wee bit early to sound the alarms, but it is a good idea for the city of Yelm to start thinking about the future of the Yelm Timberland Library."

- Mayor Harding always said the city could afford to spend up to only $600,000 on a library facility purchase.
That was also discussed on TRL Board member Emmett O'Connell's blog April 21, 2011, with Harding wanting TRL to split the $600,000 cost.
Subsequently, Harding agreed to Yelm alone purchasing the $1 million library, and finally to a $2.275 million library bond that includes a $1 million community center and capital improvements.
How is that? HMMM!
Where was the city's honesty with the public on this?

- Graves Asst. Editor Megan Hansen reported last week on the council's library purchase agreement postponement:
'"Wording in the contract wasn’t quite right,' Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said. 'Two weeks won’t hurt us.'"

The Library contract for city council approval is NOT on the agenda for the next meeting April 10, 2012, as well, so we will pass the mayor's two-week acceptable delay for a library bond to be presented for council approval.

Bottom Line:
- This city has a history of not being trusted about the library purchase.


Yelm Community Blogger Klein was a 2004 mayor appointee to the Yelm Library Citizens Advisory Board and selected that Board's Chair in 2007.

YELM AREA AUTHOR HOLDS MEMOIR BOOK-SIGNING SATURDAY

An Invitation For A Book Signing in Yelm this Saturday from 1 - 3 pm at Lemuria

Bettye Johnson’s new book has just been released: An Uncommon Education, A Memoir

The author shared her insight from writing this book:
“This memoir was a life-changing event for me. As a child I wanted to travel the world and would pore over travel brochures that I sent for from magazines. By the time I was in high school, I had placed the dream in the subconscious mind. When I read a Houston newspaper blurb that the State Department was taking applications regarding clerical positions for overseas positions, the dream came forth and I applied for it on my lunch hour. This was in April 1952. In July I received a telegram offering me a position as a code clerk. I had no idea what that entailed, but I took the job and went to Washington, D.C., for three months’ training as a code clerk that encoded and decoded secret messages. I had a top-secret clearance.

The rest is in the book.

The lesson is to never give up on dreams.
Allow them to be placed on the ‘back burner’ and know that it will come to pass. Never say ‘It didn’t happen.’ It is only simmering until the right time arrives for manifestation.”

Click here to read more and to purchase your copy.

Also available for purchase in Yelm at Lemuria," quoting the author.

Open to the Public:
Ms. Johnson invites you to a book signing at Lemuria in Yelm on Saturday, April 7 from 1 – 3 p.m.

"Ramtha School of Enlightenment Promotes Natural Healing"

"Three Students report nontraditional recoveries from serious conditions thanks to RSE"

From the Press Release:
YELM, Wash., April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Three long-term students of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE), an academy of the mind based in Yelm, Washington, have experienced remarkable recoveries from life-threatening illnesses thanks to knowledge received and practices learned through workshops, retreats, and home study courses. The students are from diverse backgrounds and different locations, and their stories were confirmed independently and results verified by medical professionals.
Read more


Yelm Community Blogger Klein is employed as the Event Services Manager at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment.

April 5, 2012

"Funnel cloud spotted over Yelm"

"Ed Tincknell had his camera handy when a funnel cloud dropped out of the skies near Yelm Thursday afternoon as a heavy cell rolled through the region. He said it was the hail outside that got his attention, and then sure enough, he spotted the funnel.

He said it didn't touch the ground and radar showed the cell fizzled just as quickly as it formed, but it was just long enough to snap a few photos," quoting KOMO-TV 4 News.
Read more

YELM RETAIL SALES UNDER-PERFORM -
DROP A DISMAL 10%, THE MOST IN COUNTY

Rolf Boone reported yesterday in The Olympian's Business Blog:
"The City of Tumwater once again bucked a quarterly trend as its taxable retail sales rose in the fourth quarter of 2011, while retail sales fell or were flat in Thurston County, Olympia, Lacey and Yelm, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Revenue.

The county data also suggests that the holiday sales boost most retailers rely on to carry them into the new year didn’t materialize as expected.

The year-over-year fourth-quarter data show:

-Thurston County: Fell 2.48 percent to $995.3 million from $1.02 billion.

-Olympia: Fell 3.13 percent $453.7 million from $468.4 million.

-Lacey: Fell 3.65 percent to $245.6 million from $254.9 million.

-Tumwater: Rose 6.19 percent to $112.4 million from $105.9 million.

-Yelm: Fell 10.10 percent to $38.8 million from $43.2 million.


The state also releases a separate category of retail sales called “retail trade,” considered a better reflection of consumer purchases.

The year-over-year fourth-quarter data show:

-Thurston County: Fell 0.22 percent to $525.8 million from $526.9 million.

-Yelm: Rose 0.39 percent to $25.2 million from $25.1 million"

Editor's Note:
This can not be good news to city officials who depend on sales tax revenue to assist their budget as property tax receipts from dropping assessments continue their decline.

Even Yelm's year-over-year retail trade numbers were flat, meaning there was no sales growth here during the holidays.

While this will get no mention at Tuesday's Forum, Yelm's Chamber of Commerce members led by Chamber President & Yelm Mayor Ron Harding should be discussing this issue with the public, as Yelm's third quarter, 2011 retail sales numbers were down an equally surprising 9%.

On January 9, 2012, I asked on this blog,
IS A 'PERFECT STORM' APPROACHING YELM?

due to three factors:
1. Continuing drop in median home prices (and home sales tax revenue drop)
2. Significant drop in retail sales (over 9.5% for the 2nd half of 2011)
3. Yelm property owners get hit with a double whammy - another water rate increase AND a sewer hike
4. Continued strategic defaults & foreclosures

Read more from the April 4th Washington State Department of Revenue report:
Taxable Retail Sales Increase 4.2% in Fourth Quarter 2011

April 4, 2012

NVN outbid by The Olympian for Thurston Public Notices

Rolf Boone reports in The Olympian:
"Thurston County public notices will be published in The Olympian, beginning July 1, after the Thurston County Board of Commissioners approved the newspaper's bid at a public hearing Tuesday.

The Nisqually Valley News, a weekly newspaper based in Yelm, previously had published the public notices four out of the past five years, said Olympian Publisher George Le Masurier, who attended Tuesday's commission meeting. The Olympian's bid was approved because of its wider circulation, he said."
Read more

NISQUALLY LAND TRUST SEEKS DEV. DIRECTOR

From the Nisqually Land Trust:
"We've created a new staff position here at the Land Trust and we're trying to fill it.
Would you be able to help us by passing the word along?

The position is Development Director.
It's a full-time position with benefits, and it will be based at our office at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

A complete job description and information on how to apply are available on our website, www.nisquallylandtrust.org.
[Partial list of responsibilities include managing "our program of philanthropic support, including fundraising, marketing, and outreach activities.]
Read more

TELL THE NISQUALLY LAND TRUST YOU READ ABOUT THEM ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!

April 3, 2012

YELM'S RECLAIMED WATER SYSTEM UNDER MICROSCOPE


Yelm's Cochrane Park, outflow of the reclaimed water system

Megan Hansen reported in the March 16th edition of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN):
City aims to reclaim Class A water production,
raising several questions.

Hansen reports,
"City of Yelm is hiring a consultant to help provide an hands-on approach to solving the city's reclaimed water issues."

Hansen went on to say the city has had "issues balancing its reclaimed water" for e few years, resulting in Yelm closing their free RV dump site, thinking that may be a contributing factor. The situation did not get resolved and Yelm is still not providing Class A reclaimed water.

Hansen reports if Yelm does not get this fixed, there may be no water for summer irrigation, so a June 30 deadline has been set for repair.

Editor's Note
- The Yelm reclamation facility was heralded then for the 1994 state-of-the-art treatment plant, which now has a "black-eye".
1. Yelm has applied to Ecology to double their water rights, which is currently on appeal by the public.
If Yelm can't fix this reclaimed water issue, what makes anyone think they can handle the increased growth-caused water demands on their entire water system?

2. Yelm recently lost a Supreme Court case brought by JZ Knight about the city's interpretation of when water availability must be proved in plat development. The city spent over $300,000 in staff time and legal fees to defend city officials' stance and allow continued development, whose impact challenges natural resources, the aquifer and this town's ability to cope with such fast growth.
How much money will this city continue to spend on water issues, including a fix on reclaimed water - at the expense of their own constituents?

3. The City of Yelm imposed on their residents 8+% annual water rate increases over a 6 year period PLUS a sewer rate increase. They imposed mandatory 50% water irrigation cutbacks on businesses in the summers of 2010 & 2010 and now may not allow any irrigation this summer.
How much more expense from the city's growth goals will Yelm citizens carry on their backs before we have an Occupy Yelm movement here?
When will citizens speak up?


Conclusion:
- Does the City of Yelm have the ability to serve all of the demand on their water system, with more growth coming as they continue to approve more building permits and hook-ups to the city's water system?



Yelm Community Blogger Klein is employed as the Event Services Manager for JZ Knight at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment.

CENTRALIA'S YELM HYDROELECTRIC PLANT "INSPECTION UNCOVERS SIGNIFICANT ISSUE"

Repairing Two Units at the Yelm Hydroelectric Plant

"What began as a unit inspection at a vintage hydroelectric project turned into a complete mechanical rebuild, with several challenges and change orders amounting to $1.2 million."

"The city of Centralia, Wash., sought a 15- to 20-year maintenance solution in early 2010 for its 12-MW Yelm Hydroelectric Project, a run-of-river facility on the Nisqually River about 20 miles east of Olympia, Wash. The city has routinely maintained this 1930s facility, which supplies nearly a third of the city's electrical needs.

Inspection uncovers significant issue

Successful completion

"What began as a simple unit inspection turned into a complete mechanical rebuild with significant challenges. Throughout the project, NAES coordinated with several vendors and suppliers to find solutions to every challenge that arose. In addition, the project team often had to make decisions with unclear or insufficient data, requiring expertise from all parties involved. A simple and routine inspection had instead delivered unexpected additional work, outage delays and project costs.

Early in the project, the team implemented a task/work order process to expedite the work and as part of a financial strategy to garner support from the city. City Council involvement was crucial for approving project expenditures all along the way. By the end of the project, six change orders had been written totaling $1.2 million, all approved by the council to ensure the facility would achieve the maximum benefit from dollars spent.

Unit 3 returned to commercial operation on January 17, 2011, and Unit 1 returned to commercial operation on June 16, 2011. Both units are running well today. The collaboration of all parties involved - the owner, contractor, various vendors and suppliers, and City Council - ensured a smooth and successful outcome to what turned out to be a challenging project," quoting Jay Pickett, John Stender and Linda Fulsaas in Renewable Energy World.

April 2, 2012

YELM: COUNCIL OMITS LIBRARY PURCHASE DISCLOSURE


Yelm Public Safety Building & City Council Chambers

Megan Hansen's report in the current Nisqually Valley News (NVN) titled Library purchase postponed to fix contract wording left two questionable issues unaddressed.

1. "City of Yelm postponed finalizing the sale agreement of the Yelm library.
The agreement was listed as an agenda item for Yelm City Council this week, but was pulled prior to the meeting.

'Wording in the contract wasn’t quite right,' Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said. 'Two weeks won’t hurt us.'"

Editor's Note:
- There was no mention by Mayor Harding during last Tuesday's council's session about the last-minute postponement of agenda item 8. b. (library purchase agreement).
- Why was this information omitted from the official record?
- The mayor & city council have a fiduciary responsibility in communicating agenda changes, even those just prior to a meeting.
- The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 35A.12.110 says "A journal of all proceedings shall be kept, which shall be a public record."
- Why did the public learn of this omission via the newspaper instead of the city council meeting?
- The local newspaper is not the journal of council proceedings nor the public record of the council's agenda, according to state law.


2. Hansen continued:
"Yelm is purchasing the Yelm library space for $1 million through a condo agreement with Prairie Park.

Last month, Yelm approved a bond for $2.275 million.

An additional $1 million was tacked on for other capital improvements including a community center."

Editor's Note:
The original library condo agreement was for a bond to be issued for the $1 million purchase price plus interest. When the bond was presented to the City Council for approval, the amount was $2.275 million. Now we learn that ONE MILLION DOLLARS was added to the Yelm taxpayer's bond for a community center.
In doubling the cost of the bond for a library condo plus the purchase of the Yelm Telephone building for a community center, for example, there was:
- NO public presentation
- NO public discourse or input sought
- NO public town hall meeting.

Don't you find this all so curious?
- Mayor Harding said at his State of the City address the city could not afford to staff a community center.
- The Lions Club, where Mr. Harding is a member, has proposed for a $10 million community center.
- Yelm already has a wonderfully viable community center at Yelm Community Services.
- Mayor Harding solicited library building donations from the pubic into a city fund to help defray the cost, where $30,000 was raised.
- If you donated to the library condo fund, what would you now think when your contribution will not go exclusively towards just the library as advertised, rather also the purchase of a community center and other capital improvements (not specified)?
- My wife & I declined the mayor's donation request to us for the library building fund until the final bond was issued. We told then-TRL Director Michael Crose and Yelm Library fundraiser Glen Nutter we did not trust the city until we saw the final agreement. Only then would we consider a contribution. The wording in the "final agreement" is still being revised.


And you wonder why this city received the Jefferson Muzzle Award in 2006 for stifling public discourse.
Several members of Yelm's City Council were members of that Council, including Mayor Harding and Mayor Pro-tem Bob Isom.
Read more of Yelm's Jefferson Muzzle Award.

UPDATE: APRIL 5, 2012
As reported by Hansen above,
"Wording in the contract wasn’t quite right,' Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said. 'Two weeks won’t hurt us.'"

Editor's Note: The Library contract for city council approval is NOT on the agenda for the next meeting April 10, 2012, as well.


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

April 1, 2012

YELM: "Scouts, trooper leaders rescued from Nisqually River"

Amy Moreno reports for Seattle's KING-5 TV News, on location in Yelm:

"Two young scouts and two troop leaders had to be rescued from the Nisqually River on Saturday evening after one of the canoes they were traveling in got sucked under water."
Read more & see the video.

WOLF HAVEN INTERNATIONAL REOPENS


From Wolf Haven's website:

After suffering severe storm damage due to a winter storm, Wolf Haven International abruptly (but temporarily) closed its doors. BUT WE'RE BACK! We are happy to announce that guided tours of our wolf sanctuary began again Saturday, March 17.

Downed tree branches and fencing
We want to thank ALL OF YOU who helped us recover from the winter storm damage suffered throughout our property. Out of 27 wolf enclosures, 24 of them were damaged. Many of you volunteered your time and effort, gave donations, increased your adoptions and memberships, and offered service. Special thanks to Moore Trees & Co. for dedicating one day each week out of their busy post-storm schedule to work at Wolf Haven, Southgate Fences Inc. for rebuilding and installing enclosure fences, The Home Depot for their generous grant and team of volunteer workers. We also thank Northwest Travel Magazine for donating space in their magazine and website. We're not quite there yet, but now can see the finish line. If you would like to make a donation to help defray tree removal and fence rebuilding costs, visit our donation page or call 360.264.HOWL [4695] x227.

April 1 - September 30
Open for tours SIX days a week (closed on Tuesday).

Tours start every hour on the hour. No reservations necessary (except for group tours)
Monday, Wednesday-Saturday: 10am - 4pm (last tour departs at 3)
Sunday: 12pm - 4pm (last tour departs at 3)

Time-out Tuesdays! Wolf Haven is CLOSED EVERY TUESDAY to give the wolves a day of rest and relaxation.
Read more

Wolf Haven International
3111 Offut Lake Rd. SE
Tenino, Washington 98589
Phone: (800) 448-9653

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