December 31, 2012

Bill’s Towing Free “Tipsy-Tow” tonight


Bill’s Towing & Recovery is again offering a “Tipsy Tow” service that includes free tows and free rides home to those who find themselves incapable of driving after celebrating the new year.

“The service will be available in the greater Yelm, Rainier, and McKenna area from 9:00 p.m. on New Years Eve, December 31st to 3:00 a.m. New Years Day, January 1st.

Motorists, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver can call 360-458-5963 between the hours above and request a free tow home of up to ten miles. Callers simply tell the dispatcher, ‘I need a tipsy tow,’ to receive the free tow and ride home,” quoting Bill’s Towing & Recovery.
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December 31, 2012

Stage 1 Burn Ban now in effect

Stage 1

“When a Stage 1 Burn Ban is declared, no burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves. Additionally, all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. No visible smoke is allowed from any wood stove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period.

Read the ORCAA press release for Thurston County burn ban, starting December 31, 2012 at 9 a.m,” quoting ORCAA.
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December 31, 2012

Tacoma Power history in 1929 a good lesson for the future


News stories about the electricity crisis were a daily fixture on the front page of The News Tribune in the final weeks of 1929.
Photo courtesy:Tacoma News Tribune

“In December of 1929, the water levels behind Tacomas dams were at frightening lows and falling due to lack of rain, rivers and creeks feeding the reservoirs were freezing up, and there was a very real danger of ice being sucked into the dams’ turbines. The citys electricity was slashed immediately.”

“Something was wrong with October.

In 1929 Tacoma, the rain was missing, and the weather that did arrive out of the north and west was clear and icy cold.

The leaves on the deciduous trees were falling off green with frost, and the juncos and winter wrens were already searching the branches of the conifers.

Ordinarily, the city might consider the dry autumn a blessing, but instead it brought a disturbing reality to what was otherwise a source of immense civic pride.

Now, with winter coming on, the puzzling weather was starting to rattle the confidence of a city that had given itself over to the ultra modern miracle of unlimited electricity.

Tacoma was one of the first cities in America to build its own hydroelectric generation system by constructing the ambitious LaGrande Dam on the Nisqually River in 1912, ” quoting Michael Sean Sullivan; Contributing writer.
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December 30, 2012

Recycle your styrofoam packaging

– “How to recycle your Styrofoam for free”
By Teresa Yuan and Travis Pittman / KING 5 News
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– In Thurston County,
“Where can I take styrofoam to be recycled?”

“Take molded foam blocks and food containers to the Waste and Recovery Center at Hawks Prairie, or to DART Container Corp. at 600 Israel Road SE. Before dropping off your foam:

Rinse or wipe food containers clean.
Make sure foam has the #6 recycle symbol.
Put foam in a clear or translucent bag.
Put shape/molded foam and food containers in separate bags.

Call 352-7045 to schedule large deliveries to DART.

These sites do not accept packaging peanuts. Many local shipping stores collect them,” quoting Thurston County Solid Waste.
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December 29, 2012

“Opinion: Barack Obama needs to explain drone strikes”


Photo credit: AP
An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night (Jan. 31, 2010)

“But the U.S. Constitution requires due process when life is at stake.”

“The Obama administration, having killed a 16-year-old American boy, refuses to explain why in court.

The boy, Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, was born in Denver and lived there until he was 7, when his family moved to Yemen. Like many American kids, he had a Facebook page and a love of the “Simpsons.” No one ever accused him of any wrongdoing. Yet on Oct. 14, 2011, a U.S. drone missile killed him and his teenage cousin while they were eating dinner at an open-air restaurant.

On Dec. 14, 2012, the Justice Department asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit in which Abdulrahman’s grandfather, Nasser Al-Aulaqi, is asking for an official explanation about why the boy died.

Until now, only unofficial explanations have been offered.

One anonymous government official told the media Abdulrahman’s death was a mistake.”

“And if the government made a mistake, it should explain why.”

“In court, government officials provided no explanation at all. Their response boiled down to an assertion that the government has the authority to kill Americans without having to account to any court for its actions.

But the U.S. Constitution requires due process when life is at stake. The government cannot be permitted to deprive an American child of his life without any judicial review, even after the fact,”
quoting Hina Shamsi is the director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project and Vincent Warren is the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights in the Long Island edition of Newsday.
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December 29, 2012

Economic news – Public should take heed

1. “Unemployment up in South Sound”
“Thurston County’s unemployment also inched upwards, climbing to 6.9 percent from a revised October rate of 6.7 percent. That’s a loss of 500 jobs from month to month.”

“Looking at the big picture, though, the numbers are much more encouraging. Pierce County’s November jobless rate, for example, is nearly a full point lower than it was last year, and that 7.9 percent figure is the lowest November jobless rate for the county since 2008. Thurston county’s numbers tell a similar story, with unemployment down 0.6 points from last November’s 7.5 percent rate,” quoting the Business Examiner.
Editor’s Note: Regardless of the year-over-year numbers, one must notice the trend now is disconcerting.
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2. “The Fiscal Cliff: Is January 1st the Real Doomsday for America?”
“‘Sooner or later, it will be Americas turn to fall out of favor with investors and to see its own interest rates rise. It is hard to know when that day will come, or precisely what pressures the country will face.

Let me only venture one forecast: We will not be ready.'”

“Here is an idea of what we face if Washingtons maneuvering falls flat once again:

January 1st: The Bad, The Really Bad, and The Downright Ugly,” ,” quoting Angie Davidson in the Liberty Crier.
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3. “Forget the ‘fiscal cliff’: Debt ceiling is much scarier”
“Investors fearing a stock market plunge if the U.S. tumbles off the “fiscal cliff” next week may want to relax.

But they should be scared if a few weeks later Washington fails to reach a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling as that threatens a default, another credit downgrade and a financial markets panic,” quoting Ryan Vlastelica, Edward Krudy and Doris Frankel / Reuters.
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4. “No Santa Claus and Bill Clinton Was Not an Economic Savior”
“The truth is often painful but nonetheless it is important that we live in the real world. Just as little kids have to come to grips with the fact that there is no Santa Claus, it is necessary for millions of liberals, including many who think of themselves as highly knowledgeable about economic matters, to realize
that President Clintons policies sent the economy seriously off course.

In Washington it is common to tout the budget surpluses of the Clinton years as some momentous achievement, as though the point of economic policy is to run budget surpluses. Of course the point of economic policy is to produce an economy that improves the lives of the people in a sustainable way.
Clinton badly flunked this test.

The Clinton economy was driven by a stock bubble. This is not a debatable point,” quoting Dean Baker in Truthout.
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December 28, 2012

Yelm’s additional water rights challenged in Hearing


City of Yelm’s test well drilling at end of Tahoma Blvd., now Union Holdings, LLC property. Photo copyright 2010, 2012 Yelm Community Blog
Photo taken with zoom lens June 21, 2010

EXCLUSIVE TO THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG
Copyright 2012 Yelm Community Blog

THE HEARING
A Hearing was held December 17-19, 2012 by the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB), who “hears appeals from orders and decisions made by the Department of Ecology,” in case 11-155, from property owners all off 89th or 93rd Avenues outside the Yelm city limits.

As reported here on March 12, 2012, a citizens group appealed the more-than-doubling of the City of Yelm’s water allocation by the Dept. of Ecology. The Hearings Board found merit in the case to be heard last summer and against Yelm’s wishes, allowed time for proper due-diligence, postponing a Hearing until December 2012.

THE PARTIES IN THE CASE
Sara Foster and The Downstreamers, and Kerri Goodwin, Kelly Van Dusen, Melody Rae, Don Schmidt, Sandra Parent, Patricia RIchker, Bobbye Caine, Ram Jeyaraman, Margie and Jess Maillard
v.
Ecology and the City of Yelm.”

THE STATUS

December 27, Sara Foster told the Yelm Community Blog:
“Patrick Williams, my counsel, did a stellar job representing our interests in a Hearing Dec. 17-19, 2012.

We were in court 2 days. Many key issues were brought forward and it seems this case has big implications environmentally.
Thus, there was no easy decision by the Hearings Board.
They will provide a written decision when finishing deliberations, and that may be 2-3 months.”

Read more from the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) case.

THE CITY OF YELM WATER RIGHTS HISTORY
– September 22,2011, the Yelm Community Blog reported:
“The City of Yelm requested Ecology “fast-track” a pending water rights application for an additional 942 acre feet of water per year, which if approved, would more than double Yelm’s current annual water allocation withdrawn from our local aquifer.
Read more

– March 12, 2012, the Yelm Community Blog reported after Ecology granted their more-than-doubling of Yelm’s water rights:
“On November 18, 2011, Yelm area property-owner Sara Foster submitted an Appeal against the City of Yelm and the Dept of Ecology to stop the approval to pump an additional 942 acre feet of water every year for 20 years from our area’s aquifer.”
Read more

– October 13, 2010, the Yelm Community Blog reported about Yelm’s water plans:
“On September 28th, 2010, the Yelm City Council approved another $76,000 to be paid to Golder and Associates ‘for work associated with updating the 2008 Mitigation Plan,’ according to the city’s Staff Report. The Staff Report requested the 118% increase to Yelm’s annual water allocation.”
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– On April 14, 2010, the Yelm Community Blog provided factual evidence the land on which the City of Yelm’s new well was drilled was NOT on city-owned land, in direct contradiction to City of Yelm Administrator Badger’s claim to the City Council the land was “owned by the city”:
“The Yelm City Council voted unanimously to spend $615,223 to drill SW Well #2 as a production well last night.
The only question prior to a motion to move forward on this project was from Council member John Thompson who said he understood the “benefits of doing it there (in the Tahoma Terra development) is because Yelm actually owned that property, not Tahoma Terra”
Mrs. Badger replied,
‘The property is slated to be dedicated as part of the master plan process…so in the Conceptual Master Plan approval…it is a future city park, which will be dedicated to the city. We also, in addition to that, have approval from the property owner to conduct the drilling activity. But ultimately, yes, it is owned by the city.'”

Ed. Note: Of course, “the property owner,” Tahoma Terra, went bankrupt and this land has been owned by one of two receiver banks since and was NEVER listed as City of Yelm owned property, according to the Thurston County Assessor records.
At the time the City Council was being told this by Badger, the land had already been foreclosed and into receivership that afternoon prior to the Council meeting, which the city staff knew was happening, yet did not share with the Yelm City Council prior to their voting money for this well.
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– August 17, 2009, the Yelm Community Blog reported:
“The City of Yelm announced on Friday, August 14th that their MDNS has been withdrawn in this statement listed on the city’s website.”

– December 15, 2011, the Yelm Community Blog reported that the Washington Supreme Court sided with JZ Knight in her water issues case against the City of Yelm:
This case establishes state law on water issues for years to come.
Read more

– March 12, 2012, the Yelm Community Blog reported a Guest Entry from Yelm water rights challenger Sara Foster:
“Ecology had just rubber-stamped Yelms Mitigation Plan and the city was approved to begin pumping over double the amount of water that Yelm has previously been approved to pump. This amount has huge environmental impacts to the aquifer, as wells in a vast surrounding area [outside of Yelm city limits] could drop in static level and those property owners would have to pay to drill new wells or to dig their wells deeper.

In 2009, our community became aware of this same City of Yelm Mitigation Plan submitted to Ecology, writing over 85 letters in protest.
The City of Yelm was then forced to withdraw their Plan.

So the City of Yelm waited 2 years and then very quietly resubmitted the same old plan, putting their Mitigation Plan on a fast-track with Ecology for approval, clearly hoping the public would not notice.

I discovered this with just 2 days to spare.
With the help of a friend, I filed an Appeal as “Sara Foster & The Downstreamers.”

I got our case on the docket for a hearing date of July 25th, 2012, so Yelm was not granted these water rights and could not pump any water [additional water over the city’s exiting water rights]
until after this Hearing.”
Read more

December 28, 2012, the Yelm Community Blog reports on the PCHB Hearing:
“The Hearings Board found merit in the case last summer and allowed time for proper due-diligence, against Yelm’s wishes to move ahead then, and postponed a Hearing until December 2012.

Patrick Williams, my counsel, did a stellar job representing our interests in a Hearing Dec. 17-19, 2012.

We were in court 2 days. Many key issues were brought forward and it seems this case has big implications environmentally.
Thus, there was no easy decision by the Hearings Board.
They will provide a written decision when finishing deliberations, and that may be 2-3 months.”
Read more from the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) case.

– About the PCHB
“The Pollution Control Hearings Board hears appeals from orders and decisions made by the Department of Ecology and other agencies as provided by law. The Board’s sole function is to provide litigants a full and complete administrative hearing, as promptly as possible, followed by a fair and impartial written decision based on the facts and law. The Board is not affiliated with the Department of Ecology or any other state agency.”
Read more


December 28, 2012

Yelm Food Co-op has wine-tasting Saturday –
Open to the public!



Be a Part of History!!

From the Yelm Food Co-op’s e-letter:
Your Co-op is proud to announce that we will have a wine tasting in our store on Saturday, Dec 29th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in our under-construction Wine Cellar.

Be there and be part of history in the making!

Come meet our Wine Department Coordinator, Anne Marsh, and let her guide you through tastings of our great selection and get her ideas for gifts, special occasion wines and meal accompaniments. Anne knows her wine!

This is the start of what we hope will be The Best Little Wine House in Yelm. Our goal is to provide a unique selection of carefully chosen wines that will not only please your palate but also your wallet. We want to have wines that no one else in town has and to make selection a pleasure.

You can help us spread the word by simply forwarding this email to everyone you know in the Yelm and surrounding areas. Or just tell all your friends and family to come be a part of history in the making!

Mark this on your calendars: Dec 29th, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The Yelm Co-op Wine Department
Yelm Food Co-op
308 Yelm Ave, E. @ Gordon’s Garden Center
Yelm, WA. 98597
Phone: 360-400-2210

P.S. Come meet and give a hearty YFC welcome to our new General Manager, Barnaby Urich Rintz, at the same time.


December 27, 2012

Pizzeria La Gitana Yelm, 2nd Anniversary this weekend –
Open to the public!


Pizzeria La Gitana owners Francesco Chiechi & Carlos Morist

Francesco Chiechi & Carlos Morist opened their first Pizzaria La Gitana Restaurant in Yelm December, 2010 and a second restaurant in Olympia the following year.

To celebrate their 2nd anniversary here, La Gitana Pizzeria offers Live Swing Music Friday, December 28 and Flamenco Music Saturday, December 29 in the Olympia restaurant. Festivities begin both nights @ 6:30PM.

Co-owner Francesco Chiechi is Italian born/raised and knows how to make good Italian pizza, being a former pizza-maker in Italy. Partner Carlos Morist is from Argentina and lived in Spain and knows good wines at a fair price.
Both have a penchant for quality, as their customers can attest.

Francesco & Carlos tell everyone:
“Come Enjoy Authentic Pizza as if you are siting at a coffee in Rome. Italian Owner. Best pizza and best ambiance in town.”

People from all walks of life in and around Yelm and beyond have come together to enjoy this restaurant.

YELM PIZZERIA LA GITANA
309 East Yelm Avenue
Yelm, WA 98597
Phone for group reservations and take-out orders: (360) 400-2929

THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG CONGRATULATES PIZZERIA LA GITANA ON THEIR 2ND ANNIVERSARY.


December 27, 2012

Recycle your Christmas Tree

From Thurston County Public Works:

Free Christmas Tree Curbside and Drop-Off Locations
(Dec. 2012/Jan. 2013)

Pickup Options

LeMay compost collection/yard waste customers: Put trees in or near your compost cart (in sections 3 ft. or less). Call 923-0111 for info.

Drop-off locations

All Thurston County residents: Take trees to the Waste and Recovery Center at 2418 Hogum Bay Road NE, Lacey from Dec. 26 to Jan. 13 (closed Jan. 1). Open Mon. through Fri. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m and Sat. and Sun.: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rainier residents: Take trees to the drop box at 13010 Rainier Acres Road from Dec. 26 Jan. 12. Fri. & Sat.: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tenino residents: Take trees to 418 S. Wichman St. S. from Dec. 25 Jan. 15.

Yelm residents: Take trees to Yelm City Park anytime from Dec. 26 Jan. 10.
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