June 30, 2014

Sustainable Thurston Plan wins Governor’s Award


Thurston County Commissioner Karen Valenzuela
Photo credit: Thurston County

From Thurston County’s Press Release:
SUSTAINABLE THURSTON PLAN WINS GOVERNOR’S AWARD
Vision and Action Plan receives prestigious award for innovative growth planning

A special awards ceremony was held in Spokane today for this year’s winners of the Governor’s Smart Communities Awards, which included the Smart Vision Award for Comprehensive Planning given to the Thurston County Sustainable Thurston Vision and Action Plan. The awards ceremony was part of the annual Association of Washington Cities conference.

The Governor’s Smart Communities Awards launched in 2006 and are presented each year to local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to quality of life in Washington. The Sustainable Thurston Vision and Action Plan was developed by the Sustainable Thurston Task Force with support from the Thurston Regional Planning Council.

“Serving on the Sustainable Thurston Task Force affirmed what I’ve long suspected,” said Thurston County Commissioner Karen Valenzuela, who represented the county on the task force. “We must all re-double our efforts and re-think our strategies to achieve a more sustainable community for ourselves and future generations.”

While developing the Sustainable Thurston plan, the task force sought input from thousands of local residents, plus stakeholders and leaders from local governments, businesses and non-profits. The plan includes recommendations on transportation and land use, water quality, health and human series, public safety, and other issues. The goal of the plan is to achieve a community-driven and approved vision for a vibrant, healthy and resilient future in Thurston County. By implementing sustainable practices, the plan is designed to enhance quality of life, foster economic vitality, and protect the environment while balancing our needs today with those of future residents.
Read more


June 29, 2014

Summer in the Pacific Northwest


Summer in the Pacific Northwest, taken in the Bald Hills
Photo credit: Yelm Community Blog


June 28, 2014

Blood drive today at Yelm Prairie Hotel –
honors former Mayor Adam Rivas


Former Yelm Mayor Adam Rivas
Photo credit: Mills & Mills Funeral Home

“Blood Drive Honors Former Mayor Rivas”
“Organizer Hopes This Saturdays Event Becomes an Annual Occurrence”

Saturday, June 28,10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Prairie Hotel conference room.
Read more from Michael Wagar, Nisqually Valley News.

From the Puget Sound Blood Center (PSBC):
In addition to today’s blood drive, the Puget Sound Blood Center’s Bloodmobile will be at Yelm’s Safeway Thursday, July 10, 2014 from 11am-5pm.
Read more


June 28, 2014

Wilcox Farms June Jubilee tractor show –
This weekend!

Wilcox Farms June Jubilee Tractor Show
Date: Saturday, June 28 & Sunday, June 29, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Venue: Wilcox Family Farms, Roy, WA

This is a FREE Family Event!

Tractor Pull

FREE Farm Tours

Hay Rides

Food & more

Address: 40400 Harts Lake Valley Rd. South,Roy,WA, 98580
Website: http://www.wilcoxfarms.com


June 27, 2014

Yelm Prairie Days Parade – A persepctive


County Commission Karen Valenzuela & County Auditor Mary Hall
ride in Walt Jorgensen’s replica 1929 Mercedes Benz convertible.
Photo credit: Walt Jorgensen

Editor’s Note:
I have been a participant and spectator in many parades of Americana in towns big and small, spanning my 60 years. This year, I was invited to march with several Yelm Parade participants, yet chose to march and sign-wave with County Commissioner Karen Valenzuela and County Auditor Mary Hall, both up for re-election this year.

I witnessed two things in this year’s parade I had not seen previously:
– Wal-Mart brought a semi-truck with many folks pushing Wal-mart’s grocery-style carts filled with water bottles to be passed to parade observers. This was in direct competition to the Yelm Lions Club, which had frequent golf carts go by selling bottled water and snacks. An American Parade is no place for a corporation’s semi-truck, in my view and that parade sponsors allowed Wal-Mart to pass out free water bottles was directly opposed to the mission of Yelm Paririe Days to raise funds for the Yelm Lions Club.
Also, a town parade is no place for an Intercity Transit bus, a parade participant, in my opinion. This bus is financed by tax payer dollars and patrons.

– I asked Commissioner Valenzuela if I may pass out candy to the children. She said she preferred that not happen, that she is a mother and does not want to be one to promote all of that candy to children. I asked her about fruity snacks, which she approved, so I had 500 packets of fruit snacks with me to distribute. So many parents thanked me for being so thoughtful, many not allowing their children to have the candy handouts. Yet, the majority of children had bags filled with candy. Commissioner Valenzuela taught me something to be aware with her stance, something I greatly appreciated learning.

I recall never having candy disseminated at parades in Kentucky when I was a child, so why now?
The candy distribution should be stopped and something more healthy should only be permitted.

From the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Parade Registration Form:
Candy/Prizes distributed during parade may not be thrown from moving vehicles.
“Please have walkers hand out your candy and prizes to the spectators. Safety First no throwing candy from floats, cars etc.”

Ed. Note: Why is this not enforced?

Has Yelm’s Prairie Days Parade denigrated to being taken-over by commercial interests (i.e. a Wal-Mart semi truck & Intercity Transit bus) and parade entrants competing on who distributes the most or “best” candy to kids?
Will Safeway (Albertson’s) want their semi-truck entered next year?

Many folks noticed these same things this year and commented.
Perhaps a re-examination of what is desired to be achieved is now required.

– Prairie Days Parade 2014
“Despite rain threatening to pour down, the 2014 Prairie Days Parade Thursday night remained warm and dry. The two-hour-plus parade had thousands gathered in the heart of Yelm for the community event.”
Click here for more images from the Nisqaully Valley News.


June 27, 2014

“Do cellphones cause cancer?” – A KING-5 HealthLink

By Kim Komando / Special for USA TODAY which was posted on KING 5 TV’s HealthLink May 30, 2014:
“I imagine you’re like me. You have least considered the idea that the phone you hold flat up against your ear day after day might have detrimental health effects. But then you shirk the concept and attribute it to a brief case of paranoia. After all, if cellphones did cause cancer, wouldn’t people be openly talking about it?

Here’s where the confusion starts.

Some scientific studies show a possible link while others show no link. Meanwhile, there are plenty of people taking to the Internet with horror stories of tumors appearing where they regularly keep their phones next to their body.

The reason this is back on my mind is a recent study out of France published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It shows a possible link between heavy cellphone use and certain types of brain cancer.
Read more


June 27, 2014

Plastic Bag Bans Begin July 1 in areas of Thurston County

Plastic Bag Bans Begin July 1
“There will be fewer plastic bags floating around Thurston County in five weeks. On July 1, single-use carryout plastic bags will be banned in the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and in the unincorporated areas of Thurston County.

The ban is for all stores and includes other retailers, such as those at farmers markets and street fairs. The ban is aimed at plastic carryout bags 2.25 mil or thinner that are typically given out by retailers when you pay for your purchases. Thicker plastic bags are considered reusable and have no restrictions. Retailers can decide if they want to charge customers for reusable bags or provide them for free.

Certain plastic bags are exempt from the bans, including in-store bags for things like bulk items, produce, and meat. The bans do not apply to plastic bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, or garbage bags sold in packages. Bags for prepared take-out food are also allowed for public health reasons.”
Read more from Thurston County Solid Waste.

Editor’s note:
Yelm is the largest major city in Thurston County to not agree to the ban, with a large Safeway & Wal-Mart within city boundaries that would be affected, as examples.


June 25, 2014

YAHOO! publishes letter from Rainier’s Greg Dempster


Greg Dempster

“Have Republicans Found a New Way to Thwart Democrat Fundraising?”
“WA Republican Club Smears Local Dem Donor as Racist Homophobe”

Click here to read Mr. Dempsters’ letter.

Yelm Community Blogger Steve Klein has been employed by JZK, Inc. since October 2003.


June 25, 2014

Gov. Inslee leads in wanting oil trains info released
& guidelines put in place


Gov. Jay Inslee

– “What Happened in Last Summer’s Oil Train Disaster in Quebec That Killed 47”
“Details of the events leading to last July’s oil train disaster in Lac Mgantic, Quebec, have been made public for the first time. They reinforce an existing portrait of the accident as a perfect storm of corporate malfeasance.”

Washington state governor Jay Inslee wants the release of certain information and wants guidelines put in place. He has suggested that the railways take the matter to court if they disagree with that course.”
By Roger Annis, Truthout | News Analysis
Read more

– “Oil by rail data shows 10-15 trains of Bakken crude move weekly through Thurston County, 11-16 go in Pierce”
“The state Military Department has publicly released oil-trains data from four operators of rail lines that carry the volatile Bakken crude oil from North Dakota and Montana inside Washington state.

The data released on Tuesday included an oil-traffic report from BNSF Railway that shows 10 to 15 unit trains of volatile Bakken crude oil are shipped through Thurston County every week and 11 to 16 such trains pass through Pierce County. A unit train has about 100 tanker cars each carrying about 680 barrels, which makes each train worth about 68,000 barrels of crude, according to the state Department of Ecology.

On Monday, it was disclosed that Tacoma Rail moves three trains of 90 to 120 tanker cars per week – all within Pierce County. The oil may go to U.S. Oil, which operates a refinery near the waterfront,” quoting Brad Shannon in The Olympian.
Read more

Editor’s Note:
I was in a conference all day Tuesday in a high-rise Tacoma office tower and noticed the oil tank-car trains moving through downtown and thought of the impending disaster if a Canada-type rail accident happened in Tacoma.

– UPDATE: June 29, 2014
“Oil trains: South Sound first responders try to get grip on what new data mean for safety”
By Brad Shannon in The Olympian.
Read more

– UPDATE: July 3, 2014
“On oil trains, state fights for publics right to know”
From The Olympian.
Read more


June 25, 2014

Yelm Prairie Days June 26-28


Yelm Lions Club

The Prairie Days Celebration at Yelm City Park, June 26-28 is sponsored by the Yelm Lions Club.
Click here for more information.

“This favorite community event will kick off with a community parade down Yelm Avenue on June 26th. Then the Yelm City Park will be open with Amusement Park rides, games, and vendors of food and other items. This year Prairie Days introdues (sic) a “Kids Zone” with rides and games especially for our littlest visitors. Buy your all-you-can-ride tickets at Tim’s Pharmacy. Don’t miss out on fun events and entertainment such as the Marvelous Mutt Show and local bands,” quoting Visit Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater.
Click here for more information.


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