September 30, 2015

Mayor Harding violates Yelm’s Municipal Code –
Yelm City Admin. job not posted 30 days after vacancy


Mayor Ron Harding

– The Issue:
On June 5, 2015, former Yelm City Administrator Shelly Badger announced her last day would be September 1.
That advanced notice provided 3 months to post the position, interview qualified candidates, hire a replacement and have Ms. Badger train and transition the new-hire.
Yet, Mayor Harding chose to do none of that, as he reported to the Nisqually Valley News (NVN),
“Rather than fill the position immediately, he [Mayor Harding] said he’s taking time to evaluate exactly what the city administrator’s responsibilities should be, as it’s been a long time since the city has had to hire someone for the position.”

Tomorrow, October 1st marks the 30th day this position has been vacant and without being posted to be filled and almost 4 months since the public was informed this position would become vacant.



– The Facts:
Fact number 1:
The Yelm Municipal Code (YMC) 2.14.010 states:
“The position of city administrator shall be filled by appointment of the mayor, subject to the confirmation by a majority vote of the city council, to serve at the pleasure of the mayor. The city at its discretion may specify additional terms and conditions of employment in a written agreement executed by the mayor and approved by the city council. (Ord. 829 § 4, 2005).
Click here

Fact number 2:
The legal definition of “shall” is:
“An imperative command; has a duty to or is required to.” For example, the notice shall be sent within 30 days. Usually ‘shall’ used here is in the mandatory sense.”

“When used in statutes, contracts, or the like, the word ‘shall‘ is generally imperative or mandatory,” quoting US Legal, Inc.
Click here

Therefore, the Yelm Municipal Code indicates the mayor “has a duty to or is required to” fill the position of city administrator. The mayor has no discretion to leave this post vacant and is not an option, according to the YMC.

Fact number 3:
The Yelm City Council August Study Session Minutes state:
“Inquired about hiring staff for vacant positions. Mayor responded that the Finance Director and PW Parks
Maintenance positions have been filled, an offer has been made for WWTP Manager and staff is still
working on filling the PW Manager position. There is no confirmed process for filling the City Administrator position at this time.”
[Ed. Note: clearly, no intent to fill the post 3 months after notification of the Sept. 1 vacancy.]
Click here, then scroll down to “6. Council Initiatives.”

Bottom line:
Government appointed positions are usually posted for interview applicants within 30 days of the vacancy. That the City of Yelm has over 8,000 people and growing without a City Administrator is a disservice to the entire community.

The City of Yelm’s Oath of Office taken by elected officials partially states,
“I will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of City Council Member of the City of Yelm to the best of my ability.”

This includes following and upholding the laws and ordinances of the City of Yelm.


September 29, 2015

Public Comment Period for Grocery Outlet thru Tuesday


Courtesy: City of Yelm

The City of Yelm is taking written pubic comments thru Oct. 6th on the new proposed Grocery Outlet.
Read more


Editor’s Note:

There are three progressive Yelm City Council candidates that have committed to bring needed changes here if elected. Support these people to City of Yelm voters.
Click these links for more information:
Molly Carmody
Tad Stillwell
Joe DePinto


September 29, 2015

‘Women & Spirituality’ in Yelm this Friday evening!

“Mark Friday, October 2nd, at 7.30 p:m on your calendar at the Triad for this fabulous, informative evening when RosaMaria Machado will share her journey from abuse, to a career as a NASA Rocket Scientist, healing herself of cancer with John of God, and becoming a spiritual leader,” quoting Renee Webb Productions.


September 28, 2015

Port of Oly may not hold public sessions in Yelm any longer

By Rolf Boone, The Olympian:
“Since 2010, the Port of Olympia commission has taken its commission meetings on the road during the summer months, visiting the communities of Yelm, Rainier, Tenino and Bucoda.

But Port of Olympia Commissioner Michelle Morris on Thursday [September 24] questioned whether those gatherings were meeting their original goals. She said the meetings are poorly attended, and there are travel costs associated with setting up meetings in outlying communities.

‘Why do we do it, and is it working?’ she asked the commission during its work session.

Commissioner Bill McGregor said the original goal was to get out to those communities rather than always forcing those residents to travel to Olympia to address the commission.

Commissioner George Barner echoed McGregor’s comments, saying the goal was to ‘establish some rapport with those communities.’

The port has provided grant funds to those communities in the past, so there was an ‘expectation to have interaction with that community,’ Barner added.

Morris suggested some alternatives: A commissioner could attend a council meeting in one of those communities, perhaps as often as monthly. Or port Executive Director Ed Galligan could attend those meetings, she said.”
Read more


Editor’s Note:
While I always prefer direct public interaction and have applauded the Port of Olympia holding their meetings in Yelm, Port of Olympia Commissioner Michelle Morris is correct that “the meetings are poorly attended, and there are travel costs associated with setting up meetings in outlying communities.” The Port has to look at the best way to utilize their personnel resources, especially with the reduced revenues in 2015.


September 27, 2015

Full lunar eclipse and Supermoon seen in Yelm tonight


“There will be a supermoon eclipse on the night of September 27, 2015.”
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

– “Clear evening promises good look at supermoon eclipse”
“Nighttime sky watchers are expected to be double-wowed Sunday evening with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse.

NASA says this is the first time in more than 30 years the combination has happened, and with Seattle’s cloud cover expected to clear out, those in the Seattle area should be able to see it.

The eclipse begins at 5:11 p.m. Sunday [in Yelm], so it will already be in progress when the moon rises at 6:55 p.m., according to the Pacific Science Center. The total eclipse — when the entire moon is shaded by the Earth — is expected at 7:47 p.m., and the whole show is expected to be over by 9:27 p.m,” by Coral Garnick, Seattle Times.
Read more

– “Watch Sunday’s Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse – or Wait Until 2033”
“Skywatchers will have something to howl about on Sunday: a total Supermoon eclipse. Not only is this the best and last opportunity of the year for Americans to witness any kind of eclipse, but this particular phenomenon is extremely rare, happening perhaps five times a century. The last Supermoon eclipse was in 1982, and there won’t be another until 2033,” quoting Devin Coldewey, Sceince.
Read more



– From NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration on tonight’s supermoon lunar eclipse
“A supermoon lunar eclipse is a rare event that has only occurred five times since 1900. Later this month, on September 27, this phenomenon will be visible in the night sky. Mark your calendars and be sure to check it out.
Click here for the NASA video.

– “Don’t Miss Supermoon and Lunar Eclipse”
“Be sure and don’t miss Sunday night’s Supermoon eclipse, it hasn’t happened since 1982 and won’t happen again until 2033,” quoting Matt Sampson, The Weather Channel on MSN.
Read more



– “Here’s when and where to watch Sunday’s supermoon eclipse”
“This weekend, when you look into the night sky you will be able to see a blood red, larger-than-life moon projecting against the stars; the first in more than 30 years.

The rare event is due to the supermoon total lunar eclipse that is expected to happen on Sunday night. Anyone in the U.S. will be able to witness the event from their own backyards or watch the livestream on NASA’s website.

NASA expects the eclipse to last approximately 1 hour and 11 minutes beginning at 10: 11 p.m. and peaking at approximately 10:47 p.m. The live stream will begin at 8 p.m. when the supermoon is shining bright and it’ll end at 11:30 p.m.,” by Alejandro Alba, New York Daily News.
Read more



– Will this portend something for our Cascadia Subduction Zone?
From Earth Changes Media.
Read more

– UPDATE: September 28, 2015
“Blood Moon in pictures: Total ‘supermoon’ lunar eclipse seen around the world
From UK’s The Telegraph.
Click here


September 26, 2015

Ice Chips Candy in the news – Yelm could not zone for Ice Chips facility,
yet for another Grocery Outlet & Fast Food store,
done deal!

– “Ice Chips Candy: Healthy sweets, safe for diabetics and loved by Sharks (of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’)”
“Two grandmothers from the state of Washington have been created products and businesses since 1986 with several successful enterprises including Ice Chips Candy created to be healthy and full of flavor.

Ice Chips Candy uses the birch bark Xylitol (made in the United States) with no genetically modified corn (GMO). Xylitol is a polyol, a sugar alcohol. It is all natural, safe for diabetics and has many health benefits,” by Debbie Hall, Informer Media Group, Las Vegas.
Read more


– Why Ice Chips did not move their manufacturing facility to within the Yelm city limits
THE FACTS:
The NVN published on November 6, 2014 why Ice Chips did not relocate within Yelm City Limits, “The two [Ice Chips owners Beverly Vines-Haines and Charlotte Clary] were even considering constructing their own building, but were told by city of Yelm Building Official Gary Carlson and Yelm Mayor Ron Harding they did not think they could zone the business, according to Vines-Haines.

‘I feel bad, because I love Yelm, but cities that keep business away never reach the status they think they are,’ she said.

‘When I read about Yelm in the Chamber of Commerce information, it’s read like they’re pro-growth,’ Clary said. ‘What concerns me is that they might think they are, and they are so not.'”

BOTTOM LINE:
The Ice Chips owners “were even considering constructing their own building, but were told by city of Yelm Building Official Gary Carlson and Yelm Mayor Ron Harding they did not think they could zone the business.”

Yet, the City of Yelm has an industrial zone, as another council candidate thoroughly discussed at the forum which needs to be exploited.

When Ice Chips is in the news, remember they could have been the “Yelm, WA-based company.”



– “Grocery Outlet Proposed in Yelm”
“Next to Safeway: Plan Includes Grocery Outlet Building, Fast Food Building, Retail Building”
Read more by Jenna Loughlin, Nisqually Valley News.

Editor’s note:
According to “city of Yelm Building Official Gary Carlson and Yelm Mayor Ron Harding they did not think they could zone the business [a locally-owned and operated Ice Chips manufacturing plant in Yelm], according to Vines-Haines [Ice Chips co-owner]. yet without the public being informed previously, a large Grocery Outlet conglomerate, accompanied with a retail pad & another fast food restaurant is on-tap for Yelm?

Have you ever wondered why the City of Yelm can seemingly always clear the way for huge national or multi-national chain stores to build here, yet are perceived as being unfriendly to locally-owned businesses? hmmm!

The Point:
How does the city’s code allow for two more entrance/egresses for a Grocery Outlet/retail/fast food complex between the Safeway entrances and the Bald Hill Rd/Creek St. intersections, which is already a stretch of road backlogged almost every afternoon, including weekends?
The City of Yelm blames their traffic woes on growth outside of the city limits, yet continues to approve more and more out-of area businesses with large “footprints” along the Yelm Ave. corridor.


September 26, 2015

Yelm-area folks making an impact in the world –
Latest from Friendly Water for the World


Photo courtesy: Friendly Water for the World

Yelm area’s Wayne Medrud, son Noah, Robin Lee, and others work passionately in support of Friendly Water for the World. Medrud told the Yelm Community Blog, “Through a presentation at the Rotary, we became aware of an orphanage that was formed 17 years ago by Seed Faith Ministries and a church here on Vail Road. Through donations from Rotarians, the Interact Club of Yelm (youth Rotary), and donations taken at Toast Masters, we have now provided them with filters for the orphanage, their clinic and the school that the kids attend. Seed Faith Min tries has now purchased filters for other surrounding schools.
We have several extremely exciting things going on and opportunities for people to get involved.”

– Here is one of their recent fliers:
“We Stopped Cholera”
Olympia, Washington-Based Clean Water Group Eliminates Cholera in 26 Orphanages in the Congo

When Michael’s brother in the Leve Moi orphanage died after writhing in pain for three days, Michael was too sick to cry. And now it was happening to his best friend. Ten others had died in the previous month. All the kids were in shock, and the orphanage staff as well. All the children had died in the orphanage itself; there was no money for a hospital, little for medication, and they couldn’t even afford coffins. Every child was traumatized. All anyone could think of was whether he or she would be next.

In Goma, a city of a million people in eastern Congo-DRC, with 600,000 refugees ringing the city, there is not a drop of clean water. Since January 2015, there have been more than 100,000 documented cases of cholera, with over 2,000 deaths. Overall, in the past three years, there have been far more cholera deaths in the Congo and surrounding countries than all ebola-related deaths worldwide combined.

It has been worse for the 3,800 children in the 26 orphanages in the city, most of which were established to take in orphans from the 17-year war which killed almost seven million people. Friendly Water for the World Medical Officer Dr. Kambale Musubao visited all 26, documenting more than 700 cholera cases between January and June, and at least 67 deaths, almost one out of every ten confirmed cases.

Friendly Water for the World (www.friendlywater.net) had trained two teams of BioSand Filter fabricators (one made up entirely of women rape survivors from the war.) Over the past two months, Dr. Kambale and his colleagues have installed BioSand Water Filters in all 26 orphanages, and taught basic hygiene and community sanitation. As of September 2nd, there is not a single case of cholera in any orphanage in Goma.

“It’s no miracle,” said Friendly Water for the World Board Chairman David Albert, “It’s just good science, strategically and appropriately applied by people who really care.” BioSand Water Filters were invented by Dr. David Manz at the University of Calgary. He patented the technology, which requires no chemicals, electricity, motorized equipment, or moving parts, and is made of all locally available materials, and gave the patent to the world. BioSand Water Filters can remove up to 99% of bacteria, and virtually 100% of viruses, worms, protozoa, and amoeba which cause waterborne illnesses such as cholera, typhoid, bacterial dysentery, Rotavirus, hepatitis A, giardia, and cryptosporidiosis. Friendly Water for the World is a knowledge-sharing and training organization working with communities in 12 countries to help them ensure their own clean water supply.

“This is a story of hope,” said Jim Cooper, Olympia, Washington City Councilman and President, United Way of the Pacific Northwest, who is serving as the We Stopped Cholera Victory Campaign Co-Chair. “It is proof of how a very little bit can be stretched a very long way. We are humbled by the effort.” The total cost of eradicating cholera in the 26 orphanages was $1,980.

Dr. Kambale Musubao is a physician and surgeon in the Congo, who also runs three health clinics for war orphans. He traded in his hospital-based surgery practice, noting, “In the hospital, I could save at most one or two people a day. Working on clean water with Friendly Water for the World, I can save thousands.”

A celebration with all 3,800 children was held Goma on September 20th. Photos will soon be available. Friendly Water for the World is kicking off its four-month long We Stopped Cholera Victory Campaign with events in Olympia, Washington October 23-24, featuring awarding-winning humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson of NPR’s “The Jefferson Hour” (http://www.jeffersonhour.com). The aim is to raise enough funds to replicate the Goma effort and support other communities’ efforts to ensure access to clean water by a factor of 50.

Click here how you can help.
Yote Yawezekana! “Everything is Possible!” in Kiswahili



– Friendly Water for the World presents:
AN EVENING WITH MERIWETHER LEWIS Featuring NPR’s Clay Jenkinson

Friday, October 23
6:30pm doors / 7:30pm show (All Ages)
$25 general admission / $20 OFS members & students
Tickets available online & at the box office
Mezzanine Lounge open (21+ w/ ID)
A benefit for Friendly Water for the World, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Read more


– Friendly Water for the World
1717 18th Court NE
Olympia, WA 98506
www.friendlywater.net
info@friendlywater.net
www.facebook.com/FriendlyWaterForTheWorld?fref=ts


September 25, 2015

“Foreclosure activity up in King, Pierce, Thurston, data show”

“King, Pierce and Thurston counties all saw an increase in foreclosure activity in August as compared with the same time last year, new data show.”

“…Thurston’s increase was 34 percent, and Pierce’s just 10 percent.”

“Drilling into the specific stages of foreclosure, King, Pierce and Thurston all had no new notices of defaults in August, but all saw a year-over-year increase in the number of notices of trustee sales and in final bank repossessions. That trend is reflected in the state data, too; Washington saw a 1 percent dip in the number of foreclosure starts, but a 137 percent increase in the number of final repossessions.”

“Nationwide, bank repossessions also were up 40 percent in August compared with the same time a year ago.

That ‘indicates more batches of bank-owned homes will be rippling through the housing market over the next three to 12 months as lenders list these properties for sale,’ said RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist,” by Kathleen Cooper, the Tacoma News Tribune.
Read more


September 25, 2015

Commissioner Romero’s Coffee Mon., Sept. 28 – in Yelm,
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!


Sandra Romero

FROM COUNTY COMMISSIONER ROMERO’S e-mailer:
“Let’s Talk Transportation ”

“Whether you take the bus, ride a bike, walk, drive, or roller skate, transportation is something that affects each and every one of us. On Monday, September 28, join Commissioner Romero and her guest, Thurston Regional Planning Council Executive Director Lon Wyrick, for coffee, and learn about the important work being done to improve your transportation options.

The Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) fosters our county’s livability through collaborative, informed planning. The agency carries out plans and studies on topics such as transportation, growth management, and environmental quality. Commissioner Romero is one of 21 decision-makers from jurisdictions and organizations in Thurston County that make up the council, which meets monthly to address challenges related to the region’s growth.

Lon Wyrick has nearly four decades of experience in managing and directing regional planning programs and agencies. He has served as TRPC’s Executive Director for the past 15 years and is responsible for the oversight and management of all of their programs, finances, grant and policy development and membership coordination. Prior to his position at TRPC, Lon was the Executive Director of the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments for over 18 years. He also served as Executive Director for two Department of Defense Growth Impact programs in Washington State and Nevada and as the Mason County Manager for approximately two years, rounding out his local government experience. Lon also formerly served as President of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, a national organization dealing with national transportation issues.”



There is a lot happening in Thurston County and we want to hear from you!
Once a month, Commissioner Romero meets with community members for informal coffee chats. These meetings give you the opportunity to talk about issues of concern, ask her questions about the county, and share ideas. Commissioner Romero provides participants’ coffee. She is the representative of District 2, which includes Yelm, Lacey, and Rainier.

What:
Citizen meeting with 2nd district County Commissioner Sandra Romero

When:
Monday, September 28, 2015

Where:
– Rainier: 9:30am – 10:30am at Rainier City Hall, 102 Rochester St W

– Yelm: 11:00am – Noon at Mr. Doug’s (New location).

Read more


September 24, 2015

Mayor Harding violated Yelm City Council protocol


Mayor Ron Harding

Editor’s note:
I do get that citizens do not like to hear when their leader has crossed a line.
However, no one seems to be willing to take the heat in reporting this information, not even the local newspaper, who has a reporter sitting in-house for these meetings.



– Yelm City Council Agenda protocol violated by Yelm Mayor Ron Harding on Tuesday, September 22, 2015:
The Yelm City Council Agenda clearly states, from where I quote:
“Comment topics should not appear elsewhere on the agenda.”
The purpose of this is to not influence the council’s decisions in that session.

Yet, Leo Painton, Labor Specialist from the Fraternal Order of Police, was allowed by Mayor Harding to speak during the Public Comment section of the Council’s Agenda. That NOT ONE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER questioned this, when clearly a Fraternal Order of Police contract was on the Yelm City Council Agenda’s Executive Session, followed by a vote in the same Council session, is an outrage and travesty of City Council procedures.
[“Executive Session – A 30 minute Executive Session is scheduled for the purpose of discussion of the Fraternal Order of Police Collective Bargaining Agreement (RCW 42.30.140 4 (a)(b)”]

Bottom Line:
I support all challengers to the current City Council office holders in their election to replace this bunch of, yes, inept City Council members that do not stand-up in following proper procedures they took an oath to uphold!


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