June 26, 2019

Toboton culvert work set to begin on Peissner Rd. in the Bald Hills

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  • From Thurston County Public Works:

“The three aging culverts under the road at this location are in poor condition. They also separate Toboton Creek’s natural streambed, lowering water flow to the point where fish cannot access upstream habitat. As part of the Fish Passage Enhancement program, the culverts at this location will be replaced with an updated, single aluminum box culvert. Streambed enhancements will also be made to improve fish passage. After construction begins, the project is expected to last approximately three months. Drivers should expect single lane closures and delays on Peissner Road near the site during construction.

Read more


June 26, 2019

Yelm Schools serve as a model for statewide initiative to teach tribal culture, issues

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“The Yelm District has a strong and ongoing relationship with the Nisqually Tribe.”
Photo credit: Jenna Fissenden

“Yelm Serves as Model District for ‘Since Time Immemorial’ Curriculum”

The Nisqually Project is not your typical assignment. Each year every seventh-grade student in the Yelm School District tackles the project, engaging in five essential questions about the Nisqually Tribe as part of their Pacific Northwest History class. After extensive research, visits from Nisqually Tribal members, and outings to the Nisqually Culture Center and other important sites, they create a written and tactile representation of their knowledge through drawings, canoe or longhouse replicas, and more.”

The project is part of the Since Time Immemorial (STI), a statewide initiative to support the teaching of tribal sovereignty, tribal history, and current tribal issues within the context of Washington and U.S. History. All 29 tribes have endorsed the curriculum’s use and importance, yet although it’s a mandatory requirement through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), not all districts implement it – or are even aware of the mandate.

But then there’s Yelm. Even before STI was signed into law in 2005, the district was already working with the Nisqually Tribe to incorporate tribal perspectives into history classes. Former Ridgeline Middle School teacher Jerry Price, now Social Studies Program Supervisor for OSPI, was instrumental in developing STI’s middle school curriculum. As a result, Yelm Community Schools offers an effective model for how to collaboratively develop a regionally appropriate framework that includes the history and culture of each distinct tribal nation,” by Heidi Smith, Thurston Talk. Read more


June 26, 2019

Yelm Cinemas presents screening for Special Needs Families this Saturday

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“On June 29 families of children with special needs can attend a Sensory Friendly showing of Toy Story IV.”
Photo credit: Yelm Cinemas

“Yelm Cinemas Offers Sensory Friendly Screening of ‘Toy Story 4’ for Special Needs Families”

“Kasey Gonzalez’s son loves “Toy Story.” Every week, the family watches the first three movies and the six-year-old owns the small, medium and large versions of each toy character. ‘There aren’t too many things he shows such strong interest in,” says Gonzalez, ‘But I was too nervous to take him to see “Toy Story 4.” It was heartbreaking.’ Now due to a special Sensory Friendly showing of the film at Yelm Cinemas on June 29, Gonzalez will be able to take her son, who is autistic, without worrying about the impact on other patrons.

The special screening will begin at 10:00 a.m. and tickets must be purchased at the theater rather than online to eliminate any potential confusion. During the show, the lights will be turned up and the sound will be turned down for children who are affected by sensory overload. ‘I know we have special needs kids in our community who don’t get to go to the movies,’ says Yelm Cinemas General Manager, Noah Aden. ‘This is an opportunity for them to see a movie in the theater, get up and walk around if they need to, and maybe make some friends. The parents won’t have to worry about disturbing other parents,'” by Heidi Smith, Thurston Talk. Read more


June 25, 2019

Dr. Ana Mihalcea’s new Yelm office focuses on solutions for well being and longevity!

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Dr. Ana Mihalcea
Photo credit: Heidi Smith

“AM Medical Brings Cutting Edge Healthcare to Yelm”

“The facade of Dr. Ana Mihalcea’s new Yelm medical practice is deceptively modest. From the outside, you might not perceive that anything revolutionary is going on. But step through the doors and within a few short minutes you’ll understand differently. From a machine that identifies the voltage within cells related to the autonomic nervous system to intravenous nutritional and peptide treatments that can lengthen telomeres and reverse the effects of aging, this is not your typical doctor’s office. Mihalcea’s AM Medical offers cutting edge healthcare in a rural setting.”

“The drive to open her own practice came from a variety of factors. Mihalcea has practiced internal and primary care medicine for over 20 years and specialized in geriatrics. Her career has included extensive experience of chronic disease management, cognitive and mood disorders and she is a member of the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Ultimately, she found the confines of traditional medicine limiting,” by Heidi Smith, Thurston Talk. Read more

Blogger Klein is a client of one of AM Medical office’s services.


June 25, 2019

City announces grant funding for Yelm SPSCC branch, business incubator space

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“Legislature Funds Two Projects to Enhance Art, Education, and  Economic Development in Yelm”

[Editor’s note: The Nisqually Valley News reported reported on February 16, 2017, that the Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) first proposed an ordinance to the Yelm City Council to create a city arts commission. Former YBA Board member Steve Craig carried that through after the YBA dissolved. Read more Mr. Craig also founded the “Save the Water Tower” non-profit referenced in the story below, and who deserves much credit, though the city unfortunately omitted his being responsible for both of these fine additions to Yelm!]

“The Yelm community will see the iconic Water Tower come back to life as 125-foot-tall art piece that stands over the center of town and — at the same time — the City will start the beginning stages of developing a South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) satellite branch and business incubator space, thanks to grant funding through the Washington State Legislature.”

“‘We are grateful for our legislators who worked with us to find the most appropriate funding source in the final budget adopted by the Legislature,’ City Administrator Michael Grayum said. ‘Both of these community projects are important for preserving Yelm’s past and building our future.’

“The State allocated $200,000 in the 2019-2021 Capital Budget to fund the conceptual building design, architectural renderings, community engagement, and cost estimate for a multi-story, mixed-use community building to serve as a business incubator to serve rural parts of Thurston and Pierce counties,” quoting the City of Yelm news release. Read more


June 25, 2019

Steve Craig: the mind behind Yelm’s Arts Commission, non-profit “Save the Yelm Water Tower”

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Yelm’s historic water tower
Credit: City of Yelm

“Yelm Gets Creative with New Arts Commission, Festivals and Downtown Projects”

[Editor’s note: The Nisqually Valley News reported reported on February 16, 2017, that the Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) first proposed an ordinance to the Yelm City Council to create a city arts commission. Former YBA Board member Steve Craig carried that through after the YBA dissolved. Read more ]

Local business owner Steve Craig approached the council with the idea for the Arts Commission during the spring of 2019. ‘It came to my attention over the years that there’s a wealth of talent in the greater Yelm area,’ says Craig. ‘I contacted other cities to find out about their ordinances relative to creating arts commissions and shared the idea with the City Council. Without exception, they supported it.'”

“The commission will be staffed by volunteers, ideally representing a cross-section of the community.”

“In addition to helping establish the Arts Commission, Craig is one of the driving forces behind the Yelm water tower restoration project.”

He applied to the state Historic Register in 2016 and gained $154,000 in state funding through the non-profit Save the Yelm Water Tower. The monies will be used to refurbish and maintain the structure, which will also be used as a platform for creativity,” by Heidi Smith, Thurston Talk. Read more


June 24, 2019

Antibiotics contaminating world’s rivers and waterways raises concerns

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Superbugs ‘as big a global threat as climate change and warfare’

“The world’s rivers are contaminated with antibiotics, new study shows”

“The world’s rivers are widely contaminated with antibiotics, according to a new global study, the first of its kind. Researchers from the University of York in the UK analyzed samples from rivers in 72 countries and found that antibiotics were present in 65% of them.”

“Last month, the United Nations called resistance to antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiprotozoals a “global crisis.”Drug-resistant diseases cause at least 700,000 deaths globally a year, including 230,000 deaths from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, according to a report by the United Nations’ Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance..

“Without concerted global action, the authors of the UN report estimate that up to 10 million people a year may die from drug-resistant diseases by 2030,” by Kara Fox, CNN. Read more


June 23, 2019

Second Washington Congressional Rep. calls for Trump’s impeachment, Adam Smith!

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Rep. Adam Smith
Credit: (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“Rep. Adam Smith is second Washington member of Congress to call for impeachment inquiry”

  • Editor’s note: Prior to the new 10th Congressional District being created, Yelm area voters were in the 9th District and chose Adam Smith as their elected Representative to Congress, so know him well! Smith then spoke in Yelm on several occasions.

“A second member of Washington’s congressional delegation is calling for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Rep Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, said Friday [June 21] that the events of the past several weeks have changed his stance and he now believes it’s time to begin an inquiry.

“‘Congressman Smith believes we must move forward with an impeachment inquiry,’ Shana Chandler, Smith’s chief of staff, said. ‘President Trump has continued his efforts to obstruct justice and undermine Congress as a coequal branch of government and proceeding with an impeachment inquiry — the first step in a lengthy and difficult process — is the best way to demand accountability from this administration.'”

“Smith joins Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, as the lone members of Washington’s delegation to call for the beginning of impeachment proceedings,” by David Gutman, Seattle Times. Read more


June 23, 2019

USA’s National July 4th celebration should never be centered around one person –
Yet Trump hijacks this year’s holiday to be all about him!

“US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk on the South Lawn of the White House prior to greeting guests during a picnic for military families on at the White House on July 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. This year, Trump plans to give a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. The temple that honors our noblest president will be sullied by our basest. The sacred site of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s immortal “I Have a Dream” speech will be usurped by a president who looks at a group of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members and sees some “very fine people” among them.”
Credit: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

“Robinson: Trump’s making DC’s 4th of July a rally to honor himself”

“We never devote an event to one person–that’s the stuff of the Soviet Union, not the US”

“The Fourth of July celebration in Washington has long been a grand pageant of democracy, a family-friendly event that transcends ideology and partisanship. President Trump intends to turn it into a cult-of-personality political rally in honor of himself.

“No, I’m not surprised, but what Trump is doing makes me angry. And it makes me sad to see one of our very best traditions being trampled and dishonored.”

Anyone who has raised children in the D.C. area knows what I mean. Independence Day is a highlight of the summer, a chance to wave the flag and watch the fireworks. The crowds on the National Mall are always thick. The muggy heat is reliably oppressive. Clouds often reduce the pyrotechnics to diffuse flashes of colored light. The traffic jam afterward is epic. And the whole thing, every minute of it, is simply wonderful.”

Most presidents understand that the theme of the day is “we the people,” not “me, me, me.” They usually have the good sense to keep a low profile. Some, beginning with Ulysses S. Grant, have made a point of leaving town; others have opted for symbolic activities befitting the occasion. George W. Bush and Barack Obama chose to preside over naturalization ceremonies for new citizens. Last year, Trump appropriately hosted a picnic at the White House for military families.

This year, the real Trump — the bullying narcissist — promises to make an appearance,” by Eugene Robinson, Washington Post. Read more

Click here for the video from MSNBC.


June 22, 2019

WSP cracks down on distracted drivers this weekend.
Put down your cellphone while driving!

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A driver texts while waiting to get on Interstate 405 in Kirkland last summer. Credit: Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times

“Washington State Patrol cracking down on distracted drivers this weekend; know what’s legal and what isn’t”

Put down your phone!

The Washington State Patrol will be looking for distracted drivers around the state during an emphasis patrol Friday through Sunday.

The state is on a mission to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2030 and, to that end, has launched a number of public-safety and education initiatives aimed at changing drivers’ behaviors.

Distracted driving causes 30% of statewide traffic fatalities and 23% of all serious injury collisions in Washington, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission,” by Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times. Read more


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