October 28, 2021

Yelm’s council receives an incomplete L.I.D. briefing –
This blog has covered the L.I.D. issue for 15+ years,
The details are summarized here!

Yelm City Hall public entrance.
Photo: City of Yelm

  • Editor’s note: The council’s incomplete L.I.D. briefing last Tuesday necessitated I send a letter to the council to provide them the history of this story I have followed for 15+ years. My letter is below.
  • Story highlights: The evasive answers to my L.I.D. questions required I finally submit a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request last April for the L.I.D.’s official financial documents. This is really very simple to understand if only the council would have received the document here.
  • The city officially became the land’s title holder and responsible for the note on January 3, 2020. The current balance the city owes is a total of $2,194,320 million dollars.


Dear Yelm City Council members,

I am writing to correct some statements made at the Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021 council session.

1. The Killion L. l. D. was approved by the Yelm city council on June 14, 2006, not around the year 2000. 

2. The statement made by Finance Director Dice that everybody agreed with the L. I. D. is false.

I know because I commented with others on this travesty at the public hearing on May 24, 2006.

[Thurston Highlands developers Doug Bloom & Steve Chamberlain asked the city for help in funding road improvements necessitated by traffic impacts from their Tahoma Terra developments. Property owners in the impact zone of Tahoma Terra were forced to pay a City Council imposed L. I. D. covering 46% of the costs of road improvements to Yelm Ave. West, Killion & Tahoma Blvd. via mandated property taxes, or almost one-half of the cost of the road improvements, work that should have been borne totally by the developers. Click here]

Only the Thurston Highlands/Tahoma Terra developers, and Thurston EDC President Michael Edwards, Twin County Credit Union reps., and the Yelm School superintendent were in favor of this project.

There was much consternation and frustration from citizens, especially between property owners and these other stakeholders. The council sided against the citizens and with the cooperate interests, none of them residing in the city limits.

One of the town’s co-founder families was represented by Roberta Longmire, who expressed their collective opposition to the L.I.D.    

The L. I. D. history is important to read to provide you with context: Click here

To council member Blair, here is the history of the subsequent Bond, to provide further understanding: Click here

Thus, citizens learned that the Thurston EDC President Michael Edwards, an advocate for the L.I.D., was also a serving Board of Directors member of Thurston First Bank (the bank funded the loan of Ordinance 910 authorizing the issuance and sale of a local improvement district No. 2 bond in the principal amount of $10,139,000), plus Edwards had an interest in the vacant 8 acre lot behind Rosemont facing Yelm Ave. West (note: the L.I.D. passes, and this property value rises). Click here

Bottom line:

The evasive answers to my L.I.D. questions required I finally submit a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request last April for the L.I.D.’s official financial documents. This is really very simple to understand if only the council would have received the document attached.  

To put in context, Mayor Foster signed a contract for a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure on December 29, 2017, without council approval, leaving the city with the land plus approx. $2.1 million total in debt and interest, IF/when the land-owners defaulted per Foster’s contract. This was all set-up to get the “high profile” land owners’ out from under what they owed, so of course they were going to default! Council requested explanations from Foster repeatedly when council member Joe DePinto first questioned the mayor on this June 26, 2018, only to be told by Foster to wait until the end of 2019, to see if the land-owners would make their payments in full. If in default on December 31, 2019, the city would take the land as collateral for the loan, plus the L. I. D.’s debt/interest. That occurred and on January 3, 2020, when the city became the L.I.D. parcel and debt holder. Your Study Session of January 7, 2020, provided you with an incomplete overview by Grant Beck. To date, Mayor Foster has had no public explanation as to what he “fostered” onto the backs of the city’s budget, and taxpayers’ backs.

The city officially became the land’s title holder and responsible for the note on January 3, 2020, which left a balance total of $2,194,320 million dollars at that time, for which the city became responsible. The city publicized this then on their website, still listed as follows: Click here

Reading the attached document will bring the numbers into clarity. Click here


Steve Klein

October 28, 2021

* Historic Yelm Water Tower to be a Beacon of Light,
* Auditor’s Office conducting random election audit,
* Many activities for Thurston seniors, including Yelm’s Senior Center!

Photo: Thurston Talk


+ Thurston Talk: Historic Yelm Water Tower Renovation To Be a Beacon of Light

+ Thurston County Auditor: Auditor’s Office Will Conduct Random Audit of the November 2 General Election

+ JOLT News: Many activities for seniors in Thurston County [Yelm Senior Center: Haunted Scavenger Hunt and Halloween Decoration Contest]


KING-5 News: US issues its 1st passport with ‘X’ gender marker

CNBC: Retail trade group expects holiday sales to rise by all-time record, despite congested ports

The Washington Post: Top U.S. general calls China’s hypersonic weapon test very close to a ‘Sputnik moment’

Gizmodo: All the Fast Food You Love Contains Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals, Study Finds

NBC News: Astronomers have spotted tantalizing signs of a planet in a star system outside the Milky Way, which, if it’s confirmed, would be the first ever found in another galaxy.

McClatchy News: “Buy it when you see it.” Retailers dread holiday shortages

KING-5 TV: US to appeal UK refusal to extradite WikiLeaks’ Assange, in epic legal saga

Daily Kos: Rep. Mo Brooks walks back claims that his staff were not involved in planning Jan. 6

Vice News: 45% of Americans Don’t Believe Humans Cause Climate Change, VICE News/Guardian Poll Shows


The Hill: Trump lawyers ask judge to block IRS from giving his tax returns to congressional panel

The Washington Post: [Murdoch owned] Wall Street Journal publishes letter from Trump claiming ‘rigged’ election

Politico: Former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark splits with lawyer before Jan. 6 testimony

MSN: A new poll shows 35% of voters think the 2020 election results should be overturned

Associated Press: ‘America ‘on fire’: Facebook watched as Trump ignited hate

October 27, 2021

* The last seasonal Yelm Farmers Market is Saturday,
* COVID-19 appears to be slowing in Thurston,
* WA. Sec. of State Wyman resigns for Biden post!

The last farmers market for the season is Saturday 10am-3pm, so come out for some pumpkin painting and trick or treating at the market! Photo: Yelm Farmers Market – Facebook


+ Rob Molina hosts The Yelm Podcast: Rob interviewed Blogger Steve Klein about the history of water issues [Also on Spotify.]

+ The Olympian: COVID-19 infection rate appears to be slowing in Thurston County

+ The Associated Press: Federal judge rejects bid to stop Washington vaccine mandate

+ McClatchy News: No shortage of toilet paper or chicken in WA. But you may need to be patient, less picky

+ The Seattle Times: Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman resigns to join Biden administration


MSNBC’s Maddow Blog: Deficit shrinks in the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency

Springer published research paper: Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States

Salon: Virginia Democrats Sue USPS Over Delays That Could Impact State Governor Race

The 19th: Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Texas’s First Statewide Anti-Trans Bill


MSNBC’s Maddow Blog: Trump keeps asking Biden to hide Jan. 6 materials. The White House keeps saying no.

MSNBC’s The Reidout Blog: How a Civil War-era law could doom white supremacists on trial for Charlottesville rally

MSNBC Opinion: Trump evading punishment for trying to steal the election goes way beyond white privilege

October 26, 2021

* Yelm council to approve receipt of American Rescue Plan Act Funds,
* Biden Admin. offers WA. GOP Sec. of State Kim Wyman a post,
* Rolling Stone: Jan. 6 Protest Organizers say they met with members of Congress!

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, seen Sept. 15, 2020, in Olympia, reportedly has been offered a position in the Biden administration related to voter security, according to CNN. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, seen Sept. 15, 2020, in Olympia, reportedly has been offered a position in the Biden administration related to voter security, according to CNN. Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP


+ City of Yelm: This evening, the city council will approve Resolution No. 621 to receive and utilize the American Rescue Plan Act Funds to invest in infrastructure,
public safety, and COVID-19 mitigation efforts as authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department. 

 CNN: First on CNN: Biden administration expected to name WA. GOP official who challenged Trump’s lies to key election security role

+ The Seattle Times: Report: Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman will be named to Biden administration election-security post [Ed. Note: Wyman served as Thurston County Elections Director for nearly a decade and served three terms as the elected Thurston County Auditor (2001-2013).]

+ The Olympian: Eleven percent of the troopers working in Pierce and Thurston counties chose to leave the Washington State Patrol rather than be vaccinated, the second highest number of separated employees from the agency’s eight districts.

+ Thurston TalkGrammy Award-Winning Artist Melissa Etheridge Coming to The Washington Center for the Performing Arts – Pre-Sale October 26 at noon; General Public October 29 at noon

+ South Sound Business: Study: State Unemployment Claims 18 Percent Lower Than Pre-COVID Levels

+ The Seattle Times via The Washington Post: CDC director encourages kids to go outside on Halloween and ‘enjoy your trick-or-treating’

+ KING-5 TV (NBC Seattle): The National Weather Service (NWS) said the pressure hit a low of 942.5 millibars Sunday, which is the lowest pressure ever recorded off the Washington coast. The previous lowest pressure off our coast was in 1981 at 950 millibars.

+ The Center Square: Washington State Legislators Locked Out of Offices Over Vaccine Rule

+ McClatchy News: Ken Griffey Jr. purchases shares in Mariners franchise


McClatchy News: Democrats to Biden: Start pushing back more aggressively against Trump

CNBC: Tesla shares rise after Hertz says it will buy 100,000 electric vehicles

KING-5 TV: United Nations says 2020 Greenhouse gas concentrations at new record

McClatchy News: Some American workers are deciding to quit their jobs in defiance of what they consider intrusive vaccine mandates.

CNBC: Business groups ask White House to delay Biden Covid vaccine mandate until after the holidays


Rolling Stone: EXCLUSIVE – Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff (included Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). [Daily Kos: Two Jan. 6 rally organizers are talking, and congressional Republicans should be nervous]

Daily Kos: Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez Calls to Expel Members Who Aided January 6 Plot After Fiery Report

Daily Kos: ‘We are determined to make the fraud of 2020 the issue of the election,’ Michigan county GOP pledges

Daily Kos: Cowboys For Trump Founder Cuoy Griffin Turns on Trump. Griffin Is Mad He Was Arrested For Jan 6th.

MSNBC’s The Mehdi Hasan Show: As Dems focus on Manchin, GOP ensures coup that failed doesn’t in 2024

CNN Politics: First on CNN: Biden White House rejects more executive privilege claims by Trump

October 25, 2021

Can the chamber director serve their mission, yet execute their oath if a council member?

  • Editor’s note: I have been asked by several readers about an appearance of a conflict of interest with Yelm Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Line Roy’s candidacy for Yelm City Council.
  • Should she win, both positions would require her to be loyal to each of their constituencies: the Yelm Chamber of Commerce members, and the public’s interest in serving all of Yelm. 
  • The City of Yelm has been previously warned twice in the last 15 years by the State Auditor to take all precautions to avoid conflicts of interest.
  • I put this question to Ms. Roy a week ago and have received no response for publication to-date:
If Ms. Roy should win the council seat, how can she adhere to her oath of elective office to uphold the Yelm Municipal Code’s Protocol Manual to maintain the utmost standards of … “fairness in carrying out their public duties; avoid any improprieties in their roles as public servants,” while having the fiduciary responsibility to adhere to the Chamber’s mission to refer chamber members to visitors first above all others?
Should a council member be serving 2 masters? If elected as a councilor, this is a conflict!
For example, would Ms. Roy refer only Chamber member restaurants to visitors as required of the Executive Director? Or would she refer visitors to non-Chamber member restaurants, too? If elected as a councilor, this is a conflict!
The Chamber’s Executive Director advocates, coordinates and collaborates developing, planning and executing joint Chamber/City projects and events. If elected as a councilor, this is a conflict!   
The city funds a Chamber map annually and certain events during the year, funding requested and accepted by the Chamber’s Executive Director. If elected as a councilor, this is a conflict!
This issue was in the news in 2010 when Mayor Ron Harding was selected at the Chamber’s President. Nisqually Valley News Editor/Publisher Keven Graves then wrote, “I believe the ‘perception’ of a conflict of interest can be every bit as damaging as a genuine conflict of interest.”

From the Yelm Protocol Manual: Chapter 1.04 Section B. Code of Conduct Policy

“It is the policy of the City of Yelm to uphold, promote, and demand the highest standards of ethics from all of its elected and appointed officials. Accordingly, all elected officials, members of all appointed boards, commissions, committees, City employees, consultants and professional service providers are expected to maintain the utmost standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty and fairness in carrying out their public duties; avoid any improprieties in their roles as public servants; and never use their City position or powers for personal gain.”

October 25, 2021

* Olympia pumpkin grower achieves fame and fortune,
* Ten years ago today, the 787 flew first paying passengers,
* Trump had a “Command Center” to plot his Coup and Insurrection!!

Jeff Uhlmeyer's giant pumpkin is escorted to the weighing platform, as shown on KIRO7 News on Oct. 12, 2021.

Jeff Uhlmeyer’s giant pumpkin escorted to the weighing platform, Oct. 12, 2021. Credit: KIRO-7 TV, via JOLT News.



+ JOLT News: Local Olympia pumpkin grower achieves fame and fortune

+ Thurston Talk: Take A Day Trip to the Capitol Forest for Hiking Trails You Won’t Forget

+ The Archive: Ten years ago today, ANA of Japan launched the first Boeing 787 passenger flights


The New York Times Morning Report: Company documents obtained by The Times revealed the degree to which Facebook knew of extremist movements on its site that were trying to polarize American voters before and after the election, but failed or struggled to address the issues.

The Washington Post: White supremacists are returning to Charlottesville. But this time, they’re on trial.

CNBC: Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey says ‘hyperinflation’ will happen soon in the U.S. and the world

Sludge: Secretive House Caucus Is Appointing Corporate Democrats to Key Committee Seats

Edward Snowden: It is crucial to bear in mind that the industry’s problem is not data “protection,” it is data COLLECTION. Mass surveillance must be recognized as a crime, not a business model.

The Hill: Sotomayor on court’s refusal to block Texas abortion law: ‘Catastrophic’

CNBC: ‘We should be concerned’: Internal documents reveal Facebook studied and knew its QAnon push


Daily Kos: Trump had a “Command Center” to plot his Coup and Insurrection

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: Trump’s ‘coup lawyer’ Eastman disavows infamous memo – with an apparent change of heart by John Eastman, an attorney for Donald Trump who outlined a quasi-legal plan for overturning the 2020 election and how the January 6th attack on the Capitol could work if Mike Pence rejected Electoral College votes.

October 24, 2021

Editorial cartoonists’ insights on last weeks stories of note!

“A legacy of honor and humility”
Credit David Horsey, The Seattle Times
Jack Ohman: The last shall be first ...
“The last shall be first”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
“Trump’s new same old platform”
Credit: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer
“Traffic jam”
Credit Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Jack Ohman: Another fine message ...
“Another fine message”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
“Local politics has gone national”
Credit David Horsey, The Seattle Times
Jack Ohman: Miner inconvenience ...
“Miner inconvenience”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
Credit: Lisa Benson, Washington Post Writers Group

October 23, 2021

5 Stops for Fall Farm Fun – Pumpkin Patches in Thurston County!

Schilter Family Farm Pumpkin Patch
Credit: Experience Olympia & Beyond

“Pumpkin Patches & Harvest Fun You’ll Fall For”

Plentiful Pumpkin Patches & Fall Farm Adventures

If you’re looking for the perfect pumpkin, or want to trek through a locally grown corn maze, our region’s farmers have you covered. Want to get out mid-week or are looking for ideal weekend adventure? With this many options, you’ll find the perfect patch for your schedule:

+ Experience Olympia & Beyond: 4 Stops for Fall Farm Fun

+ Thurston Talk: 2021 Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes in Olympia and Throughout Thurston County

October 23, 2021

* It’s that time of year – consider a Gift of Gobble donation,
* Tenino’s Scatter Creek Winery & Brewing set to close in Dec.,
* Centralia’s Big Hanaford Power Plant the last coal-fired plant in WA.!

The Centralia Big Hanaford Power Plant is the last coal-fired plant in Washington State.”
Credit: Evan McGlinn for The New York Times


+ Bounty For Families: It’s that time of year again! Please consider donating to help us serve families in our community a Thanksgiving dinner!

+ The Olympian: Scatter Creek Winery & Brewing in Tenino is set to close at the end of the year, the business announced on Facebook and in a message shared with The Olympian. The owners are retiring, they said.

+ Gov. Jay Inslee: Inslee and Murray announce next steps to establish solutions for salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin

+ The Seattle Times: Attorney [Tana Lin] Who Helped Fight Trump Travel Ban Appointed to Federal Bench in Washington State

+ The Seattle Times: New Estimates Show 50% Drop in COVID Infections in Washington, According to State Report

+ KOMO-4 TV: Inslee joins efforts to welcome Afghan refugees to Washington state

+ Entertainment Tonight: Amanda Knox and Husband Christopher Robinson Welcome a Baby Girl


The New York Times: A dispatch from the Arctic – Climate-change adaptation can be a difficult subject to discuss

Common Dreams: Biden Says He’s Open to Reforming Filibuster to Win Voting Rights

ProPublica: The Oath Keepers Militia Movement Has Taken Root in the Republican Mainstream

The Washington Post: You’re not ‘fully vaccinated.’ You never will be. It’s a goal for communities or nations, not for individuals

Forbes: Dr. Anthony Fauci Received Big Pay Increase To Prevent Pandemics

The Next Web: Edward Snowden: ‘If you weaken encryption, people will die’ – Snowden has joined a campaign to promote encryption

Washington Examiner: Biden delays release of secret JFK assassination files [Ed. Note: Sad this continues to be kept from the public!]


CNN: Former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, who pushed baseless election fraud claims, expected to testify before January 6 committee

The Washington Post: In a post-Trump world, these pastors are ditching the evangelical label for something new

MSNBC: Former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas found guilty of campaign finance crimes

The Hill: Judge to hear Trump‘s case against Jan. 6 committee beginning November 4

October 22, 2021

Nisqually River Foundation, Nisqually Land Trust seek tree planting volunteers!

Lackamas Flats
Photo: Nisqually Land Trust

In partnership with the Nisqually Land Trust, we will be planting over 4,000 native trees and shrubs this fall! These trees and shrubs will help restore critical habitat in the beautiful Nisqually Watershed. We will be planting at our Powell Creek Protected Area and Lackamas Flats Protected area from Wednesday, October 27th through Saturday, November 20th.   In order to accomplish this, we need your help!! We normally fill these dates with school field trips, but with so many districts unable to take field trips, we need our trusty volunteers to help us get all these trees in the ground!

Here are the POWELL CREEK eventsSign up for any shift from Oct. 28th through Nov. 10th on Eventbrite here!  Most days have a morning and afternoon shift!

Here are the LACKAMAS FLATS events.  Sign up for any shift from Nov. 12th through Nov. 20th on Eventbrite here!  Most days have a morning and afternoon shift!


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