January 25, 2020

The decade that just ended was warmest on record.
Trump’s environmental deregulations are having disastrous effects!

“The Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris during a heat wave on June 28, 2019. Zakaria.” Abdelkafi / AFP – Getty Images file

“The last decade was the warmest on record, NASA and NOAA find”

“The data is a closely watched indicator of the Earth’s changing climate, particularly as projections for future years anticipate the trend to continue.”

“That conclusion, based on newly released data, also found that 2019 was the second-hottest year in recorded history.”

“‘Every decade since the 1960s has been warmer than the decade previously, and not by a small amount,’ Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, told reporters in a news briefing Wednesday [Jan. 15].

“Average global temperatures in 2019 were 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average, according to separate independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),” by Denise Chow, NBC News. Read more

“Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning”

  • Editor’s note: This country’s environmental review degradation by the Trump Administration will take years to repair, if ever, once Trump leaves office.

“Federal agencies would no longer have to take climate change into account when they assess the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, according to a Trump administration plan that would weaken the nation’s benchmark environmental law.

“The proposed changes to the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act could sharply reduce obstacles to the Keystone XL oil pipeline and other fossil fuel projects that have been stymied when courts ruled that the Trump administration did not properly consider climate change when analyzing the environmental effects of the projects,” by Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. Read more

January 25, 2020

Is 24/7 aerial drone surveillance coming to American cities by 2025?

“General Atomics is conducting a test flight of its SkyGuardian drone over San Diego sometime this year.”
Jared Rodriguez / Truthout

“Large Military-Grade Drones Could Soon Be Flying Over Your Backyard”

“As the U.S. military and defense contractors eye a potential drone war with Iran as tensions with the country remain elevated, the defense industry is also preparing to test-fly domestic versions of its combat drones over major American cities in an effort to fully integrate military-grade drones into civil airspace alongside commercial air traffic in the coming years.

“That’s right, those robotic killing machines used for counterterrorism strikes in the Middle East are coming home — and could eventually be used to surveil large protests and communities of color throughout the U.S.

“The Poway-based defense contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., will test-fly its SkyGuardian drone, outfitted with a 79-foot wingspan and advanced surveillance capabilities of more than 2,000 feet, over San Diego, California, sometime this year.”

No Privacy Debate in Sight,” by Candice Bernd, Truthout.

Read more

January 24, 2020

Arcora Foundation’s SmileMobile returns to Yelm next week

Photo credit: SmileMobile on Facebook
  • SmileMobile returns to Yelm
  • January 27 – 31: Yelm Middle School. 402 Yelm Ave. W.
  • The event is open to the community regardless of the school your child attends.
  • Schedule a dental exam by calling: 1.888.286.9105.
  • Read more

From the Arcora the Foundation of Delta Dental of Washington:

SmileMobile services

Our SmileMobile, a dental office on wheels, provides dental care to children living in rural and underserved communities who may have difficulty finding a dentist.  Since first hitting the road in 1995, our three-chair mobile clinic has served more than 40,000 children throughout Washington who have no insurance or are insured through Apple Health (Medicaid).

The SmileMobile is a partnership of Delta Dental of Washington, Arcora Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital.  

We provide care to babies up through high-school age and pregnant women. Our services include:

  • Oral health education
  • Examinations
  • X-rays
  • Preventive care (sealants, fluoride varnish)
  • Fillings and simple extractions
  • Referrals to local dental care

These services are provided at little or no cost.

In each community we partner with local organizations to help spread the word that the SmileMobile is coming to town. We also participate in several community events throughout the year providing dental care to low-income adults. Read more

January 23, 2020

Rep. Denny Heck remembers 2 Congressional colleagues

  • From Rep. Denny Heck’s heartfelt news release:

“After two busy weeks back in our nation’s capital, I had a chance to reflect on some of the relationships I’ve made over the last seven years.

“In many ways, my job is about relationships. It’s about my relationship to you, my constituents. How can I best represent your interests and concerns? After all, ‘Representative’ isn’t just a title, it’s a job description.

“It’s also about the relationships I build with people in the other Washington. Listening to and working with other members of Congress who are working to represent their constituents’ interests. Looking for ways that we can make progress for everyone.

“During my time in Congress, I’ve had the privilege of building relationships with many Members, spanning the country and political spectrum. I wanted to share a little bit about two of them with you—two decent, honorable public servants who passed away in recent months.

“In October, the nation lost a visionary with an enormous heart and incredible drive: the Democratic congressman from Maryland, Elijah Cummings.”

“Earlier this month we mourned the passing of former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Pennsylvania.

“As I grieve, I find inspiration in one of my favorite passages in scripture: ‘Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your Lord.’

“Elijah and Mike embodied what it means to serve. It was an honor to serve alongside them, and I will miss them dearly.” Read more

January 23, 2020

Washington Newspaper Publisher Assn. (WNPA) opens Olympia news bureau

WNPA Capitol reporters: Leona Vaughn, Cameron Sheppard.
Credit WNPA

“WNPA Olympia News Bureau Opens for 2020 Legislative Session”

“The Washington Newspaper Publisher Association’s [WNPA] Olympia news bureau opened on Wednesday [Jan. 15] with two reporters in new permanent quarters on the Capitol campus.

“In a space large enough to accommodate several reporters a stone’s throw from the Capitol dome, Cameron Sheppard and Leona Vaughn will report on state lawmakers for more about 80 WNPA member newspapers throughout the state.”

“‘These interns are a great resource for readers of the Nisqually Valley News who will now enjoy deeper coverage of the issues at hand in the Legislature,’ said Lafromboise Communications Regional Executive Editor Eric Schwartz, by the WNPA. Read more

January 22, 2020

Tea Tasting At The Shiplap Shop and Coffee House this Saturday!


First Annual Tea Tasting event at the Shiplap Shop and Coffee House. Come taste several of our teas brought to you by Little Prayer Tea Co.

“Come enjoy an afternoon of tea tasting at the Shiplap Shop in Yelm. The owners of Little Prayer Tea Company are bringing a wide variety of their hand-crafted teas to prepare and give you an opportunity to discover some new favorites. The Shiplap Shop and Coffee House has been serving Little Prayer Teas for the past couple of months and the feedback from our customers has been wonderful. This tasting will be educational, fun and TASTY! We look forward to seeing you!” by The Shiplap Shop and Coffee House. Read more

WHEN: Sat., January 25, 2020, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM PST

WHERE: The Shiplap Shop and Coffee House

112 Yelm Avenue E.

Yelm, WA 98597

January 22, 2020

Retailers plastic bag issue taken up by the state legislature

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. 
Credit: Hannah Sabio-Howell, communications specialist for Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent.

“Proposed State Law Adds a Fee to Plastic Bags at Checkout”

  • Editor’s note: The former Yelm city councils had an opportunity to take the lead on a plastic bag ban within city limits and demurred. This was an issue here in Yelm in July 2014. Read more

“In an attempt to reduce plastic pollution, a bill banning retailers from handing out free single-use plastic bags in the state of Washington is moving in the Legislature.

“The bill, SB 5323, was passed by the Senate with a vote of 30-19 on Wednesday, Jan. 15, and is now headed to the House for further consideration. If the bill becomes law, shoppers will have to either bring their own bags or pay an eight-cent fee for a reusable carryout plastic bag.

“The bill was a one-party proposal, made by the Democrats, and received the support of two Republicans voting yes. One Democrat voted no,” by Leona Vaughn, for the Nisqually Valley News. Read more

January 21, 2020

America’s turn to be a juror!
This is an historic day everyone should appreciate,
For only the 3rd time in U. S. history, a trial against the President begins!

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States
  • Editor’s note:
  • Today, as a Presidential impeachment trial begins for only the 3rd time in U. S. history, we have never had a President who has been put on trial for violating national security by interfering into the sovereignty of an American election, conducted right from the Oval Office, and all for his own personal gain.
  • At no time during the House’s deliberations about the accusations against President Trump were there any Republican House members who professed support for the President’s actions with Ukraine or provided evidence of Trump’s innocence. Instead they focused only on the process, distraction, diversion, and impugning the credibility of testimony from career professionals in our government.
  • That elected Republican Congressional representatives do not want to look at the facts and evidence speaks to how broken our representation has become.
  • After all, in the last 45 years there have been three Presidents investigated for impeachment and only one President impeached in 200 years prior to that. (Nixon resigned in 1974 rather than being formally impeached).
  • This cuts to the core of our democracy.
  • Will our Congressional Representatives adhere to their oath of office and their impeachment oath of impartiality?
  • America and the world will be watching if Autocracy wins or if we can keep our Republic, bound to the Constitution of the United States!

Steve Klein, Yelm Community Blog Host

UPDATE: January 21, 2020, Press Release

“Pelosi Statement on McConnell Cover-Up Resolution” Read more

“Trump’s Senate impeachment hearings will be driven by the GOP’s fear”

“Republicans have toadied to Trump since the day he took office, and in doing so, have left themselves with no room to maneuver politically.”

On Tuesday [Jan. 21], the impeachment trial of President Donald John Trump will begin in the United States Senate. It ought to be a moment of pride in our constitutional order, a testament to the framers’ vision that no one, not even a president, is above the law. And as such, it also ought to be a moment of patriotic duty, when all members put the Constitution and the rule of law above party and personal interests.

But instead it’s an occasion dominated by something quite different.


Fear of Trump drives the actions of the spineless GOP caucus, as does fear of the truth, and fear of a partisan base to which none dare speak the truth.”

“Most troubling for the Republic, though, is that Republican senators’ fears actually boil down to a fear of the Constitution,” by George Conway, Reed Galen, Think on NBC News. Read more

January 20, 2020

MLK, Jr. Day honors the legacy of an American icon –
One of my top ten all-time heroes!

Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Unveiled in 2011. Photo credit: AARP

This story has been posted here annually on MLK, Jr. Day since 2009.


– MLK’s letter from the Birmingham, Alabama jail penned April 12, 1963 still resonates today.
By Martin Luther King, Jr.
Read more

– “Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War, both from a religious perspective. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986,” quoting Wikipedia.

– The Seattle Times has a fabulous 2011 expose on the civil rights giant.
Click here

– The full version of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.
August 28, 1963, posted on YouTube.
Click here

– “The Color of Surveillance”
“What an infamous abuse of power teaches us about the modern spy era.”

“The FBI has a lead. A prominent religious leader and community advocate is in contact with a suspected sleeper agent of foreign radicals. The attorney general is briefed and personally approves wiretaps of his home and offices. The man was born in the United States, the son of a popular cleric. Even though he’s an American citizen, he’s placed on a watchlist to be summarily detained in the event of a national emergency. Of all similar suspects, the head of FBI domestic intelligence thinks he’s ‘the most dangerous,’ at least ‘from the standpoint of … national security.’

“Is this a lone wolf in league with foreign sponsors of terrorism? No: This was the life of Martin Luther King Jr. That FBI assessment was dated Aug. 30, 1963—two days after King told our country that he had a dream.,” by Alvaro M. Bedoya, Slate.com.
Read more

“6 Leaders Who Carry On Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy”

“With King’s dream only partially achieved, they work to ensure civil and other rights,” by Pamela K. Johnson, AARP. Read more

– “11 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes that will inspire your soul”

“At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love,” by Bethanni Williams, KING-5 TV News, Seattle. Read more

– “‘Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope’ | MLK Memorial brings famous speech to life”

“Here’s the history behind the monument in Washington, D.C. which pays homage to the life of one of the greatest civil rights leaders,” by Megan Yoder, KING-5 TV News, Seattle. Read more

Blogger Klein is a founding donor to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C.

January 19, 2020

Even though The House submitted Articles of Impeachment to the Senate,
Was last week another one for an Autocracy or a Constitutional Republic?
You decide from key stories you may have missed!

By Kevin Siers,
The Charlotte Observer
  • Editor’s note: As of last week, the President can no longer claim he did not break the law in his call with the President of Ukraine, for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent agency reporting to Congress, announced Thursday (Jan. 16) that the President violated the law in withholding congressionally approved U.S. military aid to Ukraine.
  • Additional stories last week underscoring Autocracy’s roots are growing deep:

“Senate Urged to Convict Trump After GAO Says White House Broke Law by Freezing Ukraine Aid”

“The federal watchdog’s decision ‘should be a call to action for every senator to put country over party and vote to remove Trump from office,'” Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams. Read more

Fascism Expert: Trump Has Laid the Groundwork for “Full-On Authoritarian Rule”

By Chauncey DeVega, Salon. Read more

“Donald Trump Keeps Saying “Deep State.” It Doesn’t Mean What He Thinks It Means.”

By Rebecca Gordon, TomDispatch. Read more

“New York City Mayor Asks for Criminal Investigation Into Trump Taxes”

By Heather Vogell, ProPublica. Read more

“Trump Was on Board With the Plan to Use Ukraine to Torpedo Biden, Parnas Says”

“Lev Parnas, a close associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, claimed in a series of interviews that aired on Wednesday and Thursday that the president and top aides were aware of and on board with the plot to use Ukraine to torpedo former Vice President Joe Biden’s chances in the 2020 election,” by Eoin Huggins, Common Dreams. Read more

“Trump authorized Soleimani’s killing 7 months ago, with conditions”

“The timing raises new questions about the Trump administration’s stated justification for taking out the top Iranian general,” by Carol E. Lee and Courtney Kube, NBC News. Read more

“John Kerry says Trump defense of Soleimani assassination ‘beginning to look like a cover-up’”

“After a week of shifting rationales from the White House for the attack on Soleimani, the contradictions continued over the weekend. Former Secretary of State John Kerry says, ‘It’s beginning to look like a cover-up over their original choices,'” on MSNBC’s Hardball. Read more

“Judge Andrew Napolitano: US killing of Soleimani was odd, out of place, untimely and unlawful”

By Andrew Napolitano, FOX News. Read more

“The president has shown us exactly what happens when good people do nothing,” by Timothy Egan, The New York Times, Read more

Trump wants “his” DOJ to open already-closed investigations into perceived opponents

By Adam Goldman, The New York Times. Read more

“Bill Barr wants Apple to break their encryption, even if it risks every American being hacked”

“Law enforcement thinks tech companies should build “backdoors” into every person’s phone and communications apps, and then hope no hacker ever finds them,” by Dan Gillmor, co-founder News Co/Lab. Read more

“Trump Has Suspended Nearly 50 Laws to Build the Wall”

By William deBuys, TomDispatch. Read more

“Russia has already won the fight to undermine U.S. elections”

“If Russia’s goal in meddling in U.S. elections has been to undermine trust in the democratic process, it has already won — and the U.S. isn’t even starting to take the sort of steps that might reverse that outcome.

Why it matters: Free, fair, and trusted elections are the cornerstone of the U.S.’s claim to moral authority. We’re only beginning to fathom how badly Vladimir Putin has wounded the American system,” by Scott Rosenberg, Axios. Read more

“How the GOP Became the Party of Putin”

“Republicans have sold their souls to Russia. And Trump isn’t the only reason why,” by James Kirchick, Politico. Read more






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