February 16, 2020

While Trump’s influence over the AG and DOJ took centerstage last week,
important stories relegated off the front pages are covered here today!

Credit: Kevin Siers
The Charlotte Observer

“GOP Strategist Says DOJ Is Now Run As the ‘Trump Family Law Firm'”

“Rick Wilson, an author, analyst and long-time Republican operative, argued on Twitter that the president had co-opted the Justice Department to serve his own personal interests,” by David Brennan, Newsweek. Read more

  • Editor’s note: The cartoon and headline above sums up President Trump’s unguarded behavior since his acquittal earlier this month, and especially Trump being allowed by the Attorney General to influence and interfere in Dept. of Justice (DOJ) cases. Those stories have been well covered in all of the media last week, so I will not expound on those issues today.
  • However, there are other headlines that were relegated off the front pages, the first of which is below that underscores what I have said for months – that Trump will not put the U. S. on the Gold Standard:

“Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee”

Lawmakers from both parties criticized [Judy Shelton] at the hearing for supporting the gold standard, reversing her views on interest rates after Trump’s election and defending the president’s attacks on the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powel,” by Alexander Bolton and Sylvan Lane, The Hill. Read more

“Spending spree: Interest on federal debt expected to soar in next decade”

By the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Read more

“House Uses Trump Impeachment Legal Team’s Arguments in Filing Seeking His Tax Returns”

By Jerry Lambe, Law & Crime. Read more

[Trump sycophant] “Rep. Jim Jordan called ‘coward’ over alleged abuse cover-up”

“The brother of a wrestler who said he was sexual abused at Ohio State—while his then-coach, Jim Jordan, turned a blind eye—has harsh words for the Ohio Congressman,” on All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC. Read more

“Justice department sues to allow ICE flights from King County Airport [in Seattle]”

By Joel Connelly, Seattle P-I. Read more

CBP Read more,

“Trump to Deploy Heavily Armed Border Patrol Tactical Units to Help With Immigration Arrests in Sanctuary Cities”

“It is unbelievable how much this action will undermine public safety. Unbelievable,” by Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams. Read more

“‘QAnon’ conspiracy theory creeps into mainstream politics”

“A far-right conspiracy theory forged in a dark corner of the internet is creeping into the mainstream political arena,” by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press. Read more

“Pentagon to shift money for fighter planes, ships toward border wall”

By Connor O’Brien and Caitlin Emma, Politico. Read more

“Trump Says His Budget Doesn’t Cut Social Security — But Mnuchin Admits It Does”

“When Steve Mnuchin or any other politician says that a ‘reduction in the rate of increase’ is different than a benefit cut, they are shamelessly lying,” by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams. Read more

“Why must we line President Trump’s pockets while he spends a third of his time at his resorts?”

By Pam Sohn, Chattanooga Times Free Press. Read more

“Border officials destroy Native American burial grounds to build Trump’s wall: report”

“The blasting at sacred burial grounds has already “resulted in the inadvertent discovery of human remains,” by Igor Derysh, Salon Magazine. Read more

February 15, 2020

Harley Holman represents FFA Yelm in Indy’s NextGen conference


“FFA Members Prepare for Careers in Animal Systems Pathways”

“Next week, 50 high school students from across the country will arrive in Kansas City, Mo., and explore careers in the animal systems industry. It’s all part of the NextGen conference, offered by the National FFA Organization.

“The first of their kind, #FFANextGen focuses on specific pathways that high school students might be interested in. More than 150 students applied for the inaugural conference. Students are looking forward to a gaining access to new ideas, trends and opportunities that will connect them directly with industry leaders. The conference is designed specifically for juniors and seniors as a hands-on, industry-relevant experience.”

“Students who have been chosen to attend the conference include:”

Harley Holman, Yelm FFA

“The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to more than 700,000 student members who belong to one of the more than 8,600 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by more than 8 million alumni and supporters throughout the U.S.,” by the Ohio Country Journal. Read more

February 14, 2020

Yelm Schools Levy Update –
Still too close to call!

The Thurston County Auditor and Pierce County released the update today of Proposition One, the Yelm Community Schools Levy. The results are indicative this levy is still too close to call with 51.95% favoring the levy:

Thurston County + Pierce County = Total

Yes = 3,041 votes = 53.31% + Yes = 479 votes = 44.72% Total = 3,520, 51.95%

No = 2,663 votes = 46.90% + No = 592 votes = 55.28% Total = 3,255, 48.05%

Total votes cast = 5,704 = 100% + 1071 = 100% Total = 6,775

Read more for Thurston County results.

Read more of Peirce County results.

February 14, 2020

Yelm Sunbirds store announces closure –
This is a huge loss for our town!


Credit: Nisqually Valley News Shopper

February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day to Yelm Community Blog readers!

Photo courtesy: Yelm’s JZ-Rose,
Copyright © 2008-2020. JZ Knight.
Used with permission

About Valentine’s Day

“Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14. It is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sending Valentine’s cards, donating to charity or gifting candy. It is very common to present flowers on Valentine’s Day. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished,” quoting Wikipedia.

Happy Valentine’s Day to Yelm Community Blog readers!

This Valentines Day message first appeared on the Yelm Community Blog in 2008.

February 13, 2020

McClatchy, parent of The Olympian, Tacoma’s News-Tribune, files for bankruptcy!

The Olympian Logo
Credit: McClatchey Newspapers

“McClatchy, publisher of dozens of U.S. newspapers, files for bankruptcy protection”

“The company said that it will continue to run normally as it pursues approval of its restructuring plan under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.”

“The newspaper industry has been devastated by changing technology that has sent the vast majority of people online in search of news. While McClatchy and others have pushed digital operations aggressively, advertising dollars have continued to flow toward internet giants like Facebook and Google.

“McClatchy Co.’s 30 newsrooms, including The Charlotte Observer, The News & Observer in Raleigh, and The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, will continue to operate as usual as the publisher reorganizes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“The publisher’s origins date to 1857 when it first began publishing a four-page paper in Sacramento, California, following the California Gold Rush. That paper became The Sacramento Bee.

McClatchy has received $50 million in financing from Encina Business Credit that will enable it to maintain current operations for the company, which is still based in Sacramento,” by the AP. Read more

February 13, 2020

Alaska Airlines reverses course – becomes an American Airlines feeder again,
American to fly Seattle to Bangalore nonstop, and to London-Heathrow,
In a surprising move, Alaska finally joins an alliance, Oneworld!

Alaska® Airlines - oneworld - American Airlines™
Credit: Alaska Airlines news release
  • Editor’s note: With today’s major announcement, Alaska Airlines officially breaks their long-standing strategy of airline partnership neutrality, where they teamed with individual airline relationships rather than joining one of the major alliances.
  • Alaska Air will now join Seattle’s OneWorld partners Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and British Airways.
  • American Airlines announced new nonstop flights from Seattle to Bangalore, India and to London -Heathrow,
  • Alaska was to sever ties with American next month, now further enhances their tie-up.
  • Clearly Delta Airlines effectiveness in building an international Seattle hub after Alaska Air severed ties with Delta several years ago has led to their surprising decision to join an airline alliance.
  • Click here for the Alaska Airlines news release.
  • SkyTeam with members Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Air France/ KLM and Korean Air will still remain Seattle’s largest international alliance with the most international nonstop flights from Sea-Tac. See Virgin Atlantic’s promo below just out today.
  • Competition means more choices for the flying public and Sea-Tac travelers are the beneficiary!

“Alaska Airlines plans to join Oneworld, forms alliance with American”

“It’s true, the enemy of my enemy is my friend — at least in Seattle.

Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, both facing competitive challenges from Delta Air Lines, are tying the knot with an extensive new partnership. The tie-up includes new routes between Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) and both Bangalore, India (BLR), and London Heathrow (LHR) that will be operated by American.

“And if that is not enough, Seattle-based Alaska intends to join Oneworld by mid-2021. The Oneworld alliance counts American, which helped found the alliance, as one of its anchor tenants.”

One big question is how much Alaska and American can partner domestically under the conditions of Alaska’s 2016 merger with Virgin America. The Justice Department, in approving the merger, blocked Alaska from codesharing with American on routes where American and Virgin competed, as well as where Alaska was “likely to launch new service” after the merger.”

Alaska has faced increasing difficulty landing travel contracts from large tech companies, like Amazon and Microsoft, who require international connectivity, said [Alaska senior vice president of finance, alliances and treasury Nathaniel] Pieper. ‘It’s very hard for us to compete for that, he said.

“The American partnership, and Oneworld membership, give Alaska the world when it comes to landing corporate customers,” by Edward Russell, The Points Guy. Read more

Virgin Atlantic promotes in Seattle their new alliance KLM and Air France

“Now this is something to celebrate. We’ve chosen to work with the best airlines flying across the globe to offer you even more choice, convenience and flexibility.

“We’re now officially partnered with Air France and KLM, adding to our fantastic relationship with Delta, and we couldn’t be more excited.

“With more than 340 daily flights to over 350 destinations across the UK, Europe and US,” from Virgin Atlantic’s e-mail today! Read more

February 13, 2020

Yelm’s council enacts sunrise to sunset parks hours

Yelm Splash Park
Credit: City of Yelm

Yelm’s 4 parks will now be open from sunrise to sunset

“The Yelm City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on Tuesday, Jan. 28, changing city park operating hours from designated winter and summer hours to operating from sunrise to sunset. 

“The city’s four parks — Yelm City Park, Cochrane Memorial Park, Longmire Community Park and the Yelm-Tenino Trail — previously operated on two seasonal cycles. From October through March, parks were open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., with parks hours available from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. April through September. 

Parks will now be open from sunrise to sunset, with exceptions made for venue reservations or events. 

According to Ordinance No. 1058, the Yelm Parks Advisory Board spearheaded the effort to change park hours,” by the NVN. Read more

February 12, 2020

UPDATE: Unofficial results of the Yelm Schools Levy Proposition –
Still too close to call!


The Thurston County Auditor and Pierce County released the second update of Proposition One, the Yelm Community Schools Levy. The results are indicative this levy is still too close to call with 51.67% favoring the levy:

Thurston County + Pierce County

Yes = 2,931 votes = 55.20% + Yes = 441 votes = 43.84% Total = 3,372, 51.67%

No = 2,589 votes = 46.90% + No = 565 votes = 56.16% Total = 3,154, 48.33%

Total votes cast = 5,520 = 100% + 1006 = 100% Total = 6,526

Read more for Thurston County results.

Read more of Peirce County results.

February 12, 2020

Part 2: NVN reports on 2 Nisqually Valley area wineries,
One wine maker is known to Yelm Blog readers, Stottle Winery

“Part Two: Two Wineries With One Goal”

“Scatter Creek Winery and Brewing, Stottle Winery Offer Options for Wine Drinkers”

  • Editor’s note: Stottle Winery was covered here in 2017.
  • By Wendy Tinker, for the Nisqually Valley News:

Credit: Scatter Creek Winery

“Tucked along the quaint main street in Tenino is a friendly place “where everybody knows your name” called Scatter Creek Winery and Brewing

The owners, Terril and Andrea Keary, want all their guests and wine club members to feel like family. The welcoming smiles were wide on a recent day as several longtime customers came to purchase gifts and taste any one of the 15 varieties of wine or a glass of home-brewed beer on tap.

“The Kearys opened their winery in 2005 and began brewing beer in 2017.”

Credit: Stottle Winery

From cozy and quaint to uptown chic, Stottle Winery in Lacey has a lot to offer. 

“Josh and Amy Stottlemeyer opened their winery in 2010 in a business park on the outskirts of town. Josh spent the beginning of his career as a web development and internet marketing manager. He left the high-tech industry to follow his passion and attended the Northwest Wine Academy. 

“Josh explained that Stottle Winery is the largest South Sound winery, selling 1,800 to 2,500 cases per year. His staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and it isn’t hard to draw them into a lively conversation about their wines and how they are made.”

Click here to read this excellent report and to learn about wine tastings.






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