Southwest Interior Lowlands – including Yelm and vicinity
…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM SATURDAY TO 11 PM PDT SUNDAY FOR LOW HUMIDITY AND UNSTABLE CONDITIONS FOR FIRE…
The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Red Flag Warning for low humidity and unstable conditions, which is in effect from 11 AM Saturday to 11 PM PDT Sunday.
AFFECTED AREA…Fire Weather Zones 655, 658 and 659. RELATIVE HUMIDITY…As low 15 to 30 percent.
TEMPERATURES…In the upper 80s and 90s with close to 100 degrees possible for locations in the Cascades valleys.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either imminent or occurring now. Any fires that develop will likely spread quickly. Outdoor burning is not recommended.
“3 Thurston County Waterfall Hikes in the Olympia, Tumwater, and Yelm Area”
“Chasing waterfalls in Thurston County is a great way to spend time outdoors with family and friends. The rushing water and dramatic scenery makes a local waterfall hike worth the sweat! Check out these waterfall hikes in and around Olympia, Tumwater and Yelm.
“A few miles further up the Deschutes River visitors to Yelm can see more rugged terrain at Deschutes Falls Park. What was once a homestead from 1902 is now a recreational wonder. This 155-acre park has multiple small waterfalls along with a 27-foot falls that cascades into the river below.”
“Ready for a hike? Head out to Capitol State Forest to visit the rushing Mima Falls. Just a short drive from Olympia, this forest is home to some of the most popular trails for hiking, biking, and horse riding in our area,” by Alyssa Ramsfield, in Thurston Talk. Read more
Yelm City Council considers Term Limits on elected positions
At the Yelm city council’s Study Session of August 4th, the council discussed a draft city ordinance introduced by Molly Carmody [though she was unavailable to attend this session] limiting the city’s elected officials to two terms, which would be applicable to the November 2020 election if passed.
The discussion among councilors was robust with support from Councilors Carmody, Blair and DePinto, yet fierce opposition from Councilor Wood (who is expected to run for a 4th term in 2021, and if so, would serve 16 years). This ordnance has become pertinent with council appointments in tie-breaking votes by Mayor Harding for Jen Littlefield several years ago, and Mayor Foster’s appointments of EJ Curry, the 2nd one after she lost her election last Fall:
In 2009, Littlefield was a city council candidate who ran against Tracey Wood for the vacated Position 5 city council seat, losing by only 47 votes.
In 2011, Mayor Harding appointed her to the Planning Commission.
In 2019, Curry ran for her Position 1 seat’s full term and lost to James Blair.
In 2020, Mayor Foster cast a very contentious council tie-breaking vote to appoint Curry to the vacated Position 3 seat held by Cody Colt, who Mayor Foster appointed as Public Works Director.
In an e-mail exchange with Councilor Carmody on her term limits proposal, I described the state of Yelm’s council appointments like a “Banana Republic,” with council’s split votes requiring mayoral appointments that have had an appearance of a conflict of interest due to abject cronyism. The aforementioned timeline reflects why I made such a statement.
As the Nisqually Valley News stated, if the ordinance is “passed by council in its present form, would limit the mayor and city council members to two terms in order to limit power, lessen the chance of abuse of power, stimulate civic engagement by the public, and bring new and more diverse ideas to the council.”
Clearly, the intimidation factor of a new entrant running against a multiple term councilor up for re-election has been a fear driving the lack of candidates running for public offices in Yelm for years. This was another issue I referenced to Councilor Carmody via e-mail. And the way the candidates were treated to fill a vacant seat earlier this year, where a councilor who lost her seat last November was re-appointed, adds to a “why bother” attitude of citizens wishing to serve the public.
Mayors Harding and Foster said they appointed former councilors back onto the council because of the their previous experience and in easily getting “up-to-speed,” after Littlefield and Curry each lost an election. This was a further affront to the public and outstanding candidates who applied for councilor in good faith, and well qualified with diverse qualities. Is there any wonder why participation in citizen committees and council posts has been so dismal?
This has been borne out here for over 2 decades. Below are city council office holders for more than 2 terms, unless the position of “mayor” is noted:
At the city council session of August 11, 2020, the council voted to postpone a discussion on this until the next meeting on August 25, 2020, to allow the public to get educated and comment.
Ed. Note: The time has come for Yelm to enact term limits and attract more diversity onto the council with greater frequency. What has been termed by others in Yelm as “The Cabal,” that has dominated the council since approximately 1995, is a relic of the past and has got to go to the rubbish bin, an issue covered here previously. I acknowledge Councilor Carmody for bringing forth this issue and seeing this through to a vote.
“Joe Biden selects Kamala Harris as his running mate”
“If elected, she would be the nation’s first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president.”
“Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris, the prominent senator from California whose political career has included many barrier-breaking moments, as his running mate, his campaign announced on Tuesday.
“The decision comes more than a year after Harris, who was also a 2020 Democratic candidate, clashed with Biden over racial issues during the first primary debate. If elected, she would be the nation’s first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president,” by Deepa Shivaram, NBC News. Read more