July 26, 2021

Joe DePinto formally kicks-off Yelm mayoral campaign!

Joe DePinto
Credit: Yelm city council

Joe DePinto formally holds Yelm Mayoral kick-off

Yelm city council member Joe DePinto held a formal, mayoral campaign kick-off Saturday evening, July 24th at the Nisqually Spings Farm, Yelm. Invited guests present included members of the Nisqually Tribe, friends, family, and long-time supporters. The event was catered by Yelm’s Jerk Juicy BBQ, to the delight of all.

  • DePinto gave an unscripted talk with a handout about his community priorities if elected:
  • 1. Public Safety – intends to push for 2 officers on-duty at all times,
  • 2. Work on traffic congestion bringing together WSDOT and regional leaders,
  • 3. Focus on Yelm’s economy, working to diversify businesses here,
  • 4. With alot of growth on the horizon here, good planning requires the supporting infrastructure needs,
  • 5. Reiterated his advocacy for open transparency in city government.

+ Joe DePinto is the only current council member to have never missed a city council meeting or study session.

+ Joe DePinto is is the only Yelm city council member who has received the Assn. of WA. Cities (AWC) Certificate of Municipal Leadership (2020) and the AWC Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership (2021).

From Joe DePinto for Mayor of Yelm:

It’s official! Check out my video announcing my campaign to become the next Mayor of Yelm. #ThisIsOURTown #ThisIsOURTime.

Our town! Our time! Joe DePinto for Mayor of Yelm!

Click here for the video.

Blogger Klein is a supporter/contributor of DePinto for Mayor

July 26, 2021

* Puget Sound salmon have no chance unless we invest,
* Meet Port of Oly Aug. 3 Primary candidates,
* How to protect yourself from drifting wildfire smoke!

“Nicholas Stephenson of Olympia peeks out from the mouth of FIN, a 25-foot fiberglass salmon on display during the 2016 Nisqually Watershed Festival at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tony Overman, The Olympian file photo.


+ The Olympian: Puget Sound salmon have no chance unless we push for a bigger investment [Ed. note: How can they have any chance in such warm waters?]

+ Port of Olympia: Profiles for the Port of Olympia candidates in the Aug. 3 primary race

+ The Washington Post: Experts express concerns for animal safety as heat waves continue to rip through the Pacific Northwest


The Washington Post: Wildfire smoke can drift across the country. Here’s how to protect yourself.

CNN: ‘People are just walking out in the middle of shifts’: What it’s like to work in a restaurant right now

AARP: The Latest TSA Security Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic

UK’s The Telegraph: Letting children catch Covid may be safer than giving them vaccine, say experts – Rising wave of cases may be better way to build immunity in teenagers than exposing them to potential risks from a jab, says JCVI scientist

Sludge: Many Major Corporations Have Done Almost Nothing to Defend Voting Rights

Facing South: How Virginia Won the South’s Strongest Voting Rights Act

Worth Rises: Telecom Vendors Used End of Prison Visits During COVID to Profit Off Phone Calls [Ed. note: This is pathetic!]

The Guardian: Sweltering From Heat Waves, Baltimore Needs Climate-Focused Infrastructure [Ed. note: Life is unsustainable for the non-air-conditioned in Iran, Iraq, Syria, as their electrical grids cannot handle the demands in 122 degree record heat. America’s poor are in a similar same situation.]

The Washington Post: DOJ declines to investigate Cuomo’s handling of covid-19 in nursing homes


MSNBC Opinions: Tom Barrack, Donald Trump and the (other) most corrupt White House in history

July 25, 2021

America’s editorial cartoonists on last week’s news highlights!

Ed. note: Squelch the truth from emerging???
Credit: Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press
“January 6th Committee dismembers”
Credit” Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer
“May the Force be with them?”
Credit: David Horsey, The Seattle Times
Tokyo Olympics begin
Credit: Steve Sak, The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
“Save the bull”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
Political Cartoon.
“Jan. 6ers” Insurrection redux?
Credit: Bill Bramhall, The New York Daily News

Jack Ohman: Teeth in the bill ...
“Teeth in the bill”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
Editorial Cartoon.

“Happy floating”

Credit: Bill Bramhall, The New York Daily News

July 24, 2021

* Campfires banned at Olympic National Park and National Forest,
* Washington sees 5th wave of COVID,
* FBI admits it got 4,500 tips on Kavanaugh, didn’t investigate them!

“Visitors to the Olympic National Park and National Forest are prohibited from starting all campfires, including charcoal, beginning July 23.” Credit: Jeffrey P. Mayor, The Bellingham Herald


+ JOLT News: Regional police agencies issue “Joint Statement on Legislation for Law Enforcement” today – New police-tactics law takes effect this Sun., July 25

+ The Washington Post: How to cool your home without relying on air conditioning

+ Thurston County Public Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek: Comments on what to do if you’re fully vaccinated

+ The Bellingham Herald: The National Parks Service and U.S. Forest Service have banned campfires at Olympic National Park and National Forest

+ Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03): Successfully Advanced Provisions to Withhold Taxpayer Dollars from Wuhan Lab, Investigate NIH Deletion of COVID Data

+ The Bellingham Herald: Washington sees 5th wave of COVID. This is what the state now recommends on masking

+ The Seattle Times: Alaska Air Climbs Out of the Red Thanks to Improving Travel and Federal Aid


Science Alert via MSN: Scientists Are Terrified That Earth’s Coral Reefs Are Doomed. Only We Can Save Them [Ed. note: There is not enough collective will to do so.]

The Washington Post: Climate change is forcing us indoors — and childhood will never be the same. ‘Go out and play’ was once the norm.

CNBC: Delta variant is one of the most infectious respiratory diseases known, CDC director says

CNN: Fact checking Rep. Jim Jordan’s claim that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was responsible for Capitol security on January 6The Speaker of the House is not in charge of Capitol security.

The Washington Post Opinions: Did Biden just commit an impeachable offense in Ukraine?

Truthout: Biden Upholds Last-Minute Trump Memo That Would Send 4,000 People Back to Prison [Ed. note: Oh sure, just as the Delta variant sweeps the country. Why?]

Truthout: FBI Admits It Got 4,500 Tips on Kavanaugh But Didn’t Investigate ThemThe FBI’s investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh wasn’t designed to uncover the truth.


MSNBC’s Morning Joe: Trump’s interview with Washington Post reporters – ‘A complete and wholesale distortion of the truth’

MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show: Trump’s PAC raised money to fight election fraud. Instead it’s being spent on travel and staff.

MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber: Mystal: Trump either has bad taste in friends — or he’s the criminal

The Washington Post: Trump’s PAC collected $75 million this year, but so far the group has not put money into pushing for the 2020 ballot reviews he touts

Truthout: Trump Foreign Business Dealings Draw Scrutiny as New York Probe Ramps Up

July 23, 2021

* U.S. Life Expectancy plunged in 2020,
* Plastic bag ban coming to WA state Oct. 1,
* Trump says he spoke to a ‘loving crowd’ at Jan. 6 rally!

U.S. Life Expectancy Plunged in 2020, Especially for Black and Hispanic Americans
Credit: The New York Times Morning Report


+ The Chronicle (Centralia): Snazas join other WA sheriffs backing Second Amendment, Constitution

+ The News Tribune (Tacoma) vai MSN: Plastic bag ban coming to WA state covers curbside pickup, too – effective Oct. 1st

+ The Olympian: Olympia Symphony’s Concert at the Capitol returns as ‘musical party’ 6p.m. Sunday

+ Yelm Bounty for Families: Now Hiring Community Garden Manager

+ KING-5 TV: ‘100 days without Js’: Resident orcas absent from Salish Sea for more than 3 monthsThis is the longest absence of a “resident” pod from the Salish Sea since the Orca Survey began in 1976.


New York Daily News: Top U.S. Catholic church official resigns after cellphone data allegedly links him to gay bars, Grindr hookups on ‘near-daily basis’ [Ed. note: how would you like your personal information outed by Grindr?]

TODAY on NBC: This ad featuring Olympic champion, 100, and new Olympian, 13, will give you chills

Truthout: Departing From Trump-Era Practices, Garland Pushes DOJ Independence From White House

The Points Guy: Las Vegas workers ordered to wear masks indoors as COVID-19 cases surge again

KING-5 TV: China rebuffs WHO’s terms for further COVID-19 origins study [Ed. note: What ARE they hiding?]

The American Prospect: Biden Advisers Ride on Pegasus Spyware – The NSO Group, now part of a Washington Post exposé, has for years enlisted powerful consultants to save its reputation.

Medscape: Necessary or Not, COVID Booster Shots Are Probably on the Horizon


MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber: Trump CFO [Weisselberg] waives right to remain silent during arrest [Ed. note: Really? Is this guy even aware of just how much potential exposure he has in front of him to be doing such a thing? Or is he as delusional to reality as his boss?]

ProPublica: Trump Properties Draw Far Less [revenue from] Campaign Spending in 2021 From PACs

The Washington Post: Trump says he spoke to a ‘loving crowd’ at Jan. 6 rally

NBC News: Trump used ‘individual personality’ while Biden is more collaborative, Japanese PM says

MSNBC’s Frank Figliuzzi: Trump’s indicted inaugural chief is going through an awful lot of trouble to cover something up

July 22, 2021

* Alaska cruise industry reinstated from Seattle,
* Inslee on U.S. not opening border for Canadians to visit,
* AARP’s 99 Great Ways to Save for 2021!

Latest news: Royal Caribbean opens the industry's first Alaska season since September 2019. Serenade of the Seas set sail from Port of Seattle yesterday, and Ovation of the Seas to soon follow in August.
Royal Caribbean opened the first Alaska cruises since 2019 from Seattle, July 19th
Credit: Royal Caribbean


+ Office of Gov, Jay Inslee: Statement on federal decision to maintain U.S.-Canada border closure

+ The Olympian: Bail set at $50000 for Yelm man accused of firing shot at Thurston deputies on Saturday

+ Thurston Talk: Summer 2021: What’s Open? Places To Play in The Water In Olympia and Throughout Thurston

+ Yelm Emanuel Lutheran Church: Emanuel Summer Bazaar – Sat. July 24th, 9am-4pm, Yelm Emanuel Lutheran Church

+ NVN: Chamber Awards Highlight Exemplary Businesses in Yelm

+ NVN: Yelm’s Second Mermaid Festival Deemed a Success

+ NVN: Cochrane Park Brings Storybooks Alive

+ NVN: Council Approves $50000 Change Order for Cochrane Park Contract


McClatchy News: Vaccinated people can still get COVID. Here are the most common symptoms, study says

The Miami Herald: US is No. 4 in the world with most orphaned children by COVID deaths, study finds

AARP: 99 Great Ways to Save – Our best, all-new, list of ideas can save you thousands of dollars!

CNBC: U.S. life expectancy dropped by 1.5 years in 2020, biggest drop since WWII

CNBC: WHO chief warns that the world is going into the ‘early stages of another wave’

NBC News: Pentagon review: What happens if ‘nuclear football’ is lost?

The Washington Post Opinions : The pandemic has changed course again. The Biden administration urgently needs to do the same

Reuters via MSN: Eric Clapton says he will cancel shows at venues that require COVID vaccination


CNN: Prosecutors had evidence last year to charge prominent Trump ally Tom Barrack

Truthout: Investigating Trump Is “Absolutely” a Possibility, Says January 6 Commission Chair

The Washington Post: Allen Weisselberg resigned from the top of the Trump Organization. So who’s running the company now?

Daily Kos: Trump insurgents came within seconds of capturing ‘nuclear football’ on Jan. 6

July 21, 2021

* City’s reorganization brings fresh mindset – finally!
* Yelm seeks upgrade funding for Loop’s connecting streets,
* A historical perspective.

SR 510 Yelm Loop Stage 1 opens to traffic | Mayor of Yelm, R… | Flickr
Mayor Ron Harding is the first driver on Yelm Loop’s stage 1.
October 21, 2010
Credit: flickr.com

The City of Yelm has a new leader of planning in Cody Colt

With Yelm’s Community Development Director Grant Beck retiring after almost 19 years later this month, the city announced that planning functions will report to Public Services Director Cody Colt, who brings a fresh perspective that is quite noticeable.

The Nisqually Valley News reported last week that Colt is applying for funding to update the city’s roads that will eventually connect the Yelm Loop (SR 507). Quoting Dir. Colt, the roads are “definitely not up to par. We’re working on that now and just kind of forward-thinking to get those roads done.”

The Yelm Loop’s city surface roads interface – A Historical Perspective

Mayor Ron Harding requested in November 2008 that WSDOT divide the Yelm Loop into 2 stages for a 1.1 mile stage 1 could be completed when he was mayor. Harding knew that Gov. Christine Gregoire had no funding slated for the Loop in the budget until the 2021-2023 biennium. WSDOT transferred engineering and right-of-way funding from stage 2 to construction funding for stage 1, for Harding to have his ribbon cutting on what became known as the High School Bypass.

When stage 1 opened to traffic on October 21, 2010, the Loop ended at Cullens Rd., a narrow 2 lane road passing through neighborhoods with children and families. Commuter and truck traffic would be going onto city surface streets not designed to carry such loads.

I noticed the long-term use of city surface streets to mitigate this traffic was not included in the Joint Comprehensive Plan with Thurston County and I brought this issue to the attention of then County Commissioner Sandra Romero during her monthly citizen coffee chats in Yelm, April 26, 2010.

Commissioner Romero invited me to meet with officials at county offices to discuss my observations, since I noted part of Stage One of the Loop (Bypass) was outside city limits and in the county. She found my comments valid for review with the Comprehensive Plan Updates of the city & county. I concurred.

Thurston County officials agreed with my assessment and subsequently revised the City of Yelm 20 Year Transportation Plan (2005-2030), since this was a join city-county plan.

The official joint city-county planning document had an appended note at the top stating, “Joint Plan Only – Y3 SR 510 to SR 507 (SR 510 Loop): As of 2010, improvements beyond Cullens Road are not funded, aside from right-of-way acquisision (sic). These Improvements are expected to be funded within the 20-year planning horizon.”

Mayor Harding was livid because light was shined on the facts that unimproved city streets were used for Loop traffic because 1) there was no funding to improve them to proper standards, and 2) that the City of Yelm did not notify their county joint plan partners of this information.

The City of Yelm has done little to improve the Cullens connector street since the Loop opened 11 years ago, except to slightly widen the northbound lane and blacktop the surface.

Now, Director Colt seeks to obtain funding to finally improve the Loop’s connector street within city limits.

Grant Beck’s NVN comments last week were misleading and not historically accurate

I penned this Letter to the Editor of the Nisqually Valley News:

Regarding the story on the Yelm Loop in the July 15 edition of the Nisqually Valley News, Community Development Director Grant Beck is incorrect when he said, “The bottom line is that it was so successful (in helping) the state produce right-of-way acquisition costs that they were able to construct stage one with the money that was allocated for design.”

This is misleading and not historically accurate. Former WSDOT Bypass Project Manager Bill Elliott addressed the Yelm City Council on November 13, 2007, and first discussed council’s questions about splitting the bypass into two phases (or stages), according to the council’s minutes. Then in November 2008, former Mayor Ron Harding wanted to demonstrate his “promises kept’’ campaign pledge about traffic mitigation, and requested WSDOT to divide the “Yelm bypass” into two phases.

Then-WSDOT Bypass Project Manager Dennis Engel was quoted in the Yelm Community Blog in January 2009 saying, “The city of Yelm is working with the Legislature about the possibility of splitting the project into stage 1 and 2, and changing some of the funding to construction so stage 1 could be built. … One possible solution is to move some of the PE [engineering] and right of way [R.O.W.] for the stage 2 area money to construction of the stage 1 work.”

That was what actually occurred; reallocating PE and R.O.W. money to build stage 1, because the city was told funding to complete the bypass was deferred on former Gov. Gregoire’s budget to the 2021-23 biennium, years after Harding would be out of office. Mayor Harding then could have his October 2010 photo op at the stage 1 ribbon cutting of 1.1 miles. The 3.4 miles of the remaining bypass is currently slated to open Fall 2025, Beck’s revisionist history not withstanding.

Click here for the published NVN Letter to the Editor.

July 21, 2021

Yelm Chamber’s Nisqually BBQ Rally July 24 !

Saturday, 10am-7pm
Credit: BBQRALLY.com

Nisqually Valley BBQ Rally this Saturday – Yelm City Park

+ Thurston Talk: Nisqually Valley Barbecue Rally 2021 is ‘Saucier and Smokier Than Ever

July 21, 2021

* Denny Heck pens book about Congressional days,
* Builders pull back as more homebuyers are priced out of the market,
* Trump 2017 inaugural fund chairman arrested on federal charges!

May be an image of ‎text that says '‎Denny DennyHeck Heck PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN ON CONGRESS, AMERICA'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS Sausage ۔ sausages. Ûa You should Û never watch them being made. BISMARCK‎'‎
Denny Heck’s up-coming book-cover.
Credit: Denny Heck’s Facebook

Ed. note: This is one book I am excited to read!


+ KING-5 TV: Costco makes change to COVID policy as cases rise – In a reversal, Costco plans to keep offering an hour of shopping two days per week for seniors, people with disabilities and the immunocompromised.

+ The Olympian via MSN: Thurston commission approves plan to fund non-profit grants for pandemic recovery

+ KING-5 TV: United Airlines to suspend service at Everett’s Paine Field this fall – leaving Alaska Air as lone carrier

+ The News Tribune (Tacoma) Heat wave triggers surge in illnesses caused by eating oysters, Washington officials say

+ South Sound Business: Seattle-based Amazon Pledges to Hire 100,000 U.S. Veterans and Military Spouses by 2024 


CNBC: Builders pull back as more homebuyers are priced out of the market

MSNBC: Nicolle Wallace: I served the GOP for 20 years. It’s my responsibility to reveal what it’s become.

Common Dreams: CO2 Emissions to Reach “All-Time High” as Rich Nations Skimp on Clean Energy

KPIX-5 TV (SFO): Santa Clara County Revises Official COVID-19 Death Toll Down by 22 Percent

The Washington Post: U.S. and E.U. security officials wary of NSO links to Israeli intelligence

The Washington Post: Justice Department seeks 50-year bar to release of grand jury material [Ed. note: This is where I break with Biden’s DOJ!]

The Washington Post: How to reduce home water use in an age of drought and climate change


Business Insider: Trump’s 2017 inaugural chairman charged with 7 felony counts of illegal lobbying, obstruction of justice, and false statements [Ed. note: Will this guy cooperate with prosecutors providing information about Trump to reduce his exposure?]

July 20, 2021

* SmileMobile in Yelm July 20-22,
* WA. state’s rising COVID-19 cases bring concern, anxiety,
* TRPC’s Transportation Priorities Survey seeks your input!

Credit: The Arcora Foundation SmileMobile


+ City of Yelm: The Arcora Foundation SmileMobile in Yelm July 20 – 22, 2021

+ KOMO-4 TV: Washington state’s rising number of COVID-19 cases stokes concern, anxiety – 19 counties are all showing an upswing, including those counties with relatively high vaccination rates like King and Jefferson counties.

+ The Seattle Times via The Chronicle: Other Regions Have Specific Plans for Heat Waves; Experts Say Puget Sound Cities Need Them Too

+ The Olympian via MSN: Thurston County tenants facing rent increases as governor’s rent protections expireAfter 15 months of de-facto rent control, prices are now surging.

+ JOLT News: New Transportation Priorities Survey seeks your input – Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) is assessing community needs

+ Thurston County Auditor: Voter Registration Deadlines for the August 3 Primary Election

+ The Olympian via MSN: Here’s why Thurston County residents who need an ambulance might be waiting longer – Thurston County EMS responds to more than 36,000 911 calls a year.

+ Thurston Talk: Thurston EDC Helps Shiplap Shop of Yelm Open New Location

+ The Bellingham Herald via MSN: Canada to reopen its border for fully vaccinated Americans starting Aug. 9; U.S. uncertain – Americans will have to prove they are fully vaccinated to gain entry into Canada.


CBS Austin via MSN: Six fully vaccinated Texas Democrats test positive for COVID-19 in D.C.

The New York Times: Wary and Weary, Los Angeles Largely Accepts Restored Mask Mandate – Los Angeles County on Sunday became the first major county to revert to requiring masks for all people indoors in public spaces.

ZeroHedge: “This Is Worrying Me Quite A Bit”: mRNA Vaccine Inventor Shares Viral Thread Showing COVID Surge In Most-Vaxxed Countries

MSNBC’s MaddowBlog: The Pegasus Project media index

Truthout: If the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, It Will Impact Us All

Common Dreams: Massive Data Leak Shows Israeli Spyware Targeted Journalists Around the World

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: America’s future can feel frightening. Here’s why I’m still optimistic. This new reality requires each of us to speak truth to power, report the news fairly and work collectively to bring our country together.


Business Insider: Trump aide [Corey Lewandowski] says they paid actors to appear at his 2016 presidential campaign announcement

CNBC: Trump’s Justice Department declined to prosecute Wilbur Ross over census citizenship question testimony [Ed. note: Ross is the 6th Trump cabinet secretary his DOJ declined to investigate, even though the Inspector General found such was warranted in each case.]

The Los Angeles Times: In Trump’s Jan. 6 recast, attackers become martyrs, heroes

MSNBC’s Opinions: Trump’s 2020 loss gave the GOP the last key to ‘win’ the midterms – The plan involves manipulating elections before, during and after voters’ trips to the polls.

The Washington Post via MSN: Man sentenced to 18 months after threatening to assassinate federal judge overseeing Michael Flynn case


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