December 8, 2022

End of an era – last 747 rolls off Everett assembly line!

Roll-out of last 747, and Atlas Air 747-8 Freighter.
Credit: Airliner Watch

End of an era: Boeing just finished building the final 747

From The Points Guy:

The Wright brothers’ first flight. The first transatlantic trip. The invention of the jet engine. The introduction of the Boeing 747.

Few moments in commercial aviation history have had as big an impact as Boeing’s jumbo jet: It first flew in 1969 and entered service a year later with the now-inoperative U.S. carrier Pan Am. The first wide-body passenger plane and a defining icon of the golden age of travel, the double-decker unlocked routes, continents and new economics for the airline industry; it also allowed carriers to introduce unparalleled levels of luxury.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter.

After more than 50 years, the “queen of the skies” has reached the end of its reign. Boeing this week rolled the final double-decker out of its assembly hanger in Everett, Washington, closing a production line that has been at work since 1967.

The plane, a 747-8 Freighter with the tail number N863GT, is Boeing’s 1,574th 747, and it will be delivered to cargo airline Atlas Air in early 2023. Atlas Air received the second-to-last 747 in October, too — tail number N861GT. TPG had a chance to see that airframe on the assembly line in June during a tour of Boeing facilities.

+ KING-5 TV News, Seattle: What is the future of Boeing’s Everett Factory? The last Boeing 747 is at Paine Field for additional testing after being rolled out of the Everett Factory. As production ends, what happens to the factory?

December 8, 2022

Thurston Superior Court’s Judge Dixon retires –
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Anne Egeler is replacement!

“Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon listens as defense attorney Richard Woodrow addresses the jury during opening statements on Jan. 8, 2018, in the sexual assault trial of Gregory A. Schirato.” Credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian.
  • Editor’s note: I have been a visitor in Judge Dixon’s court for several cases over the years, and an alternate juror in a July 2018 armed robbery case. I found Judge Dixon’s court to be managed in an outstanding manner and wrote him such after my jury duty.
  • I wish Judge Dixon well in his retirement. He served our county exceptionally well.

Gov. Inslee appoints replacement for Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon

From The Olympian:

Judge James Dixon will retire on Dec. 30 after spending over a decade on the bench. He will be replaced by Anne Egeler, according to a Thursday [Dec. 1] news release from the Governor’s Office.

Egeler, who lives in Olympia, has worked at the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office since 2020. In her current role, Egeler handles criminal appeals in state and federal court. From 2005 to 2020, Egeler served as a deputy solicitor general with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

In a statement, Inslee said Egeler is well equipped for her next step as a Superior Court judge.


Read more at:

December 7, 2022

Providence St. Peter Hospital expands with 51 new patient beds!
Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
Credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian

Busy, sometimes overwhelmed Providence St. Peter Hospital unveils 51 new patient beds

From The Olympian:

You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief on Monday as Providence St. Peter Hospital officials unveiled an important expansion: More patient beds, about half of which open Dec. 12, with more later this month.

A year-long $42 million project converted 18,500 square feet of administrative space into a 42-bed clinical decision unit that will be used to determine whether emergency room and other patients need to stay at the hospital or can be sent home.

Twenty-two of the 42 second-floor beds are set to open next week, followed by nine more on the first floor later this month.

Why not open them all at once? Because the hospital doesn’t have enough staff to do that just yet.


He said the 51 total beds represents a big improvement for staff and patients, many of whom have experienced being “boarded” in a hallway while they waited for an in-patient bed to become available.


Growth is another factor that has contributed to patient demand as Thurston County’s population has reached 300,000 people.

Read more

December 7, 2022

Dec. 10th – Heart of the Holidays Gift Market & Walk of Trees!

Credit: Yelm Chamber of Commerce

The time has come to start preparing for our 2022 Holiday Events!

From the Yelm Chamber of Commerce:

Click here for further details!

The 2022 Heart of the Holidays Gift Market and Walk of Trees is scheduled for Saturday, December 10th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Yelm Community Center.

It is also time to start preparing the 2022 Chamber of Commerce Gift Guide- If you would like to be included please follow the instructions below!

This year we will be wrapping presents again to raise money for BERT Grants. You can find more information on that below as well.

New this year
As a way to give back to the local community, we have created the “Walk of Trees”. This event to be held alongside the market is a tree decorating competition- in which participants will bring and decorate a tree. Then the community will vote on their favorite tree!The top 3 trees will then have a donation made in their name to a local Charity of their choice.

Let us do the wrapping!

Happening again this year!

The Chamber will be wrapping presents to raise money for BERT Grants.

Wrapping will be happening on December 10th at the Heart of the Holidays Market, and again December 19-21 at the Chamber!

BERT (Business Economic Recovery Taskforce) Grants started as a grassroots effort to support small businesses in the Yelm area, during the Covid-19 pandemic, when small businesses were forced to close. Many small businesses are still struggling.
To date, we’ve given over $3,000 to small businesses, thanks to supporters LIKE YOU!

December 7, 2022

Thurston County home sales fall 53 percent from November 2021!

Credit: Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Thurston County home sales fall 53 percent from November 2021, new data show

From The Olympian:

The Thurston County housing market has made a hairpin turn, according to new data released Monday by Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Coming into that turn was a market with low interest rates, low inventory, strong demand and a median price that rose sharply. Now, coming out of it is a market with higher interest rates, growing inventory, shrinking sales and a flatter median price.

“The data show we’re in a changed market,” said Dick Beeson, managing broker at Re/Max Northwest, in a statement. “High interest rates, doubled inventory levels, anxious lenders, contracts written with negotiations for repairs, closing costs, and other sundry things — all of these have returned to the market.


The most significant change to the housing market has been the rise in the average 30-year mortgage interest rate, which rose to a recent high of 7 percent, but has come down to about 6.5 percent, according to Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored enterprise that provides capital to mortgage lenders and tracks interest rates.

That 6.5 percent rate is about 3 percentage points higher than where it was a year ago.

Read more

December 6, 2022

Dist. 3 losing candidate Joe Kent contests his race –
Trump’s designated candidate follows the Trump script!

“Republican candidate for 3rd Congressional District Joe Kent drops off his ballot at the Clark County Elections Office in Vancouver on Nov. 8. Kent’s campaign said Friday [Dec. 2] that it intends to request a machine ballot recount of the counties within the congressional district.”
Credit: Daniel Kim, The Seattle Times.

GOP’s Joe Kent contests results of Washington state race

Editor’s note: With a difference of 2,629 votes in an election that has been certified in the counties in which GOP candidate Kent ran, very unlikely this recount will achieve anything.  

From The Seattle Times:

Republican Joe Kent’s campaign said Friday it intends to request a machine ballot recount of the counties within southwest Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District.

“We believe the election workers did their best to ensure a fair election and count the ballots accurately,” his campaign said in a statement. “But given the close margin between the two campaigns, technical issues with the signature verifications software, and the obligation we have to our supporter to ensure certainty about the outcome, we believe a second tabulation is in order.”

The Kent campaign did not respond to a request to clarify its concern about signature verification software, The Columbian reported.

The secretary of state’s office reported that Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez won the race with 50.14% of the vote to Kent’s 49.31%. The margin of 2,629 votes — or 0.83% — avoided an automatic recount, which only happens if the difference in totals is less than 0.5% and is also less than 2,000 votes.

December 6, 2022

Mt. Rainier’s road to Paradise to be closed weekdays this winter!

“Mount Rainier and the snow-covered landscape of Longmire, viewed from the Longmire Community Building viewpoint.” Credit: NPS Photo

Mount Rainier National Park Announces Winter 2022-23 Recreational Access Changes

From Mount Rainier National Park:

Mount Rainier National Park announced updates to winter 2022-23 recreational access, including changes to the Paradise access schedule. Beginning November 29, the park will maintain public vehicle access to Paradise on Saturdays and Sundays, but due to staffing limitations the road will be closed to public access during the week. The Longmire area will continue to be open seven days a week barring any major storm events. Park staff will continue to revisit the Paradise access schedule should staffing levels change during the winter season.

“Mount Rainier National Park offers terrific winter recreational opportunities and making this access change will help visitors make plans knowing that weather permitting, the road to Paradise will be open on weekends when the most visitation typically occurs,” said Greg Dudgeon, park superintendent. “The park did not make this decision lightly, but safety is at the forefront of everything we do. We believe these winter access changes are the safest choice for our staff and visitors during the winter season.”

Daily snowplowing will continue seven days a week between the Nisqually Entrance and Longmire. Snowplow operators will also attempt to plow the 12 miles of road to Paradise to a minimum level throughout the week to limit snow accumulation and make road access more attainable on the weekends.


More information about Paradise winter access is available on the park website.


For more information about Mount Rainier National Park, please visit

December 5, 2022

Yelm HS state champion’s father-son Ronquillo duo make headlines –
Kyler said in 2013 he would play in a state championship game one day!

“Yelm High School football coach Jason Ronquillo and wide receiver Kyler Ronquillo lift the Class 3A state championship trophy following their 20-13 title game win over Eastside Catholic on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, Wash.” Credit: Jon Manley, Tacoma’s News Tribune

State title dream turned reality for Yelm’s father-son Ronquillo duo

From The Olympian:

Yelm High School football coach Jason Ronquillo shared a photo on his Twitter page a day after Yelm beat Bellevue in the Class 3A state semifinals, advancing the Tornados to the state championship game.

The photo was from 2013 — Ronquillo smiling for the camera with his son, Kyler — at the 4A state title game between Chiawana and Camas in the Tacoma Dome.

That day, Kyler told his dad that he would play in a state championship game one day.

That dream became reality Saturday, when Yelm played Eastside Catholic for the 3A state title at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

“It’s been a long journey for both of us,” Jason said, following Yelm’s 20-13 win Saturday afternoon. “Being a coach’s kid is not easy. But man, he just wears that with pride.


It was Kyler who made the incredible play that lifted the Tornados to the first championship win in program history, as Jason watched from Yelm’s sideline.

Yelm was trailing by one point late in the fourth quarter, and for a moment it appeared the program’s undefeated run was about to come to a conclusion — until Kyler wrestled away what seemed a sure interception from an Eastside Catholic defender and sprinted into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with 52 seconds to play.

“We lose that game if he doesn’t do that,” Jason said. “We’ve lost. There’s always time on the clock, but you’re talking (50) seconds. Defenses are on point. To make a play like that under that kind of pressure — crazy.“

Read more from the full story.

December 5, 2022

Blood Donors Make The Season Bright –
Donate in Yelm December 15-16!

Blood donors give the greatest gift

From Bloodworks Northwest:

The holidays are a magical time, filled with togetherness, gratitude, and generosity, but for our community blood supply, it’s one of the toughest times of the year when fewer people have time to donate. It’s critical to take the time to keep our blood supply strong and stable for the people who need help. Will you donate to prevent shortages in the blood supply? Make an appointment today.

December 4, 2022

Trump calls for suspension of the Constitution –
Tests the limits of what’s left of the Republican Party!
Trump’s relevance is quickly fading – ahead of an indictment!

Credit: Tweet from Harvard Professor and acclaimed Constitutional Scholar Laurence Tribe
Read this with your own eyes!
Trump suggests terminating the Constitution to return him to power.
Credit: Donald J. Trump

Trump calls for suspension of the Constitution

Trump “can never be trusted to obey the Constitution’s Oath to preserve and protect it,” one legal commentator said.

+ The Independent (UK): Trump calls for himself to be reinstated as president by falsely claiming [2020 election] fraud overrides Constitution

+ Raw Story: Trump finally committed ‘political suicide’ with his latest ‘stupid’ comments: conservative

+ NBC News Meet The Press: Trump calls for suspension of Constitution, refuses to distance himself from extremists – Trump is testing the limits of his ability to be a relevant political figure, and the limits of the Republican Party, as he yet again embraces extremism and antisemitism.

+ Laurence Tribe re-tweet by Joyce Vance White: “So the real question today is for elected officials in the Republican party. Do you still support Trump? We’re entitled to know. They work for us, too.” — @JoyceWhiteVance

+ The Washington Post via MSN: White House rebukes Trump’s suggestion to suspend Constitution over 2020 election

+ Truthout: After Dinner With Neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, Trump 2024 May Be Dead on Arrival – Trump is reportedly “taken aback by the backlash” within the GOP to his decision to wine and dine Nick Fuentes and Ye.

+ The Daily Kos: Evangelicals: “Trump Used Us!”

+ MSN: ‘Trump can’t save America — he can’t even save himself’: Evangelical leader brutally dumps Trump


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