April 23, 2021

* Yelm FFA Virtual Plant Sale next week,
* Gov. Inslee: WA. has entered its fourth COVID-19 wave,
* Republicans still waiting for the ‘Biden depression’ Trump predicted!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 22ambriefing-blackhole-articleLarge-v2.jpg
The galaxies NGC 5257 and NGC 5258, each anchored by a supermassive black hole.
Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans.
The New York Times: A crush, a void or a scream? Astronomers are trying to decide what to call a collection of black holes. Tell us your ideas.


+ Yelm FFA: Yelm FFA Virtual Plant Sale – April 26, 8am – Apr 28, 4pm

+ The Seattle Times: As cases rise, Washington has entered its fourth wave of COVID-19, Inslee says

+ KOMO-4 TV: Police reform measures mount in Washington state after deaths of those in police custody

+ Business Insider: Alaska Airlines commits to carbon, waste and water goals for 2025, announces path to net zero by 2040

+ The Olympian: South Puget Sound Community College says fall instruction will remain mostly online

+ KING-5 TV: Elected officials must OK tear gas use by cops in Washington under compromise plan

+ Associated Press: New research shows that renewable electricity can move Washington, Oregon and British Columbia off of fossil fuels, do so at an affordable price, and create jobs along the way.

+ McClatchy News: April’s supermoon is called the ‘Pink Moon’ — but not because of its color. Here’s why

+ Associated Press: Seattle-based Alaska Airlines waiting for word from Boeing on fixing all 4 of their grounded Max planes

+ JOLT News: Capital-gains tax legislation moves closer to passage


MSNBC’s Morning Joe: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., questioned Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams this week during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights, seemingly trying to stump Abrams. [Ed. This southern, white, male, superior attitude was on display for all to see. Right-on for Stacey Abrams in perfectly handling such ignorance!]

Science Magazine: Nuclear fallout is showing up in U.S. honey, decades after bomb tests

Business Insider: The Postal Service is reportedly monitoring Americans’ social media for ‘inflammatory’ content

The Los Angeles Times: Don’t put away your face masks. We may need them even as COVID-19 fades

The Washington Post: House Democrats pass D.C. statehood, launching bill into uncharted territory


The Washington Post: As economy spikes, Republicans are still waiting for the ‘Biden depression’ that Trump predicted

Boston Globe: Investigation suppressed by Trump administration reveals obstacles to hurricane aid for Puerto Rico

Business Insider: Trump administration thought they’d be memorialized in statues for doing such a great job negotiating with China

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports: Clyburn: Questioning possible ‘insider dealing’ on Emergent contract with Trump admin.

April 22, 2021

Earth Day 2021 is today!

picture of earth in palm of hand.
Credit: The Washington Post

CNBC: Dalai Lama and other Nobel Prize winners pressure leaders to stop fossil fuel expansion

The World Turns to Climate Action

EARTHDAY.ORG is honored that the Biden Administration has decided to convene a global climate summit on Earth Day 2021. Many important environmental events have happened on Earth Day since 1970, including the recent signing of the Paris Agreement, as Earth Day continues to be a momentous and unifying day each and every year. We look forward to being a part of this historic climate summit and making active progress to Restore Our Earth. 

Find or register an Earth Day Event

Read more

April 22, 2021

* Inslee on Chauvin verdict: ‘This is one step on a long journey we are just beginning,’
* Failed governor candidate Loren Culp to run for US House!

Expect to see lots of C-17s in the air above the Puget Sound region through the end of April.
Credit: Sara Hoerichs, Tacoma, The News Tribune


+ KXLY-4 TV (Spokane): This is one step on a long journey we are just beginning’: Gov. Inslee calls for end to systemic racism following Chauvin verdict

+ The (Tacoma) News Tribune: Air Force training brings increase in air traffic to South Sound

+ Associated Press: Failed governor candidate Loren Culp to run for US House

+ JOLT News: Proposed law that will obligate law enforcement officers to intervene with other officers goes to the Governor


Barack Obama: “True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. … And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.”

CNBC: After Chauvin verdict, business leaders speak out saying fight for racial justice must continue

Truthout: Mass Protests Led to Chauvin’s Conviction. Now They’re Being Criminalized.

The New York Times: George W. Bush described the modern Republican Party as “isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist.”

McClatchy News: High cost of lumber delaying your home projects? Here’s when prices could come down

The Boston Globe: A Global Tipping Point for Reining In Tech Has Arrived

The New York Times: G.O.P. Anti-Protester Bills Include Immunity for Hitting Them With Cars


The Washington Post: Trump administration sidelined experts in writing car pollution rules, EPA watchdog finds

The Washington Post: Trial opens for Trump supporter accused of threatening Democrats in case tied to Jan. 6 insurrection

The Washington Post: Opinion by Thomas B. Edsall | Why Trump Is Still Their Guy

The Washington Post: Inmates sent home amid pandemic may have to return under Trump-era policy [unless the Biden Administration intervenes]

CNN: US Capitol Police officer allegedly told units to only monitor for ‘anti-Trump’ protesters on January 6

April 21, 2021

Yelm Cinemas special screening for local director’s movie.
‘Evolution: The Genius Equation’ – tickets on-sale now for April 29-May 2!

Courtesy: WEGenius Minds Productions


Documentary: Evolution: The Genius Equation, by Paulina Amador of the Yelm area.

Click here TO BUY YOUR TICKETS for Yelm Cinemas showtimes April 29-May 2.

Stars: Linda Evans, Michio Kaku, Paris Reid, Norman Doidge, David Gelernter, JZ Knight, Sam Sternberg, Poppy Crum. A visual masterpiece narrated by legendary actress Linda Evans. EVOLUTION The Genius Equation inspires us to think for ourselves and explore our unlimited potential. One has to ask does everyone have access to GENIUS Whats the secret?

Do we really think for ourselves?
It’s important that people have the freedom to dig deeper and follow their curiosity. Many feel they are not allowed to think for themselves. It is the biggest problem in our current society that people don’t value their own thoughts.


From Yelm-based Director, Paulina Amador to the Yelm Community Blog:

“We are pleased to announce that the Yelm Cinemas will be hosting a special screening of EVOLUTION for our beloved local community, April 29 through May 2. Please visit the Yelm Cinemas website for showtimes.

“As always, we are committed to unfolding the Genius within us and bringing exceptional knowledge to a world on the cusp of magnificent change and EVOLUTION!

Click here to watch the trailer.

April 21, 2021

* WA’s racial justice progress since George Floyd’s death,
* Canadian border closure extended to May 21,
* Donald Trump, Jr. pushing his father to go for culture war issues!

Attorney for Minneapolis police officer says he'll argue George Floyd died of an overdose and a ...
George Floyd, recipient of a police officer’s drawn firearm for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill. May 25, 2020, just before he was murdered by MPD officer Derek Chauvin.
Credit: Minneapolis Police Dept. (MPD) police body cam/Yahoo
Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder, manslaughter in death of George Floyd, Tuesday


KING-5 TV: A look at the progress towards racial justice in Washington since George Floyd’s death

The Bellingham Herald: State’s new poet laureate and Lummi tribal member Rena Priest, talks about ‘innate music of language’

KING-5 TV: Waters off Washington coast glow blue with bioluminescence

KING-5 TV: Canadian border closure extended to May 21

Associated Press: WA Legislature OKs open carry ban at Capitol

KIRO-7 TV: Lawmakers pass bill to protect right to medical care for transgender residents

The (Tacoma) News Tribune: Washington firefighters battle 91 wildfires in a week. What does that mean for summer? “We are likely to have another potentially devastating fire season ahead of us.”

The (Tacoma) News Tribune: Cocktails to-go, alcohol delivery to continue in Washington state through 2023


The Daily Kos: BREAKING: VERDICT – GUILTY ALL COUNTS!! Judge NOT Maxine Waters may cause the appealable issue

Business Insider: George W. Bush said he’s troubled by ‘the capacity of people to spread all kind of untruth’

McClatchey News: ‘Vaccine failure’ may be more common if you have a weakened immune system. Here’s why

KING-5 TV: US takes steps to protect electric system from cyberattacks

The New York Times: Why Political Sectarianism Is a Growing Threat to American Democracy


Business Insider: Donald Trump Jr. is pushing his father to go all-in on culture war issues ahead of a potential 2024 run, report says

MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams: Trump weighs in on the future of the Republican Party

NBC News: In secret Facebook groups, America’s best warriors share racist jabs, lies about 2020, even QAnon theories

The Washington Post: DHS watchdog nixed probe of Secret Service role in clearing Lafayette Square protest, documents show

Common Dreams: Coal Miners Union Says It Would Accept Transition to Renewables With Green Jobs [Ed. note: Finally, now that the previous President’s support for coal mine owners is no longer relevant.]

April 20, 2021

“One of the oldest known meteor showers will peak on April 21, 2021.”

Credit: Mario Hommes/Defodi Images/Getty Images

+ Departures Magazine: Here’s When You Can See the Lyrid Meteor Shower in 2021

This article by Kelly Vaughan originally appeared on MarthaStewart.com.

“One of the oldest known meteor showers will peak in the U.S. The Lyrid meteor shower, which is named after a constellation of shooting stars, will peak on the night of April 21, 2021, and the wee morning hours of April 22. Observations of the Lyrids date back to 687 B.C. The mesmerizing display of meteors is a result of Earth passing through the tail of the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. As our planet moves through the debris, space rocks burn up the Earth’s atmosphere, which causes spectacular showers to streak across the night sky.”

“The meteor shower will be best be viewed in the Northern Hemisphere on a clear night. The Lyrid meteor shower is not dull, but it’s certainly not the most luminous, especially compared to the Perseid meteor shower, which occurs in August of each year.” Read more

April 20, 2021

* Yelm’s May 8 Spring clean sign-up now open,
* Thurston to ask voters to increase Medic One funding,
* WA. could ban new gasoline cars by 2030!

Yelm May 8 Spring clean sign-up
Credit: City of Yelm


+ City of Yelm: Sign-up for Yelm’s Spring clean-up May 8

+ KING-5 TV: Washington’s universities consider requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students

+ The Olympian: Thurston County turns to voters to increase funding for Medic One system – approved for August 3rd ballot placement

+ KING-5 TV: Washington could ban new gasoline cars by 2030, ahead of other states

+ The New York Times: How Safe Are You From Covid When You Fly? how air circulates in a plane.


Newsweek: Donald Trump Says All the States That Voted for Him Had No Election Fraud [Ed. note: Really? Like this is a surprise he would say such a thing!?]

CNN: Trump said electing Biden would crash the markets. It didn’t

Washington Examiner: Trump offers cover from ageist attacks on 78-year-old Biden: He’s ‘not old’ [Ed. note: Trump wants to keep his followers thinking he will run again in 2024 at age 78.]

USA Today: ‘Beyond seriously:’ Donald Trump (again) teases another presidential run in 2024

CNN: Donald Trump wants you to boycott Coke. His properties are still serving it

The Daily Kos: A New York Times report suggests OAN knew its election claims were false when it made them

Associated Press: Leaders of Proud Boys ordered jailed on Capitol riot charges

April 19, 2021

Special Report: Yelm’s water-sewer system’s current status,
Public Works requires funding upgrades for city to grow!

Yelm Public Works
Credit: city of Yelm

Council must approve Public Works funding for city to grow

Ed. note: The April 6th city council Study Session and April 13th council meeting had briefings and discussions on allowing a property owner to petition the city for his 10 acres of county property contiguous to the city limits to be annexed. Secondly, also discussed was the potential disposition of the 640 acre deed the city now possesses along with the property’s L.I.D. debt, once that is paid. Both projects require the city to have water rights the city does not currently posses.

+ Water availability must be proven prior to the city issuing a development’s plat approval as a result of state water law made right here in Yelm from a December 2011 decision by the Supreme Court of Washington State, in JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm, et al.

+ Community Development Director Grant Beck recently informed the council that he expects the city to receive additional water rights sometime during this summer. This would open the way for developments and single-home builders to move forward to receive their permits from the city.

+ That got me to thinking of how would the Public Works water/sewer systems be able to handle hundreds more hook-ups, since the Nisqually Valley News report of a year ago about the council approving a design agreement to develop a $22 million water reclamation fix.

+ Public Works Director Cody Colt stressed in my exchange last week that “it is imperative that Council takes that [funding the WRF – Water Reclamation Facility] into consideration when looking at the possible construction of the new WRF.”

+ In follow-up to my previous questions last February, last week I asked Public Works Director Cody Colt specifically if the water and sewer systems could handle the potential to more than double Yelm’s water rights and the city’s subsequent growth:

  • Key Points:
  • There are currently 3,400 water customers and 2,700 sewer customers, the difference being those with septic tanks not connected to Public Works.
  • The current sewer system’s 2,700 connections (residences, businesses) is out of a capacity of 3,600.
  • If the city is granted additional water rights, the difference of 900 new sewer connections to reach maximum capacity is projected to be reached within 36 months.
  • The city updated/finalized their water mitigation package to the Department of Ecology earlier this month.
  • The new Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) is imperative to be funded by the council to provide a doubling of the current system’s capacity, allowing the community to grow.
Blogger: What was the capacity of hook-ups at the time the water-sewer system
came online?

Colt: Our current Sewer System is rated to handle 1.1 MGD (Million Gallons a Day) which is max load. Although, you lose all backups and fail safes at that rating since all 3 SBRs are running full time. So they (DOE and our operators) recommend you don't exceed ~750,000 Gallons a day.

Blogger: What is the current capacity of hook-ups now (by hook-ups, I mean how
many customer connections can the city's system handle)?

Colt: Currently our Sewer System handles around 500,000 Gallons a Day. Which is equal to about 2,700 connections. So the City could handle "in theory" another 900 or so connections before we are reaching our recommended limits. That number could be more or less depending on the type of connections, homes vs commercial vs industrial.

As for our well system, we currently are allowed to pump 800 Acre Feet Per Year, we have pumped around 760-770 each of the last few years. Our current wells could pump nearly double that number if needed, but we are limited by DOE/DOH on how much we are allowed to pump each year. We also haven't had the need to pump more since our growth has been limited because of Water Rights. Yelm residents also use much less water per year than similar size homes in other cities. So our Well Water System mechanically could most likely pump double the current allowed number and serve another 3,000 customers. But, this is all part of the Water Rights package and discussion that is going on with DOH and DOE right now.

Blogger: How many current hook-up customers do the city have?

Colt: We have around 2,700 sewer customers and around 3,400 water customers. The reason for the disparage between the two numbers is some water customers still have Septic Tanks on their properties and are not connected to our sewer system.

Blogger: I am asking these questions because Community Development has several developments ready to go when the city receives the additional water rights. If your current sewer capacity can only "handle 'in theory' another 900 or so connections before we are reaching our recommended limits," then that is not some far off timeline after the city receives the additional water rights, based on a hot housing market here. Does the $22.2 million wastewater treatment facility upgrade referenced in the NVN's August 11, 2020 story include capacity expansion?  
Colt: As for the 900 additional connections I think we will hit that in the next 36 months after water rights come through, so it is imperative that Council takes that into consideration when looking at the possible construction of the new WRF [Water Reclamation Facility]. Once council approves the new WRF construction contract, which we expect in July or August. The build/upgrades will take about 24 months once started.

The new WRF would be able to handle 2.2 MGPD which is double the max load of our current WRF. It also is extremely easy to upgrade that capacity by dropping in new Membrane Cassettes. So, if growth continues at this rate we can continue to have available sewer connections for the next 20+ years.

+ Bottom line: I sincerely that Director Colt for his responsiveness!

April 19, 2021

* State restricts outdoor fires as conditions dry out,
* WA’s. lakes and rivers still dangerously cold,
* Canadian official: Not the right moment to reopen U.S. border!

Credit: Rory Siegel Photography & Fine Art, ©2021. Used with permission.


+ The Olympian: State restricts outdoor fires as conditions dry out – New burn restrictions took effect Saturday, April 17, for the South Puget Sound Region.

+ KING-5 TV: Washington’s lakes and rivers still dangerously cold despite warm weather

+ McClatchy News: ‘This doesn’t feel like the right moment’ to reopen U.S. border, Canadian official says

+ The Seattle P-I: Washington initiative promoter Tim Eyman ordered to pay an additional $2.9M in fines

+ KING-5 TV: Northern Lights spotted over western Washington


The Seattle Times: As mask mandates end, Oregon bucks trend with permanent rule

Reuters: A third of COVID survivors suffer neurological or mental disorders: study

NIAID: NIH Begins Study of Allergic Reactions to Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines

The Washington Post: Despite diplomatic clashes, U.S. and China vow to work together on climate change

MSN: Feuds set aside as U.S. and China agree to cooperate on climate change


The Washington Post: Trump’s grip on GOP looms as support falters for independent probe of Capitol riot

The Daily Kos: Federal judge [Emmet Sullivan] warns that Trump could be in yuuuuuge legal trouble

The New York Times: 100 Days Without Trump on Twitter: A Nation Scrolls More Calmly

MSNBC: Rep. Devin Nunes really compared Trump to Martin Luther King Jr., who was actually spied on.

The Center for Responsive Politics: Republicans Who Voted to Impeach Trump Are Outraising Pro-Trump Challengers

The Daily Kos: Garland’s DOJ reverses Trump-era rule on consent decrees, which help hold local police accountable

The Washington Times: ‘Donument’: GOP lawmaker’s bill would make Trump’s border wall a national monument

The Daily Kos: Pro-Trump website ‘TheDonald’ confirms detailed plans to storm Capitol and kill members of Congress

The Washington Post: RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel comes under pressure to show more independence from Trump

April 18, 2021

Select recap of last week’s news stories!

Pause/No pause.
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
The deadly perils of “driving while black” must end.
Credit: David Horsey, The Seattle Times
A community on edge.
Credit: The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)
Infrastructure Bridge Building.
Credit: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer
Credit: Steve Breen,
The Union-Tribune (San Diego)
Jack Ohman: There is no exit ...
There is no exit.
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
GOP villain.
Credit: Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution


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