January 13, 2019

Changes to the Yelm Community Blog – a suspension!

Forrest Gump Point, Monument Valley,
The place where Forest Gump ended his run,
Mexican Hat, UT., Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Yelm Blog suspended after today – thank you for 13 years of interest!

Editor’s note: While I have thought about suspending the blog several times over the last few years, something always arose that inspired me to continue. However, this time, I have come to the conclusion that I have fulfilled my mission, and am ready to take a pause. This version of a wise saying is pertinent, “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

I published a weekly newsletter from September 2001-January 2012 that had a worldwide subscriber base of over 6,700. I have published a blog entry or several almost everyday since early 2006 – daily for thirteen years as a free public service. I took no money from anyone, so was beholding to no one.

While there will be many politicians, city hall staff, some business leaders, and others that will be elated, yet what will be missing in our community is someone willing to take on controversial issues and provide the public with the documents and insights for them to discern the facts for themselves. My purpose was always to act in the public’s interest and raise the bar here on practicing prudent business ethics, which has been a challenge at times, with some city officials never having a 4 year Business degree (i.e. BBA) or more (post graduate MBA), where they would have been trained in business management and in implementing professional leadership protocols.

And the local newspaper editor has given key issues a “pass” in choosing to omit publishing any Op-Ed in quite sometime, and does not allow some comments they do not like to be posted to their online edition and Letters to the Editor. The NVN has clearly surrendered their voice on key topics for our community and while I oft disagreed with them, I always took a public stand and supported a healthy debate among divergent views here. While I wish such was not the case, their allegiances to “friends” at city hall and elsewhere to not “ruffle feathers” seem to have become more important for the newspaper in 2018 than ecumenical reporting, challenging our area governments on transparency.

So, this will be my last regular blog entry. I will post stories of important issues infrequently, yet will continue to be very involved in this community, the place I love.

13 years of archived work is accessible here, use the “search” box by subject.

The precious scene when Forrest Gump decided to stop running after several years, so eloquently explains my decision, too. I am blessed to have almost 2 decades of serving interested readers and so appreciate your being inspired to read what I have written. THANK YOU! Click here for the Gump video.


January 12, 2019

Warnings grow louder about Trump’s exploding and unrelenting mounting debt!

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“Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is concerned about the ballooning amount of United States debt.”

atditor’s note: Yelm Blog readers have been forewarned throughout 2018 about the exploding national debt incurred under President Trump. Now, the drum beat grows louder about the President doing nothing to reign in that massive debt. The group commonly known as “all-ways Trumpers” have been expecting for 2 years that the President will issue an Executive Order to expire the Federal Reserve. However, Trump’s mounting issues, including his mental fitness, would be questioned under intense scrutiny if he attempted such and be rescinded by Congress. That train (Trump potentially doing away with the Fed.) left the station long ago.

“Fed Chairman Powell says he is ‘very worried’ about growing amount of US debt”

  • “I’m very worried about it,” Fed Chairman Powell said Thursday [Jan 9, 2019] . “It’s a long-run issue that we definitely need to face, and ultimately, will have no choice but to face.”
  • Total U.S. debt is about $21.9 trillion, of which $16 trillion is owed by the public. The sustained annual U.S. deficit is now believed to be more than $1 trillion.
  • In part because of continued rate increases under Powell, the interest cost on that debt could start to become a bigger and bigger burden.

By Thomas Frank, CNBC.

Read more


January 11, 2019

Introducing another Yelm option for quality organic meat products: Ramstead Ranch

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From eastern Washington’s Ramstead Ranch, now serving Yelm customers:

“Promote the health and welfare of our land, our animals, our customers, and our family.”

“We strive to create a pasture-based ecosystem that works with nature and honors its abundance.  We provide the most natural, stress free, pasture based life possible for our livestock so they live happy lives, just as nature intended.

We Offer

“Meats- We offer you the healthiest meats we know how to raise. You can shop online to purchase 100% Grassfed/Grassfinished beef and lamb, pasture-raised Berkshire pork, and pasture-raised poultry including meat chickens and turkeys. We deliver our meats direct to our customers in the Pacific Northwest via a growing number of pickup locations.  Find locations and delivery schedule online or contact us to start a pickup location in your area.” Read more

To Yelm customers:

“We’ll be delivering to Lacey again in early June, but now is the time for folks to start reserving their orders for bulk beef, pork and poultry offerings.  We usually sell out of those!  For products and info about delivery to the Yelm/Lacey area, click here. ”

Blogger Klein is a satisfied Ramstead Ranch customer.


January 10, 2019

How Dollar Tree family of stores damage small communities

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© Jim Young/Reuters The U.S. has added 10,000 of these budget retail outlets since 2001. But some towns and cities are trying to push back.

Editor’s note: This is how Dollar Tree arrived in Yelm, where Wal-Mart’s entry here knocked out QFC from this market, allowing Dollar Tree to enter in vacant QFC space.

“The dollar store backlash has begun”

“It has become an increasingly common story: A dollar store opens up in an economically depressed area with scarce healthy and affordable food options, sometimes with the help of local tax incentives. It advertises hard-to-beat low prices but it offers little in terms of fresh produce and nutritious items — further trapping residents in a cycle of poverty and ill-health.

“A recent research brief by the Institute of Local Self Reliance (ILSR), a nonprofit supporting local economies, sheds light on the massive growth of this budget enterprise. Since 2001, outlets of Dollar General and Dollar Tree (which bought Family Dollar in 2015) have grown from 20,000 to 30,000 in number. Though these “small-box” retailers carry only a limited stock of prepared foods, they’re now feeding more people than grocery chains like Whole Foods, which has around 400-plus outlets in the country. In fact, the number of dollar-store outlets nationwide exceeds that of Walmart and McDonald’s put together — and they’re still growing at a breakneck pace. That, ILSR says, is bad news,” by Tanvi Misra, CityLab .

Read more


January 9, 2019

Groundhog Day returns to the Bald Hills 30 years later – Sludge dumping proposed here again!

Home - Washington State Department of Ecology Logo

Editor’s note: Thirty years ago in 1989, Yelm area residents unified in opposition to a proposal to dump Seattle’s sludge (sewer biosolids) on acreage in the pristine Bald Hills. I joined JZ Knight, Linda Evans and so many others from a broad cross-section of citizens in summer 1989 for a very public fight and protest that reached the Olympia Capitol steps and made international news. The sludge would be trucked down from Seattle bringing major traffic to area roadways to spray the sludge on land purchased between Smith Prairie Rd. and the Owl Pit. The proposal was defeated because of the public outcry!

This area is very close to a new site proposed to dump biosolids here yet again! The Washington State Department of Ecology has announced a public hearing set for January 24, 2019, 6pm, at the Yelm Senior Center,
16530 103rd Ave SE, Yelm, WA.

Fire Mountain Farms, Inc.

Public meeting and hearing: Biosolids land application site proposed near Yelm. Click here for details.

Bottom line:

Let’s repeat history and show the applicant and Ecology officials that they are not welcome in considering to dump sludge on our pristine lands once again, and so close to the Nisqually River!

“Keeping the ‘Pride of the Prairie'”

“Concerns about sludge remain strong. The worries first surfaced a year ago, when a group called Nisqually Valley Neighbors for a Contaminant-Free Prairie announced its existence at the annual Prairie Days parade.

Such well-known Yelm area residents as actress Linda Evans and channeler J.Z. Knight have argued passionately against a proposed sludge disposal project on timberland in the Bald Hills. They fear chemicals and heavy metals in the sludge could pollute both groundwater and the nearby Nisqually.”


Click here for the story by Brad Sevetson, The Olympian, August 13, 1989.


January 8, 2019

Introducing Yelm’s new landscape designer: Marie Wood – here from Boise, Idaho!

Credit: Edwards Greenhouse, Boise

“Marie Wood is a landscape designer with an Associate Degree in Horticulture from Boise State University and over 40 years of hands-on gardening experience. Over 20 years of her career was dedicated to Edwards Greenhouse in Boise, Idaho where she developed an acre of land into a demonstration garden to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the greenhouse. During this time, she also crafted custom pots for the greenhouse and personal clients. Using plants as her canvas, Marie creates a clearly defined aesthetic with a natural, yet meticulous landscape design. Contact: reedy.pete@gmail.com, 208-284-8992.”


January 7, 2019

Council does not follow Yelm’s Municipal Code on Mayor Pro-Tem post!

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Correction published January 9, 2019: I incorrectly reported the Yelm City Council did not follow the Yelm Municipal Code (YMC). The council did follow the YMC by having a biennial appointment January 9, 2018. However, in a 4-3 split of the council between nominees Joe DePinto and Tracey Wood, Councilor Wood was appointed to an additional 2 year term. With Wood serving out the term vacated when JW Foster became mayor in August 2016, Wood had already been pro-tem for over 1 1/3 years. The 4-3 split vote for Wood to serve yet another term was exemplified in a 2018 study session where a councilor raised the issue that mayor pro-tem appointments should be rotated among the council and should not be a “popularity contest” appointment. The council agreed and discussed looking to rotate the position, perhaps as early as Jan. 2019. Nothing else followed from the study session for 2019. With Wood having been mayor pro-tem for 3.3 years at the end of this year, Yelm will assuredly see a newly appointed councilor for this post in January 2020.

—————————————————————————————————-

The Yelm Council is one year overdue in appointing a new mayor pro tempore according to Yelm law!

  • Editor’s note: Yelm Mayor Pro tempore Tracy Wood was appointed January 12, 2016. His length of service was questioned by a council member at a study session in mid-2018, with the council agreeing to rotate this appointment at the end of the 2018. The council ended their 2018 business December 11, 2018, with no mention of a new pro-tem. The council agenda of January 8, 2019, mentions nothing of a pro-tem replacement. The city council should appoint a new mayor pro-tem on January 8 to serve for one year to the end of this biennium, as required by city code, then a new pro-tem appointment in January 2020, to serve the full 2 year term.  

Click here for the Yelm City Council Agenda of January 8. 2019.

Bottom line: Quoting the Nisqually Valley News on January 15, 2016, “[Former] Mayor Ron Harding said the city code states the appointment of mayor pro-tem occurs at the first council meeting of the year.”

While the mayor pro-tem appointment may be yet another oversight, I have seen many items mentioned at council study sessions set for future meetings that were also dropped, unintentional or not. However, Yelm Municipal Code (YMC) requirements should be placed on city officials’ annual calendars to be followed. The YMC states, “A mayor pro tempore shall be appointed from among their membership by a majority of the city council members at the first meeting of the newly elected council at the beginning of each biennium, commencing January 1, 2002.” The Yelm Council is one year overdue in appointing a new mayor pro tempore, in addition to missing scheduling this as an agenda item in December and now the first meeting in 2019.
Read more from the YMC.


January 6, 2019

The Olympian Editorial Board stands in support of immigrants! So does the Yelm Community Blog!

“We honor those in Thurston County who protect immigrants during these unwelcoming times”

Editor’s Note: I honor and support The Olympian Editorial Board for their courageous stand! We have many immigrants residing in the Yelm area, with several a vibrant fabric of our community for over a quarter of a century!

Excerpt by The Olympian Editorial Board

While most of the attention to immigration issues focuses on our southern border, ICE also has ramped up internal immigration enforcement, and not just of immigrants who are convicted of crimes. Undocumented people who have lived here for many years, worked, paid taxes and raised children now feel they are in daily danger. The worst fears are that adults will be detained and deported, leaving their children in limbo. In some families, this includes both children who were born here, and those who immigrated with their parents. This is not an unfounded fear. Strengthening Sanctuary activists and Steffani Powell, a local immigration attorney, report multiple such incidents.

The result is that many families are now trying hard to be invisible. They are reluctant to call the police when they are victims of crimes, and many are no longer enrolling their children in Head Start or other early childhood education programs. Some older children are not signing up for state college scholarships, even though they are eligible.

Strengthening Sanctuary, and its partners at CIELO, the workhorse local non-profit that offers educational and social support to the local Latino community, have mounted several programs to help reduce the fear and increase the safety of these families.”
Read more


January 5, 2019

Wind Advisory issued for Yelm area tonight thru Sunday morning

…WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM PST SUNDAY…

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Wind Advisory, which is in effect from 10 PM this evening to 10 AM PST Sunday.

* WIND…South 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.

* SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS…Hoquaim, Forks, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, Bremerton,

* TIMING…South winds will rapidly develop late this evening or early Sunday morning then ease late Sunday morning. For most of the area, the strongest winds will occur in the early morning hours on Sunday.

* IMPACTS…Winds may snap tree branches and cause local power outages.

*PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Wind Advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution. Read more


January 5, 2019

Wolf Haven’s newest resident, wolf dog Layla

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“Wolf Haven Welcomes Newest Resident — Wolfdog Layla”

“The newest resident at the Wolf Haven International sanctuary in Tenino used to only roam as far as the backyard cable connected to her collar would let her go.

“Layla, a first-generation wolfdog — her mother was a wolf and her father a Malamute — recently arrived at Wolf Haven by way of an animal shelter in Thurston County. The offspring of a wolf and a domesticated breed of dog often behave unpredictably and wind up in shelters, euthanized or in a sanctuary,” by Will Rubin, The Chronicle [Centralia], posted Dec. 18, 2019 on the Wolf Haven site.

Read more

Click here to visit the sanctuary in Tenino, reservations required.


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