April 22, 2018

In Thurston County News:
1. Thurston County in state-wide event for uplifting rural youth,
2. Thurston County Announces NEW County News Page,
3. Big Shoe raises $41,000 for county’s homeless students

– “Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference in Lacey”
“Thurston County is participating in a state-wide event aimed at uplifting rural youth through economic opportunity”

“The Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference is one step local leaders are taking to help rural youth access opportunities to help them succeed economically. Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, Washington State University Extension, Career Connect Washington, Capital Region ESD113, Thurston County Chamber, Thurston Economic Development Council, and Yelm Community Schools are all partnering to host the conference.

“The conference is being held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 9 at the Thurston EDC Center for Business & Innovation, South Puget Sound Lacey Campus.”
Click here for more information and to pre-purchase tickets.

– “Thurston County Announces County News Page”
“Thurston County residents now have access to a quarterly newsletter, the Habitat Conservation Plan, a citizen engagement tool, news releases, and other information, all on a new webpage.

“According to a statement released by the county, the new webpage “is part of a continued effort to enhance transparency and share information about County business with citizens.”

“The quarterly newsletter, called County Up Close, will inform residents about department and office updates, job opportunities, and actions by the commissioner,” by South Sound Business.
Read more

– “Big Shoe raises $41,000 for homeless kids”
“A really big thanks to the Brothers Four and everyone who played a role in Entertainment Explosion’s A Really Big Shoe 12 benefit concert for homeless kids held Feb. 25 at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Together we raised an amazing $41,600, for a 12-year total of just over $317.000.

In April we distributed $4,000 checks (up from $2,900) to Community Youth Services and the Tumwater, North Thurston, Olympia, Shelton, Tenino, Rainier, Rochester and Yelm school districts. The money is used to help more than 2,000 homeless kids, and 4,000 served by CYS,” By Scott Schoengarth, Letter to the Editor in The Olympian.
Read more

April 22, 2018

Movie “Last Seen in Idaho” partially shot in Yelm, Tenino, Olympia

– “Tacoma-made movie with ‘Starship Troopers’ Casper Van Dien is just latest for local film company”
“Van Dien [Casper Van Dien, the star of “Starship Troopers“] is the co-star of a film shot around the South Sound in 2016.

“The thriller “Last Seen in Idaho” comes out April 24 on several video-on-demand services. It was filmed in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Olympia, Yelm, Port Orchard, Tenino and other locations.

“Tenino happens to be the hometown of the film’s director, Eric Colley. Along with partner (and Winlock native) Hallie Shepherd, the pair have been producing movies in Tacoma since 2005,” by Craig Sailor, Tacoma News-Tribune.
Read more

April 21, 2018

Earth Day 2018 is tomorrow – April 22nd

Source: Earth Day Network

– Editor’s note:
Click here for ideas on how you can participate.

Earth Day news for 2018, how sad:
“Showing ‘Total Disregard for Indigenous Rights and Public Wishes,’ Trump Moves to Open Alaska Wildlife Refuge to Drilling”
“Critics warn that drilling in the region will threaten hundreds of species, violate the human rights of Native people, and further exacerbate the climate crisis”

“Demonstrating a “total disregard for Indigenous rights and public wishes,” the Trump administration on Friday moved to expedite oil and gas exploration in previously protected lands in Alaska,” by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams.
Read more

“The Pacific Ocean has a plastic problem. Here’s the plan to fix it”
By Douglas Main, NBC News.
Read more

“Earth Day 2018: The 10 Most Pressing Environmental Concerns Facing Our Planet – And Rays of Hope for Each”
* More than 1 billion people in 192 countries will come together again Sunday for Earth Day 2018: End Plastic Pollution.
* Weather.com takes a look at the state of the planet and offers a ray of hope for each of the 10 most pressing environmental issues.
By Pam Wright and Bob Henson, weather.com.
Read more

– “It’s Earth Day!”
“Earth Day Network’s mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations.

“Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 50,000 partners in 196 countries to build environmental democracy. We work through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.

“The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world,” quoting the Earth Day Network.
Read more

April 20, 2018

Megan Hansen returns to NVN, this time as Editor –
Left Yelm in 2012 to be Editor at Whidbey News Group

Megan Hansen
Photo credit: LinkedIn

– Editor’s note:
The Nisqually Valley News (NVN) announced that former Assistant Editor Megan Hansen will return to the newspaper as Editor, replacing Michael Wagar who has accepted a position as President of parent-company Lafromboise Communications, Inc. in Centralia. Wagar will remain as NVN Publisher for the time being.

Hansen has served most all of her journalistic career working for Keven Graves when he was Publisher/Editor of the NVN and again 4 months after she was hired as Editor in Oct. 2012 at Sound Publishing, Inc. leading their three-newspaper Whidbey News Group.

Keven Graves spoke of the time he interviewed Hansen saying, “She was fresh out of college and had a spark in her eye that is thrilling to see in a young journalist, especially in this day and age.” He hired her at the NVN upon graduation from Central Washington University in 2007, and during the five years in Yelm she worked her way from the general assignment reporter to Assistant Editor. On October 19, 2012, Graves reported that Hansen was leaving the NVN to take “the reigns of the newspaper I started my reporting career at in 1987 [Whidbey News-Times], and also the newspaper I co-founded in 1994.” Graves re-joined Hansen 4 months later as Publisher & Executive Editor of the Whidbey News Group in February 2013 where they have been colleagues for the last 5 years.

Since Hansen worked the majority of her career of over 11 years with Keven Graves, first at the NVN and then Sound Publishing, she knows Yelm well and will seamlessly move into the newspaper’s Editor’s chair. However, she will return to a different Yelm than when she left – a different mayor and city administrator, the complicit city councils are a thing of the past, and a city and Police Dept. that has been allowed to have a Facebook page, wow. Yet one thing has remained unchanged since she left – daily reports from the Yelm Community Blog, still free to the public!

One interesting observation I have is that she leaves a rather large parent company in Sound Publishing, Inc., with three newspapers and other publications for which she is Editor, to take a job for a very small newspaper group (Lafromboise) as Editor for one newspaper.
This begs the question, “Why the NVN?”
There must be another reason she would make this move and I suspect she will be offered the job of NVN Publisher in the not too distant future, perhaps even Publisher for the Centralia and Battle Ground newspapers, too, allowing Wagar to pass those titles on to her so he can be devoted full-time as corporate President.

Working for Graves for 11+ years means we probably will see little change for the Yelm newspaper in sticking to a “conservative” slant, however Hansen brings to the paper for the first time in many years an Editor with a woman’s viewpoint, which I find refreshing. I will be interested to watch how Hansen creates her own niche at the NVN.

– Bottom Line:
I have offered several times for this Blog to collaborate with the NVN in the last 12 years. Both Graves and Wagar declined – perhaps Hansen will see the value of such collaboration as a benefit to the community and the NVN, as most newspapers have multiple blog contributors.
Therefore, my offer is officially extended to Hansen for consideration.

Congratulations to Megan Hansen from the Yelm Community Blog.

Blogger Klein was referenced by Hansen in several NVN stories bet. 2009-2012.

April 20, 2018

BBB Hosts Free ‘Secure Your ID Day,’ April 21st in DuPont

Credit: Better Business Bureau

– “BBB Hosting Free Shredding and Electronic Recycling Event”
“Secure Your ID Day gives people the opportunity to protect their identities by securely disposing of unwanted documents and other items”

“On April 21, the Better Business Bureau is hosting a free event called Secure Your ID Day during which South Sound residents can shred unwanted documents and recycle old electronics.”

“Attend the Secure Your ID event, held in partnership with the Better Business Bureau, Puget Sound Energy, Green PC Tacoma, and Shred-it, on April 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the BBB parking lot at 1000 Station Drive in DuPont.

Each person is allowed to shred up to three bags or boxes of documents. Electronic recycling will also be available for television monitors, computers, laptops, printers, and other items,” quoting South Sound Business.
Read more

April 19, 2018

In the ‘Fake News’ era,
Pulitzer Prize winning journalists make a real impact

– Editor’s note:
The term “Fake News” has come to mean anything one does not like and mainly used as a vehicle to discredit another. This is almost identical to “Doublespeak,” the language implemented to deliberately disguise, reverse, distort and/or obscure the meaning of words.

“Doublespeak was never used in the 1984 novel [by Orwell] but it was a term coined much later after publication. Doublespeak combines the language of ‘newspeak,’ government invented to suppress the ability to develop treasonous ideas by the people… and ‘doublethink,’ a product of newspeak, which essentially means believing in two contradictory statements to be true at the same time… or saying one thing and meaning another,” quoting New Paradigm.

While being barraged with the ‘Fake News’ label, I applaud the outstanding work of journalists worldwide and especially the staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post for meticulous reporting on Russia’s influence in the 2016 election, the Trump transition team and the 45th President’s administration. Call them trumpeters of the Deep State or Fake News as you will, their dogged determination to report the facts supported by public documents has led to a greater understanding for the American public in the midst of a deluge of Tweets and from Congressional leaders who have political interests that this information remain concealed.

The discrediting/trashing of this nation’s rule of law, attacks on federal judges [including his own Supreme Court pick Gorsuch] and the DOJ, and declaring America’s free press the “enemy of the people” has undermined and eroded America’s trust in their government even lower.

Indeed, even the Constitution of the United States is now under assault, the one document each elected official took an oath of office to uphold. The good news is that the light is being shined on all of the chicanery “on both sides, on both sides,” and the more light revealing what is “behind the curtain,” the more the public will act to take their mantle back in this Constitutional Republic which requires, indeed demands, public participation in their government.

In the words of Joseph Pulitzer, “Our republic and its press will rise or fall together.”
Click here for the list of Pulitzer Prize winners.

– Well stated by The Charlotte (NC) Observer Editorial Board:
“In era of ‘fake news,’ these journalists have real impact”
“It’s fashionable to argue that newspapers are dead, or at least rapidly dying. But this week’s unveiling of the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes is a heartening reminder of journalism’s strength in America today – and of the essential role journalists play.

“Newspapers and journalists of all kinds perhaps have never been under such duress. From changing business models. From a polarized body politic. From the president of the United States and other politicians of both parties who would rather operate in the dark.

“Those pressures are real. But they should not obscure the fact that every day, across the nation, thousands of reporters, editors and visual journalists are asking questions, breaking news, investigating public and private officials, explaining their country or community, and telling compelling stories.

Today [April 17], we celebrate with the Pulitzer Prize judges these soldiers who fight for an informed public, occasionally even at great risk to themselves.
Click here to read the entire editorial.

– UPDATE: April 20, 2018
“I’m a lifelong conservative and I support Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation”
“Trump’s attack on the Robert Mueller investigation is wrong and fails to put America first. He doesn’t get what made us great: We’re a nation of laws.”
By Rick Hall, Opinion contributor, USA Today.
Read more

April 19, 2018

Steven Drew re-election for County Assessor campaign is on

County Assessor Steven Drew listens to a constituent
Photo credit: Steven Drew for County Assessor Campaign

– Editor’s note:
In Assessor Drew’s two terms of office, I have had the opportunity to contact him on two separate issues. He listened and vigorously worked to reach a resolution that worked for all of the parties involved. One of the greatest attributes of an elected official is to be an effective listener, one that “hears” the constituent rather than just formulating a response while a point is being made. I found Assessor Drew to possess the qualities required of an effective leader and Assessor – that of a good listener. He deserves your consideration for a third term!

– About Thurston County Assessor Steven Drew
“Prior to becoming Thurston County Assessor in January of 2011, Steven Drew owned and operated an Independent Property Claims Adjusting business for 18 years and worked in that field for nearly three decades. This work, as a service provider, as a field person, and an office manager provided Steven with the skills needed to lead the Assessor’s office through a period of change and renewal.”

“Integrity, ethics, compassion, absolute impartiality, and a passion for making government function better: these are the values, that motivated Steven to close his business and to seek public office, and these are the values which have guided him these past 7+ years as your Assessor.”
Read more

Click here for the Facebook page.

Blogger Klein is a contributor to the Steven Drew for County Assessor Campaign.

April 18, 2018

Yelm’s Ronelle Funk Insurance voted Best of South Sound

Ronelle Funk
Photo credit: Ronelle Funk Insurance Agency

– “Local insurance agency voted Best of South Sound”
Ronelle Funk Insurance Agency was named the 2017 Best of South Sound Insurance Agency, the result of approximately 78,000 votes cast by readers of The Olympian newspaper between January and March of this year. The area’s long-time annual business awards, the Best of South Sound poll has been conducted by the capital city newspaper for more than 20 years.

“‘It is a privilege to be entrusted with helping to protect the most valuable assets of friends, colleagues and neighbors here in the South Sound and across the state,’ said Ronelle Funk, the owner of the agency that offers auto, home, life, boat and motorcycle insurance. ‘Our customers are like family and to be named as the best is an honor for me and my wonderful staff.’

“Ronelle Funk Insurance was voted Best Insurance Agency and Best Customer Service in the Nisqually Valley News last fall. More recently, the business was named a Thurston Green Business, in recognition of the company’s environmentally-friendly practices.

“Ronelle Funk Insurance has 14 employees between its two offices, one in Yelm, Wash. at 10501 Creek St SE and the other in Lacey, Wash. at 1601 College Street. The offices serve customers throughout Thurston, Lewis, Pierce and Mason counties as well as the entire state of Washington. Ronelle Funk Insurance is in the top one percent of all Allstate offices in the U.S. and was voted number one in customer service by Allstate customers within a five-state region,” quoting the Lally Communications media release.

Congratulations to Ronelle Funk and her fine staff!

April 18, 2018

Yelm athlete Patsy (Walker) Pointer inducted into the Hall of Fame

Patsy Walker in college in Houston, YHS student 1973-77.
Photo credit: Univ. of Houston Athletic Dept.

– “Track star who single-handedly won Yelm a state title in 1977 will be inducted into WIAA hall of fame”
“Four decades after becoming the first — and only — athlete in state history to win a high school track and field team title by herself, Patsy Pointer is headed to the hall of fame.

“Pointer, née Walker, won all four of her events her senior year to lead Yelm High School to its only state championship in the sport in 1977, edging Port Townsend, 40-37, for the 1A title in Yakima,” by Lauren Smith, The Olympian.
Read more

– “Olympians and pioneers are part of the WIAA’s 2018 Hall of Fame Class”
“Ceremony planned for May 2 at the Renton Pavilion Events Center.”

“The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced its 2018 Hall of Fame Class on Monday. The group will be honored with the 2017 Class at a luncheon on May 2 at the Renton Pavilion Events Center.

“Track and field standouts Gerry Lindgren of Rogers (Spokane) and Patsy (Walker) Pointer of Yelm are the athlete inductees. Lindgren competed at the 1964 Olympics and won 11 NCAA championships while running for Washington State. Pointer scored all 40 points in Yelm’s 1977 track and field championships and was the 1981 NCAA women’s heptathlon champion while competing for Houston,” by Jayda Evans, Seattle Times.
Read more

April 17, 2018

Nisqually Valley Brewery set to become Yelm attraction bringing in visitors

Photo credit: Nisqually Valley Brewing Co.

– Editor’s note:
Given that the 1995 Yelm Vision Plan was not adhered to diversify this town, along with city leadership in the early to mid-2000’s guiding city policies into becoming a residential “bedroom” community, now Yelm’s primary source of economic development must be through business like the Nisqually Valley Brewing Company that draw visitor’s to our area.

– “Nisqually Valley Brewery Breaks New Ground in Yelm”
“Walking down a Scottish street on their belated honeymoon, John and Tasha Johnson came upon a sign that got their attention. By sheer luck, they’d stumbled across the National Scottish Ale Fest. ‘It was completely by accident,’ says Tasha. ‘We didn’t even know it was there.’

“The discovery was serendipitous for the Johnsons; John had been perfecting his own brews for years, first in the kitchen, then the garage, and eventually the driveway. In March, the couple opened Yelm’s first brewpub, the Nisqually Valley Brewing Company. Following the model of other microbreweries throughout the Pacific Northwest, the pub will focus solely on beer and allow customers to order food or bring in their own,” by Heidi Smith, in Thurston Talk.
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