September 30, 2006


This writer had the pleasure of meeting Yelm author Dianne Bunnell recently and desired to share her book The Protest on this blog. This is quoted from her interview on Beyond the Ordinary.

“Dianne Kosdrey Bunnell author of The Protest a fictional novel ‘inspired’ by the real life highjacking of her daughters.

Dianne, a magna cum laud graduate from Whitworth College with a BA in English and her teaching credential from St. Martin’s College, taught high school English during the ten years of writing of The Protest.

A great story, beautifully written and full of understanding. It is about experiencing and turning that experience into wisdom, about pain and conquering, joy, and becoming. Dianne lived this wisdom throughout the real experience she wove into her book, and because she lives forward life is indeed very good today. Listening to Dianne is an inspiration … in so many ways!”

Dianne’s website is The

September 29, 2006


“…is a renowned stand-up comic and speaker whose passion is personal growth and development. Vanda’s work is a delightful, irreverent romp down her twisted spiritual path. The concept “enlightenment” is fascinating to her. Vanda’s stand-up comedy deals with the human predicament, inquiring into the nature of being a human being, the trap of it all and the absurdity of it all.”
Vanda and Friends Comedy Show
Monday, October 9th, 7:30pm at Lacey’s Ricardo’s Restaurant.
$15 online at Click on SCHEDULE
$20 at the door ~ 413-9995 for reservations Ricardo’s Restaurant website .

Vanda Mikoloski
Photo from Vanda’s website, taken by Guustaaf Damave

A celebration of Yelm resident Ken Meadows is open to the public on Sunday, October 1st at 1pm
at the home of Dr, Andrew Iverson, 14233 Yelm Highway. Call 458-5885 for details.
Mr. Meadows passed away August 30th.

Award-winning author Bettye Johnson will be reading an excerpt from her book Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls followed by a question/answer session
Sunday, October 1st at 2pm at Yelm’s Timberland Library.
Bettye will be available to sign books previously purchased and will have copies of her books available for purchase. This event will be videotaped for future use. There is no charge for this presentation.

September 28, 2006


This writer recently asked Yelm city official Shelly Badger about the make-up of the Yelm Economic Development
Committee (EDC) in the wake of several EDC references at City Council meetings. I did not delve further into Yelm’s EDC until last Tuesday’s Council meeting when my eyebrows were raised as the City Council authorized $17,700 to create a “collateral marketing piece” to promote Yelm as an attractive business environment. Based on my extensive marketing/sales background, “collateral marketing piece” means brochure and/or website to me.

Now, I am sitting in this meeting thinking,
“What is this city doing paying the Thurston County Economic Development Council (EDC)
this kind of money essentially for a marketing brochure when this area has many talented and experienced people that would serve this city in this capacity, if asked.”

So, I called city hall to request the members list of Yelm’s EDC, which includes:
Mayor Ron Harding, local contractor and lifelong Yelm resident
Grant Beck, Yelm City Staff Development Director
Shelly Badger, 20+ year veteran on Yelm City Staff & Yelm City Administrator
Cecelia Jenkins, Executive Director of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce
Steve Ruff, Miles Sand & Gravel and Yelm Chamber of Commerce President
Glen Cunningham, local contractor, Yelm Chamber Board member and Yelm Planning Commission Chair

I wrote an email to Shelly Badger and copied the Mayor and Grant Beck after the Council meeting raising this issue and Mayor Harding responded that Yelm’s EDC members are appointed by him.
No disrespect intended Mr. Mayor, however the makeup of the Yelm Economic Development Committee (EDC) encompasses little or no sales, marketing, economic development, advertising, and/or corporate experience out in the world, IMHO. Mayor Harding stated, “Each of the backgrounds that you feel should be present on this committee is already present.”

I ask, “Where are citizen appointments and participation from a broad cross-section of this community?”
Mayor Harding, Ms. Jenkins, Steve Ruff, & Glen Cunningham serve on both the Yelm EDC & the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Therefore, the Economic Development of this community is limited to the same people on the Chamber Board and Yelm’s EDC.
While I applaud the service by these fine people to the city, there is no infusion of fresh new ideas and experiences. No wonder the city must hire out its marketing; local talent is not utilized, so the City Council chooses to use taxpayer money for an outsider to promote the wonderful aspects of our city.

Were Yelm’s EDC to have members appointed with such experience, I am sure they could develop a marketing/sales strategy that would cost the city a minimum and be more effective, since they live here; people like real estate entrepreneur Cynthia Schmier, Investment Manager Gene Heuschel II, and internet website marketer Luke Sutton are a few of the talented locals that come to mind.

What do you think?
$17,700 too much for a Yelm marketing/sales brochure?
Should Mayor Harding add to Yelm’s EDC appointments from outside the usual group?

Yelm Mayor Ron Harding
Photo from City of Yelm website

September 27, 2006


At the close of the City Council meeting last night, Mayor Harding asked the Council
for any closing comments.
This writer heard Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Isom state that Yelm was no longer a small “penny-ante town”
and that would be made very apparent with the city’s upcoming 2007 budget. He expressed his concerns
about the size of the budget saying he was a “fiscal conservative.” Mayor Harding smiled and brushed aside his remarks stating “All is well and the city has plenty of money to handle everything for several years.” The Mayor continued saying to Mr. Isom that Isom expressed these concerns last year about next year’s budget and we’re on the threshold of that discussion. Mr. Isom was not moved and still echoed his unease.
The 2007 City of Yelm Budget Work Sessions are open to the public and are scheduled to be held in City Council Chambers at 4pm on each Tuesday in October (3, 10, 17, 24, & 31).
Further, city hall department heads will present the City of Yelm Budget forecast for 2007 -2011 plus a 2006 revenue update tonight at 5pm in City Hall’s Council Chambers.
This writer agrees with Mr. Isom; we’re no small town anymore and officials/citizens must realize that this is a growing city and deal with the budget and city affairs in a big city context.

Besides the local newspaper reporter, a newly appointed Planning Commission member,
a Thurston County EDC presenter and some high school students auditing the session for their
class, this writer was the only citizen in attendance. HMMM!
Lack of citizen involvement here in Council issues is not a compliment to this city and must change, as well.

Yelm City Council member Bob Isom
Photo from City of Yelm website


Yes, Olympia Regional Airport recorded a record high of 81 degrees on September 26.

September 26, 2006


Local resident John Glennie was interviewed in Yelm last week for a TV documentary slated for Japanese television.
Mr. Glennie was owner and Captain of the boat the Rose-Noelle when it capsized. His book chronicles the 119 days he and his crew spent adrift at sea that commanded the unofficial world’s record for survival in a cold climate. The book is titled The Spirit of the Rose-Noelle.

Another book describing the story is
Capsized/the True Story of Four Men Adrift for 119 Days
“From Publishers Weekly
After four months adrift in the South Pacific in 1989, the survivors were in such relatively good health that at first their story was disbelieved. Though upside down and half-submerged, their boat was well made. Its captain, John Glennie, a shrewd old salt, and his three companions–including Nalepka, an Outward Bound guide and the sole American–had originally set out from New Zealand for Tonga, and after capsizing they made living quarters in a compartment in the hull the size of a double bed with 18 inches of head- room. Nalepka tells how they caught fish and rigged a rain-collecting contraption, but he focuses most on the changing relationships among the men as they coped with stress and were forced to become a team to survive. Glennie lost his macho authority, the tentative Phil Hoffman, a heart patient, grew surer, and a loving tenderness developed between Nalepka and Rick Hellreigel, a young man with a brain tumor. Aided by Callahan (Adrift), Nalepka tells an intriguing tale of personal victories claimed from disaster. Illustrations not seen by PW
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.”

September 25, 2006


Yelm Adult Community Center (YACC) volunteer Anita Marriott is assisting the YACC to survey the local population ages 50-65 to determine how the community center can best serve this group.
Says Ms. Marriott, “The YACC has the potential to be a wonderful resource and a meeting place to bring people together in the Yelm community. The new facility is a blank page to be written on by members of the community. It can be whatever we want it to be. We are looking for suggestions and feedback from our target audience. We are considering offering classes, book clubs, lecture series, and trips. I have created an online survey that I would appreciate your help in distributing.”
The YACC Survey Link.

September 22, 2006


King-5 TV’s Jean Enerson filed this report about former Yelm area resident Sam George earlier this summer.

“In September of 2004, three co-workers were having fun on jet skis on Lake Sammamish until two of them collided.

Sam George was hit from behind at full speed.

‘I was thrown forward into the water and wound up face-down unconscious in the water,’ he said. ‘The paramedics thought I wouldn’t make it.’

Broken bones were the least of his problems.

‘By the time I got to Harborview I had lost in the neigborhood of two-thirds of the blood in my body,’ he said…

He was also bleeding internally, but an IV given in the field may have saved him.

‘What’s so critical with this study is that the fluid has to be administered as early as possible. To really be effective it has to be the first IV fluid the patient gets,’ said Dr. Eileen Bulger.

That fluid is a concentrated dose of saline with or without dextran, a sugar. It’s a formulation already used in 14 European countries, but has yet to receive FDA approval…

Harborview is about to launch a much larger study that will involve 10 hosptials (sic) in the U.S. and Canada. It will include brain injury as well as trauma patients.”

University of Washington owns and operates Harborview Medical Center, one of the finest trauma care centers in the Northwest.
The Harborview study information.

Sam works at Microsoft and has been instrumental in the development of the Tablet Avalon Platform, for which he has a blog.
“In this episode Peter Loforte and Sam George talk about the purpose, scope, and motivating features of the Tablet PC operating system and the applications that run on it. They show real code examples of what it takes to build a Tablet PC application from scratch using Visual Studio.NET,” quoting this Microsoft interview from September 25, 2003.

Congratulations, Sam, for your perseverance, good humor and being an inspiration to others on this, the 2nd anniversary of your life-changing event. And to you and your wife Cortney, pregnant at the time of the accident, on the birth of your daughter.

September 21, 2006


Area resident Jean Marie Christenson made history as she moved forward from Tuesday’s Primary as the
1. leading vote-getter for this district.
2. leading vote-getter in both Pierce & Thurston counties.
3. candidate that beat the incumbent on both of the above.
The results are from the Washington Secretary of State’s office, though the results are not yet certified.

Congratulations to Jean Marie and her team!
Now on to the November General Election….

Jean Marie Christenson, Democrat – Candidate for State Representative, District 2, Position 1

Photo courtesy of Stephany Ray,
Professional Photographer and Webmaster of

September 20, 2006


Nisqually Tribal Elder Billy Frank has developed quite a reputation for his stewardship of Nisqually Valley environmental issues and has been acknowledged for his decades of work to educate the public. Mr. Frank wrote a column in the September 15 edition of the Nisqually Valley News titled “Being Frank – Be motivated by ‘the map'”. Mr. Frank states:
“If you see me speak these days, chances are you’ll see “the map.”

For many years, I’ve scrawled little maps on napkins and place mats in conversations over coffee to help demonstrate the challenges salmon have to face to migrate between the Pacific and their streams of origin.

In most of those cases, the sketchy little maps did seem to help enlighten individuals to the expanding environmental challenges we all face in the Pacific Northwest. They have been good tools to demonstrate challenges tribes face in maintaining their culture, livelihoods and identity as a people.

Today, even with greatly reduced fishing, those challenges are far tougher and more plentiful than ever.

No napkin or place mat map will hold all the problems.

A recent public opinion poll, which revealed that 80 percent of the people here think Puget Sound is healthy, made the need for public education more than evident. But how can so many people be convinced to open their eyes to the truth about Puget Sound?
We’ve published tons of newsletters, sent out thousands of news releases, sponsored public forums, invested in television specials, set up exhibits and produced curricula for the schools – all saying that pollution and habitat destruction are big problems, and that everyone who lives here has a responsibility to help deal with them.

Needless to say, the results of the public opinion poll were disappointing.

So what can we do differently?”

See the full transcript of Mr. Frank’s column online.

Billy Frank Jr., a Nisqually Tribal Elder, has been Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWFC) for 22 years and has played a central role in securing fishing rights for Native American groups,” quoting Stewardship Partners.

The Olympian reported this in August of this year,
“Five species of Puget Sound salmon and the orca are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Overall, 1,000 Puget Sound species are in decline.

‘There’s no steelhead and no wild coho salmon anymore,”‘lamented Nisqually tribal elder Billy Frank Jr., executive director of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. ‘And the orca whale – he’s starving to death.'”

The Nisqually River Council of which Mr. Frank is a contact:
“The original objective of the Nisqually River Council was to bring together diverse stakeholders to develop and implement a Nisqually River management plan that would protect the river and its fish. Over the last 20 years, the council has implemented most of that plan and, upon its completion, will continue to work to resolve divisive issues surrounding timber harvesting, land use, salmon recovery, and water allocations. The council is also evolving to protect, not only ecosystem health, but also local economic vitality.”

The Institute for Tribal Government
says this of Mr. Frank.

[Ed. Note: At what point is the Nisqually Tribe’s objectives and stewardship of the Nisqually Valley going to be
challenging to the unbridled growth of the central Valley’s largest city, Yelm? What say you?]

Nisqually Valley Tribe’s Billy Frank
Photo from Institute for Tribal Government website

September 19, 2006


Local area resident Danielle McCarter has been selected by Northwest Airlines, Inc. to manage their new Reservations facility in Singapore for 5 weeks beginning in October.
Danielle states, “I am really excited to work on the project there!”
Danielle is currently the Manager of Northwest’s Seattle Reservations Call Center handling calls from all over the western USA. Danielle met her husband-to-be Dave at the Seattle Res. Center, as well.
Congratulations on both, Danielle!

“Northwest Airlines is the world’s fifth largest airline with hubs at
Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis,
Tokyo and Amsterdam, and approximately 1,400 daily departures…

This October, on the first of the month, we’ll celebrate our 80th
birthday, and like most octogenarians, we can’t resist the opportunity
to look back on some of our favorite memories. In the eight decades
since Colonel Lewis H. Brittain flew the first Northwest biplane,
carrying mail from the Twin Cities to Chicago, NWA has been a frequent
pioneer in the advancement of commercial aviation:

* We pioneered the northern “Great Circle Route” to Asia, flying
DC4s through the wintry Arctic skies on our way to becoming the
first U.S. airline to serve China and other Pacific markets. In
fact, next year will mark the 60th anniversary of our first
service to Asia.
* We introduced new technologies in the air and on the ground;
Northwest pioneered the first clear-air turbulence forecasting
system in 1957. We remain a leader in turbulence prediction,
providing warning services to other airlines.
* We were the 1989 launch customer for Boeing’s 747-400 “jumbo jet.”
The increased range and capacity of this aircraft brought the
world closer together than ever.

And our best years are yet to come,” quoting NWA President & CEO Doug Steenland.
Happy Birthday, Northwest!

Northwest Airlines & Seattle have been linked together since 1933 when Northwest began commerical airline service. On May 31, 1945, a Northwest Airlines DC-3 inaugurated transcontinental service when it departed Sea-Tac for New York City. Further, in 1949 Northwest Orient Airlines began nonstop flights from Seattle to Japan.

NWA’s Danielle McCarter poses in Singapore with her hometown newspaper, the NVN
Photo courtesy Mrs. McCarter


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