February 14, 2007

THREE NEW YELM AREA AUTHORS DEBUT BOOKS

1. “Greg Simmons is President of Mulai de Guise Publishing and the author of “These Things You Shall Do, and Greater” to be released in January 2007. His web site is dedicated to understanding the correlation between ancient wisdom and modern science.
Greg moved to the Pacific Northwest to be near Ramthas School of Enlightenment. He has been a student for twenty-five years, the marketing director for eighteen years, and Ramthas first appointed teacher for the past nine years. He has had the privilege to teach thousands of students in over twenty different foreign countries. Currently he is featured every month on www.beyondtheordinary.net Webcast radio program,” quoting Mr. Simmons’ website.
Mr. Simmons’ monthly newletter “The Physics of Change” can be accessed here.

2. I am a Woman, I am a God (not for women only) is the title of a new book by Louise Oliverio. “I am a Woman, I am a God, (not for women only) puts forth an understanding with respect to causes relating to the oppression and suppression of women, its affect on the self-empowerment, evolution and women’s relationship to God. The book allows a place for men facing some of the same issues along with humanity at large.

What surprises the reader is religion’s role in the oppression and suppression of women.

Another surprise is that quantum physics science has come to the point of understanding that reality is created by thought – our thoughts both personal and collective. It is not gender specific but includes all.

My short book can be understood by all. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand what is being put forth,” quoitng Ms. Oliveriuo’s website.

3. “Evolve Your Brain, The Science of Changing Your Mind” is Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book on what he has learned from his experiences, chiropractic practice and being a sudent in Ramtha’s School. Listen to Dr. Dispenza’s radio interview on Evolving Ideas with Elaine Smitha from January 16, 2007.


February 13, 2007

NVN: “CRONYISM OK, AS LONG AS THAT DOESN’T TRANSLATE INTO BLATANT CRONYISM”

Keven Graves, publisher/managing editor of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) wrote a cryptic editorial in his newspaper’s January 26 Opinion page saying,
“…there aren’t any tell-tale signs of hidden agendas or secret meetings being held in smoke-filled back rooms. If we catch wind of such goings on, however, you can bet our readers will read about it in our pages. Yes, Yelm is still a small town, and the old timers – or at least the long timers – tend to have their own tight circles. That’s OK, as long as that doesn’t translate into blatant cronyism.

While I’m a believer in being involved in local government, whether as an elected or appointed official, or as a citizen asking questions and attending meetings, there is a line, one that is easily crossed when a person refuses to be accountable.”

Mr. Graves has published several Letters to the Editor in recent weeks asking him for facts as to what he was referring since he closed the column saying, “It’s ultimately up to the reader to reach their own conclusions based on all of the facts, and we trust them to do so, because they’re smart.
That’s how we do our job.
What say you?”

However, the NVN story of February 9 highlighting Yelm’s Citizen Committees made abundantly clear both in what was printed and in what was ommitted that with THIS city, the line of blatant cronyism has been crossed based on what was reflected in Yelm’s Mayor-appointed Citizen Committees.

Did anyone notice that Glen Cunningham serves on 4 of the 6 citizen committees and what was not listed in the NVN is that he also serves the Yelm Lions as well as on the Mayor appointed Yelm Economic Committee (EDC) and the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board. Further, Mr, Cunningham is the chariman of the Yelm Planning Commission & Vice Chair of the Yelm Tree Advisory Board. Certainly seems like a conflict of interest with all of his posts.
WHAT SAY YOU?
More preferential treatment?
Further, Cecelia Jenkins serves as the Executive Director of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce and on the Mayor appointed Yelm Economic Devleopment Committee (EDC) and the Mayor appointed Yelm Parks Advisory Board.

While I acknowledge Mr. Cunningham’s & Mrs. Jenkins’ service to the city, wouldn’t the wise thing be for the Mayor to appoint people from all walks of life from the area to these Boards. Some have said no one else steps “up to the plate” to serve their community. I have issue with that, since more than a dozen people applied for an open City Council seat in 2006.

This writer wrote the Mayor and raised this issue last Autumn[scroll to September 28, 2006 for full story]:

Mr. Harding’s response was:
“In response to your inquiry, No charter governs these types of committees and like most appointments they are appointed by the Mayor. Each of the backgrounds that you feel should be present on this committee is already present, as I find the need to I can add or reduce the membership.

I can ensure you I have confidence in those members I have selected, in my staff and myself. I believe at the end of my first term the progress we have made will speak for itself.

I hope I have provided the knowledge that you seem to be lacking in understanding how these committees are structured.

The time is now.”
Mayor Ron Harding

If the aforementioned examples have not translated “into blatant cronyism”, this writer knows none better. And, there are plenty more examples of blatant cronyism not listed here!

Mr. Graves states further, “Simply put, we won’t gloss over the truth to protect sources, nor will we twist it to suit our whim or agenda.” OK fine, then the “TIME IS NOW” to report these issues & to call for some new “blood” and diversity from among Yelm citizens to be appointed to this city’s citizen committees with the current vacancies.

WRITE THE NVN AND MAYOR & LET THEM KNOW YOUR OPINION!
Kenin Graves, NVN = yelmnews@yelmonline.com
Mayor Ron Harding = ronh@ci.yelm.wa.us


February 13, 2007

NVN: WON’T YOU RATE THE CITY’S JOB ON GROWTH?

Directing your attention to an informal poll on the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) website requesting your vote:

“Right or wrong track?

Do you think the City of Yelm is on the right path, or wrong track, when it comes to dealing with residential and commercial growth?
Please select one:

0 -The city is doing a great job dealing with, and planning for, growth

0- The city is doing an OK job, but could do better

0- The city is keeping up, but isn’t doing much planning

0- There is no planning

0- The city is doing a flat out lousy job”

At the time of this writing, 53% of those respondents said, “The city is doing a flat out lousy job.”
While an unoffical poll, this is a stinging rebuke given the other voting options!

Further, when I ran for Mayor of Yelm in 2005, I was labelled the anti-growth candidate by my opponent & his camp. As I said then and still say today, I am not anti-growth, I am for wise, controlled growth to maintain our small-town composite. I warned then that Yelm citizens in the future would look back on 2005 and question what our city offiicials were thinking approving all of the development and lacking the proper infrastucture to support such.

Now, today we have Mayor Harding giving his State of the City Address in what will be glowing terms, I am sure. Yet, not mentioned will be the city’s water urgency, flooding, water rights issues, unbridled development, city officials in a cozy relationship with the developers and an unfunded Loop years away to handle a traffic mess in this town.

Hopefully, the fact that the NVN is finally taking a vote on growth here may be signalling some awareness to bring much-needed attention to this issue.

Won’t you take the time to click one of the boxes so your voice can also be heard?


February 12, 2007

GUEST ENTRY: YELM RESIDENT BILL HASHIM PONDERS DEFINITION OF “COMMUNITY”

Writing to the Yelm Community Blog as a private citizen, Mr. Hashim’s remarks are unabridged in any way:

“My daughter is a freshman at Western Washington University. This week she is studying for a test in environmental studies 101. One of the test questions is the definition of community. She asked me what I thought the definition was. The standard text book definition is “all inhabitants of a well defined area working together to create a healthy habitat.

The Thompson Creek meeting was an opportunity for community members to work together to solve a problem. It is perfectly clear, and rather sad, that the City of Yelm refuses to participate, refuses to be part of a greater community. Using the textbook definiton of cummunity (sic) it is obvious Yelm is not a community!! Instead, it is an unhealthy habitat, and getting worse all the time.

I often get called by my neighbors for help. What can we do about Wal-Mart, about Nascar, about Tahoma Terra, the traffic, and of course Thompson Creek flooding? The calls usually come after they have tried to get help, to communicate with, or to get any kind of response of any sort from the city of Yelm. It breaks my heart that little ladies who have lived their whole lives in Yelm cannot get the city to answer their calls for help.

I’m not afraid to speak out on behalf of my neighbors. Doing so has often got me in hot water with the city council. I don’t really care. It is obvious the council could care less about the citizens of Yelm. I do so & I will continue to help.

It was pathetic how Yelm’s representative at the Thompson Creek meeting [see January 30 entry below] sat there like a rotten log, refusing to discuss solutions of any sort. Instead, he deferred the city’s position to the Tahoma Terra developers.

Now I know who owns this city, and unfortunately it is not us.

Bill Hashim
Yelm, WA


February 11, 2007

GUEST BLOG ENTRY: VICTORIA BLAZEJEWSKI COMMENTS ON NASCAR TRACK BILL MAKING ROUNDS AGAIN IN OLYMPIA

Dear Sean Cockerham:
Have you read the proposed House bill 2062 for the building of a Nascar speedway?
I devoted a lengthy part of the evening to reading it and while I confess that I am
no attorney here are just some of the more interesting hand-outs the track will
receive, as I understand them:

(1) _Section 201, #33:_ The host city “assumes responsibility for environmental review and permitting, after annexation.” Assuming this means Bremerton, where the mayor is pushing
hard for annexation, has anyone told the people there that the taxpayers will be paying for the Environmental Impact Statement, and not the developers of the track?
Not only will the track be built to accommodate 83,000 people, but a recreational vehicle park will also be built, as well as food concessions, parking and hospitality facilities, public restrooms, administration, maintenance, etc.
A 25 year tax bond will be levied on the people of Washington and the tax collected will be used to pay the debt service of the bonds issued to finance the facility. Meanwhile, the admissions tax collected on the sale of tickets for those attending the two races per year will be divided as 80% being paid to the facility /first/ and the remaining 20% to the host city/county /second/.
(2) _Section 503:_ The newly created sports authority “may apply for the deferral of sales tax”.
The language goes on to state that the deferral is for a period of five (5) years “after the facility is operationally complete”. There will be no interest of penalties on any tax deferrals, which can be paid back by the facility in increments.
(3) _Section 505 (4):_ The host city/county must provide storm and sanitary sewer services to the facility even if this extends 10 miles away from the host city/county boundary (see Section 604).
(4) _Signage Exceptions:_ are already in-place and listed from 101/Airport Rd N in Shelton, 101/Mill Creek Rd in Forks, on 105 in Aberdeen. There are more; please refer to the subsection of the bill.
(5) _Section 507:_ Provides exemptions to recreational shooting and emergency or law enforcement equipment. Does this mean that if there is a shooting at the track or grounds that it exempt the owners/developers from liability under the law?
(6) _Section 507 (2):_ The sounds and noise coming from the motorsport facility will be exempt from existing noise laws. No doubt the neighbors living close by will be pleased to hear that (no pun intended).
(7) _Section 509:_ The facility will be exempt from Forest Land Comp Tax. I presume this means a large forested area is going to be cut down to make way for Nascar.
(8) _Section 510:_ Exempt from Forest Practices Act Conversion Moratorium: From my reading, it would seem that reforestation rules will not apply. Also, the facility will have a 6 year hold on the land after logging and the city/county _must deny any and all applications for use._ Oh yes, and the local city/county is responsible for creating a process which lifts the 6 year moratorium!!!
(9) _Section 511:_ RCW 35.13.182 is changed so that a city or town may annex territory /beyond/ its existing urban growth area. This one provision is disturbing enough to vote the proposal down!
(10) _Section 601 (1):_ The lease is for 50 years; the bonds that pay for it is for 25, a nice profit margin there.
(11) _Section 601 (6):_ In your article, you state that 2 major racing events will be held per year. And that is correct “only if sales and use tax credits are in effect.”
(12) _Section 602:_ This is the section for Leasehold Excise Tax exemptions. Basically, all the facilities the sports authority will be using: sewer, public utilities, housing, recreational vehicle parks, etc. will all be exempt from Leasehold Excise Taxes.
(13) _Section 603:_ The sports authority can make payments in lieu of property taxes for fire protection and emergency medical services.
(14) _Section 604:_ Sewer – the city and/or county must provide sewer service within 10 miles /outside/ of its corporate limits to the motorsport facility. (15) _Section 607:_ RCW 84.34.020(1) Reclassification of Open Space and Agricultural Conservation Land….as I read it, the motorsport’s recreational vehicle area, temporary parking lot, and any area that does not have an impervious surface will be reclassified as “open space”, a nice restructure.
(16) _Section 701:_ RCW 36.96.010 Under this section, the motorsport facility will be included in the Special Purpose District, making it eligible for more bonds and special taxes as well as issuing same.
(17) _Section 704:_ Exemption from paying sales tax on use of natural or manufactured gas.
(18) _Section 705:_ State excise tax exemptions.
(19) _Section 706:_ Tax on telephone access exemption.

Did you know that in addition to all of these concessions given to the motorsport developers that they have also received consideration under The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004? Congress created corporate tax cuts wherein the motorsport developers are allowed to depreciate their clubhouse and/or grandstands so that they are written off in 7 years? That’s quite a deduction on their federal income tax. Wouldn’t you like to write off your mortgage in 7 years?

Under this bill, their facility will be debt free in 7 years, and the people of Washington will still be paying for it for an additional 18!

And did you know that they are also specifically /excluded/ from The Clean Air Act which means they can ~ and do ~ use leaded fuel in their racing vehicles. What impact will all that lead have to our air, water, trees and wildlife? Not to mention the impact on human lungs with the toxins in the air particulates, now a leading cause of lung and heart disease.

All of these economic hand-outs, the additional burden on the taxpayers, the pillaging of our clean air and water make the proposal ultimately unfeasible, impractical, unappealing, and unsavory. Just say “No to Nascar.”

Victoria Blazejewski

Ed. Note: Ms. Blazejewski was responding to Mr. Cockerham’s story in the Tacoma News Tribune.


February 10, 2007

YELM CINEMAS DEBUTS INDY FILM

This writer and his wife were theater guests for this interesting film on opening night at Yelm Cinemas. We were delighted to meet the producers, who were introduced and answering audience questions after the show. We applaud Yelm Cinemas for offering these kind of independent films!

“”RAISING FLAGG” is a zany comedy-drama about a rural handyman, Flagg Purdy (Alan Arkin), who prides himself on being a man of principle though he often cant remember which principle. In one of his best comedic performances since the 1979 madcap blockbuster, “The In-Laws,” Arkins Flagg Purdy ekes out a living doing odd jobs for his neighbors while his wife Ada (Barbara Dana) sells cage-free chicken eggs.

Lovable but stubborn to the core, Flagg is easily overwhelmed by lifes little annoyances. Only Ada is able to look past his crusty exterior to the tender and vulnerable side of the father of their six children. Unfortunately, few of their eclectic clan share her feelings,” quoting the official website.

“”Raising Flagg” is the first major motion picture in years to be both financed and filmed entirely in Oregon. Directed by Neal Miller, the zany comedy-drama marks a reunion between the award-winning filmmaker and Oscar-nominee Alan Arkin and Barbara Dana who play the lead characters, Flagg and Ada Purdy.”

This movie is shown 5 times daily until February 15
.



Yelm Cinemas at twilight
Photo from the Yelm Cinemas website


February 10, 2007

YELM FOOD COOP MEMBERSHIP MEETING THIS SUNDAY

Quoting the Yelm Food Co-op Flier:

Yelm Food Coop Membership Meeting at Yelm Library
Sunday February 11, 2007

At long last we are opening a store in Yelm!
We have come far with your support to date but need your continued
support for the opening and operation of our new store.
Please plan to attend this meeting on Sunday, Feb 11, from 2-4pm
at the Yelm Library.

Things we will be discussing:
New store front and the opening date.
Staffing/volunteer needs
Equipment needs
Financial needs to meet requirements for the new store opening
The number of members required to obtain funding from a
financial lending institution
Plans for Annual Members meeting in August/September

Please come with your creative input, suggestions and willingness to be personally involved in the realization of this long time dream. We have created this so far together but opening and running a food co-op is an ongoing, evolving process. Be a vital part of it!


February 9, 2007

REP. CAMPBELL’S “HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS BILL” PASSES

Quoting Rep. Campbell’s Press Release of February 8, 2007:

“With strong, bipartisan support, the House Health Care & Wellness Committee today approved a bill to require state hospitals to identify and report hospital-acquired infections — infections that a patient didnt have until they spent time in a hospital.

Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Roy), who has been working on this legislation for more than three years, said with today passage by the committee, hes confident his bill (SHB 1106) can make it through the Legislature this year. He said he expects the measure will be heard on the House floor within in the next few weeks.

This is the first step to fixing this deadly problem. It will go a long way to alert the public about the concerns and the potential for hospital acquired infections and make hospitals aware of their responsibility to their patients, Campbell said. The public has a right to know about the concern so they can protect themselves and their families.

Before todays 11-2 committee vote, Campbell told committee members that each year two-million Americans when hospitalized are exposed to a variety of infections because of the hospital environment. Such infections prove fatal to about 90,000 people annually, and the cost is staggering, Campbell said.

When Pennsylvania passed the first-ever hospital-acquired infection law in 2003, we learned that these incidents cost citizens $3.5 billion dollars in one year, he said. Studies show that most hospital stays routinely cost a patient $31,000. But, for those with hospital acquired infections, the cost average is $185,000 per stay. He noted that nearly 75 percent of such charges are paid by Medicare or Medicaid. So, it affects every taxpayer.

In the past three years, 14 more states have approved similar laws to protect patients from hospital associated infections.

The measure passed by committee today will require hospitals to report hospital-acquired infections in all health care facilities, and will require the Dept. of Health to publish comparisons of hospital infection rates. The bill requires hospitals to start with blood stream infections this year, with other types of infection added to state law after Jan. 2011. The bill also has infection grant money included to help hospitals reduce and eliminate identified infection issues in state hospitals.

Once we know what the problems are, then we can fix them. But, the problem will never be solved through concealment and secrecy he said. A transparent system open to all is essential.



Rep. Tom Campbell
Photo from the Rep. Campbell’s website


February 8, 2007

“BIG BROTHER” ARRIVES IN YELM ALONG WITH MORE CRIME

The NVN reports, “Yelm Police Department can’t patrol the Yelm-to-Tenino trail head all night long.

Thanks to a state of the art digital surveillance camera now mounted at the site, however, police do have a pretty good idea what’s happening there, 24 hours a day.

Two weeks ago, the City of Yelm installed remote digital cameras at the trail head and the Yelm skate park, with the intention of keeping an eye peeled for vandalism and other crimes.

More cameras are planned for other locations in the city, and Stancil said the police department hopes to link up with the surveillance cameras planned for the new Yelm Wal-Mart.”

[Ed. Note: HMMM! What kind of crime is happening on a trail head next to where the Mayor & his family live in his mother’s house that requires a camera? The newspaper reports it is a staging area for potential crimes quoting, “The trail head and skate park are the demonstration areas for new cameras simply because they are busy.” Joggers beware, you are on camera in little ole Yelm! HMMM! Look for more cameras to come. Small-town Yelm is now history.]

As predicted, this city keeps adding more developments and crime is going to go up.
The NVN reported in its January 26th edition, “As the City of Yelm grows, so does the rime rate.”

And in Lacey, drivers beware:
“Two intersections in this city will become the first locations in Thurston County where cameras will document motorists who run red lights. Olympia and Tumwater might not be far behind. A Lacey City Council committee has authorized Police Chief Dusty Pierpoint to start the enforcement program. Pierpoint said he’d like the program up and running by July with cameras monitoring two intersections – likely Sleater-Kinney Road and Pacific Avenue, and Martin Way and Marvin Road…
Supporters say the cameras do reduce the number of collisions caused by red-light running. Critics counter the devices serve as a revenue stream for cities and insurance companies, which can jack up the premiums of red-light scofflaws caught on film,” quoting The Olympian.

If that isn’t enough, download Google Earth and see the views of your property from the air — public for all to see.

There is NO privacy left in the “land of the free.”


February 7, 2007

GUEST ENTRY – KEVIN FARRELL RESPONDS TO FEBRUARY 5 BLOG POST

The Yelm Community Blog received this in response to a section of the February 3, 2007 post from Kevin Farrell as a private citizen. The comments are posted here for you, unabridged in any way and relate to the NVN story of Feb. 2nd excerpted after the comments:

“I wanted to respond to the inaccurate statements that Grant Beck, Community Development Director for the City of Yelm, apparently made to the Nisqually Valley News regarding the recent meeting on Thompson Creek. I am responding as a private citizen.

In his tirade to the local media Mr. Beck stated that he contacted me once he learned the City of Yelm was on the agenda for this meeting. That’s rather interesting since it was I who called Mr. Beck, before development of the agenda, to inform him of the meeting, and to ask for the City of Yelm to participate. Mr. Beck, during that phone call, appeared to have an attitude problem, asking several times, “what the hidden agenda was” and “why I was involved”. He now knows why I am involved… because he, and the City of Yelm, are not.

Mr. Beck was provided with the agenda approximately 15-minutes after he requested it. There was no delay, no hidden agenda… just a request, verbally, for the City to participate. They decided to not provide any constructive dialouge on the flooding and other issues along Thompson Creek. His only comment was “no comment”. Pretty sad state of affairs in the City of Yelm, as far as I am concerned.

With regard to the specific statement, “I really can’t speak as to the particiaption by the City of Yelm,”, Mr. Beck wanted me to tell him what his talking points should be. Is that my job? Can’t Mr. Beck think for himself? Obviously not. The citizens affected by flooding along Thompson Creek are tired of calling upon deaf ears at the City of Yelm. There is absolutely no communication coming from Beck or other City staff on this issue. But hey, what should I expect from a group that prohibits the use of the word WAL-MART at it’s public meetings. I digress.”

Relating to & quoting the referenced February 2, 2007 NVN, who did NOT send a reporter to the aforementioned meeting,
“Also at the meeting was Yelm Community Development Director Grant Beck and engineers from the Tahoma Terra development, which has been blamed for the flooding by downstream residents.

McMurry expressed dismay that Beck did not give a presentation as was listed on the agenda, but Beck said he had to ask twice for an agenda and when he learned the city was listed, he inquired via e-mail to Ferrell, about what was expected.

‘I really can’t speak as to the participation by the City of Yelm,’ Ferrell’s e-mail stated.

Because residents have blamed Tahoma Terra for the flooding, Beck brought a Tahoma Terra engineer, and landscape architect, Bob Droll, to explain the situation upstream from the problem area.

The developers have done everything the state requires of them, Beck said, and the stream is ground water influenced.

‘The development is not the problem.’

‘Many of those people are in the flood plain,’ Rockett said.”

Ed. Note: Once again, a City of Yelm offical is very cozy with the Tahoma Terra developers (i.e. Thurston Highlands Associates owners’ paid guy at the meeting stated Mssrs. Bloom & Chamberlain did not receive the invitation to this meeting & their absence was because they were out of town. That was put asunder when it was acknowledged they knew of this meeting and its purpose prior to their departure.).

Is this preferential treatment?

WHAT SAY YOU?


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