May 31, 2007


Thurston County Commissioner Candidate Sandra Romero
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Romero

Sandra Romero, candidate for Thurston County Commissioner (District 2), will be available to meet with voters at a Meet and Greet gathering at the historic Grange Hall in Yelm on June 6, from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm.

The event will provide opportunities for Sandra to hear about citizens concerns and for the community to get to know her and her qualifications for the post.

County Commissioners are the chief executives of the county and the legislative body of the county, and are charged with providing rural area services, such as roads, public safety and public health. They are also charged with regional responsibilities such as managing growth in a sensible manner.

Sandra Romero is a former State Representative who served the Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater areas for 12 years. While in the Legislature, she chaired the House Local Government Committee, was a leader in improving building codes and public contracting methods and worked extensively to ease the effects of extensive growth on our magnificent area.

As a member of the House Capital Budget Committee she helped secure funding for the award-winning Yelm sewer facility. As a member of the House Transportation Committee, she helped secure funding for the Yelm Bypass project and for the I-5 overpass of the regional Chehalis Western Trail which connects with south Thurston County regional trails.

Sandra and her husband, Fred, live in Lacey. They have two grown children. Their daughter Zo works in the cruise ship industry. Their son Noel recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the National Guard, lives in Olympia with his wife and two young children, and works in information technology in state government,” quoting Mrs. Romero’s Press Release.

This Meet and Greet is co-sponsored by Jean Marie Christenson and Stephen Klein [host of this blog].

May 30, 2007


The City of Yelm website states,
“The Planning Commission consists of seven members, appointed by the Mayor of the City, subject to confirmation by the City Council.”

This writer and his wife attended the May 22 Yelm City Council Meeting and had read Mayor Harding’s appointment letter for Peggy Wolf Kennedy posted on the City website. While we applaud Mrs. Kennedy and feel she will make a fine addition to the Planning Commission, we were surpirsed at no mention of the names of the other two candidates, nor not one question raised from any Council member as to who they were and why Mrs. Kennedy was selected by Mayor Harding over the others.

Further, I contacted two Planning Commission members to request all of the names of the candidates.
I was told they did not know the names as the opening and candidates were never discussed with the Planning Commission.

This is very curious.

This writer wrote to the Planning Dept. asking for the candidates’ names & have received no reply a full week later.

This writer received an email from the city’s assistant planner today indicating she was away, hence the delay in responding.
Ms. Merriman stated she “researched the public records regulations to determine if the names of persons applying for boards and commissions were confidential, such as those applying for employment,” adding “the importance of protection of personal information.”

They are not.

Further, pusuant to my public record request under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 42.56, the two names of the other candidates for the Planning Commission vacancy were Carole Christian, and Patricia Noffsinger.

May 29, 2007


Tacoma Power’s Nisqually River Project
Photo from Tacoma Power’s website

“Tacoma Power began generating electricity on the Nisqually River over 90 years ago. The original LaGrande Dam, completed in 1912, was replaced in 1945 with Alder Dam and the new LaGrande Dam. The Nisqually River Project is now Tacoma Power’s second-largest hydroelectric resource, generating nearly 600 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, enough to serve nearly 43,000 Northwest homes.

Alder Dam forms the 3,000-acre Alder Lake. The Alder Lake Recreation Area is ideal for boating, fishing, swimming and camping. Tacoma Power provides several top-quality recreational facilities at Alder Lake…

A popular community service at the Nisqually Hydroelectric Project is free group tours. Tours are available for school, civic, business and recreational groups during regular working hours by appointment. To make arrangements for a tour, call Tacoma Power at 253-502-8759.”

May 28, 2007


A caisson at Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington, DC
Photo from Arlington National Cemetery website,
Courtesy of Andrew V McMaster, May 2006

This day of Memorial Day is when America pauses to honor those that have given their lives in service to their country. The Yelm Community Blog Host appreciates and honors all of those people who have served to defend, protect, and preserve our country from outside invaders.

Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action, quoting Wikipedia.

While we pause to honor those that gave their lives against outside invaders,
nary a word has been spoken in recent days about President Bushs unilateral action giving him sole power to lead the federal government during a catastrophic emergency.”

[Ed. Note: Yikes! Invaders from within usurping the US Constitution? Will we have another Wag the Dog scenario on US soil prior to President Bush leaving the White House, so he can take ultimate control of the government? HMMM! Stay tuned.]

With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack. Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.” He laid this all out in a document entitled “National Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51” and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20.” The White House released it on May 9 The subject of the document is entitled “National Continuity Policy.” It defines a “catastrophic emergency” as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function.” This could mean another 9/11, or another Katrina, or a major earthquake in California, I imagine, since it says it would include “localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.” The document emphasizes the need to ensure “the continued function of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government,” it states. But it says flat out: “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government,” quoting The Progressive.

Don’t believe any of this?
Here is the official White House document, the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive.

Let us pray that all of those we honor this day and who gave their lives for the freedoms we Americans hold so dear,
did not give their lives in vane as a new King is annointed in the USA,
should there be a national crisis here!

May 27, 2007


Area residents Linda McCallum & Fred Lomax
Photo courtesy of

Classy Custom, incorporated in 2004, is introducing a new category in Pet Doors, The Classy Custom Pet Portal, where exceptional improvements in utility, are combined with decorative styles for the home.

Our decorative frames are easily applied to our Pet Door, making the Pet Portal, with it’s complimenting line of accessories, an exciting new trend for people who love their pets and their homes.

Frederick Lomax and Linda McCallum, husband and wife, live in the Pacific Northwest with their two huge Anatolian Shepherd dogs, Strider and Zoe.

Classy Custom was initially inspired by a small favor asked by long time friend Linda Evans. She asked Fred if he would help her install a pet door for her cat. He of course agreed,” quoting Classy Custom’s website.


May 26, 2007


Jean Marie Christenson, Rep. Adam Smith & Bettye Johnson
Photo courtesy of Ms. Christenson


Last week I flew to Washington D.C. to attend Congressman Adam Smiths 2007 Ninth District Day, held on May 17. I had no expectations other than this was a new adventure for me stepping outside of my box. The breakfast/meeting/lunch began at 8:30 a.m. in the House Caucus Room in the Cannon House Building. There were approximately 150 of us attending this speaker meeting. Briefly I will list the names of the speakers and I was pleasantly surprised with the people Smith selected. Smith serves on the Armed Services Committee and is chairman of the Anti-Terrorism sub-committee. The following were the speakers with a brief description. The Washington State Ninth District encompasses Yelm, Rainier, Tacoma and parts of Pierce County.

*-Senator Patty Murray spoke on the shortcomings of the VA to take care of returning service personnel and many with severe mental disabilities. She also addressed the concerns of governors of many states regarding the National Guard who have been sent to Iraq for more than one tour of duty and when they return, their equipment remains in Iraq. The governors realize their states are vulnerable when it comes to disasters. I wondered why she voted to extend the Iraqi war and will send her an email.

*-Senator Maria Cantwell who was late in arriving and spoke for seven minutes spoke on working for fewer tax breaks for the oil industry and more for alternative energy and energy efficiency. I also wondered why she voted to extend the Iraq war and am sending her an email addressing this.

*-President and CEO of In-Q-Tel, an investment company for the C.I.A. whose purpose is to seek out new and innovative technology from all over the world. One can draw her/his own conclusions.

*-Vice Admiral Eric Olsoni, Deputy Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which was created about 8 years ago to bring under one umbrella all branches of the military, including the Coast Guard, the covert operations segments of each branch. The most important thing I learned is that there are covert personnel in 54 different countries and I have an idea that most of these countries are predominantly of the Muslim faith.

*- Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Chicago and Chairman of the Democratic Caucus. His job is to assess the pluses and minuses of the Democratic Party. He stated that in the last election there were 30 women nationwide running for office and all were eligible and had financial backing. They all lost. His assessment is that the mindset of the voters concerned about illegal aliens/immigration is that women would be too soft and give in to welfare, food stamps, and medical coverage.

*-Chuck Todd, Political Director and On-Air Analyst for NBC News. Most important statement he made was regarding the Republican Party: The Republicans think this is a World War against Muslims.

*-Bruce Hoffman, Professor at Georgetown University whose expertise is terrorism. The Al Aquida works in small cells with a 3-prong agenda: Change/Adjust/Overcome. This includes the Muslim world. U.S. has failed because of using an established mind-set towards the Iraqis. The U.S. will never win the war in Iraq and needs a new paradigm/strategy. The insurgents will always find a way around technology. U.S. needs more communication components to counteract hate.

*-Mark Warner, former Governor of Virginia. A brilliant statesman who inherited a deficit of $6 billion when he took office. Four years later, he left office with Virginia having a surplus. He used innovative methods. Warner impressed me with his assessment of the world situation. He is pro-environment and travels now all over the world. The world has moved beyond Iraq and he is being asked what is America doing about global warming. He said that the U.S. has lost its set of values. Suggest going to his website.

*-Dr. Susan E. Rice, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Institute. She is a brilliant woman whose emphasis is ending world hunger and poverty. She said that values and security need to be brought into alignment.

My assessment is that Smith is drawing people to him that he can learn from or can advise him. I was impressed with his selection of speakers. I gained a different perspective. There is a spark of hope and I encourage the use of emails to express ones views to our national representatives and also to our state representatives.
Bettye Johnson

Mrs. Johnson is a Rainer resdient & award-winning author of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls.

May 25, 2007


This letter was submitted to the Nisqually Valley News for publication and is reprinted here with permission of the autho, unabridged in any way:

To the Editor:
When I got a new job early in 2006 and had to move away from my adopted hometown [Yelm], I kept up on the happenings in and around Yelm through friends, the Internet, and the Nisqually Valley News.
Moving to the land outside of Chicago, IL, I felt almost as if I had stepped from one frying pans fire into another. The rumors and history of cronyism and corruption around here are legendary.

But my faith in the system was unexpectedly restored.
Last Saturday, May 5, I picked up one of the local papers here, the Daily Herald. The headline: NOT WELCOME HERE over a picture of a woman holding a NO WAL-MART sign. Being in a hurry for other things that day, I only read the first few paragraphs of the story on page 1. Heres how it started:
It began with a certified letter.
The village of North Aurora wrote to tell Valerie Shoger the property next door to hers was being rezoned from agricultural to B-2 PUD.
She was curious and confused…
A few days later, a neighbor knocked on the door and showed Shoger a headline answering her question: Wal-Mart.
I read a few more paragraphs that day. When I finally got to the rest of the story on Wednesday (May 9), I discovered there was a vote by the village board scheduled for Monday, May 7.
With that date already passed, and expecting the worst from my experience in Yelm, I called Mrs. Shoger to offer my assistance in whatever way I could, to help keep Wal-Mart from moving in. After a couple of minutes of general discussion, learning that the certified letter had arrived this past March, and relating my Yelm experience, I volunteered to help.
Havent you read the papers? she asked.
No, just Saturdays, I replied.
We won!

After we finished talking, I picked up Wednesdays Kane County Chronicle. Still on the front page, Wal-Mart evaluates next move was the headline, with North Aurora trustees reject it after protests as the sub-head.
According to the story, Trustees voted, 5-1, against the proposed annexation and zoning for a 203,819-square-foot Supercenter on 28 acres…A full-service grocery store would have been part of the store.
Wow! Who would have thought? The people who were elected to represent the will of the people actually did just that!
Even though Wal-Mart had done its homework Mrs. Shoger said they wouldnt even do their final presentation (two hours worth that night) unless the board was ready to vote the Village trustees decided not to be swayed. They looked at the whole picture and saw better ways to use that land than for Wal-Mart.
My hat goes off to those trustees for their decision.

Would that the elected officials of Yelm had the courage to listen to their constituents and take a stand.

Perhaps this is also part of the difference between these two situations:
Yelm officials are the Councilmembers, whereas the North Aurora officials are Trustees. As such, they are entrusted by the community to act for their greater good. The Yelm Councilmembers act on behalf of the City, and it seems as though that may or may not include the people that live there.

I would ask the elected officials of my adopted hometown to keep the communitys trust by acting not just to increase the size of the coffers, but to use the funds that arrive there righteously.
The system can work. Its up to the people to be sure it does.
Mrs. Shoger has assured me that she will now be attending the Trustees meeting every Monday evening.

The people of Yelm, Rainier, Tenino, and Roy can do the same. Yelm, Rainier, and Tenino meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month; Roy meets the second and fourth Mondays.

If you dont like the way your elected officials are doing things, get yourself elected in their place. This year, Yelm has four council seats available, Rainier has three, Tenino has three plus Mayor, and Roy has three.
Filing week runs from June 4 through 8, though you can file by mail as early as May 18.

We have the greatest country with the best system available we just get to make it work right.

James Zukowski

PO Box 252
St. Charles, Illinois
work: (630) 444-7619
home: (630) 377-1629

Yelm’s Wal-Mart is expected to open in July.

May 24, 2007


Area resident Bettye Johnson
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Johnson

Yelm Prairie Arts Association presents

Yelm Art Walks

Saturday, May 26 from 3 5 p.m.

Blue Bottle Yelm

Facilitated by Bettye Johnson,

founder, Writers Night Out Forum and the
award-winning author of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls

Area authors/writers/poets participating in this Literary Afternoon with readings from their books or soon-to-be published books, writings and poetry:

Suzanne Fairbrother, Ph.D., author of Finding the Goddess Within, soon-to-be-released.

John Glennie, author of The Spirit of Rose Noelle, and Playboys of the South Pacific, soon-to-be-released.

Bertha Rainen, author of No Excuses: My Plea for World Peace

Reni Storm and Bettye Johnson will read a story created by their combined efforts.

Fanny Dell Hendricks, poet

Question and Answers to follow presentations.

May 23, 2007


Art of Yoshimi Aoyama
Photo courtesy of Yukiko Aoyama

This writer is so pleased to announce the work from the mind of a beautiful woman from Japan who visits Yelm often.


My mother, Yoshimi Aoyama is taking part in the Yelm Arts Walk as an
artist at two Yelm businesses this week; Gordon’s Garden Center and
Sebastian’s Best Fine European Pastries. When you have time, please see
her beautiful art. Art Walk Week is till May 27, Sunday. (Sebastian’s
Pastries is closed on Sunday)


Yuki Aoyama

May 23, 2007


The Washington State Patrol has targeted Yelm in a seat-belt initiative.
This writer and his wife saw 4 WSP patrol cars lined up next to Quizno’s in Yelm Tuesday evening.
Asking Officer Holthaus what was going on, he said the WSP received a State Grant and is patrolling certain
State roads, issuing citations for those not wearing seatbelts. The infraction is $112.

State Hwys. 507& 510 pass through Yelm and the WSP is out issuing tickets.

Click it or ticket.



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