August 14, 2007


Road signs at Yelm intersection of SR 507 & 510
Photo courtesy of Yelm-based photographer Guustaaf Damave

“The City of Yelm Planning Commission is sponsoring a Public Hearing to receive comments on the proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan. The City of Yelm is pleased to provide you with the analysis and draft of the proposed Yelm Comprehensive Plan and Yelm/Thurston County Joint Plan Amendments 2007.

The Yelm Planning Commission, with the assistance of the Thurston Regional Planning Council, is proposing editorial changes to the transportation, capital facilities plan, and other zoning related changes to ensure the Comprehensive Plan is consistent with the Washington State Growth Management Act.

The Public Hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 20, 2007, at 6:00 PM in the City Council Chambers at City Hall located at 105 Yelm Avenue West. Written comments will be received up until 5:00 PM, September 4, 2007,” quoting the email from City Hall.

Policy 2.1. Road Adequacy Policy (Level of Service Standard) of the Transportation Plan says
“To adopt levels of service for roads and facilities and services that reflect the preference of the community.”

The Plan says:
“For concurrency purposes, the following standards shall apply in the Urban Growth Area:

3. In the urban core LOS F is recognized as an acceptable level of service where mitigation to create traffic diversions, bypasses, and alternate routes and modes of transportation are authorized and being planned, funded, and implemented, and can result in improved LOS.”

Mayor Harding said LOS (Level of Service) would not be heard at the Six Year Transportation Plan Public Hearing.
OK, it must be heard here. LOS F is NOT an acceptable level of service.
We, the community, want to change the policy and no longer accept the LOS F on OUR MAIN THOROUGHFARE.

Level of Service (LOS) is simply explained on the July 19th entry on this blog:

scroll to July 19.

Won’t you turn out in numbers and tell the Planning Commission
“To adopt levels of service for roads and facilities and services that reflect the preference of the community”
and not levels based on their own desires. This is where the city’s policies are established.
The will of the community says the Plan is what must be followed!

August 13, 2007


Color Me Mine is a fun, fresh idea that will appeal to all of us. Whether you want to create your own gifts, are looking for a unique party idea or just want to escape the stress of modern living, Color Me Mine, a paint-your-own ceramics studio may be just the ticket. Step into a Color Me Mine and one enters a relaxing, inviting space with warm, natural wood furniture and shelves, contemporary music, providing an intimate environment. All of our paints and glazes are lead free, 100% friendly to the environment and completely safe for kids and adults.

We have finished ceramic pieces by previous customers and staff members that populate the room, giving you a sense of the possibilities. With over 400 different bisque items, and approximately 100 styles added per year there are plenty of styles to choose from. We have books showing painting techniques and ideas, a design center and a helpful and educated staff who are more than willing to help you create your masterpiece.

If you are looking for something in particular, ask us and we probably have it or we can get it,” quoting their website.

Color Me Mine was also featured in the Nisqually Valley News on newsstands now.

Color Me Mine
512 Yelm Ave. W.
Yelm, Washington 98597

Our Phone Numbers
360-400-4444 Phone
360-400-2846 Fax

Studio Manager
Norma Detlefsen

Email Address

August 11, 2007


Olympia beachcombers warned about harmful compound

“Beachfront property in Puget Sound’s Lower Budd Inlet is about to get dozens of new advisory signs letting people know it’s a good idea to avoid the water and soil in some areas. A harmful compound called Dioxin has been found in the sediment all around the area.

Local activist Harry Branch says people should avoid concentrated levels, which he says easily penetrates the skin.

“I don’t think any person should be exposed to Dioxin,” said Branch. “It damages your DNA. It causes birth defects, cancer. It can precipitate a whole cascade of health impacts.”

An old pole plant, along with everyday pollutants, are responsible for the mess. State officials say recent testing shows sediment here contains Dioxin at levels more than 50 parts-per-trillion way higher than health officials think is safe.

The health department has put up some signs in the past to warn people not to eat the fish, but Branch says they need to go further,” quoting Seattle’s KING-5 News.

August 10, 2007


Bettye Johnson with the Hon. Leticia Shahani, PhD,
former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Senate President from the Philippines


What is it like to be in the midst of over 1,000 peaceful warriors? It is awesome.
In July I attended the Third International Womens Peace Conference in Dallas, Texas where over 1,000 women from 43 foreign countries and 32 U.S. states convened to talk about peace in the world.
They came with the sincere desire to use non-violent methods to end the atrocities committed against women and children. There has been genocide in Bosnia. There has been genocide in Rwanda and now there is genocide in Dafur, the Congo and also in Burma. The stories I heard were horrendous and heart-wrenching. If one has studied history, then genocide is not something new. There were also stories of hope. I have named these great women Peaceful Warriors.

The opening keynote speaker was the Hon. Leticia Shahani, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Senate President from the Philippines. In succeeding evenings there were three women Nobel Peace Prize Laureate keynote speakers. Betty Williams, a Nobel Laureate 1976 from Northern Ireland and thanks to her efforts, Ireland knows a semblance of peace today. Rigoberta Manchu from Guatemala, Nobel Laureate 1992 for her contributions to ending the thirty-six year civil war in Guatemala and Jody Williams from Vermont 1997 for her organizations contributions to creating the Ottawa Treaty to end the use of landmines. Landmines kill more civilians than they do soldiers. There were other notables together with Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish faiths and those who are non-sectarian.

There is a quiet revolution happening in this world and it has been an undercurrent in the affairs of the world for many years. It is a revolution that cannot be extinguished because too many people yearn for peace. This revolution has no calls for protest marches, flag burning, and no sit-ins. This is a revolution of the peaceful warriors both women and men. We have had Al Gores Live Earth concerts and the Fire the Grid on July 17. Sandwiched in between was the International Womens Peace Conference.

Within recent weeks there has been in the news, articles about former leaders who have created a Freeland Global Diplomatic Team called The Elders. Members include Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Desmond Tutu a retired Anglican archbishop and former President Jimmy Carter along with other notables. Also in the news are the Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from the U.S., Africa, Asia and the Americas. These are not women of politics, they are women of prayer. This Council had representatives at the International Womens Peace Conference in Dallas. They are all part of the quiet revolution.

During this five-day conference, there were many workshops and speakers sharing ideas of what each of us can do to contribute to ending violence against children and women in the world. One avenue is to work within the framework of the UN Humanitarian organization. As speaker Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor to the UN Foundation said: The UN is not perfect and we can make it better. I urge the reader to go to and research this organization. We only hear about the Security Council. Rarely do we hear about their humanitarian works. The Rotary Club has been working within the framework of the United Nations for over ten years to eradicate polio world-wide and are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We here in the U.S. also know violence, but not in the form of war and civil war. We have the violence of rape and incest along with psychological abuse and battered women. It is time to say no to abuse. It is time to work on the grassroots level in our own communities. It is time for us to educate our children that the abuse of another is not to be condoned or tolerated. A refrain I heard over and over during the conference was, where attention goes, energy flow.

Each of us in our own way can join the efforts of ending the atrocities in the world and begin in our own homes with self-examination of our attitudes and actions. It is time for each of us to become role models for peace by being a living example. Yes, many of us do not always agree to the views of others and that is how it should be. However there can be open dialogue and perhaps seeing the merits of the different viewpoints. We wouldnt be wise to pull into our shell like a turtle and pretend it doesnt affect us. We each have the choice of joining the quiet revolution as a peaceful warrior. It only takes one to make a difference. For a more in-depth report of the International Womens Peace Conference, I have posted it on my blog in 3 parts.

Bettye Johnson

August 9, 2007


I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) this week about my observations of a story in his newspaper. The letter was printed in the August 10, 2007 print edition unabridged and is as follows:

Dear Editor,

I see the story of the July 24th Yelm City Council Public Hearing on the 6-year Transportation Plan made the front page on Aug 3rd, instead of the July 27th edition. Noting the week delay in publication, what also caught my eye was the co-writer of the story, Cindy Teixeira.

According to your newspaper last month, Cindy Teixeira’s last day as a reporter was July 26 and she was hired to begin working for the City of Yelm as a Community & Government Relations coordinator on August 1st.

I find this interesting because her story was published about a major City of Yelm issue in your August 3rd print edition, her third day on the payroll of the City of Yelm. Seems to me this constitutes blatant cronyism.

Regardless, I wish Cindy well in her new position and hope there be no further appearances of conflict of interest between our local newspaper and City Hall.

Stephen R. Klein

Mr. Graves replied in print as follows:
Editor’s Note: The article to which Mr. Klein refers was written by Cindy Teixeira while she was a paid employee of the Nisqually Valley News, and it was solely the editor’s call to hold that article a week because of space considerations. In fact, several articles that Cindy wrote before her last day at the NVN were held, including a feature on a Tenino artist. We will be publishing those articles as well. In newspapers, it’s not unusual to carry over editorial copy for a future edition. Also, those who know and have worked with Cindy understand that she will perform her new job with ethics, integrity and professionalism, just as she always did while employed as a reporter for the Nisqually Valley News.

I have these observations from this exchange:
1. Never did I question the impeccability of Ms. Teixeira. The placement and timing of the article co-written by Cindy is solely at the discretion of the Publisher/Editor, as Mr. Graves mentioned and that was the issue called into question.

2. The NVN is the newspaper of record for the City of Yelm, so one would think that our local newspaper editor would be eager to publish news coming from an official City Council meeting such as this one. After all, this meeting was the longest, most well-attended in-Council Chambers meeting in several years and a public hearing at that. This was a very newsworthy event, in my view, given the general public at-large has had so little opportunity to be heard by the council, except of course, for the 5 persons for three minutes each twice a month. While “it’s not unusual to carry over editorial copy for a future edition” according to publisher/editor Graves, this story was no mere editorial copy, rather an important Tuesday evening Council session about this area’s number one challenge: traffic.

3. The Yelm City Council voted recently to change their meetings from Wednesdays to Tuesdays just to accommodate the NVN, allowing them to publish news from the council in a timely manner and by the print deadline of Wednesday nights. Was there not some story from the July 27 edition that the publisher/editor could have been bumped for a timely report about this rare, well-attended Council public hearing? Further, while article co-writer Sam Chrest sat directly in front of me, I did not see Ms. Teixeira at the meeting; perhaps her co-writing this story was to mentor Mr. Chrest on the eve of her departure from the NVN.

What do you think?

August 8, 2007


Logo of Yelm Earth Worm & Castings Farm

Fall Vegetable Starts now in stock at YELM EARTH WORM & CASTINGS FARM

We are now stocked with the following certified organic vegetable starts. $1.69 /4 pack while supplies last!

Also, if you want hanging long term garlic for storage, come in now because we are in the process of preparing it for market! $7.79/lb

Finally, we have plenty of U-pick certified organic vegetables: Several kales and chards, green beans, broccoli, beets, radishes.

Brussels Sprouts – Long Island: 24-30 inch vigorous, compact plant loads up 1 1/2 inch round, tight, dark green sprouts. Succulent and tender when steamed. Best for late fall and winter harvest as a few frosts will improve the flavor. A good variety for freezing.

Kale – White Russian: 10-14 inch. Selected for flattened and dissected leaves with white stem and veins. Exceptionally tender leaves can be enjoyed all summer and fall. Vigorous and cold hardy to 10 degrees F.

Broccoli – Waltham: 18-24 inch, 4-6 inch head. Old favorite, best for late summer or fall harvest. Tolerant of short dry spells and chilly autumns. Stocky plants have dark blue green heads and large side shoots.

Broccoli – Di Cicco: 18-24 inch, 3-6 inch head. Old Italian variety introduced in 1890. Marvelous for spring and fall gardens. Non-uniform maturity produces continuous tender side shoots encouraged by cutting the main head.

Collard Greens – Green Glaze: 24-30 inch. The shiny, nutritious leaves are delicious steamed. The waxy leaf surface provides natural protection from cabbage worms.

Bunching Onions – Lisbon White: 10-12 inch. Also called a scallion, this white, bulbless bunching onion is very hardy and has a long harvest period.

Cabbage – Early Jersey Wakefield: 2-4 lb. Head. A compact, cone-shaped cabbage that is particularly well suited for small gardens.

Yelm Earth Worm & Castings Farm

14741 Lawrence Lake Rd SE

Yelm, WA 98597


M-F 9-5

Sat 10-5

Sun Closed

August 7, 2007


As more of the Sub Prime debacle is revealed, one has to wonder if Yelm is going to be left “holding the bag” with a glut of unsold homes, as these stories make our approved developments look like very risky ventures!

The Washington Post explains in this story on WHY BUYING A HOME WITH 0 DOWN IS OVER!
“Home buyers again need their own money to close a deal.
Lenders faced with growing piles of bad loans, even to borrowers once considered good credit risks, have clamped down on the no-money-down mortgage. The abrupt shift threatens to dash the hopes of millions of potential buyers, especially those shopping for their first homes.
Four out of 10 first-time buyers used no-down-payment mortgages in 2005 and 2006, according to surveys by the National Association of Realtors. But some lenders are now scrapping such loans completely. Others are pickier about who gets them. All figure that the more cash borrowers put down, the less likely they are to default.

Truthout investigates declining productivity as a gauge of a downturn in the economy:
“Economy Goes From Bad to Worse
For most of this decade, progressive economists have said the economy was growing fine, but typical workers were not benefiting because income was being redistributed upward. We can no longer say this.

The Commerce Department revised its growth data last month. It now shows the economy grew much slower over the last three years than we had previously thought. In particular, the new data implies productivity has been growing at just a 1.5 percent annual rate over the last three years. This is the same rate the economy experienced during the long productivity slowdown from 1973 to 1995. It is a full percentage point below the 2.5 percent growth rate from 1995 to 2004.

While productivity may be an alien concept to most people, it is the most important determinant of our standard of living. Productivity measures the value of the goods and services an average worker produces in an hour of work. The standard of living for different segments of the population (e.g., school teachers and hedge fund managers) will depend on how output is distributed, but if the economy is not very productive, then we don’t have very much to distribute….

The fact productivity growth has now slowed is a very bad sign. It means the economy is not doing well by any measure. The argument for conservative economic policy was always that by giving people more incentive to work and invest, productivity would grow more rapidly, and that this would benefit everyone in the long run. It turns out, even with the massive upward redistribution of income over the last quarter century, productivity is now growing at its slowest pace in the post-war period. In short, we are not seeing much growth and the growth we are seeing is going to those at the top.”

Business Week says,
Builders Helped Fuel Mortgage Mess
“Elizabeth and Armando Motto are living a real estate nightmare with a new breed of monster: the big homebuilder as lender. In November, 2005, the couple, who have four children, agreed to pay $540,000 for a newly built three-bedroom house in suburban Clarksburg, Md., near Washington, D.C. Rather than send them to a bank, the builder, Beazer Homes USA Inc., offered to provide a mortgage itself in an arrangement of the sort that helped fuel the long housing boom across the country.”

USA Today reports that consumer spending is down,
“Consumer spending growth slumped in June, while the construction sector was pulled down by the dreary housing market. Inflation, however, was muted and wage growth was steady, according to a slew of data released Tuesday [July 31]…
The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose just 0.1% in June, the most anemic pace in nine months. That followed a 0.6% rise in May and a strong performance earlier in the year.”

Let’s add all of this up:
1. As reported here previously, Yelm is out of water and is not a sure thing for some developers.
2. Zero down mortgages are gone, meaning buyers must put cash down.
3. Builders fueled the mortgage mess with their unwise credit issuance.
4. Tahoma Terra to build 1,200 homes, with Thurston Highlands proposed 5,000 homes.
5. Consumer spending is way off.
6. As reported here on July 26th, Yelm Community Development Director Beck told the City Council that the Hearing Examiner instructed the city their traffic figures for the Tahoma Terra phases needed to be combined, and in doing so, Tahoma Terra’s Longmire artery in now a failed road, which feeds onto another LOS F road, Yelm Ave. West.


If I were a developer in Yelm right now, I would be just a little bit nervous!
The City of Yelm would be wise to play very conservative what they perceive as their potential tax revenue from new homes, as they enter into their 2008 budget planning next month.

And, since the City has no contract with its largest developer in using taxpayer money to fund a private developer’s water study, what assurances do the taxpayers of Yelm have that this developer will repay the city, especially if they withdraw from the project?
See this blog on December 18, 2006 & June 26, 2006 for more details on this.

The brakes slowing this unbridled growth here may be at hand, and no thanks owed to city leaders for that!

August 6, 2007


With final balloting due this week that would give/not give the Clearwood Assn. the authority to contact cell phone companies about placing a cell tower within the community, voters would be wise to arm themselves with all of the knowledge they can, to make an informed decision. While the issue of a cell tower has brought out alot of friction,
knowledge equates power and that power overrules all of the rhetoric.
While some may vote for putting feelers out to obtain cell phone service merely for the convenience of having cell phone service in the Bald Hills and care not about the consequences, others prefer all of the facts, for they moved there to be away from all of that.

Quoting AlterNet,
“In the wee hours of July 14, a 45-year-old Australian named John Patterson climbed into a tank and drove it through the streets of Sydney, knocking down six cell-phone towers and an electrical substation along the way. Patterson, a former telecommunications worker, reportedly had mapped out the locations of the towers, which he claimed were harming his health.

In recent years, protesters in England and Northern Ireland have brought down cell towers by sawing, removing bolts, and pulling with tow trucks and ropes. In one such case, locals bought the structure and sold off pieces of it as souvenirs to help with funding of future protests. In attempts to fend off objections to towers in Germany, some churches have taken to disguising them as giant crucifixes.

Opposition to towers usually finds more socially acceptable outlets, and protests are being heard more often than ever in meetings of city councils, planning commissions, and other government bodies. This summer alone, citizen efforts to block cell towers have sprouted in, among a host of other places, including California, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, North Dakota and north of the border in Ontario and British Columbia. Transmitters are already banned from the roofs of schools in many districts.

For years, towers have been even less welcome in the United Kingdom, where this summer has seen disputes across the country.

Most opponents cite not only aesthetics but also concerns over potential health effects of electromagnetic (EM) fields generated by the towers. Once ridiculed as crackpots and Luddites, they’re starting to get backup from the scientific community…

Even more recently, health concerns have been raised about the antenna masts that serve cell phones and other wireless devices. EM fields at, say, a couple of blocks from a tower are not as strong as those from a wireless device held close to the body; nevertheless many city-dwellers are now continuously bathed in emissions that will only grow in their coverage and intensity.

Last year, the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia closed off the top two floors of its 17-story business school for a time because five employees working on its upper floors had been diagnosed with brain tumors in a single month, and seven since 1999. Cell phone towers had been placed on the building’s roof a decade earlier and, although there was no proven link between them and the tumors, university officials were taking no chances.

Data on the health effects of cell or W-Fi towers are still sparse and inconsistent…

San Francisco, one of the world’s most technology-happy cities, is home to more than 2400 cell-phone antennas, and many of those transmitters are due to be replaced with more powerful models that can better handle text messaging and photographs, and possibly a new generation of even higher-frequency phones.

Now there’s hot-and-heavy debate over plans to add 2200 more towers for a city-wide Earthlink/Google Wi-Fi network. On July 31, the city’s Board of Supervisors considered an appeal by the San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free Union (SNAFU) that the network proposal be put through an environmental review — a step that up to now has not been required for such telecommunications projects.”

August 5, 2007


Logo of Will of the Wind

“Mark your calendars for the Washington State International Kite Festival held annually during the third week of August. This Long Beach, Washington State extravaganza boasts skies ablaze with color, highflying action and choreographed movement. Washingtons Kite Festival draws famous kite fliers from all around the world, and tens of thousands of awed spectators, many of whom participate in the fun with their own kite flying adventures,” quoting Will of the Wind’s emailer

Get the kite of your dreams locally at Will of the Wind or call 800.937.4619, M-F 10am – 3pm PST.

August 4, 2007


Logo of Prairie Hotel

“More hotel rooms will soon be available locally for visitors to the Nisqually Valley. Prairie Hotel is expanding and expects to open with more than twice its current capacity in less than two years.

Still in the conceptual phase, the new three-story building will sit near the building, which currently houses the Yelm Timberland Library, the offices of the Nisqually Valley News, and other businesses, as well as the Yelm Cinemas complex on Prairie Park property.

The hotel addition will also have a conference center suitable for weddings, receptions, and business meetings, said John Thompson, project manager for Prairie Park Associates,” quoting the Nisqually Valley News.

Photo courtesy of Yelm-based photographer Guustaaf Damave

The new structure will be behind this Prairie Park building.


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :