November 20, 2007

“COUNTY MAY TRIM PROPERTY TAX”

County may trim property tax

“The general Thurston County property tax rate will drop from $1.21 per $1,000 of assessed value this year to $1.04 per $1,000 next year, under a preliminary $269.3 million 2008 budget set for unveiling Monday [Nov. 19].

The lower tax rate is partly the result of the county’s decision this month to comply with Gov. Chris Gregoire’s request to maintain a 1 percent limit on annual increases in property tax revenue, even though the state Supreme Court overturned Initiative 747, which established the limit.

The lower rate is also the result of an 18.9 percent rise in the assessed value of property in the county this year, which means the tax burden is spread over a larger base,” quoting The Olympian.

Further,
“WA GOV CALLS SPECIAL SESSION ON PROPERTY TAXES”
“Gov. Chris Gregoire has called for a one-day special legislative session to reinstate a 1 percent property tax increase cap recently struck down by the state Supreme Court.

Gregoire sent a letter to House and Senate leaders Monday [Nov. 19] night, telling them the Nov. 29 special session is necessary because she is ‘very concerned about the effects of the court’s decision on the property taxpayers across the state,'” quoting The Olympian.


November 19, 2007

INTRODUCING DUNGENESS VALLEY CREAMERY TO YELM


This writer and his wife had been looking for a reliable source of raw milk – unpasteurized/unhomogenized, like I remember as a child. Then, we were introduced to the Yelm Co-op as a distributor of such a product.

Dungeness Valley Creamery is a family farm on Towne Road that sells raw Jersey milk from their own herd of Jersey cows. There is nothing quite like real, whole milk. It tastes like ice cream, only better, and the milk from Jersey cattle is possibly the richest, best tasting milk in the world. This is the milk that the English use to make Devon clotted cream, but now you don’t have to go to England anymore to get a taste. You can get it right here in Washington State.

Most milk in this country is produced at big industrial dairy farms and is sold, pasteurized, through big agricultural cooperatives. A dairy farmer is given a simple choice: sell everything through the cooperative, or sell nothing. Leaving the cooperative means making a big jump. The Browns (Jeff, Debbie, Sarah, & Kayla) decided to take it.”

From the Dungeness Valley Creamery November, 2007 Newsletter,
“So why raw milk instead of pasteurized?
Debbie says that “pasteurization kills the good bacteria, plus raw milk tastes better.”
The process of pasteurization is meant to eradicate harmful bacteria, such as those that cause salmonella.
Unfortunately, it also kills beneficial elements such as vitamins C, B12, and B16.
Advocates of raw milk claim that pasteurized milk is responsible for ailments such as heart disease and allergies.”

This writer and wife and another couple drove to Sequim last weekend for a tour of the Creamery and were totally impressed with the fine stewardship this family lives & the love they put into their animals and dairy farm. Congratulations to Jeff & Debbie!

Be sure to check out A Campaign for Real Milk website.

YELM IS VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE AN OUTLET FOR DUNGENESS CREAMERY PRODUCTS AT THE YELM FOOD CO-OP DELIVERED EVERY TUESDAY AFTERNOON.
NOTE: THEY SELL OUT QUICKLY. IF THERE IS MORE DEMAND, THEY WILL STOCK MORE WEEKLY.

PLEASE TELL THEM YOU READ ABOUT DUNGENESS CREAMERY RAW MILK ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!


November 18, 2007

REP. TOM CAMPBELL TAKES LEAD ON MRSA REPORTING



Representative Tom Campbell
Photo from Representative Campbell’s official website

From Rep. Tom Campbell’s Nov. 15th Press Release:

Rep. Tom Campbell today applauded Gov. Chris Gregoires initiative to increase tracking of the drug-resistant staph infections known as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Gregoire yesterday (Nov. 14) directed the state Department of Health (DOH) to convene a panel of scientific experts to recommend a plan to monitor MRSA and what to do about it.

Campbell requested, in a letter to the governor last week, she use her emergency powers to require DOH to list MRSA as a reportable medical condition. The issue is too important to wait until the legislature can take it up in January, Campbell wrote.

Today, Campbell said he applauds the governors first step, and I look forward to working with her and her office in the upcoming session to ensure safety of the people of Washington.

He said he didnt get all he had asked for with the governors first step, but I believe this is a substantial and meaningful step that will begin to engage our public health agency on the necessary job of tracking and containing this potentially lethal infection.

Campbell said he has drafted a bill to pre-file for the January 2008 session to make MRSA a reportable condition like is currently required in reporting a number of other health problems like the measles.

Currently, the state doesnt require doctors or other health-care professionals to document cases of MRSA as it does with other disease. So, theres no way for the public to have access to this information, Campbell said.

Campbell (R-Roy) said he was pleased by the Governors letter to DOH. Her actions were desperately needed and leadership at this time is very appreciated.

And this story from Pierce County.
VIGILANCE ON MRSA INCREASED
Reprinted with permission from the Eatonville Dispatch
by Graham reporter Bruce Smith

“MRSA is entering our consciousness, and for some it has also infected their skin. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, pronounced mer-sa, is the new wrinkle in public health.

Although called a superbug by some, the germ getting heightened attention is the simple staph infection that has been common since time immemorial. The new twist is that most staph is now drug-resistant to common antibiotics like penicillin and cephalosporin, all members of the methicillin family of pharmaceuticals.

70% of all skin infections nowadays are MRSA, says Ron Morehouse, certified physician assistant at Grahams Quick Care clinic. Ive treated eleven cases since October.

MRSA infections typically look like a severe spider bite, with a bulls eye center of bright red swelling surrounded by inflammation. Other forms can resemble a bad rash, lesions, or boils, the latter being blister-like inflammations underneath the surface of the skin.

Fortunately, MRSA is treatable with other antibiotics, says Joby Winans, MRSA specialist with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. In fact, some cases do not need any medication at all. Winans said that many cases of MRSA can be treated merely by lancing and draining the infection, and a good follow-up scrubbing. She strongly recommends these procedures be performed by a professional health provider because MRSA is highly contagious through direct contact with affected areas or the liquid discharges. Once treated, MRSA infections must be covered with a clean bandage until the healing is complete.

Overall, most MRSA is not serious.

There are millions of cases of MRSA each year, nationwide, and the vast majority are successfully treated, Winans said.

However, MRSA can get deadly. This happens when MRSA penetrates beneath the skin layer and enters an organ, either through a wound or surgery.

This latter, hospital-acquired, MRSA is very difficult to treat, stated Winans, adding that the National Center for Disease Control announced recently there were nearly 100,000 cases of invasive MRSA nationwide last year, and 19,000 were fatal.

These deaths are the focus of a growing political and medical storm.

State Representative Tom Campbell, (R-Graham-2nd LD), has been trying to compel the Washington State Department of Health to closely monitor the deadly form of MRSA.

The state has had an insufficient response to this health crisis, and the public is concerned. The Governor should use her emergency powers to require the Department of Health to list MRSA as a reportable condition, and not wait until the legislature meets in January. We need to deal with this issue quickly. We need to know how many people have this condition, understand how they contract it, and correct the situation. More people die of MRSA than AIDS in this country. This is serious, Campbell said.

Fortunately, Gov. Chris Gregoire has responded to his call. Statewide monitoring of MRSA is expected shortly.

Locally, the T-PCHD is already doing just that. Seven years ago, it formed a task force composed of the countys major health providers, who share data and create solutions.

Good Sam is part of the task force, said Winans, along with Madigan, Multi-Care, and many nursing homes and clinics.

Winans also suggests simply ways to minimize exposure to MRSA: Use good hygiene. Dont share towels, and dont share sports equipment. Use gloves to deal with wounds. Wash your hands after doing laundry.

In addition, the MRSA task force has produced a booklet containing many helpful ideas, including how to deal with infected pets, who are just as susceptible to staph infections as humans. Titled, Living with MRSA, it is available through health providers or directly from the T-PCHD at (253) 798-6500 (Pierce County).”

Pierce County appears to be far ahead of even the State and Thurston County on this issue.


November 17, 2007

GUEST ENTRY: TOM DEWELL, CEO OF THE YELM CO-OP


“Saturday, Nov 10th, we received the first order from our new produce/fruit supplier. Beautiful stuff, all certified organic, most of which is not available from farms really close to Yelm, but still comes mostly from farms around both WA and OR.

We have:
Madjool dates
Braeburn and Gala apples
Bosc and Bartlett pears
Bananas
Cranberries
Meyer Lemons
Limes
Satsuma tangerines
Valencia oranges
Black, seedless grapes
Hachiya Persimmons
Haas avocados
Beets
Brussel sprouts
Celery Hearts
Garlic
Red and Green Bell peppers
French fingerling potatoes (delicious!)
Russet baker potatoes
Yukon Gold potatoes
Onions
Shallots
Beefsteak tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Garnet Yams

We will be offering a selection of frozen foods by the end of the month when our new freezer is in.

We have raw, un-pasteurized milk from the Dungeness Creamery in Sequim…with the cream floating on top!!..and full of beneficial cultures and enzymes.
Local and organic eggs, lots of dairy products, organic coffees, beverages, soups, pastas, grains and flours and on and on.
Bulk foods through our Buy Clubs for great savings on bulk purchases.

If you haven’t visited the store yet, come in and see us Tuesday to Saturday from 10a.m. – 7p.m.

If you came by several month ago and haven’t been back since [shame on you :-))], you’ll be surprised how far we’ve come in a few short months.

It’s our owner/members, our fabulous volunteer staff and all the wonderful customers that we have that are making this a success. Help us grow this to ever greater heights. for those of you who are owner/members,
THIS IS YOUR STORE!!

Tom Dewell
Board President/CEO
Yelm Food Co-op
tom@yelmcoop.com


November 16, 2007

YELM CITY COUNCIL ANGERED AT PUBLIC COMMENTS AT COMP PLAN HEARING


The Yelm City Council held a Public Hearing on the amendments to the Comprehensive Plan last night. There were three people that expressed comments on the Transportation Chapter of the Plan: this writer, Matthew Schubart representing JZ Knight and Professional Engineer Ed Wiltsie.

The Council seemed quite agitated with our remarks and one member exhibited outright anger towards what was said. When the Mayor asked for comments from the Council prior to the hearing, Council member John Thompson said he had heard this all before and proceeded to quote a letter from absent Council member Bob Isom that Isom would vote to approve the Comp. Plan. This was before the Public Hearing. Clearly, the entire Council had decided how they would vote prior to the Public Hearing.

I have NEVER heard of such a thing in all my years of community involvement dating back 35+ years attending city’s meetings wherever I lived in the USA; in Kentucky, Florida, California, Texas & New York.
So much for listening to the public that they have been given the mantle to serve, although most of this Council are the same people that motioned for a moratorium on moratoriums from the public during the Wal-Mart application and voted to restrict the public from mentioning the word “Wal-Mart” in Council Chambers a few years back.

So, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners Public Hearing on Yelm’s Comp Plan Dec. 4 plus the Growth Management Hearings Board are the next steps to shining the light on the traffic issues here, yet this time from Yelm’s partners in the Regional Plan, who are likely to delve into why their own Thurston County Planning Commission rejected the Yelm Comp Plan and called it “irresponsible.” Yes, there have been a few improvements in what the city has done, however to deny there is a traffic issue here is in conflict with public safety and taking responsibility for the public well-being, which this Council was elected to preserve and protect.

And frankly, I am amazed that there have been no professional traffic numbers done here in over 2 years.

The Nisqually Valley News ran a very abridged story on this Public Hearing titled “Former mayoral candidate accuses city of deception,” omitting an important interaction invited by Council member Don Miller between the Mayor, City Council and Mr. Schubart. HMMM! This former mayoral candidate learned a great deal about this town in running to serve as its Mayor in 2005 and how it’s run, so I have been speaking up on issues based on a wealth of knowledge gathered from being active as an observer in this city’s government for 3 years. For those of you interested in reading what I said Tuesday evening (Nov. 13), instead of relying on the NVN’s spin with its omissions, below is the full, unabridged testimony:

To: Yelm City Council
From: Steve Klein
Subject: Public Hearing on Comp. Plan Amendments
Date: November 13, 2007

I have some additions to add at this Hearing regarding the Transportation Chapter of the Yelm Comprehensive Plan.

Your Nov. 5th Staff Report on the Comprehensive Plan Update states, It appeared by TCPC comments that they did not have a clear understanding of what was presented to them. They voted to not recommend approval of the Yelm Comprehensive Plan Transportation and Introduction update to the Thurston County Board of Commissioners.”

I would like to say I find this assessment totally false, as the Thurston County Planning Commission knew exactly what they were talking about as they deal regularly with these issues in the larger cities of Olympia, Lacey & Tumwater. Asking questions for more information does not denote they did not understand clearly. Yet, Ms. Merriman told the Yelm Planning Commission Oct. 15th that more education of what was presented to them should have been provided. Then that is Yelms responsibility for not preparing them better. Chris Lane commented he is a commercial realtor, yet he is for responsible development. He said that to do nothing to restrict development and not address transportation impacts is irresponsible. He was unable to comprehend another 5,000 vehicle trips per day from 568 new residential units from separate proposals, in a town that cant handle their traffic now.

Further, the Nov. 6th Staff Report on Level of Service Methodology states, Because there has been much confusion during the 2007 Comprehensive Plan update surrounding transportation levels of service, the Community Development Department has prepared this memo

I would say the confusion has originated from Yelms own Community Development Department as exhibited by the following:

A. On July 24, Grant Beck told the Council that there was a concurrency issue at Longmire because Tahoma Terra divisions when properly added all together showed Longmire failed with a LOS F, where individually they did not fail. The developer had to be notified they were required to mitigate this by sharing the cost of a traffic light, thanks to the hearing examiner calling this to Mr. Becks attention after a public comment the day before. Yelm had incorrectly separated the phases to achieve a passing LOS without developer mitigation.

This was an important piece of information and all of this was omitted from the Council Minutes.

B. On September 17, Yelm Planning Commission advisor & TRPCs Kathy McCormick told the Planning Commission the designation in the Comp. Plan of Highways 507/510 in Yelm as Highways of State Significance (HSS) was incorrect. The State designates these as Highways of Regional Significance (non-HSS) and they are Level of Service (LOS) D mitigated, which is consistent with the regional plan. She said the Traffic Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan was in conflict with the Regional Plan, since it must conform or be consistent with the Thurston County Transportation Plan and they must address that fact. They did nothing, except to remove the word acceptable from level of service F in the urban core. Staff did not remind the Commission they had to resolve the conflict.
All of this was omitted from the Planning Commission Minutes.
Now in your Staff Report, Community Development acknowledges the error on the highway designation and has that finally corrected. However, the Yelm Plan is still in conflict with the Regional Plan.

C. Two days prior to the Thurston County Planning Hearing (Oct. 8), for the very first time in this Comprehensive Plan discussion that began over a year ago, Yelms assistant planner Merriman sent a recommendation to the Yelm Planning Commission to add the Strategy Corridor designation for Yelms 507/510 in the Comprehensive Plan, which she asserted lays aside level of service requirements.
Really? After almost a year of discussion, staff reports, memos, public comments and taxpayer-paid staff hours spent on this, level of service requirements are just shoved aside. Why was this just revealed when another jurisdiction was just 2 days away from looking into Yelms practices? And this just came to Community Developments attention then? Id like to know, as I am certain you would, why they did not know about that and advise the Planning Commission prior to this.
Strategy Corridors aside, the City of Yelm does not have the ability to undermine the level of service intentions of the Growth Management Act.

D. At the October 10th Thurston Planning Commission Public Hearing I mentioned the glaring omissions of the Minutes of Yelms Planning Commission and City Council. The Thurston Planning Commission acknowledged their disturbance about that, too. They asked Mr. Beck about what steps have been taken to get roads to LOS D since the concurrency mark was set 1998, where LOS D is the Regional Plan and must be followed.

Mr. Beck mentioned the Bypass and inner loop (side connector streets). They asked him how the Loop could be considered when not funded. He told them $33 million was funded for right-of-way acquisition and he expected construction funding of $35 million by 2009. Interesting, when the WSDOT package for this highway is now unfunded at $56 million, meaning the total cost has risen to $92 million, so Mr. Beck was $21 million short in his testimony. Do you really think $56 for the Loop is going to be funded for work to begin in 2009, as Mr. Beck theorized?

The Commission asserted that outside of the Loop and connector streets, little has been done to bring LOS down to level D, almost 10 years since the concurrency mark was set, and all while large developments and a big box store were approved. Chris Lane asked Mr. Beck that if traffic is out of your control in the City and from outside of the City, then why are you still issuing building permits, and to 568 new homes?

Bottom line: I am just talking about the Comp Plan Traffic Chapter here with these inadequacies, which leads me to wonder what other issues are not properly addressed relating to water and storm water runoff.

I am therefore requesting that you no longer permit and/or participate in the unsafe transportation situation here allowing more traffic to be added without properly addressing the results of your actions in this Comprehensive Plan. I ask you to table the adoption of this Chapter. I further call into question the development practices within the City of Yelm. I concur with Mr. Lane that it’s irresponsible to add to the problem when Yelm can’t deal with its traffic now.

TCPC Chair Roper said the issue is Yelms comprehensive plan adopting LOS F in 1995 while the regional plan identifies LOS D as an acceptable standard. There appears to be no plans to move towards the target. The plan should meet concurrency or the plan should be changed, she stated. I agree. Thank you.

Stephen R. Klein


November 15, 2007

INTRODUCING CRAFTS OF YELM ARTISAN


Photo of Sandra Parent courtesy of her website

“Throughout mythical history, the wearing of hooded cloaks has been recorded in every period of time & walk of life; enigmas (monks, red riding hood, ringwraiths, etc.) of unique appearance, encased in a form of guardianship, where secrets & mysteries lie hidden beneath woven folds & veiled faces.

Cloaked in garments of false hoods, our personalities cloak our secrets as well as our pain & powers. We speculate what lies beneath the mask of another, while unknowingly our image is just a sculptured reflection, a likeness most often transparent to others.

As an observer of a cloaked being sculpture, feelings of buried ancestral memories surface a remembrance of shrouded times,” quoting Ms. Parent’s website.

You can purchase Ms. Parent’s gorgeous sculptures in Yelm at JZ-Rose.

TELL THEM YOU READ ABOUT THIS ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG.


November 14, 2007

GUEST ENTRY: THOMAS MANI ON HOW TO START BEEKEEPING”



Photo taken by Karsten Drre on Wikimedia

How to Start Beekeeping?

An introduction into beekeeping given by Thomas Mani

Monday, 19. November 2007,

6.30 pm
at Gordons Grange

Cost: $10

Please sign up by email at tmani@fairpoint.net or by phone (360) 894-6038

THIS IS FABULOUS KNOWLEDGE TO HAVE FROM AN EXPERIENCED BEEKEEPER.
PLEASE TELL MR. MANI YOU READ ABOUT HIS CLASS IN THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG.


November 13, 2007

SEBASTIAN’S CLASSES & HOLIDAY ORDERING

We love the holidays! Come celebrate with us by making your own Swiss Dough Boys (and Girls!) in one of our classes, or ordering specialty pies (Pecan, Pumpkin), dinner rolls, or other goodies for your gatherings. Thanksgiving orders placed by November 13th will get 10% off. Christmas orders placed before December 15th will get 10% off

Consider us for your party needs: we have special hor dourve trays available. Choose from puff pastry delicacies, mini-Salami sandwiches, and mini-quiches, as well as a selection of sweet treats in tiny sizes.

See you at the bakery!

SEBASTIAN’S BAKERY
105 Yelm Ave. E.
458-9313
–Amy, Sebastian and Elena

TELL THEM YOUR READ OF THEIR WORK IN THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!


November 13, 2007

WINDSTORM KNOCKS OUT YELM’S POWER


KING-5 was in Yelm yesterday reporting on the windstorm damage and filed this video report.

The Olympian reports:
“About 20,000 Thurston County Puget Sound Energy customers were in the dark Monday night because of downed power lines from Monday morning’s windstorm, a PSE spokeswoman said….

Monday’s windstorm brought sustained winds of 35 miles per hour to Olympia Regional Airport, with a peak gust there of 44 miles per hour, recorded at 10:44 a.m., said Seattle National Weather Service forecaster Johnny Burg.

A trained weatherspotter in the Lake Lawrence area south of Yelm recorded a 84 mile-per-hour gust about 9:30 Monday morning, Burg added.”


November 12, 2007

YELM CITY COUNCIL PUBLIC HEARING ON THE COMP PLAN TUESDAY EVENING


Yelm City Council Considers Comprehensive Plan Update

“The Yelm City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, November 13, 2007, at 7:30 PM at Yelm City Hall to take comments on proposed amendments to the Yelm Comprehensive Plan.
The complete record before the City Council for consideration can be viewed by clicking the headline,” quoting the City of Yelm website.


Search

Categories

Archives

Categories

Archives