December 31, 2007


Serbian Artist Makara at Yelm Timberland Library.

“We are happy to start off the New Year with the viewing of Serbian Artists Makara at Yelm Timberland Library.

Several of his paintings will on public display for the month of January with the curators on hand every Saturday from 1 pm to 4pm to answer questions regarding the artists and his paintings,” quoting the Makara USA site.

December 30, 2007


“A woman who lost her restaurant in a landslide is going to have a very Merry Christmas thanks to another business owner she had never met before.

It’s been a busy month for Melanie Tapia. She’s in the middle of moving her business, The Ranch House BBQ, into the lobby of downtown Olympia’s Governor Hotel. She hopes to be open late next week,” quoting Seattle’s KING-5 TV.

Keep with the Ranch House in the news.

December 29, 2007


Rick Roberts’ fabulous Letter to the Editor published in the December 21 NVN is a grand reminder of the Yelm Tree Advisory Board’s work, of which Mr. Roberts is a member..

From the City of Yelm website[click “Citizen Committees”, then “Tree Board”] :

“The City of Yelm is dedicated to protecting and enhancing its urban forest. In 1996 the City of Yelm created the Yelm Tree Advisory Board (YTAB). The Board performed a street tree inventory and evaluation, and created an ordinance for the protection of trees and vegetation in the City, and conservation during development. The City of Yelm has been a Tree City USA since 1996, and has been awarded the Arbor Day Growth Award for the years 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The Tree Board also created the City of Yelm 5-Year Urban Forestry Strategic Plan, for 1998 2002. The plan was updated for another 5 years, resulting in the 5-Year Urban Forestry Strategic Plan for 2004-2008. The plan has been an invaluable tool for the City and the YTAB, insuring the care and maintenance of City trees, keeping the Tree Board active in the community, raising awareness of the importance of an urban forest, and seeking monetary support.
The Yelm Tree Advisory Board meets the last monday of every other month at 4:00 P.M. at the Yelm City Hall.

City of Yelm Tree Advisory Board Mission Statement

The Yelm Tree Board is empowered to:

Contribute to and maintain a comprehensive community tree management program for the care and establishment of trees on public property;
Promote proper tree maintenance;
Advocate no net loss of the communitys urban forestry canopy;
Make recommendations to the City Council concerning ordinances, rules, and regulations that pertain to trees on public and private property that best serve the interest of the community;
Obtain public testimony and/or input as deemed necessary;
Promote public education about trees;
Develop innovative and joint funding for an urban forestry program from a variety of sources.

Current Yelm Tree Advisory Board members are:
Kristin Blalack
Victoria Blazjewski
Glen Cunningham
John Graver
Shawn Batstone
Tim Peterson
Rick Roberts

Kevin McFarland, City Forester
Nisha Box, Assistant Planner

December 28, 2007



“Here…After” Fundraiser , Collaborative Community Project Celebrating Life

Enjoy an evening of World Cuisine by Chef Windsor

Live Music from The Tamborelli Band, Laura Losada, DJ Santi & Belly Dancing with the Gypsy Chicks.


December 29th 2007 at 6:00 PM


A giant tent will be beautifully decorated in front of the
Blue Bottle
309 Yelm Avenue E.
Yelm WA 98597


Raise funds for the documentary and the stage production of “Here…After”.

The documentary provides information to prepare for climate changes in the future.

The stage production tells the story from Earth’s perspective on her relationship with humanity.

For information see website


Children 12 & under FREE, Ages 13-18 $25
Adults: Ticket donations: $50,-$75-$100.

Please call God Food Entertainment 360-400-3103

or e-mail
if you have questions.

Sponsored by the Yelm Prairie Arts Assn.

December 27, 2007


Learn the Art and Science of Seed Saving from the
South Sound Seed Stewards new classes begin
Jan. 14, 2008.


            The Sound Sound Seed Stewards (aka S4) offer a year-long
curriculum of programs pertaining to general garden interest plus 9 classes on
the art and science of seed saving.

            Aimed at preserving our seed heritage and teaching people
how to grow and save their own seed, the groups Mission Statement is:
Encouraging Community Independence and Self-Reliance Through Producing and
Sharing Locally Adapted Heirloom Seeds. Founded in 1994, S4 became a
Washington non-profit organization in 1999.

            The primary purpose is to teach how to save vegetable
seeds, not how to grow the vegetable. For those who need information on the
basics of gardening, there are members who can help.

            It is not necessary to be an experienced gardener to be a
seed saver. Many have gardened for years but never saved a seed. S4s goal is
to impart the knowledge to grow, harvest and preserve a true-to-type seed, a
seed that year after year continues to produce the original vegetable.

            Programs for 2008 include selecting seed, fruit trees of
the Northwest, soils, winter gardening, food preservation, greenhouse growing
and films on gardening topics. The seed science classes include basic botany,
seed classification, record keeping, starting seed indoors and outdoors,
transplanting, seed structure, cover crops, crop rotation, seed harvesting,
processing and storage.

            The group meets the second Monday of every month at
Gordons Grange. Julys meeting is a summer potluck and Decembers meeting is a
Christmas potluck and raffle.

            Meetings start promptly at 7:00 p.m. with the program running until 8:00. After a 30 minute coffee/tea/snack breakand time for
mini-classes, the one hour seed class begins at

            Membership for new members:

Student Membership (for new
members who wish to obtain a S4 certificate of class completion, which bestows
voting membership the following year) — $55 for the year; includes a copy of
the groups text book Seed to Seed by
Suzanne Ashworth. Students must attend 7 of the 9 classes to achieve

            Supporting Membership (for new members not desiring a
training certificate) — $35 for the year with no attendance requirement.

            Class space is limited. An e-mail of intent to join in
January will hold a place.

December 26, 2007


At the October 10, 2007 Thurston County Commissioners Public Hearing, Yelm Community Development Director Grant Beck stated on the record about the Yelm By-pass,
“Yelm is actively pursuing construction funding ($35 million) during the 2009 legislative session.”
Of course, Mr. Beck quoted outdated numbers, as WSDOT now says the unfunded amount of the Yelm By-pass is now $56 million.

Yelm’s City Council had a special presentation on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 from Bill Elliott, WSDOT’s SR 510 (By-pass) Project Manager and his team. Mr. Elliott gave a nice “feel-good” presentation about different timelines for By-pass construction phases, however everything discussed was based on funding scenarios. There currently is no funding of the construction phases; this while the price has now climbed from $35 million to $56 million.
You can read Yelm’s City Council Minutes of this November 13 presentation by clicking the hotlink,
then clicking “Minutes”, then “November 13, 2007″.

Now, we have Governor Gregoire declaring this about federal highway funding,
” The state has no more money available for added transportation projects including improvements to Interstate 5 that affect Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater. Solutions include toll transponders on cars and greater funding from the federal government for projects, Gregoire said. She complained that many mega-projects, in effect, require repairs to highways in the federal system, but funding of highways has shifted from a system that carried a 90 percent share to something less.
“We need all the governors and all the members of Congress to stand up and say, ‘This is ridiculous,’ ” Gregoire said in response to questions from the board about highway funding,” quoting The Olympian.

Reason this:
A. With state roads requiring repair in Lewis & Thurston Counties damaged by recent flooding, the 520 floating bridge in King County and Seattle waterfront viaduct replacements all of immediate concern, what makes anyone think that any money would be forthcoming anytime soon for Yelm’s By-pass?

B. With a Sub-Prime Banking crisis looming large in 2008, higher fuel expenses leading to increased costs for food and most other goods, a tanking dollar, plus no end in sight for the Iraq debacle, do you think there will be any funding for highway projects in 2009 from the federal government if there are no funds in 2008?
Or, from the state given the massive costs of the aforementioned projects?

C. Yelm’s Super Wal-Mart traffic was approved here under the condition there would be a By-pass to mitigate their traffic volumes. Now what do we do, since there is no By-pass in any foreseeable future, and certainly not in 6 years+ from their July, 2007 opening?

D. We need to focus on traffic remedies without the By-pass and now.
This writer offered several suggestions to handle Yelm’s traffic without a By-pass more than 2 years ago. These need to be looked at again.
One of them was:
1. Traffic circles at McDonald’s and Third St on Yelm Ave.
2. All Yelm Ave. eastbound traffic moves through the traffic circle at McDonald’s to Washington St, and down Washington St. through the trail and to Third, left on Third, & returning to Yelm Ave. at Third St.
3. All Yelm Ave. Westbound traffic continues west on a one-way street from Third to the McDonald’s.
Lacey just did this with Pacific Ave. and that is working quite nicely.

E. Newly appointed Yelm Planning Commission Chair Carlos Perez asked the public for solutions in his December 14 Letter to the Editor published in the NVN. I applaud that request and encourage everyone to participate. We have a traffic crisis here and need more community involvement, immediately.
Mr. Perez stated, “Our growth is not the major cause of our traffic congestion. The major cause of our traffic congestion comes from outside our area.”

This kind of attitude previously expressed by Mayor Harding and now the Yelm Planning Commission Chair continues to miss the point.

The County acknowledging the city’s unbridled growth and the city pointing fingers at the county’s contributing traffic does nothing to alleviate a mess. We can all agree that traffic comes from both within and without the city limits.
Yes, the city’s inner loop and connector streets are greatly welcome and appreciated, however those solutions, while wonderful, are not enough. Resting on the city’s laurels for the inner loop and not aggressively dealing with the 507/510 issue NOW, will have consequences in the near-term future, with a By-pass opening in further peril.
And, yes, I am on-record as saying all growth and development applications in Yelm should cease until the infrastructure is funded and underway to support such an outrageous assault on our resorces:
roads, water & stormwater runoff to be in balance with the environment. That is NOT anti-growth. That is being a responsible steward of the land, water and air, so passionately practiced by our neighbors, the Nisqually Tribe.
Please send any of your suggestions to Mr. Perez at City Hall:


December 25, 2007



RSE students contributed almost $2.5 million to the local economy in 2007 and this full-page newspaper ad ran in the NVN Shopper Dec. 19, the NVN Dec. 21 & The Olympian Dec. 22.

December 25, 2007


A Christmas story by Guustaaf Damave

The light of the of the street lamp barely made it to the ground, so thickly was the snow coming down. At three in the morning the street was empty. A faint bluish glow emerging through the flakes directly above betrayed where the full moon was revealing itself. It was a cold winter’s night in 1964, a week or so before the Dutch holiday of Saint-Nicholas. The snow had covered all traces of the day’s comings and goings and was quickly covering a fresh track of footsteps leading to a broken window. Inside, the beam of a flashlight moved across the wall, from painting to painting. The thick white carpet outside hushed every sound. Carefully avoiding the sharp glass, the man climbed out of the window with two paintings under each arm and dissolved into the curtain of icy flakes.

I was born in that old town, the son of a fine artist. That year I was eight. I enjoyed going for long walks looking at shop windows, building sites and ships moored on the river Spaarne, on which we lived. The snow made it a little bit harder to get around, but the river and canals being frozen over, more than made up for that. A trip with a note from my mother and a ten guilder bill to the grocery store only took half as long walking over the ice.

For a young child the sight of the full moon on a cold and crispy night stirs the sense of wonder and imagination like nothing else. I had looked at it often and read about it. The idea that the light came from the sun meant that the sun shone at night too! Was there really no one living there on that moon? I wasn’t so sure about that. On my many walks through the streets of our nine century old town I frequently included one particular store in my route. In the window there was an instrument of magic and mystery called telescope. If only I could own this. Many of the questions that occupied me could be settled once and for all. I would be able to look at the moon and the stars whenever I would like. My life as I knew it would definitely be over and new and brighter existence would be mine. The telescope… I wiped the fog of my breath off the store window. The price tag was the appropriately astronomical sum of twelve guilders.

In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas’ eve is the primary occasion for gift-giving. Even though it is his birthday being celebrated, Sinterklaas is the one who gives the presents. Children are allowed to express their wishes by putting a note in one of their shoes and putting it near the fire place. I had my own ideas about where exactly these presents came from but I carefully played along with the traditional protocol so as not to interfere with any of its mechanics. I had written down the telescope as the only item on my list and the address of the store that was displaying it in its window. It was a lot to ask for, and I was one of ten children. All the same, if there ever was a chance that this telescope could be mine, this was it.

As the long awaited evening drew closer and the air became thicker with expectation, I made my daily rounds to the store window and imagined everything I would be able to see once I could look through the telescope’s eye piece. The glance that my mother gave me however, when I came home, made me think that I had asked for too much and that I would probably have to settle for perhaps a new sweater.

Early that morning they found the broken window and the empty spaces on the wall. It is not hard to guess at the motives of the mysterious man who broke into the museum on that icy cold night so close to gift giving day. More mysterious than his identity was his particular taste in art. Maybe his choices were dictated by the convenient size of certain works or their proximity to the shattered window. Still, there were quite a few works to choose from and the burglar left slushy footsteps throughout the contemporary wing of the Frans Hals Museum.

That afternoon as I got ready to leave to continue my explorations of the snowy landscape the newspaper dropped on the floor inside the front door. It reported the art theft from the museum on the front page. I knew my father would be interested in this and took the paper to him in his studio. He read the article with rapt attention. He looked at me and said that they stole one of his works. He went to the front of the house to tell my mother about it. A burglary in the museum is serious business I thought, but they did not seem particularly distraught.

Over the next few days there were frequent phone calls and visitors interested in purchasing one or more works of this artist whose work was stolen from the museum. The unknown burglar had unwittingly brought abundance to our house. I knew that my chances of having a close-up view of the moon had taken a turn for the better. Saint Nicholas’ eve was only two days away now and as I was approaching the store window with the object of my desire and felt pretty sure that indeed it would be mine. But as I came closer I was struck with shock and horror. It was gone! Someone must have bought it. I had to muster all my restraint not to let tears roll down my cheeks. I slowly turned around and walked away. I wandered the cold dark streets in a blur of disappointment. When I came home too late for dinner my mother asked what was the matter. I explained to her that the telescope was gone, the only thing I really wanted. “That’s terrible,” she said.

When the evening of great expectations arrived the air was charged with excitement. Knowing that I would not get what I really wanted, I was prepared to pretend to be happy with whatever I would get. But when the package with my name on it was pulled out of the large pile I could not believe my eyes. It had a long familiar shape. In a frenzy I ripped off the paper. I was surprised and delighted that I did get the telescope. It had disappeared from the store because it was making its way to me. My father also had his best present ever because there is no more honest recommendation than that of a thief in a hurry.

2007 Guustaaf Damave

The author, Guustave Damave

December 24, 2007


Dungeness Valley Creamery is a family farm on Towne Road [Sequim] 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.”

Sarah Brown of Dungeness Valley Creamery penned this for the holidays, reprinted here with permission:

We hope you are joyful this season and full of love and thanksgiving!

The cows are cozy in the barn, now, and doing very well (lots of milk!) We had an extra good load of hay brought to us from eastern Washington and the cows love it. You may be noticing an increase of cream in the milk. You are not imagining things! Although there is more sweetness and color to the milk in the summer, there is more cream in the winter…just in time for holiday baking and whipped cream! Yes, you can use the cream from the milk for whipped cream…and butter, too! The cream will not get quite as airy and fluffy as store bought heavy cream (they put in additives) but it tastes just as good or better. If you accidentally whip the cream too much, now you have butter and buttermilk. You know what to do with the butter, but don’t put the buttermilk to waste. You can use it for baking as well (scones, pancakes, smoothies are just a few ideas). This buttermilk that you get is not cultured or soured, it is sweet. If you want soured
buttermilk, you can set it out and let it sour on its own, or add a little lemon juice (for a quicker result). There is so much to do with the milk and cream! Don’t forget hot cocoa with whipped cream on top, home made eggnog, and cream in your coffee.

If you haven’t had a chance to stop in at our store lately, come check out our new gift items! We are proud to say that everything in our store is local and we are in contact with and support people we know and trust! With that said, we encourage you to shop locally and support real people. In doing so, you boost our local economy, promote and support local artists,craftsmen and farmers, and reduce fuel usage (both your own and delivery trucks to big stores).

Don’t forget to shop local and healthy for your holiday meal! We offer milk, cream, bread, CHEESE, and eggs (when available). Your family will appreciate a special meal with special ingredients!

May God bless you this season and always,

Sarah Brown
Dungeness Valley Creamery
915 Towne Rd.
Sequim, WA 98382


Yelm Co-op
404 1ST St.
Tuesday-Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm
Now open Mondays beginning Dec. 24th!

December 23, 2007



“The first step to putting your books into the hands of kids in your community is attracting them to the library. And, what draws kids – and their parents – more than magic?

Unlike some presenters who put together a show and do a few library programs during the summer, Jeff Evans presents over fifty library programs each year. Most of these programs are for repeat clients because they know Jeff will draw a crowd and give them a great show. This marks the fourteenth consecutive year that that the Lacey, Tumwater, and Olympia libraries have invited Jeff to perform!

Jeff has five themed magic programs available for libraries. They include:

Reading Magic
Science Magic
Magic Around the World (history/geography)
Mission: Possible (positive attitude/motivation)
Secrets of Wizards (Harry Potter-theme),”
quoting Jeff Evans’ Library Programs EduMazement Productions.

Check out this fabulous program in Yelm’s Timberland Library from 11am until noon on Dec. 27.


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