April 23, 2009

THIS WEEKEND: THE NISQUALLY VALLEY HOME SHOW IN YELM

DON’T MISS THE NISQUALLY HOME SHOW THIS WEEKEND AT THE NEW YELM HIGH SCHOOL LOCATION!

Highlights:
New this year is the Hands-on Childrens Museum and an art show sponsored by the Prairie Hotel & Yelm Cinemas.

Saturday
8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday
10am – 4:00pm

Free Admission, Free Parking

CLICK HERE for the Schedule.

CLICK HERE for vendors.

CLICK HERE for booth layout.

The Nisqually Valley Home Show in Yelm!


April 22, 2009

EARTH DAY IS TODAY

Message from Ecology director, Jay Manning
“On April 22 we mark the thirty-ninth anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day, in 1970, was billed as a national day of observance of environmental problems, a nationwide environmental teach-in. At that time, the environment simply was barely on the national political agenda. There was no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), no Clean Water Act, no Superfund law. At the state level, SEPA was brand new, the Shoreline Management Act was a ballot proposal and our waste management laws did not exist.

And yet, 2,000 colleges and universities, about 10,000 primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities joined in for that first Earth Day. It is believed that some 20 million people took part. My brother and I took part by walking the four miles to Marcus Whitman Junior High in Port Orchard. Lowering our carbon footprint was a worthy goal even then.

Do you know the Washington state connections to that first Earth Day? The first announcement about Earth Day was made at a conference held in Seattle in 1969, by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in September. The coordinator of that seminal event, Denis Hayes, grew up in Camas. Since 1992, Denis has served as president of the Bullitt Foundation in Seattle.

Read the full message,” quoting the Dept. of Ecology website.

While today is technically Earth Day, environmental projects are happening through the week. Earth Day Network has created an Earth Day 2009 web site as an easy point of access to Earth Week events. And, programs available throughout the year.

This from MSNBC, “Earth Day is a great day to celebrate our planet, reflect on new ways to protect it – and widen your planetary perspective as well.”

“Northwest Airlines EarthCares is happy to support Earth Day 2009. From April 22 through May 22, 2009, Northwest will match your EarthCares donations to The Nature Conservancy, up to $25,000. Learn how to contribute to EarthCares now.

More can be found on the Earth Day Network website and on Wikipedia.


April 21, 2009

MAYOR PRO-TEM ISOM ACCUSES, THEN REFUSES!


MAYOR PRO-TEM BOB ISOM

Protect Yelm.org sums up this story simply:

“Steve Kleins 3/25/09, CITY CONTINUES TO APPROVE DEVELOPMENTS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT WATER RIGHTS has been updated with an audio file from the April 13, 2005 City Council audio record [where Mr. Isom put forth a no moratorium resolution in response to 2 citizens’ requests for a growth moratorium] and video of Klein addressing the Council [March 24, 2009]. Mayor Pro-tem Isoms rebuttal and Mrs. Fetterlys comments can also be heard in-context from the City Councils video.

The audio file is in response to Isoms comment that Klein had mis-characterization the moratorium on moratoriums that is clearly stated and passed in the audio from the April 2005 City Council meeting.

The definition of moratorium is a suspension of activity (source) and Isoms proposal and the City Councils subsequent unanimous vote was to halt any further talk of a growth moratorium is pretty much a ‘moratorium on moratoriums’.”

I wrote to Mr. Isom on April 3, 2009 and asked him to identify what he viewed as the “mis-characterization,” so I could publish his views as a correction on the Yelm Community Blog.
Mr. Isom accuses, then refuses – to respond! Doesn’t that speak volumes? HMMM!
Do you want 2,4,6 more years of this type of Council member?

HASN’T THE TIME COME FOR OTHER YELM RESIDENTS TO STEP UP AND SERVE THEIR CITY AND GET ON THE BALLOT FOR THIS FALL’S ELECTION – USHERING A CHOICE WITH NEW PEOPLE TO BRING A NEW DIRECTION & ACTION TO THIS COMMUNITY, JUST LIKE THIS COUNTRY DID IN THE OTHER WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON, D. C.?


April 20, 2009

MAYOR HARDING: “WE CAN NO LONGER OPERATE…ALLOWING NEW GROWTH”


MAYOR RON HARDING

Harding: “We can no longer operate the system allowing new growth.”

Mayor Harding and the Yelm City Council have been put on-notice for over 5 years that the city’s “grow at all costs” policy was headed to be a train-wreck. This blog has an archive of three years of news stories giving the facts and highlighting the strains this area has endured with growth, water and lack thereof, along with a whole host of other issues, as well as a defiant Mayor and City Council calling anyone with a comment on these issues “anti-growth.”

In what certainly must be an embarrassing turn of events, Mayor Harding now has to whip city property owners with large water rate increases to pay for the city’s folly. In addition, he told local businesses at the Yelm Chamber Forum last week they must look for ways to conserve water. The city is at their maximum allowable water allocation as set by the State Dept. of Ecology.

From the local newspaper’s print edition of April 17th:
“Mayor Ron Harding addressed the local business community Tuesday [April 14] about the affects of proposed water rate increases during the monthly Chamber forum at the Nisqually Valley Moose Lodge.

The rates are part of a six-year comprehensive water system plan.

‘Its not something we want to do,’ Harding said. ‘Its something we have to do.’…

Rates are going to go up somewhat significantly, especially for large businesses, Harding said…

The average water bill for a single family home is $23 a month.

With the new projected rates, that bill will increase to $37 a month.

By 2015 the average residential customer is anticipated to pay $68 a month under the new plan. Rates are determined by meter and facility size….

Harding said he is encouraging businesses to start looking at ways to conserve water.

The city has taken the stance in recent years for growth to pay for growth, Harding said.
The city has taken on debt and allowed new growth to pay that debt.

That has changed with the economy, growth slowing and an anti-growth environment.

‘We can no longer operate the system allowing new growth,’ Harding said.”

Ed. Note:
HMMM! Now isn’t that singing a different tune to the Yelm Chamber members and community?

All of those commenting to the Mayor & City Council are NOT anti-growth, rather wanted the city to allow growth to be balanced with environmental preservation. They also wanted the city to follow the law. A lawsuit was required to get the city and state to wake-up to Yelm’s behavior.
The city has a lawsuit judgment against the way they have been approving preliminary plats without first proving water; a case they say they won, yet appealed. If the city won, then why did they appeal the decision? HMMM!
And, why has the city not followed their own Vision Plan, created from a task force of people like Glen Cunningham, Shelly Badger, John Thompson & Margaret Clapp?
[CLICK HERE to see an excerpt of my letter to Dept. of Ecology Director Jay Manning about Yelm’s water allocation issue.]

The city can no longer sustain the way they have been spending money the last several years with growth now stopped in its tracks. And unfortunately, they have not been up-front with the local businesses and property owners about the lack of water, debt and lack of future revenues from projected property taxes, until now, when they have their backs against a wall!
And, the local newspaper has given the city a “by” on this and other issues. Let’s see when the Fall election is near and more details emerge about the city’s malfeasance if the local newspaper editor/publisher still endorses the Mayor and Council to run again!

The city’s Water Mitigation Plan has yet to be approved, and citizens are taking action in their own right to demand action from Ecology about Yelm’s aim to severely increase pumping water here.
CLICK HERE for the citizens’ action letter.

Harding: “We can no longer operate the system allowing new growth.”
When he says this is about “the system”, he is referring to the water system.

The Mayor, City Council, Community Development Dept. and City Administrator have all been warned many times by a qualified professional engineer, a 25 year Dept. of Ecology water specialist, this former mayoral candidate and many other citizens that the direction of their leadership via growth could not be maintained and lacked a vision for a sustainable future. All have said the city would be left out of a “chair when the music stopped.”

That has now proven true and there will be a full-court press by city officials to lay on City of Yelm residents and businesses the costs of their hubris. The water rate hike and plea to the Yelm Chamber members for businesses to conserve water are just the beginning. Stay tuned!
Burying this decisive change in the city’s direction on the “Business” page instead of front page headlines indicates the local newspaper’s complicity in this, as well. The newspaper editor/publisher announced he moved out of the city, so will not be affected by what is coming down the pike. The city’s tax & water bill payers are about to pay for their past silence by soon getting a one-two punch in their wallets & gut.


April 19, 2009

READER PUTS NVN EDITOR/PUBLISHER’S OP-ED IN PERSPECTIVE

An astute Yelm Community Blog reader wrote the following about Wednesday’s story titled “WAZZUP WITH THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER EDITOR/PUBLISHER ON THE DEFENSIVE?

First:
By comparing the full letter as printed on this blog to the edited version in the NVN, we can readily determine which parts were excised, and thus infer which parts could have been considered “inflammatory”. I am including here only sections of more than a couple of words, and leave it to the reader to determine the level of inflammation for yourself:

“…According to the Editor, the purpose of the article was to ‘cover’ the After Hours event, not to promote the businesses that participated in the Chamber’s After Hours event. Of course, the very purpose of the After Hours event is to promote and introduce our businesses to members of the Chamber and the community at large. Imagine investing a significant amount of money to open a new business in perhaps the worst economic time in the past 76 years only to have the paper say that nothing appears to be for sale?…

…While I didn’t expect the article to mention the fact that we have four staff members or that we have recently applied for a $1Million grant to bring economic development to the City of Yelm, or that we are perhaps the most innovative business model in Yelm…

…To have the Editor tell me he doesn’t ‘get what we do’ is not a reason to print half the story but rather a reason to visit our business so that you might see what everyone else does; we are a service based
business that provides office services, hence the name, The Office…

…when I decided to open a business, I considered advertising in the paper. However, I was forewarned by members of the business community not to advertise in the paper because I simply would not see the return on my investment for the aforementioned reasons…

…While you may have found it a matter of your editorial rights, unfortunately for this paper, one of the very things we do at The Office is provide marketing and advertising consulting services which means we
will not be able in good conscience to recommend the paper as a source of advertising for any business we represent because it lacks integrity.”

Second:
On March 24, I emailed the following letter to the editor (with a personal copy to this blog’s host):

To the NVN editor:
Having moved from Yelm over three years ago, I use the NVN as one of my links back to my adopted home. I found it quite pleasing to see the history of Yelm being preserved in the new Yelm Museum.
It’s a testament to the sheer will of those involved in the project to go from locating the property and having the city buy it through construction and opening to the public. This certainly exhibits the power of focusing on a project and making it happen.
If it can be done for the museum, we can now do it for the Yelm Timberland Library. This community resource, much more widely used than the museum, will need have a new home in less than three years.
The museum came to life in a year. Why not the next library?

While I didn’t expect it to make it into that week’s issue, there have been two other issues published, and I have yet to see it printed. And as has been noted elsewhere, it’s not like the paper doesn’t need more material.
Perhaps my letter, too, was “too inflammatory” for the hometown news.

As you say at the beginning of this article: “Wazzup”?”

Commenter name: James Zukowski,
FROM ILLINOIS


April 18, 2009

MIRACLE BOWL FOR KIDS SUNDAY AT YELM’S PRAIRIE LANES

“Introducing the Miracle Bowl for Kids, a celebrity bowl-a-thon to benefit Children’s Miracle Network in partnership with the Washington Scholarship Foundation! Please join us in supporting Children’s Miracle Network and bringing crucial attention to the children in need of medical care.”

Children’s Miracle Network is the alliance of premier children’s hospitals. Every year, Children’s Miracle Network hospitals treat 17 million children for every disease and injury imaginable. Children’s Miracle Network hospitals impact the lives of more children than any other children’s organization in the world. Children’s hospitals provide state-of-the-art care, life-saving research and preventative education for children 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Join the Yelm Chamber event at Yelm Prairie Lanes”, Sunday April 19th.

Miss Washington this year is Yelm’s own Janet Harding, daughter of Mayor Ron Harding & his wife. Janet “Directed the 1st Annual Miracle Bowl for Kids to benefit Children’s Miracle Network“.
“Miss Washington Scholarship Organization and Children’s Miracle Network – Partners in Service!”
“Watch video of Sen. Becker addressing the Senate to honor Miss Washington 2008, Janet Harding
February 11, 2009”

You can be a part of this in Yelm by being on a team or cheering on the teams. Your help supports a worthy cause. Each team that donates any sum of money gets one free game, shoes included, at the Prairie Lanes.

Even if you don’t bowl, come and be cheerleaders (bring your own pom poms!!).


April 17, 2009

UPDATE: YELM BYPASS FUNDING ISSUE

With the local newspaper touting the last two weeks Yelm’s Bypass being funded by the State Legislature and Mayor Harding saying this is “tangible”, one would come to believe we would have a partial Bypass soon. However, the newspaper omitted so many hurdles that still have to be overcome before this area sees construction on a Bypass in their stories:

April 10: “Campbell: Funds for bypass are good to go
Things are looking good for the Yelm Bypass

April 3: Fingers crossed on bypass dollars
Becker: Its looking good, but who knows

I wrote to Rep. Campbell and asked him how the current funding for right-of-way (r-o-w) acquisition and engineering will be converted to construction funding. (The current funding has no construction monies, as covered here two weeks ago.).
He wrote back and said, “I have double checked with staff here, and we (the Legislature) don’t tie the purse strings by phases.”

OK, well someone does, so I asked WSDOT Bypass Project Manager Dennis Engel for an explanation.
Why the local newspaper just did not contact the WSDOT Project Manager for details to give the public the facts, one just does not know! I did.

Mr. Engel replied, “Rep. Campbell is correct, the legislature designates the money and then WSDOT divides it up in the needed phases. This can be changed to construction dollars when the legislative intent is known in the budget and we work with our stakeholders, such as the City of Yelm to move towards construction.”

The key issue here is “when the legislative intent is known” and so far, that has not been determined.
The Legislature just has a few days left in this session. According to my sources, WSDOT interprets “legislative intent” and they currently interpret the Bypass in r-o-w and design phases right now.

There has to be a scope change request for a phased project that would include construction and that has not happened, yet. With the way the budget is currently written, phased construction is possible, yet would require WSDOT Headquarters to reinterpret legislative intent.

Bottom Line: The best way for Phase 1 construction funding for the Yelm Bypass to be approved is for the Yelm Bypass to be divided officially into two Phases
(Phase 1 & 2 as previously discussed here) and allocate the funds for construction for Phase 1 while the Legislature is still in session. Otherwise, there is potential for the funding to be stalled in the political process.

WILL YOU READ ABOUT THIS IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER?


April 17, 2009

COUNTY COMMISSIONER ROMERO TO HOLD APRIL “COFFEE” IN YELM MONDAY


Sandra Romero

Youre invited to coffee with County Commissioner Sandra Romero

Do you care about Thurston County?
Have an issue that is important to you?
Want to find out more about the county?

Join us Monday, April 20th
(please note: the date has been moved to the
third Monday of the month for April and May)
10am – 11am
Blue Bottle Caf
309 E Yelm Ave., Yelm

Please join Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero as she hosts an informal coffee hour. There is a lot happening in Thurston County, and we want to hear from you. These coffees give you the opportunity to talk
about issues of concern, ask Commissioner Romero questions about the county, and share ideas.
This month we will be talking about housing and homeless issues.

Coffee provided.

If you have any questions contact:
Lisa Paribello at 360-786-5747 or paribel@co.thurston.wa.us


April 16, 2009

SUPPORT OUR LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES – GIORDA E.

Giorda E Welcomes you to Classic Elegance.

Giorda E was created in 2002 after a survey was done in the local newspaper about what was missing in Yelm and it was a clothing store. Since I worked in the clothing business since 1974 as a young girl and the love for fashion brought me to Paris, New York, Italy, South America and Finally to Yelm.”

“25 years of experience in dressing men and women from all over the world. We provide in store alterations for that perfect fit. Our stylist have an in depth relationship with our customers wardrobe and help them get the most from their selections. We carry famous brands from around the globe to provide you with excellent choices. From head to toe, we carry the unique pieces that can show your unique style.”

Giorda E. is having a special promotion

Order a Tux by 4/22 & get $5 off
Gold, Platinum & Diamond Collection

Giorda E.
300 Yelm Ave. E.
Yelm, WA. 98597
360.400.1125

10am – 6pm M-F
10am – 5 pm Sat

TELL GIORDA E. YOU READ ABOUT HER SHOP ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!


April 15, 2009

WAZZUP WITH THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER EDITOR/PUBLISHER ON THE DEFENSIVE?

Wazzup with local newspaper editor/publisher Keven Graves recently?
These are just of a few examples that make me go HMMM!

1. Graves prints a cryptic comment in his April 3rd op-ed titled “Actions speak louder than words” in which he was obviously criticized by someone for an error his newspaper printed, though one could not ascertain who made the criticism or why; there were no Letters to the Editor published explaining what prompted his defensive stand.

2. A week later on April 10th, Graves finally identifies the person that has drawn his ire and rath as Lynn Brewer, owner of Yelm’s The Office and he has several choice words for her in his op-ed titled “Attack on my integrity is only part of the story.”
He also decides to print her Letter to the Editor submitted a week earlier, though abridged because he says “her letter was edited for length and to omit inflammatory comments that I wouldnt publish about any business, under any circumstances.” HMMM!
Ms. Brewer published her letter in full in the comment section of the Yelm Community Blog on March 31st. CLICK HERE to read and then decide for yourself if her letter reaches the threshold of “inflammatory comments that I [Graves] wouldnt publish about any business, under any circumstances.”

3. Graves refuses to publish a story on Yelm’s new Nisqually Radio internet radio station saying they are a competitor and his newspaper will not cover their story. CLICK HERE for the [Pierce County] Dispatch’s nice coverage & the Yelm Community Blog’s story about Nisqually Radio.

4. Graves’ NVN launched a new website with an RSS feed (RSS is a format for sharing content on the Web. Four of the newspaper’s sections are now on an RSS feed.). Two days later, he writes me a letter saying he requires written permission directly from him for the Yelm Community Blog to “reprint or redistribute articles, photos and all other content from www.yelmonline.com,” which this blog has never done; only quoting, critiquing and listing links. When a website has an RSS feed, they want their links widely distributed. His newspaper’s RSS feed is actually linked on another Yelm-based blog, ProtectYelm.org. So, go figure with this guy? His RSS feed is on one local blog, he will not report about a new local blog and then sends me a letter about enforcing his newspaper’s copyright for dissemination of material on this blog! That sure is some mixed message!

I chose to have my Seattle attorney write Mr. Graves to remind him about the U. S. Constitution’s First Amendment Right of Free Speech and the fair use doctrine of copyrighted work.
CLICK HERE to read that letter.

BOTTOM LINE:
Mr. Graves has already virtually endorsed Ron Harding for Mayor in 2009, not only encouraging him to run in an op-ed earlier this year, yet putting his newspaper’s weight behind such a candidacy, all without knowing who else might be interested in seeking this elective office, an office whose filing deadline is not until July.

This is on top of Mr. Graves’ defensive posturing in recent weeks.

Election year politics aside, heating-up at the forefront of local issues are the economy, severe water rate hikes, mounting traffic, looming service cutbacks, & the future of the Yelm Library among just a few items on the minds of our area residents. A free exchange of ideas, comments and understandings are vital to an informed public getting involved and educated on major issues of the day AND from various sources, not just the local, weekly newspaper, who has previously demonstrated will omit or attempt to limit full access about important local stories their readers will see.

We all know newspapers are in trouble. Graves reported to one reader his newspaper continues to see subscriptions and hits on their website increase, bucking grim industry trends. That is good news; for the public to have as many sources for local news and information is important in these challenging times.
If the NVN IS having difficulties, perhaps Mr. Graves should read this story “Yes, A Newspaper Can Survive If It Focuses On The Community” in TechDirt, which offers some great counsel to local newspaper publishers/editors. Selectively omitting stories & information does not bode well for local newspapers in the long term.


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