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I am originally from Kentucky and remember this line as that state’s motto, yet this should be this region’s motto, as well.

Nisqually Valley News (NVN) Editor/Publisher Keven Graves said in his Op-Ed last week,
“Yelm was spoiled to have one of the finest libraries in the Timberland system. Chances are we may never see that level of quality for decades to come, but thats the hand being dealt.”

True, we will never have the quality library we have today if all of us do not join forces and put aside our differences to work for a common goal. The state is not going to hand the City of Yelm money in this challenging economic environment, so WE, the citizens of the Nisqually Valley must lead the charge & get our city’s leaders to action on a public library building.

However, we can’t move forward with a we vs. them attitude. For example, this must stop:

– Those that live outside the city limits are made irrelevant by those that live inside city limits.
– Those that are Christian Church members marginalize those that are not.
– Those in Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment put asunder by some of those who are not.
– Those that speak up at City Council meetings are made irrelevant by those who do not.

These are just a few of the things that continue to permeate the culture here, and keep this town divided.
Yet, the diversity of all of us in this region is what makes us great!

The leaders of our community have provided little direction to unite this town, in fact, having shown their belligerence to vast groups of people: from seizing a citizens water rights, arguing with a constituent who dared to come to a usually empty Council Meeting to make a public comment, and banning the words “Wal-Mart” and “moratorium” from being uttered by citizens in a Yelm City Council meeting.

And, the local newspaper is at times, complicit in fostering these divisions. They, time and again omit key components of issues here that skew the facts and rarely correct the story when brought to their attention.

Yes, I speak out and some don’t like that, however often times I am portrayed as a whiner when I am sharing with the public all of the facts of a story they do not get to read from the city’s newspaper of record or from City Hall.

I wrote Mr. Graves last week to share several facets of his Op-Ed that were not factual.
CLICK HERE to read his Op-Ed.

Mr. Graves replied he stands by his story. OK, that is his truth & I respect that.

However, the public deserves to hear and read the entire story of how we got into the pickle with the library where there is currently no public building after 2011, except maybe a “band-aid” approach moving into the former police station. One would think after I wrote Mr. Graves, he or one of his reporters would at the very least, call newly-promoted Timberland Regional Library (TRL) Director Michael Crose to corroborate my story, as I invited Mr. Graves to do.

Mr. Graves also said in his Op-Ed,
“Chances are we may never see that level of quality for decades to come, but thats the hand being dealt.”
‘The hand being dealt’ means someone did this to us?
I don’t think so, no matter Graves’ spin!
This did not happen from outsiders dealing us a hand!
Our city leaders did little to obtain or get the community involved to fund a public building for the last 9 years.

Graves continued,
“Forget the fact that the library had an incredible sweetheart deal, one that most can only envy.”

Oh really?
Has Mr. Graves contacted TRL officials and asked if they consider “the library had an incredible sweetheart deal.”

There was no quote that the library (TRL) considers they had an incredible sweetheart deal here.
So, just where did that comment originate?
I know this was an Op-Ed, however wouldn’t the public be better served with opinion based on the facts?
I know TRL’s response about a sweetheart deal would be interesting and one that should be shared with all of Mr. Graves’ readers, many of whom inside & outside the city pay property taxes to support the Yelm library. I urge the NVN to call TRL’s Crose to find out the full story from him and report in-full to the Nisqually Valley library users.

Graves is correct & I applaud him when he says,
“There is great power and ability in a community when there is a higher purpose, and perhaps its time to start looking at the library as one of those causes.”

The first step should be candor – a full reporting of all of the facts of the ten year history of how we got here.
Only when we all understand and acknowledge the past actions, can we move forward. Putting aside and omitting some of the circumstances about the library situation that lie at the hands of Yelm’s Mayor & City Council is not helpful.
Our community leaders need to step up to the plate and lead – a full accounting is a great place to start.

As the Nisqually Valley News touts itself as serving the Nisqually Valley, not just being the city’s mouthpiece and newspaper of record, they should report unabridged all facets of this story, instead of just the city’s spin. How about an in-depth discussion with TRL’s Crose on TRL’s side of the Yelm library issue?

Graves said,
“The grant for the Longmire toilets was designated specifically for that project. The money could not be used for anything other than the purpose designated by the grantor.
To suggest otherwise simply muddies the waters and makes it more difficult to focus on the library dilemma.”

The designation for park toilets grants is only true as I said, only, and,
“ONLY after the city specifies for what project the grant will be used is the city then required to use the money specifically for that grant project.
Yelm’s priority was to request funding for park toilets, not a library building.
So, the issues ARE connected – by the priority for what Yelm asked the state for grant funding support.”

Omitting this KEY fact for our fellow citizens only “muddies the waters and makes it more difficult to focus on the library dilemma.”

What if a new Yelm-area public library building is not housed within Yelm’s city limits?
Then what will our city leaders say?


Posted by Steve on August 6, 2010 at 12:42 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Our local newspaper often uses the ad hominem approach to reporting.
    The reader is influenced by disparaging “headlines” and that is that. The first impression is made and there’s little room left for discussion or reason. Great article Steve. I for one appreciate your voice in our community affairs!

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
    Ad hominem abusive
    Ad hominem abusive usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to invalidate their argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions.


    “You can’t believe Jack when he says the proposed policy would help the economy. He doesn’t even have a job.”
    “Candidate Jane’s proposal about zoning is ridiculous. She was caught cheating on her taxes in 2003.”
    See: Common misconceptions about argumentum ad hominem below

    Comment by Jan Hazelton on August 8, 2010 at 9:28 am

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