September 8, 2010

OMINOUS ECONOMIC WARNING SIGNS – YELM SHOULD TAKE NOTE!

OMINOUS ECONOMIC WARNING SIGNS FOR YELM

1. The Olympian’s Rolf Boone reports:
Home sales plunge from ’09Single-family: 26% decrease comes with 13% jump in number of residences for sale in county

“Lingering concerns about the economy and the lack of a federal tax incentive program sent Thurston County home sales spiraling downward in August, falling 26 percent from August 2009, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

South Sound real estate professionals attributed the downturn in home sales to the expiration of a federal tax incentive program in April and to insecurity among prospective buyers about the economy and their jobs.”

2. The Pierce County Business Examiner reports:
Economic outlook weakens significantly
“The Washington Economic & Revenue Forecast Council’s outlook is significantly weaker than it was during June. The economic recovery has “slowed to an agonizing crawl,” according to the council’s latest report.

The report says job growth remains anemic; housing is looking for a new bottom; and, despite some easing in credit conditions, small businesses continue to face a challenging credit environment. There is still considerable drag in the economy, little lift and increased uncertainty.”

CLICK HERE for the report of the Economic Review Meeting, September 3, 2010 of the Washington State Economic Review & Forecast Council.

3. Derek Thompson & Daniel Indiviglio of The Atlantic report:
“It’s been a brutal summer for the economy. The housing sector, like a balloon batted in the air one last time by the government credit, resumed its inevitable fall. Economic growth slowed to a lead-footed 1.6 percent, and job growth is even more anemic. Meanwhile, consumers are cranky, the trade gap is gaping.

Most signs point to a slow and steady recovery, but what if the pessimists are right, again? What if the United States isn’t in the slow-lane to recovery, but rather on the precipice of another decline — a double dip?
To see where this re-recession might begin, my colleague Dan Indiviglio and I imagined five financial earthquakes, each with a single epicenter: housing, consumers, toxic assets, Europe, and the debt. The following five scenarios are listed in order of likelihood.”

CLICK HERE for more on their report.

UPDATE: September 9, 2010
“Two-thirds of Americans expecting double-dip recession”
quoting the Pierce County Business Examiner.


September 7, 2010

REMINDER: EXCLUSIVE WITH TIMBERLAND LIBRARY DIRECTOR

If you missed the exclusive interview last Friday with Timberland Regional Library (TRL) Director Michael Crose, due to the long weekend, CLICK HERE.
Regarding the Nisqually Valley News ONLINE POLL this week
“Do you think enough is being done to find a home for the Yelm library before it’s current lease expires in 2012?”

The question is irrelevant since the public has not been told what IS is being done to find a home for the Yelm library. Since nothing has come from City Hall, then enough is not being done.


September 7, 2010

MASTERSCONNECTION OWNER STEPHANY RAY IN HER LAST DAYS


HONORING STEPHANY RAY

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH:
City of Yelm Project and Program Manager Stephanie Ray

This will come as a shock to many, however beloved Stephany Ray has chosen to enter hospice after a long and arduous journey confronting her illnesses. Valiant and courageous, she knows her hour draws nearer with each passing day.

Before she leaves this grand life, many want to honor her, let her know how much she is loved, and thank her for all that she has contributed to this wonderful community, personally as a friend and professionally as the creative force behind the MastersConnection.com website.

Her webssite has been a forum that has supported and connected so many local businesses, owned by RSE students and non-students alike, with subscribers from all over the world – RSE students that make their way to Yelm one or more times annually and patronize our community’s stores, thanks to knowing of their goods & services through Stephany’s valuable resource.

She doesnt realize how many lives she has touched throughout the years, from a former shop she operated within Yelm’s city limits to exposing so many enterprises here to new visitors to town.
One can see so many varied businesses that advertise on MastersConnection, a true testament to her impact.

If youd like to share your thoughts or stories, or offer your kind words, send an email and your messages will be conveyed to Stephany.

CLICK HERE for more information on sending your message.

UPDATE: Stephany Ray passed this plane at 3am Thursday, September 9, 2010.


September 6, 2010

LABOR DAY IN AMERICA, 2010

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday in September. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the “working man”. It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a national holiday by Act of Congress in 1894, quoting Wikipedia.

“Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country, said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day…is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation, quoting the US Dept. of Labor website.

And this sobering view of what Labor Day commemorates today in the USA, from Truthout, first published in 2007.

“The Fourth of July commemorates our political freedom a freedom which without economic freedom is meaningless indeed. Labor Day symbolizes our determination to achieve an economic freedom for the average man which will give his political freedom reality.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, September 6, 1936

See Robert Reich’s website:
Robert Reich is Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton

The Yelm Community Blog pauses to acknowledge all laborers worldwide this day, for through all of our toils is the world a better place!


THIS ENTRY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2007.


September 5, 2010

RE-ELECT COUNTY COMMISSIONER KAREN VALENZUELA


Incumbent District 3 County Commissioner Candidate Karen Valenzuela

The Olympian says:
Valenzuela should serve full, four-year term on commission

“In February 2009, former Tumwater City Councilwoman Karen Valenzuela was appointed by the governor to a vacant position on the three-member Thurston County Commission. Last November, Valenzuela stood for election for the remaining year of the unexpired term. She squared off against Republican Pat Beehler and beat him soundly in the 2009 general election.

Now, Valenzuela, 60, is running for a full, four-year term. Her opponent is once again Pat Beehler, so voters are seeing a replay of last years election.

The Olympians editorial board endorsed Valenzuela a year ago and renews that support today…

Our problem with Beehler this year and last is that he offers no compelling reason to oust Valenzuela.”

Ed. Note:
The Yelm Community Blog also supports this view. I have been very impressed with the way Valenzuela & her colleagues took-on very stark budget challenges, inheriting a mess from her predecessor and finally “righted-the-ship” in the midst of the economy tanking.

This paragraph from The Olympian underscores this writer’s view:
“Like last year, Valenzuela has demonstrated her leadership abilities through a tough economic downturn. We believe Valenzuelas grasp of planning and development issues, her collaborative approach to decision making and her leadership and experience in local government, make her the superior choice for Thurston County commissioner.”

Yelm and vicinity voters will be able to cast their 1st vote for Valenzuela to serve a full, four year term this Autumn.


September 4, 2010

WSDOT: “KNOW BEFORE YOU GO”

From WSDOT during this Labor Day weekend:
…the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has made it even easier for smart-phone users to know before you go. A new mobile application for iPhone and Android keeps real-time traffic conditions always at hand.

We know you cant always be at your computer to check travel conditions, so we are bringing our most popular travel information to your phone, said WSDOTs Jeremy Bertrand. Were offering our most important information that allows travelers to make decisions about when and where to travel, before they go. As always, were reminding motorists to check before they get behind the wheel – dont text and drive.

With the new application, iPhone and Android users will have access to WSDOTs Web-based travel information including:

Ferries schedules, travel alerts and routes
Mountain passes
Seattle traffic cameras
Travel times for Puget Sound highways
Canadian border wait times
WSDOT Blog
Twitter
Flickr photos
To access these apps, just search for WSDOT in the Android Market or in the iTunes App Store.

For those who dont have access to the new mobile application, WSDOTs website provides travelers the information they need at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by calling WSDOTs travel information telephone system at 5-1-1.


September 3, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH TRL DIRECTOR MICHAEL CROSE

Due to the lack of public information coming from Yelm’s City Hall, and downright misinformation promulgated elsewhere from various sources, I scheduled an interview with Timberland Regional Library (TRL) Director Michael Crose to ask him about the facts of the Yelm Timberland Library.

This was a very open, cordial and frank conversation on Thursday morning, September 2nd.

Blogger:
Thank you so much for taking the time to share with me & Yelm Community Blog readers in answering questions to set the record straight on how TRL views the Yelm Library building issue.

First Question:
Friends of the Library spokesperson Cindy Teixeira said in her August 20th letter to the editor of our local newspaper and I quote:
“Timberlands situation with the Yelm library in a rented space is not such a big deal…

In other words, Yelm is not the only exception to their rules: there are so many exceptions the rules are irrelevant. It is time for Timberlands board of directors to scrap a 50-year-old policy that does not apply to todays economic circumstances.”

Crose:
Try telling that to the 19 other Timberland Regional Libraries all located in incorporated cities who have followed the rules. TRL is not in the building business, yet has a 40 year track-record working with a financial structure built around a limited amount of resources.

Ed. Note: Mr. Crose told the Yelm Community Blog last month,
“All TRL libraries in incorporated cities and towns are in public buildings except Montesano (which was donated & that city now owns) & Yelm’s current facility in leased space. Timberland DOES own or lease several buildings in un-incorporated areas of the five-counties we serve (totaling 7 of the 27 libraries) & all but one are very small libraries.”

Blogger:
Has Mrs. Teixeira from “Friends of the Library” contacted you to discuss her stated issues with TRL?

Crose:
No.

Blogger:
On July 30, Nisqually Valley News Editor/Publisher Keven Graves stated in his Op-Ed:
“As it stands, Yelm Timberland Library is refusing to cover any of the costs for leased space in Yelm [after 2011], as it does at the current location at Prairie Park.

That decision by the Timberland board followed some complaints about the Yelm library being located in a privately-owned building rather than a structure owned by the city.”

Crose:
Complaints had nothing to do with the Board’s decision.
The Board has been very specific that the City of Yelm abide by the terms and conditions of the original lease. Yelm having TRL as a partner in a private building’s ten-year lease instead of a public structure is an exception to an exceptional situation.
The TRL Board has made very clear to Yelm they do not want to perpetrate that exception.
Mr. Crose added,
“I posed this very question [Yelm’s request for TRL to continue paying a share of a lease beyond 2011] to the Board in a public meeting and in a very even manner, being careful not to sway the Board in any direction by the way I presented the question.”

Blogger:
Mr. Graves stands by his “complaints” remark.
Has he or anyone from the Nisqually Valley News contacted you to ask for a report on the Yelm Library or to verify his comments?

Crose:
No.

Blogger:
Mayor Harding stated to the Yelm Chamber of Commerce in his State of the City talk February 9th,
“The City of Yelm will support a library here, however not to the size & stature to which the community has grown accustomed with this one in Prairie Park.”
He said, “There needs to be a balance of money expended and for the community to get a good value.”
He later clarified that remark saying that the library should be of a size to serve the city’s population, in his view.
What is TRL’s observation about those remarks?

Crose:
The resources generated from outside Yelm far exceed those from within Yelm.
This is a narrow view by the mayor and those that support that view.

Blogger:
On July 30, Nisqually Valley News Editor/Publisher Keven Graves stated in his Op-Ed:
“Forget the fact that the library had an incredible sweetheart deal, one that most can only envy.”

Would you address Mr. Graves assertion about the library’s “sweetheart deal”.

Crose:
This was no “sweetheart deal” for TRL, I can assure you.
The Library District paid for tenant improvements to Yelm’s Fay Fuller Building totaling $1,056,803.60 to turn the 2nd floor of this building into a library. That’s over one million dollars just to get the doors opened.
While we have not completed 2010 yet, the Library District has expended $983,472.43 in rental lease payments from 2002-2010, which includes partial payments for the calendar year 2010.
The lease for this year is budgeted at $175,000. That’s pushing over one million dollars in lease payments alone for the 9 years 2002-2010, inclusive.
That’s over two million dollars TRL spent for Yelm’s library facility in almost 9 years.
The city’s share of the rent for the period = $281,715.38.
And all of this is for 8,600 square feet of space and for a library housed on a less-than-desirable second floor locale.
No, TRL does not consider this a “sweetheart deal”.

[Ed. Note: Yelm could have had a very nice public building if these lease funds were put as a rent-to-own down-payment on a building they occupied during the same period, as an example.]

Blogger:
Would you address the following rumors circulating about each of the following library locations after 2011?

1. The former Yelm Police Station has been mentioned as a public building option.

Crose:
If this option is chosen by the city, TRL will perform an evaluation to verify if this structure is capable of being a library. The mayor promised significant renovation to this building, if selected.

Blogger:
2. Remaining in Margaret Clapp’s Fay Fuller Building @ Prairie Park with her providing a “sweetheart deal” rental lease, because if the library leaves, her building would be 80% unoccupied. She has incentive for the library to remain.

Crose:
With such a supposed “sweetheart deal” for the library there, a first floor location is preferred.
The Board has already stated TRL would not be participating in a lease, though would provide the books, staff and other library functions.

However, Yelm is the one that is getting a “sweetheart deal”.
Yelm property taxpayers contributed $251,331 in property taxes for the lease period to date.
With $730,157.22 in expenses to run the Yelm library, the “sweetheart deal” equates to almost $500,000 more in services Yelm’s taxpayers get, than what they paid in.
Then the question might be, “Should Yelm residents be allowed to use the resources of TRL’s 27 libraries?”
Of course.
One must take a district-wide perspective regarding taxes generated for the library (regardless of Mr. Harding’s view to keep the library of a size to only serve Yelm residents).

Let’s look at this issue another way:
$6,825,036 was collected in property taxes from all incorporated cities [within a city’s limits] for TRL libraries.
$11.5 million was collected from unincorporated areas [outside a city’s limits].
Total expenditures were $18,318,735
So, one can clearly see that property tax participation from unincorporated areas in the TRL region far exceeded those in the cities.

Blogger:
I have heard from several in the unincorporated library district pose the question that if Yelm chooses to continue a lease payment, then TRL should lower the tax payments of those property owners in the district’s unincorporated area, since Yelm would not receive any rent money from TRL.
Any comment on that?

Crose:
That is an interesting point.
Yelm has stated they may continue to lease space on an interim basis while they locate or arrange purchase of a suitable public building.

Blogger:
Have you heard from the City of Yelm on their intentions?

Crose:
“No. I have sent a request to Mayor Harding asking to be kept in the loop.”

Blogger:
Anything else you would like to share with Yelm Community Blog readers?

Crose:
“We will continue to provide the best possible facility wherever the city provides the building.”

Blogger:
Thank you, Michael.
Regardless of the spin and non-reporting of the information, there are many people out here in the Yelm Library District that appreciate the facts.

Ed Note: Megan Hansen of the Nisqually Valley News is reporting today that Yelm Library Manager Mike Wessells has been transferred to Lacey and Yelm City Council member and longtime TRL employee Mike McGowan is the interim manager while applications are being accepted for the open position.


September 2, 2010

AREA FOLKS STARTING TO SPEAK-OUT – WHEN IT HITS THEIR POCKETBOOK

Comments have been posted to the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) story:
Yelm hikes water hookups 235 percent
saying

1. whatnext wrote on Aug 30, 2010 6:11 AM:

“So tired of Yelm and how it makes it’s residence pick up their slack.
First it was irrigation cutbacks and then fines for going over set water allotments.
In one month Of July our development here in yelm even after changing all the irrigation heads to low flow we used up half our allotment forcing us to shut off the water in fear we would have to pay serious penalties.
I dont think I will be buying my next home in Yelm.
P.S. We need another coffee place in Yelm like we need a mexican restaurant! ”

2. m1987 wrote on Aug 31, 2010 8:12 AM:
” Yelm is getting even more ridiculous than its ever been!”

QUESTION:
Why is a whole new water system being built 2 miles from the current water system and on the backs of Yelm’s water rate payers?

Why was this question NEVER raised in the NVN’s story about the 235% water connection fee increase? Afterall, they have the Water System Plan (WSP) and can see all of these facts for themselves.

Where is the desire to do the right thing on the part of Yelm’s leaders?


September 1, 2010

INTRODUCING BLUE WATERS ACUPUNCTURE CENTER

BLUE WATERS ACUPUNCTURE CENTER

GRAND OPENING – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
2:00 noon to 1:30 pm

“Chinese Medicine includes numerous time tested methods many proven via continuous use for over 1000 years, to help restore balance and harmony to your life. To assist us in enhancing your health and well being and to help you to recover from illness we may recommend Acupuncture, and in addition we may recommend Chinese Herbal Formulas to continue the balancing process after you leave our office. We may also recommend several other forms of therapy to extend your treatment between visits. Come see what this form of alternative medicine can do for you. It is natural, safe, holistic and effective.”

Dr. Michael E. Carruth, MD, LAc told the Yelm Community Blog:

“I am truly excited to be newly opened in Yelm, WA as of May 8th 2010. I have always been a small town type of person and for me Yelm provides just that. I am honored and pleased to be able to serve the citizens of Yelm and of the surrounding communities.
I personally have found Yelm to be a dynamic mix of friendly, open, genuinely caring individuals with a good sense of humor.
For me, Yelm has just the right blend of features I was looking for in locating to a small town. I am also quite aware of the west coasts open mindedness to complimentary and alternative medicine.”

Blue Waters Acupuncture Center
211 Yelm Ave. West, adjacent to Yelm National Auto Parts.
(parking in rear of building)
Yelm, WA 98597
Phone: (360) 790-5625
info@bluewatersacupuncturecenter.com

TELL BLUE WATERS ACUPUNCTURE CENTER YOU READ ABOUT THEM ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG.


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