November 30, 2011


“Unemployment rates were higher throughout the South Sound during October, according to the latest numbers released by the state Employment Security Department.”

“Thurston County’s unemployment rate was 7.8 percent last month, up from 7.7 percent during September and 7.4 percent a year earlier.”

“The state and national unemployment rate were both 9 percent last month,” quoting the Pierce County Business Examiner.

November 30, 2011


1. Saturday December 3, from 9am-12pm
We’d love for you to join us on as we work to restore the Nisqually River!

We will spend a few hours preparing the site for future tree planting by removing trash and invasive plants. Come out and have a great time, while improving wildlife habitat and water quality in the Nisqually River!

Read more and register here.

2. Thursday, December 8, from 10am-1pm
Come join the Nisqually Land Trust for a few hours of restoration work at beautiful Hogum Bay!

We will be cutting ivy from trees and pulling it from the ground to allow native plants the opportunity to thrive. Come help us preserve and enhance the natural beauty of this site.

Read more and register here.


We’ve gone social! ‘Like’ our Facebook Page and join in the conversation to get up-to-date information on Nisqually Land Trust news and events.
Link to Facebook Page

November 29, 2011


From The Olympian:
“Lacey City Councilman Rob Lawson will host a town hall meeting at noon, Dec. 5 at the Mayan, 4520 Pacific Ave.

Ed. Note:
Imagine that! A city’s councilman is holding a Town Hall.
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding has drawn a line in the sand and will not hold a Yelm Town Hall while he is in office, yet our County Commissioner and Legislature Reps. hold regular public forums here.
Would any Yelm councilmen dare hold a Yelm Town Hall?

November 29, 2011


From KOMO-TV 4 in Seattle:
“Thurston County law enforcement plans increased patrols this holiday season to crack down on impaired drivers.

All city, county, and Washington State Patrol law enforcement will participate in DUI patrols from Nov. 24 through Jan. 2 in an effort to prevent serious injuries and fatalities, according to the Target Zero Thurston Task Force.”

“The task force includes the WSP, Thurston County Sheriffs Office, Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Tenino, Yelm, Chehalis and Nisqually Tribes police departments.”

November 28, 2011

THIS WEEK: Yelm Property Taxes


On Tuesday, November 22, the Yelm City Council conducted a Public Hearing on setting an Ad Valorem Tax, an annual tax levy Yelm’s City Council assesses their property owners. The city council has chosen to vote for raising the tax every year since Washington State passed the initiative allowing cities with less than 10,000 people to annually increase the levy by 1%, all without a public vote.

There was NO comment from any citizen during the Public Hearing, as expected!

The Staff Report presented to council stated the assessed tax revenue of the city decreased by $33 million from last year. The 2011 levy rate was $1.74312 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation ($436 on a $250,000 valued home). However, as Mayor Harding stated, normally the city would have added a proposed 1% for 2012 as described by law, however the council was told they have reached their statutory taxing limit and therefore the rate will remain the same as last year = $1.74312 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.

With the levy rate remaining the same, plus the decline in city property valuations, the decrease in levy tax revenue to the city will be from $1.12 million in 2011 to $1.06 million in 2012, a $52,000 drop.

Read more of the Staff Report for the AD VALOREM TAX”.

To his credit, Mayor Pro-tem Bob Isom outlined the following burdens imposed on Yelm tax payers:
– proposed 1/2 of 1 percent state sales tax
– Yelm’s annual 1% Ad Volarem tax has been imposed by the city every year since the state’s initiative passed
– additional hardships our fellow citizens are shouldering in these challenging economic times.

Isom asked the effect of REDUCING the tax rate by 1%, which he was told would equal about a $12,000 difference, thus not having a significant effect to the city’s budget. Council member McGowan asked if the city council would be able to re-impose the 1% tax rate next year and he was told by staff, yes.

Therefore, Isom moved to adopt Ordinance 948 (Ad Valorem tax) amending the levy rate to be reduced by 1%, which passed.

The City’s 2012 Budget:
The Mayor then opened a 2012 Yelm Budget Public Hearing with slides presented by City Administrator Shelly Badger, a budget of “just under $5.9 million.”

As per usual, there was no comment from the public during the 2012 Budget Public Hearing.

The staff said the budget slides presented to the council WOULD be made available on the city’s website for the public’s benefit prior to the next Budget Public Hearing, which will continue Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 6pm before the Yelm City Council.

The City of Yelm 2012 Budget will be covered here, in depth in a future report, December 12th.

Council member Baker was absent:

Best wishes to Council member Joe Baker, who was recently hospitalized and has reportedly been released to his home for recovery!

In closing:
Keven Graves is quoted from his November 25, 2005 editorial in the local newspaper:
“We (he & then Mayor-elect Harding) agree that a transparent government is better government.”

While Isom’s points about the burdens placed on citizens was noted, Mike McGowan made a statement that the effects of lowering the levy tax rate by 1% amounts to reducing the bill for Yelm property tax payers only by $5 per year on a $250,000 home. McGowan noted the 1% drop in the levy rate is a statement “of what good government can do.”

Ed. Note:
– Still, the City of Yelm had reached their statutory taxing limit prior to last week’s session and could NOT raise their levy amount any further. They tax and add fees to their taxpayers at every turn. The city council will get an article in the newspaper this week that they lowered the tax levy rate next year after giving “high-fives” to each other, however nothing will be noted that the $5 savings for a quarter of a million dollar home will be more than made up with another annual water rate increase.
And, Yelm taxpayers still do not know what their burden will be to fund a $1 million library facility, for which the mayor previously said the city could only afford spending $600,000.

– While I applaud council members for asking questions, some council members’ inquiries/comments to staff indicated a complete lack of understanding of the taxing process which they voted for their own citizens.
This was after Council member McGowan acknowledged the city council and staff have been working for weeks on this prior to the session’s vote. If that be the case, the questions put forth publicly and AFTER all of the previous meetings behind the scenes demonstrated several council members’ ignorance, which is frightening!

– An unaware and uninvolved public are Yelm City Council’s greatest allies in carrying forth their agenda. Lack of public participation at these 2 Public Hearings underscores this as fact!

November 27, 2011


Freshman Dylan Hyder from Yelm, WA
Photo credit: Air Force Falcons

From the Air Force Falcons, the official site of the U. S. Air Force Academy Athletics:

“Led by individual titles from juniors Cole VonOhlen (Jackson, Minn.) and Jared Erickson (Newton, Utah) and freshman Dylan Hyder (Yelm, Wash.), the Air Force wrestling team wrapped up competition at the UNK Holiday Inn Open on Saturday [Nov. 18]. The Falcons finished with 12 placewinners, including nine in the Elite Division.”

“Meanwhile, Hyder compiled a 5-0 record at 133 pounds in the Amateur Division. In his first four matches, Hyder notched a pair of falls, a technical fall and a major decision to earn his spot in the championship bout. Hyder then scored a 4-1 decision over Fort Hays State’s Symon Seaton to win his first collegiate title.”


November 26, 2011


Craig Sailor filed this November 23rd report in The Olympian:
“Shop local, were told. But are the food products were buying at local stores actually made here? Aside from coffee roasters, bakeries and farmers, the answer is mostly no.

However, the number of locally made food items is slowly growing. Mom and Pop or just one-person operations have been starting up all over the South Sound in recent years. Many of these entrepreneurs are often driven by more than just profit motive. Theres a high value put on health and social responsibility.

The Olympian tracked down 10 local companies that are making everything from sauerkraut to cereal. In order to be included, each product had to be made in the South Sound and sold in multiple locations, not including farmers markets.

Read more including an abbreviated list of companies.

November 26, 2011


Excerpted from John Gillie’s report in The Olympian:
“A Tenino dairys raw milk products are being recalled because they may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause severe intestinal distress.

The Cozy Vale Creamerys whole and skim milk and cream are distributed through seven retail outlets in Pierce, Thurston and King counties.

The products being recalled all have sell-by dates of Dec. 6 or earlier. The company advised buyers to return the suspect milk products to the retailer where they bought it for a refund.

The recall was begun after Washington State Department of Agriculture environmental swabbing at the facility discovered that locations in the milking parlor and processing areas were contaminated with toxin-producing E. coli bacteria. Cozy Vale and Agriculture Department officials are continuing their investigation into the source of the problem. Three illnesses have been reported in Cozy milk customers since August.”

“Recalled raw milk products were sold from the on-farm store at 7018 Churchill Road in Tenino and from the following locations:

Marlenes Market, 2951 S. 38th St., Tacoma; Olympia Food Co-op, 3111 Pacific Ave., Olympia; Olympia Food Co-op, 921 Rogers, Olympia; Olympia Local Foods, 2442 Mottman Road S.W., Tumwater; Yelm Co-op, 404 1st St., Yelm; Mt. Community Co-op, 105 Carter St., Eatonville, and Marlenes Market, 2565 S. Gateway Center Place, Federal Way.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 360-264-4663.”

Meet the gang at Cozy Valley Farm, Tenino
Copyright 2011 Cozy Valley Farm. Used with permission.

From Cozy Valley Farm’s website:

“Cozy Valley Farm is located on 76 acres in the hills of Tenino, WA. We are a licensed Grade A Raw Milk Dairy. At our micro dairy, we milk several different breeds of milk cows that we find are more suitable to thriving on grass pastures. Jersey’s, Milking Shorthorns, Ayrshire’s & Brown Swiss cows graze lush pastures all year long .

Whole Raw Milk that is not homogenized or pasteurized has many heath benefits that are now being recognized. Cream waits to be skimmed from the top, children love this milk, and grandparents remember the fresh tasting milk from their childhood. Our cows are fed mainly pasture & grass hay grown on our own fields. We follow all natural practices with our animals and do not feed antibiotics or hormones.”

Ed. Note:
Cozy Valley Farms raw milk was in my refrigerator at the time of this announcement, I have been a satisfied customer for years and I know that owner Laurie Barta will get this issue resolved and her customers will soon be enjoying her happy cows’ milk products. I have been to Cozy Valley Farm for a tour and have complete trust in their operation!

November 25, 2011


Read more of all of the items on-sale right here locally.

The Weekly Volcano had this comment earlier this week about Yelm’s JZ Rose.
“I think it’ll look fab on her [Joyful Maria Halter Apron]. The apron will score me brownie points, and hopefully some brownies, too.
If you want in on this, JZ Rose in Yelm carries it. And while you’re there, grab a classic Christmas decoration or two.”

Follow JZ Rose on Twitter or Facebook.
Be sure to see the photos of Linda Evans sharing with our community at the JZ-Rose book signing on Facebook. Click here

JZ Rose – For All Things Beautiful
207 1ST Street South
Yelm, WA 98597
Phone: (360) 458-4618

November 24, 2011


Photo courtesy Victoria Harper Parsonson,
taken November 24, 2010 from the Bald Hill Rd area

We have so much in our midst for which to be thankful.

THANKSGIVING DAY has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863 & became a federal holiday in 1941.
President Lincoln issued this proclamation which set the precedent for America’s national day of Thanksgiving on October 3rd, 1863:

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

“Giving Thanks for the Occupation, Election, Demonstrations”
By Leo Gerard, Campaign for America’s Future | Op-Ed
Read more


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