July 31, 2013

Retail Sales show solid 1st quarter growth

This report was filed by Rolf Boone in The Olympian:
“Thurston County taxable retail sales rose more than 5 percent in the first quarter of the year, the best first-quarter performance by the county in six years and another sign that the local economy continues to improve.

Countywide retail sales rose 5.35 percent, the best first quarter since 2007 when first-quarter retail sales rose 6.9 percent, according to state Department of Revenue data.”

Here are the county and city retail trade results for the year-over-year, first-quarter period:
[which is considered a more accurate reflection of the sales data]

Thurston County: Rose 10.09 percent to $492.1 million from $447 million.

Olympia: Rose 14.6 percent to $231.5 million from $202 million.

Lacey: Rose 8.17 percent to $132.6 million from $122.6 million.

Tumwater: Rose 2.43 percent to $55.3 million from $53.9 million.

Yelm: Rose 6.73 percent to $23.7 million from $22.2 million.

Meanwhile, statewide taxable retail sales rose 8.2 percent to $12 billion in the first quarter.”
Read more

Editor’s note:
While Yelm recorded a respectable increase, the city’s sales continued to lag behind the county’s and state’s figures.

July 30, 2013

J T Wilcox’s Cadillac Ranch affiliation called into question

Representative. J.T. Wilcox

J T Wilcox owes his constituents a statement in response to the details of his personal affiliation with Rainier’s Cadillac Ranch, supported by these facts:

1) J T Wilcox is the Republican State Representative for District 2, which includes Yelm, Rainier, Graham and Eatonville.
Read more

2) In February, 2013, J T Wilcox was one of the sponsors of HB 1632 introduced in the WA State Legislature “regulating the use of off-road vehicles in certain areas,” signed into law on July 3, 2013 by Governor Jay Inslee.
Read more

3) J T Wilcox has an immediate family member named Holly Wilcox.
Read more

4) Holly Wilcox is married to Larry Mahan, both of whom are the owners of the Rainier farm operating as “Cadillac Ranch Motorsports, Inc.”
Read more from Cadillac Ranch Motorsports, Inc.
Read more on this issue the July 28th Yelm Community Blog report.

5) The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 42.52.020 states this about a Conflict of Interest,
Activities incompatible with public duties.
“No state officer or state employee may have an interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in a business or transaction or professional activity, or incur an obligation of any nature, that is in conflict with the proper discharge of the state officer’s or state employee’s official duties.”
Read more

5a) RCW 42.52.070 on Special privileges:
“Except as required to perform duties within the scope of employment, no state officer or state employee may use his or her position to secure special privileges or exemptions for himself or herself, or his or her spouse, child, parents, or other persons.
Read more

6) J T Wilcox is a member of Washington State Legislative Ethics Board.
Read more

7) If you feel there is a Conflict of Interest or an ethics violation about Rep. J T Wilcox, comments on this issue can be sent to the Washington State Legislative Ethics Board, Attn: Mike O’Connell:
Read more

July 29, 2013

“Farmers Market Week offers fresh opportunities”

Ahead of the states Farmers Market Week,
this report was filed in The Bellingham Herald:

“South Sounders have enjoyed such an abundance of top-quality farmers markets for so long that were at risk of taking our situation for granted. The Olympia Farmers Market is not only one of the largest and most successful in the state and regarded by other communities as the crown jewel of the farm-direct marketing system but it has spawned several other successful local markets.

The West Olympia Farmers Market and the Tumwater Town Center Farmers Market have blossomed out of demand created by the Olympia market and by the growing national trends for local food and support for small farmers. Other smaller markets are now occurring in Tenino, Yelm and Lacey.”

Twenty years ago, there were only about 30 farmers markets across the state.”

“The states Farmers Market Week begins next Sunday. On Aug. 6, the state association will stage a chefs demonstration at the West Olympia Farmers Market. Its a good time to check out whats happening in the powerful new local food movement and to support local entrepreneurs.”
Read more

– “Farmers Market Week 2013”

“Join Washington State Farmers Market Association (WSFMA) in celebrating the peak seasonal bounty at Washingtons farmers markets during Farmers Market Week, August 4-10, 2013. Showcase the many ways your market enhances your community with farm fresh samples, cooking demos and recipes, giveaways, contests or games, special events around incentive programs, market tours for local and visiting politicians and dignitaries and stories from local agricultural heroes.”
Read more from Washington State Farmers Market Association.

July 28, 2013

“Farm family, neighbors at odds over motocross track”

Photo credit: Suzuki Motocross

Chelsea Krotzer filed this report in The Olympian:
“Owners say track offers family fun and might save farm; others dislike the noise”

“A longtime Thurston County family says a motocross track on their property is their last chance to save their farm but neighbors are objecting to the noise and disruption a commercial track would generate.”
Read more

The Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group (RVNG) opposing the track was covered here July 24, 2013.
Read more

– Public Hearing tomorrow
The public hearing about the motocross track will occur at 10 a.m. Monday, July 29 at the Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia. Proponents and opponents will each have an opportunity to speak. The final decision will be made by the county hearing examiner.

Whatever the decision, there will be an appeal process.

July 27, 2013

Introducing Bigfoot Heating and Air Conditioning

About Us

Our company is based on the belief that our customers’ needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals.
We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry.

14510 123rd Ave SE
Yelm, WA 98597-9553

Mon – Fri: 8AM – 5PM
Sat: Emergency Service
Sun: Emergency Service
Phone: 360-458-FOOT (3668)

We are a family owned and operated business with over 40+ years experience. Our services are residential heating, air conditioning, indoor air quality, tankless water heaters, ductless split heat pumps, generators, solar heating and cooling.

We also provide sales, service and installation for Commercial heating, cooling, tankless water heaters, restaurant and market refrigeration equipment.
Read more

July 26, 2013

“‘I risked my life, for what?’:”
Iraq War veterans on country’s slide into civil war

This report was filed by Bill Briggs, NBC News contributor and echoes the same question so many of our area’s military families are asking:

“As they watch Iraqs mounting body count and potential slide into civil war, some Iraq War veterans are more intensely questioning why they went, what it all meant, and whether the deaths of 4,486 U.S. troops on that foreign soil were worth the permanent cost.

Others are concerned about the impact that Iraqs summer unraveling may have on the morale of active-duty troops who once fought there and who now are trying to finish the equally grinding mission in Afghanistan.

And 10 years after the Iraq invasion, the deployment and re-deployments of 1.5 million Americans, the subsequent execution of ex-leader Saddam Hussein, the rise of new acronyms like IED and PTSD, and a jarring suicide epidemic, a portion of former Iraq War troops say the mental-health struggles faced by so many younger veterans may consequently deepen.”
Read more

July 25, 2013

Thurston County Fair July 31-August 4

Mark your calendars for the Thurston County Fair July 31 – August 4.

Thurston County Fair
3054 Carpenter Road
Lacey, WA 98503

Click here for events and daily information.

July 24, 2013

Thurston County unemployment still high

From the Business Exmainer:
“The most recent data from the regional Employment Security Department indicates that South Sound economies are still tracking flat.

While King County, including Seattle and Bellevue, had the lowest jobless rate of 5.2 percent, Pierce County’s rate hovered at 8.5 percent, and Thurston County’s rose four points from 7.1 percent to 7.5 percent between May and June.

Department economist Jim Vleming explained that, for Thurston County alone, only 200 jobs were created. Half were in the construction sector and half were in manufacturing, but it was still 33 percent fewer than were created during the same period last year.”
Read more

Editor’s Note:
This will further be impacted by the Sequestrations cuts tricking-down from JBLM in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2013.

July 24, 2013

Rainier group opposes off-road racing track

The following is from the Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group (RVNG) – July 20, 2013 UPDATE ON CADILLAC RANCH MOTOCROSS TRACK

RVNG was formed to oppose the intrusion of this off-road racing facility into rural Thurston County.

Continual Noise! Noise! Noise!

Environmental impact air emissions, fuel leaks into water supply, wildlife
Safety – Increased Traffic on narrow rural roads, rowdiness with little law enforcement
Decreased quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods
Decreased property values
Adverse impact on land use character, wildlife, air, water and traffic

The Mahan family has proposed a motocross track to be located on their farm at 12307 Vail Cut Off Rd SE, in Rainier, WA. This area of Rainier is zoned Rural Residential Resource (RRR 1/5). The track would have parking for 97 vehicles, a 12,000 square foot day lodge, restrooms and overnight parking for RVs as well as music and entertainment. They are requesting a Special Use Permit for a full Motocross Park to allow the following:

Open year round
Track running 4 days/week from 8:am to 7:30pm, mostly weekends
Up to 50 motocross bikes at a time running on the track
Includes Mud Drags, Rally Cars, Tuff Truck
Weekly practice sessions for races and tournaments

Thurston County has approved the environmental part of the Cadillac Ranch proposal. In other words, the county has determined that the track will not have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhood or Deschutes River as long as the noise, the dust, the traffic, the fuel leaks and so on are all mitigated as promised by Cadillac Ranch.

Self-monitoring by Cadillac Ranch is unacceptable
Sparse law enforcement oversight, due to limited county budget
RVNG appealed the environmental approvals and hired attorneys
Public Hearing is set for Monday, July 29th at 10:00am at the Thurston County Courthouse, Building #1.
Thurston County is recommending Denial of the Special Use Permit partly because the track would cause an undue adverse effect on adjacent properties and neighborhood character.
If approved this could alter the rural nature of our area forever

1) Attend the Public Hearing on July 29th, at 10:00 am:
Thurston County Courthouse, Bldg 1
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502.
The hearing starts at 10:00 a.m. and you are allowed to speak for 3 minutes. We hope you will choose to state your opposition to the Cadillac Ranch Motocross Track. If you dont feel comfortable speaking at the hearing, you can submit a written statement to smithr@co.thurston.wa.us . Your presence is powerful.

Read more to become informed on what you can do.

Take a look at what they are planning on their website: http://www.cadillacranchmotorsports.com/Barrel_Racing_Rainier_WA_.html

Take another look: http://www.cadillacranchmotorsports.com/Photos.html

See the dissension in other communities after motocross tracks are approved: http://oregonfirst.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/history-of-mx-tracks-pitting-neighbors-against-neighbors/

See a video taken at Cadillac Ranch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po7sQYQHwFMurston County.

Read more from the Thurston County Appeal of An Adminstrative (sic) Decision.

July 23, 2013

Why a vote for Auditor candidate Mary Hall is important

Mary Hall will bring local experience to the Thurston County Auditor’s office. Her resume is unmatched by her opponent, a candidate who currently “double dips” receiving two public salaries at the tax payers expense, along with his appointed Deputy Auditor, who also receives two pay checks at the public trough.

Mary Hall is a resident of Thurston County for over 14 years and brings to this office:
– 16 years election administrative experience in the Pierce County Auditor’s office.
– Proven leadership.
– Award winning innovation.
– Ability to bring divisions together to create efficiencies.
– Collaborative and innovative problem solving.

Mary Hall’s Plan for this office is well-established and indicative of her leadership style:
Click here

You are invited to meet Thurston County Auditor candidate Mary Hall, Democrat:

WHEN: Thursday, July 25th at 7 pm.

WHERE: Micheline’s Store, Route 507 in Rainier (bright green bldg)

Please join us to support this very qualified and outstanding woman, who will make a difference for all of Thurston County!


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