February 21, 2015

Introducing Classic Copy – Heidi Smith

Heidi Smith

This Pens for Hire:
Smith Launches Writing Service for Businesses

Running a business is a full-time job, one that often leaves no time or energy for one critical activity: communicating regularly with the people who support you. Thats a niche local writer Heidi Smith intends to fill with her new venture Classy Copy. Basically, I write for people who dont have time to write for themselves, she explains. A lot of businesses, especially smaller ones, dont have big marketing teams or designated communication managers so communication tends to fall through the cracks, but its a hugely important factor in creating success.

Classy Copy offers two main services: weekly, bi-weekly or monthly blog posts, and website content pages. Im keeping it simple, says Smith. My real passion is for finding the most relevant and engaging aspects of an organization and telling that story. In the process, she finds that owners and directors often become re-ignited by whatever motivated them to get involved in the first place. When youre working really hard, its easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees, she says. Part of what I do is help people remember what inspires them, because that in turn makes a great story and inspires their base of support, whether its clients or donors in the case of non-profits.

To learn more, visit www.classycopy.com or contact Heidi at heidi@classycopy.com.

February 20, 2015

Climate change affecting the Pacific Northwest

Editor’s note:
While the focus of the nation is now on the eastern half of the U. S. under all-time record cold, snow & ice figures, the mild, record-breaking warmth of the Pacific Northwest this winter has created another issue – water! With Mt. Rainer’s snow pack only 39% of normal (melting run-off fills reservoirs that serve cities during the dry summers), Seattle and other jurisdictions are warning of water shortages this summer. This story by Dahr Jamail in Truthout graphically illustrates the deteriorating affects of climate change in our region:

“Species Extinctions, Human Chronic Disease on the Rise, as Climate Disruption Mounts”

I’m graced to live adjacent to Olympic National Park and have it as my backyard sanctuary.

Recently, I hiked up to an alpine lake at 5,000 feet, where my friend John and I pitched camp and settled in to climb a nearby peak. The clear, rarified air wafting through sub-alpine fir expands the soul, not to mention the power of the incredible mountain views.

But the trip, fantastic weather and summit aside, had a bittersweet edge to it.

To see more stories like this, visit “Planet or Profit?”

We are at high latitude in upper Washington State, relative to the rest of the contiguous 48 states. The trip was in late January, and on the climb we were well over one mile above sea level, but we never saw the temperature drop below freezing, even at night. Large areas of our route up the peak found us slogging up scree slopes bare of snow, when normally the basin we were in would have required the use of avalanche transceivers and other precautions for traveling in heavy snow on steep slopes.”
Read more

February 20, 2015

Commissioner Romero’s Coffee Mon., Feb. 23 –

February 19, 2015

“Survey: Thurston businesses split on plastic bag ban”

“Six months into Thurston County’s plastic ban, things are looking a little less, well, plastic-y.

Approximately 3 percent of residents reported carrying out their purchases in single-use plastic bags, according to a survey conducted by the Thurston County Solid Waste Division. Before the ban, that number was 63 percent. Use of reusable bags has gone from 20 percent to 53 percent.

Forty-six percent of residents and 51 percent of businesses that took the survey feel that the ban should be kept in place or expanded to other jurisdictions,” quoting the Business Examiner.
Read more

Click here for the Thurston County Plastic Ban Ordinance – Six month post-implementation report and survey results.

February 19, 2015

Mayor’s Beautification Committee to meet soon

Mayor Ron Harding

Mayor Ron Harding told the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Forum luncheon last week that the first meeting of the Mayor’s new Beautification Committee is set soon. I asked the mayor about his group, to share with Yelm Committee Blog readers:

– Who is on the Committee?
“I do not have specific names with me plus I haven’t been able to contact all who originally applied so I would only have a partial list. I will get these names to you as soon as I have contacted those folks who are willing to participate.
I can tell you I have two to three people from the downtown business association, a couple from the chamber board, a couple of local business owners, a couple of residents and a couple of City staff.”

– How were they selected?
“This is an advisory committee to the Mayor. It has no authority other then (sic) to work on ideas to better our community. Similar to the chamber committee we served on together years ago. The difference is I am leading and organizing this effort to provide coordination with the city council.”

– How many positions are allotted?
“I had no specific number. I started by asking volunteers to fill out applications. I only received 4-5. I felt it needed to be a little larger committee so I started to ask individuals.
I think I have about 10 volunteers. I do not want the group to be too large but would not be opposed to a couple more people.”

– Are all the positions filled?
“No set amount but I would like to get a good workable group.”

– What is the criteria to be on the Committee?
“No criteria other than I wanted to find people who did not have specific projects that they wanted pushed forward. I am looking for folks who can brain storm from scratch because I felt like we need new creativity. I just want volunteers who will be open to all the ideas and work together to get the best results.
My plan is to keep our core group very high level and then bring in subject matter experts to provide insight into those areas.”

Thank you Mr, Harding for providing Yelm Community Blog readers information on questions they had.

February 19, 2015

“Keeping Thurston County safe is all in a days work”

Dr. Rachel C. Wood, Health Officer for Thurston and Lewis counties, penned this report for The Olympian earlier this month:

“You may not know it, but there are public health people, my people, out there every day working to protect you and your family from harm. Our work is to protect you and the rest of the community from infectious diseases that can make you miserable at best, or threaten your life at worst.”

“Heres what you can do to stay healthy.

Eat well, and balance work, play and rest.

Wash your hands and cover your cough.”
Read more

February 18, 2015

Shell Oil quietly bases Arctic ops in Seattle

Photo credit: Shutterstock

– “Port of Seattle quietly signs homeport lease for Shells Arctic drilling fleet”
“The Port of Seattle has quietly inked a two-year lease under which Shell Oil will use Terminal 5 on the Seattle waterfront as the base for its efforts to drill in Arctic waters of Alaskas Chukchi Sea.

With rapid authorization, negotiation and signing of the lease reminiscent of how decisions on the waterfront used to be greased the port has secured a $13.17 million deal and forestalled efforts by the regions environmental groups to stop it,” by By Joel Connelly, Seattle P-I.
Read more

– “Watch out, Arctic: Shell is coming for you again”
“Even as Shell is talking a good talk about climate change, it is pushing ahead with plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic as early as this summer. The company suspended operations there in 2012 after a series of minor disasters. Its contractor was hit with eight felony counts and fined $12 million late last year.

But now Shell is moving forward again, with what looks like a newly reaffirmed go-ahead from the Department of the Interior (DOI). One clear sign of its intent: The company has leased a port on the Seattle waterfront where it can base its Arctic operations,” by John Light, Grist.
Read more

– UPDATE: February 25, 2015
“Why the Environmental Battle at the Port of Seattle Matters Everywhere”
By Emily Johnston, Truthout.
Read more

February 18, 2015

Yelm Police Officer Joel Turner on KING-5

From KING-5 TV News (NBC) in Seattle:
“Tumwater police officer John Kenderesi can relate to sniper Chris Kyle, the Navy Seal featured in the Oscar-nominated ‘American Sniper’ film.

Kenderesi was in the Army for eight years and now works as a marksman for the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.”

“He credits his trainer, Yelm Police Officer Joel Turner, for keeping the snipers prepared.

‘We’re out there making tough decisions’ said Turner, ‘We train for that.’

Turner also has not had to shoot at anyone while on the SWAT team or while on patrol in Yelm.

He said it takes more than being a good shot to be a sniper.

Turner said the physical action of pulling the trigger is only about 10 percent of the job.

‘It’s mostly mental,’ said Turner who makes sure all of the snipers on the SWAT team learn how to control their emotions, focus when the adrenaline is flowing and are familiar with the law.

‘If you don’t know the law then you’re just dealing with emotions,’ said Turner.”
Read more and click here for the video

February 18, 2015

“Garden to Gourmet … Wow Factor to Yelm Dining”

From Thurston Talk:
“Since opening at the end of 2014, the restaurant has been rapidly transitioning from Yelms best kept secret to a destination spot for both former urbanites longing for a touch of fine dining and locals who care about where their meals come from. Leblanc believes that the wow factor is an appreciation of three characteristics rarely found in small rural town eateries: transparency, artistry and an emphasis on fresh, local food,” quoting Thurston Talk.
Read more

Editor’s note:
I have been to this restaurant many times for breakfast and lunch and walk away with the “Wow!” factor every time. Not only is each item artfully prepared and presented, the flavors, creativity and portions are equally laudable. I take home leftovers from each meal for a delightful repast later. They also provide excellent take-out service of every menu item.

And yet, my wife & I along with another guest had an ultimate Valentine’s Special Dinner last Saturday night. Chef Daniel Juarez welcomed us at our table, providing his evening creation, along with the regular menu items. We all ordered the Dinner Special, which was a cooked-to-perfection Filet Mignon, Parmesan infused mashed potatoes topped with poached asparagus in butter and garlic, and a complimentary gravy/sauce, all preceded by a local mixed green salad with a zesty homemade dressing. Dessert was included – yummy chocolate covered strawberries. I also ordered their delicious espresso, which owner Leblanc delivered to our table, thanking us for our patronage. The restaurant had pre-booked reservations for almost every table.

Mr. Leblanc mentioned that a couple was driving from Portland to Seattle and wanted a good organic lunch as they were passing Olympia. Social media directed them to this restaurant, and they said driving 16 miles off I-5 was well worth the time and they would stop here again! An outstanding addition and edition to the Yelm dinging scene – offering a different and unique menu!

Gourmet to Gourmet proudly uses locally sourced meats including:
Ham from Stewart’s Meats in Yelm,
Grass fed beef from Heritage Meats in Rochester,
Chicken from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia.

– Update: April 8, 2015
Patrick LeBlanc was interviewed on the “Dine Northwest” radio broadcast of the Washington Restaurant Assn. on April 8, 2015.
Click here to listen to the podcast.

Garden to Gourmet Cafe
Patrick LeBlanc, owner/manager
9144 Burnett Rd SE #A-101 (Burnett Center)
Yelm, WA 98597
Phone: (360) 960-8220
Website: gardentogourmet.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromGardenToGourmet/
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. 9:00 p.m.
Sunday from 9:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m.
Closed on Tuesday
Now listed on Yelm.com.


February 17, 2015

High temperature today tied record for any Feb.17

Olympia Regional Airport, closest official weather service station to Yelm (16 miles), tied the former 2007 high temperature record for any February 17th. Today’s high was 62 (16.7 C).
Click here