April 24, 2015

Home & Garden Show opens tomorrow


Click here for the schedule.

April 23, 2015

From “Feeding America” – Stats for Food Insecure Thurston County

– From Feeding America:
“What is food insecurity and what does it look like in America?”
“Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.

Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.”

“The [links] below reflect 2009 – 2013 data, and will be updated every year with new data. Select a year and your state in our interactive map below and start learning more about the residents struggling with hunger in your community and the food banks that serve them.”
Read more

Click here for Thurston County map and information.

– From Green is Universal #nofoodnowaste:
“This Earth Week, NBCUniversal wants you to help reduce food waste.
Plan meals ahead, purchase wisely and store groceries properly for optimum shelf life. These small actions can make a big difference.”

“The average person wastes 240 pounds of food each year — roughly the same weight as a refrigerator!”
Read more

April 22, 2015

Gov. Inslee’s Earth Day address calls for Legislative action

Gov. Jay Inslee

– “In Earth Day address, Inslee calls for Legislative action”
“In a brief Earth Day address delivered from the state Capitol grounds, Gov. Jay Inslee said the Legislature’s impending special session should be used to advance an environment-friendly agenda.

On Wednesday, Inslee said the extended lawmaking session needs to result in new laws on carbon pollution, oil-train safety and toxic pollutants that show up in the state’s fish,” quoting the Associated Press and KING 5 News.
Read more

Editor’s note:
BRAVO to Gov. Inslee’s leadership on so many vital issues.

April 22, 2015

4-H Clover Campaign Starts Today

“4-H Clover Campaign Starts Apr. 22”
“Get your $1 paper clover at Del’s Feed and Farm Supply stores in Yelm and Olympia to support Thurston County 4-H youth and programs!
The Spring Paper Clover Fundraiser runs Apr. 22 through May 3.”
Click here: More details on the 4-H Spring Paper Clover campaign
Click here: Thurston County WSU Extension 4-H program
Read more from Thurston County.

April 22, 2015

Earth Day 2015

Source: Earth Day Network

– “It’s Earth Day!”
“Our planet is at a turning point. The massive global migration underway now from countryside to cities will demand huge investments in energy, water, materials, waste, food distribution, and transportation over the next 25 years. If the right investments are made now, this unique opportunity will be the catalyst for dramatic changes in the built environment and the fight against carbon emissions and climate change,” quoting the Earth Day Network.
Read more

– Yelm has no Earth Day events, an annual tradition here.
And Yelm is one of the few jurisdictions with no plastic bag ordinance.
Yet, Yelm’s 19th annual Arbor Day celebration is Friday at 11am.
Perhaps Arbor Day here could be combined to recognizing Earth Day?
Click here for other Washington State Earth Day events.

– This may be of interest for a visit on a gorgeous day today:

“Completed restoration makes Woodard Bay a must-see location in the South Sound”
By Jeffrey P. Mayor, The Olympian.
Read more

– Congressman Denny Heck
Wishing the entire 10th Congressional District of the beautiful Washington state a very happy Earth Day.
Click here for the video.

– UPDATE: April 24, 2015
“Farm to Fork — Honor Earth Day With Smart Choices”
By Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero
Read more

April 21, 2015

Thurston Regional Planning Council’s new web site!

– The Thurston Regional Planning Council has a new web site!
Click here to check it out.

– About the Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC):
“As a regional council of governments in Thurston County, Washington, Thurston Regional Planning Council helps make the region an extraordinary place to live, work and play. Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) fosters the region’s livability through collaborative, informed planning. It carries out regionally focused plans and studies on topics such as transportation, growth management, and environmental quality. Decision-makers from 21 jurisdictions and organizations in Thurston County make up the council, which meets monthly to address challenges related to the region’s growth.

TRPC also provides information and education regarding the region and its emerging planning issues. Regional statistics, trends, analyses, and maps provide a basis for planning and decision-making on both the regional and local levels. A variety of council-sponsored community forums relating to regional planning help to educate and promote public participation and dialogue,” quoting TRPC.
Read more

– The City of Yelm is represented by Mayor Pro-tem Bob Isom.
Read more

April 20, 2015

Yelm’s Arbor Day Celebration this Friday, 11AM

Credit: Arbor Day Foundation

Yelm’s Arbor Day Celebration
Friday, April 24th, 11 AM
Yelm City Park

From the City of Yelm:

“The City of Yelm has been recognized by the Washington Department of Natural Resources and the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City since 1997. To achieve the recognition, four standards must be met each year, one of which is a proclamation and observation of Arbor Day.

Yelm’s Arbor Day is organized by the Tree Advisory Board, representing civic leaders, educators, and private citizens.
The Arbor Day celebration is an event involves presenting Yelm’s sister city, Lacey, a tree, recognizing local students talents, and local school bands and choirs. Yelm’s Arbor day is one of the largest in the State and is held the last friday (sic) in April at Yelm City Park.”
Read more

April 19, 2015

Chamber’s Casey Cochrane featured in The Olympian

“New Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Casey Cochrane oversees one of the most rapidly expanding business communities in the county.”
Photo credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian Staff Photographer

“Five questions for Casey Cochrane, Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce executive director”

By Rolf Boone, The Olympian:
“You might say that Casey Cochrane, the new executive director of the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce, was meant for the job. After all, he spent 13 years at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, then moved on to spend 11 years with Puget Sound Energy in Thurston County, followed by a short stint at SCJ Alliance, a Lacey-based planning, design and engineering business.”

“The Olympian sat down with Cochrane, 49, to ask him five questions about his time at the chamber so far.”

Q: What was job No. 1 when you started in December?

Q: What do chamber members want?

Q: If I joined the chamber, what would I get in return?

Q: Where would you like to be a year from now?

Q: What does Yelm need in terms of a new business or service?
Read more

April 19, 2015

County’s new approach to promoting agricultural and environmental stewardship

From Thurston County:
Thurston County’s Long Range Planning division is working on a new collaborative approach to promoting agricultural and environmental stewardship.


The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) is an alternative approach for counties to protect and enhance BOTH critical areas and agriculture.

Instead of enacting further critical areas regulation for agricultural activities, the VSP allows the county to work closely with participants to develop voluntary, site-specific stewardship plans.

Thurston County conferred with tribes and stakeholders before designating the VSP Work Group to develop the Work Plan in the beginning of 2014.


The VSP Work Group includes a broad representation from agricultural, tribes, and environmental groups. The VSP Work Plan is in progress. We are:

Identifying where agricultural activities and critical areas overlap
Establishing baseline conditions using existing data
Developing practical metrics to measure progress
Planning for outreach and participation necessary to meet the protection and enhancement goals


Define what it actually means to protect and enhance the long-term viability of agriculture in Thurston County.
Determine how to move forward with the limited data available.
Find funding to implement the work plan, including outreach and monitoring, and for Thurston Conservation District to provide technical assistance to agricultural operators for the development of site-specific stewardship plans.
Submit the proposed Work Plan to the Washington State Conservation Commission (anticipated to be by the end of 2015).


Individuals from the agricultural community
Washington State Conservation Commission
Washington State Department of Ecology
Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
Washington State University Extension
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Center for Natural Lands Management
Washington State Farm Bureau
Washington State Association of Counties
Thurston County
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Thurston Conservation District
Thurston Regional Planning Council
The Chehalis Tribe
Other stakeholders
Read more

April 18, 2015

“Public Service Matters” Event today in Yelm

– “Help deliver message Saturday that ‘Public Service Matters’”
“Our friends, neighbors, family members — and customers — who work for the largest employer in the state haven’t had a general wage increase in seven years. That’s bad for their families and bad for the economy.”

“Public Service Matters events are planned this Saturday, April 18 in locations across the state. These events in six cities will focus on the value of the work that state employees do and the positive economic impact that public employees and their families have in our communities. Follow the action: #PublicServiceMatters.”

“TAKE A STAND! All union members and community supporters are urged to attend the following Public Service Matters events this Saturday, April 18 from 11 a.m. to noon.”

“YELM — Yelm Middle School, 402 W. Yelm Ave,” quoting The Stand.
Read more

– “#PublicServiceMatters in Yelm”
From Teamsters local 117.
Read more

– “#PublicServiceMatters YELM”
From Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).
Read more

– “Locations for Public Service Matters Rallies This Saturday”
From the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.
Read more


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