May 26, 2015

WA Supreme Court hears Sara Foster’s Yelm water case

The Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Thursday, May 21st in the case of:
Sara Foster v. WA State Department of Ecology, et al.
(May the Dept of Ecology approve a water permit that impacts minimum water levels?)

Click here for the 55 minute hearing is available from TVW, Olympia.

The gentleman in the blue shirt walking around in the background with a camera is Steven Wyble from the Nisqually Valley News. Foster is the lady sitting at the desk in pink. Based on the questions from the Court, they “got” how this decision impacts the future of water issues in this state, especially in view of the current declared statewide drought emergency.

May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015 – Remembering those who gave of themselves

A caisson entering Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington, DC
Photo from Arlington National Cemetery website,
Courtesy of Andrew V. McMaster, May 2006

This story reprinted from first publishing here May 28, 2007:
This weekend is our Memorial Day holiday when America pauses to honor those that have given their lives in service to their country. The Yelm Community Blog host appreciates and honors all of those who have served to defend, protect, and preserve our country from outside invaders. Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action, quoting Wikipedia.

The wars have left their mark on this area, as we are reminded of one of the first from this area to give the ultimate sacrifice, Rainier’s Justin Norton, who was killed in June 2006:

Rainier’s fallen son, Justin Norton

Justin Norton Scholarship Fund honoring Rainier, Washington’s fallen soldier in Iraq.
About Sgt. Norton

Donations can be mailed to:
Justin Norton Scholarship Fund
c/o Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 444
Yelm, Wa 98597

– Memorial Day observed locally
The entire community is invited to honor the men and women who died while defending the United States.
• Yelm Cemetery Memorial Day Observance, 1:00 pm, Yelm

• Roy Cemetery Memorial Day Observance, 2:30 pm, Roy

• Memorial Day Ceremony at the Washington State Capitol Rotunda, 10:30 am, Olympia

• Joint Base Lewis-McChord Memorial Day Observance, Fort Lewis Cemetery, 11:30 am, JBLM.
Read more

– Rep. Denny Heck’s Memorial Day message
Click here
• U.S. Rep. Denny Heck is scheduled to speak at Puyallup’s Memorial Day observance. It will begin at 1:00 pm. at the pavilion in Pioneer Park, 333 S. Meridian. The Pierce College concert band and Clan Gordon Pipe Band are to perform.

– Delta Airlines honors our military on their last flights home (February 13, 2013).
A group of Delta Air Lines employees has made a commitment to honor and recognize members of the military who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Delta Honor Guard, which has been operating since 2005, is composed of approximately 30 men and women who volunteer their time to honor fallen troops whose remains come through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport aboard Delta flights, according to Brian McConnell, coordinator of the Delta Honor Guard.
Click here for this moving ceremony, which occurs even in the rain, plane-side.

– “The Path of the Warrior”
A moving tribute from the Humanity Healing Foundation.
Click here for the video.

– Won’t you consider a contribution to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Click here to donate.

May 24, 2015

Rep. Heck focuses on the SE Thurston/Yelm areas

Rep. Denny Heck
Photo credit: Greg Nash

– “Congressman Denny Heck introduces the Billy Frank Jr. Tell Your Story Act”
“To honor the life and legacy of an American champion for Native American treaty rights and environmental stewardship, today [May 13] Representative Denny Heck (D-Wash.) introduced the Billy Frank Jr. Tell Your Story Act.

If passed, H.R. 2270 would designate the wildlife refuge on the Nisqually River Delta as “The Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.” The legislation also creates a National Historic Site at the location of the signing of the 1854 Medicine Creek Treaty, and requires the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to involve the Nisqually, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, and Squaxin Island Tribes in the development of educational materials for the National Historic Site,” quoting Rep. Heck’s Press Release.
Read more

– “U.S. Rep. Denny Heck Visits Jason’s Greenhouse”
“U.S. Congressman Denny Heck, D-Olympia, visited Jason’s Greenhouse in Yelm last week [Tuesday, May 12] to hear how owner Jason Witherow started and grew his business, and to hear his concerns and aspirations for the future.”
From Steve Wyble, Nisqually Valley News.
Read more

Rep. Denny Heck with then-Yelm Chamber Executive Director Casey Cochrane
and Yelm Chamber Board member Jason Witherow.
Photo credit: Steven Wyble, Nisqually Valley News.

Editor’s Note:
Yet-to-be-revealed as to the reasons, Mr. Cochrane and the Yelm Chamber of Commerce parted ways a few days after this May 12th photo was taken.

May 23, 2015

Multi-event athlete James Rodeman of Yelm featured in TNT

“Rodeman’s top mark in the long jump this season of 22 feet,
71/2 inches ranks second among Class 4A competitors.”
Photo credit: Tony Overman, McClatchy Newspapers

By Grant Clark, Tacoma News Tribune:
“A second call was made over the public-address system at the 51st annual Bob Shaner Track and Field Invitational at Tumwater High School on May 8, requesting the top finishers in the boys 110-meter hurdles make their way to the podium to receive their medals.

Casually, the athletes begin to filter in, and after a few minutes the top eight participants are announced in reverse order before being handed their hardware.

Yelm’s James Rodeman, the winner of the event, is nowhere to found.

“Yeah, he’s over doing pole vault,” divulged Rodeman’s sophomore teammate Kaleb Lunderville, who finished fourth in the 110 hurdles.

Rodeman is difficult to catch on the track but, as it turns out, it’s equally complicated to reel him in between events.

The talented senior who an hour later would be a no-show at the medal presentation for the pole vault, too — an event he also won — is about as busy as you’ll find during a meet, racing back and forth from event to event.

It’s a finely-tuned — albeit hectic — schedule, but that’s the life of a decathlete.”
Read more

Click here for the story also published in sister newspaper The Olympian.

May 23, 2015

“Climb Fossil Rock for Expansive Views”

“Climb Fossil Rock in Mount Rainier’s Shadow.”
Photo credit: Sydney Boyle.

From Thurston Talk:
“Tucked away in the Bald Hills of the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, one of the few rock climbing locations in the region sits quietly on Weyerhaeuser land. In the summer sun, only a handful of hikers and climbers make their way to this little known area, taking in views of Olympia, the Olympic Mountain Range, Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. The location, know as Fossil Rock near Yelm, should be a sought-after destination for locals hikers, rock climbers and those looking for an impressive view of the region, with minimal effort.

Most who venture up to Fossil Rock for the first time wonder why they haven’t been there before, as the views, hike and rock formations make it one of the more unique hiking destinations in Thurston County. The main reason few have heard of or explored Fossil Rock is that it is located on Weyerhaeuser land, making it inaccessible at times for those hoping to explore one of the views from this rocky cliff in the South Sound. Yet, despite the lack of popularity of this amazing region, it has been known by locals as one of the best hikes and rock climbing destinations around.”

“Fossil Rock can be accessed with a Weyerhaeuser permit for permission to travel on their land.”
Read more

May 22, 2015

Yelm Chamber announces new Executive Director has left the organization

Then-Yelm Chamber Executive Director Casey Cochrane featured in The Olympian
Photo credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian Staff Photographer

Five questions for Casey Cochrane, Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce executive director
was the title of a very high-profile article by Rolf Boone in The Olympian last month. On Monday, May 18, Yelm Chamber of Commerce President April Sage announced that the new Executive Director is no longer with the organization. No reason was given in the Press Release and is very mysterious.

Cochrane was chosen by the Yelm Chamber Board of Directors last December after former Executive Director Cecelia Jenkins retired. Cochrane came to Yelm highly touted and with an extensive resume perfectly matching his skill-set for the Yelm Chamber Executive Director position. Early on, he reached-out to various leaders and business owners in the community getting to know all of the facets to remold the Yelm Chamber to be a more dynamic, financially self-sustaining organization. In a recent conversation with me, Cochrane stated one of his immediate goals was to develop revenue sources to be able to expand the Chamber beyond annual fundraising events. Cochrane was also working to be more aggressive with the Chamber being an advocate in support of local businesses, even joining with the Yelm Business Assn. (this writer is a founding Board member) to co-sponsor local business forums.

The lack of details from the Chamber on Cochrane’s departure within 6 months of his being hired is very ominous. We can only hope that whatever issues the Chamber Board had with Mr. Cochrane and/or vice-versa are made transparent for new applicants and the Yelm Chamber members.

Applicants for the Executive Director postilion may send their resumes to

The Yelm Community Blog wishes Casey Cochrane well in his future endeavors. He brought a welcomed passion, vigor, professionalism and upbeat attitude in all of his public presentations and meetings.

May 21, 2015

Yelm water main replacement project out for bid

Yelm’s water main replacement project is now out for bids:
“Bid Date: 5/27/2015 @ 2:00 pm PDT”

“Work under this contract is divided amongst two separate Bid Schedules (B & C) and includes the construction of approximately 1,950 lineal feet (LF) of 8-inch diameter ductile iron or, alternatively, C900 PVC water main in two separate areas identified under the City’s Capital Improvement Program as Projects D-5 and D-6 and herein as Bid Schedule B and Bid Schedule C. Bid Schedule A is not included in this contract. Bid Schedule B includes approximately 1,330 LF of new water main along and off of Algiers Drive. Bid Schedule C includes approximately 620 LF of new water main along Tranquility Lane. The work for each Bid Schedule will also include connections to existing system piping, abandonment or removal/disposal of decommissioned AC waterlines, installing fire hydrant assemblies, replacing service connections and installing new meter boxes and appurtenances, bedding of pipe, backfill of trench, surface restoration, pressure testing, disinfection and commissioning of new facilities,” quoting Engineer BHC Consultants, LLC in Tacoma.
Read more

Read more from Demolition Central.

Update: June 4, 2015
Another bid July 1, 2015
Read more

May 20, 2015

Chamber’s “Business After Hours” at Yelm Food Co Op Thursday

Courtesy: Yelm Food Co-Op

When: May 21, 2015, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Yelm Food Co-Op
308 East Yelm Avenue
Yelm,WA 98597

Read more

May 20, 2015

Karla’s Homesteading Class this weekend: Basic Goats Milk Soap Making

Photo courtesy: Karla’s Wild Shop

– Karla’s Homesteading Class this weekend
Saturday, May 23rd, 2 pm to 5 pm
Basic Goats Milk soap making class for beginners

You will learn the basics of soap making and will create goats milk soap bars with organic ingredients. You will go home with your own soap molds and several bars of soap.
Cost: $35 plus $10 for materials.

– Also mark your calendar for the following classes, because they are filling up quickly:
* Sauerkraut and Co. Learn the art of fermenting food. Saturday, June 6th, from 2pm to 5pm
* Stock up your medicinal cabinet and learn to prepare herbal tinctures and more (part3) Saturday, June 13th, from 2pm to 5pm

From May 31st through the Summer, find Karla every other Sunday at the Yelm Farmer’s Market with honey, bee pollen, candles and soaps.
Read more

May 19, 2015

South County Entrepreneurs networking event Thursday

– STEDI Networking Event
Thursday, May 21st, 2015 – 5:30-7:00PM
FOOD, DRINKS, & TALKING SHOP. A networking event for South County Entrepreneurs.

Are you an entrepreneur that wants to meet other business people like yourself in South Thurston County?

FREE. Join us for drinks, appetizers, and an evening of discussion about business. Over the course of the night, you will have an oppotgunity (sic) to hear from other entrepreneurs in South Thurston County, showcase what you do, and make direct connections with other business people.
Read more

Sandstone Cafe
273 W Sussex
Tenino 98589
(360) 264-4400

“The South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (STEDI) is a recently-formed group that is committed to ensure that business owners in south Thurston County have access to resources. A number of organizations are involved, including Thurston Regional Planning Council, the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau, local municipalities, Washington State University TeleWork program, Yelm Chamber of Commerce, Tenino Chamber of Commerce and Thurston EDC.

The Thurston EDC [Economic Development Council] works to connect local businesses with experts and resources to help them stay competitive through its Business Resource Center providing counseling, mentoring, and technical assistance to new and existing business owners.”
Read more


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