May 18, 2015

Pacific NW snowpack is dismal as seen from space


Photo courtesy: NASA

“Specifically, snowpack in Washington and Oregon is at very low levels. A NASA report says Washington’s snowpack is just 16 percent of normal, and that will likely lead to the lowest yearly runoff in 64 years. It’s not any better to the south; Oregon’s snow surveys revealed the state’s mountain peaks are averaging a snowpack that’s just 11 percent of normal, the lowest level since 1992.”

“NASA’s Aqua satellite recently pointed its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) at the Northwest and captured a very striking image, especially when compared to a similar image from a year ago. With the typical “dry season” ahead, the photo illustrates bad news for a region that relies on snowmelt to keep aquifers full in the summer months,” quoting The Weather Channel.
Read more


May 18, 2015

Gov. Inslee declares statewide drought emergency –
Supreme Court hears Yelm water rights case Thurs.


Gov. Jay Inslee

– From Gov. Jay Inslee’s website:
“Gov. Jay Inslee today [May 15] declared a statewide drought for Washington. Snowpack is at historic lows, rivers are dwindling and irrigation districts are cutting off water to farmers. State agencies are already ramping up work to relieve hardships from water shortages and the Department of Natural Resources expects more early-season and higher-elevation wildfires.”

“On May 1, the Natural Resources Conservation Service found 11 snow sites in Washington that are snow free for the first time ever. Of the 98 snow sites the Conservation Service measured in Washington, 66 of them are currently snow free.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported in April that 78 percent of streams statewide were running below or much below normal. Some were already at historic lows.”
Read more

– WA Supreme Court to hear testimony on a citizen challenging Yelm’s water rights
Sara Foster submitted an Appeal against the City of Yelm and the Dept of Ecology November 18, 2011 to stop the pumping of 942 acre feet of water, every year for 20 years, from the aquifer. She asserts Ecology had just rubber-stamped Yelm’s Mitigation Plan and the city was approved to begin pumping and that this amount has huge environmental impacts to the aquifer. Foster suggests wells of property owners in a vast surrounding area [outside of Yelm city limits] could drop in static level and people would have to drill new wells. She contends the city’s new well (pictured above), even at a depth of 750 feet, would impact Foster’s well “downstream” in the same aquifer less than a mile away, affecting her property.
Read more

The WA Supreme Court will listen this Thursday for 20 minutes each to the Dept. of Ecology, City of Yelm and Sara Foster’s attorney, with a decision to follow in a few months.

One has to wonder if the current drought emergency will weigh in to the Court’s decision where Foster appealed Ecology’s granting a more than doubling of Yelm’s water rights, leading to another doubling of the city’s population and ensuing environmental impacts.


May 17, 2015

For the first time in many years –
Yelm Council seat headed to Primary

With the close of 2015 election season Filing deadline last Friday, the three candidates who applied for Yelm City Council Position 6 will be required to be on the August 4th Primary ballot, as the top two vote-getters advance to the November 3rd election.

Yelm City Council Position 6 goes to the Primary:
– Ken Garmann currently occupies this Position and is not seeking re-election.
Candidates for his position are Joe DePinto, Terry Kaminski and Preston Collins.

– Other Yelm City Council seats and their candidates are:
City Council, Position 1: J.W. Foster, running unopposed,

City Council, Position 2: Joe Baker (incumbent) and Molly A. Carmody,

City Council, Position 4: Jen Littlefield (appointee to fill an unexpired term) and Tad Stillwell

For the first time in many years, the City of Yelm voting public will have choices for 3 of 4 City Council seats.
Congratulations to all who want to serve our community.


May 16, 2015

WA air quality improved – Yelm still in a watch area

– “Washington’s air quality improved, but risks remain | Department of Ecology”
“Washingtonians are breathing cleaner air today than they were two decades ago, according to a report given to Gov. Jay Inslee this week [May 1].

The Washington Department of Ecology revealed the good news at a Results Washington meeting, reporting that as of this year 100 percent of the state meets federal air quality standards. Nearly half the state’s population lived in areas not meeting federal air quality standards in 1995.

“There has been a lot of hard work by state and local governments to improve our air quality,” said Maia Bellon, Ecology’s director. “Air pollution is one of the biggest risks to public health we face today. We need to remain focused on improving air quality so we all have clean air to breathe.”

Although the report contained good news, Ecology cautioned that the state’s air quality is still at risk.

Fourteen Washington communities remain on the verge of violating air pollution limits for particulate matter, primarily from woodstoves,” quoting The Maple Valley Reporter (Sound Publishing, Inc.).
Read more

Click here to see map of Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater & Yelm in “High Risk Ozone Area.”


May 15, 2015

Commissioner Romero’s Coffee Mon., May 18 – in Yelm,
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!


Sandra Romero

FROM COUNTY COMMISSIONER ROMERO’S e-mailer:
Please join Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero, as she hosts her monthly informal coffee hours in Rainier and Yelm on Monday, May 18th, with JBLM Commander Colonel Hodges, for coffee and conversation about local issues that impact veterans and civilians alike.

There is a lot happening in Thurston County and we want to hear from you!
Once a month, Commissioner Romero meets with community members for informal coffee chats. These meetings give you the opportunity to talk about issues of concern, ask her questions about the county, and share ideas. Commissioner Romero provides participants’ coffee. She is the representative of District 2, which includes Yelm, Lacey, and Rainier.
Click here for details.


May 15, 2015

“Add Less Fluoride to Water, US Feds Say” –
Yelm adds no fluoride to city water

– “Add Less Fluoride to Water, US Feds Say”
“The government is lowering the recommended amount of fluoride added to drinking water for the first time in more than 50 years.

Some people are getting too much fluoride because it is also now put in toothpaste, mouthwash and other products, health officials said Monday [April 27, 2015] in announcing the change,” quoting NBC News.
Read more

– “US Government Admits Americans Have Been Overdosed on Fluoride”
“The US government has finally admitted they’ve overdosed Americans on fluoride and, for first time since 1962, are lowering its recommended level of fluoride in drinking water,” quoting Dr. Mercola.
Read more

Yelm adds no fluoride to the city’s water system.


May 14, 2015

Stiebrs Farms in Yelm featured as Whole Foods supplier

– “Northwest producers get support from Whole Foods to sell home-grown products in stores”
By Craig Sailor, Tacoma’s News Tribune:
“The chain, which opens its Chambers Bay store in University Place on Thursday [today, May 14], sells only natural products with no artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives.

Though Whole Foods is the largest natural and organic grocer in the world (by number of products sold), it puts a strong emphasis on local produce and products.”

STIEBRS FARMS

“The eggs laid by the chickens at Stiebrs Farms in Yelm haven’t gotten any bigger in the 60-plus years the family has been in the business.

But their flock has.

Jon Stiebrs and his father started with 100 hens in 1953. The family now has 500,000, with each hen laying about one egg a day.

Jon’s children, Yany Stiebrs and Ania Edwards, run the Yelm business with Yany’s wife, Sara. Parents Jon and Dianna still have a hand in the business, which employs 115 people.

Stiebrs produces and markets about a dozen types of eggs. That might come as surprise to those who think “brown” and “white” are the only choices in grocery stores.

‘We started the whole cage free, certified organic, humane era in the mid-’90s,’ Yany said. They began the practice when customers started asking for it.

Like many aspects of the food industry, it’s a return to how things used to be done.”
Read more


May 13, 2015

Yelm’s Ally Choate – Fastpitch highlighted


“Yelm’s Ally Choate was the 4A Narrows League’s MVP last season as a freshman.”
Photo courtesy: Thurston Talk

– “Yelm’s Ally Choate is the True Definition of Student-Athlete”
“Ally Choate swings at the pitch and smacks a single into center field for a leadoff hit. Her swing looks so effortless, so smooth.

But while she makes it look so easy – Ally is batting over .700 for Yelm High School’s fastpitch team so far this season – there’s nothing effortless about her accomplishments on the fastpitch field or in the classroom. She’s a tireless worker,” By Gail Wood, Thurston Talk.
Read more


May 12, 2015

Thurston Chamber hosts Alaska Airlines CEO, May 13

Thurston County Chamber Annual Meeting:
Alaska Airlines CEO (Brad Tilden) to give Keynote Address
Where: Red Lion Hotel Olympia, 2300 Evergreen Park Dr SW, Olympia, WA 98502
When: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

“Join us for the 110th Annual Meeting!”
Read more


May 12, 2015

“Freedom Foundation and JZK, Inc. Settle Lawsuit”

UPDATE from the story reported here May 23, 2014:
By Steven Wyble, Nisqually Valley News:

“The lawsuit between the Freedom Foundation and JZK, Inc. has been dismissed.

Last May, JZK, Inc. sued the Freedom Foundation, a right-leaning Olympia think-tank formerly known as the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, its employee Glen Morgan, and his wife, Lauren Morgan, in U.S. District court.

JZK, Inc. argued in court documents that Morgan and the Freedom Foundation violated Knight’s copyright when Morgan gave the Thurston County Board of Commissioners DVDs with excerpts of an event at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment that was streamed online.”

In April, the Freedom Foundation approached the company, owned by JZ Knight, about a settlement, and the company agreed, according to David Dewhirst of the Freedom Foundation.

Each party decided to pay its own attorney’s fees, Dewhirst said.”
Read more

Blogger Klein was formerly an active member of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment staff.


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