July 31, 2015

Yelm Business Assn. asks city for Hotel-Motel Tax transparency

Printed in the Nisqually Valley News July 31, 2015:

“Information Wanted on $167K Tax Fund”
Posted online: Thursday, July 30, 2015 12:22 pm

Editor’s Note: The following letter was submitted to the Yelm City Council at this week’s meeting.

Dear City Council Members and Mayor Harding:

The Yelm Business Association (YBA) requests the current status of the city of Yelm’s hotel/motel tax fund and committee makeup.

On Jan. 13, 2015, the Yelm City Council approved the establishment of a Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, which defined the duties and functions of the committee and established an effective date.

From the city staff report:

“Any county, city or town that has imposed the hotel/motel (lodging) tax and has a population of 5,000 or more is required to establish and maintain a Lodging Tax Advisory Committee per RCW 67.28.1817. The committee’s membership must be a minimum of five members confirmed by the council and made up of equal number of business members of the community that collect the tax and eligible agencies that request funding from the revenue collected from the tax, including any municipality, used directly or indirectly through convention, visitors bureau or destination marketing.

“One member shall be an elected official of the municipality who shall serve as chair of the committee.”

City Council Member Bob Isom remarked during the meeting that, “One of the requirements is a minimum of two members who are representatives of businesses required to collect the lodging tax. Now I see an issue here because we’ve only got one business (that collects the tax, Prairie Hotel).” Mr. Isom may not be aware that Yelm does actually have a bed and breakfast establishment within the city limits, Conley Suites Bed & Breakfast, which could also send a member to the committee. City Administrator Shelly Badger said the city’s attorney would be consulted for an opinion before committee members are selected.

The Yelm Municipal Code Chapter 3.84 also states:

“This tax may be levied only for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of acquisition, construction, or operating of stadium facilities, convention center facilities, performing arts center facilities and/or visual art center or museum facilities or to pay for advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting visitors and encouraging tourist expansion or for other approved state statute uses. (Ord. 479 § 2, 1993).”

As a business organization, the YBA feels that this tax fund directly affects local businesses in that it is designed to attract consumers to Yelm. These consumers would be purchasing our businesses’ goods and services, touring the area, and taking away an impression of Yelm that we would hope is favorable.

On Jan. 13, 2015, the lodging tax fund reportedly had a balance of $167,000. The YBA would like to inquire as to the current balance of the collected tax funds, their availability, the status of the committee, and whether funds are collected from establishments in Yelm other than the Prairie Hotel. Would the city be interested in sending a representative to educate YBA members about the committee and dissemination of funds?


Yelm Business Association Board Members: Molly Carmody, Cynthia Schmier, Steve Klein, Steve Craig and Bill Hashim; and Executive Director Daniel W. Crowe
Click here for the letter included in the official correspondence for the July 28 City Council Agenda.

Blogger Klein is a founding Board member of the Yelm Business Assn.

July 31, 2015

Yelm “native son” Joe Bongiorno returns for piano concert Sunday

Joe Bongiorno stops in Yelm on his popular concert series tour in the Pacific Northwest.
Don’t miss this event Sunday, August 2, The Triad Theater, Yelm.

Joe Bongiorno & Brad Jacobsen return by popular demand for their 3rd concert at The Triad and bring with them a third performer, solo piano artist Amy Janelle.
Enjoy an evening of original solo piano artistry along with the stories that inspired the music.
Seating is general admission, doors open at 6:30pm
Joe Bongiorno – www.solopianomusic.com
Brad Jacobsen – www.bradjacobsenmusic.com
Amy Janelle – www.amypiano.com

Click here to purchase your tickets.

July 30, 2015

“NVN Corrects Report Regarding Chiropractor Matthew Martinez” –
Yelm newspaper should officially apologize to Dr. Martinez

Dr. Matthew Martinez, DC with David Batten in Australia, June 2014
Photo courtesy: Absolute Health Clinic

In the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) online edition of July 29, 2015 and in their above-the-fold print edition dated July 31, 2015, the NVN stated:
On March 20, 2015, the newspaper published a news story on page one with a headline that read “Chiropractor Who Led Ramtha DNA Study Sanctioned for Fraud.”

The article accurately reported chiropractor Matthew Martinez was charged by the Washington State Department of Health in November 2012 for (1) charging a patient’s insurance company for treatment the patient denied had been provided and which was not documented in chart notes for the patient and (2) advertising that he was a licensed massage therapist when he did not hold a current license for such position.”

– At first reading of this story, one may wonder what is the “correction” if the NVN “accurately reported” the story about Dr. Martinez, DC.
The issue is the story’s headline stated “Chiropractor Who Led Ramtha DNA Study Sanctioned for Fraud,” yet nowhere in the documents referenced by the NVN from the Washington State Department of Health or the State of Washington Chiropractic Quality Assurance Commission was “fraud” ever mentioned.
Click here for the public documents:

– NVN Publisher/Editor Michael Wagar told me on his arrival here,
“I am not your friend, nor am I your enemy, however I will be fair.”
Mr. Wagar has repeated this statement to me several times since.
While the newspaper’s “Correction” is admirable, this admission falls far short of an apology from connecting Dr. Martinez, DC to fraud in a high-profile story on March 20, 2015.

– Dr. Karriem H. Ali, MD questioned the NVN’s assertions last Spring:
“Your presentation appears to be founded upon allegations against Dr. Matthew Martinez, none of which relate in any way to the suitability of an individual to conduct DNA investigations,” quoting Dr. Ali’s letter to Mr. Wagar, which was also submitted to the Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE) Newsletter for publication, permission also provided to this Blog for posting.

The noted allegations are virtually slanderous related to the actual records found in my search. What I did find seems equivalent to mailing payment for an insurance bill, but forgetting to sign your check~ the corporation could very well treat your payment as fraudulent for not being appropriately signed and, as such, sanction you with fees for late and/or non-payment.”

– Linda Barnes,BA, MA, Ed.D said the NVN story was a “character assassination of a skilled doctor.”
Her Letter to the Editor was published in the NVN, quoted with permission, in-part:
“In response to the Nisqually Valley News article dated March 20, 2015, entitled ‘Chiropractor Who Led Ramtha DNA Study Sanctioned for Fraud,’ according to the Stipulated Finding of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Agreed Order the allegation of fraud is not true. The article is character assassination of a skilled doctor and caring, giving man.

Fraud has legal implications and is commonly understood as ‘dishonesty calculated for advantage.’ Legal fraud is a specific offense with certain features. The definition of medical fraud is ‘The intentional misrepresentation or deception resulting in payments for services not rendered.’

The Chiropractic Commission concluded, ‘the alleged conduct fell within Practice below the Standard of Care.’ This practice was related to patient documentation and billing process.”

Dr. Martinez complied with all Orders. It is noted this Order was signed May 10, 2013. On March 20, 2015, there was less than two months to completion of the Order. For a two-year period, patient’s records/billings were scrutinized without further difficulty. The Nisqually Valley News reporting of the allegations and findings of fact appear distorted to support the alleged accusations.

On March 13, 2015, the Nisqually Valley News published an article titled “JZ Knight Claims DNA Switcheroo.” Dr. Martinez was the physician taking the DNA samples that were submitted to three independent laboratories for testing. The Nisqually Valley News article questioned and ridiculed the significant medical and scientific results. The article quoted information gathered from a plant geneticist. I wonder why the Nisqually Valley News did not search for a Board Certified medical geneticist. A simple web search found six Board Certified Medical Geneticists at the University of Washington.

The article labeling Dr. Martinez a “fraud” was written one week later on March 20. The articles appear to be designed to demean and discredit Dr. Martinez due to his involvement with the DNA testing. On March 27, the Nisqually Valley News’ “Question of the Week” was related to Dr. Martinez’s credibility. I cannot recall any individual who was presented by the Nisqually Valley News in this manner for public judgement (sic)/condemnation.

The Society of Professional Journalism Code of Ethics states: ‘Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. The journalist should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

‘Journalist should: Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources when possible.'”

Bottom line:
In the view of this Blogger, Mr. Wagar would live up to his commitment to be “fair” by issuing an official apology to Dr. Martinez, DC for what Ms. Barnes described as a “character assassination of a skilled doctor and caring, giving man.” Dr. Martinez deserves no less!

Blogger Klein is the former Event Services Manager of RSE and in his 30th consecutive year as a Ramtha student.
Dr. Karriem H. Ali, MD is a recent staff addition to Absolute Health Clinic in Olympia and long-time Ramtha student.

July 30, 2015

“A Supreme Threat to American Democracy” –
A very astute commentary!

“A Supreme Threat to American Democracy”
“We’re one judge away from government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.”

“With several justices already over 80, the next president could nominate as many as four new members of the court. Will the new justices bolster the conservatives, who favor legislative power only when it violates minority rights, or the liberals, who have demonstrated a serious commitment both to voting rights and to the legislative process?

With the plutocratic Chief Justice John Roberts and Scalia leading the way, the conservatives pose as outraged populists regarding marriage equality. They pretend, ludicrously, that they don’t believe in the court reviewing and invalidating popularly enacted laws.

What a joke. The same justices have no problem with nullifying laws that implement affirmative action, produce majority-minority legislative districts, or exclude corporations from spending money in political campaigns.

These so-called conservatives strike down almost any law that curtails the power of corporations. They just don’t like the idea of equal protection and due process applying to people.

Here’s the principal question facing the court for the foreseeable future: Who is the Constitution for? Is it for corporations, or the rest of us?”

By Jamie Raskin, professor of constitutional law at American University, a Maryland state senator, and a Senior Fellow at People For the American Way. He is the author of Overruling Democracy: the Supreme Court v. the American People.
Read more

July 29, 2015

“Navy Warplanes Producing Deadly Noise Around US Bases” –
“Late-night JBLM aircraft noise rattles Thurston County residents”

“Lt. Colonel Nathan Campbell checks over a C-17 with his flashlight at the airfield of JBLM
in January. The C-17 was among the aircraft involved in a late-night training exercise
July 26, 2015, that startled some residents in Thurston County.
Photo credit: Lui Kit Wong, The Olympian Staff photographer

Editor’s note:
While the Yelm area does not have the decibel level of Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey, anyone in the Clearwood, Bald Hills & Lake Lawrence areas knows the impact of multiple helicopter sorties and low-flying aircraft just above the treetops that have been occurring well into dusk.

From Dahr Jamail, Truthout:
‘This is a public health emergency that is literally killing people.’

This stark, shocking warning about the US Navy’s war-gaming in the Pacific Northwest comes from Dr. James Dahlgren, a doctor of occupational and environmental medicine who is also a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He spoke with Truthout about how Navy warplanes flying in and out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, as well as the Navy’s OLF [Outlying Field] Coupeville in Washington State’s Puget Sound, are generating chronic exposure to noise levels well in excess of 80 decibels.”

– ‘Can the military be allowed to willfully and irreparably injure citizens in order to conduct their training?‘”
Read more

– “Late-night JBLM aircraft noise rattles Thurston County residents”
“A late-night training mission with military aircraft has left some residents in Thurston County feeling rattled and confused.

The Olympian received multiple inquiries about low-flying aircraft that had buzzed over neighborhoods across the county late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

As it turns out, the aircraft were part of a “large scale rehearsal” with the second battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord<" by Andy Hobbs, The Olympian.
Read more

July 29, 2015

Weather Statement for excessive heat here through next week

“Forecast highs for the next three days.”
Photo credit: Weather Channel

Issued by The National Weather Service Seattle/Tacoma, WA
Wed, Jul 29, 4:46 am PDT





Ed. Note: Take precautions to keep your body properly hydrated.
Read more

“It’s a fitting end to what will be one of the hottest Julys on record in parts of the Northwest. Portland, Oregon, Pendleton, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Spokane, Washington, were all seeing their hottest July on record as of July 26.”

“Seattle will likely see highs near 90 degrees Thursday through Saturday. The Emerald City averages just two days with 90-degree heat annually, but has already seen eight days so far in 2015.”
Read more

July 28, 2015

Water shortage plans affect Puget Sound’s major cities!
Yelm fighting for more water
Salmon in-crisis in too-warm Columbia River

“Sockeye salmon battle their way upstream
as part of their annual migration”
Photo credit: Alex Mustard/Solent News/REX

– “Seattle, Everett, Tacoma activate water shortage response plans”
“Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma issued a joint statement on Monday, saying that all three will activate water shortage response plans.

The first stage is advisory.

In mid-July, nearly of Washington state was reported to be in severe drought, but there are not mandatory water restrictions. Additionally, after the hottest June in recorded history, higher-than-usual water consumption and record-low stream flows into storage reservoirs, Seattle Public Utilities changed its water supply outlook from good to fair,” quoting KIRO-TV 7 news in Seattle.
Read more

Editor’s note: And the City of Yelm keeps spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to preserve more than doubling of the city’s water rights just to build more homes here?
Wazzup with that?
What about taking care of what we currently have with adequate Police staffing, as an example?

– “Sockeye Salmon in Columbia River Dying”
“Half of Columbia River sockeye salmon population dead or dying due to hot water in basin.”

“More than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures.

Federal and state fisheries biologists say water that is 5 to 6 degrees warmer is wiping out at least half of this year’s returning population of the cold-water species.

Ritchie Graves of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says up to 80 percent of the population could ultimately perish,” by Keith Ridler, Associated Press.
Read more

– “Dry conditions could persist into next year”
From KIRO-YV 7 News in Seattle
Click here for the video.

July 28, 2015

Relay for Life event this weekend

Photo courtesy: SE Thurston Relay for Life

“The communities of Rainier, Yelm, Tenino, Grand Mound, McKenna, Rochester, and Roy are coming together with the American Cancer Society for an exciting Relay For Life event for 2015. We are participating in the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. With the support of our community we are achieving and surpassing goals set by ACS: for 2014, while raising over $45,000 we earned the prestigious Pacesetter award. 2015 promises to be even greater! Please join us! Check out our facebook page at SE Thurston Facebook.”

Join us this Saturday starting at noon at Rainier High School to CELEBRATE our Survivors, REMEMBER those that we have lost and have fought the battle and FIGHT BACK as a community to END cancer. This is a family friendly event that has 24 hours of activities, DeeJays, performances and FUN. You can come for a lap, an hour , 20 laps or however long you want! We show cancer that it cannot take our spirit, we are a passionate community on a mission! We will see you there!”
Read more

July 27, 2015

All area artists invited for an important meeting July 29 –
Sponsored by the Yelm Business Assn.

July 27, 2015

Yelm City Council Public Hearing Tuesday on Transportation Plan

Public Safety Building housing Council Chambers, Yelm

From the City of Yelm City Council Agenda:
Yelm City Council Notice of Public Hearing 2015 Six Year Transportation Improvement Program

The Yelm City Council has scheduled a public hearing to receive comments on the 2015 Six Year Transportation Improvement Program and updated Transportation Facilities Charges.
The hearing is scheduled for 6:00 PM on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, and will take place in the Council Chambers/Court Room at the Yelm Public Safety Building, 206 McKenzie Street SE.

The Six Year Transportation Improvement Program is the capital facilities document that guides transportation funding for a six year cycle. The STIP is based on the Yelm Comprehensive Plan and
Transportation Plan and is the ‘implementation’ document for the overall plan. Projects that are not on the STIP are not eligible for State or Federal funding, or the use of local Traffic Facilities Charges (TFC’s).
Although it is a six year plan, it is required to be updated annually as projects are completed and new priorities arise.
The Transportation Facilities Charge is a fee charged to new construction in Yelm to ensure that the impacts of new development is assessed to that development and not current residents.
For additional information, please contact Ryan Johnstone, at 360-458-8406.

Written comments will be received up to the close of the public hearing. Written comments may be submitted at the hearing, or may be mailed to Ryan Johnstone, City of Yelm, 105 Yelm Avenue West, Yelm, WA 98597.”

The proposed 2015 list includes:
* Bald Hill Rd to SR 507/SR 510 Loop Intersection – New Connection Y2C,

* Killion to Coates – New Connection Y4A,

* 103rd Ave. SE Bridge Replacement & East Approach Y4C,

* Burnett/93rd Intersection – Realignment & Traffic Signal Y5A,

* Longmire/SR510 Intersection – Traffic Signal Y5B,

* Central Business District – Cullens to 4th Y5C,

* Mill Road SE – 107th to 104th Y6B,

* Mill Road SE Sidewalk – 104th to Cochrane Park Y6C,

* Mill Road SE Sidewalk – Cochrane Park to SR 507 Y6D,

* Connect Prairie Line to Tacoma Rail Y7A,

* Rail Trail – Power Canal to Roy Y7B,

* Mosman Ave. – Railroad to Longmire Y8A/Y8C,

* Mosman Ave. – 2nd to 4th Y8E,

* Mosman Ave. – 4th to Clark Y8F,

* Bald Hill Road – City Limits to 5 Corners Y9,

* Cullens Street – Yelm Ave to Van Trump Y15A,

* Cullens Street – 94th to 450′ north Y15B,

* 100th Way – Middle Rd to Green Acres Y16,

* SR 507 Sidewalk – Mill to Mosman Y17A,

* SR 507 Sidewalk – Mosman to Washington Y17B,

* Railway Road SE Sidewalk – 1st to Middle Y18,

* Middle Road Sidewalk – Railway to 300′ east Y19,

* Creek Street Sidewalk – 103rd to Algiers Y20.
Read more


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