July 26, 2015

JBLM and Navy successful in search-and-rescue of Yelm boy

Boy and his dog found safe near Yelm
Photo Credit: KIRO-TV 7 News in Seattle

“Yesterday morning there was a collective sigh of relief in the greater Puget Sound area when a 14 year-old boy and his 3 year-old Golden Retriever were found safe in the woods near Yelm, Washington. The unnamed boy said he followed the sound of a Navy helicopter back to a road, which led him to safety.

The boy, who was reported missing about 8:30 p.m. Friday night, said he got lost when he chased his dog into the woods and then was unable to find his way out. The Thurston County Sheriff’s office said that the young man had gone for a walk behind the family home near Braywood Lane Southeast around 5 p.m. The family’s Yelm property borders Joint Base Lewis McChord,” quoting Susy Raybon, Military Community Examiner.
Read more

July 26, 2015

Fun in the summer in Yelm at Aardvarks Mini Golf and Novelties

Photo courtesy: Aardvarks Mini Golf and Novelties

“18 hole Putt Putt Mini golf course with novelties in the clubhouse. Great place for parties.”

Aardvarks Mini Golf and Novelties
1504 Yelm Ave West
Yelm, WA. 98597
(360) 400-4444
Hours: 11:00am – 7:00pm

July 25, 2015

“Mari’s Farm: Fueling Yelm With Fresh Produce”

Mari’s Farm booth at Yelm Farmer Market
Photo courtesy: Yelm Farmer Market


From the Yelm Farmer Market:
“Mari’s Farm: Fueling Yelm With Fresh Produce”

“The first things you’ll notice on Mari’s Farm are the rocks. They’re everywhere – huge, ponderous obstructions-turned fence posts and mini-mounds throughout the property. When Mari Mankamyer and her husband Tim Mann started the farm in Yelm’s Bald Hill region, “You couldn’t even get into the soil with a rototiller,” says Mari. ‘You’d break it.'”

“Once you understand that the lush, vibrant gardens you’re viewing were the original home of those rocks, you’ll view your hosts with newfound respect and even admiration. After three years of solid work, the farm provides a weekly supply of fresh produce to the Yelm Co-op, Garden to Gourmet Restaurant, Ricardo’s Restaurant, The Yelm Farmers Market, and Local Flavors Market and Country Kitchen.”
Read more

July 24, 2015

Is Yelm prepared?
Pacific Northwest in the news for earthquake potential and lack of water

“The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will
spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent.”
Credit Illustration by Christoph Niemann; Map by Ziggymaj / Getty

– “The Really Big One”
“An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.”

“In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people. When the next full-margin rupture happens, that region will suffer the worst natural disaster in the history of North America. Roughly three thousand people died in San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake. Almost two thousand died in Hurricane Katrina. Almost three hundred died in Hurricane Sandy. FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Another twenty-seven thousand will be injured, and the agency expects that it will need to provide shelter for a million displaced people, and food and water for another two and a half million. ‘This is one time that I’m hoping all the science is wrong, and it won’t happen for another thousand years,’ Murphy says[ Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.].”
By Kathryn Schulz, New Yorker.
Read more

– “Northwest Water Supplies Dropping Amid Drought Conditions”
“The hottest June on record for Oregon and Washington came on the heels an unusually warm winter and spring. Now, Northwest rivers are running at or near all-time lows and cities with water reserves are drawing them down.”

“With the traditionally dry month of August still to come, officials say they’re worried some cities might need to tap emergency supplies before fall rains arrive. And with water supplies so depleted this year, they say, it’s looking more likely that the winter won’t fully replenish them,” by Cassandra Profita, OPB/EarthFix.
Read more

– “The West is so dry even a rain forest is on fire”
“In a normal year, Washington state’s Olympic National Park is arguably the wettest place in the continental U.S. An annual 150 inches of rain inundate the park’s western slopes, soaking the soil and slicking the branches of the lush temperate rain forest that grows there. Mosses, lichens and ferns festoon the trunks of centuries-old trees, whose thick canopy casts the forest floor into damp, dark shadow. The landscape has a primordial feel to it — cloaked in mist and swathed in green, it looks as though a dinosaur could come stomping out of the underbrush at any minute.

But this is not a normal year.

This year, ancient tree trunks smolder at their base as they burn from within. The downed wood and debris that carpet the forest floor have dried up into kindling,” quoting Sara Kaplan, Washington Post.
Read more

– “They Knew, They Lied: ExxonMobil and Climate Change”
“Vast swaths of the US West, including Alaska most significantly, are on fire. Many parts of the world, including Europe, are boiling in unprecedented heat waves. California is basically out of water, with no relief to come in the foreseeable future. Half of Greenland’s ice sheet is now liquid. Pink salmon, mussels, oysters, clams and scallops are about to disappear from the menu because the oceans are turning to acid. Those oceans are rising 2.5 times faster than originally estimated. Fracking persists, tar sands oil extraction continues to scar the air and the sure-to-leak Keystone XL pipeline marches inexorably toward delivering poison to the world.

People have been working for nearly 70 years to warn us of the dangers inherent in fossil fuels and the unchecked release of CO2. Since 1981 at least, ExxonMobil and other energy interests have known what these dangers represent, but spent money hand over fist to obscure the truth in order to line their pockets.

The ocean is coming. Many very smart people have been warning us of this for seven decades. As for the people who bent their shoulders to the task of denying this inexorable tidal truth for so many years that could have been spent checking and averting this looming disaster, well … I hope their cash can act as a flotation device. They believe themselves to be so powerful, but the ocean brooks no challengers.”
By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout.
Read more

July 23, 2015

Earthquake Survival Kits Sales Soar in Pacific Northwest –
The Survival Center is here in Yelm for your needs

“Travelers/Commuters Car Emergency Kit”
Photo credit: The Survival Center, Yelm

– “There’s a Mad Rush to Buy Earthquake Survival Kits in Seattle”
“But to really prepare the Pacific Northwest for the Big One, much more needs to be done.”

“There really is a 9.0 earthquake/skyscraper-sized tsunami predicted to unmoor coastal life as we know it in the Pacific Northwest—quite possibly within the next 50 years. Last week the New Yorker trumpeted the story of these apocalyptic truths with terrifying exactness. 13,000 are projected to die, and millions more will be injured or displaced. It will take decades, and an incalculable sum, to recover.

But the article’s fear-mongering has also had an activating effect: People are suddenly buying emergency survival kits in droves. The Seattle Times writes of earthquake packages ‘flying off shelves,” quoting Laura Bliss, The Atlantic, CityLab.

– UPDATE: July 28, 2015
“How to Stay Safe When the Big One Comes”
By Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker.
Read more

– Check-out The Survival Center’s catalog, based right here in Yelm
“America’s Premier Preparedness Center
In Continuous Operation Since the early 1970’s
Supplier of Family Preparedness, Health, and Survival Supplies
We have the knowledge and experience.
Call the Experts at 1-800-321-2900”
Click here

July 22, 2015

Yelm wedding story salvaged by Safeway goes national

Stories about Saturday’s fire in Yelm:

– “Lacey Fire helps fight 6-acre blaze near Yelm”
“A brush fire scorched about 6 acres in the Yelm area Saturday, according to Lacey Fire District 3, one of several fire districts that responded to the blaze,” quoting Rolf Boone, The Olympian.
Read more

– “DNR fire crews win praise from Yelm woman after they save her house”
“A woman in the Yelm area had nothing but praise for state Department of Natural Resources’ firefighter crews Monday after they prevented a wildfire from burning her home over the weekend.

Kathryn Burcham’s two-story farmhouse was in the path of a fire that ultimately burned about seven acres in the area of 109th Avenue Southeast near Yelm,” quoting Rolf Boone, The Olympian.
Read more

– “Fire forces wedding guests to evacuate to nearby Safeway”
“Eric and Rachel Nelson had planned for their Saturday nuptials to be held at their home in Yelm, Wash.; but a nearby forest fire forced guests to evacuate to a nearby Safeway,” quoting ABC-TV 11 News, in Raleigh, NC.
Read more
Click here for more on the story from KIRO-TV 7 News (CBS), Seattle.

July 21, 2015

Yelm Mayor Ron Harding received award from AWC

Mayor Ron Harding

From the Association of Washington Cities (AWC):
“Congratulations 2015 Advocacy All-Star Award Winners!”

“AWC created the inaugural Advocacy All-Star Award to recognize and celebrate actions by city elected officials who demonstrated a commitment to advocating on behalf of all cities. City officials considered for nomination conducted advocacy efforts which included numerous trips to Olympia to testify, coalitions formed to help mobilize a city cause, contact with local media, and campaigns spearheaded to educate area legislators and the public about the importance of a strong state partnership with its 281 cities.

AWC’s Strong Cities, Great State initiative relies upon a small and committed army of city officials willing to speak and act on behalf of their communities, at home, and in Olympia. We extend our thanks and congratulations to the following award winners.”

* Mayor Ron Harding, Yelm
“Mayor Harding is an eloquent and frequent spokesperson for the needs of large and small cities about best ways to address the evolving legal marijuana regulatory system, as well as advocating for other AWC priorities.”
Read more

Congratulations to Mayor Harding.

July 20, 2015

SR 507 repaving project explained to Yelm Council by WSDOT

Public Safety Building housing Council Chambers, Yelm

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, the Yelm City Council heard a presentation from John Romero, Assistant Project Engineer, Washington State Department of Transportation with an overview of the SR 507 overlay project set to begin.

Mr. Romero said that 2 inches of the top pavement will be scraped off and repaved in sections, from Tenino to Roy, except for some gaps that were required due to a funding shortage. Most of those gaps will be completed in 2016, which includes a 500 section of Yelm Ave. West from the SR 507 intersection. Most of the work will done at night.

WSDOT has been preparing 1st Street and Yelm Ave., East with repairing pavement sections where the roads has buckled.
The public may have noticed curb ramp work on 20 ramps at 7 intersections on Yelm Ave. E which include: 1st St., 4th St. Prairie Park, Vancil Rd, Bald Hills Rd. SE.

Additionally, video protection camera installation has been competed at 5 intersections including:
1st St., Bald Hills Rd. SE, Clark, Vancil, & 170th Ave SE (Wal-Mart Blvd.).
Preparation for the asphalt enlay grinds up the metal detection loops in the roadbed to start a traffic light to change.
To defray the cost each road asphalting and never have to reinstall the detection loops again, an infrared device from above reads if anything metal is in an intersection and changes the light.
So these devices are not involved in law enforcement, not recording anything, and they can not be monitored remotely.

Roadwork begins the week of July 20th and continues through mid-August, then the asphalt cures for 21 days before final pavement markings are placed.

This SR 507 work will tie-in to the just completed Mossman project on both ends.
Click here to see the full video explanation.

July 19, 2015

Nancy Hillman and Community Theater celebrated
in Yelm last night to a packed house!

Just as Mayor Shinn was so proud of his River City Band in “The Music Man,” so it was in Yelm last night as friends, fellow thespians, and theater lovers turned out in-mass at The Triad Theater to celebrate 20 years since the Drew Harvey Theater opened the doors to Community Theater here.

STANDING ROOM ONLY (SRO) Theater Company presented a one-night-only variety show “20 & Counting” crafted to celebrate and honor the 150+ productions the artistic community has helped to create these past 20 years!
And, WOW – did they deliver!

Under the guises of various celebrity interviewers (played by Kellie Peterson) with Nancy Hillman about her tenure here, the audience got to learn about what went into these 150+ performances and some behind-the-scenes ‘secrets.’ While the entire cast and crew were truly amazing, there were some stand-outs that definitely touched at the audience’s heart. These were the one’s I noted:

Act I (From Drew Harvey’s 10 years 1995-2005)
* Nancy Hillman’s opening welcome and rendition of Dolly Levi’s “I have always been a woman who arranges things” from “Hello Dolly” set the stage of the delights to come.

* I had chills up my spine when Dave Champagne took the stage as Tevya singing “Tradition” from “Fiddler on the Roof” because he was so commanding and all-present in the role, I thought for a moment I was back in New York watching Zero Mostel! YES, he was that terrific. The cast ensemble joining him were perfectly choreographed and ranks as one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen performed in Yelm.

* Daniel Wyman’s reprising his role as Leo Bloom from “The Producers” was stellar as in his original stage performance. His strong delivery was required after “Fiddler on the Roof.” If he chooses, Daniel could hold his own on the stage in Seattle or San Francisco!
Daniel’s brother Joe is following in his brother’s footsteps by learning the ropes in the “back of the house.” Joe handled the stage spotlight the entire performance and had quite an assignment, at which he was masterful.

* Ted Fredericks returned as Henry Higgins reprising his role from “My Fair Lady” and again this time, brought the house into thunderous applause for his magical “I’ve Grown Accustomed to her Face.”

* Sarah Burke’s talents shined in her performance of “Honey Bun” from “South Pacific,” played by Mitzi Gaynor in the film version.

* GW Taylor’s “Close Every Door” from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” had everyone spellbound with his exact mix of passion and intensity to bring life to this marvelous song. I was fortunate enough to see the stage performance with Donny Osmond in the title role and noted last night that GW’s depth and interpretation of the song rivaled that of Osmond’s.

* Victoria Austin’s “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz” was perfectly positioned in following Taylor. Austin’s flare of an old favorite was also stirring.

Intermission included a self-guided tour of the Memorabilia Rooms, interspersed with 20 years of costumes, marketing fliers and a Wall of Distinction with names of all of those involved in bringing this community theater to life.

Act II (From 2005-2015)
* Opened with a very poignant piece with the cast sharing the names of those involved with the theater who have passed. This was so appropriate to have been included!

* Following that, the audience was further impressed with a beautiful and sincere performance of “Memory” from “Cats” by mother and daughter Dawn and Dhalia Young. The love, honor and respect these two have for each other was clearly apparent on-stage. As Hillman pointed out, many families have grown together in their theater work.

* Victoria Austin was terrific as the lead with the company in “All That Jazz,” a favorite from “Chicago.”

* Shelby Gebb “nailed-it” as Ado Annie from “Oklahoma” singing “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No.” She is another of Hillman’s regulars who has evolved her grand stage-presence.

* Perennial favorite Richard Frias was in many scenes throughout the evening, however his talents shined in the Gilbert & Sullivan medley. He was/is amazing! I hope Hillman keeps lassoing him back to her stage!

* While Xander Layden demonstrated his breath of talent in so many of the evening’s scenes, he stole the show in the title role/song “Dentist” from “Little Shop of Horrors.” Bang-on and outstanding execution! Looking forward to more from Xander.

* The closing scene by the entire company was as Hillman described, any theater’s anthem – “No Business like Show Business” from “Annie Get Your Gun.”

Musical Director Stephen Borsuk, who again flew in from New York, kept everyone on-queue and the piano accompaniment lively. He has made a wonderful team with Hillman all these years. Hillman included acknowledgments of the volunteer performers and stage-crew, donors, and most of all, The Triad Theater’s Cameron Jayne for allowing SRO to cast their shows there.

One of Hillman’s Drew Harvey Theater performers as a child from years ago returned to this audience last night as a glowing lady, Midnightblue Auld. We reminisced with her during the intermission as we remembered Midnight’s touching additions to many Drew performances.

Congratulations to Nancy Hillman and all of those she has brought together and cheers to the next 10 years.

July 18, 2015

Wal-Mart’s 8th anniversary opening in Yelm is today –
As required by 2013, still no open Bypass to mitigate their traffic

UFCW 367 (United Food & Commercial Workers Union)
picketing Yelm Wal-Mart, October 2008.
Photo credit: Yelm Community Blog

– Yelm Bypass to be funded to be operational by late 2020 or early 2021.
While Yelm officials and the public are elated over $58 million being disseminated from two increases to the state gas tax [August 1, 2015 = a 7-cent increase, July 1, 2016 = a 4.9-cent increase.]
to complete the State Route 507 Bypass (Yelm Loop) with a target to open in about 5-6 years, today marks the 8th anniversary since Mayor Harding cut the ribbon to open Wal-Mart after a very acrimonious setting-aside of city requirements of their traffic mitigation plan in order to get Wal-Mart built here.

– Today marks the 8th anniversary of the Yelm Wal-Mart opening!
The City of Yelm Community Development Dept. recommended back in 2005 & 2006 that the Yelm City Council approve the permit for a Wal-Mart to be constructed in Yelm. There were public hearings and several groups, including “Protect Yelm,” that raised many issues about this store being built here.

– Traffic mitigation was a key concern then:
How would the projected 750+ vehicles a day be handled on Yelm streets.
The City of Yelm’s own Transportation Mitigation Plan for Wal-Mart construction being approved REQUIRED that traffic would be handled via a completed Yelm Bypass WITHIN 6 YEARS!
[If there was no Bypass, required was evidence of funding to build a Bypass to be operational within 6 years of Wal-Mart’s opening, for which there was none!]
Many of the public KNEW there would be no funding for a Bypass by 2013 and protested the approval to the Yelm City Council and the city’s Hearings Examiner on these grounds. Yelm officials would not listen nor agree. The city silenced at every turn any public dissent on Wal-Mart being built.

At the time, the City of Yelm had just received the egregious 2006 Jefferson Muzzle Award for their “moratorium on moratoriums” about the public not being permitted to mention Big-Box stores at open-to-the-public comment period in City Council sessions.

So, here we are in 2015, eight years later after the Wal-Mart opening and there is still no Bypass to mitigate their traffic and won’t be for at least another 5 years, just as the public predicted.

Further, the city did not follow their own rules for land use approval plus an MDNS by requiring a connector to 103rd to be constructed by November 22, 2008 to handle Wal-Mart’s traffic. The connector was not constructed until a year later, in 2009:
“When the city approved the construction of Wal-Mart, the superstore was required to build the connector.

One of the stipulations was that the connector had to be built 18 months after right-of-way was purchased, Beck said [City Community Development Director Grant Beck].

Right-of-way acquisition was completed in July 2007.

The permit process to allow Wal-Mart to start construction on the connector was completed in December 2008.”

“Once the Yelm Bypass is constructed, the connector will be ripped out and replaced to become part of the bypass,” quoting the NVN, September 18, 2009.

Click here for the Yelm Community Blog entry on Wal-Mart’s Yelm opening 8 years ago today!


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