November 24, 2015

A new era in Yelm governance starts today –
Yelm City Council election results certified at 9am –
Stillwell to be sworn in tonight

Public Safety Building housing Council Chambers, Yelm

Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall will certify the November 3rd election results at 9am this morning. At that time, Tad Stillwell is expected to retain his lead over Jen Littlefield for Yelm Council Position 4. If Stillwell is the certified winner, he will be sworn-in as an official Councilor because he is filling the unexpired term of Mike McGowan, who resigned when he moved outside of Yelm. Council winners Molly Carmody and Joe DePinto will be sworn-in this January.

– UPDATE: 9:06am Auditor Certifies results
Stilwell leads by 7 votes, 462 to 455 votes.
When less than one-quarter of 1 percent (.0025) separate the candidates in a race, the ballots are recounted by hand. This position has a much broader gap, not requiring an automatic recount.

– All three of these new Councilors ran on platforms of:
1. Open government, and a reduction of closed-door, in-secret Executive Sessions,
2. Following the process as directed by the city’s ordinances, statutes and procedures,
3. No more “end-runs” around the citizens.
(Only former Councilor Mike McGowan declined to vote or voted against issues before the council when he felt the public was excluded, even if he was personally “for” that issue.)

– Editor’s Note:
I thank and applaud Jen Littlefield and all of the Councilors for their public service.

I am a champion for the people & the public interest, first and foremost.
For the 12 years that I have followed Yelm’s local government, I have been an advocate for following the process in the city’s statutes and ordinances, or to change them.

I am no enemy to Mayor Harding, City Hall or the City Council – I personally like these individuals and always say hello to them in-public. However, I do speak-up when the process is not followed, when the public is circumvented to fulfill personal agendas, and when constituents feel they are not heard, even after voting down 2 ballot measures for the Community Center, as an example.

To the new Councilors, I add my “Congratulations!”
All I ask of the new Councilors is that they keep their word and do what they said they would do during their campaigns – support the public interest.
As Joe Depinto’s campaign slogan said, “This is OUR town.

And perhaps the time has come to officially end the council’s April 13, 2005 Moratorium on Moratoriums by the public presenting any suggestions for a moratorium to the Council. This is no longer a town led by a dictatorship with minions following their directive, as demonstrated with greater than 70% of city staffers recently voting for union representation.

– Like Mary Poppins (1964), the winds are a changin’ here, too!
“Winds in the east, there’s a mist comin’ in
Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ’bout to begin…”
Click here for the video clip.

And last:
The approximately 930 voters that cast ballots for Yelm City Council positions is a low voter turnout in a city of 8,200 for representatives of our local governing body, who will affect Yelm citizens directly. Thurston County voter turnout was also a low 36.96%.
Perhaps with three new Councilors aiming to have more interaction and open government for their citizens and with the public feeling their voices ARE heard and matter, more people will take an interest and vote!

November 23, 2015

Yelm City Council Public Hearings Tuesday at 6PM on budget issues

Public Safety Building housing Council Chambers, Yelm

From the City of Yelm City Council Agenda:
“The City of Yelm has scheduled a Public Hearing to receive comment on the Revenue Sources for the 2016 Budget, as part of the Tuesday, November 24, 2015 City Council meeting. The Public Hearing will consider Property Tax Rates (Ad Valorem) for collection in 2016. The meeting will be held at the Yelm Public Safety Building, 206 McKenzie Ave.”

“The Yelm City Council will hold a Public Hearing to consider the 2016 Budget on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 in Council Chambers at Yelm Public Safety Building, 206 McKenzie Ave, 6:00 p.m.
The Hearing will be continued to December 8, 2015.”

Editor’s Note:
Rarely has any of the public shown an interest in the City of Yelm’s budget process over the last decade. Perhaps with three new incoming City Council members, who all ran on platforms of open government and inclusion of the public in the process, we’ll begin to see change where the public will feel a desire to participate, in that their views will now be welcomed.
“This IS Our town!” as Councilor-elect Joe DePinto’s campaign slogan proclaimed.

November 23, 2015

UPDATE: Appeal of proposed Verizon cell tower on the Smith Sheep Farm

Photo Courtesy: Deschutes Neighborhood Group, Yelm

From the Deschutes Neighborhood Group:
“We are a group of individuals in rural Thurston County, Washington State who have come together to protect our local environment and ourselves, so that we may all enjoy the full measure of our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Our current focus is to prevent a cell tower construction in our rural/residential area, which would radiate 24/7 harmful microwave radiation to all of life.

“After our pre-hearing conference call November 11th with the Thurston County Hearing examiner, as well as the attorneys for our Deschutes Neighborhood Group, Thurston County, and Odelia Pacific (Verizon), we have received the dates and timeline for our appeal for the proposed Smith Farm cell tower. (Click here for the Thurston County Document pdf.)”
Read more courtesy of Masters Connection.

Photo Courtesy: Deschutes Neighborhood Group, Yelm

Blogger Klein is a Deschutes Neighborhood Group contributor.

November 22, 2015

The Wine Cellar of Yelm earns 4th top spot in Best of Western WA

Yelm Wine Cellar’s Anne Marsh
Photo courtesy: KING 5 TV’s Best of Western Washington

The Wine Cellar of Yelm placed 4th in KING 5 TV’s Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington!

From KING 5 TV (NBC) in Seattle:
“You may not know this but Yelm is an international town, with a great love of good wine! The Wine Cellar at the Co-op stocks beautiful wines and they are VERY knowledgeable. Wine tastings on the weekends too! Yelmians know their wines and we trust The Wine Cellar.” via Melody R.

From the owner:
“Wine Cellar of Yelm….Wines from around the World. Hundreds of artisanal wines. Join Anne Marsh, Virtuose de Vin every Saturday from 11 to 4 to taste.”
Read more

The Wine Cellar of Yelm
at the Yelm Food Co-op
308 East Yelm Avenue
Yelm WA 98597
Phone: (360) 400-2210
Anne Marsh, Virtuose de Vin

CONGRATULATIONS to the Wine Cellar of Yelm and Anne Marsh!

– “Which Wines Should You be Drinking This Thanksgiving?
“If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, now’s your chance to find out the answer to the all-important question: What wine should you be serving? Whether your turkey is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, herb-infused, or spicy cajun, the Wine Cellar of Yelm’s “Virtuose de Vin” Anne Marsh can help to find the perfect bottle(s) for you and your guests.

In the days leading up to the holiday, Anne will be offering tastings and free consultations at the Wine Cellar. Here’s the schedule:

Monday, November 23rd 2:00 to 4:00
Tuesday, November 24th 2:00 to 5:00
Wednesday, November 25th 12:00 to close”
Read more from the Yelm Food Co-op.

Blogger Klein is a founding and current Yelm Food Co-op member and Wine Cellar customer.

November 22, 2015

Yelm area citizens campaign for Bernie Sanders for President

Photo courtesy: Rory Sagner

By Yelm area citizen Rory Sagner

“If there’s one word I would use to best describe people I meet who support Bernie Sanders for President, that word would be ‘hopeful!’ Exuberant and dedicated would be next on the list!

[Saturday] Today, November 21st, 2015, a wonderful group of ‘hopefuls’ gathered together in Lacey, WA, holding ‘Bernie for President’ signs and waving cheerfully to the passing cars. Today was the first frosty, but sunny day we’ve had in quite awhile…a perfect day to reach out to our fellow citizens in support of a man who many of us feel represents the potential for real and much needed changes in our government and our country. The group was lighthearted and while the response from passing drivers was mixed, the overwhelming majority of it was positive…..honking, cheering and ‘thumbs up’ hand gestures demonstrating what we’ve been seeing all over the country….amazing grassroots support of Senator Sanders despite a virtual corporate run media blackout on his campaign. I was happy to be there waving my sign, taking photos, and like so many others who have flocked to support Bernie, feeling very hopeful!”

Rory Sagner

November 21, 2015

In Remembrance: Yelm icon Bob Wolf passes away

Robert Monroe Wolf died on November 18th, the day after his 87th birthday.

From Funeral Alternatives:
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held on Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at the Yelm United Methodist Church. A reception will follow the service at the Yelm Prairie Motel.”

“Robert Monroe Wolf was born November 17, 1928 in Tacoma, WA, to Harold and Helen Wolf. After a long, full life, he passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 18, 2015 in Olympia, WA.”

“Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Hal; and the love of his life for 53 years, Kathy [Former Yelm Mayor Kathy Wolf]. He is survived by his three children, Bob Jr., Kate Cook (Brett), Andy (Denyelle); one foreign exchange student “son,” Chris Schally; and nine amazing grandchildren (Megan, Brad, Devin, Brian, Amanda, Kraig, Jeremiah, Jacob, Andrea) who gave him such joy! Being a great Grandpa delighted him because it meant he got to hold new babies and play funny face games with the olders! He is also survived by his younger brother, David L. Wolf (Phyllis); a niece; and nephews.

“Bob was raised in Yelm, WA, where he was involved in many school, church and scouting activities throughout his childhood. He graduated from the Yelm schools in 1946 as the Salutatorian.”

“Bob wished to have donations, in lieu of flowers, made to the Robert and Kathryn Wolf Endowment Fund, The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, 111 Market Street, Suite 175, Olympia, WA 98501. This endowment benefits graduates of Yelm High School.
Click here to read more of Bob’s life.

Editor’s note:
In my experience, Mayor Kathy Wolf and husband Bob were ideals of integrity, character and principles which they displayed throughout their town. I have come to know their son Andy to be “cut from the same, fine cloth.” I had hoped that the Yelm City Council would have accepted the Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) recommendation to name the Community Center for former Mayor Kathy Wolf and that Bob would have been there to cut the ribbon. He was touched by the on-the-record suggestion presented by the entire YBA Board to the Yelm City Council.

The Yelm Community Blog sends blessings to the entire Wolf family.

November 20, 2015

Support our locally-owned businesses: Horse Cart Vet in Roy

Are you familiar with Horse Cart Vet Animal Hospital in Roy?
If not, please CLICK HERE.

Horse Cart Vet Animal Hospital
9111 346th St S
Roy, WA 98580
Phone: (360) 458-2600

November 20, 2015

Commissioner Romero’s Coffee Mon., Nov. 23 – in Yelm,

Sandra Romero

– From the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge to the Mima Mounds, Thurston County is a beautiful and diverse place to explore. On Monday, November 23, join Commissioner Romero and her guest, Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau (OLTVCB) Director Shauna Stewart, for coffee. You will learn about the resources the OLTVCB have available for local business owners who are working to attract travelers.

The OLTVCB is a non-profit organization funded by hotel and motel lodging taxes and membership investments to develop and market Thurston County as a visitor destination. The tourism industry in Washington State employs over 150,000 people and generates $16.9 billion annually for the state’s economy. Agritourism attractions, small businesses, hotels, and restaurants are just a few of the local industries that benefit from travel to our region.

Shauna Stewart, Executive Director of the OLTVCB, is a Thurston County native who kicked off her career doing Membership and Marketing Development for the VCB in 2006. Since that time, she spent five years with the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau where she served as VP of Sales and Marketing and Interim Executive Director. For the past two and a half years, Shauna led the marketing department for an Executive Coaching firm in Portland, OR while teaching tourism and destination marketing classes on the side. Shauna earned her Bachelors in Business Administration from Western Washington University and her Masters of Public Administration from The Evergreen State College. She fiercely believes that travel changes the world and is passionate about promoting Thurston County to visitors.

Commissioner Romero meets once a month with community members for informal coffee chats on a wide variety of local issues. At the end of the guest presentation you will have an opportunity to talk about issues of concern, ask her questions about the county, and share ideas. Romero is the representative of District 2, which includes Yelm, Lacey, and Rainier.

What: Citizen meeting with second district County Commissioner Sandra Romero
When: Monday, November 23, 2015
Where: Rainier: 9:30am – 10:30am, Rainier City Hall, 102 Rochester Street West,
Yelm: 11:00am – noon, NEW LOCATION: Mr. Doug’s, 210 NE 103rd Ave SE

November 19, 2015

Tad Stillwell still leads for Council seat – now by 8 votes

Tad Stillwell

Tad Stillwell now leads Jennifer Littlefield for City of Yelm City Council, Position No. 4 by 8 votes: 461-453. All votes received to date have been counted. Next update form the Auditor will be Nov. 24th, the Certification Date. Stillwell continues to hold the lead in this contest.
Read more from Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall’s office.

Editor’s Note:
Jen Littlefield was appointed to fill Mike McGowan’s former term for Council Position 4 until the certification of an elected replacement, upon which the elected replacement is sworn in at the immediately-following Council session – which will be Tad Stillwell Tuesday evening, as the vote will be certified Tuesday by the County Auditor prior to the City Council session.

November 19, 2015

Billy Frank, Jr. to Get Presidential Medal of Freedom

Photo credit: Michael Harris, Legacy Project

– “Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Willie Mays to Get Presidential Medal of Freedom”
“Singer and actress Barbra Streisand, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and baseball great Willie Mays are among 17 Americans who this year will receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House said on Monday [Nov. 16].”

Posthumous honors will be given to New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra, African American trail-blazing Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Indian treaty rights advocate Billy Frank, Jr., and Japanese-American civil rights activist Minoru Yasui, the White House said,” quoting Reuters.
Read more

– “Billy Frank Jr. among Medal of Freedom honorees”
“Among 17 to be recognized by the president on Nov. 24

Nisqually tribal elder, chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

On the front lines of the “Fish Wars” in Washington state”
From the Associated Press.
Read more

– UPDATE: November 24, 2015:

Peggen Frank, receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom on behalf of her father-in-law, Native American environmental leader and treaty rights activist Billy Frank, Jr., from U.S. President Barack Obama (R) during an East Room ceremony November 24, 2015 at the White House in Washington, DC. Seventeen recipients were awarded with the nation’s highest civilian honor.
(Nov. 23, 2015 – Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America


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