December 31, 2015

This New Year’s Eve, don’t drive drunk –
Call Bill’s Towing Free “Tipsy-Tow” Service

Bill’s Towing & Recovery

*** New Years Tipsy Tow Service ***
“As a service to our community, Bill’s Towing & Recovery is offering free Tipsy Tow Service on New Years Eve to provide a safe alternative to drinking and driving on Yelm area roads.

Drinking drivers frequently fail to plan alternative ways to get home because they are concerned about retrieving their vehicle or the cost of a taxi. Bill’s Towing hopes this free service will change their minds.

The service will be available in the greater Yelm, Rainier, and McKenna area from 9:00 p.m. on New Years Eve, December 31st to 3:00 a.m. New Years Day, January 1st.

Motorists, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver can call 360-458-5963 between the hours above and request a free tow home of up to ten miles. Callers simply tell the dispatcher, ‘I need a tipsy tow,’ to receive the free tow and ride home.

Callers need to keep in mind that the service excludes rides for passengers, is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride for the driver, and the destination is limited to the drivers residence. Reservations are not accepted, and tows over ten miles are subject to normal rates.”

“Callers simply tell the dispatcher, ‘I need a tipsy tow,’ to receive the free tow and ride home,” quoting Bill’s Towing & Recovery.
Read more

Blogger Klein is a Bill’s Towing & Recovery customer.

December 30, 2015

Yelm Business Assn. 2015 achievements –
Highlights include opening a community-wide conversation

The Yelm Business Association (YBA) has as their Mission Statement:
“to preserve, promote, and enhance Yelm’s locally-owned businesses by acting as an advocate to local government, by improving Yelm’s aesthetic appeal, and by encouraging citizen and business involvement in the community.”

This this was demonstrated in-action in 2015, as a robust conversation was begun by the YBA and their committees involving the business community and the public.

A partial listing of the 2015 YBA accomplishments include:
* Yelm Business Assn’s. (YBA) 2nd General Meeting, January 13th.
The Yelm Business Association hosted Thurston County Economic Development Council Deputy Director Renee Sundee for their second General Meeting, at Yelm’s Triad Theater. The open-to-the-public meeting had a wide variety of business owners present to hear Ms. Sundee’s talk.

* Yelm Business Assn & Yelm Chamber co-host speaker, January 15th.
Featured speaker George Sharp, Executive Director of the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau (OLTVCB), the official Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Thurston County, Washington.

* The Yelm Business Assn. sponsored first Town Hall Public Forum, March 10th.
YBA Executive Director Dan Crowe of Crowe Law mediated the event held at Yelm Middle School that had a nice cross section of the community and a robust public discussion on key issues. This was the first Town Hall Public Forum held since Mayor Harding was elected in 2005.

* YBA Exec. Dir. Dan Crowe had a letter published in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN), April 9th.
Titled: “Yelm Business Association Seeks Much-Needed Changes”
YBA submitted this letter to Yelm’s City Council and Mayor Harding which provided results of public Town Hall Forum. Seeks to cultivate a long term partnership between local businesses and the city, work on developing a strong business core, beautifying our city, and holding fun, relevant events that bring people from the surrounding areas into the city.

* YBA Board of Directors presented public proposal to Yelm City Council, June 9th.
Advocated naming of Community Center after former Mayor Kathy Wolf, endorsed by the Wolf Family.
Click here for the letter.

* The Yelm Business Assn. held their 2nd Town Hall Public Forum, June 16th.
Key on the agenda:
Questions from the audience on the Yelm Comprehensive Plan fielded by members of the Yelm Planning Commission,
The architect hired as consultant on the 1995 Yelm Vision Plan, John Owen, addressed the importance of visioning for the future and public involvement in the process,
The new YBA Citizen’s Advisory Committee was introduced for the public to participate, represented by a committee Board member.

*The Yelm Business Assn. submitted letter to the Yelm City Council, July 28th.
YBA requested the current status of the city of Yelm’s hotel/motel tax fund and committee makeup to disseminate to those funds.
Click here to read the letter.

* The Yelm Business Assn. held a rally to unite all area artists, July 29th.
YBA’s Beautification Committee beings conversation with local artists to hold events highlighting the talent in our community.

* YBA’s Beautification Committee Draft Report released, September 3rd.
Nisqually Valley News (NVN) Editor/Publisher Michael Wagar published excerpts of the report endorsing the YBA’s platform of cultivating a community conversation:
“In past editorials the Nisqually Valley News has encouraged the city of Yelm to work with the fledgling Yelm Business Association.”

“The following are highlights from the report that we believe deserve consideration by city administration and the Yelm City Council. Most important, we believe it is in all of our interests to have a vigorous, open debate on moving Yelm forward from, as the goal of the committee states, a drive-by city to a destination city. Yelm and its surrounding environs has (sic) so much to offer.”
Click here to read the letter.

* The YBA Board submitted 2nd letter to the Yelm City Council on Community Center naming, September 14th.
The YBA received no response from their June 9th letter on naming the Community Center for former Mayor Kathy Wolf.
Click here to read the letter.

* The Yelm Business Assn. forced to reschedule Art Show, September 18th.
Reason: “because of the city’s initial determination that each artists participating in the art show be required to have a business license, may artists declined to participate.”
The City of Yelm finally changed their requirement after checking with other nearby cities and discovered none of them required a business license from art show participants, which limited participation. Art Show announced for December.

* YBA Board met with newly-appointed Yelm Chamber Executive Director Victoria Wortberg, September 23rd.
At Wortberg’s invitation, YBA Board discussed with Chamber’s Executive Director common goals, visions, the future, how both groups can work together to create a synergy in the community.

* YBA founding Board Member Molly Carmody was elected to the Yelm City Council, November 4th.
Carmody handily defeats 3-term incumbent Joe Baker for Council Position 2.
The YBA supported Council candidates running on platforms of open government, transparency and open dialogue with constituents.
In addition to Carmody, Tad Stillwell (Position 4) and Joe DePinto (Position 6) ran campaigns with those commitments to the public and defeated each of their opponents.
Councilor-elect Carmody to resign from YBA Board as Bylaws state elected officials may not serve on YBA Board due to an appearance of a conflict-of-interest.

* YBA issues first of quarterly newsletters to members, November 4th.
Click here for the Yelm Business Assn. 4th Quarter 2015 YBA Newsletter.

* The Yelm Business Association (YBA) and The Triad Arts Theater co-sponsored the first community arts and crafts show, December 12th.
Yelm Art Show dazzles in showcasing the varied talents from this community.

* The Yelm Business Assn. accepts the resignation of founding YBA Board member Molly Carmody, December 29th.
YBA Board Bylaws state elected officials may not serve on YBA Board due to an appearance of a conflict-of-interest.
Carmody was sworn-in as Yelm City Councilor, Position 2.

* The Nisqually Valley News (NVN) features YBA co-sponsored event as a major 2015 art story, December 3oth.
“Art Dominates Life in the Valley in 2015”
Read more

Blogger Klein is a YBA founding board member.

December 30, 2015

Stagnate Air Advisory in effect for our area until Monday

Air Stagnation Advisory for Southwest Interior, WA
Issued by The National Weather Service

Seattle/Tacoma, WA

2:19am PST, Wed Dec 30




Read more

Editor’s note:
The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) will issue a burn ban if required.
Click here

December 29, 2015

Yelm Councilors sworn-in today –
While city overlaps outgoing Councilors’ farewell

Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall delivers the oath of office
to Yelm Councilors Molly Carmody and Joe DePinto,
as Rep. Denny Heck looks on. Photo credit: Daniel Crowe

Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall gave the oath of office to elected officials throughout the County, which included Yelm’s Molly Carmody (Pos 2) and Joe DePinto (Pos 6), as well as Yelm’s Bald Hill Fire Commissioner Bill Owen. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Color Guard kicked-off the event with a beautiful Flag Ceremony, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Thurston County Commissioner (District 3) Bud Blake, and inspiring Invocation by Joan Cathey (Tumwater City Council) and a Welcome Address by Mary Hall.

The keynote speaker was Rep. Denny Heck of the 10th Congressional District at home on holiday during the recess. Rep. Heck acknowledged the elected officials for their commitment to the value of public service followed by Certificates of Election and Oaths of Office by Auditor Hall.

Responses were presented by a cross-section of invitees and included:
* Yelm Council member Molly Carmody
* Port of Olympia Commissioner Joe Downing
* Thurston County Commissioner Cathy Wolfe

Councilor Carmody’s address was an eloquent, honest and sincere portrayal of what motivated her to run for public office, including what she called the “oligarchy” in Yelm she said was run by a small of group of people that have their own agendas. She spoke of the need to listen to all constituents and invite them to participate in their government, which is required under our form of government and to develop the public trust – that to shun the public leads to a low voter turnout and lack of citizen participation. This was a very inspiring and uplifting speech, as echoed by some local, county and state officials.
Click here for Councilor Carmody’s speech.

Editor’s Note:
Carmody’s speech about Yelm’s “oligarchy” was borne out at the reception that followed, when revealed that Mayor Harding was not present at the swearing-in of his new Councilors, as he was conducting a 4pm farewell in Yelm for outgoing Council members. The newly sworn-in Councilors had been invited to attend the Yelm function, however could not be there since they were attending the public ceremony and reception for them in Olympia. This has an appearance of a snub to the new Councilors by Mr. Harding, or bad planning – or both!

From the City & County of San Diego Administration Bldg. facade
Taken December 27, 2015
Photo credit: Ron Moon

– UPDATE: January 1, 2015
“Yelm, Rainier Councilors Sworn into Office”
“New Councilor Worries About the Future of Democracy in Yelm”
By Steven Wyble, Nisqually Valley News.
Read more

December 29, 2015

Information to recycle your Christmas Tree

From Thurston County Public Works:

Free Christmas Tree Curbside and Drop-Off Locations, (Dec. 2015/Jan. 2016)
– Curbside pickup information
LeMay compost collection/yard waste customers
Put trees in or near your compost cart (in sections of 3 feet or less).
Call 360-923-0111 for information.

– Drop-off locations
Open to all Thurston County residents
Take trees to the Waste and Recovery Center at 2420 Hogum Bay Road NE in Lacey. through Jan. 11. Open Mon. through Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Sat. and Sun. from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (closed Jan. 1)

– Rainier residents
Take trees to the drop box at 13010 Rainier Acres Road through Jan. 16.
Open Fri., Sat., and Sun. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Yelm residents:
Dumpsters for trees are at the Yelm City Park at state Route 507 and Mosman Avenue. They will be available until full and picked up Jan. 10.
Read more

Other creative ideas –
– 10 Ways to Recycle Christmas Trees
By Care2, Shelley Stonebrook.
Read more

December 28, 2015

Rep. Denny Heck speaks at elected officials swearing-in Dec. 29

Rep. Denny Heck
Photo credit: Greg Nash

From Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall:
Auditor Mary Hall will swear in elected officials at a free public ceremony, where Congressman Denny Heck will deliver the keynote address.

Elected officials sworn in include Port of Olympia commissioners, mayors, city and town council members, fire commissioners, school district directors and cemetery district commissioners.

Auditor Mary Hall
Photo credit: Thurston County Auditor

WHO: Mary Hall, Thurston County Auditor

WHAT: Swearing-in Ceremony of Elected Officials

Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts
South Puget Sound Community College
2011 Mottman Rd. SW
Olympia, WA 98512

WHEN: Tuesday, December 29, 2015
2:00 p.m.

Editor’s Note:
The City of Yelm will have a landmark 2 new Council members inaugurated Tuesday: Molly Carmody and Joe DePinto (Tad Stillwell was elected to fill an unexpired term, so was previously sworn-in by Mayor Harding).
A new day, a new year begins in Yelm city government!

December 27, 2015

Oil trains raise concerns even as
“Railroad line trains first responders”

An oil train snaking its way through downtown Seattle
PHOTO CREDIT: Marcus R. Donner/Puget Sound Business Journal

– “Railroad line trains first responders”
“Firefighters and other public safety personnel from Olympia, Centralia, Tacoma and Auburn were among more than 900 Washington state crews trained in hazmat operations, especially as related to oil trains.

BNSF paid the bills for 56 personnel who attended a three-day session last week in Marysville. Another 91 took specialized crude=by-rail training at a national research and training facility in Pueblo, Colorado through the spring and summer of 2015,” quoting the Pierce County Business Examiner.
Read more

– “Videos show disputed oil trains rolling by [Seattle] stadiums during games”
By Jeff Burnside, KOMO TV 4, Seattle.
Click here

– Seattle City Council on Oil Trains
“Last year in Seattle, a train passing through our city ran off the tracks underneath the Magnolia Bridge, derailing three of its 100 tank cars carrying Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to a refinery in Anacortes, WA. We are thankful that no oil spilled or ignited, considering Bakken is highly flammable and easily ignited at normal temperatures by heat, static discharges, sparks, vapors, or flames.

This oil train derailment was not an isolated incident.”

Council Action
“Council has taken several steps to urge federal regulators to change oil train transport policy, considering BNSF Railway reports moving 8-16 oil trains per week through Seattle, all containing 1,000,000 or more gallons of Bakken crude,” quoting the Seattle City Council’s website.
Read more

December 26, 2015

Former Yelm High counselor heads to D.C. as award finalist

Kim Reykdal
Photo Credit: Lisa Pemberton, The Olympian

– “Olympia High counselor to head to D.C. as award finalist”
“Kim Reykdal has ‘done an awful lot of heavy work for our students,’ Olympia High principal Matt Grant said. Reykdal has worked at Olympia since 2006, and before worked as a counselor at Yelm, Capital and Tumwater high schools.”

“A career- and college-readiness counselor at Olympia High School is being honored as one of six finalists for a national award for school-guidance counselors.

Kim Reykdal [her husband is state Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater] is heading to Washington, D.C., next month to meet with lawmakers, attend a congressional briefing, participate in a White House ceremony featuring first lady Michelle Obama and celebrate at a black-tie gala, The Olympian reported,” quoting Seattle Times staff and the Associated Press.
Read more

December 26, 2015

YHS Teacher Joshua Hamblin receives Excellence Award

YHS Teacher Joshua Hamlin
Photo Credit: Yelm Community Schools

“The Evergreen State College recently honored three area high school teachers with Teacher of Excellence awards, recognizing teachers who have had a significant impact on the lives of their students. The teachers were Lisa Summers of A.G. West Black Hills High School, Cathy Miller of North Thurston High School and Joshua Hamblin of Yelm High School. Incoming Evergreen students were asked to nominate their former instructors for the award, presented by the college’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Michael Zimmerman.”

“Former student Morganne Betchy lauded her teacher, Hamblin. ‘He is so well organized when it comes to teaching students mythology and creative writing. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher,’ said Betchy.”

“Evergreen has been asking its incoming students to nominate and recognize teachers of excellence since 2011,” submitted by The Evergreen State College, in ThurstonTalk.
Read more

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to you and yours –
From the Yelm Community Blog!

“Every Day A Miracle”
Photo Courtesy: Yelm’s award-winning Rory Sagner Photography & Fine Art
Taken in Yelm October 30, 2013, at sunrise

“Christmas in the Northwest – Brenda Kutz White”
“Post production opening clip taken from The Christmas in the Northwest Christmas special that aired on KOMO TV [Channel 4] in Seattle back in December of 1987 featuring Brenda Kutz White’s song “Christmas in the Northwest.”

All proceeds from the Christmas in the Northwest project go to Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington.”
Copyright © 1987 Fisher Broadcasting, Inc.
Click here for the video.

– “Do You Hear What I Hear? (Home Free) (Christmas A Cappella)” 2015
“Originally written during the Cuban missile crisis [Oct. 1962], a parallel can be drawn to any time when the world needs a reminder to love not hate.”
Click here for the video.

Editor’s note:
This is an excellent Op-Ed well worth the annual read at Christmas time –

“Merry Iconoclastic Christmas”
“It never ceases to amaze me how the loudest practitioners of Christianity in the United States are so consistently able to sidestep and ignore the core teachings of their religion with apparently no shame whatsoever.”

“Conclusion: The majority of ‘Christians’ in these United States of ‘Christian’ America don’t give a single solitary damn about the lives of people who resemble their ‘savior’ a whole hell of a lot more than they do.”
By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout.
Read more

And this quote by Mahatma Gandhi:
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.


– UPDATES for Christmas 2015
“1 Airline Took Sick Kids to the “North Pole” and Reminded Us What the Holidays Are All About”
“This airline [United] went the extra mile by “flying” 40 ill and recovering kids to the “North Pole” for the fantasy trip of a lifetime.”
Click here for the MSN video.

“How to Be a Merry Environmentalist”
“You don’t have to be a Grinch to get rid of this wasteful holiday tradition [mailing 1.6 billion holiday cards.]”
By Beth Porter, OtherWords.
Read more

“9 Reasons The Upcoming Christmas Moon Is A Once In A Lifetime Event”
By Beth Buczynski, Distractifly.
Read more


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