Yelm Community Blog
Monthly: January 2016

“Yelm Star Wars Superfan Builds Working Holochess Table”

“Ian Martin crafts Star Wars memorabilia
in his Yelm garage.” Photo credit: Ian Martin.

“Take Ian Martin, a perfectly normal, socially well adjusted, happily married web developer living on a quiet back nook of the Nisqually Pines subdivision in Yelm. Ian also happens to be one of Tech Insider’s World’s Biggest Star Wars Fans.”

“Now, tinkering in his garage, he’s built a real, working version of the Holochess game (also known as Dejarik) that appears in a twenty-second scene in the original Star Wars movie. You read that right. You can actually sit at a replica of the table from the Millennium Falcon and play the game.”

“Ian has a YouTube channel, where he shares details of his creations, and it’s more than possible that you’ll run into him at a comic store or convention around the area. You can also follow Ian’s creations on his Facebook page,” quoting Thurston Talk.
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Seattle-based Alaska Airlines refreshes look with modern style

Photo courtesy: Alaska Airlines

“Alaska Airlines Unveils First Major Brand Change in 25 Years”
“Alaska Airlines today [January 25] unveiled its first major brand change in 25 years to a crowd of about 1,800 employees. The refreshed brand was introduced on a newly painted Boeing 737-800 and soon will be featured throughout the airport experience, on all digital channels, in marketing materials and across Alaska’s entire fleet.

‘Our company has a unique personality and a vibrant spirit that our Eskimo has personified for almost half a century,’ said Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden. ‘We believe our refreshed look reflects the warm relationships our employees have built with our customers, and makes us stand out in a compelling and consistent way as we expand into new markets, build loyalty and attract new customers.’

In addition to the newly painted plane, starting tomorrow travelers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will see a more welcoming lobby and 41 newly branded gates. Customers can view the refreshed logo, plane and airport design online at,” quoting Alaska Airlines.
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“Sea-Tac Airport sees record passenger traffic again in 2015”
“Officials say 2015 passenger traffic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport set a record — again.

Port of Seattle officials said in a news release more than 42 million people traveled through the airport last year, an increase of 12.9 percent over the previous year,” quoting the Associated Press.
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Editor’s note:
Alaska Airlines is a major contributor to Sea-Tac International Airport’s record growth.

Goodwill in-store changes are coming

– “Goodwill stores getting a facelift”
“30 regional stores being redesigned”
“New look includes bold graphics, descriptions of Goodwill mission”
“Marketing study calls for outreach to millennials”

“Stores in Federal Way and Auburn will follow [Tacoma store] shortly, with four more scheduled to find a facelift later this year. Ten additional stores will be revived in 2017, and 30 stores altogether will be refurbished throughout the region over the next few years.

Look for larger and brighter signage directing shoppers to various departments. Look for a single checkout lane feeding a bank of cashiers, and look for a seating area near the book section, where shoppers (or spouses) can relax<" quoting C.R. Roberts, Tacoma News Tribune.
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– From Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier region
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Goodwill of Yelm
906 Yelm Ave. East
Yelm, WA 98597
Phone: 360-400-2400

Dr. Miceal Ledwith should be issued a formal apology
Miceal Ledwith, left, greeted by then-Pope John Paul II,
then-Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany looking on (Pope Benedict).
Circa 1980.
Photo credit: Dr. Miceal Ledwith

By Steve Klein
The Nisqually Valley News (NVN) published a follow-up report January 29 to set the record straight from their disparaging January 22 story of my dear friend of 25 years, Dr. Miceal Ledwith L.Ph., L.D., D.D., LL.D (h.c).

On Friday, January 15 at 5:39pm the NVN published online a list of “77 alleged child-sex abusers” disseminated that afternoon by the Archdiocese of Seattle, adding their own spin to what was posted as a story from the Associated Press. In seemingly a rush-to-judgement in getting an online story filed just to go home for the long holiday weekend, gross inaccuracies were reported.
Pastor Jeff Adams of Yelm’s Paramount Christian Church was quick to “pile-on” with a defamation of character comment in the NVN online edition the following day. The online story was published in the print edition January 22.

In the newspaper’s follow-up report of January 29, this story sub-title could be hardly more unfair and unbiased:
RSE Teacher in Group Never Convicted of Child Sex Abuse

The title is very misleading by implication because Dr. Ledwith was never charged with any such thing.

When he arrived as NVN Publisher/Editor 3 years ago, Michael Wagar promised a newspaper providing “balance, honesty and respect,” yet with Dr. Ledwith, the newspaper maligned and discredited the integrity of this fine man.
“Balance, honesty and respect” was at the far end of the spectrum from destroying the reputation of an area citizen, and also discrediting Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE).

Mr. Wagar told me on his arrival here,
“I am not your friend, nor am I your enemy, however I will be fair.”
While his newspaper’s follow-up report with the facts was admirable, the title and the the initial headline story was acrimonious, not fair.

Therefore, in the interest of “balance, honesty and respect,” I call on Mr. Wagar and Pastor Adams to issue a formal apology to Dr. Ledwith. That would be “fair”!

To quote Mark Twain, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

Stephen R. Klein

© Copyright 2016, Stephen R. Klein.

Yelm’s First Finishers awarded “Best Of Houzz 2016”

“First Finishers Voted ‘Best of Houzz 2016′”
“First Finishers, LLC has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015.”

“‘Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals,’ said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. ‘We’re so pleased to recognize First Finishers, voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.'”
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First Finishers win in 2015 “Best of Nisqually” category
Best Contractor
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Yelm Chamber officials flank The Showroom’s John Sullivan Tim Fyrst (with scissors) and Kai Fyrst
Photo credit: Yelm Chamber of Commerce

The Yelm Community Blog published an exclusive interview with the owners March 5, 2015 which covered their backgrounds and vision for the future.
Read more

The Showroom Interior Solutions
701 Prairie Park Lane SE, Suite A
Yelm, WA. 98597
Phone: 360-400-SHOW (7469)
Hours: 9am. to 5pm. Monday through Friday, or by appointment.

Blogger Klein is a First Finishers customer.


“Why Bad News for Walmart Is Good News for Small Town, USA”

A perspective with the recent announcement of Wal-Mart closing 154 U. S. stores:
“The general story of Walmart and rural America is well-understood. The company big-footed in with the promise of low prices, attracting low-income shoppers straining to cope with stagnant wages and larger fixed costs for housing and health care. Family-owned, non-big-box retail stores, typically clustered in the town center, struggled to compete. Walmart could squeeze its suppliers on prices by promising them volume sales; the mom-and-pop stores had no ability to impose market power. Over time, the presence of Walmart crushed Main Streets across the country, dislocating entire communities. These towns came to rely on Walmart as the largest employer and the source of an astonishing percentage of total tax revenue.

Some see these subsequent closures as akin to Walmart leaving the carcass by the side of the road after feasting on it. There’s no question that some communities will feel a burden in the immediate term, with residents having to drive long distances for decent food or medicine.

But getting Walmart out of the picture can also herald a ‘locally sourced’ comeback,” quoting David Dayen, The Fiscal Times.
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WA Atty. Gen. Ferguson sues GMO labeling opponents in Dark Money case

WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson

“Opponents of GMO Labeling Could Face Tough Penalties in Dark Money Case”
Washington State’s attorney general has asked a court to penalize a trade group accused of breaking the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws by shielding major food companies’ donations to opponents of a 2013 GMO food-labeling ballot initiative,” quoting Truthout.
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“Coverdale Drops Lawsuits Against JZ Knight, JZK, Inc.”

Virginia Coverdale sued in Thurston County Superior Court
Photo by Scott Roberts/Freedom Foundation in the Nisqually Valley News.

“Coverdale Drops Lawsuits Against JZ Knight, JZK, Inc.; Doesn’t Have Enough Money to Keep Fighting”
Virginia Coverdale posted the following Letter to the Editor in today’s Nisqually Valley News saying in-part:

“While my attorneys in the case against me will continue on and ask the State Supreme Court to weigh in, I would very much like to get back to my life.”

“At this point I would prefer to focus on the beauty in the world and my wonderful family than spend any more time in that sphere. Our appeal [to the Washington Supreme Court] may be accepted or rejected. Either way I am moving on.”
“I do not walk away empty handed.”

Editor’s note:
Coverdale is correct in that she does not walk away empty-handed, as the court imposed $600,000 on her in attorney’s fees and court costs (plus interest).
She also walks away with losses in both the Trial and Appellate Courts.

Coverdale was joined by many with political and/or emotional motives.
This lists those entangled in her case who also lost in the Courts or settled with JZK, Inc.:
including and not limited to the Freedom Foundation, Glen Morgan, David McCarthy, Enlighten Me Free, Melissa Genson, Pastor Jeff Adams, Coverdale’s former Olympia attorney Shawn Newman, former Yelm attorney Breckan Scott, former co-counsel and Washington Bar Association president Anthony Gipe, and now high-profile, current Seattle attorney Stephen Pidgeon.

In my experience, clients are not well-served when their counsels are not even and take these type of cases with their own agenda. The only one of Coverdale’s attorney’s that seemingly did not e fit into that category was Newman, who withdrew.

Additionally, the Nisqually Valley News has presented Coverdale’s case in high-profile front-page stories, yet surprisingly did not do a story on Coverdale dropping her case against JZ Knight, JZK, Inc., instead letting Coverdale’s Letter to the Editor be the only word on this. Hmmmmm.

Blogger Klein is a retired employee and current adviser for special services to RSE and in his 30th year as a continual student of Ramtha.

Gary Edwards announces candidacy for County Commissioner

Former Thurston County Sheriff Gary Edwards announces Commissioner run:
Due to the overwhelming number of requests, I have decided to run for Thurston County Commissioner Position #2. Having served as your elected sheriff for 20 years and a 5th generation resident of Thurston County with a large extended family and many friends living here, I am very concerned with what is happening locally to the public safety, business climate and environment. I will bring many years of private, public, military and common sense experience to the commission and will be a voice for all the voters as your non-partisan, independent commissioner.

I look forward to serving the residents of Thurston County.
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