May 31, 2016

June 7 Earthquake drill highlights state regulation deficiencies

Seattle’s Pioneer Square district after Feb. 28, 2001 quake.
Photo credit: Elaine Thompson AP file, 2001

– “June 7: FEMA Will Hold A Drill To Prepare For A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami”
“Starting on June 7th, FEMA will be conducting a large scale drill that has been named “Cascadia Rising” that will simulate the effects of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and an accompanying west coast tsunami dozens of feet tall. According to the official flyer for the event, more than “50 counties, plus major cities, tribal nations, state and federal agencies, private sector businesses, and non-governmental organizations across three states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – will be participating”. In addition to “Cascadia Rising”, U.S. Northern Command will be holding five other exercises simultaneously. According to the final draft of the Cascadia Rising drill plan, those five exercises are entitled “Ardent Sentry 2016″, “Vigilant Guard”, “Special Focus Exercise”, “Turbo Challenge” and “Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore”.,” quoting Michael Snyder, The Event Chronicle.
Read more

– “Buildings that kill: The earthquake danger lawmakers have ignored for decades”
“Seismic Neglect: Seattle officials have been counting earthquake-vulnerable buildings since the early 1990s, but no law requires the structures to be strengthened,” quoting Daniel Gilbert and Sandi Doughton,
The Seattle Times.
Read more

“The earthquake nightmare public officials are failing to confront”
“Today, about 5.4 million people in Washington live in the zone endangered by a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia megaquake, an increase of 1.6 million since 1990, according to a Seattle Times analysis.

Yet Washington lags nearly all other quake-prone states in policies to reduce the risk, with, for example, no seismic-safety laws for schools, hospitals and other vulnerable buildings, according to a policy analysis this year.

Magnitude 9.0 earthquakes strike the Northwest about every five centuries. But some were only 200 years apart – and it’s been 316 years since the last one,” quoting The Seattle Times.
Read more

May 31, 2016

Iconic Virgin Atlantic to begin Seattle-Heathrow service –
Delta to fly first-ever Portland-London nonstops

Photo credit: Delta Airlines, Inc.

– “Port of Seattle Welcomes Virgin Atlantic to Sea-Tac Airport”
“Joint venture between Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines brings 787 service to London in 2017”

“The Port of Seattle welcomes today’s [May 31, 2016] announcement that Virgin Atlantic Airways will begin nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to London-Heathrow using its most fuel-efficient Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Virgin Atlantic’s new service will replace the existing service offered by its joint venture partner Delta Air Lines beginning March 26, 2017.
Read more form the Port of Seattle Press Release.

– “Delta, Virgin Atlantic Add 50 Daily Seats Between Seattle and London”
“Beginning March 26, 2017, Virgin Atlantic will fly between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and London-Heathrow, replacing the flight currently operated by Delta. This marks Virgin Atlantic’s first flight in Seattle, offering customers a greater number of seats on its most fuel-efficient aircraft – a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. With this change, customers will have the opportunity to enjoy Virgin Atlantic’s innovative service, including its Premium Economy product featuring a new Wander Wall for snacks and socializing, chauffer limo service, its iconic bar and fully flat-bed seats for Upper Class customers, and a uniquely British food and beverage service,” quoting PRNewswire.
Read more

– First-ever nonstop from Portland to London-Heathrow
“Along with the swap in Seattle, Delta will launch seasonal service from Portland to London, Portland’s first and only flight to the U.K. The flight will be operated four days per week from May 26, 2017, through Oct. 29, 2017 using a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. Home to four Fortune 1000 companies, Portland’s growing economy outpaces the U.S. average, and London service will complement Delta’s existing long-haul international service to Amsterdam and Tokyo for Portland’s business customers. Portland is also a popular tourist destination for travelers from Europe,” quoting PRNewswire.
Read more

May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016 – Honoring those that gave of themselves for their country

A caisson entering Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington, DC
Photo from Arlington National Cemetery website,
Courtesy of Andrew V. McMaster, May 2006

This story reprinted from first publishing here May 28, 2007:
This weekend is our Memorial Day holiday when America pauses to honor those that have given their lives in service to their country. The Yelm Community Blog host appreciates and honors all of those who have served to defend, protect, and preserve our country from outside invaders. Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action, quoting Wikipedia.

The wars have left their mark on this area, as we are reminded of one of the first from this area to give the ultimate sacrifice, Rainier’s Justin Norton, who was killed in June 2006:

Rainier’s fallen son, Justin Norton

Justin Norton Scholarship Fund honoring Rainier, Washington’s fallen soldier in Iraq.
About Sgt. Norton

Donations can be mailed to:
Justin Norton Scholarship Fund
c/o Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 444
Yelm, Wa 98597

– Memorial Day observed locally
The entire community is invited to honor the men and women who died while defending the United States.
• Yelm Cemetery Memorial Day Observance, 3:00 pm, Yelm

• U.S. Rep. Denny Heck is scheduled to speak at Puyallup’s Memorial Day observance.
1 p.m. at the pavilion in Pioneer Park, 333 S. Meridian.

• Memorial Day Ceremony at the Washington State Capitol Rotunda, 10:30 am, Olympia hosted by the Thurston County Veterans Coalition

• Joint Base Lewis-McChord Memorial Day Observance, Fort Lewis Cemetery, 11:00am, Base Commander Col. Daniel Morgan is to lead the ceremony.
Read more

– Delta Airlines honors our military on their last flights home (February 13, 2013).
A group of Delta Air Lines employees has made a commitment to honor and recognize members of the military who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Delta Honor Guard, which has been operating since 2005, is composed of approximately 30 men and women who volunteer their time to honor fallen troops whose remains come through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport aboard Delta flights, according to Brian McConnell, coordinator of the Delta Honor Guard.
Click here for this moving ceremony, which occurs even in the rain, plane-side

“Delta Honor Guard: Remembering fallen heroes on their journey home”
By Shannon Ledwich · posted May 27, 2016
Click here

– 2016: “Used & Betrayed – 100 Years of US Troops as Lab Rats”
“On Memorial Day, politicians will speak at ceremonies all over the country and repeat their favorite mantra: ‘Support the troops.’

This pledge is hammered into the American psyche at every turn. But there is a hidden, dark history that shows that the politicians are in fact no friend to service members–but their greatest enemy.
An easy way to prove this truth is to look at how they so quickly betray and abandon their soldiers after purposely ruining their lives, and even after using them as literal lab rats.

In this disturbing chapter of The Empire Files, Abby Martin documents decades of experimentation on US troops—from nuclear tests to psychotropic drugs—as well as knowingly exposing them to deadly poisons, from sarin gas to Agent Orange.

Most damning is that the hundreds of thousands of veterans seeking help from the government for the side-effects are always met with lies and denial,” quoting teleSUR English.
Watch here

– “The Path of the Warrior”
A moving tribute from the Humanity Healing Foundation.
Click here for the video.

– Won’t you consider a contribution to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Click here to donate.

May 29, 2016

Third leading cause of death in U.S. now due to medical errors

By Jim Morin, Miami Herald

– “Medical errors now 3rd leading cause of death in U.S., study suggests”
Medical errors, including wrong diagnoses, botched surgeries and medication mistakes, are the third leading cause of death in the United States, a new study suggests.

Scientists from Johns Hopkins found that more than 250,000 Americans die due to medical mishaps every year, greater than the toll from any major medical condition except heart disease or cancer.

The findings, published in The BMJ, come from an analysis of death rate records spanning eight years,” by Mary Brophy Marcus, CBS News.
Read more

– “Did Prince Die From Painkiller Addiction?”
“While most drugs come with a long list of potentially devastating side effects, painkillers tend to be among the most lethal, in large part due to their addictive nature.

Prescriptions for opioid painkillers have risen by 300 percent over the past 10 years, and deaths from overdosing on these drugs now far surpass those from illicit street drugs. Sadly, legendary musician Prince appears to be yet another victim of the opioid epidemic,” quoting Dr. Mercola.
Read more

May 28, 2016

Yelm’s Bella’s Organic Gourmet Restaurant uses locally sourced products

– Editor’s Note:
This writer and his wife have patronized Bella’s Organic Gourmet Restaurant several times since the change-over from the former Garden to Gourmet Restaurant at this same location. Yesterday for lunch, we had a wide variety of menu options; including soups, salad, and a sandwich. This restaurant is differentiated from all others in Yelm by using locally sourced, organic ingredients, supporting our local agriculture. This is a unique restaurant for Yelm in being a national trend-setter here in offering their foods straight from area farms to the table.
Click here for Bella’s menu item sources.

– From Bella’s to their Guests:
“Bella’s appreciates you, and continues to love serving nourishing food to our community! We want your experience to be amazing when you dine with us, that is why we are making wonderful changes to our patio area (extended outside seating, adding a relaxing water fountain, and more surprises!) as well as better organization of the kitchen to provide even better quality food and service to you! Due to those changes we will ONLY be open for Lunch Mon-Fri 11am-3pm [beginning May 16], we are very excited, and we hope you are as well! We thank all of you for your patience and continued support! Stay tuned for our new hours early July.”
Read more

Bella’s Organic Gourmet Restaurant
9144 Burnett Rd. SE Suite A-101
Yelm, WA 98597
Phone: 360.960.8220


May 27, 2016

Food waste becomes a hot-button issue for community leaders

– “How to Prevent Food Waste: 27 Tips for Community Leaders”
“Food waste has become an enormous global problem, with an estimated one third of the world’s current food supply for human consumption being lost or wasted every year. And the solutions aren’t simple, as food waste is as complex a problem as it is dire. Food waste occurs at every step along the supply chain, including producers and distributors who reject imperfect food, stores and restaurants that discard uneaten food, and consumers who throw away leftovers or allow food to spoil. In a world where 795 million people go hungry every day, food waste is unacceptable.

In addition, 97% of food waste ends up in landfills, and the methane gas released from rotting food – the same thing that’s released in your refrigerator drawers causing perishables to expire faster – is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. So reducing food waste has an environmental impact as well, playing an important role in curbing climate change.

Addressing food waste through prevention, redistribution and composting is an emerging focus for city leaders. Inspired, in part, by the report Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill, by Dana Gunders, staff scientist at the NRDC, food waste is a hot topic,” by Cat Johnson,
Read more

– “Keep your food—and money—out of the trash!”
From Thurston County Public Works.
Read more

– “Talking about Waste Prevention”
From Thurston Solid Waste.
Read more

May 27, 2016

Thurston Kick-off held for LD 2 candidate Amy Pivetta Hoffman (D-Frederickson)

Amy Pivetta Hoffman, Thurston kick-off,
LD 2 Dem. Chair Phyllis Farrell on the left.
Photo courtesy: Friends of Amy Pivetta Hoffman

The Thurston County kick-off reception for the campaign of Amy Pivetta Hoffman, Democratic candidate 2nd Legislative District, Rep. Pos. 1, was held Wednesday, May 25th at The Historic Jacob Smith House in Lacey.

Amy Pivetta Hoffman is a small business owner, attorney and a Bethel School Board Member.
She clearly presented her vision if elected State Representative from the 2nd Legislative District:
“Washington is a wonderful place to call home. But we’ve got some tough problems on our hands right now: overcrowded and underfunded schools, a congested transportation system, and high property crime rates in our unincorporated communities. I’m tired of watching the state legislature bicker and complain about each other without delivering the results we need.”

“I know we can do better. Every Washington child is entitled to a quality education, from pre-school to college graduation. Every local business should have the workforce and infrastructure they need to innovate and grow. Senior citizens should feel safe in their own homes, and our veterans and military families need the support they’ve earned. I’m ready to get to work and solve problems, and that’s why I’m running for State Representative.”

The 2nd Legislative District contains much of South Pierce and Thurston counties, including the communities of Graham, Orting, Eatonville, and Yelm, as well as the Nisqually Indian Reservation.
Read more

Yelm was represented by Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) President and Re/Max Country owner-realtor Cynthia Schmier, and Steve Klein, Yelm Area Caucus Coordinator (ACC) and host of the Yelm Community Blog. Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall, Washington Democratic Party Central Committee leader for Thurston County Christine Garst, Democratic LD 2 Chair Phyllis Farrell, and Rainier Area Caucus Coordinator John Marley were some of the notable people in attendance.

Editor’s Note:
Refreshing for voters to have a choice with a qualified Democratic challenger for this seat in our state legislature!

May 26, 2016

A tribute to Yelm Public Works Director Ryan Johnstone –
Leaving Yelm for new post in Bonney Lake

Yelm Public Works Director Ryan Johnstone
Photo credit: Steven Wyble, Nisqually Valley News
Published June 21, 2013

– Ryan Johnstone to leave as Yelm Public Works Director for position in Bonney Lake
On Wednesday, May 25, Yelm City Clerk/HR Manager Janine Schnepf, CMC announced:
“Ryan Johnstone has accepted a position with the City of Bonney Lake. After three years with the City, he will be leaving in the middle of June 2016.

Ryan was hired in June of 2013 as Public Works Director. Ryan brought with him his thoughtful approach and proactive ideas to improve the operations of the Public Works Department and the City. We will miss Ryan as he moves on to a new career adventure in Bonney Lake, but thankful he is leaving behind some of his positive energy and a job well done.”

– The Nisqually Valley News heralded Mr. Johnstone’s arrival in Yelm June 21, 2013
“Consultant hired as Public Works director: Johnstone is familiar with Yelm, framework of his new positions”
“Ryan Johnstone, a professional engineer, has worked with the city often during his nearly seven years as an engineer for the firm Parametrix, on such projects as the city’s downtown well upgrade and water reclamation facility projects.”

“City Administrator Shelly Badger said Johnstone brings a strong civil engineering background to the city, with key knowledge of water, sewer, reclaimed water and public works infrastructure management.”

“‘I’m really looking forward to being able to be here for a long time and being able to help the community in all different areas of what would be part of public works,’ he said.’ … I’m just really hoping that I can be a useful part of the community and one that can help improve the quality of life here,'” quoting Steven Wyble, Nisqually Valley News
Read more

– Editor’s note:
The Yelm Community Blog concurs with City of Yelm Clerk Schnepf that Mr. Johnstone “is leaving behind some of his positive energy and a job well done.”

First-off, I am deeply saddened that a man of Ryan Johnstone’s integrity, experience, genuineness and public likeability is leaving Yelm.

Secondly, Department Heads are a vital team for any city. They lean on each other, share ideas, discuss solutions and work through issues for the upliftment of the public, the Mayor and City Administrator under who they serve, the City Council, and their City Hall colleagues.

Therefore, I am VERY concerned that Chief Stancil and Community Dev. Dir. Grant Beck have lost two of their vital Department Head colleagues (City Administrator Shelly Badger & Johnstone) with whom they were able to kick-back and “blow off some stream.” As a former corporate director, I can tell you morale among management leaders and their staff must be top priority.

As an example, at the height of the Vietnam War in the late 1960’s, CBS New Anchor Walter Cronkite believed that the war was unwinnable and indefensible after reporting on what was known as the Tet Offensive. President Johnson reportedly said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the country.” Riots started to end the war & Johnson was forced to not seek another term as President.
My point: With all of the other issues in Yelm, the morale of city staffers must be at an all-time low with this news & needs immediately to be addressed. Mayor Harding has now lost the “war” where a lack of staffing resources is “unwinnable and indefensible.”

Mr. Johnstone gave a Staff Report at Tuesday’s Council session about aging equipment in Public Works and how parts for the city’s old meter readers are not workable and no longer manufactured while being utilized way beyond their design capacity, forcing the city into a costly replacement to get some reliable units here in short order.

This is not the only Public Works item in this condition – indeed, several facets of the city’s Public Works infrastructure have deteriorated like the meter readers, and if something is not done soon, the Mayor and Councilors will be called in at 3am for an emergency session to handle immediately funding water/sewer issues when those facilities are in the midst of a breakdown, their constituents awaken without water or sewage capabilities.

If Seattle City Light’s electrical infrastructure breakdown yesterday was not warning enough where a large part of downtown Seattle was in the dark for hours, then Yelm citizens should be aware that one day soon they will awaken with no water which has previously been described on the Yelm Community Blog.

And last, the Council authorized big bucks Tuesday night when finally approached by the Mayor via the council’s agenda to hire a “Head Hunter” seeking a City Administrator almost a year after Shelly Badger gave notice (June 5, 2015) and after the debacle with the previous candidate. The Council will almost certainly be forced to hire a “Head Hunter” to replace Mr. Johnstone, for when truly qualified persons for this type of position perform a thorough “due diligence” and ask the really tough questions to finally grasp the big picture, those prospective candidates are not interested in Yelm, a contributing factor to the large volume of unsatisfactory and less experienced City Administrator applicants and a chief reason the city does not draw in a good talent pool.

While I understand this may be difficult to hear, this IS what is “out there” on the street.


– “Staffing Levels Below Ideal for City of Yelm”
* “Budget Woes: Police Chief Would Like to Add Three New Officers”
By Graham Perednia, Nisqually Valley News.
Read more

May 25, 2016

Yelm’s Nya Kabouni honored on KIRO-FM’s ‘Make My Day’

Nya Kabouni, Yelm High freshman, May 10, 2016.
Photo courtesy: Joshua Bessex in The Olympian

– KIRO 97.3 FM “Ron and Don’s Make My Day helps out Yelm girl”
Originally aired: Tuesday, May 24, 2016
“Ron and Don took time to make the day of Nya Kabouni, a teen from Yelm who is engaging in her second battle with cancer.”
Click here for the interview.

– “Ron and Don’s Make My Day helps out Yelm girl with cancer”
“Nya Kabouni’s day starts early in Yelm.

‘We get up at about 4:45 a.m.’ said stepfather Doug Jaquez on KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don Show. ‘We hit the road at about 5:45 a.m. We get to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at about 7:30 a.m. Then go through [chemo] treatment for about 30 minutes and I drive Nya back home so she can get to school. That’s pretty much how our day goes.’

Nya, 15, said she powers through her day and tries not to give off the impression that she is sick. In fact, many of her classmates at Yelm High School aren’t aware of her early-morning routine.”

“Softball remains Nya’s favorite sport, though she has never gone to a Mariners game. KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don Show, along with the Seattle Mariners, wanted to change that. They gave Nya and her whole family tickets to a game,” by Dyer Oxley, Writer.
Read more

– “Yelm golfer begins day with radiation treatment, ends it by making tournament cut”
* Yelm Middle School’s Nya Kabouni was the final golfer to advance to the second day of the 4A Narrows tournament
* This is the first season golfing for the 15-year-old former softball player
* Kabouni is battling a rare form of colon cancer with radiation treatment
By Lauren Smith, The Olympian.
Read more

May 24, 2016

Introducing LD 2 Dem. candidate Amy Pivetta Hoffman –
Thurston kick-off campaign May 25 in Lacey

LD 2 candidate Amy Pivetta Hoffman
Photo courtesy: Friends to Elect Amy Pivetta Hoffman

Editor’s Note:
Refreshing for voters to have a choice with a qualified Democratic challenger for this seat in our state legislature!

A reception for Amy Pivetta Hoffman
2nd Legislative District, Rep. Pos. 1

WHERE: The Historic Jacob Smith House
4500 Intelco Loop SE Lacey, WA
WHEN: May 25, 2016, 5:30-7:30PM

RSVP or for more information:
Friends to Elect Amy Pivetta Hoffman
Click here to contribute to the campaign.

– About Amy Pivetta Hoffman
“Amy Pivetta Hoffman is a small business owner and attorney. She started her first business while still in college, and today runs her law office on Puyallup’s South Hill. Her practice focuses on helping South Sound companies navigate business law.

Amy has also served on the Bethel School Board since her election in 2013, giving her a clear-eyed understanding of the challenges in our K-12 system.

Active in her community, Amy serves on the board of the South County Branch of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. She has previously served as President of the Frederickson Land Use Advisory Commission, the Frederickson Clover Creek Community Council, and as Secretary of Friends of Stan and Joan Cross Park.

Amy and her husband, Jason, have lived in Frederickson since 2005.”
Read more


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