June 20, 2016

Summer begins in Yelm today –
That means Yelm Prairie Days are ahead!

Credit: NASA

– From The Old Farmer’s Almanac:
“The summer solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The timing of the summer solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point of the equator.

In 2016, summer begins with the solstice on June 20 at 6:24 p.m. EDT. [3:24pm PDT].”
Read more

– “For the first time in nearly 70 years [1948], the Full Moon and Summer Solstice coincide on the same day.”
From The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Read more

– Yelm Prairie Days
Prairie Days sponsored by the Yelm Lions Club
June 23 – 25, 2016
“Get ready for food, music, rides, the parade and more! It’s time for the Annual Prairie Days!”
Read more

– “Join the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce for Prairie Days Parade 2016 – Carnival Rio!”
June 23, 7pm
Read more

June 19, 2016

“We are in a kind of climate emergency now” –
President Obama says climate change is real

Melting Greenland ice cap show the immediate effects of climate change.
Photo credit: John Mcconnico/AP

President Obama visited Yosemite National Park yesterday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park system’s establishment. He used the backdrop of the park’s towering waterfall to the caution that the threat of climate change is real and affecting the planet now.
Read more from CNN.

– “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration Has Passed the Point of No Return”
Washington State’s Mount Rainier climber Dahr Jamail penned this outstanding report in Truthout.
Read more

– NASA data: seven straight months of record-breaking/record-shattering heat
2016 likely be the largest increase in global temperature ever in a single year.
April 2016 was the hottest April ever recorded and surpassed April 2015’s record by the largest margin of increase ever recorded.
Click here

– NASA: “February smashed a century of global temperature records by a ‘stunning’ margin”
“The Nasa data shows the average global surface temperature in February was 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month between 1951-1980, a far bigger margin than ever seen before. The previous record, set just one month earlier in January, was 1.15C above the long-term average for that month”

‘We are in a kind of climate emergency now,’ said Prof Stefan Rahmstorf, from the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research in Germany. He told Fairfax Media: ‘This is really quite stunning … it’s completely unprecedented,'” quoting Damian Carrington and Michael Slezak, UK’s Guardian.
Read more

– “Unraveling spiral: The most compelling global warming visualization ever made”
“Over the years, scientists have attempted to visually communicate the Earth’s warming in many ways. They’ve developed an array of maps, charts, and animations that present an unmistakable picture of a warming world.

But I’ve seen no visual as striking and effective as the infographic posted to Twitter Monday [May 9] by climate scientist Ed Hawkins,” By Jason Samenow.
Read more

June 18, 2016

‘Food Frontiers’ Documentary on U. S. Food System Changes

Courtesy: Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

– “‘Food Frontiers’ Documentary Reveals the Changing Landscape of the American Food System
“Did you know that 1 in 7 American households experience food insecurity, not knowing whether they’ll be able to eat on any given day? It’s a massive problem, but one that communities across the country are beginning to tackle in earnest.

‘Food Frontiers,’ co-produced by Leo Horrigan and Mike Milli, features several community-driven projects aimed at improving access to healthy foods in a number of innovative ways.

The film is part of Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Foodscape’s online curriculum — an interactive site scheduled for release in August, which will teach high school students and teachers about the American food system and what can be done to improve it,” quoting Dr. Mercola.
Read more

June 17, 2016

Capital City Pride Weekend, June 17-19, 2016 –
Now more important than ever!

Read more

– UPDATE: June 19, 2016
“Olympia Pride parade draws 20,000 to capital”
Read more from Josh Green, KING 5 TV News.

June 16, 2016

Today is the Last Day of School –
Best wishes to departing Superintendent Andy Wolf

Departing Yelm Schools Superintendent Andy Wolf,
always seen with a smile for everyone!
Photo Courtesy: Yelm Community Schools.

Editor’s note:
The hallmark of Yelm Schools Superintendent Andy Wolf’s tenure was in never failing to take an opportunity to support, rally for and uplift Yelm Schools’ students, staff and families. Wolf’s proprieties were all-ways in the right place in putting the focus exactly where the spotlight should shine, rather than ingratiating himself. His departing message echoes this fine man’s heart to that effect. That’s why former Mayor Kathy Wolf [deceased] and her son, departing Yelm Schools Superintendent Andy Wolf, are so beloved around here — because they understood that “people come first.”
The Yelm Community Blog says THANK YOU to Andy and his family for leaving a legacy of excellence in character, integrity, and moral fiber.

– “Andy Wolf Leaving Yelm”
“It has been my great pleasure to serve Yelm Community Schools. My time here has been highlighted by the opportunity to work and collaborate with all of you! One does not have to look far to see people who have a heart for kids and take tremendous pride in their work. It is because of your efforts and genuine concern for our students that this district is poised for continued growth and success.

This new opportunity is not about financial gain or climbing the ladder, because neither is true. It will, however, allow me to refocus some of my time back toward my family and still serve education, both of which are my passion.

I look forward to supporting the efforts of all as a member of the Yelm community,” quoting Andy Wolf, Yelm Community Schools.

June 15, 2016

Plan now for the ‘Great American Eclipse’ August 21, 2017 –
First in U. S. in almost 4 decades

“Total solar eclipse on Tuesday, March 8, 2016,
as seen from an airplane over the North Pacific Ocean.”
Photo credit: Dan McGlaun, eclipse2017.org via AP

– “Book your hotel for next year’s total solar eclipse”
* ‘Great American Eclipse’ set for Aug. 21, 2017 – first in US in nearly 4 decades
* Tourism industry giddy over eclipse chasers, especially in states like Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and NC and SC
* Depending on the location, the eclipse will be total for less than 30 seconds to as long as 2 minutes, 41 seconds.

“Where’s the best place to watch next year’s eclipse? If you’re thinking the grand open spaces of Wyoming, you have plenty of company.”

“Solar eclipses, which happen when the moon passes directly between the Earth and sun, are not rare, but they seldom happen in such easily accessible places.

A roughly 65-mile-wide zone, called the path of totality, will offer the best viewing as the moon’s shadow races over the Earth’s surface at more than 2,000 mph. Stars and planets come out, and the sun’s corona glows in a perfect circle around the dark side of the moon as the effect of a sunset appears in all directions.

Depending on the location, the eclipse will be total for less than 30 seconds to as long as 2 minutes, 41 seconds.”

“Astrocon2017, next year’s annual convention of more than 240 U.S. amateur astronomy groups in the Astronomical League, will bring dozens of experts to Casper over the four days leading up to the eclipse. Lyon, who sells insurance in Salt Lake City by day, is organizing the event,” quoting Mead Gruver, Associated Press.
Read more

– UPDATE: August 21, 2016
“‘Great American Eclipse’ visits Northwest in one year”
By Ben Dery and Doyle Rice, USA Today, KING.
Click here

June 14, 2016

Council’s Agenda tonight are stop-gap measures masking greater issue – Staffing!

Public Safety Building housing Council Chambers, Yelm

– Tonight’s Yelm City Council Agenda requests temporary fixes at the Public Works Dept.
Mayor Harding has crafted a City Council Agenda requesting of the Council:
A. “Authorize Mayor Harding to add and fill two seasonal worker positions that will provide support for the Public Works Parks Department.”
B. “Authorize Mayor Harding to approve the purchase of one 2016 Ford F150 for use by the City of Yelm Sewer Utility in the amount of $23,077.50 [replaces a “totaled” vehicle involved in an accident.].”
Read more

Editor’s note:
These are only stop-gap measures that do nothing to address the
1. lack of additional, permanent staffing needed at the Public Works Dept. and
2. funding to handle an overworked sewer utility that needs to be upgraded immediately to handle Yelm’s explosive growth. While there are plans to talk about funding this, such discussions need to be top priority no matter how challenging and difficult the funding options may be. A Czar should be appointed to discuss the issues and options with residents, as they will not be happy to hear more rate increases are ahead if the city chooses to not bond improvements.

Has EVERY City Councilor sat down with Public Works Director Ryan Johsntone for a complete overview AND taken a tour of the facilities to get updated from his years of experience, before he leaves his post for Bonney Lake on June 22nd?
Certainly not!

June 14, 2016

Flag Day June 14th recognized in Yelm

Flag Day honors the United States flag.
iStockphoto.com, Jim Jurica

“Flag Day is June 14 and celebrates the official symbol for the United States: our Stars and Stripes. Flag Day was first recognized by Congress on June 14, 1777, which became know as Flag Day.

Not only is the U.S. flag older than the Union Jack of Great Britain and the tri-color flag of France, but also is the only flag to have been flown on the moon.

Congress first stated that there should be a star and stripe for every state,” quoting the VFW.
Read more

– Yelm Veterans of Foreeign Wars (VFW) Post 5580 recognizes Flag Day locally
“Yelm VFW Post 5580, received it’s charter on February 8th 1946,with Veterans from WW11, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. We are currently 110 members strong, many of which are Lifetime and Legacy members.

The Post has proudly served veterans, active duty service members, men and woman, there spouses , families and the community of Yelm and surrounding areas. Throughout the years the Post has a long tradition of honoring our fallen Comrades, by showing of colors and ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, at the City of Roy and Yelm cemeteries. Additionally we are proud of our ceremonies on Flag day where we place named bricks of our comrades, and spouses below the Flag at the Yelm City Park,” quoting Post 5580.
Read more

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5580 will recognize Flag Day with a ceremony at Yelm City Park.
Click here for the schedule.

June 13, 2016

Port of Oly Terminal perspective by Thurston EDC’s Michael Cade –
Yelm Chamber Exec. Dir. Wortberg returns to Thurston EDC

Thurston County Economic Development Council (EDC)
Executive Director Michael Cade.
Photo credit: Thurston EDC

– Editor’s Note:
Thurston County Economic Development Council (EDC) Executive Director Michael Cade penned this thought-provoking Op-Ed, published in The Olympian. Yelm area voters should take an interest in Port of Olympia news because we pay taxes and vote on Port Commission candidates.

– “Port’s terminal plays vital role in local economy”
* Suggestions that the Port of Olympia give up its working waterfront are short sighted
* State law gives public ports a mission to stimulate economic development
* Successful organizations look at longer trends

My decades of economic development experience have repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of a working waterfront. Land-locked communities covet a port like ours; they’d be shocked that anyone would even consider willingly surrendering such a competitive advantage and strategic asset.

State law gives public ports a mission to stimulate economic development and provide a catalyst for economic activity and job growth. The Port of Olympia is doing that: A recent study found that port operations generate nearly 4,400 local jobs and $287 million in business revenue. Of those totals, the marine terminal drives more than 560 jobs and $33 million in business revenue.

Thurston EDC partners with cities throughout Thurston County to diversify our job base and build a sustainable local economy for our future.”
Read more

– Yelm Chamber Executive Director Wortberg returns to Thurston EDC
On Thursday, June 9, 2016, the Nisquully Valley News reported Yelm Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wortberg resigned to accept a position at the Thurston EDC, from where she came prior to Yelm, as their Executive Director of the Asset Building Coalition. Wortberg was introduced as the new Executive Director at the Chamber Forum September 8, 2015, and came from Washington Center for Women in Business (WCWB) providing training and counseling to women-owned businesses and operating under the umbrella of the Thurston EDC’s Business Resource Center.

Since Cecelia Jenkins retirement as Chamber Executive Director in 2014 after a stellar career, the Yelm Chamber has had two Executive Directors since December 2014, in addition to several Board changes. The turmoil at the Chamber among the Board of Directors and revolving door of Executive Directors, in addition to the changes in mission and direction of the organization, needs to be frankly addressed with the public and chamber members, and soon.

– UPDATE: June 13, 2016, 3:20pm
Kudos to Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Denise Hibbeln for e-mailing Chamber members about the Executive Director changes. Hopefully the Chamber will post this letter on their website so the public-at-large can have this information, too. This would go a long way towards building confidence for members and non-members alike.

– UPDATE: June 14, 2015
Kudos to Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Denise Hibbeln for posting her letter on the Yelm Chamber website platform today, for the public to read and understand: “Letter from the President.”
Read more

The Yelm Community blog is a Yelm Chamber member.

June 12, 2016

Yelm Gymnastics Center summer enrollment now open

Photo credit: Yelm Gymnastics

– Yelm Gymnastics Center Mission Statement
“The mission of Yelm Gymnastics Center is to provide a safe, fun, and productive learning environment for each and every athlete to whom we teach. While helping to instill self-esteem and self-confidence in our athletes, we foster a sense of dedication and commitment to goal setting that will ultimately lead to successes in any of life’s endeavors.

We encourage fun, physical fitness, family involvement and community spirit. Individuals of all ages and abilities are encouraged to develop in a positive respectful environment.”

– Summer enrollment now open
“Classes are now available for enrollment! Avoid the heat of the gym while keeping your evenings free. Classes start the week of June 20th. Enroll now to insure your child’s spot in class!

POLICY CHANGE!!! We now are allowing make-up classes!!!!! You can have as many as two make-up classes a month. The gym must be notified at least 24 hours in advance for the absence.”
Read more

Yelm Gymnastics Ccenter
307 Creek St.
Yelm, WA 98597
Phone: 360-400-1988
Email: gymnastics@yelmgymnastics.com



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