November 30, 2016

Thurston County election results now certified

Click here for the FINAL certified Thurston County Election results.

November 30, 2016

Spamalot Final ENCORE Performance this Friday in Yelm! –

King Arthur (Dave Champagne) gets a blessing for the Holy Hand Grenade
from the archbishop (Joel Derefield), as Patsy looks on (Champagne’s son Will).
Photo credit: Bill Wyman.

Friday, December 2nd at 7:30 pm.
Regular Ticket price: $24.50, discounted tickets for Seniors, Military, and Students: $15.00
Click here to purchase your Spamalot tickets!

The Triad Theater
102 Yelm Ave. E.
Yelm, WA. 98597

– Editor’s Review:
I attended this show Friday, November 18 to packed house and was amazed at the joy and fun exhibited by the cast. The professionalism of taking SRO to the next level was noticeable in the quality of the programs and in the performance, quite a tribute to the 20+ years of community theater in Yelm provided under the direction of Nancy Hillman. This show was directed by her student, first-time Director Daniel Wyman, who was superb!

Standouts in this play were perennial favorites and accomplished thespians Dave Champagne as King Arthur and Dawn Young as Lady of the Lake. This role gave Young the ability to fully express the range of her very impressive talents! I was thrilled to see the skills of Jesse Geray put to the test in this performance, as he once-again proved himself as quite a diverse and talented actor. The highlight of this show was clearly Champagne’s son Will as Patsy, who nailed the nuances of this character. And, I am ever-so-elated to see that Kevin McManus has found his “Holy Grail” back on the Yelm stage. McManus always delights in the way he enunciates the depth of any character in utilizing his stage experience. Kellie Petersen’s proficiency was once again demonstrated in her casting of her role. Shilo Wilson is someone who shows his adeptness and I expect to see more of him on the Yelm stage. Other standouts that exhibited their talents include Kyle Burke, Alex Brown and Kalen McCrea. Joel Derefield and David Fairley added to the color. Vocal Director Ian Montgomery and Choreographer Fred Loertscher, Jr’s experience were a perfect match for this show. The entire play was well-cast by an outstanding ensemble!

November 29, 2016

Donations requested to help Tenino Police Chief Don Moody & family

Tenino Police Chief Don Moody
Photo credit: City of Tenino

Our former beloved Yelm Police officer and now Tenino Police Chief Don Mooody and his wife Shelly were notified last weekend that their adult son JJ McCann died in a Texas hospital. McCann was raised in Yelm.

Tenino business owner Chris Hallett set-up a fund named “Help Don and Shelly Moody” to underwrite expenses to bring their son home for burial. Donate here:
Contributions also accepted for the couple at any branch of the Washington State Employees Credit Union.

Our thoughts and prayers go to Chief Mooney, his wife Shelly and their family.

November 29, 2016

Councilor Joe DePinto: Interim Mayor Foster “bullying” on his budget vote –
Littlefield derides DePinto to Mayor, unaware she was being recorded

Yelm Councilor Joe DePinto
Photo credit: City of Yelm

* Councilor DePinto only “nay” vote on city’s 2017 budget adoption.
* Interim Mayor Foster asked DePinto about his vote after the vote.
* DePinto declined to explain his vote – Foster pressed anyway.
* That is against city protocols using Robert’s Rules of Order.
* Not appropriate for Mayor to criticize a vote by councilors after the vote.
* DePinto: “I find this bullying by you, Mayor.”
* DePinto stated on-the-record previously transparency lacking in this budget.
* DePinto: “No” vote was in no way reflective of city staff’s efforts.
* DePinto: “No vote didn’t do enough for public safety.” Police got no new officers.
* Not enough time for councilors and public to understand budget.
* Interim Mayor Foster queried council on budget process transparency.
* Foster’s response to have done so was defensive.
* In football, that is called “piling on.”

While the November 22nd City Council session budget approval vote overwhelmingly passed with only one “nay” vote, what was out-of-line was the way Interim Mayor Foster handled the fact the budget was not unanimously approved. Foster pressed DePinto to explain the reason for his nay vote, DePinto declined. Later, DePinto expressed to Foster that asking a councilor for the reason for their vote after the discussion and the council’s vote was inappropriate, according to the city’s protocols in using Robert’s Rules of Order.

DePinto, with six-years experience working in the State Legislature is thoroughly versed in procedures and protocols, was very pointed in saying to Foster, “I find this bullying by you, Mayor.” DePinto specifically responded to Foster about the separation of power between the Legislative (council) and Executive (mayor) branches and that Foster was out-of-line in questioning DePinto’s vote.

Foster’s tone towards DePinto vote was at first, condescending. Foster’s response to query each councilor about the budget process being transparent missed DePinto’s point and was defensive. DePinto was crystal clear with his displeasure at the way an additional police officer was handled in the budget. On Tuesday, August 9, 2016, the Yelm City Council voted to authorize an additional police officer, as reported in the Nisqually Valley News. DePinto’s surprise was in discovering there were no new police officers allocated in the 2017 budget. When DePinto researched, he was told the August vote for an officer was via an amendment to the 2016 budget. So, the City of Yelm will receive “zero” new officers in the 2017 budget. That lack of transparency is what disturbed DePinto.

In football, Foster querying other councilors to compare them to Depinto’s vote is called “piling on.”

What was recorded after adjournment was appalling! The video ended, then a skip is noted and starts with Councilor Wood turning-in his documents to the city clerk. Most of the councilors had left the room and Interim Mayor Foster approaches Councilor Littlefield, where she says to him, “You are such a bully. I am going to wear orange to the next meeting. Did you know that is a stop-bullying color?” Fosters responds: “Is it, orange?” Littlefield says, “They have this orange day where everybody wears orange. I never do. I’m like, no, I support the bullies.”

That Interim Mayor Foster did not cut-off Littlefield whether he knew they were on-camera or not, indicates he is complicit with her views. That is a very unprofessional stand for a city’s leader to be taking certain councilor’s sides and is a breeding-ground for mistrust. Their opinions should be shared in-private or not at all, and certainly not in council chambers!
Click here to view, begin the video at 47:10.
Click here for the actual segment (Note: this is a Windows media file).


November 28, 2016

AG: Grocery Manufacturers Assoc. to pay largest U. S. campaign finance fine ever

WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson

– “AG: Grocery Manufacturers Assoc. to pay $18M, largest campaign finance penalty in US history”
“In a historic decision, a Thurston County Superior Court judge today [Nov. 2] ordered the Grocery Manufacturers Association to pay $18 million in penalties and punitive damages, after Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit revealed GMA intentionally violated Washington campaign finance laws. The case arose from Ferguson’s investigation of the finances of opposition to voter Initiative 522, which would have required labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in food sold to consumers.

“In light of all the evidence in the record, it is not credible that GMA executives believed that shielding GMA’s members as the true source of contributions to GMA’s Defense of Brands Account was legal,” Judge Anne Hirsch wrote in her ruling.

The ruling against GMA — a Washington, D.C.-based trade group representing major food, beverage and consumer companies — is believed to constitute the largest campaign finance judgment in United States history,” quoting the Washington Office of the Attorney General, Bob Ferguson.
Read more

November 28, 2016

Wet Wipes-type disposables wreaking havoc with public sewer systems, environment – Yelm ‘s Public Works also impacted

* Wet Wipes-type disposables wreaking havoc, including here in Yelm
* Flushable Does Not Mean Biodegradable
* Homes Flooding and Sewers Backing Up
* Damage to the Ecosystem
* Wipes Filled With Chemicals and Fragrances
* Ideal Replacement Is Affordable, Environmentally Friendly and Easy to Install – a Bidet

– “Wet Wipes: Biggest Stealth Health Threat of 2015”
“The demand for wet wipes began in the early 1970s when the industry expanded the single-packed, alcohol-soaked wet towelette product your mom or grandma may have carried in her purse in the ‘50s and ‘60s, into a line of wet wipes for baby’s bottoms (patented in 1972 with the brand name (‘Wet Ones’).

Demand for these disposable towels increased in the 1990s when they were promoted for adult hygiene, dusting, make-up removal and more.

With an infusion of aloe and fragrance, some people have made a complete switch from toilet paper to wet wipes. Wipes sold for cleaning your nether region are often advertised as biodegradable and flushable, making them all the more convenient to use on the toilet.

However, the congealed lumps of fat-soaked sanitary items known as ‘fatbergs’ being pulled from residential and city sewer lines make it clear these bits of material are not degrading after flushing,” quoting Dr. Mercola.
Read more

– “Flushable Wipes Creating Costly Problems”
Click here for the YouTube.

November 27, 2016

Yelm’s holiday season kicked-off with magical rainbow

Taken Wednesday, November 23, 2016 from Yelm City Park
Photo courtesy: Kya Keeslar

– Magic happens in Yelm!
The holiday season in Yelm had a magical kick-off with this photo captured by Yelm Community Blog reader Kya Keeslar.

November 26, 2016

AAA’s ‘Soap for Hope’ Toiletry Donation Drive Kicks off

Courtesy: AAA Washington

– Soap For Hope 9th Annual Toiletries Donation Drive
AAA’s Soap for Hope Toiletry Donation Drive Kicks off
AAA Washington is collecting unused shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, deodorant, and other toiletries to benefit the needy in our community.

* Overwhelming Community Support
With the generous help of our members, the community and partnering organizations, AAA Washington has redistributed more than 730,000 personal hygiene items to local charities throughout Washington and northern Idaho. We distributed nearly 150,000 items last year alone.

* Soap For Hope Acceptable Donations
It’s easy to help. Please consider donating your new, full- or sample-size toiletries to your local AAA store. We welcome items such as:

Shaving Cream


Read more

– UPDATE: November 28, 2016
Another stellar and similar program is the YMCA’s “Other Bank,” which accepts these donations year-round.
Donations can be made Mondays-Thursdays, 9am-5pm at the YWCA – 220 Union Ave SE in Olympia.
Read more

November 25, 2016

Los Angeles Times covers Thurston’s Bountiful Byway, Yelm mentioned

Thurston Bountiful Byway and sign – photo in the Los Angeles Times.
Photo credit: Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau (OLTVCB).

* Los Angeles Times highlights our area, Yelm mentioned
* Terrific nearby activity ideas for a full or half-day
* Yelm Farmers Market is a featured stop on the tour
* Click here for the Thurston County’s Bountiful Byway website.

– “Washington state: Wolves, wine, farms on this self-guided road trip south of Olympia”
“Two decades ago when I lived at the southern end of Puget Sound in Olympia, Wash., there were few things I enjoyed more than hopping on my bicycle and pedaling through the bucolic countryside — especially during late summer and fall — and then stopping at a roadside fruit stand for a sample or two. When I was done, I’d sometimes end up at a local brewpub.

“Now, tasting trips in the Evergreen State’s Thurston County around the state capital are easier to navigate, courtesy of the new Thurston Bountiful Byway self-guided tour. This printed and digital map connects travelers to the sources of the region’s fresh produce, cool craft beverages and more.”

Farm fare: When it’s time to chow down, meet the purveyors at Colvin Ranch, Helsing Junction Farms, Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm and others, or stop in at one of the three farmers markets along the route in Yelm, state capital Olympia and Tenino,” by Brian E. Clark, Los Angeles Times.
Read more

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from the Yelm Community Blog!

This Thanksgiving Day message was first published here in 2009:

– Editor’s Note:
THANKSGIVING DAY has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863 & became a federal holiday in 1941. President Lincoln issued this proclamation which set the precedent for America’s national day of Thanksgiving on October 3rd, 1863, which is as pertinent today as during the Civil War to heal our nation’s wounds:

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Read more


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