May 31, 2017

Olympia in running for Reader’s Digest “Nicest Place in America” –
South Sound residents can vote for 2 more weeks

– “Is south Puget Sound home to the nicest place in America?”
“South Puget Sound residents will soon find out if Olympia is the nicest place in America.

Reader’s Digest is holding a national contest to determine the nation’s nicest place, and the state capital is among the early candidates.”

“The magazine’s crowd-sourced contest is accepting nominations,” quoting Craig Hill, Tacoma News-Tribune.
Read more

– “Nominate YOUR Nicest place!
Click here

May 30, 2017

Media consolidations in our region mean less Yelm coverage –
Social media and Blogs filling in the gap with local news

* KOMO-TV 4 owner announces intent to purchase owner of KCPQ-TV 13,
* Two of Seattle’s largest television audiences to be owned by one conglomerate,
* McClatchy owns most of Puget Sounds largest daily newspapers,
* The Olympian, Tacama’s News-Tribune, 49% of Seattle Times owned by McClatchy.
* NVN’s revolving door of reporters means less local news, now publishes AP stories, etc.
* Nisqually Valley News (NVN) loses key reporter to sister newspaper in Centralia,
* The Olympian now publishes Centralia’s Graham Perednia stories from The Chronicle.
* NVN Publisher/Editor Wagar’s 2017 New Year’s Resolution to uplift community recalled, in wake of a “religious column” again being used as a bully pulpit to rail against a segment of our citizenry.

– “FCC clears way for big TV mergers, eases broadband price limits”
“The three-member commission’s lone dissenter said the move ‘is a huge gift for large broadcasters with ambitious dreams of more consolidation,” by Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times (TNS).
Read more

– “Trump Uses Power of FCC to Pay Back Friends at Sinclair Broadcasting”
“The purchase, which gives Sinclair a staggering reach of nearly 69 percent of the US population (Free Press, 5/8/17), would’ve been in violation of ownership restrictions just weeks ago. But last month, the Trump-appointed FCC chair, Ajit Pai, reinstated the ‘UHF discount,’ an outdated loophole that allowed media conglomerates to exceed the nation’s 39 percent cap on ownership (New York Post, 4/20/17). Sinclair made a $420 million deal to buy Bonten Media Group (Baltimore Sun, 4/21/17) the very next day,” quoting
Read more

– “Sale of Tribune to Sinclair could put KOMO, KCPQ under same broadcast giant”
“Sinclair Broadcast Group [nation’s biggest chain of TV stations] will pay $3.9 billion to acquire Tribune Media, expanding the largest chain of TV stations in the U.S. The deal means it will own two Seattle TV stations — ABC affiliate KOMO and Fox affiliate KCPQ — both of which Sinclair expects to keep,” quoting Dominic Gates, Seattle Times staff reporter.
Read more

– “Sinclair Requires TV Stations to Air Segments That Tilt to the Right”
“Critics of the deal also cite Sinclair’s willingness to use its stations to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda. That practice has stirred wariness among some of its journalists concerned about intrusive direction from headquarters.

That is what has happened in Seattle, a progressive city where Sinclair owns the KOMO broadcast station,” quoting Sydney Embermay, The New York Times.
Read more

– The McClatchy Company’s grip on South Sound daily newspapers
“The McClatchy Company is a publicly traded American publishing company based in Sacramento, California. It operates 29 daily newspapers in 14 states.” [South Puget Sound daily newspapers owned outright include The Olympian and the Tacoma News-Tribune.] “The McClatchy Company owns 49.5 percent of voting common stock in the Seattle Times Company,” quoting Wikipedia.
Read more

– UPDATE: June 10, 2017
“The Olympian’s move is a sign of how media is evolving”
By Dusti Demarest, The Olympian.
Read more

– NVN’s Graham Perednia moved to Lafromboise Newspaper’s The Chronicle in Centralia.
Graham Perednia was hired a year ago to replace the departed and well-known Yelm reporter Steven Wyble. Perednia had also been covering Tenino-area stories that were published in sister newspapers the Nisqually Valley News and The Chronicle, until he was recently transferred to fill in a vacancy at The Chronicle. His boss is Michael Wagar, Regional Executive Editor for The Chronicle, Nisqually Valley News, The Reflector, and Publisher of the Nisqually Valley News. All of these newspapers are owned by Centralia’s Lafromboise Communications.
Click here for one of Perednia’s current featured stories in The Chronicle.

The Olympian consolidated much of news staff into Tacoma News-Tribune offices,
Perednia’s stories in The Chronicle now also supplement The Olympian.

Click here for Perednia’s weekly stories published the last month in The Olympian.

– The NVN currently covers most stories with only 2 weekly news writers.
In perusing our local newspaper the last few weeks, any reader can see most local weekly stories are from two reporters, Correspondent Cindy Teixiera and “By Nisqually Valley News,” which usually means written by NVN staff and/or the publisher. After she left the newspaper, former NVN reporter Teixiera was used periodically as a fill-in correspondent while the NVN looked to back-fill open reporter positions, yet has now become their prime writer. The newspaper has also included more reports than ever from other newspapers and the Associated Press (AP). The public has now turned to blogs and social media more and more to provide them with sources of local, daily news.
Click here to see that reflected in this week’s newspaper stories.

– Editor’s note:
While the Nisqually Valley News has seen improvement under Publisher/Editor Wagar’s leadership, his 2017 published News Year’s resolution should be reviewed as we enter June this week:
Personal: Look for the best in people, don’t say a negative word about others,…
Community: My hope is for the community to come together from all sides to make Yelm the best it can be; that we do so in an uplifting spirit with respect and joy on a day-to-day basis.”

I know Publisher/Editor Wagar uses the guise of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Freedom of Speech clause to permit Pastor Jeff Adams to use a weekly “religious column” as a bully pulpit to rail against “the local cult.” Yet would he give anyone else the use of a column to denigrate a segment of our community as does Adams? Of course not!

Mr. Adams has again picked-up his tired tirade in recent columns that have been described in critical terms by “non-cult” Letters to the Editor. Mr. Wagar would have to admit that such divisiveness coming from his newspaper’s “religious” section is anathema to fostering his 2017 News Year’s Resolutions. Wagar could easily remedy this by not allowing Adams’ columns to include bullying rants against Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE), JZ Knight, and their students. Then Wagar could be on the path to engender the desire in his wonderful resolution of “the community to come together from all sides to make Yelm the best it can be; that we do so in an uplifting spirit with respect and joy on a day-to-day basis.”

Wagar has the 2nd half of the year to prove this is not just another resolution to be unfulfilled. We’ll be watching to see what course of action he takes!

May 30, 2017

Iowa’s small-town newspaper wins Pulitzer Prize-
“Journalism really matters” says the winner!

* Just goes to prove that “Journalism really matters” – especially good journalism!

– “Tiny, family-run newspaper wins Pulitzer Prize for taking on big business”
“He [Art Cullen, Storm Lake (Iowa) Times] won for editorials that confronted the state’s most powerful agricultural interests, which include the Koch Brothers, Cargill and Monsanto, and their secret funding of the government defense of a big environmental lawsuit. His ‘tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing’ were quite self-evident if you’ve seen his labor (which actually spanned two years, though he won for last year’s efforts).

But he cranked those out while functioning as a de facto city editor, part-time reporter and editorial writer. He lays out the main news pages and used to run the press until printing was moved to Sheldon, Iowa, an hour away.

‘Journalism really matters, and good journalism is being done all around the country,’ Cullen, 60, said,” quoting James Warren, The Poynter Institute.
Read more

May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017 – Honoring those who gave for their country

Caisson enters Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington, DC.
Photo from Arlington National Cemetery website, Courtesy: Andrew V. McMaster, May 2006.

This story is reprinted here annually since 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 in the Iraq War, 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.
Monday, May 29
• Joint Base Lewis-McChord Memorial Day Observance, Camp Lewis Cemetery, 11am, JBLM.
Visitors who wish to attend the JBLM ceremony will be required to obtain a pass from the base’s Visitor Center at exit 120 on Interstate 5. Signs will direct attendees to the cemetery.

• Thurston County Memorial Day Celebration, Capitol Rotunda, begins at 10:30am.

Sunday, May 28
• Yelm Cemetery Memorial Day Observance, 1pm, Yelm,

• Roy Cemetery Memorial Day Observance, 3 pm, Roy.
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. A solider and his military canine who both died in action return home, their remains arriving on U. S. soil in Atlanta in this video.

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 plane-side in the rain, and all weather conditions.

– At Sea-Tac Int’l Airport: Hometown-based “Alaska Airlines Fallen Soldier Program”
Click here

2017: “Delta Honor Guard: Fallen sailor returns home [to the Twin Cities] after 75 years”
By By Rachel Solomon, Delta Airlines News Hub, posted May 26, 2017.
Click here

A Broken System, A Roadmap Of Hope
Click here

May 28, 2017

Washington ranked number one “Best State to Make a Living 2017”

– “Best and Worst States to Make a Living 2017”
“Washington earns the No.1 spot as the Best State to Make a Living. This isn’t a stroke of luck! The state has been in the top two rankings for the past seven years.

How has Washington managed to do so? See the details here:

‘Location matters greatly to your career,’ says’s personal finance expert Richard Barrington. So, unless one is tethered to particular state for personal or familial reasons, go east (Virginia), west (Washington), north (Minnesota) or south (Texas) young graduate. You too, mid-career professional.

Based on a formula that factors in median income, cost of living, unemployment rates, state income taxes and workplace safety, has just released its Best and Worst States to Make a Living in 2017, by Richard Barrington, Senior Financial Analyst, CFA.
Read more

May 28, 2017

Gates and Zuckerberg warn about automation replacing worldwide jobs

“Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have advice for today’s graduates.”
Photo: © Provided by Dow Jones & Company

* Why is this important for Yelm Community Blog readers?
* The trends for the future are now more clear.
* A new dynamic must now be carefully considered by local city planners!

– “When Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg sound the same dire warning about jobs, it’s time to listen”
“Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates built billion-dollar technology companies in two very different areas, but they both agree on the biggest threats to American jobs.

At his Harvard University commencement speech on Thursday [May 25], Facebook (FB) chief executive Zuckerberg, had some tough words for the Class of 2017. “Our generation will have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation like self-driving cars and trucks,” he said, adding, “When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community,. But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in communities is declining. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void.”

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft (MSFT) earlier this month, sounded the same warning. Gates said he didn’t want to sound like the guy from “The Graduate,” which celebrates 50 years this year. In that movie, old Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) was given this very famous piece of advice: “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word …Plastics,” And today? That word would likely be “robots.” Gates took his 34.8 million Twitter followers by the virtual shoulder and said “artificial intelligence” would have a huge impact. In other words, why not join the revolution? After all, that’s exactly what Zuckerberg and Gates did with social media and computer software.

But that’s not the only response to the robot revolution,” by Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch.
Read more

– “A jobs threat worse than mass store closures could fire more than 7 million retail workers”
“Nearly half of retail workers are at risk of losing their jobs to robots and other automation technology, according to a new report.

Roughly 6 million to 7.5 million retail jobs “likely will be automated out of existence in the coming years, leaving a large portion of the retail workforce at risk of becoming ‘stranded workers,'” according to the 56-page report by investment advisory firm Cornerstone Capital Group,” by Hayley Peterson, Business Insider.
Read more

May 27, 2017

The war against Raw Milk continues to spread ignorance and fear –
Fortunately, raw milk is still available locally at the Yelm Co-op

Raw milk
Photo credit: KING 5 TV News, Seattle

– “Raw Milk/Cheese Are Undergoing a Renaissance as Artisanal Foods Rise in Popularity”
* Raw Milk Has Been Wrongfully Demonized
* To Be Safe, Raw Dairy Cows Must Be Raised on Pasture
* The Benefits of Raw Milk
* How to Identify a High-Quality Producer of Raw Milk
* Where to Buy Raw Milk, and What to Do if it’s Not Legal in Your State
By Dr. Mercola.
Read more

– “Big Dairy Continues War Against Farmers and Raw Milk”
* According to a CDC report, dairy consumption causes an average of 760 illnesses and 22 hospitalizations a year, of which they claim 96 percent are caused by contaminated unpasteurized milk
* The study specifically looked at raw dairy contaminated with Escherichia coli, salmonella, listeria and campylobacter — the latter of which is commonly found contaminating chicken CAFOs and produce
* The war against raw milk has been one of the most successful, fear-based campaigns ever created to monopolize an industry

“Increasing numbers of Americans are seeking out unpasteurized, or raw, dairy products — both for the health benefits and the flavor. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), meanwhile, has released a report that’s clearly an attempt to squelch the growing enthusiasm for obtaining farm-fresh foods like raw milk and cheese,” by Dr. Mercola.
Read more

– “Making the Decision to Switch to Raw Milk”
* Why Make the Switch to Raw Milk?
* International Dairy Foods Association Tries to Halt Raw Milk Movement
* CDC Twists Raw Milk Data to Make It Seem More Dangerous
* The Hypocrisy in Banning Raw Milk While ‘Legal” Foods Kill Millions
By Dr. Mercola.
Read more

– “Co-op Members and Their Farmers Resist Questionable Raw Milk Laws”
“Cornucopia’s Take: Cornucopia believes everyone should have the choice to eat the diet that they believe provides them the healthiest and most nutritious food. And we believe that the family farmers who produce it deserve to be fairly compensated. We defend the rights of dairy farmers to produce and market raw dairy products and the rights of consumers to make informed purchasing decisions in the marketplace,” by The Cornucopia Institute.
Read more

– Editor’s Note: I have visited this raw milk producer & support their work
Dungeness Valley Creamery
“The Dungeness Valley Creamery is a family owned and operated raw milk dairy located in Sequim, WA. We practice the most clean and sanitary conditions from the milking parlor to our customers. We eat and drink what we produce, and are proud to be a provider of this high quality natural food throughout Western Washington.”
Sold in Yelm at the Yelm Food Co-op.
Read more

May 26, 2017

Yelm Farmers Market opens 7th season Sunday

Photo courtesy: Yelm Farmers Market

– Yelm Farmers Market opens Sunday, May 28, 10am-3pm

– “Sarah Curtis is the new YFM Manager!”
“We now have a new manager for our beautiful market as it heads into its 7th year!

Sarah is no stranger to Farmers Markets. She was the assistant manager of the huge Puyallup Farmers Market for 3 years and brings us a wealth of experience from that. She also has a BS Science Degree in Environmental Studies from Evergreen State College and was an intern at the Thurston Conservation District,” quoting the Yelm Farmers Market (YFM).
Read more

– “Power of Produce at the Yelm Farmers Market May 28”
What’s happening? Bring your kids aged 5-12 to register for the Power of Produce Program.
When? Sunday, May 28th 2017 10:00am
Where? Nisqually Valley Farm, 14200 Yelm Hwy SE, Yelm
Read more

– Karla’s popular booth announces their return for 2017
Karla’s Wild Shop returns to YFM with a variety of goats milk soaps and Local Raw Honey, Bee Pollen, Bee’s Wax Candles from Bee Forever Apiary!
Read more

– “Thrifty Thurston Visits Farmers Markets in Olympia, Tumwater, Tenino, and Yelm”
“At the heart of farmers markets in Thurston County are seasonal, fresh, healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The markets are never boring as their offerings evolve over the growing season.

Each farmers market is passionate about educating all ages on the merits of buying fresh, local food. And quite frankly, their passion for their mission is infectious, for the benefits of shopping farmers markets are many fold,” by Jessica Reeves-Rush, Thurston Talk.
Read more

May 25, 2017

“Seattle’s population growth leads nation”

– “Seattle’s population growth leads nation: Report”
By Travis Pittman, KING 5- TV News.
Read more

May 25, 2017

Port of Olympia garners 2018 passenger cruise ship callings –
Thurston County tourist attractions featured for passengers

‘American Constellation’ to begin carrying up to 175 visitors to Sound Sound ports
of Olympia and Tacoma in 2018, as the first modern tour ship schedule begins sailings.
Photo courtesy: American Cruise Line, ACL

* 3-year effort by the Port of Olympia, City of Olympia, Thurston Economic Development Council, Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau, Thurston Chamber of Commerce, and the Olympia Downtown Association.

– “Cruise ships coming to South Sound”
“Capping what Port of Olympia Commissioner Bill McGregor claimed on Facebook was his pursuit “for almost three-years,” the South Sound’s most inland marine terminal has been added to the 2018 schedule of sailings by American Cruise Lines. A Tacoma stop is also shown on the company’s website brochure.

This ‘small-ship’ cruising specialty line explores ‘protected waterways, sheltered harbors and magnificent rivers’ on vessels carrying no more than 185 passengers.”

“ACL has agreed to include Olympia as a destination (Port of Call) on its Grand Puget Sound tour itinerary in late summer to autumn next year. The 175-passenger newly-built ‘American Constellation‘ ship will berth at the Port Plaza dock between September and November 2018,” quoting the Business Examiner.
Read more

– “Olympia will be port of call for cruise ship, port says”
“About a year from now, a ship will sail into Olympia’s Budd Inlet carrying more than 100 tourists, instead of logs or a shipment of corn.

That’s because the Port of Olympia announced Wednesday that American Cruise Lines, a company known for its cruises on the Columbia and Mississippi rivers, will make Olympia a port of call for the American Constellation, a new 175-passenger ship.

The ship is expected to stop in Olympia as part of an 11-day Grand Puget Sound tour that will begin and end in Seattle, according to a spokeswoman for the Connecticut-based company,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian.
Read more


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