August 31, 2017

Gear-up for record-breaking September heat everyday next week

The weather forecast for the South Sound Sunday through the end of next week calls for recording-breaking heat every day. Click here for the temperature forecast.

Click here for the daily weather records at Olympia Regional Airport.

– “Seattle surpasses longest 70-degree stretch on record”
“The record for that stretch is 62 days, which was set in 2013. Before that, it was a 61-day stretch that was set in 2006. On Wednesday, we reached 71 degrees and officially hit 63 days,” by Jordan Steele, KING-5 TV News, Seattle.
Click here

August 31, 2017

Deschutes Falls “hidden gem” of a park opens Friday in the Bald Hills

Deschutes Falls Park
Photo credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian

– Deschutes Falls Park grand opening Sept. 1, 10a, 25005 Bald Hills Rd SE.

– Editor’s note:
I visited the gorgeous and magical Deschutes Falls Park many times in the early 1990’s after moving here from the Bay Area in 1988, so really looking forward to re-visiting.

– “Deschutes Falls Park ‘a hidden gem again’”
“The 155-acre site at 25005 Bald Hill Road, more than 15 miles southeast of Yelm, has been closed to the public since it was purchased by Thurston County about 25 years ago. But in about six weeks, it will reopen as the area’s newest recreational treasure,” by Lisa Pemberton, The Olympian, published in sister newspaper The Seattle Times.
Read more

Click here for Thurston County’s Deschutes Falls website, to be updated once the park has re-opened.

August 30, 2017

Yelm-Tenino Trail highlighted in South Sound Horseback Riding story

“If you don’t own a horse yourself but have always wanted to learn to
ride, a good place to start is at a nearby stable or equestrian park.”
Photo credit: EZ Times Outfitters

– “Hold Your Horses: Trail Riding Around the South Sound”
“Hikes are better with friends, and some trailblazers say man’s best friend is the perfect companion, especially if your four-legged companion happens to be of the equine variety. If you fall into this category or have been looking for a good place to start a trail riding tradition, there are plenty of places near and far that can have you saddled up and ready to ride in no time.

* Horse Ranches and Guided Tours

* Great Trails Near Tacoma
Traversing the Yelm-Tenino Trail, also located in the watershed, is a whopping 27 miles long and connects the towns of Yelm, Rainier and Tenino to guarantee a scenic trip. Check out Keene Horse Camp and Cody Horse Camp for access to beautifully maintained trails and plenty of equine amenities in the area, too.

* Great Horseback Rides for a Day Trip” by Mariah Beckman, South Sound Talk.
Read more

August 29, 2017

The Spirit of the Northwest assists with Texas disaster –
300 displaced pets being flown to Seattle

Photo credit: Kevin Miller via Facebook,
Tall Tails Animal Rescue, Hankamer, Texas

– “Seattle Humane to take in 300 displaced pets from Texas”
Seattle Humane prepared Tuesday to take up to 300 pets from animal rescue groups in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

About 200 cats and 100 dogs are set to arrive at Boeing Field on Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. Seattle Humane will take the animals to their Bellevue shelter where they will be placed for adoption [and fostering while the owners are located].

This is the first of several expected flights to Seattle to help shelters that are housing displaced pets outside of Houston.

If you’re interested in fostering pets currently in Seattle Humane’s care to make more room for animals flying in from Texas, [Email].
Read more

August 29, 2017

How your can provide Help for Houston –
From United Airlines, Houston’s largest air carrier

– 12 years to the day since Katrina hit Louisiana
“Katrina responders from Puget Sound headed to Harvey”

World Vision, based in Federal Way, has already sent one truck down to Texas to help victims of Harvey. They are planning to send more resources in the days to come,” by Alex Rozier, KING-5 TV News, Seattle.
Read more

– Even though both Houston airports are closed to passengers:
Delta Airlines operated a relief flight of supplies from Atlanta yesterday.
United Airlines, Houston’s largest airline did the same with wide-body 777s & 767s.
American (from Intercontinental Airport) and Southwest (from Hobby Airport) have been shuttling stranded passengers and evacuees to Dallas and Austin.

– Houston’s largest hub operator United Airlines suggests supporting these organizations:
Our thoughts go out to all affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please join us in supporting our humanitarian aid and disaster relief partners – Airlink, American Red Cross, Americares, Greater Houston Community Foundation and OperationUSA – as they provide critical aid to those impacted. If you choose to contribute, United® will reward your generosity with MileagePlus® bonus miles:
■ Donate $50–$99 and earn 250 bonus miles
■ Donate $100–$249 and earn 500 bonus miles
■ Donate $250 or more and earn 1,000 bonus miles
We will award a total of up to three million bonus miles to MileagePlus members who contribute to these organizations by September 15, 2017. In addition, United will match the first $200,000 donated to our campaign. Thank you for your support. Donate Now.
Read more

– “Delta partners with American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Harvey”
“Delta customers can support relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey by donating through Delta’s Customer Microsite created in partnership with the American Red Cross. Donations made through the site will go toward immediate relief needs. Customers are also able to donate miles to the American Red Cross through SkyWish, the charitable arm of Delta’s SkyMiles frequent flyer program,” by Judy Graham-Weaver, Delta Airlines News-Hub.
Read more

– American Airlines “Supporting Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey”
“As Hurricane Harvey unfolds, American has activated our disaster response process.

American Airlines has partnered with the Red Cross for many years and is part of a select group of leading corporations that provide the highest level of support to American Red Cross preparedness and relief efforts,” from the American Airlines Newsroom.
Read more

– “Stretching your Harvey donation dollars: 5 tips”
By David Campbell, Binghamton University SUNY/The Conversation, via KING-5 TV News, Seattle.
Read more

August 29, 2017

Yelm Community Schools ‘Back to School’ schedule

Photo Credit: Yelm Community Schools

– Yelm Community Schools (YCS) ‘Back to School’ schedule highlights:
Aug 29: YHS Orientation/Open House 2-6:30pm
Aug 30: YMS Orientation/Open House 2-5:30pm
Aug 31: RMS Orientation 12-5pm
Sept 5: Elementary Open House – see website for details
Sept 6: First Day of School
Read more

– “Welcome to the 2018 school bond initiative”
“We hope you will join us in keeping our community informed about this very important topic. You can find everything you need to learn more about our action plan for the 2018 Bond coming February 2018.”

– From Citizens For Support of Yelm Schools (CSYS​):
“Upcoming Events”
September 28th: From 10 am – Noon, YCS will be hosting a facilities tour
October 6th: From 10 am – Noon, YCS will be hosting a facilities tour
October 5th: Auction at Nisqually Spring Farm
October 12th: Bond proposal presentation to school
February 13th: Special Elections (Bond) Day!
Read more

August 29, 2017

Guest Entry:
Yelm-area resident Michelle Horkings-Brigham on county’s marijuana ordinance –
Why you should care to be informed and aware!

Dear Yelm Community,

I am writing this for you to be aware. On August 17, 2017, after a lengthy battle that has lasted three and a half years, in a near impossible fight that still isn’t over, our next door neighbors were finally raided by law enforcement for producing unpermitted, shadow-market quantities of marijuana (it’s been going on for years). The raid took three hours. If you had seen what has been built without permit, and followed what has been occurring in our neighborhood all these years, you would understand the enormity of this fight.

The Marijuana Ordinance for Thurston County is still undecided. A decision will be made by this coming November to finalize, or extend, the current Interim Ordinance. There are county officials who have stated in the past that Thurston County is fast becoming the next “Pot Silicon Valley.” The stress, the effort, the time, and the cost to fight this unlawful intrusion next door to us has been unimaginable. But focus and determination will prevail. Our opportunist neighbors took advantage of inappropriate zoning, deception, a hidden location, confusion amongst government agencies, and the strength of a cartel. Please be warned.

For the safety of your own homes and property and this beautiful county, I again encourage you, when the final, or Interim Marijuana Ordinance is being determined by the Commissioners (by November 8, 2017), and if this is your perspective, that you inform Thurston County Resource Stewardship Planning Department that you are against the zoning of commercial marijuana production and processing in rural residential or agricultural areas of Thurston County.

I am not against marijuana being legalized. I am not against the limited number of plants that can be grown legally in someone’s backyard. I am not against medical or recreational marijuana if that is your choice. I am against what harm recreational marijuana has introduced, through large-scale commercial operations and inadequate zoning, to innocent communities such as our own. There is a suitable location and that is in commercial/industrial zoned areas of the county.


Michelle Horkings-Brigham
Yelm, WA.

Click here for the August 29, 2017 Commissioners’ Agenda Setting Work Session.

August 28, 2017

Pacific Northwest responds to Texas flooding –
Will you please consider a contribution?
The Spirit of the Northwest!

Hurricane Harvey damage, Bayside, TX., August 26, 2017.
Photo Credit: AFP Photo/Daniel Kramer via KING-5 TV, Seattle
(Photo credit should read Daniel Kramer/AFP/Getty Images).

– “Northwest Response: Texas Floods”
“KING 5 Television has a long history of partnering with the Red Cross to support the community in times of need. Please join KING 5 in supporting their efforts.


You can donate through our Northwest Response at

You can also donate by visiting any U.S. Bank branch in Western Washington (find a branch near you)”

“For more information about the Red Cross, please visit”
Read more from KING-5 TV News, Seattle.

August 28, 2017

While Texas drowns in record rains, Puget Sound’s record heat/dryness continues
Seattle to break number of consecutive days over 70 degrees Wednesday

– “Seattle about to surpass longest 70-degree stretch on record”
“Seattle is about to set another weather record.

That’s right, 2017 is the year of records. We’ve already been there for the amount of rain we received this spring. We were there again this summer when we surpassed the longest consecutive dry streak.

Now we’re at it again with the longest consecutive stretch with temperatures at or above 70 degrees.

The record for that stretch is 62 days, which was set in 2013. Before that, it was a 61-day stretch that was set in 2006,” by Jordan Steele, KING-5 TV News. [The record will be broken on Aug. 30th.]
Read more

– Thurston County in the midst of tinder dry conditions
Olympia Regional Airport has recorded only .05 inches of rain in July and .11 inches of rain in August. Since June 18, there have only been .16 inches of rain, plus a trace of precipitation on June 28, also adding to a dry summer here.

– “That wet start we had to 2017? It’s now fueling a late-summer rash of brush fires.”
“Although the early-August haze that choked Puget Sound with smoke was the product of Canadian wildfires, the dry season in the South Sound and statewide continues to produce fires frequently enough to spark an array of problems for local and state authorities.

With the wildfire season just reaching what officials hope is its peak, the state Department of Natural Resources had logged 575 fires so far in 2017, with 136,000 acres burned — about on pace for what the state has been seeing in recent years, an agency spokesman said.

Strip away the largest fire of 2016 — the disastrous Range 12 fire near Yakima that did more damage than the rest of the year’s 1,272 wildfires combined — and the amount burned already this year is more acreage than was charred the entire previous year,” by Derrick Nunnally, Tacoma News Tribune.
Read more

August 27, 2017

Unprecedented in American History –
TWO major international hub airports closed due to flooding in Houston,
America experiencing perhaps country’s worst natural disaster – ever!

“The Most Dire Statements About Harvey:
‘We’re Going to be There for Years’ FEMA Director Says of Houston”

“Empty city buses line up on Interstate 59 near Houston Saturday
in case their bus shelters flood.”
Photo credit: Mark Mulligan / AP

– TWO major international hub airports closed due to flooding in Houston
Both Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (hub for United Airlines) and Hobby International Airport (hub for Southwest Airlines, closed at least until Wednesday) are closed indefinitely due to roadway and runway flooding from storm Harvey in and around their airports. The last time two major international hub airports were closed was for three days after the events of 9.11.01.
Read more

– “The Most Dire Statements About Harvey:
‘We’re Going to be There for Years’ FEMA Director Says of Houston”

Read more from


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