November 21, 2017

Yelm’s Community Center continues operating in red ink,
This is one this week’s top-read stories in Nisqually Valley News,
Why is this a surprise? Councilor DePinto raised this issue to council previously.

Yelm Community Center
Photo credit: Yelm Chamber of Commerce

– Editor’s note:
One of the most popular current Nisqually Valley News stories is about Yelm’s Community Center operating in red ink.
Why is this even in question?
After all, Yelm voters twice rejected the bonds to construct the community center after which then Mayor Ron Harding did an end-run around the voters, using a low-income grant plus a $1 million addition to the Yelm Library Bond without public input to build the facility, which the complicit council voted and approved (including a vote from then-councilor JW Foster)! Within the last year and a half, Councilor Joe DePinto has questioned the ability of the city of Yelm to recoup projected annual expenses.
This facility is going to be a boondoggle on Yelm taxpayers’ backs for years!

– “Yelm Community Center Running In the Red”
“Labor, Overtime, Repairs, Debt Service Totals Unaccounted For”

“Yelm City Administrator Michael Grayum presented a two-year update regarding cost and revenue of the Yelm Community Center at the council study session last Tuesday.

The building remains a center of controversy as two bond proposals failed and the city spent a combined $70,000 out of the water and sewer fund and more than $71,000 out of the reserve fund. The total cost of the project was almost $2.7 million and about $2.5 million was funded by bond proceeds and the legislative capital budget.

A big grievance from the community has been the cost to rent the facility, Grayum said. The current rate is $50 per hour for the North or South event rooms or $100 for both and events without alcohol require a $250 damage deposit and events with alcohol require a $500 deposit. City sponsored events are free while commercial events are double. Rentals Monday through Thursday have a minimum of two hours while rentals Friday through Sunday have a five hour minimum. The kitchen costs an additional $100 for the full day along with an additional $50 per day to use audio and visual equipment,” by Andrew Kollar, Nisqually Valley News.
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November 21, 2017

Yelm Timberland Library conducts “Fireside Jams” –
Open to the public!

Yelm’s Timberland Regional Library, 2nd floor
Photo credit: Yelm Community Blog

– From the Yelm Timberland Regional Library:
Are you aware that Yelm Library now holds fireside jams for Adults, Teens middle & high school?

Description reads:
Bring your acoustic instrument and be ready participate at this open music session. Open to seasoned pros and absolute newbies. Limited numbers of ukuleles and guitars will be available for use. This program is supported by the Friends of the Yelm Timberland Library.

Remaining dates are Nov. 22, and Dec. 13 & 27. All are on Wednesdays, 5:30-7PM.
Read more

November 20, 2017

DePinto closes in on Foster – only 13 votes difference as of now

The Thurston County Auditor’s Office released election results at 3:56pm today.
Total votes listed below do not include write-ins.

City of Yelm Mayor
Candidate Vote
Joe DePinto 618 = 49.48% (DePinto picked-up 3 votes since Thursday)
JW Foster 631 = 50.52% (Foster picked-up 0 votes since Thursday)
Difference = 13 votes
Total Votes 1,249

Next vote tally is November 27th.

November 20, 2017

Widespread area PSE outage forces Yelm Schools to close today

PSE Power Outage Map, Nov. 20, 2017
Credit: PSE

– Yelm Schools closed due to widespread PSE outage
“Due to wide spread power outages and 1/2 day schedule, Yelm Schools will be canceled today. Students on buses will be returned home. Conferences are also canceled,” quoting Yelm Community Schools FB.
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November 20, 2017

“Experience Olympia & Beyond” hosts Yelm function unveiling new ads

– Editor’s Note:
On Wednesday, November 15th, the fine staff of Experience Olympia and Beyond hosted a private showing of their new advertisement spots for approximately 45 people at Yelm Cinemas. Mayor Foster, City Administrator Grayum and local guests were feted to catering provided by Budd Bay Cafe and sample tastings from Thurston County’s Sandstone Distillery and Stottle Winery.

– From Experience Olympia and Beyond, Tourist Information Center
“Enjoy a decidedly different getaway. It’s all right here. Really.”
Click here to see the advertisement video.

– About Experience Olympia and Beyond
The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau serves all of Thurston County.
We offer visitor information on Thurston County and Washington State. Be sure to check out our website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages. More information at
Click here for the new “Olympia & Beyond” Visitor Guide and Map, online version.

Experience Olympia and Beyond
located on the Washington State Capitol Campus
103 Sid Snyder Ave SW
Olympia, Washington
Phone: (360) 704-7544

November 19, 2017

Olympia/Lacey Amtrak Rail Station volunteers make national news

Photo credit: NBC Nightly News, Nov. 17, 2017

– “This train station is run completely by volunteers”
“Since the Lacey, Washington station opened in 1993 volunteers have kept it running, even showing up in the middle of the night to greet passengers stuck on delayed trains,” by Joe Fryer, Los Angeles-based reporter for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.
Click here for the video.

November 19, 2017

“Straws Suck, Join No Straw November”

Photo credit: iStockphoto

– “Straws Suck, Join No Straw November”
Story at-a-glance
* Americans use 500 million straws daily; plastic straws are not recyclable and are a major source of plastics pollution in oceans and on coastlines
* The No Straw November campaign is calling on people to stop using plastic straws and businesses to stop automatically handing them out
* If you really want to use a straw, reusable varieties made from stainless steel, bamboo and even glass are widely available
Read more

– “No Straw November”
“Plastic straws are one of the main ocean plastic polluters, help us change that! The goal of “No Straw November” is to bring awareness to the many plastic straws that are being used once and then thrown away in a single month. Jr Ocean Guardians challenges you to refuse plastic straws the whole month of November and to keep a tally of how many straws you eliminated from potentially ending up in the ocean. Please share this challenge with others and use the hashtag #NoStrawNovember.”
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November 18, 2017

Yelm’s ‘Ice Chips Candy® Grannies’ featured on Seattle’s KOMO-TV 4

Ice Chips founders Beverly Vines Haines, Charlotte Clary,
in front of painting of Xylitol’s source, birch trees.
Photo credit: Yelm Community Blog

– “Cutting-edge candy company is run in Olympia by…two grannies”
Gaard Swanson of Seattle Refined introduces the Nov. 8th interview on KOMO-TV 4.

“A state-of-the-art facility in Olympia features “sweet” new technology for producing and packaging candy.

It’s a multi-million business built on old school values. In fact, this cutting-edge company, Ice Chips Candy, was founded by two grannies: Beverly Vines-Haines and Charlotte Clary.

They may have 40+ grandkids between them, but you won’t catch these grandmas resting in rocking chairs anytime soon. It started simply enough,” by Malia Karlinsky, KOMO-TV 4, Seattle.
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Ice Chips Candy LLC
Public Showroom
Across Old 99 from Olympia Regional Airport
818A 79th Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-232-1106 or Toll Free 866-202-6623

November 18, 2017

Yelm resident John Harden speaks out on his wife Wendy’s death,
He says was linked to substance with same effects as opioids

– “FDA warns that popular botanical substance could have same effects as opioids”
“A consumer alert says a dietary supplement growing in popularity is now linked to deaths.

U.S. Marshals, at the request of the FDA, have begun seizing a plant-based substance called kratom.

Right now the product is not regulated, and the FDA says kratom could have the same effects as opioids. They are asking would-be buyers to stay away.”

“The FDA says people are using kratom to treat pain and depression. The agency says the botanical substance is now linked to 36 deaths so far. The effects are similar to opioids if taken in high doses.

‘How many people have died and they had no idea it was kratom,’ Yelm resident John Harden said.

“Harden says kratom killed his wife Wendy who was trying to fight off an opioid addiction.”

He’s speaking out so others are aware of the deadly consequences,” by KCPQ-TV, FOX 13, Seattle.
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November 17, 2017

WSDOT releases I-5 peak traffic times for Thanksgiving week travel

– “Thanksgiving Day Weekend Charts 2017 – I-5 Olympia to Tacoma”
“WSDOT traffic analysts looked at how many cars were on the road past Thanksgiving weekends.”

“Check the graphs [here] to find the projected travel information on I-5 north of Olympia through Tacoma.”
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