December 12, 2017

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office/county court system issue warning –
Beware of a jury scam calling/e-mailing county residents.

– “Jury scam comes to Thurston County”
“The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and the county court system are warning residents about a jury scam.

The scammers are using both the phone and emails to contact residents, saying they have missed jury, and a warrant has been issued for their arrest or they owe a court fine.

The scammers ask for personal information, such as Social Security numbers, birth dates or bank account information.

Residents are advised to hang up the phone or ignore the email,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian.
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December 12, 2017

Great idea for Yelm to differentiate the city and garner tourists

Photo credit: Rail Explorers

– Editor’s note:
With Yelm owning an abandoned rail-line to Roy, this New York & Rhode Island attraction could be a terrific and rather inexpensive alternative to utilize here, drawing tourists with a unique and different experience, especially to cross on the Nisqually River rr bridge.

– About Rail Explorers
Take a tour with Rail Explorers and experience the magic of the railroad like never before! Ride the rails on our pedal powered ‘rail explorers’ – a unique activity suitable for everyone.

Family activity and access for everyone

The rail explorers are easy to pedal, the terrain is mostly flat and the ride is relaxing and enjoyable. Everyone can enjoy this activity: couples young and old, groups of friends, and families of all ages and abilities. The pedal powered explorers provide a smooth and comfortable adventure suitable for all.
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– Various pedal options
Pedal powered rail vehicles date back to at least the 1850’s, when maintenance workers used hand-cars and ‘rail bikes’ to travel along the tracks. They were used to transport crew and materials for track inspection and repairs. Today, there are a variety of designs in use around the world: the ‘Draisine’ of Europe; ‘rail bikes’ with aluminum frames and rubber wheels; and modified road bikes with an outrigger wheel.
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December 12, 2017

Last chance to ride Amtrak’s South Sound coast rail route is Dec. 17th

“Train buff Drew Mitchem of Centralia admires the waterfront view along
the Point Defiance route of the Amtrak Cascades passenger train in Tacoma.”
Photo credit: Drew Perine, Tacoma News Tribune

– Editor’s Note:
The inauguration of scheduled Amtrak trains using the Point Defiance by-pass will send 12 trains each day along the I-5 corridor through DuPont, Lakewood and South Tacoma to rejoin the mainline at a new train station under construction at Freighthouse Square, Tacoma.
Covered on this blog Oct. 27.

– “One of the last great Washington train rides is coming to an end”
“For more than a century, train passengers have traveled along Tacoma’s waterfront and through the Tacoma Narrows.

Those roughly 20 miles of track are the only expansive waterfront section of Amtrak’s Pacific Coast route between Seattle and Pismo Beach, California.

On Dec. 18, that all will come to an end. The next day a new route parallel to Interstate 5 will open, along with a new Tacoma Amtrak station. [Editor’s Note: According to Amtrak’s schedule and WSDOT, Dec. 17th is the last day of the Point Defiance, waterfront route, not the 18th.]

The looming deadline is causing a rush of passengers who want to see the South Sound from the train one last time,” by Craig Sailor, Tacoma News Tribune.
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December 11, 2017

Yelm city council to vote on water rate increase Tuesday, Dec. 12

– Editor’s note:
The Yelm City Council is expected to vote on a multi-year water rate increase Tuesday, to be added to their previous storm-water and sewer rate increases. With no current grant opportunities forthcoming, the city’s staff and the council have previously discussed a water rate increase over several years to be the best option for the 2018 Water System Plan (WSP) update. According to the Staff report, the plan “includes a financial analysis and rate increase recommendation which supports existing and future debt, operation and maintenance of the water system, and new capital projects identified in the updated Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).” Only one Public Hearing on the water rate increase was conducted and that was with only one day advance notice, with that hearing just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

From the Staff Report:
Ordinance 1036 – Revisions to YMC 13.04.250 – Monthly Water Rates

The City currently charges a flat base rate to water customers plus a varying consumption rate based on quantities of water used by customers on a monthly basis. A series of single-year scenarios was developed to determine an improved rate structure including:
1. Adoption of the proposed 5% increase in the base rate and consumption rate with no change in the five tier rate structure
2. No change in base rate (0% increase), and 5% increase in consumption with no change in the five tier rate structure
3. No change in base rate (0% increase), and 5% increase in consumption with revised four tier rate structure
4. Increase base rate by proposed 5%, and 5% increase in consumption with revised four tier rate structure (ordinance 1036 proposed)

The results of these four alternatives are attached. In summary, scenarios 2 and 3 resulted in highly variable increases/decreases ranging from some high consumers seeing up to a 17% reduction in consumption rates, and other customers seeing a 16% increase in consumption rates. Scenario 1 is a flat, basic, increase to all customers, and scenario 4 demonstrated an optimized structure for the maximum number of water consumers while still achieving the necessary overall rate increases to meet the water utility operational and capital funding needs.

City staff recommends proceeding with adoption of scenario 4 and increase the base rate by 5%, and increase the consumption rate by 5% for years 2018 and 2019, and a 4.5% increase in 2020 with a new four tier rate structure beginning in 2018. The new four tier structure provides for a smoother distribution to low and mid tier residential customers which make up the vast majority of our customer base (over 85%) and increases the consumption rates to higher consumers which makes up less than 2% of the residential customer base.

Upon the conclusion of the third rate increase in 2020 it is also recommended to increase rates at a minimum based on the consumer price index for our region. This will allow for rates to keep up with inflation.

City staff also recommends a rate review be conducted every two to three years to determine if the rate increases are capable of supporting the proposed CIP for the water utility, and to determine if lower or higher rate increases are needed in the future. A regular and comprehensive look at rates is a best management practice that has been inconsistent in the past and a needed improvement for stronger fiscal responsibility and transparency from the water utility to our customers.

December 10, 2017

Have you noticed more vehicles, more air pollution in Yelm?
The Lancet study: “Air Pollution Is Becoming More Dangerous”

“MIT: vehicle emissions cause 53,000 extra deaths
a year (2013).” Photo credit: Sufiy.

– Editor’s note:
Interestingly, Ed Wiltsie, PE (now deceased) addressed the Yelm City Council in 2005 about their full throttle growth policies and what that would mean for life in Yelm’s future. He said one of the results would be higher air pollution from the traffic increase. His warnings then fell on deaf ears. Now the city is grappling with these issues, even discussing a Yelm building moratorium at the December 5th Study Session.

– “Air Pollution Is Becoming More Dangerous”
Story at-a-glance
* Nine million premature deaths were caused by pollution in 2015, which is 16 percent of deaths worldwide

* The majority of deaths — 6.5 million — were caused by airborne contaminants

* Both indoor air pollution, particularly from household cooking and burning wood for heat, and outdoor pollution, including from coal-fired power plants and vehicle emissions, were problematic

* Certain nutrients, including omega-3 fats and B vitamins, may buffer some of the health effects of air pollution

By Dr. Mercola.
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December 9, 2017

Stage 1 Burn Ban in effect for Thurston County

– “Stage 1 Burn Ban called for Thurston County effective Dec. 8, 2017”
“A Stage One Burn Ban is being called for Thurston County effective 2 p.m. today (Friday, Dec. 8, 2017) and continuing until conditions warrant a change.

Under a Stage 1 Ban, no burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves, and all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. Additionally, no visible smoke is allowed from any woodstove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period.

A system of stable weather conditions over Western Washington, coupled with cold overnight temperatures has resulted in air pollution levels climbing enough to raise concerns about the air quality and its impacts on health. A change in weather will be needed to restore cleaner air quality, yet that’s not forecast to occur until late next week at least,” quoting the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA).
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December 9, 2017

Yelm Lions Club “Annual Christmas Store” Sun., Dec. 10th

– “Annual Christmas Store”
When: Sun., Dec. 10th at 10am-1pm
Where: Yelm Lion’s Club, 301 W Yelm Ave, Yelm

Event Details
“Come enjoy a pancake breakfast while kids pick free gifts to wrap for parents!”
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December 8, 2017

Show your appreciation in Cards and Letters to the Military

– “Opportunities to send cards & letters to the military community”
The list of organizations that send cards & letters to:
* Caregivers
* Deployed military personnel
* Home front families
* New recruits
* Wounded warriors
* Veterans
* ​Families of the fallen (Gold Star families)
* Deployed military personnel to send home to loved ones
From Operation We Are Here, a HUB of RESOURCES for the military community and military supporters.
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– Mission Statement
* To create an awareness of the challenges of the military community

* To offer practical suggestions to churches, communities and individuals on how to support and encourage the military community

* To provide a comprehensive list of resources for the military community and its supporters
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December 7, 2017

Yelm-based meat processor cited by PETA for criminal investigation

– “PETA calls for investigation into Thurston County meat processor”
“A national animal rights group is calling for a criminal investigation into a Yelm-based meat processor after it was repeatedly cited by food safety inspectors.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture cited Puget Sound Processing LLC for violating the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which was designed to limit suffering of livestock during slaughter,” by Abby Spegman, The Olympian.
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December 7, 2017

Popular ‘Dickens Carolers’ at JZ-Rose in Yelm Sat., Dec. 9 –

Courtesy: JZ-Rose, used with permission.

The Dickens Carolers at JZ-Rose is a Yelm holiday tradition, ringing the joy of the season!
“Adorned in elegant Victorian dress, each ‘a cappella’ quartet consists of two ladies in luxurious velvet and two gentlemen wearing handsome tailcoats and top hats. Your holiday favorites, both traditional and contemporary, are sung in beautiful four-part harmony. The sights and sounds of The Dickens Carolers are indeed a holiday treat.

“The Dickens Carolers: a professional, Victorian-costumed Christmas caroling organization performing throughout the Puget Sound since 1978.”
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– “Welcome to Christmas in Yelm!”
Click here for the JZ-Rose story.

JZ Rose – For All Things Beautiful
207 1ST Street South
Yelm, WA 98597
Telephone: 360-458-4618 or
Toll Free: 877-458-4618
Yelm Store Hours
Mon – Sat 10:00 am – 6:00 pm