March 31, 2018

‘Raise for Rowyn’ now featured in Glamour Magazine

Dear readers;
I researched and covered here last Autumn a truly inspiring story of two ladies and the power of forgiveness; forgiveness of themselves, forgiveness of each other. Their experiences in Tenino have garnered international attention, and I am pleased to share the “Raise of Rowyn” story is now featured in the April editions of Glamour Magazine:

– “I Accidentally Killed My Best Friend’s Daughter’—
How Two Women Recovered From the Worst Pain Imaginable”

By Liz Brody, Glamour Magazine.
Click here

– Editor’s Note from November 26, 2017:
A few months ago, I received an invitation from a dear friend in Tenino inviting me to meet the founder of Raise for Rowyn and her non-profit’s colleague. She knew I was vitally interested in engaging with our area’s unique founders of remarkable organizations that uplift families here and beyond. While I told her I knew of the Raise for Rowyn stories reported in the print media, I was uninformed of much more, so gladly accepted this invitation. I met with Brynn Johnson, founder of Raise for Rowyn (her daughter’s name) and a mother from Tenino who lost her young daughter in a tragic accident. Joining us was her Raise for Rowyn charitable organization’s Executive Director, Jen Scharber. We had a lively, wide-ranging conversation for an hour and a half.

I was so inspired about how Brynn handled her grief and moved out of the painful abyss by creating a vehicle to assist other families with similar experiences. Brynn and Jen have created a beautiful legacy for Rowyn which will continue to light the way for others now and long into the future. I am pleased to share this information with Yelm Community Blog readers.
Steve Klein

– The Mission of Raise for Rowyn
“To provide financial assistance and emotional support to families struggling with the loss of a child.
“Raise for Rowyn has helped 157 families in 18 states with Mortuary and Funeral expenses.”
Read more

– The Story of Rowyn and the legacy she inspired
“September 16th, 2014 began as an ordinary day for our families. We are just two mothers who were working together for school pick-ups and drop-offs of our two young sons. It was their third day of preschool, the sun was shining and the air was just beginning to feel crisp for fall. We were working to get the boys loaded in the car when little 17 month old Rowyn climbed backwards down the front porch steps in her baby blue pajamas to come see us. Her big brother did not want to go to school that day and he was crying. Having known one another for quite some time and our kids being in daycare together, we decided to just shut the car door and go anyway, knowing his tears would be short lived. We waved one last time, and the car slowly pulled forward. Somehow in a matter of seconds Rowyn was not where we thought she was. Paramedics say that Rowyn was killed instantly, and despite our desperate attempts to save her life there was nothing we could have done. The tragedy of September 16th has left holes and emptiness in many hearts. There is nothing we can do to rewind the day, but we hope to honor her memory with Raise for Rowyn.”
Read more

– Upcoming 2018 Fundraising Events in South Puget Sound
Click here

Raise for Rowyn
PO Box 631
448 Sussex Ave. E. Ste 2
Tenino WA 98589

March 31, 2018

MOMS Club of Yelm featured

Logo credit: MOMS Club of Yelm

– Editor’s Note:
Moms Club Meet & Greet!
Friday, April 6, 2PM PDT @ First Baptist Church of Yelm
Click here

– “Finding Friendship and Community in the MOMS Club of Yelm”
“At its core, the MOMS Club of Yelm is a support group for stay-at-home mothers. There, they can find advice, information and community that often blossoms into friendships.”

“The MOMS Club is an international organization with chapters all over the world. The club provides a framework for its chapters, but each group decides the type and number activities and service projects they’ll do. The Yelm club plans activities at least a month in advance. Members and leaders offer to host crafts, stroller strides, holiday parties and park clean-ups. All these go on their calendars along with the regular meet-n-greets, which are open to non-members interested in joining, mom’s nights out and more. What the club offers is very fluid depending on who is active at the time and where the members’ needs and interests lie.”

“The club communicates mostly through their private Facebook group, listing events, meetings, fun ice-breaker questions and even items for sale. They have a public Facebook page where they share some of their projects and activities, so prospective members can learn about the club.

“Becoming a member is easy, just contact the club or go to one of their Meet-N-Greets. There is a yearly membership fee of $25,” by Lauri Martin, in Thurston Talk.
Read more

March 30, 2018

Yelm councilors would be wise to ask key questions –
Before approving more large developments,
as the city’s water allocation is nearing being used to the max.

Key questions councilors need to ask an independent third party:
* Council needs a better explanation, “Why was this in the Consent Agenda?”
* Why did Comm. Dev. place a water availability warning in this subdivision’s docs?
* Was the same Hearings Examiner from the original 2005 case on this one, too?
* How has the city accounted for Tahoma Terra’s water rights since acquired?
* What other/how many residential units of water rights are currently being held?
* Has the city officially acquired new water rights since the last official count?
* What does Ecology say is Yelm’s current water allocation vs. the 2017 pumped amount?
* That number indicates how many residential units are left to permit.
* Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham in the Knight case said that the City’s subdivisions approval were based on “an erroneous interpretation of the law” – how does council know that is not occurring yet again?
And a recommendation:
* The city council would be well advised to hire an independent third party expert to accurately explain Yelm’s current water rights situation to them before approving any large plats, and not take pressure/intimidation from the Executive branch of government, nor just accept the Staff report and Hearing Examiner’s approvals, without a full due diligence.

– Editor’s Note:
After my presentation to the Yelm City Council on March 27 about Yelm’s water rights referencing a Consent Agenda item that seemingly caught several councilors by surprise, the councilors voted to defer approving the Tahoma Terra Phase 2, Division 2 plat, after voting to remove that to become a separate agenda Action item. A discussion was further deferred to the April 3 Study Session in order for them to gather more information at that time.

Beginning in 2005 through and including 2011, Yelm city councils did not understand water law and merely voted on plat (developments) approvals based almost solely on the recommendations of the Community Development Dept., along with the Yelm Hearings Examiners’ approvals. They led them down the primrose lane of Yelm having the distinction of being the only city in the entire state where TWO Supreme Court cases determined water law, and both were against the City of Yelm to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The same Community Development Director today handled those cases as well. Obviously, some on the council last week saw the merit of pausing and learning more, so the past is not repeated at their hand.

I was very specific to the council that the case affecting Yelm water was not the second case partially reversed in the Hirst decision (Foster vs. City of Yelm), rather the first on in JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm et al, which was affirmed for Knight by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington in December 2011. This case made clear that water availability for proposed plats must be shown at time of [plat] approval, not at the later residences’ building permit phase.

– I directed councilors that their own Staff Report for the Tahoma Terra subdivision says:



Why? This seems like the staff is exonerating the city if water is not available at the building permit phase and was a huge red flag for me – what does staff know that this would be included? And what did city officials promise the developers?

Community Director Beck told council that Tahoma Terra acquired water rights when the developers bought the land previously home to a dairy farm and the water rights were then transferred to the city’s water-bank, approved by the Department of Ecology and were reserved for Tahoma Terra’s future growth. Well folks, that was prior to the developers’ 2008 bankruptcy and subsequent foreclosure sale in April 2009. Since JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm was affirmed for Knight in December 2011, which finally verified Yelm’s actual water rights, why has this council never been informed about water rights set aside for this development and other developments? That would be paramount for council to know in subtracting that from Yelm’s current water rights, key in their developments decision making. Council needs to require Community Development to place future Action items for developmental approval on their Agenda’s Old Business section and not the Consent Agenda. Beck told the council after this development is approved with 62 homes, Yelm’s current 300 equal residential units of water remaining for future homes and businesses would diminsh to about 230. How are the “set-aside” water rights for these homes until the building permit phase accounted, so the city is not yet again in violation of over-pumping their water rights, as they were a decade ago, and as the Supreme Court affirmed in the Knight case. If they again do not monitor this, then the city could be open to legal liability when these home owners go to build and the city is out of water. This blogger researched/published an in-depth report on Yelm’s water rights last Autumn.

City Administrator Michael Grayum’s statements were like Groundhog Day from 2005-2006 all over again.
He said the city would be exposed to legal liability and could be sued for damages if council denied the subdivision after approval by the hearing examiner. He added that developers already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars installing infrastructure. This is the exact same threat Mayor Harding formerly used to get the council to vote Tahoma Terra’s original approval and their subsequent challenge by a Senior Water Rights holder, for which they were ill-advised to expend of over a quarter of a million dollars in legal fees for a lost case. The city made promises to the original developers that could not be kept when the city was sued. The council should not be pressured, threatened, or intimidated by the mayor and/or city administrator in their decision-making yet again.

What does this mean if this is approved and there is no water at building permit time?
This means that if the plat is approved and the city is unable to provide a building permit due to lack of water availability at the time of a building permit request, the permit will be denied, which could open the city to liability issues. The city council would be well advised to hire an independent third party expert to accurately explain to them Yelm’s current water rights situation before approving large plats. This city was told by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham in the Knight case that the City’s subdivisions approval were based on “an erroneous interpretation of the law” regarding water availability. The Supreme Court of the state of Washington affirmed that in a stunning 7-2 decision against Yelm leaders. Yelm’s council would be wise to avoid another legal debacle!

– Bottom line:
There are some councilors that “get it” and are willing to ask questions and learn, rather than following past councils of being complicit in whatever the Executive branch of Yelm government advised them to do. This council is no longer comprised almost exclusively of ’empty suits,” thanks to voters also “getting it” and voting them out!

March 30, 2018

Thurston County’s 2018 homelessness increased “alarming” 43% over 2017

– “Thurston County PIT census shows 43 percent increase in homeless population”
Thurston County has released the results of its 2018 Point in Time Count of Homeless People, which showed that the number of homeless people in the county has increased significantly.

“On January 25, 2018, the day of the PIT census, 828 homeless people were counted. 324 of those were identified as unsheltered. Those numbers represent a 43 percent increase in Thurston County’s homeless population in one year.”

“‘The results of the latest census are extremely alarming, and indicate that we are in the midst of a major homeless and affordable housing crisis in our community,’ said Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Director Schelli Slaughter.” quoting the Business Examiner.
Read more

March 30, 2018

Port of Olympia Invests for 8th year in Thurston County’s Small Cities

– “Port of Olympia Invests in Thurston County’s Small Cities”
“Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino and Yelm projects get a financial boost”

“At its March 26 meeting, the Commission awarded each community $10,000 in matching funds to implement the following projects:

* Rainier will renovate and preserve the historic Rainier School and Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church.

* Yelm will conduct a Retail Trades Study analyzing economic patterns in south Thurston and Southeast Pierce Counties, associated retail leakage and specific opportunities for Yelm to retain, expand and attract new businesses investment.

“This is the eighth year the Port has awarded funding through the Small Cities Program in an effort to build economic opportunity countywide,” by the Port of Olympia, in Thurston Talk.
Read more

March 29, 2018

Yelm Community Blog’s 12th Anniversary is today –
Bloggers have become essential in this “Age of Cynicism”

Yelm Blogger Steve Klein
Photo Copyright © 2018 Stephen R. Klein.

– THANK YOU to readers of the Yelm Community Blog,
available via,, and (upper right tab).

– Editor’s note:
The Yelm Community Blog was begun at the insistence of a supporter to my Yelm mayoral campaign, who said I had garnered so much knowledge in the year 2005, that to just walk away would be a travesty to the community. I heard this supporter’s message and with his encouragement, began this Blog March 29, 2006 as a free service to the public and as a live archive of important stories of local, historical significance.

The Yelm Community Blog’s first entry twelve years ago today is still pertinent now: “5000 pupils in Yelm Community Schools,” with the recent schools bond failure.

As always, you can e-mail this blogger at

Thank you for your continued support.

Steve Klein
Host, Yelm Community Blog

– The following letter highlights The Age of Cynicism for which Blogs have become essential resources in presenting more in-depth reporting on stories of interest that were once the purview of newspapers, who have dwindling resources and staff to operate as they once did, amidst this era of exponential technological advances.

Dear Editor of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN);
I am disappointed to learn from the NVN front-page story March 22, 2018 that all three 2nd Legislative District (LD 2) lawmakers, Sen. Becker, Reps Wilcox and Barkis, voted “nay” to every bill Gov. Inslee signed March 19 aimed to improve voter access in Washington state. This is so sad. How can our representatives be against greater access to democracy for the public? Even their fellow Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman was quoted in your story saying, “These new laws are a positive step forward for our state’s elections.”

I was raised in the south (Louisville, KY.) and visited my grandparents often in Birmingham, AL., where I clearly still recall the events that ripped this nation apart when I was in my youth. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led black voters in a March 1965 walk of the 54 miles from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, Alabama, in an effort to register them, facing opposition and violence along the way. This was so vividly broadcast in black and white on national television (no color T-V then), which I remember being taught by my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Leeth, a wonderful lady who is still in contact with me to this day. As we remember MLK, Jr. next week on the 50th anniversary of his assassination, I am amazed that voter access for which he advocated and was jailed would be opposed by our 3 Representatives.

When 53 years later after Dr. King’s march and our own LD2 Representatives voting against the opposing party’s proposals became more important than doing what is right for their constituents, that contributed to what I call “The Age of Cynicism” – and this applies “on both sides, on both sides.”

Our 3 Representatives’ small and minuscule reasons for voting against the 5 Voter Access Bills do not hold merit when they should be supportive of greater access to democracy for ALL of their constituents, which becomes crystal clear when we reflect as a nation on MLK, Jr’s legacy next week. These Representatives’ commendations on King’s work then will hold no credibility. This is especially so when put in context of the Oath of Office to the nation’s and this state’s Constitution they swore to uphold that proclaim equal rights for all!

Yelm_Blogger Steve Klein

March 28, 2018

Two Yelm ladies making a difference

Be sure to read today’s blog entries about 2 Yelm ladies making a difference!

1. Tamborine Borrelli runs in 2018 for Congressional District 10 seat.
Click here

2. Kali Basi established a base for sex trafficking in Delhi
Click here

March 28, 2018

UPDATE: Yelm’s Kali Basi established a base for sex trafficking in Delhi

Yelm’s Kali Basi recognized in India.
Photo courtesy: Kali Basi

Click here to contribute to Conscious by Kali, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

– Follow-up to the April 6, 2017 Blog entry about about Yelm resident Kali Basi,
who has made her mission to provide human trafficking survivors with resources to start new lives.

Ms. Basi has made considerable progress forward in establishing a base center for the survivors in Delhi with the beginning point in neighboring Nepal continuing to move forward. Conscious by Kali has been working with survivors in Nepal over the last two & half years. Their focus has been to train & mentor survivors of sex trafficking and rekindle hope for an independent life, has been a valuable experience & given great insight & tools to fulfill their mission.

Conscious by Kali is very excited to report they are now moving into India to open up their own Center in Delhi, working with girls sheltered by the local NGO’s. They are now a Non Profit & Fair Trade Certified Organization.

For anyone who would like to donate & be a part of this journey, please visit or for more information, please contact Margo Mansfield
Read more about the organization.

March 28, 2018

Tamborine Borrelli runs for Congressional District 10 Representative

Tamborine Borrelli
Photo courtesy: The People to Elect Tamborine Borrelli

– From U.S. Congressional candidate Tamborine Borrelli (WA-CD10) to Blog readers:
My name is Tamborine Borrelli and I’m running for Congress in the 10th Congressional District. Not because I always dreamed of being in politics, but because we are living in a pregnant time that will either give birth to a new era of justice, true democracy and abundance, or if we do nothing, we will inevitably experience more of the same, perhaps even worse. We need to replace a system that puts profit and corporate interests above the interests of the people and the planet.

I currently serve on the board of Election Justice USA which is focused on developing a solution to our broken election system. My commitment to fair elections and government reform has led me to open a chapter of Represent US, the organization for the American Anti-Corruption Act. This will once again make it illegal for lobbyists to bribe politicians.

I’m running a people powered, grassroots campaign that does not accept corporate Super PAC money and moreover, I have signed the CFAR contract (Contract For American Renewal) which states that if I do not follow through with supporting and/or sponsoring legislation that I have campaigned on within the first 180 days in office, I will resign the very next day. This should be the bar that all candidates and incumbents live up to.

Within this pregnant time, there is a seed of a new direction that is waiting for US to choose it. I am going to give everything the I AM to help bring that into fruition. I invite you to read my full platform at and join our email list to stay up to date on our campaign. We are also looking for individual donations of any amount as well as volunteers to help bring this vision to life.

Click here for more information and to donate to Tamborine 2018.

– “Why Rural America Isn’t a Lost Cause for Progressive Ideas”
“Too often, liberal candidates write off red states. But their policies could find a willing audience there.”
By Ivy Brashear, YES! Magazine.
Read more

Click here for the video “The Future | Tamborine Borrelli for Congress”

– Endorsed to-date by 7 chapters of Our Revolution:
OR-Washington Berniecrats Coalition, OR-King County, OR-Puget Sound, OR/Democracy Rising, OR-Thurston County, OR-Women for Justice, OR-Red Berets Medicare For All and The Green Party of South Puget Sound!

And additional endorsements from The Bern Report, Demand Universal HealthCare! (DUH!), the Progressive Ballot, and the chair of the (Progressive) Thurston County Democrats.

March 27, 2018

Tim’s Pharmacy burglar suspect sought by Yelm Police

– “Yelm police seek suspect who burglarized Tim’s Pharmacy”
“On Feb. 19, a white or mixed-race man entered the store by breaking a front window, and then stole eight bottles of codeine cough syrup. He was last seen wearing tan gloves, gray sweatpants, a black and gray jacket and a hat.

“Anyone with information is asked to call Olympia/Thurston County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian.
Read more

– “Police search for pharmacy burglary suspects”
From KIRO-TV 7 News, Seattle.
Click here for the video.


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