January 31, 2019

Yelm’s Michelle Horkings-Brigham publishes important book “Cannabis The Conundrum”

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Editor’s note: I happily endorse Yelm resident Michelle Horkings-Brigham’s stellar book eloquently highlighting how the lack of enforcing marijuana growers’ regulations has wrought havoc on rural land-owners and the environment. A masterpiece providing an example of how persistence, perseverance, and challenging public officials for not enforcing their own regulations gets results. This book is a terrific guide to assist every property owner, or NIMBY, fight back!

My review: “While I supported the legalization of marijuana and proud that Washington was the first state to vote this in as law, I was unaware of the dark underbelly of unpermitted, large marijuana growing operations that proliferated. As but one example, Ms. Horkings-Brigham’s book thoroughly describes how regulators continually turned their backs on one such growing operation in rural Thurston County, Washington, against their own regulations allowing this kind of operation in industrial areas only. This book is important wherever marijuana growing is legal and the research here can be used in other challenges with county officials nationwide. To be clear, Horkings-Brigham is not anti-marijuana, rather highlights the environmental toll from huge water, power and other requirements. She advocates for regulations to protect the environment and rural land-owners. This is a must-read!”

Click here to purchase (Kindle edition available).


January 28, 2019

Costco first retailer to dump Monsanto’s “Round-up” – How about Yelm doing the same?

Costco to be the First Major Retailer to Dump Monsanto’s Roundup and Glyphosate Herbicide from its Shelves

Editor’s Note: Last Autumn, Yelm’s city council was presented with the idea of removing “Round-up” from use on public lands. Dr. Ali and I presented this concept and were promised follow-up by public works from the mayor. We have heard nothing.

“Costco to be the First Major Retailer to Dump Monsanto’s Roundup and Glyphosate Herbicide from its Shelves”

“It’s been said that voting with your dollars is the most effective way of creating change in this consumer/capitalist culture, and after years of petitioning major retailers to stop selling products that contain Monsanto’s toxic glyphosate herbicide it appears that Costco may be the first major store to remove this product from its shelves.

“The use of glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, has skyrocketed around the globe in spite of research outlining the harmful effects of this herbicide, including liver disease and cancer.”

“The fact that retailers, or anyone, is having a difficult time deciding whether or not to sell this poison is quite absurd considering the ever-growing body of evidence showing how dangerous this stuff is. Just recently, plaintiff DeWayne Johnson was awarded a jaw-dropping settlement of $289 million dollars after a California jury found that his terminal cancer was the direct result of exposure to glyphosate,” by Alex Pietrowski, Waking Times. Read more


January 24, 2019

Reader’s Digest: Deschutes Falls Park “coolest secret location” in WA State!

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Zack Frank/Shutterstock

“The Coolest Secret Location in Each State: Washington: [Yelm area’s] Deschutes Falls Park”

“Near Olympia, the capital city of Washington state, visitors can encounter Washington’s “newest” waterfall at Deschutes Falls Park, 155-acres of virtually uncharted territory, never having been open to the public until the 1940s and then closing to the public in 1980. It’s recently been reopened, according to Erin Petrie-Osborne of Experience Olympia. She tells Reader’s Digest that “this unexplored natural terrain invites explorers to venture the trails framed by towering Western Red Cedars, enjoy its namesake river, pools, a 27-foot waterfall, and abundant wildlife,” by Lauren Cahn, Reader’s Digest. Read more


January 21, 2019

MLK, Jr. Day honors the legacy of an American icon – One of my top ten all-time heroes!

Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Unveiled in 2011. Photo credit: AARP

This story has been posted here annually on MLK, Jr. Day since 2009.

THIS IS 33RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS WEEKEND THE NATION PAUSES TO REMEMBER THE LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

– MLK’s letter from the Birmingham, Alabama jail penned April 12, 1963 still resonates today
By Martin Luther King, Jr.
Read more

– “Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War, both from a religious perspective. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986,” quoting Wikipedia.


– The Seattle Times has a fabulous 2011 expose on the civil rights giant.
Click here

– The full version of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.
August 28, 1963, posted on YouTube.
Click here

– “The Color of Surveillance”
“What an infamous abuse of power teaches us about the modern spy era.”

“The FBI has a lead. A prominent religious leader and community advocate is in contact with a suspected sleeper agent of foreign radicals. The attorney general is briefed and personally approves wiretaps of his home and offices. The man was born in the United States, the son of a popular cleric. Even though he’s an American citizen, he’s placed on a watchlist to be summarily detained in the event of a national emergency. Of all similar suspects, the head of FBI domestic intelligence thinks he’s ‘the most dangerous,’ at least ‘from the standpoint of … national security.’

“Is this a lone wolf in league with foreign sponsors of terrorism? No: This was the life of Martin Luther King Jr. That FBI assessment was dated Aug. 30, 1963—two days after King told our country that he had a dream.,” by Alvaro M. Bedoya, Slate.com.
Read more



Blogger Klein is a founding donor to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C.


January 13, 2019

Changes to the Yelm Community Blog – a suspension!

Forrest Gump Point, Monument Valley,
The place where Forest Gump ended his run,
Mexican Hat, UT., Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Yelm Blog suspended after today – thank you for 13 years of interest!

Editor’s note: While I have thought about suspending the blog several times over the last few years, something always arose that inspired me to continue. However, this time, I have come to the conclusion that I have fulfilled my mission, and am ready to take a pause. This version of a wise saying is pertinent, “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

I published a weekly newsletter from September 2001-January 2012 that had a worldwide subscriber base of over 6,700. I have published a blog entry or several almost everyday since early 2006 – daily for thirteen years as a free public service. I took no money from anyone, so was beholding to no one.

While there will be many politicians, city hall staff, some business leaders, and others that will be elated, yet what will be missing in our community is someone willing to take on controversial issues and provide the public with the documents and insights for them to discern the facts for themselves. My purpose was always to act in the public’s interest and raise the bar here on practicing prudent business ethics, which has been a challenge at times, with some city officials never having a 4 year Business degree (i.e. BBA) or more (post graduate MBA), where they would have been trained in business management and in implementing professional leadership protocols.

And the local newspaper editor has given key issues a “pass” in choosing to omit publishing any Op-Ed in quite sometime, and does not allow some comments they do not like to be posted to their online edition and Letters to the Editor. The NVN has clearly surrendered their voice on key topics for our community and while I oft disagreed with them, I always took a public stand and supported a healthy debate among divergent views here. While I wish such was not the case, their allegiances to “friends” at city hall and elsewhere to not “ruffle feathers” seem to have become more important for the newspaper in 2018 than ecumenical reporting, challenging our area governments on transparency.

So, this will be my last regular blog entry. I will post stories of important issues infrequently, yet will continue to be very involved in this community, the place I love.

13 years of archived work is accessible here, use the “search” box by subject.

The precious scene when Forrest Gump decided to stop running after several years, so eloquently explains my decision, too. I am blessed to have almost 2 decades of serving interested readers and so appreciate your being inspired to read what I have written. THANK YOU! Click here for the Gump video.


January 12, 2019

Warnings grow louder about Trump’s exploding and unrelenting mounting debt!

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“Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is concerned about the ballooning amount of United States debt.”

atditor’s note: Yelm Blog readers have been forewarned throughout 2018 about the exploding national debt incurred under President Trump. Now, the drum beat grows louder about the President doing nothing to reign in that massive debt. The group commonly known as “all-ways Trumpers” have been expecting for 2 years that the President will issue an Executive Order to expire the Federal Reserve. However, Trump’s mounting issues, including his mental fitness, would be questioned under intense scrutiny if he attempted such and be rescinded by Congress. That train (Trump potentially doing away with the Fed.) left the station long ago.

“Fed Chairman Powell says he is ‘very worried’ about growing amount of US debt”

  • “I’m very worried about it,” Fed Chairman Powell said Thursday [Jan 9, 2019] . “It’s a long-run issue that we definitely need to face, and ultimately, will have no choice but to face.”
  • Total U.S. debt is about $21.9 trillion, of which $16 trillion is owed by the public. The sustained annual U.S. deficit is now believed to be more than $1 trillion.
  • In part because of continued rate increases under Powell, the interest cost on that debt could start to become a bigger and bigger burden.

By Thomas Frank, CNBC.

Read more


January 11, 2019

Introducing another Yelm option for quality organic meat products: Ramstead Ranch

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From eastern Washington’s Ramstead Ranch, now serving Yelm customers:

“Promote the health and welfare of our land, our animals, our customers, and our family.”

“We strive to create a pasture-based ecosystem that works with nature and honors its abundance.  We provide the most natural, stress free, pasture based life possible for our livestock so they live happy lives, just as nature intended.

We Offer

“Meats- We offer you the healthiest meats we know how to raise. You can shop online to purchase 100% Grassfed/Grassfinished beef and lamb, pasture-raised Berkshire pork, and pasture-raised poultry including meat chickens and turkeys. We deliver our meats direct to our customers in the Pacific Northwest via a growing number of pickup locations.  Find locations and delivery schedule online or contact us to start a pickup location in your area.” Read more

To Yelm customers:

“We’ll be delivering to Lacey again in early June, but now is the time for folks to start reserving their orders for bulk beef, pork and poultry offerings.  We usually sell out of those!  For products and info about delivery to the Yelm/Lacey area, click here. ”

Blogger Klein is a satisfied Ramstead Ranch customer.


January 10, 2019

How Dollar Tree family of stores damage small communities

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© Jim Young/Reuters The U.S. has added 10,000 of these budget retail outlets since 2001. But some towns and cities are trying to push back.

Editor’s note: This is how Dollar Tree arrived in Yelm, where Wal-Mart’s entry here knocked out QFC from this market, allowing Dollar Tree to enter in vacant QFC space.

“The dollar store backlash has begun”

“It has become an increasingly common story: A dollar store opens up in an economically depressed area with scarce healthy and affordable food options, sometimes with the help of local tax incentives. It advertises hard-to-beat low prices but it offers little in terms of fresh produce and nutritious items — further trapping residents in a cycle of poverty and ill-health.

“A recent research brief by the Institute of Local Self Reliance (ILSR), a nonprofit supporting local economies, sheds light on the massive growth of this budget enterprise. Since 2001, outlets of Dollar General and Dollar Tree (which bought Family Dollar in 2015) have grown from 20,000 to 30,000 in number. Though these “small-box” retailers carry only a limited stock of prepared foods, they’re now feeding more people than grocery chains like Whole Foods, which has around 400-plus outlets in the country. In fact, the number of dollar-store outlets nationwide exceeds that of Walmart and McDonald’s put together — and they’re still growing at a breakneck pace. That, ILSR says, is bad news,” by Tanvi Misra, CityLab .

Read more


January 9, 2019

Groundhog Day returns to the Bald Hills 30 years later – Sludge dumping proposed here again!

Home - Washington State Department of Ecology Logo

Editor’s note: Thirty years ago in 1989, Yelm area residents unified in opposition to a proposal to dump Seattle’s sludge (sewer biosolids) on acreage in the pristine Bald Hills. I joined JZ Knight, Linda Evans and so many others from a broad cross-section of citizens in summer 1989 for a very public fight and protest that reached the Olympia Capitol steps and made international news. The sludge would be trucked down from Seattle bringing major traffic to area roadways to spray the sludge on land purchased between Smith Prairie Rd. and the Owl Pit. The proposal was defeated because of the public outcry!

This area is very close to a new site proposed to dump biosolids here yet again! The Washington State Department of Ecology has announced a public hearing set for January 24, 2019, 6pm, at the Yelm Senior Center,
16530 103rd Ave SE, Yelm, WA.

Fire Mountain Farms, Inc.

Public meeting and hearing: Biosolids land application site proposed near Yelm. Click here for details.

Bottom line:

Let’s repeat history and show the applicant and Ecology officials that they are not welcome in considering to dump sludge on our pristine lands once again, and so close to the Nisqually River!

“Keeping the ‘Pride of the Prairie'”

“Concerns about sludge remain strong. The worries first surfaced a year ago, when a group called Nisqually Valley Neighbors for a Contaminant-Free Prairie announced its existence at the annual Prairie Days parade.

Such well-known Yelm area residents as actress Linda Evans and channeler J.Z. Knight have argued passionately against a proposed sludge disposal project on timberland in the Bald Hills. They fear chemicals and heavy metals in the sludge could pollute both groundwater and the nearby Nisqually.”


Click here for the story by Brad Sevetson, The Olympian, August 13, 1989.


January 8, 2019

Introducing Yelm’s new landscape designer: Marie Wood – here from Boise, Idaho!

Credit: Edwards Greenhouse, Boise

“Marie Wood is a landscape designer with an Associate Degree in Horticulture from Boise State University and over 40 years of hands-on gardening experience. Over 20 years of her career was dedicated to Edwards Greenhouse in Boise, Idaho where she developed an acre of land into a demonstration garden to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the greenhouse. During this time, she also crafted custom pots for the greenhouse and personal clients. Using plants as her canvas, Marie creates a clearly defined aesthetic with a natural, yet meticulous landscape design. Contact: reedy.pete@gmail.com, 208-284-8992.”


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