March 14, 2019

Recycling options may be coming to an end. What you can do – 11 recycling tips.

Plastic, paper, glass, and cardboard at a Recology facility in San Francisco
© Robert Galbraith / Reuters Plastic, paper, glass, and cardboard at a Recology facility in San Francisco

Editor’s note: China stopped accepting for import America’s recycling items because of President Trump’s imposed tariff policies.

“Is this the end of recycling?”

“For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China — tons and tons of it, sent over on ships to be made into goods such as shoes and bags and new plastic products. But last year, the country restricted imports of certain recyclables, including mixed paper — magazines, office paper, junk mail — and most plastics. Waste-management companies across the country are telling towns, cities, and counties that there is no longer a market for their recycling. These municipalities have two choices: pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away.

“Most are choosing the latter,” quoting Alana Semuels, The Atlantic. Read more

“Top 11 Tips to Become an Expert at Recycling”

“Do you recycle? If you do, the tips in this article will help you do it better, and if you don’t, why not make it a point to start this year, armed with the essential do’s and don’ts?

“It’s worth remembering that mankind had a zero-waste lifestyle up until about 100 years ago. There were no plastic wraps around the foods and items you bought, and virtually every scrap — be it fabric, paper, wood or metal — was repeatedly reused and creatively repurposed into new products,” by Dr. Mercola. Read more

March 11, 2019

Commercial air service began last week at Everett’s Paine Field – a study is underway of other area airports like Olympia’s.

Airports Owned by Washington's Public Port Districts -
Olympia Regional Airport main runway

“More regional airports studied as Washington eyes population growth” Could Olympia attract commercial air service?

  • Editor’s note: Olympia Regional Airport’s main runway length can only handle regional commercial air service at present.

“Everett’s Paine Field started a new era of scheduled commercial flights this week, but other airports around Puget Sound could follow suit in the wake of new study now underway.”

“What about a new scheduled jet service in Kitsap County, Tacoma, or Olympia? What about a cargo facility, or more room to build airplane parts for the region’s aerospace manufacturing base?

“The answer to those specific questions may be years away, but a study to figure out the basics of what’s needed is currently underway.

“It’s called the Regional Aviation Baseline Study and it’s being administered by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PRSC), with matching funds from the Federal Aviation Administration,” by Glenn Farley, KING-5 TV News, Seattle. Read more

March 10, 2019

While you weren’t looking last week – President Trump ended release of civilian drone deaths, while his budget deficit rose 77%, record high debt continues rising!

  • Editor’s note: Why is this country killing civilians in a non-declared war zone and why is Trump not going to allow the statistics on drone strikes and deaths, anathema in this democracy? This “Imperial President” provides no public transparency? This is sad!

“Donald Trump Ends U.S. Policy of Revealing Drone Strikes and Civilian Deaths in Places Where It’s Not at War”

“The Republican leader signed his own executive order to nullify the practice mandated in 2016 by former President Barack Obama, who greatly expanded the U.S. military’s drone warfare across Africa and the Middle East, as well as other parts of Asia. Trump’s predecessor argued the move would provide more transparency to a shadowy campaign often criticized for operating within legal gray zones as part of the larger war on terror launched in the wake of 9/11.

“Trump offered no reasoning for his decision, but has called on the Pentagon to cut down on the information it released to the media,” by Tom O’Connor, Newsweek. Read more

“How Trump has made both the trade and budget deficits worse”

“Trump. He took office vowing to eliminate the entire national debt in eight years, but it has only gotten worse, thanks to the skyrocketing budget deficit. In turn—and this is the unanticipated or unintended effect on something else—it has made the trade deficit worse as well. The Census Bureau said Wednesday [March 6, 2019] that the trade deficit for goods soared to an all-time high in 2018: a whopping $891 billion,” by Paul Brandus, Market Watch. Read more

“Federal budget deficit leaps 77 percent so far for fiscal 2019”

  • Editor’s note: Trump’s economy is slowing ahead of 2020 as national debt mounts! Recall in 2016 he originally said he would eliminate the debt? He also promised to eliminate the budget deficits. This President does not have the mind or will to trim his budget!
  • The U.S. budget gap climbed to $310.3 billion from October to January, up from $175.7 the previous year
  • Spending on Social Security, defense and interest payments was higher
  • Tax revenues were lower following the new tax cuts, with corporate payments down 23 percent.

Deficits are heading to $1 trillion

“The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that this year’s deficit will hit $897 billion, up 15.1 percent from the $779 billion deficit recorded last year. In the CBO’s projections for the next decade, it forecasts that the deficit will once again top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and will never fall below $1 trillion over the rest of the forecast period,” by The Associated Press via CBS News. Read more

“As Debt Rises [surpassed $22 trillion], Interest Costs Could Top $1 Trillion”

“The fastest growing item in the budget over the next decade will be interest on the debt, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), by Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Read more

“The U.S. national debt has topped $22 trillion for the first time in history, according to daily figures released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday [Feb. 12].

“The debt has ballooned by more than $2 trillion in the two years since President Trump took office in January 2017, when the debt stood at $19.9 trillion. It surpassed $21 trillion for the first time in history in March 2018. Under the Obama administration, the national debt grew from $10.6 trillion to $19.9 trillion, an increase that drew sharps criticism from Republicans,” by Kathryn Watson, CBS News.

March 8, 2019

A Review: The Lion in Winter (A Play) debuts at The Triad. SRO raises their high bar even further! Don’t miss this show – weekends through March 31st.

  • Yelm’s SRO raises their already-high bar with The Lion in Winter!

– Standing Room Only is proud to present… THE LION IN WINTER
WHEN: March 8-31, Friday & Saturday nights at 7:30pm, Sunday matinees at 3pm (includes post-show History Chats – March 10, 17, 24).
WHERE: The Triad Arts Theater, 102 Yelm Ave. E., Yelm WA 98597
TICKETS: $20 Regular price, $17 Military (and families) & Seniors, $10 Students.
Click here to pre-purchase tickets online.

  • A Review In arriving at The Triad, I was pondering the enormity of Standing Room Only (SRO) to take on this script and how this would translate to the theater’s small stage. After-all, my only previous exposure to the play was the movie adaptation from 1968 starring Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn. I left The Triad amazed at how professional SRO pulled-off such an ambitious project. The Cast and Director received my standing ovation, deservedly so.
  • Well-known actors to Yelm audiences shined and delighted once again: Dave Champagne, Jesse Geray, Daniel Wyman, and Will Champagne. However, these fine thespians all stretched themselves to deliver greater performances than I’ve seen on this stage from them, revealing even more depth in their respective acting ranges. In doing so, the synergy they created, much from body motions, facial expressions, and intonations in their lines delivery, was very important to the success of this show. They made the insolence of their characters really felt by the audience. Will Champagne’s performance was stellar and is to be commended for holding his own with the others, especially in scenes with his father, Dave. They commanded The Triad’s stage taken to greater heights!
  • Dawn Wadsworth and Travis Martinez returned to SRO’s stage for their second time and were joined by first-timer here, Victoria Ashley. They were paramount in their roles allowing them to seamlessly engage with our seasoned Yelm-stage actors. Dawn was especially amazing in an exceptionally demanding role. I hope to see more performances from these three fine actors in future SRO shows.
  • The other stand-outs in this production were the outstanding direction of Angela Marinella and the fab work by Stage Manager Alex Brown and his team, as there were many intricate set changes which were carried-off with precision. The gorgeous costumes were also noted.
  • I congratulate SRO and The Lion in Winter team. They hit a home-run “outta da ballpark” which I hope is supported by patrons from far and wide, as they will be dazzled by this production!
  • As a side note, I appreciated Dave Champagne’s comment in the program about his mission to provide a lasting legacy to the 2 decades of hard work by SRO founder Nancy Tribush Hillman and the numerous theater volunteers all of those years. Bravo Dave – you’re a true “mensch”!

– The Lion in Winter (the play) “The Lion in Winter”
Written by James Goldman
Directed by Angela Marinella

“Set in Castle Chinon, in France, in the year 1183, “The Lion in Winter” is a brilliantly written play of intrigue, suspense and strategic <one-ups-man-ship> “one-upsmanship” between the members of a royal family over Christmas weekend.

“Based on the historically factual family of King Henry II, the play imagines the conversations, alliances, threats and bargains that occur as Henry’s three sons position themselves to succeed their father to become the next King of England.  The dialogue is sharp and taut, the drama is intense with sudden unexpected bursts of comedy, and the characters are delightfully devious.  

“It is the ORIGINAL ‘Game of Thrones’.

“‘The Lion in Winter’ has been made into two movies – one of them winning several academy awards in 1968 (starring Peter O’Toole, Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton).

“But before the cinematic successes of the movies, it was a play by James Goldman, and considered to be one of the best-written plays of the 20th century.”

Click here to purchase your tickets.

March 7, 2019

Former Yelm Professional Engineer (PE) Ed Wiltsie awarded posthumously. Ed was a champion for restraint on Yelm’s unbridled growth.

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                    contain: 1 person, smiling
  • Editor’s note: Former Yelm activist Ed Wiltsie (deceased March 16, 2010) has been recently recognized posthumously for his research and work. Ed brought his expertise in soils, ground water run-off, and ground water recharge to the Yelm City Council in the mid 2000s, along with Bill Hashim and me, on a whole host of issues, from a 5,000 home development, to a then-proposed Wal-Mart Super-store, and their potential affects on our town. Mayor Harding and the city council responded with defiance and deaf ears. Click here to read my March 17, 2010 tribute to Ed. This from the Nisqually Valley News.
  • His daughter Amie Maxwell posted this on Facebook this week: “My dad Ed Wiltsie has been chosen by The American Society For Civil Engineers The Hall Of Fame Award for his paper written, while working in Saudi Arabia for Aramco, about the State of the Art Pile Driving Techniques for piles driven in offshore locations to anchor the foundations for the platforms. I am so proud and excited, following us the bio my mom wrote for him.”

Edward Allan Wiltsie – Biographical Sketch (published here with permission)

“Edward Allan Wiltsie was born in Schenectady New York and by the age of two moved with his mother to Eatontown, New Jersey reuniting with his maternal family. He grew up in Eatontown and completed High School at Christian Brothers Academy. In 1972, Ed earned a BSCE from at Newark College of Engineering in Newark, New Jersey and two years later a MS in Soils Mechanics from the same institute. It was also in 1974 that he was licensed as a Professional Engineering.

“Ed worked in consulting engineering in Southern New Jersey for three years. Ed then joined Olko Engineering for two years and later Mussar, Rutledge, Johnson and DeSimone, both in New York City, working on international engineering projects. It was from Meussar, Rutledge that Ed was sent as a consultant to Aramco in Saudi Arabia. This was the doorway that opened the opportunity for Ed to work for Aramco and his family to live at the Aramco facilities in Dhahran Saudi Arabia for 5.5 years the first time and 1.5 years several years later.

“Ed loved all types of Civil Engineering but, his deepest love was for off shore and shore protection engineering. No matter what company he worked for, he always attracted and developed work in this field. Therefore, when he joined Aramco, he was given the sole responsibility for engineering the installation of the foundations for the off shore platforms. This meant overseeing many pile driving barges in the Arabia Gulf at the same time and making sure all piles were driven with as few problems as possible. This was a major challenge and a fabulous opportunity and Ed embraced it and became the resident expert for Aramco. While with Aramco, Ed also developed the first mentoring program for young Saudi Engineers. Because of who Ed was and the diligence of his commitment, Ed was respected by his peers for his engineering work and was loved and held in high regard by the young Saudi Engineers. It was during the first five years in Saudi, Ed met and worked with Bob Stevens and Tom Turton on the engineering challenges of and solutions for pile driving in the Arabian Gulf. Because of their work together these three men developed their State of The Art Pile Driving Technique for Saudi Arabia. This was unprecedented work and the paper, that is earning these three men a place in the Hall of Fame of Civil Engineering, was written from this experience and wisdom. When Ed returned to the states, he worked for two years for Exxon in Houston, Texas making his mark on this big corporate giant. While at Exxon, Ed was called into the Chairman’s Office and was given a bonus for saving Exxon millions on the Australia Project. And, although Exxon didn’t want to lose Ed, Ed felt a different call. Ed left Exxon and he and his family moved to Washington State where he became a partner in the consulting engineering firm Jerome W. Morrissette Associates in Olympia Washington for last 20 years of his life. It was during this time that Ed and his family traveled globally for fun and he and Amber traveled in the states and overseas for his lectures.

“Ed had many hobbies such as: backpacking, ice hockey, swimming, gardening, motor cycling, biking, music and much more. He was always filled with energy and was constantly on the move. Ed was a very spiritual man and spent many hours in meditation and thought.

“Ed was married to Amber Rafferty Wiltsie for 43 years and they not only were together all through 4 years of engineering school but spent 43 years of life together personally and professionally. Edward passed 2010 and is survived by his family members. Ed and Amber have two married daughters Amie and her husband Brook Wiltsie-Foster and three children Nalani (22), Zeus (18) and Caiomhe (6); Arianne and her husband Michael Wiltsie-Hiebert and two sons Dominic(4) and Brayden (1); and a married son Edward Martin Wiltsie and Elizabeth Wiltsie.”

March 4, 2019

Yelm Loop Project Update: Completion slated for late 2023

SR 510 – Yelm Loop – New Alignment Phase 2 – Project Vicinity Map
Credit: WSDOT

– Editor’s note:
While City of Yelm officials provided very ambitious dates for this project last year by announcing construction beginning in 2019 and being completed within 2 years, the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) official timeline is published below showing construction beginning in early 2022 and completed in late 2023. Therefore, if Mayor Foster keeps to his previously stated intent to not run again in 2021, the ribbon-cutting on this roadway will not occur while he is mayor.

Update from WSDOT:

“WSDOT is in the process of a federally required environmental assessment phase that will continue into mid 2020.”


  • Environmental reevaluation – Winter 2019 – Summer 2020
  • Project advertised for competitive bidding  – Summer 2021
  • Construction – Early 2022
  • Project completion – Late 2023

The End Result:
“In this project, crews will build the 3 remaining miles of SR 510 between Cullens Road and 170th Street Southeast. The new connection, like the previously built Phase 1, is proposed to be a two-lane highway with bicycle and pedestrian facilities.”
Read more

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