April 30, 2019

‘Homes For Our Troops’ to build in Yelm for injured soldier, Army Sgt. Aaron Boyle

Army     Sergeant Aaron Boyle

Homes For Our Troops to kick off building of home for injured Soldier in Yelm, Wash.”

  • From Homes For Our Troops top readers of the Yelm Community Blog:

“The national nonprofit organization, Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) will kick off the building of a specially adapted custom home for Army Sergeant Aaron Boyle on Saturday, May 11, 2019. SGT Boyle lost his right arm and right leg while serving in Afghanistan.

“The Community Kickoff event signifies the start of the build process and will introduce SGT Boyle to the community. The event will be held at New Life   Christian Center, 13036 Morris Road SE, Yelm, WA 98597 at 10 a.m.   (Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m.) The public is welcome to attend.

“On Sept. 21, 2010, Sergeant Boyle was on patrol in the Arghandab River Valley when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast resulted in the loss of his right arm, right leg, and severe damage to his left leg.

“Now medically retired, Aaron and his wife Lynn are busy raising their three children. He is involved with the local gym and would like to pursue a career as a motivational speaker.

“The home being built for Aaron will feature more than 40 major special adaptations such as widened doorways for wheelchair access, a roll-in shower, and kitchen amenities that include pull-down shelving and lowered countertops. The home will also alleviate the mobility and safety issues associated with a traditional home, including navigating a wheelchair through narrow hallways or over thresholds, or reaching for cabinets that are too high.

“HFOT has built 274 homes since the organization’s inception in 2004. Homes For Our Troops relies on contributions from donors, supporters, and corporate partners for the building of each Veteran’s home. Community members may hold fundraisers or make donations. To find out more on how to get involved or make a donation visit www.hfotusa.org.

“Read more about Aaron’s story and watch his video at www.hfotusa.org/boyle.”

April 29, 2019

An excellent case for why Thurston County needs a new County Courthouse!

“Brett Buckley, Presiding Judge for Thurston County District Court” Courtesy photo to The Olympian

“A view of the Thurston County courthouse from the bench”

“Brett Buckley is the Presiding Judge for Thurston County District Court as well as the judge for Thurston County Mental Health Court and Thurston County Veterans Court. He has been a judicial officer for 25 years.” Judge Buckley’s Op-Ed was published in The Olympian.

“The current courthouse opened in 1978 and was built to accommodate the needs of that era. In 1978 there was no Americans with Disabilities Act. It is expensive and difficult to retrofit these buildings to make them accessible. The county population has more than doubled since 1978 and so have court calendars. The 1978 building didn’t even contemplate desk top computers, let alone laptops, pads, phones, etc.

“Let’s talk about services we can’t provide because of the inadequacies of the current building. We would love to have drop-in day care for court users (one of the biggest reasons for failure to appear is lack of someone to watch a child) but there is no space for this service. I would love to start live-streaming our District Court calendars to make the judicial system more transparent to citizens but the lack of adequate cabling has stymied our efforts.

“We need a new courthouse.”
Read more

April 28, 2019

FOX News commentator Judge Napolitano calls out Trump on Obstruction of Justice, an impeachable offense according to the Constitution of the United States!

Judge Andrew Napolitano. 
Photo: Richard Drew, Associated Press

“Fox News’ Legal Analyst Called Trump’s Obstruction ‘Immoral, Criminal, Defenseless, and Condemnable'”

  • Editor’s note: Judge Napolitano makes an impressive case that President Trump took an oath to the Constitution of the United States to “uphold and enforce federal law, not violate it.
  • By Elliot Hannon, Slate.com: “Judge Andrew Napolitano weighs in on the information revealed in the Mueller report and whether or not President Trump obstructed justice.”

Click here for the Judge’s video.

  • UPDATE: April 29, 2019:

“Judge Napolitano says Trump attacked him ‘to divert attention’ from Mueller report” Read more from Yahoo! News.

April 28, 2019

McConnell, Graham, Grassley, Sessions on a President following the rule of law 20 years ago. Where are their voices now when the Constitution is under assault?

By Jack Orman, Sacramento Bee
April 22, 2019

  • Editor’s note: At this time in our nation’s history where the Constitution is under assault, the passionate statements of our Congressional leaders from 1999 during President Clintonm’s impeachment are relevant today, yet they remain silent in 2019. Twenty years of experience has not tempered their hypocrisy!

Video of Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, Chuck Grassley on why impeachment was required in 1999 during the investigation into President Clinton. Click here

Video of Trump’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, from January 13, 1999. Click here

Video of Lindsay Graham, from December 18, 1998, stating that ignoring subpoenas is impeachable, by Daniel Moritz-Rabson, Newsweek. Click here      

Video of Lindsay Graham, from Jan. 23, 1999. Click here

April 27, 2019

Cake artist originally from Yelm, Amber Markland opens Olympia cake studio.

Sift and Gather owner Amber Markland
Photo credit: Steve Bloom,
The Olympian

“Sift & Gather, a cake studio, fills vacancy at downtown Olympia marketplace”

  • Editor’s note: Owner Amber Markland is originally from Yelm. Stop in and wish her well: 222 Market at 222 Capitol Way N. in Olympia and on Facebook, Instagram or at www.siftandgather.com.

“222 Market — a collection of businesses in downtown Olympia that largely create food, drink or both — has filled a longtime vacancy after a broth-serving business closed about a year ago.

“Taking its place is Sift & Gather, a cake studio run by Amber Markland. The business has been at its new location for about a week, she said, but that doesn’t mean Markland is new to cakes and baked goods.”

“But after having children, she also wanted to teach them the value of giving back, so they volunteered their time at a nonprofit called Birthday Cakes 4 Free. It was there that Markland honed her skills as a baker and discovered a creative side.

‘”It allowed me to use cakes as a canvas for my art,’ she said,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian.

Read more

April 26, 2019

Yelm Co-op’s 12th anniversary – Congratulations!

Photo credit: Yelm Food Co-op

The Yelm Community Bl;og covered the opening of the Yelm Food Co-op on Saturday, April 28, 2007. Congratulations to the Co-op Board, staff and members on a wonderful 12 years of service and growth for our community!

Read more from the recent newsletter.

Yelm Food Co-op
308 Yelm Ave E
Yelm, Washington 98597


Highlights info row image

(360) 400-2210

April 25, 2019

The Triad’s Cameron Jayne addresses council about lack of leadership: A mayor who does not communicate with council, councilors that rush to judgement about citizens!

  • Editor’s note: I commend the impeccable manner in which The Triad Theater’s Cameron Jayne and Councilor Joe DePinto handled a challenging and difficult situation that ensued at the April 23, 2019, Yelm city council session. The situation that led to this had snowballed out of control due to a lack of communication by Mayor Foster with the city administrator and city council, which he acknowledged after direct questioning by Ms. Jayne, and councilors Molly Carmody and Joe DePinto rushing to judgement via their councilor social media Facebook pages, rather than contacting Ms. Jayne directly inquiring why the UFO Fest was leaving Yelm for Lacey. A lack of communication by Mayor Foster is becoming a hallmark of his leadership here, as evidenced by other instances, such as not informing council he signed a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure on 640 acres without council’s consent and approval. Councilor DePinto apologized and took responsibility for his Facebook post prior to gathering the facts.
  • Further, Mr. Foster should have joined Councilor DePinto in publicly acknowledging Ms. Jayne for what transpired and issued a formal apology on behalf of the city and city council. BRAVO to Mr. DePinto for his decisive leadership in this regard! DePinto’s outstanding handling of this issue reflected his fine leadership capabilities and was vivid in stark contrast to Mayor Foster’s tepid response. I hope we see DePinto running again for mayor, the next election in 2021.
  • After seeing the council session, a prominent Yelm business owner told me this reminded them when Ice Chips Candy could not get the city to assist their expansion in town and they moved to Tumwater, noting that Yelm was “non-business friendly.” Listening to how Mayor Foster did little to nothing to keep the UFO Fest in Yelm also reminded me of the Ice Chips move. I can think of two ways the mayor could have opened doors for the UFO Fest to have remained here. His silence last Tuesday to extend no invitation, pledge, or commitment in an attempt to get the UFO Fest to return here was deafening and most revealing, as well.

“At tonight’s [Apr. 23] city council meeting we had a lot of different folks speaking to the council on the subject of the UFO Fest and the Downtown Corridor Study (I was the sole no vote for the latter due to the cost, at around 13 million as well as being a voice for the downtown business owners who did not want to lose parking in front of their business).

“Regarding the UFO Fest, Cameron Jayne the founder, came to give her perspective and share her disappointment in some of our councilmembers comments on Facebook (CM Carmody and myself, you can find my post from a few weeks ago if you scroll down).

“One thing I always preach is that there is always two sides to every story, and when I made that FB post I did not follow my own words of advice and just used a Nisqually Valley News article and a conversation with our City Admin as the straight truth. I did not reach out to Jayne to get her side of the story. For that I truly apologize to her (which I apologized publicly tonight and she accepted).

“As was confirmed at tonight’s meeting she did try to work with the Mayor to keep this festival in Yelm, which was something that was in no way communicated to myself or the rest of the Council. It’s not an excuse, I still should have reached out to her directly which I deeply regret.

“Again, I’m very sorry Cameron Jayne for not reaching out directly to you to understand that you did try to work with the city but the city was not doing everything they could to keep your UFO Festival in Yelm. I also apologize to the constituents that I serve for not doing a better job of gathering all different perspectives before I blasted the UFO Festival for leaving Yelm.

“I’m far from perfect yet I strive to be the best councilman I can and to fairly represent the people of Yelm. This was a humbling moment for me and I’ll do better in the future to understand all sides and perspectives.”

  • My response to Councilor DePinto’s Facebook post:

“[Joe DePinto] are a man of true integrity and character to have understood and written this, Joe. The great purposeful good in this experience is you get the learning and Yelm gets an even more impeccable councilor, true to his principles, ethics, morals, and his word. That is becoming a rarity in some elected officials as they change from the aphrodisiac of perceived power (or their true selves are revealed). Not so in you! I am proud to support you in your work for the people of Yelm, all-ways have been. Again, as was reveals at the council session, Mayor Foster continues to not inform councilors of important decisions in which he is involved, i.e. the 640 acre agreement. This is now a serious issue for this city’s government.”

  • And last, I posted this to both Councilor DePinto’s and Carmody’s original Facebook posts about Ms. Jayne:

“The proper way to handle this is to invite Jayne to the next city council meeting and ask for her explanation to the Hotel/Motel Tax Committee with all of the members present and for the public record! I just arrived back in town last night after being away the last 12 days and am so disappointed to see a Yelm city councilor resort to social media to decimate Jayne’s decision without knowing the full story, which I do, as I met with Jayne 6 weeks ago on this very issue. Please air your grievances on the public record!”

Added to Councilor Carmody’s Facebook thread: “…condemning her in such a manner via social media without providing her an invitation & an opportunity to address council is like a “tar and feathering,” in emanating from an elected official. I had hoped that left this town with Ron Harding.”

I met with Jayne 6 weeks ago at her request when this was on-going and she told me then that she HAD been in contact with the city’s leader. As I said, you can adjudicate this all you want via social media, however, best to invite her to come before council and answer all of your questions. Smile.”

April 24, 2019

Yelm council approves the Downtown Corridor Plan, yet with no implementation calendar

  • Editor’s note: While I am elated at the vote of approval for this well-researched Downtown Transportation Strategy Plan, funded by a $10,000 Small Cities grant from the Port of Olympia, I hope this plan does not end up as another “ornament” on the Yelm website and mere perfunctory words for inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan, as has been the case with the 1995 Yelm Vision Plan. That $30,000 plan, partially funded by a grant from the Yelm Chamber of Commerce, was intended to have regular updates (none have been added) and be a working document that would be the major Yelm planning guide for decades to come. Outside of a few items like the sign standards for local businesses, the Yelm Vision Plan (which had an Implementation Plan included) has collected dust on the city’s website for almost 25 years, and most of the public are unaware this fine document exists. I hope the city’s Downtown Corridor Plan has a strategic plan for implementation added soon and does not end up collecting dust as a website ornament.
    Click here for the Yelm Vision Plan.
  • As Council member Joe DePinto aptly stated on his councilor Facebook page, “I was the sole no vote for the latter due to the cost, at around 13 million as well as being a voice for the downtown business owners who did not want to lose parking in front of their business.” His concerns have merit!

“City of Yelm: Transportation Strategy Aims to Improve Traffic Flow and Downtown Vitality”

From the City of Yelm in Thurston Talk.

April 23, 2019

Masonry Cafe lauded for first anniversary in Yelm

” Shelly Brown, Leroy Keener and Natalie Wrye form the core of Yelm’s Masonry Cafe”
Photo credit: Heidi Smith

“L&E Bottling Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Yelm’s Masonry Cafe”

The move to Yelm was a leap of faith. Initially, when Brown inspected the front counter of what is now the cafe, she didn’t see how a catering business could thrive there. But then she saw the kitchen. ‘It was really what I was looking for,’ she says. ‘It fit what we needed.’  The first few months were a blur of 14-hour days, 6 days a week as Brown and Keener worked to pay some of the necessary upfront purchases.”

From the start, the local community has been supportive, says Brown. On day one, she discovered neighbors from nearby Salon Nouveau peering through the windows, trying to determine if the cafe was open. ‘I went outside and said, ‘Come in and have a look,’” Brown laughs. “‘We’re not open yet, but come back in about an hour.’ They came back at lunchtime and from then on, they kept buying a bunch of stuff. Then they sent all of their friends here,'” by Heidi Smith.

“To learn more, visit the Masonry Cafe Catering website,” by Heidi Smith.

Masonry Café Catering
105 E. Yelm Ave, Yelm
Monday-Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Read more

April 22, 2019

President Trump’s Earth Day message omits any mention of climate change!

“Trump issues Earth Day message without mentioning climate change”

“President praised the benefits of a ‘strong market economy’ but did not echo warnings from scientists on rising temperatures”

“Donald Trump issued on Monday an Earth Day proclamation that omitted any mention of climate change or the cavalcade of environmental threats posed by deforestation, species loss and plastic pollution. The president chose instead to praise the benefits of a “strong market economy”.

“In response, one leading climate scientist said Trump’s environmental policy was ‘in many cases the antithesis of protection’. The executive director of the Sierra Club said Trump was ‘the worst president for the environment our nation has ever had,'” quoting UK’s Guardian. Read more

Click here for the “Presidential Message on Earth Day, 2019.”


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