June 30, 2019

Serious Trump Administration issues last week you may have missed!

Credit: Jack Ohman
Sacramento Bee
June 25, 2019

“Moscow says downed US drone was in Iranian airspace”

“The US drone shot down by Tehran last week was in Iranian airspace, the head of Russia’s Security Council said Tuesday [June 23], despite US claims to the contrary,” by France’s AFP. Read more

“Trump, without offering evidence, accuses Mueller of illegal activity”

“U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday [June 24], without offering evidence, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller “terminated” FBI communications in what he called an illegal move.”

Trump made the remarks ahead of Mueller’s scheduled testimony in front of lawmakers about his investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

“Mueller will testify about his report in front of the House of Representatives’ Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees in July [17].

“Mueller found Russia did meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, that the Trump campaign did not conspire with Russia and did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice,” by Reuters. Read more

“Advanced Russian warship armed with cruise missiles docks in Havana’s harbor”

  • Editor’s note: This would have never have been allowed to occur 90 miles from the United State under any other President.

“One of the Russian Navy’s most advanced warships has docked at a port in Havana’s harbor.

“Armed with cruise missiles, air deference systems and other weapons, the Admiral Gorshkov — which pulled into Cuba’s capital Monday [June 22] — is the first ship in a new class of frigates intended to replace aging Soviet-era destroyers to project power far away from Russian shores.”

“The naval group was greeted with a 21-gun salute from Cuban forces stationed at the entrance to the Bay of Havana,” by FOX News. Read more

“Under Trump, Manufacturing Job Growth Slows to a Trickle”

“While Trump has engaged in considerable bluster in his trade negotiations, they have not led to much of a payoff for U.S. manufacturing workers to date. At the most basic level, instead of shrinking, the trade deficit has gotten larger under Trump,” by Dean Baker, Truthout. Read more

“The United States and Iran remain on a collision path. Here’s what President Trump should do,” by Nicholas Kristoff, The New York Times. Read more

Trump cozies up to 3 dictators while in Asia who murdered journalists – dissing U. S. allies

“Trump boosts reputation of cozying up dictators at G-20 Summit”

“President Donald Trump continued to embrace a reputation of cozying up to dictators, defending his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Trump made the comments during a news conference Saturday while attending the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. Trump left the summit and visited South Korea, where he extended an invitation to another dictator, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet him at the Demilitarized Zone at the country’s border,” by Clyde Hughes, UPI. Read more

June 29, 2019

Did you know stores are tracking your shopping via your cellphone?


“In Stores, Secret Surveillance Tracks Your Every Move”

“As you shop, ‘beacons’ are watching you, using hidden technology in your phone.”

“Imagine you are shopping in your favorite grocery store. As you approach the dairy aisle, you are sent a push notification in your phone: “10 percent off your favorite yogurt! Click here to redeem your coupon.” You considered buying yogurt on your last trip to the store, but you decided against it. How did your phone know?

Your smartphone was tracking you. The grocery store got your location data and paid a shadowy group of marketers to use that information to target you with ads. Recent reports have noted how companies use data gathered from cell towers, ambient Wi-Fi, and GPS. But the location data industry has a much more precise, and unobtrusive, tool: Bluetooth beacons.

“These beacons are small, inobtrusive electronic devices that are hidden throughout the grocery store; an app on your phone that communicates with them informed the company not only that you had entered the building, but that you had lingered for two minutes in front of the low-fat Chobanis,” by Michael Kwet, The New York Times.

Read more

June 29, 2019

Thurston’s farm industry is not benefiting from “buy local” trends

“Buying local trend isn’t translating into farm industry success in Thurston County”

  • Editor’s note: This is a thoughtful and insightful story by Stephen Bramwell, a member of the The Olympian Board of Contributors. Bramwell is the Washington State University Thurston County Extension Director and Agriculture Agent, providing local research and education services to farmers.

Thurston County has lost and is still losing key elements required for agricultural health. These include sufficient markets, affordable inputs, marketing infrastructure, compatible regulations, access to productive resources such as land and water, living wages, and a vibrant producer network, among others.

“Several examples illustrate the loss of these necessities, but also call attention to important nuances. I’ll provide an overview here, and take up some examples in depth in subsequent columns.”

Read more

June 28, 2019

Are you prepared?
Make a Plan and discuss with your family!

Make and Practice Your Plan

“Review — Are you prepared for a natural disaster?”

Story at-a-glance by Dr. Mercola

  • Natural disasters take a significant financial, personal and psychological toll on those who live through them. Personal preparedness for disasters more likely to occur in your geographical area will help reduce your risk of injury
  • Mobile apps designed to assist and support during natural disasters have been developed by multiple agencies; data collected during a disaster is also used to help emergency personnel prepare for the next natural emergency
  • As weather patterns continue to change over time, the number of climate related disasters is on the rise, making it ever more important to prepare beforehand, and to seriously consider getting psychological help afterward
  • Planning for an emergency, practicing your plan and staying informed helps reduce your risk of injury during severe weather, extreme heat, nuclear power plant emergencies or any of the 29 other potential disasters identified by Ready.gov

Read more

June 28, 2019

‘Severe’ drought conditions on Olympic Peninsula as summer/fire season get underway!

The National Drought Mitigation Center
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Western Washington should prepare for potentially busy fire season”

“After the first major wildfire of the season on the east side of the state, worries are growing on the wildfire potential for the west side.”

“Fire chiefs simply want people to be ready for what many think will never happen, a major wildfire on the west side of Washington State. Many fire departments and fire districts on the west side have already been working to implementing Firewise programs for residents in their communities.

“The program encourages residents to protect themselves from wildfire, such as pushing brush and debris away from their homes and remove overhanging branches,” by Glenn Farley, KING-5 TV News, Seattle. Read more

2019 shaping up to be one of Washington’s worst droughts

“One of the wettest places on earth, the Pacific Coast of the Olympic Peninsula, is now ranked the third driest area since records began,” by Glenn Farley, KING-5 TV News, Seattle. Read more

Feds upgrade Olympic Peninsula drought conditions from moderate to ‘severe'”

“The drought classification for the Olympic Peninsula region has been upgraded from “moderate” to “severe” by the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM).

“‘The drought outlook for the Olympic Peninsula just took another step in the wrong direction,’ said a state Department of Ecology analysis.

“A severe drought classification, according to the USDM, contains impacts of crop and pasture damage, water shortages, and water restrictions.” by Joel Connelly Seattle P-I. Read more

“World Entering ‘New Climate Regime’ of Extreme Heat Waves Caused by Human-Induced Climate Change”

Read more on heat waves by Pam Wright, The Weather Channel.

June 27, 2019

Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” (in the Park) debuts Sunday, June 30th in Yelm!

Credit: Goldfinch Productions

“3 Shakespeare comedies on tap for this summer. Could Olympia become a mini Ashland?”

“This is South Sound’s summer of Shakespeare — and at least some of those involved with the three al fresco productions are hoping it will be the first of many.

“The Bard’s bounty of free theater begins this weekend with Animal Fire Theatre Co.’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and Goldfinch Productions’ “As You Like It.” It will continue in August with “The Tempest,” produced by Oly Arts founder Ned Hayes.

“Shakespeare in the park is nothing new in Olympia and environs, where Animal Fire has been staging shows since 2010, most often in Priest Point Park.”

“Both Hayes and Goldfinch artistic director Kevin McManus said Animal Fire’s success was an inspiration for their first-time efforts. And Animal Fire is having what Douglas termed a “growth year,” having received its first grant, a matching grant from the City of Olympia, to fund the purchase of tripods to use to anchor sets.”

‘I’ve been a big fan of Animal Fire for as long as it has existed,’ said McManus, who’s directing “As You Like It,” which premieres Sunday in Yelm before moving to Olympia. ‘Olympia and the surrounding area seem to have responded very well, and I don’t know that one production fulfills the needs of the community,” by Molly Gilmore, Contributing writer, The Olympian. Read more

June 27, 2019

Changes to parent company of Nisqually Valley News more defined

  • Editor’s note: While some of the changes at the parent company of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN), were described by NVN Editor Eric Schwartz and previously posted on this blog, Schwartz’s colleague, Jonathan Haukaas, Editor of The Reflector in Battle Ground, WA., wrote more about the changes coming from parent Lafromboise Communication, Inc.

Keeping the news team strong during painful changes”

It became clear to our corporate leaders that our print division was unsalvageable and the shuttering process began. Along with sweeping layoffs at the print division, jobs were also eliminated across the company for financial reasons and as customer service was consolidated. (Don’t worry, though, our doors are still open for walk-ins)

“We’re a small office here in Battle Ground, so this wasn’t like getting an email from your boss at Amazon telling you a bunch of people you’d never met had been laid off.

It hit hard.”

Sadly, ownership structures like ours are becoming rare in today’s world of print media, as newspapers across the country are being bought up by large regional corporations. Management and design often get centralized while a few reporters are planted in coverage areas to wander about. 

Jenifer Lafromboise Falcon, our owner, inherited the company from her mother and hopes to pass it along to her own children one day. I’ve had a number of conversations with Mrs. Lafromboise Falcon and I trust that she’s committed to keeping her newspapers locally owned and operated, with a newsroom free of outside interference,” by Jonathan Haukaas, The Reflector.

Read more

June 27, 2019

Yelm Prairie Stampede 5k Walk/Run is this Sunday

Credit: Yelm Rotary

Yelm Prairie Stampede 5k Walk/Run
Sun, June 30, 2019 – Yelm, WA

“The Rotary Club of Yelm Prairie Stampede will take place on Sunday, June 30th at Yelm Middle School. The Rotary Club of Yelm is dedicated to service-in our community and in the world. The proceeds raised by the Yelm Prairie Stampede go to help fund our summer lunch program and other youth supported activities,” by the Rotary Club of Yelm. Read more

June 26, 2019

Toboton culvert work set to begin on Peissner Rd. in the Bald Hills

  • From Thurston County Public Works:

“The three aging culverts under the road at this location are in poor condition. They also separate Toboton Creek’s natural streambed, lowering water flow to the point where fish cannot access upstream habitat. As part of the Fish Passage Enhancement program, the culverts at this location will be replaced with an updated, single aluminum box culvert. Streambed enhancements will also be made to improve fish passage. After construction begins, the project is expected to last approximately three months. Drivers should expect single lane closures and delays on Peissner Road near the site during construction.

Read more

June 26, 2019

Yelm Schools serve as a model for statewide initiative to teach tribal culture, issues

“The Yelm District has a strong and ongoing relationship with the Nisqually Tribe.”
Photo credit: Jenna Fissenden

“Yelm Serves as Model District for ‘Since Time Immemorial’ Curriculum”

The Nisqually Project is not your typical assignment. Each year every seventh-grade student in the Yelm School District tackles the project, engaging in five essential questions about the Nisqually Tribe as part of their Pacific Northwest History class. After extensive research, visits from Nisqually Tribal members, and outings to the Nisqually Culture Center and other important sites, they create a written and tactile representation of their knowledge through drawings, canoe or longhouse replicas, and more.”

The project is part of the Since Time Immemorial (STI), a statewide initiative to support the teaching of tribal sovereignty, tribal history, and current tribal issues within the context of Washington and U.S. History. All 29 tribes have endorsed the curriculum’s use and importance, yet although it’s a mandatory requirement through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), not all districts implement it – or are even aware of the mandate.

But then there’s Yelm. Even before STI was signed into law in 2005, the district was already working with the Nisqually Tribe to incorporate tribal perspectives into history classes. Former Ridgeline Middle School teacher Jerry Price, now Social Studies Program Supervisor for OSPI, was instrumental in developing STI’s middle school curriculum. As a result, Yelm Community Schools offers an effective model for how to collaboratively develop a regionally appropriate framework that includes the history and culture of each distinct tribal nation,” by Heidi Smith, Thurston Talk. Read more


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