September 30, 2019

Mayor Foster ignores council’s requests at his own peril!
Council circumnavigated twice by Foster on major issues affecting city’s budget.
The Mayor failed to inform council and his own citizens until he was questioned.

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Credit: City of Yelm

Council members requested a motion for Splash Park cost overruns and the status of a 640 acre Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, both done without their consent and outside of required protocols!

  • Splash Park cost overrun motion is required for a a council vote

Councilor Carmody requested at the August 13th council session an answer “regarding the over-budgeted Splash Park and playground equipment.”

“I wonder when we’re going to be seeing a request for a budget amendment for council to vote on?” Carmody requested of Mayor Foster Mayor Foster’s uncommitted response was, “We’ll get the answer to you as soon as we know.”

Councilor Carmody brought this issue forward again at the September 3, 2019, Study Session. “Quoting the Minutes, “When [will] the Budget Amendment will be presented to reflect the Splash Pad/Playground overruns?”

The next public Council session is October 8, 2019, almost 2 months since the council asked about the $363,375 in Splash Park cost overruns, which require an Action item for their approval, which Mr. Foster still has not presented to-date.

  • 640 acre Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure contract is up Dec. 29, 2019.

At the September 3, 2019, Study Session, “Councilmember Stillwell asked for an update on the 640 acres at the next Study Session,” quoting the Minutes. If the property owners do not bring their taxes in arrears up to date, the city will own the land and be responsible for a $1+ million L. I. D. The October 1st Study Session Agenda has no listing to discuss the 640 acres statuis.

  • Bottom line: Mayor Foster ignores council’s requests at his own peril! Only the Legislative branch of city government (council) can authorize budget expenditures. The council needs to reign in the Executive Branch (Mayor and City Administrator) for these budget expenditures they authorized without council approval.

September 30, 2019

How the UN climate report may affect Yelm

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Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.
51st Session held on 20 – 23 September 2019.

“New U.N. climate report: Monumental change already here for world’s oceans and frozen regions”

  • Editor’s note: Rising sea level events are occurring at an exponentially faster rate than scientists had been predicting. Population centers in the South Sound like Olympia and Tacoma could see neighborhoods uninhabitable in a few years, forcing residents to look inland to move. Yelm will be an attractive place for coastal city residents to eventually relocate.

“More than 100 scientists from around the world contributed to the latest report by the IPCC, which comes on the heels of several other warnings the group has issued recently. Last fall, the IPCC said the world must make rapid, far-reaching changes to energy, transportation and other systems to hold warming below an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, a key threshold in the Paris climate agreement.

“The findings also come as world leaders gathered [last] week at the United Nations for a much-anticipated “climate summit” aimed at injecting new momentum into the flagging effort to persuade countries to do more to move away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner forms of energy. Although dozens of smaller nations did announce plans for coming years, the world’s largest emitters have stopped short of committing to transformational changes.

“‘The climate emergency is a race we are losing — but it is a race we can win if we change our ways now,’ U.N. Secretary General António Guterres told world leaders Tuesday in his latest attempt to spur action. ‘Even our language has to adapt: What once was called ‘climate change’ is now truly a ‘climate crisis.’ … We are seeing unprecedented temperatures, unrelenting storms and undeniable science.'”

For some major coastal cities, a historical 100-year flood event will happen annually by 2050 even in the most optimistic scenario, the report found,” by Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis, Washington Post.

Read more


September 29, 2019

An impeachment inquiry has begun, the fact-finding stage of the process,
Yet there was other important news from the Trump Administration last week!

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By Jack Ohman
Sacramento Bee
  • Editor’s note: There has been plenty of news for the public to grasp about President Trump using the Office of the President to request aid from a foreign, sovereign nation to find dirt on a presidential 2020 campaign opponent for his own political gain, while holding-up bi-partisan approved Congressional funding totaling $250 million to the Ukraine, plus $141 million in additional funds. However, there are other key stories last week that did not make the front pages.

“‘Off the charts’: White House turnover is breaking records”

“‘I think we have tremendous stability,’ Trump told reporters last week”

“The top echelon of the Trump administration has become a high-speed revolving door — with turnover in 78 percent of the positions, a new study has found.

“And 31 percent of those White House “A-Team” jobs have turned over more than once, the study by the Brookings Institution shows,” by Dareh Gregorian, NBC News. Read more

“Inside the Trump Administration’s Chaotic Dismantling of the Federal Land Agency”

“Internal records from the Bureau of Land Management contradict what its chief told Congress about a plan to ship 200 D.C.-based career staff out West. The plan would weaken the agency, which stands between federal lands and oil, gas and mineral companies,” by Mike Spies,, J David McSwane, ProPublica. Read more

“Donald Trump’s Plan for Winning the China Trade War: Lying”

“The bigger problem with Trump’s tariffs is the uncertainty they create. By running his trade policy like a reality TV show, he is making it impossible for companies to engage in long-term planning on their investment decisions.

“A company looking to produce cars, planes, or anything else with Chinese inputs has no idea what U.S. trade relations will look like with China five or 10 years down the road. Will they be able to import items with minimal tariffs, as was the case pre-Trump? Will they be paying 25 percent in tariffs as Trump digs in for the long haul? Or will they be banned from dealing with China altogether, as Trump threatened in one of his tweets?” by Dean Baker, Truthout. Read more

“President Trump’s trade war with China blamed for Mount Vernon [WA.] mill closure”

“About 70 people at the Northwest Hardwoods mill in Mount Vernon are losing their jobs, they say because of President Trump’s ongoing economic battle with China,” by Eric Wilkinson, KING-5 TV News, Seattle. Read more

“Washington state joins fight against changes to the Endangered Species Act”

“Washington joined a multi-state coalition Wednesday [Sept. 25] in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s changes to the rules governing the Endangered Species Act, By James Drew, McClatchy’s Washington papers. Read more

“Judge blocks Trump administration from indefinitely detaining migrant children”

“U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California issued a permanent injunction against the Trump administration’s rule, which would have placed no limit on the detention of children and changed the licensing authority for facilities housing them,” by Daniella Silva, NBC News. Read more

“In Our View: Civics education critical to influencing future”

“But the fact that many American citizens do not understand that balance [U.S. Constitution’s powers to the executive, legislative and judicial branches] demonstrates the importance of civics education. As Andrea Gabor wrote recently for Bloomberg Opinion: ‘Embracing a meaningful civics project … may be the best way to help kids make the connection between what they learn about the nation’s political institutions and a future they can affect,'” by The Columbian, Vancouver, WA. Read more

“Editorial: At the UN climate summit, children lead while the world’s politicians act like children

“Editorial: At the UN climate summit, children lead while the world’s politicians act like children”

By McClatchy newspapers. Read more

“Large chunk of border wall funding diverted from tiny Guam”

By Audrey McAvoy, AP. Read more

“As Climate Crisis Threatens to Put More Homes ‘Literally Underwater,’ Study Warns Big Banks Offloading Risky Mortgages Onto Taxpayers”

“‘This is insane,’ commented one climate campaigner,” by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams. Read more

“In Photos: The Trump Whistleblower Complaint”

Read more from MSN.

“Snowden Condemns Trump’s Treatment of Whistleblower Who Exposed Ukraine Scandal”

Click here, by Amy Goodman & Juan González, Democracy Now!


September 28, 2019

Autumn colors provide a warm Yelm welcome!

Photo credit: Yelm Community Blog

Photo taken at 1pm, Friday, September 27, 2019. Yelm Ave. W. at 93rd looking eastbound. At the town’s city limits.


September 28, 2019

A lovely Autumn walking trail option close to Yelm

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Creekside trail at Churchill Rd
Credit:
Charles Gibson

“Creekside Trail and Yelm-Tenino Trail Loop”

“Creekside Trail and Yelm-Tenino Trail Loop is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Tenino, Washington that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash,” quoting AllTrails, LLC.

Read more


September 27, 2019

“How to Start a Business” workshop in Yelm, Oct. 2 –
Free, Open to the public.

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“How to Start a Business”

How to Start a Business @ Yelm City Hall- Council Chambers Oct 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Do you have a small business or want to start one? Get a free step-by-step road map to start a successful business. Meet with a Business Coach and begin to strategize for the next 12 months,” by The Washington Center for Women in Business (WCWB).

Where: Yelm City Hall- Council Chambers, 106 2nd St SE, Yelm

Read more


September 27, 2019

‘Beyond Aging Fair’ free to the public Saturday in Lacey!

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Credit: PSW

“Beyond Aging Health Fair”

PSW [Physicians of Southwest Washington] is hosting a Beyond Aging Health Fair that is FREE to the public. This is our way of bringing local physicians closer to the community to help encourage older adults to live a healthy lifestyle in spirit, mind, and body.

Date: October 1st, 2019
Time: 11am-3pm
Cost: FREE
Location: Lacey Community Center
6729 Pacific Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501

Walk-through a life-size, interactive colon. This is a great opportunity to learn about colorectal health.

Enjoy a FREE 20-minute session of chair yoga. Chair yoga improves flexibility, increases circulation, reduces stress and anxiety and reduces stiffness. Sessions occur at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm & 2:30pm.

Enjoy a FREE 20-minute lecture by PSW’s Kevin Haughton, MD where he explains “what you need to know before you go to the doctor” and what an Annual Wellness Visit means to you. Lecture begins at 11:30am.

Visit interactive booths that will offer FREE giveaways and local physician services.

Enjoy Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates’ FREE foot checks from 12pm-2pm.

And a whole lot more…We hope to see you there!

For more information, please email events@pswipa.com

Read more


September 26, 2019

City council facing Public Works water/sewer rate increases request!

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Editor’s note: The Yelm city council was faced with the inevitable Tuesday, September 24th – they will be forced to consider more water/sewer rate increases! I join council candidate James Blair commending Councilor Tracey Wood for speaking up on behalf of Yelm constituents, which you can hear beginning on the video at the 41:00 minute mark. Wood said with unusually voice inflection, “We need to tap the brakes here…” However, to be clear, the city’s top leadership and the council have done little to present plans on how to bring a decade of deferred maintenance in Public Works to current operating standards. The Public Works Director has previously told the council that $15-$24 million is required for this project, covered here many times. While I am glad to see Mr. Wood now take a stand, this is a serious issue that requires every councilor to have the same passion and focus that Mr. Wood now displays. I concur with Mr. Blair’s criticism about the city’s Executive branch bypassing the council in decision-making. Is continuing to seek to add more residential subdivision building permits for city revenue responsible when deferred Public Works maintenance and upgrades are long overdue and required before a serious breakdown, leaving city residents with either no water or sewer service?

  • From Councilor Molly Carmody’s Facebook post:

1. We received a request from Public Works to approve $30k to pay for a financial audit of our sewer/water billing, specifically because public works wants to raise rates again for future repairs. We were all pretty upset, because firstly, we thought we were done with raising rates, and secondly, because we thought that they already had this all planned out. Now apparently the design specs for the plant have changed, which means that we will need to change how much we bill. We voted to postpone voting on whether to pay for the financial audit until the actual plans are done. Very, very frustrating on several fronts. I don’t want to raise rates any more than you do, and this whole thing seems unorganized at best.

Read more


September 26, 2019

Last weekend of SRO’s production of Mamma Mia!
Be sure to see this show!

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, beard, meme and text
Credit: Standing Room Theater

Show highlights:

  • Director Daniel Wyman’s talent continues to evolve,
  • Choreographer Nylene Hubschman deserves 5 gold stars,
  • Musical Director Claudia Simpson-Jones brought ABBA’s songs to life,
  • Dawn Emelia as Donna stretched her already amazing gifts,
  • Dawn’s daughter Dahlia as Sophie was outstanding,
  • Kalen McCrea as Sky surprised with his stage presence,
  • The rest of the cast brought synergy making this show work here,
  • The Crew deserve accolades with so many details to dovetail!
  • Click here to read the entire Yelm Community Blog review.

Click here to get tickets before the remaining performances are sold out.


September 25, 2019

Free Washington State Parks entry day this Saturday, September 28th

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Thurston’s Millersylvania State Park
Credit:
Washington State Parks

– Editor’s note:
Washington State Parks have free entry days remaining in 2019 on September 28, Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29). National Parks also offer free entry on Veterans Day.

Remaining free state parks days in 2019 include:

Saturday, Sept. 28, National Public Lands Day

Monday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day

Friday, Nov. 29, autumn free day

To find a park to visit, click here.

  • From the National Environmental Education Foundation:

OLYMPIA – Sept. 9, 2019 – In honor of National Public Lands Day, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to visit a state park for free on Saturday, Sept. 28. No Discover Pass will be required for day-use visits by vehicle.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation.

State Parks free days are in keeping with 2011 legislation that created the Discover Pass, which costs $30 annually or $10 for a one-day visit. The pass is required for vehicle access to state recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The Discover Pass legislation directed State Parks to designate up to 12 free days when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The free days apply only at state parks; the Discover Pass is still required on WDFW and DNR lands.

Two more State Parks free days are available in 2019:

Monday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day

Friday, Nov. 29— Autumn free day

For more information about NPLD, visit https://www.neefusa.org/npld. The public is encouraged to follow and participate in the environmental stewardship conversation on social media using the hashtag #NPLD.


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