February 26, 2020

City leaders heard yet again Water Reclamation system is failing –
$17-25 million is immediately required just to bring up to today’s standards –
Mayor Foster says city’s water customers should be prepared for steep rate increases

  • Editor’s note: The Yelm City Council had a special session on Feb. 18th to hear another presentation once again on the water reclamation system’s updating urgency. This blog has covered the Public Works issues the city council has heard since 2017, yet five things remain the same:

1. the water reclamation system is failing, has litle capacity for more hook-ups,

2. the $17-$24 million price tag,

3. the city has no money to pay for this project,

4. water customers should expect to shoulder much of the price tag,

5. any upgrades will bring the system to today’s standards, then the system will have to play catch-up to the then-modern technology.

Bottom line: Mayor JW Foster keeps kicking this ‘can o worms’ down the road ever since this issue was raised in 2017. The city touts the need for more water rights to grow and expand with the knowledge that the Public Works Dept. is unable to provide basic services for additional new customers. Just attempt to wrap your mind around that concept!

“Consultants’ Preferred Fix for Yelm Wastewater Facility Would Cost $23.5 Million”

“Yelm Mayor, City Council Discuss Next Steps to Make Upgrades or Optimizations at Aging Facility”

“In the coming months, the Yelm City Council will likely choose from one of four consultant-recommended options to repair and ensure the longevity of the city’s wastewater reclamation facility.

“Those proposed fixes could cost between $16.9 million and $24 million, according to estimates.

Yelm Mayor JW Foster said that while fixing the issue of the city’s aging wastewater treatment facility will be at a potentially steep cost to the city’s water customers, it’s a necessary step the city must take to preserve the system.”

There are currently four options that have been put forward to the city. The two highest-ranked recommendations are to either retrofit the city’s current sequential batch-reactor tanks to move toward an membrane bio-reactor system or install a new membrane bio-reactor system and tanks, then use the existing tanks for equalization.

The system also has difficulties with removing nitrogen and ammonia gas from treated wastewater, which has affected the city’s permitting eligibility with the Washington state Department of Ecology.

There are also issues the city could potentially deal with in regards to growth and providing basic services. The plant is currently operating at 85 percent capacity, according to Parametrix staff, and in its current form does not allow the city much room to grow,” by Eric Rosane, Nisqually Valley News. Read more

February 25, 2020

“CDC warns spread of coronavirus in U.S. is inevitable: ‘It’s not if, it’s when'” –
‘The disruption of daily life might be severe’

Coronavirus particle drawing
Credit: MSNBC
  • Editor’s note: This is a suggestion to stock your home with items you wish to have on-hand if your area becomes required to be in lock-down to where you and your family are home-bound for 2 weeks or longer.
  • The Trump Administration’s Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf’s congressional briefing was called out today for being totally at odds with the CDC’s information.
  • To protect your family, would YOU believe Trump and his sycophants presenting “alternative facts” on the Coronavirus, like they did to the public and Congress today?

“Trump says U.S. in ‘very good shape’ on coronavirus. Health officials aren’t so confident.”

Top CDC Official in public briefing: “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”

“President Donald Trump said Tuesday said that the United States was in ‘very good shape’ when it comes to preparing for the deadly coronavirus illness known as COVID-19, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that it’s a matter of when — not if — it will spread across communities in the U.S.

“‘Ultimately we expect we will see community spread in this country,’ Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters in a conference call. While the CDC has been preparing for a possible outbreak, Messonier said hospitals and schools should be doing the same.

“‘These are things that people need to start thinking about now,’ Messonier said. ‘We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.'”

“‘The disruption of daily life might be severe,’ Dr. Messonnier said.”

By Phil Helsel, Peter Alexander and Dareh Gregorian, NBC News. Read more

“CDC warns spread of coronavirus in U.S. is inevitable: ‘It’s not if, it’s when'”

“Top public health officials at the Center for Disease Control say Americans should prepare for the spread of the coronavirus in communities across the United States. ‘It’s not so much a question of if this will happen any more, but rather more a question of exactly when,’ a CDC official said. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joins Chris Jansing to discuss,” on Katy Tur, MSNBC. Click here for the video.

“Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response”

Lawmakers in both parties on Tuesday expressed growing alarm that the threat of coronavirus in the United States is serious, and that the Trump administration is not doing enough to fight it,” by Peter Sullivan and Jessie Hellmann, The Hill. Read more

“CDC outlines what closing schools, businesses would look like in a pandemic”

“Schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups or close, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters,” by Berkeley Lovelace, Jr. and William Feuer, CNBC. Read more

“Trump is reportedly furious that the stock market is plunging on coronavirus fears”

By Pippa Stevens, CNBC. Read more

February 25, 2020

What you need to know to protect you and your family from the Coronavirus?
Trump says everything is “under control” – do you rely on his word?

Click for a large poster
Credit: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept.

Washington State Dept. of Health Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Read more

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Info for Travelers

Read more

Thurston County Public Health & Social Services

Read more

Tacoma-Pierce County’s excellent Coronavirus page

Read more

Event 201 Pandemic Exercise: Highlights Reel

Click here for the video on this exercise, conducted just before COVID-19’s exponential spread in China last November. What did they already know?

“Report claims two-thirds of global coronavirus cases have gone undetected”

“A new report from a WHO infectious disease modeling team based at Imperial College London is estimating about two-thirds of Covid-19 cases worldwide have gone undetected. The analysis suggests the global spread of the novel coronavirus is significantly greater than the current volume of confirmed cases,” by Rich Haridy, New Atlas. Read more

“Myth-busting: Will a face mask keep you safe from viruses on a plane?”

Read more from Samantha Rosen and Summer Hull, The Points Guy.

“Complete guide to traveling during the deadly coronavirus outbreak”

Read more from Jordi Lippe-McGraw, The Points Guy.

“How to avoid getting sick on a plane”

Read more from Jordi Lippe-McGraw, The Points Guy.

February 25, 2020

Mark your Calendars –
Standing Room Only (SRO) Theater Co. debuts for 2020 –
Calendar Girls runs in Yelm, March 6-29

Credit: SRO
Buy Tickets

Read more

February 24, 2020

Yelm is 9th fastest growing in state, yet water reclamation facility is failing,
Mayor’s State of the City address was 1 day prior to Sunbird’s announced closing,
While 2 companies with Yelm stores could go bankrupt in 2020!

Mayor JW Foster
Credit: City of Yelm
  • Editor’s note: Mayor Foster has held no public Town Hall’s since first being elected to office in Nov. 2017 (Foster was appointed as interim mayor in 2016), yet based on what he said Feb, 28, 2017, “Open Government, best run government,”…reaching out to our community.”
  • Standing in front of the Yelm Chamber Forum on Feb. 12, 2020 for his annual State of the City address is not a Town Hall where citizens can engage with the Mayor.
  • Mayor Foster spoke of challenges at his State of the City Address, yet does nothing to “reach out to the community” and invite the public to join in an interactive discourse.
  • IS Mayor Foster afraid of facing his fellow citizens?
  • The day after the Mayor’s State of the City, Sunbird had a surprise NVN Shopper ad in our mailboxes that they were closing.
  • Was Mr. Foster caught off-guard, for he said nothing of this huge loss?
  • Now, two national chains with Yelm stores may declare bankruptcy in 2020, GNC and Rite Aid, leaving their Yelm locations in doubt!
  • With Sunbird gone, can the city’s budget withstand the coming recession from an economic downturn due to the coronavirus?
  • For example, what is the mayor doing to be proactive in preparing his community and educating citizens on the coronavirus?
  • WARNING: As of today, the city can not continue to spend money like drunken sailors with the world economy on the verge of hemorrhaging!

“Here are the fastest growing cities in Washington that have grown the fastest over the decade”

“Over the past decade, cities in King County and across Washington have grown significantly.”

“But Seattle itself didn’t rank as one of the fastest growing cities in Washington according to its growth rate, the report found.”

Yelm ranks ninth on the list for the cities across Washington that have grown the fastest since 2010. The city has a growth rate of 41.8% and a population of 8,772, according to the most recent Census data,” by Becca Savransky, Seattle P-I. Read more

“Yelm Continues to Thrive, Mayor Says in State of the City Address, But There Are Challenges Ahead”

“Over the next decade, the city will face a number of notable challenges. It will have to face escalating growth of population and find solutions to the issue of housing diversity and availability. The city will need to address a failing water reclamation facility and collaborate on long-term solutions. Yelm must also work with legislators and regional partners to improve the sensitive transportation corridor that runs through the city’s streets and address issues related to limited water rights,” by Eric Rosane, Nisqually Valley News. Read more

“These 20 retailers may go bankrupt in 2020”

By Jeremy Bowman, The Motley Fool. Read more

GNC and Rite-Aid are two national chains that have Yelm stores. Will those remain open in a bankruptcy reorganization and downsizing? Or will they be empty, too?

February 24, 2020

Yelm’s Arts Commission looking for diverse group of members –
Applications are now being accepted –
You do not need to live within City Limits to apply!


“Yelm Arts Commission Seeks Members”

“The City is now accepting applications for the recently established Yelm Arts Commission. Any person who works, lives, or owns a business in the Yelm area is qualified to apply.”

The Arts Commission will be composed of five to 12 volunteers, approved by Council, and will serve as the City’s primary resource to promote and preserve our city’s unique community assets by providing public input, establishing policies and implementing art into City owned public spaces.

“The commission is seeking representatives from as many art related professions as possible to celebrate the diverse cultural development of the City. The commission may include one member from the recommendation from the Yelm Chamber of Commerce, a member from the recommendation of the Nisqually Tribe, a local student interested in the arts, and one member to be an arts educator. Applicants do not need to live within City Limits to be appointed to the commission.

“The commission fills the need to represent our local art, music, and culture,” by the City of Yelm. Read more

Click here for the application.

February 23, 2020

Last week was another Trump whirlwind,
yet these stories should not be missed!

By Signe Wilkinson
The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Editor’s note: Last week was a whirlwind with Trump firing his own Dept. of National Intelligence (DNI) leaders for doing their lawfully required duty to inform Congress that Russia is meddling in the 2020 election to benefit him and Bernie Sanders. Then Trump tried to blame the Democrats for what he called fake news.
  • Of course a potential Roger Stone pardon loomed large, as did his other controversial pardons of white collar corruption criminals.
  • While the Cornavirus has consumed leaders of world governments, Trump cast off concerns.
  • With the last 2 weeks of Trump’s Presidency his most contentious, if re-elected, what havoc will he create when he no longer needs his voting base for another campaign?
  • These stories last week did not make front-page headlines, yet would have in “normal times,” though these are not normal times, yet were too important to miss:

“I spoke to experts on authoritarian rule about Trump’s behavior this week. They say 2020 could be our last free election”

“Inevitably, the people who last in the cabinet of an authoritarian leader are people who end up doing his personal-slash-official business, because you can no longer separate the two,” by Andrew Feinberg, UK’s Independent. Read more

“Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared Russia”

“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to claim during an extradition hearing that the Trump administration offered him a pardon if he agreed to say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, a lawyer for Assange said Wednesday [Feb. 19],” by the Associated Press. Read more and Read more

“Steve Rattner: Less job creation under Trump than Obama”

“Trump took to Twitter again on Monday [Feb. 17] to proclaim the success of the economy on his watch. But, according to Morning Joe economic analyst Steve Rattner, Trump’s claims included exaggerations and lies,” by Morning Joe, MSNBC. Click here [Ed. note: This jobs report is from Trump government’s own statistics. Trump will now have to fire the one who produced the report, eh?]

“Trump Wants to Control the Judicial System, But Judges Are Fighting Back”

“Neither the Federal Judges Association nor the letter from former Justice employees carry any legal weight, but they represent a coalescing of dissident voices from within the legal system,” William Rivers Pitt, Truthout. Read more

“Editorial: Revenge of the swamp creatures: Left and right, Trump pardons corruption”

By Daily News Editorial Board, New York Daily News. Read more

“Sonia Sotomayor Just Accused the Supreme Court’s Conservatives of Bias Toward the Trump Administration”

By Mark Joseph Stern, Slate. Read more

“No One Knows How Many Immigrant Kids Have Disappeared in US Custody”

By Aura Bogado, Reveal. Read more

“‘A Travesty and a Disgrace’: Trump Quietly Issues Memo That Could Abolish Union Rights for 750,000 Federal Workers”

“This administration will not stop until it takes away all workers’ rights to form and join a union,” by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams. Read more

“Trump’s New Spy Chief Used to Work for a Foreign Politician the U.S. Accused of Corruption”

“Richard Grenell did not disclose payments for advocacy work on behalf of a Moldovan politician whom the U.S. later accused of corruption. His own office’s policy says that could leave him vulnerable to blackmail,” by Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica. Read more

“Don’t buy China’s story: The coronavirus may have leaked from a lab”

By Steven W. Mosher, New York Post. Read more

February 22, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing for a pandemic –
Are you prepared if required to stay at home for 2+ weeks?

“A medical team checking travelers’ temperatures at a border crossing between Iraq and Iran.”
Hussein Faleh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“U.S. prepares for pandemic as coronavirus cases rise”

  • Editor’s note: With Trump consuming the air yesterday in discrediting his own intelligence agency’s assessment that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to assist his campaign and Bernie’s, this major news was relegated from the headlines:
  • Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease said yesterday, “There may be a time when more aggressive measures, such as temporarily closing schools or businesses in the U.S., are necessary.”
  • This should serve as a warning to all Americans to prepare themselves and families if quarantined at home for an extended period of time!
  • Click here for an interactive map that demonstrates the Corornavirus around the world.
  • Click here or scroll to bottom to see yesterday’s breaking U. S. news on the Coronavirus.
  • A pandemic is an epidemic on more than one continent.

As global concerns over the coronavirus outbreak grow, the U.S. is taking steps to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.”

Such repatriation flights [Diamond Princess cruise passengers] do not reflect our standard practice, and should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens,” Ian Brownlee, an executive within the Department of State, said during a media briefing Friday [Feb. 21].

“On its website, the department has warned Americans to reconsider any planned cruises to or within Asia, saying such trips “may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark, or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities.”

The number of U.S. coronavirus cases is almost certain to grow, as thousands of people who’ve traveled recently to China are quarantining themselves voluntarily in their homes for 14 days and monitoring for symptoms.

“‘There may be a time when more aggressive measures, such as temporarily closing schools or businesses in the U.S., are necessary,’ she added [Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases],” by Erika Edwards, NBC News. Read more

“US prepares for possible coronavirus pandemic”

  • DuPont ramps up safety suit production as coronavirus causes shortages in China
  • Trip.com reschedules earnings
  • Coronavirus fears spoil an otherwise solid earnings season
  • Gold hits 7 year high
  • South Korea now has the most coronavirus cases after China
  • Only three states can test for coronavirus because of flawed kits
  • Northern Italy reports 16 coronavirus cases
  • US health officials prepare for coronavirus outbreak to become pandemic
  • Facebook is the latest to pull out of a major industry conference as fears batter travel industry
  • Major corporations have pulled their executives from attending conferences across the globe, including major trade shows in the U.S., as fears of a possible pandemic spread of the virus gripped the world meeting market.
  • Coca-Cola takes an earnings hit on virus
  • Read more

“Chinese researchers just confirmed that patients can transmit the coronavirus without showing symptoms. A woman passed it to 5 relatives.”

By Arai Bendex, Business Insider. Read more

February 22, 2020

Rep. Heck (D-Olympia) on the election security briefing!

Congressman. Denny Heck

“Rep. Denny Heck on Russian interference in the 2020 election”

“Rep. Denny Heck, one of the members of Congress who was in the election security briefing last week, tells Joy Reid that he has never stopped being concerned about Russia’s interference in our elections,” on All In, MSNBC. Read more

February 21, 2020

Yelm Community Schools levy passed and certified today! –
Yelm’s narrowest margin of all Thurston schools levies


Yelm Schools Levy passed

Yelm Community Schools’ replacement levy was certified today after passing in both Pierce and Thurston counties with 52.02 percent of 6,820 votes recorded from both counties. Again, the majority of Pierce County voters rejected this levy.

Thurston County + Pierce County = Total

Yes = 3,053 votes + Yes = 495 votes = 3,548, 52.02%

No = 2,675 votes + No = 597 votes = 3,272, 47.98%

Total votes cast = 5,728 + 1092 = Total = 6,820

Read more for Thurston County results.

Read more of Peirce County results.

“Replacement tax levies for educational programs and operations, which needed simple majorities of 50 percent to pass, were successful in the Olympia, North Thurston, Tumwater, Griffin, Rochester, Rainier, Tenino and Yelm school districts.

“The levy that passed with the widest margin was Olympia’s, which got almost 71 percent yes votes; the narrowest margin was in Yelm, where the replacement levy passed with just over 52 percent of the votes,” by Sara Gentzler, The Olympian. Read more


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