April 30, 2020

Serious signals of U. S. economic damage –
* Jobless claims hit 3.84 million, topping 30 million total,
* GDP drops 4.8% indicative of tough times ahead,
* Local City of Yelm planning is required now!

Credit: Dept. of Labor
via CNBC
  • Editor’s note: Prior to the coronavirus leading to shelter-in-place orders, President Trump amassed the largest amount of debt in three years than any other President in recorded history.
  • The explosion of national debt incurred in the last 6 weeks has been astronomical.
  • Recall Trump said during the 2016 campaign he would balance the budget in 8 years?
  • Today, the U. S. National Debt is $24.8+ trillion, while the U. S. GDP is $21.4 trillion.
  • The total market value of all goods and services (GDP) is $3.4 trillion short of covering the national debt.
  • U. S. National Debt to GDP ratio is 115.96% and growing.
  • Click here for the actual numbers from the Congressional Budget Office.
  • Unless Trump forgives debts, puts U. S. on gold standard, his legacy will be massive debt and taxation on future generations!
  • The City of Yelm needs to publicly present their plan to handle the coming assault on their revenue!

“US weekly jobless claims hit 3.84 million, topping 30 million over the last 6 weeks”

“Weekly jobless claims hit 3.84 million last week, higher than economist expectations of 3.5 million. The total brings the rolling six-week figure to 30.3 million,” by Jeff Cox, CNBC. Read more

Total unemployment claims top 20%

“The only time the unemployment rate has been over 20% in modern American history was in a four-year period from 1932 to 1935 — right in the teeth of the Great Depression.”

The growing number of people filing for unemployment checks raises fresh questions about whether states have stockpiled enough money since the last recession to tide over idled workers until the crisis ends. Some fear the demand for help could outpace the states’ ability to pay claims.”

The last recession led to the insolvency of unemployment trust funds in 35 states that collectively racked up more than $40 billion of debt to keep paying unemployed workers. In many states, those debts were repaid through higher taxes on employers,” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Read more

“4.8% GDP Drop Is The Beginning Of Tough Times That Need Plans Now”

“The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first GDP estimate (there are ultimately three) for the first quarter of 2020: 4.8% contraction that is significantly higher than consensus expectations of 4%. As a reminder, that means an annualized rate for a quarter-over-quarter loss. In other words, the first quarter of 2020 was down roughly 1.2% from the fourth quarter of 2019.

How Bad It Might Get

“The concern among economists is not that the -4.8% figure for Q1 was so large, but that it will seem tiny in comparison to the current quarter that ends on June 30. Oxford Economics expects a “near-40% plunge,” according to a mailing I received, which would be beyond anything the country has seen. CNBC reported in early April JPMorgan JPM expecting that level of decline. The Congressional Budget Office last week came to the same conclusion.

“Atop unemployment has already crossed the 20% mark, we’re likely in a situation that is worse in many ways than during the Great Depression,” by Erik Sherman, Forbes. Read more

+ GDP report set to show just initial wave of coronavirus damage as Fed vows continued aid

April 30, 2020

Resources and information for the Yelm area, April 30th:
* Gov. Inslee to extend stay-at-home order beyond May 4,
* Costco to require customers wear a mask or face covering,
* DoD withholds virus data for military bases, i.e. JBLM!

Graphic stating "The data- protecting public health as we begin our economic recovery"
WA. COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard
Credit: Office of Gov. Jay Inslee


+ Gov. Inslee to extend coronavirus stay-at-home order, outline how Washington’s economy will reopen

+ Costco announced that effective May 4, all members and guests must wear a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times while at Costco

+ Inslee rolls out COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard with data

+ Inslee issues guidance to clarify limits on elective surgeries

+ The Department of Defense began withholding coronavirus data for individual military installations. JBLM’s roughly 25,000 residents, with a typical workday up to 54,000 people on-base, will not be included in COVID-19 statistics for Pierce County.

+ Yelm Timberland Library is currently closed to the public until approx. June 1st, encourages patrons to checkout eBooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, stream videos, and more 24/7 with your valid Timberland Regional Library card & PIN.

+ Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Diana Yu’s Letter to the Community

+ Marked Decrease in Hospital Admissions During COVID Pandemic

+ Inslee issues additional guidance on construction activities


US orders 100,000 body bags as coronavirus deaths continue to climb

Paine Field near Seattle among the first US airports to start screening flyers for fevers

Over 50% of malls with department stores are predicted to close by 2021, real estate services firm says

In COVID Crisis, Nearly Half of People in Some States Are Going Hungry ​

Here’s what it looked like in the cockpit of the Blue Angels NYC flyover

Gig workers from Walmart, FedEx, Target, Instacart, Amazon, and Amazon subsidiary Whole Foods Market plan to go on strike to protest what they say are unsafe working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic, during their lunch break Friday, International Workers’ Day.

Back to the future: are drive-in theaters the future of safe cinema trips?

Boeing plans to reduce its workforce by about 10% across the company in response to lower demand… the cuts could be as high as 15% in the particularly hard-hit commercial airplane division.

Coronavirus deaths top 60,000 in US. ‘We learned a lot of lessons here, painfully’

Two studies looking at “excess” death counts across the country seem to suggest that the total number of casualties from COVID-19 in the U.S. so far may have been undercounted in a dramatic way during the early weeks of the crisis.

April 29, 2020

Mayor Foster appoints Councilor Colt as Public Works Director,
Heidi McDonald appointed as Finance Director.

Yelm Councilor Cody Colt
Credit: City of Yelm

City Welcomes New Public Works Director, Interim Finance Director also confirmed

“Last night Mayor Foster discussed with City Council and announced his decision to appoint Council member Cody Colt as the new Public Works Director for the City of Yelm.”

[Cody Colt will remain on the Council until he begins his new position with the City on May 1, 2020. The City Council has 90 days from Colt’s resignation to appoint a replacement for his seat.}

Colt is a life-long resident of Yelm who joined the military and served from 2002 to 2011 after graduating from Yelm High School. Colt gained significant leadership and technical experience through his service to our country as an Engineman First Class in the United States Navy. As an Assault Boat Engineer he worked in and led teams responsible for all mechanical and operational aspects of the most essential infrastructure of naval vessels, equipment, and facilities. After being Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Navy, he earned his undergraduate degree from San Diego State University and graduate degree from Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, WA.”

Mayor Foster also informed Council of his decision to appoint Heidi McDonald to the position of Finance Director for the City. McDonald has served as the interim Finance Director and led the city in achieving its first clean audit from the State Auditor. She established and implemented strong internal financial controls for the Finance Department, integrated the operations of the Finance Department and the new Customer Service Team at the front counter of City Hall, and implemented the process guided by the City Administrator to provide more transparent and consistent financial information to all City Council members through regular financial reports. McDonald and the management team are finalizing the city’s first long-term revenue forecast model which will help the City Council make even more informed decisions as they set policy to guide the future of the city.”

April 29, 2020

GoFundMe page supports family who lost everything in house fire!

Rainier area home a total loss.
Credit: GoFundMe page
  • Editor’s note: A GoFundMe account has been established for our community to contribute their support for Rainier area residents Oscar, Norie, and their 10 year old son Mequin. Donate here

“Fire Displaces Family of Three Near Rainier”

“A Sunday afternoon [April 26] blaze tore through a two-story house in the 17100 block of Brasher Lane, SE near Rainier, leaving a family of three without a home. No injuries or deaths were reported.”

“Glenda’s Espresso in Rainier is currently taking cash and gift card donations for the family who suffered the loss,” by Eric Rosanne, Nisqually Valley News. Read more 

April 29, 2020

Resources and information for the Yelm area, April 29th:
* Officials say Thurston County’s local curve is flattening,
* Your emergency cash fund should be the top priority,
* The ultimate parents’ guide to education and activity resources!

Thunderbirds and Blue Angels fly-over of New York City at 12 noon EDT, April 28, honoring first responders and essential workers.
Credit: The Points Guy


+ Officials say Thurston County’s local curve is flattening

+ Brown’s Car Care has a new name – Emerald Car Care and Tire Center, Yelm

+ The Skookumchuck Wind Farm project completion date has been delayed

+ From Rep. Denny Heck: Information on the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, the bill the President signed this law on April 24, 2020.

+ Worried about a recession? Your emergency fund should be your top priority

+ Comcast extends policy not to disconnect service or charge late fees to June 30

+ “I wanted to know how to help my teen through the pandemic. So I asked her,” by Nataly Kogan and Mia Kogan-Spivack, WaPo.

+ The ultimate parents’ guide to education and activity resources

+ CDC Adds Six Coronavirus Symptoms to Its List As Doctors Encounter New Conditions in COVID-19 Patients


Coronavirus has ‘exposed every fracture’ in US workplace safety, top labor union leaders say

COVID-19 Meltdown and Pharma’s Big Money Win

90% of Coronavirus Infections Are Asymptomatic

April 28, 2020

Yelm’s award winning photographer Rory Sagner was interviewed/published,
By Editor Cynthia Haynes, Craft and Vision Magazine!

Rory Sagner
Courtesy: Rory Sagner Photography & Fine Art, © 2020.
Used with permission.
  • Editor’s note: I have been so impressed with the photography and awards of Yelm-based Rory Sagner.
  • Covered on this blog many times, Rory has brought much notoriety to the Yelm area through her impeccable timing in capturing scenes from around here.
  • When I recently learned Sagner was featured in an interview by Editor Cynthia Haynes for Craft and Vision Magazine published this month, I asked permission to share with Yelm readers.
  • Sagner recently finished a yearlong mentoring program with the magazine’s publisher and prominent Canadian photographer David DuChemin, along with his wife, Editor Haynes.
  • The interview and photos featured Sagner’s award-winning work titled “Saying Goodbye,” the story about her mother’s end of days.
  • Click here for this touching article, preview begins on page 62. Click on the magazine cover, then hover mouse on the right side of the pages, hold mouse button and move mouse to the left to turn the pages.
  • Click here to purchase this issue or any other.

About Rory Sagner

Rory Sagner is an award-winning photographer living in Rainier, Washington and the owner of Rory Sagner Photography & Fine Art. With a background in graphic design and fine art, she’s worked for clients in Jakarta, Indonesia, Los Angeles & San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR. Her current focus is commercial and fine art photography with a special love of portrait, landscape and wildlife subjects.

Rory has won awards in several national and international photography competitions including the 2012 Project Imaginat10n Photography contest sponsored by Ron Howard and the Canon Camera Company and Michael Maven’s 4th International Photography Contest. Other honors include Special Merit & Honorable Mention Awards in the Light, Space & Time Gallery “Animals” Art Exhibition and “Seasons” Contest. She has been published five times in National Geographic Your Shot storiesincluding:

“When Death Comes” April 21, 2016, the photo “Almost Home”

“Our World In Motion” August 25, 2016, the photo “Luminous”

“Everyday Science” July 18, 2018, the photo “The Blue Room – Healing With Light”

“My Home” May 22, 2019, the photo “Home of My Heart”

“Rites Of Passage” August 19, 2019, the photo “Upshernish Dance”

“Though I have worked primarily in the healthcare field for many years, my first career was as a graphic and fine artist. I have been fascinated with art and photography since early childhood when I used to “borrow” my brother’s old box camera to play with. While living in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and Long Beach, CA, I experimented with black and white photography, thematic series (doorways, ghost cats, textures), and blissfully enjoyed the benefits of having my own darkroom and potter’s wheel! While working in the Art Department of a large printing company in Los Angeles, I designed brochures, logo sets and packaging, experimented with large format copy cameras, and did commissioned portraits and murals for private clients.

“I have continued primarily with photography over the years and find a special joy in sharing the amazing beauty and infinite variety that is revealed every moment here on our beloved Earth. I hope that you experience the same joy in seeing my work, that I have in being a vehicle of it’s expression.”

Rory can be reached at:  rorys@cco.net or 360.878.5402

rory-sagner.pixels.com or https://www.facebook.com/RorySagnerPhotography/

April 28, 2020

Resources and information for the Yelm area, April 28th:
* Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic is cancelled,
* Grocery Outlet Bargain Market coming to Yelm,
* Gov. Inslee eases outdoor restrictions!

Switzerland’s Matterhorn was lit up with the American flag to show support for the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.
© Photo: Frank Schwarzbach/Light,

Art: Gerry Hofstetter/Zermatt


+ The Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic presented by Alaska Airlines 2020 event has been cancelled

+ Grocery Outlet Bargain Market to open in the Sunbird location

+ Groceries could see meat shortages by end of week amid plant closings

+ Inslee announces distribution of funding to local governments from federal stimulus package

+ Inslee announces easing of outdoor restrictions

+ Safeway has committed over $50 million towards hunger relief across their communities, including Yelm. With your help, they can do even more. Donate here

+ Study: The Lower Your Vitamin D Levels, the Higher Your Risk of Severe COVID-19 ​

+ Where Is the Biggest Risk for Getting COVID-19? Enclosed environments

+ If you’re still waiting on your $1,200 stimulus check, here are key dates for the next set of payments

+ 5 Things Employers Should Do When Welcoming Back Workers After COVID-19

+ Study: Washington Among Best States for Working From Home


Each of the 56,000+ virus deaths was a son or a daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, or best friend. This story highlights that these deaths were not just a number, they were part of the human fmaily. Click here for the touching interview by Anderson Cooper, CNN.

The Amazon Lockdown: How an Unforgiving Algorithm Drives Suppliers to Favor the E-Commerce Giant Over Other Retailers – which has become more pronounced during the pandemic!

Will national parks reopen by summer? States, feds are working on a coronavirus plan

JetBlue will require passengers to wear masks, other airlines will provide them for travelers amid coronavirus

April 27, 2020

The Yelm Food Co-op celebrates their 13th anniversary of service today!

Yelm Food Co-op
Official Grand Opening
June 28, 2008
Credit: Yelm Food Co-op

Happy Birthday Yelm Food Co-op

  • Editor’s note: Congratulations to the Yelm Food Co-op on serving the Yelm community for 13 years. BRAVO!
  • The store’s soft opening was April 27, 2007.
  • This blog covered the official grand opening the following year during Prairie Days, Saturday, June 28, 2008. Click here
  • Open to the public – do stop in and say hello.
  • From the Yelm Food Co-op:

April 27th, 2007 we opened our little store in Yelm

and 13 years later we’re still here!

We began at the Frontier Plaza on Mosman and 1st Street operating there until April 2012 when we moved to Yelm Ave, co-locating with Gordon’s Garden Center where you find us today.

A huge shout out to all our wonderful members, Working Members, volunteers, staff, board members, committee members  and all the other customers who have supported this dream of a member owned grocery store, the Yelm Food Co-op!

We will have a belated celebration in the store when we can do samples and stand close to each other again!

Without you this would not have been possible!

Read more

Blogger Klein is a Yelm Food Co-op founding and current member.

April 27, 2020

Resources and information for the Yelm area, April 27th:
* How to Find Coronavirus Help in WA. State,
* How to Sew a Quick and Easy Cloth Face Mask,
* FDA: No Need to Wipe Down Food Packaging.

First Lady Melania Trump
Credit: Melania Trump’s Tweet


+ How to Find Coronavirus Help in Washington State

+ South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust Regional Farm Map and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) by County

+ How to help senior citizens cope with the coronavirus pandemic

+ How to Sew a Quick and Easy Cloth Face Mask

+ FDA: No Need to Wipe Down Food Packaging

+ 5 Ways to Prevent Airborne Transmission of Coronavirus

+ Better Business Bureau tips for protecting your credit during the COVID-19 crisis


Thurston County became the 14th of 39 counties in the state to report at least 100 cases Saturday [Apr. 25], with 95 of 100 recoveries or are recovering.

Can you identify the attempted ATM burglary suspect on surveillance video from April 9th at the TwinStar Credit Union on W. Yelm Ave.

Tenants and landlords brace for COVID-19 impact on May 1

Faces of the dead: This is how they lived — and what was lost when they died. Editor’s note: A touching tribute!

CIELO adapts, expands services for Latino community in response to COVID-19

Child vaccinations drop at a dangerous rate during coronavirus pandemic, doctors say

Wealth gap in a pandemic: Why low income workers are less likely to social distance

April 26, 2020

Some of the most astute revelations of our times by George Packer, The Atlantic:
“The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken.”

The Atlantic Magazine
Credit: Oliver Munday

“We Are Living in a Failed State”

“The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken.”

  • Editor’s note: This is one article that should be read in-full by all Americans! Read more
  • By George Packer, staff writer at The Atlantic.
  • Selected excerpts below:

When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and it exploited them ruthlessly. Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years. We had learned to live, uncomfortably, with the symptoms. It took the scale and intimacy of a pandemic to expose their severity—to shock Americans with the recognition that we are in the high-risk category.”

If the pandemic really is a kind of war, it’s the first to be fought on this soil in a century and a half. Invasion and occupation expose a society’s fault lines, exaggerating what goes unnoticed or accepted in peacetime, clarifying essential truths, raising the smell of buried rot.

The virus should have united Americans against a common threat. With different leadership, it might have. Instead, even as it spread from blue to red areas, attitudes broke down along familiar partisan lines. The virus also should have been a great leveler. You don’t have to be in the military or in debt to be a target—you just have to be human. But from the start, its effects have been skewed by the inequality that we’ve tolerated for so long. When tests for the virus were almost impossible to find, the wealthy and connected—the model and reality-TV host Heidi Klum, the entire roster of the Brooklyn Nets, the president’s conservative allies—were somehow able to get tested, despite many showing no symptoms. The smattering of individual results did nothing to protect public health. Meanwhile, ordinary people with fevers and chills had to wait in long and possibly infectious lines, only to be turned away because they weren’t actually suffocating. An internet joke proposed that the only way to find out whether you had the virus was to sneeze in a rich person’s face.”

It turns out that scientific experts and other civil servants are not traitorous members of a “deep state”—they’re essential workers, and marginalizing them in favor of ideologues and sycophants is a threat to the nation’s health. It turns out that “nimble” companies can’t prepare for a catastrophe or distribute lifesaving goods—only a competent federal government can do that. It turns out that everything has a cost, and years of attacking government, squeezing it dry and draining its morale, inflict a heavy cost that the public has to pay in lives. All the programs defunded, stockpiles depleted, and plans scrapped meant that we had become a second-rate nation. Then came the virus and this strange defeat.

We’re faced with a choice that the crisis makes inescapably clear. We can stay hunkered down in self-isolation, fearing and shunning one another, letting our common bond wear away to nothing. Or we can use this pause in our normal lives to pay attention to the hospital workers holding up cellphones so their patients can say goodbye to loved ones; the planeload of medical workers flying from Atlanta to help in New York; the aerospace workers in Massachusetts demanding that their factory be converted to ventilator production; the Floridians standing in long lines because they couldn’t get through by phone to the skeletal unemployment office; the residents of Milwaukee braving endless waits, hail, and contagion to vote in an election forced on them by partisan justices. We can learn from these dreadful days that stupidity and injustice are lethal; that, in a democracy, being a citizen is essential work; that the alternative to solidarity is death. After we’ve come out of hiding and taken off our masks, we should not forget what it was like to be alone.”

Read more


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