February 26, 2021

Councilor Joe DePinto is Yelm’s first to achieve AWC’s advanced certification!

Councilor Joe DePinto.
Credit: City of Yelm

Councilmember DePinto awarded with Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership

From the media release:
"Joe DePinto, City Councilmember, Yelm, Washington recently received an Advanced Certificate 
of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC).

"AWC’s Certificate of Municipal Leadership program recognizes city and town elected officials for 
accomplishing training in four core areas:

  *   Roles, responsibilities and legal requirements
  *   Public sector resource management
  *   Community planning and development
  *   Effective local leadership

"Those who earn the advanced certificate continue to strive for excellence by attending conferences 
and trainings, serving their community, and further developing leadership skills.

"'Cities and towns around the state are continually transforming in light of changing laws and the
need to meet new challenges and opportunities,' said AWC Chief Executive Officer Peter B. King.

"Our Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership recognizes mayors and councilmembers who continue 
to enhance the tools they need today to understand the legal landscape, plan for the future, manage
their resources, and foster strong relationships. The elected officials who earn this certificate
demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and a desire to bring new ideas back to their

"To earn the Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership, Councilmember DePinto completed more than
60 hours of training credits and demonstrated community service. He is the first councilmember from
the City of Yelm to achieve this certification.

"Councilmember DePinto was first elected to the Yelm City Council for the 2016-2019 term and then
reelected for the 2020-2023 term. Over the years Councilmember DePinto has served on many committees
and local boards including the Yelm Public Safety Committee, Yelm Finance Committee, Yelm Public
Works Committee, Yelm Economic Development Committee, South Thurston Economic Development Initiative, 
Co-Chair of the Yelm Homelessness Taskforce and as a board member of the Thurston Economic
Development Council. He has championed efforts to increase public safety, led the charge to lower 
water rates and fought to increase transparency in local government.

"AWC serves its members through advocacy, education and services. Founded in 1933, AWC is a private,
nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that represents Washington's 281 cities and towns 
before the state legislature,
the state executive branch, and with regulatory agencies. AWC also provides training, data and 
publications, and programs such as the AWC Employee Benefit Trust, AWC Risk Management Service
Agency, AWC Workers’ Comp Retro, AWC Drug and Alcohol Consortium, and AWC GIS Consortium."

February 26, 2021

* Trade request or not, Russell Wilson seems upset in Seattle,
* Inslee pauses WA. reopening plan at Phase 2,
* 4 things to do in Thurston County’s Phase Two!

Russell Wilson.
NBC: Trade request or not, Russell Wilson seems upset in Seattle
Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson


Insider: Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are in a battle over control and the team’s future, and it could lead to a shocking breakup

The Olympian: The Albertsons companies [Safeway, Albertsons and Haggen pharmacies] in Washington state are hiring to administer vaccinations

Seattle P-I: Inslee says for now regions won’t move back to Phase 1 in Washington

CNBC: FAA fines Boeing $6.6 million for failing to comply with 2015 settlement, safety issues

Olympia & Beyond: 4 Things To Do in Phase Two in Thurston County

February 26, 2021

* Nursing home deaths have plummeted,
* House passes sweeping LGBTQ rights bill,
* Prosecutors receive Trump’s tax, financial, and auditors’ reports!

Nursing home deaths plummet 60%
Credit: The New York Times


The New York Times: Nurisng home deaths have plummeted by more than 60 percent between late December and early February, residents among the first people to be vaccinated.

KING-5 TV: COVID-19 vaccine supply could get big boost in March, Washington health officials say

McClatchey News: Yes, you still breathe in oxygen while wearing a COVID face mask, study shows

Congress.gov: Congressman, Glenn Grothman, R-Wis Introduces Resolution to Adopt Vitamin D to Fight COVID


KING-5 TV: UFO sighting? American Airlines pilot reports mysterious object during Phoenix-bound flight

Washington Post: Scientists see stronger evidence of slowing Atlantic Ocean circulation, an ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the climate

NBC: New public report to blame Saudi crown prince for 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi

Politico: Capitol Police chief: Security will remain high due to State of the Union threat

CBS News: House passes sweeping LGBTQ rights bill

NBC: Jurors can be rejected for being gay. The Equality Act could change that.

UPI: VP Harris Swears-in UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield in Washington, DC [Ed. note: The second African American woman to hold this job.]

McClatchey News: Obama says ‘white resistance and resentment’ stopped him from pushing for reparations

Air France: Proudly presents its new safety video, taking you on a stroll through the most beautiful places in France: the Paris Opera, the Château de Versailles, the iconic Eiffel Tower and the legendary Hotel Martinez. [Ed. note: Very clever video, has me dreaming of my next Air France flights! Spring is in the air.]


NBC News: Trump’s taxes delivered to Manhattan DA, opening next phase of investigation

NBC: Prosecutors just got millions of pages of Trump documents. His taxes are just the beginning.

The DailyKos: Long buried report shows that Trump knew Saudi prince bin Salman murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi

CNN: Analysis: Saudi Arabia is experiencing the downside of betting on the Trump family

February 25, 2021

Yelm’s recycling bins re-open March 1st!

Yelm Public Works recycling bins.
Credit: Councilor Joe DePinto’s Facebook post

Free recycling drop off at Yelm Public Works starts March 1st.

  • From City Council member Joe DePinto:

I am really excited to announce that the City of Yelm will be offering a free recycling service to folks in Yelm (and you don’t have to live inside the city limits to utilize the service). Starting next week on March 1st, you can go to Yelm’s Public Works, located at 901 NW Rhoton Rd, and drop off common recycling items such as plastic, aluminum cans and cardboard (No glass currently but for the full list look at the pic below). They will be open for drop off from Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (extended hours/days will be considered depending on demand).

“This was discussed on the Public Works Committee I sit on a few weeks ago, but officially announced [February 23] at our City Council meeting. Lemay and the City of Yelm are partnering to provide this FREE service. At no cost to the taxpayers, I am 100% behind this program which is meant to encourage waste reduction and enhance environmental sustainability.

So if you don’t have recycling services currently, your own bin is overflowing, or you have a bunch of recyclable junk hanging around…drop it off at the Public Works recycling area starting March 1st!” #ThisIsOURTown

February 25, 2021

* Yelm Police Dept. provides neutral meetup spot,
* Lacey warehouse operator hosts hiring event Saturday,
* WA. House aims to close Tacoma’s NW immigration jail!

Yelm’s new neutral “meetup spot” where residents using online buying and trading markets can meet up to exchange goods. Yelm’s Public Safety Building exchange point has 24-hour camera surveillance with two spots reserved. Credit: Eric Rosane, Nisqually Valley News


NVN: Yelm Police Department Provides New Meetup Spot

The Olympian: Need a job? This Lacey warehouse operator is hiring, says pay starts at $25 per hour – hiring event starts Saturday

Associated Press: Washington House aims to close Tacoma’s Northwest immigration jail

Thurston Talk: Local Leaders in Thurston County Formalize Regional Housing Council

KING-5 TV: Seismic retrofitting effort increased in decades after Nisqually quake

JOLT News: About one in six county residents have received at least one vaccination

McClatchey News: What’s a ‘Snow Moon?’ It will light up the winter sky as February closes, experts say


The Washington Post: QAnon-induced conspiracies are tearing families apart

Politico: Biden readies his first major penalties on Russia

CNBC: Dominion and Smartmatic cases against conservatives have real shot at success

The New York Times: Liz Cheney says G.O.P. must ‘make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy.’

The Points Guy: Cruise lines have officially started to cancel Alaska sailings [Ed. note: Impacting the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia!]

NBC News: Americans are identifying as LGBTQ more than ever, poll finds – 1 in 6 members of Gen Z identify as something other than heterosexual.


The Washington Post: Trump’s politics hurt his businesses. Will he sell as he looks to a potential 2024 campaign?

CNBC: Donald Trump Jr. deposed in DC attorney general probe of 2017 inauguration funds

CNN: Steve Bannon investigation gains steam as Manhattan prosecutors subpoena financial records

Bloomberg: Kushner’s Times Square Center Moves Toward Foreclosure

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington: Trump reported making more than $1.6 billion while president

February 24, 2021

Wireless Emergency Alert test message Thursday, 11am,
ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning Delivery comes to WA. this May!

ShakeAlert® is an earthquake early warning (EEW) system that detects significant earthquakes so quickly that alerts can reach many people before shaking arrives. ShakeAlert is not earthquake prediction, rather a ShakeAlert Message indicates that an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent.
Credit: ShakeAlert.org

From the City of Yelm:

“On Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 11 am the @waEMD and the @USGS_WA will jointly send a Wireless Emergency Alert test message to wireless devices in King, Pierce and Thurston counties. To opt in to these messages or for more information visit: https://mil.wa.gov/alerts.”

Read more

+ KING-5 TV: Remembering the 6.8 Nisqually earthquake that shook Washington 20 years ago this Sunday

+ USGS: ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning Delivery for the Pacific Northwest coming to WA. in May 2021

February 24, 2021

* Yelm announced August retirement of Grant Beck,
* Yelm to re-open recycling bins in a trial,
* Thurston County jail COVID-19 outbreak improves!

Yelm City Hall
Credit: City of Yelm


City of Yelm: Last night, City Administrator Graham announced the retirement of Community Development Director Grant Beck effective this August [start at 17:35] – Ed. Note: The city now seeks 2 department heads, Finance and Community Development.

City of Yelm: Announced a trial run re-opening the recycle bins at Public Works beginning March 1st, Monday thru Fridays [start at 17:00]

KING-5 TV: Remembering the 6.8 Nisqually earthquake that shook Washington 20 years ago this Sunday

NVN: Nominations Open for 2020 Yelm Chamber Business Awards

Associated Press: Utility disconnection moratorium extended until July 31

The Olympian: COVID-19 outbreak at Thurston County jail improves, status set to change

The News Tribune (Tacoma): WA Supreme Court throws out think tank’s [The Freedom Foundation] attack on union political activity

JOLT News: New county program lets drug court participants meet with victims of crimes for facilitated conversation


McClatchey News: COVID variant that could harm vaccination effort is found in Washington, officials say

The Wall Street Journal: The One Shot NBA Players Might Not Take: The Covid Vaccine


USA Today: ‘US leadership has been sorely missed.’ Trudeau, Biden seek to repair alliance in first meeting

NBC News: Extinction threatens third of freshwater fish species, report finds

Business Insider: David Perdue announces he won’t run against Raphael Warnock in 2022 Georgia Senate race

Daily Kos: Texas is getting its water and power back, but the ‘real disaster’ is still looming

The New York Times: Texas ERCOT Managers Resign After Widespread Storm Outages

February 23, 2021

Yelm’s Public Works Dir. Colt on low interest loan for the water reclamation facility!

Reclaimed water is currently pumped to Cochrane Park from the water reclamation facility (WRF) daily. Credit: City of Yelm


  • Ed. note: I put some key questions to Public Works Director Cody Colt, who I found open, informative, and welcoming of the opportunity to inform Yelm Blog readers:

Yelm Blogger: Do you have any information on status of the $23M low-interest loan for the water reclamation facility (WRF) the city apparently received, as City Administrator Mr. Graham stated in the Dec. 7, 2020 Study Session?

Dir. Colt: We were on the Draft funding list from Ecology that was sent out in January for the full amount of the 23.8 Million dollar loan. This is a really big step for us and really the last hurdle to getting the WRF funded to be built, interest rate of 1.2% is pretty amazing.

Usually when you make the draft funding list your are guaranteed to get funding, especially when it is a loan vs a grant since they know that will recoup that money.

Yelm Blogger: Will the city council have this on their agenda to formally approve the loan?

Dir. Colt: Council will be the final approval. It is a loan that is based on need. So as we spend money on construction of WRF we Bill it to the loan. We only pay back what we spend, which we estimate to be lower than this amount when all is said and done.

If Council doesn’t approve the construction of the WRF we simply wouldn’t take on the loan.

Yelm Blogger: Thank you for your time and responses. Much appreciated!

Dir. Colt: Always happy to keep the public informed.

+ NVN: Major Improvements Coming to Cochrane Memorial Park [City Council expected to approve approx. $400,000 improvement project]

February 23, 2021

* The National Cathedral tolled 500 bells for 500,000 American COVID-19 deaths,
* WA. COVID-19 metrics trending down!

The President, Vice President, spouses lead nation in mourning 500,000 US Covid-19 deaths, February 22, 2021, The White House entry draped in black bunting. Credit: Doug Mills, The New York Times


+ Yelm Dollars for Scholars: Upcoming Events, Feb. 23, 24, 26

+ The Olympian: COVID-19 Update: A number of COVID-19 metrics trending down in WA, including a case rate of 10.7 per 100,000 people

+ Airways Magazine: The UK bans Boeing 777 PW-powered engines from its airspace [Ed. note: Another blow to Boeing Everett.]

+ CNET: Boeing’s massive foldable-wing 777X jet completes its first test flight


Truthout: National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said the proliferation of the virus due to partisan resistance and politicization around wearing a face mask could be responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.

NBC News: Biden upends Trump’s calculation of who gets federal vaccination help – This time, vaccines and supplies are going to underserved communities. “Anything Trump did, we’re doing the opposite,” said one official.

CNBC: New York AG says Trump Supreme Court tax ruling won’t affect her probe of company


CNN: Biden leads nation in mourning 500,000 US Covid-19 deaths

AP: US tops 500,000 virus deaths, matching the toll of 3 wars

Washington National Cathedral: February 22, 2021: Watch Cathedral Bell Tolling for 500,000 COVID Deaths [Ed. note: And 300 bells tolled on December 15, 2020]

McClatchey News: Small businesses to get priority under Biden administration’s new rules for PPP loans

Common Dreams: Texas Refineries Release Over 300,000 Pounds of Pollutants During Storm

USA Today: Supreme Court to hear challenges to abortion, immigration rules held over from Trump administration

CBS News: UN chief says “feeding frenzy of hate” fueling global white supremacy

February 22, 2021

Trump in the news Monday, as he entered a perilous phase!

Trump lashes out after Supreme Court decision on his financial records.
Credit: © Getty Images


The Hill: Trump lashes out after Supreme Court decision on his financial records [Ed. Note: The Court issued a unanimous decision. Trump’s appointees followed the law and not loyalty to him!]

The New York Times: Trump Taxes: Here’s What’s Next in the Manhattan D.A.’s Investigation

Business Insider: Trump says he’s facing ‘political persecution’ after Supreme Court rejects his attempt to keep tax returns hidden [Ed. note: Trump plays his well-worn, aggrieved victim card. He is not above the law.]

Politico: Supreme Court won’t hear GOP’s Pennsylvania election challenge

Truthout: Trump to Push Himself as GOP’s “Presumptive 2024 Nominee” at CPAC, Report Says [Ed. note: Trump being a presumptive nominee for political office will be short-lived with the potential of inevitable civil and criminal indictments coming.]

MSNBC: Just 17 percent of Trump voters think Biden legitimately elected

Forbes: Dominion Voting Sues MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell [for $1.3 billion] For Defamation Over Election Conspiracy

Salon: Republicans Are Keeping Trump’s Big Lie About a “Stolen” Election Alive

CNN: Trump offered Kim Jong Un a ride home on Air Force One following Vietnam summit


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