August 31, 2021

Port of Olympia (District 2) Candidate Jessie Simmons on the issues!

Capture 5.JPG
Jessie Simmons
Credit: Friends of Jessie

Editor’s note: With several Port issues in the forefront in recent weeks, I previously put these questions to the second Port of Olympia (District 2) candidate Bob Iyall, who’s staff reached-out to me.

Though I had introduced Port of Olympia (District 2) candidate Jessie Simmons to blog readers, I gave Mr. Simmons the opportunity to answer the same questions, listed here:

Oly Port Commission candidate Jessie Simmons responds to Blogger’s questions

  1. What is your commitment to the Port? 

I come from a working-class background. I view the world through this lens. So, I understand what the Port means to those folks who depend on Port operations for enough work to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. I also understand that those who work at the Port of Olympia have been under constant threat of potentially losing what they have. My commitment is to them, their future, their livelihoods, and the ability of the Port to grow and be a real asset to the greater community. I believe you do this by protecting and ensuring future operations at the Port, guarding against negative impacts like pollution and impacts on the ecosystem, and bringing a diversity of new business and revenue to the waterfront and other Port properties like the Olympia Regional Airport. The Port is supposed to be an economic driver for Thurston County, and by focusing on the needs of local working families and small businesses we can truly fulfill that mission. 

  1.  Do you favor an increase in the number of commissioners? 

I do support an increase to five commissioners. More specifically, I support an increase to a five district Port Commission and not just adding two at-large members. The five-district structure will allow for places like South County to elect representation that speaks to the specific concerns of South County. It will also create a more balanced board and bring more voices to the decision-making process.  

  1. What are your views on the Port’s land ownership/stewardship policies? 

I believe the focus areas laid out in the Port’s strategic plan lay a solid foundation for the vision and innovation we will need in preparing for the projected growth of the next few decades. Those focus areas are “create economic opportunities, act as environmental stewards, and create and maintain community assets.” The Port’s primary focus is economic opportunity, but the approach is what matters going forward. By approaching land ownership/environmental stewardship through the lens of accountability, innovation, and economic/environmental sustainability the Port can focus on making intelligent uses of their properties that will support jobs and our community for generations to come.  

  1. Have you thought about ways the port can be a partner to every community in our county, not just the largest cities? 

Yes, and there are already some specific efforts being made. For example, the Port of Olympia runs a grant program called the “Small Cities” program that awards a small grant to cities in South County that apply, and they can use that money to assist in completing the infrastructure projects they pursue. In Yelm, we can see the impacts of this program already in the form of the Yelm City Park, which has a splash pad, a playground, electric charging stations, and the foundation for an outdoor gym that is still to come. Yelm has also been able to create a walkable town center with access to city offices and services, as well as access to small shops and businesses along the central corridor. I would like to invest more in this area for the communities in South County, as well as the greater Thurston community that is not just centered in Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater. With a little assistance and partnership from the Port, all our communities can better serve the citizens therein.  

  1. I was on the citizen advisory committee for Olympia Regional Airport in 1989-1990. What is your view on developing the airport to attract regional passenger traffic, like Everett’s Paine Field? 

I am supportive of this effort. We all are aware of the congestion that continues to extend further down the I-5 corridor and into the more rural areas of the county as we attract more people and inevitably grow. This growth isn’t going to subside any time soon. That is why we must take innovative steps to relieve our dependency on I-5. Developing the Olympia Regional Airport to attract small commuter service is one way we can get some cars off I-5. In my experience of knocking on over 6,000 doors since April, I have communicated this idea to many residents with positive feedback. Paine Field has a passenger terminal where airlines like Uni and Alaska fly to locations as close as Portland and as far away as Tucson or Los Angeles. I believe that a similar service at Olympia Regional Airport would bring several benefits to our community.  

Read more about Jessie Simmons, Candidate, Port of Olympia, District 2.

Blogger Klein is a contributor and supporter of Jessie Simmons for Port of Olympia Commission, District 2.

August 31, 2021

* Assessor: Rising housing prices drive jump in assessed property values,
* Nisqually Tribe co-creating new overnight camp adjacent Mineral Lake,
* Fauci says 100,000 new COVID-19 deaths by December, yet omits FDA approved treatment to reduce hospitalizations by 70-85%!

In this handout provided by the U.S. Central Command, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, boards a C-17 cargo plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport August 30, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Donahue was the final American service member to depart the country
In this handout provided by the U.S. Central Command, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, boards a C-17 cargo plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport August 30, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Donahue was the final American service member to depart the country. © Handout, U.S. Central Command via Getty and MSN


+ The Seattle Times: Washington state health care system faces ‘enormous stress’ as COVID hospitalizations continue to rise – “God forbid there’s a mass event.”

+ KING-5 TV: Health official: At least 85% vaccination rate now needed to beat COVID-19 delta variant

+ The Olympian via MSN: Rising housing prices drive jump in assessed property values, Assessor’s Office says

+ Lewis County Economic Development Council: The YMCA of Greater Seattle and the Nisqually Indian Tribe are joining forces to create a new overnight camp on land adjacent to Mineral Lake in rural Lewis County.

+ South Sound Biz: Scholarships Available for Part-Time SPSCC Students This Fall

+ KING-5 TV: Challenge to Washington’s law banning conversion therapy rejected in court – State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said it’s a “win for LGBTQ+ civil rights.”


KING-5 TV: The war is over: Last US troops leave Afghanistan

Business Insider: The US permanently disabled more than 150 vehicles and aircraft when the military left Kabul so they will ‘never be used again’

KING-5 TV: EU takes US off safe travel list; backs travel restrictions

KING-5 TV: Volunteers head from northwest to Louisiana to help those impacted by Hurricane Ida

Study Funds: Cancer’s ‘Achilles’ heel’ discovered by scientists – For the study, Click here.

NBC News: Man confronts NBC News’ Shaquille Brewster on live TV during Ida coverage [Ed. Note: I was watching live and join the chorus of praising reporter Brewster for keeping his cool and professionalism!]


The Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh): Breakthrough COVID-19 cases are rising, and experts are trying to figure out exactly what that means

The Hill: Fauci says 100k new COVID-19 deaths by December are ‘predictable but preventable’ [Ed. note: Fauci says nothing about the FDA-approved treatment to reduce COVID-19 induced hospitalizations by 70-85% he touted last week for the first time.]

The Star Tribune (Minneapolis): Mayo study finds antibody treatment can help COVID-19 patients – Trump received an early version of the infusions. 

The Points Guy: Some countries are setting vaccine expiration dates for travel

Associated Press: As districts insist on vaccines, some teachers push back

The Lancet: Cerebral venous thrombosis after vaccination against COVID-19 in the UK: a multicentre cohort study

Chris Beat Cancer: Doctors and scientists speaking out against the largest drug experiment in history [Ed. note: World renown experts in their fields with video interviews all in one link. And Dr. Robert Malone corrected one of his incorrect assertions.]


CNN: January 6 committee to ask telecommunications companies to preserve phone records of members of Congress who participated in ‘Stop the Steal’ rally

Daily Kos: Politico: Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz begged Trump to call off violent crowd during Jan. 6 insurrection

POLITICO Playbook: About Jim Jordan’s other Jan. 6 call with Trump (scroll down to SCOOP)

August 30, 2021

* Only .01″ of rain here in 76 consecutive days: Why that matters!,
* Inslee sued for vaccine mandate by WA. state employees union,
* There’s no escape from Facebook, even if you don’t use it!

Volta announces new station installation in Yelm, Washington. (Photo: Business Wire)
Volta E-V stations installed at Yelm Safeway.
Credit: Business Wire
  • Editor’s note: The first measurable rain of 1/100″ was recorded at Oly Airport on Aug. 26.
  • Thursday marked 72 consecutive days without rain, a new record, breaking 1960’s 55 days.
  • Today marks 76 consecutive days with only .01 of an inch of measurable rain since June 15, with no rain in the this week’s forecast.
  • July recorded only a trace of precipitation, August recorded 1/100 of an inch.
  • With no rain forecast this coming week, this area could surpass 80 days with only 1/100″ all summer.
  • Why is this important? Water concerns/restrictions will be on the horizon if sufficient winter rains do not come.


+ The Olympian: Thurston median home values see 20 percent jump over last year, Assessor’s Office says

+ The Olympian: 200 soldiers to train at JBLM to assist with California wildfires

+ The Olympian: Thurston County lifts Lake Lawrence advisory

+ The News Tribune: A growing mountain of shipping containers in Tacoma is latest pandemic symbol

+ KING-5 TV: State workers frustrated over vaccine mandate protest in Olympia – Some employees who fall under the state’s vaccine mandate argued they shouldn’t be forced to get the shot.

+ KING-5 TV: Washington state employees union sues Gov. Inslee over COVID-19 vaccine mandate – The lawsuit aims to block the mandate from going into effect until the state and the union reach a bargaining agreement.

+ Spokesman-Review (Spokane): With Opt-Out Deadline Looming, Washington’s Long-Term Care Benefit and Tax Draws Praise, Criticism


KING-5 TV: Denmark, with 71% vaccination, ending COVID restrictions with one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world, is dropping its domestic restrictions including its “coronavirus passport.”


CNN: It’s not just Afghanistan — Americans are losing faith in Biden on many issues

MSNBC Opinions: Biden’s Afghanistan speech after the Kabul attacks was revealing – The president’s defense of the Afghanistan withdrawal marks a shift toward realism.

The Washington Post via MSN: There’s no escape from Facebook, even if you don’t use it

Edward Snowden: Every iPhone will search itself for whatever Apple wants, or for whatever Apple is directed to want. They are inventing a world in which every product you purchase owes its highest loyalty to someone other than its owner.


Daily Kos: Sabotage in the White House: How Trump successfully orchestrated Biden’s “incompetence”

August 29, 2021

Editorial Cartoons of last week’s news highlights!
Credit: Michael Pramirez, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Credit: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer
“Politics and Afghanistan”
Credit: Steve Sack, The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Jack Ohman: Everybody duct!
“Everybody duct”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
Tennessee Flash Floods
Credit: Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Free Press
Hawaii’s Governor to tourists: “Please stay home”
Credit: David Horsey, The Seattle Times
Jack Ohman: Gov. Super Spreader ...
“Super Spreader”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
Political Cartoon.
Credit: Steve Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 28, 2021

FDA approved monoclonal antibody treatment for early COVID-19 last Nov.,
Dr. Fauci said this treatment reduces hospitalizations by 70-85%?
Why does the CDC omit this from their website?
Photo: Monoclonal antibodies cover the spikes on the virus, preventing blood platelet damage
“Monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19: How they work and who is eligible.”
Credit: C/NET
  • Editor’s note: This blogger’s August 24th post on Dr. Fauci endorsing monoclonal antibodies to reduce hospitalizations by 70-85% vaxxed or unvaxxed, drew many readers and comments.
  • This treatment was approved by the FDA last Nov., yet doctors and patients had no endorsement from governmental health officials until Fauci’s last week. WHY?
  • And when is the CDC going to post this as a treatment option to educate doctors and the public?
  • Withholding of this information is criminal, in this writer’s opinion!

+ U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Monoclonal Antibody for Treatment of COVID-19 (November 9, 2020)


+ Dr. Anthony Fauci (Aug. 24, 2021): Monoclonal antibody treatment “is a very effective intervention for COVID-19.

1.It is underutilized, and we recommend strongly that we utilize this to its fullest,

2. as apost-exposure prophylaxis [prevention], namely for the prevention of COVID-19 after someone has been exposed to a documented case of SARS-CoV-2.”

3. If used early in the infection, theyreduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization or death by 70 to 85%

+ Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Covid-10: What to Do If You Are Sick [Ed. note: no mention of physicians treating early COVID-19 patients with FDA approved monoclonal antibodies!]


+ Science Magazine: Having SARS-CoV-2 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine—but no infection parties, please [Click here for the study]

+ National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study: Clinical efficacy of nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS) for the treatment of mild COVID-19 infection

+ ZeroHedge: Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray Reduces Covid-19 Viral Load By 95% Within 24 Hours: Study

+ New England Journal of Medicine: Breakthrough Infections in BNT162b2-Vaccinated (Pfizer–BioNTech) Health Care Workers

+ Molecular Biologist Dr. Christina Parks: Provides testimony for Michigan HB4471 (Prohibits certain vaccinations as a condition of employment) on 8/19/21 (8 min) [Ed. note: Dr. Parks received her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from The University of Michigan in 1999.]

+ New book by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health

August 28, 2021

* Volta announces new EV charging station at Yelm’s Safeway,
* Alaska Air operating intra-U.S., military Afghan evacuee flights,
* Snowden: Every iPhone will search itself for whatever Apple wants!
In this Feb. 9, 2021, file photo provided by the Department of Defense, Hickam 15th Medical Group hosts the first COVID-19 mass vaccination on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Military service members must immediately begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, ordering service leaders to “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.” (U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr./Department of Defense via AP)


+ Volta: Announces New Electric-Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Installation at Yelm’s Safeway

+ JOLT News: “Washington’s Most Wanted” child molester apprehended by Nisqually Corrections officers

+ KING-5 TV: Alaska Airlines providing military charter flights for people evacuated from Afghanistan – will operate military transport flights within the United States to provide additional transportation for people who were evacuated from Afghanistan

+ The Olympian: Controlled burns scheduled for two south Thurston wildlife areas on Monday


Kaiser Health News: States Pull Back on COVID Data Even as Delta Variant Surges [for prisons and long-term care facilities.]

The Washington Post: Supreme Court strikes down CDC eviction moratorium despite delta’s rise

NBC News: ‘Hell no‘: Some police officers and their unions oppose vaccination mandates

AP News: Jesse Jackson moves to rehab hospital, wife in ICU for COVID


The Washington Post: California parole panel votes in favor of release from prison for Sirhan Sirhan

Truthout: Texas House Speaker Warns Democrats Not to Say “Racism” in Election Bill Debate – Democrats pointed out that it was, in fact, racist to ban the discussion of racism in the voter suppression bill. [Ed. note: This whole voter suppression issue is clearly racist becasue the Republican Party designed to keep White males in power can’t win without suppressing the votes of people of color! ]

Delta Airlines News Hub: The U.S. Department of Defense activated Stage I of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet – calling for Delta and other carriers [American, United, Hawaiian, and 2 charter airlines] to support the military’s effort to carry people who have left Afghanistan. This was last done for military support via CRAF in 2002 in the ramp-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Airways Magazine: The Last Pan Am Flight out of Vietnam, a military evac. charter of a 747 [April 30, 1975, a harrowing story!]

Daily Kos: Six conservative Supreme Court justices are trying to rule the nation from the shadows

Edward Snowden: Every iPhone will search itself for whatever Apple wants, or for whatever Apple is directed to want. They are inventing a world in which every product you purchase owes its highest loyalty to someone other than its owner.

The AP via The Seattle Times: Supreme Court allows evictions to resume during pandemic

The Washington Post: This tool will tell you where to see peak fall foliage in every state


MSNBC Opinion Columnist Barbara McQuade: The lawyers sought a preliminary injunction to decertify the election results and to certify Trump as the winner instead. Now they are paying for it.

MaddowBlog: Trump: Rioters posed ‘zero threat.’ Capitol officers: They violated ‘Ku Klux Klan Act.’

August 27, 2021

* Thurston commission OKs vaccine mandate for county workers,
* Costco put purchase limits on 6 more grocery items,
* Capitol Police officers sue Trump, Roger Stone and others over Jan. 6 invasion!
US flags to be lowered to half-staff to honor slain troops in Kabul
The American flag set at half staff honoing the late Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) on May 26. Credit: © Greg Nash, The Hill via MSN


+ Associated Press via The Olympian: Pentagon: US troops must get their COVID-19 vaccines ASAP

+ The Olympian: Thurston commission OKs vaccine mandate for county workers after dozens voice support – The vaccine policy requires workers to get vaccinated or test weekly by Oct. 31.

+ JOLT News: County hearing examiner hears proposal for 30.97 acres south of Yelm

+ The Olympian: The Evergreen State College, SPSCC announce COVID-19 requirements for in-person learning


CNBC: U.S. Covid cases show signs of slowing, even as fatalities surge again

Deseret News: The delta variant could evade vaccines if it becomes Delta 4+, new paper warns

CBS News: South Dakota COVID cases increase 456% since Sturgis Motorcycle Rally


Daily Kos: L. A. Times: Cop who shot Ashli Babbitt may have kept insurrection from getting REALLY out of hand

CNBC: Fires in the Arctic, record sea levels: NOAA report details 2020 climate effects

Edward Snowden: The All-Seeing “i”: Apple Just Declared War on Your Privacy – How long do we have left before the iPhone in your pocket begins quietly filing reports about encountering “extremist” political material, or about your presence at a “civil disturbance”? Apple’s new system, regardless of how anyone tries to justify it, will permanently redefine what belongs to you, and what belongs to them.

Eat This, Not That: Costco Just Put Purchase Limits on 6 More Grocery Items!

CBS News: The Arctic Circle saw record-high temperatures in 2020, NOAA report finds


MSNBC Opinions: Brace yourselves: Trump-appointed courts are doing exactly what he intended

CNBC: Capitol Police officers sue Trump, Roger Stone and others over Jan. 6 invasion

NBC News: How Trump paved the way for the devastation in Afghanistan

August 26, 2021

Yelm’s staff changes require a historical look at 15 years of poor water planning,
As new census numbers show Yelm surpassed 10,000 people.
A new planner touts harmony with our environment!
Credit: City of Yelm
  • Editor’s note: With the retirement of Yelm Community & Economic Development Director Grant Beck on August 6, 2021, after 19 years in those posts, the following is a summary of Yelm’s poor water planning during his tenure.
  • With the hiring of Landon Hawes, Yelm’s new planning and building manager advocating that city planning can help communities be good stewards of the land on their quest for sustainable growth, Yelm’s planning may now “help us be more in harmony with our surroundings and our natural environment.”
  • And the 2020 Census shows Yelm’s population is now over 10,000 people, a 35.5% increase from 2010.
  • The following is my report, with each date hot-linked with documents where available:

* January 1995, Yelm Vision Plan adopted, never updated.
Partially funded with $30,000 from the Yelm Chamber of Commerce with regular updates and strategies inherent in the plan – nothing has been added in the over 25 years since adoption.

* 1995, Yelm annexed land SW of town [an area now known as Thurston Highlands].
The City of Yelm was then looking at the potential to develop water rights in what is known as the SW Aquifer since it annexed that land in 1995. That was one of the chief forces behind the annexation.

  • 2002: Yelm hires Grant Beck as Community and Economic Development Director. All of these issues occurred under his 19 year watch:

* June 2006, Yelm’s Council voted $550,000+ to partly finance a private developer’s water study.
The City of Yelm partially financed the Golder Water Study for a private developer [Thurston Highlands], which was against city rules and without a contract. When the developer went bankrupt, the city was not reimbursed for the outlay, nor did the city file a lien against the developers for their portion of this study. Thurston Highlands was a 5,000 home planned community, one of the then-largest in WA state, which would have more than tripled Yelm’s population.

* January 2007, Yelm reportedly accepted Thurston Highlands application without certified water resources.
The question was asked, “Why?”

* January 2007, NVN: Yelm water concerns reach boil”
The Nisqually Valley News (NVN) reported, “The owners of the golf course, also the developers of Tahoma Terra and Thurston Highlands, offered to give the city water rights if half of the available water could be used for the Tahoma Terra development.”

* July 2007, Senior Water Rights holder JZ Knight takes on Yelm in a high-profile water rights case.
Knight’s case started in July, 2007 in front of the Yelm Hearing Examiner and continued through appeals to the Yelm City Council and State Superior Court.
“In 2007, five developers filed applications with the city of Yelm (City) for preliminary plat approval of proposed subdivisions.”
“After a hearing examiner granted Tahoma Terra preliminary plat approval, JZ Knight, a nearby property owner and senior water rights holder, appealed to the Yelm City Council (City Council), arguing the hearing examiner’s conditional approval of the plats erroneously allowed the developers and the City to delay showing adequate water provisions for the subdivision until the building permit stage. The City Council affirmed the preliminary plat approvals, and Knight filed an action in Thurston County Superior Court under the Land Use Petition Act (LUPA), chapter 36.70C RCW.”

* March 2008, JZ Knight files suit against the City of Yelm in the Superior Court of Washington.
“[March 4, 2008] JZ Knight, the founder of Ramthas School of Enlightenment (, has filed a Land Use Petition in the Superior Court of Washington challenging the City of Yelms decision (Resolution No. 481, adopted February 12, 2008) approving five proposed subdivisions>”

* May 2008, The Olympian: Billy Frank, Jr. calls for better water management in the Nisqually Watershed.
Nisqually Tribal Elder & Northwest Fisheries Commission Chair Billy Frank, Jr. in his column titled “Time for better water management” talks about exempt wells “that could potentially run our rivers dry”.
“The City of Yelm will have to be brought into the agreement about McAllister Springs since the city’s water policies affect this water source.” .

* October 2008, Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham issues opinion upholding the case against Yelm.
The Judge agreed with Petitioner Knight that a “reasonable expectation” of potable water is not sufficient to meet the legal requirement of making “appropriate provisions” for a potable water supply. The Judge required the City to prove it has an adequate water supply at the time of final plat approval for these five subdivisions.

* November 2008, The Olympian files a thorough investigative report on Yelm’s water case.
“Judge says Yelm must prove it has water”
“Condition placed by city on subdivisions ruled illegal”
By Christian Hill.

* February 2009, Mayor Ron Haring appeared before the State Legislature about water case.
Yelm’s Mayor Ron Harding answered questions on Tuesday, February 17, 2008 before senators in the State Legislature about State Bill 5867 stemming from the case of JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm et al.

The Senate Environment, Water and Energy Committee asked about why the lawsuit against the city came forward.
Mayor Harding said the litigation is a land use issue.
He opened his remarks by saying funding for city improvements to roads could not have been accomplished without the growth here, and to limit growth because of this water case would hurt the city in the long term.
[Editor’s Note: That was not exactly true, as many of the existing street and sidewalk improvements were completed with federal or state grants. Most of the miles of new roads and sidewalks added to the city’s grid were in new developments, for which the developers and L.I.D. financed.]
Harding went on to tell the legislators, “The opponent (JZ Knight) used water and water timing as a mechanism to stop growth in the area.” That was false.
While Knight originally filed a land use appeal (LUPA) in Thurston County Superior Court, her intent was only to protect her senior water rights.

* May 2009, Thurston Highlands default story was first reported by the Yelm Community Blog.
*Thurston Highlands, LLC defaulted on the entire Highlands property, a 1,200 acre property in southwest Yelm that proposed 5,000 residential units with up to 1.5 million sq. ft. of commercial space (comparable to the square footage of 8 Super Wal-Marts). The records showed that the amount to be collected was almost $12 1/2 million dollars. including massive new additions to the citys water & sewer systems. In order to accomplish this, The City of Yelm had proposed to obtain enormous new water rights by application to the State Dept. of Ecology, and fund water/sewer rate increases on the backs of property owners for massive new additions to the city’s water & sewer systems.

* June 2009, The Yelm City Council implemented a water rate increases for an updated Water System Plan.
The mayor said purpose of the Water Rate increase is to meet debt service obligations and will be solely used to keep Fund 401 in-status [an operational and maintenance fund].
Staff Representative Stephanie Ray said the City Council can raise rates for operations as they see fit – the last time there was a water rate increase was in 2003. She added there was a need to raise rates to keep up with operational costs.

* July 2009, JZ Knight takes our newspaper ads titled “A Citizen Responds.”
In the ads, Knight addresses the City of Yelm’s and newspaper’s [Nisqually Valley News] misleading and inaccurate city water/MDNS reports.

* August 2009, The City of Yelm withdraws MDNS after Knight’s ads repercussions.
The City of Yelm stated, “This action has been taken after the Washington State Department of Ecology indicated that it will not take action on Yelms applications for additional water rights in 2009.”

* September 2009, Yelm property owners vent their anger to City Council about water rate increases.
The Yelm City Council received an earful for almost an hour from local citizens’ about the water rate increases, September 8, 2009.

* September 29, 2009, Thurston County Commissioners briefed on the Yelm water issues.
Commissioners Cathy Wolfe, Sandra Romero and Karen Valenzuela requested this briefing from Thurston County and Ecology Staffs and were all very interested and engaged in learning about the nuances of what Commissioner Romero described as one of the most critical issues in the years to come for government.
Commissioner Romero asked why the Commissioners were not notified of nor did the County respond to the City of Yelm MDNS during the public comment period.

* October 2009, Mayor Ron Harding shocks Yelm with letter seizing a citizen’s water rights.
Harding’s letter to private citizen Alice McMonigle said the city will condemn her water rights, with the city’s intent to acquire those rights through eminent domain.

* November 2009, Yelm City Council unanimously approves condemnation of the McMonigle Water Rights.
The Yelm City Council approved Ordinance 914 unanimously and without discussion to begin the condemnation and eminent domain seizure of the McMonigle Water Rights in order to acquire them for the city’s use, City Administrator Badger saying the city had spent $200,000 in legal fees on this issue alone.

* November 2009, The McMonigle response.
This was the letter to the public from the McMonigles – in their own words.

* March 10, 2010, City Council votes water rate increases for next six years, 2010-2015 inclusive.
The Yelm City Council approved Ordinance 918 – a 16% water rate increase effective April 1, 2010 and annual water rate increases of 16% January 1, 2011 and 8.25% each year, for 2012-2015.

* March 23, 2010, “If the city is out of their DOE water allocation, then why do they keep issuing building permits?

* April 2010, NVN: reported Mayor Harding suggested condemning Tahoma Terra land to get their water.
“‘The property the well is being drilled on is currently owned by developers, but within its master plan is an agreement to gift the property to the city.’
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said if for whatever reason those plans don’t move forward, the city can always condemn the property.”

* April 13, 2010, State Appeals Court overturned JZ Knight’s case against city water practices.
Knight subsequently asked the WA Supreme Court to present her case, which they accepted to hear.

* April 2010, Yelm City Council approved $615,223 to dig a production well on Tahoma Terra property.

* July 2010, Yelm’s State & Congressional Representatives get water briefing from Mayor Harding.
Then-Representative Tom Campbell said, “The topic was DOE handling of the McMonagele (sic) water right transfer. The purpose of the legislative delegations presence was to promote a meeting with the Governor to discuss the problem directly.” [Mayor Harding’s & the Yelm City Council’s seizing a citizen’s water rights.]

* October 2010, Yelm City Council approves $76,000 for update to 2008 Water Mitigation Plan.
On August 14, 2009, the City of Yelm withdrew their MDNS (Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance) for an incomplete and unapproved draft Water Mitigation Plan.

* September 2011, Yelm asks Ecology to “fast track” a more than doubling of the city’s water rights.
“The City of Yelm requested Ecology “fast-track” a pending water rights application for an additional 942 acre feet of water per year, which if approved, would more than double Yelm’s current annual water allocation withdrawn from our local aquifer.

* December 2011, WA Supreme Court overturns city’s appeal, Yelm loses water case.
In a stunning 7-2 decision written by Justice Charles Wiggins and finalized January 2012, “the Supreme Court held that Knight established that the land use decision is likely to prejudice her water rights and satisfies the statutory standing requirement.” The City of Yelm had approved 5 development plats without proving the city had water rights availability at the time of plat approval. Knight pressed the city to follow the process, arguing that not doing so would have adversely impacted her senior water rights downstream of the development.

* March 12, 2012, Yelm water rights not a ‘Slam Dunk.’
On November 18, 2011, Sara Foster submitted an Appeal against the City of Yelm and the Dept of Ecology to stop the pumping of 942 acre feet of water, every year for 20 years, from the aquifer. Ecology had just rubber-stamped Yelm’s Mitigation Plan and the city was approved to begin pumping. This amount would have had a huge environmental impact to the aquifer. It means wells in a vast surrounding area [outside of Yelm city limits] could drop in static level and property owners would have to drill new wells. In 2009, the Yelm community became aware of this same Mitigation Plan submitted to Ecology, and wrote over 85 letters in protest, which was subsequently withdrawn.

* May 2012, Council purchases golf course water rights for $151,000.
[City staffe]r Stephanie Ray reported the settlement agreement would settle proposed potential litigation on water rights that were owned by Tahoma Valley Golf and Country Club and were subsequently transferred to the City of Yelm for municipal water use. The City had been working with Tahoma Valley Golf and Country Club for the previous few months to come to an equitable and fair resolution to the transfer of these water rights that were already put to beneficial use.
Councilmember McGowan feels the agreement is fair for both parties involved but does not feel that the public was properly notified and will not be voting on this item for that reason. 5-AYES, 1-NAY (MCGOWAN). CARRIED.
$151,000 = 77 afy of water

* March 2013, Yelm: Doubling of city’s water rights “affirmed” by Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB).
Approval of the water right was originally granted by the Department of Ecology in October 2011, but was appealed by a local group of residents led by Sara Foster.

* June 2013, City of Yelm water rights appealed by local citizen Sara Foster.
Yelms water rights, which were granted by the Department of Ecology and affirmed by the Pollution Control Hearings Board in March, were appealed by Yelm resident Sara Foster.
The appeal was to be heard in Thurston County Superior Court. Fosters lawyer was Patrick Williams, from the Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CELP) in Seattle.

* December 3, 2013, City of Yelm proposed to construct a municipal water treatment facility, a 600,000 gallon at-grade reservoir tank, and booster pump station, located on Tahoma Boulevard SE under a Conditional Use Permit for Yelm SW Well 1A Development. [estimated cost = $5 million.]

* June 2014, NVN: “Foster Appeals Yelm Water Right Ruling”
“Southwest Yelm Well: Citizen Seeks Direct Review by State Supreme Court”
Steven Wyble wrote this in the Nisqually Valley News:
“Yelm resident Sara Foster has appealed a recent court ruling affirming the city of Yelms water rights.
Foster is seeking direct review to the state Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court decides not to take the case, it will go to the Court of Appeals.”

* May 2015, The Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Foster vs. Ecology.
On Thursday, May 21st, the case of Sara Foster v. WA State Department of Ecology, et al was presented to the Washington State Supreme Court.

* August 2015, Yelm City Council approves $5 million expenditure for SW Well 1A project.
With the WA Supreme Court having Yelm’s water rights case in their hands, which could overturn Yelm’s water rights reducing the need for an additional well, the Yelm Council voted August 11th to spend $5 million for well project anyway.

* October 8, 2015, WA Supreme Court sides 6-3 in Sara Foster v. WA State Department of Ecology, et al.
“Cancelled water rights permit could stymie Yelm’s growth,” quoting the Pierce County Business Examiner.

* October 9, 2015, “The West’s AG Website” weighs in on the Foster case
“Washington Supreme Court: Ecology wrong on water right”
By Don Jenkins, Capital Press
“The Washington Supreme Court has ruled the Department of Ecology erred in granting a city a new water right at the expense of downstream rivers.

“For a second time, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled the Department of Ecology was wrong to cite an overriding public interest in permanently redistributing rights in a water-short basin.

The court ruled 6-3 Thursday that DOE erred when it permitted the Western Washington city of Yelm to draw more groundwater to accommodate growth.

The withdrawal would have put the basin’s rivers and creeks at risk of occasionally falling below state-mandated minimum flows, a water right senior to Yelm’s new right.

DOE argued that the move was in the public’s interest and that a mitigation plan would actually enhance the environment. Yelm resident Sara Foster, who feared the city’s withdrawal would harm her domestic well, sued and received support from the Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Carnegie Group, a Thurston County landowners’ organization.

Writing for the majority, Justice Charles Johnson dismissed the mitigation plan as irrelevant and said a growing city was hardly unusual.

He stated that overriding public interest could only justify temporary water withdrawals. Using it to support a permanent transfer of water rights was ‘an end-run around the normal appropriation process, he wrote.
Read more

* October 12, 2015, KING 5 TV interviews Sara Foster from Yelm for the evening News.
“Water rights battle pits growth against rivers”

* October 13, 2015, Yelm City Council’s first meeting after WA Supreme Court loss.
The City Council mentioned nothing about losing their DOE-granted water rights.

* October 15, 2015, Sara Foster recognized by CELP.
Sara Foster acknowledged by The Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CELP) in Olympia for her water rights win against DOE/Yelm.

* October 23, 2017, Yelm was warned their water rights would be fully used within 3-4 years if home permits continued apace. The city anticipates receiving additional rights soon.

* October 30, 2017, Mayor Foster responds to constituent Brian Hess on water issues incorrectly putting blame elsewhere; blames stellar-credentialed former Public Works Dir. in supplying council with “bad” info, then blames Ecology for Yelm water rights issues “not based on any particular science…” – both incorrect.

* April 3, 2018, Council questions/learns about Yelm’s water rights. Councilor Carmody leads Study Session in wanting to know the facts. City had not received additional water rights, council was told that would occur within 2 years.

* April 10, 2018, Yelm’s council approves application of Tahoma Terra Phase II, Division II. Councilor DePinto only one voting “No.”

* October 21, 2020, Yelm takes public comments for the application of Tahoma Terra Phase II, Division III. Yelm has not announced having yet received any additional water rights. This plat has a planned 234 homes, yet the City of Yelm did not have the Dept. of Ecology-granted water allocation to support this application [If approved, this plat may be in violation of SEPA regulations, RCW laws, as the city reported to this blogger in September they had only 192 connections available then.]

* October 27, 2020: Yelm City Administrator Michael Graham informed the council their additional waters rights plan has been supported by two area tribes, and that process is moving forward.

* April 3, 2021: Community Development Director Grant Beck recently informed the council that he expects the city to receive additional water rights sometime during this summer. This would open the way for developments and single-home builders to move forward to receive their permits from the city.

* April 19, 2021: Public Works requires funding upgrades for city to grow!


The Nisqually Valley News reported: New Yelm Planning Manager Aims For Positive Impact on Citizens, Environment.

Landon Hawes, Yelm’s new planning and building manager, “said city planning can help communities be good stewards of the land on their quest for sustainable growth.”

“I think planning can help bring that perspective of how we can grow and develop in a way that will be wonderful and beneficial economically for our community, but also help us be more in harmony with our surroundings and our natural environment.”

This is refreshing to hear after 19 years where building/development permits were issued to drive city revenue and “being good stewards of the land on their quest for sustainable growth” was not a priority.

August 26, 2021

* WSDOT’s online open house for Tanwax Hwy. roundabout,
* Demand for COVID monoclonal antibodies treatment skyrockets,
* Federal judge imposes sanctions on 9 pro-Trump lawyers, recommends disbarment!
U.S.A. olympic gymnast Jordan Chiles grew up in Vancouver, WA.
Team U.S.A. olympic gymnast Jordan Chiles holds her Olympic silver medal for artistic gymnastics, women’s team U.S.A., at the Sheraton Universal Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. Credit: Allen J. Schaben, Los Ang
eles Times via The Seattle Times


+ WSDOT: Online open house for SR 702 [Tanwax Highway] roundabout east of McKenna

+ The Olympian: Yelm man tries to pass off a bar fight as a workplace injury, pleads guilty on Tuesday

+ The Chronicle (Centralia): A second litter of wolverine offspring has been born in the Mount Rainier National Park

+ NVN: Former Ridgeline Middle School Teacher [Savana Cervantes] Hired for City of Yelm Post

+ Patch via MSN: Vaccination Ordered For Military Members, Including At JBLM

+ Thurston County’s health officer, Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek via JOLT News: Highest transmission rates we have seen since the pandemic began

+ JOLT News: Funds remain unclaimed for pandemic-related rent and utilities assistance

+ Associated Press: Seahawks to induct Matt Hasselbeck and Mike Holmgren into their Ring of Honor, in October


WATN-24 TV (ABC Memphis) via MSN: COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody treatment is in high demand in the Mid-South. So where can you get it? What does it do?

USA Today: After slow start, demand for COVID monoclonal antibodies treatment skyrockets

KHOU-11 TV (CBS Houston) via MSN: What is monoclonal antibody treatment and who can get it?

The Washington Post: Biden receives inconclusive intelligence report on covid origins – The report falls short of concluding whether the coronavirus jumped from animal to human, or might have accidentally escaped from a lab in China

Million Acres: Southwest Airlines Warns Delta Variant Could Disrupt Travel Plans

CNBC: American Airlines says August revenue weaker than expected because of rise in Covid cases

The Points Guy: Desperate warnings from Hawaii as restrictions are added back

Newsweek: Israel’s Grim COVID Data Suggests Vaccines Alone Won’t Stop Pandemic

National Geographic: Evidence mounts that people with breakthrough infections can spread Delta easily – A new study finds that this dominant variant can grow in the noses of vaccinated people as strongly as in unvaccinated people.


Children’s Health Defense Team: ‘Historic Win’: CHD Wins Case Against FCC on Safety Guidelines for 5G and Wireless – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit court ruled the Federal Communications Commission failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its current guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation.

Common Dreams: Only 11 Percent of Rental Aid Has Been Disbursed, Says U.S. Treasury


Business Insider: Texts show William Barr congratulated Trump’s impeachment lawyer as his first Senate trial wrapped up: ‘You are a STAR’

Washington Examiner: Top Trump officials sue Biden administration for records related to COVID-19 origins investigation

Business Insider: House Capitol riot committee issues sweeping records requests for communication between Trump and his children, top staffers, and right-wing media personalities

Politico: Federal judge imposes sanctions on Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and 7 other pro-Trump lawyers, including recommending disbarment

August 25, 2021

Prairie Days will run Saturday, Aug. 28 and Sunday, Aug. 29, in Yelm City Park and Longmire Park, respectively.

Note: The Parade has been cancelled!
Prairie Days will run Saturday, Aug. 28 and Sunday, Aug. 29, in Yelm City Park and Longmire Park, respectively.
Credit: City of Yelm

+ NVN: Yelm Community Unites to Make Prairie Days a Reality – Parade is Canceled Due to Lack of Participation

+ Prairie Days 2021 Schedule of Events


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