December 31, 2021

Last day of 2021’s news report:
* Amanda Gorman writes end-of-year poem, ‘New Day’s Lyric’,
* DOJ awards $8.5+ million to Western WA. for justice, youth programs,
* Pelosi to commemorate January 6 anniversary at US Capitol!
“Amanda Gorman writes end-of-year poem, ‘New Day’s Lyric’”
“American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.” Credit: Patrick Semansky AP, via The Olympian


+ The Olympian: Area mayors will gather for Thurston County Chamber of Commerce event Jan. 12, including Yelm Mayor Joe DePinto

+ JOLT News: Local elected officials sworn in yesterday in second-ever online ceremony included Yelm council members Joshua Crossman and Brian Hess. County Auditor Mary Hall told officials that “Local government is the closest government to the people, and the decisions you make have the greatest impact on the lives of your neighbors.”

+ Seattle P-I: Pacific Northwest flight impacts on Alaska Airlines this week

+ The Olympian: Lt. Gov. Denny Heck to address Lacey South Sound Chamber Jan. 5 – He plans to give a “state of the state” address and preview the upcoming Legislative session.

+ McClatchy Newspapers: DOJ awards more than $8.5 million to Western Washington Tribes for justice, youth programs


The Washington Post: Omicron spiking, but hospitalizations ‘comparatively low,’ CDC director says

The Washington Post: First they ran short of PPE, then ventilators. Now, the shortage is hospital staff. ‘Our absences are through the roof’: Hospitals face a depleted, exhausted workforce amid omicron surge

The Washington Post Opinion: The omicron surge could be the worst public health challenge of our lifetimes [Ed. note: the numbers of people testing positive, vaxxed and unvaxxed, and having to quarantine for 5 or 10 days will cause disruptions in every aspect of our lives.]

CNBC: CDC urges all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to avoid cruising

Truthout: Delta Cuts Paid Sick Leave for Workers With COVID After Lobbying for CDC Change


MSNBC’s Morning Joe: ‘You feel the urgency’: NYT looks back at the Year in Pictures

CNN: Pelosi announces plans to commemorate January 6 anniversary at US Capitol

The Daily Caller: Federal Judges Order Unsealing Of Epstein Docs From 2009 [Ed. note: Yikes for many including Prince Andrew!]

MSNBC Opinion: Biden can’t crack the one thing Trump was actually good at as president

USA Today: Over 1,000 flight cancellations Thursday: Are cancellations, delays the new normal this winter?

Daily Kos: The ‘Doomsday’ glacier could shatter and send sea levels rising in just five years’ time

Daily Kos: Kevin ‘Who the F— Do You Think You Are Talking To’ McCarthy may be next on Jan. 6 request list

MSNBC’s The Reidout Blog: In court, the Proud Boys got a painful civics lesson they won’t soon forget

The Washington Post Opinion: White supremacists are using an old playbook but so are the lawyers fighting them – the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, intended to prevent the efforts by the KKK and other white-supremacist actors to effectively re-enslave Black people.


Truthout: Trump Sues January 6 House Committee Because It Might Find Trump Wrongdoing

Reuters: Jan. 6 panel urges U.S. high court to deny Trump bid to shield records

Truthout: Even With Trump Out of Office, the Far Right Continued to Mobilize in 2021

Newsweek: Steve Bannon Confronts Mike Lindell Over Trump-Appointed Judges Ruling Against Him

Politico: Roger Stone is selling a Trump autograph NFT to pay his legal bills

December 30, 2021

* Drinking at New Year’s Eve Parties?
* Then don’t drive, excellent option to consider!
* Law enforcement agencies have emphasis patrols over the New Year’s holiday!
Credit: Kelly Kab

An excellent option to avoid getting behind the wheel drunk:

+ Kelly Kab is an excellent option, then return to pick-up your vehicle the next day.
Call them at (360) 791-1925.
Read more

+ The Chronicle (Centralia): WSP, Other Western States Partner to Enforce Safe Driving on New Year’s Eve

December 30, 2021

* More snow expected this morning, warm-up Saturday,
* WA. reduces COVID-19 isolation, quarantine time-frame,
* At Least 13 Republicans in January 6 Attack are running for office!
Resembling a mountain pass rather than State Route 510, motorists make their way out to Yelm on Dec 28, 2021 as bitterly cold weather continues its grip on South Sound. Steve Bloom, The Olympian.


+ The Olympian: More snowfall expected in the Olympia area Thursday, but rain may return this weekend

+ The News Tribune (Tacoma): WA state reduces recommended time for COVID-19 isolation, quarantine 

+ Cascade Bicycle Club: The Seattle to Portland (STP) presented by Alaska Airlines Bicycle Classic returns in 2022, July 16-17

+ NVN: American Legion Auxiliary Post to Host New Year’s Eve Party to Support Veterans

+ The Washington Post via The Seattle Times: Alaska hits record-high temperature for December, plus freezing rain

+ The Points Guy: Visit US national parks for free on these 5 days in 2022

+ NVN: Dismissal of Charges Sought in Death of Skookumchuck Wind Farm Worker


CNBC: ‘Turn the valve off’: Climate activists push for an abrupt end to the fossil fuel era

Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics paper: Consciousness is the driving force for the existence of the universe. The physical world that we perceive is not something that’s separate from us but rather created by our minds as we observe it


Bloomberg News via The Seattle Times: COVID spread on 89 ‘petri dish’ cruise ships, prompting CDC investigations

Wall Street Journal Opinion: How Fauci and Collins Shut Down Covid Debate – They worked with the media to trash the Great Barrington Declaration. (full text here)


CNN via MSN: Trump wants Supreme Court to read Washington Post interview with Bennie Thompson

MSNBC’s MaddowBlog: Trump introduces Americans to the idea of conditional endorsements – Donald Trump supports Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy just so long as the Republican governor opposes Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Truthout: At Least 13 Republicans Who Participated in January 6 Attack Are Running for Office

Salon: Trump’s U.K. Golf Resorts Claimed Millions in COVID Aid While He Was President

December 29, 2021

* More snow forecast for Yelm area tonight,
* Cold temperatures to remain through Saturday morning!
* Stay vigilant in taking precautions, be safe!

May be an image of map and sky
Credit: NWS via Thurston County

Special Weather Statement Issued By the National Weather Service

Affected Area

Southwest Interior, which includes all of Thurston County


…DANGEROUSLY COLD TEMPERATURES TO CONTINUE THIS WEEK… Temperatures will remain unseasonably cold through the rest of the week with highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s and lows in the 20s. With these very cold temperatures, frost bite and hypothermia will occur much faster. If outdoors, remember to dress in layers and cover exposed skin. Take precautions to protect pets and livestock from the extreme cold as well. Uncovered pipes will also be susceptible to freezing and bursting.

…More snow for Yelm and vicinity

1-3 inches of snow late tonight and into Thursday. Remaining cold through Saturday morning, with upper 30s by Saturday afternoon, and warming into the low 40s on Sunday.

Click here for the Yelm area weather forecast.

Click here for the Thurston County Storm and Emergency Response page.

Click here for the City of Yelm Facebook page for conditions updates.

December 29, 2021

* Graham Auto Repair of Pierce County to open in Yelm Q2 2022,
* DOT says crew shortages, storm intensity to blame for I-5 mess,
* Leaders urge Americans to cancel New Year’s plans – the virus!
“Graham Auto Repair of Pierce County is planning to open a new Yelm shop in the former location of the Mattress Ranch.” Credit Steve Bloom, The Olympian


+ The Olympian: Drivers complain I-5 was a mess Sunday. DOT says crew shortages, storm intensity to blame

+ The Olympian: As temperatures plummet, don’t let your pipes freeze. Local experts share tips

+ The News-Tribune (Tacoma): You’ll soon need to ask if you want plastic cutlery with your takeout in WA. Here’s why


The Washington Post via MSN: Leaders urge Americans to cancel New Year’s plans: ‘Omicron and delta are coming to your party’

CNBC: Biden says Covid surge needs to be solved at state level, vows full federal support

Associated Press: Flu is making a comeback in US after an unusual year off [Ed. note: Influenza numbers are now being counted again.]


Daily Kos: Last year marked the first time renewables surpassed coal as the U.S.’s second-biggest power source

Associated Press: Judge refuses to dismiss alleged Proud Boys leaders’ charges


Truthout: Donald Trump Has Spent the Last Two Weeks Offending His Closest Allies

Daily Mail (UK): Trump’s claim of over 5,000 ballots cast by dead people in Georgia is debunked by state’s AG office after investigation found only FOUR – including woman who voted for Trump on behalf of dead husband

Daily Kos: Trump’s ex-adviser Peter Navarro spells out 2020 election subversion scheme in his new memoir AND Confesses Coup Plot with Bannon, Cruz, and 100 Congressional Co-Conspirators

The Washington Post: Committee investigating Jan. 6 attack plans to begin a more public phase of its work in the new year

Daily Kos: Mr. Trump had intended to break up NATO, and the US alliance with South Korea if he was re-elected

CNN via MSN: January 6 panel stands down on request for some Trump documents after pushback from Biden administration

December 28, 2021

Joe DePinto sworn in as Mayor of Yelm (Video),
As the “Reign of Error” set to end Dec. 31,
City staff get a deserved workplace free from intimidation Jan. 3!
Mayor-elect Joe DePinto was sworn in as Yelm’s mayor this afternoon!
He will take his office on January 1st. Credit: City of Yelm

Mayor Elect Joe DePinto Swearing In Ceremony

The swearing in of Mayor Elect Joe DePinto was officiated by Washington State Supreme Court Justice, The Honorable Debra L. Stephens.

Click here for the video, credited to the City of Yelm.


+ Editor’s note: On January 1st, Mayor DePinto will officially take his office as Mayor of Yelm, with his first business day on January 3, along with Interim City Administrator Todd Stancil. The day will begin with relief for most city staff, as the era of intimidation, harassment, and investigations of the previous city leaders will be over. The office tensions will be disinfected in the sunshine of leaders who stand for truth, integrity, and civic process.

Our city hall will now be a place where every employee and every citizen can feel safe and heard if they have an issue. The “brain drain” from excessive turnover of personnel will hopefully come to an end.

The days of these kind of headlines on this blog and in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) are over:

+ NVN: Investigation Shows City Administrator [Grayum] Likely Engaged in ‘Unwelcome’ Touching, Sexual Comments with Female Employees


+ JOLT News: Other elected officials to be sworn in on live television Wed. at 3 p.m.

Thurston County Elections will host a virtual swearing in ceremony for recently elected officials at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 29.  

Jody Suhrbier, Executive Director of the Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center, and U.S. Representative Marilyn Strickland will address attendees.  

The ceremony will be broadcast live on Thurston Community Media’s YouTube channel. 

The elected officials to be sworn in include: 
 Port Commissioners

  • City and Town Mayors and Council members
  • School Board Directors
  • Fire Commissioners
  • Park and Recreation Commissioners
  • Cemetery Commissioners

December 28, 2021

* Fauci: U.S. should consider domestic flight vaccine mandate,
* CDC shortens Covid isolation to 5 days for asymptomatic,
* Jan. 6 committee focused on Trump’s hours of silence during attack!
Fauci: U.S. should consider domestic flight vaccine mandate
“Dozens of flights listed as cancelled or delayed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport”
Credit: © Reuters/Lindsey Wasson via MSN


+ The Olympian: State COVID-19 quarantine site to be moved from Centralia to Thurston County Camp Solomon Schechter, a Jewish summer camp in Tumwater

+ The Olympian: 5-7 inches of snow so far in the Olympia area, and more is on the way, forecaster says – Snowy and icy conditions will persist throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.

+ The Spokesman-Review (Spokane): Record COVID-19 infections reported in Washington’s King County

+ The Spokesman-Review (Spokane): Almost 9 years after first elected, Inslee reflects on his focus for third term – the COVID-19 pandemic


NBC News: CDC shortens Covid isolation period to 5 days for people without symptoms – The agency attributed the change to growing evidence that the virus is most infectious in the two or three days after symptoms arise.

Bloomberg via MSN: Coronavirus Can Persist for Months After Traversing Body according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health

Reuters via MSN: Fauci says U.S. should consider domestic flight vaccine mandate; more planes grounded


MSNBC’s The Reidout: Men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan gov. have new creative defense – Defense attorneys claimed a plan to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was actually initiated by the government.


Daily Beast via Yahoo!: Trump Advisor Peter Navarro Lays Out How He and Bannon Planned to Overturn Biden’s Electoral Win

Salon: January 6 Committee to Investigate Trump’s Calls to Allies Before Capitol Breach

MSNBC’s Morning Joe: Trump loudly praised Covid vaccines — so Alex Jones called him a dirty liar

NBC News: Trump’s 2020 fixation is putting him at odds with some of his biggest fans – Anger over the election animated local GOP chapters in tangible ways this year. Now, some see issues like inflation and education as being of greater interest.

NBC News: Trump spokesman sues Jan. 6 panel over access to financial records – Taylor Budowich said he complied with the committee’s subpoena by providing about four hours of sworn testimony and 1,700 pages of documents.

The Washington Post via MSN: Thompson says Jan. 6 committee focused on Trump’s hours of silence during attack, weighing criminal referrals

MSNBC: ‘That was fast’: Judge denies Flynn request for restraining order to block Jan. 6 subpoena one day after he filed the request

December 27, 2021

Christmas Tree Recycling info for Thurston County Residents
Credit: Thurston County

From Thurston County via Thurston Talk:

When the holidays wind down and the decorations get packed away, it’s time to figure out what to do with the Christmas tree. This season, free tree collection and drop-off opportunities are available county-wide.

To prepare your tree for recycling, please remove all ornaments, lights, stands, nails, and tinsel prior to drop-off. Flocked trees are accepted.

Drop-off Locations

All Thurston County residents: Trees are accepted at the Waste and Recovery Center located at 2420 Hogum Bay Road NE in Lacey from December 26–January 16 (closed January 1). Open Monday–Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Customers with other wastes in addition to a tree should expect to make two trips across the scale.

Rainier residents: Take trees to the Rainier Drop-Box Facility at 13010 Rainier Acres Road SE from December 26–January 16 (closed January 1). Open Friday–Sunday only, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Yelm residents: Residents can place trees in a designated dumpster at Yelm City Park anytime from December 28–January 16.

December 27, 2021

* Yelm & Thurston: De-icing, Sanding, Snow Route Maps,
* 5 ways to handle freezing weather around Puget Sound,
* KOMO-TV’s ‘Air 4’ video over Yelm strip mall fire scene!

Snow coated Pike Place Market in a rare Seattle cold snap Sunday.
Seattle’s Pike place Market on Sunday
“Snow expected to continue as winter storm warnings extend from Seattle to San Diego”
Credit: NBC News


+ City of Yelm: De-icing, Sanding and Snow Route map and Deicing, Sanding, and Snow Plow

+ Thurston County: Priority Snow Routes for Plowing & Sanding

+ The Olympian: Dangerously cold temperatures headed for Western Washington, forecasters say

+ KING-5 TV: 5 ways to prepare for freezing weather around Puget Sound

+ KOMO-TV 4: VIDEO: Air 4 over Yelm strip mall fire scene aftermath

+ The Olympian: Wondering what to do with your decorations after Christmas? Here are some tips

+ McClatchy Newspapers: Military is cracking down on ‘questionable tattoos’ to combat extremism. Here’s how – It’s part of the Pentagon’s plan to ferret out recruits with potentially dangerous extremist ideologies.

+ The Olympian: WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson tests positive for COVID-19, even though vaccinated


Common Dreams: Desmond Tutu, Fierce Opponent of South African and Israeli Apartheid, Dies at 90

TomDispatch: The Climate Won’t Survive Our Current Appetite for Consumerism and Consumption

Open Secrets: Control of House Up in Air as More Democrats Say They Won’t Seek Reelection in 2022

Open Secrets: Republicans With Gun-Themed Xmas Photos Are Usual Recipients of Gun Lobby Cash

MSNBC’s Deadline White House: Biden confirms more judges than Trump during first year in office

NBC News: Biden administration to lift travel restrictions on 8 African nations [Ed. note: A ridiculous over-reaction in the first place.]

Truthout: A Year in, Biden Hasn’t Fulfilled Promise to Repair Refugee Resettlement Program – Trump left the system in shambles, but Biden let in a record low number of refugees over the last fiscal year.


The Washington Post: Coronavirus outbreak sidelines USS Milwaukee whose crew is fully immunized, Navy says

Associated Press: Carnival Freedom becomes 3rd Florida-based ship to report COVID outbreak; Passengers were required to be vaccinated and they were tested before leaving Dec. 18, according to Carnival. “We’re sailing on a petri dish,” said a passenger.

Associated Press: More Marines discharged over vaccine refusal, total at 169

CNBC: Fauci says Covid cases will go much higher as omicron spread continues, warns against complacency


Daily Kos: The Lincoln Project does it again – uses Trump’s own words for an ad

The Washington Post: A year ago, Fox News considered a breakup with Trump. 2021 changed those plans. Going into 2022, the network’s alignment with Trump has it grappling with a pair of potentially catastrophic lawsuits. But its ratings are on top again

MSNBC Opinion: Trump just can’t stop losing. And it’s set to continue. Trump’s lawsuit against New York AG Letitia James sets him up for another loss – By one estimate, Trump and his allies have a 0-40 record in post-election lawsuits.

Daily Mail (UK): Donald Trump’s Scottish golf courses, which claimed £3million in furlough cash from the UK Government, had combined losses of more than £6 million last year, new figures have revealed.

Daily Kos: Biden admin returns land to Texas family after it was seized by previous admin for its … wall

December 26, 2021

Last week’s news thru the eyes of America’s editorial cartoonists!
“The Christmas story argues for hope”
Credit: David Horsey, The Seattle Times,t_single-media-image-desktop@1/v1640203511/258256_768_rgb.jpg
“Christmas Light”
Credit: Rick McKee, Cagle Cartoons
Credit: Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Free Press
“Santa distancing”
Credit: Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Christmas 2021
Credit: Steve Breen, The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Joe MAGAchin”
Credit: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer
Jack Ohman: Let it Joe, Let it Joe, Let it Joe ...
“Let it Joe, Let it Joe, Let it Joe”
Credit Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
Political Cartoon.
“Santa’s Third Category”
Credit: Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


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