Yelm Community Blog
Monthly: January 2023

Alaska Air’s Horizon subsidiary phased out last Q-400 prop-jet yesterday!

Horizon Air’s retro livery on the Q-400 prop-jet.
Credit Brandon Farris Photography.

Horizon Air phasing out its Bombardier Q400 turboprop airplane fleet

Regional airline transitioning to E175 jets

For two decades Horizon Air’s Bombardier Q400 turboprop fleet was the way passengers reached small airports around the Pacific Northwest. Now, the ubiquitous plane will take one last spin for customers Thursday as the airline phases out the plane and completes a transition to an all-E175 jet fleet.

And Friday, some of Horizon Air’s employees will mark the plane’s 22-year history, celebrating with a flight from Seattle to Portland, where there will be retirement festivities.

“We’re commemorating an airplane,” said Horizon’s president, Joe Sprague. “But we’re celebrating the people that made that airplane so positively impactful for Alaska Air Group, Alaska and Horizon.”


Horizon began transitioning from the Q400s about a year ago when it had 32 of the propeller planes, seven of which were leased. The planes the airline owns will be sold and will likely end up flying outside of the United States, [Horizon’s president, Joe Sprague] Sprague said. Two have been donated, one to Portland Community College and the other to a company developing alternative power plants and fuel technologies, the president added.

“They won’t be flying for Horizon anymore, but they will continue to do good in the world,” he said.

‘Stop The Airport!’ protestors march on State Capitol Wednesday!

“Anti-airport organizers rallied at Capitol in Olympia,Wa. on Jan. 25, 2023 to protest the prospect that a greenfield site in Pierce or Thurston County could be chosen as the home of the Puget Sound’s next major airport.” Credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian.

At Washington’s state Capitol, crowd rallies with one goal: ‘Stop the airport!’

From The Tacoma News-Tribune via MSN:

Roughly 100 anti-airport activists rallied Wednesday on the north steps of the Legislative Building in Olympia, urging state lawmakers to stop seeking a site to build a new commercial airport in Washington.

The prospect that either of three rural areas in Pierce and Thurston County could be home to a two-runway airport has spurred fierce opposition from residents, as they confront fears of losing their homes and sound the alarm about threats to public safety, wildlife and the environment.

In an hour-long morning demonstration, they used what they said was their strongest weapon: Their voices.

Scott Lay, an organizer with the Coalition Against Graham and Eatonville-Roy Airports, provided additional encouragement.


Most brought signs to the state Capitol. They called for repelling urban sprawl; protecting water, wildlife and homes; investing in high-speed rail as an alternative to aviation; and abolishing the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission, the state-created planning group tasked with identifying a feasible site for a new two-runway airport.

Tenino’s Community Forum this Sunday, 4pm, on the
Less Restrictive Alternative Sex Offender Housing!

Credit: Thurston County Sheriff Facebook post.

+ The Olympian: Sheriff’s Office sets up Sunday town hall on Tenino sex offender housing

Community Forum on Tenino’s Less Restrictive Alternative Sex Offender Housing

From the Thurston County Sheriff’s Facebook post:

[On Tuesday, Janauary 24], members of the executive staff at TCSO sat down with DOC, SCC, and DSHS to discuss the Less Restrictive Alternative Sex Offender Housing in Tenino.

After receiving clarification on some critical topics, Sheriff Sanders requested DOC, SCC, and DSHS engage in a community forum for discussion and Q&A. All three organizations were more than willing to participate and will join TCSO for the event.

We apologize for the short notice as we are working hard to get answers for our community. The forum will be this Sunday at Tenino High school (thank you to the Tenino School District for hosting). TCSO thanks our community for staying engaged and cordial during a time when not many answers were available, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Freshwater fish contamination in all 48 contiguous states!

“Fishers try their luck in Lake Michigan near The Bush neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, on December 25, 2021.” Credit: Antonio James / Chicago Tribune / Tribune News Service via Getty Images, and Truthout.

Eating 1 Freshwater Fish Equals a Month of Drinking “Forever Chemicals” in Water

Research finds that fish from all 48 contiguous U.S. states showed PFAS contamination.

From Truthout:

People who eat just one U.S. freshwater fish a year are likely to show a significant increase of a cancer-causing chemical in their bloodstream, new research warns.

An analysis of U.S. government data derived from more than 500 fish samples revealed that the majority of fish living in streams, rivers and lakes across the country are contaminated with per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at levels almost 300 times higher than found in fish from other sources, including ocean and farmed fish, according to the paper published recently in the journal Environmental Research.

Importantly, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), a type of PFAS known to be particularly harmful, was the largest contributor to total PFAS levels found in freshwater fish samples, averaging 74% of the total, according to the study.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers PFOS specifically to be a hazardous substance that “may present a substantial danger to human health” due to its links to cancer and effects on reproductive, developmental, and cardiovascular health, and warns that the chemical “may present a substantial danger to human health.” Other PFAS have also been linked to cancer, immune deficiencies, thyroid disease, and other health problems.

The research found that eating one serving of fish at the median PFOS contamination level was equivalent to consuming one month’s worth of drinking water contaminated at 2,400 times the recommended health advisory limit set by the EPA. The study determined that “even occasional consumption” of wild, freshwater fish would likely be a significant source of exposure.

Pope Francis: Homosexuality is a sin but not a crime, laws criminalizing homosexuality “unjust,”
Reaching out to the LGBTQ community a hallmark of his papacy!
Yet 25 states still criminalize people with HIV!

Pope Francis at The Vatican on Jan. 24, 2023.
Credit: Domenico Stinellis / AP via NBC News.

+ Truthout: People With HIV Are Still Being Criminalized in 25 States

Pope Francis says homosexuality is a sin but not a crime and criticizes ‘unjust’ anti-gay laws

“Declaring such laws ‘unjust,’ Francis said the Catholic Church can and should work to put an end to them. ‘It must do this. It must do this.’

From the Associated Press via NBC News:

Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.

“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press.

Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin.” But he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds, and said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone.

“These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should apply “tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us.”

Some 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity, 11 of which can or do impose the death penalty, according to The Human Dignity Trust, which works to end such laws. Experts say even where the laws are not enforced, they contribute to harassment, stigmatization and violence against LGBTQ people.


On Tuesday, Francis said there needed to be a distinction between a crime and a sin with regard to homosexuality.

“Being homosexual is not a crime,” he said. “It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.”

“It’s also a sin to lack charity with one another,” he added.

Catholic teaching holds that while gays must be treated with respect, homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” Francis has not changed that teaching, but he has made reaching out to the LGBTQ community a hallmark of his papacy.

Sea-Tac Airport sees record number of carry-on firearms in 2022.
Most were loaded!

Credit: TSA Tweet

TSA found a record number of firearms in carry-on bags at SeaTac in 2022. Most were loaded

Posted in The Olympian:

A record number of firearms were discovered inside travelers’ carry-on luggage in Washington airports in 2022, according to a new report from the Transportation Security Administration. Nearly nine out of 10 guns found were loaded.

TSA officers found 164 firearms throughout the year in the Evergreen State, 113 of which were detected at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

A total of 34 guns were seized at Spokane International Airport, and 11 were found at Tri-Cities Airport in Franklin County. The number of firearms discovered at the three airports in 2022 is a record for each location.

The other Washington airports in which firearms were confiscated are Paine Field Airport (4) in Everett, Bellingham International Airport (1) and McAllister Field at the Yakima Air Terminal (1).

Every gun was found during the routine carry-on luggage screening process, according to the report. Once a firearm is detected, a law officer removes it after TSA notifies the local airport law enforcement agency, which decides how to handle the gun and the traveler.


Officers found 6,542 guns across 262 airports nationwide in 2022. The record marks a rising trend in firearm detections at airports both nationwide and in Washington.

Aside from a dip in 2020 due to low travel volume during the COVID-19 pandemic, gun detection numbers have risen yearly since 2018, from 4,239 in 2018 to 6,542 this past year.

Thurston Sheriff Sanders meets with Tenino area residents on sex offender housing!

“Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders speaks to Tenino-area residents during a community meeting at Tenino High School on Sunday.”
Credit: The Chronicle (Centralia)

Click here for the comments video of Sheriff Sanders.

+ The Jolt News: County engages local legislators to address public concerns on planned housing for sex offenders in Tenino – “The County has taken this public testimony very seriously,” said Thurston County Manager Ramiro Chavez.

Tenino Residents, Lawmakers, Plan to Fight Back Against Sex Offender Housing in Community 

From The Chronicle (Centralia):

Tenino area residents will not allow a privately-owned, less-restrictive housing facility for five sex offenders to operate near Maytown without putting up a fight. 

With less than a week before the facility, owned and run by Supreme Living LLC, officially accepts residents on Feb. 1, Tenino residents organized a community meeting at Tenino High School Sunday to share information about plans in progress to oppose the facility. 

Those plans include filing an injunction in court, protesting in front of the Washington state Capitol in Olympia and calling legislators responsible for the laws that led the state to contract with Supreme Living for the facility. 


The facility was specifically created as a result of a state effort to move residents out  of a special commitment center on McNeil Island, which houses people convicted of violent sex offenses who have completed their sentences but are considered extremely likely to reoffend if not confined to a secure facility.

A bill passed in the 2021 state legislative session amended state law as it relates to conditionally-released sexually violent predators in Revised Code of Washington 71 in two key ways. 

First, it established what legislators called “fair share principals,” meaning each county must provide community-based housing placements for conditionally-released sexually violent predators who are from their county. 

Under that principle, Thurston County is responsible for housing 11 conditionally-released sexually violent predators, according to Thurston County Commission Chair Carolina Meja. 

The Supreme Living facility can house up to five. 

Read more

Yelm High linebacker Brayden Platt recruited by top colleges!

“Yelm running back Brayden Platt looks toward Eastside Catholic players during the 3A State Championship game at Puyallup’s Sparks Stadium.”
Credit: Jared Wenzelburger / For the Nisqually Valley News

Linebacker Target Brayden Platt “Amazed And Shocked” By Notre Dame Offer

2024 Washington linebacker Brayden Platt relives recent Notre Dame offer

From Sports Illustrated:

You would be hard pressed to find a more impressive two-sport athlete in the 2024 recruiting class than Yelm (Wash.) High School star linebacker Brayden Platt. On Friday, Notre Dame extended an offer to the talented defender, adding to an extremely impressive list of programs with interest.

The West Coast native has of course been courted by a large number of schools from the region. This recent offer from the Irish, however, was something special for Platt. He was met with a series of emotions when it was extended.

“My initial thought when I received the offer was just amazed and shocked,” Platt said. “It is so exciting to be offered by a school as prestigious as Notre Dame. Their brand speaks for itself.”

Brayden Platt Talks Oregon Visit, Latest in Recruitment

Checking in with one of the top players in Washington following a trip to Eugene.

From Sports Illustrated:

During his trip to Eugene he spent most of his time with head coach Dan Lanning, defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi and linebackers coach Jake Long.

“I love the energy that they bring,” Platt said. “You can tell who they are straight up, it’s not like they’re putting on a front. Those two (Lupoi and Long) especially are football nerds and it’s great to be around.”

Last weeks headlines via America’s editorial cartoonists!

“GQP Oversight”
Credit: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer
“Biden, his Corvette and missing papers”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee.

“Playacting at leadership”
“Republican passion for fiscal discipline is mere cosplay”
Credit: David Horsey, The Seattle Times.
“Putting profits over public welfare”
Credit: David Horsey, The Seattle Times.
“Quite a lineup”
Credit: Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Credit: Clay Bennett, The Chattanooga Times Free Press.
“Comparing apples, and oranges and bananas”
Credit: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer
Credit: Clay Bennett, The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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