March 31, 2023

Save the date: Nisqually Valley Barbeque Rally July 22nd!


Registration is now open for the Nisqually Valley Barbecue Rally. Click here for vendor registration. Sponsorship opportunities available here.

March 30, 2023

Trump indicted by NY Grand Jury!

Former President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before his speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 4, 2023, in National Harbor, Md. Credit: Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images / via NBC News.

Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict Trump

The case focuses on allegations that Trump falsified his business records.

Excerpt from NBC News:

A grand jury in New York voted to indict former President Donald Trump, according to three officials familiar with the matter.

The case centers on a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels claimed she slept with the married Trump in 2006, a claim the former president has denied. Trump classified his reimbursement of the payout as legal expenses.

March 30, 2023

Lolita the Killer Whale may be coming home to Washington!

Lolita the killer whale, now known as Toki, performs in her stadium tank. She’s about 57 years old and was the main attraction at Miami Seaquarium for decades.
Lolita the killer whale, now known as Toki, performs in her stadium tank. She’s about 57 years old and was the main attraction at Miami Seaquarium for decades. Credit: © Miami Herald File/Miami Herald/TNS via MSN.

A pledge to move Lolita the killer whale from Miami Seaquarium, with Jim Irsay’s help

Excerpt from The Miami Herald:

Obstacles remain, including the logistics of transporting the ailing 57-year-old, 7,000-pound orca from coast to coast and preparing her to live in the wild after five decades in captivity. But Seaquarium plans to announce a “historic initiative” Thursday to “return beloved orca Lolita to her home waters” with funding for the expensive relocation from a new donor, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.

The goal is to place Lolita — also known by her Native American name Tokitae and nickname Toki — back in the sea and reunite her with her family, the L pod of southern resident orcas. She was captured in Penn Cove off the coast of Washington in 1970 when she was about 4 years old.

“If she is healthy enough to be transported, the issue is her skill set,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Raquel Regalado, who has been an advocate for Lolita and improvements at Seaquarium. “She doesn’t know how to catch or hunt. We’re not really sure if she can communicate with other whales because she’s been alone. Now we kind of have to retrain her.”

Lolita’s trainers at the marine park in Virginia Key could be key to the plan, and borrow the methods used to move Keiko — the movie “Free Willy” was based on Keiko’s story — from a marine park tank in Mexico, to an aquarium pool in Oregon, and, in 1998, via a U.S. Air Force cargo plane, to a sea pen in Iceland, from where Keiko later swam to Norway and lived in the ocean for five years before dying of pneumonia.

March 29, 2023

City still saddled with library condo expenses –
Nisqually Valley News highlighted issues of 15 years ago!
Yelm’s Timberland Regional Library,
Photo credit: Yelm Community Blog

NVN highlights issues with library condo expenses originating 15 years ago

Dear readers;

In the current edition of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN), they look back at key news stories 15 years ago this week (see below).

However, no context was provided as to what the newspaper was attempting to reference.

The Yelm Library Citizens Advisory Board was then Chaired by me, Steve Klein, and met several times in 2007 and 2008 with the then-TRL Executive Director and TRL’s Facilities Manager, who guided the Board in their annual report and presentation to the mayor and council on March 25, 2008, about a new library building. I had been originally appointed to this Advisory Board in 2004 by Mayor Rivas, and subsequently voted Board Chair in 2007 by the other Board members.

Click here for that letter to the mayor and council on March 25, 2008.

A selection of investigative reports from this blog about how the 2 most previous mayors and some of their council members ensured Yelm became saddled with excessive library expenses for decades, which can be accessed here:

From the Nisqually Valley News, March 24, 2023 edition:

A Look Back at This Week, 15 Years Ago

• Officials expressed concerns about the fate of the Yelm Timberland Library in a March 2008 letter to the city council. Board chairman Steve Klein said the library was given a 10-year exemption from the city in 2002 to operate in the Prairie Park complex. Klein said he was worried about what would happen when the exemption expired in 2012.

March 29, 2023

The Yelm Community Blog is 17 years old today!

The Yelm Community Blog has served our area since 2006

Dear readers,

Today, on March 29th, the Yelm Community Blog has been operating with virtual daily posts for 17 years, since 2006. This blog has been complied by the longest serving writer in Yelm, compared to any other online or print publication staffs. I have been proud to provide the community with stories that give you, the reader, public documents to read and discern news stories for yourself, and without any paid advertisements.

The first blog post was about Yelm Community Schools enrolling the 5,000th pupil, doubling their student numbers in 25 years.

Follow on Twitter or subscribe to the e-list on the right side of the home page.

A heartfelt THANK YOU for your interest and support all of these years.


Steve Klein

March 28, 2023

Yelm Community Resource Fair, Thursday, March 30!

Credit: Love Abounds Here

Yelm’s Community Resource Fair this Thursday

From Love Abounds Here:

THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 2023 AT 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM PDT

Yelm City Park

This addition of the Community Resource Fair will include:

Healthcare Enrollment
Family Support Services
Addiction Counseling
FREE Legal Assistance
Addiction Counseling
Food Assistance
Covid-19 Vaccinations
…and so much more.

March 28, 2023

International Transgender Visibility Day in Thurston County is March 31!

The Thurston Board of Health proclaimed March 31 as International Transgender Visibility Day.
Credit: The JOLT staff via Zoom

International Transgender Visibility Day recognized by the Board of Health in Thurston County

‘An annual day to celebrate the accomplishments and victories of transgender and gender nonconforming people’

Excerpt from The JOLT News:

To acknowledge the significant contributions of transgender people to the community and recognize the hardship facing transgender people in healthcare settings, the Board of Health (BOH) proclaimed March 31, 2023, International Transgender Visibility Day in Thurston County.

At the Tuesday [March 14] BOH meeting, Board Member and Lacey councilmember Robin Vazquez cited statistics that one in five members of the transgender community were refused health care. 

“About 28% of the transgender community responding to the survey experienced harassment when seeking health care. That is a pertinent issue for the BOH to address,” Vazquez said.

Board of County Commissioners chair and BOH member Carolina Mejia said the proclamation is their way of acknowledging that transgender people are welcome in the community.

“We are seeing suicide rates go up for our trans[gender] community as they are facing a lot of bullying in our very own communities…it goes against you as a human as a person. As a BOH, we find this issue very important,” Mejia said.

March 28, 2023

Thurston’s EMS, hospitals stressed from aging population demands!

MultiCare plans to open its fifth off-campus emergency department in Lacey at Pacific Avenue Southeast and Golf Club Road Southeast. The new site is expected to open in the middle of this year.
Credit: MultiCare via The Olympian.

Demands of aging population stressing Thurston County EMS, hospitals

Excerpt from The Olympian:

Thurston County’s aging population needs more care and that’s factoring into delays for emergency services, officials say.

Calls for emergency medical services (EMS) increased from 26,570 in 2013 to an expected 43,000 in 2023, said Ben Miller-Todd, director of Thurston County Emergency Services.

“We’ve had about a 62% overall growth over the course of 11 years in Thurston County’s EMS infrastructure,” Miller-Todd said. “That significantly outpaces the growth that we have in population. A lot of that is due to age.”

Thurston County’s population surpassed 300,000 in June, according to the Washington State Office of Financial Management. Citing figures from the Thurston Regional Planning Council, Miller-Todd said the county population may reach 370,000 by 2040.

Miller-Todd said the county’s median age increased from 29.8 in 1980 to about 37.3 in 2010. He also showed a population pyramid graph that showed how the the number of people in their 20s and 30s has declined.

Average EMS response times have increased along with growing call volumes. Miller-Todd said response times increased 12% from 414 seconds (about 7 minutes) in 2019 to 463 seconds (almost 8 minutes) in 2021. At the same time, he said more people are waiting longer than 45 minutes at the hospital emergency departments.

March 27, 2023

Fundraiser for Yelm Dollars for Scholars –
Pizzeria LaGitana donates 10% of all March 29th sales!

Credit: Pizzeria LaGitana

Support Local AND Support Yelm Dollars for Scholars!

From Pizzeria LaGitana:
Dine in (or order takeout) at Yelm’s La Gitana on March 29th and 10 percent of all sales for the day will be donated to Yelm Dollars for Scholars!

What is Yelm Dollars for Scholars?
Our Dollars For Scholars chapter is a nonprofit foundation that supports academic success in our community. As part of the Scholarship America’s national network of locally based, volunteer-driven Dollars for Scholars chapters, our mission is to mobilize our community on behalf of post-secondary education success for our students.
Dollars for Scholars chapters like ours help hometown students achieve their educational goals by raising scholarship funds, establishing endowments, providing assistance with college readiness and the financial aid process, and distributing scholarships each year.

March 27, 2023

Housing, rent costs rose due to remote workers: study!

Credit: The Olympian

Yes, it is remote workers who spiked housing, rent costs: study

Excerpt from The Hill:

If you’re upset about housing costs, you can chalk half of it up to remote workers, according to one study.

Directly or indirectly, COVID pandemic policies ushered in the worst U.S. inflation in 40 years, particularly regarding housing.

Housing costs have never been higher or more burdensome for both renters and owners. Over 40% of renter households in the U.S. are paying more than the recommended 30% of their net income for housing making them officially fit the description of “cost-burdened.” Want to help pollinators this spring? Expert suggests these tips

Meanwhile, homeownership costs have grown to their highest-ever levels. The median sales price for a home in the U.S. was $467,700 in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve. This is not only the highest homes have ever cost, but buyers are now paying up to thousands more in interest than they would have prior to 2021 thanks to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tightening interest rates.

Researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research compared national rent and ownership trends to isolate what caused already-rising housing prices to spike since late 2019. The report, authored in May 2022, is decisive about the cause.


The national number of remote workers – who are twice as likely to earn more than the median income – tripled from 2019 to 2021, according to the U.S. Census. In short, they need more space and have the bankroll to pay for it, raising prices across the nation in the process of shuffling to less dense areas in the last three years.



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