October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween.
Be safe, watch for children at dusk!


Happy Halloween – Be Safe, watch for our children out at dusk!

First published here in 2007:

“Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the United States. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, but is today largely a secular celebration.

“Common Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, committing pranks, telling ghost stories or other frightening tales, and watching horror films…

Origin of name
“The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hlgena mssedg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556,” quoting Wikipedia. Read more

October 30, 2023

Washington state’s emergency blood supply is dangerously low!

Credit: Washington State Dept. of Health

Local blood banks urgently need life-saving donations to meet demand

From Washington State Dept. of Health:

Blood banks are facing critical shortages of life-saving blood and blood products. Your donation can help save lives. The shortages are particularly severe for types O and Rh negative blood, and for platelets.

Blood donations significantly dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local and regional blood banks are still feeling the effects, as many regular donors are donating less often. Rising rates of influenza, the common cold, and other respiratory diseases are also keeping people from donating.

With fewer donations, blood banks worry they will not be able to meet the need for blood and blood products, like plasma, during a large emergency or natural disaster. Trauma patients, transplant recipients, and those undergoing cancer treatment also depend on the generosity of blood donors.

Donating blood is easy. Appointments can be scheduled at your convenience and take about an hour. Learn more details, including eligibility requirements, by visiting Northwest Blood Coalition members’ websites:

The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection.

October 29, 2023

Trump gets fined twice for violating gag orders.
His court appearances went very badly for him,
Judge says he is not credible, a portent of things to come.
Trump to take the stand in NYC on Nov. 6th!

Trump’s big mouth has gotten him in trouble with the courts last week.
Credit: Provided by BuzzLoving via MSN.

+ Newsweek: How Donald Trump’s Meltdown in Court Unfolded


+ The Los Angeles Times: Letters to the Editor: Republicans, Trump is about to turn on you. Your ‘come to Jesus’ moment is now

Political maturity? How about a “come to Jesus” moment for Republicans? (“House Republicans need a sudden onset of political maturity. What are the chances?” Opinion, Oct. 23)

Former President Trump is going down. He’s finally run into adversaries he can’t bully, buy off or bury in lawyers.

When he goes down, his voters will blame somebody, and it won’t be him. He will make sure of that.


+ The New York Times: [accessible text] Anthony Pratt, one of Australia’s wealthiest men, made his way into Donald Trump’s inner circle with money and flattery


+ Daily Kos: 60 Minutes Australia airs tape of Australian billionaire who shared Trump’s spilled sub secrets. What he heard there has become of interest to federal prosecutors.


+ Republican Accountability: Jenna Ellis: “I failed to do my due diligence. I believe in and I value election integrity. If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post election challenges. I look back on this whole experience with deep remorse.”

[Editor’s note: Now you will have to spill the beans on Trump & Rudy to keep from going to jail, Jenna!]


+ MSNBC: Trump can’t use his impeachment to wiggle out of prosecution – The former president’s lawyers claimed his second Senate acquittal makes Jack Smith’s prosecution “double jeopardy.” That’s very incorrect.


+ CNBC: Trump storms out of fraud trial after judge clashes with his attorneys, fines him $10,000


+ CNBC: Trump attacks judge in NY fraud case who fined him $15,000


+ NBC News: Trump storms out of his civil fraud trial after facing off with foe Michael Cohen


+ NBC News Chuck Todd: Mitt Romney sounds one last alarm on Trump


+ Andrew Weissmann (weissmann11 on Threads): It’s hard to keep straight how many Trump lawyers are convicted felons now.


+ The New York Times: Trump Ordered to Pay $10,000 in New Punishment for Breaking Gag Order

Donald Trump briefly took the stand in his own defense before the judge presiding over his civil fraud trial levied the fine for violating a gag order that bars Mr. Trump from attacking court staff.

Outside Donald J. Trump’s civil fraud trial, the former president made comments to reporters that the judge found were an attack on a court employee.


+ NBC News: Judge orders Ivanka Trump to testify in $250 million fraud case


+ Salon: Trump’s Defense Imperiled as 5 More Co-Defendants Seek Fulton County Plea Deals – A legal expert described the potential deals as a “significant win” for District Attorney Fani Willis.


+ Meidas Touch Network: Judge Chutkan Puts Trump in a Box on a Televised Trial


+ The Olympian: Nearly 1 in 4 Americans say it’s OK to ‘resort to violence’ to ‘save’ country, poll says ì Thirty-eight percent of Americans believe the country needs a president “willing to break some rules,” according to the poll.


+ The ReidOut Blog: No need to vote, Trump says while signaling a dark ’24 strategy – Trump is inciting fury toward Black poll workers and calling for throngs of poll watchers in a campaign that sounds like it’s straight out of the 1920s.


+ Savvy Dime: Trump Scrambles to Return More Than $200 Million in Donor Money as His ‘Truth’ Network Fails Amid Legal Battles


+ USA Today: A Jan. 6 conviction was upheld on appeal. Why this particular ruling could affect Trump’s case.


+ Reuters: US court challenges Trump appeal in rape accuser E. Jean Carroll’s case


+ Michael Moore: Republicans Unanimously Anoint January 6th Coup Leader Who Sought to Overturn the 2020 Election Results as Our New Speaker of the House [and is fiercely loyal to Trump]


+ Raw Story: ‘Unwilling to lie?’ Trump’s refusal to face judge in ballot hearing puzzles sec. of state


+ MSNBC: America has a revenue problem. Blame George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Even though the national debt is rising, spending can’t be blamed.


+ MSNBC: Colorado secretary of state discusses Trump’s ‘deafening’ silence on state lawsuit


+ NBC News: Dates set for Trump and his adult children to testify in $250 million fraud case – The New York attorney general’s office said it plans to call Trump’s children to testify next week, while the former president will take the stand Nov. 6.


+ The Los Angeles Times: Letters to the Editor: The media’s obsession with pro-Trump cultism is killing mainstream Christianity


+ Politico: Trump lashes out at New York judge for order requiring Ivanka to testify – Trump has repeatedly attacked Judge Arthur Engoron and others involved in the case.

October 28, 2023

Halloween by the City of Yelm at 3 public buildings!

Credit: City of Yelm via The Jolt News

Trick or Treat at City of Yelm Buildings

Halloween event for the Family

From The Jolt News:

Calling all ghosts and ghouls! Yelm City Hall, Yelm Public Safety Building, and Yelm Public Services are TRICK OR TREAT central! Stop by these three spots from 1-5 on Halloween. No tricks, just treats!

Event Date
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Event time
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Cost / donation

click here

October 27, 2023

Yelm accepts public comments on Tahoma Terra expansion!

From the City of Yelm:

Click here for the site plan.

An application submitted by Tahoma Terra Holdings LLC, P.O. Box 73790 Puyallup, WA 98373 for the
above referenced project was received by the City of Yelm on 5/22/2023. The City has determined the
application to be complete on 10/24/2023. The application and any related documents are available for
public review during normal business hours at the City of Yelm, 901 Rhoton Rd. NW, Yelm WA 98597. For
additional information, please contact the Planning and Building Division at (360) 400-5003.

The applicant is proposing a mixed-use commercial/residential project comprised of two separate tax
parcels, totaling 13.72 acres. The project includes the construction of 102-unit apartment complex with
recreation amenities, a 769-unit self-storage facility, a coffee shop with drive-thru and an office building
on parcel 78640000010, and two commercial/retail buildings on parcel 78640000012.

Site Plan, Traffic Impact Analysis, Wetland Buffer, Drainage Design.
This project is an amendment to the final phase of the 2005 Tahoma Terra Master Planned Community.
No preliminary determination of consistency with City development regulations have been made. At
minimum, this project will be subject to the following plans and regulations: City of Yelm Comprehensive
Plan, Unified Development Code Title 18 YMC, and the Stormwater Management Manual for Western
The City of Yelm invites your comments early in the review of this proposal. Comments should be directed
to Andrew Kollar with Planning and Building Division, 901 Rhoton Rd. NW, Yelm WA 98597, (360) 400-
5001, or via email at andrewk@yelmwa.gov.

THE 15-DAY PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ENDS AT 5:00 P.M. November 14, 2023

This notice has been provided to appropriate local and state agencies, and property owners within 300
feet of the project site. These recipients will also receive the following items when available or if
applicable: Environmental Threshold Determination, Notice of Public Hearing and Notice of Final Decision. If the proposed project requires a City Council decision, it will be mailed to all those who participate in the public hearing and to anyone else requesting the decision in writing. Additionally, there will be a 14-day public comment period if an environmental determination is issued. Opportunities for appeal occur within twenty-one (21) days after the date the notice of decision is issued. City Council decision can be appealed through Superior Court.

October 26, 2023

Frost & freeze alerts here through the weekend!

Credit: Calee Photography

+The Olympian: The first freeze of fall is coming. Here’s how cold the Olympia area will be

Frost and Freeze Advisories in effect through Saturday morning

From the The Weather Channel:

Issued By: Seattle/Tacoma – WA, US, National Weather Service

Affected Area: Portions of northwest and west central Washington




WHAT…For the Frost Advisory, temperatures as low as 32 will result in frost formation. For the Freeze Watch, sub-freezing temperatures as low as 27 possible.

WHERE…Portions of northwest and west central Washington.

WHEN…For the Frost Advisory, from midnight tonight to 9 AM PDT Friday. For the Freeze Watch, from late Friday night through Saturday morning.

IMPACTS…Frost and freeze conditions could kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The greatest chances of frost formation will be areas away from water sources.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold. To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above- ground pipes to protect them from freezing.

October 26, 2023

Habitat for Humanity moving ahead on building homes in Yelm!

South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity

UPDATE to Yelm Habitat for Humanity’s plans to build homes here

Preliminary Plat approval request for a 22 lot subdivision along Coates Rd. between Cullen and Longmire. Credit: City of Yelm Planning Dept.

Story details posted on this blog May 11, 2022:

“Habitat for Humanity Plans to Help Revitalize Communities in Yelm Through Partnerships”

From The Chronicle:

Jonathan Thomas has been busy over the last year and a half knocking on doors and making in-roads with community organizations to determine and meet community needs in Bucoda, and now he has his sights set on Yelm.

Thomas is the neighborhood revitalization manager for the South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity. The neighborhood revitalization program is an initiative that seeks to help communities flourish by empowering residents to meet each other’s needs through shared value and community partnerships.

South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity purchased over 2 acres at 407 Longmire Ave. in Yelm in March of 2020 using the Housing Finance Commission’s Land Acquisition Program. The organization currently plans to build 22 homes in Yelm hopefully by 2025, though that goal may be extended.


Thomas said the critical home repair program ties right into neighborhood revitalization. Also, if there’s a strong, empowered community for the homes that Habitat plans to build in Yelm, that’s all for the good of everyone involved.

Read more

October 25, 2023

Thurston Regional Planning Council includes equity, climate change for 2025 plan!

At the Transportation Policy Board meeting on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, TRPC Executive Director Marc Daily presented the process for the 2025 update of the Regional Transportation Plan.
At the Transportation Policy Board meeting on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, TRPC Executive Director Marc Daily presented the process for the 2025 update of the Regional Transportation Plan. Credit: The JOLT News.

Thurston Regional Planning Council to integrate equity and climate change in the 2025 Regional Transportation Plan update process

The Thurston region was designated as a Transportation Management Area through reaching over 300,000 people in the 2020 census. He said this change in status has several implications for the Regional Transportation Plan update process.

From The JOLT News:

The Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) has begun work on updating the region’s long-range transportation plan, which guides transportation investments and policies for the next 20-25 years.

At the council’s Transportation Policy Board (TPB) meeting on Wednesday, October 11, TRPC Executive Director Marc Daily presented the process for the 2025 update of the Regional Transportation Plan, which is updated every five years to incorporate changing conditions, new projects, and updated goals and policies.

Daily said TRPC plans to work on the update over the next year and a half.  “Some of the big [updates] are really ensuring that diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and environmental justice are underpinned kind of throughout the plan,” he said.

Daily noted these areas have gained more emphasis since the last update. TRPC will be looking through the entire plan to help address how they can better include considerations around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging into the planning process.

When the plan was last updated in 2020, Daily said work on climate adaptation and mitigation was already underway. He cited that they have completed the climate mitigation plan and begun its implementation. “The current plan already has a fair amount about climate change, but we will bolster that more.”

According to Daily, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many assumptions around transportation over the past three years. He noted that the pandemic put the region on a different trajectory than planned. He said TRPC will ensure that the updated plan accurately reflects the changes in travel behaviors and patterns during the crisis.

October 25, 2023

WA. adopts standards to reduce solitary confinement!

A group of incarcerated individuals plays cards at a table.
Credit: Office of Gov. Jay Inslee

Washington adopts nation-leading standard to reduce practice of solitary confinement

From the Office of Gov. Jay Inslee:

“Today I’m 54 years old but I still go back and think about 30 years ago, how I felt when I was in that place. It still has an effect on me today,” said one formerly incarcerated person in a DOC-published video.

The Washington state Department of Corrections (DOC) committed this year to reduce the use of solitary confinement by 90% over the next five years. The agency has just published its plan to accomplish that vision with a goal to reduce recidivism. By adopting strategies to “build better neighbors,” the agency intends to reduce the odds that released individuals reoffend and return to prison.

“This plan will serve as a roadmap as we develop a nation-leading standard for the use of solitary confinement,” said DOC Secretary Cheryl Strange. “We believe these reforms will create a safer environment for both staff and the incarcerated. It will also reduce recidivism by setting up individuals for a greater chance of success when they are released.”

Most incarcerated people will walk free one day. But nearly half of those released will come right back to prison. The United States spends $52 billion on corrections each year, only to lead the world in recidivism. Solitary confinement is statistically associated with hostility, self-harm, and even mortality. At present, 400 people inside Washington prisons sit in solitary confinement on a given day.

“The research is clear on solitary confinement,” says Strange. “It causes long-lasting harm. While it can be an effective way to deter violence, spending prolonged periods of time in isolation has devastating effects on an individual’s mental and physical health long after they leave our facilities.”

The new plan quadruples meaningful out-of-cell time for incarcerated individuals in restrictive housing, and establishes new programming and staffing ratios to support alternatives to isolation. The plan does allow for solitary confinement to be used in exigent circumstances.

“We have some extremely violent individuals in our care and custody, and in some cases there is no safe alternative for housing them other than in conditions constituting solitary confinement,” said Strange. “In most cases though, we think we can avoid having to resort to using it.”

October 25, 2023

Biden Admin. announced 2 of 31 Tech Hubs will be in Washington!

Biden-Harris Administration Designates 31 Tech Hubs Across America

From Gov. Jay Inslee:

“The announcement of two new tech hubs within Washington state is a remarkable win for our state’s world-leading timber and aerospace industries. The CHIPS and Science Act is helping us build our competitive edge and we appreciate the support of our congressional delegation in ensuring President Biden’s Investing in America Act includes investments in Washington state.” – Governor Jay Inslee

From the U.S. Economic Development Administration:

Among the 31 tech hubs announced [2 are in Washington]:

WASHINGTON, DC — The Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), today announced the designation of 31 Tech Hubs in regions across the country. This is the first phase of the new Tech Hubs program, which is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technology that will advance American competitiveness.  The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers.

Tech Hubs was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which he signed into law in August 2022.  

These Tech Hubs are located across 32 states and Puerto Rico and represent a cross-section of urban and rural regions. Designation is an endorsement of the region’s plans to supercharge their respective technological industries to create jobs, strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and protect national security. The Tech Hubs announced today focus on industries ranging from autonomous systems, quantum computing, biotechnology, precision medicine, clean energy advancement, semiconductor manufacturing, and more, and highlight how the Biden Harris Administration is investing in innovation and economic growth in every region of the United States.

EDA also awarded 29 Strategy Development Grants (SDG) to help communities significantly increase local coordination and planning activities. Such development could make selected grantees more competitive for future Tech Hubs funding opportunities.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world. Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Each of these consortia will help us ensure the industries of the future—and their good-paying jobs—start, grow, and remain in the United States.”

Read the full announcement: Biden-Harris Administration Designates 31 Tech Hubs Across America


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