November 30, 2023

Amtrak adds 2 round trips between Seattle and Portland –
All trains stop at Olympia/Lacey Centennial Station!

Trains on Amtrak’s Cascades, left, and Empire Builder, right, lines are seen at King Street Station in Seattle. Credit: Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times, 2021

Amtrak to add two round trips between Seattle and Portland

Excerpt from The Seattle Times:

Amtrak Cascades is adding two new round trips between Seattle and Portland, beginning Dec. 11, for a total of six in time to accommodate increased demand over the holidays.

Both Seattle and Portland will tack on two additional departures to their schedules — one from each city in the morning and one from each in the evening.

Under the current schedule, the earliest trains leave Seattle at 7:22 a.m. and Portland at 8:20 a.m. The new schedule will add a 5:52 a.m. from Seattle and a 6:40 a.m. from Portland. The 7:22 a.m. from Seattle will move up slightly to 7:08 a.m.


In total, 12 Amtrak Cascades trains will leave from the two cities all day, a 50% increase from the eight that leave under the current schedule. The trains stop in Tukwila, Tacoma, Olympia/Lacey, Centralia, Kelso/Longview and Vancouver, Washington.

Additionally, Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train has one departure from Seattle and one from Portland each day.

In the period between October 2022 and September 2023, the Amtrak Cascades saw a 71% increase compared to the same stretch of time last year.

“As we increase options for our Pacific Northwest customers, we are thrilled to expand scheduled service to meet customers’ rising demand for train travel,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris.

November 30, 2023

The 2023 Sports Awards include Kyler Ronquillo and Yelm High’s Football team

Mitch Lewis, the 2023 Sports Awards keynote speaker, addressed the audience with a talk about his experience climbing Mount Everest and running marathons at some of the world’s highest altitudes.
Photo courtesy of Engage Olympia via The JOLT News

Local athletes and community members honored for outstanding achievements in sports for 2023

The JOLT News:

The 2023 Sports Awards, hosted by the Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission, was held at South Puget Sound Community College on November 9 to honor the outstanding achievements of local athletes with seven community sports awards.

The awarding ceremony was attended by 150 guests consisting of the nominees, their families, coaches, sports enthusiasts, and friends who witnessed the celebration of local men and across the field of sports.

According to Jeff Bowe, Vice President of Sales and Development for the Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission, leaders who advocate good mental and physical health through sports activity make a healthy sports community.

“ Sports Awards is a celebration of those accomplishments – from those who organize sports events to the athletes who participate in them,” Bowe said in a press release.

Sports Moment of the Year

The Sports Moment of the Year goes out to Kyler Ronquillo and the Yelm High School Football team.

Yelm High School won their first football state championship, sealed by a last-minute touchdown catch from Kyler Ronquillo.

This winning moment etched Yelm High School’s name in the championship record books, amassing over one million online views and securing a spot in the prestigious highlights of ESPN.

November 29, 2023

Yelm Chamber’s ribbon cutting for PT2 Excel,
Thursday, November 30th, 4:30pm.

Credit: Yelm Chamber of Commerce

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for PT2 Excel Physical Therapy

From the Yelm Chamber of Commerce notice:

The Yelm Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce the ribbon-cutting ceremony for PT2 Excel’s new location! 

Date: November 30, 2023

Time: 4:30 PM

Location: 108 4th Street, Yelm, WA 98597

Join us in celebrating this exciting moment as we commemorate the official opening of PT2 Excel’s new establishment. As a vital part of our community, your presence will make this event truly special.

Let’s come together and celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and growth within our community! Your support means the world to us.

Let’s make this ribbon-cutting ceremony a memorable celebration! 

About PT2 Excel

November 29, 2023

Yelm High’s fake bomb threat traced to NY juvenile suspect!

Credit Getty Images, via The Olympian.

Detectives trace fake bomb threat against Yelm High School to out-of-state address

Excerpt from The Olympian:

Police say they have traced a fake bomb threat against Yelm High School to a juvenile suspect in New York.

The suspect allegedly left a voicemail at the school Monday that indicated a “potential bomb threat by another student,” according to a news release from the Yelm Police Department.

Yelm Police School Resource Officers reportedly learned of the threat at 3 p.m. Monday. Detectives learned it was a hoax within two hours, then worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to trace the number to a New York address, according to the news release.

The detectives then devised a plan with New York State Police to contact a juvenile suspect at the address.

The news release says New York State Police “executed an operation” to contact the juvenile and successfully reached him at about 8 p.m. Monday. The Yelm Police post says the juvenile was “apprehended.”

Read more here

November 29, 2023

Service members involuntarily discharged for refusing COVID Shots may be owed billions!

Credit: Children’s Health Defense

Military Could Owe Billions to Service Members Involuntarily Discharged for Refusing COVID Shots

The U.S. military could owe billions in back pay and legal fees depending on the outcome of three class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of service members who allege they were wrongfully discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.

Excerpt from Children’s Health Defense:

The U.S. military could owe billions in back pay and legal fees depending on the outcome of three class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of service members who allege they were wrongfully discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.

Among the claims made by the plaintiffs are that the military could not legally mandate vaccines issued under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), as was the case with the COVID-19 vaccines, and that it was nearly impossible for service members requesting a religious exemption to have those requests approved

Dale Saran, who is the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told Fox Business his legal team represents “basically everybody who got kicked out, discharged or dropped to the IRR [individual ready reserve] as a result of not taking the vaccine.”

This could include more than 100,000 former service members, according to the plaintiffs’ legal team, led by Saran and two other attorneys: Brandon Johnson and J. Andrew Meyer.

It’s unclear how many service members were involuntarily discharged for refusing the vaccine, but estimates range from more than 8,000 to just under 2,000.

Fox News last week reported, “thousands of troops unsuccessfully sought religious exemptions from the inoculation, including 8,945 soldiers, 10,800 airmen and guardians, 4,172 sailors, and 3,717 Marines.”

Regardless of the actual number, the U.S. Army is trying to get members who were involuntarily discharged to reenlist, according to an undated letter that surfaced last week.

November 28, 2023

November 7th’s General Election results now certified –
Two newly elected Yelm city council members sworn in!

Ballots being sorted, photo November 7, 2022.
Credit: Sage Hamilton via The JOLT News.

Canvassing Board Certifies General Election

Excerpt from the Thurston County Auditor’s Office: 

OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Canvassing Board certified the November 7, 2023, General Election.  

Final official election results can be found at


+ The JOLT News: Official December 7 election results are in, Thurston County commissioners sworn in – Thurston County officially announced the November 7 General Election results earlier today, with only one position withheld for a recount. Four Thurston County commissioner positions were sworn into their respective positions. Another will be shortly.


  • Editor’s note: Newly elected Yelm city council members sworn in November 28 are Position 1’s Tracey Wood returning for a 4th term, and his colleague Trevor Palmer in Position 6. Wood won by 23 votes, Palmer won by 12 votes.
  • Roughly 1,200 voters in a city of 10,600+ residents voted for the 3 city council posts respectively. That’s pathetic!

November 28, 2023

Cold, dry, foggy conditions to persist until Thursday!

The Washington State Capitol pops out of the fog on a freezing morning as seen from Overlook Point Park in Tumwater, Washington, on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. Credit: Tony Overman, The Olympian.

Fog on Puget Sound and more cool, dry weather ahead. Here’s the South Sound forecast

Excerpt from The News Tribune (Tacoma) via MSN:

The weather has stayed cool and dry this Thanksgiving weekend in the South Sound, and forecasts say the conditions are here to stay into the beginning of next week.


The National Weather Service’s Seattle office wrote on social media site X that if the weather stays dry until the start of December, it will be only the fourth time in 79 years that the last week of November is dry.

Dry weather will remain the norm at least through Wednesday, according to the NWS. Low temperatures will stay in the low 30s, with high temps in the mid-40s.

The next chance of rain will come Thursday, the last week of November, forecasts say. There’s also a chance for some snow Thursday night, and a greater chance of rain Friday.

November 27, 2023

Yelm’s debt rating raised To ‘AA’ On financial performance!

Downtown Yelm.
Photo credit: NewsBreak

Yelm, WA Debt Rating Raised To ‘AA’ On Financial Performance, Improved Indicators; Outlook Stable

Excerpt from S&P Global Ratings:

S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term rating to ‘AA’ from ‘AA-‘ on Yelm, Wash.’s series 2012 limited-tax general obligation (GO) bonds outstanding.

“The raised rating reflects our view of the city’s recent strong financial performance, which continues to support its very strong cash-basis available fund balances, as well as our view of its improved income indicators and continuing economic growth, which we view as sustainable,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Cenisa Gutierrez.

The outlook is stable.

Yelm is a bedroom community for residents working in the surrounding cities of Tacoma, Olympia, and Centralia and is one of the fastest-growing cities in Washington State, with a population that management expects to grow from about 10,770 currently to nearly 25,000 by 2040. Ongoing development within the city has contributed to very strong assessed value growth, including a 30% increase over the last two years, reflecting the residential and commercial development.

November 27, 2023

Yelm ranked among “America’s Worst Places to Live” –
Increase in property crimes, rapid growth are contributing factors!

Source: Rising*From*Ashes / Wikimedia Commons via 247 Wall St.

Small City in Washington State Ranked Among America’s Worst Places to Live

Excerpt from NewsBreak:

Washington State, renowned for its lush landscapes and vibrant cities, unfortunately, harbors some less desirable places to live. Amidst its many appealing locales, a small city has emerged as a stark contrast, earning an unwelcome distinction. According to a comprehensive study by 24/7 Wall Street, Yelm, Washington, has been named the worst place to live in the state.

Yelm’s journey from a rapidly growing city at the dawn of the 21st century to its current status is a tale of change and challenges. Located in Thurston County, Yelm’s population stands at 10,617. This city, once a symbol of growth and potential, now faces issues that overshadow its development.


Interestingly, Yelm’s primary struggle isn’t with poverty or violent crime rates, which are common issues in many cities deemed less livable. Instead, Yelm’s challenge lies in its significantly high property crime rate.


Living in a city with high ratings doesn’t necessarily equate to personal happiness; however, factors like high crime rates, poverty, and limited employment opportunities can significantly detract from the quality of life. Yelm’s situation is a clear example of how a single predominant issue, like property crime, can drastically impact a city’s livability and reputation.

Click here to read the full story.

Worst Cities to Live in Every State

Excerpt from 247 Wall St.:

Washington: Yelm
> Population: 8,425 [actually 10,680 says the Yelm Chamber of Commerce]
> Median home value: $220,100 (state: $286,800)
> Poverty rate: 13.4% (state: 12.2%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 258 (state: 304)

Though residents of Yelm, Washington, are far less likely to live below the poverty line or be the victim of a violent crime than those in most cities on this list, other conditions in the city detract from quality of life. For example, property crime — a broad category that includes burglary and motor vehicle theft — is relatively common in Yelm. The city’s property crime rate of 5,750 incidents per 100,000 in 2017 was nearly the highest of any city in the state and well above the U.S property crime rate of 2,362 per 100,000.

Unlike most cities on this list that are growing relatively slowly or losing residents in recent years, Yelm is growing rapidly. Over the last five years, the number of people living in the city increased by a staggering 24.6%. Over the same period, the U.S. population expanded by just 3.8%.

November 26, 2023

New York Times: The Trump threat is growing,
Lawyers must rise to meet this moment!

“Trump’s Thanksgiving”
Credit: Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Trump’s clear and present dangers grow everyday

+ The New York Times (accessible text): The Trump Threat Is Growing. Lawyers Must Rise to Meet This Moment.


+ MSNBC’s Deadline White House: Donald Trump’s worst day yet in the New York civil fraud trial


+ MSNBC’s Velshi: ‘Simply incorrect’: Judge Luttig and Tribe react to Judge’s decision to reject Trump 14th Amendment challenge – Judge J. Michael Luttig and Laurence Tribe join Ali Velshi to discuss the Colorado judge’s “historic” decision to reject the bid to keep Trump off the ballot in 2024 and why they believe the ruling is “incorrect as a matter of constitutional law.” “The whole rule of law would be shredded if we said that the president is above the law because his oath, because of its wording, exempts him from the most fundamental requirement of law: that when your term is up you leave. It’s only dictators who stay as long,” Tribe explains. “That’s why the fate of the United States and democracies around the world is at stake in whether Donald Trump is allowed ever again to take the oath to support the constitution.. He’s clearly not going to mean it. That’s the scary part.”


+ Truthout: Trump Falsely Claims DOJ Is Corrupt for Charging Him But Not Biden in Docs Cases – Trump had stashed thousands of documents, including more than 300 marked classified, at his Mar-a-Lago residence.


+ Newsweek: Donald Trump Stung by Court Filing on Thanksgiving


+ The New York Times (accessible text): Trump’s Dire Words Raise New Fears About His Authoritarian Bent – The former president is focusing his most vicious attacks on domestic political opponents, setting off fresh worries among autocracy experts.


+ MSNBC’s Inside with Jen Psaki: Cassidy Hutchinson: Trump ‘absolutely’ knows the impact of his words


+ MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Blog: Trump’s ‘vermin’ talk creates test for GOP, which it’s failing


+ MSNBC: Trump is about to learn the truth about the First Amendment


+ MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: Like all the dashboard warning lights going off: Confluence of developments make for scary times – Rachel Maddow looks at the rise in hate groups and threatening behavior happening as world affairs are increasingly bleak and right-wing politics takes a turn toward fascism, and remarks, “Obviously, this is serious.” 


+ MSNBC: Trump is about to learn the truth about the First AmendmentPlacing the former president under a gag order is the only way the full truth can come out.


+ MSNBC: How Cassie and E. Jean Carroll got justice — and just in time – The Adult Survivors Act, a bill that I introduced, has rightfully shifted the paradigm of how society views sexual violence in New York state.


+ Truthout: Colorado Supreme Court Agrees to Hear 14th Amendment Case to Disqualify Trump – A district court judge last week ruled Trump was an insurrectionist but could still run for president.


+ MSNBC’s Katie Phang: Judge Luttig: Trump’s goal of ‘de-legitimizing’ democratic institutions is working – Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig discusses the organization he’s formed with other conservative legal minds to protect the constitution and nation from what he describes as a clear and present danger – Donald J. Trump.


+ MSNBC: How Trump is turning an evangelical ruse into a campaign of political terror


+ MSNBC: Trump’s newest rhetoric highlight his sinister shift since 2016


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