February 29, 2024

Report: Washington positioned to capitalize on demand for hydrogen!

Gov. Jay Inslee, centers, explains the longterm benefits of a push for green energy, during a roundtable at Centralia College on Friday, Jan. 19. To the right of Inslee is his wife, Trudi, and to his left is Lisa Grant, the Superintendent of the Centralia School District. Credit: The Chronicle.

Report finds Washington positioned to capitalize on demand for hydrogen

Excerpt from The Chronicle:

A recent report from the state Department of Commerce found Washington can position itself as a leader in green hydrogen as the state looks to further reduce reliance on fossil fuels in the coming decades.

Takeaways in the report, which was released on Jan. 5, include findings that demand for clean electrolytic hydrogen will continue to increase, and a need to “rapidly scale up production of green hydrogen” through electrolysis and the push for green hydrogen production provides a “critical opportunity to create more equitable outcomes.”

“Green hydrogen is a critical tool in Washington’s decarbonization toolkit and we must use it wisely,” said Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement Monday [Feb. 26.]. “Since we need significant amounts of clean electricity to produce hydrogen, we know we must target the most critical sectors that are harder to decarbonize, such as industrial uses and heavy transportation. This report helps chart a path for us to deploy hydrogen in the most strategic ways for our economy while building a more just energy future for all Washingtonians.”

“Frankly, people don’t think of Lewis County as the origin of great, high technology,” Inslee said during a visit to Centralia College in January, where officials touted their efforts to increase hydrogen education and training in Lewis County. “They need to understand; that is what is happening. And it’s happening because of you and this team really showing local leadership. That’s why it’s happening. It’s not coming from New York or Washington, D.C. It’s coming from right here.”


February 28, 2024

Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, not running for re-election!

Rep. J.T. Wilcox, Official portrait

Long-time Washington Republican not running for re-election

Excerpt from KVI 570 radio, Seattle:

Washington state Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election. [his term is up in 2025.]

“By the end of this term, I will have spent 14 years serving in the WA House of Representatives,” he said in an email. “That’s enough.”

Wilcox was first elected to the House in 2010, representing Washington’s 2nd Legislative District that runs mostly east-west along the southern portion of Pierce County but also includes parts of Thurston County, including Yelm and Lacey.

In March 2018, Wilcox was elected minority leader by the House Republican Caucus, following the retirement of Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish. Wilcox resigned from his position as minority leader at the close of the 2023 legislative session and was replaced by Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn.

Wilcox, 61, was born in Yelm and grew up on a family farm in rural Pierce County, which he still calls home. He graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in history.

He was employed for nearly a quarter-century at his family farm business, Wilcox Farms, as an operations manager before serving as chief operating officer and then chief financial officer.

Wilcox praised the current House Republican caucus as “the best version of this caucus that I’ve ever served with.”

He did lament what he characterized as the rise of partisan politics in the Legislature.


February 28, 2024

Supreme Court takes up Trump’s immunity claim –
while his election interference trial will remain on hold!

Trump. Credit: Doug Mills, The New York Times

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Trump’s Immunity Claim, Setting Arguments for April

The former president’s trial on charges of plotting to subvert the 2020 election will remain on hold while the justices consider the matter.

Excerpt from The New York Times:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether former President Donald J. Trump is immune from prosecution on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election.

The justices scheduled arguments for the week of April 22 and said proceedings in the trial court would remain frozen while they considered the matter.

The court’s brief order said the court will decide this question: “Whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.”

The Supreme Court’s response to Mr. Trump’s bid for delay had taken on increasing urgency because its ultimate resolution would determine whether and how quickly Mr. Trump could go to trial. That, in turn, could affect his election prospects and, should he be re-elected, his ability to scuttle the prosecution.

In an emergency application asking the Supreme Court to intervene, Mr. Trump said a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had been wrong to rule that he may be criminally charged for his conduct as president. Total immunity for his official conduct, Mr. Trump’s application said, is required by the separation of powers, implicit in procedures for impeaching the president and needed to prevent partisan misuse of the criminal justice system.

Confused about the inquiries and legal cases involving former President Donald Trump? We’re here to help.


February 28, 2024

Nisqually Springs Farm now on the market for 328 days,
The 347 acre Schorno Family property is listed for $25 Million!

Credit: Nisqually Springs Farm, Facebook.

Click here for the listing from Farm and Ranch. Listing dated April 6, 2023.

374.07 Acres in Yelm, WA – $25,000,000

Nisqually Springs Farm

The Nisqually Springs Farm has it all! 2 miles +/- of riverfront on the Nisqually River. Approx 270 acres of irrigated crop ground with sandy loam soils and 6 newer irrigation pivots and 3 water rights certificates currently in use. The farm is USDA certified international export facility for livestock with newer corrals and hydraulic chutes. The main home is almost finished going through an impressive remodel to include extensive upgrades

Land

The 270 irrigated acres of sandy loam soils allow for a growing season starting March and lasting through the end of the growing season do to the road system and sandy loam soils allowing for early access to planting. Ecological Assets Assessment can enhance future revenue streams substantially for use as a mitigation bank. The report presents a total gross value of roughly $21.7M in present day ecological asset value available for development as mitigation credits on roughly 107 acres of the Property. This value includes $12.8M in wetland mitigation credits (on 65 acres), $8.1M in salmonid conservation credits (34 acres), and $850K in Oregon white oak conservation credits on about 7 acres.

Improvements

The main home on the farm is over 3600 sq ft and is going through and extensive remodel with impressive upgrades. There are 2 other remodeled homes located on the farm that are located on the banks of the Nisqually River that would make great Airbnb rentals or farm managers housing. The farm is a USDA certified international export facility for livestock. There are newer corrals, hydraulic chutes, holding and sorting areas as well as top of the line loading chute. The wedding venue with full Mt Rainier view is impressive when the mountain is in full view. 2 horse barns with 10 stalls each and an indoor arena plus numerous other outbuildings are just a few of the amenities this farm has to offer.


February 28, 2024

Mitch McConnell to step down as Senate leader,
“The Old Guard” Republicans continue to flee Congress.
McConnell’s legacy is tainted by acquiescence to Trump!

Mitch McConnell (R- KY.). has been in Congress 40 years, 17 years as Senate Leader.
Credit: Brendan Smialowski, AFP via Getty Images file on N
BC News.

Sen. Mitch McConnell will step down as Republican leader at the end of the year

+ WATCH: McConnell announces he will step down as GOP leader

+ Mitch McConnell and Trump aides have been discussing an endorsement for the former president


  • Editor’s note: McConnell has acquiesced to Donald Trump in the sunset of his career – his legacy has been tainted by having done so.
  • Refused to allow Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merritt Garland to get a floor vote in February of an election year after Justice Scalia died, yet rushed through the nomination of Justice Barrett in October of an election year after Justice Ginsburg died.
  • McConnell’s stacking of the courts by placing conservative judges on the federal bench and three justices on the Supreme Court, who overturned Roe vs. Wade.
  • McConnell refused to vote to impeach Donald Trump the 2nd time saying the criminal courts can handle his malfeasance after he leaves office. Though he blamed the January 6th insurrection on Mr. Trump, he voted against convicting him on impeachment grounds. Since 91 counts have been charged against Trump, McConnell has been silent.
  • McConnell helped enact a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax package in 2017 that slashed corporate rates, yet has been largely quiet on more pressing social issues for American citizens.

Except from NBC News:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will step down from the helm of the Republican Conference this year, ending his time as the longest-serving leader in Senate history.

The Kentucky Republican, who has served as GOP leader since 2007, made his announcement in a Senate floor speech Wednesday. An election to replace him as leader will occur in November with his successor taking charge in January.

======

McConnell is regarded by colleagues as an effective political tactician and one of the most influential lawmakers in Washington. With President Donald Trump, McConnell helped enact a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax package in 2017 that slashed corporate rates, provided new breaks for private businesses and reorganized the individual tax code.

And he shepherded three conservative Supreme Court nominees — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — through the Senate confirmation process, reshaping the judiciary and American society. That court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, ending the national right to abortion.

But McConnell’s once formidable influence over the Senate GOP has dimmed over the last year as the conference becomes more aligned with Trump who has a famously frosty relationship with the Republican leader and recently said he didn’t think he could work with McConnell if he’s re-elected president. The Republican conference has recently broken with McConnell on matters like Ukraine aid and a bipartisan border security deal. And his critics had promised he would face a challenge if he sought to run again for the leader position.


February 28, 2024

Congratulations to Roy’s Jenefeness Franke:
1st Black Woman honored for supporting Black Owned Businesses in WA.!

Jenefeness Franke is from Roy, according to her Linked-in profile.

First Black Woman Honored for Exceptional Advocacy in Supporting Black-Owned Businesses in Washington State

From the Washington Economic Development Association Press Release:

Jenefeness Franke Celebrated as Economic Development Advocate of the Year by WEDA

Marking a historic milestone in its advocacy for diversity and economic inclusivity, the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA) is delighted to honor Jenefeness Franke with the distinguished Economic Development Advocate of the Year award. This accolade recognizes Franke as the first Black woman to receive this prestigious title, celebrating her transformative work alongside numerous partners to foster a more equitable entrepreneurial landscape in Washington State.

A beacon of progress in economic development, Jenefeness Franke has spearheaded initiatives to elevate black-owned businesses with the Black-Owned Business Excellence (BOBE) since 2019. Her holistic approach marries inclusive strategies with a steadfast dedication to community upliftment, marking significant advances toward equal opportunities for BIPOC-owned enterprises in the area. Franke, along with a devoted team, has dedicated innumerable volunteer hours to lead BOBE’s endeavors.

Nominations for Franke came from esteemed peers Orlantha Coleman of the Minority Business Development Agency and Shana Barehand of the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services. Coleman remarked, “Jenefeness Franke is the embodiment of economic development excellence, tirelessly working towards equality and opportunities for minority business owners. Her cooperative method not only enriches our business landscape but also lays down a blueprint for future generations of entrepreneurs. We are thrilled to acknowledge her outstanding contributions and anticipate the ongoing positive effects of her efforts.”

**About BOBE:** A volunteer-powered 501c3 entity, BOBE thrives on the support from over a dozen organizations orchestrating a comprehensive events calendar. Collaborators include the Seattle Public Library, Washington State’s Small Business Development Center, UW Foster School of Business, and various civic and business entities alongside state and city government agencies dedicated to the progress of BIPOC businesses. This collective aims to serve as a leading, trusted network for Black-owned enterprises in Washington State, joining forces with a variety of organizations to guarantee fair resource distribution and promote communal prosperity. Through united efforts and strategic alliances, they endeavor to provide businesses with essential resources, knowledge, and opportunities for growth and success, championing economic empowerment, diversity, and social justice towards a state where the promise of Black-owned businesses is fully acknowledged and celebrated.

In addition to her pivotal role with BOBE, Franke’s commitment to nurturing future entrepreneurs shines through her work as a professor and faculty coordinator at Seattle Central College. Her contributions have been vital in dismantling barriers, enhancing inclusivity, and catalyzing economic progress with an emphasis on diversity and equity. “BOBE was founded in response to a community need for advocacy and access to resources. It continues to make a meaningful difference for minority businesses across Washington. I am deeply honored to receive this award, which reflects not only my personal journey but also the collective dedication of countless individuals and organizations committed to our shared mission.”

Franke will be formally recognized at the WEDA 2024 Winter Conference, an acknowledgment of her unwavering dedication and an inspiration for all who strive to create a more inclusive economic sphere.

**About WEDA:** The Washington Economic Development Association is a non-profit entity devoted to fostering economic development and vitality throughout Washington. WEDA facilitates business growth and economic inclusivity statewide through networking, education, advocacy, and collaborative projects.


February 27, 2024

Rainer Education Foundation’s Auction for Education is March 23rd!

Rainier Education Foundation


February 26, 2024

Love Abounds Here calls on Yelm citizens’ support at Tuesday’s council session!

Credit: Love Abounds Here

Love Abounds Here asks for your support at Tuesday’s council session

From Yelm’s Love Abounds Here:

  • Editor’s note: Yelm’s Love Abounds Here supports the homeless in opening shelters during inclement weather events and sponsors the Yelm Community Resource Fair [an event for organizations to connect with residents of Yelm and the surrounding area. Focusing on health, wellness, safety, and well-being.]

Among the many things we do to support the effort of helping those in need has been bringing the issues to the Yelm City Council.

In 2023, those city council members seated at the time acted upon one of the 2019 Yelm Homelessness Task Force’s recommendations and implemented the Yelm Homelessness Committee as a standing committee on the city council. This committee first met in August 2023 and has had a few monthly meetings since. The committee is designed to keep city council members and city staff informed about continually emerging needs of the diverse population of people in Yelm who are in dire situations regarding their housing status.

In light of recent derogatory public comments by newly elected council members, we feel this committee is in danger of being disbanded.

We would appreciate your attendance at the next Yelm City Council meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, February 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Yelm City Hall.

If you would like to make a 3 minute public comment in support of this committee, please sign in to do so as you arrive. If you do not plan to speak, please consider attending as we fill the room with concerned citizens who feel that the city should continue to take responsibility on matters related to the lack of affordable housing and concepts related to treating all citizens, regardless of their housing status, with respect.

======

Update from Suzy LeFurgey:

The City of Yelm has withdrawn the pre-reserved dates to use the community center for the rest of the year on the last Wednesday of each month. After 2.5 years of hosting this event, Love Abounds Here has built relationships with social service agencies that build into their mission outreach throughout the county. Many report disappointment in the City of Yelm for this action. Love Abounds Here has moved this effort to the Emanuel Lutheran church just one block away. The event’s name will be rebranded. The first event will be Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. at the church at 206 3rd St. SE, Yelm, WA 98597. In our opinion, if the city chooses to begin not addressing the issue of homelessness and homeless prevention as it has in the past with initiatives recommended by their own Yelm Homelessness Task Force and the recommendations of their own, current and in peril Yelm Homelessness Committee, currently homeless and low income citizens in peril of losing their homes still matter. EVERYONE deserves basic respect.


February 26, 2024

Ballots, Drop Boxes now available for March 12th Presidential Primary!

Thurston County voting drop box.
Credit: The Olympian.

From the Office of the Thurston County Auditor:

Ballots Available and Ballot Drop Boxes Open for the March 12 Presidential Primary Election 

OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Auditor’s Elections Division mailed more than 190,000 ballots to voters in the county for the March 12 Presidential Primary Election.  

Any registered voter who thinks they should have received a ballot, but hasn’t by Wednesday, February 28 should contact the Elections Division at 360.786.5408 or elections@co.thurston.wa.us. Ballots for military and overseas voters registered in Thurston County were mailed on Friday, January 26.  

Seventeen-year-olds who will turn 18 by November 5, 2024, are eligible to vote in the Presidential Primary Election. These “Primary Only Voters,” who have pre-registered, will automatically receive a ballot, similar to any other voter. If you will turn 18 by the November 5 General Election but have not yet pre-registered, you can register by March 12 and participate in the Presidential Primary Election. See below for voting center information. 

The Elections Division opened 30 secure ballot drop boxes throughout the county. A list of ballot drop box locations and addresses is included in the mailed ballot materials and online at ThurstonWAVotes.gov. Returning your ballot in a drop box is the most secure way to return your ballot. 

Mailed ballots must be postmarked by March 12. Voters are advised to check mailboxes for pickup times to make sure their ballots will be postmarked by Election Day. No stamp is needed to mail your ballot. If you miss your mail pickup time, ballot drop boxes are open until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 (Election Day). 

The Thurston County Auditor’s Elections Division is a designated voting center beginning February 21. The Voting Center at the Lacey Library will open March 4. Both voting centers will be open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. March 12 (Election Day). Voters may register to vote, update their current registration, obtain a ballot, or use a voting assistance device at the Voting Center. See the chart below for dates and times. Contact the Elections Division for more information.  

Voting Centers 
Need to register to vote or update your address? Need a ballot? Need election information, including voters’ pamphlets? Need to use the Expressvote™ an accessible voting device? We are here for you! 
Locations Address Voter Services Days & Hours 
Thurston County Auditor’s Office, Elections Division 2400 Evergreen Park Dr SW Feb 21 through Mar 11  
Monday – Friday  Election Day, Mar 12 
  8 am – 4:30 pm  8 am – 8 pm 
Voting Center at the Lacey Library 500 College St SE Mar 4 to Mar 11 
Monday – Friday  
Election Day, Mar 12 
  10 am – 4 pm  8 am – 8 pm  
(Library services 10 am – 6 pm) 

### 


February 25, 2024

Trump civil fraud case officially entered at $454 million –
Plus $112 thousand in daily interest until paid!
Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial to start March 25

Former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his civil business fraud trial on November 06, 2023 in New York City. A Wisconsin ethics commission delivered a blow to a Trump PAC supporting his 2024 campaign. Credit: Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images via MSN.

Trump owes $454 million plus interest in fraud case + $83 million in E. Jean Carroll case

+ MSNBC: $454,156,783.05 — That’s how much Trump is on the hook for in his civil fraud case – The former president has a 30-day window to appeal or post a bond, which will also likely be incredibly costly.

[Note: Effective Friday, February 23, 2024, “The interest on the judgment against Trump will increase at a daily rate of $111,983.86 until it’s paid off, according to the AG’s office.”]

======

+ NBC News: Judgment in Trump civil fraud case officially entered at $464 million – Former President Donald Trump and his company will be hit with an extra $111,000 in interest a day until the judgment is paid.

======

+ Daily Beast: Donald Trump’s Cash Crunch Just Got Much, Much Worse – New federal campaign finance filings reveal that Trump is burning through donors’ funds as he struggles to fund his legal defense and his 2024 campaign.

======

+ Newsweek: GOP Official Refuses to Pay Donald Trump Legal Expenses With RNC Funds

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+ Newsweek: Republican Deals Major Blow to Donald Trump PAC – A political action committee (PAC) supporting Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign was dealt a blow by Wisconsin’s bipartisan ethics commission, which recommended it face criminal charges for allegedly trying to circumvent campaign finance laws to support a challenger to an anti-Trump Republican.

======

+ MSNBC’s Maddow Blog: What it means for Trump if Cohen testifies and Weisselberg does not – At the former president’s upcoming hush money trial, the two witnesses most knowledgeable about his alleged involvement and intent could not be more differently situated.

+ MSNBC’s Dealdine White House: ‘Borders on pathological’: Michael Cohen reacts to judge trashing Trump in $355 million bomb

======

+ The New York Times: Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial to start March 25


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