October 19, 2021

Exclusive: Former Yelm staffer on crisis at city hall –
* City Admin. Grayum should be on administrative leave,
* Mayor Foster should be censured by the council!
* Yelm’s Protocol Manual not followed!

  • Editor’s note: With the recent revelation of sexual harassment and intimidation allegations against City Administrator Michael Grayum made public on September 17, 2021, hearing from a city employee who was there is important for constituents to understand what occurred.
  • I recently connected with two former city employees willing to share their observations.
  • One of them agreed to an interview for publication, below.
  • Due to an independent, third party investigation, this person’s name will remain anonymous.
  • Although I rarely post anonymous interviews, I am in this case because I verbally verified the context of these allegations with 2 officials.
  • While some readers may think this is an employee with an agenda, the Staff Representative for the Washington State Council of County and City Employees (Council 2, AFSCME, AFL-CIO) sent a letter to Mayor Foster and the Yelm city council specifying several women “felt they were being harassed and working under a Hostile Work Environment.”
  • As standard operating procedure, the city’s supervisory personnel are placed on administrative leave during an independent investigation. As of last week, Mr. Grayum was still on the job, even invited to participate at the council session, which was totally inappropriate.
  • That Mayor Foster has continued to allow Grayum in his post, and in not following the Yelm Protocol Manual, requires he be censured by the council.
  • Foster is not demanding the highest standard of ethics from appointed officials, as the Yelm Protocol Manual states: “It is the policy of the City of Yelm to uphold, promote, and demand the highest standards of ethics from all of its elected and appointed officials. Accordingly, all elected officials, members of all appointed boards, commissions, committees, City employees, consultants and professional service providers are expected to maintain the utmost standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty and fairness in carrying out their public duties; avoid any improprieties in their roles as public servants; and never use their City position or powers for personal gain.”
  • I appreciate this employee bringing forth these observations, in the public’s interests.


  • As I mentioned, I would like to ask you some questions to establish for the public what occurred, as follows:

    Part I
  • 1. You worked for the City of Yelm for 4.5 years. In what departments and what time-frame did you work in each department. 
  • I worked for the City of Yelm from February 2017 to July 2021. In that time frame, I began as an accounting assistant in the Finance department. In September 2019, I believe was the time frame I moved to an Administrative Assistant in the Executive department until I left [Yelm employment] in July 2021.

    2. Were you ever directly supervised by City Administrator Michael Grayum?
  • The only time I was supervised by “MG” was when our direct supervisor was on time off or in between employees. (From what you have previously reported, there’s been an excessive amount of employee turnover in the last 5 years.)

    3. Did you witness the allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation by Mr. Grayum?
  • I didn’t directly experience sexual harassment and my belief is he knew I was experienced in government settings, having 9 prior years experience, and with my personality, I always said “scrape the sugar coat and say it like it is.” He was very aware I stood my ground on things. I definitely did hear of and witness others experiencing intimidation on several accounts.

    4. Did you witness the allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation by Mr. Grayum with more than one staff person? Did you hear of others that you did not witness?
  • Yes, I witnessed more than one employee being intimated and hearing of people experiencing sexual harassment. 

    5. If so, did you report your observations to your supervisor and/or to Mayor Foster?
  • I encouraged said individuals to document this because in my previous employment prior to Yelm, I had to go through a similar investigation. And the lack of documentation is definitely important under these situations. I had spoken to our union president and shop steward and we tried to have said employees report it, but it didn’t go anywhere and I knew going to Mayor Foster would do nothing because he doesn’t want to be involved in difficult situations or decisions.


6. Were you the recipient of Mr. Grayum’s sexual harassment and/or intimidation? If so, are you willing to explain either?

  • I was never sexually harassed or intimated or I would happily speak of it.

7. Do you have any knowledge whether Mr. Grayum limited his intimidation only towards women, or were men (more than one?) on staff also the recipient(s) of “any improprieties in his role as a public servant,” quoting the Yelm Protocol Manual?

  • I saw an equal amount of both genders to be honest. But it was all out of power knowing he scared the daylights out of people. He most certainly used his power to intimate employees.

8. The level of staff turnover in the last 5 years has been on the high side, bordering on excessive. Are you aware of fellow staff members leaving City of Yelm employment to remove themselves from what former Finance Director Joe Wolfe called a “toxic” workspace in 2019?

  • Absolutely. The workplace was far more of a click of “mean girls” in my honest opinion. The city never intended of taking care of employee’s, only the ones kissing management’s behind. Michael Grayum, Kathy Linnemeyer, Lori Lucas, Mayor Foster, Grant Beck and Karen Bennett are apart of that circle. (Very unfortunate both of the human resources employees are in that circle.)

9. Was the toxic work environment the number one cause of fellow staff members leaving city employment, to your knowledge?

  • Yes absolutely the reason to my knowledge. If you weren’t apart of the vicious circle in City of Yelm you were treated less than and it wasn’t fun to say the least.

10. Did you leave the city’s employment because of intimidation and/or a toxic workplace? Were you angry to be put in such a position as to look for another job? Did you share that reason in an exit interview?

  • Absolutely, the toxic workplace was horrible. Kathy Linnemeyer was my direct supervisor before I left and we never saw eye to eye, so we didn’t work well together. She had several spats of anger that were witnessed, and one day when she did this, the mayor walked out of his closed office and didn’t stick around to resolve the issue, when no other managers or human resources employees were around. When I called the mayor at home during work about the situation putting us employees in a weird situation, he stated I needed to talk to her or human resources. But how does someone do that when the place is corrupt and the mayor has the power to do the right thing???

11. I would like to focus on Mayor Foster’s leadership in supporting staff. Foster told the Nisqually Valley News as a 2017 mayoral candidate that his top priority if elected was to, “Take care of the employees who take care of Yelm,” Did he do that, or seemingly only in covering for City Administrator Grayum?

  • He never took care of us minions that weren’t part of that circle. He was always so focused at looking good in the spotlight and letting Michael Grayum take care of the rest or rather not.

12. Did Foster meet with other staff members, offering his time as a committed listener? There is an allegation that Foster merely shoved all of this under the carpet to keep his reputation/legacy intact as he leaves office at the end of the year. In what you saw, do you support that allegation?

  • I 100% believe this is exactly what he did. He claimed to be a listening ear, but when it comes down to being a part of the tough decisions, he refuses to have his name involved, which is horrible. I watched 2 managers be fired at the previous city where I worked, and the Mayor was thrown under the bus for making those tough decisions that had to be done. But reality is that it’s all apart of the duty as mayor. Not everything will always be sunshine and roses.

13. The Union Rep. stated she went to Foster with concerns months ago, and he did little. Would you agree? Did you share your concerns with the Union Rep.?

  • I am aware our Union Rep did reach out to the mayor and he called said employee into a casual meeting to be confidential questioning her. I shared many concerns with our union as I was the vice president before leaving the City of Yelm.

On behalf of fellow Yelm constituents, I thank you very much.

October 19, 2021

* Harbor Freight Tools to open Yelm location,
* Microsoft says it warned Bill Gates about flirting in 2008,
* Preserving your garden’s bounty is even more important!

Autumn is canning and food storage time.
With supply chain issues, putting up your own garden’s bounty is now even more important.
Credit: The New Yorker Magazine, via etsy


+ Harbor Freight Tools: A new Yelm location is coming to the Nisqually Plaza, adjacent the Dollar Store

+ JOLT News: Thurston County to move general departments to Pacific Avenue

+ Thurston County Auditor: Voter Registration Deadlines for the November 2 General Election

+ South Sound Business: PSE Grants Evergreen State College $1.3M for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

+ The Olympian: After slow start, Thurston County rent relief dollars now flowing to those in need

+ The Olympian: Thurston County may get high speed internet thanks to Nisqually tribe – The tribe has operated its own fiber-optic construction service company over the last four years.

+ McClatchy News: Roadside debris is more than litter in Washington state, it’s deadly

+ KING-5 TV: At-home nurses contracted by Washington state do not have to get COVID-19 vaccine

+ McClatchy News: Microsoft says it warned Bill Gates about flirting in 2008


Daily Kos: Pope Francis calls on powerful institutions to make structural changes to better serve humanity

Reuters: Biden administration moves to curtail toxic ‘forever chemicals’

Daily Kos: The ‘QAnon’ movement is struggling to hide its antisemitic, neo-Nazi roots

MSNBC Opinion: Biden’s approval rating is falling, he’s got himself to blame – Biden has been strangely passive in reversing his polling spiral, in contrast to the boldness he first exhibited. [Ed note: I agree.]

Truthout: Biden Has Outpaced Trump’s Use of Title 42 to Expel Asylum Seekers

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Press freedom coalition calls for end to Assange prosecution, after shocking reporting on CIA misconduct

The Los Angeles Times: As Drought Worsens, California Farmers Are Being Paid Not to Grow Crops

The London Times: Hannah Pick-Goslar was childhood friends with Anne Frank in Amsterdam until the Frank family went into hiding in 1942. Now aged 92, she recalls their close bond and the moment when the two girls met one last time in Bergen-Belsen.


Associated Press: Lawsuits demand unproven ivermectin for COVID patients – Judges around the country are increasingly being asked to weigh in on … ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment

Reuters: US Pastors, Advocacy Groups Mobilize Against COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Simon and Schuster: “Plandemic- The Book” is released today – The incredible true story of the most banned documentary in history. [over 1 billion views]


ABC News: Trump sues to block release of Jan. 6 records to Congress [Ed. note: He must have much to hide!]

TIME: Joe Biden May Let Congress Have More of Trump’s Jan. 6 Records. Here’s Why That Matters

The Washington Post: Trump questioned for four hours in lawsuit from protesters allegedly assaulted by his guards

NBC News: Trump officials who allegedly pilfered swag did more than embarrass the country

The Seattle Times: As Trump thunders about last election, Republicans worry about the next one

NBC’s Meet The Press: Evangelicals: ‘The Bible Belt Is Unbuckling’ – “Donald Trump was sent by God”

October 18, 2021

Yelm’s executive search firm provided Grayum as a candidate to Mayor Foster,
Did they also send his DuPont harassment records to Yelm?
The city council should seek answers to prevent this again!

Credit: The Prothman Company

Yelm’s executive recruitment firm, The Prothman Company, does not reply

Story highlights

  • On October 6th, I wrote to The Prothman Company the letter below, with no response to-date.
  • If Mayor Foster’s candidate review committee for city administrator had Mr. Gryaum’s DuPont harassment investigation info, he would have been questioned about that in the pre-hiring interview.
  • I served on the selection committee – we were provided with nothing of the kind.
  • Did Prothman not perform a proper background check on Mr. Grayum as Mayor of DuPont?
  • Yelm paid alot of money to hire this executive talent firm for Harding and Foster.
  • Did Prothman provide sexual harassment investigation details to then-Interim Mayor Foster?
  • Was that information intentionally kept from the selection committee?
  • The city council needs to address whether Prothman did a full due diligence, as contracted!

Blogger’s letter to The Prothman Company, dated Oct. 6, 2021:

Dear Sirs;

I am writing as the host of the Yelm Community Blog in Yelm, WA., to inquire about the scope of your background checks on candidates provided under contract to the city of Yelm for consideration as City Administrator in 2016.

The Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) Board was invited by Mayor Foster to send a board member to serve on the committee to interview/review the applicants for the mayor and provide feedback on each. I was selected by the YBA to serve on this committee.

At no time was there any information provided by Mayor Foster to the committee that Mr. Grayum was the recipient of a harassment allegation and subsequent investigation while as Mayor of DuPont (2012-2016), reported in the Nisqually Valley News on Oct. 5, 2021.

Mayor JW Foster subsequently selected former DuPont Mayor Michael Grayum from your list of candidates, based on the committee’s recommendations.

My question is this: In the course of your firm’s presentation of materials about candidates for consideration as Yelm’s City Administrator, did your firm provide Mayor Foster and/or city staff with background information that included the DuPont harassment allegation/investigation of Mr. Grayum?

This is a serious matter in light of the allegations now public against Mr. Grayum, with the Yelm council being recipient of a letter from the Staff Representative for the Washington State Council of County and City Employees (Council 2, AFSCME, AFL-CIO), requesting Yelm’s mayor initiate “a third-party investigation into several claims of sexual harassment and discrimination by an employee in executive leadership.”

Click here for the full story and the Union Representative’s letter to the Yelm City Council. 

Your response will be used in publication of this story on the Yelm Community Blog to inform the public.

Thank you for your consideration.

Steve Klein

October 18, 2021

* Thurston’s COVID-19 cases decrease,
* Nearly 40% of TSA workers are unvaxxed before Nov. deadline,
* Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA.) ] casts Trump as destined to lose 2024 nomination!

“Thurston County Sees Decrease of More Than 100 Week-Over-Week COVID Cases”
Credit: Thurston County public Health and Social Services, via the NVN

BREAKING STORY [5:30am PDT]: CBS News: Colin Powell, first Black secretary of state, dies at 84 from complications of COVID-19 [fully vaxxed]


+ KING-5 TV: Monday [today] is Washington’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline

+ The Olympian: Washington state workers largely comply with Monday’s vaccine deadline, data show

+ KING-5 TV: Natural gas heating your home? This could be the most expensive winter in 13 years


The Weather Channel: Why Holiday Travel Could be More Hectic Than Ever – With vaccination deadlines looming for airport and airline workers, holiday travel could be worse than ever this year.

The Atlantic’s Kate Shaw: The Executive-Privilege Paradox – The Biden administration isn’t going to fight Congress over January 6 documents. That’s a good thing for the presidency.

Bloomberg Opinion: 80,000 Green Cards Are About to Disappear From the U.S. – If Congress doesn’t act soon, a huge cache of unused employment-based visas will be lost for good.

The New York Times: How 3 strangers a world away came to the rescue of a badly burned Afghan girl [Ed. note: An amazing, touching story!]


The Points Guy: Nearly 40% of TSA workers are unvaccinated ahead of November deadline [Ed. note: If flying this Thanksgiving, be prepared for long lines at

KING-5 TV: CDC issues holiday safety recommendations – if you feel sick or have COVID symptoms, don’t go. Get tested.

Business Insider: States spent at least $89 million on COVID-19 vaccine lotteries. None of them worked, new research suggests.

CNBC: Risk of mRNA Covid booster causing heart inflammation in young adults continues to worry scientists, doctor says


Washington Examiner: Republican senator [Bill Cassidy (R-LA.) ] casts Trump as election loser destined to lose 2024 nomination – He Lost ‘House, Senate, Presidency’

The Washington Post: Publix Grocery Stores heiress, funder of Jan. 6 rally, gave $150,000 to GOP attorneys general

Daily Kos: Trump is dividing the GOP against itself in ways Republicans couldn’t have imagined

Daily Kos: Delay in Oath Keepers’ conspiracy trial for Jan. 6 insurrection forced by growing pile of evidence

Daily Kos: Why 52% of Trump Supporters favor seceding from the Nation

October 17, 2021

Editorial cartoonists on last week’s news!

“Broken chain”
Credit: Steve Breen, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Pocket change”
Credit: Kevin Siers: The Charlotte Observer
Political Cartoon.
“The drifting ship”
Credit: Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe

Jack Ohman: The weakest links ...
“The weakest links”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
“Lost in space”
Credit David Horsey, The Seattle Times

“School board threats”
Credit: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer
Jack Ohman: Democracy in the rough ...
“Democracy in the rough”
Credit: Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee
“Everybody ready?”
Credit Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

October 16, 2021

Today is Orca Recovery Day, a region-wide effort. How you can help!


From the Orca Network:

Saturday October 16 is Orca Recovery Day, a region-wide effort with local Conservation Districts and many partner organizations. For Orca Recovery Day, we invite the community to organize a beach, river, or stream clean-up in the Salish Sea region and beyond. This can be done with friends, family, or on your own, beginning October 16th and extending through the month. Send photos of your efforts to katie@orcanetwork.org.
More information here

  • Report whale sightings to 866-ORCANET or info@orcanetwork.org. Reports are shared with researchers and agencies, providing valuable data.
  • Drive less – ride your bike, carpool, or take public transit. A recent study shows that chemicals in tires are lethal to salmon.
  • Clean a beach, river, or stream.
  • Limit your use of chemicals and plastics.
  • Purchase Salmon Safe products. salmonsafe.org
  • Protect shoreline habitat for forage fish. shorelinefriendly.org
  • Support salmon and orca conservation organizations.
  • Donate to Orca Network’s education and advocacy efforts
  • Spread the word!
  • More information here

October 16, 2021

* Pay your Thurston County property taxes by month’s end,
* Ron Watkins, Alleged QAnon Founder, Announces Congress Run,
* Delta/Air France reinstate Sea-Tac flights as travel to U.S. resumes!

Delta ready to welcome customers as international travel to the U.S. resumes
Photo: Delta Airlines News Hub
with Seattle overflight.


+ JOLT News: Real estate buyers may be enjoying a not-so-seasonal shift in their favor

+ The Olympian: Need to pay your Thurston County property taxes? Second-half deadline approaches

+ ABC News: Ex-Boeing test pilot indicted for fraud in 737 Max probe

+ JOLT News: TRL’s Picture Book City brings engagement for early readers

+ JOLT News: PORT OF OLYMPIA: Concerns loom over alleged misrepresentation and bad investments

+ The Seattle Times: Washington State Jobless Claims Rise as Claims Nationwide Fall

+ Airways Magazine: Air France reinstates operations at Sea-Tac on December 6th


Daily Kos: Captain Kirk Has Spoken: “We’re at the tipping point, we haven’t got time to wait 30 years..”

Bloomberg: U.S. Economy Loses Its Bounce as Recovery Turns Into a Grind

Daily Kos: ATT sure pissed off some people they shouldn’t have pissed off. Click here for the ad.

CNBC: U.S. to lift travel ban Nov. 8, allowing vaccinated international visitors into the country

Daily Mail (UK): The Queen criticises world leaders who ‘talk but don’t DO’ on climate change

Newsweek: Ron Watkins, Alleged QAnon Founder, Announces Run for Congress

Edward Snowden: Beginning with an increase in paper notes, continuing with the cancellation of the right to exchange them for the more precious coin [1965], and culminating in the debasement of the coin itself, the State finally achieved “sovereign currency:” a handsome napkin.


The Washington Post: Trump asserts his dominance inside GOP, pushing Republicans to embrace his false claims of fraud

Reuters: Trump-backed challengers to Republican lawmakers lag in fundraising

Daily Kos: Black ‘American’ flags at right-wing protests, on front porches vow ‘no quarter’ against liberals

Daily Kos: Donald Trump tried to destroy Andrew McCabe. A new settlement undoes some of the damage

Daily Kos: DC judge issuing harsh sentences for Capitol rioters. People are noticing.

Business Insider: Capitol police officer offered to let January 6 rioter stay at his home and arrange a tour of the building ‘legally next time,’ feds say

The Hill: Kushner associate pardoned by Trump now in plea discussions over cyberstalking charges

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: Judge stomps out Trump’s last Big Lie case, this one in Georgia; triggers Trump tantrum

Business Insider: Subpoenaed Trump loyalist Jeff Clark disappeared from his own legal organization’s website. It’s a mystery even to some group officials.

October 15, 2021

Introducing “Learners without Limits” –
A Bounty For Families – Yelm Schools partnership!

From Bounty For Families:

Learners without Limits empowers low-income students to break through social and economic barriers to graduation by providing access to stable housing, clothing, nutrition, and hygiene essentials to ensure that every student graduates with a plan.

Donate here

Fulfilling a Community Need

In partnership with Yelm Community Schools, Learners without Limits is dedicated to helping all students achieve their full learning potential. Attendance is the single most important factor in student success, meaning the more students we have engaged in school without educational disruption, the more likely they will be independent, contributing members of the community. While the school district can provide the physical classroom, teachers, and special education programs, many low-income students do not have the means to access these resources due to socioeconomic barriers. This program ensures that students have access to clothing, stable housing, food, hygiene essentials, and other basic needs that, left unmet, would otherwise negatively affect attendance and impede access to school resources. Learners without Limits aims to keep students engaged with their school and with their peers by providing them with the services they need to develop and be successful in school.

How it works

Teachers, Counselors, and other support staff identify students in need and work with the family to apply for Learners Without Limits funding.  The application is reviewed/approved and Learners without Limits provides the tools the student and family need to stay engaged with their school where they can learn, grow, socialize, and gain their independence.

Read more

October 15, 2021

Mark your calendars – SRO is back for Yelm!
Presenting Alfred Hitchcock’s “39 steps” Nov. 5-21!

Credit: SRO Theater Group

We’re back, baby!

From Standing Room Only (SRO) Theater Company:

SRO returns to the stage to bring you this hilarious play based on the Alfred Hitchcock classic film. This parody of a spy thriller has a vaudevillian style that will keep you laughing. Join us in ushering in a new ERA of live theater in our community. Tickets on sale now!


Performance location: Former Triad Theater, 102 E Yelm Ave, Yelm, WA. – BUY TICKETS HERE

Adapted by Patrick Barlow
From the novel by John Buchan
From the movie by Alfred Hitchcock

DIRECTED BY: Dale Sharp.
STAGE MANAGED BY: Taylor Hergert,
STARRING: Drew Doyle, Hannah Longshore, Kellie Petersen & Dave Champagne.
From the novel by John Buchan
From the movie by Alfred Hitchcock
Licensed by ITV Global Entertainment Limited
And an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

“The 39 Steps” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.: www.concordtheatricals.com

October 14, 2021

* COVID-19 cases on decline in Thurston County: Report,
* Trump-fired FBI official Andrew McCabe wins retirement, back pay,
* Former President Bill Clinton hospitalized, bloodstream infection!

Stalled Cargo In Puget Sound Ports Straining Businesses And Driving Up Cost Of Goods ...
Stalled cargo in Puget Sound ports straining businesses.
Photo: Instrumentalist.com


+ JOLT News: Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek reported COVID-19 cases on decline in Thurston County – 56 percent of county residents have been fully vaccinated

+ The Olympian: Thurston County finally approves lease for Atrium building. Here’s how it will be used – In a 2-1 decision, the board felt satisfied by a legal opinion on the location of the building.

+ KING-5 TV: Stalled cargo in Puget Sound ports straining businesses and driving up cost of goods

+ The Olympian: WA to require proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 test at large events statewide

+ KING-5 TV: While COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations drop, Washington’s mandates remain in place

+ McClatchy News: Washington Tribes celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, highlight climate crisis

+ The News Tribune: What’s killing the Northwest’s bigleaf maples? Scientists think they’ve found the answer

+ CNBC: Boeing says certain 787 parts improperly manufactured


NPR: Fired FBI official Andrew McCabe wins retirement benefits and back pay in settlement

CNN: Former President Bill Clinton hospitalized for a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, but ‘on the mend’

The Atlantic: America Is Running Out of Everything – The global supply chain is slowing down at the very moment when Americans are demanding that it go into overdrive.

The Washington Post: Counties with more Confederate monuments also had more lynchings, study finds

CBS News: Sotomayor: Interruptions of female justices helped spark Supreme Court format change

Business Insider: Sonia Sotomayor says Supreme Court justices are ‘sorely missing’ diverse experience and that leaders aren’t ‘paying enough attention’

The Hill: Federal Reserve officials concerned inflation could last longer ‘than they currently assumed’


CNBC: Trump to give deposition Monday in suit brought by protesters who claim his security guards assaulted them

Axios: Judge: Trump must give deposition in defamation lawsuit filed by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos before Christmas

Daily Kos: Trump warns Republicans ‘will not be voting’ in 2022 or 2024 unless his big lie is proven

Daily Kos: No one deserves Trump more than Republicans, who are too damn cowardly to jettison him

Daily Kos: Bannon is defying Jan. 6 committee subpoena, but other former Trump aides are cooperating


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