February 11, 2020

Unofficial results of the Yelm Schools Levy Proposition released


The Thurston County Auditor released the first count of Proposition One, the Yelm Community Schools Levy. The results are too close to call:

Yes = 2,366 votes = 51.8%

No = 2,186 votes = 48.02%

Total votes cast = 4,552 = 100%

Read more

February 11, 2020

Report: “There is a 4-alarm fire at Justice.'”
Time to sign the petition to disbar Trump’s personal attorney William P. Barr,
who is not the Attorney General of the people of the United States!

William P. Barr
Credit: change.org
  • Editor’s note: After this breaking news at the Dept. of Justice today (below), I just signed the petition to Disbar US Attorney General William P. Barr. Barr has more than proven himself to be Trump’s personal attorney and not the Attorney General for the people of the United States! Folks, this is VERY serious.
  • Click here to add your name to this petition!

“Three Roger Stone prosecutors resign from case after DOJ backpedals on sentencing recommendation”

“Three prosecutors in Roger Stone’s criminal case abruptly resigned from the case on Tuesday after the Justice Department said it planned to reduce the recommended sentence for the longtime Trump associate.”

“Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor and former federal prosecutor, tweeted the dual withdrawal notices from the prosecutors speak ‘loudly to those of us who used to work at DOJ. There is a 4-alarm fire at Justice.'”

“Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a tweet called on the Justice Department Inspector General to ‘open an investigation ‘immediately.'”

“‘The president seems to think the entire Justice Department is just his personal lawsuit to prosecute his enemies and help his friends. Rule of law in this grand tradition in this wonderful Justice Department is just being totally perverted to Donald Trump’s own personal desires and needs and it’s a disgrace,’ Schumer told reporters in Washington, D.C. ‘Roger Stone should get the full amount of time the prosecutors recommended and we’re going to do some oversight of that,'” by Dartunorro Clark and Michael Kosnar and Dareh Gregorian and Ken Dilanian and Tom Winter, NBC News. Read more

“All 4 prosecutors quit Roger Stone case after DOJ announces plan to reduce sentencing”

“Several prosecutors in Roger Stone’s criminal case abruptly resigned from the case on Tuesday after the Justice Department said it planned to reduce its recommended 7 to 9 years sentence for the longtime Trump ally. The Justice Department pulled back on its request after President Donald Trump blasted the initial sentencing proposal as ‘a miscarriage of justice,'” by Deadline White House on MSNBC. Read more

February 11, 2020

Congressional District 3 candidate Carolyn Long to visit rural Yelm,
Public coffee chat is Friday, Feb. 21, 3-4pm,
District 3 covers Bald Hills, rural Rainier, Lake Lawrence.

Carolyn Long with constituents
Credit: Elect Carolyn Long

Meet District 3 Congressional candidate Carolyn Long, Feb. 21st

WHAT: Meet Carolyn Long, Dis. 3 Congressional candidate (D-Vancouver).

Open to the public coffee chat with refreshments. Sponsored by Steve Klein.

WHEN: Friday, February 21, 2020, 3-4pm.

WHERE: Bald Hills Fire Station, 16306 Bald Hill Rd SE, Yelm.

DISTRICT 3: Rural Rainier, Lake Lawrence, Bald Hills, Clearwood. Click here for the District 3 map.

About Carolyn Long

“Carolyn started working at WSU Vancouver in 1995. She is a tenured professor in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs. Her research focuses on American Institutions, Public Law, American Public Policy and Public Civility. As a Fulbright Scholar, Carolyn has also taught in Slovenia at the University of Ljubljana School of Social Sciences.”

“For her work, Carolyn has been awarded the Washington State University’s President’s Award for Leadership and Engagement (2015), and the Washington State University College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Institutional Service Award (2014). In 2015, she was named the inaugural Distinguished Professor in Civic Education and Public Civility, housed in the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, a position she voluntarily left to run for office.” Read more

“Carolyn Long is challenging Jaime Herrera-Beutler again in Washington’s 3rd District”

“The Democratic effort to flip Washington’s 3rd Congressional District blue officially took flight today [July 8, 2019] with the news that Democratic challenger Carolyn Long has decided to seek a rematch with Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera-Beutler.

“Long, a professor of political science and constitutional law at WSU Vancouver, turned heads around the country last cycle when she built a fiercely spirited, credible campaign against Herrera-Beutler in the span of just a few months.

In the [2018] general election, Long secured 47.33% of the vote, keeping Herrera-Beutler in the low fifties for the first time since 2010, and outperforming even the vaunted Denny Heck, who unsuccessfully sought to keep the 3rd in Democratic hands in 2010 after Brian Baird decided to retire.

“(Heck ran again for the United States House in 2012 in the newly-drawn 10th Congressional District, and has represented it ever since.),” by The Cascadia Advocate. Read more

February 10, 2020

Mayor Foster’s denigration of Homelessness Taskforce called “disrespectful” –
Councilors Carmody, DePinto say our community deserves better from him.
Blog readers know Foster has become authoritarian!

The Report
Credit: City of Yelm
  • Editor’s note: Mayor JW Foster’s public denigration of the Homelessness Taskforce in last week’s Nisqually Valley News (NVN) has drawn stern rebukes from Taskforce councilors Carmody and DePinto, and rightly so.
  • Foster’s comments were totally unnecessary and inflammatory to the Taskforce, who did extraordinary work for our community.
  • The mayor’s public vindictiveness towards councilors sets a bad precedent!
  • This blog has extensively covered Mayor Foster’s multiple end-runs around and condescending attitude toward the Yelm City Council, which caused a ruckus in this NVN excerpt by Eric Rosanne:

“Yelm Councilors Balk at Absence of Cost Estimates for Added Homelessness Services”

“Mayor JW Foster said its likely the seven [Homelessness Taskforce] recommendations that have been put forth to the council will be voted down or deferred into committees to be refined.”

“According to the ordinance that formed the task force in 2018, members appointed to the ad hoc group weren’t required to provide an itemized cost breakdown in the report.”

“Foster said a cost breakdown of the recommendations should still have been an assumed responsibility by members doing the work.

Including that information would have helped city staff and council members weigh the return on investment and measure the impact from first glance, Foster said.”

“‘I volunteer for a lot of things. I don’t do them half-assed. I do them,’ he told the Nisqually Valley News.”

Click here for the full NVN story.

  • Posted on Molly Carmody – Yelm City Council’s Facebook:

“Wow. Just wow. We sent cost estimates DIRECTLY to Foster’s staff and asked them to tell us how much each proposal would cost, for staff time and building use (because we didn’t have exact staff salaries at hand). They blew us off. Didn’t even bother to answer. Foster blew us off when we begged for help in negotiating the big meetings. They assigned a police officer as their “staff representative” when we had specifically asked for someone from Community Development, and then muzzled her so that she was only allowed to parrot Foster policy, instead of participating meaningfully in the discussions. We conducted an unprecedented series of talks in our community, proposed a package of solutions, all in a one-year time span, and are accused of “half-assing” it? FOR SHAME, Mr. Foster! You distanced yourself from this issue as much as possible in order to preserve your political reputation. Your community deserves better.” Read more from Councillor Carmody’s Facebook page.

  • Excerpt Posted on Joe DePinto – Yelm City Council’s Facebook:

“I wanted to comment a bit on the NVN article regarding the homelessness taskforce which I co-chaired alongside CM Carmody.”

“There were some strong criticisms from the council and Mayor on the report and work done by the taskforce. Let me start by saying we did something that has never been done before in Yelm, having a council led taskforce. We ventured into new territory which not only the citizens of Yelm were keeping a close eye on, but also many communities around the Puget Sound who wanted to see how this taskforce unfolded and in particular the community reaction. Of course there was room for improvement and many lessons were learned during this process.”

“As for the Mayor and Council wanting more information in the report including financial projections and cost analyses, the taskforce met our obligations provided by the ordinance which was passed by council. I’m glad the NVN pointed out that financial projections were not in the ordinance. I was shocked and disappointed in our Mayor when told the NVN that the work done by the taskforce was “half assed”. Not only was that very disrespectful to the taskforce’s work but also the people who participated in the process by voicing their concerns at our open meetings on the homelessness. Plus it also sets a horrible example as a leader and ironically to the students he visited during kindness week only a week ago. It’s not becoming of a Mayor, imo.

“Lastly, I want folks to know my personal feelings and thought process on the taskforce. I wanted to be on this taskforce to be a voice of the people and to ensure their voices were heard.”

Click here for Councilor DePinto’s full comment.

February 10, 2020

Rep. Heck proposed the Defense Community Infrastructure Program in 2014,
$50 million has now been secured in funding!

From Congressman. Denny Heck

  • Editor’s note: Congratulations to Rep. Heck in securing $50 million in funding for the vital Defense Community Infrastructure Program.
  • From Congressman Denny Heck’s newsletter:

“The stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue that connects the U.S. Capitol to the White House is about a mile long. We’ve just crossed the halfway point of the 116th Congress, and already 12,688 pieces of legislation have been introduced.

Of those bills, I’m the lead sponsor of 16 and cosponsored another 330. Yet of the mountain of bills that get introduced every year, very few end up going the distance from Capitol Hill to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and are signed into law.”

DCIP would provide federal grants to help state and local government address the infrastructure needs in communities near military installations. They would need to chip in with at least a 20% match to qualify for these grants.

“I first proposed DCIP [Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP)] in a bill called the COMMUTE Act in 2014, and we’ve spent the last six years fighting for our defense communities. 

“I’m proud that, for the first time, we’ve secured $50 million in funding for this vital infrastructure program as part of this year’s defense spending bill, which was signed into law by the President in December.” Read more

From Congressman. Denny Heck

February 9, 2020

Retribution, Purges, Retaliations – highlights of a dictatorship.
Now Trump does these unimaginable acts here,
The President does not unite, rather tears the country apart!

By Kevin Siers
The Charlotte Observer
  • Editor’s note: Trump has so consolidated power that the United States became an Autocracy last week.
  • Trump recalled European Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who was not from the “Deep State,” rather was a $1 million donor to Trump’s 2016 election campaign, appointed to this post with no prior diplomatic experience by the President. Sondland was relieved of duty for testifying truthfully, under oath, after subpoenaed by the U. S. Congress.
  • And “Trump falsely claims Pelosi did something ‘very illegal’ by ripping up his State of the Union speech.”
  • While Trump polarizes at every turn, the Motto of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is a stark reminder of what is at stake here: “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”

“Trump’s purging everyone he thinks is disloyal. He was never going to learn from impeachment.”

“Though many Republicans said that the president might now behave more cautiously, the reality is that he just feels empowered to abuse his office again,” by Robert Schlesinger, NBC News. Read more

[Defense Secretary Mark] Esper guarantee against retaliation proves faithless for Vindman”

“Rachel Maddow looks at the guarantees and reassurances from Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the DOD that Lt. Col. Alex Vindman would not suffer retaliation or reprisal for giving testimony in the Donald Trump impeachment investigation, only for Vindman to lose his position at the White House, along with his twin brother who was not involved in the investigation,” by MSNBC. Read more

“Republican Senators Tried to Stop Trump From Firing Impeachment Witness”

“The senators were concerned that it would look bad for Mr. Trump to dismiss Mr. Sondland and argued that it was unnecessary, since the ambassador was already talking with senior officials about leaving after the Senate trial, the people said,” by Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times. Read more

“‘Not just chilling but frightening’: Inside Vindman’s ouster amid fears of further retaliation by Trump”

By David Nakaumura and Greg Miller, The Washington Post. Read more

“Time to cast off any residual respect for Trump, Senate Republicans”

By Ann McFeatters Tribune News Service (TNS). Read more

“Republicans Have Weakened Congress in Order to Protect Trump”

By Alexis Goldstein, Truthout. Read more

“Senators Who Voted to Convict Trump Represent 18 Million More Americans”

“Senators representing 151.5 million Americans outvoted senators representing 169.5 million Americans to acquit President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial,” by Christian Zhao, Newsweek. Read more

“Critics say Trump’s State of the Union address celebrates a racist America”

“Analysis: ‘The president … is putting the full force and effect of his office and his status behind an unapologetic effort to make America white again,’ a civil rights lawyer said, by Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News. Read more

“Trump rages against his enemies” – says his impeachment should be expunged

“President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that his impeachment should be expunged because ‘it was a hoax.’ He added that “Well, you’ll see. I mean, we’ll see what happens,” to his Democratic opponents. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council who testified during the House impeachment inquiry into Trump, was ‘escorted out of the White House’ on Friday [Feb. 7] afternoon, his lawyer said. Vindman’s brother, who was working for the NSC as an attorney, was also removed,” by MSNBC. Read more

“Barr makes himself gatekeeper of investigations of campaigns”

“Rachel Maddow reports on a new DOJ memo from Bill Barr to US attorneys requiring any investigations of candidates or campaigns get his personal approval first,” by MSNBC. Read more

“Giuliani Says Trump Should Investigate the Bidens After His Senate Trial”

By Igor Dyersh, Salon Magazine. Read more

“Exiting the 2020 primary, Walsh describes the GOP as a ‘cult'”

“The former GOP lawmaker wrote that he ‘didn’t fully realize … how brainwashed so many of my fellow Republicans seem to have become,'” Walsh wrote a Washington Post op-ed Friday. By Steve Benen, MSNBC. Read more

“Trump’s New Commission Looks Like a Platform for Pro-Police Propaganda”

Bu Brain Sonenstein, ShadowProof. Read more

“In Wake of Trump-Netanyahu Proposal, Palestinian Authority Cuts Ties With US”

“The move came days after the White House announced the deal, which allows Israel the right to continue settlements and annexation while leaving Palestinians with vague promises of statehood at an undetermined future date,” by Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams. Read more

February 8, 2020

Trump’s shocking debt load and coronavirus’s economic drag foretell coming recession!

By Gary Varvel
Indianapolis Star
  • Editor’s note: In balancing your home’s own accounts, you would not tout how much money you have in the bank without considering your debt, would you? Yet, we have a President [and Congress] talking up a booming economy whole ignoring spending our nation to the brink of a debt burden that will be on the shoulders of our children and future generations for decades to come.
  • Trump abolishing the Federal Reserve and/or placing the U. S. on the gold standard are unlikely actions that his Mar-A-Lago members, Wall St. buddies, and his base are not going to embrace, for they would be unprepared for the economic turmoil that would ensue for several years, a disarray that would make The Great Depression seem like a walk in the park!

“Trump and the National Debt”

“Instead of Eliminating the Debt, Trump Will Add $8.3 Trillion,” by Kimberly Amadeo, The Balance. Read more

“‘Crisis mode’: Coronavirus disrupts the heart of electronics manufacturing in China”

By Kif Leswing, CNBC. Read more

“Trump’s new budget proposal expected to show how far he has moved away from some 2016 campaign promises”

“And the president’s promise to eliminate the government’s roughly $20 trillion debt within eight years has also gone unfulfilled. Instead, Trump has added almost $3 trillion to the debt in three years, and that number is only expected to balloon, according to nonpartisan estimates. Proposals to cut domestic programs have evaporated in massive year-end budget deals with Congress that have actually raised spending limits.

“Trump’s first budget proposal relied on questionable math when it sought to eliminate the budget deficit after 10 years, but even that goal has slipped out of reach,” by Jeff Stein, Erica Werner, The Washington Post. Read more

“Editorial: The real State of the Union you won’t hear from Trump”

“[Trump’s] protectionism and inconsistency have damaged some industries, leaving the rate of growth roughly where it was when he took the job. According to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, the president’s ill-conceived imposition of tariffs has cost Americans $88 billion. His much-touted NAFTA 2.0 (the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement) in the end will change relatively little. And while the economy is doing better for some people, it’s doing a lot less well for others, exacerbating the nation’s growing problem with income inequality,” by The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board. Read more

“How a recession could doom Trump’s 2020 reelection”

  • Editor’s note: This August 2019 story is instructive, as this was prior to the coronavirus and world economic slowdown we have today.

“Economic forecasts are increasingly pointing in that direction. Here’s what history tells us,” by Aaron Blake, The Washington Post. Read more

“Financial records reveal Palm Beach County has spent $13.7MILLION on Trump’s 27 trips to Mar-a-Lago since 2016 – and the federal government has only paid back $10million”

By Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com. Read more

“WAPO: Secret Service charged as high as $650 per night for rooms at Trump properties”

“The Washington Post dug up records that surfaced a deep corner of the swamp. Katy Tur has more on that new report,” by MSNBC. Read more

Also on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow’s report on this issue: Click here

“Mnuchin Wants to Delay Disclosure of Trump Travel Expenses Until After Elections”

By Zachery Evans, National Review. Read more

“Trump’s trade war is making Americans’ incomes decrease, government report says”

“The average family’s real income is dipping by $1,277, a CBO analysis says”

By Igor Derysh, Salon Magazine. Read more

“Trump Was Wrong — Drug Prices Are Still Not Going Down”

By Shefali Lufla, Kaiser Health News. Read more

“Long-term maintenance for Trump’s border wall could cost billions, but government isn’t saying”

By Nick Meroff, The Washington Post. Read more

“Tribes Decry Trump’s Opening of National Monuments to Oil and Gas Development”

By Joaqlin Estes, Indian Country Today. Read more

“Refineries Are Spewing Cancer-Causing Benzene as Trump Slashes Enforcement”

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout. Read more

February 8, 2020

Recycling & tips to use less plastic

Credit: Using Less Plastic on Facebook

“Recycle at the Waste and Recovery Center”

Learn about Thurston County’s extensive recycling programs. Read more

Read more

“Single-Use Plastics 101”

“Here’s everything you need to know about the most ubiquitous (and avoidable) kind of plastic waste: the kind made to be tossed in mere minutes,” by Courtney Lindwall, NRDC. Read more

February 7, 2020

Yelm Loop update from WSDOT

Yelm Loop’s proposed intersection with SR 507 at Wal-Mart
Credit: WSDOT

“SR 510 – Yelm Loop – New Alignment Phase 2”

  • From WSDOT:

Next steps: WSDOT is in the process of a federally required environmental assessment phase that will continue into mid 2020. The in-depth process will involve an update of the Environmental Assessment completed for this project in 2000. Efforts will produce a detailed environmental document called a Supplemental Environmental Assessment.”

The latest budget update states: “As of October 2019: The schedule delay is approved as part of the 2019 Plan update but remains at risk pending final determination of the environmental mitigation requirements necessary to protect endangered pocket gopher. Read more


  • Environmental reevaluation – Winter 2019 – Summer 2020
  • Project advertised for competitive bidding  – Summer 2021
  • Construction – Early 2022
  • Project completion – Late 2023

Get a virtual look of Yelm Loop – Phase 2

Click here for the full report.

February 6, 2020

NWS issues Flood Warning for the Nisqually River at McKenna!

Emergency proclamation issued, flood warnings in effect as rivers rise
Hwy 507 bridge, McKenna
this morning at daybeak.
Credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian

“River Flood Warning for Thurston County, Washington”

  • From the National Weather Service (NWS):
  • Editor’s note: There have been several releases of water at the Alder Dam and will be more affecting the potential of more Nisqually River flooding.

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a * Flood Warning for The Nisqually River At McKenna * from this morning to Saturday afternoon. * At 3:45 AM Thursday the stage was 9.7 feet. * Flood stage is 10.0 feet. * Minor flooding is forecast. *

Forecast…The river will rise above flood stage around 8 AM Thursday and crest near 10.4 feet around 10 PM Friday. The river will fall below flood stage early Saturday morning. *

Impact…At 10.0 feet, the Nisqually River will flood at the lower end near the mouth. High tide levels on Puget Sound may increase the amount of flooding. The Nisqually River will also spill over its banks between La Grande and McKenna. Read more

“Special Weather Statement for Southwest Interior, Washington”


Multiple periods of rainfall since the first of January have increased soil moisture to high levels across Western Washington. Rainfall amounts have been generally in the 1 to 3 inch range over the last 24 hours with locally higher amounts of 3 to 5 inches for portions of the Cascades. An additional 0.5 to 1.5 inches of rainfall is expected through Friday with locally higher amounts possible in the mountains. Read more

“Inslee issues emergency proclamation for 19 counties due to flooding and winter weather”

“Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation today [Feb. 5] for 19 Washington counties [including Thurston] due to significant winter weather that is forecast to continue through this weekend,” by Governor Inslee’s Communications Office. Read more






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