August 14, 2018

Homeowners should be forewarned about right-of-way work

“Right-of-way means your local government can dig and
remove several feet of your yard to expand a road or create
a sidewalk as well any other reasons deemed necessary.”
Photo credit: Tom Oder

– Editor’s note:
Many Yelm area citizens can relate to this story. Others should be forewarned with this terrific information.

– “What every homeowner should know about the right-of-way”
“You could lose several feet of your yard without much warning.”

“You may want to ask your city council exactly what rights (if any) you have as a homeowner regarding right-of-way laws. For example, are they required to give advance notice to homeowners of non-emergency, scheduled work? (And if so how far in advance? Also, how will they disseminate that information (letter, email, text, personal visit or door hanger)?

In my neighbor’s case, even though his neighborhood received notices, he was left wondering who is financially responsible for the repairs to his sprinkler system.

“Even with the best efforts and intentions, and even when the work is for a project property owners requested — which it was in this case — it’s jarring to see someone operating a mini-excavator digging up your carefully landscaped and maintained front yard, especially one in which you have a considerable financial or emotional investment.

You may want to ask if the contractor or local municipality will restore the property to the way it was before the work began.,” by Tom Oder, Mother Nature Network.
Read more

August 13, 2018

Albertsons/Safeway terminates merger with Rite-Aid,
After Walgreen’s previous withdrawal, where does that leave Rite-Aid?

Photo credit: CNBC video

– Editor’s note:
Rite-Aid has been in play as a take-over/merger target by Walgreen’s and Albertsons/Safeway, both of which fell through. Rite Aid may eventually be merged into some other conglomerate and the Yelm store would then change hands.

– “Rite Aid and Albertsons terminate merger amid opposition to deal”
“Drug store chain Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N) and U.S. grocer Albertsons Companies Inc ABS.N agreed to terminate their merger agreement, the companies said on Wednesday, a little over 10 days after a shareholder advisory firm opposed the deal.

“Last month, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) had said that Rite Aid investors should vote down its $24 billion merger with Albertsons saying the agreement was not going to give the drug store chain’s shareholders a “fair ownership interest” in the combined company.

“The ISS report was seen as a blow to Albertsons and its majority owner, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, who were hoping that the deal will help them win a new business amid pressure from retailer Inc (AMZN.O) and Walmart Inc (WMT.N),” by Kanishka Singh, Reuters.
Read more

– “The now-scrapped Rite Aid-Albertsons merger was never going to solve the companies’ problems”
“Rite Aid Corp. shares closed Thursday down 11.5% after news that its deal with Albertsons Cos. isn’t going to happen, but the merger probably wouldn’t have delivered the big benefits both companies promised anyway, according to GlobalData Retail.”

“While the deal would have helped Albertsons in the pharmacy and health space and expanded its geographic presence, GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders doesn’t think the merger was a particularly good one from the start.”

“While there was a lot of talk from both sides about how the combined company would evolve in significant ways, ultimately the result would’ve been much less grand.”

“Now that the deal is off, there could be trouble ahead for Rite Aid,” by Tonya Garcia, MarketWatch.
Read more

August 13, 2018

Poverty in America rears-up again from decades ago,
Yelm area has felt the affects, too!

“Jonathan Payne, a homeless man, takes down tarps he had used to protect
his possessions during an El Nino-driven storm in San Francisco on Jan. 6, 2016.”
Photo credit: Beck Diefenbach, Reuters.

– Editor’s Note:
The affects of poverty have been felt in our area as well, as homelessness and other social issues are on the rise here.

– “The Trump Administration Says Poverty Is Over. They’re Lying.”
“15.6 million American families were food insecure for at least part of 2016, meaning they had limited access to food because they couldn’t afford what they needed.”
By Bryce Covert, Huffington Post guest writer, also a contributing Op-Ed writer at The New York Times and a contributing writer at The Nation.
Read more

– “An explosive U.N. report shows America’s safety net was failing before Trump’s election”
A new United Nations report is getting plenty of national media attention for predicting President Trump will exacerbate hardships for America’s poor by weakening the nation’s safety net.

“The policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship,” says the report, which will be presented to the Human Rights Council of the U.N. General Assembly,” by Jeff Stein, Washington Post.
Read more

August 12, 2018

Intercity Transit asks voters to approve tax increase for ‘transformational’ changes

Photo credit: Intercity Transit

– “Intercity Transit will ask for a tax increase in November to fund ‘transformational’ changes”
“Intercity Transit will ask voters to approve an additional 0.4 percent sales and use tax [4 cents per $10 taxable purchase] within its jurisdiction in November to maintain existing service and fund improvements.

The public transit agency’s board approved putting the measure on the ballot at its Aug. 1 meeting. Intercity Transit serves Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Yelm, with about 80 percent of its operating revenue coming from sales and use taxes,” by Abby Spegman, The Olympian.
Read more

August 12, 2018

New study: Smartphones could cause teens memory loss

Photo credit: Robert Piras/Shutterstock

– “Radiation from smartphones could trigger memory loss in teenagers (and right-handed users are the most likely to suffer), new study reveals”
* Cumulative exposure to mobile phones negatively affects the figural memory
* This refers to our ability to make sense of objects, patterns and shapes
* Sending text messages and browsing the internet could also affect this ability

“Smartphone radiation could be destroying the memory performance of a new generation of adolescents, a troubling new study has warned.”

“Researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) studied nearly 700 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 in Switzerland,” by Phoebe Weston, UK’s Daily Mail.
Read more

– “Despite Clear Evidence of Harm, Mobile Phone Industry Fights to Keep You Ignorant of the Risks”
* The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified cellphones as a Group 2B “possible carcinogen” based on the evidence available in 2011. Since then, the evidence of harm has grown significantly
* This year, two major studies have been published showing cellphone radiation causes DNA damage and increases your risk of cancer and other health problems
* Researchers are urging the IARC to upgrade its carcinogenicity classification for cellphones from a “possible” to a “probable” human carcinogen based on newer evidence
* For the past 25 years, the telecommunications industry has led an orchestrated PR campaign aimed at misleading consumers, journalists and policymakers about the science of cellphone radiation
* Of 326 cellphone safety studies, 56 percent found a biological effect from cellphone radiation while 44 percent did not. When funding was analyzed, it was discovered that 67 percent of the independently funded studies found a biological effect, compared to just 28 percent of the industry-funded studies. This funding bias creates a perceived lack of scientific consensus
By Dr. Mercola.
Read more

August 11, 2018

Yelm’s sonic booms from F-15’s scrambled to intercept stolen plane,
Aircraft crashed off Steilacoom on remote Kerton Island

Horizon Air Q-400 aircraft similar to last night’s stolen plane
Photo credit: Alaska Airlines, Inc.

– Editor’s note:
The two sonic booms in a cloudless sky heard in the Yelm area last night (Friday, August 10 just before 8pm) were from two F-15’s scrambled from Portland, OR. to intercept an empty, stolen commercial aircraft that took-off from Sea-Tac International Airport at 7:32pm. The aircraft eventually crashed not far from Yelm near Steilacoom. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement indicating the plane was not shot down.

– “Sea-Tac Horizon Air employee steals airplane, does stunts before crashing near Tacoma”
“A 29-year-old man stole a Horizon Air passenger plane from Sea-Tac International Airport and took off on Friday night, circling the area for a short time and performing stunts while being chased by military jets before crashing near Tacoma.

“The unnamed man flying the twin-engine turboprop engaged in an hour-long back and forth negotiation with air traffic control where he mentioned not intending to land the aircraft, before the fiery crash on Ketron Island in North Pierce County, just south of Tacoma.

“Reportedly no passengers or other personnel on board, but firefighters are still combing through the wreckage.

“Witnesses report that the employee, who identified himself to authorities as a ground service crew worker, did loops in the air around Pierce County before crashing. The crash started a few small fires in the area, which West Pierce Fire Department upgraded to a two-alarm fire at 10:44 p.m., sending more units to the area,” by Zosha Millman, SeattlePI.
Read more

Click here for a condensed version of the pilot’s audio with Air Traffic Control, and click here for more footage, and more from The Olympian.

– “Update: 1:20 a.m. on Aug. 11, 2018 –

Brad Tilden: “There was an incident late yesterday involving the unauthorized operation of one of our aircraft that took off from Sea-Tac around 8 p.m.

“We are still gathering facts, but at this point we understand there was only one person aboard, an employee of Horizon Air, who was operating the aircraft. I want to share how incredibly sad all of us at Alaska are about this incident. Our heart is heavy for the family and friends of the person involved.

“We’re working to find out everything we possibly can about what happened, working with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Transportation Safety Board. We are giving those investigators our full support and cooperation.

“With these investigations underway, our focus will remain on supporting the family of the individual involved, the broader Alaska and Horizon family, and our communities and guests.

“We will keep the public updated on our blog, where we’ll post updates as information becomes available.”

Brad Tilden

CEO, Alaska Air Group

Click here for updates.

August 11, 2018

America’s dairy farms going under, cheese is over-produced to save milk,
What you can do? Buy local!

“Small dairy farms are rapidly disappearing.”
(dotted line shows years with missing data for U.S. dairy farms.”
Credit: USDA

– Editor’s note:
Support our local farmers by purchasing their products at the Yelm Farmers Market and Yelm Food Co-op.

– “Best advice to U.S. dairy farmers? ‘Sell out as fast as you can'”
“Small-dairy farmers are getting squeezed out by corporate agriculture. “That is not what America is about,” a struggling farmer said.”

“Kentucky dairy farmers and others nationwide forced to sell – cheese abundance drops prices, too,” by Phil McCausland, NBC News.
Read more

– “America has a cheese problem that’s only going to get worse”
Why so much? There are two main factors. Cheese is piling up due to a dwindling demand for milk, yet farmers are on target to produce a whopping 218.7 billion pounds of milk by December. On top of that, cheese, butter and milk powder store better than fluid milk, resulting in a surplus of cheddar and Swiss.

Extra cheese means lower prices, which spells trouble for farmers. The current price is at $15.36 per 100 pounds, which is a dollar below the average for 2017, according to The Washington Post.

President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and Mexico isn’t helping the situation,” by Allana Akhtar, MSN Money.
Read more

August 10, 2018

Check out the best meteor shower of 2018 this weekend!

“The best meteor shower of the year is almost here!
Here’s how and when to watch the #Perseids ✨”
Photo credit: NASA JPL

– “The best meteor show of the year is coming to a sky near you”
“According to NASA’s meteor expert Bill Cooke, the fireball-rich Perseids are on the way, with best viewing on the nights of Aug. 11-13 this year, he told Space.Com.

The Perseid meteor shower is an August treat every year because the Earth passes through a trail left by the 16-miles-wide comet of dust, ice, rock and organic material called the Comet Swift-Tuttle, Space.Com explains.”

“On the nights of Aug. 12 and Aug. 13, Cooke says stargazers all over the Northern Hemisphere should be able to see about 60 to 70 meteors streaking across the night skies — a dip from 2016, which saw more than twice as many meteors per hour, but a bump up from last year’s 40 or 50, and still plenty vivid,” by Howard Cohen, Miami Herald.
Read more

August 9, 2018

Blue Waters Acupuncture Center offers headaches lecture, Aug. 17.

– “Blue Waters Acupuncture Center presents Natural Solutions to Headache Pain”

“A lecture by Dr. Michael Carruth, MD, EAMP/LAc, MAcOM, Dip.OM (Licensed only as an Acupuncturist in WA state)”

Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches? Then be sure to catch our talk at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17. You will learn about the major types of headaches and causes, and a program for how to help yourself.

“This is the first in a series of lectures on various topics including insomnia, secrets to health and more (dates to be determined). The events are limited to the first 12 registrants. Sign up by stopping by or calling the office at (360) 400-5625. The lecture will take place at Blue Waters Acupuncture Center, 503 First St. S., Suite 4, Yelm.”

“At Blue Waters, your health becomes crystal clear”

Blogger Klein is a Blue Waters Acupuncture Center client.

August 9, 2018

Cybersecurity taken seriously with County’s new Task Force

– “Thurston County Launches Cybersecurity Task Force”
“Thurston County officials convened a task force this spring focused on potential cybersecurity issues, designed to help the county detect and prevent cyber threats.

“The county offered details of the task force, which was created in May, in a statement last week that highlighted attacks against other cities, including one that shut down many of Atlanta’s municipal computing services for several days.”

“The outfit will coordinate cybersecurity efforts within county government and identify ways to preemptively fight attacks, according to the statement. It aims to do so both by identifying cybersecurity tools and recommending implementation strategies,” by South Sound Business.
Read more

Click here for the Thurston County News Release.