June 13, 2018

Net Neutrality will remain the law in Washington state

– “Washington … to keep net neutrality”
“After the FCC repealed net neutrality rules, Washington became the first state to pass its own requirements.”
“Net neutrality is officially a thing of the past – but not in Washington state.”

“Washington became the first state to set up their own net neutrality requirements in March when Governor Jay Inslee signed a measure with bipartisan support. Oregon followed in Washington’s footsteps in April, passing its own net neutrality law.

“A new set of rules at the Federal Communications Commission went into effect Monday, ending consumer protections that assure equal legal broadband access that doesn’t slow or block certain sources. Some consumers fear a slower Internet and higher costs for broadband delivery.

“The FCC changes were passed last December, shepherded by Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who says the new lighter-touch rules are more market-friendly than the “utility-style regulation” in the Obama-era,” by Mike Snider and Shelby Fleig, USA TODAY.
Read more

June 13, 2018

Masonry Cafe has a spiffy new website: www.YelmCafe.com

Masonry Cafe Logo
Photo credit: Masonry Cafe, Yelm

– Editor’s note:
My wife and I have been checking-out the take-away fare from Yelm’s newest purveyor of fine foods, Masonry Cafe and Catering, located in the former Simply Organic storefront on Yelm Ave. E. Check-out their fine foods including and not limited to unique hand-made breads, pastas, deserts, wraps and dinner entrees.
Read more from their new website.

Masonry Cafe and Catering
105 Yelm Ave. E., Simply Organic’s former location
Yelm, WA 98597
Phone: (360) 400-0522
Hours: 10:30am-7pm Monday thru Saturday

Tell owners Leroy and Shelly you read about them on the Yelm Community Blog!

June 12, 2018

Yelm mayor should call an Economic Summit of area’s business leaders:
Retail changing as new products skip stores, go directly to the shoppers,
Yelm needs to adapt to economic cultural shifts to protect revenue sources!

– Editor’s note:
While the City of Yelm has economic development here as a primary objective, that may now be misplaced amidst a cultural shift in shopping to more online retailing, leaving traditional brick and mortar stores in very challenging positions to survive. While city councilors Carmody and DePinto explained to the council on April 24th how small business has been helped, Yelm is still considered “business unfriendly” by new potential entrants along with society’s changing purchasing channels, which do not favor more stores opening here.
These factors are now dominating the economic environment:
* New product introductions skip the stores and go straight to shoppers,
* Companies boost loyalty, profits by selling to customers directly on social media, websites.

The retail space vacancy rate in Yelm is still quite high and is echoing this cultural shift.
I again renew my previous calls for Mayor Foster to call a Yelm Economic Summit to gather the best minds from our region to discuss this situation and develop a plan for Yelm’s future. And the one sector of this area’s economic vitality which is continually overlooked by the city and the chamber should also be included – the area’s home-based businesses. Excerpts of recent news stories are highlighted below underscoring this trend:

1. “JC Penney’s CEO just signaled the end of retail as we know it”
“Meanwhile, home-improvement stores have become one of the few spots in retail that are less vulnerable to the threat of Amazon” by Mary Hanbury, Business Insider.
Read more

2. “Sears to close dozens more stores as sales plunge”
“After this round of closures, the company will have about 800 stores, down from about 1,000 at the end of last year and far below the 2012 peak of 4,000 stores,” by Anne D’Innocenzio and Michelle Chapman
Read more

3. Dining by delivery reshapes restaurant biz
“Delivery boom is changing everything about the restaurant business”

“But so many diners want their food delivered to their front doors instead that the eateries have to carve out valuable space dedicated solely to fulfilling those orders.”

“Growth in the restaurant industry is coming from those who are dining at home.

“Customers are increasingly ordering food through apps on their smartphones or by calling in. And that demand for deliveries, from sit-down restaurants as well as the more familiar pizza chains and Chinese take-out spots, is dramatically changing the restaurant industry,” by Charisse Jones, USA TODAY.
Read more

4. “Retail in peace: A look at 19 dead (or dying) malls”
Photos of dead and abandoned malls in America after the economy passed them by.
By Joel Anderson, MSN.
Read more

5. “Walmart abruptly announced plans to close 63 of its Sam’s Club locations across the country.”
“The wholesale club location closings span from Alaska to Puerto Rico.”
“Some of the shuttered stores will be converted into e-commerce fulfillment facilities [including a Renton, WA location],” by Lauren Thomas and Nick Wells, CNBC.
Read more

June 12, 2018

WSDOT Update on the Yelm Bypass construction

SR 510 – Yelm Loop Location Map.
Photo credit: WSDOT

– Editor’s note:
While City of Yelm officials have provided very ambitious dates for this project by announcing construction beginning in 2019 and being completed within 2 years, the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) official timeline is published below, which shows constructon beginning in 2020 (tentatively) and completed in 2022.

SR 510 – Yelm Loop – New Alignment Phase 2
Project news
“The original timeline for this project had construction beginning in summer 2022. The project has been accelerated with the goal of starting construction in 2020. The accelerated timeline is due to unanticipated available funding combined with extensive preliminary work, such as environmental studies and preliminary design, conducted during the first phase of the project. In the first phase, WSDOT also purchased most of the right of way needed for this new portion of state highway.

Next steps: WSDOT is undertaking a Practical Solutions process to move forward on this project. WSDOT will re-engage stakeholders and take a fresh look at previous project plans.”

The End Result
“In this project, crews will build the 3 remaining miles of SR 510 between Cullens Road and 170th Street Southeast. The new connection, like the previously built Phase 1, is proposed to be a two-lane highway with bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Project Benefits
* Improving regional mobility on local roads and highways by providing a more efficient travel option.
* Relieving traffic congestion and completing critical freight links.
* The completed highway will allow traffic to move more efficiently between Thurston and Pierce counties.

What is the project timeline?
Spring 2018 – Stakeholder involvement
Spring 2018 – Design work
Summer 2018/Early 2020 – Environmental reevaluation
Summer 2020 (tentative) – Construction begins
Fall 2022 – Completed

Read more

June 11, 2018

Thurston County Auditor makes more docs available online

– Editor’s note:
Another excellent achievement in public service by the team of Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall.

– Viewable Documents From Auditor’s Online Record Index”
“Beginning June 5, 2018, the Thurston County Auditor’s Office will make additional documents viewable from our Online Records Index. Our goal as the steward of county public records is to strike a balance between easy access and protecting the privacy of sensitive information available on some types of records. All of our public records are available for inspection in person at our office.”

“New Documents Viewable on Online Record Index”
• Deeds
• Easements
• Releases
• Leases
• Agreements
Read more from the County Auditor’s office.

June 11, 2018

Introducing Yelm’s locally-owned Aeroponic Gardner,
as seen at the Yelm Farmers Market!

Photo courtesy: M.M.A.D. Veggies Tower Garden Farm

– Editor’s Note:
I met Delmar Dority at the Yelm Farmers Market opening demonstrating his very interesting mobile aeroponic tower garden called the M.M.A.D. Veggies Project. To learn his business was locally-owned right here in Yelm initiated me to ask about sharing this unique enterprise with blog readers. The mobile greenhouse is a very impressive and creative idea of Maria and Del Dority. Check-out their health conscious website: Mindful Tasty Moments .
M.M.A.D. is the abbreviation of their family names: Maria, Michael (son), Anna (daughter), Delmar.

– From our area’s Yelm-based Aeroponic Gardner:
“On the May 26th opening day of our local Farmers’ Market & we had an honor of bringing our little urban farm (yes, almost the whole farm) to the site to share our delicious aeroponic greens with the community.

M.M.A.D. Veggies Project has been on our mind for a while now. Our friends have always praised our versatile greens during our salad jar parties & barbecues, so we decided to take it one step further. And so we did “take” it, greens & all, to the heart of the city, in our mobile greenhouse! Our goal is to start “clipping” the salad right off of our towers for you to take home.
Fresh, sustainable, based on your taste, & fun!”

“Pick. Clip. Eat. Repeat.”
Read more from Maria and Del Mority.

“Grow Your Own Food. Grow a Healthier You.”
“Good health starts with good habits, like eating wholesome foods. And with Tower Garden, you can easily grow your own fresh, nutrient-rich food virtually anywhere, year‑round, without soil.”
Read more

June 10, 2018

Olympia Chamber Orchestra performs Jazz in Yelm –
June 23, 5:30pm, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Photo courtesy: https://www.olympiachamberorchestra.org/

– From the Olympia Chamber Orchestra:
“The entire Olympia Chamber Orchestra (OCO) is coming to Yelm!
Please come out and support the orchestra’s festive FUN raiser, “All That Jazz”, at Nisqually Springs Farm in Yelm, sponsor of the event. Enjoy a breathtaking view of Mt. Rainier from the covered picnic area, complete with a POPS concert, BBQ Picnic, No host wine, beer and pop bar, and “musical” auction. Nickolas Carlson conducts, Darrell Born and Claudia Simpson-Jones sing, and Cindy Schorno auctioneers. Cindy will be auctioning off some interesting items—orchestra members and maybe even the whole orchestra. OCO would like to return to Yelm each year for a concert.

“Go online to www.olympiachamberorchestra.org to buy tickets and reserve your place. Only $35 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. You can’t go wrong! For more information call 360-951-2059.”

June 10, 2018

Reminder: PageTurners meets Tuesdays –
June 12, ‘Runway’ by Alice Munro

Adult PageTurners
Tue Jun 12 2018 at 07:00 pm
Yelm Timberland Library
210 Prairie Park St SE,
Yelm, Wa
Read more

June 9, 2018

Introducing “Family Man Outdoor Living” Father’s Day Special

Photo courtesy: Family Man Outdoor Living

– Editor’s note:
Although my wife & I installed an outdoor kitchen 4 years ago, that local company ceased operations. I am pleased to have been introduced, gathered information, and sat down to meet with the owners of another locally operated outdoor kitchen craft operation in “Family Man Outdoor Living,” and share their information with all of you as summer fun is nearly upon our area.

– From Family Man Outdoor Living:
“Kick off the summer right by updating your patio with one of our EPIC Outdoor Kitchens. Installation takes days and we offer financing with 0% apr for 12 months OR low monthly payments.”! People will say “~WOW~” when they see your new space!

“You don’t need a lot of space for an outdoor kitchen — you just need the space to be functional. An outdoor grilling island can take your entertainment space to a whole new level. Grills can be great, but why not upgrade your space to also help increase the value of your home? Call us today for a free consultation.”

Family Man Outdoor Living
Locally owned and operated in Rainier
Serving all of the South Sound
Hours 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(360) 480-4661

Tell Family Man Outdoor Living you read about them on the Yelm Community Blog!

June 8, 2018

Thurston County Survey asks for public input:
“What do you want to see from Comcast as your cable provider?”

– “Comcast Cable Franchise: What do you want to see from Comcast as your cable provider?”
“The current Thurston County and Comcast cable franchise agreement is up for renewal in 2019. Part of this renewal process is asking you, the citizens of Thurston County, about the cable services provided by Comcast.

The County, along with the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, is scheduling a public meeting in late July 2018. The three cities joined with Thurston County to negotiate together for the best outcome for residents.

Federal law lists limitations and opportunities for local governments to influence cable franchises.

Thurston County just released this survey which may factor in to deciding the future of TCMedia funding. Over 90% of TCMedia operating and 100% of our capital funds are paid for by Cable Franchise fees and PEG fees, respectively. These fees are not taxes on you, but are required by law for Comcast to provide to local municipalities in exchange for using our public Rights of Way.

Help keep media local and tell the county why we are important to you. More info will come your way. The county is planning a public meeting for the end of July and we will invite your enthusiastic presence and support.
Click here for the survey.