August 13, 2019

Intercity Transit receives Smart Communities Award
Photo credit: Intercity Transit

“Intercity Transit Receives 2019 Governor’s Smart Communities Award”

Intercity Transit recently received one of 13 Smart Communities Awards. The award, presented to the Intercity Transit Authority (the Authority) by Mark Barkley, Assistant Director with the Washington State Department of Commerce, on August 7, 2019, recognizes the agency’s and its many partners’ efforts to design and deliver transit services desired by the community.

“Intercity Transit’s two-year ‘IT Road Trip’ was launched in response to anticipated budget shortfalls and potential service cuts. In response, the Authority sought input from constituents living within the Public Transportation Benefit Area to determine the type of transit system they wanted to see in the future. During the first phase of community engagement, over 10,000 individual comments were recorded.

“Based on that input, along with a rigorous technical assessment of system performance and needs, a public-private task force made up of representatives from Thurston County, the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Thurston Economic Development Council, Thurston Regional Planning Council, Washington State Department of Enterprise Services, Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, The Evergreen State College, South Puget Sound Community College, the Olympia Downtown Association, North Thurston School District, and the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council identified three scenarios for the transit agency’s future.

During the second round of community outreach, surveys and polling showed a majority of residents supported implementing a transformational public transportation system in Thurston County. This support was later confirmed with the passage of Intercity Transit Proposition 1 in November 2018 with 66 percent support overall,” by Intercity Transit.

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August 13, 2019

City of Yelm sidewalks receive improvements and planning for the future.[1].JPG
Credit: City of Yelm

“City Enhances Public Safety, Downtown Walkability, and Economic Vitality through Sidewalk Improvements and Future Planning”

“With many sidewalks around the City in need of repair and replacement, Yelm City Council allocated funding in the 2019-2020 biennial budget to repair sidewalks, improve walkability, and increase pedestrian safety throughout our community. 

“As a first order of business, the Public Works Department conducted a sidewalk study to locate sections that could be repaired and began planning for other areas that will be completely replaced this year, including sections along Yelm Avenue.”

“As Yelm continues to grow and more businesses are established, we will continue to enhance pedestrian safety and bolster downtown vitality by connecting our residents to schools, businesses and other community services in the safest and most efficient ways possible.

“A high resolution map can be found here,” by the City of Yelm.

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August 12, 2019

Timberland Regional library (TRL) is no longer a sustainable system –
Yelm should be proactive on how to provide future library services!

“Now’s the time to rethink the Timberland Regional Library system”

  • Editor’s note: Yelm owns the library condo and pays an huge annual O&M fee for the facility. Perhaps as the op-ed suggests, “small communities that already own their own libraries [like Yelm, could] opt out of TRL’s administrative and tax structure and simply pay a user fee to access the shared stock of books and other materials.”
  • Read more about the issues facing TRL

From The Olympian Editorial Board:

Our library system is well on its way to a crisis that will cause more and deeper cuts to its services.

“In 1968 – over 50 years ago – voters in the unincorporated regions of Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties voted to create an “Intercounty Rural Library District” known as the Timberland Regional Library (TRL) system.

“TRL includes libraries in Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia, smaller towns such as Yelm, Aberdeen, and Raymond, even smaller towns such as Belfair, Montesano and Ilwaco, and truly tiny communities such as Oakville, Packwood, Randle and Salkum.”

Now the library system faces a $765,000 deficit in this year’s $25 million budget, and a growing puddle of red ink in years to come.

“This is not a sustainable system.”

We urge our county commissioners and city councils to take responsibility for rethinking this structure before the current system comes face to face with deeper cuts to library services in all the communities it is supposed to serve.”

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Blogger Klein served on the Yelm Library Board from 2003-2008, and the Chair in 2006-2008.

August 12, 2019

Puget Sound’s Boeing workers warned about quality control issues opening in Charleston, SC – now some 787 buyers have expressed concerns!
First KLM Boeing 787-10 on maiden flight
Credit: Airliners Watch

“KLM complains about poor quality control from Boeing”

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Dutch flag carrier KLM has complained about the quality controls carried out at Boeing’s Charleston plant where some Dreamliners are produced.

KLM said the quality control at the Boeing’s Charleston factory is far below the acceptable standards and the airline was concerned about the following deliveries, Dutch aviation news portal reports.

“KLM expressed its displeasure to Boeing after receiving its first 787-10 Dreamliner in June.”

“There are also some negative feedbacks from other airline operators who received their Deamliners from Charleston factory. Etihad, for instance, calls a recent delivery ‘very bad‘.”

It is also known fact that Qatar Airways accepts the 787s produced in the Boeing’s Everett factory only,” by Airliner Watch.

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“New FAA administrator says no timeline for return of Boeing 737 MAX planes”

“The new head of the Federal Aviation Administration wasted no time Monday [Aug. 12] in addressing his stance on when Boeing’s 737 MAX planes may return to the skies.

“Former Delta Airlines executive Stephen Dickson was sworn in as the FAA’s Administrator on Monday by U.S Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The agency has been without a confirmed administrator since January 2018.

“During the swearing-in ceremony, Dickson said the grounded 737 MAX jets ‘will not fly in commercial service until I am completely assured that it is safe to do so,'” by Tegna Staff, King 5 TV News, Seattle.

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August 11, 2019

WaPo Op-Ed: “Have we become a shithole country?”
By Bob Englehart
Cagle Cartoons

“President Trump has yet to apologize for painting people of color as outsiders and invaders.”

“Three days before a mass shooting that killed at least 21 people in El Paso, I predicted in these pages that we were on the path to a frightening uptick in white nationalistic hate violence,” by Frank Figliuzzi, in The New York Times. “Mr. Figliuzzi is a former assistant F.B.I. director for counterintelligence.”

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“Why some business leaders are speaking publicly about Trump”

“Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle has criticized the president for divisive rhetoric and Kind Bars founder Daniel Lubetzky has also criticized Trump for dividing the country following recent mass shootings. Both join Morning Joe to discuss. [August 8, 2019].

Click here to see the interviews.

“Editorial: As the El Paso massacre showed once again, white supremacy is the poison in our well”

What’s less well understood is the undeniable through-line to today’s racial disparities in wealth and health and lifespan and other measures of well-being. That cannot be wished away or compartmentalized any more than the outbreaks of racial antagonism that occur far too often. Against that background, the current resurfacing of white supremacist ideologies is both shocking and predictable. Add in guns, and well, suddenly we have dead bodies in El Paso, in Gilroy, in Poway and Pittsburgh and Charleston and too many other places to list.

White nationalism, or whatever you want to call it, is a serious and growing reality. Violence by white men who have been inspired by extremist ideologies make up an increasing share of domestic terror cases, the FBI says,” by the LA Times Editorial Board.

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“Opinions | Foreign countries warn about travel to Trump’s U.S. Can you blame them?”

“Have we become a shithole country?”

Uruguay [Venezuela and Japan] seems to think so. Its Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an alert after the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, shootings for Uruguayan nationals traveling to the United States. It advises they “take extreme precautions in the face of growing indiscriminate violence, mostly hate crimes, including racism and discrimination, which killed more than 250 people in the first seven months of this year.”

Blaming the ‘indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population,‘ it recommends everybody, but particularly children, avoid shopping malls, theme parks, religious activities, and cultural and sporting events. It warns about cities such as Detroit, Baltimore and Albuquerque, “among the 20 most dangerous in the world.”

“Suddenly, we’re the banana republic, and the rest of the world is warning about the dangerous and hate-filled place under President Trump’s administration,” by Dana Milbank, Washington Post.

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“Trump threatens to ‘reciprocate’ countries that issue travel warnings to US”

“President Trump on Friday threatened to “reciprocate” travel warnings issued against the U.S. following a pair of mass shootings.

“Asked about his reactions to the travel advisories, Trump replied, “Well, I can’t imagine that. But if they did that, we’d just reciprocate.”

“We are a very reciprocal nation, with me as the head. When somebody does something negative to us in terms of a country, we do it to them,” he added.

Uruguay, Venezuela and Japan issued warnings this week after the U.S. experienced a pair of mass shootings last weekend that killed 31 people. Japan warned of ‘the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States,’ and described the country as a ‘gun society,'” by Rachel Frazin, The Hill.

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August 11, 2019

America’s farmers take the hit from Trump’s trade wars, unleash on Ag Sec.
By Jack Ohman
The Sacramento Bee

August 8, 2019

“‘We’re not doing great’: Furious farmers unleash on Trump’s Ag Secretary after he tells joke about whining farmers”

President Donald Trump’s promises to rural America haven’t worked out well. He promised farmers that he would fight for them and get better trade deals. He failed. He then promised farmers that he would bail them out with a subsidy saving them from the trade war. He failed, giving the overwhelming majority of the subsidies to corporate farms, most of which aren’t even in rural American. Now farmers are striking back.

Bloomberg News reported a meeting between farmers and Sec. of Agriculture Sonny Perdue did not go well Wednesday [August 7].

‘Farmers’ discontent over President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China erupted into the open,’ the site reported.

Gary Wertish, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, unleashed on Perdue calling out the administration for causing ‘devastating damage not only to rural communities.'”

“He trashed Trump’s $28 billion ‘trade aid,’ saying that the public already views it ‘as a welfare program’ or ‘bailouts,'” by Sarah K. Burris, Raw Story.

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“Ag loan delinquencies increasing — Farm Bankruptcy filings up 13%”

“Following several years of low farm income and rising debt levels, a review of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation quarterly call report data reveals delinquency rates for commercial agricultural loans in both the real estate and non-real estate lending sectors are at a six-year high,” by John Newton, Ph.D., Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation.

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August 10, 2019

8-hour reading of the Mueller Report coming to Olympia Aug. 24th
Robert Mueller
Washington Center for the Performing Arts

A non-partisan event open to all, created as a public service. 
“A complete and full public reading of the redacted version of the Office of the Special Counsel’s Report,” from The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Read more

“The Washington Center to host live 8-hour reading of the Mueller Report”

“The Washington Center for the Performing Arts will host an eight-hour live reading of all 448 pages of the Mueller Report Aug. 24.

“Local political figures such as Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby, U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, Olympia Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel Jones, Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim, members of the state attorney general’s office, as well as local actors and theater leaders will lend their voices to read the expansive document over the show’s 8-hour run time.

“This is an important moment for American democracy and it’s great to have so many people work in a non-partisan manner to provide this information to the general public,’ said event co-producer Ned Hayes,” by Helen Smith, The Olympian.

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August 10, 2019

AARP’S annual list of “99 Great Ways To Save” money!
Typography by Jordan Metcalf
Credit: AARP Magazine

“The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money”

“AARP’s 10th annual list of great deals starts with all-time favorites”

Click here for the complete list.

August 9, 2019

Delta Airlines announces transfer of Tokyo operations to Haneda from Narita!
Credit: Delta Airlines, Inc.

“Delta to become largest U.S. carrier serving Tokyo-Haneda in 2020”

  • Delta to become largest U.S. carrier serving Haneda in 2020, with full transfer of U.S.-Tokyo services from Narita airport to Haneda
  • Airline will offer industry leading product, with unparalleled operational reliability and service on seven daily flights to Haneda from cities throughout the U.S.
  • Editor’s note: Delta will be using their new A-330-900neo on the Haneda route! Delta is Seattle’s number one international airline in offering the most seats to the most international destinations.

“Under a final decision announced by the U.S. Department of Transporation today, Delta will become the largest U.S. carrier serving Haneda, with seven daily flights between Haneda and Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Honolulu, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. With this change, Delta will transfer its full operation of U.S.-Tokyo services from Narita to Haneda, the city’s closest and most convenient airport, beginning in March 2020.

“‘We have proudly served Japan for more than 70 years and our commitment to our Tokyo legacy remains strong,’ said Steve Sear, President – International and Executive Vice President – Global Sales. ‘This new service is a game-changer for Delta’s ability to offer competitive and comprehensive access to the city, which is one of the world’s most important business markets. It’s a win for our customers, giving them much quicker access to the city center, and it complements our overall strategy of growth across the Pacific.'”

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Credit: Delta Airlines, Inc.

August 9, 2019

Thurston’s Medic One acknowledged for 45 years of service

“Thurston County Medic One Celebrates 45 Years”

Early on the morning of August 4, 1974, the first crews to serve the citizens of Thurston County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system pulled their first shifts. As of this past Sunday, Medic One paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) have served the citizens of Thurston County for 45 consecutive years.

Thurston County Medic One was the first countywide, paramedic tiered EMS response system in the nation. This tiering system allows for the most appropriate EMS resources to be dispatched to those in need of emergent medical care throughout Thurston County. Thurston County Medic One has now grown to support 7 Medic Units (paramedic) stationed around the county. They are in Rochester (Medic 14), Tumwater (Medic 5), Olympia (Medic 4 and Medic 10), Lacey (Medic 3 and Medic 6), and Yelm (Medic 2). These Medic Units help support the 126 licensed Aid Units (EMT / First Responder) deployed throughout the 12 fire agencies in Thurston County.

According to the Emergency Medical Services Council (EMSC) Chair, Margaret McPhee, ‘Thurston County is fortunate to have one of the best Emergency Medical Systems in the country.”

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