July 23, 2014

Introducing CREW -
Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup

"CREW formed in the late 1990s to address the regional nature of earthquake hazards in the Pacific Northwest and the interdependency of public agencies and private businesses in planning for earthquakes. We are a nonprofit public-private coalition of business people, emergency managers, scientists, government officials and civic leaders who work together to reduce the effects of earthquakes and related hazards, such as tsunami, throughout the Cascadia region, which stretches from northern California to British Columbia."

Specifically, CREW’s goals are:

Promote efforts to reduce the loss of life and property damage from earthquakes;
Educate and motivate decision makers, managers, and the general public to reduce risks associated with earthquakes; and
Foster productive linkages between scientists, critical infrastructure providers, businesses and governmental agencies in order to improve the resilience of communities after an earthquake.
Read more in our Strategic Plan.

We invite all individuals, businesses and organizations that want to make the Cascadia Region more resilient to earthquakes and related hazards to join us."
Read more

July 22, 2014

The American Police State -
Bill Maher, the latest from Snowden, and more

- "Bill Maher Rails Against Militarized Police State"
Ed. Note: This nails it - absolutely accurate!
Click here for the video.

From Edward Snowden:
- NSA Employees Routinely Pass Around Intercepted Nude Photos
By Wang Wei, The Hacker News
Read more

- Edward Snowden: 'If I end up in chains in Guantánamo I can live with that' - video interview"
Excerpt of interview with UK's The Guardian.
Click here

And two relevant stories on "The American Police State:"
"An FBI Counterterrorism Agent Tracked Me Down Because I Took a Picture of This"
"The Rainbow Swash is an iconic piece of public art near Boston painted on the circumference of a 140-foot high liquefied natural gas storage tank in 1971 and repainted in 1992 at an adjacent site. It is actually one of the largest copyrighted pieces of art in the world. The original artist was Korita Kent," quoting James Prigoff on the ACLU Blog.
Read more

"Commentary -What I Don’t Like About Life in the American Police State"
By John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute.
Read more

July 21, 2014

Gov. Inslee positions state to lead on solar

Gov. Jay Inslee

- " Washington state just lopped up to $2,500 off the cost of solar panels. Here’s how."
"Until now, the process of legally installing solar panels on a building in Washington has been what it is in most of the U.S.: while there are state and national building codes, each county enforces them differently."

Then this April, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order to deal with carbon emissions — and that order paved the way for the standardization and simplification of solar permitting. It was a surprisingly agreeable process, says Mia Devine, a project manager at Northwest Solar Communities, a coalition that helped with the rule changes. 'The mandate of the governor’s office really made people pay attention. It actually passed unanimously.'

This whole 'actually making it easy to put in solar' thing is still fairly rare, but the idea of having simpler rules seems like a popular one," quoting Heather Smith in Grist.
Read more

Editor's Note:
Bravo to Gov. Inslee for taking the lead in this development. I purchased my first solar panels in 1992 and for over 20 years, solar has provided a reliable year round power source for my home, even here in the Northeast. To reduce the need for fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint IS the future.

And, President Obama went the other way, unfortunately!

- "Seismic rift: Obama splits with environmentalists on Atlantic oil exploration
White House sides with energy companies in dispute with environmentalists"

"The Obama administration on Friday [July 18] green-lighted a plan to allow the oil industry to search for possible oil and gas under Atlantic waters using air guns and sonic blasts that environmentalists say can harm marine life."

"It also helps pave the way for possible drilling off the East Coast in the 2020s by giving the industry a new chance to prove the oil and gas potential of the area as the Obama administration assembles a five-year plan for selling offshore energy leases beginning in late 2017," quoting Jennifer A. Dlouhy in the Houston Chronicle.

Editor's note:
Imagine Daytona Beach, Carolina's Outer Banks or the Chesapeake Bay's famed crabbing waters destroyed by an oil pipeline disaster? Of course, the damage to our coast's marine life will be enormous from the sonic blasts alone!

July 20, 2014

This summer, visit two lavender farms in our area

Photo courtesy: Urban Harvest

- Mountain Meadow Lavender Farm
"Welcome to Mountain Meadow Lavender Farm near Roy.... 10 acres that is soon to be LAVENDER CENTRAL in the Nisqually Valley! Owned by Barbara and Gerald Hulscher, we now have nearly 1,000 plants of several varieties growing in our fields on the corner of 8th Ave. So and 304th. Come on over and visit our store or give us a call!"

Mountain Meadow Lavender Farm
919 304th St So
Roy, WA. 98580
(253) 843-4109

- Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm
"The Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm is a boutique farm located, in Olympia Washington, at the base of the Puget Sound. We specialize in Dried Lavender Crafts, Dried Lavender Bundles (fresh in-season), Lavender Buds, Culinary Lavender, Soothing Body Products, Aromatherapy and Lavender Gifts."

Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm
9733 Evergreen Valley Rd. SE.
Olympia, WA. 98513
(360) 754-2002
Read more

July 19, 2014

Do you know of the Thurston Conservation District?

"The Thurston Conservation District promotes voluntary stewardship among private landowners in Thurston County. Local Solutions to Local Problems."
Read more

Thurston Conservation District Mission
"To conserve, sustain, and protect our natural resources for the people of Thurston County through: rural and urban partnerships, fostering volunteerism, cooperation, education, leadership, and technical and financial assistance."

Our Vision
"To create healthy, functioning ecosystems in Thurston County through advocacy, education and technical assistance efforts; thereby empowering every citizen of Thurston County to be a steward of the environment."
Read more

July 18, 2014

Commissioner Romero's Coffee Mon., July 21 -

Sandra Romero

Please join Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero, as she hosts her monthly informal coffee hours in Rainier and Yelm on Monday, July 21st.

On Monday, July 21, join Commissioner Romero and her guest, Fair Coordinator Joshua Cummings, and learn about all of the happenings planned for this year’s Thurston County Fair.

Thurston County Fair
July 30—August 3

There is a lot happening in Thurston County and we want to hear from you!
Once a month, Commissioner Romero meets with community members for informal coffee chats. These meetings give you the opportunity to talk about issues of concern, ask her questions about the county, and share ideas. Commissioner Romero provides participants' coffee. She is the representative of District 2, which includes Yelm, Lacey, and Rainier.

Citizen meeting with 2nd district County Commissioner Sandra Romero

Monday, July 21, 2014

- Rainier: 9:30am – 10:30am at Rainier City Hall, 102 Rochester St W

- Yelm: 11:00am – Noon Tacos Gaby, 307 Yelm Ave SE
Read more

July 17, 2014

Port of Olympia invests in small cities

From the Port of Olympia:
"Projects in each of Thurston County’s small, incorporated cities will receive an economic boost from Port of Olympia in 2014. Bucoda, Rainier and Yelm will each receive $10,000 and Tenino will receive $5,000. The Port Commission approved the funding awards at their July 14th meeting.

The intention of the Port’s Small Cities Program is to assist with projects that will contribute to local economic development. The program requires an equal cash match from the city. A city receives the funds after completing the project and submitting the required information to the Port."

With Yelm only hold-out allowing plastic bags
Sustainable packaging is in the news

Regardless that Yelm is the largest hold-out in prohibiting plastic bag use in Thurston County, sustainable packaging is making headway here in the U. S.:

Introducing TerraCycle:
"TerraCycle is a highly-awarded, international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products. TerraCycle is widely considered the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste.

TerraCycle works with more than 100 major brands in the U.S. and 22 countries overseas to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills. It repurposes that waste into new, innovative materials and products that are available online and through major retailers."
Read more

TerraCycle’s packaging sustainability drive lands a starring role on TV
By Jenni Spinner in Food Production Daily.com:
The company’s efforts to boost packaging recycling rates, and increase packaging and manufacturing sustainability, will be the center of a program on the Pivot network.
Read more

July 16, 2014

Clearwood Area Cell Tower news today

Proposed cell tower site is on the hill adjacent two water tanks on lower-right
Photo credit: Google Earth

About 25 people gathered at the Weyerhaeuser 1000 road adjacent the south gate at Clearwood this morning at 8am to observe the scheduled AT & T Mobility balloon test of a proposed cell tower. Everyone in this group was against the tower's location, as they were nearby property owners who were well educated on the scientific studies of the unhealthful effects of these towers on those in close proximity for an extended period.

At 6pm tonight, Noah Grodzin represented AT & T Mobility at a public meeting at the Yelm Middle School to discuss the new communication tower. About 100 people were present for the informational slide presentation which included:

- AT&T Rationalization
- Coverage Map
- Customer Complaints Map
- Proposed Tower- New Coverage Map

This was followed by an extensive give and take of opinions between Clearwood residents, property owners outside Clearwood and others interested in this issue. While no one wanted the tower one or near their land, half of the group were for the proposed locale wanting cell coverage in the Bald Hills, while the other half was against the tower and said they moved out to the country to be in the pristine, natural environment, undisturbed by these frequencies.
Stay tuned for the balloon test results. More to come.

A petition has been posted for those against the cell tower which states:
New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC and Weyerhaeuser Company: Reconsider the siting of a Cell Tower near the Clearwood Community!

The proposed Cell Tower would:
1) Decrease Property Values
2) Have a detrimental effect on the Wildlife in the area - birds, animals and bees are all effected.
3) Have a significant effect on Human Health for anyone living near the cell tower.
It is documented that the most susceptible populations are fetuses/pregnant women, children and
the elderly, with impacts extending to the 3rd generation and beyond - including:
* DNA damage
* Brain and other Cancers
* Childhood Leukemia and Impaired Immune Systems
* Decreased Memory and Attention in school children
Click here

Read more from this Blog's July 1st entry.

Democrats rally around Greg Hartman in Yelm

LD 2 candidate Greg Hartman

The Thurston Democrats held a campaign kick-off for Legislative District 2 candidate Greg Hartman last night at Gordon's Grange in Yelm. Hartman ran for thiis position in 2012 and while he lost, he garnered a very respectable 48% of the general election vote. Hartman has devoted his entire life to public service: 7 years in the Coast Guard and 34 years in the Fire and Emergency Services Departments, recently retiring as a Deputy Fire Chief. Hartman's message on Education, Women's Rights, Public Safety, Transportation, Jobs and more is timely and resonates well with his constituents.

A robust audience gathered on a warm, summer evening from a broad cross-section of the area.
Conducting the introductions at this "meet and greet the candidate evening" was a very enthusiastic Elissa Goss, Thurston County Field Organizer. She introduced and asked each of the following to say a few words:
- Eric Herde, Hartman Campaign Manager
- Evan Mack, Hartman Campaign Chair
- Rep. Sam Hunt, LD 22 Rep.
- Yvonne Pettus, Candidate for Thurston County Clerk
- Greg Hartman, LD 2 candidate
- Roger Erskine, Thurston Democrats Chair
- Mary Hall, Thurston County Auditor.

Hartman spoke of his vision for this Legislature position. Highlights were:
- "sharing ideas and opinions that allow us to move forward and establish a dialogue"
- "the middle class is under attack and our lifestyle is changing."
- "we must have conversations that make us effective."
- "I was asked why I am running - the answer is that my family and [all of] our families were instrumental in developing the middle class. We're not going to sit idly by and let our ideals go by the wayside."
- "We must move forward to re-establish the middle class for the future. These are the ideals I bring."
- "I encourage all of you to speak your mind. We can move all kinds of mountains and make things happen," on Education, Women's Rights, Public Safety, Transportation, Jobs and more.

Erskine said,
"The voters of this area played a CRITICAL role in 2013 in getting Mary Hall elected as the first Democratic County Auditor since 1939. That is why we are here again in Yelm, as we have such a well-qualified candidate in Greg Hartman running for LD 2 to represent this area in the State House."

Mary Hall said,
"The Primary ballots drop ... [will be mailed this week] and while this Primary will have light participation, every vote matters, so please tell your family, friends and neighbors to vote."

Following the introductions, refreshments were served and there was wonderful camaraderie in the social interactions.

Click here for more information on the Greg Hartman for LD 2 campaign.

Editor's note:
I have noticed that at all of the Democratic meet & greet the candidate session in Yelm, no one is ever present from our local newspaper, i.e. Sandra Romero, Karen Valenzuela, Denny Heck, Bruce Lachney, Mary Hall, and now Greg Hartman. hmmmmm.

Mary Hall, Roger Erskine, Steve Klein


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