A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: Celebrating Our History Together
|Amy Clawson is the next big thing in country music," according to Cashbox Magazine. "She has the voice of an established superstar, and the soul of a pioneer."
This weekend is Wagon Days, the city of Ketchum's signature event. We pay tribute to our history and to those who have made Ketchum the great place that it is today. More importantly, we take time to gather in the streets, party, catch up with friends we've missed in the busyness of summer and get to know each other again.
The city is expanding the Wagon Days celebration this year with a concert and street party following Saturday's Big Hitch parade. We want people to stay in town, share refreshments and dance as we mark the transition from summer to fall. We're expecting a crowd of 17,000 this weekend.
The celebration officially starts tomorrow. Meandering musicians, carrying out the tradition that "when the wagons are rolling, the fiddlers are strolling," will perform at locations throughout town on Friday and Saturday. Cowboy poets will recite their works at the Ore Wagon Museum, East Avenue and Fifth Street, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.
Saturday will start off with the Papoose Club pancake breakfast, which raises funds for local children's activities, in Town Square from 8 a.m. to noon. The volunteer cooks will be back at the same time on Sunday, again serving pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs.
The main event, the Big Hitch Parade, starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, traveling into town on Sun Valley Road and then turning north on Main Street. With more than 100 museum-quality buggies, carriages, carts, stages, coaches and wagons, it is the largest parade in the Northwest without motor vehicles.
The grand finale, as always, will be the "Big Hitch," historic Lewis Ore Wagons pulled by a 20-mule team from Bishop, California, on a jerkline.
I will have the honor of recognizing this year's grand marshal, Ketchum Finance Director Sandy Cady, on Friday, Sept. 2, at 5:30 p.m. in Memory Park, Main Street between 5th and 6th streets. Sandy will retire in November as city finance director, after working for Ketchum for 42 years. Wagon Days has long been a part of her personal history and she can remember riding in the parade in the family buggy when she was 5 years old. The reception is free and open to all, so please join us.
The City Council members and I will be right behind Sandy in the parade, riding in the historic Lewis family coach. It was owned and given to the city by the same family that owned the ore wagons.
A good way to get into the spirit is to visit Wagon Days headquarters, open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Ore Wagon Museum. Posters, including this year's collage of photos from past celebrations by local artist Nina Fox, and other memorabilia are for sale. The ore wagons are on display adjacent to the museum.
Please join me in celebrating Ketchum's heritage this weekend.
Q. We have planned to come and visit for a couple weeks with the thought of moving. I am retired from practice of law for heart reasons but have a 2, 6, 18 and 19 year old. Do you recommend coming in December or early Summer? --Herman Praszkier
A. I love Ketchum any time of year but best of all, like Hemingway, I love the fall. I polled city department heads to get their opinions:
Micah Austin, director of planning and building:
"December, sometime around Christmas. As the song goes, 'It's the most wonderful time of the year.'"
Sandy Cady, finance director:
"December is beautiful with all the holiday lights, but as the saying goes, "Winter brings them but summer keeps them." Personally, I would say summer."
Brian Christiansen, street superintendent:
"My vote is for summer. I think there are more outdoor activities for a family to enjoy."
Lisa Enourato, assistant city administrator:
Suzanne Frick, city administrator
: "I agree with Lisa. As another song goes, 'June is bustin' out all over.'"
Robyn Mattison, public works director/city engineer:
"My vote is for summer. I polled some city employees and they said early summer as well."
Jennifer L. Smith, director of parks and recreation:
"You know what they say: "They come for the winter but stayed for the summer." The December holiday time in Ketchum is magical - the lights and revelry of the holiday is all wonderful. You also get a taste of what the cold and darkness is really like in the northern part of the Intermountain West, and this might be helpful for a family from Kentucky! There's lots of great resort stuff to do for kids of all ages. The city outdoor ice rink may be open, and Galena Lodge and Smiley Creek are great close-by locations.
"Early summer is a possibility, though ... lighter crowds, beautiful wildflowers. You may want to clarify what 'early summer' means to a person from a much warmer climate. You'll want to bring a jacket for our 'early summer' (sometimes even mid-summer) morning temperatures in the 40s. What the heck! Come twice!"
Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.
COUNCIL AGENDA - MEETING INFORMATION - COMMENT
Stay involved. Included here are links to the Tuesday, Sept. 6, Council agenda, Council meeting information and a survey on the proposed electric vehicle charging station. More information on the survey questions is available by clicking the info button below. Survey closes at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6. It is the responsibility of the city to inform the public and gain public input. Please provide the city with your opinion and comments by taking this week's survey, attending Tuesday's meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Ketchum City Hall, 480 East Ave., N., or
sending an email to email@example.com. Thank you, Nina
HOW FAR WOULD YOU WALK FROM YOUR CAR TO A RESTAURANT?
Almost everyone who answered a recent city survey on parking would be willing to walk three blocks to a restaurant or movie theater in Ketchum and two blocks to a grocery story. Almost all also said they would be willing to pay in a parking garage or at a parking meter.
The planning and building department staff will consider the 296 survey responses in the changes to parking requirements for housing and businesses in Ketchum.
Of the 293 people who answered a question on the numbers of vehicles they own, 133 own two cars or trucks. There were 92 respondents who own one vehicle, 40 who own three, and 27 who own more than three. Only one person did not own a vehicle.
There were 109 people who park two vehicles in a garage, 90 who park one vehicle in a garage and 5 who park more than three vehicles in a garage.
Approximately two-thirds think there is adequate bicycle parking downtown, with 182 saying yes and 103 saying no. Those who feel there is insufficient parking cited lack of security, lack of shelter and two few locations as their reasons.
In terms of using alternative transportation to reach downtown, 256 take the bus and 272 bicycles once or twice a week. There were 276 who walk two or three times a week. No one walked, bicycled or rode the bus more than three times a week.
There were 193 people who said it is okay for studios and one-bedroom housing units to have only one parking space, and 34 who were neutral on the question. There were 162 who said there is no need for parking spaces if vehicles owned by occupants of studios and one-bedroom units are parked in a private garage.
Between 286 and 290 people said on-site parking spaces should be required for community housing, retail establishments, places of assembly and restaurants.
Almost half made additional comments on parking. Some samples follow:
- "We need it (the community) to be more walkable, safer for biking!"
- "The easier you make it to walk/bike, the more do it."
- "Make Fourth Street a pedestrian zone."
- "Parking is too easy. People drive even three blocks."
- "Run free, small open-air buses."
- "It would be nice to have the downtown core car-free."
- "Main Street sidewalks should be enlarged."
- "We need more parking spaces, not less. Parking garage is okay."
- "Enforce the two-hour parking areas."
- "The charm of the place is the street parking."
- "Please don't have paid parking."
- "No parking meters. More parking places, please."
- "Limiting the use of cars will hurt EVERYONE."
- "Housing without parking devalues a neighborhood."
- "Ketchum needs to have year-round overnight parking."
- "We need underground parking downtown. Very simple."
- "Current situation seems good to me."
- "The existing parking is okay. I usually walk."
City staff heard additional comments at a public workshop attended by approximately 20 people last week.
Any changes in parking regulations will require approval by the city Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as City Council. Additional details are in the June 19 city e-newsletter.
ENERGY SAVINGS AT WASTEWATER PLANT CONTINUE
Ketchum continues to qualify for Idaho Power rebates for energy savings at the wastewater treatment plant, receiving a check for $4,057.56 in August.
Cumulative energy savings since March 2014 have been 1.6 million kilowatt hours, with a cost saving of $78,632. August energy usage, for example, was approximately one-third of the energy usage in the same month in 2013.
"I commend the public works department's efforts in furthering the city's energy efficiency goals and reducing costs to Ketchum's rate payers," Mayor Nina Jonas said.
TERI PIERCE: KEEPING THE BIG WOOD RIVER CLEAN FOR 33 YEARS
Teri Pierce, who retired from the Ketchum wastewater treatment facility this week, has taken pride in keeping the Big Wood River clean for 33 years.
She's the person in charge of the laboratory tests for controlling the processes that govern the discharge into the river, as well as monitoring the discharge.
Before starting with the city, she was a registered medical technologist. She was looking for a job when she saw the opening, and she's been there ever since.
When she started, there were only 5 employees - compared to today's 13. Today's automated technology did not exist, and she performed all tests by hand.
"What I like best is being a participant in keeping our river clean," she said. "It's also been rewarding to make it possible for the Weyyakin area and the Elkhorn golf course to reuse our treated water for landscaping."
What's next for Teri? "Riding horses, fishing, hunting, and gardening. My passion is SCUBA diving, and I go all over the world."
"When you enjoy the clean waters of the Big Wood, you can thank Teri for that," said Robyn Mattison, public works director/city engineer. "She has performed a behind-the-scenes job for three decades - a job that is important to all of us. It's been a pleasure to have her on the staff."
'MY HUMAN IS A KETCHUM HERO'
What better reward for people who pick up dog poop than a tiny poop bag dispenser?
Chuck Aarp, who works in the city's facilities and maintenance department, has the unenviable job of emptying dog poop containers. To make life easier for good citizens, if Aarp sees someone carrying a full poop bag, he invites them to throw it in his truck rather than continue carrying it to the nearest container.
He was looking for a small gift that he could fund personally to reward responsible dog owners, but decided the cost of gift certificates for lattes and some other ideas would add up to fast. He then found poop bag dispensers, and asked permission to use the city's logo. The city not only agreed, but took over funding for the project.
So if Aarp sees you picking up poop, you might just receive a gift. The dispensers have the city logo, hashtag "SmallTownBigLife" and a phrase by Arpp: "My human is a Ketchum hero."
Listen to Podcast on Entrepreneurship
Buy Business Ski Passes by Sept. 5
Deadline to buy business ski passes, which can be shared by employees, is Monday, Sept. 5. Funds go to support air service.
Batelle Energy Alliance Offers Grants to Community Groups
Battelle Energy Alliance, operator of Idaho National Laboratory, is accepting applications for grants in two different fields.
The Community Giving campaign offers grants for human services, health, environment, arts and civic projects, with an emphasis on the basic needs of children and the underprivileged.
The Technology-based Economic Development Campaign offers grants for spurring regional economic development, technology-based economic development, talent pipeline and entrepreneurship in the region.
"Projects that complement the mission of the lab in nuclear energy, clean energy and national and homeland security are at the top of our list to fund in 2016. We're looking for impactful projects that boost the regional economy in novel ways," said Stephanie Cook of INL's Economic and Workforce Development team.
Applications must be received by Oct. 15.
For full details, or to download the 2016 application form, visit INL's website.
From there, select menu on the top right, then choose "Partner with INL," then choose either "Community and Education Outreach" or "Economic and Workforce Development."
NEWS AT A GLANCE
Recognizing Value of Dark Skies
Other towns are joining Ketchum in recognizing the importance of dark skies. A recent article in
The New York Times
tells how Westcliffe, Colo., has started attracting amateur astronomers to its community.
Ketchum, which adopted its
Dark Sky ordinance
in 1999, was the first city in Idaho to protect the night sky now. Ketchum and regional partners are
working to create what could be the first Dark Sky Reserve in North America.
The city is encouraging residents to post photos of the nighttime sky on social media with the hashtag #Lookup.
City Seeks Representatives for Ketchum Arts Commission
City Council to Change Meeting Date for Holiday
City Council will meet Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 5:30 p.m. The change from the usual Monday meeting time is because of the Labor Day holiday. The agenda includes a request from the developers of the proposed Auberge Resort Sun Valley to post a bond instead of paying required in lieu fees for community housing now, as well as approval of the FY 2016-17 budget.
City Hall Closed Labor Day
City offices will be closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.
Hunter S. Thompson Family Returns Hemingway Antlers
Ernest Hemingway's stolen trophy elk antlers are now back in the hands of his family, thanks to Thompson's widow. Thompson, writing a story about Hemingway's death, took the antlers when he visited the Hemingway home in Ketchum in 1964.
A few weeks ago, more than 50 years later, his widow decided to return them. She sent them to The Community Library, which helps catalog items in the Hemingway residence.
"He was embarrassed that he took them," Anita Thompson told the Associated Press, noting the deep respect her husband had for Hemingway's work. "He wished he hadn't taken them. He was young, it was 1964, and he got caught up in the moment." The antlers have been sent to a Hemingway grandson in New York.
Airport to Close Oct. 3-5
Friedman Memorial Airport will be closed for runway maintenance from 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, through 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Please consider this when you are making travel plans.
It's 'Solar Energy Summer'
Thinking of installing solar? As part of its efforts to create a sustainable city, Ketchum is waiving all fees, for home and business owners, associated with solar installations now through September.
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month in Ketchum City Hall. Click here to see the agenda and staff reports or scan the QR code.
Planning and Zoning Commission
Attend the next Planning and Zoning Commission meetings at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12. P&Z meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday of each month in Ketchum City Hall. Click here for agendas and staff reports or scan the QR code.
If you cannot attend the Council or P&Z meetings and would like to express an opinion, please submit your comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed.
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