City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"The Original Mountain Town" 
In this Issue

Our hearts and prayers are with Bowe. 
                                                          May 15, 2014

A Message from Mayor Nina Jonas: Dreaming of an Onsen at Warm Springs
The Hirayu town square has a hot springs foot soak where we took a break and warmed our toes!
In Japan, the onsen, natural hot springs, draws people from near and far to celebrate the glory and delight of a ritualized and healthy soak in hot water.
In Hirayu, at the base of the Nippon Mountains in the Japanese Alps, the Japanese combine the pleasure of skiing with the therapeutic delights of hot springs.


What an excellent combination ... a day of skiing followed by a soak in an onsen. We want one!  


I dream of the Guyer Onsen at the base of Warm Springs where I can complete my day with a therapeutic soak.



It is an honor to serve you and I always welcome your input in person or via email, Nina
Springtime in Ketchum            
video0515141Some would say slack season in Ketchum is a great time to catch up on all the things you neglected during ski season. Others may argue that it's just a time to switch sports.

However you look at it, springtime is a great time to reset and gear up for summer fun! 
Backcountry Rescues Outnumber Structure Fires - New ATV Will Help            
backcountryrescueA new backcountry rescue all-terrain vehicle has just arrived, a particularly important event since Ketchum firefighters now go to more backcountry rescues than structure fires.

There were three structure fires,
all relatively minor, and seven backcountry rescues last year. The increasing proportion of medical emergencies follows a nationwide trend, according to Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle. Fire/paramedic agencies across the country say 72 percent of the calls are medical. The Wood River Fire & Rescue, which serves southern Blaine County, reports that 90 percent of its calls are for medical emergencies.

Why? First, new building materials and construction techniques have reduced building fires. At the same time, each year more people are venturing into the backcountry, Elle said.

If a location cannot be reached by ambulance, it is defined as a backcountry rescue. The new Polaris Ranger, which cost about $25,000 fully equipped, has a litter on top and is equipped with tires in the summer and tracks in the winter. It is a donation to the Ketchum and Sun Valley fire departments from the Ketchum/Sun Valley Volunteer Firefighter Association. Previously, rescue teams had to pull a patient in a trailer attached to an ATV. "It was a lot of extra weight and much slower," Elle said.

When a person is missing in the backcountry, the search is the responsibility of the Blaine County Sheriff's Office. Once the victim is located, all Ketchum and Sun Valley firefighters are paged. Anyone available responds, and the first responding duty officer is in charge.

Ketchum firefighters make about 10 backcountry rescues each year. Although other departments will assist under mutual aid agreements, Ketchum and Sun Valley perform most rescues because they are closest to backcountry areas. Ketchum Fire has rescued people throughout Blaine County and even in parts of Custer County under mutual aid agreements.

About 15 firefighters have had extensive backcountry training, including 80 to 120 hours of classes in high- and low-angle technical rope rescue techniques such as rappelling and raising and lowering patients in litters. There also are joint training sessions with helicopter crews from the Idaho Army National Guard and Sun Valley Heli Ski guides, and air ambulance networks. All Ketchum Fire Department members have had basic training in avalanche, swift-water, ice and cold water and confined-space rescues.

"Like structure fires, backcountry rescues are low-frequency, high-risk events for responders," Elle said. "We have a limited staff and if one of us gets injured, it compounds the problem. This is why we spend so much time training for the backcountry."

Contact Elle with questions or for more information at 726-7805 or
Firefighters 'Street Fight' to Benefit Drug Coalition
streetfightYou can watch Ketchum firefighters demonstrate their skills in the Ketchum Street Fight, a light-hearted competition benefiting the Blaine County Drug Coalition, on May 17 at 9 a.m. in Town Square.

Teams will compete in a fire-engine push of 50 yards, an odd object "mover" in which each team will carry 100-pound hose rolls and flip tires weighing a total of more than 500 pounds, and a sandbag carry that calls for moving 1,000 pounds of sandbags over a seven-foot wall, sled-dragging them 25 feet and rescue-carrying the team to the finish line. Two mystery events will be announced on the spot.

Each team can have as many members as it chooses as long as their combined weights do not exceed 1,000 pounds. The entry fee is $100 per team. You do not have to be a firefighter to enter.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Blaine County Drug Coalition. Sponsors of the event are the City of Ketchum, Ketchum Professional Firefighters Local 4658, and the Ketchum/Sun Valley Volunteer Firefighter Association.

For more information or to register your team to participate, contact Ketchum Fire Capt. Tom McLean at 720-7717. 
City to Ask Business Owners on May 29: What's on Your Mind?      

businessownersThe City will hold a forum for business owners on Thursday, May 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the Sun Valley/Ketchum Visitors Center, 491 Sun Valley Road. The title of the program is "Business Owners: What's on Your Mind?" 


Mayor Nina Jonas is inviting all business owners to join her and other elected and appointed officials for informal discussions and keypad polling on a variety of topics. Topics to be discussed include how the City can better collaborate with its existing businesses, City communication with business owners, business training programs that would be helpful, opinions on permitting temporary vendors and whether Ketchum needs a new business organization.


"Planning Commissioner Deborah 'Burnsie' Burns suggested the meeting, and we agreed that it is overdue," Jonas said. "Some feel there has been a void in the business community since the dissolution of the chamber of commerce. We want to reach out to our business owners and see what the City can do to help." Burns and Director of Planning and Building Joyce Allgaier will facilitate the polling and discussions.

There is no charge to attend the forum. Refreshments will be served and no-host beverages will be available.

Although the meeting is designed primarily for business owners, it is open to the public. For additional information, contact Allgaier at or 727-5084.  
Why So Many Dandelions?   by Juerg Stauffacher, Ketchum Parks & Resources Superintendent 

dandelionsWhy are there so many dandelions in City parks? We get that question every spring. 


Our mission is to reduce the amount of chemicals we put out on City property.  We believe that this is better for us, our children, our fuzzy pets and our waterways. Dandelions are not noxious weeds - they don't crowd out native species of plants and the leaves are even edible.  


We do still have to spray once in a while, but we make sure that it is unavoidable and always clearly marked when we do. We know that sometimes dandelions are hard to love - so here is some inspiration from our local environmental community:

Juerg Stauffacher, Ketchum Parks & Resources Superintendent

"I like dandelions because you can blow them! They are so much fun and so fuzzy and I feel like someone could make an art project with them. I remember playing with them at Redfish when I was really young - like 4 years old." - Anna, age 5


"Dandelions are great for chasing and crowns, then blowing parachute seeds for summer wishes. If they were only hard to grow, they would be adored by children and adults alike." - Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas 


For more information, please call me at 726-7820 or email me,

In the meantime, please visit the City of Ketchum Facebook page to tell us why YOU love dandelions! 
Winters Are Now 20 Days Shorter
Hempitecture Team's Matthew Mead and Tyler Mauri
energyThe average winter is now 20 days shorter than it was in the 1970s and is decreasing at the rate of five days per decade, according to the International Panel on Climate Change, an organization established by the United Nations and other groups. The resulting decline in winter sports has cost more than $1.07 billion since 1999, according to a recent study.

As a result, Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas is supporting a new organization, Snowriders International, urging strong carbon standards on new and existing power plants to protect snow sports. At the current rate of warming, the group predicts skiing and snowboarding may vanish in the U.S. within 80 years.

Ketchum officials also are watching two other projects for successes that potentially could be replicated here.

Sandpoint, Idaho, will seek a federal grant to replace a traditional road surface with solar panels. They would generate heat to melt snow and ice, as well as additional electricity.

Idaho BaseCamp, located in the Lost River Valley, is working with a team of Ketchum and other Wood River Valley residents to raise funds for the first non-residential building constructed from hemp, a sustainable building material. Team members include Dale Bates, principal of Living Architecture, project manager for the City's Walkable Ketchum project and volunteer project leader for the Ketchum Town Square; Craig Maxwell, principal of Maxwell Structural Design Studio; Mat Gershater, founder of Idaho BaseCamp and Mountain Adventure Tours; Billy Mann, founder of Sagebrush Solar; Brett Deuter, founder of Enlighten Buildings; and Whitney McNees and Joey Cardella of the Idaho BaseCamp staff.
Do You Support Boulder-White Clouds National Monument?
bwcDo you think the Boulder-White Clouds Mountains should become a national monument? The Ketchum City Council will vote Monday, May 19, on a resolution supporting designation as a national monument and would like to hear your opinions. Please send them to

Information on the proposal is available on the Internet:
Photo by Ernie Day

May 1 City Newsletter story
Idaho Conservation League
Ketchum City Council Discussion
  Idaho Mountain Express
  Ketchum Keystone
Custer & Blaine County Commissioners Discussion
  Idaho Mountain Express
  Ketchum Keystone 
Around Town

aroundtown9Water Conservation Programs Start Tonight  
The first in a series of programs on water conservation, co-sponsored by the City of Ketchum, will be tonight, May 15, at the Wood River Land Trust office at 119 E. Bullion St., Hailey. The topic will be "How to Convert to a Drought-Tolerant Lawn Using Seed or Sod." For additional information, visit the City website  or contact the Wood River Land Trust at 788-3947.

Bike to Work/School Day is Friday  
Friday, May 16, is Bike to Work/School Day, sponsored by Mountain Rides as part of National Bike Month. Local businesses and organizations will give out free gifts, snacks and drinks along the Wood River Trail from 6:30-9 a.m.
Go to a Park Saturday  
Saturday, May 17, is the fourth national Kids to Parks Day, organized by the National Park Trust. The City Council proclaimed participation in national Kids to Parks Day, urging all Ketchum residents to take a child to a park on Saturday.

See Works of Art Created by Preschoolers
Preschoolers will show their artistic talents at a special show at Lipton Fine Arts, 411 N. Leadville Ave., on Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The 3- and 4-year olds at the Community School's Early Childhood Center and teacher Nichole Moos visited the gallery for inspiration, and then worked with the local artist Jen Galpin to create their works on paper. For additional information, visit the website or call Gary Lipton at (248) 561-5120.

Vote Tuesday on Road and Bridge Levy
Ketchum will receive approximately $800,000 per year for street improvements and maintenance for the next two years if Blaine County voters approve a two-year road and bridge levy on Tuesday, May 20. The levy is designed to raise $5.3 million each year. Half of the funds raised within each city would be returned to the city. Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas and Councilman Baird Gourlay have written letters in support of the levy. Click here to find out where your polling place is.

Learn About Law Enforcement 
The annual law enforcement field day, sponsored by the Ketchum Police Department and Blaine County Sheriff, will take place at Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum on Thursday, May 22, from 8 a.m. to noon. Students will have a chance to talk with officers and see police equipment, including patrol cars and a marine patrol boat. Children will get goody bags, learn safety tips and have their photos taken with police officers.  

Bring Your Child to Bike Safety Rodeo on May 24
The 5th annual Ketchum Police Bike Rodeo, designed to teach bicycle safety to children of all ages, will be held on Saturday, May 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Wood River Community YMCA, 101 Saddle Road. For additional information, contact the Ketchum Police Department at 726-7819.  

Plan Your Memorial Day Weekend 
Memorial Day weekend will bring a host of activities to Ketchum, including the Gallery Walk on Saturday, May 24, from 5-8 p.m., and the Sun Valley Wellness Festival May 22-26. Keynote speaker is Diana Nyad, who at age 64 became the first person to swim from Florida to Cuba without a shark cage. 

Beaver Creek Fire Area Trails Remain Closed    
Most of the trails within the area affected by last year's Beaver Creek fire will remain closed this year to allow more time for wildlife recovery and rehabilitation, the U.S. Forest Service has announced. An exception is the Cow/Lodgepole/Mahoney Creek trail system in the Greenhorn Gulch drainage, which the Forest Service hopes to open by Memorial Day. A map of the closed areas is available here.

Four Locals Named to U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team
Four athletes from Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation have been named to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team. Kipling Weisel and Jacob Beebe will join returning team members Chase Josey and Wing Tai Barrymore. Ketchum's Ben Verge is coach for the Freestyle Pro Halfpipe Team.   

BAH Set for May 28 
The next Business After Hours will be Wednesday, May 28, from 5-6 p.m. at the  Environmental Resource Center (ERC) on Washington Street, between 4th and 5th streets. If you are interested in attending or helping with a future BAH, contact Gary Hoffman at 725-5522 or

Remember Ketchum's Watering Restrictions
If you're setting the clock on your sprinkler system, remember that Ketchum prohibits watering outdoor plantings and lawns between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Exceptions may be made for new plants or for drip or bubble irrigation systems that minimize evaporation losses. For additional information, contact Juerg Stauffacher at 726-7820 ext. 102 or 

Welcome to the New 'City' Baby    
The Ketchum Utilities Department's Gio Tognoni and his wife, Ashley, have a new baby, Dante Batista Tognoni, born April 24. Congratulations!

How to Reserve Space in a Ketchum Park  
Ketchum offers reserved space for groups in many of its parks. Fees vary, depending upon whether the reservation is for a private party or nonprofit group or for a commercial activity. Additional details are available online.

Need a Summer Job? 
The Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department is looking for counselors for  summer youth programs. If you are interested, apply online.

Friedman Memorial Airport Closed
Friedman Memorial Airport will be closed for one more week. The airport will reopen at noon on May 22.  

KDPI Radio - "For A Cause"
Tune in to KDPI 89.3 FM next week to hear from Mayor Nina Jonas for a recap of the May 19 City Council meeting and upcoming items of interest. The half-hour program is held on Tuesdays following Council meetings from noon to 12:30 p.m. Next week's show will be on Tuesday, May 20 at noon. Listen live at 89.3 or online.
Meeting Information
meetinginfo9City Council
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 19. Find out when live streaming of City meetings will start and who our new volunteer firefighters are. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month in Ketchum City Hall.  Click here to see the agenda and packet.

Planning and Zoning Commission
Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.  Due to the Memorial Day holiday, the next P&Z meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27 in Ketchum City Hall.  Click here for agendas and meeting packets.

Public Comment 
If you cannot attend the Council or P&Z meetings and have an opinion, please submit your comments via email to  Your input and engagement is encouraged.  All comments will be reviewed by the Mayor and Council.

links9Like and follow us on Facebook!

Keep up with the latest tweets!

Check out the City of Ketchum's videos.

Find information on the City website.

Click here to view the City calendar.

Sign up to receive our e-newsletter twice a month.

Receive automatic notifications for meetings and more.

Ketchum uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy to maintain City property. Click to read about this approach and the City's guiding principles in maintaining its parks.

You are receiving this email because you have requested it or done business with the City of Ketchum in the past.  We appreciate our residents, businesses and visitors and look forward to telling you more about Ketchum and receiving your input.  If you would like to unsubscribe, please click on the link below.
City of Ketchum | 208-726-3841 | |
480 East Ave. N.
P.O. Box 2315
Ketchum, ID 83340
Join Our Mailing List

Copyright � 2014 City of Ketchum. All Rights Reserved.