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

September 11, 2014
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: Representing Idaho's Variety

The issue of wolves ruffles humans' feathers in Idaho. Unfortunately, too often the conversation is hateful and focuses on whether wolves should be eradicated from the state. We eradicated the species once, and then we successfully repopulated wolves into Idaho. Now, Governor Otter is garnering national attention with extreme wolf control measures, going beyond balanced management for our wildlife and livestock populations.

Ketchum's economy is driven by tourism that is dependent upon our exceptional and diverse natural environment. Negative press at the national level about Idaho's radical wolf control promotes boycotts by visitors. This is a serious problem for Ketchum's economy and jeopardizes the dollars we've invested in marketing.

Ketchum's comprehensive plan, born out of public input, emphasizes stewardship of our natural and wildlife resources, keystone to our quality of life. The wolf plays an important role in preserving the integrity and diversity of wildlife populations, thereby enhancing hunting opportunity. Deer and elk herds are strengthened because the wolf culls the sick and old and moves the animals about, thus improving riparian and range health. Coyotes are controlled, resulting in healthier small and non-game animal populations.

Some view wolves as a threat to our heritage of ranching. Yet it has been proven that active ranch management, which includes nonlethal predator control, can be successful in maintaining a profitable livestock population. It is possible to address the multiple needs of Idahoans without taking extreme political measures that disrupt the variety of wild Idaho.

The Ketchum City Council will consider resolution 14-022, a Resolution Supporting the Values of Wildlife Co-Existence and Recognizing the Wood River Wolf Project, on Monday at 5:30 p.m. Please join us Monday at Ketchum City Hall to comment on this topic.


Do you have a question for Mayor Nina Jonas?

Cabbies are rude, I've never seen a license or rates displayed in a cab and I've been charged different rates for the same trips. One restaurant told me taxis will not pick anyone up there, so I walked home. I mentioned this to a cab driver and he told me not to call his company again. This is unprofessional and a poor reflection on the city. What is the city doing?

Ketchum requires licenses and rates to be posted in each vehicle, and requires taxi company owners to give an updated rate sheet to the city each year. If you are in a taxi where these are not posted, please contact the police department. Service is more difficult to address. Unfortunately, we cannot legally require a certain level of service nor can we require "good" service. Taxi companies are commercial business, so the market needs to determine their success or failure.   
Celebrate Fall: September's Festivals Are Here!
September is unofficially festival season in Ketchum. There's a festival, all of them less than a decade old, every weekend for the rest of the month.

Most started with the help of Ketchum's Events Commission and its predecessor funds, designed to help bring more festivals and more visitors to the city. Events are eligible for funding in their first three years. (Click here for guidelines for city sponsorship.)

Sun Valley Film Noir Series
This new fall event starts tonight at nexStage Theatre at 7:30 p.m. and will continue on Thursdays for the rest of September. Sun Valley Film Noir Series organizer Jeannine Gregoire was inspired by the Seattle Art Museum's film noir series, the oldest in the world, which has been screening for 37 years. "In cinematic dreams, we can go to the dark side, sample illicit temptations and their consequences, and wake with a stronger sense of our own moral code," explains Greg Olson, director of the Seattle series. The opening film is "Double Indemnity," directed by Billy Wilder in 1944.
Sun Valley Harvest Festival 
Now in its fifth year, the Sun Valley Harvest Festival had city funding in its early years. It not only stands on its own today; Fodor's has selected it as one of the top food festivals in America. The four-day festival, Sept. 18-21, is described as "the epitome of epicurean indulgence, an oenophile's dream and an outdoor enthusiast's mecca."

The Sawtooth Brewery's Oktoberfest is one of the newer additions to the Harvest Festival and partially sponsored by the city. On Sept. 20 from noon to 10 p.m. in Town Square, it will feature music and food for all ages, as well as tastes of local brews for those over 21.

Wood River Valley Studio Tour 
Fifty-five artists will open their studios to the public during the second year of the tour. There will be a reception with the artists, a group exhibition and lectures on topics ranging from the ABCs of collecting to bronze casting and photography from Sept. 23-28. "We applaud the Wood River Valley Studio Tour, now in its second year, for bringing a new event to our community. As Ketchum receives recognition as a center for the arts, events such as this showcase the incredible amount of local talent here," Mayor Nina Jonas said.

"Festival season" will continue in October with the Trailing of the Sheep Festival Oct. 9-12 and the Sun Valley Jazz Festival Oct. 15-19.

"Our city policy is to support events that celebrate the spirit, character, history and heroes of Ketchum," Jonas said. "The goals are to introduce Ketchum to a larger audience and support local business." Enjoy!

Sidewalk Repair Is Now a "High-Tech" Business
Sidewalk repair may not sound like rocket science, but the man who holds six patents on removing sidewalk "trip" hazards actually is also a rocket scientist.

Morton Thiokol, Inc. in Provo, Utah, is an outgrowth of the company that produced the first solid-fueled missile systems and later expanded into snowcats and snow grooming systems. The original inventor and owner, Bill Gardner, also owned a sidewalk repair company, and turned his talent for innovation to this area.

Precision Concrete Cutting, which just finished mapping Ketchum's sidewalk system, spent almost $1 million to develop a phone app that gives the GPS coordinates of every spot that needs repairs.

"Uneven sidewalks previously were repaired by cutting with saws," Precision Concrete's Jim Buckley said. "The cutting process required water, and the resulting mixture of water and concrete often killed lawns and was hard on sewer systems. It was environmentally very unfriendly.

"We came up with a method of dry cutting. We vacuum the dust and recycle it at a plant that turns it back into concrete. Sidewalk repair has become a much more high-tech business and environmentally friendly as well."

Ketchum is prioritizing the spots that need repairs and is currently replacing curb and gutter on 4th Street between East and Leadville avenues. More repairs will continue in the spring. In addition, Ketchum has received state grants totaling more than $225,000 for sidewalk design and construction over the next three years, allowing it to fill in areas of "missing" sidewalks. Read more about this grant in the July 3 newsletter.

Sidewalk Segways: The Ketchum Connection
If you saw the workers with bright orange shirts and Segways mapping where Ketchum's sidewalks need repairs earlier this month, you may be surprised to know that there's a local connection.

Precision Concrete Cutting's Jim Buckley, who supervised the project, once was a Sun Valley ski instructor. It would be hard to find anyone more enthusiastic about our community.

Buckley first skied here in 1966 and moved here in 1971 after graduation from the University of Puget Sound. He became a ski instructor and continues to teach skiing. His roommate was Rick Hickman, who went on to be assistant director of the ski school.

Longtime resident Buckley became sales manager for Precision Concrete five years ago and remembers when Segways were introduced to the sidewalk repair industry.

"They started using them in North Carolina and someone brought one to a trade association meeting. When you map spots for sidewalk repairs by walking, you can go at most 5 miles per hour. With a Segway, you can go 12 to 22 miles an hour. It's twice as fast or more, and now everyone is using them."

The only downside is that they don't work well in snow.

Saving Energy: From Solar Farms to Air-Drying Washing
Participating in community solar farms is one way that Ketchum residents could reduce reliance on traditional energy production.

Approximately 35 people at Ketchum's second energy Town Hall last night discussed this, as well as more traditional ways to reduce energy consumption. The program focused on opportunities for cost savings for local businesses and homes. Click here to view the presentation.

The Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum, for example, recently spent $115,000 on lighting upgrades for a projected annual savings of $36,000 and a 3.1 year pay-back period.

Ketchum Senior Planner Rebecca Bundy described how she had retrofitted a home built in 1984 to decrease electricity use by 27 percent and natural gas use by 7 percent. Even more opportunities for cost savings through retrofitting still exist, she said.

Do-it-yourself opportunities for saving energy include the following:
  • Switching to LED and other energy-efficient lighting
  • Caulking and weather stripping around doors
  • Buying Energy Star-approved appliances
  • Setting water heaters at 120 degrees
  • Setting thermostats at 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in summer. Each degree can translate to a 2 percent savings.
  • Passive strategies such as air drying
  • Low-flow showerheads

Other opportunities, which may require a contractor, include air sealing the home, adding insulation and installing sensors, timers and new windows.


The Wood River Valley annually spends $30 million on electricity and $50 million on natural gas and propane. Usage per capita is higher than both the Blaine County and U.S. averages.


"When you invest in renewable energy, you keep money in your bank account and you keep money in our valley," Billy Mann of Sagebrush Solar pointed out.  


For more information, email or visit the Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee webpage. 


The article in the Aug. 29 newsletter on the Visit Sun Valley board stated that the three major funders choose two members of the five-member board. Instead, the membership elects one person on the five-person board. That position is held by former state Rep. Wendy Jaquet.

Corrock Reports on Challenges Facing Ski Communities 
"Mountain towns with strong historical identities and authentic presence are well positioned to appeal to a younger generation." That's the good news in a report prepared for the Colorado Association of Ski Towns.

Ketchum joined the association last June to learn more about the issues facing ski resort towns, and City Council Member Anne Corrock attended its recent meeting in Colorado.

Major findings of the report prepared by RRC Associates are as follows:
  • Growing snow sports is possible, but not without focused effort.
  • Resorts are often distracted from these efforts because of everyday operating pressures and capacity issues.
  • Generational differences in participation have the potential to be extremely problematic.
  • Climate change is a reality but poses opportunity in some areas.

Corrock gave the following overview of the association and its recent meeting in Durango, Colo.


"CAST is an organization of 28 municipalities and four counties whose economies are largely dependent upon the ski industry and tourism.


"The association was formed in 1979, in part to recognize that resort communities face unique challenges in providing municipal services to residents and visitors. The goal is to 'foster growth that will ensure an exceptional quality of life for citizens and a positive experience for visitors. Members support actions that keep our communities livable, protect our pristine environment, and promote community-based land use, mass transit, affordable housing and sustainable tourism.'


"There were updates on the difficulty of tracking and collecting sales tax on vacation rentals by owners, the successes and goals of Telluride's business incubator and an overview of the Colorado legislature by State Rep. Mike McLachlan."


Corrock noted that the Telluride business incubator has been successful in helping businesses get started, but less successful in retaining them. Its new goal is to retain at least 50 percent of the businesses that grow out of the incubator.  


Visit Sun Valley to Hold Community Meeting Sept. 30

Visit Sun Valley will hold its quarterly community meeting on Tuesday, Sept, 30, at 9 a.m. at the YMCA, 101 Saddle Road, to review summer results and discuss the upcoming winter marketing campaign. In addition, Visit Sun Valley will hold its annual "listening sessions" at 10 am. at the Sawtooth Club, 231 N. Main St., on three Tuesdays, Oct. 14, 21 and 28. The results from June and July have been very positive, with a 1 percent increase in room nights sold for June and a 5 percent increase for July. Meetings are open to all, whether or not they are members of Visit Sun Valley. For additional information, contact Aly Swindley or call 725-2014.


Economic Summit: Recovering from Natural Disasters

Bob Dixson, mayor of Greensburg, Kan., will discuss how his community recovered from a 2007 tornado at the Oct. 8 "Economic Summit," sponsored by Sun Valley Economic Development


Supporting Fire Consolidation 
The Idaho Mountain Express this week supported Ketchum's budget goal of pursuing consolidation of fire services. A quote from the editorial: "No one is suggesting a merger of the two cities (Ketchum and Sun Valley.) Even so, it's likely to be more cost effective for two small cities separated by just a couple of miles to merge services where they can."

Fourth Street Curbside Gutter Repair 
One lane of Fourth Street between Walnut and Leadville avenues will be closed through Sept. 19 to replace the curbside gutter. Construction has started in front of Atkinsons' Market and will progress east. The streets division will avoid working on the portion of Fourth Street occupied by the Farmers Market on Tuesday afternoon.

Highway 75 Construction to End by September 22 
The Idaho Department of Transportation expects to complete construction work on Highway 75 between Ketchum and Hailey by Sept. 22. Read press release.

Christensen Attends Energy Summit 
Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee Chair Aimee Christensen attended the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas.

Reused Water to Irrigate Golf Course 
Reused water from the Ketchum-Sun Valley wastewater treatment plant will be used to irrigate the Elkhorn Golf Course starting Monday, Sept. 15. Kickoff will be at the Elkhorn Golf Clubhouse at 11:30 am. Read the story here.

More 'No Idling' Signs Going Up 
Ketchum has ordered 30 more 'no-idling' signs to remind people that it is a violation of city law to leave an engine idling for more than three minutes.

U.S. Geological Survey Studying River Health 
The U.S. Geological Survey has been conducting a study of the water quality and fish habitat in the Big Wood River in conjunction with the Idaho Council of Trout Unlimited, the Wood River Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and Blaine County.

Ketchum Hires Water Consultant 
The city has hired consultant Wendy Pabich, president of Water Futures, Inc., to assist in ongoing water and energy strategies. Idaho is one of 15 states likely to face water shortages by mid-century, Pabich has said.

Parks & Rec Staff Members to Travel 
Juerg Stauffacher, parks and natural resources superintendent, and John P. Kearney, recreation supervisor, will attend the Idaho Recreation and Park Association annual conference in Twin Falls later this month. Kearney also has been selected to attend the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, Minn., in January.

Glow-in-the-Dark Bocce Ball 
The fourth annual Night Bocce World Championships will be at Atkinsons' Park on Friday, Sept. 19 from 5:30-11 p.m. It's $20 per person and proceeds go to the Idaho Social Learning Center Scholarship Fund.

Walk for MS 
The 10th annual Wood River MS Walk will be Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Families and dogs are encouraged to walk three miles along the Wood River Trail starting at Forest Service Park.

Climb Baldy to Support SV Ski Education Foundation 
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation's annual Baldy Hill Climb will be Saturday, Sept. 27, starting at 8:30 a.m. Pre-register online or at selected local sporting goods stores. 
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15. 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 staff reports or scan the QR code.

Planning and Zoning Commission 
Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The next P&Z meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 22 in Ketchum City Hall. Click here for agendas and staff reports or scan the QR code.

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. 
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