Cover Art
Cover Art by Belinda Isley, "Play On," located on the corner of First Avenue and First Street

City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"Small Town, Big Life"

September 18, 2015
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: Thank you!

Photo by Becky Smith
Millions of thanks to all the attendees and participants of the 2015 Wagon Days Weekend celebration this past Labor Day. This celebration of our mining and frontier heritage is a 50-year plus tradition. The event attracts approximately 18,000 people with close to 400 individuals and 350 horses and mules in the parade making it the largest non-motorized parade in the Pacific Northwest.
The event showcases the historical wagons and costumes of the frontier past culminating in the procession of the Big Hitch, the ore wagons built in 1889. Amongst the wagons are the drivers, horsemen and poets who share their family lore born from the soil of the West. These local historians' families have been working the western frontier since the 1800's and still live right here with us!
One of these many wonderful local residents and historians is Mary Jane Conger, 2012 Grand Marshal. Mary Jane's grandfather, Al Griffith, knew David Ketchum, the City of Ketchum's namesake, in 1879. Mary Jane's family lore plus her continuous research into Ketchum's history is documented in her book The Legacy of Al Griffith, A History of Ketchum, Idaho. Within the pages is a charming exchange of letters between Mary Jane and David Ketchum's great grandnephew, Ambassador John Maresca, expanding our current knowledge of David Ketchum.
Maintaining these connections to our roots nourishes our future. We continue to uncover nuggets about the founders of our community. Ketchum has a rich and expansive history and we appreciate people like Mary Jane who continue to share their knowledge and memories about the past.
With next year's Wagon Days we will continue to increase the community's sense of self-celebration and history through wonderful events and activities. We encourage the community to offer suggestions or ideas on new activities they would like to have during the Wagon Days celebration. This is our opportunity to celebrate the rich past and bright future of Ketchum.


A drone with a camera was flying over my yard, taking pictures through my window for more than an hour last weekend. How can I stop this?

Drone technology is part of the new frontier in law. A drone is considered an aircraft, meaning that federal law forbids you from shooting it down or otherwise destroying it. Your protections against annoyance and invasion of privacy are less clear. Idaho is among the states that require police to obtain a warrant before using a drone for surveillance. However, there is no specific law that forbids private individuals from photographing you with drone-mounted cameras. You could have grounds for an invasion of privacy lawsuit, just as you would if a human with a camera starting taking photographs through your windows. The catch, of course, is the difficulty of determining who owns the drone.  Cities across the nation are wrestling with this. One possibility is to make drones legal only in specified areas, such as model aircraft flying fields. Another is to ban drones altogether, as the National Park Service has done. I'd like to hear from other citizens. Have you had a problem with drones? What, if anything, would you like to see in the way of restrictions? 

Do you have a question for Mayor Nina Jonas?

Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.
Water Bottles Sales of single-use bottled water would be banned on city property and at events on city property under a resolution going before City Council Monday, Sept. 21.
"The proposed ban is part of Ketchum's efforts to set an example as an ecologically sensitive community," Mayor Nina Jonas said. The ban also would apply to free distribution of single-use bottled water.
Water from the tap in Ketchum is safe and tastes good. Bottled water is not required to meet the same standards.
"As a society, we are needlessly spending money on bottled water that often is lower quality than tap water. We then put the bottles, made of billions of pounds of oil-based plastic, into the landfill," she added. "We use even more resources to transport water - often from other continents." reports 22 percent of bottled water brands tested in one study had a higher level of chemical contaminants than many states permit in tap water.

Additional research has found that 17 million barrels of oil, or enough to fuel 1 million cars for a year, are used to produce water bottles yearly. The price of bottled water is up to 10,000 times the cost of tap water, as much as $10 per gallon compared to less than a penny.
Other studies have found that production of plastic water bottles in the U.S. creates 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. In addition, the number of water bottles used in the U.S. each year could encircle the earth 150 times if laid end to end. Only one in five plastic water bottles is recycled.
Cities across the country from San Francisco to Concord, Mass., have instituted various bans of bottled water.
If the resolution passes, Ketchum plans to buy hydration stations, making it easier for people to fill their own water bottles at public events and city meetings. Other recyclable single-use products will be encouraged.

Th e Council meeting is at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.

World Water Water-related districts are government entities with authority to raise assessments for specific purposes authorized by Idaho code. Idaho has numerous types of water-related districts designed to serve unique purposes. Water districts are created by order of the director of Idaho Department of Water Resources for the purposes of water rights administration. This function is performed by a watermaster, funded and elected annually by the users in the district. Surface water rights in the Big and Little Wood basins have long been administered by Water District #37; these duties are currently undertaken by Watermaster Kevin Lakey.
In 1995, the Idaho State Legislature adopted the Ground Water District Act, enabling groundwater users to organize their own Ground Water Districts whenever 50 or a majority, whichever is less, of the groundwater users in a particular geographic area decide to do so. These districts have the authority to perform measurement and reporting functions and levy assessments. They may represent their members in various water-use issues and relative legal matters, develop and operate mitigation and recharge plans, and perform other statutorily defined duties. Groundwater districts are created pursuant to local elections of qualified water-right holders authorized by a county commission upon petition of the requisite number of landowners holding groundwater irrigation rights. Efforts have been taken to organize ground water users in Basin 37 into two groundwater districts.
In February 2015, some water-right owners petitioned the Blaine County commissioners to set an election for the South Valley Ground Water District. The commissioners approved the petition in March and set an election for May 2015. At that time, qualified water-right holders elected three board members. The district spans most of the area known as the Bellevue triangle, and encompasses more than two-thirds of the groundwater use in Blaine County.

This month, the commissioners approved a petition to form the Galena Ground Water District, which will serve north valley groundwater users from Galena Summit to Glendale Road south of Bellevue. Qualified water-right holders will be asked to select board members this coming November.

Under the Ground Water District Act, formation of districts allows irrigators to band together to manage their water rights, particularly in the face of delivery calls. The city is currently evaluating the benefits of district membership.

For more information, read "Water 101" in the Aug. 14 newsletter and "Water Calls" in the Sept. 3 newsletter.  

three new members named to KETCHUM ARTS COMMISSION
Three new members have been named to the Ketchum Arts Commission. They are Shannon Daley, operating manager of the Gail Severn Gallery; Courtney Gilbert, curator of visual arts for the Sun Valley Center, and Brennan Rego, owner, publisher and editor of The Weekly Sun.
They replace former Chair and Co-Chair Claudia McCain, as well as Kristin Poole and Gail Severn, all of whom have completed two three-year terms.
"Their leadership has made art a part of our community," Mayor Nina Jonas said. "The Commission's recent projects include the installation of a gondola on the Baldy lift line covered with vinyl wraps of original art work, free performance art shows and a rotating art exhibit in City Hall."

WaterSmart Ketchum residents will have a new tool to find out how much water they're using as part of the city's continuing effort to conserve water.

The city has partnered with WaterSmart Software to allow customers to use a mobile app or online customer portal to obtain information on their water usage.

WaterSmart lets customers compare their household water usage with similar-sized homes served by the city. The software also can give residents water-saving tips based on their usage.

"This is a tool that can enable us to save water and money and most importantly, put our city on a more sustainable footing for decades to come," Mayor Nina Jonas said.

"Knowing the extent of water use is half the battle, and we are giving customers the data they need to make smart decisions," Robyn Mattison, public works director, said.

About 1,400 customers will be able to use the WaterSmart technology starting this October, according to Mattison. The tools also will help city utility employees track water consumption rates and check whether they are in line with historic use.

WaterSmart, based in San Francisco, began operations in 2011 and is being used in 40 communities in seven states. Ketchum is the first small community to bring WaterSmart tools to its customers. This is a pilot program between WaterSmart and Ketchum to help WaterSmart develop a platform that is cost-effective for smaller communities, Mattison said.

Marty Albertson Leaves Visit Sun Valley
We thank Marty Albertson for his service as chair of the Visit Sun Valley regional marketing organization for the past two years.
"His past business and arts experience were great assets in furthering the mission of Visit Sun Valley to raise brand awareness and increase visitation from our key target markets," Arlene Schieven, president of Visit Sun Valley, said. "He also was instrumental in encouraging the Americans for the Arts to relocate the annual leadership roundtable to Ketchum/Sun Valley from Aspen. The board, advisory committee and staff of Visit Sun Valley would like to express their gratitude for the dedication and passion that Marty brought to this volunteer position."

Diann Craven Joins Visit Sun Valley Board 
Mayor Nina Jonas has nominated Diann Craven to serve as the Ketchum representative on the board of directors for Visit Sun Valley. Craven, president of ClearDirection, LLC, is an experienced professional skilled at helping organizations identify and focus on brand assumptions and competitive factors influencing their ability to achieve and measure long term success. "Diann's experience in defining areas of focus, priorities and strategy options will be of great benefit to the board," Mayor Nina Jonas said. "Ketchum will be well represented with Diann as it's new appointee," she added.

Air Service Board Meeting Update 
The Sun Valley Air Service Board met on Thursday, Sept. 17, and heard presentations from Fly Sun Valley Alliance (FSVA) and Visit Sun Valley. FSVA highlighted air service activities and performance for the summer and winter of 2015, and flight schedules for winter 2016. Visit Sun Valley shared examples and results of the summer marketing campaign, a summary of the 2015/16 winter marketing campaign and findings from a recent survey testing the awareness, name recognition and perception of Sun Valley as a vacation destination. The Board also reviewed the Local Option Tax report for June 2015, approved their insurance policy for 2016 and authorized payment of bills through September 2015. The next meeting of the Board is Thursday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. in Hailey. For more information, click here to see the agenda and presentation materials. 
See Regional Ad Campaign Samples
Visit Sun Valley, the regional marketing agency to which Ketchum contributes over $1 million each year, has developed several regional ads for the coming months. Examples of ads and video below.
What is it you seek?  Summer in Sun Valley! 
What is it you seek? Summer in Sun Valley!

Economic Summit: 'Succeeding in the Age of Innovation'
Sun Valley Economic Development's annual Economic Summit will be Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at  Sun Valley Resort. Keynote speaker will be Gordon Jones, founding dean of the  Boise State College of Innovation and Design and founding managing director of the  Harvard Innovation Lab. The day's theme is "Succeeding in the Age of Innovation."
Mayor Nina Jonas
Suzanne Frick, city administrator  Micah Austin, director of planning and building 
City Council Plans Workshop on Community Development, Housing
The City Council plans workshop-style discussions with the Ketchum Community Development Corporation, sponsor of the Ketchum Innovation Center, and Blaine County Housing Authority at its meeting Monday, Sept. 21, at 5:30 p.m. Outside consultants will help facilitate the discussion of the Council's expectations from the organizations, which receive city funding.

Calls for Artists
Qualifying artists will have their work displayed on a new highway bridge and at Friedman Memorial Airport. The Idaho Transportation Department and the Blaine County Regional Transportation Committee are inviting professional artists to submit qualifications by Friday, Sept. 25, to be considered for creating art elements for a new bridge over the Big Wood River south of Ketchum. The budget is $100,000. In addition, the deadline is Friday, Sept. 18, for artists to submit work for display at Friedman Memorial Airport.

Hemingway House Joins National Register of Historic Places 
The Ernest and Mary Hemingway House was entered in the National Register of Historic Places. This listing recognizes the historic significance of their home in Ketchum to the state and the community. 
Aimee Christensen on Board of Andrus Center at BSU
Aimee Christensen, chair of the Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee, has been elected to the board of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University. "I joined the Center to support its work to strengthen our state and community in the spirit of Gov. Andrus's leadership, particularly furthering environmental conservation and women's leadership. Both are areas of great personal passion," she said.
Welcome to Newest 'City' Baby
Recreation Supervisor John Kearney and his wife, Nicki, welcomed daughter Morghan Kearney at 12:54 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9.  
Need a Vehicle?
The city is selling a used Ford Expedition and Mazda pickup on

Remember These Dates for Upcoming Election
Two City Council members will be selected in the Nov. 3 election. Please remember these dates:
  • Friday, Sept. 18 - Last day a candidate can withdraw from election by filing a notarized statement of withdrawal with the city clerk.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6 - Last day write-in candidates can file declarations of intent.
  • Friday, Oct. 9 - Close of voter registration. Voters may still register in person at early voting or at the polling place on Election Day.
  • Monday, Oct. 19 - Early voting opens at 8 a.m. at Blaine County Courthouse, 201 2nd Ave. S., Hailey.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28 - Mail-in absentee ballot requests must be received by county clerk by 5 p.m. To request an absentee ballot, click here.
  • Friday, Oct. 30 - Early voting ends at 5 p.m. at Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3 - Polls open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. All Ketchum residents vote at Hemingway Elementary School.
Like the Trailing of the Sheep Festival?
USA Today is asking readers to vote for the top fall festivals. Daily voting is allowed until Sept. 28, so cast your ballot here. The Festival was featured earlier this month in the Philadelphia Inquirer. This year's festival is Oct. 7-11.

City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21. 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. 28 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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City of Ketchum