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

May 29, 2015
In This Issue

A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: Lessons in Tourism from Iceland 


This spring I went on a trip to Iceland where I was struck by its tourism industry. Since 2000, there have been more visitors to Iceland than residents each year. Incredible!


Iceland has capitalized on everything from six-hour flight layovers to volcanology. The tourism statistics are amazing! The number of visitors to Iceland has increased by 267 percent in the past 15 years, 60 percent in the past five years.    


Icelanders have embraced the opportunities this impressive growth of tourism has brought them. They have hot-spring spas, horse theater, traditional theater, geyser-viewing, walking tours, biking tours, tours of the geothermal plant, ski tours, iceberg trips, glacier tours, horse safaris, saga museums, signs, Game of Thrones tours, farm tours, waterfalls, greenhouses, national parks, northern lights, whale-watching, puffin-viewing and sweater-shopping, and the list keeps growing. Not only are they energetically making tourism activities out of everyday life, but they are hospitable and enthusiastic about the experience.


We rented a car and drove along the southeast coast, stopping at visitor centers to learn about the region's culture. The visitor centers were treasure troves of information guiding us to unique experiences and accommodations. (The interaction at these centers was useful since we didn't have Internet on the road.) Road signs and still more visitor information made traveling easy and interesting.  


We stayed at working farms. These historic farms have diversified their operations by adding guest quarters and restaurants. The rooms were comfortable and charming, the food was fresh and local and visiting the horses and sheep was interesting and real.


We stopped at one farm, Efstidalur, that had added sleeping accommodations and a restaurant plus a specialty ice-cream shop to diversify their dairy farm. The farm has been in the family for 200 years, but the economy changed and it became difficult to support a modern extended family. With the new additions the farm is now able to support three generations and three families. That is impressive entrepreneurship!


The spirit and creativity that Icelanders have to satisfy the world's curiosity about their country is a good lesson in how simple additions and everyday activities can be morphed into a gold mine.




I am sending you this picture of a pothole at the entrance to the carports at the Mountainview Condominiums.The picture shows the Post Office in the background to orient you.This pothole is where the cars turn from these carports onto 4th Street. It is almost impossible to avoid.Turning over a pothole destroys the wheel alignment of our cars. Please give this your immediate attention.                                                         -- Jake Jacoby


I'm happy to report that our Public Works Department has this location on its priority list for repair. The street is scheduled to be chip sealed this summer. As part of that work, we will cut out this failed area and replace it with solid asphalt. Once that is done, the street will be chipped sealed. The spring freeze and thaw took a toll on our streets this year. The good news is we have approval from City Council to move ahead to repair streets like this one. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and please let me know if you need more information.



The new lights in the parking lot at Ernest Hemingway Elementary School are on all night. Isn't this a violation of Ketchum's Dark Skies ordinance?


The school initially left lights on until 11 p.m. as a safety measure to prevent bicyclists from running into chains that once blocked sections of the parking lot. The chains are no longer there, so the safety issue no longer exists. We are working with the school district to determine the appropriate time to have lights on. The new lights do comply with Ketchum's Dark Skies ordinance.



Has anyone thought of placing brown dye in the cement for the sidewalk, and then using a stamp to make the sidewalks look like the old wooden sidewalks? This would be a way to keep the look of the town's history. The Sun Valley Lodge is made of cement that was dyed to make it look as if was made of wood.                                         -                               - R.J. Scheu


Thank you for the creative thinking. We are looking at different materials that are long-lasting and practical to maintain. We will research this suggestion. It has worked well for the Lodge walls.



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.

Ketchum is searching for the historic Bald Mountain Lodge sign, which was taken from the longtime site of the hotel at First and Main streets earlier this month. No questions will be asked if the sign is returned to the Ketchum Police Department.


"The Bald Mountain Lodge was an important part of Ketchum's history. The owners of the Limelight Hotel planned to include it in a display of nostalgia for the whole community, and that is where it belongs. We hope everyone will cooperate in returning it," Mayor Nina Jonas said.


Establishing relationships with other cities in the world can play an important role in fostering tourism as well as developing friendships between people in different nations.


The city of Ketchum has relationships with Tegernsee, Germany and Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy that were initiated in 1984 and 1986, respectively. These two European communities have much in common with Ketchum, including Lignano's love for the late Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Ketchum in his latter years.


The relationship with Lignano began in 1984 when the city dedicated its 10-acre Hemingway Park. Jerry Seiffert, the mayor at the time, along with Jack, Margaux and Muffet Hemingway, went to the dedication. Lignano is northeast of Venice and is the area where Hemingway was an American Red Cross ambulance driver in World War I. Portions of his novels are set in the area around Lignano.


One of Seiffert's prized possessions is the Medal of Peace and Friendship and commendation that the U.S. State Department gave him for spearheading the relationship with Lignano. 


Tegernsee, a weekend destination for Munich residents, lies in a valley with a population of about 20,000, much like the Wood River Valley. Popular activities are skiing, boating and paragliding. Former Ketchum Mayor Ed Simon went paragliding with the mayor of Tergernsee in 2004.


Warm Springs resident Lisa Vierling raises money to help send a local teenager to Tegernsee each summer through her annual Bavarian Christmas Market on Croney Cove on Warm Springs Road. A Bavarian family hosts the student.


Mayors Jonas and Asii Chemnitz Narup of Nuuk, Greenland

Connections continue to take place. Recently, Mayor Jonas met the mayor of Nuuk while visiting Greenland earlier this month. Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is also the country's largest city with a population of 15,000. It is about 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle, and temperatures average below freezing for seven months of the year. Like Ketchum, Nuuk is a center for hiking, mountain biking and skiing. 


It is a frequent travel destination for Wood River Valley residents, thanks to ski trips offered by local resident Pete Patterson of for the past 15 years. It also is a favorite site for viewing the northern lights.


Administrative Clerk Katie Carnduff, a member of the four-woman team that runs the city clerk's office, has the shortest tenure of the group: She's been with the city only 17 years.


So it's going to be quite a change when she leaves June 5 for a job in Las Vegas. "Moving to Las Vegas is going to be a culture shock, but I have a very good opportunity there," she said. She will work in a property management and real estate office. It will be an easy career transition for her husband, a search-engine optimization specialist who works from a home office, she added.


"I'm going to miss the recreation and all there is to do in Ketchum, especially the fact that it's easy to go on a short hike over my lunch hours," Carnduff said.


Her favorite part of the job? The camaraderie with the women who have been in the office together for almost two decades. "We all work together incredibly well," she said.


Her most memorable experience? It's not one big event, she said, but the small parts of Ketchum life that have made her job so special. "It's things like getting May Day flowers from the Girl Scouts every year, the preschool kids coming to sing Christmas carols at City Hall, and being called by name at the post office and the bank. I say hello to all the people I know on the street during my daily walk to the post office. These are the things that are going to stick with me, and make me miss this community.


"I have worked under four city administrators and five different mayors. There is a spirit of public service at the city, and it has been great to be a part of it," she said.


Carnduff grew up on a farm near Twin Falls and came to Ketchum to be near her sister, a teacher in Bellevue. "I was lucky enough to get the job with the city," she recalls.


The city clerk position will be restructured slightly. City Treasurer/Clerk Sandy Cady will devote all of her time to treasurer's duties, and a new city clerk will be hired. Click to view application



"Put a Lid on Every Kid" is the goal of the police department's efforts to see that all bicycle riders in the city wear helmets. The department gives away about 60 children's helmets, as well as some adult helmets, every year. Many are distributed at the annual Police Bike Rodeo, which offers safety inspections and riding tips to children.


In addition, officers carry children's helmets in patrol cars. If officers see a child without a helmet, they stop and offer a free helmet and help with the fitting. Families also may stop by the police station to request a helmet.


Financial need is not a requirement. "Our goal is safety," Police Chief David Kassner said.


Funds for the program come from the community policing budget. In recent years, D. L. Evans Bank and attorney and former Ketchum Mayor Ed Simon also have donated to the program. The bank also donated $125 to last week's Police Bike Rodeo. Children who could literally stop their bicycles on a dime received silver dollars.



Ketchum is preparing an application for a state loan of up to $449,000 for improvements to the water system, following approval of water revenue bonds by 202 to 21 in last week's election. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2016, said Robyn Mattison, public works director/city engineer.


Once construction is completed, the city will discontinue use of an aging portion of the water system with pipes as much as 50 years old. The approximately 200 property owners on the old lines will be required to pay for any work done on private property. They can either hire a private contractor or pay over time through property tax assessments levied by a local improvement district. If you're in this category, the city will inform you of your choices once the local improvement district is formed in the fall.



Limelight Building Permit Application Submitted

The Limelight Hotel, planned for First and Main streets, has submitted its building permit application, which was required by May 31 in the initial approvals for the hotel. Updates on construction will be posted here. Click to view the Construction Management Plan.   


Electronic Plan Review Submittal Standards and Procedures

Click here to view new procedures developed for building plan submittals.  


Rain Delays Curb & Gutter Repairs, Various Construction Projects

Completion dates of curb and gutter repairs, as well as other construction projects, may be closer to mid-summer than is typically permitted in Ketchum because of the recent rains.

  • Fourth Street: Curb and gutter repairs on Fourth Street between East and Walnut have been delayed until next week because of rain. The street may be closed at times, but there will be access to businesses at all times. The goal is to complete repairs before the Farmers Market, held Tuesdays on Fourth Street, opens June 9. If this is not possible, the Farmers Market may be expanded onto nearby areas to accommodate vendors. In addition, the city is removing a dying tree in the alley behind City Hall near Fourth Street.
  • Main Street: Asphalt patching will complete the work to underground utility lines on Main Street near First Avenue next week or as weather permits.
  • First Street Alley: Excavation to relocate utilities in the alley between the 101 Building and First Street Building should be completed by the end of next week.
  • Citywide: Crack-sealing of streets and repainting of center lines, parking spaces and crosswalks are being performed as weather permits.
  • Wood River Trail: Reconstruction of the bike path has been completed as far north as the intersection with Wood River Drive. Work from 10th Street to the intersection of Saddle Road and Highway 75 will begin next week, weather permitting. Check or call the trail hotline at 578-9754. Also, remember that there may be more bicyclists on Main Street and Highway 75 because of detours during the bike path reconstruction. Ketchum Police will post signs to remind people to be particularly alert to cyclists.
Mayor Nina Jonas
The Soft Edge, a book by Rich Karlgaard on "Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success"
2014.07.17 Jennifer L. Smith, director of parks and recreation
Urban trees reveal income inequality

Jo Murray, communications consultant
Your Contribution to the California Drought

Aimee Christensen, chair, Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee and founder, Sun Valley Institute for Resilience

New On-Call Firefighters for Ketchum

Ketchum has five new on-call firefighters who have just completed the firefighter academy. They are Riley Sibbach, Alex Dembergh, Jeff Emerick and Jerry Garcia, standing between Chief Mike Elle and Mayor Nina Jonas. Not pictured is Terry Connor. 


Meet New Public Works Employees

Sam Brown and Anthony Giovannoni have joined the street department as equipment operators and Shellie Rubel, as administrative assistant. All enjoy the outdoors surrounding the city. The nearby recreational areas are especially appealing to Rubel as a playground for her 11 grandchildren. Brandon Lynch is a new senior utilities operator at the wastewater treatment facility. He previously worked for the city and says his return is like "coming home." Click on the links so you can recognize these new employees. 


Art Installed in New Airport Terminal

The Ketchum Arts Commission and the Hailey Arts Commission worked together to select local artists whose work is being displayed in the new terminal in Friedman Memorial Airport.


Sawtooth Relay May 30

The Sawtooth Relay , benefiting the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation and the Idaho Donor Network, runs from Stanley to Ketchum on Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14.  


Ketchum Wide Open Set for Saturday

The Ketchum Wide Open, with miniature golf holes at locations around town, begins Saturday, May 30. Awards will be presented in Town Square at 5:15 p.m.


Visit a Water-Wise Landscape in Ketchum June 4

See "water-wise" landscaping at a Ketchum home on Thursday, June 4, part of a series of programs co-sponsored by the city of Ketchum and the Wood River Land Trust. Meet at 5:30 p.m. at 430 N. Canyon in the Warm Springs area for a talk by representatives of Webb Landscaping. The final workshop in the series will be on Thursday, June 18, at 108 Weldon Lane, Sun Valley.


Water Hearings Begin June 8

The Idaho Department of Water Resources has scheduled hearings June 8-12 in Hailey on a proposal to divert unclaimed water in the Big Wood River to recharge the local aquifer and sell that water to irrigators during the summer. A public meeting will be held Tuesday, June 9 at 5 p.m. at the Community Campus.

Farmers Market to Open June 9

The Wood River Farmers Market will open Tuesday, June 9.


Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival, June 25-28

Registration is now open for the Downtown Criterium Relay. Sign up by clicking here and visit Ride Sun Valley for the full schedule of events. 


Splash Park Opening Dependent on Weather

No date has been set for this season's opening of the Rainmaker Splash Park adjacent to Atkinson Park, due to recent rains and thunderstorms. We'll post the opening date on Facebook and Twitter as well as on the city website.


Chip-Sealing Reminder

Please remember that chip sealing is scheduled for July 13-16 in West Ketchum.


City to Study Converting Main Street to Three Lanes

The city will apply for a grant to study reconfiguring Main Street from four lanes to three lanes, with the center lane being used for turning. A recent workshop suggested that the reconfiguration could improve safety and allow more room for amenities for pedestrians and bicyclists.


Ketchum's Tree Program Recognized

The cooperation between the cities of Ketchum and Hailey in conducting a tree inventory was highlighted in a recent newsletter from the Idaho Department of Lands-Community Forestry Program and Idaho Lands Resource Coordinating Council.


True West Magazine Features Ketchum

A recent article in True West magazine, "Idaho Celebrates 125 Years of Statehood," mention's Ketchum's Ore Wagon Museum and the annual Wagon Days Parade.


Deadline Approaches on Boulder-White Clouds

The Boulder-White Clouds will either be wilderness or a national monument by the end of the year, Rep. Mike Simpson predicted this month at a conference held by the Idaho Conservation League. In January, Rep. Simpson asked the administration to hold off on monument designation for at least six months so he could try once again to get a wilderness bill through Congress, but the six months are up in June.  A hearing in the U.S. Senate was held May 21, but no date for a hearing has been set in the House of Representatives. The city of Ketchum has passed three resolutions over the past decade in support of further protection of the Boulders and White Clouds.  


Temporary Move for Bus Stop

The Mountain Rides bus stop on the southwest corner of Main and First streets will be moved to the northwest corner of that intersection, in front of U.S. Bank, in mid-July due to construction on the soon-to-open Limelight Hotel.


Upcoming Meetings

The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission will have a joint meeting at City Hall at 4 p.m. on June 1 to collaborate on the continuing implementation of the city's Comprehensive Plan, adopted in late 2013.


City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1. 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, June 8 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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