Cover Art by Marianne Konvalinka, "Sun Valley Serenade," located at Second Street and Washington Avenue.

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

December 3, 2015
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: 'Home' for the Holidays

The December dark skies, cold temperatures and holiday decor make me smile, knowing that friends, family and visitors are coming to Ketchum. I get to reconnect with friends who moved to other cities decades ago but come "home" for the holidays. Also returning year after year are the visitors who have created their own tradition of holidays in Sun Valley. I feel great fortune to live in a community that has such a sense of place and that it is "home" to so many.
The majesty of our natural environment certainly defines our place, but it is the people that make it home. The members of our community are independent, competitive and somewhat reclusive; yet they rally together to build our home. So many of you volunteer daily with your time and wisdom to support the community you love, to see it not just survive but thrive.

It is an honor to work amongst all of you, the individuals, board members, commissioners and committee members who not only show up but also fight for the community by adding art, energy, events, entrepreneurs, design, jobs and innovation to our every day. Thank you so much for sharing your time, wisdom and spirit to make Ketchum a fabulous place to come home to.
Happy Holidays


In June I flew into Hailey at night and reserved a cab/limo. From having lived here so long, I understood I had to go outside the terminal to find my ride. It was pitch dark outside the terminal. Here I was carrying luggage, looking for my driver. I finally found him and it made me think of the travelers who were coming here for the first time. . . . My suggestion is to let [the drivers] back in the airport but put controls on the taxi/limo companies as to who they are hiring and how they dress. The way it is now, the incoming visitor is inconvenienced and our community's first impression image is badly tarnished.

Friedman Memorial Airport Manager Rick Baird tells me that taxi and limousine drivers are welcome to go into the terminal if they are picking up a passenger who has a reservation. "We have a designated area for them. They must have a board with the name on it," he said. They are not allowed in the terminal unless they are meeting someone with a reservation to prevent solicitation. The city will advise the taxi/limo companies of this procedure. 

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.
If you value the mixture of businesses and restaurants that make Ketchum such a unique and wonderful place to live, please remember the importance of shopping locally.
The places where we shop, eat and have fun make our town our home. We embrace the idea of businesses with local character but may forget their survival depends on our patronage. We must consider the quality of our experience and how we benefit when we choose a local business.

Your local purchases have a multiplier effect within the community. When you buy from independent, locally owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses and service providers, continuing to strengthen the economic base of the city.  
Local retailers are free to take risks with small and new manufacturers of products. They don't have to follow a national sales plan created by a corporate headquarters in another city. They sort through competing goods and services to find those that appeal to their customers. These one-of-a-kind businesses are integral parts of the distinctive character of Ketchum, and also benefit our tourism.
Local owners also play a vital role in our town. They often have much of their life savings invested in their businesses so have a natural interest in the long-term health and success of the community. They frequently serve on local boards, support a variety of causes and are the strongest supporters of non-profit organizations.

So don't get stuck on your couch, shopping from your computer when we are surrounded by unique and local gifts. Shopping locally requires less travel time and shipping, which translates into less carbon, pollution and traffic congestion.
Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our town. Each time we spend a dollar, we make a choice for the future we want in our hometown by nurturing locally owned businesses. Please support them during this shopping season! 
Stuck for gift ideas? 
Visit for a list of Ketchum businesses or consider Visit Sun Valley gift certificates. 

Did you know that donations for city programs are tax-deductible? The Parks & Recreation Department has more than a dozen trust funds that accept donations earmarked for specific projects. It is private donations that make many of our programs, ranging from children's golf to summer jazz to public art, so outstanding. More information is available here. 
Lilly Vancouver, Washington's Diane Finnie was given a gift yesterday; one she thought she'd never receive.

On Sept. 29, Finnie, her son, Jon Golden and his future wife, Lauren Hunter, were planning their Nov. 7 wedding. On that same day, Lilly, Finnie's 2-year-old boxer/lab mix, went for a walk--by herself. She started at Muldoon Canyon in Bellevue and continued out Slaughterhouse Canyon. She never came back.

Golden began the hunt for Lilly. He posted signs throughout Bellevue and Hailey and went out on his dirt bike to search various canyons. He asked hunters and four-wheelers he came across, but no one had seen her.

Golden gave up the search two weeks later, leaving his mother and Lilly's 4-year-old, boxer/lab, sister disappointed and without hope. He and Hunter continued to keep an eye out, hoping to reunite Finnie and Lilly before their wedding. That never happened.

Lilly On Monday, Nov. 30, a very skinny boxer/lab was found wandering around Short Swing Lane off Warm Springs Road. Andrea Cookston noticed this dog in her backyard, which is not easily accessed. She called for animal control, grabbed some food and went out to follow it as it went onto her neighbor's porch. While waiting for someone to pick up the dog, she and her neighbor threw her some food and gave her water. Cookston managed to get the dog into her car and was warming her up when Police Chief Dave Kassner arrived. Kassner delivered the dog to the Sun Valley Animal Shelter, where someone recognized the dog as missing. It was Lilly.

Last night, Finnie and Lilly were reunited.
Jon Golden has been a firefighter for ten years and is now assistant engine captain for Forest Service Engine 631 in Ketchum. He lives with his wife in Bellevue.

Remember to sign up for WaterSmart, a free tool that will help you monitor household water consumption. Ketchum residential water customers can find out how they compare with homes of similar sizes in their neighborhoods, as well as opt for customized recommendations on how to save water and money. Go to and register by entering a billing account number and email address. Almost 100 people have already signed up for the program, which went into effect this fall.
By Scott Boettger, Wood River Land Trust executive director

RiverA draft geomorphic and hydrologic assessment of the main stem Big Wood River was recently completed by Biota Research & Consulting LLC for Trout Unlimited, the Wood River Land Trust, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service as part of the Big Wood Home Rivers Initiative. The comprehensive study examined both natural and manmade influences of the 556,000-acre river drainage, along the 40 miles of river from the confluence of the North Fork (at the SNRA) to Magic Reservoir in Southern Blaine County.
As many of us know, our beloved Big Wood River and its wild rainbow trout fishery have suffered from more than a century of manmade and ecological influences. Projects such as the relocation of Highway 75 in the early 1990s, extensive flood control, and channel straightening have contributed to decreased river health. Additionally, seemingly harmless small-scale residential landscaping projects have added to the decline of the river's health and its fishery. Even many projects intended to be beneficial have had negative impacts on the river's natural function.
The goal of the geomorphic and hydrologic assessment was to ensure that future restoration projects incorporate comprehensive impacts to the river.  

Note: The report will soon be available at .

How Do Our Economic Trends Compare with Other Ski Resorts?
Ketchum sales tax revenues for 2014 are up by 14.9 percent over 2011, according to recent three-year comparisons from the Colorado Association of Ski Towns. Other ski towns reported increases for the three-year period of 10 to 32 percent, though the increase in some Colorado communities reflects sales from the legalization of marijuana.

Ketchum belongs to the organization for access to economic information specific to Western ski resorts.

Air Service Board to Review Contracts
The Sun Valley Air Service Board, which oversees uses of the additional 1 percent local option tax for air service imposed in Ketchum, Sun Valley and Hailey, will meet on Monday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. in Sun Valley City Hall. The agenda includes discussion over the renewal of contracts with Fly Sun Valley Alliance for air service development and Sun Valley Marketing Alliance for the promotion of existing air service and future air service to increase commercial air passengers to the local area. Click here for full meeting packet.

Local Investor Starts Podcast for Entrepreneurs 
Tatyana Gray, an "angel investor" in early startups and mentor with the Ketchum Innovation Center, has launched the Angel Investing Podcast to attract, educate and inspire the next wave of angel investors throughout the country. Guests have included Boise Angel Alliance and Sean Schantzen, co-founder of Idaho-based startup Healthfundr.

Also, Idaho-based startups can compete in the Trailhead's Challenge Cup, a tournament with the opportunity to win more than $1 million.

Mayor Nina Jonas
Micah Austin, planning and building director
Sandra L. Cady, Finance Director
Jennifer L. Smith, director of parks and recreation
Special P&Z Meeting Friday Dec. 4
The Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a special meeting Friday, Dec. 4, at noon to take final action on the Community School application for a dormitory in the light industrial district.

AIC Legislative Committee at Work 
Mayor Nina Jonas is a member of the Association of Idaho Cities Legislative Committee and will attend its meeting, Friday, Dec. 4, in Boise. AIC is an advocacy group for Idaho's 200 incorporated cities with a mission to "develop and advocate policies that strengthen and support cities." The Legislative Committee is composed of elected city officials engaged in the legislative process, which includes contacting legislators and attending and testifying at committee hearings. Access full meeting packet here.

Mayor Nina Jonas Lights Up Town Square for Holidays  
Ketchum's holiday lighting ceremony takes place Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 4:30 p.m. in Town Square. The Ketchum Arts Commission has designed new holiday decor for the Square and Mayor Jonas will begin the celebration by turning on the lights. Enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies while waiting for Santa to join the festivities when he arrives on a fire truck.

KURA Seat Available 
Beginning January 2015, a seat will be open on the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency board due to a council vacancy. If you are interested in becoming a member of the board, please send a letter of interest and bio to the Mayor's office by Dec. 15. 
Lane Markings Coming on Second Street
The centerline and parking places will be restriped on Second Street across from the U.S. Post Office in the spring. The snow came too soon to complete the painting after a new sidewalk and curb and gutter were installed.

Goodbye to Icon, Ivan Swaner 
2004 Wagon Days Grand Marshal and local historian, Ivan Swaner, passed away Sunday, Nov. 22, at age 82.

Outdoor Ice Rink to Open Soon
Thank you Mother Nature for bringing snow and low temperatures. Crews began an early construction start, working nights from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., to create the Christina Potters Outdoor Ice Rink at Atkinson Park. They will spray water on the athletic field to create a two-acre rink that is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Please observe the "keep off" signs during this construction period. 
Tentative opening is early December. Use of the rink is free. The city offers free loaner skates available at the recreation center adjacent to the park.

Mayor and St. Luke's Present Check to Hemingway School
Mayor Nina Jonas will present a check for $1,000 to Hemingway Elementary School on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 8:20 a.m. at the school. Jonas was awarded $1,000 to donate to the school of her choice for participation in the recent Mayor's School Walking Challenge. The competition was designed to help teach children the importance of being physically active, and the funds will be used for new playground equipment. St. Luke's Wood River is contributing an additional $1,500 toward the project. St. Luke's press release can be read here.

Water Loan Approved
It's official! Ketchum has received a $449,000 low-interest loan from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to replace aging water pipes and install meters for water customers now paying a flat rate. Voters approved the loan application in an election last May. 
On Monday's City Council Agenda
The City Council Monday will discuss a request for the city to vacate an alley behind 6th Street between Walnut and Spruce avenues for construction of housing, a presentation on the city's Percent for Art program, and contracts for services with Visit Sun Valley and Mountain Rides. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Requesting Bids for Purchase of Wheel Loader 
The city is seeking sealed bids for the purchase of a 908M or equivalent wheel loader. Bidder must accept a trade-in vehicle, 1999 Bobcat Skid Steer 763. Visit for bid specifications or call 726-7831 for more information. Deadline is Friday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m.

The Street Division will be replacing the '99 Skid Steer as part of its fleet management program with a more current vehicle that will allow for easier in and out access and better visibility. The new loader will also have the ability to haul heavier and larger objects, such as art. This type of loader is similar to other Street Division equipment so operators will need little training.

Contractor Training Jan. 12 
Local contractors wanting to perform public works projects can become certified. The city has scheduled training for local contractors to obtain public works certification with the Idaho Division of Building Safety. Two training sessions will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Ketchum City Hall. RSVP preferred but not necessary to

City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7. 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, Dec. 14 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