2015 Wagon Days Poster                                                                                                                     Howard Lacina, artist 

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

September 3, 2015
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: Access to Public Lands and Resources

Welcome to the Wild West! As we celebrate Wagons Days and our mining heritage, it is apparent how much our relationship with public lands has changed. The fantastic public lands and resources that surround Ketchum have defined our way of life first through mining and now, predominately, recreation. These public lands enlighten our character and are one of Ketchum's greatest assets.
Access to the iconic Big Wood River and backdoor mountain trails has become more limited as adjacent private properties have developed. Typically, access points to public lands and resources are established during development approvals for construction. However, as plants grow and buildings appear, the public loses awareness of these access points. This leads to an inadvertent privatization of public lands.
To assure meaningful access to these lands, the city of Ketchum has begun posting signs, trimming vegetation and adding bark or decomposed granite to indicate public access trails clearly. The city will be working in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Blaine County Recreation District, Wood River Land Trust and Trout Unlimited. We anticipate finishing the work by next summer.
Maintaining access so residents and visitors alike can use and enjoy public lands is important in keeping Ketchum a unique setting where we can live and play. Click here for an updated river access map.
See you on the trail, Nina

You greenies are so concerned about air quality but we don't even have a monitoring station here.

Both air and water quality are monitored in Ketchum. The air quality monitoring station, operated by the state Department of Environmental Quality, is located on the roof of Hemingway Elementary School. You can monitor reports online yourself or follow city postings on Facebook and Twitter. We always include warnings when the air is unhealthy because of such events as nearby forest fires.

For air quality reports, go to http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/ to access the latest information from "Ketchum (PM2.5)." You can see real-time conditions, generate a station report in a variety of formats and see what the station looks like.
For information on smoke from wildfires, check out a cooperative blog maintained by county, state, tribal and federal agencies. 
The city public works department monitors drinking water regularly for coliform and other bacteria, lead and copper and other possible contaminants. Results are published by the state Department of Environmental Quality. 

For information on the health of our rivers, go to the U.S. Geological Survey's Idaho Water Science Center for data on stream flow, water temperature and other measurements.  Data is collected at 150 sites in Idaho, including points on the Big Wood River and Warm Springs, Trail and Silver creeks. 

Do you have a question for Mayor Nina Jonas? AskNina@ketchumidaho.org

Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.

Miners at unidentified  mine shaft. Photo courtesy of The Community Library
As we celebrate Wagon Days this weekend, think back to a time when the mountains were valued more for their lead and silver than their beauty and serenity.
Remember a time when government processes were so loose that a town could be named for a man who spent a winter nearby, then disappeared into obscurity.
Ketchum takes its name from David Ketchum, a bachelor prospector who spent the winter of 1879-80 in a cabin by a hot springs near the mouth of Warm Springs Creek.
He was ambitious enough to obtain and sell four parcels of land, according to Blaine County Courthouse records. He also applied for a post office near his cabin, calling the site "Leadville." Officials in Washington thought Leadville was too common a name for a town in the mining heyday of the West. So the grant of a post office, made on April 19, 1880, called the town Ketchum, apparently because Ketchum's name was on the application.
What else do we know about him? He is said to have had a beard, although no photos appear in histories of the city. The Ketchum Keystone newspaper in 1882 described him as "that great and good man and Christian mule-skinner." Some say he was headed for Arizona when he left town. Others say he has descendants in northern Idaho or Montana.
At this point, it seems unlikely that we will know more. But this weekend's Wagon Days celebration will bring back memories of his mining and mule-skinning talents.
Festivities for Wagon Days, initiated in 1958 as a reason for summer visitors to stay through Labor Day weekend, begin tonight and run through Monday. A complete schedule is at www.wagondays.org.
The Big Hitch parade, one of the largest parades in the country without motorized vehicles, pays tribute to the muleskinners like Ketchum who founded the community. It ends with a string of historic ore wagons, pulled by a 20-mule team guided by a jerk line and once used to bring ore over Galena Summit. The designation was the Philadelphia smelter, located near Ketchum's cabin.
Philadelphia Smelter 
Philadelphia Smelter mule teams ready to pick up ore in the 1880s. Photo courtesy of The Community Library 
If government processes were a bit lax in the late 1800s, private enterprise was hard at work. The two-day journey from the lead mines followed a route over Galena Summit, just as steep and undoubtedly more narrow and rugged than it is today. A private company built a toll road in 1882, charging $1.50 for a wagon and team. It was quite a sum, given that $1.50 was the average daily wage for a California farm worker and the best paid factory workers made about $2 a day.
So come out for Wagon Days this weekend, stop by the city's Ore Wagon Museum at East Avenue and Fourth Street and see the narrow, towering wagons, and line the streets for the Big Hitch parade Saturday at 1 p.m. You'll get a glimpse of life generations ago, and a realization of how lucky we are that Ketchum survived its mining years to offer the #SmallTownBigLife we have today.

grigsby, 1st female patrol officer promoted to sergeant
Grigsby Michal Grigsby, a former detective and patrol deputy for the Ketchum Division of the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, has been promoted to patrol sergeant in the city of Ketchum.
Grigsby, a 1998 graduate of Wood River High School, started her law enforcement career with the Bellevue marshal's office in 2000. In 2005 she joined the Ketchum police department, now part of the Blaine County Sheriff's Department.  
Grigsby holds an Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training Advanced Patrol Certificate and three instructor certifications. She also is a field training officer. She has been involved with Ketchum's community policing program, and has worked as a marine deputy and drug detection K9 handler.
Why police work? "People always ask me that," she said with a smile. Before joining the Bellevue marshal's office, she had worked for a restaurant and an airline.
"As a police officer, every day is different. "You don't do the same thing every day. Ketchum is special," she added, "because of the diverse population and the combination of tourists and local residents. They need different kinds of help and I enjoy working with them."
Grigsby grew up in the Wood River Valley. She and her husband enjoy kayaking and hunting.

A water call occurs when a senior water user claims they are not receiving the full volume of their water right and requests that the Idaho Department of Water Resources administer more junior water rights in the basin in order to deliver water to the senior right. This can result in curtailment of water use by junior users in order to increase the water supply available to the senior user.
In February 2015, a group of senior surface water holders located in the southern part of the Wood River Basin (Basin 37) (consisting primarily of farmers south of Picabo Hills on both the Silver Creek and Big Wood sides) did just this when it requested that the department administer upstream junior groundwater rights, including those owned by the city of Ketchum.
Under the framework of conjunctive management, in which the state is tasked with administering surface water and groundwater rights concurrently, the majority of groundwater rights in our basin have priority dates junior to the calling surface-water right holders. This call has set in motion a process by which the state must assess water use, delivery patterns and efficiency of water use by the calling water users, determine the extent to which these users may or may not have experienced material injury to their water rights as a result of water use by junior users, and evaluate - most likely via surface and groundwater modeling - the extent to which curtailment of junior groundwater uses can provide additional water to satisfy the calling of senior water rights.
This process will likely be lengthy, require participation by the junior groundwater users in the basin, the calling senior surface water holders and the department, and involve significant legal and engineering work. The city of Ketchum is working collaboratively with other cities in the basin to respond to these calls.

Read "Water 101" in the Aug. 14 enewsletter for more information.

Art in unexpected places: examples from aspen
The Ketchum Arts Commission, which has brought the city art in unexpected places ranging from manhole covers to a ski gondola, will collaborate with two other local organizations for a Wednesday, Sept. 16 presentation on art in unusual places in Aspen.
The free program, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. at The Community Library, is sponsored by the commission, the library and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. The title is "We All Know What We Know: Art In Unexpected Places, A Collaboration Between Aspen Skiing Company and Aspen Art Museum." Read press release here
The format will be a conversation between Aspen Skiing Company CEO Mike Kaplan and the museum's Heidi Zuckerman .
The ski company and the museum have collaborated for 11 years to bring contemporary art to the ski experience through annual artist-commissioned lift ticket designs, as well as on-site art installations in Snowmass's Elk Camp Ski Lodge and on the slopes of the four Aspen Skiing Company resorts: Aspen Mountain, Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. "Art In Unexpected Places is a unique and valuable model for integrating the cultural and athletic sides of a mountain town and we are excited to learn from them," said Trina Peters, co-chair, Ketchum Arts Commission. 

A workshop with the Visit Sun Valley regional marketing agency to discuss its proposed use of city funds will be on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m. Visit Sun Valley will receive $440,000 from the city of Ketchum for fiscal year 2015-2016 and additional funding from the city's 1% local option tax.
This will be the second workshop-type meeting with agencies receiving city funds in which City Council members, members of the public and an outside consultant with expertise in the subject will discuss their expectations. The first workshop to use this new, proactive approach was with Mountain Rides on Aug. 17.
Following are the topics that the City Council plans to address with Visit Sun Valley. If your concern is not listed, please attend the meeting or send an email to participate@ketchumidaho.org.
  • Should Visit Sun Valley be expected to fund and help organize events that attract visitors? 
  • What is the function of the Visitors Center? What are future plans, given the possibility of the sale of the building in which it is currently located?
  • Do we need more regional marketing?
  • How can the relationships between Visit Sun Valley and the community be strengthened?
  • What metrics are being used to measure success and are they appropriate?
  • How can Visit Sun Valley provide more support to its membership? What can members do to increase the effectiveness of Visit Sun Valley?
department highlight
Ketchum Business Directory Coming
The city will add a business directory to the website, www.ketchumidaho.org, on Oct. 1. It will list each city of Ketchum business-license holder with location, contact information, website and the date the business license was first obtained. Ketchum began issuing business licenses in 2007.
All businesses with a physical location within city limits are required to obtain a business license. The cost is $50 annually. Visit www.ketchumidaho.org/business or contact the city clerk at 726-3841 for more information.

More Airlines Seats This Winter
This winter will bring an increase of 48,000 airline seats from December through March, Carol Waller, director of Fly Sun Valley Alliance, has announced. This represents a 13 percent increase in seat capacity from last year and an increase of 46 percent over the past three years. An expanded marketing program with a budget of more than $1 million is planned, she said. Nonstop flights service will be available to Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Salt Lake City.
Filing Period Closes Friday for City Council Seats
The filing period closes tomorrow for two seats on Ketchum City Council that will become vacant Jan. 1. Required papers are available at City Hall, 480 East Ave. N., today and tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The terms of Councilmembers Michael David and Jim Slanetz expire at the end of the year. The election is Nov. 3.

Idaho Power Rebate Is Here
Ketchum this week received a check for $52,626.75 from Idaho Power, its rebate for installing new, more energy-efficient equipment at the wastewater treatment plan. The new equipment also cut energy usage by approximately 43 percent per month.

Governor Seeks PUC Applicants
Gov. Butch Otter is calling for applicants for a vacancy on the state Public Utilities Commission starting in January. Interested applicants can contact Ann Beebe in the governor's office at (208) 334-2100 or  ann.beebe@gov.idaho.gov. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Fall Youth Program Registration Available Online
Registration for city fall youth recreation programs is now open online. The after-school program at Atkinson Park serves children currently enrolled in second through fifth grades. Soccer and swimming programs also are available. Volunteer coaches are needed for fall soccer. If interested, please call 726-7820 or email bnoyes@ketchumidaho.org

City Partners with WaterSmart Software 
Ketchum's partnership with WaterSmart will allow residents to access detailed information about their household water use, compare it to homes of similar sizes in their neighborhood and have access to customized recommendations on how to save water and money. The portal will be available Oct. 1. Watch for more information in the next newsletter.

Girls on the Run Decorate Cookies for Police Department 
It's not every day that the police department receives homemade, hand-decorated cookies. So we were particularly pleased when members of the Girls on the Run, a learning program for girls ages 8 to 13, brought cookies to thank police for their help to the community. The cookies and police chief even make a brief appearance in the new Girls on the Run video.

City Offices to Close Monday 
Ketchum city offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 7, for the Labor Day holiday. 

City Council 
Attend the next regular City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday. 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. 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 participate@ketchumidaho.org. Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed. 
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