Cover Art
Pam McKnight, Ketchum Rolls                                                               Cover Art at Washington Avenue and River Street

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

Inform. Celebrate. Involve.
February 16, 2017
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: Welcome to Ketchum

Nina Today, many businesses across the country have closed to support the "Day Without Immigrants" protest, because those businesses cannot open their doors without their immigrant workers. Ketchum's businesses also rely on our immigrant population to provide services to our tourist economy. In the wake of today's debate on immigration in the U.S., and upon the request of many citizens, Ketchum will reaffirm its commitment to welcoming all individuals by becoming a "Welcoming City."

The "Welcoming Cities Initiative" was launched in 2013 to support locally-driven efforts to create more welcoming, immigrant-friendly communities that maximize opportunities for economic growth and cultural vitality.

Since the founding of Ketchum, the community has welcomed miners, sheepherders and ski enthusiasts from all over the world. The specialized skill set of Basque and Peruvian sheepherders and Austrian skiers helped define this place and put Ketchum on the map. This long-term integration of immigrant workers benefits all members of this community.

Foreign-born residents are a vital part of our community, bringing fresh perspectives and diversity of thought. They open businesses and contribute to the vibrant and diverse community that we value. Without immigrant workers, Ketchum would not have the growth and prosperity it has experienced.

Let's not allow fear to lead us to discrimination of our residents and people who come to Ketchum looking for opportunities for a better life. A core value of the city of Ketchum is respect for all people. Our city will give everyone the chance to come here and contribute to the cultural, spiritual, social and economic life of our community.

Diversity is not an option for Ketchum. It is what we have been, what we are, and what we must be. The mix of culture and commerce adds to our quality of life, making our community the vibrant place it is today.

I am proud of the virtues of diversity in our town.

Ketchum is keeping its doors open.


Stay involved. Included here are links to the Tuesday, Feb. 21, Council agenda and Council meeting information. City Council has moved its Monday Meeting to Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall because of the Presidents Day holiday. The agenda will include a discussion regarding ballot language for the May 6 special election to extend the 1 percent local-option tax for air service, a resolution designating the city of Ketchum as a Welcoming City, discussion regarding the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency sale of the Starbucks building at East Avenue and Sun Valley Road, and a new ordinance designating noxious weeds in the city of Ketchum to include the Yew plant.   

It is the responsibility of the city to inform the public and gain public input. Please provide the city with your opinion and comments by attending Monday's meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Ketchum City Hall, 480 East Ave., N., or sending an email to   

Artistic manhole covers. Mosaics incorporated into sidewalks. Decorative park benches. Sculpted bicycle racks. A ski gondola and utility boxes "wrapped" in artists' designs.
Ketchum has much of this - and wants even more. The city is asking artists to submit their qualifications to be considered for projects that would be incorporated into public infrastructure. 

Sandpoint, Idaho 
Selected artists will be included in a prequalified artist pool for consideration for art incorporated into a variety of public projects. Possibilities include fences, walls and sidewalks, which are particularly important as Ketchum plans major new sidewalks and the completion of new tennis courts at Atkinson Park this spring.

"Ketchum is filled with artists and creative minds," Mayor Jonas said. "I am looking forward to seeing even more art incorporated into public infrastructure throughout town."  
In 2014 , Ketchum earmarked 5 percent of public capital improvement budgets to the arts. This is believed to be the highest percentage of any city in the nation. The city previously devoted 1.33 percent to art. The higher figure will make several projects possible.
Sandpoint, Idaho 
Artists for various projects will be selected by the Ketchum Arts Commission, whose mission is to integrate arts and culture into the community's life.
Public art must be made of durable materials that are easy to maintain, and able to withstand environmental elements such as direct sunlight, rain, snow and ice. Budgets may range from $5,000 to $50,000, including installation costs and payments to artists.
Submission deadline is March 9. The request for qualifications can be found at

The city also is seeking sculptors to display work in the Tenth Annual "Art on Fourth" outdoor exhibition and artwork for Art in City Hall and Wagon Days Poster and Souvenir Art. Calls for artists can be found at

Wagon Days
As Ketchum begins preparations for the 60th anniversary of Wagon Days, it is seeking artists to submit proposals for Wagon Days posters and memorabilia and for Art in City Hall.
The annual Labor Day weekend celebration pays tribute to the history of the city and its legacy as a mining town. The festivities began in 1958 to fulfill the wish of the Lewis family members, who had donated historic ore wagons to the city and asked that they be publicly displayed once a year.
The ore wagons, called the "Big Hitch," are still the grand finale of the parade. The tall, narrow freight wagons are originals from more than a century old, and come through town pulled by one of the few remaining authentic, 20-mule jerk line teams. They are on display the rest of the year at the Ore Wagon Museum, Fourth Street and East Avenue.
The parade has grown into the largest one in the West without motorized vehicles. There typically are more than 100 museum-quality buggies, carriages, tacks, carts, buckboards, and wagons of every variety.
Artists may submit artwork related to the parade, the ore wagons or the history of mining in the valley. Submissions for the Art in City Hall exhibition may also be considered for this year's Wagon Days poster art.
Artwork selected for the Wagon Days poster will be incorporated onto souvenir items such as commemorative mugs, pins, and T-shirts. Over the years, the posters have become treasured souvenirs of the annual Wagon Days Weekend and many have become collectors' items.
The Art in City Hall exhibition will run from May 15 through Nov. 15.
Details on submitting artwork can be found at

Moose "It was not 10 minutes and the deer was dead. They die that fast. It's devastating to think you did it." - Boise homeowner after a deer died from eating a poisonous yew plant he failed to recognize.
In Hailey a male moose calf died last week after eating yew. Three elk died nearby earlier this year. Ten elk died in the Hailey Cemetery in December 2015.
So far this winter at least 28 elk, 50 pronghorn and an unknown number of deer have died in Southern Idaho from yew poisoning.  More wild animals than usual are coming into populated areas searching for food that isn't covered with snow.

Last year, after yew deaths in and around Hailey, Blaine County passed a law adding yew to its list of toxic plants that are illegal in unincorporated areas of the county. Ketchum officials chose public education over law, including an offer to have the city arborist identify questionable plants free of charge, to spur people to remove toxic species of yew. However, those education efforts have not motivated enough individuals to remove potentially hazardous yews from their yards. 
But the recent wildlife deaths in Hailey and other Southern Idaho communities have led city officials to conclude that public education is not enough. Yew also are poisonous to pets and small children. Yews are commonly used as ornamental landscaping because they are hardy enough to withstand local winters
Although there have been no reported yew deaths in Ketchum, City Council Monday is expected to pass a new ordinance focused solely on noxious weeds, which were previously referenced in the Nuisance Ordinance. The proposed ordinance will bring the city's list of noxious weeds into conformance with the county list, which currently has minor differences, yet includes three species of yew: Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata), Chinese yew (Taxus chinensis), and European or English yew (Taxus baccata) .
City staff will continue to assist property owners in identifying plants. Please contact City Arborist Jen Smith with questions at  or 727-5081.

Better Air Services Brings in 15,200 New Visitors
Increased air service in 2016 flights brought in an estimated 15,200 first-time visitors, resulting in more than $21 million in estimated direct-spend economic impact, according to Fly Sun Valley Alliance. More flight statistics can be viewed here.

Welcome Visit Sun Valley's New Executive Director 
Meet Scott Fortner, Visit Sun Valley's new executive director, at a welcome event on Friday, Feb. 17, from 5-7 p.m. at the Visitor Center building, 491 Sun Valley Road. RSVP appreciated to
Learn About Snow
The Environmental Resource Center will remain open during the Gallery Walk on Friday, Feb. 17, with an exhibit on skiing history, the regional snowpack and its impact on local animals. The center is at 471 Washington Ave. North, Ketchum.

P & Z to Meet on Proposed New Performing Arts Center
Construction of a new performing arts center to replace the nexStage Theatre at 120 Main St. S. will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission at a special meeting on Monday, Feb., 27, at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall. A site visit will begin at 5 p.m. The agenda includes a request to waive parking requirements for the project. Applicant is the Sun Valley Performing Arts Center, which plans a 25,000 square foot facility to be named the Argyros Performing Arts Center.
Reminder: City Offices to Close for Presidents Day
City offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, for the Presidents Day holiday. The regular City Council meeting has been moved to Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Property Tax Reduction Filing Deadline 
The deadline for property tax reduction applications (circuit breaker) and homeowner's exemption is April 18. For qualification and application information, call 788-5535 or visit the Blaine County Assessor webpage.
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month, or on Tuesday after a Monday holiday, in Ketchum City Hall. Click here to see the agenda and staff reports or scan the QR code.

Planning and Zoning Commission 
Attend the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27. P&Z meetings are held on the second Monday of each month 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 would like to express an opinion, please submit your comments via email to Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed. 
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