Ice Rink

City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"The Original Mountain Town"

January 15, 2015
In This Issue
A Message from Mayor Nina Jonas: Moonlight Skiing

One of the most beautiful experiences in Ketchum is the moonlight ski. The pale moon lights the darkness with a quiet that calms the soul. The evergreens are purple ghosts, the leafless aspens are black brush strokes casting long shadows and the snow sparkles an even blanket of small crystals that reflect the moonlight. Following several cold nights something special happens. The crystals grow on one another, creating a surface hoar that grabs the moonlight making sharp notes across the blanket of snow. I like to sweep the hoar up in my hand, blow and listen to the crystals tinkle back to the ground.


The magic of a moonlight ski can be experienced early in the evening during the waxing moon, throughout the night or early morning during the waning moon. Sometimes I skin up Bald Mountain, climbing to the picnic table at the bottom of Lower College where the view of the Pioneers and town is enchanting. Other times to the Roundhouse for dinner, either outing followed by silent turns down the mountain. Dollar is also a fun moonlight ski as its truly bald status allows for an extraordinary amount of light. The majority of my moonlight ski tours are on the cross-country tracks of the Boulder Flats north of town where I enjoy a huge field of gleaming crystals.  And sometimes, with less motivation, I simply take a walk in the winter moonlight.


Whichever activity you embrace, the light show of moon on snow is truly one of the great moments of Nordic living. Enjoy!




Parking in town over the Christmas holidays was non-existent. This has been going on for quite some time, not just during Christmas. Cars are parked all day long in two-hour parking zones on Leadville, which reduces customer parking for the businesses around that area. Are the community service officers marking parked cars and how many tickets have been issued? --Phyllis Shafran

Several traffic issues, including parking, came up during the holidays. The two areas of greatest parking incidents were in the day around Town Square and at night around the city lot at Second and Washington. Next Tuesday night at the City Council meeting, Police Chief Dave Kassner will share enforcement data from the holidays and discuss potential solutions. Some short-term solutions for discussion will be expanding the two-hour parking area and times, paid parking or simply heavier enforcement. Your input, in person or via email, is always appreciated. Thank you for raising this issue. On a very positive note, parking problems do come with successful commerce!


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.

Maggie Burbridge A child came to visit Maggie Burbridge, who retired this month as arts and crafts director for the department of parks & recreation. "Maggie," the girl said. "Your house is messy."


It was messy indeed, Burbridge recalled, and comments like this were the best part of her job. "Children say the funniest and most awesome and most real things that can be said," she pointed out.


"They all called me 'Maggie,'" she added. "I don't think they even knew my last name. We let creativity fly, and that can sometimes be messy. Our supplies were in a small closet that was organized in a crazy kind of way. I would try to clean up occasionally but then I had kids who knew me too well. They'd say, 'This just isn't you, Maggie!  How are we supposed to work with this?'"


Burbridge, formerly a Sun Valley ski instructor, first created bulletin boards for the city's recreation programs. Former Parks & Recreation Director and City Council member Terry Tracey was impressed with Burbridge's talent and encouraged her to apply to head the arts and crafts program.


In addition to running the arts and crafts program, she helped children at the rec center create a community garden in 2009. She was nominated for Idaho Mountain Express' Woman of the Year title in 2012.

Burbridge Note


Her farewell cards reflect how much children loved her. One of the best: "Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn." A handmade card reads, "A beautiful, loving, enjoyable adult that breaks the rules or tries to anyways. A trustworthy adult that is beautiful, loving and oh so enjoyable to be around. All of these describe a very important lady that keeps kids creative. Her name is Maggie."


Burbridge's passion for her first year in retirement is fabric. She is using linens and lace to create pillows, a very special guest book and a traveling dress for a niece who will marry this summer in the aptly named town of Harmony, Calif.


"Maggie Burbridge's enthusiasm at work is an inspiration," Mayor Nina Jonas said. "During Maggie's significant tenure with the City of Ketchum, she engaged children in the arts, nutrition and sustainable gardening in a fun and educational way. Her passionate and sincere care for the children of our community is endless and a tough legacy to follow. Maggie will be missed and always appreciated."



You may be surprised to know that Southern Idaho has had 64 earthquakes in the past month and 302 in the past year. Like all earthquakes, this month's 4.9 tremor near Challis was a signal for the Ketchum utilities department to go into action.  


No formal emergency notification was required after the Jan. 3 earthquake for Dave Rambo, Ketchum water division supervisor. "I was at home, and I felt it," he said.


When there is an earthquake, water division crews immediately start inspecting lines in the Saddle Road area. This is the oldest part of the city water system, and has a number of cast-iron and steel pipes installed by a privately owned water company in the 1970s. Most of the rest of Ketchum has C90 PVC pipes, and the flexible plastic material is much less prone to damage from earthquakes.


Crews drive the lines looking for leaks for several days after an earthquake. Police patrols also pay particular attention to the possibility of a water line break during that period.


In addition, a computer program continuously monitors water flows and pressures at utilities department headquarters on River Ranch Road.


"We can tell in each zone throughout Ketchum which pumps are running or when there are unexpected high flows, such as an open fire hydrant," Rambo said.


The Blaine County Communications System and computer program, called SCADA, notify an on-call water division employee 24 hours a day of any alarms indicating flooding, infrastructure failures or malfunctions in the water system. There was no damage from the Jan. 3 earthquake.


The snow-water equivalent stood at 103 of the median and the year-to-date water precipitation at 98 percent of the median in the Big Wood Basin on Jan. 7. The respective figures in the Little Wood Basin were 92 and 85 percent, according to the following report.
Snow Levels

Michael David On Tuesday evening the Blaine County Commissioners held a public hearing regarding a proposed ordinance that creates liability for hosts of underage drinking parties. This type of ordinance is referred to as a social hosting ordinance, and it targets the host of the party who knowingly provides a venue for minors to consume alcohol illegally. Existing laws currently prohibit an adult from furnishing (buying or giving) alcohol for minors, but there is currently no law that prohibits providing the venue for a party.


In Blaine County, underage youth consume alcohol at nearly twice the state and national averages. This is common in resort communities where access to alcohol is higher and community norms regarding alcohol consumption are more liberal. We love that our community values having a good time, however, this also presents challenges when trying to educate our youth about making healthy decisions while their brains are still developing. One of the main places youth in Blaine County obtain alcohol is at house parties, parties often hosted by parents. An increasingly common strategy to reduce the amount of house parties is to enact an ordinance that provides liability for the host of the party.


If a person hosts a party and knows that underage drinking is taking place, that host can receive a citation and a fine of $100 for a first offense. Law enforcement will only cite a host if they respond to a complaint and can prove that the host knew about the underage drinking. A second offense would result in a misdemeanor. These ordinances do not restrict how parents choose to parent their own children, but they penalize adults from providing venues for other parents' children to participate in underage drinking. This makes parents part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Council President and Executive Director of the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition --Michael David.

Expanded Air Service Attracts 12,000 New Visitors

New flights to Friedman Memorial Airport brought in more than 12,000 first-time visitors and added more than $16 million to the economy in 2014, the  Fly Sun Valley Alliance reported.


Increased Business Over Holidays

Visit Sun Valley reports a good start to the winter season. There was an 11 percent increase in room nights sold in December and a 35 percent increase in November.


December 2014 Local Option Tax



2014.07.17 Dave Rambo, Ketchum Water Division Supervisor
Penny parking thrives in small Illinois town

Jo Murray, principal, Jo Murray Public Relations and city communications consultant
Want to have a real impact on climate change? Then become a vegetarian

Josh Solly, co-founder, Ketchum Energy Company and member of the Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee
New York officially banned those plastic foam food containers


City Council to Meet on Tuesday Next Week

The City Council next week will be on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, rather than on Monday, which is the Martin Luther King Day holiday. Among the topics on the agenda are new building fees, parking, fines for idling engines (see separate story) and the travel budget for council members. City offices will be closed on Monday.


Seibel, Nieves Appointed to Urban Renewal Agency

Shelley Seibel, a financial adviser at Edward Jones, and Mark Nieves, a technology consultant, have been named to the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency. They replace Mark Eshman and Trish Wilson, whose terms have ended. "We appreciate their service, as well as the willingness of the new members to offer their talents to the city," Mayor Nina Jonas said.


Idling Fine May Drop to $10

Police Chief Dave Kassner is recommending that the fine for idling a vehicle more than three minutes be changed to a flat fee of $10. The fine currently is based on a sliding scale starting with a warning. However, the city's software is unable to handle the sliding scale, he said. The City Council will consider this at its meeting Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Ski to Support Air Service

Buy a $40 lift ticket, for use on Jan. 25 only, and support air service. Tickets are available locally until Jan. 24 at Board Bin, Formula Sports, PK's Rentals, Ski Tek, Sturtevants and Sturtos Hailey. See Fly Sun Valley Alliance for details. Get hotel specials for your out-town-friends, too.  


Sculptors May Apply for Outdoor Exhibit

The Ketchum Arts Commission is inviting sculptors to showcase their work for the eighth annual "Art on Fourth" outdoor sculpture exhibition. Selected artwork will be featured in the heart of downtown Ketchum along the Fourth Street Heritage Corridor.


Apply Now for Grants to Summer Events

Sponsors of events scheduled for June-October have until Feb. 27 to apply for grants from the Ketchum Events Commission. The city offers cash grants to events in their first three years of production.


Mountain Biking for High School Athletes

High school athletes in Idaho will soon be able to participate in cross-country cycling, thanks to the newly organized Idaho High School Cycling League, a 501(3)(c) company. Local programs are planned for next fall.


200 Ice Skaters a Day at Free Outdoor Rink

The free Christina Potters Outdoor Ice Rink at Atkinson Park attracted about 200 visitors a day over the holidays, with 60 to 100 people on the rink at any given time. Loaner skates and other equipment are available. John Kearney, city recreation supervisor, is among local residents who will participate in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in Minnesota this weekend.


Ketchum, Sun Valley Fire Rescue Injured Nordic Skier

Ketchum and Sun Valley fire departments worked together to rescue an injured cross-country skier in the Billy's Bridge area on Jan. 2. The cooperation of both departments and the use of the special, over-snow vehicle stored and maintained at Sun Valley, shortened the rescue time by about an hour, Fire Chief Mike Elle said.


Garrett Ruckle Police Department to Get New Patrol Deputy

Garrett Matthew Ruckle will join the Ketchum Police Department as a patrol officer on Jan. 26. Ruckle is a 2013 graduate of Boise State University.  He recently moved to the Wood River Valley from Eagle, where he worked with the Boys and Girls Club of America as a youth development assistant. Garrett grew up in Orange County, Calif., and has volunteered his time coaching both ice hockey and baseball. The Blaine County Sheriff's Office, which provides police services to Ketchum, announced Ruckle's appointment yesterday.


Fill a Bowl for the Hungry on Jan. 18

The 5th annual Empty Bowls lunch will be Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Presbyterian Church of the Bigwood. For $20 you get lunch and a handmade bowl made by volunteers at Boulder Mountain Clayworks. Proceeds benefit The Hunger Coalition.


Strategic Plan for BCSD 

The Blaine County School District will have a series of community meetings starting Jan. 21 to brainstorm ideas for a new strategic plan.


Casino Royale Set for Jan. 24.

The 7th Annual Casino Royale, hosted by Company of Fools, offers an evening of casino games, cocktails and fundraising to benefit Company of Fools professional theatre company.


Sun Valley Nordic Festival Starts Jan. 30

Get ready for the Sun Valley Nordic Festival, including the Jan. 31 benefit for Galena Lodge. The Banff Film Festival also starts Jan. 30.


Blaine County Residents Save Through Refinancing

Blaine County ranked fourth in Idaho in the amount residents saved through refinancing properties. There were 654 loans refinanced in Blaine County, with an average annual savings of $8,359 per loan. First in Idaho was Ada County, where 10,163 loans were refinanced with an average annual savings of $3,177 per loan, according to Smart 


City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month in Ketchum City Hall unless a holiday falls on the Monday. 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, Jan. 26, 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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