The planning process was started about a year ago. It is currently on phase six, development of the plan. They are currently drafting portions of the plan and have essentially finished their risk assessment, hoping to have a draft document available for the public to review in the next couple months. The whole process is being overseen by a steering committee, made up of governmental and non-governmental members and have met eight times. The steering committee has been acting as an advisory body in this process.
Chances are, if you ever visit the emergency room at Cascade Medical, you might run into Dr. Roselynn Gentles and her dog, Dear Abby. And no, Dear Abby is not there simply because Dr. Gentles is an animal lover, this is a service dog, there to do a job. In the case of Dr. Gentles, she has a 40 percent hearing disability, so Dear Abby assists by alerting the doctor when there are sounds she needs to be aware of, code calls, cell phone rings, the door bell.
Prompted by the Leavenworth Chamber, the Leavenworth City Council was set to pass a new ordinance which would have allowed alcohol in city parks on a limited basis, but the council set aside the ordinance for the time being after receiving a letter from Chamber President Doc Elsea. The letter was not meant to dissuade the council to allow alcohol in parks, but rather it pressed the council for greater expansion of alcohol in parks than what was proposed in the ordinance.
The Leavenworth City Council has decided to move away from joining the Mountain Pact after receiving a letter from Diana Madson, the founder and executive director. The Mountain Pact represents a number of western tourist towns affected by changes in the weather. Joining the Mountain Pact was proposed by Councilwoman Mia Bretz, who was not present at the council study session on July 12. Mayor Cheri Kelley Farivar said they had previously met with Madson.
Just when thought Leavenworth girls' soccer could not soar any higher, now this. Last year, the U18 girls' soccer team finished second at the national beach tournament in Florida. That same group of girls also advanced further than any other Cascade soccer team, boys or girls, in the state playoffs, finishing second in 2015. Well, just after graduation and Father's Day, the U16 and U18 girls headed to Seaside, Oregon for the Seaside Soccer in the Sand Beach Tournament. Both teams won their divisions to advance to the national beach tournament in Clearwater Beach, Florida sometime in December.
A new design for the proposed park plaza in downtown Leavenworth was presented to the city council at the July 12 study session. The new design, vetted through the Downtown Steering Committee, represents an expansion in scope. The estimated cost for the new design was $277,000. Councilman Rich Brinkman called it ambitious, but reasonable, cost wise. Mayor Cheri Kelley Farivar disagreed.
On July 4, the Ponderosa 4H Club held their 60th annual pancake breakfast. Certainly, there are not many clubs in Leavenworth that can lay claim to holding an event for 60 consecutive years, but the Ponderosa 4H Club can. "I don't know how it happened, but before I was born, people thought this would be a good idea. The tradition has been carried on family to family. It has been great, " said Jeff Archer, executive leader of the Ponderosa 4H. Some people have been coming to breakfast for most of those 60 years. Archer said one gentlemen told him he had not missed a breakfast in 53 years.
The body of 24-year old He Qi was found under the snowpack at Aasgard pass above Colchuck Lake in the Enchantment Wilderness Saturday, July 2. Qi disappeared into a hole in the snow while glissading down Aasgard Pass with his co-workers on June 5. The hole was created in the snow by a waterfall, which flowed into a creek under the deep snowpack. Rescue crews were unable to find him, due the hardened, deep snow and hazardous conditions.
One of the most popular comedy-musicals of all-time, Singin' in the Rain, returns to the Leavenworth Summer Theater Hatchery Stage tonight. Seven years ago, the show was co-directed by the father-daughter team of John and Tiffany Mauser and starred up-and-coming young dancer-actor Phil Lacey. This year, Tiffany Mauser directs the show and a more mature Phil Lacey steps back into the lead role as Don Lockwood, the part made famous in the movie by Gene Kelly. Mauser has directed or co-directed seven shows with Leavenworth Summer Theater.
Travis Hornby, a Moses Lake business owner and Wenatchee resident, is running for Chelan County Commissioner, District 1, being vacated by longtime Commissioner Ron Walter. "Chelan County has much to offer and I am passionate about our future," Hornby said. "I believe we can have sustainable growth while protecting this amazing place we all love. Understanding the needs of Chelan County residents and advocating for them is extremely important to me." Hornby said he is self-financing his campaign and entered the race after looking "for others to step up" and then realizing it was up to him to speak for the "ignored constituency of the Valley."
Retiring state patrolman Kevin Overbay is running for the Chelan County Commission as a Republican. The fourth generation North Central Washington resident is seeking the District 1 post being vacated by Ron Walter. He believes in "customer service" and the "taking care of situations as they arise" approach to running the county.
The fourth community meeting was held last week in Leavenworth on the Chelan County PUD proposal to build a new substation in the Leavenworth area. The PUD had a large community meeting last December. Then, a focus group was created, including people with a wide range of interests. "We worked them to create site selection criteria, so we had all the criteria that was both important to the PUD from a systems standpoint and also things important to the community, like aesthetics and neighborhood value," said Teka Sellers, PUD customer relations administrator. "We found about 16 general areas we thought were good to start looking at. We took those 16 areas and started putting them through the site selection criteria so that each one had a ranking. We came up with a top three."
The Cascade School Board heard their annual report on the Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program or TBIP. Program Director Emily Ross, also the principal at Peshastin-Dryden Elementary, gave a presentation to the board at the June 27 meeting. She explained there are two sources of funding for the program, from the state and federal. The TBIP is funded by the state, while Title 3 funding comes from the federal government. Ross explained the two programs go together. "Basically, it is for educational opportunities if you are here in our district and your primary language is not English. Most of our students come from Spanish speaking homes," Ross said. "But, for instance at PD, I have one student whose primary language is Ukrainian. It does hit on more than that. For the majority, it is Spanish speaking."
U.S. Representative Dave Reichert paid a visit to Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery last week at the request of the Icicle Work Group (IWG). Twenty-five people gathered on the lawn to discuss water rights and plans to start projects solving chronic water supply problems in the region. Congressman Reichert listened attentively as the group explained their perspectives and asked for his help in finding funds.
At the May 10 study session, Public Works Director Herb Amick said the previous public works director actually started revising the city ordinance on cemeteries. Amick is continuing the revision process. It is needed. He said they actually have burials going on with coolers, and not coolers full of beer. "The cooler as the container for the ashes. We really want the regulations to fit what other cities have and what we have. We changed some of the hours to match the hours of staff. We changed it for overtime on burials and that sort thing," Amick said. "We came up the changes and presented it to the parks committee. They reviewed and made those changes."
Whenever the city council is tasked with naming a street, there always seems to be a spirited debate. That was again the case as the council discussed possible names for a street in the new Pinegrass subdivision. Development Manager Nathan Pate said the applicant has suggested either Scamahorn or Sequoia. Both names have been vetted with RiverCom, meaning there are no other similar street names in Chelan and Douglas counties.
Have you ever been so moved by a success story that you felt the need to share the story with countless others? Have you ever witnessed a person seizing all of the opportunities made available to him/her and making the most of them? If you have answered yes to both of these, you understand my motivation for writing about Dr. Cesar Avila, a local man from the Upper Wenatchee Valley who built a successful and meaningful career for himself and his family.
Four lost hikers were located the morning of June 24 in the mountains near Leavenworth. According to Chelan County Sheriff's Office news release, the hikers were located near Edwards Peak, which is seven miles southwest of Leavenworth. Apparently, they were attempting to hike to the Enchantments, but became lost when they went off trail. The hikers were identified as Brian Keeley, 26, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Anthony McAllister, 27, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mary Keeley, 25, of Austin, Texas and Joseph Smith, 28, of San Antonio, Texas.
After a one year absence, The Sound of Music is returning to Leavenworth Summer Theater. The buzz of excitement is truly palpable around town. Phil Lacey directed the show two years ago, and is coming back to direct the show this year. He said it is like coming home to The Sound of Music. "It is such a beautiful show that is so important to the community. It's not just bringing the songs back or new blocking, it's coming back to the heart of why this company exists and why it is so good in Leavenworth," Lacey said. "It is really exciting. I've found a lot of new things, like the actors coming back, who are finding new and interesting things in the script. There is a new cast with new kids. It's fantastic."
In a meeting overshadowed by the skatepark debate, the Leavenworth City Council discussed possible improvements to the city's paid parking lots at the May 24 meeting. These would be improvements to the P1 and P2 lots, which are across from the Festhalle, along U.S. Highway 2. City Administrator Joel Walinski said they are looking to accomplish three things.
"Value engineering" is required for all school construction projects. Once the engineers have completed their designs, a value engineering team comes in and analyzes the designs and makes suggestions to save the district money, while maintaining good quality, according to Cascade Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker.