The Leavenworth City Council, once again, dove into the controversial topic of overnight rentals in their study session on Jan. 10. Development Manager Nathan Pate explained his department and the Planning Commission have been busy cleaning up the city code related to overnight rentals. Pate said they have made "massive" definition changes, primarily regarding overnight rentals.
River Bend Park homeowners showed up en mass to the Leavenworth City Council meeting on Jan. 10. They were concerned about potential amendments to Leavenworth Municipal Code related to the Willkommen Village development, which is adjacent to River Bend Drive. Those potential code changes were discussed earlier in the day at the city council study session. Willkommen Village is 33 acres behind Safeway. The first request from the developers is to change a portion of the property from multi-family to general commercial.
New science standards are going to be "a whole new ball game" for students. Fifth grade teacher Dina Ashcraft reported to the Cascade School Board on new science standards at the Jan. 9 board meeting. Ashcraft was awarded a position on the State Content Review Board for the new science test. She said it was a "huge" experience. There were 10 teachers there, five from fifth grade and five from middle school. Ashcraft was the only one from eastern Washington.
The National Weather Service is forecasting warmer temperatures and possible rain this week - weather conditions that may lead to the formation of hazardous ice jams and flooding along the county's rivers and streams. Ice jams are formed as a result of long cold spells that cause portions of rivers and streams to freeze. Fluctuations in temperatures or water levels can break the ice into chunks, which then can jam at obstructions, including bridges or culverts, as they move downstream. Such jams dam water flows, potentially resulting in flooding upstream. If a jam releases suddenly, it then may cause a surge of flooding downstream.
The Chelan County Fire District 3 Auxiliary has been around for about 15 years, but you've probably never heard of them. That's because so much of their work is behind the scenes. According to past president Ann Cowin, they started out providing food and drink at fire scenes or incidents. "We support families, if there are any problems. If there is an injury to an officer, we can step in and help," Cowin said. "In general, whatever we can find that needs to be done within the fire department." Last summer during the Suncrest Fire, Cowin said they fed 50 people that first lunch. Later that night, they fed 150.
Flu season has arrived. Over recent weeks, there has been an increase in the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths across Washington State. Locally, Chelan and Douglas counties are also experiencing an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations and one flu related death has been reported in a Chelan County resident in their 90's.
Faith Lutheran Pastor Alex Schmidt, 69, is retiring after serving as a clergyman for 32 years, including four years as a missionary. His decision to retire came from "a constellation of things." "In consultation with trusted friends and my own sense of life, I began considering this, not just what is good for me, but also what might be good for the congregation, new vision, new philosophy of ministry, new energy, new ideas," Schmidt said.
The annual Bavarian Ice Fest is on tap for this weekend in downtown Leavenworth. Thousands are expected to descend upon the Bavarian Village for some frosty fun. All the standard games are in place for the upcoming event, said Jared Drozdowski, Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce events coordinator. "We start with the registration of all the families. Folks come down and sign up for the game or activity of their choice on Saturday," Drozdowski said. "Snow sculptures will start at 9 a.m. and run all day. We have a snowball toss activity. Ice Fishing. Kids crafts will be at the Obertal Inn. Ice Carving starts that day. We have two professional ice carvers in the downtown park from noon to 4 p.m."
New Chelan County PUD Commissioner Steve McKenna and re-elected Commissioner Ann Congdon were sworn into office last week by Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore. PUD Commissioners Steve McKenna and Ann Congdon took their oath of office on Jan. 3, 2017. McKenna, who lives in Leavenworth, was elected in November to the four-year, at-large District A position, previously held by Carnan Bergren. Congdon, of Manson, was re-elected to her third, six-year term as the District 3 representative.
Help feed our hungry, strengthen community and celebrate the arts through the Leavenworth Empty Bowls Festival. Come glaze a bowl with your friends, family and community members this year in the Woodpecker Room at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. Paint your own design on a bowl hand-thrown by local potters, then pick up your finished bowl at the community soup supper on Thursday, March 23 at the Leavenworth Festhalle.
The Leavenworth City Council, at their Dec. 13 meeting, approved funding to help pay for a full-time school resource officer in the Cascade School District. Currently, a school resource officer is shared between Cascade and Cashmere. In order to increase the funding for the resource officer, the council had to amend the inter-local agreement between Chelan County and the city of Leavenworth. The inter-local agreement, which runs 2014-2017, has been amended once before, for overtime officers. This was the second amendment to the agreement.
At the Dec. 13 city council study session, City Development Manager Nathan Pate, said construction on the new Willkommen Village should start in spring. Pate said the developer must provide the infrastructure to support their development. The new road to be constructed behind Safeway to the new entrance to the KOA, just stops, Pate said. "There is a gap where it stops and where it could, should connect to the River Bend Drive. The developer is not obligated to pay for those improvements," Pate said. "This portion of the right-of-way will not have a street that connects. They are responsible for the portion that serves their property. The city doesn't have any mechanism to mandate that connection."
Family members of the late Jim Adamson gathered in front of Cascade Medical, where the Cascade Medical Foundation dedicated a plaque in his honor. "It's beautiful," said Carol Adamson, Jim Adamson's widow. He passed away in February 2015. "He would have been so honored and humbled by the presentation." Adamson was one of the founding members of the Cascade Medical Foundation and served as president for 16 years. Established in 1992, the nonprofit has raised more than $1 million for Cascade Medical Center, including the purchase of an ambulance in 2015, the clinic expansion in 2012, digital mammography in 2009, the aquatic therapy pool in 2008 and a CT scanner in 2004. He was instrumental in every fundraising campaign and helped create the Foundation's most successful event, the Leavenworth Golf Classic, which is held every June.
A Wenatchee-area coalition that is using innovative ways to engage Latino communities in natural science education has received a Bureau of Land Management 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Award. Ron Dunton, Acting Director for BLM's Oregon/Washington State Region, recognized the efforts of Team Naturelaza, a partnership between public agencies, individuals, and organizations that encourages Spanish-speakers to recreate outdoors on public lands and enjoy informal natural science education.
Free guided snowshoe tours are provided at Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, all equipment provided. In January, tours are available most Fridays at 1 p.m. and on weekends at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. And in February, weekend tours continue through the 19th. "We had to stop giving tours last year because we didn't have enough staff," said Julia Pinnix, Information and Education Manager. "But this year, we have our new Park Ranger and an Americorps volunteer, and we've borrowed staff from the Mid-Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office."
How would your business recover from a natural disaster? That was the main thrust of the Business Resiliency Workshop held Nov. 9 in downtown Leavenworth. The event was sponsored by the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition. Chumstick Coalition Executive Director, Hilary Lundgren, said her organization primarily collaborates on fuels reduction projects for community members. As well, they work with individuals, business owners and governments on projects.
Three newly elected officials were given a briefing Monday, Dec. 12 by Chelan PUD staff at its headquarters in Wenatchee as they prepare to do "battle" in Olympia on behalf of the 12th District which they represent. State Senator Brad Hawkins and State Representatives Mike Steele and Cary Condotta heard from Chelan PUD External Affairs Manager Shaun Seaman and General Manager Steve Wright about the current and upcoming issues that concern their utility and, generally speaking, utilities statewide. The men prepared a "top 10 list" of specific concerns, which included pole attachments, fuel mixture disclosure, fire liability, hydraulic project approval fees and aquatic invasive species among other things.
The Cascade School Board, at the Dec. 12 meeting, approved both a Maintenance and Operations Levy and a Technology-Safety Levy. The school board voted unanimously for the M&O levy, but the vote for the Technology-Safety Levy was 4-1, with Board Member Jennifer Pickel voting against. Both items will appear on the Feb. 14 ballot.
The old Scamahorn barn off Pine Street in Leavenworth is moving to a new home after 90 years. East Wenatchee excavation contractor, Byron Lott, is planning to disassemble the barn and move it to his property. The barn and surrounding property is owned by the Cascade School District, which was planning to demolish the barn to make way for the new school and play fields. "I am actually the one that started the whole process. I was up doing an excavation job on the LDS Church next door. I found they had a land use action posted up on the property. I actually tracked down the school district from that about a year ago," Lott said. "I talked to them. They said they planned on demoing everything. I said, you can't do that. It is a beautiful barn. I told them, I could take it from them and save some money on a demo." Lott figured the demo would cost between $15,000 and $20,000. After talking it over, the school district finally put the barn out for bid about a month ago. Lott bid on it along with a couple other people.
Former local bike shop owner James Munly is taking over as general manager at the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club. He takes over for Mark Milliette, who has retired, but is still helping out. Munly has worked in the ski industry for 25 years. "I have a pretty good background. I'm really passionate about the Ski Hill and what an amazing facility that is and what an amazing opportunity everyone in Leavenworth has. The opportunity to be involved and carry the torch into the future is a great opportunity for me. I feel great to be involved," Munly said. The bike shop, Das Rad Haus, was seasonal for him over the 16 years he owned it. It has been taken over by Arlberg Sports. That freed Munly up to become more involved in the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
Cascade High School junior Stefan Zucktreigel last April won a logo contest. He created a logo for the Washington Panda Foundation. The Foundation conducted a contest for high school, middle school and elementary students. Stefan was the high school winner. His logo was chosen from over 300 entries. His logo was developed on the computer, while the other two winners developed their logos by hand. All the winners received a free trip to China. When it came time for the trip in October, Stefan and his mother were the only ones going.