Photo submitted by Paul Laak
Here is aerial view of the Buck Creek Fire burning the Glacier Peak Wilderness. The fire expanded to over 1,000 acres over the weekend. It is now being managed by a Type 3 team.
On Aug. 16, four bids were received on the Cascade High School construction project with one rejected because it came in too late. Bids were received from Folwer Construction, Garco Construction, Lydig Construction and Walker Construction. Robert Hickel Construction was disqualified for a late submittal. Walker Construction was the low bidder at $27,661,000. Fowler was second at $27,706,000. Garco was third by only $1,000 at $27,870,000. Lydig was fourth at $27,871,000. No contract has been awarded by the district. The district must still find out some details about the low bidder and their subcontractors.
When the bids on the Alpine Lakes Elementary School project came in $2.5 million over estimates, the Cascade School District was left with little choice, but to reject the bids. Lydig Construction was the lowest bidder. Cascade Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker said, at the Aug. 15 Cascade School Board special meeting, Lydig was very disappointed they were not awarded the bid. Having worked with Lydig in the past, he said he would love to work with them again.
Cascade School District officials are now considering selling some surplus property, to perhaps offset some cost overages on the school construction projects. At the Aug. 15 Cascade School Board special meeting, Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker brought up the topic, saying this would be a way to mitigate some of those school construction expenses. "We have some surplus property that we don't use much that we might want to consider selling, which would also be a positive for some people, saying we are being very fiscally responsible. Other people will say, no you shouldn't be selling that property. Some might be a little controversial," Motsenbocker said.
ne man died and another had to be rescued after their raft turned overturned in the Tumwater Canyon last Saturday evening. According the Chelan County Sheriff's office, four people placed two small rafts in the Wenatchee below the Tumwater Dam about 7:30 p.m. The people apparently entered the water not knowing of the hazardous white water downriver from the dam.
A group interested in forming a Ski Hill/Titus Road Firewise Coalition held a meeting on Aug. 10 at the Chelan County Fire District 3 Station in Leavenworth. It was presented by the Cascadia Conservation District and featured speakers from the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition, AAA Insurance and Chelan County Fire District 3.
Artist Herb Schraml estimates he's done well over 100 murals in Leavenworth. Many of those graced the downtown buildings, but others were on private homes. Schraml is celebrating his 80th birthday this week, marking 50 years since he first set eyes on the burgeoning Bavarian Village. He was born in Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1959. At the end of the war, things were not the best in Germany. But he did get his start as an artist there.
With an increase in fire weather this week, the Buck Creek Fire experienced its first significant growth since Aug. 5 as the fire increased in size by 160 acres on Wednesday and is now at a total size of 455 acres. "Today (Thursday) is another day we expect to see the fire grow in the same fashion it did yesterday," said Wenatchee River Fire Management Officer Cary Stock. "We expect to see smoke settle in the local drainages overnight and begin lifting by late morning and early afternoon."
The issue of overnight rentals continues to be a hot button issue in Leavenworth, only to get more heated up as the issue comes before the Leavenworth Planning Commission and Leavenworth City Council. You have the proponents, calling themselves Come Stay in Our Village, and the local neighbors against, Leavenworth Neighbors United. The two factions packed the Leavenworth City Council chambers at the Aug. 9 meeting, even though overnight rentals was not on the agenda.
The Leavenworth City Council is seeking to add more teeth to their animal cruelty ordinance. A new animal cruelty law was passed by the state legislature in 2015. "What that allows is for police officers and animal cruelty officers, if they see an animal in a car in distress, to enter into that vehicle and not pay for the damage caused by that," said City Administrator Joel Walinski, at the Aug. 9 city council meeting. "What we would like to do is incorporate that into the Leavenworth City Code in response to animal cruelty."
Even though the neighborhood petition for four-way stops on two Birch Street intersections did not meet the city criteria, the council it still considering measures to allay the concerns of the neighbors. The request from 18 neighbors was to place four-way stops at the Birch and Orchard and Birch and Cascade intersections. Passionate testimony from the neighbors was received on July 26, citing safety concerns, but the two intersections did not meet the established city criteria for adding stops signs, so the council rejected the petition.
The Leavenworth City Council heard the annual "State of the Golf Course" address at the last city council study session. All jesting aside, Leavenworth Golf Club Board President Mike McNeilly said, "The golf course has never been better," at the Aug. 9 study session. "Ivan (Gibbs, greenskeeper) is a golfer, so he knows what the golf course needs and he's a local. He works hard with the guys and it shows," McNeilly said. "We want this golf course to be as good as it can be at all times. We want people coming here and playing here, not just one round of golf and going to Bear Mountain or Desert Canyon. It has happened," McNeilly said.
An injured climber was rescued Sunday from the Dragontail Peak area of the Alpine Wilderness. A call came into RiverCom at 11 a.m, according the news release from the Chelan County Sheriff's Office. The incident happened around 7 a.m. The climber, 51-year old David Wade of Portland, Oregon, fell while descending the mountain and broke his leg.
After a year hiatus in 2016, the Distinguished Young Woman of Leavenworth program is making a comeback. DYWL, formerly known as Leavenworth's Junior Miss, began in 1976. Since that time, the program has provided high school junior women the opportunity to compete for college scholarships and to participate in community service. 2016 was the first time the program was not staged, since its inception. There has been interest shown by many of the upcoming junior class at Cascade High School to participate in the program if restarted for their 2017 junior year. The program hopes to have about a dozen participants next year.
Because the city of Cashmere is getting out of the garbage business after having signed a contract with Waste Management, the city of Leavenworth is set to purchase some of their old garbage cans. At the July 26 city council meeting, the council approved the expenditure of $7,125 for the purchase of 1,000 cans, ranging from 35-to-95 gallons along with 100 side-loading 300 gallon dumpsters.
In response to reports the Leavenworth Mosquito Control District would soon be spraying Malathion, Manager Jenny Mullins came to report to the Leavenworth City Council on July 26. She was hopeful such spraying would not be needed. This would only be done to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus. "Two times, I did not have enough in the traps to test for West Nile Virus. That was helpful," Mullins said. "We have a pretty low threshold for how many mosquitoes we need to test for West Nile Virus. All along, I am treating with larvicide. Our threshold is if we have 10 Culex pipiens or six Culex tarsalis in a trap, then we test for West Nile Virus. This would not be nearly enough to cause any complaints."
Thanks to a grant from the Washington State Association of Fire Marshals, Chelan County Fire District 3 is giving out new smoke detectors. CCFD 3 firefighters will install the free smoke alarms and conduct a fire safety survey of your home. There are two different types of smoke alarms they will be providing, an ionization smoke alarm, which is generally more responsive to flaming fires and and photoelectric smoke alarm, which is more responsive to smoldering type fires. Plus, the smoke alarms come with a unique battery.
The Festhalle Committee came up with a new "day use" policy to replace the previous one. City Administrator Joel Walinski said, at the July 26 city council meeting, the committee has been working on this for quite sometime. "When the Leavenworth Civic Center Foundation had oversight of the Festhalle, they provided the city with five 'city' days. Those 'city' days would be distributed or used by the city," Walinski said. "The idea was to have a mechanism in place that would allow public use for community events, but at the same time, put a limitation on how many days were used."
The alignment of the medical and recreational marijuana systems has gone reasonably well, according to the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board. Due to the 2015 Cannabis Patient Protection Act, all medical marijuana dispensaries were to close as of July 1. WSLCB Spokesman Brian Smith said many different agencies came together to assure a smooth transition, state agencies, local government, law enforcement and prosecutors.
Aug. 2 primary election results: Totals below do not including write-ins. All figures courtesy of the Washington Secretary of State*. Underlined candidates will move on to November general election. State results (Votes/percentage): State Legislature
Legislative Dist. 12 - State Senator Brad Hawkins (R) 9,530 66.52% Jon Wyss (R) 4,797 33.48% Total Votes 14,327
Bids on the Alpine Lakes Elementary School project came in well over the estimate, surprising school district officials and architects. The official estimate on the project was $13,600,000 while the low bidder on the project was Lydig Construction, $16,058,500. Three bids were received on the project from Fowler, Lydig and Petra. Walker also submitted a bid but was disqualified because the bid did not meet the deadline.