Photos submitted by Mike Gardner
The beginning of the Maifest festivities this past Saturday started with the parade of flags, followed by the Musikkapelle, the town band, and the moving of the 95-foot long painted Maibaum which then was maneuvered into place ever so carefully. The white cedar tree weighs 3,500 pounds. It was transported by horse drawn wagon stationed by the Festhalle to the plaza location where the old Maibaum stood. It was lifted into place by a crane, pictured on the left.
After three years as Executive Director of Upper Valley MEND, Chuck Reppas has decided to step down and retire. He originally came to MEND with a development background. The hope was he could lead the charge to get Meadowlark built. "It was a great reason for me to be the executive director of MEND. I had the leadership ability and background, but also real estate development experience. When you put the two together, it made for a nice fit at the time," Reppas said. "The person before had experience in non-profits, but not so much in real estate development."
A 50-year old climber from Seatac died last Saturday while rock climbing in the Icicle Canyon. According to Chelan County Sheriff Sergeant Kent Sisson, the accident happened on Bob's Crack route of the Bob's Wall rock climbing area.
The long awaited visit by the Army Corps of Engineers finally took place on May 6. The Cascade School District has been waiting for word from the Corps stating that their Pine Street site is not a wetland. School District officials felt confident the site was not a wetland, based on some of the scientific studies done on the site, but until the Corps signs off, the site was still in limbo, to a certain extent. The Corps had indicated to the school district they wanted to see the site in spring.
The Wenatchee River Institute in Leavenworth has received a $45,000 grant from the Recreation Conservation Office to develop a program for struggling students in the Wenatchee School District. WRI Executive Director Patrick Walker said the school district has had an after school program for years. The school district partnered with WRI on the grant application. It includes a three-week summer school program and a full year after-school program.
The musical Guys and Dolls (junior version) will be presented by grades three to eight from Icicle River Middle and Osborn Elementary schools this week at Cascade High School. "The junior just means it is an original Broadway show that has been cut down to about an hour. It's for people that are not adults. The junior just means it is shortened in length. The music is simplified to a certain extent, but it is not simple," said Director Mandi Wickline. "There are still 15 scenes. We are dividing it into two acts. There's at least 12 musical numbers."
On April 6, there was a packed house at the Leavenworth Planning Commission meeting, a rarity for them, but the topic of allowing overnight rentals in residential areas is striking a chord. "A rough vote, before everything started, of support and opposition for the concept. At the meeting, the majority seemed to be opposed to the idea of opening up overnight rentals throughout residential areas," said Planning Commission member Andy Lane, to the Leavenworth City Council at the April 26 meeting. "We started listening to people and getting comments."
This is not your grandma's playground with swings, slides and teeter-toters. Nope, these concepts being considered for the Beaver Valley Elementary playground take it a whole new level. A parent group received a grant from the Cascade Education Foundation to do a study on an ecological play yard at Beaver Valley.
The Special Education Class at Cascade High School is doing some special things these days. Not only do they have a thriving coffee business, but they're also making and selling jewelry from recyclable items. The objective of the class, said Special Ed teacher Jessi Klancke, is to help every student find meaningful employment after they leave public school. That's going to look different for each student, she said. Some might have good social skills, while others may be good at working with their hands.
The Chelan County Sheriff's Office was alerted at 10:25 a.m. on Sunday, May 8 to an injured climber on the Snow Creek Wall, above the Icicle Creek drainage. According to a news release from CCSO Sergeant Kent Sisson, the climber had reportedly fallen while ascending the second pitch of the "orbit" route. He suffered a fractured right ankle.
In case you were not aware, May is Foster Parent and Foster Care Awareness Month. There are approximately 80 foster families in Chelan and Douglas counties for over 150 children. The month is about showing appreciation for the foster parents and also to recruit new foster parents, because there is a great need. Fostering Washington is a grant funded program through Eastern Washington University's Child Welfare and Research Center. They have a contract with the state, through the Department of Social and Health Services, to recruit foster parents for private or state agencies and also to provide support to those families through the licensing process.
In the wake of Upper Valley MEND stepping away from Meadowlark, Leavenworth Mayor Cheri Kelley Farivar is moving forward on establishing a task force to study housing affordability in town. At the April 12 Leavenworth City Council study session, Farivar said the ad hoc committee would have around 10 people with representation from city council, city administration, the affordable housing community, builders and realtors.
Normally, annexations are welcomed by the city, but not in this case. The annexation petition of Chuck Reppas was unique, in that he was not requesting annexation because he needed city services like water and sewer. "As far as the utilities, our sewer and water is fine. We actually have a shared well with four of the lot owners. As Nate (Pate, city development manager) said, it is quite a distance to bring utilities to the site. It really is prohibitively expensive for us to consider bringing utilities to the site," Reppas told the council, at the April 12 city council meeting. "We would be glad to be part of an LID sometime in the future as the other neighbors wanted to consider annexation."
The Leavenworth City Council, at the April 12 city council meeting, approved the selection of a contractor for the Chumstick Trail, water and sewer project. Advantage Dirt Contractors, Inc. was the low bid in the amount of $780,899. There was an additional $121,233 necessary for the project, said Herb Amick, Leavenworth public works director. The additional money was for construction engineering, testing, observation and a PUD pole relocation. The pole relocation costs $78,917, while the additional water and sewer cost is $56,978.
For Gebbers Farms executive Jon Wyss, wanting to replace the longtime incumbent Linda Evans-Parlette as the new senator from Washington's 12th District, is a natural culmination of his life's work thus far.
New and significant resource damage to the Enchantment Lakes basin has spurred the creation of a new group, Friends of Enchantments, to help protect the fragile, iconic landscape in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The Friends of Enchantments formed after several long-time backpackers in the area were stunned last fall with the amount of trail damage from even the previous year. The damage, accompanying a spike in day use, includes widened trails, steep cuts across switchback corners, and new side trails off and along the main through-trail, sometimes three paths side-by-side and at least one sandy swath dozens of feet wide.
Cascade Medical is now accepting the Molina Marketplace insurance plan after several months of contract negotiations with Molina. "We pursued this contract in the best interest of our patients," said Jim Hopkins, Chief Financial Officer at Cascade Medical. "Whenever there is an opportunity to become more accessible for people in the community and lower their out-of-pocket costs, we're going to do that."
By a 5-1 vote, the Leavenworth City Council approved beer tents at the upcoming Mai Fest. The vote came at the April 12 city council meeting. The topic was debated at the April 12 study session. City Administrator Joel Walinski explained that city code prohibits the use and sale of alcohol in city parks. Although, there is some latitude within the code in regards to Front Street Park. In the past, it has been used for the Gluvein tent during Christmas Lighting. Washington State Code prohibits public consumption of alcohol.
Cascade School District officials are delaying excavation on the Pine Street site until they hear back from the Army Corps of Engineers on whether or not the site is a wetland. At the April 11 Cascade School Board meeting, Construction Liaison John Henri said the Corps is going to tour the site the first week of May. In the meantime, Henri said they have been touring sites within the city that could be used for wetlands mitigation in the unlikely case the Corps rules Pine Street is a wetland.
The lawsuit against Projekt Bayern began April 15 with a hearing in Chelan County Superior Court over a preliminary injunction. Steve DeMarest, Arlene Wagner and Katie Holmes filed suit against Projekt Bayern after Wagner and Demarest were targeted for termination by the Projekt Bayern board. The issue before the court last Friday was whether or not to grant the preliminary injunction, which would prevent Projekt Bayern from proceeding with the termination hearings scheduled against DeMarest and Wagner. Holmes was called before the PB Board to discuss her membership.
The Wenatchee River Ranger District (WRRD) is planning 500 acres of spring burns in the Lake Wenatchee area, starting sometime in mid-April and ending in early May. WRRD Assistant Fire Management Officer Michael Barajas said there are eight different treatment units.
he Washington State Panda Foundation needed a new logo, so they turned to the school children of the state to come up with one. The foundation targeted high school, middle school and elementary school students. Cascade High School art teacher Teara Dillon made this an art project in her class. Everyone in the class entered a logo into the contest, including sophomore Stefan Zucktreigel.