Photo by Penny Carpenter
Holding our newest award are Royal Lady Carol and First Gentleman Bill Forhan. We were awarded the first place float award by the Omak Stampede & Rodeo committee. This was our last parade and event until our own Autumn Leaf Parade at noon on September 24th. Come join us.
The Leavenworth City Council was poised pass a restrictive ordinance on allowing some alcohol use in city parks, but after receiving a letter from the Leavenworth Chamber at the last minute, the council decided to pull back and hear more about the chamber's concerns. At the Aug. 9 Leavenworth City Council study session, Chamber Board President Doc Elsea, Vice President Paul Helsel and Executive Director Nancy Smith came before the council to discuss their concerns about the proposed ordinance.
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.
Site preparation at Cascade High School has uncovered some unexpected junk. Naturally, they have run into lots of rocks, but that was to be expected. There is a "rock clause" in the contract, in fact. But they also ran into something that caught them by surprise. The geotech report revealed a soft layer from 4-to-11 feet. "Turns out under the pavement, someone pushed a bunch of stuff in there, including trees, autobody parts, old foundation with rebar, boulders and general bad soil, to the point it smells and stinks," said Cascade School Construction Liaison John Henri, at the July 25 Cascade School Board meeting. "We always knew we would have to dig down to the native soil for the foundations, but we found it was so bad, we made a conscious decision to get it out of there rather than wait."
The city of Leavenworth received a request for stop signs at Birch and Orchard streets and also Birch and Cascade Streets. The request was to change the four-way yields to four-way stops. It was submitted by Judith Dwyer, along with the signatures of 18 residents. The request was considered by the city Public Safety Committee. There is a warrant checklist for stop sign requests, covering volume of traffic, visibility, safety officer review and public works review. The request must meet three of the six items on the warrants checklist.
The seat for Chelan County Commissioner District 1 is up for grabs and Jim Blair wants it. For the last eight years he has owned North Meridian Title & Escrow LLC with locations in Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan. Prior to 2008, he was the Chelan Douglas area manager for LandAmerica Transnation Title for 35 years. What is the main issue motivating Blair? "I am compelled to run for the benefit of my community and the rights of those who call Chelan County their home. Individual property rights, and all that goes with that, has been a lifelong passion for me. I feel strongly that it is our duty to do what we can, whenever we are able, to protect the life that we have enjoyed in such a way that those who come after us will have the same opportunities, freedoms and rights that we have enjoyed," he said.
The Leavenworth City Council, at their July 12 meeting, approved the Skateboard Park Memorandum of Understanding MOU) between the city and the Cascade School District. This terminates an existing agreement, identifies a cost sharing partnership for replacement of the now demolished skatepark and provides the city with an option to purchase a portion of the existing Osborn School property. This MOU must now be ratified by the Cascade School Board, which meets again on July 25. The city and school district had a 25-year agreement on the skatepark which started in 2000. The park opened in May of 2004. With the approval of the MOU, the city terminated this agreement.
Lots of dirt is being moved in preparation for the high school and elementary school construction projects. Cascade Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker said the high school site is being prepared, so when the contractor is selected for the buildings, they can come and start placing the foundations. Like with any construction project in Leavenworth, they are finding rock and more rocks. Motsenbocker said they knew there were rocks, but they didn't know how deep or how large they would be.