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Thursday, December 8, 2016
50th Christmas Lighting
50th Christmas Lighting

Marson and Marson merges with Tum-A-Lum Lumber
Longtime Leavenworth business Marson and Marson announced last Friday they would merge with Tum-A-Lum Lumber, which has locations in Hood River, The Dalles and Pendelton, Oregon. Marson and Marson is headquartered in Leavenworth and has locations in Wenatchee, Chelan and Cle Elum.
After a transition period, Marson and Marson will begin operations as part of the Tum-A-Lum family of companies on Jan. 3.
"This move is part of our families' long term strategy for the growth of the company as well as providing future opportunities for our employees," said Marson and Marson President Ken Marson. "I see this move as very positive for our customers and employees. Tum-A-Lum is a family owned company with business values not unlike our company's founders."
Marson and Marson was founded in 1955 by Gordon and Marydell Marson and Kenneth and Marie Marson.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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City considering hiring an enforcement person to combat overnight rentals
To combat illegal overnight rentals in the city of Leavenworth, the Leavenworth City Council is considering hiring an enforcement technician. This would be a person who would proactively go after overnight rentals in the city.
The city's preliminary budget includes funds for an enforcement technician in 2017. City Administrator Joel Walinski said there are some steps to be completed ahead of hiring this new position.
"The caveat of this is that the council moves forward implementing the changes to the overnight rental rules, because what we've heard from the public, at least the residential view, what was recommended by the planning commission is clean up the language regarding bed and breakfast, clean up the language regarding prohibiting overnight rentals in the residential neighborhoods, then improve the enforcement of that," Walinski said.
If all that gets approved, the next step is deciding on the enforcement. Currently, the enforcement is complaint driven. If the council chooses, Walinski said this enforcement would be more of a proactive approach, where the council would actively go out and do investigations.
To accomplish that, Walinski said they would hire a person that would actively investigate overnight rentals.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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Council considers revised surplus property sale
The Leavenworth City Council held a public hearing on Nov. 22 to further consider selling some surplus property adjacent to the city's P2 parking lot on the east end of town. Businessmen Jeff Soehren and Oliver Brulotte are interested in buying the surplus property, which abuts their property in the area.
"One of the comments that was raised, in considering this, what is the best future use for it for the city. The developers are looking at purchasing this property. They went back to the drawing board to look at different options," said City Administrator Joe Walinski. "Tonight, they will give you some different ideas and thoughts on the project. Primarily, the steps for the city are, we have the public hearing, then the council considers whether they want to move ahead with the surplusing of the property."


Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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Maintenance man overcomes fear of heights to keep Bavarian Lodge sparkling
His only experience with Christmas lights was putting some up on the tree every year. So when Odie Padilla became the maintenance man at Bavarian Lodge in Leavenworth, his Christmas lights responsibilities expanded a million fold.
When he was hired in 2013, it was his job to string the Christmas lights all over the front of the hotel. If you don't know, the Bavarian Lodge is truly a spectacle in downtown Leavenworth with their fabulous lighting arrangement.
His first year, they showed him how to string the lights all over the four story hotel.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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Council approves Ward Strasse extension
The Leavenworth City Council, at the Nov. 22 meeting, approved the extension of Ward Strasse to accommodate a planned new entrance off U.S. Highway 2. City Development Director Nathan Pate explained the project.
"This is a 60-foot wide area of land that we have converted to a street with the extension of Ward Strasse, which is behind Safeway. It is part of the 30-acres of the Wilkommen Village development," Pate said. "This satisfies a conditional approval for the Hampton Inn. They have to have access to their property which must be public."


Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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Garbage rates might be going up in 2017
Chelan County is seeking to raise the tipping fees for commercial haulers at the Dryden Transfer Station. That would impact Waste Management and the city of Leavenworth. Councilwoman Margaret Neighbors, who sits on the Solid Waste Council, said the 5 percent rate increase would not start until early next year.
"When Chelan County completed a study on the operation of the Dryden Transfer Station, they looked at operation costs and costs for improvements. The areas they thought they would increase are the tipping fees, based on the cost per ton, was based on the commercial haulers," said City Administrator Joel Walinski, at the Nov. 8 study session.
The increase is about 60 cents per ton, he said, which


Thursday, December 1, 2016
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Obertal Mall, Cascade Medical launch Think Pink fund
A caring group of businesses owners at the Obertal Mall created a special fund with Cascade Medical to help more local women afford breast cancer screening.
"It all started with the thought, 'Why don't we put the pink mall color to good use?!' " said Shawna Villalvazo, owner of The Bubblery.
Villalvazo and eight other business owners began selling pink items in October with plans to donate a portion of the sales in honor of breast cancer awareness month. The items include locally-made art, owl-shaped soaps, knitted hats, purses, clothes, home décor and free dessert with a meal purchase at India House.


Thursday, December 1, 2016
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Wenatchee area teachers, students losing 'Toolbox'
Academic Toolbox owners Dwight and Sharon Byers are closing their store after 17 years in business providing a needed service to the Wenatchee area education and student community. Learning and just-plain-fun books, toys, puzzles, games and literally hundreds of items geared towards improving "little Jane and Johnny's" brain were sold by the Byers, always with input from area school and teachers.

Thursday, December 1, 2016
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Leavenworth Village Voices Spreads the Joy of Christmas
This holiday season the Leavenworth Village Voices will present "A Leavenworth Family Christmas," this year's theme for the choir's annual "Christmas in the Mountains" concert series.
Performances are on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. at the Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene at 111 Ski Hill Drive. The choir is certain to inspire the Christmas spirit by sharing the joy and hope of Christmas in our alpine wonderland this season.
Music selections include a variety of sacred, secular, and even humorous choral pieces that will delight all ages. Familiar favorites like "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" are set to fresh arrangements, and you'll find yourself chuckling and your foot tapping with new classics like the swinging "Christmas Shopping Blues."


Thursday, December 1, 2016
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City Council denies stop sign request at Sholze Street/Enchantment Parkway
After considerable debate, the Leavenworth City Council denied the request for a four-way stop at Sholze Street and Enchantment Parkway. The council promised to continue to work toward a solution there, short of a four-way stop.
That intersection is currently a two-way stop. The request came from nearby homeowners, Jefferson Robbins and Briar Hoper.
"We received that request and our Public Works Director, Herb Amick, went out and installed some traffic counters, so we did get some traffic counts on this one," said City Administrator Joel Walinski, at the Oct. 25 city council meeting. "We've also talked with Public Safety Liaison officer, Sergeant Bruce Long, who presented at the October Public Safety meeting. At that time, the Public Safety Committee reviewed all the warrants and the warrants checklist."
There are six warrants. One relates to accident data. Walinski said there were no accidents at the intersection, at least none reported. In terms of visibility, he said both Public Safety and Public Works did not find a visibility issue.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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Sheriff's Office requests rent assistance from city
At the October city council study session, Mayor Cheri Kelley Farivar reported the Chelan County Sheriff's Office had made a request for rent assistance at the Leavenworth Fire Hall.
The Sheriff's Office previously had an office at city hall for many years, Farivar said.
"We raised the rate from zero to $500 a month. They said they would move. It was very acrimonious and not pleasant," Farivar.
Interestingly, the Sheriff's Office moved to the Leavenworth Fire Hall, which the city also owns. Farivar said the rent there was raised from $300 to $500 a month.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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Student seeks to begin Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club at CHS
A student at Cascade High School is seeking to begin new club called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Cascade Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker presented the application for the club to the Cascade School Board at the Nov. 14 meeting.
He told the board the ASB Constitution determines how clubs are approved.
"The constitution says an application to form a club must be presented to secretary of the ASB, which shall include a signature of sponsorship from at least five students, the signature of a staff members who is willing to be their advisor and a brief overview of the goals and activities of the club,"


Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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Mayor Farivar, council to commission a housing study
At the end of the Oct. 25 city council meeting, Leavenworth Mayor Cheri Kelley Farivar reported there had been some discussion and a recommendation from the Housing Task Force regarding the need for a housing study.
"We need to understand where we are with inventory, rentals, pricing. What is the demographic of who needs housing here in Leavenworth?," Farivar said. "And possibly to expand our scope outside our boundaries to determine if there are other areas that might be good for housing. There is no time like the present. Time is wasting."


Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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Despite tax increase, most city residents will be paying less property tax next year
Thanks to a dramatic increase in valuation for the city of Leavenworth, most city residents will be paying the same, if not less property taxes next year, despite a $20,000 tax increase passed by the city council last week.
City Finance Director Chantell Steiner, at the Nov. 8 city council meeting, told the council they had two options on the property tax for 2017.
"Option A takes just the 1 percent increase plus new construction, annexation and refunds. That will net you about just under $5,000 for the 1 percent increase," Steiner said. "The second option includes grabbing $20,000 of your banked capacity on top of your 1 percent increase."


Thursday, November 17, 2016
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Using lodging tax for garbage clean-up draws criticism
The city plan to use lodging tax to pay for garbage clean-up downtown is drawing some criticism, as expected. Bavarian Lodge Owner Lyman Boyd said this has been a hot button lodging tax issue for 30 years.
"I would just like to get a little bit of insight. That's probably the number one question about this budget. I want a summary on how that shift in expenses came about," Boyd said at the Nov. 8 city council study session.
In 2025-16, the city conducted a cost allocation study, in terms of looking at where people spend their time and what services were provided, City Administrator Joel Walinski told Boyd.


Thursday, November 17, 2016
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New U.S. Highway 2 crosswalks are coming, eventually
New U.S. Highway 2 crosswalks have been planned going on three years now. Now comes the news the Washington State Department of Transportation is suggesting the city to add a new, more expensive crosswalk system.
"Originally, it was set to be two crosswalks, one at Gustavs and one at the Link Park and Ride. They were going to be like the one we have at city hall. The discussion came up that the crosswalks were going to cause some traffic issues," said Herb Amick, city public works director, at the Nov. 8 city council study session.


Thursday, November 17, 2016
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Council considers two-hour parking for city hall lot
Free parking is a premium in Leavenworth. Everybody knows that. The closer to town, the better. That's what has made the city hall parking lot so attractive. It was free and in the middle of town.
Unfortunately, for anyone using city hall or the library, the lot is often full, and not by patrons of the library or employees of city hall. In response, the city council is now discussing a two-hour limit on the city hall lot.
"We don't currently have two-hour designated stalls in the city hall lot, but we have talked about changing everything to two hours," said Mayor Cheri Kelley Farivar at the Nov. 8 city council study session.


Thursday, November 17, 2016
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Brad Hawkins ready for the state senate
Republican Brad Hawkins was a state representative for the 12th District of Washington, but now his stature has been elevated as he becomes the first new 12th District State Senator in 16 years effective January 2017. Before that George Sellar held the post for nearly three decades.
"I am honored by the results and am pleased I received the majority of votes in all four counties that I represent," Hawkins said.
"I want to be the representative for the entire district and the voting shows that the people have trust and confidence in me," Hawkins said.


Thursday, November 17, 2016
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Helping vets is a passion for Billy Thames
Billy Thames is the Chelan County Veteran's Services Coordinator. He's been on the job since March. First and foremost, he manages the Veteran's Assistance Fund throughout the county. He is also accredited through the Washington Department of Veteran's Affairs.
Thames is able to help veterans filing compensation claims, etc. through the VA. The county program for vets has been around awhile, he said.
"It used to be a volunteer position. Chelan County has served low inc


Wednesday, November 9, 2016
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Area Vietnam vets honored by 'Daughters'
Several hundred area Vietnam veterans were honored by the John Kendrick Chapter (JKC), National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) at Pybus Market here Oct. 20 in a 50th Anniversary "Welcome Home" reception and ceremony. Vietnam War and Vietnam Era veterans attended the event, many wearing military hats, insignia, ribbons and medals, that came complete with reception, commemorative pins, service decals, posters and koozies, certificates for every vet that pre-registered for the event and cake and cupcakes with coffee afterwards. There was even a brief video tribute to the war narrated by Sam Elliot.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
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Cascade girls' soccer team begins state tournament
The Cascade Kodiak girls' soccer team is headed the state tournament as a number one seed. The Kodiaks beat Naches Valley 8-1 on Nov. 3 in Leavenworth. Cascade pressed the action in the Ranger's end for 19 minutes until finally breaking through.
Junior Ashley Parton scored at 19 minutes to get Cascade on the board. Ten minutes later, freshman Truh Merriman hit a nice one at 29 minutes. Two minutes later, Parton connected again, on the Merriman assist.
Two minutes later, Emily Gaines scored. Naches Valley got on the board with 20 footer that cut the lead to 4-1. Then, Parton scored her third goal in added time to make it 5-1 at halftime.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016
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