Photo by Ian Dunn
Current Royal Lady, Carol Forhan and Autumn Leaf Festival Association past president Penny Carpenter want you to join them for the 54th Annual Gala on Tuesday, March 7 at the Icicle Inn Resort to meet and greet the 53rd Royal Lady for 2017. Seating is limited, see the invitation inside on page 6.
Only two companies participated in the re-bid for Alpine Lakes Elementary on Feb. 9. Both bids came in under budget. Lydig Construction of Spokane bid $13.3 million. Fowler Construction of Tri-Cities bid $13.1 million. The budget for the project was $13.5 million. So, Fowler Construction is the lower bidder. Cascade Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker said there were some alternates included in the bids. "In order to determine the low bidder, the owner has to determine which of the alternates they are going to accept. Those have to be added-in for both bids," Motsenbocker said. "We have to determine which alternates we are going to accept. Then, you have to take the bid on all those alternates from each bidder and add it to their base bid to determine the actual bid."
The Leavenworth City Council has approved a number of agreements, paving the way for a new downtown building. At the Jan. 10 city council meeting, City Administrator Joel Walinski explained the project and agreements to the council. Walinski said they have had numerous discussions with Mr. Hartwig, who planning to construct a new building downtown, adjacent to Book for All Seasons.
Residents of River Bend Drive are concerned about the potential traffic impacts from the planned Willkommen Village development behind Safeway. A meeting was held on Feb. 1 at the Leavenworth Fire Hall. Organizer and moderator, River Bend resident Duane Goehner, invited representatives of the Washington State Department of Transportation, Chelan County Public Works, city of Leavenworth, KOA, Willkommen Village and Link Transit. Of interest in this case is the River Bend Drive intersection off U.S. Highway 2, where you access not only River Bend Drive, but also Marson and Marson, Safeway and later, the new Hampton Inn Hotel.
At the recent meeting on River Bend Drive traffic, Link Transit General Manager Richard DeRock talked extensively about the planned new Park and Ride at Willkommen Village behind Safeway. "The last couple years, we've seen real issues getting our buses through town, Thursday, Friday afternoons. I run 21 trips a day to Leavenworth, so I'm going through that intersection 42 times a day," DeRock said. "I'm losing six trips on most Fridays. I can't get a bus in and get it back in time to make schedule. I'm turning the bus around in Peshastin or some place else. That's lousy service for riders."
Fourteen students from the Cascade School District recently had an opportunity to put their engineering, design and teamwork skills to the test. A four-person all-girl robotics team from Osborn Elementary and a 10-person co-ed robotics team from Icicle River Middle School qualified for and attended the Semifinal First Lego League Competition on Jan. 21. First Lego League (FLL) is a global phenomenon for kids ages nine to 14 who are interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) interdisciplinary and applied learning. The numbers speak for themselves: there are 255,000 students on 32,000 teams going to 1,464 competitions worldwide.
In the deep of winter, when the big snowflakes are coming down at two inches per hour and 99.9 percent of the Wenatchee Valley population and beyond are asleep in their warm and cozy beds, a tiny group of real life "snow angels" are keeping busy so the rest of us can enjoy the fruits of their labor. High up in the mountains, wherever snowmobile trails can be found, these "angels" are the reason so many others are having fun on the weekends and while on school breaks. Life in the business world for owners, managers, department heads and rank and file employees alike can be stressful at times so "hitting the slopes" or in this case the trails, is a necessary diversion to keep from burning out.
The Cashmere Valley Record wants to welcome the newest reporter, Mikaila Wilkerson, to the reporting staff. She is a 2012 graduate of Cascade High School in Leavenworth and a recent graduate of Central Washington University in Ellensburg with a bachelor's degree in print journalism. "Writing is a huge passion of mine, and I've known it was what I was meant to do since I was about ten-years-old. I always dreamed of being an author and that's still my dream, though my ultimate dream is to be a travel writer," Wilkerson said.
There are 180 school days every year, and each of those days includes lunch. Growing kids love lunch, because they're usually famished and also crave time to hang out with their friends. But just as important, these 180 lunch periods are an opportunity to feed children nutritious and delicious food and teach them about making good food choices for themselves. School lunches in the Cascade School District have been evolving in the last year and a half to do just that. The food service model is changing. It's no longer about providing inexpensive and predictable meals.
Finding the necessary funding for schools in the state has been huge problem for the state legislature. Washington State Treasurer Duane A. Davidson has offered a plan to make it work, but it took some radical thinking. Cascade Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker presented the Davidson plan to the Cascade School Board at the Jan. 23 meeting.
Suzi Lane signed up to help set up the glazing room and assist the hundreds of people painting their bowls over five days. The glazing committee had been working hard to prepare for the massive undertaking. So when she volunteered to paint a large Empty Bowls Artists Auction bowl, she knew she should start painting early to finish before the glazing days. Each year, the Artists Auction is an exciting facet of the Leavenworth Empty Bowls festival. New artists, like Suzi and Barbee Teasley, are drawn to contribute to the Empty Bowls project because of the impact on the Leavenworth community. As a former Upper Valley MEND board member for six years, Teasley was already enthusiastic about Empty Bowls, but in 2016 when Gro Buer was assembling artists, Teasley volunteered to contribute a bowl for the first time.
He played Captain Von Trapp during the early years of the Leavenworth Summer Theater production of The Sound of Music. Paul Williams was the bigger than life personality who filled those shoes, helping the fledging theater company grow and prosper. Pastor Paul Williams, 65, passed away on Jan. 19, 2017. Susan Wagner, who along with husband John, started Leavenworth Summer Theater. Part of orchestra since day one, she remember well their first captain.
One of the prime spots for a new substation has been removed from consideration. A location on the west side of town, near Heidelburger, was touted as the spot with the greatest electrical advantages. "Site number three by the Heidelburger has some pros and cons associated with it. There's some great electrical advantages to having a substation out here, but there are also some aesthetic disadvantages," said PUD engineer Chad Rissman at the Nov. 2 substation meeting. "All of the circuits come out of the substation and come toward town. Anything that affects the pole line would affect the entire town. If we had another feed and an event occurred on either one of those, it could be picked up from the other direction. There is some redundancy for having a substation on the other end of town."
At the Jan. 10 study session, the Leavenworth City Council heard from engineers with Varela and Associates of Spokane to discuss necessary upgrades to the city's wastewater plant. The changes are necessary in order to reduce the level of phosphorus into the river, per the Washington Department of Ecology mandate. This is called the Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL. Varela engineers Dana Cowger and Mark Esvelt previously addressed the council last July. "At that time, we were just starting the analysis for wastewater facility planning. Now, the draft facility plan in complete. The purpose of this meeting is to review some of the high level findings for that," Cowger said. "At the last meeting, we gave you a little background how the whole process works. The processes prescribed by the WSDOE. They review and approve everything that you wind up doing. We don't move ahead until they are onboard."
Three Chelan County residents have been arrested in connection with a home invasion robbery in Othello reported Jan. 2, according to a news release from the Chelan County Sheriff's Office. The suspects allegedly threatened the occupants of the home with a firearm and also physically assaulted one or more of the occupants. The Adams County Sheriff's Office identified four suspects, all from Chelan and Douglas counties.
The Cascade School District is presenting two four-year levies before voters on the Feb. 14 ballot to provide stable funding for programs and personnel not supported by the state. Levies are controlled by the local voters state-wide and make up approximately 20-28 percent of a school district's operating budget. Cascade's levy request remains at the 20 percent level for the next 4 years. In December, the board of directors approved two resolutions. Proposition No. 1 is a Maintenance & Operation Levy. This is a replacement levy, not a new tax. Proposition No. 2 is a Technology/Safety Levy. The last tech levy was a 2-yr levy in 2012 for $0.42/$1,000 of assessed value.
Leavenworth Pottery was humming along these past few months getting ready for the annual Empty Bowls fundraising event which kicked off earlier this week. Owner and Ceramics Engineer, Terry Porlier, along with his assistant and fellow artist and potter, Hannah Pygott, created about 450 earthenware bowls that were painted by hundreds of participants from the community. Eight years ago, Terry joined the Empty Bowls team and continues to contribute in a big way. In addition to the regular bowls, he also created a couple dozen larger bowls that were painted for the Artist Bowl Auction component of the event.
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.