Photo by Ian Dunn
Around 75 people gathered in the small meeting room at Kristallís Restaurant to attend the Projekt Bayern meeting last week.
Projekt Bayern held their annual membership meeting at Kristall's Restaurant on Dec. 4 in Leavenworth. Unlike perhaps previous membership meetings, this meeting was attended around 75 people. It appears some were spurred to attend the meeting at the behest of Arlene Wagner, the founder of the local Nutcracker Museum, who wrote a letter critical of Projekt Bayern, which was later posted on Facebook. It encouraged people to attend the meeting. In her letter, Wagner accused Projekt Bayern of not allowing a vote for board members in 2013. She said several month ago, she attended a "hearing" of a member who had questioned some actions of the board which did not follow the bylaws. Saturday, November 14, 2015
Local veteran Richard Aliulis, 71, sits back in his leather chair, foot propped up after his second knee replacement. He and wife Penny retired to Leavenworth 12 years ago, after a 38 year career at Scott Paper. But this setting is far cry from where it all started for Aliulis. A native of East Liverpool, Ohio, he was drafted into the Army on May 8, 1968. From there, he went to Fort Lewis in Washington for basic training. After basic training, he signed up for Officer's Candidate School, spending six months at Fort Benning, Georgia to become an officer. During his time in Washington, he would often travel to Everett to recreate. That is where he met his wife Penny. After OCS, he was ordered to Vietnam in October of 1968. He joined the 25th Division, 12th Battalion. "There were no front lines, which I didn't agree with. You go in there and were dumped in. The enemy was everywhere," Aliulis said. "You never knew where they would be. They would pick where they would do the fighting on you." So many times, he said the Army would capture an area, then turn it over to the South Vietnamese Army, only to see it fall back into enemy hands months later. Sunday, November 15, 2015
It was the most contested election in recent memory. There were contested races for Leavenworth mayor and city council, and also for the Cascade School Board. The primary revealed there could be some changes coming, as the electorate appeared to be changing. And the general election revealed those same voting trends continuing. For the city of Leavenworth, Cheri Kelley Farivar easily won reelection, overcoming the last minute write-in candidacy of Craig Hess. As of last Friday, Farivar had 511 votes and Hess 242. For council races, the biggest surprise was Margaret Neighbor's upset of 12-year council member Tibor Lak. And voters also chose newcomer Mia Bretz over retiree Ray Laramie. The race between incumbent John Bangsund and challenger Gretchen Wearne is very close, with Wearne holding a 31 vote lead. "I think it is about what I expected to see. My election affirms I am doing a good job for the residents of the city. However, I am very surprised at some of the council races," Farivar said of the election. "That much of a change in the makeup of the council is going to change much of the discussion the council has about things important to Leavenworth." Saturday, November 14, 2015
Anyone with household hazardous waste probably already knows, but the Chelan County Solid Waste Department did not hold a hazardous waste drop-off event this year. The cost of such events was the driving factor in the cancellation, particularly in light of the county's drive to build a more permanent solid waste disposal facility. "These events we've had in the past, we've had to turn people away. People are lined up half-mile down the block. So, it has not met everybody's needs. It's only one-day-a-year and that cost $75,000. It was a really ineffective use of money," said Brenda Blanchfield, Chelan County Solid Waste Coordinator. Friday, November 13, 2015
As the Leavenworth City Council considered amendments to the Leavenworth Municipal Code regarding commercial zoning districts at the Oct. 13 city council meeting, Councilman Elmer Larsen suggested the city ease regulations on the bed and breakfast businesses in the commercial zones. "I think we let something slip through the cracks. We have bed and breakfasts in the residential areas, but we don't address it in the commercial. Since it meets the issues of having a manager on site, we shouldn't worry about which commercial zone it falls in," Larsen said. "I would propose we add, each of those three that have apartment/dwelling units for bed and breakfast, as an outright, permitted use. We have it in the residential, so why wouldn't we have it there?" Leavenworth Development Services Manager Nathan Pate said the city does have regulations for hotels and motels in the commercial zones, but bed and breakfasts are a different criteria. And while the bed and breakfasts work well in the residential area, it is also allowed in the commercial districts. This was not good enough for Larsen. He pressed to allow bed and breakfasts as an outright, permitted use in the commercial districts. "I don't want it to be subject to hotels and motels. But certainly somebody with a residence and wants to rent a room and provide a breakfast, they shouldn't have to get a special permit," Larsen said. "If you want to put some conditions (on B&B's downtown), I have no problem with that. I had a bed and breakfast years ago in a commercial zone and had no issues. All I did each time was get a business permit. I'm sure we have them (out of compliance B&B's) now, but they are under the rug." Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Local businessman Pete Olson is seeking annexation of 6.4 acres of property off Pine Street for a development project. Olson, representing Prusik Investments, LLC, brought forward his proposal to the city council at the Oct. 13 city council meeting. Leavenworth Development Services Manager, Nathan Pate, said it was the second stage of annexation, where the city council could accept, modify or reject the proposal. "Mr Olson is aware of certain pieces of the puzzle that we've been talking about for some time with the school district. Specifically, this property is north of Pine Street, east of Ski Hill. It is large piece, 6.4 acres," Pate said. "Mr Olson is aware of the conversations we have had to resolve the right-of-way concerns." Pate said Olson is working with the city to make sure there is adequate right-of-way for the Pine Street road project. The Development Services Manager stressed the road project needed to be one complete project, and not cut into pieces, due to the development. "There are many reasons for this. One, when you cut portions of projects up, there's gaps and shifts and problems that are maintenance for the city. Whereas, if it is one complete project for the city, it has reduced problems with the development itself," Pate said. Wednesday, October 28, 2015