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After much debate, council agrees to set water supply standards
Providing water taps outside the city and its urban growth area has long been a point of contention for the Leavenworth City Council. Time and again, the council has approved water taps outside the city and UGA, mainly down Icicle and East Leavenworth roads.

Truth be told, it has been hard for the council to say no to the homeowners that come before them with a request for water, for hardship or otherwise. But providing water outside the city and UGA is frowned upon by the Department of Ecology. That water is meant for city residents.

So the council has been looking for a way, through a city ordinance, to make their water tap decisions more administrative and less emotional. But crafting those rules has been problematic as some council members held fairly strong opinions on the issue.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 More...

Climate change may affect Enchantment permits
The period of time during which overnight permits are required for camping in the Enchantments' five zones might be lengthened in the future, according to Leavenworth Ranger District sources.

Currently, those wishing to camp in the Colchuck, Core Enchantment, Stuart, Snow or Eightmile zones from June 15 to Oct. 15 need a permit issued through the ranger district, which oversees the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.The permit system was put in place to reduce the number of campers, lessening impact on the premier hiking and backpacking area.

Unofficial discussions among district officials have centered on beginning the permit season earlier than June 15. Office staff member Connie Gold said that's partly due to climate change, with warmer spring weather allowing earlier access to the high country.

"There is discussion on bumping that up earlier than June 15," Gold said. "There are so many bodies up there we need a way to monitor this. Climate change has happened. We see the need to fine-tune the permitting process because too many people are taking advantage of that early season."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 More...
Biebesheimer faces Bradshaw in race for Cascade School Board
In the race for Cascade School District Board position two, school teacher and mom Brenda Biebesheimer faces retiree Scott Bradshaw. In the primary, Biebesheimer received 60 percent of the vote, while Bradshaw garnered 29 percent.

Bradshaw, 65, is a third generation Leavenworth native, having graduated from Leavenworth High School. He is retired now after 40 years in the utility industry, with Chelan County PUD, Puget Sound Energy and others. He has a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Washington and is U.S. Navy veteran, having served during the Vietnam conflict.

Now that he is retired, Bradshaw thought it was time to get involved.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 More...
Bretz faces Laramie in race for City Council position two
Local businesswoman Mia Bretz takes on retiree Ray Laramie in the race for Leavenworth City Council position two. Bretz garnered 60 percent of the vote in the primary, versus 21 percent for Laramie.

Laramie, 75, is originally from New England. He is a former contracts manager for Boeing, managing contacts all over the world. He was also a contracts officer in the Air Force. Laramie spent 17 years in Germany, where he met his wife. He is fluent in German.

When it came time to retire, they had property in Pateros, but decided Leavenworth would be better. They have been here for 16 years. He has served on the Design Review Board and is currently on the Planning Commission. He ran for unsuccessfully for council four years ago.

"What prompted me to run this time, what got my dander up, is I want to see the city continue to run the way it is," Laramie said. "I think it is doing well. It has an excellent credit rating. There are some things that can be improved. I would like to work on that."

One of the issues in the city that concerns him is the lack of affordable housing. Laramie said retirees like him have made their money and can afford it. But that is not the case for many that work in Leavenworth.

"There has to be something out there we can do and I want to find that. I am all for the other person. I spend several thousand dollars a year doing things for children, doing things for the city, like paying for the sign at the train station, buying benches and things," Laramie said. "I would like to see other people get involved as well. Every dollar we donate is dollar less to find in taxes. I would like to see the city stay the way it is with some minor improvements."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 More...
Brinkman returns from Pacific Crest Trail journey a changed man
What happens to the average middle aged man who hikes the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail? As it turns out, quite a bit. Rich Brinkman, 49, of Leavenworth recently knocked one off his bucket list as he completed the arduous journey over five months.

Resting at home in Leavenworth now, everything is still a blur. The reentry after being in the wilderness for months has been "very interesting." At first, when he would wake up in the morning, he still felt that urgent need to be hiking.

And then there is the physical toll. An avid hiker before the PCT, but of course, his body and mind had never tackled something like this.

"My feet, ankles, toes and Achilles tendons especially, were done about a month ago. But I had to press on. That is one thing about the PCT, or any of the other long trails, as physically demanding as they are, it is still 90 percent mental," Brinkman said.

His journey started out five months ago with some apprehension, some trepidation. He was really concerned about his knees and back, especially sleeping on a half-inch foam pad every night. But now, his back has never been better in all his life. It did not bother him once.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 More...
Special Use Permit approved for Oktoberfest
The Leavenworth City Council has approved a new special use permit for Oktoberfest. The permit was discussed by the council at the study session and council meeting on Sept. 8.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 More...

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