Friday, November 16, 2012


Christmas tree permits now available

Permits for cutting Christmas trees for personal, family use on the Sawtooth National Forest are available beginning today, Nov. 16. 

The cost of this year’s permit is $5. This permit will enable a family to choose and cut a tree up to ten feet in height. Trees higher than 10-feet will be $10. There is a limit of one tree per family or organization.

Permits are available at the Ketchum Ranger District Office on Sun Valley Road from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters on Highway 75 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends; and L.L. Green’s Hardware in Hailey from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The SNRA headquarters will be closed on Sundays after Dec. 9.

A few areas are off limits for cutting Christmas trees.  These include campgrounds, administrative sites, ski areas, summer home sites and organization camps.


LI code amendment denied 

Though the Ketchum Planning & Zoning Commission has said it would like to reduce residential limitations in the light industrial area, on Tuesday, the commissioners decided against recommending a city zoning code amendment that would do just that to the City Council.

The proposed amendment was requested by Rob McGowen, who owns property within the Scott-Wilson condominium building in the city’s Light Industrial 3 Zone District. A recent Planning & Zoning Department staff report states McGowen’s proposed amendment, if approved by the City Council, would allow residential uses on the ground floor of properties in that zone district. 

“Currently, in LI-3, no residential units are allowed on the ground floor, period,” Commission Co-Chair Deborah Burns said at a regular Planning & Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday.

Burns said the Planning & Zoning Commission was in favor of “opening up” the zoning code in the light industrial area to allow more residential uses, but she didn’t want to “put the cart in front of the horse.”

Commissioner Steve Cook agreed, saying the timing wasn’t right since McGowen’s request does not conform to the city’s current comprehensive plan. However, the Planning & Zoning staff is currently drafting a new comprehensive plan and the commissioners requested McGowen to provide input for the new plan.

“It’s a really reasonable request,” Cook said. “But I think we need to get through the new comprehensive plan first. Particularly in LI-3, I think live-work is a viable use.”

McGowen said he understood the commission’s position and would be happy to provide input for the new plan.

“I think we’re onto something.” Burns said. “I don’t think it’s too far away either.”


Take bus to Firefighters Ball

Attendees looking for a free ride to and from the Ketchum–Sun Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association Firefighters Ball may take a Mountain Rides bus to the event on Saturday, Nov. 17. The schedule is below.

8 p.m., Main Street in Bellevue, at Main and Oak (near Mahoney’s); 8:10 p.m., Park and Ride in Hailey at River and Bullion; 8:15 p.m. Main and Myrtle in Hailey; 8:25 p.m., Highway 75 at East Fork Road (at signed bus stop location); 8:40 p.m., Sun Valley Road in Ketchum in front of the Elephant’s Perch. Buses will arrive at the Sun Valley Limelight Room around 8:45 p.m.

For the return, there will be two trips from the Limelight Room headed south with stops along Highway 75 at the same locations. Additional stops along the route may be requested.

The first southbound bus will depart at midnight and the second at 1:40 a.m. or after the music stops. The second departure will be announced at the ball before the bus leaves.


ITD to ramp up Thanksgiving patrols

Idaho law enforcement agencies are planning education campaigns and high-visibility enforcement patrols statewide searching for drunk or impaired drivers through Nov. 25, according to an Idaho Transportation Department press release.

ITD’s Office of Highway Safety is providing funds through a federal grant for the overtime patrol effort.

Last year, impaired driving contributed to 1,456 crashes on Idaho’s highways and caused 66 fatalities statewide. ITD offered the following tips to make this Thanksgiving holiday safer. 

If you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before leaving and give that person your keys.

If you are not sure whether you are impaired, call a taxi or sober friend or family member to get you home safely. 

Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement.

Wear your seat belt while in your car or use a helmet and protective gear when on a motorcycle. These are the best defenses against an impaired driver.

If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take his or her keys and help make other safe travel arrangements.

Early-season ski race camp set

For the second year in a row, Sun Valley Co. will start running at least one chair lift a week before the mountain opens to accommodate an early-season ski race camp for Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation team members and guests.

The camp will start Saturday, Nov. 17, and will run through Wednesday, Nov. 21. Participants will have access to the River Run chair lift and will train on the River Run side of Baldy. 

Sponsored by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, this camp will attract about 75 young racers between the ages of 10-16 from Idaho, Oregon, Utah and the Intermountain and Northwest regions.

Sun Valley Co. requests that those who ascend the mountain during that time do so on the Warm Springs side for safety reasons.


Want to attend the inauguration?

The Idaho congressional delegation is accepting applications from Idahoans to attend the 57th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 21.

In order to reduce duplicate requests, the Idaho congressional delegation has created a single website,  HYPERLINK ""

The Idaho delegation will not know the exact number of tickets available until the Presidential Inaugural Committee provides that information closer to the event. There is no charge for official tickets, which provide admittance to a particular section of the viewing area.

Ticket requests will be accepted through 5 p.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Any requests made after that deadline will be placed on a waiting list. 

Tickets to the inauguration are only for the ceremony and cannot be used for the inaugural parade, inaugural balls or related events. Tickets are not necessary to view the inauguration ceremony but simply allow access to specific sections of the Capitol grounds. Large sections of the National Mall with jumbo viewing screens also will be accessible to the general public.

Each request will be limited to four tickets. Accessible space for those with disabilities is provided in each ticket section; however, there are no tickets specifically marked as such.


Outside magazine ranks Sun Valley 14th

In its latest online edition, Outside magazine has ranked Sun Valley Resort as the 14th best ski resort in North America. 

The magazine ranked the top five resorts as Squaw Valley in California, Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, Whistler-Blackcomb in Canada, Canyons Resort in Utah, and Mammoth Mountain, also in California.

About Sun Valley, the article says: “You’ll find most of what you’ll want at the resort itself: an ice-skating rink, a 1950s-themed bowling alley with billiards, a spa, sleigh rides, kids’ mountain-adventure trails, heated swimming pools, and indoor golf. A newish 56-car gondola takes passengers on a scenic journey to Roundhouse Restaurant, which overlooks the resort.”

Park City Mountain Resort in Utah was ranked seventh and Jackson Hole Resort in Wyoming was ranked 19th.


Crisis Hotline accepts grant

The Crisis Hotline has received a $3,000 grant from the Little Black Dress Club within the Idaho Community Foundation for general operating support.

The Crisis Hotline, a confidential crisis intervention and referral service organization, has been serving the Wood River valley and surrounding communities for more than 25 years. Volunteers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist callers at 788-3596.


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