Friday, June 7, 2013

News Briefs

Bellevue students finish welcome sign

     After two years of work and study, Bellevue Elementary School fifth-graders, led by Bill Cantrell and Elizabeth Sturges, completed their Beautify Bellevue project-based learning goal to relocate the “Welcome to Bellevue” sign on the west side of state Highway 75 at the south end of town.

     The project was completed under the auspices of the Blaine County School District, with a $950 grant from the local WOW Foundation. The sign was moved from beside a collection of portable toilets on the east side of the road. It was installed with new solar lighting, based on classroom experiments involving solar-lighting angles.

     The city of Bellevue provided labor to complete the project. Webb Landscaping contributed consultation for the project.


Heritage Court tea party Sunday

     The Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society Ski and Heritage Museum will host the 10th annual Heritage Court Tea from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the Sweetwater Community Clubhouse, 870 Maple Leaf Dr., in Hailey.

     Four women will be honored for their contributions to their communities over their lifetimes. Wendy Collins will represent the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley, Laren Price will represent Hailey, Dolly Collier will represent Bellevue, and Mary Green is the honoree from Carey. The four women will be introduced at the tea party prior to the formal Heritage Court induction ceremony at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey on Sunday, June 23, hosted by the Blaine County Museum. 

     For more information, call Taylor at 726-8118. 


Buy plants at community garden

     The Sawtooth Botanical Garden will hold its spring plant sale on Saturday, June 8, at the community garden south of Ketchum.  The “member preview sale” is scheduled for 9-10 a.m. and then the sale is open to the public from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

     The sale will include a selection of water-wise flowers and shrubs including penstemon, echinacea, sedum and evergreens, as well as organic heirloom tomatoes from Crazy Guy Tomatoes. All plants are suited for the Wood River Valley climate and our short growing season.  Garden experts will be onsite during the sale to provide assistance.

     For more information, go to or call 726-9358.


Run to support medical research

     The SummerStart Community Fun Run is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday, June 9, at the fitness center of the Valley Club, north of Hailey. The event will include a 5K run, 10K run and 1K fun run/walk for kids.

     The event is planned to benefit the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Valley residents Cortney Vandenburgh and Jennifer Schwartz, who both have family members who have suffered from multiple myeloma (a form of cancer), are raising funds to help find a cure for the disease.

     Sign up or donate at For more information, call 721-8473 or 721-2984.


Stanley Ranger Station cuts hours

     The Sawtooth National Recreation Area has announced that the Stanley Ranger Station will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. this summer.  This is a change from past years when the station was open from Monday through Saturday. 

     Visitors seeking information about trail and other recreation conditions, or who wish to purchase maps and guidebooks, can go to the Redfish Visitor Center (at Redfish Lake) or the Stanley Museum (between Lower Stanley and Stanley on state Highway 75). 

     “These information centers are managed by the Sawtooth Interpretive & Historical Association (SIHA), the Forest Service’s partner in providing educational and interpretive programs to Sawtooth NRA visitors,” said Barbara Garcia, deputy area ranger for the SNRA.

     The Redfish Center & Gallery will be open daily from June 14 through Sept. 15. Hours of operation will be 9 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.  The Stanley Museum will be open daily from June 15 through Labor Day, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Gas prices soar in Idaho

     Weak driver demand and stable oil prices should be keeping a lid on gas prices, but some of the refinery problems that caused regional prices spike in 2012 are back again this year, AAA Idaho said in a news release this week.

     In the past 30 days, gas prices have gone up more than 20 cents a gallon in 16 states, including Idaho. Gem State motorists are now paying $3.79 a gallon for regular-grade gasoline, up 27 cents in the past month.

     The U.S. average price is $3.62, up a dime in the past month, but 3 cents higher than a year ago. Idaho’s $3.79 price is just a penny lower than the average a year ago. 


Summer marketing campaign unveiled

     The Sun Valley Marketing Alliance on Wednesday revealed several elements of its about $100,000 summer promotional campaign, which will target potential visitors in Los Angeles, Calif., Seattle, Wash., Boise and, for the first time, Salt Lake City.

     Marketing Alliance President Arlene Schieven said at a member meeting that evening that the campaign—which will launch by the end of the week—includes about a 33 to 66 percent split between print and digital advertising and features a mountain-biking-focused promotional video.

     The video suggests that people who suffer from “Singletrack Deficit Disorder” (STDD) should cure themselves of not mountain biking often enough by visiting Sun Valley this summer. It pokes fun at the—sort of—history of mountain biking in the area, from “riding donkeys” to shredding up and down the current trail system. View the video online at

     Many of the print ads feature slogans that juxtapose two seemingly incongruous activities or ideas that a person could enjoy simultaneously in Sun Valley, such as: “Where you can wine taste in your waders,” “Vacation Mecca for the thinker-athlete” and “Where adrenaline and refinement met and shook hands.”

     Schieven said the Marketing Alliance’s next target city is San Francisco, but the organization’s budget is currently too tight to target the Bay Area with ads this summer.


City directs Mountain Rides to proceed with hub

     The Ketchum City Council has unanimously approved the preliminary conceptual design of a proposed bus hub at the intersection of Sun Valley Road and East Avenue and directed the organization to move forward the project.

     “I think you’re on the right track and I look forward to seeing what happens next,” said Mayor Randy Hall at a council meeting on Monday during which the council issued the order.

     The Mountain Rides board approved the preliminary design of the hub last month. The hub would accommodate up to five buses at a time on either side of Sun Valley Road. Sidewalk extensions would be built at all four corners of the intersection to facilitate pedestrian traffic. The current conceptual layout also considers possible shelter areas for bus passengers at the Sun Valley Visitor Center and at the bus stop at The Elephant’s Perch sports store.

     Community and Economic Development Director Lisa Horowitz said the hub would result in the net loss of about five parking spaces in the area.

     Building the hub is expected to cost about $390,000, with $312,000 coming from a federal grant and the remainder in local matching funds. Its final design must still be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, the council and the Idaho Transportation Department, because Sun Valley Road is a spur road to state Highway 75 and thus under ITD jurisdiction. Environmental impact approval is also required by the Federal Transit Administration, which would provide most of the money.


Bike Fest extends sponsor deadline

     The third annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival has extended the signup deadline for those who would like to help sponsor the event. The new deadline is Thursday, June 13.

     Last year, the event—in combination with the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships—drew some 1,600 racers and 5,000 spectators, and had an estimated $5 million in economic impact, according to the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance.

     Those who wish to sponsor the festival should contact Greg Randolph at 725-2103 or


Snake River flows drop quickly

     The end of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s spring “fish augmentation flows” will result in the river level dropping to zero below Milner Dam as all water upstream is diverted for agricultural uses.

     Flows below the dam, located between Twin Falls and Burley, will drop to zero this week, the Bureau of Reclamation said.

     The bureau releases water from upstream reservoirs each spring to benefit salmon and steelhead as they travel downstream to the Columbia River and eventually to the Pacific Ocean. The water level below Milner, previously at 2,360 cubic feet per second, was set to go to zero on Tuesday.

     Flows over Shoshone Falls near Twin Falls will be between 300 and 400 cfs during viewing hours. Flows at Milner are expected to remain at zero until late July. Low snowpack and a dry spring throughout the Snake River Basin have resulted in unusually low runoff. Mid-Snake flows have not been this low in June since 2004. River levels may drop even lower than they were in 2004 due to declining spring flows.

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