Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Heart of the Valley contest opens
    Photographers and writers have until May 12 to submit entries to the Wood River Land Trust’s Heart of the Valley contest.
    The 10th annual contest encourages participants to pay tribute to the places they love. First-place prizes will be awarded to students, adult non-professionals and adult professionals in photography and writing.
    Nine local businesses have donated prizes. Winners will be announced at Velocio cafe in Ketchum on May 22.
    For information on how to submit entries, go to

Former SV administrator settles suit
    Former Sun Valley City Administrator Sharon Hammer has settled a lawsuit against former Treasurer Michelle Frostenson and former Acting Assistant Fire Chief Mal Prior.
    The suit for fraud, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress was filed on March 5, 2013. It was dismissed with prejudice on March 27, 2014.
    Hammer’s attorney, Jim Donoval, said in an interview that the matter was “amicably settled,” but that a nondisclosure agreement prevented him from saying more.
    The suit was one of 10 that have been filed against the city or its employees by Hammer and/or Donoval, who is her husband. Four remain pending.
    Hammer was fired from her job in January 2012 for unstated reasons following allegations by Frostenson and former City Clerk Kelly Ek that she had misused city funds and property.

Democrats to meet in Ketchum
    The Blaine County Democrats will meet today, April 9, at 6 p.m. in Ketchum City Hall.  Guest speakers will be Deborah Silver, Idaho state county chair, a candidate for the office of state treasurer, and Nels Mitchell, who is running against U.S. Sen. Jim Risch. 
    The organization will also hold its caucus. The purpose of the caucus is to elect 11 delegates to represent Blaine County at the annual Democratic State Convention in Moscow from June 20-22, where the Idaho Democratic Party platform will be put together and voted on.  All Blaine County Democrats are eligible to run for election to be a delegate.
    For more information, call 309-0350.
4-H leaders set to meet Saturday
    The University of Idaho’s Blaine County Extension Office will hold its 4-H Leaders Brunch Workshop on Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey.
    New and existing 4-H leaders are invited. Plans call for a special guest speaker sharing 4-H volunteer information. Attendees can meet Blaine County’s new and returning leaders and their support staff, and ask questions about the program. Teen leaders will keep kids busy while the program takes place. Snacks will be provided.
    Call 788-5585 for more details.

Learn how to control weeds
    The Blaine County Weed Department and the Wood River Land Trust will host a free “Weeds Out of Control” workshop on Thursday, April 10, at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden south of Ketchum.
    Coffee and treats will be served at 8:30 a.m., with the workshop starting at 9 a.m.
    The agenda is:
·    9 a.m.—Learn how timing, surfactants, soil health, irrigation, proper weed identification and correct herbicide pairing can reduce herbicide use and control weeds.  (Jeff Beacham with Arborcare)
·    10-10:45 a.m.—Biocontrol: Using host-specific insects to control weeds without herbicides. How to build and maintain a community insectuary for spotted knapweed weevils.  (Joey Milan, biological control specialist, BLM)
·    10:45-11:30 a.m.—Mechanical weed control and integrated pest management. (Kathryn Goldman, former executive director of Pesticide Action Network).

ARCH gets $5K from Wells Fargo
    ARCH Community Housing Trust has received a  $5,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank that will allow ARCH to continue to grow its Homes on the Move program. Under this program, ARCH receives donations of homes designated for tear-down at sites throughout the Wood River Valley. The homes are then renovated for use as affordable rentals.
    “This generous contribution from Wells Fargo will help  ARCH to offset the costs of moving the structure, which although less than new construction, are substantial,” an ARCH news release states. “In addition to providing much needed affordable rental housing, the revenue from the rental will fund operational costs for ARCH.”
    Families interested participating in this program should contact the Blaine County Housing Authority at 788-6102 for more information.

Learn about common head injury
    St. Luke’s Center for Community Health will present a Brown Bag Health Talk titled “Bang Your Head? Updates on Concussions” from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Baldy rooms of St. Luke’s Wood River, south of Ketchum.”
    Dr. Tony Buoncristiani, orthopedic surgeon, will provide information about this common head injury. Learn evidence-based information regarding safe protocol, prevention, evaluation, implications and treatment.
    All Brown Bag lectures are free and no pre-registration is required. Call St. Luke’s Center for Community Health for information on this or other educational programs: 727-8733.

Ketchum is leader in art funding
    The city of Ketchum will begin devoting 5 percent of public capital improvement budgets to the arts. This is believed to be the highest percentage of any city in the nation.
     Seven cities in Idaho require a percentage of capital improvement budgets to be devoted to the arts, said Ketchum Arts Commission member Claudia McCain. The figure ranges from 1 percent in Moscow to 1.25 percent in Hailey to 1.4 percent in Boise. Other West Coast cities have percentages ranging from 0.5 percent in Denver to 1.33 percent in Portland, she said.
     The city previously devoted 1.33 percent to art. The higher figure will make possible larger projects such as outfitting a park with artist-designed playground equipment, adding artistic elements to bicycle paths and lanes or bus stops, paying artists for their contributions to city projects, creating gateway arts elements for the city and funding arts projects that can draw a national audience, McCain said.
    The requirement applies only to the first $1 million of city-funded projects other than utilities. It does not affect private development. The Percent for Art program was established in 2011.

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