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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

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For the week of February 27 - March 5, 2002


Someplace else

No schools, no parksóno kids. No housingóno workers. No habitatóno wildlife. No hotel bedsóno visitors, no businesses.

An inconceivable scenario? Too wild for words? Yet itís one that is unfolding in front of our very eyes.

Sun Valley residents defeated the cityís first public park a couple of years ago. Now, the city is looking at a proposal to put a private elementary school on the same property, a quiet draw between subdivisions of mostly empty million-dollar houses.

The same traffic-and-noise arguments opponents used against the park will be used against the school. Opponents say the school should go someplace else.

Ketchum is facing opposition to development on a city lot on Main Street that would include 25 housing units workers could afford.

Opponents say the property is too valuable to include housing. They say housingóand the working people who live in itóshould go someplace else.

Blaine County has slammed the door on at least three drafts of an ordinance that would encourage development of affordable housing.

In the meantime, housing costs continue to rise while workers look for someplace else to live.

Visitors arenít faring any better. Ketchum has restricted the size of downtown buildings to the point that it may be impossible to develop new hotels. Small hotels are disappearing fastóremember the Christiania, the Heidelberg, and the Alpenrose? Some day soon, visitors could be hard pressed to find a pillow for a night or two.

Opponents say large buildings should not be allowed anywhere. Visitors were not a consideration when the restrictions were approved.

Even big game animals are finding it hard to find a place to live. Valley residents watched this winter while elk and deer tried vainly to find food in a valley carpeted with subdivisions. They watched in horror as snowmobiles were used to scare them away from tasty ornamental shrubs and trees.

Subdivision residents said the elk and deer should go someplace else.

This raises the question: Who or what should inhabit the valley?

Listening to the public debate leads to some curious answers: People without children, or people whose children can remain illiterate. People who live without sports and without parks. Businesses that donít need employees. People who donít need jobs and donít need services. People who are not visitors. Wildlife that can survive winter without food or water.

Sound ludicrous? We think so, too, but this is "someplace else." Surely, we can do better than this.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.