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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Our View

Grumpy old men and women donít like much


Ketchum and Sun Valley are fast developing a reputation as the home of grumpy old men and women.

The evidence is everywhere. Whenever the words "fun" or "group" are mentioned, people fill up hearing rooms to object.

The list of examples grows longer each week.

Neighbors howled and Sun Valley P&Z members ran for cover when the whittled down board split, then approved a plan for The Community School to hold soccer games and such on its Sagewillow property. This was just one more round in a battle to stop construction of a new elementary school on the site.

The message? Lots of people in Sun Valley donít like sports, donít like kids and are unconcerned about their education.

Last summer, residents complained to the city of Sun Valley about the Mountain Men encampment that was part of the Wagon Days celebration. People in period dress demonstrated frontier skills in the cityís 5-acre passive park.

The message? We donít care about history and donít appreciate the efforts of encampment volunteers.

Ketchumís list is even longer.

  • The City Council has persistently refused to site a 100-year-old de-commissioned church on city property. Some local residents show up each time that the issue comes up to call the church "just junk." Supporters, who have raised money to overhaul the structure, want to convert the historic church into a community center and wedding chapel.

     
  • Neighbors beat back a proposal to open the last home of famous author Ernest Hemingway for limited tours and study groups. They cited traffic as their primary concern, even though the authorís famous home was in place long before any other in the neighborhood.

     
  • The YMCA got a cool reception when representatives offered the city an easy way to come up with money to contribute to a public-private financing plan to build a recreation complex that would enhance the areaís facilities and provide new space for conventions.

     
  • The city flatly rejected a proposal by Ketchum retailers to adorn the cityís main streets with colorful banners that would make the city look welcoming and alive. Council members slapped down the banners despite the fact that city leaders regularly issue public proclamations begging businesses and residents to be proactive.

     
  • The city is looking at reining in the colorful sandwich boards that have crept onto sidewalks and announce everything from lunch specials to sales on socks.

     
  • At least one city council member has begun to cast a jaundiced eye on summer concerts held on the cityís park and ride lot in Warm Springs.

The messages here? The city:

a)  Could give a rip about its history,

b)  Isnít keen on wedding celebrations,

c)  Doesnít value literature, scholarship or world-famous authors,

d)  Rejects the idea that the local economy is based on events, recreation and tourism.

In short, the city seems to believe its real future is as a hospital "quiet zone."

Combine all this with the fact that Baldy still has no terrain parkóessential to attracting families for winter vacationsóand the message the north valley is putting out to the world is: If you want to have fun, donít come here. Weíre more interested in listening to our arteries harden than in welcoming you.

If thatís not the message the valley wishes to convey, itís time for local leaders to develop new aims and new attitudes.

Homefinder

City of Ketchum

Formula Sports

Windermere

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals


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.





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