Friday, November 1, 2013

BRIEFS


Meetings set to discuss national monument plan
    The nonprofit Sawtooth Society will conduct a public forum about a proposal to designate the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains as a national monument from 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Stanley Community Center.
    “Because more details are needed to determine if this proposal is right, the Society has neither endorsed nor opposed it,” Sawtooth Society President Paul Hill said. “However, we feel it is important that people directly affected by the proposal understand what a national monument proclamation can and can’t do, how the process works, how it could impact recreational uses, and how their views can be heard.”
    Also, the Stanley City Council will host a Town Hall meeting Monday, Nov. 4, from 6-8 p.m. in the Stanley Community Library to discuss the proposal. The discussion will feature panelists from the Idaho Conservation League, Sportsmen for the Boulder-White Clouds, Idaho Outdoor Business Council and The Wilderness Society. The City Council has not taken a position on the issue.

Public comment sought for Bald Mountain trails proposal
    The Bureau of Land Management Shoshone Field Office is proposing to authorize Sun Valley Co. to construct approximately 7.8 miles of new non-motorized mountain-biking trails over a three- to six-year period on the BLM portion of Bald Mountain.
    “Sun Valley Co. has identified opportunities for expanding its novice, intermediate and advanced mountain-bike terrain below Bald Mountain’s Roundhouse restaurant utilizing sustainable ‘flow’ design and construction techniques that link banked turns, sections of uphill gradients, and other natural and man-made features to manage downhill bike speeds,” a BLM news release states. “Examples of ‘flow’ design and construction within the Wood River Valley include the Punchline Trail in the Croy Creek Trail network and U.S. Forest Service Forbidden Fruit Trail in Eve’s Gulch.”
    If approved, trail construction could begin during the summer of 2014. Sun Valley Co. would patrol and maintain the new trails. The Bald Mountain Trail would continue to be the primary hiking route from River Run to the Roundhouse and the top of Baldy. No changes are proposed in existing use or layout of the Bald Mountain Perimeter Trail.
    The U.S. Forest Service Ketchum Ranger District on June 10, 2013, authorized 11.2 miles of trails on the Forest Service portion of Bald Mountain, connecting the Roundhouse to the top. The BLM project would connect the River Run base area to Roundhouse.
    The proposal, along with tables and images of the proposed trails, are available or by contacting the BLM Shoshone Field Office. The 30-day comment period for the proposal ends Dec. 6. Comments should be mailed to: 400 West F Street, Shoshone, ID, 83352, Attn:  Bald Mountain Summer Trail Proposal. Comments can also be e-mailed to: blm_id_baldmtntrailsea@blm.gov.  For more information, contact BLM Shoshone Outdoor Recreation Planner John Kurtz at (208) 732-7296.

Discuss changes at Soldier Mountain
    Soldier Mountain ski area will hold its annual public meeting from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Camas County School in Fairfield to discuss changes to the recreational facilities.
    Soldier Mountain operates as a nonprofit organization under a special-use permit from the National Forest Service. After former owner Bruce Willis donated the recreational area to the nonprofit group in 2012, the organization has hired a new board of directors and management. In addition, the organization made improvements to lifts, acquired a 12-passenger snowcat for backcountry skiing and snowboarding, and installed a “magic carpet” that serves beginner skiers and snowboarders.
    The public meeting will discuss these changes and others that affect the immediate community and surrounding areas. For more information, contact Lacey Heward at (208) 764-2526.

Time to change your smoke alarm?
    With winter quickly approaching, the Ketchum Fire Department is reminding all citizens of the importance of having properly functioning smoke alarms in their homes.
    “When a fire breaks out, you have only seconds to escape its heat, black smoke and deadly gases,” a news release states. “You can dramatically increase the chances of surviving a fire simply by installing and maintaining working smoke alarms in your home.”
    The department is offering these simple tips to help make your home a safer place:

  • Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home and in each bedroom.
  • Check smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Change the batteries in your alarms at least once a year. The department suggests doing it during the spring or fall time change.
  • If cooking smoke sets off the alarm, do not disable it. Turn on the range fan, open a window or wave a towel near the alarm.
  • Smoke alarms wear out over time. Replace yours if it is 10 years old or more.

    To learn more, go to www.usfa.fema.gov/campaigns/smokealarms/alarms.

Studded tires now legal in Idaho
    Through next spring, drivers can once again use studded tires on Idaho roadways, the Idaho Transportation Department announced.
    Idaho state law allows the use of studded tires from Oct. 1 to April 30 each year. Driving with studded tires outside of that time frame is a non-moving equipment violation with a fine of $67, according to the Idaho State Police.
    Because studded tires can damage Idaho highways, drivers are encouraged to use non-studded traction tires or delay the use of studded tires until necessary. Studded tires are snow tires with small metal cleats embedded in the tread for greater traction. Research shows that studded tires are more effective than all-weather tires on icy roads, but are less effective in most other conditions because they may reduce contact between the road and the tire.

Election set for Irrigation District 45
    On Nov 5, in addition to the regular city and county elections taking place, people who reside in Blaine County, are registered to vote and own land within Wood River Valley Irrigation District 45 are being asked to select a new board member for Division 1 (north end of the Bellevue Triangle). This year, those people residing in subdivisions and meeting the above qualifications will be able to vote on an individual basis and will not rely on their HOA president to vote for them.
     Gary Frugard, a longtime resident of Bellevue Farms, is facing Poppy Englehardt. The polling place is at the Southern Bell Complex, 1411 S. Main St., Unit 4A, in Bellevue. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sawtooth Society doles out awards
    The nonprofit Sawtooth Society presented the Bethine Church Award to Marie Osborn and the late Marilyn Marquis at the High Country Inn in Stanley on Thursday, Oct. 17. The award is given periodically to individuals who have made important contributions to the betterment of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
    Two awards are given: one for contributions in the private sector (Marquis) and one for work in the public sector (Osborn). The award is named for Bethine Church, the Sawtooth Society’s founding president.
    In addition to being very active in the Sawtooth Mountain Mamas (a community group based in Stanley) and working on behalf of the Stanley School, Marquis served for many years on the board of directors of the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historic Association, including time as president. Osborn created Stanley’s medical clinic in 1972 to serve the rural population of the area, where she worked as its nurse practitioner—the first in the state of Idaho.
    For more information, contact Sawtooth Society Executive Director Gary O’Malley at (208) 721-2909 or email gary@sawtoothsociety.org.

Learn about the Affordable Care Act
    The Hailey Chamber of Commerce is inviting businesses and the public to a free Healthcare Information Night from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Community Campus in Hailey.  
    Insurance broker Michelle Sandoz, of Insurance Specialists, will break down the law in its simplest forms and discuss how it applies to people. Attendees can find out if they qualify for a subsidy to help pay for health insurance.
    Sandoz has been an independent insurance broker and agent in the Wood River Valley since 1998. She is licensed with all the major life and health insurance carriers in Idaho.
    For more information, contact Sandoz at 788-9209.
CDC recommends getting flu shot
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone 6 months of age and older get an annual influenza vaccination.
    “It’s important to understand that the flu is not just a bad cold; it’s a serious and often life-threatening illness,” said Jan Flynn, director of the American Lung Association in Idaho. “Vaccination is safe and effective, and is the best way to help prevent influenza.”
    Influenza is a serious, contagious respiratory illness, the CDC states. Each year in the U.S., on average, influenza and its related complications result in approximately 226,000 hospitalizations.

School board meeting rescheduled

     The Blaine County School District board of trustees has rescheduled a meeting that was earlier scheduled for today, Nov. 1, to Monday, Nov. 4.

     According to the agenda, the board will consider a trip request by the Wood River High School debate team. The meeting, set to begin at 3:45 p.m., will be held at the district office at 118 West Bullion St. in Hailey.

     The meeting, which is open to the public, will be followed at 4 p.m. by a closed executive session to consider a staff or student issue.

 

County revises permit process

     Blaine County commissioners approved an amendment to the Mountain Overlay District Emergency Site Alteration Permit Interim Ordinance on Tuesday.

     An amendment was presented to commissioners in connection with the emergency ordinance that was passed in September, remaining effective for 182 days. The amended language will provide additional notice when landowners are seeking permits for site alterations due to an emergency.

     The amendment approved by the board is intended to streamline the emergency permit process and include a reconsideration process. The amendment would allow affected property owners an opportunity to comment on and request reconsideration of an emergency permit.

     “Before the work commences, neighbors should have the opportunity to weigh in,” said Commissioner Jacob Greenberg.

     A provision to contact adjacent property owners of those seeking emergency permits was included in the final amendment.




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