Idaho

Ketchum Idaho’s Community Library

December 30, 2020

Knitting Yarns and Years

Nancy’s Christmas stocking was the biggest. When we three little girls hung our stockings from small hooks in the fireplace mantel each December, my middle sister’s stocking unfurled an extra turn – it was at least two inches longer and wider than either my own or my youngest sister’s – and it therefore always stirred some controversy. Everything else was equal across all three: each woven of the same green, red, and white yarns; each with a Santa dancing on the front; each with our own name stitched in block letters at the top. But Nancy’s stocking was undeniably bigger, and the other two of us fretted that Santa would be tricked into giving her more. (And we worried that this proved she was the favorite.)
My great-aunt Gloria had knitted each of our stockings, from the same bundles of yarn, following the same pattern for each. She had five children of her own; she knew the necessity of equal measures.
But life does not unfurl in equal measures, and Gloria knitted each stocking at a different time, as each one of her grand-nieces was born. She cast-on Nancy’s stocking in a hospital waiting room while her husband had open heart surgery. I imagine her tiny four-feet-some-inches frame, perched in a straight-back chair, her dark bob of hair falling alongside her tilted head, and her hands clicking wooden needles, again and again, giving shape to her waiting as the yarn unspooled. I imagine the release of her fingers when he awoke.
That stocking made our Christmas row uneven, but it had steadied Gloria’s mind while she created it. I did not recognize as a child that stocking’s true outsized capacity. It has room for heartache, and for hope.
We need this capacity, and stories offer it beyond any stocking: Each turn of a book’s pages can help knit the messiness of our days into a pattern. A string of words can help hold the weight of waiting as another year unfurls. A story stretches our capacity to hold more than we could hold alone.
Jenny Emery Davidson, Ph.D.
Executive Director

www.comlib.org

Lakshmi & Kamala

November 17, 2020

Lakshmi Yantra

A letter to Kamala Harris from Cathie Caccia in Sun Valley, Idaho, a revered yoga teacher, spiritual leader, and friend. A beautiful discovery, indeed. -dayle

Dear Kamala

I am a long time student and teacher of yoga. I was continuing to study Lakshmi this morning. You most likely know in the shortest summation Lakshmi is considered the goddess of spiritual and material wealth. Lakshmi is the goddess energy who preserves life. When we consider what it means to live sustainably in this world we are contemplating what it means to incarnate Lakshmi. With Lakshmi’s reappearance, love, generosity, sacred practices, wealth, and fertility return to the world. Another name for Lakshmi is Kamala (lotus-like). This really struck me today!!!! I am beyond grateful the Biden/Harris ticket won the election. There is so much work to be done to restore kindness, balance and right action and more. I am buoyed by the timeliness of Kamala rising. May you embody your name fully and help bring the potent, healing energy of Lakshmi to our country and globe.

Deep bow,

Cathie Caccia

Visit Cathie’s website for yoga instruction (virtual classes during COVID), Shiatsu massage, jewelry, and special events.

http://www.cathiecaccia.com

about Cathie…

Cathie Caccia began her yogic studies in 1984 and was immediately captivated by the physical, energetic and philosophical aspects of the practice. Her most influential teachers include Rodney Yee, Rod Stryker, Judith Lasater and more. Cathie has extensive training in Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Shiatsu, Acupressure and Massage and began teaching in 1987. Cathie’s classes combine her love of Yoga, Chinese energetics and Sanskrit chanting to support her students in accessing their most essential nature. Cathie is registered with Yoga Alliance as E-RYT 500, she teaches public and private classes, workshops and yoga teacher training. Cathie is a licensed massage therapist with over 1200 hours of training.

“In the spirit of Ha-tha, we must learn how to have one foot on the Sun, with our day-to-day business of living in the world, and one foot on the Moon, tending to the world of the psyche and the spirit.”—Bhavani Maki, The Yogi’s Roadmap

🌱

October 13, 2020

‘Trees feel pain, touch, emotion.’ -Peter Wohlleben, Author

The Hidden Life of Trees, What They Feel, How They Communicate

The Community Library virtual broadcast, Oct. 13th, 2020

Ketchum, Idaho 

‘The forest is a social network.They maintain an inner balance. They budget their strength carefully. Apparently, the trees synchronize their performance so that they are all equally successful.’

 

‘…keep going.’

September 15, 2020

Ketchum, Idaho on Tuesday evening, September 15th. Smoke from the wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington has settled in Idaho.

The Department of Environmental Quality iAir quality is currently ‘unhealthy’ for sensitive groups.

When air quality is unhealthy, persons may experience health effects and should limit prolonged or heavy exertion and limit time spent outdoors. The general public is unlikely to be affected.

Voluntary burn ban for residential wood burning activities is in place.

Power Path

The New Moon in Virgo is Thursday, September 17 at 5:00AM Mountain Daylight Time

This New Moon in Virgo challenges us to get organized with our thoughts and intentions.

It challenges us to focus on clear practical communication and to take responsibility for the details of our lives.

It is time to get ready for the slow but steady crawling out from under intense change and to use the energy for solid transformation as the momentum builds.
It is important to keep your eye on the lofty goals for the future but not to get lost in the illusion or fantasy of what is true right at the moment. Keep your tasks practical and grounded, and keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what.

This is an important equinox as we ask ourselves, “what’s the plan?”. Instead of waiting for more clarity, work with what you have and set some practical intentions (always subject to change) for yourself. The most important lessons during this time are the ones that show you clearly what you do not want to dream up or manifest for yourself.

Take an inventory of what has not worked for you in the past, what you are complete with in your life, and give it all over to the West with great gratitude for being part of your container up until now.

You may not have the whole picture of where you are headed however you can begin to organize your energy by focusing on what brings you joy right now in these times and go from there. Beware of the mental quagmire of thoughts, anxieties and worries that have you spinning in circles. You cannot manifest a good future from the place of “too many thinking”.

The best way to use the Equinox is to practice gratitude, to focus on love and do something higher centered that gives you joy, preferably in nature.

[And wear your mask.]

The Equinox is Tuesday, September 22 at 7:31AM Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).

 

 

Climate and Covid and Lies

September 9, 2020

“Days like today are when revolutions are born. A better world is possible.”

-Eric Holthaus, author and climate correspondent

[Photo taken in Ketchum, Idaho.]

Ketchum, Idaho

August 23, 2020

#SaveUSPS

 

 

#VOTE

August 18, 2020

We must.

“We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.”

-Michelle Obama

From NBC:

“Mark your calendars. Everything you need to know about mail-in and early in-person voting, including the first day you can cast your ballot in the 2020 election.”

P L A N   Y O U R   V O T E

https://www.nbcnews.com/specials/plan-your-vote-state-by-state-guide-voting-by-mail-early-in-person-voting-election/

Idaho

When is the deadline to register to vote?

You have 52 days left to register online, the deadline is Friday, Oct. 9. There are 77 daysleft until Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.

We have 11 weeks.

All people.

July 3, 2020

4th of July

‘There is only one true flight from the world: it is not an escape from conflict anguish, and suffering, but the flight from dignity and separation, to unity and peace in the love of other [people].’

-Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation

What Dorothy Day called ‘a revolution of the heart’ is blossoming in our streets, where revolutionaries seem confident America can spend less on war and police, make the 1% and corporations pay their fare share and ensure healthcare, living wages, etc., for all. -Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

NPR

Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Deliver His ‘Fourth Of July’ Speech

How can you watch and not weep? 4th of July belongs to all of us. It must.

‘In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.’

Douglass Washington Morris II, 20 (he/him) Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner, 15 (they/their) Zoë Douglass Skinner, 12 (she/her) Alexa Anne Watson, 19 (she/her) Haley Rose Watson, 17 (she/her)

Love will rise above all.

Sun Valley, Idaho.

 

Sharing sustenance.

May 12, 2020

Instead of Buying Guns or Hoarding Food, Let’s Feed Each Other

YES! Magazine/Solutions Journalism

by Michele Bigley

From my patio in Santa Cruz, California, I watched a scrub jay deliver a peanut shell to its oak-tree home. My neighbor hollered hello from the street below, explaining that she was afraid to go to the store for groceries. “A person was held at gunpoint at the Target,” she said. “Everyone’s going crazy.”

My grandparents had “war gardens” in the 1940s, and small, potted remnants from that time took root on their patios well into their golden years. I’d often asked them to teach me how to grow veggies. But they argued that because grocery store shelves were fully stocked again, they didn’t think it was necessary to teach me how to put in the work of growing my own food.

Yet now our local farms have waiting lists for their Community Supported Agriculture weekly deliveries.

We can plant seeds that take a little weight off our overburdened food system and grocery store workers.

Inspired by all this generosity, I wanted to go beyond simply planting a victory garden for my family’s sustenance. I wanted the sustenance to be shared, so I sent out a blast on Nextdoor.com. Within minutes, people offered up compost bins, some more seeds and soil, starter pots. My septuagenarian neighbors brought over tools, advice, and veggie starts. Another guy I didn’t even know was scavenging scrap wood from a construction site nearby; when I asked about how to make a garden bed, he lugged over some wood, and constructed one in my yard.

The retired crisis therapist across the street noticed the raised bed and said, “In the news, we’re seeing the worst of humanity right now, but around us we’re experiencing extreme acts of kindness, too.” 

Many Americans have been raised with this ethos of individualism. I, too, was taught to take care of my family above all else. With the threats of joblessness and hunger in every community, I get that urge to protect what’s ours, especially when we’re terrified that a stranger’s cough can land us in the ICU.

But in the 1930s and 1940s, 20 million Americans stepped up in a time of great global terror. They planted gardens in abandoned lots, on patios, and on rooftops. Today, too, we have the potential to shift how we engage with our world. In fact, social distancing requires it. We can broaden our perspectives and open our hearts to people with whom we might share nothing more than proximity. They will be the ones there for us in crisis. They will deliver chicken soup if we’re sick. They will check in on us if they don’t see us out and about. And they will let us know when the grocery store finally has some Clorox wipes.

Now six weeks into our shelter-in-place, the spinach and strawberries, tomatoes and kale, cucumbers and peppers are sprouting. When I called my neighbor to revel in these tiny green victories, she told me to look on my front stoop. There, I found a pack of toilet paper


Blaine County IDAHO Local Food Alliance

sunvalleyinstitute.org

DIGITAL FOOD GUIDE

Help us connect you with farms and ranches, farmers markets, and restaurants serving locally grown food! The new print version of our 2020 Wood River Valley Locally Grown Guide will hit local magazine stands, visitors’ centers and other regional venues in a matter of days. Now, we are updating our online food guide to include all the same business and non-profit listings, visuals and links, so community members and visitors can find local food with a few simple clicks.

Tools for Our Time

April 6, 2020

Wise, compassionate brilliance from Sara Gorham at Light on the Mountains in Ketchum [Sun Valley], Idaho.

When I was in my twenties, I did a lot of living and traveling in the far corners of the world, spending the better part of that decade improvising one adventure after another, generally without itinerary but always open to whatever showed up. In those days you couldn’t Google where to stay in Calcutta before you went to Calcutta. You just went, trusting that things would work out and generally they did. To be honest, that youthful boldness and assurance amazes me now, but at the time it seemed unremarkable, just a way of being.

Now, with all that is going on in the world, the daily challenges, the unknowable future, I’m starting to think it might be time for me to dust off that youthful assurance and the skill sets and assumptions that went with it. It would appear they could be useful in our current moment when none of us can Google what’s ahead. Instead, the road to what’s next is being laid one brick at a time, just ahead of our footsteps. So, what can we do to best prepare for the novelty of our unfolding future? If I were to take another tip from my younger self, I might suggest we pack light, for it isn’t stuff that we’ll need, but rather the skills and mindset that will help us land well, wherever we land. Here are three things we might consider, things that never failed to serve my younger adventuresome self: curiosity, adaptability and optimism.

We can be curious about the possibilities available to us, about what we might learn and what we might create as the old assumptions of separation fall away. Instead of casting about for what was, we can learn to be adaptable and open to the new “what is,” remaining centered in the moment as things change and evolve. And if we can hold an optimism in our hearts, an expectation for good, we can carry ourselves, not just forward, but upward, buoyed by our knowing that we are at our best and our truest when we are led by our love and caring and not driven by our fears.

We are being gifted with a common experience. It is not an easy passage. We do not make light of the grief and suffering that is part of this experience, but it does afford us a view of our unmistakable unity, of our commonality of being. Let us not waste that realization. I have no doubt that the seas will eventually calm and that the ship we’re sailing will once again right itself, but I suspect that when our ship makes landfall, we will find ourselves on an altered shore, a new horizon. The good news is that our role is not just to arrive at our new horizon, but to co-create it. To best do that we need to be aware and intentional, mindful of our mindset and ready to use our best skill sets, so that the post-pandemic culture we create reflects the heart of our shared humanity and the very best within us all.

Blaine County Charitable Fund

April 3, 2020

100% of your donation will go to those who are approved for assistance with basic living expenses that cannot otherwise be deferred or negotiated!

Thank you for generosity during this particular world wide crisis.  We hope to provide the runway for individuals to be able to not have to make rash decisions and gain courage to advocate for themselves when it is time.

 

WHO WE ARE

​We are a group of volunteer Blaine County community members who would like to support the most vulnerable individuals in our community during times of crisis.  Motivated by the closing of local schools and businesses in response to COVID-19, and knowing those that already live on the edge of being financially secure will suffer the most, we hope to facilitate financial assistance now and in future times of crisis.

WHAT WE DO

We provide assistance to individuals who live and/or work in Blaine County and are experiencing financial hardship due to unanticipated crisis.  We will award small grants to individuals and directly pay identified living expenses that cannot be otherwise deferred or negotiated such as rent, insurance and medical expenses.  We also hope to direct those in crisis to resources in our community in order to insure non-duplication of services.

HOW WE DO IT

We accept donations that will be granted to individuals who have applied and are approved for assistance.  The Board of Directors of Blaine County Charitable Fund will attempted to meet weekly during times of crisis, and monthly thereafter, to evaluate applications and distribute funds.  100% of our funds will go to grantees.

WHO WE ARE

​We are a group of volunteer Blaine County community members who would like to support the most vulnerable individuals in our community during times of crisis.  Motivated by the closing of local schools and businesses in response to COVID-19, and knowing those that already live on the edge of being financially secure will suffer the most, we hope to facilitate financial assistance now and in future times of crisis.

WHAT WE DO

We provide assistance to individuals who live and/or work in Blaine County and are experiencing financial hardship due to unanticipated crisis.  We will award small grants to individuals and directly pay identified living expenses that cannot be otherwise deferred or negotiated such as rent, insurance and medical expenses.  We also hope to direct those in crisis to resources in our community in order to insure non-duplication of services.

HOW WE DO IT

We accept donations that will be granted to individuals who have applied and are approved for assistance.  The Board of Directors of Blaine County Charitable Fund will attempted to meet weekly during times of crisis, and monthly thereafter, to evaluate applications and distribute funds.  100% of our funds will go to grantees.

~

Blaine County Charitable Fund
PO Box 265
Hailey, ID 83333

info@blainecf.org

Fax: 1 (208) 369-9271

https://www.blainecf.org

 

Shelter-In-Place

March 19, 2020

‘…love your solitude and bear the pain of it without self-pity. The distance you feel around you should trouble you no more than your distance from the farthest stars.’

-Rilke

100 Years.

March 12, 2020

The local celebration actually started during Hailey’s Fourth of July Parade.

#WomenVote

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

‘The Idaho Women’s 100 Kickoff Event will take place at noon Friday, March 13, in downtown Hailey. Another will take place in Ketchum at the same time.

The event commemorates the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving most women in America the right to vote.

The Ketchum event will start at noon at Ketchum Town Square.

Hailey’s event will also start at noon. Participants will gather in front of the Hailey Public Library and  march to the Old County Courthouse where a Governor’s Proclamation celebrating Idaho Women’s Day will be read.

Speakers will also speak to the occasion.

At 12:30 p.m. participants will ring bells, including the large bell at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. The bell ringing is a symbolic gesture that unites all Idahoans in commemorating the right of women to vote.

“This is a big day for our country and for all the women who make it great,” said organizer Bob McLeod, president of the Blaine County Historical Museum. “We hope everyone takes a moment to join us in ringing a bell to celebrate.”

Numerous events commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment will be held around the state during 2020, organized by the Idaho Women in Leadership and the Idaho State Historical Society.  Among them exhibits on Idaho’s “First, First Family” and “Miss Fletcher’s Botany Expedition” in the Idaho State Capitol.

Questions? Call the library at 208-788-2036 or the museum at 208-788-1801.’

If you attend, please remember pandemic social distancing guidelines and keep three feet apart from each other. -dayle

https://eyeonsunvalley.com/Story_Reader/7037/Ring-a-Bell-to-Celebrate-Women’s-Right-to-Vote/

#WomensMarch2020

January 18, 2020

And if a storm should come
And if you face a wave
That may be the chance for you to be saved.

-Cat Stevens

Fr. Richard Rohr:

The spiral feeds upon itself. The individual zealot tries to rise above “the rotten, decadent system,” [2] as Dorothy Day called it, by attempting solutions that usually attack the symptoms. That attempt may make the individual and the state feel moral, but it rarely touches the underlying causes. Think of the policies that led the United States to build a wall at the border instead of honestly asking why people want to come to begin with. Why was a wall terrible in Berlin but salvific in Juarez, San Diego, and the present state of Israel? We criminalize the actions of desperate individuals, but rarely question the global economic systems and untouchable corporations that keep such unequal circumstances in place for their own gain.

In dangerous times like these we have to produce generations of dedicated, courageous, and creative contemplative activists who will join [the conscious collective] to bring radical healing and change to this damaged world, before it’s too late.

We Persist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress.
The progress is healing the wound that the blow made.

-Malcolm X

[LA]


 

October Yoga in Sun Valley!

September 29, 2019

Cathie Caccia October Yoga Workshop
~
Last year’s workshop sold out; special rates available to stay at the Limelight, too.

https://www.limelighthotels.com/ketchum/the-hotel

5B~5Signs

 

The 5B Suicide Prevention Alliance is offering “Know the Five Signs” presentations throughout the Wood River Valley to educate the community on recognizing the signs of emotional suffering and how to connect people to resources.

The 5B Suicide Prevention Alliance is comprised of Blaine County citizens and organizations working to prevent suicide and to build a culture of awareness, understanding, acceptance, and action around our community’s mental well-being.

These approximately 45-minute presentations are designed to build the community’s understanding of the many ways that suicide impacts our friends, families, clients, co-workers, and neighbors.

According to changedirection.org, we are at a crossroads when it comes to how our society addresses mental health:

“We know that one in five of our citizens has a diagnosable mental health condition, and that more Americans are expected to die this year by suicide than in car accidents. While many of us are comfortable acknowledging publicly our physical suffering, for which we almost always seek help, many more of us privately experience mental suffering, for which we almost never reach out.”

“The training was both meaningful and useful,” said Mary Williams, director of Healthy Living at the Wood River Community YMCA. “Having open dialogue about this issue helps us recognize and assist our colleagues and members who might be struggling with their mental health. I wholeheartedly recommend this training to other community businesses and nonprofits.”

eyeonsunvalley.com

For more information, visit https://nami-wrv.org/5balliance/. Or contact Erin Pfaeffle at 208-727-8734 or pfaeffle@slhs.org or Laurie Strand at 208-578-5443… lstrand@blaineschools.org.

 

Community Radio’s Town Square

September 27, 2019

“I knew I wanted to be in radio when I was 6 years old,” said Dayle Ohlau, now 59 and soon to take over as general manager of KDPI, the local nonprofit community radio station based in Ketchum.

Ohlau, who had previously earned a master’s degree in human behavior, decided to return to academia. She enrolled at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco to pursue a Ph.D. in the School of Transformative Studies.

Two and half years later, she has completed her coursework and is preparing an 80-page thesis proposal titled “Homo-Spiritus: Radical Compassion, a New Paradigm for Spirit-Based Journalism.”

“My work is theoretical rather than quantitative,” Ohlau said. “It traces our history from the end of World War I to today, and studies media biases that led us to where we are now, with a distrust of the media and a weakening of the Fourth Estate [journalism]. We have become so tribal. Due to our confirmation biases we only listen to or read what we already believe.”

A recent $11,000 donation from 100 Men Who Care, a local philanthropic group, drew Ohlau back to the nonprofit station that she had helped General Manager Mike Scullion get started in 2013. She will be able to draw a small salary putting together new ideas for the station.

“For me this will be a synergy between my studies and my radio career,” she said. ‘It’s an opportunity to generate compassionate and ethical communication in our community. I think of it as harkening back to the days of the town square.”

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/valley_people/valley-people/article_10631b36-e07e-11e9-ba8a-0bcdeb96644b.html

Hailey, Idaho’s New Town Square Development

April 30, 2019

Courthouse Location

#1

#2

#3

#4

Library Location

#1

#2

#3

#4

Developers: BYLA Landscape Architects, Ketchum & Lyon Landscape Architects, Sun Valley

https://www.haileycityhall.org/planning/documents/2019TownSquarePublicOutreachTimeline.pdf

Developers and the city combined comments from previous workshops focused on vision, amenities and activities. Discussion continues at the next P&Z meeting, Mon., May 6th, at 5:30. For landscape designs, four at each location.

 

“If these kids are the future, our future is bright.”

April 1, 2019

One Stone/Boise, Idaho

‘Rise: Voice of a New Generation captures the story of One Stone, a one-of-a-kind, student-led high school in Boise, Idaho, that is reinventing education and changing the balance of power to put students in charge of their own learning. Follow the story of one of the only schools in the country run by students who are exploring a new way forward where their voices shape the future of education and the world.’

It’s exciting to see how this documentary authentically captures our voices as well as this moment in One Stone’s history.

— Lili Serio, One Stone Learner

Trailer:

https://onestone.org/rise-voice-of-a-new-generation

 

Public service and community growth.

January 21, 2019

As term ends, a commissioner considers legacy,

Larry Schoen looks back at a career in public life

by Mark Dee
Idaho Mountain Express

“I think elected office is immensely challenging. And I felt that, on a personal level, I needed that sort of challenge. I needed to try to live up to my ideals of public service.” Larry Schoen, former Blaine County commissioner

Schoen, who is 63, has had time to consider how a self-described private man transitioned to so public a life in Blaine County. And, he’s had time to consider his motto, which he attached to that career like a goal more than a decade ago: “To leave office with my integrity intact.”

He sat through plans for rampant growth, and saw them hollowed by the global belt-tightening of the Great Recession. He presided during natural disasters, fires and floods that wolfed up swaths of the Wood River Valley in quick and angry bites. He worked on wolves themselves, and other environmental fights that pitted interest against interest. There was Bowe Bergdahl, and the frenzy that swept through Hailey afterward. There were debates with Idaho Power, and Deer Creek and Camp Rainbow Gold—and thousands of other rulings, small to most everyone but the world to those involved, the discrete decisions that make up a career in politics that, at times, surprised Schoen himself.

“I’m a very private person,” he said. “You won’t find a Facebook page for me. You won’t find a lot of personal information out there. I hate having my picture taken, and I’m not very good at remembering people’s names. I’m not the sort of person you’d think of as primed for political life. But I think government service is important. I think elected office is immensely challenging. And I felt that, on a personal level, I needed that sort of challenge. I needed to try to live up to my ideals of public service. ‘To leave office with my integrity intact’—it all goes back to that.”

He turned 18 in 1973, a draft year at the ragged end of America’s involvement in Vietnam. It was a lottery—just luck that his number wasn’t called. Today, with the safety of decades between then and now, he wishes it was.

“I never did military service—I always regretted that,” he said. “I felt that at some point in my life, I needed to do some sort of serious public service. In a way, on a personal level, running for public office was my way of compensating.”

 If his work as a reporter helped him explain policy, his life as a farmer helped shape it. He’s tried the three main modes of American living—urban, rural and suburban—and his view for the future of Blaine County is steeped in that experience.

“Hardly anybody has put as much effort into reading things, and parsing language,” said Len Harlig, a former county commissioner who remains a close observer of Blaine County politics. “He’s absolutely meticulous, going through materials to make sure they are correct, and accurate. He brought an efficiency to ordinances. His viewpoint was thorough, exhaustive and unaccepting of any comment not based in vigorous research. Even when you reached different conclusions, you never doubted the effort.”

His environmental record can match anyone’s in the county, according to Harlig, whether that meant advocating for conservation, or securing easements for open space and recreational access, or updating recycling and solid waste.

But Schoen describes himself as a progressive, and a pragmatist. Those combine to form a view of government that is closely tied to customer service, and much of his legacy—from internal communications, to organizational structure, to budgeting procedure—is, like the engine of any operation, hidden under the hood.

“As a county commissioner, Larry was a consummate professional,” said current board Chairman Jacob Greenberg. “His journalism background meant he was our go-to person to articulate policy.”

“Some of the most desirable and valuable communities in America have some of the strictest zoning—thought-out zoning codes that try to project the present and future values of those communities,” he said. “That’s especially true of small ski towns in Europe. And that’s why they still have their charm. We don’t want to lose our charm.”

Maintaining it was part of the Blaine County 2025 planning effort that Schoen participated in during the mid-2000s, as a member of P&Z. Back then, elected officials prepared for an unending boom. There was talk of two new towns—one by Gannett, another at Timmerman Junction. Projections envisioned the population swelling to 80,000 people in 20 years. Soon, Schoen thought, development pressure would burst out into the unincorporated county like champagne past a cork.

 “I don’t know that they are all on the same page,” he said. “People acknowledge certain common values, like the need for affordable housing, the need to preserve our public lands and recreational access. The conversations really haven’t been had in a long time. Ketchum is doing its thing. Sun Valley does its thing. Hailey’s doing its thing. We need to work on a regional equation. If people are opposed to increased density in cities, but there’s development pressure, there’s only one place for it to go, and that’s out in the county. The question is, do we want to turn it into a suburbanized area? That’s a question for the community. The community needs to answer.”

Schoen’s personal answer is written across his land. He placed a conservation easement on the property curtailing its ability to be developed; those acres will never be subdivided.

“I would judge his view of county government as that of a purist,” he said. “He interpreted it as it was intended, and was fair in its application.”

Schoen: “When I talk to students, I tell them if you’re going to enter elected office, your main goal shouldn’t be to get re-elected. It should be to do what’s in the best interest of the community. To uphold the law. In a very dynamic, engaged county like ours, that will leave some people happy. Others won’t be. Eventually, that catches up with you.”

“There are roles I’ve been able to play because I was a county commissioner. I’m proud of the connections I’ve made, what I’ve been able to do. This job’s been immensely rewarding—for me personally, and, I hope, for our community.”

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