The world’s leading winter sports film announces its 63rd annual feature film and U.S. tour.
Friday, November 16th, 2013
Doors open at 6:00 pm. Show starts at 7:00pm
Purchase tickets at your Wenatchee Java Dog Espresso or Arlberg Sports
Immerse yourself in the Flow State with Warren Miller Entertainment and experience the ultimate winter from a lens of absolute clarity. Warren Miller’s Flow State is a place of such singular focus and connection with the environment that, in this place, the faster you ride, the slower time passes. The Flow State exists anywhere crisp winter air shocks your lungs and sunlight refracts off snowflakes, allowing you to emerge from this state improved – happier, more confident and more aware of your surroundings. So buckle up, because Warren Miller’s 63rd annual ski and snowboard film will take you into the zone…the moment…the groove…the center…the Flow State
Apple Cup Tailgate Party returns to the Wenatchee Convention Center on Thursday November 1, 2012. Tickets are now available for sale at Mitchell Reed Insurance in Olds Station or at McDee’s Art Center. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. We have prizes for the best decorated table. If you want to come early and decorate your table, we’ll be there starting at 7:30am. The program begins at 12:00 noon. We hope to see you there.
Monster Mash 2012 is coming to the Wenatchee Convention Center on October 27th! Don’t miss the biggest Halloween Party in the Valley! Amazing prizes for the best costumes and random door prizes throughout the night.
Tickets now on sale at http://monstermash.brownpapertickets.com/
or Nancy’s Party Rentals. for $10 (or $15 at the door).
You can also reserve a table for $85 (includes 10 tickets!)
Wenatchee wonder: municipality plugs into electric buses
Sep 4, 2012
In the second of her reports from her West Coast road trip, EV Update’s US correspondent Mary Catherine O’Connor checks out a municipal e-bus initiative in Washington State.
If you go to Caffe Mela, a popular restaurant in downtown Wenatchee, and sit out on the sidewalk bistro tables to sip some java and talk with friends, you probably won’t notice the city’s new all-electric trolley bus as it drives past.
That is a good thing, says Greg Pezoldt, the capital projects coordinator for Link Transit, the public transit agency that serves this small city in north-central Washington. That is part of what Wenatchee residents like about the buses: they are very quiet.
I recently sat in those same seats chatting with Ron Johnston-Rodriguez, director of a regional electric vehicle research and development initiative called the Plug-In Center, and Allison Williams, the executive services director for the City of Wenatchee.
We had to raise our voices and lean in closer to hear each other as one of the older, diesel-powered trolleys ambled past us.
That’s because to date only three of the five electric trolley buses that the city plans to add to its fleet are in service. The electric buses, which are designed to replace these diesel-powered rigs, only run for part of the day.
Still, what Link Transit has accomplished thus far is ground-breaking. It has deployed one of just two municipal fast-charging electric bus systems in the United States – the other being the electric buses in the Foothill Transit system in Ponoma, California.
It all started back when the US was crawling out of its recent recession. Richard DeRock, Link Transit’s general manager, and Andy Eklov, the chief executive officer ofEbus, a mass transit electric drive technology developer, collaborated on an application for funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
It worked. Link Transit was awarded a $2.9 million grant to partner with Downey, California-based Ebus to begin electrifying the Link fleet.
The transit agency was not just looking to buff up its green image when it sought funding. It was a matter of necessity, says Pezoldt.
“We have all these old diesel trolleys”, he remarks. “They are past their useful life, we needed to replace them. But we needed grant money in order to do that”.
On top of that, powering these new buses with electricity rather than diesel simply makes good business sense, thanks to Wenatchee’s low electricity rates.
“Last year we were spending about $1300 each month in diesel fuel the trolleys”, says Pezoldt.
In contrast, the electricity required to recharge the electric trolleys amounts to roughly $90 each month.
Multiply that $1,000 in savings by five – the number of electric trolleys once the system is completely deployed – and the monthly savings from switching to electric propulsion is very significant for Link Transit.
The initial outlay to purchase the vehicles is high, at $400,000, but is comparable to new diesel buses.
Add to that very pricey charging stations – $250,000 each – and the financial picture changes. However, the grant funding covered the capital costs, making the transit agency’s electric dream a reality.
Rubber hits the road, slowly
The ARRA grant was awarded in March 2010. Although the original plan was to replace all five of the fleet’s diesel trolleys with electric versions by September of that year, the roll-out has experienced delays.
The main issue, explain Pezoldt and Eklov, was a faulty design on a coolant shield used to cover the lithium-titanate batteries that Ebus uses in its fast-charging electric bus design.
“The battery cells are separated by a cooling plate, which contains [liquid] coolant. We found that the bonds between these plates could leak in some situations”, says Eklov.
“So we are changing the design of that to ensure that they will not leak.”
In the meantime, Link Transit is using electric trolleys powered by nickel cadmium batteries.
These trolleys are very functional but they cannot be recharged as quickly as the trolleys with lithium-titanate batteries.
This makes them unsuitable for all-day service, so they are run only for approximately two hours each a day.
Once they enter into service, the lithium-titanate trolleys will run all day. The vehicles will be recharged for short periods throughout the day.
Drivers will pull into a transfer station at the end of a five-mile route and remain there for five minutes as passengers unload and load. During that time, a robotic arm will link the bus to a charging station.
After the short charge, the arm will disengage and the bus will continue on its route.
If the driver needs to depart sooner, he or she can trigger the arm to disengage sooner, making it safe to drive away.
“I rode the electric trolleys a lot when we first put them into service in December”, says Pezoldt.
“The response from public is pretty good. They like that it is so quiet – in fact that might more to them than even than the fact that they don’t pollute”, he adds.
There is a downside to the lack of engine noise, he says. “We have some vision-impaired and blind passengers. They can’t see the bus and now they can’t hear it either, so they don’t know when it’s coming”.
To adjust, Link Transit representatives have worked with these passengers to help train their ears for the low hum of the trolley motor and the sound of the wheels on the pavement as the trolleys pull up to a bus stop. Drivers also ring a trolley bell to alert these passengers.
Since the electric trolleys came into service, there’s been one other noticeable change: the drivers’ attitudes. The electric trolleys are fun to drive, and that, says Pezoldt, is something that the drivers really appreciate.
Mary Catherine O’Connor (www.mcoconnor.com) is an independent journalist, covering transportation and other energy-related topics.
To comment on this article, please contact the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2012 VCCA Northwest Meet
August 23rd – 25th
Hosted by North Cascade Region
“Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel” Information (Host Hotel)
Keeper of the memories
Wayne Wright looks back on 33 years with Chelan PUD
By Christine Pratt
World staff writer
Friday, July 27, 2012
World photo/Don Seabrook
Nicole Villacres with the Chelan County PUD, hugs Wayne Wright before giving his last PUD history presentation to about 100 employees on Wednesay. Wright has been with the PUD for 33 years.
World photo/Don Seabrook
Retiring Chelan County PUD managing director of district services, Wayne Wright, center, receives applause and a handshake from PUD General Manager John Janney before giving his last PUD history presentation to about 100 employees on Wednesday. Wright has been with the PUD for 33 years.
WENATCHEE — Wayne Wright spent his early days at the Chelan County PUD collecting in pictures and sound the memories of the county’s few remaining pioneers of public power and its beneficiaries — the first rural recipients of electricity.
He didn’t know it at the time, but the knowledge base he was building in that three-part “Light’s On” series on PUD history would become a favorite tool throughout his career for instilling in his coworkers a sense of their role in a still-unfinished history, and empowering them to make it better.
The PUD’s managing director of district services, Wright, 61, will retire Tuesday after 33 years.
He and his first boss Clair Tribble are credited with adopting the “Owned by the people we serve” slogan that has become synonymous with public power.
Hundreds of PUD employees over the years have attended Wright’s workshops on history and new-employee orientation. He delivered his final one Thursday.
Retirees will miss his “Wayne and the Old Timer” skits that he and Tribble, who died this past year, would put on at retirement parties. Wright was the straight man to Tribble’s cantankerous old guy.
Coworkers point to the emails he’d send every week to those employees whose good work was acknowledged at one of his weekly staff meetings — a note to let them know that their name had been mentioned in a positive way, but not by whom.
Originally from Mercer Island, Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from the University of Washington. He worked for Nordstrom and in radio, first for KOZI in Chelan and later KPQ, when took a job in the PUD public information office in 1979.
His perspective at the head of PUD communications and customer service, even temperament under fire, community outreach and empathy have earned him praise from his coworkers and colleagues inside and outside the PUD.
But after a long career and a cancer scare seven years ago, he and his wife Joyce are ready to get a new cat to replace a beloved one that just died, put on an Eagles CD, hit the open road with their new travel trailer and spend more time with their son, daughter and three grandchildren in Wisconsin and Bellingham.
About 250 employees, family members, friends and community members are gathering this evening for his retirement bash at Wenatchee Convention Center.
The World had a chat with Wright Thursday. The following is an extract of the interview:
Wenatchee World: PUD folks I’ve spoken to about you routinely use words like “mentor,” “roll model,” “steward of public power,” and “friend.” They really seem to love and respect you. Why do you suppose that is?
Wright: (taking a moment to steady his voice) I love working with people, and this organization is one that gives you this extraordinary opportunity to learn. Then you have an opportunity, once you’ve learned all that, to share. To build relationships with people… That’s what life is all about. It’s how you touch people and touch their lives and they touch yours. To have people say that now, I think it’s because I’ve invested in them and they’ve invested in me. And I care about them. You make difficult decisions together. When you get to the end of the day and people look back and say “I enjoyed working with him on that,” what better thing is there than that?
WW: Your management style is very empowering of others, I’m told. What or who has been the inspiration of that style?
Wright: I can’t say that there was anyone who shared that with me, but this is what I believe… The mantle of leadership is a heavy responsibility. The ethics, honesty, integrity — you’re not just displaying it, you’re teaching, because everyone who comes behind you, just as everyone who came behind Kirby Billingsley and all these other forefathers, were stewards of what’s been created here. I just try to make it clear — here is my expectation, here are my values, this is what I’d like you to do, and please understand, you don’t work for me. You work with me, but I’m responsible for the work. I’ve tried to live that, and it’s worked for me.
WW: You’ve been this PUD’s most visible student and steward of public power and enthusiastic historian of it. Why is the Chelan PUD so important to you?
Wright: I had a tremendous mentor here in Clair Tribble (his first boss), who was excited about the organization, about public power, about its history and everything it meant to this community and everyone who fought so hard for it for very little personal reward, but high reward for the community.
To share that information with people, all that sacrifice for us and what the PUD means for this community. What people like Kirby Billingsley, Jack Richardson, Ivan Compton, Bob Keiser and managers throughout this utility did to carry that story forward to people about what this place is. It’s not just a place to work, it’s an experience of service. It’s a legacy that we carry on. Something wonderful was created for us in this entire hydropower experience, and it’s grown far beyond that. We’re charged not only with carrying that story forward, but with all the challenges the forefathers never envisioned. The challenge of fisheries, for instance, Clean Water Act, all the regulations, compliance, relicensing of dams. Our job as been to face each of those experiences to keep what we have in tact. And what a great experience to work with these people to do it and make some small contribution. They do it, not me. It’s just been extraordinary.
WW: The Chelan PUD has been subjected to harsh criticism over the years for bad purchasing decisions, wage increases proposed during lean times and retaliation against employees. How have those controversies affected you both personally and professionally?
Wright: They’re humbling opportunities and they’re growth opportunities. Public power is an institution that’s founded on our customer owners and their right to vote and engage with the organization, whenever they feel, whether we think it might be valid or not.
So, if I look back on it today, although challenging and personally difficult because I care so much about the PUD, I learned something and the organization did from each one of those experiences. That’s what public power is supposed to do and how it works and why it’s worked so well over the decades.
WW: And so, the lessons learned?
Wright: The lessons learned are the vital importance of being continually engaged with our customer owners, knowing what they want and expect and also sharing the information in the best way we can about the intricate operation of their utility. It’s about building trust, sharing information, being transparent and having the information available.
WW: What’s a quality you admire and why?
Wright: Integrity. We only get one chance at this in life. Our honesty. Our ethics. All that packages into our integrity. How we treat other people. I think that’s how we’re judged at the end of the day and I have a personal philosophy to try to give more than I take… It’s not about money. It’s about what we’ve left behind with our families and how we’ve touched the lives of all our friends, in this case our customer owners. It’s a mark of who we are and I believe strongly in that.
WW: Why is now the right time to retire?
Wright: I have a strong sense of family. And to have more time to spend together as a family and to be grandparents and play a meaningful role in our grandchildren’s lives — this is just the perfect time to do it.
I never wanted to leave the PUD when I felt it was in a period of unrest or when leadership was being challenged or when there were immense problems to be solved or our relationship with the community wasn’t’ right. I believe that all of those things are in great condition at the moment.
WW: Parting thoughts?
Wright: Joyce and I and our family are deep believers in God. I believe that my experience in coming to Chelan County, my time at radio stations and my time here is part of a plan. I tried to do the best with the plan I was given. It’s an extraordinary privilege and a blessing to come here and to have made a difference in people’s lives — theirs and mine. At the end of the day I hope I did it as I was charged to do. I hope I did it well.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173
Electric car rally to converge here Saturday
By Christine Pratt
World staff writer
Thursday, June 14, 2012
WENATCHEE — Amid speeches and fanfare, a high-voltage, strategically timed procession of about a dozen electric cars will travel here from Seattle Saturday to test the mettle of new charging stations along Highway 2.
Drivers will start in Sultan at about 9 a.m. and make stops in Skykomish, Leavenworth and Wenatchee, getting quick-charges along the way.
If you go
Electric car rally and showcase
Leavenworth: City Hall, 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cars on display, music, speakers, giveaways.
Wenatchee: Springhill Suites, 1730 N. Wenatchee Ave., noon to 3 p.m. reception; Convention Center 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., car display, speakers, rides on Link electric trolley.
The event is an effort to establish North Central Washington as an electric vehicle (EV) destination, where EV-owning Seattlites can come, charge up, spend the night and take in area wineries and recreation before heading home.
Five locations along the route and multiple places in Wenatchee have stations for charging electric vehicles, but the four chosen stops for Saturday’s event have — or are expected to have by Saturday — 480-volt “Level 3” charging stations, capable of topping up a battery in about 20 minutes. The lower-voltage Level 1 and 2 stations take longer.
Sultan: City Hall/Visitor Info Center, Level 1,2 3.
Skykomish: Sky Deli, Level 1, 2, 3.
Stevens Pass ski area: Level 1, 2.
Monroe: Evergreen State Fairgrounds, Level 1, 2.
Leavenworth: Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort (Level 1, 2); City Hall (Level, 1, 2, 3)
Wenatchee: Springhill Suites hotel (Level 2) Wenatchee Convention Center (Level 1, 2, 3), Wenatchee Valley College (Level 1), Town Nissan (Level 1, 2)
Source: Ron Johnston-Rodriguez
Drivers start times from Sultan will be carefully coordinated to prevent bottlenecks behind each fast-charge station along the way.
“This is a pioneering thing. To some degree, it’s a test drive,” said event organizer and spokesman Ron Johnston-Rodriguez.
At each stop along the more than 100-mile “Highway 2/Stevens Pass Scenic Byway” dignitaries will gather for a ribbon cuttings and speeches.
Events culminate at the Wenatchee Convention Center for the “EV Showcase,” where vehicles on display will include Nissan Leafs, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Chevy Volt, a Tesla sports car and one of Toyota’s first factory-made plug-in Prius hybrids.
Link Transit’s all-electric trolley, “The Current,” will be there for free rides. An electric ATV, Gem Car, forklift and bicycle could also be on display.
Many of the rally drivers are hard-core electric-car enthusiasts with adventurous spirits, Johnston-Rodriguez says. Many are members of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association or nationwide Plug In America group.
“We expect to learn a lot of lessons,” he said.
World staffer Emily Wooldridge contributed to this story.
Washington to create nation’s first electric vehicle-friendly scenic byway along U.S. 2
Popular Visitors’ Destinations in North Central Washington Announce Plans for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
OLYMPIA, WA –The Department of Commerce and the Washington State Department of Transportation today announced plans to make the Stevens Pass Greenway the first electric vehicle-friendly National Scenic Byway route. With Federal Recovery Act funding through theState Energy Program, the state will install two to three electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations along U.S. Highway 2. This route will connect to the I-5 “electric highway” enabling electric vehicle drivers to travel from across the west coast to North Central Washington by the end of 2011.
In addition to the state’s investment, the Port of Chelan County and the Advanced Vehicle Innovations Consortium in Wenatchee have catalyzed private investment to install Level II charging stations at popular travel destinations along the U.S. 2 byway route. These destinations include Stevens Pass Ski Area; Leavenworth’s Sleeping Lady Resort and Icicle Ridge Winery; and Wenatchee’s Convention Center, Town Toyota Center and SpringHill Suites by Marriot Wenatchee Hotel. Each of these venues plans to install Level II charging stations that will allow electric vehicle drivers to “fuel up” while they are enjoying the location’s activities. Level II charging stations will complement the fast-charging stations installed by the state, which can charge the battery of some electric vehicles from zero to 80 percent in an estimated 20 minutes.
“Washington State is proud to announce another important step toward enabling broad adoption of electric vehicles,” said Rogers Weed, Director of the state Department of Commerce. “Partnering to deliver charging infrastructure is essential in Washington, and this initiative keeps us moving in the right direction, promoting local jobs, rural businesses and clean energy.”
Over a half-dozen additional destination property owners and public entities from Leavenworth to Chelan are also expected to announce their intentions to purchase and install charging stations by the time the EV fast charging stations are deployed on U.S. 2.
“Enthusiasm and preparation for electric vehicles arriving in North Central Washington has been ramping up for the past six years,” said Ron Johnston-Rodriguez of the Port of Chelan County, coordinator of the Advanced Vehicle Innovation (AVI) Consortium and its PluginCenter Charging Station project. “The State of Washington’s collaboration with the Port and its AVI partners >has proven to be an energizing catalyst for community-wide efforts to facilitate and promote charging station deployment in the region. This investment in electric vehicle infrastructure by both private and public sectors accelerates the Consortium’s timetable for multiple activities to demonstrate and integrate electric vehicle technology into the fabric of this rural area’s tourism industry cluster.”
In addition to furthering the state’s vision for improving the energy efficiency of Washington’s transportation system,Washington State Tourism plans to promote eco-tourism opportunities in conjunction with the electrification of U.S. 2. The planned fast-chargers will be strategically located to support zero-emission, zero-oil travel along the 120-mile byway. The Stevens Pass Greenway is one of the richest scenic byways in Washington. Originally developed for the Old Great Northern Railroad, this route winds its way through dense forest, mountain ranges and green valleys, past orchards and wineries of Wenatchee, family farms and the Bavarian village of Leavenworth.
“Businesses along U.S. 2 rely on tourism,” said Marsha Massey, Executive Director of Washington State Tourism. “With fast charging stations along this scenic byway, travelers will be able to drive electric cars to popular destinations such as Stevens Pass, Leavenworth and Wenatchee.”