The Wenatchee World



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Politics and pickleball

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Want to see the mayor and fire chief sweat? Drop into the social hall at the Wenatchee Community Center at noon on Wednesday. That's when the the two will play in the winner's bracket of the semi finals of a pickleball tournament. Either Mayor Frank Kuntz or Fire Chief Stan Smoke will advance to the finals, where they will play the winner of the loser's bracket game. That game, with city attorney Steve Smith pitted against attorney Danielle Marchant, will begin as soon as the mayor-fire chief match is over on Wednesday. Pickleball games usually last 10 to 20 minutes. The Community Center is at 504 S. Chelan Ave., which is the former site of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. No date has been set for the finals, said city parks Director Dave Erickson. He has been setting up the equipment for pickleball games since Sept. 17, when games started at the social hall. As part of a wellness program, eight city employees started playing each other. "It's been really funny, watching the reactions of folks who said, 'Let's try it,' because they find that it's extremely fun and a great workout." Pickleball times, which are noon to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, are open to the public. Erickson said that an additional time of 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays will begin this coming week in hopes of attracting younger players. Anyone wanting to play pickleball needs to call Erickson 24 hours in advance at 888-3280 so he can set up the net. Of note: The pickleball equipment was made possible through a grant from the Seattle-based Charlotte Martin Foundation, which funds projects that help youth through athletics, culture and education.