Unbelievable! I think that word sums up my response to the letter by John Depert of Pine "Who benefits from the 'Take Pride' campaign?" in Tuesday's June 4 letters column.
Perhaps if Mr. Depert had called one of the people listed on the flier with their home telephone numbers in Pine and Strawberry, he would have gotten his facts straight before writing a misleading letter to the editor.
The committee's main purpose is to help improve the image of Pine and Strawberry, mainly along Highway 87, benefiting all private homes and businesses.
The committee had suggested benches in "safe" areas off the highway and perhaps some wine barrel planters with drought-resistant flowers, starting with the community center and senior citizens' building. We would have to have volunteers to maintain the flowers, hopefully using "gray" water in order to conserve our precious water.
All our committee members are not business owners. I'm on the Take Pride Committee and I am a homeowner, retired high school teacher (32 years) and an active member of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue (TRSAR). TRSAR is a dedicated group of volunteers who are not only involved in searches and rescues, but also many community projects. Ironically, some members of TRSAR have just finished painting the ramada at the community center. Last weekend (June 8), some members of TRSAR volunteered to help with the traffic at the Strawberry Festival.
My wife, Roz, is a member of the Pine Strawberry Improvement Association (PSIA), and PSIA donated the money to build the new, attractive, two-rail fence around the Pine Museum, ramada and senior center.
"It takes a village to build a village." The Take Pride Committee is endeavoring to raise money through community donations, private and business, to help make some improvements. Our first fund-raiser is a fashion show at Pine Artisans in Pine on June 22. Donations are $10.
"Unclean motives ..." I don't think so!
To install more benches around the community center for moms and dads and senior citizens to rest on, to help beautify an already pristine area like Pine and Strawberry, and to "Take Pride" where one lives, are some of America's finest values and ideals.
Ira Gibel, Pine