Tonto Village has received just a drizzle of rain this past week. The sky has looked ominous, but the clouds seem to pass right over our tiny community. The little bit of rain has made it easier to spot tracks of wild animals that pass through the Village. Since I walk every morning, the tracks are very visible. There have been cow elk and a few of their babies, raccoons, and even bear tracks. One of the residents of Tonto Village III has seen the bear out and about in the afternoon, so be on the lookout for these creatures, they are most likely looking for food.
Speaking of wild creatures, the residents of Bear Flat have been inundated with baby rattlesnakes. There have been sightings of them that have come too close for comfort. One resident tells me you can tell they are babies by their heads -- they're much larger than the body. I read somewhere that a baby rattler can be more deadly, so please use extreme caution if you happen to be in close proximity to one of these snakes.
As of Aug. 1, fire restrictions have been lifted in the Tonto National Forest, according to the Payson Ranger Station. Everyone is still cautioned to use common sense with any open fires. Make sure that any campfire is dead out. Do not leave a campfire unattended under any circumstances.
Tonto Village Fire District
Chief J.R. Alliger, Cpt. Rick Prach and board member Gloria Alliger attended the Arizona Fire Chief's Conference in Litchfield Park last weekend. Fire chiefs and their assistants from all over the state attended the seminars and drove their fire trucks. Chief Alliger estimated that there were millions of dollars worth of fire trucks on display.
There will be a monthly fire board meeting at 10 a.m., Aug. 13 at the Tonto Village Fire Station, with head board member Bill Tonstad presiding. Everyone in the Village and the surrounding district is urged to attend these meetings.
Remember to check the new website for the latest updates concerning the fire department. The website is: www.tontovillagefire.org.
The Fire Sirens will meet Saturday, Aug. 13 to shore up plans for the annual Labor Day Bash. Time and location is still pending. It will be announced in next week's column.
Ethel Cain of the Double D Restaurant returned home this week from a family reunion in Minnesota. Ethel saw family members she hadn't seen in 10 years. Ethel works very hard at her restaurant, and she deserved some valuable time off, but the Villagers were glad that she has come back home, especially her husband, Danny. There will be home-cooked meals again.
Laura Nickerson of Tonto Village II and a part-time helper at the Double D bar will celebrate her birthday Aug. 9. Happy birthday, Laura.
It was a very emotional evening this past Tuesday when the Double D nine-ball ladies got together to play, and for one of them, the last time. Phyllis Ballard was honored by a potluck dinner, a beautiful cake baked by Linda Stailey, and a plaque that was presented by Fire Chief Alliger for Phyllis' dedication to the fire department. Laura Nickerson presented Phyllis with a T-shirt that was signed by all the pool ladies and the Fire Sirens. Phyllis will be missed by all the pool ladies as well as the Fire Sirens. We wish her a sad farewell and we hope she and Jim return for frequent visits to our Village.
The first place winner was Kara Shaw, with Nancy Olson and Betty Koutz playing for second and third place.
Bo Douglas won again this past Sunday afternoon. Has Bo taken over where Cliff Landrum left off? Has Cliff met his match? Check out the games at 3 p.m. next Sunday. Harvey Poyner and Lorraine Mathews took second and third place.
The noise of chain saws can be heard around the Village this week, Arizona Public Service employees are clearing the dead beetle infested trees away from the power lines that surround the Village. The trees earmarked for cutting have been sprayed with red paint or adorned with orange ribbon.
The work is necessary for the integrity of the power lines, especially this winter when heavy snow starts falling. It is quite a sight to see those expert tree climbers so far from the ground.