Thank goodness for the containment of the February Fire. The firefighters have done a fantastic job in controlling a fire that could very well be more of a disaster than it has turned out to be. The firemen have battled low humidity and high winds ever since the fire started. Forest fires are such a dread for all of us that live here year-round. I still firmly believe that the Tonto National Forest should be closed until measurable rainfall has alleviated the extremely dry conditions.
I received an e-mail from Lanny Kope of Meads Ranch this week. He feels as I do that forest closure is the only sensible solution. I realize that Payson would suffer some business loss if the closure happens to become a reality, but what would it be like if all we have left are black sticks? I also have received notices from Sam and Karen Christenson of Christopher Creek. They have worked tirelessly to distribute flyers to everyone concerning forest closure. They suggest calling our senators and state representatives urging their vote for forest closure or call Gene Blankenbaker who is the forest supervisor for Tonto National Forest. His number is 1-602-225-5200. Do it today. Does anyone know how to do a rain dance? Can we appeal to the Tonto Apache Tribe to have a special ceremony to appeal to the rain gods?
Tonto Village Fire District
Fire Chief Alliger has announced that throughout the fire district the Red Flag Alert is still on. If there is anyone who does not know what a Red Flag Alert means, basically, no open fires are permitted and no charcoal fires and no smoking in the forest.
The two 5,000 gallon water tanks are now in place along side the fire station with the help of Darren Hopely, Nick Fitch and his son Chamberlain and all the rest of the volunteer firemen who helped set the tanks in place. All that remains to be done is the installing of the pump and the pipes. Thanks to all who contributed their expertise and their time to help our village feel a little safer.
Tonto Village III increased by one on Feb. 3. Matt and Mitzi Brabb of Tonto Village are the proud new parents of baby girl, Haley Rae Brabb. Haley made her first appearance at Payson Regional Medical Center at 10:09 a.m. weighing in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Congratulations to you both.
Gail Mortenson of Tonto Village III will celebrate her birthday on Feb. 22. Brenda Slapnicka of Tonto Creek Road will add another candle to her birthday cake on Feb. 23. Chris Manning of Tonto Village III has her big day on Feb. 24. A great big Happy Birthday to all of you.
Even though Tuesday evening was Valentine's evening, the Double D gals found time to play their nine-ball tournament and sweep the tables away from the Christopher Creek gals. Ethel Cain took the top honors with Betty Koutz and Margaret Stasny shooting for second and third places.
Harvey Poyner, who has not placed in a long while, skillfully shot for first place this past Sunday afternoon during the eight-ball tournament. Joe Fierriero shot for second place and Cliff Landrum placed third. Did Cliff forget to chalk up his cue stick? I wish you better luck next week, Cliff.