A new and larger Pine-Strawberry library could soon become a reality.
A recent survey of taxpayers indicated they almost unanimously supported a new library or an expansion of the existing facility.
In these economic tough times, the overwhelming vote of confidence should be the catalyst we all need to begin laying improvement plans.
The first steps were taken when Library Director Becky Waer decided to form a library expansion exploratory committee that will be asked to make recommendations and brainstorm fund-raising methods.
Waer said she would like to see the square footage of the facility increased, some education programs added and more multi-media made available to users.
Expanding and improving the library is especially critical for children because Pine-Strawberry Elementary School students use the facilities.
For the older set, free computer classes for those 55 years and older will be offered beginning in November.
The library has received a $46,000 grant to fund the program, which will include purchasing 22 new computers and making upgrades to the facilities. The Senior Online Opportunity Program is being co-sponsored by Gila Community College.
The bottom line is our library does a tremendous job of providing a collection of broadly based materials of stimulus and interest, but it is obvious the facility needs to expand in order to increase the resources available and better serve the users.
Anyone interested in serving on the committee should call (928) 476-3678 or e-mail Becky Waer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to do with tomatoes?
If your family garden is yielding like ours, it's producing plenty of juicy, delicious tomatoes -- the tastes of which can't be purchased in grocery stores.
Our favorites are the celebrity variety, which are easy to grow, productive and flavorful. The plants also grow in a compact bush form, are disease resistant and bear in about 60-70 days.
Along with tomatoes, we also grow several varieties of peppers and onions.
A good way to enjoy the nutrients of the tomatoes, peppers and onions is in fresh salsa.
I made up a huge batch Saturday evening for a small group of friends who were visiting to watch the ASU vs. Stanford football game.
By the time the game was over, the salsa had been lapped up along with two large bags of tortilla chips.
Of course, ample beverages were also enjoyed as we cheered our beloved Sun Devils to victory.
The salsa is simple to make. All that's needed is Anaheim peppers, jalapenos, white onions, cilantro, garlic salt, teaspoon of sugar, lime juice and, of course, garden-fresh tomatoes. I pick them just minutes before making the salsa.
Dice and blend all together adjusting the amount of ingredients to your taste.
Riff Raff Club gets a lift
When the Riff Raff Club sets its mind to reach a goal, count on it being a done deal. For example, when a member of our community needed a bit of help acquiring a wheelchair, local clubs banded together and provided one. We all know that a chair often needs to be loaded in a vehicle so acquiring a lift was also in order.
Last Sunday the Riff Raff Club hosted a raffle and potluck lunch at Sidewinders Saloon in Pine to raise funds for a wheelchair lift. The benefit was a huge hit and the money to buy the lift was raised. Approximately 150 caring folks enjoyed the great lunch and all the items, which included firearms and camping equipment, were raffled off.
Jim Maclean, co-chairman of the benefit deemed it a great success. "We raised the amount we needed and will be able to purchase a great lift," he said.
Art classes still open
Robyn Bossert is teaching a series of six art classes for home-schooled students.
The first class was held Sept. 9. Others will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 9, Sept. 23, Oct. 14, Oct. 28, Nov. 11 and Nov. 25 in the library activity room.
The classes are free, but enrollment is limited to 20 students.
At midweek, several class openings remained.
When registering, students must sign up for all remaining classes.
Registration may be completed at the library or by calling (928) 476-3678.
The Pine-Strawberry School Board meeting that was originally scheduled for Sept. 8 was postponed. School superintendent/principal Mike Clark said it will now be held at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 15.
Join CERCA now
Pine post office box holders should have received by now a Community Educational, Recreational and Civic Association (CERCA) of Pine-Strawberry membership application.
CERCA is responsible for the Cultural Hall, which was placed on the National Historic Site in 2005.
Dues enable CERCA to maintain and operate the historic community property. Dues are $20 per year.
Currently CERCA is wrapping up plans to build a new 32-foot-by-64-foot ramada at the Cultural Hall.
The ramada will be made of round wood logs and have a metal roof.
CERCA has received grants of $47,000 to build the facility, but volunteers of labor, materials and equipment are needed.
Grocery chain offers help
Link your Bashas' Thank You card to a pair of five-digit numbers and you'll be lending a helping hand to the local food bank and the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library.
The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library's ID number is 23302 and the P/S Food Bank is 28855.
All shoppers need do is give the recipient ID number to the clerk upon checkout and it will be linked to the card.
It is only necessary to do it once and you may have up to three groups designated on the card.
Even if you participated last year, it is necessary to re-link the group IDs to your Bashas' card this year or purchases will not count.
After March 31, when the program ends, Bashas' will donate 1 percent of the total sales linked to each group's ID number. Participating groups can earn up to a $5,000 donation.
If you choose to have more than one group on your card, the donations will be equally divided.
The important part of the program is to write the donation numbers down and be sure to link them to your card.