Watershed Group Holds First Of Several Meetings

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Three raccoons and a skunk were caught raiding dog dishes recently in Bear Flat. The raccoons were not taking any chances getting caught, two of them acted as sentries looking both ways for the dog to return.

A very important and informative meeting took place on Saturday, March 28. This meeting was the first of many that will be held in our area. The group is called the Christopher Creek and Tonto Creek Watershed Committee.

The purpose of the meeting was to inform the residents that live along both creeks of the water quality and what has happened to that quality because of improperly built septic tanks too close to the water, animals that use the water and tourists who use the waters for recreational use.

The meeting was an all-day affair with breakfast and lunch provided by the Tonto Rim Christian Camp, the host for this first event. The host was the Rev. Larry Fultz.

The speakers were Jake Garrett, director of the county Environmental Health-Wastewater Department; Al Brown, ASU Polytechnic; Jan Holder, Gila Watershed Partnership; and Dr. Joseph Shannon, professor of Biology at NAU; and a representative from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Last summer the creeks were monitored for water quality and if there were any improvements.

The testing showed e-coli, nitrogen, phosphorus and since 1996, low oxygen. Nine sites were tested on Tonto Creek, and five sites on Christopher Creek.

More information can be found on www.watershed.nau.edu.

There will be another meeting of the watershed committee July 27-28 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Joseph.Shannon@nau.edu is the contact person if anyone is interested in attending.

Hellsgate Fire Department

The regular monthly Hellsgate Fire Board meeting for April will be on April 15, at station #21, Star Valley. The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m.

The first meeting of the new year for the Fireflies, auxiliary to the Tonto Village station #22, will be held at 10 a.m., April 9. Under discussion will be the upcoming Memorial Weekend breakfast on May 23, along with a rummage sale at the fire station.

Raffle tickets will be on sale at the breakfast for a handmade quilt by Judi Desrochers who is a ribbon winner for her beautiful quilts, a Wii and a chain saw. The drawing will be at the Labor Day barbecue. All gals from the surrounding area are invited to attend the meetings, all help will be greatly appreciated.

Can fire restrictions be far behind?

The unofficial total for precipitation in March was .19 inches, the totals should have been 2.04 inches for the year. We are now 1 inch behind, and drying up fast.

So far, there are no fire restrictions in place, but just the rain totals alone would make the average person a bit more cautious. Drown campfires and have a shovel handy to put dirt on the fire as well, just to be on the safe side, and never leave a fire unattended!

Birthdays

Bill Fausz of Thompson Draw I will celebrate another birthday on April 3. Melvin Palmer of Colcord Estates will blow out another candle on his birthday cake April 4. Eileen Kittock of Christopher Creek has her big day April 7. Eileen spends almost every Wednesday afternoon in Tonto Village playing dominoes with the gals. Margot Fish, also of Christopher Creek, has her big day on April 8. Happy birthday to all of you, and remember, another birthday is another year of memories.

Double D doings

Friday, March 27, the ever-popular Scotch Doubles was held at the Double D. The first-place winners were the team of Marie Leonard and Shawn Sparks. Second place went to the team of Ethel Cain and ‘Jimbo” Armstrong. Third-place winners were the team of Jan Davenport and C.M. Scott.

Last Tuesday evening, the nine-ball players from Christopher Creek and the Village played. The winners were Patti Boeschling, Margaret Stasney and Sue Prach.

There will be a going away party for Margaret Stasney on Friday, April 3 at the restaurant. Margaret will be moving to Texas to be with her ailing father. She will be missed.

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