It Felt Good To Exercise First Amendment Right

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On April 15, my daughters and I had the privilege of exercising our First Amendment rights by joining with several Rim Country residents to participate in the Payson Tea Party.

Though it was cold and windy, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. The variety of individuals of all ages, political affiliations, and interests, were swept aside as we found common ground in the realization that it’s time to remember what has made our country great.

Someone told me that it wouldn’t change anything anyway so why bother?

Well I believe it is never a waste of time to take a stand for what is right. We are so fortunate to have certain freedoms in our country — but it may not always be so. I am glad that my daughters were able to experience several of those freedoms on Wednesday and I hope and pray that it may always be so.

Remember the preamble to the Constitution begins: “We the people ...”

Finally spring weather

Finally, a weekend with spring-like weather! It was hard to even think about going inside so my husband and I spent Saturday going from one outdoor project to another. Eventually, we ended up at our favorite target shooting spot south of town and I was just overwhelmed by the view.

The forest looked so green and lush, the mountains in varying layers of purple in the distance, topped by an azure sky that seemed to go on forever. The ground was carpeted by delicate purple flowers and emerging grasses. It just made me want to take a deep breath and hold on to that moment forever. I am so grateful to live in this beautiful Rim Country.

The nicer weather is also spawning multiple yard sales around town. The first will be the annual Pine-Strawberry Elementary School Rummage Sale from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, May 2 at the Community Center under the new ramada. Donations will be accepted until Friday, May 1, and you can contact Diane Roeder at 970-9319 if you would like to contribute.

The Pine Strawberry Riff Raff Club is also accepting donations for its annual “Naked” Yard Sale. Just to clarify, all of the volunteers will be properly attired, however, the event gets its name from the fact that the yard sale does not accept or sell clothing.

If you would like to donate good, usable items, you may drop them off from noon until 4 p.m. at Bishop Realty’s storage shed located on the Old County Road in Pine (space No. 187), any Saturday until the event.

Members of the Riff Raff Club will be there to assist you during those hours. If that time does not work for you or if you have very large items to donate, you may call Bruce Wicks at (928) 476-2411 or Jerry Nader at (928) 476-2195 to make arrangements for pick up. The yard sale will take place from Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24 in the parking lot of the Ponderosa Market.

The Riff Raff Club will also have tickets available for its annual Riff Raff Rifle Raffle (try saying that three times as fast as you can). The Rifle Raffle is held in September and proceeds from these two events are used to benefit families in the Pine and Strawberry communities during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Community Family Fun Day

It’s time. Tomorrow (Saturday, April 25) marks the long-awaited Community Family Fun Day sponsored by Take Pride and Strawberry’s Elite.

For all who are planning to participate in the parade (my youngest daughter is busy planning ways to showcase our various pets), you’ll need to meet near the large recycle bin at the south school entrance at 9:30 a.m.

Folks, this is shaping up to be quite a show, so you’ll want to be there promptly at 10 a.m. to view it in its entirety. Many other exciting events are planned as well, so be sure to come to Pine and enjoy the fun.

The Pine Library Friends will hold their monthly meeting at 1 p.m., Monday, April 27 in the library annex building behind the Cultural Hall in Pine.

Guest speakers Robert and Melissa Higginbotham of Payson Jewelers will discuss proper jewelry care, as well as how to keep from getting scammed while selling your precious metals.

They will also help you identify any unknown stones, gems, or jewelry pieces you might have if you bring them along. Refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome.

Speaking of refreshment, ladies, are you in need of some spiritual refreshment? The Church on Randall Place, First Baptist Church in Pine, and Strawberry Chapel are sponsoring a community event for women from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, April 30. The event will be held in Pine and if you would like to find out more or reserve a spot, please call Simone Lake at (928) 595-0837, Barb Ward at (928) 476-3614, or Lou Ann Weide at (928) 476-3893.

Although it seems we’ve barely begun spring, the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library is busy planning ahead for its Summer Reading Program. The program runs weekly beginning in June, however, registration starts Friday, May 15. Parents, this is a great way to inspire your children to continue reading during the summer months.

Due to a prior commitment, I have been unable to attend the last two PSWID board meetings, so I was a bit surprised to see the headlines that a stipulated agreement has been signed to transfer both Pine and Strawberry water companies over to the community.

Like most residents, I have mixed feelings; excitement (Could it be that something is finally happening?), relief (Is it possible that we will have someone in charge that doesn’t condone taking water from one community and transferring it to another, only to turn around and haul water to the first community and charge ridiculous rates to do so?). But also a bit of fear (Is it possible that we are in way over our heads and will end up paying dearly for this transfer?).

At any rate, I think we can all agree that it appears the rubber is about to meet the road! Although only time will tell, I commend the board for the willingness to take decisive steps to achieve the goals mandated by the community in the last election.

Strawberry groups gets nonprofit status

I’m happy to report even more good news for our communities. The Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee (PSFRC) is now incorporated and has been designated a 501 c (3) nonprofit organization making them eligible to apply for state and federal grants relating to fuel reduction, fire mitigation and other similar type projects.

Because this is a community organization, this will give PSFRC much greater latitude in submitting grant applications, as well as consideration for obtaining those grants. Remember, it has been through the use of available grants that we have seen a firebreak created around our communities, as well as the native grass seeding project. This new status should provide an excellent vehicle for continuing the efforts to keep our homes and properties safe.

That wraps up another bustling week in Pine and Strawberry.

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