As I sit down to type this, the snow in Pine continues to fall. It’s hardly stopped since it began sometime Saturday night. Right now the conditions are a total whiteout (again). To think my kids were complaining last week that “we aren’t going to get any snow at all this year!” Well, they certainly have plenty now. We got the sleds out on Sunday and since there was no traffic and the plows hadn’t come through yet, we got to go down Alva — and that is one big hill!
It’s Tuesday morning and I haven’t even gotten a chance to shovel my driveway yet because the snow just keeps coming. I’m thinking it may be Wednesday or Thursday before I can dig out since the drifts are at least 3 to 4 feet deep now. A quick survey of the property earlier confirmed my worst fears — many of our biggest, healthiest junipers and oaks have lost major branches due to the weight of the snow.
We tried to keep them cleared, but the overnight accumulation was just too much and now the snow is slightly frozen and refuses to drop easily. Fortunately, the kids cleared the trampoline last night since it looked like it was about to bust too. Of course that turned into a snowball fight, which eventually led to building a fort. Oh to be a kid in the snow! I’m grateful for the moisture to be sure, but I think the folks of Pine and Strawberry will be discovering additional damage for several weeks to come.
School makeup day
I hope the kids are enjoying the time off because, unfortunately, they will have to make up for it before the end of the year. The first makeup day will be Monday, Feb. 16 (Presidents Day) and the next will be Friday, April 10, (Spring Recess Day). Sorry kids, but the law says you have to attend 180 days of school each year.
Principal Mike Clark of Pine Strawberry Elementary School reports that they have been spared any budget cuts for this year, however, they will undoubtedly experience deep cuts next year.
The big question is how much? Until new legislation is finalized, the number remains ambiguous with the latest proposed formula indicating a reduction of $180,025. While that is certainly better than originally expected, it will still force some serious scrutiny of school programs and staffing. I know that Mike is watching the situation closely and considering ways to continue to meet the needs of the students in our area.
On Feb 14 there will be a LOVE (Lift Our Voices for Education) Rally at the Wesley Bolin Plaza on the east side of the state Capitol. The rally is open to all who wish to support educational opportunities for Arizona children.
Since the so-called federal stimulus plan continues to be largely hidden from the average citizen it’s hard to say exactly what states, programs and sectors of the public will receive boosts, let alone if those boosts will make a real difference to our ailing economy. I suspect that like the bailout, we’ll be getting bits and pieces of where our money is being spent long after it’s too late to do anything about it.
Perhaps we need to take heed of the following admonition from Thomas Jefferson: “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Hmm — smart guy!
One group that continues to meet the needs of so many in our community is the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library.
They continue to offer several programs and events for all age groups including a weekly after-school program each Thursday for children ages 6-10. The program begins right after school and ends at 3:30 p.m. The kids are treated to a variety of activities each week led by the youth coordinator, Junetta Clifford. To find out more about the program, call the library at (928) 476-3678 or e-mail Junetta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone is invited to hear famed storyteller Alice Natale at 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27 at the library. She will be sharing some of her favorite stories which are sure to entertain young and old alike. After attending the Tellebration Celebration a few months back, I highly recommend that both parents and grandparents treat yourselves and your young ones to this unique event.
Beginning the week of March 2 there will be a week-long festival to honor the birth date of Dr. Seuss.
What an incredible writer — is there any book lover who hasn’t enjoyed a Dr. Seuss story? I still get a chuckle from such classics as “Cat in the Hat,” “Yertle the Turtle” and “Gertrude McFuzz.”
In addition to an emphasis on Dr. Seuss books, there will be an opportunity to complete daily art to enter in a drawing and receive a surprise Dr. Seuss item. On the final day of the event, March 7, your family can actually meet “Dr. Seuss” at the library at 2 p.m.
Another date to mark on your calendar is April 15. On that date, Jay Martel will be at the library to discuss the book “Capirotada.” The book is the winner of the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Book Award for the year 2000 and depicts life growing up in the border town of Nogales in the 1950s and ’60s.
Well the date is set! The DPS Quilt Angels will host their annual three-day quilt-a-thon on March 3, 4 and 5 this year. The quilt-a-thon will be held at the First Baptist Church in Pine (right off Highway 87), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
As you may know, this is a huge event that helps supply the quilts carried in every single DPS car all over the state 24/7. DPS personnel distributes the quilts to children who are victims of trauma they encounter in the course of their duty and as you can imagine, it’s quite a task to keep them supplied! Everyone is welcome to come and be a part of this wonderful event. Even if you don’t own a sewing machine or don’t know how to sew, there are plenty of jobs and all are welcome to participate. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the quilt-a-thon, please contact Willene Smith at (928) 476-3587 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
And that wraps up another week in Pine. Hope you’re doing well and staying warm! God bless!