Dead Trees Pose Potential Hazard

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Jodee Smith photo

Recent strong winds have taken a toll on many unhealthy trees in Pine and Strawberry.

Just when we’ve recovered from the holidays it’s time to start gathering information for taxes. I like to start early because, invariably, there is something I must order, research or verify, which always seems to take precious time. Oh for the days of long ago when I could file a 1040 EZ!

Hazardous trees

The weather may have dried up, but the wind storms this past week have really been something. Friday evening was the worst. It blew hard throughout the entire night and on into Saturday morning. Our power was out for more than three hours — thank goodness for the fireplace.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the necessity of getting those dead trees removed from your property and the wind we’ve had recently is a very good reason to do that.

Just to clarify, to arrange a free assessment of the fire hazards on your property, call the administration office of the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department at (928) 476-4272. Previously I had included Walt Smith’s number as well, but the fact is, he doesn’t actually schedule yard cleanup and would simply give you the fire department’s number anyway, so you might as well save yourself the extra step!

In addition to assessing the potential fire dangers on your property, the fire department can help direct you to available resources to address those dangers.

Generosity

Christmas may be over, but one of Santa’s elves just informed me that the Riff Raff Club spent Christmas Eve delivering gift and food baskets to seven families and 29 individuals in the Pine Strawberry area. Karolyn Maclean, the program chairman, would like to thank the folks at Beall’s, Walmart, the Ponderosa Market, and especially the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department for the discounts, donations and generous support.

School news

Mike Clark, principal of Pine-Strawberry Elementary School, would like to extend a most heartfelt thank you to the generous folks in our community who recently donated a total of $50,840 to the school.

As we all know, when hard economic times hit, smaller schools often suffer the most. However, the people of Pine and Strawberry have softened that blow a bit.

In addition to thanking the community in general, Mike is grateful to Julie Pugel of Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty; Pat Willis of First State Bank of Payson; Mark Monty of Pioneer Title Agency; and Kevin Dick of Kevin Dick Investments and Financial Services, for the time and effort they and their colleagues put into supporting the effort spent obtaining donations that were received. Without their upfront efforts, the program may not have been as successful.

The governing board for the Pine-Strawberry School will meet on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in room 114. Jessica Barnett and Margaret Parker have been re-elected as president and clerk, respectively. Other elected positions are as follows: Jennifer Zimmerman, legislative liaison; Diane Roeder, Arizona School Boards Association delegate; and Michelle Wintrich, media representative.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the Pine-Strawberry School will be making up for the snow day they took Dec. 16 on Monday, Jan. 19. The kids would normally have that day off for Martin Luther King Day. Sorry kids, looks like it will be mid-February before you get another holiday.

On a lighter note, the public is invited to the school between Jan. 20 and Jan. 23 to view this year’s science fair exhibits. The projects will be on display in the main hall. It’s always fun to see the creativity of our young people and I’m sure the exhibits will be well worth visiting.

At the library

The second in a series of six home-school art classes is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 29. These free classes take place from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the activity room of the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library.

Nancy Lombardi of Pine has arranged a ski trip for home-schooled children to Snowbowl Ski Resort north of Flagstaff on Thursday, Feb. 12. The cost per child is only $10 and includes equipment, a lesson, and an all-day pass. Parents who wish to go will also receive a discount off the regular price. All home-schooled children are welcome regardless of age or experience. To sign up or get more information, you can call or e-mail Nancy at (928) 476-6422 or jjnlombardi@yahoo.com.

Bible club

The Good News Club has resumed its after-school program in Pine. This is a fun-filled, Bible club open to children ages 6 through 12 that meets each Wednesday. If you would like more information, contact Ed and Jan Miller at (928) 468-1240.

Blood drive

There will be a community blood drive from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Jan. 20 at the First Baptist Church in Pine. All participants will be entered in a drawing and eligible to win a large quilt donated by the Strawberry Patchers.

You may also want to purchase raffle tickets at the library for a drawing to be held on April 18. The winner will receive a beautiful yellow rocking chair donated by Jean Vogel and a lovely, handmade quilt from Cheryl Olney. The tickets cost $1 for one, $5 for six, or $10 for 15. All of the proceeds will help fund the children’s programs at the library.

Water forum

There will be a community forum relating to water issues at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 17 at the Pine Cultural Center. This closely follows the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District’s regular board meeting, so it is a perfect opportunity for citizens to ask questions and have issues clarified in an informal setting.

Well that pretty much sums up the week in Pine and Strawberry. Hope you have a great week and God bless!

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