Area Controlled Burns In Full Force

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Jodee Smith photo

One of the many interesting experiments on display during the Pine-Strawberry Elementary School’s recent Science Fair.

The controlled burns have been in full force around our communities for the past few weeks. I, for one, am grateful!

If you spend any time at all in the forest around our towns, then you have seen the hundreds upon hundreds of huge slash piles laying everywhere. The sheer quantity and size of them is staggering. Cutting and piling them was certainly a good start, but considering the slow rate of decomposition here, they continue to be a major potential fire hazard to our towns.

In an ideal world we could use all of the wood in an environmentally safe manner that would benefit and please everyone — but in the real world they need to be dealt with — and the sooner the better. Fire season will be here before we know it, so thank you to our forest managers and fire department personnel for doing all that you can to keep our communities as safe as possible.

If you were at the PSWID board meeting on Jan. 15, then you may have been as surprised as I was to hear that the board and Brooke Utilities have come to an agreement on at least some of the thorny issues they’ve been battling before the ACC. It seems that Brooke will dismiss its arbitration claim and release the escrow funds that pertained to the K2 well without prejudice, while the PSWID board will dismiss its claim to revoke the Pine-Strawberry Water Company’s CC&N. The two sides have also agreed to sit down together Feb. 5 (with lawyers in hand!) to begin discussing the acquisition of the water companies by the community. According to the PSWID board’s lawyer, abandoning all of the pre-acquisition skirmishes will save both sides money — let’s hope so!

School activities

Did you have a chance to visit the Science Fair exhibits at the Pine Strawberry School this week? The kids did a great job. I counted more than 45 exhibits ranging from which beverage rots healthy teeth faster (Coke) to researching whether or not hybrid cars are better for the environment (conclusion: since it takes a lot of energy to manufacture them and they produce significant amounts of CO2, a new, fuel-efficient car or clean diesel are probably better for the environment). One of the most unusual projects involved making a grapefruit clock that actually worked. Perhaps fruit will be the wave of energy efficiency for the future.

The kids will also be showcasing their abilities this coming week as they perform in the school’s talent show. Parents, grandparents and family friends can come cheer the performers on from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27, or catch the evening performance at 6 p.m. on the same date. The show will be held at the school gym.

The following day, Wednesday, Jan. 28, the school will hold a spelling bee at 1 p.m. which will also be open to anyone who would like to observe.

Library happenings

Roberta “Punk” Madaras will be at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 11, to discuss and sign her new children’s book. The book is titled “Piney V’s Discoveries at the Bark Park.” As you can guess from the title, the book highlights the adventures of her own adorable beagle. Many local families know Punk through her former work as a speech pathologist at the Pine Strawberry Elementary School and since the 11th is an early release day the library hopes there will be a good turnout for this free event. For those of you who are coming from out-of-town, the library is at 6124 N. Randall (one block west of the Beeline). For more information, call the library staff at (928) 476-3678.

Judy Voran will be teaching two genealogy classes at the library activity room in March. The first class is for “true beginners” and will take place Wednesday, March 11. The second class will take place Wednesday, March 18. Both classes run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break at midday. The fee for each class is $10 and there is limited seating, so you are encouraged to register early. All of the proceeds from these classes will be added to the computer lab maintenance fund.

The library is continuing its extremely popular See’s Candy sales fund-raiser. These delicious chocolate bars come in a variety of flavors for only $1.50 each. The size and quality of the bars make them a real deal.

Time is running out to sign up for the home-school ski trip to Snow Bowl on Feb. 12. This is a great bargain open to beginners and experienced skiers alike. Call Nancy Lombardi at (928) 476-6422 as soon as possible so she can get a head count and arrange carpooling.

Ramada update

The lovely weather we’ve been having has enabled work to resume on the ramada. Steve McDowell of Blue Moon Construction “loaned” the community a crew to get the metal roofing finished. Charley Bayer also supplied a painting crew to help out with the touch-up work. According to Melvin Palmer, president of CERCA, all that’s left to be done is some electrical work and hanging the gutters. Eventually, the group hopes to enhance the cosmetics by having river rock or flagstone placed over the concrete pilings, but all in due time. This has certainly been a community effort with just about every group in our area contributing in some way. We are fortunate to have so many talented and generous folks willing to pitch in.

And that is the week in Pine and Strawberry! May God bless you this week!

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