Members Of The Congresswoman’S Staff Will Be Holding Regular Office Hours At The Board Of Supervisors Office, 610 E. Highway 260, The Second And Fourth Tuesday Of Every Month.

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Admittedly — the news is discouraging sometimes, what with oil spills, deficit blowouts and nut job terrorists.

But then, you don’t have to read far for signs of hope.

Just browse today’s newspaper.

You’ll find the story of Victoria Rubio — sitting peacefully at home, when she heard someone shouting in the apartment complex.

She ran outside barefooted with her two children — and saw smoke pouring from a neighbor’s apartment.

Victoria and her son sprang into action.

Her son, being young but inexperienced — threw water on what turned out to be a grease fire. Which made matters worse.

Fortunately, Victoria grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out before it could spread — although she suffered burns to her feet and smoke inhalation.

Now, the firefighters will tell you they don’t want civilians running into smoke-filled rooms. And they’re right. Shouldn’t do it. We’re not encouraging it.

But still — we can’t help but take heart that this wonderful community produces neighbors like Victoria and her brave son.

And if you think that’s a fluke — read a little further.

You’ll find that the rising temperatures brought out a wave of neighborly heroism — this time on the part of the busy search and rescue teams, staffed mostly by volunteers.

They hear about a boy in trouble down in Fossil Creek and set out immediately. They rescued not only the boy, but a woman suffering from potentially deadly heatstroke on the way into the canyon.

Most of those volunteers worked all day — to save strangers.

All right. Two examples. What are the odds.

Don’t stop reading yet.

Note the little story about the 400 people who turned out to walk for miles to raise money to find a cure for cancer. About 100 of those people are cancer survivors — the rest have no doubt passed through that same fire with a loved one.

So they formed teams and walked around the high school track — and raised $32,000 to help strangers.

What a place to live — with such neighbors.

Never mind the perfect weather, the beautiful vistas, the burbling trout streams.

If anyone wants to know the best thing about living in Rim Country — just hand them a copy of today’s paper.

Heroes live among us.

And best of all, they’re our neighbors.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst

We’ve just recorded the hottest year on record globally. But here in Rim Country — the reservoirs are full and work on the Blue Ridge pipeline continues.

The juxtaposition of the global heat wave and the local reserves underscored the value of that most useful of adages: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

So the debate continues about the speed and cause of the rise in temperatures globally. The overwhelming scientific consensus suggests that a greenhouse effect caused by human pollution plays a significant role in a worrisome trend. Critics counter that some studies and scientists have overstated the strength of the connection — and that fossil records testify to such warming trends in the past, when humans had nothing to do with it.

Perhaps. Perhaps the mounting evidence pointing to a strong human effect will prove overstated or misleading.

But that doesn’t really matter at the moment: remember, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Would that the British Petroleum and the federal regulators had taken that adage to heart in the Gulf of Mexico.

Fortunately, generations of effort here in Rim Country have exemplified the value of persistence and a long-range view. As a result, even this brief respite from a decade of drought has refilled the reservoirs on which the Valley — and therefore Arizona — depends.

And here in Rim Country, far-sighted public officials continue to work tenaciously to make the Blue Ridge Reservoir pipeline a reality.

Perhaps we’re past the worst of the drought — or perhaps it will return worse than ever.

We hope the experts are wrong. But we’re laying our plans here in case they’re right.

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