Kudos To P/S Firefighter

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Mike Brandt

Congratulations to Captain Mike Brandt of the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department. Mike was recently voted the Best Firefighter in the Payson Roundup’s reader’s poll and I can’t think of a more deserving individual.

As the former fuels management officer, Mike worked tirelessly within our communities, educating the public, and writing many successful grants to help implement numerous innovative firewise practices that are now serving as models throughout our nation.

In my encounters with Mike, I have been impressed not only with his knowledge of forest fire mitigation practices, but his passion and dedication to protecting our towns from catastrophic wildfires.

If you see Mike around town, be sure to shake his hand — we are fortunate to have him serving in our community.

Tomorrow (Saturday, March 6) the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library in Pine is having a special open house to celebrate the newly finished Children’s Room addition. The event takes place from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and will include a tribute to Dr. Seuss, a visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog, and refreshments. The staff at the library has been very busy this past week re-organizing the entire place, so stop in and see the many changes. The library will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, March 9.

There will be two Movie Madness Events to coincide with the Pine Elementary School’s spring break this year. The school break begins March 8 and the kids won’t return to school until March 22. The first movie takes place on Thursday, March 11 at 2 p.m. They will be showing the Nickelodeon film “The Penguins of Madagascar.”

On Friday, March 19, at 11 a.m. the Arizona Science Center will host a special presentation at the Library Activity Room called “Really Cool Science.” Through various experiments, the students will have an opportunity to witness the unusual things that happen to matter when exposed to extreme temperatures. The exhibit is geared toward students from the fourth-grade through high school and begins at 11 a.m. Seating is limited, so reserve your spot today by stopping by the library or calling (928) 476-3678.

The AARP Tax Aide Volunteers will be back at the First Baptist Church in Pine on Thursday, March 11 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. to assist low to moderate income individuals or those who are 60 and older with their tax preparation. There is no cost for this service, however, when you come, please bring a picture ID, Social Security cards for all persons claimed on the return, last year’s tax return, your 2009 tax documents, and proof of real estate taxes actually paid in 2009 (for the property tax credit).

If you haven’t already marked your calendar for the Sweet Spring Fling in Pine, there is only one week to go. Bring your friends and family to this community event which includes a baking contest and sale, live music, pie-throwing contest, food vendors, and a classic car show. The fun begins at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 13 and admission is free, so come spend a day in Pine and celebrate spring! If you have a favorite recipe to enter into the contest you may get an entry form at www.pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com or call (928) 476-3655.

The Pine-Strawberry School will host a Pine-Strawberry Kiwanis organizational meeting at 5 p.m., Thursday, March 18 in the school library. The Kiwanis is an organization with the mission of “Serving the Children of the World” and our local group has a special interest in helping the kids in our own community.

They support both the Kiwanis Builders Club and the Terrific Kids programs at the school. The Builders Club helps develop leadership skills in children between grades five through eight. Terrific Kids is a student recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem and perseverance in students between kindergarten and fourth-grade. If you are interested in learning more or have any questions at all, please contact Mike Clark at (928) 476-3283.

It’s almost time for the DPS Quilt Angels annual quilt-a-thon. This year’s event will once again be held at the First Baptist Church in Pine and is scheduled for March 24, 25 and 26 beginning at 9 a.m. and sewing until 4 p.m. each day (or until the goal is met!). Sewers and non-sewers alike are welcome as there are plenty of jobs available for both.

The purpose of the quilt-a-thon is to construct approximately 300 lap-sized quilts that are kept in each and every Department of Public Safety officer’s patrol car, then used to comfort accident victims and those in distress. While the quilt-a-thon may sound like a lot of work, the fact is the fellowship and satisfaction of knowing you are part of such a worthwhile cause really makes the time quite enjoyable. Not to mention the wonderful potluck spread the Angels share each afternoon! I encourage you all to come be a part of this year’s event — you’ll be glad you did.

Hope you have a great week enjoying our beautiful forests and mountain streams.

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