You hold the Tuesday paper in your hands. But by the time we publish again on Friday, odds are another Arizona resident will most likely have been murdered by an intimate partner.
Domestic violence remains the great scourge of our society. Surveys suggest that one in three women will suffer physical or sexual assault in their lifetime — most likely at the hands of family members or intimate partners. A much smaller number of men also will die at the hands of their partners. Nationally, domestic violence claims three lives every day. Last year that included 100 Arizonans.
A much larger number of Americans suffer serious injury. Domestic violence accounts for an estimated 37 percent of women’s visits to the emergency room.
Nearly every week, the Payson police report an arrest in one or more domestic violence cases. Recently, that included three arrests in a single day.
That’s why we hope you will turn out for Thursday’s candlelight vigil and walk sponsored by the Time Out Shelter, which has done so much to protect women and children here in Rim Country.
The 28-bed shelter is nearly full most nights and continues to find a safe place for women and children fleeing violent relationships. Often, women and their children endure terrible abuse because they don’t have the money or the freedom or the family support to seek an escape. They know full well that many women murdered by their intimate partners die because they tried to leave. That makes the immediate, comprehensive support of places like the Time Out Shelter so crucial.
So go to the walk. Demonstrate your support in the most visible possible way. Send that message to those hidden, suffering victims, desperate to leave, but unsure of the help they need so desperately.
And even if you can’t make the vigil, we hope you will call the Time Out Shelter and offer your support. The shelter provides 10,000 nights of safety each year to women and children in this community, relying on a $760,000 annual budget to operate 28 long-term beds and 19 transitional beds. Much of that money comes in the form of grants and contracts, but about a quarter comes from donations and sales in the shelter’s thrift store.
The shelter could not survive without the help of this community — including the 18,000 hours donated each year by a dedicated core of volunteers.
Philosopher Edmund Burke once said all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That remains tragically true today — especially when it comes to an evil as pervasive but covert as domestic violence.
The abuse goes on because too many have stood by in silence for too long. It is time we all joined those good people who can no longer bear to do nothing.
Farmers market defies pessimists
Like they say: Stuck with lemons — make lemonade. That goes double if you can grow your own produce. So we must congratulate the folks who have worked so hard these past two years to turn the Payson Farmers Market into a regular, Saturday Rim Country pleasure.
The tripling of sales from last year to $136,000 represents a heartening swim upstream against the current of the downturn — which has hit so many businesses hard these past two years.
Organizers stage the event every week in the Sawmill Crossing parking lot, hoping that local folks selling fresh produce an all manner of surprising things to eat can find an audience.
Sure enough, attendance at the event has built steadily, so that now about 1,000 people wander past the offerings of 40 vendors every weekend — making deals on fresh-squeezed lemonade to hummus, lotions, local honey, fresh-baked bread, salsa and chocolate.
The market has turned into a celebration of our treasured small-town life, with pie baking contests, live music and visitors wandering around with pet birds on their shoulder or llamas in tow.
We’re happy to note that the great American willingness to take a chance and defy the pessimists remains alive and well in Payson — right between the honeycombs and the giant tomatoes.
The oldest vendor is 89, selling the fruit of his garden. The youngest is 8, selling that tasty lemonade and learning one of life’s core lessons in the process.
The season ends next Saturday, as fall weather shuts down the supply of local produce.
We hope the market continues to grow next year.
Heck, by then — maybe even the businesses that have clung grimly to survival during this interminable bad patch will see a change of economic seasons — and start selling some revalued lemonade of their own.