Wednesday, June 29
Most of us in the Rim Country are senior citizens, at least according to oft-quoted statistics. That includes a lot of the folks here at The Rim Review. So, in planning what to include in this edition of our special Senior Living publication, we decided to include information that was of interest to us. We hope it will be of interest to you as well.
Hospice Compassus encompasses more than helping those in the last stage of life and their families, it also provides the community with a source of information about health care and services. The staff of Hospice Compassus is trained to help get everyone the right help needed.
Imagine for a moment the following situation: Your 75-year-old mother has fallen and broken her hip. After leaving the hospital, who is going to be there to help her through recovery? She lives alone and needs help around the clock until she gets back on her feet, but you live out of town. This is just one of the many scenarios in which the need for non-medical in-home care comes into the picture.
When grandchildren begin their financial life, good advice about their personal insurance selections can save them a fortune and perhaps spare them a ton of heartache. The foundation of a young family’s personal insurance plan consists of life insurance, disability insurance and medical/health insurance.
Welcoming the arrival of summer, the 2,000-plus members of Payson Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle also welcomed a new advisor. Jan Parsons joined the Senior Circle as its advisor on May 23, 2011. While she is new to the job, she is a familiar face in the community and has long been part of the PRMC family. She served on the hospital board and was its chairman when it became part of the CHS family and helped start the annual Women’s Health and Wellness Forum.
The Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation (S.C.A.F.) was set up to run the Pine Community Center more than 20 years ago. The S.C.A.F. also, semi-officially, stands for seniors caring about family & friends. That semi-official name more aptly reflects what the staff and volunteers of the organization do for the communities of Pine and Strawberry and neighboring areas.
Naturally, the focus of the community’s long-term care facilities is primarily the medical services provided patients, however, there is also an effort to serve the area’s greater population.
Today’s baby boomers are growing older gracefully. And although more than 10,000 boomers each day will turn 65, most are not letting their age stop them from maintaining active and healthy lifestyles. Here are a few ways to ensure that you (or the ones you love) stay healthy, active and safe
‘The senior demographic is quite possibly the best generation to emulate when trying to live an environmentally responsible lifestyle. That’s because so many of the guidelines for being green are concepts that have been a part of seniors’ lives for decades.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a new report showing that more than five million Americans with traditional Medicare — or nearly one in six people with Medicare — took advantage of one or more of the recommended preventive benefits now available for free, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Statistics are proving that age 70 really is the new 50. According to the U.S. Travel Association, mature travelers ages 65 or older represented 21 percent of all leisure travelers in 2010. From taking a trip with their grandchildren across country, to living out dreams in far, exotic destinations, today’s seniors are choosing to enjoy their golden years traveling.
Work, kids, working out, taking care of the house, and a hairline that’s heading for the back of your collar — it’s enough to make a guy understand why some men feel the urge to buy an outrageously impractical sports car at this stage of life. But you don’t need a mid-life crisis. What you need is a road trip.
Tuesday, June 28
Mortgage interest rates are unbelievable. Way back when (1978) I bought a home and financed my home at an interest rate of 9.25 percent and thought I hit the jackpot because that rate was 1/4 percent below the market rate.
A female elk on Sunday attacked a Payson resident, knocked her to the ground and stomped her before the woman’s husband managed to drive the inexplicably enraged creature away.
Three forest fires in northern Arizona, including one that started Thursday, are nearly contained with crews reinforcing hundreds of miles of enforcement lines. Firefighters have wrangled in the Wallow, Willow and Wash Fires and hope to have full containment on several of them later this week.
Don’t fear the stranger in the darkened parking lot, but be wary of that cute guy you just met at the party. In the past two years, most sexual assaults in Payson occurred by the hand of a friend or acquaintance — usually at parties when people have been drinking. A survey of police reports by the Roundup show that most assaults occurred when substances were involved.
The Payson Town Council unanimously approved a resolution calling on the Forest Service to move quickly to embrace the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4-FRI) to protect vulnerable communities from the kinds of ravenous wildfires that this month have consumed more than 700 square miles of forests near Alpine.
The combination of rising temperatures, dry tinder, a forecast of dry lightning this week and wildfires already burning, has prompted officials to close most of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.
Gila County grapples with steep cost of adding metal detectors to courtroom entrances
Alarmed by a security breach, Gila County supervisors last week pondered the cost of increasing security measures in county buildings and courtrooms. The concerns stem from an incident in Globe in February when a visitor slipped through a back door behind a staff member after hours.
The Pine Library Friends will have a Fourth of July Book Sale and Quilt Raffle. The sale is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, July 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 2 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, July 3 at the Library Activity Room located behind the cultural hall at the Pine Community Center.
The family of Don Bissett would like to thank everyone who helped celebrate his life at Rumsey Park.
Last month we wrote a story of our dog named Payson, who was adopted from the Payson animal shelter in 2000 at 5 weeks old, became a certified therapy dog, and sadly passed away last month to a brain tumor. The loss of our Payson has been devastating and depressing.
What caused our anti-war president who directed the closure of Gitmo as his first act with a presidential memorandum, to change into this creature that has us deeply involved in three wars now with Libya, and heading for a fourth one by launching missiles into Yemen.
I was looking at our town’s tourism Web site, www.PaysonRimCountry.com for information about this weekend’s 4th of July events and was really taken aback by what I found.
Some people want to see the president returned to office next year.
For the third time I have voted against starting another war. Today I voted against two resolutions that would have congressionally authorized continuing, but supposedly limited, military operations in Libya. We are already militarily engaged in two fronts, Iraq and Afghanistan, and in my view, a third front on our Southwest border.
Don’t mess with the elk.That’s the object lesson offered by the strange tale of the renegade elk in today’s paper. Lori and Jeff Limebeer have enjoyed the wildlife wandering through their front yard in Chaparral Highlands for years. So when a curiously solitary female paused in their front yard and stared impassively at Lori as she watered the flowers, she wasn’t worried. In fact, she got her camera and snapped a few photos.
Every spring people ask us (the Forest Service) if we are ready for fire season. Some might say we can only know the answer after the season is over. But I believe we can be ready for wildfires, in fact, we must be ready, knowing events won’t always turn out exactly how we would like.
Start eating all those power meals now and maybe add some extra reps to the exercise routine — the Rim Country will be so full with fun and festivities for the Fourth it will feel like a flood of good times. Activities start Friday, July 1 and continue through Monday, the Fourth of July. There will be big fund-raising events, an arts and crafts festival, a chili cook-off, concerts, lots of good food all over the place and of course, fireworks over Green Valley Lake.
Driving up to The Rim Club on summer solstice last Tuesday, I had no idea what awaited me at Luna Fest, a dinner and a movie event to support a girls program spearheaded by Holly Crump. With two daughters and a soft spot for a good cause, I plunged into the experience with no clear idea as to what awaited.
Plan on making a couple of trips to the Payson Public Library this summer to take in all of the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, Key Ingredients: America by Food. It may not look like all that much upon first entering the meeting room where it is displayed, but upon closer inspection, your brain might be a little boggled — there is that much to see. Tall, folding panels have made the meeting room a maze. Each panel tells a story with illustrations and words — you have to stand back a bit to get the full impact of the illustrations and then move in closer to read the words and enjoy the details in the photos and drawings.
This year Rim Country Health and Retirement Community began an outreach program with classes and an open gym. Presented Thursdays, at no charge, classes are offered from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month and from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. the third Thursday; open gym is held from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. the second Thursday and from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. the fourth Thursday.
Jan Parsons joined the Senior Circle as its adviser on May 23, 2011. While she is new to the job, she is a familiar face in the community and has long been part of the PRMC family. She served on the hospital board and was its chairman when it became part of the CHS family and helped start the annual Women’s Health and Wellness Forum. A resident of Payson for 25 years, she recently retired from APS where was the manager of energy delivery for northeast Arizona.
Unrestricted water access, repairs and improvements bring need for more money, PSWID board says
For the first time in years, the 3,200 customers of Pine-Strawberry have had unrestricted water access, but that access comes at a cost. To continue with improvements, the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District board said last Thursday that it must raise next year’s budget by 47 percent to continue improvements to the water delivery system. The board unanimously approved a $4.58 million budget, which included an unallocated $800,000 for infrastructure and other improvements and $247,000 to move pipes for the Pine Creek Canyon Road widening project initiated by Gila County in the fall. This year’s approved budget is $3.12 million.
With forest closures and fire restrictions limiting some recreation opportunities on the Tonto National Forest, officials are advising people to look ahead when making weekend plans. “We want people to know that the Tonto is open for business, and so are the towns and businesses that cater to our visitors,” said Deputy Fire Staff Helen Graham.
From small urban spaces to sprawling country acreage, the 2011 Mogollon Garden Tour offered a sprig of everything — which is just the purpose of the tour, said Rim Area Gardeners Club board member Ann Prow. Prow and her husband Joe helped Will and Bev Wells show their garden. Prow, with a light in her eye and a lilt in her voice speaks with ardor about the plants, the tour and the club.
The man who in 2009 desperately wanted to coach football at Payson High School has been inducted into the National High School Coach Hall of Fame. Jesse Parker joined the elite group in ceremonies held last week at the National High School Athletic Coaches Association annual meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Troy Neal is at it again. The former high school basketball coach turned businessman, motivational speaker and most recently Gila County rancher is chalking up Payson Men’s Golf Association closest-to-the-pin wins at a record-setting pace similar to what he accomplished during the 2010 links campaign.
The Rim Country offers a variety of trout fishing opportunities within an hour’s drive of Payson. One of the most popular is Tonto Creek, only 17 miles east of town on Highway 260. Because of its popularity, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has a weekly stocking program from mid-April until the end of October.
Payson’s Club Rim 16-year-old volleyball team was honored to participate in the Lone Star Classic at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas April 22-24, 2011. Thanks to generous donations, our girls had the opportunity of a lifetime. They competed among 1,200 teams comprised of more than 14,000 athletes from more than 26 states, on 99 volleyball courts. The Lone Star Classic is the largest Junior National qualifying volleyball tournament in the United States.
Lady Longhorn volleyball coach Arnold Stonebrink is not mincing words over his three teams’ performances in the Blue Ridge Summer Tournament. “It was a bittersweet experience for our program,” he said. “Definitely like kissing your sister — who doesn’t brush her teeth.” The coach was referring to a tournament experience that was a bit dull and lifeless and almost resulted in a tie. For the tournament, Stonebrink divided his 23-player roster into three different teams, which, he said, “Gave each girl lots of playing time.”
Payson Little League Softball Director Felicia Moore is calling a Payson-area girls clinic hosted by former Arizona State University stars Brittney Matta and Renee Welty a roaring success. “Phenomenal, awesome — it was all that and more,” said Moore. “In fact, it was so good we are planning on bringing the coaches back a couple more times this year.”
Friday, June 24
The Arizona Department of Transportation will close a two-mile segment of Highway 260 20 miles east of Payson at 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through July 14.
Buying $800 to $1,000 or more in groceries and paying $50 or less because of coupons is now known as extreme couponing, thanks to a program on the TLC network. Monica Vaughn doesn’t really believe in or practice taking coupon shopping to the extreme. She believes in buying what you need and what you can use (or donate) and having a few extras to replace a product when you run out of it.
An Arizona State University campus in Payson will yield a host of benefits, including $40 million annually in new construction for a decade, 600 new staff jobs, hundreds of local construction jobs, ultra high-speed Internet and a more diverse, year-round economy, backers said Thursday before a crowd of about 60 people.
With Blue Ridge water too expensive, Star Valley shifted its focus Tuesday to buying three groundwater wells from Payson. The agreement would also limit the pumping of the controversial Tower Well, which provoked the incorporation of the town.
Fears that a forest fire on the Mogollon Rim would spread were all but thwarted this week with low winds allowing firefighters to wrangle in the Willow Fire. Unfortunately, just as crews were mopping up, another fire broke out, this time eight miles northeast of Heber-Overgaard.
The Rim Area Gardeners will host their annual Mogollon Garden Tour Saturday, June 25. Tickets are $5 per person and can be bought at the Pine and Payson libraries, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, at Ace Hardware, Plant Fair Nursery and Payson Jewelers.
The recent fires around Arizona may leave some of you wondering if something like that could happen here. The answer is yes. Hopefully not to the scale that we have just witnessed but it would still be a disaster if it was your house or your neighborhood.
In his June 21 piece, Mr. Aleshire is correct when he says that Medicaid does not “provide good enough care.”
The citizens of northern Gila County are being set up to be slighted again in the Gila County Decennial Redistricting of the Supervisorial and College District Boundaries. The Board of Supervisors is 2 to 1 against northern Gila County.
I live in the Woodland Meadows area and have a small dog that I walk daily around the neighborhood.
The go-ahead of building a full ASU campus in Payson, is the very best news for the Town of Payson since the early 1990s.
Payson’s school board members spent Saturday grappling with the future — and worrying about their relationship with the public. The session sometimes sounded like a combat debriefing, as board members talked thoughtfully about the lessons learned in the course of a traumatic year.
For the past few weeks, I have been involved in negotiations with the vice president and congressional colleagues as we attempt to develop a plan to fix our nation’s increasingly dire fiscal problems. The conversations have been long and difficult, but the effort is worthwhile. There is no greater crisis facing our country than that posed by the massive deficits and debt obligations that threaten to drown our economy in a sea of red ink.
For someone who at times in his life quite literally did not have two nickels to rub together I have been to an incredible number of places. When someone mentions places as far apart as Beaumont and Bangkok, Layton and London, Portland and Paris, Tempe and Tripoli, Venice and Vacaville, or even New Bedford, New Delhi, or New London they aren’t just names to me. They are places I know, and perhaps even love. But you know what, Johnny?
The MARCA Amateur Radio Club is again participating in the annual ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Field Day Event.
All animals available for adoption are spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations.
The Payson School Board at a weekend retreat fretted about criticisms that it too often rubber-stamps the recommendations of Superintendent Casey O’Brien, and grappled with the relationship between the elected board and the hired administrators. “We’re being scrutinized more than ever before,” said board member Kim Pound, who has in the past expressed frustration with the board’s role. “There are some people on this board that are irritated when you ask a question,” said board member Barbara Shepherd who, like Pound, is a newcomer on a tight-knit board.
David Tait, of EVO Swim School, who is running Taylor Pool for the Town of Payson, has made some changes in the schedule. He said it is expensive to fully staff lifeguards for the four-hour public swim each day. The public swim program is losing money at an unsustainable rate. To keep the admission price as low a possible, it is necessary to change public swim hours. Taylor Pool will be open for public swim only on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday starting the week of June 27. Open swim is $2 per visit from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The highlight for the Payson Women’s Golf Association for the month of May was the annual Memorial Tournament held May 31. The tournament ended in a tie, so the winning team had to be determined by a playoff. Taking top honors was the team of Shari Cody and Jan Burns, with Marcy Hewlett and Lois Judd coming in second.
Aspiring Payson High volleyball team members just returned from a one-day tournament in Winslow where they lost a 25-24 heartbreaker to defending state champion Monument Valley. “It was our first opportunity since last season to see if we could replace last year’s players who departed, especially graduating senior Trinity England and transfer Rachel DiFelice, who moved to Fountain Hills,” said coach Arnold Stonebrink. “I had a small team, just seven players, but they made up for it in desire.”
Twang….pffffft…thwack. Twang…pffffft…thwack. The sound of archers releasing their arrows and hitting the targets fills the still evening air, until this round of shooting ends. “OK, let’s get arrows,” 4-H leader Mike Burket calls out to the seven archers. The children put down their bows, grab their quivers and walk out to the targets, eagerly chatting about the shots they’ve just made. “I hit it right in the middle!” crows Cubby Connolly, a tow-headed 11-year-old wearing a baseball cap and shooting a compound bow.
A Havarah Jewish Group is forming for Friday Evening Shabbat potluck dinners. If interested, please call Nancy or Ike at (480) 563-3836 or (480) 703-7619, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shear Oasis Salon has a new hairdresser. “I am introducing a new appeal to everyone in our country town at Shear Oasis Salon located in north Swiss Village,” said Amber Crain.
Some investors find the thought of investing in the stocks of companies intimidating. After all, how do you possibly decide which companies, out of literally thousands, to choose? A good place to start is by taking a closer look at the products and services you use in your daily routine. Consider a day in the life of an average American.
The Payson Rimstones Rock Club as part of its community education program, has just awarded college scholarships totaling $3,000 to two Payson High School graduates. Jeb Ward, who plans on majoring in biology at Northern Arizona University, will receive $1,800 for the 2011/2012 school year and Daniel Conley, who will major in math and secondary education, will receive $1,200. The scholarships are rewarded annually to science majors and can be renewed annually on a competitive basis.
With their junior year of high school behind them, Natalie Black and Kathleen Kelly were two of the nearly 300 young women from across Arizona who attended the 64th American Legion Auxiliary Girls State on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson, June 5-11.
This past week I was looking back through some old photo albums that had been tucked away for a long, long time. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Have you ever looked back through your own pictures and muttered to yourself — Wow! I really looked “dorky” back then. Just look at me! Well, that’s exactly what I was saying to myself.
The forest fires around the state are alarming and frightening! This time of year is so dangerous to live amongst the ponderosa pine trees, but I don’t want to live anywhere else. I just wish that more people who visit and live within the forest would have more respect for the fragility of the forest. Even residents who live here year-round don’t show enough concern to obey the forest restrictions that are put in place by Tonto National Forest officials. They still build campfires, they smoke and throw their butts on the ground and show complete disregard of the fire danger. They ride their dirt bikes and quads on the restricted areas without spark arresters and in many cases, no license plate!
This is the last reminder for the Independence Parade scheduled for Saturday, July 2. John Mitchell is the originator and grand marshal of the Independence Day Parade, so if you have any questions you may reach him at 602-478-4729. We will line up in front of the Tall Pines Market at 12:45 p.m. and the parade will start promptly at 1 p.m. The parade will conclude at the Landmark on the Creek where there will be free ice cream for the kids. So, come on out and decorate your quads, golf carts, trucks, ATVs and bikes or you can get some exercise in and walk with your pet on a leash.
Much of these columns have to do with coming events with their dates and times. Summer is approaching the mid mark. We talk of time as racing by or running out, as though it was a finite commodity. I think that is because often we fail to stop and appreciate what is going on, only to later reflect on what we have missed.
Continued warm, calm days with highs in the mid to upper 80s and lows around the 50-degree mark are predicted with low or no winds. This welcome respite is allowing fire crews to get an upper hand on the Willow Fire near Bear Canyon Lake. Earlier this week, the size of the fire was re-classified downward in size from the estimated 400 acres to 213 acres due to updated field geospatial data received.
“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in
There aren’t any Marys on the 2011 Mogollon Garden Tour, presented by the Rim Area Gardeners from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 25, and a cockle is the common name for small, edible, saltwater clams, finding those on the tour is not likely either. What’s a soul to do? But take heart — there are the bells — not silver, but Bellflowers, Bluebells of Scotland, Canterbury Bells, Coral Bells and Lobella. And that’s just in one garden on the tour. Each year, the Rim Area Garden Club seeks out gardens to be featured on the annual Mogollon Garden Tour. There are six sites included in the 2011 tour. Three are in Payson, with one each in Star Valley, Whispering Pines and Washington Park. Each site will also feature either an artist or musician as part of the tour.
Thursday, June 23
Several Arizona National Forests under fire restrictions or closed entirely. Below is a list of closures.
The second session of the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department’s Summer Recreation Program is July 5 through July 22, and will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, Tuesday and Thursday. The cost is $75 per participant.
Food tells a story — several in fact. Where did the recipe for that dish originate? Where did the raw ingredients come from and how did they get here? Food’s story and the answers to those questions are found in the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition Key Ingredients: America by Food.
Are you a sucker for old movies? Join the Rim Country Literacy Program for three afternoons of old-fashioned fun. The Rim Country Literacy Program (RCLP) is presenting “Hooray for Hollywood” — a series of three classic movie afternoons scheduled for Sundays this summer at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. The price for the series ticket is $25. Tickets for individual afternoons may be purchased for $10 each, as space provides.
Forest fires are burning, parts of the forest have been closed to the public and everyone is wondering the same thing: when will we get rain again? Let’s take a look at Arizona’s “monsoon” and some recent area historical weather data. The term monsoon is probably a touch misused when describing Arizona’s late summer weather patterns. Dictionary .com’s first definition of monsoon is: “the seasonal wind of the Indian ocean and southern Asia, blowing from the southwest in summer and from the northeast in winter.”
It’s time to think about booking fall cruises that sail from August through October. As with any itinerary, you have many choices for the departure ports, ports of call, and length of the cruise. Offered are round trip cruises, with the same embarkation and disembarkation port, or one way cruises that either start in New York City or Boston, and end in Quebec City, Canada, or reverse.
Garden tour gives glimpse of handcrafted beauty
“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.” There aren’t any Marys on the 2011 Mogollon Garden Tour, presented by the Rim Area Gardeners from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 25 and a cockle is the common name for small, edible, saltwater clams, finding those on the tour is not likely either. What’s a soul to do?
Many of us think about what it would be like to vacation where few have gone or to explore where not many have ventured and to experience the ultimate thrill of nature. Today we’ll go to some of those places we only dream of seeing. National Geographic and Lindblad have teamed to give an explorer experience to the common traveler. We’ll outline some examples.
Will macular degeneration leave me completely blind? How long will it be before I cannot see anymore?
Wednesday, June 22
Coconino National Forest officials expanded campfire and smoking restrictions to the entire national forest, including developed campgrounds and recreation sites, Wednesday morning.
Tuesday, June 21
Star Valley will once again consider purchasing three wells from Payson for nearly $100,000 at a council meeting Tuesday.
Forest Service launches effort to thin 300,000 acres to reduce dire fire danger
With Arizona’s worst fire season in history still roaring, oft-delayed plans to use a resurrected timber industry to thin millions of acres of badly overgrown Arizona forests have suddenly gained broad support.
A Rim Country group working to find homes for homeless teens now has money — so what they need most are homes. So now people interested in housing a homeless teen can attend an information session about Payson Assisting Displaced Students (PADS) at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Payson First Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway.
The Payson School Board wants to expand testing and programs for gifted and talented students next year, but reluctantly concluded that state policies will make it impossible to expand vocational or foreign language programs. Those conclusions grew out of a day-long board retreat to settle on key goals for the upcoming school year.
At a crowded public meeting on redistricting Thursday in Payson, county officials reported that the district lines that have upset many north county residents for years can’t change much. Some 40 people listened to the county elections officials insist that federal rules protecting the voting rights of racial minorities will prevent any significant change in district boundaries for the Gila County Board of Supervisors or the Gila Community College Board of Directors.
With the Willow Fire on the Mogollon Rim snuffed, crews took on a new blaze Thursday afternoon, this time eight miles northeast of Heber-Overgaard.
As a famous reporter used to say, “and now for the rest of the story.” The recent story in last Tuesday’s Roundup reporting on the successful lobbying on the part of Gila Community College lobbyists was basically factual, but not correct. Acting on behalf of GCC is the point in question. Senator Sylvia Allen began a year-long process to achieve GCC independence that culminated with the legislative process. “Our” lobbyists were instrumental in orchestrating a compromise with the other community colleges which resulted in a loss of $6.2 million per year for GCC.
Thank you for your gracious introduction of Girls on the Run to Payson and Rim Country. Girls on the Run of Northern Arizona is excited to be partnering with the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network to expand our programs to girls in Payson this fall.
Having enjoyed the music last Saturday night at Green Valley Park, we left a little early due to the fact that the ladies restroom floor was covered with water and didn’t want to fall.
Let’s give this a try, it’s as good as any:
In response to the letters published June 10 and 14 referencing the ASU campus “What’s the rush?” I personally thank Mayor Evans every time I have the opportunity for the time, energy and influence he has invested in pursuit of an addition of a four-year college (hopefully ASU) to our beautiful town. We are privileged to have him serve as our mayor.
The Spring Rodeo was a great success despite concerns over the EHV-1 herpes horse virus. The support of the community was the biggest part of that success.
Bonhoeffer was a theologian who plotted to assassinate Hitler. He paid for this with his life. Glen Beck’s program judged liberals as atheists slandering Bonhoeffer as a humanist advocating a “social gospel.” Bonhoeffer would be a patriotic Tea Party fundamentalist.
What a blessing the residences of Payson are. A local Payson family felt that God was calling them to help out His four-legged furry friends that have been displaced by the Wallow Fire.
The other day, I was chatting with a longtime Payson resident who’d just built on a spare bedroom for me and then saved my beloved porch from collapse. He has worked hard all his life — and can do things with good sense and a hydraulic jack you’d normally have to hire four guys to pull off. He’s scrupulously honest and a perfectionist with hammers and screws. Somehow, we got to talking about his wife’s health care problems.
The Payson school board spent most of Saturday wrestling with its demons. Specifically, the five board members considered how the district could continue to help students learn while coping with state-inflicted budget cuts. On the positive side: The board seems ready to improve programs for the district’s brightest, most creative students.
Arizona catches fire. The drought returns. The monsoons flicker. The streams dwindle. The spring goes bone dry. Tornadoes touch down on the Rim. What the heck’s going on around here? A rush of new climate studies suggest that the steady rise of global temperatures has already ushered in dramatic and unpredictable weather patterns — inflicting a sputtering drought in the Southwest at the same time it floods the Mississippi and sends tornadoes rampaging across the Midwest.
Legislative diversion of HURF funding has cost Payson $3 million in the past four years. Now Payson has joined a toothless rebellion against the state Legislature’s habit of sweeping gas tax monies that for years have gone to cities and towns.
Do you realize today is the longest day of the year, the first day of summer? And, do you also realize that from now until Dec. 22 the days will get shorter? Since early times, humans have observed the summer solstice, a celebration of light and fertility. Many cultures still do, often marking the occasion with bonfires.
You may have heard something lately about “preventive health care.” What does that mean, exactly? At its most basic level, preventive health care means living a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet. Exercise regularly. Maintain a healthy weight. And stop smoking.
Museum road trip to visit sites associated with the life of Payson rodeo pioneer — Charlie Meadows Join docents on a road trip around the Rim Country to sites associated with Charlie Meadows, one of t
Join docents on a road trip around the Rim Country.
The Payson Unified School District will comply with federal rules and increase student meal prices 10 cents next year and more each year after that until prices match what the federal government pays to reimburse the district for students who qualify for free lunches. The board approved the increases at its board meeting last week. The board also approved the hiring of a new finance director and honored several teachers and departing finance director Bobette Sylvester.
The Lunafest Short Films — by, for and about women — is at 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 21 at the Rim Club, 300 Clubhouse, Payson.
Arizona Disc Golf Club and Parks Recreation and Tourism Department are sponsoring a Professional Disc Golf Association PDGA sanctioned tournament. Participants at Novice, Intermediate and Professional levels will play 18 holes with three rounds of competition.
“Radio Hams” from Payson will join in national deployment Public Demo of Emergency Communications June 25-26 along with thousands of amateur radio operators who will be showing off their emergency capabilities this weekend.
The Payson Art League’s June 21 meeting features Tanya Lambrecht as guest speaker. Lambrecht received her degree from the Colorado Institute of Art in graphic design, worked with ad agencies and ultimately opened her own graphic design studio.
In recent weeks, I wrote an article concerning the home trends in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Below and at right are graphs delineating the home sales and pricing trends in the Rim Country. The date on the graphs represents the results for the preceding calendar quarter.
If Arizona State University ever does strike a deal to build a Payson campus with a “green technologies” theme, graduates could reap big benefits. That’s one conclusion that emerges from recent research on the job prospects for people with an expertise in “sustainability,” including efficient energy design, solar energy, conservation, building design, geothermal power and other areas.
Every Kid Counts Executive Director Brian Chambers is sure the Arizona team will perform well at the High School World Bass Fishing Championships when they are contested July 18 to 23 near Russellville, Ark. “We have an exciting, experienced and a very strong team heading for Arkansas that should really be able to put Arizona on the high school bass fishing map in a big way,” he said. The organization Chambers heads, Every Kid Counts, is a charity that will sponsor the Arizona team when it competes in the national showdown.
Thanks to donations from community members and a stellar fund-raising effort, 10 members of the Club Rim 16-year-old volleyball team traveled April 21 to April 24 to Dallas, Texas to play in the Lone Star Classic Club Tournament. Coach Victoria Ibarra calls the entire trip a “wonderful experience” that gave the small-town girls the opportunity “to compete in a convention center that housed 90 volleyball courts and games simultaneously.”
The ages old dilemma of which league format — grade level placement or age/weight assignment — is best in youth league tackle football continues to haunt the Payson program. For years, Payson was a member of the Northern Arizona Youth Football Association and the Central Arizona Youth Football Association, and players were assigned teams based on age and weight. That process was similar to what Pop Warner does nationwide.
Most high school football coaches point to off-season programs as the key to giving their teams the winning edge once the gridiron campaign begins in earnest. Payson High School second-year coach Byron Quinlan is obviously among those who believe strongly in the philosophy. Knowing the importance of summer workouts, which build speed and size in players, as well as develop team camaraderie, Quinlan is now running an ambitious off-season program that includes passing league play and four-times-a-week strength and speed workouts at the school.
Payson’s Little League Softball Diamondbacks tuned up for post-season play by hosting the pitching-rich Blue Ridge team in a recent spirited doubleheader played at Rumsey Park. Traditionally, intra-town or intra-program games are not played during the regular season, but local Little League official Felicia Moore says, “When Blue Ridge called and wanted to know if one of our teams could play them, we said ‘yes’ because our all-star team will soon play (in the post season) and we needed to get the girls some good competition.”
Monday, June 20
With calmer winds, crews hope to get a handle on a forest fire burning near Bear Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim.
Friday, June 17
During busy summer weekends, thousands of off-highway vehicle enthusiasts convene on the Tonto and Coconino national forests for a bit of off-road fun. A nearly four-fold increase in off-road use in the last three decades is the driving force behind the National Forest Service’s effort to ban cross-country travel and designate a forest-wide plan of appropriate routes and trails. The Forest Service proposes to close down several hundred miles of roads in its new travel management plan, but also open several hundred closed routes and add several hundred unauthorized routes to the system.
Community officials briefed on new rules affecting government
The Arizona Legislature clobbered cities and towns this year with a host of new laws — but it could have been far worse, according to Arizona League of Cities and Towns lobbyists. “We will remember this legislative session as the most anti-city Legislature anyone can recall — it was just shocking,” said League Executive Director Ken Strobeck Wednesday at a meeting of top officials from Payson, Star Valley and Gila County. The Legislature gobbled up some $46 million in money that would normally go to cities and towns. That included more than $200,000 in various funds Payson would have received.
Construction of a bridge that could provide safe passage to 1,000 vehicles a day in Tonto Basin is one step closer to fruition after county officials met with homeowners Tuesday. After reviewing nearly six years of work at a second public hearing, officials are now waiting to clear the final layers of administrative red tape. Gila County is waiting on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to provide its biological assessment of the bridge and the federal government to decide if it will fund the $18-million project.
Extreme fire danger provokes full closure of Control Road
Tonto National Forest Friday shut down most of the forested portions of Rim Country, alarmed by bone-dry, drought conditions and hot, dry winds. The closure of the forest north of the Control Road, the Fossil Creek trailhead, and the areas along Forest Roads 583, 64 and 708 mark a dramatic response to what’s shaping up to be the worst fire season in Arizona history. The closure also includes most of the Mt. Ord, Four Peaks and Three Bar Wildlife areas to the south, together with portions of Apache, Canyon and Saguaro lakes.
is welcome to participate, as space permits. Sellers need to bring their own table.
The Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund 4th Annual Golf Tournament was a great success! Gracie’s family and the GLH Children’s Memorial Fund extend our sincere thank you to all the volunteers, the golfers and the many, many sponsors of the tournament.
Does PSWID exhibit double standards when it comes to spending our money? The public was told no cost to rate payers for acquiring two water companies. Probably no increases for five years. 2009 board promised public no increased rates for two years. Result. Strawberry rates raised, followed by increase for both communities “effective” Jan. 1, 2011. Commercial users no change for summer usage, includes one that consumed 404,000 gallons last July.
My husband and I have been very impressed and grateful for the excellent leadership of Kathe Ketchem and her expert staff of teachers at the Payson Center for Success.
The Humane Society of Central Arizona wishes to thank the many sponsors, contributors, friends, volunteers and attendees who came together to make the June 4, “Reds, Whites, Bronzes and Bluegrass” fund-raiser a remarkable day and a major success for the animals who share our journey.
Our country will not survive as a great nation unless all socialist idea is squashed (eliminated).
Among its many problems, ObamaCare expands Medicaid, the beneficiaries of which are almost twice as likely to die in the hospital than those with private insurance, according to recent studies. In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, American Enterprise Institute scholar Dr. Scott Gottlieb — a practicing physician — recently highlighted some of the problems with Medicaid and how ObamaCare expands the program by dumping more Americans into it.
A sloppy drunk in a bar turns suddenly to the well-dressed fellow on the adjacent stool — and takes the just-ordered shot of tequila out of the newcomer’s hand. “Don’t drink that,” says the drunk. “It’s bad for you.” Then the drunk drains the shot glass with a gulp and slurs, “Shame on you. Have you no self discipline?”
Last week we left off in 1771 as Captain James Cook and his crew barely escaped death on the Great Barrier Reef stretching along the northern coast of Australia. But death by drowning when a sailing ship was driven aground on a reef or a rocky shore by “contrary” winds was just one of the many things men and women faced in the day of the square-rigged European ship. There are worse things than drowning, Johnny. Read on.
The Payson Police Department is encouraging all Payson residents to join in on the National Night Out celebration by holding a block party in their neighborhood on Tuesday, Aug. 2. “It is America’s night out against crime and Payson’s “Night To Unite” to keep our neighborhoods safe,” according to a PPD press release.
Local teachers dominated the first Gila County Teacher of the Year awards ceremony June 3 in Globe, taking four of the five awards. Julia Randall Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Wayne Gorry took home the Teacher of the Year award for grades fourth through eighth.
Payson Little League softball officer Felicia Moore is urging aspiring players, 16 years and younger, to take advantage of the softball clinic to be offered Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26. “We really want to encourage the girls of Payson to sign up for the clinic, “ she said. “This is a great opportunity to learn skills by great players.”
Russ Morris enjoyed a day on the golf course that many golfers only dream about. It occurred June 8 during a Payson Men’s Golf Association individual low gross and low net formatted tournament. Competing in A Flight, Morris swung his way to a second-place finish in low net scoring with a sizzling 63. The score actually tied him for first with Frank Szakal, but on a scorecard playoff, Morris fell to second and Szakal took first.
The parents of 2-year-old Laytin Matthews are $3,000 closer to buying their blind son a specialized walker that will help him learn how to walk. The money represents the proceeds from the inaugural Motorcycle Charity Poker Run held June 4 in Payson, Pine and on Rim Country highways.
Payson High School football coach Byron Quinlan is urging his players to take advantage of a new and unique offer that will allow them free online concussion testing. “Our trainers do a great job with possible concussions, but (Mayo testing) is another tool out there,” he said. The concussion testing is now available to more than 100,000 high school athletes around the state including those participating in sports at PHS.
A promising young angler that might someday follow in the footsteps of professional fisherman Clifford Pirch could be honing his skills at Green Valley Park. He’s 7-year-old Andrew Williams, a second-grader at Payson Elementary School, who early this week landed his first fish — an 11-inch trout that he’s sure can be properly called a “lunker.” “My fish is so giant,” he said.
A field of 135 athletes from towns and cities around the state, as well as Vail, Colo., New Orleans, La. and the Detroit, Mich. suburb of Livona, turned out June 11 for the Town of Payson Sprint Triathlon. In the men’s competition, Adam Folts won his second Payson triathlon championship finishing first in 1:02:28 In 2008, Folts turned in the triathlon’s top performance by polishing off the three events in 1:04:57.
Along with spring flowers and paws crossed for lots of cat adoptions comes safety precautions as well. We are all very aware of the devastating fires that are going on in our state. It is very important to have an emergency plan in place for your family, including all of your animals. You can get a free sticker online to place in your window that lets people know how many animals are inside your home in case of a fire. Keep your family safe from fires and take all the necessary precautions to do so.
The Gila Trout Chapter #530 of Trout Unlimited Payson, Ariz. will be hosting its annual stream cleanup of the East Verde River Saturday, June 18. Volunteers should meet at the south end of Home Depot parking lot on that day at 7 a.m. The group will break up into teams and proceed to areas of the stream to conduct cleanup.
When people hear the words “estate planning,” they often assume it’s an activity only for retirees or near-retirees. But if you have a family, it’s never too soon to create your estate plan. Of course, estate planning can seem like a daunting task. But you’ll find it easier to handle if you break it down into three key areas: distributing your assets, protecting your family and reducing estate taxes.
Randy and Karen Wood build dreams — mostly those involving wood. Their motto sums it up nicely: “If you can dream it, we can build it.” On one recent afternoon, Randy was at his desk in a custom-built, travel trailer showroom in Payson, working on a drawing of kitchen cabinets for a new project and Karen was inviting people to tour their display. The trailer had a Murphy bed, a desk, new cabinets everywhere and a partially bare wall to show what the interior looked like before the conversion. Randy chatted about his work and how they came to convert this travel trailer into a showroom.
Hello again, fellow Creekers. Alex and Irma Armenta are helping to organize a fun-filled event to be known as the Independence Day Parade. It will commence on Saturday, July 2. Everyone participating will line up in front of the Tall Pines Market at 12:45 p.m and the parade will start at 1 p.m. The parade will wind around and conclude at the Landmark On The Creek with free ice cream for the kids.
In observance of Father’s Day this Sunday, I thought it would be fun to look at how dads’ special day came be. It appears that the first observance of Father’s Day took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. It was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been killed in a local mining disaster several months earlier. It’s possible she was influenced by the first celebration of Mother’s Day that same year, just a few miles away.
For the past two weeks, I have attended the Sunday church services at the Kohl’s Outdoor Chapel. It is a most enjoyable experience to be in the out of doors in a natural, forest setting. The pews are flat stones, the pulpit is hewn from the pine trees as well as the cross that is a prominent feature and stands just behind the pulpit. The services start at 8:30 a.m. Most of the congregation is from homes in Kohl’s Ranch, the visitors to the Ranch and some of the campers as well as residents from the surrounding area. Everyone is welcome.
The winds that have been prevalent the past two weeks fanning the Wallow Fire to our east have died down and calm, but very warm, conditions with no chance of precipitation dominate our weather pattern this week. Temperatures during the day climb to the lower to mid 80s with lows in the mid to upper 40s will continue through our weekend. No winds are predicted by the National Weather Service at this time.
Back in 2004, I lived in San Diego County and lived through a horrendous wildfire that started 40 miles away from the city, but burned into the city within a day. Almost 2,000 homes were lost, along with 17 lives. It came within a half mile of my back door, so I am pretty passionate about this topic. Fire is a serious business.
Food tells a story — several in fact. Where did the recipe for that dish originate? Where did the raw ingredients come from and how did they get here? Food’s story and the answers to those questions are found in the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition Key Ingredients: America by Food. The Payson Public Library, in cooperation with the Arizona Humanities Council, will host the exhibit from June 25 through Aug. 7. Most of us eat day in and day out without giving a second thought to the wealth of history and culture that shapes our dining habits and taste preferences. Our recipes, menus, ceremonies, etiquette and even our fast food are directly affected by our country’s rich immigrant experience, the history and innovations of food preparation technology and the ever-changing availability of key ingredients.
Thursday, June 16
Public safety concerns due to drought conditions, hot temperatures and increased fire danger have resulted in two temporary area closures on the Tonto National Forest beginning at 8 a.m., Friday, June 17.
Wednesday, June 15
Are you a sucker for old movies? Join the Rim Country Literacy Program for three afternoons of old-fashioned fun. The Rim Country Literacy Program (RCLP) is presenting “Hooray for Hollywood” – a series of three classic movie afternoons scheduled for Sundays this summer at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. The price for the series ticket is $25. Tickets for individual afternoons may be purchased for $10 each, as space provides.
The Moose Lodge in Star Valley will hold a Swap Meet starting at 7 a.m., Friday, June 17 and Saturday June 18. Everyone is welcome to participate, as space permits. Sellers need to bring their own table.
Learn food’s story at the library
Food tells a story — several in fact. Where did the recipe for that dish originate? Where did the raw ingredients come from and how did they get here? Food’s story and the answers to those questions are found in the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition “Key Ingredients: America by Food.” The Payson Public Library, in cooperation with the Arizona Humanities Council, will host the exhibit from June 25 through Aug. 7.
Preserving produce, making memories
Gardens, farmers markets and grocery store aisles are brimming with fresh, seasonal produce. What better way to enjoy those fantastic flavors all year long than by gathering friends and family to share nature’s bounty by canning together? “Canning together is easy, and it’s fun to make memories and great food,” says Mrs. Wages spokeswoman Laura Strickland. Strickland recommends your group plan ahead to divvy up the canning supplies and that everyone bring different fruits or vegetables to share so you all can take home a variety of canned goodies.
Ponderosa Church is presenting Surf Camp Vacation Bible School from June 20 through June 24. The Surf Camp program features fun riding the waves through crafts, music, drama, games and water day. While at Surf Camp, participants will be learning how important God’s word is in our lives — “Love it and Live it” is the theme.
Chapter 22: A Frightful Final Ride
Teacher Angie Mitchell had completed her term at the Tonto Basin school, and she was eagerly on her way home to Prescott. Her attempt to spend Christmas 1881 with her family and finance, Charles Brown, encountered one hazard after another on the trip. Now it was Christmas Day, and as the stagecoach from Wickenburg headed for the last mountainous road, doom almost caught up with her.
Now is not too early to begin planning a vacation for fall and winter. The airlines are cutting capacity because of slower sales after the summer, and the best accommodations in resorts and cruises are being reserved earlier than the past two years. Now, the best deals go early, and the later you book may mean higher prices. It used to be the reverse. We used to book later and wait for the “fire sales,” remember? It seems that cruise sales in parts of Europe are slower this summer because of high transatlantic airfares. Who knows what airfares will be this fall and winter. Not as high as summer, probably. It all depends on the price paid for fuel. Cruise ship fares have come down even for summer because the cruise lines can benefit with passenger spending onboard for spa treatments, gifts, extra fare restaurants, gambling, and shore excursions and so on.
Tuesday, June 14
Gila Community College’s legislative lobbyists Triadvocates touted their successes in winning the passage of bills to help GCC become independent and gain additional state funding at the June 8 board meeting. “None of the other state community colleges have this record of passing bills to move their agenda forward,” said Mike Gardner, a Triadvocates lobbyist and former state legislator.
There are two Gila County meetings planned for Tonto Basin on Tuesday, June 14.
Voting 3-0 Gila County Board of Supervisors adopted fees for permits to grow and distribute medical marijuana. At the June 7 meeting, the supervisors approved annual fees for conditional use permits to produce marijuana, charging $1,000 for a qualified patient and $5,000 for a designated caregiver or medical marijuana dispensary. The board had received three e-mails from the public protesting the “completely over the top ridiculous” fees. Another requested, “Please reconsider the current fees. If you still feel the need to charge a fee, then make it reasonable like $1,000 for dispensaries, $100 for caregivers and $50 for patients.”
Star Valley’s budget picture for next year remains rosy. With a $1.2 million rainy day fund, a projected $120,000 increase in photo enforcement revenue and state shared proceeds remaining steady; the town is well positioned to take on any new projects. At its last meeting the council approved a tentative $7.6 million budget — $2.8 million more than what was adopted in 2010.
Soaring cost of benefits, police, fire produce 18 percent increase
After years of decline, Payson’s $14.7-million general fund budget is set to go on a bender — jumping a 18 percent from this year’s spending. Town officials have repeatedly characterized the 2011-12 budget as bare bones, but the figures released when the town adopted its preliminary budget showed some big spending increases. The increases look even larger if actual, estimated year-end spending is compared to the proposed budget for 2011-12. In that comparison, the increase in general fund spending balloons to 23 percent. However, budgets typically include money for grants the town never actually receives. This year, the town actually spent $3.5 million less than the general fund budget adopted last June. The estimated, year-end spending tally came in 32 percent below last year’s adopted $11.8-million general fund budget.
After months of frustrating silence, ASU President Michael Crow and ASU Board of Regents Chair Anne Mariucci have issued a letter underscoring their commitment to building a college campus in Payson. “The Payson ASU campus endeavor is a significant component to the University System’s long-term strategic plan of nearly doubling the number of baccalaureate degrees the system produces by 2020 and increasing the accessibility and affordability of higher education to residents across the state.”
Special guests Yoyo and Sandi Collins from Salina, Okla. will present an inspirational concert at the annual picnic for Beyond Limits. Yoyo Collins was involved in a diving accident, which broke his neck and severed his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed.
The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) is committed to the successful development and completion of a modern ASU campus in Payson.
The Mountain High Games (quad rides) were a blast. If you missed the event this year, you need to make it next year.
Joanne Bergman’s letter to the editor, published in the June 10th edition, put into words so eloquently our feelings on the ASU campus being built in Payson. And like her, we wonder what the rush is.
As a doctor, I abide by the Hippocratic Oath that starts with: “First, do no harm.” If only our federal government had to live by that principle, the wildfires raging across Arizona may have been preventable and certainly would not have grown into the disaster that our state is currently facing. I write about the Wallow Fire and our forest management situation with sadness, anger and resolve. As I’m sure everyone is right now, I am deeply concerned for the communities in danger and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has suffered from this terrible tragedy. I would also like to express my most sincere appreciation to all of the men and women working around the clock to protect the lives and property of our neighbors.
With lobbyists like Triadvocates, who needs enemies in the Legislature? Triadvocates, who has a contract to assist Gila Community College in its efforts to secure funding and other legislative items which will benefit the college, touted its accomplishments at a recent board meeting. Triadvocates was proud that it secured $80,000 in workforce development money for GCC, while other colleges around the state got at least $280,000. And that $80,000 does not even go directly to GCC; it goes to Eastern Arizona College, which it so happens Triadvocates also represents. EAC presumably gets 25 percent of that $80,000 just for touching the money. Gila Community College, with the help of Sen. Sylvia Allen, was asking for its fair share of the workforce money along with legislation that would have allowed GCC to move away from being a provisional college.
A long history of alcohol abuse landed a Payson woman in jail last week after pleading guilty to aggravated drunk driving. A judge sentenced Irene M. Jackson, 49, to serve eight months in prison, three years of probation and pay more than $5,400 in fines after driving with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit. On Oct. 1, 2010, a Gila County sheriff’s deputy pulled Jackson over on a routine traffic stop. A police report said that Jackson’s eyes were red and bloodshot, her speech was slurred and she smelled strongly of alcohol. At the sheriff’s office, a breath-alcohol test revealed Jackson had a blood alcohol level of .228, nearly three times the legal limit of .08.
The Payson Town Council unanimously approved a plan to give developers up to 10 years to pay infrastructure fees that can add up to more than $10,000 per house and far more for commercial developments. The council last week approved the second reading of an ordinance that would allow developers to make annual payments for up to a decade — perhaps without paying interest. The measure had provoked some questions initially. Late last year, the town council approved an ordinance that would allow developers to spread out the fees — but which specified that the developer would have to pay interest on the unpaid balance.
Several weeks ago I wrote an article about Arizona legislation that pertains to the housing market. Below is some additional legislation that was passed and signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer. In most cases, the legislation will become effective July 20. HB 2005 — As I have discussed in previous columns, there are laws on the books to prevent illegal land divisions.
Although the Gracie Lee Haught Foundation has canceled its Father’s Day roping due to the EHV-1 virus, the Arizona High School Rodeo Association state finals went on as scheduled. Held June 8 to June 11 at the Payson Event Center, local officials took precautions to prevent a virus outbreak by canceling the barrel series on May 25 and June 1 and closing the center to horses until June 6. During the closure, Dr. Drew Justice directed a sanitization of the grounds and arena.
The Nar-Anon Family Groups is a worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone else’s addiction. As a Twelve-Step Program, it offers help by sharing experiences, strength and hope. It is designed to help relatives and friends of addicts recover from the effects of living with an addicted relative or friend. Nar-Anon’s program of recovery uses Nar-Anon’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. The only requirement to be a member and attend Nar-Anon meetings is that there is a problem with drugs or addiction in a relative or friend. Nar-Anon is not affiliated with any other organization or outside entity.
The annual Giro Lamborghini road rally brought the executive team from Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., and exotic Lamborghini sports cars through Payson on Sunday, June 12. Chaparral Pines Country Club hosted the visit, providing respite and refreshment for drivers, executives, organizers and technical crew.
Spending a day with Grandma, 4-year-old Emma Comeau of Fountain Hills took the last bite of her chocolate-covered strawberry, a huge grin spreading across her face. Without pause, she said, “Grandma, I need two more.” Her grandma worried Emma would get a stomachache after eating the two chocolate-covered strawberries and a plate full of homemade strawberry shortcake. But what’s a grandma to do? She bought two more.
Supervisors renew $6,500 per month agreement with Washington, D.C. firm
Gila County will continue to use the services of Patricia Power and the lobbyist firm of Bose Public Affairs Group in Washington, D.C. until June 2013. The current contract with Power was to have ended June 30. It was made May 12, 2009 and paid the firm $6,500 per month. The fee being paid to the firm is one of the points with which District 3 Supervisor Shirley Dawson had concerns. “With finances such as they are, I don’t think we should continue the contract. We should be addressing things ourselves.
Pine Flat Campground in Oak Creek Canyon will reopen this Friday, June 17, to greet campers after being closed for reconstruction since September 2009.
Pipeline releasing 12,000 gallons per minute into East Verde
The Salt River Project has finally completed a $13.3 million overhaul of the existing stretch of the Blue Ridge pipeline and started drawing from a 15,000-acre-foot, filled-to-the-brim reservoir. SRP has been releasing 12,000 gallons per minute into the East Verde River since April and will continue releases until snow once again blocks access to the pipeline and its pumping stations atop the Rim. Payson contributed nearly one-third to the cost of fixing leaks in the 33-inch pipe, plus the overhaul of a pumping station and a hydro-electric generator.
A group working to improve the quality of health for rural women recently received a $350,000 grant to use over the next three years. The Eastern Arizona Area Health Education Center (EAHEC) was one of 20 Rural Health Network Development (RHND) grant recipients out of 130 national applicants, said Holly Crump, network director at the Arizona Rural Health Women’s Network (AzRWHN). The network, made up of five area health education centers and seven state and nonprofit organizations working on rural women’s health issues, will use the funding to expand the network and improve women’s access to health information and services in their communities.
Former Lady Longhorn coach Grant Coley’s basketball camp, which begins tomorrow June 15, will last three days rather than two, as was mistakenly reported last week. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, June 15, Thursday, June 16 and Friday, June 17. The camp is open to girls entering grades five to nine next school year. The fee is $25 for all three days or $10 for one day. To participate, fledgling players should simply show up at old Payson High School gym on the first day of camp and be “dressed out” and ready to practice. Coley says, “The whole gamut of skills will be taught, including shooting mechanics, rebounding, dribbling, passing and defense.”
A small group of men fueled by a dedication to keep the pioneer spirit alive in the Rim Country has donated almost $20,000 to FFA and a Payson High School education program. The Gila County Pioneers Committee doled out the contributions just prior to PHS graduation ceremonies. The PHS FFA sponsor and agriculture instructor Jaydee Garner received $5,000, PHS woodshop teacher Richard Alvarez received a check for $5,000 and Young Public School FFA sponsor Sue Wade was awarded $10,000.
Friday, June 10
Dirty dishes fill the sink, soiled clothes are piling up and Melissa Powers and her family haven’t taken a proper shower in their Mesa del Caballo home in a week. With all this, Powers worries any minute her water will be cut off completely. Earlier this week, Brooke Utilities notified Powers that she was using too much water and would have to make due with 100 gallons a day. “Not enough” Powers says to take care of her two kids, four dogs and husband. Estimates vary, but each person in the United States uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water per day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In Payson the average, per-person use last year was 79 gallons per day, less than half the per-person average in Phoenix.
Tonto Apache Tribe and Safeway team up to send food, water; local fire departments send people
With the massive Wallow Fire burning out of control in the White Mountains and more people evacuated from their homes, local residents mobilized to provide help this week. On Wednesday, to go along with donations from Safeway, members of the Tonto Apache Tribe purchased much needed food, drinks and personal hygiene products needed in the Wallow fire area. The group loaded up their trucks with the supplies and headed out to the Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop/Lakeside, where an evacuation center is set up.
Feeling pressure from school districts, the Gila Community College board Wednesday reversed its decision to alter the tuition schedule. Instead of charging $88 a credit hour, the board reverted to its former schedule, which gives a discount to students taking between two and six credit hours. Still needing to fill a $630,000 deficit, the board agreed to tack a 25 percent increase on tuition and charge seniors 60 and older 25 percent of the $88. The new schedule should bring in an additional $350,000 with additional money coming from charging seniors partial tuition.
The Tonto National Forest went on full alert this week, braced for the onset of the worst fire season in years. The second biggest fire in state history in the White Mountains over the weekend grew to more than 380,000 acres or 608 square miles, forcing the evacuation of Springerville, Eagar, Sunrise, Greer, Alpine and Nutrioso and a host of subdivisions, including Escudilla Mountain Estates, Blue River, Bonita, White Mountain Acres and others. The fire also spurred pre-evacuation warnings in Springerville and Luna, N.M. The Forest Service issued a red flag warning for four days this week, alarmed by the 40-mile-an-hour-plus winds, predicted dry thunderstorms and bone dry fuels. The Forest Service shut down the entire Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests to public entry. The Coconino and the Tonto National Forest have also banned all fire-producing activities, both in the open forest and in developed campgrounds.
Towns spurn Gila supervisors’ late effort to join ASU campus bandwagon
Put a fork in him. Payson Mayor Kenny Evans is done. He was grilled by county supervisors in a work session last week and then turned over and grilled again at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday, June 7. Evans initially went to the county May 31 to invite it to partner with the towns of Payson and Star Valley in forming a Separate Legal Entity (SLE) that would help bring a four-year university to northern Gila County. He did not ask for money. He did not ask for special favors from the county. Evans even said if money were offered it would be refused. The point of the SLE, he explained, was to shield taxpayers from any financial liability in the plan to build a $500 million, 6,000-student, college campus and support facilities. But with the Gila County Board of Supervisors’ less than enthusiastic support for the project, Evans later declared the county was out of the deal.
Rim residents can make a bit of political history next week. The county’s Redistricting Advisory Committee (RAC) presented and reviewed guidelines for public input on the redistricting process at its June 6 meeting in Globe. The first round of public input meetings on redistricting the county supervisor and community college board districts started June 8 in San Carlos. Rim residents get their turn at the process next week at two separate meetings planned Thursday, June 16. The first meeting will be at 3 p.m. at the Ponderosa Baptist Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway, Payson and the other is at 6 p.m. at the Star Valley Baptist Church, 4180 E. Highway 260, Star Valley. The guidelines explain how those interested can develop suggestions for redistricting. “This is the document to be handed out to the public and available on the Web,” said director of elections, Linda Eastlick.
Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church is hosting a community breakfast from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., Friday, June 10 at 407 W. Wade Lane. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, coffee and juice.
The 2011 Rim Country Relay for Life Committee would like to thank all of our sponsors, participants and the members of the community who helped make this year’s American Cancer Society fund-raising event such a success in these difficult economic times. The event, which took place at the high school track over the night of June 3 and 4, raised in excess of $26,000 toward cancer research and patient services such as wig programs, transportation, scholarships and accommodation assistance for family members visiting hospitals. The top three fund-raising teams this year are: 1) Mazatzal Casino, 2) PRMC/Walgreens and 3) Hunt Family and Friends.
I have lived in Payson since 1992. After working for Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Co. for nine years, I could see the writing on the wall and decided to retire in May of 2009. Having worked 40 hours a week since I was 16, the first year of retirement was a joy! I got a lot of neglected work done around the house and took a lot of trips. (Trips are what you take when you are retired — vacations are what you take when you’re not). After about a year of this I was bored! John Stanton, Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce manager and Marty Putnam, Payson Visitors Center manager, had both worked at Foxworth-Galbraith while I was there and we are friends. They talked me into being a volunteer in the Visitors Center one day a week!
When the idea of a four-year college associated with ASU, situated on a 360-acre parcel on the west side of Highway 260, was first brought up I was in favor, but my position has changed. Recently we learned, by reading the Roundup that the “first phase” will be on 50 acres to the north of the highway; groundbreaking is planned for this December. The remainder is supposed to start when the town concludes purchase of the larger piece of land now owned by the U.S. Forest Service. I wrote a letter to the mayor regarding my concerns and why those of us who live right behind this smaller area were never apprised of this new plan. Building on the east side would entail a lot of left turning in an area where it is even now difficult and hazardous for residents and Gila Community College students. A campus on both sides of this already overstressed highway; is that a good idea?
Fact: If President Obama and Congress do nothing, Medicare will go broke by 2024. The independent auditor of the Medicare program (known as the Medicare Actuary) released a report in May that concluded Medicare will go bankrupt five years sooner than originally projected. The program is already out of cash; in fact, in 2010 alone, the program’s cash flow deficit will exceed $32 billion! So how are we paying for benefits today? With IOUs. These IOUs, in the form of Treasury bonds, are the borrowing that currently enables the government to pay its Medicare hospital bills — but even these IOUs will be exhausted by 2024.
Gila County supervisors, two of them anyway, seem to have their head in the sand when it comes to Rim Country issues. After two lengthy meetings with Mayor Kenny Evans, county supervisors reluctantly agreed that forming a separate legal entity (SLE) to help bring a college campus to Payson was a good idea — but only maybe and with reservations. The supervisors’ vote indicates they intend to join the towns of Payson and Star Valley in forming the SLE, but for Evans, the vote is too little too late. “They couldn’t get by what our motives were,” Evans said referring to Supervisors Shirley Dawson and Mike Pastor. “They didn’t understand we didn’t want anything.” So, Evans and Star Valley Mayor Bill Rappaport correctly moved forward without any county participation in forming the SLE — at least for now.
My first, and only, experience handling a sailboat came during my junior year in high school. For a kid my age it was high adventure. I got up in the middle of the night, dragged out my old bike, and pedaled through the night to Niantic, Conn. And there at anchor in the dawning light sat the Karakal, a 21-foot sailboat my friend Earl had named after the Tibetan mountain that towered above Shangri La in James Hilton’s novel “Lost Horizon.” Twenty minutes after I dropped my bike in the dew-wet grass beside the Niantic River, the Karakal was scudding across the bay, plowing through rolling surf on a windy October day. And what a day it turned out to be! One of the best of my life.
Travelers on Highway 260, east of Payson, will face multiple road closures and delays in the coming days. Arizona Department of Transportation will close a two-mile section of Highway 260, 20 miles east of Payson, at 2 p.m. Tuesday for 45 minutes. The same closure will occur through Thursday, June 16. The closure is necessary for blasting operations. Eastbound traffic will stop at milepost 269 and westbound traffic, milepost 271. Crews will use controlled explosives to excavate and remove rock for the new roadway. Drivers can expect delays up to 45 minutes.
MoJoe’s Café has expanded with its move off Main Street. The cafe is now open in the former location of Famous Sam’s in the Payson Plaza, which is located on the northeast corner of Highway 87 and Bonita Street. The move takes the cafe from 1,700 square feet to 5,800, making it one of the largest restaurant and lounges in Payson, said owner Cindy Kofile. The restaurant can accommodate more than 350 guests. Cindy, along with husband Andy Kofile, say they will miss the nostalgia of Main Street, but are excited to start their new adventure as restaurateurs off Highway 87. “Along with some very special friends and 30 days of intense cleaning, the new MoJoe’s Grill and micro-pub has re-opened with a new name, an experienced wait staff, BBQ and other great American food,” the Kofiles said.
The Payson campus of Gila Community College offers an Associate of Arts degree in art and in art education. Upon completion of an AA degree, students can transfer into a four-year college or university program, having most or all of their first two years of college education behind them.
“You’re not smart enough, thin enough or pretty enough.” Those are just some of the messages girls can hear from the TV and other media, their family and friends as they navigate the complicated world of middle school. These messages are capable of leaving a lasting impact and morphing many girls from who they are into who they think they should be. Amity Justice and Holly Crump hope to create a place where girls feel safe enough to explore their unique talents, make a few new friends and even complete a 5K run/walk. Justice and Crump are launching Girls on the Run in Payson this August.
Payson got a clean bill of health from its auditor last week, with a couple of minor “tsk-tsks.” However, the outside auditor also warned town budget planners they will have to cope with a new state law making it harder to set up separate funds for separate purposes. That’s probably not such a bad thing for Payson, which has a habit of stashing money in special funds and then kind of well, losing track. Auditor Dennis Osuch said that basically everything checked out in the town’s annual, state-required audit. The auditor reviews the town’s books and financial practices and makes in-depth reports on how the town handles millions of dollars in various state and federal grants. Osuch said the audit revealed only a few problems, like how the various departments tracked cash and valued various assets.
Ed Blair has his fingers crossed hoping the proceeds from an upcoming golf tournament will be enough to help fund the building of a new worship center and offices spaces at Mount Cross Lutheran Church. “We have money in the bank, but we need more,” said Blair, a longtime member of the congregation. The benefit tournament, which will be played in a four-person best ball format, tees off 1 p.m., Friday, June 24 at the exclusive Rim Club golf course located just east of Payson. A registration period will be held 11 a.m. to noon. The fee is $100 for members of Rim Club, Chaparral Pines or Payson Golf Course and $125 for non-members.
Payson High School football coach Byron Quinlan is hoping a full field will show up at Payson Golf Course when the Jack Morris Memorial Golf Tournament tees off at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, June 18 with a shotgun start. A good turnout would bode well for the football team, which depends on the proceeds from the tournament to purchase much-needed items that cannot be paid for with the cash-strapped athletic budget. For the upcoming tournament, Gary Cordell, who served as event director for seven years, has stepped down, turning over tournament responsibilities to the Morris family. Under Cordell’s stewardship, the tournament grew in stature to become one of the Rim Country’s most popular benefits, annually earning thousands of dollars for the Payson High School football program and a memorial scholarship given each spring to a graduating PHS senior.
Former Lady Longhorn basketball coach Grant Cooley, who led the team to one of its finest seasons in 2007 winning the 3A East region championship, has laced up his sneakers and is set to host a youth girls camp. Current Lady Horn coach Kelly Krieg will also work the camp. The camp, which will be 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 16, is open to girls entering grades five to nine next school year.
It’s called the Fire on the Rim, but the proceeds from it will be used to insure there never is a fire on the rim. The benefit is an inaugural mountain bike race to be held Aug. 6 on trails around the tiny mountain hamlets of Pine and Strawberry. The Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee is sponsoring the race, and a portion of the proceeds will be used to maintain and improve a fuel break around the two towns that was originally put in by the Tonto National Forest. PSFR Committee members, including Ernie Borgoyne, are lauding the event highly beneficial to all in the area because “our area is very volatile in regards to possible wildfire, and excessive woodland fuels must be removed.” His warning is certainly timely based on what is occurring in Eastern Arizona with the Wallow Fire. The Mountain Bike Association of Arizona is helping the committee host the first-ever bike race that is expected to attract biking enthusiasts from around Arizona. “We are expecting a large field,” said Borgoyne.
The first of two Challenger Sports British Soccer camps scheduled for Payson this summer drew 53 aspiring players, ages 3 to 18 years, to daily workouts on the Rumsey Park north field. The camp opened Monday, June 5 and wraps up today, Friday, June 10. The second camp will be June 27 to July 1, also at Rumsey Park. Challenger Soccer debuted in the Rim Country in 2008 and has returned each summer since to provide Rim Country youth a glimpse of what the sport is like in the United Kingdom.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s mandate to do away with the ages-old region-conference configuration in high school sports and replace it next school year with a division-section alignment will undoubtedly change the dynamics of smalltown Arizona sports. The transformation will be especially true in Payson because many of the old rivalries built up over the years, especially those formed in the now defunct 3A East region, will fall by the wayside The change to the new format went into effect for the individual sports, like wrestling, track and golf, at the onset of the 2010-2011 school year. For team sports, the change will not take place until the upcoming fall season.
Abraham Lincoln liked to tell the story about a fellow with a good attitude who got tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail. Asked how he felt about the experience, the man stopped pulling feathers out of his hair long enough to say: “Well, if it weren’t for the honor of the thing, I’d have rather walked.” A couple of young Forest Service planners probably know exactly how he felt, after their contentious appearance before more than 100 people at a Payson Tea Party meeting last week at Tiny’s Restaurant. The pair spent two hours trying to explain why it takes the Forest Service six months to approve even routine requests and years to approve major projects, like Payson’s Blue Ridge pipeline.
A woman escaped serving jail time May 31 after pleading guilty to taking more than $6,400 from Quik Cash where she worked as an employee. Angela Mae Gregg, 25, will serve 48 months of probation instead and pay back every cent she stole. Gregg could have spent as much as 3.7 years in jail for the theft that involved at least eight victims during a four- to five-month period. Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill said it was clear from a pre-sentencing report that Gregg felt remorse for her actions and was taking the necessary steps to get her life on track. Gregg has reportedly sought treatment for a drug addiction at Southwest Behavioral Health Center in Payson for at least a year. In court, Gregg said she had been clean for 12 months and was working to provide a better life for her son and a child on the way.
The Gila County Democratic Party Precinct Committee meeting is at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 11 at the Reno Creek Family Restaurant in Tonto Basin (formerly called Mama Lou’s). Those attending will order Dutch treat meals after the meeting.
As I’m writing this week’s music trivia column, I’m looking out our front window watching the wind whip the lithe branches of the willow trees and the whitecaps lap the shores of Green Valley’s lake and I’m thinking — when is this wind going to end? And I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. Mother Nature’s puffing and puffing has been a common topic lately. I hear people using the words “awful,” “terrible” and “miserable” when talking about our Rim Country wind that really does seem to be stronger than ever this spring.
tomorrow, Saturday, June 11 at 1 p.m. on Columbine Road across from Ashby’s Meadow. Please bring a dish to share, a chair if you can, and something to drink. We will have brats, plates, plastic silverware, and condiments. Music provided by John Marksbury. Come meet your neighbors and have a nice time. Thank you to Judy Tolle, secretary of the CCHA, for providing me this information. Judy also wanted me to mention to wish Marsha Ward a speedy recovery from her surgery. She is in Payson Regional Medical Center until Thursday.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s plans to protect endangered native fish in Fossil Creek and the East Verde River “fail to meet any standard of good science or even common sense,” according to a letter written by four experts. The letter expressed deep frustration in the long delay in responding to a previous plea to list as endangered the roundtail chub and the headwater chub and to update information on other species, like the flannelmouth sucker, Little Colorado sucker, bluehead suckers and Zuni bluehead sucker. Much of the letter focused on the status of several native fish in the resurrected Fossil Creek, as well as the East Verde River, where heavy recreational use and the weekly stocking of non-native rainbow trout endangers the small populations of native fish.
The forest fires are pretty darn scary. Do you know what to do in case of evacuation, or how to make your property firewise this season? There is a pamphlet out called “Living With Wildfire” published by The U.S. Forest Service. The pamphlet can be picked up at the Payson Ranger Station. There are Web sites with more information on how to enhance the protection of your community from wildfires. They are: www.AZStateFire.org, www.Firewise .org, cals.Arizona.edu/fire wise/ There are 10 firefighters from Hellsgate Fire Department on the fires: Jeffery Yunkans, Captain Wisner, Raymond Rodriguez and Dale Hayes are on the Horseshoe II Fire. Chief Hatch, Bobby Mollere, Bob Evanson, Bobbie Doss and JR Szabo are fighting the Wallow Fire. Chad Stluka and Trey Shill from the Christopher/Kohl’s Fire Department have also gone to the Wallow Fire. Engineer Bill Dupke of Diamond Point is manning station #22 in Tonto Village while Engineer Yunkans is on the Horseshoe forest fire. Thank you Bill for filling in.
On the morning of Sunday, June 5, Heber Overgaard experienced a shift in direction of smoke from the Wallow Fire which lasted for a few hours in our area. The remainder of the week continued with warm days and windy afternoons with winds reaching 35-40 mph. Stage 2 Fire restrictions remain in place for all of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests until further notice due to the fire danger.
This spring has brought the passing of too many neighbors and friends. As we grow older, those passings strike us as more poignant. They remind us of our own mortality. That is not a bad thing, just a difficult thing. After yet another funeral last week, I sat on my porch and reflected on life. Years ago a friend asked me what my “somedays” were. I questioned him, “Somedays?” He said, “You know, the things you tell yourself that someday you will do.” This was well before the concept of the bucket list. Funerals make me think about my “somedays.” Left on my list, among other things, is a ride in a hot air balloon. How about you, dear ones?
Kittens, kittens, kittens galore! Kittens run and play, and scatter across the floor. Kitten season is officially here. The front cat house in the main building is full of cuddle kittens of all colors and sizes. We have the Super Mario Princesses, the Glee Cast and the Fleetwood Mac group. If you’ve been patiently waiting for kittens, they’re here.
Isolated, yes. Beautiful, unbelievably so. Unexplored, certainly. The clear, cold nighttime sky was full of sparkling stars every night we spent on the edge of the cliffs as we looked out the front door of our restful lodging. Walking along the semi-marked trails made us feel like we were the first people to have set foot on the south side of the massive Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and Wilderness area. I was surprised there was so much to explore. There is plenty of information about the northern side of the area, but little of the available information does justice to the beauty of the cliffs, or recreation opportunities available on the south side of Highway 89A, which is where we explored. We spent three days venturing up trails leading to old mine sites, corrals, rock formations and even to one of the cabins where Zane Grey spent time writing one of his novels.
Thursday, June 9
Nearly 20 miles of U.S. 60 has been closed from Springerville to the New Mexico state line due to the Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona. This closure stretches from milepost 384 to 401.
Wednesday, June 8
The summer reading series for youngsters in and around the community has started at the Payson Public Library, but enrollment will be taken through June 15. There are three different programs for different age groups: The Baby Reading Program is for those 6 months of age to 3. The program is from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Thursdays, starting June 2 and continuing through June 23. The program will have ticklers, brain play, lullabies and stories. The Dino-Mite Program is for children ages 3 to 12. It is both Tuesday and Wednesday, with the program at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. It will be held through June 22 and includes puppet shows arts and crafts, games and stories.
The town’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department offers a wide variety of activities for children and adults throughout the summer. Payson’s Youth T-Ball League will be playing through July 16. T-ball gives youth the opportunity to learn basic athletic skills in a fun, safe environment at Rumsey Park. And it is a hoot to watch, even if you don’t have little ones on the field.
One thing that is certain in this life is that things will change. There are so many examples to this reality, just look around, case in point, graduation for students of various ages and grades and many of the parents of these students are saying, “Where has the time gone?” — reminiscing on memories of when their son or daughter was just a little one in diapers.
I had decided to write this article a while ago, but then got a call about Alaska cruises, and decided some basic travel opportunity education was in order. There are more ways to see Alaska than there are days in a year. You have your basic cruise to Southeast Alaska, also known as the Inside Passage. You have longer cruises that go to ports of call not on the Inside Passage itineraries. You have six mainstream cruise lines that sail to Alaska, in addition to small ship and expedition cruises and a few luxury cruise lines. You have “cruise tours” which are land tours to the interior of Alaska that can be added before or after the seven-day north/south cruise. You have escorted bus tours that cover the interior, to which a cruise can be added. And lastly, you have independent travel. How do you know which is the best for you? This is where the help of a certified travel agent can save you money, time, and frustration.
Many years ago when I was growing up in Los Angeles, my mother would take me downtown to shop the big department stores. There were few regional malls in those days. We would get on the streetcar and rail our way to the big buildings in the center of town. Perhaps this was the beginning of my liking trains. Often, the streetcars would be two cars coupled together during busy periods. I tried to ride up front across from the motorman driving the train. This trip took about 30 minutes as I remember. Mom and I would leave the streetcar on Broadway, one of the main downtown streets. The trip would usually begin around 9 a.m. On arrival, we would head to the first intended department store, which was usually the May Co. There was a childcare room in the store where Mom would deposit me for an hour or so. I played with other children in my age group and I remember there were a lot of toys spread around the large room. Great fun!
June has now arrived, which means a couple of things: one — our summer rains or “monsoons” are just around the corner and two — fire season has arrived in Rim Country. Here’s a look at some of the more notorious fires in Rim Country. If one had to come up with a “big three” of fires in the region it’d be pretty easy: Dude Fire, Rodeo-Chediski and Willow, all three of which consumed a lot of forest land near Payson. Yet there were also plenty of fires before those just as there will be plenty more in the future. “Big” is a matter relevance in many cases, as this clip from the July 6, 1948 Arizona Daily Sun shows.
Warm weather is a prime time to throw on an apron, grab a spatula and fire up the grill. And no dish better represents the season than the burger.
2nd Saturday Shop Hop on tap
A weekend of finely crafted quilted art and a multitude of delicious strawberry delights await in Pine this weekend.
Tuesday, June 7
Much like a swarm of bees in search of pollen and nectar, weekend warriors and adrenaline-buzzed thrill seekers from around the state descended upon Payson to test their mettle in the inaugural Mountain High Games.
A drug deal gone awry ended with a trail of blood leading officers through a local gas station to a woman beaten with brass knuckles. In all, half a dozen Payson residents ended up in jail after the fight at the Giant gas station on Highway 260 May 30.
A woman ends her own search and rescue, a man stumbles to a helicopter rescue and a man saves himself from certain dehydration with a satellite phone.
Council nettled by Gila County rebuff of its invitation to join
The Payson Town Council last week voted unanimously to partner with Star Valley to form a special district to build a college campus.
Public meetings have been scheduled to provide citizens an opportunity to participate in the redistricting of Gila County supervisorial and community college districts.
Payson Mayor Kenny Evans didn’t go to Globe with his hat in hand. However, with the reception he was given by Gila County Supervisors Shirley Dawson and Mike Pastor, one would think he was begging for big bucks.
Wannabe Iron Men (women and youth) are encouraged to register as soon as possible for the Payson Spring Triathlon Tribute to Cynthia Pool, which takes place Saturday, June 11.
The following letter was mailed (yes, the old-fashioned way) to our U.S. Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain on March 12, 2011. March 12, 2011. After three months, I’m still waiting for a response from either.
I would like to personally thank all of you who attended our breakfast fund-raiser Memorial Day weekend in Tonto Village for the Hellsgate Fire Department given by the auxiliary, better known as the “Fireflies.”
Rim Country residents know the important role that mining played in rural Arizona.
On Tuesday, May 31, I voted, along with the majority of House members, against H.R. 1954. This bill sought to implement the president’s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt by a whopping $2.3 trillion.
The actions of the Gila County supervisors last week when asked to join Payson and Star Valley in forming a Separate Legal Entity highlights the complete ignorance two supervisors have about the Rim Country and their animosity toward the area, its residents and businesses.
A weekend of finely crafted quilted art and a multitude of delicious strawberry delights await in Pine this weekend.
The television’s 24-hour news cycle confuses me regularly, especially when it comes to real estate reporting.
In celebration of National Get Outdoors Day — June 11, the U.S. Forest Service will waive day-use fees associated with many recreation sites on the Coconino National Forest including the Red Rock Pass area.
Ponderosa Baptist Church is now Ponderosa Bible Church.
A volunteer planning committee for the proposed Arizona State University college campus in Payson will host four community forums this month.
What is so rare as a day in June ... so asks the poet.
Payson police arrested a drug court counselor after allegedly sleeping with an underage client.
A Payson preacher facing four counts of assault and disorderly conduct charges took a plea deal last month, agreeing to six months of anger management classes.
The Star Valley Town Council will continue discussions on purchasing an RV park adjacent to town hall Tuesday night.
Wine-tasting, toe-tapping weekend event raises at least $135,000 to fund operations at new animal shelter
Singers crooned, dogs danced, experts read lip prints and the wine flowed Saturday as the Humane Society of Central Arizona raised at least $135,000 to operate its Payson animal shelter.
Although officers lost track of him two times, a Valley man was arrested after flipping his vehicle west of town.
While compiling and gathering information on Payson High’s recent all-region, all-state and all-star selections, I couldn’t help but remember the trials and challenges I stumbled through in my first year as head football coach at Show Low High School.
The application deadline for the fall drawing cycle for deer, fall turkey, fall javelina, bighorn sheep, fall buffalo and pheasant is Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 7 p.m.
A pair of former Arizona State University softball players who are the proud owners of championship rings from the Sun Devils’ 2008 season will be in Payson June 25 and 26 to host a youth skills clinic.
If there is a consistent factor in the selection of high school post-season honors teams, it is that they are almost always inconsistent.
When Little Longhorn Basketball Camp coaches Bill Farrell and Ed Charles speak, it’s best the campers listen intently because the two have reputations as being among the finest coaches in the country, whether it be youth ball, high school competition or college action.
When Thomas C. Wolfe penned the novel, “You Can Never Go Home Again,” he obviously hadn’t met Joe Sanchez.
p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.
Monday, June 6
Due to extreme fire conditions, the Apache National Forest was closed to all public entry Friday.
Due to extreme fire conditions, stage 2 restrictions were implemented Friday on the Sitgreaves National Forest. The restrictions include the Black Mesa and Lakeside Ranger Districts.
Friday, June 3
Those of us who have lived in the Rim Country for years, fondly remember how much fun the original Payson Sawdust Festival was. We recall the event being a huge draw, attracting throngs of fans and onlookers from around the state to the old rodeo grounds located near where the Rumsey Park library and multipurpose field are now located.
Was it a marathon or a high school all-star baseball game?
East region coaches and players could not be blamed for being a bit miffed when the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association announced its 3A All-State selections.
Former Payson High School pitcher and infielder Jake Sleeper has been chosen to play in the inaugural East vs. West Coca-Cola Classic Academic All-Star baseball game.
Payson turns into a hotbed of wrestling activity this summer with the annual Arizona Intensive Wrestling Camp turning up the heat on about 60 campers, and the Payson Wrestling Club hosting bi-weekly sessions for about 40 fledgling grapplers.
Payson Unified School District should make improving programs for gifted students a top priority, the school board agreed recently after hearing a pitch from a newly organized parents group.
For “Becky” it happened where she least expected it — at school with hundreds of people around. Pinned down by an older senior, she was groped repeatedly until she finally squirmed away. Becky fought back, though, taking the boy to court and eventually watching him plead guilty.
A stunning one-third of Payson’s assessed value has evaporated in the past three years, the Payson Town Council learned at a special budget meeting on Thursday.
A small yearling bear roaming subdivisions near Pine Creek Canyon has some residents locking their doors in fright and others snapping photos and marveling at being able to enjoy up close looks at the animal.
The Arizona Department of Transportation will close a two-mile segment of Highway 260, 20 miles east of Payson, at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, Wednesday, June 8, and Thursday, June 9.
The piano recital of Dr. Victoria Harris’ students will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, June 3 at Gila Community College Room 301, the Community Room, not at Lomona Lodge, as previously announced.
In Pine, we have a nonprofit organization called CERCA, whose sole purpose is to keep the Community Center and all its buildings in good order.
It has recently come to my attention that our constable, Colt White, has had to spend much of his valuable time serving papers to neighbors over worthless disputes.
This letter is in regards to our appreciation of the Payson Roundup newspaper printing the spaghetti dinner news items and advertisements to help raise funds for the Payson High School boys and girls soccer teams.
As the Payson Roundup is a leader in driving local culture, we need your support, and the support of your readers, in our Spread the Word to End the Word™ campaign to help make a stand against a word that has gained popularity in culture, but is offensive to many.
While still contemplating how to write a letter to the editor without causing 15,000 pet owners to hate me, Mari Janecek sent a letter that said it nicely. (“Taking care of the people first” May 27, 2011).
Payson Supply Line would like to thank the American Legion Riders, Post 69 for another successful annual fund-raising event on our behalf. The amount of time, money and work that they put into this event is incredible.
The parents of PAAL, (Payson Association for Advanced Learning), would like to thank the community and businesses of Payson who generously helped to raise $42,000 to send 39 students and 21 adults to Washington, D.C. for the March break this year.
I am a caregiver for an elderly disabled man in his mid 60s.
Over the Memorial Day holiday there were many campers who had open fires.
On May 5, the Payson Tea Party invited Rod Pace, CEO of Rosemont Copper, to discuss a proposed open pit mine southwest of Tucson.
Memorial Day 2011 was one to remember. Flags flew, old soldiers marched, the music blared, tears were wiped away and the crowd sang.
Last week I mentioned that I became a DI by talking my way into GIS, General Instructor School, not because I wanted to go to that school, but because I had wriggled my way out of something else and had to enter a tech school ASAP or get dragged back in.
Inconclusive — that is the ruling investigators gave a fire that destroyed a Mesa del Caballo home May 22.
The Payson Relay for Life is an annual event to help raise funds for cancer research and local programs, which benefit those fighting cancer.
With Memorial Day weekend kicking off the summer, an influx of visitors convened on the Rim Country, bombarding lakes, campgrounds and forests for recreation.
Red Flag warnings and a Fire Weather Watch have plagued our weather outlook this week.
The juniper pollen has raised havoc with my motorcycle. It needs a bath! I want to drop by for this event. The Justice McNeeley Foundation Motorcycle Charity Run is this Saturday, June 4.
It looks like it’s going to be another fun-filled weekend of activities here in the Rim Country.
I got another nice letter in response to last week’s article about one of the memorable locals.
Tonto Village was almost filled to the brim with part-time residents, their families and many newcomers to our village, thanks in part to the Memorial Weekend breakfast sponsored by the Hellsgate Fire Department Auxiliary, the Fireflies.
Many stocks were pummeled by the long and severe market downturn.
Medical ID bracelets and other jewelry are lifesavers —alerting caregivers immediately to medical conditions — but they only work if people are willing to wear them.
All animals available for adoption are spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations.
Tai Chi and Qigong classes are offered at 9 a.m. Saturdays at the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community, 807 W. Longhorn Road.
Thursday, June 2
The Eastern Arizona Incident Management Team on The Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona has issued a pre-evacuation alert. This is a 12-24 hour pre-evacuation alert.
US 191 in eastern Arizona remains closed as well
The Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona has forced additional highway closures today, including sections of State Routes 261 and 273, the main access roads to Big Lake and Crescent Lake in the White Mountains.
Wednesday, June 1
Officials with the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions at midnight June 1 on all five ranger districts due to increasing fire danger.
Marilyn Wolfe, 70, passed away at her home in Payson, Ariz. on May 31, 2011. A longtime resident of Payson, she was born March 12, 1941 in Cheyenne, Wyo. to Kenneth G. Marpel and Lelia Mae Marpel.
National Weather Service Issues Red Flag Warning
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for Wednesday, June 1.
The Dutch Oven Cook-Off is giving some taste to the Payson Mountain High Games.
Payson’s Loggers Sawdust Festival is celebrating its 21st anniversary at the Payson Mountain High Games June 3 through June 5.
With Memorial Day weekend kicking off the summer, an influx of visitors convened on the Rim Country, bombarding lakes, campgrounds and forests for recreation.
A 40-year-old Surprise man drowned Sunday morning when his canoe overturned in a popular Mogollon Rim lake.
Check those tires and the treads on your running shoes. Limber up that tossing arm and do some accuracy exercises. The Payson Mountain High Games has contests waiting for you this weekend.
Expect skills to be showcased and riders having fun at the Mountain High Games ATV Rodeo, which will take place at 5 p.m., Saturday, June 4 in the Payson Event Center.
Three different routes will be explored in the Payson Mountain High Games ATV Trail Ride events this weekend. The rides on Friday and Saturday will include Ultra Terrain Vehicles as well as quads, but the ride Sunday is restricted to quads only.
The Payson Mountain High Games archery event has contests for all ages and will take place over all three days.
Put a new spin on outdoor adventure in the Rim Country this year. Test those rough and tumble recreational skills at Payson’s Mountain High Games June 3 through June 5.