Being Smart About Wildfires — They Are Serious Threats

Pine library’s “One World, Many Stories” summer reading program hosted Sparky the clown from the Pine Strawberry Fire Department June 8. Sparky shared many fire safety tips with children participating in the program. The big red fire truck also came and each of the children got to use the fire hoses. The program activities will continue each Wednesday through June from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the library activity room. The library is also hosting Movie Madness at 12:30 p.m. each Thursday inside the library. A list of movies is available at the library. Parents are responsible for determining the suitability of these movies for their children. For more information, contact the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library at (928) 476-3678.

Pine library’s “One World, Many Stories” summer reading program hosted Sparky the clown from the Pine Strawberry Fire Department June 8. Sparky shared many fire safety tips with children participating in the program. The big red fire truck also came and each of the children got to use the fire hoses. The program activities will continue each Wednesday through June from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the library activity room. The library is also hosting Movie Madness at 12:30 p.m. each Thursday inside the library. A list of movies is available at the library. Parents are responsible for determining the suitability of these movies for their children. For more information, contact the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library at (928) 476-3678.

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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.

Tonight, Friday, June 17, you can attend a presentation at the Pine Strawberry Community Center’s dining hall to learn how to prepare for evacuation, accumulating an emergency kit, and in making an emergency plan to put into action when disaster strikes.

Dave Staub, the P/S fire chief will be present along with the newly established, “Community Emergency Response Team.” This is an extremely important briefing, full of vital information for all who live in the Rim Country.

Living firewise

It is important that we learn how to live firewise. Included are these practices: creating a defensible space around your home by thinning trees and brush, keeping the ground cleaned of needles and leaves, choosing fire-resistant plants and vegetation, selecting ignition-resistant building materials, working with your neighbors (especially your part-time neighbors) to keep the neighborhood tidy and safe, and having an emergency plan.

When the firewise trailer is at a local event, take the time to visit and educate yourself.

While you are at it, mark off Aug. 6 on your calendar for the Fire on the Rim mountain bike race to support local efforts to maintain open space and retain things like the free needle pickup for residents.

Get involved. We are in this together.

Saturday’s Block Party

The Church on Randall Place is hosting a Block Party on June 18 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pine Community Center.

There will be free food, drinks, entertainment, a bounce house, an inflatable obstacle course, games (for young and not so young), face painting, clowns, along with special children’s activities hosted by “Rock of Safety” Ministry.

Call Pastor John at 476-4249 for more information. Sounds like good, clean fun to me.

Fourth of July Arts & Craft Festival

The Pine Community Center ramada will be the middle of the action on July 2-3. There will be over 80 booths featuring stained glass, jewelry, wood, pottery, baskets, knitted and crocheted items, along with artwork, greeting cards, candles and who knows what all else. What fun it will be to look for treasures galore.

The fire department is hosting a pancake breakfast and the Senior Center will be serving Navajo tacos (mmm ... good!) and lots of other food vendors will be tempting your best diet intentions. The hours are 8-5 on Saturday and 8-4 on Sunday.

Computer Classes at the Library

Monday and Tuesday, June 20 and 21, and Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25, are the dates next week for Computers for Beginners, taught by Ray Baxter in the library’s activity room. The hours are from 9 a.m. until noon.

Learn about Windows 7, Microsoft Office and using the Web.

Class size is limited. If this class is full, there will be another in July. Computers may be highly frustrating and downright bamboozling at times, but they are a fact of life. Learn how to control the computer and not be controlled by it.

Eating Out

Who doesn’t like to do this once in awhile? There are many fine eating places in Strawberry and Pine with delicious food, but here is one for lunch that includes new friends waiting to eat with you. I just checked the menu at the Senior Center dining room.

There are some scrumptious meals planned. Call for reservations at 476-2151. Only $5 for a nice meal and salad bar. Great conversation is always available. You might also like getting in a card game or watching a movie. Check out the activities there, too.

Aging

Speaking of the Senior Center brings me to the ravages of an excess of birthday candles on my cake.

It is nowhere near my birthday, but a visit to the eye doctor this week revealed some not so good news and cruelly reminded me that I am not the chick I used to be.

Some of you know that I am also a parish pastor, and in that capacity I spend lots of time reading and writing. My eyes are important to me. The wonders of modern medicine will help me to better eye health.

Perhaps if you are procrastinating a visit to the eye doc, you might want to rethink that. You can’t get back what you lose, but you can mitigate the rate at which you lose it. Take care of yourselves, dear ones. If you don’t, who will read my column?!?

Thanks, again.

For a couple of weeks there, things were really hopping. We have a brief respite before the July 4th weekend. I count on you to keep me posted at spcolumnist @yahoo.com.

It doesn’t need to be a community event. Birthdays, anniversaries, and “As” on your report card will be considered as well. Share your dreams and achievements with your Rim Country friends and neighbors. Thanks for all your input.

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