Lady Horns finish No. 1 in the state
The greatest regular season in the 26-year-history of Lady Longhorn softball wrapped up with a scenario befitting the greatest of all sports fables. So move over 1966 NCAA basketball champion Texas Western, you too 1960 U.S. hockey team that upset the Soviet Union in the Olympics finale and step aside Secretariat, greatest race horse of all time — make room in sports annals for the 2012 Lady Longhorns. The group will long be remembered as the finest ever and the first PHS softball team to finish the regular season undefeated. Moreover, the team for the first time in Longhorn history has nailed down the No. 1 power point seed, which means in the state championships, they’re the favorite to pocket all the marbles.
School board ignores protests and concentrates budget layoffs on teachers
Brushing aside student and parent protests, the school board unanimously voted to lay off six teachers at its meeting Wednesday night. The teachers laid off include Sharon Stevenson from Payson Elementary School (PES), Donna Goble and Wanda Utz from Rim Country Middle School (RCMS), and Nora Lubitz, Ingrid Schon and Ron Silverman from Payson High School (PHS). Two other teachers resigned, including Jennifer Laird and Sylvia Sandoval, the wife of former Payson High School principal, Roy Sandoval, who was himself laid off two years ago. Lou Crabtree, the lone Spanish teacher for PHS, went from full-time to half-time, marking another contraction of the district’s vanishing language program.
House fire rouses residents to lack of fire protection
When Wild Bill Gibson saw flames leaping from a neighbor’s home on April 16, he grabbed his camera, hoping to catch firefighters’ arrival. Surely, they’re already on the way, he thought. After 10 minutes, he wondered when they’d show. After 30 minutes and no sound of sirens, he wondered whether they’d show at all. As neighbors grabbed garden hoses and hurriedly sprayed the vegetation, Gibson realized they were on their own. Nearly 40 minutes after Gibson starting taking pictures, a crew finally arrived — a Forest Service Hotshot team, which immediately focused on keeping the fire from spreading to the forest and not the home. “I watched this home totally burn from one end to the other — waiting and waiting to hear the sirens of the coming fire equipment that didn’t come — that to me is unacceptable,” he said. Gibson does not blame the surrounding fire departments — he blames the community.
A fierce thunderstorm apparently sparked a garage fire near the airport Thursday afternoon. Lightning struck a detached garage in the 1600 block of West Dalton Circle just before noon, said Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi. Next-door neighbors Danny and Wendy Helton said they were enjoying the storm in their pajamas when they heard a large crash and saw a flash of light.
Tomerlin rebuts campaign charges
The Gila County recorder is defending her spending record against allegations raised by a Globe businessman hoping to take her seat in August. Democratic recorder candidate Mickie Nye has made claims at recent Payson community meetings that current Gila County Recorder Sadie Jo Tomerlin, a Republican, misused thousand of dollars in county funds to buy stationery and on top of that, is offering poor customer service. Nye, owner of a Globe Dairy Queen, insists he can do better and has the experience to back it up. Tomerlin, however, is firing back, saying Nye has his facts all wrong. Now, the county is supporting Tomerlin.
We were caught in that ridiculous road closure at 2:30 p.m.
The recent house fire that completely destroyed the entire contents and home of James Goebel Jr. and his family has devastated the lives of the family as well as touching the hearts of their many friends.
After reading Tuesday’s article “Pipeline averts financial crunch” I almost tripped while running for my computer to respond to the ridiculous statement that the town’s own Blue Ridge pipeline managers “Just recently learned that the ‘bureaucratic’ Forest Service requires detailed plans for the entire project” and these same town representatives shameless attempt to shift blame to the “Gordian knot of Forest Service bureaucracy.”
For years we have been awakened around 5 a.m. every Monday by squeaking brakes on the garbage truck.
Water For Pine Strawberry is a group that has been in existence for the last four years.
I was an attendee at the PSWID budget meeting and I do some of the research for the WaterForPineStrawberry.com Web site.
Learn some poetry tips from Carrie Backe, a Payson poet and winner of the Arizona Senior Poet Laureate competition for several years. She will speak at a poetry workshop on April 28, sponsored by the Rim Country District of Arizona Press Women to celebrate National Poetry Month. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Payson Senior Center, 214 W. Main St. The fee is $10. The workshop will provide tips about writing poetry, breaking some rules and entering poetry contests.
The Mogollon Sporting Association has selected one of its founding members to be the recipient of the prestigious Legacy Award given out annually to a person who contributes significantly and unselfishly to the Rim Country’s environment, education, conservation and economy. Gary Barcom received the award from Ted Pettet, also an MSA founding member, April 17 at Firewood Café.
The 1973 Bachman-Turner Overdrive smash hit, “Takin’ Care of Business” wasn’t about Lady Longhorn softball team’s success, but it could have been. That’s exactly what the team did all season long, compiling the program’s first-ever unbeaten regular season (16-0) that became official April 25 in Lakeside where the Lady Horns ran roughshod over former 3A East rival Blue Ridge 9-1.
The largest Rim Country contingent in the eight-year history of Pat’s Run turned out April 21 near Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe to compete in the 4.2-mile run that honors a man who gave up a million-dollar professional football contract to join the U.S. Army. Pat Tillman, a former Arizona State and Arizona Cardinals defensive star, was killed April 22, 2004 in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan.
The Payson High School golf team erased the dire memories of last week’s upset loss to Phoenix Country Day at We Ko Pa by rebounding to win the River Valley Invitational. Playing April 20 on the Los Lagos course and the following day at Desert Lakes — both par 72 courses — the Longhorns were red-hot on opening day, carding an 18-hole school record of 292. On the second day, the team finished at 316 to edge host River Valley for the team championship.
Town council clears way to consider removing 18-unit-per-acre cap in multi-family zones
Developers can build smaller houses packed in tighter — so long as it still looks pretty from the street. That’s the gist of a proposed change in the zoning rules for apartments the Payson Town Council is considering. But don’t worry: The repeated public hearings necessary to change the town’s general plan and zoning ordinance won’t take place for months.
A pair of worthwhile benefits that deserve our unwavering support will highlight this weekend’s activities. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 28, the Lorraine Cline Memorial Fund Poker Ride will begin at the O-bar-C ranch in Tonto Village. The following day, Sunday, the Justice McNeeley Foundation-hosted “Casino Day” will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Sidewinders Saloon in Pine. The entry fee is $15 per person with additional buy-ins or donations available. Games include blackjack, roulette, craps and Texas Hold ’em.
A 33-year-old Tucson man with years of long distance running experience, overcame the elements, including unusually high temperatures, to win the 23rd Annual Zane Grey Highline Trail 50-Mile Endurance Run. Catlow Shipek finished the run in 8 hours, 32 minutes — a time that didn’t threaten the course record of 7 hours, 51 minutes. The race began at 5 a.m. April 21 at the Pine Trailhead and ended many hours and miles later when runners crossed the finish line at the 260 Trailhead east of Christopher Creek. Of the 126 runners who entered, only 84 finished; the last crossing the finish line at 9:27 p.m. — 16 hours and 27 minutes after the race began.
I admit it. When it comes to certain aspects of doctors and hospitals, I have more questions than answers. Not about anything serious, you understand. I know as much as I want to know about the serious stuff. I try not to worry about it. My experience over the years has been that those who worry about their health too much often end up having good reasons for doing it. Reminds me of an old story: Charlie and the Tofu. You ever heard that one, Johnny? No? You sure? The one about the fellow who could not stand his wife after they’d been married a couple of years because he’d gotten hooked on all that great health food and she refused to have anything to do with it?
Hello again, fellow Creekers. The Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department is looking for volunteers. They are experiencing budget constraints and are in need of volunteers to help fill the gaps in personnel. They offer volunteers a chance to serve their community and a chance to get to know a different job skill. Please contact the Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department at (928) 478-4403 or stop by and pick up your application at Station #51 in Christopher Creek.
For those who know a little something about classic cars and oldies-but-goodies music, you know that the 1962 Beach Boys hit “409” describes the Chevrolet 409, first introduced in 1961 and named because of its huge 409 cubic-inch engine. The song “409” describes the coupe version of the car, equipped with the 4-speed, dual quad, posi-traction equipment. It’s reported it could do a 12.22-second quarter mile at 115 miles per hour, going from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds flat, making the car a big hit among street racers of that time.
Wearable art class to present fashions
Students from Leslie Peacock’s wearable art classes of the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters at the Payson campus of Gila Community College will present a fashion show from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, May 3 at the college located at 201 N. Mud Springs Road.
Sunday event highlights benefits of donating time
When Meals on Wheels volunteer John Wakelin makes food deliveries to needy seniors, he doesn’t do it for the pay, he doesn’t do it for the fame and he doesn’t do it for the tips (there aren’t any). He finds helping others is simply good for the soul. And studies back what most volunteers find after just a few hours of work. Volunteers not only receive a “helper’s high,” but have increased trust in others and increased social and political participation, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development.
Payson High School technology teacher Bud Evans led his award-winning band of business and technology students to a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) conference in April — and came back with an award of his own: Arizona FBLA Adviser of the Year at the FBLA State Leadership Conference.
A Women’s Conference will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 28, with lunch immediately following.
Payson ranger believes 300-acre parcel could be freed for sale after October
The Forest Service continues to plod through the process of selling 300 acres to the Rim Country Educational Alliance, despite uncertainties about whether the group can strike a deal with Arizona State University. Countering suggestions the land sale awaited money for environmental studies, Payson Ranger District head ranger Angie Elam said, “we’re moving through NEPA as quickly as we can. Completion is scheduled for this fall — I think in October.”
“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” – Chinese Proverb Once more, declining enrollment and declining state support have forced painful budget cuts on the Payson Unified School District. We understand the necessity, but last night’s decision to lay off only teachers — and some gifted teachers at that — did the students of this district no favors. Teachers account for only about half of the employees in the district — but they had to absorb all the layoffs. But that’s not even the worst of it.
Tonto Village is blooming all over. All the fruit trees have survived that freak snowstorm of a few weeks ago. The irises are showing off with beautiful shades of purple and lavender, yellow and white. Many of the residents have the flowers along their fences and it looks so pretty. I have heard quite a bit of sneezing, though, including me. Something that is blooming tickles the nose. I can handle that since everything blooming looks so nice.
Hitchcock hopes to bring small-town experience to bear on Payson problems
Payson’s new superintendent of schools, Ron Hitchcock, has small-town values in his blood. He grew up in Springville, Utah, population 29,605, where his Mormon community taught him the importance of family and community. “If you’re in a village or a town that looks at the students as their collective responsibility ... you have a safety net regardless of what the county or city would do,” said Hitchcock. He had to use the values learned in his youth when he moved to McKenzie, Ore., after raising his five children and his wife Sandie’s two children. McKenzie has a population of 5,530 people living near the McKenzie River. The district has only 340 children, most not living with their biological parents.
Pine and Strawberry residents share their peaceful community with visitors throughout the year by hosting some pretty fun and amazing festivals. Pine’s inaugural Trail Day event Saturday, April 21 was no exception. This was truly a family affair, with activities for everyone. With free parking, free admission and free entertainment, it proved to be a great event for anyone on a budget.
The Loyal Order of the Moose meetings are at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The Women of the Moose meet at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at the lodge. The lodge has a Thursday Fish Fry from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and weekly dinner specials are available. Anyone interested in community service hours may call the lodge at (928) 474-6212.
Little things like waking up in a good mood, or a superb cup of coffee in the morning will make anyone smile, but a true mood boost ultimately occurs after making a difference in the lives of innocent animals. The admirable deeds from local residents have caused HSCAZ to thrive in a rough economy, and the lives of countless animals in our community have been positively affected by these acts.
The Northern Gila County Genealogical Society will be holding its Annual Yard Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. The yard sale is at 302 E. Bonita St., Payson. All proceeds will go to the operating costs of the Genealogy Library.
Despite drought, Payson’s wells holding steady due to thrifty water habits
The good news? Payson residents remain so thrifty with their water that despite the return of the drought, we’re only using about 60 percent of the sustainable capacity of our water table — not even counting the coming infusion of water from the Blue Ridge Reservoir. The bad news? One reason we’re using so much less water is that there are fewer of us.
The 19th Annual Beeline Cruise-In Car Show is not an official Arizona Centennial event, but you can bet it will be a party when between 200 and 300 antique, vintage and classic cars decorate Green Valley Park Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. See the The Rim Review in today’s issue for all the details, with features on the “before and after” look of many entries.
Mike Buskirk, Daria Mason and family; Scott and Janet Nossek and family; and Michael and Theresa Garré and family have earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their support of nonprofit EF Foundation for Foreign Study (www.ef foundation.org), the leader in high school exchange. For the past nine months, the three families have opened their hearts and homes to three high school students from Germany and Japan.
The Payson Choral Society’s spring concert, “Let’s Go to the Movies,” directed by Daria Mason with accompaniment by Cynthia Sambrano, comes to the Payson High School auditorium Saturday, May 5. Performances are scheduled at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The theme of the concert will let you enjoy songs from movies such as “Working 9 to 5,” “Top Hat,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Shrek” and everything in between.
The special work of Hospice Compassus, making the last months of life filled with comfort and tenderness, would not be possible without a dedicated group of volunteers. Thirty-one men and women, both full-time and seasonal residents, work with the medical and other professionals at Hospice Compassus to ease the last of life’s journey for both patients and their families. Between them, these volunteers have almost a century of experience in this very extraordinary field.
Middle school students tackle Martian mystery — and learn to think like scientists
The “ah-ha” moment hung in the air. The NASA scientist posed it to seven Rim Country Middle School (RCMS) students who had spent months searching photos of Mars for clues in a planetary mystery: Which came first — the solar system’s longest, deepest canyon or a giant sprouting of volcanoes? They had just made a presentation steeped in frustration, with ample evidence to support either theory.