District Acted To Protect Public


Bacteria in the water. That’s scary.

But we’re happy to report that the staff of the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District acted quickly and efficiently to guarantee the public faced no risk. The staff carefully tested the water from the Strawberry Hollow Well before putting it on line after making repairs to the well pump and motor. Staff immediately shut down the well when the tests came back positive.

Some things remain unclear about the source of the contamination. Did it come from the equipment? The shallow water table? The deep water table? Leaking septic systems in the area? The district continues to search for answers to all those questions.

However, one thing’s clear: The district acted promptly and efficiently to test the water and then shut it down — preventing any risk to the public.

Perhaps the district should have also put out a release back in December about the problem, rather than letting the news trickle out in a question and answer session in a board meeting three months later.

We accept the district’s assurances that the contaminated water never entered the system. However, the district has embarked on a welcome effort to improve communications with its customers and operate in an open and transparent fashion. So in the future the board should err on the side of keeping the public fully informed.

In the meantime, the discovery has implications far beyond the boundaries of the Pine/Strawberry Water Improvement District. The combination of shallow drinking water wells and aging septic systems poses a big problem for many communities in Rim Country — including Star Valley and others.

That problem is compounded for communities dealing with poorly maintained, deteriorating systems operated by Brooke Utilities — even after they’ve taken over those systems as they have in Pine and Star Valley.

So while we compliment the operators in Pine for quickly detecting and dealing with the problem, we hope other communities won’t continue to stick their heads in the sand when it comes to the possibility of contamination.

After all, you never know what’s down there.

Hard to keep up with

Hard to keep up with you people.

Let’s see, this weekend squads of parents and teachers organized the Student Health Fair at Julia Randall Elementary. They filled up the gym with cheerful vendors and the cutest kids you ever saw doing Zumba and gasping in amazement at the Incredible Spinning Yo-Yo Club members from the high school.

Down the road at the Mazatzal Casino, 400 quilters gathered and members of the four local guilds whose volunteer stitching created the prize-winning Dancing Tree costumes got a chance to show off their handiwork.

At about the same time over at Chaparral Pines, cheerful donors and volunteers staged a fashion show that raised $5,000 for the Time Out Domestic Violence Shelter. Time Out could have been forgiven for wilting and whining this year, after losing some $160,000 in state and federal funding as a result of wrong-headed changes in various funding formulas. Instead, they have gone to work raising money to fill the gap — knowing that too many women and children in this community need them for them to give up.

And speaking of community — people took to planting their plots Saturday down at the Payson Community Garden. Community farmers there last year donated thousands of pounds of fresh produce to the food banks.

And if that’s not enough, a bunch of kids and teachers down at the high school staged a marvelous version of “Beauty and the Beast.” When the production lost a key actor days before the performance, the cast quickly shuffled roles — and the show went on. Mind you, the drama program remains almost completely supported by parent donations and ticket sales.

What a great place to live.

What great people to share it all with.

We know we should rejoice and be exceedingly glad. But folks, from a storyteller’s point of view — you people are hard to keep up with.


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