First Snowmen Of Season Arrive

Rattlin' the Rim

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The winter’s first storm dropped about two inches of snow on Pine and Strawberry Saturday night thrilling those who marvel at Mother Nature’s showy spectacles.

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It wasn’t just Pine and Strawberry residents who awoke Sunday morning to see blankets of snow covering the Rim Country landscape. Wildlife, including this whitetail doe, also had to deal with the white stuff.

Although the snow wasn’t sufficient for sledding or skiing, young and old alike enjoyed early morning walks, a few snowball fights and the chance to build the season’s first snowmen.

Following the storm, temperatures remained below freezing during the daylight hours and in single digits during the nights. Late this week, temperatures rose into the 50s.

Those kinds of temperatures wreak havoc on the woodpile.

PSWID meeting rescheduled

Gila County Supervisor Tom­mie Martin announced last week that a Pine-Strawberry community meeting originally scheduled for Dec. 19 had to be postponed due a conflict in her office.

The meeting, which was being held at the public’s request, was to discuss the options of managing the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District in light of the recent resignation of five board members.

With the December meeting canceled, county management has scheduled another for 5 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16 in the Pine Cultural Hall.

Martin says, “The full board of management will attend” and “the primary purpose of the meeting will be to serve and information sharing and listening session.”

The postponing of the meeting has some water users concerned that the time frame will now be rather tight for getting a possible PSWID board election in May 2014.

There are those who argue that waiting until November 2014 for an election would be counterproductive because it would be cost prohibitive to hire someone to manage PSWID until that date.

The consensus of many water users seems to be to have a new local board of directors in place as soon as possible to avoid the expense of hiring someone to oversee the district.

With the resignations of the board members, the county supervisors are now serving as the board of directors for PSWID.

Fuel committee pleas for funds

The Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee is pointing to last summer’s Yarnell Fire as a reason to revive the local brush pickup program that has been discontinued.

Most every reader remembers vividly that the Yarnell Fire destroyed about 200 homes and buildings and took the lives of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.

The local Fire Reduction Committee contends Pine and Strawberry are ripe to someday suffer the same type of devastation as Yarnell because there are areas in the two communities in which brush and other fuels have not been cleared.

In a dire prediction that shudders most, the committee points out, “The potential for this type of (Yarnell) fire is not a matter of if, but when.”

Because the grants that once funded local brush pick up have dried up, the committee’s goal is to raise $60,000 to revive the program.

To raise the money, the committee is relying mostly on tax deductible donations.

Those who wish to contribute may do so by mailing donations to P/S Fuel Reduction, P.O. Box 67, Pine, AZ 85544. For more information, call (928) 970-0713.

Show and tell

The Church on Randall Place is hosting a “Show and Tell Luncheon” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow, Dec. 14, in the downstairs fellowship hall of the church.

Lunch will be provided, but those attending are asked to bring their favorite dessert.

The luncheon, organizers say, is “a time of fellowship and sharing with the ladies of our church and local community.

“We will be sharing craft ideas we are working on, as well as any interesting projects such as music, photos, gardening, reading, canines and recipes.”

For more information, call Margie Scott at (928) 476-3204.

Library holiday schedule

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 and Jan. 1, 2014.

It will be open Dec. 26 through Dec. 28 and until 2 p.m. on Dec. 31. Also, it will be open Jan. 2 through Jan. 4, 2014.

At 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 26, the library will host Holiday Movie Madness with a showing of “The Smurfs 2,” which is rated PG and is 105 minutes long.

Children should bring their own pillow to be comfortable on the library floor. Refreshments will be provided.

While visiting our hometown library, don’t forget to purchase raffle tickets that have as a prize a holiday gift basket that contains $180 worth of scrumptious See’s Candies.

Tickets are $5 for six or $10 for 15.

Last year, my wife, Kay, was the lucky winner of the bountiful See’s gift basket. Even more luckily we picked it up on the way out of town to visit our children and grandchildren in the Valley. They happily poured through the basket snatching out their favorite See’s treats.

Kay and I, however, did manage to salvage a few candies.

For more information on any library program, call (928) 476-3678.

Computer workshop

Those looking to improve their technical expertise will want to take advantage of a computer training session to be held 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 25 in the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library activity room located behind the community center.

The session, which is being taught by Ray Baxter, will include an introduction to using Windows 8 or 8.1 and a preview of Office 365.

The fee is $10 and students should bring their laptop and a power supply. Registration is mandatory and can be done by phone at (928) 476-3678 or by visiting the library in person.

Class size is limited to 15.

Baxter says the class will be useful even for those only thinking about purchasing a new computer.

School holiday programs

Pine Strawberry School holiday festivities, which include a tree auction and Christmas play, culminate with the annual Christmas program at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18 in the gymnasium.

School officials are inviting the community to turn out for the program saying, the holiday tradition is one that everyone will enjoy.

A food drive, which is sponsored by the school’s Builder’s Club, is under way and will continue through Dec. 18.

For it, school classes are vying to see which can collect the most food for the Pine Strawberry Food Bank. The winning class in each wing receives a hot chocolate and cookie party.

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