School Food Drive Overwhelming Success

Rattlin' the Rim

Pine Strawberry School students, with the help of local firefighters, recently delivered the non-perishable items they had collected for the Pine Strawberry Food Bank.

Pine Strawberry School students, with the help of local firefighters, recently delivered the non-perishable items they had collected for the Pine Strawberry Food Bank. Photo by Max Foster.

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Aided by local firefighters Willard Cotter and Ryan MacNeal, Pine Strawberry School students delivered a truckload of much needed provisions to the Pine Strawberry Food Bank Monday morning.

The supplies were collected over the course of two weeks during the school’s annual food drive sponsored by the Builder’s Club. In all, the students collected 639 grocery items.

Builder’s Club sponsor Dawn Potter called the drive an overwhelming success saying, “In light of the economy and needs, I believe they (the students) did a great job.”

During the annual food drive, classes and clubs at the school competed to see which could collect the most staples for a prize of a cookie and hot chocolate party.

“Preschool, fifth- and eighth-graders were the winners,” said Potter. “The first grade did an amazing job too, so we are giving them cookies.”

The drive was the second community project the Builder’s Club has hosted this year.

For Veterans Day, club members staged a tribute to all who have served our country by setting “The White Table” at six restaurants in the two small towns.

The White Table originated during the Vietnam War as a remembrance of service members held prisoner of war or missing in action. Potter remembers the tribute as one that, “Started as a small gesture for us to honor the veterans (and) ended up warming our hearts as well.”

Credit for Kids

Donations to Pine Strawberry’s annual Credit for Kids drive must be made by Dec. 31, 2013.

Since the inception of the tax credit program 10 years ago, the school has benefited from thousands of dollars in donations from local taxpayers. In 2006, the school received a total donation of $57,500 — one of the largest ever.

Those who pay at least $200 single or $400 married in state taxes can contribute regardless of whether or not they have children in school.

Donors receive an income tax credit for the full amount contributed.

The tax credit is subtracted from the amount of taxes owed which means it’s a full refund of money.

Taxpayers do not have to live in the school district to participate.

Over the years, the donations have been used for field trips, to purchase library books and materials, for sports team equipment and uniforms, to purchase fine art’s sound and staging needs and to pay for student leadership camps and character education.

Also the money has paid for installation of sun shades, playground equipment and upgrading of the athletic fields.

To participate, send a check to the Pine Strawberry School. A receipt will be mailed.

For more information, call (928) 476-3283.

Christmas Eve services

The Church on Randall Place will host “A very special candlelight service celebrating the Advent of Jesus Christ” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24.

Refreshments will be served following the celebration.

Call (928) 476-4249 for more information.

What is BOS thinking?

It’s no deep, dark, well-kept secret that the hottest topic in our two mountain hamlets is what the Gila County Board of Supervisors will decide about the future of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District during a Jan. 16 meeting at the Pine Cultural Hall.

Local water users predict several scenarios could come out of the meeting including selecting a new board member from a list of volunteer candidates to form a working quorum with current board members Tom Weeks and Sam Schwalm. The two are the only board members who did not resign several weeks ago when Ray Pugel, Ron Calderon, Gary Lovetro, Mike Claxton, Richard Dickinson all resigned while facing the possibility of being recalled.

Appointing a third member to make a quorum seems to be the consensus among PSWID water users.

The BOS could also replace all five board members with recall candidates and allow them to finish out the terms of those who stepped down.

Another possibility is for the BOS to hold a special election in May 2014 to fill the vacant seats.

To do that, the BOS must issue a “call for election” by Jan. 20. Since that date is Martin Luther King Day, it is presumed the deadline for the call for election will be Jan. 21.

Another scenario being discussed is to appoint a person to oversee PSWID until an election can be held.

There are those arguing that if such a scenario unfolds, the person should be independent and neutral such as an engineer from Tetra Tech or a similar company.

While some are calling for postponing the election until November when the public “calms down” there are those arguing that would be the worst case scenario because it would fracture the community even more.

One water user said such a decision, only “happens in third world countries when the powers decide they can’t win an election.”

The Jan. 16, 2014 meeting begins at 5 p.m.

Holiday library hours

Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library Manager Becky Waer is reminding everyone that the library will be closed Dec. 24, 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” that will include the 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.

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