Meet Candidates For Water Board

Rattlin' the Rim

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine hosted Easter egg coloring on April 16 for its young readers. Staff member Junetta Clifford shows Sawyer Beck, Emelia Beck and Marci Wilbanks the fine art of egg coloring.

Photo by Max Foster.

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine hosted Easter egg coloring on April 16 for its young readers. Staff member Junetta Clifford shows Sawyer Beck, Emelia Beck and Marci Wilbanks the fine art of egg coloring.


As a retired math teacher, I’ve told students that when writing 2-column geometry proofs, “Givens” are the foundation that someone laid for you.

If there are any “givens” in the upcoming Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District election it’s the presence of three candidates whose foundation includes serving on the past governing board that was dissolved when five members resigned under threat of recall.

Tom Weeks, Sam Schwalm and Don Smith are among the eight candidates who will vie for the seven seats on the PSWID board when the special election is held on May 20.

Weeks and Schwalm were the only two past board members who did not resign months ago during the recall effort and Smith, a local dentist, served a full term on the board before it expired last fall.

During a PSWID Citizens Budget Review Committee meeting on April 3, Weeks was chosen chairman, Smith named vice chairman and Schwalm was tapped as secretary.

The committee is made up of all eight board candidates and has the express purpose of helping formulate next year’s budget.

Newcomers Trent McNeeley, Paul Randall, Richard James, Larry Bag­shaw and Rus Brock are also committee members and board candidates.

Voters will have an opportunity to meet all eight candidates from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow under the ramada at the Pine Community Center.

The meet-and-greet event is being hosted by the “Moving PSWID Forward” committee that claims when the new members are elected, “the community will have a water board that is dedicated to conducting themselves in an open, friendly and community-oriented fashion.”

Among the criticisms of the past board is that some members were bellicose, confrontational and prone to unsound decisions not in the best interest of all water users.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Gila County recorder’s office will be available for voter registration and refreshments, including hot dogs and chips, will be served.

Those who cannot attend tomorrow’s meeting and are unregistered can go to: to register. The deadline to register to vote in this special election is April 21.

The county recorder’s office will mail out special election ballots on April 24.

For those who misplace their ballots or have questions, the recorder’s office will set up a “replacement site” 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 20 at the First Baptist Church of Pine.

Also, the recorder’s office will have a replacement site open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 24 to May 20 at the office located at 201 W. Frontier in Payson.

For further information, call 1-800-304-4452.

Volunteers needed for Peter Pan Jr.

Pine Strawberry School students and teachers are busy after hours preparing for Walt Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. — a musical to be performed May 2 and 3 by a cast of about 30 elementary and middle school students.

“We are hard at work rehearsing and are looking forward to putting on the show,” said play director Patti Lawrence.

The director does emphasize, however, that to stage the play successfully, more help is needed from community volunteers to help with costumes and sets.

To volunteer, call Lawrence or musical director Ashley Kendrick at (928) 476-3283.

Grocery bags needed

Women With Extending Hands, a small group from the Church on Randall Place, is in need of plastic shopping bags — those types local grocery stores bag your food purchases in for the trip home. They also need yarn, crochet hooks and knitting needles.

The group uses the bags and other items to train others to crochet sleeping mats for the homeless and those in missions.

They also make scarves, mittens and socks that will be distributed to the homeless, elderly and children in need in the Rim Country.

To donate, call Margie Schott (928) 476-3204) or Diane Larned (928) 978-1096.

Benefit for nationals

The Pine-Strawberry School archery team has qualified for the National Archery in Schools Championships to be contested May 8 to10 in Louisville, Ky.

To make the trip, the national qualifiers must earn about $500 each to pay for traveling expenses.

In an effort to raise the money needed, donation jars have been set up at local businesses including Uncle Tom’s, the PSWID office, Early Bird Café, Randall House and Pine Hardware. More sites are expected to be added soon. Donations, which can include Credit for Kids, can be dropped off at the Pine-Strawberry School.

Also, the national qualifiers will participate in Shoot-a-Thon on April 28. They are currently accepting pledges for per point scored with a maximum of 300 points possible.

From noon to 4 p.m. today, April 18, team members, coaches and parents are hosting a bake sale in front of the Payson Safeway store.

Drop by, pick up some goodies and it will be all for a great cause.

Also on the fundraising agenda is a silent auction at Uncle Tom’s and other local merchants. Auction items are needed. To donate, call the school at (928) 476-3283.

Fun day tomorrow

Don’t forget to take the children to the Fifth Annual Easter Egg Hunt Fun Day at 10 a.m. tomorrow, April 19, at the Pine Trailhead located just south of Pine.

The day, which is free, will include an Easter egg hunt, coloring area, fire truck, Easter bunny and handmade candy baskets.

The event is sponsored by Mommy Perks, Rim, THAT Brew­ery, Windmill Corner Inn, Strawberry Patchers, Peacock Pottery, The Boys Store and Monkey do Project.

Myers amped

Former Payson Unified and Pine-Strawberry School Superintendent Sue Myers, now retired and a frequent hiker, leaves little doubt she’s doubly excited about “Trails Day” to be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 4 at the Pine Trail­head.

Activities kick off at 8 a.m. with about a two-hour bird watching hike in Pine Creek Canyon near Camp LoMia. Hikers should meet at the Pine Trailhead.

Participants should bring their own binoculars, hiking shoes and water.

From 9 a.m. until noon, Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee members will conduct a hands-on trail building class. Class participants should bring gloves.

Also at 9 a.m., Joyce Bittner and her llamas from The Ranch at Fossil Creek will lead a three-mile hike that should wrap up about 11 a.m. The hike will be over some of the Mogollon Rim’s most scenic mountain trails with the llamas carrying packs and equipment.

At 10 a.m. Tom Stennerson of the Mountain Bike Association of Arizona will lead a 12-mile round-trip bike ride over the Bearfoot Trail.

At 10:45 a.m., an about 3.5-mile round-trip hike to the Bradshaw Meadow Watershed Project area will begin. The highlights are the varied terrain — rocky, meadows, ponds, forest and views of Pine. The trail is rated moderate to high in difficulty.

Throughout the day, the Arizona Trails Association, U.S. Forest Service, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Arizona Site Stewards and the Pine Strawberry Fire Department will host trailhead activities including information and demonstrations.

Also during the day, Sirena DeFault will take a break from her 800-mile hike across Arizona to make an appearance in Pine to promote the state’s National Scenic Trail.

Default began her trek March 14 on the Mexico border and is expected to reach Utah on May 31.

Also on the trails agenda, Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee volunteers will continue their work on the Arizona Trail from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow April 19. Volunteers should meet at the Pine Trailhead and bring their own lunch, snacks and water.


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