Happy Independence Day readers!
Let’s celebrate this special day with joy and happiness.
Also on this day, we cannot forget the sacrifices given by millions of brave men and women who have served or are serving in the military — be sure to take time to salute them.
Among the celebrations going on around Arizona is the annual July 4 Arts and Crafts show that tipped off this morning at the Pine Community Center. It continues tomorrow.
Arts and Crafts Guild member Gail Jones is expecting a show of visitors, vendors, artisans and crafters that could rival the huge turnout that swarmed Pine on May 24 for the 34th spring show.
Among the highlights of the July 4 festivities will be the Mountain Village Foundation’s $5 pancake breakfast that includes sausage, orange juice and coffee.
The scrumptious breakfast will be served 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. today and tomorrow.
The breakfasts, which drew raves at the Memorial Day festival, are the major fundraiser for the foundation and will also be served Labor Day weekends.
School board members needed
The Pine Strawberry school board will have three vacant seats at the end of 2014. A pair of those seats are for four-year terms and the other is a two-year term.
Admittedly, being a school board member is almost a thankless job, but members play a huge role in shaping the lives of our most precious resource — our children.
The school board sets the vision and goals for the school district by establishing policies that affect the children, parents, school and the economic well-being of the community.
The local school board is a uniquely American institution. Serving on a board of education is a crucial aspect of grass roots democracy.
Effective school board members contribute their unique talent while collaborating and working as a team with other members.
Those interested in running for any of the seats may pick up election packets at the school or by calling Gila County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Linda O’Dell at (928) 472 5371.
Public education scuffle
Arizona school board members work under decidedly different challenges than members in some other states because deep cuts in funding have spread resources dangerously thin, prompting some educators to flee the state in search of greener pastures.
In fact, public education in Arizona is at a pivotal moment. Funding has been on the decline for more than a decade and our state ranks very near the bottom in national educational investment surveys.
But is it any wonder our state’s public education system struggles?
Consider this, state representative Brenda Barton of Payson says Arizona schools receive plenty of money and the past two Superintendents of Public Instruction, Tom Horne and John Huppenthal, are a pair of the most bizarre characters in state political history.
Thankfully, Arizona has a core of dedicated public school teachers who work passionately to overcome the lack of educational and political leadership.
Maureen and Mike Pasitka take exception to what I wrote in the June 27 Rattlin’ the Rim about a General Dollar store being built in Pine.
It centers on an offer from Dollar General store developer Beau Woodring to donate $10,000 to Pine Strawberry School at the grand opening of the proposed new store.
The sentence they balk at read, the two “oppose accepting the donation” and I quoted them as saying “A developer’s ransom should not influence a decision to allow this chain store’s operation to smudge our community character.”
The Pasitkas contend they were “never against accepting the school donation, but rather were asking to not base approval on the developer’s ransom”
My apologies for the misunderstanding.
Race details set
The Fire on the Rim planning committee has been diligently working most of the year on the 2014 mountain bike race that will be held Sept. 12 to 14.
During an April 5 Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee meeting, board members Katie Calderon and Janet Brandt — the pair responsible for staging the race — gave an optimistic preview of fourth annual event promising the audience it will “be even bigger and better” than the first three years.
The schedule is:
Friday, Sept. 12:
• noon Campsite opens
• 4 p.m. Beer garden opens
• 5 p.m. Italian Feast; silent auction start
• 6 p.m. Late registration — packet pickup and check in. Live music
• 8 p.m. Registration closes
Saturday, Sept. 13:
• 6 a.m. Late registration — packet pickup and check in. Food wagons open
• 7:30 a.m. Registration closes
• 7:30 a.m. 45-mile race start
• 7:45 a.m. 30-mile race start
• 8 a.m. 15-mile race start
• 11 a.m. Beer garden opens
• 1 p.m. Live music
• 2 p.m. Kids race start
• 2:30 p.m. Awards ceremony. Bike raffle drawing. Silent auction ends.
• 4 p.m. Trouble in Paradise Band
• 6 p.m. John Scott Band
Sunday, Sept. 14:
• 9 a.m. Ride the Bearfoot, the new bike trail in Pine Strawberry
• 3 p.m. Campsite closes
Camping will be at the event venue directly across the road from the new start and finish line at the Randall Arena on Bradshaw Drive in Pine. There is no cost for camping, but race organizers ask visitors to be considerate and clean up their campsite because the private land is being donated for the event.
No hookups or dumping are available, but restrooms will be on site and showers will be available and Pine-Strawberry Elementary School.
Friday’s Italian Feast will be prepared by Chef Gerardo Moceri of Gerardo’s Firewood Café and costs $10 a plate.
This year, THAT Brewery is a title sponsor and will host the beer garden.
Music will be provided by Pine’s hometown band —Trouble in Paradise and by the rockin’ blues group the John Scott Band.
On Sunday, the event wraps up with an all-comers bike ride on the Bearfoot Trail, the Rim Country’s newest biking route that the fuel reduction committee worked on most of the fall and winter.
All proceeds from the event benefit fuel reduction and trail building efforts in the Rim Country.
Movies at the library
Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library children’s summer movie program continues July 10 with “Axel” and on July 17 with “Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure.” Both begin at 1 p.m.
Seating is limited and at some past showings, late arriving children have had to be turned away. The best advice is to arrive early.
Refreshments will be served, there is no admission and children should bring their own pillow so as to be more comfortable on the floor.