State Rep. Bob Thorpe recently got a taste of the perils of social media — and touched off another little political dust devil.
Report brims with glittering promise – despite setbacks
As Payson grows from a struggling tourist town of 15,000 to a diverse college town of 40,000, much of the new development will concentrate along the highway, around the proposed campus, along Main Street and in industrial and high-density residential areas around the Payson Airport.
Gila Community College board member Thomas Loeffler abruptly resigned his position this week, blasting fellow board members for “irresponsible decision making.”
Let me explain why my heart’s a little broken today.
FS signs off: Drury ‘elated’
Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth this week signed off on the environmental assessment for the sale of 253 acres to build a university in Payson, clearing one of the key hurdles in the long struggle to transform the local economy.
I stand somber on the shore, listening to the laughter of ghosts.
Study reveals town short on facilities, programs, prospects
Payson remains a tiny private island in a public forest sea.
But move to reopen Snowflake biofuel power plant hailed
Vexing questions continue to swirl around the fate of the largest forest restoration project in history, but news of the reopening of a two shuttered power plants in Snowflake have boosted the hopes of advocates.
Agreement on pottery shards another ‘milestone’
The Rim Country Educational Alliance has signed an agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to allow the purchase of 260 acres of Forest Service land to move forward while consultants excavate an archaeological site.
Payson next week will make history when it starts installing a segment of the CC Cragin/Blue Ridge pipeline along Houston Mesa Road. The pipeline will secure the region’s water future.
Visits to the nation’s 193 million acres of National Forest land add $13 billion to the gross domestic product and sustain about 190,000 full and part-time jobs, according to a just-released survey by the Department of Agriculture.
Amid fresh furor, the U.S. Forest Service is considering letting a troubled timber company transfer the biggest forest restoration project in history.
Jump for joy Rim Country residents! We have water!
Both Republican Paul Gosar and Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick voted for a largely symbolic effort to delay federal penalties for people who don’t obtain health insurance under the terms of the federal Affordable Care Act.
The ponderosa pine forests that remain Rim Country’s biggest draw could fade away as a result of rising temperatures, deepening drought and spreading wildfires, according to a recent study published in Forest Ecology and Management.
Forest chief predicts final sale by Jan.
The Tonto National Forest has settled nearly all of the remaining questions that have bedeviled the effort to sell 253 acres for a university campus in Payson.
Hearing hits on deadly dilemma, but a partisan divide hobbles efforts to find consensus on forest woes
The deadly increase in Western wildfires and the federal government’s failure to develop a coherent response last week triggered an emotionally charged congressional subcommittee meeting that veered between pleas for a consensus solution and partisan blame-placing.
Two rare garter snakes found in Rim Country streams added to endangered species list
After years of lawsuits, court rulings, studies and allegations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) this week declared the Mexican and narrow-headed garter snakes as threatened species.
We’re going to run out of water. Well, not Payson: Two decades of effort have secured Rim Country’s water future. But everyone else is starting to feel a little panicked.
On the brink of the deadliest fire season in decades, federal agencies cut the ranks of their wildlands firefighters by 600, thanks to the automatic spending cuts contained in the “sequester” that grew out of the budget standoff in Congress.
Sitting and praying for rain
I sit on the edge, feet dangling over layers of extinction.
Inspired by news that the land sale for a university in Payson is moving forward, a couple this week pledged a portion of their estate to benefit the effort.
Man, I’m flying. Well, I’m not flying, exactly — but my little caddis fly dry pattern is whipping back and forth overhead with the insectish verisimilitude of Superman in 3-D.
Gila County and other Arizona jurisdictions will escape automatic federal oversight of redistricting and other election decisions as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the federal Voting Rights Act.
Their fate was sealed five miles overhead as the top of the roiling mushroom cloud of hot air began to disintegrate.
State House Rep. Robert Thorpe (R-Flagstaff) this week strongly urged defeat of a bipartisan overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws supported by both of Arizona’s U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.
Detailed critique of crucial, two-million-acre forest thinning plan worries Forest Service guidelines would cause a return to deadlock
Great idea. Not so sure about the plan.
Approval of university land sale unleashes complex chain of events
The “watershed” Forest Service approval of the direct sale of 253 acres for a university campus has unleashed a fury of pent-up activity on the part of the Rim Country Educational Alliance.
Colorado wildfires consume 450 homes and kill two people.
Forest Service approves direct sale of 260 acres for university campus; construction to start this year
The Forest Service this week approved the direct sale of 260 acres for a university campus, clearing the way for the start of construction later this year.
New studies link repeated ‘mega droughts’ to wrenching changes stretching back 1,000 years
You don’t need human beings to produce devastating droughts in the Southwest.
Confusing process leaves officials scrambling to assess the impacts
State and local officials continued to scramble this week to crank out lists of winners and losers in the wake of the adoption of an $8.8 billion state budget after months of deadlock and days of outrage and trauma.
Rim Country faces another windy week of hot, dry conditions with no hint of the fire-quenching monsoons in sight.
A Tucson jury this week convicted former Congressman Rick Renzi of 17 felonies related to his involvement in federal land swaps and sales that ended up benefiting contributors and business associates.
House adopts $8.8 billion plan despite Republican outrage
A bipartisan coalition of nine Republicans and 24 Democrats adopted Republican Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget in an all-night session on Wednesday.
Payson’s economy continues to lag well behind the state and the nation, according to the May financial tracking report released by the town.
The slimy, invading, prolific, fast-growing gizzard shad have taken over Roosevelt Lake.
Gov. Jan Brewer proposed a state budget back in January. The state Senate approved a modestly trimmed version of that budget two weeks ago.
The U.S. Forest Service is bracing for another rough wildfire year throughout the West, with strict fire restrictions already in place in the Tonto, Coconino and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests.
State Sen. Chester Crandell (R-Heber) has blasted the latest effort to expand Petrified Forest National Park by buying thousands of acres of potentially fossil-rich land.
Arizona Game and Fish game wardens won’t have to enforce federal restrictions on off-road travel if Gov. Jan Brewer signs a strike-all bill ushered through the Legislature by Sen. Chester Crandell (R-Heber), who represents Rim Country.
Rep. Gosar: ‘We all want blood’ in response to IRS, state department controversies
Republican Rep. Paul Gosar gleefully hailed the accumulation of political controversies surrounding the Obama Administration as the key to winning control of Congress in 2014, at a speech before a supportive crowd at a Payson Tea Party meeting.
Rep. Paul Gosar last week warned a jam-packed Payson Tea Party gathering that the nation is headed for financial disaster by not controlling the federal debt and the cost of Medicare and Social Security.
No wonder we’re hurting. The consultant’s report prepared for the overhaul of Payson’s General Plan has finally put numbers to the region’s economic struggles in the past four years.
Payson’s anemic recovery continues to lag behind the rest of the state, which helps explain why the town has so far this year spent $1.1 million more than it has collected in revenues.
Cattle grazing: The problem or the solution?
A long-awaited effort to restore forest health through commercial thinning projects will get under way in June near Show Low, the U.S. Forest Service has announced.
Health effects, government eavesdropping spook crowd
A crush of people alarmed about the imminent installation of “smart meters” crowded the Payson Town Council meeting last week, hoping to convince the town to pass a resolution opposing the automated transmitters that intermittently send information on electricity use to Arizona Public Service.
The pounding stadium music swelled and the middling crowd at the Payson Spring Rodeo leaned forward for the single most dangerous moment in sports — the foolhardy attempt to sit on top of a furiously bucking, spinning, twisting, slobbering, kicking bull.
Payson has 54 employees whose salaries and retirement benefits tally more than $75,000 — but the only one it can spare is the fire marshal, according to a budget study committee that reported its findings to the council last week.