It’s time for Wine Around the Library on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 4 p.m. to sundown. Library volunteers will serve food from Mama Joe’s, Old County Inn, Pinewood Tavern, Ponderosa Market Bakery, Randall House and THAT Brewery and Pub. Add to that wine and $20 per person is a steal. There will be a raffle and silent auction items from local vendors. Funds support the yearlong activities at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library. Stay tuned for more information on just what goes on all year at the library. For now, get a little dressed up and bring a bit of cash to donate in return for a lovely evening with a grand group of people.
We have a double dose of fall and Halloween fun in our mountain town. If you have children or visiting family, bring them out to these events that are all about small-town fun.
• Friday, Oct. 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Pine-Strawberry eighth-grade class will host the annual Fall Festival at the Pine-Strawberry Elementary School (behind the community center off of Randall Place).
This year’s crop of students has created 11 booths, including a crowd favorite — Pie in the Face! Come in costume as there will be prizes. Costume contest at 6 p.m. Dinner choices are pulled pork sandwich or hot dog, plus chips, a cookie and a drink available for $5 per person and there is a large family discount. Bring cash, tickets are two for $1 and most booths take two tickets. Gather the kids, get dressed up and join the eighth-graders. This is their annual fundraiser for the end of the year trip to Sea World.
• If you want to hand out candy on Halloween with your neighbors, there are only nine spaces left for Trunk or Treat. This public event takes place at the Pine Fire Station on Hardscrabble Road on Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. P-S engineer/EMT Stacy Figueroa is looking for nine community members for reserved parking spots. This is your chance to decorate your trunk, truck bed, or set up a canopy (apparently that’s a thing) — be creative. Delight, scare and enjoy the first of fall holidays in P-S unique small-town fashion. Think of it as a group tailgating for the Great Pumpkin. There will be contests for best trunk/canopy/truck bed. Baked goods and candy can also be donated as there will be a variety of characters roaming about. Kids will get to trick or treat, and as a special treat, go inside the fire station and knock on office doors. You can sign up on Facebook by finding Stacy Figueroa PSFD or leave a voicemail or text at 928-970-1865.
Forest Service fire crews have been and will continue conducting a 4,500-acre prescribed burn. The burn is being conducted to reduce the chance of a catastrophic wildfire, for resource benefits and to protect the East Clear Creek watershed. Smoke may impact our area and sections of Highway 87 north of Pine-Strawberry. A portion of the Arizona Trail will be rerouted during the burn. Information on the reroute can be found at: http://aztrail.org. If you have any questions or concerns, call the Blue Ridge Ranger Station at 928-477-2255.
Take Pride Project
I’ve always wanted my name written in stone — not like a headstone — more like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Thanks to a dedicated group of community-minded volunteers, the Take Pride group, that can happen. Take Pride is still accepting bricks for the timeline next to the ramada at the Community Center in downtown Pine. Cost is $50 for one line, $75 for two lines and $100 for three lines. There is a maximum of 18 characters or spaces per line. I know there are creative types out there who can have some clean fun with this. I’m thinking Myndi – aka the Newspaper Lady. I’m open to suggestions. Send your creative lines and money to The Take Pride Project, P.O. Box 1204, Pine, AZ 85544. They have installed 205 bricks so far, you don’t want your family name left out.
Tuesday’s Roundup article on “Police and firefighter pension funds,” by Pete Aleshire reports that 14 active duty Pine-Strawberry firefighters average almost $84,000 per year. Fire Chief Gary Morris would like to clarify. The average salary for P-S firefighters is about $47,500.
So why the discrepancy, you ask? Chief Morris stated that larger amount is based on the fire districts response to wildfires. Last year, P-S Fire sent personnel and equipment to 14 wildfires. Agencies in charge of large wildfires often send out requests for firefighters. When a fire district sends qualified personnel and equipment to a wildfire, they are paid a hazardous duty rate. These firefighters often work 12- to 16-hour days for two to three weeks. Wildfires are physically demanding and dangerous.
That said, here’s the important part for our community members, according to Morris, the state or federal government fully reimburses the local department for these costs. They also reimburse for overtime costs that may be incurred because a department is short staffed. That additional income is not coming from Pine-Strawberry property owners.
Thanks for the positive comments and the story ideas. Keep them coming. I’ll have upcoming info on Fossil Creek; trail development; Mountain Village as well as reviews of our community board meetings (water, school and fire). Again feel free to contact me with any item you feel could be newsworthy. Together we will spotlight the good side, discuss the controversial and support all of our community events. I am on Facebook at Myndi Brogdon, you can email me at email@example.com or leave a message at 928-476-2500.