As of 6 a.m. July 2, the Tonto National Forest is closed. Closed to campers, hikers, equestrians and motor vehicles.
“Often it is thought that closing a national forest is simple and easy. I always say, it is not as easy as closing the doors to a bank or supermarket. The legal complexities involved are formidable, to say the very least,” said Tonto National Forest Service Public Information Officer Gary Roberts in a press release.
The Tonto National Forest is 2.9 million acres. We’ve already witnessed fires that closed important highways and threatened homes. If you come across folks unaware, please educate them kindly. It’s closed for all of our safety.
Christmas in July
Like many of our community organizations, the Mountain Village Foundation could not make any money this year due to the coronavirus and social distancing.
Starting July 1 and ending July 31, the group is putting up donation boxes for toys decorated with Christmas wrapping in the following businesses: The Early Bird, Pine Creek Fudge Ice Cream & Espresso, Pine Hardware and the Ponderosa Market in Pine. In Strawberry, Linda’s Unique Treasures, Sportsman’s Chalet and Rim Cutters.
Each box will also have tear off sheets with the Mountain Village Foundation address if someone prefers to send money instead of buying gifts for children.
Mountain Village gathers the gifts and then in coordination with the food bank will distribute the gifts before Christmas. They are looking for new toys, games, sports equipment and stocking stuffers for babies to age 18 for boys and girls.
Events still happening
The Library Friends are hosting their annual July Book Sale in the meeting room behind the Cultural Hall at the Community Center.
It will be open Friday and Saturday, July 3 and 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday, July 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Library volunteers will also sell tickets for a gift basket drawing to be held on Labor Day. The largest gift basket includes gift certificates from local merchants and wine.
Volunteers will have hand sanitizers at the door and will appreciate that you follow the current guidelines and wear your mask.
The Strawberry Patchers are having a special sale Saturday, July 4 on the north side of the Payson Concrete Pine office parking lot, 3971 Highway 87. They will have freshly baked homemade bread and dinner rolls made by members, and their famous zipper bags, sewing mats, coasters, Kleenex holders and several quilts for sale.
Volunteers have also sewed several hundred face masks in all colors. All masks are donation only.
Without the quilt show in June and their August auction/sale this group also hopes to gain ground for their charitable funding project. With your help they can get there one mask at a time. Dedicated to funding needs in the community, Patchers are confident they will make it.
Please, come see all the beautiful work they have accomplished. They can accept Mastercard/Visa/AmEx/Discover. Bottled water available.
The volunteers will wear masks, sanitizing and some social distancing and virtual hugs to all.