pine col pix

Knoll Lake offers good fishing opportunities, is one of the most scenic lakes on the Rim and is less hectic because it is off the beaten path.

As strange as it seems, some darn good anglers in Arizona have never fished Knoll Lake.

In fact, there are those who have never heard of it.

That’s understandable with so many popular fishing options available in the northland including Woods Canyon, Willow Springs, Bear Canyon and Black Canyon lakes.

While Knoll Lake is often overlooked, it offers good fishing opportunities, is one of the most scenic lakes on the Rim and is less hectic because it is off the beaten path.

We fished Knoll last week for the first time this summer and found relatively uncrowded fishing and plenty of other things to do including sightseeing, wildlife viewing, photography and hiking.

Although this scribe is woeful at best as an angler, we did have some luck using PowerBait, salmon eggs and wooly buggers. Some of those fishing off the banks were using peacock ladies and worms.

Those fed up with the overflow crowds of desert dwellers who overrun Woods Canyon Lake, should give Knoll a try; they won’t regret it.

School Daze begin

Pine-Strawberry School students are probably a bit apprehensive about the return to classes for the 2019-20 school year.

But the start is inescapable as it is has been since Day 1 — meaning students and parents should be prepping for the most rewarding year ever.

While July 24 is first day of classes, Principal Kathlene Thomson and her staff will host an open house for all parents 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 23.

On the following days, July 25 to 29, kindergarten students will be dismissed at 12:15 p.m. The other grades will have a full day of school — 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. for primary (K-2); 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. for both intermediate (3-5) and middle school (6-8).

School breakfast is served 7:15 a.m. to 7:55 a.m.

Before the onset of classes, parent should make sure their children have the necessary supplies. A complete list for all grades can be found on the school district website at

While the main focus in public education is academics, extracurricular activities are an important part of every child’s education because they can provide purpose and positive self-esteem. They also teach important life skills like leadership, discipline, time management, conflict resolution and problem solving.

Pine-Strawberry School students will this year have several extracurricular activities to choose from including student council, yearbook, Builders Club, art club and sports

Gary Fishel will serve as student council adviser, Stacy Flanagan heads Builders Club, Arlene Ramirez is in charge of yearbook activities and Amy Abney advises the art club.

Ramirez says yearbook is “A great club for students who would like to show our school’s most memorable moments.” Flanagan describes Builders Club as one for “Kids who are interested in helping others” and Abney touts art club as one that “Allows students to unwind from the day and create art they love.”

For those students interested in sports and athletics, the school is scheduled to field teams in volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, girls softball, track and field and archery.

While the risk of a head injury is minimal in K-8 sports, parents are required to sign the Arizona Interscholastic Association Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion (MTBI) waiver before their child is allowed to participate.

For more information on any school program, call Megan Ward at 928-476-3283.

For P/S students attending Payson High School, classes begin Monday, July 29. For this school year, online registration was available and students were to have received their schedules on Monday, July 15.

The bookstore will be open Mondays through Fridays each week. For more information, call 928-474-2233.

Arts Party

The Senior Citizen Affairs Foundation (SCAF) is hosting an Arts Party at 1 p.m., Tuesday, July 23 in the senior dining hall. Crafters will be creating beaded eyeglass holders. All supplies will be provided free to SCAF members.

Shemetewa at library

Friends of Pine Library will host Zuni-Navajo Louie Shemetewa at its monthly meeting set for 1 p.m. Monday, July 22 in the library activity room. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

Shemetewa grew up on the Navajo and Zuni Reservations and will speak on the culture and history of both tribes as well as living in foster care off the reservation.

Foster care and off-reservation boarding schools were once popular options to assimilate tribal children into white society. Over the past two decades, however, those programs have received close scrutiny thanks to the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act that provided new protections for Native American children.

Jingle in July?

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells ... wait a minute, Christmas is five months away.

Tell that to Mountain Village Foundation members who, for the last month, have been hosting a holiday toy drive.

The drive benefits Pine-Strawberry’s needy children by collecting unwrapped toys, games, sports equipment and stocking stuffers to be given out to the youngsters as Christmas gifts.

Most years the foundation is able to provide gifts to 75-80 children from low-income families.

Collection boxes are located at Pine Hardware, the Early Bird Restaurant, Strawbeary Bear, Chalet Bar and Grill and Banner Medical Center in Payson.

Those who would rather donate monetarily can do so by mailing checks to Mountain Village Foundation, P.O. Box 715, Pine, AZ 85544.

Thought for the week

Education, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of man.

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