YOUR SOURCE FOR TRUTH

Sunday, October 31, 2010

PSWID needs to stop viewing public as adversary

The following update on the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) Board is provided by Water for Pine Strawberry, an organization of concerned residents whose leader's name cannot be mentioned here or the Roundup will not run his letters to the editor.)

Strawberry Hollow Well (SH3) Contract
We obtained a copy of the SH3 purchase contract which can be found here: http://www.waterforpinestrawberry.com/data%20pages/BudgetDocs.htm .

The contents of the purchase agreement are pretty much as described by the board in the meetings with the exception of some deed covenants that give the Strawberry Hollow Domestic Water Improvement District (SHDWID) first call on half the output from the well and require that the water from the well be connected to PSWID through the SHDWID water system. See pages 14 and 15 of the contract, covenants 4 and 5.

The first of those deed covenants is: “SHDWID and Grantee shall cooperate in good faith, including the operation of the wells, to provide water to each other as needed. Grantee shall provide water to SHDWID when needed by SHDWID provided that Grantee has the requested water physically available, and such water shall be provided on a parity with water Grantee provides to lands within Grantee’s district boundaries.” (Note that SHDWID would pay a wholesale rate for the water that they take).

Comment: My interpretation is that “on a parity” means that SHDWID can take an equal amount of water as PSWID from the well, if they so desire. The period over which parity is determined is not stated. Is it an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year? If PSWID has pumped the well at full capacity for a week or month, does that mean that SHDWID can then take the full output for a week or month to achieve parity? At full build out, Strawberry Hollow will have 72 homes, so maybe worst case they need 300,000 gallons in a month, which is about a fourth of the well’s output.

The second of those deed covenants is: “Water from the Well shall be delivered to Grantee through SHDWID’s water system.”

Comment: Being forced to run the water through the SHDWID water system gives SHDWID the ability to shut the water from the well off to PSWID. This basically places enforcement of “on a parity” under SHDWID control since they get first physical access to the water coming out of the well. This is much different than was described in the meetings. In the August 10th meeting where the contract was agreed to, Mr. Loren Peterson’s attorney said that the output from the well would be a “tee” to the PSWID and SHDWID sides. A couple weeks later, Mr. Gary Lovetro described is being a “vee” where there were separate connections from the well to PSWID and SHDWID.

Comment: So we paid $450,000 for a well and did not end up with full ownership of the water or control of the access to the water. Mr. Loren Peterson said at the July 3rd meeting that he wanted to sell the well and retain first rights to the water. There was general grumbling about that at that meeting, but it appears that he was successful. SHDWID basically has a backup well that costs them nothing. If the shallow aquifer well that Strawberry Hollow currently gets its water from goes dry or the well fails in some way, they can supply all of their needs from the PSWID well for as long as they desire.

Document Access
Mr. Richard Dickinson has repeatedly cited the opinion of the former PSWID attorney, Mr. John Gliege, that spending $130,000 to repair and improve the Milk Ranch well could be considered to be “due diligence” by the board. Assuming that the board has their “stay out of jail card” in written form, we put in a document request for it. Mr. David Davis, the board’s attorney, sent a reply which is at the end of this email.

Mr. Davis states that such an opinion falls within attorney-client privilege and does not have to be provided to the public.

Comment: This puts the board members in the enviable position that they can claim this opinion says pretty much anything and no one will be the wiser. This opinion is the board’s key talking point that spending money to repair and improve a private well is the right thing to do. The board is the client in this case and they control whether it is released or not. If it says what has been claimed, then it is in the board’s best interest to share it with the public. If it doesn’t say what has been claimed then it is in the board’s best interest to keep it hidden from public view.

Mr. Davis also spends a good deal of time explaining why the public should avoid requesting information from the district.

Comment: In an effort to help Mr. Davis and the district reduce the effort and cost that they spend on document requests, we would like to offer the following suggestions:

i. If a document is mentioned or presented in a meeting, post it on the website in a timely manner. If you feel that it is too sensitive to provide to the public, post an explanation and the conditions/time frame under which it may become available in the future. That way the public can pull the documents without a request, those documents are available to the general public for review, and the public will know what is futile to request.

ii. Put documents of general interest on the website. The monthly well production reports, reports on breaks, meter installs, etc. Things like audit reports, engineering reports, and master plan.

iii. Don’t view the public as an adversary that you must hide information from. While the law may allow the board to hide the information, it often doesn’t require that the information be hidden. There should be a limited class of requests which require Mr. Davis’ attention. If the board is uncomfortable with the public knowing what they are doing, that is a clear sign that they aren’t doing the right thing for the community.


Mr. David Davis’s response on document requests:
“Dear Ms. Mason:
I understand from the staff that you have made yet again another public request. This time it is for a written opinion from the District=s former attorney, John Gliege, regarding the legal concept of due diligence and how it might apply to development of the Milk Ranch Well.

I know you are not an attorney, but most folks have heard of the attorney-client privilege. It allows the client to prevent disclosure of written opinions that the attorney provides to the client. You have asked the Board to disclose opinions that John Gliege provided in writing regarding the legal concept of due diligence. This clearly falls within the category of attorney-client privilege. The attorney-client privilege trumps the freedom of information request.

To put this in perspective, I think you are fairly familiar regarding the legal battles between John Gliege and Mr. Hardcastle=s attorney, Jay Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro could not have used the Freedom of Information Act to request the documents created by John Gliege regarding his opinion of the legal issues between PSWID and Pine Water Company. This is a fairly basic legal concept.

If you have any further questions regarding this privilege, attached hereto are six different high court opinions throughout the country, in both state and federal courts, which hold that documents covered by the attorney privilege are unquestionably exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

I do want to take this opportunity to explain the process that the Board follows when anyone makes a Freedom of Information Act request. When you send your request, the District reviews the request and attempts to locate the documents that would be responsive to the request. They then send the documents to me for legal review to determine whether or not the documents are privileged or whether or not there is some legal issue regarding the request that needs to be addressed. I review the request and review the documents, and if necessary, do some research. I then make a written recommendation to the District. The amount of time I spend on the public request depends upon the number of documents that I must review and the novelty of the request and whether or not there is any recent case law regarding the request for such documents.

The request requires my time. If the request produces multiple emails with attachments then it may take a lot of my time.

Attorneys bill for their time. Mr. Gliege billed the District $300.00 an hour. I bill the District $190.00 an hour. The Board and I have worked together and are continuing to work together to find new protocols and procedures so as to reduce the attorney fee expenditure by the District. Both the Board and I believe that the District=s budget is better spent on the steel pipes of the water main than the wind pipes of a barrister.

What I want you to understand is that every time you send in a public request the District is forced to spend more of its budget on legal expenses and less of its budget on direct improvement of the water system.

You, as a citizen, have the right to request public documents from this District. I assume you are making these requests because you have a strong interest in creation of an effective water system in Pine. What I would like you to understand is that each of your public requests make it incrementally more difficult for the Board and you to reach your common goal of an effective water system

I am not writing to discourage you from making legitimate public requests. Whether or not you continue to make public requests and the frequency at which you continue to make public requests is totally within your hands.

Just one final thought. If you are continuing to make these requests because you are worried about my client base, you can stop. I have plenty of other clients to keep me busy even if your public requests suddenly went silent.

Best wishes. I look forward to see you at the next meeting.”

This update is from the group Water For Pine Strawberry. We will provide after each of the PSWID meetings with a summary of what the board did, additional facts that are relevant to what went on, and some commentary. Updates on earlier meetings are available on our website: www.WaterForPineStrawberry.com .

Water For Pine Strawberry is a group of residents who are concerned about the communities water issues and how they can best be resolved. Visit our web site, www.WaterForPineStrawberry.com, for more information. The website for PSWID is www.pswid.org .
Clarifications can be submitted by anyone who is explicitly named, implicitly identifiable, or a board member to items in this email. Clarifications will be posted on our website. We reserve the right to post a response. Clarifications must deal with the topics discussed in the email that relate to the individual or the board. They must be in family friendly language and be non-abusive. When the clarification is accepted, it will be posted to the website and notice of that posting will be added to the next update.

Candyce fans invited to support her in competition

Rising local Country music talent Candyce is familiar to many Rim Country residents. Her fans have come to think of the 23 year old starlet as the next Carrie Underwood with her own unique vocal style.

Last fall she was featured as one of the nation’s “up and coming” artists in Country Weekly Magazine. Now Candyce is hoping her next big break will be at the upcoming Lone Butte Casino's "Lucky Break" Singing Competition.

On Oct. 14, Candyce won the Judges Choice spot and made it to the Semi-Finals with a perfect score of 7-7-7. The competition aired on CBS channel 5 on Saturday, Oct. 30 on at 11:30 p.m. 

The semi-final round, which will also to be taped and televised on CBS channel 5, will be held on Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cascade Lounge at the Lone Butte Casino in Chandler. If Candyce once again prevails, she will be a part of the Grand Finale, which will take place on December 16.

Candyce’s manager, Janet Kraniak, said that if a contestant is not chosen by the judges, they can still be voted in via text message to go to the next round. Like American Idol, 18 contestants are picked to participate in the semi-finals.

“The prizes at stake are $5,000 cash, two tickets to the Grammys, and a chance to sing before Nashville or Las Vegas music execs,” said Kraniak. “She has already won a gift certificate to a restaurant and tickets to see Lady Antebellum.”

Candyce invites her hometown fans and friends to come cheer her on and show their support on the 4th. Attendees will have the opportunity to be a part of the taped audience. For more information, visit her website at www.candycemusic.com.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween from your favorite Consortium...

THE CONSORT...
Photo by Bill Huddleston

AND THE SCARY DUDES SHE HANGS OUT WITH
Photo by The Consort


We like our obesity, so yoga nuts should back off

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following column appeared in the Oct. 20 Mogollon Connection provoking a negative response from a couple of yoga proponents who obviously didn't get it.  It's called satire, and it's a style of writing I employ frequently.  "Satire," according to my Glossary of Literary Terms," is the literary art of diminishing a subject by making it ridiculous and evoking towards it attitudes of amusement, contempt, or scorn."  What the complainers didn't get is that the "amusement, contempt or scorn" is not directed at yoga or its practitioners but at the right wing whackos who see a left wing liberal conspiracy under every stone.  As I say in the column, The Consort is a yoga fanatic.  I live with The Consort.  It would not behoove me to make fun of yoga.  So to those who don't get it I respectfully suggest they try to develop or otherwise acquire a sense of humor.  I received many compliments on the column from yoga folks who have one -- a sense of humor, that is.)

Leave it to the Tucson Unified School District, located in Arizona’s lone bastion of liberalism, to add yoga to its curriculum. It’s another left wing trick to take away our guns and leave us weak and defenseless.

We know this is happening because we received a press release from one Rajan Zed of the Universal Society of Hinduism written in broken English. Here are some excerpts:

“Hindus have commended Tucson Unified School District in Arizona for introducing yoga in curriculum and have urged all schools in USA to do the same for their pupils.

“Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, suggested all elementary-middle-high schools of the nation to incorporate yoga in the lives of the students, making it part of the curriculum. Yoga was a mental and physical discipline whose traces went back to around 2000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, he pointed out.

“Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage to be utilized by all. Yoga, referred as ‘a living fossil’ and handed down from one guru to next, was based on an eightfold path to direct the practitioner from awareness of the external world to a focus on the inner.

“Rajan Zed added that besides other benefits, yoga might also help deal with the obesity crisis faced by the country. According to National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. Swami Vivekananda reportedly brought yoga to USA in 1893, and according to an estimate, about 16 million Americans now do yoga.”

I’ll bet every last one of those 16 million is a flaming liberal. And I’m also willing to wager that Sarah Palin would have plenty to say about people in the US of A who do yoga.

One of them just happens to be The Consort, a rabid believer in the benefits of yoga. In fact, she has tried to introduce me to yoga on several occasions. (It’s insidious how they try to suck us true blue Americans in.)

In the interest of fairness, and to stay on The Consort’s good side, allow me to present the following tutorial on yoga which is based entirely on my personal observations.

From what I have learned by watching The Consort, yoga is the ancient art of stretching just like a dog and otherwise contorting your body in very unnatural ways. In fact they name some of their moves after dogs. Sarah would call that “bestiality.”

While there are 16 million practitioners of yoga in the U.S., it is almost the exclusive domain of women. I believe there are several explanations for this:

1) The guy who does a lot of the instructional yoga videos is Rodney Yee who wears nothing but this diaper/loincloth thing and is considered very hot by the ladies.
2) The women who do instructional yoga videos are not so hot, and I suspect do not shave their armpits and other strategic areas.
3) When you watch women doing yoga, it kind of resembles a very slow motion ballet. Real men do not do ballet.

If you’re a left-wing liberal, you’ll find it easy to get started doing yoga. All you need is a yoga mat (available at Target and other mass retailers for about $12) and the ability to repeatedly say “Namaste.”

According to one yoga master I located on the Internet, Namaste “represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. ‘Nama’ means bow, ‘as’ means I, and ‘te’ means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you." OK then.

Like anything else in this litigious age, the practice of yoga is accompanied by several disclaimers:

First, be forewarned that yoga reinforces the theory of evolution. Because if the human body can get into all those positions, it can only mean one thing – we really did descend from monkeys (and possibly dogs). Which reinforces the other piece of evidence in favor of evolution – that we behave much like monkeys most of the time. And I’m not just talking about the steady increase in banana consumption.

Second, do not practice yoga in the bathtub as it might cause death by drowning.

Third, if you get stuck in an unnatural position, all bets are off.

So that’s the end of my fair and balanced representation of yoga. Let’s get back to the left wing liberal stuff.

You have to wonder why the Universal Society of Hinduism is located in Nevada – home of Las Vegas, the sin capital of America. Since what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, this is not a good way to spread the yoga faith, but it sure does afford the president of said society with lots of recreational pursuits. See “Woods, Tiger.”

And who says we want to resolve the obesity crisis in America anyway? We like being fat. We like overindulging. We like supersizing.

Finally, I have enough friends who are “living fossils.” I don’t need any more in my life.

You know, this is kind of fun. I could really get into this right wing spreading-of-crap stuff.

Namaste…and keep your powder dry.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prop. 203: Two sides of medical marijuana issue

Heather Torgerson of Scottsdale says using marijuana helped her deal with fatigue and nausea as she was treated for brain cancer. Torgerson is the chairwoman of an effort to approve Proposition 203, which would add Arizona to states allowing the medical use of marijuana. (Cronkite News Service Photo by David Rookhuyzen)

By DAVID ROOKHUYZEN
Cronkite News Service

PHOENIX – Heather Torgerson wrote a college paper against the use of medical marijuana. Today, however, she says what once seemed so wrong then is the reason she’s survived brain cancer.

She almost had to stop treatment after chemotherapy and radiation left her nauseated and fatigued. When prescriptions and homeopathic remedies didn’t reverse her weight loss, she turned to marijuana.

Torgerson said her appetite returned within five minutes.

“I owe my life to it,” she said.

As chair of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, Torgerson says many Arizonans would benefit if voters approve Proposition 203, a ballot measure that would legalize the medical use of marijuana.

The proposition would allow a qualifying person with a doctor’s recommendation to receive 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks from licensed dispensaries. Qualifying conditions would include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and chronic pain.

The Arizona Department of Health Services would register and issue identification cards to patients and caregivers to use marijuana or grow up to 12 plants if they live far from a dispensary.

With most of its funding in the form of cash and in-kind contributions from the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington D.C.-based lobbying group, Torgerson’s group gathered enough petition signatures to place the measure on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Thirteen states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana. Minnesota voters also are deciding a ballot measure in November.

Meanwhile, California’s Proposition 19 would legalize and regulate marijuana much like tobacco or alcohol.

Arizona voters approved medical marijuana use in 1996, but the measure never took effect because it would have required a doctor’s prescription, which is illegal under the federal law. Proposition 203 instead would require a doctor’s recommendation, which would have the same weight as a prescription but only on a state level.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last year that the government wouldn’t prosecute marijuana users who comply with state laws.

Andrew Myers, campaign manager for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, says the measure will protect the seriously ill.

“Right now those people face a really terrible choice,” Myers said. “They either have to continue suffering with a serious, debilitating medical condition or they have to follow their doctor’s advice, use marijuana illegally and then live in fear of arrest and prosecution.”

Opponents, however, say that the law is less about medicine and more about protecting marijuana users.

“Saying that this is for medicine for sick people is an absolute smokescreen,” said Carolyn Short, chairwoman of a group calling itself Keep AZ Drug Free, Proposition 203′s chief opposition.

Short said a loophole in the measure is the inclusion of severe and chronic pain as a qualifying condition. In other states with medical marijuana laws, she said, almost all patients use the drug for pain rather than serious illness.

In addition, Short said the allowed 2.5 ounces would equal 200 joints, which she said is more than one person can smoke in two weeks.

“What happens to the excess?” Short said. “I think we know what happens to the excess.”

Myers said the 2.5-ounce allowance is necessary since most patients consume marijuana with food, which require more of the drug.

Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t tested marijuana for safety and efficacy and added that the voters shouldn’t be able to circumvent this process.

“There are no other medications that people vote on,” he said.

If the measure passes, however, Humble said his department would implement the system in a fair and efficient way.

In the Secretary of State’s Office publicity pamphlet, five county sheriffs and 11 county attorneys state their opposition to Proposition 203.

“If this proposition passes, a cottage industry of physician recommendations, caregivers and pot shops will spring up overnight in our communities,” their statement says.

Torgerson said the proposition’s detractors lack the unique perspective that she and others share.

“I’m not mad at them; they just don’t know,” she said.

Where medical marijuana is allowed:
- Alaska
- California
- Colorado
- Hawaii
- Maine
- Michigan
- Montana
- Nevada
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Oregon
- Rhode Island
- Vermont
- Washington
- District of Columbia

POEM: Pictures in the Plaster

PICTURES IN THE PLASTER
By Bruce Wales

The images that live upon my ceiling
The patterns that reside upon my floor
Have a living staying still so I might know them till
I figure out their meaning and much more.

I catch them with the snapshot of my eyelids,
I turn away and back to find some more.
Oh, the images that park when my ceiling’s almost dark
And the patterns that reside upon my floor.

There’s a monkey with one arm and crooky tail
And a girl with eyes so big I simply stare
And a portion of a whale, and a shovel, and a pail.
And a cloud of German lettering floating there.

When the lamp is off and sunlight fills the window
Or the daylight fills each floor in every room
Disappearing monkey, man, and the girl in his hand
They’re replaced, as if by swishing of a broom.

I’ve seen barbells, lots of noodles,
Half tanks and partial poodles,
A bicycle that has a funny wheel.
But, the strangest apparition
Was a clown in an umbrella
Juggling white mice while he balanced on a seal!

A bald man smokes a cig’rette grabs his hiney
And a rocket moving like it’s on the go
A train of cars so shiney, I count them, “eenie, minie”
There’s another three, “meeny, minie, moe!”

The pictures in the plaster
The figures in the tile
May come and go while life unrolls
But always make me smile.

Shunned Shields takes a sharp shot to the shin

By Jim Keyworth
Gazette Editor

Here’s a fun little story that will brighten your day. As most of you know, the Payson Roundup has an online forum that allows registered users to post comments on local issues.

From time to time over the years, people are kicked off that forum (and usually let back on after doing penance) for reasons that seem kind of stupid to us. In fact, some of them seem to negate the whole purpose of such a forum – to encourage an honest and open dialog on the issues.

Anyway, the latest booting took place this week when longtime Rim Country resident Dean Shields got jackbooted in the shin.

Because her Internet was down, she went to the Roundup’s office to “thank” Publisher John Naughton. Here’s how Shields reported in an e-mail that it went when Naughton came out to the lobby:

“OMG I wish you could have seen his face!! Talk about ugly and mean:)”

She further explained why she was kicked off the forum:

“I was banned because I said (Payson Mayor) KennyWho (Evans) is a liar and pointed out several of his lies. It (ticked) Rex Hinshaw off and he said I should be banned; maybe that had something to do with it?”

Here, for the record, is the infamous post that got Shields the boot:

“Yes, I read it Dan. His first story about losing his hand was different, like Pat said. He was hit by lightning. His two stories about losing his son are totally different also. But the biggest lie was the one he told when he was campaigning to be mayor. He said it was all his idea; no one asked him to do it; no one was behind it. But he screwed up big time when his web page had a calendar showing all the people that had scheduled fund raisers for him. Plus the e-mail I received from one of his fans telling me how someone in the Police Department and Evans were going to decide which one would take on Bob Edwards.
“The link you posted? Another attempt at gaining votes when he campaigns for a higher office when his term expires here.”

And here is the responding post from Hinshaw:

“Dean,
In addition to continuosly calling our Mayor a liar you are now insinuating that he is lying about his hand injury and his sons (sic) death. That is low and uncalled for. Those statements have no place on this or any other public discussion forum. I would recommend an apology or your removal from this site.”

To which Shields responded:

“Rex, a liar is a liar, regardless of who it is. The two different stories about those subjects were in this newspaper. You defend him all you want, I still say he is a liar. ( But not that different than most politicians.)
"I have no idea which story is true, but if he tells a story, or a lie, I have the right to point out the discrepancies and dispute it on this, or any other public discussion forum. He is a public figure, an elected official.
“No apology from me, got it??”


And finally, the post wherein Naughton booted Shields, in which he responds to comments in her original post:

“Ms. Shields:
“‘A liar is a liar, regardless of who it is. The two different stories about those subjects were in this newspaper.’
“That statement is incorrect. As reported, He lost his son in a pedestrian/automobile accident, half his hand in an electrical accident.
“Nothing else has ever been reported in the Roundup except those facts.
“‘I have no idea which story is true, but if he tells a story, or a lie, I have the right to point out the discrepancies and dispute it on this, or any other public discussion forum.’
“That statement is also incorrect. You do not have the right to defame anyone regardless the person or the forum. In fact, as it pertains to this website, you explicitly agreed not to.
“Ms. Shields, you have crossed the line. You have left us no choice but to ban your comments from this site.”

So there you have the whole goofy chain of events. But don’t worry about Shields. She’s doing just fine:

“I was giggling all day every time I remembered the look on Naughton's face. :) Still am.

“There is a quote from a movie ("A Few Good Men") that keeps going through my head...‘Truth? You can't handle the truth!!’”

(Remember, you can click on BY THE PEOPLE in the right column to leave a comment about this or any other subject.  We only censor the ones that are trying to sell something.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prop. 302 will raid child funds, lead to more crime

Retired Mesa police chief Dennis Donna, left, and former Paradise Valley police chief John Wintersteen read to children at Phoenix Day, a child develpment center in Phoenix. The center participates in Arizona’s First Things First early childhood programs. The officers oppose Proposition 302, the ballot initiative that would terminate funding for the program. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Jennifer A. Johnson)

By JENNIFER A. JOHNSON
Cronkite News Service

PHOENIX – Helping at-risk children develop social skills and the ability to learn before they enter school prevents crime in the long run, retired Mesa Police Chief Dennis Donna said Monday.

“We need to invest in the education and development of today’s most at-risk kids, so they don’t become tomorrow’s high-risk offenders,” he said at a news conference opposing a plan to eliminate the voter-approved First Things First program.

Joined by retired Paradise Valley Police Chief John Wintersteen, Donna read a book at Phoenix Day, the oldest continuously operated child development center in Arizona.

Proposition 302 would transfer $325 million from First Things First, which provides early childhood health and development services, to help address the state budget deficit.

The program was approved in 2006 out of concern about a gap in services addressing the needs of children 5 and under. It’s funded from an 80-cent-a-pack tax on cigarettes.

Wintersteen said it’s far better to bolster a child’s educational future than to slam shut a prison door.

“Intervening with at-risk kids and affording them greater educational opportunities will improve public safety in the long run,” he said.

Both retired chiefs said they are skeptical of claims by state officials that money transferred from First Things First will be used to maintain similar programs. Wintersteen said voters’ wishes, made clear in 2006, should be honored.

“They said, ‘This is important … this is something for the long-term health of our state.’”

State Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a telephone interview that the state faces a $1.6 billion shortfall and must carefully prioritize the limited funds available for public programs.

“There are need-to-have programs and nice-to-have programs,” Kavanagh said. “It’s all about priorities, and the programs the state is trying to save are far more vital than the nice-to-have First Things First program.”

He said the state has already identified programs it would like to save with the additional funding from the First Things First funding, such as children’s health care programs, vaccinations and hiring additional Child Protective Services investigators to prevent abuse.

Garrick Taylor, a spokesman for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said First Things First is “laudable” but not a priority in the current budget environment.

“This is a matter of budget prioritization,” Taylor said. “We aren’t passing judgement on the program.”

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Get your beer, ice and terrorists down at Circle K

Here we go again.

A suspect in a series of 18 stabbings that left five people dead in three states was arrested recently at an Atlanta airport gate just before he got on a plane bound for the Middle East.

According to CBS News, passengers on the flight the suspect would have been on said “he was tense and talking on his cell phone when he was arrested at the boarding gate shortly before takeoff.”

CBS reported that the attacks began in my home town of Flint, Mich. in May, and continued on an average of one stabbing every four days until the arrest. Besides the ones in Flint, attacks linked to the suspect occurred in Ohio and Virginia.

The suspect worked in a convenience store in Mt. Morris, Mich., a suburb of Flint. His boss was a dude named Abdulla Farrah who, as you might expect, claimed to be surprised by what happened.

"He was a good guy. All of my employees, we never thought nothing about the guy," said Farrah, manager of Kingwater Market.

Of course the pattern is a familiar one. An Arab terrorist slips through all kinds of security checks and almost gets away.

Doesn’t it just figure. Can’t trust a raghead. Ought to just not let them get on planes.

Except this guy isn’t an Arab. In fact he’s a Jew – an Israeli citizen named Elias Abuelazam living in the U.S. with a green card – and the Delta Air Lines flight he was trying to board was bound for Tel Aviv.

What’s more, his motive, as near as authorities can tell, wasn’t grounded in a hatred of Americans or Christians. Nope, it was a good old fashioned all American hatred of blacks. At least that’s what the authorities figure, given that almost all his victims were black.

"I believe his motivation is pure hatred," Leesburg, Va. Police Chief Joseph Price said.

I hope a moral to this story is beginning to emerge. The problem with patterns is that they seldom hold up. We as a country have become masters at stereotyping. And the ultimate act of bigotry is looking under every rock and behind every convenience store cash register for an Arab to blame for everything that happens to us of an unpleasant nature.

The problem is that life is seldom so simple. There are bad Arabs and good Arabs, just as there are bad Jews and good Jews. And, dare I say, bad Americans and good Americans.

And what will the closet racists among us make of the fact that the victims were black. Doesn’t that just turn your world upside down. Because we all know about blacks, don’t we. How their innate lack of moral character makes them really scary dudes. In fact, that’s why so many dogs don’t like black people. They instinctively know they’re not to be trusted.

Which, of course, brings us to Black dude numero uno – President Barack Obama. Have you noticed how the criticisms leveled against him are little more than the same nonsensical stereotypes racists spew about all blacks. He can’t be trusted. His loyalties lie elsewhere. He wants to sneak up and kill your grandma. He’s not real bright so he’s doing some really dumb things (like achieving health care reform, getting the U.S. auto industry back on its feet, and reforming Wall Street). And how not surprising is it that so many Americans are blaming him for a recession that was clearly initiated by the wars and other sordid policies of the Bush administration. And for bailouts that were initiated by the Bush administration.

It was bad enough that this first-ever black president has been bowing down to Arabs and taking all those extra flights on Air Force One. But even worse, he is now starting to cozy up to the “queers.” How else to explain his attempts to do away with “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Of course, you yourself are not a bigot. Neither am I. But we need to keep a close eye on our neighbors. And an even closer one on that friend who is always sending out those gang e-mails attacking Obama on every front.

Your e-mailing friend is probably also ranting against the mosque that has been proposed for a location a couple of blocks from the former home of the World Trade Center – now known as Ground Zero.

Despite the premise of religious tolerance that brought his ancestors here in the first place.

Despite the fact that the mosque cannot even be seen from Ground Zero.

Despite the fact that the Islamic leader who wants to open the mosque is a moderate with whom both Republicans and Democrats have been able to work.

It’s insanity. It’s madness. And it’s a tragedy. That the greatest nation in the world is self destructing by ignoring the very principles that made us great.

But I have an idea. It won’t reverse this terrible trend. It won’t really solve anything. But it would be deliciously ironic.

Instead of a mosque, I say let’s turn the site over to a convenience store chain like Circle K. With a manager whose name sounds Islamic.

Before you know it he’ll hire a cast of characters to cashier at the store who run the gamut – from blacks to illegal Mexicans to Gays – and maybe even a knife-wielding Jew.

That will be even scarier to the bigots than a mosque.

As they say on the Circle K TV commercials, “What else do you need?”

Monday, October 25, 2010

WPS endorses Matthews, Mortensen, Claxton

(Editor's note: The following is provided by Water for Pine Strawberry (WPS), the group headed by the guy whose name we can't mention lest the Roundup not run his letters to the editor for associating with us.)

Our recommendations for Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) board in the upcoming Nov. 2 election are:

Mr. Howard Matthews
Mr. Marvin Mortensen
Mr. Mike Claxton

October 21, 2010 PSWID Meeting

Next regular PSWID Meeting: Thursday November 18, 2010 at 7:30 PM at the Pine Cultural Center

Correction
In the last update I said that EMH was one of the companies that had participated in the pre-proposal activities. The correct reference to the company is MWH, which stands for Montgomery Watson Harza.

Board Hires CH2M Hill as Operations Management Company
The board voted unanimously to approve the hiring. Prior to that vote there was a presentation made by Mr. Mike Greer as to the financial feasibility of the contract. No details were provided on the scope of the contract, other than it is for four years and the price will be renegotiated every year. We will make Mr. Greer’s presentation available when we get a copy. Mr. Greer also stated that he would be happy to go through how the financial numbers were arrived at with members of the public.

Comment: I put in a request to Mr. Greer to go through the numbers and will share the results of that.

The board stated that there was no need to hire someone to manage the contract from the district’s side. They will be relying on board members to do that.

Mr. Danny Stevens was introduced as the new operations manager. Mr. Stevens is an employee of CH2M Hill and will be residing in the Pine-Strawberry area.

There was a great deal of concern expressed by the audience about the fate of the current employees with the takeover of operations by CH2M Hill. The board assured the audience that all of the current employees will be hired by CH2M Hill. Mr. Dennis Burrell, the current interim operations manager being provided by CH2M Hill, said that they value the knowledge of the current employees and had every intention of keeping them on. He also stated that they did not have any centralized billing center where work might be shifted to.

Mr. David Davis, PSWID attorney did note that there was no contractual way to enforce this.

Mr. Burrell also said that CH2M Hill has many operations of this size. He said that they have been managing Prescott Valley for 18 years and that they have many other operations contracts where they have been in place for long periods of time. Mr. Tom Weeks said that he spoke to the person managing the Prescott Valley contract and that they are very happy with CH2M Hill.

Comment: From an operations point of view, this is probably the best of the choices that the district currently has. While the current staff is capable, the district seems to be just treading water without any knowledgeable leadership. Hopefully, CH2M Hill will provide the additional expertise and experience needed. Given the board’s track record at estimating costs, it’s likely that this will end up costing much more than they think, but time will tell.

Seasonal Meters
Board voted to convert all seasonal meters to permanent meters

Strawberry Hollow Well (SH3) Status
The purchase is in escrow and there has been bank approval. The bank approval seems to have hinged upon a valuation provided by CH2M Hill.

Milk Ranch Well Status
Mr. Burrell stated that the old pump and motor have been fished out of the well. Seventy-five feet of accumulated sand has been removed and the perforations have been cleaned out.

Mr. Burrell stated that a new pump will be installed next week and a 30 day pump test will be started. At the completion of that pump test an evaluation of the well will be made.

Comment: The well hasn’t run since June and 75 feet of sand accumulated in six months. Seems like quite a lot of sand for that period of time. Mr. Lovetro said at the Sept 18th RCW meeting that there was 150 feet of sand and said that the company that had been hired to originally clean out the well hadn’t gone to the 1050 foot depth that they were supposed to. Seems to be some confusion on the story here.

As of the end of September the total expenditure on repairs, improvements, and evaluation of the Milk Ranch well is $130,186.52.

Misc
There was discussion about replacing a fire hydrant that was removed during Brooke’s ownership of the water system. Mr. Dave Prechtel from the Fire board asked for some cooperation in determining an approach and to perhaps use CH2M Hill’s buying power to get a better cost for the fire hydrant.

There was some discussion of how to deal with several customers who had had disputes with Brooke that led them to not pay bills and have their meters pulled. These disputes (sounded like there were two of them) were about improper installation by Brooke. Since this is a he said/she said type of issue, district will just go ahead and take the word of the owners and rectify the problems without further discussion.

Mr. Ray Pugel spent some time quizzing the district’s attorney about whether there is anything the district could sue Brooke Utilities for. Mr. Pugel seems to think that there is more water loss than was reported to the ACC and that this was fraudulent information. Mr. Davis, suggested that that was a long shot and that less of a long shot would be a class action by the residents of Strawberry to try and recover part of the $900,000 award that Brooke received in a lawsuit some years ago against someone who was illegally taking water from the system to fill a pond. (My knowledge of the details of that is sketchy at best).

Mr. Fred Krafczyk, nominal head of Rim Country Water, got up and complained because Mr. Don Smith had recruited the other candidates, Mr. Matthews and Mr. Mortensen, to run against the Rim Country Water slate of Mr. Greer, Mr. Calderon, and Mr. Claxton.
i. Comment: Mr. Krafczyk implied that there is such a tremendous desire in the community for what the board is doing that they should run unopposed. Nov. 2 should give an indication of what the community is thinking. If they have the mandate of the community that they have been claiming then they have nothing to worry about.
ii. Comment: As a historical note, when I ran for the board in 2008 Mr. Krafczyk stood up in a PSWID meeting and complained that by my running, the RCW candidates were not unopposed in the election. He said that this was all part of a plot between me and Brooke to drain the PSWID treasury of $27,000 for the cost of the election. Gila County Elections was actually estimating $1500 for the cost of the election, and the actual cost was about half of that. It would seem that Mr. Krafczyk is not a fan of elections. He never did apologize for his unfounded accusation.

This update is from the group Water for Pine Strawberry. We will be providing an update after each of the PSWID meetings with a summary of what the board did, additional facts that are relevant to what went on, and some commentary. Emails on earlier meetings are available on our website: www.WaterForPineStrawberry.com .

Water For Pine Strawberry is a group of residents who are concerned about the communities water issues and how they can best be resolved. Visit our web site, www.WaterForPineStrawberry.com, for more information. The website for PSWID is www.pswid.org .

Clarifications can be submitted by anyone who is explicitly named, implicitly identifiable, or a board member to items in this email. Clarifications will be posted on our website. We reserve the right to post a response. Clarifications must deal with the topics discussed in the email that relate to the individual or the board. They must be in family friendly language and be non-abusive. When the clarification is accepted, it will be posted to the website and notice of that posting will be added to the next update.

4 weeks of paving begins today (Oct. 25) on 260

PRESCOTT - The project to widen Arizona State Route 260 15 miles east of Payson will reach another milestone on Monday (Oct. 25), as the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) begins to pave the westbound lanes of the new highway. Work hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days per week for the next four weeks. ADOT plans to switch traffic to the new roadway before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Drivers should be prepared for brief delays as large trucks are directed across the highway.

The project, which will upgrade the two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided highway between Little Green Valley and Thompson Draw, is scheduled for completion in fall 2011.

Information regarding the project is available on the toll-free project hotline at 1-877-521-1118. Weekly construction e-updates are available at prescottdistrictupdates@azdot.gov.

ADOT advises drivers to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down, and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at www.az511.gov or call 5-1-1.

Does Prop. 106 protect rights, or is it useless?

By JENNIFER A. JOHNSON
Cronkite News Service

PHOENIX – Supporters of Proposition 106 say allowing Arizonans to opt out of any federal or state health care mandate would preserve the right of individuals to make their own decisions.

Opponents, however, say the measure could derail the benefits of federal health care reform here if the state can defend it in court. But they say that since a federal plan would trump anything at the state level Proposition 106 would most likely set Arizona up for a costly and unsuccessful legal battle.

The proposition, dubbed the Arizona Health Care Freedom Act, would amend the state constitution to allow Arizonans to opt out of health care mandates.

“It is critically important that we vote to keep patients and families in control of their health care decisions and not politicians, and those protections deserve a place alongside freedom of the press and freedom of speech,” said Eric Novack, a Glendale orthopedic surgeon who serves as chairman of Arizonans for Health Care Freedom, the main group supporting Proposition 106.

The Legislature referred the measure to the ballot in 2009 as Congress was debating health care reform. Supporters anticipated that the federal law would include the government offering a health care plan, or public option, but that was dropped.

As of 2014, the federal plan will require employers to offer health coverage and will require individuals who aren’t otherwise covered to purchase insurance, though there are some exemptions for those with low incomes.

Arizona is among 20 states suing the federal government over the law.

Proposition 106 also would allow individuals to pay directly for any legal health care service without facing penalties or fines.

“If a health care service is legal … no one should ever prevent you from getting access to legal health care services,” Novack said.

Novack’s group had raised $1.9 million through Sept. 13, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. Of that, $1.5 million came from the U.S. Health Freedom Coalition, a national advocacy group of which Novack is chairman.

Two opposition groups had raised less than $4,000 between them.

The measure is similar to a 2008 ballot measure, also pushed by Novack, that failed by a narrow margin. Opponents suggested that that measure would deny low-income Arizonans access to the state’s Medicaid system.

Similar ballot measures are pending in Virginia, Missouri, Idaho, Georgia and a handful of other states.

Proposition 106′s sponsor, Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, said the measure gives voters another opportunity to challenge the individual freedoms she contends are threatened by the national health care law.

“I think we all agree that health care needs reform,” Barto said. “Proposition 106 is a guarantee about who is going to control your health care decisions, and it keeps those decisions in the hands of patients and families.”

The National Federation of Independent Business has also backed Proposition 106, citing concern that the federal plan will place regulatory burdens on small businesses and restrict their ability to choose the kind of plan designs they can afford.

“Health care has been the top issue for the past decade that small businesses have been wrestling with,” said Farrell Quinlan, the group’s Arizona director. “Small businesses want to be able to provide health care to our employees, but we find that mandates make it harder and harder to provide the kind of coverage we want to provide.”

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, the House minority leader, called the measure “useless” in the face of the federal plan.

“Arizona will end up in costly litigation, and we should be using that money for our schools,” she said.

Sinema said that opponents of the federal health care law should elect members of Congress who will address their concerns, not attempt to change what they can’t control at the state level.

Ellen Owens-Summo, president of the Arizona Public Health Association, said that the proposition would set back many of the preventative health measures that are in the federal law.

“I think we are kind of pulling apart the pieces [of the national health care law] when we need to address the foundation of health care, which is promotion, prevention and workforce development,” she said.

Pete Cerchiara, executive director of an opposition group calling itself Prop 106 Endangers Your Health, said he worries that the proposition would interfere with a law that will help millions of Americans without health insurance.

“When people who aren’t insured can’t pay their bills, we all share in the costs,” he said. “[Proposition 106] is only encouraging more people to be uninsured.”

Key provisions of Proposition 106:

(From Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy)
- Allow individuals and employers to pay providers drectly for health care without penalty or fine.
- Prohibit any rule or law from compelling individual participation in any particular health care system.
- Allow direct payment to a health care provider for any lawful service.
- Provide for purchase and sale of health insurance in private health care systems without prohibition by rule or law.

Kenny will tell CAC all about ASU-Payson project

At the next meeting of the Citizens Awareness Committee (CAC), at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28 at the library, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans is scheduled to speak on the ASU-Payson project.

If you are a regular blog reader, you know about our skepticism for aspects of the project, particularly Evans' claims to have $500 million committed to it, and to a timetable for opening the facility that, in our humble opinion, is pure pie in the sky.

But there is good news. The CAC meeting is open to the public, so come on out and see if Kenny answers these questions to your satisfaction. And if nobody else asks them, don't be afraid to.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Term 'Liberal' defies one word explanation

If you have a moment, I invite you to work through a word association exercise with me. The goal is to come up with a one word description of various items I will suggest to you.

Ready?

O.K. first item - the Grand Canyon. What word describes it to you? How about Awesome? Deep? Wide? Huge? It’s difficult, isn’t it, to limit the description to one word.

Let’s see; how about the Eiffel Tower? Tall? Iron Grid? (no, that’s two words) Overarching? Hmmm, this is going to be tough.

Here are a few well recognized items. Let’s see if we can define them in a single word.

Tomato. Cadillac. Door. Sweetheart.

How did you do? Remember, you can only designate one single word to define each one.

Nearly impossible, you say?

Then how on earth can some people be so smug when defining certain other people as “Liberal” or “Conservative” as if one word says it all?

For example: a common practice among a certain political group is to use the word Liberal as a derogatory epithet. It is open code for something negative, apparently needing or deserving no further exposition. “He (or She) is a Liberal!” is heard in many political ads.

O.K., and the Grand Canyon is huge. What about it?

You rarely hear the word “Conservative!” thrown out negatively at a candidate, unless it is accompanied by an additional adjective or two. You may possibly hear, “He (or she) is a lock step No! Conservative.” That’s using more than one word to describe the subject, however, so we must disqualify it for this exercise.

Perhaps you could make a case that Conservatives purchase more advertising, thus increasing the use of the term Liberal! That would be ironic, though, because aren’t Conservatives the ones criticizing big spending?

Elections are goofy. Trust me I know.

I come from the Old South which was solidly Democratic and known in those days as solidly Conservative. “Pointy Head Liberals” was as much a battle cry then as its modern day relation. Only then, Republicans were seen as the Pointy Head Liberals.

“I would sooner vote for an old yeller dog as vote Republican,” was a slogan which still can be heard in some halls of congress today. “Yellow Dog” Democrats vow to vote along straight party lines. So far as is known, Republicans haven't come up with their own nickname.

Today, of course, there has been a polar shift in politics. What were once Conservative Democrats are now Republican Conservatives, and Democrats are now seen as the Pointy Head Liberals. The solid Democrat South is now a sure thing for Republicans.

Any idea what brought about the reversal? It had less to do with fiscal or foreign policy or size of government or any of the oft heard complaints today. Conservatives, in fact, had long kept a party in power which contributed to big deficits and was a champion of government assistance. This powerful Conservative alliance also guaranteed a privileged place in society for a certain group of people.

That was seen as OK then.

Then, abruptly, southern Democrats felt betrayed by their party and the federal government over a defining issue - Integration - integration in public schools and integration at public lunch counters. The Supreme Court found that black folks were entitled to the same rights as whites, and the federal government was responsible for protecting those rights.

Actually the first bitter seeds were sown under Eisenhower, but soon Kennedy, then Johnson was left in charge of full implementation. Conservatives ran for the hills and deserted the Democratoc Party in droves. In some ways the party has never recovered.

I long ago put my wool hat in mothballs, because I was never sure when to wear it.

I resolved to not be identified by any political party affiliation. I would be undependable when called upon to support the party over conscience. I find myself agreeing with some ideas and disagreeing with others.

I like to think of this as being an Independent. God forbid that Independents ever sucessfully form a formal political party, though. That would just ruin it for everyone.

To be honest, I’m not really sure whether it might be preferable to be a Liberal or a Conservative in the world of politics. There are desirable elements in both positions. Neither, however, has a total lock on reality or a Rosetta Stone for a perfect interpretation of “The Way.”

There was a time when pragmatism ruled politics. In those days, great orators were allowed platforms for displaying their skill. Riveting speeches went into great detail to justify a position. Then, friendly opponents got together and worked out a compromise or traded up or down to get legislation passed. Two things happened. The public was given an opportunity to hear a position laid out in depth, and the congress moved things along.

Not a perfect system, perhaps,but a reasonably effective one. Neither of those things are much in evidence today.

If the U.S. is to survive, and certainly if it is to continue to be a leader among nations, a way must be found to break through the barriers of blind prejudice and ego driven politics. The American model is built upon cooperation while working toward a common goal.

Building moats around hard and fast positions and hurling meaningless insults at one another only insures that hard won gains for our society are put at risk to be undone.

Yelling “Snake!” on a crowded playground may indeed frighten the children for a time.

Yelling “Liberal” may get an unexamined reflex from some people in today’s political arena. but it sure doesn't do much toward solving major problems.

Personally, I don’t mind being called a Liberal. I do, however, reserve my own definition of the term. I also consider myself very conservative in the way I attempt to live my life.

One word definitions are harder to justify than you might think.

Is Chamber's RFP for new web designer slanted?

By Jim Keyworth
Gazette Blog Editor

The Gazette Blog has been contacted by an individual who believes the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce is trying to pull a fast one in issuing a request for proposal (RFP) for a web development company to build them a new website.

Our primary source is a prominent member of the community, an individual who has requested to remain anonymous so he can continue to function within the existing business infrastructure without repercussion. But we have corroborated what he says below with other sources knowledgeable about website design.

On Sept. 29, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce issued the aforementioned RFP to do its website. The Gazette applauded the e-mail containing the RFP, even sending Chamber Manager John Stanton a return e-mail encouraging him to do the same with printing projects like the Chamber’s monthly newsletter and the August Doin’s Rodeo Guide, both of which the Payson Roundup does without having to bid.

But we don’t know much about websites. Or about proposals for doing them. Our source does, and he says the Chamber’s RFP is specifically written so only one particular web development company is likely to win the bid. In other words, he believes the bid is rigged.

Here’s what the RFP from the Chamber reads:

Dear Chamber Members:
In response to inquiries about the Chamber Website, we have been researching different websites, and are seeking expertise in the application system we have chosen for the maximum utilization by the Chamber. If interested, please submit a proposal of services, using the attached specifications, by October 11, 2010.

The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce is reviewing building a new website. The Web Development Company chosen will need to be proficient or have expertise in the following areas of web development and integration.

Expert in CMS Platform setup using DotNetNuke 5.5.1 Proficient in DNN Portal Skinning Setup and Procedures
Expert in Xmod Pro 2.7.1 Programing Language
Expert in Sequel Server DBA Development
Proficient in writing Database Quarries
Expert in setting up Multi-Portal Integration
.Net Developer with expertise in Com Objects
VB.net Programing Experience Required
Proficient in Windows Server 2008 File System Integration
Proficient in IIS Web Server Applications
Expert in Cross Browser Integration
Expert in CCS Styling
Expert in Google Analytics Integration
Expertise in Java Scripting
Expertise in Flash 4.0 open source Flex framework
Expertise in applying Search Engine Optimization techniques
Custom Web Graphics Design and Integration Expertise
Expert in web based community calendar function and integration
Shopping Cart integration and Setup of SSL, Merchant Accounts and Online Payment Processing Applications
Expertise in setting up of USPS, FedEx and UPS Real Time Shipping API
Expert in IAB advertising rates, sizes and integration of "Cost Per View" modules and tracking procedures
Expert in online streaming video integration and delivery
Expertise in FTP setup
Must have a CWD certification from the Association of Web Professionals

Please mail or fax your resume to the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce
100 W. Main St. PO Box 1744
Payson, AZ 85547
Fax Number: (928) 474-8812
No phone calls please

Like we said, it’s Greek to us. But it’s not to our source, who explained:

“It is obvious that the Chamber is once again up to its exclusionary tactics as they did with the Payson Roundup when it came time to print their monthly newsletter. In order to avoid the appearance of impropriety they have submitted to their Chamber members an RFP for their new website.

“In all my years, I have never seen such a ridiculous list of requirements. Usually the customer makes a list of what they want to accomplish with their website, not HOW TO DO IT or WHICH PROGRAM TO USE. Why dictate what programs to use in developing their website if they were not directed to do so by the person they want to do their website?

“Trust me, a former insurance salesman (like Stanton) would not have the knowledge to write up this RFP. Why don't they demand that the graphic designer be proficient in Adobe Dreamweaver? This is the number one software used by graphic designers. Why not WordPress? This is also a very popular web design format used today for bloggers.

“I have a couple decades under my belt having written hundreds of these highly specific RFPs for my former customers so as to ‘exclude’ others and guarantee that my company would be the actual winner of the RFP. In other words, I was able to help my customer (usually a government agency which had to comply with fairness) write a very specific RFP so that it would exclude certain other companies that the agency didn't want to work with or that provided a product line that they didn't want to use.

“Stanton and the Chamber board of directors should be asked to explain where they got their list of requirements, to explain each one and why.

“HERE'S HOW THE CHAMBER SHOULD HAVE DONE THEIR BIDDING TO BE FAIR:

“Do an RFP that is statewide, not just ‘member’ wide.
Open it up to EVERY DESIGNER and have them create a live online ‘mock-up’ of the website for ALL MEMBERS to choose from. I think that this is the least the board can do to involve their members and show them that they want their input. (Businesses used to come to the University of Arizona design department and do this for logo designs, etc. They paid a set amount to the winner; EVERYONE got a chance.)

“(Finally, the Chamber needs to) NAME EVERY APPLICANT who does a ‘Mock-up’ web design.”

The information provided above by our anonymous source was corroborated by two local web designers. We invite the Chamber to explain itself. We will happily provide prominent and equal space.

And it will be real interesting to see who “wins” the bid.

(Editor’s note: Please copy this article from the blog [it’s a simple cut and paste] and send it on to those on your e-mail contact list. While the blog receives over 5,000 visits per month, we want this story to have the widest exposure possible.)

LETTER: Time to throw incumbent bums out

LETTERLETTERLETTER
LETTERLETTERLETTER
LETTERLETTERLETTER

Dear Editor:
Today we were informed that the government has reached the momentous decision to suspend the funding of the notorius "Virtual fence" along our Southern border! Seems that the billion dollars paid thus far to Boeing Corp. has produced a miracle of modern technology along roughly fifty miles of our southern border ... that simply doesn't work! Darn, don't you hate it when that happens!

It probably would have made more sense if Homeland Security would have spent that same billion dollars on hiring 1,000 Border Agents for 20 years at an average salary of $50,000 annually! Those agents then could have paid taxes, spent money buying goods and services, and lowered the unemployment in that area ... but gosh, that would have made too much sense, right?

This is just one more example why we need to remove all incumbent politicians, and make it clear to the new ones that they WILL be held accountable for every one of our tax dollars that are spent! Get out and vote them out of office!
Larry J. Kontz

Big bark over Mohave Co. ordinance limiting dogs

Betsy Senn pets Casey, her 12-year-old schnauzer-terrier mix, in the backyard of her Kingman home. When the Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted to impose a limit of two dogs on property of an acre or less, many residents objected. Now the board is expected to reverse that vote. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Maria Polletta)

By MARIA POLLETTA
Cronkite News Service

KINGMAN – As Casey, a 12-year-old schnauzer-terrier mix, lounges on Betsy Senn’s lap, a poodle scuttles across the porch and two chihuahuas chase each other through the yard.

A plump gray cat stretches along a bench. One of Senn’s two potbellied pigs relaxes in the shade.

But the front gate leading to Senn’s home is padlocked, a black-and-orange “NO TRESPASSING” sign fastened to the wire. A thicket of trees blocks the yard and animals from view.

Senn has been wary of animal control showing up since the Mohave County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance changing various rules for pet owners and kennels. One provision reduces the number of dogs allowed on an acre or less from four to two.

Senn said she doesn’t understand why supervisors are coming down so hard on dog owners.

“If you’re financially able to have 10 or 20, what should it matter to the county as long as they’re all being taken care of?” she said.

The two-dog limit, which the board approved Oct. 4, sparked such an outcry among Senn and other pet lovers that supervisors plan to change it back to four at their Nov. 1 meeting. Other provisions of the ordinance apply to kennel owners, including requiring roofs and flooring, and those will stand.

Tom Sockwell, a supervisor who voted for the ordinance, said more needs to be done to address frequent complaints about barking dogs and cases of animal hoarding and neglect. Sockwell, who is from Bullhead City, said pet owners can now expect the county to more diligently enforce the limit, which includes requiring those wanting more than four dogs to get a permit.

“It has to be done. We have to do something to make things better,” he said.

In 2009, animal control responded to 2,467 animal-related incidents, including complaints of animal neglect, barking dogs and bites, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. In the first half of this year, animal control responded to 2,425 incidents.

Lotti Benker, founder of the Kingman no-kill shelter Help Animals Lives Today, acknowledged that supervisors are trying to curtail animal abuse. But she said that mindset ultimately punishes the majority of loving pet owners for the behavior of an irresponsible few.

“There is an outcry that it is totally unfair, unrealistic and unjustifiable to place a limit on a whole community,” Benker said. “I find it rather arbitrary.”

Most residents don’t want any limits on pets, according to Kristal Gibson, manager of the Bullhead Regional Economic Development Authority and member of the research panel responsible for developing the ordinance. But Gibson said the county had to start somewhere.

“We’ve had death threats over this issue. No one wants to be controlled,” she said. “Unfortunately, you do need some guidelines. How can county officials hold abusive owners accountable with no ordinances on the books?”

In order to fashion the ordinance, the nine-member research panel spent about six months meeting with kennel owners, reviewing federal mandates on animal cruelty, speaking to the Humane Society and PETA and investigating ordinances in other states.

But Gibson said residents with more than four dogs don’t have to live in fear of their pets being taken away if neighbors don’t complain to animal control, something that she said comes down to proper care.

“If you love your animals, if you’ve taken excellent care, you feed them, no one’s complaining about them … you’ll never see a county person at your door,” she said. “Never.”

The ordinance also includes these rules for kennel owners:
-Roofing to protect animals from the elements.
-Concrete, sand or gravel flooring.
-Minimum kennel sizes.
-Room for animals to exercise.
-Separating sick animals from healthy ones.
-Daily waste removal.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rim Country mourns loss of local artist Joy Layson

"Every time an artist dies,
part of the vision of
mankind passes with him."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Photo by Jim Keyworth
Longtime local artist Joy Layson is dead at the age of 83.  Layson was born in 1927 in Waukegan, Ill.  She attended the American Academy of Fine Arts and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.  She taught art in Illinois and Colorado and co-owned an art gallery in Estes Park, Colo.  She also taught art at Gila Community College and at her home studio in Payson.  A special memorial service, "A One Woman Art Show," will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at Church of the Nazarene on Tyler Parkway at the Beeline Highway roundabout.  Rim Country residents who own pieces of Layson's work are asked to bring them to the service to contribute to a display.  Lunch will follow for her closest friends.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Payson Art League to be used for art education in Joy's honor, or to the Humane Society of Central Arizona (812 S. McLane Road, Payson 85541) to care for the Rim Country's homeless animals.
OUT AND ABOUT
IN THE RIM COUNTRY
Compiled by the staff of the Mogollon Connection
PICK UP YOUR FREE COPY TODAY
Photo by Jim Keyworth
It's Humane Society Chili Supper time again.  For details, see Upcoming Events below.

Payson community events

Thursday, October 21
7th Annual Up, Up and Away with Domestic Violence Radiothon from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Chapman Auto Center, 100 N. Beeline Highway. Sponsored by Soroptimist International of Zane Grey County with KMOG, KRIM and Chapman Auto. Join our community outreach program. Proceeds to benefit the Rim Country Arizonans for Children, Payson Community Kids, Time Out, Inc., and Soroptimist scholarships. For more information, contact Kathy Hall at (928) 951-0349.

Toddlers Story Time every Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Payson Public Library Children’s Room. Includes bounces, ticklers and songs for ages six months to two years.

Fall Outdoor Photography from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Payson Parks, Recreation & Tourism Office, 1000 W. Country Club Drive. Learn simple techniques to capture the reality of what you see behind the camera lens. Instructor Dennis Fendler will provide a short indoor presentation followed by a caravan trip to East Verde. Bring your digital or analog camera, but manual adjustment options are preferred. Register now through Thursday, Oct. 14. Open to ages 16 and older; $15 per person. For more information, call: 474-5242, ext. 7 or visit the Web site: http://www.paysonrimcountry.com/

Family Time at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Activities include games, stories, puppets and art. For more information, call the library, 476-3678.

Crafty Kidz at the Payson Public Library Children’s Room every Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. A craft center for kids to create, experiment and have fun. Different weekly activities include coloring, painting, stamping, magnets, cooking, clay sculpting, jewelry and papier mache. Open to kids of all ages. Parents must accompany children 5 years of age and under. For more information, contact Harryette, 474-9260.

Dinner Specials every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Greater Payson Moose Lodge #258, 225903 E. Highway 260 in Star Valley. Specials include fried and baked fish, breaded shrimp or chicken along with vegetables, dinner salad, bread and choice of potato. $7 per person. Members and guests welcome.

Magic Show and Dinner every Thursday night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at MoJoe’s Café on Main Street featuring the Miracle of Magic with Joe Miracle. Sit back and be entertained with table magic and magnificent stage illusions. Reservations recommended. Please call 478-8828.
Payson Tea Party Sons and Daughters of Liberty regular meeting at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 22
Free Art Classes every Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main Street. Instructor, Helen Tennent. For more information or to enroll, call 474-3996 or 474-4876.

“Famous Fish Fry” at the American Legion Tonto Rim Post #69 every Friday from noon to 8 p.m., 709 E. Highway 260. Karaoke from 6 to 10 p.m. Public welcome.

Music Together class at the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Join infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their grownups in moving, singing, playing instruments and having fun during this free demonstration. Limited class size. Sign up today or call Harryette at 474-9260.

Beginning Genealogy Class every third Friday of the month from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Genealogy Library, 302 E. Bonita Street. The class is packed full of concepts, techniques and ideas which will get you started on your way to fulfilling a lifetime of tracing your family tree. Pre-registration and payment of fee is required. $5 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Evening classes can be conducted by appointment. For more information, contact Peggy Gray, 474-5015.

Creative Writing every Friday at 3 p.m. for first to fifth graders and 4 p.m. for sixth to twelfth graders at the Payson Public Library Young Adults Room. Includes story prompts and positive peer interaction. To sign up or for more information, call Harryette at 474-9260.

Dinner Theater at MoJoe's Café on Main Street every Friday night (except First Friday) from 6 to 7 p.m. Back by popular request is Katherine Kelly, Jim West and the gang. (G rated fun!) Reservations required, 478-8828.

Saturday, October 23
Llama Treks in Strawberry from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hosted by Fossil Creek Llamas and Payson Parks & Recreation. Cost is $70 per adult and $50 per child (includes a half-day hike and lunch).
You will be accompanied by a llama buddy who will carry your lunch and gear. For more information or to register, call 474-5242, ext. 7 or visit the Web site: www.paysonrimcountry.com. The Payson Church of Christ will have their

5th Annual “Winter Clothes Giveaway” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Payson Church of Christ, 401 E. Tyler Parkway (across from KMOG). If you are in need of warm clothes for the winter months ahead, we are here to help. Child and adult sizes available. Donations of winter coats and winter clothes may be dropped off at the Oasis Christian Book Store, 512 S. Beeline Highway, Suite #1 or at the church building at 401 E. Tyler Parkway. For more information, call: (928) 970-0082.

Second Annual Fashion Show/Bake Sale/Silent Auction at the Pine Strawberry Thrift Shop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fashion show will feature "holiday style fashions" at extremely affordable prices. The silent auction will have unique pieces and gift certificates from the local community. The community fundraiser is sponsored by the Pine Strawberry Thrift Shop. For information, call: 476-4633.

The 2nd Annual Rim Country Homebrewers Oktoberfest Club Event presents “Go Hog Wild” from noon to 5 p.m. at 6494 Randall Place in Pine. A family event featuring live music by the John Scott Band, prizes and giveaways, BBQ, lots of food and an incredible beer garden. Become a member today and join us for this Oktoberfest celebration. Must be a Rim Country Homebrewers (RCH) member to attend. $10 admission for ages 21 and under; $5 for ages 12 and under; free for ages 5 and under. (Youths must be accompanied by an RCH member). To obtain a membership, visit the Web site: www.rimcountryhomebrewers.com or call Mountaintop Brewery Supply at: 476-5743.

The Starlighters performs at Tiny's Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260 every Saturday night from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The music is from the "American Songbook" with a selection of tunes typically from Broadway musicals written by Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and others along with more recent Bossanova tunes from Antonio Carlos Jobim/Luiz Bonfa and other Latin songwriters. Come and have some fun with us and dance if you wish to trip the light fantastic.

Adidam announcement: The Infinite Wisdom Series based on the life, work and teachings of Avatar Adi Da Samraj. “For those who would embrace a religious life based on heart-breaking freedom, I Am here.” For reservations, call 472-4700.

Sunday, October 24
Payson Center for Spiritual Awareness Sunday Celebration at 11 a.m., 107 W. Wade Lane, Suite 2. Guest speaker will be Lynn Brouwer, PhD.  Her topic is “Stepping Out in Spirit.”  Her talk is inspired by her own life adventures with her two daughters. Brouwer was led to travel west and ended up in Payson without a job or a home.  She relied on her faith in what was to become the next phase of her life.

Jam Sessions with Junction 87 at the Buffalo Bar & Grill, 311 S. Beeline Highway, every Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m.

Monday, October 25
Grief support group every first and third Monday of the month from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Hospice House, 511 S. Mud Springs Road. The free drop-in group sessions are for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. For more information, contact Jean Ramsey, 472-6340.

Payson Raconteurs writers group meets each Monday at 6 p.m. at a local restaurant. The association of local writers makes it possible for writers to read their work for critique. For further information, contact Carole Mathewson, 474-0753.

The Payson Chapter of Amnesty International will hold its regular meeting every third Monday of the month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the East West Book Exchange, 100 N. Tonto Street. Amnesty International investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. Join us as we define our local chapter and plan upcoming events to support human rights locally and globally. For more information, e-mail: PaysonAmnesty@gmail.com or call Penny Navis-Schmidt at 474-2391.

Tuesday, October 26
Rim Country Toastmasters meets every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Mogollon Health Alliance Auxiliary building next to the Almost New Shop at 304 E. Aero Drive. Networking at 5:30 p.m. The 60-minute meeting begins at 5:45 p.m. Find or refine your voice with us. Learn to persuade and inspire your audience, organize your speech, use vocal variety and overcome fear at the podium. For more information, contact: (928) 478-8820 or RimcountryTM@gmail.com.

Woman's Real Love Group meets at 6 p.m. at the Payson Center for Spiritual Awareness, 107 W. Wade Lane, Suite 2. The topic will be, “Understand how to have better relationships and attract unconditional love into your life.”  Julie Johnson is the "wise person" or facilitator of the group.

Wednesday, October 27

Pine Pre-school Story Time, every Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. in the Pine Public Library.  Includes puppet shows and stories for children ages three to five.

Kickin’ Cancer Support Group meets every first Wednesday of the month at noon at the Payson United Methodist Church, 414 N. Easy Street. Bring brown bag lunch.

Awana meets every Wednesday night from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ponderosa Baptist Church. The nationwide program for community children ages three through sixth grade includes Bible stories, memory verses and games. Contact Shirley Dye, 468-1131 or the church office, 474-9279 for more information and registration.

WEEKEND EVENTS
Payson Art League ARToberFEST will be held at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino on Friday, Oct. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. View fine art creations made by Rim Country artisans. Benefit raffle on Sunday afternoon. Fundraiser supports children’s Art Education projects. For more information, contact Trina Gunzel at 468-0732 or visit the Web site: www.paysonartleague.org.

UPCOMING EVENTS
Fudge and Salsa Sale at the Payson Regional Medical Center lobby on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fudge flavors include chocolate, walnut, maple, peanut butter with pecan caramel clusters, almond bark, cinnamon nuts, sweet roasted nuts and lots more.  Salsa flavors include garlic passion, just peachy pineapple, and chipotle black bean and corn, to name just a few!  Cash, credit and debit cards, and PRMC payroll deduction, accepted.  Proceeds will benefit programs and scholarships available through the Mogollon Health Alliance.  For more information, call (928) 472-2588.

Annual Halloween Trick or Treat Costume Parade at the Payson Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 28. There are two events: a Preschool Parade at 10 a.m. or an After School Parade at 4:30 p.m. Open to children of all ages; one event only. Sign up in the children’s room or for more information, call Harryette at 474-9260.

22nd Annual Tootsie Roll Drive sponsored by the Payson Council of the Knights of Columbus on Friday, Oct. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 31. Knights will be in front of Walmart, Safeway and Bashas’ with canisters to collect money for the Payson Special Olympics.

Because You’re Worth It: Taking Care of the Caregiver workshop for non-professional and professional caregivers to explore the importance of replenishing one’s inner resources and maintaining a balanced life, Saturday, Oct. 30 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at the East West Exchange, 100 N. Tonto Steet.  Sponsored by Sojourner Support, LLC.  Cost: $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Tickets available at East West Exchange.  For more information, contact Evelyn at (602) 882-5197 or e-mail: dr.eve.az@cox.net.

Trunk-or-Treat Halloween Festival on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. on Main Street. Parks & Recreation will provide the candy for the costumed volunteers to distribute from their decorated booths on Main Street. Cost for booth space is $25. For more information, contact Deb Rose at: drose@paysonaz.gov or call: 474-5242 ext. 7.

Haunted House at Oxbow Saloon on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. Presented by the Payson High School drama department. Proceeds to benefit local food banks. Admission is $3 per person or $2 plus one can of food.

Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Freak Show Halloween Costume Contest & Party on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight. Costume contest includes: Freakiest, Best Group, Funniest and Most Creative. $500 prize in each category and $1,000 prize for Best of Show. Rocklobster, an 80s retro tribute band will be the entertainment. Sign up for contest from 7:30 until 11:30 p.m. Judges will be from out of town. $10 ticket price (must be age 21 or older).

235th Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. Marine Corps will be held at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino on Saturday, Nov. 6. Social hour begins at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Guest speaker at 7 p.m. will be former Marine and official Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble. Raffle and after-dinner listening and dance music to begin at 8 p.m. $35 per dinner. Attendees may select from two entrees: prime rib of beef or chicken Oscar. RSVP required. This event is sponsored by the Rim Country detachment of the Marine Corps league, “Payson Marines!” For additional information and/or to make reservations, call Marine Lee Bumbalow at 468-1095 or Colonel Bill Sahno at 472-6617.

Annual Meeting of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by APS, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. at the Best Western Payson Inn, 801 N. Beeline Highway. Agenda items will include: financial review of the prior year; review of the year's activities; preview of 2011 activities; and presentation of the candidates for two seats on the Board of Directors. All chamber members are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact the chamber at: 474-4515.

14th Annual Chili Supper sponsored by PAWS to Benefit the Humane Society of Central Arizona on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the Elks Lodge on Airport Road from 4 to 7 p.m. The PAWS in the Park organization built and helps to maintain the Off-Leash Dog Park. Cost is $7 for adults; $4 for children 12 and under. Enjoy an incredible meal of chili, macaroni and cheese, salad, rolls and homemade cupcakes. Tickets are available at the Humane Society Shelter, 812 S. McLane Road; Humane Society Thrift Store, 404 W. Main Street; the Payson Regional Chamber of Commerce, 100 W. Main Street; Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road; and at the door. For more information, call the shelter at 474-5590; PAWS in the Park member, Donna Rokoff , 472-1542; or Humane Society volunteer, Betty Raveling at 468-7132.

The New Christy Minstrels, a Grammy award winning folk ensemble, will present their iconic stylings at the Payson High School Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.  This is the third performance in the Tonto Community Concert Association’s concert season.  Season tickets are $80 and single admission tickets are $30 (if seating is available).  Children and youth, grades 12 and under, will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.   For more information, visit the Web site : www.tccarim.org or call: (928) 978-4363 or 474-6115.

Jack H. Day’s 17th Annual Veterans Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in Punkin Center. Check-in time for all entrants is 10 a.m. Parade theme is Tonto Basin American Pride and Mom and Apple Pie. There will be five categories: overall, individual, military, commercial and civic. First place awards to be given out at the Marine League after the parade. Free entry fee, but donations to the detachment are appreciated. For entry forms and further information, contact Marine Norman J. Prather at: (623) 221-2240 or any member of the USMC League in Tonto Basin.

The 6th Annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup will be held Friday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 14 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Exhibition Hall. Room rates and Chamber of Commerce discount cards available. On Friday and Saturday, exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $3 or $2 with a can/package of non-perishable food for the local food banks. Free admission for children ages 12 and under. Features a regional quilt show, classes, vendor mall, Hoffman Challenge special exhibit and an AQS quilt appraiser. Classes will be held on Thursday, Nov. 11 through Saturday, Nov. 13. Deadline to register is Friday, Oct. 15. For more information, class registration and to obtain entry forms, call: (800) 672-9766 or 474-4515 or visit the Web site at: rimcountryquiltroundup.com.

High Country Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Julia Randall Elementary School, 902 W. Main Street. Purchase handmade art and crafts, baked goods, a barbecue lunch and visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus!

Turkey Trot 5k Run on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. Join us for our annual 3.1 mile run beginning and ending at Green Valley Park. Check-in at 8 a.m. No t-shirt guarantee for late registrants. Day of registration available. Fee is $20 or $25 after Monday, Nov. 1. For more information, contact the Parks, Recreation & Tourism at (928) 474-5242 ext. 7 or visit the Web site: www.paysonrimcountry.com.

Annual Holly Berry Fair, hosted by the Payson Woman’s Club, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Buy lunch or baked goods. Arts and craft vendors are welcome. First come, first serve, as tables are limited. For more information, call Carole Fries: 478-6860.

Rim Country Briefs
Magic on the Mountain parade applications available
Be a part of Payson’s Magic on the Mountain Main Street Hometown Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m.  The entry deadline is Friday, Nov. 19!  In celebration of our tenth year, all entries are only $10!  Applications are available on-line at the Web site: www.mainstreetparade.info or contact (928) 978-2538 or (602) 469-2611.

Tickets on sale for PAWS’ ‘hottest event’ chili supper
Tickets are now available for one of the “hottest” events on the calendar. The PAWS
organization will sponsor the 14th Annual Chili Supper on Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway. Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 12 and under. Proceeds to benefit homeless animals of the Rim Country. Tickets are available at the Humane Society Shelter, 812 S. McLane Road; Humane Society Thrift Shop, 404 W. Main Street; the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, 100 W Main Street; Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road; and at the door. The raffle table will have the following items: Four Peaks amethyst ring from Payson Jewelers valued at $400, tickets available now for $5 for 6 tickets; “Gourmet on the Go” Adventure Basket; two tickets for a 30-minute flight with CAVU Aviation, $180 value; Tonto Natural Bridge Day Pass; a Longaberger Basket, $165 and St. Dalfour, ready-to-eat items, fruit spreads and more, $505 value, tickets are two for $5 or five for $10. Ticket holders do not need to be present to win. There will be a boutique in conjunction with the chili supper and raffles.

Win four Arizona Cardinals tickets
Would you like a chance to win four tickets to see an Arizona Cardinals game in Glendale? The Humane Society of Central Arizona has received a basket full of Cardinals’ goodies donated by Jim and Sue Lewin of Lewin & Associates, LLC. The basket, worth over $250, contains four Section 403 tickets to the Sunday, Dec. 5 match against the St. Louis Rams, a blue lot parking pass, plus official NFL Cardinals team logo items including four ball caps, four can cozies, and a game day tote bag. Also included are assorted snacks for your tailgating enjoyment. Raffle tickets are $25 each. The winner’s ticket will be drawn on Friday, Nov. 19 at the Humane Society Thrift Shop, 404 W. Main Street. Only 100 tickets will be sold and you need not be present to win. To purchase tickets or obtain more information, contact Betty Raveling at 468-7132, the Humane Society Shelter at 474-5590, or any HSCAZ Board member. Tickets will also be sold at the Community Health Fair on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 8 a.m. to noon.

New Hope Equine Rescue Christmas wreaths
Buy a Christmas wreath and help feed Bella and the other rescued horses and burros at New Hope Equine Rescue. The deadline for ordering is Friday, Nov. 12. Free delivery will be made from Monday, Dec. 6 through Friday, Dec. 10. Each decorated wreath, made with fresh evergreen boughs from Minnesota, comes with a hanger. With each purchase, a tree will be planted. For more information or to place an order, call Jean at (928) 978-5155 or Jennifer at 848-3139.