Trout Lake Newswriters
Sandi Thygesen, 395-2318
Terry Scott, 395-2760
Pat Arnold, 395-2233
Bonnie Reynolds, 395-2527
Jim White tried to retire, he really did. If maybe in late 2002 he wanted to do a little work just to keep his hand in he'd take a relaxing hourly job as a technician with the Underwood Conservation District, just tromping around outside working on conservation projects, a little tree planting, a little water monitoring, a little map-making. Go home at the end of the day, work done, no problems, a nice change from those long years of responsibility at the Forest Service. Whoops. When long-time UCD manager Steve Stampfli moved on in the spring of 2003, Jim stepped up, first as acting manager and then as permanent manager. His outstanding work over the last few months has been recognized by the South Central Washington Area Association of Conservation Districts, who honored him as Manager of the Year, an unusual award for a new manager.
If I may be permitted a personal comment, as an Associate Director of the UCD, it is a pleasure to see Jim's work recognized. He has dealt cheerfully, professionally, and competently with some truly difficult financial and organizational challenges. UCD has done a lot of good work over the years, and there are many people who are grateful to Jim for being the man of the hour at a time when UCD really needed him. Thanks, Jim.
Writing about Jim reminds me how many competent, practical, unassuming people live in this community. I started a list, but it'd require the whole newspaper. But we surely do have the capacity in this community to get things done, and that's a very nifty thing. Of course, we also have the capacity to jawbone endlessly about better ways things could have been done, but that's fun too, no?
Congratulations to the high school boys who won this past weekend's basketball season opener tournament. A sign of things to come?
Dec. 18 is the date of the winter music program at the school, with participation by both student and community musicians and singers. Jeff Agar directs the school program and Doug Anderson directs the community singers, and both of these talented directors inspire good performances.
On Dec. 21 the music and celebration continue with the Christmas Cantata performed by community members at 10:30 a.m. at the Baptist Church and 7:00 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church. The cantata this year is a wonderful piece of music. Refreshments follow both performances.
Thank you to those who donated to the Thanksgiving food baskets that were distributed to needy families here in Trout Lake.
Donations for Christmas food baskets (food or money) can be left at the Baptist Church no later than Thursday evening Dec. 18. Drop something off on your way to the music program at the school. There is a greater need this year than usual, so donations are needed and welcome. Call Ruth Belieu at 395-2712 if you have questions or want to know more about what is needed.
Community Council news: New officers were elected, with Jim White (the same) as chair, Andy Jacobsen as vice-chair and Monte Pearson as secretary. The meeting time has been changed from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at the school.
In recommendations to the county for landfill money projects, the council gave first priority to the fire department's request for funding for emergency pager/radios. As the county has continued to reduce the landfill funds available to communities, the council had to choose between two good projects, but the public safety considerations of the pagers outweighed the also highly beneficial indoor fitness facility proposal made by the school.
Steve Koenig brought word to the council that the fire insurance Rating Class change will be effective Feb. 1, 2004. There is some fine print, namely that a dwelling apparently has to be within five road miles of the station (as well as in the fire district) to benefit from the rate change, leading to the ironic situation that Fire Chief Koenig's insurance rates may not go down. The department will be explaining all this properly in a mailing with information about the Rating Bureau action and how we will all be affected, so watch for that.
The council will be sponsoring a Wildfire Preparedness Class at the school on Jan. 27. More information will be included in a future column, but several federal and state agencies are cooperating to assist landowners to protect their property from wildfires and manage their property in ways that will facilitate safe and efficient fire crew response in the event of a fire. Pat Arnold, newswriter.