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All Agree, More Snowpack Needed

Trout Lake News for Feb. 24

By the

Trout Lake Newswriters

Sandi Thygesen, 395-2318

sandiray@gorge.net

Pat Arnold, 395-2233

greenpastures@gorge.net

Bonnie Reynolds, 395-2527

bonnier@gorge.net

Laurie West, 395-9330

aussie@hopdownunder.com

It is hard to predict if spring is really here as I gaze out my window at patches of snow still lingering on the golden brown pasture fields. Long time Trout Lake residents all differ in their opinions about how much more, if any, snow we might expect. As one resident commented it has been known to snow more than a foot into late March. At this point, I think we will all agree we do need a lot more snowpack on our mountains to ensure lots of water in our valley's ditches and to lessen the possible high risk of forest fires on our mountains.

The Underwood Conservation District will begin distributing its wide variety of budding native trees and shrubs all grown from local bare root seedlings. Trees are distributed in March/April and you can order them now by calling the district office at 493-1936. Money earned by the Underwood Conservation District is used to support district conservation and education programs.

With spring comes the opportunity for Trout Lake residents to get involved in some of the various cultural activities just outside our back door. One such group, known as the Trout Lake Piano Salon, was begun a year ago by Maura Muhl, a budding classical pianist and teacher. The group began by playing once a month in the evening at one of the pianist's homes and it was the group's intent to provide the opportunity for everyone who joined to practice their piano music and be "performance ready" by the next meeting. I wasn't involved in the early piano salon performances but became involved while encouraging my husband to join the group. By year's end piano salon members were Maura Muhl, Janet Anderson, Bettina McCuiston, Judy Skelton, Jean Irving, Gary West and Laurie West. The pianists take their salon seriously and are already working once again on their pianos for their first performance in the spring. The group welcomes any budding new pianists including students and adults alike. For more information please call Janet Anderson on 395-9307.

Jeff Agar, the Trout Lake School's music/band teacher, reported this week that the recently passed school tax levy will provide some much needed money for musical equipment for budding music students. Jeff is very appreciative to all the Trout Lake residents who have donated instruments to the school and is now able to provide clarinets, flutes, trumpets and trombones to those students who want to play. However, Jeff also indicated that saxophones and tubas are still needed to enable more players to participate in the school's music program. There are only five high school students and eighteen middle school students in the current band. Those who help encourage kids to play music know the value it brings to these student's other learning skills as statistics show these students most often do well in other class learning such as math. Students who develop good musical skills at the school level are also encouraged to participate in local and regional band competitions. Congratulations to three such students, Molly McKinney playing clarinet, Adi Robertson playing flute and Michael Paxson playing a cornet, who were chosen to play at the All Northwest Honor Band at Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma. Other music performers who participated came from Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Finally, I am delighted to be back in the fold as one of the Trout Lake News writers. When I wrote in 2002 for several months I didn't know as many wonderful citizens in our community. In the last two years I have been able to meet many more friendly, hard working and culturally talented residents and so my goal in writing again is to keep us all very connected in our great community.

Laurie West - Trout Lake Newswriter

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