Letters to the Editor, July 19, 2006
Do you have anything to offer other than complaints?
I heard about, and recently received, a copy of the letter sent to you from Ms. Ellen Roberts regarding the Old Clarkdale Grade School. The letter put me in mind of a game I played as a child called "telephone." A message whispered into the ear of someone at the beginning of a line of friends became a totally different message when it reached the end of the line. It is indeed unfortunate that Ms. Roberts did not contact me for accurate information regarding the disposition of the school instead of playing telephone with one person after another and listening to the "word on the street."
She writes of the wonderful vegetation that surrounded the school. Debris and trash was caught within the many arms of the huge cactus; weeds were in abundance everywhere; Scotch Broom threw seeds and pollen into the air like snow and mesquite trees were left to grow unbridled as shrubs, not trees.
Most of the vegetation was but a few years old, not ancient and worthy of saving. The mesquite forest was not a hospitable place to sit. The plants and cactus worth moving were offered and lovingly taken by interested persons.
As the site was cleaned up, the mesquite were pruned to rise into splendid trees. The desert willows were pruned and left to flourish as were other trees. Had Ms. Roberts checked with the Town of Clarkdale, she would have been informed that only low-water usage plants, not water hungry Bermuda grass, were to be planted, and of course, whatever was done would have been run by the town officials for help and guidance.
Beauty is, I guess, in the eyes of the beholder. I did not view the neglected yard as a beautiful old growth botanic garden as Ms. Roberts did. The colossal cactus and towering ocotillo had never been trimmed. One small evergreen was entwined with a nasty cactus and neither was doing well. This very valuable garden of vegetation could not be given away. All I contacted, and there were many, said the cactus were too large and dangerous.
Yes, Ms. Roberts, the plan was to have a venue for receptions, (not, God forbid, funerals), parties, town events, community activities such as fairs, neighborhood swap meets, safety fairs, flower shows, youth events, benefit events such as runs and bike rides, and even a Saturday morning coffee clutch for the neighborhood. We were open to whatever would and could help the community.
Had Ms. Roberts spoken to me, she would have known that the building is in deplorable condition. When was the last time she was inside this wonderful structure to see the damage done; repairs not made by former owners; and general overall deterioration.
No one had done any restoration. Original blackboards were removed. The boys and girls bathrooms were closed off and toilets and stalls removed. Baseboard was removed and placed elsewhere. Some areas of the wall had water damage and in some old vents generations of birds and small animals had raised their young leaving behind old nests and excrement.
Much was painted over with no concern over what was underneath. Little remains of the original school cabinetry and fixtures. I made emergency repairs to correct water leakage and waste. The evap cooling system was rife with leaking and broken lines, which were repaired.
Two of the rooms have been renovated. Baseboards have been replaced, original cabinetry stripped of many paint layers and refinished and the rooms painted. Cost to do anything to an old building, especially a neglected building, are astronomical. I have restored several buildings and am well aware of the costs and time and energy it takes. I was willing to do what was necessary to bring the building back, including refinishing original wood floors, restoring the old bathrooms that are now blocked off and closed, stripping layers of paint applied over lovely wood, now but a memory visible through chips and scrapes in the paint, removing a dropped ceiling to restore the original high ceiling with picture rail around the room edges and giving the old girl a new makeup job of fresh yellow paint all around her exterior.
I accept the bouquet of raspberries, as they are my favorite fruit; the spanking I will decline as that is not my bent. The wonderful building that I had high hopes for now is for sale because I am ill and unable to complete the project. My vision of a special venue for the Town of Clarkdale cannot come to fruition. I am physically unable to continue.
The wildflowers and seating areas under shady mesquite trees and the garden paths winding around the building must be completed by someone else. Perhaps Ms. Roberts can garner together these disgruntled neighbors, who had no interest prior in doing anything with the building and the grounds other an letting it all disintegrate into rubble, and they can all be more kind and respectful to someone who had the best intentions at heart.
Len Munsil a great choice for governor
Thank you for your recent article on Len Munsil.
Len has an effective record in the area of public policy and is a stand-up guy for families.
I think he would make an excellent choice for governor. I am hopeful when I see a dedicated advocate of the family ‹ someone who is fiscally sound and someone who is genuine ‹ run for office.
A refund may be coming your way
There is a little-known tax paid to the Arizona Department of Revenue for diesel fuel that is refundable at the time of purchase by some buyers.
Service stations that do not have a separate pump for commercial truck diesel fuel purchases must sell diesel fuel from the same pump and charge a 20-cents commercial tax. The regular tax for diesel trucks that have less than two axles or less than 26,000 pounds is 12 cents.
The purchaser of the fuel in a non-commercial regular sized truck then can go to the cashier and ask for a refund of 8 cents per gallon. There is a small silver sticker on diesel pumps stating the tax. Most purchasers of diesel fuel for regular sized trucks are unaware of this tax and procedure.
Of the six businesses in the Cottonwood area that sell diesel fuel, only one provides a separate commercial pump and the non-commercial pump is 8 cents per gallon cheaper.
This is not an indictment of the businesses because they are doing business the way they are supposed to be and they are not pocketing the extra 8 cents. The 8 cents is paid the state as a commercial sale.
This is only information for the ones of us who have been paying the commercial rate when we do not have to.
Look for the silver tag on the diesel pump to determine if you are due an 8-cents a gallon refund.
Good honest people still around in Valley
A month ago, my wife and I did our monthly grocery shopping at Fry's in Cottonwood. She does the shopping while I walk.
Somewhere in the Fry's parking lot, I lost my car key. My wife carries an extra key so we got home.
Later I checked with the store, but no key. Last week, we were there and I checked again. Thank you someone for turning in a single key, (no name on key tag) and thanks to the employees of Fry's for having a "lost & found" at their service desk.
I'm honored, humbled at your goodwill
Recently Eva Watson sent a Letter to the Editor describing the health problems I'm going through, and asked anyone interested to send me a get well card.
I feel both honored and humbled at the number of good wishes and prayers I received from the Camp Verde community, as well as elsewhere in the Verde Valley.
There were so many cards that I couldn't respond to each, so I'm asking that this letter be my answer to all that wrote.
The town and its citizens will forever hold a special place in my heart. God bless each and every one of you.