I have to admit I thought that just maybe, we were going to have a relatively mild summer, keeping in mind that it is, after all, Arizona.

Apparently Mother Nature decided it was time for a loud wake up call with recent temperatures hovering above 110 degrees. According to local forecasts, rain is not expected until this coming weekend.

Speaking of heat, the General and Patriot fires, known as the Fourth of July Complex, merged as one this past weekend. The lightning-caused fires began on the Mogollon Rim Ranger District on July 4, and as of July 13, was at 850 acres.

According to reports, fire crews were experiencing 1-2 foot flame lengths. Burns were being conducted in an effort to secure lines around the APS and SRP infrastructure.

Currently, the fire is being staffed by one Hotshot crew, 1 engine and 1 water tender. Up in the north country, the Payson Ranger District has begun new cutting and piling in and around the communities of Pine and Strawberry. The thinning project is part of a long-range strategy to keep communities in the Rim Country out of harms way from catastrophic wildfire danger. Plans are to complete cutting and piling on a total of 500 acres in 30 days. Residents and visitors to the area can expect to hear chain saws between the hours of 5 am and 1 p.m.

On the brighter side of things, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is hosting a Gila Community College Student Art Show from July 18th through August. Works shown will be from San Carlos, Payson, and Gila Pueblo Campuses.

Everyone is invited to attend the opening reception on Saturday, July 18, 2009 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The reception will be held in the main building from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

For more information about the show and Boyce Thompson Arboretum visit www.btarboretum.org.

For those looking for a reprieve from the heat and in need of laughter and fun, Cirque du Soleil will be performing from July 29 to August 2 at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. More details on the Saltimbanco Arena Tour, including ticket information, can be found on page 13 of this edition.

Until next issue, take care, try and keep cool and . . .

Dance like theres nobodys watching. Love like youll never get hurt. Sing like theres nobody listening. Live like its heaven on earth.   back...