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Archive for October, 2012

Happy Halloween

Darkness fell that Halloween eve as the Richardardson family arrived to clean the school. Leaves were tracked everywhere inside the school making it a long tedious task before they would be finished.

The moon waning down from fullness still shone brightly in the school yard. A long high howl hung in the air. Both Jenny and Dave looked to one another but figured it was one of the many coyotes that inhabit the valley. They hurried inside and began their work.

Lately, that same howl was haunting the neighborhood regularly every night. Dogs from the school all the way to the post office were on edge, barking and howling each time it reverberated through the night.

Neighbors of the school weren’t totally sure what they were hearing. Lusks feared it may be a wolf that crossed the valley five years earlier. Rex Curry was taking no chances and walked his deck nightly with a loaded gun before retiring for the night.

Even stranger, was the fact the Estep’s dog , Rocky, had disappeared a week earlier while they were on vacation. Shancey Lusk was taking care of him and searched high and low. All she and Estep ever found was a pile of black fur matted with what they assumed to be blood. Estep figured he may have been a midnight snack for a hungry cougar coming down to the creek for water. Sure Rocky was still fleet of foot but due to age had become stone deaf, making him easy prey.

Exhausted from working two jobs, Dave told Jenny to gather the girls to head for home. He only needed to take these old brooms out to the shed, and they could be on their way. Everyone headed for the shed.

The moon flung shadows over the yard as another howl peirced the darkness. Dave moved toward the shed key inhand. Quickly he inserted the key and turned the bolt. The door creaked open revealing a pair of large red eyes, gleaming in the darkness. White foam seemed to drip from the creature’s muzzle. Jenny screamed, jumping back and thrusting the children behind her.

The beast burst out of the opening toward them grazing Dave as he passed. All they saw was a white streak lunging out toward the road. The Richardsons swiftly fled in terror, luckily unscathed.

Next morning Estep was greeted at the door by his dog , Rocky. The dog extremely thin appeared fine. However, his hair had turned gray as if frighteced by a ghost. Once again the goblins will get you if you don’t watch out!!!!!!!!!!


Fire fighting farmers of Arbon Valley

Hans Hayden is one of the firefighting farmers of Arbon Valley. He shows off the bulldozer and pickup with 250 gallons of water he keeps handy in case a fire breaks out in the large agricultural valley southwest of Pocatello.

When lightning strikes a dry field in Arbon Valley and sparks a fire no one calls the fire department. There isn’t one to call.

Instead neighbors begin calling each other to determine the location and size of the fire and spring into action with whatever farm equipment or tanker trucks they can can lay their hands on.

“You look out where the smoke is coming from and you call until you find someone who can see it,” said lifelong Arbon farmer Hans Hayden. “It just happens.”

And it even happens in the middle of the night like it did this past week when lightning strikes caused a fire to ignite at 1:15 a.m. on the backside of the range where the Charlotte Fire had destroyed 66 homes in June.

Hayden was awakened by the sound of thunder. When he spotted flames in the distance, he did what he has done for 40 years. He called his neighbors and fired up his equipment.

Within 40 minutes the fire was out and 15 people had time to chat about what had just happened. Some had pajama tops tucked into their trousers, but they had beaten back the danger.

“You really don’t talk to anyone until the fire is out,” Hayden said.

This has been the “emergency response team” Arbon residents have relied upon for decades, according to Hayden. In a valley that stretches 60 miles and encompasses thousands of acres of private cropland and Bureau of Land Management (BLM)  ground with ridges of junipers and cedars, reliance on other residents comes with the territory.

“It works pretty well here,” Hayden said.

Homes are scattered in the Arbon Valley that is home to an LDS stake and a two-room elementary school the state of Idaho has deemed “remote and necessary.” The nearest police or fire station is a long way from any emergency.

“Everyone in the valley is part of the volunteer fire department,” Hayden explained.

He said its why he was a little angry when he read about problems farmers in the McCammon area had getting past law enforcement when a fire broke out along Marsh Creek a couple of weeks ago. A haystack was lost to flames and Hayden said he guesses neighbors would have stopped that from happening.

“If everyone works together, you don’t have problems,” he said.

The Arbon Valley farmer said he realizes the resources of the BLM come in handy when a fire gets large or makes its way into the trees. Hayden said he doesn’t have the training to fight fires in forested areas, but he knows how to help stop a range fire. Hayden said he’s even worked with aerial assaults from firefighting planes from the ground without a radio.

“A few years ago I cut a fire break around a fire and just parked up on the hill so the pilots could see me,” he said. “They knew what to do.”

Hayden said what he and his neighbors don’t want to encounter is aggressive attitudes from BLM crews or law enforcement on the ground. He said the farmers in the valley know the lay of the land and how a fire will act and can be the best resource for stopping the spread of a wildfire.

“It’s kind of a love-hate relationship,” Hayden said about the BLM. “I really need their planes sometimes.”

But Hayden said it is the quick response of valley residents that can keep fires in check.

“A tractor with a disk is a thousand times faster than anything they can use,” Hayden said.

He cited a recent fire that broke out at the base of the backside of Scout Mountain southwest of Pocatello as an example.

“If we hadn’t got on it, it would have burned the whole west side of Scout Mountain,” Hayden said.

In a summer that has seen little rain, high winds and numerous “red flag” fire danger warnings, Hayden said the importance of coordinated professional and private efforts should be obvious.

“When I go to a fire, I do it at my own risk and at no charge,” he said. “If counties have liability issues maybe the law should be changed.”

Law or no law, the residents of Arbon Valley will continue to be on the look out for fires and be ready to attack if necessary.

“That’s what we do,” Hayden said.

Reprinted by permission from the Idaho State Journal. Author: Michael H. O’Donnell


School Expenses – October 2012

http://www.arbonvalley.com/wp-content/uploads/October2012.pdf


Arbon Turkey Shoot

It’s that time of year again for the Arbon Turkey Shoot!

All of you Arbon-ites bring the family, luck, your guns, and ammunition!

Refreshments will be served (courtesy of the LDS Young Women Group).  We can’t wait to see you there!

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Details
Location: Arbon LDS Church
Date: October 27th
Time: 10:00am

You may consider bringing eye and ear protection


School Board Minutes

The Arbon School Board met on September 11, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. members Jason Williams, Melinda Campbell and Jake Evans were present as were Debbie Curry, Robin Claunch, Juli Fitch and clerk, Cheri Evans.

The motion was moved by Jason and seconded by Melinda to approve the agenda. The motion was moved by Melinda and seconded by Jason to approve the minutes. The bills were reviewed. The motion was moved by Jason and seconded by Melinda to approve them. The total M & O expenses for the month of September was $20,883.23. The school received $6.70 from interest on investments. The school M & O balance is $54,628.70. The Plant Facility received $4.56 from interest the Plant Facility balance is $38,628.39. The motion was moved by Jason and seconded by Melinda to approve the financial statement.

The Old Town Actors Studio will perform several Aesop Fables on September 14th at 2:30 p.m. for the school. The lottery scratch for schools is October 3rd at ISU. The fun run/walk fund raiser will be September 22nd at 8:00 a.m. The school will go to the Museum of Idaho, King Tut, sometime in October. The ISEE report has been revised to version 3, Robin has been working on it.

The school’s 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 books are in for Deaton and Company to audit. The audit is due to the State Department on November 10th. The board reviewed and approved the 2012-2013 bus routes.

Michael Neeser from Eagle Rock Construction gave a bid to reseal the blacktop. He said the parking area needed to be tore up and redone but the playground area could have the cracks sealed this fall and sealed coated in the spring. He gave a bid to do the playground for around $1,200.00. He said he would donate his labor and if he had more volunteers for labor it would be considerably less. Robin will have him call and talk with Jake. Richard will do the maintenance on the old storage shed as soon as it is empty.

The county made a bus turn around at Dave and Jenny Richardson’s. Juli said it needs to be larger before winter. She will talk with Rex Dale concerning this.

The next meeting will be held on October 9, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. The motion was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.