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.   more...
Last week was a startling one for Hollywood, as well as the rest of the country. The death of Farrah Fawcett, although not unexpected was indeed sad for one who died so young. Two other deaths, one of prominently known icon Michael Jackson and that of well-known TV commercial spokesperson, Billy Mays on Sunday morning, both dead at age 50, shocked the world.

At the very least, I think it makes many of us stop and examine our own mortality and consider what legacy we might leave behind with those who know us. Something to consider. The hot weather has arrived with a capital H. Monsoon season is just around the corner and while I cant remember the official start date, I am certainly ready for it after a week of temperatures over 100 degrees.

Congratulations to Globe, Arizona resident Nathan O'Neal on finishing his freshman year among the ASU elite. In addition to making Deans List, Nathan has found time as part of ASUs marching band.

As many of you know, it was Nathan who played an integral part in the relaunch of this publication. I couldnt be more proud of such a fine young man. It is not often that I come across someone with a work ethic as strong as that displayed by Nathan. I have absolutely no doubt that he will be among the best of the best in whatever dreams he pursues throughout his life.

Sports fans were treated to loads of excitement this past weekend as ASU beat North Carolina, 5 to 2, in the tenth inning at the Mens College World Series.

According to NCAA stats, this was the 80th all-time MCWS game to go extra innings and the first since UC Irvines 8-7 win over Arizona State in the 2007 MCWS. Three of the last five MCWS games to go extra innings have involved Arizona State.

Arizona State is now 28-0 when allowing two runs or less this season and lowered their national-best ERA to 2.76.

As we head into June and the halfway point of the year, Im hearing numerous reports on the economy ranging from what appears to be the beginning of a turnaround to the worst is still to come.

As an eternal optimist, Im certainly hoping for the former and am seeing a mild rebound, at least across pockets of Arizona.

I remember back in the eighties having a discussion with a friend after watching the movie Wall Street with Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen. While the theme of the movie was about insider trading, the thread running through the film was of a system based on faith. Once consumer faith falls apart, which it did after the collapse of AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and several other institutions too numerous to list here, a domino effect follows.

It is my personal belief that consumer confidence must be restored in order for the engine of this economy to start running again. Im not entirely certain that spending enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars is the battery needed for the jump-start. So how do we restore faith? What will it take for consumers to start spending money and banks to begin lending again?

Recently, while watching an old late-night movie, one of the characters made the comment, All we have to face our future with is the experience of our past.

We have entered and fought wars (and conflicts) to help those who have been oppressed and unable to truly experience freedom. Many of us stand divided today over the war in Iraq, perhaps with waning memories of the horror of terrorist acts. The experiences of our past should embed in our memories the consequences of not facing a future wrought with terrorist intent on destroying America and all she represents to us.

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, I truly hope we all remember why we celebrate this particular holiday. There are those who have fought and given their lives in the past and those who still fight today so that we may enjoy all of the freedom afforded to us, here in this great country of ours.

I love fairy tale endings! On Saturday, May 1, Mine That Bird, a 3-year-old gelding and a 50-1 longshot, ran an unbelievable race on a 1 1/4-mile muddy track in the Kentucky Derby.

I have loved horses for as long as I can remember and this race brought to mind, a story written by Walter Farley, titled The Black Stallion

In the movie adaptation, a young boy named Alex becomes acquainted with what becomes his beloved The Black after both are shipwrecked on an island. The cast included Mickey Rooney as the trainer and Teri Garr as Alexs mom. As the movie nears the ending climax, the Black races to what is perceived as an insurmountable come-from-behind win.

Mine That Bird closely paralleled the same feat in Saturdays Kentucky Derby. When you watch the replay, you realize the horse was dead-last out of the gate and accelerated like a rocket past the field to win by six plus lengths. Talk about a horse with heart. Mine That Bird has it, as does his jockey, Calvin Borel.

One has to wonder, can this horse give a repeat performance in the Preakness and the Belmont? The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978. If the Derby was any indication, well be seeing a lot more of Mine That Bird.