Last week the utility installed three new poles at the top and bottom of Porcupine Rim and strung heavier conductor wire, which will not only improve reliability but will serve the growth of the community for years to come without having to install new equipment. The three new poles will allow a 19-foot clearance between the lines from the top to the bottom of Porcupine Rim, nearly doubling the space between the old lines, and static lines were installed to help prevent power outages from lightning strikes. Orange marker balls were also placed on the new lines to be visible for aircraft. While the contractor was installing the wires to Porcupine Rim and Mill Creek the other linemen were able to do “three to four week’s worth of work” at other locations while taking advantage of the de-energized power lines, according to Vink.
In the meantime, Frontier Communications was experiencing problems that were associated with the power outages. When the power went off for those short periods of time at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., the disruption would cause the switches at the telephone office in the valley to trip to “off” until they were manually reset. The generator that was located at the office to charge the batteries didn’t start as it was designed to do when the power goes off. Last Wednesday, Nov. 1, most of Castle Valley was without telephone service when the backup batteries went dead from the power disruption the night before — and could not be restored until a specialized technician from out of the area came to fix the problem.
The chipper from the State Division of Forest, Fire and State Lands will be in the valley next Tuesday, Nov. 14. They will come to your property and chip trees and limbs down to a usable size that can be used as mulch or decorative accents. Russ Cooper is in charge of directing the fire crew to each home and a call to him will put you on the list. You can call him at 435-259-3336.
Castle Valley has an impressive number of military veterans living within our community and I try to maintain a roster to pay tribute and honor them every Veterans Day, which is Saturday, Nov. 11. I was honored to be one of the three veterans, along with Richard Williams and Greg Halliday. We still sort of fit in a uniform or fatigues and participated in a flag raising ceremony during the annual gourd festival last Oct. 21. The occasion was to raise the flag on the newly installed flagpole at the community hall.
Several other veterans were asked to participate in the short program with or without a uniform but most chose to not participate without a uniform. Halliday was still able to wedge himself into his formal class A uniform, while Williams found a flight jacket and pants that sort of fit — and I still had a set of old Army fatigues that fit if I wore it with the shirt left out. One old sailor, who will remain nameless, thought for sure he could fit into his Navy uniform since he recently lost weight but found out otherwise. Mingo Gritts and his son Ezekiel also participated in the program representing the Boy Scouts.
Following is a list of veterans who live in Castle Valley. From the Army are Skip Ambrose, Orville Diggs, Ron Drake, Greg Halliday, Susan Halliday, Dennis Johnson, Don Montoya, Patrick O’Kelly, Sherry O’Kelly, Bill Riggs, Bob Russell, Vern Simmons and Richard Williams. Veterans of the Navy are Jeff Anderson, Jake Burnett, Ed Derderian, Dorr Hatch, Ray Radley, Floyd Stoughton and Jeff Whitney. Air Force veterans include Ron Daily, Hank Freeman, Tony Martineau and John Taggart. Veterans of the United States Marines are Larry Craig, Pete Plastow and Josh Pike and David Smith was an officer in the British Army.
Master Sergeant Vern Simmons is the only one of the Greatest Generation who saw action during World War II while with the famed 141st Infantry Division. He enlisted in 1941 — and was within eight hours of landing in Pearl Harbor on a converted troop ship when the bombing of the harbor propelled the United States into World War II, where he witnessed firsthand the horrors of many battles.