Castle Valley Comments
June 12, 2014
by Ron Drake
Jun 12, 2014 | 1394 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A tree limb from a large cottonwood on the campus of the DayStar Academy broke loose during the high winds last Sunday and blew onto an adjacent power pole, causing the wires to short out. The result was the loss of electrical power to parts of the school as well as a few houses across the creek in the town of Castle Valley.

A lineman from Rocky Mountain Power arrived within the hour. He replaced fuses on two different poles that had blown and checked the remaining poles along the line to make sure everyone had power. Officially, spokeswoman Margaret Oler of Rocky Mountain Power said the outage was reported at 3:37 p.m. It affected 17 customers and the power was restored at 5:20 p.m., according to Oler.

One fire unit from the Castle Valley Fire Department was on hand in case a fire resulted from the incident. Witnesses at the DayStar Academy said that a lot of sparks, smoke and noise resulted when the limb came in contact with the power pole, and they feared a fire would break out because of it.

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Over the years, this column has discussed problems associated with animals and insects. It is usually when there is an over-abundance of them, and every year we are talking about a different critter that annoys us or is just plain destructive.

Grasshoppers have been the topic of conversation several times when hordes of them devoured every living plant in the valley and began eating the wood siding off of our house. Other times we’ve had to deal with an over-population of skunks, with residents trapping hundreds of them and hardly making a dent in the population.

The year-round deer herd can be a major pain if you are trying to grow a garden or brighten the place up with flowers. For a period of time there was an over-abundance of tent caterpillars, and the town officials hired a crop dusting plane to spray the green belt and private properties of those who wanted to save their trees.

Sometimes cougars will prowl the neighborhoods and kill our domestic animals and livestock, and occasionally a rogue black bear will come down from the mountain and raid bird feeders and feed bins to supplement its diet when food is scarce. I’ve also written about squirrels, bats, rattlesnakes, spiders, rabbits, coyotes, and probably others that I have since forgotten.

But I’ve never written about mice. This year they seem to be everywhere – invading our homes and buildings like never before that we can remember. Pat and I have been dealing with a family of mice for several days and I think we’re getting the situation under control, but we wonder how they get in the house in the first place. They have been spotted in the LDS church building and recently a brood of babies was found in a trash can. They’ve invaded the firehouses, despite efforts to keep them out, and there are reports of them at the guest lodges along the river.

One lady in the valley had an infestation of mice in her house so bad that she decided to scrub and paint the walls of her home after she finally got rid of the rodents. There are many other reports of people in the valley who have been plagued by the mice, so it seems to be the year for the mice this year and it makes us wonder what we will be complaining about next year.

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Twenty-five years ago, the valley had an active property owners association board and a town council that worked together on many local issues, including the road. The POA board reported hiring Tracy Balsley of Utah Drilling to use his water truck to help maintain the roads, while Don Tuft reported that a fence located just inside the main gate was removed to prepare to realign Castle Valley Drive. The road department also was working on an area of encroachment of the right-of-way just across the creek.

Thirty-five years ago this week, the Castle Valley 4-H Trail Blazers, which were under the guidance of Cindy Johnson (Day), gathered in Moab the previous week to participate in the annual Canyonlands Rodeo parade. Johnson also led the group on a hike to Fisher Towers and on another occasion they made first aid kits as part of their activities.

The 4-H group included Missy and Tina Plastow, Shannon, Colleen and Shawn Pueblo, Sandy Cluff, Bobby, Sissy and Rhondelle Drake, Jack Young, Nicki Ricketts, Kristin Johnson, and Sean Pace.

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