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    Castle Valley Comments: Oct. 24, 2019

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    Ron Drake
    Ron Drake
    Times-Independent Columnist

    One item on the agenda of the Castle Valley Town Council during the regular monthly meeting, which was held Oct. 16, had to do with the temporary donation of a metal art piece.

    Michael Ford Dunton of Castle Valley and the cofounder of the Moab ArTTrails, contacted the town council for permission to place the 11-foot, 1-ton metal sculpture on the town lot. The sculpture has been on display in Colorado and spent the last year on 100 North Street in Moab as part of the annual Moab ArTTrails Sculpture Exhibition.

    At the recent conclusion of the second annual exhibition, the 16 or so sculptures, which are located on downtown streets in Moab, had to be exchanged for new art so Dunton wanted it placed in Castle Valley rather than take it home.

    The sculpture, “Modulus Vulcani,” is made of basalt and steel and emphasizes his current focus, which is a combination of metal and stone art.

    Dunton and his wife, Christie, the other cofounder of the Moab ArTTrails, just announced the installation of 16 new outdoor sculptures along an art trail in central Moab. They will be on display for a year and all of the works are up for consideration for the public’s permanent collection. People can vote on their favorite by going to their website at

    In other business during the town council meeting, Grand County Councilman Greg Halliday was there to update the council on county business. He spoke about the need to increase the tax base of the Moab Valley Fire District to meet their obligations by possibly expanding their district to include most of the county with the exception of the areas already in a fire district, such as Castle Valley and Thompson Springs. He said that the county reassessed property values in Castle Valley this past year and, as a result, our taxes will probably increase. In addition to the increase in property values, the county will probably have to increase property taxes to make up for a deficit in revenue that the county is facing.

    Ed Weeks, a board member for the EMS Special Service District spoke to the council about their plans to remodel the old Senior Center at the end of 100 North Street in Moab by applying for a 75 percent zero interest loan and 25 percent grant from the Community Impact Board. The volume of calls is up 10 percent from last year and up 20 percent from three years ago.

    The road crew has been using a jackhammer to knock down some of the protruding rocks on Meadow Lane. When Council Member Tory Hill complained that the road is worse than before she was told that a layer of gravel still needs to be applied to the road. There was also a discussion about using a milled asphalt material on the road as an experiment but Mayor Jazmine Duncan said she didn’t want to spend money for an experiment when other roads are a priority.

    With Veteran’s Day coming next month, the Castle Valley Library has chosen the documentary film “They Shall Not Grow Old” to screen at their next movie night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct . 29.

    Faylene Roth says the British documentary was made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The film uses nothing but the actual vintage film footage and images of British soldiers on the Western Front. Peter Jackson, the director, applied computer film techniques to create a smooth, seamless, colorized film. The narration was created using the actual words from live interviews with British soldiers who were in the trenches during the war and expert lip readers were employed to translate what was being said on original news footage and perfectly synced with the film.

    It seems like the annual Castle Valley Gourd Festival was enjoyed by the many who attended. The weather was pleasant and the predicted wind didn’t arrive until the end of the event and Nellie Drogin, this year’s Gourdess, was lovely. Organizer Ruth Brown is thankful to all who joined in and donated to the festival.

    She is particularly thankful to the late Michaelene Pendleton, whose raw gourds that she collected before her death “were used to create the rhinoceros and decorations for the gourdess (Nellie Drogin).”

    She also acknowledged Sam Somerville, a gourd grower from Spanish Valley, who donated gourds for the kids hands-on table.

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