Over three weeks after the Castle Valley area and the rest of the county experienced a widespread power outage, people are still discovering effects from the surge that occurred when the electricity was restored.
I can’t remember exactly when I first met Floyd Stoughton. It was probably sometime in 1985 when he began building his house on Shafer Lane. But whenever it was, I’ve enjoyed our association and friendship for these last many years
The power outage Aug. 28 was more widespread than just Castle Valley – and the surge that came when the lights came back on did some damage.
Longtime resident David Earl Hotz died last Saturday morning, Aug. 24, from complications associated with the onset of cancer. He was 64 years old and was the youngest child of Earl and Nettie Hotz. Dave was born in Grand Junction but his family moved to different mining or lumber camps frequently until they ended up in Gateway, Colorado before finally moving to Moab for the warmer climate. His father, Earl, got a job at the ranch in Castle Valley before it was subdivided and became the Castle Valley River Ranchos. As a result, his family moved to Castle Valley during the early 1970s and he attended Moab schools.
Fifty years ago last week the nation witnessed one of the most iconic events in history when over 400,000 people descended on a 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. The event was billed as an Aquarian Exposition, which featured three days of peace and music, but it was more commonly known as the Woodstock Music Festival.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about bear activity around the area. The Salt Lake City news channels are all abuzz about a 13-year-old boy who was bit on the left side of his face while sleeping in a tent at the Dewey Bridge Campground. The boy was apparently taken to a hospital where he was treated and released. The State Division of Wildlife Resources has located and destroyed the bear.
Our weather has been a little cooler lately as compared to the last couple of years, according to Bob Russell, our official weather observer. Russell says, “Our July was just slightly cooler than 2017 and 2018 by one to two degrees. Based on 2017-18, we can expect another drop of one to two degrees in August. Precipitation was expectantly low at 0.17 inches total for July and based upon the records will remain below an inch in August.”
Thirty-five years ago this week, this column reported on a fire in Castle Valley which was reported to Castle Valley Fire Chief John McGann at his home. Children who lived near the end of Shafer Lane spotted a fire in a storage shed on the campus of the Castle Valley Institute (now the DayStar Adventist Academy) and called the telephone operator to report the fire. The operator, who apparently thought it was a prank call, either hung up on the oldest daughter who made the call or maybe put her on hold, but either way, the kids decided to go to Plan B. They ran a quarter-mile down the road to Chief McGann’s home to report the fire personally. The fire was quickly extinguished as a result of the children’s quick action.
A short, 22-minute monthly meeting of the Castle Valley Town Council was held Wednesday, July 17 with three council members present and Council Member Alice Drogin attending by phone. Council Member Tory Hill was on vacation.
Late one evening last week, Roni Hemsley was driving home from work. About halfway between Chamisa Lane and Rim Shadow Lane on Castle Valley Drive a young bear appeared from the side of the road and before she knew it, they were proceeding side by side up the road until the bear finally turned off. She was rather surprised about the experience and also about how small the bear was.
The Second Annual Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast, which is sponsored by the Castle Valley Fire Department, was another success, according to Susan Halliday, who coordinated the event.
The Castle Valley Fire Department recently completed a Community Wildfire Preparedness Plan for the Wildland/Urban Interface where we live. This plan was last updated over ten years ago, but should be updated every five years as circumstances change. This plan is normally completed by the State Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, but for a while there has not been an employee in the position that does the work. Several months of work by the fire department and more specifically Commissioner Leta Vaughn was required to complete the document before a public hearing and a special fire commissioner meeting last month. The Castle Valley fire commissioners approved the plan during that special meeting June 26 at Fire Station 2.