After an additional request to President Bush to add 14 more counties to the state’s disaster declaration list, Bush decided to declare the entire state a disaster area due to the wildfires that have scorched the state in recent months.

This means anyone in the state that has been affected by the wildfires can apply for disaster assistance from FEMA.

In case you missed it Sunday, Pauls Valley had a downpour Sunday. Hey, when it’s been as dry as it’s been lately, six-tenths of an inch is like a downpour.

Despite the recent rain and lack of high temperatures and winds, the conditions are still extremely dangerous.

Meanwhile, there has been a big drop in the amount of grass fires reported across the state, giving firefighters and equipment a much needed break.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma’s Safety Officer Glenn Bailey encouraged firefighters to be vigilant. “Don’t get caught with your heads down,” he stated during a briefing to fire fighters at the Incident Command Post in Shawnee.

Not to diminish Bailey and his comments, but I’ve never known a firefighter to be lax in their job. They are always ready for the next battle, no matter how taxing the previous fire has been on them and their department.

Those who need to be vigilant are the ordinary citizens of our area and state. We need to be vigilant in complying with the statewide Burn Ban and vigilant in our prayers for more rain.

Remember, the burn ban is still in effect, which means no outdoor burning of any kind. With the recent spring like weather, it’s tempting to break out the charcoal and cook up a hamburger or two or maybe a steak. Unless your grill is a gas grill, the charcoal will have to stay in the bag for a while longer.

In the meantime, I suggest we do something to properly thank our firefighters. Take them some home baked cookies, send them a card of thanks, or do something to show them how grateful we are for their labor and risking their own lives in fighting these wildfires.

—72—

Look for the 2006 Pauls Valley Arts Council’s calendar of events in this weekend’s Daily Democrat. The PVAC officers met last Saturday and spent the whole day making plans for the upcoming year.

2006 will be another highly energetic year for the PVAC, even more than last year. Our plans are to have at least three theatrical productions, two major art shows along with some individual shows and several concerts, including the Wacker Park After Dark summer concert series.

And yes, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic will be returning to Pauls Valley in 2006.

The PVAC has also revised our membership benefits to include discounted tickets to all events requiring an admission price, quarterly membership meetings that will showcase some type of arts related program, members only events and group discounts to other arts events in the area.

Memberships start as low as $25 for a single person, $50 for a couple and $100 for a family. The PVAC also has corporate or business memberships.

If you have been considering a membership to the PVAC then don’t wait until our upcoming membership drive. You can send your membership dues to The Pauls Valley Arts Council, P.O. Box 522, Pauls Valley, OK 73075.

—72—

Quotes of the Day:

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

—Pablo Picasso



“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”

—Henry Miller

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