for stories covering the Southern San Pedro Valley Plan,
Palominas restaurant under new management
(UPDATE 5/30/06 - THE RESTAURANT IS CLOSED AND UP FOR SALE)
Cathy and Jesus Ruiz, respectively serving as manager and
chef, took over May 9 from Dale Johnson with help from private investors. The
couple have brightened up the place a bit and maintained the essential character
of the establishment.
"They come for the ribs," said Sue Ruderman, mother
of Cathy. The Ruderman family moved to this region in 1969. Sue's father was a
cowboy in northern Arizona.
"They called us," said Sue. "We were retired,
and, so, what do parents do?"
Dinner is served 4-9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 4-8
on Sunday and Monday. Lunch hours are planned for the future.
Good eat'n: Palominas business allows
BY DANA COLE
Herald Review (June 16, 2003)
Palominas -- Row after row, lines of metal trellises stretch over a plot of ground thick with tomatoes, about 3,000 plants. Sturdy bailing twine is attached to the base of each trellis, helping to support the heavy branches, lifting those that are close to the ground upward toward the metal that will bear their weight.
The tomatoes are just one of several crops at Gray's Garden of Eat'n, a new Palominas business of naturally grown produce, scheduled to open Friday.
While tomatoes are the most visible crop, a number of fruits and vegetables are being grown at the family farm, a place where visitors are invited to pick their own produce. Clinton Gray, who developed the idea of starting the family's you-pick-it, all natural garden -- no pesticides are used --said the project has been a long-time dream of his.
"I've always had a green thumb," Gray said. "Even while we were living in town (Sierra Vista), we always had a vegetable garden." Gray's backyard garden, however, pales next to the family's newest endeavor. This year, Gray, his wife Shauna, and their four children all pitched in to plant three acres of vegetables, with future plans of transforming most of their recently purchased approximately 18 acres into a garden paradise.
Located at 10501 Dove Song Lane, just off Highway 92 next to the Miracle Valley Bible College, Clinton jumped at the opportunity to purchase the property, an old dairy farm called Miracle Valley Dairy. "I wanted this particular piece of property because it has good soil and is a highway frontage location," he said. He purchased the acreage last November and the whole family worked together to get the first crops planted.
Shauna Gray is keeping a watchful eye on their 2-year-old son, Hyrum, who is busily digging up plants with his shovel. "I hope those are weeds," she said, squinting at the youngster from beneath a straw hat.
Just inside the doorway of the barn, Shauna Gray is painting a sign for the business. "We have a lot of work ahead of us. But we're excited about how much we've accomplished so far. It's a matter of tackling this one project at a time."
The barn, a long narrow structure which was used when it came time to milk dairy cows, is now destined to be a greenhouse once the necessary renovations are finished.
"I'm planning to replace the roof and will eventually have all types of plants in this area," Clinton Gray said, pointing toward the long section of the barn where milking had once been done. The couple hopes to open a store at the front of the barn, complete with walk-in cooler, restrooms and an office.
But for now, the immediate focus is getting the property ready for the second round of crops, a time-intensive task that involves installing drip systems, making trellises and hauling in semi-truck loads of fertilizer.
"Our drip system is buried a couple of inches under the soil," Clinton Gray said. "We've installed timers with controls that are set specific to the different types of plants."
The goal is to be able to water efficiently, conserving as much water as possible. Huge semi-trucks, 46-feet long, haul in enough fertilizer to cover 26 cubic yards.
After visiting other produce farms with similar you-pick-it formats, the Grays were able to gather ideas and capitalize on what other businesses tried. "We visited Dave Stutzman's farm in Camp Verde and got some good ideas from him," Clinton Gray said. "His place is very successful -- people come all the way from Phoenix for produce. We also visited Young Farms in Dewey, another successful produce business."
Shauna Gray added, "For those who don't want to pick their own vegetables, we'll make arrangements to pick for them."
In the meantime, the Gray children continue to work. The couple's oldest son, 9-year-old Clint, is helping his father stretch bailing twine from trellis to trellis, gently lifting tomato plant branches over the twine to give the plant more lift.
Seven-year old Benjamin, squatting down in the midst of the tomatoes, said he's proud of the garden he helped his family plant. With outstretched arms, he offers two ripe tomatoes to a visitor, while describing his role in the family's gardening project.
"I helped my parents with all this," he said with a wave of his arm. "I did lots of weeding and planted tomatoes and other things. We all helped," he said of his two brothers and sister.
"He's right," Shauna Gray said. "We're all out here every single morning while it's still cool." Hyrum has now joined his 11-year-old sister, Sariah, who is digging weeds. Out of the corner of his eye, the youngster spies the Herald/Review photographer, and scuttles off.
But older sister, Sariah, isn't quite so shy, as she talks about different crops the family has planted. "We have all kinds of squash, peppers, cucumbers, and now we have blackberries," she said. "We're going to have pumpkins later in the year and green beans."
When he's not gardening with the family, Clinton Gray works as a certified public accountant at Haymore and Gray, CPA, a Sierra Vista business he owns with a partner. A fourth generation Arizona native, he was raised in the Cottonwood area, later moving to Camp Verde and then to Sierra Vista.
"I was raised on home gardens, and always enjoyed gardening myself," Clinton Gray said.
"This business just seemed like a good fit for our whole family."
Local wildfire is contained
(April 14, 2003)
BY BILL HESS
PALOMINAS -- The first major wildfire of the year grew from 1,000 acres Sunday to nearly 1,500 today, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He added that the fire was contained around 10 p.m. Sunday.
Winds this afternoon are expected to reach as high as 30 mph and are a concern for those fighting the fire, David Peters said.
The blaze is along the San Pedro River and its riparian area, he said this morning. "It's on both sides of the river."
The fire was apparently started by an illegal immigrant, Peters said, adding the assumption of the cause was based on a U.S. Border Patrol agent spotting an illegal entrant and seeing a fire in the area where the individual was standing.
The agent chased the illegal immigrant, did not catch him and when he returned to the site "the fire was growing and it was too late to put it out," Peters said.
The Border Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, Cochise County Sheriff's Office and Palominas Volunteer Fire Department are assisting BLM, he said.
Sunday, 65 firefighters, 11 engines and two water tenders were being used, Peters said, adding today crews are working on hot spots.
A burn out was done Sunday to protect a dozen structures near the fire, he said. None of the structures were in immediate danger but the burn out -- 100 feet wide and a half-mile long -- ensured the fire would have no fuel in case winds drove the blaze toward the homes, Peters said.
It will still take several days to completely control the fire, Peters said.
Today's wind forecast from noon to 7 p.m. is not good, he added. "It's a matter of wind and weather."
Palominas Now Receiving Service
From New 9-1-1 System
Palominas residents woke up Thursday
a little safer because new enhanced 9-1-1 systems for the community are now at
work. Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff's
Department, said the enhanced system has taken years to receive and
implement. Now that the work is complete, the community should feel safer,
Resolution of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors whereby the Board of
Supervisors does not sanction the formation of civilian militias and vigilantism
for the purpose of controlling illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border
and further petitioning the Federal Government to take responsibility for the
problems associated with illegal immigration.
private groups have issued public calls to form citizen border patrol militias
to combat illegal immigration along our international border;
unsanctioned armed militias and vigilantism historically breed animosity among
communities by propagating hate, malice, and ill-conceived perceptions;
untrained and armed individuals operating in pseudo-enforcement activities along
our international border could lead to confrontations and violence for community
the Board of Supervisors understands the frustrations experienced by property
owners who have to deal with the daily impacts of illegal immigration and
recognizes the right of such persons to protect their private property;
the Board of Supervisors believes in enforcement guided by the rule of law,
recognizing there are legitimate and sanctioned authorities such as the United
States Border Patrol and others who can and must address the issues of illegal
the United States Government has utterly failed to provide adequate resources or
a comprehensive immigration plan to deal with illegal immigration, thereby
resulting in inadequate security along the international border and the transfer
of unacceptable costs and impacts to Cochise County and the communities within
the United States
Government must take responsibility, fiscal and otherwise, for a national
problem that impacts the well-being, safety, and security of the residents of
Cochise County and other border communities;
be it therefore resolved,
that the Cochise County Board of Supervisors does not sanction the creation and
operation of armed or unarmed militias and vigilantes for the purpose of
controlling illegal immigration at or near the U.S. Mexico border;
it further resolved,
that the Cochise County Board of Supervisors demands that the Federal Government
recognize and take responsibility, fiscal and otherwise, for problems associated
with illegal immigration. Cochise County urges the Federal Government to
consider comprehensive reform of the nation’s immigration policy and to ensure
that communities, health care agencies, and local government agencies are not
burdened by the costs of and responsibility for illegal immigration.
Passed and adopted this 26th day of November, 2002
AS TO FORM:
The (Naco) Border Light Problem & Updates
11/19/02: Work was begin on
Nov. 18th to shield and redirect the 16 remaining light standards that were
shining brightly into Palominas. By the afternoon of the 19th, the modifications
seem to be complete. And they have significantly decreased the light
pollution seen here in Palominas and at the observatory. I REALLY WANT TO
THANK THE OFFICIALS AT THE NACO STATION FOR THEIR EFFORTS AND QUICK ACTION
(It only took a little over 5 months to get the modifications done!). AND thanks
to everyone in the community for their efforts and action to get this resolved!
Palominas Enhanced 9-1-1 Coming Soon! ( News item dated 2-25-02)
It is official.
Neighbors' fight ends in compromise
BY DAVID RUPKALVIS (Feb. 6, 2002)
BISBEE -- Mike Goodman said he simply didn't know he was in violation of the law, but his neighbors say he was trying to circumvent the rules.
Tuesday, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors was left trying to decide who was right.
In the end, they compromised.
Goodman admits he has been running an auto repair shop on his property for more than a year, but he said he simply didn't know that he had to get a business license and county permission to use the property.
Late last year, complaints by neighbors landed Goodman in front of the county Planning and Zoning Commission, and the panel said Goodman could use his property to run the business until March 1 and said he could use a Quonset hut on his property to store non-hazardous materials for a new business he plans on opening on Highway 92.
But that wasn't good enough for the neighbors, who say Goodman will continue to violate the law.
Richard Mayne, whose house sits 300 feet from the Quonset hut, said Goodman has burned oil, tires and other hazardous materials on his property and, if given the chance, will continue to violate the law.
"He's been a terrible neighbor," Mayne said.
"You can't run an auto repair business without noise, dust and pollution. It doesn't belong there and I shouldn't even be here. Not only has this neighbor been a nightmare, but he's been operating illegally."
But Goodman said many of the accusations are simply not true.
"As far as accusations that I've dumped waste, that is false," he said. "There's been talk that I've burned tires, that is a lie. Bottom line is I'm out March 1st. I won't be able to get a unit on the highway, but that's OK. This thing has cost me a ton of time and money."
Mayne produced pictures that showed burned materials in a pit. Board Chairman Les Thompson said none of the materials looked like tires or oil, but added that burning trash at home was illegal.
Goodman said he had gotten permission and guidance from the Palominas Fire Department before burning anything and pleaded ignorance to the law against burning household trash.
Joshua Mayne said he, too, was opposed to allowing Goodman to store business items on his property.
"If he wants to store household or farming stuff, then I'm OK," Joshua Mayne said. "I'm opposed to anything relating to an automotive business in that Quonset hut."
Hope Wilfong, the recording secretary for the Palominas Community Alliance, said the alliance decided to remain neutral in the dispute, but she thought Goodman should be able to continue working.
"Mr. Goodman has been more than forthright in allowing us to look at and examine his property," Wilfong said. "He is trying to run a business and feed his family. Personally, I would support granting an extension so he could run his business."
Goodman said he wanted to store 300 new tires, 60 new rims and equipment such as tools, lifts, tire changers and a tire balancer in the shed until he could retrofit a building he was trying to lease on the highway.
Supervisor Pat Call said Goodman had been given enough chances.
Call supported making him move the materials off his property.
"To continue to reward someone who hasn't complied is something I'm not comfortable with," Call said. "We've got a long history of non-compliance. My problem is we don't have the people to go out there and check every week. Are we now going to ask the neighbors to be enforcement officers.
Supervisor Paul Newman disagreed, saying he wanted to help Goodman keep his business and his means if making a living.
After more than an hour of the hearing, Goodman finally gave up.
"If this is such a big deal then turn it down," he said. "My neighbors are more important to me than the damn Quonset hut. I'll withdraw my request."
But the supervisors continued to discuss the problem and then voted 2-1 to allow Goodman to use the hut for 120 days as a storage unit.
He still will have to quit working on March 1, but can hold onto the equipment until he can get a legal business going.
The Palominas Christmas Parade! - Read the story (S.V. Herald) & See The Pictures (Doug's pictures)
Schools Get First Running Track (S.V. Herald, November 2001)
The Palominas School
District is on track with its first running track. Friday (November 30,
2001), the finishing touches were put on the track at Valley View School.
With some of the stricter regulations for access onto Fort Huachuca, Ellsworth is relieved that the track has been completed.
The track was paid for with money the district saved in its capital funds budget. Ellsworth said that the school board and superintendent supported the idea of providing a running track for the school district, which will be used for all three of its schools - Palominas, Coronado and Valley View.
Ellsworth added that Valley View's gymnasium is only half the size of a regulation gym, which means Valley View's students use the gymnasiums at Palominas and Coronado for special events and competitions.
"So this is a trade-off. In the spring, during track and field season, the other two schools will be using our running track," Ellsworth said.
The community of Palominas has no recreational facility, and Ellsworth said the track will be open to the public except when school is in session.
Available for use next week, the track is a regulation quarter-mile oval, 20-feet wide, with six lanes.
The school hopes to add lighting to the facility later.
An email letter recently received (9/15) from Deborah Divver, a Palominas resident now living out of state:
"Dear folks back in
Here is another email message that was forwarded to me regarding contemporary America:
I'm a Bad American-this pretty much sums it up for me. I like
big trucks, big boats, big houses, and naturally, pretty women. I believe the
money I make belongs to me and my family, not some Midlevel governmental
functionary with a bad comb-over who wants to give it away to crack addicts
squirting out babies. I don't care about appearing compassionate. I think
playing with toy guns doesn't make you a killer. I believe ignoring your kids
and giving them Prozac might. I think I'm doing better than the homeless. I
don't think being a minority makes you noble or victimized. I have the right not
to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird or make me mad. This
is my life to live, and not necessarily up to others expectations. I know what
SEX is and there are not varying degrees of it. I don't celebrate Kwanzaa. But
if you want to that's fine; I just don't feel like everyone else should have to.
I believe that if you are selling me a Dairy Queen shake, a pack of cigarettes,
or hotel room you do it in English. As of matter of fact, if you are an American
citizen you should speak English. My uncles and forefathers shouldn't have had
to die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come
disrespect ours, and make us bend to your will. Get over it. I think the cops
have every right to shoot your sorry butt if you're running from them after they
tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word 'freeze' or 'stop' in
English, see the previous line. I don't use the excuse "it's for the
children" as a shield for unpopular opinions or actions. I know how to
count votes and I feel much safer letting a machine With no political
affiliation do a recount when needed. I know what the Definition of lying is,
and it isn't based on the word "is"-ever.
From the Sierra Vista Herald:
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