What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – May 2011




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What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – May 2011


By Sue Tejml

Mayor of copper Canyon


CONTENTS:


Saturday May 14th General Election for Copper Canyon officials and LISD and DISD Board Members; Voting at Double Oak’s Town Hall


Copper Canyon Resident Marshall Warren to climb Mount Everest!


The Fellers plat 11 beautiful two acre lots in Quiet Hill on Copper Canyon Road


Cookbook Sales Proceeds Benefit College Scholarships for Town Seniors


Denton County is Prepared for Wildfires


Lost and Found on Copper Woods: Many photos from 1987 in Honolulu


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Commissioner Eads moderates well-attended Forum for Town Candidates


Andy Eads, Our Denton County Precinct Four Commissioner, again moderated the Town’s Candidate Forum. It was well attended by approximately 40 Town residents. The Commissioner’s questions showed a real insight into the practical workings of a Town Council. Among the more interesting ones he asked were:


Give an example of differences of opinion of Council Members and how the issue was resolved. How will your professional background and your volunteer background be of benefit on the Council? What do you see as the future challenges to Copper Canyon? Additional questions were submitted by the Town residents attending. Candidates Sue Tejml, Jeff Mangum and Charlie Williams attended the forum to answer questions. Candidates David Linder, Mike Sommers, and Mike Brasberger elected not to attend for personal reasons.


Copper Canyon candidates drew for the following positions on the ballot:


For Mayor: #1 Sue Tejml, #2 David Linder


Council Member #2: #1 Jeff Mangum, #2 Mike Sommers


Council Member #4: #1 Charlie Williams, #2 Mike Brasberger


Early Voting and Election Day Voting at Double Oak Town Hall


Denton County is combining polling places this year to save money on the number of very expensive voting machines required. The General Election is Saturday May 14th from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Double Oak Town Hall. (320 Waketon Drive, Double Oak, TX 75077. Copper Canyon residents will also vote for LISD and DISD candidates at Double Oak’s Town Hall.


Early voting will be at the Double Oak Town Hall from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday May 2nd through Saturday May 7th and on Monday May 9th and Tuesday May 10th for the extended hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Or you can vote at any polling place in Denton County for early voting.


DIRECTIONS: From FM 407, go south on Chinn Chapel Road, through the stop sign at Dixon Lane to the next stop sign at Waketon Drive. Turn Right (west) on Waketon Drive and proceed five blocks (half a mile). Double Oak Town Hall is on the left (south side) just past the Downing Middle School. This is a bare five minute drive from FM 407.


The Copper Canyon Women’s Club and Cross Timbers Gazette held a second Candidate Forum with moderator David Johnson of Flower Mound. Charlie Nicholas, candidate for Council Position 4, knew that he could not attend as he was moving a thousand Black Angus “Mama Cows” (Charlie’s words) and babies to new pastures on his West Texas ranch. The ongoing drought in the state means moving cattle to grasslands that are less stressed by no rain. And, due to the recent fires in the Junction, Texas area – it means plowing physical fire breaks around the pastures to keep the cattle safe. Charlie’s brother Andre Nicholas, another long time Copper Canyon resident, gave his brother’s Opening Statement.


Copper Canyon Resident Marshall Warren to Climb Mount Everest!


Marshall Warren celebrated Easter in Nepal. His wife Pam Warren said he has been practicing climbing and getting acclimated to the extreme high altitude for four weeks – and getting a little homesick. His adventure will last 64 days, culminating in his team’s final climb to the summit of Mount Everest in late May.


His “2011 Everest” team is practicing the climb in stages. They have been to Camp Two for several days; and then back down to the base camp. And then climbed up to Camp Three for 3 to 4 days, and then back down to a small Nepal village at an altitude below the base camp. In the village they can sleep in a bed, rather than on the ground in sleeping bags. Evidently the latter is not conducive to a very restful night’s slumber. And the team will also have a chance to dine on more normal food, rather than the limited nourishment available during the actual mountain climbing phases.


You can follow Marshall’s “2011 Everest” team at the website www.alpineascents.com. On the home page click on cybercast, current cybercast, cyber dispatch, and 2011 Everest team. You can also follow Marshall on his Facebook page. However, he can’t retrieve messages on Facebook or receive emails. But his wife Pam is saving the messages and emails to give Marshall when he gets home. And she keeps him abreast of his many interested friends when he phones home. May 31st is his homecoming day.


Congratulations on your once in a lifetime adventure, Marshall! But mostly, wishing you a safe ascent and safe descent.


The Fellers plat 11 beautiful two acre lots in Quiet Hill on Copper Canyon Road


Ralph and Janet Fellers have designed eleven lovely two acre lots around their home on 32 acres on the west side of 1455 Copper Canyon Road. The Fellers bought the land 20 years ago. They built their home over a 60 year old 320 square foot cellar under the old existing farm house. It is very unusual to have cellars in this part of Texas due to our high water table. Most cellars would be flooded or at least very damp. But the Fellers home is at the top of a hill, so water in their cellar is not a problem. Their children and grandchildren love to come to their home! So Ralph and Janet wanted to design the new subdivision around their existing home.


The new subdivision has a long winding road down the center of the 32 acres, which avoids destroying any of the venerable old oak trees there. The future Homeowner’s Association will maintain seasonal flowers at the entrance, the native trees in the center of a circle at the end of Quiet Hill Circle, and the right-of-ways abutting the meandering entrance road. The two acre lots allow for very gracious placement of the homes to be built. Minimum square footage for the homes has not been determined, but it will probably be fairly extensive. Lot Ten is a special prize, because it has an existing pond on it with an island in the center!


Town Hall will have a plat on exhibit, if you are interested in any of the lots. Since there are only 11 two acre lots – and two acre lots are rare in this area – they should be claimed fairly swiftly.


Cookbook Sales Proceeds Benefit College Scholarships for Town Seniors


Six years ago I had the memorable experience of judging a college scholarship award. There were four outstanding applicants from high school seniors living in Copper Canyon. All four were deserving of the scholarship; but there were only funds available for one $300 award. I decided then to try to find a way to fund more scholarships for our students. Any parent who has put a child through college recently is very aware of the tremendous financial commitment that requires of the family. (Note: The Copper Canyon Women’s Club has kindly continued to provide an annual college scholarship most years since then.)


Thus was born the idea of a Copper Canyon Cookbook, with sales proceeds to benefit college scholarships for our graduating seniors. The challenge was how to fund the publishing of that cookbook


Volunteers, Donations and Ads Totally fund first Town Cookbook!


A $5,000 sponsorship donation from Energy Transfer Pipeline last year initiated Copper Canyon’s first Town Cookbook. The Cookbook Committee volunteers and myself did not think it appropriate to use tax payer dollars or other Town revenues to fund the Cookbook. And we haven’t. (All expenses of the Cookbook have been paid from donations or ads; all future expenses will also be paid from donations and ads.) We decided to have a photo page for each of the twelve sections of the Cookbook and to sell an ad for each photo page. Local Town businesses are given a preference for the ads.


Thus the enthusiastic Cookbook Committee volunteers began collecting recipes from Town residents. There are 381 recipes contributed by 108 cooks. 250 loose leaf binders were purchased with the cover being our beloved color photo of the tree canopy over the old single lane Poindexter Creek Bridge. All twelve sections of recipes have been proofed and a first draft of those sections printed. We still have photo pages to complete. This limited edition will be offered first to the residents who submitted recipes and then to other Copper Canyon residents.


The Cookbook is a loose leaf binder, because each year before the December holidays, we will offer an annual update of additional recipes and photo pages for $5. Hopefully, these funds will enable us to continue to offer college scholarships of a $1,000 for 3 to 5 years past the initial offering.


(NOTE: At the April 11th Council Meeting, Candidates Mike Brasberger and Mike Sommers asked how the cookbook was funded. Cookbook Chairman Pris Johnson and I personally explained to them how much had been spent to date and how much money from donations and ads remained in the bank to complete the project. As I mentioned above, absolutely no Town funds of any kind have been spent on the Cookbook to date - or will be spent in the future. The Cookbook has been self-sustaining with donations and ad revenue from the beginning.


Denton County is Prepared for Wildfires


The disastrous wildfires west of Fort Worth only emphasize how vulnerable we are in Copper Canyon and Denton County. Fortunately, we do NOT have the long unbroken West Texas plains of grasses which only exacerbate wildfires. Our crisscrossing County and municipal roads provide built-in fire brakes. But we do have enough open fields and high density woods in the county to be of concern.


Argyle Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger reassured me that Denton County Fire Marshal Jody Gonzalez already has a community wildfire prevention plan in place. The Marshal’s back up, Joe Fontino, also has the authority to bring in the fire fighting capability of the Texas Forestry Service if needed. Our sincere thanks to Judge Mary Horn and Denton County Commissioners Bobbie Mitchell, Hugh Coleman and Ron Marchant for planning ahead for possible wildfires in this ongoing drought across Texas. For those of us in Copper Canyon who live in homes “amidst the woods”, we are especially grateful for Denton County’s vigilance.


Texas Commission on Environmental Quality governs Outdoor Burning


The TCEQ is in charge of air quality in Texas and governs outdoor burning. Virtually all burning is frowned upon, because smoke from fire affects the quality of our air. The only controlled burns the TCEQ allows is for landowners who have no access to trash pick up.


However, a County Judge can make exceptions for “controlled burns”, which allow a landowner to burn anything that “grows” on his property. However, smoke does “drift” over property lines, depending on the wind. Smoke is known to negatively affect persons with asthma and allergies. And if smoke enters a neighbor’s home, the person responsible for the controlled burn can be liable for any smoke damage to the home. Call 911 to object to smoke from a fire drifting onto your property. Denton County does enforce the prohibition of nuisance fires and will extinguish them.


Due to a recent three days of rain, the burn ban has been lifted in Denton County. Now is the time to burn any trash or debris that might be a fire hazard.


Thanks to County Road and Bridge for Mowing High Grass along RR Tracks


With the burn ban lifted after recent rains, Denton County’s Road and Bridge foreman Danny Smith was immediately mowing the tall grass in Copper Canyon Road’s right-of-ways. My thanks to our Commissioner Andy Eads for recognizing the fire danger from a spark from a passing train. It was exactly that type of spark that started the wildfire several years ago that leaped Copper Canyon Road at Hickory Hill Road intersection and burned almost 30 acres of pastureland. The County’s boom mowers will also try to mow the drainage ditches at the southern end of Copper Canyon Road just north of the FM 407 intersection. It’s difficult to keep that area free of litter when the grass is so tall.


The Texas Forest Service offers these Wildfire Prevention Tips


Many thanks to the Dallas Morning News for reprinting these timely tips in its Sunday, April 24, 2011 edition on page 14A.


  1. Cut grass and weeds, rake leaves and pine needles, remove yard debris and branches.

  2. Relocate woodpiles and leftover building materials at least 30 feet from house.

  3. Have address and access well marked.

  4. Prune dead limbs 6 to 8 feet from ground around the house.

  5. Store all gas, oil and other chemicals away from the house. (NOTE: NOT in attached garages.)

  6. Keep roof and gutters free from leaves and needles.

  7. Enclose spaces under porches, foundations and overhangs and roof/attic vent openings with 1/8 inch metal screening. (NOTE: If live embers can enter your home, it will probably be demolished by fire from the inside/out.)

  8. Have garden hoses connected on all sides of the house. (NOTE: Realize that garden hoses are limited in their ability to fight active fires.)

  9. Make tools such as ladders, shovels, rakes and hoes easily accessible to firefighters.

(10)Check driveway access for emergency vehicles (height and width).


Why did some homes in the Possum Kingdom area survive the fires?


The Texas Forestry Service is looking for clues as to why some homes survived the intense fires in the Possum Kingdom area, while neighboring homes were incinerated to the ground. This is very valuable information for homeowners and home builders. Several years back the Council decided not to include Hardiplank as a form of “masonry” under our subdivision ordinance. Hardiplank is a concrete material that substitutes for wood siding. It is not only fire retardant, it adds structural strength in high winds whereas brick veneer does not. The council may need to re-examine this decision, depending on what recommendations the Texas Forestry Service makes as to building techniques and materials that deter fires.


Lost and Found on Copper Woods: Many photos from 1987 in Honolulu


In the road right-of-way in front of Melissa Carder’s home at 850 Copper Woods was found a dozen envelopes of color photos dating from 1987 in Honolulu. The notations state “Office Christmas Party 1987, Vic’s New Year’s Eve, Dinner Waikiki with Manoa, Thora, Wendell, Kahonahou” and a golf outing February 1988 at Turtle Bay. Many participants are either Hawaiian or Japanese. If these are your photographs, please claim at Town Hall or call (940) 241-2677.

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