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What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – September 2016

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Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml
Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml

Town’s Tax Rate Remains .297505 for Third Year! Including Ten Cents to Repay Bonds to Rebuild Town’s Residential Roads!

Council Decides to NOT Publish Town Directory Due to Privacy Concerns

At the August 8th Council Meeting, the Council decided to NOT publish the long planned Copper Canyon Directory.  The Council had two well-reasoned concerns.  First, published hard copy Town Directories have become obsolete, as their information becomes out-of-date in six months to a year.  Contact information for street addresses, cell phones, and emails remains far more current and easily obtainable via internet sites.

Second, was the Council’s concern for the privacy of Town Residents’ personal contact information, such as cell phones and email addresses.  This personal information could easily be abused and converted into intrusive and unwanted solicitations for a variety of purposes – business, charitable, personal, political, and/or religious.  And, then there is always the ever present threat of personal contact information being misused for “identity theft.”

Thus the planned mail-out to Town Residents of a form for the return of personal contact information for our Neighborhood Crime Watch has been temporarily delayed.  The form has been revised to exclude any release of personal information in a Public Town Directory.  Personal information for a municipality’s Neighborhood Crime Watch is NOT subject to public disclosure via an Open Records Request.

PLEASE Promptly Return Your  “Confidential”  Contact Information for Our Neighborhood Crime Watch!  Contacts include cell phones and emails that you wish to include, but at least one of each for emergency notification purposes.

The form should take less than 10 minutes to fill out.  There are several ways a Resident can fill out the form.

  • On the Town web site coppercanyon-tx.org. The Neighborhood Watch form is at the top of the left column on the home page.
  • Of 410 homes in town, over 300 have signed up for “email blasts” of critical information – such as roads closed for construction, missing persons, etc. The Neighborhood Watch “Confidential” Information Form will be emailed to these 300 plus homes this week and can be emailed, faxed, or mailed back to Town Hall. (Residents can sign up for the “email blast” on the left side of the front page of the town web site coppercanyon-tx.org.)
  • If you personally know the Town Administrator Donna Welsh or Mayor Sue Tejml, you may feel comfortable giving your contact information directly to one of them. dwelsh@coppercanyontx.org or 940-241-2677  Ext #3.  suecoppercanyon@aol.com  or 940-241-2216.
  • The week of September 12th, homes that have not responded will be mailed a hard copy form with a stamped envelope addressed to Town Hall. Return the form by mail, by FAX to 940-241-2677, or attach form and email to dwelsh@coppercanyontx.org.
  • For residents who have not returned the Neighborhood Crime Watch form by Monday, September 19th, your individual Block Captain will contact you for the information. Names of Block Captains are listed alphabetically by street on the Town website, coppercanyon-tx.org.
  • Eagle Scout Project for Resident Isaac Peterson of BSA Troop 612 Because the Crime Watch contact information is so important in emergencies, Eagle Scout candidate Isaac Peterson is organizing his fellow Scouts in BSA Troop 612 to follow up on missing forms from individual homes in Copper Canyon. Each Scout will be assigned a block and will personally call homes on that street that have not responded and arrange a convenient time to come by and pick up the completed form. The Scout coming to the home will be in uniform with an accompanying adult.

Our sincere thanks to Boy Scout Isaac Peterson for being willing to tackle not only a time consuming Eagle project, but one that requires accuracy in verifying information, and an understanding of the importance of confidentiality.  For questions email isaacwilliam4@gmail.com.

Access to the Crime Watch Database Is Limited to Copper Canyon’s:  Mayor, Town Administrator, Town Secretary, your individual Block Captain, and emergency Law Enforcement, Fire and Medical First Responders to your home. Your confidential Crime Watch contact information is not subject to public disclosure even by an Open Records Request.  For questions call Town Hall 940-241-2216 Ext. 0 for a live person.  [NOTE:  Copper Canyon databases at – or from – our Town Hall are protected by a professional IT service specializing in preventing security breaches.]

But, we respect your privacy.  You may choose to totally opt out of being included in the Neighborhood Crime Watch database.  Or, you may choose to also include multiple personal cell phones and/or email addresses.  Totally your choice.  (No children’s names will be included for their safety.)

Town’s 6th Annual Clean-Up-Day Is Saturday Oct. 1st From 8 to 11:30 A.M. at Copper Canyon Town Hall, 400 Woodland Dr. (West off Chinn Chapel Rd)

 Over the past five years, many toxic and surplus bulky items have been removed from our Town.   The volume of removal on our annual Clean-Up-Day has noticeably declined from year to year.  But how welcome to be able to easily and safely again remove our latest annual community collection of used (or no longer used) items.  So, please begin surveying your home, attic, garage, yard, pool, storage sheds, and barns for items you want to dispose of safely.  And thank you for being willing to take the time to do so.  A “cleaner” town is also a safer town.

Republic Services will again be conducting Copper Canyon’s Annual Clean-Up-Day.  There is free drop-off for Town residents, but Proof of Residency is required. (I.e. current driver’s license or utility bill with an address within our Town boundaries.)    The recycle vehicles MUST LEAVE PROMPTLY at 11:30 a.m. to timely arrive at their next Clean-Up-Day location!  Do not drop off anything at Town Hall after that cut off time!

Items accepted within the 8 to 11:30 a.m. time limits are:

Household Hazardous Waste  (Residential Use Only!): Aerosols, Flammables, Toxic Liquids, Corrosives Acidic and Basic (Battery Fluid, Drain Cleaners, Boric Acid, Rust Removers, Sulfuric Acid, etc.), Oxidizers (Bleach, Chlorine, Hydrogen Peroxide, etc.), Batteries, Empty Cylinders for Propane use, Paints, Used Oils (Cooking, Automotive, Yard Equipment, etc.), Yard Fertilizers, Pesticides

Electronic Waste/Universal Waste: Televisions, Computers, Monitors, Laptops, Hand-Held Computers (PDA, iPad, etc.), Keyboards & Mice, Scanners/Printers/Copiers, Fax Machines, Telephones, Microwave Ovens, VCR’s, CD Players, Stereos, Related Cables, Florescent Straight Light Tubes, Compact Lamps (CFL’s)

Household White Goods: Water Heaters, Washers/Dryers, Small Metal Scrap (window blinds, wire fencing, window frames), Refrigerators, Freezers, Window or Free Standing Air Conditioners.  [NOTE:  Any item that did contain Freon must have a Certificate of Removal of Freon attached to the appliance.  This can usually be done at a business that sells large appliances and/or air conditioners.]

Bulky Items: Brush, Furniture, PVC pipe, small lumber pieces, residential wood fencing, etc. (No leftover building construction items)

Tire Recovery:  Car Tires, Light Truck Tires – Limit of 4 tires per household!

On-Site Secured Document Destruction:  (Watch while paper is shredded.)

Items NOT Accepted: Ammunition, Fireworks, Explosives, Prescription Drugs, Medications of any kind.

This year Canyon Oaks residents are Welcome to use our Clean-Up-Day!

Rate is same as for our Town Residents – $75 per Household using Service.

Our neighbor Canyon Oaks Subdivision is in unincorporated Denton County.  It’s a virtually crime-free, clean, community oriented, all residential neighborhood with homes on one acre lots very similar to Copper Canyon.  In the past we haven’t been able to accommodate disposal of their residents’ items, too, as our Clean-Up Day is funded by our residents’ property tax dollars.  So, it was not fair to our residents to accommodate drop offs of items from random individuals who did not live in Copper Canyon.

But, this year, Thanks to the cooperation of Republic Services Municipal Services Manager Jeri Harwell, Canyon Oaks residents will be welcome to also use Copper Canyon’s Clean-Up-Day.  The Republic Services rate per Canyon Oaks household is $75, the same rate as for Copper Canyon households.  The $75 fee can be paid by individual Canyon Oaks homeowners who want to use the Clean-Up-Day services by: (1) pay in advance in cash or by credit card at Town Hall, 400 Woodland Drive, Copper Canyon, TX 75077 (Office hours are 8:30-4:00, Monday through Friday.); or (2) pay in cash at Town Hall the morning of the Saturday October 1st Clean-Up-Day.  Canyon Oaks residents will also need to provide Proof of Residence by Driver’s License, and they will be issued a copy of a numbered receipt to provide at the Town Hall pick-up-area.  Items accepted, or NOT accepted, are the same as for Copper Canyon residents as listed above.

This is simply a “goodwill and good neighbor” offer to individual Canyon Oaks homeowners, and there is no minimum number of participating households required.  Copper Canyon is simply facilitating the Clean Up services for Canyon Oaks residents who wish to participate.  Our town is not retaining any part of the $75 fee per household paid to Republic Services by individual Canyon Oaks households wishing to participate in the Clean Up.

My sincere thanks to Sharon Kohl, President of the Canyon Oaks Garden Club, for being open to entertaining this idea of our two neighboring communities sharing the Clean-Up-Day facilities.  Any interested individual Canyon Oaks’ homeowners who would like to participate in disposing of their items at the Clean-Up-Day, and are willing to pay the $75 fee to Republic Services, are welcome to do so.

LaRue Johnson – August 12, 2016 – Losing a Friend Is Not Easy

Losing a friend is not easy. LaRue sent me a final email from the hospital.  I read it and knew it was her “goodbye” to me.  I sat at my desk with the tears slowly running down my face.  Just then my six year old grandson and namesake Rosson bounced into my office with his perpetual grin and happy nature.  But one look at my sad face caused him to stop in his tracks.  “Nana,” he said gently but with obvious concern, “Why are you crying?”  And, I realized that in all our six years together, he had never seen his grandmother cry.

It wasn’t my place to try to explain “death” to such a small boy.  So, I simply said, “My friend is going away, and I already miss her.”

Writing about LaRue now is still difficult.  But, I’ll try.  She definitely influenced many lives – and certainly mine.  LaRue’s energy and intelligence were obvious!  So was her compassion for others.  She kept her own medical challenges quietly to herself.  But, she had incredible empathy and went out of her way to comfort those who had debilitating pain, and even fear, from the physical wasting of their own fragile bodies.

A Phenomenal Work Ethic:  LaRue seemed to have boundless internal drive with a work ethic that was phenomenal!  She worked from home, beginning her day at 4:00 a.m. at her computer in her favorite attire – her robe.  I would call her at 4:10 a.m. and she would always answer “This is LaRue.  How can I help you?”

I was not beginning my work day as she was – but ending my “wee hours” work session – and getting ready to go back to bed to sleep until 7:30 or 8 a.m.  And I was also in my favorite similar work attire – a loose fitting flannel, long sleeve night gown, nothing binding.  We would visit for a while on the phone, laughing and sharing information on local events.  Then get down to details on whatever our current joint project was.

An Expert on Campaign Literature:  LaRue was a genius at designing campaign literature mail-outs that would actually be read!  The mail-outs were always on oversized sturdy postcards that could be read on both sides without opening an envelope!  And, she knew the colors and fonts to use to emphasize major points!

I first worked with LaRue on campaign literature when I ran for Copper Canyon’s Council in 2004, then for Mayor in 2005, and for passage of the Denton County Emergency Services District in 2007.  She was a master at bulk mailing – and if there was any issue, she could reach postmasters and postmistresses immediately on their private cell phones to resolve the problem.

LaRue was Editor and Publisher of The Cross Timbers Gazette:  When I met her, LaRue owned The Cross Timbers Gazette.  She considered it her civic responsibility to encourage Mayors, County Commissioners, Police Chiefs, and Fire Chiefs to use her monthly newspaper to communicate freely to citizens about their public areas of responsibility.  LaRue was the one who encouraged me to write the mayor’s monthly article “What’s Happening in Copper Canyon” – which is now in its 12th year of publication.  She never charged me or the other public officials for the newspaper space that we used.  (This is probably why I am kidded about the “length” of my Mayor’s column!  Thank goodness I have never had to “count words!”)

 Max Miller buys The Cross Timbers Gazette in 2006:  Max Miller, current owner of The Cross Timbers Gazette, bought the monthly newspaper from LaRue in November 2006 with a circulation of 8,500.  LaRue considered ownership of the Gazette a fiduciary duty.  She would only sell it to someone she believed would maintain her commitment to free newspaper space for local officials to communicate regularly with their residents.  But communicate civilly without vicious public attacks on individuals or groups.

Max met LaRue’s standards for civic responsibility.  And, under Max Miller’s leadership, the newspaper has grown to three separate sections of approximately 80 total pages with a circulation in Denton County of over 42,000.  A fivefold plus increase in circulation in the past ten years!

LaRue Maintained Copper Canyon’s Crime Watch Database and Managed the Publication of Copper Canyon’s Cookbook to Fund College Scholarships

LaRue kept the Neighborhood Crime Watch Database for Copper Canyon.  She was regimented in keeping our Town residents’ personal contact information current – and confidential. She also updated each year the spreadsheet of contact information for invitees to the Denton County Mayors Crime Luncheon, hosted by Copper Canyon.  She was not particularly tolerant of anyone who was inaccurate or just sloppy in entering data into a spreadsheet or other document.

Copper Canyon’s Cookbook Committee consisted of ten Town women residents plus LaRue.  We met for two years, usually around Pris Johnson’s or Mary Maddoux’s kitchen table. There was a lot of laughter and camaraderie, as we shared wine and the home made snacks and desserts each lady had brought from home.  And then, LaRue would say commandingly – “Now, let’s get down to work!”  And, we would.

The Copper Canyon Cookbook was a huge success!  The limited edition of 250 hardback 3-ring binder cookbooks required two annual updates.  It included over 600 recipes by over 125 individuals and represented hours of personal proof reading by Committee members.  Money from our Cookbook sales funded the first thousands of dollars of college scholarships for graduating Copper Canyon high school seniors.  Each year LaRue compiled a huge poster board featuring individual photos of each graduating senior and each scholarship winner.  The annual poster boards were displayed in our Council Chambers at Town Hall.

The Cookbook also included 74 color pages of: Town residents, Citizenship Awards, Town Council Members, Committee and Commission Members, Block Captains for Neighborhood Watch, Adopt-a-Spot Volunteers who keep our road sides free of trash and litter, children at the Santa Party and atop the Argyle Fire District’s big red fire engine, our July 4th parade participants and cooks and residents at the Hot Dog Lunch afterwards!  The photos represented a current history of Copper Canyon and the many volunteers that make our Town such a wonderful place to live with our families and neighbors!

The Cookbook Committee members felt that LaRue Johnson was in fact an honorary citizen of Copper Canyon, because of her many contributions to a variety of our Town’s community projects!  We met the other week for a few hours – around Pris Johnson’s kitchen table – with LaRue’s smiling photo as our centerpiece. And with gentle laughter – well, sometimes outright belly laughs at the challenges life brings us all – we remembered our very special friend LaRue Johnson.

 Copper Canyon’s Cookbook Committee: Beverly Gerard, Kaye Hill, Nita Humphreys, Rita Lokie, Mary Maddoux, Gerri Mariano, Sandi Pruett, and Sue Tejml

DENCO 911: Kari’s Law Requires Direct Access to 9-1-1 Effective 9-1-2016

NOTE: This notice if for all business owners with multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) who may live in or work from Copper Canyon, or are area readers of The Cross Timbers Gazette, or may work for a business with multi-line telephone systems within Denton County.

Copper Canyon’s Town Hall multi-line phone system already complies with Kari’s Law requirements.  Other Denton County municipalities, governmental entities, police and fire departments are rechecking on their required compliance with their respective multi-line telephone systems.

Denco Area 9-1-1 District issued a press release to notify business owners about a new law requiring multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) in Texas to provide direct-dial access to 9-1-1 without having to dial an additional digit such as 9 before getting an outside line. Providers of multi-line telephone systems had until September 1, 2016 to comply.

Senate Bill 788, also known as Kari’s Law, which requires direct access to 9-1-1, was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott last year on May 15, 2015. The law represents a culmination of efforts in the aftermath of the murder of Kari Hunt in a motel room in Marshall, Texas.  She was attacked by her estranged husband. Kari’s 9-year-old daughter tried to call 9-1-1 for help four times from the motel room phone. Unfortunately, the call never went through, because she did not know to first dial “9” for an outbound line before dialing 9-1-1. Tragically, the little girl’s mother Kari died before help could arrive.

Since Kari’s death, her father Hank Hunt and his family have made it their mission to educate the public and elected officials across the country about the need to change multi-line phone systems to provide direct access to 9-1-1.

Their concerns were heard by representatives of the Texas 9-1-1 authorities, elected officials in Texas, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Currently, Illinois, Maryland, Texas and Tennessee have all passed similar legislation.  “Seconds count, and when a 9-year old little girl is mature and brave enough to attempt to dial 9-1-1 for help, she should be answered,” said Mr. Hunt.

MLTS owners must do their diligence and provide direct access to 9-1-1 and comply with Kari’s Law. If the existing MLTS cannot be re-programmed or replaced to meet the direct access requirement, a one-year waiver shall be granted upon timely submission of an affidavit. Business owners should contact their MLTS provider to learn if their phone system is compliant. Some new phone systems need to be reprogrammed (not replaced) and costs, if any, should be minimal.

For more information on the history of Kari’s Law, the requirements to comply or to request a waiver, please visit the Denco Kari’s Law page at www.denco.org/karis-law/.

NOTE: Denco has developed an informational card for business owners that we are happy to make available for local government use in public brochure racks or distribution by public safety personnel such as fire inspectors.  If you would like a supply of the cards for your agency, or if Denco can be of service in any other public education activities related to 9-1-1, please contact Jennifer Baker at jennifer.baker@denco.org or 972-221-0911.

New Cookbook From Neighboring Community Canyon Oaks Garden Club

“This unique cookbook is a wonderful collection of recipes for memorable gatherings, as well as new recipes to try and share with others.  It will become a go-to source on how to prepare the most delicious food from fresh ingredients grown in Texas, as well as for inexpensive and organic “recipes” to help us take care of our gardens.

“It is designed to be customized by the buyer, since it is a 3-ring binder and can have family recipes added to it before giving it as gifts to others.  It is meant to be a creative spark for new gatherings and gardening with an eye toward freshness and fun-filled memory-making.

Proceeds from the sale of this cookbook will be used to support our community service projects – whether it is money to help local community gardens and food banks, or to fund planting projects for local nursing homes, or to help with education projects at our local elementary schools, or to support beautification projects within our own neighborhood.  We are so blessed with good friends and good food.  Sharing our recipes is a way we can give back to our community – and, we hope, bless others, too.

“The title of our cookbook is Dig In:  An Event-filled Cookbook of Gatherings and Gardening.  Almost 500 recipes are included! The cookbook is really 4 cookbooks collected in one three-ring binder.

  1. Gatherings: Dig In!  A collection of monthly themed gatherings of the Canyon Oaks Garden Club.
  1. Dig In Deeper! A traditional cookbook of favorite dishes served by members of the Canyon Oaks Garden Club. 
  1. From the Garden! An amazing collection of recipes for cooking with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts grown in Texas. 
  1. For the Garden! A collection of how-tos and homemade concoctions for use in our gardens and for our gardens.”

 Pam Peterson, editor; Karen Osborn, co-editor; Marty Williamson, Managing Editor. The cookbook will be for sale in September for $15 each; available October 1st.  Call Pam Peterson for information 703-434-9802.     

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