Intellectual Nourishment

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing, someone else does.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GSSD Back in Session

By Sara Laub
The Gunlock Special Service District had a busy meeting that was all business after the summer break. Here is the general rundown of what the board members have been busy with during the summer and their plans for the fall.
* There was a clog in the line that had a successful emergency repair.
* Kip Bowler discovered excess water coming from the cemetery late one night and decided to look into it. The cemetery had a broken line and there was no shut off valve. Fortunately it was in the late hours of the night and the water was shut off and the pipe repaired without much inconvenience to the residents. Plans will be made to put a shut off valve on the cemetery water line soon.
* The springs were cleaned, the weeds pulled and the screen cleaned out and reset. The meter that was ordered to put in next to the spring arrived and was installed September 2.
* The water operator is still hand chlorinating to keep the levels correct. There was a complaint after heavy chlorination.
* Arsenic levels from the well will be tested quarterly for one year because although the levels are well within safety guidelines, they have slightly increased enough to be monitored. If the levels do not increase after the one year then it will be tested annually according to results.
* One water sample in July came back bad, probably due to sample error or lab error. Testing done above and below the bad test site passed. All the samples in August passed.
* The EPA order paperwork is current.
* A contractor is working on putting in a sensory unit to transmit data in order to better regulate the tank levels in coordination with water supply from the spring to the well.
* The park rules were revised and approved. There is new paperwork for those reserving the park.
* The Emergency Response Plan was revised and added to, as well as the Fire Hydrant Procedures.
* The GSSD is purchasing a property including the water rights with the intent to gain more water rights which in turn will enable them to provide more water per user.
* The disinfection system plans for the Smith Ranch were submitted late because of miscommunication in the company submitting them, but they are in.
Community Issues:
There was vandalism on the Town Hall in July. Windows were broken and have since been replaced. There was also a house that has been vandalized in town as well.
Scott Holt reported on the 2010 Gunlock Rodeo. He said everything went great, the breakfast was great and the parade was great. The rodeos went great with the exception of that one injured rider.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hot Pepper Research

By Sara Laub
After having an experience with hot peppers this year and not necessarily knowing completely how to treat pepper burns, I took some time to do some research. Sometimes misunderstandings happen with who put the hot peppers verses the mild peppers on which cutting board. The creeping sensation of an eye progressing to burn is not an experience I would wish on anyone.
What Are the Treatments for Hot Pepper Burns?
By Athena Hessong, eHow Contributor
Peppers grow in thousands of different shapes, sizes and heat levels. For some, the hotter the pepper the better. Chili heads may love to singe their taste buds with that heat, but some people want the burn to stop as soon as possible. Hot pepper burns occur both in the mouth and on the skin, a result of capsicum in the peppers. The sooner the treatment starts to remove the burning capsicum, the faster the relief comes.
Skin Burns
Prevent burning the skin by wearing gloves when cutting and handling hot peppers. If you get a burn anyway, cover the area with vegetable oil for an hour, if possible. Another method involves washing the skin with rubbing alcohol immediately. Follow with a coating of milk or vegetable oil.
Mouth Burns
Avoid drinking plain water to relieve hot pepper mouth burns. The water moves the pepper oil throughout the mouth, but it does not dissolve it. This makes the heat seem worse. Drink something with alcohol in it instead. The alcohol will dissolve the pepper oil. Non-drinkers can try milk, yogurt, ice cream or a spoonful of sugar. The caisen in the dairy products prevents the taste receptors from perceiving the capsicum in the pepper oil. The capsicum is the culprit causing the burning sensation.
Eye Burns
Cry. The eye's natural tears most effectively flush out the pepper burn. If tear production isn't enough, use saline eye drops or a plain water rinse to wash out the pepper oil. (
What is Capsicum? Capsaicin is what puts the heat or pungency in chiles. It is a compound that is insoluble in water, tasteless and odorless. It is made of seven closely related alkaloid or capsaicinoids. Three of these components cause the “rapid bite” at the back of the palate and throat and two others cause the long, slow burn on the tongue. Capsaicin is produced and found in the placental partition (“white” cross wall and veins) of the pod. The seeds become pungent through contact with the placenta. (
It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. (

The Subway Hike in Zion

The Subway at Zion National Park
www.zionnational-park.comLeft Fork of North Creek - The Subway
The mystical journey through the Left Fork of North Creek involves route finding, plunging cautiously into chilly pools then sloshing, sometimes frantically, through frigid water over and through difficult obstacles. The narrow Subway section of this hike forces hikers through a unique tunnel sculpted by the Left Fork of North Creek. Churning water chisels the rock floor, forming shallow potholes that fill to the brim with frosty water. Silhouettes dance freely on multi-colored walls where only a trickle of sun light penetrates into the curved chamber of the Subway. Falling water echoes in the nature carved tunnel where dragonflies dart, frogs laze about and shimmering emerald pools tempt cold hikers to dawdle. Before long, the promise of daylight urges an exit to the warmth of the sun waiting outside the Subway. The canyon widens as hikers cross back and forth across the creek, making their way to the grueling uphill exit. For those that want a glimpse of the canyon, but choose to stay away from uncomfortable obstacles, explore the canyon from the bottom where thin sheets of glistening water cascade over mossy stair-step slivers of rock. The Subway at a Glance
Day Canyon: Yes
Distance: 9.5 miles
Average Hiking Time: 7 hours
Equipment: Neoprene socks, rope, harness, sturdy sticky rubber hiking shoes, 3 liters of water per person or a purification method, energy food, dry clothing, first aid kit and a headlamp . Spring and Fall may necessitate the use of wetsuits. Use a dry bag for electronics and extra clothing. A zip lock baggie and other household items will not keep gear dry.
Difficulty: This is a technical canyon where rappelling and down-climbing skills are required, but these obstacles can be avoided by hiking from the bottom into the Subway.
Sun Exposure: There are some cold area that get no sun, but most of the hike is in full sun.
Trail Usage: Heavy, with 80 permits given out a day and most of them are used.

(Subway Entrance picture by Sara Laub)