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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – June 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Pike Tunes

For those Coloradans who spent last winter in a cave — without a subscription to CC — this year and next mark the 200th anniversary of Zebulon Pike’s expedition to this region. In addition to the symposia, walking tours, speeches and publications planned to commemorate the event, there will be music. Alamosa musician Don Richmond is teaming with Pueblo singer and historian Tom Munch to produce a Pike CD with Rex Rideout. For more info, check

New Space for Kids

The Boys & Girls Club is working with the city of Alamosa to create a new park. Sited next to the kids’ facility, the park will include playground equipment and should enhance the southern entrance to the city. Funds to build the park are coming from a GOCO grant, but the city will have to provide maintenance and liability insurance.

The Dirt

Residents of the El Milagro subdivision hauled bags of sand to the Alamosa City Council to illustrate their point. Councilor Charles Griego owns an undeveloped, unfenced lot in the neighborhood which is the source for a lot of dust in the wind. His neighbors want something done about it. Alamosa currently has no ordinance to address the problem. Griego was absent from the meeting.

Water Woes

It’s gonna be another dry year, as bad as 2002, say water gurus in the Valley. Boaters can forget about going out on San Luis Lakes, and the managers of the wildlife refuges are girding themselves for another drought.

“Our water use is going to be very restricted,” said Mike Blenden, manager of the Alamosa-Monte Vista Wildlife Refuges. “We’ll do only marginal irrigation and the Baca refuge will be very restricted because snowpack in the Sangre de Cristos is almost nonexistent.”

The impact on wildlife will include lower water bird production, due to fewer nests and more predation (because those nests will be in smaller areas with less cover, so they’ll be more accessible to predators).

As if farmers didn’t already have it bad, a late frost killed most of the Valley’s alfalfa crop. However, the drought, crop diseases and infestations led the USDA to designate Alamosa, Costilla, and Saguache counties as natural disaster areas, making growers eligible for relief.

In other crop news, Center growers are divided over the use of hail cannons, with some wanting to increase their use, and others opposing the devices that they say reduce rainfall.

Brief Briefs

Center will celebrate its 100th birthday during Harvest Festival this fall.

The Adams State College president’s house now has a name, the Marvel House. Former president Dr. John Marvel is the honoree.

Costilla County said “no” to a developer. Those behind Colorado Land and Ranches say they’ll find another route to development.

Alamosa is planning to build a new clubhouse for the city-owned golf course. Supporters hope the new 8,000-square-foot building will facilitate tournaments and bring dollars into town.

Ole Mose has a new home. The 11-foot, 1,600-pound bronze grizzly now glowers at drivers and pedestrians at the corner of First and Richardson in Alamosa.

Valley resident John Brandt was honored by Thailand for his work in gaur conservation. The guar, a variety of large cattle, is included in Brandt’s book, “Horned Giants.”

Alamosa High School’s Knowledge Bowl team took first place in the state 4A competition.

Bonnie Moinet was named interim city manager of Alamosa following Mike Hackett’s relocation.

Colleen Hudson is the new manager of Splashland Hot Springs pool in Alamosa.

Greg Cheyne is the new director of Tu Casa, the shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Frances Valdez now heads South Central Colorado Seniors, which handles Meals on Wheels for the Valley.