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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – September 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine


A routine audit turned up an oopsy for the city of Alamosa. It seems former city manager Mike Hackett was overpaid for his accrued vacation and sick time when he left for Arcata, Calif. Hackett has been asked to repay $18,946 to the city.

Water News

It’s been a wet year so far, and the Valley is soaking it up. More rain means healthier basins, aquifers, and habitats for wildlife. Farmers are reporting flowing artesian wells and Medano Creek at the Great Sand Dunes is attracting a plethora of visitors to the park.

The Valley celebrated a centennial of reservoirs with tours, food, speakers, and art. The gala noting 100 years of the Valley’s reservoirs was organized by Melvin and Camille Getz of Monte Vista.

Homelake suffered a fish die-off, as algae growth exploded in the summer heat. Meanwhile, Terrace Reservoir has been stocked with rainbow trout. Their survival will depend on the effectiveness of the Summitville clean-up.

Salazar Steps In

Rep. John Salazar, Valley native son, has asked the BLM to delay oil and gas leasing in the San Luis Hills. Salazar said the public wasn’t given enough notice about the plan to allow drilling on over 14,000 acres in order to allow for public comment. It worked — the area near Los Sauces has a reprieve.

Brief Briefs

The emus have homes. Most of the 45 big birds abandoned by their owner were sold or adopted. Five remain at the alligator farm.

Triplets were born in Alamosa on Aug. 7. The two boys and a girl were all pronounced healthy.

Human skeletal remains were found near the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge. Tests are pending.

An Ace Hardware semi was cut in half by a train in La Jara. No one was hurt, but boxes flew as far as 500 feet.

Will Smith of Del Norte is the Little Britches National finals rodeo all around champ. The 17-year-old also took the world championship ribbon in roping and goat tying.

The San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center was named one of the nation’s top 100 “Most Wired Hospitals” by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

The Dooley family made good work of a family outing, by repainting the giant “D” above Del Norte. High school students used to do the task as a school ritual, but ended the practice in the ’70s. The town of Del Norte provided the paint.

Sonny Yohn won the USA Wrestling Junior Freestyle National Championship. His brother, Cody, was runner-up. Both attend Alamosa High School.

Alamosan Don Thompson has asked the city council to place a resolution on the November ballot to protect open space on the city’s ranch.

The Weiss Ranch near Moffat sold for $2.8 million. The 2,412-acre property was purchased by Kyle Grote, who plans to move his video production company to the ranch.

Centennial school district in San Luis is getting a $5 million grant for a new school and wants Costilla County to help raise another $7 million. A ballot issue will decide a mill levy for the funds in November.

Barbara Lovell-Reid was named volunteer of the year by the Colorado Association of Partners in Education.

Members and supporters of Cattails Golf Club in Alamosa participated in a “Raise the Roof” tournament and made over $100,000 toward a new clubhouse.

Martin Gonzales is the new district court judge.

Hospice del Valle celebrated 25 years of hospice care in the Valley.

Lenny Martinez is the new principal at Sangre de Cristo High School, and Bruce Landis is Adams State’s new vice president for institutional >advancement.