Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – October 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Traffic Tangles

It’s been street hell in Alamosa this summer, for drivers and businesses alike. CDOT has torn up Sixth Street and U.S. 285 for improvements, while the city has revamped other areas in town. There’s been a lot of detours, alley driving and failing businesses as a result. The businesses along Sixth have reported severe dropoffs in revenue during what should have been the busiest time of year. Officials say the results will be worth the sacrifice.

Ranch Rules

The Alamosa City Council put a moratorium on developing the Alamosa Ranch property until a plan for the ranch is completed. An entrepreneur had proposed putting an RV park on part of the 1,350-acre ranch, a plan residents vehemently opposed. Most who commented say they want the ranch preserved as open space, and want voter approval of any development there.

Commission K-Fuffle

An altercation during a meeting of the Alamosa County Commissioners has resulted in criminal charges for both parties. During an argument, commissioner Darius Allen lunged at resident Leon Moyer after Moyer called him a liar. Both now face misdemeanor charges.

The Blues

Valley musician Don Richmond (profiled in July 2002) is battling colon cancer. The Alamosa music whiz recently aired his work on PBS, composing tunes for “Still Waiting — Life After Katrina.” He’s in good spirits and advises everyone with a health worry to get it >checked out immediately.

Brief Briefs

Home Depot is coming to Alamosa. The big-box chain store will occupy the abandoned Kmart building.

The Fort Garland Museum dedicated its new courtyard and gardens, built with donations and volunteer labor.

The Alamosa High 2007 grads built a “Welcome to Alamosa” sign to the east of town. Each letter was hand-carved from maroon wood.

Center kid Samantha Corzine is the Little Britches Rodeo junior world champion. She leads the points in breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, pole bending and ribbon roping.

The Costilla County library opened a branch in the Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center.

Barry Shioshita is the new Alamosa County administrator, coming from Otero County and Siskiyou County, Calif.

A rash of burglaries has hit home — the district court building was ripped off of computers and cash.

The Blanca Volunteer Fire Department got a $14,000 FEMA grant for protective gear and equipment.

District Judge John Kuenhold was named the outstanding judicial officer of the year by the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Rogelio Briones unveiled a new painting — Our Lady of Guadalupe on the water tank in Guadalupe.

Alamosa County supports a power authority for the Valley. Each county is being asked for approval and money for a feasibility study. The SLV Development Resources Group is the driving force of the movement.

Former Alamosa city manager Mike Hackett agreed to repay $18,946 he was erroneously paid in unused leave time.

The San Luis Valley now has three district judges. Martin Gonzales was sworn in to the new position, and is the first Latino district judge here.

Valley farmers are protesting the proposed closure of two Farm Service Agency offices here. The FSA is holding hearings on the matter.

Creede Repertory Theatre has won the award for outstanding achievement from the National Theatre Conference.

Alamosa County voters will decide whether to approve a one-cent sales tax for jail expansion and a new building and operations for law enforcement.

Dr. C. Rocky White threw his cowboy hat into the ring for the state house. The Alamosa physician says health care reform will be his top priority.

Richard Pacheco retired after 30 years with the probation department. Andrew Archuleta is the new district ranger of the Saguache Public Lands Office.