Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – July 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

No Splashing

Splashland, the swimming pool and Alamosa institution, will not open this summer. Years of inadequate maintenance and an embezzling director have left the facility broke and noncompliant with state health codes. Supporters are planning fundraisers to restore the public pool.

Music Lines Up

The Crestone Music Festival announced its lineup. The 10th annual concert is slated for Aug. 1-3 and will feature Opie Gone Bad, Los Pinguos, Eileen Ivers, and many more. Call 866/891-8382 or go to for tickets.

City Stands

The municipal election in Center last spring was official, said District Court Judge Martin Gonzales. The results were challenged by Mike Garcia, who lost his bid for mayor by four votes and charged improprieties in the town’s system. The judge ruled the election stands, but a trial will determine whether citizens were illegally denied their right to vote.

DSS Mess

Six employees of the Costilla County Dept. of Social Services have filed suit against the department alleging harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The six filed their charges with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

Ritter Writes

Gov. Ritter came to the Valley to sign some bills. The event at the SunEdison solar farm, made laws promoting solar power development and several bills that will benefit the Valley financially. Another bill boosts broadband resources in the state, and the guv signed a $1 million check to Alamosa for improving water storage facilities. All in all, a good day for the SLV.

Ranch Rights

In the case that wouldn’t die, legal issues still surround access to the Taylor Ranch. Access to the land also known as La Sierra is still disputed, some area residents having been granted historical right to access for wood gathering, hunting, and fishing. Others in the community are challenging the court’s order barring them from what they say is their birthright.<

Brief Briefs

The owners of Wolf Creek Ski Area and the developers of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek have reached a confidential settlement.

Alamosa business owners pleaded with officials to hold off on road work until after tourist season. Between last summer’s construction hell and this spring’s salmonella scare, local merchants are hurting and need to recoup this summer.

State Rep. Rafael Gallegos missed the deadline for petitions, which means his name won’t be on the ballot in November.

Eric Shively of Alamosa has produced a documentary, “Everyone but You,” which ran at the Jackson Hole Film Festival in June.

Creede won its application for railway abandonment within the town. The burg plans to repair damage caused by the rail’s owner and spiff up the town before tourist season.

Alamosa offered residents a free three-month membership to the city rec center, as a reward for getting through the salmonella crisis.

Monte Vista mourned the loss of Glen Martinez, killed in Iraq.

Former firefighter Ed Sowards saw smoke coming out of a house a acted. After calling for help, the La Jara man doused the fire with a garden hose, saving the house.

Alamosa teachers gave the school board a no-confidence vote for the superintendent and assistant superintendent. The association also voted to remove the head of the school board.

Ground was broken for a new K-12 school in San Luis.

Blanca began a beautification program. The town is installing new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, along with decorative lighting.

A spiffy new Sonic is coming to Alamosa, as well as a business park at First Street and Adcock Drive. The Alamosa City Council approved plans for both.

John “Muck” Kilpatrick is the new director of the Alamosa Food Bank.

Students at Sanford High School protested the firing of popular teacher and coach Joe Garcia. Garcia is one year shy of tenure.

A solar research station went online near Monte Vista.