Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – September 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Board Brouhaha

The Alamosa City Council is taking a hard look at its advisory boards. The city has three discretionary boards, the city’s ranch, arboreal and historic preservation boards.

“These are advisory boards,” explained City manager Nathan Cherpeski, “and the city council didn’t feel they were getting the advice they were looking for.”

In addition to communication problems, the city has had trouble getting volunteers to serve on the boards and sometimes can’t maintain a quorum.

For now, the city has given each board specific directions and is asking them to report back in three months. If the results are unsatisfactory, the boards could be dissolved.

Suit Up

Citizens for San Luis Valley Water has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, claiming an infringement of civil rights. The group says the F&WS denied its request last December for records about its land management on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.

In other enviro news, District Judge John Kuenhold signed a decree that approves the water right for the Great Sand Dunes. He played the Bing Crosby tune “Singing Sands” while he signed.

Good Times Train

The train is bringing tourists and dollars to the Valley. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad has expanded from ride-and-lunch packages to offering concerts, a beer festival, even a costume contest.

Happy Birthday

Our Lady of Guadalupe, the oldest church in Colorado, marked its 150th birthday. Bishop Arthur Tafoya led a procession from Conejos to the church. The ceremony was filled with pomp and pageantry, part of two full days of celebration.

Brief Briefs

The Ute Cafe in Fort Garland is no more. The family business closed after 39 years.

“The Loop” is back. The Alamosa Bus Company’s regular service resumed after a glitch in financing left riders stranded for almost two months.

Summitville Road is closed for two months. Surface water management structures are being constructed in the area.

Alamosan Murleen Goodrich has published a children’s book, “Red Boots,” issued by Tate Publishing. It’s available online.

Construction won’t begin on a new Centennial school after all. The bids for the new facility in Costilla County all came in over budget.

La Veta Pass has closed twice due to mudslides.

Well regulations are coming, warned the state engineer. Dick Wolfe said the new rules will take about a year to set up, and wants to begin this fall.

The results of a planning meeting for Alamosa’s city ranch show the public wants to preserve the property, so they can enjoy nature without >disturbing it.

John Stump retired from the SLV Development Resources Group in Alamosa.

Tom Scarlett, a dean at Trinidad State Junior College – Valley Campus, received the Hall of Fame award from the Colorado Association of Career and Technical Education.

Sangre de Cristo School District in Mosca is considering building a new school. Finance options are being considered.

Alamosa realtor Chet Choman gave $50,000 to Ducks Unlimited, as it partners with the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust.

A new walk-in clinic is slated to open in Alamosa in mid-September.

The SLV Development Resources Group has proposed that the Valley form a council of governments, making it possible for the six counties to disburse funds to various agencies. The state Department of Local >Affairs is establishing COGs throughout the state.

The state’s Rural Health Care Grant Council gave $50,000 each to the Alamosa Family Medical Center, the SLV Regional Medical Center, and the Sierra Blanca Medical Center.

Alamosa’s city government announced it may cut some jobs due to the recession.

Alamosa was designated a Tree City USA for the 18th year.

Linda Joseph of Saguache was named to the state emergency medical and trauma services advisory council.

Steve Hambeck of Nebraska was injured in a fall on Mount Blanca.

Valley schools continue to tank on the CSAP tests. The most recent results showed improvements in few areas.