Press "Enter" to skip to content

Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – January 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Gator Grabbers

Someone stole four baby alligators from the SLV Alligator Farm. The Alamosa County Sheriffs’s office is actively seeking the culprits, and residents are speculating as to the motive. Baby gators would make one hell of a stocking stuffer.

Babcock on Bench

District Judge Lewis Babcock will hear the voting rights case against Alamosa County. Babcock, a Reagan appointee and native of Rocky Ford, will decide whether the manner in which county commissioners are elected violates the Voting Rights Act. Commissioners are elected at large, although they serve different districts. The U.S. Attorney General says that practice discriminates against Hispanic voters and candidates. No date has been set for the hearing.

Locals Make Good

Valley man Tony Bobicki will carry the Olympic torch on its trip to Salt Lake City. Bobicki, who has a disability which impairs his mobility, says he will try to jog on his leg of the journey.

Jay Young, head of the SLV Alligator Farm, was a guest on “To Tell the Truth” in November. Panelists tried to choose Young, the real alligator farmer, from a panel of three contestants who answered questions about gators.

And Del Norte native RR Star was the winning horse at the world championship of the national futurity reining competition in Oklahoma City. His rider, Andrea Fappani, is from Italy. RR Star’s owners, Rose and Richard Lundin, pocketed $150,000 from the win, in addition to many other prizes.

Water Warnings

Alamosa was the site of a two-day water conference, from which people in the know warned the rest of us that water usage can’t continue at present levels forever. Declines in the aquifer are noticeable, they said, and restrictions loom in our future.

Happy Fish

The rainbow trout released into Terrace Reservoir in July are reportedly doing well. Terrace is one of the tributaries of the Alamosa River that was poisoned by cyanide from the Summitville Mine in the ’80s. Early tests by the Dept. of Wildlife show the trout are growing in the once toxic water.

As for the Alamosa River, $5 million has been allocated for its cleanup. The money comes from the settlement between the state, nation, and Robert Friedland, former CEO of Galactic Resource. The next question is how to use the money.

Local, state, and federal officials are debating that issue.

Brief Briefs

Voters in South Fork recalled the mayor and the entire town board in November.

Gov. Bill Owens waded into the redistricting fray. The Guv suggested to the judge hearing the case that the San Luis Valley not be split.

Alamosa’s first women city councilors were sworn in Dec. 5. Kathy Rogers and Marcia McDonald Tuggle took their oaths of office with Farris Bervig, who was re-elected mayor.