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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – April 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Tuning In

Alamosa wants to become more user- friendly. The city council and staff are researching ways to improve communication with the public. Mayor Farris Bervig has proposed borrowing Buena Vista’s “Coffee with the Council.” In Byuni, council members meet with the public once or twice a month, staggering days and times so everyone has a chance to meet the politicos on a regular (or de- caf) basis. Improving the city’s website is another priority, as is publishing the council’s agenda before each meeting.

DA Seeks Justice Seekers

The San Luis Valley DA’s office is looking for more victims of Becky Myers. The 42-year-old Del Norte woman has been selling nonexistent vehicles for over a year. Myers told people she inherited dozens of cars, trucks, and motorcycles from her grandmother, took payment for individual sales, and didn’t deliver the goods. Not that she could have; investigators say there was no large inheritance.

First Aid Aloft

Health care in the Valley took a big leap forward –or upward — as air ambulance service arrived in Alamosa. Eagle Air Med, based in Blanding, Utah, can get patients to Denver in 45 minutes, versus a five-hour trip by land.

In addition, the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center cut the ribbon on its Physicians Services Medical Office. The docs have a beautiful new facility, an in-office surgery suite, and easier access to the hospital. Locals hope the new addition will not only provide better health services, but encourage medical professionals to stay in the Valley. Currently, seven of the 14 primary care physicians in Alamosa have plans to leave.

Brief Briefs

Valle del Sol Community Center in Capulin received a $10,000 grant from the Daniels Fund. The money will go to its after-school program for kids.

The Valley’s Development Resources Group is exploring the idea of building a solar power plant. A 100 megawatt plant could cost $350 million, but the Valley’s many cloudless days are ideal for the project.

Costilla County has increased its land use fees. More development is planned in the county, one of the nation’s poorest, which has already seen some growth.

Jim Ehrlich of Monte Vista is the new executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee.

David Guerrero filled the new position of Community Arts Coordinator at Adams State. The job will involve developing means and places for regional art at the college.

Sandra Santa Cruz will serve on the Latino advisory board for Next Step magazine, which goes to high school students preparing for college. She is the director of the National Hispanic Institute at Adams State.

Andres Evans was named the San Luis Valley Boys and Girls Club’s Youth of the Year. The 17-year-old emigrated to America at age 8. The club also got a grant to build a park next to the clubhouse. The city of Alamosa will provide maintenance and insurance.

Adams State College is putting Founder’s Day back on the calendar. Events honoring Billy Adams, former governor and school founder, will be slated every Feb. 16, the anniversary of his birth.

Former Alamosa mayor Cliff Hartman died in Westminster. He was 83.

Donna Meyerholz was honored by the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. She teaches at Trinidad State Junior College, Valley Campus.

Milagros, the Alamosa coffeehouse that benefits La Puente homeless shelter (featured in CC January, 2000 issue) broke even for the first time in its seven years.

Alamosa’s elementary schools may convert to school uniforms. The pros and cons of the regulation are under consideration by parents and board members.

Lucia Muniz and Cameron Mansanarez received Boettcher scholarships, good for four years at any school in the state.