Contact Us

Briefs for June 24, 2010

The Old Blind Dogs In concert–tonight only

“Simply Scotland’s greatest! “

WALSENBURG- Tonight is your opportunity to experience one of Scotlands greatest folk bands.  The Old Blind Dogs is a two-time winner of Scotland’s Best Folk Band of the Year award. 

    They appear in Walsenburg tonight, Thurs.  June 24 at 7:15 pm at the Fox Theatre, one night only, with a jam session to follow.  Tickets are  $18 in advance and for students up to 17 – $20 at the door.  Tickets sold at Mike’s Coffee Barn on 7th Street, Walsenburg or order tickets by phone:  719-742-5410 or through the Celtic Festival website

     This concert is in support of the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music  Festival which will be held Thursday-Sunday, 23-26 September 2010

Head Start applications being accepted

HUERFANO- Rocky Mtn. SER Southern Colorado Head Start is currently taking applications for full day enrollment for 2010-2011 for both Huerfano County school districts.  Please call 738-1038 or  846-4391 for more information.

Landowner Voucher Program meets

TRINIDAD– The Colorado Division of Wildlife will hold a meeting in Trinidad to give the public an opportunity to discuss ways to improve the Landowner Voucher Program.  The meeting is June 24 from 4 – 7 pm in the Sullivan Center at Trinidad State Junior College

     The landowner voucher program allocates hunting licenses to landowners who own at least 160 acres. The program, also known as the Priority Landowner Preference Program, plays an important role in managing Colorado′s elk, deer and pronghorn populations.  Up to 15 percent of totally limited deer, elk and pronghorn licenses are reserved for landowners who own at least 160 contiguous acres of agricultural land.  Landowner vouchers/licenses are valid in the entire Game Management Unit where private land is located.  "This is a great opportunity for sportsmen, landowners and other community members to explore issues affecting the Landowner Voucher Program in southern Colorado," said Mike Trujillo, DOW area manager.  "The members of the committee are working through this process together and are committed to having a constructive discussion and finding ways to improve this program for everyone."

     Although the DOW is facilitating the meeting, the Landowner Voucher Committee is an independent, collaborative group of sportsmen, landowners, outfitters, and wildlife managers that is reviewing the voucher program. The committee′s recommendations may include policy, legislative, and regulatory changes. However, the committee does not have formal authority to enact changes to the program.

     The informal, open-house format allows participants to drop in anytime during the three-hour meeting to convene with committee members and discuss issues related to the voucher program. 

          The DOW will host additional open-house meetings in the upcoming months, giving residents throughout Colorado the opportunity to participate in this public forum.  For further information contact Dave Chadwick, DOW public involvement section, (303)291-7174 or

Columbine 4-H summer reading

WALSENBURG- Columbine 4-H group will present a Program of Summer Reading for Children at Spanish Peaks Library Fri. June 25 at 10:30 am.  The children will be reading about underwater sea life and making a port hole craft.

    Families are invited to come and enjoy more reading at the Library! If you have questions, please call 738-2774.

Jewelry making

 LA VETA- Create fun jewelry that you can wear as a design statement or give to others.  A wide variety of beads in all shapes and sizes will be available for you to choose from.  The cost is $45 and Mary Cooper will teach this class at LVSA from 1-4 pm on Fri. June 25.  The school is located at 105 West Ryus Avenue, across from the Town Park.  You may also turn on to Yvette Lane behind the La Veta Inn and Charlie′s to drop off your child.

     A few scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lathrop Park events “Rattlesnakes, No Bull!” Snakes in the amphitheatre!

On Fri. June 25 at 7:30pm, local naturalist Bob Kennemer will be joining us to help us understand how to identify different types of snakes and how to coexist in an environment where potentially dangerous ones live.  Bob will also bring out live Bull Snakes for an up close educational experience!  

Junior Ranger Certification

Calling all junior nature lovers! Are you interested in insects, animals, birds, flowers and hiking? Do you want to know what it is like to be a ranger?

    On Sat. June 26 at 6 pm, come find out as a park ranger takes you on a short hike where you will learn to identify animal tracks, birds, and flowers. After completing a packet of activities you can earn a Certificate of Completion and a Colorado State Parks Junior Ranger Badge. This program will run for approximately 2 hours and is recommended for ages 7-11. Call 738-2376, ext.102 to secure your spot!

    Only 20 spots available for this date!

Art Collections Tour

PINEHAVEN-Do you enjoy seeing quality art but think you have to go to an art museum to see the works of accomplished artists? This Sat. June 26, you can view the distinctive original artwork comprising the collections of five couples in Pinehaven. This fundraising event for the Spanish Peaks Arts Council Building Expansion is from 10 am – 4 pm. The cost is $20 and includes scrumptious refreshments. Tickets are available in advance at Charlie’s and the SPACe Gallery. Take Hwy 12 from La Veta to the Pinehaven entrance and follow the signs. For more information, call LaClaire Skaggs at 742-3589.

Concert at Camp Elim Sing Fest and Fellowship Dinner

NAVAJO- Come to Camp Elim in Navajo Estates this Sat. June 26 at 1 pm.  From Walsenburg, go 8 miles on hwy 160 west, to Navajo land ranch, take a right and go 3/4 mile to Camp Elim Campground.  Singtime 2010 program includesthe following: Pastor Debbie Reynolds with welcome words, the Choir from the Church of God in Christ Jesus, Word of Faith, The Panimime Ministry, Choir of the New Hope Baptist Church, and many more, plus door prizes and a fellowship dinner.  For more information, please call Jamie at 719-543-2838 or Anthony at 719-492-0570.

Colorado Expressions reception

LA VETA- On Sat. June 26  from 5 – 7 pm, enjoy the original artwork of regional artists who were accepted in the Colorado Expressions show at the SPACe Gallery, 132 W. Ryus. Awards will be presented at approximately 5:30. Oil paintings by show judge Coni Grant of Alamosa are included in the exhibit.  Grant is an expressionist landscape painter, both versatile and visionary. Her colorist paintings vibrate the senses and present a view of nature full of emotional energy. Refreshments are provided and there is no admission fee. The show is on display until July 17. The gallery is open Tues. – Sat. 10 am – 3 pm and Sun. noon – 4 pm.

Summer Gala Fund Raiserfor Huerfano County Youth Services

WALSENBURG- Have guaranteed fun for a good cause on Sat. June 26, from 6-9 pm at La Plaza Inn, 118 W. 6th.  There will be food, drink and a live auction with items including:

    • 4 prime Rockies tickets & parking pass

    • Silver squash blossom necklace

    • Local art wares •

    • Swarkovski & Mikasa crystal items

    • Wine basket & cooler

    • Gift certificates to Home Depot

    •Autographed Bronco picture

    • Professional services

All proceeds benefit go to youth programs, Helping Hands for Youth.  Singles $15   Couples $25

Call 738-1573 for more information.

Cat Coalition Meets

WALSENBURG- Huerfano Cat Coalition will meet this Sun. June 27 at 3:15 in the Walsenburg Community Center.  The agenda will include reports about the following:  status of feral cat colonies, spaying/neutering schedules; feeding procedures; resources for adoptions/foster care; upcoming fundraiser, Junk to Treasures flea market on July 3; and grant updates.      Following the general meeting will be an open Board meeting to discuss new membership to the Board; Articles and By-laws.  Anyone interested in joining the Board of the Huerfano Cat Coalition or volunteering for the Coalition should attend this meeting.

Swim beach now open for the summer

WALSENBURG- The swim beach at Martin Lake in Lathrop State Park has now opened for the summer season and will remain open through Labor Day Weekend.  Martin Lake’s low water level delayed the opening of the swim beach and other facilities earlier this year.  The water level is now high enough that the boat dock has also been put in at the boat ramp. 

    Lathrop’s swim beach is open during regular park hours from 6 am to 10 pm. A park pass for each vehicle is required to enter the park, but there is no additional fee to enter the swim beach.  Park staff would like to remind visitors that swimming is allowed only in the designated swimming area, and no life guard is on duty so swimming is at one’s own risk. 

    A new retaining wall has also been built at the ski beach area to prevent erosion of the shoreline.  The ski beach project began during mid-May, and construction is now complete in the area. Martin’s water level is expected to be back to normal in the next few weeks. 

The Rifters play La Veta

LA VETA- The Rifters are a musical super group comprised of Rod Taylor (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Don Richmond (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, pedal steel guitar, dobro, harmonica, vocals), and Jim Bradley (bass, vocals). Putting out more music than it seems should be right for three guys on stage, the Rifters employ a wide range of acoustic and electric instruments, combined with soaring three-part harmonies, to provide a mesmerizing variety of music from driving blue-grama-grass to ethereal desert beauty.

    The many years of playing to the dance crowds in their northern New Mexico homeland has given their music a toe-tapping rhythm that is engaging and undeniable. With a pedigree of bands like Hired Hands, the Rounders, and South by Southwest among them, the Rifters are truly a musical voice for their region of high desert vistas and mountain majesty.

    Music starts Wed. June 30 6:30 pm in the La Veta Town Park.  BYO chairs, picnic baskets, blankets etc.  The concert will be family friendly and will feature a new stage that will be located on the back side of the SPACE gallery. Donations for the musicians will be encouraged, and extra concert proceeds will go to support the fantastic work and efforts of the La Veta Tree Board. Call David & Annie at 719-742-5303 for more information.

Time is running out:  Don’t lose your brand

LAKEWOOD– Livestock brands are a vital part of protecting Colorado’s livestock industry; time is running out for brand owners to pay a fee to keep the rights to a brand.

     The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Division of Brand Inspection reminds brand owners, who have not already paid the 2007 brand assessment fees, to submit their assessment and late fees of $325.00 by June 30, 2010, or the brand will be cancelled.

     There are currently over 36,600 brands on record in Colorado with nearly 5,000 still unpaid.  The total due for the 2007 assessment is $325.00 ($225 assessment fee and late fees of $100 per brand).  The money must be received in the Denver Brands office at 4701 Marion Street, Suite 201, Denver, CO  80216 by 5 pm on June 30.  Postmarks will not be accepted.  Brand assessment fees are valid for five years; the next assessment for all brands will be in 2012.

     The primary responsibility of CDA’s Division of Brand Inspection is to protect the livestock industry from loss by theft, illegal butchering, or straying of livestock.  The Division is assigned five principal regulatory responsibilities:  Record and administer livestock brands.  Inspect livestock and verify ownership prior to change of ownership;  transportation beyond 75 miles; transportation out of state; or slaughter.  License livestock sale rings and inspect all consignments prior to sale to verify ownership. License and inspect alternative livestock (elk and fallow deer) facilities and inspect alternative livestock prior to movement or at time of sale. Investigate reports of lost, strayed or stolen livestock and return livestock to rightful owners

     In FY08/09, CDA’s Brands division personnel traveled in excess of 1.4 million miles and inspected approximately 4.1 million head of livestock.  In addition, they identified ownership of lost, stolen, or strayed and questionably owned livestock valued at over $60 million. The annual budget for the division exceeds $3 million and is completely funded by fees levied to livestock owners and brand registration fees levied every five years.

    For more information on the Division of Brand Inspection, visit

Volunteers needed Measure and report rainfall!

FORT COLLINS – Colorado’s flash flood season is here. Many of Colorado’s most intense rains fall in July and August.  These storms can be very localized but have been known to drop 2 inches, 3 inches and sometimes over 4 inches of rain in a few hours. Flood damage from these storms can be extreme, and there is potential for injury or loss of life if people are caught off guard.  There is even a small but distinct chance that hurricanes from the eastern Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico can spread heavy rains all the way up to southern Colorado.  While rare, this has happened a few times during the past century.

    Scientists at Colorado State University are preparing for this summer’s storms. Collaborating with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Pueblo Colorado, volunteers from all over southern Colorado are needed to help do a better job of tracking and documenting local rainfall and storm patterns.

    Volunteers of all ages are invited to help measure precipitation in their own backyards as part of CoCoRaHS – the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. This network was started in Fort Collins following a devastating flash flood back in 1997.  Now 150 volunteers measure and report precipitation every day in Larimer County in Northern Colorado. CoCoRaHS has grown nation

wide due to the incredible need for accurate local precipitation data.  There are currently nearly 1000 rain gauge volunteers in Colorado and close to 15,000 nationally.

    Unfortunately, the number of volunteers in southern Colorado is small.  Many more are needed to capture the patterns and extreme variations observed in summer storms over southern Colorado. Accurately measuring rainfall is quite easy and takes less than five minutes a day.

    “We are pleased that this simple backyard monitoring program has become so popular,” said Nolan Doesken, the Colorado State Climatologist at the Colorado Climate Center in Fort Collins.  ”We hope to find and encourage many more volunteers here in Southern Colorado to get involved and help out.”

    Volunteers only need an interest in weather, a cylindrical rain gauge, and a little bit of training to start participating in the program. The specific rain gauges that CoCoRaHS uses are available from several distributors on the network’s website ( for $25 plus shipping. Some complimentary gauges will be available for new volunteers.

    CoCoRaHS will be holding several informational/training sessions on June 30 and July 1. These meetings are free and open to the public. If you have a relative, friend or neighbor who is interested in weather, please bring them with you.

    In Pueblo, a meeting will be held Wed. June 30 from 6:30-8 pm in the Rawlings Branch Library (Pueblo′s main facility) 100 E. Abriendo Ave.

    In Walsenburg, a meeting will be held Thurs. July 1 from 1-2:30 pm at Huerfano County Community Center. 928 Russell Ave.

    In Trinidad, a meeting will be held Thurs. July 1 from 6:30-8 pm at Las Animas County Cooperative Extension Building, 2200 North Linden Ave.

    For more information or to volunteer for the CoCoRaHS network, go to Don’t hesitate in signing-up. You’ll be glad you became part of this important project that is benefiting many in southern Colorado.

Preserve at Home

COLORADO- Anne Zander of Boulder County Extension is offering an on-line food preservation series of classes in collaboration with the University of Idaho and CSU Extension called Preserve @ Home. People can get the training without taking time off from their job. Also, CSA′s are canning produce so that people have access to it throughout the year. Enrollment deadline is July 1; online access starts July 7 after 1 pm; first chat is at noon July 14.  Course fee is $65; make chacks payable to Boulder County Extension.  For more information, contact Anne Zander at 303-678-6238 or

 Children’s Art Workshop

LA VETA- The annual Children’s Art Workshop, sponsored by SPACe, will be one week this year to accommodate families’ busy schedules. In the past many children could not stay for the full two weeks, so it is hoped by condensing the experience, participants can be there every day. The workshop is July 5 – 9, 9 am – noon with a midmorning snack included.

    Kids between ages 5-12 will express creativity through different media including box making, watercolor, intentional movement, drama, assemblage, and more. The theme this year is “Express your unique Self from the inside outside.” The final program will be after the end of the Friday session, at noon.

    The cost is $50 per child, $40 for additional siblings. Fee waivers are available. Registration forms are available at the La Veta Public Library, the SPACe Gallery, and online at (Click on Children’s Art Workshop). For more information call Trish at 719-742-3521  or  214-662-7875.

Free kids grief classes

WALSENBURG-Join Sangre de Cristo Hospice South on Tuesdays in July for Clouds to Rainbows, a grief class for children ages 6 to 12 who have experienced a loss in their lives. The four week class equips children with information and skills needed for coping with loss.

    The class is free of charge and starts July 6 and will be every Tuesday for the next 4 weeks. It is free to all children in the community who have lost a loved one. Classes will be held at the Resource Center, 615 Russell in Walsenburg. Please call Sangre de Cristo Hospice at 738-2588 with any questions or to pre-register. Please come 30 minutes early to register the first day of class. Classes will be Tuesdays in July from 3:30-4:30.

Dining with diabetes

PUEBLO- Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes?  Are you having trouble managing your diabetic diet?  Are you preparing food for someone with diabetes?  Colorado State University Extension’s four-class series will help you learn simple changes you can make to improve your diet. 

    Dining with Diabetes will meet July 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 10 am-12 noon in Pueblo at the CSU Extension, 701 Court St. Suite C.  The cost to participants is $20.00 (Discount for couples, $30.00 per couple) for all four classes!

    The four-week series covers topics about how diabetes affects your health, how to make healthy food choices, and tasting new recipes.  The Dining with Diabetes series will help you to assess your dinner plate for potential diabetic disaster. 

    Pre-registration is required.  Please contact CSU Extension at 583-6566 for more information.  Space is limited, so call to enroll now!

Model airplane program

by K. Mallery-Coulter

WALSENBURG- On Thurs. June 17, Mr. Jerry Price of Walsenburg held a free Model Airplane Class at the Spanish Peaks Library.  Mrs. Vivian Price was in attendance, and showed the class a larger model airplane complete with an engine she had built.

    Mr. Price spent four and a half years in the Navy as an Avionics Technician.  He also holds a pilot’s license for full-size aircraft. Mr. Price has competed in National Model Airplane Competitions and belongs to the Academy of Model Aeronautics which is open to anyone with an interest in this field. 

    “Mr. Jerry” as the class called him, showed the 12 children, many of whose parents were also in attendance, how to build a model plane out of balsa wood.  A special superglue for model planes was used as well as a little modeling clay to add ballast to the nose of the planes.  Test flights were held inside the community room due to excessively windy conditions outdoors.

    Mr. Jerry told the class “Walsenburg kids are the best behaved kids from coast to coast!” This was a very fun and enjoyable class for all in attendance, and we look forward to Mr. Jerry’s next class!

Summertime tax tips

DENVER– Before you start a summer job, take a vacation or send the kids off to camp, the Internal Revenue Service wants you to know that certain summertime activities may qualify you for tax breaks, but there are also some tax issues that must be handled correctly now to avoid problems later.

“Ensure you get all of the tax benefits from your summertime activities; know the rules first,” said IRS spokeswoman Karen Connelly.

    Here are some tips from the IRS that may help you lower your taxes and avoid tax problems. Make sure the summer employer classifies you correctly. Summer workers sometimes are misclassified as independent contractors (self-employed) rather than as employees. Employers who do this usually fail to withhold taxes from the worker’s wages, often leaving the worker responsible at tax time for paying income taxes plus Social Security and Medicare taxes. Workers can avoid higher tax bills and lost benefits if they know their proper work status.

    Summer workers, in particular students, may be exempt from tax withholding. If you got a refund of all withheld income taxes for 2009 and you expect the same for 2010, you may claim “exempt” on your Form W-4 when you’re hired. That can increase your paycheck and possibly let you avoid having to file a 2010 federal tax return. If you claim exempt status, your employer should withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from your wages but no federal income tax.

    Getting married? Newlyweds can help make the wedded bliss last longer by doing a few things now to avoid problems at tax time. First, report any name change to the Social Security Administration before you file your next tax return. Next, report any address change to the Postal Service, your employer and the IRS to make sure you get tax-related items. Finally, use the Withholding Calculator at to make sure your withholding is correct now that there are two of you to consider.

    Clean out, donate, deduct. Those long-unused items you find during spring or summer cleaning can probably be donated to a qualified charity and may garner you a tax deduction as long as they’re in good condition. You must itemize deductions to qualify to deduct charitable contributions and you must have proof of all donations.

    If you help with a service project, deduct mileage. While there’s no tax deduction for time donated toward a charitable cause, driving your personal vehicle while donating your services on a trip sponsored by a qualified charity could get you a tax break. Itemizers can deduct 14 cents per mile for charitable mileage driven in 2010. Keep accurate records of your mileage.

    Get tax credit for summer day camp expenses. Many working parents must arrange for care of their younger children under 13 years of age during the school vacation period. A popular solution — with favorable tax consequences — is a day camp program. Unlike overnight camps, the cost of day camp may count as an expense towards the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

    Owners of vacation homes may get two tax breaks. First, mortgage interest and real estate taxes paid on a second home are usually deductible if you itemize. Second, if you rent your vacation home out fewer than 15 days per year, that rental income is typically not taxable.

    Report winnings, possibly deduct losses. If Lady Luck smiles on you during your vacation, remember that gambling winnings must be reported on your tax return. Losses are deductible only if you itemize and have winnings that equal or exceed your losses. Good records are a must.

    Deduct job-related moving expenses. Relocating due to a job? A tax break may be coming your way and you won’t have to itemize deductions to get this one. If you can satisfy the distance and time tests, job-related moving expenses are deductible. Other requirements apply if you are self-employed. Members of the armed forces do not have to meet these tests if the move was due to a permanent change of station.

    Deduct storm damage losses. You may be able to claim a casualty loss for the reduction in value of property damaged by floods, storms, fire or other disasters. And if your county was declared a federal disaster area, you may be able to file a tax return immediately to claim that loss. If you’re repairing storm damage, remember the energy tax credit is available when you purchase things like insulation or certain heating and cooling systems, water heaters, windows or doors.

    For details visit or call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 (1-800-829-4059 TDD).


McKinley reduces late vehicle registration fees

CORTEZ– Gov. Bill Ritter recently signed into law an important bill sponsored by State Representative Wes McKinley of Walsh.  The new law  will help rural Coloradans by reducing late vehicle registration fees for trailers. The Governor signed the legislation during a visit to the Cortez Chamber of Commerce.

    “It is an honor and a privilege to be back in Montezuma County,” Gov. Ritter said. “ I am pleased to be signing this legislation into law.”

     Senate Bill 198 will reduce the penalty for late registration of non-motorized trailers that weigh between 2,000 and 16,000 pounds. Last year’s FASTER legislation increased the penalty to $25 per month, with a maximum of $100. SB 198 reduces the late fee to a flat $10 maximum and complements House Bill 1211, which was signed last week and reduces the late fee for trailers weighing less than 2,000 pounds.

    The McKinley measure was also sponsored by Senators Bruce Whitehead and Bill Cadman.


Volunteers for Change

RYE- With fire on all our minds, Sangre de Cristo Volunteers for Change members Margaret Barber, David Barber, Stella Dunn, and Susan Ingraham processed more than 75 loads of slash and dry organic materials at the Mountain Shadows gravel pit near Rye last Saturday.  This is an important fire mitigation effort in the Greenhorn Valley.

    The pit will be open again on Sat. Aug. 20, from 9 am until 4 pm so that residents may bring slash and dry organic materials for later mastication.  No building materials, paint, metal, or trash can be accepted. The suggested donation is $5 per pickup load.   Proceeds go to Volunteers for Change projects and to the Rye Fire Protection District.  For further information, please contact Susan at 719-676-4493 or 719-250-6097.