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Briefs for November 11, 2010

Vories featured at Crackerbarrel Talks

LA VETA- Oral histories of the families of La Veta and Huerfano County begin on Thurs. Nov. 11 at 7 pm at the La Veta Public Library.

    Crackerbarrel Talks is presented by Friends of the La Veta Library and the Francisco Fort Museum and kicks off with oral historian Peggy Arnold-Hoobler interviewing Gene Vories.  This promises to be a fun evening with Vories who will be sharing his life and times in La Veta, Huerfano County, and wherever else he wishes to take us.

    For all who know Vories, we know we can look forward to being entertained with lively stories, a look into a life that used to be as well as lots of laughter, learning, and surprises.  Audience participation is encouraged.  Refreshments will be provided.


Fee-free day

PIKE, SAN ISABEL NATIONAL FORESTS-  Pike and San Isabel will offer "fee free" day-use sites on Veterans Day.  The national grasslands′day-use sites are already free and open to the public.  However, campgrounds and rental cabins are not included in the “fee free” day.  The following sites are participating.

Pike National Forest

South Park District : Elevenmile Canyon, Jefferson Lake (could close any day due to weather); Pikes Peak District:  Manitou Lake; South  Platte District: Bridge Crossing, Duck Creek, Indian Creek; Equestrian: Geneva Creek, Little Scraggy, Scraggy View and Willow Bend.

San Isabel National Forest

San Carlos District: Blue and Bear Lakes, Cuchara Day Use Area; Salida District: Chalk Lake; Leadville District:  some non-fee sites are open.

Comanche (CO) and Cimarron (KS) National Grasslands:  Comanche District: All day use sites are open and free; Cimarron District: Day use sites are open and free.

Coffee klatchers put up or shut up

WALSENBURG-  Are any of y’all interested in jawing about the relevant and irrelevant issues, and non-issues of what is right and wrong about the state of our union?  A Sunday NY Times Coffee Klatch is forming in Walsenburg.  Each Sunday from 12 noon- 2 pm, be at Mike’s Coffee Barn, 304 W. 7th St. in Walsenburg.  Newspapers are available until you get your subscription.

    Discuss life as we find it or just listen to the carryings on.  A subscription group rate is available at 25% off.   Please RSVP for this Sunday Nov 14 to Mike at the Coffee Barn at 738-1154 or Barry Kalish at 738-3318.

Thank you party at library

LA VETA- La Veta Public Library has been awarded 5 stars by the American Star Library Association again this year.  It is quite an honor, and we are throwing a party with refreshments on Sun. Nov. 14 from 1-3 pm to show our appreciation of both the community of La Veta and the library staff.     Without our La Veta community we wouldn′t have a library. 

Public comment deadline for Air Force fly-overs

CANNON. NM- The Cannon Air Force Base wants to use almost ALL of Colorado′s airspace for the purposes of Low Altitude Tactical Training (LATN).

    Al Tucker went to a Scoping Meeting in Alamosa and heard that Cannon Air Force Base (in NM) wants to use our mountains because they need to train pilots to fly in steep mountains that are similar to those found in Afghanistan.

    If the LATN is approved, two types of planes will fly three training missions per night (not sure how many planes in each mission) at very low altitudes over Colorado′s mountains.  There is obviously great concern about the noise and frequency of these training missions.

    Mon. Nov. 15, by the end of the business day, is the deadline for submitting comments by email at or by phone (575-784-4131)  or by fax (575-784-7412) or by mail: (Cannon AFB Public Affairs, 110 E Sextant, Suite 1150, Cannon AFB, NM  88103)

    For more information contact Kathryn VanNote at 575-480-4234. You may want to write to your senators and congressmen/women as well.

Judy Casey: Literacy in Africa

LA VETA- The La Veta Public Library is pleased to present Judy Casey at 2 pm, Nov. 17 for a lecture and slide show.  Casey has traveled to Africa six times for the purpose of supporting literacy development for young children and families.  She has worked in The Family Literacy Project in the providence of KwaZulu-Natal where the language Zulu is spoken.

    Casey works in the rural villages with a team of literacy educators distributing books to rural libraries and young families. She has helped in raising funds for Little Books for Little Hands which are little packs of 16 books just big enough to comfortably fit into a child’s hands.  The La Veta Rotary Club and other organizations have provided funds for the Family Literacy Project.

    Casey has been a resident of Cuchara since 1952. She is a retired elementary principal and is now supervising student teachers and future principals.  Please join us for this important program

Huerfano County Parks & Trails Open House

 WALSENBURG- The next opportunity to see and comment on the proposed Huerfano County Trails Master Plan will be Wednesday November 17, 4:30-7pm at the La Veta Community Center.  This is the second Huerfano County Parks and Trails open house held this fall.  If you missed the first meeting, come out and share your ideas with the group.

Your input is essential to creating a Trails Master Plan for Huerfano County. Please join the Parks & Trails Working Group on Nov. 17 so you can  get information, ask questions and share your thoughts on trails in Huerfano County.

Bear management meetings

PUEBLO- The Colorado Division of Wildlife is seeking public input to help guide management of black bear populations along the Southern Front Range.  The DOW will hold three public meetings to gather feedback in Trinidad, Walsenburg and Colorado City.

    The specific bear populations under consideration are in areas west of I-25 and south of Highway 50 including portions of Alamosa, Costilla, Pueblo, Fremont, Las Animas, Custer, Chaffee and Huerfano Counties.

    "The Division is gathering input from landowners, livestock operators, hunters, homeowners and recreationists," said terrestrial biologist Allen Vitt of the DOW.  "Public input can assist the Division in formulating long-term black bear management plans similar to the plans currently being used for management of other big game species such as deer and elk."

    The meetings will focus on black bear population and hunting management.  The Trinidad meeting is Mon., Nov. 15, in the Leone Room at the Sullivan Student Center at Trinidad State Junior College.  The Walsenburg meeting is Wed., Nov. 17, at the Huerfano County Community Center, 928 Russell Ave.  The Colorado City meeting is Thurs., Nov. 18, at the Colorado City Recreation Center, 5000 Cuerna Verde Blvd.  All meetings start at 6:30 pm.

     Persons interested in black bear management along the southern Front Range who cannot attend but would like to provide input, may receive a copy of the draft management plan and provide written comments by contacting Allen Vitt, in Pueblo at (719) 561-5306 or at

Alzheimer’s symposium

PUEBLO- November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and the Alzheimer’s Association will host a Symposium and Fundraiser Open House on Thurs. Nov. 18 from 11:30 am to 6 pm at the Rawlings Library~4th floor, 100 E. Abriendo.  Admission is free.  There will be a guest speaker every hour.  Topics to be discussed: Caregiving & Hospice Care, Legal and Financial Issues, Diabetes on the Mind, Talking with your Doctor, and The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s. 

    In addition a screening of the PBS film “New Faces of Alzheimer’s Disease” featuring Mary Ann Becklenberg, diagnosed in her 60’s with Younger Onset, and a reading of essays included in the recently released report by Maria Shriver, The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s.  The report is a groundbreaking, comprehensive examination of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on American women as caregivers, advocates, and people living with the disease through the personal experiences of well-known individuals. The film will be shown every half hour. Light refreshments will be provided. There will shopping (most items $6); get an early start on your holiday gifts.  All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.  Please call 719-544-5720 for more information.

Gardner one room schoolhouse celebration

GARDNER- For the twenty-third year, Gardner School, in the spirit of American Education Week, has set aside a day to celebrate the combination of new ideas in education with the traditional ones by setting up the entire school population in “one-room schoolhouses.”  The project has been such a success the last 22 years, we have decided to do it again this year, on Fri. Nov. 19.

    The “schoolhouses” will have the same names as previous years.  The schools’ names are taken from the local one-room schoolhouses, which were scattered throughout the Gardner area.

    The curriculum for each schoolhouse will be identical; planned by faculty committees.  The theme this year is “South of the Border, Down Mexico Way”

    We are looking forward to this day of remembering “how it was then,” and we hope that you can join us.  You may drop in any time from 8:30 am to 4 pm on Fri. Nov. 19 to observe our version of the one-room schoolhouse in progress.

     If you would like to eat lunch at the school that day, the cost is $3 per person. A traditional Thanksgiving feast will be served.  Please RSVP by Thurs. Nov. 11 if you want to join us for lunch.  Refreshments will be served all day in the hospitality room, next to the cafeteria.  Please come by and visit informally with staff members and representatives from our P.T.S.A.A..

Fantastic Friday book sale

WALSENBURG- The Friends of the Library announce a “Fantastic Friday” used book sale, one day only:  Fri. Nov. 19 at the library from 12-3 pm.  All paperbacks are only $.50; all hard copies only $1!

    Proceeds help the library with all of their projects.  Take advantage of this special!  For further information, call the library at 738-2774.

Fall Festival

LA VETA-  La Veta UMW  is holding their annual Fall Festival on Sat. Nov. 20 at 10 am until?

    The ladies are at it again!!  We′re showing off our crafting and cooking skills — we will have lots of delicious pies, cakes, cookies, candy, breads, etc. in our bake shop, and crafts and lots of gently used household items in our Granny′s attic.  Once again, the proceeds from the festival will benefit our various mission projects. Head to 420 S Main, La Veta.


WALSENBURG– Four musical groups are practicing for the 8th Community ThanksLiving Celebration to be held this year Sun. Nov. 21 in the United Church of Walsenburg, across from Loaf ′n Jug.  The 7 pm service includes the Community Bible Church, Community Youth Chorus, the Orphan Valley Singers and the Vacation Bible School singers.  Debi Sporleder is the leader, Bill Hix the reader and Pastor Bobby Barnhill the speaker.  The offering will go to the Open Arms Pregnancy Center

Westcliffe arts and crafts

WESTCLIFFE– The Friends of the West Custer County Library are happy to present their Christmas arts and crafts fair Dec. 3-5 at the Hope Lutheran Church’s fellowship hall, 312 South Third Street in Westcliffe.  Hours of the show are 9:30-5 on Friday and Saturday, and 10:30-3 on Sunday.  Handcrafted items by local craftspeople will be on display, including jewelry, wooden bowls and toys, quilted items, soaps and lotions, handwoven rugs, and many, many unique items.  Proceeds from the sale benefit the West Custer County Library’s community outreach programs including reading programs for young children and teens.

    For further information, call the library at 719-783-9138. 

La Veta Boosters holiday carnival time

LA VETA- It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  La Veta Boosters will be hosting a Holiday Carnival on Sat. Dec. 4 from noon to 5 pm at the old gym in the La Veta high school building.  Ticket prices will be fifty cents each or twelve for $5.  Santa will be stopping by for a visit between 2-4 pm.  Photo packages will be available for purchase.  All proceeds will go to the La Veta Boosters scholarship fund.  Come join us for a day of fun! 

Candlelight Christmas

NAVAJO- The Navajo Ranch Candlelight Christmas Dinner will be held on Sat. Dec. 4 at the Huerfano Community Center. All residents are invited to come and enjoy the celebration. Social hour begins at 5:30 pm and dinner at 6 pm. Prizes for the most Festive Man and most Festive Woman, and white elephant gift excange. The cost is $12 per person, includes tax and tip, your choice of baked chicken or roast beef.  R.S.V.P. by Nov. 23.  Make checks payable to the Navajo Ranch Homeowners Association, indicate your choice of chicken or beef, and mail to Patsy Salmon, 234 Seneca Circle, Walsenburg, CO 81089. For more information call 719-989-1033.

Al-Anon Meeting Starts

WALSENBURG- Have you been affected by someone else′s drinking? If so, you may be interested in the Al-Anon program. Recently, several experienced Al-Anon members started a new Al-Anon meeting on Sundays from 5 pm to 6 pm in Mazzone Hall, across from St Mary′s Catholic Church.

    While it is easy to see what alcohol does to the drinker, it may be difficult to see its effects on those who care about the drinker, according to Nicolette Stephens, Information Analyst for Al-Anon Family Groups’ World Service Office. The following questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you need Al-Anon:

    Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?  Do you have money problems because of someone else′s drinking?  Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else′s drinking?  Do you feel that if the drinker cared about you, he or she would stop drinking to please you?  Do you blame the drinker′s behavior on his or her companions?

    Are plans frequently upset or canceled or meals delayed because of the drinker?  Do you make threats, such as, "If you don′t stop drinking, I′ll leave you"?  Do you secretly try to smell the drinker′s breath?  Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout?  Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker′s behavior?  Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking?  Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse?  Do you search for hidden alcohol?  Do you ever ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking?  Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?  Do you feel like a failure because you can′t control the drinking?  Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?  Do you ever threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker?  Do you feel angry, confused, or depressed most of the time?  Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems?

    If you have answered "Yes" to any of these questions, Al-Anon may help you.  For 55 years, Al-Anon members have helped each other cope with problem drinking in relatives or friends.

    Newcomers to Al-Anon learn the Three C′s: that they did not cause the drinking, they cannot control the drinking and they cannot cure the drinking.  They also learn that to help the drinker, they must first help themselves.  This help comes through practicing the 12 Steps, adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, studying Al-Anon literature, applying Al-Anon principles and confidentially sharing one′s own experience with others who face similar situations.

    There are no dues or fees for Al-Anon membership. You can read more about Al-Anon on the Internet at and find more Al-Anon meetings in our area at  For more information locally, call 742-3490.

Honor military heroes for Veterans Day

DENVER- This Veterans Day, Nov. 11, you can honor those who have served in the military through a new online feature created by Operation TBI Freedom (OTF). Operation TBI Freedom, a statewide program that serves soldiers and veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI), now offers the ability to create free web-based tribute pages. Anyone can create a personalized online tribute to celebrate the memory of a loved one or honor a wounded hero. Every person’s story is unique, and every story is inspiring, just like Jose Olivero’s.

    “Jose served three tours and came home with a traumatic brain injury. Now his story can be shared through his tribute page, whether our friends and family live a block away or serve overseas,” his wife Lizette explained. “We have received so much help from Operation TBI Freedom, and we hope people visiting Jose’s page will make a donation to this important program. We are both grateful that so many people care,” expressed Lizette, who has supported her husband at every step of this life-changing transition.

    Military men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have often served more than one tour, and many return with emotional and physical challenges. At least one in five soldiers comes home with a traumatic brain injury. These men and women face a tough economy and limited resources. Operation TBI Freedom provides free guidance and counseling for soldiers and veterans with TBI.

    OTF is funded entirely through private donations and is operated by Denver Options, a 501(c)3 charitable organization. “We have served over 450 soldiers and veterans with TBI and their families in the last two years, but the need is continuing to grow with over 7,000 more individuals in Colorado in need of our services,” said Jennifer Anderson, Operation TBI Freedom Program Manager.

    “Creating a tribute page on the OTF website is a great way to thank someone who’s served in the military,” Anderson noted. “It’s easy to upload a photo, add a message about why you want to honor this person and share the page with family and friends. You can also make a donation in their honor right from their tribute page.”

    You can learn more about creating tribute pages or make an honor/memorial donation by visiting or by calling 1-877-FUND-OTF.

    Operation TBI Freedom is a statewide program of Denver Options.  Denver Options is a non-profit organization that provides flexible, personalized services to help people with intellectual disabilities and traumatic brain injuries live active and purposeful lives. The Denver Options staff finds the services and resources people need to achieve optimum health and explore lifelong learning opportunities. Denver Options operates two statewide traumatic brain injury programs, Colorado Connections and Operation TBI Freedom.  Learn more at

Christmas tree permits

CANON CITY- Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Forest Service (FS) Christmas tree permits are now available.  The cost for a permit is $10 per tree with a limit of two trees per household.

    A BLM permit is valid for trees located on BLM lands only.  The use of chainsaws is allowed.

    A FS permit is valid for trees located on National Forest System lands within the boundaries of the San Carlos Ranger District and the use of chainsaws is not allowed.

    Tree cutters must have a valid permit with them when cutting a tree.  Trees may not be cut within a Wilderness area, Wilderness Study Areas, timber sale area, or administrative sites such as developed campgrounds.  Additional guidelines, tips, and maps of suggested cutting areas are available with a purchased permit.

    There are several species of trees available depending on location.  Tree species include Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, pinyon pine, white fir, spruce, and Rocky Mountain juniper.

    FS permits for the San Carlos Ranger District may be purchased at the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands Supervisor’s office at 2840 Kachina Dr. in Pueblo, Mon.-Fri. during regular business hours from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.  Permits will be available at the FS offices in Westcliffe and La Veta but the public will need to call before stopping by as they do not have established office hours due to the limited number of staff.  The Westcliffe office number is 719-783-2079 and the La Veta office number is 719-742-3681.

    Cutting your own Christmas tree can be fun, but be prepared for winter conditions; there can be more snow in the high country than in town.  Plan to do some walking through snow to get your tree and make sure everyone in your party has warm clothes and boots.  Pack emergency supplies, carry the appropriate map and leave word with friends or relatives of your planned destination.  Take a vehicle equipped for winter conditions with 4-wheel drive, snow tires or chains and start early, since winter days are shorter.

    For more information call the BLM /FS Service First office at 719-269-8500.

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