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Briefs for September 30, 2010

American Constitution Party candidate for governor in town today

WALSENBURG- Tom Tancredo will be visiting Walsenburg to discuss his agenda for the governor’s office.   The candidate will be at the La Plaza Hotel and Restaurant at 8:30 am Thurs.  Any one interested in an alternative to the main party candidates should attend.

Sand Dunes fees waived on Saturday

SAN LUIS VALLEY- Park entrance fees will be waived on this Sat. Sept. 25, announced Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Superintendent Art Hutchinson. “Saturday is Public Lands Day, and it’s a perfect time to visit the Dunes,” he said.  “Entrance fees are waived all day and we hope everyone will come out!”

    Entrance fees will also be waived on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, at all National Park Service units nation-wide.  Concessioners at some national park areas are preparing special offers, as well.  Find more information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.   

    For more information on visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, call the Visitor Center at (719) 378-6399.

BLM volunteer opportunity

WALSENBURG– The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office  is looking for volunteers to help kick off National Public Lands Day with  the Wilson Crossing Trail improvement project on Sat. Sept. 25 and Sun. Sept. 26 from 9 am- 3 pm.  Volunteers can camp Saturday night and participate with a potluck dinner.

    The  Wilson Crossing trail is located in the Cucharas Recreation area northeast of Walsenburg.  National Public Lands Day is a special event that  engages volunteers young and old to get outdoors and improve their lands.

    Volunteers will be working with the BLM and the Rocky Mountain Backcountry  Horsemen on this trail to reduce current erosion problems and greatly  improve conditions.

     “Volunteers are an important asset to us. It is obvious how much they care  about our public lands and their service is greatly appreciated,” said  Keith Berger, Royal Gorge Field Manager.

    Meet at the Sheep Crossing trailhead.  From Pueblo, take I-25 South to Walsenburg and turn off at exit  50 and head east on State Highway 10; go five miles and turn left (north)  on County Road 120; continue for 10 miles and turn right at the T in the road (there′s an old school house on the left); go 3.5 miles to the Sheep Crossing trailhead.

    The activities will be strenuous, moving rock and constructing trail water bars.  Bring gloves, appropriate clothing and footwear, hat, sunscreen,  and lunch.  Water will be provided.

    This event is open to age 18+. Youth under 16 years must be  accompanied by a parent or guardian. Register either before or at the meeting site. All volunteers will  need to fill out a volunteer agreement.

    For information, contact  Linda Skinner at 719-269-8732.  For additional information on this and future volunteer projects visit our  web site at www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/rgfo/Recreation.html.

Board meets Monday

WALSENBURG- The Board of the Huerfano County Water Conservancy District will meet at 6:00 pm on Monday, September 27, 2010 at City Hall, 525 S Albert Avenue, Walsenburg.  The meeting is open to the public.

Enterprise meets Monday

WALSENBURG- The Water Activity Enterprise of the Huerfano County Water Conservancy District will meet immediately after the HCWCD regular meeting, approximately 6:45 pm on Monday, September 27, 2010 at City Hall, 525 S Albert Avenue, Walsenburg. The meeting is open to the public. 

Vories at public library

LA VETA- To celebrate the release of his newest book, Strike, Gene Vories will be at the La Veta Public Library on Mon. Sept. 27, at 7pm. Vories will be talking about Button’s adventures in this, the fifth book of his Button Benton series.

    Strike finds Button in the middle of the historic Ludlow mine strikes. Vories tells an exciting story set in a time and place in history that his family actually saw and lived through.  Vories is an entertaining speaker and storyteller, with a great store of family recollections of living in Huerfano County in the early days.   Call the Library (742-3572) for more information.

Comedy classics

LA VETA- Remember the “good old days” when comedy movies were clean and funny?  Classic performers such as The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, and Abbott and Costello dominated comedies of the 1940’s and 1950’s.  Comedy Classics return to the La Veta Public Library on Tues. Sept. 28 at 7 pm as we screen Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.  And these are true classics- metal spools of 16mm film that are run through a projector, where the spools have to be changed halfway through the film, and then rewound at the end.

    Majors Ranch resident Bob Russell is making his collection of classic 16mm films available to the La Veta Library for these showings.  Bob has hundreds of metal cans full of films in his warehouse.  He moved his film collection to Colorado in 2004, and states that the dry climate here is not good for the films.  So we are previewing the films before we show them to be sure they are in good condition.  Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man is in excellent condition, and you will marvel at the quality of the special effects used in this 1951 film, effects such as the Invisible Man’s towels floating through the air, and his cigarette puffing along merrily in the air. 

    Please join us at 7 pm Tues. for a night of classic comedy, suitable for the entire family.  Admission is free, and popcorn will be served!

Peggy Zehring presentation at MOF

WALSENBURG- In conjunction with her museum show “In Process,”  mixed media artist Peggy Zehring will present a digital show of her work showing its evolution.  She will also discuss her work, process and teaching philosophy on Thurs. Sept. 30 at 5:30 pm upstairs at the Museum of Friends, 600 Main Street in Walsenburg, CO . Everyone is welcome.  For more information, call the museum at 719-738-2858, or 719-746-2858, e-mail the museum <BrendtBerger@earthlink.net> or check out their website www.museumoffriends.org.

Blood drive at Oktoberfest

LA VETA- The La Veta Fire and Protection District is hosting their annual blood drive during Oktoberfest on Sat. Oct. 2 from  10:30 am until 2:30 pm.

    The drive will take place on the Bonfils Bus at the Fire Department in La Veta.  Please contact Sue Pezze @ (719)742-3239 or sign up at Charlie’s Market in La Veta.

Gospel music concert

LA VETA– Cross Walk, a three-time Vocal Group of the Year in the CGMA – Western Division will present a concert on Sat. Oct. 2 at 7 pm at the United Methodist Church in La Veta.  A free will offering will  be accepted.

Japanese art and tea

TRINIDAD- The Japanese art workshop for children to celebrate the Chrysanthemum Festival is on October 2, 10 am-noon, in the Trinidad History Museum Education Center, 312 E. Main St. in Trinidad   

    Later that afternoon  experience the harmony and tranquility of a Japanese Tea Ceremony from 1 to 3 pm in the Trinidad History Museum Gardens, again at 312 E. Main.  Call 846-7217 to register.

Visiting Tai Chi teachers from Seattle

LA VETA- Everyone is invited to participate in the Saturday and Sunday afternoon Push Hands sessions held at The La Veta School of the Arts Oct. 2 and 3 from 1:30-4 pm.  Visiting Seattle teachers Pat Ekelund and Ken Hall and Minneapolis teacher Robin Nelson will be leading the classes which will emphasize T’ai Chi principles of relaxation and softness.  Morning sessions  from 9:30 to noon will focus on ancient Waterform postures.  Only those with some T’ai Chi experience will be encouraged to participate in the mornings.  Each session is $25 or all four for $75.  For more information, please e-mail Peggy.Zehring@gmail.com or call 719-742-5193 or 719-742-3421.

Buck Antelope hunt

WALSENBURG– Sign up for a Buck Antelope chaperoned hunt at Maria Lake Resort Oct. 2-8.  $15 per ticket.  The drawing will be Sun. Sept. 26 (need not be present to win).  Call Monty Morgan at 970-985-8597. 

Seventh Annual Historic Home Tour

PUEBLO- Experience the character and learn some of the architectural history of Pueblo at the Seventh Annual Historic Home Tour, presented by Historic Pueblo, Inc.  Five homes in the Historic North Side Avenues will open their doors from 11 am to 4 pm on Sun. Oct. 3.    Tour homes represent the Victorian/Italianate, Cottage, Mediterranean and Arts and Crafts architectures.  To tour all five homes, tickets are available for $15.00 in advance online at www.historicpueblo.org, and $20 each the day of the tour by seeing Bruce or Sheila Wagner at the Pueblo Art Gallery in Mineral Palace Park from 10:30 am to 1 pm.

    Historic Pueblo, Inc. is the non-profit arm of the City′s Historic Preservation Commission, and all proceeds go to fund our City Landmark Registry program by purchasing the bronze plaques for newly landmarked homes and buildings. Visit  www.historicpueblo.org for more information.

QuickSTART workshop

PUEBLO- The Pueblo Chapter of SCORE is presenting QuickSTART, a 5-week series of workshops to help individuals assess their ideas for opening small businesses.  Workshops will be held at the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce from 6-9 pm beginning Tues. Oct. 5.  

    The first workshop is free to anyone considering opening a business and the cost for attending the four subsequent programs is only $100.  When participants complete the series, they will know if they are ready to be an entrepreneur and how to be successful at getting started.   For further information please contact SCORE at the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce at 542-1704.

Beginning T’ai Chi classes at LVSA

LA VETA– Often referred to as “the gentle art of yielding”, the ancient, slow moving Chinese practice of T’ai Chi Chuan is  healing in many ways.  New, beginning classes will be held beginning Wed. Oct. 6 at 7:30 pm and Sat. Oct. 9 at 9 am at The La Veta School of the Arts,105 W Ryus, across from the town park.  Classes will be held Saturday mornings from 9-10  and Wednesday evenings from 7:30-8:30.  The cost is $5 per class or $20 for a month of classes.  For more information, call Peggy Zehring 719-742-5193, e-mail Peggy.Zehring@gmail.com or LVArtSchool@yahoo.com

Historical Society annual meeting

LA VETA– Members of the Huerfano County Historical Society will hold their annual meeting Wed. Oct. 6, at 5:30 pm in the La Veta library meeting room.

    Besides annual reports on finances and activities, a summary of the year′s events including the transfer of the Francisco Fort Museum operations to the Town of La Veta will be given.  Election of board members for 2011 will be held and a discussion on the lease of the historical collections in the Fort to the town of La Veta is on the agenda. 

    Only HCHS members may vote,, but all interested persons are invited.  They may become voting members by paying $12 dues that evening (the dues will be good through 2011).  For information phone 738-2840 or carlynewmn@aol.com.

Options for mobile slaughter units for Colorado’s livestock industry

LAKEWOOD- Colorado’s livestock industry is looking for new ways to market beef directly to consumers, and the development of Mobile Slaughter Units (MSU) is one solution.  A seminar will be held on Oct. 7 to discuss the regulations and options for establishing and utilizing MSUs for processing Colorado livestock for retail sales.

    The Colorado and U.S. beef industry continue to seek new options to increase their revenue.  MSUs bring a USDA slaughter operation to the individual farm or ranch allowing ranches to develop direct sales to consumers.

    “Our goal is to help producers develop direct sales to consumers, and Mobile Slaughter Units are a viable option,” said Tim Larsen, senior international marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  “Mobile Slaughter Units can help open direct sales of cut and wrapped meats to consumers, through farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture and other on-farm sales.”

    The seminar will be held at the CSU Taylor Conference Center at 4482 E. CR 56 in Fort Collins.  The seminar will include the following topics:  rationale for an MSU; procedures for applying for the Federal Inspection of MSUs; overview of Regulations Unique to Red Meat Slaughter Units; presentation by New Mexico’s MSU operator (how it really works); presentation by a Washington State farmer who is using the MSU to sell their meat products at farmers markets, through CSAs and directly to consumers; panel of support services available in Colorado and Wyoming for exploring a MSU.  New Mexico’s MSU unit will be on sight to view.

    There is no cost to attend the seminar, but you must register online at www.mobileslaughterconference.eventbrite.com before the event. The seminar is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, Wyoming Rural Development Council, University of Wyoming and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

    Get more information at www.coloradoagriculture.com/mobileslaughter, or by calling Tim Larsen, Colorado Department of Agriculture, (303) 239-4118, or email tim.larsen@ag.state.co.us, or Ted Craig, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, (307) 777-6651, tcraig@state.wu.us.

Forest and grasslands visitor survey

SAN ISABEL/COMANCHE– The Pike & San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) is beginning a National Visitor Use Monitoring project Oct. 1 through Sept.30, 2011.  The results will help to determine potential management priorities, improvements to customer satisfaction and future funding levels.

    “This voluntary survey will reveal important information such as visitors’ opinions, preferences and visitation patterns,” said Acting Forest Supervisor John Peterson. “We hope to gain the public’s participation in this survey and their feedback will be vital to providing the best service to our visitors.”

    The brief, random and voluntary sampling of visitors will collect data such as:  types of activities, places visited, distance traveled, length of stay, overall feelings about the experience, amount of money expended during the trip.

    Businesses such as outfitter and guides, organization camps and ski areas operating on the National Forests will also complete the survey to supplement information received from visitors

    Through the 2006 process, it was determined that the PSICC has over six million recreation visits each year, making it the 3rd most visited National Forest in Colorado and the 4th most visited in the United States.

Recycle plastics in Pueblo

PUEBLO- We Recycle will accept plastics numbered 1-7 at their facility in Pueblo West at 24 N. Research Drive.  They offer a community membership which is $20 for three months and a senior membership for smaller households which is $10 for three months.  They also take paper, aluminum, cardboard and glass. 

    They are open for drop-off Wed.-Sat. 12-7 pm.

The office is open Mon.-Fri., 9-5.  Call 719-542-6327.

Dispatch on the web

HUERFANO- Huerfano Emergency Dispatch is now on the internet at www.huerfano.us/Emergency_Dispatch.html, or follow the Emergency Dispatch link at www.huerfano.us.

    Through Emergency Dispatch’s website, you can link to many commonly requested resources. Links include Weather/Road conditions and numerous State and local resources and agencies.  You can also register your telephone numbers with the county’s CodeRed® emergency notification service.

    Huerfano Emergency Dispatch has also launched its own Twitter® page, which will assist the Center with keeping residents of Huerfano County informed.  It will allow messages to be sent to your computer or text capable phone.  Messages could include school and road closures, hazardous weather alerts, or other public safety information.

    Sign up to follow Huerfano Emergency Dispatch on Twitter at http://twitter.com/huerfano_911.

HHH seeking veterans

HUERFANO- Huerfano Hometown Heroes would like to honor our area veterans at our veteran lunch in November.  If you are a Veteran or know of one, please call Mary at 738-1058 or Juanita at 742-3235 so we can send an invitation.  Or you can sign up at our booth at La Veta′s Oktoberfest.  www.HuerfanoHometownHeroes.org

 

CCA opposes  60, 61, 101

ARVADA- Colorado’s beef industry has been delivered to a crossroads due to Colorado’s degrading budgetary situation.  For this reason, Colorado Cattlemen′s Association (CCA) has taken a position to oppose amendments 60 and 61, as well as proposition 101.  The economic impact each of these measures would create will have an outright affect followed by a cascading string of economic impacts on the agriculture industry.

     “CCA opposes Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101,” states Robbie LeValley, CCA president, “as they take away local voter decisions about tax issues, severely impact local fire, ambulance and ditch districts, and reduce funding to local school and road and bridge funds which impacts rural Colorado most.”

     Amendment 60 requires school districts to cut property taxes by 50 percent.  The amendment then claims that the state would have to make up the difference from property taxes being cut by 50 percent.

     Amendment 61 eliminates Colorado’s ability to build or expand on any of its capital infrastructure including, but not limited to, roads, schools, and hospitals.  This amendment would make it almost impossible for the state and local governments to issue bonds.  It would also prohibit the state from using financial instruments such as “revenue anticipation notes”, which the state has used for decades to even out the cash flow throughout the year.

     Proposition 101 looks at reducing the state income tax incrementally to 3.5 percent, resulting in eliminating a quarter of the state’s revenue from income tax.  The proposition also looks at severely reducing the annual vehicle registration fee, resulting in the Colorado Department of Transportation losing an estimated $277 million in revenue.

     Colorado is already facing extremely tough decisions when it comes to balancing the state’s budget.  In the past year, agriculture producers have already seen several tax increases on beef producers equating to millions of dollars.  As a trickle-down effect, producers are now taking their business to surrounding states where the costs of doing business are lower.  Should the above amendments and proposition pass, producers could see higher fees, raids on producer cash funds, and more tax cuts.  These two amendments and proposition are not the answer to Colorado’s already strained economy.

    Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is the state’s only nonprofit trade organization exclusively representing Colorado’s cattle producers.  Founded in 1867, CCA is the nation’s oldest state cattlemen’s association.

3rd annual children’s pet poetry contest

GREENWICH, CT– American Pet Products Association (APPA) President Bob Vetere announced today that beginning Aug. 1 the organization will be accepting poems for the 3rd Annual APPA National Children’s Pet Poetry Contest through their public awareness campaign, Pets Add Life (PAL).

    “Our goal with the Pets Add Life campaign is to help engage our nation’s youth in the joys and benefits of pet ownership,” Vetere said. “Last year we received a great response to the contest from students, parents, teachers, and principals alike, and we’re looking forward to another great year of creative pet poems by inspired children across the country.”

    Third, fourth and fifth grade students are invited to write a  poem about their pets, what they love about them, the joys they bring, and then post it on-line at www.petsaddlife.org or mail their final poem and submission form to: Pets Add Life, 45 Winter Street, Reno, NV 89503. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 31, 2011 at 5 pm EST.

    Two students from each grade level (6 total) nationwide will win a $250 gift certificate for pet products, and a by-line in a nationally circulated publication.  In addition, the six winning students’ classrooms will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to spend on pet-related education.

    To learn more about APPA’s National Children’s Pet Poetry Contest, visit www.petsaddlife.org or contact Allison at MassMedia, 775.322.0755 or Allison@massmediacc.com.

Stay of privatization on Trinidad Nursing Home

TRINIDAD– After appeals from several area lawmakers,including Wes McKinley, the state’s budget committee agreed on Monday to keep the Trinidad State Nursing Home open as state property until April with a one-time infusion of $472,000.

    Las Animas County voters will soon face a question on the ballot asking for a sales tax to help fund the TSNH which, like other state-owned nursing homes, is losing money.

If voters agree to tax themselves, Las Animas County can bid against other private buyers for the nursing home. If its bid fails, and the home is privatized, the tax would not be instituted.

    Rep. Wes McKinley (D-Baca) said, “If it does get privatized, there would be no long-term guarantee for the older folks, many of them war veterans, who live there or for the folks who work there.  And I bet some developer would sell it.   The home has nineteen nice mountain-side acres overlooking Trinidad.  A private owner might choose to make money on a development rather than lose money helping senior citizens.”

Many local leaders are urging voters to support the small sales tax as a way of supporting the local economy.

     "The voters of Las Animas County need to be very serious about getting this nursing home back on the ground. They need to get out and vote for it, to save it, because the state is very serious about getting rid of it," Rep. Ed Vigil (D-Alamosa) said.

    The concerns even reach to Pueblo families. 

“The state hospital in Pueblo sends some geriatric patients to the Trinidad home.  When privatized, what would happen to those patients?” asked Rep. Sal Pace (D-Pueblo)."I’m deeply concerned about privatization. I think the alternative should be that we work to make it financially viable including a long term goal of making it a veteran′s home so it can qualify for VA (Veterans Affairs) funds."

    "I have been working on this for several years," McKinley said. "We need to keep that business alive and I am glad to see that they did something.  I am going to do everything I can to keep that home open. It′s just amazing that they are wanting to put people out of jobs and out of the home. That′s not a nursing home, it′s a family home where grandpa, grandma and aunt and uncles are living.”

    According to the Pueblo Chieftain, last year the Legislature authorized the sale of the home by the Department of Human Services, which sought to cut ties with it because it has lost money and is the only home in the state veterans′ nursing home fund that is not authorized for residents whose stays are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Coloradans strongly support clean air, clean jobs

DENVER– With the debate picking up in earnest at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission over Xcel Energy′s proposed plan to comply with Colorado′s landmark Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act, new data will be released Tuesday demonstrating broad and deep support among Coloradans for Xcel Energy′s proposal to shut down five metro-area coal units.

    The bi-partisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies (R) and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (D) examined public perceptions of Xcel Energy’s plans to comply with the state′s new clean air statute.  Data demonstrate overwhelming voter support for shifting Colorado’s electricity generation from coal to renewable energy, energy efficiency efforts, and natural gas.  Research also shows what happens to support levels after hearing the cost implications of the proposal.

    The event will be on Tues. Sept. 21 at 9 am at the Molly Blank Conference Center, National Jewish Health, 1400 Jackson St, Denver CO 80206.  Parking for working members of the media is available at northwest corner of 14th and Jackson St in the Weitz Construction lot.  Public parking for Tuesday′s event is available in the Gove School lot at 14th and Ash St.  From the lot, walk west on 14th across Colorado Ave to the National Jewish Health campus. Please do not park in patient parking lots.

    Speakers will be State Representative Judy Solano, primary sponsor Colorado Clean-Air, Clean-Jobs Act; Dr. Karin Pacheco, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, National Jewish Health; Pete Maysmith, Executive Director Colorado Conservation Voters; and Natalia Swalnick, American Lung Association.

Picky, picky, picky

by David High In analyzing the American healthcare system, we see that the most important questions facing us as a nation are: How should we

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