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County briefs for January 22, 2008

Spanish Peaks Library closure

WALSENBURG- The Spanish Peaks Library will be closed from noon on Fri. Jan. 23, until noon on Tues. Jan. 27, in order for all of the Library staff to attend the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association being held this year in Denver.  The mission of the ALA is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

Civilian reconstruction efforts in Iraq

LA VETA- You are invited to the La Veta Public Library on Sun. afternoon, Jan. 25 at 1 pm, to hear our own CSU Extension Agent, Jim Conley, speak about his experiences in Iraq.  Jim recently completed a 13-month tour, working for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Jim worked in the International Zone, and traveled to many of the rural locations in the country, working on agricultural reconstruction. He’ll share photos, anecdotes, reports and a video that will inform you about the largest civilian reconstruction effort in our nation’s history.

    Jim worked in the U.S. Embassy in the International Zone, serving as the USDA Liaison to the State Department’s Office of Provincial Affairs. This State Department office has oversight for all of the civilian reconstruction efforts, which currently employs over 4,000 U.S. civilians, in the reconstruction effort. You’ll learn about the role of a Provincial Reconstruction Team, USDA’s work with the Iraq Ministry of Agriculture, the current status of agriculture in Iraq, some of the challenges, the security situation, living conditions, a little about Iraqi culture, and some of the reconstruction programs that are proving successful. This is a rare opportunity to gain insight into the Iraqi reconstruction efforts from someone who spent a year in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Poetry event

LA VETA- Visiting poet and professional writer Conger “Tony” Beasley will join anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry on Monday, January 26 at 7:00 pm at the Little La Veta Bookshop, 120 Grand. Those who attend must bring a poem to read of either their own or another’s composition. Tom Doerk says, “The last such event was held in April 27 so this is a special event for area poetry aficionados.”

Book Reading

LA VETA- The La Veta Library will host a book reading by Conger ‘Tony’ Beasley from his recently published account of the life of Francis Schlatter, “Messiah,” on Tues. Jan. 27 at 7 pm at the Library.

    “Messiah” is the story of a later 19th century cobbler who purportedly healed thousands of people while traveling barefoot throughout the western United States. He was considered to be one of the best-known figures in the West at the time, but few today remember the sensation he caused. Schlatter came through Huerfano County on two occasions, once stopped to heal in Walsenburg.

    Conger Beasley has published a dozen books, several volumes of poetry, and numerous articles and essays.  He won the Western Spur Award for Non-fiction for “We Are a People in This World: The Lakota Sioux and the Massacre at Wounded Knee.”  A book specifically touching on Huerfano County, “Spanish Peaks: Land and Legends,” was published in 2001 with the photographer Barbara Sparks.  University Press of Colorado continues to offer this book in paperback.  “Messiah” and other books will be available for purchase at the reading.

4-H report

by Rachael Schneider

HUERFANO- Beef and breeding rabbit check in is on March 7 from 9 to 11 am at the 4-H barn.  There will be a Senior Citizens Project on Valentines Day at 9 am at the La Veta Community Center.  4-Hers will decorate the  community center for a Senior Citizens meal. 

    The next meeting will be held on February 2nd.