Briefs from the San Luis Valley
Brief by Marcia Darnell
San Luis Valley – October 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine
Too Much of a Good Thing
The near daily rains the San Luis Valley enjoyed most of the summer were a dark cloud to the area’s barley growers. The barley crop, which needs dryness at harvest time for best quality, was soaked by the rains. Coors, the major buyer of the Valley’s barley, bought only a fraction of the crop.
South Fork is minus a town manager and a police chief, the fallout of months of conflict with the town board. More job vacancies may follow — a recall election is slated for Nov. 6.
The planned sale of phone lines by Qwest to Citizens Communications is dead. Qwest will continue to provide service, and promises to improve its record of response time and quality.
Not Over Yet
The new Safeway in Alamosa has been open for months, but the neighbors are still cranky about the plans, and the replatting isn’t finished.
Area residents voiced objections to the noise and lights of the new store during a public hearing to replat the property on which the store operates. City officials say the replat should have been done before construction, but it was overlooked, and as to the noise, well, that’s Safeway’s responsibility. The company was required to create a noise mitigation plan within 30 days.
Reality has hit the Valley. La Garita Ranch will be the backdrop for some scenes from an upcoming reality show called “ElimiDATE.” a producer described the show, scheduled to be aired Sept. 17, as “blind date meets survivor.”
– Informal search parties are scouring the La Garita area for the impact site of a meteor seen streaking toward the earth on Aug. 17. No sightings have been reported of the meteor, which scientists estimate weighed one metric ton.
– The Alamosa city council joined other Valley organizations in supporting a redistricting plan that re-unifies the Valley into a single district.
– The National Fire Plan awarded $90,000 in grants to three agencies to plan fire prevention on private lands.
Rare Stork Delivery?
Biologists in southern Colorado are searching for lynx tracks, hoping for the teeny-weeny footprints of kittens. It’s a long shot, since the cats reproduce only every four or five years, and the kittens have a high mortality rate.
Eastside Energy Corp. has unveiled a plan to build an electrical plant in Blanca powered by biomass. The biomass would come from dead trees, trash, and forest and agricultural material, say officials of the Phoenix based company.
Eastside has leased office space in Alamosa as well as 120 acres near Blanca. Current plans are to power up the plant by June.
The company has partnered with SLV Project Impact, whose goal is to alleviate threats of natural disaster in the Valley. The agency hopes the thinning of forests on private and public lands will prevent major forest fires.
All are not happy with the proposal, though. Critics say the biomass in the Valley is not sufficient to feed a power plant, and that Eastside’s promise of zero emissions is flat-out impossible.
Public meetings on the issue are slated. Given the nature of the project and its location, controversy is sure to continue.
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