Welcome to the last day in February and what looks like a warming trend into the 60s in the days ahead.
Valley loses an icon
Reaction through the weekend to the sudden death of Dennis Lopez, a storyteller, historian and educator, has been heartfelt and touching from residents across the San Luis Valley.
“Heartbreaking news, Dennis has been such a treasure to the community,” said Eric Carpio, director of the Fort Garland Museum.
“This hurts my heart,” said Debbie Medina Pettigrew. And from Vincent Rogers, “Our heart aches about the passing of Dennis Lopez. He was a dear friend and a wonderful educator. He will be greatly missed.”
The Citizen spoke by telephone to his wife, Sally, to write the tribute “San Luis Valley loses its treasured storyteller” published Saturday evening. You can read it here. We will publish more reaction to Lopez’s death in the coming week. Submit a memory to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Dennis Lopez” in the subject line.
R&R Market to be renamed
San Luis Peoples Market through acquisition
Felix and Claudia Romero have sold the R&R Market in San Luis to The Acequia Institute, and now it will be renovated into a community cooperative and local foods incubator. A commercial kitchen with a deli-restaurant and space for nutrition and cooking classes is part of the plan under an initiative led by Devon Peña. The closing on the sale of the grocery market, billed as the oldest in Colorado, was last Friday. It will be renamed the San Luis Peoples Market, according to Peña, shown here with the Romeros.
Our story Acequia Institute in San Luis aims to make ‘food the medicine’ of Costilla County lays out the strategy and funding for the community project.
Simpson and DougCo Commissioner Thomas
team up on message against RWR
State Sen. Cleave Simpson is featured in a video by Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas explaining why the water exportation proposal by Renewable Water Resources is harmful to the San Luis Valley. Thomas, one of three Douglas County commissioners, has been strong in her opposition to the RWR pitch for money from Douglas County to move the project forward. Instead she favors a water project pitched by the Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District and has pushed her fellow commissioners, Abe Laydon and George Teal, to support it rather than spend time reviewing the RWR proposal.
In the video released Saturday by Thomas, she interviews Simpson at the state Capitol to explain why Renewable Water Resources is not a good investment for Douglas County and how it would damage the irrigated ag industry and environmental assets of the Valley. You can watch the video here.
State Avenue road closure continues
Heads up if you live on the south side of Alamosa or do business on the south side, State Avenue will be closed between Seventh and Eighth Street as Xcel Energy crews work to relocate a natural gas line that is in conflict with the reconstruction of State Avenue that will begin on Tuesday, March 1. Business access is still available through alternate routes by using Ross Avenue and La Due Avenue.
Heavy truck traffic will need to use alternate routes like the State Highway system, staying out of residential areas.
State Avenue will undergo major reconstruction beginning in March and lasting through the remainder of the year. Alamosa Public Works Director Harry Reynolds was on a recent episode of The Valley Pod to explain the project and its different phases. You can listen to the podcast HERE.
Call for artists in Saguache
The Saguache Arts Walk and Hollyhock Festival held in July has put out a call for artists. Local and regional artists and crafters are invited to display, sell, or demonstrate their own work. Contact Sarah Krantz at email@example.com or 913-484-8983 to join the artists for the summer festival.