WELCOME to May, the month of graduations for schools across the San Luis Valley. Here are a half-dozen items in honor of the May 6 Cinco de Mayo Block Party by the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, Downtown Alamosa. A full calendar of Cinco events follows.
1. State Sen. Cleave Simpson is on the verge of a major legislative victory with Senate Bill 22-028, the Groundwater Compact Compliance Fund. It was adopted by the state House last Friday, where it was amended during the committee process to include $60 million in federal ARPA funding to pay for groundwater sustainability and interstate compact compliance measures in the Rio Grande and Republican River basins. The next step is state Senate approval with the amendment, which would seem largely procedural. The legislation originated in the senate where it was was initially adopted and then sent to the House, where it was amended to include the ARPA money. A bill signing ceremony with Gov. Jared Polis would be in order and a nice way for the state senator from Alamosa to come home for the summer. Read our earlier story on the Compact Compliance Fund and what it does for the Rio Grande and San Luis Valley irrigators.
2. Speaking of compacts, the 83rd annual meeting (106th meeting) of the Rio Grande Compact Commission will be held on Friday, May 6, at the Rio Grande Water Conservation District. The session has a full agenda beginning at 9 a.m., with key reports from commissioners from New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Federal agencies that include the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the little-known International Boundary and Water Commission which sits along the border in El Paso, Texas, are all scheduled to provide updates.
3. Denise Vigil and her husband, Nealson Villapondo, are close to an opening. They’re the proprietors of the eagerly-anticipated The Friar’s Fork Restaurant on Fourth Street in Alamosa. We catch up with Denise and get an update on when she plans to open during a taping of The Valley Pod this week. Don’t miss the episode when it drops. In the meantime, here’s a refresh of our earlier story on how the restaurant came to be.
4. As they say, BEWARE CONSTRUCTION. Lane 6 North at Mosca in Alamosa County is set to undergo resurfacing and other construction beginning Monday, May 16, and lasting up to Labor Day, provided all goes as planned. The project has Alamosa County, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration officials working overtime to get the word out on detours and expected delays. The road construction has been years in planning and now has the federal funding to get it done. The route is approximately 16 miles long and is an east-west connector between State Highways 17 and 150. The route serves the local community and region and provides access to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, San Luis State Wildlife Area, Zapata Falls, Bureau of Land Management lands, and Forest Service lands. We’ll keep reminding you of this summer road work.
5. The city of Alamosa this week completes the public process of what it calls a “mass rezone” of 457 properties ranging from commercial to industrial to mixed-use. Maybe the most interesting on the city’s proposed rezoning list would be changing the zoning along Sixth Street, currently zoned industrial, and moving it into commercial zoning. The change helps the city in its efforts to re-invigorate Sixth Street with more commercial development opportunities. A public hearing is on Wednesday’s city council agenda. Here’s a link to the proposed rezoning changes and the city’s explanation.
6. ICYMI, here’s Owen Woods’ theater review of the Adams State student performance of “Clyt; or, The Bathtub Play,” written by Elisabeth Griffin Speckman and directed by Professor Jenna Neilsen. The next performances are coming up May 6-8.
Cinco de Mayo en El Valle
Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area Cinco de Mayo Block Party
When: Friday, May 6
Where: San Juan and Main Street
Time: 5-11 p.m.
Town of Antonito Cinco de Mayo Celebration
When: Saturday, May 7
Where: Antonito Town Park
Time: 8 a.m. (Breakfast) to 9 p.m. (Sol Boyz dance)
HEART of Saguache Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
When: Saturday, May 7
Where: Along 4th Street, Saguache
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
TOP PHOTO by Ryan Michelle Scavo