Enjoy a few more days of mild temps because the cold is coming. Thanksgiving Day looks cloudy, but right behind it is the idea of snow and then overnight lows that threaten to reach below zero. If you’re traveling, Friday is the day that could give you trouble. Here’s more to start Thanksgiving Week:
1. Behind closed doors
The Alamosa City Council will meet a second time behind closed doors this week to continue talking to individual department heads about the management style of City Manager Heather Sanchez. And then a third time to hash out between them the differences individual city council members have toward Sanchez and how they view her leadership. Talking individually to city council members, including Mayor Ty Coleman, you get the sense they have a lot to talk out and figure out. Here’s a story we strung together over the weekend based on a series of interviews Friday with city council members. One thing clearly the city council had not given much thought to yet and that’s how it will report out to the community following all the closed-door sessions in order to maintain a level of trust with the public and voters who elect them to govern.
2. Chasing excellence
The Adams State Women’s Cross Country team fell just short of its goal to capture a fourth consecutive NCAA DII title on Saturday in Joplin, MO. Rival Grande Valley State of Michigan captured the title, with the Grizzlies runner up. Senior runner Brianna Robles was fourth overall and caps her cross country career with two team titles and three Top 10 individual finishes. The Adams State women always race with a target on their backs and this time Grand Valley ran in a much tighter pack, the key to cross country team scoring, to get the best of the Grizzlies. Chasing excellence as Adams State does season after season is never easy but always worth the sacrifice even if you don’t get across the finish line first.
3. Crestone cult and HBO
HBO is airing a three-part documentary entitled “Love Has Won” which looks at a spiritual group often referred to as a cult from Crestone, who worshiped Amy Carlson, also known as “Mother God.” HBO released the first episode of “Love Has Won: The Cult of Mother God” on Nov. 13 and will release the final two episodes on Nov. 20 and Nov. 27. The documentary highlights the group, its people, and the life of its leader. Here’s more.
4. Expeditionary Learning in South Conejos
The South Conejos School District is an Expeditionary Learning district, where project-based and hands-on instruction are emphasized. No teacher has embraced the innovative learning style more than physical ed instructor Joe Guenther, selected this week to receive the Educator Highlight Award from the Adams State School of Education. The South Conejos School District is in its second year and the farthest school district south in Colorado focusing its curriculum and teaching methods around Expeditionary Learning. “It’s really hands-on and it’s all about student engagement but challenging and rigorous,” said K-12 Principal Maddie Mansheim. “It’s actually been shown to have a significant increase and achievement for Hispanic and minority students, and since we’re 96 percent Hispanic and we’ve had historically low scores for the last 20-some years, it’s just a different approach and it focuses a lot on social-emotional, too.” We are privileged to work with Adams State School of Education on its Educator Highlight Award each month and when we do so, we always gain new insights into the public schools around the San Luis Valley.
5. 2024 Election Season
Honestly, we’re not really ready to jump into the 2024 election cycle, but won’t pass up an opportunity to visit with a candidate if they’re in the Valley and they reach out and want to visit. So it was with Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout, who made a request to meet during her weekend trip through Alamosa and southern Colorado as she campaigns to unseat Lauren Boebert in the 3rd Congressional District. We met her for hot cocoa on Saturday. Here’s an abridged version of the conversation that followed, based on areas we have taken an interest in – education, water, agriculture, environment, the working class, and because we are an extension of the southern border as the Rio Grande flows, immigration. If you have questions you would like us to pose to candidates running in the 3rd Congressional District in 2024, Democrat or Republican, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it into the mix as we hear from and engage with candidates.
6. Yes, voting matters
Just look at the Alamosa School Board District 1 race between Andria Gay and Kaylee Gomez. The latest count Sunday showed Gay with a four-vote lead, 1522 to 1518, thanks to a few more votes out of Conejos County, and the likely winner once the election is officially certified at the end of November. The losing candidate has until Nov. 29 to request a recount. While we can wish for more candidates in local races and for more citizens exercising their right to vote, the fact remains that voting itself is the single greatest advantage individuals hold over taxpayer-supported institutions and how they function for the betterment of society. Yes, your vote still matters. Plan to exercise it in 2024.
7. Coming Wednesday
We’ll publish our annual Thanksgiving photo gallery of reader-contributed photos. Always a beautiful collection. There’s still time to share what makes you thankful to live in the Valley – use THIS FORM, or email your photo and a description to email@example.com. Deadline is Monday, Nov. 20, at noon.