Archive for: June 2015

Joe Giglia Named USA’s Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year

Cimarron’s Joe Giglia was recently honored as the National High School Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year as named by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.

Giglia has been the Cimarron High School Track and Field coach for almost three decades and was recently nominated by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association to represent New Mexico in the competition for the award.

These eight nominees in each category from all over the country were then invited to attend the NHSACA National Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota which began June 15, 2015.  Each were asked to present a topic concerning their sport, and Joe’s presentation was called “Turning Flames into Fire, The Cimarron Way.” 

Including this year’s NM State Championship, his girls teams have won 7 State Championships,  (1992, ’94, ’95, ’97, 2005, ’06, ’15) 7 runner-up second place finishes, and 4 third place finishes all at the state level. Giglia’s girls track teams have won 25 District championships in his 29 years as head coach.  The Rams boys and girls teams have combined for 12 state championships (including co-winners this year) and 24 state trophies in the last 26 years 

Giglia was also nominated in 2006 for the same national honor,  is a 2011 inductee into the NM Track and Cross Country Hall of Fame and is a seven time NM High School Coach of the Year.

Giglia and his wife Loretta are both retiring this year from Cimarron Schools, but are planning on remaining in the area.

Straight Line Winds Down Power Poles

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media


Forecasters for the National Weather Service had only forecast a 30% chance of rain in Northeastern New Mexico, something that doesn’t raise much concern, however conditions were right for the area south of Raton where storms converged and rain fell and fell in torrents. 

A local rancher that lives in the area near the damage told Colfax County Sheriff Deputy Clay Moore that there were very strong winds in the area when the power went out. 

According to a forecaster in the NWS Albuquerque office those storms converged and dropped well over an inch of rain along with pea and marble size hail. He suspected that the storms developed a wet microburst wind. That is a very strong downdraft wind that spread out and is probably what downed the power poles about a mile west of Maxwell on State Highway 505 and left the highway blocked for about an hour. Hail lined the road where the grass stopped it as it ran off the highway and water was everywhere. If it was a low spot it had standing or running water in it all the way down from the three mile bridge on I-25 to past Maxwell. 

According to Ron Brashear with Springer Electric they lost four 3-phase distribution power poles that run along the north side of highway 505 and one 60 foot 69 KV pole on the south side of the highway that feeds Cimarron. The downed poles interrupted power to Springer Electric customers north of Maxwell including our own KRTN transmitter on Eagle Tail mountain as well as Cimarron and the Raton area. The lines also feed east of Raton to Capulin Mountain and Folsom. Brashear indicated that their first priority was to get the 69 KV line back on so they could get power back to Cimarron and Raton area customers as soon as possible. The repairs were complicated by the amount of rain that fell making the bar ditches and pastures very muddy that the crews had to work in to repair the lines.  

Very strong straight line winds downed these 3-phase power poles a mile west of Maxwell on Highway 505.

Very strong straight line winds downed these 3-phase power poles a mile west of Maxwell on Highway 505.


Springer Electric lot four 3-phase distribution power poles and 69 KV transmission pole about a mile west of Maxwell on State Highway 505

Springer Electric lot four 3-phase distribution power poles and 69 KV transmission pole about a mile west of Maxwell on State Highway 505

City council votes to set up Walsenburg Historic Preservation Board

By Eric Mullens
WJ  250x55WALSENBURG —  After a delay of nearly one hour, the Walsenburg City Council got down to business Tuesday night when the fifth member of the group arrived making an official quorum available for the session.
City council adopted three ordinances this week on first reading, including Ordinance 1067 that established a Certified Local Government to be known as The City of Walsenburg Historic Preservation Board.  The ordinance says the city desires to protect and preserve the city’s historic and cultural heritage by designating historic landmarks and districts saying that will enhance property values and stabilize historic neighborhoods.  Council and administration made it clear in discussions that no property owner would be forced into preservation activities.  The decision to partake in building preservation or designation will be up to the individual property owner.
The board will be made up of five members appointed by majority vote of the city council.  The ordinance said no Walsenburg mayor, city council member or planning and zoning member may serve on the board.  “It is the intent of this provision to avoid conflicts of interest where a board member also sits on a body that serves to review any board actions or acts as an appellant body for any board action or decision.”
Council adopted Ordinance 1068 which sets up procedures and fees associated with issuance of temporary alcohol beverage permits.  This ordinance will allow a temporary alcohol beverage permit to be assigned to, for example, a person buying a business with an existing license.  City administrator David Johnston noted the fee associated with the temporary permit will fully retained by the city.  The ordinance was passed with an emergency clause that allows it to go into effect immediately after passage upon second reading.
Johnston said the city had received an inquiry about temporary permits and this had prompted the drafting of the ordinance.
Council also passed Ordinance 1069, which provided a year correction from 2016 to 2015 in Ordinance 1059 that was passed recently authorizing the change in the boundaries of municipal city council wards.
All three of the ordinances passed in unanimous 5-0 votes.  Council members present Tuesday including Nick Vigil, Rick Jennings, Mayor James Eccher, Mayor Pro Tem Craig Lessar and Clint Boehler.
Council also heard disturbing news from city treasurer Jim Moore, who reported the sewer fund, for the first quarter of 2015, was $457,160 in the red.  City administrator David Johnston said approximately $300,000 of that debt was due to the pay off of the sewer lagoon refurbishment project and he hoped the fund, “will come back as the year goes on.”
In other business the council voted to have a lease contract drafted between the city and the Silva family concerning corral use on the city ranch.  The lease will be effective for one year at $50 per month with a 30-day right to quit clause for either party.
The council voted 5-0 to renew liquor licenses for the Alpine Rose Cafe and La Plaza Inn.
Council heard a short presentation from business and property broker Larry Clark regarding establishment of regulations to accommodate marijuana smoking clubs within the city limits.  Clark was advised to bring a full prospectus back to council for review.  Clark said he was neither a marijuana smoker or a marijuana grower, but said he was interested in developing a  420 club in the city.

Springer Chamber of Commerce sets summer events

by Sherry Goodyear
WJ  250x55SPRINGER — The Springer Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 10, and discussed upcoming events:  the Colfax County Fair, monthly community yard sales, the summer concert series, plans for the Fourth of July, and plans for a farmers market.
The Colfax County Fair is August 5-9 and the group discussed plans for its float.  The chamber, in conjunction with the County Fair Association, is organizing the Fair Parade, to be held Satuday morning, August 8.  The theme is “Cowboy Boots and Country Roots.” 
In conjunction with the fair, Mayor of Springer Fernando Garcia is planning another “Fallen Heroes Freedom” walk/run like the one held on Memorial Day.  The cost of a run is $5 per person and includes a T-shirt, key chain, and water bottle.  This run will also be August 8.  Sign-up is between 7 and 7:25, and the race begins at 7:30 am, with start and finish at Museum Park.   Proceeds will go toward refurbishing POW Park on the west side of town.  Participants will be back in time to watch the parade as it passes by the park. 
The chamber’s monthly community yard sales for the summer will be from 9 am – 2 pm on June 27, July 18, and August 15, at Museum Park, thanks to Mayor Garcia.  Set up is free for anyone interested in selling unwanted treasures.   Participants should set up along the perimeter of the park to preserve the grass.  Bake sales will be included at all yard sales. 
For July 4, the chamber is holding a craft show in Museum Park, as well as talent show/karaoke competion and a dance.  
Those with booths should set up before 10 am as the show will run from 10 – 3 pm.  The fee is $10/booth due on the day of the show.  
The talent show/karaoke competion is during the day while the craft show is going on.  Prizes are $15 for first place, $10 for second place, and $5 for third place.  It is open for all ages with no entry fee. They are also working on having a bouncy house available for the kids.  Landon Newton and Tracy Crawford will be singing that afternoon and Newton said the chamber could use his PA system for the talent show.  
Although details are still being worked out, the chamber has commissioned J.R. “The Wildman” Herrera to D.J. for the 4th of July dance, held from 9 pm to midnight on the 4th. 
The chamber is setting up a farmers market for the community.  The first farmers market of the season will be on June 27 from 8 am to noon at Museum Park, and is being held in conjunction with the community yard sale.  The market will welcome vendors of all kinds to sell their fresh produce and vegetables as well as jams, jellies, honey – anything they grow or make and want to sell. 
The chambers’ first free “Concert in the Park” this summer was held on Memorial Day, May 25, and featured the group, Purple Sage.  The next free concert will be held on Saturday, June 27 with country duo Mike Glassman and Harold Keith performing.  On Friday, July 10, Ry Taylor will be featured, and on Saturday, August 15, Debbie and Robert Chavez will perform gospel.  All concerts are free and go from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  The chamber provides concessions for the concert. Come out and enjoy the music! 
The state confirmed the chamber’s application for 501(c)(6) status has been received, and they will hear back within 90 days.  It can take up to six months for these types of applications to be finalized, but the chamber is on their way to achieving this important status.
The chamber recognizes a local business each month after their regular monthly meeting. This month  4T’s Pilot Transport Service was honored. (see related article below)  The next meeting will be at noon on July 8 at Luna Community College, 516 Maxwell Avenue, and Wells Fargo Bank will be honored immediately after the meeting.  Please stop by Wells Fargo Bank in Springer at 1 pm for cake and a chance to celebrate this business.
For more information, contact Anna Phillips at springerchamberofcommerce@hotmail.com or 575-643-6401 or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Springer-Chamber-of-Commerce/147533458742025

Springer Chamber recognizes local transport pilot service for 12 years of business

by Sherry Goodyear
WJ  250x55SPRINGER —  After the June 10th Springer Chamber of Commerce  regular monthly meeting, they took time to honor a local business, and recognized 4T’s Transport Pilot Service for 12 years of being in business.  
The business, owned and operated by Lori (mom), Timm (son), and Apaches (daughter) Trujillo, provides piloting services for trucks hauling heavy loads.  The business was started by Lori’s deceased husband Zeke Trujillo, who passed away a couple of years ago, leaving his family to carry on the business named after the four of them, hence 4T’s (four Trujillo’s) Transport Pilot Service.  The family has done this type of work for eighteen years. 
According to Apaches, their main job is to “Take the load wherever it needs to go.”  Apaches says they, “Escort any type of heavy load including mobile homes which are our ‘bread and butter’ and portable buildings – pretty much anything big and heavy anywhere in the United States that it needs to go with the exception of New York and Hawaii.”   Their trips last anywhere from a few hours to twenty days.  They pilot “Wide Loads” all over Colfax County and the state of New Mexico, and their longest trip is a stint from Laredo, Texas to the Canadian border.  They also deliver to shipyards including those in Galveston and Tacoma.
Timm says they love Montana, and one of his favorite places to deliver loads is to Harden, Montoya “because it’s a lot of fun.”  Apaches says her favorite trip was one through Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri because they were routed through the mountains and the day was misty and cool.  “There was a light rain falling, and I had the windows open, and I could hear the trucker shifting gears behind me as we came down those mountains.  It was just cool.”  She adds thoughtfully, “Many of the repeat truckers we pilot for become like family.” 
The matriarch of the family, Lori, who was not present at the recognition ceremony does more of the piloting for the local area than she does long treks.  Timm says protectively, “We like to keep her close to home.” 
Despite the loss of Zeke Trujillo in October, 2013, the family has continued to provide a much needed and often overlooked service to the area and all of the United States.   
Timm and Apaches Trujillo of 4T’s Transport Pilot Service were honored recently by the Springer Chamber of Commerce for their 12 years in business.  Photo by Sherry Goodyear.

Timm and Apaches Trujillo of 4T’s Transport Pilot Service were honored recently by the Springer Chamber of Commerce for their 12 years in business. Photo by Sherry Goodyear.

Barbara Howard: new Welcome Center manager

by Joe Tarabino
WJ  250x55TRINIDAD — The new manager of the Colorado Welcome Center, Barbara Howard, brings a diverse background and exciting perspective to a complex position.  It requires careful juggling of city and regional interests with the requirements of the state, which funds the position with grant monies and defines the priorities of the facility.  
She was welcomed to her new position at a reception hosted by current and past volunteers at the center on Monday.  Howard began work this past week, replacing former manager Tara Marshall who has moved to a supervisory position at the City of Trinidad.
Hailing from the ‘deep south’ of Galveston, Texas, Howard has developed an impressive work history.  Her employment history includes time as a GS-4 Secretary to the U S Army Corps of Engineers and time as an executive assistant at Union Carbide.  She was also employed by the University of Texas Medical Branch, Occupational Therapy department, supporting the director.  She is the current president of the Trinidad/Las Animas County Economic Development Board.
She also has worked as an assistant manager of an apartment complex in Galveston where she gained insight into payroll, maintenance, contracts and budget practices.  While there, she was responsibile for the complex during Hurricane Alicia and the subsequent  clean-up that followed.  
It was at this time that she met her husband to be.  Howard is the mother of five children ranging in age from 15 to 31, and wife of Trinidad Fire Chief Tim Howard. The family moved to Trinidad by way of Raton in 1995 where Tim worked with Raton Fire Department for almost three years.  
Howard’s educational background includes a Doctorate In Management with emphasis on emerging media from Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs, a Masters degree in Management and Project Management, and a Bachelors in Business Administration, with emphasis in informational systems.  
Her experience in business as well as experience gained while living 17 years in a rural community, sparked her dissertation topic, “Managerial awareness to technology in rural communities.”  This research should give Howard the knowledge to create an online presence for the center and the insight to cooperate with the local community to the benefit of both.

Barbara Howard: new Trinidad Welcome Center manager

Barbara Howard: new Trinidad Welcome Center manager

The 80’s return at Colfax County’s Relay for Life

by Colette M. Armijo
WJ  250x55RATON — It’s celebration time at Raton’s Tiger Stadium where preparations are being made for the 14th Annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  
Fifteen teams are lined up for a fun-filled overnight event which will begin on Friday, June 26 and end in the morning of Saturday, June 27.  This year’s event is themed Back to the 80s and is a culmination of months of hard work and fundraising done by the teams and committee members. 
The relay will start on Friday at 5 pm with the survivor’s reception where approximately 100 survivors will be honored for  all they have been through.  Following this, survivor speakers Mark Mills and Tyler Luksich together with Caregiver Speaker Noby Gomez will share bits of their own experiences.   The opening ceremony will then take place with the presentation of colors by the Colfax County Young Marines.
The evening will continue with several laps around the stadium by the survivors, caregivers and teams.  The traditional reflection lap, done following the lighting of the luminaria, will take place after the sun sets.  This has a reputation for being very heart warming and soul touching.  
Colfax County’s Relay for Life is packed with excitement for all.  Non-stop fundraising activities are planned which will include a wide variety of yummy treats and commemorative jewelry on sale. Zumba and yoga sessions will keep things pumping and there will be music and dancing all night long.
The Relay for Life committee is led by Mercy Swanson and Jami Esquibel.  Both have been touched in deep and personal ways by cancer.  They have both had friends and family members who have fallen in the fight against cancer.  They also speak proudly and confidently about the number of friends and family members close to them who, with the help of the advances made in medical science, continue to celebrate being alive today.
So, as the event fast approaches, fundraising continues and it’s not too late for you to join.  If you can’t make it to the actual event, you can donate via http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY15GW?pg=entry&fr_id=67017
Remember “every dollar counts” and we each have a responsibility to do our part to make a difference in the world around us.  If you’re an action seeker or a ‘foodie,’ be sure to check out Colfax County’s Relay for Life at the Tiger Stadium  for lots of treats in store all night long.
Event Chairs 'Oscar' and 'Felix' set the stage for the upcoming Colfax County's Relay for Life.  Left - Mercy Swanson, Right - Jami Esquibel .  Photo by Colette M. Armijo.

Event Chairs ‘Oscar’ and ‘Felix’ set the stage for the upcoming Colfax County’s Relay for Life. Left – Mercy Swanson, Right – Jami Esquibel . Photo by Colette M. Armijo.

Grant funding has been received for Miners Plaza

WJ  250x55

WALSENBURG — The City of Walsenburg and Walsenburg Downtown Revitalization Committee (WDRC), through a collaborative partnership, have received notification from the Gates Family Foundation and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) that funding requests for the construction of Miners Plaza have been approved.
The DOLA grant opportunity is through the Energy and Mineral Assistance fund, which is derived from oil, gas, carbon dioxide, coal and metals extracted in Colorado.  The Miners Plaza project was reviewed based on a variety of factors such as its connection to energy impact, degree of need, measureable outcomes, amount of request, relationship to community goals, level of local match, community support, management capacity and readiness to go.   The grant award is in the amount of $174,000.
Gates Family Foundation has a rich tradition of providing support for capital projects,and chose to invest in Miners Plaza because it represents an opportunity in community development and revitalization.  The park presents the potential to reinforce and enhance economic vitality of the community and incorporates partnerships developed between private and public sector organizations working to improve the community’s economic and cultural health.  Funding from the Gates Foundation was in the amount of $40,000. 
Huerfano Parks and Recreation District has also committed $20,000 toward construction but posed the stipulation that the project had to be substantially funded before district funds would be available.  The funds committed from both Gates and DOLA will be used to meet this requirement.   
The Plaza concept was originally presented as an opportunity to improve downtown during an assessment conducted by Downtown Colorado, Inc. in the fall of 2012.  WDRC set about raising funds to purchase the vacant lot at the corner of 6th and Main.  A grant from LiveWell Huerfano County and matching funds from the organization completed that transaction in December of 2013. 
Development of a partnership between Walsenburg and WDRC has resulted in the ownership of the lot transferred to the city with the understanding construction and maintenance of the new park will be a joint venture between both organizations.   A technical assistance grant, funded through DOLA and WDRC, enabled graduate students from the University of Colorado Denver to design the park with input and vision of the community.   As a result of that public input, the mining theme and name of Miners Plaza was selected and ultimately adopted by Walsenburg City Council.  
There will be opportunities for additional community input in the coming months.  WDRC will schedule a workday to remove existing structures and prepare the site for construction.  Community members will be invited to assist, and the date will be announced.  
A fundraising campaign will take on a renewed level of enthusiasm with a flyer appearing in city utility bills in June.  The flyer outlines how individuals, families, and businesses can be memorialized or recognized with the purchase of a commemorative brick or other park amenities. 
  For more information, contact WDRC at walsenburgdowntown@gmail.com or by leave your name and contact information at Walsenburg City Hall.
An artists’ rendering of the proposed Miners Plaza. courtesy graphic

An artists’ rendering of the proposed Miners Plaza.
courtesy graphic

Pioneer puts 640,000 acres of mineral rights up for sale

staff report
WJ  250x55TRINIDAD — Pioneer Natural Resources, which laid off over 100 employees last month, announced last week they would be putting a block of 640,000 net acres of mineral rights up for sale.
On June 1, Pioneer had sold its Eagle Ford shale business to Enterprise Products Partners for $2.15 billion.
The acreage up for sale is in Elbert, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Bent, Crowley, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Prowers and Washington counties.  The land has been valued at over $300 per acre.  As a package deal, the mineral rights could go for $100 to $200 an acre, which could make the sale go for between $64 million to $128 million.
Bids are due on July 9, and the sale is expected to close August 14.
Potential buyers for the rights could be Anadarko Petroleum, Devon Energy, Southwestern Energy, Chesapeake Energy and Newfield Exploration.
According to Oil and Gas Investor, the next likely move on Pioneer’s part is to sell 198,000 acres of assets in northeastern New Mexico. 
The selling of these assets reflects Pioneer’s shift away from the Raton Basin and over towards the Permian Basin in west Texas.

Pot grow prohibition proposed Huerfano County wants to put on the brakes

by Brian Orr
WJ  250x55WALSENBURG — Huerfano County Commissioner Max Vezzani, who last month proposed stricter conditions on condition use permits for marijuana production facilities, on Tuesday proposed placing a moratorium on any new  conditional use permits for this industry for 18 months.
“This is a new industry, and it’s pretty divisive in the community,” Vezzani said, explaining his proposal.  “I’d like to see how much revenue this brings in, what kind of problems might crop up, and see what law enforcement says before doing more.  A year to 18 months would give us time to get information and see how this works for Huerfano County before we accept any additional permits.”
Currently there are nine conditional use permits issued for marijuana grows in unincorporated Huerfano County, where the moratorium would take place. Walsenburg, and potentially La Veta, would control any grows in their cities.
There is a temporary moratorium on issuing CUPS already in place, put there to allow the commissioners time to place stricter conditions on owners and operators. The commissioners extended this until July 7, to allow them more time to discuss and consider Vezzani’s proposal.
“I think water is gonna be a big issue for these grows,” Vezzani said.  “I don’t think some of them will be able to complete the grows that have city water.”
In other business, the commissioners noted a broken water pipe inside the courthouse over the weekend caused from $50,000 to $70,000 in damage to computers, copiers and filing cabinets.  The matter has been turned over to the county insurer. 
The commissioners also approved slight changes in the intergovernmental agreement with the town of La Veta regarding road paving, and approved the county emergency operations management plan.
Airport manager Gary Hanisch was recognized for his outstanding work at the county airport, funneling thousands of dollars worth of grant funding into the airport.
Finally, County Administrator John Galusha updated the commissioners on the courthouse grant process, noting it was in pre-review now, and expected to get to their hands in two weeks.  After that the county can begin making plans for renovating the courthouse building and finding another home for the courts themselves.