Archive for: July 2015

Plenty of prime youth elk licenses available

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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (888) 248-6866


Plenty of prime youth elk licenses available


SANTA FE – Around 700 youth encouragement elk licenses remain available through the Department of Game and Fish Online License System.


The sale is now open to all eligible youths, regardless of residency, who don’t have a 2015-16 elk license, whether they applied for draw hunts or not. 


Many of the remaining licenses are in prime hunting units, said Chad Nelson, supervisor of the department’s information center.


“There are a lot of excellent hunting opportunities still available,” Nelson said.


The sale is designed to encourage youth hunting and licenses are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. To purchase a license, customers will need to log in to their Online License System account at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.


Youth hunters must have a valid Hunter Education number entered in their account before purchasing an elk hunting license, and must be younger than 18 years of age on opening day of the hunt to be eligible.


Hunters must have a current Junior Game Hunting or a Junior Game Hunting and Fishing license to purchase an elk license successfully. Customers without a Game Hunting license will be directed to purchase one before continuing to the youth encouragement sale.


All purchases will be audited to verify the customer’s eligibility. The license fee, but not the application fee will be refunded on rejected purchases. After eligibility is verified, licenses will be awarded to hunters and will be available to print and view within a few days of purchase.

For more information about the youth encouragement elk license sale, hunting in New Mexico, or for help logging in, please call customer service at (888) 248-6866. Youth encouragement licenses will not be sold over the phone.




Triggers Rock and Roll in Northern Division

by David Tesitor
WJ  250x55TRINIDAD — The Trinidad Triggers will enter the final week of the regular season with six games against the Santa Fe Fuego beginning tonight.  After a pair of home games cancelled earlier this week, the Triggers have clinched their first ever division title.
While the final standings are yet to be determined, what is certain is that Trinidad’s playoff run begins July 29 in Santa Fe for two games.  
The other impact of the run for the title is the fact that Trigger’s home run king Caleb Bryson, and Fuego hitter Chevas Numata, are tied at 28 home runs apiece (through Tuesday) and they will likely square off for the Pecos League home run title at Fort Marcy Park, which boasts the smallest outfield in the league.  Both batters have a chance to earn the title.  
Trinidad holds the best record at 39-17 while the Fuego is 32-17.  Weather hampered Santa Fe’s ability to get in every scheduled game, which included three against the Triggers in May, and at this point, those games are lost which will affect their winning percentage when it comes down to the final standings. 
In last week’s action, Trinidad faced the Garden City Wind for the last time of the season.  Trinidad went three of four games bringing their overall record against the expansion Wind to 14-4.  
Last Thursday, at Clint Lightner stadium in Garden City, Trigger pitcher Chris Cummins was on the mound and his outing went better than he hoped.  Cummins struck out nine batters to carry the Trinidad to a 9-2 victory over the Wind. 
Trinidad crushed  all hopes for a Garden City comeback with four runs in the eighth to seal the deal.  Eric Williams racked up four RBIs on two hits for the Trinidad Triggers.  He homered in the third inning and singled in the fifth inning.  Williams still leads the league in batting with a .451 average.  Matthew McCormick (0-6) took the loss for the Wind.  He lasted just seven innings, walked two, struck out six, and allowed five runs.
The following night was a great one for Shane Casey, as he hit two home runs to carry Trinidad to a 20-3 demolition victory over Garden City.  Casey racked up six RBIs on four hits for Trinidad.  He homered in the first and fourth innings and singled in the second and sixth innings.  The Triggers never let up.  They scored 10 runs in the last three innings to finish off the blowout win. 
On the mound for Trinidad was Christian Schneider to eat up innings en route to the win. Schneider pitched seven innings and allowed one earned run, five hits and two walks while striking out three.  
On the other side of the line was the Wind’s bull pen.  Starting pitcher Brandon Hudson couldn’t get it done on the hill for the Wind, taking a loss. He lasted just one and a third innings, walking two, striking out four, and allowing four runs. When the rest of the pen came in to try and stop Trinidad, the Triggers handled Garden City pitching as seven hitters combined for 20 hits, 17 RBIs and 18 runs scored. 
The Wind’s only scoring was off an error in the fifth inning, but by then, Trinidad had built up an 8-0 lead.  Schneider picked up his 5th win against one loss on the season while Hudson (1-6) took the loss.
On Saturday, the Wind picked up an 8-5 win over the Triggers. Hero of the game was Julio Rodriguez, who had two extra base hits.  Rodriquez doubled in the second inning, singled in the seventh inning, and homered in the eighth inning. Winning pitcher for the wind was Jaquez who pitched eight innings and allowed no earned runs, nine hits and five walks while striking out six.  
The one bright spot for the Triggers was slugger, Caleb Bryson who racked up four RBIs on two hits for the Trinidad Triggers.  He singled in the fourth inning and homered in the fifth inning.
In their final game of the series, the Triggers got back on their winning ways taking an 8-7 win over Garden City.  Brian Frazier racked up five RBIs on two hits for the Trinidad Triggers.  He doubled in the first inning and homered in the fourth innings.
Tyler Lundgren had a busy day at the plate, collecting two extra-base hits.  He doubled in the first and fifth innings.  
Matt Horan recorded his ninth win for the Trinidad Triggers even though he allowed seven runs over four innings. Horan struck out four, walked three and gave up nine hits. Zack Russell-Myers (1-7) took the loss for the Garden City Wind. He allowed eight runs in 5 2⁄3 innings, walked five and struck out four.
The Triggers games MOnday and Tuesday were cancelled because of the weather.  Field conditions made it impossible to play, and the decision was made to keep the players off hte field for their own safety.  
Because Trinidad already clinched the division, the games in Santa Fe will be played, leading up to the divisional playoffs.

Springer Dam Project in Full Swing

by Sherry Goodyear
WJ  250x55– SPRINGER — Springer’s new dam located west of town at the water treatment facility is nearly done.  The project is funded by roughly $7 million dollars in grant money.  
According to Shawn Jeffrey, Clerk Treasurer of the Town of Springer, the project has been in the works for three plus years and is being funded by two separate capital outlay allocations as well as a grant/loan/match allocation from the Water Trust Board which is part of the New Mexico Finance Coalition.  
The grant portion of this segment of funding is for $573,000 and the amount Springer has to pay back, which is part loan and part match, is $159,000.  The legwork for the building of the project began in August of 2014, with the actual groundbreaking in November of 2014.  
The new dam is replacing two older, smaller dams one of which the State Engineer deemed as, “One of the most likely in the state to fail.”  The oldest, smaller dam of the two was built in 1932 and met no federal dam regulations whatsoever; hence, the necessity to build a new one.
The first grant Springer got for the dam was for designing the project.  Deb Miller, a Dam Engineer out of Colorado, was commissioned for that job.  She created the plans for the dam, and once those were complete, Town of Springer employees wrote additional grants to help get all the funds necessary to complete the project.  The State Engineer’s Office was also instrumental in helping allocate the funds necessary for the project and according to Jeffrey, nothing was done on the project without first, “Receiving their okay.”  So far, $4.3 million of the grant money received has been spent on the project. 
According to Laura Danielson, the town’s Water/Wastewater Supervisor, the new dam will hold the same amount of water as the two smaller dams – 300 acre feet – and will also include a small holding pond.  All the water for the town of Springer currently comes from Eagle Nest Dam and is piped in through a 7.5 mile pipeline that was built just four years ago.  It is hard to believe that somewhere between the middle to the end of August, the town of Springer will be using water from the brand new dam with all aspects of the dam being completed in either September or October of this year.
Construction of the dam is being done by RMCI Construction of Albuquerque.  The company is carrying out the construction of the dam in the greenest way possible by reusing anything from the old dams it can.  Driving through the construction site, one can see piles of rock, dirt, and junk that RMCI has strained and piled so the re-useable can be recycled into the new dam construction.  The Dam Safety Office is overseeing everything to make sure the project is all done correctly.
The new dam should improve the overall quality of Springer’s water for several reasons. For example, the four inches or so of silt and sludge that had built up in the bottom of the older dams since the 1960s will be gone.  Also, the new dam will allow Danielson to test the various depths of the water in the dam for purity, so she can pull the purest water in the dam into the water purification treatment plant for a cleaner, purer end product.  Overall the new dam is a blessing for Springer – a town for whom attainment of fresh, clean water has been an ongoing challenge.


The old Dam at Springer Lake  Photo by Sherry Goodyear

The old Dam at Springer Lake Photo by Sherry Goodyear


The new dam at Springer Lake Photo by Sherry Goodyear

The new dam at Springer Lake Photo by Sherry Goodyear

Springer Auditorium Remodeled in Old WPA Forrester Building

by Sherry Goodyear
WJ  250x55– SPRINGER — When Robert Arrellin was hired to be the new Maintenance II Specialist at the Springer satellite branch of Luna Community College, he didn’t realize he was about to undertake the largest renovation project of his life.  
A few weeks into his new position, Arrellin and Interim Coordinator Keith Gutierrez were discussing how dreary the auditorium was in comparison to the newly stripped and varnished floors of the main halls done by previous maintenance worker Joseph Smith whom Arrellin replaced.  “We got to thinking how dull it looked and played with the idea that we could do some things to make it look better,” Gutierrez said. 
At that point, they begin looking into costs for varnish, paint, and rental fees for sanding equipment.  Then they presented these projected costs to Luna’s Main Branch in Las Vegas for approval.  Once approval was received, the hard work began.  
The location of the Springer Satellite is in what once was known as Forrester Elementary, a building built in the early 1940s as one of many WPA projects of the time.  
Arrellin says with a smile, “We started like dummies.  We had no idea what we were getting into.”  Arrellin began by removing the roughly 200 chairs in the auditorium – a project which took two weeks to complete.  Once the chairs were safely tucked away in a back room, he embarked on the difficult task of removing seventy plus years of varnish and wax buildup – a feat accomplished with the help of a belt sander, a heavy duty drum sander, a heat gun, and an edge sander for the corners.  
All the while he plugged away on refinishing the auditorium, Arrellin was still responsible for cleaning and maintaining the three buildings that make-up the Springer Satellite campus. Once all was said and done, during the six plus months he worked on renovating the auditorium, Arrellin put in 53 additional overtime hours to get the auditorium completed. 
It took several weeks to strip the floor down to unvarnished wood and at that point, Arrellin turned his attention from the floors to the walls and ceilings.  In addition to the main auditorium, Arrellin refinished the stage and the two side rooms where performers traditionally wait in the wings for their turn to perform.  Arrellin spent the next several weeks on a ladder repainting the walls and ceilings of the auditorium.  
When at last all of the painting was done, Arrellin was ready to varnish the floors.  Using a brush sponge, Arrellin applied a total of three coats of varnish to the floors, waiting a minimum of three days drying time in between coats. For the detail work on the front of the stage, Arrellin used a brush. By the end of June, Arrellin had put the chairs back into place officially completing his auditorium renovation just in time for the July Luna Board Meeting to be held at the Springer Satellite.
The evening of July 14 was hot and stuffy, but that did not stifle the praise Luna Board members had for Arrellin’s impressive renovation project. Arrellin beamed with pride when board member David Gutierrez thanked him for all of his hard work and presented him with a plaque which read: In Honor of Robert Arrellin for His Hard Work and Dedication in Renovating and Refinishing the Luna Auditorium.  “I wasn’t expecting this,” Arrellin said afterward, with a smile.  

Robert Aurrellin kneeling next to the stage of the Luna Auditorium he recently rennovated.  He's holding plaques recognizing his hardwork presented by the Luna Board of Trustees.  Photo by Sherry Goodyear.

Robert Aurrellin kneeling next to the stage of the Luna Auditorium he recently rennovated. He’s holding plaques recognizing his hardwork presented by the Luna Board of Trustees. Photo by Sherry Goodyear.

Hi Brasil Wins Award for Raton Local

by Colette M. Armijo
WJ  250x55RATON — Out of a seemingly quiet garage in the heart of Raton, “Hy Brasil” was born.  Joseph Patrick Rodman, or JP as he is fondly known, fashioned the Show Class Magazine’s People’s Champ winning chopper by pouring over $20K and 3,240 hours of himself into this project.  Rodman, now 40 years old, first began tinkering with mechanics at the young age of 10.  One of his first projects was working on the major restoration of a 1955 Chevy with his dad Joe Rodman.
Born and raised in Raton, Rodman moved to Salt Lake City in 2000 where he began associating with motorcycles and networking in the building arena. He had always been fascinated by Harleys and custom motorcycles.  In 2008, he moved back to the pulsing New Mexico city of Albuquerque where he met his significant other, Nikki Zabicki.  Together, they are an artistic powerhouse.  Zabicki is a designer of urban fashion and decor.  She is also the proud owner/operator of the SHOP and Belt Buckle Maker.  Hand in hand, they moved to Raton in December 2013.
“Hy Brasil” was JP’s first attempt at building a bike.  It is named after a mythical island claimed to lie in the Atlantic Ocean just west of Ireland.  Building this beauty consumed JP’s life from December 2014 to the moments just before final judging in June 2015.  When asked about it, he responded with a face lit up with passion and excitement, “Unreal.  The connections made, the hours worked, all to achieve the ultimate goal of winning. It’s just a guy’s dream come true.”
Rodman’s winning bike has intricate details and features.  Viewing “Hy Brasil” does not disappoint as the first thing that catches the eye is the forward gas tank with resin inlay.  Here, a beautiful rendition of Frank Frazetta’s science fiction art can be seen.  The back wheel is actually a car tire and not a bike wheel.  The white wall tires together with the faux fur on the seat gives “Hy Brasil” the un-mistakeable 60s low rider touch.  Almost all of the parts used on the bike were either purchased via the internet or by special trips made to Denver or Albuquerque.
Show Class Magazine’s People’s Champ competition is open to bikes and builders from all around the world.  Rodman’s bike was one of 24 entries. Voting then took place via social media and other internet sites to whittle the initial 24 down to 13 qualifiers.  The next stage of elimination took place through the votes of builders and former People’s Champs.  “Hy Brasil” made the final 6, side by side with another impressive bike that came all the way from the United Kingdom.  When eventually declared the winner, Rodman acknowledged feeling grateful and overwhelmed.
Together with a feeling of huge accomplishment, winning People’s Champ 2015 earned JP a spot in a prestigious group of builders.  Some of his prizes were motorcycle parts, motorcycle building supplies, a genuine handcrafted personalized leather belt, a knife in a personalized leather sheath, a custom made helmet and gift certificates. Rodman can’t wait to put these thousands of dollars worth of prizes to good use.
Rodman also took up the opportunity to showcase “Hy Brasil” at the recently concluded Wilderness on Wheels benefit.  He feels passionate about this cause which creates the opportunity for disabled persons to gain access to the beautiful and scenic Colorado mountain environment. 
What’s next on the agenda for JP Rodman?  He has his eyes set on the glimmering goal of participating in the Yokohama Hot Rod Customer Show which takes place in Pacifico Yokohama, Japan.  He is also willing to work with clients to help them realize their own ‘Hot Rod’ dreams.  
If ever you are driving through the town of Raton, don’t go too fast or you may just miss “Hy Brasil” rolling on by.
"Hi Brasil" The award winning chopper built by Raton local JP Rodman

“Hi Brasil” The award winning chopper built by Raton local JP Rodman

"Hi Brasil" by Raton Local JP Rodman

“Hi Brasil” by Raton Local JP Rodman

Back to school: the 3Rs of the Affordable Care Act – part 1

by David Tesitor, CLU
WJ  250x55HUERFANO, LAS ANIMAS — When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was first made into law in 2010, some lawmakers had serious concerns about the government’s ability to pay for the program when the bills came due.  Since then, millions of previously uninsured Americans have jumped on the bandwagon and obtained health insurance by utilizing the Advanced Premium Tax Credits the Exchanges offer.  
Over the past year, the World Journal has published several articles explaining the plan, the Connect for Health Colorado exchange, and how it affects Coloradans, specifically those of us living in Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.  Readers in Colfax County, please be aware that the New Mexico exchange is different from Colorado exchange.  
The information we will present over the next three weeks will explain how newly enacted mandates may increase healthcare costs for consumers.  
Consumers can protect themselves against rate increases by understanding the reasons for rate increases and by checking in to the Colorado Connect for Health exchange every open enrollment period to evaluate their choices. 
This article will cover  the individual market, not small group business, and will explain the impact of the 3Rs on insurance companies.  It will help readers understand the complexities behind the law and its twenty thousand plus pages, not counting the many additional amendments which have been added.  For us old-timers, we knew the 3Rs as Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmatic, but the 3Rs of the ACA are Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment.  These terms will  become a part of our financial vocabulary.  
The first reaction most people have when they anticipate their rates will increase is to curse insurance companies and think they are too big and are making huge profits and that their CEO’s are making more money than they should.  In this case though, the insurance companies are working hard to adjust and adapt to parts of the ACA which are changing the way they do business.  
To have a basic understanding of how premiums are determined today, we must first understand how they were determined in the past.  Before the ACA became law, insurance companies were able to determine their risk based on their ability to evaluate the insured’s health status.  They could ask detailed questions and agree to accept the contract or decline coverage.  At that time companies were in control of their risk assumptions and priced their policies accordingly.  
Today under the ACA, everyone is guaranteed  coverage without medical screening which takes the control of the risk factor away from the companies participating in the exchange.  This created a big problem the first year of the ACA because companies did not know what type of claims they were accepting.  To help insurers deal with the risks, another aspect of the law stipulated reimbursement programs which allowed insurance companies to receive additional money for larger claims:  hence began the 3Rs of the Afforable Care Act.
The problem for companies is that all companies must accept all risks and they have no control over who signs up for their plans.  The 3Rs which help shape pricing are Risk corridors, Risk adjustments and Reinsurance.  The easiest way to explain how they work is as follows.  
The more profitable insurance companies which have managed their risks and claims successfully will pay fees to the government through  the Centers of Medicare Services (CMS) which will in turn pay subsidies to the less successful companies which were not as fortunate in managing their risks.  This part of the Affordable Care Act was designed to help insurers share the financial risk of providing health benefits to healthcare customers during the first three years of operation, from 2014 through 2016.
Currently, the Center of Medicare Services (CMS) administers the reimbursement programs but the funding questions have not been totally resolved.  As a result, several weeks ago the Obama Administration agreed to increase insurer subsidies under the transitional reinsurance programs provided under the ACA.  Three weeks later, the US Supreme Court upheld one of the provisions of the ACA saying the advanced premium tax credits are constitutional in all 50 states, and those states on the federal exchange are also entitled to receive these credits.  According to Kevin Paterson, Interim CEO of Connect for Health Colorado, “The U.S. Supreme Court ruling has no impact on customers of Connect for Health Colorado® – or in other states like Colorado that operate their own state-based health insurance marketplaces. We are fortunate that Colorado’s legislature in 2011, on a bipartisan basis, opted to create a state-based Marketplace.”
Next week, we will discuss the implications of this announcement in part two when we dig deeper into the way taxes collected from individuals, businesses and insurance companies will be paying for the ACA for years to come.

Colorful Fun Run in Raton

by Colette M. Armijo
WJ  250x55RATON — “Spreading Color for the Cure one Colorful Step at a Time” will once again take over Roundhouse Park in Raton. 
This fundraiser is in its second year and keeps growing from strength to strength.  In the first year, 2014 saw the community turn out in solidarity and support, and each participant had more colorful fun than they bargained for.
Jami Esquibel, organizer of Raton’s Colorful Fun Run, has participated in Susan G Komen 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk since 2008.  For a participant, there is a $2,300 minimum donation requirement.  Previously she relied on donations and small fundraisers.  She then organized a Fun Walk which was successful from 2010 through 2013.  
Then Esquibel decided to take it up a notch by bringing big city fun to Raton.  This initiative is just one of the many ways that she continues to dedicate her efforts in the fight against cancer.  She is also one of the powerhouses involved in organizing Colfax County’s annual Relay for Life.
Last year, over 225 participants registered for the Colorful Fun Run and each received a uniquely designed t-shirt together with the opportunity to contribute to someday having a world free of breast cancer.  All fundraising goes towards the Susan G Komen Foundation which continues to make progress by leaps and bounds in cancer research.  As the event grows, Esquibel is helped by a wide group of volunteers and is also assisted by her long time friend Karen Wiseman.
For $25, participants get the opportunity to come out, have fun, show support, and at the finish line, all the fun is unleashed in a display of frivolity and human canvases of color.  
This year,  Esquibel will be accompanied by her 37-year-old son Daniel at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk in San Diego November 21-23. This is the first time in seven years that she will not be walking alone.
If you are up for a chance to have a colorful weekend, registration can be done on the day, at the event.  Come prepared for a vibrant experience at 8 am, Saturday July 25 at Roundhouse Park, Raton. With colorful footsteps, you too can contribute to finding a cure!
For registration or more information, Esquibel can be contacted at 575-707-0525 or by emailing her at meryrle@msn.com.


The color bomb from last year's color fun run.

The color bomb from last year’s color fun run.

12th Annual Stonewall Century Bicycle Ride Safe and Successful

WJ  250x55HIGHWAY 12 — Sun and some rain to cool it down a bit; scenic roads, great food, and no injuries. What more could you ask?  
After a one year hiatus, July 18 saw 142 cyclists riding the 12th Annual Stonewall Century Bicycle Ride, organized by the Spanish Peaks Cycling Association (SPCA).  
We would like to thank the scores of volunteers who made the Ride possible and successful.  Volunteers stuff packets, greet and check-in the cyclists, make homemade goodies, staff the aid stations, drive the route to support the riders, and welcome the riders back to the Town Park.  We would also like to thank CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, Sammie’s, Rachael Rheuby and the FFA, and bike mechanics Cathy Cramer and Mark White.  
We look forward to hosting an even better and bigger ride next year.
The 12th Annual Stonewall Century Ride would not have taken place without the generous assistance of our sponsors.  New event sponsors in 2015 include Tercio Foundation, Spradley Auto Group, Skratch Labs, Charlie’s Market, La Veta United Methodist Church, LiveWell Huerfano County, Capture Colorado, Ringo’s Markets, Sangre de Cristo Hospice & Palliative Care, The World Journal, Circle the Wagons RV Park, Rio Cucharas Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Paul Warlick, and Kristi Mountain Sports.  They join our other sponsors, including San Isabel Electric Association, Sammie’s, Two Peaks Fitness, The Signature Newspaper, Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center, Chaè Organics, Bachman & Associates, La Veta Fire Protection District, Stonewall Fire Protection District, Cuchara Valley Physical Therapy, Dr. Chris DiPersio, Paradise Coffee, The Warehouse Suite, Sammie’s, and Orionhost.net. Thank you to all our sponsors for helping us to rebuild our seed money and make the Ride possible.
Spanish Peaks Cycling Association, a La Veta-based 501c7 non-profit, organizes the Stonewall Century to meet three goals:
•To promote cycling and fitness
•To raise money for local non-profits
•To attract visitors to our area
As in previous years, the primary beneficiary of the proceeds raised is the Stonewall Fire Protection District, which supports the aid stations at North Lake and Stonewall and the lunch stop in Segundo. SPCA will also be making donations to the La Veta Fire Protection District, La Veta Public Library, the La Veta FFA, and La Veta Schools.

Cyclist ride Highway 12 up the canyon from Stonewall to the top of Cuchara Pass  Photo by Paul "Snappy" Smith.

Cyclist ride Highway 12 up the canyon from Stonewall to the top of Cuchara Pass Photo by Paul “Snappy” Smith.


Cyclist take a break at the top of Cuchara Pass during the Stonewall Century ride

Cyclist take a break at the top of Cuchara Pass during the Stonewall Century ride

Mitchell Museum Quick Draw a success

by Joy Gipson
WJ  250x55TRINIDAD — The A. R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art held its 5th annual “Quick Draw” fundraiser on the beautiful grounds behind the historic Trinidad courthouse on July 18.
Instead of blazing pistols being drawn, there were blazing paint brushes brandished to complete a work of art in one hour that would immediately be auctioned off and 30% of the sales would benefit the museum.  
It was a cool Saturday morning, and the lush foliage of the park enticed many art lovers to attend with their dogs.  Also attending were a black and white Clydesdale Pinto horse named “Panda” and a seven-week-old calf called Marigold who came all the way from Cimarron, New Mexico with Cara Ansell.  Marigold inspired local artist Carole Bourdo to paint his picture and he upstaged the whole event with his cuteness and curiosity.
The overall scene in the park was a work of art in itself with people in colorful hats and clothing, animals enjoying attention and praise, a woman carrying a parasol and artists busy at their easels, all matted against the background of various shades of green.  It was a scene worthy of a Monet or Renoir painting.  The atmosphere was festive and captivating with the positive enthusiasm of the crowd.     
Back at the museum there was a lively auction and all of the pieces of art were sold.  Fourteen artists participated in the event and netted over a $1,400 donation for the museum.  The audience was encouraged to vote for their favorite piece of artwork and the “People’s Choice Award” went to Paula Little, who painted a stunning still life of flowers in an oil medium.
The museum is located at 150 E. Main Street, in Trinidad.  Call 719-846-4224 or go www.armitchellmuseum.com for more information.  Feel free to contact the museum if you would like to submit a donation.  Feel free to contact the museum if you would like to submit a donation.

Public hearing date set for city annexation

by Eric Mullens
WJ  250x55WALSENBURG —  In an 8-0 vote Tuesday night the Walsenburg City Council passed Resolution 2015-R-19 which set a public hearing date for the First Ranch Annexation Petition.  The hearing was set for 6 pm Tuesday, August 25 at City Hall.
The annexation will cover approximately 200 acres of land on the city owned ranch, plus the approximately 330 acres the city plans to sell to Martra Holdings for their marijuana growing industrial park.
In his report to the city council, Walsenburg City Administrator David Johnston said he had been busy with the annexation issue and has talked with other parties interested in bringing new businesses to the community.  But, no details of future possible annexations or potential new businesses were presented.
The city council passed four new ordinances on second reading dealing with tobacco and marijuana smoking clubs (won’t be allowed); business incentives for new commercial water and waste water tap fee waivers; putting the question of term limit elimination for the city clerk’s position before voters this November, and allowing chicken hens and rabbits to be kept within city limits.
While three of the ordinances passed unanimously; there were three no votes on the chicken hens and rabbit ordinance; Silvana Lind, Craig Lessar and John Salazar.  The ordinance will take effect 30 days from July 21 and calls for a $15 fee and compliance with all terms of the ordinance.  A number of members of LiveWell Huerfano County were present in the audience to support passage of the ordinance.
In other business, the city council voted 8-0 to enter into a multi-year contract with the Colorado Divison of Water Resources to set up a satellite-linked water resources monitoring system for the Gomez Ditch.  Council however did not pass a similar contract concerning the Lake Miriam Ditch, with Mayor Pro Tem Lessar making a motion not to move forward with this contract and instead direct administration to research other monitoring options.  The Lake Miriam Ditch only sees approximately six weeks of water flow per season.  The Gomez Ditch contract calls for a city expenditure of $8,864, plus $200 per month for seven months for operation of the monitoring system.  In addition taxpayers will have to foot the bill for construction of the guage shelter and stilling well.  This brings to a total of six monitoring stations for Walsenburg.  In making the motion to approve the contract for the Gomez Ditch monitoring system, Lessar said it was an important move to ensure the city’s water rights are protected.
Spanish Peaks Community Foundation Chairman Art Bobian appeared on behalf of the organization’s request for a special events liquor permit for the community center for the August 15, 2015 All Class Reunion.  The request passed unanimously.
An executive session was held on personnel matters and Johnston said Wednesday no action was taken.