Saguache News – May 22

Free Food Safety Class in Saguache on Wednesday

Attention restaurant workers and festival food vendor folks . . . did you know you need to take a food safety handling class every 2 years? Have you taken on recently? If not, you’re in luck because there is a Basic Food Safety class being held TOMORROW – Wednesday, May 23, at the Saguache County Road & Bridge meeting room. 

The course is free of charge and being provided by the San Luis Valley Health Partnership.

If you work in a kicthen or want to, plane to attend this Friday's Food Safety Course in Sguahce. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.
If you work in a kitchen or want to, plan to attend the Food Safety Course in Saguache. Photo: Saguache Today/ Lynn Nowiskee. 

 The class time is from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Attendees may qualify for a Basic Food Safety Certificate that is valid for one year.  No RSVP is required, but it is recommended.

This course covers the basic requirements for persons who work in commercial food establishments. Topics include hygienic practices, sick policies, hand washing requirements, food contamination and temperatures, safe food handling practices to prevent cross contamination, the danger zone, cooking temperatures, thawing procedures, rapid cooling and reheating and toxic chemical use and storage.

This course is for all of you who prepare foods for the public, whether as a commercial food provider or an individual preparing foods for festivals, events, or other public functions. Come learn the do’s and don’ts of food preparation and serving. This course is also good for those who attend various events to shop. Having this basic knowledge will help you decide who you should buy food from and who you shouldn’t!

Regional Environmental Health Program based out of the Alamosa County Public Health Department hopes to see local residents there to prepare for the 2018 spring, summer, and fall festival seasons! Call 719-587-5206 for more information.


Food vendors for local summer and fall festivals can take advantage of the upcoming FREE Food Safety Class Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.



Saguache News – May 21

Three’s a Charm: Blessings in Saguache Today

After months of planning and preparing the blessed event has finally arrived – in THREE very meaningful ways. First, Congratulations to the Class of 2018! You did it! Nine students from Mountain Valley Schools (MVS) turned their tassels last Saturday at a meaningful ceremony attended by parents, family and friends, as teachers and staff wished them all the best as they head off to new endeavors and a bright future. 

MVS Graduates 2018

The Graduates from Mountain Valley Schools, Class of 2018. Congratulations! Photo: Lacy Nicole Harford-Reed‎.

Second, while graduating seniors commemorated an ending,  it was a blessed new beginning and congratulations to Mountain Valley School (MVS) Superintendent Travis Garoutte and his wife Amy who welcomed a baby girl into their family on May 15. Welcome to Saguache Today, little Avery!

Thirdly, there will be another “blessing” event this Wednesday, May 23 as the MVS holds its ground breaking ceremony for the new school. In conjunction with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, school officials and staff, students, parents and community members will gather at 2 p.m. for the official Ute Tribal Blessing of the land the new facility will be built on.

It’s a time of endings and new beginnings in Saguache Today. Be a part of it all!Sag_School Ground Breaking

The Superintendent’s Corner

By Travis Garoutte, MVS Superintendent

You have probably heard the famous quote, “When one door closes another opens.” Scientist, inventor, and innovator Alexander Graham Bell is credited with this quote; however, what he actually said is a little longer and a bit more meaningful. The full quote reads like this: “When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

Life is constantly changing as we experience growth and improvement, as well as loss and suffering. During my lifetime, I have had many doors close, and new ones have always opened up. Oftentimes, these changes did not make sense to me and I would spend my time looking at the closed door trying to understand the situation, always ignoring the possibilities of new doors opening up. In retrospect, as I get older (and hopefully wiser), I can clearly see why doors of the past have closed, always leading to open doors full of personal growth, improvement, and lessons learned along the way.

Just recently, a new door opened for us, a door that will forever change our lives. On May 15, 2018, our daughter Avery Ann Jenine was born. After months of anxiety, fear, anticipation, and excitement, Amy and I have a new baby girl and we are blessed beyond belief. I had worried that the door to my life as I knew it was closing; however, the moment Avery was born, it was love at first sight and that little girl stole my heart. It seems as though I spent a lot of time worrying about the closing door without even realizing how amazing it would be to step through the open door.

Avery Ann Jenine Baby

Avery was welcomed into the Garoutte family on May 15. Photo by Stephanie Buechler.

During my five years at Mountain Valley School, I have seen many doors close and open. After the door closed for me as a teacher at Sargent School, I became a 6th-grade teacher to a class full of awesome kids at Mountain Valley. That door closed and a new door opened as PreK-12 principal of Mountain Valley School, where I had an entire school full of amazing students! Shortly thereafter, the principal door closed and the superintendent door opened. I miss the daily interactions with kids that I used to have as a teacher, but I am honored to work towards improving Mountain Valley School District for our students, families, and community.

We are headed toward the future of Mountain Valley School, and doors are opening and closing at a rapid rate. Abatement and demolition projects will begin in early June, starting with the cafeteria, woodshop, and bus barn. The Groundbreaking and Blessing Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 23 at 2 p.m. Mr. Hanley Frost from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Culture and Education Department will be on campus to share Ute history of Saguache and bless our new school. FCI Constructors, Treanor HL Architects & Engineers, and NV5 will be on site as well. Everyone is invited to join us as the new Mountain Valley School construction doors open and we begin building the future!

As the school year ends and we begin summer break, change will be inevitable. Remember Alexander Graham Bell’s advice and take some time to reflect and enjoy the past while looking optimistically towards the future.

Saguache News – May 17

Stay With Me Here…

By Joyce Rankin, Colorado Board of Education

Joyce Rankin

Joyce Rankin

Have you wondered how students, in Colorado, compare academically to students in other states?  There is a nationally recognized test given every other year to fourth and eighth graders that has been around since 1969. It’s a snapshot of how our students are achieving in school. The test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report, is known as the Nation’s Report Card. It uses a carefully designed sampling procedure that allows the assessment to be representative of the geographical, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the schools and students in the United States. The recently released 2017 scores show that the United States as a whole hasn’t improved significantly over time.

NAEP is the most extensive continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation’s students know and can do in subjects such as mathematics, reading, science, and writing. It’s not used to isolate school district or individual student achievement but is used to compare state-to-state achievement. Colorado test scores have remained relatively stagnant, however an interesting statistic emerged with the recent NAEP test results for Colorado 8th graders.

Luke Ragland, President of ReadyCO, an organization working to improve education in Colorado, believes that parents should be able to send their children to a public school of their choice. Public Charter Schools are a popular choice for many parents and are part of the public school system. While few options are available in rural Colorado, there are some, including 32 charter schools operating in the area that I represent, the Third Congressional District. Colorado Charter Schools serve a higher percentage of students of color and English Language Learners (ELL) than Colorado’s traditional public schools and receive less funding on average than Colorado’s traditional public schools.

Ragland studied the recent NAEP scores of 8th graders in Colorado Charter Schools. He then compared these Charter School scores to test scores of eighth grade students in public schools throughout the US. The result was that Colorado’s Public Charter Schools outperform the public schools across the nation in both 8th-grade math and 8th-grade reading.

Colorado Charter Schools outperformed all public schools in the Nation. However, all of Colorado eighth graders also deserve a “High Five.”

If we only look at all of Colorado’s 8th graders, including charters, they come in at 17th place, out of 50 states in Math and 8th place in Reading. National averages are 24th and 25th respectively. Congratulations to all eighth grade students, teachers and parents!

Joyce Rankin, a retired teacher, is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District, which includes Saguache County. She writes the monthly column, “Across the Street” to share with constituents in her district.  The Department of Education, where the State Board of Education meets, is located across the street from the Capitol.

Saguache News – May 16

Yoga Classes Start New Year in Saguache Today 

Spring is a time of new beginnings and renewal. What better way to celebrate that spirit than checking in at Thursdays in May with Suzanne Rouge.  These sessions are being offered at the BEBOP Studio at 317 San Juan Avenue in downtown Saguache. BeBop_ Suzanne Rouge

Find the special session or class that will help you get to the root of some of your biggest health issues. Reflexology for Self Care will be held from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and is offering the session for a donation. Enjoy a reflexology session designed to induce deep relaxation and bring balance to all levels of being. A reflexology session using plant medicines provides stimulus to move energies along meridian lines in the body. All organs have an acupressure touch point in the feet. Reflexology induces deep relaxation; revitalizes energy; opens and clears neural pathways; increases circulation, oxygen and nutrients. It helps to combat the effects of stress; stimulates the endocrine system; strengthens the immune system; stabilizes glandular activity; increases endorphins and breaks down and dissolves uric acid and calcium deposits. The plant medicines are synergistic and are adaptogens, able to establish the proper balance emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

“What makes my sessions unique is a focus on the emotional and spiritual realms through the movement of energy. It was working with the Medicine Wheel that led me to the plant medicines and reflexology,” states Suzanne on her website. “The Medicine Wheel is designed to help us reach balance on all levels of being. Reflexology grounds and balances the positive and negative currents of energy flowing through the body: the yin and yang; action, inaction; creative, receptive aspects of our nature. A session can re-pattern beliefs to optimize growth helping to regenerate and encode new messages in the matrix of the life force fields.”

BeFit_Saguache works

BeBop Studio is owned and operated by Saguache Works and is located at 317 San Juan Avenue.

All session are held at BeBOP Studio, located next to The Wapiti Coffeehouse at 317 San Juan Avenue. Suzanne is also offering $10 off a Pampering Session Gift Certificate – perfect for that special graduate! 

Suzanne resides in the San Luis Valley but will be available in Saguache on Thursdays. Contact her by phone at 970-308-1415 or via email at

Saguache News – May 15

Hay . . . There’s a Directory for That!

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting listings for the 2018 Colorado Hay Directory. The annual publication connects hay producers with buyers.
SanLuisValley_Hay_Saguache Today

Get your ranch or farm registered with the 2018 Colorado Hay Directory

“Every year we receive calls from buyers across the country looking for Colorado hay. With the current drought conditions, this directory may be even more important for livestock owners this year,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “The publication is also a valuable way for Colorado producers to market their hay.”

The listing fee is $25, and the deadline is June 15, 2018. Forms are available at Colorado State University (CSU) Extension offices or by contacting the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

This free directory will be available in August through CSU Extension offices and various horse and livestock associations in the state as well as at agricultural events such as the Colorado State Fair, National Western Stock Show and the Colorado Farm Show. The directory will also be online HERE.

Each listing includes the type and amount of hay available, bale type and size, whether or not laboratory analysis is available, certified weed free status and identifies organic hay. Listings are grouped by region of the state. The directory also includes listings for companies that offer hay-related products or services. Advertising opportunities are also available at $50 for a half-page ad or $90 for a full-page ad.


For more information or to receive a Colorado Hay Directory listing form, contact the Markets Division at (303) 869-9175, e-mail or visit

Saguache News – May 14

Coffeehouse Celebrates Saguache Artist

Tomorrow marks the opening of a special art exhibit at The Wapiti Coffeehouse in downtown Saguache. Do you know Don-the-honey-guy? Most folks do and are familiar with his antique truck and those delicious jars of golden honey he pedals at just about every event in town. It’s what’s keep folks coming back for more.


Local beekeeper Don Baker 

For readers who may not know, Don’s late wife MaryBeth was a talented artist. And so to mark what would have been her 76th birthday (May 15) Baker has partnered with the coffeehouse to display her works.

Stop by The Wapiti Coffeehouse anytime between 5 – 7 p.m. for the opening celebration on Tuesday and show your support for Saguache artist MaryBeth Baker. Come check out this woman’s stunning Colcha Art and Paintings and enjoy a ride through time as you view polaroid photos of their time spent together. Some readers may also remember MaryBeth as the science teacher at Mountain Valley Schools some years ago.Wapitit Artists Display Mary Beth

Stop by The Wapiti, socialize for a few, and if you haven’t had a chance to check out Saguache’s newest coffeehouse this is a good time to do so. You can read their story HERE.  The Wapiti Coffeehouse is located at 319 San Juan Avenue behind Southwest Bank in downtown Saguache.


Saguache News – May 13

Celebrate Mother’s Day in Saguache Today

It’s a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who show their love, commitment and dedication to their families and everything that they do – this day is for you!happy-mothers-day-flowers (1)

If you’re looking for a delicious way to show Mom how much you appreciate her, then head over to The Village Pub and take advantage of their Mother’s Day special: “Mom’s Cherry Chocolate Escape” cheesecake. Today Sunday, May 13 the Pub is offering a slice of cheesecake, an appetizer and a cup of coffee, all  for only  $10. The Village Pub is located in downtown Saguache at 401 4th Street. They are open today from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Other dining options include the 4th Street Diner, The Wapiti Coffeehouse and the Oasis Restaurant located out along the highway.