Latest News – March 27

A Mushroom-ing Business in Saguache Today!

There is “fungus among us” in Saguache Today! And that’s all thanks to San Luis Valley (SLV) Mushrooms

San Luis Valley Mushrooms is having a promotional event about these beautiful fungus at the 4th Street Food Store in downtown Saguache Today!

This sustainable gourmet and medicinal mushroom company will be having their first harvest and promotional event at the 4th Street Food Store in downtown Saguache Today, starting at 10 a.m.  Come in and pick up some fresh oyster mushrooms, talk shop or sign up for harvest notifications where you can purchase fresh mushrooms weekly direct from a harvest.

This new business started last December 2016 with a mission to create better food production, and waste reduction systems through mycology, biology, and technology.  In more simpler terms, it means good food, and yes, proven medicine provided by this special vegetable which comes in such interesting varieties as Blue, King, Pearl, Pink, Phoenix, and Yellow Oysters.

SLV Musrooms utilize spent grains and agricultural waste from local brewers and farmers as a substrate to grow 5 different species of mushrooms. Not once but 5 times over! After harvest, they take the spent substrate and turn it into all natural nutrient rich soil.

Come and learn the flavorful and health benefits of these fungus and then look for these delectables as your local Farmers Markets this Spring 2017. SLV Mushrooms can be reached at 719-298-2882 or 719-849-1817 or connect with them on the SLV Mushroom Facebook Page.

Latest News – March 24

“The Shack” Moves Into Downtown Saguache 

“The Shack” is playing this weekend (March 24-26)  in downtown Saguache, at Cozy Castle Cinema. This film, which is rated PG-13, is a drama based on the best-selling novel by William Paul Young. spacer


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In the movie, “The Shack,” after suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips spirals into a deep depression that causes him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.

The Cozy Castle Cinema in downtown Saguache.

The Cozy Castle Cinema in downtown Saguache.

Showtimes are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 7 p.m.

Ticket prices are $7 with children 3 and under free. The Cozy Castle Cinema is located at 403 4th St, in downtown Saguache. 719-221-4159.spacer

 

Bravo! Bravo! Theater Alive in Saguache Today

The Saguache  Community Players are planning their new theater season with an exciting lineup of fun and varied plays. Beginning in April they will present “The Butler Did It,” a English comedy, murder mystery. Then in late May or early June Saguache’s local school children will join in the fun as the Players present  “Alice in Wonderland.” 

Bravo! Bravo! Community Theater is alive in Saguache Today. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

Bravo! Community Theater is alive in Saguache Today. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

And as the summer heats up so will the group’s efforts in July as they present “Greater Tuna” an hilarious is two-man show starring Saguache locals Martin McKee and Julia Hammel.

If you – or some other theatrical type you know –  is interested in performing in any or all of these productions, please call Julia Hammel at 719-496-6528. Everyone of all ages and talents are encouraged to become a part of this exciting and dynamic theater group in Saguache Today. Break A Leg!

Latest News – March 23

Community-Led Improvement Efforts Reap Funding

The Colorado Trust has provided more than $200,000 in funding for H.E.A.R.T. (Health Equity Action Resident Team) of Saguache/KV to continue its efforts to achieve health equity, ending inequalities so that those most affected will have fair and equitable opportunities to attain good health.

A $3,500 portion of the Colorado Trust funds went toward the weekly Soup Kitchen which takes place Monday evenings at the 4th Street Diner in downtown Saguache. Pictured here are Laura, Laurie, Esther, and Iris. Photo: Saguache Today/ Lynn Nowiskee.

As part of its Community Partnerships initiative, The Colorado Trust, a statewide philanthropic foundation, has been collaborating with H.E.A.R.T. of Saguache/KV community members since 2015 to identify opportunities for change that would improve the lives of those living here. The community has come together in a series of discussions, meetings, events and more, led by a local team of residents who are overseeing the work and creating a plan.

H.E.A.R.T. of Saguache/KV members spent the last year focusing, researching  and implementing short term wins on the issues identified through holding community focus groups in the Saguache/KV, and conducting a resident survey.

H.E.A.R.T. of Saguache/KV  short term wins included:

  • $4,000 to Mountain Valley Schools VISTA for the Back Pack Program; which is a program providing snacks to children for over the weekend while school is not in session.
  • $2,000 to Mountain Valley Schools McKinney-Vento Homeless Fund.
  • $1,000 to Mountain Valley Schools Student Council; to be used for Community Dinners,
  • $1,000 to MVS Booster Club to help cover fees and equipment for those most in need.
  • $3,500 to 4th Street Diner for a weekly Soup Kitchen.
  • $1,000.00 to Home Grown Totes to create the bags for Mountain Valleys Schools VISTA Back Pack Program.
  • $1,000 to the Alpine Achievers Initiative to purchase snacks for Back Pack Program; as well as another
  • $2,000.00 to go toward Alpine Achievers Initiative to go towards the transportation of youth activities.
  • $2,600 went towards the purchase of furniture for Seniors Center including; sofa, love seat, recliner, two end tables, a floor lamp, and 4 round dining tables. Funds also went towards art supplies, and sewing supplies. The Seniors groups also applied for a supplemental grant to purchase computers, and to go towards computer classes for seniors as well.

They are also working with Saguache County Commissioners who have instructed the county attorney to begin drawing up a Memorandum of Understanding for the use of the building. The H.E.A.R.T. of Saguache/KV also gave $3,500 to the Sharing Christmas community initiative in partnership with Saguache County Social Services, Saguache County Public Health, the American Legion, Saguache Volunteer Fire Department, Girl Scouts of America, and community members to put together Holiday Meal Boxes, Supplemental Food Boxes, and Gifts for all children of the neediest households.

It was a packed house at last year’s Thanksgiving Community Meal in Saguache, which was hosted by The Colorado Trust. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

After spending part of the year researching the issues H.E.A.R.T. of Saguache/KV have chosen to prioritize the following: to identify root causes of the issues, to focus on improving the overall well-being of the community, to delve deeply into the key topics of disengagement, and poverty; as these are issues that are most affecting community members in the town of Saguache, and the KV. In addition, the H.E.A.R.T. of Saguache/KV to continue its planning to address the root cause issue areas in expanding community outreach and collaboration; and evaluation supports. Resident members will continue their work efforts as they apply for additional grant funding from The Colorado Trust to support sustainable solutions for those most affected by issues in the community. This funding will allow the group to continue developing a plan to improve the community and make it a healthy, vibrant place to live us.

These focus areas, disengagement and poverty were chosen after a lot of conversation, dialogue and input. The group is grateful for the numerous community members who shared their thoughts, opinions and advice on how we can make our community a better place to live. It has been essential that ALL voices are heard in this process.

The resident team’s fiscal sponsor is the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, who has managed administering the funds from The Colorado Trust. For more information on this resident-led initiative, please contact Laurie Vigil community coordinator at 719-580-6145/heartlvigil@gmail.com or Lacy Reed community organizer at 719-248-1327/lacynicole@me.com

Saguache Works Homegrown Totes Receives Funds

Latest News – March 22

Make Easter Gifts for Others in Saguache Today

Spring is in the air and thoughts turn to greener pastures and warmer weather! Easter is less han a month away! So if you’re looking to do for others during this holiest time of year, then consider joing the basket and card-making fun happening this weekend.

You can help make these beautiful baskets this Saturday at Pitken Avenue Baptist Church to be delivered to the elderly and disabled next month for Easter Sunday, April 16!

On Saturday, March 18, the public is invited to the Pitkin Avenue Baptist Church to make festive Easter baskets and cards! These handmade goodies will be delivered to elderly, disabled and neighbors in Saguache for Easter.

There will be food and fun! See you at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Mar. 18! The groups will meet in Fellowship Hall at the Pitkin Avenue Baptist Church located at 610 7th Street. The church offers services on Sundays: Bible Study 9:30 a.m., Worship service at 11 a.m. For more information contact Pastor Mark Swinney at 719-655-0201.

Lent is Underway With Church Services, Programs

The Lenten Season is underway for Christians around the world, including those living in Saguache Today. Here is some church news.

St. Agnes Mission Church in Saguache.

The San Juan Catholic Community, which includes St. Agnes Mission Church in Saguache is a very unique community consisting of three Main Churches; St. Joseph in Monte Vista, Holy Name of Mary in Del Norte, and St. Francis Jerome in Center. In addition to the three main churches there are six smaller Mission Churches; Immaculate Conception in Creede, Holy Family in South Fork and St. Agnes in Saguache. These churches have regular weekend masses.

Three other small Mission Churches are used once or twice a year for feast days only but do hold enormous historical and sentimental attachment to people from the surrounding areas; St. Francis of Assisi in Plaza de Los Valdeses, San Jose in Agua Ramon and St. John the Baptist in La Garita.

The entire area is currently served by two Diocesan Priests of the Diocese of Pueblo; Fr. Derrek Scott, Pastor & Administrator & Fr. Andres Ayala, Parochial Vicar. The San Juan Catholic Community is a great example of a clustered community working together in Christ.spacer

 

There is a weekly program available for children and youth of all ages on Wednesday nights at the Pitkin Avenue Baptist Church beginning at 4:30 p.m. The evening starts with a light supper, followed by three different age groups.

The groups meet Wednesdays in Fellowship Hall at the Pitkin Avenue Baptist Church located at 610 7th Street. The church offers services on Sundays: Bible Study 9:30 a.m., Worship service at 11 a.m. For more information contact Pastor Mark Swinney at 719-655-0201.

 

Latest News – March 21

From The State Board of Education: School Choice

The topic of school choice continues to gain momentum at both the state and federal levels. To that end, Saguache Today offers the following column on the matter from Joyce Rankin, your Colorado State Board of Education Representative for th eMountain Valley School District. She may be reached at joycerankin@yahoo.com.

School Choice: Your Options May Be Changing

By Joyce Rankin, State Board of Education, Third Congressional District.

School choice is a term for K-12 public education options describing a wide array of programs offering students and their families’ alternatives to those publicly provided schools assigned based on the location of their family residence. Two popular school choices are Charter Schools and Open Enrollment.

Charter Schools are public schools that are founded by parents, teachers or community members. They provide alternative educational programs that differ from traditional public schools. Colorado charter schools operate by way of a contract (charter) that has been authorized either by a school district or the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI).

Colorado State Board of Education Representative Joyce Rankin (photo)

An example of school choice in Western Colorado offers the Durango School District in southwest Colorado both types of charter schools and multiple other offerings.  Durango has two Charter School Institute schools and four private schools. This year the district opened their first online school with Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, an online platform available to students across the state.  They also have a new elementary school as well as a new public charter school sponsored by the district.

Superintendent, Dan Snowberger, is a supporter of school choice. Last November, Durango passed a $1.7 million mill levy override that would be shared equally with charter school students.  Schools under the Charter School Institute typically do not get a piece of mill levy override money.  Said Snowberger, “The district’s actions said loud and clear that it embraces and values each and every one of the students in their public schools.”

In Lake County School District (LCSD), as reported in Leadville Today the online news source serving Lake County, parents are taking advantage of open enrollment to select a school that they believe is the best choice for their children. Open enrollment allows students to enroll in schools outside the district for which they are zoned.

The State Board of Education, Third Congressional District. includes the Mountain Valley School District in Saguache County.

LCSD includes three schools: West Park Elementary, Lake County Intermediate and the recently upgraded Lake County High School. Lake County also has a charter school, Greater Heights Academy with 52 students. Even with a physical school upgrade many parents choose to travel in order to exercise their educational choices. With a total of 911 students enrolled within the district, 61 Leadville students, travel to Buena Vista School District, 32 are enrolled in Summit County School District and 22 students are driven over Vail Pass daily to attend Eagle County School District. 

Parents want to be involved in their child’s education and often take advantage of opportunities other than their local neighborhood school. In Durango it was a fairness issue of distributing tax dollars equally to include Charter Schools and expanding online choices. In Leadville it united parents with carpooling and community discussions about what neighboring schools had to offer. In both cases parents are taking an active role in selecting the school that best fits their child. Under the new administration there may be more school choice programs on the horizon…..stay tuned.

Joyce Rankin is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District. She writes the monthly column, “Across the Street” to inform constituents in her district.  The Department of Education, where the State Board of Education meets, is located across the street from the Capitol. 

 

Latest News – March 20

Chamber Board Election Underway in Saguache Today

The Saguache Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors election is underway and chamber members have until March 31 to cast their ballots for two of four nominations.

Chamber Board Secretary Carlita Quinn presents at the 2016 planning conference last January.  The Saguache Chamber election is underway with four nominees for two open Board positions presented to voting members in good standing . Photo: Saguache Today.

Voting is open only to chamber members in good standing (2017 dues have been paid). If you or your business have been considering becoming a Saguache Chamber members, dues are very reasonable compared to the benefits the chamber provides through local events support, as well as member benefits of marketing opportunities and a popular speaker program created to share information among entrepreneurs and programs all up and down the San Luis Valley. Contact Carita Ginn, Secretary, Saguache Chamber of Commerce for membership information at lalady50@hotmail.com or check out the chamber website

In the meantime, for voting chamber members, John Darden of Las Cruces, NM (officially, although he also owns property in Saguache County) has been designated as the election official by the Saguache Chamber Board of Directors, per the Election Rules outlined in Article IV of the By Laws of the Chamber of Commerce: Officers, Section 1. Officers, paragraph 3.

While that might sound a bit procedural for a small town chamber, it speaks well to the group’s organization, and willingness to be transparent with an independent official. Darden has provided a detailed timeline to members indicating that the chamber election closes on March 31, with new officers slated to be seated at the next chamber meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Saguache Road & Bridge Meeting Room. John Darden may be reached via email at  JOHNDARDEN@ZIANET.COM   

The four Saguache Chamber Board Nominees are: Theo Boudreaux, Marge Hoglin, Carla Quintana, Byron Williams. Thanks to everyone who accepted the nomination to serve their local chamber. Saguache Today will let you know the election results when they come in.

Latest News – March 17