Latest News – May 5

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“Boss Baby” Arrival Creates Comedy Rivalry

“The Boss Baby” is playing this weekend (May 5 – 7)  in downtown Saguache, at Cozy Castle Cinema. The Boss Baby is an animated comedy, loosely based on the 2010 picture book of the same name written and illustrated by Marla Frazee. 

In the movie, a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator — a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim. The most unusual Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrives at Tim’s home in a taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. The instant sibling rivalry must soon be put aside when Tim discovers that Boss Baby is actually a spy on a secret mission, and only he can help thwart a dastardly plot that involves an epic battle between puppies and babies.

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.

Latest News – May 4

Clear the Way: Spring Arrives in Saguache Today

It’s that time of year! As the snow melts away, and lawns and hillsides everywhere give up their winter treasures and trash, it’s time to do some spring cleaning! And when you live in Saguache Today, that means cleaning up the irrigation ditches. All of those leaves that never got raked before the snow covered them up, can clog the water passage, and lead to flooding of adjacent property. So if you see a ditch that needs clearing, feel free to help out and keep things flowing in Saguache Today.

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Hillary Conroy has taken up her rake to remove debris from the town’s ditches that run along Otto Mears Park. Conroy says that she has been doing this for several years as a means to keep the ditch from flooding her property. This is just one example of the issues that need to be addressed and remedied when ditch cleaning is not preformed by the land owners responsible. Residents are encouraged to help do their part! Photo: Saguache Today/ Mary Johnson.

Speaking of Saguache’s historic ditches which always seem to take center stage in conversation this time of year, in this post Saguache Today honors a member of the community – Kate Vasha – who sadly passed away last week. Vasha was a vibrant and involved resident who served on many boards and organizations, including as a Trustee for the Town of Saguache. She was knowledgeable and her opinion has well-respected, even if you didn’t agree! In honor of her memory, Saguache Today re-prints her column about the town ditches which was published on the town website. So, pick up a rake and “clear the way . . . for Kate!” RIP

So…Why Town Ditches?

By Kate Vasha, originally published on the Town of Saguache website

Saguache is gridded by a system of open ditches that carry water during the summer irrigation season. The ditches are as old as the town, legacy of the acequia system that brought water for lawns and gardens in the days before a modern water and sewer system was put in from 1966-1968. Some new- —and not so new- —comers to our town question why we need the ditches at all these days, asking the Town Board why they can’t just fill them in.

The short answer: If you like having water coming out of your faucets, you should like the ditches and help take care of them. But, wait, you may be thinking: Town water comes from wells, right? So what does that have to do with ditches? To answer, I’ll have to run through a short and wildly simplified history of Colorado water law.

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It’s the ditches in Saguache Today that bring the water to all of those beautiful trees and garden! Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

The first thing you need to know is that in this state water is a property right. The right to use water is owned, and that ownership is administered by its own court system—yes, Water Court. When Anglo settlers came to the San Luis Valley and started using water from creeks and rivers, they filed in court for the right to use the water. (Earlier Hispanic settlers used water in a more communal way.) The basic rule of water use on Saguache Creek and elsewhere is “First in Time, First in Right.” That means the owner of the #1 surface water right on Saguache Creek get to take water from the creek for irrigation before owner of the #2 right, and so on down the line.

The Town of Saguache is lucky to own a good surface water right: Half of #7. Why is this important and what does it have to do with ditches and the town wells? Simply put, surface rights tend to be senior to rights held by people who own and use well water. When center pivot irrigation replaced the older system of flood irrigation in the Valley, more and more wells were drilled, and the massively increased use of well water started dropping the water levels in and around the Valley and affecting those senior water rights. That’s what the surface rights owners have been saying for years in court. As someone once said, “In Colorado, whiskey’s for drinking, water’s for fighting.”

After years of wrangling, in 2012 the Colorado Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to a plan that decrees that all users of non-exempt wells in the Valley—commercial, agricultural or municipal—have to create augmentation plans to mitigate injuries to surface right owners. (Residential wells that pump less than 50 gallons a minutes are exempt.)

This means that owners of wells that aren’t exempt either have to augment (replace) water they are pulling out of the ground or pay into an augmentation fund—or shut their wells off. This has led not only to more wrangling, but also to the creation of subdistricts, which I will NOT go into here.

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When the water flows – through the historic ditches in Saguache Today – the trees grow, and grow and grow! Clear a ditch of debris and help a tree grow! Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

I am finally getting to why you should love our ditches, but first have to tell you about one more Colorado water term: “Use It or Lose It.” Simply put, that means that if you have a water right and don’t use the amount of water you’re allowed, you can lose that right. And that is why it’s important for us to maintain our ditches and keep water flowing through them.

Here it comes—the connection between the ditches and our wells: Because the Town owns a senior surface water right, we can use the water we are allowed under the right in the augmentation plan for our town wells. Since an augmentation plan is based on “historical use” of surface water, the more water the town diverts into our ditches, the more our municipal wells can legally pump. Without our water right and ditches, we would have to try to buy other surface water rights or pay into the augmentation system—costs that would show up in your water bill. The Town Board is working with water experts to decide exactly what tour augmentation plan will be. But whatever it finally looks like, you will be able to thank those pesky ditches and the water that runs down them for allowing us to have a plan that works and for keeping your water bill down.

Publisher’s note: There have been great strides of progress on the town’s water plan since this was initially published. Readers can find that story: HERE.

Latest News – May 3

Salsa, Cerveza and Sambas in Saguache

South of the border in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is commemorated in a more ceremonial manner, marking the date of the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. cincoHowever, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance way beyond that celebrating Mexican-American culture, in a sea of cerveza, salsa and samba dancing late into the night! And this year – the inaugural year – you can join the fiesta this Friday, May 5 in downtown Saguache.

A Cinco de Mayo Street Festival will be held on 4th Street this Friday, May 5 from noon to 7 p.m. The fiestas will include everything you think it should from a green chili cook-off to live music, to vendors, a car show and  activities for the kids.


Fiesta-lovers can also find some Cinco de Mayo fun at the Oasis Restaurant. This Friday, May 5, come and  celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Oasis Restaurant from 8 p.m. until midnight.

Oasis Restaurant.jpgThey will have a special Cinco menu including lots of their tasty Mexican food specials. Cold cerveza can also be found from the keg at a dollar cup or $4 for a pitcher in the beer garden.

The Oasis Restaurant is located off the highway at 630 Gunnison Ave.  (719) 655-2884.


Latest News – May 1

** CORRECTION **Chamber Speaker Program Continues Tuesday

Tomorrow, May 2, the popular Saguache Chamber of Commerce Speaker Program continues with Loraine Quintana-Williams of Big Valley Motel and The Wigwam Hair Salon. 

Big Valley MotelAccording to their website, The Big Valley Motel,  was built and established by Al and Pauline Quintana in 1954.  It’s been in continuous operation ever since. The Quintanas started by building one and two units at a time.  They expanded as money and time allowed. 

Currently it is owned and operated by their oldest daughter, Loraine, who will also be the speaker Tuesday evening.  She has done extensive remodeling and added many upgrades to the motel. Kitchenettes are available with reasonable rates, exceptionally clean rooms and the motel has been rated #1 by Trip Advisor. 

Loraine explains that the next upgrade will make the outside of the motel more appealing to the eye, so embrace the 50’s look while you can, she says!  

WIFI, microwaves and refrigerators are available for your convenience. Also, please note the policy for the motel is NO SMOKING AND NO PETS ALLOWED.  The Big Valley Motel is located at 440 Gunnison, Saguache, Colo.

Quintana-Williams keeps herself busy as she is also the owner of Wigwam Hair Salon at 125 San Juan in Saguache. She offers a variety of hair care services including cuts, colors and more. 719-655-2567.

So plan to come and listen to this successful entreprenuer and chamber member tell her story The Chamber Speaker Program begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 at the County Road & Bridge at 305 3rd. St. in Saguache.

Please contact the Chamber at or call Barry  Van Sant at 719-322-7298 if you have any questions about membership or the Chamber Speaker Program.


Latest News – April 28

“Power Rangers” Arrive In Downtown Saguache 

“Power Rangers” is playing this weekend (April 28-30)  in downtown Saguache, at Cozy Castle Cinema. This action adventure film, which is rated PG-13, features your favorite American teenagesuperheroes. 

In the movie, “Power Rangers,” five ordinary teens must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.

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.

Latest News – April 27

Library Programs: Legal Advice to School News

Tonight Thursday, Apr. 27 is the FREE Virtual Legal Clinic held at the Saguache Public Library. This clinic provides confidential one-on-one legal advice for low  income, unrepresented residents of the San Luis Valley by video conference.  Attorneys can answer legal questions, help with court forms and explain the law and procedure for many legal issues, such as Family Law, Landlord/Tenant Law, Protection Orders, Consumer Law/Collections, Probate and Small Claims. 


Get lost in the stacks at the Saguache Library located at 702 Pitkin Avenue.

This clinic is first come, first served and runs from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Saguache Public Library. The next clinic will take place on Thursday, May 25 for more information and pre-qualify,  email Sarah Koehn Frey at

Also at the Saguache library on Friday, Apr. 28, Travis Garoutte and Kathy Hill with Mountain Valley School will present a program at the libarary starting at 6 p.m.  The discussion will focus on new programs, as well as safety issues with the current school buildings and the need for a new school. This will be the library’s final Friday program for the year. But summer fun is just around the corner, so stay tuned and connected on the Northern Saguache County Library District Facebook Page.

The Friends of the Library is looking for new and renewing members to join up. Memberships range anywhere from $5 for individuals, $10 for families, $25 for sustaining members, $50 for super friends,  and $100 for gold members.  Stop by the library and fill out a form; All donations are tax deductible. 

Memberships along with two bake sales, and three root beer float bar sales are the primary means for raising money for the library.  The donation’s received from book sales in the library, as well as the Hogs and Hot Air Community Meal and the Holiday Bazaar Christmas tree and paintings also help raise money. 


The Friends of the Library fundraising efforts have purchased new computers, which are heavily used by many Saguache residents, from students to adults! Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

With that money the Friends bought new computers, which are heavily used. In addition, they purchased some computer friendly chairs, books on CD, replaced the back door to the library and purchased new books.  With a decrease in tax revenue for the library they are hoping for more contributions during 2017 to use as matching funds for future projects.  Of course, the Friends of the Library will continue with their bake sales and root beer float bars throughout the summer.

Latest News – April 26

Hoglin Retires from Saguache Works, New Leaders in Place

Marge Hoglin, co-founder and Executive Director of Saguache Works announced her retirement yesterday, April 25. In a letter sent to Saguache Today, Hoglin expressed her gratitude to the community:


Saguache Works Co-founder Marge Hoglin announced her official retirement from the nonprofit after five years of hard work and many successes. Photo: Saguache Today

“With gratitude and thankfulness for five years of community support, I am pleased to retire from Saguache Works and turn the organization over to a competent professional staff and dedicated team of volunteers and board members.”

It was nearly five years ago in May 2012 when the first seeds were planted for the public/private partnership that has not only produced a major retail anchor for the downtown Saguache business district, but has come to be a model proving out great success in the nonprofit sector. Riding on the initial wave of the Saguache Downtown Revitalization project, Saguache Works has now established itself as a community gathering place, offering everything from organic and locally grown foods at the 4th Street Food Store, to clothing and household goods available through Blue Earth Thrift & Mercantile Store, to offering community-oriented exercise and other educational classes, just to name a few.

The business has also created jobs in Saguache. Earlier this month, was the announcement of Laura Lozano to the position of General Manager of the grassroots nonprofit.

In addition, the thrift store has been seeing great leadership from Candice Hess, who recently took on additional responsibilities.

Mercantile Thrift Store Saguache Today

Taking on new responsibilities at the Blue Earth Thrift and Mercantile, Candice Hess (pictured left) is ready to help customers find that special something! Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

But perhaps the greatest stride in the nonprofit’s success came with the February 2016 purchase of the two buildings, demonstrating not only the model’s success, but it’s impressive sustainability through storefront profits and generous grants, including Saguache County, which heralded a specific point of gratitude in Hoglin’s retirement letter:

“I’d like to thank the Saguache County Commissioners for their trust and ongoing support,” stated Hoglin. To read the entire message in Hoglin’s Retirement Letter, click on the highlighted link.

In an interview with Saguache Today, Hoglin indicated that while she didn’t have any specific plans for her new schedule, she expressed a certain relief of having more free time at this point in her life, and perhaps do a bit more traveling.

“As co-founder of Saguache Works and former executive director (on a volunteer basis), I am so proud of the volunteers who worked with me to make this happen.  And I am proud to leave the organization in sound financial health, able to pay decent wages while still providing heathly food at affordable prices, free exercise programs, recycled clothing, books and food at extremely low prices, job opportunities with Homegrown Totes, and hope for the future,” Hoglin stated in her letter.

And while transitions can be challenging, with new managers in place and the nonprofit on solid ground, the future looks bright for Saguache Works.

“Saguache Works is grateful to Marge Hoglin for her leadership in creating a community treasure,” stated June Savage, President of the Saguache Works Board of Directors. “We are fortunate to have our staff, volunteers and some new faces to continue the legacy of community involvement.”  

If you are interested in becoming involved with Saguache Works, please contact them by stopping into to 404 4th Street in downtown Saguache, or give a call at 719-655-0216.

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Saguache Works thrives on 4th Street in downtown Saguache. Photo: Saguache Today.