Tag Archives: Saguache Today

Saguache News – October 16

Here Comes The Judge – Is It You!?

By Trish Gilbert, Saguache County Clerk & Recorder

Student Election Judge Program

Are you interested in shaping your community?   Voters elect our leaders and governing bodies whose decisions influence events in the state of Colorado, the United States and, as recent events have proven, the world.    Student Election Judges share firsthand in those events on election day assisting voters as they exercise their constitutional right marking their ballot choices for candidates and issues.  Contact the Saguache County Clerk’s Team today to find out how to be a part of this grass roots lesson in democracy.

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Saguache Town Election Judges (left to right) Alice Wardlow, Bill Hazard and Caroline Irwin helped residents cast their votes in the 2016 Election. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

The State Legislature enacted legislation that allows Juniors and Seniors in High School to work at polling places as Student Election Judges. State Statute makes the following provisions:

  • Student Election Judges need not be registered electors.  There are no party affiliation requirements for Student Election Judges.
  • Be at least 16 years old and a Junior or Senior “in good standing” at a public or private high school at the time of the election at which they plan to work;

Submit an application;

  • Have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian;
  • Have the approval of their school’s principal or designated administrator;
  • Be U.S. citizens by the date of the election at which they are scheduled to work;
  • Be willing to serve – knowing that Election Day runs from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. – or longer;
  • Be physically and mentally able to perform the duties of an Election Judge;
  • Attend a mandatory Election Judge class prior to each election at which they work;
  • Never have been convicted of election fraud, other election offenses or fraud; and
  • Not be related to any candidate on the ballot in the precinct where they are working.
  • All applicants must have a Social Security number, which is required on the application. Students cannot be paid without a Social Security number.
  • Even before you turn 18 you can register to vote, and can take part in the election process.

BENEFITS:

  • You will be paid.
  • Practical experience serving your community.
  • Election Judge experience looks great on a resume or college application.
  • Take part in a rewarding activity while learning about the democratic process!

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • As a student election judge, you will serve alongside other adult election judges at the VSPC (Voter Service and Polling Center). Some of the duties student election judges assist with are:
  • Checking-in voters at the polling places
  • Assisting electors in casting their ballots.
  • Serve as mail-in, mail ballot or early voting judges.

Student Election Judges will be compensated for working Election Day.  Additionally, they may receive payment for attending the mandatory Election Judge Class.

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Local Elections Matter!

Since its inception in 2000, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Student Election Judges Program has been a great success for students and a bonus for the county election officials and educators who have participated in the program. During the 2012 Presidential Election hundreds of students around the state joined the ranks of adult Election Judges working cooperatively setting up polling locations, processing voters, ballots and tallying the votes cast.

Student Election Judges will be appointed by and will serve at the discretion of the local Election Official (County Clerk).

Ultimately, we hope it motivates these students to become active voters in their communities and election judge resources for future elections.

Our team would like to give a shout out to Jody Abeyta for recruiting two students from Mountain Valley High School, Samantha Clark and Azlyn DeHerrera, who will be working with us as election judges for the General Election.  Great job Jody and ladies!!

 

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Saguache News – October 15

Saguache News – October 15

4-H Enrollment Opens This Week

Postal Customers in Saguache Today and the San Luis Valley could see more than their mail-in election ballot in their mailbox this week as the 2018-19 4-H San Luis Valley enrollment opens. According to 4-H October newsletter, check your email or mailbox around October 16 for complete info on enrolling or re-enrolling in the San Luis Valley 4H group for the 2018-19 year!4H Click

Enrollment will once again be conducted through 4HOnline. Re-enrollment for existing 4-H members will run through January 4. New members can enroll, and existing members can add and drop projects, through March 31. Organizers of the agriculture-focused, youth group encourages folks to re-enroll early to get in their system and be eligible for camp and event registration. Do not miss the January 4 deadline for re-enrollment, or you will not be eligible to participate in 4-H or compete with 4-H projects in the SLV Fair.

If you have trouble with re-enrollment once the system reopens, give our office a call. They can walk you through common problems. If you have limited internet access, or want in-person support, drop by the office during office hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adults Needed as 4H Volunteers

The San Luis Valley 4-H youth development program is looking for adults to share their knowledge as volunteers. These volunteers will leverage their experiences and interests to help youth build life skills in various subject areas.

“Volunteers are essential to help youth make the most of the wide variety of learning experiences they are presented with in 4-H,” said Amy Henschen, 4-H Extension Agent with Colorado State University. “We are currently looking for adults to serve as project leaders or help with workshops and school programming so we can better serve youth in the Valley.”

Volunteering with 4-H is an opportunity for people to share their personal interests by demonstrating expertise in subjects as varied as robotics, food and nutrition, public speaking, agricultural science, shooting sports and more. A person doesn’t have to have a degree in a specific field to become a volunteer in the 4-H program. Instead, they just need a passion for working with children and an interest in a certain area.

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As a 4-H volunteer you will play a key role as an adult mentor and role model for young people that live in your community. MORE INFO.

Adults can choose to serve as project leaders, helping kids enrolled in specific areas learn and complete their project requirements, or as area activity leaders, helping at specific workshops or school programs. Project leaders are needed in a variety of areas, including shooting sports, cake decorating, sewing, rabbit, cooking, outdoor adventure, and photography. The program is also seeking adults to be activity leaders at upcoming outdoor adventure, photography and horticulture workshops.

Volunteer opportunities also exist outside of these specific focus areas. The 4-H program4-H program is flexible with finding opportunities that match the skill sets and meet the needs of interested adults. Training and support will be provided by the San Luis Valley Extension office. Volunteers must pass a background check.

For more information on serving as a volunteer with the 4-H youth development program contact the San Luis Valley Extension office at 719-852-7381 or slv4H@colostate.edu. 4-H is a national program that teaches kids life skills through partnerships with caring adults. The program is a cooperative effort between Colorado State University Extension and Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache counties. Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

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The competition was fun and fierce at the 2018 San Luis Valley 4H Robotics Table Clear contest. Photo: SLV 4H Facebook Page.

 

 

Saguache News – October 13

New School Construction Continues in Saguache Today

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The crew from FCI continues with the new construction of Mountain Valley School in Saguache. Many neighbors were a bit surprised by the four-foot rise in baseline elevation before the first brick had been laid. The center frame work represents the new building’s entrance way. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Reading: It’s Number One!

By Joyce Rankin, Colorado Board of Education

Joyce Rankin

Colorado Board of Education Rep. Joyce Rankin

I pointed out in my July column that teachers have many responsibilities. For example, understanding technology, suicide, depression, mental illness, bullying, drug use and provide sex education, and safe schools.  They also monitor breakfast and lunch programs and, oh yes, did I mention math and reading? But if reading and math aren’t the highest priority, how are our Colorado students performing on assessments? According to the 2018 English, Language Arts (ELA), or reading test, we’re not doing well. The Colorado Measurement of Academic Success (CMAS) ELA scores for third graders show that only forty percent are reading at grade level. Research has shown that students who cannot read by the end of the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. And according to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 70% of all incarcerated adults cannot read at the fourth grade level. They lack reading skills necessary to hold down anything but lower paying jobs.

Reading is at the core of learning and our legislature recognized this in 2012 when they passed the READ Act. The READ Act was to ensure students in grades K-3 were getting the help they needed to read at grade level when they exit the third grade. Grants were made available to help students reach this goal and in the 2017-18 school year 40,533 students with significant reading deficiencies (SRD) were eligible for these grants. The total amount directed at these students last year totaled $33M.

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The Mountain Valley School’s new $3.7 million dollar renovation project will bring the buildings and facility up to a 21st century safe, learning environment. Photo: Saguache Today.

With the release of the 2018 Colorado test scores in English, Language Arts (ELA) we found that 40 percent (4 out of 10) of our third graders are reading at or above grade level as they exit the third grade. That means sixty percent are not reading at grade level and, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Colorado mirrors what is happening in the United States and it’s been that way since the 1990’s.

There’s still some good news this month. I’d like to shine a spotlight on two schools in the Third Congressional District receiving the Colorado Succeeds Award for Transformational Impact. Awards were based on a data-driven process conducted by an external analyst to select public schools making transformational gains in academic achievement. Only one elementary school, one middle school and one high school in the state are selected.

Carbondale Middle School in the Roaring Fork Valley was the recipient of the Middle School Award, with Jennifer Lamont, Principal. I met with Ms. Lamont last week and she discussed the reasons for their success.

Delta County School District’s Paonia Elementary School was the winner in the elementary category.  Principal Sam Cox spoke with elected officials recently about the pride he takes in his students, teaching staff and community. On the English Language Arts assessment from last spring, his sixth graders scored 81.5% proficient. That translates to 8 out of 10 students at or above grade level.

Both schools impressed me by their administrative leadership and partnership between teaching staff, parents and community. Could this be the secret to success?

Thank you for the honor to serve on the State Board of Education, 3rd CD.

Joyce Rankin, a retired teacher, is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District, which includes Saguache and 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.

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The view from the corner of 6th and Pitkin Avenue in Saguache Today slowly changes with the building of a new school. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Saguache News – October 12

Tick-Tock – Scary Fun Awaits in Saguache

“You’ll see, things are quite different here!” While movie-goers may recognize this line from the scary season’s rising-star film, “The House with a Clock in Its Walls,” it also sums up this psychological thriller’s core plot.

The good news is that this film is also rated PG, which means that some of the younger kids can still enjoy a good Halloween-ish movie. The film is based on a 1973 juvenile mystery fiction novel. While you need to “know-your-kid,” they recommend age 11 plus.  Catch this one playing at Cozy Castle Cinema this weekend, October 12 – 14.

In this weekend’s film, “The House with a Clock in Its Walls,” ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his oddball uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious `tick tock’ noise. He soon learns that Uncle Jonathan and his feisty neighbour, Mrs Zimmerman, are powerful practitioners of the magic arts. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town’s sleepy facade suddenly springs to life, revealing a secret and dangerous world of witches, warlocks and deadly curses.

 

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 4 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.

Saguache News – October 9

Political Forum Scheduled for Saguache Today, Crestone Tomorrow

Tim Lovato

Saguache County Incumbent and Candidate for Commissioner Tim Lovato was out pounding the political pavement in downtown Saguache over the weekend. With Election Day 2018 just weeks away the campaigning heats up. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

As Election Day 2018 draws nearer, the political banter and debate grows louder as Saguache County voters will head to the polls to determine a Sheriff, Clerk & Recorder and County Commissioner.  There are also some local measures voters should be aware.

But if you’re still undecided about the candidates or perhaps haven’t had a chance to ask your questions, there are a couple of upcoming political forums where local candidates will be available for questions.

Tonight the debate will take place at Cozy Castle Cinema in downtown Saguache starting at 6:30 p.m. The event will be moderated by Michale Pacheco and questions may be submitted by clicking on the image below. Doors open at 6 p.m.Saguache Debate

Then tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 10, there will be a Candidates Forum which will take place in Crestone. All candidates are invited to the Meet and Greet starting at 6 p.m. at the Crestone Charter School. Then at 6:30 p.m. the forum will include debate from candidates for contested races only. The events is sponsored by the San Luis Valley League of Women Voters. Questions can be directed to Lynne Thompson at 719-754-9163. The Crestone School is located at 330 E. Lime Avenue.Crestone ForumAnd finally, for voters who can’t make either forum, Saguache Today offers the following videos from the Political Forum for the Primary Election back in June. While Commissioner Candidate Ellen Cox had withdrawn from the race, the other candidates for the BOCC as well as Clerk and Sheriff can be seen here discussing their backgrounds and qualifications, as well as answering questions to regarding pertinent issues.

Clips From The Clerk: Register To Vote

BY Trish Gilbert, Saguache County Clerk & Recorder

To be eligible to register to vote, an applicant must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen (at the time of completing the application)
  • Be 16 years old.  The person will not be allowed to vote until he/she turns 18
  • Reside in Colorado at least 22 days before the election
  • You may register to vote up to and including Election Day, November 6, 2018.

Here is a complete list of the items on the registration form that are required and optional.

  • Required
    • Name
    • Residence Address
    • Signature (or mark)
    • Citizenship Affirmation
    • Date of Birth
  • Optional
    • Gender
    • Former Address
    • Telephone number and email
  • ID Requirements
    • The applicant must provide the Colorado Driver’s License number (or state ID card number)
    • If the applicant does not have a Colorado Driver’s License or state ID card, the applicant must indicate that by checking the second box and providing the last 4 digits of the Social Security Number
    • If the applicant does not have a Colorado Driver’s License or state ID card or a Social Security Number. The applicant must indicate that by checking the third box.
    • When an applicant fails to provide the required information, the person is entered in the SCORE system as “Incomplete”.
  • Determining Residence
    • Residence is the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person.
    • Residence is a place in which a person’s habitation is fixed and to which that person, whenever absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure or absence, regardless of the duration of the absence.
    • Residence is a permanent building or part of a building and may include a house, condominium, apartment, room in a house, or mobile home.  (A vacant lot or a business address is not a residence.)
    • Residence given for motor vehicle purposes and state income tax purposes is the same for voter registration.
    • No person gains residence or loses residence because of civil or military service of the state or of the United States; while a student at any institution of higher education; or while confined in a correctional facility, jail, or state institution.

Preparing for an election is a year-round activity.  Getting citizens registered to vote is the first big step.  Ballots will be mailed to active registered voters only.  

Help us to help you.  You may go online to register/update your voter registration information at govotecolorado.com.  Or you can come in person to our office located at 501 4th St in Saguache. Let’s show Colorado that Saguache County VOTES.   Remember, every vote counts!

Again, if you have been a resident in Colorado at least 22 days before the election, you can register to vote up to and including Election Day. Jane, Desiree, Ben, Dominique and I are available to assist in (among other things) getting you registered to vote.

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Local Elections Matter!

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Saguache News – October 8

Bus Stops: It’s All About the Kids

By Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol

It’s that time of year when the trees lose their leaves and parents lose their kids to the school system.  This means we have kids all over the place going to school along with other activities and that means we need to be more careful out there when driving, particularly around school buses.flying20wheel_jpg (1)

We’ve all seen those big yellow school buses with the red flashing lights and the stop sign that extends out of the left side.  Today, we look at what you should do when you see those all so important lights.

First, let’s look at how buses operate.  When making a stop, buses should try to stop as far right of the roadway as possible to reduce obstruction to traffic. The alternating flashing yellow lights you see when the bus is moving need to be turned on at least two hundred feet prior to the point where the bus is planning to stop.  This doesn’t mean you should quickly try to pass the bus when you see those come on.  Drivers should also begin to slow.  You have to remember kids also see those lights and sometimes run across the road to get to the bus.  So please be patient and know it won’t take long to get the kids on or off the bus.  When the yellow lights transition to the red lights is when the bus is stopped.  This means everyone must also stop. 

So here are the reasons a bus will activate its lights:  whenever the school bus is stopped to load or unload schoolchildren, stopped because it is behind another school bus that is loading or unloading kids, or is stopped because it has met a school bus traveling in a different direction that is unloading or loading kids.

Saguache School Bus

Saguache residents are asked to take extra care in the school bus loading and un-loading areas, especially as the new school construction AND the sewer projects continue in the area. Photo: Saguache Today.

A school bus driver carrying any schoolchild is also required before crossing any tracks of a railroad, to stop within fifty feet but not less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail and shall not proceed until the driver can do so safely.

So now, here’s the refresher on what to do when you come upon a school bus.  If you are a driver on the road and come upon a bus from either direction that has stopped and its lights are activated, you need to stop your vehicle at least twenty feet before reaching the school bus.  After the kids are off or on the bus, you are not allowed to proceed until the signal lights are no longer on. So make sure no one starts to go just because they think they don’t see any more kids.  You can only proceed driving again once the bus driver turns off the lights.

Now we answer the question on what to do on a divided road.  There aren’t too many of those in the rural areas, but here is what to do when you see one.  If the highway has separate roadways then you are not required to stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway. For the purposes of this section, “highway with separate roadways” means a highway that is divided into two or more roadways by a depressed, raised, or painted median or other intervening space serving as a clearly indicated dividing section or island.  I would like to add to watch for those kids running across roadways though.  Also if children are crossing the road at an intersection make sure you stop for them as required.

Another thing to know is the driver of a school bus not only can, but is required to call in any vehicles that disregard the activated red lights and passes the bus.  Law enforcement will then take the information the driver provides and visit the other driver and will often issue a mandatory summons into court.  The driver then gets to explain to the judge why he or she failed to stop for a bus loading or unloading kids.  So if you see a bus loading or unloading kids, it’s best to make sure you stop.

If you care to read up on the law, you can find it in the Colorado Revised Statutes under 42-4-1903 (1).

Follow-Up . . . . . 

patrol car (1)I’d like to mention one last thing this month.  It is the goal of these articles to keep people as informed and safe as possible when driving in Colorado.  With that being said, it was brought to the attention of the State Patrol that information in the article “Bicycles and Automobiles” was viewed as biased towards automobiles and did not encompass the law as it should have been stated.

I apologize if there was confusion on what I was trying to convey when it comes to automobile and bicycle laws.  I believe if I had gone into more detail into some of the information I was providing in the article, it would have been a little clearer. We here at the Colorado State Patrol are dedicated to putting out information as accurately as possible.

I hope you enjoy these articles and will continue to read them in the future.  We value everyone who uses the roadways and our goal is to keep everyone safe.  I will strive to provide you with sound advice and safety measures to help you stay safe on our roadways.

Thanks, As always, safe travels!

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The new Mountain Valley School construction continues. Things are starting to look a lot different at the corner of 6th and Pitkin Avenue in Saguache Today.