Tag Archives: Saguache traffic

Saguache News – June 18

Postmarks Don’t Count in Colorado

By Trish Gilbert, Saguache County Clerk & Recorder

Saguache County Voters:  Postmarks don’t count in Colorado!  If you are returning your ballot by mail, use 2 stamps and mail before June 18, so your county clerk RECEIVES them by June 26. 

After today, June 18, take them to the county outside ballot drop-off location (not a USPS mailbox), which will be open from June 22nd until 7 p.m. on Election Day, June 26.Clips Clerk Saguache

The 24-hour ballot drop box is located in the south parking lot at the courthouse (501 4th St) in Saguache.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced that as of June 12, 2018, so far 134,038 voters have returned ballots for the June 26 primary election.

The data is broken down by gender, county and party and, for the first time ever, includes the number of unaffiliated voters who have turned in ballots.

So far, 55,584 Republican ballots (not affiliated Republican voters), 78,199 Democratic ballots and 25,502 envelopes from unaffiliated voters have turned in ballots.

Voters, in 2016, approved Proposition 108, which automatically allows unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections without affiliating with a particular party. Williams in March launched the UChooseCO campaign to remind unaffiliated voters they will receive two ballots but they can only vote one. If they vote both the Republican and Democrat ballot neither one will count.

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Make sure you get your mail-in ballot to the Saguache Post Office by Monday, June 18, otherwise you will need to drop it off at the courthouse bow if you want your vote to count. Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

This is the first primary election where unaffiliated voters are allowed to automatically participate.  Unaffiliated voters who expressed a preference for a Republican or democrat ballot were sent that party’s ballot, but those who did not  were sent both ballots.  Again, only vote one.  If you vote both, neither ballot will count.

The turnout totals do not indicate whether an unaffiliated voter picked a Republican or Democratic ballot.

Also, the statistics show that either no ballots or a small number of ballots have been turned in for some smaller counties but that’s because the ballots have yet to be processed. Their numbers also do not reflect ballots put in 24-hour drop boxes over the weekend, but those ballots will be reflected in Tuesday’s report.

Here is turnout data for the last decade:

2016       644,723 ballots cast / 3,015,250 active voters = 21.38% turnout

2014       634,181 ballots cast / 2,903,612 active voters = 21.84% turnout

2012       530,119 ballots cast / 2,231,484 active voters = 23.76% turnout

2010       774,071 ballots cast / 2,391,825 active voters = 32.36% turnout

2008       488,130 ballots cast / 2,223,503 active voters = 21.95% turnout

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Saguache News – June 15

Inner Vision Conference Next Week

The summer solstice is less one week away. So if you’re looking to do something special to mark the transition, improve your life and connect with good people who are doing the same, then consider attending next week’s Inner Vision: Second Spring.Inner Vision 2018 link.jpg

Joyful Journey Hot springs Spa presents its annual conference with this year’s focus on “Maintaining Wellness Through Time.” Join the experts and other impassioned people for a day of reflection and education at the Inner Vision Conference. And the best news – it’s FREE!

Attendees will be treated to the knowledge of the following experts on a range of topics sure to make it a Spring Equinoux you’re not likely to forget. Here’s the lineup.

Thursday * June 21

8:30 a.m. – Breakfast by Chef Elliott
9 a.m. – Qigong by Tad Howard
9:45 a.m. – Accessing Your Social Security Benefits by Ruben Herrera
11 a.m. – Financial Planning for Different Stages of Life by Chris Muecke
12 Noon – Medicaid Demystified by Linda Warsh
12:30 p.m. – Lunch by Chef Elliott
1:30 p.m. – Naturopathic & Conventional Medical Options by Dr. Kim Engard
2:45.p.m. – The Future of Your Brain Looks Bright by Mark Talbot
3:15.p.m. – Living Safely: What Are Your Resources? by Ellen Cox
3:45.p.m. – Medicare: What Does it cover? by Carol Riggenbach
5:15 p.m. – Crestone End of Life Project
6 p.m. – Screening of HEAL a 2017 Documentary

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Celebrate the Summer Solstice at the Inner Vision Conference next week at Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.


Saguache News – June 14

Happy Flag Day: Three Cheers!

Happy Flag Day! Yes, June 14 is the official Birthday for Old Glory.

First, Saguache Today wants to give a major shout out to the Town of Saguache who maintain the flags on 4th Street. These red, white and blue banners are displayed on all national holidays and special events. They sure give everyone that sense of civic pride when you round the corner on to Saguache’s main street and see all those beautiful symbols of freedom waving in the breeze!

 Secondly, to commemorate Flag Day, here’s a little known story about a well-known flag, and the person who made it.

Downtown Flags_Saguache Today

Just add a parade! Flags are flying on 4th Street in downtown Saguache in honor of National Flag Day.

How the Star Spangled Banner Came to Be

It was the summer of 1813 and in many ways the United States continued its fight for independence from England. Even though the US had established emancipation in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence, the battle raged on.

For most people the Battle of Baltimore doesn’t ring a bell. However, it was this fight that not only proved our strong defense against the British, but also gave the country its national anthem: The Star Spangled Banner.

It was this explosive battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the inspiring song which “gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” And while most American’s are familiar with the Star-Spangled Banner story, few are familiar with the story of THAT flag, the one that “gave proof though the night.” So in honor of Flag Day, here it is.

There was a flag maker from Baltimore by the name of Mary Young Pickersgill. In fact, she came from a long line of flag makers, her mother being quite accomplished in the craft. So by the time Pickersgill was 37, she had established her own business. In fact, her name appears in Baltimore directories as a maker of “Ship Colours, Signals, etc.,” namely the functional flags spoken of early in this column.

But in the summer of 1813, it was a request from Fort McHenry in Baltimore which would make her a big part of US history. Mary received a commission from a commander to make an American flag “so large that the British will have no trouble seeing it from a distance.”  Pickersgill’s Star Spangled Banner measured 30 x 42 feet.Saguache_Library_Flag

To assemble the unusually large flag, she had to lay it out on the floor of a neighboring brewery and worked on it at night by candlelight. She ironically used English wool bunting for the stripes but it was good old American cotton for the stars.

The rest is history, as they say. Not only did the United States win the Battle of Baltimore, proving its military might against England. But Pickersgill’s banner inspired the words that now have Americans standing up, taking off their hats and pledging allegiance to their country in song.

It’s funny how certain stories and people become a part of American history and some don’t. Most folks have heard of Francis Scott Key and his creation of our national anthem, yet hardly anyone knows about the person who sewed the famous banner that inspired the song.  

And I bet that most readers are familiar with the grade school story of Betsy Ross being the Mother of the American flag. And that’s true, most historians concur that General George Washington commissioned her to do so. Ross did sew the FIRST American flag, but not this Star-Spangled Banner that inspired Scott’s tune.

I’d like to think that Mary Pickersgill represents the true, every-day patriotic American. A person who gets up every day and just lives their life. They’re not looking for the limelight. In fact, probably like most, hard at work, by the dawn’s early light!

Kathy Bedell ©Saguache Today


Stars and stripes forever over the San Luis Valley. Happy Flag Day from Sagauche Today and photographer Mark Hunter.

Saguache News – June 11

Smoky Skies Signal 416 Wildfire Danger

Residents in Saguache Today will continue to see smoke in the skies being carried over from the 416 Fire in neighboring La Plata County. And with that haze, backcountry travelers may also find some travel restrictions in place. Please be situational aware and remain vigilant.

416 Fire_Saguache Today2_Rogowski

It’s #allhandsondeck for the 416 Wildfire in nearby La Plata County as 9 Type 1 hand crews, 11 Type 2 hand crews, 44 engines, 5 dozers, 4 water tenders and 8 helicopters attack the ever-growing flames in the San Juan Mountains. Photo: Saguache Today/ Jennifer Brown – Rogowski

Here is the official information from incident command:

The 416 Fire started at about 10 a.m. on June 1, 2018, approximately 10 miles north of Durango, CO. The fire is burning on the west side of State Highway 550 on some private land and on the San Juan National Forest. The fire is burning in grass, brush, and timber. The local Type 3 organization assisted with the management of the fire until Sunday at 0600 and the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team began managing the fire. Fire behavior has been moderate, and on the east side of the fire it is backing down to 550 Highway. The south and west sides of the fire are the Hermosa Watershed and the fire is moving slowly into the watershed. The terrain is rough and inaccessible in many areas. 

As of Sunday night at 8 p.m., officials were able to provide the following 416 Fire Update from Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Todd Pechota, Incident Commander

Weather: Critical fire weather conditions persisted today as predicted. Winds gusted up to 35 to 40 mph on the ridges, causing increased fire behavior and intensity in Divisions H and D on the western side. Winds should calm this evening. Smoke will be heavy and low at nighttime in the valley, and visibility will be restricted in some areas.

Monday will be dry once again, but wind speeds should decrease. Winds will be calm in the morning until around 10:30 a.m., and will increase to 10 to 15 mph from the west/southwest in the afternoon. Occasional gusts may reach 25 mph after 1:30 p.m. Temperatures will be in the high 70s to low 80s and relative humidity may remain as low as single digits.

Current Situation: Large smoke columns and flames could be seen today as fire behavior intensified near the Lower Hermosa Campground and burned conifer stands in Divisions D and H. The fire in this area is behaving as predicted. Aircraft continue to monitor Division H on the west. Note: Residents should be aware that they will continue to see smoke and smoldering in already burned areas inside the fire perimeter.

Closures and Public Safety: Highway 550 is closed until further notice. For up to date information on road closures visit www.cotrip.org. Evacuations are in place for several areas in the fire vicinity. For up to date information on the status of evacuations, please contact the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at 970-385-8700 or visit www.co.laplata.co.us.

Fire Statistics:

  • Location: 13 miles north of Durango, CO Start Date: June 1, 2018
  • Size: 16,766 acres Percent Contained: 10
  • Total Personnel: 813 Cause: Under Investigation
  • Resources Include: 9 Type 1 hand crews, 11 Type 2 hand crews, 44 engines, 5 dozers, 4 water tenders
  • Helicopters: Four Type 1, two Type 2, and two Type 3
416 Fire_Saguache Today_Rogowski

The 416 Wildfire doubled in size on Sundays as large smoke columns and flames could be seen today as far away as Saguache Today. Photo: Saguache Today/ Jennifer Brown-Rogowski.

Saguache News – June 9

Road Rage: What You Should Know

By Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol

This month’s topic is very important in my mind.  We are seeing an increase in road rage, not only in our state, but across the United States.  The reason road rage starts, varies from situation to situation, but it needs to be taken seriously, because it can be deadly in the end.trooper-gary-cutler-column

I want all of you to be careful when driving the roadways of Colorado.  It seems with the increase of traffic and the inevitable gridlock we have when traveling on weekends and holidays, tempers are rising quicker than ever.

Here’s a few tips to avoid getting caught up in a road rage incident with another driver.  The first is when driving on roads 65MPH or more, stay out of the furthest left lane.  It is state law, and when you have drivers that seem to be in a giant hurry, they won’t be right on your bumper.  By staying in the left lane it elevates the possibility of a crash and the chance the aggressive driver will get mad and try to do something dangerous.

If you have someone following too closely and they start to really try to crowd you, safely get out of that lane or to the shoulder of the roadway.  Let them pass, and then take your time getting back on the roadway.  If the other driver is intent on trying to get you to stop, call 911, or *CSP to get emergency help.  The dispatchers will let you know what you should do next.


From semis to summer traffic, the roads in @Saguache Today are busy! Travel safe! Photo: Saguache Today

Never try to follow the other driver; this could provoke them to have a confrontation.  Always remember, the best course of action is to disengage as soon as safely possible. 

Be courteous to other drivers, and they should be courteous to you.  Use your blinker, let others in your lane, and be light with the horn.  Don’t let someone else’s anger on the roadway get you caught up in it. Get to where you are going safely.

Finally, give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going.  Plan that there will be a delay, so by leaving early, the pressure is off.  Colorado is beautiful in the summertime.  Slow down and enjoy it, and let’s see if we can get the rest to do the same.

As always, safe travels!

Saguache News – June 6

Libraries Rock: Summer Reading Program Thursdays 

It’s that time of year again, the school year is over and the children (and their parents!) are looking for something to do. Thankfully the Saguache Public Library’s Summer Reading Program kicks off tomorrow Thursday, June 7. This same program will be offered at the Baca Library on Tuesdays, starting June 5.

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The Saguache Public Library’s Summer Reading Program kicks-off on Thursday in Saguache. Join Penny-the-Librarian (pictured, back) as she gets student engaged in summer educational programs. This year’s theme is “”Libraries Rock!”

This year the theme is “Libraries Rock!” so get ready to explore variations of the subject, from all kinds of music, dancing, singers and songwriters as well as libraries and of course, rocks. The first program will be tomorrow Thursday, June 7 from 11 a.m. – 12 noon at the Saguache library, which is located next to Otto Mears Park. 

library rockThe Thursday programs will continue to be offered weekly through July. The reading program is designed for kids from babies (with a caretaker) to fifth graders, with the older kids participating as “able assistants”

The summer reading program is free, each week sharing stories, books, and fun craft projects . Kids can expects to earn some prizes and enjoy refreshments. Together, let’s discover why “Libraries Rock!” this summer! For more information, stop by the library or call (719)-655-2551.


FREE Legal Advice Last Thursday at Library

In upcoming library news, if you or someone you know is in need of some FREE Legal advice then mark the calendar! On Thursday, June 28 (and the last Thursday of every month) is the FREE Legal Clinic at the Saguache Public Library! Private, one-on-one legal assistance with an attorney is available for low-income SLV residents who have no attorney. Legal issues that qualify: Family Law (pre-decree); Landlord/Tenant Law; Protection Orders; Consumer/Collections; Probate; and Small Claims Court. Call the library at 719-655-2551 to pre-qualify. Early sign-in begins at 4:30; clinic runs 5-7. First come, first served.


Saguache News – June 5

Call for Artists/Crafters for Art Festival

The 9th Annual Saguache Art Festival will be held this year on Saturday, Aug. 18. Local artists and crafters are invited to display, sell, or demonstrate their own work. In past years friends, neighbors and visitors have enjoyed a day of new, unusual and beautiful art and crafts displayed throughout Downtown Saguache.

Art Festival 2017_Saguache Today_11

Teri Rills stands beside the stump-carved sculpture outside her studio in Saguache during last year’s annual Saguache Art Festival held August 19.

A variety of venues are available or you may bring your own set up. If you are interested in joining this year’s event, please contact Kelsey Hauck at 719-655-2670 by July 31 to join local artists in this year’s Saguache Art Festival. There is no charge for participating.