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Trinidad School District 1 superintendent Julie Ford was placed on paid administrative leave on Tuesday for disregarding a school board order. Ford recently sent a memo to the board to let them know that she would not circulate a survey to staff regarding morale and how the staff felt they were being treated as employees. Ford told the board in April that board member Vic Meyers had made several negatively perceived comments that created a ‚€œhostile work environment‚€Ě for staff. Meyers, and the comments, have been the focus of much debate. Chief financial officer and assistant superintendent Mike Tranter will perform the superintendent‚€™s duties while Ford is on leave. Board member Linda Vigil voted against putting Ford on leave. Gene Duran was absent from the meeting.
State Representative Rafael Gallegos, of Antonito, did not submit the 1,000 signatures necessary for him to petition onto the August democratic primary ballot that were due by 5pm yesterday, according to the Colorado Secretary of State‚€™s office. That means that if the two-term lawmaker wants to be re-elected to the statehouse, he will have to conduct a write-in candidacy in the general election in November. Gallegos would have to submit an affidavit of intent to do so with the state by August 26th in that case. Gallegos said that he did not have enough time or enough signatures to file yesterday. He said running as a write-in candidate in November was ‚€œa possibility‚€Ě but has not made up his mind as of yet. Gallegos and Costilla County Commissioner Ed Vigil were forced to petition onto the ballot when they failed to pick up the necessary number of delegates at the Democratic Assembly for House District 62 earlier this month. Vigil did turn in his signatures yesterday. Alamosa physician Rocky White is currently the lone candidate to earn a spot on the primary ballot.
Not quite 40 people turned out in Alamosa on Wednesday for a business forum hosted by the city council to express their concerns about the upcoming summer paving project in downtown Alamosa. The evening sparked emotions for many business owners who suffered last summer while Main and 6th Streets were torn up to become one-way streets through downtown, and again this spring during the salmonella crisis in the city. The new paving project would repave about 2 miles of Colorado 160, from the bridge over the Rio Grande on the east to Walmart on the west side of Alamosa. The project is scheduled to begin on August 4th near Walmart and will take about 2 months to complete. Unlike last year‚€™s project, the contractor will be required to maintain at least one lane of traffic flow during the paving.
A small water district in Gardner that supplies water to 65 taps is scrambling to find water to augment its two wells after water rights it was using were no longer available this spring. The state has issued an order to shut off the wells, but as of yesterday, they were still pumping while a solution is being worked out. The district has used return flows from water on Wolf Springs Ranch in Huerfano County to augment its wells for the past 5 years. Wolf Springs Ranch has refused to renew the water augmentation lease with the district. The district is now hoping to be able to work out an augmentation plan with the Arkansas groundwater users association and pay them instead.
The summer mosquito season is lagging two weeks behind this year, according to Alamosa Mosquito Control District Manager Harvey Teyler. That means that the mosquito population is not as abundant this year as it has been at the end of May in years past. Teyler says that mosquitoes don‚€™t like wind and cold temperatures. The cool weather slows down the growing cycle of mosquitoes, which has made for a lower population of mature mosquitoes this spring. Teyler is hesitant to predict summer conditions and resulting mosquito populations, however mosquitoes will multiply as the weather warms.