Community Briefs
by Watch Staff
May 20, 2010 | 1720 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Voyager Youth Program Summer Enrollment Begins

RIDGWAY/OURAY – The Voyager Youth Program’s 11-week program, now in its second decade of providing recreational, creative and educational experiences for youth ages 5-12, has announced this summer’s calendar of events.

The daily summer program, starting June 14, includes “Water World and Splish Splash,” an exploration of local rivers; “Around the World,” exploring food and music from afar; “Nature Detectives,” a nature-science program; “Sports Mania and Wide World of Sports,” and “You Build It and Arts Imagination Creation.”

Voyager’s SOLA camps are open for enrollment as well, including Rock-Climbing Camp, ages 11-17 (one-day, June 28; two-day, July 6-7; one-day July 19 and three-day advanced July 26), Overnight Camping Skills (two-day, June 30 and July 14; ages 9-12).

Voyager enrollment costs $25 per day (SOLA charges vary), with sibling and 10-20 percent early bird discounts available. Programs run 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, with extended care available free of charge. Limited scholarships are available. For information on enrollment please call the Voyager Youth Program office at 970/626-4279 or check the website www.voyagerprogram.com.

Ouray Homebuyer Education Classes

OURAY COUNTY – The San Miguel Regional Housing Authority is offering a homebuyer education class Thursday, May 24-Friday, May 25, 5-9 p.m., at the Ouray County Courthouse. Attendance is required both nights for a certificate. Food and beverage are provided.

The class will deliver current lending information and more, including programs aimed exclusively at home ownership in rural areas.

The classes are for those who have owned before, would like to own (but don’t think it’s possible) or think they’re ready to buy; one-on-one meetings are also available with a trainer. To register, pick up and drop off forms at Ridgway and Ouray Town Halls or the Ouray County Courthouse or contact Shirley Greve at 728-3034, ext. 5, or Email Shirley@smrha.org. Food and beverages will be provided.

No Tularemia in Ouray and Montrose Counties

MONTROSE – No cases of tularemia have been reported in Ouray or Montrose counties, according to state public health veterinarian Elisabeth Lawaczeck.

Also known as “rabbit fever” and “deer fly fever,” the disease was detected in autopsies of two beavers found dead in Telluride’s Beaver Pond last month.

The disease is rarely, but occasionally, transmitted to humans or domestic pets, Lawaczeck, but precautions are recommended, nonetheless.

Tularemia can be contracted by people through bites from ticks or deer flies, drinking tainted water or dealing with wild animal carcasses, she said.

Lawaczeck said hunters should always wear gloves when field-dressing wild game and people should avoid drinking water from rivers, ponds or streams. They should also keep control of their pets in affected areas, including San Miguel County.

Only a couple of other cases have been reported this year, she said, both on the Front Range.

“It’s a disease that is here, and is endemic and circulating in the animal population,” she said. “It’s rare for domestic animals and rare for humans, but we get about one case (of human infection) per year.”

Typical symptoms of tularemia in people, which can be successfully treated with antibiotics, include sudden fever, chills, headaches, diarrhea, muscle aches, joint paint, a dry cough and progressive weakness. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.

Rabbits and hares can also carry tularemia, and it got the name “rabbit fever” in the 1920s, Lawaczeck said, when many people hunted rabbits for food.

“They didn’t wear gloves and didn’t take proper precautions in the kitchen preparing the meat,” she said.

CASA’s SEPT Program Helps Families With Court-Ordered Visits

MONTROSE – Voices for Children’s Court Appointed Special Advocates program serving Montrose and Delta counties is available to help both children and parents during court-ordered visits.

When parents are going through a contentious divorce, or in cases of child abuse or neglect, the judge often orders supervised visitation with children – an expensive proposition for the non-custodial parent, who usually has to pay a professional social worker or psychologist.

Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time, CASA’s new volunteer-based program, now makes those visits more affordable, says SEPT Organizer Mary Jo MillsI

If visitation is ordered in the court case, SEPT volunteers will consider the child’s needs first, Mills said, at a relatively affordable cost of $25 per hour for supervised visitations (with a sliding scale for low-income families). Supervised exchanges of children cost $6 and there is a $5 registration fee, Mills said.

Both parents must agree to the program and to the rules of engagement, said Mills, who can be reached, said Mills, who can be reached at 970/249-0337 or via email to sept@gwe.net. Visit www.casanow.org for more information.

“The most important thing is that they care about these children and want

them to have a positive experience with their parent,” she said.

Woman's Club of Ouray Hosts Springs Into Action

OURAY – The Woman’s Club of Ouray and the Ouray County Historical Society team up Saturday, May 22, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., to co-sponsor a community-wide effort to clean-up, green-up and beautify the Cedar Hill Cemetery. The public is invited to help in the effort to re-vitalize this historic cemetery founded in 1908.

Gardeners Sought to Test Quinoa Crop

WESTERN SAN JUANS – Grow a row of this South American crop in your garden this year, and help test its potential for our area. Quinoa plants have attractive, colorful heads and can be grown as an ornamental, though the seeds are highly nutritious.

Quinoa, which comes from the Andes Mountains of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile, is now being grown commercially in the San Luis Valley, and a number of pro-agriculture groups and individuals, including the CSU Extension Service, wonder whether it would do well here. Somewhat drought tolerant and preferring cool temperatures, quinoa offers this bonus: birds, deer and other animals don't like quinoa because its seed coats contain soapy-tasting saponin compounds that must be rinsed off before eating (this is easily done by human beings). Sometimes called Inca rice, the grain resembles and is cooked like rice but its protein content is much higher. The Incas and their descendents have eaten quinoa for 5,000 years.

Gardeners who would like to test the grain this summer are asked to keep records about which varieties they planted and when, how the plants did, their water requirements, and any problems with weeding or pests. If informal test results are positive, a more formal pilot project is planned.

For more information, contact Jane Bennett at 970/626-5075. Information about quinoa and its requirements can be found at the University of Wisconsin's Alternative Field Crops website, www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/quinoa.html.

Emma Lou Wilder Memorial Scholarship

The Emma Lou Wilder Memorial Scholarship of $3,000 this year goes to Alyssa Hill of Ridgway.

Hill, the outstanding candidate from a field of eight strong applicants, is a junior at Regis University, Denver in the Honors Nursing Program. Hill has completed several clinical rotations at hospitals in the Denver area, volunteers at Colorado Community Hospice, and maintains a 3.9 GPA.

WISE Scholarship Chairman, Sheila O’Leske said: “Alyssa Hill’s academic career and personal achievement are exemplary “

Hill is a 2006 graduate of Ridgway High School and the daughter of Darrin and Valerie Hill.

Peace Ride Raises Money and Awareness for Area Charities

DOLORES – The Colorado Peace Ride, a July29-Aug. 1 bicycle tour of the San Juan Skyway that starts and ends in Durango, offering free and low-cost retreats and education opportunities for nonprofit organizations through the Sophia Peace Center in Dolores, is partnering with regional nonprofits. The nonprofits create a team to ride; that team fundraises for the ride, and once the ride is completed, the Colorado Peace Ride writes a check to the nonprofit charity for one-half of the total amount raised. So if the team raised $8,000 for the Ride, they would receive a check for $4,000. What the Ride asks for in exchange is that the group helps spread the word about the Peace Ride. For information, go to www.thepeaceride.com/nonprofits or contact Rev Isabelle Stone, CPR Tour Director, at revisabelle@thepeaceride.com.
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