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Week of 03-02-11 - Vecinos

By Joe Contreras


Nuclear power plant coming?

Nearly 40 square miles of eastern Pueblo could soon be home to a massive energy complex that may include a nuclear power plant if the Pueblo County Planning Commission has its way. The commission voted 5-3 February 22 to recommend the county change zoning to allow a developer to build a complex that would include solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear facilities.

Many Pueblo County residents are opposed to the proposed “clean energy park” claiming nuclear energy is anything but clean. Developer Don Banner will push his proposal to the Pueblo Area Council of Governments on March 15. This issue promises to stir up passionate debate throughout the state.

Census figures released last week reveal that pueblo’s population changed little over the last decade increasing by less than 3,000 residents to about 102,000 with Hispanics making up 39 percent of the population.


Launch in 5-4-3 … New Mexico we have a problem

That’s pretty much what recently elected Gov. Susana Martinez is saying to her constituents about the country’s first commercial space travel facility. The Republican governor citing the states struggling economy dismantled the supervising board for Spaceport America and removed its executive director. She said that more private investment is needed if the spaceport is to become a reality.

Much of Spaceport America is just about ready to go. The runway, hanger and terminal are nearing completion. Tickets for a two and half hour ride start at $200,000. More than 400 deposits worth $55 million have already been accepted. Public pressure may have motivated the governor to rethink the project. She recently appointed a new board, which includes a former astronaut. Spaceport America is located in Truth or Consequences, N.M. about 600 miles south of Denver along 1-25. Plan on a six-hour ride by car or about five seconds by spacecraft.

Martinez, the first Latina governor to be elected in U.S. history, will be the keynote speaker at the Colorado Republican Centennial Dinner March 25 at the Denver Marriott South.


Train robbery!

It sounded like a great idea at the time but supporters of the “Wild West” train tour feel like they are being robbed just as the train was about to leave the station. The tour would have taken tourists through two and half miles of the town complete with a staged train robbery and narration of the areas historical past. It was expected to bring a big boost to local business, but insurance liability requirements may have derailed the “Historic Erie Train” project.

The non-profit organization that was hoping to operate the train has learned that it must purchase a $50 million insurance policy for about $90,000 a year before the train can leave the station.

Trains first came to Erie in 1871. It was initially a coal-mining town. Erie is 26 miles north of Denver along I-25 just off highway 87. About 18,000 people live there, 11 percent Latino. All aboard!


Spring break already?

It may have seemed like a long winter to some but it seems like we just announced the opening of the ski areas a couple of weeks ago. Now just about every ski resort is planning spring break parties, oops, we mean activities as they near the end of their season.

Breckenridge will hold its “Spring Fever Festival” April 1-24 with various concerts, restaurant specials, race series and of course numerous happy hours.

Starting April 12 through the 24th, Vail hosts “Spring Back to Vail” bash featuring free concerts, various snow events including the famous World Pond Skimming Championships and of course street parties.

Just about every ski resort has something going on so Google your favorite spot.





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