District resolves principal dilemma

Durango School District 9-R has sent one of its recent controversies into the past. The district recently announced the hire of Bruce Hankins as Miller Middle School principal and Amy Kendziorski as Escalante Middle School principal.

The situation became tense early this year, when Superintendent Mary Barter recommended that Hankins, a Weld County resident, be hired as Escalante’s new principal over Kendziorski, Escalante’s current assistant principal. The school board endorsed the recommendation, which ran counter to the recommendation of a search committee of parents and teachers. The search committee felt its efforts had been taken for granted.

However, after a little juggling, 9-R has arrived at a solution. Miller Middle School Principal Brian Hester is also stepping down this year, and a search for his replacement came up empty. Hankins was asked to interview for the job, and after a June 1 meeting, the Miller search committee voted unanimously to recommend his appointment. The move left a vacancy at Escalante that Kendziorski will now fill.

“I’m delighted that all the administrative talent that we had at Escalante can now be shared between the two middle schools,” said Barter. “The Escalante search earlier this year produced two excellent candidates in Bruce and Amy at a time when only one principalship was available.”

Barter continued, “I have no doubt that Bruce’s experience, Amy’s creativity, and the passion that both have for students and the middle school philosophy, will provide the district with a strong middle school administrative team that will serve our students and staff well.”

Hankins joins the school district from North Valley Middle School in LaSalle, Colo. A Fort Lewis College graduate, he has worked as a teacher’s aide in Ignacio, a third-grade teacher in Mexican Hat, Utah; a middle-school science, math and language arts teacher in Aztec; and a sixth-grade teacher in Fort Collins.

Kendziorski graduated from the University of Wisconsin and completed her master’s degree in educational leadership at San Diego State University. She joined Durango School District 9-R five years ago as a special education teacher at Durango High School and was appointed as Escalante’s assistant principal in 2001-02.


City transit system gets a new look

The Durango bus system has gotten a facelift. The Durango Lift is now known as Durango Transit and sports a new logo, prominently displaying the letter “T.” The change is intended to make the system more recognizable for patrons.

On Tuesday, Mayor Dale Garland unveiled the first of 10 buses to receive the new graphics. All buses, the website, bus stop signs and brochures will soon be displaying the new theme.

“The purpose of changing the paint scheme is to make all the buses within the city fleet recognizable as one system” said Transit Manager Hope Bleecker.

City staff worked with local users of the service who suggested that Durango should try to make its buses easy to recognize, visually similar to the popular trolley and distinguishable from RVs and other charter vehicles on local streets.

Michelle Reott, a member of the City’s Transit Advisory Board, endorsed the new plan. “A visible and reliable transit system is vital to help alleviate parking congestion and to provide functional alternatives to single occupant vehicles for our community,” she said. “Making the buses, signs and printed information easy to recognize and use is not only important for the convenience of our existing riders; it is essential to attract new riders to the T.”

Ridership on the transit system grew 12 percent in 2004 when the service supplied more than 267,000 one-way trips.


Grandview pipeline seeks approval

Feeding development at Grandview could cause some disruption in a popular recreational area. Atmos Energy is currently seeking approval to construct a high-pressure gas line to serve the Three Springs development and the new Mercy Medical Center. A large section of the pipeline is proposed to cross the Telegraph Trail System, and trail closures and temporary reroutes are likely to hit late this summer.

Atmos Energy has submitted a right-of-way application to construct a high-pressure gas line 4 inches in diameter and approximately 10,000 feet in length on Bureau of Land Management lands. The pipeline would be used to provide natural gas to the proposed Three Springs development, which

includes the new Mercy Medical Center and approximately 2,000 units.

The steel pipeline would enter behind New Country Auto Center before being sent subsurface to the top of the ridge near the South Rim Trail. From there it would parallel existing utility corridors to the Three Springs property. Approximately 12 acres of BLM lands would be impacted and there will be temporary conflicts with the trail system.

“There’s bound to be some temporary issues with the trail system,” said Charlie Higby, BLM realty specialist. “We’re going to have to find a way to reroute those trails or temporarily shut them down during construction time. We do know that it’s a concern.”

Assuming the project is approved, construction should be right around the corner. “They need to get gas to the hospital by late summer or early fall,” Higby said. “We’re doing our best to respond as quickly as possible, but we are still undertaking a thorough review.”

La Plata Electric Association is also undertaking a similar utility expansion in the area, and the Atmos pipeline will benefit from that environmental analysis, according to Higby. For more information or to submit comment, contact 385-1374. Comments must be received by June 20.


Dolores season draws to a close

Boatable flows on the lower Dolores River are now a thing of the past. After the first whitewater season in nearly a decade on the river, water is again dribbling through the desert drainage west of Durango. Courtesy of drought and irrigation, the river has been substantially dewatered in recent years. However, this year, flows reached a high point of more than 4,000 cubic feet per second during the week of May 23. Releases began tapering off shortly thereafter and were expected to be at 100 cfs by June 11. This year there was more than a month of boatable flows, courtesy of exceptional snowpack in the San Juan Mountains.

Meanwhile, a group called the Dolores River Coalition is seeking a permanent solution for flows on the Dolores. Prior to this year’s release, Chuck Wanner, the coalition’s coordinator, commented, “This year is kind of a fluke. Nature brought this to us, and we’ll all get out and enjoy it. But we’ll still have to develop a long-term management strategy for that section of river.”

– compiled by Will Sands


District resolves principal dilemma

Durango School District 9-R has sent one of its recent controversies into the past. The district recently announced the hire of Bruce Hankins as Miller Middle School principal and Amy Kendziorski as Escalante Middle School principal.

The situation became tense early this year, when Superintendent Mary Barter recommended that Hankins, a Weld County resident, be hired as Escalante’s new principal over Kendziorski, Escalante’s current assistant principal. The school board endorsed the recommendation, which ran counter to the recommendation of a search committee of parents and teachers. The search committee felt its efforts had been taken for granted.

However, after a little juggling, 9-R has arrived at a solution. Miller Middle School Principal Brian Hester is also stepping down this year, and a search for his replacement came up empty. Hankins was asked to interview for the job, and after a June 1 meeting, the Miller search committee voted unanimously to recommend his appointment. The move left a vacancy at Escalante that Kendziorski will now fill.

“I’m delighted that all the administrative talent that we had at Escalante can now be shared between the two middle schools,” said Barter. “The Escalante search earlier this year produced two excellent candidates in Bruce and Amy at a time when only one principalship was available.”

Barter continued, “I have no doubt that Bruce’s experience, Amy’s creativity, and the passion that both have for students and the middle school philosophy, will provide the district with a strong middle school administrative team that will serve our students and staff well.”

Hankins joins the school district from North Valley Middle School in LaSalle, Colo. A Fort Lewis College graduate, he has worked as a teacher’s aide in Ignacio, a third-grade teacher in Mexican Hat, Utah; a middle-school science, math and language arts teacher in Aztec; and a sixth-grade teacher in Fort Collins.

Kendziorski graduated from the University of Wisconsin and completed her master’s degree in educational leadership at San Diego State University. She joined Durango School District 9-R five years ago as a special education teacher at Durango High School and was appointed as Escalante’s assistant principal in 2001-02.


City transit system gets a new look

The Durango bus system has gotten a facelift. The Durango Lift is now known as Durango Transit and sports a new logo, prominently displaying the letter “T.” The change is intended to make the system more recognizable for patrons.

On Tuesday, Mayor Dale Garland unveiled the first of 10 buses to receive the new graphics. All buses, the website, bus stop signs and brochures will soon be displaying the new theme.

“The purpose of changing the paint scheme is to make all the buses within the city fleet recognizable as one system” said Transit Manager Hope Bleecker.

City staff worked with local users of the service who suggested that Durango should try to make its buses easy to recognize, visually similar to the popular trolley and distinguishable from RVs and other charter vehicles on local streets.

Michelle Reott, a member of the City’s Transit Advisory Board, endorsed the new plan. “A visible and reliable transit system is vital to help alleviate parking congestion and to provide functional alternatives to single occupant vehicles for our community,” she said. “Making the buses, signs and printed information easy to recognize and use is not only important for the convenience of our existing riders; it is essential to attract new riders to the T.”

Ridership on the transit system grew 12 percent in 2004 when the service supplied more than 267,000 one-way trips.


Grandview pipeline seeks approval

Feeding development at Grandview could cause some disruption in a popular recreational area. Atmos Energy is currently seeking approval to construct a high-pressure gas line to serve the Three Springs development and the new Mercy Medical Center. A large section of the pipeline is proposed to cross the Telegraph Trail System, and trail closures and temporary reroutes are likely to hit late this summer.

Atmos Energy has submitted a right-of-way application to construct a high-pressure gas line 4 inches in diameter and approximately 10,000 feet in length on Bureau of Land Management lands. The pipeline would be used to provide natural gas to the proposed Three Springs development, which includes the new Mercy Medical Center and approximately 2,000 units.

The steel pipeline would enter behind New Country Auto Center before being sent subsurface to the top of the ridge near the South Rim Trail. From there it would parallel existing utility corridors to the Three Springs property. Approximately 12 acres of BLM lands would be impacted and there will be temporary conflicts with the trail system.

“There’s bound to be some temporary issues with the trail system,” said Charlie Higby, BLM realty specialist. “We’re going to have to find a way to reroute those trails or temporarily shut them down during construction time. We do know that it’s a concern.”

Assuming the project is approved, construction should be right around the corner. “They need to get gas to the hospital by late summer or early fall,” Higby said. “We’re doing our best to respond as quickly as possible, but we are still undertaking a thorough review.”

La Plata Electric Association is also undertaking a similar utility expansion in the area, and the Atmos pipeline will benefit from that environmental analysis, according to Higby. For more information or to submit comment, contact 385-1374. Comments must be received by June 20.


Dolores season draws to a close

Boatable flows on the lower Dolores River are now a thing of the past. After the first whitewater season in nearly a decade on the river, water is again dribbling through the desert drainage west of Durango. Courtesy of drought and irrigation, the river has been substantially dewatered in recent years. However, this year, flows reached a high point of more than 4,000 cubic feet per second during the week of May 23. Releases began tapering off shortly thereafter and were expected to be at 100 cfs by June 11. This year there was more than a month of boatable flows, courtesy of exceptional snowpack in the San Juan Mountains.

Meanwhile, a group called the Dolores River Coalition is seeking a permanent solution for flows on the Dolores. Prior to this year’s release, Chuck Wanner, the coalition’s coordinator, commented, “This year is kind of a fluke. Nature brought this to us, and we’ll all get out and enjoy it. But we’ll still have to develop a long-term management strategy for that section of river.”

– compiled by Will Sands

 

 

In this week's issue...

May 14, 2020
The great re-awakening

Shrouded in unknowns, the timeline for re-opening some businesses in Colorado came into clearer view Tuesday.

May 15, 2020
The best defense

Pandemics often bring pandemonium. It is easy to be fearful about coronavirus. But we already possess the greatest weapon on Earth against it: our amazing body and its powerful immune system.

May 7, 2020
Yes! The Farmers Market is opening

It may be hard to imagine, but while us humans are shuttered away in our houses, or hiding behind facemasks and Zoom meetings, the natural world is going on without us.