Valley Voice December 2020

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December 2020 . Issue 9.12

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Steamboat Springs Hayden Oak Creek Yampa

Happy Holidays! Photo by Karen Vail


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December 2020

Valley Voice

MORE THAN JUST A SMOKE SHOP! Smoking Accessories & Other Curiosities

Carrying a variety of CBD options to fit your lifestyle!

We are Moving!

Relocating to 111 9th Street! Downtown Steamboat Springs!

Lyon’s Drug

Located across from Lyon’s Drug!

970.870.9668 For those who live here and for those who wish they did.


Valley Voice

December 2020

Rants...

Contents "Twas the Season, For That Matter, Year! Page 4 By Jason Lacy/ President - Steamboat Springs City Council

The Cost of Living in Steamboat Springs Page 5 By Scott L. Ford

Routt County's Past: Times Were Tough

Page 6

The Great Flattening

Page 7

Our Gifts From, and To, Nature

Page 8

COVID-19 - What you want to Know

Page 11

2020: A Year That Will Live in Infamy

Page 12

On Being Coachable

Page 13

By Ellen & Paul Bonnifield By Fran Conlon By Karen Vail

By Brodie Farquhar By Stuart Handloff

Publisher/Art Director: Matt Scharf mattscharf1@gmail.com Sales:

valleyvoicesales@gmail.com

VV Assistant:

Eric Kemper ericvalleyvoice@gmail.com

Valley Voice is published monthly and distributed on the last Wednesday of each month. Please address letters, questions, comments or concerns to: Valley Voice, LLC, P.O. Box 770743 or come by and see us at 1125 Lincoln Ave, Unit 2C, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. Or contact Matt Scharf: 970-846-3801. Website www.valleyvoicecolorado.com. Subscription rate is $40 per year (12 issues). All content © 2020 Valley Voice, L.L.C. No portion of the contents of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission from the Valley Voice.

Official Fine Print Advertisers assume full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their ads. In the event of error or omission in the advertisement, the publisher’s sole responsibility shall be to publish the advertisement at a later date. Advertisements and articles are accepted and published upon the representation that the author, agency and/or advertiser is authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. The author, agency, and/ or advertiser will indemnify and save Valley Voice, LLC harmless from all claims and legal action resulting from the contents of the articles or advertisements including claims or suits resulting from libel, defamation, plagiarism, rights to privacy and copyright infringements. The views and opinions expressed reflect the views and opinions of the authors and may not necessarily reflect the views and opinion of the editor, staff or advertisers in Steamboat Springs’s Valley Voice. Direct all correspondence, articles, editorials or advertisements to the address below. The author’s signature and phone number must accompany letters to the editor. Names will be withheld upon request (at the discretion of the publisher).

By Wolf Bennett

Inside Out Page 13 By Sandy Conlon

The Golden Ring By Aimee Kimmey

Page 16

Half Baked Page 17 By Sean Derning

Alchemy Page 17 By Joan Remy

Joan Coming Over

Page 18

Your Monthly Message

Page 18

By Melody Joy Phillips By Chelsea Yepello

Comics Page 19

If you are interested in advertising your business in the Valley Voice, please contact Matt Scharf at mattscharf1@gmail.com or 970-846-3801 (We are the most affordable in town!)

Please send us your RANTS, RAVES and SAY WHATs! The Valley Voice wants to hear your thoughts as we struggle to find our center. Send to: mattscharf1@gmail.com

Large Campers, Motorhomes, etc. parked near intersections dangerously blocking the view to oncoming traffic… Reading mean, senseless, disconnected blogs… People who actually think that mask protection doesn’t work… The fear of COVID-19 circling around our Colorado ski areas… The lack of snow this time of year… Running out of gas on deadline day… Fear of the unknown…

Raves... Huge THANKS… to the UPS Driver that delivered my new snow tires down the alley to my garage door! Thank you to all the Firefighters – So nice to breathe air again… Snow Bowl - for supporting this community far and beyond… “Save Our Season” Campaign… Piknik Theatre’s “The Mail Order Husband” – on the radio! To Urbane for getting me back into skateboarding… To all the advertisers and contributors that participate in the Valley Voice… When good communication makes good sense...

Say What?... “I can find five bars in town, but I can’t find five bars on my phone.” “Do you have to wear a mask at Alice’s Restaurant?” “Masks – A very good excuse to cover an ugly mug.” “I don’t know if those are bug bites or sitting bumps.” “Riding dirt bikes had me miss decades of pop culture.” “Maybe you should learn to shoot a gun.”

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December 2020

December Valley Voice By Matt Scharf Well, we are almost done with the year 2020, and what a cluster it has been. The Valley Voice didn’t get to print the April and May issues this year due to the COVID. It had to happen. A lock down can be detrimental to any business. The Valley Voice has been hit hard too. The Valley Voice is in need of advertisers to survive this upheaval. The uncertainty of our economic future is definitely scary. I have an undeniable desire to keep producing this magazine for all to participate, right here in Routt County. I want to thank all of the Valley Voice contributors and advertisers for making this little mag happen this year. You have been absolutely wonderful. It couldn’t exist without you. I want to extend a huge “holiday hug” to all. -M.S.

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Valley Voice

City of Steamboat Springs

‘Twas the Season, Or For That Matter, Year!

By Jason Lacy/ President - Steamboat Springs City Council This is the time of year we typically look back at the past twelve months and all that has been accomplished. I thought that seems a bit odd considering all that we’ve faced and the transformation many have undergone this year. However, the more I thought about it, the more appropriate and important I believe it to be. The past year has been one of tremendous turbulence, change and adaption by each of us and the community to put it mildly. As we headed out of the New Year and into the early part of 2020, the snow was piling up, powder hounds were schussing in from around the globe and we’re were on a comfortable and consistent course. As February and then March arrived in the Yampa Valley, when things were supposed to be hitting high gear, so did Coronavirus and our town took a dramatic one hundred and eighty degree turn. Our daily lives came grinding to a halt, kids went to something unknown - distant learning, daily essentials became scarce, remote work became the norm and we all stayed at home for weeks on end. When many reflect over 2020, they may only see the virus and the impact it has had, which undoubtedly is significant. But I see something different. That is, a community that is unique, special and one that looks after each other in troubling times and one that is writing a compassionate chapter in its community narrative. Out of this frenzied time, we banded together as a community as we have done on many occasions before. But this time, it was different, and never have I been prouder of the Yampa Valley, its residents and businesses. Healthcare professionals endured endless hours and the elements to provide aid and testing, community members came together to ensure their neighbors were okay and public safety agencies always responded to the call. Outdoor recreation, a backbone of the community, became even more vital. Community efforts keep cross country ski trails open at Howelsen Hill, saw the busiest season at

Haymaker Golf Course and forged new ways of thinking and opportunities like the outdoor ice rinks. Organizations which previously may have been in competition with each other were suddenly on the same team with the same shared goal. Parents used the online network to juggle work and remote schooling with the assistance of dedicated teachers, counselors and co-workers. Businesses banded with one another to change the playbook in an environment that was ever changing and evolving. In fact, numerous entities provided the ingredients, preparation and daily distribution of food so that anyone who required a meal never went hungry. Non-profits worked around the clock to tend to those in need which I believe we have all experienced at some time in the past nine months whether physically, mentally or spiritually. Organized initiatives and grassroot campaigns such as Routt Ready, Steamboat Ready and SOS-Save Our Season have grown wildly, galvanizing efforts to support industries, modify social behaviors and weather the winter season. During what many may only be described as a dark time, our community has never shined brighter and I’ve never been prouder to call the Yampa Valley home.

While I know the virus will invariably be with us into the New Year, we have chosen to tackle it together. We will emerge from this crisis knowing the true strength of our community, the passion we have for each other and the undaunting commitment we all share for the Yampa Valley. On behalf of the entire city, its councilors, commissioners and staff, thank you for all you have done to ensure our community not only survives but emerges out the other side. And that is truly an accomplishment to look back on, recognize and cherish fully. Happy Holidays and Healthy Wishes for the New Year!

Photo by Gwen Skinner

879.5929 905 Weiss Drive - across HWY 40 from the Holiday Inn For those who live here and for those who wish they did.


Valley Voice

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December 2020

Go Figure

Understanding the Cost of Living in Steamboat Springs By Scott L. Ford

Most folks know I love statistics. I characterize myself as a data geek with a personality who appreciates a welldesigned graph. One must be careful with data because it is easy to torture numbers beyond what they can tell us. If one tortures data long enough, you can get data to tell you anything you want it to say. In my statistical analysis I often remind myself of a Mark Twain quote, "Most people use statistics the way a drunkard uses a lamp post, more for support than illumination." In this month’s column I am going to update a statistical study I did 20 years ago with new data. This was a cost of living comparative analysis. It attempted to answer the key question of how much it costs to live in Steamboat Springs compared to other places. This study thrust me into a controversy with many of the area’s major employers as their employees pushed for higher wages and used my study to justify their request. Before diving into the numbers, it is important to set the context. My analysis is rooted in information gathered by the Council for Community and Economic Research. Next, any cost of living analysis involves a “basket” of goods and services consumers buy regardless of Care where they live. Health

COL indexes are a relatively easy way to compare the overall price of goods and services between different areas of the United States. The national average is 100, so when you look at a place’s COL Index you can easily see how much more or less, you will have to pay to live there.

Aspen than it does Steamboat. Telluride and Vail are about a third more expensive. Like a lot of things, Steamboat finds itself squarely in the middle (the Goldilocks Zone) when compared to other Colorado mountain resort communities with similar characteristics.

If a place has a COL index of 135, then it is 35% more expensive to live there than the national average. If a place has a COL index of 85, then it is 15% cheaper than the average for the entire country. This COL index allows for comparison to other Colorado mountain resort communities. So how does Steamboat Springs stack up to our peers?

Using this same methodology and comparing to some national cities, living in Steamboat costs about 30% less than it does in New York City or Seattle. The cost of living in Atlanta, Boise, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles is 20% to 30% lower than Steamboat. Denver, the closest major city to Steamboat, is about 12% less expensive. Little Rock, Arkansas is about 50% cheaper. However, one does need to ask themselves whether they want to live in Arkansas. That's a place that is way too hot for this Colorado born boy.

The comparative cost of living in Steamboat compared to Breckenridge is about the same. Durango, Glenwood Springs, and Gunnison are less expensive with the town of Gunnison being the clear low-cost winner at about 30% less than Steamboat. It cost about twice as much to live in

Cost of Living Index Category Weightings Cost 4.3% of Living Index Category Weightings

This “basket” includes housing prices for renters or homeowners, utilities (electric, natural gas, oil), healthcare Transportation costs (premiums and common surgeries), entertainment costs, transportation expenses (vehicle insurance and Utilities costs, vehicle registration fees, gas prices and commuting depreciation), food prices (meat, dairy, ready-to-eat, and more), child care (for both infants and toddlers, at home Food & Groceries and away from home), and taxes (income, property, sales, motor vehicle). As you can see this is a big “basket” of items. Housing (Ownership)

Health Care

All the items in this “basket” are assigned categories and those categories are then assignedMISC. a percentage weighting based upon the Consumer Expenditure Survey done semi-annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. All the weighted categories are combined to develop a Cost of Living Index (COL).

Housing (Ownership)

120.0%

120.0%

80.0%

100.0%

60.0%

80.0%

40.0%

60.0%

20.0%

40.0%

0.0%

20.0%

-20.0%

0.0%

Pct +/-

9.2%

9.6%

Utilities

9.6%

13.9%

Food & Groceries

13.9%

27.5%

27.5%

35.5%

35.5%

Composite Index Value = 100%

Composite Index Value = 100%

2019 Composite Cost of Living Index Comparison Selected Resort Communities to Steamboat Springs 2019 Composite

100.0%

-40.0%

Transportation

MISC.

4.3%

9.2%

Aspen, CO

103.0%

Cost of Living Index Comparison Selected Resort Communities to Steambo

-20.0% Breckenridge, CO Crested Butte, CO Durango, CO Glenwood Springs, CO Gunnison, CO Telluride, CO Vail, CO -40.0% Breckenridge, CO-11.0% Crested Butte, CO Glenwood Springs,31.0% CO Gunnison, CO 31.8%Telluride, -2.2% Aspen, CO 11.1% -6.5% Durango, CO-30.0%

Pct +/-

103.0%

-2.2%

11.1%

-11.0%

-6.5%

-30.0%

31.0%


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December 2020

Valley Voice

Bonnifield Files

Routt County’s Past: Times Were Darn Tough Back Then -- 1920s By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield

The four newspapers in Routt County and two in Craig kept their readers informed and excited as the Red Scare and following events unfolded; however, here at home unsettling news caught their attention. In April, Governor Shoup declared martial law and sent Adjutant General Hamrock to the Southern Coalfield. Hamrock had played a major role in the Ludlow Massacre in 1914. Shoup also sent troops, Rangers as they were called, to Mt. Harris and Oak Creek. Following the declaration of martial law, Victor-American Fuel (Wadge Mine at Mt. Harris and Pinnacle Mine at Oak Creek) cut miners’ wages from $7.75 per day to $5.25 per day. Miners who voiced any objection were sent packing and black listed. Soon the strike that never was a strike was broken by military intervention.

Emergency Hospital during Influenza epidemic/ Camp Funston, Kansas - 1918 As World War I neared its final battle, in September 1918, the Moffat County Courier reported three young men died while serving “Over There.” Lt. Emory Irwin died of wounds while William Miller and Marcey Meaden succumbed to influenza. The terrible epidemic (pandemic) was on the march. Troops returning from Europe brought the virus with them and wartime censorship restricted reporting and prevented preparation. Worldwide death estimates range from 20 million to 100 million. Approximately 25 percent of all Americans had the flu. In the military, 40 percent of the army and 36 percent of the navy contracted the virus. More than one-half million Americans died. In Colorado, 50,000 citizens were sick and over 7,000 died. All public meetings, including church services, were forbidden. During the height of the influenza attack, the Craig school served as a hospital. Hayden isolated itself by restricting entry and departures from town to residents only – no visitors or salesmen. Steamboat closed businesses under orders of health officials. Ouray used armed guards to quarantine visitors. Despite the effort, entire Routt County families perished from the virus. At least one man at Mt. Harris, Shorty, recovered from the flu only to contract it again and die. After a long hard ordeal, life was returning to normal and people relaxing when the second flu wave struck with more fury than the first.

and after 37 ballots, Palmer withdrew. On the forty-fourth ballot, James Cox was nominated. The Republicans, also sharply divided between General Leonard Wood and Governor Frank O. Lowden, ultimately settled on Warren G. Harding. On September 16, 1920, a team and loaded wagon stopped at the corner of Broad and Wall Street in New York City, directly opposite J. P. Morgan’s bank. The driver walked away. At noon while people hurried to lunch, a bomb filled with shrapnel exploded killing thirty people and injuring hundreds. The bomb sent fragments through windows on the 34th floor of the Equitable Building. Hysteria raced through the nation.

Pueblo, Colorado 1921 Flood Disaster

While the pandemic raged, the Department of Justice and J. Edgar Hoover executed a ruthless drive to rid the nation of “Reds.” Attorney General Palmer used the “Red Scare” as the cornerstone for his run for the Democratic Party nomination for president. The convention dead locked

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

The pre-war and war years were full of promise with homesteaders rushing in to settle, agriculture prices were excellent, rains were plentiful and timely, and coal production was at record levels. Then came 1920. Drought years became the norm. Crickets invaded. Jack rabbits overran gardens. Following the war, coal shipments dropped from 100 cars per day during the coal season to 15 cars per day. In 1919, the railroad handled 3,117 car loads of livestock compared to 1,366 car loads in 1922. Manager of Craig Grain, Ed C. Johnson, stated in the Craig Empire that 85 percent of the county farms were abandoned. Enough grain was left unharvested to feed London for a year. For many, the apocalypse was descending upon them. The Denver & Salt Lake Railroad was the life line for northwestern Colorado. As a war time measure, the federal government rebuilt the nations’ railroads including spending large sums on the D&SL which remained in terrible condition. Passenger and mail service were cut to tri-weekly – “try-weekly.” The labor force was cut by two-thirds and over sixty percent of locomotives were in closed repair shops. All leased rolling stock (box cars) were returned to the owners. Maintenance of track and roadbed stopped. Wages were cut 20 percent. The cost of operating over The Hill (Corona Pass) was killing the railroad and previous attempts to bore a tunnel through the mountain failed.


Valley Voice

December 2020

Poetry

The Great Flattening

November 26, 1921, the D&SL creditors McPhee & McGinnety sued to junk the line and majority bond holders, Bankers Trust of New York, joined the suit. This was probably the greatest potential disaster ever faced by the miners, timber men, ranchers/farmers, tourist industry, and towns. Without the railroad in 1921, they had no future. The citizens of northwestern Colorado rallied as never before and persuaded Judge Samuel Johnson to act. He heard the case but refused to rule on it. Another disaster came to the rescue. On June 3, 1921, the Arkansas River rampaged, flooding Pueblo. Twelve feet of water covered the D&RG yards, over 600 homes were destroyed, and uncounted lives lost. The city and county desperately needed emergency assistance. Responding to Governor Shoup’s call for a special session on April 18, 1922, the legislature met to consider two bills – disaster aid for Pueblo and a Moffat Tunnel Bill. The power of Colorado political life, Bill Evans, would not allow a bill to relieve Pueblo to pass until the tunnel bill was approved. Eventually the Moffat Tunnel bill passed followed by the Pueblo Flood Conservancy bill. Following passage, the Tunnel Bill faced court challenges quickly swept aside by the US Supreme Court. The Pioneer Bore “Water Tunnel” was underground on September 12, 1923, followed by the main tunnel on October 13. Construction presented serious engineering challenges. The west side with unstable rock required relocation of the west portal. An underground lake was encountered and lower Crater Lake drained into the tunnel. Despite the difficulties, on the morning of February 12, 1927, the 6.2-mile Moffat Tunnel “holed through.” Construction of the Tunnel sparked renewed hope in northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah. To celebrate, Routt County built a new stone courthouse, Public Service constructed a power plant near Milner, and Moffat County experienced an oil boom capped with construction of a refinery at Craig. But as so often happens, it didn’t quite work out. The D&SL did not keep its promise to extend to line to Salt Lake City. Instead, it agreed to build the Dotsero Cutoff. The Pioneer Tunnel, as was secretly intended from the outset, became a water tunnel for the city of Denver. Grand, Routt, and Moffat counties paid the lion’s share of the bill. The coal mining towns of Mt. Harris and Oak Creek and their satellite company towns were rich with multicultural ethnic groups and religious practices. They were also lighting rods for racism, segregation, and fertile ground for the KKK. Imperial Wizard Hiram W. Evans, in a 1926 article, explained their goals: “The Klan... has now come to speak for the great mass of Americans of old pioneer stock... These are... a blend of various people of the so-called Nordic race... The Klan does not represent any people but these.” With the arrival of immigrants bringing new ideas and ways, Evans proclaimed, “One by one all our traditional moral standards went by the boards, or were so disregarded that they ceased to be binding.” “We are demanding and we expect to win, a return of power into the hands of the everyday, not highly cultured, not overly intellectualized, but entirely unspoiled... average citizens of the old stock... They are the foundation of our American civilization.” During the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was extremely powerful locally, state-wide, and nationally. The 1924 national Democratic convention pitted the anti-Klan candidate Oscar Underwood against Al Smith, a Catholic from

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By Fran Conlon

Do I really need that ice cream cone? I don't want to carry another pound, But nobody is near: I am alone, I might take a vigorous walk around. My bathroom mirror does not lie, It's not a circus image imitation, With more courage, I might pass by, Missing the treat and its invitation.

Imperial Wizard Hiram W. Evans - August 1925 New York, and William G. McAdoo, a Klan supporter. It required 103 ballots to defeat McAdoo and the Klan. Months earlier, in the Green Room of the White House, before a five-man Imperial Induction team President Warren G. Harding knelt on the floor and took the oath to be faithful to the Klan. With the election of Governor Morley in 1924, Colorado was controlled by Dr. John Lock and the KKK. Reporting on a talk by a Klan organizer, the Yampa Leader stated, “it was a splendid lecture on Americanism... which all good citizens might readily subscribe.” In the summer over one hundred Klansmen in full regalia attended a joint Sunday service at Craig’s Congregational Church where the Reverend Y. S. Bean of the Christian Church preached on “the Klan’s fight for the interests of all intelligent law-abiding citizens.” After the service, everyone went to the fairgrounds for a flag ceremony, cross burning, and old-time revival meeting. July 4th the Klan paraded in Steamboat and held a cross burning ceremony. School board elections in Craig, Hayden, Steamboat, and Yampa were hotly contested between Klan and anti-Klan candidates. Oak Creek with its strong population of immigrants and financially powerful blue blooded Americans waxed hot and heavy over who was God’s chosen. One town marshal was a hired gunman for the Klan. Harassment was common. Homes were entered and searched by muscle men. For many immigrants, it was a dangerous place to live and work. In the mines where superintendents were all powerful, immigrant miners faced a living hell. Corruption within the Klan ensured defeat at the elections, but it did not go away. Hayden’s Routt County Republican commented, “For the most part no genuine American can disapprove the principles of the Klan.” The Yampa Leader agreed while the Steamboat Pilot and Craig Courier disagreed. Next month we will stroll through the dark alleys of the 1930s and 1940s.

I'll force a smile, a happy rendition, And give a pat on my back, Good going for my healthy mission, 'Tho taste buds call for just a snack. A single scoop is a gastronomic joy, And, I've been good, mostly, Fine behavior I can deploy, My thin smile is somewhat ghostly. The puzzle is what to do— I'll get two cones; one is for you! (Surely good talk is about diet, It is no cause for a riot.)

Go Old School! only

Get the Valley Voice magazine delivered to your door! It’s something you can hold in your hand! And it’s real paper!

Never Miss an Issue!

for a yearly Include your address and we subscription will send you a copy every month. Send payment to: Valley Voice, llc P.O. Box 770743 Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80477

Contact: valleyvoicesubscriptions@gmail.com


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December 2020

Valley Voice

'Boat Almanac

Our Gifts From, and To, Nature By Karen Vail The reasons for declines are often complex, but at the bottom line are two consistent issues; habitat loss (see above paragraph) and chemical use. By using organic methods, you will encourage natural processes in your landscape that are healthy for you, your family, your pets and, well, everything! I guarantee you will notice more birds, insects and other critters in your yard, and your plants will flourish. It’s a win-win for everyone, and you, again, get to go hiking! A highlight of camping this summer has been getting lost in star filled skies. Wow, what an amazing place we live in when viewed from a sleeping bag high in the mountains! Give nature back her night skies! Turn off all outdoor lights after 10:00 and/or put all outdoor lights on motion sensors, do not use lights pointing up into the sky. This is not just for our sky-viewing pleasure, but the light pollution affects bat flight and insect navigation.

Thursday - Saturday: 10am - 11pm Sunday - Wednesday: 10am - 10pm

970-879-7355

Happy Holidays!

Beer of the Month:

DESCHUTES

First Snow Reflections by Karen Vail Nature has been my lifeline this year; an ever-calming presence and balm during a tumultuous time. As we enter the holiday season, let’s take a moment to share what we receive from, and how we can give back to, our natural world. The natural world has provided shelter and peace for many of us this year. I help create safe places for her inhabitants through some simple practices in my yard. I am not a neat freak in the yard. Dead wood, little brush piles, leaves on the ground…this is all excellent habitat for critters. Mother Nature would love those leaves, so just shred them with your mower and leave them as rich, organic black gold to feed numerous critters. I also shred them and place them as a natural mulch in my veggie and perennial beds. Create a balance in your own landscape that works FOR you by encouraging the good guys who then keep the bad guys in check. The joy of observing these interactions in your own little habitat is profound. And, hey, the best gift for YOU? Less work, so you can go hiking! Then you can see the Master at work! Nature provides an intricate system of checks and balances, no chemicals needed! Put those chemicals away! Don’t do it! Don’t need them! According to Xerces Society data, “Among bumble bees, 28 percent of species in North America are considered threatened; 41 percent in Mesoamerica; and 23.5 percent in Europe.” (Wings, Fall 2019).

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

While camping, I get up before dawn, wrap my sleeping bag around me and just sit and watch and listen. This is magic, the beginning of a day. All senses are in tune and ready for the birds first murmurings, the coyote howling and other morning greetings. This is nature’s gift to you! Please take the earbuds out! Connect yourself, don’t put up a wall of sound. While hiking up a trail this summer I walked up behind a young lady walking with earbuds blaring so loud I could hear them. She had no idea that just 100 feet in front of her was a bull moose standing his ground. I was trying to alert her, finally threw a stick at her when she snapped out of her stupor. Stay safe, stay connected. Nature provides amazing entertainment if we only are attuned to enjoy it. I am trying to get across town on a summer day, aaargh!!! Then I look up and catch sight of a Sandhill Crane soaring high above. Immediately my shoulders relax, my breathing slows, and I am enthralled with that incredible bird. By slowing down and engaging with our surroundings, whether we are driving, biking, hiking, etc. we are improving our health (by reducing stress), opening our minds to something other than “us” (improving empathy), increasing our sensory awareness (leading to better mental health as well), and connecting with our sense of place (welcome home!). Share your joys of living in a natural world. Educate others about the values of preserving our natural habitats, and even creating viable habitats in your own landscaping. Despite today’s bad news and division there is magic all around us!! What have you received from the natural world? How do you return that gift? Give someone you love a gift of nature this season. Happy holidays to all of you and our natural neighbors. We’ll see you on the trails!


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Map under construction Map Disclaimer © 2020 Valley Voice, LLC. All rights reserved. NOT TO SCALE! No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy of this map.

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December 2020

Valley Voice

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‘Tis the Season at Steamboat Whiskey! Now Only

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Our Barrel-Aged Cocktails To-Go!

Happy Holidays!

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Our Delicious Line Up! 970.846.3534

Maggie Smith Fine Art Maggie Smith is leaving Pine Moon Fine Art at the end of December to be closer to family and friends in Wisconsin. Although Pine Moon is sorry to see her leave, Maggie is offering a 20% reduction on all of her art as a way of saying farewell. Stop by to see classic and new artworks from Maggie!

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117 9th Street Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 www.PineMoonFineArt.com “Mountain King” by Maggie Smith

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

970-879-2787

“Mules ears” by Maggie Smith

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Valley Voice

December 2020

11

COVID, COVID, COVID

Everything You Wanted to Know About COVID-19, But Were Afraid to Ask

By Brodie Farquhar

SCIENTIFIC NEWS FLASH

It has now been determined that your mouth and nose are part and parcel of your respiratory system. That means you (assuming the reader is human), can breath in or out of either orifice. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, where people are encouraged/required to wear face masks to prevent exhaling the virus or breathing it in, it is imperative to cover both the nose and the mouth.

Wearing a mask over the mouth only is not sufficient. A Jimmy Durante schnoz or a perky, upturned nose that are poking out of a mask defeat the purpose of wearing a mask. Period.

A Message from Routt County Wait Staff

Dear customer, we are delighted to serve you in our restaurants. We do, however, have some suggestions as to your face masks.

Please wear your masks when entering or exiting the restaurant. Further, please wear the mask when talking more than briefly with your waiter/waitress, so as to cut down on any virus you might be exhaling. Finallly, please do NOT place your icky, grody mask on top of the table we just wiped clean. Wear it around your neck or place in pocket/purse or on lap.

Better to put on in the morning and take off at night. They are easy to slip off face and hang around neck, or pull up and adjust over nose and mouth. Can look a bit like a horse’s feedbag. A talented seamstress could create a face bag and you could fill it with candy. A Side Benefit of Mask-wearing: Get less Sick According to Monica Gandhi, MD, an infectious disease specialist at UC-San Francisco, there is an additional benefit to wearing face masks in public, other than to slow/ stop the spread of COVID-19. You can be less sick if and when you contract the disease. It is basically a matter of virus load – how much or how little the amount of virus one receives. A full-on cough or sneeze in your face from someone who has contracted COVID-19, is likely to make you very, very sick. Perhaps fatally so. Conversely, a really small viral dose, one-time or repeated, might infect people but they might not have symptoms or be just a little sick.

Sincerely, Routt County wait staff

No mask provides 100 percent protection, so the masks most of us wear provide something less than that. Dr. Gandhi cited two cruise ships at the beginning of the pandemic, one that issued masks when the first passenger fell ill, and a second that was tardy in issuing masks. The first had no serious illnesses, but many asymptomatic cases. The second had numerous, seriously ill passengers.

A Review of Effectiveness of Various Face Coverings

Vitamin D is Good for You

According research at Duke University, the following are the best and worst of face coverings.

According to researchers around the world, vitamin D is a good thing to have in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Long recognized as an immune booster, vitamin D can reduce the risk of catching the disease, as well as reducing the severity of the disease.

Best 1. Fitted N95 mask with no vent. Preferred mask for front line doctors and nurses. 2. Three layer surgical mask. 3. Cotton-polypropylene-cotton mask. 4. Two-layer polypropylene mask.

The best way to get vitamin D in your body is exposure to sunshine and healthy foods like salmon. Supplements also work.

Worst 1. Gaiter-like neck fleece. 2. Cowboy bandanna. Good cowboy/bandit vibe, but nearly useless. 3. Knitted mask.

University of Chicago Medicine researchers found a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of developing the disease. Spanish researchers cite one study that vitamin D supplements can help people avoid going into intensive care units, or make it a short stay.

To Ear Hook or Loop Behind Head, That is the Question

For the “I Can’t Breathe” perspective:

Hooking a mask behind one’s ears has pluses and minuses. They can be quickly taken off, but may take a few seconds to adjust and get on. Skin behind ears is sensitive and can be painfully irritated by day-long wearing. If the loop isn’t behind the ear, it can bend the ear over. That makes me look like Dumbo before take-off.

Surgeons, who are quite bright and wear masks during looong surgeries, manage to breath, keep their blood/oxygen count up and generally do their job without suffering oxygen starvation and resultant brain damage. I’ve read of surgeons who have run marathons while wearing surgical masks, and they said they were just fine.

Whether tied behind head or looped over head and held in place by elastic, these masks are not easy to put on and take off multiple times per day.

Best Tools on the Web for Following the Pandemic: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ Play around with the lists. Great info.

Updates with an explanation when an error is found in the reporting of a country or state, and fixes that past data. Covers USA states adding counties weekly, VA, military, Navajo Nation, and territories. Also tracks all countries reporting. Individual charts on all country and state pages. https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/ Has comprehensive charts, and a link to a county tracker. ALL counties. The charts have many choices for how to look at the data. Covers US states and world countries. https://ncov2019.live/ Teenage Avi is a GENIUS and his site is incredible. Has several countries broken down into states and provinces, with more coming. He even tracks ships at sea. Tracks daily movements in states by percentages. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/ The John Hopkins University’s corona virus research center offers a morning update about the most critical developments. The site strives to confirm data, so it lags other sites on reported deaths and cases. Worldometers is usually several days ahead of the others.

Photo by Karen Vail


12

December 2020

Valley Voice

Piknik Theatre Located at Neste Auto Glass

Great Prices, Services & Parts

2020: A Year That Will Live O In Infamy By Stuart Handloff And yet…...it was a new virus that looks upon magnification like an average chewy toy for the family dog, only 40 - 140 nanometers in size, that has felled the mighty Palm Beach invader. The irony is beyond rich. Given the narrow margin of victory for the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris team, all Trump needed to do in February or even early March, was offer one of his famous tweets: “Corona virus is so sad. Even if it sounds like beer. Sadder than we thought. Let’s all wear face coverings for a few weeks.” He could have worn one whenever he was out in public, cheating at golf or on the wife; promising one to every American, and of course, never delivering. But at least demonstrating to his slavish followers that a mask was no big deal.

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Illustration by Alvim Corréa, from the 1906 French edition of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds". As we reflect on the past 12 months, paraphrasing Franklin D. Roosevelt’s immortal words announced after the bombing of Pearl Harbor immediately spring into my head first. We knew it was going to be an election year with all the mudslinging ramped up due to the charming “style” of the man occupying the White House. We knew the occupant would be acquitted after a sham trial in the Republican-controlled US Senate. After all, this is a man quoted as saying, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters." No more truthful words were ever spoken in his four years while in office. What we didn’t expect is that life would imitate art in so many ways. H.G. Wells' classic science fiction story “War of the Worlds” was written in 1898. In 1938 it was infamously adapted for a radio theatre piece that created chaos in some areas of the East Coast. The story is simple by today’s standards and could hardly be expected to cause any distress at all these days. Alien spacecraft arrive on Earth from Mars, landing all over the planet - New Jersey, in the US - and start shooting up the place. The invaders easily defeat the army thanks to their advanced weaponry, a “heat-ray” and poisonous “black smoke,” only to be felled by earthly diseases against which they have no immunity [quote from Smithsonian Magazine]. How can you not see parallels with the fate of the Trump administration? Despite four years of lying so often (according to the Washington Post, the total stood at 22,247 claims in 1,316 days and this doesn’t include anything in the past couple of months) that no one expected the truth, ever; undermining international alliances that had stood intact since the 1940’s; openly encouraging fascists worldwide and white supremacists at home; never delivering on any promised health care reform, infrastructure improvements, or his financial records….I could go on but you get the point. It was clear that he could easily defeat any liberal armies or media with his heat rays and poisonous black smoke.

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

Think about it: spend a few months wearing a face covering, save 100,000 or so lives and prevent millions of infections and serious illness, and cruise to an easy re-election. Or...make face coverings a political and vanity statement, reject the opinion of doctors and scientists of every stripe, and lie - once again - about the severity of the illness (even after contracting the disease and spending days in the hospital getting medical treatments unavailable to any other American citizen). And ultimately losing the election by a handful of votes. Let me see: wear a mask and win reelection; refuse to wear a mask, get seriously ill, and lose the election. Oh my. What shall I do??? Well, we all know the answer to that question and it proves that perhaps divine intervention on the same scale as the Ten Plagues of Egypt has been visited upon the planet. All we need to complete the picture is Trump with a shaved head like Yul Brynner and a reincarnated Charlton Heston to come down from Pikes Peak with some stone tablets. If that happens, I’ll definitely be first in line to go back to Sunday school. So far we’ve seen reality mimic art in the form of an updated Wells “War of the Worlds,” and a modern day version of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments.” But wait - there's more. We can always invoke words from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” and this quote is especially apt for those liberals who believe that voting once every four years is all that’s required to preserve democracy: “We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it. She'll close and be herself, whilst our poor malice Remains in danger of her former tooth.” (Act 2, Scene II). The actual context is unimportant. But what should stick out as plainly as a MAGA hat is the fact that although the snake who occupied the White House may soon be out of a job (and perhaps in prison for income tax evasion, racketeering, and money laundering among other felonies), the 70,000,000 others who think it’s only a lot of fake news are sharpening their teeth in anticipation of every upcoming local school board, City Council, and State legislator election. We are all in danger of these venomous rascals and their attempts to turn democracy to tyranny without a second thought. It all begins at the local level and the 2020 election did nothing to change local politics to a significant degree; if anything, it’s gotten worse. Tyranny doesn’t require a stable genius or even a modest degree of competence. It only needs complicity or silence. So what shall we do? Remain diligent in support of democracy at every level and at every election or find that in 2024, like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” he who shall not be named takes an axe to the door and announces: “Here’s Donnie!”??


Valley Voice

December 2020

Mensan Musings

On Being Coachable

We’ve moved to 3150 Ingles Lane! Cannabis Dispensary

By Wolf Bennett

Winter has arrived and another season of coaching with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Watching these kids grow up learning to love winter sports, outdoors and life skills is a terrific way to spend my time. SSWSC truly is about becoming a better person and the mountains are simply the classroom. Oh, and we coach skiing and snowboarding too. All students are not created equal. Some are willing to learn, others not so much, including coaches. When it comes to learning there are pretty much three groups: A) The first group doesn’t want feedback and coaching, they are quite certain they know everything (they might say they don’t know everything, but look a little more closely – they don’t listen). The common traits are arrogance, ignorance, denial, blame, emotional insecurity and lack of fear. B) The second group believe they want feedback and coaching, but their pride and egos prevent them from fully accepting it. These are the people for whom the same issues consistently come up over and over again. They just can’t get over some hump in their performance and the same glitch recurs. They just can’t quite accept that just maybe, they need help. They depend on talent, inconsistent training, excuses, denial and defiance to defend their lack of performance. C) The third group actively seeks out coaching and feedback and most importantly, they act on the advice received and they try to understand and use different methods of learning to get around difficulties. They will do whatever it takes to get better and rarely repeat the same mistakes once pointed out. These are the superstars in their fields. They listen and they hear. The role of a coach and an athlete are very different. Even the finest students need coaching, and in fact, the elite want to be coached. These people accept that they always have more to learn. Furthermore, they recognize that the

best players don’t always become the best coaches. They simply know that they don’t know and set out to learn. The greatest coaches are those who can excite and build and teach the student how to learn and give them the reasons to perform and grow. The best go way beyond skill execution or technique training. The ones who constantly learn, adapt, grow and reach out are my favorites. Be cautious of those who claim many years of experience. They might be good, but then again they just might have one year of experience many times. There are important characteristics to have working with you or your children, so watch for these traits: Humility – Is this person able to admit what they don’t know or can’t do? Do they genuinely ask for help? Commitment – When working on a difficult task, do they demonstrate perseverance and grit? Do they make excuses? Are they on time to practices and keep abreast of schedules? Self-awareness – Do they recognize how their actions impact others? Do they just get through a workout or do they really work on themselves? Do they celebrate successes? Do they see a lost race as a failure or an obstacle to overcome? How balanced is their emotional IQ? Can you help them learn better skills (do you even know better skills?)? Willingness to learn – Are they curious and ask questions? (even those nonstop annoying ones – please let them ask, develop your own ability to listen and guide to discovery). Do they discover things and make their own joy or do they need to be entertained? Vulnerability – Are they able to be open and to trust others? Is it blind trust or thinking trust? Are they aware of their own feelings and in dealing with their own emotions?

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S T E A M B O AT S P R I N G S

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The Original Local’s Liquor Store On the corner of US40 and Hilltop Pkwy

New Hours: Mon. thru Sat: 10 am - 9 pm Sunday: 11:30 am - 7:30 pm

Happy Holidays to our wonderful clients and their fur friends!

We are proud that we offer 24 / 7 on call emergency services. Even during the Holidays.

Everything changes, including you, so anything static is going to be a limitation of some sort. If you are looking to develop your team you must identify and invest in those who are coachable. Don’t let natural talent outweigh coachability, as all talent hits its ceiling when the challenge gets more difficult. Breaking through limits requires someone who sees the bigger picture. What you practice you become, even to the tiniest of behaviors. If you practice poor habits you will get poor results. If you practice the wrong skills you will simply get very good at doing things wrong. If you practice believing in impossible things then you will most certainly be far more gullible and accepting of “magic” tricks, paranormal claims and more false or misleading claims. It is a good idea to practice being a great learner. Practice a deeper curiosity, gratefulness, honesty, compassion, than you have ever been before. Adding a little bit more now and then, consistent practice will bring changes that you never thought possible, and it all adds up to huge gains. Enjoy the winter and learn as much as you can.

We are here for you when your pet needs us most.

www.petkareclinic.com 102 Anglers Drive

970-879-5273


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Valley Voice

December 2020

Furniture - Art - Antiques Lighting - Home Decor - Gifts

15

Poetry

Inside Out By Sandy Conlon

bring in the robins once more when you scatter crumbs upon the floor and the ravens black as ink when your bagel’s onion chips line the sink then watch the flitter of sparrows grow smug when they find seedlings buried in the rug

New Winter Hours!

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All the Cleaning Supplies You Need for a Safe Environment!

the neighborhood squirrel has yet to breach the room when he does I stand ready with a broom for the friendly bear, raccoon, and fox I could make a fine stew of purple berries and lox but wait where will they eat when we are gone and who will feed them who will listen to the caw caw caw-ing of the raven’s song just who will feed them if on a whim they slowly and cleverly wheedle their way in

Formulated in Hayden, Colorado

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2620 S. Copper Frontage The “LOCAL’S” choice for Personalized Health Care

Masks in bulk!

Awesome Christmas presents, decorations, Stocking stuffers and more!


16

December 2020

Valley Voice

Tales from the Front Desk

The Golden Ring By Aimee Kimmey

gone missing. Where do you even start? You feel like hyperventilating. There's a knock at the door, "Mrs. Walker?" Hardly aware of what you're doing, you answer it. The housekeeper smiles at you from the threshold. She holds up your father's ring and the air catches in your throat. Suddenly you're a little girl again on Christmas Eve. You are cozied up next to the fire place with your parents, the Christmas tree twinkles beside you. As he does every Christmas, your father tells the story: It was 1944, he says, he was nineteen, marching across France with the Allied forces. Bitter cold had settled over the war torn land. Your dad was a radio technician, he and five British Commandos were sneaking behind enemy lines to build a communication post. The roads were so thick with German troops, they had to hike across the country, through horrendous cold. On December 24, they found themselves on the outskirts of a German occupied town in northern France. The temperature dipped toward negative 20. The story you are about to read is true... more or less. Wednesday. 1:53 pm. Room 216. Reaching for your hand cream, you notice your ring is gone. Panic rips through your stomach to drive an icy spear into your heart. That ring is precious. It was hand crafted in the 1940s. But far more importantly: it was your father's ring. He wore it every day until he gave it to you. You've worn it for nearly ten years yourself. How could you have lost it?! You wrack your brain, when was the last time you had it? You had gotten up early to change rooms because they had accidentally booked you into the wrong room. The front desk didn't realize it until after you'd unpacked, so they let you stay the night in the other room. Did you have the ring then? You can't say for sure. Your mind flashes through your journey here, there were so many places it could have

The plan was to sneak around the Germans under the cover of darkness. But the sounds of screams stopped them. Through the trees they saw German soldiers towering over a little girl on the frozen ground. She couldn't have been more than ten years old.

The girl's parents were worried sick. They'd tried to search for her, but the Germans had blocked them. They were so relieved to see her, that the girl's father quickly ushered all of them inside. Why had she snuck out? He demanded. Confused, the little girl stared up at the adults, "It's Christmas." She held up the pine bows. At this point, your father would always stop to explain his utter shock; Christmas was a major event in his family. But this year, he had fought so hard, and seen so much horror, he had forgotten Christmas entirely. Your Dad tells you that no one spoke for long moment. They could hear the German soldiers with their dogs marching through the streets below. Your father thought this was the end, the Germans were sure to find them, all because of him. The little girl's father scooped her up, pine bows and all. "It is Christmas." He said. "You must all stay. Celebrate with us." The Germans had already searched his home, he told them, and he didn't expect them back. They would be safe, and it was far too cold to be outdoors. The soldiers tried to protest, hating to put the family in more danger. But the girl's parents persisted. The wife brought out extra cans of peaches and the last of her fancy cheese. The father opened up an old bottle of wine. The soldiers even shared their meager rations. Feasting by the warmth of fire, they told stories about laughter and joy. They helped the little girl build her wreath and hang it over the mantel. For one brief moment, light and warmth triumphed over the darkness. Before they left the next morning, the girl's father brought out a box of gold rings he had crafted. He was so grateful to them for rescuing his daughter, he insisted each of the soldiers take one. They weren't much, he said, but it was all he had salvaged after the Germans raided his shop. Each one was exquisite, your father recalled, a unique piece of art.

They should have taken the opportunity to slip past the soldiers and carry on with the mission. But your father couldn't walk away. He told the Commandos he'd save the girl himself if he had to. But with out him, they had no mission. So the five Commandos made short work of the Nazis terrorizing the girl.

That year, your father would explain, despite the war, and the cold, and the hunger, was the year he truly learned the meaning of Christmas. It's not about feasts, or fine trappings, he would say; it's about sharing the warmth of a fire with family and friends in the darkest days of winter. He wore the ring for the rest of his life, and he never forgot the lessons it brought him.

Helping her up, they heard the dogs barking nearby. Their activities had raised the alarm. Tears streaking her dirty cheeks, the little girl grabbed an arm load of pine bows, telling the soldiers to follow her.

Seeing it in the housekeeper's fingers, the story fills your heart as it did every time your father told it. As it still does when you tell it to your son. Your eyes brim with tears, you can barely speak.

They hurried back to the village, to a small jewelry shop that had been viciously ransacked. Her father was the jeweler, she said, they lived above his shop. She took them up the stairs at the back.

You slide the ring onto your finger, "Thank you! It was my father's. It means... the world to me."

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.


Valley Voice

December 2020

17

Holiday Cheer

Half Baked By Sean Derning

Clark and I looked at each other in stunned amazement.

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He continued, “The group recently tried to kidnap Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. They are funded with money from their ringleader, Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy. The group wanted to put Cookie Monster on trial for crimes against confectionary.” Y

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“The plot was foiled when Cookie Monster broke free of the rope used to tie him up,” said O’Reo. “Gingerbread men lack opposable thumbs and can’t snug down knots very well. Unbound, Cookie Monster then ate his way to freedom. Had they used handcuffs, Cookie Monster would have been in big trouble.”

CMY

YAMPA VALLEY’S LOCAL INTERNET SOLUTIONS PROVIDER SINCE 2001.

970-871-8500 www.zirkel.us

O’Reo pulled out another photo and handed it to me.

My son Clark and I were deep into the task, with the first batches of cookies appearing from the oven, cooling on the counter and ready for decoration. Suddenly, the doorbell rang.

“Geez, Dad. Looks like we created a monster,” said Clark.

“Are you expecting anyone?” I asked Clark.

“Mr. Derning, you’re doing the right thing,” O’Reo assured me.

“Mr. Derning, I’m agent Keebler and this is agent O’Reo,” he said as he held up his FBI credentials. “We were driving by and we smelled delicious baked goods coming from your home. May we come in? We have a few questions and some pictures to show you.”

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“We’ve been tracking the militia for several weeks now and have come close to catching him, but he’s very quick,” said Keebler. “The children’s story about the gingerbread man being fast is not an exaggeration.”

“He’s been taunting us and leaving notes when we’re about to close in. We had him in custody once, but he escaped by lying flat and scooting under the door.”

I went to the door and opened it. Standing outside were a man and a woman with aviator style sunglasses, dressed in business suits.

POWERED BY LOCALS!

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It was a cold winter day in early December, with light snow falling from the sky. A perfect day for baking holiday cookies, long a tradition in our family. That intoxicating smell coming from the oven; sugar cookies decorated with red and green sprinkles, the gingerbread men with their white icing, red and green M&M oatmeal cookies. A fine selection.

“Nope,” he said with a shrug.

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I stared at the picture. It was a note with shaky handwriting that read, “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.”

Hayden

Steamboat Springs Walden

Meeker

“And all in the name of holiday cheer,” I said glumly. “Clark, go get the cookie cutter we use for gingerbread men.”

“What about the Santa and Snowman cutters?” Clark asked. “That won’t be necessary,” said Keebler. “Snowmen can’t move and Santa has his reputation to uphold. As a rule of thumb, in the future when you eat a gingerbread man, bite off the head first. Leaves them completely helpless.”

Poetry

ALCHEMY By Joan Remy

Sitting alone in my thoughts Listening to this and that

We turned over the cutter and the agents got up to leave.

Watching the beauty all around

“I feel terrible. I’m so sorry,” I said. “We tried to give him everything he wanted. We used the finest ingredients. Provided a warm, secure cookie jar.”

Owls staring secretly in pines

“They’re with the FBI. Come and sit down.”

“We’re hot on their trail, Mr. Derning,” said O’Reo. “When caught, these cookies will crumble.”

Singing for those that hurt like me

“Mr. Derning, I want to show you some pictures,” said O’Reo. “Do you recognize the individual in this photo?”

“Thank you for being so understanding,” I said. “Would you folks like to take some cookies with you?”

“I do,” I said. “It’s a gingerbread man we baked last year. I can tell by the frosting piping on his waist. But there seems to be a icing tattoo on his neck… GM? What does that mean?”

“Baker’s dozen?” asked Keebler.

“Um, sure,” I said and escorted them to the living room. “Dad? What’s up? Who are these people?” asked Clark.

“Mr. Derning, we’re afraid to inform you that one of the gingerbread men you baked last year has gone rogue,” said Keebler. “He joined the Gingerman Militia, a conservative confectionary group with a violent history. Numerous members have been convicted of brutal crimes, including beating eggs, whipping cream and crushing nuts.”

“Sure,” I smiled. As the agents drove off, I noticed something on the front porch. A fortune cookie. I cracked it open and the message inside matched the same handwriting in the photo. It read, “Snitches get stitches.”

Huge eyes without masks It’s the sting of being I love with intensity Under sparkling stars To soothe my soul Transforming Letting the warrior shine Within magic and moonlight


18

December 2020

Valley Voice

Yepelloscopes

Your Monthly Message By Chelsea Yepello Aries

March 21 - April 19

You were told it’s best to make your own mistakes and learn from them. This is generally true, unless of course your mistake concludes with releasing a deadly plague or burning down a medium sized city.

Taurus

April 20 - May 20

After years of searching and many failed attempts, you have finally decided to seek the assistance of a cartographer to decipher the treasure map you obtained years ago. You believe this map will uncover riches beyond your wildest fantasies, but unfortunately, the cartographer quickly discovers that it’s just a sketch someone drew during a game of Pictionary.

Gemini

May 20 - June 20

The truth is hard to hear and can hurt you deeply, but if you’re open to it, it can help you grow as a person. It can be disturbing to look at yourself from a different perspective and honestly reflect on your inner self. With that warning, here it goes...the truth. Santa is mad at you. Like, really mad. Like, he unfriended you and blocked your number. Buy your own presents this year.

ONLINE ORDERING NOW AVAILABLE!

Cancer

June 21 - July 22

You’ve never noticed any issues about drinking alone. Sometimes there is no harm in it, it can even be relaxing and introspective. But one morning, you will look at your

phone and be forced to read sexy, borderline inappropriate booty texts to yourself and know it’s time to rethink the solo indulgence.

Leo

July 23 - August 23

You thought a stripper popping out of a giant cake during your friend’s bachelor party was a fun idea, so naturally, you think it’s an even better idea to have Santa pop out of a cake at your next holiday party. Right? Regrettably, when Santa emerges from the cake completely naked, he just looks like a fat naked dude with a big beard.

Virgo

August 23 - September 22

Libra

September 23 - October 23

Soon, you will tearfully confess that you killed a man in the ballroom with a candlestick. Ironically, you will get away with it because the authorities will think you are just messing with them. You know you have trouble dealing with confrontation when your roommate’s “visiting” friend, who has been living on your couch for the past six months, starts getting mail delivered to your house.

Scorpio

October 24 - November 21

It’s interesting that you won’t eat calamari, caviar or sushi at any time of the year, but on Christmas, you will drown your meal in gray, mushy oyster gravy. 'Tis the season to smell like rancid ocean.

Sagittarius

Poetry

JOAN COMING OVER By Melody Joy Phillips/ New York City

OPEN DAILY Recreational & Medical

1755 Lincoln Avenue Steamboat Springs, CO On the Free Bus Route

970-870-2941

www.GoldenLeaf.co For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

All upon a whim So long ago Popping corks and laughing Between sips Music like fragrance for the mood Loving the moment as it blossomed Our hearts high and soaring on smiles Transfixed on the joy we shared Beautiful memories of dreamy visits Encounters with fate felt with love By candlelight Singing in harmony

November 22 - December 21

You will gain notoriety for being a talented and resourceful taxidermist, which is especially concerning because you’re a veterinarian.

Capricorn

December 22 - January 19

As you float in an anti-gravity chamber, it’s glaringly obvious how flabby you’ve gotten when your belly floats above your head. Gravity is a terrible thing sometimes. But alas, this is not the time to be down on yourself, instead, feel empowered and decide that gravity simply doesn’t exist. Maybe start a cult of flabby-anti-gravityists.

Aquarius

January 20 - February 18

Just because you have been enchanted by the bearded, neglected, twitching psychopath who calls himself “Cindy Loo,” does not mean he is the living embodiment of a beloved Christmas story. Also, do not trust that he can make your heart grow three times its current size with whatever is in his thermos.

Pisces

February 19 - March 20

You say you would rather die a thousand deaths, but shortly after the four-hundredninety-sixth death, you realize that you may have been exaggerating.


Valley Voice

December 2020

19

By Matt Scharf

You Need to Get Out Sometime!

Check Out the Tacoma Table in Our Showroom Today!

www.timberlinefurnitureandmattress.com

1707 Lincoln Avenue

970-870-8807


20

December 2020

Valley Voice

STOP THE SPREAD S AV E T H E S H R E D

TAKE THE PLEDGE saveourseason.org # S AV E O U R S E A S O N

SPREAD THE WORD For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

NOT THE VIRUS


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