Valley Voice October 2020

Page 1

October 2020 . Issue 9.10


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Steamboat Springs Hayden Oak Creek Yampa Marc Sehler Memorial - "Ghost Rider" by David Haradin on MGM / Emerald Mountain / Photo by: Bryan Alkema


October 2020

Valley Voice

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Valley Voice

October 2020


Contents The Other Guy By Eric Kemper

Page 5

A Brief History of NW Colorado: Part IV Page 6 By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield

September Photos/ Out & About

Page 8

Wasps and Other Unwelcome Guests

Page 9

By Dream Pursuits/ Valley Voice By Karen Vail

Flying Cheaper will be A Game Changer Page 10 By Scott L. Ford

Hayden October News

Page 11

Mail Order Husband/ Radio Mysteries

Page 12

Donkey Beads and Evil Spirits

Page 13

By Brodie Farquhar By Stuart Handloff

Publisher/Art Director: Matt Scharf

By Wolf Bennett


Earth Page 13

VV Assistant:

Eric Kemper

The Woman Did Not Sing to Him

Page 14

An Old Coal Miner Looks at COVID 19

Page 14

Men's Prostate Health

Page 15

The Woman Without a Mask

Page 16

Hell Comes to Town

Page 17

Your Monthly Message

Page 18

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 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.

By Joan Remi

By Fran Conlon By Ted Crook

By Kari Pollert

By Aimee Kimmey By Sean Derning

By Chelsea Yepello

Comics Page 19

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.


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:

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.

Fall colors only last as far as the first wind storm... Hitting a horse with your car... Middle Fork fire and all its smoke... No clear plan for the 2020/2021 COVID 19 Ski Season... Dispatches from the Department of Redundancy Department... "Dirty looks "- a.ka. -"Stink-eye" without reason... Trying to own someone else's UPS box... Two-wheeled car with Florida plates with "unauthorized Steamboat stickers"... To the constant moaning my truck makes at 23 years old... Never getting enough riding in before the cold weather sets in... The outrageous surge of people and construction...

Raves... The extra colorful fall colors that grace our valley... To all the Valley Voice advertisers, that keeps it going... For the Ice Rink opening outside this winter... The new connector trail from the new Beall Parking Lot to basically heaven... For successfully completing the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route... For all the people who wear masks without a complaint... Steamboat Powersports Service Crew...

Say What?... “We are trying to fit in so bad, we end up making people a lot more upset.” “They didn't tell us all this ranching is a lot harder than it looks like in the magazines." Do you know what the fall colors will look like on October 15th?" "When will it start snowing?"

We go to press October 26th for the November 2020 Edition! Send in your submissions by October 19th!

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). Submission is no guarantee of publication. Subscription rate is a donation of 40 measly dollars per year. However, if you wish to send more because you know we desperately need your money, don’t be shy, send us all you can! Advertisers rates vary by size, call 970-846-3801 and we’ll come visit you. Please make checks payable to: Valley Voice, LLC P.O. Box 770743 • Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 Thank you for your support!

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October 2020

Valley Voice


Beer of the Month:

Thurs. - Sat.: 10am - 11pm

Oak Creek, 1914: A photo of Oak Creek in 1914, looking west and showing the school and Main Street. The school pictured sits where the South Routt Medical Clinic currently sits.

Sunday - Wed. 10am - 10pm

Please read the Bonnifield Files: A Brief History of Northwest Colorado: The Untold Story: Part IV. On page 6. Photo courtesy: Nita Herold Naugle / Tracks & Trails Museum / Oak Creek.

Ska Brewing

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Halloween is on its way! Here are ways to avoid making a scary ER visit with your pet: Keep Halloween treats out of reachespecially chocolate, raisins, and xylitol. Make sure you pet's costume fits and that your pet is accustomed to it before Halloween. Not everyone loves spooky trick-or-treaters, so make a safe hiding space for your pets.

If your pet gets a Halloween scare, we are here for you 24/7!

New Winter Hours!

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Valley Voice

October 2020

Some Good Trouble

The Other Guy

Located at Neste Auto Glass

By Eric Kemper

Godwin’s Law says, basically, that the longer an internet debate goes on, the greater the likelihood becomes that someone invokes Hitler. Sadly, this dynamic seems, like so many of our modern devils, to have escaped from the digital realm to torment the real world. The willingness to see the evil in someone whose views don’t align with our own has become yet another of the plagues of our age, but it might also be the one we have the most direct power to vanquish. The invocation of Hitler and the Nazis has become the great horror trope of our age. It was real-life evil, manifested with the kind of intentional, unmistakable precision that made the evil so obvious. There were variously invoked emissaries of earthly evil before Hitler; Napoleon, Attila, Genghis Khan, Richard III, etc. None have the potency today of Adolf Hitler. We label politicians “Hitler.” We call pundits “Nazis.” There are HOA Nazis and parking Nazis and that guy who runs stuff and acts like he’s Hitler. Hitler, Nazis, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler. Words matter. If everyone and everything is Hitler, what does Hitler even mean anymore? The Nazi regime becomes a lazy first insult, rather than the historically monumental holocaust, the ripples and echoes of which still haunt us all to this day, that it truly is. There are people who act in ways with which we may have a strong personal enmity, but does that really make them Hitler? There are many ways to outline a failing, a lapse or a transgression. There are historical ways of framing a national crisis, but must the historical window consistently look back to Germany in the 1930s and 40s? The constant ubiquity of the Nazi leader, like the latterday bogeyman, lessens the impact when true Neo-Nazis emerge. It is not hyperbole to invoke Nazis when a violent, intolerant insurgency marches in the streets carrying torches and chanting Reich slogans. Overuse and misuse have lessened the impact that calling a Nazi a Nazi ought to have. There are indeed Nazis in America today, but they are not most of us.

It’s as basic as the Golden Rule itself, the powerful through line that connects all the world’s major, noble religious traditions. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Bringing it to the local and personal level, the impulse to see bad intent in our neighbors is why we scream and get apoplectic in traffic. It’s why we sincerely question when it became our responsibility to protect someone else’s aged or infirm grandparent, when the question should really be, when did it stop being our responsibility and would we feel any differently if it was our grandparent or relative? We’re all supposed to be in this together. The divisive nature of our rhetoric and its effect on how we behave as a society has spawned madness. Perhaps the greatest individual sin is the lack of forbearance; refraining from doing things that can, but should not be done. To accept the idea that principles are for the other guy, or that to succeed, the ends justify the means. It hearkens back to the principles of the rule of law. In a cohesive society, the principles we live under should be the same for us as they are for the other guy. When the law is used to reward allies and punish perceived enemies, we become more accepting of what we’re willing to inflict on the other guy. Democracy and the society itself are imperiled when governing becomes an arms race for power that polarizes the citizenry and rewards extremism. It is the blinding, unjust myopia that must be rejected if we are to reclaim the mantle of our national ideals. By overcoming the basic mistrust and assumption of bad intent in the people we disagree with, we can begin to see each other less monolithically. Nothing can return to what could be considered a normal order until we can all agree that no one in fact wants the caricature that the other guy has painted of the worst version of their opponents’ views. Maybe no one’s mind will immediately be changed, but talking to each other is where the gaps begin to get bridged. We might even see the decency and humanity in each other and remember that we actually like the other guy again.

And that’s just the thing. This is America. We should have respected opponents because we’re all supposed to want the same things, but we’re not supposed to be enemies. We just have different ideas about the best ways to perfect the Union. Our conversations have become so poisoned by the idea that the people we disagree with have more in common with Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin than with George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. We see the worst in our neighbors and can’t see anything from the point of view of the other guy.

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October 2020

Valley Voice

Bonnifield Files

A Brief History of Northwestern Colorado: The Untold Story: Part IV By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield

It was the town with a payroll, gambling, liquor, corruption, prostitution, and a pain to strait-laced Steamboat. Thousands of men, mines, and businesses were involved in the Labor War of 1903-04 engulfing the entire state. Appraising the political fallout of the War, George G. Suggs wrote, “[Governor Peabody] was extremely anxious to be vindicated at the polls. . .. A Republican victory was also vital to the corporate interests which benefitted from the governor’s policies. Not only did they need an anti-union governor, but they also needed a friendly legislature to guarantee repayment of their heavy investments in . . . certificates of indebtedness.” (Moffat’s railroad needed all the hard cash it could get in order to reach the Yampa Coalfield.)

Routt County Fuel Tipple: Routt County Fuel Company Tipple that was located at the current west end of Oak Street in Oak Creek. The Routt County Fuel Co later became the Victor American Fuel Co the mine was at Pinnacle. Photo taken around 1915. Photo courtesy: Nita Herold Naugle / Tracks & Trails Museum / Oak Creek. The most powerful dynamic of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was the search for a free society where the average person was equal to the masters of power and influence. Important social/economic movements included, but not limited to, Labor unions, Populist, Socialist, Progressives, New Deal, and Civil Rights. Serious observers after the Civil War argued that without economic freedom, civil liberties were weak and anemic. The battles for economic justice were many and bloody.

fraudulently gained control of thousands of square miles of coal, oil, and timber. Evans and his sister Anne in 1896 toured Routt County. After reciting all its magnificent resources, land, water, mineral springs, coal, oil, and timber, William declared it “An Empire Unrealized.” He was setting in motion Moffat’s grand scheme to build a railroad into the Yampa Valley and beyond. (One source tells that the Evans traveled by automobile. Unlikely, but if true, it was the first automobile in Routt County.)

Immigrants often were the victims of ruthless exploitation. Newcomers from Italy, Greece, Serbia, Austria, Russia, and Asian nations were viewed as a different and inferior race – a subspecies; however, they came to America for equal justice and would settle for nothing less.

For Evans, Moffat, Perry, and associates to successfully execute their plan, they needed to maintain profitable mining and banking investments. The labor strikes, especially at Cripple Creek and the Northern Coalfield, threatened that base. The strike at Cripple Creek, more accurately the shooting war of 1903-04, was especially dangerous. Early in 1904 the Western Federation of Miners’ goon, Harry Orchard, booby trapped the railroad depot at Victor, killing strike breakers detraining and boarding during the shift change.

Conservative forces, especially among the upper crusts, believed they were the true defenders of freedom, civilization, and Christianity. It was the Victorian Age of colonialism justified by the term, the “White Man’s Burden.” Conservatives viewed “those dreadful trouble makers” with all their foreign philosophies and economics as people bent on destroying true values, unity, and glory. It was an extremely complex era of philosophical principles tested with the fullness of human commitment, glory, and folly often resulting in violent warfare. Routt County indulged in its full share of the heady wines and blood baths. Following the Ute removal in 1880, David Moffat, William Evans, Sam Perry, and other Denver businessmen financed several studies of the natural resources, especially coal and oil, in northwestern Colorado. Through their agents, including Charles Leckenby, James Crawford and the Cary brothers Robert and John, the empire builders

The Mine Owners Association and the Citizens Alliance response was ruthless. The duly elected sheriff was given a choice of resigning or being hung. Realizing rope ties were out of fashion, he resigned allowing Ed Bell to become sheriff. Sheriff Bell and General Sherman Bell were merciless with members of the WFM and their families. Ed Bell, before becoming Sheriff, was boss of the criminal element, booze, gambling, and prostitution in Cripple Creek. In payment for his work, Bell was allowed to purchase the Schuster homestead on Oak Creek. Here the Bell brothers and associates founded the wide-open Town of Oak Creek.

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

The Democratic candidate, no certified friend of labor, Alva Adams received 123,092 votes. Peabody received 113,754. It appeared Adams won, but charges of voter fraud and a friendly State Supreme Court stopped Adams. Verified charges of Republican fraud and the murder of a poll watcher stopped Peabody. Ultimately, party bosses reached an agreement. Adams was sworn in and immediately resigned followed by Peabody doing the same, allowing Lt. Governor Jesse McDonald to become governor. Thus, Colorado had three governors in a single day. Newly elected U. S. Representative John F. Shafroth resigned, avoiding corruption charges. Campaigning as honest John Shafroth, he was elected governor in 1912. Ed and Sam Bell, D. C. Williams, John Sharpe, K. B. Wiley, Lou Parsons, A. Rollestone of Cripple Creek, and Ed Icholtz of Denver on November 21, 1906, organized the Oak Creek Town, Land, and Mining Company on the Shuster ranch. Originally a tent camp, in April 1908 twenty-one voters incorporated the town. From its birth forward, it was a scourge to the “most proper” elite. It refused to become a “company town” and opened its doors to foreign immigrants and down trodden laborers. Unlike Steamboat or Yampa with their Victorian ethics, Oak Creek was freewheeling. At one time it included an ultraconservative newspaper and an openly radical socialist newspaper. Every European language, custom, food, and religion was part of the town. Contradicting itself, it was segregated, bigoted, violent, and distrustful. It was a dirty, hardworking coal mining town with the biggest payroll in the county. Punishing Oak Creek for its arrogance, Sam Perry and Lawrence Phipps located Phippsburg as a company town for the Moffat/Perry Mine and the railroad. A shuttle train ran between Phippsburg and the mine. All the company towns in the Oak Creek District, White City, Pinnacle, Moffat, Juniper, later Haybro, and Keystone were strictly segregated. At the Moffat Mine, Japanese, Mexicans, and Blacks boarded in one place while “white miners” boarded elsewhere. Finally, after years of struggle, in September 1908, the Denver Northwestern and Pacific reached the Yampa Coalfield at Oak Creek. Construction continued to Steamboat Springs, where financially exhausted and embroiled in legal battles, the line paused until 1912.

Valley Voice

October 2020

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Moffat Mine. It shows the powder house with the tall smokestacks. To the right of the powder house is the tipple. Photo taken around 1912. Photo courtesy: Nita Herold Naugle / Tracks & Trails Museum / Oak Creek. The arrival of the railroad and the opening of the mines brought with it intense social and economic upheaval as labor and captains of industry battled over economic freedom and political justice. The Northern Coal & Coke, Consolidated Coal & Coke, the Evans Mine, and fourteen others in the Northern Coalfield (Erie-Lafayette) signed a contract in 1908 with District 15 of the United Mine Workers. The owners/operators and coal miners in the Northern Coalfield were the same men who opened the mines at Oak Creek. So, the violent past and endless exploitation arrived with the opening of the mines. Without clear explanations in 1910, the coal operators (Moffat, Evans, Hayden, Perry) broke the contract resulting in a strike. Although the Oak Creek mines had worked only two years, Frank Campbell organized a union and the miners struck. The miners had several legitimate issues; for example, miners were contract laborers paid by the ton of coal mined, but there were no scales to weigh the coal. A company man simply guessed at the weight. The strike at Oak Creek was quickly crushed. The strike continued at Erie eventually resulting in the Great Labor War of 1913-14 and the Ludlow Massacre. Working and living conditions for miners and their families were a living hell. The mines were dangerous with many deaths and injuries, and a “well-run mine” did not cost anything to operate. Miners forced to live in company towns were virtual prisoners whose lives were closely monitored and regulated. Rebellion came in the fall of 1913 when the Oak Creek District miners joined a state wide strike. (The Mt. Harris District wasn’t opened until 1914.) The strike was peaceful until late October, although earlier families at company towns were forced to move into tent camps. One camp was at the Oak Creek fire horse pasture (Decker Park) and another at the Gilruth Ranch (inlet to Stagecoach Reservoir).

In October, mine owners/operators Sam Perry, Lewis Hayden, P. M. Peltier, and E. L. Prentiss demanded the strikers go back to work; however, they agreed to furnish scales to weigh the miners’ coal, obey state mine safety laws and use the 2000-pound standard ton when weighing coal instead of the 2600-pound miner’s ton. The Union rejected the owners’ demands. When six Baldwen-Felts detectives stepped off the train, they were met by a crowd of men and women. Town Marshall Decker safely escorted the men to a hotel and the next day put them on a train out of town. H. Deweese also a Baldwen-Felts detective at the Routt County Fuel tipple (current ice-skating rink) ran afoul of a group of angry women while returning from lunch. Later, Deweese caught a train out of town. Everything was peaceful until November 10 when Sheriff Chivington met with mine owners in Denver. On returning, he began disarming strikers and protecting strike breakers. Then a series of violent actions occurred. One involved Ed Bell’s brother Sam. An angry woman hit him over the head with a board, causing serious injury. In January, following a day of court hearings, a group of Steamboat’s leading businessmen stepped forward with a list of demands. Every able-bodied man in the mining camp was to go to work immediately, and “anarchists” (union members) were ordered to leave the county at once. Failure to meet the demands would result in an armed force marching to the district and enforcing the ultimatum. The Taxpayers League was organized to carry through on the demands. The strikers responded by “stand[ing] on their rights as citizens, refus[ing] to be deported, and promising to shoot to kill.” The brave men in Steamboat reconsidered and asked the governor to send in the army. Soon, Captain Dorn and a company of militia arrived. With a heavy hand, strikers, businessmen, and anyone else the mine owners did not like were deported. Strike breakers replaced them. The strike was broken but the war did not end.

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

Valley Voice

Valley Voice

October 2020


'Boat Almanac

Wasps and Other Unwelcome Guests By Karen Vail

Photos by Karen Vail I find these every year from the ceiling of my shed or under the eaves of my house. Colonies will number usually fewer than 100 wasps. Paper wasps are about an inch long, have yellow and black bands on their abdomen and red on their back. Hornets build big football-shaped nests hanging from tree branches or other sturdy perches. These nests are totally enclosed with an opening at the bottom. There could be 400 plus wasps in a large hornet nest. Our most common hornet is the Bald-faced hornet (actually not a “true” hornet, but a type of yellowjacket). They are mainly black with white markings. Baldfaced hornets are considered beneficial as they prey on flies and yellowjackets, chewing their prey into a pulp to feed to their larvae. Adults feed on nectar and tree sap. Yellowjackets build their nests underground and are therefore the most overlooked. Their nests can be home to hundreds of individuals. Yellowjackets are yellow and black and on the smaller side of the social wasps. Small, but mighty, they are the most aggressive and the females are very territorial. In late summer yellowjackets become more aggressive. All summer the workers have fed the larvae chewed up protein and the larvae produce a sugary substance for the workers to eat. As insect sources decline in late summer the larvae produce less sugars for the workers, so they head out to picnics for soda an ice cream. Of the 100,000 plus species of wasp in the world, only about 33,000 species sting, and only the females. Unlike bees with barbed stingers that sting only once, wasps have stingers with very few barbs and sting REPEATEDLY.

Small Hornets Nest Yeeeowwch! I had just plunged my shovel in the ground when yellowjackets erupted from the rocks nearby, intent on my destruction. Several stings later, and with still racing heart, my co-worker Allison gave me a Benadryl which undoubtably saved me from days of pain and itchiness. Alright, who are you bad dudes?? Yellowjackets are a type of wasp, specifically a type of social wasp. Social wasps live in colonies and include hornets and yellowjackets. Over 100,000 species of wasps have beenidentified in the world, and the majority of them are solitary. Solitary wasps forage alone and nest usually alone, although they can often be alongside other nests of their species. The adults spend most of their time preparing their nests and foraging for food for their young, mostly insects and spiders. Whereas the social wasps form paper colonies, solitary wasp nests are more diverse. Many dig underground burrows, mud daubers and pollen wasps create mud cells, and potter wasps build mud nests shaped like vases. Most solitary wasps are parasitoids, the stuff of horror movies. Some lay their eggs on host eggs or pupa, and sometimes they paralyze their prey by injecting venom through their ovipositor then lay eggs into or on the host. The developing larvae have a nice live buffet on the host as they mature (Ewwww!!). The Ichneumon wasps are specialized parasitoids of larvae buried deep in wood. After they have located their prey through smell and vibration their ultra-long ovipositors can drill through the wood and lay eggs on or in their host after paralyzing it. Solitary wasps parasitize almost every pest insect making them an asset in agriculture and horticulture. Trichogramma wasps have long been used in greenhouses to control white flies, and several wasp species are used to control aphids. One good reason to not use chemicals in your landscape and keep some “messy”

Hornets Nest in Winter areas in your gardens where these valuable wasps can nest. Solitary wasps are typically gentle insects and will not sting unless provoked. Social wasps are the best-known species of wasps. Paper wasps, yellowjackets and hornets all build nests, though the size, shape and location of their nests differ. Paper wasps build open, umbrella-shaped nests.

Social wasp nests are fascinating. Each year a new nest is constructed in spring by the fertilized queen that has overwintered in a protected spot. Wasps are expert paper makers, turning raw wood into sturdy paper homes. The queen wasp scrapes bits of wood fiber from fences, logs or even cardboard, breaking the wood down in her mouth using saliva and water to weaken the fibers. Flying to her chosen nest site she takes her soft paper pulp and begins the nest building, kind of like forming a coiled clay pot. After finishing the nest of honeycombs she begins laying eggs for the first generation of workers. In late summer the old queen dies and a new one mates before her siblings die off. Thank the hornets and paper wasps keeping your garden insect pests in check the next time you work in your garden. Thank a yellowjacket for cleaning up dead insects so all those little bodies don’t pile up. I will also say thanks, but will be vigilant about looking above and below for nests of grouchy wasps out on the trails.


October 2020

Valley Voice

Go Figure

Flying From Here to There May Be Cheaper and That Will Be A 'Game Changer' By Scott L. Ford

Hopefully it is going to be cheaper to get into and out of the Steamboat Springs area via air service. This is good news. Kudos to the Steamboat Ski Resort team for negotiating a deal with Southwest Airlines to begin flying to Yampa Valley Regional Airport (YVRA) beginning this December. This is going to be, in the simplest terms, a game changer for our area. Let me explain.

Airlines Goal: Increase Profit:

When it comes to air service, Steamboat’s proximity to Denver International Airport (DIA) is both a blessing and a curse. For those of us that live here, we know the way to DIA. It is about 190 miles, depending on the route selected. Give or take, it is about a 3.5-hour drive, weather and traffic permitting.

- Sell at higher price - Sell as many tickets as possible

When we decide to fly somewhere, we do some comparative airfare shopping and quickly discover it cost more to fly from YVRA. How much more? About $225 based on Bureau of Transportation (BTS) Average Domestic Airline Itinerary Fares report using annual data from 2010-2019. For a family of four, it could cost almost $1,000 more to fly out of YVRA vs. DIA. Like many airlines, Southwest has perfected the science of Dynamic Pricing. The graphic below attempts to illustrate the motivation and forces at work from both the airlines and customer’s perspective.

Internal Factors What is the demand? Which customers are willing to pay more? What is the optimal ticket price?

When is the best time to buy a ticket?

Dynamic Pricing

Goal: Buy ticket at lower price

What is the minimum price?

External Factors

Dynamic Pricing is why ticket prices can and do change moment by moment.

This ski season Jet Blue will continue to serve YVRA on most Wednesdays and Saturdays with non-stop service to Boston, Ft Lauderdale and New York’s JFK . The key difference is that Southwest will be flying three flights daily from YVRA to DIA. Frequent and daily flights into and out of DIA is the game changer.

Last ski season (2019/20) Jet Blue (another discount airline) began flying non-stop from a few cities across the nation to YVRA. This was good news as a local flyer if where they were going is somewhere you wanted to go as well.

According to BTS data, DIA ranks as the 3rd busiest airport in the nation with slightly over 32 million passenger emplanements in 2019. From DIA everyday on average there are about 450 flights to about 165 destinations in the United States.

Next-Level Functionality


Southwest flies a Boeing 737-800 that has a maximum seating capacity of 175 passengers. Near term changes associated with COVID-19 not withstanding, this means that there will be over 500 seats into and out of YVRA to Denver daily from mid-December to the end of March. In all likelihood the airfare average cost difference of $225 for flying out of YVRA will decline because of Southwest's discount pricing model. How much will the decline be? Hopefully we all will be pleasantly surprised.

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Valley Voice

October 2020


Hayden Surveyor

Hayden October News By Brodie Farquhar

The Hayden Community Outreach survey results are in and have been compiled by town officials. The results paint a picture of what Hayden citizens want for their community in the coming years and decades. Town Manager Matt Mendisco said 130 residents participated. The survey was prepared by consultants North Design and economist Richard Cunningham. Hayden citizens said they’d like to see: • Locals spending money in town, rather than neighboring towns. • Opportunities to both live and work in Hayden. • Viable downtown businesses. • Greater cooperation between the school district and the community. • Greater economic independence, moving away from bedroom community status. • Prioritization of maintenance and expansion of infrastructure for sustained growth. • Establish Hayden as a sustainable energy leader. • More amenities for the community. • More condos and townhouses built around town for more affordable housing options. • Improve education with quality teachers. • Retention and improvement of parks. Affordability is a key value that has attracted business owners and residents alike. Fifty percent of business people said lower costs and availability of space attracted them to Hayden. Fifty-seven percent of residents said they chose Hayden for its lower cost of living. Forty-eight percent of respondents said the community needs to focus on any types of housing with affordable price points. On the topic of recreation, 38 percent of citizens said ease of access to recreation and natural assets are why they continue to live in Hayden. To improve recreational opportunities, citizens recommended: • Direct access to the Yampa River (68 percent). • Compliment the existing trail network (58 percent). • Improved signage or wayfinding (49 percent). Economic development faces some challenges, but one big plus: 76 percent of business owners indicate they plan to expand their businesses within the next three to five years. But there are other realities: Some 84 percent of respondents say there needs to be more jobs in town, relative to the number of housing units. Some 60 percent of residents work outside of Hayden. Economic sustainability is viewed by 81 percent as the most important issue for the town, long-term. And 42 percent want the town to focus on recruiting businesses to town with long-term job prospects. When it comes to improvement opportunities, 53 percent believe that improved education and childcare programs and infrastructure are crucial over the next 3-10 years. Some 60 percent of respondents believe a competitive school system is crucial to future successes. Forty-two percent believe that school-age children, 6-18, are in the greatest need for social and recreational facilities.

Regarding infrastructure needs, 60 percent called for protecting water rights and agriculture in the area. And 43 percent would like to see Hayden function as a regional hub for construction, travel, outdoor recreation, mining and excavation and ranching/farming. For the topics of culture and recreation, there’s a widespread acknowledgment that “change is in the air,” but that the area’s history is well worth preserving. Elements of success for a vital downtown include more restaurants and retail shops, lodging, respect for local history and for public/open space.

The survey is part of a long-range planning project that ultimately wants to define the desired Hayden in 2030 to 2035, with a set of goals and actions on how to get there. “This is going to lead to a draft report about the options facing Hayden,” said Mendisco. Findings will be presented to the town council and planning commission in September, he added. He said he’s enjoyed working with the consultant, because they have valuable experience to share.


October 2020

Valley Voice

Piknik Theatre


The Mail Order Husband and Other Radio Mysteries D By Stuart Handloff becoming more and more insistent. So, she chooses the mail order option: buy a husband from Back East and put the issue to rest. Find a man she can rule and get the deadbeats out of her pasture. Since this is a comedy, you can be assured the rest of the story unfolds with a charming and satisfying conclusion, suitable for the whole family.

Not surprisingly, despite the assurances from the occupant of the White House, COVID is still with us; and likely to be for the next several months at least (in its current form) and always hiding in the background for the foreseeable future. This is, as someone explained to me, only our first pandemic of the 21st century and we’re still finding our way. Our children and grandchildren will be viewing the performing arts through a pre- and post-COVID lens. So let’s give them something memorable to recall as they find entertainment above and beyond Facebook cat videos. Here’s a good story: it’s Steamboat Springs in the 1890s. Families are moving in but the community is still very much a part of the Old West. Ranchers, cowboys, and miners abound; men are men and women….well, there aren't that many who are independent and available (and untainted by the “soiled dove” neighborhood of Brooklyn). Given the overwhelming male population, Steamboat is in the first of its “the odds are good but the goods are odd” stages. Lots of men for a woman of status but none of them are keepers. Our heroine, Ida Brausen, loses her father to illness and she’s not looking for a replacement father figure to help her build the family's homestead. Still, the suitors are

What’s going to be unusual about this story, is that you’ll never see it any time soon. This story will be airing on the local radio stations and subsequently on social media. It’s going to be an entirely auditory artistic experience assembled by a unique team of local and regional actors and sound technicians. COVID has given us all the opportunity to expand what we’ve been doing in the performing arts into new territories. Once we’ve broken new ground - or, given the history of radio theatre, re-excavated some of the old ground - there will be no going back to business as usual. In Shakespeare's time, theatres reopened after years of closure due to the bubonic plague pandemics and people returned to normal activities. We won’t have that luxury both because the economics of big Broadway style productions won’t work in the post-C era and because there won’t be the actors available. It’s hard to sell a kid on an acting career when it's impossible to have in-person learning and the degree will be useless upon graduation. So Ida and her new husband, Ellis, will be existing in your imaginations as you hear about their arranged marriage, the bad guys who want to break it up for their own selfish purposes, and the heroic rescue at the last minute, aided by a bad tempered mule. The sounds alone will be the key to both setting the atmosphere and supporting the story. This will be a soundscape with a plot more than an audio book. Fortunately, Steamboat in the 1890’s was full of sounds: although the actual rail line through the Moffat Tunnel was not completed for another couple of decades, the train arrived in Wolcott in 1888 and a regular stage route between Wolcott and Steamboat was established a year later.


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The air in those days would have been full of the noise of steam engines, stagecoaches, the river running through the center of town, horses, cattle, the sawmill and new flour mill, and - of course - the chugging of the now-silent Steamboat Spring. Naturally, the Old West meant hunting and firearms so the occasional gunshot would have been no cause for alarm. The Brooklyn neighborhood south of downtown was just becoming the spot for fast booze and easy women, since Steamboat proper was banned from selling alcohol. The cowboys began to flock to the area in search of entertainment, refreshment, and the occasional fist fight. It was a loud, exciting time and one that would prove challenging for our heroic couple, Ida and Ellis. Audio books have been popular for years but audio performance art is new in many ways and there are countless questions. Sound technology is light years even beyond the Radio Mystery Theater days of the 1970s and 1980s. But how will new technology work to tell a compelling and entertaining story in the Facebook era? Are audiences so geared toward visual storytelling on TV and in movies that they’ve lost the ability and patience to engage only with what they hear? We usually depend on our sight for information (“believe half of what you see; some or none of what you hear,” in the words of Marvin Gaye ); how can writers explore storytelling in a soundscape only environment? This is going to be an exciting artistic world of potential success and inevitable failures. Two things will be certain as we clear away the smoke and later when we get our vaccinations: audiences will want to re-engage with performers and performing arts will be changing. There will be no return to what we thought we knew on January 1, 2020. There will be a new normal that remains to be defined by the creatives that began inventing storytelling before written languages existed. In the beginning of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the early hominids were visited by a mysterious monolith that ushered in the discovery of tools. Imagine that COVID-19 is our current monolith, arriving over 50 years later, provoking us to discover new tools for communication and creative storytelling. In Joni Mitchell’s words, “we can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came” as we chart an uncertain yet inevitable path to creating new performance art.

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Valley Voice

October 2020

Mensan Musings

Donkey Beads and Evil Spirits By Wolf Bennett

The tools I use that keep me thinking - I'm open to mystery but will use science, logic, self examination and awareness first. Have you got evil spirits in your car? In my vehicle, over many years, I have had a couple of blue glazed beads hanging on a string. They are called donkey beads and supposedly they ward away evil spirits. I used to drive an Audi Fox station wagon. I did all my own work on the vehicle and truthfully I was a young, hack mechanic. One day some unknown, relay behind the dashboard began to click and all my gauges would turn off or on, sometimes one way or the other for minutes or days or weeks. The other important things like lights, brakes and wipers still worked so it was an inconvenience at most and I learned to deal. I happened upon a gift shop and found a basket filled with blue beads and the description card explaining the beads were from the middle east

(I forget where) and that they were made by mixing a ground stone paste, wrapping it around a stick, adding glaze, firing and finally put on a string around their donkey’s necks to ward off evil spirits. After all, who would want an evil spirit in a donkey (aren’t they ornery enough)?

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My mind made a connection and I hung a bead in my Audi, my donkey. The gauges suddenly worked! No problems at all … hmmm. Later that semester I was in the math lab at college and the young woman who was helping me told me about some issues she was having. Attempting to cheer her up, I mentioned she must have some evil spirits and I gave her my donkey bead. Guess what happened after I took out the bead? Yep, no gauges, until I went to the shop again and got more beads and … whoop, the gauges worked again. Well, I put them in my mom’s car and had spares to share. I’ve been warding away evil spirits from my “donkeys” ever since.

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Now you might say that is silly and certainly not my style as I promote science, logic, studies and thinking. I disdain superstition. I commonly use the two words that strike fear into all practitioners of absurd claims - “Prove It.” It is always up to the claimant to prove fantastical claims, not the skeptic. The wilder and bigger the claim, the greater the proof needs to be. Anecdotal evidence, cherry picking, preordained conclusions, superstition, remembering the hits and forgetting the misses, coincidence, confirmation bias, false association, magical thinking, conspiracy thoughts, lack of measurements, egotism, circular reasoning, arguments from ignorance, arrogance and wishful thinking and more mind traps are present in donkey beads and they all fail miserably as life tools. So why would I use such a superstition? After all my studies, logic, travels and skepticism, why would I still have such a talisman? Not because beads ward away or attract spirits of any type, because they don’t. A simple experiment would disprove the coincidences and the faults that plagued my Audi. A small blue rock did not fix my car or harness some absurd supernatural energy force. The beads are there to remind me of the classic failures of the human mind. They remind me to think, study, laugh and learn. They tell me when I am falling into a logic trap or not following simple science and using fallacy as a guide. I still smile at the two blue beads in my donkey, not because evil spirits have been banished, but because life has been immensely better when I choose to think my way through a situation, measure, look for flaws in an argument, find solutions that really do work. I put no faith in some hand waving, charismatic, energy healer claiming wild proclamations without proof. I prefer tools that work. They do remind me to laugh and enjoy a good story, to be open minded and careful. They encourage me to be skeptical of silly, improbable, superstitious stories. The world doesn’t need more bizarre beliefs and you don’t either. Awareness is always worth developing. For my part, I’ll take science … and a good mechanic.


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EARTH By Joan Remy

Where is Mom and apple pie I wanted it to last forever Playing and laughing with friends True love that never ends Rainbows on dragonfly wings Creating an exquisite reality Some always wear masks To control Society With muffled words Eyes that can’t hide In the illusion they create My soul is free


October 2020

Valley Voice

Digging Deep


Old Coal Miner Looks at COVID 19 The Woman Did An By Ted Crook Not Sing for Him By Fran Conlon

The woman did not sing for him, Once young, she now has great age, His techy ear-buds may cause a din, Missing the message given by a sage.

First: Sorry for not writing. Doing YouTube videos with high production values seems all consuming at times.

we can use the inverse square law to roughly estimate the odds for social distancing.

Second: I’m so grateful that I live in the rural part of a county and state that takes the virus seriously. It is wonderful to live in a place where masks and social distancing is done with a great deal of grace, politeness, and good humor.

At one foot from an infected person, we assume 1 in 1 odds (a probability of 1) that infection will occur.

I have heard many ridiculous claims, of course, as we all have. Those who oppose mask wearing have invented any number of excuses and a tremendous amount of pseudoscience.

With this model, then, it is reasonably conservative to assume 1 in 10 odds for distances past 4 feet.

One is that the mask can’t work because the virus is tiny in comparison to the pores in the mask. Of course, the tiny virus almost always floats in a sea of water which is easily stopped by the mask.

Spring had the new growth rising up, Flowing creeks and rivers rising, Inviting rhythms to dance and sup, With a deep meaning from her soul advising.

Another is that we shouldn’t wear masks because the scientists will only say that they “may” work. This statement is usually followed up with, “Don’t they KNOW?” Of course, careful scientists are working in the world of probabilities and facts, not the made up world of principles, tweets and stories. With the possible exception of classical physics, science is all about probability.

Summer heat was arid dry, Another hint was the falling leaf, Wildfire’s smoke filled the sky, Dry lightning flashes were of little relief.

Another is the ridiculous idea that it was made in a lab in China. These viruses have come from all over: Ebola (the worst) in Africa, MERS in the Middle East, and so on. A scientist quoted in the Smithsonian a while back estimates there are 850,000 potentially epizootic viruses out there. Poor people wandering the jungles and deserts in greater numbers bring them back to us. There is no need to manufacture them.

Her song lingered into autumn's time Others heard the tune so clear, And swayed along the borrowed clime, To settle their soul without fear.

Every action you take, good or bad, increases or decreases your chance of survival with COVID19. Every action changes the odds--alters the probability of infection. The probabilities multiply! Let me say this again (since no one else seems to be pointing it out). The probabilities multiply!

So I listen to her song's transition, And move with nature's new position.

We can measure, model or estimate the odds of infection with any action. As an example of a very simple mathematical model, zirkel-valleyvoice-ad-120519.pdf 1 12/5/19

At two feet, then, the odds are 1 in 4; at three feet, 1 in 9; at 4 feet, 1 in 16; at 5, 1 in 25; and at 6, 1 in 36.

It is probably reasonable to estimate 1 in 4 odds for wearing a mask, and, therefore, 1 in 16 odds for both people wearing masks. Hand washing might have 1 in 2 odds. Suppose you “have” to go to some monumentally stupid party with a 1 in 10 chance of becoming infected. This might be a small indoor party with no distancing or masks and an infected guest. Wearing a mask makes the 1 in 10 chance 1 in 40. Staying at least 4 feet away and wearing a mask makes the 1 in 10 chance 1 in 400. Staying at least 4 feet away, wearing a mask, and hand washing makes the chance of infection 1 in 800. Just doing three of the recommended things changes the odds of infection from 1 in 10 to 1 in 800. Add gloves, eye protection, frequent clothing changes, N95 mask, shoe cleaning, and avoiding stupid parties in the first place (almost always a cogent consideration) and it’s easy to see the chance of infection exceed one in a million One additional observation: I think much of the value of a mask is as a constant reminder that something serious and out of the ordinary is going on and we had better take precautions. It’s very hard to stay in our normal rut of habits with a mask on, and that’s the point.

6:36 PM














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Valley Voice

October 2020


Wellness Corner

What Men Can Do For Better Prostate Health By Kari Pollert

I’m writing this month about prostate problems for men because I have known a number of men in my practice and personally, including my father who have had prostate issues of different types, including cancer. I have sought to learn about this so I can share my thoughts and ideas with you. I have learned that the prostate can grow steadily over time, although this does not appear to have to be a normal consequence of aging. More than 50% of men 50 years and older have enlarged prostates. Unfortunately the number steadily increases with age such that by age 80, about 90% of men have prostate enlargement. Most often, an affliction in the prostate gland will first show up in the control of urine flow because the prostate surrounds the urethra as it descends from the bladder. One of the many functions of the prostate is to regulate the flow of urine from the bladder, keeping the outlet tightly closed until urination is needed. As prostate tissue enlarges, it can compress the urethra like a straw, impeding the normal flow of urine. Symptoms may include more frequent urination (especially at night), difficulty starting urination, weak or interrupted stream, difficulty in stopping urination, or a feeling of not being able to void completely. Symptoms can also be associated with prostatitis (infection or inflammation) including painful urination, frequency, pelvic pain, urgency, and incontinence. Urologists use the PSA (Prostate Specific Antibody) test to determine if the prostate gland is healthy or is under stress from irritation, infection, prostatitis, BHP (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), or cancer. General yearly PSA screenings are done far less frequently today than they were 20 years ago because of inaccurate results, over-

diagnosing, and over-treatment. But overall, the PSA test can give a picture of the level of distress in the prostate. A PSA number under 4 (ng/ml) is normal, and above 4 is considered elevated and possibly suspicious depending on how high the number is getting. So what factors cause an enlarged prostate? Hormonal imbalance is one likely cause. Testosterone may decrease with age, and DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), a derivative of testosterone, may increase with age, which causes overproduction of prostate cells. There are many hormones that are involved here, but prostate enlargement is the result. A diet high in unhealthy, “altered” fats, such as hydrogenated fats and fried foods, can disrupt proper fat metabolism, creating deficiencies and imbalances. Excessive caffeine and alcohol add burden to the prostate. Sinus and common-cold medications (which contain decongestants and antihistamines) may worsen urinary symptoms. Obesity can worsen prostate problems. Pesticide and chemical exposure can result in an increase of DHT in the prostate. Exposure to hormonally active chemicals in plastics (plastics have an estrogenic effect) worsens enlarged prostate glands. Striving to eat a clean, balanced, wholesome diet high in fruits and vegetables, clean meats and also low in sugar, processed carbohydrates, and toxic fats can help balance hormones and reduce inflammation. What else can you do if you have an enlarged prostate that is disturbing urination? Or what if your doctor says, “Let’s just keep an eye on your PSA levels for now?” (Sometimes also called ‘watchful waiting’) This is when you may want to consider starting a nutritional protocol that could relieve symptoms or help you maintain stable PSA numbers.

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Why just watch and wait without dong what you can in the meantime? You might be pleasantly surprised! Your PSA tests down the road can act as your barometer to check the effectiveness of your protocol. The nutritional supplements I use are from Standard Process, a trusted name in quality. The basic protocol includes these items: Cataplex F (provides Omega 3 fatty acids, and helps calcium diffuse into the tissues and the prostate), Palmettoplex (a synergistic combination of saw palmetto berry powder, nettle root extract, bovine prostate extract, pygeum bark extract, tomato extract, zinc, and liver), Calcium Lactate (easily absorbed form of calcium to help fight possible infection in the prostate gland), ProstX (a cytosol extract of bovine prostate, containing hormone precursors and cofactors), and Zinc Chelate (bio-available zinc; prostate secretions contain and require high levels of zinc). Allow 4-6 months to re-evaluate. For severe and urgent cases or for cancer, which require the care of a urologist, additional products would be added as an adjunct to healing. So, taking an active role while you watchfully wait and have your PSA levels monitored periodically will help you be more in charge of your health. In addition, being active this way reduces the stress of not knowing what to do. Use this time to make changes in your life and add nutrition to your daily routine. The side-affects are better health and energy. Time will tell! You may be pleased!

Kari Pollert is a licensed acupuncturist with extensive training in nutrition and herbal medicine, with office location at 1560 Pine Grove Road. If you want to talk or schedule an appointment, please contact Kari at 970-8468985, or email at Please check out her website at

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October 2020

Valley Voice

Tales from the Front Desk

The Woman Without a Mask By Aimee Kimmey

The place had been a ghost town in the evenings lately anyway. The storm had knocked out the satellite TV dish a while back. The silence that followed was soul piercing. For a time, she'd listened to music on her phone, but that quickly drained the battery. Now she had only the howling winds to keep her company in the grave like stillness. She found herself jumping at the slightest scratch on the window or creak of the trees. She could swear that the shadows around her were growing longer. Deeper. Reaching for her... When the door bell squawked the clerk nearly jumped out of her skin! The first thing she saw was the stabbing glare of the rhinestone hat. But what she saw next made the clerk’s blood run cold. As the woman shook rain off of her jacket, the clerk noticed that she wasn’t wearing a mask. The clerk felt her pulse quicken with dread. She hated correcting people, but The Virus was no joke. So far, wearing a mask was the best defense against it. Usually it wasn't a big deal... people just forgot. But sometimes, things turned ugly when you reminded them. The story you are about to read is true... More or less. Lobby. Wednesday. 7:23 pm. The afternoon had turned dark early; angry, swirling clouds unleashed a raging vengeance onto the town. Now the darkness was so consuming, it felt like nothing existed beyond the edges of the lobby. The clerk was completely alone. Her partner had called in sick. It wasn’t The Virus, but these days, any virus meant you stayed home. The clerk was happy to cover the double duty so her co-worker could quarantine herself as long as it took. Maybe even a little longer, just to be sure.

Watching the woman shake out droplets of rain, the clerk thought about the demonstration she’d seen about how far spit travels during a normal conversation. The Virus, the commentator explained, travels on those droplets. It hovers like a fine mist in the air, waiting for someone to pass through it. She shuddered... Hoping the missing mask was a simple oversight, the clerk smiled under her own mask as the woman scuttled toward her. “Hi, looks like you forgot your mask.” The clerk pulled out one of the individually wrapped, disposable ones they kept handy. “We've got one for you.” The woman’s face became a dark, twisted scowl as she recoiled, “I’m not wearing that!”

The clerk's mind flooded with statistics about how easily The Virus spreads, how you can transmit it for weeks before you realize you have it. And how it was especially dangerous for someone with existing conditions. The clerk thought about her own asthma, about the crippling agony of trying to breath during an attack. For her, The Virus could easily be a death sentence. She swallowed hard and mustered a smile, hoping to coax a friendly response from the woman huffing across her counter. "I'm sorry, but it's a state law, and hotel policy: we can't serve you without a mask." "What?!" The woman roared. "I drove half way across the country today, I am not about to wear one of those things now!" All the people this woman had interacted with, all the surfaces she must have touched... The clerk blanched, she struggled to keep her voice steady, "If you want a room, you'll have to put a mask on." The woman loomed over the counter, "This is a free country! You can't make me do anything!" The clerk inched back, "True. But I also don't have to serve you. If you won't put a mask on, you'll have to leave." Looking rabid, the woman shook her purse at the clerk, sprinkling rain across the counter. "You're refusing my money?!" Pulse racing, the clerk forced herself to be patient, "I understand that wearing a mask is unpleasant. I wear one all day, I know. But I'd like to think that you care enough about the people around you to suffer a minor inconvenience. The few minutes that you wear the mask could keep The Virus from spreading. It could save lives." "Well, that is ridiculous!" The woman thundered like a fire breathing dragon, "I am not sick, and I can't breath in those things and I will not wear one." "Well. I'm sorry then. You have to leave." The woman huffed loudly. With the fury of the wind outside, she stormed out of the lobby, "Fine! I'll take my money elsewhere!" "Good luck with that!" The clerk muttered as the woman slammed the door behind her. Most guests were quite happy to wear a mask for the few short minutes they were in the lobby. And all the other merchants she knew, agreed; money was a fine thing to have, but it wasn't worth risking your life over. Alone with the shadows once again, the clerk trembled. Somehow the savagery of the storm and the creeping shadows weren't half as terrifying as the woman without a mask. She shook her head and reached for the nearby tub of disinfectant wipes.

Steamboat Lake Area - Photo by Gwen Skinner

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Valley Voice

October 2020


Transit Center Files

Hell Comes to Town By Sean Derning

We were getting a nice stretch of that Indian summer that comes before the fall frosts arrive and the trees just start turning color. I was sitting at a picnic table near the river outtake at the Transit Center, working on a sodoku puzzle when a figure rose from the river with a limp inner tube and a scowl on his face. Pointed tail, hooves and horns on his head; Satan had come to town. “Howdy, Satan!” I said. “How was your float on the river?” “Great until my claws punctured the tube,” he said. “How are you? I haven’t seen you since your Black Sabbath-AC/ DC music phase in your early teens.” “I wound up going Presbyterian. Still have the albums though. What brings you to Steamboat, my prince of darkness?” I asked. “Did you bring your wife Lilith?” “Nah, this is work related,” he said. “I only brought my demons in for a week of R&R as it’s been a very busy 2020 for the underworld. The rest of the group is over at the mountain coaster.” “You’re busy?! That’s an understatement,” I said. “There’s been so much world turbulence with disease and addiction, social and economic unrest, natural disasters, war. The world seems to be coming unhinged before our very eyes.”

work to build turbines or solar panels. I mean, they are a captive work force because you’ve got their souls, right?” “Hmm,” he pondered. “Any other ideas?” “Sure. You say you’ve got a staffing shortage. Simple solution. Bump up your evil recruiting efforts. Look at the political markets. Media moguls. Big banks. Big pharma. Government lobbyists. Concert promoters. There’s a gold mine of evildoers in those industries. That should solve your problem.” “Yes,” he said slowly. “What else?” He was beginning to buy in. “A few other things. You said the lines are too long to get into Hell. You’ve got to streamline the operation and keep the crowd entertained. Lots of ski resorts have big lift lines and they do things to distract the wait, like playing Trivial Pursuit. But make the questions underworld-based. Like ‘what are Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell?’ Or ‘what is my name in the Quran’? That can make the wait bearable. Again, you have their souls so they aren’t going anywhere.” “Excellent! These all would be so easy to implement!” he exclaimed. “And when they get the question wrong, I can treat them as frauds and false prophets!”

“Yeah my group’s really firing on all cylinders and I figured a retreat would be a chance to recharge, regroup and really bring the world closer to Judgement Day,” he said.

“Sure. Your house, your rules. By the way, when was the last time the Gates of Hades received a coat of paint?” I asked.

“You’ve done a great job at throwing an apocalyptic wrench into the works of mankind lately and Hell must be bursting at the seams,” I said.

“I can’t recall,” he said.

“It is,” he admitted. “We’ve got waiting lines, understaffing issues and the operation is running three shifts a day.” “So why don’t you drop it down a gear?” I suggested. “What do you mean?” “It sounds like Hell wasn’t prepared for the increase in demand. Maybe it’s time to give the world a break and take care of some efficiency issues affecting the underworld,” I said. “What do you have in mind?” he asked. “Well, maybe getting things to run more smoothly in the Abyss,” I said. “You said you’re running three shifts, right? What do your utility bills look like?” He slapped his forehead, “Christ, they’re unbelievable! Keeping that fire and brimstone hot is costing us a fortune. Maintaining the pools of boiling feces at temperature is maddening.” “So what about looking at renewable resources like solar or wind power?” I asked. “All those sinners could be put to

“You know, I need someone with a can-do attitude in Hell. Why don’t you come on down, take a tour and if you like what you see, just sign the contract and…” I cut him off. “Don’t be silly. I know your contracts and I value my soul. Not interested.” “What if I promised you a supermodel a day, a billion dollars and a fleet of Ferraris?” he asked. I laughed. “Dude, I’m SO past my midlife crisis!” I said. “But I am flattered about being courted by the Antichrist himself.” “Thanks for your input,” as he rose to leave. “By the way, I’m hungry. Where’s a good place to eat?” he asked. “Ah ah ah,” I scolded. “What’s your Third Circle of Hell?” He looked at his hooves and muttered, “Gluttony.” “Good job. Remember, Satan, lead by example. Enjoy your stay.”

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“I bet there’s a bunch of paint left over from the US/ Mexico border wall. Try that.” “Indeed, there is so much to do,” he paused, clicking his nails on the table. “And when has Hell’s three headed dog Cerberus gone to the vet for his shots, had his nails clipped or renewed his worming medicine?” I said. “Look Satan, my point is this; you’ve spent too much time away from home causing havoc in the world. The problems and sinners will always be there. Just try cleaning up your house a bit.”

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“I suppose you’re right,” he admitted. “Finally, this month you’ve got your big day; Halloween,” I said. “You should have come to me before you got the COVID ball rolling. Looks like there may not be trick or treating or public glorification of evil due to social distancing.” “Goodness, how did I miss that?” “Hey, we all make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up over it,” I said. “These are just suggestions. Take them or leave them.”

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October 2020

Valley Voice


Your Monthly Message By Chelsea Yepello Aries

March 21 - April 19

This is not a good time to have your heart on your sleeve. It will be too hard to explain that ticking sound when your watch is on your other wrist.


April 20 - May 20

You are going to have to decide if walking to the mailbox is worth braving a world that is not only diseased, but also on fire. Then again, you may give up when you remember that it also requires putting your shoes on.


May 20 - June 20

You always thought the world revolves around you, but it turns out that people are getting dizzy and nauseous because of the smoke in the air, not because of your centripetal force.



June 21 - July 22

July 23 - August 23

Despite all the chaos in the world, you can always count on being able to go the grocery store to purchase Christmas décor and Halloween décor and Easter décor at the same time of the year. Doesn’t it bring you comfort to know that you can display a spooky skeleton riding a reindeer while holding an Easter basket on your front lawn?


August 23 - September 22

Even if you were able to take a spoon and scrape the brain clean of all of its hidden


September 23 - October 23

Permission to engage the enemy, sir? The looks on their faces shows no sign of life or thought.


October 24 - November 21

You will need to buy a decent pair of goggles for your new profession. This is to protect your eyes from the ample amount of pepper spray you will be involuntarily interacting with.


After many years of calculating, testing and pontificating, you finally did it. You lost countless hours, jobs and friends to get to this point, but you finally accomplished the invention of a time machine. So far, you can only travel to the present, but it still counts right?


darkness, there will always be one little secret that escapes the threat of being revealed and judged.

November 22 - December 21

You finally have a fuzzy feeling in your stomach which you confuse for love. It turns out that it’s not love, but you are about to be violently ill from eating recalled peaches.


December 22 - January 19

This fortnight you will find what resembles a human finger in your jar of sauerkraut. Then after examining it for a moment, you pop it in your mouth and eat it anyway because everything tastes good pickled.


January 20 - February 18

There were several rumors regarding your whereabouts. Some say that you joined the army, or that you eloped, or that you joined a nudist colony and there was even a rumor that you cured cancer. People are gullible, but they would never believe you joined the army.


February 19 - March 20

Your mean mug doesn’t intimidate, but instead looks like you just ate a lemon and glared into the sun.

Beau and his sidekick Jake floating on the Colorado River. Photo by Crash Sterne

OPEN DAILY Recreational & Medical

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

970-870-2941 For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

Valley Voice

By Matt Scharf

Johnny’s Messy Experiment

October 2020



October 2020

Valley Voice

The Valley Voice is for those who live here and for those who wish they did.

A FREE Monthly Publication

Advertising in the Valley Voice gives you a whole month of exposure in Routt County! Call Today! Who reads the Valley Voice? •A well-educated population. Almost 60% of the readership has a bachelor’s degree or better. This means to you that a display ad can be designed to easily reach your target customer.

•Each copy of the Valley Voice is read on average by 2.3 persons. Your ad will be seen by more people than it would in any single daily publication over a period of 30 days. This means to you that your advertising will be seen more people who buy, therefore increasing its economic effectiveness.

•Households with high disposable incomes. About 50% of the Valley Voices’ readership have household incomes of $75,000 or more. This means to you that your ad reaches those that have the capacity to purchase what you are offering. •About 60% are home owners. This means to you that a Valley Voice ad reaches folks most likely interested in buying the goods or services you are offering.

Single/Actual Size Ad Name

Ad size

Per Issue


3.1667” x 2.625”

$ 100.

Double Vertical

3.1677” x 5.5”

$ 200.

Triple Vertical

3.1677” x 8.375”

$ 300.

Quad Vertical

3.1677” x 11.25”

$ 400.

Double Horizontal 6.5833” x 2.625”

$ 200.

Four Squared

6.5833” x 5.5”

$ 400.

Triple Horiz.

10” x 2.625”

$ 300.

Half Page Vertical 3.1677” x 8.375”

$ 600.

Half Page Horiz.

10” x 5.5”

$ 600.

Full Page

10” x 11.25”

$ 1200.

Advertising Display Sizes & Rates for the Valley Voice

Call Today! Discounts Available!


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Who comes up with this stuff?!

Contact Matt Scharf at or at For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

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