Valley Voice September 2020

Page 1

September 2020 . Issue 9.9


a member managed llc

Steamboat Springs Hayden Oak Creek Yampa Photo by Abby Jensen


September 2020

Valley Voice

Best kept secret in Steamboat Springs!

Seedz Breakfast Menu SCRAMBLES

TOWERS South West:

Sweet & Spicy:

And a delicious secret we want to share!


French Toast:

Blue Corn masa cake, Chicken chorizo, hatch green chili sauce, Chipotle black beans, queso fresco, avocado, pico

Chicken sausage, Cipollini onions, jalapenos, sweet peppers, cheddar jack

Tres leches & organic macerated berries, whipped cream cheese & granola

GF English muffin, roasted garlic, goat cheese, kale, tomato, spirulina pesto

Braised short rib, red peppers, onions, hatch green chiles, queso fresco

Blueberry streusel, strawberries & cream, chocolate & puffed quinoa

GF English muffin, all natural turkey breast, seared tomato, nitrate free bacon, arugula, avocado tomatillo sauce

Nitrate free ham, cheddar jack, pesto, arugula

Plain macerated organic berries


Spicy Machaca:

Roasted Turkey:

Green Eggs & Ham: Forage:

Traditional Ultra:

Hazel Dell wild mushrooms, caramelized onion jam, goat cheese, basil

GF biscuit, nitrate free bacon, herb pounded all natural chicken breast, sweet onion jam, garlic pepper white gravy



French Toast:

Organic Veggie:


Banana Chia Waffle:


Corn Tortilla, chipotle black beans, pico, cheddar jack cheese, organic eggs, tomatillo avocado sauce


Tres leches & organic macerated berries, whipped cream cheese & granola

Wild salmon, avocado, wild arugula, red onion, quinoa, grape tomatoes, goat cheese, organic eggs, spirulina pesto, flax seed


Blueberry streusel, strawberries & cream, chocolate & puffed quinoa

Braised kale, tomatoes, roasted garlic, organic eggs, wild mushrooms, goat cheese

All Natural Chicken Chorizo:

Plain macerated organic berries

Kale, red peppers, black beans, red onions, broccoli, pesto

Into the Wild:


Wild salmon, nitrate free bacon, basil, red onion Nitrate free bacon, ham & chicken chorizo, onions, mushrooms

Creamy Polenta:

Banana Chia Waffle:

Red peppers, onions, cilantro, avocado, queso fresco

Masks Required!


Hours: 7am - 3pm 1117 Lincoln Steamboat Springs

Starting September 8th Steamboat Whiskey Company Will be Opening at 2pm Tuesday - Saturday

Closed Sunday and Monday

Hungry? Try our NEW shared plates menu or come for dessert!

Starting September 8th | We Open at 2 pm | Tuesday - Saturday! 970.846.3534 For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

You can find our local products at your favorite liquor stores.

Valley Voice

September 2020


Contents Yampa Valley Crane Festival

Page 4

When They Take Flight

Page 5

I am the Sandhill Crane

Page 5

By Nancy Merrill By Liz Ruzicka

By MaKala Herndon

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

Seeing Life in Death

Page 8

Measuring Economic Diversification

Page 10

Hayden September News

Page 11

The Rule of Law

Page 12 Page 13

By Karen Vail

By Scott L. Ford

By Brodie Farquhar

Publisher/Art Director: Matt Scharf

By Eric Kemper


Down-Valley Decompression

VV Assistant:

Eric Kemper

Absolutist Thinking Page 13

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 Megan Mertens By Wolf Bennett

A Moment in Time By Joan Remi

By Fran Conlon

Dano's Dangerous Tequila

Page 14

Living Well is Acting Well

Page 15

The Jade Prize

Page 16

I'm Not a Doctor but...

Page 17

Your Monthly Message

Page 18

By Stuart Handloff By Aimee Kimmey By Sean Derning

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.

Page 13

Unnecessary Thrills Page 14 By Lori Thompson

By Chelsea Yepello


Comics Page 19

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:

Complete loser knocking over my motorcycle and running away like someone on fire… "I can't breathe" here doesn't mean police brutality but our struggle to filter out forest fire smoke… Despite all the negative feedback and incendiary comments, the railing on the James Brown Bridge still needs a paint job… There's a tear in my beer. The Butcherknife Brewery's doors remain closed… Add some more TV channels without Attorney Frank Azar on every 4-5 minutes… Limit political candidates just two weeks of mudslinging before voting day instead of 3.5 - 4 months of uselessness… Relentless construction for another “thing” to build…

Raves... Riding 6000 miles in 6 months without an accident… Successfully completed household projects… Thank you to the nice young people that wave and say hello to us old-timers sitting on a bench thinking of “the good old days.” RMEC Sandwash Enduro… Sans your opinion; the meaning of a true community… Finding out your old long lost riding buddies are alive and well… PBJ Smoothies at Seedz…

Say What?... “If President Trump wants to be on Mt. Rushmore, there's plenty of room on the backside.” “I’d love to see the masks with a giant smile on them.” “Putin only wishes he’d poisoned as many people as Rick Snyder.” "I was in City Market and went the wrong way down a one way aisle. It was so liberating!"

We go to press September 28th for the October 2020 Edition! Send in your submissions by September 18th!

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!

. Locally owned by Board-Certified ER Physicians . Complimentary Shuttle Service . Across from Walgreens on US 40




September 2020

Valley Voice

Craniacs Goes Virtual

Yampa Valley Crane Festival By Nancy Merrill

The Crane Coloring Contest, open to all children ages 3-16, has been going on throughout the summer. All submitted entries will be featured in a special Crane Coloring Contest video. Winners in each age group will be notified during the Yampa Valley Crane Festival. Prizes for the contest, generously donated by Lyon’s Drugs, will be sent to all the winners later in September.

"Crane call" by Kathy Simpson


Soar in to to watch crane & nature-related videos, attend virtual events & get DIY crane viewing directions PLUS! A walk-through display of Yard Art Cranes, flocking live at 5 p.m. 9/4 on the Bud Werner Library Lawn & auctioned online at

Starting September 3 ONLINE

Visit the virtual festival at Presented by CCCC, Inc.

“Majestic Cranes in the Valley” by Lauren Ehrlich The 9th annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival is going virtual this year due to COVID-19. Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition (CCCC), presenter of the annual festival, has created a series of short videos focused on cranes, birds, nature and conservation topics of relevance to the Yampa Valley. These videos will be posted on the CCCC website on September 3rd and remain accessible for the remainder of 2020. Videos include: “Cranes of the Yampa Valley” “Crane Nesting and Breeding” “Cranes and Agriculture in the Yampa Valley” “Crane Art of the Yampa Valley” “Behind the Scenes of the Yampa Valley Crane Festival” “History of Sandhill Cranes in Northwest Colorado” “Crane Yoga” “Wildlife Photography Tips” “Crane Coloring Contest” “Crane Photo Contest” “ Carpenter Ranch Historic Homestead Tour” “Common Birds of the Yampa Valley” “Nesting Birds of the Yampa Valley” “How to Attract Birds to your Back Yard” And more! CCCC has made a special effort this year to involve youth in their programs to raise crane awareness and promote crane conservation. When schools shut down in March, CCCC converted their in-person crane educational presentation to a video that was made available to the schools and the public. That video can be accessed at educational-video/

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

The Crane-inspired Creative Arts Contest took place before schools shut down this spring. The contest was open to all high school seniors in Routt and Moffat counties and entries were accepted in three categories: essay/story, poetry, and other artistic media. All entries had to be original and to accurately reflect the physical characteristics, behavior, and habitat of the Greater Sandhill Cranes. The winners in each category received a $1,500 scholarship for continuing education. An Honorable Mention prize of $500 for continuing education was also awarded in each category. First place in the “Essay/Story” category went to Liz Ruzicka, of Steamboat Springs High School for “When They Take Flight.” "Sandhill Crane." Makala Herndon of Moffat County High School won first place in the “Poetry” category for a group of poems that included “I am the Sandhill Crane. In the “Other Artistic Media” category, Lauren Ehrlich of Steamboat Springs High School won first place for her painting, “Majestic Cranes in the Valley” All entries in the 2020 Crane-inspired Creative Arts Contest can be viewed at first-friday-artwalk/ CCCC seeks to educate the public about this iconic Yampa Valley species through their youth programs as well as through their virtual festival. Visit during the festival dates Sept. 3-6 to enjoy inspiring videos of cranes, birds and nature from the safety of your home.

Valley Voice

September 2020

“When They Take Flight” by Liz Ruzicka Growing up in the Riverside neighborhood of Steamboat Springs, my affinity for sandhill cranes and wetland habitat has deep roots. My tiny house on Honeysuckle Lane is oddly situated between two swaths of wetland marshes. Some people build fences of wood and metal links to mark their property. Not me. I grew up with a fence of cattails. Always a light sleeper, I begged my parents to let me go outside and watch the birds in the early morning hours. After promises of standing a safe distance from the wetlands, my parents finally agreed. In my pajamas and muck boots, I would cross the dewy grass of my front lawn and stand at the boundary between settlement and nature, and I would listen. Each day, a symphony of life played its primal concert for me. Until one morning, the symphony played its cymbals. A booming, rattling bugle permeated the air, a prelude to flight. Seconds later, I watched the graceful ascent of two massive sandhill cranes. Necks elongated, wings outstretched, the cranes burst in soaring synchronicity. That morning, the morning the cranes shared their gallant call and primitive flight is imprinted in my memory. Years later, I would remember that morning when the cranes’ habitat and livelihood were in grave risk.

That spring, a grassroots effort was established to unite the voices of those who wanted to protect the sandhill cranes. That spring, people wrote letters to our newspaper and raised community awareness about the crane, a ten-million-year-old species. They spoke about the historic and respected role that the crane plays to North American first-nation tribes and many Asian cultures. Our community learned that sandhill cranes often mate for life and these partners typically produce one offspring each year. Momentum built and the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition was formed to spearhead the effort to defeat this proposal. People on both sides of the issue garnered petitions arguing for their side’s perspective. While the pro-hunting camp levied 150 signatures, the anti-hunting alliance collected a critical mass of 2,000 signatures. The efforts of concerned Yampa Valley citizens on behalf of the sandhill cranes were realized and in June of 2012, the proposal was dissolved. Though I was only ten years old at the time, this successful conservation effort, orchestrated and organized by concerned citizens, made a lasting impression on me. More importantly, it made an enduring impact on the sandhill crane population and the wetland habitat that bless our region.

When I was ten years old, the wetland that welcomed each new day for me was taken away. Though my parents tried to explain to me how the land was owned and then sold to Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds houses for families without homes, I couldn’t help but feel that a part of me had been slated for destruction. While my family and other concerned families were assured that a wetlands swap had occurred, a wetland area miles away from me was being preserved while the wetland adjacent to me could be filled, I cried at the loss. While I understood that people needed homes and that affordable homes in our area were rare, I worried for the cranes. I knew enough about migration and breeding grounds by this point in my young life to know that building on these wetlands was a direct affront to these old, habitual creatures. The day the massive payload trucks irrevocably dumped tons of fill dirt on the wetlands is another day I will never forget. I felt helpless to stop this human imposition on what I considered a natural sanctuary. In the months ahead, a new threat to the cranes would impose itself on the Yampa Valley, and I worried that those who spoke for the cranes would be silenced once more.

Whenever circumstances are fortuitous and I see cranes in flight, I remember three things: the morning I witnessed their majestic flight, the deep loss I felt when I watched the irreversible filling of a wetland, and the relief and pride I felt when the crane hunting proposal was defeated. The cranes deserve our reverence, consideration, and appreciation. As a community, we should consider ourselves fortunate to share this unique valley with the sandhill crane.

In the spring of 2012, it came to my attention that a sandhill crane hunting season was being proposed to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. The proposal was to issue twenty to fifty annual hunting licenses for a short season that coincided with the migration of cranes through Colorado. In 1973, Colorado had placed the sandhill crane on the list of endangered native species. As a result, targeted conservation efforts were enacted, and the crane population made a notable recovery. In 1998, the sandhill was de-listed as an endangered species and ranked instead as a “species of special concern.” Now, less than fifty years after they were deemed endangered, hunters wanted the chance to kill them for sport. I grieved at the possibility of what I considered to be an unthinkable injustice. To my ten-year-old mind, this was incongruous to everything I had been raised to respect and believe about humanity’s responsibility to cherish the natural world. Fortunately, I was not alone in my thinking.

Located at Neste Auto Glass

Great Prices, Services & Parts

“All that power at your fingertips!”

Buddy’s Hobby Hut Track! Huge Selection!


I am the Sandhill Crane By MaKala Herndon

The clouds darken the sky As I soar through them I start my descent My giant wings slice the surrounding air Frightened fish dart away as I land near the pond I am the Sandhill crane My beady eyes reflect upon the water Atop my head, my bright red mark Illuminates my beauty It scares off my prey Yet I chase them across the marsh I am the Sandhill crane I rarely travel alone My family hunts alongside me The pad like noise of my chicks’ palmate follows me Someday they will be just like me The prowling hunter and symbol of beauty I am the Sandhill crane


3162 Elk River Road, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Uninsured Chip Repair Mention Only this Ad Let Us Assess Your Crack!


Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:00pm

3162 Elk River Road, P.O. Box 772498 Steamboat Springs, CO 80487



September 2020

Valley Voice

Bonnifield Files

A Brief History of Northwestern Colorado: Part III of VI By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield

The last issue ended with the Porter Smart family (including sons Gordon and Albert with Albert’s wife Lou and their two children) leading the Western Colorado Improvement Company to settle at Hayden. The Company reorganized in 1875 as the Bear River Colonization and Improvement Company. Meanwhile, at the mineral springs along Bear River (Yampa), James Crawford built a cabin for his wife Maggie, their three children, and former slave David. In 1875, Crawford, Perry A. Burgess, William E. Walton, William G. Mellen, and Joseph G. Coberly organized the town of Steamboat Springs resolving to develop a health spa. At Hahns Peak, prospectors, learning of the promising “mother lode” reported in the Hayden Survey, combed the streams.

departed to other adventures. Steamboat was only a scattering of cabins with little prospect of becoming a thriving spa for the rich and playful.

Probably no white man in Colorado was better informed of the resources in northwestern Colorado than Smart. As a well-read gentleman from New England with a splendid home near Boulder, Smart had traveled and examined the vast region for over a decade. Smart and Crawford were depending on the Denver Georgetown & Utah Railroad to enter the valley within five years. The railroad folded upon failing to receive a $200,000 subsidy from Georgetown. The colonists who followed Smart to Bear River soon

When the Ute learned about the proposed wagon road, they sharply protested to White River Agent Edward H. Danforth; however, there wasn’t much they could do to stop it because of the Treaty of 1868. They had ceded the core of the Yampa Valley to the United States.

If they could not successfully attract settlers to Bear River Valley (Yampa) one way, they would have to do it another way. The first requirement was a road. In 1875, Porter and Gordon Smart joined Daniel Whiting in incorporating the Bear River Wagon Road connecting Hot Sulphur Springs with the White River Agency road. A “track of sorts” existed between Georgetown and Hot Sulphur. The Bear River Wagon Road never amounted to much, but it was a road on a map, thereby attracting unsuspecting immigrants recruited by the Colorado Immigration Board.

In 1873, Porter Smart, John Q. A. Rollins, and William Byers organized the Rollinsville and Middle Park Wagon Road over Boulder Pass, soon renamed Rollins Pass.

Furniture - Art - Antiques Lighting - Home Decor - Gifts

A wagon road was also built over Berthoud Pass. Despite all appearance of civilization, very little was accomplished. Something more was needed. A county government requires a post office, government buildings, paid government officers, regular transportation, and a communication system. The county seat had to be protected, suggesting a military post. But hardly anyone lived in northwestern Colorado. To create the appearance of settlement, Byers, Smart, and Rollins circulated a petition to establish Grand County with Hot Sulphur Springs as county seat. On January 17, 1874, Representative Benjamin Naphey introduced an enabling bill. It moved smoothly until Representative Bela S. Buell pointed out that all the signatures on the petition were from Clear Creek County. Byers, Smart, and Rollins began “log rolling.” A deal was cut whereby Boulder became the home of the University of Colorado instead of Golden and Grand County was established. Building and maintaining a road into the Yampa Valley was expensive. It would require government funding, so in 1877 another petition was circulated in Clear Creek County to create Routt County out of western Grand County. Without a flaw the legislature authorized Routt County. The Rocky Mountain News reported, “The strange fact exists here that men cannot be found who will take the offices.” The News referred to the office of Justice of the Peace which was required to organize the county government. Apparently the Crawfords at Steamboat and Thompsons at Hayden were at cross purposes. Thompson became county treasurer despite a well-documented reputation for dishonesty as a result of his connection with Governor McCook. Not to worry, the new county did not have any money to embezzle. Governor Peck recognizing the limited population noted, “only ten votes were polled in the county.” Half of them were fraudulent. The 1908, Trail article listed all the 1,877 residents of Routt County: Porter Smart and his sons Albert and Gordon, H. E. Peck, Judge Clements, the Hulett brothers, Hugh Torrence, Joe Morgan, Thomas Iles, D. G. W. Whiting, William Goodnight, James H. Crawford, E. H. Farmsworth, Sam Reed, and between 15 and 20 miners at Hahns Peak. Most of the names on the list were either Indian traders or freighters hauling supplies to the White River Agency. None of them had a permanent location. Porter Smart lived near Boulder. The first county commissioner, Gordon Smart, lived at Grand Lake. Not enough people lived in Routt County to justify a government. In fact, two years later, 1879, the Grand County Sheriff carried out Routt County law enforcement. Serious court actions were held either at Hot Sulphur or Georgetown. None-the-less, the government built a passable road into the valley and regular mail service was established. But something more was needed.

109 East Main St Oak Creek, Colorado 80467 970-736-1104 For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

In 1875, extolling the agriculture, mining, and transportation (railroad) prospects of Grand County, a group of Middle Park promoters petitioned General Pope to build a fort to garrison troops at Hot Sulphur. The petition went nowhere. In 1877, a petition signed by 354 Georgetown men stated in part, “Either we or the renegade Ute will be exterminated . . . We make this urgent earnest request . . . for a military fort.” Under pressure, General Pope ordered Captain Parker to investigate while traveling without escort. Parker reported the Indians had done nothing wrong and Middle Park did not harvest enough hay for the

Valley Voice

horses. If a Post was built, it should be in Egeria Park near the two buttes three miles north of Yampa or at the mouth of Elkhead Creek. Captain Parker believed the greatest danger to the peace was the destitute condition of the White River Ute. In the fall of 1876, claiming the season too far advanced, the contractor at Rawlins, Wyoming, refused to deliver annuities to the White River Agency. After delaying several months, the Indian Bureau began legal action to force delivery. A band of Ute under Chief Douglas traveled to Rawlins to receive their annuities only to be refused because by treaty, annuities could only be delivered at White River. Then, the Union Pacific refused to release the goods from their warehouse until freight and storage charges were paid. The case dragged on for two years. To survive, the Ute reverted to full time hunting. The hide trade boomed as Indians and white men slaughtered deer and elk. Buffalo herds in the Yampa Valley and Middle Park were decimated. According to some references, Buffalo Park was the site of a large slaughter. The same years, 1877 to 1879, were drought years when the Ute set several large fires to improve the grass for horses. The large aspen groves in the Yampa Valley are a direct result of these fires. In the early days, the vast sagebrush regions were usually grass lands mixed with sage. The great change came with the drive to build a transcontinental railroad through central Colorado. Failing with the Denver Georgetown & Utah, John Evans and associates organized the Denver South Park & Pacific in 1872. Simultaneously the Denver & Rio Grande (D&RG) turned west from Pueblo. Both lines intended to use the Gunnison River gateway; however, the Ute reservation blocked them. The unscrupulous Jay Gould, who had control of the Union Pacific, gained control of the Kansas Pacific, Denver Pacific, Colorado Central, Denver & South Park, and the

September 2020

D&RG. His goal was to build a line from Gunnison to Salt Lake City where he would connect with the Central Pacific, thus forming a transcontinental system. To accomplish that goal, “The Ute Must Go.” Senator Teller and N. C. Meeker put forward the harebrained idea that Meeker would establish irrigated farms on White River. It would be so successful that all the Ute would want to move onto a consolidated reservation and become subsistence farmers under the wise leadership of beloved “Father Meeker.” In 1878, Senator Chaffee introduced legislation funding and appointing commissioners to hold treaty talks. The Ute soundly refused consolidation. Correspondence between Senator Teller and Governor Pitkin in March 1879, six months before the Ute war, clearly indicates they intended to wage a full-scale war at White River in which Agent Meeker would be killed. The details of the cause of the Ute War of 1879 and the Battle at Milk Creek are too large and complex for this article. Let it be said, the White River Ute did everything they could to prevent the war, but they refused to accept slavery or death by hanging. In the end, the Ute were removed from Colorado. John Evans and associates sold their worthless Denver South Park and Pacific stocks for a 2,500 percent profit above face value while retaining several real estate and mining properties. Jay Gould pushed construction through to join the Central Pacific. Then he forced the Union Pacific to pay $90 a share for thousands of worthless Colorado railroad stocks. The desire of a few men to make huge profits from worthless railroad stocks, not the Ute refusal to farm, caused the tragic Ute War of 1879. Next month we will explore civilization coming to the Yampa Valley.

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer” Abraham Lincoln

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

No appointment necessary! STEAMBOAT

Family Medicine Walk-in Clinc Mon - Sat, 7:30 am - 7:30 pm All insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, accepted 2201 Curve Plaza, Unit A-101, Steamboat



September 2020

Valley Voice

'Boat Almanac

Seeing Life in Death

- A Dead Tree is More Alive Than a Live Tree Selfie/ Photo Contest

By Karen Vail

Photos by Karen Vail

Starting Grand Prize


Visit: Win Cash!

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FUN? Join the Valley Voice Selfie/Photo contest where the more participation - more votes - the higher the POT gets! It’s easy to participate - just load the page, upload your selfie/photo, share with your friends and let the votes begin. Visit Now to see how high the POT is and add your Selfie! Contest starts on the 1st of the month! Cash Prizes each month!

Fungi on decomposing log I love observing trees through the years I have lived in this beautiful valley. How ceaseless and extraordinary the cycle of life is while following a tree’s life. Hello little sprouting pushing up through a fire ravaged soil to grow into a stunning specimen providing shade and sustenance to the next generation below, to finally leave a bare skeleton of branches gracing the sky, if winds, snow or the many other environmental ravages don’t bring the tree down before its prime. Only recently are we understanding the value of the elders of the forests. Standing dead trees (called snags) and fallen trees (often becoming nurse logs) can translate to new life and new opportunities for an abundance of living things. A dead standing tree is called snag. From the time the tree dies until it finally falls to the forest floor, the snag provides many stages of “colonization”. And the life in a snag only grows more extensive as it ages. The increase in light and moisture reaching the ground under a snag increases the opportunity for forest floor plants to grow and thrive under an otherwise shaded canopy. Next time you are walking through a forest, notice where the canopy has opened up around a large dead snag and examine the little green circle of plants around the base of the dead trunk. Initially insects and fungi move into the dead wood to start the decomposition process. This softens the wood, making it easily shredded by birds and mammals. A study in California found more than 160 different species using snags, (“Snags; Why Dead Trees are Essential for Healthy Forests, Audubon Canyon Ranch, Jaquelin Levy, May 2019) so snags are often referred to as den or cavity trees, wildlife trees, and (government term) “special

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

habitat elements.” As the early colonizers soften the wood, other insects move in, and the variety is impressive; millipedes, mites, earwigs, beetles, spiders, ants, even earthworms, to name a few. These insects are yummy meals for woodpeckers and other animals who create larger holes while excavating the wood for dinner. These holes in turn become nesting sites for birds and small mammals. Snags can become an impressive apartment complex, with certain birds nesting at different sites along the trunk. At the ground level around five to ten feet are the black-capped chickadees, the middle apartments are occupied by redbreasted nuthatches (smearing pitch around the cavity entrance as an un-welcome to predators), with both downy and hairy woodpeckers taking the penthouse suites thirtyfive feet and higher. (“Western Bird’s Nests”, Harrison, Hal H. Peterson Field Guides, 1979). Tree swallows often opt for communal nesting if there are enough resources in the area. I had fun watching a “commune” of tree swallows at Fish Creek one spring as they zipped in and out of their aspen cavities and through the trees. Snags also provide perches, courtship display stages, places for food storage, and important winter roosting sites. Many of us put up bird houses, hoping to lure these cavity nesters. But these nest boxes are not a complete substitute for natural cavities and many species will not adapt (although many species have adopted these new homes and are valuable options where habitat has been lost). For example, the Brown Creeper nests under loose bark on dead trees, and Osprey use standing dead trees near water for their impressive platforms (although they seem to like our manmade platform as well!). Wood fibers conduct sound particularly well, which benefits birds nesting in cavities of snags. They can hear the scrabbling sound of claws

Valley Voice

Nest in a aspen snag on the tree by American martens or squirrels giving the birds a chance to try and defend their nest, which is most likely doomed to fail. But the adults have escaped and will likely start a new brood. (“The Hidden Life of Trees” Peter Wohlleben, Greystone Books, c 2018). Mammals such as American martens, pine squirrel, raccoons, bats, even bobcats use snags for shelter and rearing their young. Many forest dwelling mammals are fungal connoisseurs, and often eat mycorrhizal fungi then poop the spores and, often, nitrogen fixing microbes, which are vital in maintaining healthy ecosystems and establishing seedlings after disturbances (“Ecosystem Processes Related to Wood Decay” US Forest Service, Bruce G. Marcot, Nov 2016). Black bears often find winter shelter at the base of large snags, and squirrels, chipmunks and other small rodents use logs as forest highways. And then the snag comes crashing down. Kabooom! The end of this amazing small world? Nope, just the beginning. For years the tree had sucked up nutrients and stored them in its tissues, and these are now a precious resource for sprouting seeds. But they need help accessing the food. Remember, this snag had been worked over by fungi and bacteria, then opened up by birds and mammals. When this snag hit the ground, it had a head start on the decaying process compared to a tree that was still alive and healthy. This tree could become a nurse log; an apt name for something providing nutrients, shade, moisture, and protection from disease and pathogens to the next generation of forest. The first thing to happen is the gradual breakdown of lignin, those tough structural elements in the trees tissues, especially wood and bark. Microorganisms such as

September 2020


Loving Our Senior Pets in September fungi and bacteria facilitate this process. Pull away some bark on a fallen tree that is starting to decay and notice the white lacey fungal hyphae “eating” its way through the woody tissues. Beetles are also key to opening up the downed log to further fungal decomposition, and as the beetles tunnel further into the bark they provide access for spiders, ants, millipedes and other invertebrates. As the lignin structure deteriorates, niches open up and are filled with soil and other organic matter. A perfect place for mosses to live and seeds to sprout! Because the trunk is raised above competing vegetation on the forest floor and has those lush mosses, it is a great spot for a seed to land and sprout. Here on the nurse log there is more sun, moisture available to developing roots seems to be more consistent here than in the soil, there might be less smothering of falling needles and leaves because of the rounded surface, and nurse logs might provide protection against soil-borne pathogens that kill off seeds or seedlings. (“Nurse Logs” John Palka,, April 2017). Many species prefer nurse logs to sprout on, such as Engelmann spruce, but Douglas fir prefers soil. Ecologists define five stages of decay in a downed log. The first stage is an intact downed log not yet decayed, to the fifth where the log has crumbled into a mass of organic matter. Because downed logs are more moisture retentive than snags, and wet wood tends to be oxygen deprived, downed logs decay slower. A general rule of thumb is that the rate of decay is close to the age of the tree. But, of course, that depends on the environment they are rotting in. Here in the arid west the process is slower than in the wet regions of the Pacific Northwest. And some species of wood are more persistent than others, especially pines and Douglas fir, which decompose to a “brown rotted wood.” Because they have high lignin contents they persist in the soil much longer than other species providing their beneficial functions often for centuries. Over the lifetime of a nurse log, they provide a valuable seedbed by concentrating nutrients, storing water, accelerating soil development, reducing erosion and minimizing competition from surrounding plants.

10% off

preventative blood screenings during the month of September Raising a pet is like a rainbow. Puppies and Kittens are the joy at one end.

Older Dogs and Cats are the treasure at the other. 102 Anglers Drive

970-879-5273 We’re Here!

We’re Open!

So, yes, there is life in the death of a tree, and the incredible cycle of life of nature continues. I urge you to explore a nurse log or sit and watch the activities in a snag. I’ll see you on the trails.

Smoking Acecessories & Other Curiosities

Nurse log with new life

Visit Our Food Truck!

More than just a smoke shop! 2730 Downhill Plaza #105


Next Door to RMR


September 2020

Valley Voice

Go Figure

Economic Diversity Index Measuring Economic Diversification at the Local Level 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0%was The key observation 30.0% that Routt County (home of Steamboat Springs) 20.0% was about in the middle when 10.0% averaged over a three0.0% year period (2016-2018). Eagle

By Scott L. Ford 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0%

Economic Diversity Index


Index Value 54.9%


La Plata



San Miguel








Gunnison La Plata Pitkin Routt San Miguel Summit

54.7% 49.3% 53.9% 47.2% 51.7% 57.7%

39.5% 46.6% 53.0% 45.0% 68.9% 72.5%

47.1% 47.9% 53.5% 46.1% 60.3% 65.1%

Source US Census Tables S24031 & B24031 In the calculation of this index, employment and earnings are given an equal weighting. Using this method of measuring economic diversification, Routt County is the best amongst comparable resort counties in Colorado. Summit County is the worst at 65.1%. The conclusion of this type of analysis is that Routt County is economically diverse. The reality is that it does not get much better than this. Sometimes recognizing that you have a good thing going is far more important than pursuing an ill-defined aspirational goal with no measurement.

Presenting the Cloud Z Sleepers. Exquisitely engineered for seamless, European-inspired designs to compliment the most modern of decor. Handle for easy open and close sofabed transformation.

Attached back and seat cushions.

Featuring Premium Memory Foam Mattress.

Come On In! We have many styles & colors available.

1707 Lincoln Avenue

970-870-8807 For those who live here and for those who wish they did.



Rather than trying to pick winners and losers by industry sector, I developed a diversity index value threshold. All thisGunnison means is thatLaifPlata the top three sectorsSan as Migu Pitkinindustry Routt sources of both employment and earnings account for The best was Gunnison Index Value 54.9% 53.5% 46.1% industry 60.3% less 47.1% than 50% of a47.9% county’s total for all private with a three-year average sectors, that county is economically diverse. GDP growth of 3.8%. The worst was La Plata with only a three-year averEconomic Diversification age growth rate of 0.2%. Employment Earnings Index Value Routt’s three-year average Eagle 54.1% 55.6% 54.9% was 1.7%

In last month’s Go Figure column, I outlined a way of In the 25+ years I have been involved in economic develEconomic Diversification measuring the overall health of the local economy. In opment efforts in Routt County one of the often-stated Steamboat Springs, too often folks Employment will point to sales tax goals is to have a diverse and vibrant economy. The goal Earnings Index Value collections as the primary measurement54.1% of local economic sounds Eagle 55.6% 54.9% awesome. Diversity provides economic resilience. health. Without question sales tax collections imSimply Gunnison 54.7% are an 39.5% 47.1%put, the economy is not so dependent upon a few portant source of government revenue, but that is all it is. industry La Plata 49.3% 46.6% 47.9% sectors that a downturn in those industry secAt best sales tax collections are a fuzzy reflection of53.0% the tors would have significant economic impact. Pitkin 53.9% 53.5% economic activity Routt in a relatively few industry sectors. 47.2% 45.0% 46.1% Although San Miguel 51.7% 68.9% 60.3% the goal of economic diversification is aspiraIn last month’s column I made a case that Gross Domestic tional, Summit 57.7% 72.5% 65.1%the key challenge is how economic diversity is Product (GDP) at the county level was a far more accurate measured. If diversity is not measured, it is meaningless way of assessing the overall status of the local economy. as a goal. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) calculates the GDP of counties across the nation annually. One of the The good news is that there are ways to measure ecokey advantages of using BEA’s GDP as the key measurenomic diversity using publicly available sources that ment of the economy is that it provides data over time and allow for comparison over time and between comparable allows for comparison to other resort-based counties in counties. For the purposes of this analysis I used Census Colorado. Bureau data and focused upon employment and aggregate earnings by industry sector. The Colorado resort counties I used in my comparative analysis of GDP were Eagle, Gunnison, La Plata, Pitkin, Every private sector job and associated earnings with Routt, San Miguel and Summit. those jobs are classified by the Census Bureau into 12

Next-Level Functionality

industry sectors. The sectors range from Agriculture/Mining to Retail Trade and Social Services/Health Care.

Valley Voice

September 2020


Hayden September News By Brodie Farquhar

The Hayden Community Outreach survey results are in and have been compiled by town officials. The results paint uel Summit a picture of what Hayden citizens want for their commu65.1% nity in the coming years and decades.

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.

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.

Town Manager Matt Mendisco said 130 residents participated. The survey was prepared by consultants North Design and economist Richard Cunningham.

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:

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.

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.

• Direct access to the Yampa River (68%). • Compliment the existing trail network (58%). • Improved signage or wayfinding (49%). 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 need 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.

Hayden, Colorado - 1942

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.


September 2020

Valley Voice

Some Good Trouble

The Rule of Law

By Eric Kemper

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

--From ”The Second Coming” By William Butler Yeats

The condition of humans living together necessitates the writing of laws. While functioning anarchy might be considered the highest form of an evolved society, in which no written laws are needed due to the citizens’ extreme level of personal responsibility and dedication to duty to their fellows, that is no more than a utopian fantasy. Human nature is simply too flawed to not need a set of laws or codes to govern the conduct of people when they live together.

From Hammurabi to the Magna Carta to our own Constitution, laws reflect the values and character of a society at large. No one makes a rule until after it’s been broken, so in many ways, laws represent a society’s fears, irritations and prejudices. The greater the number of people living together in a place, the greater the requirements become for the legal strictures. The needs and requirements in a sparsely populated rural area are not the same as those in a densely peopled city. While there are the eternal tenets (“Don’t Kill,” “Don’t Steal,” etc.), codes that govern finances, lands or personal conduct can vary widely depending on what society values.

Just as important as the laws that are made are the ways in which they are enforced. Equal protection under the law is a fine concept; it’s the sort of statement that a nation can turn into a slogan and use to proclaim its greatness to the world. It is also an unbelievably high bar. To fall short of such a lofty goal should not just be expected, but understood to be a regular occurrence. The fallibility of human nature all but guarantees it. But here again is the opportunity to work towards the more perfect Union. The agreement we make on our laws is the “centre that


“We are a nation of laws, not of men.” –John Adams holds.” It is how we move forward as a society largely together; a rolling wheel of justice and progress, if you will. But what happens when that wheel begins to wobble? When the centre cannot hold, things fall apart. People’s actions begin to reflect their fears and uncertainties when the law begins to devolve into concepts like “Money Talks” or “The Law Is Whatever The Man With The Gun Says It Is.” According to the United States Courts, Rule of Law is a principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are: • Publicly promulgated • Equally enforced • Independently adjudicated • And consistent with international human rights principles. Do we, the American people, still believe in this? Did we really ever? In a country in which Roger Stone has spent less time in a jail cell than John Lewis, what does justice under the law mean? From the soft patina of fifty years’ distance, most people want to believe that they would have been on the side of Lewis during the Civil Rights struggle,

Bar Opens at 3 p.m.

O getting into “good trouble” by defying unjust laws. Given that desire to stand retroactively with the justice that seems obvious now, how does that compare with views on today’s social justice protests? Is there room for nuance on any side, or are conclusions to be drawn based on the worst actions of anyone’s extremes?


Monday: Fish and Chips and Burger Menu served 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Steaks, seafood, local lamb, burgers, wings, housemade desserts, margaritas and more! or visit us on Facebook For those who live here and for those who wish they did.


The agreements we hold need to be sincere for them to T be binding. When we don’t believe that our norms and customs are being observed, we become more willing to t violate them ourselves. When those in power appear to use s the law to benefit their friends and punish their perceived f enemies, the standards shift. We shrug. Or worse, we’re a s emboldened to see what else can be gotten away with. h Marijuana is federally illegal, yet Colorado leads the way a in the development of what is now an “essential business” t during a pandemic. Is this “good trouble” or the erosion of a our social compact? What happens when that question filters down to the local level when the city passes a plastic I bag ban that is in direct defiance of a state law that says a cities can’t pass laws to ban plastic items? Is the city’s h moral or legal standing compromised when it comes time t to enforce other laws? What is arbitrary and capricious? r t t The law can be easy to observe just by standing on a downtown street corner and watching the world go by for S 3 a short spell. Watch the people ride past signs that say, “No bikes or skateboards on sidewalks,” or see how many e people view the four way stop sign or their turn signals as a options only occasionally worth considering. Our sincerity about our laws is reflected in how we choose to follow T m them or see them enforced. d No one can deny nor should seek to curtail the giddy joy t of true freedom, and few would honestly seek to impose T a genuine system of rigid compliance (And those who do h are not to be trusted!). But the need for an agreed upon e set of standards is how we are all able to live together. It is t the responsibilities we have that ensure the preservation f p of our rights. It is our common understanding of us as l Americans. c If we lose that common understanding, that centre upon p which we agree, and devolve into factions and partisan p b divisions, if the darkness descends, the fear is of what comes next. Asks Yeats at the end of his famous masterI work: f h And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, r Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? --1919 d d t a r

Full Dinner Menu: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday

Gateway to the Flat Tops


Downtown Yampa 970.638.4531

Hunting Season is around the corner. Are you ready?

Valley Voice

Oak Creek Bound

September 2020


Mensan Musings

Down-Valley Absolutist Thinking Decompression By Wolf Bennett

Taking a single, limited side feels better and more productive because it is what you evolved to do. But think about it for just a minute longer and you will quickly see that even seemingly simple situations actually have vast other possibilities. We don’t live on the Savannah with few options anymore. The journey and options are actually what matters. Look at your own life and tell me it was just the high or low points that define you and I’ll point out that you are not seeing the huge reality of the middle. It is the process that interests us all. When we get down to choosing this or that actually gives us no pleasure. It is the connection and the middle that we build with reality that fills and drives us.

By Megan Mertens

There is a palpable unburdening sensation that courses through my shoulders as I pass underneath the last stoplights on the way out of town, going perhaps slightly faster than what the sign to my right instructs. The clouds are beautiful today - great fluffy things that tower over the sprawling ranches with their pastoral-looking sheep and horses, not menacing rain but promising a cool breeze to alleviate the heat. I watch the thermometer in my car dip two, five, ten degrees as the valley disappears behind me around a bend in the road.

In the beginning, we settled for Oak Creek. Newly married and so broke we couldn’t afford a camping site for our honeymoon, we accepted an offer from my parents to rent their 620 square foot house, 100 years old and in need of renovation. That first winter, I took many a chilly nap in the car we shared, not wanting to spend the gas it would take to drive to-and-fro-and-to again from Oak Creek to Steamboat. We would routinely come home after dark to a 3-foot tall berm blocking the driveway. Our heating bill was exorbitant; we stuffed old towels in most of the windows and layered as best we could.

That was 4 years ago, and much has changed in the meantime. For one thing, having two cars helps tremendously with the commute. We’ve more or less figured out the rhythm of life out here. Life in Oak Creek is slower. The roads aren’t paved. We do most of our drinking at home now. The internet doesn’t believe my home address exists. I wave to our postmaster as he walks the 3 blocks to work every day. I tell the grocery store clerk thank you for bringing in more vegetarian options. I sit on my front porch in the summer, beer in hand, and listen to childrens' laughter from the park 2 houses down. In the winter, I carve a path to our front door with a plastic shovel and a pair of kinkos. I know my neighbor will be over with his plow as soon as he can, and I will repay him with food and beer in the grand tradition of ski bums everywhere.

I have no doubt that one day, Oak Creek will meet the same fate as Steamboat, and the semi-habitable 100 year old houses with questionable wiring will be torn down and replaced with respectable single family homes whose windows don’t build up ice on cold nights. I’m sure that one day, soon, we will be able to count our restaurants on more than one hand. But today I will breathe a sigh of gratitude as I turn onto 131, say a prayer that I don’t hit a deer, and relish the drive ahead.

We have an election coming up and there is a huge amount of divisiveness. Some very extreme positions are in play here and once elected will probably take on an absolutist stance denying that anyone or anything exists beyond their position. Declaring that there is only one possible outcome is actually quite frightening and stunningly ignorant. The reasons for this state of affairs lies in how the human brain works and its limitations. It is important to learn “how” to think and not “what” to think. What we practice, we become. Our brains like being sure of things and we do quite well at dealing with one thing at a time. Our brains are essentially “lazy” and most commonly follow a practiced path. Thinking and learning takes effort. Changing our minds takes energy and it is “hard.” Multi-tasking essentially is impossible and many studies have shown that we are more productive when we focus on one task before moving to the next. We evolved to deal with the tiger in front of us and not the peripheral details. Either/or and black/white thinking dominates our worlds and when we are faced with complexities we most often fall back on our habit pattern of dealing with the one thing and ignoring the other. This is a real problem that leads to stunning loss for everyone. In reality there is nothing that is totally one way or the other and not one final possibility. There is an immense middle ground that we fail to see. There are options folks. Life truly is a spectrum. Strength, looks, ages, abilities, talents, skills, thoughts, emotions and life itself is always a mixed bag. The vast middle gets ignored in favor of the extreme. How often do we look for the winner of a race ignoring all those other worthy racers in the pack right on their heels or the training, lives and time of all those other “losers”? Someone waving their arms, making extreme statements, insulting and shouting will certainly get more attention than the quiet, observant, patient type of person even though there are many more important things to consider. Knowledge is more important than rhetoric.

We have powerful, complex minds and making them appear simple actually defeats the brain’s power. If you find yourself not seeing options, confusions or wide, various approaches to a problem then you have succumbed to poor training of your mind. I am not saying not to choose or that all decisions must be wishy washy. I am saying that it is critical and far more productive that we learn how to see the vast array of possibilities and admit that we could be wrong in any choice and then be able to move in a new direction. Inability to see the vast middle ground in any situation forces you into a trap that will limit your life. Broaden your perspective and look more deeply to see the whole game and your enjoyment will actually increase as has been proven many times. Choose a candidate based on few ideas and you will get very limited results. To vote on a single issue is to miss all the other possibilities and it will drag you down and damage all your other options. Certainly there are things we care about deeply and yet to ignore the fact that others care too but maybe see things in a different way limits everything. What we practice, we become. See the real, broader, more boring issues, think on them and most of all, vote.


A Moment in Time By Joan Remy

Guys with slick hair Sang a cappella Under the lamplight Hugo was in the Arnie Mig Band The Mafia loved them Musicians and art graced our home Helen had kind Emerald eyes Lu, Bob and Joan Swirling within the magic I learned to dance and sing With every nationality It was a “New York State of Mind”


September 2020

Valley Voice

Local Libation


Dano's Dangerous Tequila

Unnecessary Thrills

By Lori Thompson

By Fran Conlon

Some thrills give that adrenalin rush, Pulsating and throbbing in the vein, Followed by a gasping rush, Normalcy seems then very tame. Youth is filled with abundant vigor, To climb, to fly, to sail the sea, Later, the soul picks a gentle rigor, Moderation will let most things just be. Pre-dawn morning has a cutting chill, The campfire yields a hot drink delicious, Warming insides if I don't spill, Red sunrise lights are propitious.. No danger in my growth's slower pace, The walk is better than the ride, On the trail, leaving no trace, No shouts or screaming of a sudden tide. I'll take the calmness of the day, There's always a smile: a kind of play. (Your rash 'ventures leave you in a tizzy, Perhaps you're ready for a trip to Disney.) zirkel-valleyvoice-ad-120519.pdf



6:36 PM

Dano next to his latest agave pinas load, commonly called blue agave (agave azul) or tequila agave, is an agave plant that is important due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila. Dano’s Dangerous Tequila started where a lot of good ideas begin…in the garage. Growing up in California, Danny spent many a day just across the border in Mexico. Later in life he moved to Hawaii as a contractor, with tequila continuing to be his drink of choice. The idea of infusing tequila with pineapple combined his Hawaiian influence with his Mexican history. He came up with a recipe his friends and family raved about and he decided to create a personalized label for bottles he could pass out to his closest friends. His artist daughter, Mari, shaped the infusion idea by blending an agave leaf with a pineapple, creating the award-winning label that is now the signature for Dano’s specialty bottle of fresh fruit infused PineappleJalapeño Tequila. His friend Chris Timmerman, a true entrepreneur, was convinced it should expand beyond the garage. He wanted to take the infusion to the market and share it with the world. So the two of them made a visit to Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico to find a distillery that could produce the new blend. The journey led them to the Hacienda De Reyes, a small, 4th generation family run Tequila distillery where the

Reyes family had been handcrafting Tequila since 1840s. The family still uses the old-school distilling process using only the sweetest blue agave, steamed in brick ovens and finished in copper stills. The partnership flourished and here in the famous town of Tequila, the Reyes family crafts Dano’s Tequila infusion using 100% Agave Azul Blanco with fresh pineapples and jalapeños. Dano’s Dangerous has added three ultra-premium tequilas - Blanco, Reposado and Añejo Tequilas, now all distributed worldwide under Dano’s label. Since then, Dano’s has earned accolades at the SIP (International Spirits Competition) with double gold ratings and most recently Dano’s Añejo won Best In Show in the San Francisco World Spirit competition against 900 tequila brands. Dano’s Dangerous has recently been featured in several magazines, including Forbes, Rolling Stone, NY Post, Men’s Journal and Delish. Dano’s continues to grow its fan base across the country with distribution on the East Coast, Florida, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Dano’sTequila can be found locally at your favorite Spirit store or can be ordered online at




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

Steamboat Springs Walden


879.5929 905 Weiss Drive - across HWY 40 from the Holiday Inn

Valley Voice

September 2020


Piknik Theatre

Living Well is Acting Well By Stuart Handloff

“We act constantly, not because we are purposely lying, but because we have no choice. Living well means acting well. Every moment in our lives is a tiny theatrical performance. Even our most intimate moments have a public of at least one: ourselves.” - Declan Donnellan, The Actor and the Target. The fear of public speaking is the most common phobia ahead of death, spiders, or heights. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that public speaking anxiety, or glossophobia, affects about 73% of the population. The underlying fear is judgment or negative evaluation by others. Public speaking anxiety is considered a social anxiety disorder. But acting is not necessarily public speaking, although public performances usually require some degree of vocal skills (that can be easily learned). Acting is all about living well; living a full life. According to Donnellan, an actor reacts to the target of his text. Romeo responds romantically to Juliet because she wills him to do so. Her energy and excitement give him the motivation to respond. He climbs the balcony not because it’s there but because she sighs, “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” He can respond passionately because she offers him a path to true love. If he’s doing a good job, he offers her the same passion in return (“call me but love and I’ll be new baptized”) so she can build the scene to its climax. They each support the work of the other. Some acting theories ask the actor to go back to a past memory of love or romance to create a truth to this scene, but that excavation seems more like emotional abuse than acting. A professional actor performs eight shows a week. Dredging up old emotional memories day after day, week after week, is a good recipe for mental illness, not convincing performance. Besides, an audience isn’t interested in what the actors are feeling; we want to be there in that moment overcome with emotional love. We want to experience those feelings ourselves, not watch an actor emote.

But Donnellan’s well-crafted book on acting is more than just getting Romeo and Juliet to become more believable romantics. His insight on human existence is just as powerful. We all are actors (“all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”) in the story of our lives. We act as our parents’ children, as siblings, as lovers, as parents and so on. All of our careers require some degree of acting: a good worker bee, a thoughtful boss, a supportive colleague. We put on these masks because it allows us to inhabit these roles with success and confidence. If acting can be defined as truthful behavior in imaginary circumstances, living well can be defined as truthful behavior in real circumstances. But both demand inspiring circumstances of one kind or another to provoke truthful and believable actions. In real life, just as in acting for the stage, we respond - we react - to the target of our intention. Our husband/wife/life partner doesn’t seem to be listening these days and we want them to be more attentive; we ask for some demonstration of engagement; they respond with an action, which leads to another action, and so on. Then there’s the inevitable divorce and all the legal ramifications that grow from that action. Thus is the drama of our daily lives, or hopefully not in your case. It is the failure to live a well-acted life that causes us problems. Consider difficulties you may have had at work, home, or with family or friends. Chances are, someone was

not acting particularly well; not behaving in a manner to which you have become accustomed; not demonstrating truthful behavior. In work I’ve done with those dealing with substance abuse, it is the inability to act well without drugs or alcohol that is so elusive for these folks. Again, this is not a clever attempt to lie or cover the truth; it is the revealing of ourselves in a context that allows us to create a truly believable social face to the world. Maybe that’s the key to becoming comfortable at public speaking: not imagining an audience without pants (most people look really bad without pants; that’s enough to put any speaker off their game). But realizing that everyone seated before them is just a person to whom you want to inspire to action. You’re wearing your communication mask and looking to evoke some similar response from your audience - the target of your message - one person at a time. The anxiety a nervous and inexperienced public speaker feels in front of a dull crowd is the same discomfort an actor feels when working with a scene partner who gives them nothing that demands a reaction. Without an energetic crowd demanding something, a speaker has no target to work with and create this experience. Hence part of the reason that recent Zoom productions, with their ghostly audiences, have become such poor excuses for live entertainment. If you want to live fully, give your life partner, your work partner, your friends and family, whoever is listening - even if it’s just you in the mirror - an action that evokes a response. Acting and reacting is what makes for exciting and engaging performance on stage and in real life.

All the Cleaning Supplies You Need for a Safe Environment! Formulated in Hayden, Colorado

970 .879 .5717

2620 S. Copper Frontage

Masks in bulk!


September 2020

Valley Voice

Tales from the Front Desk

The Jade Prize By Aimee Kimmey

"All the rooms were a mess today; it was a labyrinth of muddy walls and greasy pizza boxes. "By the time I got to 316, the game was about to start, I was in a rush to get the TV on. But the lock wouldn't budge. With precious seconds ticking away I angled on the key card back and forth. I could feel my heart pounding in my ears as I swiped quickly, slowly, forward, backward... Until I finally got it just right, and the door slid open on the dark, dusty room. "I rushed to the TV, but it was dead. I turned every dial, pushed every button. There was only one thing to do: I had to go behind the TV... God only knows what lives in the darkness back there! "With seconds until kick-off, I took a deep breath, and slowly reached into the shadowy crevasse. The nest of cables and wires slithered around my fingers. I tried not to think about it, as I pressed on. I jiggled each cable and power cord, until the TV flashed to life in front of me!

The story you are about to read is true... more or less. Room 316. Sunday. 2:37 pm. "Look what I found!" The housekeeper delicately settled the shimmering green prize onto the break room table. The clerk felt her eyes stretch wide, "How... Where... Did you find... that?" The weary housekeeper dropped into the chair across the table. She pushed her lucky ball cap back to scratch her head. "It wasn't easy..." An awed hush grasped the break room as the housekeeper collected her thoughts. The clerk's partner and a guy from maintenance spied the glowing green idol. Mesmerized they pulled up chairs next to the clerk. The housekeeper stared off to a distant spot above their heads, "It was room 316.

"I was instantly slammed with infomercials, TV evangelists, and screaming broadcasters as I raced through the channels. Eventually I landed on the right one, just in time for the team's pre-game ritual. I watched, enthralled as the quarterback hoisted up the game ball, inciting the crowd into a primal chant. My heart raced. "As the crowd was about to explode, the muscle bound goon from 315 burst into the room. He dragged me back to his room to help him tunnel under his bed for his lost wallet. I guess it had been buried days ago, he'd had his children searching for it ever since. We battled with the mattress, until the wallet was unearthed. Then, with the children freed at last, I escaped back to 316. "This time I went in ready to clean. Armed with my pistol grip, I sprayed down everything in my path. I had to move fast to avoid the blowback of the deadly solution. Poisonous droplets exploded around me, I ducked and dodged, barely avoiding the splatter. "I balled up the bed sheets with all the others and piled them on top of my cart. Then I moved onto the bathroom. "Unfortunately, I knocked over the mop bucket. A river of disinfectant swallowed the whole floor. I had to climb up

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

onto the tub to escape it. From there I leapt onto the toilet, and dived for the door. "When the wave of disinfectant was under control, I turned to the fridge... "I wiped every inch of it before slowly cracking open the door. That's when I saw it, sitting in the center of the rack. I eyed it for a moment, weighing my options. "I knew it couldn't stay there, it belonged in the proper hands. So, carefully, very carefully, I grabbed for it as the fridge door slammed shut; you know how heavy those things are. "I wanted to get it back here as soon as possible, so I hurried out of the room. As I pushed the cart down the hallway it hitched on the rug, the giant ball of bedsheets tumbled off, rolling straight at me! "My only chance to avoid being crushed was the elevator. The doors were closing so I dove, my hat tumbled off as I did. It's my lucky hat, no way I was leaving it behind. I just barely snatched it back as the doors crashed shut. "In the lobby, I high tailed it through that tribe of girl scouts that's been hanging out, their little eyes darting all over me. I did my best to protect the 'prize' as I ran past them. It wasn't easy, but here it is." The housekeeper nodded toward the ziplock baggie of sticky green buds in the middle of the break room table. The housekeeper pushed a slip of paper toward the clerk. "I found this with it." The clerk read aloud, "Congratulations! You're one of the few people who checks their fridges. Here's your reward." "Somebody left you a bag of weed?!" The maintenance guy blurted. The housekeeper shrugged, "Evidently." "Question is," The clerk's partner asked, "What are you going to do with it now?" "It belongs in a vault!" The housekeeper said. The maintenance guy stood up, snatching the glowing green prize, "Don't worry, I'll get my top men on it." The clerks and the housekeeper eyed him skeptically as he walked toward the break room door. "Who?!" The housekeeper demanded. "Top men." He winked as he disappeared out of the break room. "Top. Men."

Valley Voice

September 2020

Frontier Medicine

I'm Not a Doctor but... By Sean Derning

There seems to be a lot of confusion lately with getting everybody on the same page while attempting to contain and defeat the COVID-19 virus. We are constantly bombarded with political and medical solutions and suggestions, and it’s easy to become misinformed. As a nation of free thinkers, there appear to be social interpretations as wide as a rainbow. The warnings from the medical community have been simple to grasp; wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, refrain from touching your face and stay at home if you’re sick. Yet all this conflicting information and misinformation has caused many to pick and choose, or twist sound medical advice into the pretzel that best suits their social appetites. Medical missteps have been going on for centuries, with leeches used for bloodletting or applying mercury salve to cure sexually transmitted diseases as then-accepted practices. Even right in our town’s past, carpetbaggers would come and peddle their tonics, liniments, elixirs and snake oils to an unsuspecting public afflicted with a wide variety of ills, either real or imagined. And the quackery still goes on today. The White House has told us to combat COVID-19 by injecting bleach or using unproven hydroxychloroquine. A parade of medical experts have voiced opposition to these suggestions and have repeated effective guidelines until they are blue in the face. And what do we do as a society? Mainly ignore them. Case in point is the Sturgis motorcycle rally that attracted 250,000 attendees with little attention to following guidelines. Or the large pool/lake parties in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Michigan. But you don’t have to travel across country to see this. Non-compliance happens daily on any street in our town. My wife and I witnessed a social gathering the other day when a group of adults had a dinner barbeque. Beautiful weather, everyone having a good time. Yet social distancing and face masks were not being practiced. We bit our tongues and then witnessed an action from the party which we won’t soon forget. A male guest got up from the group, walked ten feet away and proceeded to douse himself with a fine mist of insect repellant.

With open mouths, we saw this person was more concerned about insect bites and committing a social faux pas by exposing the others to DEET versus a deadly virus. Then it hit me like a thunderbolt. Maybe this partygoer knew something I didn’t. If mosquitos carry viruses like West Nile, can they carry the COVID virus? I mean if people are people, aren’t all viruses viruses? So I immediately set forth a proactive plan to add another layer of defense to combatting COVID. Every morning after showering, the family lines up on the deck to get their daily dose of Deep Woods Off! Then I got out the sewing machine and stitched up some plastic window screening in loose fitting, breathable tops and bottoms to go over our outfits. Side effects so far have been slight lightheadedness, skin numbing and passing nausea. Also, there are some static shock issues from the plastic screening rubbing together. My son asked, “Why do we have to do this?” I respond in a sing-song voice, “Because I can’t visit you in the ICU.” In addition to following Centers for Disease Control guidelines, I’m now wrapped in a secure cocoon of comfort and protection. So what if I look like a living room window in public? I’m looking out for you and me despite questionable and untested medical logic. Indeed, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Or is it the other way around?

If medical quackery must continue, let’s explore some medical misinformation by reviewing topics of pseudo-medical papers rejected by the American Medical Association;

-Hammer and nail acupuncture techniques -Leatherman oral surgery made easy -Anger management for morons -Ear canal wax fracking -Sea urchin exfoliation -Navel lint knitting tips -In-law intervention therapy, or “Why that no good, drunken layabout never deserved my daughter.”


The “LOCAL’S” choice for Personalized Health Care

Be safe! Wash hands! Wear a Mask and Safe Distancing! Keep Routt County Healthy! In depth medication management Come see our large selection of natural preventative healthcare options! We are the “go to” pharmacy to help integrate all your healthcare options.

Cannabis Dispensary


Check Out Our Monthly Billo Boxes

Order Online at 970.879.4420

Daily Product Specials

Recreational & Medical from 8am-10pm everyday

Se Habla Espanol! 2093 Curve Plaza Unit C Steamboat Springs CO 80487

Brewery of the Month:

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


Yummy Beer!


September 2020

Valley Voice


Your Monthly Message By Chelsea Yepello Aries

March 21 - April 19

And then you realize that when fancy four dollar bottles of sparkling water go flat, is in fact, just water


April 20 - May 20


May 20 - June 20

Jose enjoys sports, especially running. Who gives a Sh*% Stating that you are a pagan just so you can fornicate and binge drink, isn’t making the gods very happy. Maybe you should sacrifice a goat or two for good measure.


June 21 - July 22

This may come as a shock, but somehow you incurred the nickname “Whistle Lips” somewhere along the way... and even though you don’t really get it, you do find it oddly fitting.



July 23 - August 23

You have a lot of wit and are very sharp. Sometimes your sharpness just pokes people in the ass.

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.


October 24 - November 21

The changes you are about to encounter this week can easily be explained in one of those 1950s informational videos featuring Little Timmy and his new and curious self discovery.


November 22 - December 21

When they said “curiosity kills the cat,” that did not give you the green light to start murdering innocent little felines... even if you did legally change your name to Curiosity.


December 22 - January 19

Sometimes you just have to think about it like those half rotten bananas you put in your freezer months ago. You know, the ones that you convinced yourself you would make into banana bread one day? Because it would be such a waste to throw out a few bananas? Face it, they are 30 cents a pound. Toss ‘um


January 20 - February 18


They say a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. Don’t really know why you’re touching dirty birds anyway... you should really go wash your hands.

August 23 - September 22

Dear Aquarius, Your whole world revolves around one thing. It is the center of your universe and brings wholeness to the very fiber of your being. The answer to this and many other questions after this commercial break.


September 23 - October 23


This week, the sweet sounds of your lovemaking in the middle of the night will wake up the girl across the hall, making it really


awkward and a little embarrassing considering that you’re alone.

February 19 - March 20

Eat more vegetables.

Valley Voice

September 2020


Tactical Flashlight (So you can see the BS coming) 3 position nozzle: “Shut Up”- “Back Up” and “You hurt my feelings.” Flip the nozzle and it turns into a “last-call” horn Spray Trigger Clicks like a .45 Caliber

By Matt Scharf

Easy grip for angry, sweaty hands

Refills can be Expensive

Container manufactured with Yampa root paste Not-Kidding-Around Size





September 2020

Valley Voice

thin k loca l , drin k loca l !

world's best

tasting tequila

Born here in beautiful

Steamboat Springs & hand crafted in the

2 nd oldest

Tequila Distillery

in the World in our sister city...

beautiful Tequila, Jalisco! For those who live here and for those who wish they did.