| SteamboatToday.com

Spoke Talk: What the heck is enduro?

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — You’ve seen them, those mountain bikers on big, full suspension bikes with 5-inch to six-inch travel-forks, wide knobby tires, wearing loose shorts and knee pads. What is this type of mountain bike and rider who enjoys descending and catching air on every trail feature?

For many riders, this new trend is referred to as “enduro,” and it means something different to each individual who identifies with it. Enduro can define a type of full suspension, trail bike. Enduro can describe the style of riding that focuses descending. Or, it can indicate an attitude that is a passion for descending and the thrill associated with going fast and catching air that this rider group considers to be “fun” and is the core of their riding style. There is also a new mountain bike race discipline called enduro.

In recent years the mountain bike industry has spent millions of dollars developing enduro bikes that incorporate advances in suspension technology to absorb bigger “hits” on trail features like a downhill bike and have climbing gears like a cross country bike. Enduro bikes have different frame geometry that creates a stable platform for more control while descending.

The development and evolution of this bike category has also spurred the creation of enduro racing. This new race discipline offers challenges that appeal to cross-country riders with regard to endurance and fitness, and downhill riders because it rewards fast descenders.

Enduro racers will spend three to five hours on their bikes navigating a set course. They pedal non-timed course sections called transfers that take them to the descending trail segments that are identified as stages, which make up the timed portion of the race. While racers are not timed on the uphill transfers, they must have the fitness to pedal to the stage and race the descending trail segments that are timed.  It’s a balance of fitness and technical bike-handling skills.

Enduro racing is very social, with groups of racers riding transfers together sharing stories of the last stage, chatting about other riding zones and bike-related travels and meeting new people with similar interest and bike passion.  It’s a laid-back race environment that encourages camaraderie, sharing a day of mountain biking, riding to the top, and then racing each other back down.

Sound fun? Are you enduro-curious?

There is a two-day enduro race in Steamboat Springs on July 20 and 21. Saturday’s stages will be on the Nipple Peak Trail system in North Routt, and Sunday will be on Buffalo Pass trails, Grouse and BTR. Course maps, event schedule and online registration are available at www.revolutionenduro.com. Walk-up registration is from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, at Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare. 

There are a number of volunteer positions available. Contact Emily at encromer@gmail.com to sign up as a volunteer.

Happy trails!

David Scully is a Steamboat Springs retail business owner, race promoter and trail enthusiast.

Dine and dash: The Record for Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

1:07 a.m. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers noticed a seemingly intoxicated man in the 1100 block of Lincoln Avenue. They gave him a courtesy ride home. 

1:48 a.m. Officers assisted a man who locked himself out of his car in the 1800 block of Elk River Plaza. 

5:57 a.m. Police were called about a bear that got into a dumpster and splayed trash across the road in the 1500 block of Shadow Run Frontage. 

6:38 a.m. Another bear got into a dumpster at Apres Ski Way and Village Drive. 

9:06 a.m. Police received a report of a sweater stolen from the waiting room of a hospital in the 900 block of Central Park Drive. Officers reviewed surveillance footage and saw an unknown woman take the sweater, then leave the building. 

9:30 a.m. A man called police after he took his vehicle to an auto shop for a repair, and it came back damaged. 

11:05 a.m. Police were called about a tenant harassing a group of construction workers at a neighborhood in the 1300 block of Dream Island Plaza. 

12:46 p.m. West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters were called about a motor vehicle crash with unknown injuries at West Jefferson Avenue and North Poplar Street in Hayden. 

Crime Stoppers

If you have information about any unsolved crime, contact Routt County Crime Stoppers. You will remain anonymous and could earn a cash reward.

Submit a tip
• Call: 970-870-6226
• Click: TipSubmit.com
• Text: Send “NAMB” and your message to 274637

4:37 p.m. Police received a report of a truck stolen from the 2200 block of Elk River Road. As officers were questioning the man who reported the stolen vehicle, his friend pulled up in the truck. The friend had forgotten to tell the man he was borrowing it.  

7:53 p.m. Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters were called about a dumpster fire at Eighth and Yampa streets. Large flames were coming from the container, according to witnesses. Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire before it spread. 

8:30 p.m. Employees at a restaurant in the 800 block of Oak Street called police after someone left without paying a tab of about $100.

8:34 p.m. Steamboat firefighters assisted a woman who lost consciousness at a hotel in the 2300 block of Mount Werner Road. 

10:07 p.m. Police were called about an assault in the 1800 block of River Queen Street. A man was trying to keep his drunken friend quiet, which sparked a fight between them. Officers arrested the drunken friend on suspicion of third-degree assault, menacing and violation of a protection order. 

Total incidents: 63

  • Steamboat officers had 38 cases that included calls for service and officer-initiated incidents such as traffic stops.
  • Sheriff’s deputies had 11 cases that included calls for service and officer-initiated incidents such as traffic stops.
  • Steamboat firefighters responded to 13 calls for service.
  • West Routt firefighters responded to one call for service.

The Record offers a glimpse of police activity and is not a comprehensive report of all police activity. Calls such as domestic violence, sexual assaults and juvenile situations typically do not appear in The Record.

Environmental expert offers dire climate change outlook during Seminars at Steamboat talk

Dr. John Holdren

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — One of the country’s most preeminent environmental experts told a Steamboat Springs audience there’s no stopping climate change brought on by human behavior, and it’s just a matter of slowing it down and helping people adapt to changes in the ecosystems where they live.

Dr. John Holdren, professor of environmental policy at Harvard University and former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, spent the first 20 minutes of Monday’s Seminars at Steamboat lecture explaining the science behind the rapid increase in global warming, caused mostly by burning fossil fuels. He showed how greenhouse gases are natural in the atmosphere — like water vapor and carbon dioxide — and how they intercept heat from the surface and send it back down.

“Without natural greenhouse gases, the surface would be too cold to support life,” Holdren said.

But he said industrialization fueled by burning wood, oil, gas and coal has caused the atmosphere to collect excessive greenhouse gases, like CO2, and it’s radiating too much heat back to the surface.

“The good news is human influence has averted the next ice age,” said Holdren. “The trouble is, we over-compensated.”

It was one of the few laughs he got from a relatively sober audience listening to his talk, “Meeting the Climate Change Challenge: What we Know. What We Expect. What We Can Do.”

Aided by charts and graphs, Holdren showed the audience how CO2 emissions have grown in proportion to fossil fuel use and deforestation. 

Holdren talked about spending his eight years in the Obama administration working with companies, government agencies and other countries on better technology and ways to adapt to a warmer climate, while also trying to slow down global warming.

That work ultimately culminated in the Paris Agreement, in which nearly 200 countries agreed to combat global warming and help poorer countries adjust to extreme weather and its influence on their societies. He said President Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement, has stopped a lot of the aid to poorer countries and has even cut research and development for clean energy and climate science.

Holdren said China and India are taking advantage of the U.S. government’s current lack of leadership on clean energy.

“China is deploying more renewable technology than any other country,” said Holdren.

He said the world is expected to spend $30 trillion between now and 2035 on clean energy.

“The question is, do we want U.S. companies to have a share of that $30 trillion business or do we want to buy that technology from the Chinese, Japanese and Germans?” Holdren asked.

He said both China and India no longer deny climate change caused by humans and recognize it is killing their people and damaging their environment.

“Since 1984 … I’ve met with all the Chinese leaders,” Holdren said. “The Chinese are saying climate change has changed the monsoon seasons … impacted their agriculture.”

He also said Indian leaders have told him they don’t expect to build any coal-burning power plants after 2025.

They predict “solar and wind with battery backup will be cheaper than coal in India after 2025,” Holdren added.

With scientific facts presented on a huge screen, Holdren showed how extreme weather has increased significantly in the past decade from bigger hurricanes and monsoons, longer and more intense droughts and bigger wildfires. Mosquitos are bringing tropical diseases further north, and locally, pine bark beetles are reproducing faster.

“We’ve lost millions of acres to pine bark beetles because of this culmination of conditions,” Holdren said.

“One of the sleepers of climate change is worsening wildfires. The upward trend is astonishing,” said Holdren, who explained how a warming world produces more lightning, the number one cause of wildfires.

Not all is lost, Holdren said. He cited public polls that indicate about 70% of Americans believe the rapid climate change is human-induced. He also said 600 CEOs sent a letter to Trump objecting to his withdrawal from parts of the Paris Agreement.

When asked how people can object to the scientific findings, Holdren said politicization of global warming started in the 1990s when the GOP realized Al Gore would be the nominee for president.

“He was Mr. Climate Change … so the other party used it politically,” Holdren said.

Then in 2002, conservative pollster Frank Luntz sent out a private memo to GOP leaders warning that government would use global warming as an excuse to implement heavy regulations. Holdren said Luntz encouraged Republicans to criticize global warming scientists and use the phrase “climate change” instead of global warming. 

Holdren said until the federal government is all in, everyone else can reduce their own carbon footprint, from recycling to driving less. But he said another big idea that almost every economist agrees on is a carbon tax.

In January of this year, 45 of the top economists in the country penned a letter in the Washington Post claiming, “A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary.” These economists were from the entire political spectrum, Holdren said.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

Routt County adoptable pets: Charcoal the kitten and Kida the dog

Charcoal the kitten

Charcoal is a shy, sweet 2-month-old and 2.3-pound kitten looking for a patient home to help her blossom and gain more confidence. She looks forward to growing up in a loving home where there are lots of cat toys to chase all day.

Kida the dog

Kida is a beautiful, 1 1/2-year-old, German shepherd mix and an all around great canine. She is good with other dogs and loves hikes. Kida is looking for an active home where regular hiking, long walks, biking and camping occur. After all the activity, she’ll be ready to cuddle up on the couch for TV time.

For more information about Charcoal, Kida and other adoptable pets, call the Routt County Humane Society at 970-879-7247 or visit RouttHumane.org.

Best of the Boat place to go under $50: hiking

Hiking was named Steamboat’s best activity for under $50. (courtesy photo)

The voters have spoken. If you want to go outside and do something without dropping your hard-earned cash, head outside for a hike.

From Spring Creek, Mad Creek and Fish Creek Falls, to Emerald Mountain, Rabbit Ears Pass and Buff Pass, not to mention Mount Zirkel and Flat Tops wilderness areas, hiking trails abound in the region for the whole family.

“Hiking is always a top-rated activity by our guests,” Steamboat Springs Chamber CEO Kara Stoller said. “Our trail system provides so many options for all different levels at all times of year. Hiking in Steamboat doesn’t get much better.”

Best Place to go Under $50

• Winner: Hiking

• Runners-up: Back Door Grill and Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Brodie Farquhar: Are all Republicans racist?

The racist trope of “why don’t you go back to where you came from” did not originate with Donald Trump, who recently threw that statement at four Democratic Congresswomen of color. Three were born in this country, and the fourth is a naturalized citizen who has been a citizen longer than Melania Trump.

Trump’s terrible trope has been heard before on schoolyards, streets, bars, back alleys and probably corporate boardrooms. It is used by people who want to emphasize their native, insider status by pointing out the outsider status of others. It has been heard by blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Irish, Italians, Poles, Greeks, Germans, Jews and Catholics, uttered by Know-Nothings, Tea-Partyers, and yes, Ku-Klux-Klaners.

About the only people in North America with the historic right to use this trope are Native Americans against virtually everyone else.

“Go back where you came from” is used by the intellectually lazy and the ignorant, which includes Trump.

Which brings me to ask whether all Republicans are racist? I don’t think so, but certainly the GOP does seem to tolerate racists within their ranks. Have you heard Scott Tipton or Cory Gardner criticize Trump over racist Tweets? Me neither.

The irony is that the Republican Party was founded by abolitionists who wanted to get rid of black slavery. Indeed, liberal Republicans — yes, Virginia, they actually existed — helped pass civil rights legislation in the ’60s.

All that changed with Nixon’s Southern Strategy to attract the then-Democratic, southern, white segregationists into the Republican camp. Ronald Reagan continued the strategy by kicking off his 1980 presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three young civil-rights workers were murdered by the Klan in 1964. Reagan also talked endlessly about black welfare queens driving Cadillacs. Poppy Bush’s infamous Willie Horton ad attracted support from racists.

Then there’s Trump, who after after years of pushing birtherism against Obama, blasted invading Mexicans who he said rape and rob and kill “real” Americans — meaning white victims.

I can only conclude that racism in the Republican Party is not a bug but a deliberately manufactured and cultivated feature.

It is ugly. It is divisive. 

It may be the only way Republicans can win national elections. That plus gerrymandering, voter suppression and extreme judges.

That’s shameful, and may kill democracy itself.


Brodie Farquhar


Opening stage of Colorado Classic in Steamboat Springs filled with challenging climbs

The course for stage 1 of the Colorado Classic. The route will start and finish at the Meadows Parking Lot.
Photo courtesy of Colorado Classic

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The opening day of the Colorado Classic will test some of the top professional women cyclists with a challenging 54.2-mile course that includes two humbling hill climbs, several kilometers of biking on dirt roads and the type of competition that will push each rider to her limits.

“We are thrilled about the course,” said race director Jim Birrell. “The fact that we have included about 10-kilometers of dirt road really shows the diversity of, not only the terrain in Steamboat Springs, but also the athleticism these ladies who have to be able to ride both dirt and paved roads.”

The course for the August event, which is being presented by Smartwool, is a loop that takes riders past Oak Creek before returning to the base of Steamboat Resort using a number of Routt County roads. The VF Corporation, which owns Smartwool, is a title sponsor of the four-stage race, which starts in Steamboat on Aug. 22, and will also host stages in Avon on Aug. 23 and Golden on Aug. 24 before finishing in Denver on Aug. 25.

The Steamboat stage will start and finish at 6,695 feet in the Meadows Parking Lot near the base of Steamboat Resort. Racers will leave the start line at 11:30 a.m. and head south along Routt County Road 14, cutting across Colorado Highway 131 before continuing on C.R. 14 past Stagecoach Reservoir and back to Colo. 131 on the other side of Oak Creek.

Riders will then pass back through Oak Creek on C.R. 27 to C.R. 33. At that point, the riders will be tested on the dirt surface of C.R. 43 and C.R. 41 before finding the paved surface once again on C.R. 35. From there, the cyclists will follow C.R. 14 back to the start-finish area.

The race’s technical director Jeff Corbett said riders will gain more than 4,000 feet of elevation along the race route. He said the riders will be challenged by two big climbs including the first coming along C.R. 27 out of Oak Creek and the second between C.R. 33 and Whitewood Drive.

“Obviously, those are the key features,” Corbett said of the climbs. “But there is a lot of other just rolling terrain, so I think the cumulative effect of the two big hills, plus all the little ones, is going to wear on the girls.”

Race organizers said the circuit routes for the women-only pro road race will have something for every racer and every fan including high–altitude “Queen of the Mountain” prizes — two on the Steamboat circuit alone — breakneck sprints, gravel and tight, technical street racing. The course will cover a total of 220 miles, with 13,667 feet of climbing through Colorado’s scenic terrain.

This is the third year for the Colorado Classic, but it will be the event’s first visit to Steamboat. The town last hosted the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in 2015.

“We have always had great experiences in bringing pro bike racing to Steamboat,” Birrell said. “It was the host of the overall start one year for the USA Pro Challenge, and the citizens of Steamboat really rally behind their community and support the events that come there.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

Preventing sexual assault: Schools seek to educate, create safe reporting environments

File photo

Editor’s note: This story is the seventh part of an eight-week series focused on the issue of sexual assault in Steamboat Springs and Routt County. To view the entire series as it unfolds, visit SteamboatPilot.com/news/in-our-shoes.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Navigating the journey of sexual identity and discovery isn’t an easy one.

Those explorations often begin or intensify in high school, which comes with innumerable added pressures — pressure to be accepted, to be liked, to be beautiful, to be desirable, to be cool.

At the same time, young people may be experimenting with alcohol and drugs and finding ways to assert their independence as they socialize and participate in activities outside of school.

With a lack of experience and raging hormones, it is a time when judgment and decision-making are, by nature, not particularly rational or informed by wisdom.

It’s a time when, more than ever, young people need a safe and supportive environment in the event life takes a wrong turn.

Providing that support and imparting wisdom about right and wrong starts at home, but schools are increasingly building capacity to provide stronger social, behavioral and emotional support structures.

Need support?
The content of this series can be upsetting or triggering in relation to a trauma you directly or indirectly have experienced. Advocates of Routt County offers 24/7 support. Reach out confidentially to an advocate by calling the crisis line at 970-879-8888.

 “The important thing is that we listen to kids, hear them and understand them,” said Lindsay Kohler, a social worker for the Hayden School District.

Kohler also points out that, in the event of a reported sexual assault, it is not necessarily her role to determine fault or veracity. Instead, she provides a safe place for students to confide, and then the school can connect the student with the right agency for “appropriate support and follow through.”

Creating stronger support networks

While there are a number of community resources and channels available to students who believe they’ve been sexually assaulted — or for those who feel they are being wrongly accused — the first step for schools lies in education.

Students need to know resources exist and how they can utilize them in a way in which they feel safe and comfortable. 

Largely due to an increase in local, state and federal grants, school districts in Routt County have been able to bolster their staffs and services in terms of mental and behavioral health and social services.

In the Steamboat Springs School District, Superintendent Brad Meeks said there are counselors, family support liaisons, mental health therapists and a student resource officer at the high school.

Last year, Steamboat added a Dean of Student Culture, a position with a wide range of duties, including enforcing policies and serving “as a resource to staff regarding student management issues.”

Sometimes, people feel like nothing is happening. But things are happening.”

— Katie Jacobs
Human resources director, Steamboat Springs School District

Districts also utilize the Safe 2 Tell Colorado program, which allows students to leave anonymous tips, which are then investigated by law enforcement.

If any student comes forward with an allegation, it gets reported. It isn’t the district’s role to investigate, Meeks explained, but rather to pass all pertinent information on to the proper authorities.

“We are mandatory reporters,” Meeks said.

In terms of consequences, Meeks notes that, beyond what happens in the courts, the schools then work to determine an appropriate punishment, whether that be restorative justice programming, suspension or expulsion. Restorative justice forces students to face their victims and better understand the impacts of their actions.

Meeks acknowledges that when incidents occur, the results are not always what the parties involved want, and they don’t always happen as quickly as people would like. There are also limits to what the district administrators can discuss regarding minors.

“Sometimes, people feel like nothing is happening,” said Katie Jacobs, Steamboat Springs School District’s human resources director. “But things are happening.”

Kohler and Jacobs promote the Safe 2 Tell option as a good way for students to report something without fear of being identified.

At Soroco High School, social worker Meghan Wykhuis said she’s spent the past several years updating what was an outdated approach to sex education.

Today, Wykhuis said she believes Soroco has one of the best comprehensive sex education programs in the county, if not the state.

And a crucial piece of that is including and addressing issues unique to LGBTQ students, she said, who are most at risk for sexual assaults.

Schools are “a reflection of society in a lot of ways,” said Luke DeWolfe, Steamboat Springs High School assistant principal and athletic and activities director. DeWolfe said the high school has taken proactive measures to create social norms, foster a purposeful, positive culture and hold students to a higher level of accountability.

“Counselors are constantly working to improve how students can feel more supported,” Meeks said. “I believe it is also important that bystanders or friends who are aware of a sexual assault or sexual harassment need to be more involved in supporting the victim and reporting these incidents. All of us have a responsibility to step forward when sexual assault and sexual harassment occurs — and not just the victim.”

Meeks said he recognizes how hard it is for someone to report an incident of sexual assault. In addition to teachers and coaches, there are counselors, social workers, family student advocates and therapists available to students. Meeks also encourages students — or parents — to come see him if they have an issue.

Renewed focus on prevention

The other educational piece goes much deeper than how to report, and it’s aimed at actually preventing sexual assaults.

Last year, forensic nurse and social change advocate Patty Oakland and other staff members from Advocates of Routt County gave presentations to health classes, sports teams and parents across Routt County. In addition to teaching about sexual assault laws and the logistics of how and to whom to report, the presentations delve into the meaning of consent.

The emphasis on consent is new this year, said Advocates Executive Director Lisel Petis. Previously, presentations focused primarily on healthy relationships.

“Consent is someone saying ‘yes,’ not the lack of them saying ‘no,’” Oakland tells the students during the presentation.

And she stresses that a ‘no’ doesn’t have to be communicated with words. Close attention must be paid to non-verbal cues, she tells the students. That includes tone of voice, facial expressions and gestures or movements like pushing a hand away or pulling back.

“Sometimes, those nonverbal cues are the biggest and loudest clues,” said Marnie Christensen, Advocates program director and volunteer coordinator. “A lot of people have a hard time saying, ‘Stop!'”

Silence is a “no.” If someone said “yes” at first, but then changed to a “no,” that is a “no.” If someone is unconscious or semi-conscious, that is also a “no.” And if you’re having to question whether or not someone is sober, take that as a “no,” Wykhuis added.

Once given, consent can be taken back, Oakland tells the students.

Check in frequently, she advises. Ask, as often as you want, “Is this OK? Are you comfortable with this?”

On another slide, Oakland details “How not to be accused.”

“For so long, everything was victim-centered,” Oakland said. “The emphasis was on trying to teach people how not to be raped.”

Now, when speaking to students, she includes a lesson on “How not to rape.”

The consequences of being accused of sexual assault, rape or statutory rape, Oakland warns students, can stay with you for the rest of your life. In addition to potential jail time, she tells students they may have to register as a sex offender.

“Your parents will have to pay for lawyers,” Oakland said. “You may be expelled from school.”

With her energy, her openness and her sense of humor, Oakland appears to get through to kids. They laugh, they relate, but they also ask serious questions.

She makes the presentations on sexual assault both funny and gravely serious — and students respond.

The feedback from the presentations has been very positive.

“Better than I could have imagined,” Oakland said.

She’s had students reach out to her for additional help, and schools have requested she return.

More work to be done

Despite some progress, local school leaders admit districts still have a long way to go to ensure every student feels they are in a safe environment.

School should be a place where kids feel comfortable to be themselves, Wykhuis said, especially as they are figuring out their sexuality. It should also be a place students feel safe and heard.

When Steamboat Pilot & Today first announced the launch of the In Our Shoes series on sexual assault and asked for community feedback, the majority of input came from parents of high school-aged girls. They shared stories of disturbing incidents of sexual assault or unwanted advances by other students.

They described an environment in which students felt they were not being heard and their reports not given validation. They described an environment in which alleged perpetrators were going unpunished.

The first installment in the series took an in-depth look at why sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the United States, with approximately 80% of sexual assaults going unreported.

When dealing with minors, the reasons why so many assaults are not reported — both by victims and by news organizations — are compounded.

But the goal of this series is not to bring to trial any specific incidents. The goal is to open a dialogue and, hopefully, a path forward in which people of all ages can increase communication, empathy and understanding around the issue of sexual assault.

That improvement in awareness and communication has the power to decrease incidents of sexual assault and decrease incidents of sexual trauma, regardless of provable criminal activity and intent.

The vast majority of sexual assaults happening in the community are not perpetrated by a villainous stranger hiding in a dark alley. Most often, the victim knows the perpetrator, and the circumstances can be complicated, especially among students.

Meeks said schools are obligated to investigate both sides — the accused and the accuser — and “create a safe environment for everyone” as they go through the process.

“A lot goes into it,” Meeks said.

But he also understands how emotionally charged the issues can be.

“We want to deal with it as sensitively as possible,” Meeks explained. “We’re dealing with people’s children, and it’s not unusual to arrive at a decision where both sides are not happy.”

In Hayden, Kohler acknowledged both the plusses and minuses of a small, close-knit community. On one hand, most students have a close connection to at least one trusted adult in the community, whether that is herself or a coach, teacher or other mentor.

On the other hand, it makes anonymity more difficult. Sometimes, students struggle with reaching out, she said, because “they don’t want everyone to know what’s going on.”

Wykhuis said she finds that parents have a difficult time talking to their students about sex. And it can be difficult for kids to talk about sex with their parents.

One component of Wykhuis’ sex education programming involves the “family homework session” that accompanies each lesson plan. Parents must sign off on each topic, acknowledging they have talked about it at home with their child.

“It’s nice that the school can take on starting the conversation,” Wykhuis said.

Nothing, according to Petis, takes the place of the vital role parents play at home when discussing issues of sex, healthy relationships and consent.

“You can’t protect your kids from everything,” Kohler said. “But you can at least arm them with knowledge — knowledge that your body is your body.”

And it’s never too early to start teaching kids about boundaries.

If kids have not learned from an early age how to treat others with respect, communicate in a healthy way and be empathetic, it can be too late once they are in high school, Petis said. 

It’s also a different era, notes Meeks, an era of heightened awareness about physical contact and about what may be offensive to another or make them uncomfortable, regardless of how another person views it.

Meeks said he wants students to feel safe in reporting incidents of sexual assault.

“How do you take possibly the most terrible thing that’s happened to a student and make it easier for them?” Meeks said. “I hope when they do decide to come forward, we make it easier for them.”

The district is also increasing training for its employees.

When something does happen, “We try to react as quickly as we can and be as fair as we can,” Meeks added.

Safe2Tell Colorado

To make a report, call 1-877-542-7233 from anywhere, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The call is free.

You also may make a web tip or download the Safe2Tell mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Remember, your identity is safe. No one will ask for your name or number. There is no caller ID, no call tracing, no call recording and no call forwarding.

The anonymity of all Safe2Tell Colorado reports is protected by C.R.S. 07-197. This means the reporting party remains unknown by Colorado state law.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.

Drunken bicycling: The Record for Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday, July 15, 2019

5:08 a.m. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers were called to a report of a bear sow and cub attempting to get into a dumpster in the 10th block of Balsam Court. The property owner of a condo complex was cited for violating city code for refuse storage.

7:15 a.m. A person reported seeing a man repeatedly fall off of his bike. Officers spoke to the man, who was extremely drunk. He was transported to UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.

9:10 a.m. Officers received a report that an employee at a veterinarian’s office in the 1800 block of Lincoln Avenue was bitten by a cat.

9:46 a.m. Officers received a report that money was taken from a vehicle in the 100 block of Hill Street.

3:42 p.m. Officers received a cold report that a vehicle was keyed in the 700 block of Yampa Street.

4:16 p.m. Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to a report of harassment in the 27900 block of Hayden Speedway.

5:54 p.m. Yampa Fire Protection District firefighters were called to assist someone who was bleeding at Yampa Town Hall.

6:59 p.m. Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters assisted someone having breathing difficulty at Bud Werner Memorial Library.

Total incidents: 30

  • Steamboat officers had 15 cases that included calls for service and officer-initiated incidents such as traffic stops.
  • Sheriff’s deputies had seven cases that included calls for service and officer-initiated incidents such as traffic stops.
  • Steamboat firefighters responded to five calls for service.
  • West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters responded to one call for service.
  • Yampa firefighters responded to one call for service.
  • North Routt Fire Protection District firefighters responded to one call for service.

The Record offers a glimpse of police activity and is not a comprehensive report of all police activity. Calls such as domestic violence, sexual assaults and juvenile situations typically do not appear in The Record.

In Our Shoes: What is considered a healthy relationship?

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — No one gets along all the time, said Colleen Clark Lay, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist who runs a private practice in Steamboat Springs.

But what constitutes a healthy relationship? And what are the warning signs a relationship is not healthy, or even dangerous?

Even in argument, there are healthy ways to communicate, and addressing disagreement in a relationship is crucial, Clark Lay said. It does not benefit either party to let discontent and differences fester, build and become attached to other issues.

“It’s always important not to avoid an issue,” she said. “Ignoring issues does not mean they go away.”

Being able to explain how you feel and what you need can be far more effective than blaming and being defensive, Clark Lay said. 

And when it comes to listening, Clark Lay said it helps to learn how to “sort through and get the pieces of information you need in order to meet your partner’s needs.”

Clark Lay sees every partnership as having three components: you, them and the relationship.

“It isn’t all about one partner, and it isn’t about only the relationship,” Clark Lay said. “All three components need nurturing and attention. If you get into a relationship and lose yourself, it creates more conflict and unhappiness.”

Balance must be found, she advised, and time and energy spent on all three components.

Graphic by Bryce Martin

There are basics for healthy relationships that cross all relationships, said Marnie Christensen, program director and volunteer coordinator for Advocates of Routt County.

Christensen said, in a healthy relationship, each person should be able to express what they are and are not comfortable with — and not just when it comes to sex.

Things that should be omitted from arguments, Clark Lay said, include name-calling, physical threats against one’s self or their partner and threats to end the relationship with no intent to follow through.

If it gets heated, take time to chill out and revisit the disagreement later, advises Christensen.

“Both sides need to allow for that to happen,” she said.

Red flags, Clark Lay said, can come on a spectrum.

A person’s need for control is one of the biggest of those red flags, and that can manifest itself in a variety of ways.

This may come in the form of someone telling you how to dress or act, said Clark Lay, or telling you that you can’t spend time with friends or go places.

“There are signs long before someone grabs you by the wrist or punches you in the face,” she said.

Typically, sexual abuse and assault are more about power and control than sex itself.

“Sex is the tool used to gain power over another person,” writes Lyn Yonack, a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, in Psychology Today.

Both Clark Lay and Christensen point to the “Power and Control Wheel” as a valuable tool to identify when this might be happening in a relationship.

“An unhealthy relationship can be very narrow and isolating,” Christensen said. “If one side is feeling jealousy or feeling threatened, they need to be able to communicate that in an appropriate way.”

There can also be a lot of emotional and verbal abuse, she said. One person may be tearing down their partner’s self esteem, and making someone feel bad about themselves can make them more dependent, she added.

It’s also important to remember that no two relationships look alike, said Patty Oakland, a forensic nurse who also serves as social change advocate for Advocates of Routt County. 

“Healthy relationships look different in different cultures,” Oakland said.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.