On May 6, 2021 Olive Blake went to be home with our Heavenly Father and family after a long and full life with us here. Her life began on August 15th, 1930, born to Welford “Van” and Irene Kitchens, in Hayden, Colorado. She and her brother Jack grew up on several ranches in Routt County, and last being the Cary Ranch 5 miles west of Hayden. She graduated Hayden Union High School in 1948 and on June 14th, 1949 married the love of her life, Donald Blake. Olive and Don had three sons, Kirk, Doug and Steve. They owned and operated a dairy farm for many years just outside the town of Hayden. Their home was always open to friends and family and she always enjoyed being in the company of others. Olive was the anchor of her family and always made sure everyone was taken care of before worrying about her own needs. She rarely complained, always helped those who were in need, but was also willing to tell you the truth if she felt you needed to hear it. Olive will be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, and friend to many and will be missed by all who knew her. She was preceded in death by her husband Donald, and her sons Steve and Doug. She is survived by her son Kirk, daughter-in-law Holly, grandchildren Cody (Kiki) Blake, Stephanie (Aaron) Haskins, Hayden Blake, Jess (Kane) Fulkerson, and great-grandchildren. Her memorial service will be at the Hayden Congregational Church on Saturday, May 15th at 1:00 p.m., followed by a dinner also served at the Hayden Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers, we are requesting that donations be made to St. Jude’s Hospital or The Wounded Warrior Project; two of Olive’s favorite charities.
Physical fight: The Record for Wednesday, May 12
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
8:34 a.m. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers responded to a noninjury car crash between two vehicles in the 200 block of Anglers Drive.
10:02 a.m. Officers received a call about a physical fight between two men. Officers broke up the fight and cited both men for third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
12:34 p.m. Officers received a call about a dog off its leash running around Soda Creek Elementary School. Officers gave the dog’s owner a warning.
10:13 p.m. Officers received a call about a driver swerving on 11th Street and Lincoln Avenue. Officers spoke with the driver, determined he was not driving under the influence and issued him a warning.
10:21 p.m. Officers received a call about a bear digging into a trash can outside of a business on Oak and Sixth streets. The bear was gone when officers arrived.
Total incidents: 46
• Steamboat officers responded to 20 cases including calls for service and officer initiated incidents such as traffic stops.
• Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 16 cases including calls for service and officer initiated incidents such as traffic stops.
• Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters responded to eight calls for service.
• West Routt Fire Rescue firefighters responded to two calls 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.
City cautiously moving forward with new combined City Hall, fire station as options for space run dry
When presented with two options for a new fire station, Steamboat Springs City Council members Tuesday were not highly enthusiastic with either but agreed a location on 10th Street is preferable over redoing the current station on Yampa Street.
While the city currently owns both the space at 840 Yampa St. and the proposed space on 10th Street, council members felt a fire station on Yampa would not fit the feel of such a vibrant street, particularly as Steamboat continues to grow. Rather, members said, the city should tear down the current City Hall and build a larger building to house city staff as well as fire, search and rescue and EMS, along with being a place to host other community events.
“We have a one-story building across the street that is an inefficient use of downtown,” council member Michael Buccino said. “This could all of the sudden become city hall, the fire station and a communal place to do stuff.”
Buccino, who is also an interior designer and developer, said the current city building is “an eyesore” and replacing it with a nicer building, while allowing the Yampa Street space to house a business, makes more sense for the city in the long term.
“I’m sure City Hall was great in the ’70s, but now it’s time to move along,” Buccino said. “As a designer, I look at this, and I feel solidly about it.”
Other council members did not feel as enthusiastic as Buccino and said neither location was ideal.
“We’ve looked at every available parcel in the downtown area, and there’s no perfect solution out there,” council member Kathi Meyer said. “All of these choices have problems with them.”
While the city has not figured an exact cost, Deputy City Manager Tom Leeson told council members the 10th Street location would cost more to build, but council members agreed it was worth the investment, especially if they are able to sell the Yampa Street location for a higher price.
Council members also agreed the mill levy passed in 2019 likely would not cover the entire cost, but they were hesitant about asking voters for additional funds and suggested looking into grants and other funding sources. While the station could not be built until council members secure funding, most agreed building sooner rather than later is ideal, as staff members who would be impacted by construction have gotten used to working remotely due to COVID-19.
“Now is a better time than any because we can still run City Hall while there’s construction,“ Buccino said.
Council members also previously discussed spaces on Third Street and 1125 Lincoln Ave., though those sites were voted down in the past.
If moving forward with the 10th Street space, the city would sell the current land on Yampa and council members said Big Agnes has expressed interest.
Artist finds her passion through many mediums
Denise Bohart Brown picked up her first camera when she was seven years old. It was her mother’s — an instamatic with a flash cube on the top — which she would sneak out of her desk drawer when her mother was occupied in the garden. Bohart Brown would set up still lives of her stuffed animals, photograph them, and then return the camera to the drawer.
“Somehow, I don’t think it ever occurred to me that the evidence would be obvious when she got the photos developed, but apparently, she never minded,” Bohart Brown said.
Her love of photography grew throughout the years, and she continued taking pictures throughout high school, working on the yearbook and photographing local weddings. She attended the Colorado Institute of Art to study photography and then moved to San Francisco with the intent of becoming a world-famous advertising photographer.
“Life did not work out that way, but I did spend several years working for a number of advertising photographers in the city. Enough to realize that subjecting one’s passion to the whims of art directors is a really good way to kill said passion,” Bohart Brown said.
When she met her future husband, the pair moved from San Francisco to Davis, California.
“I heard there was a place on the UC Davis campus that had a darkroom available to the public,” Bohart Brown recalled. “I went to check it out, intent on rekindling my passion for photography. I did find the darkroom. … I also found the ceramics lab, the jewelry-making shop, the sewing room and the glass studio.”
Eight years later, when she and her husband moved to Steamboat Springs with their 1-year-old daughter, some components of all of those mediums came with her; she arrived in town with clay, glass, fabric, a sewing machine and two kilns. And while it was difficult to find time for art while raising a 1-year-old, Bohart Brown had resolved back in California that her life’s purpose was truly to be an artist. She set about trying to figure out what that would mean for her in Steamboat.
In early 2006, she saw an ad in the paper from the Arts Council stating they were hosting a meeting for local artists interested in starting a cooperative gallery. She attended that first meeting and every meeting that followed over the coming months, despite being the youngest person in the room. This was the start of the Artists’ Gallery, which officially opened in 2006 with 22 members.
“I always say we were like a big, dysfunctional family, working our way over the nine years. We were open to disagreements, artist changes, shifts in the economy, periodic crises … and also experiencing a lot of success, love and joy along the way,” said Bohart Brown.
Through the process of starting the Artists’ Gallery, Bohart Brown was able to take a close look at her own work. By this time, photography had taken a back seat to other mediums, such as clay, but when the Artists’ Gallery opened, Bohart Brown’s business cards identified her as a “glass and fiber artist.”
She has continued to work with glass throughout the years, finding inspiration in nature.
“Sometimes, it can be an image of an actual place,” she said. “Other times, it’s more of an idea — a concept in nature but not necessarily based on a specific location.”
Bohart Brown currently creates smaller pieces like glass ornaments, which she sells on her Etsy page, and larger, fine art pieces that can be found through Artful Home. Her pieces are also available for purchase in her local studio.
“Fifteen years ago, my work was very tight and geometric,” Bohart Brown said. “I was a young mother, trying to incorporate yoga into my life as a calming counterpoint to my increasingly busy schedule, and I found a sense of peace in designs with symmetry and balance.”
As her experience in the art world grew though, she found herself wanting to break away from that symmetry.
“It took a conscious effort to do so,” she said. “My brain did not easily let go of a medium that often is about hard edges and straight lines. I love that my abstract designs are, for me, usually based in a tangible image, but the viewer is able to interpret what they see through their own lens.”
She doesn’t see herself moving away from glasswork any time soon.
“One of the reasons that it has continued to appeal to me over the years is that it is the first medium in which I have felt fairly successful in my ability to translate the idea in my head to a completed piece of art.”
Curiously Creative: The project in the drawer
The first time I heard “book in the drawer” I didn’t understand the concept. Why would someone write a novel to tuck it away out of sight? Didn’t every author automatically write the next great American novel? Okay, so maybe I wasn’t that naive, but I couldn’t understand why.
Then I started my first semester of grad school and began workshopping my own novel. Let me give you a quick background: I’ve been working on it on and off since I was 16 and finally finished it in May 2019. It has saved me when I was at my lowest — more than once. I know it inside and out, and I was pretty proud of it. Then, it was workshopped.
I realized how over attach I was to it after my first critique said they hated one of my favorite characters. I didn’t know how to respond, and it hurt as if someone was attacking me personally. I turned to one of my best friends for advice. She works in the publishing industry, and she was the one who said, “Maybe you need to put it in the drawer.”
I was horrified. How could I put it in the drawer? It was going to be my first published novel and was going to be turned into a five-book series. I couldn’t walk away from that, but my friend explained it to me: All authors have a “book in the drawer,” the one they had to walk away from. So, I put my novel away and started on something else.
I have a feeling every creative has their own “book in the drawer,” be it a painting, a sculpture or even trying a new type of art. It’s simply a dream you’ve decided to put away — until the time is right, until things slow down or whatever the reason. I also know by putting it away, you probably felt like you were giving up. I know I did. But I learned a pretty powerful lesson: It doesn’t have to be tucked away forever. Take some time to learn, develop new skills or work on something random and fun. Just don’t go back to the “drawer” until it’s time.
You’ll know when it’s time to return to that dream painting or that dream location to take photos, and it’ll be magical whether it’s tomorrow or ten years away. It might need some dusting off and a lot of work, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
Creating is hard, and it’s OK to feel overwhelmed and in need of a break. It’s OK to tuck a project away and take a few steps back. You can always return to it tomorrow or after a few glasses of wine or even in a few years when it feels a little less intimidating. Just promise me one thing: Don’t give up on it.
Mackenzie Hicks is a copy editor and page designer for Steamboat Pilot & Today. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing. She can be reached at mhicks@SteamboatPilot.com.
Show goes on for Steamboat Dance Theatre
The show will go on for Steamboat Dance Theatre’s annual concert — but in its 49th year, it will be in a virtual format. This year’s theme is music videos with a collection of 10 music videos, each featuring a handful of dancers, filmed at multiple locations throughout Steamboat Springs.
Knowing that the organization couldn’t put on a traditional annual concert due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, Steamboat Dance Theatre president Rachel Radetsky had the idea for music videos instead.
“A lot of music videos are heavily dance based, so it was a great fit,” she said. “I think the viewers will be blown away. The videos turned out great, and I don’t think they will be anything like what people might expect from a virtual dance performance.”
The videos will be presented virtually from a streaming service, and the production team will be emceeing the event live and interviewing each choreographer to talk to them about the process this year.
For Jessica Whalen, who is a first time choreographer with Steamboat Dance Theatre, it was the perfect year to try something new and step out of her comfort zone.
“My dancers were supportive, received the choreography well and made light of a situation we were all uncertain of,” Whalen said. “The virtual nature of this year’s show couldn’t have been better timing. A lot of my dancers grew up in the era of watching music videos, dreaming of being on MTV, so when we heard about the theme for the show, it was a no-brainer to make those dreams come true, even if it’s only on Steamboat TV.”
The unique nature of this year’s event allowed for even more creativity from other choreographers.
Chelsea Beers, another choreographer, described the process of choosing her own set and stage — something that she said is completely different.
“We got to choose areas that went with the theme of our pieces, visualize the dance in 3D and use props that we would never be able to use on stage,” Beers said. “A lot of choreographers chose beautiful and well-known areas around town, and our videographer, Ben Saheb, was really able to showcase the beauty of both our town and the dance culture we’ve created.”
This year’s dancers had to be adaptable and flexible, from Zoom rehearsals to dancing with masks on. Rehearsals began in January after being postponed several weeks, and many adjustments were made over the past several months.
Choreographer and dancer Jessica LeBlanc said that it was a group collaboration to get the show ready for the spring.
“The choreographers brought their creativity and vision, and the dancers brought their flexibility, smiling — masked — faces and amazing energy, and together, we created a virtual show capturing the spirit of Steamboat Dance Theatre.”
While Radetsky noted the pivot was a challenge at first, especially after 48 years of a traditional annual performance, she said the creativity this year was unbelievable. In the end, a show came together that the entire organization is proud of.
“We all know that this last year has been tough on everyone,” said Beers. “We proved that no matter the circumstances the show can go on.”
Steamboat hospital’s newly expanded emergency department gets major test on its first day (with photo gallery)
Erin Weber, RN, emergency department at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center talks about the new trauma room inside the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center trauma room, and how the many improvements in the department have impacted her job. (Photo by John F. Russell)
The doors inside UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical's two behavioral safe rooms can be raised when patients are being treated, and closed when staff and doctors are not in the room. The safe rooms where not moved during the renovations, but were upgraded to provide more advanced care in a secure environment. (Photo by John F. Russell)
The nearly completed renovations at the new UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center includes a lounge for first responders and ambulance crew members. (Photo by John F. Russell)
The renovation will emphasize more privacy for patients, with plans for 14 private treatment rooms. The rooms surround the providers, and allow for an improved workflow for both patients and providers. The design allows the team of care providers in the middle to easily keep watch on every room. (Photo by John F. Russell)
The expanded and improved emergency department at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center includes a large trauma room, with everything that staff and doctors need to better treat patients. (Photo by John F. Russell)
The new emergency department at the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center has a security center where staff can monitor what is happening both inside, and outside of the department. (Photo by John F. Russell)
The expanded space inside the new UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center emergency department offers a lounge where loved ones and family to wait. (Photo by John F. Russell)
The entrance for the renovated emergency department at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center emergency department is in the same place, but has been updated to offer patients a more streamlined process when they arrive, and a place for family and friends can be comfortable. (Photo by John F. Russell)
On what should have been a slow mud season Thursday afternoon, the freshly renovated emergency department at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center was put to the test on the first official day of its completion.
Within a span of 60 minutes, nine patients arrived at the hospital’s emergency department May 6 with conditions ranging from nonurgent to emergent, according to Lindsey Reznicek, hospital communications specialist. The patient in the most serious condition was wheeled directly through the back double doors of the new, ultra-modern trauma room and immediately surrounded in a flurry of care by four EMS crew, four nurses and two surgeons.
During a tour of the department the following Friday, it was obvious the previous day had been dramatic for the trauma staff. That high volume of emergency patients within an hour might not happen frequently for the local hospital, but multiple emergency situations are increasing, Emegency Department Nurse Manager Debbie Kennedy said.
Now the updated department is fully prepared after a $10 million remodel that took 15 months of carefully coordinated work that never stopped the 24-hour services. Part of the important upgrades are two major trauma rooms that are more than double in size.
“The space alone allows us to care for patients head to toe and do full assessments to take care of critical measures in a timely manner,” nurse Erin Weber said. Emergency department team members believe the renovated trauma rooms provide more safety for staff and patients and an improved quality of care for patients.
Soniya Fidler, president of the Steamboat hospital, said the renovation brings the previous emergency facilities built in 1999 “on par with the tremendous level of care delivered by our dedicated physicians and staff.”
“It’s important to continually reinvest in our facilities to ensure they’re meeting the needs and expectations of our patients,” Fidler said.
The 340-square-foot major trauma room includes an overhead boom for easy access and efficient maneuvering of critical equipment, such as a cardiac monitor, oxygen controls, suction and monitors for vital signs. The trauma gear includes a high-quality ultrasound machine, rapid blood infuser and wall of glass-door cabinets with supplies organized by bodily systems.
Julie McFadden, trauma program nurse manager, said the major trauma room is set up to stabilize patients with any conditions, and the facility and staff can care for almost any emergency patient situation locally short of complex pelvic fractures, multisystem blunt trauma or intubations that last more than 24 hours.
The department was completely redesigned and enlarged from approximately 7,600 to 10,600 square feet. The first step last year was relocating the hospital’s pharmacy, a cardio-pulmonary area and another office to make room. Now the emergency department features an efficient raceway design where medical staff work in the middle surrounded by 14 private patient rooms for better access and monitoring. The patient rooms also include two safe rooms, two negative pressure rooms and a forensic nurse exam room. Gone are patient bays separated only by curtains with no sound privacy.
In the safe room, a door can be rolled down to hide all medical equipment for safety in the case of a patient with a mental health situation. Since Routt County has no detox facility, individuals intoxicated or impaired by drugs may spend time in the safe room.
Kennedy said the hospital employs quick registration where all emergency patients give their name, birth date and why they are there, and then patients can proceed directly to care, with paperwork completed later at the bedside.
The emergency department rooms are designed as multipurpose and stocked with the same arrangement so that nurses can employ muscle memory in the fast-paced environment and do not need to leave the patient to gather supplies, Kennedy said.
The department also adds some new, well-conceived facilities, such as a decontamination room with a direct exterior entrance door, second negative pressure room for use in the case of airborne disease mitigation, secured medication prep room, confidential consultation room for physicians and a small private lounge for EMS personnel.
The renovation added a second entrance to separate patients who arrive on their own and are able to walk from patients arriving on stretchers via ambulance or medical helicopter. The headquarters for hospital security is stationed between the two important entrances.
The busiest months for the department are March, with an average of 34 patients per day during the past five years, and July, averaging 27 patients per day, Reznicek said.
The hospital’s foundation raised more than $2.3 million toward the project to update the Level III trauma center. Karen Schneider, foundation executive director, said the “philanthropic aspect of this project has been a true partnership with our community — we did this together.”
“We were fortunate to raise $2.3 million thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate donors as well as community members who participated in past Foundation events” including fundraisers from 2016 to 2019, Schneider said.
CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a move to send the country back toward pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for masks or social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
“We have all longed for this moment — when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC.
The CDC will also no longer recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors in crowds. The announcement comes as the CDC and the Biden administration have faced pressure to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated people — people who are two weeks past their last required COVID-19 vaccine dose — in part to highlight the benefits of getting the shot.
Walensky announced the new guidance on Thursday afternoon at a White House briefing, saying the long-awaited change is thanks to millions of people getting vaccinated — and based on the latest science about how well those shots are working.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Walensky said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
The easing guidance is likely to open the door to confusion, since there is no surefire way for businesses or others to distinguish between those fully vaccinated and those who are not.
President Joe Biden was set to highlight the new guidance Thursday afternoon in a speech from the White House.
The new guidance comes as the aggressive U.S. vaccination campaign begins to pay off. U.S. virus cases are at their lowest rate since September, deaths are at their lowest point since last April and the test positivity rate is at the lowest point since the pandemic began.
To date about 154 million Americans, more than 46% of the population, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines and more than 117 million are fully vaccinated. The rate of new vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, but with the authorization Wednesday of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, a new burst of doses is expected in the coming days.
Just two weeks ago, the CDC recommended that fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks indoors in all settings and outdoors in large crowds.
During a virtual meeting Tuesday on vaccinations with a bipartisan group of governors, Biden appeared to acknowledge that his administration had to do more to model the benefits of vaccination.
“I would like to say that we have fully vaccinated people; we should start acting like it,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, told Biden. “And that’s a big motivation get the unvaccinated to want to to get vaccinated.”
“Good point,” Biden responded. He added, “We’re going to be moving on that in the next little bit.”
Walensky said the evidence from the U.S. and Israel shows the vaccines are as strongly protective in real-world use as they were in earlier studies, and that so far they continue to work even though some worrying mutated versions of the virus are spreading.
The more people continue to get vaccinated, the faster infections will drop — and the harder it will be for the virus to mutate enough to escape vaccines, she stressed, urging everyone 12 and older who’s not yet vaccinated to sign up.
And while some people still get COVID-19 despite vaccination, Walensky said that’s rare and cited evidence that those infections tend to be milder, shorter and harder to spread to others. If someone who’s vaccinated does develop COVID-19 symptoms, they should immediately put their mask back on and get tested, she said.
There are some caveats. Walensky encouraged people who have weak immune systems, such as from organ transplants or cancer treatment, to talk with their doctors before shedding their masks. That’s because of continued uncertainty about whether the vaccines can rev up a weakened immune system as well as they do normal, healthy ones.
AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.
PHOTO: Chairlift construction on Howelsen Hill sparks small wildfire (with video)
As construction crews worked to cut down part of the first tower of the old Barrows Chairlift at Howelsen Hill Ski Area on Thursday, sparks ignited a small patch of grass.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Officer Braxton Shirley was first on scene and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
Steamboat Fire Rescue then arrived and hooked up to Howelsen’s snowmaking equipment to thoroughly wet the area.
Girls lacrosse a young but excited team
The Steamboat Springs High School girls lacrosse team is working on its chemistry. With just three seniors, the team is young and lacking experience, especially since the sophomores didn’t get to experience high school lacrosse last year. So, the entire team will need some time to get to know each other on and off the field.
“I’m excited there’s only three of us, so it’s a pretty new team, which is kind of cool,” senior Margot Schmitz said. “The last time we played, it was all upperclassmen. It’s a different dynamic, so it’s fun.”
The team has three seniors in Audrey Sumner, Schmitz and newcomer Erica Simmons. There are quite a few juniors as well making up the core returners of the team. Everyone else has never played the sport at high school speed.
“We have a fairly young team this year,” head coach Amy Norris said. “We graduated 12 seniors last year, which is an entire field of players. So, really this year, we’re trying to gain experience and sharpen our skills.”
The three seniors will keep the younger athletes focused, motivated and positive through what could be a few weeks of struggles as the players learn about each other. Sumner said that more time playing will help enormously. Her team just has to be patient.
“I’m definitely looking for them to be leaders and help out and encourage the younger players on our team,” Norris said. “And help build their confidence so we can carry that into years going forward.”
Upperclassmen had to help the team remain upbeat after the 18-3 season-opening loss to Battle Mountain last week.
The first half of the game was slow as players saw their first game-speed action in two years. The Sailors were far more composed and confident in the second half.
“It took us a little while to get going. We had a slow start,” Norris said. “Battle Mountain is a very good team. They’re quick. When we turned it on, we had some really nice plays, but I think we need to be quicker to ground balls, sharpen our stick skills and a little better movement on the field.”
On the other hand, Norris saw some good things. The attack was working hard, taking smart shots and passing the ball well. She also noted a couple draw controls that were nice. Both goalies played really well, too. Schmitz is one of the team’s goalies, and junior Claire Fisher is the other varsity goaltender.
“It was a good starting point,” said Schmitz.
The team next plays on the road Saturday at Roaring Fork and host its home opener Wednesday against Battle Mountain.