Susan Ogden: Issue with Pilot


— I was going to let it all go, really I was. I've lived and worked in this community for 25-plus years and know the plusses and minuses of living in a small town. But for some random reason, I decided to enter my name in the search key for the online version of the Steamboat Pilot.

First among the 11 other articles mentioning my name in a positive light was my Sept. 24, 2007, arrest under the suspicion of DUI. Yes, I was pulled over for a defective headlight, and yes I had consumed beer that night. I declined a roadside sobriety test on Lincoln Avenue, and when asked to do a Breathalyzer test, opted instead for what I believed to be a more accurate test - a blood draw.

What I didn't realize at the time, was that a request for a blood draw meant I would be fully processed. Although it would take only five days for my name to appear in the Pilot, it took close to three weeks to get the results of my blood draw, and another three and a half months in the legal system for my case to be resolved.

Just in case anyone was curious, my blood level was low, my police report showed no evidence of impairment and all charges were dropped. As it is the Pilot's policy to report all arrests but not follow up on any of the details, I thought I should do my part to inform the public.

There are always lessons to be learned. I am thankful for all the support I have received from friends in the last few months, and that I have been sheltered from much of the negative "buzz" around my name appearing in the Jail Report. I also want to apologize to anyone I have wrongly judged in the past when their name appeared in the same section of the paper.

I hope no one misunderstands my issue here; it is not with the events that occurred on the night of my arrest. My issue is with the Pilot and their choice to report "under suspicion" arrests, potentially damaging the reputation of individuals in this small town, and then do nothing to report the final outcome. The Jail Report is nothing more than ammunition for small town gossip, and especially with no follow-up on individuals later cleared of all charges, it should be abolished. My husband, Clay, advises me arguing with the policies of the Pilot is like "spitting into the wind."

I really thought I was ready to let it all go, as I'm sure many who have dealt with the embarrassment of having their names appear in the paper have done in the past, but then I thought again. If more of us don't say something, nothing will ever change.

Susan Ogden

Steamboat Springs


thecondoguy1 9 years, 3 months ago

colobob, that was terrific, thank you............


BoatMaster 9 years, 3 months ago

I can see the point of the writer in that the paper does not follow up with a innocent of charges report. I do not know how to solve that issue.

I do want to know about those who are actually guilty of crimes in Steamboat. For example the dirtbags that were caught spray painting graffiti and the Alpine taxi driver saw them and called the cops. We should all know who these persons are in the community. I think it can help keep the crime down with fear of being published.

Just read the thread on the Karson kid that was arrested. We now all know who he is when we see him out we can discuss his actions with him.

If innocent should you have some public notice?? I think there is something to that argument.


elk2 9 years, 3 months ago

Susan, anyone who knows you knows what a fine person and TEACHER you are. No judgement here. Thanks for all you do!!!


dogdog 9 years, 3 months ago

B4U, thanks for another typical Steamboat reaction: pompous, self-assured (regardless of the facts), complete lack of empathy, vicious. All the lady is doing is asking for the Pilot to follow up with as much zeal as they initially report news, particulary when it causes harm. What comes around goes around, and yours should be headed your way. I hope you handle it with as much grace and class as this woman.


prayforsnow 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with sbvor... this letter is much more obvious than the weekly jail report and is just drawing attention to the issues which she did not want attention for. Does everybody in the whole town read the jail report section? It doesn't sound like her reputation was really damaged, but now more people in town know about this incident.

Dogdog... Please tell me how B4U was being "pompous" and "vicious." And also please do tell us all how this letter is an example of "grace" and "class." It sounds like she, too, has had a laugh at others in the Record or Jail Report, but now is upset because she is on the other end of the stick. Is that the definition of class?


dogdog 9 years, 3 months ago

Pray for Snow: Some fine examples of pompous and viscious: The laugh factor and lack of accountability in your statement... Sounds as if you are spewing your discontent .... You need to be reminded of what century you live in ...

I can also add rude and immature.


digit1964 9 years, 3 months ago

sounds like she would be pretty fun to party with...


stompk 9 years, 3 months ago

In my opinion, too many people read the record.

They like to gloat when other people fail.

People's names should never be in the record.

They are innocent until proven guilty. Isn't this


Don't we try to treat others, as we would

have them treat us?

That was the main rule when I was growing up here.

Besides, if your going to put people in the paper, be fair

about it.

You said yourself (I'm talking to Brent), that you don't put everything in the record that is given to you, and you are not always given every incedent.

That was apparent when Gary Wall didn't make the record.

And I'm not sure what your reasoning is for publishing this letter, unless she wanted you to.


dogd 9 years, 3 months ago

Susan: No worry. If small-town people tend to like you they will not be dissuaded by a ticket reported in the paper. If they do not like you they will be pleased at your misfortune, and some will probably make up some "facts" about you which are worse. I figure that any small town is basically a horrible liar-for good and bad. And I've never considered that to be a problem.


STEMBOATwannabe 9 years, 3 months ago

  1. There is no law that says a teacher cannot have a beer.
  2. By openly admitting to being arrested and not knowing that a blood test was more involved, she also educated some of the readers.
  3. I read this paper to see if my child may have gotten in trouble. Once they are over 18 years of age they are on their own. So far, so good! Also since he lives on his own, I also read to see if there were any problems in his neighborhood. I still worry.

love_boat 9 years, 3 months ago

B4U seems to have an attitude. Bad Karma! Your day will come.

As for the article, I agree that it was informational. It is interesting to learn the process for getting a blood test vs breath test.

The only issue I have with teachers drinking alcohol is when they do it during school like some of my old teachers did!


id04sp 9 years, 3 months ago

It would be far more instructive to the community as a whole if every criminal case handled by our courts was reported in greater detail. You could still have the "dog at large" stuff but keep the name private until there's a conviction, and then give the details. Not only would this be more fair to the accused, it would keep the community informed on what kind of penalties our courts are handing out, and to who, and for what. There is no public visibility of the operation of our criminal court system, and I think if there was, our periodic "retention" votes for judges might be more interesting.


thecondoguy1 9 years, 3 months ago

it's not what happens to you,but how you react to what happens to you. Ms Ogden is just human like the rest of us, I do appreciate the press, it sure makes me think twice about drinking and driving, if it can happen to her, it could happen to me. There is some wisdom in demanding a blood test, all the time you can get to go by before the draw sure would help the out come in your favor, the down side is, it gets published while you wait for the results, hard to have it all your way...................


thecondoguy1 9 years, 3 months ago

P.S. Ms Ogden, lots of luck at all you do, this is no big deal, just life, we have all learned, you have a experiance to pass on, many are going to benefit from that , I just know it.............


boattrix 9 years, 3 months ago

Susan, I am glad you didn't let it go! Thank you for letting the town hear your story and I am so glad all of the charges were dropped against you. I hate to think of the outcome had you taken the breathalyzer. Here is a story for you: I was out on Steamboat Lake, with my family, my father was driving a pontoon boat, while my brother and I were enjoying the ride and a cold beer. We were pulled over and they gave my father a breathalyser on the spot. We were shocked when a reading came up, as he hadn't had a thing to drink. It wasn't enough to book him and the officers told us that it could of been the mouthwash he used that morning! A lawyer once told me to NEVER take a roadside breathalyzer as they are not accurate. Susan, you are a great member of this community, a wonderful mother and teacher, and Steamboat is lucky to have you! (Tara Nagel)


ColoradoNative 9 years, 3 months ago

Don't sweat it Susan. I'd suggest you run for Sheriff. There are perks that come with that job!


Newcomer 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow, I can not believe that someone called her ability to teach into question over this. She was found to have done nothing wrong. If anything, she educated me a great deal about the process.

Are we really expecting our teachers to go home and do nothing but grade papers all night long? This woman has done nothing wrong, and I commend the Pilot for giving her this space.

As someone that has been a resident of a big city until recently, I found the jail report amusing at first. After reading this, I am not so sure that it does not cause more harm than good. Why do I need to know that this woman was merely accused of a crime?

If you must publish this sort of information, why not go based on who has pled guilty or has been convicted of a crime. The public has a right to know at that point. No good comes from dragging an innocent woman's name thru the mud.

Ms. Ogden, I thank you for your time, and you have certainly educated me today.


CoJustice 9 years, 3 months ago

Ms. Ogden

You need some adult company, because it sounds like the children's complaining, whining and finger pointing has rubbed off on you.

Guess your not teaching any First Amendment, freedom of speech without censorship, or the governments free public press for its citizens. Try a lesson plan on citizens, free public press, censorship and liberty of speech.

I hope you thanked the officer for keeping the streets safe, if not for you, but for the children.


colobob 9 years, 3 months ago

Susan, your first instincts to let it go are the instincts to follow. It's been my experience in life that following one's first instincts are more often then not one's best choice. People are judgemental by nature, that's just the way it is and the way it will always be. In life there is always someone waiting to poke you in the eye given the opportunity. Maybe it's because each and every one of us have short comings of our own and that by pointing out someone elses mistakes or misfortunes it somehow makes us feel better about ourselves. There are no perfect people, just people who think that they are and those that derive pleasure from someone elses misery are the ones to be pitied. Think of these posts as you would a wild fire. With wind the fire will surely spread, without it the fire will eventually die out. Humility is one of Gods greatest gifts, it's too bad we all (my self included) don't have more of it. The final judgement of ones life will not be made by mortal man and that final judgement will be the only one that matters in the end. You have nothing to prove to me and I hope you find some comfort in the fact that not all here are judging you.


thecondoguy1 9 years, 3 months ago

Kay, you got to give it up, before they put a net over ya........


steamboatsconscience 9 years, 3 months ago

you need to talk to the Army Corp of Engineers if you want to create a bog , Kay!


steamboatsconscience 9 years, 3 months ago

all of a sudden the door breaks down and a band of Liberal Fascists, led by Gary Wall come streaming in, silver iodide guns blazing! Svbor promptly has a heart attack, since he/she/it thought that Liberal Fascists were only a figment of his/hers/its imagination. then out of nowhere, Dr D and the School Board come riding to the rescue and buys out everyone's contract! everyone then goes to the Cantina to celebrate, then Gary hijacks a city bus and drives everyone home so no one gets a DUI. [The above episode is a purely fictional account. Any resemblance of the characters to real people is completely coincidental.]


steamboatsconscience 9 years, 3 months ago

pt kiel must not be around, he left me alone in the playground this week to take on bore!


thecondoguy1 9 years, 3 months ago

I would be willing to bet sbvor thinks Lincoln was a terrific president.............


OnTheBusGus 9 years, 3 months ago

Back to the topic of things getting printed in the paper, the Aspen Daily News motto is "If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen". I think that really says it all.


Matthew Stoddard 9 years, 3 months ago

SBC & PT22- Nah. Just extremely busy with work right now. It's nice to see a different take when it comes to brow-beating the Greaty Wall of Bore-dom. LOL!

Wanna know what's funnier???? Somebody actually holding Bush up to Lincoln in any sense of anything! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Ann Coulter is closer to Lincoln than Bush. At least they have the same Adam's Apple!


techno_babble 9 years, 2 months ago

In England, working on the bog, has an entirely different meaning ;-)


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.