Steamboat briefs: Pilot & Today requests story retraction, paper removal

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— The Denver litigation firm of Reilly Pozner LLP, acting on behalf of the Steamboat Pilot & Today, sent a letter Thursday asking The Steamboat Local to remove all copies of its most recent edition from area racks and to retract a story about the Pilot & Today.

In its edition released Thurs­day, The Local published a story alleging criminal wrongdoing by the newspaper in the handling of chemicals used in the printing process. Scott Stanford, general manager of the Pilot & Today, said the article contained numerous factual errors and that the premise of the story and the allegations contained in it are completely and wholly untrue. Foremost among the allegations is that the Environmental Protection Agency has “an ongoing criminal investigation into the Pilot’s chemical disposal activities.” The Pilot & Today has never been contacted by the EPA about its disposal practices and Richard Mylott, a public affairs specialist with the EPA, confirmed Thursday that the Pilot & Today is not “the subject of any investigation by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division.”

The Pilot & Today is in consultation with its attorneys about legal recourse should The Local refuse to comply with its request.

Hayden elementary Winter Gift Festival is this morning

Hayden Valley Elementary School is hosting its annual holiday-themed event today.

Parents are invited to the school from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the Winter Gift Festival. Stud­­ents will give their parents handmade gifts.

Salvation Army seeks bell ringers for 1-hour shifts

The local Salvation Army Extension Committee is looking for volunteer bell ringers for one-hour shifts through Christmas Eve.

Of the money collected, 90 percent goes to Routt County residents in need, and the other 10 percent is distributed statewide.

To volunteer, call Judi Will­iams at 970-871-1515. For more information, call 970-870-0727.

Comments

hereandthere 3 years, 8 months ago

No surprise on the "Local". As demonstrated by the unbalanced editorial on the sheriffs race, this guy has his own agenda he is trying to promote, not what might be reflective of the community at large. Although he seems to have been able to grow the advertising side, the content quality has gone significantly down hill. I would bet that most people, like myself, are finding that there is not a lot of "meat and potatoes" in the content. A lot of ads, fluff pieces on massages, etc., and then the editors personal vendetta. Not worth picking up now, and I would bet that a lot of advertisers are going to start realizing this.

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honestabe 3 years, 8 months ago

the locals article has many other accusations, including dumping toxic materials down the drain illegally, firing whistle blowers after they contacted authorities, among others. Is there any response to this from the pilot, or just an attempt to make the accusations go away by throwing big money lawyers at the local. i also think the local has gone down hill since the new owner took over, but "meat and potatoes" articles such as this are very interesting. How long has the pilot been polluting our water (or are all accusations in the local false)?

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ftpheide 3 years, 8 months ago

hereandthere, Their negative editorial aimed at Garrett, during the sheriffs election, actually helped him be elected. Everyone knows the editor, of the Local, fancies himself a renegade. Their advertising is inexpensive - because their circulation is limited! It's still worth picking up a Local. How else are you going to start a fire in the morning?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Well, if they had a few former employees of the printing dept making these claims and have reasons for saying the stuff in the article then they'd appear to have the legal right to print it.

Though, this article appears pretty thin which is pretty disappointing when there are other topics they could have gone after. The whole base area redevelopment bonds default situation is worth investigating. Investigation into the actual facts would reveal either a finance dept failing to tell anyone about a building crisis or a city council claiming surprise regarding a situation they were aware of. Or an investigation into Oak Creek's enterprises can find any number of surprising revelations. Or an investigation into the County building dept enterprise operating deficits and what will happens when their reserves are gone.

Overall, it is pretty ironic for the SB Today to be getting upset about inaccuracies in articles.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

I've always regarded the Local as a fish wrapper, but credit where it's due: it's less sophomoric under the new regime. I looked thru the current issue (for the 1st time in over a year) at Big O this morning. Decent articles on real estate, medicine, food, health, pet care, etc, authored by local professionals in their respective fields. A marked improvement over the anonymous chest-thumping bs that used to be the substance of that rag.

Having said that, I also read the anti-Pilot article, & it's nothing more than unsubstantiated finger pointing by fired employees. Further, the "reporter" is clearly editorializing & spends enough time engaging in petty sarcasm & innuendo that it's a challenge to take him seriously.

The Local has improved, but the bar couldn't have been lower.

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Cooke 3 years, 8 months ago

The Local is a rag in every sense of the word. It was pretty worthless before the new editor took over, but has gone steadily downhill ever since. Remember when the “editor” (it pains me to call that guy an “editor”) was going to print everyone’s mugshot if they got arrested in Routt? Did anyone happen to read his “profile” of Kellog’s girlfriend? He does this community a disservice. It’s embarrassing to travel around Colorado mountain towns and look at their alternative papers, then come back to Steamboat and see the unprofessional, bitter ranting of The Local. The environmental disaster here is that trees are killed to print such an embarrassment.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 8 months ago

I probably would never have noticed the story in the Local, but now that the Pilot has spread the news I'm going to try to get a copy to read all about it.

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

C'mon Scott....too afraid to post articles critical of your paper?

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Apparently, if you post anything that might be construed as being critical of this paper, you will be edited out! Did you guys pour toxic chemicals down the drain?!!!

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Again, how about posting your toxic wast disposal permits and putting an end to these allegations? How about giving the public the name of the HAZMAT disposal company that you are supposed to use?

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Sadly, we the public will be the last to know the truth about this. Maybe we ought to be looking in the Yampa for the famous Simpson fish "blinky", he probably lives down by the sewer effluent pipe behind Steamboat Lumber!

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Soooo, what do you do with your used toner, Scott? Where is your HAZMAT permit? Can I have some lead and arsenic with that paper please?

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 8 months ago

The "Decent articles on real estate, medicine, food, health, pet care, etc," are paid for by the "local professionals in their respective fields" who author them. That's right---the authors pay to have their articles printed. They appear right next to the paid-for ads. The Local itself provides little, if any content (other than the son-of-the-used-car-salesman's rant-of-the-fortnight). Want to get elected? Have little Tommy do a character assassination of you. It worked for DA Liz Oldham and Sheriff Wiggler. And the "exclusive" interview with Kellogg's mistress? Brooks' lawyers will have a field day with the statements she made in that article. If he walks, he will have Tommy to thank. Tommy's ranting is so shrill and half-baked it always has the opposite of the intended effect.

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Shawant...the question of whether you approve of the Local or even read its content is really irrelevant...is the Pilot improperly disposing of toxic chemicals or is it not? I have spoken to a chemist at the NOVA corporation, and he assured me that there are no really really bad things in their products(now that's assuring), but there are petroleum based solvents in there that should definitely not end up in the water supply. Toner, however, is a different story! Does our water treatment plant check for petroleum based solvents in our drinking water? Let's hope they do. I, for one, would hope that the Pilot would show respect for the local community by disclosing these facts, instead of hiding behind a bunch of front range lawyers. As per the argument over the quality(or lack thereof) of our "other" paper, competition is a good thing!

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stmbtloco69 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually @Shawant, the articles on real estate, medicine, food, health, pet care, etc are CONTRIBUTED by professionals IN OUR COMMUNITY (they do not pay to have them printed!), who are LOCALS, and have something to share! Why not at the same time allow these professionals a place to advertise their LOCAL business and promote our LOCAL economy?? The Steamboat Local is a community based paper and has come a long way from when it started, and there are many more people involved with the publication besides the outspoken editor! Try actually reading it sometime instead of being blinded by your own obnoxiousness!

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Propanaminium, one of the VOC found in replenisher....it is classified as an immunotoxin....just one of the chemicals allegedly dumped into our water treatment system.....you likey?

Immunotoxicity is defined as adverse effects on the functioning of the immune system that result from exposure to chemical substances. Altered immune function may lead to the increased incidence or severity of infectious diseases or cancer, since the immune systemÂ’s ability to respond adequately to invading agents is suppressed. Identifying immunotoxicants is difficult because chemicals can cause a wide variety of complicated effects on immune function. Observations in humans and studies in rodents have clearly demonstrated that a number of environmental and industrial chemicals can adversely affect the immune system. Exposure to asbestos, benzene, and halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons such as polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins (TCDD) can lead to immunosuppression in humans. Toxic agents can also cause autoimmune diseases, in which healthy tissue is attacked by an immune system that fails to differentiate self-antigens from foreign antigens. For example, the pesticide dieldrin induces an autoimmune response against red blood cells, resulting in hemolytic anemia. mmunotoxicity is defined as adverse effects on the functioning of the immune system that result from exposure to chemical substances. Altered immune function may lead to the increased incidence or severity of infectious diseases or cancer, since the immune systemÂ’s ability to respond adequately to invading agents is suppressed. Identifying immunotoxicants is difficult because chemicals can cause a wide variety of complicated effects on immune function. . Toxic agents can also cause autoimmune diseases, in which healthy tissue is attacked by an immune system that fails to differentiate self-antigens from foreign antigens.

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Triethanolamine, A 2009 study found that TEA has potential acute, sub-chronic and chronic toxicity properties in respect to aquatic species, helloooo blinky!

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ftpheide 3 years, 8 months ago

thalgard, According to the article in the "Local" the correct step was taken. Mike Zoph was contacted and advised of your suspicions. That's all you had to do. Now your done. When ever their is a complaint Enviromental Health follows thru on it. That's their job! The complaintant never gets up dates on their investigation. It's none of their business!

Schwant- Who is Sheriff Wiggler???

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Barre. Sheriff piggums is sheriff wiggler...and it is all of our business if our local fishwrapper is dumping undetectable toxins in to our water....drink up, maybe you'll get lucky and catch blinky!

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Barroom....I do not in any way work for the Local...I don't even like it very much...but I dislike polluters even more...in fact, I despise anyone who would pick profit over the health of their community!

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ftpheide 3 years, 8 months ago

Change that to Mike Zopf. That's what I get for correcting Schwant!

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ftpheide 3 years, 8 months ago

thalgard, Are you swinging from branch to branch?

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Scott Stanford 3 years, 8 months ago

In February, the Steamboat Pilot & Today was asked about its chemical disposal procedures by Mike Zopf, Routt County's director of environmental health. The newspaper responded by reviewing its procedures and on Feb. 22, 2010, sent Zopf a detailed explanation of the chemicals used and how they are disposed. That's the only correspondence the newspaper has ever had with any public health agency about chemicals used in the printing process. Since Thursday, the newspaper has contacted officials from the Routt County Department of Environmental Health, the city's wastewater treatment plant, the State Department of Public Health and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency. All have reassured the Pilot & Today that the newspaper's handling of chemicals is not the subject of any investigation by any of their agencies. There is no indication from any agency that the newspaper's handling of chemicals in the past or present is cause for concern. Still, we have again reviewed our procedures and can say with confidence that our chemicals are being handled safely, properly and most importantly, in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.

As far as the story that appeared in the latest edition of The Steamboat Local, pending legal review, we cannot comment fully on the story other than to reiterate the news brief that appeared today. It is our stance that The Local’s story is wrong and defamatory and therefore should be retracted and the editions pulled from the shelves.

— Scott Stanford General Manager, Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4202 sstanford@steamboatpilot.com

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 8 months ago

It is Wiggins, not Wiggler. Sorry. 69: I don't read articles about massage because I'm not interested in the subject matter. The Local did approach various professionals and offered, for a fee, the right to be their local expert on whatever. I have no objection to an alternative paper in town, I'm just ashamed of ours. The articles I HAVE read are the ones written by the Local with a sensational cover tease. Those articles have been garbage, full of innuendo and speculation poorly disguised as news. My suspicion is that the latest "article" on the polluting Pilot is more of the same muck. On my very worst day I can't be as obnoxious as Tommy Repeuter.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

If, in fact, the Local is charging contributors for their articles, it can forget about being taken seriously as an objective "alternative" to whatever media it's trying to challenge.

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Hide-away...the only branches I swing from are the apparently vertical ones in your family tree!

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lessworkmoreskiing 3 years, 8 months ago

Yeah Pilot! Send your big mean corporate lawyers after the little small town paper! You guys are awesome!

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stmbtloco69 3 years, 8 months ago

THE LOCAL IS NOT CHARGING PEOPLE TO CONTRIBUTE! People pay to advertise, but that is a lot different than someone writing something and submitting it, and the Local running it... and I have heard that there are a lot of submissions for them to choose from. The Local is open to submissions from anyone in the community for consideration! I would also guess that they are willing to trade advertising space for different contributions from local experts etc... but that is just a guess.

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

This article(the one in the local) was written to express the opinion of two disgruntled ex-employees. Perhaps they were whistle blowers, perhaps they were dismissed for just cause...The fact is, we, the public, will never know. It is apparent, in my opinion, that if they were dumping chemicals down the drain they certainly aren't doing it now. Besides, it's just Utah, Hayden and Craig that has to drink it.

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hereandthere 3 years, 8 months ago

Strong informative response from Mr. Sandford. I can hear the air escaping from The Local's balloon as I write this. Might a disgruntled former employee, who had been fired, not be the most credible source? Hmm? Maybe investigate further to substantiate? Nah, lets run with it. Hey, hey.

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kathy foos 3 years, 8 months ago

Inuendo is what this sounds like and not based on fact.The pilot has gone to alot of trouble to make sure of the facts to their credit.Maybe the workers were the ones exagerating the facts,,not something to print unless you have the truth for sure.To report the possible situation is admirable as polluting is terrible,but to go ahead with a story on suspicions is just plan wrong.Maybe a few journalism classes are in order for the local editor.Calling Garret Wiggons Wriggler is just stupid! and shows immaturity,vengence,disrespect for the law and irresponsibility.Is that something to be proud of Tom?You want people to call you names?HAVE A LITTLE RESPECT,maybe people will want to read the Local if it isnt so negative.Im glad the Pilot got after them,next trash talked could be about you,which is OK if its true,stand up to say "NOT!",if its false,its all you can do,dont ever let them get away with it.The Pilot has posted plenty of retractions when they are wrong ,as they should,how about it Tom?Time for a retraction?You can do it.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Well, considering that two former employees made the charges then it hardly unreasonable for the The Local to publish the article. There were obviously some mistakes and some assumptions, but nothing that would appear to be worthy of banishing the entire edition.

This sort of reaction is probably welcomed by The Local.

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

dim star...I guess your not to fond of piggums, either.

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mh 3 years, 8 months ago

I mean, is this poor "journalism" or just poor satire? Either way it makes my eyes bleed.

But really, I can't tell. Is the Local trying to be snarky and hilarious by misspelling Suzanne Schlicht's name as "Schlitz?" I like drinking jokes as much as the next person who lives in a resort town, but wow. That's just embarrassing. In that case that it was an honest mistake...I would assume efforts to reach her would of course be unsuccessful since "Suzanne Schlitz" doesn't really exist. Joke/Whistle-blowing fail.

Sigh. I'm hoping this blows over, but it seems that if the Pilot responds, they're the evil corporation picking on the little guy, especially since the Local prefaced the article with an editorial about how they expect to catch criticism for blowing the whistle on the big, bad evil in town. If the Pilot doesn't respond, it's an admission of guilt or some other crap. If they say it's completely false, it's a case of them HIDING THE TRUTH FROM REAL AMURRICANS. SHOW ME THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Oh wait, wrong story...

But I guess we're giving the Local what they want by even acknowledging the ridiculousness of this situation, because any attention is good attention in regards to a new business model, right Tom? Really, just stick to telling us what crappy band is playing at the Tugboat and posting smidgens. At least then you weren't pretending the Local is something it's not.

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Guinevere 3 years, 8 months ago

Hey, Pilot, where's the Sunshine? What about all those awards you won for making sure nothing was kept secret from the public? Instead of ordering that all copies of the Local be removed and the story retracted, why not show some proof of what you did with the chemicals over the last few years, not what you're doing with it today? Shouldn't be that hard. I'd say the public drinking the water might just be interested, a lot more interested than they were in some other stupid things you insisted be public. MH, etc.: who cares what your beef is with the Local. Don't you even want to know the truth about what two former Pilot employees allege?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Would have been smarter to simply criticize the article instead of wanting the whole edition removed.

While Local has comments from two former employees, looks like Pilot can say there is no active criminal investigation unlike asserted in the article. And the paper could also talk to the people that didn't respond and find out why and so on. And the pictures of the chemicals used mean nothing. Pilot could easily produce records that they paid for proper disposal. Would have been smarter to completely discredit the article and reporter instead of overreacting and asking for the whole edition to be pulled. That'd make sense only if the two quoted people never worked for the Pilot or some other fundamental complete fabrication.

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hereandthere 3 years, 8 months ago

May want to reference Mr. Stanfords comment . Seems that the Pilot did talk to the people that saw no reason to respond to the Locals allegations, apparently because they had no merit. It is the Local's responsibility to furnish the proof to back up their allegations, They did not. The Pilot's request for the Local to retract their article seems reasonable, seeing as they probably have grounds for litigation, and the request may be a first step in that direction..

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 8 months ago

Let's give credit where it is due. The Local did not refer to our newly elected law enforcement officer as Sheriff Wiggler--I DID, in my first post on this thread. Although "Calling Garret Wiggons [sic] Wriggler [sic] is just stupid! and shows immaturity,vengence [sic],disrespect for the law and irresponsibility.", I thought it was funny.

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Guinevere 3 years, 8 months ago

h&t - I did read Stanford's comment and it didn't say that much. I'd rather hear from the pressroom manager Schuelle and from whichever hazardous waste removal company he supposedly dealt with. Let's see the self-appointed 'open meetings police' hold themselves to the same standard they demand of other community groups.

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mavis 3 years, 8 months ago

I have not read the article in the Local-- however- the PILOT does not retract articles when it runs it's unfair smear campaigns against individuals when they are trying to get what they want. And I am referring to several political issues regarding local politicians and past people on the school board. With that being said- I don't feel bad for the PILOT.

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lessworkmoreskiing 3 years, 8 months ago

Everyone here is being so critical of Tom and the new Local. I think they are doing a great job especially compared to what it was previously. Publishing is a very hard business. And to be critical of the pilot here they try to crush anyone in town who takes advertising revenue from them. I feel like the pilot was just waiting to wreck Toms new project. Here is to the Local keeping up a good alternative paper to the same junk you have to read about in the pilot all the time. Its simply that, an alternative. As was mentioned above how many retractions has the pilot printed before? It happens - sometimes you get the wrong info and when it gets printed you gotta fix it. I know the pilot sees the local as a threat and that's perfect. Keep it up local. Hope you keep revenue coming your way. The local is run and owned by locals not like the pilot which is hq'd in Kansas. KEEP IT LOCAL

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Ken Reed 3 years, 8 months ago

I noticed there were no Locals at the Post Office today, they must have gone ahead and removed them.

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mh 3 years, 8 months ago

Ha, called out.

I don't necessarily have a beef with the Local, however I would just like to know what they are trying to be. Are they news, or entertainment? I mean, I love some good conspiracy theories. Believe me, I was all up in it when Biggie and Tupac got murdered, but my ragged theories and speculations aren't credible enough to print in a reputable news source...even if I know someone who heard someone who saw something.

And I would like to know the truth. But being an educated adult, I can read between the lines and discredit things on my own. Certainly, I know when I see something morally/ethically/legally reprehensible, I wait a year and a half and then run to a local bi-monthly newspaper known for hilarious horoscopes, collages of drunken pictures, and awesome columns such as "Ask a Mexican" in order to expose such evil. I would also never file a grievance against my employer for wrongful termination, such as retaliation for questioning authority. There are also no guilty men in Shawshank. Oh wait, none of those things are true.

But since conspiracy theories are all the rage these days, I'll bite and ask why they intentionally misspelled names of people they tried to contact. I'll also ask why they decided to print this article, and in the same breath admit they are trying to spread their business to other towns and start printing weekly. Really, it sounds like they're trying to avoid libel and then give themselves enough attention to expand, AND THEN IT WOULDN'T BE LOCAL, AND WE CAN'T HAVE THAT. Just sayin'.

Now, I love living here, I love everyone else who lives here, and I love the break that the Local gave me from world news. But quite frankly, the thought of them becoming this pseudo-grassroots renegade paper is pretty laughable and embarrassing. Unless it's for self-promoting purposes...then I guess it's okay.

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bandmama 3 years, 8 months ago

Ahhhhh..... Remember when the "Local" was fun to read? Rememebr when it was a nice break from the other local publication..with only a HINT of truth to make one think???? Even the props, gripes & smidgeons are not worth reading anymore. I dont even bother reading front to back page. It seems much more,self serving...and By-"assed" . When the editor can spend a day or two in an igloo, (self made) in front of the court house, and no one really cares, why take on such a difficut task as attempting to publish a "newsworthy" periodical???? We dont read it any more because you have taken away the humour, the touches of truth and really.....it bores most. And when the most newsworthy event (for the LOCALS) published involves a makeover for Shane??? COOOOME on..... Bring back the sarcasm we all so .....crave! Sarcasm reaches more when in print. OR change the name of the publication. It "aint't" local if the Locals dont read it. I may be wrong, but it may be called a "Rag". and not really worth my time to read. AHHHH, oh yeah. I dont.

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AGM 3 years, 8 months ago

Part 1 of 2

Interesting discussion.

I’d assert that this is a big deal. Could you imagine that your competitor wrote an article in your trade publication/local paper that stated there was a criminal investigation of your company? And they put it on the front cover and they did it when the the most amount of people could potentially look at it? (and they used an unauthorized picture of a well known character to sensationalize it.....but, I digress into the Local’s criminal activity). Am I the only one wondering what this story had to do with Christmas...quite sensational, though. You would be livid, especially if it was not true.

For those of you that didn’t read the article, the Local stated, “There IS an ongoing criminal investigation into the Pilot’s chemical activities.” This isn’t ambiguous language. This is one company telling the world there their competitor is the subject of a criminal investigation. Again, imagine if this allegation was made about you or your company.

The premise of this entire allegation is so reckless and illogical that it is amazing anyone can even think it is anything but pure fabrication. One, when there is any type of complaint a person/company disposing of toxic chemicals in a manner that would impact a water supply, the EPA and the local authorities would come in and deal with it immediately. They didn’t just sorta look into it, they’d come in hard and heavy on anyone reasonably suspected of this type of criminal activity. In this case, allegedly a complaint was made in February 2010 to the EPA. I’m sorry but if there was any truth to this, the EPA wouldn’t be sitting on their hands if something were to be harming the public water supply. Yes, I realize all facets of government can be quite skillful at sitting on their hands, but sorry...not in this case. They go on to state that allegations were then made locally. Again, local authorities don’t take lightly to allegations of improper disposal of toxic chemicals into our water supply. Mike Zopf is a fine man and a professional. Not only is the Pilot & Today being called out, but so is Mike. You would all be livid if you were Mike and for good reason.

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AGM 3 years, 8 months ago

Part 2 of 2

The Pilot & Today immediately comes out and states that not only has there never been a criminal investigation on behalf of the EPA but also that the EPA has never even contacted them about this alleged issue.

For those of you criticizing the Pilot & Today, what would you do? You conduct your business in compliance with local, state and federal authorities. You know you’ve never even been contacted by the EPA about this and your (alleged) competitor recklessly and in complete fabrication states that there is an ongoing criminal investigation of your company. You would be livid. What would you do? They contacted their attorneys and some of you make them out to be the big bad bully that is going to crush the poor little guy. Again, what would you do?

One could easily propose that almost all of this “story” is a complete fabrication and a knowing fabrication. Libel anyone? The Local states that it tried to reach Anderson, Zopf, and Schlicht. I’d challenge any of you to call any of those three and see if the Local made any attempt to call them. I made the calls and know the answer. Sorry, but that’s a lie on the part of the Local. Next lie is stating there is a criminal investigation when there isn’t one. A complete lie. I’m sure with a little digging, it is a lie made while knowing the facts. I really do begin to wonder if there is anything in that “story” that is true. Someone should call the EPA and see if there really is a person by the name of Lance Ehrig that has been employed there. Kinda makes you wonder. I suppose the names of the two former employees are factual. I wonder if they intentionally spelled their names wrong as well....probably got those right. I suppose the evil looking photos of the labels are probably true...ominous, aren’t they?

Competition in business is good, but only when it is a good competition. The Local has seriously crossed the line here. If this was your company, you would want the truth to come out and you wouldn’t take this reckless behavior lying down. I hope the Local gets what’s coming to them, and the icing on the cake will be when Dr. Suess Enterprises really turns into a Grinch. Interesting how life imitates art, isn't it.

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Guinevere 3 years, 8 months ago

AGM, to answer your question, it's very simple what they should do if they've been falsely accused: Tell and show proof of what they did with the chemicals during the period in question. If they disposed of it properly there should be a record of it, don't you think? So far the Pilot hasn't done this. If it's all a complete lie then yes, they have a right to be mad.

Also, you're a bit misleading in describing the Local article. What it said about the EPA was: "The criminal investigations division was reached during the development of this story, but informed the Steamboat Local that they “cannot comment about ongoing criminal investigations.” Their refusal to comment does tell us one thing, however: There IS an ongoing criminal investigation into the Pilot’s chemical disposal activities."
Apparently they may have made an improper assumption there.

You're assuming a lot when you say that two different Pilot employees completely made these things up. Possible but seems odd since all they're getting for it is grief. It's going to be hard for anyone who wasn't actually there to know exactly what happened but there should be a record of the hazardous waste disposal. I agree it's a big deal, especially if they were pouring toxic chemicals down the drain.

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hereandthere 3 years, 8 months ago

Have not seen the latest edition of the Local disappear from the stands yet. Can we assume that they are going to stick to their guns on this story? Gonna be fun to see how this plays out. It seems that the Pilot may be maneuvering itself into a position to seek legal redress.

G., you may want to review the comment from the original Pilot article above regarding the EPA spokesman stating that there is not an ongoing investigation.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Paper still in OC as well.

This is huffing and puffing because winning a lawsuit against a newspaper is real tough. Look at all the stuff in the tabloids and they only lose a case when it is shown they knew they were lying and it was to retaliate against someone that refused to cooperate with another story idea. The Local with two former workers making the allegations would seem to have plenty of cover for their story.

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pitpoodle 3 years, 8 months ago

According to the Pilot, the Local’s story is wrong and defamatory and therefore should be retracted and the editions pulled from the shelves? How many times can we count the Pilot's stories that were wrong and defamatory and destroyed a person's reputation? I can think of some that dealt with SB 700 and a candidate's comments during a political campaign not too long ago. No stories were retracted nor were editions pulled from the shelves. Deal with it Pilot and stop your whining.

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Ross Sessions 3 years, 8 months ago

I worked for the Pilot as a press operator for several years and took pride in help making the Today a better printed paper while working there. I have over 20 years in the printing industry, so I guess I could be considered an "expert" in the field. While I can't speak for certain of how things are done now, while I was employed there no chemicals were disposed of improperly. In my experience working with Dan Schulke, Suzanne Schlicht and current and former press room employees I doubt any chemicals were disposed in an improper manner. Dan and Suzanne have always insisted on maintaining a clean and professional press room. In fact, of all the press rooms I have worked in the Today's is one of the best in all aspects.

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mavis 3 years, 8 months ago

why did it take the pilot almost 3 days to post most of our comments???? My mom always said the guiltier you were the louder you yelled and caused a fit.... hmmmm was mom right on this?? Were you thinking it would die down if you blocked comments for a few days?? I was hoping it wasn't true.. but now I am suspicious.... avoidnce is a huge indicator in guilt....as well as blame and that has been your 2 tactics with this story... and I really don't even respect the other paper... wow pilot you are batting zero...

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hereandthere 3 years, 8 months ago

? Mavis. 3 days? What are you talking about? I commented the same day that the Pilot's article came out.You, yourself, commented the day after. Your mom makes a fine point, and I'm sure she is a great person, but I don't think the Pilot, asking for the Local to stand up and do the decent thing, fits your description of their response to the defamatory ( and amatuerish ) article.

Thanks ross1435 for your insightfull and informative comment. Kind of puts to rest some of the nonsense that we're hearing from the Local yocal and its supporters. I wonder if the Local's reporter even approached anyone from the Pilot to see what their actual practices pertaining to the disposal of these substances were.

I, too, would appreciate an alternative paper to balance out the Pilot, but unfortunately, the Local, and specifically Mr, Reuter don't seem to have what it takes. Too bad for the community.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the Pilot does not regularly send chemicals down the drain and has a policy against that, but the article in The Local has quotes from two people claiming to be former employees saying they saw chemicals being improperly disposed of.

So it is not as if The Local had no basis for their article and thus the Pilot's threat of a lawsuit is pretty ridiculous. Not that the article from the Local is going to win any awards because it has mistakes and failed to do more investigation that might have shown a bigger picture than the comments from those two people.

But what next? National Weather Service demanding today's paper be pulled because the paper incorrectly called this storm instead of this weather pattern the Pineapple Express?

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hereandthere 3 years, 8 months ago

Maybe it was the two former employees (fired, disgruntled) who were dumping things down the drain. You guys crack me up. Got to admit this has been fun. I make a simple comment that the Pilot might be positioning themselves for legal redress (just a thought on my part), and the sage of OC is all over it. Kinda like the local and this stupid story. Reminds me of the birthers. I would think most rational people are satisfied that nothing happened over at the Pilot. This has just been a juvenile ploy on the part of the Local to bring attention to themselves. Entertaining, yes, news, not so much. They should stick to gloryifying the party life and in depth articles about massages and the single dating scene.

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Guinevere 3 years, 8 months ago

h&t - I'm not seeing your logic. Why so desperate to proclaim this complete nonsense and defend the Pilot? You must have had one heck of a problem with the Local's editor. While I hope Ross the "expert" is right, he wasn't there at the time either. All the Pilot has to do is show the record of the hazardous waste being picked up, but they haven't.
And as Scott said, the Local does have quotes from two former employees so how can they be sued for writing the story?

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AGM 3 years, 8 months ago

Guin & others,

We realize you aren't seeing the logic. This isn't a scenario of a typo or just messing up a couple of facts (like incorrectly naming a storm pattern). This is a situation where a party talks to two people and uses their story to state that a serious criminal activity has taken place. These allegations would include potential jail time, significant fines and potential felony charges.

The process we exist under in this country is innocent until proven guilty.

Let's take an example. Guinevere, let's say you have a company with 100 employees. You fire two of them. Within a year they come and talk to your competitor. These two employees say you murdered a couple of people. Your competitor calls the cops and asks if there is a criminal investigation going on. The cops say they don't comment on such things. Your competitor then assumes that there must be a criminal investigation into you being a murderer. They don't call anybody else. Your competitor then publishes a big story on the internet or wherever they can that you murderd a couple of people. Of course there is no one missing, no murder weapon and no real reason to think you were a murderer. But, that's ok....they print it anyway.

Is it your responsibility to turn over your daily log to show all of us where you've been every second of your life during the time in question? Guilty until proven innocent, right? It is all on your shoulders to convince us you didn't do this. Do you possibly think this news of your being a murderer might just somehow have a negative impact on your reputation and your business even though we all know it is false?

Just to add to the maliciousness and recklessnes on the part of the Local please look to the tags the Local placed on the story online. They include the following tags: dead fish, EPA, feature, poison, pollution, steamboat springs, The Pilot, Yampa River.

Many of you live to criticize the Pilot (yes, I've been critical of them at times as well) yet anyone with any sense of objectiveness has to see how slimy the Local has been in this instance.

I hope the Pilot fights this. I hope the real truth does come out. I'm more than willing to wager that this entire "story" by the Local is nothing but pure fiction and that they knew the whole story was a lie. Heck of a way to get some publicity.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

It is a newspaper article. To win a lawsuit does not mean showing an article is not the truth. Even Pilot articles take liberties with the truth. Their direct quotes have very often never been said by the people that were quoted.

To win a lawsuit since the newspaper is obviously not a private citizen then it would appear the standard is: libel of a public official requires proof of actual malice, which was defined as a knowing or reckless disregard for the truth.

So the Pilot is free to complain about being mistreated and to put out their side of the story and so on, but I don't see how they have a shot in court when The Local has two former employees making the important claims in the article. The Pilot might have a shot at suing the former employees, but a newspaper suing whistle blowers would be a far bigger story than what the former employees said.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

AGM, Your example of guilty until proven innocent doesn't really apply because the accused is not going to jail because of the unfounded statements.

And while the lack of any evidence of a murder would certainly make that case of libel easier to prove, it is going to be awfully hard for the Pilot to prove that no employees ever poured any chemicals down a sink. If it went to court then I'd expect the Local's lawyers to make the argument that if anyone employees washed chemicals off their hands into a sink and, if so, then claim the story had a factual basis.

I am not arguing that the Local's story is the truth. I am just saying it is ridiculous for a newspaper to threaten to sue another newspaper over an article that has statements from two former employees. Pilot should know this is not a winnable legal fight, but a public relations battle that presumably they should win.

Anyone want to bet that the next edition of The Local gives extensive coverage to the threatened lawsuit by the Pilot? And that they'll even make the (nonsensical) argument that if the Pilot doesn't follow through and sue them that would be because the Pilot knows the allegations are largely true. (The current EPA investigation claim appears to be false). Thus, the Pilot will end up fighting self-inflicted wounds in this PR battle.

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hereandthere 3 years, 8 months ago

How about decency and fair play G.? "Quotes" from former employees? How about sworn statements that can be used in court? The Local's got nothng. AGM has got it right, it s up to the Local to furnish proof of these allegaions. G., you might contact the Pilot yourself, I would think that they would not mind reviewing their disposal practices with you. I, myself, am satisfied that Mr. Zopf, has reviewed with the Pilot these practices, and if he is OK with them, then we need not worry. As for a problem with the editor of the Local, anyone familiar with his past behavior would not have a lot of confidence in his judgement and maturity. But, if you want to tie your wagon to that horse, good luck.

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Guinevere 3 years, 8 months ago

here and there - ha ha! You are here but your brain seems to have gone there. You don't need sworn statements that can be used in court to write an article. If you did, then the Pilot wouldn't exist. And you really don't know what Mr. Zopf has reviewed or what he's ok with. I don't feel a bit sorry for the poor old Pilot who has played the bully so many times and sued volunteer groups over any hint of keeping anything secret. "Decency and fair play?" - they've thrown that out the window quite a few times too. Their hypocrisy now is rank!

Pilot, where's the record of the hazardous waste disposal from that period?? Did you lose it? Never had one? Think it's not something the public needs to know?

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John Fielding 3 years, 8 months ago

.

If some employees dumped waste down the sink, which is not unlikely, they almost certainly did not get ordered to do so. They may well have done so in direct violation of their directions, from laziness, ignorance, spite, hangover issues or reasons almost unimaginable. Or there may have been a wink and a "woops" from some supervisor, but probably not.

Unfortunately for the Pilot, it will be difficult to prove it never happened. And unless the guilty parties wish to explicitly and convincingly incriminate themselves it probably cannot be proved that they did do it. If no complete records exist the most that may be proved is that the record keeping was inadequate.

.

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cheesehead 3 years, 7 months ago

Is it me or is the latest Local print a week overdue?

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Guinevere 3 years, 7 months ago

The new Local is out - I picked one up at Azteca this afternoon. It has Part 2 of "A Growing Community Needs a Watchdog"- very interesting. It doesn't seem to be on their website yet though.

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hereandthere 3 years, 7 months ago

The only point of any interest was these idiots admitting that there was never an investigation by the EPA.They made a "mistake". Voice of the community? I think not. Still nothing of substance in this latest issue. Articles of limited interest, lots of ads, and lame pictures of people partying. Whoopee!

Voice of the community? HA!

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Guinevere 3 years, 7 months ago

The article is on the Local's website now, along with another one about libel suits. Read for yourself:

http://www.steamboatlocal.org/watchdog-part-2-aftermath/

http://www.steamboatlocal.org/libel-suits-weekly-print-schedule-publishers-corner/

(here@there: uh, seriously? Forgive me for thinking maybe you're not the best person to summarize the article)

Here are a few quotes from the Local:

"The Steamboat Local stood firmly behind the story, and they continue to do so today." "In a letter sent to The Steamboat Local by Hovey Williams, the Pilot and Today’s attorney, it was said that “The cleaning rags containing the (N-220) blanket wash residue are stored in lined metal containers until they are picked up by an EPA-inpected, industrial products cleaning service. This is the same disposal process recommended by Greg Brady of Nova Corporation in the (Steamboat Local’s) cover story.” Following up on this claim, The Steamboat Local contacted whistleblower Dan Elmore. Dan was incensed upon hearing the Pilot’s claims. “That is a flat out lie,” he stated emphatically. “I will stand up in court. I will take a lie detector test, and I will pass, because what I told you is the truth!”

And: "According to Mike Zopf, the allegations are being taken very seriously. His office is working with city, state and federal officials to determine the exact nature of any possible infractions that are occuring or have occured at the Pilot. In addition to onsite inspections, Mr. Zopf is attempting to collect logs and other documents related to the Pilot’s waste disposal contracts. Even if the Pilot has cleaned up their act in the wake of public outcry, the department questions whether they have been in compliance all along, and vows to get to the bottom of the story. Public health and water quality are issues of great importance in the region, and issues that the Environmental Health Department takes very seriously."

And about the lack of an EPA investigation: "With this being said, we have learned that the article contained a couple of minor errors. First, the EPA misled us by refusing to comment on the story, leading us to inaccurately conclude that there was a current EPA criminal investigation taking place. Also, we misspelled Suzanne Schlicht’s name. Both were honest mistakes and not the result of a lack of due dilligence."

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Cooke 3 years, 7 months ago

“With this being said, we have learned that the article contained a couple of minor errors. First, the EPA misled us by refusing to comment on the story, leading us to inaccurately conclude that there was a current EPA criminal investigation taking place.”

The Local’s editor should take, at the very least, an online correspondent’s course in journalism. He should then force his “fresh voice” investigative reporter (even typing that makes me gag) and give him a PowerPoint on what he learned.

The EPA did not mislead, you dolts. YOU (The Local) made an assumption and printed it as fact. Investigative reporters publishing a story as truth based on the assumption of wildly unqualified editors. The arrogance of the leadership at the helm of that rag is staggering.

The Local is not a voice of this community; it’s an embarrassment to this community. Grab a stack and use them to start your fires.

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