Briefs for Feb. 25, 2012

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National Ag week set for middle of March

National Ag Week is from March 17 to 24. The annual event is intended to be a celebration of agriculture as well as educate the community about why agriculture matters in Routt County. From March 18 to 24, area restaurants will feature Routt County products.

For more details, look for an insert in the March 19

Steamboat Today. To become a sponsor of Ag Week events or to become a Community Agriculture Alliance member, visit www.communityagalliance.org or call 970-879-4370. Sponsorship and event proceeds benefit the Community Agriculture Alliance.

Much of Spring Creek trail closed to public for season

A large portion of the Spring Creek Trail is closed to public access as part of the annual seasonal wildlife closure. The seasonal closure is done in cooperation with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife to provide winter habitat for the local elk herd. The trail will remain closed until April 15. The closure begins about 1 1/2 miles up the trail from Amethyst Drive, and access is blocked by a gate. For more information about wildlife closures, call area wildlife manager Jim Haskins at 970-871-2842.

LiveWell program to help area families stay healthy

LiveWell Northwest Colorado is helping families be healthy by working to improve eating habits and to be more physically active through the “Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0” program. The program sets the goal each day of eating five or more fruits and vegetables, watching two or fewer hours of TV, getting an hour or more of physical activity and drinking zero sugary drinks. For more information about the program, visit www.nwcovna.org/livewell.php or call LiveWell Northwest Colorado Community Coordinator Barb Parnell at 970-819-4110.

Unattended vehicles idling is against Colorado law

As part of the anti-idling education campaign Spare the Air, the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council would like to remind drivers that leaving an unattended vehicle idling is illegal under Colorado law. A state law approved in 2011 also limits idling of diesel engine vehicles of more than 14,000 pounds to 5 minutes per hour.

Join the Spare the Air initiative to save money, engine wear and air emissions by limiting unnecessary idling to 30 seconds. According to the Consumer Energy Center, idling is not an effective way to warm up a car engine. On winter days, the best way to warm an engine is to drive after idling no more than 30 seconds.

Learn more at www.yvsc.org/programs/spare-the-air.

Yampa Valley Data Partners offering carpool service

Residents of Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties have access to a free, online carpool matching service sponsored by Yampa Valley Data Partners, according to a news release.

Organizers hope the website, www.carpoolworld.com/northwestcolorado, will be a resource to help Northwest Colorado residents save on transportation costs. The project was created as part of the Northwest Colorado Energy Education Plan, which was funded by a grant from the Colorado Energy Office.

Public works offers tips to keep pipes from freezing

The Steamboat Springs Public Works Department is reminding readers how to prevent frozen pipes during cold weather:

■ Know the location of your water shut-off and test it regularly. In most single-family homes, the shut-off valve is in the basement or the crawlspace where the water pipe enters the house.

■ Winterize unheated or vacant buildings to avoid property damage and water loss.

■ Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold or have caused problems in the past. Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements can be wrapped with insulation.

■ During a deep freeze (minus 5 degrees or below), open cabinet doors that lead to exposed pipes (such as access doors for sinks), so that household air can warm pipes. Keep garage doors shut, and keep your thermostat set above 65 degrees.

■ If you think a pipe already has frozen, thaw the pipe as soon as possible or call a plumber for help. If you do it yourself, shut off the water and thaw slowly. A hair dryer trained at the frozen area of the pipe is appropriate. A blowtorch is not.

■ Water meters also need protection from cold temperatures. City water customers are responsible for maintaining their water meter and keeping it in working order. Prevent your water meter from freezing by checking heat tape.

Call the Steamboat Springs Utilities Division at 970-879-2060 for more information.

Comprehensive job search tools available to veterans

As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs ongoing implementation of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, the VA has developed a comprehensive toolkit for veterans and employers about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program and the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. The act expands education and training opportunities for veterans and provides tax credits for employers who hire veterans with service-related disabilities. Find more information about the programs and application procedures at www.benefits.va.gov/VOW or call the VA National Call Center at 1-800-827-1000. Applications are due by Sept. 30.

A new website also has been designed to help military veterans find jobs in the transportation industry. According to a news release, the site allows former members of the armed forces to enter their specific military work experience and see how it translates to civilian jobs in five categories: aviation pilot, aviation maintenance technician, air traffic controller, commercial motor vehicle driver and emergency medical services. Job seekers can find what training and certification is needed for civilian jobs, determine what career fits best with their backgrounds and search for available jobs in their field. Learn more at www.dot.gov/veteranstransportationcareers.

Cultural integration group seeking local volunteers

Integrated Community is seeking bilingual volunteers to assist the organization with its resource and referral program on Mondays and Wednesdays. Volunteers must speak Spanish, enjoy helping the immigrant community, and be respectful and mature. Training is provided. Call Sheila at 970-871-4599.

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