Steamboat briefs: Howelsen Hill Ski Area passes go on sale Nov. 5

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The Howelsen Hill Ski Area will begin selling season passes Nov. 5 at the Howelsen Hill concession stand, according to a city of Steamboat Springs news release.

Concession stand hours during the month of November will be as follows: 3:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from Nov. 5 to Nov. 14; 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, Nov. 18 through Nov. 22; 3 to 7 p.m. Nov. 25 and 26; 1 to 6 p.m. Nov. 29.

Howelsen Hill and the Nordic trails will open Nov. 30, conditions permitting.

The concession stand will continue to sell passes during normal operating hours during the season. Prices go up Dec. 2.

The new pass structure this year includes an Alpine pass, a Nordic pass and the third option of a combined pass, which offers access to both the lifts and the Nordic trails. Price breakdowns can be found online at www.steamboatsprings.net/ski.

For more information, call 970-879-8499.

Lifeguard class is offered at Old Town Hot Springs

A lifeguard class is being offered at Old Town Hot Springs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 2 and 3 and Nov. 9 and 10. Participants must attend all four sessions and must be 15 by Nov. 10. Each class is limited to 10 people, and the cost is $150. Certifications include Red Cross lifeguarding, first aid, CPR, AED and emergency oxygen. For more information, contact Aquatics Director Sam Huff at shuff@sshra.org.

City looking for volunteers to teach proper facility use

The City of Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department is looking for friendly, outgoing volunteers to educate groomed Nordic trail users about appropriate use of the facility. Volunteers may be on skis, snowshoes or fat bikes and must complete the city application and background check process. Work hours will count toward a 2013-14 Howelsen Hill Nordic pass. For more information, call 970-871-7013.

Yampa Arts and Crafts Fair is accepting applications

The Yampa Arts and Craft Fair is accepting applications this week for its 33rd annual event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 16 at Yampa Elementary School. Each year, this large fair has more than 80 booths available for rent. The cost to rent booth space is $14. For more information or to request a booth rental application, call 970-638-0452.

Officials now are reopening Routt National Forest sites

Following the recent federal government shut down, Routt National Forest officials are reopening many developed recreation sites for visitors to enjoy this fall, according to a news release from the U.S. Forest Service. These facilities include overnight campgrounds and day-use sites.

“While the season is quickly changing, we think it is important to reopen many of our developed sites that are still accessible for the public to enjoy,” Forest Supervisor Phil Cruz said. “During a typical year, most of these sites would remain open through the fall big game seasons, or until they are not accessible due to snow.”

Conditions vary by location and specific details for each ranger district are outlined below.

■ Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District — As weather conditions allow, the Fish Creek Falls Day-Use Area, as well as the Dry Lake and Freeman campgrounds have been reopened. Visitors are advised, however, that four-wheel drive is required to access Dry Lake Campground. Services available at Freeman Campground include toilets, trash and water; however, only toilet and trash services are available at Dry Lake Campground and Fish Creek Falls. All other developed recreation sites will remain closed for the season, because of either snow or maintenance needs. Because the status of recreation sites and access can change at any time, call 970-870-2299 or stop by the District Office at 925 Weiss Drive in Steamboat Springs for the most current information.

■ Parks Ranger District — Except for the Hidden Lakes Campground, which is closed for hazard tree removal, all other developed campgrounds and day-use areas on the Parks Ranger District have been reopened, as weather conditions allow. Because trash and water services are not available, campground use is free; however, campers will be required to bring water and pack out their trash. For the most current information, call 970-723-2700 or stop by the District Office at 100 Main St. in Walden.

■ Yampa Ranger District — With the exception of the Horseshoe Campground, all campgrounds on the Yampa Ranger District are reopened for the public to enjoy through the remaining hunting seasons, or until prohibited by weather. While toilet and trash services are available at all sites, water systems have been winterized and campers are reminded to bring their own water. For the latest information, call 970-638-4516 or stop by the District Office at 300 Roselawn Ave. in Yampa.

In addition to snow making some roads impassable, official temporary road closures may be in effect for hazard tree removal or other forest management work that is resuming following the shutdown, according to the news release.

Teen fatalities on rise, tips for driver safety provided

In 2012, Colorado experienced a 10 percent rise in teen fatalities from 2011, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

This increase contrasts with data from 2004 to 2011, when the rates of motor vehicle crash deaths among 15- to 19-year-olds in Colorado dropped more than 67 percent.

“The pairing of statewide education and heightened enforcement has contributed to a significant decline in teen driving fatalities, but the increase in 2012 is cause for concern,” said Ali Maffey, policy and communication coordinator at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in the news release. “Before teen drivers get behind the wheel on their own, experts suggest parents sign a contract with their teenager outlining clear rules and specific consequences if rules are broken. This accountability goes a long way in decreasing a teen’s risk of motor vehicle crash or fatality.”

In conjunction with National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 20 to 26, the Colorado Teen Driving Alliance launched a new online parent course providing step-by-step instructions on how parents can support their teens through Colorado’s Graduated Driver Licensing laws.

State law requires all teen drivers to log 50 hours of practice driving with a parent or legal guardian. The online parent course guides parents through lesson ideas to cover during the 50 hours of practice driving.

The learning process should not end once a teen gets his or her license. According to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teen drivers are 50 percent more likely to crash during the first month of driving on their own than they are after a full year of driving experience. After two years of driving experience, a teens’ accident rate is cut in half.

Steamboat Optimist Club is seeking new members

The nonprofit Steamboat Springs Optimist Club is in need of members. In addition to the Pumpkin festival, the club puts on the annual Fishing Derby and Pancake Breakfast; the annual Bike Rodeo, during which Steamboat Springs Police Department officers teach children about bike safety; and the Literacy Bug bug reading program for Steamboat fifth-graders. The group also runs the Teen of the Month club — which recognizes area high school students for their contributions to school, church and the community — and awards a $1,500 Teen of the Year scholarship.

For more information, call President Mark Lynch at 970-819-5137 or past presidents Rob MacCarthy at 970-879-5283 or Ron Wendler at 970-846-7500.

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