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Jimmy Westlake: Stargazing? Start with the Winter Hexagon

The Winter Hexagon spotlights eight of the 20 brightest stars in earthly skies and makes a superb starting point for backyard astronomers trying to learn their way around the winter sky.

Focus on Fitness: Breathing in the water

Breath control and exchange in the water make up the first pillar of swimming. Children start learning this skill early in swim lessons by blowing bubbles and doing bobs. Adults become apprehensive about swimming with their faces in the water because incorrect breathing can cause an oxygen debt and create a mild drowning sensation.

Eugene Buchanan: Crust, what crust?

One day we’re languishing in the remnants of the worst snow layer ever, and the next thing we know, a 20-inch snowstorm wallops Mount Werner into submission, popping the celebratory cork on full-blown, Steamboat-style Champagne.

Thoughtful Parenting: Ready to read

A child cuddles with a parent while listening to the words and seeing the images in a storybook. This activity is one of the most important to introduce a child to the world of reading. It can begin as soon as your child is born.

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association: Free program helps tobacco users quit

For more than 50 years, Steamboat Springs resident Margrit has played tug-o-war with cigarettes. She’s repeatedly quit smoking, only to be pulled back into the habit while coping with stress.

Book Review: Holiday recommendations for 2014

If you're looking for a holiday gift for that book-lover in your life, here are some recommendations compiled by the staff at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore for all ages.

Community Connections: NorthWest Colorado Center for Independence empowers all people to live well

The NorthWest Colorado Center for Independence is a Center for Independent Living, rooted in a rich history of peer support and the advancement of civil rights for people with disabilities. Our operation is based on the conviction that all of us have the right, regardless of age or ability, to live well in the community of our choice. Moreover, we recognize that when we marginalize people based on age or ability, it erodes the social and moral fabric of our community as a whole.

John F. Russell: Finding his love of sports on the stage

Former Steamboat Springs High School basketball and soccer star Roddy Beall is stepping into the spotlight, hopefully changing expectations about what is cool.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘The Hobbit’ — For the love of gold…

Too much of a good thing inevitably has to have its downside. For those who have grown to love the cinematic tales of J.R.R. Tolkien, that aftereffect has finally come in the form of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”

Dog's Eye View: Puppies are for life, not just for Christmas

Most of the time the gift-giver has a heartfelt and emotional reason for this precious gift, or seeing the puppy in the pet store is just too much to resist. Sometimes the puppy is used as an expression of love and fulfilling a desire but no education has taken place to prepare the recipient.

Community Agriculture Alliance: My favorite things

‘Tis the season to reflect on the past year and to savor what we’ve accomplished at Historic Routt County. We are proud of our role in saving Routt County’s special places, and the year has been a whirlwind of activity with preservation projects, events, socials, awards and win-win partnerships.

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Tales from the Tread: Fly Gulch School doors to reopen

Fly Gulch School is an historic one-room schoolhouse sitting on the picturesque Strawberry Park Elementary School campus.

Ciao from Cortina: Living in a snow globe

December always has been my favorite time of the year. When I was young, I loved driving around after dinner with my parents looking at Christmas lights.

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Jimmy Westlake: Canis Major — the Great Overdog

Sirius rises at about 8 p.m. Christmas Eve and about 30 minutes earlier, or 7:30 p.m., on New Year's Eve. Why not step outside with your family this holiday season and bark with “the Great Overdog that romps through the dark?”

Monday Medical: Health for the holidays

Shopping, travel, parties, family visiting, children’s activities, end-of-the-year obligations — the commitments this time of year may seem endless. You may find your usual routines disrupted, and when this happens, it’s easy to let good health habits slide.

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