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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

Locovores asked to 'Grow a Row' of produce for LIFT-UP food bank in Steamboat Springs

There’s a new initiative to send more vegetables to LIFT-UP of Routt County. It’s taking root within the greater movement to encourage locally grown food in Northwest Colorado, and it’s called “Grow a Row.”

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Tom Ross: Tom Barr’s Chevy pickup causes ‘sticker shock’ in Steamboat parking lots

Steamboat painting contractor Tom Barr is running out of room for new stickers on his 1994 Silverado truck.

Routt County voters have until Friday to switch affiliation and get in on the action

Ballots for the June 24 primary election will be mailed out to all eligible voters in Routt County on June 2.

Southwestern Energy era begins in Routt County oil exploration

Shell announced in August 2013 it would be divesting itself of its leases in the Niobrara shale of Northwest Colorado to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and Southwestern Energy acquired those leases in March for $180 million.

Snow melts at Steamboat Lake State Park in time for Memorial Day weekend

Steamboat Lake State Park still had 30 of 182 camping spaces available Saturday through Monday of Memorial Day Weekend as of 4:15 p.m. Monday.

Steamboat ski season flight program seeks new destination cities, focuses seats on peak demand days

Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. talking to airlines about service from new hub cities beginning in the 2014-15 ski season, as well as talking to new airline.

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Steamboat developer hopes to convert steak house space to apartments

The Old West proposal would create both a five-bedroom apartment on ground level at 111 Eleventh St. and a second, three-plus bedroom apartment on the second floor above it.

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Haslem's life in Colorado devoted to public service, with a touch of BS

Sam Haslem's business card reads simply: “My Card. I am somewhat of a (BS’er) myself, but occasionally I like to listen to a PROFESSIONAL. PLEASE CARRY ON!”

Snowpack hanging tough in the mountains

Could the Yampa River flood parking lots along U.S. Highway 40 this spring when runoff begins in earnest, like it did in 2011? That likelihood is rated at a 10% chance.

Clearing a path to utilizing renewable energy from water on a small scale

In the Yampa Valley, the board of the Lake Catamount Metropolitan District has investigated the potential of adding a hydro-power plant to the Lake Catamount Dam.

Report looks at health of Upper Yampa Watershed

The Upper Yampa Watershed, as described in the report, drains 1,800 square miles, beginning with its headwaters and continuing to its confluence with Elkhead Creek near the county line.

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Mother's Day storm blows away any picnic plans

The wind was strong enough at 10:30 a.m. Sunday to bring down a pair of mature aspens that fell, one on each side, of a duplex on Fish Creek Falls Road.

Tom Ross: Mobile phone leads to app-rehension of suspected laptop thief

Steamboat Springs resident Barb Shipley found out this winter that Find My iPhone can also be a big help in catching a laptop computer thief.

Tom Ross: Dumpster poaching is not a victimless crime in Steamboat Springs

If it’s springtime in the Rockies, an empty dumpster is a temptation to those who don’t want to bear the extra expense and inconvenience of taking unwanted items to the landfill.

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Kayak play holes on the Yampa River in Steamboat will have a 'little bite' this weekend

The smaller kayak waves upstream from downtown Steamboat Springs on the Yampa River are glassy and reaching their prime.

Local gravel pit operators dispute role of gravel in airport paving estimate

Area contractors disagree with consultants about the role gravel played in the $4 million gap between the estimate and the low bid for runway work at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

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Forward-looking infrared camera keeps North Routt ambulance patients safer on the way to the hospital

North Routt ambulance crews rely on infrared cameras to spot elk and cattle on the road before the beams of their headlights can pick them out.

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Green machines go away May 10; Twin Enviro assumes drop-off recycling on Saturdays only

The new service comes without a fee “for the time being,” but the service itself is only temporary — drop-off recycling will cease at the parking lot in October.

Burning ditches and slash piles a rite of spring in the Yampa Valley

Routt County Emergency Manager Bob Struble recalled Thursday that in spring 2012, after a winter of drought and unusually early snowmelt, a county-wide fire burn was imposed as several agricultural burns got out of control and spread.

Dialing up Northwest Colorado's transportation future

Former Steamboat Springs City Councilwoman Kathy Connell, who represents Northwest Colorado on the state highway commission said, the Telephone Town Halls on highway issues have proven wildly successful.

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Save Search and Rescue, police from unnecessary searches

Routt County Search and Rescue is asking that with more people thinking about floating the town stretch of the Yampa River, unnecessary searches can be avoided if people who lose their watercraft place a call to emergency officials.

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Tom Ross: Vintage ski trail sign disappears from an Old Town storage shed

Anybody who has hung around Mount Werner for a few seasons knows what the trail sign really means: “This way to steep lower mountain powder bumps. Best be focused on what you’re doing if you pass this way.”

Issue of salaries of local elected officials could go to Colorado voters

A Senate resolution now being considered would ask voters to amend the state constitution to allow counties to establish their own salaries for elected county officials.

Runway bid at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden $4 million over engineer's estimate

Airport Manager Dave Ruppel confirmed that the lowest bid for widening and resurfacing the runway at the airport came in 30.5 percent higher than the estimate, and the county’s consultant on the project, Jviation, pins the bulk of the overrun on the unusually high cost of gravel in the wake of last fall’s floods on Colorado’s Front Range.

Yampa Valley among the fortunate few with above average moisture

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a drought summary Friday showing that the mountain ranges that wrap around Steamboat Springs and Craig are among a few pockets in the West enjoying above-average moisture.

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Tom Ross: State Legislature memorializes Dave Wattenberg, who represented Moffat, Routt counties

The late state Sen. Dave Wattenberg engaged in a long-running contest with state Rep. Don Ament to see who could top each other by pulling harmless practical jokes.

Routt County green lights new recycling facility at Milner Landfill

The County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a permit to allow Twin Enviro to build a new recycling facility at the landfill.

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Patrick Mayle saved the day for office workers up and down the Yampa Valley

Patrick Mayle dies at 60; benefit is Sunday to help with medical costs

Mayle was known for his teasing sense of humor and his love of camping, hiking and fishing as well as his expertise in repairing photocopiers

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Spring runoff in Steamboat unlikely to match 2011 for sheer volume

Is spring runoff in 2014 destined to be like the epic year of 2011? It’s unlikely, according to a hydrologist who keeps close tabs on the Yampa River Basin.

Milner Landfill planning its own recyling baler west of Steamboat

The new recycling center at the landfill is planned to have its own baler, but glass is likely to be removed from single-stream recycling.

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April thrills and chills in Moffat County's Cross Mountain Canyon

The rapids in Cross Mountain Canyon have earned intimidating names like Osterizer, Body Pizza, Snake Pit and Death Ferry.

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Steamboat's 2013-2014 ski season saw measurable snow on 88 mornings

The best powder day of the season at mid-mountain arrived Dec. 23 with 13.5 inches, which landed in the midst of a six-day run ending Christmas Day that saw 27 inches accumulate at Thunderhead.

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Tom Ross: Logging a season's worth of powder tracks at Steamboat Ski Area

Steamboat skier Soren Jespersen records all but a handful of the season's runs with the help of GPS app and Google Earth.

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Steamboat's flirtation with springlike weather comes to a frigid halt

The recorded high temperatures in Steamboat last week included: April 8, 59 degrees; April 9, 63 degrees; April 10, 57 degrees; April 11, 65 degrees and April 12, 63.

Direct flights from Houston this summer priced just over $500

A search on Friday for the direct flight to the Yampa Valley, leaving Houston (IAH) at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, and returning Tuesday July 22, produced a roundtrip fare of $505.

Routt County officials confront the complexity of finding a good match for salary survey

Eagle has more populous bedroom communities, Pitkin’s housing prices are skewed more heavily by mountain mansions and Summit has more ski areas.

Upper Colorado Basin ranked 2nd among 10 most endangered rivers in the nation

The nearby White River, flowing out of the Flat Tops, is No. 7 on the list because of the amount of energy exploration taking place along it length, an American Rivers spokesman said Wednesday.

Routt County's elected public officials must seek legislative approval for 1st raise in 7 years

County Attorney John Merrill told the commissioners in 2011, during a similar initiative, that the law requires the Legislature to appoint a commission (including two county commissioners from across the state) to review the salaries of officials biannually to ensure they are equitable.

New conservation easement reunites pieces of Routt County's historic McDermott Ranch

In terms of public benefit, the new easement expands the portion of the Elk River Valley that is protected from development beyond the possibility of a new ranch compound of a portion of the Six Plus Ranch.

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Snow near Summit Lake northwest of Steamboat Springs is more than 15 feet deep

A photo of a U.S. Forest Service employee standing in a 194-inch-deep snow pit on Buffalo Pass is giving rise to comparisons to the snowpack records established in the spring of 2011 on the Continental Divide northwest of Steamboat.

Another Elk River Valley ranch up for conservation

The rolling hills of Six Plus Ranch are punctuated with pockets of aspen, pine and mountain shrubs and include two active breeding leks used by Columbian sharp-tailed grouse.

Downtown Steamboat's Chief Theater attracts 10,000 patrons since Nov. 1

Under the guidance of a new executive director, Scott Parker, the theater has caught on this winter with performances by touring musicians, community drama, screenings of documentary films and shows by musicians in residence.

Elk River Road north of Columbine closed to all but local, emergency traffic

The temporary closure of a nine-mile stretch of Routt County Road 129 near the Wyoming border affects a lightly traveled stretch of road from mile marker 34 north of Columbine to Three Forks Ranch at mile marker 43.

Routt County rejects city of Steamboat’s interest in privatizing building department

Board of County Commissioners Chairman Tim Corrigan said it is his determination that the county and city both would be best served by continuing to operate the Regional Building Department, and that is the county’s intention.

Steve Warnke takes the reins of Routt County Planning Commission

Jay Gallagher, of Steamboat Springs, has stepped down from the Routt County Planning Commission after 12 years, and North Routt representative Steve Warnke has replaced him as chairman of the commission.

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Warming spell next week could cause Yampa River flows in Steamboat to spike

If the warming spell materializes and the river rises to more than 750 cfs, it will represent snowmelt at low and middle elevation snowmelt here. What it won’t signal is the onset of full-blown spring runoff.

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Moisture in snowpack well above average in mountains surrounding Steamboat

The median peak water stored at the end of the winter on Rabbit Ears is 26.1 inches compared to 35.3 inches there now. How that water finds its way to the valley and the main stem of the Yampa during spring runoff depends on weather patterns between now and mid-May.

Tom Ross: Early homesteaders were Yampa Valley's 1st locavores

Albert and Minnie Hitchens' flock of hens stopped laying eggs every winter and the family resorted to some unusual means of keeping eggs almost fresh enough to eat through the winter.

Williams oil well near Hayden back in the game, Dill Gulch on deck

The State Air Quality Control Commission voted in February to require oil and gas wells across the state, including existing wells, to capture the air pollutants known as VOCs, including methane. As it turns out, Shell Oil had already agreed to live up to similar standards in Routt County.

Ecologist says top predators restore balance to mountain states' ecosystems

In their avoidance of areas where wolves den, elk in Montana where wolf packs are active are spending more time on higher, steeper slopes, which in addition leads to the perception among hunters that elk have reduced the number of elk available to them.