Scott Wedel

Scott Wedel 1 day, 21 hours ago on Yampa Valley Housing Authority explores means to address rental housing shortage in Routt County

This is a perfect example of what is so wrong with YVHA.

There is a strong local demand for apartments

They can get tax credits to subsidize the building of affordable apartments.

With those two elements then it should be easy to proceed with building apartments.

And then comes the kicker, any such project has to bail out YVHA from their land purchase where current debt is about twice current land value.

Making the developer absorb YVHA's loss will probably prevent any such apts from being built. Bailing out YVHA removes the benefits of the tax breaks .

I note that if YVHA operated like a competent organization then they would have handed the parcel back to the bank. Sure it would damage their credit, but they are already in no position to get financing. Their RFP is for a developer to deal with financing..

The sad part is that if YVHA were to tell potential developers that there are potential tax credits available for building affordable apartments then there probably would be projects started.

So it is directly YVHA's fault that there are not affordable apts being built.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 2 hours ago on Tougher trash ordinance from city would require more Steamboat residents to buy wildlife-proof containers

As for creating a known working solution such as at Yosemite.

I note that Durango with bear proof garbage, but no bear aversion program, is relocating a bear, on average, every 3 days. Relocating a bear is not free. It requires several skilled people, transportation and so on. And it is clearly not very effective with 75% of the relocated bears having previously been relocated.

I suggest that a bear aversion program is likely to be less expensive than a bear relocation program. The great advantage of a bear aversion program is that it teaches bears to go back to the wilderness to forage for food. Thus, it works as a longer term solution. It appears that now Yosemite is doing a bear aversion patrol about often Durange relocates a bear.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 6 hours ago on Tougher trash ordinance from city would require more Steamboat residents to buy wildlife-proof containers

National Park Yosemite cares more about the bears that the human visitors to the park. They also have bear behaviorists and pretty much whatever they need to deal with the issue.

If you take the time to read the materials on Yosemite's site then you'll see that bear aversion including shooting them with bean bags or rubber bullets is best for the bears. That is what is needed to teach the bears to not forage for human food, but to stay in the wilderness and forage for natural food.

That relocating bears is not a very effective program. First, it is more stressful on the bears that being shot with a nonlethal weapon. Bears are big powerful animals with the fat and muscle to safely absorb a nonlethal shot. Being tranquilized and waking up in other bear's territory is a much bigger event. Second, relocated bears tend to return. 75% of the bears captured at Durango have been captured before. That is 80 bears as of October.

As Yosemite's site says about their program: Bears rarely are relocated because they return quickly to the place of capture and resume food-conditioned behavior.

See how Durango's program is not working that well because every few days they are having to relocate a bear while Yosemite is rarely having to attempt to relocate a bear?

Is it some SB affliction where the ideas we come up with in our heads are considered new brilliant ideas and we cannot look around at what is happening elsewhere to see what works?


Scott Wedel 2 days, 10 hours ago on Tougher trash ordinance from city would require more Steamboat residents to buy wildlife-proof containers

I am not saying that a step to reduce easy access to food isn't a good idea. But if the only step is to deny food then many bears remain in the area looking for harder to get food. And they will find it in cars, trailers, garages, houses and so on. And Yosemite doesn't go around Dirty Harry style killing bears, but does drive them off from living around people and seeking human food.

Durango is a great success? 106 bear captures in 2014 by October a year with plentiful natural food counts as a success? That is comparable to the total number of times that any bear got any food from people in all of Yosemite! And they have a severe drought and a terrible year for natural food.

Going after garbage cans without also implementing a bear aversion program is like trying to stop a rash of thefts by asking people to lock their doors, but making no effort to investigate or arrest the thieves,


Scott Wedel 2 days, 23 hours ago on Tougher trash ordinance from city would require more Steamboat residents to buy wildlife-proof containers

Typical government that puts a requirement onto the general public that is going to have only modest improvements. Why it is

As Scott Ford can testify, a bear resistant garbage can doesn't stop a bear looking for food finding it elsewhere such as inside a trailer.

Blocking one avenue to food isn't going to get the bears living in city limits to move one. It will just cause them to get better at the other places people keep food. Thus, only dealing with garbage cans could actually be more dangerous as it could just teach our city bears to break into cars and houses.

If the objective is sharply reducing bear incidents then the city also needs to pursue bear aversion tactics such as having trained officers shoot them with nonlethal weapons.

I can only hope that a program based upon science and is proven to work is not viewed as completely irrelevant to SB's bear problems.


Scott Wedel 3 days ago on Yampa Valley Medical Center withdraws from police station real estate talks

Only government would consider picking the lot before knowing what they plan to build. Okay, they plan on building a police station, but what size with what features for what reasons?

One part of a new police station would be a new communications center that literally could be located anywhere near the city. This has to be built to exacting building codes so that it remains operational despite virtually any disaster scenario and is thus relatively expensive to build.

Another identified need is more room for investigators and so on. This can also be located anywhere.and doesn't have any special building code requirements.

A police station is not like a fire station in which virtually all calls are dispatched from the station. Police are much more likely to be dispatched from patrol duty.

So the primary criteria being used by the city that it must be a centrally located building simply isn't justified by the facts.

More important is that still the city council has not clearly defined what is to be included in the new police station. We have been told the one proposed police station design has a revision that is 3,000 sq ft smaller, but incredibly the issue of what is going to be built is such a low priority that this new design is not available on the city's website (at least I couldn't find it and city's search option returned nothing).

One would think that the centerpiece building of $10M project would be a big deal, but not here. I am pretty sure the city council has never had an agenda item to discuss the proposed building design for a new police station.

If YVEA was willing to make only a modest profit on land they purchased near the airport then that would apparently save a million dollars. And that lot is big enough that it could house other government offices and allow city to grow without needing expensive downtown land.


Scott Wedel 5 days, 5 hours ago on Methodist church in Steamboat welcomes Jewish symbol of the 'Festival of Lights'

"trump the idiotic state"???

Routt County government did it right by staying out of the religious display business on county property. Not allowing county property to be used for religious purposes is hardly an oppressive action.

There was never any doubt that nongovernment property could host the menorah.

If government allows any religion to display their religious symbols then it must allow all religions to display their symbols. And that level of diversity is more likely to be offensive here than be enjoyed. Local mj worshipers would then have a right to put a marijuana leaf display. And so on.

I think this was a pretty reasonable way to get to a good solution.

Maybe next year Mr Salky can build a menorah for every church that offered to host it this year.


Scott Wedel 1 week ago on Steamboat Briefs: More than 6K Steamboat visitors expected Saturday

Scott Bideau,

Would that data show people flying one direction on a direct flight and the other via Denver?

Looking at flight options, to many places such as SF there are just so few flights a week from Hayden that it becomes hard to have a trip to fly direct in both directions. Seems likely to me that many that use a direct flight will have to loop through Denver for the return.

I also note that Eagle Airport has many more flights and better pricing than Hayden. Seems to me that the viable options when booking flights are DIA either as a drive or flight from Hayden or a direct flight from Eagle Airport.

Thus, if I was a local economic development group trying to attract LNBs then I'd be promoting Eagle as a strong option for travel options.


Scott Wedel 1 week ago on Steamboat Briefs: More than 6K Steamboat visitors expected Saturday

Since the Chamber continues to incorrectly state that the lodging index is predicting that number of visitors and the newspaper continues to print a known false number, I will respond as if the false number is true.

Wow, 6,000 visitors of which only a small percentage arrived by air. I guess this further demonstrates that we should stop spending so much on the airline subsidy program.