Friday, September 18, 2020

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Community calendar Thursday, March 30–Wednesday, April 5

THURSDAY 30
• 7 a.m. Core Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8 a.m. Ecumenical Meditation at UCC.
• 8:30 a.m. Women’s book discussion group at UCC.
• 8:45 a.m. Indoor Biking at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Gunnison County Branch Office is open at the Crested Butte Town Offices.
• 10 a.m. Mothering Support Group at Oh Be Joyful Church. (last Thursday of every month)
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. Yoga Basics at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 11:30 p.m. Duplicate Bridge at UCC. 349-1008.
• noon All Saints in the Mountain Episcopal Church Community Healing Service at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church. 349-9371.
• noon-1 p.m. BUTI Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 12:30-1:30 p.m. Intro to Prana Vinyasa Level 1 with Monica at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 4-5:30 p.m. St. Mary’s Garage, a free thrift store. 300 Belleview, Unit 2, on the south end of 3rd Street. 970-318-6826.
• 4:30-6 p.m. Crested Butte Community Food Bank open at Oh Be Joyful Church. (first and third Thursday of every month)
• 5:30 p.m. Communion Service at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 5:30-6:45 p.m. Lunar Prana Vinyasa Level Open with Jackie at Yoga For The
Peaceful.
• 5:30-7:30 p.m. Exploring Collage at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts 349-7044. (Thursdays through April 27)
• 5:45 p.m. Zumba at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 5:45-7 p.m. Evening Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 6:30 p.m. AA Open Meditation at UCC.
• 6:30-8:30 p.m. ReCreations Painting Event: Van Gogh “Sunflowers” with Jennifer Vannatta in the Main Gallery at the Gunnison Arts Center.
• 7 p.m. Women Supporting Women Group Discussion at the Nordic Inn.
• 7:30 p.m. Narcotics Anonymous meets at 114 N. Wisconsin St. in Gunnison.
• 7:30-8:30 p.m. Merengue Dance in the Dance Studio at the Gunnison Arts Center. (runs through April 20)

FRIDAY 31
• 6:30 a.m. All Levels Iyengar Yoga Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 7:30 a.m. Barre Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:30 a.m. Alanon at UCC Parlour (in back). 349-6482.
• 8:45 a.m. Core Power Yoga Class at the Pump Room.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Yoga for the Flexibly Challenged / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9-10:30 a.m. Solar Prana Vinyasa Level 2/3 with Stacey at Yoga For The
Peaceful.
• 9 a.m.-noon Open Clay Workshops at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts. 349-7044. (runs through March 31)
• 10-10:45 a.m. First Steps Dance Class in the Dance Studio at the Gunnison Arts Center. (runs through May 5)
• noon Closed AA at UCC.
• noon-1 p.m. Vinyasa Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• noon-1:15 p.m. Restorative Yoga at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 1 p.m. Art group meets at the Senior Center. 641-4529.
• 4:30-5:30 p.m. Aprés Ski Yoga Level Open at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 5:15-6:15 p.m. Freestyle Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 5:30 p.m. Communion Service at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 5:30-8:30 p.m. Splatter Paint & Soda: Teen AND Series Event in the Art Studio at the Gunnison Arts Center.
• 6-7 p.m. Poi Playshop at the Pump Room.

SATURDAY 1
• 7-8:15 a.m. Ashtanga Level 2/3 with Joe at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 7:30 a.m. Open AA at UCC.
• 7:45 a.m. Weights and Indoor Biking Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Solar Prana Vinyasa Level 2 with Jackie at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 9 a.m. Shofar Fellowship meets at 1825 N. Hwy. 135, Gunnison. 349-1899.
• 9-10 a.m. Core Power / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9-10:30 a.m. Community Yoga at the Sanctuary Yoga & Pilates Studio, Gunnison.
• 9 a.m.-noon Open Sewing Workshops at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts. 349-7044. (runs through April 1)
• 10-11 a.m. Hip Hop Community Dance Class at the Pump Room (above Fire House on 3rd & Maroon). 415-225-5300.
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. Slow Flow at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. St. Mary’s Garage, a free thrift store. 300 Belleview, Unit 2, on the south end of 3rd Street. 970-318-6826.
• 11 a.m. Narcotics Anonymous meeting at 114 Wisconsin Street. 970-201-1133.
• 6:30-7:30 p.m. Guided Sound Meditiation at 405 4th Street.

SUNDAY 2
• 7-8 a.m. Meditation at Yoga For The Peaceful, by donation.
• 8:30 a.m. Mass at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 9 a.m. Worship Service at Oh-Be-Joyful Church.
• 9 a.m. Worship Service at Union Congretional Church. 349-6405.
• 9-10:15 a.m. Slow Flow at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 9:30-11 a.m. Free Class / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 4-5:15 p.m. CBCYC Community Book Club at 405 4th Street.
• 5-6 p.m. All Saints in the Mountain Episcopal Eucharist at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church. 349-9371.
• 5-7 p.m. Pick-up Adult Basketball. HS Gym, CBCS.
• 5:30-7 p.m. Restorative Yoga at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 6 p.m. AA meets at UCC.
• 6 p.m. Evening Service at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 711 N. Main St., Gunnison.
• 6:30 p.m. Duplicate Bridge at UCC. 349-1008.
• 7 p.m. Gamblers Anonymous meets at the Last Resort.

MONDAY 3
• 7 a.m. Barre Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45 a.m. Pilates at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9-10:30 a.m. Lunar Prana Vinyasa Level 2/3 with Jackie at Yoga For the
Peaceful.
• 10:15-11:45 a.m. Hatha Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• noon-1 p.m. Yoga Basics at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• noon-1 p.m. Lunch Break Therapeutic Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 12:45 p.m. Bridge at the Senior Center. 641-4529.
• 4-7:30 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for children and adults with West Elk Martial Arts, Jerry’s Gym at Town Hall. 901-7417.
• 5 p.m. Mothering Support Group at the GVH Education House, 300 East Denver St. (first Monday of every month)
• 5:15-6:15 p.m. Hatha Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 5:30 p.m. Communion Service at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 5:30-6:45 p.m. Yin Yoga Nidra at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 5:30-7 p.m. Moms in Motion class at the GVH rehab gym.
• 5:30-7:30 p.m. Portrait Painting at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts. 349-7044. (runs through April 10)
• 5:45 p.m. Boot Camp at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 6:15-6:45 p.m. Free Sound Meditation / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 6:30-8 p.m. Women’s Domestic Violence Support Group at Project Hope. Childcare available upon request. 641-2712.
• 7:30 p.m. Open AA at UCC. 349-5711.
• 7:30 p.m. Narcotics Anonymous meets at 114 N. Wisconsin St. in Gunnison.

TUESDAY 4
• 6-7 a.m. Meditation at Yoga For The Peaceful, by donation.
• 7 a.m. Core Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 7:30 a.m. AA/Alanon Open at UCC. 349-5711.
• 8:45 a.m. Indoor Biking at The Gym. 349-5288.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa at Yoga for the Peaceful.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Gunnison County branch office is open at the Crested Butte Town Offices, 507 Maroon Ave.
• 10:15-11:45 a.m. Hatha Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. Yoga Basics at Yoga for the Peaceful.
• 11:30 a.m. League of Women Voters meeting at 210 W. Spencer in Gunnison.
• noon AA Closed at UCC.
• noon-1 p.m. Ashtanga Vinyasa / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 12:30-1:30 p.m. Iyengar Yoga at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tech Tuesdays at Old Rock Library. 349-6535.
• 4-5:30 p.m. St. Mary’s Garage, a free thrift store. 300 Belleview, Unit 2, on the south end of 3rd Street. 970-318-6826.
• 5:30 p.m. Communion Service at Queen of All Saints Church.
• 5:30-6:45 p.m. Slow Flow at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 5:45 p.m. All Levels Iyengar Yoga Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 5:45-7 p.m. Gentle Restorative Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 6-8 p.m. Figure Drawing Sessions with a live model in Downtown Crested Butte. 349-7228.
• 6:30-8:30 p.m. Painting with Bren Corn in the Art Studio at the Gunnison Arts Center. (runs through April 25)
• 7 p.m. Alanon meeting at the Last Resort.
• 7-8:30 p.m. Blessing Way Circle support group at Sopris Women’s Clinic.
720-217-3843.
• 7:15-8:15 p.m. Dharma Punx Meditation / CB Co-op at 405 6th Street.
• 7:45-9:45 p.m. Drop-in Adult Volleyball, CBCS MS Gym.

WEDNESDAY 5
• 6:30 a.m. All Levels Iyengar Yoga Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 7:30 a.m. The Crested Butte / Mt. Crested Butte Rotary Club breakfast meeting in the Shavano Conference Room at the Elevation Hotel.
• 8:45 a.m. Mat Mix at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Kundalini Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9-10:30 a.m. Solar Prana Vinyasa Level Open with Monica at Yoga For The
Peaceful.
• 9:30 a.m. Mah Jong at the Senior Center. 641-4529.
• 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Two Buttes Senior Citizens van transportation. Roundtrip to Gunnison. Weather permitting. Call first for schedule and availability. 275-4768.
• 10:15-11:30 a.m. Forrest Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• noon Closed AA at UCC.
• noon-1 p.m. Power Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• noon-1 p.m. Prana Vinyasa Express Level 1/2 with Stacey at Yoga For The
Peaceful.
• 1-2 p.m. Tai Chi at Town Hall. 349-7197.
• 4-7:30 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for children and adults with West Elk Martial Arts, Jerry’s Gym at Town Hall. 901-7417.
• 5 p.m. Mass at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 5:15-6:15 p.m. Hatha Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 5:30 p.m. Prenatal Yoga class in Crested Butte South. 349-1209.
• 5:30-7:30 p.m. Metalworking at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts. 349-7044. (runs through April 12)
• 5:45 p.m. Boot Camp at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 6-7:15 p.m. Slow Flow at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 7-9 p.m. “GriefShare,” a grief recovery seminar and support group, meets at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 711 N. Main St., Gunnison. 970-349-7769.
• 7:30 p.m. Alanon at UCC Parlour (in back). 4th and Maroon. 349-6482.

Kid’s Calendar

THURSDAY 30
• 9 a.m. Munchkin’s Music & Dance Class in the High Attitude Dance Academy in Gunnison.
• 10 a.m. Munchkin’s Music & Dance Class in the High Attitude Dance Academy in Gunnison.
• 10-11:30 a.m. Tumblebugs in Jerry’s Gym in Town Hall (ages 4 & under) 349-7197.

FRIDAY 31
• 11 a.m. Big Kids Storytime for ages 3 and up at the Crested Butte Library.
• 2:15-3:30 p.m. Art Start for Toddlers in the Art Studio at the Gunnison Arts Center.
• 4-5 p.m. Tang Soo Do Martial Arts classes for youth with West Elk Martial Arts, Town Hall Fitness Room. 901-7417.

SATURDAY 1
• 1:45-3:45 p.m. Crested Butte Book Binders at the Crested Butte Library, ages 9-13. (every 2nd and 4th Saturday)

MONDAY 3
• 3:45-5 p.m. Messy Mondays for school aged kids at the Crested Butte Library. (kids younger than 8 must be accompanied by an adult)
• 4-7:30 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for children and adults with West Elk Martial Arts, Jerry’s Gym at Town Hall. 901-7417.
• 4:15-5:15 p.m. Arting Around Class for ages 6-12 in the Art Studio at the Gunnison Arts Center.
• 4:45 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for juniors at Town Hall. 901-7417.

TUESDAY 4
• 9:30 a.m. Munchkin’s Music and Dance Class in the Fitness Room at Town Hall. 349-9639.
• 3:45-5 p.m. Tween Scene (ages 8-12) at the Crested Butte Library.
• 4-6 p.m. TADA! The Oz Monologues – A Children’s Theatre Camp for ages 8-16 in the Black Box Theatre at the Gunnison Arts Center. (runs through May 13)
• 4:15-5:15 p.m. Mud Puppies Clay Class for ages 5-7 in the Clay Studio at the Gunnison Arts Center. (runs through May 9)

WEDNESDAY 5
• 9:30 a.m. Munchkin’s Music and Dance Class in the Fitness Room at Town Hall. 349-9639.
• 10-10:45 a.m. Art Babies at The Trailhead Children Musuem. 349-7160.
• 11 a.m. Baby & Toddler Literacy Time at the Crested Butte Library.
• 11:15-12:15 a.m. Toddler Art at The Trailhead Children Musuem. 349-7160.
• 4-7:30 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for children and adults with West Elk Martial Arts, Jerry’s Gym at Town Hall. 901-7417.
• 4:15-6 p.m. Mud Makers Clay Class for ages 8-15 in the Clay Studio at the Gunnison Arts Center. (runs through May 10)
• 4:45 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for juniors at Town Hall. 901-7417.

Events & Entertainment

THURSDAY 30
• 2 p.m. Novel Tea discusses The Man Who Quit Money at the Crested Butte Library. 349-6535.
• 4:30-7 p.m. Colorado Parks and Wildlife to present the proposed 2017 big-game license allocations for the Gunnison Basin at the Fred Field Center.
• 5:30 p.m. Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber Business After Hours Mixer at the Crested Butte Library.  349-6438.
• 8 p.m. Ladies Night at the Red Room.

FRIDAY 31
• 8 p.m. KBUT Soul Train Night featuring DJ Triple L in the lower lobby of the Elevation Hotel.
• 10 p.m. AmoraAmora plays at the Eldo.

SATURDAY 1
• 4:30 p.m. Winter Chainless Downhill Race down Lower Keystone at CBMR.
• 5 p.m. CB Unplugged: Hayes Carll plays at the base area of CBMR.
• 8 p.m. Alan Ray & the Coconut Telegraph plays at the Center for the Arts.
• 10 p.m. Dead Head Ed’s End of the Season Bash with Shakedown Street at the Eldo.

SUNDAY 2
• 8 a.m.-noon Food Pantry Donation Day at CBMR. Donate three cans of non-perishable, non-expired foor or one pack of diapers for a $45 lift ticket.
• 2-3:30 p.m. Town Race Series: Giant Slalom Final Race on Buckley at CBMR to benefit the CB Snowsports Foundation. 349-2217.

MONDAY 3
• 5:30 p.m. Financial Literacy Series #3: Retirement Savings Vehicles at the Crested Butte Community School, Room D105. 349-6535.
• 7-9 p.m. Late Night Study Hours of PSAT/SAT at the Crested Butte Library. 349-6535.

TUESDAY 4
• 9 a.m. Socrates Cafe at the Crested Butte Library. 349-6535.
• 6:30-9:30 a.m. Gunnison Valley Health holds early blood testing at the Fred Field Building in Gunnison. 642-8418.
• 6-9 p.m. Easter Paint Your Own Pottery with the Art Studio at Montanya Distillers. 349-7044.
• 7 p.m. Sustainable CB and CBCS National Honor Sociey are co-sponsoring a showing of Tapped at the Center for the Arts.

WEDNESDAY 5
• 6:30-9:30 a.m. Gunnison Valley Heath holds early blood testing at the Fred Field Building in Gunnison. 642-8418.
• 12:30 p.m. ICELab Innovators presents speaker Jeremy Neuner on the Escalante Terrace at WSCU.
• 5:30 p.m. Philosophy on Tap at the Brick Oven. 349-6535.
• 7 p.m. Book reading with Mark Sundeen, author of The Man Who Quit Money and The Unsettlers at the Crested Butte Library. 349-6535.
• 7 p.m. Crested Butte Historic Slideshow featuring Dr. Duane Vandenbusche and George Sibley at the Talk of the Town.
• 7:30 p.m. Move the Butte Video Showing at the Majestic Theater.

Working Like a Dog

“We patronize the animals for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses that we have lost or never attained, listening to voices that we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.

—Henry Beston, The Outermost House

There’s a reason for the phrase “working like a dog.” There’s a type of dog that goes beyond the best friends, constant companions, and family members of house pets—they’re working dogs, entirely focused on their jobs. From assist dogs to avalanche dogs, ranch dogs to mushers, covering a diverse variety of breeds, all are highly trained.

First, What is a Service Dog?

There’s a distinction between the behavior of actual service dogs and what might be considered impostors. A true service dog is trained to become essentially invisible and their assistance to their owner is indispensable.

On the other hand, a pet whose owner merely ordered and paid for a service animal vest and the accompanying identification card online so their animal could pose as a service dog, might bark, urinate, disrupt, and even attack other pets and people in public.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s a federal crime to represent a dog as a service animal if it is not.

The law says people entering businesses with animals can be asked just two questions: Is this a service dog? What is it trained to do for you?

Whether it’s someone who wants to skirt the law to take their dog everywhere or live in a place that doesn’t allow their pet, these fake vested animals cause damage to the real service dogs and disabled community. Colorado is definitely a dog-friendly state, but the Colorado House unanimously passed a bill that would make it a crime to misrepresent a pet as a service animal.

guide dog

A hearing assistance dog should be able to differentiate sounds like a baby crying, someone knocking at the door, or a phone ringing and lead their owner to the source of that sound. Guide dogs should be able to lead a blind person through traffic and crowds. Sarah Jones is helping make the latter a reality.

On ski patrol for 20 years, and having trained two avalanche dogs, Sarah decided to train a seeing-eye dog for Guide Dogs of America (GDA). She got Kip as an adorable eight-week-old puppy.

“The hardest thing was asking people not to pet the puppy. I signed a contract with GDA, who gave us the puppy to raise,” Sarah says of Kip, with his snuggly black lab face. “There were a lot of rules, leash and obedient rules, and when it was okay to say hello to a person.”

Every month Sarah drove to Cañon City to attend a puppy group for guide dogs. Before she even got Kip, she had to attend multiple pre-puppy meetings. She picked up Kip in December 2015, and raised him for 16 months. “My training with Kip was general. We rode the bus, and we practiced restaurant etiquette,” which meant, like all service dogs, Kip must learn to lie quietly under the table when his owner is eating.

“He does a pretty good job for being a rambunctious puppy. You teach him to sit right at your feet, because they have to do that with their owners.” When Kip wasn’t in his work uniform, his service dog vest, he was just a dog in the house. “When he was in his vest, which was ‘Puppy in Training,’ he behaved differently. He was slightly better in his vest,” because puppies still have puppy energy. She kept Kip in his vest as much as possible when he was in public.

Sarah dropped Kip off in Sylmar, Calif. at Guide Dogs of America when her part of his training was completed and the next intense phase of Kip’s training would begin. “They call it puppy college,” she says, and as hard as it must have been, she feels, “If he passes we’re really going to be excited because he’ll go on to someone who really needs him.”

Sarah doesn’t know how Kip is going to do now that his training is continuing in depth. She doesn’t know if he’ll succeed, and additionally, he has to pass a medical test for joints, disease and allergies. “We have to be prepared to take him back if he doesn’t pass. Ultimately, I want him to go on to be a seeing-eye dog. However, if he doesn’t make it, we’ll take him back and make him a Crested Butte dog. In this town, dogs go everywhere, but not everybody loves animals, so I found that part to be challenging with a rambunctious dog. It’s been a good experience. Raising dogs is good for the soul. You couldn’t ask for a better life for a dog.”

avalanche dog

Having trained her last dog, Thor, as an avalanche search dog, Sarah recalls the time she was an exchange patrol for a season in Courchevel, France, and Thor had a live find in an avalanche rescue.

“Thor was a joint effort between me and [fellow ski patroller] H-Bomb and the ski patrol.” Describing the rest of the local canine team, Sarah says, “Guinness is the rock star searcher and really good at his job. Moose is a special soul. He’s the dog everyone wants. They’re both hard workers, and both are handsome schmansome,” she laughs.

“The dogs are special at work and they have a special life. They’re the PR dogs, the working dogs, and the life of a patrol dog is great. The ski patrollers who take their dogs to work have a special and unique bond between their dog and themselves.”

There are currently four trained avalanche rescue dogs on ski patrol, Moose, Guinness, Penny, and Ziggy, and the new kid on the block, who’s just starting his training, is patroller Karl Plambeck’s puppy, Star.

Dustin Brown has been on CBMR’s ski patrol for 13 years. The avalanche rescue dogs are trained by the patrol team. His dog is Moose, but all the dogs and handlers work together.

Russ Reycraft is lead trainer and head of department who trained everyone else on patrol. Russ has had two or three dogs in the program, according to Dustin, and he’s trained all of them. Russ went to Canada to work with the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Commission (CARDA), which is considered the best, so CBMR Ski Patrol adopts those standards.

Russ returns from all the programs and training to share the knowledge with the other patrol handlers and together they train the elite dog team. The Crested Butte Ski Patrol also hosts a dog school, a weeklong training session that invites other resort patrollers, although most attend from Colorado.

“We have the Canadian CARDA instructors validate our dogs,” and Dustin points out, “Handlers can pass, but a dog can fail, or vice versa.”

The patrol begins training the dogs as soon as they get them. Star was on the mountain at 10 weeks old and Moose was almost eight weeks. Dustin says, “It’s a year-round project. We work on searches and wilderness stuff with them. We can train for avalanche rescue in the summer, especially when they’re young. The dogs start with simple hide and seek games.” With avalanche victims, the dogs are searching for a scent that percolates up from the snow.

“So we work with live people because you want them to find a live burial. In the beginning, we start with people hiding and eventually, by the time the dogs are fully validated, they’re finding an article of clothing or equipment about three feet deep, representing a deep burial for an actual person. The dogs fire on the scent of a real person buried because there’s a large scent. We do bury people on occasion, especially early in the dogs’ training, otherwise a backpack or sweater.”

Dogs are trained to ride lifts, snowmobiles, and toboggans. Most days the dogs and their handlers ride the chair lift up. There’s also the dog box pulled behind a snowmobile for the ride down. “The safest place for the dog is in between our legs with our skis in a wedge.” The protocols are that the patroller has to be full-time for three years and work with an active participant for a season before bringing a dog on to train.

Join us next peek for Part II of Working Like a Dog for a closer look at the lives of cattle dogs and sled dogs. 

20 years and still skiing the Grand Traverse

“Why not?”

by Than Acuff

Pat O’Neill has started all 19 Grand Traverse races, finished 18 of them (equipment malfunction knocked his team out of the 2006 race), won the overall title three times, the coed title once and finished on the podium 11 times. He first heard about the Grand Traverse idea while on a bike ride on trail 400 just below Star Pass the summer of 1997.

“Jan Runge was out hiking with Brian Dale and Jerry Deverell and saw me riding my bike and Jan grabbed my handlebars and asked me what I thought about a ski race where no one has raced before,” says O’Neill. “I said, ‘That would rock.’”

Runge, who was the original race director, asked O’Neill and his friend and traverse partner for several years, Jimmy Faust, to ski the course during the winter of 1997/1998 to give race organizers an idea of how long it would take and the inaugural Elk Mountains Grand Traverse race was held on April 3, 1998 and billed as an “extreme endurance backcountry skiing race.”

The race has come a long way since its inception in 1998. Fifty teams lined up at midnight on the town ranch for the inaugural Elk Mountains Grand Traverse, carrying huge packs and running everything from Kazama skis and Merrill Supercomps boots to a full Nordic set-up. This year close to 220 teams will be lining up at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort for the Gore Tex Grand Traverse presented by Dynafit and Outdoor Research, with a majority of them wearing the latest and greatest in lightweight alpine touring gear with packs barely bigger than a kid’s school backpack but still full of the mandatory gear.

“There were leather boots, telemark skis, scaled skis with edges and a lot of Nordic set-ups,” recalls O’Neill of the beginning years. “The hot ski was the Fischer Superlight and the boot was a Salomon Combi.”

Around the ninth or tenth year of the race, equipment really started to change to what is now the common gear of the Grand Traverse race.

“2007 is when we started to see skimo gear but there was still more Nordic then,” says O’Neill. “2007 to 2009 were the three transition years.”

Twenty years ago teams carried an assortment of food, mostly of the sandwich variety, looking for simple sustenance during the long race. That idea, at least for the perennial leaders, was abandoned during that first race.

“That first year we both had two meatloaf sandwiches but Pierre Wille and Travis Moore smoked the field so hard we didn’t get to eat anything,” says O’Neill. “We basically just carried the sandwiches to Aspen.”

Now, many teams run off of water or electrolyte-replenishing drinks and a variety of power foods such as gels, Gus and whatever happens to be the latest in endurance-athlete–specific foods.

As for conditions, O’Neill has seen it all and watched teams crumble under the stress of mountain weather and backcountry conditions.

“Over the first 19 years we’ve had so many different nights in terms of weather,” says O’Neill. “It’s been too warm, too cold, too snowy, no snow. In 2012 Marshall and I pretty much ran almost all the way to the Friends Hut. In 2009 we probably saw the most intense blizzard I’ve ever seen in my life. Teams folded. It was really intense.”

One of the most lucid of O’Neill’s memories of course conditions comes from the race in 2013, when teams were met with unseasonably warm temperatures.

“The snow hadn’t frozen on the hillside above Trampe’s, and skiers had taken their skis off and were climbing up out of this ravine post-holing to their waists,” describes O’Neill. “It was a full-on zombie apocalypse. It was the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen that guy trying to eat the nachos at a Grateful Dead show.”

According to O’Neill, the difference between finishing and not finishing the race comes down to several factors.

“The course is a man-eater,” says O’Neill. “There’s a variety of factors—darkness, for one. A lot of things can go wrong and some people get too caught up in the race aspect and blow themselves up. It’s still a team race so it’s crucial that they work together as a team. Team members have blown each other up. I’ve been blown up by every person I’ve skied it with.”

As to whether or not the Grand Traverse is just another skimo race, O’Neill feels otherwise.

“I don’t see it as a skimo race,” says O’Neill. “The Koons brothers took third last year on Nordic gear. In 2008 or 2009 Mike Kloser and his partner rolled the dice and did it on Nordic gear and won. The race is never the same. People are changing strategies constantly so I wouldn’t call it a skimo race. I’m all about Nordic skis, splitboards, pogo sticks, whatever.”

After the three overall titles and 11 podiums over 19 years, O’Neill has a handful of reasons why he keeps doing it.

“Why not?” says O’Neill. “It’s the 20th year for Team Alpineer and that store has allowed me to do the race every year. I want to see Al Hadley finish 20—that’s my reason to do it this year. It’s still amazing to me that an event where people are skiing through the middle of the night still fills up in four to five hours. It has some mystique to it.”

You can hear more stories from O’Neill and other past racers and volunteers at the Grand Traverse Legends Night on Thursday, March 23 at the Mallardi Cabaret Theatre starting at 7 p.m.

The big squeeze on both sides

The Mountain Theatre’s executive director Harry Woods made an interesting point at the Crested Butte Town Council meeting last Monday. He asked the council members to think about how the money they would collect from the local non-profits in rent increases would impact the town compared to how letting those non-profits keep that rent money would impact the organizations.

The town is rightfully in the process of updating the leases it has with its non-residential tenants. That has always been a bone of contention and is never an easy conversation. It seems obvious there were cases in the past when the town felt manipulated, taken advantage of and just plain squeezed by some of its tenants. The fact that the majority of leases weren’t even signed and they varied all over the place between various groups makes the effort legitimate. It’s not just the government being a pain in the butt.

But there are consequences. The rent requirement seems to have been the littlest of straws that pushed the county clerk to close the Crested Butte Department of Motor Vehicles office that has been open once or twice a week in town hall since 1999. I’ve used both the CB and the Gunnison office but having it up here is a convenience for people living in the north end of the valley. Most people, I think, see government as government and not specific jurisdictions or individual departments. So as a taxpayer, I appreciate the government having a convenient place for me to do my government business. It makes sense for me that the town provide a space for the county. Should $1,600 a year be a deciding factor to shutter that space? Probably not, but does the town need $1,600 to keep it open? Probably not. The two sides might chat and see if there is a real issue between them. We are one valley after all!

The same logic applies even more so when it comes to the county health department and a place to provide vaccinations and flu shots and especially for the Crested Butte Library. The library is not something to screw with and if charging them $8,000 a year makes them think twice about having that spot up here, there is risk in making that change.

Which goes to the Woods’ point. As a government entity, the town of Crested Butte is pretty flush. Through diligence and hard work, there are literally millions of dollars in reserves. Strong sales tax is what has padded those accounts and I will agree with the consistent advice of town finance director Lois Rozman who for decades has warned every new council that the economy will not always continue on a constant rosy upward trajectory. And it has taken downturns. There is great value in having those reserves in case of an economic or natural disaster.

But Harry is insinuating that charging the Mountain Theatre $5,000 in rent is a rounding error for the town and puts the squeeze on groups like the theatre. There are so many local non-profit groups in this valley that do so much good work and provide a lot of the character of this community. The town itself does as well. But if the town can afford to donate $1 million to the Center for the Arts expansion plus set aside basically a $750,000 line of credit for the Center but squeezes the Mountain Theatre for $5,000 a year, there seems to be something out of balance.

At the same time, it is not unreasonable for the town to get some money for space it owns. They aren’t asking for top dollar — not even Mississippi Delta top dollar let alone resort town top dollar. And let’s admit that all these groups have been getting the screaming deal of a lifetime with little or no rent.  Every organization should pay at least something or provide a direct benefit to its landlord. That’s just a basic tenet of community responsibility and manners. And I’ve been told by some renters that while not ecstatic about a rent increase they know a deal when they see one and are cool with it.

But we all know that if these little lean non-profits have to pay more rent, then you and me and everyone should expect to shell out an extra dollar for the ticket to a play, or expect to listen to another day of the pledge drive since a higher goal will be needed to cover new costs. Or we’ll deal with another few days of someone in a whacky costume selling raffle tickets to raise money for a nonprofit in front of the post office between 11 and 1. It all trickles down eventually.

So while there is no black and white answer to Harry’s question, it is a question the council should certainly consider now that the rubber is meeting the road with the lease and rent adjustments. What is the squeeze balance? We all like having the convenience of the library and the motor vehicle office. We all appreciate the Mountain Theatre, the land trust, the Paragon Gallery, the CB Avy Center and KBUT. Having the big kahuna of the town subsidize its little partners that all provide something good to the overall community is not a bad thing and that will happen with or without these lease adjustments. No one will be forced out because of unreasonable rent hikes. I just wish both sides weren’t feeling the squeeze…

—Mark Reaman

March Madness…crowds, ADUs and snow melt

As I sat in the coffee shop in Mt. Crested Butte Monday morning after skinning up the hill, it was madness. A constant stream of people, primarily families heading toward the ski lifts, coming from the hotels and buses at 8:15 a.m. That stream was continuous and I left about an hour later. Dads with backpacks were carrying four sets of skis. Moms had ski boots in their hands and strapped around their necks. Kids were bundled up in layers and wearing both goggles and sunglasses, while sleepily stumbling toward
the ticket office.

I am always amazed at flatlanders coming to a ski resort on Spring Break, given the hassle
of gear and price compared to a beach vacation where you carry a blanket and a cooler down to the free sand. But I love it and respect them for understanding the call of the mountains. Making memories at 9,000 feet is an adventure. I’ve always said that if our boys hadn’t been born in a ski town, chances are they’d be really good bowlers instead of really good skiers and hockey players.
So when I hear of or witness the sanctimonious local banging on the floundering tourists at Spring Break I shake my head for several reasons. While certainly not at the same level of those who took the plunge and moved here to live in the mountains and ski 100 days a year, these people are trying their best to experience the mountain vibe. Somewhere in their soul is the understanding that mountains are calling. It would have been easier to head to Disneyland, or Moab, on a cruise or to an all-inclusive resort in Mazatlán, but they are here. And if the crusty locals don’t at least appreciate that, they are living in the toocool Crestitude bubble.
Add to the fact that having these throngs a few times a year is what allows the crusty locals to actually stay here year-round and it is absurd to me that there are some who go out of their way to be rude and full of dark attitude to these people. While not always easy, these busy periods might be looked at as the sacrifice zones. Sacrifice zones include a few days or weeks in March, December, August and now, all of July.

Sure, it can get crowded and irritating and it can throw a crusty local on his or her fat bike out of rhythm. But it is during the sacrifice zones that the bank accounts of local business and individual workers get refilled. Yeah, it might be harder to get a slice at 6:30 in the evening or a tall, triple, venti, soy, no foam latte at 7:30 a.m. but just chill and think about June. When someone stops the Suburban at Third and Elk and unloads three families while you are trying to hurry to the post office, think about September. When someone
accidentally bumps into you at the base area and then asks which is the bus to town as the bus with the big “Town Shuttle” signs pulls up, think about January. When someone blows through a stop sign at 30 mph or runs into your kid on the ski hill, by all means, go all crusty Crested Butte on them. That’s just a matter of manners.

But overall, perhaps take a breath in the current chaos and appreciate the big-picture life you live in these mountains. Believe it or not, these people are your soul brothers and sisters trying to taste a slice of your life. Sure, it is surface soul at this point but the search for a kernel of mountain magic is there and that is to be respected.
Another sign of madness in the middle of this March is the quickly receding snowbanks. A
tourist stopped me Monday afternoon and asked about the copious amounts of snow along Maroon Avenue. I explained that a month ago you couldn’t see over the tops of the snowbanks and town was like a series of snow mazes. It blew his mind since he had been to Crested Butte before and had never seen this much snow—and it’s not that much snow anymore. For us, it looks like the remnants of that epic January event are quickly disappearing and we might see some bare ground sooner than any of us would have expected a month ago. Now let’s hope we don’t get the dreaded 100-inch April.

Keeping an eye on the lawsuit between two Crested Butte homeowners and the town over
how stringent the homeowners have to be in renting their accessory dwellings (ADU) is at times maddening. There has been a flurry of lawyering involved as the homeowners, Mr. Mize and Mr. Kiltz, represented by attorney Marcus Lock, have asked the judge for a partial summary judgment to basically dismiss the case with a win for them. The lawyer brought in by the town has responded aggressively (and at times poignantly and humorously) and asked that the judge dismiss the plaintiff’s request or at least issue a stay so that the town lawyers can delve into details in the motion, some of which they indicate they find fishy. Seeing the amount of paperwork involved is March Madness but it can be interesting reading. We’ll let you know when the judge makes a decision in the lawsuit which, as we have always said, could go either way and will have broad ramifications on affordable housing ADUs in town.

Anyway, with still sweet snow, afternoon sunshine and temperatures in the 40s, this is not a bad time of year. Yeah, we have to share it with a lot of people we don’t recognize but that’s the deal we all made choosing to live in a tourist ski town. It’s probably still pretty quiet over in Pitkin. It ain’t all bad so don’t let yourself spiral into the crusty hole of bad attitude. Instead, enjoy the spring, fill up the bank account and think about your off-season trip to the desert, or the beach, or the all-inclusive, where you too will be a tourist. As for the standard March Madness: I have Villanova and Louisville in the final game with Villanova taking it. Write it down.

—Mark Reaman

Benchtalk: March 10, 2017

Soccer for MV

Lace ‘em up for the Stephen Gardner Memorial Indoor Soccer Tournament, Battle for MV on Saturday, March 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Crested Butte Community School. It’s $150 per team, at least six players per team recommended, and there will be a comp and rec division. Just show up that morning and we’ll get you in. All proceeds go to help Michael Villanueva and his medical bills. Plus, play in the tournament and you get free entry to the MV fundraiser that night at Kochevar’s where there will be live music, silent auction items and a really fun time.

Writer’s workshop at GAC

Show don’t tell: in the creative writing world, you hear that all the time. But what does that mean? In this workshop with WritingStrides coach Alissa Johnson, take a deep dive into what that really means, why it matters and how to do it. Come ready to write! Wednesday, March 15, 7 to 8:15 p.m. $20. Pre-register at http://www.gunnisonartscenter.org/ or by calling 970-641-4029.

Leftover Salmon to headline Ski Town Breakdown

Crested Butte Mountain Resort is hosting the annual Ski Town Breakdown on Saturday, March 18. Now in its seventh season, this year’s show brings in Colorado jamgrass revolutionaries with Crested Butte roots, Leftover Salmon. The concert is free for all to enjoy springtime sunshine and quintessential Colorado music after a great day on the slopes. Ski Town Breakdown starts around 4:30 p.m. giving everyone plenty of time to ski and ride, and then celebrate the day with a beverage, warm sunshine and outstanding live music.

Essential Oils workshop at CB Library Tuesday

On Tuesday, March 14, the Crested Butte Library will present “Change your Life with Essential Oils: An Introduction Workshop,” at 7 p.m. Are you curious about detoxing your home of chemicals, keeping your family healthy, and supporting your own emotions? If you are, then please come for an introduction to essential oils and find out how these little bottles of wonder can change your life. All participants to this free workshop will go home with a handmade concoction.

Senior state hockey game selection

Titan hockey player and Gunnison High School student Josh Wallin was picked to represent the team at the CHSAA state senior game this weekend.

Watch yourself some art

Artists of Crested Butte present ArtWalk Weekend, featuring a schedule of 18 artist process demonstrations. Beginning Friday, March 17 at 5 p.m. and continuing throughout the weekend until Sunday, March 19 at 4 p.m. Come visit with our local artists to experience the diverse creative expressions they have to offer.

Family Game Night this Friday at the CB Library

The first Family Game Night at the Crested Butte Library will be held this Friday, March 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be games available for all ages. Your hosts will throw on some tunes and break out the boards, so munch on some snacks and have some family fun. Children under nine years of age must be accompanied by a responsible parent or caregiver when at the library.

Birthdays:

March 9- Jeff Martin, Jerry Heal, Bill Crank, Audrey Lypps, Hillary Moon, Vicki Rowland

March 10- Leta Maunz, Katy Taylor, Bailey Valian

March 11- Tracy VanSickle, Carol Colman

March 12- Brooke MacMillen, Lindsey Siera Gross, Pete Curvin, Dave Swanwick, Dony Miller, Steph Prater, Forrest Leas, Jennifer Golsby, Vincent Michel, Heidi Jobson, Bonnie Lynn

March 13- Martha Gabel, Posey Nelson. Renee Emmitt

March 14- John Hickey, Renee Wright, Sue Navy, Laura Welch

March 15- Caren Caroll, Carolyn Helm, Lisa Smith, Nina Madden, Chris Wiig, Greg Wiggins, Kevin Reinert, Ben Reaman

CONGRATULATIONS: Kathryn Spirito and Colin Lamberton were married at Gunsight Bridge on September 16, 2016. photo by Third Eye Photography
CONGRATULATIONS: Matt Ryan and Isa Weismann-Horther were married at Ten Peaks on June 11, 2016. photo by Third Eye Photography
HARVEST BABY: Elora Juniper West was born to Vinotok Harvest Mother Arielle Watkins and Calvin West on December 4, 2016 at 7:43 a.m. weighing 6 lbs. 12 oz. and measuring 24 inches. photo by Lydia Stern
NEW BUSINESS: Rooted Apothecary, located on Elk Avenue next to Retail Therapy, offers a variety of homemade organic & wildcrafted herbal body care products, plus clothing, jewelry, bodywork and energy work. photo by Lydia Stern

Cameo question: Why do you race?

To go fast.
Jenna Paller
Because it’s really fun.
Colin Hutchins
For the competitiveness.
Jack Fletcher
To go really really really fast!
Kai Hamilton
For the love of the sport.
Sawer Clegg

Community calendar Thursday, March 9–Wednesday, March 15

THURSDAY 9
• 7 a.m. Core Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8 a.m. Ecumenical Meditation at UCC.
• 8:30 a.m. Women’s book discussion group at UCC.
• 8:45 a.m. Indoor Biking at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Gunnison County Branch Office is open at the Crested Butte Town Offices.
• 10 a.m. Mothering Support Group at Oh Be Joyful Church. (last Thursday of every month)
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. Yoga Basics at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 11:30 p.m. Duplicate Bridge at UCC. 349-1008.
• noon All Saints in the Mountain Episcopal Church Community Healing Service at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church. 349-9371.
• noon-1 p.m. BUTI Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 12:30-1:30 p.m. Intro to Prana Vinyasa Level 1 with Monica at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 4-5:30 p.m. St. Mary’s Garage, a free thrift store. 300 Belleview, Unit 2, on the south end of 3rd Street. 970-318-6826.
• 4:30-6 p.m. Crested Butte Community Food Bank open at Oh Be Joyful Church. (first and third Thursday of every month)
• 5:30 p.m. Communion Service at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 5:30-6:45 p.m. Lunar Prana Vinyasa Level Open with Jackie at Yoga For The
Peaceful.
• 5:45 p.m. Zumba at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 5:45-7 p.m. Evening Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 6:30 p.m. AA Open Meditation at UCC.
• 7 p.m. Women Supporting Women Group Discussion at the Nordic Inn.
• 7:30 p.m. Narcotics Anonymous meets at 114 N. Wisconsin St. in Gunnison.

FRIDAY 10
• 6:30 a.m. All Levels Iyengar Yoga Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 7:30 a.m. Barre Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:30 a.m. Alanon at UCC Parlour (in back). 349-6482.
• 8:45 a.m. Core Power Yoga Class at the Pump Room.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Yoga for the Flexibly Challenged / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9-10:30 a.m. Solar Prana Vinyasa Level 2/3 with Stacey at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 9 a.m.-noon Open Clay Workshops at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts. 349-7044. (runs through March 31)
• noon Closed AA at UCC.
• noon-1 p.m. Vinyasa Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• noon-1:15 p.m. Restorative Yoga at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 1 p.m. Art group meets at the Senior Center. 641-4529.
• 4:30-5:30 p.m. Aprés Ski Yoga Level Open at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 5:15-6:15 p.m. Freestyle Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 5:30 p.m. Communion Service at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 6-7 p.m. Poi Playshop at the Pump Room.

SATURDAY 11
• 7-8:15 a.m. Ashtanga Level 2/3 with Joe at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 7:30 a.m. Open AA at UCC.
• 7:45 a.m. Weights and Indoor Biking Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Solar Prana Vinyasa Level 2 with Jackie at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 9-10 a.m. Core Power / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9-10:30 a.m. Community Yoga at the Sanctuary Yoga & Pilates Studio, Gunnison.
• 9 a.m.-noon Open Sewing Workshops at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts. 349-7044. (runs through April 1)
• 10-11 a.m. Hip Hop Community Dance Class at the Pump Room (above Fire House on 3rd & Maroon). 415-225-5300.
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. Slow Flow at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. St. Mary’s Garage, a free thrift store. 300 Belleview, Unit 2, on the south end of 3rd Street. 970-318-6826.
• 11 a.m. Narcotics Anonymous meeting at 114 Wisconsin Street. 970-201-1133.
• 6:30-7:30 p.m. Guided Sound Meditiation at 405 4th Street.

SUNDAY 12
• 7-8 a.m. Meditation at Yoga For The Peaceful, by donation.
• 8:30 a.m. Mass at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 9 a.m. Worship Service at Oh-Be-Joyful Church.
• 9 a.m. Worship Service at Union Congretional Church. 349-6405.
• 9-10:15 a.m. Slow Flow at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 9:30-11 a.m. Free Class / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Backcountry Bistro at Magic Meadows yurt on the Nordic trail system. Trail pass required. www.cbnordic.org. (runs through March 26)
• 4-5:15 p.m. CBCYC Community Book Club at 405 4th Street.
• 5-6 p.m. All Saints in the Mountain Episcopal Eucharist at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church. 349-9371.
• 5-7 p.m. Pick-up Adult Basketball. HS Gym, CBCS.
• 5:30-7 p.m. Restorative Yoga at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 6 p.m. AA meets at UCC.
• 6 p.m. Evening Service at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 711 N. Main St., Gunnison.
• 6:30 p.m. Duplicate Bridge at UCC. 349-1008.
• 7 p.m. Gamblers Anonymous meets at the Last Resort.

MONDAY 13
• 7 a.m. Barre Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45 a.m. Pilates at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9-10:30 a.m. Lunar Prana Vinyasa Level 2/3 with Jackie at Yoga For the Peaceful.
• 10:15-11:45 a.m. Hatha Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• noon-1 p.m. Yoga Basics at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• noon-1 p.m. Lunch Break Therapeutic Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 12:45 p.m. Bridge at the Senior Center. 641-4529.
• 1-4 p.m. Monthly Watercolor Workshop at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts. 349-7044.
• 4-7:30 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for children and adults with West Elk Martial Arts, Jerry’s Gym at Town Hall. 901-7417.
• 5 p.m. Mothering Support Group at the GVH Education House, 300 East Denver St. (first Monday of every month)
• 5:15-6:15 p.m. Hatha Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 5:30 p.m. Communion Service at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 5:30-6:45 p.m. Yin Yoga Nidra at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 5:30-7 p.m. Moms in Motion class at the GVH rehab gym.
• 5:30-7:30 p.m. Portrait Painting at the Art Studio of the Center for the Arts. 349-7044. (runs through April 10)
• 5:45 p.m. Boot Camp at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 6:15-6:45 p.m. Free Sound Meditation / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 6:30-8 p.m. Women’s Domestic Violence Support Group at Project Hope. Childcare available upon request. 641-2712.
• 7:30 p.m. Open AA at UCC. 349-5711.
• 7:30 p.m. Narcotics Anonymous meets at 114 N. Wisconsin St. in Gunnison.

TUESDAY 14
• 6-7 a.m. Meditation at Yoga For The Peaceful, by donation.
• 7 a.m. Core Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 7:30 a.m. AA/Alanon Open at UCC. 349-5711.
• 8:45 a.m. Indoor Biking at The Gym. 349-5288.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa at Yoga for the Peaceful.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Vinyasa Flow / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Gunnison County branch office is open at the Crested Butte Town Offices, 507 Maroon Ave.
• 10:15-11:45 a.m. Hatha Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. Yoga Basics at Yoga for the Peaceful.
• 11:30 a.m. League of Women Voters meeting at 210 W. Spencer in Gunnison.
• noon AA Closed at UCC.
• noon-1 p.m. Ashtanga Vinyasa / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 12:30-1:30 p.m. Iyengar Yoga at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tech Tuesdays at Old Rock Library. 349-6535.
• 4-5:30 p.m. St. Mary’s Garage, a free thrift store. 300 Belleview, Unit 2, on the south end of 3rd Street. 970-318-6826.
• 5:30 p.m. Communion Service at Queen of All Saints Church.
• 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cocktails & Canvases with the Art Studio at the Center for the Arts lobby. 349-7044.
• 5:30-6:45 p.m. Slow Flow at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 5:45 p.m. All Levels Iyengar Yoga Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 5:45-7 p.m. Gentle Restorative Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 6-8 p.m. Figure Drawing Sessions with a live model in Downtown Crested Butte. 349-7228.
• 7 p.m. Alanon meeting at the Last Resort.
• 7-8:30 p.m. Blessing Way Circle support group at Sopris Women’s Clinic.
720-217-3843.
• 7:15-8:15 p.m. Dharma Punx Meditation / CB Co-op at 405 6th Street.
• 7:45-9:45 p.m. Drop-in Adult Volleyball, CBCS MS Gym.

WEDNESDAY 15
• 6:30 a.m. All Levels Iyengar Yoga Class at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 7:30 a.m. The Crested Butte / Mt. Crested Butte Rotary Club breakfast meeting in the Shavano Conference Room at the Elevation Hotel.
• 8:45 a.m. Mat Mix at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 8:45-10 a.m. Kundalini Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 9-10:30 a.m. Solar Prana Vinyasa Level Open with Monica at Yoga For The
Peaceful.
• 9:30 a.m. Mah Jong at the Senior Center. 641-4529.
• 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Two Buttes Senior Citizens van transportation. Roundtrip to Gunnison. Weather permitting. Call first for schedule and availability. 275-4768.
• 10:15-11:30 a.m. Forrest Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• noon Closed AA at UCC.
• noon-1 p.m. Power Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• noon-1 p.m. Prana Vinyasa Express Level 1/2 with Stacey at Yoga For The
Peaceful.
• 1-2 p.m. Tai Chi at Town Hall. 349-7197.
• 4-7:30 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for children and adults with West Elk Martial Arts, Jerry’s Gym at Town Hall. 901-7417.
• 5 p.m. Mass at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church.
• 5:15-6:15 p.m. Hatha Yoga / CB Co-op at Town Hall.
• 5:30 p.m. Prenatal Yoga class in Crested Butte South. 349-1209.
• 5:45 p.m. Boot Camp at The Gym. 349-2588.
• 6-7:15 p.m. Slow Flow at Yoga For The Peaceful.
• 7-9 p.m. “GriefShare,” a grief recovery seminar and support group, meets at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 711 N. Main St., Gunnison. 970-349-7769.
• 6:30 p.m. Alanon at UCC Parlour (in back). 4th and Maroon. 349-6482.
• 8-9:30 p.m. Adult Indoor Soccer in the CBCS HS Gym. 349-7197.

Events & Entertainment

THURSDAY 9
• 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tea time with Rabbi-Cantor Robbi at the T-Bar on Elk Avenue.
• 12:30-1:45 p.m. Free seminar: Emotional Intelligence & Leadership vs Management at the ICELab at Western State College University.
• 4-6 p.m. Rabbi-Cantor Robbi Sherwin will present a discussion on the Adelman Torah at the WCSU Student Center 2nd floor fireplace lounge.
• 6-8 p.m. Choice Pass Dinner: Adolescent Development and tips for staying connected at the Fred Field Center in Gunnison.
• 6-8 p.m. Crested Butte Land Trust community meeting at the Fred Field Center in Gunnison.
• 7 p.m. The Red Lady Ramblers play at the first night of the Double-Header 40th Anniversary Red Lady Salvation Ball at the Eldo, the Red Lady will be crowned after the raffle around 9:15 p.m.
• 7:30 p.m. SonofaGunn National Buffoon’s Staycation at the Gunnison Arts Center.
• 8 p.m. Ladies Night at the Red Room.
• 9 p.m. Martin Sexton plays at the Center for the Arts.

FRIDAY 10
• 8 a.m. Gunnison Valley Transporation Authority meeting at the Commissioner’s Room in the Gunnison County Courthouse.
• 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Grab a hot drink with Rabbi-Cantor Robbi at the BWC Café (previously Camp4Coffee) in Mountaineer Square at CBMR.
• 3:45-4:45 p.m. Bnai Butte Hebrew School will meet at the Crested Butte Community School with Rabbi-Cantor Robbi as a guest teacher.
• 5 p.m. CB Youth For Change “Stand With Standing Rock Native Nations March.” Meet in front of Rumor’s
• 6 p.m. Celebrate Purim and Shabbat dinner at the home of Scott & Josephine Nelson, 313 Maroon Ave. 970-349-5211.
• 6-9 p.m. Family Game Night at the Crested Butte Library.
• 7 p.m. Banff Mountain Film Festival plays at the Center for the Arts.
• 7:30 p.m. SonofaGunn National Buffoon’s Staycation at the Gunnison Arts Center.
• 7:30-9:30 p.m. Blue Recluse plays in the Kincaid Concert Hall at Quigley Hall at WSCU.
• 10 p.m. String Cheese Incident plays the 40th annual Red Lady Salvation Ball at the Eldo (sold out).

SATURDAY 11
• 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Grab a hot drink with Rabbi-Cantor Robbi at the BWC Café (previously Camp4Coffee) in Mountaineer Square at CBMR.
• 5 p.m. Silent auction at Ruben’s followed by music from Kung Pao, Gun Rack and special guests at Kochevar’s starting at 9 p.m. to benefit Micheal Villanueva.
• 5-8 p.m. 4th annual Empty Bowls Hunger Awareness Dinner at McGill’s. 970-641-7720, ext. 6503.
• 6 p.m. Dinner & a Play: SonofaGunn at The Blue Table.
• 7 p.m. Banff Mountain Film Festival plays at the Center for the Arts.
• 7:30 p.m. SonofaGunn National Buffoon’s Staycation at the Gunnison Arts Center.
• 10 p.m. The Heard plays at The Red Room.
• 10 p.m. Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapon play at the Eldo.

SUNDAY 12
• 4-6 p.m. Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival Kickoff Party at Trackers Lounge at Mountaineer Square.
• 5-7 p.m. Full Moon Party at the Umbrella Bar at CBMR.

MONDAY 13
• 5:30 p.m. Financial Literacy Series: “10 Simple Things to Know About Money” at the Crested Butte Community School 349-6535.
• 7 p.m. Sohrob plays at the Princess Wine Bar.
• 8 p.m. 1984 Book Discussion at Townie Books.
• 8 p.m. Open Mic Night at the Eldo.

TUESDAY 14
• 10 a.m. High Country Conservation Advocates educational snowshoe tour, meet at the Crested Butte Nordic Center.
• 11:30 a.m. League of Women Voters water update meeting with Frank Kugel in the conference room at the UGRWCD office, 210 W. Spencer St., Gunnison.
• 4-8 p.m. CBCS Research Symposium to debate: What is the greatest problem facing your generation? in the CBCS Library.
• 6 p.m. Wine for the Unpretentious wine class: Sonoma Savy with Mountain Spirits Liquor at McGill’s
• 7 p.m. Books-N-Bars at Tully’s. 349-6535.
• 7 p.m. Change your Life with Essential Oils: An Introduction Workshop at the Crested Butte Library.

WEDNESDAY 15
• 2-3:30 p.m. Free Town Race Series: Giant Slalom Race on Buckley at CBMR to benefit the CB Snowsports Foundation. 349-2217.
• 5:30 p.m. Philosophy on Tap at the Brick Oven. 349-6535.
• 7 p.m. Writer’s Workshop at the Gunnison Arts Center: Show Don’t Tell.
• 8 p.m. Quiz for a Cause for Living Journeys Trivia Night at the Brick Oven.

Kid’s Calendar

THURSDAY 9
• 9 a.m. Munchkin’s Music & Dance Class in the High Attitude Dance Academy in Gunnison.
• 10 a.m. Munchkin’s Music & Dance Class in the High Attitude Dance Academy in Gunnison.
• 10-11:30 a.m. Tumblebugs in Jerry’s Gym in Town Hall (ages 4 & under) 349-7197.

FRIDAY 10
• 11 a.m. Big Kids Storytime for ages 3 and up at the Crested Butte Library.
• 3:45-5:15 p.m. Trailhead After School – Advanced Art Drawing Skills at The Art Studio. 349-7160. (runs through March 10)
• 4-5 p.m. Tang Soo Do Martial Arts classes for youth with West Elk Martial Arts, Town Hall Fitness Room. 901-7417.

SATURDAY 11
• 1:45-3:45 p.m. Crested Butte Book Binders at the Crested Butte Library, ages 9-13. (every 2nd and 4th Saturday)

MONDAY 13
• 3:45-5 p.m. Messy Mondays for school aged kids at the Crested Butte Library. (kids younger than 8 must be accompanied by an adult)
• 3:45-5:15 p.m. Trailhead After School Semi-Private Wheel Throwing at The Art Studio. 349-7160. (runs through March 20)
• 4-7:30 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for children and adults with West Elk Martial Arts, Jerry’s Gym at Town Hall. 901-7417.
• 4:45 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for juniors at Town Hall. 901-7417.

TUESDAY 14
• 9:30 a.m. Munchkin’s Music and Dance Class in the Fitness Room at Town Hall. 349-9639.
• 3:45-5 p.m. Tween Scene (ages 8-12) at the Crested Butte Library.

WEDNESDAY 15
• 9:30 a.m. Munchkin’s Music and Dance Class in the Fitness Room at Town Hall. 349-9639.
• 10-10:45 a.m. Art Babies at The Trailhead Children Musuem. 349-7160.
• 11 a.m. Baby & Toddler Literacy Time at the Crested Butte Library.
• 11:15-12:15 a.m. Toddler Art at The Trailhead Children Musuem. 349-7160.
• 3:45-5:15 p.m. Trailhead After School Art and Play. 349-7160. (runs through March 15)
• 4-7:30 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for children and adults with West Elk Martial Arts, Jerry’s Gym at Town Hall. 901-7417.
• 4:45 p.m. Tang Soo Do classes for juniors at Town Hall. 901-7417.

Profile: Kirsten Atkins

by Dawne Belloise

Kirsten Atkins has been on skis since she was four years old and shussing down Killington’s slopes in Vermont, where she got her first season pass in 1972 at the age of seven.

photo by Brian Barker

The family lived in Connecticut but had a small place at the resort. “We had a tiny ski chalet at Killington, with brown and orange furniture, thick shag carpet and bunks for you and all your cousins,” Kirsten remembers. “We’d drive up on weekends and it didn’t matter what the weather was like.” Her parents would load up the car and the three kids and drive up Friday night. “We were always a ski family and involved in kids’ ski programs. I was on the Killington freestyle team from the time I was nine to when I was 13 years old,” but Kirsten confesses that she wasn’t that competitive and by the time she was 13, like any teenager, “I just wanted to ski with my friends.”

Kirsten graduated from high school in 1983 and moved to Killington so she could ski more and take advantage of the drinking age, which was 18 back then. To support her ski habit, she worked as a cocktail waitress at a dance club for a couple of years.

“My poor mother,” Kirsten shakes her head. “I look at 18 year olds now and they’re so young to be in an environment like that,” she says, but adds that she’s glad to have had that experience in her life. “Everything you do prepares you for the next thing in life, right?”

After her two “gap” years, Kirsten enrolled at the University of Denver and moved to the Mile High City. Her first thought was that she wanted a career in hotel and restaurant management.

“But then, I was taking all these anthropology and psychology classes and realized I was more passionate about those studies than my business classes.” In her freshman year, she opted out of skiing in order to get serious about studying.

She quickly realized that was a mistake, which she corrected the following year by taking the winter semester off and moving to Steamboat. When she returned to her classes in 1987, her friends decided that taking the winter semester off to hit the slopes was a brilliant idea; however, Steamboat didn’t allow snowboarders and her buddies were riders.

“Telluride housing was too expensive so we checked out Crested Butte on the way back to school. I came to Crested Butte, with my little clan of friends, where housing was affordable but super tight. We moved into a house next to the tennis courts… three bedrooms for seven people. And here begins my story with the Adaptive Sports Center [ASC].”

Kirsten responded to an ad in the paper for volunteers for the Crested Butte Physically Challenged Ski Program, which was the precursor of the Adaptive Sports Center. The program was born in February 1987 and Kirsten joined up with the fledging organization that November.

“It was their first full season and we were all volunteers at that point. Mary Cain and Robin Norton were the founding mothers of the program. I got involved because my older brother Keith is on the autism spectrum. Autism is a broad category of people, from quite high functioning to people who are nonverbal. My brother is pretty high functioning. I grew up as the sibling of a person with a cognitive disorder and I grew up skiing, so they were two big important parts of who I am. I got excited about volunteering for the program. We did 33 lessons that winter. Luckily, I had another job—working at the China Garden in the Elk Mountain Lodge as a waitress. I also worked at the Eldo and the Gourmet Noodle.”

When she started her volunteer work at ASC, the world of adaptive skiing was new as a sport and Kirsten has seen many changes and its evolution. “One of the biggest things that I see throughout the years is the technology advancements. It’s been an incredible thing to watch. The other part is, over the years we were experimenting with ideas, we’d look at a student and try to figure out how to make skiing happen for them.”

Kirsten and the team of volunteers used their innovation and lots of duct tape, pieces of foam and bits of everything. “I don’t have an engineering mind but luckily there were people who did and were developing this equipment. A lot of the designing was driven by people with disabilities who wanted to ski and had engineering minds.”

Some of those first pieces of equipment are conserved in the Crested Butte Museum. “I’m the program pack rat,” Kirsten laughs and explains that the history and development of the Adaptive program, its origins and how it evolved, are extremely important to her, and it’s important to educate the public.

This year, the ASC celebrates its 30th anniversary of improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through outdoor adventures. They’ve developed policies and guidelines born out of the experience of its three decades.

Kirsten recalls that in the ASC’s embryonic start, she didn’t have a lot of mentors and they had no trainers, yet the mentors who were there taught her well. New employees and volunteers at Adaptive now go through rigorous training in a variety of skills before they are allowed to take out a lesson.

“Look at the growth and development of this community,” Kirsten points out. “Thirty years ago, the streets were dirt, and people still talk about what it was like back in the day. The Adaptive program has grown up with the community and with the huge support of this community. Our program is incredibly blessed to have had that sort of support. Even when the economy crashed in 2008, we were a little nervous about how our fundraising efforts were going to go but we were able to raise what we needed.”

Kirsten’s role at Adaptive has been in training and as a snow sports supervisor. “Over the years, I developed into the then-undefined leadership role, and I wasn’t the only one in that role. I started giving training clinics for the newbies coming in. In the mid-1990s, I went to Scotland and Austria, working for the Uphill Ski Club of Great Britain, which is now the Disabled Sports UK. I trained instructors and volunteer trainings for four winters, and also taught British people with disabilities. I had only four or five instructors for 12 to 15 clients, whereas at Adaptive we had one-on-one.”

Kirsten would drive “a big ol’ van loaded with a bunch of equipment from Scotland to Austria. We’d have four or five weeks of ‘holiday makers,’ as the clients were called. I got to live in Austria and teach and meet all kinds of interesting people. I’d work part of the season there and part here in Crested Butte. We were sort of celebrities over in Scotland because not a lot of instructors were going over there at that time. We were really well treated and we were invited to all the Highland dances. I got to experience awesome culture in both Scotland and Austria.”

In the late 1990s, Adaptive took their programming to Argentina and Kirsten started teaching training clinics down there in late August 1997. They’d schlep tons of equipment because, in those early days, United Airlines would give Adaptive an unlimited baggage waiver. Kirsten tells of one year when four instructors took 19 pieces of luggage. “We would take sit skis and wrap them in shrink wrap. Some of the equipment would stay and some we brought back with us.”

She spent a couple of winter months in Argentina for 10 consecutive years, focusing on teaching the instructors and volunteers and helping them groom their own programs. “I was focusing on an education curriculum for the instructors there and we developed an instructor certification program and helped facilitate the Argentine Ski Instructor Association,” Kirsten explains.

ASC began to take its own USA clients to Argentina as part of their Adaptive Adventure Travel program in early 2000.

Overall, Adaptive Sports currently conducts about 6,000 lessons a year of both winter and summer programs. Kirsten notes that things have changed a bit. “We now have highly trained, certified and qualified staff, and lots of volunteers. In the winter, we have about 28 pass volunteers [those who are given season ski passes] and we have upwards of 100 in the winter programs.”

The group program has expanded and the groups are now the backbone of their program. There are various disabled veterans’ groups, like Operation Rise and Conquer, which is one of the veteran programs funded through ASC and through generous donors.

There is the Roger Pepper Camp for teenage burn survivors, one of the long-running camps of Adaptive. From the teen burn survivor camp comes the DC Burn Foundation, a firefighters’ group of survivors.

“We have groups that come from rehab hospitals with spinal cord and head injuries and also various research hospitals that work with MS and multiple disabilities. We have tons of different kids’ groups. A couple of weekends ago we had a group called Joy School in Texas—they’re children with learning disabilities. A lot of the groups come both summer and winter,” Kirsten says.

Summer programs offer biking, water sports, like canoeing on Irwin Lake, or camping, hiking, and rock climbing (they have ice climbing in the winter).

Adaptive recently moved into their new home office in town on Belleview, where they now have a fleet of vehicles. ASC is in the process of building a new facility on the mountain, moving their offices from the Treasury Building, where they’ve been for 28 years. “It’s a far cry from our first winter in the Emmons building in essentially a closet,” Kirsten laughs, adding that they’ve been there so long that, “We’ve circumnavigated the entire lower level of the Treasury Building, basically taking over, so, it’s time to get out of there. There are innovative and progressive spaces being designed into the new building.”

Last winter, Kirsten made a big decision: “So, here we are, it’s my 30th winter here. I had been in the leadership role since Adaptive’s early days, and now, I’ve decided to take a step back. I didn’t want to leave the program because it’s part of my heart and soul, part of my fabric and community here. I’ve been passionate about it my whole life, especially growing up with a brother with a disability. I still work for the Professional Ski Instructors Association–RM [Rocky Mountain], the certification and education for snow sports, and I’ve been working for them for 10 years.”

Although she’s not leaving the program she loves, Kirsten and her hubby, Heath, are working on an exciting new venture. “We’ve bought 73 acres across from Crested Butte South and we’re working to develop the Crested Butte Horse Park. Our vision is to create a safe facility for horse and rider, with the expectation for it to be of high quality, aesthetically pleasing, as green as possible and promote equine lessons and services.”

This past December, Kirsten was honored with an induction into the Disabled Sports USA Hall of Fame. It’s an online national recognition that acknowledges the efforts of both athletes and instructors throughout the entire country, inducting one athlete and one instructor each year. Kirsten feels that there are many more sports that can be expanded to enrich the lives of the disabled. And after 30 years, she’s still there to help create that.

Boys hoops season comes to abrupt end

Suffer loss in first round of districts

by Than Acuff

I can’t lie. I’ve seen a fair number of Crested Butte Titans basketball losses over the past several years but the boys’ loss Tuesday night to Center in the first round of the post season may have stung the most.

Things were clicking for the Titans this year. They started executing the game coach Brandin Hamilton had been coaching and the personnel was in place with senior David Wasinger as a post player, and junior Joseph Cummins and senior Noah Dumas as perimeter threats. Senior Jake Monroe filled his role as a defensive specialist, Jovany Aguirre stepped into a starting position as a sophomore with a knack for rebounds and a deceptively potent shot and then a quality bench with sophomores Michael Winn, Tommy Linehan and junior Quinn Farnell all able to come off the bench to fill gaps and make key plays whether it was chasing down loose balls to set up baskets or scoring when everyone else was shut down.

The team started hitting their rhythm rattling off a handful of big wins as they started taking down perennial league stalwarts that had spent the past several years crushing the Titans.

The season took a brief turn for the worse on Friday, February 17 when they headed to Sargent and got handed a 61-29 loss.

“We had a horrible week of practice and just weren’t really ready for that game,” says Hamilton. “We weren’t ourselves and they jumped on us.”

Somehow though, after resorting to their old bad habits and losing, the Titans took the floor Saturday, February 18 to face Del Norte, the number two ranked team in the state, and came out guns blazing. The Titans jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first quarter attacking the basket and running their offense while Del Norte shooters struggled.

“We caught them off guard and that made Del Norte uncomfortable,” says Hamilton.

Del Norte came back to take the lead in the second half but Winn drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to breathe life back into the Titans upset hopes.

“We got a couple of guys that, when we needed big buckets, got them, and that’s what gave us a chance,” says Hamilton.

Del Norte’s star player caught fire in the second quarter and carried it into the third quarter to help Del Norte build a 12-point lead, but rather than fold and eventually lose by 20 points, the Titans battled back to cut the lead down to six points with a minute left. Del Norte ultimately held on for the 43-37 win as they managed to stave off a couple of last gasps from the Titans. The Titans got balanced scoring with Cummins coring 11, and Wasinger and Dumas each scoring 10.

“I thought it was a great game for us,” says Hamilton. “We were right there but we didn’t capitalize on the few chances we got. I think in that game we solidified our strategy offensively and what was working.”

While missing out on a huge upset to close the season was rough, the team played like it was ready for a postseason run and opened the playoffs against Center on Tuesday, February 21.

The first minute of the game told a different story though as Center came out determined to avenge their loss to the Titans earlier this year. Center built a 9-2 lead in the first minute before Hamilton called a time out to quash the rally. The Titans came out of the break to climb back paced by a couple of three pointers from Cummins and a 10 foot jumper from Winn to cut Center’s lead down to three by the end of the quarter.

Wasinger then went to town in the second quarter scoring seven points as well as kicking the ball out of traffic to Aguirre for a huge three-pointer. A steal then led to a lay up from Dumas to close the half and Crested Butte was up 22-19 going into halftime.

Aguirre hit another three-pointer in the early minutes of the third period and the Titans were poised to continue building on their lead. Center adjusted though as their top player started creating baskets, their big guys inside dominated the boards and their defense through Crested Butte out of sync.

“We never could get comfortable on offense,” says Hamilton.

Winn hit a couple more buckets but Center took control to take a 35-29 lead into the fourth quarter. Two more three-pointers from Aguirre sparked a comeback for the Titans as they tied the game 37-37 but untimely turnovers by the Titans and Center’s penchant for rebounding held the Titans back. Center hit a couple of free throws down the stretch to edge out a 49-47 win over Crested Butte. Aguirre led the team with 15 points, Wasinger finished with 14 and Cummins with 10 points.

“Offensively we were clunky and when we were up in the third quarter, we just stopped executing offensively,” says Hamilton. “Once Center took the lead, we just started clock-watching. It was so frustrating.”

Closing out his sixth year at the helm, Hamilton is proud of what his players accomplished this year.

“I think these guys played to their potential,” says Hamilton. “This year we proved that we could be on the court with anybody and that was fun.”

Profile: Julia Brazell

A path of her own

by Dawne Belloise

Julia Brazell was only four years old when KBUT community radio got its call letters in 1986, riding on the heels of Earth Station, which was operating on the cable system from 1977 through 1982. Her father, Lonesome Bob, one of the original deejays at Earth Station, got his start as an FM radio deejay when KBUT was born and still spins the tunes on his long-running Friday afternoon show.

photo by Lydia Stern

When Julia and her younger sister, Robin, were kids, they’d help their dad with his show, donning the headsets and making on-air announcements. “I have this vague memory of being a small child and being told by staff deejays that when I spoke into the mic, everyone could hear, including Santa. It was terrifying,” Julia laughs about her radio stage-fright. “I was a pretty shy child, anyway. Before that I would get on the mic and parrot my dad. It was all fun. I was fascinated with the equipment.”

Julia was born at the Gunnison hospital to parents Bob and Denise, who had moved to Crested Butte in 1972. Bob owned Crested Butte Auto with Donny Glover, and her mom worked at the Crested Butte Lodge.

Julia recalls how magical the town was back then, especially for a kid. “As soon as I was out of diapers, I learned to ski,” she says of the common practice for barely walking Crested Butte toddlers. “And I got to ski all the time. I learned to ski through the town recreation program with Sherry Vandervoort and Jerry Deverall, among others.”

Summer brought cruising around town with friends and family. “My mom’s brother was Brian Griffith, who married Liver, so my cousin was Mandy. When I was a child, they lived right next door so the three of us [Julia, Robin and Mandy] ran around the neighborhood. Our parents would send us on scavenger hunts that they’d call Peewee’s Big Adventure. They’d send us out to find random things,” Julia says.

She fondly remembers that it was a childhood spent in carefree Crested Butte, a kid’s world of dreams and youthful mischief. “We’d steal strawberries and rhubarb from Paul Redden’s yard and eat them,” Julia laughs. She grew up watching softball games, where the whole town was on a team, including the kids. “We played softball growing up through the town rec and we rode our bikes everywhere.”

In junior high school, Julia competed in Odyssey of the Mind, “It’s a geeky thing that kids do. I was on a team and went to the state championships. When I was in high school, I did a lot of Crested Butte Mountain Theatre acting and I would do their PSA recordings for their shows through the KBUT studio.”

Her freshman class was the first to not have to ride the bus to Gunnison for school because the new Crested Butte Community School had finally opened. She had previously attended the Crested Butte Academy.

“School was good and I was always a good student… until high school… then I rebelled. I rebelled against structure. I had been raised my whole life to question authority. We had this hippie leftist community mentality that inspired me to rebel.” Nevertheless, she graduated in 2001. “At the time I wanted to be a lawyer. I was really interested in politics and I was inspired to help people in some way. I didn’t just want to have a profession, I wanted to have a purpose.”

Julia went to the very alternative Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., where students aren’t required to declare a major and students received evaluations rather than grades. In her first year, she took an intensive study in prison systems. Throughout her tenure at Evergreen, she received an expansive, eclectic education, studying film, theatre and theoretical physics but Julia ultimately decided not to apply to law school because, “It’s a highly competitive industry and I’m not a competitive person.”

She did what many kids did post-college. “I moved back home because that’s what everybody did. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.” Julia took a retail job managing Pooh’s Corner for a while, and also worked for Crested Butte Vacations at the resort, as well as the ever-present housekeeping jobs. “But I decided I wanted to do something more with my life regarding a career,” so she moved to the big city of Denver in 2007.

She focused on working in the not-for-profit sector, securing employment as an office manager for the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, who advocate for lawyers who advocate for victims. Due to the financial crash of 2008, Julia was only there a year before the funds dried up for her position.

She and her then boyfriend started an HVAC (heating, ventilation, air condition) company, installing air conditioners and furnaces. She found that she really enjoyed the work and labor. “I fabricated duct work, hooked up gas lines and electrical wiring for about two years. It was good, but I wanted to get back into non profit work.”

She signed up at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado as office manager. “When I was in college, I worked as a telephone solicitor, getting donations for the annual fund for scholarships for the school. I found that I was very good at asking strangers for money so I knew then that I could fundraise. I knew that I wanted to come back to Crested Butte and I thought the non-profit field would be a good way to return and have a meaningful career.”

It was time to move on from Big Brothers Big Sisters and her sister, Robin, had already moved back to Crested Butte. Julia found the online posting in the Crested Butte News employment classifieds for the position of KBUT membership director. “I felt it would be the perfect job for me because I like asking people for money and I love community radio. I’m passionate about music and independent media and it seemed like the right fit.” They gave her the job after her successful interview and the child of local community radio had come full circle.

When general manager Eileen Kennedy Hughes decided to retire, Julia applied for the position and was hired in June 2016. “I have the ability to help this organization that I care deeply about. It’s a good opportunity to work for a cause that I believe in and I feel fulfilled. I feel that my whole life was preparing me for this moment. I had the intention of building a career so I could move back to my home, knowing there was a need for non profits here.

“Our federal funding is being threatened again with the new administration. Four years ago, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which doles out the funds for all public media, wanted to ensure that radio stations were sustainable themselves before they would give out any funds, so we had to grow our budget fairly significantly in order to retain the federal funding. My experience in the non profit world has shown me that funding is always uncertain—you can’t rely on federal funding to be there forever so you have to diversify your revenue streams.

“It’s my hope and intention, over the next couple of years, to wean our dependence on that federal funding. I want to get KBUT to a place where threats, such as the ones we’re currently facing, aren’t a make or break for us, that we don’t have to be constantly living in fear, by building a major donor program.”

Julia continues, “The community has really stepped up and they are why we didn’t lose our federal funding four years ago. We just celebrated our 30th birthday in December and had a fabulous party, the kind that only this community knows how to throw. It’s special to be part of this place and have such a vibrant community radio station that’s a cornerstone of the community and when I say community I mean the entire valley. I grew up skiing with girls from Gunnison and it’s really important to me that we maintain this valley-wide one community.”

Julia echoes the sentiment of many long-timers here. “Change is inevitable and this community has changed a lot but it still beats a lot of other places. For many years, we have prevented Vail and Aspen-type overdevelopment but now I feel that we’re in a totally different era. Whatever Crested Butte was, there’s now a new citizenry and they’re experiencing it in a different way than we did and with the same excitement that we had for it.

“I love Colorado. What keeps me here is mostly my job because I’m so super passionate about this station and its success. Living here, I both love and hate the tight-knit community,” she laughs and explains, “because it’s hard sometimes when there’s zero anonymity but at the same time, that’s one of the greatest things about this community, the pulling together. And I don’t have to call my friends to go to the bar—I just go to the bar and they’re all there.”

KBUT’s pledge drive started last Monday, February 13 and goes until they make their goal of $45,000 for operating expenses. Call the station at (970) 349-7444 to pledge.