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On today’s show: Details on upcoming Snow Days in Vail and Birds of Prey weekend in Beaver Creek

In call with Ilhan Omar, Lauren Boebert refuses to publicly apologize for anti-Muslim remarks

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP file

WASHINGTON — Days after firebrand conservative Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado was harshly criticized for making anti-Muslim comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat whom she likened to a bomb-carrying terrorist, the two spoke by phone.

By both lawmakers’ accounts, it did not go well.

Monday’s conversation, which Boebert sought after issuing a tepid statement last Friday, offered an opportunity to extend an olive branch in a House riven by tension. Instead, it ended abruptly after Boebert rejected Omar’s request for a public apology, amplifying partisan strife that has become a feature, not a bug, of the GOP since a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Boebert previously apologized “to anyone in the Muslim community I offended,” but not directly to Omar.

It’s just the latest example of a GOP lawmaker making a personal attack against another member of Congress, an unsettling trend that has gone largely unchecked by House Republican leaders. It also offers a test of Democrats’ newfound resolve to mete out punishment to Republicans.

Earlier this month conservative Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona was censured over a violent video. In February Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia was booted from congressional committees for her inflammatory rhetoric.

After Monday’s phone call, Omar and Boebert quickly issued statements condemning each other.

“I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate,” Omar said in a statement. She said she “decided to end the unproductive call.”

Boebert shot back in an Instagram video: “Rejecting an apology and hanging up on someone is part of cancel culture 101 and a pillar of the Democrat Party.”

The chain of events was set in motion over a week ago when a video posted to Facebook showed Boebert speaking before constituents, describing an interaction with Omar — an interaction that Omar maintains never happened.

In the video, the freshman Colorado lawmaker claims that a Capitol Police officer approached her with “fret on his face” shortly before she stepped aboard a House elevator and the doors closed.

“I look to my left and there she is — Ilhan Omar. And I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,’” Boebert says with a laugh.

Omar is Muslim. Boebert’s comment about Omar not wearing a backpack was an apparent reference to her not carrying a suicide bomb.

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

Reaction to the video was swift. Omar called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to “take appropriate action” because “normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.”

House Democratic leadership also issued a joint statement condemning “Boebert’s repeated, ongoing and targeted Islamophobic comments and actions,” while calling on McCarthy “to finally take real action to confront racism.”

Yet McCarthy, who is in line to become House speaker if Republicans retake the majority next year, has proven reluctant to police members of his caucus whose views are often closely aligned with the party’s base.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the speaker had nothing new to add Monday and pointed to the statement issued by Democratic leaders last week calling on McCarthy to act.

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Boebert tweeted Friday that “I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar,” adding that “there are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.”

It’s not Boebert’s first brush with controversy — nor Omar’s. Since Boebert’s election to Congress in 2020, she has leaned in to provocative broadsides that delight the party’s base. Omar has drawn her focus in particular. She has previously called Omar and others “full time propagandists” for “state sponsored terrorism,” and “politicians with suicide belts strapped their body.”

In May, she tweeted that Omar was “a full-time propagandist for Hamas.” She has also called Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib “evil” while also referring to them as the “jihad squad.” Tlaib, like Omar, is Muslim.

Omar too has drawn scrutiny for her comments, often in reference to Israel, some of which have been blasted as anti-Semitic.

In 2019, she suggested that Israel’s supporters are pushing U.S. lawmakers to take a pledge of “allegiance to a foreign country.” She was also pressured to apologized “unequivocally” for suggesting that congressional support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins baby,” a longstanding trope about Jews buying influence.

House Democratic leadership directly rebuked Omar over the remarks.

Wildlife Trail Ambassador program seeking volunteers

A photo of a bull elk. Elk populations are in decline locally, and the Wildlife Trail Ambassador program is seeking volunteers to help enforce habitat loss mitigation efforts.
Rick Spitzer / Courtesy photo

If elk could talk, they’d probably stand at trailheads and ask us humans to turn around when we’re about to violate a seasonal trail closure here in the Vail area.

If you’d like to be the one to do that for the elk, the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance is inviting you to join a Wildlife Trail Ambassador training at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Elk populations are declining in Eagle County as habitat has become increasingly fragmented in recent decades, particularly in winter habitat zones and calving areas.

One of those winter habitat zones is the upper Meadow Mountain area between Minturn and Beaver Creek. When the nonprofit Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance sought to build a new hiking and mountain biking trail in the area, insistence among wildlife advocates regarding winter closures became pointed.

The EverKrisp Trail between EagleVail and Minturn.
File photo / Vail Daily

If the proposed EverKrisp trail was to be built, not only would it need to be closed from Nov. 23 to June 20, a program would have to be created to educate trail users about seasonal closures, said Ernest Saeger, the alliance’s executive director. The Wildlife Trail Ambassador program was born.

As part of the program, the Vail Valley Trails Alliance keeps stats from volunteers on how many contacts they made and how many people were turned away when informed of the closure by a trail ambassador. The program also uses existing trail cameras to chart its progress.

In 2017, before the program started, a camera on a closed section of the North Trail in Vail caught more than 200 people violating the trail closure, Saeger said.

“In 2019, I think we had about 90 volunteer shifts that year. That same location with the same camera went from 217 violations down to 148 violations,“ Saeger said. “Not great, but going down.”

In 2021, with the program up to 330 volunteer shifts, the same camera at the same location of the North Trail recorded only 41 violations, Saeger said.

“We want to get to zero, and it’s trending in the right direction,” Saeger said.

Become a Wildlife Trail Ambassador

To sign up: Us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kXv3iNO2RPaNyR6eO1Q-4g

For more information or questions, email adoptatrail@vvmta.org

Monday’s training will include experts from the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and more to educate attendees about the science behind seasonal wildlife closures, Saeger said.

“With continual increasing trail use, it is more important than ever to educate trail users on seasonal wildlife closures, trail etiquette and Leave No Trace Principles,” he said.

Obituary: Frank Lynch

March 19, 1930 – November 28, 2021

Frank J. Lynch III passed away peacefully in his Eagle Colorado home surrounded by his family and care givers on November 28, 2021, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

He was born on March 19, 1930, in Staten Island, New York, to Frank J. Lynch, Jr and Mary (McBreen) Lynch. He was preceded in death by his sister Doris Lynch Goggi and is survived by his sister Ruth Lynch Catalano.

Frank attended Curtis High School in Staten Island and graduated from Wagner College in 1951. He graduated at the top of his class from New York Law School in 1962. Frank was a pioneer and global leader in the aviation reinsurance business. He became the CEO of United States Aviation Insurance Group in 1977, where he created innovative reinsurance products that are the industry standard to this day.

Frank married the love of his life, Patricia Anne Crane, in 1956. Frank and Pat traveled the globe both in the course of Frank’s professional career and in their pursuit of experiencing and understanding the wider world.

Frank spent many years in the Morristown, New Jersey area before moving to Vail, Colorado in 1996, to pursue his life-long passions of golf and skiing. He was a championship-level golfer, winning numerous amateur championships in New York, New Jersey and Colorado. He was an avid and expert skier, enjoying world-class skiing in Colorado, Canada and Europe. He created a beautiful home in Edwards, Colorado, that became a cherished location for family celebrations and holiday gatherings.

Frank will be remembered for his extraordinarily deep faith, generosity and commitment to charitable causes. He served the Catholic Church as a member of the Knights of Malta, the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the Knights of St. Gregory and the Papal Foundation. He served as a trustee of numerous charitable and educational organizations, including Delbarton School, Chestnut Hill College, the Tri-County Scholarship Fund and the St. Clare of Assisi Building Fund. He provided anonymous support to innumerable needy families, parishes and convents.

Frank is survived by his wife of 65 years, Patricia Crane Lynch, his sons Frank J. Lynch IV, Michael J. Lynch, Megan Lynch Green, and Carmel Lynch McGuckin. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Frank lived a large, boisterous, rich and faithful life. His legacy will live on in many corners of the world, and his memory will be held dearly by his family and friends.

Services will be held Mount Olivet Cemetery, 12801 W. 44th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033.
On Sunday, December 12, 2021, there will be a viewing form 4:00 to 6:00 PM and the rosary at 6:00. On Monday, December 13, 2021, at Mount Olivet there will be a funeral mass at 9:00 AM, internment to follow. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Development Office, PO Box 101360 Denver, Colorado, 80250. Website- https://sjvdenver.edu/support-sjv-today/ or Home Care & Hospice of the Valley, 823 Grand Avenue, #300 Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601- Website https://hchotv.org.

Obituary: Matthew Drummet

February 2, 1974 – November 23, 2021

Matthew Wayne Drummet of Edwards, Colorado born February 2, 1974 passed away on November 23, 2021 after a short and valiant battle with cancer.

Matthew was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Kenneth Drummet and Carol (Drummet) Garner. Matt spent his childhood in Litchfield, Illinois and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After getting married, Matt and Amy moved West together and began their lives in Eagle County. Matt worked for Marriott, Vail Valley Tourism Bureau and joined the Mountain Haus in 2004. Matt and Amy welcomed Bergen and Ascher into their family sharing their love for mountain living.

Matthew was born and raised in the Midwest, but his heart and soul always belonged in the mountains. He was private, introspective and loved deeply. He was a family man who showed his inner child and adventuresome spirit with his wife and sons on a daily basis. He laughed all the time and had a quick wit which made others laugh too. He loved music and was happiest with a guitar in his hands surrounded by the people he loved.

Matthew is survived by his wife Amy, sons Bergen and Ascher; Father and stepmother, Kenneth Earl Drummet and Trine Neilsen; Mother and stepfather, Carol Ann (Drummet) and Dan Garner; Sister and brother in law, Jennifer and Craig Clark; Niece, Chelsey Stokes; Nephews, Austin (Kelly) Clark and Dillon (Elizabeth) Clark; Amy’s extended family; Dear friends, Scott and Rachel Simpson; the Mountain Haus family, and all the people who have become our Colorado family over the last 2 decades.

Matthew was preceded in death by his Grandparents: Walter and Rose Drummet, Guy and Virgina Cheatham and nephew Cooper Meadows.

We thank you for your love and support. A Celebration of Life will be held in early 2022. Memorial contributions benefiting Matt’s children can be made to: mattdrummetmemorial.com

River runs through Beaver Creek: Radamus at home for races

FILE - River Radamus skis during a men's U.S. Alpine Championship giant slalom skiing race, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Aspen, Colo. Radamus, who will be competing at the World Cup at Beaver Creek, Colo., this week, has his sights set on the Beijing Games in February. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, FIile)

BEAVER CREEK — River Radamus always looked forward to this field trip at school — attending the ski races in Beaver Creek.

Growing up in nearby Edwards, his class would routinely head to the course for the World Cup stop. Some of the 23-year-old racer’s fondest memories include watching Ted Ligety shine on the demanding Birds of Prey course and chasing Bode Miller around town for an autograph.

So, of course doing well on this hill over the weekend, with neighbors, friends and family watching, would mean a great deal to Radamus. Because seeing all those elite racers in action year after year helped put in motion where he is today: an Olympic hopeful for the Beijing Games later this winter.

United States' River Radamus reacts after crossing the finish line during an Alpine ski, men's World Cup giant slalom Sunday in Soelden, Austria. Radamus' leopard hairstyle for the Soelden race was inspired by past U.S. Ski Team member Chad Fleischer. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati, File)

And of course this didn’t hurt, either: Both his parents just so happen to be decorated ski coaches.

“So I didn’t have much choice,” Radamus cracked.

Only kidding, mom and dad, who put him on skis when he was tiny so they could push him instead of carry him as they coached.

The racer named River for a reason — to stand out — is brimming with confidence heading into Beaver Creek, which will hold super-G events Thursday and Friday, along with downhill events Saturday and Sunday. (The second downhill is a replacement for a race scrubbed last weekend in Lake Louise.)

His resolve stems from a World Cup career-best sixth-place showing at the season-opening giant slalom in Sölden, Austria, on Oct. 24. Radamus certainly stood out that day — for his skiing, but also his hair dyed into a snow-leopard pattern. It was an ode to longtime ski racer Chad Fleischer, who once had that sort of look.

Radamus went with that look for a reason: “To remind myself it’s a game,” said Radamus, who made his World Cup debut in 2017 at Beaver Creek. “I can’t take myself too seriously.”

Now, he’s eager to add his own chapter to the storied history at Birds of Prey. It’s a race he not only watched as a kid but he later assisted in grooming as a “slipper.” He also tested out the Beaver Creek course as a forerunner at the 2015 world championships.

His priority remains the giant slalom, though he races other disciplines, too. To get faster, he’s spent time watching the best of the best and attempting to mimic what they do so well:

— From retired two-time Olympic champion Ligety, Radamus strives to emulate power and high-edge angle. “That’s probably who I ski like the most right now,” said Radamus, a three-time Youth Olympic Winter Games gold medalist in 2016. “But I’m trying to sort of taper that back a little bit, just because I don’t want to become a bad impersonation of Ted. I want to become my own (racer).”

— From retired Austrian great Marcel Hirscher, he tries to incorporate a keep-attacking approach. “He would make mistakes but he would make such incredible recoveries and keep pushing and that’s why he was so fast in my eyes,” Radamus said. “Obviously, he was insanely strong. So that’s a piece I need to find to be able to ski like him.”

— From Mikaela Shiffrin, he hopes to replicate that perfectly flowing rhythm that has helped her win 71 World Cup races and two Olympic gold medals. “So talented in how graceful she makes it look, and how easy she makes it look,” said Radamus, who grew up in the same area as Shiffrin. “I don’t ski like Mikaela, but I can take little pieces. I’m always trying to learn and grow.”

He’s also been working with a sports psychologist. It’s just a way to ensure his race days better reflect the work he’s putting in while training.

“I don’t have to be the strongest guy out there, or the most talented guy out there, as long as I believe that I am or I believe that I’m strong enough or talented enough,” Radamus said. “So when I stand in the starting gate, I just try to ask myself: Is this beyond my capabilities? And when I say, ‘No’ — because I’ve put in the work and I’ve done everything I need to prepare, and I’ve inspected a line that I know that I’m able to execute — it gives me so much confidence.

“It’s almost like I’ve released myself from the pressure.”

No pressure this weekend in front of home fans. No pressure at the Beijing Games, either, should he be named to the roster. Just full speed ahead.

“You can live with a mistake as long as you know you were going for gold or going for glory,” Radamus said. “That’s a much better way to go out than straddling a gate because you’re nervous or anything like that. I’m going to try to approach it with that sort of freedom.”

COVID cases are down in Colorado, but the new omicron variant could change that

Barcodes on saliva samples taken from students, staff and faculty as part of the University of Colorado Boulder's coronavirus testing program are scanned upon arrival in the BioFrontiers Institute COVID-19 surveillance laboratory that processes the samples.
Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado

While the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has seen a slight decline, public health officials fear the new omicron variant could change that.

No confirmed cases of the potentially more transmissible variant have been detected in Colorado.

The omicron variant was first identified overseas last week and there’s still a lot experts don’t know about the new variant, including how easily it spreads between people or the severity of symptoms, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s epidemiologist, said during a news conference Tuesday.

“We really at this point have a lot to learn about the omicron variant, but due to some of the mutations that are present, specifically in the spike protein of the variant, it is possible to make some predictions on our understanding of similar mutations that have been observed in other variants about what might be possible when it comes to characteristics of this particular variant,” Herlihy said.

It’s possible, she said, that the variant could be more transmissible or may mutate in a way that makes it more adept at evading the body’s immune system, potentially causing reinfection. It may be several weeks before epidemiologists get a better understanding of the risks of the variant.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

Eagle County Gives prepares for critical day of giving on Dec. 7

Colorado Gives Day is an opportunity for individuals to give where they live. In Eagle County, each year around 50 local nonprofits band together each year to increase local donations that support these organizations’ year round missions.
Ben Dodd/Eagle County Gives

Every year, amid the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, Colorado nonprofits ask their communities to give back and support their mission through Colorado Gives Day. And in Eagle County, each year a collaborative of around 50 local nonprofits band together each year to increase local donations that support these organizations’ year-round missions.

This year, Colorado Gives Day will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

“Colorado Gives Day is the largest day of giving in Colorado and it really encourages community level participation to give where you live,” said Grace Anshutz, development manager at Bright Future Foundation and co-marketing chair for the Eagle County Gives executive committee. “For many of our organizations, it’s the single largest day of giving, the day when the community comes together to support smaller organizations.”

Eagle County Gives is a coalition of 50 nonprofit organizations that serve Eagle County in a wide variety of ways. During the 2020 Gives Day, the coalition collected just over $1.5 million in donations.

The support from this day is unique in that, unlike many of the grants and other funds that nonprofits receive, it is unrestricted and really enables the organizations to be flexible and serve their populations.

“Through this we’re able to use it as we best see fit,” Anshutz said. “And in times through COVID or in challenging years or just challenging circumstances, unrestricted funding really allows nonprofits to deliver their mission without hindrance or financial barriers.”

For Anshutz, speaking directly about her role at Bright Future Foundation — just one of the many nonprofit organizations involved in Eagle County Gives — these unrestricted funds not only help the organization provide its services free of charge, but it allows them to be savvy with the funds and “meet people where they are,” she said.

Erin Ivie, executive director of SpeakUp ReachOut, said that Eagle County Gives Day provides tremendous value to the suicide prevention nonprofit.

“Over 90% of all the individual gifts received by SpeakUp ReachOut each year are made during the Colorado Gives Day campaign. These individual donors support the budget of about $750,000 per year,” Ivie wrote in an email.

Specifically, these donations allow SpeakUp ReachOut to fund suicide prevention programs for over 2,700 youth and 1,800 adults each year.

For Colorado Mountain College Foundation, being a part of Eagle County Gives allows it to “enrich the educational experiences of students and provide opportunities beyond the classroom,” wrote Diana Scherr, regional development officer of the CMC Foundation in Edwards, in an email.

“The funds we receive each year allow us to accomplish a myriad of initiatives,” she wrote. “This coming year, we’re focusing on providing more student scholarships and stipends — specifically for our education and nursing students. The past year and a half has shown the world the importance — and shortage — of teachers and health care providers. We like to think that CMC can help in that arena.”

Both the Vail Valley Foundation and YouthPower365 are a part of the Eagle County Gives coalition. According to Sarah Johnson, the Vail Valley Foundation’s senior vice president of philanthropy, the day is “an incredible opportunity to connect with donors during the season of giving.”

Building each other up

Members of the Eagle County Gives coalition pose with the Vail Town Council ahead of the 2021 Colorado Gives Day. Each year, municipalities in the county sign proclamations of support for the day of giving.
Eagle County Gives/Courtesy Photo

Much like Colorado Gives Day allows these local organizations to serve the community, Eagle County Gives enables these organizations an opportunity to serve each other.

“The collaborative brings together 50+ non-profits each year to support and promote ALL the good work happening in the valley – and that’s what’s so special,” Scherr wrote.

Eagle County Gives has represented a collective effort to raise funds for these 50 organizations since 2010, working together to bolster each other’s missions, raise awareness and dollars, and overall enable each other to keep serving the community. This coalition meets regularly throughout the year to share resources and best practices and just support one another.

“My bandwidth is only so much, but to have this group of leaders and people willing to step up and be like, ‘OK, I’ll do that small part or take ownership of another piece,’ really allows for different strengths to come through and for everyone to play their own unique part in the collective effort,” Anshutz said.

She added that this collaborative of organizations — and even more specifically the executive committee — is indicative of the larger Eagle County nonprofit community.

“The value of our local nonprofit community is definitely the positive energy. I think in a lot of the work that many of our organizations do, it’s easy to have a pessimistic outlook on the world, whether you’re seeing someone at one of the most challenging times in their life or if you’re trying to come up with a solution for a very large systematic problem,” Anshutz said. “The great part about the collaborative is once a month, everyone comes together and there’s such a great energy in the room and you’re able to make connections, not only to support the mission, which is so much at the core of what each of us do, but also create human connection for smaller organizations.”

Wendy Rimel, the Education Foundation of Eagle County’s board president, noted that this energy and positivity is inspiring and really means a lot to the organizations involved.

“There is no competition, we are truly holding each other up and want great outcomes for every one of the 50 nonprofits who participate in the collaborative,” Rimel wrote in an email. “It is a ‘feel-good festival’ of kindness and generosity.”

This positive energy, Anshutz added, is something that helps all the organizations get through even the most difficult of times, which for the past year has included many pandemic-related hurdles.

“Though we are transitioning out of the worst of the pandemic, the challenges of COVID-19 have not ended,” Johnson wrote in an email. “Recovery has been especially slow for young people who are struggling academically and social-emotionally. Programming focused on reaching the most at-risk due to the pandemic, a deepened continuum of programs every step of the way to ensure youth and families are supported, and a refocus on the infrastructure of the high-quality supports offered are hallmarks of YouthPower365’s efforts in this last year and a half, and continuing today.”

Specifically, for many of the nonprofits including Bright Future Foundation, the Education Foundation of Eagle County and SpeakUp ReachOut, difficult times can actually increase the demand and need for their services.

“Since the isolation of COVID, many of us realized our friends, family and co-workers were not OK and pretending things were fine didn’t really help anyone,” Ivie wrote. “We all need to be heard and loved. Through suicide prevention programs funded by Gives Day donations, people learn to be comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. Because of increased donor support in times of increased demand for services, we can all help those who are struggling. Donations help more people provide hope even in the darkest times.”

For many local organizations, the pandemic also took away many of their typical opportunities to raise funds, making Colorado Gives Day that much more important.

“Donations are even more vital to EFEC because our main fundraiser, Project Funway, could not happen the way it has in the past,” Rimel wrote. “We typically raise $250,000 at Project Funway, which we use to keep our staff employees and our doors open. In 2021 despite our efforts to put on a virtual Project Funway we only raised $60,000 — a huge hit to our bottom line. We are staying afloat day by day, and hoping for an in person successful Project Funway this March 2022.”

Even still, through donations and volunteers, the organization is doing what it can.

“In the meantime, volunteers have come out of the woodwork to support our teachers and schools and keep EFEC’s mission alive,” Rimel added. “Right now, donations are what EFEC needs to ensure that we can continue the great work in support of Eagle County School’s teachers, staff, and students. The outpouring of love for our teachers and schools is reflected by the individuals and students who have stepped up to give us their time.”

Not only has the pandemic made some of these large-scale, in-person events difficult, but the cost of implementing programs and events have increased.

“Like so many organizations, we are experiencing increased costs of delivering programs and events and it remains difficult to hire in this climate,” Johnson wrote. “Increased philanthropic dollars allow us to meet increased programming demands and costs. We are so grateful for the support.”

Visit EagleCOGives.org to view the list of local participating nonprofits and donate or learn more about each organization. You can schedule donations for these nonprofits ahead of Colorado Gives Day or donate on the day, Tuesday, Dec. 7. Donations that are scheduled ahead of will get a boost from the state’s $1.6 million incentive fund. Tuesday’s Colorado Gives Day also allows you to schedule or submit donations to multiple nonprofits, both locally and across the state.

Beaver Creek’s Rocky Mountain Hair Co. now open in St. James Place

Rocky Mountain Hair Co. owner Tiffani Maccherola.
Tiffani Maccherola/Courtesy photo

Business name: Rocky Mountain Hair Co.

Location: We are conveniently located in Beaver Creek Village in the St. James Place at 210 Offerson Road.

Date opened: Oct. 20

Owner: Tiffani Maccherola

Contact information: Call 970-777-HAIR (4247) or email information@rockymountainhairco.com. Online booking is available at RockyMountainHairco.com.

What goods or services do you provide? We provide haircuts, color, blonding, makeup applications, makeup lessons and hair extensions. We also specialize in bridal hair and makeup.

Rocky Mountain Hair Co. also has some gifts for friends, family and of course, you. We have candles, crystals, facial rollers, sage bundles and more. We also have hair products including Olaplex, Pravana, Redken, Moroccanoil and a few more. If you don’t see a product you were looking for, we are happy to custom order it for you.

What’s new or exciting at your place? Rocky Mountain Hair Co. is a cozy escape where you can enjoy a hot beverage during your service. We have Wi-Fi for your work needs, too. Our makeup room is the ultimate getting-ready space with a vanity mirror, makeup chairs and lots of lighting. Aiir is a new and very exciting hair product our guests have really been enjoying, and it is our go-to product. Aiir is a high performance product that highlights consciousness, integrity and well-being through the use of pulverized precious gemstones and natural botanicals. Tiffani’s personal favorite is the Aiir Diamond infused Shampoo and Conditioner.

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? At Rocky Mountain Hair Co. we are dedicated to continued education, health, cleanliness, keeping up with trends, being reliable, and keeping it fun and relaxing. We remain as flexible as possible and are always welcoming requests.

In the past, Tiffani has started wedding hair and makeup at 3 a.m. for a sunrise bride. We really enjoy meeting our guests’ requests, especially on one of the biggest days of their lives.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? Our No. 1 goal is for our customers to leave absolutely loving their hair and makeup, and feeling relaxed and recharged as well. We have a detailed consultation to see how we can achieve your goals and elevate your beauty. We try to communicate and ask lots of questions to make sure we are on the same page. We customize your services to your face shape, hair line and preferences all while giving your style as much longevity as possible. At Rocky Mountain Hair Co. all we want is for you to feel elevated, and we always do everything we can to achieve your hair and makeup dreams.

What can your customers expect from you? A good time and great hair. They can absolutely expect professionalism, reliability, genuineness and a wonderful experience.

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Tiffani is a lifelong local of the Vail Valley. She learned how to ski at Beaver Creek at age 3. During her time in at Battle Mountain High School, she worked in salons in Vail and Beaver Creek as a front desk and assistant. During that time she fell in love with the beauty industry. After some time in college, she was missing the beauty industry and decided to pursue her cosmetology education.

She is proud to be a Paul Mitchell School Phoenix alumni. Between Scottsdale fashion shows, Sassoon cutting competitions, assisting in Phoenix hair shows backstage for Paul Mitchell and lots of hands-on floor time, Tiffani has received an outstanding education.

She moved back to the Vail Valley and eventually became the head bridal stylist at the Park Hyatt Spa in Beaver Creek.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? We entered the Beaver Creek World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition with some help from Tiffani’s mom, Kim Hefty. Tiffani was joking around about how they might actually have to make a 1,000 cookies if they were a finalist. Well, we ended up having to bake 1,000 cookies!

Tell your story!

Tell the story of your Vail Valley business with a Bizwatch feature in the Vail Daily. For more information, email Business Editor Scott Miller, smiller@vaildaily.com.

Basalt massage therapist arrested for alleged sexual assault of a client

Nathaniel D. Gordon

Basalt police arrested a midvalley massage therapist Wednesday on suspicion of sexual assault on a client and two related charges.

Nathaniel D. Gordon, 47, who resides in New Castle and works in Basalt, was held in Eagle County Jail over the holiday weekend and advised of the charges in Eagle County Court on Monday.

He was arrested for sexual assault, a class four felony; sexual contact, no consent, a class one misdemeanor; and invasion of privacy, a class two misdemeanor.

The incident allegedly occurred Nov. 22 with a female client at a Basalt business where Gordon has worked as a subcontractor.

“It stemmed from a massage and went much farther than that,” Basalt Police Lt. Aaron Munch said.

Basalt police made the arrest Wednesday after investigating the alleged victim’s information from earlier in the week. An affidavit in support of the warrantless arrest was sealed from public scrutiny on request by 5th Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum.

At the advisement Monday, Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez said if Gordon is convicted, the felony charge has a possible sentence of four to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections and possibly a life sentence if it is determined there are aggravated circumstances. The sentence on the felony charge could also include a fine of up to $750,000.

If convicted of the alleged sexual contact, Gordon could be sentenced to 24 months in the county jail. Olguin-Fresquez said the third charge stemmed from the allegation that Gordon “knowingly observed or photographed a person’s intimate parts.” If convicted on that charge, he could face one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

In the hearing Monday, Deputy DA Johnny Lombardi sought a $50,000 cash surety bond.

“In this matter here, Your Honor has read the (arrest) affidavit so I’m not going to go into any further detail about that, but I think Your Honor can see the heinous nature of the crime that was committed on the sex offense upon the victim in this case,” Lombardi said.

Gordon has only a “limited criminal history” with a deferred judgment in a 2011 case involving marijuana cultivation in Eagle County, Lombardi said. However, because of the potential prison time he is facing, the DA’s Office felt a $50,000 bond was appropriate.

Gordon’s attorney, Erik Johnson, said $50,000 was “too elevated” and he asked for a personal recognizance bond. Johnson said Gordon has a wife, two children and has been a business owner in Eagle County for more than 10 years. The $50,000 bond being sought by the DA’s Office is more “pre-trial punishment” than an attempt to ensure Gordon appears in court, Johnson alleged.

“He’s got to resume work and prepare to defend himself for this trial, so we would ask for a PR bond,” Johnson said.

Olguin-Fresquez said the court would not typically grant a PR bond in this type of case but because certain reports didn’t reach her within 48 hours of Gordon’s arrest, a $25,000 personal recognizance bond was legally authorized. Gordon didn’t have to put up cash but he is liable for $25,000 if he fails to appear for future court appearances.

The bond conditions included a protective order banning Gordon from any contact with the alleged victim, who was identified only by her initials. He is also banned from practicing massage.

When the judge asked if he had any questions, Gordon replied, “So, I do massage for work and I do have a mortgage to pay. Is there no way where you can modify (the bond conditions) so I can work on my male clients?”

“Not at this time,” Olguin-Fresquez said. However, she said she would consider a written motion from Gordon’s attorney proposing protective measures that could be implemented if he resumed massage. A representative of the Eagle County Detention Center said Gordon would be released later Monday.

The 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and Basalt Police Department are continuing a criminal investigation. “If anyone has any information about the crime alleged in this case or if anyone is a victim of a similar crime, please contact the Basalt Police Department (970-927-4316) or the District Attorney’s Office (970-328-6947), or email info@da5.us,” said a news release from the DA’s office.

scondon@aspentimes.com