14th Judicial District announces Moffat County Court vacancy

The Fourteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet via videoconference on Jan. 12, to interview and select nominees for appointment by the governor to the office of county judge for Moffat County.

The vacancy will be created by Brittany A. Schneider’s appointment to the District Court. The vacancy will occur on Jan. 1.

To be eligible, the applicant must be a qualified elector of Moffat County at the time of investiture and have graduated high school or attained the equivalent of a high school education as indicated by the Department of Education, based upon the record made on the General Education Development test.

The annual salary for the position is $110,822.40, and it is a 60 percent position. The initial term of office of a county judge is a provisional term of two years. Thereafter, the incumbent county judge, if approved by the voters, has a term of four years.

Application forms are available from the office of the ex officio chair of the nominating commission, Justice Richard L. Gabrie; and the office of the court executive, Peggy Gentles.

Applications also are available at courts.state.co.us/Careers/Judge.cfm.

Consider giving to a local nonprofit this week

The Yampa Valley Gives donation campaign kicks off this week in Moffat and Routt Counties and will run through Dec. 5.

Yampa Valley Gives promotes donations for nonprofit groups in both Moffat and Routt Counties. The online donation registry contains 25 nonprofits that are either located in or provides services for Moffat County.

The seasonal campaign is the “regional champion” for the larger state-wide Colorado Gives program, according to Holly Wilson, Philanthropic Services Manager for the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

Donations can be made online at yvgives.org.

Wilson shared that each donation made through Dec. 5 will be “boosted” by an incentive fund provided by the Colorado Gives Foundation and First Bank.

While all donations are undoubtedly thoughtful and much appreciated, Wilson stressed that only donations made through the yvgives.org website will qualify for the First Bank incentive and count toward the overall campaign total.

Wilson added that the extra benefit of donating through the the user-friendly website is convenience.

She noted that the website has a search function to locate specific organizations. It also offers categories such as Human Services, Education or Animals to help donors find recipients that match their donation preference.

“It is really easy to give to multiple nonprofits in one transaction,” Wilson adds. “It’s almost like an Amazon check-out cart.”

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Craig Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of the Yampa Valley, will be hosting a brief kickoff event for the Moffat County nonprofits Dec. 29 at the Yampa Building.

Chamber Executive Director Jennifer Holloway said the event traditionally has a “pep rally” vibe — where instead of pumping up the team to win the big game, they’re supporting and energizing the local nonprofit groups.

“There are so many great nonprofit partners both locally and regionally, and I’m excited for this day just to give a shout-out to the people working hard,” Holloway said.

Wilson noted that in addition to Holloway, County Commissioner Donald Broom will be on hand to speak to the nonprofit reps.

“It’s really about building excitement” for the nonprofits, Wilson said.

Building that excitement is something that Wilson and the Yampa Valley Community Foundation have experience with. The foundation has been involved with the Yampa Valley Gives campaign since its inception in 2014.

While the foundation initially played a supporting role in the program, over time they took on leadership responsibilities.

Wilson shared that she now runs the program through the foundation with the help of a volunteer committee. The committee “raises sponsorship dollars to do all the marketing for the Yampa Valley Gives program, locally.”

Wilson reaffirmed the benefit of supporting the Yampa Valley Gives program.

“What’s especially nice is that the money that’s raised here stays here locally,” she said. “And every dollar helps.”

To celebrate the culmination of the giving campaign and Yampa Valley Gives Day on Dec. 5, Mountain Tap Brewery in Steamboat will be hosting Ohana for a live shirt printing event. $10 of each shirt purchase will be donated to one of four local organizations, and the event is open to Moffat and Routt County residents.

Northwest Colorado Health will host Celebration of Light event in Craig on Dec. 7

Community members are invited to celebrate the holidays while honoring the memories of loved ones during the Celebration of Light from 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7 at VFW Post 4265 in Craig.

Northwest Colorado Health’s Hospice team will lead the program focused on hope and healing for those who have experienced a loss. Individuals of all ages are welcome to decorate and light a candle in honor of someone they love and enjoy hot soups and chili.

This event is free and open to the community. For more information, contact Kyleigh Lawler at 970-871-7609 or klawler@northwestcoloradohealth.org. Learn more at northwestcoloradohealth.org/events.

Lance Scranton: Do you think?

Local news has been quiet lately as we get geared up for the Christmas season, which kicked off just seconds after that last turkey leg was gnawed on by someone in your family.

Christmas lights are hung on many houses in the community, and most of our local businesses will get involved in helping those less fortunate have a merry Christmas. It’s the time when each of us wants to see everyone in the community experience the true spirit of the season. If my reading of the community is correct, we are all hoping that the next few weeks are filled with peace, joy and a large dose of considering how the gifts we give to others reflect our care, compassion and love.

Do you think that people in our community know about, or consider, the events happening around the world as they plan their various celebrations over the next many weeks? It’s difficult to wrap your mind around world events — atrocities taking place at the hands of terrorists — while people in our own country actually support groups who use their own citizens as human shields and pawns in a systematic public relations game.

It’s easier to just think about what directly affects us here at home and leave that other “stuff” for other people to decide.

Here is the conundrum: You may think that that’s none of our business and that we should just sit this out and let other people who are directly involved sort out their grievances. Sure, but if you are aware of history in any way, shape or form, you know that these types of issues require the firm hand of a number of other countries to bring about an outside influence that can bring an end to the hostility in the Middle East. We are, in even greater ways than ever, in this together. How we respond as a country indicates our love, care and compassion but also reflects our ideals about how the world should be for generations that follow.

Do you think that the number of people who are escaping to the United States through our Southern border is something that won’t really affect our little piece of paradise? Sure, if you just close your eyes and pretend that a flood of humanity into our country won’t really make a big difference to our lives. But it will drastically affect the lives of our children and their children as we continue to pretend that the United States can be the answer for every single immigrant, no matter their status or intention. Borders have a purpose, and presently, ours seem to be more political strategies than physical protections for a way of life that most of us believe has served us well for many years.

Do you think that public institutions that use our hard-earned tax dollars should be able to teach our children to question our reputation as a country? The flood of despondent, aimless, depressed youths in our country is the result of being constantly bombarded with messages that are filled with ideas that espouse any desire to be successful as somehow immoral, masculinity as something toxic, values and morals as somewhat passé, belief and faith as something useless, and worship at the altar of diversity, inclusion and equity as the highest form of moral worthiness.

You may think your voice isn’t important, but it is your unique expression that will carry the messages of genuine hope for the future of our country. Christmas reflects the true hope of a future where people genuinely agree that while we are not the center of the universe, we are indeed priceless and worth the time and effort to try and exact a sense of purpose in a world that seems like it is spinning out of control. Wrap up your gift in genuine care this year, stand for what is true, speak for what is right and tie it up with a bow of compassion, listening and understanding. It will be the best gift you can ever give to someone.

Lance Scranton is a career educator and has made his home in Moffat County for the past 25 years. He offers his views and opinions as part of the ongoing conversation about our community, country and world. Reach him at lance.scranton@consultant.com.

Writers on the Range: What really affects hunting in the West

A disgruntled hunter wrote a Writers on the Range opinion recently about Westerners getting fed up with the many out-of-staters coming in and buying up draw licenses to shoot bull elk, deer, bear and other big game animals.

As a hunter myself, I understand their frustration.

But reducing non-resident tags, as Andrew Carpenter suggests, takes us in the wrong direction. The greatest threat to hunting now and in the future is the loss of habitat.

Private lands provide up to 80% of habitat for all wildlife species, including critical winter range that’s the limiting factor for most big game populations. Yet these family farms and ranches are struggling for economic survival, and in many places are under immense development pressure.

According to the American Farmland Trust, Colorado is on track to lose approximately a half-million acres of open land in the next two decades. Other states have similarly alarming projections. As these lands disappear, so does the wildlife they support.

Income generated by providing access and outfitting services to out-of-state hunters is one of the few economic lifelines keeping ranches and habitat intact.

As New Mexico rancher Jack Diamond explained, “Without non-resident hunters, we couldn’t survive at this point in the ranching business. I don’t want to see this place subdivided, but we’d have to consider that as a last resort.”

David Olde, also a rancher from New Mexico, concurred: “We ended up with so many elk that we had to reduce our cattle. If I can’t sell hunts, what can I do — turn it into ranchettes?” 

For the fourth-generation Bramwell family ranch in Colorado, hunting income is an integral part of their operation.

“Our out-of-state clients have been coming here to hunt for generations,” Darla Bramwell said. “These migratory animals do not care whose grass they are eating or whose fences they tear down as they come from forest lands to eat in our hay meadows at night. Without the income from the non-resident hunters, something would have to give.”

Most states already heavily favor resident hunters, both in draw quotas and license fees. In Colorado, for example, residents are now allocated 75% of licenses while non-residents receive only 25%. Further, non-residents typically pay hundreds of dollars more per license than residents. In Colorado, a resident bull elk tag is $61. A non-resident bull elk tag costs $760.

Several things happen when non-resident licenses are further reduced. First, it squeezes the bottom line of family farms and ranches that support wildlife and depend on hunting for a portion of their income.

Second, it harms local livelihoods and rural economies. Visiting hunters outspend resident hunters by a large margin, supporting local restaurants, hotels, stores, outfitting services and the local tax base in rural communities.

As Bramwell said, “When our out-of-state hunters come here, they not only support our family but they support our community. They buy local gifts, food, fuel, lodging, meat processing and taxidermy work.”

Diamond’s operation supports between 7-10 guides from August through December.

“These are good-paying jobs and the money generated is all spent locally in the two counties we live in,” he said. “We buy gas, propane, groceries. We also pay state gross receipts tax on the entire hunt.” 

Third, state wildlife agencies depend on the high license fees they charge out-of-state hunters.

Fourth, the loss of visiting hunters would remove incentives for prospective ranch buyers to invest in conserving and managing land for wildlife.

Finally, it would also mean more hunters crowding public lands and forcing elk to seek refuge on private lands, reducing hunter opportunity and creating a lower-quality hunt experience.

Pulling the economic rug out from under private lands and wildlife isn’t the answer. So, what is a better solution?

We need to increase, not decrease, incentives for landowners to conserve habitat and provide hunting opportunities. We should bolster, not undermine, the role of hunting in supporting agricultural lands and rural economies. And we need to improve wildlife habitat on public lands with better management of our forests and rangelands.

The future of hunting — and wildlife — both depend on landowners and sportsmen working together to sustain our remaining wild and working lands.

Lesli Allison
Writers on the Range/Courtesy photo

Lesli Allison is a contributor to Writers on the Range, an independent nonprofit dedicated to spurring conversation about the West. She is CEO of the Western Landowners Alliance, a West-wide, landowner-led organization that supports working lands, connected landscapes and native species.

Moffat County fall musical to bring peachy keen magic to the stage

With the plot of the upcoming Moffat County High School fall musical syncing up greatly with its behind-the-scenes action, the message has never been greater that even when life throws you unexpected moments, the world can be magical when you surround yourself with the right people.

Even if they’re insects.

The MCHS theater program performs “James and the Giant Peach” this week with shows at 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a 1 p.m. matinee Saturday. Admission is $8.

The show — adapted from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book by Timothy Allen McDonald with songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — tells the tale of lonely orphan James Henry Trotter, whose life with his abusive aunts takes a turn thanks to a magical spell that swells a piece of fruit to gargantuan proportions.

James also befriends a cluster of creepy-crawlies that are affected by the magic and blown up to human size, including a grasshopper, earthworm, ladybug and centipede.

Moffat County sophomore Marie Roberts portrays the spider, who is first seen in puppet form before the transformation that puts her in a frilly black and white outfit.

This week’s dress rehearsals are the first time integrating the props, sets and costumes, as well as the orchestra ensemble providing live music.

Roberts said certain elements of the show have been challenging but easier as time has gone by this fall.

“I’m a lot more confident now; everything’s memorized,” Roberts said. “The songs are going to be tricky, but we’ve all got a lot more confidence now and I think we’ll be able to rock it.”

Roberts, who’s been acting in MCHS shows since the eighth grade, added that rehearsal schedules were notably different this year.

“Having it every other day makes it harder in some ways because we haven’t had a lot of time to practice, but it’s better for things like homework,” Roberts said. “It’s good either way, but it’s fun to try it a new way.”

In her first year overseeing the drama department, MCHS vocal teacher Juliann Mathison said most of the bumps along the way have been what she was expecting.

However, she had to pivot this week when one of her main cast members had a family emergency requiring them to be out of town. Mathison recruited one of her choir students to fill Cynae Montoya’s part as one half of the evil aunts.

Freshman Max Turner stepped in Monday to fill the role of Aunt Sponge.

“I found out about it this morning,” Turner said. “It’s been really hectic but really fun. It’s been kind of a roller coaster getting used to acting and protecting my voice. It’s all been pretty challenging.”

Turner said she’s been quick to enjoy the process of being on stage.

“My costume, when I first saw it, was kind of crazy, but I love it now,” Turner said. “I’ve been interested in theater before, but I’ve never been in it.”

Mathison said she’s been thoroughly impressed with Turner jumping into the show.

“She’s stepping up sight unseen,” Mathison said. “This was her first time ever seeing the script or hearing the music, and I thought she did fantastic.”

Mathison said that while the music and blocking and other details are quite complex to get right, she’s seen so much growth.

“I am super-proud of them,” she said. “They had a lot on their plates, and to be able to come after school and put together a play when they still have to be scholars and accomplish all that they have to do in their classes is great. This is a super-challenging show and for them to be able to do as well as they are, I’m so proud.”

“James and the Giant Peach”


Juliann Mathison


James — MaryAnn Booker

Ladybug — Guadalupe Lopez

Centipede — Keylee Bower

Grasshopper — Ronin Miller

Earthworm — Cheyenne Grivy

Spider — Marie Roberts

Ladahlord — Jaxom Gunderson

Spiker — Megan Neton

Sponge — Cynae Montoya/Madeline Turner


Issabella Guerra, Mariyana Connolly, Natalie Womble, Trevor Odell, Taya Told, Fantasia Jowell, Penelope Davis, Ember Mogus, Isabella Fandel, Kylie Lain, Quinn Gunderson, Emilyn Craig, Merrick Gonzalez

Stage Crew

Becca Ann Wagoner, Matthew Allen, Lex Bergstom

Tech Crew

Athan Smith, Hailey Collins, Zach Crookston, Mason Atkin, Kaidin Anthony, Jackson Petree

Orchestra Pit

Bryon Smith, Sunshine White, Rosalia Cortes, Isaack Duarte, Camila Nunez, Elliana Crain, Gabrielle Riley, Eric Warner, Lia Arnold, Zach Craig, Lief Albaugh, Shane Del Toro, Carrie Brown, James Simpson, Caleb Crumpton, Paityn Cox, Allison Nees, Chad Davis, Garrett Mercer, Aida Harrell

District attorney declines to file charges in fatal police shooting on March 31

The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will not file charges against the Craig police officer or Moffat County sheriff’s deputy who were involved in the March 31 shooting death of Christopher Rothermund.

Rothermund, 52, of Craig, died after he was shot by police following a foot chase around the city. The interaction with police began with an officer trying to stop Rothermund inside the Cool Water Grill at 337 W. Victory Way just before 9 a.m. March 31.

In body camera footage previously released by the Craig Police Department, Rothermund runs away from the officer before brandishing a handgun and ignoring multiple calls to put the weapon down. At one point in the video, Rothermund appears to point the gun at police and CPD Officer Daniel Molina and Moffat County Sheriff’s Deputy Kurtis Luster discharge their weapons.

According to the district attorney’s office, both Molina and Luster fired their service weapons, and Rothermund was hit and died as a result of his injuries.

In a Monday news release, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Tjosvold said that “after a thorough review of all of the evidence in this case, including the officer’s body worn camera, witness interviews, autopsy report, ballistics report and the physical evidence on scene,” the district attorney’s office has concluded that Molina and Luster used appropriate force to defend themselves, their fellow law enforcement officers and the public.

The investigation was led by the Steamboat Springs Police Department with assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

More than 3,500 deliveries later, women’s health doctor retiring in December

Throughout his long medical career in obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. David Schaller has delivered so many babies that he stopped counting at 3,500, and some 2,000 of those infants were delivered in the Yampa Valley.

When Schaller acquired a one-physician ob/gyn practice in Steamboat Springs in the summer of 1993, he soon began delivering around 50% of the babies in the Yampa Valley, he said. Two years later, he was delivering around 90% of the babies in the valley, calling those first two years in private practice and delivering babies at then Routt Memorial Hospital the most challenging of his career.

Those 2,000 local deliveries are the reason his two sons never really enjoyed going grocery shopping with their dad, as the food list was often delayed by parents showing off their growing babies, Schaller said.

Making time to listen to patients and “give people space to open up” has been one of the doctor’s most important medical skills, which often led him to run behind in his daily schedule, he said with a big smile. New moms say the doctor answers questions thoroughly and listens carefully to concerns.

Schaller said he learned that a patient’s initially voiced concern is only the first layer to peel down to the root medical problem. He also never wanted to be the type of doctor who fielded a patient’s questions with his hand already on the doorknob trying to leave the exam room.

“Above all else, he always listens and leans in and puts the patients first,” said Dr. Laura Sehnert, chief medical officer at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, who has worked with Schaller since 2007. “He has a real passion for women’s health and care for women of all ages. He lived and breathed his role as a caregiver, always available, always willing to help.”

Dr. David Schaller, who is retiring in December, poses in the labor and delivery section at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in fall 2023.
David Schaller/Courtesy photo

The obstetrician originally was scheduled to retire a year ago, until a colleague at UCHealth Women’s Care Clinic needed to go on maternity leave.

“True to his character, when we needed help, he jumped right back in,” Sehnert said.

Even during critical, high-stakes emergency situations, Schaller found a way to stay calm and compassionate, and take the time to check in with the whole medical team.

“He’s the perfect blend of professionalism with the really personal touch and an excellent communicator,” Sehnert said. “He’s just kind, and his passion is contagious.”

As a younger adult, Schaller worked in respiratory therapy, as a tennis instructor, and a chef in a restaurant where he met his now wife of 39 years, Tibby Speare.

Schaller started his college life moving in a different direction when he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Colorado Boulder. He remains a big fan of art, and even creates his own.

His professional goals evolved as he watched his wife’s mother dying in hospice care. He decided he wanted to work in a field with more impact, immediacy and connections with people. He completed medical school at University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, and completed his four-year residency at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver.

Schaller, who retires in December, said he still sees some of the same local patients he began caring for 30 years ago. At age 68, years after most aging doctors, Schaller stays on the schedule at UCHealth Women’s Care Clinic to take those middle-of-the-night calls for deliveries or emergency room situations.

Asked about the most significant advances in women’s care in the past 30 years, Schaller pointed to 3D ultrasounds that can show a baby’s facial features compared to previous grainy ultrasounds. Ectopic pregnancies where an embryo attaches outside the uterus can now be found quickly on imaging scans, when in the past, women were admitted into the hospital for days for observation.

A hysterectomy that used to keep women in the hospital for a few days can be performed laparoscopically with smaller incisions. Postpartum depression is a recognized and acknowledged disease. Minimally invasive surgeries are more common, and the use of strong pain medicines has decreased.

Schaller said he will miss the day-to-day interactions with patients and families, the challenges of problem-solving complex medical cases, and working with caring and dedicated colleagues.

“I’ll miss the privilege to witness the unbelieve joy, drama, incredible strength, perseverance and pure emotion at deliveries that never, ever became routine,” Schaller said.

The most satisfying part of his work was “when complicated, stressful pregnancies turn out well,” expressing gratitude for being able to serve the community for 30 years.

What he will not miss, he said, are those on-call phone summons in the wee hours of the morning.

After his retirement in December following 30 years serving in women’s health in the Yampa Valley, Dr. David Schaller and wife, Tibby Speare, plan to spend more time in Maine where they have land and hope to grow peaches.
David Schaller/Courtesy photo

Where in Moffat County?

In Loyd, this building was used by Moffat County Road Department circa June 1959. It was once used as the Spence’s Grocery Store. Photograph looks south from the location of Iles Grove on Colorado Highway 13, south of Hamilton.
Museum of Northwest Colorado/Courtesy photo

UCHealth: Healthy fall foods

Leaves have fallen, days have shortened, the air has chilled. It’s a perfect time for warm, filling comfort foods that are also good for you.

“With comforting, nourishing foods, you can satisfy your tastes and support your health through the changing weather,” said Pam Wooster, a registered dietitian nutritionist at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Soup season

The cool, dark evenings of fall are a perfect time for soups. From pureed soups, such as carrot ginger or tomato, to chunky soups, such as chilis and stews, there’s something for everyone.

“Sometimes people stay away from soups because they think they’re hard to make, but they’re actually very easy,” Wooster said.

For a simple vegetable soup, drizzle a little olive oil in a pot and sauté any vegetables you have on hand, such as carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Brown meat if desired, and add in dried herbs and a bay leaf. Next, add in a cup of your liquid — vegetable, chicken or beef broth, or milk for a creamy soup — and deglaze the pan by scraping the flavorful bits from the bottom. Add the rest of your liquid, and you’re done.

“Different ingredients may take more or less time to cook,” Wooster said. “Potatoes and carrots may need to cook longer, but green beans and squash can be added later so they’re not overcooked and mushy.”

Hearty salads

Shake up your salad options by starting with sturdier greens, such as kale, and chopping them up with vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and carrots. Add beans or shredded meat for protein and a little fruit for sweetness, then garnish with nuts and seeds. Dress with a seasoned garlic oil and balsamic vinegar.

Or make a slaw with red and green cabbage, carrots and apples, and a dressing of olive oil and vinegar or lime juice.

“Slaws are really versatile,” Wooster said. “You can throw them on burgers or street tacos.”

Warm oats

It’s the season to wake up to a hot bowl of oatmeal, which is easy to make with oats, water or almond milk, and toppings such as berries, nuts and seeds. The best part? Oats help support gut health, which can help you ward off sickness.

“If we maintain a healthy gut, we maintain a healthier body and won’t succumb to illness as easily,” Wooster said.

Nutritious casseroles

Casseroles aren’t just about gooey cheese and heavy meats. Lighten up your favorites by replacing pasta with ribbons of eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash, or swapping in bean pasta for another nutrient profile.

Wooster recommends trying a “Harvest Chicken Casserole.” Fill a baking dish with chicken, chopped sweet potatoes, cooked brown rice, garlic, onion, thyme, cranberries, almonds and chicken broth, and enjoy the fragrant aroma as the flavors meld together.

Or stuff bell peppers with rice or farro, browned turkey meat, and beans, smother in a simple tomato sauce, then bake and garnish with herbs.

Don’t forget the frittata, an egg-based casserole that lends itself to a variety of add-ins. For fall, try one with butternut squash, kale and sage.

Drinks and desserts

Make your own turmeric tea with almond milk, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, black pepper, turmeric and a touch of maple syrup for a warming fall drink. Or, enjoy a homemade hot cocoa with cocoa powder, honey and your milk of choice.

Baked apples or a mug of apple cider are fall-worthy desserts, and can fill your house with the aroma of the season.

“When you have apple cider on the stove and smell that cinnamon, it can make you think of foods you’ve enjoyed and brings back good memories, and that nourishes the body, too,” Wooster said.

Hearty Fall Vegetable Soup

Recipe adapted from “Love & Lemons”

This healthy, versatile vegetable soup lends itself to using up vegetables in the freezer and refrigerator. I make variations of this soup several times during the fall and winter months.

Ingredients — Pam Wooster, registered dietitian nutritionist at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center


2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

Sea salt and fresh black pepper

1 medium carrot, diced

1 small sweet potato or red potato or yellow gold potato, diced

¼ c. dry white wine (ex. Pinot Grigio)

14.5 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tsp. dried oregano OR 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or rosemary

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, more to taste

4 c. vegetable or chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 c. halved cherry tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes

1 c. chopped green beans

1 zucchini, diced

15 oz. can chickpeas or navy beans or northern beans, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1½ c. chopped kale


Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, ½ tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add carrot and potato, stir and cook 2 more minutes.

Add wine and cook for about 30 seconds to reduce by half, then add canned tomatoes, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir in broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Stir in cherry tomatoes, green beans, zucchini and chickpeas. Cover and cook 10-15 more minutes, until green beans are tender.

Stir in vinegar, kale, an additional ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste) and more pepper.