Aspen-area briefs: Pitkin County donates to fire victims; Aspen Shortsfest back to live events in April |

Aspen-area briefs: Pitkin County donates to fire victims; Aspen Shortsfest back to live events in April

Pitkin County matches city of Aspen donation to Marshall Fire victims

Pitkin County commissioners have decided to follow the Aspen City Council’s lead and donate $5,000 to victims of the Marshall Fire in Boulder.

“The city of Aspen did it, and I thought it was a nice idea,” said board Chairwoman Patti Clapper. “Since we work a lot with Boulder County and the people of Boulder … we thought we would send them some money to help the people out down there.”

The money will come from the commissioners’ $10,000 yearly discretionary fund, she said. It will be donated to ColoradoGives, said Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock.

Fueled by strong winds, the Marshall Fire ripped through the Boulder County communities of Louisville, Superior — as well as unincorporated areas — in December and destroyed 1,084 homes with damages estimated at more than $500 million. Thousands were left homeless.

Aspen Shortfest to return to in-person viewing in April

Aspen Film announced Thursday its 31st annual Aspen Shortsfest 2022 will return in April to live showings at the Wheeler Opera House for the first time in three years.

“For the last two years, COVID-19 affected our ability to gather in-person to watch and enjoy films in a public setting. Our incredible team pivoted quickly to make the festival available virtually for 2020 and 2021, attracting audiences and film fans from across the country,” Aspen Film Executive + Artistic Director Susan Wrubel said in the announcement. “Thankfully, this year we can return to our home at the historic Wheeler Opera House, all together, to see some of the most unique and innovative work from around the globe. As usual, Jason Anderson and his programming team are assembling another spectacular lineup of animated, comedy, dramatic and documentary shorts for our viewing pleasure.”

Aspen Film will showcase 11 programs, including 75 short films, scheduled April 5-10. New this year, a pre-sale festival pass is available starting Feb. 22 through March 3, for $250.

The Oscar-qualifying festival will be curated into 11 distinct programs at the Wheeler Opera House. There will also be four programs shown at the Crystal Theater in Carbondale. Aspen Film members will have priority to purchase passes and tickets in advance. More information about membership and the festival are available online at

Airport ground crew staffing to blame for recent delays

The reason some inbound Aspen commercial airline flights have recently had to sit on the tarmac for 30 to 45 minutes is because of ground crew staffing issues, the facility’s director said Thursday.

Of late, crews can sometimes handle only one plane at a time, Bartholomew said.

“There is nothing the airport can do to address it,” he said. “Unfortunately that’s what is happening in the current hiring environment.”